Teaching & Students

Human Rights Minor Karen Chen earns Fulbright Award

Karen Chen

Human Rights Minor Karen Chen was selected to be a U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar in South Korea. She will be developing corneal transplant alternatives to treat blindness in the developing world through research with the Koh Lab at Yonsei University. Karen, a computer science major, is also pursuing a co-term master's program in Biomedical informatics.

Karen’s human rights capstone project is titled "Dispelling Refugee Myths: Creating Art and Rhetoric on Refugee Immigration in the Trump Era." It centers around her previous work as a policy researcher with Refugee Services of Texas (RSTX) and creates a visual art series broadcasting the message that refugee immigration enriches our communities. Concerned over the low refugee resettlement numbers at RSTX that occurred during the Trump’s presidency (less than 100 a day) and recognizing the political and social consequences the Trump administration had on the public outlook on refugees, her work with RSTX culminated in a series of works in music, visual arts, and performance. Additionally, she also worked with RSTX to facilitate the creation of a digital interactive dispelling common refugee myths.

"Karen is not just a highly motivated student who consistently produces outstanding academic work," said her capstone advisor, Center Director David Cohen. "Her capstone project, juxtaposing her beautiful paintings of women refugees with text and poetry, successfully combined her artistic gifts with her academic and personal concern for their plight. It also displayed the deep empathy and human commitment to victims that have guided her throughout her human rights career here in our Center," Cohen added.

Congratulations, Karen!