laws in space

Laws in Space

By Rim El Belkacemi

Laws in Space

By Rim El Belkacemi
University of Miami senior sets sights on far-reaching legal specialty

For most of us, outer space is quite distant from our daily lives—but not for University senior and aspiring space lawyer Tuana Yazici.

laws in spaceComprising international and domestic agreements, rules, and principles, space law addresses issues such as space exploration, damage liability, rescue efforts, environmental preservation, information sharing, and ethics. Her sights set firmly on the field, Yazici has found the U a stellar environment for her course of study.

With an Independent major in PPE (Philosophy, Politics, Economics) and a minor in psychology, Yazici is taking 27 credits this spring. The ambitious trajectory will allow her to graduate in May—a whole year earlier than expected.

The University of Miami did not have a PPE major when Yazici enrolled, so she set about creating it. She modeled the curriculum on a course she had taken at Oxford University and, with the help of University faculty, structured the major to fulfill her desired criteria.

Yazici credits Jennifer Ferriss-Hill, senior associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, for making it possible to realize her academic goals. “Dean Ferriss-Hill was not only involved with structuring the major, but helped me arrange my credits this semester so I can graduate early,” Yazici says.

Before moving on to law school, Yazici plans to pursue a one-year master’s program in International Administration at UM. “The Master of Arts in International Administration fits into the educational path that I am trying to pave for myself,” she says. “The program will help me sharpen my knowledge in the fields that contribute to international space law.”

Yazici is already involved in space law as a member of the operational team of the three-year Knowledge Constellation Project with the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). She is acting as creative brand and visual identity manager on the project and will also be a contributing author.

“The project will deliver great benefits for the space field in general as well as for the international space law and policy sector,” Yazici says. “As the youngest member among a group of very accomplished individuals, I am very thankful for this amazing opportunity."

Yazici clearly thrives on a full plate. In addition to her responsibilities with the IISL, her studies, and numerous student government activities, she has served for the past year as a paid research assistant for a Harvard Law professor and is a Florida Captain volunteer for the Humane League. She is currently preparing for her LSAT exam and working toward a private helicopter license.

Poised to ascend to new heights in her envisioned career, Yazici looks forward to combining her personal passions and educational preparation “to find ways to use space technologies to protect human and animal rights around the globe.”