Faculty and Staff

Tim Ehlinger, PhD
WC Kohler Director in Sustainable Peacebuilding

Tim is the W.C. Kohler Director and co-founder of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding. He received his doctoral training as an evolutionary ecologist from the Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University where his research has explored the complex behavioral and physiological mechanisms that contribute to the ability of populations and communities to adapt to disturbance and changing environments. With an ever-increasing focus on restoration ecology, he studies risk-response relationships between natural and anthropogenic stressors and their impacts on the integrity and resilience of social-ecological systems. His laboratory employs methodologies such as risk propagation and artificial neural networks to examine human – environmental interactions and the implications of policy interventions on ecosystem services, conflict and environmental health. He is associate professor of Systems Ecology in the College of Nursing and Center for Global Health Equity.

Bridget Brown, MS

Bridget’s education has focused at the intersection of people and natural resources, with a particular emphasis on water resource planning. Prior to joining the MSP in 2012, Bridget interfaced with coastal communities in Oregon on climate change adaptation initiatives (Oregon Sea Grant) and conducted research on transboundary water conflict and cooperation for the World Bank report, Reaching Across the Waters. 

As the MSP Coordinator, Bridget works closely with community partners, students, and faculty. For prospective and current students, she is the primary point of contact, mentoring students as they progress through the program and into their careers.

Joanne Lipo Zovic, JD

Joanne is an instructor in the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program where she teaches in Dispute Resolution, Facilitation, and Leadership Development. She has taught Negotiation to both undergraduate and graduate students at UWM, to law students at Marquette University, and to clients in the Executive Education program. Joanne serves as Lead Mediator and is a co-founder of the Eviction Mediation program in the Milwaukee County Small Claims Court and is working to develop programs earlier in the dispute process to lessen eviction filings. Joanne also provides negotiation and communication skills training for professionals in a variety of settings ranging from healthcare to higher education and from government to the private sector.

Lynne Woehrle
Associate Professor

Lynne is the newest member of the MSP team. Her research focuses on documenting, analyzing and evaluating how people identify, challenge and transform injustice in their communities. Her goal is to expand knowledge of best practices for equitable and peaceful social systems. As a social scientist, she studies ways that communities and organizations can change from practices of structural or direct violence to supporting inclusive, sustainable, and nonviolent social systems. Lynne will be teaching MSP core courses in research methods, conflict, and environmental peacebuilding.


Andy McGuire

Andy currently works as a research fellow on MSP environmental projects throughout SE Wisconsin. He earned his doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May 2017. His research examined complex resource governance problems focusing on linked surface-groundwater conflicts in the State of Wisconsin. Through a complex social-ecological systems (SES) lens, he utilized both natural and social science methods to characterize a eutrophication threshold in a lake system, explore the multiscalar nature of linked surface-groundwater conflicts, and understand the institutional opportunities and challenges influencing the emergence of linked surface-groundwater governance in the State of Wisconsin.


Eleanor Barr, Class of 2019

Eleanor received her B.A. from Augsburg College in Urban Studies. During her time as an Undergraduate, she researched regenerative agriculture and Climate Change attitudes vs. actions. She traveled abroad to Berlin, Istanabul, and St. Petersburg, where she was part of a Metropolitan Studies Program. Eleanor is inspired by Urban Environments – the challenges they present and solutions they hold. She worked as an Americorps VISTA upon graduation, improving the sustainability of two drop-in health sites in the Minneapolis area. She continues to hone her interests and improve her skills in providing sustainable solutions to complex problems.

crust_nicholecroppedNichole Crust, Class of 2018

Nichole’s interests in sustainability include social enterprise and food systems on a local and international level. Currently, she works as a Kiva Advisor at WWBIC where she focuses on building Kiva’s base of lenders and borrowers. Prior to this, she worked at Hunger Task Force where she developed and monitored the organization’s pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Nichole is a graduate of Cairn University with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies. In her spare time she loves to read, travel, volunteer with Slow Food WISE, and take people on tours of Milwaukee. Nichole joins the MSP as a 2016-2018 Milwaukee Idea Economic Development Fellow.

Dorothy Lily Gakii, Class of 2018

Dorothy Lily Gakii holds a bachelors degree in Public Health, and has a past experience serving the vulnerable population in rural settings in Kenya.Dorothy believes there are many current problems facing the society and her own personal experiences influenced her to pursuing a Masters degree in peace studies.Having a strong commitment to community work, her long term goal is to acquire more knowledge in the field of peace to be able to build the capacity of the communities and establish conditions in which they can live harmoniously and be able to enjoy good health.

Cassie Gamble, Class of 2019

Cassie Gamble earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Social Services and an Interdisciplinary Study consisting of Anthropology, Business, and Mandarin Chinese from Wisconsin Lutheran College. Since graduating, Cassie has enjoyed working with children and families involved with Child Protective Services and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, participating in builds in South Africa and the Philippines. Cassie has a passion for traveling and learning about different cultures. This combined with the aspiration to positively impact the world around her is what motivates Cassie to attain her Masters in Sustainable Peacebuilding

Laura Hermanns, Class of 2019

Laura graduated from UW-Madison with majors in Political Science & Environmental Studies with a minor in African Studies. She has always felt called to a life of faith and service, with experience in Americorps, as a volunteer English teacher at the Protestant University of Rwanda, and Peer Minister with UWM’s Lutheran Campus Ministry.  She is also passionate about education and the power of story-telling, both of which she utilized working in admissions and recruitment for the UWM College of Nursing. She looks forward to continuing to explore the ways that faith, service, education, and effective communication can be tools for building more peaceful societies.

Jade Herrscher, Class of 2018

Jade earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, then began working as a Mental Health Professional in a psychiatric hospital. Jade entered the MSP program in September 2016 with interest in learning about complex issues within communities locally and globally, emphasis on human/environment interaction.  The idea of working in collaboration with others who possess the same dedication to moving toward positive change in the world is a strong motivator for Jade’s studies in the field.  Upon completion of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding in August 2018, Jade plans to continue her education in order to further her personal and professional growth.

Rachel Howell, Class of 2018

Rachel Howell earned her first BA at UW-Madison, triple majoring in African American Studies, English and Women’s Studies and obtaining a certificate in Global Cultures. She earned a second BA in Dance from UW-Milwaukee, where she began studying and eventually teaching yoga. Rachel also completed a MA in American Dance Studies from Florida State University, along with a certificate in Arts and Community Practice. Shaped by more than a decade of working in crisis child care, she is pursuing the MSP degree with a certificate in Trauma-Informed Care to examine how yoga, mindfulness and dance can support the peacebuilding process.

Dulmini Jayawardana, Class of 2019

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Environmental Science and a masters in Chemistry Education. I was involved in projects which sought out sustainable solutions for diverse issues in Sri Lanka and in projects geared to improve the learning process of chemistry students. The challenges I faced made me believe that adaptability to new and difficult situations is an important trait, which resonate with the core concepts of this program. The aspiration to deal sustainably with many complex issues in my own personal life and in the communities and find peace and harmony influenced me to enroll in the program.

Aruna Kallon, Class of 2018

Aruna holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English, and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), both from Fourah Bay College- University of Sierra Leone, where he also served as a part-time lecturer in the Department of English for five years. In 2015, Aruna was awarded a certificate in Civic Leadership from the University of Virginia, USA, where he was enrolled as a Mandela Washington Fellow, and also interned at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, D.C. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Aruna joins the MSP program as a 2016-2017 Distinguished Graduate Fellow.

Abraham Larkoh, Class of 2019

Abraham Larkoh holds a BSc. and a Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. His undergraduate research focused on the effectiveness of traditional justice mechanisms in promoting justice and good governance in Sierra Leone. Abraham interned at the Republic of Sierra Leone House of Parliament, and participated in the Sierra Leone National Youth Commission and United Nations Development Program (NAYCOM/UNDP) Graduates Internship Program. He has also volunteered as a tutor, youth volunteer and gender focal point officer at the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces Education Center, Wilberforce Barracks in Freetown.

lippe_croppedClaire Lippe, Class of 2018

Claire is a former student of Waldorf education and through her experience traveling abroad, Claire has integrated her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Global Studies from Winona State University into opportunities to reinvigorate and build resiliency in communities. She has experience in community outreach and organizing and marketing events and has a passion for gender equity.

chelsea_poeppeChelsea Poeppe, Class of 2018

Chelsea studied International Studies, Arabic Language and Culture, and Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. During school, she found her passion in community organizing by working with local nonprofits to raise awareness and educate the public about the Syrian refugee crisis.  Additionally, she launched the first Global Zero chapter in Chicago. Chelsea moved to Madison, Wisconsin from Chicago in 2014. Prior to joining the MSP program at UWM, Chelsea worked for the UW-Madison Graduate school as a service associate. In her free time, Chelsea plays roller derby with the Wreckers Madison Roller Derby team.

Katherine Riebe, Class of 2019

Katherine holds an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language/Intercultural Studies and has taught ESL/EFL in Indonesia, Kuwait and here in the United States.  Since her time living on the US/Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley, she has been interested in international development.  Issues of child and maternal health, food security and sustainable living, childhood education, sanitation and access to clean water, public health, etc, are of particular interest to her.   She is excited to see how the MSP will inform her future work in these areas.

Alexandria Sedar, Class of 2019

Alexandria focuses on public health and international development. Specifically how health intersects with women’s empowerment, food security and water. After working on these issues both in Latin America and in Milwaukee, she comes to the MSP to deepen her understanding of complex issues at the system level, and to gain the skills to implement participatory and culturally informed policy. Alexandria holds a bachelors degree in Global Studies-Security from UW-Milwaukee with a regional focus in Latin America. She joins the MSP as an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow.

Linda Xiong, Class of 2019

Linda earned her BA in Fashion Design and BS in Apparel Merchandising from Indiana University. After five years of working for large and small retailers, she is pursuing the MSP to understand the complex social and environmental issues in the fashion industry. As an advocate for Fair Trade, her goals are to study the context in which artisan entrepreneurship is sustainable and how handicraft artisans can be a vehicle for creating and fostering peace.

Advisory Council

In addition to core program faculty and staff, MSP has a multi-disciplinary and cross-campus collaborative Advisory Committee.


Anne Dressel, Assistant Professor, Nursing
Garry Davis, Professor and Chair, Historical Linguistics
Heidi Luft, Assistant Professor, Nursing
Jacques Du Plessis, Associate Professor, Information Studies
Dimitri Topitzes, Associate Professor, Social Work
Julie Ellis, Assistant Professor, Nursing
Linnea Laestadius, Assistant Professor, Public Health Policy and Administration
Loren Galvao, Senior Scientist, Nursing
Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, Associate Professor, Nursing
Margret Petrie, Assistant Dean of Academics, Freshwater Sciences
Marie Sandy, Associate Professor, Education Policy and Community Studies
W. Warner Wood, Associate Professor, Anthropology