Category Archives: News & Achievements Archive

New partnership will provide immigration legal assistance to Afghan nationals in Iowa

Drake University Law School Legal Clinic, The University of Iowa College of Law’s Center for Human Rights, and Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Iowa MMJ), with funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are partnering to create ALL Iowa, a new collaboration to provide immigration legal assistance to Afghan nationals in Iowa who came to the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services will administer the funding for this effort.

Following the Taliban seizure of power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the U.S. airlifted thousands of Afghans seeking safety from immediate threats of violence via a program called Operation Allies Welcome. The U.S. granted a temporary status called “humanitarian parole” to most Afghans who entered the U.S. through Operation Allies Welcome. Over 1,000 Afghans arrived in Iowa through the program.

ALL Iowa will aid in addressing the critical need for immigration legal services for this population and help to secure the safety of Afghans in Iowa who remain under threat if they return to Afghanistan. “Many people do not realize that our evacuated Afghan allies have no direct path to permanent protection in the U.S., making high-quality low-cost legal immigration services of utmost importance. This funding will increase access to these much-needed services throughout Iowa,” states Ann Naffier, managing attorney and co-legal director at Iowa MMJ.

Services to be made available through this collaboration will be diverse and engage communities statewide. Drake University will create and operate a virtual help desk to answer general questions and provide limited general advice and referral services. Iowa MMJ, the University of Iowa College of Law Legal Clinic and the Drake University Legal Clinic will directly represent many Afghans, as well as expand clinics in communities around the state, to provide Afghan families with assistance in filing the most common applications available to Afghans, such as Temporary Protected Status, Special Immigrant Visas, and asylum. The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights will help coordinate and administer the collaboration.

ALL Iowa will also engage with attorneys, organizations, and pro bono programs throughout the state already aiding Afghans through their work, to enhance and support existing efforts and to help facilitate legal assistance for Afghan individuals.

Amy Weismann, assistant director for the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, highlights that the collaboration “will address urgent needs and enhance and elevate the vital work of our law school clinics.” UI students, along with Drake students will participate in a “legal corps” to support the work of immigration legal service providers in communities throughout Iowa.

Students at both the University of Iowa College of Law and Drake University Law School will have the opportunity to engage in direct representation of Afghan nationals before federal immigration agencies, as well as aid in development of pro se materials, intake processes and needs assessment, and conduct research into best practices, under the mentorship of licensed attorneys.

Professor Suzan Pritchett, director of Clinical and Experiential Programs at Drake Law School,  articulates the initiative’s potential and goals: “We are excited by the potential of this partnership to meet immediate legal needs while creating a culture of commitment to pro bono legal service and a new generation of attorneys prepared to serve our increasingly diverse communities here in Iowa.”

For more information, visit

For more information on the role of Drake University Legal Clinic, contact Suzie Pritchett, Drake Law School Director of Clinical and Experiential Programs at

For more information about the role of Iowa MMJ, contact Ann Naffier, Managing Attorney and Co-Legal Director at  To make an appointment with Iowa MMJ, call 515-255-9809.

For more information about the role of the University of Iowa, contact Amy Weismann, Assistant Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, at .

For more information on the role of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, contact Alex Carfrae, Public Information Officer, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, at or call 515-281-4848

— Taylor Johnson, Law School

Law student organizes food pantry to battle food insecurity in Law School

While lots of students were heading home for the holidays in the fall of 2020, current Drake Law third-year student Jack Schuler was thinking about those who could not. He purchased a $25 Hy-Vee gift card and asked Assistant Dean for Student Services Erin Lee Schneider to give it to a student who could not travel home due to financial limitations. He also suggested that Drake Law faculty and staff might want to contribute to the effort to help as many students as possible. They responded and Dean Lee Schneider collected additional gift cards to help brighten the holiday for many.

This sparked a larger conversation regarding food insecurity among students at Drake Law. Schuler noted that due to the cost and time commitment of law school, there were likely individuals that were unable to meet their basic needs. Subsequently, a nationwide survey revealed that 43% of all law students reported food insecurity concerns during the pandemic. Drake Law Dean Jerry Anderson found this unacceptable. “For many of us, it didn’t cross our minds that there could be Drake Law students sitting in class who may not be eating properly due to a lack of funds,” said Dean Anderson. “This study revealed, though, that may absolutely be the case. We just found that intolerable.”

Funding for a food pantry in Kern Commons began immediately, organized by Schuler and Dean Lee Schneider. The food pantry is now up and running, allowing Drake Law students more security in finding their next meal.

As news about the food pantry spread within the Law School community, adjunct Professor Tyler Coe stepped up to help. As a shareholder with Dentons Davis Brown, P.C., Coe has a strong network of colleagues who understand the mindset of law students and the extreme commitment that comes with varying financial situations and course workload. Coe remembered when he was in law school and noted the times when he needed help.

“I remembered the time I needed help in law school. Without the extreme kindness and generosity of Drake Law graduate Janet Galloway Huston, LW’83, I would not have been able to continue my studies, let alone have food and shelter during law school,” Coe said. “In exchange for helping me, she asked me to pay her generosity forward in every way conceivable. When I learned Drake Law students and law students across the nation face food insecurity, I looked at my students and realized I had to help.” Within a matter of days, Coe collected food donations and raised $800 for the food pantry from other members of his firm.

The food pantry is in Cartwright Hall, Kern Commons, and is available to all Drake Law students. The pantry stocks canned foods and dry goods, frozen meals, and fresh produce. Gift cards for groceries are available as well. As the pantry gains traction, Coe is confident that donations will continue to come in, stating, “This is certainly not the last act of generosity my firm and I make for Drake Law.”

From a simple start with a $25 gift card donation to a fully functional food pantry, Schuler is proud of the effort the Drake Law community has put toward the success of the pantry. Schuler said, “Law school is hard enough, and students need to be able to focus on their courses rather than if they can eat today or not.”

To donate to the Drake Law School food pantry, contact Dean Lee Schneider at

— Taylor Johnson, Law School

CBPA Honor Roll for Social Impact wins the 2022 Innovation in Business Education Award

The Mid-American Business Deans Association has recognized the College of Business and Public Administrations’s Honor Roll for Social Impact with first place in its 2022 Innovation in Business Education Award in the New Ways to Achieve Student Engagement track. Dean Hernandez attended the association’s conference in Chicago to accept the award on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff who have made community service a priority at Drake.

As noted in the submission that generated this award: “To encourage, recognize, and celebrate the development of a social impact mindset and related service work, Drake University’s College of Business and Public Administration developed the CBPA Dean’s Honor Roll for Social Impact.” For a glimpse into the impact students are making across campus, see our group on DUgood, Drake’s online community engagement platform.

— Alejandro Hernandez, Dean, CBPA

Drake Black Law Student Association awarded the Iowa National Bar Association’s Journey Award

Drake University Law School is pleased to announce that the Drake Law School Black Law Student Association (BLSA) is a 2022 recipient of the Iowa National Bar Association’s (INBA) Journey Award. The Journey Award is presented to organizations or individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in Iowa’s legal community. The award was presented at the fourth annual Meeting at the Monument: A Celebration of Diversity within the Iowa Legal Community on Sept. 29, 2022. Marcus Coleman, immediate past-president of BLSA, accepted the award on behalf of BLSA.

BLSA was recognized for outstanding programming and initiatives that enhanced the experience of Black students at the Law School, and strengthened connections and commitments to the greater legal community. Some of the specific programs noted include increasing the availability of free and low cost textbooks to BLSA students and the student body through the BLSA Lending Library; hosting nationally acclaimed attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons for a presentation about his fight for victims of the Tulsa race massacre; maintaining representation with students in positions on the executive boards of the National and Midwest Black Law Student Associations; and increasing collaboration with the Law School Office of Admission and Financial Aid to improve efforts to recruit black students to Drake Law School.

Kaleb McKinnon, current president of BLSA, said, “I am proud of the accomplishments of the Drake BLSA in working to build relationships with the community and across campus. We are honored to accept The Journey Award, as it symbolizes all of the hard work we have done over the years. It is an honor for me and the current executive board to continue to move the needle forward for black law students at Drake Law.”

Dean Jerry Anderson, dean of Drake Law School, said, “BLSA has been a wonderful leader in enriching the fabric of Drake Law’s community in so many ways and supporting other students of color. I am really proud of the work they’ve done and pleased to see those efforts recognized by the Iowa NBA.”

— Taylor Johnson, Law School

Christina Trombley awarded leadership award by continuing education association

Christina Trombley, executive director for Drake Online and Continuing Education, recently received the 2022 Central Region Sue Maes Outstanding Leadership Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).

The award recognizes one UPCEA Central Region professional member each year who has exhibited outstanding leadership and service. Trombley was honored at at the UPCEA Central Region Conference in late September in Columbus, Ohio.

The award recognizes leadership, service, and a commitment to adult and continuing education with the member’s institution and region.  A long-time UPCEA member, Trombley has presented and moderated a number of conference sessions at both the regional and national level. She has held several offices within the organization, including vice-chair and chair for the Central Region, and currently serves the region as regional representative.  In addition, she is recognized for her commitment to mentoring and supporting others at UCM, at other institutions and through numerous UPCEA connections.

Nelson named a 2022 Next-Generation Future Pharmacist Award finalist

Molly Nelson, a fourth-year student pharmacist in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, was named one of three national finalists for the 2022 Next-Generation Future Pharmacist Award sponsored by Parata Systems and Pharmacy Times. The winner will be announced during the Next-Generation Pharmacist Award Gala held on September 30, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo.

“I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for the Next-Generation Future Pharmacist Award and am astounded that I am a finalist,” said Nelson. “I am even more honored to be able to help the community through the work I do, while being mentored by amazing pharmacists everywhere I go.”

Read more about Molly Nelson’s accomplishments and the award.

— Kaylyn Maher, CPHS

Welty chairs International Epilepsy Crisis Response Task Force; Student pharmacists involved in Ukrainian emergency response

Tim Welty, professor of pharmacy practice, has been appointed chair of the newly formed International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Crisis Response Task Force. Dr. J Helen Cross, President of the ILAE and The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, has formed the Task Force to address concerns and develop plans for responding to future crises and the impact on patients with epilepsy. She asked Welty to serve as chair following his involvement with the Emergency Response (Ukraine) Task Force.

Welty, who also serves as director of research, innovation, and global initiatives for the CPHS, engaged several second-year student pharmacists he instructed in the spring of 2022 to assist with the work of the Ukraine task force. Welty will continue to engage students in assisting with projects for the new task force to meet its charges.

“The work of this task force will help to raise awareness of the need to include people with epilepsy in planning for emergencies and crises,” said Welty. “Abrupt discontinuation of seizure medications due to an emergency or crisis can result in increased seizures that are dangerous to the person or others and could result in death from the seizures.”

Read more about the newly formed task force, its charges, and how students will be involved.

The hits keep coming: Drake’s School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management continues in the vanguard of insurance research

The results of four major insurance research projects led by faculty from Drake University’s School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management were published in prestigious academic journals during the last 12 months. The papers, which cover topics ranging from the impact of increased insurance consumption in China to how insurers and regulators are responding to the transition to a new benchmark for pricing risk, reflect the challenges and opportunities in the increasingly dynamic and globally connected insurance market.

“As one of a select group of the Society of Actuaries’ Centers of Actuarial Excellence, we are committed to exploring the issues and trends that drive the insurance sector” said Alejandro Hernandez, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, which is home to Drake’s actuarial science program. “Our continued success in publishing relevant and timely research also informs the business-centric curriculum that we deliver to our actuarial science students.”

The four recent peer-reviewed journal articles (in order of publication) include:

  • “The Changing of the Guard (from LIBOR to SOFR) and How Both Insurers and Regulators are Responding” authored by Toby White (of Drake University) published in Journal of Insurance Regulation
  • “Estimating Spillover Effects in Property Casualty Insurance Consumption” authored by Douglas Bujakowski (of Drake University) and Shinichi Kamiya (of Nanyang Technological University) published in North American Actuarial Journal
  • “Insurance Research in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe: What We Can Learn from XPRIMM Data” authored by Douglas Bujakowski (of Drake University) and Patricia Born (of Florida State University) published in Risk Management and Insurance Review
  • “An Asymptotic Study of Systemic Expected Shortfall and Marginal Expected Shortfall” authored by Yiqing Chen (of Drake University) and Jiajun Liu (of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University) published in Insurance: Mathematics and Economics

The research work conducted by the School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management is made possible by support from the Principal Financial Group.

— Alejandro Hernandez, Dean, CBPA

Actuarial science students can now earn credit for Society of Actuaries exams based on strong course performance

Drake University has received University-Earned Credit (UEC) status from the Society of Actuaries (SOA). This will enable students in the university’s School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management to earn credit for select SOA exams by attaining required UEC scores in related courses. The SOA’s Exam FM (financial mathematics) and Exam SRM (statistics for risk modeling) will be included in the initial roll-out of the program which is made possible by Drake’s elite standing as an SOA Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE).

“This new pathway demands a high academic standard to ensure that the same exam rigor is present in our curriculum so Drake’s CAE status provides our students an ideal foundation for success,” said Alejandro Hernandez, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, which is home to Drake’s actuarial science program. “The UEC is the first step in the SOA’s new modernized and modularized education system designed to empower students. We are eager to be on the leading edge of this initiative to offer new options and opportunities for students and employers.”

The leadership and faculty of Drake’s actuarial science program completed a comprehensive application process to earn the UEC status. This submission included evidencing work done to structure the related courses to meet standards established and monitored by the SOA. This new option, available starting in the fall 2022 semester, will allow students enrolled in the university’s actuarial science program to earn credit for the FM and SRM exams after receiving required scores in respective courses that cover the exam’s syllabus. The development work conducted by the School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management to achieve the UEC status was facilitated by support from EMC Insurance Group, Inc.

— Alejandro Hernandez, Dean, CBPA

Drake Law Review again receives Top 40 ranking

Drake Law Review is ranked 36 in a field of more than 1,500 journals in the Washington & Lee (W&L) Law Journal Rankings. The ranking reflects the number of court decisions that have cited the Law Review during the five-year period from 2017-2021. Drake Law Review has ranked in the top 50 most-cited law reviews every year but two since 2003.

Maintained by the W&L Law Library, the rankings are a world-recognized resource for identifying and comparing law journals by subject, country of publication, or rank across several categories relevant to scholars and publishers. The ranking for case citations includes more than 660 student-edited journals.

Drake Law Review’s exemplary articles, notes, and lectures are academically and practically relevant to professors, judges, practitioners, and law students. The Law Review is consistently recognized as one of the top student-published law journals in the nation. This case citation ranking is one indication of how helpful the articles are to the judiciary in writing opinions.

Professor Keith Miller, faculty advisor to the Law Review, attributes the ranking to the tradition of excellence that is passed from one year’s staff to the next. “All current and former staff members should be proud of this recognition of their commitment to making the Law Review an outstanding resource for the courts, and the professional and academic communities,” Miller said. “Congratulations to all the current members and to the alumni of the Law Review.”

To learn more, visit the Drake Law Review website here:

— Theresa Howard, Law School