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USF student receives Fulbright award to study law in Liverpool
[04.10.2013]

Tampa, Fla. -- Joanna Rozpedowski of the University of South Florida received a Fulbright Study Grant to study law at the University of Liverpool School of Law in Liverpool, England. Rozpedowski is one of 46 students to study under the Fulbright program in the United Kingdom this year.

The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries. It operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Recipients of the award are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstration of leadership in their fields.

Rozpedowski is originally from Poland, and fluent in both English and Polish. She studied political philosophy at Fordham University and international law in Italy at the European University Institute and in the Czech Republic at the Center for Public Policy. She also was given the opportunity to participate in an NBC News/CNBC internship at the 2012 Republican National Convention. It was while she was studying in Florence, Italy that she learned about the international human rights law program at the University of Liverpool.

Growing up in Europe during a transitional political period, Rozpedowski developed her interest in political science during this time when much of her family and school environment was consumed by political, historical and philosophical discourse surrounding the event. In addition, she spent much of this time listening to the BBC, Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America regularly, which she feels influenced her early political sensibilities and a desire to understand and translate impressionistic childhood memories of momentous political and socio-economic transformations into a serious academic study.

Rozpedowski received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in philosophy and political science respectively from USF. In Liverpool, she will study for an LLM degree in international human rights law.

An LLM is an advanced specialized postgraduate law degree. The law degree program in Europe differs from that in the United States. By European standards, a specialized Master of Laws (Legum Magister – LLM) is the professional equivalent of an American Juris Doctor (J.D.). This is the standard graduate degree required to practice law in many European countries; in America, an LLM is treated as a highly specialized degree that offers law students an additional competency and a specialized knowledge in select areas, in Rozpedowski’s case, international human rights law.

Upon returning from Liverpool, Rozpedowski will use the LLM degree to continue her doctoral work at USF. Acquiring this LLM degree will allow her to teach university-level courses in international human rights law, in addition to the political theory and international relations courses she currently teaches.

“I hope to generate an inter-continental discussion on the normative dimensions of law and politics and encourage reflection on the impact and purpose of supranational legal regimes and their growing relevance in international relations,” she said.

In addition to being a teaching research assistant in the Department of Government and International Affairs, she has been involved with the Citizenship Initiative lead by David Jacobson, professor of sociology.

Rozpedowski is a USF Doctoral Student Leadership Institute Fellow assigned to USF World leadership-enhancing projects. Her research has been published in open Democracy and Critique. Her book review of “Cosmopolitanism and International Relations Theory” by Richard Beardsworth has appeared in the recent spring issue of Political Studies Review.

She has presented her research at the Political Science Association (Midwest), the Florida Political Science Association Annual Meeting, the U.S.-Japan Society for the Promotion of Science annual meeting, the International Studies Association (South, Southeast and Northeast) and the Illinois State University Conference, where she was awarded the International Studies Association John Winkates Best Graduate Student Paper Award and the Pi Sigma Alpha Award, Best Graduate Student Paper.

Currently, Rozpedowski is vice president of the Graduate Association for Political Science and was president and founder of the Political Science Graduate Student Organization. She continues to be an active member of several university committees and appreciates the University of South Florida as a relatively young university. She finds the university’s innovative ways of engaging students and faculty, the president’s strategic vision for growth, and excellent faculty very attractive features. It is because of this that she will return after obtaining her LLM degree.

“I have to express my gratitude to professor Michael Gibbons, associate professor of government and international affairs,” Rozpedowski said. “He, in his affable attitude, is very open and eager to engage in conversation, share his encyclopedic knowledge with students and dispense excellent advice.”

-USF-



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