Building the Next Generation of Peace Activists

What we’re seeing is a new peace movement emerge – a movement that is defined by the interests and talents of its extraordinary and diverse new leaders, current students and others. This movement exists at the intersection of justice, international development, equality, environmental protection and ending militarism. No Justice, No Peace. No Climate Action, No Peace. No Equality, No Peace.

Kate Alexander

Director of Policy and Outreach, Peace Action New York State

Aaron Gialanella is a senior at the University at Albany, where he is pursuing a degree in Communication and Africana Studies.  An active member of Model United Nations throughout high school, Aaron decided to join Peace Action as a transfer student in October due to his passion for multiculturalism and interest in ending global conflicts.  Following his involvement, he became the club’s Treasurer in the spring semester and was elected as President for the 2016-17 academic year.  When not taking classes or advocating for social change, Aaron participates in UAlbany’s rugby club.  He also loves reading, listening to music, playing guitar, and supporting his favorite soccer team, Manchester United.  Aaron lists Ralph Ellison, Michelle Alexander, Bernie Sanders, and Alex Turner as some of his greatest inspirations.  In the future, he hopes to expand UAlbany’s Peace Action chapter and to participate in volunteer work abroad.

Aaron Gialanella

Student Peace Organizer, University of Albany

Sophie Gamer is a Senior at Binghamton University, Majoring in Cell Molecular Biology and Minoring in French. She is originally from Westchester, New York. She has been involved with the Binghamton University chapter of Peace Action for 5 semesters, serving on their executive board for 4 of the 5. She is also a tutor for the NCAA Student Athlete Success center, on the board of her university’s Women’s Student Union, and co-hosts a talk show about issues of peace on Binghamton’s local radio station, WHRW. After Sophie completes her undergraduate studies, she plans on attending Medical School and becoming a doctor. Sophie is so excited to be the president of her university’s chapter.

Sophie Gamer

Student Peace Organizer, SUNY Binghamton University

Jack Galardi is a sophomore at Skidmore College, where he studies Government and Sociology. He is an honors student who participates actively in Student Government, sits on the Integrity Board, and plays Ultimate Frisbee. Through his years in high school and college, he has accumulated tremendous experience in student organizations and looks to make good use of that during his time with Peace Action!

Jack Galardi

Student Peace Organizer, Skidmore College

Colleen Moore is from Deerfield, NY. She is a senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges majoring in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in music. On campus, she’s President of Colleges Against Cancer, co-chair of Relay for Life, President of Club Tennis, News editor of the Herald campus newspaper, member of the Human Rights and Genocide Symposium, and very involved with the music department. She’s very passionate about social justice and peace and formerly interned with CODEPINK: Women for Peace. After graduation, Colleen hopes to pursue a PhD in political science and continue to advocate for human rights.

Colleen Moore

Student Peace Organizer, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Elizabeth Dzivulsky is a sophomore at Rochester Institute of Technology where she is pursuing degrees in Economics and Public Policy with a minor in Web Design and Development. She is hopeful to become a lawyer in the future. Throughout her high school career, Elizabeth was captain of the Speech and Debate team while also competing at the state and national level. In college Elizabeth is involved in many student run organizations such as Innovator Hours, Women in Business and Cru.  Elizabeth is excited to participate with peace action through PANYS and continuing to help raise awareness about international issues on her campus.

Elizabeth Dzivulsky

Student Peace Organizer, Rochester Institute of Technology

Rebecca Schiller, from Queens New York, attends Baruch College in Manhattan. Rebecca first got her taste in politics when interning for Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign. This led Rebecca to become an active advocate on campus. The conflict Rebecca has always been interested in is the Israeli Palestinian conflict. She is involved in a fellowship with Jerusalem U and is an active member of different pro peace groups on her campus. With her experience with the Israeli Palestinian conflict she now wants to expand her activism in other conflicts and looks forward to creating peace on campus.

Becca Schiller

Student Peace Organizer, Baruch College

Karina Roca is a sophomore at Pace University on the New York City campus.  She is double majoring in Political Science and Peace and Justice Studies.  She sits on the advisory board of Shades, which is a group providing a safe space for women of color to have open discussions and engage in research.  She also writes for a food editorial and is an active volunteer with both New York Cares and Pace’s Community Outreach office.  She plans to study abroad in Havana, Cuba during the winter and is very passionate about international relations on a diplomatic level. She is very excited to network with other peace advocates, as peace building is the root of her aspiration toward a Bachelor’s degree.  She is particularly interested in participatory development, believing that sustainable change truly comes from grassroots movement and community building.

Karina Roca

Student Organizer, Pace University

Emilie Schmelzer is a senior at SUNY Geneseo who has been involved in PANYS since her freshman year, when her experiences with the organization brought her to become involved in political activism.

As a student of International Relations, she sees the work of PANYS not only as being in our domestic interest, but in the interest of the entire planet. She is currently focusing on making the most of her final 2 semesters, both within the scope of her work with PANYS and beyond.

Emilie Schmelzer

Student Peace Organizer, SUNY Geneseo

Chey Bennett is a Sophomore at Keuka College. She is majoring in Political Science & History with a double minor in American Sign Language (ASL) and “Spanish and Cross-cultural studies”. She is originally from Bronx, New York where she received both her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and her regular High School diploma from Bronx Early College Academy an International Baccalaureate World school. Chey began her background in politics in 2013 when she interned for NYS Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright and was then upgraded to a staff assistant the following year. Since then she has received Special awards and recognitions such as: a NYS Assembly Citation for Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright (NYS 70th assembly district), an award of Special Congressional recognition from Congressman Charles B. Rangel and others. On campus Chey is a member of the Keuka Concords (A capella group), the LGBTQA+ Resource Center and works as a Sports information digital Media Assistant. This is Chey’s first semester with PANYS and she hopes to grow through it.

Chey Bennett

Student Organizer, Keuka College

Alie Iwanenko is a senior at Canisius College where she studies International Relations, Spanish, and Latin American Studies with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies. Alie has traveled to Nicaragua to learn more about land sustainability with Agros International, and Costa Rica where she spend five weeks interning with Habitat for Humanity at the Latin America and Caribbean office. Alie has also recently returned from Brazil, where she learned about sustainable development in Rio and the surrounding Amazon Rainforest. Not only does she want to educate her campus on international issues, but she is also equally involved in the Canisius community where she volunteers with multiple organizations, but particularly those that support refugees from around the world who are displaced from their homes.

Alie Iwanenko

Student Peace Organizer, Canisius College

My name is Victoria Lopez and I am a Junior at the state university of New York at New Paltz. I am a double major in Political Science and English. On campus I am a Senator of the Student Government Association, Vice Chair of the Constitution and Rules Committee. I am secretary of Students Against Mass Incarceration, Co-Director of NYPIRG’s New Paltz chapter and love to work on higher education issues in my free time. I interned with NYPIRG three times and two out of the three times I worked in the Higher Education campaign. I hope to continue working in non-profit human rights organizations once I graduate college.

Victoria Lopez

Student Peace Organizer, SUNY New Paltz

Morgan is a sophmore at Hamilton College studying world politics and economics. She has a passion for international affairs, particularly in topics related to peace processes. She is learning Arabic and plans on studying abroad in the Arab world next year. She hopes to work in the foreign service one day, hopefully at an embassy in the Middle East.

Morgan Walsh

Student Peace Organizer, Hamilton College

Evelyn Torsher is in the Hamilton College class of 2017. She studies World Politics with a focus on National Security and Counterterrorism, and has lived throughout South America and the Middle East developing her proficiency in Arabic and Spanish. When she is not reading the news, Evelyn loves to travel, play with dogs, and eat chocolate.

Evelyn Torsher

Peace Student Organizer, Hamilton College

Katelyn Conroy is a senior at Manhattan College in New York City. She got involved with peace action work at her school when she was a freshman and has continued to be an active part of the group. She is an English major and a peace studies minor. She wants to work in non-profits and work to change the issues she sees in the world. She hails from Long Island; where her three brothers, parents, and the best two dogs in the world live. She is currently co-president of her school’s peace and social action club, a resident assistant,  a member of Catholic Relief Services, a member of the honor society Sigma Tau Delta, and a member her school’s theater group.

Katelyn Conroy

Student Peace Organizer, Manhattan College

Sarah Kissane is a junior English major at Manhattan College. Originally from a small town in New Jersey, she moved to New York and became more interested in peace action. She is currently co-president of the Just Peace group on campus, and has become passionate about global climate issues, women’s rights, and more recently in the Syrian crisis. She is excited to widen her network of connections in the peace action world through PANYS, and make Manhattan College an overall more involved school when it comes to international issues that students should care about. Her hobbies include traveling, listening to rock music, and reading too many books.

Sarah Kissane

Peace Student Organizer, Manhattan College

Become a Student Leader

Email your resume and a cover letter explaining your interests in organizing for peace to Kate Alexander at to apply today.