JSP Scope

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

South Asians and Immigration Legislation

JSP students do not shy away from the tough issues of public policy, local, national, or transnational. Veena Dubal discusses the stance of South Asians toward the recent immigration legislation and nationwide protests. While these events have been framed primarily around Mexican immigrants, Dubal argues that South Asian's should get involved as well. Her op-ed piece appears in SAMAR, an on-line journal of South Asian politics


Virginia Mellema "Hooded" at Boalt's May 13 Commencement

Gina Mellema marked the completion of her JSP PhD in the "old school" way with a hooding in front of the Boalt commencement crowd. Lauren Edelman, Gina's dissertation chair, did the honors. (For those who have not witnessed it, the hooding is an impressive moment of individual recognition quite in contrast with the assembly line certificate and handshake moments that necessarily dominate most undergraduate and law school graduation exercises). Dean Christopher Edley described Gina's dissertation for the assembly thusly:

"Race Matters: The Paradox of Race in Police Personnel Decisions"

This dissertation explores how police officials, both past and present, perceive race and departmental diversity to matter to law enforcement. Despite formal law which prohibits the use of race as a consideration, the unique nature of police work raises questions of how race may legitimately be used, if at all, in recruiting, hiring, promoting and making assignments. This project examines how the evolving ideology of race and racism has impacted race-conscious policies and practices over the past four decades and how contemporary police administrators reconcile what they term the "unavoidable salience of race" with formal legal prohibitions on race-based personnel decisions.

For the moment Gina will remain in the Bay Area where she serves as an administrative judge for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco.

Congratulations Gina! We're proud of you and glad to have you near for at least another year.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Six JSPers Celebrate JD degrees at Boalt May 13, 2006 Commencement

Veena Dubal, Edi Kinney, Sonya Lebsack, Santhi Leon, Mark Massoud, and Ariel Meyerstein all walked in Boalt's commencement exercises at the Hearst Greek Theater on May 13, 2006. It was a memorable day marked by spotless blue skies and blazing sun, the absence of commencement speaker Howard Dean and Dean Christopher Edley's almost frighteningly accurate rendition of Dean's fatal 2003 Scream speech in Iowa. Much partying ensued afterwards as most of Boalt's 270 plus JD graduates looked forward to the Bar, high incomes, and adulthood. But what of our six? Although several are reported to be taking the Bar, all six swear they are forging on for the PhD, high incomes and adulthood can wait (for a while).
(Above: Mark Massoud, Edi Kinney, and Ariel Meyerstein celebrate; credit, Jonathan Simon 2006)