Announces Best Physician Assistant Degree Programs for 2021 - PR Web

Image Announces Best Physician Assistant Degree Programs for 2021 - PR Web Announces Best Physician Assistant Degree Programs for 2021 - PR Web Sullivan University Medical Assistant Program ranked Kentucky's best - The Lane Report Diploma in Medical Assisting Online | Graduate in 8 months! - Herzing University Announces Best Physician Assistant Degree Programs for 2021 - PR Web Posted: 25 Feb 2021 03:37 PM PST SEATTLE (PRWEB) February 25, 2021, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has announced the Top 49 Physician Assistant Degree Programs for 2021. The comprehensive research guide is based on an assessment of 177 accredited colleges and universities in the nation. Each program is evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment. The 2021 rankings are

Chapman will push to improve experience for Black students - OCRegister

Chapman will push to improve experience for Black students - OCRegister

Chapman will push to improve experience for Black students - OCRegister

Posted: 19 Feb 2021 03:34 PM PST

Chapman University weathered a tumultuous 2020 better than expected, with student applications, diversity and university assets going up even as major construction projects were launched and COVID-19 cases in the school community remained low, President Daniele Struppa said Friday in the school's annual State of the University Address.

"I think that we will come out of this well, strong and, thanks to the help of everybody, a better institution," Struppa said in an hour-long video presentation to an empty hall at the Orange campus.

Struppa highlighted one key area for improvement: the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Black students.

While the overall four-year graduation rate at Chapman is 72%, and Hispanic students graduate at a slightly higher than average rate, Struppa's data showed 50% of Black students are meeting that benchmark. He said the numbers suggests Black students — who comprise less than 2% of Chapman's undergraduate population — don't feel as welcome, supported and satisfied as their non-Black colleagues.

"We have a problem we need to address."

Several years ago, Struppa said, Chapman overcame a similar problem for Hispanic students by getting faculty, staff and students to focus on their needs. The goal now, he said, is to improve the Chapman experience for Black students.

"I want to be able to show you very different numbers in the years to come. … If we are able to do that, then we will be able to claim that we are really fulfilling completely our commitment to our students."

Struppa also pointed to what he views as a strong performance in controlling the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic. With a population of nearly 9,800 students and several hundred faculty and staff, Struppa said 330 students and another 43 staff and faculty — including himself — tested positive for COVID-19. He said weekly testing and an investment into seating alterations and sanitizing stations, among other things, helped keep numbers down.

The school also managed finances during the pandemic, Struppa said. Chapman avoided layoffs but did temporarily cut contributions to employee retirement plans. He said Friday that those contributions will resume with the next paycheck.

Struppa said Chapman continues to grow, pointing to a new engineering building, a dance center and expansions of the on-campus California art museum and Chapman's extension campus in Irvine.

Struppa didn't mention the school's public conflict with former law professor John Eastman, which played out during the past year.

In August, Eastman drew national headlines when he promoted a widely discredited legal opinion to claim that Sen. Kamala Harris — a biracial woman who was born in Oakland to immigrant parents — is not eligible to be vice president of the United States. Then in December, Eastman represented then-President Donald Trump in a lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to block four key states from finalizing President-elect Joe Biden's recent electoral victory. And on Jan. 6, Eastman spoke at Trump's rally before the attack on the Capitol.

After negotiations with the university, Eastman retired Jan. 13. Still, some faculty, staff and students have worried about how his ties to Chapman might impact the school's reputation, including enrollment and donors.

While Struppa didn't mention the Eastman battle, he said the law school had increased enrollment and rose in national rankings over the past year.

A city goes forward - Arkansas Online - Arkansas Online

Posted: 20 Feb 2021 01:08 AM PST

George Makris Jr. watched for years as the number of business and civic leaders who called Pine Bluff home declined.

Makris' father had started a beer distributorship in 1964 when Pine Bluff was a thriving city. The younger Makris attended the public schools in Pine Bluff, excelling in football and baseball. He began college at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, which long has had a connection to notable families in Arkansas, before transferring to what's now Rhodes College at Memphis. He went on to earn an MBA at the University of Arkansas and was considering law school.

That's when his father told Makris: "You've been in school long enough."

Makris returned home and joined the family business. He married Debbie Kirkpatrick, the daughter of Quality Foods founder Don Kirkpatrick, in 1980, and the couple had three sons. Makris joined the Simmons Bank board in 1997 and left the distributorship at the urging of fellow board members in order to replace the legendary Tommy May when May retired as Simmons' chairman and CEO at the end of 2013.

In a 2013 feature story on Makris, Roby Brock wrote: "Makris acknowledges that the southeast Arkansas town has been hit hard by a decline in population and a loss of business leadership. In the past two decades, financial sector changes wiped out a swath of Pine Bluff banking executives. Some moved to central Arkansas endeavors, some passed away, others phased out as banks merged, and the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s led to the exit of others."

"That's a lot of lost leadership," Makris said.

Pine Bluff has lost about 14,000 residents since the 1990 census. For years, there was gallows humor by members of the remaining business leadership in the city when they said: "What's the nicest neighborhood in Pine Bluff? Lake Hamilton."

In formerly ritzy neighborhoods near the Pine Bluff Country Club, "for sale" signs became common.

"We ought to be able to design a strategy for Jefferson County that puts us on a path to growth," Makris lamented in 2013.

In November 2015, a strategic planning initiative known as Go Forward Pine Bluff was unveiled. Dozens of meetings involving hundreds of the city's residents were held throughout 2016. In early 2017, a 27-point plan was released. In June 2017, a sales-tax increase was passed to help implement those recommendations.

During the past five years, a new generation of leaders has been working to make things happen. The progress is evident.

As I've outlined in stories and columns since Sunday, good things are taking place. One of the best things is that Pine Bluff's old-line leadership is now working well with Black leaders in what was once among the state's most segregated cities. Much of that change in attitude has to be attributed to Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington.

Washington was the second of seven children born to Willie and Blanchie Moorehead in the Jefferson County community of Gethsemane, which is on the Delta side of the county near Wabbaseka Bayou. Her parents struggled on a small cotton farm, teaching her the importance of hard work and the value of an education.

Washington spent most of her career as a teacher and public school principal before running for mayor in 2016. On Jan. 1, 2017, she became the first Black female to serve in that position. She was reelected in 2020.

I like how the mayor's official biography describes her upbringing: "The children were taught that church and school would be their passport from a life of field labor to successful futures as skilled professionals. This resounding message was not lost. Both father and mother, with third- and sixth-grade educations, respectively, were blessed to witness in their lifetime all seven of their children receive college degrees, enter respectable careers and become God-fearing, law-abiding, productive citizens.

"As she listened to all of her siblings plan lives in other states, Shirley decided to make Arkansas her home. After graduating from Wabbaseka High School in 1966, she entered Arkansas AM&N (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) and majored in elementary education with a minor in English. She earned a master's degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and completed additional studies at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. Shirley realized at a young age that she had a gift for teaching. Her patience and love for children made her a natural motivating force in the classroom."

Some would suggest that her 38 years of working with children -- 22 in the classroom and 16 in school administration -- was perfect training for dealing with members of her city council.

Ryan Watley, another of the state's most dynamic Black leaders, joined Go Forward Pine Bluff as CEO-elect in May 2017 and became CEO after passage of the sales-tax initiative the following month. Like Makris, Watley is a Pine Bluff native. He earned his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, where he designed and synthesized drugs to fight cancer. His work was published in leading scientific journals.

Watley served from 2012-15 as development director for Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City, tripling the amount of money raised by that institution. He left that job to help the athletic department at Rose State College in Oklahoma with fundraising and outreach. Watley later returned home to serve as UAPB's assistant development director.

With leaders like Washington and Watley, the future of Pine Bluff seems far brighter than it did just five years ago.


Senior Editor Rex Nelson's column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He's also the author of the Southern Fried blog at

Revised high school sports guidelines bring new hope to some, disappoint others - OCRegister

Posted: 19 Feb 2021 04:48 PM PST

It was good news for some, not-so-good news for others.

The California Department of Health's updated guidelines on Friday offered several outdoor sports, such as football and water polo, their best reason in months to be optimistic that they will have a season this year.

The news was quite discouraging for indoor sports, such as basketball and volleyball.

Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson was pleased with Friday's news.

"We needed to be able to give our players some hope, some positive news," Rollinson said. "And this to me is extremely positive news for Orange County."

Rollinson figures the football regular season will be limited to league games. He expects the first Trinity League game to be March 19.

According to the CDPH's new requirements for playing sports safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor, high-contact sports like football can play games even if a county is in the purple or red tier as long as its daily COVID-19 case rate is at or below 14 per 100,000 residents. That rate was 1 to 3 per 100,000 residents before Friday's announcement.

Orange County was at 16 per 100,000 residents on Friday morning. The rate was 20.7 on Tuesday, indicating a promising trend.

One potential problem for a full Trinity League football season is that St. John Bosco is in Bellflower which is in Los Angeles County.  The L.A. County case rate Friday was 17.6.

"I would hope the Trinity League stays united and includes St. John Bosco," Rollinson said. "With the first games the 19th of March that buys L.A. County some time."

The indoor sports like basketball and volleyball cannot be played until case positivity rates are 1.9 or fewer per 100,000 residents. That could be difficult to reach for Orange County and other counties.

School districts and private school leadership still must give the final OK for high sports to resume at their schools.

La Habra football coach Frank Mazzotta is anxious for football season to start.

"The bagpipes are ready to go now," said Mazzotta, referring to the bagpiper who is a fixture at Highlanders games.

CIF regulations require a football team to have 14 days of practice before a team can play a game. The first three days of those 14 days of football practice are conditioning-only practices.

Mazzotta said no football team needs those three days because conditioning drills are all teams have been doing for months.

"Conditioning, that stuff's been beat to death," Mazzotta said.

Edison's Rich Boyce had mixed feelings about Friday's announcement, because he is the school's athletic director and boys basketball coach.

"As the athletic director, I'm happy the kids will get to play again," Boyce said. "As a basketball coach, it doesn't look good."

Indoor volleyball on Friday moved from the orange tier to the harder-to-reach yellow tier, in which sports can be played when the rates are less than 1 per 100,000.

Huntington Beach girls and boys volleyball coach Craig Pazanti was disappointed.

"It's weird football is in a less restrictive tier than volleyball," Pazanti said. "I don't see how there's more risk for contact for us than an outdoor sport with a lot of contact. It's disheartening and I don't see how that happened."

Baseball and softball are among the outdoor sports in the red tier that could benefit from the new guidelines.

Cypress baseball coach John Weber was slightly doubtful that COVID-19 case rates will be low enough for baseball's March 19 opening day.

"But I am optimistic we will play," Weber said. "Maybe not on March 20, which is our first game. But we will play."

Law Firm News: Merger, Diversity in Legal, Law School News - The National Law Review

Posted: 21 Jan 2021 12:00 AM PST

We hope that your 2021 is going along well all things considered.  We wanted to extend a big thank you to our law firm publishing partners for helping the National Law Review surpass 25,000,000 page views in 2020.  2020 Go-To Thought Leadership AwardYou can read about some of the articles and authors we noted as exceptional high flyers in our press release from earlier this week.  Additionally, we recognized roughly 70 exceptional authors and contributors in our 2020 Go To Thought Leadership Awards issued a few weeks back which you can read about here. But enough about us and our talented authors, here are some recent updates from around the legal industry.

Law Firm Hires and Promotions

Ballard Spahr named Damon O. Barry the Office Managing Partner for the Denver office of the firm. Mr. Barry is an experienced deal and government affairs attorney, working on mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations and other sophisticated commercial transactions.  The Denver office of Ballard Spahr is the epicenter of the firm's western United States Labor and Employment, Public Finance Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practices.  Mr. Barry praised the Denver office of Ballard Spahr, pointing out the attorneys located there do exciting work with industry leaders in the region, and said, "I'm looking forward to building on our previous success and continuing to deliver first-rate service to our clients, both existing and new, while simultaneously driving and increasing our commitment to the Denver community."

Idan Netser and Andrew Harper joined Sidley Austin LLP in the Palo Alto office.  Both attorneys will join Sidley as transactional partners, joining the Emerging Companies and Venture Capital practice, and Mr. Netser will also join the Tax Practice.  Martin Wellington, Managing Partner of the Palo Alto office describes the addition of Mr. Nester and Mr. Harper as an important milestone in Sidley's expansion into Northern California, and the emerging technology field of practice.  Wellington says, "Idan has a well-deserved reputation both as a trusted adviser to entrepreneurs and emerging companies in the software, security, and life sciences markets, and as a leading international tax counselor for some of the technology sector's best-known brands. Andrew is a rising star with established relationships at an exciting roster of both companies and blue-chip venture investors. Together, they elevate our brand in the Valley and position Sidley for sustained growth in this market."

Vedder Price announced that Wayne M. Aaron has joined the firm as a member of the Investment Services Group and Corporate practice in New York.  Mr. Aaron is an experienced securities regulatory lawyer, and his practice includes financial services advisory matters, broker-dealer regulation and enforcement, government and regulatory investigations and FinTech.  He regularly advises securities firms on complex sales and trading, and other regulatory issues, as well as in examinations, inquiries and enforcement proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government regulators.  Corporate Practice Area Chair at Vedder, Jennifer Durham King indicated she is looking forward to Aaron's addition to the financial services and corporate-related practices in New York.  She says, "Wayne is a terrific addition to our existing broker-dealer and regulatory investigations practices as we look to continue to grow and diversify those practices, including into other complementary areas, such as high frequency trading and FinTech regulatory work."

Murray Plumb & Murray is pleased to announce that Katherine Krakowka has been elected a Director of the firm as of January 1, 2021, and  Stacey Neumann has been named to Murray Plumb & Murray's Management Committee. 

Ms. Krakowka has been with Murray, Plumb & Murray since 2019, focusing on Business & Corporate Law and Business Reorganization & Insolvency, and she has been working with local businesses, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.  Drew Anderson, Managing Director of Murry Plumb & Murray calls Katie a wonderful addition to the ranks, saying,  "She has been an active participant in the firm since joining our team and this year especially has played a crucial role in supporting our local business community as a thought leader on risk planning and a legal expert on pandemic assistance programs. We look forward to having the benefit of her wisdom, experience and intellect in this leadership role."

Additionally, Stacey Neumann has been named to Murray Plumb & Murray's Management Committee. Neumann is a Director at the firm and Chair of the Employment and Criminal/White Collar Defense Practice Groups, and she has extensive litigation experience with federal and state white-collar and other criminal defense, employment law with discrimination and other human resources matters, and Title IX investigations and other collegiate disciplinary processes.

Steve Zelkowitz
Steven W. Zelkowitz 
of Spiritus Law

Steven W. Zelkowitz joined Spiritus Law as Managing Partner, reuniting with Spiritus law founding partners Marbet and Robert Lewis.  Additionally, Jonathan Portuondo is joining Spiritus Law as an associate. Spiritus Law will be focusing on helping firm hospitality clients recover from the pandemic. 

Mr. Zelkowitz comes to Spiritus Law with more than 30 years of experience in real estate, financial services industries, including infrastructure and development, hospitality and public/private partnerships.  Zelkowitz also has government relations experience, and experience in assisting businesses establishing or relocating to Florida by leveraging tax and other financial incentives.  Additionally, Zelkowitz has a long-established relationship with the firm's founders Robert and Marbet Lewis, which will translate into a productive and effective working relationship. 

"Spiritus Law is already known as a powerhouse nationally in the alcohol and hospitality industries. I am confident that my depth of experience will further cement the firm's reputation in those industries in 2021 and beyond," said Mr. Zelkowitz. "I am both humbled and excited to reunite with Marbet and Rob, and in applying my decades of experience growing law firms for the benefit of Spiritus Law and its clients at this pivotal moment in history."

Dinsmore & Shohl Merges with Wooden McLaughlin

On January 1, 2021, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP has merged with Wooden McLaughlin LLP in Indiana, continuing Dinsmore's growth across Indiana, adding offices in Indianapolis, Evansville and Bloomington.  Dinsmore added 47 Wooden attorneys, growing Dinsmore's lawyer headcount by over 7 percent, and continuing Dinsmore's goal of continued growth and strength in the Midwest.  George Vincent, Dinsmore Chairman and Managing Partner, says, "I've always believed in having a renewable five-year plan and working back from where you want to be. Five years ago, we wanted to be in Boston, Florida and Indiana, and we've done all of those things. We are in every state surrounding Indiana, so it is a natural place for us to be. There are significant opportunities for new and existing Dinsmore clients there, and Wooden has a great legacy." 

The merger builds on both firm's legacies of valued client relationships that can span decades, with an emphasis and value on diversity.  Wooden Partner, Misha Rabinowitch, says Dinsmore's focus on diversity was an important element in the decision, saying, "I'm personally excited to continue working to make our offices as inclusive as possible, now with the assistance of Dinsmore's diversity initiatives that are already in place and have great momentum."

Law Firm Diversity: Norton Rose Fulbright and Blank Rome Tap New Diversity and Inclusion Officers, and Nelson Mullin's Diversity Pipeline Outreach Program Recognized

Katherine Tapley Norton Rose
Katherine Tapley of Norton Rose

Norton Rose Fulbright announced that Katherine Tapley, a San Antonio partner, will replace Denise Glass as the firm's new US Chief of Diversity and Inclusion.  She will chair the US Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the firm, and she will work closely with the US Management Committee to strengthen Norton Rose Fulbright's diversity and inclusion efforts.  Tapley previously chaired the Women in Norton Rose Fulbright (WiN) Network.  Additionally, Tapley has served on the Real Estate Service Board of Directors for the San Antonio Area Foundation, and she currently chairs the Board of Governors of SA Youth, a non-profit working to improve the education, character and lives of high-risk San Antonio youth.  

Jeff Cody, Norton Rose Fulbright's US Managing Partner: "Katherine championed diversity for several years at Norton Rose Fulbright, consistently looking for opportunities for the firm to make meaningful enhancements. While we have made notable progress in our diversity and inclusion efforts, this important area remains a priority for us."

Norton Rose Fulbright achieved several honors related to their diversity efforts, including a Gold Standard Certification by Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for their inclusion of women into leadership positions.  Norton Rose Fulbright also received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on its Corporate Equality Index for policies related to LGBT workplace equality, and Diversity Lab announced Norton Rose Fulbright had achieved Mansfield Rule Certification 3.0 and Mansfield Certification Plus status, both benchmarks in the legal industry.

Ms. Tapley announced a desire to continue the firm's work in this important area, saying, "Fostering diversity and inclusion is a critical component to being the best possible place to work for our people. I will work tirelessly to ensure the firm succeeds in this arena."

Nelson Mullins Diverse Pipeline Outreach Program was selected by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a winner in its Top 10 Innovations in Diversity for 2020.  The Innovations in Diversity honors inventive solutions in workforce diversity, selecting corporations, organizations, and institutions for ground-breaking programs furthering inclusion and diversity in their respective fields. 

The goal of Nelson Mullins Diverse Pipeline Outreach Program is to combat a lack of diversity in the legal industry by working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Carolinas and Georgia to provide students with an inside look at the legal profession.  By demonstrating the legal industry in action across a variety of areas and demystifying the steps to go to law school and become a practicing attorney and capping it off with a paid internship for one student at each school that participates. The first internship will begin in the spring of 2021.

The Nelson Mullins program is spearheaded by Ariel Roberson and Jack Slosson, partners in Raleigh and Charlotte, respectively.  Roberson says, "Diversity in the legal profession is tremendously lacking, but we all know how necessary it is to hear different perspectives in the courtrooms, boardrooms, classrooms, etc. across America."   Slosson says, "I am hopeful that this unique program can have a real impact in growing diversity in the legal profession going forward." 

Krystal Studavent Ramsey
Krystal Studavent Ramsey 
of Blank Rome

Blank Rome announced that Krystal Studavent Ramsey is the firm's new Director of Diversity and Inclusion in Blank Rome's Houston office.  As Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Ms. Studavent Ramsey will implement Blank Rome's strategic DEI plans to create an inclusive environment within the firm, and to partner with clients on DEI plans and programs.  To further this goal, Studavent Ramsey brings her experience co-founding and co-chairing Blaxiom, a group of Black Axiom employees when she served as a senior legal consultant at Axiom, and her experience working as director of strategy and operations for the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program, devoted to nurturing first-year, women of color law students. 

Studavent Ramsey calls her new role "an amazing opportunity" and praises Blank Rome's foundation of DEI.  She says, "I am excited to join Blank Rome as its Director of Diversity and Inclusion, especially at such a pivotal time in our world . . . [T]his is an amazing opportunity . . . to make sustainable change and a positive impact throughout our firm, the legal industry, the communities we serve, and beyond."

Law School Updates

Over 150 academics issued a joint statement saying "The violent attack on the Capitol was an assault on our democracy and the rule of law. The effort to disrupt the certification of a free and fair election was a betrayal of the core values that undergird our Constitution. Lives were lost, the seat of our democracy was desecrated, and our country was shamed."

Citing their role as the educators of the next generation of lawyers, the academics claimed an obligation to "support the rule of law and preserve the integrity of the legal profession."  The statement frowned on the actions of attorneys filing frivolous and ungrounded lawsuits challenging the election, filings unsupported by any evidence, saying they "betrayed the values of our profession" by doing so.  Additionally, the statement praised the lawyers and judges who worked hard to bring about an honest election in trying circumstances.  Read the complete joint statement and see a list of academics who signed the Joint Statement on the 2020 Election and Events at the Capitol.

John F. Kennedy School of Law at Northcentral University welcomed its first cohort of law students in the online Juris Doctor program, the university announced last week.  Since 1996, Northcentral University has been a leader in graduate-focused online education, with over 11,000 students enrolled in graduate programs across education, psychology and now law. 

The program is taught by faculty who are practicing attorneys, judges and other legal professionals, to bring real-world expertise into the virtual classroom.  Faculty areas of expertise include civil and criminal law, constitutional law, insurance defense litigation and public interest law.  Along with online classes, hands-on curriculum opportunities include clinical and internship experiences. Dean Hutton says the online JD program will have opportunities for students to get individualized feedback from faculty members.  He says, ""Students have multiple opportunities to apply legal doctrine throughout each course, along with personalized faculty feedback, allowing for a much deeper understanding of the material and greater preparation for exams and, ultimately, for the California Bar Examination."

Other law offerings at Northcentral include a Bachelor of Arts in legal studies and a paralegal certificate program, both approved by the American Bar Association.


Copyright ©2020 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 21


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