Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Introducing the 2020-2021 AASE Board

It is with great pleasure that we introduce the new Association of Academic Support Educators' Executive Board.

2020-2021 AASE Executive Board

President: DeShun Harris, The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey's School of Law


DeShun Harris joined the law faculty at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2018 as Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Bar Preparation. She has been teaching academic support and bar support since 2011. Her research and teaching interests include educational psychology, assessment, and critical race theory.

Fun facts:

  • DeShun's number one bucket list item is to visit every city with an NBA team
  • She still sends postcards in the mail
  • She's a foodie

President-Elect: Melissa Hale, Loyola University Chicago School of Law


Melissa Hale is the Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Melissa oversees seven courses related to bar programming (teaching 2 of them), as well as overseeing academic tutors, and planning various bar related programming for the school.

Melissa is currently a contributor to the academic support blog, a Law School and Bar Exam Study Skills CALI fellow, and is writing a guide to the UBE with Past President Antonia Miceli.

In the past, Professor Hale has served as vice president of LawTutors, LLC, where she provided individual and group bar exam tutoring, trained other instructors, and created and edited bar preparation materials, including Aspen Publisher’s What Not to Write series, and Blond's Multistate Bar Exam. She has also served as an instructor for Emanuel Bar Review and Themis Bar Review. Before becoming a teacher, she worked in private practice in Massachusetts, specializing in small businesses and workers’ compensation.  

Melissa graduated with a Bachelors of Science in political science and psychology from Central Michigan University, and earned her juris doctorate from New England School of Law in Boston. She resides in Chicago with her husband their 2 cats, Iggy and Lemmy.

Fun Facts:

  • Melissa  used to be a fairly serious ballet dancer
  • She once worked for the Brazilian Ice Sport Federation (It's a thing)
  • Her first job was as "donut girl" at a cider mill

Past President: Antonia Miceli, Saint Louis University School of Law


Antonia Miceli, JD, MPH, is a Professor at St. Louis University, where she serves as the Director of Academic Support and Bar Exam Preparation.  In this role, she has developed and taught Introduction to Legal StudiesLegal MethodsAdvanced Legal Methodology, and Advanced Legal Analysis and Strategies.  She also developed and conducts SLU LAW’s Early Bird Bar Prep Workshop Series for graduating 3Ls and SLU LAW’s Bar Prep Essay Workshop Series for alumni preparing for the February and July bar exams.  Prof. Miceli currently serves as the Past President of the Association of Academic Support Educators and serves on the Editorial Board of the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI).  She is a member of the California, Missouri, Illinois, and District of Columbia Bars, and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.  Most recently, Prof. Miceli completed her MPH in Epidemiology from St. Louis University School of Public Health and Social Justice and is Certified in Public Health.

Fun Facts:

  • Toni is surrounded by boys; her husband, her two sons, and her dog
  • She loves to cook and bake, particularly with her older son who has become obsessed with cake decorating

Vice President of Diversity: Yolonda Sewell, Western Michigan University - Cooley Law School


Professor Sewell joined the WMU-Cooley Law School law faculty in January 2020 as a Visiting Professor. Professor Sewell teaches Introduction to Law, directs the Dean’s Fellows teaching academy, and oversees the Tampa Bay bar exam coaching program. She currently serves as the secretary of the Law School Admissions Council Minority Network.

Prior to joining WMU-Cooley, Professor Sewell served as the Assistant Director of Academic Support & Bar Services at Texas A&M University School of Law. There, she taught Preparing for the Bar Exam, directed a comprehensive peer education teaching assistant program, and facilitated the bar preparation program for both J.D. and LL.M students. Professor Sewell served as a standing member of the Diversity Council and created a Young Scholars program for local high school students interested in pursuing legal education.

Professor Sewell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She obtained her juris doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law.

Fun Facts:

  • Yolonda loves breakfast food. She can eat breakfast ANYTIME of the day.
  • She loves, loves, loves puzzles – crosswords, jigsaw, and sudoku.
  • She enjoys traveling.
  • She speaks French though her fluency is waning from being in Texas for so long.

Treasurer: Twinette Johnson, University of District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law


Professor Johnson is a Professor of Law at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC LAW).  She also directs the School of Law’s Academic Success program.

Prior to joining the UDC LAW faculty in 2017, Professor Johnson was an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Academic Success Program at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  There, she taught Agency and Partnership, Introduction to Commercial Law, Higher Education and Democracy (a writing seminar), Lawyering Skills, Advanced Legal Analysis and Strategies (a bar exam readiness course) and Professionalism and the Law.

Professor Johnson’s previous professional experience includes a clerkship on the Missouri Supreme Court with Judge W. Duane Benton. She also held a position as an associate attorney with Shearman and Sterling, LLP, a New York based law firm. There, she practiced in the Bank Finance group where she represented financial institutions and corporations in investment grade and noninvestment grade financing transactions.

Professor Johnson’s research interests include higher education access policy and learning theory models in legal education.

Professor Johnson earned her Ph.D. in Public and Social Policy from Saint Louis University, her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law and her B.A. in English Literature from Saint Louis University. 

Treasurer-Elect: Laura Mott, CUNY School of Law


Laura is the Director of Academic Support for the 1L Evening Program at CUNY School of Law. Laura teaches Skills, 1L Lawyering, and has served as a bar mentor in CUNY’s Bar Support program since 2012. She has also taught legal writing and academic skills courses in the New York State Court System’s Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) Program, a summer program designed to prepare incoming law students from underserved communities for their first semester of law school. She has presented on best practices in designing academic support programs for part-time and evening students, and on issues related to associated general evening curriculum design and execution.

Laura is interested in how varying chronobiological levels on both individual and group levels affect short- and long-term doctrinal absorption and analytic dexterity in law school learning contexts. Her developing environmental research uses various social justice lenses to propose better public participation and consultation processes for national and international environmental decision-making.

Prior to teaching, Laura worked at the New York Environmental Law & Justice Project, at the Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti, and was a Fellow in the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute. Laura also represented tenants facing eviction in NYC housing courts, and managed large discovery projects for complex civil litigation matters in the areas of antitrust, patent, securities, insurance, and M & A.

Laura holds a B.A. from Rutgers University, Douglass College, a J.D. from CUNY School of Law, and an LL.M cum laude in Environmental Law from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. During law school, she co-founded the student Environmental Law Society and served on the executive board of the New York City Law Review. Prior to law school, she worked in archaeology and cultural resource management. Laura is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and the Environmental Law Section of the NYSBA.

Fun facts:

  • Laura’s first job was in a pumpkin patch
  • Laura really likes to play basketball
  • Laura has yet to decide whether she is a dog or cat person!

Secretary: Goldie Pritchard, Michigan State University College of Law

Pritchard TNX Color Photo (1)

Goldie Pritchard, JD, M.Ed., currently serves as Director of the Academic Success Program and Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University College of Law. Pritchard founded the current Academic Success Program in 2009. Since 2009, she has supported law students as they navigate their academic careers and prepare for the bar exam by developing and implementing several programs, courses, and one-on-one interactions. She embraces the challenge of deciphering how to best support individual students as they prepare to become academically successful and succeed on the bar exam.

Pritchard has served the academic support community over the years by participating in and taking on leadership roles with AASE and AALS Section on Academic Support. Pritchard earned a BA from the University of California Davis, a JD from Seattle University School of Law, and a MEd in Higher Education with an emphasis on College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University.

Fun Facts:

  • Goldie has lived in 4 African countries
  • She enjoys changing her hair a few times a year, so she is not offended when not recognized at first
  • She dislikes taking pictures but will take pictures of others

Host School Representative: Joni Wiredu, American University Washington College of Law


Joni Wiredu currently serves as Director of the Office of Academic Excellence and Adjunct Faculty at American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) in Washington, D.C. As Director of Academic Excellence, at the sixth largest law school in the country, Ms. Wiredu leads an office supporting the academic achievement and bar exam preparation for over 1200 law students, sitting for bar exams in more than 20 jurisdictions. At AUWCL, Ms. Wiredu is responsible for spearheading strategic and innovative programing related to academic advising, academic planning, and increasing students’ bar exam preparedness. She regularly counsels students on best academic practices in law school and provides targeted planning assistance to improve students’ educational outcomes. In July 2018, less than two years after its inception, Ms. Wiredu’s office earned AUWCL’s ‘Outstanding Teamwork and Creativity Award’ for the office that contributed to AUWCL in the most creative and exceptionally effective manner. Ms. Wiredu is a widely respected lecturer on essay writing and bar exam study skills. She teaches Advanced Legal Analysis, a 3L course designed to increase bar exam readiness. Additionally, she serves on AUWCL’s Committee on Academic Excellence, which is responsible for implementing and supervising academic training and coursework at AUWCL. Prior to her appointment at AUWCL, Ms. Wiredu served as senior director at a major bar review company, where she amassed 14 years of experience - training hundreds of students on best practices for studying for the bar exam and crafting appropriate strategies for bar examination success. She earned a BA from Dartmouth College and a JD from William & Mary Law School. She resides in Maryland with her husband and teenage daughter. ​

Host School Representative-Elect: Zoe Niesel, St. Mary’s University School of Law


Zoe Niesel joined the law faculty at St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Law.  She currently serves as the Director of Statistics and Assessment. In that capacity, she spends her time preparing St. Mary’s students for the challenges of law school and the bar exam by utilizing data to pinpoint best practices and drive success. In addition, she teaches Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Bar Prep for Credit, and a writing seminar on stolen art.

Fun Facts:

    • Zoe has 3 cats – Darwin, Lego, and Smokey!
    • She is a  passionate gluten free home baker
    • She loves hiking the trails of the Texas hill country

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