UNC senior named 2013 Humanity in Action Fellow

Senior Kelsey Jost-Creegan of Chapel Hill has devoted most of her college career to learning about and advocating for human rights. While studying in France two years ago, she discovered what she calls a “cultural mélange” of modern Paris. She lived with a family of Hispanic origin in a predominantly North African area. She learned Arabic and French words from an Egyptian shopkeeper. On her way to school, she passed by the birthplace of French musical icon Édith Piaf and a small Chinatown.

“I observed similar debates to those I’d witnessed in the United States over the challenge of finding a balance between recognizing minority rights and maintaining national identity,” said Jost-Creegan. “Simultaneously, however, I noted some differences between the two countries.”

When Jost-Creegan learned that she will return to France this summer as a Humanity in Action Fellow, she was honored. She had seen some of the challenges of minority integration and wanted to learn the best methods for promoting equality among all populations.

For the month of June, Jost-Creegan will join students and recent graduates from American and European universities for an intense study on human rights. Through an interdisciplinary program, fellows learn from renowned academics, journalists and politicians and become part of a global network dedicated to issues of equality. She received one of 42 fellowships awarded by Humanity in Action, Inc. to students in the United States.

A double major in global studies and Spanish, Jost-Creegan came to Carolina on a Morehead-Cain Scholarship. She has been inducted to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s highest honor society for college students and Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society.

She is co-director of the Roosevelt Institute Social Justice Center and advises her peers on a variety of policy issues. She also co-chairs Advocates for Human Rights, a Campus Y organization that plans events to raise awareness about equality. She spent the last three summers working with minority populations in Argentina and Switzerland and is active in UNC’s Buckley Public Service Scholars program.