TU College of Law Selects Inaugural Group of Excellence in Education Scholars

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The University of Tulsa College of Law is pleased to announce the first recipients of the Excellence in Education Scholarship Program for the 2008-2009 academic year.
The new scholars include Devon Black of Ripley, N.Y., Amanda Brummett of Romana, Okla.,  Monica Edris of Springfield, Mo.,  Meghan King of Springfield, Mo.,  Megan Myers of Tulsa, Okla.,  Salome Mallgren of Tulsa, Okla.,  Jacob Payne of  Los Lunas, N.M., Andrew Smith of Little Rock, Ark.,  Shannon Renee Smith of Tulsa, Okla.,  and David Spring of Norman, Okla. These outstanding achievers come to TU Law from a variety of colleges and universities including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of New Mexico, University of Arkansas, Missouri State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and Loyola University in New Orleans. These scholars also majored in a diverse group of subjects ranging from philosophy, psychology and political science to criminology, English literature and accounting.  In addition, three of the recipients are self-identified minorities. 

Although all of these students have demonstrated academic excellence throughout their college careers, the most distinguishable quality about them is their demonstrated leadership and commitment to public service. For example, Payne participated in a community service project in the Philippines to teach young children about the dangers of substance abuse;  Smith has been very active in the Tulsa community helping to create sober living houses for men – known as Oxford Houses – which have been successful in teaching young men how to re-create their lives as sober and productive members of society;  Spring was active in the Schusterman Mentoring Program where he mentored two “at-risk” elementary students, providing them academic  and leadership counseling; and Mallgren was very active in a community service program called Students Moving Into the Lives of the Elderly (SMILE). 

King, recognizing that child abuse and neglect is a devastating social problem, completed training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).  She states that through her work with CASA, she has contributed a small part toward the well-being of a larger society which she hopes to continue in her career as an attorney. Brummett, Black and Edris are active in a plethora of service activities including Meals On Wheels, Boys and Girls Club, Books for Kids, March of Dimes, Relay for Life, and Hand and Hand Multicultural Ministries.

Brummett, in summing up what community leadership means to her says, “I think leadership is more than just a title of a position or your placement on a board of directors. It’s more than the mass amounts of people that you impact in small ways. I believe that leadership is defined by the big differences that you make to a few people. It is seeing the depressed down-trodden child that I took under my wings at the Boys and Girls Club turn into a successful woman with the self esteem to hold her head up high. It is the elderly woman that I guided through admitting abandonment of her children and see her smile once again. Leadership is many things, but most of all it is having the knowledge that you have changed the lives of others forever.”

 On a more personal level, Myers believes in “the pursuit of education, especially in the arts.” In her community, she teaches fourth graders the elements of art and also has given free art lessons to children at her university’s art museum. Smith chose to give back to her community in a personal way by helping out a friend whose husband was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease.  She realized that she could do something to help this family in their time of need, so she took on the task of being a caretaker for the family – running errands, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their children.

On behalf of the faculty and administration of the College of Law, we congratulate these future leaders of TU Law. We know they will not only do great things while they are law students but also once they become alumni. We wish them continued success in all their academic and professional endeavors, and we encourage them to hold on to their passion for giving back to those less fortunate.

The Excellence in Education Scholarship Program was approved in November of last year for the incoming class beginning in fall 2008.  The funding was made possible by generous support from the University.  The scholarships, consisting of three award levels,  include a merit scholarship and an allocation for living expenses, such as room and board, student fees, parking fees and text books. They are renewable each year of law study.

The three levels of Excellence in Education opportunities include:

•    Dean’s Law Scholars– These awards provide a full-tuition scholarship with an additional stipend for room and board, student fees, parking fees and books. As the largest and most prestigious award, applicants with an LSAT score of 159 or greater and an undergraduate GPA of 3.40 are eligible to apply for this scholarship opportunity.

•    TU Centennial Law Scholars– These awards provide $19,000 toward the law student’s tuition, plus the same allocation for living expenses as the Dean’s Scholar’s awards. Applicants who have an LSAT score of at least 157 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.40 are eligible to apply for this scholarship opportunity.

•    TU Leaders in Law– These awards provide $16,000 toward the law student’s tuition, plus the same allocation for living expenses as the Dean’s Scholar’s awards. Applicants who have an LSAT score of at least 155 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.40 are eligible to apply for this scholarship opportunity.

As alumni continue to talk to students who have an interest in law school, we hope you will tell them about our Excellence in Education Scholarship Program, as well as our general scholarship programs.  This year, over 65 percent of the entering class received a merit or need-based scholarship, which is a testament to our commitment to make legal education affordable to qualified students. 

For more information about the Excellence in Education Scholarship Program and the application process, students may visit the Admissions site.  An application may be obtained at https://secureweb.utulsa.edu/law/scholarship/ .