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June 2, 2014

Raymund Fellows return from Oxford study trip

Ten Oregon Law students from the Master's Degree in Conflict and Dispute Resolution program (CRES) received the opportunity to travel to London for a spring break workshop and seminar at The University of Oxford on global justice and human rights.

"I learned so much! My trip to the University of Oxford was invaluable. Being able to travel out of the country is something that has broadened my horizons on my potential career path as well as my academic studies," said CRES student Alexis White.

A generous gift from UO alumnus Steve Raymund facilitated the fund that appointed the ten students as Raymund Fellows. Raymund donated the fund in 2007 to support the mission of the CRES program.

"These funds will enable some of our best students to engage with faculty and others in the active pursuit of some of the most pressing social challenges of our day," remarked Oregon Law Dean Michael Moffitt. "This is a three-fold gift: helping to transform individual students' lives, helping to strengthen important university programs, and helping to create lasting effects on the world."

In the months prior to the trip to London, each Raymund Fellow studied influential scholars and rigorous readings, as well as attended extra meetings with the group to prepare for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. The students attended an intensive seminar in conjunction with Oxford's Merton College, Hertford College and Oxford's Center for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict — this year's seminar focused on the Syrian conflict. Additionally, each Fellow concluded the week with a presentation about material that was learned throughout the seminar and workshops.

While at Oxford, the students worked closely with dispute resolution and human rights experts Cheney Ryan and Hugo Slim. Ryan works part of the year as an emeritus professor in the CRES program; the rest of his time is spent at Oxford. Slim is one of Oxford's leading authorities on the area of human rights.

"Having access to the scholars who are doing the work that I want to do in the future was inspiring and gave me new energy and hope when I returned to class this term," said White.

"Any opportunity to work with people like Hugo Slim, who is a leading expert in the field of humanitarian aid is an exceptional chance," added Megan Malone, a CRES graduate student.

Another donation created the Stern Fellowship fund, which allowed nine Clark Honors College undergraduate students to join the ten Oregon Law students at Oxford. This is the second year that UO has sent students to Oxford. "I would absolutely recommend this to other students. This trip gave us the opportunity to learn from a group with diverse backgrounds in a unique way that doesn’t always happen in everyday settings. It was also a great time to meet and network with students who have similar interests," said White. "One of the most important things I have taken from this trip is a renewed vigor for human rights issues and how to be an effective advocate for communities in need."

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