Monroe Leigh Fellows Announced

April 8, 2005
Heather Axford

First-year law student Heather Axford and third-year law student Sara Shapouri will share the $10,000 provided by the Monroe Leigh Fellowship in International Law, which is awarded each year to students pursuing a public international law project during the summer, during their third year, or for a postgraduate internship.

Axford will receive $3,000 to work with the U.N. World Food Program in Rome on a comprehensive training program for anti-hunger organizations to incorporate a human rights approach to their efforts.

"I would like to work in the field of social and economic human rights law after I graduate and look forward to seeing how the U.N. implements international human rights law on a very practical level," she said.

Sara Shapouri

Shapouri, who was awarded $7,000, plans to spend six months in Tehran, Iran, focusing on the promotion of human rights and democratization while working for the Center for Defense of Human Rights, UNICEF, a U.N. human rights body, or an organization that advises the United Nations on human rights issues.

"My family is from Iran and I am really happy to have the opportunity to use the training and education I have received from the law school to try to do some good there," Shapouri said. "The one thing I wanted to do with my law degree is work in the field of human rights, and I've always had an interest in the Middle East, specifically Iran, given my background and current events. This grant gives me the chance to put together these two interests in a very meaningful way."

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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