A spring inter­na­tional co-​​op in Greece with the Euro­pean Public Law Orga­ni­za­tion taught North­eastern Uni­ver­sity junior John Hub­bard how to proac­tively address human-​​rights issues around the world.

The EPLO is an inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion that facil­i­tates research, teaching and institution-​​building for demo­c­ratic insti­tu­tions around the world. In his role, Hub­bard wrote six– to eight-​​page pro­posal sum­maries for human-​​rights projects, which would con­nect the EPLO with civil society orga­ni­za­tions that are in con­tact with people in need.

Those projects cov­ered a range of issues, most notably addressing poverty in Vietnam, helping inter­nally dis­placed per­sons in Georgia and training judges from Croatia, Turkey and Greece in Euro­pean Union com­pe­ti­tion laws.

When I learned of the EPLO, I thought it would be a good oppor­tu­nity to go into these issues deeper,” Hub­bard said. “Being here has opened my eyes to the inequal­i­ties that people face around the world.”

Hub­bard, a dual major in polit­ical sci­ence and inter­na­tional affairs, said a course in transna­tional activism in global and civil society taught by assis­tant pro­fessor Denise Horn intro­duced him to the grant-​​writing process. This experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­nity, he noted, allowed him to put that into prac­tice in real world use.

Human rights issues have always been impor­tant to me, because cer­tain people don’t have the same rights that by luck I have because I was born in America,” Hub­bard said.

Hubbard’s co-​​op posi­tion with the EPLO took root in 2009 more than 4,700 miles from Boston. Three years ago, Piji Pro­top­saltis, MA’97, the EPLO’s deputy director for man­age­ment, attended an alumni event in Athens in which North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun, stu­dents and alumni dis­cussed co-​​op and other global oppor­tu­ni­ties at the university.

Pro­top­saltis had an idea: given the organization’s phi­los­ophy of engaging acad­emia to help solve human-​​rights issues, she won­dered, why not partner with North­eastern to bring co-​​op stu­dents to the EPLO?

The arrange­ment, she said, matches the EPLO with bright, ambi­tious stu­dents who bring an Amer­ican per­spec­tive to the organization’s efforts.

I’m very happy with the con­nec­tion we’ve made,” said Pro­top­saltis adding that she had reached out to the university’s inter­na­tional co-​​op office to get the ball rolling. “John has been an invalu­able intern for us, and we’ve appre­ci­ated his con­tri­bu­tions.” Junior John Hub­bard com­pleted a co-​​op in Greece with the Euro­pean Public Law Orga­ni­za­tion in which he learned how to proac­tively address human-​​rights issues worldwide.