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.


The application cycle for the 2018-2019 Community Outreach Fellowship is now closed.


Click here to download the application form for 2019-2020. 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.



Current Fellows


Benjamin Chi: Ben is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and Health and Society. Ben is working with homelessness advocates, state government officials, healthcare specialists, and youth experiencing homelessness to change the Texas Family Code so that minors without guardians can consent to their own vaccinations to attend school, since Texas does not currently allow underage persons to consent to their own vaccinations even under proper medical care.

Greg Guggenmos: Greg is a third year undergraduate majoring in Applied Statistics and Data Analytics and minoring in Computer Science and History. Greg is launching his own nonprofit, the Dallas Community Bail Fund, which will provide grants to indigent defendants awaiting trial in the Dallas County justice system and draws from best practices of organizations in other cities such as the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund (which Greg recently visited as part of his Richter Fellowship).

Tiffany Jelke: Tiffany is a Human Rights BA alumna and current MLS student focusing on Human Rights and Social Justice. Tiffany is producing a refugee stories podcast under the auspices of her own human rights multimedia company (the first episode of which launched in October), as well as working as an Advocacy Associate with the International Rescue Committee on pro-refugee and pro-immigrant education and legislation.

MacKenzie Jenkins: MacKenzie is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Human Rights and International Studies and minoring in Arabic and Public Policy and International Affairs. MacKenzie is working as with Dallas County judges Shequitta Kelly, Amber Givens-Davis, Lisa Green, and Stephanie Mitchell on their initiative called Pipeline to Possibilities: A Look Into Educational Equity and Discipline in Dallas ISD, which is an educational outreach program for at-risk middle and high school students that seeks to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline for at-promise middle and high school students.

Angela Wang: Angela is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Biochemistry and Human Rights. In addition to interning with the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center as a Sexual Assault Advocate, Angela is creating a toolkit for friends and family of survivors of sexual assault and sex trafficking that integrates interviews with experts and survivors, data demonstrating the importance of early intervention, and proven cognitive behavioral techniques.


2016-2017 Fellows


Dominique Earland: Dominique was a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Human Rights and Biology and minoring in Biomedical Anthropology. She worked 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 was a master’s degree candidate in Sustainability and Development, as well as an SMU administrator. She worked 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 was a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Human Rights and International Studies and minoring in Public Policy and International Affairs. She completed 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 was a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Human Rights and Political Science and minoring in Arabic. He coordinated with major mosques in the Dallas area to integrate and teach human rights modules within their Islamic religious education curricula for children.

Stephanie Staton: Stephanie was a Master of Divinity candidate seeking ordination in a Christian denomination. She organized two local United Methodist church congregations – 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.


2015-2016 Fellows


Samantha Butz: Samantha was a third year undergraduate majoring in Fashion Media and Advertising and minoring in Graphic Design and Photography. Drawing on support from faculty at the Meadows School of the Arts, Samantha cataloged SMU apparel practices, created a grassroots campaign advocating for worker rights in the garment industry, and worked with SMU administrators to update all university purchasing standards with non-negotiable human rights guidelines.

Liliana Garcia: Liliana was a third year undergraduate majoring in International Studies and minoring in Human Rights. Working with Pueblo Sin Fronteres and the League of United Latin American Citizens, Liliana created an education program to increase academic achievement, family support, and retention rates for children of migrant workers in the Dallas Independent School District.

Vanna Ngo: Vanna was a Master of Liberal Studies student focusing on Human Rights and Social Justice. Working with the SMU Residential Commons, Vanna created a restorative justice curriculum to motivate constructive dialogue across and around difference, increase student investment in community health and safety issues, and provide an alternative conflict resolution platform in the SMU Residential Commons.

Sandra Ostad: Sandra was Master of Liberal Studies student focusing on Human Rights and Social Justice and Global Studies. Interning with the International Rescue Committee, Sandra facilitated their citizenship education curriculum, assisted with development campaigns, created a volunteer training structure, and wrote a successful grant proposal for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency which alloed the Dallas office of the IRC to significantly expand its citizenship instruction and naturalization application services.

Daryl Parker: Daryl was a Master of Liberal Studies student focusing on Human Rights and Social Justice and Creative Writing. Daryl built on his background as a Marine and police officer to launch a new nonprofit organization, Actual Innocence Review, which conducted criminal investigations in cases of wrongfully convicted persons and successfully won a new judicial hearing for Gustavo Mireles, a man who has been in prison on a murder charge for fifteen years.


2014-2015 Fellows


Anna Norkett: Anna was a third year undergraduate with majors in Economics and Public Policy and a minor in Business Administration. She worked as Project Leader for College Bound Dallas to administer a tutoring and mentoring program for underprivileged high school students and raise awareness of education inequality in the United States.

Amanda Steinke: Amanda was a fourth year undergraduate with majors in Environmental Engineering and Human Rights. In conjunction with the Lyle Engineering in the City program, she facilitated a 1200 square foot aquaponics project at St. Philip's School and Community Center in south Dallas, an area identified as a food desert.

Karma Orfaly:
Karma was a fourth year student with majors in Human Rights and Political Science and a minor in Law and Legal Reasoning. She worked with Ma’Ruf Dallas, a Muslim social justice and refugee service organization, to serve as a translator, educator, and service provider with Syrian recently relocated to the United States.

Ketetha Olengue: Ketetha was a fourth year undergraduate with majors in Computer Science and Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. She led grassroots campaigns and built international relationships as a Social Media, Communications, and Development specialist with Minga Peru.

Shelbi Smith: Shelbi was a fourth year student with a major in Human Rights and minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and History. She worked with Human Rights Initiative of North Texas to provide legal assistance to refugees and immigrants who were victims of human rights abuses.