School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

Academics / PhD in Interntaional Conflict Mgmt: Current Students

Current Ph.D. Students

Melvin Laven


Melvin “Wim” Laven received a M.S. in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University in 2010. He also holds B.A. (2003) from California State University Bakersfield where he double majored in Philosophy and Religious Studies with a minor in Applied Ethics. He enrolled in the International Conflict Management PhD program at Kennesaw State University in 2012, and was awarded a fully funded assistantship for three years. He also continued to improve his teaching portfolio by teaching for the Political Science department at KSU.

Wim traveled to Cres, Croatia, where he attended a summer course on Transitional Justice and the Politics of Memory. He also visited the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeper Training Center in Accra, Ghana, where he attended a workshop on writing case studies and conducted interviews on the truth and reconciliation commissions held in Ghana and Sierra Leone. He has also visited Austria, England, Egypt, Hungary, India, Iraq, Nepal, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Turkey since starting classes at KSU.

He has regularly presented at the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s annual conference (since 2011) and for the Concerned Philosophers for Peace (2012 & 2014) among other presentations. He is a contributing writer for Peace Voice; his op-eds include In Gaza, US Citizens are Paying Israel’s Tab (2014) The Debt Ceiling Turned Into a Missed Opportunity (2011) and Is America Ready for Peace and Democracy? (2008) among others.

His past experiences include: working as an Adjunct Instructor, as an Assistant Coordinator for a Conflict Sensitive Reconstruction project in Sri Lanka (following the 2004 tsunami), as a Mediator, as an English as a Second Language Teacher (in the U.S., South Korea and Myanmar), and as a ski instructor for the Special Olympics. His dissertation research explores the topic of Forgiveness.

Areas of Interest
Anger and Hatred; Atonement; Community Resilience; Ethics of Conflict Resolution; Evil and Conflict; issues of Peace and Social Justice; Philosophy of Conflict Resolution; Philosophy of Nonviolence; Reconciliation; Reintegration; Teaching Peace and Conflict; Theories of Social Liberation; Using Role Plays; Simulations and Socio-dramas as Pedagogical Tools for Conflict Resolution