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This one-year fellowship is awarded to an exceptional College graduate to help them launch a career in human rights. The fellowship award supports one year of work after graduation at a non-governmental organization, government agency, or international body dedicated to human rights.

The award is offered during even-numbered years and includes a stipend of $56,000 for 12 months of full-time work.

It was named for Dr. Aizik Wolf, AB’77, a longtime supporter of the College. Dr. Wolf was born in Bogota, Colombia, practices neurosurgery in Miami, and regularly donates medical services and equipment to projects in Latin America.

We have held a competition for the fellowship since 2007. Past fellows have spent their first year after graduation working both domestically and internationally on issues related to labor, gender, religion, criminal justice, youth, and land conservation.

Watch an info session with the most recent Wolf Fellow, Will Jaffe, AB'22:

How to Apply


  • University of Chicago College undergraduate students graduating during the 2022-23 or 2023-24 academic years who have taken at least two Human Rights courses at the University are eligible to apply.
  • The successful applicant will demonstrate the ability to make a significant contribution to the host organization and also show a record of leadership, involvement, and commitment to human rights and social impact.
  • Priority will be given to applicants with a major or minor in Human Rights, or those who have completed a Human Rights Internship and propose returning to their internship organization or working in a similar issue area.
  • Other applicants with comparable experience are strongly encouraged to apply.


Complete applications include:

  1. Completed application form, including essay questions
  2. CV or resume
  3. Letter of support from the proposed host organization
  4. Two letters of recommendation

Host Organization Letter of Support

  • The application requires a letter of support from the proposed host organization.
  • This letter should indicate the organization’s support for the applicant’s proposed project and its commitment to providing the applicant with workspace and adequate supervision if they receive the award.
  • Letters should be on letterhead, if possible.

Recommendation Letters

  • Each applicant is required to obtain two letters of recommendation. 
  • Letters must be uploaded directly by the recommenders themselves using this form.
  • We ask that applicantsplease choose references who are familiar with their work and can speak to their ability to work successfully in an organization.
  • Letters could come from a supervisor, instructor, or non-family member who can evaluate your suitability for this fellowship.

Learn More

For more information, contact Deputy Director Adam Avrushin

2022 Wolf Fellow

William Jaffe

Physicians for Human Rights // New York, NY

William Jaffe graduated from the College in 2022 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Human Rights. On campus, he was a member of the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab and served as a Pozen Center Human Rights Intern for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Over the course of 2022-2023, William will be serving as an Aizik Wolf Fellow at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). This organization is a human rights nonprofit committed to using the expertise of the medical community to document and report instances of state-sponsored torture and violence. Working with its partners across the world, PHR wages effective advocacy and research to inform clinicians about their ethical responsibilities and strengthen the skills of frontline human rights defenders.

In his role, William worked on a range of projects across PHR’s departments, building on his prior experience as a Pozen Center Intern. He assisted PHR and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) roll out the new edition of the Istanbul Protocol, the international standard for investigating and documenting acts of torture. He also co-authored a report that demonstrated how confusion over hospital policies on abortion are having serious health consequences for women

Past Fellows

2021: Thomas Hagan

Children and Family Justice Center // Chicago, Illniois

Tommy graduated from the College in June 2021 with a double major in Fundamentals and Philosophy; his BA thesis examines the philosophical foundations of prison abolitionism. On campus, he served as co-director of the Bridge Writing Workshop, which facilitates creative writing programs at Cook County Jail and IYC-St. Charles. He was also a 2020 Human Rights Intern and 2020-21 Human Rights Lab Justice Intern. 

As a Wolf Fellow, Tommy continued his work at the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), a comprehensive children’s law office housed at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. After co-authoring a report on the CFJC’s Reimagining Youth Justice Project, Tommy’s work at the CFJC focused on The Final 5 Campaign—a coalition of system-impacted people, advocates, and organizers fighting for the closure of the five remaining Illinois youth prisons—which Tommy helped launch. He developed a series of educational workshops on issues of juvenile justice, which he used to facilitate conversations with young people currently incarcerated in Illinois youth prisons.

In 2021, Tommy, alongside activists and co-founders Denzel Burke and Destine Phillips, spearheaded the REAL Youth Initiative. This groundbreaking organization focuses on fostering critical consciousness and community among both currently and formerly incarcerated young people. Tommy was awarded the prestigious Mitchell Scholarship to pursue an MSc in Peace and Conflict Studies at Ulster University beginning in the fall of 2024. While there he intends to create a network of organizations in Belfast, Northern Ireland and American cities dedicated to the abolition of state violence.

2020: Michelle Yang

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials // Chicago, Illinois

Michelle graduated from the College in June 2020 with a double major in Anthropology and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. She was also a 2019 Human Rights Intern.

As the Wolf Fellow, Michelle worked with Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), a campaign working to establish a public memorial for survivors of Chicago police torture. She works to secure support from the City of Chicago and private funders to establish the public memorial, builds community support for the memorial, organizes CTJM’s monthly meetings, and actively manages their communications, including social media.

2019: Emma Perez

Invisible Institute // Chicago, Illinois

Emma graduated from the College in June 2019, double majoring in Global Studies and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies.

As the Wolf Fellow, Emma worked at the Invisible Institute, a journalism production company on the South Side of Chicago. There she worked on FOIA investigations, the Youth/Police Project, the Police Torture Archive, and the Public Defenders Cop Accountability Project.

2018: Alex Ding

Siskel/Jacobs Productions // Chicago, Illinois

Alex graduated from the College in June 2018, double majoring in Anthropology and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. She was a 2016 Human Rights Intern with In These Times in Chicago.

As the Wolf Fellow, Alex worked at Siskel/Jacobs Productions in Chicago, where she worked on feature-length, “impact” documentaries—character- or issue-driven films with the potential to create positive change.

2017: Zach Taylor

Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) // Chicago, Illinois

Zach graduated from the College in June 2017, double majoring in Geographical Studies and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. He was a 2016 Human Rights Intern with the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago.

As the Wolf Fellow, Zach worked at the Council for American-Islamic Relations - Chicago (CAIR-Chicago). His role at CAIR-Chicago included supporting the Civil Rights Department and coordinating a research project on discrimination against Muslim and Middle Eastern applicants for immigration benefits on the basis of religion, ethnicity, and national origin.