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Distinguished U.S. Circuit Judge to speak at Stetson Law graduation


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Communications Specialist
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Gulfport, Fla. - Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit will speak at Stetson University College of Law’s spring commencement, May 14 at 9 a.m., in the outdoor courtyard of the College’s Gulfport campus.

Judge Tjoflat sits on the bench of the 11th Circuit, and formerly served as the chief judge of the circuit. He has served as a member and leader of groups addressing national and international judicial issues, such as the U.S. delegations to the Sixth and Seventh United Nations Congresses for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders, the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on the Administration of the Probation System, and the Advisory Corrections Council of the United States.

“I am thrilled that Judge Tjoflat will be speaking to our graduates in May” said Dean Darby Dickerson. “He is an outstanding jurist and role model for young attorneys.”

During the ceremony, 160 students in Stetson’s May and July graduating classes are expected to walk, including nine who will receive the Master of Laws degree in International Law and Business. Twenty students also will have earned both the juris doctor and master of business administration degrees from Stetson University’s College of Law and School of Business Administration.

At Stetson’s spring honors and awards ceremony, Friday, May 13 at 4:30 p.m., the College of Law will celebrate the accomplishments of high-achieving graduating students.

There are many graduating students with noteworthy stories. Here are just a few:

Cary Cash is a cancer survivor and received the American Cancer Society’s Life Inspiration Award in 1999. Cash was diagnosed with stage-four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1998, which has been in remission for six years. Cash served as president of the Stetson Health Care Law Association, and he plans to apply his experience as a patient to his legal career.

Noah Rashkind will graduate with his Stetson law degree and immediately continue astrophysics doctoral studies at the Bryant Space Science Center at the University of Florida as an Alumni Graduate Fellow, the university’s top fellowship for doctoral students. Rashkind has an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Florida, and he has continued doing astrophysical research for the university throughout his time at Stetson. He eventually plans to combine his scientific and legal degrees to play a role in science and technology policy.

Nicole Villareal
is the first female graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, to attend law school. She was one of the first 26 women to graduate from the military institution. She is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.’ Judge Advocate General program and become the first female Citadel graduate to serve the United States in that position.