The Leitner Center Announces the 2021-22 Class of Crowley Scholars

The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice is proud to announce the 2021-22 Crowley Scholars, marking the 24th class of Fordham Law students to engage in rigorous, hands-on training in international human rights advocacy since the Crowley Program in International Human Rights was first established in 1997. This year, a team of nine Crowley Scholars will engage in projects related to the theme: Protecting Lawyering and Protest in Closed Societies.

2021 Crowley Scholars

Georgianna Bonondona graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Human Rights and Religious Studies. Between her undergraduate studies and beginning law school she interned with Senator Gillibrand’s office working as a liaison between constituents and federal agencies. She also worked to create The Testing Project, an organization that advocated for free, frequent, and accessible Covid-19 Testing for all essential workers.  This past summer, she interned with the Legal Aid Society in their Staten Island Housing Unit. At Fordham law, Georgianna serves as the Speaker and Symposium chair of OUTlaws and is a staff member of the Environmental Law Journal.



Joshua Lee graduated from Denison University in 2020, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Black Studies & Spanish. During his undergraduate studies, Josh worked as a legal intern for two organizations, conducting research on issues related to immigrant and LGBTQ+ rights. Before attending law school, Josh also studied abroad in the Dominican Republic where his passion for international human rights law grew. This past summer, he interned at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti in their New York Office and worked as a research assistant where he researched legal issues related to racial and gender inequality resulting from Covid-19. At Fordham Law, Josh serves as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chair of the Black Law Students Association, Secretary for Fordham First Generation Students and a staff member of the Urban Law Journal.

Elise Loughran graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2016 with a B.A. in Foreign Languages, and a minor in Religious Studies.  As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant, documenting the history of Russian-Jewish Immigration to Oregon. She also studied abroad in both St. Petersburg, Russia, and Strasbourg, France. After graduation, Elise interned at the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs where she assisted with programs such as Global Vision Urban Action and CL2G (Connecting Local to Global). Additionally, she has worked as a Practice Assistant at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and volunteered as a Citizen Coach at Make the Road NYC. This past summer, Elise interned with Catholic Charities’ Unaccompanied Minors Program where she worked on Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and Adjustment of Status cases. At Fordham, Elise is a staff member of the International Law Journal and co-chair of the Immigration Advocacy Project.

Patrick Murphy graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2017, where he earned a B.A. in History, with a minor in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology. During his undergraduate studies, Patrick wrote his History senior paper on the Citizenship Clause of the Constitution, and how it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. After receiving his degree, Patrick worked as a paralegal at Dechert LLP in Philadelphia, which included work on pro bono cases involving landlord-tenant disputes. This past summer, he interned in the Immigration Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society, working mostly on asylum cases. At Fordham Law, he is a staff member of the International Law Journal and is the Treasurer of IRAP Fordham. 

Jamie O’Neill graduated from the Ohio State University in 2020 with a B.S. in Political Science, specializing in data visualization and statistical methodology. At Ohio State, she worked on a variety of international relations research projects, but focused predominantly in her undergraduate thesis on understanding how ethnic and cultural identities impact politics and insurgency formation in Latin and South America. Prior to law school, she was also a legal intern at a family law practice and then volunteered with a pro bono firm focused on giving legal advice to domestic abuse victims. This past summer, Jamie worked as a summer law clerk at Wade Clark Mulcahy assisting with cases relating to insurance coverage litigation. At Fordham, Jamie is also a staff member on the Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal.


Akosua Opong-Wiredu graduated from American University in 2018 where she studied Law & Society, International Relations, and was a Politics, Policy, & Law Three-Year Scholar. While there, Akosua worked as a legislative intern at the Drug Policy Alliance advocating for the end of mass incarceration of Black people due to the War on Drugs and at the Fund for Global Health advocating for increased federal funding for tuberculosis treatment in developing countries. Akosua also studied abroad in Chengdu, China where she studied Mandarin, took courses on human trafficking and international criminal organizations, and interned at Tahota Law Firm. After graduating, she worked as a Litigation Legal Assistant at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP where she worked on several pro bono cases—from asylum requests to assisting the National Law Center on Homelessness’ COVID-19 response team. This past summer, Akosua interned at the New York City Commission on Human Rights in the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau and in the fall, she will be interning with the New York Civil Liberties Union. At Fordham Law, Akosua is a Stein Scholar, the Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association, a Board Student Advisor, a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of the Dispute Resolution Society as a competitor on the VIS arbitration team.

Fernando Ramos graduated from Tulane University in 2015, where he earned a dual degree in International Development and Public Health.  During his undergraduate studies, Fernando was a Research Assistant for the Executive Director of the Payson Center for International Development and studied abroad with the International Centre for Migration, Health, and Development in Geneva, Switzerland.  Prior to attending law school, Fernando worked for five years at the highest level of Democratic Politics serving as a Deputy Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) before serving as the Political Director for Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7).  This past summer, he worked as a Summer Associate at the Puerto Rico-based boutique litigation firm, Casellas Alcover & Burgos, P.S.C.  At Fordham Law, Fernando serves as LALSA Co-Alumni Chair, Policy Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, and is an Advisory Board member for Bushwick Ayuda Mutua, Blue Future, and Fordham’s Workers’ Rights Advocates.


Leila Witcher graduated from Fordham College at Rose Hill in 2020, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and Middle East Studies with a minor in Arabic. During her time at Fordham, she was Vice President of Every Vote Counts, a voting rights organization she helped create that engages in civic advocacy and education on and off campus. She also spent the semester in Copenhagen, Denmark studying International Humanitarian Law and traveling to Kosovo to learn more about the Yugoslav Wars. At Fordham Law, Leila is a staff member of the Fordham International Law Journal, a team member of the Dispute Resolution CPR International Mediation Team, and Secretary of the Immigration Advocacy Project. This summer, Leila is working as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Loretta A. Preska of the Southern District of New York and as a research assistant for Professor Pamela Bookman.


Avery Wolff graduated from Vassar College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies, specializing in Political Science and History. After college, Avery worked for five years as an elementary school administrator in Brooklyn. Before starting law school, he additionally served as an organizer for a Congressional campaign, interned at the International Rescue Committee, and was a paralegal at a plaintiff-side antitrust firm. At Fordham Law, Avery is Stein Scholar, a staffer on the Urban Law Journal, and serves as a board member for Fordham’s National Lawyers Guild Chapter and the Immigration Advocacy Project. This past summer, Avery worked for Legal Aid NYC’s Immigration Law Unit, focusing on removal defense. 

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Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
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Faculty and Staff
Tracy Higgins
Professor of Law
Co-Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
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