Each year, Public Interest Scholars are selected from a competitive applicant pool based on prior academic achievement, leadership, public interest and commitment to public service. Biographies of recent recipients are listed below.
Norman McNeal '17
Norman graduated from "The" Ohio State University with a bachelor's of science in social work (BSSW) in 2012 and then with a master's degree in social work (MSW) in 2014. While at Ohio State, he was in the Honors Program and completed university-sponsored research pertaining to the efficacy of ex-offender re-entry programs. He interned at the Alvis House Re-entry Center where he provided resource connection and job readiness training for ex-offenders. In addition, he interned at Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), where he evaluated community mental health treatment programs' usage of mini-grant funds and also assessed prison mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. During this time he volunteered at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender as well, and was eventually hired to work within the Public Defender's Wrongful Conviction Project from 2012-2014.
Elizabeth Flanagan '17
Lizzie earned both her bachelor's in criminology and master's in social work at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2014, respectively. While at Penn, she interned with Penn Law's Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic, where she worked primarily with teenagers seeking to reenter the foster care system after the age of 18. She also interned at the Philadelphia Children's Alliance, providing crisis counseling and support to caregivers and victims of child sexual abuse. During her MSW program, Lizzie co-founded the Disability Special Interest Group, which focuses on supporting and educating social workers about working with people with disabilities, as well as on reaching out to the community for service and advocacy opportunities involving people with disabilities.
Jennifer Healey '17
Jennifer graduated from Liberty University in 2011 with a B.S. in Clinical Psychology and a minor in Sociology. While at Liberty, she was in the Honors Program, completed university-sponsored research, competed in Track and Field, and served in multiple ministerial roles. After graduation, Jennifer worked with at-risk youth in a variety of settings, such as residential treatment facilities, alternative schools, and day treatment centers. During this time, she also started a small sewing business, donating a portion of the profits to an abolitionist organization. Prior to law school, Jennifer was an investigator for Child Protective Services in Virginia Beach for 18 months.
Steven Bertil '16
Steve earned both his B.A. in Applied Public Policy and Masters in Public Health from West Chester University. While attending West Chester, he interned with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, working on the "Get Healthy Philly" Initiative as well as a housing needs assessment for Philadelphia residents with HIV/AIDS. Steve also worked with the Health Promotion Council to write the curriculum for a Teen Advocacy Workshop that focused on healthy food options for low-income communities. After completing his M.P.H., Steve worked as a Case Manager for Action AIDS Inc., assembling care plans and providing services for individuals experiencing HIV symptoms.
John D'Elia '16
John is a graduate of George Washington University, where he earned a B.A. in History with a minor in Political Science. During college, he interned at the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty and preventable disease in developing countries. John also interned with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a political organization providing financial and strategic support to candidates at the state legislative level. Upon graduating in 2011, John served as a Labor Policy Associate for the Minority Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Azadeh Erfani '16
Azadeh graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2006 and majored in Spanish and Philosophy. After obtaining a Masters in Philosophy from DePaul University, she completed a year of AmeriCorps service at the Association House of Chicago, coordinating adult education and citizenship workshops. Azadeh subsequently provided direct legal services and outreach to low-income immigrants at the National Immigrant Justice Center. Prior to attending Villanova Law, Azadeh became an accredited representative for the Board of Immigration Appeals and represented clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as the Department of Homeland Security.
Brennan "Boone" Schreibman '15
Boone graduated from Gonzaga University in 2009, earning a degree in Philosophy and Economics. He then worked in the torts division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office, and later, as a constituent advocacy caseworker for the U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). He also volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for the Spokane County Juvenile Court, advocating for child abuse and neglect victims in dependency proceedings. At Villanova Law, Boone has been actively engaged in the Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). He has also dedicated his time to working to develop a youth court program for low-income Norristown-area high schools, in partnership with Gregg Volz of the Stoneleigh Foundation and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Boone interned during his 1L summer for the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho, and will spend his 2L summer in the chambers of Judge John Coughenour, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington. Boone plans to pursue a career in indigent defense, child advocacy, and policy reform.
Susan Stanton '14
Susan is a graduate of Hamilton College, where she studied Theatre and Government. She participated in Teach For America as part of the Greater Boston Corps, teaching 6th Grade English and Social Studies and 8th Grade Special Education to low-income, primarily immigrant students. While in Teach For America, Susan participated in graduate coursework at Boston University to obtain her teaching license. Susan has been extremely active in the Villanova Law Public Interest Community. She worked extensively with Villanova Law's Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic. She has held leadership positions in PIFP, the NLG, and the Women's Law Caucus. Susan served as the Co-Chair of the Research and Writing Committee for Villanova Law's Ryan Forum Conference on Commercialized Sexual Exploitation. During her 1L summer, she interned at the Education Law Center (ELC) in Philadelphia and continued as an extern throughout the following fall. Susan also interned at the National Partnership of Women and Families doing health policy work.
Vanessa Stine '14
Vanessa graduated from Lewis & Clark College. Following graduation, she worked as a community organizer for a non-profit dedicated to organizing parents and teachers to improve Oregon's public school system. She also worked as an immigation legal assistant. During her time at Villanova Law, Vanessa has been actively involved in PIFP and the NLG. She served as the Co-Director for NLG, launching a project to combat immgration fraud in the Philadelphia area. She also co-organized Villanova Law's Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic spring break service project trip to Pittsburgh. Vanessa spent both her summers at Friends of Farmworkers, where she combated wage theft, assisted victims of labor trafficking, and organized outreach to guest workers. She also worked for the Voces de Trabajadoras/ Voices of Women at Work project, developing educational materials in Spanish and conducting outreach to women workers to discuss issues they face in the workplace. Vanessa plans to continue providing direct representation to low-income immigrants after graduation.
Whitney Young '14
Whitney earned a degree in Political Science and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, she focused on international human rights issues which included living in Chennai, India, for three months, teaching and working on advocacy for disabled persons in the region. Upon graduating in 2009, Whitney moved to Uganda, where she taught school and worked on social outreach with women's groups. While at Villanova Law, she has volunteered with various organizations and has served on the boards of PIFP and NLG. Whitney has also worked with the ACLU, Nationalities Service Center, Community Legal Services, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and Villanova Law's Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic.
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