Dear Students,

This week is about gratitude. In this special issue of the Weekly 5, I wish to share messages of gratitude from our community to you.

I will start. I'm grateful for the privilege of leading the students of GW Law. You are an amazing group, and I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible in the months ahead. In my quest to connect with you regularly, I was pleased to launch an innovative Dean's Student Advisory Board that began meeting last month. A group of ten students was selected to help communicate students' needs and concerns to me and members of the administration. The Student Advisory Board is intended to support, not replace, the SBA's leadership in this regard, and has been designed to widen the diversity of voices that inform the dean's decision-making.*

Leila Diallo
Sarah Markallo
Phillip Russell

Nija Chappel (Vice-Chair) (Evening)
Jenna Fattah  
Miranda Hernandez (Transfer)

Nehama Hanoch
Jordan Jean (Chair)
Nick Kinslow
Jessica Mugler  

We hope that this new advisory board will provide even more opportunities for open, transparent, sincere, and civil communication that will lead to productive and fruitful steps to improve your student experience.

Last week, many deans attended two town hall meetings and heard the heartfelt narratives from the students who attended. Please expect a note from me shortly responding to these important issues.

With gratitude, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Dayna Bowen Matthew
Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law

*Applications were blinded, meaning the names of each applicant were removed before the review, and the selection was made on the basis of the applicant's personal statement. We have provided the brief meeting agenda and notes thus far to the SBA and will ensure information sharing between the SBA and the Board. Further, we will be creating a web page for the Board which will include the names and contact information for each member as well as a way for students to provide comments directly for the Board to consider and bring to my attention. We hope students will continue to utilize the SBA as well as this Board as a means to facilitate communication and problem-solving with the Dean's office.
Messages of Gratitude
"Our students are awesome—they are passionate, smart, dedicated, and fun-loving. They have persevered much. They are GW Law. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to serve them during the most challenging time in my 64 years on earth.

I feel their pain—their suffering. I admire the courage and strength they have shown this semester. It has been a privilege to try to serve them."

Hank Molinengo, Senior Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs; John S. Jenkins Family Professorial Lecturer in Law and Policy
"I am so happy to be able to communicate how much you mean to me and how important you are to my own happiness. Those of you whom I have taught know that I speak often about the importance of finding meaning in your work. It is no less important for me, and I find much of my own meaning in teaching and talking with you and helping you to develop as young lawyers. Whether it is in class or in the Inns and Foundations programs, I am always grateful for the connections that I have with all of you and for your willingness to engage and trust me to help you along your professional path. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!"

Todd Peterson, Carville Dickinson Benson Research Professor
"Teaching our wonderful GW students is a huge part of what makes my job such a joy. I love getting to know them and learning about their interesting and diverse backgrounds and experiences. They are a delight to teach because of their intelligence, dedication, passion, and engagement. Their thoughtful and interesting questions keep teaching fresh and lively for me, even after many years in the classroom. But perhaps what I am most thankful for is their humanity and strong sense of community. Even during this semester of virtual teaching, I have seen my students do all they can to build that sense of community and to be encouraging and supportive of one another. I have also witnessed their resilience and commitment to the intellectual enterprise in spite of and in the midst of the challenges of 2020. Seeing them rise to the occasion, while remaining kind, open, and human, makes me feel hopeful for our future! I am grateful for the privilege of teaching GW students."

Sonia Suter, The Kahan Family Research Professor of Law; Founding Director, Health Law Initiative
"GW law students inspire me to be a better lawyer, teacher and person; while we call them the "students," it's actually a two-way street. Indeed, with such a talented, intelligent, and socially-responsible next generation coming up, it motivates us older folks to try our best to do even better. So many thanks!"

Sean D. Murphy, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law
"My students keep me going in this fraught time. I am amazed and deeply appreciative of your diligent efforts to engage in class despite a less than ideal learning environment. I have had some of my best classes ever online and have learned a lot from my students, especially about commitment, patience, and equanimity. I applaud all of you. Teaching you continues to be an honor."

Rob Glicksman, J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law
"Our students never cease to inspire me. I am constantly impressed by the depth of their insights, their commitment to making a difference, and the way they care for one another. It is one of my greatest honors to learn from our students, whether inside or outside of the classroom. And I celebrate every one of their accomplishments as their careers progress."

Emily Hammond, Jeffrey and Martha Kohn Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Glen Earl Weston Research Professor
"I am grateful for the GW law student body, filled with smart, engaging, diverse, committed, resilient, and compassionate individuals, who are destined to become outstanding lawyers in whatever area of practice they pursue. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with students who care about their colleagues and seek to make a difference in this world. Thank you for your inspiration!"

Joan Schaffner, Associate Professor of Law
"Little is more rewarding than seeing our students bring every ounce of intellectual curiosity and personal grit to these humbling hours of virtual teaching. Each day is a learning experience filled with unprecedented challenges. But all frustrations melt when you hear a compelling question from a student who seeks to know for the sheer sake of knowing. Or, you receive an email from a former student announcing an accomplishment. And, phone, Zoom, and Google chats imbued with genuine concern for all members of the GW Law community.

Even though we are physically distant, we are connected in shared experiences. None is identical. We see the obstacles you are overcoming. The unstable internet; the new surroundings; the lack of all familiarity; the health of your loved ones in peril; the diminishing workspace; the rising costs; the loneliness; the sacrifices; the loss of the frivolous; the rising anxieties from the uncertainty of the future.

Students, staff, and professors are more alone yet more authentically together in candid moments of life and vulnerability in the midst of learning. I am grateful for your grace, your pets, your wit, your humor, your empowerment, and, most of all, your determination to achieve your legal academic goals in the face of extraordinary adversity. Perseverance of character will catapult this generation to heights we surely cannot fully imagine yet."

Caprice Roberts, Visiting Professor of Law
"This semester I have been blown away by the grit, determination, and commitment of the GW Law Clinical Program students. Representing clients in the midst of a pandemic is a major challenge even for experienced attorneys. You have bravely stepped up and shouldered the responsibilities that come with serving clients and expanding access to justice for our most vulnerable residents."

Laurie Kohn, Interim Jacob Burns Foundation Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs; Associate Professor of Clinical Law; Director of the Family Justice Litigation Clinic
"Our students give me hope, in an otherwise dark moment, that civil and reasoned discourse and the peaceful settlement of differences can still prevail even among people who hold strongly divergent views. I am very thankful to spend several hours each week with such passionate, bright, and well-spoken individuals who quickly transition from being my students, to being my professional colleagues and then, ultimately, to being my friends."

Roger Schechter, Professor of Law
Professor Brauneis Becomes Inaugural Holder of Endowed IP Professorship

Professor Robert Brauneis is installed as the Michael J. McKeon Professor of Intellectual Property Law, thanks to a major gift by IP attorney Michael J. McKeon, JD '96.

Karshtedt and Whealan Speak at International IP Court Conference

Associate Dean John Whealan and Associate Professor Dmitry Karshtedt joined IP judges, practitioners, and academics from around the globe as panelists at the 2020 International IP Court Conference, organized and hosted by the Patent Court of Korea.