Center On Human Rights Education Staff

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  • Fawn Bolak- Associate Director

    Fawn is a second year M.A. candidate in the International Studies program, focusing on the intersection of gender and political violence. Prior to coming to Korbel, she received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Florida in 2014, earning a B.A. in Political Science, a B.S. in Psychology, and a certificate in Women’s Studies. Before moving to Denver to pursue graduate study, she worked as a Victim Advocate at the University of Central Florida Police Department where she provided comprehensive services for victims of crime and participated in community violence prevention efforts. While at Korbel, Fawn has participated in projects for the Human Trafficking Center, interned for the Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and spent the summer in Turkey studying the Syrian refugee crisis. Apart from working for COHRE, Fawn also serves as the second year representative for the Korbel Graduate Student Association and is the co-president of Amnesty @Korbel. In her spare time, Fawn enjoys reading, knitting, hiking with her dogs, and traveling.

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  • Morgan McDonald- Research & Education Coordinator

    Morgan is a first year M.A. candidate in International Development with a concentration and focus on global health and gender. She received a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Seattle Pacific University, where her passions for women’s and human rights expanded. She has lived, worked and explored in Seattle, WA, as well as worked, lived and traveled through East Africa. Most recently, Morgan’s international travels took her to Northern Uganda with a legal NGO, International Justice Mission, where she was immersed in the vastly intricate issues of property rights. Being new to Colorado, Morgan is excited to explore new outdoor adventures and seek out the best ice cream shops, while enjoying her uninhibited love of country music and a good dance party.

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  • Kate Morgan- Events Co-Coordinator


    Kate is a second year M.A. candidate in International Human Rights. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She has a specialization in religious and ethnic minority rights, as well as a specialization in Statistical Methods. Kate is also working with the Human Trafficking Center. While she is not studying or traveling Kate likes to run, cook, and read.

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  • Kushagra Pokhrel- Research & Education Assistant

    Kushagra is a first year M.A. student in the International Human Rights program with interest in studying the intersection between migrant rights, human trafficking, armed conflict and security, with a certificate in Humanitarian Assistance. He completed his Bachelor degree in International Relations at Syracuse University with a focus on International Legal Organizations, and the Middle East. Kushagra’s past work includes transitional justice advocacy, monitoring ethnic violence, and earthquake relief work in Nepal. He is also a research assistant for Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group (HAARG) and loves to hike and play music during his free time.

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  • Melissa Rary – Events Co-Coordinator

    Melissa Rary is currently pursuing her MA in International Development at Korbel. Her concentration is Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development, and she recently completed an internship at the Environmental Protection Agency this summer. She is particularly interested in environmental justice for indigenous populations as much of the world is turning to sustainable development and pursuing green economy trajectories. In her free time, she enjoys photography and long, snowy hikes with her pup. 

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  • Joey White- Communications Co-Coordinator

    Joey is a first year M.A. candidate in the International Human Rights program and is pursuing a certificate in Global Business and Corporate Social Responsibility. She received her B.A. from Illinois State University in Public Relations, with minors in International Studies and French. During undergrad Joey worked with a local business bureau to strengthen community involvement and fundraise for non-profit organizations in the area. She also completed a study abroad program in International Marketing at the Novancia School of Business in Paris. She hopes to bolster the importance of human rights in the economic, social and environmental aspects of corporate activity. Joey is working with COHRE and is also involved with the Human Trafficking Center. For fun Joey likes to make crafts, see live music, and ride her bike.

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  • Elizabeth Kirchoff- Project Coordinator

    Elizabeth is a second-year graduate student at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, majoring in International Human Rights with a certificate in Global Health Affairs. Her focus is on alleviating social, economic, and political inequalities through strategic research, education, health, and development projects, with a career interest in the Monitoring and Evaluation sector. Recent projects have included Human Rights Education workshops, WASH Development in the Global South, and social entrepreneurship-driven international development.

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  • Briana Simmons- Communications Co-Coordinator

    Briana Simmons, born and raised in Kansas City, Mo, is a second year M.A. candidate in the International Human Rights program at Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. At the forefront of Briana’s interests are reproductive justice, modern slavery, and education. She earned a B.S. in Journalism with a minor in international relations at Missouri State University. While earning her first degree, she also worked as a journalist for three publications including KSMU Radio 91.1 FM. Briana uses an interdisciplinary approach of media and international studies in all of her work. She is currently employed with the Center on Rights Development as the media and communications co-coordinator and as a research assistant with the Human Trafficking Center. Briana is also in the process of completing doula training and certification. When she’s not working, she enjoys exploring new places, cooking, and anything with an artistic flair. 

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  • Jo Beletic

    Jo Beletic is a second-year student pursuing her MA in International Human Rights at Korbel. Her focus is on Security and Civilian Protection. She recently completed an internship with UNDP’s Bureau of Policy and Programme Support, working both with the Fragile States team on conflict prevention and the 2030 Agenda team on tools for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In her free time, she looks to take advantage of Denver, climbing, and trail running.

The Center on Human Rights Education (COHRE), formerly the Center on Rights Development (CORD), was established at the University of Denver in 1988 as part of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. COHRE promotes universal recognition of human rights in all societies by cultivating a deeper understanding of the issues implementation by the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) through events, blog contributions, community education, and global and local partnership.