Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence

Student Profiles

Heller COEX students are simply amazing. We believe that our program attracts people who are uniquely driven to nonviolent peacebuilding actions that incorporate complex cultural contexts and empower local communities. Our students come to Heller with an already-impressive array of skills and experiences, from military veterans and humanitarian aid professionals, to Peace Corps members and grassroots organizers. 

Sam Lee


Returned Peace Corps Volunteer [Coverdell Fellow]

At first Lee considered traditional Master's of Public Health (MPH) programs, but she was drawn to the expansive array of skills she saw in the Heller curriculum. “International relations, responsible negotiation, responsible mediation – those aren’t at the forefront of most MPH programs,” says Lee. “Heller allowed me to expand beyond traditional MPH skills and to find the interdisciplinary mix that I wanted.”

“I want to bring the paradigm of a community health worker to policy. I also really loved the idea of the dual COEX and GHPM degrees. In today’s world, it’s easy to see how disease and conflict feed off of each other. A pandemic can influence geopolitics and catalyze conflict, and the presence of conflict can feed disease.”

Neh Meh, MA SID/COEX'24

Neh Meh, MA SID/COEX‘24 (Myanmar/Thailand)

Recipient of the Heller Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship

As a former refugee herself, Neh Meh understands the challenges many refugees face when trying to obtain an education in the U.S. Now she’s hoping to make that process more equitable for others.

“Right now, a lot of refugees in camps receive an education, but it’s not a standardized education or an education accepted by the host country, which limits their economic growth potential and job opportunities,” she said. “That’s something I’d like to try to change.”
Leopoldino Jeronimo, COEX / MA SID’22

Leopoldino Jeronimo, MA COEX/SID’22 (Mozambique)

Leopoldino Jeronimo started the “Thinking Through with LJ” podcast during his time at Heller to help relate what he was learning in class to current events that he and his classmates were experiencing both in the U.S. and in their home countries.

After graduation, Jeronimo aspires to become a think tank facilitator and continue to bring together subject matter experts on conflict resolution. He says his experience at Heller connecting with people from around the world has helped him establish an international network.

David Kim, MA COEX'22

David Kim, MA COEX'22

From Kenya to South Korea to Nepal, David Kim, MA COEX’22, has seen firsthand the impact of conflicts on local populations. That’s what led him to Heller, to gain the skills for a career in peacebuilding and diplomacy. 

“I was always interested in development because that was the sector my parents worked in. Within development, what I’m interested in most is peacebuilding: how to bring conflicting communities together.”