National security leader speaks at Stetson Law commencement on evolving global challenges

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Retired Army Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess Jr. is Stetson University College of Law’s spring commencement speaker. Lieutenant General Burgess is presently serving as the senior counsel for national security programs, cyber programs and military affairs at Auburn University.

Burgess addressed more than 200 students during Stetson law school’s commencement on Saturday, May 13, in the Plaza Mayor courtyard on the Gulfport campus.

He described his life in public service, and evolving global challenges.

“You are entering an era of global interdependence that is full of promise and opportunity,” Burgess told the graduates gathered to hear him speak.

“I believe you should seize this moment.”

Starcy Brown walks at the May 2017 commencement.

Starcee Brown, foreground, walks at the May 2017 commencement.

At Auburn University, Burgess coordinates with the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research to guide, direct and support interdisciplinary research as part of the Auburn University Cyber Initiative. Burgess directed the Defense Intelligence Agency from March 2009 until July 2012, where he received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for his service. He was awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr.

A total of 254 Stetson law school students celebrated commencement, among them 28 part-time J.D. students, 12 J.D./M.B.A. students, two J.D./MINTEC students, one J.D./LL.M. student, two J.D./Grado students, eight LL.M. in Advocacy, two joint J.D./LL.M. in Advocacy, seven LL.M. in Elder Law and 12 LL.M. in International Law students.

This year’s outstanding graduating class includes:

  • Nathan Bruemmer, member of the Trial Team and Dispute Resolution Board, American Bar Association representative who served in leadership roles in three student organizations, served as liaison to the ABA’s SOGI Commission, between the American Bar Association and the National LGBT Bar Association, and served on the boards of St. Pete Pride, the LGBT Bar Association of Tampa Bay, and TransAction Florida;
  • Colby Connell, Trial Team member who was named best overall advocate in the National Civil Trial Competition and the Florida Justice Association Mock Trial Competition, won the Chester Bedell Trial Competition, ran a school-wide mock trial competition for first-year law students, served as a class representative for the Student Bar Association, and was quoted in the article, “Master Trial Advocacy Skills During Law School,” in U.S. News & World Report;
  • Evan Dix, editor-in-chief of the Stetson Law Review and selected for publication in the Stetson Law Review, Moot Court Board member, Student Ambassador, and research assistant in the field of antitrust, who was on the team that won best brief in the Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship;
  • Lieutenant Kasey Feltner, chief justice of the Moot Court Board, Stetson Law Review senior associate, editor-in-chief of the Stetson Journal of Advocacy and the Law whose honors paper on “Swipe Right for ISIS: Social Media and Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations” was recently published in the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal, who tied for Best Oralist at the
    Stetson Law veterans gather for a photo at spring commencement.

    Stetson Law veterans, students honored for their work with the Veterans Advocacy Clinic, gather for a photo at spring commencement.

    Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship;

  • Adriana Foreman, Honors Program student and Impact Award recipient who served as managing editor of the Stetson Law Review, Labor and Employment Law Association president, Hispanic Bar Association vice president, and student Moot Court Board member;
  • Diriki T. Geuka, former high school teacher who served as president of the Calvin A. Kuenzel Student Bar Association, member of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, the Black Law Students Association, The Pillars mentoring group, and the Second Amendment Society at Stetson;
  • Courtney Olivier, Trial Team member, Center for Excellence in Advocacy fellow, Student Leadership Development Committee member, Student Bar Association representative and Study Abroad Diplomat;
  • Chloe Wells, member of the Moot Court Board who was named second best oralist at the 2017 Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, Southern Regionals, served as president of Florida Association for Women Lawyers at Stetson, and as a Mark Orr Foreign Affairs Fellow with the Tampa Bay Foreign Relations Committee;
  • Jami Worley, research fellow in Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute, fellow in the Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication, and graduate teaching assistant and Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Member who completed more than 600 pro bono service hours;
  • Natalie Yello, associate justice of the Moot Court Board, president of the Stetson Chapter of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Law Student Division, editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Aging Law and Policy and Stetson University’s first Ms. J.D. Fellow, who was named Governor of the Year of the Stetson Chapter of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Law Student Division last summer.
Stetson Law celebrated commencement on May 13 in Gulfport.

Stetson Law celebrated commencement on May 13 in Gulfport.