Baylor graduate receives prestigious human rights fellowship

By Pablo Gonzales | Assistant News Editor

Kun-Ying Helena Sung, Baylor class of 2009 alumne, is a recipient of the Benjamin B. Ferencz Fellowship in Human Rights and Law at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minn. She was selected by the fellowship committee to increase awareness about the International Criminal Court.

World Without Genocide, a nonprofit organization at the law school, awards the fellowships. They work to protect innocent people around the world and prevent genocide by combating racism and prejudice, advocate for the prosecution of perpetrators and remember those whose lives and cultures have been destroyed by violence, according to its website.

The Ferencz Fellowship provides financial support through World Without Genocide for work on core areas of human rights including research, policy development and action at local, state, national and international levels.

Sung is a second-year law student at Mitchell Hamline Law School. Sung will attend the Court’s annual Assembly of State Parties at the United Nations in New York, where she will serve as a rapporteur for the American Non Government Organization Coalition for the International Criminal Court. In this position, she will prepare reports and other materials for national distribution.

Sung received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Baylor and a Masters of Public Health in Health Management and Policy from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth in 2014.

Since graduation, Sung has worked as an advocate for others. Sung said this award is very special to her because of her previous work in mental health advocacy and women’s rights.

“Before law school, I was a public health consultant that developed and participated in the implementation of a teen pregnancy prevention program in Taiwan,” Sung said. “I also presented on this program at the 57th to 60th sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Parallel Events. This award provides me with the opportunity to continue to expand my view on international human rights issues.”

Dr. Ellen Kennedy, executive director of World Without Genocide, said in a statement that this year’s fellowships focus on advancing legislation to address gender discrimination and violence; promote policies to combat climate change and develop programs to support the International Criminal Court.

Sung said she hopes her work in advocacy will continue long after her time at the United Nations. She plans to continue her work as an advocate for others for the rest of her life.

“I came to law school to become a better advocate for those who are in need,” Sung said. “I hope to utilize what I have learned in law school to become an effective bridge and solution between those who have different perspectives.”