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Legal Studies Announces 2011 Student Awards

LS Honors Award

The Legal Studies program is pleased to announce the 2011 recipients of the Shep Shepard Award, Samantha Schnoerr and Emiliano Salazaris, as well as the 2011 recipients of the Legal Studies Honors Award, Avery Gibson and Jennifer Jackson.

The Shep Shepard Award is a fund created by the faculty in Legal Studies to honor the memory of Col. (Ret.) Claude L. Shepard, Jr. who served as the department's staff associate from the program's inception in 1973 until his retirement in August 1997.

The recipients of the Shep Shepard award are selected for a combination of academic excellence achieved within Legal Studies and contributions to the community. Recipients reflect the deep intelligence and wide-ranging contributions that characterized Shep Shepard's life and work.

The Legal Studies Honors Award recognizes graduating honors seniors who have demonstrated continued committment to academic excellence and have written exceptional honors theses or capstones. Gibson was seleted for her thesis titled "Talking Past Each Other in the Debate on Undocumented Immigration," which grew out of an interest in understanding why there were such barriers to a constructive debate leading to a sound, effective, and just immigration policy. She analyzed how the key institutions--such as state agencies, labor unions, and human rights organizations--construct conflicting and incompatible ways of understanding the immigration "problem" and what the consequences are.  Her capstone is an outstanding example of a well-researched and excellently written honors thesis.

Similarly, Jackson's capstone embodies a critical, analytical, and creative approach to research. Her thesis "The 21st century American family: Do United States laws support the best interests of children with same-sex parents? A look at the misuse of the best interests of the child standard and the absence of legal recognition of parent-child relationships between children and both of their sexual minority parents" is an in-depth examination of adoption by same-sex couples and argues that courts and legislatures are not using the "best interests of the child" standard when they prevent gay couples from adopting.  Her research and writing demonstrates a truly interdisciplinary Capstone by discussing case law, psychology research on children raised in gay families, as well as looking at underlying policy and legislative considerations.

If you would like to support the Shep Shepard and Legal Studies Honors Awards, you may do so via the Legal Studies Program.


Photos: Top: Emiliano Salazaris and Samantha Schnoerr pose with their Shep Shepard Awards. Bottom: Avery Gibson and Jennifer Jackson pose with their Legal Studies Honors Awards.

News Type: 

  • Student News