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Harin Song '10

Our 2010 JFK Awardee is committed to realizing international human rights

The Class of 1964 is proud to announce that Harin Song '10 has won the JFK Award for 2010. Harin graduated with a double major in History and Government and a deep commitment to working to realize international human rights. Her own words speak most forcefully:

“…such issues animate, push, and provoke me in a way others subjects do not and singularly motivate me to acquire greater knowledge, understand more perspectives, and critically debate the questions involved. I intend to undertake both direct fieldwork and advocacy to change and propose more effective policies toward global justice, relief and development, and conflict resolution. The Award will provide support as I attend law school, where I will specialize in international human rights and criminal law, and work at non-profit agencies.”

This is no wishful thinking on Harin’s part. Her resume is astounding evidence of achievement in the areas where she expects to make her mark. A native of La Jolla, California, she began her career in international human rights work through involvement with Model UN in middle and high school and in the World Link Program of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. This early work fueled her desire to dedicate herself to the international protection of human rights.

Harin Song '10

Harin receiving the JFK Memorial Award on campus in May, 2010. From the left: Mike Newman, Harin Song and Carolyn Chauncey Neuman.

In addition to the JFK Award, Harin is a Merrill Presidential Scholar, a Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship finalist and a recipient of the 2010 Lynne and Jules Kroll Award from the Department of History. Last summer she researched the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia through a Frederic Conger Wood Fellowship. She is a soprano with the Cornell Chorus and a violinist, and worked as an assistant supervisor for the Cornell Annual Fund. She has interned with both CARE International in New York and Geneva and with Médecins sans Frontières.

Harin studied abroad at St. Edmund’s Hall, Oxford where she rowed for the women’s crew, served as Deputy Editor of The Oxford Internationalist, participated in the Oxford United Nations Association.

Harin Song '10

Harin with Cornell financial aid administrator Coni Robinson

After graduation, Harin will intern for the Boston Consortium on Gender Security and Human Rights and will work as a Research Assistant for the Dean of Harvard Law School on a book/conference project centering on the International Criminal Court and ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. In the fall, she will pursue a Master’s degree in Global Governance and Diplomacy at Oxford on a Clarendon Fund Scholarship, after which she will take up Harvard Law School’s offer to study international human rights and criminal law.

Reflecting on her time at Cornell and her year at Oxford, Harin has concluded, “I do not think there is anything more precious than the connection you make with another human being... what matters most is empathy, strengthened only through living and interacting, our ability to understand how others think and feel.”

One of Harin’s teachers wrote, in support of her application for the JFK Award, “She is a constant reminder of what makes teachers love their jobs.” Another wrote, “I am compelled to argue that if the world were served by Harin and about a dozen others like her historians of the future would most probably notice a distinct uptick in human progress occurring just at that period.”

In naming Harin, the Class of 1964 once again confirms the continuing vitality of President Kennedy’s dream and of Cornell’s dedication to producing leaders and public servants. We congratulate Harin and look forward with confidence to her future achievements.