2015-2016 Global Human Rights Scholars
Michael Bleggi is a junior is pursuing majors in Political Science, International Comparative Studies and a minor in Economics. He is interested in applying culturally relevant business strategies to addressing human rights concerns. During his time at Duke, Michael has been involved in multiple research initiatives and labs, including the Center for Advanced Hindsight, which focuses through the lens of behavioral economics. During the past two summers thanks to the Duke Dean’s Summer initiative and an independent DukeEngage, he has worked for an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, India, as a teacher, gender equality advocate and business analyst. Michael hopes to work with NGO development and relationships, from government to the private sector, in the near future, in order to tackle pressing human rights concerns. In his free time, he likes to run, hike, talk with strangers and explore new places.
Ekim Buyuk is a freshman, pursuing a major and minor in a combination of Economics, Statistics and the Computer Sciences. Born in Turkey, she moved to New York at the age of 5. She believes that there is a pretty even split between the two worlds in regards to her upbringing and subsequent cultural values. Ekim is interested in studying the effects of different levels of education on the development of kids in developing and how that eventually affects that country’s economic development. She is also interested in cost-benefit analyses and believes strongly in the importance of effective money allocation in the non-profit sector. In her free time, she enjoys teaching, volunteering, and playing ultimate frisbee and tennis.
Rinzin Dorjee is a junior, pursuing a double major in International Comparative Studies (Europe), and Italian and European Studies (French and Italian), with a certificate in Markets and Management Studies. During his freshman year at Duke, he co-founded the civic engagement organization, ‘With Love From Duke’ to empower orphaned refugee children in India and connect them to Duke students studying refugee and resettlement policies. Rinzin grew up in Refugee Camp no. 4 in Orissa, India and came to the US to attend university after completing his I.B. diploma in the UK. He is interested in learning and working on issues related to statelessness, forced migration and global politics, international refugee protection, and asylum procedure. He is currently doing an independent research study on forced migration, resettlement/relocation and integration of refugees in the E.U. and is especially interested in the political economy of the refugee burden-sharing in the E.U. and the working towards a common European asylum system.
Bochen Han is a Political Science and International Comparative Studies major from Ontario, Canada. At Duke, she is the President of the Duke East Asia Nexus. She co-directed the 2015 Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit, and has taught at a school for migrant children in Beijing with DukeEngage. This past summer she worked at an Oxfam shop while studying abroad at Oxford University and attended The Third Hague Peace Conference in Den Haag, Netherlands. All her experiences so far have solidified her interest in researching humanitarian intervention issues in the Asia Pacific. In her free time, she writes for the international affairs magazine The Diplomat and enjoys meeting new people.
Ebony Hargro is a sophomore who loves writing and laughter. She is majoring in International Comparative Studies (with a concentration in Francophone African Studies), minoring in French Studies, and hopes to obtain a certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies. She is passionate about race, gender, and economic equality broadly, but has a particular interest in studying migration, the African diaspora, refugee resettlement rights, and the question of how place can shape the meaning of race.
Kalif Jeremiah is a freshman, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In high school he played football every year and picked up track his senior year. In addition, he participated in student government for all four years, in varying roles: from class representative to grade president. In his final year he helped to pioneer and lead his school’s first male step team as co-captain. In the classroom, Kalif gravitated closer to the humanities over time, finding a new passion in poetry and spoken word. Far from his original plan to become an engineer, his current track leads toward a career as a lawyer.
Coleman Kraemer is a freshman from Bronxville, NY who attended Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx. At home, he enjoys reading theological books and working at a cheese shop. He works at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and is involved in Visions for Interfaith Action and Cru. He began to understand the challenges of human rights this past year while traveling on the Kivu Gap Year, which is an eight month facilitated gap year with internships at six global destinations, living in Denver, the Philippians, Tanzania, Rwanda, Israel, and Jordan.
Laura Roberts is a senior from Dallas, Texas majoring in History and double minoring in Religion and Political Science. Outside of class, she is involved with Duke International Relations Association, WISER, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the undergraduate Student Advisory Board at the Duke Human Rights Center. Her specific interests in human rights concern women’s rights and international law.
Amulya Vadapalli is a freshman considering a Public Policy major, and a decision sciences certificate. She grew up in and around Asia and North America, and currently lives in Thailand. Her human rights interests lie primarily in women’s rights in developing countries, a product of her community work in India. She can most often be found in her room listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and watching The Good Wife.
Jenna Zhang is a junior studying Political Science and English. A DukeEngage, Cape Town alum, she returned to South Africa last summer to conduct research for her senior thesis on political reconciliation. Her hobbies include reading, taking long walks, and learning non-extant languages. Someday, she would like to go continue going to school and own a gramophone.