Larissa Peltola is a first-year Human Rights Studies MA student concentrating on women in conflict settings. She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College where she earned a degree in International Relations and History with a sequence in Genocide, Human Rights, and Holocaust Studies and completed her thesis, titled, Rape as a Weapon of War and Genocide, focusing on the history of rape as a calculated tactic of genocidal and ethnic cleansing campaigns and the ways in which the legal community has failed survivors of genocidal rape. For several years Larissa has been a Youth Ambassador for TheCommunity.com where she met and interviewed Nobel Peace Laureates and wrote blog posts, attended the World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners, and helped activate other young people to support the causes endorsed by the Nobel Laureates. In 2018, she was selected as a Fulbright recipient tasked with teaching classes on the history of U.S. social movements at the University of Debrecen and working on issues of educational desegregation of the Roma population in Eastern Hungary. The culmination of her project was a short book comprised of personal interviews with the Roma community in Told, Hungary.
Noah Smith (he/him) is a graduate student in the Human Rights Studies program at Columbia University. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland. Prior to his studies at Columbia, he worked as a Faculty Specialist in the Laboratory of Cognition and Emotion as well as the Laboratory of Motivated Cognition at UMD. In his previous research he examined the psychology of radicalization, deradicalization, and terrorism as well as the neural basis of fear and the interactions between cognition and emotion/motivation in the human brain. At Columbia his research focuses on the intersection between LGBTQI, sexuality, & gender identities as well as how these identities can inform domestic & international policies. His thesis concentration focuses on sex panics and there implications for human rights. He is also a fall fellow with The National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) .
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