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April 10, 2006

Press Contact:
Allegra Young, UT Law, (512) 471-7330

Rapoport Center Announces 10 Summer Fellowships

Increased funding from the Cain Foundation doubles international human rights summer opportunities for law students

Photo of 2006 Human Rights Summer Fellows
(back row, l–r)
Annelies Lottmann, Radney Wood, Andrea Guttin, Elise Harriger

(front row, l–r)
Ashley Eddy, Anh-Thu Nguyen, Haley McCay, Kalani Hawks, Karla Vargas

(not pictured)
Rachel Lopez

AUSTIN, Texas―Ten UT law students have been selected by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice as Human Rights Summer Fellows. They will fan out to non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations across the United States and the globe to work toward the enfranchisement of marginalized individuals and groups. Their projects include protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, advocating for the rights of immigrants, working toward democratic reform and engaging in community legal education efforts.

Before heading to destinations as diverse as Beirut, Phnom Penh, Mexico City and El Paso, the students will receive fellowships to cover travel costs and living expenses. The fellowships will be funded by the Rapoport Center, and many will be supplemented by grants from the Cain Foundation, a longtime supporter of international legal placements at the law school. Increased funding from the Cain Foundation made it possible to nearly double the amount of money that the law school was able to put toward summer human rights fellowships for 2006.

"Each fellowship we are able to fund is an investment in human rights advocacy and in preparing law students to develop the knowledge, skills and critical thinking that are essential to their future participation in the field," said Professor Karen Engle, director of the Rapoport Center. "We are pleased to be able to offer so many fellowships this year, and we are hopeful that the funding will continue to be commensurate with the tremendous talent of students at the law school."

The recipients of this year's fellowships are (as shown in the photograph):

Annelies Lottmann will work at the International Consortium for Law and Development in Boston.  She will be involved in legislative research and drafting to promote human rights in developing countries.

Radney Wood will work at the United Nations Development Program in Beirut, Lebanon. He will be involved in various efforts by the United Nations to promote democratic reform.

Andrea Guttin will work at the Rapoport Center on various initiatives to promote the study and practice of human rights at the Law School. She will help prepare a review of the Center’s activities over the past year, assist with the organization of a fall conference on human rights, and work on outreach to the University and Austin communities.

Elise Harriger will work at Amnesty International in Washington D.C. She will primarily be assisting the organization with its program to end the death penalty in the U.S. and worldwide.

Ashley Eddy will work at the nonprofit Sin Fronteras in Mexico City to protect indigenous rights as well as the rights of other marginalized individuals and groups in Mexico.

Anh-Thu Nguyen and Haley McCay will travel to Cambodia to assist with community legal education efforts as part of the Pannasastra University of Cambodia International Legal Studies Internship Program. They will help build curriculum on Cambodian legal topics including the structure and purpose of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Kalani Hawks will work at Casa Alianza in Mexico City to provide legal services and advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged children, particularly homeless children and victims of sexual abuse.

Karla Vargas will intern with the American Civil Liberties Union in El Paso. She will be working on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to identify immigration concerns and compile reports of human rights violations against undocumented immigrants.

Rachel Lopez (not pictured) will intern at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C.  She will assist with cases involving the protection of indigenous peoples.

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