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Leitner Center Congratulates Incoming Class of Crowley Scholars in International Human Rights

New York, NY (August 28, 2014) – The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice is pleased to welcome a new class of Crowley Scholars in International Human Rights for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Scholars, all second-year law students at Fordham Law School, will work with faculty, fellows, and staff at the Leitner Center to design and implement an international human rights fact-finding project.

This year, the following eight Fordham Law students were selected as Crowley Scholars: Rodrigo Bacus, Krista Hahn Blumenberg, Thomas Callahan, Hailey Flynn, Stella Gilliland, Olivia Gonzalez, Christina Menga, and Celidon Pitt. The Crowley Scholars will be led by Zach Hudson, the Leitner Center’s new Crowley Fellow in International Human Rights. Zach is a graduate of Fordham Law School and a past Crowley Scholar. His recent work focuses on humanitarian disarmament, as well as LGBTI rights under international human rights law. Short bios of the Fellow and the scholars can be found below.

This year marks the Crowley Program’s 18th international human rights project. Unique among American law schools, the Crowley Program provides Fordham Law School students with the opportunity to participate in international human rights fieldwork and investigation and prepares them for a career in human rights. Scholars enroll in an intensive academic program in human rights theory, practice, and advocacy; help to plan every stage of the study together with the Crowley Fellow; and participate in implementing the study through on-the-ground fieldwork. Further information about the program can be found here.

In 2013-2014, the Crowley Project examined LGBTI rights in Bangladesh. More information about the program can be found here.


2014-2015 Crowley Fellow

Prior to joining the Leitner Center, Zach Hudson was the head of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines & Cluster Bombs (USCBL), a coalition consisting of U.S.-based non-governmental organizations and civil society dedicated to a total ban on antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions. USCBL is one of 90 country campaigns that form the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Previously, Zach was deputy COO for the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and program director for the Adopt-A-Minefield (AAM) and HERO programs, UNA-USA’s two humanitarian and development campaigns. As the AAM Program Director, Zach worked with the UN and other mine action partners to implement minefield clearance, survivor assistance, and mine risk education projects throughout the world. As the HERO Program Director, Zach coordinated and implemented development projects in sub-Saharan Africa aimed at assisting communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. Before joining UNA-USA, Zach also created and implemented a workforce reentry program in San Francisco designed to aid at-risk populations; worked for the International Red Cross in Bhuj, India, as a rescue worker in the aftermath of an 8.0 earthquake; and lived in Dublin, Ireland, where he was the acting International Business Development Manager for Tax Back International. Zach has a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College; a M.Phil. in International Peace Studies from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland; and a J.D. from Fordham Law School. 

2014-2015 Crowley Scholars

Rodrigo Bacus graduated from Wheaton College in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Hispanic Studies.  After college, he worked as a counselor for Diet Coaching, Inc.  This past summer, Rodrigo was a Leitner Center and McMahon Summer Fellow at Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice. Through this fellowship, Rodrigo worked on the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Project, focusing on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Program.  As a Fordham Stein Scholar, Rodrigo serves the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and National Lawyers Guild members. He contributes to the development of a Legal Orientation Program for Custodians in Fordham, and is an active volunteer for WomensLaw.org.  He is also helping to pilot a new pro bono awareness project with the Legal Aid Society, and is a staff member of the Urban Law Journal.

Krista Hahn Blumenberg graduated from New York University in 2009 with a B.A. in History and Politics and a French minor.  Prior to law school, she spent three years working on international justice and human rights issues at the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.  While at NYU, Krista studied abroad in Prague, where she interned with the EastWest Institute.  During the summer of 2014, Krista interned with the Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project, working on asylum and victim-based immigration cases.  Krista is a Stein Scholar for Public Interest and a staff member of the Fordham International Law Journal.  She is also on the boards of the Fordham Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and Fordham’s Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocacy Society.

Thomas Callahan graduated in 2007 from Fordham College at Rose Hill with a B.A. in Comparative Literature, with a Comparative Theories focus on post-structuralism and early Soviet culture.  While at Fordham College, Thomas studied abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and returned there on a Fordham Traveling Research Fellowship after graduation.  He completed an M.A. in Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University in 2010.  In Summer 2014, Thomas worked at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s Moscow office, where he reported on new and proposed Russian legislation.  Thomas is a staff member of the Fordham International Law Journal and a board member of Fordham’s Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocacy Society.

Hailey Flynn graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2008 with a major in Culture and Politics and a certificate in International Development. After graduation, Hailey worked for the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, which aims to improve access to health care for marginalized populations using the human rights framework. Hailey was a 2012-2013 Princeton in Asia Fellow with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation as Development Coordinator working to increase motorcycle helmet use to reduce traffic related injuries and fatalities. At Fordham Law, Hailey is the President of Advocates for Sexual Health and Rights, the Treasurer for Law Students for Reproductive Justice, a Staff Member at the International Law Journal, and a Legal Writing Teaching Assistant for Francine Alfandary.

Stella Gilliland graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2011 with a dual degree in International Affairs and Foreign Languages (Spanish and French).  While at Lewis and Clark, Stella studied abroad in Argentina and Morocco, and interned at the Voz Migrant Worker’s Rights Project in Portland, Oregon.  Before law school, Stella spent two years employed in legal work in Africa, leading tours across France, and coaching soccer in New York City.  In the summer of 2014, she was  a Leitner Summer Fellow in Nepal, where she focused on investigations into extrajudicial executions.  Stella is a staff member of the Fordham International Law Journal and Ally Chair for Fordham’s OUTLaw branch.

Olivia Gonzalez graduated from New York University in 2013 and spent this past summer working at the White House Office of Public Engagement. She previously interned at the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs working on mutual legal assistance requests and subsequently conducted research for the State Department on anti-corruption efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a member of Fordham Law Universal Justice, she participated in a fact-finding mission to the Dominican Republic to research the topic of statelessness among Haitian-born Dominicans. Her main interests in law school are international affairs, national security law, white-collar criminal law, and the laws of war.  She is a Stein Scholar and member of the International Law Journal.  

Christina Menga grew up in Cameroon and moved to the United States in 2006. She graduated with honors from the SUNY University at Albany with a degree in Political Science. As an undergraduate, she interned at the New York Civil Liberties Union where she looked into allegations made by SUNY students about Campus Police using Taser-type devices called CEDs. At Fordham, Christina is the Outreach Coordinator for the Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocacy Society. In Summer 2014, Christina interned at the Pace Women’s Justice Center’s Family Court Legal Program, representing victims of domestic violence seeking to obtain same day orders of protection. She is a member of Fordham’s Journal of Corporate & Financial Law.

Celidon Pitt graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2006 with a B.S. in English. While at Annapolis, he rowed heavyweight crew, served on Honor Staff, and edited the school’s literary magazine. After completing officer basic course and flight school, Celidon was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268, at Camp Pendleton, CA, as a CH-46E pilot from 2009 to 2013. He deployed throughout the Pacific, Horn of Africa, and Southwest Asia during that time, conducting various assault support missions. Celidon is now a staff member of the Fordham Law Review, a board member of the National Security Law Society, and a member of Students for the Education and Representation of Veterans and the Courtroom Advocates Project. He remains on active duty during law school and will serve as a Marine judge advocate after graduation.

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