Quinnipiac University

Students study to become changemakers at Oxford

April 06, 2022

A group of students in front of the Oxford Consortium of Human Rights

A group of students recently embarked on a trip to England to attend the Oxford Consortium of Human Rights. The immersive experience gave students the opportunity to participate in discussions and seminars regarding human rights.

Ambar Pagan ’22, who attended the program, benefitted as a political science major and law in society minor from the plethora of topics she and others got to discuss, she said.

“The seminar was the best opportunity for me to learn peacebuilding strategies, network with scholars and student leaders from other universities and gave me the skills and time to reflect on how I can become a better global citizen,” said Pagan.

The content Pagan learned will help her future aspirations of being a foreign service officer or diplomat for the U.S. Department of State as well as an ambassador to the United Nations, she said.

“The Oxford Consortium of Human Rights was an outstanding academic experience that prepared me to be a positive changemaker and bridge builder in the world,” said Pagan. “It allowed me to embrace my potential and passion for human rights and global affairs. Every day I had the enthusiasm to learn, take notes, ask the experts challenging questions and engage with my peers to reflect on the presentations.”

The group of students was accompanied by Associate Professor of Legal Studies Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox who taught Pagan in her Human Rights Law class prior to the Oxford Consortium. Pagan explained that the lessons she learned in Gadkar-Wilcox’s class made her feel better prepared to understand the discussions that took place at the Consortium.

“Professor Gadkar-Wilcox prepared me academically to understand the definition of human rights and the international treaties that outline the implementation of justice. She made my understanding of the topics discussed in the Oxford seminar much easier and prepared me to engage in conversations with professionals in the field of international relations,” said Pagan.

With the current conflict taking place between Russia and Ukraine, the teachings of the Consortium are as relevant as ever, she said.

“Professor Cheyney Ryan, a fellow of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, taught me that in moments of humanitarian conflict, conversations must be sustainable, and that accountability becomes a crucial instrument of establishing peace,” said Pagan. “In his own words, Professor Ryan said, ‘There are many resources for studying war and the costs of war, but not peace.’”

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