The Amy Ostermeier Human Rights Education Fund was established in 2012 with memorial gifts from the family and friends of Amy Ostermeier ’98. The goal of the fund is to carry on Amy’s lifelong human rights work by providing opportunities that will help Macalester students better understand the critical nature of human rights issues across the globe and the role that diplomacy plays in addressing those issues. The fund supports both on- and off-campus activities.

Speakers and Other On-Campus Activities

The Ostermeier Fund was launched with an inaugural lecture in the fall of 2013. The lecture was delivered by Suzanne Nossel, executive director of the PEN American Center. The next day, Nossell joined Macalester students, faculty, and several of Amy Ostermeier’s former colleagues from the U.S. Department of State in a conversation about human rights careers.

In the fall of 2018, Macalester students had the opportunity to Skype with Ambassador Samantha Power, Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at
the Harvard Kennedy School and US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 2013-17. Ambassador Power spoke about human rights in the world today and answered a wide range of questions from Macalester students.

Each spring, the fund also supports an end-of-year celebration of human rights education at Macalester where we honor seniors who are graduating from the Human Rights and Humanitarianism concentration.

Summer Fellowships

The Ostermeier Fund also supports students in off-campus experiential learning in the area of human rights. Each year, the fund awards a small number of summer fellowships to students completing human rights-related internships at the US Department of State or at a non-profit organization. Past summer fellows include:

  • Ana Gvozdic, Post-Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia, 2019
  • Ny Ony Razafindrabe, Conseil National des Femmes de Madagascar, 2019
  • Maxine Freedman, The Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis, 2017
  • Maggie Poulos, The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, 2016
  • Merrit Stueven, Kakenya Center for Excellence, Washington, DC, 2016
  • Jillian Neuberger, 2015, United States Department of State, Washington, DC, 2015
  • Jolena Zabel, United States Department of State, Washington, DC, 2015
  • Emma Cederlund, The American Refugee Committee, Minneapolis, 2014
  • Luiza Montesanti, The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, 2014
  • Joseph Walker, The Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis, 2014

To learn more about Amy Ostermeier’s life and work and the Ostermeier Human Rights Education Fund at Macalester, go to