Interns

Brittany Branch is a senior at Christopher Newport University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Leadership Studies and Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. As an intern for the Department of Defense, Brittany developed a strong interest in international affairs and human rights. Through her involvement as a Research Intern for the Reiff Center, she hopes to cultivate this interest in others so that more individuals are made aware of the human rights violations occurring throughout the world and what can be done to alleviate these injustices.

Otso CastrĂ©n is a senior at Christopher Newport University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a minor in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. He is originally from Finland and has lived in the United States for eleven years now. Upon graduation, Otso will complete his mandatory military service in the Finnish Defense Forces, after which he is seeking to attend a school in Europe for graduate studies. He hopes to pursue a career within an international organization specializing in human rights or conflict prevention. As a research intern at the Reiff Center, Otso is gearing towards learning more about the field and the work required to advance it, as well as helping spread awareness of human rights far and wide.

Lauren Gagliardone is a senior pursuing a double major in Political Science and American Studies with a double minor in U.S. National Security Studies and Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. Through her internship this past summer working in Washington D.C. for the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, as well as competing with Christopher Newport University’s Model UN, Lauren hopes to use those experiences to work in the national security field after college. Primarily interested in counter-terrorism, she hopes to utilize her role as Event Coordinator and the opportunity to research for the Reiff Center to bring awareness to human rights and injustice based issues to create a background for postgraduate work within the federal government.

Katie Hall is a junior at Christopher Newport University pursuing a bachelor’s in History and Political Science, with minors in Leadership and Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. Katie is a Presidential and Pre-Law Scholar and aspires to become an international human rights attorney. She is in her third year of studying Arabic and hopes to be fluent in the language by the time she graduates. For the past two summers, Katie interned at the Cooper Law Firm, P.C. in Virginia Beach, V.A., gaining the title of ‘Head Intern’ this year. Katie is passionate about human and civil rights law and looks forward to publishing articles with the Reiff Center about international human rights law pertinent to modern issues.

Madeline Nichols is a senior pursuing a major in Political Science with a double minor in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and Leadership Studies. Through her internship this past summer working as a Casework Intern with the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, VA, and currently as a Volunteer Mentor to refugee teenagers with Commonwealth Catholic Charities in Newport News, VA, Madeline hopes to further her experience in nonprofit work. Primarily interested in the refugee crisis, she looks forward to gaining more knowledge and understanding about human rights through her position as a Research Intern with the Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution.

Savannah Sherman is a senior at Christopher Newport University. She is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Leadership and Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. She is a member of the President’s Leadership Program, as well as an active volunteer for Fear 2 Freedom and the Natasha House. She has a strong passion for human rights advocacy and social work policy, specifically helping individuals who have suffered from human trafficking, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. Upon graduation, Savannah hopes to work with organizations that provide aid to survivors of sexual and domestic abuse.