Professor Ken Cmiel and Professor Burns Weston came from different academic backgrounds, but they shared a common passion: building the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights—a unit of the College of Law—into a world-class, cross-disciplinary resource for human rights education, research, and service.
Cmiel, who died in 2006, was a UI professor of history and American studies. He was an award-winning author whose research and teaching earned him top honors at Iowa and profound respect among historians nationwide. He had an eclectic and broad range of interests but was primarily known for his work on the history of human rights. He became director of the Center for Human Rights in 2004.
Weston, who died in 2015, co-founded the Center for Human Rights in 1999 and served as its first director. The Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus in the Iowa Law School, he was an outstanding teacher and an influential author of 28 books and many journal articles on topics such as nuclear weapons and disarmament, child labor, human rights, and environmental survival.
“We congratulate all of our 2023 Cmiel and Weston Scholarship recipients,” said Adrien Wing, the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law, associate dean for International and Comparative Law Programs, and director of the Center for Human Rights. “We’re delighted that with this essential support, these exemplary students were able to pursue career-building professional development opportunities, engage in real-world human rights work, and continue the extraordinary legacy of Professors Cmiel and Weston.”
Cmiel’s and Weston’s shared legacy lives on through the students, staff, faculty, and leadership of the Center for Human Rights. Each spring, the center celebrates the former directors’ enduring impact—and recognizes student excellence—by awarding the Kenneth J. Cmiel Internship Funding Scholarship and the Burns H. Weston Internship Funding Scholarship.
Iowa Law and the UI Center for Human Rights are pleased to announce the recipients of the Kenneth J. Cmiel Scholarship and Burns H. Weston Scholarship. The six recipients completed their internships during summer 2023.
Kenneth J. Cmiel Internship Funding Program
The Cmiel scholarship supports UI students completing a summer internship with an organization or agency engaged in human rights advocacy, research, or education. Funding is provided by the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization; the program is administered by UI International Programs.
2023 Scholarship Recipients
- Siduri Beckman, a second-year Iowa Law student, worked with the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut in New Haven, Connecticut.
- Roya Green, also a second-year Iowa Law student, interned with International Bridges to Justice in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Emily Harkin, a fourth-year undergraduate on the pre-law track with a major in English and minors in Political Science and Criminology, Law, and Justice, worked with the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa.
- Yamam Hussien, a third-year neuroscience major (pre-med track) interned in Jordan with the SIT Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action program.
- Cassidy Rea, a second-year Iowa Law student, worked with the Federal Public Defender of the Northern District of Iowa, based in Cedar Rapids.
Burns H. Weston Internship Funding Program
The Weston scholarship supports a UI law student who has secured a rights-related summer internship.
2023 Scholarship Recipient
- Andrew Wendel, a third-year Iowa Law student, interned with the Federal Public Defender, Western District of Washington, based in Seattle.
Learn more about the Kenneth J. Cmiel Internship Funding Program and the Burns H. Weston Internship Funding Program. The application deadline for the 2024 Cmiel and Weston awards is Friday, April 19. Download the 2024 application here.