News Story

November 06, 2018

La Roche Global Problems, Global Solutions Conference to Explore Peace in Times of Turbulence

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 6, 2018 – From Nov. 28 to 30, La Roche University will host its annual Global Problems, Global Solutions conference with the support of Brother’s Brother Foundation and UPMC.

This year’s conference will examine the topic of peace through a variety of student activities, panel discussions and volunteer opportunities. 

“As a community we have been rocked by turbulent events in recent days marred by hatred, violence and death,” Father Thomas Schaefer, Ph.D., La Roche University associate vice president for academic affairs, said. “These acts are clearly not a representation of who we are as an institution.”

La Roche is committed to promoting peace and justice in a constantly changing global society. We provide platforms such as Global Problems, Global Solutions to generate awareness, promote community engagement, and combat hateful rhetoric by addressing important topics and issues on a local and global level.”

Global Problems, Global Solutions is a free, annual conference focusing on the progress, plans and initiatives related to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The sustainable development agenda seeks to improve and examine global issues such as child mortality, disease prevention, education, environmental sustainability, hunger and peace, justice and strong institutions. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

“We are constantly being exposed to news headlines and stories that conjure up a range of different emotions. For this year’s conference we felt it was important to try and find a way to better balance these emotions by highlighting examples of peace in many forms,” Assistant Director of Global Engagement Emily Markham said. “We’ll emphasize both what has been done to promote peace on a local and global level, but also address ways in which we can find inner peace as an individual and community.”


Panel Discussion: Pacem In Terris Alumni 
Palumbo Science Center, Room 101
6:30 – 8 p.m.

This evening panel discussion focusing on the legacy of La Roche University’s Pacem In Terris program will feature notable alums of the program and the impact the program has made on their lives. Established in 1993, the University’s Pacem In Terris program brought students from war-torn and developing nations to study at La Roche.

Sister Rita Yeasted, SFCC, Ph.D., La Roche University faculty member and scholar, will moderate the discussion that will address the history and legacy of the Pacem In Terris program on the University, students, and surrounding community – then and now.

Please note the time change: The official program will begin at 7 p.m. Networking and refreshments/snacks will be available for the first 30 minutes.


Panel Discussion: International Students 
Ryan Room
Noon – 1:30 p.m.

La Roche international students will discuss how different countries are empowering youth to be peaceful leaders for the world.


Keynote Address Presented by Barry Kerzin, M.D. 
Zappala College Center Square
6:30 – 9 p.m.

Featured speaker Dr. Kerzin, a personal physician of the Dalai Lama, will present “Finding Peace in Turbulent Times.” Dr. Kerzin also is the founder and president of the Altruism in Medicine Institute and the founder and chairman of the Human Values Institute in Japan.

Registration is required for this free event.


Empathy Workshops 
Magdalen Chapel
9:30 – 11 a.m.

Students from the University’s La Roche Experience courses will explore the topic of empathy with a specialized workshop created by Gisele Fetterman, the first lady of Braddock and co-founder of For Good PGH.

One of these 90 minute workshops will be open to the campus community. 

Registration is required to participate.


Volunteer Activity with Vincentian Home 
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Volunteers from the La Roche community will help Vincentian Home, a senior living community through the Vincentian Collaborative System, prepare and decorate for the holiday season. Transportation and lunch will be provided. Registration is required.

The Global Problems, Global Solutions conference is free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Ms. Markham at 412-536-1215 or

About La Roche University: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs and one doctoral program, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,400 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.