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Leitner law center news
2010-2011 Crowley Scholars in International Human Rights

Stephanie Baez Stephanie graduated from the University of Southern California in 2009 with a dual degree in Political Science and Spanish. While in college, Stephanie pursued her interest in international affairs by studying Spanish language and literature in Madrid and interning for the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. During the summer of 2007, Stephanie interned for Senator Harry Reid, researching issues affecting Hispanic and Latino youth. She then moved to South America for a year, where she studied the political history of Chile and Argentina, interned for an international law firm in Buenos Aires, and re-built homes after an 8.0 earthquake devastated the town of Pisco, Peru.

During her first year at Fordham, Stephanie was a competitor on the Dispute Resolution Society Mediation Team. As a board member of Universal Jurisdiction, she traveled to Nicaragua for two weeks to investigate human rights conditions. She then returned to Nicaragua as a Leitner Fellow in the summer after her 1L year, where she helped implement a rural mediation program and researched the relationship between land rights and human rights. Stephanie is a board member of the Global Law Society and a staff member of the Fordham Law Review.

Bridgette Dunlap Bridgette earned a B.F.A. with honors from New York University, where she studied Drama and Comparative Literature. Through NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she studied acting at the Atlantic Theater Company and alternative theater and folk drama with the Sfumato Theatre in Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. Bridgette went on to direct plays for Off-Off Broadway theater companies, colleges, and theater festivals. She is a founding member of the Ateh Theater Group, for whom she wrote and directed five productions adapted from fantastic and surreal stories centered on female characters. Bridgette has taught acting at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, as well as in programs for public school students, children living in homeless and domestic violence shelters, and teens with criminal histories.

From 2005 to 2008, Bridgette served as the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Services liaison to The New York Times Neediest Cases Campaign. She profiled individuals struggling with poverty and disability for submission to The Times annual series, which raises funds for social service organizations. At Fordham, Bridgette is involved with the Domestic Violence Action Center’s Courtroom Advocate Program, Amnesty International, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and the Housing Advocacy Project. Bridgette is also a board member of Farm to Fordham, a new group focused on legal and economic issues affecting food; F2F founded Fordham’s Community Supported Agriculture co-op, which brings produce from an upstate farm to Fordham members, and built a rooftop vegetable garden in partnership with members of our local community.

Haseeb Fatmi Haseeb graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science and International Studies with a concentration on Human Rights in West Africa. He published two honors theses, the first analyzing the relationship between political stability, demographics, and modernization globally for the past fifty years; the second analyzed human rights abuses against women and children in Ghana. While at UNC, Haseeb spent a summer in Ghana as a volunteer elementary school teacher, working at an orphanage, and volunteering with USAID and giving HIV/AIDS seminars in local villages while studying human rights abuses against women and children. He helped start UNC Aasha, a student organization dedicated to awareness and humanitarian assistance for families in Bangladesh through donations and microfinance. He also started the UNC Ghana Project, a charity to raise money to rebuild an orphanage in Ghana after it was shut down.

At Fordham Law School, Haseeb is a board member of the Domestic Violence Action Committee and spent his first summer interning in the Domestic Violence Bureau of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. He also worked with the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice researching accountability mechanisms in aid efforts after the earthquake in Haiti.

Alexandra Rizio Alexandra graduated with honors from Columbia University in 2006, where she majored in English and Comparative Literature and completed a special concentration in Human Rights.  After graduation, Alex interned for the UN’s International Labor Organization in Bangkok, Thailand, where she helped develop HIV-prevention education programs for use in the workplace. As a result of her research, Alex co-authored “Overcoming a Taboo for HIV Education in the Workplace: Mainstreaming Issues of Relevance for Men Who Have Sex with Men,” which was published in Oxford University Press’s Journal of Human Rights Practice in July 2009. After returning to New York, Alex served as a staff member for the International Center for Transitional Justice and volunteered as a caseworker for the Refugee and Immigrant Fund.

At Fordham Law School, Alex is a Stein Scholar in Public Interest, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Farm to Fordham, and a staff member of the Fordham International Law Journal. As a Leitner intern during the summer of 2010, Alex worked for MAP Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a local NGO that works to empower Burmese migrant communities living in Thailand. As part of the reporting cycle for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, she helped draft a shadow report that focuses on the situation of Burmese migrant women in Thailand.

Diana Schaffner Diana received her B.A. in History from Vassar College in 2007.  After graduation, she spent over a year on a Fulbright fellowship researching the interactions between customary and national legal systems in Sana’a, Yemen, and Muscat, Oman. Upon completing her Fulbright, Diana ran a marathon to raise money for a mobile reproductive health clinic in Yemen and worked in a disability advocacy firm in New York City before interning with Save the Children in Amman, Jordan, the summer before law school.

At Fordham, Diana is a board member of the Disaster Relief Network (DRN) and a staff member of the International Law Journal. She spent her 1L summer as a Leitner Fellow with the Resettlement Legal Aid Project (RLAP) at St. Andrew’s Refugee Services in Cairo. At RLAP, Diana helped refugees (mostly Iraqi, Eritrean, and Sudanese) who have faced severe challenges in Egypt apply for resettlement in a safe third country.

Nitzan Sternberg Nitzan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 with a B.A. in Economics, French Studies, and Communication.  Her French Honors Thesis, which used coverage of female presidential candidates to analyze the gender stereotypes present in American and European newspapers, was awarded the Clifton C. Cherpack Award.  At Penn, Nitzan chaired the Student Committee for Undergraduate Education’s Advising Committee, working closely with University officials to develop a new undergraduate advising system and producing a guide to undergraduate life and student resources. After graduating, Nitzan studied Spanish in Argentina and Chile, and Arabic in Israel.  She also worked for Keshet Eilon, an Israeli non-profit organization that brings together talented musicians from around the world.

After her 1L year, Nitzan was a Leitner Fellow at Lutheran Social Services of New York, preparing asylum cases and providing immigration legal assistance.  She also participated in a legal clinic serving the Haitian community displaced by the January 2010 earthquake.  At Fordham, Nitzan is a staff member on the Urban Law Journal and a member of Amnesty International and Consumer Law Advocates.

John Tschirgi John earned a B.A.H. in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada in 2005. While at Queen’s, he coordinated inmate advocacy programs at Collins Bay Penitentiary and developed sports leadership programs in indigenous communities in northern Quebec. After graduation, he spent three years working as a New York City Teaching Fellow in a high school in the Bronx while earning an M.S. in Education.

During his first year at Fordham, John interned with the Legal Aid Society Prisoners Rights Project, helping monitor staff use-of-force incidents against inmates at Rikers Island. He also traveled to Nicaragua on a human rights fact-finding mission with the student group Universal Jurisdiction. After his 1L year, John returned to Nicaragua as a Leitner Fellow, where he helped launch a conflict resolution program in rural communities, while also researching issues related to the Agrarian Reform and the interplay between land rights and human rights. John is a staff member of the Fordham Law Review, a Legal Writing Program Teaching Assistant, and a board member of Universal Jurisdiction.

Mike Zimmerman Mike graduated with a B.A. in American Government from Wesleyan University in 2008. While at Wesleyan, he interned at Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate, spending much of his time working directly with minors incarcerated in maximum security adult prisons. After college, Mike moved to Gwangju, South Korea, where he received a Princeton in Asia fellowship to teach high school English and psychology. As coordinator of the school’s community outreach team, he organized one of the first Habitat for Humanity programs in southwestern Korea. 

A native Vermonter, Mike has become deeply involved in environmental justice since moving to New York. He is a Stein Scholar for the Public Interest, a staff member on Fordham’s Environmental Law Review, and an Environmental Law Advocates board member. Early in law school he founded Farm to Fordham, an agricultural cooperative among local organic farms, soup kitchens, community and religious groups, and Fordham University. Mike spent the summer after his first year of law school at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s international compliance division.

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