Dear Concord Law School Students and Alumni:
As summer winds to a close, I hope that many of you had a chance to relax a little. At a minimum, we can be thankful for the prospect of some less intense heat and, for many, the kids finally being back in school. For my part, while it hasn’t been much of a summer break, I’m happy to share some exciting developments at Concord and at Purdue Global, more broadly.
Concord Launches Pilot with Purdue West Lafayette. Starting with the Fall 2022 term, students enrolled in Purdue’s Ph.D. in Higher Education program will be able to take Concord electives and have them count toward their degree program. This is actually the first collaboration of its kind between Purdue West Lafayette and Purdue Global. We hope it will be just the first of many such initiatives in the future.
Inaugural Associate Dean Position. Professor Kelley Mauerman has been promoted to serve as Concord’s first associate dean for experiential learning. The position is a natural fit for Professor Mauerman. Since she joined Concord 5 years ago, she has overseen our legal writing program, externship program, and competitive moot court program, in addition to teaching professional responsibility and writing courses herself. She brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role, having practiced herself, clerked for a federal magistrate judge, and taught for 10 years at a traditional law school before joining Concord. In this new role, Professor Mauerman will strengthen Concord’s ability to prepare its students and graduates for the rapidly changing legal profession. Please join me in congratulating her.
Inaugural Purdue Global Positions. Last month, Purdue Global welcomed Tiffany Townsend, Ph.D., as its first vice president of organizational culture and chief diversity officer. With nearly 30 years of higher education experience, Dr. Townsend served most recently as the chief diversity officer for Augusta University and has held faculty positions at Penn State University and Georgetown University Medical Center. She also served as senior director of the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs for the American Psychological Association, while also working as a clinical psychologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs serving veteran and active-duty service members, youth, families, and adults. She will be an enormous asset to the Purdue Global team.
Purdue Global has also brought on Elizabeth Thompson as its first senior director of development. A triple Boilermaker, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Technology/Information Systems there. Thompson has a long history in alumni engagement, and she has already been instrumental in helping me outreach to our alumni as we gear up to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2023.
New Regional Alumni Groups. The beauty of an online law school is that we have alumni in all 50 states and nearly 30 countries. The challenge is making sure our alumni get and stay connected not only with us but also with each other. To this end, we’ve organized nearly 30 regional alumni groups to facilitate in-person events (or at least more intimate online mixers). Dedicated volunteer alumni have stepped up and agreed to serve as coordinators for each region, and all alumni should expect to be contacted by their regional coordinator soon if they haven’t already. We hope this will facilitate social and professional networking that will benefit all of our graduates.
Additional Ways to Connect. If you haven’t already done so, please add or update your profile in our Alumni Directory, and join Concord’s Facebook Alumni group and LinkedIn group. Also, don’t forget that all Concord alumni (regardless of graduation date) can join Purdue for Life.
Concord Alumna Joins PAA Board. Please join me in congratulating Somita Basu (JD ’11) for being elected to the Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is the second Purdue Global alumnus to be elected to the Board since Purdue Global was formed just 4 years ago (the other was another Concord alum, Dolan Williams (JD ’15)). Somita has established a law partnership focusing on trusts and estates and family law and has a long history of public service. She currently serves as the chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Solo & Small Firm Section and as co-chair of its Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Outreach Committee and has served on the boards of multiple not-for-profit organizations. We are so proud of her for being such a terrific ambassador for Concord.
A Win for Professor Dodge. Last year, Professor Jim Dodge was a co-signatory on an amicus brief filed by several contracts professors in an appeal filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Estate of Levin, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al. Although the technical legal issue was the interpretation of a provision of the Uniform Commercial Code, Professor Dodge and his colleagues were ultimately trying to help victims of state-sponsored terrorism recover unsatisfied portions of their judgments against Iranian-owned funds. (Whoever said the UCC was dry?) The D.C. Circuit recently issued a unanimous opinion in favor of the victims. Due to a circuit split, it’s possible the issue may even be taken up by the Supreme Court.
Concord Alumna Joins the Biden Administration. Alaysia Black Hackett (EJD ’19) was recently named as the inaugural chief diversity and equity officer for the U.S. Department of Labor. Hackett is well qualified for the role, having previously served as the deputy chief diversity officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh tweeted: “Alaysia's expertise will help us strengthen and build an equitable economy where the American dream is accessible to workers in every community across our nation.” Fittingly, several years ago, she was a participant in an installment of our Distinguished Speaker Webinar series titled “The Power of Black Women in the Law: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives.” She is living proof that graduates of an online law school can go on to incredible accomplishments.
Thanks, and all the best,