Letter from Katherine Beckett, LSJ Chair

Submitted by Meryl Yang on

Dear LSJ Alumni Community:

As you can imagine, the 2020-21 academic year did not look much like anything that has come before – and we fervently hope that it will not be repeated! Still, I am delighted to report that many wonderful events and activities transpired despite all the challenges that our students, staff, alumni and faculty faced.

Most importantly, our students continued to show up, lean in, and think hard about the challenges that we present to them in the classroom. Although the move to remote instruction was undoubtedly challenging, our wonderful faculty, staff, and students responded to the situation with creativity and resilience. LSJ faculty worked quickly and creatively to reimagine their courses for the new remote learning and teaching environment and helped students connect the course material to recent events. Staff provided much needed support to facilitate the transition and support our students in new ways. And students rose to the challenge, offering their own ideas about how to create meaningful learning opportunities.

Here are a few other highlights from the year. Professor Arzoo Osanloo received the LSA’s Herbert Jacob Book Prize for Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victims’ Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press). On behalf of the Center for Human Rights, Professor Angelina Godoy accepted the ACLU of Washington’s William O’Douglas Award for long-standing dedication to social change and justice. Professor Rachel Cichowski received the Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor Award for her work in mentoring undergraduates. LSJ major Anthony Stokes was featured in Perspectives in June 2021, in which he discussed the impact of participating in Steve Herbert’s course that pairs undergrads with LSJ alumni attorneys to represent people who were convicted of crimes they committed when they were children. And an interview with Steve Herbert about his new podcast, Making Amends, was featured in The Daily. And once again, we celebrated our (120!) graduates in a virtual commencement ceremony in June.

After a year-long break, we are very much looking forward to offering some of our experiential learning opportunities again next year. Our first post-pandemic study abroad class will enable students to explore gender and disability rights in Spain in the winter of 2022. We plan to offer the Philanthropy Lab – in which students decide how best to use philanthropic monies wisely to bring about meaningful social change – once again. And at least one book club – and hopefully more – that includes incarcerated readers as well as LSJ students and alumni will commence again this fall.

We think of our alums often, and know that you are doing great work in the world. I hope that you enjoy the news of LSJ that we provide here. And please know that your support is, as always, greatly appreciated!

With gratitude and warm wishes,

Katherine Beckett

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