Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network

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Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN)

The Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) was launched in 2008 through a joint collaboration between Georgetown, Fordham and Fairfield Universities on the premise that in addressing the needs of those that are suffering, our academic institutions can be more effective when working together rather than independently.


On Fairfield University’s campus, the JUHAN project involves:


  • A dynamic JUHAN student club which raises awareness on campus about humanitarian issues and builds strategies for responding to humanitarian crises
  • Humanitarian Action Minor - Academic courses in various disciplines that focus on humanitarian issues 
  • National skill-building conferences for undergraduate students of Jesuit universities


Contact us!

Julie Mughal

Associate Director for JUHAN /
Humanitarian Action Center for Faith and Public Life

Janie Leatherman
Director, Humanitarian Action Minor
Professor, Politics


JUHAN / Humanitarian Action Advisory Committee


From responding to natural disasters, to refugee support, to education and advocacy for clean water, JUHAN helps students make the connection between their coursework and real, humanitarian needs on the ground.

Here are some examples JUHAN’s involvement:

  • Following the devastating 2017 hurricanes, Fairfield led the JUHAN initiated fundraising and advocacy campaigns  to assist those affected by these humanitarian emergencies.
  • Students have organized a number of refugee camp simulations on campus to help raise awareness of the refugee crisis and to promote advocacy efforts. Students also advocated and fundraised for clean water initiatives in the developing world, raising funds to send bio-sand filters to the Dominican Republic.
  • Ongoing assistance to Rockaway Cares in their rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Sandy.
  • Alternative spring break trip to work with refugees at the International Rescue Committee resettlement areas in Texas.
  • Fairfield participates in the conflict simulations offered by the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education each Spring providing students with the opportunity to experience what humanitarian work in a conflict zone entails.
  • Red Cross trainings, prepare students and staff members to act as first responders in emergency shelter care for the Southern Connecticut region.

For Students

Interested in how you can take action during a humanitarian crisis? Join JUHAN on Life@Fairfield.

Once you a part of JUHAN on Life@Fairfield, you will to receive notification concerning our student meetings and JUHAN-sponsored events!  The student group hosts programs throughout the year focused on humanitarian action and coordinates student responses to humanitarian crises as they occur, such as Hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017, the Nepal Earthquake in 2015, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the 2011 tornados in Joplin, Missouri.


JUHAN Fellows

Sophia Bolanos ’18 and Gina Melone ’20 are the 2017-18 JUHAN Fellows!


Last year, our JUHAN Fellow, Deirdre McElroy, ’17, received the Edie Cassidy Peace & Justice Studies Award in recognition of her work toward justice and righting inequality which has made a lasting difference in our community. See Deirdre’s ThinkSpace post on JUHAN’s contribution to help Ecuador following this spring’s earthquake.


First Year Experience (FYE)

Since 2012, freshmen have had the opportunity to choose a JUHAN/humanitarian-themed FYE course. The course integrates humanitarian topics as well as a service learning experience into the first year curriculum. The course is facilitated by Julie Mughal,  Associate Director for JUHAN/Humanitarian Action and a New Student Leader (NSL). If you are an incoming freshman and are interested in being part of the JUHAN FYE, please contact Julie Mughal.

JUHAN Conference Photo

Our Amazing Students

Recent Fairfield alumni whose studies focused on humanitarian action have pursued careers in the field and graduate studies at leading institutions. For example:

Emma Cannon ’14

Peace Corps Volunteer
Learn More About Emma
A JUHAN fellow at Fairfield, Emma double majored in international studies and Spanish with a focus on Latin America. Emma has recently completed her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, where she worked for the Healthy Schools Project, a national initiative that aims to improve basic health and hygiene in primary school students in rural Guatemala. She received the JUHAN Humanitarian Citizenship Award in 2014. She is currently employed by University Research Co. supporting a Zike response project in Latin America.

Daniel Jones ’13

Fulbright Scholar
Learn More About Daniel
The latest in a long line of Fairfield graduates to be awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, Daniel Jones ’13 is spending the year researching family and community engagement in rural El Salvador. He graduated with a politics major and anthropology minor.

Julianne Whittaker ’12

Fulbright Scholar
Learn More About Julianne
Julianne received Fairfield University’s William J. Kramer ’60 Humanitarian Award in 2012. Since graduating she has worked in humanitarian affairs in Jordan after completing an English Teaching Assistantship Fulbright to that country in 2013. Her latest assignment was with International Relief Development (IRD) where she worked from August 2013 – July 2015 at the Zaatari Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan. Julianne is currently enrolled in the MPA program at Princeton University.


The Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) was launched in 2006 by Fairfield, Fordham and Georgetown Universities as a way to raise awareness on Jesuit campuses of the meaning of humanitarian response and its implications for the Jesuit ideology of “men and women for others” as well as to jointly address the humanitarian needs of those who are suffering. Since its founding, the network has grown to include Jesuit institutions from across the 28 schools in the US and internationally. During Superior General Adolfo Nicolas’ remarks in Mexico City in 2010, he noted, “If each university, working by itself as a proyecto social, is able to accomplish so much good in society, how much more can we increase the scope of our service to the world if all the Jesuit institutions of higher education become, as it were, a single global proyecto social?”

Fairfield University received funding from the Teagle Foundation for two projects: the Value-Added Assessment for the Systematic Improvement of Student Learning” (2009- 2012) and the Collaborative Project in Student Learning: The Examination of Enduring Questions through Humanitarian Education (2013-2016).

Fairfield University, led the first grant in partnership with Fordham and Georgetown Universities, allowed the three schools to develop assessment tools, curricula, community-based programs, and robust student leadership groups. The grant also allowed Fairfield, Fordham, and Georgetown to systematically and collaboratively explore the use of assessment to improve student learning and the broader JUHAN program. The partnership among Fairfield, Fordham and Georgetown has also led to new opportunities in pedagogy, assessment, and institutional development.

 The JUHAN Assessment Toolkit for Universities’ Humanitarian Engagements is a compilation of tools and processes for measuring student learning in the context of humanitarian coursework and co-curricular engagements. It consists of cognitive and affective learning outcomes as well as the four tools for measuring student learning on these outcomes: rubrics with defined rubric traits, a vignette, a course survey, and prompts for engaging students in reflecting on their service experiences. The toolkit also showcases syllabi from a selection of JUHAN courses which illustrates the many fields of study in which faculty can incorporate humanitarian themes into their existing courses in creative and interesting ways.


The Examination of Enduring Questions through Humanitarian Education

In June 2013, Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life was awarded a three year grant for its project “Collaborative Project in Student Learning: The Examination of Enduring Questions through Humanitarian Education.” The project will use humanitarian action and “JUHAN” (Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network) as a platform to integrate civic and moral responsibility into the undergraduate curriculum at three Jesuit institutions of higher education - Fairfield University, Georgetown University (GU) and Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)  in Nicaragua - in an effort to equip students to deal more effectively with some of the large clusters of “great questions” of meaning and value, and of moral responsibility. This project will build on the previous three-year collaborative grant, “Value-Added Assessment for the Systematic Improvement of Student Learning,” also funded by the Teagle Foundation. Read more about the Enduring Questions project.

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