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August-September 2013

People News

Billy Stratton to release new book, Buried in Shades of Night, this week

(Sept. 24, 213) Billy Stratton, associate professor in the Department of English, will release his latest book, Buried in Shades of Night: Contested Voices, Indian Captivity and the Legacy of King Philip's War, on Sept. 26.

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DU Law Professor Roberto Corrada installed as the Mulligan Burleson Chair of Modern Learning

Corrada(Sept. 17, 2013) The University of Denver Sturm College of Law announces the installation of distinguished Professor Roberto Corrada as the Mulligan Burleson Chair of Modern Learning. The celebration will take place on Sept. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sturm College of Law Forum. The creation of Corrada's endowed position is due to generous gifts from Denver Law alumni James "Jim" Mulligan, JD '77, and Joan Burleson, JD '85, as well as additional gifts from alumnus and trustee Doug Scrivner, JD '77, and his wife, Mary.

With the installation of Professor Corrada as the Chair of Modern Learning, Denver Law aims to create practice-ready lawyers upon graduation. Through this position, Corrada will be empowered to implement simulation courses across the law school's curriculum. These experiential courses will allow students to engage in the Carnegie Model of legal education, which integrates three key apprenticeships: doctrine, skills, and professional identity,—a radical departure from traditional law school instruction models.

"Our interest is in investing in an integrated experiential learning model that involves all three legs of the Experiential Learning stool," said Jim Mulligan. "It includes a combination of classroom simulation of real-life experiences with updated models of the traditional internship/externship and clinical programs...it is the integration of these models into an overall law school training of the student that is worthwhile..."

"A key aspect of this chair position is the financial support it provides to facilitate this type of teaching," said Dean Martin Katz. "The gift permits the chair to award stipends to professors who create experiential opportunities for our students that integrate doctrine, skills, and professional identity development. It also allows us to bring in national experts to help our professors who are already engaged in this type of teaching and to stay at the forefront of the national discussion."

As a three-legged stool of modern learning, the Carnegie Integrated Courses will join Denver Law's clinics, which began in 1904 and the externship program, which is the largest in the country. The impact of the chair position will be the transformation of these opportunities into a unified, modern learning pillar. Denver Law's Experiential Advantage Curriculum was recently ranked as one of the nation's Top 25 most Innovative Ideas in legal education by PreLaw Magazine

"Experiential learning hasn't really taken hold and it hasn't been looked at in an integrated way," Corrada said. "In 2009, the faculty decided as part of our strategic plan to accept the recommendation of the Carnegie Report; one of the insights is that all three apprenticeships should be included in our courses. We are moving toward integrating these three apprenticeships into every single class a law student would take at DU."
Within the three apprenticeships, traditional doctrinal classes teach students how to think like lawyers. Skills offers on the ground training for the tasks attorneys will perform, and professional identity binds all of them together through the examination of ethics, understanding clients' needs, and strategies for forging vocational identity. Augmenting doctrine, the two additional elements are grounded in the nuanced circumstances that attorneys are likely to face in today's legal landscape.

"I started teaching all three [elements] out of necessity," Corrada said. "When I first came to DU in the early 90's, I was teaching Labor Law and noticed that my students didn't have a lot of labor background—most of them hadn't even worked. I let them organize and bargain with me about the terms and conditions of the class. Students filed unfair labor practice charges and because I put them in the position of employees, they also came up with ethical conundrums. By creating this simulation, I had students focus on doctrine, skills and professional identity [simultaneously]."

Denver Law is one of only 16 law schools nationwide that is implementing this innovative approach to legal education. By exposing students to complex ethical, relational and professional skills in the classroom, Denver Law graduates will enter the workforce with a more diverse set of tools. "Most law firms, corporations, and non-profits will still have to train new lawyers, but it will require less training," said Corrada. "Our graduates are simply going to have a better feel for how to do things. Students should emerge as more developed attorneys."

"We have heard from both students and employers how valuable this type of learning can be," said Dean Katz. "Students tell us that they 'get it' at a much deeper level than they would with only traditional teaching. They report that they not only understand the doctrines that are part of a particular class; they also understand the context – how the doctrine can be used in the context of solving clients' problems."

By partnering with the University of Denver's IAALS, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, Denver Law will also become a living laboratory of the Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers program (ETL), an IAALS initiative that encourages and evaluates innovation in legal education.

"Employers have told us repeatedly that they are looking for graduates with real or simulated practice experience, and the skills and perspective that come from such experience," said Dean Katz. "We are already hearing from employers how impressed they are with our students who have had the benefit of this type of learning. It provides our graduates with a significant advantage in the job market."

"We continue to be great in [first-year] doctrinal training, but by the second and third years [of law school], we should be treating our students like attorneys, because they're going to be attorneys," Corrada said. "We believe in this program, and we think it's the right thing to do."

Additionally, a new book by Harvard University Press named Professor Corrada as one the 26 "best law teachers" in the United States. The book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (2013), is a four-year study that sought to identify extraordinary law teachers; it details the attributes and practices of professors who have significant, positive, and long-term impacts on their students.

The study was authored by Professor Gerry Hess of Gonzaga University School of Law, Professor Sophie Sparrow of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean and professor of law at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. "The book describes how 26 amazingly dedicated and dazzlingly effective law teachers do their work," Schwartz said.

"The people who wrote the book, who I have enormous respect for, have decided what they think the best law teachers do, and I happened to be one of those people," said Corrada. "I've been out there talking about Modern Learning for a long time, so being included in this book is a great honor."

Susan Schulten receives two prestigious awards

Susan Schulten(Aug. 20, 2013) Susan Schulten, professor and chair of the history department, received the 2012 Norris and Carol Hundley Award by the American Historical Association—Pacific Coast Branch (AHA-PCB) for her book, Mapping the Nation . This award is given for the most distinguished book on any historical subject by a scholar who resides in the American or Canadian west, and is the highest honor bestowed by the AHA-PCB.

Schulten also received the 2013 Western History Association's Oscar O. Winther Award for her article, "The Civil War and the Origins of the Colorado Territory" from the board of editors of the Western Historical Quarterly (WHQ). This award is for the best article appearing in the last four issues of the WHQ (Autumn and Winter 2012, Spring and Summer 2013).

Kateri McRae authors study on how an individual's social and cultural environment influences how they control their emotional responses

(Aug. 20, 2013) Kateri McRae, assistant professor in the department of psychology, recently published a study in the scientific journal Frontiers in Emotion Science . The research found that an individual's social and cultural environment influenced how they controlled their emotional responses.

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Retirement party for Dr. Robert (Bob) Mill – Sept. 11, 4-6 p.m., Tuscan Ballroom

(Aug. 13, 2013) Join the Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in celebrating the retirement of Professor Robert Mill. Please RSVP by Sept. 9.

Seth Masket to receive Heinz I. Eulau Award

Seth Masket(Aug. 6, 2013) Seth Masket, associate professor and chair of political science, is receiving the prestigious Heinz I. Eulau Award at the American Political Science Association conference this month. The Heinz I. Eulau Award is given for the best article published in the journal Perspectives on Politics during the previous calendar year. Masket's award-winning article is "A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands, and Nominations in American Politics."