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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2007

PHOTO: Londa Vanderwal, a doctoral student in occupational and environmental health in the UI College of Public Health, threshes rice in The Gambia. Vanderwal worked at Gambia College as part of her internship experience.

Series highlighting human rights internship program begins Oct. 8

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) will host a panel series featuring the 2007 student participants in the Kenneth J. Cmiel and Burns Weston Human Rights Funded Internship Programs.

The series will consist of three panels featuring undergraduate and graduate students who worked for human rights by pursuing internships this summer. The students will share their experiences working to promote human rights in these organizations.

The first panel is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, in the Medical Education and Research Facility, Room 2189. "Internships in Global Health and Human Rights: Experiences from the Field" will feature students who pursued a global health related internship. Panelists include Londa Vanderwal, a doctoral student in occupational and environmental health in the UI College of Public Health, who worked at Gambia College, The Gambia; Mona Dalal, a second-year medical student in the UI's Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, who worked at the Love and Mercy Coalition in Tanzania; Lilian Hu, a graduate student in the College of Public Health, who worked for the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit at the University of Capetown in South Africa; and Mary White, a doctoral student in community health in the College of Public Health who worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

The second panel takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 in Boyd Law Building, Room 245. "Working for Human Rights: Legal Internships in Governmental and Nongovernmental Organizations" features the experiences of students who pursued law related internships in San Francisco, New Orleans and Argentina. Panelists include Amanda Furst, a third-year law student in the UI College of Law who worked at the Advocacy Center in New Orleans; Mingzhao Zu, a second-year law student in the UI College of Law who worked as a law clerk in the Housing and Community Development Program of the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco; and Wesley Carrington, a second-year law student in the UI College of Law who worked for the Ministry of Human Rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The third and final panel takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6 in 1117 University Capitol Centre. "Making a Difference: Undergraduate Internships in Human Rights Organizations" features the experiences of undergraduates who worked for organizations in India and Romania. Panelists include Bogdon Ciochinaru, a senior majoring in political science and international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), who worked for Asociatia Pro Democratia in Romania; and Katie Jo Sloter, a junior majoring in international studies and psychology in CLAS who worked for the George Foundation in India.

"Through these diverse internship opportunities, these outstanding students have gained great insight into human rights work around the world and have new skills and understandings to share and develop," said Amy Weismann, UICHR deputy director.

For more information or special accommodations to attend the panels, contact Liz Crooks at 319-335-3900.

The Kenneth J. Cmiel Human Rights Funded Internship Program supports student efforts to promote and learn about human rights by working for human rights and social justice organizations over the summer, providing funds to assist with the transportation and living expenses of students while they pursue summer internships in these organizations. The Burns H. Weston Funded Human Rights Internship Program provides funding to a selected student to participate in the work of a particular human rights organization determined by the UICHR each year.

UICHR is affiliated with UI International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Amy Weismann, 319-335-0483,; Kelli Andresen, 319-335-2026,; Lois Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,