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.
Ariana is a current junior at USC studying Philosophy, Politics, and Law with a double minor in Business Law and Human Rights. Her passion for human rights was sparked during her semester abroad in Paris where she volunteered at refugee camps helping Kurdish and Afghani refugees. Currently, she also interns at the Union Rescue Mission in Downtown LA on the weekends. At USC, she serves as the VP of Professionalism for USC’s Pre-Law fraternity, works as an Administrative Assistant at USC Gould School of Law, conducts research in the Political Science department, and writes for The Daily Trojan. In her free time Ariana enjoys biking and spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to a future devoted to helping others in the best way she can.
Dani is a rising sophomore majoring in Human Rights at Columbia University. Her passion for human rights was first ignited at Harvard-Westlake, where she served as the president of the Model United Nations club and Girls Learn International, a girls’ and women’s advocacy club on campus. She later applied her interest in human rights to conflict resolution through her work with Muslims and Jews Inspiring Change, an interfaith committee that received Governor Brown’s faith-based organization of the year award. At Columbia, Dani is a residential advisor for a first-year dorm, works in the Admissions Office as a member of the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee and is a sister of Sigma Delta Tau. In addition to working with the Student Task Force, Dani is interning at Congressman Adam Schiff’s district office this summer.
Sharon is a rising senior majoring in International Relations from La Cañada Flintridge, California. She is currently an Administrative Assistant at the USC Gould School of Law, and is the Director of Philanthropy for Phi Alpha Delta (USC’s only pre-law Fraternity). Next spring, she will be studying in Washington D.C., and plans to pursue an internship either in the public sector or with a think tank. After graduation, Sharon plans to pursue a Fulbright Award to study in South Korea regarding reunification of the two Koreas.
Katie Linder, Spring 2017 STF Intern
Katie Linder is a junior at UCLA studying Spanish and political science with a focus on international relations, and is originally from a small town near Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has previously interned in the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein. She spent last summer as a marketing intern at a start-up travel technology company in Barcelona. On campus, Katie serves as the fundraising director for Project Literacy, which is a student group that aims to improve literacy rates in underserved areas of Los Angeles. She also spends her time writing for The Generation: UCLA’s Foreign Affairs Magazine. Katie has a passion for human rights, foreign affairs and travel, and looks forward to a future career through which she can explore those passions further.
Ijeoma Oti is a sophomore majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Law and minoring in Human Rights and Business Finance. She has previously interned at the LAX Superior Court and Stone, Grzegorek, & Gonzalez, a boutique U.S. immigration law firm downtown. On campus, Ijeoma serves as Director of Operations for the non-profit USC Chapter PCI, a delegate for Diversity Affairs, and an active member of Phi Alpha Delta USC’s pre-law fraternity and Alpha Lambda Delta USC’s honor society. For the upcoming year, she has been elected as the Associate Director of the Pan African Student Association and the Community Outreach Chair for the Black Student Association. With the Levin Scholarship, She will be interning at Human Rights Watch. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a J.D. and practice as an international human rights lawyer.
Angela Peckham, 2016-2017 Summer and Academic Year STF Intern
Angela Peckham is a Senior Diplomacy and World Affairs Major at Occidental College and is originally from Sacramento, CA. She spent the fall semester of her junior year in Geneva, Switzerland, studying the United Nations and other international organizations. While abroad, Angela began research on female Muslim refugee resettlement, and has continued this research while in Los Angeles. In the past, she has worked within the field of international trade, however has most recently spent time as a case worker at a refugee resettlement agency. She initially became interested in student advocacy while tutoring LA high school students. At Occidental, she is the President of Phi Beta Lambda National Business Fraternity and a campus tour guide. Angela looks forward to a future involving refugee resettlement and female empowerment.
Crystal Razavi, Spring 2017 STF Intern
Crystal Razavi is a junior at USC studying psychology and health and human sciences with a pre-law emphasis. Crystal spent her freshman year of college studying abroad in Paris, France at the American University of Paris. While abroad, she served as her university’s Director of Community Services where she helped raise awareness and inspired students to take initiative in lending a helping hand towards the less fortunate. She previously interned at UCI’s Medical Hospital where she worked closely with physicians to research gender differences in the outcome of patients with peripheral arterial disease. She has also worked at the California State Controller’s office where she did research on the housing crisis, homelessness, and poverty in California. Her interest in human rights sparked after spending a week in Cusco, Peru setting up medical clinics in underdeveloped villages and hopes to further explore her passions with the Student Task Force team this spring.