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Armstrong Students Advance to the Semifinals in South Atlantic Moot Court Tournament

Armstrong's team composed of 6 men and 4 women with coach Becky da Cruz. The group includes two African Americans and two Latinos.

(November 11, 2016) – Armstrong State University students Roxy Simons and Marisol Estrada, both seniors and political science majors, were semifinalists in the 2017 South Atlantic Regional Moot Court tournament, held at the University of Central Florida. Simons and Estrada took the first seed after winning the quarterfinal round against a team from the University of Georgia.

Simons and Estrada display plaques they received for winning.“Being a part of this team has undoubtedly shaped my future in ways that I could never have imagined,” notes Simons. “A large part of this is the fact that Dr. Becky da Cruz and Dr. Chris Tecklenberg are absolute inspirations for every member of our team. We could not have asked for better coaches. Because of this experience, I am proud to say that I plan to attend law school in the fall of 2017.”

Law and Society and Criminal Justice professor Becky da Cruz, Ph.D., and assistant professor of Political Science Chris Tecklenburg, Ph.D., sponsored the teams.

“Our students represented Armstrong very well,” notes da Cruz. “We are particularly proud that the top four teams at the tournament were three teams from Patrick Henry and Armstrong.”

Estrada also plans to attend law school after graduating and believes that her experience in moot court has given her the confidence she needs to be successful.

“The moot court team has been one of the most challenging experiences I've had at Armstrong,” she says. “It has helped me determine that I have what it takes to reach my life goals.”

In addition to Simons and Estrada, Armstrong’s five moot court teams were composed of Angelo Fernandez, Chase Sherrod, Matt Hudson, Reid Williamson, Janae Wells, Michael Miller, Drew Smith and Diamonique Keaton.

The five teams competed against a total of 44 teams from 10 other schools including Patrick Henry College, the University of Georgia, Duke University, Moorehouse College, the University of Central Florida, the University of Tampa, Florida Atlantic University, West Florida University, Carroll College and Belmont College.

The Regional Moot Court tournament is composed of two-person teams who present oral arguments in three preliminary rounds. Each team consists of a petitioner and a respondent and the order of argument and matching teams is determined randomly. The regional tournament is held in conjunction with the American Moot Court Association.

Simons and Estrada will compete at the national tournament at Stetson Law School in January 2017.

Michael Benjamin, Ph.D.

“My favorite part about being a professor at Armstrong is the opportunity to engage with bright, talented students.”

Michael Benjamin, Ph.D.
Teaching since: 2009