Morrison Joins College of Law as Program Manager of New Centers

Effective December 5, 2012, Jacqueline E. Morrison, 32, has joined the staff of the College of Law as Program Manager for the College’s four new centers in criminal justice, biomedical sciences, global justice, and innovation. A 2012 College of Law graduate, Morrison earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science and History, with an emphasis (minor) in Middle East Studies, from the University of Utah.

In the interview below, she discusses her goals at the College of Law’s new centers, as well as how her education at the College of Law helped her to prepare for this prestigious new position.

What does the Center Program Manager do? What are your responsibilities?

The position of Center Program Manager exists to facilitate the growth and development of the four new centers in the law school – the Center for Innovation in Legal Education, which seeks to transform legal education by innovating how we teach the law; the Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences, which aims to improve the way the law interacts with the healthcare system; the Center for Global Justice which seeks to promote the rule of law and the service of justice worldwide; and the National Criminal Justice Academy which aims to train future prosecutors to better serve the needs of the public as a whole. As the Center Program Manager, I am here to translate the visions of each center into reality. My primary job responsibilities are organizational, structural, and facilitative, as well as research based.

This is a new position at the College of Law.  As such, you’re essentially establishing structures and creating operational frameworks.  Is that a daunting proposition?

Establishing structures and designing operational frameworks is something I like to do, so the new position is much more exciting than it is daunting. Additionally, to have a say in the structure and framework of your own position is very liberating, especially in a position like this with unparallelled opportunity for professional development and unlimited potential for growth.

What about the job most excites you?

 I am most excited to work with the world-class faculty and staff of the law school. We have such an amazing depth and breadth of human and academic resources here, and I look forward to collaborating with a wide variety of people and positions to create innovative and sustainable programs for our centers.

What are your goals for the first six months? The first year?

In the first six months I’d like to increase the profile of the new centers by highlighting faculty and student accomplishments, by organizing and promoting center events and cross-center collaborations, and by facilitating fund-raising projects for long-term sustainability. Within the first year I’d like to have a concrete plan for permanent center approval in place and running for each of the new centers.

How will you know that you (and the centers) are succeeding? What metrics will you use to gauge performance?

Three quantitative ways we will measure success are 1) an increase in the production of white papers and other research directly related to the individual centers, 2) an increase in fundraising – including grants and paid student fellowship/internship opportunities, and 3) an increase in student placement in internships and other job opportunities for students who participate in programs affiliated with the centers. Additionally, I will measure my own success by how well the individual centers establish their permanence and weave themselves into the greater fabric of the law school.

How do you feel to be working alongside your former teachers as one of their colleagues?

I feel honored and privileged to have this opportunity. These are people I look up to and whose work I admire greatly, and I intend to learn as much I can from their expertise while collaborating with them on projects for the centers.

How did your education or clinical experiences at the College of Law prepare you to take on this kind of responsibility?

My experiences at the College of Law most definitely helped prepare me to take on this kind of responsibility. Law school exposed me to new ways of thinking and to new approaches toward problem solving, and the classes I took over the years continually reinforced this skill building. My experiences with the Civil Clinic and Pro Bono Initiative taught me the value of being a good listener and a zealous advocate. My experience on the Jessup International Moot Court team strengthened my self-disciple and honed my analytical skills. And finally, my experience as the student director of Professor Amos Guiora’s annual Counterterrorism simulation reinforced the important benefits of strong teamwork and collaboration when working with others toward a common goal. Developing these skills has prepared me to tackle increasingly expansive projects and has given me the confidence to do so.

Any final thoughts?

 If anyone reading this has thoughts or suggestions about the new centers, please don’t hesitate to contact me!