Student riders boost global awareness by committing to Nobel Peace Prize – The Rider News

By Christina Natoli

Students were challenged to choose candidates for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize during a special topics course in the spring of 2021.

The course taught by political science professor Roberta Fiske-Rusciano, entitled Student Model Nobel Peace Prize: Research on Social Justice Issues and Recent Activism (GLS 295), met every two weeks on Tuesdays on Zoom, with students Riding and Thursdays with students from Notre Dame University in Lebanon.

Through a carefully analyzed and highly selective process, this global collaboration resulted in the election of a singular candidate to the Norwegian Nobel Committee for consideration for possible selection.


“Brainstorming and persuasion were essential, but students also had to get to know each other culturally. I saw that they were increasing their listening and negotiating skills, and they also made friends, ”said Fiske-Rusciano.

Students studied Lebanese history, theories of social justice and the values ​​of previous Nobel laureates. In addition, they exercised coercive and listening powers to come to a conclusion that students of various backgrounds could accept.

Suhriti Sarangal, a major in psychology, said: “I looked for various qualities when selecting my candidate, such as area (s) of work, scale of impact, number of ‘active years, their position on other important issues, to name a few. I wanted to make sure my candidate had a large-scale impact on the world; a candidate who has not worked with only a specific group of people or countries. Along with this, I wanted to select a candidate who had demonstrated a long-standing dedication to their work and who went above and beyond to get their message across to the world while creating impact at scale… I wanted a candidate who worked for the whole world. ”

Suhriti Sarangal, majored in psychology, obtained the GSL 295 and considered several qualities when examining candidates. Photo courtesy of Suhriti Sarangal.

In the end, the cooperation led students from both countries to come to a civil agreement on a candidate. They determined the candidate based on the current issues and the candidate’s ability to tackle those issues.

Asked about her experience in the course, Sarangal said enthusiastically: “The course was a unique experience for me. I not only had the opportunity to speak with Dr Asle Toje, who is a member of the Nobel Committee, but I was also invited to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

Nobel Week will take place in Oslo, Norway, from December 6 to 12, although COVID-19 restrictions prevent invited students from attending. The class cannot currently announce their nomination during the selection process, but students and faculty have expressed their enthusiasm for the ceremony nonetheless.

Fiske-Rusciano has big plans for the course and hopes he can find more permanence in the course listing. She believes that “by learning about social justice issues around the world, students become immersed in what is going on in the world. They are not helpless, this is a powerful lesson for undergraduates.

Fiske-Rusciano has experience teaching world studies, political science, multicultural studies and gender studies. For her; she thinks educating young people on their ability to effect change is the essence.

Fiske-Rusciano said: “Students look at gigantic problems and think ‘I can’t do anything about it’. Groups will prefer that students do not vote, and they make it difficult for them to exercise their voice. I believe this course allows students to learn basic lessons that you have certain power and skill, that part of your heart can be dedicated to people all over the world. It’s not easy to crush; once that lesson is in you, you can take it and learn to nurture that part of yourself.

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