Dr. Shannon Peterson is a professor at Utah State University and a big part of Youthlinc’s Global Community Leadership program. In 2019 she led a GCL trip to Cambodia with USU students where they studied the effects of genocide and the impacts on modern-day community development.  She then began collaboration with Youthlinc Executive Director, Justin Powell, to create a course/trip to Vietnam & Cambodia where students would evaluate the role war and genocide has on identity, community development and humanitarian efforts, and the intersectionality of various conflicts affecting that area, including past conflict with the US and more current issues such as globalization and climate change.  This course has been postponed for two full years, but is finally going to happen this July where a team of eighteen will travel for three weeks to Vietnam and Cambodia.  The team will work with a with a variety of UN agencies and NGOs that address issues related to community development and environmental issues.

Most recently, Shannon lead a group to Rwanda where the team studied about the genocide against the Tutsis in 1994 and the incredible work that has taken place in Rwanda over the past 28 years to recover, reconcile, and rebuild.  Shannon helped GCL organize opportunities to work with refugee students from Congo and Burundi attending Kepler University in Rwanda as they strive to integrate into the fabric of Rwandan life.  

Shannon received her BA in Political Science and Liberal Arts and her MA in Political Science from USU. In 2003, she received her Ph.D in International Relations from the Ohio State University and a post-doctorate in Marketing and Management from Tulane University in 2011. She teaches political science and international economics at USU.  She has also worked for the Commission of the European Union in their Washington DC Embassy and Samsung’s International Business division in Seoul, South Korea. Her research and teaching interests revolve around human rights, humanitarian interventions, international economic development, environmental politics, decision making, and trade and social responsibility.

Shannon is a force of nature and creates life-changing experiences for her students.  Youthlinc is fortunate to work with her and looks forward to many more collaborations in the future.

Dr. Shannon Peterson’s impact on GCL
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