National Institute for Trial Advocacy

NITA Education CenterApr 02, 2019
From the Director’s Desk: April 2019
By Wendy McCormack Apr 02, 2019
Michelle Mendez Michael Washington Charlie Woodock

It's award season here at NITA, and one of our favorite times of year. We get to recognize truly exceptional contributions to NITA and honor members of NITA’s faculty, author, and staff communities. Each award highlights a specific contribution to NITA: exceptional teaching; innovation in teaching; and service to NITA through contributions other than teaching.

Nominations from the NITA community recognize the nominees’ work in one of these three areas, and honors the recipient’s prior year of service. Each award is named after one of NITA’s pioneers who exemplified the teaching, innovation, and service that the awards honor.

And the 2018 awards go to:

Hon. Michael D. Washington, San Diego County Superior Court receiving the Hon. Robert E. Keeton Award for Outstanding Service as a NITA Faculty Member (recognizing exceptional work as a NITA faculty member). Below are some comments that highlight Judge Washington’s talent, enthusiasm, friendliness, and dedication to improving the quality of advocacy and NITA.

“Judge W is a gifted teacher, and it is clear from the moment he steps into a lecture room or a workshop that his highest priority is creating a supportive learning environment while gently pushing participants to achieve their highest potential.”

“It is no wonder that Judge W's NITA dance card is always full, from taking over the helm of the National Program to his deep involvement in the African Public Service programs to his generosity in regularly volunteering well over 100 hours a year at programs for public service lawyers across America.”

Michelle Mendez, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) receiving the Robert E. Oliphant Award for Outstanding Service to NITA (recognizing service to NITA in ways beyond teaching, such as program administration, authorship, business support, and volunteer service, each of which enhances NITA’s mission). Below are comments from Michelle’s nominator and just a few reasons as to why she is so deserving of this award.

“It is not hyperbole to say that without Michelle's leadership, the NITA-CLINIC partnership would not have scaled to the extraordinary levels it reached in 2018 and would not be on its current trajectory for 2019 and beyond.”

“More than any other member of the NITA Family, Michelle has singlehandedly shared the vision and reputation of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy with legal communities and practitioners who otherwise would not have been exposed to our mission.”

Charlotte “Charlie” Woodcock, NITA’s media specialist, receiving the Hon. Prentice H. Marshall Award for the Development of Innovative Teaching Methods with NITA (recognizing creativity in program development or teaching methodology). The quotes below speak to Charlie’s innovation in developing and implementing our state-of-the art studio, capturing our faculty talent on video, and aligning our online efforts with the NITA brand as a whole.

“Charlie has made a difference in the way our community perceives NITA and has positively impacted those around with her skills knowledge and dedication.”

“Charlie took it upon herself to take numerous courses on how to run the new encoding software and the On24 system. She established work-flows, holding slides, a pre-web cast commercial, a Nita branded audience console and branded images for the On24 widgets. She also included a NITA white paper publication blog for each web cast within the resources widget, a lobby page with testimonials and other NITA advertising and content along with a video for the web cast introduction.”

There are many things that make being NITA’s Executive Director a special position. The NITA awards are among my favorite of these responsibilities. Judge Washington, Michelle Mendez, and Charlie Woodcock constantly demonstrate their dedication to improving the quality of advocates through NITA’s mission. They each deserve our recognition.

Please join us in thanking them and extend your congratulations.

Wendy Signature.png (10 KB)

About the Author
Wendy McCormack Boulder, CO

As Executive Director, Wendy works collaboratively with NITA staff, the Board of Trustees, and the organization as a whole in developing an... Read more

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