Friday, May 21, 2010

Graduate Program Students Glauce Santesso Coelho and Matt Wagner Honored at University of Denver Sturm College of Law Awards Ceremony

Earning a graduate degree is no easy task under any circumstances. But earning a graduate degree as well as finishing first in your program in terms of grade point average is an especially impressive achievement.

Today at an all school honors award ceremony, two of our program's students were recognized for finishing first among their peers in terms of grade point average within their respective programs.

Glauce Santesso Coelho, a native of Brazil, was recognized as the LLM student who earned the highest grade point average. Matt Wagner (with me in the first picture), most recently of Washington, D.C., earned the award as the Master's of Resource Law Studies top grade earner. It was my pleasure to present these two awards.

For a graduate program, there can be no finer sense of achievement than to watch the development of students as they gain knowledge and a greater confidence in their field of study. This was certainly the case with Ms. Coelho and Mr. Wagner, both of whom I met early in their studies here and talked with regularly.

To be sure, their paths to DU were different. Ms. Coelho is a Brazilian attorney, who has worked for some of the finest firms in the country. Mr. Wagner came to DU with a degree in journalism and an accomplished career in government relations. They both worked hard, took their studies seriously, and had a range of experiences while they were at DU. Each in his or her own way will make significant contributions in their future professional careers. Moreover, their sense of fairness and curiosity will serve them well.

The event also highlighted the interconnections that all of us who are involved with this program share as members of a fairly close-knit community. I was reminded of this when Cristiana Hess (in the second picture, which is from graduation day, on the right), wife of December 2009 graduate Tuukka Hess, joined Ms. Coelho (on the left) at the ceremony. Their link? They are both from Brazil (although they actually met in Denver)! It constantly amazes me how our community includes so many fine individuals who are sometimes linked in the most unusual ways.

Parabéns to Ms. Coelho and congratulations to Mr. Wagner. Each of you has much to be proud of.

--Don Smith

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