Building peace through empathy

Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé, of Bishop’s University’s Department of Politics and International Studies, works with international institutions and global communities to bridge people and worlds so that we may understand one another better, because she knows that changing the world requires an understanding of how it works.  

Photo of Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé

Dr. Martin-Brûlé has done extensive research field work in war zones (namely in Central African Republic, Mali, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo). She works with and is a member of several organizations focusing on different aspects of peacekeeping (UN, IPI, EPON, FBA). She mobilizes research to develop synergies amongst experts, scholars, practitioners and students, disseminating work to support governments, international organizations and inform the general public. She is also strongly committed to training the next generation of experts by offering a multifold of academic and professional activities and opportunities to students.  

Her involvement in these networks and her ability to leverage these memberships has been recognised with the 3M Fellowship in 2021 and with receiving the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Peace and War Studies in 2018.   

The thread throughout her 3M dossier was her leading through empathy. For Dr. Martin-Brûlé, empathy is key to understanding the other. She has thus notably used role playing and scenario-based training as exercises in empathy to teach students how to better grasp alternative points of view. 

Dr. Martin-Brûlé cites the small size of Bishop’s as key with supporting her work as a researcher and as a professor. The support of former and current Bishop’s research office support staff, Sylvie Côté, Julie Frédette and Samia Mihoub, were determining in her receiving provincial, national, and international research grants. The collegial and inspiring interactions with the members of her Department, and her partnerships with colleagues in other Departments, such as Dr. Jessica Riddell, in English, Dr. David Webster of History and Global Studies, Dr. Heather Lawford from Psychology, and Dr. Rebecca Harries in Drama were key in thinking creatively about furthering opportunities for students to learn both inside and outside of the classrooms. She cites the support of Principal Michael Goldbloom and his Chief of Staff, Denise Lauzière, the Dean of Arts, Dr. Michele Murray, and the Vice-Principal Student Affairs Dr. Stine Linden-Andersen as fundamental allies in her creating opportunities for organizing events on campus welcoming high-profile practitioners and experts in the field of peace and security. 

In 2017, she initiated the first undergraduate student conference on international security, the Quebec Undergraduate Security Conference, which she is currently expanding to a nation-wide event partnering with the Royal Military Colleges of Saint-Jean and Kingston for the first edition of the Canadian Undergraduate Students conference thus building new bridges between the military and civilian institutions.  Dr. Martin- Brûlé is committed to working on peace issues through empathy by partnering with students, professors, practitioners and experts alike. 

Learn more about Bishop’s University’s Department of Politics and International Studies HERE

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