WOOSTER, Ohio — Rachel Sullivan, a senior political science major at The College of Wooster, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 David L. Carpenter Pre-Law Prize. The award, which is presented annually to Wooster’s top pre-law student, recognizes academic achievement, participation in the school’s Pre-Law Advising Program, experience as a student leader, and a commitment to personal honesty and integrity.
Sullivan, a resident of Granville who transferred to Wooster after one year at Rhodes College, said she was honored by the selection. “For the past four years, I have been working hard to prepare myself for law school, and my experience at Wooster has helped me to achieve that goal,” she said. “The students here are very engaged in academics and passionate about political and social issues. There is a very supportive community [at Wooster] that really helps students learn and grow.”
Sullivan pointed to her involvement with Wooster’s Moot Court team as one of her most valuable experiences. “Working with [Moot Court Adviser and Professor of Political Science] Mark Weaver affirmed that this was the right career path for me,” she said. “He has been incredibly supportive in helping me to think in a more analytical and critical way and to become a more competent and persuasive writer, both in my Independent Study (Wooster’s nationally acclaimed undergraduate research experience) and in legal writing.”
While at Wooster, Sullivan compiled an impressive list of accomplishments. She was a two-time national qualifier with the Moot Court team and the recipient of the John D. Fackler Award for excellence in public speaking. She also served as president of the Wooster College Democrats, through which she organized a voter-registration campaign. In addition, she sat first stand cello and was a section leader with the Wooster Symphony Orchestra. Other activities included serving as a teaching assistant for Introduction to Contemporary Ideologies. Academically, she was selected for membership in Pi Sigma Alpha political science honorary and was named to the Dean’s List every semester.
“Rachel personifies the criteria of the award: outstanding scholarship, leadership and community service,” said Weaver. “She played an important leadership role on the moot court team this year, and she qualified as an American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) All-American at the national tournament.”
Sullivan was accepted by four law schools and has chosen to attend George Washington University in the fall. “I don’t know for sure what career path I will pursue, [but] I am considering a career in either environmental law or constitutional law,” she said. “I hope to promote renewable energy use in the United States or do oral advocacy before the Supreme Court or a Court of Appeals arguing on Eighth Amendment constitutional issues in order to work toward a more just system of American punishment.”
Established by the Figgie Family Foundation in 1999, the Carpenter Prize commemorates the life of the late David Lyle Carpenter, a 1965 Wooster alumnus who became a leading tax and corporate lawyer and a partner in the Cleveland law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold L.L.P. Prior to his death in 1999, Carpenter was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for excellence in corporate law. He was also an active member of the Heights Christian Church and served on the board of the National Conference for Community and Justice. At Wooster, he won departmental honors in economics, and lettered in track and field. He later attended the University of Michigan, where he earned both an M.B.A. and a J.D.