Quinnipiac contingent to attend gathering of Nobel Laureates

Giana Gleeson '11 (left) meets the Dalai Lama at the 2010 World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Hiroshima, Japan. The Albert Schweitzer Institute will lead a delegation of students, staff and recent alumni to the 2013 world summit in Warsaw, Poland. Gleeson will make the trip with some of her students from Hartford (Conn.) Public High School.

Oct. 17, 2013 - The Albert Schweitzer Institute will lead a delegation of students, staff and recent alumni to the 2013 World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Oct. 21-23 in Warsaw, Poland.

"The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are people who have made a difference or taken a risk to change the world," said David Ives, executive director of the institute. "Often the students come back from experiences like this feeling strongly that they should make the world a better place. They are going to get to interact and meet with people who have been recognized with the single most honored prize in the world, which is the Nobel Peace Prize."

The theme of the Summit is "Stand in Solidarity for Peace - Time to Act. Participants will include Betty Williams, Frederic Willem de Klerk, Lech Walesa, Mairead Maguire, Mikhail Gorbachev, Muhammad Yunus and Shirin Ebadi. Actress Sharon Stone has been chosen as the Peace Summit Award 2013 Laureate recipient.

Ives, who will represent 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Albert Schweitzer, said he has attended eight world summits. He is bringing students - 12 from Quinnipiac and five from Hartford (Conn.) Public High School - with him for the fourth time.

The Quinnipiac students are: Anthony Allen, Yessenia Argudo, Katherine Chirillo, Weruche George, Julia Hvoslef, Kayla Ketcheson, Kristina Kiraly, Kelly Lavelle, Travis Moran, Raye-Lani Nyhuis, Alexander Soucy and Meaghan Williams. 

"I still can't believe I'm being given this amazing opportunity and I plan to get the most I can out of it," said Chirillo, a sophomore media studies major.

George, a senior pre-law student, said she plans to concentrate on international law and human rights. The summit "will strengthen my participation in humanitarian service," she said.

Representing Hartford Public will be students Xavier Arriaga, Yaharia Escribano, Kaylanie Santiago, Keren Torres and Frankielys Quinones and teachers Taylor Ives and Giana Gleeson. Ives, the son of David Ives, and Gleeson are Quinnipiac alumni.

The delegates were to leave for Poland on Oct. 18 and return Oct. 26.

"This trip is truly a unique and special opportunity for all of us," said Allen, who is in final year of the BS/MBA program at Quinnipiac. "The concept alone is wonderful, and I can think of no better use of my time than to sit with students and leaders from around the world to discuss how we can enact meaningful changes to further the mission of global peace."

David Ives will present a workshop on millennium development goals in Warsaw. The trip will also offer tours of Kraków and Auschwitz and a chance for the students to meet students from around the world.

"It's going to be an intense week," David Ives said.

Lou Venturelli, a 2011 Quinnipiac graduate and former president of the Student Government Association, attended world summits in Japan and Chicago with the Schweitzer Institute. He so enjoyed the experience that he serves as coordinator of the youth delegation for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in addition to his full time job with the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

"It's an incredible opportunity for our students to engage in conversations and hear from some of the leading minds in international peacemaking," Venturelli said.

Schools such as Columbia University, Dartmouth College and Soka University in Japan are sending students to Warsaw, with Quinnipiac's contingent being the largest.

Venturelli will travel with the Quinnipiac group, as will Anat Biletzki, Schweitzer professor of philosophy, Ewa Callahan, associate professor of communications, and Mary Paddock, associate dean of humanities and fine arts.

"I have the wonderful fortune of being here the past five years when Quinnipiac is changing and growing and becoming very involved the national and international communities," said Biletzki, who will join David Ives in presenting the workshop on millennium development goals. "This trip is the icon of that involvement and the Albert Schweitzer Institute is the fulcrum of those kind of opportunities."

Next year's World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, while the 2015 summit is in Atlanta to honor the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize.

The Albert Schweitzer Institute is committed to introducing Schweitzer's philosophy of "reverence for life" to a broad audience in order to bring about a more civil and ethical human society characterized by respect, responsibility, compassion and service.