NCCU Law Students Awarded EPA Fellowships

Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eight North Carolina Central University School of Law students have been awarded prestigious Environmental Protection Agency Fellowships for 2012. The EPA Fellowship program is a collaborative effort among North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Vermont Law School (VLS).

Now in its third year, the Fellowship program offers the opportunity for NCCU Law students to work in paid positions at the EPA during the summer, and also to attend classes and seminars at VLS. EPA has a large facility near NCCU’s campus in Durham, North Carolina, where it conducts research and rulemaking for the Clean Air Act, and the facility’s director, Ben Scaggs, has provided instrumental support to the Fellowship program. The EPA Fellows, however, are posted at the agency’s Office of General Counsel in Washington, and regional offices in Atlanta, Boston, and New York. VLS offers the nation’s premiere environmental law curriculum. Combining the two provides EPA Fellows with a unique summer experience that gives them a chance to work with practicing attorneys on a wide range of issues, while also helping them build a strong academic foundation.

EPA’s Boston office is also sponsoring an intensive two-day career opportunities workshop and field trips to visit Brownfield sites, LEED certified buildings, and other examples of EPA’s work.

The 2012 EPA Fellows are:

Shaharyar Ali

Shaharyar Ali is a second-year law student. He graduated cum laude in political science from the City College of New York, City University of New York. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Ali served as president of the Pakistani Student Association and executive vice-president of the undergraduate Student Government. His studies led him to develop an interest in public policy. As a result, Ali won two prestigious fellowships that helped him hone his legislative, research, and policy analysis skills working at the New York City Council.

Jourdan Cabe

Jourdan Cabe is a first-year law student. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Political Science and Sociology. Her interest in the law stems from an underlying interest in the environment.

Dendrick Gamble

Dendrick Gamble is a second-year law student. His undergraduate degree in business administration is from The Citadel, where he was a cadet-student-athlete on a full football scholarship. Gamble has a master’s degree both in business and in information science, and currently serves as an Executive Officer in the North Carolina Army National Guard. He is particularly interested in the legal aspects of international energy issues.

Ariel E. Harris

Ariel E. Harris is a second-year law student. She has a degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate, Harris was academic captain of the Women’s Soccer Team, which earned a Division 1 NCAA National Championship in 2006. After graduation, she played soccer for the Boston Breakers of the Women’s Professional Soccer League. Harris now serves as a guardian ad litem for children and as a volunteer at the Youth Life Foundation, an urban after-school program. She plans to combine her love of science with a passion for law in a public service career.

Thomas J. Keane-Dawes

Thomas J. Keane-Dawes is a first-year law student. He has a degree in business from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Born in Jamaica, he immigrated at an early age to the United States with his mother. As an undergraduate, Keane-Dawes was both a Thurgood Marshall Scholar and a record-breaking track and field athlete. He served as an intern in Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office, assisting her work on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee. His interest in environmental law began when he studied health disparity issues at Temple School of Medicine in the physician scientist training program. A young colleague there suffered from asthma that was exacerbated by air pollution. As a result, Keane-Dawes plans to focus his legal career on environmental issues, particularly as they affect the disenfranchised.

Elena Nesch

Elena Nesch is a first-year law student. She has a degree in psychology and political science from Guilford College. Nesch was born in Gomel, Belarus. She was four years old when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in neighboring Ukraine affected the entire region. As a result Nesch traveled to various Western European countries, including France, Italy, and Germany, which provided assistance by temporarily placing children from the contaminated territories with families in safe areas. She came to the United States as a high-school exchange student and became a citizen last year. Nesch was an intern in the district attorney’s office during college, and after graduation worked for several years as an immigration paralegal.

Ana Sofia Nuñez

Ana Sofia Nuñez is a first-year law student. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in social work and psychology. Nuñez has a master’s degree in social work from Florida International University. She was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, and before entering law school spent two years as a social worker developing education programs and providing mental health services to women in Washington D.C. Nuñez is particularly interested in combining public service and environmental law.

Terrell Williamson

Terrell Williamson is a second-year law student. Her undergraduate degree from Peace College is in liberal studies, with a concentration in history. Originally from Louisburg, North Carolina, Williamson and her husband have spent the past five years living on the coast in New Bern. Prior to law school, she taught history and literature at the Epiphany School in New Bern and spent twelve summers working at a YMCA summer camp in the area. At the law school, Williamson is a member both of the Environmental Law Society and the Public Interest Law Organization.