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2007 Recipient

Vainshtein Photo

The Peace Studies Program awarded the 2007 Harrop and Ruth Freeman Prize to Cornell graduating senior Robert Vainshtein (shown here receiving the award from Matthew Evangelista, the Director of the Peace Studies Program).

Robert Vainshtein was a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He was a history major and a concentrator in the Center for the Study of Inequality. His activities while a student at Cornell spanned the spectrum of peace and conflict studies. A former site leader for the REACH mentoring program, he established a weekly conflict resolution program at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca. The program became known as “Teaching Tolerance” and was integrated into the school’s curriculum.

He wrote several reports to advance the protection of those threatened by armed conflict, genocide and human trafficking. His essay, “UCMJ and MEJA: Two Options for Regulating Contractors,” was published as the cover story for the Journal of International Peace Operations in January 2007. He has researched peacekeeping strategies for the Darfur genocide, and contributed reports on human rights crimes in Sudan to the Inter-national Citizens’ Tribunal for Sudan. In 2006 he was a research associate at the Boston-based American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG), where he conducted advocacy for victims of modern slavery; and at the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) in Washington. He studied African politics and peace implementation at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and in the Cornell-in-Washington program.

Robert received a fellowship from the Humanity In Action Foundation to study minority rights and human rights policy in Europe in summer 2007. He planned to return to IPOA in fall 2007 to develop their new Peace Operations Institute (POI). He intended to pursue graduate studies in international law and diplomacy and eventually to follow a career in international security policy.