Lauren Appel ’20 was recently one of 15 college students from across the nation who participated in a weeklong program designed to develop the next generation of Catholic nuclear nonproliferation specialists and activists.
The program was coordinated by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in cooperation with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Notre Dame’s Keogh School of Global Affairs Washington office hosted the students May 20-24.
Participating students heard from some of the foremost U.S. Catholic actors who work on peacebuilding and nuclear nonproliferation policy. Presentations included the history of the Catholic Church’s stance on nuclear weapons and the history of popular movements in calling the world toward total nuclear disarmament.
In an article by The Catholic News Service, Appel said she is concerned about the decreasing emphasis on arms control in recent years. She is a political science and Spanish major who recently studied the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War during a study abroad opportunity in Cuba.
“Learning about the tensions of the Cold War drew my attention to nuclear weapons and how it was a really big deal, and yet today the issue still continues,” Appel said. “I would like to have a new knowledge of nuclear weapons on the world scale that still exist today. I would like to learn more about how to negotiate for peace and promote peace across all nations and resolve the issues that exist today.”