Maia Carter Hallward, '98
Maia graduated summa cum laude in 1998 with a degree in leadership studies. While at Richmond, Maia received such honors as Phi Beta Kappa, Oldham Scholar, ODK, Golden Key, and the Burns Award. A Bonner scholar, Maia traveled abroad to do her summer service whenever possible. She spent one summer on a Heifer Project international work trip in Honduras, which, she says, profoundly affected her life. She spent another summer at a work camp in Ramallah where she worked on the campus of a Quaker school and met with Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers.
After graduation, Maia returned to this Ramallah Friends School where she taught for two years. Then, through a connection with Jepson school professor Joanne Ciulla, Maia began working at the United Nations University International Leadership Academy in Amman, Jordan, where she worked on projects such as bringing young leaders from South Africa, Indonesia/East Timor, and Northern Ireland to learn about post-conflict peacemaking.
In August 2001, Maia returned to the United States to pursue her PhD in international relations at American University. After September 11th, Maia shifted her focus away from international development in the classical sense and toward issues of peace and conflict in the Middle East. Her dissertation focused on Israeli and Palestinian peace and justice movements specifically after the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000. Maia lived in Jerusalem for nine months, conducting research in studying Hebrew.
Now, Maia is an assistant professor in the political science and international relations department at Kennesaw State University teaching courses such as, Politics of the Middle East, Politics of Developing Areas, and Contemporary International Politics. She is involved in the Peace Studies Minor and has been participating on a committee that is helping develop a new PhD program at KSU focusing on international relations. Maia also volunteers with AFSC’s Middle East Peace Education Program in their Southeast Regional Office.
The broad, interdisciplinary nature of the programs at UR really have served me well in terms of my on-going interdisciplinary approach to world problems and social issues. By using different frameworks one can better comprehend and work to address the many facets of complex issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or poverty in many areas of the world. None of these problems exists in isolation and they are interconnected with a variety of issues. Having two interdisciplinary majors at UR helped with this.