Denison Moot Court Team Competes Successfully in Regional Tournament
Posted: December 8, 2006
In its first year of competition, the Denison University Moot Court team has taken second place in the overall point total averages in the regional tournament. The team members competed against teams from Wooster College, the first place winner, and Ohio Wesleyan University, Eastern Illinois University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Youngstown State University. Wooster's winning team was ranked second in the country at last year's national competition.
Moot Court is a competition where two person teams argue in the appellate style before a panel of judges, debating the merits of specific aspects of constitutional law by answering and responding to judges' questions. Denison had 10 two-person teams in the competition.
Denison team members John Burzynski, a sophomore from New Brighton, Minn., and John Schaffranek, a sophomore from Columbus, won a bid to the national tournament this year by breaking into the final round of the regional competition. Burzynski and Schaffranek will compete against teams from 40 other universities at the national tournament in Virginia this January.
"The students worked very hard this semester in class and every Wednesday night perfecting their legal claims and their oral arguments," says Assistant Professor Eric Boehme, advisor to the team and a member of Denison's political science department.
Individually, Denison also scored very highly. Out of 72 individual competitors, Denison placed five students among the top 25 individual orators. Burzynski was awarded ninth overall place and Polly Webster, a junior from Carmel, Ind., De'Von McRavion, a junior from Geneseo, N.Y., Josh Williams, a senior from East Liverpool, and Aaron Bestic, a senior from Canfield, also finished in the top 25.
Sanuel Benham, a senior from Springfield, and Peter Knowles, a senior from Chagrin Falls, were the team's co-captains; Emily Dicke, a senior from Perrysburg, served as secretary and Nina DiPadova, a senior from Highland Heights, was treasurer. Other team members were: Seniors Thom Cifelli, Gillette, N.J., Eric Bacaj, Morgantown, W. Va. Danielle Gadomski, Grove City, and Sarah Shafer, Haymarket, Va.; Juniors Brittany Paquette, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., Vitaly Goldfeder, Mason, Rachael Grilley, Highland Heights, Patrick Hunt, Columbia, Md., Kevin Newman, Cincinnati, Katlan Peverall, Cuyahoga Falls, and Jena Pugh, Port Clinton.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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