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Law and Justice
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7580

Phone: (509) 963-3219

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Faculty & Students in Action



Mock Trial Regional

In the first team photo, the people from left to right are;

Back row:  Jeff Monastyrsky; Professor R. Shaffer Claridge; Raquel Angel; Kiana Mathews; Kyle Kubik; Steven Camacho

Front row:  Mariah Hogan; Kira Cox; Jeffrey Seligman; Kailyn Bowman; Nicole Hansen

"We beat Washington State in a head-to-head matchup and finished ahead of teams from Reed College and Washington State.  We are the only regional comprehensive that competes at the regional, and we hold our own.  One of our competitors won an award for Outstanding Attorney, and two more competitors missed out on winning an award by only one point.  In terms of the competition, the highlight was in the second round when we were matched with UC Berkeley.  The students were not intimidated and fought hard.  Out of a total of 140 possible points, we ended up losing by 4.  But the real value of this experience is the confidence it builds in students, the practical skills it gives them, and networking opportunities with lawyers and judges.  The students made the most of those opportunities, formed some close friendships, and had a successful year.  Their coach is very proud of them." - R. Shaffer Claridge

CWU Junior Mariah Hogan repeats as AMTA Regional Outstanding Attorney


CWU Junior and Law and Justice major Mariah Hogan (’21) was recognized as an outstanding attorney at the American Mock Trial Association Seattle Regional at the University of Washington Law School.  Of the over one hundred attorneys who competed at the regional, Hogan was one of only ten attorneys named to the all-regional team, finishing in a tie for fourth overall.  Hogan earned 17 out of a maximum 20 recognition points across four ballots. Hogan also served as team captain, and guided the team through a successful regional.  This is Hogan’s second outstanding attorney award, having previously won in 2019.  Says Hogan:  “Participating in Mock Trial for three years now has been such a significant experience for me in terms of discovering my passion, exercising my strengths, and improving on my weaknesses. I feel very lucky to be spending my undergraduate years surrounded by other students through this club who encourage me endlessly and believe in me at times when I begin to doubt myself. I am proud of myself for winning this award for the second year in a row, though I am tremendously proud of and thankful for my teammates who I have gotten to watch grow and improve with each year.”  The Law and Justice Department is proud of Mariah Hogan, and all of her teammates who represented us so well in Seattle. The Mock Trial Club is just one of the many opportunities the Law and Justice Department offers students to gain practical experience, earn regional and national recognition, and have a lot of fun.


Meeting the FBI Employer Event

Meet the Seattle Police Department Event

LAJ Club takes over Cornerstone

January 2020



Check out our students who participated in SOURCE:

Christianna Hopson

Christianna Hopson received an award for outstanding oral presentation at SOURCE

Jahkari Aujla-Singh, Christianna Hopson, Ronnie Burris, Breanna Wilson, Megan Fore, Katelyn Griffith - "Social Justice through Service Learning"

Focusing on leadership through collective dialogue and service, the Chavez-King Leadership Institute at Central Washington University is committed to developing student leaders by means of experiential learning opportunities, exploration of real-world issues and continuous self-analysis and reflection. Embracing the legacy and philosophy of civil rights activists Cesar E. Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr., members will continue the vision of connecting leaders to their communities while broadening their knowledge base related to advocacy, policy and public support. The cohort, comprised of 14 leaders across a variety of disciplines will take you through a journey founded on the institute’s four core principles: mentorship, public service, leadership development and commitment to social justice.

Amanda Schact – “Border Patrol and Racial profiling”

There have been multiple cases of border Patrol Agents abusing their power. It is important to understand the rights that we have because of the fourth amendment. In some instances, border patrol agents do not have the right to stop and search a person. Agents have no right to stop someone based on their race, culture, or language that is being spoken. An example of this type of racial profiling took place in May 2018 in Montana when two U.S Citizens were detained by a border Patrol Agent based solely on the color of their skin and the language being spoken. This is an obvious example of racial profiling and these agents should be held accountable for their actions. I plan to research, analyze, and apply the fourth amendment to support my opinion.

Anna Gomez received an award for outstanding oral presentation at SOURCE

Anna Gomez – “Gendered Disparities in Educational and Vocational Programming in America's Prisons”  Female inmates in America’s prisons have been exposed to gender-stereotyped rehabilitative programs and have faced a limitation in educational and vocational programming compared to male inmates. Dating back to earlier 1970s, literature has highlighted disparities in educational and vocational programs between female and male prisons and a rise in female incarceration rates. This study identifies female and male inmate educational and vocational programming across the US; and examines whether gendered disparities continue to exist between inmate programming as documented in past research. Data for this study were collected by examining publicly available sources such as Department of Correction websites and public records for all fifty states. Specific measures were gathered and analyzed for this study including: program counts and descriptions, inmate populations, and facility-specific characteristics. Through a mixed methods approach and analyzation of descriptive data, this research will serve as a basis for identifying gendered disparities. This will expose a reality which can impede female offenders during the transition from prison to the community known as reintegration. Study findings will add to the literature by providing current information on the contemporary status of the gendered disparities regarding inmate programming.

Alejandra Lopez Rocha – “Structural Violence in Mexican Immigration”

In the Unites States, Mexican immigrants are often victims of structural violence and are marginalized. This research will be focused on the factors that propel Mexicans to immigrate to the United States being aware of the bias and structural violence they will face before and after arriving to the United States and the main causes of Mexican immigrant deaths during their journey to the United States

Mariah Hogan – “The law and Herpes: A Positive Contradiction”

Herpes simplex virus type 2, known colloquially as genital herpes, has rapidly become the most commonly transmitted sexual disease in the United States. The law has frequently attempted to address this problem through a number of different legal theories including tort, negligence, and even strict liability. At present, the law is addressing this STD epidemic through existing legal mechanisms which may or may not be adequately responding to the unique challenges posed by the transmission of STDs in a casual encounter environment as United States culture, and American college campuses particularly, have evolved in to. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the extent to which these attempts by our legal system have been effective in terms of regulating and facilitating human behavior- a function that legal theorists have long posited the law as providing- as well as relative to both the victim and the infected individual who are separately implicated by situations of wrongfully transmitted sexual diseases and infections. This project aims to provide a historical context surrounding the legal treatment of STD cases in the United States and to be able to illustrate the complications, contradictions, and frustrations that arise from where the law fails to either fairly remedy situations of wrongfully transmitted sexual diseases to victims, or to fairly represent infected individuals.

In the group photos: order from left to right is

Katelyn Griffith

Megan Fore

Breanna Wilson

Ronnie Burris

Christianna Hopson

Jahkari Aujla-Singh


Congratulations to The Mock Trial Club!

They have been selected to receive the Club of the Year Award during the Evening of Recognition event on May 22, 2019 at 5:30 PM in the Student Union Ballroom. Evening of Recognition, an event coordinated by the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, is now in its 22nd year. Each spring, the campus gathers to honor those individuals who have contributed or have made a difference to the university. The Mock Trial Club was selected by Bailey Kinker, VP for Clubs and Organizations for this distinction.

Congratulations to the following students for making honor roll:

President's Scholar: Colby Costa
Dean's Scholar: Emileo Guevara, Staci Nuñez, Cherrish Wood, Jordan Kostelyk, Emily Muldowney, Kendra Boespflug, Caitlyn Ozburn, Arber Demiri, Stephanie Danton, Brianne Drury, Khiarah Eddington, Kaitlin Miller

Mariah Hogan
CWU Sophomore and Law and Justice major Mariah Hogan (’21) was recognized as an outstanding attorney at the American Mock Trial Association Seattle Regional.  Of the over sixty attorneys who competed at the regional, Hogan was one of only ten attorneys named to the all-regional team.  Hogan earned 17 out of a maximum 20 recognition points across four ballots.  Hogan clinched her award in the final round of the competition by ranking as the top attorney on both ballots – she accomplished this against the team that eventually won the entire regional.  Suffice it to say that Hogan shined brightest while under the most intense of spotlights.  Hogan’s teammates are excited for her accomplishment, and she is a tremendous representative of the team.  Says Hogan:  “I have been very thankful to Mock Trial for welcoming me into a community of empowered, hard-working young people who encourage and challenge me every day to become this bigger, tougher version of myself that I had never been introduced to two years ago."  The Law and Justice Department is proud of Mariah Hogan, and looks forward to her future accomplishments.

Alejandra Lopez Rocha
Alejandra Lopez Rocha, a senior Law and Justice major and McNair Scholar at CWU, presented a paper, “Structural Violence and Mexican Immigration,” on February 8 at the annual Western Society of Criminology meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Rocha’s research addressed the structural violence immigrants encounter before and after they reach the U.S.-Mexico border. Rocha, 22, who plans to attend graduate school, said she is interested in pursuing the topic further in her post-graduate career.


Congratulations to all of our LAJ Award & Scholarship winners!!


Detective Andrea Blume, Kittitas County Sheriff's Office, Outstanding Alumn Eastside


Lauren Zwiers winner of Outstanding graduating student-Eastside


Quarterly lecture May 9th, 2019 and Student Recognition Event


Professor Wes Clogston farewell speech


Professor Wes Clogston farewell speech



Kylie Palmer, winner of Ben and Nancy Remak Scholarship


Dalton Neiffer, Field Placement Coordinator


Christianna Hopson winner of Women in Law Enforcement Scholarship


Alexis Daggett, winner of Amy Marie Castner Memorial Scholarship


Student Presentation on "Structural Violence and Mexican Immigrants"

Alejandra Lopez Rocha, LAJ major and McNair Scholar, presented a paper, "Structural Violence and Mexican Immigrants" at the Annual Western Society of Criminology Meetings on February 8th in Honolulu, Hawaii. She plans on attending graduate school next year and further pursuing this topic. Great job Alejandra!

Lecture on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Memorial Service

Central Washington University highlighted the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women on January, 29th with a series of presentations and a memorial.

The lecture was held in the SURC Theater and was open to the public. The speakers included Emily Washines, a scholar of the Yakama Nation and an alumn of CWU; state Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale; Lottie A. Sam, a member of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council and its MMIW Committee; and Robert Udell, Sheriff of Yakima County. The full lecture is now available on Youtube.

The MMIW Memorial Service was held in Dean Hall, at the Museum of Culture & Environment. Representatives of MMIW USA, an organization dedicated to helping missing and murdered Native women and their families, attended to assist with the memorial service.

The events connected historic and current issues related to missing and murdered indigenous women, and focused on recent legislative developments reagrding the issue.

Emily Washines, Yakama Nation enrolled member and CWU Board of Trustees member speaking at MMIW Memorial Service held in Dean Hall. She is also a CWU alumn having graduated in 2006 double majoring in Political Science and Public Policy. 

Distinguished Alumni Award: Emily Von Jentzen

Emily Von Jentzen, a 2005 Law and Justice graduate with a second major in Political Science, has been named as the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award 4 Under 40 for the College of the Sciences. One of these awards is given annually by each college at CWU to recognize alumni under 40 years of age who are excelling in their careers with respect to leadership, personal growth, and community involvement.

She is a high-achieving alumnus with a deep commitment to the community, family, human rights and social justice. Her areas of expertise in the law are child advocacy and dependency, civil litigation and non-profit formation/representation. She is a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children.

Emily Von Jentzen is an endurance swimmer and in 2011 became the first person to swim the 55-mile length of Lake Chelan, which she did as a fundraiser for a local toddler with leukemia. In 2013 she founded Enduring Waves, a charitable foundation raising money through long-distance swimming events to assist critically ill children in Montana whose families lack resources for their care [].

LAJ Student First Panel

On January 14, Jamie Gonzalez and Yasmeen Herrera-Flores, participated in “Triunfar: Latinx Pioneers, Entrepreneurs and Leaders”, a student panel at Yakima Valley College. The student discussed the findings of their interviews with Latino and Latina leaders across the state. The project is also featured in the “Window on Central” display at CWU’s Museum of Culture and the Environment in Dean Hall, Ellensburg.

Training Project in Mexico

In December, several faculty from the Department of Law & Justice delivered a training workshop in Morelia, Mexico. Professor Rodrigo Murataya organized the training for the Auditoria Superior de Michoacan, the agency with oversight over public projects in the state of Michoacan. More than 250 auditors and lawyers from the agency participated in the-two day workshop on “Professionalism and Organizational Culture”. Rodrigo Murataya spoke on leadership, ethics, public administration and anti-corruption strategies. Saul Chacon addressed organizational culture and communication. Paul Knepper spoke on project evaluation and conflict management. Veronica Gomez-Vilchis, from CWU’s Center on Diversity and Equity, also spoke; she addressed workplace issues including sexual harassment and treating people with dignity and respect.



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