Nicole Carvell: Coordination is Key

Coordination among the Peace and Conflict Studies (PCON) department runs seamlessly thanks to the work of Department Coordinator, Nicole Carvell.  

Carvell joined the Colgate community in 2015 after relocating to the area with her husband, who grew up just down the road in the town of Lebanon, N.Y. She initially took a position in the music department, where she worked for several years, until joining the PCON department during the spring semester of 2019. 

“This position [with PCON] opened up so I applied for it. I felt like it aligned more with my personal interests, and all the programming seemed really interesting to me,” she explained.

Specifically, Carvell spoke about her own identity as Native American, and how this has shaped her interest in the subject material within the department. 

“It’s kind of like this weird amalgamation of my identity, my beliefs and all of the conflicts that I have witnessed and been a part of, but not knowing it because I grew up that way,” Carvell explained. “I can identify with some of the topics that are brought here. And also learning that a lot of the times, conflict carries a negative connotation but sometimes there are positive conflicts because of what can come from them. Just being in this position to learn things like this, just by working with the faculty, and being around the students, is great.”

In addition to her work with the PCON department, Carvell assists with the Africana & Latin American studies and Native American studies departments as well.

“I take care of a lot of the administrative stuff, like helping to send the course schedules to the registrar, [set] all [of] the different deadlines that the department has to submit for everything to run, and I help set up all the faculty meetings and schedule when they’re going to happen,” she said.

Coordinating faculty schedules can often be difficult, given that all but one of the PCON professors hold dual appointments at the University, according to Carvell. This means that she has to cross-check their class commitments with the other departments.

Carvell appreciates her proximity to the students who take classes in the department, too. 

“It’s really cool to see the student’s interests, like what they’re researching for their senior seminars— it’s kind of cheesy, but you get to see them grow up and it’s really cool. I remember when I saw my first class go from [being first-years to graduates].”

Carvell is also heavily involved with the planning and coordination of guest speaker events within the department, such as the annual Peter C. Schaehrer Memorial Lecture Series. According to Professor Jacob Mundy, it is the most important annual event on the PCON calendar. 

This year’s event was held on Sept. 29 and honors Peter C. Schaehrer ‘65, “a career educator and a champion of civil rights”  according to the department’s website. The department hosted Professor Alexander Barder of Florida International University, who discussed his recently published book, “Global Race War.”