Eddie Andujar ’15 (New York, N.Y.) will study human rights in Copenhagen, Denmark, this summer after receiving a Humanity in Action Fellowship.
Awarded to 42 students from the United States, the highly competitive fellowship brings together international students and recent graduates to explore different national histories of discrimination and resistance to injustice, as well as examples of contemporary issues affecting minority groups.
Established in 1999, the interdisciplinary fellowship features daily lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians, and activists, as well as site visits to government agencies, nonprofit and community organizations, museums, and memorials. The focus of Andujar’s studies will be quality of life, particularly efficiency, equity, and freedom, in the United States and Scandinavia. Topics will include access to education, economic and governmental structure, and wealth inequality.
An international affairs major, Andujar says his interest in human rights stems from his experience growing up in New York City.
“Over the course of the last few years, public housing property has been sold off to develop luxury rentals and lofts,” he says. “This experience opened my eyes to silent injustices and developed my interest in learning more about them.”
Courses at Lafayette in history, anthropology, and government and law expanded Andujar’s knowledge of institutionalized discrimination and social inequality, he says. Becoming a resident of the Grossman House for Global Perspectives enabled him to explore these topics even further by exposing him to extremely diverse viewpoints.
“Living in the Grossman House has allowed me to interact with visiting artists and performers from all over the world,” he says. “I have also informally discussed politics with a number of international students who live in the Grossman House.”
Several experiences at Lafayette inspired Andujar to pursue the Humanity in Action Fellowship. Being a Posse Scholar, he says, surrounds him with people who are constantly challenging each other to pursue growing experiences. An equally big influence has been his mentor, Suzanne Westfall, professor of English.
“She taught me that the world is bigger than just Lafayette’s campus and that if I’m going to take international affairs seriously, I’m going to have to stop talking and start listening,” he says.
After graduation, Andujar plans to work for a nongovernmental organization in the United States, advocating for immigrants’ rights or seeking to bolster the quality of life in the inner city. This summer will supply him with many experiences helpful to this aim.
“My experience with Humanity in Action will expose me to politicians and activists fighting to increase the access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and careers to often overlooked communities,” he says.
While on campus, Andujar is a representative for the Grossman House, planning campus events that spark discussions of globalization. He is also a public relations officer with Hispanic Society of Lafayette.
Eager to study abroad, Andujar has taken an interim trip to Mexico and will spend next year studying in Costa Rica during the fall semester, then Puerto Rico for the spring semester.
For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.