Southern Illinois University School of Law

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Awards Ceremony

Alum Blaine Osman and Alisha L. Biesinger

Alisha L. Biesinger received the Harold W. “Hank” Hannah Agriculture Law Scholarship. Alisha received her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois in agricultural economics.  She has been active in Phi Alpha Delta at SIU Law. Next year she will be President of the Justinian Society and a teaching assistant for Lawyering Skills.

Alisha is pictured with Blaine Osman, SIU Law Class of 2006.  The Osman family endowed this scholarship in honor of Harold “Hank” Hannah who taught at the SIU School of Law from 1975-1995.  Hannah is widely regarded as the founding father of agricultural law and veterinary law. The author of many books and articles, Hannah was recognized by the ISBA Academy of Illinois Lawyers with their Laureate Award in 2002. The award honors lawyers who have established and maintained the highest principles of the profession as demonstrated by their pervasive record of service to the law and the public.



Jordan L. Matthis and Professor Schmitz


Jordan L. Matthis received the Suzanne Schmitz Scholarship, the Julius A. and Norma H. Johnson Scholarship, and the Thurgood Marshall Award. Jordan, pictured with Suzanne Schmitz, is President of Black Law Students Association. 

She is a member of the Mock Trial Team and a Law Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions.  She has worked as a Teaching Assistant and in the Domestic Violence and Juvenile Justice Clinics.



Abigail D. Stewart, Judge Phil Gilbert and Paula Roa

Judge Phil Gilbert (center) with Abigal Stewart (left) and Paula Roa (right).

Abigail D. Stewart received the Gilbert Family Memorial Scholarship, and the Edgar O. & Bonnie Zimmer Law Scholarship.  She is also a nominee for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Foundation Award. Abby has served as Vice President of Student Affairs for the SBA this year.  She has three teenage sons and also works for the Franklin County State's Attorney's Office.  She has also participated in the Women’s Law Forum and Phi Alpha Delta. 

Paula Roa received the Judge Richard E. Richman Ethics Scholarship and the Judge Richard E. Richman Endowed Scholarship. She is also a nominee for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Foundation Award. Paula is a member of International Law Society and Justinian Society.  She worked as a team leader for the Illinois Law and Leadership Institute, which is a collaboration with the Illinois State Bar Association, “Just the Beginning Foundation,” and SIU School of Law. The Institute is a summer camp program which introduces high school students from at-risk communities to the legal system and exposes them to careers in law. 



Bayarjargal T. Sereenen with Alum David Winters

Bayarjargal T. Sereenen received the Beth and Darin Boggs Scholarship (awarded to the winner of our annual ping pong tournament), the Suzanne J. Schmitz Scholarship, and the Charles M. Hudson Patent Law Award.

Sereenen is pictured (left) receiving his award from David Winters, SIU Law Class of 2002, who established and funds the Patent Law award in honor of longtime southern Illinois teacher Charles M. Hudson. The award helps students achieve early licensure before the U.S. Patent Bar.



Bayarjargal T. Sereenen with Alum David Winters

Melissa Hoffman (third from left) was this year’s recipient of the Lisa Franke Scholarship which was established in 2008 to honor the memory of Lisa Franke, a former partner at Hepler, Broom, MacDonald, Hebrank, True & Noce, LLC.  Melissa is joined by Arnold Franke, Lisa’s father, Dede Zupanci, Partner, Hepler Broom, and Roseanne Franke, Lisa’s mother.

Melissa is active in the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, volunteers at St. Francis Animal Shelter, and is involved with the Women's Law Forum. She and her partner received the Best Brief award in the Advanced Appellate Advocacy class.  Her commentary on the influence of a Supreme Court decision on the marketing practices of the pharmaceutical industry was published in the Journal of Legal Medicine in 2012. She also received the Jackson County Bar Association Scholarship, and the Judge James O. Monroe, Jr. Writing Award.