Name: Judy Logback
Majors: Environmenal Biology and Spanish Literature
Current Position: Kallari Association
How she promotes human rights: Educates rural people about past human rights abuses by foreign corporations. Helps them create sustainable incomes so they can resist pressure to sacrifice their natural resources. Educates U.S. students so they can help move the U.S. government to adopt foreign policies that are more just.
How her work connects to her Beloit education: As a sophomore participated in the ACM Costa Rica program. Was hosted by a family involved in a coffee collective. Its success led her subsequently to help form a cooperative in Ecuador. Uses the Spanish, biology, and chemistry she studied on a daily basis.
How she got to Ecuador: Spanish instructors from Quito suggested she investigate Ecuador’s more bio-diverse Amazon. Post-Beloit worked to earn enough money to be able to volunteer there. Has now worked in Ecuador’s Amazon for nearly 15 years.
Key experiences: Working at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas as an undergraduate. Came to believe that conservation would only work if rural people weren’t seen as villains, but instead were helped toward sustainable incomes. Volunteered in a national park in Costa Rica after study abroad. Offered a position to build a research station, realized she could do work in the Amazon that in the U.S. would require a graduate degree. Earned graduate degrees, but only after significant time on the ground taught her what she needed to learn in order to increase her effectiveness.
Advice: Human rights work requires commitment, passion and in some cases self sacrifice or placing oneself at risk. Self-motivation to help prevent injustice is key. Don’t expect recognition, praise, or gratitude; if you do, you won’t get through the tough times.
What you look for when hiring: Work experience, even if only during summer breaks. Involvement in campus and community. Enthusiasm, responsibility, and entrepreneurship. “We prefer applicants who have started something completely on their own, no matter how small. If an applicant had the conviction in high school or college to take the risk to do something new to make a difference, then s/he might be ready for a larger challenge and help us start something new.”