Penn State Dickinson School of Law welcomes Class of 2016

Three AmeriCorps participants, an accountant and an internationally ranked Scrabble player are among the future professionals who comprise the Penn State Dickinson School of Law Class of 2016, which gathered for the first time at orientation this week.


“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome all of you,” said Amanda DiPolvere, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid. “All of you are part of Penn State now.” DiPolvere summarized the highlights of the Class of 2016, which includes:

-- Students from 20 U.S. states as well as Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Romania and Tanzania

-- Speakers of German, Portuguese, Tajik, Russian, Farsi, Italian, Japanese and Guajarati, among other languages

-- Nine Eagle Scouts

-- 22 people holding Penn State undergraduate degrees

-- A doctorate of musical arts, 34 political science majors and people who majored in archaeology, biochemistry and French

“I am ecstatic to be here. I am living the dream,” said Karen Durkish, a self-described “numbers person,” and certified public accountant. She already holds a Penn State degree in accounting and is most looking forward to tax law and business law classes. Durkish has wanted to be an attorney since she was a child.

Earlier this month, the law school welcomed a class of more than 75 new master of laws students from every continent except Australia and Antarctica. It is with this prestigious group of international attorneys that juris doctor students will share the law school experience. 

Dean James Houck, who was the judge advocate general of the U.S. Navy before joining the law school, addressed new juris doctor and master of laws students and encouraged them to make the most of their law school experience. “Take advantage of everything you have here. Interact with people you’ve never met before. Study outside of the United States. Embrace everything here,” he said. He paused to introduce Keith Elkin, dean of students, and Karen Bysiewicz, dean of graduate and international programs, who play a key role in helping students fulfill their professional goals. 

“Everybody here wants you to succeed. That is our single mission, for you to succeed and prosper when you come out of this place,” said Houck.


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Last Updated July 22, 2015