USD team finishes first A team of seven criminal justice and political science students from USD finished first at the Central States Invitational Mock Trial Tournament in Iowa. The field of 20 teams included many Division I schools (University of Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa State) and several private universities.
The USD students were Katherine DeKam, Amy Ellis, Meghan Hoppe, Jeremy Nauman, Dan Rath, Jonathan Spader, and Grant Walker. "This was truly a team effort. These students outdid themselves," said Dean Spader, a professor in criminal justice and the team's coach. "They not only finished 6-0, but they also outscored the second-place team by 42 points."
Representing only five percent of those participating, USD brought home 20 percent of the individual and team awards. Besides the first-place team award, three students earned "Outstanding Witness and Attorney" awards. Dan Rath and Jonathan Spader received Outstanding Attorney awards, and Kate DeKam received an Outstanding Witness Award.
Spader added, "This win shows USD students can compete successfully with students from other top universities and private colleges. If you combine this win with the first place finish at regionals last year, and the first place trophy against 77 other teams for the national championship a few years ago, you can see that USD students show consistent success in a very demanding academic competition."