The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.

Summer Fellows & Interns Selected to Work with the Rapoport Center

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Summer 2013 Graduate Fellows & Undergraduate Interns (left to right) Jackie Kalinoski, Giovanni Batz, Natalie Krebs, Kayla Oliver, and Ana Hernández

AUSTIN, Texas -- Two graduate students and three undergraduate students from the University of Texas at Austin have been selected to work this summer at the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.

This summer's fellows and interns are:

Giovanni Batz is a doctoral student in Social Anthropology. His research interests include indigenous/Maya social movements, development projects, human rights, and the Maya diaspora. His dissertation topic will focus on a resistance movement among the Ixil-Maya in Cotzal, Guatemala, against a hydroelectric dam, which has been met with state repression. Cotzal was one of the most heavily hit areas during the civil war in the 1980s, where violence committed by security forces amounted to acts of genocide against the Ixils. Giovanni began working in Cotzal during the summer of 2011 after he was awarded a Lozano Long Graduate Summer Placement Grant, and later returned in the summer of 2012 through a Native American and Indigenous Studies Graduate Summer Fellowship. Giovanni, the proud son of working-class Guatemalan immigrants, was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Ana Hernández is a junior majoring in Latin American Studies and History with a minor in Portuguese. She is also currently pursuing a Bridging Disciplines certification in Human Rights and Social Justice and a certification in Indigenous Studies. As president of UT's Latin America Network, she has focused on educational and volunteer activities for students related to human rights. Her work with UT Austin's chapter of Amnesty International has also furthered her interest and engagement in human rights causes. Her knowledge of Andean cultures, gained through research and travel, and her unique experience of living with the Mapuche indigenous group of Chile, has helped her to focus her academic emphasis on indigenous studies and race relations pertaining to human rights. Ana plans to be a professor of Latin American Studies and continue to support efforts to further human rights in Latin America and the world as a whole.

Jackie Kalinoski is a recent graduate of UT, where she majored in Spanish, Portuguese, and Government. In the fall, she will be attending SMU Dedman School of Law to study international human rights law or immigration law. After spending time in Chile, Brazil, and Argentina, Jackie became increasingly aware of the historical pattern of human rights abuse and the continued violations that occur on a large scale throughout the region. Through research and publications, she realized the potential that she had to improve public awareness in order to prevent future violations. In a world dominated by power structures, Jackie hopes to speak on behalf of oppressed individuals. Specifically, she plans to utilize law in order to strengthen human rights protections and influence behavioral change around the world.

Natalie Krebs is a graduate student in Journalism at UT. A proud native Minnesotan, she received her BA in journalism from the University of Oregon. Her interest in human rights comes from her undergraduate research on the underfunding of the deinstitutionalization of the US mental health system and time spent living, volunteering, and working in southeast Asia and northern Africa. She is interested in women's rights, the conflict in Burma, and the governmental censorship of the press in southeast Asia and its threat to development. She had her first taste of working as a journalist abroad at a small magazine in Hanoi, Vietnam, where she found the strict censorship by the Vietnamese government chilling and crippling. She is endlessly fascinated by foreign languages and cultures and hopes to continue to work abroad to help the survivors of severe human rights violations tell their stories.

Kayla Oliver is a junior English and Sociology major in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. On campus, she is involved in Texas Orange Jackets, the Learn To Be Foundation, Liberal Arts Honors Student Council, and Texas Undergraduate Law Review. She currently works at the Capitol as press secretary for State Representative Richard Peña Raymond. Her interest in human rights and social justice was sparked by the foreign exchange students her family hosted throughout her middle and high school years. They presented an invaluable opportunity to learn about different cultures, social problems, and living conditions, and their influence has informed her academic and professional interests ever since. After graduating from UT, Kayla plans to attend law school and pursue a career in public interest law.

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.