Pitt Honors College Juniors Receive 2011 Humanity in Action Fellowships

Issue Date: 
May 16, 2011

Two University of Pittsburgh Honors College students have been selected to receive 2011 Humanity in Action (HIA) summer fellowships. Karina Goulordava, a junior majoring in Spanish and communication-rhetoric, and Kevin Ramser, a junior majoring in film studies, both in the School of Arts and Sciences, will participate in the European Programs in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, respectively.

This is the sixth-consecutive year that Pitt has competed successfully in the HIA Fellowship program.

The HIA European Programs—based in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland—focus on European issues of historical and contemporary importance, among them immigration, the integration of underrepresented groups, and the formation of international human rights doctrines.

Goulordava, from Phoenix, Ariz., is multilingual—a native Russian speaker, proficient in Spanish, and conversational in Arabic. In Spring Term 2009, she worked on a semester-long research project with Alexander Matros, a former faculty member in Pitt’s Department of Economics, who was seeking to prove, based upon large quantities of statistics, that cheating exists in soccer. To aid Matros’ research, Goulordava created a spreadsheet with 15 seasons of both Russian Premier League and British Premier League soccer statistics.

In summer 2010, she took part in the Palestine Summer Encounter in Bethlehem, volunteering with the Union for Social Workers and Psychologists. While there, Goulordava worked at a children’s summer camp and assisted local farmers in planting olive trees. As a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine, she served as the local outreach coordinator for the organization One World One Life One Peace.

Goulordava serves as a teaching assistant in the freshman Introduction to Arts and Sciences course and is a Pitt Pathfinder, conducting campus tours for prospective students and their families. In Spring Term 2010, she took part in Pitt’s Emerging Leaders Program and interned for a judge in the Allegheny County Criminal Court. She also tutors and works with students at Arsenal Middle School through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

Ramser, from Gibsonia, Pa., also is pursuing a certificate in public and professional writing. He was the creator and host of The Gay Agenda, an LGBTQ-focused news program on Pitt’s WPTS radio, and video intern for Sampsonia Way Magazine in Spring Term 2011. At the magazine, Ramser was responsible for planning, shooting, and editing interviews as well as archiving existing video footage.

President of The Sprocket Guild, a club that promotes and fosters independent filmmaking, Ramser develops and oversees the club’s agenda. He is collaborating on a documentary that explores cross-generational perspectives on universal issues related to gay identity and culture in Pittsburgh.

A community activist, Ramser served as an independent organizer and documentarian during the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009. He collaborated with the former Sprocket Guild president to create a documentary about grassroots-level protests with a particular interest in student activism. A photo Ramser shot during the summit was selected for The New York Times’ online gallery “Documenting the Decade,” published on Dec. 30, 2009.

Ramser is a training coordinator for Pitt’s Telefund.

Participation in the HIA’s core programs provides the foundation for further involvement with HIA. Upon completion of summer fellowships, participants may proceed to international internships to continue their training in human rights issues. Past fellows have used their experiences with HIA to further careers in such fields as education, civil service, journalism, law, and art.

HIA was founded in 1997 to guide student leaders in the study of human rights. Fellows are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, evidence of leadership ability, and demonstrated commitment to human rights issues.