Fall 2014 Interns
Sampson Oppedisano is a senior at SUNY New Paltz majoring in international relations and Asian studies. He interned with the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, a network of organizations which play a crucial role in informing NGOs and civil society on the status of negotiations and country positions within the fields of disarmament, peace, and security. The committee is comprised of more than 30 different organizations, all of which lend their expertise and resources for their common work. Acting as both an intern and youth representative, Sampson held a variety of responsibilities, from planning events and researching fundraising opportunities to organizing a program to expose local students to the United Nations through briefings. He also frequently attended UN conferences as a note taker for his supervisors and has contributed to the First Committee Monitor, a collaborative publication created to increase the transparency and accessibility of the First Committee of the UN's work. He attended the opening of the UN General Assembly, where UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and many heads of state spoke, including U.S. President Barack Obama.
Julia Mizutani, a junior international relations major with a double minor in French and environmental studies at SUNY Geneseo, spent the fall 2014 semester working as an intern for the Center for Reproductive Rights. Prior to studying at Geneseo, she spent a year volunteering for an NGO in Zimbabwe, Africa. The experience pushed her to gain more tangible skills in addition to academic knowledge by interning in Uganda in summer 2013, and now for the Center for Reproductive Rights in their global legal program.
As an intern for the Center for Reproductive Rights, she worked with international lawyers to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. The Center for Reproductive Rights uses legal advocacy to bring cases before national courts, international courts, United Nations committees, and regional human rights bodies. During her time working for the global legal program, she reviewed shadow letters and wrote cover letters for various UN and regional committees to review human rights violations in countries such as Nepal and Uganda, researched abortion laws across the globe, created databases for UN contacts, and researched the link between maternal mortality rates and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
Justin Kalin, an accounting major from SUNY Binghamton, worked with Human Rights First on the development team. Human Rights First is an independent advocacy organization challenging the U.S government and private companies to uphold human rights and the rule of law. Its initiatives protect refugees who flee persecution, victims of crimes against humanity or other mass human rights violations, victims of discrimination, those whose rights are eroded in the name of national security, and human rights advocates who are targeted for defending the rights of others. As a development intern, Justin provided support for fundraising efforts that involve major donors, foundations, and corporate law firms. Along with prospect research and the reporting of commitments made to foundations, he participated in donor calls and communications meetings to best serve the organization's programming needs. He also helped with the 2014 Human Rights First Award Dinner.
Kasper Garlicki and Alison Kilrain
Kasper Garlicki and Alison Kilrain both interned at the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), an organization with a 96-year history. The FPA's goal is to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues.
Kasper, majoring in international relations at SUNY New Paltz, worked as an events department intern. He assisted the president of the FPA in planning different conferences, task forces, and other events held throughout the year. He was involved in their annual World Leadership Forum. Task forces are shorter events designed to spread awareness of growing issues that affect the world. He helped plan events on climate change and America's role on the international stage.
Alison is a senior in the political science department at SUNY New Paltz, with a focus in international relations. She worked at the FPA as an executive office intern. She focused on education, event planning, and social media management. The FPA publishes a yearly magazine entitled Great Decision, which helps to educate the American public on leading foreign policy issues and promote discussion. The FPA holds various events throughout the year that are focused on the topics of great decisions. Alison worked to design the topics of the discussion for the lecture, locate venues and panelists for these events, and advertise these events to FPA members and students.
Both Kasper and Alison helped to organize and execute high profile speaker events. They have heard from such persons as Professor Stephen Sestanovich, the Premier of Quebec Phillippe Couillard, and former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.
Jasmine Laudato-Hufalar is a senior in politics, philosophy, and law (PPL) at SUNY Binghamton. Her interest in Philippine-U.S. relations led her to an internship with Damayan Migrant Workers Association. Damayan means "to help each other" in Filipino, and this grassroots organization is a resource for Filipino domestic workers who live and work in the New York/tri-state area. Damayan advocates for fair labor standards and rights for non-national domestic workers who have been excluded from existing labor laws. During the course of her internship, Jasmine was deeply involved in Damayan's BAKLAS ("Break free" in Filipino) Campaign to stop labor trafficking of Filipino domestic workers. She also had the opportunity to work with her supervisor, the case manager, to help domestic workers file cases against their employers for labor violations such as unpaid overtime and abrupt termination and to connect them to a network of pro-bono legal services. In addition, her daily responsibilities consisted of updating social media platforms and conducting outreach to members.
Hajera Siddiq is a senior studying science, technology, and society at SUNY Farmingdale. She interned with the Clinton Foundation, which works on international and national issues by building partnerships between business, NGOs, governments, and individuals to find sustainable and long-lasting solutions. She interned with the organizational development department, where she helped foster collaboration, coordination, and information sharing among the foundation's programs, initiatives, and departments. She helped with projects that enhance organizational culture, ensure streamlined processes, and increase transparency across the Foundation. Hajera also assisted in the scheduling and logistical aspects of major Foundation intern trips, activities, and events.
Adam Repose, a senior double majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish, served as an intern and youth representative at the Earth Child Institute. Earth Child Institute (ECI) is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to the preservation of the environment through the education of children. As a UN youth representative, Adam attended UN briefings and conferences to advocate for ECI and to network with like-minded organizations. At the ECI office, he was a part of the process of creating potential partnerships with other NGOs from all over the world. He also worked on grant applications, mainly focusing on projects in Africa and Latin America, to ensure future funding and helped with budgetary matters for a water school project in Brazil and a tree planting campaign in Africa.
Brian Campbell is a senior majoring in International Relations with two minors in Disaster Studies and Law. Brian worked as a communications intern at Physicians for Human Rights this past fall. Physicians for Human Rights is an advocacy organization that uses medicine and science to document and call attention to mass atrocities and severe human rights atrocities. He worked closely with his supervisors, conducting research on the Syrian Civil War, persecution of the Rohingya in Burma, and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, drafting press releases, writing blog posts, contacting journalists, and promoting PHR's online presence. His research was used regularly by PHR for social media purposes and to inform PHR's advocacy work. He also helped edit and reformat PHR's online forensics evaluation course, which medical personnel use to learn about examining mass graves for signs of torture or other human rights violations. This experience confirmed his desire to pursue a career related to advocating human rights globally.
Nikki-Laren Quant, a French and political science major, interned with Girl Rising as an Engage intern. Girl Rising is a start up non-profit that uses a film they created to advocate for the global movement to give every girl an education.The Girl Rising film journeys around the globe to show that educating a girl can change the world. With the support of USAID, Girl Rising has launched the Engage Campaign in India, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria. Nikki's interests in development and education and her study abroad experience in France have led her to this position. Working with the Engage team, Nikki's projects have ranged from doing research on potential domestic NGO partnerships in Nigeria to translating French documents into English for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fall 2013 Interns
Kate Boehler, an economics and French major from SUNY Cortland, interned at The Adventure Project (TAP) as an accounting/bookkeeping intern. She enjoyed working for TAP in a collective incubator, the Center for Social Innovation. Kate's experience as the student activities board treasurer on her campus led her to this internship. TAP is a start-up nonprofit designed to "add venture" to support entrepreneurs in developing countries. It brings together people determined to create jobs in developing countries and works on issues related to health, water, environment, and hunger. In 2012, TAP's effort impacted over 500,000 people around the world. Kate has been responsible for entering all donations, purchases, and bank transfers into the accounting software program each week. She assisted in creating the annual report for the organization by working on the public financial report for the organization. She met with the organization's CPA a couple of times each month to make sure that everything was accurate, and carried the overall financial records of the organization.
Monica Farrel and Gregory Blitstein
Gregory Blitstein and Monica Farrel both interned at the Foreign Policy Association, an organization with a 95-year history. The FPA aims to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues.
Gregory, a double major in political science and Spanish from SUNY Buffalo, worked as an events department intern at the Foreign Policy Association. He assisted the president of FPA with coordinating and planning conferences, task forces, and other events held throughout the year. Task forces are shorter events designed to spread awareness of growing issues that affect the world. He helped plan a Task Force event on Climate Change and Global Conflict.
Monica was a junior international relations major when she worked at the FPA as an executive office intern. She focused on education, event planning, and social media management. The FPA publishes a yearly magazine entitled Great Decisions, which aims to educate Americans about the eight most pressing foreign policy issues of the year. The Foreign Policy Association holds various events throughout the year that are focused upon the topics of great decisions. Monica worked to design the topics of discussion for the lectures, locate venues and panelists for these events, and advertise these events to FPA members and students. Every year the FPA holds a Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute to help promote education about foreign policy in high schools across the nation. Monica was responsible for maintaining contact with the teachers of the institute and provided resources for them to educate their students.
Both Greg and Monica helped organize and participate in high profile speaker events. They have heard from such academics as Francis Fukuyama. They also invited the GEP students to participate in an event where they heard from the UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.
Alexander Elmasri is a senior in international relations at SUNY New Paltz. He interned with the Program Department at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the initiative of the Clinton Foundation that convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. He helped fellows in this department develop the content for all CGI meetings, including creating the meeting schedules, format and session topics, as well as the selection and recruitment of moderators and panelists. As a program intern, he was also responsible with aiding the department with day-to-day management of all program related matters. The first activity in which he participated was the CGI annual meeting which coincides with the opening of the UN and hosts some of the world's most powerful government officials, including U.S. President Barack Obama. Alex got to meet with President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton as they prepared for the next year's program.
Nadine Ahrabi-Nejad, a marketing senior at SUNY New Paltz, interned at the membership department of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF is an international medical humanitarian aid organization that provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. As a marketing intern at MSF, Nadine worked closely with the direct marketing associate for creative and production on a variety of marketing tactics aimed at reaching donors all across the U.S. She assisted in direct mail activities, email marketing, and logistical work behind fundraising events including the LA Marathon and the New York City Marathon. She worked on tracking donor giving behavior, as well as conducting analysis of industry marketing materials and trends.
She also participated in weekly brown bag lunches at the organization where she heard from doctors returning from the field such as Ethiopia and Syria and other relevant information about the humanitarian work of the organization. Nadine conducted a comparative research project where she surveyed different MSF branches in exploring donor behavior globally.
Keith Uffer, an international relations major, interned at the United Nations Association of the USA, Southern NYS Division. The UNA-USA is an association dedicated to building understanding of the UN and supports the ideals and vital work of the UN among the American people. They do this by their education and advocacy programs which stress the importance of nations working together and the need for U.S. leadership at the UN. Keith worked on organizing and judging a video contest in which middle school students and high school students based on the "world they want." He also was involved in expanding UNA-USA's outreach over social networking sites. UNA-USA is leading the civil society consultations on the Post 2015 agenda for the Millennium Development Goals in the United States. Keith helped plan and coordinate a major consultation event where the GEP students were also invited to participate. The results of these consultations will later be shared with by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Keith also organized the Human Rights Day Event, which took place at the Eleanor Roosevelt library in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Dilrupa Haque was a senior in international relations at SUNY New Paltz when she interned at the International Institute for Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), a research and training center affiliated with Fordham University. The IIHA offers a professionalization opportunity through degrees for people with several years of experience in the field of humanitarian affairs. This internship was perfect for Dilrup, who wants to go into this field. She was able to hear first-hand insights into the field of humanitarian affairs. The center offers great resources for those who are in the field of humanitarian affairs to professionalize through courses designed for people who are already in the field. Dilrupa confirmed that her future lies in this field through this internship.
Ricardo A. Hernandez, Jr.
Ricardo A. Hernandez Jr. was a double major in political science and journalism when he served as a communications intern at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), an organization dedicated to ending discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. He created multimedia for the organization using video editing software. He also wrote press releases and media advisories about upcoming projects, as well as studies and events for the organization. He monitored IGLHRC in the news and conducted research on LGBT human rights violations in selected regions. He aided in the creation of a manual to help LGBT activists in Iran. His editorial on a historic UN event was published on line. This event held at the UN with 10 foreign ministers including Secretary of State John Kerry was an unprecedented meeting to address violence and discrimination against LGBT people around the world. He helped organize and host a delegation of international activists and visitors from around the world for meetings at the UN around the Dec. 10 Human Rights day.
Christiana Nicolaou was an international business major at SUNY New Paltz when she interned at the New York City Mayor's Office for International Affairs in the Division for International Business. The division aids foreign companies in establishing operations in New York City. At the mayor's office, she was able to observe companies intending to launch their businesses in one of the most competitive cities in the world and ultimately understand the obstacles and opportunities in conducting business globally. She was also responsible for keeping the international business directory and events calendar accurate and up to date. Christiana worked on a project exploring the programs initiated by the government of New York City in comparison to other globally competitive cities around the world in attracting technology related businesses.
Jennifer Vanriper, a senior in international relations, interned at the Humpty Dumpty Institute as a part of the Higher Education Alliance team. The Humpty Dumpty Institute is an NGO dedicated to "putting the pieces back together." The HDI was formed after its founders traveled around the world, witnessed things falling apart in places such as post-genocide Rwanda, and decided to take action. Today, the organization runs diplomatic and large-scale humanitarian projects around the world. These include strengthening US-UN relations, removing land mines for post-conflict areas, and promoting healthcare and food security in developing nations. The Higher Education Alliance department where Jennifer worked connects higher education institutions with the UN in order to raise awareness. Jennifer helped organize events on different campuses related to Peace and Security, Human Rights, Sustainable Development, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. She helped put together contact information and calendars, publicity, and social media. She also helped HDI organize their speaker database.
Caitlin O'Donnell interned at the global legal program of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organization dedicated to expanding reproductive freedom for women around the world. The Center works to expand access to quality, safe, and affordable reproductive health care. As an intern, she supported the work of the global legal program's team of legal advisors, fellows, program associates, and legal assistants. Her projects ranged from doing research and fact checking on world abortion laws to creating and organizing databases for communication and outreach purposes. She was able to attend both center wide staff meetings and meetings for the Global Legal Program specifically.
Cecilia Stein was a senior in international relations when she interned at the clerk's office of the United States Court of International Trade, which was established in 1980 to oversee all legal cases arising out of international trade policy in the U.S. Cecelia helped write a memo on the change of rules of the court's advisory committee. She also worked on the law library court archives, and preparing for an investiture ceremony for two new judges appointed the court. She was responsible for helping write the chief justices' speech at the investiture ceremony. She gained tools for legal research working with a judge half the semester. She also had the opportunity to attend court hearings and meet one on one with other judges to gain insight on how the work of the court impacts the globalized economy.