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2008 Fellows


From left to right: Marcus Allen, Akta Jantrania, Anayansi Rodriguez and Francesca Gibson

Marcus Allen, a native of San Diego, California, is a rising senior at American University in Washington, D.C. A member of the University’s Honors Program, he is majoring in Law and Society with a minor in Communication. Marcus is particularly interested in customary and conventional international law and the economic, political, and social impact it has on globalization. He is also interested in racial representation within the legal field, both academically and professionally. Marcus has previously interned for 2008 Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, where he assisted in coordinating the 2008 International Legal Exchange Program designed to foster a more comprehensive rule of law in China, Korea, and Japan. He currently works as a patent paralegal for the intellectual property law firm Jacobson Holman. Recently, Marcus was selected as one of ten in the nation to receive the prestigious Killam Fellowship where he will spend the fall studying at an institution in Canada. He was also recently invited into the School of Public Affairs Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma. His other achievements include becoming the Class of 2009 Student Body President, a member of the Student Government Association Senate, the Kennedy Political Union, and the College Democrats, and participating in the 2007 Moot Court Series at American University’s Washington College of Law. After graduation, Marcus plans to attend law school and focus on international, intellectual property, and civil rights law. Marcus is looking forward to working with Senior Research Professors Stephen Daniels and Joanne Martin.

Francesca Gibson
Francesca Gibson, a native of Silver Springs, Maryland,  is a rising senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. She is double majoring in Sociology and Comparative Women’s Studies and is interested in the feminization of poverty both domestically and internationally. During her time at Spelman College, Francesca has studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, served as a student ambassador for the 10,000 Girls Initiative which sent her to Senegal, West Africa, and held the position of president and founding member of the National Council of Negro Women Spelman College Chapter. Francesca is honored to serve as the 2008- 2009 Miss Spelman College where she will work to implement her platform Sisters Without Borders: Reclaiming the Essence of Sisterhood, an initiative aimed at educating the Spelman, Atlanta University Center and Greater Atlanta Community on international women’s rights issues such as female genital mutilation, female infanticide, lack of reproductive rights, and domestic violence. Francesca aspires to receive a Masters degree in Public Policy and her doctorate in Sociology. Ultimately, she would like to become a lobbyist and later return to teach at her future Alma Mater, Spelman College. She is thrilled about her ABF Fellowship and the opportunity to work alongside Research Professor  Susan Shapiro.

Akta Jantrania, a native of Springfield, Illinois, is a rising senior at Claremont McKenna College double-majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and International Relations. She currently works on campus as a research assistant for a professor of the Department of Government and as a tutor for the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; additionally, she is a Student Justice on the CMC Judiciary Board and enjoys volunteering. Recently, Akta spent a semester in Paris, taking classes at the Sorbonne and interning with the Premier Minister of Relations with the Parliament. Through the sponsorship of the McKenna International Summer Internship Program, she spent the summer of 2007 working in the tribal villages of the Bharuch District in Gujarat, India at the Society for Education Welfare and Action (SEWA)-Rural. This internship enabled her to interact with Adivasi, or Scheduled Tribe, children and their families, providing her unique perspective into their social, political and economic marginalization. Her experiences both in and out of the classroom have stoked her interests in the fields of international law and development, but her future career plans are to be determined in law school, which she plans on attending upon graduation from CMC. Akta is looking forward to working with Research Professor John Hagan for the duration of her summer fellowship.

Anayansi Rodriguez, a native of La Habana, Cuba, migrated to the United States eight years ago. She is a rising senior at Duke University, North Carolina where she is double majoring in Political Science and History. She is also pursuing a minor in Spanish in the hopes of retaining her native language. Anayansi is interested in political theory, international law, social justice and human rights. However, Anayansi's own experience as an immigrant has made her passionate about the social, cultural, economic and legal hindrances that immigrant groups face in the United States, especially Hispanic immigrants.  Thus, once she attains her desired law degree, she plans to focus on providing legal assistance to immigrants in the quest to attain economic and social justice for this particular group. She is also an active member of numerous organizations at Duke University such as Visual Arts Committee, Relay for Life Committee, College Connections and Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. Additionally, she holds the position of volunteer coordinator in Students for Choice, where she helps promote women’s sexual health and education. Anayansi is looking forward to the opportunity this fellowship will offer her to work with dedicated individuals who share her admiration and respect for justice and the law and will encourage and enhance her desire to achieve her goals in the future. During the course of her summer fellowship, Anayansi will be working with Research Professor Robert Nelson.

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