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Two Law Students Win Public Engagement, Leadership Awards

APRIL 12, 2010—Law School students Lauren Beach and Jennifer Cornell have been selected as this year's recipients of the Mary A. McEvoy Award for Public Engagement and Leadership, given annually to one graduate and one professional student for contributions that are clearly beyond the norm in scholarship, research, and community concerns. They are the first Law School students to receive the honor.

The award, governed by the University's Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, includes a $1,000 scholarship and recognizes students for their dedication and efforts to benefit others and to strengthen a democratic way of life.

Beach, the graduate student recipient, is a student in the University’s Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences. In addition to her J.D. studies, Beach also is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology & Genetics, for which she is currently researching HIV treatments and antiviral drug resistance. She expects to have completed both degrees by 2013.

Beach's interests in health and science policy and in under-represented groups have led her to become a vigorous advocate for the concerns and needs of bisexuals. Currently the Executive Director of the Bisexual Orientation Project, Beach also is a member of the Minnesota GLBTA Campus Alliance; treasurer of the Law School's GLBTA student organization, OutLaw; and a volunteer for the Minnesota Justice Foundation, among her many other roles. Her work on and beyond the campus has exemplified Beach's leadership abilities toward increasing respect and understanding within a larger goal of diversity.

Cornell ('10) is this year's student recipient in the professional category. She is the current Editor-in-Chief of Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice. She holds a Master's degree in labor policy and public management from the University's Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Her commitment to community service is nothing new; from 1994-2008, Cornell served as a firefighter in the Minneapolis Fire Department, including acting as Battalion Chief and as a fire investigator. During her tenure, she wrote several key programs and policies for the department, including its pregnancy-leave policy and programs for conducting and examining employee disciplinary review procedures for labor litigation avoidance.

Beach and Cornell also were selected to receive the 2010 University of Minnesota President's Student Leadership & Service Award from the Student Unions & Activities committee of the Office for Student Affairs. The honor recognizes students whose leadership and service contributions have made a significant impact on the educational experience and the sense of community on campus.

They will receive both awards at the President's Awards Banquet on May 3.

 
 
 
Portrait of Lauren Beach

Lauren Beach, '13

 
 
Portrait of Jennifer Cornell

Jennifer Cornell, '10