Reflections: 20 Years of Sorensen Fellows

Ava Morgenstern '06
2005 Sorensen Fellow
Nerve Centre
Derry, Northern Ireland

Read about the 2005 Sorensen Fellows here.


Studying human rights and minority rights in Europe in 2006 as a Sorensen Fellow deeply impacted Morgenstern. “Northern Ireland was at a crossroads between a more inclusive, pluralistic country integrated with the European Union, versus a nationalistic, territorial enclave with a still-unsettled conflict,” she reflects. In the decade since then, she has watched as the whole world has come to hang perilously balanced on this same knife edge.

All of us face the choice of whether to yearn for homogeneous enclaves, or to push past our discomfort and fight for diverse, democratic societies. In Northern Ireland, I was both dispirited by the pull of the past, but also inspired by those who resisted it -- brave, humble leaders and ordinary citizens striving for a better future.

She hopes to honor their spirit by working assiduously to further human rights across the globe. Morgenstern anticipates beginning her legal career as a judicial law clerk in Washington, D.C. upon completion of her law degree at the University of Michigan in 2018.