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Summer Human Rights Institute

Testimonials from Previous Institute Participants

Patricia Minikon

"The Human Rights Institute was an excellent way to acquire knowledge of human rights theory and practice in a short span of time. I would recommend it to graduate or law students as well as professionals in international affairs or international law. The Institute allowed me to gain new skills from seasoned practitioners and I put those skills to work in the fall when I went overseas on a human rights documentation project. The group exercises during the seminars gave students the opportunity to use what they learned in a simulated field environment. Compared to other workshops, the Institute imparted the perfect combination of scholarly knowledge, advocacy skills, and practicum."
- Patricia Minikon is a graduate student in the School for International Service (SIS) Master's program. Her concentration is International Politics with a focus on Human Rights and a sub-field of Conflict Resolution. She is also an immigration attorney in private practice.

Leslie Miller

"Prior to taking the Human Rights Institute at AU, a career path in human rights was still a fuzzy concept. During the courses, we heard from professionals at advocacy organizations, within the US government, and at private corporations that all view human rights as their guiding focus. Hearing the life paths of these individuals, combined with the interactive experiences in class definitely made the Human Rights Institute one of the most valuable experiences I've had at AU."
- Leslie Miller is a graduate student in the School of International Service. Her concentration within International Politics includes Human Rights and Global Environmental Policy. She is also a Project Assistant at the Immigration & Refugee Program of Church World Service.

LaChelle Amos

"My participation in the 2007 Summer Human Rights Institute proved invaluable to my fieldwork in northern Iraq later that summer. In her Intro to Human Rights course, Professor Mertus exposed us to a full range of the theories and practicalities of human rights. The practitioner viewpoints, discussions of advocacy techniques, and examination of fieldwork logistics helped me to devise an advocacy strategy that an Iraqi non-profit organization was able to adapt for their campaign against honor killings."
- LaChelle Amos is a SIS Master's Candidate (2008) in the International Peace & Conflict Resolution concentration. She is also Treasurer and Chair of the Networking Committee for the Graduate Student Council.

Derek Langford

"The Intro to Human Rights course with Dr. Mertus is without question one of the most intense and memorable experiences to be found at SIS. It was stimulating, challenging, and interactive. More than just lecturing us for hours on end, Dr. Mertus would simulate scenarios where, we the students, were judges on International Criminal Tribunals grappling with some of the most germane issues in human rights law; or replicate interview situations with victims of human rights abuses in conflict zones. The class is amazing. Today, I plan on studying international human rights law and I know that Dr. Mertus’ class laid the groundwork for my ambitions in the field. Anyone interested in international relations generally and human rights specifically should take the class."
- Derek Langford is a current Master's degree student in the School for International Service.