October 1, 2020

On-campus dedication leads to off-campus recognition

UW-Superior student Amanda Foster receives recognition within the city and state

With small class sizes and instructors that know students by their first name, it’s no secret that UW-Superior students have the resources available to not only succeed, but thrive in the classroom. Yet for some students, the personal attention and access to a wealth of resources they receive helps them succeed on and off campus.

For Amanda Foster, her UW-Superior experience has brought both recognition within the City of Superior and across Wisconsin.

“I have loved my time at UWS,” said Foster, a senior majoring in legal studies with an individually designed minor in ethical leadership. “I've grown more in the last two years than I ever imagined.”

This past summer, Foster completed and presented McNair research on Civil Legal Aid in Northern Wisconsin – a project that remains as one of her proudest moments on campus.

“Amanda goes above and beyond the basic requirements in her classes, student organizational work, and community organizing, and her peers respect her immensely for that,” said Nathan LaCoursiere, senior lecturer of legal studies and criminal justice at UW-Superior. “Her peers also appreciate the fact that, notwithstanding Amanda’s success, awards and achievements, she is never arrogant or dismissive of peers.”

Foster has had a big impact on campus as president of the pre-law society and secretary of Amnesty International. Those dedications to service have also been noticed in the classroom by her instructors.

“I have known Amanda now for the past two years, but I have had the opportunity to work very closely with her over the past year, starting in my fall 2019 law, citizenship & civic engagement course,” said LaCoursiere. “In that course I have witnessed Amanda’s self-confidence and leadership grow exponentially.”

In the classroom, Foster enjoys reading and getting to discuss court opinions with instructors that really care. She also feels ready for her career after graduation and going on to attend law school.

“Amanda has been a top performer in all of my classes – including my upper-level Constitutional Law classes,” said LaCoursiere. “She is a strong writer, communicator and presenter. She is also a talented legal researcher, a skill she has developed and built upon through community Academic Service-Learning projects, constitutional-law research papers and presentations.”

That involvement in the community – a hallmark for UW-Superior and its students – has provided Foster with an entrance to serve on the Claims and Liability Committee for the City of Superior.

“My role at the present is to attend meetings that decide on claims brought against the city,” she said. “I am one of five committee members. It is a great chance to get to see our own city government's inner workings and learn how I can help make it better.”

For Foster, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, a seat on the committee has brought exposure to the inner workings of the city she’s called home for the past years.

“I have enjoyed learning about the way that the committee reviews a claim and asking what lens the committee should look through when reviewing claims especially brought forward by people that live in our community,” said Foster.

That dedication goes beyond the city limits for Foster, who was recently named recipient of the Wisconsin Women in Government Scholarship, funded by Wisconsin Women in Government.

“When I learned that I was selected, I was shocked for about a week,” she said.

While much uncertainty awaits Yellowjackets in the semester-and-a-half to graduation, the future for Foster looks anything but tentative.

“This summer, I will have the opportunity to work with Amanda as a McNair Scholars Program scholar, mentoring and assisting with her research into gaps in civil legal services available to low-income victims of domestic abuse and assault in greater Wisconsin,” said LaCoursiere. “Based on my work with Amanda over the past two years, I know she will finish at the top of the legal studies program at UWS, and I have no doubt she will be very successful academically in any future grad or law-school program she joins.”

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