Chancellor’s Scholars - First Year Scholars
Joe attended college at North Dakota State University and majored in Economics. While he was attending school, he worked for Fargo Youthworks in an Americorp position helping at risk youth in the community. This program focused on many things including combating homelessness, provided safe after school and weekend programming, and street outreach to promote Youthworks other programming.
After Joe graduated from college in 2009, he worked a variety of jobs before getting back to doing non-profit work. For the last year and a half, Joe has supervised a before and after school program for the Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley. This constituted a variety of activities and programming focused on giving kids a safe and fun environment while their parents were still at work.
These experiences showed Joe how important legal issues can be to children who don’t have any support. What starts out as a small problem for a child can snowball if no one intervenes to help get them back on the right path. Joe hopes to use his law degree to help children who need legal help, and also need a positive role model to lead them down a better path.
Amy Berenbaum, a Denver native, earned a Master of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy. Amy, a National Merit Scholarship recipient, also earned a B.A. in Health & Societies concentrating in Health Policy & Law from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude. After returning to Denver in December of 2011, Amy worked as a Policy Analyst at the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. She analyzed federal and state laws and regulations as well as other resources in order to write policy recommendations for the Exchange’s Board of Directors regarding the development of Colorado’s new marketplace for health insurance.
While an undergrad, Amy became a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She volunteered as an EMT and served on the board of Penn’s student-run Medical Emergency Response Team for three years. Amy also served as the Central Regional Coordinator for the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation for three years and wrote two articles which were published in the foundation’s national newsletter. Over two summers during college, Amy worked as an EMT at Elitch Gardens Theme Park in Denver.
For almost two years, Amy worked as a Research Assistant at Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. While completing her Master of Bioethics, Amy served on the board of Penn Law’s Health Law Group as the Chair of Interdisciplinary Outreach & Education. During the summer of 2011, Amy worked as a Summer Intern for Arthur Caplan, the Director of the Penn Center for Bioethics, conducting research and writing a report for Express Scripts, Inc. (a Fortune 100 pharmacy benefit manager). That summer, Amy also volunteered as a teaching assistant and substitute teacher for adult English as a Second Language classes at the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning in Denver.
Amy is passionate about health law, health policy, medical ethics, and public health. She hopes to pursue a career that combines these interests in her hometown of Denver.
A haphazard series of adventures in geography led Lindsey to Denver, where she has worked for the City of Denver for 2 years. As a Buyer for the City, she is part of the team that ensures tax payer dollars aren’t spent (too) recklessly.
Prior to arriving in Denver she got degrees in Political Science and Finance from Santa Clara University. In a failed attempt to avoid adulthood, Lindsey spent the next year in London, where she got a Masters in International Relations and Development.
No matter where she found herself, there was always an opportunity to work for social justice. Lindsey worked on education issues at Santa Clara: running an after-school program for kids with incarcerated parents, and working with the DREAM Act lobby. In London, her attention was diverted to issues of immigration and asylum, working with recent immigrants and asylum-seekers during their transition. Back in Denver, she continues to work to further access to education in the community: tutoring adults in rehabilitation programs for the GED and intro-level college courses.
Having seen how integral the law is in achieving any substantial justice for people, Lindsey is excited to explore the world of law at DU, and is looking forward to finding ways to apply a law degree to her interest in public service.
Jordan grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, and spent his early years scrambling through the nearby sandstone canyons. He attended undergrad at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin where he graduated cum laude with a degree in political science. Immediately after graduation he returned to his home state at the apex of the recession. A job of opportunity led Jordan on an unexpected path of fiscal advocacy. He first worked as a loan officer for a local credit union and helped individuals navigate financial issues. Eventually Jordan left the banking industry to work with an auto brokerage. This gave him an opportunity to once again help consumers negotiate with a notoriously profit-driven industry.
During this time, he also developed a passion for another type of advocacy. Jordan worked with the victims of crime, survivors of loss, and their families as a victim’s advocate for the Longmont Police Department. Police advocates are called on-scene to provide comfort, basic necessities, and resources to the individuals they serve. One group of victims has had a lasting influence on Jordan. Among domestic violence victims, a largely underserved population exists who feel (and often are) bound to their victimizers by immigration status.
Jordan’s inspiration for coming to law school grew out of a desire to do more for the victims who feel they have no recourse or escape.
Paul grew up in Cabot, Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas where he studied Journalism, Marketing, and Spanish. After a semester abroad, a newfound curiosity in other cultures led him to volunteer as a conversation partner for the University of Arkansas Spring International Language Center. While working with the language center, he was able to meet students from all over the world while helping them with their English. The relationships he formed not only intensified his desire to return abroad, but also sparked his direction toward public interest.
After graduation, Paul joined the Peace Corps. He served from 2010 – 2012 in a small fishing and farming community of 300 people in the mountains of northwestern El Salvador. While there, he worked mostly with community representatives in organizing programs to educate the community in health and nutrition, environmental issues, and HIV/AIDS prevention. He is most proud of working with the community, the municipal mayor’s office, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation in a cooperated effort that provided electricity to the community school and 27 families living without. It was while working in El Salvador that Paul began to understand the need for advocacy, especially for those underrepresented communities.
Paul is excited to be pursuing a legal education at the University of Denver so that he can develop the skills and knowledge needed to successfully advocate for those in need.
Stephanie Pham is a born and raised Southern California native. For her undergraduate education, Stephanie chose to stay close to the Pacific Ocean, so she attended Pomona College in Claremont, California. While at Pomona, Stephanie tutored students from low-income families on her own and through Upward Bound, a federally-funded education program focused on providing low-income students with better opportunities for attending college. In May of 2009, Stephanie studied abroad in Hong Kong for five months and interned at Citibank while there.
During her senior year, Stephanie interned with the Los Angeles chapter of the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places. Through TPL, Stephanie experienced firsthand the poor development of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and worked closely with local residents to better improve their hometown. In May 2010, Stephanie graduated with a degree in Public Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Economics after authoring a thesis titled, “California Groundwater Management: A Comparative Analysis of Watermaster Allocation Methods.”
Upon graduation, Stephanie joined the Teach for America movement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to explore the education field and the effects of its policies on students. Through TFA, Stephanie worked as first-grade teacher at the Universal Daroff Charter School in West Philadelphia while also taking graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. During her time at Daroff, Stephanie focused her efforts on cultivating a strong academic environment for her students, while also working with the school’s administration to develop more effective curricula for the students.
After a year with Teach for America, Stephanie returned home to California to work as a tutoring instructor at ACI College Prep for six months. Before embarking on her law school adventure, Stephanie decided to travel and lived in Oxford, United Kingdom for six months. Stephanie is currently enjoying life as a 1L at DU while exploring Denver on the weekends.
Laura was born and raised in Middlebury, Indiana. After graduating from Goshen College she spent a year as a volunteer in Recife, Brazil, teaching English to adolescents and working in a small community library.
Soon after she returned from Brazil Laura moved to Harlingen, Texas, a small city near the Mexican border. In Harlingen, she was a full time volunteer at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) through the Americorp program. ProBAR works with children and adults in immigration detention centers in Deep South Texas. Laura began her time at ProBAR working with attorneys on asylum cases of adult clients from around the world.
A year and a half later Laura transitioned into working as an employee at ProBAR’s Children’s Project. She gave legal rights presentations to children detained by Border Patrol and ICE. Although most of the children Laura worked with were apprehended near the border after recently leaving their homes in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, some of the children had spent most of their lives in the United States. Laura eventually became an Accredited Representative and began to represent children in immigration court and at adjustment and asylum interviews.
While at ProBAR Laura saw first hand the challenges facing youth in our immigration system and the added difficulties facing children who are involved in both the juvenile justice system and the immigration system. After much deliberation, Laura decided to leave ProBAR and the eternal summer of South Texas. She hopes to continue working in immigration or juvenile law.
Zoey Tanner grew up in the mountains outside of Estes Park, Colorado. She graduated with distinction from the University of Colorado with a sociology degree. Zoey’s first exposure to public interest work included working as an Intern Zookeeper at the Butterfly Pavilion in Broomfield, Colorado. While in high school, she volunteered with several environmental organizations. Her interest in public service and travel led her to Costa Rica where she worked on a sea turtle preserve. During college, Zoey managed an outpatient substance abuse counseling center which provided treatment to primarily court-ordered clients. Working directly with clients, therapists, and the courts had a profound impact on Zoey. She knew she wanted to work with people affected by the criminal justice system. With the encouragement of her employer at the counseling center, Zoey began an internship as a criminal defense investigator with the Boulder Regional Office of the Colorado State Public Defender.
Shortly before graduation, Zoey was hired by the Fort Collins Public Defenders Office where she continued to work as an investigator. Her duties included interviewing witnesses, photographing crime scenes, and acting as a liaison between the accused and their families, among other responsibilities. After seeing the plights the accused face in the criminal justice system, Zoey became deeply passionate about indigent defense work. She particularly loved assisting attorneys throughout the trial process, during which she coordinated witnesses and exhibits. In 2011, a coworker nominated Zoey for Investigator of the Year based on her work on a homicide case. After a short, but very fulfilling, time with the Fort Collins Public Defenders, Zoey decided to go to law school. She hopes to return to the Public Defenders Office upon graduation.
Lindsey grew up in Cincinnati, OH and attended The University of Dayton for her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. From there she moved to Chicago to obtain her Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Lindsey also received Forty-Hour Domestic Violence Training to work in the field of domestic violence. During her graduate program she interned at Rainbow House, a domestic violence agency, providing therapy to children who were in contact with their abusive fathers. The experience first introduced Lindsey to guardian ad litems who greatly furthered her interest in pursuing law.
Upon graduation, Lindsey became a Licensed Professional Counselor. Although not using her LPC degree directly, it proved greatly beneficial in her work as a Senior Case Manager at House of the Good Shepherd, a domestic violence shelter for women and children. While advocating for women and aiding them as they tackled various issues in their lives, Lindsey learned a great deal about the cycle of violence and its impact on individual families and the population as a whole.
At House of the Good Shepherd, Lindsey met women from various parts of the world with vastly different stories and experiences but who had all suffered abuse due to domestic violence or trafficking. Lindsey quickly became most intrigued by the legal aspects of her work as she aided women in navigating the legal system to obtain Orders of Protection, child custody, divorces, or to address immigration issues.
Lindsey hopes to continue her work with victims of abuse and trafficking and to focus her legal studies particularly on the rights of children.
Originally from Hawthorne, Wisconsin, Andy moved to Denver in 2003 after graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Since 2009, Andy has served as the lobbyist for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He represents DNR at the Colorado Legislature on a host of environmental and natural resource issues including water administration, water resource planning, oil and gas regulation, mining regulation, land use policy, state parks administration, and wildlife regulation. Having moved to Colorado ten years ago, Andy continues to be in awe of the state’s natural beauty and is honored to have a role at the agency whose mission is to balance development with preservation, protection, and enhancement of Colorado’s natural resources.
Prior to his position at DNR, Andy lobbied for a public university system, nonprofits, and private interests on a variety of issues including higher education, fiscal policy, social safety net programs, and organized labor. He also previously worked for the Colorado State Senate.
Through his work in legislative affairs Andy developed a keen appreciation for the intersection of law and public policy and the impact both can have on the lives of the people of the state. His experiences working in the Colorado General Assembly sparked his desire to pursue a law degree focusing on public interest, and he is grateful for the opportunity provided by the Chancellor’s Scholarship.
When not at work, in class, or in the library, Andy enjoys spending his time outdoors hiking or on the slopes. He also enjoys traveling, keeping his backpack and passport at the ready to explore the world, with only with two continents—Africa and Antarctica—yet to visit.
Annie Woods found her niche in 2010 when she took a position as an AmeriCorps VISTA (sometimes called “domestic Peace Corps”) in Phoenix. VISTA members devote a year or more to serving full-time in a nonprofit or government agency, combating poverty by creating sustainable programs that advance the organization’s mission.
Annie worked at STARS, a nonprofit that supports teens and adults with developmental disabilities by fostering independent living and job skills. Through her work, she developed a passion for breaking down the barriers created by stereotypes and lack of knowledge about people with disabilities. She promoted advocacy efforts, created a newsletter to inspire and inform, guided families to resources at STARS and in the community, formed partnerships with people who could help, and increased awareness about STARS’ efforts in creating better lives for people with disabilities and their families.
During her two years with AmeriCorps, Annie also became involved in the Phoenix community. Working with HandsOn Greater Phoenix, she served as a volunteer project leader, which gave her the opportunity to lead more than 200 volunteers in community service projects such as school refurbishments, park restorations, and writing letters to soldiers overseas. In addition, Annie served as a committee member for Generation United, a group affiliated with United Way—a poverty-fighting charity—that works to engage young professionals in their community.
Born in Denver and raised in Ohio, Annie then moved to Tempe, Arizona, where she graduated summa cum laude with a journalism degree from Arizona State University in 2009. She has returned to Denver to pursue a law degree because she believes that justice needs advocates who can be the voice of those who don’t have one.