Beyond the Classroom with Dr. Reina Neufeldt
Research. Practice. Reflection. Theory. New to UW this year, Dr. Reina Neufeldt aims to balance these aspects of her work in peace and conflict studies.
Having spent time exploring her area of expertise as a student, a peace worker, an advisor, and an assistant professor, Dr. Neufeldt brings a range of experiences to the table.
“I’m a better teacher because I have field experience,” she said.
She looks forward to helping develop the peace and conflict studies master’s program, which is new to UW this year.
“I like the program focus,” she said. “I am excited by the master’s program; I think it was long overdue at the university.”
While Neufeldt grew up in the Toronto area, she earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Calgary.
Before going on to do a master’s degree in social psychology at York University, she spent a year working on U.S. public policy with NGO Mennonite Central Committee in Washington, D.C. Neufeldt’s research at York University focused on intergroup problem-solving, specifically through problem-solving workshops. While this allowed her to gain insight into the nature of conflict in relationships, Neufeldt saw the importance of studying the larger scale as well.
Wanting to look at the “macro” in addition to the “micro,” she went on to complete a PhD in international relations at American University in Washington, D.C.
Both during and following her doctoral studies Neufeldt worked as a peacebuilding Technical Advisor for Catholic Relief Services, first in Baltimore, then in South East Asia. “[Field work] is immensely challenging,” she said. “Rewarding, but challenging.”
Neufeldt then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Kroc Institute, focusing on inter-religious dialogue as well as ethics and peacebuilding.
From there, she taught for four years at American University before coming to UW. She looks forward to engaging with students through her position in peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College.