News

Apr 02

Law School Presents "Mission Awards"

Published on: Monday, April 2, 2012

Each year the University of St. Thomas School of Law presents mission awards to faculty, staff, students and alumni for their contributions to the mission of the School of Law.  This year’s winners were announced at a lunchtime ceremony on March 26.

This year’s winners are:

Living the Mission
Charlye-Nicole McMillan, 1L
Tyler Graber, 2L        
Robyn Brown, 3L      
Michael Kemp, Alumni

Excellence in Professional Preparation
Monica Anderson, External Relations Coordinator
Center for Girls Leadership (Michael Biver/Alexandria Campion/McKinzie Hopkins Kathryn Short/Katherine Wertheim)

Scholarly Engagement and Societal Reform
Thomas Mengler, Dean and Ryan Chair in Law
Minnesota State Advisory Committee to United States Commission on Civil Rights
(Marcus Jones, Roger Maldonado, Ashley Oliver, Erica Sanft, Erin Westbrook, Leah Yamada)
Murphy Institute Hot Topics: Cool Talk (Seanne Harris/Professor Elizabeth Schiltz)
Robert Vischer, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Service and Community
Ann Bateson, Library Director, Associate Dean, and Professor
Erik Beitzel, 1L
Bethia Hyatt, 3L
Amanda Mortwedt, 3L

Dean’s Teaching Award
Sarah Brenes, Law Fellow - Clinic
Benjamin Carpenter, Assistant Professor
Uyen Campbell, Adjunct Faculty

Dean’s Scholarship Award
Neil Hamilton, Professor and Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions and Dr. Verna Monson, Research Fellow

The award winners in each category along with some comments from their recognition are listed below:

Living the Mission
Charlye-Nicole McMillan, 1L
“She volunteers at Ronald McDonald House’s Cooks for Kids, where she recruits and leads volunteer groups who serve meals to underprivileged families and Fam Glam Gala, their annual fundraising event. She has also organized a shoe drive to provide new shoes for orphaned children in more than 60 countries with the Shoes for Orphan Souls organization. Charlye’s next big project is beginning a dialogue on hunger and nutrition and she’s started a blog to spread the word. Charlye volunteered last semester for the Coalition for Impartial Justice and lobbied for an act that’s making its way through the MN Senate.”

Tyler Graber, 2L        
“Tyler is a true servant leader. He never seeks the limelight for his work or service activities. Instead he leads through his actions and he is always willing to take on extra work to meet the needs of his community. Tyler treats every person he meets with kindness and decency. One of his classmates described him as, “literally the nicest person I have ever met.” Tyler has been an active member of the Public Service Board for the past two years. This year he took on the leadership role of planning the spring and fall public service days. In the fall Tyler organized a team of nearly 70 volunteers to work at St. Joseph’s Home for children and in the spring he coordinated over fifty volunteers spread across four different Habitat for Humanity projects.”

Robyn Brown, 3L      
"
Over the past 3 years, Robyn has committed not only to academic excellence, but also to pursuing volunteer and study abroad opportunities consistent with the law school’s mission. She was an intern to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations; has represented trafficking victims for the Immigration Law Clinic, is an English as a Second Language conversation partner at Bethlehem Baptist Church; an asylum and immigration pro bono law clerk at Fredrickson & Byron; has helped build a curriculum for Ethical Leadership in Social Justice for the Holloran Center; and served as a member of the Student Hiring Committee and as a Student Ambassador. She is a faithful member of her church and helps others with prayer requests and personal struggles. Robyn is committed to living out her faith, speaking the truth and dedicating herself to the promotion of social justice." 

Excellence in Professional Preparation
Monica Anderson, External Relations Coordinator
“Monica is an outstanding contributor to our law community and is instrumental in the professional preparation aspect of external relations. Her service is always gold-standard and client-centric. She is an outstanding listener for students and extremely helpful for all who need assistance or just wander in to the external relations suite. Her sense of humor is one of her hallmark traits and she shows us all how we can both prepare students to be exceptional lawyers and have fun along the way.”

Center for Girls Leadership (Michael Biver, Alexandria Campion, McKinzie Hopkins, Kathryn Short, Katherine Wertheim)
“These five students are responsible for the creation of the Center for Girls Leadership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing leadership skills and encouraging confidence in young girls. The Center recently hosted its first program, Pathways to Leadership: Women in the Law to educate high school girls about careers in the law and to empower them to lead in their communities. This is an innovated, creative and wonderful way to build a pipeline for and educate our next generation of professionals and I’m pleased to present Mike, Alex, McKinzie, Shorty and Katie with a Mission Award in Excellence in Professional Preparation.”

Scholarly Engagement and Societal Reform
Minnesota State Advisory Committee to United States Commission on Civil Rights (Marcus Jones, Roger Maldonado, Ashley Oliver, Erica Sanft, Erin Westbrook, Leah Yamada)
This committee, along with community members, policy makers, practitioner-scholars, elected officials and employers, is addressing the root cause of the economic and employment disparities experienced within the African American community in Minnesota. The students have found the largest disparity in employment rates in the county, with African American unemployment at 22 percent compared with 6.4 for whites. Their research is being compiled into a report that will be submitted to the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights. These students’ work exemplifies the mission of the law school through their research, advocacy and the quest for social justice as they work to eradicate the racial disparities in relation to the unemployment gap in Minnesota.

Murphy Institute Hot Topics: Cool Talk (Seanne Harris/Professor Elizabeth Schiltz)
“Lisa and Seanne have done a spectacular job putting together a hit series. Their behind-the-scenes work has turned each hour into an action packed, informative time of engagement with policy issues – through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Preparation includes identifying speakers, encouraging them along the way and even prodding them into effective preparation. The range of speakers in terms of experience, professional background, age and political opinion have added greatly to the perspectives to which attendees are exposed. Seanne and Lisa have packed the house every time. They rock, they roll and all in the service of seeing the Gospel applied to the big issues of the day.”

Thomas Mengler, Dean and Ryan Chair in Law
"
Whether he’s raking leaves on public service day, taking the time to meet with a student about her job search, or traveling far and wide as the #1 ambassador for our law school, Dean Mengler has worked tirelessly to build the community that can form the type of lawyer he described ten years ago.  It is an honor to recognize his dedication with this award."

Rob Vischer, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
“There is no ivory tower with Dean Vischer. Whether he is asking 1Ls to sharply question what they know about ethics or tabling for the Rome program, Dean Vischer is accessible, approachable and always willing to help students. Ranked as one of the National Jurists top law professors, Dean Vischer’s integration of Catholic Social Thought to the study and practice of law provides a truly unique perspective on legal education in America and challenges us to be better students, lawyers and citizens. Dean Vischer truly eats, sleeps, breathes, works and lives the mission.”

Service and Community
Ann Bateson, Library Director, Associate Dean, and Professor
“Ann is a truly awesome presence in the law school. She is absolutely unstinting in her service and attends many of the law school events. Ann devoted herself wholly to the self studies that were needed for the AALS membership and accreditation review. She revamped the law library, making it more efficient and user friendly – a difficult combination to achieve. She is zealous in mentoring her staff and works hard to accommodate even the most difficult research needs and questions.”

Erik Beitzel, 1L
“A commitment to improving the lives of others is what led Erik to apply to law school and to choose UST. He has been an Urban Neighbor with Urban Homeworks for 4 years and is housed in an area that places him next door to families who are at a significant socioeconomic disadvantage. Erik is also involved with Dinomights, first coaching hockey to children and now tutoring. He’s a participant in the MJF Street Law clinic and is taking Spanish classes to give him the opportunity to integrate more effectively in his community. Erik also volunteers with Project Homeless Connect, has built homes in Guatemala and teaches English to immigrants through the HOPE program. Through his commitment to service and servant leadership he has touched countless lives. The mission is reflected every day through Erik’s selfless service.”

Bethia Hyatt, 3L
“Bethia has completed over 300 hours through the MJF program and over 435 hours of general public service with such varied agencies as the Children’s Law Center, Child Advocacy Coalition, The Hennepin and Anoka County Government Centers, The Nature Conservancy and Homeline. In addition, Bethia volunteered to do tornado cleanup in northern Minneapolis last summer, was a judge for the Hatting Mock Trial invitational and has been a faithful member of the law school chapel choir for three years. She still plans to put in at least 75 more hours of volunteer service before the end of the semester.”

Amanda Mortwedt, 3L
“Amanda is deeply committed to studying and protecting human rights around the world. Her list of volunteer activities includes interning at the Advocates for Human Rights and United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials; law clerk for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights; and volunteering with World Without Genocide, Youth Law Clinic, Mines Advisory Group, Cambodia Acid Survivors Charity, New Future for Children, Watonwan Country Probation Office, St. Peter Elementary Reading Program, Red Cross, Marine Corps Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity, St. Peter Animal Shelter and Salvation Army. While at UST, Amanda was Publications Director and Senior Editor of the Journal of Law and Public Policy; worked with the Immigration Law Clinic; was president of the Military Law Society and vice president of the International Law Association; served on the Public Service Board; and was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson.”

Dean’s Teaching Award
Benjamin Carpenter,  Assistant Professor
“Previously, Ben was an attorney at Dorsey and Whitney. He has taught Lawyering Skills and Federal Estate and Gift Tax. In his short time at UST, he has also served as the faculty advisor to the Public Service Board and has been a member of the Mission Advisory Committee for two years. His students seem to be happy with his teaching so far: ‘One of the best professors I’ve ever had in law school or undergrad. Very good example of how to maintain professionalism, even when speaking candidly. He is always well prepared, well spoken, thoughtful – an all around gem.’”

Sarah Brenes, Law Fellow - Clinic
“Sarah has provided outstanding instruction and mentoring for students in the legal services clinic for the past three years. She embraces her role – advancing and refining her techniques and methods of instruction with each semester. Sarah guides students through the complexities of immigration law and representing clients and helps them find answers and learn problem-solving rather than just providing answers to their questions. Here are some comments from former students: ‘Sarah helps me understand the impact of my decisions on the client and community. She encourages us to remember the human aspect behind our work. Sarah challenges us to understand the law on a deeper, more analytical level so that we can be better lawyers.’”

Uyen Campbell, Adjunct Faculty
“Uyen has been an adjunct at the law school since the spring of 2006. She originally taught No Fault Insurance Law and now teaches Client Interviewing and Counseling and Mentor Externship. This fall she will begin a new challenge – heading up the Trial Advocacy program. Uyen consistently gets high marks from her students for her attention to the practical aspects of the study of law. Here are some comments from her student evaluation forms: “I learned more about my personal ethics, professional responsibility, working with clients and how to synthesize all of my experience, class knowledge and skills into a workable, realistic model than in any other class I have taken in law school. Professor Campbell is a gem and an amazing asset to the legal community. Hold onto her so that many more generations of law students can benefit from her knowledge, wisdom and humor.’”

Dean’s Scholarship Award
Neil Hamilton, Professor and Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions and Verna Monson, Research Fellow
“Dr. Verna Monson and Professor Neil Hamilton have been instrumental in moving the research of the Holloran Center forward. With an extensive background in social psychology, educational psychology, group organization and ethics in education studies, Verna brings an interdisciplinary perspective to her research and a variety of perspectives from statistical probabilities, ethical perspectives, race, gender and moral formation.”

 

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