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Our Staff

Pam Bruns, STF Executive Director [Email]

Pam created the vision for the Student Task Force and organized its co-founders in 1999. Early in her career during the Vietnam War, she traveled to Thailand to research the extent of the communist insurgency in northern border areas; she also was a freelance journalist and wrote about Eastern Europe, the Munich Olympics in 1972, holocaust survivors and other subjects. Pam became a public education reform activist and teacher (third grade through high school) before joining the Milken Family Foundation as a Public Affairs Specialist, working to promote excellence in teaching in the U.S.

From 1996-2002 Pam served as Director of Human Rights Watch in Southern California. She broadened support for HRW in Los Angeles by establishing the Young Advocates, Women’s Rights Committee, HRW University Project and the Student Task Force. As adjunct professor teaching human rights at Mount St. Mary’s College, she founded the Human Rights Film Festival in 2003. Volunteering to direct STF and developing human rights education as part of STF has been Pam’s primary focus since 2005.

Kristin Ghazarians, STF Project Liaison [Email]

Kristin is a graduate from Syracuse University’s Public Diplomacy program and University of California, San Diego’s International Studies department.  Her background is in international relations, conflict resolution and public relations.  She has worked for Amnesty International as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office Administrator in Washington, DC, interned with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and taught English in Cambodia and Los Angeles.  Kristin loves to travel and has spent a lot of time focusing on human rights while abroad.  She has dedicated her academic and professional careers to human rights and enjoys working with the STF community.

Nancy Nazarian-Medina, STF Program Advisor [Email

Nancy is a co-founder of STF and has been an essential member of the STF leadership team since 1999. She currently volunteers as the STF Program Advisor in the Santa Clarita Valley mentoring several STF high school chapters and coordinating STF activities with the William S. Hart District School District administrators. Nancy established a partnership between STF SCV and the public libraries of the City of Santa Clarita. Additionally, Nancy is Director of Religious Education at St. Clare of Assisi Church where she integrates human rights education into the curriculum and service-learning projects for students in grades K-8th. She is facilitator for the national Virtus-Safe Guard the Children Program training teachers, parents and volunteers about the risk of child abuse and how a community can take preventative measures to protect children from abuse. Previously Nancy served as Dean of Students at Immaculate Heart High School and taught AP Government, AP U.S. History and Economics and developed curriculum for a senior year elective, International Relations, which she taught for seven years. She was also a Curriculum Developer and Trainer for the online education program, One Global Tribe, focusing on service-learning projects with an emphasis on human rights issues. Nancy holds a M.A. in Conflict Resolution.

Lissette Argoud, Spring 2018 STF Intern

Lissette is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UCLA studying dance with a focus in art as social action. Born and raised in San Diego, she has a deep affinity for all beach activities: swimming, surfing, hiking, relaxing and reading a book in the sand. When she isn’t in class or interning with the Student Task Force, you can catch Lissette leading yoga classes in Westwood or netflixing her favorite shows with her roommates. Lissette is incredibly excited for the opportunity to connect and collaborate with passionate students in the Los Angeles community. She is eager to contribute her own energy and ideas as well as learn and be inspired by others!

Lalise Beyene, Spring 2018 STF Intern

Lalise is a first-year student at the University of Southern California majoring in International Relations and Economics, and minoring in Human Rights. At USC she strives to make an impact on campus by being an active member of the Black Student Association and the Trojan Scholars Society. After graduation, she hopes to go to law school and become an International Human Rights Lawyer, where she intends to focus on the mitigation of the refugee crisis. During her free time, she enjoys exploring Los Angeles, trying out different foods, and spending time with family and friends.

Lizbeth Molina, Fall 2017 STF Intern

Lizbeth is a graduate student at Pepperdine University pursuing her Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership. She received her B.S. in Business Management from California State University of Northridge in 2016. She has a strong desire to be an advocate for others and protecting human rights and is now part of The Human Rights Watch Student Task Force Team. Her interests also include attending hip-hop concerts, dance, art and spending time with her family and friends.

Ella Ransom, Fall 2017 STF Intern

Ella is a junior at USC studying NGOs and Social Change and Contemporary Latino and Latin American Studies. She became interested in Human Rights and Latin American culture in middle school, and has spent her time helping that population minimize the injustices and inequalities they face. In high school, she volunteered with Montaña de Luz, an organization that maintains a home for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Honduras. In summer 2017, she interned for Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, helping with the community education program in order to educate unaccompanied, undocumented minors and their custodians on the legal processes and rights involved with the immigration process. She is also a guide for and in charge of membership for USC’s hiking club, SC Outfitters, where she gets to lead students on hiking and backpacking trips around California.

Sydney Redmond, Fall 2017 STF Intern

Sydney is a junior at the University of Southern California majoring in Political Science, and minoring in Business Law and Human Rights. In high school, she volunteered at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of the South Coast Area where she tutored and mentored middle schoolers. This summer, she studied French in Dijon, France. She is also an associate editor for USC Journal of Law and Society, and last year she helped to select outstanding papers written by students from USC and all around the world to be published by the journal. 

Drew Snyder, Spring 2018 STF Intern

Drew is a junior at Occidental College majoring in Diplomacy & World Affairs. She became interested in human rights and trafficking in persons when she first read Nicholas Kristof’s & Sheryl WuDunn’s “Half the Sky”. Drew has an extensive background in child education and human rights education. She first got involved as a tutor and mentor for children with disabilities in high school and later, she became an advocate for girls’ education in collaboration with “Tetuma”, an NGO she worked with during her gap year in Senegal. Drew just recently spent her summer in New Zealand and study abroad in France. When she isn’t traveling she’s typically on Occidental’s campus working on the organic farm as a member of the Food and Energy Sustainability Team (FEAST), tramping up any mountain as a member of the Hiking Team, or interviewing a community member as a writer for the Occidental Weekly. Drew hopes to spend the spring semester learning all there is to know about human rights education and looks forward to becoming a better and more informed advocate.

Charles Witwer, Spring 2018 STF Intern

Charles R. Witwer is a senior at Occidental College studying Diplomacy and World Affairs and Public Health. Charles’ academic interests include Latin American politics and the intersection of international law, drug policy, and human rights. On campus, he is the co-founder and former president of the Occidental chapter of Students For Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), an international student advocacy organization organizing around drug policy reform, harm reduction and human rights. Prior to founding Oxy SSDP, Charles served as a Health Educator and Leadership Council Member for Peer Health Exchange Occidental, recruiting, training, and coordinating a subset of fellow Health Educators in order to teach evidence-based health workshops for high school students in Los Angeles public schools. While studying abroad in Fall 2016, Charles interned at Educación Popular En Salud (EPES), an NGO based in Santiago, Chile working to eliminate health inequities. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado Charles enjoys skiing, hiking, running, reading, and traveling.

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