2018 Summer Internship Fellows


2018 Business and Human Rights Resource Center Intern: Tahreem Ali

tahreem ali


Tahreem Ali is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut where she is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in Finance and in Human Rights. She is a Chairperson for the Outreach and Marketing Committees for the Women’s Center at her university, where she promotes gender equity through an intersectional perspective. She is an active member of Women in Business and Finance Society. From January 2017 to April 2018, she worked on a photography exhibit at her university about child Labor in the cocoa industry in West Africa. Prior to her internship at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre she has interned at Traveler’s, Inc. as a Finance Intern in Corporate Audit one summer and another summer in Corporate Tax. Tahreem is particularly interested in the connections between human rights and corporate transparency and supply chains. Tahreem’s primary advocacy revolves around labor rights, environmental rights, and refugees. Upon graduation, she hopes to obtain a MBA in Business and Human Rights.



Jessica Blasnik

2018 Croatian Mediation Center Intern: Jessica Blasnik

Jessica Blasnik is a rising second-year law student at the University of Connecticut, where she is the president of the Jewish Law Students Association. Jessica graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Political Science and a concentration in Law,Theory and Politics. While at UD Jessica studied abroad in Brazil and discovered her passion for international human rights issues. After graduating, she spent last summer in Jerusalem, working on and bringing awareness to the issues and policies surrounding Palestinian refugees. She is excited to build on these experiences by learning and contributing to the development of collaborative dispute resolution practices. In her free time, Jessica enjoys sailing and hiking.


2018 NetImpact Intern: Kendall Comstock

Kendall ComstockKendall Comstock is a senior pursuing a double major in Urban and Community Studies and Human Rights. Throughout her educational career she has developed a passion and interest in the fields of racial justice, gun violence and education inequity. Prior to interning for Net Impact, she spent the past two summers as the Outreach Coordinator for Experience Mission in Appalachia, where she led short term mission teams who came to serve through construction and outreach in the area. She also enjoys volunteering with the Charter Oak Cultural Center, in Hartford, which provides second chance educational scholarships for people in the homeless community or those with financial setbacks. After graduating Kendall plans to get a Masters degree in Social Work, which will allow her to fight for human rights from a community organizing framework.



Arianna Diaz2018 Croatian Mediation Center Intern: Arianna Diaz

Arianna Diaz is Senior double majoring in Global Studies and English, and double minoring in Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies. Within her individualized Global Studies major Arianna analyzes the social, political, economic, and human rights implications of transnational migration, with special focus on forced migration in the Middle East. She hopes to pursue a career in international relations related to forced displacement and community building in conflict regions.

Outside of her studies Arianna is the co-founder of the refugee advocacy group, More Than 10,000. This group collaborates with NGOs, resettlement agencies, lawyers, and scholars to conduct public education and dialogue initiatives within Connecticut host communities related to refugee resettlement.  She is also a UConn Humanities Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow and Research Assistant within multiple academic projects related to Caribbean diaspora, migratory labor, environmental justice, and human rights theory.  Upon completion of her internship, Arianna looks forward to using her UConn IDEA Grant to dispel misconceptions on the U.S. refugee resettlement process, as well as studying forced migration and Arabic within Morocco next year.



2018 Social Accountability International Intern: Emily Dodson

Emily DodsonEmily is a junior double majoring in Human Rights and Political Science, with a minor in Spanish. In her freshman year, Emily was introduced to service on UConn’s campus through being in the Human Rights and Action Learning Community, talking about important and significant topics in the conversation of Human Rights. In the second semester of her sophomore year, she chose to go abroad to Barcelona, Spain to learn about the diverse and bright culture here and improve and expand on her Spanish studies. Her desire to learn more about Spanish speaking communities expanded into the opportunity to go on the Costa Rica Winter Alternative Break through Community Outreach. Her work with Community Outreach expanded into her spring break alternative break trip to Detroit, Michigan on a trip that had a focus on urban education, civic engagement, and urban development.  This past year, she lead the Outreach Committee for the Student Union Board of Governors. This role included managing the student group’s social media and encouraging students to get engaged with events on UConn’s Campus. In her second semester, she took up a semester long internship at the Connecticut General Assembly, working closely with Senator Cathy Osten to interpret legislation for local communities of Connecticut. In this role, she came to better understand the important of advocacy and engagement with state politics from civil society actors and local citizens.

In her senior year, Emily will hold a position as a Student Involvement Ambassador in the Student Activities office, is on the CLAS Leadership Board, and hopes to continue working with Community Outreach. She hopes to expand on understanding the intersection of Business and Human Rights through UConn’s courses and personal research. After graduation, she hopes to take time off before pursuing a Master’s Degree in a concentrated area of Public Policy or Public Administration in order to work for organizations like SAI and work closely to protect populations often forgotten and affected by Business Expansion like Indigenous Populations and Women.


Steph Goebel


2018 Amnesty International-USA Intern: Stephanie Goebel

Steph Goebel is a rising senior at UConn majoring in political science and human rights. While studying political science, she found herself continually enrolling in classes that doubled as political science and human rights classes because they peaked her interest. It was a natural progression to declare the human rights double major. Steph is an involved student leader, currently serving as President of the UConn College Democrats and Outreach Chairperson with the UConn Women’s Center which has helped her pursue her interest in political activism as well as gender equity work. This past spring, Steph interned for State Representative Gregg Haddad, helping to make institutional aid for undocumented students a reality in Connecticut. She has previously interned for US Senator Gary Peters, a congressional campaign, and a private equity firm. Steph is a sister of Gamma Phi Beta, a former President of the Junior Panhellenic Council, and former Parliamentarian of the Undergraduate Student Government Senate. Once she is finished at Amnesty International, she will be moving to Washington D.C. for the remainder of the summer to intern with the Democratic National Committee before she returns to campus. Following graduation, Steph hopes to spend a year in Southeast Asia teaching English and then attend law school.


2018 WITNESS Intern: Izzy Ostrowski

Izzy OstrowskiIzzy Ostrowski is a junior majoring in Sociology and Human Rights with a double minor in Public Policy and Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. This year she has served in a student leader position as the program director for the Windham Region No Freeze Homeless Shelter in Willimantic, CT and served as the First Year Experience Mentor for the Human Rights and Action Learning Community. Her experience working in the homeless shelter and serving as an intern to New Horizons Domestic Violence Shelter and Services in Middletown, CT left her with an even greater interest in children’s rights and the rights of those who are affected by homelessness. Her participation on an HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Awareness alternative break in New York City during her sophomore year led Izzy to her passion for increasing awareness about the global AIDS epidemic. Being a camp counselor at Camp AmeriKids, a camp for children living with HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease, as well as working with harm reduction centers, are opportunities she is incredibly grateful for. Izzy will be graduating a semester early in December after studying abroad at Mahidol International University in Thailand for the fall semester. She hopes to complete a human rights based internship in Thailand that is centered around the issue of sex trafficking in relation to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Izzy plans to continue on to graduate school in the fall of 2019 for her Master’s degree and to continually work on human rights advocacy and outreach.

To read more about Izzy’s experience interning at WITNESS, please see here.

Matheus Souza2018 CEJIL Intern: Matheus Souza

As a first-generation student-athlete with the soccer team at the University of Connecticut, I operated at the junction of these two shared social roles, while majoring in International Relations (with a focus in Latin America and Economic Development) with minors in Human Rights and Latino Studies. In the Fall of 2018, I will be pursing a master’s degree at either UConn or Penn State, as I plan to specialize in international public policy and international studies.

I have interned at Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB), helping develop LWOB’s programming on trafficking in persons and wildlife protection, preparing tasks, memos and reports based on legal research. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a UN Conference on the Status of Women (CSW62), at the UN headquarters in NYC, acquiring a more in-depth perspective on CSW role in promoting women’s right through the private and nonprofit sector, in conjunction with world leaders.

I have also devoted my time to participate in campus initiatives including volunteer work in Costa Rica through Community Outreach’s Alternative Break Program, Husky Reach athletic service, and as an active member of UConn’s Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) organization.

My interest in economic development and human rights is tied to who I am as a person, and it progressively continues to expand. Prior to graduation, I will have conducted research related to these areas in my Capstone course. My career aspirations include working with international development agencies that work to meet the needs of a society, such as USAID, its partners like Chemonics, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). I will utilize my fluency in Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Italian, as I specialize in a field and pursue a career with an international scope.

To read more about Matheus’ experience interning at CEJIL, please see here.


2018 Individualized Placement Intern: Usra Qureshi, 

Usra QureshiJAFRA Women’s Center, Greece

Usra Qureshi is a rising senior double majoring in Molecular Cellular Biology and Human Rights. She has been involved in refugee work locally and abroad for the past three years, and plans to explore refugee right to health more in depth through her senior thesis and University Scholar project. Usra hopes to combine her passions for health and human rights through a career in medicine in the future.