Hannah Heinzekehr | April 6, 2019
When she represented the Holy See’s perspective during a mock United Nations Security Council exercise in class, University of Notre Dame senior Melinda Davis couldn’t have imagined that just one-and-a-half years later she would have the opportunity to travel to New York for an internship at the Vatican’s official Mission to the U.N.
Davis, a psychology and peace studies major from New Orleans, has secured a competitive postgraduate placement with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. She is one of four 2019 summer interns selected through a highly competitive global search process.
From June through August, Davis will attend a wide variety of events and general assemblies that mission staff are invited to in New York, including U.N. meetings, conferences and debates. She will also have the opportunity to file reports to be sent to the Holy See’s central offices in the Vatican and to assist in running the mission’s events and conferences.
Davis credits her time at Notre Dame with equipping her with tools to better understand both external and internal conflict at interpersonal, local, regional and international levels.
“Through the study of both psychology and peace studies, I’ve learned that conflict is normal and there are good, healthy ways to approach it,” Davis said. “Conflict is not just related to far-away and seemingly intractable situations that may never be resolved, but you can be a peacebuilder in your day-to-day life. At the Holy See Mission, I’m excited to learn from all of the attachés and ambassadors what it’s like to publicly live out your faith and build peace in the workplace.”
This opportunity builds on Davis’ longtime interest in the Catholic Church and its global influence.
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