Two Pitt Students Awarded Humanity in Action Fellowships

Issue Date: 
April 27, 2015

Pitt junior Robert A. Tessier and graduating senior Audrey-Marie H. Winn have been awarded 2015 fellowships from Humanity in Action, a nonprofit international educational organization. As fellows, Tessier and Winn will conduct social-science and humanitarian-based research in the European cities of Warsaw and Amsterdam, respectively, this summer. Both are students in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Pitt students have now won 15 Humanity in Action Fellowships during the last 20 years. 

The Humanity in Action Fellowship program brings together international groups of university students and recent graduates to explore discrimination and social resistance as well as issues affecting underrepresented groups around the world. Fellows are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, evidence of leadership ability, and demonstrated commitment to human rights issues. For 2015, Humanity in Action has accepted 43 fellows from 36 U.S. colleges and universities, who will join students and recent graduates from higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, and Ukraine. 

Robert A. TessierA native of Sparta, N.J., Robert A. Tessier is majoring in neuroscience and sociology. His career ambitions include becoming a physician and working as a public health advocate for underserved populations, both in the United States and abroad. 

Tessier has been active in a wide range of public health service organizations throughout his time at Pitt. He currently serves as the vice president for the Pitt chapter of the nonprofit health organization MEDLIFE. Through the organization, he has worked in a Lima, Peru, mobile health clinic serving the medical needs of impoverished communities, and he has spearheaded initiatives to educate college students in Pittsburgh about public health. Tessier also has served as the vice president for Delta Chi Fraternity’s Pitt chapter and as a health aide volunteer in the Hospital Elder Life Program at UPMC Shadyside. 

Since enrolling at Pitt in 2012, he has assisted with research in the laboratories of faculty members within Pitt’s neuroscience and psychiatry departments. His current research focuses on human memory. 

As a Pitt student, Tessier has been honored with the University of Pittsburgh Academic Scholarship, an Undergraduate Research Program Fellowship from Pitt’s Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research, and a University Honors College Brackenridge Undergraduate Fellowship.

Audrey-Marie H. WinnA native of Pine Grove, Pa., Audrey-Marie H. Winn will receive a bachelor’s degree in Chinese, English writing, and philosophy from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Next fall, she will enter New York University School of Law under the Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholarship. She plans to pursue a career related to international law, global labor policy, and workers’ rights advocacy.

Winn currently serves as a policy-analyst intern at the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization. Within the organization, her duties include investigating corporate fraud at the international level and translating factory workers’ testimonials and field reports. 

Winn has been actively engaged in projects related to global humanitarianism and international labor policies, both locally and abroad. In fall 2014, through Pitt’s University Honors College Brackenridge Undergraduate Fellowship, she examined the effects of corporate withdrawal on employment opportunities in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood. During the summer of 2014, she counseled litigants with limited English proficiency while volunteering with the American Civil Liberties Union. That same summer, she conducted a large-scale research project in London, focusing on the history of corporate espionage in the United Kingdom. 

Most recently, Winn was honored with Pitt’s 2015 Emma Locke Award (see story on page 10).

Established in 1997, Humanity in Action seeks to promote human rights, diversity, and active citizenship around the world.