Alexander Grayson, a Clark University student from Cherry Hill, worked as a policy analyst at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania this summer with funding from Clark’s Liberal Education and Effective Practice initiative. The opportunity allowed him to combine his two passions, legal advocacy and public health.
Grayson worked with a team of lawyers and paralegals who advocate for their clients by combating HIV/AIDS-related discrimination. Some of the more prominent cases ALP has won include a 1994 decision against the city of Philadelphia when emergency medical technicians refused to treat HIV-positive patients, and a 2012 settlement with the Milton Hershey School when it refused admission to an HIV-positive honor student.
Grayson presented client intake information at weekly meetings where the team discussed and assigned cases, and conducted quality assurance reviews to measure whether lawyers were effectively serving clients.
“I had the incredible opportunity to learn from national leaders committed to equitable access to justice and civil rights at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania,” Grayson wrote about his internship.
Grayson’s experience is highlighted on the Clark website at www.clarku.edu/articles/clark-intern-joins-fight-against-hivaids-discrimination.
Grayson, who serves as a peer learning assistant for Professor Patrick Derr’s “AIDS to ZIKA: Ethics and Epidemics” first-year intensive course, said that Clark has taught him the value of questioning the status quo, which complements ALP’s mission.
“Clark reinforced the notion of exercising skepticism and relentless truth-seeking,” said Grayson. “Just because something ‘is,’ doesn’t mean it ‘ought to be.’”
After he completes his studies at Clark, Grayson plans to apply for a fellowship that advocates for access to justice and public health abroad. He intends to continue on to law school.
Grayson is a member of the class of 2018; he majors in philosophy, with concentrations in ethics and public policy, and law and society. He is editor-in-chief of the Scholarly Undergraduate Research Journal, editor of The Scarlet student newspaper, a member of the mock trial team and president of Clark’s Pre-Law Society. Grayson is a 2014 graduate of Cherry Hill High School East.
Liberal Education and Effective Practice is Clark’s bold effort to advance liberal education, linking a deep and integrated curriculum with opportunities to put knowledge into practice in order to prepare students for remarkable careers and purposeful, accomplished lives.
LEEP projects have helped Clark University students pursue funded and directed problem-based summer projects. The projects — several of which are hosted by Clark alumni — offer real-world application of course material and provide an opportunity to engage with professionals outside of the University. This spring, 90 undergraduates were awarded LEEP Fellowships to pursue projects ranging from international social action initiatives to internships with leading corporations.
“Students who are selected as LEEP Fellows progress through a competitive and intensive series of preparatory activities designed to help them successfully complete their LEEP Projects. From proposal writing and résumé development, to professional communication and research skills, the LEEP Fellow experience helps prepare students to fully engage in the world and integrate their academic work with their professional interests,” said Michelle Bata, director of the LEEP Center at Clark.