Skip to main content

Molly Lokitis '18 and Erika Salus '18

“Moravian College presents: Exploring Peace”

Major: Political Science, Sociology Law and Society  
Hometown: Easton, Pennsylvania
Advisor: Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug 

Tell us about your research:

Our summer SOAR project was to create a short film on peace education. We began our project by discussing what peace meant to us and creating our own ideas of peace. We continued by reading two books, Understanding Peace and A Nonkilling Paradigm to help provide us with a better understanding. Furthermore, our research was conducted by researching other colleges in the area to see if they had a peace and justice major/minor like Moravian College. Overall, we aimed to appeal to an audience of our age to project the ideas of peace within oneself and peace within others.  

How did it materialize? (E.g., did you pitch the idea and choose a
faculty member, or did they come to you with an idea?)

Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug chose both Erika and I to be the two students to create a short film for the Peace and Justice program. We had both taken a course within the department, Erika taking an introductory course into Peace and Justice and I had taken the course Civil Rights and Moral Life and after completing the course, we both showed a strong interest in the topic overall. Dr. Denton-Borhaug felt we would be a good match since we both come from two different majors with opposing perspectives and when intertwining our ideas , we would create something beautiful.  

What was the best part about working with your faculty advisor? What valuable insights did they bring to the research process?

Both Erika and I find Dr. Denton-Borhaug extremely inspiring to work with because she is always one hundred percent committed to her students in helping them in anyway she can to provide them with a strong education. She would work long hours with us, provide constructive criticism and positive feedback, and helped us to create the storyboard for the film by providing us with ideas .  

What was your biggest obstacle?

 The biggest obstacle we faced while trying to create a short film was that it was summer. Our film consisted mainly of teacher interviews and it was challenging getting in touch with professors over summer. Once we did hear back from professors, it was difficult finding time to meet in person to record their statements so we would then get their statement through email and one of us would create a voice recording of it.

What was your biggest takeaway from this experience?

The biggest takeaway from our experience is that we became more educated on a topic that needs to be more relevant today. Peace education is not something significantly talked about but should be with the hatred, violence, and inequality we suffer from everyday. By creating this film we have not only better educated ourselves but have become educators to others and will continue to provide others with the importance of actively supporting peace education.  

What was the result of your research? 

We learned early on that there was a lack with the subject of peace education and from there we searched for definitions and the many components within peace education which was then put into a film to further inform others. Overall, the result was putting together the many layers of peace but it does not end here because by creating conversation with others, the meaning of peace will only continue to grow.  

Now that SOAR is over, do you plan to expand upon your research? If so, where would you like to see it go? 

At this moment, we do not plan to expand our research but this project has helped both Erika and I in our futures. I will be using my opportunity within the SOAR program towards getting into law school and helping me towards my future in human rights/civil rights law. Erika is using the project towards her Peace and Justice minor and has also become a member of the LEPOCO Peace Center. Lastly, we do plan to present the film at undergraduate research conferences and events at Moravian College such as Scholars Day. 

In your own words, how do you feel about being rewarded this opportunity? Why should other students take advantage of the SOAR program? 

The SOAR program provides students the opportunity to work closely with a professor in a topic that they are passion about. Erika and I would have never had the opportunity to be SOAR students if our professor had not ask us and we are thankful for it because it gave us quality time to really engage in a topic of our interest in which we hope to pursue  in the future, it taught us valuable skills of communications, presenting, and research, and it also teaches you how to come together and work well with others