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Shinnyo Fellowship Program

Each year, young adults from leading universities across the country bring alive the Foundation’s Infinite Paths to Peace initiative on their campuses and community organizations as they immerse themselves in a year-long Fellowship in local, national and global communities.

Shinnyo Fellows receive stipends to develop individual student leadership and reflective skills, and to introduce, implement and/or institutionalize the Foundation’s philosophy of peacebuilding through service on their university campuses or in their immediate surrounding communities. The Fellows will work closely with their host agencies to design and implement their peacebuilding ideas in their chosen areas with the support of faculty or a staff advisor on campus.

The following universities and institutions are our partners in the Shinnyo Fellowship Program: The University of California, Berkeley, Seattle University, George Mason University and Redwood City 2020 in partnership with Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service and The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities. Post-undergraduates at those partner universities and institutions come from diverse disciplines and backgrounds and they are all deeply committed to their act of service for peacebuilding.

Partners of the Fellowship Program also receive financial support to administer their unique Fellowship Program. In addition, Shinnyo-en Foundation sponsors the participation of  the Shinnyo Fellows and their supervisors at the Fellows Summer Orientation and Annual Retreat in August. These are the times when all of the Fellows and their supervisors meet at once to share each other’s aspiration for peace and dialogue on their experiences, resources and wisdom.

In Buddhism, “Shinnyo” is defined as the fundamental nature of all things. It refers to a truth that is unchanging and everlasting, such as sincerity, loving kindness, and compassion. We hope that Shinnyo Fellows will discover and/or deepen the goodness that exists within themselves, and that they will also nurture these qualities regardless of the circumstance, to create harmony and peace.

For more information, please contact

Ineko Tsuchida, Ph.D.
Program Director


2017-18 Shinnyo Fellows

This year, in addition to continuing their undergraduate Year-Long Shinnyo Fellowship Program, Seattle University is joining George Mason University, UC Berkeley, Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service, the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, and Redwood City 2020’s SPIN/Shinnyo Fellowship to create a post-undergraduate Shinnyo Fellowship Program. With this change, we now have four post-undergraduate Shinnyo Fellows and three undergraduate Shinnyo Fellows from four leading university partners! Please meet our 2017-2018 Shinnyo Fellows listed below.

George Mason University (GMU)

Shannon Rogers 

Shannon recently graduated from George Mason U   niversity with a B.A in Global Affairs and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. During her senior year, she was part of the Peacebuilding Fellows Program at GMU’s campus in Arlington, VA. This program maintained a dynamic cohort experience with rigorous coursework, research and an integrated internship. Shannon interned with Catholic Charities’ Migration and Refugee Services where she assisted with many stages of the refugee resettlement process including reception, placement and employment support.  As a Director General and Treasurer of the George Mason University Model United Nations, she planned and coordinated the 27th Mid-Atlantic Simulation of the United Nations for over 200 participants. She is also a member of the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society. As a Shinnyo fellow, Shannon hopes to explore her interest in community peace building through dialogue, support and advocacy of others.

Seattle University (SU)

Julia Grief 

Julia is a senior, majoring in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. She was adopted from Guatemala and grew up in the wonderful city of Boise, Idaho. Her background has sparked her interest in cultural studies and the impact that culture has on the human experience. Beginning in high school, Julia found her passion with community service, social entrepreneurship, and empathy-based problem solving. This experience, in conjunction with the Seattle University mission to create a just world, has provided her with many valuable opportunities with the SU and greater Seattle Community. She has greatly enjoyed her on-campus involvement serving as the Director of Operations for the SU Student Alumni Ambassadors and is looking forward to this exciting opportunity with Shinnyo-en Foundation. She hopes to continue working with communities and organizations in the future in order to understand, empathize, and create productive mechanisms for a more positive and peaceful world.

Mieesha Mohr 

Mieesha is an upcoming senior at Seattle University with a major in Social Work. Over the summer, she had her first internship in social services at Compass Housing Alliance in their client services office working with the homeless population. Over the school year, she will be completing her field practicum for her major at Solid Ground, working with clients who were previously homeless and doing some case management. Throughout the past few years at Seattle University, Mieesha has done a lot of community engagement in the K-12 Seattle Public Schools working with a range of different age groups; providing mentorship, classroom assistance, and help in afterschool programing. After graduation, Mieesha hopes to continue her education and get a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Shelby Hackney 

Shelby is a senior receiving double degrees in Humanities for Teaching and Political Science. This past summer, she studied abroad in Grenoble, France. She was born in Denver, but loves her time in Seattle, where she has served as a K-12 staff lead at a local elementary school, an intern at two local middle schools, an event co-lead for Relay for Life of Seattle University, an orientation advisor, an event lead for Gatzert Game Day, and a campus organizer for Partners for Action and Community. Her passions range from nonprofit work to education equity, and she hopes to attend graduate school next year to pursue her Masters in Teaching with the goal of becoming a high school social studies teacher. Her goal through this fellowship is to help deepen the relationship between Seattle University and the elementary school where she works in order to pursue an intentional and just community partnership.

Post-Undergraduate Fellow

Sarah Miller 

Sarah recently graduated from Seattle University in Environmental Studies specialized in Policy, Politics, & Justice with a minor in Philosophy. Through her love to learn about the world around her, she has participated in various programs through the Center for Community Engagement during the four years she attended Seattle University. Starting at Catholic Community Services was the first step to volunteering with various organizations in the city. She then volunteered as a tutor at Yesler Terrace, became a trip leader through Partners for Action in the Community, partnered with Interim in the Chinatown/International District through the Summer Shinnyo Fellowship, embodied a Serve Local Ambassador, and volunteered with Seattle Tilth Alliance as part of the Veggie Crew. During her time as a volunteer, organizer, and leader she has expanded her knowledge in that every piece to the community is important for the overall cohesive strength of the city. During this post-undergraduate Shinnyo Fellowship she hopes to further sharpen her skills and learn about a new puzzle piece to further clear her vision of how non-profits contribute to the betterment of our societies.

Stanford University/Redwood City 2020

Julia Vázquez

Julia recently graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology with a concentration in the Sociocultural Determinants of Child Health and Development and a minor in Spanish. Throughout college, Julia pursued her interest in understanding the influences that shape a child’s life trajectory through academic research and community involvement. She was a research assistant at Stanford’s Language Learning Lab where she wrote a thesis on the influence of caregiver support on children’s early cognitive development and volunteered as a Spanish medical interpreter at Arbor Free Clinic. Julia’s work has also focused on supporting the immigrant and Latino communities on and off campus. As a member of Hermanas de Stanford, she helped organize events and discussions among the different campus groups on Latinidad and Latinas in society. She also volunteered as a Spanish interpreter for Stanford’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Julia looks forward to working with Redwood City 2020 and the John W. Gardner Center to support both community and research initiatives that foster welcoming environments for children and their families.

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Marco Alberto

Marco recently received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, after receiving an Associate’s Degree in Sociology and transferring from Chabot College. Seeing how groups holding his identities were often spoken about and analyzed in university classrooms, while simultaneously being left out of these classrooms, ignited new purpose for Marco. Equity and opportunity became his focus, which grew through working with the Experience Berkeley Transfer program in assisting African American, Latino and Native American community college students with the process of transferring to UC Berkeley. During his time in college, Marco learned social theories of resistance, revolution, and liberation, while discovering the importance of self-care and self-love and realizing the need to bring these ideas back to his community. Marco aims to create an accessible curriculum of empowerment and understanding for young people through the use of arts and creative expression. Affirmation will be central to Marco’s project as he combats the divisive properties of institutions, which often reject and neglect the experiences of the self. Follow the Rainbow Road.