Senior Julie Kornfeld Wins Princeton in Africa Fellowship

Senior Julie Kornfeld Wins Princeton in Africa Fellowship

Julie Kornfeld
Senior Julie Kornfeld won a Princeton in Africa Fellowship for work in Uganda next year with the Lutheran World Federation. The social policy major is passionate about international human rights, especially related to forced migration in the conflict zones of East Africa.

Princeton in Africa is a nonprofit organization that develops young leaders committed to advancement in Africa by providing fellowship opportunities with organizations working there. “LWF began working in Uganda in 1981 to respond to the needs of poor and marginalized communities in high-risk environments. The program focuses on emergency response as well as capacity building for community-based organizations and the promotion of sustainable development,” Kornfeld explains.

She will be serving as the organization’s Ugandan program assistant, with responsibility for managing grants, coordinating reporting and helping to build relationships with partners. Kornfeld applied for the Princeton in Africa Fellowship because she wanted to spend about a year in East Africa doing work or research related to international human rights and conflict and post-conflict zone resolution and response.

Afterward she plans to go to law school and study international human rights law and immigration law. “My dream is to work for an international organization crafting refugee and conflict response policy. I hope that my time in Uganda will give me the practical knowledge I need to responsibly and effectively engage in these issues later on in my career,” she says.

Kornfeld credits SESP and Northwestern for helping her to focus her broad interest in human rights on three specific interests: East Africa, forced migration, and conflict and post-conflict zones. “When I entered Northwestern, I was pre-med because I believed that was the sole field in which one could actually make a difference. However, after talking to my peers, I learned about SESP and social policy and realized there were other fields that had the same mission in mind.” Course work as well as various experiences at Northwestern including club and study abroad helped her to narrow her interest in human rights to the three specific areas she is most passionate about.

Earlier, she studied abroad in Uganda through Northwestern’s International Program Development program. She also completed a senior honors thesis on cultural orientation programs in overseas refugee camps and how they shape perceptions of resettlement in American society. She won an Undergraduate Research Grant to conduct research about the forces shaping refugee perceptions.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/30/11