College News

Macalester Junior Awarded Humanity in Action Summer Fellowship

March 27, 2014

CATEGORY: College Newswire

St. Paul, Minn.Anne Gavin, a junior from Mendota Heights, Minn., has been selected as a Fellow for the 2014 Humanity in Action Fellowship.

Humanity in Action received a record 605 applications for 40 spots in the 2014 Fellowship. Humanity in Action Fellows are selected on a highly competitive basis for their high academic standing, active participation in human rights issues and outstanding recommendations.  The American Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and represent 33 different academic institutions. Humanity in Action supports all Fellows financially for the duration of their programs, allowing for the merit-based selection of diverse applicants.

The 2014 American Fellows will join students and recent graduates from universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and Ukraine to participate in the Humanity in Action Fellowship in Europe. The Fellowship will take place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Warsaw from May 26 to June 29, 2014.

“The Humanity in Action fellowship is an exciting opportunity to be intellectually challenged by world-class academics while simultaneously motivated to action, learning how to improve our world in more ethically responsible, and hopefully effective, ways,” said Gavin.  Gavin will be posted to Amsterdam this summer.

Intensive and demanding, the Humanity in Action Fellows explore different national histories of discrimination and resistance to injustice, as well as examples of contemporary issues affecting minority groups. The objective is to promote a dialogue about understanding and responding to the challenges that democratic countries face as they become more diverse societies. The programs are also intended to instill a responsibility among Humanity in Action Fellows to recognize the need to be engaged citizens, responsible decision makers and to protect minorities and promote human rights in their own communities and around the world.

Gavin hopes that through Humanity in Action, she will create a lifelong network of friends who are passionate about human rights and that she will learn some of the tools necessary to be a positive agent for change.  

The Humanity in Action Fellowship is highly interdisciplinary and features daily lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians and activists, as well as site visits to government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, museums and memorials. The programs seek to highlight different models of action to remedy injustice relating to diverse societies.

This year’s Fellowship will end with a Humanity in Action International Conference in the border region between Germany and Denmark from June 26 through June 29, at which all Fellows from all program cities will gather. The content of this final event will focus on the treatment and status of minorities in border regions in Europe and around the world.

Since 1999, Humanity in Action has engaged more than 1,300 Fellows in its transatlantic study programs focusing on past and present human rights and minority issues. 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. Humanity in Action’s unique international network of leaders is a valuable resource to policy-makers, diplomats, educators, business leaders and civic-minded individuals and organizations.

After she graduates, Gavin hopes to eventually work in the Emergency Aid Sector.

“I recently spent time in the Za'atari Camp for Syrian refugees at the border of Syria and Jordan and was absolutely transformed by the experience,” Gavin said.  “No human being should ever have to face the trauma and atrocities that the refugees faced in Syria nor the challenges they continue to face living in the camps.  I would love to do whatever small things I can do to ease their troubles and the troubles of other displaced persons around the world.”  

Once her fellowship concludes, Gavin’s been offered a position with the United Nations in Kathmandu, Nepal doing disaster resilience with their Human Settlements Program this summer. “Nepal is at high risk for a massive, devastating earthquake and anything I could do to help there would be a phenomenal learning experience as well.”

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu.