This week the University of Denver Sturm College of Law welcomed its incoming Fall 2010 Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program class. The class includes many impressive students in terms of backgrounds and experiences. But perhaps the single most notable aspect of the class is its international geographic diversity.
In fact, when combining continuing students with new students there will be students in the graduate program in Fall 2010 from 14 countries.
New students who will begin their studies next Monday at the College of Law have arrived from Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, Japan, Nigeria, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. These students will join current students from Brazil, India, Mexico, and Thailand, thus making this Fall's class the most diverse class ever -- in an international sense -- in the history of the graduate program. The 14 flags at the top of this post represent the home countries of the graduate students.
The graduate program, which was started in the late 1990s, has a long history of success in attracting a widely diverse group of international students as well as students from all across the United States. In many instances, students -- both from the U.S. and internationally -- have listed one key reason in their decision to attend DU as being the opportunity to meet and learn with other students from all over the world.
Don Smith, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy program at the College of Law, said, "An internationally diverse student body has been a key priority for the graduate program. These students enrich every aspect of what is taught about and learned at the College of Law. Moreover, we are delighted with the quality of students who make up the incoming class."
Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program, played a major role in recruiting the students. Ms. Daberkow, who is fluent in English and Spanish, gets to know the students well before they set foot on the DU campus.
"One of our goals in the graduate program is to make international students feel at home from the first day they arrive in Denver. We try to anticipate their needs and then address them through a series of orientation events at the beginning of the semester," Ms. Daberkow, who has met with all students about their course selection, said.
This year's orientation program included presentations by Prof. Ann Vessels, director of the Externship Office, Kate Stoker, head of the Writing Clinic, and April Shepard, a third year law student and president of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Student Society. Program graduates Carolina Crespo (LLM, May 2010) and Matt Wagner (MRLS, May 2010), and current student Payal Sathe also spoke to the students and answered questions.
The orientation also included Prof. Mary Steffel, director of the Academic Achievement Program, presenting about citation systems and avoiding plagiarism, Joan Policastri, Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian, talking about legal research, and librarian Sheila Green taking the students on a tour of the Westminster Law Library.
In addition to the widely diverse group of international students, this year's class includes American students from every corner of the country. Each student has been attracted to DU because of its reputation for providing a well-rounded and cutting-edge curriculum taught by an outstanding faculty as well as exceptional experiential opportunities.
"It is gratifying to know that DU is held in very high esteem by our graduates, by current students, and by prospective students. Everyone associated with the 'Environmental and Natural Resources team' is committed to making the University of Denver the school of choice for outstanding environmental natural resources student candidates seeking JD, LLM or Masters degrees from all across the U.S. and the world," Mr. Smith said.