Embrey Human Rights Program

Community Outreach Fellowship

The Community Outreach Fellowship enables a small number of promising SMU students to develop the skills and leadership necessary to impact real world change.


Applications for the 2018-2019 Community Outreach Fellowship are now being accepted.


Click here to download the application form for 2018-2019. Completed forms must be emailed to EHRP Associate Director Dr. Brad Klein (kleinb@smu.edu) by April 15.


The Community Outreach Fellowship is the most prestigious Human Rights honor offered at SMU. Any current SMU undergraduate or graduate student can become a Community Outreach Fellow, although Human Rights majors and minors are especially encouraged to apply. After a competitive application process, each student fellow creates a yearlong project in conjunction with a local placement organization working in the realm of human rights.

Fellows are provided with dual mentorship during the course of their project. One side of the mentorship is provided by EHRP staff, and deals primarily with connections to academic development and career goals. The other side is provided by the placement organization. Placement organization mentors help fellows pursue feasible goals, understand community needs, and cultivate necessary skills.

All SMU students in good academic standing who will be enrolled in courses during the fellowship year are encouraged to apply.


Who are the COFs?

Community Outreach Fellows are SMU undergraduate and graduate students who defend and extend human rights in communities they care about. They connect classroom learning to real world action.

What do they do?

Fellows focus on specific issues related to justice and dignity that matter to them. They represent the mission of EHRP and build partnerships with organizations both large and small.

Is this an internship?

Yes and no. As with a typical internship, students gain practical experience working with organizations or businesses in their field of study. However, fellows enjoy many advantages over typical interns.

What advantages do COFs enjoy?

Community Outreach Fellows are fundamentally involved in choosing their placement and designing their project. As a small and elite community of promising students, they receive close mentoring. Fellows have special opportunities to connect with fellow students and program alumni. In keeping with EHRP values, each fellow is paid a competitive wage.

How does the application work?

Applications are submitted by email. Once the April 15 deadline passes, applicants are ranked based on past experience, demonstrated passion and commitment, and potential for contribution. Up to five fellows are chosen each year.

How are placements determined?

After being selected, fellows are guided by a designated EHRP staff member to determine placement possibilities. The student and staff member then work together with the chosen placement organization to design a mutually beneficial project.

How long do COFs serve?

Fellows must complete at least 200 hours, typically spread out over one academic year. This timeframe allows fellows to make meaningful contributions and develop relevant skills. Placements may continue through the summer in some cases.

How much are COFs paid?

$15 per hour for 200 hours, depending on applicant experience and project arrangement.


2016-2017 Fellows

Dominique Earland
: Dominique is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in human rights and biology and minoring in biomedical anthropology. She will work with the Dallas County Fetal-Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) of Parkland Hospital to teach healthcare rights and ensure the provision of appropriate services to mothers and babies at risk due to socioeconomic status, lack of citizenship documentation, or age.

Suzanne Massey: Suzanne is a master’s degree candidate in sustainability and development, as well as an SMU administrator. She will work with Kids-U and the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas to implement a PHOTOVOICE project in the Forest/Audelia neighborhood where youth will be taught to use art in increasing community safety and disrupting cycles of violence and poverty.

Kate Moody: Kate is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in human rights and international studies and minoring in public policy and international affairs. She will pursue an independent applied research project by gathering comprehensive data on the cost effectiveness of the death penalty in Dallas county, with the goal of renewing dialogue around effective criminal justice procedures.

Syed Rizvi: Syed is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in human rights and political science and minoring in Arabic. He will work major mosques in the Dallas area to integrate and teach human rights modules within their Islamic religious education curricula for children.

Stephanie Staton: Stephanie is a master of divinity candidate seeking ordination in a Christian denomination. She will work with two local United Methodist churches – Kessler Park and White Rock – to create a leadership and dialogue training program bringing together members of the congregations and refugee neighbors recently resettled to the area.