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Law students named to inaugural ASU scholars group


June 08, 2010

Two students at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have been chosen for the first-ever class of ASU Spirit of Service Scholars, a group of exceptional individuals across the university who will learn to maximize their leadership potential through assistance to others.

David Jackson and Kaitlyn Redfield-Ortiz, both second-year law students, were named to the program by Debra Friedman, University Vice President and Dean of the College of Public Programs, which developed the Spirit of Service Scholars. Friedman said more than 220 people applied for the program; 17 received the $5,000 one-year scholarships.

Those selected “range from an incoming freshman to doctoral students in 10 areas of study, including sustainability, social work, public policy, law, criminology, religious studies, nonprofit studies and business,” Friedman said. “All have big dreams and amazing records of accomplishment.”

Paul Schiff Berman, Dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said he is thrilled that two of the law school’s most accomplished and dedicated students are participating in the important new program.

“Part of the transformative model for 21st legal education that we are pursuing at the College of Law is premised on the idea that the lawyers of tomorrow need leadership skills as well as purely legal ones,” Berman said. “This is especially true in the public interest and not-for-profit communities, where leadership training has often been insufficiently emphasized.”

Before coming to law school, Jackson taught reading and writing to fourth-graders in a low-income school in Houston. He is a member of the Pro Bono Board at the College of Law and director of the Junior Law/Court Works Program in ASU’s Office of Youth Preparation.

“I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with ASU students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to discuss solutions to the complex social issues that we all hope to address through careers in public service,” Jackson said.

He is interested in issues of educational inequity and equal justice and wants to practice law and become a school board member in Phoenix.

Redfield-Ortiz believes the Spirit of Service Scholars program will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn about a variety of public service issues.

“I am looking forward to the community that the program will create -- both among scholars and among our mentors and mentees,” she said. “I am so hopeful that the program will help me to channel and further define my professional interests in a way that will have a meaningful impact on our community.”

Redfield-Ortiz earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with minors in public policy and gender studies from the University of Notre Dame. She taught second grade for three years with Teach for America before enrolling in law school. She is involved in the Advocacy Program against Domestic Violence, OUTLaw and the Women Law Students’ Association, and is interested in equal rights for minority groups and marginalized populations, education of low-income students and teen pregnancy prevention.

Friedman, of the ASU College of Public Program, said the Spirit of Service Scholars program is one element of ASU’s commitment to serving our country by addressing its most pressing challenges, one of which is preparing the next generation of public and nonprofit sector leaders. The program brings new talent, ideas and energy to a changing nation, where nearly two out of three people working for the federal government will be eligible to retire by 2015, and nonprofits will have 640,000 executive and senior professional jobs by 2016, according to studies.

For more information about the program, go to http://spiritofservicescholars.asu.edu.

Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder@asu.edu
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law