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David Sanchez 2014-2015

David Sanchez, Ingram Scholar and Resident Adviser, has been named a 2014 Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow. The goal of the fellowship is to develop future leaders through world travel and experiential learning. Graduating seniors awarded the fellowship have the opportunity to pursue an idea or an issue they are passionate about in the context of daily life in communities around the world.

Sanchez, a Political Science major from Racine, Wisconsin, discovered an interest in conflict resolution in courses studied during a semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and study trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Germany. He will use his fellowship year to travel to 18 communities on six continents for a project, “The Peace-Conflict Continuum: Investigating the Origins of Conflict and Identifying Best Practices for Promoting Harmony,” that will take him to countries as diverse as Rwanda, Mauritius, Israel, Singapore, New Zealand and Guatemala to examine why some countries embrace multiculturalism while others see it as a source of conflict. He seeks to understand what factors are influential in inciting conflict, where the tipping point is and what mechanisms could be implemented to defuse ethnic and religious tensions. He is especially interested in the role of governments in adopting preventive measures to reduce clashes and foster harmony between groups.

 “I am grateful to Michael B. Keegan and the selection committee for this unparalleled opportunity to learn firsthand about the value of cultural diversity on the one hand, and understand the disintegration of culturally diverse communities on the other. Through visits with local leaders, academic institutions, NGOs and community members, I will seek to understand how social and political environments shape individual and collective action by comparing the experiences of these 15 communities and identifying preventive measures that can be implemented now to foster tolerant communities and minimize the potential for conflict in the future,” Sanchez said.

You can follow David's travels on his blog at