Allegheny College Graduate John Rooney One of 43 Americans to Receive 2015 Humanity in Action Fellowship

April 22, 2015 – John Rooney, an Allegheny College class of 2014 alumnus, has been named one of 43 American recipients of the prestigious 2015 Humanity in Action Fellowship.

Rooney and the rest of the 2015 American Fellows will join students and recent graduates from universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine to participate in the Humanity in Action Fellowship in Europe. The Fellowship will take place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Warsaw from May 25 to June 28, 2015. Rooney, who resides in Austin, Texas, will travel to Copenhagen.

“The issue of human rights has been an interest of mine. What appealed to me about this fellowship was the opportunity to get together with a very diverse group of people that brings together such heavy people in terms of intellectuals and activists and others leading in the field of human rights,” says Rooney, who majored in political science and minored in black studies at Allegheny. “I’ve never been significantly out of the country, so the opportunity to go to Europe with others my age to discuss these issues with such leading thinkers is exciting.” 

“The Humanity in Action Fellowship is a good fit for anyone interested in human rights work, international affairs and community organizing,” says Patrick Jackson, visiting professor of religious studies and history who works with students who are applying to external fellowships. “It’s an intensive program that seems to have a profound effect on the people who participate in it.”

This is the first time Allegheny has had a Humanity in Action Fellow. The Fellows are selected on a highly competitive basis for their high academic standing, active civic participation in human rights issues and outstanding recommendations. Humanity in Action received a record 688 applications from 253 American colleges and universities for the 2015 Fellowship. Humanity in Action supports all Fellows financially for the duration of their programs, allowing for the merit-based selection of diverse applicants. These young leaders are dynamic, entrepreneurial and passionate about changing the world.

The Humanity in Action Fellowship is highly interdisciplinary and features daily lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians and activists, as well as site visits to government agencies, nonprofit and community organizations, museums and memorials. The programs seek to highlight different models of action to remedy injustice relating to diverse societies.

The 2015 American Fellows will participate in an orientation workshop in Washington, D.C., from May 25 to May 28, 2015. The orientation will focus on American civil rights, Holocaust education and European security and political issues. It will also feature sessions devoted to advising Humanity in Action Fellows on building careers in the field of foreign affairs.

This year’s Fellowship will come to a close at the Sixth Annual Humanity in Action International Conference in The Hague from June 25 to June 28, 2015. The 2015 Fellows from all program cities will convene in The Hague to explore the city’s unique promotion of international peace, justice and reconciliation.

Since 1999, Humanity in Action has engaged more than 1,500 Fellows in its transatlantic study programs focusing on human rights and minority issues—past and present—in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the United States. Humanity in Action Fellows have used the knowledge gained in the programs and inspiration from one another to make a difference in public service, journalism, medicine, law, education, the arts, business and grassroots action. Humanity in Action’s unique international network of leaders is a valuable resource to policy-makers, diplomats, educators, business leaders and civic-minded individuals and organizations.