Todd Hull

Todd Hull

Symposium Co-Chair

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Todd Hull was born and raised in a small town in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. Todd graduated from West Virginia University in August 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with an area of emphasis in Pre-Law and Legal Studies, alongside two minors in Philosophy and Theatre. Todd is thrilled to be a Washington College of Law J.D. candidate for the class of 2019; throughout his education at WCL, he plans to focus his studies in the field of Human Rights/Humanitarian Law with hopes to learn and prepare to help preserve the rights of people throughout the world.

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Shahab Shaghaghi

Shahab Shaghaghi

Junior Editor

Shahab is from the Washington, DC metropolitan area and is interested in human rights and U.S. policy towards Iran, which has been undergoing a dynamic shift recently. He graduated with a degree in diplomatic history from the University of Pennsylvania and is interested in tax law.


Cathleen Carlson

Cathleen Carlson

Junior Editor

Cathleen is currently a 1L at AUWCL. She grew up in Virginia and graduated from James Madison University for undergrad where she received a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs with a minor in Chinese. While in Undergrad she spent a semester in Beijing, China where she studied Mandarin. Now at American University Washington College of Law, Cathleen is interested in pursuing International Human Rights Law.


Alex Mehner

Alex Mehner

Deputy Managing Editor

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Alex comes from Las Vegas, Nevada. He worked at the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Special Victims Bureau before coming to WCL. He is interested in Human Rights law, criminal law, as well as the intersection of science and the law. After law school he hopes to work in human rights law.


Leah Pardais

Leah Pardais

Junior Editor

Leah is currently a 2L at American University’s Washington College of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of South Florida. She currently works as a Dean’s Fellow for the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and holds the position as secretary for the Intellectual Property Law Society at WCL. During her 1L summer, Leah interned at the American Association for Justice in the state affairs department. In the future, Leah hopes to pursue a legal career in the merging fields of women’s rights, women’s health, and intellectual property.


Tatiana Devia

Tatiana Devia

Junior Editor

Tatiana Devia is a 2L at American University Washington College of Law. Originally from Colombia, Tatiana lived in Florida prior to transferring to WCL. While completing her Masters in Criminal Forensic Studies, she worked at the Medical Examiner’s Office conducting forensic investigations and assisted in cases of human rights violations in Guatemala. She also received an excellence award for her thesis on victims of conflict and trauma patterns during the Colombian armed conflict. Prior to starting law school, Tatiana worked full time as a Human Rights Investigator at the Fair Food Standards Council, where she monitored and advanced the human rights of farmworkers by conducting audits. Tatiana loves to spend time in Colombia and recently completed her summer legal internship at Women’s Link Worldwide in Bogotá. Currently, she is a Dean’s Fellow for the Women and the Law Program. Tatiana is interested in international human rights law, advocacy, and litigation; transitional justice; development; and corporate social responsibility.


Maria Thompson

Maria Thompson

Senior Column Editor

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Maria is currently a 2L. She is originally from South Carolina, where she attended Clemson University. After college, Maria worked at a litigation law firm in Charleston, then moved to Central America, where she taught school and worked with a girls’ non-profit organization. Maria is focusing on international and criminal law studies while in law school.


Alice Browning

Alice Browning

Junior Staff Writer, Middle East & Africa

Alice Browning graduated from Houghton College, NY with a B.A. in Political Science and self-designed minors in 1) Community Development and 2) Human Trafficking and Supply Chains. Alice has worked on human rights issues in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Laos, and Eastern Europe, primarily focused on how community development encourages economic empowerment and deters human trafficking. Alice then spent a couple of years in Buffalo, NY at the Hope Refugee Drop-In, a post-resettlement agency through the Jericho Road Community Health Center, first as a AmeriCorps volunteer and then as a manager. Alice is interested in continuing her research on prevention of human rights violations through community development.


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Marina Mekheil

Junior Staff Writer, Middle East & Africa

Marina is a current 1L. She was born in Egypt. She received a bachelors in Political Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is interested in Arbitration and International Trade.


Matthew Reiter

Matthew Reiter

Junior Staff Writer, Middle East & Africa

Matthew Reiter is a 1L from Long Island, New York, interested in international human rights law or immigration law, aiming to work in public interest down the road. He graduated from The George Washington University in 2014 with a BA in International Affairs. Before coming to WCL he worked at the International Rescue Committee in New York City, helping to resettle newly-arrived refugees from the Middle East and South Asia, as well as at the Polaris Project in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s leading anti-human trafficking organizations. Matthew absolutely loves to travel, and has volunteered teaching English and math in Ghana in Sri Lanka, and worked in environment conservation in Botswana. He’s unhealthily obsessed with tennis and probably spends too much time on Twitter and staring at pictures of his dog. Pizza is his one true love.


Stephanie MacInnes

Stephanie MacInnes

Junior Staff Writer, Middle East & Africa

Stephanie MacInnes is a 1L from South Florida and she completed undergrad at Stetson University in 2013. For the last three years Stephanie has worked in Louisville, Kentucky at The Center For Women and Families, which is the local center serving survivors intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. During her time at the Center, she staffed the shelter, answered the crisis line, and advocated for clients during Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (SAFE). Stephanie also provided legal advocacy when clients sought protective orders against their perpetrators, and during the process of police investigation and criminal prosecution. She would like to continue to focus on seeking justice for survivors of gender-based violence.


Arielle Chapnick

Arielle Chapnick

Junior Staff Writer, Americas

Arielle is a 1L from Massachusetts. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2014 with degrees in Government and Spanish. After graduation, she spent two years working as an Immigration Paralegal at Maggio + Kattar, PC, an immigration law firm in Washington, DC. Arielle is the Volunteer Activities Committee Co-Chair for the Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. She looks forward to studying immigration law and would like to be an immigration attorney.


Haaris Pasha

Haaris Pasha

Junior Staff Writer, Americas

Haaris is a 1L from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Political Science in 2012. After graduating, he worked at the Travelers Insurance Company for 4 years most recently as a manger in the Bond & Specialty Insurance product development department. He also on served on the board of AYNAH (recently merged with the Co-operative Youth Council) an educational 501(c)(3) that encourages young people to engage in fair economic co-operative development projects within their communities. He also was a member of the Minneapolis NAACP and served on its Legal Redress Committee. He is generally interested in civil rights law, criminal law and human rights law.


Chelsea Lalancette

Chelsea Lalancette

Junior Staff Writer, Americas

Chelsea is originally from California and earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of San Francisco, where she studied International Studies and focused on Latin America and China. Prior to coming to law school, she worked in immigration law at a non-profit in San Francisco and as a researcher for an academic project on Traditional Chinese Medicine. She hopes to work in international migration and refugee policy in the future.


Audrey Mulholland

Audrey Mulholland

Special Coverage Editor

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Audrey is currently a 1L at American University. Originally from Indiana, she graduated from the University of Southern California in 2014, and moved to Bangalore, India to work with non-profit International Justice Mission on their bonded labor trafficking project. Upon moving back to the United States, Audrey began volunteering with the Immigrant Justice Program at a local pro bono legal clinic before coming to law school. She is planning to study both international human rights law and immigration law. Audrey enjoys running, Bollywood films, and exploring the crazy city that is DC!

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Powell Wright

Powell Wright

Junior Staff Writer, Europe, Asia, Oceana

Powell Wright grew up in Rochester, NY and graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY in 2013.  After graduating from college, Powell worked for Nixon Peabody LLP’s Affordable Housing Group and garnered an interest in housing law. Outside of law school, Powell enjoys movies, football, and Huluing all the TV shows he misses while studying during the week.  Powell is also a junior staffer for American University’s International Law Review and an intern with the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County.


Dolores Sinistaj

Dolores Sinistaj

Symposium Co-Chair

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Dolores Sinistaj is a rising 2L. She was born in Podgorica, Montenegro, but grew up in Michigan, where she graduated from Michigan State University. Before law school she interned for the homicide unit at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in Detroit, and then interned at The White House. Dolores plans to pursue international/criminal law at AUWCL. She was a Junior Staff Writer, for Europe, Asia, and Oceana as a 1L.



Ericha Penzien

Ericha Penzien

Senior Articles & Partnership Editor

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Ericha is from Nashville, Tennessee. Between undergrad and law school, she spent 6 years working and traveling in preparation for law school. In 2012, Ericha worked on an independent documentary in Guatemala City, Guatemala titled Becoming Fools. She also spent two years teaching English and working in Shanghai, China. She plans to study international trade and investment law.


Christina Canalizo

Christina Canalizo

Social Media Editor

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Christina is from Ormond Beach, Florida, where she was active in many women’s rights organizations. She plans to study human rights in law school, and she hopes to one day work in the public interest field.

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Laura Collins

Laura Collins

Junior Staff Writer & Editor, Special Coverage Team

Laura is a 2L who writes and edits for the Human Rights Brief Special Coverage team. In her first year at WCL, Laura was a staff writer for the Sub-Saharan Africa region. She also worked as a research assistant with Professor Claudia Martin of the Academy for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law during which time she conducted research for the GQUAL campaign that focused on gender parity initiatives in the UN Human Rights Committee special mandate holders selection process. This year, Laura is on the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team, is on the junior staff of the American University Law Review, and is a Legal Rhetoric Dean’s Fellow. Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Laura graduated from Villanova University in 2010 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.

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Wilson Melbostad

Wilson Melbostad

Staff Writer Europe, Asia, Oceana

A San Francisco Bay area native, Wilson graduated from University of California Los Angeles in 2012 with degrees in Political Science and World Arts and Cultures. Upon graduating, Wilson spent two engaging and gratifying years teaching English, learning the local vernacular, and working with various international communities in Gwangju, South Korea. Wilson returned to the states in 2014 to begin his studies at WCL and pursue prospective careers in international human rights with focuses on international labor issues and stateless indigenous communities. In addition to his staff writer duties for the Human Rights Brief, Wilson is a member of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and the Center for Human Rights Student Advisory Board.

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