Danica Simonet, Student Interfaith Leader

Danica Simonet ('19) majors in German and peace studies, with an individualized concentration in forced migration. Growing up in Northfield, Minnesota, in a family that emphasized Catholic social teaching and the importance of education, Danica knew she wanted to attend a college or university in which travel, dialogue, and social justice were integral to the four-year experience. The College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University was just the place. After spending a gap year in India on a Rotary Scholarship and learning about the CSB/SJU peace studies major, Danica knew she had found her vocation, what she calls “the vital, sometimes frustrating, always fascinating field of peace studies.” Danica spent the summer of 2016 in Berlin, Germany, documenting the stories of Syrian women refugees and she is spending the summer of 2018 in Washington DC on a John Brandl Scholarship as a policy associate at Jubilee USA Network, an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development, and advocacy organizations. A former member of the CSB Senate, Danica began working as a student interfaith leader with the Jay Phillips Center in the fall 2017 semester. She also serves as president of the CSB/SJU Peace Studies Club and co-director of Extending the Link, a group of CSB/SJU students who produce documentaries to ignite social change. Passionate about advocating for the most vulnerable members of society, Danica believes that “now more than ever, it is time for us to use ‘soft power’ to create the world we can and want to live in,” and she sees “interfaith dialogue as key to such a world.”