2016 Interns

Brian Todd Wilson recently received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Minnesota. He investigates how to integrate ethical theory and practice. For instance, he attempts to give theoretical foundations for human rights advocacy. He has worked with a number of organizations on issues including food accessibility and the rights of foreign workers.

Dagmara Franczak (“Daga”) is a junior at Macalester College.  She is from a small town in North-Eastern Poland, and is an International Studies and Russian Studies double major. She also participates in mock trial.  In the summer of 2015, she interned for a Member of the European Parliament Office of Jerzy Buzek, Chair of Industry, Research and Energy Committee. In the future, she hopes to work for the European Union.

Damir S. Utržan is a behavioral medicine provider at the University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic and Phalen Village Family Medicine Clinic. Damir obtained a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Northwestern University and is currently a doctoral candidate in family social science with a specialization in couple and family therapy and human rights minor at the University of Minnesota. Damir completed his doctoral internship at the Center for Victims of Torture where he provided psychological evaluation and treatment services for survivors of politically sanctioned torture. While at Northwestern University Damir delivered comprehensive psychiatric evaluations for the National Immigrant Justice Center, a program of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, and Northwestern University’s Mental Health Human Rights Clinic. As a Department of Health and Human Services/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration fellow, Damir’s clinical research interests focus on the impact of war on civilian family relationship dynamics, the parent-child relationship, pediatric psychosocial development, and whether navigating asylum in the United States exacerbates displacement-related mental health problems.

Claire Hepworth is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she received her BA in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. Her past research experience includes an internship at the Center for Homicide Research and a year with Dr. Rebecca Shlafer’s team, where her main focus was on analyzing family drawings of children of incarcerated parents. This research resulted in her summa cum laude honors thesis, “Examining the Family Drawings of Children of Incarcerated Parents Through Ambiguous Loss,” which received the Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award at the Sociology Research Institute and has also been selected for presentation at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations in November 2016.”

Amy Cosimini is a doctoral candidate in Spanish and Portuguese literatures and cultures and a human rights minor at the University of Minnesota. Amy received her B.A. in Political Science and Latin American Studies at Macalester College and obtained a master’s degree in Spanish and Portuguese literatures and cultures at the University of Minnesota. Amy is dedicated to working with international human rights organizations and local non-profits. She has previously interned with Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo-Linea Fundadora and the Fundación María de los Ángeles in Buenos Aires, Argentina for which she was the recipient of a Sullvian Ballou Award.  Additionally, she serves on the board for Building Dignity based in St. Paul, Minnesota and Lima, Peru. Amy’s current research interests focus on Southern Cone popular culture, memory studies, and transitional justice. She is currently pursuing a research project that explores how Argentine and Brazilian cultural productions mediate the ways in which memories of past atrocities are (re-) constructed.