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, and to apply for the annual Inna Meiman Human Rights Award and the Sullivan Ballou Award. 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 undergraduate students the opportunity to work in top human rights organizations with the aim of investing 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.)

Read about the 2022 Don Fraser and Arvonne Fraser Fellows on the Human Rights Program website.

Fellowship Received Year Won Recipient Name Degree Program
Don Fraser Fellowship 2018 Ryan Atkinson

Political Science

Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2018 Anishaa Kamesh Genetics, Cell Biology & Development
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 2021 Mary-Kate Beaudin Sociology
Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2021 Roselin Victor Global Studies
Don Fraser Fellowship 2022 Kathleen Zhang Political Science and Global Studies
Arvonne Fraser Fellowship 2022 Zeinab Mohamed Biology


Inna Meiman Award

Given annually in recognition of the friendship between Inna Meiman, a Soviet-era Jewish refusenik who was repeatedly denied a visa to seek medical treatment, and Lisa Paul, a graduate of the University of Minnesota who fought tirelessly on her behalf, including a 25-day hunger strike that galvanized a movement for Inna's freedom. The friendship between Lisa Paul and Inna Meiman is memorialized in the book, Swimming in the Daylight: An American Student, a Soviet-Jewish Dissident, and the Gift of Hope. The award of $1000 is intended to recognize a University of Minnesota student who embodies a commitment to human rights.

Year Won Recipient Name Degree Program
2011 Nora Radtke Global Studies
2011 Morley Spencer Political Science, Global Studies, and French
2012 Anna Kaminski Art and Global Studies
2013 Katie Menke Global Studies
2014 Melanie Paurus Spanish Studies and Global Studies
2015 Aisha Galaydh Global Studies
2016 Anant Naik Biomedical/Medical Engineering
2017 Tiffany Hamidjaja Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance and Psychology
2018 Nicole Donoso Global Studies
2019 Kate Denney Spanish Studies and Global Studies
2021 Trinity Vang Youth Services/Administration
2021 Kristin Gill Political Science
2022 Priscilla Hagerman Global Studies


Sullivan Ballou Award

Supported by the Sullivan Ballou Fund and named after Major Sullivan Ballou, an Army soldier killed at the First Battle of Bull Run in the US Civil War, this annual award honors Major Ballou's memory by recognizing a student who devotes heartfelt energy to promote human rights. The Sullivan Ballou Fund gives $1000 awards to celebrate and affirm people acting from the heart. They provide compassion, services, or advocacy to their local communities, the poor, homeless, children, victims of violence and mistreatment, or the disabled. Some give of themselves to those around them through their art, their music, their words, or their presence.

Year Won Recipient Name Degree Program
2012 Tenzin Pelkyi Political Science and Global Studies
2013 Whitney Taylor Political Science and Global Studies
2014 Joe Fifield Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Global Studies
2014 Anna Meteyer Global Studies and Art
2015 Kenneth Gonzales African American/African Studies and History
2016 Ricardo Bennett-Guzman Art and Global Studies
2017 Ana Aleman Political Science and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance
2018 Mitchell Legrand Global Studies
2019 Anishaa Kamesh Public Health
2019 Brittany Becker Global Studies
2021 Trey Feuerhelm Forestry and Natural Resource Management
2022 Jessy Rehmann Global Studies and Journalism