May 8, 2018

Legal Studies and Criminal Justice program celebrates academic year achievements

More than sixty-five people gathered at the Yellowjacket Union on April 30 to celebrate the student achievements of the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program at UW-Superior.

More than sixty-five people gathered at the Yellowjacket Union on April 30 to celebrate the student achievements of the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program at UW-Superior.

Students received awards and recognition for their outstanding academic and service work

More than sixty-five people gathered in the Yellowjacket Union on April 30 to celebrate the student achievements of the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program at UW-Superior.

Students received awards and recognition for their outstanding academic and service work throughout 2017-2018. Numerous community and campus partners attended the event including Dean of Academic Affairs Dean Yohnk. Kevin Szyzrybak from The Hills (formerly Woodland Hills), Chief of Superior Police Department Nick Alexander, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Jackie Weissenburger, Dean of Students Harry Anderson, Athletics Director Nick Bursik, Professor Advisor Mike Raunio, Lt. Andy Mickus and Investigator Mike Peterson (Duluth Police Department) and Human Behavior Justice and Diversity Department Chair Shevaun Stocker.

Benjamin Olson and Melody Maleski were honored for their service as Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Student Leader Representatives throughout the academic year. They provided advice, feedback, input and insight to the faculty and academic staff to ensure a student-centered approach. Olson and Maleski also gave the formal welcome for the program.

Emily Lear (senior in Criminal Justice) and Reggie Semanko (senior in Legal Studies) provided senior reflections for their peer colleagues. Both students emphasized the value of getting involve in the university and community as well as taking their academic preparation seriously.

The Justice Service Awards were presented to Sydney Mastey (nominated by Edriana Dennard) and the students of CJUS 492 Senior Applied Community Research for their direct service to community partners. The researchers that were recognized included Alyssa Amotozio, Benjamin Dorff, Christopher Cassandro, Lear and Benjamin Olson. Other partner scholars included Justin Bye, Aaron Peterson, Tina Lennartson McCray, Johnathan Fontaine, Taavi Mattson, Patrick Gustafson, Tyler Rikkola and Torri Hendrickson. Senior scholars perform direct community oriented applied research projects.

The Academic Growth Award was presented by Lear to Erica Bauer for her observable academic growth over the past year. Lear spoke of Bauer’s resilience and strength when overcoming physical challenges and keeping her focus on academic goals.

The Outstanding Program Service Award was presented to Dominic Woodhouse for his outstanding service to the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program as a student employee. Woodhouse returns to England to pursue advanced studies.

The Ethical Leader award was presented by Melody Maleski to Arabella Gigliotti for her outstanding leadership within the Mock Trial program this past year.

The Teaching Diversity Awards were presented by Leslie Dollen to Julian Williams, Shalese Snowdon and Tiffany Nelson for their exemplary teaching and role modeling on diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Young Advocate Award was awarded to Marinel Walfridsson for his strong advocacy on behalf of students during the suspension decisions in SGA last fall.

The Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program has many student-athletes and they were honored for their dedication to their academics and competitive sport. The following students were recognized: Semanko (Golf), Greg Pitts (Baseball), Colin Welch (Baseball), Walfridsson (Track-Indoor), Tatum Lardinois (Soccer), Sarah Fjeran (Ice Hockey), Kaylie Johnson (Soccer), Brant Schick (Basketball), Zach Bennett (Baseball), Tyler Smith (Golf), Shalese Snowdon (Golf), Brandon Rolf (Baseball), Robert Lander (Basketball), Bailey Kinnunen (Softball), Amber Heidenreich (Ice Hockey and Softball), Alek Tyler (Track-Indoor), Kaylee Wood (Ice Hockey), Jefri Damas (Soccer) and Kelcie Ingle (Softball). Athletics Director Bursik attended and helped honor the students.

The Top Cumulative GPA Honors recognize those students who are the top of their respective classes. Honored this year for Top GPA was freshman Alek Tyler, sophomores Amber Heidenreich and Woodhouse, juniors Adam Edwards, Kahley Kallberg and Arabella Gigliotti and seniors Sydney Mastey and Semanko. Each honoree received an engraved medal with their name and year.

McNair Scholars Pitts and Semanko were honored for their original research scholarly projects this past year. Incoming McNair Scholar Tiffany Nelson and SURF Scholar Kalel Yates were also recognized for their pending research work.

The LSTU/CJUS Scholarship winners were recognized for their academic achievements including Hoover Scholarship winner Erica Bauer; Tony Gigliotti Scholarship winners Edriana Dennard, Shalese Snowdon and Autumn Bass; and Judge Moodie Scholarship winners Jarid Rankila and Kallberg.

The program's first Newman Civic Fellow, Sydney Mastey, was honored for her pending fellowship experience. This fellowship honors the leadership legacy of Frank Newman by recognizing community committed students who engage in collaborative action with others to create long-term social change. Mastey was the first Legal Studies and Criminal Justice student to be recognized for her extensive community work. She was nominated for this honor by Leslie Dollen.

Academic Honorable Mentions were awards for maintaining strong GPA in program performance (GPA of 3.4-3.59):  Robert Lander, Erica Bauer, Aaron Mesedahl, Iveel Munkbaatar, Christopher Cassandro and Tatum Lardinois. The Academic Honor Court was named for GPA exceeding 3.6 in program academic performance: Alek Tyler, Jenika Keup, Edwards, Kallberg, Arabella Gigliotti, Alicia Jatkola, Edriana Dennard, Autumn Bass, Claire Jackson, Mercedes LeBeau, Shalese Snowdon, Mastey, Reggie Semanko, Marinel Walfridsson, Benjamin Olson, Darien Bottila, Tiffany Nelson, Melody Maleski, Todd Knudson, Daniel Conley, Lane Empson, Pitts, Lyndsey Harp, Veronica Hartung, Amber Heidenreich, Woodhouse, Tanner Nelson, Jarid Rankila, Kalel Yates, Kenneth Benz, Erika Wakefield-Zubiate and Kaitlyn Cadigan.  

Dollen was honored by Mastey and Melody Maleski for her service to the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice program. Dollen is resigning from the university effective in May. She has served as a Senior Lecturer within the program.

Members of the Duluth Police Department were on hand to present certificates for the first ever DPD Mentor Program. Lt. Andy Mickus and Investigator Mike Peterson recognized the value of this pilot mentor program. Five CJUS students were selected through an extensive background check process to participate in portions of the DPD Training Academy, had a patrol officer assigned as a mentor from the field, and attended numerous trainings and ride-alongs throughout the academic year. The following students received certificates: Lane Empson, Ben Dorff, Chris Cassandro, Emily Lear and Jarid Rankila. The program hopes to continue this great in-field experience with DPD next year.

Mimi Rappley-Larson, Social Work Associate Professor and advisor to the Criminal Justice Student Association, recognized outgoing leaders in CJSA: President Emily Lear, Vice President Erica Bauer, Firearms Coordinator Devin Salas, Treasurer Desiray Matthews, and Public Relations Coordinator Ben Dorff. She summarized the multiple events and activities of the organization throughout the year.

Maria Cuzzo, Professor of Legal Studies and LSTU/CJUS Program Coordinator, recognized the work of Pre-Law Society. Outgoing officers included President  Semanko, Vice President Arabella Gigliotti, Secretary Melody Maleski, Treasurer Kenneth Benz. The group organized many events with law and justice leaders in the region and sponsored a trip to view the Wisconsin Supreme Court in action. Cuzzo serves as the advisor to the organization.

Cuzzo also recognized the Mock Trial team for 2017-18. Captains Melody Maleski, Autumn Bass, Scott Holmes, Tyler Modderman-Anderson and Darien Bottila were honored for their leadership of the team. The traditional cording ceremony for graduating Seniors occurred with the following receiving their AMTA cord: Melody Maleski, Darien Bottila, Brittany Hewitt, Semanko, Ben Dorff and Libby Gray. Cuzzo is the coach of the team with Eric Chan Burr and Cassy Burr.

Cuzzo then recognized the newly invigorated Criminal Justice Honor Society. The local chapter of Alpha Delta Gamma is a recognized part of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society. The officers who accomplished this included President Luke Jacques, Vice President Erica Bauer, Secretary Kahley Kallberg and Treasurer Sydney Mastey. The traditional stoling of senior members honored Chris Cassandro, Ben Olson, Darien Bottila, and Melody Maleski. All current CJHS members received their Alpha Phi Sigma T-shirt as well. Cuzzo is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma and serves as their chapter advisor.

This program was supported by the Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department.

More than sixty-five people gathered at the Yellowjacket Union on April 30 to celebrate the student achievements of the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program at UW-Superior.

More than sixty-five people gathered at the Yellowjacket Union on April 30 to celebrate the student achievements of the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program at UW-Superior.

Legal Studies and Criminal Justice offers a 35-credit major in Legal Studies, a 58-credit concentration in Criminal Justice and a minor in Criminal Justice. For more information about these majors, contact Dr. Maria Cuzzo.

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