2017 Amnesty International Intern: Jessica Leach
Jessica Leach is a rising junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Human Rights and Environmental Studies. Jessica was a member of the Human Rights and Action Learning Community her first year at UConn which helped her become involved as a student leader for a campus-wide donation event, Give and Go, through Community Outreach. This past year she was a trip director for the Alternative Breaks program where she led a group of sixteen students to Mullens, West Virginia over spring break to complete community service revolved around rural poverty and environmental conservation. Next year, Jessica will be leading the spring break trip to Atlanta, Georgia to complete service and educate fellow students on human trafficking and human rights.
Jessica is also involved with the UConn Leadership Office’s Four Arrows team. She will become a new member in the fall to continue facilitating individual and group leadership development through team building activities and reflection. After graduation Jessica hopes to join the Peace Corps and eventually continue her human rights education with the Rotary’s Peace Fellowship master’s program.
2017 Business & Human Rights Resource Center Intern: Jillianne Lyons,
Jillianne Lyon is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut pursuing a double major in Human Rights and Political Science, with a minor in French. Prior to her internship with the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in New York City, she studied abroad in Paris, France for a semester in the spring of 2016. The following semester, Jillianne was awarded UConn’s Undergraduate Intern of the Year Award for her internship with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, CT. At IRIS, she worked with refugees from all over the world and managed a food bank, community garden, women’s sewing group, and housing and donations center. This past spring, Jillianne interned at the Connecticut General Assembly Legislature where she worked primarily in the Environment, Human Services, and Banking committees.
At UConn, Jillianne volunteers at Spring Valley Student Farm, and was an EcoHouse resident for the 2014-2015 year. In addition to volunteering, she is a student employee at the William Benton Museum of Art. Her academic interests focus on the intersectionality between women’s rights, corporate transparency, and environmental justice. After graduation, Jillianne hopes to pursue a master’s degree in labor relations with a focus on gender studies.
2017 Croatian Mediate Center Interns: Melisa Jahic & Tatyana Marugg
Melisa Jahic is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut, where she is majoring in Finance, and minoring in Sociology and Human Rights. She has held leadership positions within her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and is actively involved in Greeks Against Sexual Assault, an activist group on campus. Melisa's interest in human rights began at an early age when she learned about her family's experience as refugees in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Her main goal upon graduation is to attend law school, and further her studies in the human rights field. Melisa also loves to travel, hike and is a passionate animal activist.
Tatyana Marugg is a first year law student at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she is a member of the Human Rights Law Association and the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Society. She became passionate about human rights as an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut, where she interned for the Human Rights Institute and served as the managing editor of the 2016 edition of the Namaste Human Rights Journal. She graduated with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and Human Rights in 2016. She is particularly interested in how the fields of law, science, and human rights can collaborate to solve global problems, and she hopes to work at the intersection of those fields in the future. Outside of school, her favorite extracurricular activities are hiking and kayaking.
2017 Individualized Placement Intern: Carolina Lemos
Carolina Lemos is a rising junior and a member of the Special Program in Medicine at the University of Connecticut. She is pursuing a double major in Human Rights and Molecular Cell Biology and will be traveling back this summer to her home country of Brazil to intern with the Municipal Health Department and to assist at a local hospital in the rural town of Santa Maria da Vitoria. While in Brazil, Carolina hopes to improve the quality of healthcare at one of the public hospitals, which are often overcrowded and inefficient.
Carolina was a Class Facilitator for the Foundations of Medicine and Dental Medicine course this past fall semester, where she was nominated for the John T. Szarlan Student Mentor award. In December, she organized a DACA and Know Your Rights Info Session at UConn and educated students and others about the rights of undocumented persons. Carolina is an active member of Honors in STEM, as the Advocacy and Activism Chair, and is a member of the Pre-Medicine Society.
During this past summer, Carolina shadowed a cardiologist, where she assisted with patient exams, collected medical history, and observed diagnosis and stress tests. She also has worked as an EMT for the First Aid Squad in her hometown of Marlboro, New Jersey.
In her spare time, Carolina volunteers her time teaching adults in an ESL program, as she came to the United Sates at the age of 7 and knows the difficulty in learning a new language in a new country. She also tutors elementary school students in an after-school program, and has taught classes preparing high school sophomores and juniors for the biology and chemistry SAT Subject Tests. After graduating from UConn, Carolina plans on attending medical school and hopes to provide quality healthcare services to people in areas of need.
2017 NetImpact Intern: Rebecca Kaufman
Rebecca Kaufman is a junior double majoring in political science and Human rights with a minor in Spanish. She is a Truman Nominee, Augusta Gerberich Scholar, New England Scholar, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Rebecca is particularly interested in the connections between human rights and the environment and has been able to pursue these interests through internships with the Social Entrepreneurship Corps in Guatemala and the Economic Justice Network in Cape Town, South Africa. On campus, Rebecca is the director of policy dissemination, secretary and co-founder of the UConn Student Coalition for Social Justice, a writer for the UConn Political Review, and the recipient of UConn IDEA grant to study the impact of women in local government in the Asia Pacific. After graduation, Rebecca hopes to pursue a career in environmental human rights law and consulting.
2017 Social Accountability International Intern: Ariana Scurti
Ariana Scurti is graduating with Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Connecticut Honors Program in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (with a focus in Human Rights and Development), a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a minor in Economics. In the fall of 2017, she will pursue a Master of Public Policy (MPP) with a specialization in International Development Policy at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. In 2015, Ariana interned in Guatemala as a consultant with Social Entrepreneur Corps and Soluciones Comunitarias, a non-governmental organization that champions the MicroConsignment Model. The following summer, Ariana gained more experience in social responsibility as the Corporate Social Responsibility intern at Dunkin’ Brands, parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. There, she analyzed competitor data and expert literature regarding yearly corporate social responsibility reporting and goal setting to make effective recommendations for the Dunkin’ Brands sustainability strategy. At UConn, Ariana served as a Trip Director for service trips to the Dominican Republic and Birmingham, Alabama, where students focused on community development and urban poverty, respectively. She has also traveled to India, Boston, and Oklahoma for other service trips and lived in Granada, Spain to study Spanish for a semester. She recently served as an International Orientation Ambassador for first year international students at UConn and in 2016, Ariana was selected to UConn’s Leadership Legacy Experience tenth cohort, the university’s prestigious leadership program.
Ariana hopes to work for the federal government to pursue work that inspires economic development through sustainable public and private partnerships, such as with USAID’s Global Development Alliances (GDAs) or the United Nations International Labour Organization. She is particularly interested in government’s role in international economic development and policy analysis in Latin America.
2017 WITNESS Intern: Emily Steck
Emily is a junior majoring in Political Science and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. Emily's main areas of interest within the realm of human rights include sustainable activism, environmental justice, and women's rights. In order to pursue these interests Emily served as a UNESCO Student Ambassador for Human Rights as a freshman, going on to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in spring of her sophomore year.
In Cape Town she began work as an intern for Prevention in Action, a women's group aimed at addressing the prevalence of violence against women in communities outside of the city. After returning from South Africa Emily assisted in the founding of UConn's Student Coalition for Social Justice and currently serves as their Director of Communications. As a junior Emily received a SHARE Award through the Political Science Department to conduct research with associate Professor Veronica Herrera on collective action, environmental injustice, and river pollution. After graduation Emily hopes to continue working on human rights advocacy and outreach.
2016 Business and Human Rights Resource Centre Intern: Lesedi Graveline
Lesedi Graveline is a rising senior, double majoring in Human Rights and Women’s Studies. Prior to her internship with the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in New York City, she studied abroad at the University of Essex in Colchester, England for a semester in the spring of 2015. During the spring of 2014, she was hired as a student employee at the Neag Gifted Education and Talent Development Center where she organized and maintained an efficient office environment and became accustomed to both traditional and non-traditional systems of research and educational development. Lesedi was also a First Year Experience Mentor for fall of 2014 and fall of 2015, which is a program designed to assist incoming freshman with the transition to UConn. Through this program, she became trained in facilitating a classroom and responding to the needs of students through one-on-one counseling sessions. She has also had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, California with UConn’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter as a volunteer. Lesedi also volunteers for the Husky-for-a-Day Program, is an active member of the Black Student’s Association, and has been a dancer/fundraiser for “Huskython”, UConn’s 18-hour long dance marathon.
Lesedi will be an intern for UConn’s Police Department in the fall of 2016, where she will continue to be exposed to different aspects of law and civil rights from the perspective of law enforcement. She was recently accepted to be a Resident Assistant for the 2016-2017 academic year. Lesedi’s primary advocacy interests revolve around women’s rights, children’s rights, and refugees. After graduation, Lesedi hopes to travel as well as attend law school to pursue a degree in International Law and eventually join the Peace Corps.
2016 Croatian Mediation Association and Mediation Center Interns: Scott Seger and Mark Vanaman
Scott Seger is currently a second year student at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he has held leadership positions within the Public Interest Law Group and Jewish Law Student Association. An avid traveler, his international experiences include studying abroad in Rome and volunteering in Southern Israel. After receiving his B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland, College Park, Scott worked for a Boston investment firm for three years before deciding to pursue a career in law. His professional areas of interest include health law, employment discrimination and international human rights. Scott is also a passionate skier, hiker and New England Patriots fan.
Mark Vanaman is a first year law student at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he is exploring his interest in corporate law, insurance law, and international human rights. He graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in History, and a minor in Political Science. Mark’s interest in human rights was sparked during his past mission trips to Kentucky, where he coordinated students at a job site in home improvement construction projects for local needy families. Mark enjoys the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Society, and currently holds a leadership role in the Corporate and Securities law group.
2016 International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Intern: Emily Kaufman
Emily Kaufman is the 2016 recipient of the Richard Goldstone Fellowship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Emily graduated Summa Cum Laude with majors in Human Rights and Cognitive Science and wrote her honors thesis in Human Rights. Emily was recently elected to Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and has been a New England Scholar for the past three years.
Emily interned for the Human Rights Institute in Spring 2016 as the Executive Editor for the Namaste Undergraduate Human Rights journal and and also served as Co-Managing Editor of the 2015 Edition of Namaste.
She interned at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre through a Human Rights Institute grant in the summer of 2015 where she co-authored a piece with the Research Director and was listed as an author on their “Coal in the Global South” report presented at the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris. She is a recipient of the Alan B. Slifka Foundation Scholarship from the Human Rights Institute and she worked for three years as the Student Assistant for Programs at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center where she helped research and facilitate programming. In the spring of 2014, she studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where she interned at Treatment Action Campaign, an HIV/AIDS advocacy organization focused on community mobilization and wrote about her experiences as a Travel Correspondent for Reach the World, which connects students studying abroad with classrooms in the US. In 2014 Emily was selected as one of two students to attend the Universitas 21 Conference on Shaping Future Cities in Sydney, Australia where she was interested in the impact of rapid urbanization on human rights violations. Emily was also selected to attend the 2013 Universitas 21 Conference on Human Rights hosted by UConn.
She served on the inaugural CLAS Student Leadership board and spent a term on its Executive Board as Chair of the Student and Alumni Relations Committee. She also served as a student representative on the President’s Committee for Corporate Social Responsibility, participated in UConn’s Leadership Legacy experience, served as a UNESCO Student Ambassador for Human Rights, and was Vice President of the student organization Lawyers without Borders.
2016 Net Impact Intern: Anna Middendorf
Anna Middendorf is from Bremen, Germany and moved to the United States in August 2013 to pursue her undergraduate degree at UCONN. She is a rising senior, majoring in Political Science with a double minor in Economic and Human Rights. Prior to her internship with Net Impact, she studied abroad in Chile for a semester in the spring of 2015 and speaks German, English and Spanish. In December of 2015, she traveled to the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris with a group of UCONN students. Anna works closely with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on improving community outreach programs and environmental policies at the University. Anna’s primary advocacy interests revolve around climate change, refugees and food security. Upon graduation, she hopes to return to her home in Europe to obtain a MBA in Business and Human Rights.
2016 Social Accountability Intern: Christopher Raymond
Christopher Raymond is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a double major in Human Rights and Management. His academic interests focus on improving labor standards and working conditions in the global economy, with a particular emphasis on the empowerment of workers through the realization of their right to association. Christopher has worked this past year as a Resident Assistant for Social Justice Education in Alumni quad for the Sophomore Honors community. This past winter, he was part of a project headed by Dr. David Richards, where Christopher and a group of three other students used CIRI coding guidelines to provide Social Progress Imperative with human rights data for their annual index. Next year, Christopher will be completing his senior Honors thesis on current trends of labor collectivism within the Latin American garment industry. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a PhD in industrial and labor relations.
2016 WITNESS Intern: Julia Silverstein
Julia Silverstein interned for WITNESS over the summer of 2016. She is a rising junior studying philosophy and human rights, and hopes to participate in the Human Rights Winter abroad program in Costa Rica.
At UConn, Julia is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society and, through them, participates in many events, fundraisers, and other community service projects. She was a member of the University Symphony during the 2014-2015 season, and hopes to continue playing with them. Julia also tutors high school students in history, literature, and various instruments including violin, viola, and cello.
Throughout high school, Julia participated in debate competitions. Through the debate program, she developed a passion for philosophy, law, and logical argumentation. After graduating from UConn with Bachelor degrees in philosophy and human rights, she hopes to go on to law school to focus on constitutional law and its effect on social justice.