Friday, July 25, 2014

Celebrating our LL.M. Faculty: Visiting Professor Nicole Civita

When Global Campus agreed to support our development of a distance track for the LL.M. Program, the first position that they funded was for course development.  This position was designed to develop distance courses for the LL.M. Program -  some based on our current classes and some new ones.  We were fortunate to have Nicole Civita available, as her skills were perfectly matched to the job. She had just graduated from the LL.M. Program, with stellar performance. She has excellent practice experience with large firms in New York and California, and an impressive academic background (Columbia University, Georgetown Law, Order of the Coif).

Over the last year, she has worked closely with Global Campus, developing a keen sense for the pedagogy of distance learning and applying it to the unique challenges of legal education. She has worked with us to help us begin converting our classes to a style and format that retains its face-to-face component but also will work well for our distance students. It's safe to say that there is a lot more to this than I realized, and the help from Nicole and Global Campus has been greatly appreciated.

In addition, Nicole designed from the ground up two of our most exciting new offerings: Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Law & Policy.

Before she began her distance education duties, Nicole jumped in to take the lead on the Food Recovery Project, funded by the Women's Giving Circle.  She authored Food Recovery:  A Legal Guide, which is now circulating, literally around the country, as businesses try to develop food waste reduction plans that recover food while protecting themselves from legal liability.  She has continued to take the lead on this project, serving as an advisor to the UA student group, Razorback Food Recovery. She was a plenary speaker at the national Food Recovery Network conference in Chicago, and now serves on the advisory board of that association. The Food Recovery Project and Nicole's work on it have extended and enhanced our national reputation, promoting both our face-to-face program and our new distance program.

On urban agriculture, Nicole worked closely with local leaders in evaluating the regulatory framework here in Fayetteville, helping to craft sensible urban agriculture ordinances. She co-authored a chapter on urban agricultural issues for an upcoming ABA book and spoke at an ABA sponsored urban agriculture conference in North Carolina. She will be teaching our first Urban Agriculture class this fall as part of the LL.M. curriculum open to JD enrollment. It was designed with the help of our Global Campus partners and will be presented with a flipped model of instruction.

Nicole’s article for her LL.M. writing requirement, Agrarians Feeding Communities: Reconnecting Federal Farm Policy and Nutrition Assistance For a More Just Agri-food System is about to be published in the Summer 2014 issue of the Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review.

All of this while balancing the birth of her second child last October.  .  .

I am pleased to report that Global Campus funded an additional year for Nicole's position, helping us to continue to build our curriculum and enhance the reputation of our Program.  She will be working with us and with each of our adjunct/visiting professors on course design and implementation while also helping us to promote the Program.

We appreciate Nicole's hard work and all that she has brought to the LL.M. Program and the law school.

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