The alumni and friends of the School of Law launched a $100,000 fundraising initiative that will further the mission of the Law School's Women, Children, and Social Justice Clinic, and honor the two women who started it, Clinical Professor Emeritus Suzanne E. Tomkins '92, co-director of the Program for Excellence in Family Law, and Catherine Cerulli '92, director of the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University of Rochester.
The Endowment Fund will continue the mission of the Clinic for years to come.
The Fellowship will fund work by a law student during the summer or academic year on a specialized advocacy project focused on intimate partner violence issues.
About Suzanne E. Tomkins
Professor Tomkins has spent much of her law school career creating, implementing and evaluating multidisciplinary responses to violence between intimates. She has developed countywide protocols throughout the region and has helped create a similar response in Ukraine through Project Harmony, a program funded by the U.S. Department of State. She presented the keynote address at the International Domestic Violence Conference in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Professor Tomkins also serves as faculty adviser to the law school's Domestic Violence Task Force, a volunteer student group that promotes awareness of domestic violence through presentations and training; advocates in Family Court on behalf of targets of domestic violence; and, offers a legal clinic for battered women in collaboration with Haven House, a local shelter, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project.
The Research Award will help fund student research relating to intimate partner violence and assist in the presentation of that research at a conference or in a publication.
About Catherine Cerulli
Dr. Cerulli has been working on issues surrounding domestic violence and child abuse for over 20 years. She earned a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University at Albany, where her doctoral dissertation addressed intimate partner homicide. Dr. Cerulli was formerly an assistant district attorney in Monroe County, N.Y., where she created a special misdemeanor domestic violence unit. She was also a consultant and conducted statewide training for criminal justice practitioners, addressing advocacy and domestic violence legislative issues.