Caylee Watson

Caylee Watson

Staff Writer

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Caylee V. Watson is from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and is a J.D. candidate for the class of 2020.  She graduated from American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (interdisciplinary study) alongside two minors in Justice and Philosophy.  Caylee continues to pursue her interests in Civil Rights, International Human Rights, and Criminal Law.

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Caroline Gillis

Caroline Gillis

Junior Human Rights Digest Editor

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Caroline Gillis is a first year JD candidate from DeFuniak Springs, FL. She graduated cum laude in Dec. 2016 with a degree in International Relations with a concentration in the Middle East from the University of Florida. She plans to use her law degree to advocate for her passions: women’s rights and refugee rights. Caroline enjoys spending time with her husband, cooking vegetarian food, and visiting museums around DC.


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Marcela Velarde

Staff Writer

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Marcela Velarde is a 2L JD/Master I & II Candidate from Matamoros, Mexico/Brownsville, Texas. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in International Relations & Global Studies, Government, and Human Rights & Social Justice and two minors in Latin American Studies and French. She is particularly interested in International Human Rights Law, Refugee Law, Women’s Rights, and Transitional Justice. At WCL, she is a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the Executive Editor for the Law and International Development Society. This past summer, she participated in the Summer Law Program in The Hague and interned at Refugee Law Project in Kyangwali Settlement, Uganda, where she provided legal advice to refugees accused of crimes within the settlement and represented asylum seekers to advocate for their right to gain refugee status. She is currently a Student Attorney at the International Human Rights Law Clinic and a Research Associate at Public International Law and Policy Group. In her free time, she loves traveling, trying new coffee places/restaurants around DC, dancing, and spending time with friends.

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Mary Kate O’Connell

Mary Kate O’Connell

Special Coverage Writer

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Mary Kate OConnell is a current part-time 2L student at WCL. Originally from Massachusetts, Mary Kate graduated from The George Washington University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with a double concentration in International Development and Latin America. Since 2015, Mary Kate has been employed as a Paralegal at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, a global immigration firm. Mary Kate hopes to become an Immigration Lawyer upon graduation from WCL and is thrilled to be a part of the Human Rights Brief.


Sandy Arce

Sandy Arce

Social Media & News Team

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Sandy Arce was raised in Hayward, CA – a town in Northern California’s Bay Area. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Sandy graduated from the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her Bachelors of Arts in International Studies: Sociology and Chinese Studies. She has experience as a paralegal in a personal injury law firm, non-profit legal provider, and currently, at UDC Law school’s clinical program. Sandy is a 2L part time JD candidate expected to graduate in 2021. Although Sandy is exploring different legal sectors, she wants to practice law in civil rights and human rights matters to prevent Spanish speaking litigants from experiencing language barriers and injustices in our complex legal system.


Baili Volluz

Baili Volluz

Social Media & News Team

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Baili Volluz is a 3L from Troy, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Saint Louis University. She hopes someday to become a plaintiff side employment and labor litigator. On campus, she is also involved in the ACS as their Historian, and is a member of the WLA. She loves napping, rock music, and reading when she isn’t working on schoolwork.


Valentina Capotosto

Valentina Capotosto

Junior Symposium Editor

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Valentina is a 1L originally from Chicago, IL and Fort Lauderdale, FL. She pursued her B.A. at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy working with an initiative her last year focusing on religious diversity and the intersection of religion and politics. After graduating with a degree in International Business and a minor in International Affairs, she interned for a local city’s Economic Development department in Southern California. She is interested in International Law and the intersection of the environment and human rights.


Elena Gartner

Elena Gartner

Junior Human Rights Digest Editor

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Originally from Corvallis, Oregon, Elena Gartner is a 1L at American University. She graduated from Grinnell College with B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish in 2014, spending half a year in the Amazon region of Ecuador while in college. After graduation she moved to Laos on a Princeton in Asia Fellowship, and worked as a Program Manager in the non-profit sector in Southeast Asia for 4 years, most recently at EarthRights International. She hopes to apply her legal education to environmental justice issues and is particularly interested in business and human rights, corporate accountability, and international development law. She also enjoys creating art, running on trails, and traveling.


Krishna Pathak

Krishna Pathak

Social Media & News Team

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Krishna is currently a 1L, from Kennett Square,Pennsylvania.  She graduated from The George Washington University where she received a Bachelor’s in International Affairs, concentrating in Contemporary Cultures & Societies. During undergrad, Krishna spent a semester researching women’s rights and human rights in Valparaíso, Chile, and since has been interested in human rights and international development. She hopes to pursue a career in immigration law and international humanitarian law. 


Lucia Canton

Lucia Canton

Special Coverage Writer

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Lucia Canton graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in Rehabilitation and Human Services. After Penn State, Lucia interned at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) in Copenhagen, and at their field office in Mexico City, researching various rehabilitation approaches used by field offices in predominantly Spanish-speaking countries. Prior to law school, Lucia interned for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Protection Unit in Quito, Ecuador, where she interviewed refugees who had recently arrived to Ecuador. At WCL, she is a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; the Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Law and International Development Society; and is a case manager for the International Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP). Lucia is currently working as a part-time legal intern at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.


Kate Morrow

Kate Morrow

Staff Writer

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Kate is a J.D. candidate in the class of 2021 and a Junior Staff Writer for the Europe, Asia, and Oceania region. She grew up in rural Illinois before transplanting to Boston for her undergraduate degree in International Relations and German Language and Literature. Prior to WCL, she was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Indonesia, where she taught English in a vocational secondary school. As a law student, Kate is primarily interested in issues surrounding migration and how the law creates (and tears apart) notions of identity through borders, nationalities, and citizenship. After law school, Kate is interested in advocating for the rights of displaced persons and peoples, whether that be in domestic immigration practice or internationally through human rights law. Outside of law school, Kate loves ballroom dancing, good coffee, and museums.

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Lucette Moran

Lucette Moran

Junior Staff Writer

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Lucette Moran is currently a 1L student at AU Washington College of Law in the JD/MA International Affairs program. Originally from Connecticut, Lucette graduated from AU School of International Service in 2016 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Arabic Language. Before law school, she worked as a litigation assistant at Quinn Emanuel LLP and volunteered with the Ethiopian Community Development Council and the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force. Her legal interests include immigration & refugee law, international human rights law, and international criminal law.

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Yousra Elkhalifa

Yousra Elkhalifa

Staff Writer

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Yousra is a 2L. She was born in Abu Dhabi, UAE and her family is from Sudan. She came to the US under a political asylum because of my families’ political involvements in Sudan. She graduated with a degree in studio art from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

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Meagan McCullough

Meagan McCullough

Social Media & News Team

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Originally from Houston, Texas, Meagan graduated from Villanova University in 2014 with a B.A. in Sociology with a Concentration in Peace and Justice and again in 2015 with a M.A. of Liberal Arts with a Certificate in Peace and Justice. She focused her studies on genocide and post-genocide justice and has done research in Rwanda, Poland, and Germany. After receiving her paralegal certification from the University of Houston, she worked as a paralegal at a civil litigation law firm in Houston. She is currently at 1L at WCL and is interested in pursuing a career in international human rights law.

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Nicholas Ripley

Nicholas Ripley

Staff Writer

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Nicholas Ripley is from Montoursville, Pennsylvania and is a J.D. candidate for the class of 2020. They graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with two minors in Writing and Music.  At Washington College of Law, they took part in the Geneva Summer Program and interned as a research assistant at the International Law Commission. Nicholas continues to pursue their interests in human rights, advocacy, and social justice and they hope to practice international law after graduation.

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Samira Elhosary

Samira Elhosary

Special Coverage Writer

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Samira is a 1L at WCL who is passionate about women’s rights and promoting them internationally. Raised in beautiful Columbia, South Carolina, she is a graduate of The George Washington University in D.C. with a B.A. in international affairs. In her free time, Samira enjoys brunch and knitting.


Shelsea Ramirez

Shelsea Ramirez

Junior Articles Editor

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Shelsea Ramirez is a 2L JD/MA candidate with the Washington College of Law and the School of International Service. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies from Soka University of America in California. After graduating, she completed a service year focusing on children’s rights with AmeriCorps in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is interested in international law with a particular focus in human rights and peace and conflict resolution



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Kate Juon

Staff Writer

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Kate is currently a 2L at American University and is born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 2013, she spent more than 3 years working in New York City at various nonprofits. Before beginning her first year at WCL, she packed up her backpack to learn Spanish and trek all around South America for four months. She is interested in international human rights law, criminal law, and immigration law. 
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Victoria Kadous

Victoria Kadous

Staff Writer

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Victoria Kadous is currently a 2L at American University Washington College of Law. She received a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in French from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. While earning her bachelors degree, she was involved in Model Organization of the American States which peaked her interest in human rights issues in the Americas. Victoria wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on prostitution regulation techniques and their impact on curbing sex trafficking. This past summer Victoria was a felony division law clerk at the Hays County Criminal District Attorney’s Office in San Marcos, Texas.

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Gina Uyghur

Gina Uyghur

Staff Writer

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Gina is currently a 3L part-time student. Originally from Xinjiang, China she spent her childhood in Russia and Central Asia. Gina graduated from China Foreign Affairs University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law with an area of emphasis in Diplomacy and International Affairs. She speaks Mandarin, Russian and Uyghur languages.  As an ethnic minority from a refugee household, she feels strongly connected to human rights issues around the world. Hence, she is interested in pursuing the International Human Rights Law and helping to improve conditions in her homeland. She is currently a student attorney with the International Human Rights Law Clinic, and a volunteer with the International Refugee Assistance Project. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, staying healthy and meeting new people.

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