2015 Justice Studies Student Awards


Justice Studies is pleased to announce the winners of our 2015 Student Awards

Congratulations to Bethany Ashworth, our 2015 Justice Studies Outstanding Student of the Year.

Bethany is a Track A Justice Studies student with a minor in Law-Enforcement Spanish. Along with Spanish courses, she has taken Arabic classes up to the Intermediate level. She was a part of Phi Sigma Pi Co-Ed Honor Fraternity and JMU's Division 1 Field Hockey Team. She has earned the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award, JMU Athletic-Director Scholar Athlete, NFHCA Division I Scholar of Distinction, and NFHCA National Academic Squad. Pertaining to her Justice Studies major, she conducted research on the homeless population of Harrisonburg, Virginia in Professor Suraj Jacob's class as part of the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness; the class conducted a survey, ran descriptive and inferential statistics and formulated a final report to be given to the City Council of Harrisonburg. In the spring semester, she interned with Blue Ridge Legal Services, a legal aid society that provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of the Shenandoah and Roanoke valleys of Virginia; her responsibilities included new client intake, making client/attorney calls, occasionally translating for walk-in Spanish-speaking clients, and various projects for the attorneys.  After graduation, she plans to study for the Law School Admission Test, take the test, and attend law school.  While she does not have definite plans after earning her law degree, she says she would love to join the United States Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate General or work for a federal agency. According to Bethany, "I have been honored to have an incredibly meaningful and comprehensive learning experience within the Justice Studies major of JMU." 

Congratulations to Evan Schell, the 2015 Justice Studies Distinguished Service & Scholarship Award Winner

 Evan was involved with the Amnesty International student group at JMU  for two years, eventually acting as one of the exec members and being recognized as the best student group in the region.  During his time with Amnesty they put on documentary screenings such as Gasland and brought speakers such as Jean-Robert Cadet to JMU. His sophomore year he became involved with the Gandhi Center, particularly with the Gandhi-Refugee integration partnership, based around the idea that JMU students could help newly arrived refugees to Harrisonburg become more familiar with what Harrisonburg has to offer and to meet new people to help refugees not feel isolated in a new community. His role primarily was to volunteer at a basic English and American culture class known as "life skills class" in order to both help newly arrived refugees acclimate to American culture and to meet all the refugees. Because all new refugees were required to attend this class for four weeks, he was able to meet and connect newly arrived people with one another and with other residents of Harrisonburg. According to Evan, he especially enjoyed the outings and events, including soccer tournaments, trips to apple orchards, parks and bowling alleys, and celebrating American holidays such as Halloween or Thanksgiving together. In addition, Evan led two alternative spring break trips, one to Chacreseca, Nicaragua to work with community development, and another to Port St. Joe, Florida to work with environmental preservation.  In addition to facilitating those two trips, he has been working with the Community Service Learning office for the last year coordinating their Alternative Weekend Break Program, which works with local agencies in VA, MD, and WV for a weekend at a time.

Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Last Updated: Monday, November 13, 2017

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