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Published on Jan 2, 2012
Nicholas attended Concordia University where he received a biology degree and, more importantly, mentoring and direction from positive and progressive professors. He attended law school at the University of Oregon because of its focus on public interest law and is currently a member of the Oregon State Bar. While at U of O, he was able to regularly travel internationally, teach animal behavior and genetics to undergraduates, clerk at the Oregon Department of Justice, and serve as an extern at the Federal District Court of Oregon for the Honorable Ann Aiken. In Nicholas' opinion, his most significant and life changing experience came from a summer spent as a policy analyst at Vandana Shiva's Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in Delhi, India. This experience forced him to grapple with the effects of globalization on impoverished peoples around the globe.
After receiving his law degree, he moved to Europe and earned his LL.M. in Law & Technology from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Nicholas reports that even more important than the high quality education were the valuable social, cultural, and political experiences that come with immersion in a foreign culture. As one of few Americans in his university -- and the only in his graduate program -- he served as a de facto ambassador for the American approach to law, life, and culture in the classroom. For example, during the American health care debate, Nicholas reports that he was repeatedly approached and challenged to explain why the wealthiest country in the history of the world openly refused to provide health care to all of his citizens when Europeans had accomplished this feat long ago. He left Europe with the strong belief that living in a society with a strong social safety net is not some abstract idea, but an achievable reality if people desire it enough.
After returning from Europe, Nicholas was immediately hired as a field organizer for a local Democratic state senate campaign. He has spent the last few months reintegrating into Portland society, teaching in environmental science, and is in the process of organizing a series of local civil rights seminars
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