Melissa Sandoval Mullis

Melissa Sandoval Mullis is a senior at Duke University pursuing a major in Political Science, a minor in African and African American Studies, and a certificate in Human Rights.

Why did you choose to pursue the human rights certificate?
I decided to pursue the human rights certificate because I’ve always taken an interest in human rights, especially when dealing with human rights within minorities. Also, the classes that are offered at Duke really sparked my interest.

What was the most transformative experience you had while studying human rights at Duke?
When I took Introduction to Human Rights, I decided that instead of being a criminal lawyer that I would want to be a human rights lawyer. I felt as if it would be a better fit to what I want to achieve in my career.

How has the human rights certificate helped you grow both academically and personally?
All the classes that I’ve taken have taught me about topics I didn’t know, or expanded my knowledge on topics I thought I knew a good amount about. It’s made me look at certain topics differently and has even changed my stance on some issues.

How do you plan to integrate human rights into your work in the future?
I plan on being human rights lawyer in the future, and with all of the information I’ve learned over the course of my time here at Duke, I feel as if I have a great sense of what issues need to be addressed. These courses have even taught me some ideas as to how to address these issues.

Do you have any advice for students considering the human rights certificate?
If you even have a slight interest in human rights, to pursue the certificate. There are a range of different human rights classes offered at Duke and you are definitely going to learn something new.