St. John’s Prep is proud to announce that Mike Niconchuk ’07 has been named the school’s 2022–2023 Distinguished Alumnus!
A neuroscience researcher and author, he is currently serving as the Program Director for Trauma & Violent Conflict (TVC) at Beyond Conflict, a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) headquartered in Boston that applies brain and behavioral science to the design, promotion, and execution of new tools and programming that reduce conflict, increase tolerance, and facilitate positive social change. Niconchuk oversees the organization’s research, intervention design, and policy work that address the role of chronic stress and trauma in the origins and escalation of violent conflict as well as the role of trauma-healing in conflict-resolution efforts.
“Of course, it feels overwhelming and humbling to even be considered for this kind of recognition,” he says. “I think I’m most excited about being able to visit campus next month and speak to students. Obviously, I’m not going to give them a lecture on the neuroscience of trauma. But, I’ve spent most of the past 10 years actually living with my refugee friends, and I want to talk about the relationship between science, servant-leadership and faith. This isn’t about prioritizing or praising living near war zones. Having privileges and comfort doesn’t shield you from trauma. In all cases, we have an ethical and spiritual mandate for us to have hope and to confront our pain.”
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