Program Administrator

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Rachel Jackson

Rachel Jackson is the Program Administrator of the Human Rights Institute.

Ms. Jackson has a passion for both public service and academe and has been with the Human Rights Institute since 2003. In the past she has served as an AmeriCorps *VISTA with the Jumpstart program at the University of Pittsburgh and as a department secretary at the Graduate Faculty at New School University.






Graduate Assistants Fall 2012 to Spring 2014

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Tina Chiarelli-Helminiak

Tina M. Chiarelli-Helminiak
Doctoral Student at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work

Human Rights Institute Graduate Assistant for Undergraduate Programs in Human Rights

Tina is working on her dissertation focused on burnout among forensic interviewers. Tina has extensive practice experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Her greatest professional achievement is leading the development of a children's advocacy center providing community-based services in rural north Georgia. Tina has taught in the UConn MSW and human rights undergraduate programs and in the social work undergraduate program at Shippensburg University. Tina received her B.A. in Social Work from Shippensburg University (1999) and an MSW from Marywood University (2002), where she was the first social work student to receive the Sister M. Eva Connors Peace Medal.

Tina can be contacted at 860-486-8739 or




Nicole White

Nicole White


Nicole White
Doctoral Student in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages

Human Rights Institute Faculty Liaison

Nicole is working on her dissertation on intercultural approaches to literature from Germany. She argues that literature from Germany is multifaceted and cannot be described by using only the attribute "German."  The aesthetics of different literary works are more important than the biographies of their authors. The common denominator of the works she chooses to exemplify her theory does not lie in the intercultural background of the authors but of the interculturality within the works. Interculturality here evolves through the loss of old and familiar horizons through travel, voluntary immigration and expulsion and the following widening of old and gain of new horizons. Nicole has taught German language, civilization, and literature classes in Germany, Montenegro and at UConn. Nicole received her MA in Political Science (Development Policy), Modern History and Comparative Literature from the University Bonn, Germany (2007) and studied transitions to democracy at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic (2004-05).



Dan Tags

Daniel Tagliarina



Daniel Tagliarina
Doctoral Student in the Department of Political Science

Human Rights Institute Graduate Liaison

Dan is working on his dissertation about the New Christian Right’s use of rights to advocate for school prayer in public schools. In his dissertation Dan argues that the New Christian Right uses a secularized version of rights to integrate religion, specifically prayer, into public schools. However, the nature of the rights talk employed works to minimize the religious devotional nature of prayer, treating prayer not as sacred but merely as free speech. Moreover, the New Christian Right’s rights talk expresses fear and anxiety over the loss of power and privilege in society that the group believes it once had. Dan’s dissertation addresses how this rights mobilization, and the arguments emerging from the New Christian Right’s fears, has widespread implications for rights and American socio-political culture. Dan is the co-editor of Teaching Politics Beyond the Book: Film, Texts, and New Media in the Classroom, a volume about bringing in “non-traditional” sources into the college classroom to teach political concepts.




Jack Barry


Jack Barry
Doctoral Student in the Department of Political Science.

Human Rights Institute Publicity Liaison

Jack is working on his dissertation on the impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on governance and poverty in developing countries. In his dissertation he argues that ICT allows for enhanced social capital, political mobilization and increased economic opportunities for those in poverty, yet governance is an often overlooked factor in determining the actual impact of ICT on the poor. In the last chapter of his dissertation Jack argues for a conceptualization of ICT as an instrumental human right. His work has been published in the journals of Third World Quarterly, Contemporary Politics and as a chapter in a forthcoming Routledge press book on Digital Media in Latin America.