The Master of Arts in Human Rights, developed by the Institute for Human Ecology (IHE), is designed for students who wish to study human rights from a distinctly Catholic perspective. It draws upon existing courses of several schools at The Catholic University of America. The interdisciplinary degree is awarded by the School of Arts and Sciences.
Afghani Barakzai is Corporate Recruiter at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. Prior to that, she held positions as Project Manager for Mobile Money Program and Senior Administrator at USAID, and Human Resource Manager at Asia Consultancy Group (ACG). She was also a Visiting Fellow in the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Afghani holds degrees from Kabul University and Georgetown University, and certificates from Arizona State University and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). She is completing the M.A. in Human Rights at Catholic University as a part-time student.
Analucia Franco, an honors graduate from The Catholic University of America, was a part-time student last semester in the Master of Arts in Human Rights program. This fall, she joins the program as a full-time student. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in a local nonprofit, preferably one focused on addressing food insecurity. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, playing the acoustic guitar, and taking care of her pets.
Jane Jagas is from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She earned her B.A in History from the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON) with a specialization in War, Revolution, and Social Upheaval and a minor in Fine Arts Studio Practice. She has worked as a technical writer, tutor, and archives assistant over the last few years and spends her free time oil painting. Her research interests include the political, social, and religious implications of conflict, genocide, and social movements with a particular focus on the intergenerational impacts of historical events. After receiving the human rights degree, she plans to work on human trafficking issues either in government or with an NGO.
Hannah McIntyre is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Religion from Hillsdale College in 2018, where she also earned 11 All-American honors as a cross country, indoor, and outdoor track athlete. She has worked as a GED teacher at a youth shelter and an associate financial planning representative since graduation. Hannah enjoys spending time outdoors with her five siblings. She is considering pursuing a job in the nonprofit sector after finishing the M.A. in Human Rights.
Gillian Richards is from Hyattsville, Maryland, and graduated from Catholic University with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in economics. She also worked as a copy editor while at Catholic University. Her interests include the philosophical underpinnings of law and public policy, Catholic Social Teaching, and the role of mediating institutions. In her free time Gillian enjoys running, playing the piano, and having friendly philosophical debates. After graduation, she hopes to pursue either a law degree or a Ph.D. in political economy, and eventually work at a think tank in Washington, D.C. on issues related to human trafficking.
Tom Shakely serves as Chief Engagement Officer at Americans United for Life (AUL), responsible for brand, communications, and development. Tom is also a Research Fellow at the Center on Human Exceptionalism, which strives to awaken the conscience on human rights and responsibilities as well as bioethical issues. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University, M.S. in Bioethics from the University of Mary, and Certificate with Distinction from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Health Care Ethics.
Brandon Showalter has been a full-time journalist with The Christian Post in Washington, DC since the summer of 2016 covering a wide range of topics of theological interest. He earned a B.A. (cum laude) in International Studies and Spanish from Bridgewater College of Virginia in 2007; is a fellow of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, & Law; and graduated in 2015 from a three-year non-degree program at Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California. His favorite thing to do in life is to sing. Upon receiving his degree in human rights, he plans to write and report on human rights issues.
Francisco Socrates holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila) and an MA in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland). After a year as a part-time student (spent in his home in Manila) due to restrictions on foreign student visas because of Covid, he joins the program as a full time student in the fall of 2021. He is currently part of Universitas Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization promoting principled leadership. He hopes eventually to become involved in human rights work in the Philippines. He is interested in the question of the grounding of human rights. In his free time, he enjoys hiking in the outdoors, playing the guitar, and reading novels.
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