Northwood University Mock Trial Team National Champions



MIDLAND, Mich., April 27, 2009 – Northwood University’s Mock Trial team won the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) National Championships held April 17-19 in Des Moines, Iowa. The team won the final Championship round unanimously, a feat that rarely happens at this level.

Northwood University was also honored with the Spirit of AMTA award for its division. This award was bestowed upon Northwood by the teams they competed against for displaying the highest ideals of civility, integrity, and fair play.

Several students won individual awards-Jonathan Hartsfield from Detroit, Mich., Intercollegiate All-American  Attorney; Lou Danner from Ypsilanti, Mich., and Bryce Rucker, from Battle Creek, Mich., Intercollegiate All-American Witnesses. Hartsfield was the only student playing the role of attorney (out of approximately 150 students in the attorney role at Championships) to earn All-American status on both sides of the case for the second year in a row and the only attorney at this tournament to earn a perfect score.

Northwood team members from Michigan include William Freeland of Montague, Danielle M. Hodges, president of Northwood’s Mock Trial Team, of Hastings, Ajane Jackson of Detroit, and Lillian Merchant of Onaway. Team members from outside Michigan are Ariel Lett of San Diego, Cal., and Albin Zuhric from Sarahevo, Bosnia (BiH). The students are coached by Professor DeLois T. Leapheart, who said “the students listed above are exceedingly hard working, intellectually gifted leaders and communicators.”

Other universities with teams competing at the 2009 AMTA Championship competition include Stanford, Cornell, New York University, Yale, Columbia and University of California Berkley. The AMTA competition opens in the fall with 600 teams competing and only 48 earn the opportunity to compete at the National Championship in the spring.

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills and personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers full-time, evening and industry-specific master’s degree programs for entrepreneurs and executives in Michigan, Texas and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Creativity Center on the Midland, Michigan, campus specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through terms abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia, Bahrain and Sri Lanka. Northwood University also operates the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Maine.

Northwood University is marking its 50-year anniversary. Founded in 1959, Northwood has grown to a national and international presence and is an influential advocate for free enterprise. Celebrations are planned across the country and around the world to commemorate the vision and success of Northwood University’s founders, Drs. R. Gary Stauffer and Arthur Turner.

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