Meet our peace literacy curriculum developers


Paul K. Chappell is the Peace Literacy and Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He lectures across the country and internationally on Peace Literacy. He graduated from West Point in 2002, was deployed to Iraq in 2006, and left active duty in November 2009 as a Captain. Chappell was raised in Alabama, the son of a Korean mother and a half-black and half-white father who was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Having grown up in a violent household, Chappell was driven to seek solutions to the problems of war, rage, and trauma. Against the odds, he arrived at vision, purpose, and hope.

Chappell created the idea of Peace Literacy after his time in the military, and he offers it as a new paradigm to better understand not just peace and war, but also the art of living and what it means to be human. He develops these ideas further in his seven-book series The Road to Peace. He has been working with educators since 2009, and has co-authored with Clough, Radford, and Clapes, a number of lesson plans for use in K-12 as well as higher education settings (visit our curriculum page for more details).

To learn more about Chappell and his work, visit his website.


Sharyn Clough, Ph.D., is our Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator. She earned an interdisciplinary doctorate in History and Philosophy of Science at Simon Fraser University in 1997. She has an M.A. in Religious Studies, and a B.A. (Hons) in Social Psychology, both from the University of Calgary. She began working at Oregon State University in 2003 and is now Professor of Philosophy, and serves as Director of Phronesis Lab: Experiments in Engaged Ethics. Phronesis is Greek for “practical wisdom.” According to Aristotle, wisdom isn’t something you have, it’s something you do. Peace Literacy is the ultimate expression of phronesis.

Clough is a graduate of the 2017 Peace Literacy Summer workshop and has prepared a Peace Literacy lesson plan for a college-level class in philosophy, political science, and citizenship that she co-taught at Oregon State University. She has also developed a Peace Literacy lesson plan on aggression that she has taught numerous times to high school and college students. She and Chappell have also compiled an extensive lesson plan targeting three main areas of Peace Literacy for use in 6-12th grade as well as higher education settings.

As Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator, she is leading a team at OSU that works with educators across the US and Canada to tailor peace literacy curricula to meet the needs of teachers from k-12 through to adult and higher education. Additionally, she is collecting lesson plans, and a compendium of group projects, in-class exercises, assignments, and community activities from educators who already use Chappell's materials in their classes. If you have any of your own work that you'd like to share, contact her at For more information about Clough’s research and teaching, visit her website.


Stephanie Clapes, M.Ed., is a Learning Specialist and Educational Consultant, who received her Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the College of New Rochelle, and her BA from Barnard College.  She currently works as a Learning Specialist in a private, international school in New York, and as a private consultant for international families with children with learning difficulties. She has specialized in working with children with autism as well as in working with gifted students with learning difficulties, and has worked with students with language, sensory and auditory processing disorders in Westchester, NY, as well as throughout the South Bronx. 

Her main interest has been the intersection between academic learning and the developmental stages of the child, and she views Peace Literacy as a powerful tool to bridge the gap between these two important needs. Her focus is on bringing Peace Literacy to the elementary classroom and she has worked with Chappell on a number of Peace Literacy Curricular Units for elementary students, including the Garden of Strong Community, available on our Curriculum page.

Trish Beckett, BA, B.Ed., is a retired special education teacher who received bachelor degrees from The Ohio State University and Edgewood College in Madison, WI.  

Her teaching background working with adolescents with emotional and learning disabilities helped her develop an awareness of the importance of Peace Literacy in the public school setting.  She is a graduate of the 2013 Peace Literacy Summer Workshop and has made substantial use of peace literacy in her teaching. She has shared with us a set of lesson plans for high school students called Waging Peace. In February 2017, 150 students (9-12 graders) at Oshkosh North High School in Wisconsin implemented a version of her Waging Peace curriculum. She has given us a report from the field based on her experience with the lesson plans in Oshkosh. When Beckett isn’t working on developing Peace Literacy curriculum, she delights in time with her granddaughters, creates quilts, and has walked 300 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

Scott Griswold, M.Div. Griswold considers himself to be tri-vocational. With a Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, he is an adjunct professor of philosophy and religious studies at Urbana University, a branch of Franklin University, and is also currently the co-pastor, along with his spouse Karen, at the United Church of South Vienna. As a grandfather who cares for eight grandchildren when needed, Scott has a significant investment in a peaceful future. He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration with a marketing major from the University of Dayton and in his sales career spent eighteen years selling information systems. As a grandfather, United Church of Christ pastor, and educator, Scott firmly believes that waging of peace is the most important endeavor that humanity faces today He has contributed a study guide for The Art of Waging Peace.


Krista Hensley, M.A., received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education, and her M.A. in English both from the University of Indianapolis. She has been an English teacher in the public school sector for 30 years, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Indianapolis. Throughout her career she has taught students from all academic levels and is currently teaching all dual credit courses at Center Grove High School, a public school in Greenwood, Indiana.

Regardless of the academic skill level of the students or the specific class she teaches, the one thematic unit that consistently engages their curiosity is the unit on the Vietnam War and veterans. Part of her focus is to bring awareness to serious veteran issues such as PTSD, moral injury, suicide, homelessness, and the many other issues facing veterans. In addition to having students learn to empathize with the veterans of the Vietnam war, she has over the years broadened that scope, teaching students to have more empathy for all of humanity and to actively work for peace. Making use of Chappell’s work has proven invaluable in this regard. She particularly appreciates and takes up Chappell’s challenge for educators: “What if the education system had put as much effort toward cultivating my muscle of empathy as it did toward cultivating my muscle of language? What if I had learned as much about rage, conscience, and conflict resolution as I had about grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure?” (Soldiers of Peace, 74). Hensley has contributed a number of assignments, available on our compendium page, as well as a report from the field. Additionally she has developed an extensive study guide for Soldiers of Peace. Visit her website.

Abbie Jenks, M.SW., M.Ed., created the Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies Liberal Arts option at Greenfield Community College in 2006, and was a member of the GCC Green Campus Committee. She was active in the national Peace and Justice Studies Association and served as the co-chair of the New England Peace Studies Association. Additionally, she was a Board Member of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice in Greenfield, MA for many years and a participant/initiating group member in the Transition Town movement in Pelham, MA where she lives. Jenks worked with other United States community colleges in the development of peace and conflict studies in community colleges and is a contributor to an online manual sponsored by the Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Peace, Conflict and Security in Community Colleges (PCSCC). She has several syllabi published in the latest edition of Peace, Justice and Security Studies: A Curriculum Guide. (2009). Additionally, she presented at the national PJSA conferences in 2007-10 on building peace studies in community colleges. Her earlier background in social work laid the foundation for her work in peace education with a goal of reducing violence and its harmful effects. She has contributed a study guide for Ch. 12 of The Art of Waging Peace. She remains a mother, and a peace, environmental and human rights activist.

Christopher Mahon, B.Ed., M.A.,  is a high school English teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He also received an M.A. in English Literature from Michigan State University and his teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. In addition to teaching English courses at all high school grade levels, he has taught English as a Second Language to numerous students from around the world and has coached his high school’s Speech and Debate team. He has published articles on social and cultural issues in The San Jose Mercury News, the San Mateo County Times, the (San Diego) North County Times, and Education News.  A graduate of the 2012 Peace Literacy Summer Workshop, he is interested in bringing peace to the educational process. Mahon has contributed study guides for The Art of Waging Peace, and Peaceful Revolution, as well as a book review assignment/rubric, and a report from the field (coming soon).

Ann Mbacke, B.A.,  is committed to the belief that we are all connected and therefore need one another. Recognizing that Peace Advocacy and Literacy are necessary ways of living and service, Mbacke began her journey of peace advocacy on a spiritual path as a student of various faith traditions and life paths including service as a Director of Religious Growth and Learning at a Unitarian Universalist church. Mbacke began her career in the environmental permitting field with governmental agencies and then began teaching middle school and high school which led to social work including mental health services and vocational/career development work with several non-profits. Mbacke co-produced with Linda Richards, a study guide for Chapter 5 of Chappell's book The Art of Waging Peace. She now lives in Santa Barbara and teaches in the public school system. She has also worked with Chappell as a non-violence trainer.

Derek Petrey Ph.D., earned a BA from Wright State University, and a Master’s and Doctorate from Ohio State University. He started teaching at Sinclair Community College in Fall 2003. He has taught courses in Spanish and Portuguese language, literature, and cultures, and has developed courses in Spanish for Social Work, Spanish for Health Care, and Spanish for Law Enforcement.  He has also worked as a free-lance translator and interpreter since 1995, with particular expertise in legal identification documents, university transcripts, scholarly articles and conservation biology. He served as Honors Program Director for the College from 2009-2015 and was recently named director of the Sinclair’s Center for Teaching and Learning. He is a recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development award for excellence in teaching.  He also has ten years of experience designing courses for adults outside of the academic community. He has co-developed, with Kathy Rowell, an extensive discussion and activity guide for Chappell's book The Cosmic Ocean.

Susan Radford, B.A., is a middle school Science and AVID Elective teacher in the Everett School District in Washington State. She has been sharing her love of science with students, including English Language Learners (ELL) and Extended Resource Room (ERR) students, since 1991. She feels it is pure joy to listen to 12 and 13 year old students have deep, meaningful dialogues on topics as simple as a tweet on kindness to something as complex as Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Radford is a graduate of the 2013 and 2017 Peace Literacy Summer Workshops and has co-written with Chappell and Clough the first lesson of a four-part unit inspired by Hesiod’s Allegory of Metis, as well as a lesson plan based on the produced a lesson plan and pictorial presentation on Plato's Cave based on Chappell's book The End of War and an in-class activity on animal posturing as a form of non-violent aggression. She has also sent us a report from the field about her use of these materials in her middle-school AVID elective class. She is the mother of three children, including one child with autism. As a teacher, a mother, and a human being, Radford tries to model empathy, compassion, kindness, gratitude, happiness, and failure with as much grace as possible.

Katherine R. Rowell, Ph.D. earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and has taught sociology at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio since 1996. She served as the Founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Sinclair Community College from 2008 to 2015. For the past eight years, she has taught advanced sociology courses in racism and poverty at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Rowell has won numerous awards for teaching excellence: American Sociological Association Teaching Excellence Award (2012), Outstanding Community College Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement of Scholarship and Education and the Carnegie Foundation in 2005, the 2005 North Central Sociological Professor of the Year and the 2012 American Sociological Association Distinguished Teaching Award. She is a board member of the Dayton International Peace Museum and strives to infuse peace literacy in all of her work. She has traveled with students for over ten years to the U.S. Mexican Border to learn about border issues and has co-organized four trips for students to Guatemala. She has also traveled to over 30 countries including Costa Rica where she participated in a faculty development project learning about peace and recently to Mongolia, where she participated in the North Asian Regional Peace Institute. She has co-developed with Derek Petrey an extensive study and activity guide for Chappell's book The Cosmic Ocean.

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Chelsey Williams holds a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Oregon State University, and serves as our Peace Literacy Curriculum Assessment Coordinator. She is passionate about teaching the values of Peace Literacy through the lens of social and emotional learning. Chelsey is a graduate of the 2018 Peace Literacy Summer workshop facilitated by Paul Chappell in Maine and now works at Phronesis Lab with Shari Clough to develop measurable goals and objectives that can be translated into real-world learning outcomes for educators all over the world. She lives in McMinnville, Oregon with her husband, and her dog Coco.

recent press coverage and endorsements

peace literacy workshops

We have a number of workshops coming up this year that are open to the public - check them out!

peace literacy curriculum

We offer peace literacy lesson plans and study guides suitable for use in k-12 classes, higher education, and community organizations.

peace literacy compendium

The Peace Literacy compendium page has ideas for group projects, assignments, in-class exercises, and community activities built around Peace Literacy themes. We also have a variety of teacher resources. You can download ideas or contribute your own.

visit one of our biggest supporters

Jerry Leggett, President
21st Century Peace Literacy Foundation

reports from the field

Teachers who’ve used our materials share their stories.

why our world needs peace literacy

A short essay for download.