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UGA Honors student and recent alumna to participate in Humanity in Action programs

Rodriguez-Boren Scholar-v.portrait
John Esteban Rodriguez of Guyton

Athens, Ga. – One University of Georgia student will travel to Europe, while a recent graduate will participate in a new Atlanta fellowship through Humanity in Action, an international educational organization that brings students from two continents together to explore global humanitarian issues.

Honors student John Esteban Rodriguez is one of 43 American college students chosen to participate in the international Humanity in Action Fellowship, a travel abroad experience that brings together students from two continents to explore global humanitarian issues.

Rodriquez, a fourth-year student pursuing dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, will join students and recent graduates from American and European universities for the summer program, which takes place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Warsaw.

Lauren Anderson, who received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs in 2013 and currently works as chief of staff for Georgia Rep. Spencer Frye, has been chosen for the inaugural John Lewis Fellowship, a newly created HIA program in partnership with The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Anderson, a Macon native who will begin Ph.D. coursework at the University of California-Irvine in the fall, will join participants from seven European countries and the U.S. for the monthlong program in Atlanta, which will focus on civil rights and diversity issues highlighted in recent events.

“Both John and Lauren are ardent advocates for inclusion,” said Jessica Hunt, major scholarships coordinator in the Honors Program. “The Humanity in Action Fellowship will provide them with the ideal forum for exploring strategies that promote human dignity and encourage active citizenship.”

Humanity in Action seeks to give students insight into global models related to mitigating injustices in diverse societies. The program features daily lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians and activists, as well as site visits to government agencies, nonprofit and community organizations, museums and memorials.

Rodriguez’s fellowship begins with an orientation May 25-28 in Washington, D.C., focusing on American civil rights, Holocaust education and European security and political issues, and it closes at the Sixth Annual Humanity in Action International Conference at The Hague in the Netherlands from June 25-28, where the 2015 Fellows from around the world will convene to explore the city’s approach to international peace, justice and reconciliation.

Selected from a record 688 applicants from across the country, the American Humanity in Action Fellows were chosen based on their academic standing, active participation in human rights issues and recommendations.

Rodriguez, who is from Guyton, spent a year in Amman, Jordan, through a Boren Scholarship, where he interned and studied legal obstacles faced by Syrian refugees. He is active in the Roosevelt Institute, a student-run campus think tank sponsored by the Honors Program, where he studied multiculturalism and the Middle East. He also traveled to Brazil through a UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities summer fellowship, where he conducted anthropological research related to food security. Rodriguez’s plans include studying continental philosophy in Europe prior to pursuing a doctorate in critical theory.

Humanity in Action is an international nonprofit organization that has engaged more than 1,500 Fellows in its transatlantic study programs focusing on human rights and minority issues in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.S. Humanity in Action Fellows have used the knowledge gained in the programs and inspiration from one another to make a difference in public service, journalism, medicine, law, education, the arts, business and grassroots action.