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Two local grads to attend IU McKinney School of Law this fall

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Courier-Times Staff Report

RICHMOND — Indiana University East will have three alumna attending the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law on scholarship. McKinney is located on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis.

Alumna Cassidy Clouse, of New Castle, Indiana, and Class of 2019 graduates Brianna Parker, also from New Castle, and Taylor Webster, of Richmond, Indiana, will attend McKinney beginning this August.

All three women have been active on the IU East campus in academics and leadership roles including as members of the Student Government Association (SGA), the Honors Program and Admissions Ambassadors. Their academic majors – in political science and psychology – were completed through the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

Clouse received the most prestigious scholarship offered, the Kennedy Law Scholar award, that will provide full tuition, based on meeting the requirements to place in the top 90th percentile on the LSAT with a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Webster and Parker are recipients of the IU Regional Law Scholar awards.

Clouse received her Bachelor of Science in Human Life Sciences and Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with minors in chemistry and neuroscience, from IU East in May 2018. Currently, Clouse is working on her Master of Arts in Social Psychology at Ball State University in Muncie.

She said IU East helped prepare her academically for research, active learning through participation, and succinctly make evidence-based arguments. “It was rewarding to know that I could generalize skills built at IU East to new and different scenarios,” she said.

As an undergraduate student, Clouse was active on campus. She served her senior year as president of SGA, she was a supplemental instructor, student coordinator for the tutoring programs for the Center for Service-Learning and she was selected as an IU Bicentennial Intern through the Campus Library. She received the Outstanding Student in Human Life Science.

For Clouse, leadership has been a part of her life.

“My parents made sure I was well aware of how important it is to be a leader, but it wasn’t until college that I understood that value as it applies to civic and community engagement,” Clouse said. “My academic focus through undergrad was on psychology and achieving admission into a Ph.D. program, and it wasn’t until it was apparent that I would need to find alternative plans that I re-examined my values and goals for the first time since freshman year. Psychology will always be a focal point for me as it underlies so much of daily life, but upon reflection I found that I was much more interested in the application of existing psychological research than the generation of it.”

Clouse decided to pursue a career in law after realizing she had a stronger interest in practical applications of psychological research than in being a practitioner of psychology, where she hopes to utilize her expertise in social psychology to impact policy.

“I chose IU McKinney School of Law because of the emphasis it places on applied skills and experiential learning,” Clouse said. “What I most value about my time at IU East were the abundant opportunities that were offered to take classroom knowledge into the real world through student groups, service learning, internships, and research. I look forward to similar opportunities at McKinney, including taking advantage of their large and active alumni base.”

At Ball State, Clouse is finishing her master’s degree and plans to graduate on July 20. She is a graduate assistant in the Archives and Special Collections department for University Libraries. As a graduate assistant, one of her main responsibilities is to organize a donated, major historic collection.

Once Clouse finishes law school, she is open to pursuing a career in policy and healthcare.

“Evidence-based policy is my main interest in law, though that leaves a wide breadth of potential careers,” Clouse said. “McKinney is highly ranked for its health law program and I certainly could see myself following that track with a focus on access and integration of mental healthcare into healthcare. However, it’s hard to say where I may go because there’s so much that I’ve yet to explore. One merit to practicing law is that it is so flexible- I may choose to go one way upon graduation, but there is nothing that necessarily bars me from changing gears later on.”

Parker received an IU Regional Law Scholar award.This May, she will receive her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She completed both degrees in three years.

Parker is a member of Pack Attack, IU East’s dance team. She is also a work-study for HSS and a teaching assistant. She was Homecoming Queen and won this year’s Talent Show, held annually during Homecoming.

“My interest in law stems from my belief that this profession represents justice and fairness,” Parker said. “Giving a voice to the voiceless - that is what the legal professions means to me. In researching options for application, I was initially attracted to IU McKinney because of the value they place on pro-bono work. This is a program that aligns with my passion for service.”

She is interested in pursuing family law, and hopes to work as a guardian ad litem once she earns her juris doctor, she said.

“I envision myself working with foster families throughout the state. It is my dream to become the Director of the Indiana Department of Child Services,” Parker said.

Parker said she chose IU East because it was close to home and affordable, but she soon learned the campus had more to offer.

“This school, and all that it encompasses, has continuously blessed me over the last three years,” Parker said. “I chose to study psychology and political science because these two majors encompassed many of my interests. I have enjoyed learning about things such as interpersonal communication, as well as government structure and political processes.”

In April, Parker received the Outstanding Student in Political Science, an honor given to individuals in their degree programs who display outstanding academic achievement at IU East.

“Throughout my time at IU East I have been surrounded by amazing people who have taught me, challenged me, and cared for me,” Parker said. “Aside from the support of others, the course work at IU East has made me a better researcher, writer, and overall student. I am so grateful for my time as a Red Wolf.”

Webster also received an IU Regional Law Scholar award. She will also graduate this May with the Class of 2019 with her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in criminal justice.