Assoc Prof Travis Morris, Ph.D. and five Cadets attended the International Forum on Peace, Security, and Prosperity (IFPSP) Palermo, Sicily, Italy

By NU Marketing & Communications Office

The forum brings civilian youth together with officer cadets to explore the role of our militaries in the peace-making, peace building, and peace-sustaining activities.

Norwich Cadets and Doctor Morris take picture with the director of the IFPSP, Steve Gregory.

Norwich University has been practicing experiential learning since its foundation. Faculty like Associate Professor Travis Morris, Ph.D., are always focused on finding the right opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience. As a senior military college, the intersection of peace and the role of the military has long been an important area of study – perhaps paradoxically. Recently, Morris accompanied cadets on a trip to Palermo, Sicily, Italy to attend the third annual International Forum on Peace, Security, and Prosperity (IFPSP). “Norwich cadets were able to advance their understanding of the United Nations, NATO, and other organizations in a truly international setting,” said Morris.

Norwich Cadets attending the forum at Palazzo Sclafani.

The IFPSP was founded in 2019 to educate global youth about the challenges of building and maintaining peace, security, and prosperity within liberal democracies in the digital age. The forum brings civilian youth together with officer cadets to explore the role of our militaries in the peace-making, peace building, and peace-sustaining activities. “Our cadets were able to interact with militaries from around the globe,” said Morris. “They were able to learn about leadership in a cross-cultural context – this forum is the only one of its kind in the world that brings the military together to discuss peace.”



C/CPT Logan Wineriter ’24
Team Leader

Cadet Wineriter is a senior with a double major in international studies and history. An Army ROTC three-year national scholarship winner, he is contracted and will be commissioned into the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer in April of this year. Logan studied at the Universität of Marburg, Germany in the spring of 2022 and attended the third annual IFPSP the following spring. At Norwich, he is involved with men’s varsity swimming and diving team, peer tutoring of German and economics, Norwich Film Club, and Class of ’24 Ring Committee. In the Corps of Cadets, Wineriter is regimental S2 AOIC, and international section OIC.

 Logan Wineriter and Antonia Adipietro standing with two British Cadets.


Cadet Adipietro and Cadet Vargas with Major General Maurizio Angelo Scardino.

C/LTC Toni Adipietro ’24
Logistics Officer

Toni Adipietro hails from Middletown, New York. She is a senior with a major in criminal justice, with minors in mathematics and leadership. Adipietro is an Army ROTC three-year scholarship winner who will commission into the U.S. Army in April of this year as a military intelligence officer. She is the first battalion commander in the Corps of Cadets, executive officer on the Mountain Cold Weather Company, and a member of the Norwich Ranger Challenge Team.

C/1LT Heather Ansley ’24
Communications Officer
Cadet Ansley is from Huntsville, Alabama. She is a senior with a major in environmental science alongside a minor in general engineering. An Army ROTC four-year national scholarship winner, she is contracted and upon graduation will be commissioned into the U.S. Army as an active-duty engineering officer with a branch detail in explosive ordinance disposal. At Norwich, she is involved in the Norwich Ranger Challenge Team, the women’s varsity swimming and diving team, and is a member of the international section[ZCB3]  in the Corps of Cadets.

C/CPL Elena Vargas ’26
Administration Officer
Elena Vargas is from Lakeville, Massachusetts, and is a sophomore at Norwich with a double major in biology and chemistry. She is a Navy ROTC three-year scholarship winner, member of the Mountain Cold Weather Company, and a varsity athlete on the Norwich women’s cross country team.


The IFPSP conference began Sunday, March 17 with a meet and greet in the Maqueda Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Normanni (Palermo’s royal palace). Those in attendance were welcomed with speeches from the President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, Honorable Gaetano Galvagno; the Commander of the Army in Sicily, Maj. Gen. Maurizio A. Scardino; and the founder of the IFPSP, Dr. Steve Gregory. Cadets from around the world were able to meet each other for the first time and network amongst themselves.

Norwich Cadets take picture with Italian Cadets and British Air Force Cadets.


“The first night was extremely exciting because hundreds of IFPSP participants were in the same area connecting on our first night in Palermo,” said Murphy. “This was beneficial for our networking opportunities and allowed us to meet and make relationships from people all over the world. From then, we were able to gather everyone together and start making relationships beyond the conference."



Norwich Cadets pose before the Walk for Peace.

The cadets met Mayor of Palermo Dr. Roberto Lagalla the following day, who then assisted with the flag raising ceremony alongside IFPSP founder Dr. Steve Gregory. Cadets followed this up with the Walk for Remembrance and Peace, accompanied by the band of the AOSTA Brigade (Italy’s mechanized infantry brigade and oldest active infantry regiment)., The walk led the group up to the Cathedral of Palermo before heading to the Monument to the Civilian and Military Fallen in the International Missions for Peace of Villa Bonanno. In the afternoon, students returned for the seminar session, “Women, Peace and Security Agenda.” Finally, in the evening, all personnel attended a light, water, and music show hosted by Floriana Franchina, a pianist, and Thomas Leslie, a Canadian military tenor, along with a buffet dinner hosted by Pietro Piazza of Palermo.

“It was an excellent experience and introduction to Palermo and other delegations. During the walk we were able to meet other cadets and socialize,” said Wineriter. “During the seminar, we learned about the changing and rising roles of women in the military. My main takeaway from the seminar was that the role of women in the military is increasing, and the demand will continue to increase. I was very grateful to get to meet individuals from so many countries.”

Norwich Cadets take picture with Polish Cadets.

The following day saw the group make their way to Palace Sclafani and began with a seminar session on resilience by the Royal Military College of Canada. Here, cadets learned the 24 character traits that everyone has, as well as learning how to gather emotions and make emotionally intelligent decisions while remaining calm, controlled, and collected. “The resiliency exercise was one of the most personally rewarding experiences I had during the IFPSP forum,” said Ansley. “It challenged students to self-identify character traits within themselves and become more observant over their own action and behavior within the context of peace building.”

The afternoon included two panels: “The Evolving World: What is going on at the international level?”, which was moderated by Ian Parenteau, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Canada’s Royal Military College Saint-Jean and secretary of the International Association of Military Academies; and “Is the U.N. Still Relevant?” which was moderated by Howard Coombs, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Royal Military College of Canada and director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s University (Canada). “It was a great thought-provoking activity for all of the students. I am super grateful to have been a part of this exercise and experience these activities with so many other high performers from around the world,” said Ansley.

Cadet Adipietro with 2 British Cadets in the Royal Navy and two Dutch Cadets from the Netherlands.

The third and final day began back at Palace Sclafani with a United Nations simulation exercise. Cadets were broken into small groups to address a scenario involving two states invading each other. This allowed cadets from all over the world to collaborate and make a group decision. “Settling an international conflict mimicking the United Nations Security Council was certainly an enlightening experience that helped me to have a better grasp of international law and relations,” said Adipietro. “As the leader of my group representing the nation of Ecuador, it was my task to speak to the rest of the audience to communicate my group’s decision during the simulation exercise.”

Norwich Cadets gift Major General Maurizio Angelo Scardino a bottle of Vermont Maple syrup.

The second half of the day was spent in Teatro Politeama Garibaldi where cadets listened to high school students’ competition in essay submissions and videos about relevant issues in the world, and awards were given to the winning students by Maj. Gen. Angelo. Following this, the forum concluded with a panel discussion from Norwich’s Travis Morris, Ph.D.; Agata Mazurkiewicz, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of national security of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland; various West Point professors and cadets from many countries.  The panel discussed how the U.N., AUKUS (security partnership between Australia, United Kingdom, and United States), the African Union, and EU are working through the challenges of conflict towards peace. “The final panel was amazing,” said Adipietro. “The individuals speaking on the panel were certainly qualified to discuss current issues and conflicts our world faces today, and how we might understand it better.”

The group returned to Northfield on March 22. “Attending the IFPSP and representing Norwich and the United States to the entire world has been a privilege and an amazing, irreplaceable experience,” said Vargas. “Interacting with veterans, current service members, and officer cadets from around the world made me realize that we can create bonds and find similarities with people of any cultural, economic or personal background."


About Norwich University
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

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