Students Honored for Academic Excellence

Edward Stickles, Jeff Martlew, Hon. John Badalamenti

Pictured (left-right) Edward Stickles, WMU-Cooley Law School graduate; Jeff Martlew, WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus associate dean; and the Hon. John Badalamenti, Second District Court of Appeals judge.

WMU-Cooley Law School's Tampa Bay campus recently celebrated the accomplishments and academic achievement of its highest-ranked students during a reception at the Tampa Club. The event, known as The Dux, originated from the Latin word Dux, or leader. In schools located in foreign jurisdictions, Dux refers to a student who has reached the highest rank. At Cooley, The Dux describes the Tampa Bay students who are ranked in the top 10 percent of their respective classes at the campus.

To honor their accomplishments, students were joined by family members, campus deans, faculty, and prominent community leaders including the Honorable Claudia Isom; Woody Isom, Esq.; the Honorable Catherine McEwen; the Honorable John Badalamenti; Dierdre White, general counsel for Grow Financial; and Valerie Obi, the first vice president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association.

The event is commemorated with a directory that includes a photo of each student, a statement voicing each student’s appreciation for the support of their family, and their goals for the next five years.

Associate Dean Jeffrey Martlew encouraged the students to continue with their success and cherish the moments they are experiencing as law students. Martlew also recognized students Simone Genus and Sheila Burke for being ranked in the top 10 percent of their class for three consecutive years. Genus and Burke were each presented with Tiffany crystal business card holders.

The evening’s events also included greetings and a toast from the founders of the event, Karen Fultz, associate professor; and Dionnie Wynter, campus director. Campus director of the Debt Relief Clinic, Victor Veschio was also in attendance.

The Dux was sponsored by Frederick H.L. McClure, Esq., the George Edgecomb Bar Association; Kaplan, Themis, Holland and Lamouruex, P.A.; the Law Office of Thomas P. Gill, and the Tampa Bay Campus Student Bar Association.

Victor Veschio, Hon. Catherine Peek McEwen, Charles Schutze

Pictured (left-right) Victor Veschio, WMU-Cooley Law School adjunct professor; the Hon. Catherine Peek McEwen, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida judge; and Charles Schutze, WMU-Cooley Law School adjunct professor.

Simone Genus, Sabrina Mentor, Jazmin Shorter, Dericka Burke

Pictured (left-right) Simone Genus, 2016 Dux honoree; WMU-Cooley Law School Student Bar Association members Sabrina Mentor and Jazmin Shorter; and Dericka Burke, 2015 and 2016 honoree.

About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.



Top 10 percent celebrated at special event

Students encouraged to continue their record of success

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