J.D. and M.S.W.
What degree are you working toward?
I am a third third year Law student at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a master student in the IU School of Social Work. I will be graduating in May 2016 with my J.D./M.S.W. and concentrations in both Advocacy and Leadership.
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and went to IU Bloomington for my undergraduate education. I knew I wanted to be close to home for grad school, but still have the feel of being in a city where change takes place. IUPUI is a great fit for me- I am close to my family while also being near the Statehouse and other government agencies- perfect for a J.D./M.S.W. student interested in using my degrees to serve others and advocate for social justice.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
This year, I organized an event called “A Network Fair for Service Providers.” Approximately 125 service providers from a wide-range of sectors in the community came together to educate each other on the services they provide. Specifically, attendees included agencies that serve children, veterans, and the homeless population, along with government agencies, legal aid agencies, health agencies, and many more. The underlying belief of this event was that clients are better served by systems that appreciate and understand each other; allowing them to make more effective referrals. This Network Fair served as a platform to learn more about the services being provided in the Indianapolis area, increase collaboration, encourage partnerships, and ultimately enhance services to clients.
The event was a great success- Of 40 surveys completed, all 40 either "agree" or "strongly agree" that they know more about services being provided in the Indianapolis area as a result of this event. All 40 respondents either "agree" or "strongly agree" that they know how they can collaborate with organizations they met today and 39 out of 40 respondents indicate they will follow-up with at least one organization they met at the Fair.
It was very exciting to be able to see a need in my community, come up with a plan to address that need, and execute an event successfully that worked to alleviate that need.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
Life in Indianapolis is never dull! From exploring restaurants and bars on Massachusetts Avenue to attending important events at the Indiana Supreme Court- it has a little bit of something for everyone. Every single weekend there is something to do- whether that be a band at Old National Center, a play at the IRT, a major sporting event, a coffee shop to visit, and so much more. Indianapolis is a great place in which to learn, meet people, and play- absolutely perfect for young professionals.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
While earning my JD/MSW, I interned at "Use What You've Got Prison Ministry," a local nonprofit that works to keep families connected while a loved one is incarcerated.
I was employed at the IU Public Policy Institute, where I worked on the Thriving Communities, Thriving State Project. I completed an externship at the Marion County Public Defender Agency as a Certified Legal Intern during the summer of my 2L year. I am currently completing my M.S.W. practicum at Indiana Legal Services, Inc. and I am a Certified Legal Intern in the Health and Human Rights Clinic of IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
In addition, I am the Executive Production Editor of the Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Magister of Phi Delta Phi International Honors Society, an ICLEO Fellow, and member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board.