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TJSL’s Faculty Fellows Program: Opens Doors to Opportunity

March 9, 2012

Faculty Fellows
Faculty Fellows
Faculty Fellows

Anastasia Boles and Elizabeth McCuskey were among the first two scholars in Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s new Faculty Fellows Program that began in the 2010-2011 academic year.

After being fellows at TJSL for two academic years, both are leaving TJSL for tenure-track faculty positions in the fall of 2012 at the University of Arkansas Little Rock’s Bowen School of Law and the University of Toledo College of Law respectively.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me,” said Professor Boles, who will be an assistant professor at Bowen. “I’m fortunate in finding a place that matches well with my career goals.” She’ll be teaching Civil Procedure as well as Evidence and a seminar on Employment Discrimination.

At Toledo, Professor McCuskey also will be an assistant professor, teaching Health Law courses and Jurisdiction, a position for which she feels the TJSL Fellowship prepared her well.

“This experience opened every door,” she says of her time at TJSL where she both taught and led a research team.  “I am very happy I did it (the Fellowship),” Professor McCuskey said. “After my very first day, my very first class, I knew there was no looking back.”

To have the two Faculty Fellows be offered tenure-track positions is exactly the mission of the program at TJSL. In addition, Boles and McCuskey made strong contributions to the law school both as teachers and scholars.

“Anastasia and Liz were exceptionally strong faculty fellows, having been recruited from among more than 100 applicants, and they took full advantage of the resources we provided,” said TJSL Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Eric Mitnick.  “On one hand, it’s very difficult to see them leave for tenure-track faculty positions at Arkansas and Toledo.  But on the other hand, we take great pride and pleasure in knowing that they’ll carry on the Thomas Jefferson tradition of creative scholarship and excellence in writing and teaching beyond San Diego.”

Professors Boles and McCuskey also had the opportunity to travel to scholarly events around the country as part of the program and they served as ambassadors both for TJSL and the fellowship program.

“As the initial director of the Faculty Fellow program, I had the opportunity to get to know Liz and Anastasia well,” said TJSL Professor Linda Keller.  “Their dedication to teaching and scholarship was evident from the start.  It was a privilege to work with them.”

The two Fellows had successful careers in private practice before coming to TJSL, and each had teaching experience, including Professor Boles working as an adjunct at TJSL.  In the Fellowship Program, she taught Legal Writing I & II and Professional Responsibility, while Professor McCuskey taught Food and Drug Law and Legal Writing I.

They each attribute their success at Thomas Jefferson to the faculty . “Such a supportive group,” noted Professor Boles, “and it allows you to develop as both a scholar and a teacher.”

“It was a unique opportunity to experience the demands of a full-time professor right away,” Professor McCuskey said. “We got all of the support and full participation a regular faculty member would have, and we have been part of an extraordinarily productive and energetic faculty.”

“In designing the faculty fellow program, we sought to take advantage of the extremely rich scholarly and teaching community at Thomas Jefferson,” said Dean Mitnick.  “With our junior faculty writers’ group, our extensive series of scholarly colloquia, academic conferences, and teaching workshops, and the very strong group of senior faculty teaching mentors, we saw an opportunity essentially to create a scholarly and teaching incubator at Thomas Jefferson.”

“I would recommend this program hands-down,” said Boles.  “I hope the caliber of the Fellows and the program will continue to be stellar.”