The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.


Rapoport Center Announces Spring 2013 Undergraduate Interns


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Undergraduate Interns (left to right) Saif Kazim, Lalini Pedris, and Travis Knoll

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law has named three undergraduate students as interns for the Spring 2013 semester. Saif Kazim, Lalini Pedris, and Travis Knoll were selected on the basis of their academic credentials, leadership skills, and dedication to human rights work.

The interns work with Rapoport Center faculty, staff, and Human Rights Scholars to assist with research and advocacy projects, promote Rapoport Center events, participate in interdisciplinary Working Groups, expand the Center's social media presence, and serve as liaisons to the undergraduate community.

Saif Kazim is a senior studying Sociology Honors with a minor in Biology. He is writing his honors thesis on human rights advocacy in the aftermath of the 1984 industrial disaster in Bhopal, India, and is particularly interested in the role of law in postcolonial societies. Born in Saudi Arabia to parents of Indian origin, Saif hopes to utilize his diverse background towards confronting the challenges of human rights work in various cultural contexts. He has worked with various campus groups to organize awareness campaigns over important human rights issues, most recently concerning human rights in the Gaza Strip as well as the uprising in Bahrain. Saif hopes to pursue a dual degree program in law and social sciences.

Travis Knoll, a Latin American History major from Dallas, was first exposed to human rights while working at the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin. Travis analyzed the cultural and social effects of gentrification and removal efforts in the Vila of São Tomás for the Cultural Foundation of the City of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Travis' thesis, "Critiques of Machismo and Authoritarian Structures in Contemporary Argentine Cinema," analyzes Argentine film, mostly historical films dealing with the 1976 repression, and their representation of the complex relationships between gender, memory, and authoritarian regimes. After graduation, Travis hopes to pursue a Masters at LLILAS or study Catholic intellectuals in Brazil and Argentina between 1930-1980. He hopes to pursue a career in academia, journalism, or international relations.

Lalini Pedris is a senior in Liberal Arts Honors double-majoring in International Relations & Global Studies and Geography, with a Bridging Disciplines Program certificate in Human Rights & Social Justice. Her passion for human rights led her to conduct research in the Kalahari this past summer regarding the impacts of the diamond mining industry on the San people of Botswana. Lalini's interest in peace and conflict studies initially arose from her visits to Sri Lanka, the country of her heritage, during the civil war. She is also interested in the conflicting relationships between human development and environmental and wildlife conservation, and plans to pursue a career in investigative journalism. Lalini is also interning with the Center for Asian American Studies.

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law serves as a focal point for critical, interdisciplinary analysis and practice of human rights and social justice.