Jeremiah Chin ‘14 and Jennifer Walston ‘15 Honored for Exemplary Student Research

Thursday, April 24, 2014

 Jeremiah Chin
 Jennifer Walston

The Ross-Blakley Law Library at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has announced the 2014 recipients of The Ross-Blakely Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research.

Jeremiah Chin, who graduates in May, received the first-place award for his paper, Red Law, White Supremacy: Cherokee Freedmen, Tribal Sovereignty and the Colonial Feedback Loop, and Jennifer Walston, finishing her second year, earned second-place honors for Arizona’s Domestic Violence Victims Need a More Safety-Centered Approach in Their Pursuit of Family Court Orders.

The Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research was established in 2013, by the library to encourage students to focus on practical skills and to refine their research skills beyond ordinary proficiency to their personal best. The winner receives $500 and second place $250. The winning papers also will be published in the College of Law Faculty Scholarship Repository and featured in the library display case.

A review panel comprised of librarians Victoria Trotta and Beth DiFelice and Associate Clinical Professor Kimberly Holst selected the winners from the competitive entries.

Chin and Walston’s papers were selected because they demonstrated sophistication and originality in the use of research materials, exceptional innovation in research strategy, and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis. 

Chin’s research highlights the intersection of race and sovereignty and raises important questions about shifting conceptions of citizenship, self-determination, racial identity, and indigeneity in the United States.

Chin said one of the big discoveries he found while researching for the paper was not only the amount of Cherokee law that was digitally archived online, but also the extent to which the Dawes Rolls and other historical government documents are available through the United States Government Archives.

“The discovery of these resources allowed me to look at the form and content of the Dawes Rolls,” Chin said. “It was a crucial document for my analysis, and allowed me to even loo-up the names of individuals mentioned within the research study.”

Walston’s paper addresses domestic violence victims and issues they encounter when they attempt to navigate the Arizona Family Court. Her research process included review of not only procedural and substantive legal issues concerning custody, parenting time, and child support, but also encompassed substantial review of literature and statistical information regarding domestic violence issues.

Waltson said her research was vast and demanded an extraordinary amount of time and effort.

“When I began the process for the article I felt the procedural framework within the family court was ill-designed for domestic violence victims, Walston said. “Through my research I realized that the problem was so significant that it calls for more than just a restructuring of the system rather a whole new procedural process needs to be implemented.”

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