International Educator - May/June 2017 - 32

Such work embodies the vision of many LLM programs that focus on human rights issues, says Siegfried
Wiessner, founder and director of the graduate program
in intercultural human rights at St. Thomas University
in Miami Gardens, Florida.
After their studies, graduates "feel empowered to
really take on all the problems they see in their home
country and around the world," she says.
By its very nature, the work of moving the needle on
human rights is never ending, and progress tends to be
incremental in the short term. But such programs "bring
people together to discuss values that bond us together
as the human race," Wiessner says.

Defending Human Rights at Home
Lawyer Paola Pelletier Quinones, who graduated with
an LLM from American University in Washington,
D.C., in 2009, returned to her home country of the
Dominican Republic with a similar level of ambition.
Since then, she has worked with various organizations,
including the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees
(UNHCR), on human rights issues in the country, including fighting a court decree that has put many thousands
of people with roots in neighboring Haiti in legal limbo.
Following a 2013 Dominican Republic Constitutional
Court ruling that children who had been born to undocumented foreign parents since 1929 weren't entitled to
Dominican citizenship, many Haitians suddenly found
themselves stateless, even though they were born in the
Dominican Republic.
That decision cut off Haitians' access to such necessities as formal jobs, education, and health care. More
than 100,000 Haitians have either been deported from
the Dominican Republic or fled following threats or fear
of persecution, according to Amnesty International.
Through her work with the organization Centro
Bono, Pelletier Quinones coordinated and drafted the
amicus curie brief "Dominicans and Haitians expelled v.
Dominican Republic" presented to the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights.
The court ruled the treatment of Haitians violated
the American Convention on Human Rights, but the
Dominican Republic rejected the ruling.
Pelletier Quinones credits the LLM program in
international legal studies at American University with
helping her become "more empowered [in] understanding and identifying human rights issues. You learn tools
and ways of protection and defense [of rights]."
She has also learned that she is not alone. "I realized
there are people who think like me, and when you come
back to your country that helps you keep standing up
and being strong," despite pressures, she said.
32  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .17

Another American University LLM graduate who
returned to her home country to work on human rights
issues is Maria Jose Veramendi, who completed her
studies in 2008.
The native of Peru now works as a researcher at
Amnesty International in Lima. She'd spent 12 years
outside of her homeland, including four years working
as a human rights lawyer in Washington, D.C., at the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She
wanted to "come back to do something for my country
and do something for my own people."
Before recently joining Amnesty International, she
spent four years in Peru as senior attorney in the human
rights and environment program at AIDA, a nonprofit
environmental law organization.
"The LLM has played an important role in where I
am today," Veramendi says.
She says that she knew from the time that she
attended law school at Universidad de Los Andes in
Bogota, Colombia, "I wanted to work closely with
people affected by human rights violations and do
something that's hopefully going to change their lives."
American University's LLM program primarily
comprises international students, and it offers specializations in such areas as human rights, the environment,
gender and law, and international organizations, says
Catherine Schenker, associate director of the international legal studies program.
The program draws about 100 to 120 students each
year who come from across the globe. "It makes for very
interesting classroom discussions," Schenker says. And an
alumni listserv allows graduates to tap into the knowledge
of other LLM graduates from diverse parts of the world.
Those U.S. students who enroll in the LLM program
serve as mentors for their international counterparts,
coaching them in such areas as U.S. academic culture
and the U.S. legal system, Schenker says.

Real-World Experience
At Northwestern University, LLM students are able
to gain experience outside the classroom through the
Human Rights Clinical Practice, in which LLM students
can work on real-world legal cases, says Bridget Arimond,
director of the international human rights LLM program.
In one instance, an attorney from Uganda who had
graduated from Northwestern asked the students to provide input to the Uganda Human Rights Commission on
proposed anti-torture legislation. Several of the students'
recommendations were included in the version of the bill
approved by the Ugandan Parliament.
And Arimond and her students have been involved
since 2013 in human rights case brought by the



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2017

From the Editor
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Middle East
Quick Questions
High Tech, High Engagement
Principled, Pragmatic, Impactful
What Happens to Study Abroad Students
Campus Profi le: Internationalization at the University of Tampa
Campus Spotlight: Internationalization at East Carolina University
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
International Student Affair
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Global Spotlight: Middle East
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2017 - High Tech, High Engagement
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Principled, Pragmatic, Impactful
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2017 - What Happens to Study Abroad Students
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Campus Profi le: Internationalization at the University of Tampa
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Campus Spotlight: Internationalization at East Carolina University
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 66
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2017 - International Student Affair
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 70
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Partnering
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2017 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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