Media credit: Michelle Rattinger
Kathleen Fallon has brought new meaning to advocacy through her tireless work for the advancement of human rights internationally.
Fallon became involved with STAND, the student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network, during her freshman year at GW, and has served as a member of the executive board during all of her years at the University.
The organization focuses on raising awareness and fundraising for the atrocities in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During her sophomore year, STAND donated money to Banaa, an organization that brings students from Sudan to the U.S. to receive college educations.
"I remember reading an article on the genocide in Darfur in the newspaper when I was 16. I was completely shocked that genocide was going on and even more shocked that people around the world would stand by and let it continue," she said.
As far as she can remember, she said, this sparked her interest in global politics and global events. It also had an effect on why she chose to study international affairs, specifically in D.C. where she could "be a part of fighting for human rights."
Since then, she said, one of her passions has been international human rights advocacy, STAND’s focus. During her sophomore year, Fallon began an internship with the Genocide Intervention Network where she completed a lot of administrative work and drafted progress reports.
"Meeting others involved with those organizations has been one of my high points here in D.C. because they are the people who are going to make change in the world," she said of her experience.
Fallon developed a passion for the Middle East after reading about events in Iraq during high school and when she began studying Arabic during her freshman year at GW.
Taking her junior year off from GW to live in Syria, she studied at Damascus University. While there, Fallon volunteered at the United Nations Relief Works Agency, which provides assistance for Palestinian refugees. She also became involved in the Iraqi Student Project where she taught an advanced writing course for Iraqi refugee students who were preparing to apply to U.S. universities.
After graduation, Fallon hopes to travel to Cairo.
by Monica Mehta
This profile ran in today’s edition of the GW Hatchet, accessible online here.