As part of our commitment to supporting and recognizing students' achievements in the field of human rights, the Human Rights Program provides an array of awards, financial support, and fellowship opportunities to undergraduate students. Students are encouraged to apply for one of our two Fraser Fellowship positions that include hands-on experience with a human rights organization. Students are recognized each year during an awards ceremony at the end of the spring semester.

Fraser Fellowships

The Human Rights Program offers two fellowship opportunities for undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities who seek field experience in leading human rights organizations to complement their academic studies. Named after Donald and Arvonne Fraser, two groundbreaking leaders in the defense of international human rights and women’s rights, the Fellowships offer $3,500 in funding each to support placements of two UMN - Twin Cities undergraduate students in leading human rights organizations for the upcoming summer. These Fellowships aim to invest in the next generation of human rights leaders.

The Don Fraser Fellow is placed at The Advocates for Human Rights. The Advocates has been at the forefront of the world’s human rights movement for more than 30 years, leading innovative programming that has changed the lives of refugees and immigrants, women, ethnic and religious minorities, children, and other marginalized communities.

The Arvonne Fraser Fellow is placed at Global Rights for Women, a Minneapolis-based NGO seeking to address the root causes of gender-based violence against women and girls. GRW's partnerships with local and international NGOs, government agencies, and the United Nations have advanced laws and practices aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls. (From 2018 to 2019, the Arvonne Fraser Fellow was placed at ECPAT-USA.)

Applications for the 2025 Don and Arvonne Fraser Fellowships will open in the spring of 2025View the call for applications at z.umn.edu/fraser2024 for more information on these incredible opportunities to gain experience in the field of human rights. 

Make a gift to the Fraser Fellowship Fund. 

About Donald and Arvonne Fraser

Donald Fraser served in public office for four decades as a State Senator, member of Congress, and Mayor of Minneapolis. During his time in the United States Congress, he initiated the first comprehensive study of U.S. foreign policy and international human rights, authoring several laws requiring the U.S. Government to give greater attention to human rights related issues. His efforts transformed the State Department’s work on human rights by mandating the creation of an office on human rights and that the Department write annual reports documenting the human rights practices of every county. These reports remain an important tool for human rights students and advocates around the world.

Ambassador Arvonne Fraser was a founder of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of the University of Minnesota, the nation’s first teaching, research and outreach center devoted to women and public policy. Ambassador Fraser also organized and co-directed the International Women’s Rights Action Watch, a non-governmental organization working to implement women’s rights worldwide. Fraser served as U.S. representative to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women with the rank of Ambassador from 1993 to 1994, and she was a member of the U.S. delegations to the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.

Fellowship Received Year Won Recipient Name Degree Program
Fraser Fellowship  2023 Shubhangi Mohan Global Studies and Genetics, Cell Biology & Development
Don Fraser Fellowship 2022 Kathleen Zhang Political Science and Global Studies
Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2022 Zeinab Mohamed Biology
Don Fraser Fellowship 2021 Mary-Kate Beaudin Sociology
Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2021 Roselin Victor Global Studies
Don Fraser Fellowship 2019 Tala Alfoqaha Mathematics and Global Studies
Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2019 Anthony Burton Political Science, Global Studies, and Communications
Don Fraser Fellowship 2018 Ryan Atkinson Political Science
Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2018 Anishaa Kamesh Genetics, Cell Biology & Development