College of Liberal Arts

Fighting for Change: A Q&A with the 2019 Randy Diehl Prize Recipient

Thu, Jul 11, 2019

Megan Abrameit, a psychology and humanities double major from Tyler, Texas, has received the 2019 Randy Diehl Prize in Liberal Arts.

Now in its fourth year, the $17,000 award was established by donors to support a graduating liberal arts senior who is committing the year after graduation to service for the greater good, be that through work for a nonprofit organization, a for-profit organization that benefits others or the creation of a new nonprofit.

“The intent behind this gift is to encourage liberal arts graduates to use their considerable skills in communication and understanding of other cultures, histories, philosophies and literature to effect a positive change in the world,” said the prize’s founding donors.

As a student, Abrameit did just that. As a humanities major she was able to create her own course of study; she chose Sex Trafficking and Human Rights, a topic she has been passionate about since she was in middle school. She also devoted herself to those issues through volunteer work and internships. In 2018, she was the project intern for the Human Trafficking Institute in Washington, D.C. as a Bill Archer Fellow. She has also been an intern at the Refuge for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, State Representative Neave (TX-107), Roberts & Roberts Law Firm and the child support division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

At UT, Abrameit was a Dedman Distinguished Scholar, humanities honors student and counselor for Ignite Texas, where she mentored incoming freshmen. She was also an officer for the longhorn chapter of the International Justice Mission.

Beginning in September, Abrameit will spend a year working at the IJM’s office in Guatemala City as a field administration intern. The organization is one she’s dreamed of working for since she first learned of their mission at age 14.

“The IJM works to end violence against the poor by working within local justice systems to seek legal justice for the victim and provide aftercare,” Abrameit said. “They focus on a number of issues and are known for their work against human trafficking – both labor and sex. The Guatemala office focuses on the issue of child sexual assault.”

Read more about Abrameit’s upcoming year in Guatemala City, her goals for the future and her time as a UT Austin student in the Q&A on Life & Letters.

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