Dr. Dean Ravizza was awarded a 2018 Rotary International Peace Fellowship to further his work in using sports to bring people together across war zones and ideological divides. Ravizza is one of only 25 professionals selected globally for the certificate program at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkhorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. The fellowship seeks to develop leaders who can become catalysts for peace, and conflict prevention and resolution. His honor is a first for SU, as well as for Rotary District 7630, spanning Maryland and Delaware.
Rotary Peace Fellowships provide a backdrop for increasing the capacity of committed peacebuilders through rigorous academic training, practical field experiences, and global networking opportunities. Ravizza will be studying and conducting fieldwork during the 11-week intensive program in throughout Thailand alongside other recipients from vast professional fields.
Ravizza, associate professor in the Department of Secondary & Physical Education and Senior Research Practitioner for the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, has predicated his career on the idea that participation in sports can create and rebuild relationships of marginalized individuals experiencing conflict. The Rotary Peace Fellowship will present him with an excellent opportunity to continue to explore the agendas of a diverse group of peacebuilders and translate key practices to his field of sport for development and peace. This further translates to enhanced opportunities for Ravizza to share his knowledge with students and faculty across multiple disciplines.
He has lead field-based research topics on the uses of sport for reintegration and social inclusion of former child soldiers and for the inclusion of refugees in resettlement. In addition, he facilitates sports diplomacy programs with various groups for the United States Department of State. He is currently investigating the role of sport in countering the trajectories towards of new forms of violence in youth to include violent extremism. Ravizza plans to utilize the fellowship as a unique opportunity to expand his thinking on the topic of violent extremism in order to further understand the role of sport as part of holistic programming to address factors that lead youth towards violent extremism.