Human Rights Institute Announces the ‘Commendation for Leadership and Commitment in Human Rights’ 2016 Awardees
New York, August 1, 2016 – The Human Rights Institute is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute ‘Commendation for Leadership and Commitment in Human Rights.’ In recognition of exceptional dedication to human rights at Columbia Law School and to the human rights field, the Institute honors four remarkable law students: Candy Ofime ’17 JD, Naomi Prodeau ’17 JD, Gulika Reddy ’16 LL.M, and Ryan Santicola ’16 LL.M.
Awardees are selected based on their commitment to advancing human rights opportunities at Columbia, engagement in mentorship of new students into human rights, activities undertaken in and out of the law school to advance human rights, and commitment to a career in human rights and to advancing the human rights field.
Awardees are selected by Human Rights Institute directors and staff: faculty co-directors Sarah Cleveland and Sarah Knuckey, executive director Risa Kaufman, associate director JoAnn Ward, director Tony Wilson, director Alex Moorehead, clinical teaching fellow Benjamin Hoffman, and program manager Randi Aho.
The Human Rights Institute faculty and staff congratulate Candy, Naomi, Gulika, and Ryan for their extraordinary achievements.
Candy Ofime ’17
Candy Ofime ’17 JD was co-founder and co-president of the Society of Law and Ethics and served as co-president of Rightslink. She was a staffer on the Columbia Journal of European Law, and a member of the Black Law Students Association, the Latino/a Law Student Association, the Empowering Women of Color Student Group, and the Columbia Society for International Law (CSIL). During her time at the law school, Ofime concentrated on international human rights law and advocacy, including on both business and human rights, and human rights in armed conflict. As a member of the Human Rights Clinic, Ofime conducted research in support of an indigenous community living around an industrial gold mine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and to advance the right to water. She deepened her understanding of international humanitarian law while participating in the Columbia Law School Human Rights Internship Program in the occupied Palestinian territories. As a research assistant with Professor Amal Clooney, she researched the right to assistance of counsel in criminal proceedings under international law. Ofime will complete her final year of law school in Paris, France.
Naomi Prodeau ’17 with Central African Republic project partner Anicet, Secretary General of The Network of NGOs for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights in the Central African Republic
Naomi Prodeau ’17 JD was a member of Rightslink and the Columbia Society for International Law (CSIL), and a staff member of the Human Rights Law Review Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual. Her academic interests include the constitutional right to basic education, land rights, refugee resettlement, and the right to bodily integrity and the prohibition against torture. Prodeau traveled to Amman, Jordan to work with the International Refugee Assistance Project, and to the Legal Resources Centre in Grahamstown, South Africa. Prodeau also examined the right to a fair trial in international jurisprudence as a research assistant for Professor Amal Clooney. With the Human Rights Clinic, she conducted work on U.S. counter-terrorism policies and practices, and the use of drones for targeted killing. In the summer of 2016, as a research assistant to Professor Sarah Knuckey, she traveled to the Central African Republic for a project on forensic anthropology and mass graves. She further conducted extensive legal research for the re-drafting of the new Minnesota Protocol, a UN manual on the investigation of unlawful killings. Prodeau was a recipient of the John Bainbridge Fellowship for her work in South Africa, and is a 2016 Harlan Fiske Stone scholar. Next year, she will continue to pursue her work with the Human Rights Clinic, serve as a research assistant for Professor Sarah Cleveland, act as an Article Editor for the Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual and serve as a board member of the Human Rights Law Review. She is completing her degree at the Sorbonne in France.
Gulika Reddy ’16
Gulika Reddy ’16 LL.M focused her Columbia Law School studies on human rights, development, advocacy, and gender justice as a 2015-2016 Human Rights LL.M Fellow. She was a member of the Human Rights Clinic, where she contributed to a project in Papua New Guinea, addressing the right to remedy for victims of sexual violence and the right to water. In fall 2016, Reddy will join the Dubin Fellows Program for Emerging Leaders at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she will focus on gender and education policy in India. Reddy will continue her work as founder and director of her non-profit Schools of Equality.
Ryan Santicola ’16
Ryan Santicola ’16 LL.M was named a Columbia Law School James Kent Scholar in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, and was awarded the 2016 Parker School Certificate for his accomplishments in international and comparative law. He focused his LL.M on international law, with a particular interest in the intersection between international humanitarian law and human rights. He examined the investigation of civilian casualties resulting from the use of military force outside of areas of active hostilities through supervised research, and provided research assistance on the use of military force for Professor Sarah Knuckey. Santicola further provided research assistant to Professor Amal Clooney on the right to a fair trial in international law. While pursuing his LL.M, Santicola joined the United States Naval War College's International Law Studies journal as an Associate Editor. Next year, he will resume his active duty military service as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Navy, mentoring and assessing fellow Judge Advocates on the application of international humanitarian law and the law of the sea.
The Human Rights Institute is the focal point for human rights teaching, practice, scholarship, and critical reflection at Columbia Law School. Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin, the Institute draws on the Law School’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and throughout the world. The activities of the Human Rights Clinic are included in the Institute’s work, enabling us to multiply our impact on the field and fully engage students in our efforts.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School combines traditional strengths in corporate law and financial regulation, international and comparative law, property, contracts, constitutional law, and administrative law with pioneering work in intellectual property, digital technology, tax law and policy, national security, human rights, sexuality and gender, and environmental law.