MORGANTOWN – Two West Virginia University College of Law faculty members recently were published on the Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog.
Dr. Anne Marie Lofaso wrote an article for the blog evaluating the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) unanimous decision to dismiss college football players’ petition for union representation.
Lofaso, who spent 10 years as an attorney with the NLRB's Appellate and Supreme Court Branches, told The West Virginia Record that she did her dissertation at Oxford and became involved with the Oxford Human Rights Hub when her supervisor, Sandra Fredman, founded the organization.
“The great thing about legal blogging is bringing something to the people. And you have to ask yourself, ‘How can I take a really complex subject and distil it to 750 words?’” Lofaso said.
The Leadership Fellow in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activity who has a passion for teaching, said that the difference between teaching and blogging is that she gets to state her opinion of the facts more in blogging.
“In my classroom, I tell the facts and less of my point of view. If they ask me I’ll give it, but I always tell them what they think is what’s important,” Lofaso said. “I’m not there to brainwash them one way or the other. I’m there to facilitate their growth and actualize their potential.”
Lofaso will be leaving for a Sabbatical at Oxford in January, where she will be a visiting faculty and focus on research and working with human rights group there.
Lofaso got the opportunity to learn more about blogging when Rachel Wechsler, West Virginia University’s 2015 Archibald McDougall Visiting Professor of International Law, taught an International Human Rights class that Lofaso audited. Lofaso nominated Wechsler to the International Law Committee for the fellowship, and was impressed with the work Wechsler did with the students.
“Rachel did a great job with the students and told them she would work with anyone who wanted to be published,” Lofaso said.
Wechsler is a DPhil candidate in Criminology at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on sex trafficking and the criminal justice process in the Netherlands. She was on the editorial team for the OxHRH Blog from Nov. 2013 to Aug. 2014, and has contributed articles on LGBT discrimination, an introduction to the Migration, Asylum & Trafficking chapter in the second anthology, and most recently, an article on Irish labor migration policies.
“Being part of the editorial team was very rewarding as I was able to work directly with academics, policymakers, and practitioners on their posts and facilitate dialogue about current developments in human rights law, many of which were not covered in mainstream media,” Wechsler said. “I also learned a great deal from reading contributors' legal analyses, which furthered my knowledge and understanding of many facets of human rights law. As I result, I believe I was able to offer a more dynamic and interesting International Human Rights Law course at the WVU College of Law earlier this year than I otherwise would have been.”
The Oxford Human Rights Hub “aims to bring together academics, practitioners, and policy-makers from across the globe to advance the understanding and protection of human rights and equality.” And the OxHRH Blog features articles on recent developments in human rights laws around the world, as well as current litigation, policy-making and activism.
Wechsler stated that getting published on the blog offers contributors many benefits.
“[The benefits are] Raising awareness of and facilitating dialogue about recent developments in human rights law, engaging one's critical thinking skills (as the OxHRH Blog prizes rigorous legal analysis), building one's credentials and global profile, and developing the ability to convey significant, nuanced information and ideas in under 700 words,” she concluded.
OxHRH Blog posts are published annually in an anthology available in both digital and print versions.