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Student Spotlight: Valerie McNamara

November 28, 2022 - Beth Brauer and Valerie McNamara '23

Valerie McNamara (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year student in James Madison College and is a current lab leader for the JMC Human Rights Lab.  

Valerie McNamara

Name & Pronouns

Valerie McNamara (she/her/hers)


International Relations and marketing with a minor in Spanish


Middleville, MI

How did you become interested in the JMC Human Rights Lab?

A friend of mine was in the lab, and Dr. Brathwaite discussed it in my class. I love research, as I already have another job on campus doing research, and I thought the prospect of the work and the professional development was interesting. I was also very interested in helping make positive change in cases around the world.

What is your favorite part about the work you do in the lab?

Watching the data all come together. I enjoy the process of research and taking large amounts of data that our groups find and bringing it together to find a pattern or some conclusion. It really is the most satisfying part.

What other organizations and activities do you do at MSU?

I work in the International Business Center conducting market research and am the current Vice President for Empowering Women in Law.

What has been your favorite Madison class/professor and why?

MC 320 was my favorite class. It really brought together a lot of concepts that I have studied throughout my undergraduate career, and we discussed a lot of human rights issues throughout the class.

What do you want to do following graduation?

I am planning on attending law school and to work as an attorney.

To learn about the JMC Human Rights Lab, visit the webpage and follow them on Instagram. To support the JMC Human Rights Lab, contribute to the Crowd Power campaign.