New Center for Law, Justice and Culture director kicks off 2022
I am delighted to become the new Director of the Center for Law, Justice and Culture. I have been a part of the center from nearly the beginning. For over a decade, I’ve enjoyed the collegiality of our faculty and brilliance of our students, while marveling at the ingenuity and industry of our directors, especially Dr. Haley Duschinski, and Assistant Director and Pre-Law Advisor Larry Hayman, Esq. It has been a pleasure to help grow the center into something even more robust than first imagined. The bar has also been raised high, and it’s with a great deal of humility that I begin trying to continue the great work that has been done so far and not faltered even despite the disruptions a pandemic wrought.
As directors during the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Smoki Musaraj and Larry Hayman worked tirelessly to steer the center through major budgetary and organizational shifts affecting the College of Arts and Sciences and the University as a whole. When Dr. Musaraj stepped down last summer, Dr. Julie White added interim director to her existing responsibilities as director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Meanwhile, Dr. Duschinski continued her new role as graduate director, overseeing our thriving Master of Arts program. And our student staff, CLJC Pre-Law Associates Micaela Beatham-Garcia and Ellen Gill-Franks, continued assisting with the facilitation of CLJC programs, wrote articles for our weekly newsletter, and took on many other important tasks! As a result, I have the luxury of directing a program more vibrant and with a more promising future than ever before. I’m very grateful to all of my predecessors for what they have accomplished.
This year we welcome a new cohort of undergraduate students pursuing the Certificate in Law, Justice and Culture. They were selected from the largest and most academically accomplished pool of applicants in the program’s existence. We also welcome a steady influx of students in the graduate program, which now is in its fourth year and still growing. Members of our Mock Trial Team have already won awards this fall and have more competitions ahead. The immensely popular Pre-Law Day, which I’ve been proud to participate in every year, will take place this spring. And our own students are organizing the first ever statewide college conference for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio.
While budgetary concerns within the college and University have been severe, donors have been generous toward the CLJC. Larry Hayman has worked with alumni and University officials to finalize several new agreements just in the past month, and the center will soon be announcing new programs for law school application and internship support. I look forward to supporting him both in outreach and especially in administering these gifts to the benefit of our students.