‪(774) 312-7851‬ inquiry@nonviolentsolutions.org



Claire Schaeffer-Duffy

Program Director  

Claire is the former Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center and has been part of the organization almost since its inception. She earned her bachelors in Social and Political Thought at the University of Virginia and is a 2013 graduate of the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University. She and husband Scott are co-founding members of the SS. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker, a lay community that has worked for peace and justice and offered hospitality to Worcester’s homeless for more than thirty years.  The Schaeffer-Duffys have participated in numerous local and international peace campaigns and are the recipients of the Paulist Center’s  2007 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice. A free-lance journalist, Claire has reported from various conflict zones including Bosnia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Burundi and the Middle East and received awards for her writing.  Her travels have allowed her to observe first-hand war’s devastation as well as the courage of many global peacemakers. These experiences, along with a reverence for children and their future compel her commitment to peace-building.

Dan Margolis

Education Facilitator

Dan joined CNVS in 2016. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Nonprofit Management at Northeastern University. Dan was most recently the program director of a youth mentoring program sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and prior to that was an assistant editor at Oxford University Press, where he helped to create online and in-print resources on African American, African, Islamic, and Biblical studies. He has previously worked as a program director and as a journalist, including
as a correspondent at the United Nations. Dan has been part of the movement for a more peaceful world for more than 20 years, including participating early on in the movement to stop the U.S. war in Iraq.

Dan grew up in Worcester, where he attended North High School. After spending years away working in
New York, Detroit, Miami, and elsewhere, he is glad to have returned to his hometown.

Matt Shorten

Education Facilitator

Matt grew up on Long Island, NY. He came to Worcester in 1970 to attend Holy Cross College and then complete a M.Ed. from Worcester State College. His career spanned 35 years teaching Special Education, most recently at Quabbin Reg. High. He has been a peace activist for 50 years, since he was old enough to file as a conscientious objector. Mostly retired now, Matt has time to pursue his passions for nonviolent conflict resolution at Claremont High and AVP (Alternatives to Violence Program) at the Gardner Prison. He also serves as Clerk of the Worcester Friends Meeting.


Rochelle Peret


Rochelle began pursuits to help heal the planet with a degree in Environmental Science from RPI. She has used her skills to explore and study a variety of areas around the northeast.

With the arrival of her children, Rochelle’s focus moved from environmental to humanitarian efforts, as co-president of her local SEPAC and a trained Special Education Surrogate Parent, giving a voice to those who would not otherwise have one. She has also volunteered with a local animal shelter since 1999 and is passionate about animal welfare.  Rochelle is happy to continue her efforts where she can make a difference at the Center for Nonviolent Solutions.

Elena Novak


Elena is a first-year graduate student at Clark University studying International Development. Prior to moving to Worcester, she spent her undergraduate years at Florida State University working for an organization dedicated to civil discourse called The Village Square and dabbling in journalism both at FSU and in Raleigh, North Carolina. After graduating, she spent two years in Spain teaching English. She’s very excited to combine her skills in education and communications to promote the Center’s mission.