Josh Sisolak (Class of 2024) // News // Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies // University of Notre Dame

Josh Sisolak is a junior from Ashland, Montana, majoring in Peace Studies and Film, Television, and Theatre. Josh had a unique experience attending the Madrasa Discourse Intensive in Nepal this summer, where he learned more about Islam and the role of religion in peacebuilding. In this interview, Josh talks with current Master of Global Affairs, International Peace Studies student Anna Romandash and shares his take on his studies and his future career path.

Why did you decide to study peace?

Studying peace allows you to delve into the underlying factors that contribute to conflict and injustice around the world. In turn, you are able to approach the problems around you with a critical mindset that allows you to see what many sometimes do not.

What has your experience with the Kroc Institute been like?

The Kroc Institute has been nothing short of amazing! I’ve met so many wonderful people from diverse and unique backgrounds.

You participated in the Madrasa Discourses Intensive this summer. How was it?

The Madrasa Discourses Intensive in Nepal was an opportunity that I never thought I would have as an undergraduate. I traveled with six other undergraduates across the world to Nepal and attended talks and discussions about different challenges facing Islam today.

As Notre Dame students we were invited to engage with different topics and experiences outside of our comfort zone. Crossing the road amidst incoming traffic and eating a Nepalese meal with my hands are things I won’t forget. While the educational material presented to us was insightful and important, I believe that the biggest takeaway was the realization of how important the Muslim voice is in religious, social, and educational conversations. The experience itself showed me how to engage in more fruitful and constructive conversations in the future.

The more I reflect on my experience, the more I realize how valuable the trip was in enhancing my education and adding a more nuanced perspective in approaching other cultures and religions.

Watch a video created by Josh featuring highlights from the Madrasa Discourses Intensive »

What do you want to do after graduation?

My dream is to make documentaries that give a voice to those around the world who often go unheard.

Where do you see yourself on the Strategic Peacebuilding Wheel?

I believe I would place myself in the education section.

What are some fun facts about you?

I’ve never eaten at Taco Bell. Also, I’m pretty sure I suffer from short-term memory loss.

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