Honors Convocation: Law students recognized at Auburn Hills


– Photos courtesy of WMU-Cooley

On July 11, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School students gathered with family and friends to be recognized for their achievements and leadership roles with various student organizations during the law school’s Auburn Hills Honor’s Convocation.The convocation began with a presentation by Professor Heather Dunbar about the real meaning of success.

During her remarks, Dunbar said that success is defined in different ways in different situations and is incremental, not simply an end product.  She noted  learning from failure has as much benefit as an element of success as accomplishing your initial goal at the outset and the idea is that you’ve eliminated possibilities that don’t work has value unto itself.

“Set your own parameters for success and don’t let anyone else conclude for you whether you are successful or not,” said Dunbar.

Before her presentation, Assistant Dean Lisa Halushka presented Dunbar with the campus Distinguished Faculty Award in recognition of her dedication to the success of her students.

Students Tami Salzbrenner and Jesse Thueme were presented with certificates of appreciation for their respective positions as editor-in-chief and articles editor of the WMU-Cooley Law Review. Salzbrenner was also honored for having the highest grade rank in the law school’s advocacy courses.

Professor Mark Cooney, who oversees the law review, noted its members “spend countless hours reading, researching, and editing articles with the goal of placing quality legal scholarship in the hands of the legal community.”

The recipient of the Dawn C. Beachnau Award, for her contributions through leadership and dedication to the Law Review, was Christina Reid. The award is named in memory of the Law Review’s long-time administrator.

Troy “Brandon” Ayers was presented as the Moot Court competition winner. The Moot Court competition is open to all students and challenges them to make appellate style arguments before a judge. Those participating prepare prosecution and defense arguments and are judged on courtroom etiquette, substantive legal arguments and overall performance.  Laura Alton was also recognized as a finalist in the competition.

“WMU-Cooley students are offered many opportunities to demonstrate their litigation skills in competitions and succeed at the highest levels,” said Halushka.

Qasem Belbeisi received recognition for his work with the Washtenaw Public Defender Clinic. As a participant in the clinic, Belbeisi, under the supervision of faculty members, actually practiced law and delivered legal services to clients.