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Former Neillsville Student Named Top 30 Under 30

Friday, April 25th, 2014 -- 3:07 PM

(Avital Andrews, Pacific Standard) ?A former student of the Neillsville School District is considered to be one of the top 30 minds under 30 by the Pacific Standard.

As a child, Hollie Brehm wanted to be an archeologist. She went on ?expeditions? in her sandbox by burying artifacts and pretending to find them. Then she found out about her dust allergy, she says, ?which gradually was enough to move me in other directions.?

Today, Brehm researches mass murder. ?While many people believe that genocide is unpredictable, I study how it is actually patterned,? she says. ?I am creating models to better understand the factors that influence why, when, and how genocide occurs.?

Brehm hails from Neillsville, Wisconsin, which she describes as ?a small town that is home to the world?s largest talking cow, Chatty Belle, as well as the world?s largest fake block of cheese.?

In Rwanda, Brehm interned with the government?s genocide prevention commission. She has also conducted case-study interviews in Bosnia and Sudan, and in Chad?s refugee camps for those who fled Darfur. At those camps, Brehm helped build pre-schools and implement educational curricula. Brehm also co-founded the Heritage Academy of Science and Technology, a Minneapolis school for Somali refugees, and still chairs of its board of directors.

During the 20th century, genocide was responsible for more deaths than murder, homicide, and manslaughter combined. ?After millions were killed during the Nazi Holocaust,? Brehm says, ?the international community vowed to prevent genocide from occurring in the future. Yet genocide continues to happen with tragic frequency.?

Brehm?s work suggests that genocide can be predicted and maybe even prevented. ?I hope to help build the sociology of genocide into an established research paradigm,? she says. ?I also hope to serve as the U.N. Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide.?

Find the full story: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/30-top-thinkers-30-student-mass-murder-wants-predict-prevent-genocide-77386/#.U1WCWUuKkL8.facebook

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