| by Mary Zuccarello

News Stories

Profile Image of Alyssa Serrano MAIPD '22
Alyssa Serrano MAIPD ’22

When Alyssa Serrano MAIPD ’22 starts her career this fall as a program officer at a Washington, D.C.–based resettlement agency, she’ll bring a wealth of firsthand experience. 

The 2022 International Policy and Development alum and Coverdell Fellow helped resettle Afghan refugees with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and, most recently, completed a Jan Knippers Black fellowship with Amnesty International.

These experiences convinced her that a career in refugee resettlement was the right path for her.

“I was doing a lot of direct services with people,” notes Serrano. “With the evacuation of Afghanistan, the IRC was the resettlement agency on the military bases in the U.S. where people were being brought. I was sent to a couple of the bases to help with that project, and just realized that this is exactly what I want to be doing.”

During her Amnesty International assignment, she focused on support and training for volunteers, as well as building connections with law firms, universities, and other organizations who work with asylum seekers.

We caught up with Alyssa for a conversation about her experiences in refugee resettlement and how her Institute experience helped open the door to this important work. A brief excerpt follows, or watch the full interview.

Field Work: Alyssa Serrano MAIPD '22

Alyssa Serrano MAIPD ’22 discusses her Jan Knippers Black internship with Amnesty International.

Human Rights Protection Fund

The late Jan Knippers Black mentored and inspired scores of Middlebury Institute students through her passionate teaching, her numerous on-site learning trips to areas of conflict, including Cuba, Chile, Iran, Bhutan, and the Balkans, and her ceaseless quest for peace and justice and righting wrongs around the world. The Jan Knippers Black Fund for Human Rights Protection supports community programs, events, and activities related to human rights, provides a student internship with Amnesty International USA, and annually honors Middlebury Institute alumni who have made a mark in the field of human rights.