Associate Director of Operations, Human Rights Institute
Rachel Jackson has been with the Human Rights Institute since it was founded in 2003. She oversees and supports many different aspects of the research and academic mission of HRI. Rachel is responsible for the development and implementation of academic advising and experiential learning activities for human rights students. This includes managing the HRI internship program, the Summer Intern Fellowship program, collaborating with Experiential Global Learning, and serving as an academic advisor for undergraduate students in the human rights program. She is also the co-director of the Human Rights and Action Learning Community.
Additionally, Rachel works with the undergraduate director and graduate education coordinators to ensure the smooth operation of academic programs and activities, manages the Human Rights Institute funding competitions, coordinates programming and outreach activities, supports visiting scholars, and supervises Institute staff and graduate assistants.
Rachel is working on her masters in curriculum and instruction at UConn’s Neag School of Education. Her studies will focus on experiential learning in human rights education both at the K-12 and higher ed levels.
Before joining the Human Rights Institute, Rachel served as an AmeriCorps *VISTA with the Jumpstart program at the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a department secretary at the Graduate Faculty at New School University.
Since having children of her own, Rachel has realized the intersection of her personal interests in maternal health, childbirth practices ,and breastfeeding with her professional and research interests in human rights.
After being confronted by a lack of breastfeeding accommodations when called for jury duty, Rachel began working with the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition (CBC). She joined their efforts to pass a bill addressing the issue of jury duty and breastfeeding mothers. The result of the efforts was the bill, SB 194, signed into law by Governor Malloy on May 31, 2012, which requires that the Judicial Branch maintain a website with information for breastfeeding women on their ability to postpone jury service and information about the accommodations that can be made for breastfeeding mothers who wish to report for jury duty. Additionally, jury administration is now required to provide training to their staff on the needs of breastfeeding mothers who have been summoned for jury duty and work with mothers to provide reasonable accommodation when they report for jury duty.
Rachel received an award from the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition on October 9, 2012 in recognition of her contributions to the health of Connecticut’s mothers and children through her advocacy and testimony on behalf of the 2012 Senate Bill 194: An Act Concerning Jury Duty for Breastfeeding Mothers.
Rachel served on the board of directors of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition from 2012-2020 and the board of directors of the UConn Co-op from 2008-2014.