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Our Team

On-site Coordination

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Katya Buchleitner (Austria)

Katya Buchleitner is one of the people who will be responsible for communication with various collaborators of the course in August. She welcomes everyone to the unique “Acting for Peace” experience ahead:

“I am Katya, and I will be responsible for the coordination on-site, meaning: communication with all organizations and institutions that we collaborate within these 2 weeks: UNESCO Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies, the Red Cross, the Fire Fighters, the Police, the Native Spirit Camp, Armin Staffler (Theatre), a great number of NGOs – as well as the city of Imst, and working to make the course run smoothly in terms of logistics and coordination.

I have graduated from the MA course of ‘Peace and Conflict Studies’ in Innsbruck in 2009, and I am very grateful for the teachings and friendships I got within this program. My past 5 years have been very much ‘in movement’: I lived in Mexico (Oaxaca) for 8 months and facilitated a ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ course, while at the same time working at a permaculture farm. Then, my passion shifted to ‘dancing’ and I lived in Germany and Denmark for dance trainings, improvisational dance and Butoh.

The journey continued with thinking that I ‘eventually knew what I really want to do in life’ – so I became a ‘sexual educator’, meaning that I work with youth on the topics of love, sexuality, body, relationships. I also go to camps with school classes as a facilitator, and organize a lot of outdoor activities with them (nature sensitivity, cooperation games, creativity, etc.)

Other topics I am passionate about are: dancing, nature, growing veggies, writing for a young socio-political magazine called TAU. Right before our Summer Course, I will assist a ‘Vision Quest’ for young people, who dare to spend 3 days alone into the woods, without shelter and fasting, as an initiation ritual into adulthood.

Lastly, I wish a warm welcome to you all to the UWC ‘Acting For Peace’ Short Course experience. I am very much looking forward to the unique times that we will share this summer.”

Blog Coordinator

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Inasa Bibic (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Inasa currently studies Humanities, the Arts and Social Thought at Bard College Berlin in Germany. In 2012, she graduated from United World College in Mostar and has missed UWC ever since. She enjoys cross-cultural exploring and exciting new experiences with different people. Inasa has a plethora of interests in areas ranging from yoga and spiritual endeavors, to travelling and photography. One of her favorite activities is to get lost in the vastness of Berlin, eternalize a moment with her camera and subsequently write a story about.

This summer, she is looking forward to going back to her “UWC roots” as a UWC alumna, meeting young motivated people and exchanging thoughts on peace, conflict, life and the beauty of Tyrolean Alps.

Tutors

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Clara Polina Vogt (Berlin, Germany)

“My name is Clara, originally from Berlin, where I finished a “regular” German high school. During that time, I went on an exchange to Reunion Island and Paris, as well as (more importantly!!) took part in 2 UWC Short Courses. The first one was in Germany (“Shaping Society”) and the second one in Israel (“Arava Valley of Peace”). During the short course in Israel we visited a few kibbutzim and I thought the concept was very odd, yet fascinating. After finishing high school, I even went back to the Arava desert and volunteered in a kibbutz for 4 months. While I was there I got accepted to University College Utrecht in the Netherlands and came back from Israel to start university in January 2013.

Now I am in my second year at UCU – studying law, business and performing arts (the beauty of a liberal arts college). Our student community is very tightly-knit and offers a lot of space to explore your own interests and talents, so I am on the board of our dance committee that organizes a dance show every semester. I was also the producer of this year’s play and I am teaching yoga on campus.

Next semester, I am going on an exchange to Rabat, Morocco, to study law and politics – with focus on the Maghreb – and hopefully push my French to a more academic level.

I am very, very excited for “Acting for Peace” – mostly because of the content and the knowledge all participants will surely gain, but equally as for being a tutor. Having taken part in two Short Courses as a participant myself, I know how important it is to have someone who will listen when you feel very lost and far away from home.”

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Daria Dachs (Austria)

“My name is Daria and I grew up in Salzburg, Austria. After graduating from the UWC in Italy in 2005, I went to Cambodia as a volunteer. I worked with an orphanage and a Human Rights organisation in the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Following my gap year, I decided to study Nonprofit Management in Innsbruck, Austria (near Imst) as I saw how much more you can achieve with that if you use your passion efficiently. Then I read “Comparative and International Education” in the UK, as I think education to be a key force for the change we need in this world. Thriving to not just study and talk about change, but also be part of change, I joined the founding team of “Teach for Austria”. It works towards closing the educational gap in Austria.

After a year in the managing team I decided to change my position to better understand the struggles of children from low socio-economic backgrounds within the Austrian educational system. Therefore I am working as an English teacher in two middle schools catering for less privileged pupils in my hometown. In the future I want make the educational system fairer. I have not decided on my approach just yet!”

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Frode Öckerman (Sweden)

24-year old Frode from Sweden graduated from University College Utrecht (UCU) in the Netherlands in December 2013, where his main fields of study were Human Geography and Sustainability Sciences.

In addition to that, when talking about his overall education in Utrecht, Frode says that “with its relatively liberal academic profile, UCU offered me a broad college degree where subjects such as conflict resolution and peacekeeping where recurring topics in several subjects.“

Since graduation, Frode has temporarily moved back to his family home north of Stockholm, where he has been working part-time as a P.E teacher. In the early part of the summer, he has been a Trainee for a group of consultants working together with the Environmental Authority of Palestine in Ramallah. He says that “it was a truly amazing experience and a rich learning environment.“

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Lena Butschek (Innsbruck, Austria)

As one of the locals on the program, Lena is truly grateful and excited to have this short course in a place as close to her heart as the Tyrol. She graduated from UWC Mahindra College in 2009 and then returned to her hometown, Innsbruck, where she is training to be a teacher of English and Spanish as foreign languages.

Lena is very much an outdoorsy person and always has to keep moving. She usually achieves that by either doing sports or travelling – two of her greatest passions. An ERASMUS stay in Spain last year allowed her to pursue the latter and to learn a whole lot about the Spanish language and culture.

Back in Austria, Lena is now working on completing her degree and helping out at UWC Austria. She looks forward to welcoming you all to the Acting for Peace experience!

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Lukas Wallrich (Germany)

“I am Lukas, 25, now living in Berlin. In 2009, I organized the first UWC Short Course in Germany (“Shaping Society!”) and have been infected ever since. While studying Politics and Philosophy at Oxford, I co-coordinated the first African Short Course (“Together for Development”) at my former school, the UWC in Swaziland, in late 2011 and was a facilitator at the Short Course in Turkey last summer (“Living Together”).

When not doing Short Courses, I work for a management consultancy, really enjoy travelling (last trip was to India, this summer Norway), meeting new people and learning about all kinds of things. So I am looking forward to learn and share in Imst, to experience the energy and inspiration all of you are going to bring. Let’s get ready for an exciting journey in the beautiful hills of Austria!”

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Megan Thom (Scotland)

Meghan Thom is originally from Scotland. She currently lives in London, where she is doing a part-time MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. In the future, she would like to work with survivors of trauma.

Meghan graduated from Pearson UWC in 2008, where she did a third year option in Uganda. She worked with Youth Encouragement Services on different programmes there – including joining a local, traditional dance group and helping to facilitate a couple of youth leadership programmes.

After Pearson, Meghan spent a few months living in northern Canada with her Grandma and then a few months volunteering in the West Bank in Palestine – both in Beit Jala and Nablus – with a couple of different organizations. After that, she did her undergraduate education in Anthropology and Development at SOAS in London. Last year, she went to live in Ecuador, where she worked, volunteered and learned Spanish.

She is particularly looking forward to the experiential learning aspects of the short course – and of course, the beautiful scenery in Imst!

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Niva Alush (Israel)

“My name is Niva, I am from Israel and a graduate of UWCiM in Bosnia 09′. I currently study theater, music, dance, translation and French at Sarah Lawrence College, New York. I organized and tutored at the UWC summer course in Israel for two years. I am very excited and honored to be a part of this greatly important initiative.

One of the reasons I organized the summer course in Israel was in order to create a safe space and a peace-building environment in a very conflicted and controversial area. I strongly believe that education is the key for transformation and for creating a more peaceful interaction between communities.

I also believe that in its humble way, art can make a change when we create it for a greater cause and not merely to satisfy our egos. I am very excited to meet all of you, exchange ideas, learn, and have fun!!”

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Schirin Schenkermayr (Austria)

Schirin graduated from UWC in Mostar in 2011 and has found a passion for experiencing different lifestyles first-hand. After UWC, she spent 6 months volunteering in a small higher education institute in Nazareth where she left a piece of her heart.

Currently, Schirin is studying Middle Eastern Studies and Theater at Trinity College, a liberal arts college in Connecticut. She focuses on local arts-based community programs as she believes that the arts can connect people beyond artificial borders. Schirin hopes to never stop learning how to be a constructive earthling and have a positive impact on her surroundings!


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