Sarah Galbenski is a senior studying Spanish, global affairs, and international peace studies. She serves as a research assistant in Professor Laura Miller-Graff’s Building Resilience Against Violence Exposure (BRAVE) lab. The BRAVE lab is affiliated with the Department of Psychology and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and its mission is to produce psychological research that informs trauma treatment practices in both domestic and global contexts. During her sophomore and junior years, Galbenski assisted with the adaptation of Professor Miller-Graff’s Pregnant Moms’ Empowerment Program (PMEP) to the cultural and linguistic context of Lima, Peru, and she is currently conducting a thematic analysis of transcript data from the newest PMEP pilot in Monterrey, Mexico. PMEP is composed of five group therapy sessions, and it addresses the effects of intimate partner violence on mental health and pregnancy. Outside of the lab, Galbenski is currently writing a thesis in the Spanish department on the transitional justice processes and ensuing politics of memory in both Chile and Spain through a comparative lens. Additionally, for her capstone project in international peace studies, Galbenski is creating a strategic plan and process for international mediation in Venezuela.

During the summer of 2018, Galbenski participated in the Center for Social Concerns’ International Summer Service Learning Program and taught English at La Fundación Natividad de Los Andes in San José de Chimbo, Ecuador. During the fall of 2019, Galbenski studied abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile, and she interned in the Office of the President at the Inter-American Dialogue over the course of the summer of 2020. She has served as a committee member for both the Kellogg Institute’s Human Development Conference and the Kroc Institute’s Student Peace Conference. Galbenski is currently serving as the Student Body Vice President within Notre Dame Student Government.

Global Affairs
Peace Studies
Current Research

Research Interests
I am interested in sexual and gender-based violence both domestically and internationally, especially as it pertains to Latin America. Through my current research, I have grown interested in female empowerment as a peace building tool.

Current Research
I am currently a research assistant in Professor Laura Miller-Graff's Building Resilience After Violent Exposure (BRAVE) Research Lab. Primarily; I assist in Miller-Graff's Ford Program Project entitled Empowering Pregnant Women in Lima, Peru. This project aims to adapt the Pregnant Moms' Empowerment Program (PMEP) presently being piloted in both South Bend, Indiana and Memphis, Tennessee to the cultural climate of Lima, Peru. PMEP addresses how intimate partner violence affects mental health and pregnancy in five group therapy sessions.

Other Accomplishments & Recognitions
  • 2021 - Fulbright Study Grant to Spain