Graduate and Post-Graduate Student Affiliates
Student Affiliate Funding Requests
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Student Affiliate Profiles
Meet some of our Graduate Student Affiliates.
Klau Center Graduate and Post-Graduate Student Affiliates 2018-2019
LL.M. in International Human Rights Law
Laura Ante Hurtado obtained her law degree from the Universidad Libre in Cali, Colombia, where she received an award for academic excellence in the Law Faculty. Since graduation, she has been working for the Judicial Branch of Colombia, specifically in the Criminal Jurisdiction. Her interest is to deepen her knowledge to advocate for new judicial practices in Colombia, and to be more reflective about how administering justice can be a process that brings about social justice, reconciliation, and the rebuilding of society in a post-conflict situation.
Gastón Federico Blasi obtained his law degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 2004. He received a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in European law from the Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre (Italy) in 2005/06. He also received a scholarship from the European Commission to obtain a Master of Arts in Bioethics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Radboud Universiteit Nigmejen (The Netherlands) and Università di Padova (Italy) in 2008/09. He worked as a legal intern at the International Criminal Court and taught constitutional law and human rights law courses in both Argentina and Italy. Since 2013, Mr. Blasi has been working as Chief Assistant for the Criminal Public Defender’s Office of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
Ligia Maria del Valle Vega
Ligia María del Valle Vega obtained her law degree cum laude from the Rafael Landivar University in 2011, where she received the Loyola Award (the highest honor that the University gives to a student) and the Mention of Excellence Landivariana (recognition of academic excellence and outstanding student in the law school). She became involved in human rights in 2010, when she joined a team that represented victims before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She also worked as an environmental law consultant in the USAID Justice and Security Program in Guatemala. Since 2015, she has been a Legal Officer at the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Ms. del Valle is a 2018-19 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Alimata Diarra studied law at the University of Law in Mali and studied fundamental human rights at the University of Nantes (France). She has over 10 years of experience working in the law and human rights field, most recently serving as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Prior to joining the United Nations, she served as jurist in a Malian law firm, and as a Senior Child Protection Officer at the NGO Islamic Relief Worldwide – Mali. Ms. Diarra has extensive experience in monitoring, investigation, and documentation of human rights violation and abuses in post-conflict settings. In particular, she assisted women and girls who were victims of rape, forced marriage, and sexual slavery during the conflict in northern Mali. She is an alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Iuliia Emtseva obtained her law degree at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek in 2015, specializing in international and business law. During her studies, she was an intern at different national courts, including the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic. After graduation, Ms. Emtseva worked as a teaching and research assistant at the law faculty of her alma mater while also working as a monitor for a project of the American Bar Association. She received a scholarship to complete the Regional Master’s Program on Human Rights and Democratization in the Caucasus, spending one semester in Yerevan, Armenia and a second semester in Kyiv, Ukraine. During her Master’s studies, she served as a trainee at the National Committee of the Red Cross in Kyiv. Since November 2017, Ms. Emtseva has managed the educational programs for Russian entrepreneurs at OPORA RUSSIA, a Russian NGO.
Luwie Ganeshathasan, LL.B. (University of Colombo) is an Attorney at Law and works as a Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sri Lanka. Since January 2012, he has supported public interest litigation on issues of constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights law, filed and handled by CPA. He has contributed to CPA’s efforts to raise awareness on issues relating to constitutional reform, electoral system reform, and legal reform by co-authoring several research papers, policy briefs and advocacy documents and by conducting training workshops for civil society activists across Sri Lanka. Since January 2013, Mr. Ganeshathasan has also worked as a Junior Counsel in the Chambers of Geoffrey Alagaratnam, President's Counsel, working mainly on issues relating to labour law.
Nirmal Francis Gomes is a religious brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross. He completed his B.A. at Notre Dame College, Bangladesh, obtained his LL.B. from Southern University, Chittagong, Bangladesh in 2007 and earned membership in the Bangladesh Bar association in 2012. He also completed his Masters of Education at the University of Dhaka in 2003 and has been teaching and administering schools and colleges for 21 years. Before coming to Notre Dame, he served as the Acting Principal of St. Philip’s High School and College for seven years and advocated for the educational rights and human dignity of the indigenous people of the Catholic Diocese of Dinajpur. Bro. Nirmal was convener and member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the St. Joseph Province of Bangladesh for six years, while also serving as a member of the congregational (national) Justice and Peace Commission. He continues to serve as a member of the Justice and Peace Commission for the entire worldwide Congregation of Holy Cross. Through his work, Bro. Nirmal participated in the congregation's international convention in Rome in 2014 and in the Justice Craft workshops at St. Mary’s College in Indiana in 2015.
Ray-Yun Hong earned both her law degree and her LL.M. from the National Taiwan University in 2012 and 2018, respectively. Her academic focus has been on the legal history of East Asia, especially Taiwan’s democratic development. With her passions for feminism, she also went to Hokkaido University as a one-year exchange student to explore gender-related issues in Japan. After the “2014 Sunflower Movement” in Taiwan, Ms. Hong participated in the NGO Civil Movement for Constitutional Reform and assisted with a series of public events, including managing grassroots forums for civilians and serving as a grassroots leader in the national constitutional promotions forum.
Elizabeth Jimenez Mora
Elizabeth Jiménez Mora earned her law degree from Universidad de Costa Rica in 2017. She participated and coached in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition, as well as the ICC Moot Court Competition. She worked at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as a legal assistant from 2014 until 2018, and was researcher for Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito from 2013 until 2018. During that time, she worked on cases dealing with gender equality, non-discrimination, deprivation of liberty, protection for vulnerable populations, labor rights and others human rights issues. In 2016, Ms. Mora was a legal assistant to Víctor Rodríguez, the former member of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. She was president of the Costa Rican Association of International Law from 2017 to 2018.
Tonny Raymond Kirabira obtained his LL.B. degree in Law with Honors at Uganda Christian University, in 2012. He was admitted to the Ugandan bar upon acquiring a diploma in legal practice from Law Development Centre in 2014. In 2017, he was a recipient of the prestigious VLIR-UOS scholarship under the Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law post-graduate program at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Currently, Mr. Kirabira’s work focuses on the promotion and defense of freedom of expression, digital media, intellectual property, and media rights. He regularly pens newspaper articles on social and topical issues. He is also a member of the Uganda Law Society and East Africa Law Society.
Anisa Metalla received her law degree from the University of Tirana in 2009, where she also received her Master’s degree in Civil Law. She started her career working for the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Albania. After taking the Bar Exam, she began working as a lawyer for Tirana Legal Aid Society, where she has been practicing human rights litigation and managing many projects on legal aid and access to justice, rule of law, and human rights issues. She has been a senior lawyer for many years and her latest cases are currently under review by the European Court of Human Rights. Ms. Metalla is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Mary Pergola Parent earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Theatre from the University of Notre Dame. She worked for years in the Television News and Film Industries. Intrigued by documentaries and news stories of injustice, she pursued a law degree and earned her J.D., magna cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law. Currently, Mary teaches Law and Film: Images of Justice in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. She explores the competing concepts of justice in movies, documentaries and newscasts. Her work explores jurisprudential themes, and the fictional portrayal of civil rights, human dignity, and murder. She spotlights the various perspectives of what is considered crime and punishment in different societies and cultures around the world.
Martina Rapido Ragozzino
Martina Rapido Ragozzino received her law degree summa cum laude at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in 2015. During law school, she participated in international Moot Court competitions and interned at the Public Interest Legal Clinic. As an undergraduate, she was a researcher for the human rights area of the think-tank Asuntos del Sur and assistant for the Ecuadorian vice chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Child. After graduation, she became junior associate at the Rosero & Alban law firm, working on cases related to constitutional, criminal, and human rights law. Ms. Rapido also worked as project coordinator for her alma mater developing projects with international organizations for the defense, promotion, and investigation of human rights matters, while also directing the Freedom of Expression Investigation Group. Ms. Rapido is a 2018-19 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Ruslan Sharipov obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Kazan Federal University (Russia), graduating with honors. His academic interests include international humanitarian law and human rights law. During his studies, he took part in various law moot court competitions, including the Jessup, Jean Pictet, ICC in the Hague, ICC in Nuremberg, ECHR, and F. Martens competitions. He assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law among students in Russia. For the last two years, he has worked as an assistant attorney, focusing on criminal law litigation. Mr. Shraripov is a scholar of the Sverker Åström Foundation (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Oxford Russia Fund programs, as well as a recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Tushar Somkuwar obtained his LL.B. from Dr. Ambedkar College Deeksha-Bhoomi, Nagpur, India in 2013 and his LL.M. in Access to Justice from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in 2015. His LL.M. dissertation, “Communal Conflicts and Challenges in India – A Case Study of Bombay Riots 1992-93,” analyzed the lacunae in the present way of handling communal riots and proposed the enactment of the Prevention of Communal Riots Bill. While pursuing his LL.M., he took part in a fact-finding committee, formed to examine the plight of religious minorities in the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh, India who were affected by communal rioting in 2013 in which more than 60 people were killed and 50,000 were displaced. From 2015 to 2017, he worked as an Access to Justice Project fellow on the issue of custodial deaths in Maharashtra central prisons.
Nataliia Voitseshyna obtained her law degree from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. While in law school, she participated in multiple moot court competitions and completed a fellowship at the Kyiv office of the Solidarity Center. Later she presided over the Moot Court Society of the Law Faculty. In 2016, Nataliia interned with the British law firm Global Rights Compliance, working on their war crimes strategy in Ukraine. Thereafter, she held a consultancy position at the Prosecutor’s Office for Crimea in Ukraine. Most recently, Ms. Voitseshyna was a lawyer at the NGO Regional Center for Human Rights, where she handled cases on human rights violations in the occupied Crimea before the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations human rights system.
Jose Saldana Cuba
José Saldaña obtained his law degree (2012) and a Master in Political Science (2014) from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP. Since then, he has worked as a law professor and researcher in human rights concerning natural resources and indigenous peoples. Mr. Saldaña leads an interdisciplinary research team on criminalization of Peruvian land defenders in several regions, for which he won a two-year grant. Some of his recent articles published in peer-reviewed journals include “The Violence of Law though the Criminalization of Protests against the Conga Mining Project” (2016) and “Criminalizing Discourses on Indigenous Otherness during the Baguazo” (2018). In addition, he has advised the National Congress of Peru in legal matters as well as the Constitutional Tribunal. Mr. Saldaña has also worked in the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – IDEA. Mr. Saldaña is a 2018-19 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Ms. Zuluaga obtained her LL.B. from the University of Medellin in 2010, from which she also holds a diploma in Administrative Law. After graduating, she worked for the University of Medellin as a lecturer on human rights and humanitarian law, and as a study group coordinator on human rights violations in Colombia. From 2014 to 2016 she worked as a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), where she litigated cases before the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS), mainly related to human rights violations in Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica. In 2018, she became a researcher for the Seminar on Transnational Enterprises and Gross Human Violations at the University of Buenos Aires. Ms. Zuluaga is also a Ph.D. student at the University of Buenos Aires, where her thesis focuses on human rights violations and toxic industries.
J.S.D. in International Human Rights Law
Carlos Bichet Nicoletti
Carlos holds a Bachelors Degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Panama (2012), with honors, an LL.M. in International Law, Human Rights Specialization, (2015) from the University of Groningen (Netherlands), cum laude, attended with an Erasmus Mundus (UE) Scholarship, and an LL.M. in Constitutional Law (2017) from the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales (Madrid, Spain), attended with a Fundación Carolina Scholarship. He attended the Summer Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law and was recently awarded a prestigious Young Scholar grant from the International Law Association to attend its 78th Biennial Meeting in Sydney, Australia. He is a Fulbright / Laspau Scholar at Notre Dame. He has worked as an academic researcher at the Centro de Investigacion Juridica and has taught at the Faculty of Law of the University of Panama, where he also volunteered to teach at the ‘El Renacer’ Penitentiary with the University of Panama’s San Miguelito Regional Branch in a special resocialization program for inmates who qualified to receive higher education.
His doctoral research focuses on the limits and possibilities of restorative justice in international adjudication, and the interaction between normative conceptions of justice and institutional arrangements at international courts and tribunals, particularly the International Criminal Court.
Juan Pablo Alban-Alencastro
Juan Pablo Albán Alencastro, Ecuadorian, holds a Law degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and a Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from University of Notre Dame. For seven years he served as tenured Professor of Law (currently on sabbatical leave) at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) Law School and as Director of the Legal Aid Clinic at the same institution. In such capacity he represented hundreds of victims both at the domestic and international levels in high profile human rights litigations. Previously, for eight years he was part of the professional staff of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. He also directed the Human Rights Clinic and was an Associate Professor of Law at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Mr. Albán has also taught in Ecuador at Universidad Católica Santiago de Guayaquil and Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, in Perú at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, in Argentina at Universidad Nacional de San Martín and in Hungary at Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem. In December 2017 he was elected as Foreign Expert of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia. Since June until September 2018, he served as Member of Ecuador’s Council of the Judiciary for the Transition (the supervisory and administrative organ of the judicial branch). He is a member of the American Society of International Law, the Inter-American Institute on Criminal Policy based in Mexico and has been an advisor or expert witness for several Ecuadorian public entities and international organizations in the field of human rights.
Maryssa Gabriel entered law school at the age of 16 and earned her LL.B. from Trinity College, Dublin. She was awarded the Appleby Legal Scholarship after completing her LL.B. and went on to pursue a master’s degree in Law and Anthropology at the London School of Economics. Her thesis focused on patent law, bioethics, and human rights. Before completing her LL.M., magna cum laude, at Notre Dame, she trained and practiced as an attorney in London and Bermuda. Ms. Gabriel was awarded the Sir John W. Cox University Scholarship to pursue the J.S.D. at Notre Dame and was given the Faculty Award for Excellence in Gender Issues and International Law during her LL.M. studies. She was admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales in 2015 and is a licensed attorney admitted to the New York State Bar and the Bermuda Bar.
Tladi Marumo obtained a B.A. in Political and International Studies, and Legal Theory (2008), an LLB (2010), and an LL.M. in Constitutional Class Action Litigation (2016) from Rhodes University, South Africa. He holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Prospecting and Mining Law (2012) from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is an admitted attorney having practiced at law firms, Webber Wentzel, Hogan Lovells, and Norton Rose Fulbright. He taught as an Andrew W. Mellon Lecturer at Rhodes University Faculty of Law. He is a Director of the Good Law Foundation, advocating for the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. His doctoral research conducts a comparative study of class action litigation, for the promotion of access to justice and human rights in Africa. Mr. Marumo is a recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program Scholarship.
Bernardo Pulido Marquez holds a law degree from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB) at Caracas, Venezuela (2010), where he also completed studies on Venezuelan Constitutional Law. Pulido Marquez also holds a Master in the Science of Law (JSM) from Stanford Law School where he was part of the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS) (2012). For five years he was a part-time professor at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello teaching Human Rights, General Topics of Constitutional Law and Venezuela Constitutional Law. Before joining the J.S.D. program at Notre Dame Law School, he worked as a human rights advocate and activist in Venezuela, defending political prisoners, including some of the most relevant Venezuelan opposition leaders and victims of human rights violations, aiding them in legal actions and international claims. His research will focus on inadmissible restrictions on political rights.
Fatimah Alshehaby is a J.S.D. student at Notre Dame Law School. She earned her B.L. from King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia in 2010, and her LL.M from Syracuse University College of Law, New York. During her LL.M study, she was honored by CALI for excellent achievement of the American Legal System. She has worked for Jazan University as a teaching assistant, and in January 2017, she was appointed Lecturer of Law in the same institution. As a human rights lawyer in Saudi Arabia, her focus is on women’s rights, cultural rights, and cultural heritage protection. Her current doctoral research centers on human rights and cultural heritage in the Arab region. She examines the relationship between human rights and cultural heritage protection, and how they have been mutually reinforcing and in conflict. Her research project aims at integrating cultural heritage into human rights domain through analyzing and exploring the linkage between human rights and cultural heritage in international law, Islamic tradition, and Arab region. In 2017, she received the Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants and conducted field visits to various museums, regional human rights organizations, and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) in Egypt and Tunisia.
Fernanda Gianesella Bertolaccini
Fernanda Gianesella Bertolaccini earned her law degree in 2008 from São Paulo University School of Law. She also has a master’s degree in international trade law from USP, with a thesis on the impact of voluntary sustainability standards on international trade. Bertolaccini worked for several years at the Center for International Trade and Investment, a think tank at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo. During her stay, the Center served as the WTO Chair in Brazil, and she served as the Coordinator of Sustainability and Trade where she advised Brazilian trade associations and domestic and international governments. She then worked as a consultant for the Brazilian government on agribusiness market access and investment attraction. Bertolaccini is currently a Ph.D. candidate at USP, with a dissertation on the accountability and compliance footprint of private entities that produce voluntary sustainability standards. Apart from legal interests, she is active in movements advancing LGBTQ political rights and social visibility, and fighting domestic violence against women and children. As part of this work, she has been part of documentaries and urban artistic initiatives, and promoted social gatherings for experience validation and network building.
Doctor of Jurisprudence
Tom Dwyer is a third-year law student at Notre Dame Law School from St. Louis, Missouri. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio, Where he also worked on housing issues in the Department of Community Development. He spent his 1L summer working at home in St. Louis, for Arch City Defenders. He worked both on impact litigation challenging ways in which the criminal justice system targets low-income folks in the region and on direct representation of indigent litigants. He spent last summer as Center for Civil and Human Rights fellow, working at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Tom is looking forward to working with his colleges in the Klau center especially when studying and advocating against racism in America.
Cameasha Turner currently attends The University of Notre Dame Law School. She has an extensive background in research, advocacy, and leadership. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. There, she was captain of her women’s basketball team and graduated summa cum laude of her graduating class. She received distinguished honors for her commitment and research to civil, social and human rights issues. She is also the recipient of the Scholar Athlete and Spirit of Service Award for the work she did in her community. Additionally, she pioneered a transformative committee whose goal was to shed light on the social issues confronting a 21st century world. She organized a series of lectures that focused on the violence against women in Cidudad Juarez, police abuse of force against marginalized people, the effects and solutions of the school-to-prison pipeline, and topics surrounding criminal justice reform. Most notably, she invited Oscar Grant’s mother to campus to share her story, interactions with the law, and possible solutions. Oscar Grant was an African-American male fatally shot and killed by a BART police officer in Oakland California. Most recently, she clerked at a big law firm in Dallas, Texas and became involved in a lawyer’s committee whose focus was fighting against community segregation, human trafficking and violations of human rights—with a keen focus on criminal justice reform. Cameasha is also an Assistant Rector, and sits on the Faculty Board of Athletics, at The University of Notre Dame.
Walter Anthony Jean-Jacques is a Second-Year Law Student at Notre Dame Law School. He serves as the President for the Black Law Students Association, Vice-President for the Exoneration Project, and Co-Director for Galilee: Group Alternative Live-In Legal Education Experiential Course. He is a National Advisory Committee Member of Equal Justice Works. He is a former Equal Justice America Fellow and National Lawyers Guild – Haywood Burns Fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. in New York City. He will be working at the Southern Poverty Law Center during the summer of 2019. He received his Master of Science in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies with Honors and Political Science from Columbia University.
Jake Crammer is a third-year law student at Notre Dame Law School from Downey, California. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Theology from Seattle Pacific University, where he studied the role that faith communities play in advocating for social justice and reconciliation. He spent last summer working in Montgomery, Alabama, at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Economic Justice Project. He worked primarily on impact litigation challenging ways in which the criminal justice system targets low-income folks in the Deep South. He has represented clients in their asylum hearings through the National Immigrant Justice Center Externship at Notre Dame Law School, and he currently represents clients in Indiana with the Notre Dame Economic Justice Clinic. Jake is applying for post-graduate public interest fellowships addressing the economic barriers to stable housing in Los Angeles County.
Tashiana Stafford graduated from Northwestern University in 2015 majoring in both English-Literature and Legal Studies, garnering the Greek Council Community Service Award and the Giselle M. Casanova Leadership Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha. She has served as the Treasurer of the Black Law Students’ Association, Chaired the Galilee learning by emersion program in New York City, and assisted with the judicial campaign of newly elected Judge Adrienne Davis in Chicago. She currently serves as the Community Service Chair of the Black Law Students Association and assists with teaching at the Moreau College Initiative, a partnership between Holy Cross College and Notre Dame University to provide opportunities for inmates within the Indiana Department of Corrections to receive Bachelors and Associates degrees. Tashiana has interned with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Burch & Associates, a criminal defense firm in Chicago. Her primary focus has turned to defending the Constitutional rights of marginalized communities and making influential strides to change the criminal justice system through policy. She was recently awarded the Dore Family Scholarship, affording her the opportunity to study abroad in London in the Spring.
Olaniyi Solebo is a third-year law student at Notre Dame Law School. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the College of New Jersey. After college, Olaniyi was selected from more than 47,000 applicants nationwide to joined Teach for America, the national teaching corps committed to teaching in under-resourced schools. He taught high school history in Richmond, California for four years before moving to Indiana. Olaniyi spent his first summer working in New York City at the office of the Federal Defenders of New York and this past summer he was a summer associate at the Kelley, Drye, and Warren LLP. While in law school, Olaniyi has represented indigent clients as a public defender intern in St. Joseph’s County, Indiana. In the community, he also serves a big brother in the Big Brothers and Big Sister program. Olaniyi is excited to be a member of the inaugural affiliate class at the Klau Center.
Bill Green holds a B.A. of Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2008) and is a current third-year law student at Notre Dame Law School. Bill is an experienced political organizer who worked extensively in health care justice, voter access, education reform, and housing equity. Bill has represented indigent clients and ensured access to services for individuals commonly excluded from access to vital resources in their communities, including shepherding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Chicagoland to low-income and immigrant communities. Bill is excited to be a member of the inaugural affiliate class at the Klau Center.
Mahira is a third year law student from Houston, Texas, and a member of Notre Dame Law School's Exoneration Project and Wrongful Conviction Externship. Prior to law school, she received her B.B.A. in Supply Chain Management at the University of Houston, along with a minor in biology, going on to run a startup textile recycling company. Mahira volunteered throughout her undergraduate years in Houston hospitals and local clinics, spending most of her time in pediatric clinics in low-income areas.
Bridget Murphy is a third-year student at Notre Dame Law School. She has had the privilege of learning how the law can promote (and interfere with) civil and human rights in courses such as Civil Rights, Gender & International Law, and Post-Conviction Remedies. She is particularly interested in combating the barriers to relief imposed on civil rights plaintiffs and stimulating the creation and implementation of laws that promote the norm of gender equality. After graduation, she will serve as a federal law clerk on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals before returning home to Chicago, Illinois.
Terence Parker is a third-year law student from Albany, New York. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015, where he majored in Political Science. Before attending law school, Terence completed a year-long AmeriCorps fellowship doing community outreach with his hometown district attorney’s office. During law school Terence worked at the Department of Justice during both summers, and as a research assistant for Professor McAward. He is interested criminal justice related issues, particularly indigent access to counsel and constitutional rights in plea bargaining. After graduation, Terence will clerk for Judge Mark R. Hornak of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Doctorate in Sociology
Aliyah is a second-year PhD student in the Sociology Department. Before starting at Notre Dame, Aliyah earned her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College with a double major in Sociology (w/ high honors) and Law & Society with minors in Africana Studies and Politics. As a native of the South Side of Chicago, Aliyah has always looked for ways to incorporate her advocacy work on gun violence and structural racism in her community into her scholarly endeavors within the academy. Most recently, Aliyah has been conducting fieldwork in Chicago for her master’s thesis which explores how the presence of narratives of hypermasculinity in the learning environments of young, Black men informs the pathways they are able to pursue both in and outside of school contexts. Aliyah looks forward to taking part in the Klau CCHR because it will provide a venue for her to engage in meaningful discourse and workshops that are at the cross section of both scholarship and activism.
Emmanuel is a 3rd-year PhD student in the Sociology Department at the University of Notre Dame whose research interests include Race/Ethnicity, Mixed-Race Studies, Gender and Family, Social Movements, and Stratification. His master’s thesis, “To Help or Not to Help: Does Family Racial Configuration Matter?” investigated how a child’s family racial configuration predicts if a bystander will help them or not. His dissertation research broadly investigates the Black Lives Matter movement and social movement epistemologies and collective identity formation in 21st-century social movements. Lastly, Emmanuel is the primary investigator on a local community-based collaborative project researching the effects of poverty and community divestment on neighborhoods and their residents. Emmanuel currently holds an M.A. in Sociology from Notre Dame and an M.S.Ed in Higher Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Prior to his current graduate study, he was an Assistant Director in the Gender Relations Center and a lecturer at Notre Dame.
Ruth Carmi (sociology & peace studies) holds a B.A. degree in Law and Psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an L.L.M. in International Legal Studies (Specializing in Human rights and Gender) from American University Washington College of Law. As a human rights lawyer in Israel she litigated in the High Court of Justice and represented in Israeli Parliament committees addressing issues of resource allocation to the Arab minority in Israel and the Arab minority's right to government services and support. She also battles incitement to racism and violence. She has written several widely circulated reports on gender segregation and racism in Israel, which have been informing recent public debates and advocacy efforts.
Ruth is interested in researching intersectional racial formations in Israel’s Jewish society and they relation to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. She is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow and a 2017-2018 Mullen Family Fellow.
Doctorate in Political Science
Minju Kwon is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science with a graduate minor in Gender Studies. She specializes in international relations and comparative politics, with a particular focus on international human rights and humanitarian institutions. Her dissertation topic is non-state actors’ compliance with international law on child rights. She analyzes the conditions under which rebel groups commit to UN action plans banning their violations of child rights in armed conflicts. Prior to her arrival at Notre Dame, she received her B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in International Relations from Seoul National University in South Korea.
Master of Global Affairs
Rhea Fe Silvosa
Rhea V. Silvosa worked as the program officer for the Annual Peacebuilding Training Program of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, coordinating an international training and developing training in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. She is actively involved in civil society groups that advocate for human rights and restorative and transitional justices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (cum laude) from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Rhea is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Jamie McClung served at Bahamas Methodist Habitat, a construction nonprofit organization based on the outlying Bahaman island of Eleuthera. Because of her experiences on the island, she researched small island development and studied Mandarin Chinese while earning a BA degree in development studies from Brown University. Jamie is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Chista Keramati worked as a translator and research assistant in Tajikistan from 2015-16. While in Tajikistan, she also volunteered as an English tutor. She holds a BA in English literature and an MA in linguistics, and is interested in education and women’s issues in the Global South. At home in Iran, Chista is part of the minority Sunni community. She is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Eduardo Valdivia has worked as field and verification officer with the United Nations Mission in Colombia and as policy advisor on human rights and business with the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations. Through his career he has developed and implemented community engagement strategies with civil society groups and communities in their transition from conflict to recovery, with close attention to gender, ethnic, and human rights perspectives. He believes in the importance of public participation and citizen engagement as an effective tool to support peace efforts and capacity-building at the grassroots level. Eduardo is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Maria Gomez Sonet
Maria Isabel Leon Gomez Sonet holds a BA in global studies with an international development concentration. She has worked with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America on issues regarding U.S. foreign policy to Latin American, human and immigration rights, and social justice. Marisa has also interned at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation on genocide and mass atrocities prevention. Most recently, she interned at at the Trust for the Americas, an organization affiliated to the Organization of America States in Washington, D.C., for economic and social inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. Maria s the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Brian Hickey most recently worked with migrants and refugee children in a school and center for street children in Djibouti. He also taught English literature and leadership at a Palestinian high school in the West Bank, served as a volunteer at the Indiana State Prison for several years, and spent the summer of 2015 in South Africa and Zambia working with a local nongovernmental organization. Brian holds a BS in business management and a minor in political science from Valparaiso University, where he was a student-athlete. He is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Loyce Mrewa has worked as a researcher for legal and multidisciplinary research institutes, analyzing issues related to children, persons with disabilities, and constitutional and human rights law. She has published work focusing on international humanitarian law, women’s rights, and children’s rights. She speaks Shona, an official language of Zimbabwe, and is learning French. She holds L.L.B. and L.L.M. degrees with a specialization in international law. Loyce is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Theresa Puhr recently served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps at Women’s Resource Center in Pennsylvania, providing services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to this role, she spent a year in the Maryknoll China Teachers Program, where she taught English at Jilin Medical University and worked with local grassroots organizations serving rural communities. She holds a BA from Notre Dame in political science and Chinese. Theresa is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Helina Haile served as a U.S Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda, where she taught English and led after-school youth development groups for boys and girls. She also spent time with American Refugee Committee Rwanda as a program development volunteer. Helina later worked on racial equity issues with AmeriCorps VISTA and the City of Minneapolis for the Obama Promise Zone Initiative, and served as a legal assistant for the Minnesota AIDS Project. She holds a BA in political science and international studies from Northern Michigan University, and speaks Amharic and is conversant in Kinyarwanda. Helina is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Patrick Calderon recently worked for a Washington, D.C.-area international nonprofit, where he helped implement a State Department grant enabling undergraduate students from developing countries to study in the United States. He also has worked in education with immigrant and refugee populations in Canada and youth in Morocco. Patrick holds a B.A. in political science and theology from Notre Dame. He is the recipient of a Samuel and Kathleen Awad Global Affairs Fellowship.
Steven Wagner served with the Maryknoll China Teachers Program in Jilin, China, teaching medical English to nursing students at Beihua University. As a Maryknoll volunteer, he participated in development projects focused on China's rural poor and HIV patients living in isolated communities. Steven most recently worked with Habitat for Humanity International, conducting pre-crisis market analysis in Cebu, the Philippines toward the goal of improving access to dignified and resilient housing for communities most vulnerable to climate disasters. He holds a BA from Notre Dame in political science and Chinese. Steven is the recipient of a Katter Family Fellowship.
Jenna Ahn served as a volunteer social worker at Farm of the Child, a children’s home in Honduras. Most recently, she worked in community-based learning at Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center while consulting on a startup initiative focused on providing sustainable and affordable housing options in developing countries. She holds a BA in theology and pre-health studies from Notre Dame, and speaks Spanish and Korean. Jenna is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.
Sarah Davies Breen
Sarah Davies Breen holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Lawrence University and a certificate in project management from the University of Chicago. Previously, Sarah worked at the University of Chicago where she was Director of Academic Affairs in the Social Sciences and previously, Manager of Research Initiatives at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. Sarah serves on the board of BLUME Haiti, a nonprofit organization supporting music education and community leadership in Haiti. In the Keough School, Sarah is studying Global Affairs with a concentration in Human Rights. Sarah is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Post-Graduate Student Affiliates
Shanna Corner's research interests include global and transnational sociology, cultural sociology, political culture, human rights, law and society, gender, religion, intergovernmental organizations, and comparative-historical sociology. Her dissertation examines the ways that United Nations (UN) and country-level actors, who work with women’s rights, conceptualize religion and its relationship to human rights in varying ways and how this impacts negotiation and reporting that takes place in the UN and different countries. While at Note Dame, she has gained research experience through her work on the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) and the Lilly Parenting Project, as well as through her work as the project manager for the Cardus Education Study (CES). Before coming to Notre Dame, she completed a master’s degree in international studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and English at Grand Valley State University.