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2009 Fellows







From left to right: Gabriela Jara, Alana Kirkland, Cara McClellan and Amin Montgomery. 

Gabriela Jara, a native of Long Island, New York, is a rising senior at Columbia University in New York City where she is majoring in Political Science with a special concentration in Human Rights. Her junior year has been spent abroad in the United Kingdom, reading Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Oxford University. Gabriela has previously interned for the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF/FIMI), an NGO that works internationally to address the status of native populations and the need for political and social equality. In the past, Gabriela worked as a research assistant for a professor at Columbia’s History Department and has volunteered as an SAT math tutor for high school juniors in Harlem. Additionally, she held the post of co-editor for the Columbia Daily Spectator’s Spanish supplement, La Página, the only Spanish newspaper available to residents of the Morningside Heights-Harlem neighbourhood. In the immediate future, Gabriela hopes to combine her interests in international law, human rights, and diplomacy to write and research a senor thesis on the International Criminal Court and American foreign policy. Thereafter, she plans to attend law school and become a legal consultant for an NGO. Gabriela is very excited about the opportunity to undertake legal and sociological research with Research Professor John Hagan.

Alana Kirkland, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is a rising junior at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. She is also pursuing a minor in Spanish in hopes of becoming fluent before graduating from college. Alana is especially interested in global human rights, social justice, and civil rights. Along with her interests in civil rights and law, Alana is the Treasurer of the Stanford University NAACP Chapter, where she works to promote political, educational, and social rights for people of all ethnic backgrounds. Since joining the NAACP, Alana has partaken in voter registration drives, sexual health fairs, and other programs with keynote speakers such as Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Donna Brazile. In addition to the NAACP, Alana is a program coordinator for the Black Student Union (BSU). She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she serves as the Parliamentarian and Treasurer. Through this sorority, she has been able to participate in an African Ancestry Program, a program where Stanford students were given the opportunity to trace their roots back to Africa. Next fall, Alana will be traveling to Madrid, Spain, where she will be able to combine her two loves of Political Science and Spanish. While abroad, she hopes to participate in a service project as an intern in a Spanish law firm, which will prepare her immensely for her future goals. After graduation, Alana aspires to go to law school and focus on human rights law, particularly in Spanish-speaking countries. Alana is looking forward to a productive and enjoyable summer, working with Research Professor Terence Halliday.

Cara McClellan, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a rising senior at Yale University in New Haven CT. She is majoring in sociology and particularly enjoys ethnography. After graduation she plans to attend law school and work in public policy. Specifically, she is interested in how the education system can be used to improve race relations and combat poverty. Next year, Cara will work as a Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach for America. Cara serves as the executive Editor of Yale’s Sphere Magazine, a print and online publication exploring global issues. Cara loves to write and is a member of Word performance poetry group. She also enjoys working with children and volunteers as a tutor at New Haven Reads Book Bank and a mentor through Women and Youth Supporting Each Other education program. Cara is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Cara has previously worked as summer intern at Kaizzen Communications, a public relations firm in Delhi, India where she helped organize the IDEA international conference on democracy and development. She also worked for a summer as a reporter for WAMU, 88.5 covering the 2008 presidential election in Washington, DC. Cara is looking forward to working with Research Professor Susan Shapiro this summer.

Amin Montgomery, a native of Bothell, Washington, is a rising senior at the University of Washington-Seattle. He is majoring in Political Science with an intention to minor in Law, Societies and Justice. He is a member of the Political Science Honor Society and Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-Law Organization) where he is Chairman of the Professional Development Committee and next year will serve as the President. While working as a writing tutor for the Political Science, Law Societies and Justice, and Jackson School of International Studies departments, Amin is also an intern at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A strong advocate for social justice, Amin worked with the King County Deputy Chief of Staff to produce a show that aired on local television. The show, as part of the program’s Juvenile for Justice series, stressed the important role mentors can play in disadvantaged communities to stem the increasing rates of recidivism for youth of color in Washington State. More recently, Amin was a Research and Outreach intern for the social justice organization, Puget Sound Sage, which is pushing to bring health and financial benefits to truckers of the Port of Seattle. Furthermore, throughout his three year membership with the American Red Cross in Seattle, he has served under the First Aid Service Team Program and was also the Recruitment Advisor where he was active in improving youth volunteerism by speaking to students at local high schools. His other achievements include becoming the recipient of several merit scholarships, the 2007 American Red Cross Youth Involvement Award, Annual Deans List, Faculty Honors, Phi Theta Kappa, and a student speaker for first generation college students. He is delighted about the ABF Fellowship and is looking forward to the opportunity to work alongside Research Professors Stephen Daniels and Joanne Martin.


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