SAB Membership List | 2020-2021
The following current competitors were selected to serve on the AMTA Student Advisory Board for the 2020-2021 competition season. Any member of the AMTA community may contact the Student Advisory Board via email.
Julian Applebaum: Sophomore
Julian (he/him) is a sophomore at Macalester College studying Political-Science and English with a concentration in Legal Studies. On the SAB, he hopes to bring his perspective of being transgender and LGBTQ+, and also work to eliminate economic barriers faced by Mock Trial competitors. Julian enjoys playing character witnesses during the Mock Trial season (#WitnessesWinRounds) and posts frequently on the "Mock Trial Memes For Salty Teams" Facebook page.
Serena Bernal: Junior
Serena Bernal is a student at the University of Michigan pursuing degrees in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience as well as History. Currently acting as one of the program captains of the Michigan Mock Trial team, Serena looks forward to advocating for and representing student run mock trial programs this year.
Faith Blank: Senior
Faith Blank is a Mathematics and Political Science double major entering into her senior year at the University of Oklahoma. As she prepares for her fourth and final season as an AMTA competitor, she is grateful for all of the incredible leaders of her team before her; when she started with the program, the team had just begun using demonstratives, yet in her junior year they earned the first ORCS bid in program history! She looks forward to working with the SAB to make the AMTA community more inclusive and to create formal supports for new and developing programs. Boomer!
Abby Branham: Sophomore
Throughout her time competing in both high school and college mock trial, Abby has had a variety of different experiences that she hopes will bring a unique perspective to the Student Advisory Board. She has competed in one-on-one competitions as well as on traditional 6-8 person teams. She’s also made the transition from being in a coached program to now being on the executive board of her student-run program at Florida State University. Abby hopes that these experiences will help her find effective ways to expand opportunities for less-supported teams, promote communication between students and AMTA, and amplify diverse voices and perspectives within the mock trial community.
Serena Desai: Junior
As a student of color, Serena is focused on making AMTA tournaments more inclusive for women, POC, and other minorities. She hopes to collaborate with the Student Advisory Board to find practical ways of increasing judge accountability, simplifying the reporting process for competitors who wish to share their tournament experiences with AMTA, and strengthening the lines of communication between AMTA and the students it serves. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Serena is also focused on helping the Board of Directors smoothly and efficiently transition to an entirely online mock trial season without losing the authenticity of the courtroom experience or the intensity of the competition we all know and love.
Colleen Falconer: Junior
Colleen Falconer is a junior at Clark University in Worcester, MA. She studies International Development & Social Change on a pre-law track, and wants to work in social justice advocacy. Colleen loves connecting the dots to turn great suggestions into concrete initiatives. As a member of SAB, she hopes to channel her passion for community-based change into creating a more equitable, accountable, and inclusive AMTA.
Travis Harper: Sophomore
Travis is a rising sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia at Harvard studying African-American Studies, Social Theory and Ethnic Studies. He is passionate about Mock Trial, an activity that has given him so much, and is excited to advocate for the BIPOC and Queer members of the AMTA community utilizing his own experience, along with his studies.
Riya Lakkaraju: Junior
Riya is currently a junior at Emory University. As a member of a student-run program, and as a minority, Riya believes it is incredibly important to promote equal access to resources for both programs as a whole, as well as marginalized competitors. Riya hopes to focus on existing inequities for both newly established and student-run programs, and improve access to resources that allow for competitive success across the AMTA circuit. Riya also hopes to draw attention to the disparities experienced by minority competitors, as well as improve minority representation within AMTA judging pools.
Fatima Lawan: Sophomore
Fatima is a Biology and Environmental Studies major at Tufts University and is passionate about addressing the ways in which different oppressive systems affect all aspects of life. In line with that, she hopes to work alongside the Student Advisory Board to make sure mock trial is a more inclusive and accessible space for BIPOC and all minority communities. She also hopes to establish more direct and consistent lines of communication between AMTA and students by encouraging social media interaction and year-round surveys.
Ashley Lo: Junior
Ashley Lo is a current junior studying Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Davis, and has been a competitor in mock trial for the last six years. She hopes to bring her experiences as an Asian-American competitor, her interests and research in promoting diversity in law and government, as well as her perspective from a student-run program to the Student Advisory Board. Her goals center around the recruitment and retention of competitors from underrepresented communities, in addition to the improvement of judge training and an emphasis on supporting the development of new programs.
Nicole Morote: Senior
Nicole is a senior from Lima, Peru, studying marketing and political philosophy at Arizona State University's honors college. She currently serves as the president of Sun Devil Mock Trial, the largest AMTA registered program in the country. Her interests include communications, advocacy, political activism, and the law, and she's excited to work toward initiatives such as expanded access to educational materials for newer mock trial programs, promoting diversity and equity within AMTA, and ensuring all students have equal access to collegiate mock trial.
Megan Munce: Junior
Megan Munce is a junior at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a second major in political science and is a third-year competitor for Northwestern Mock Trial. Megan is passionate about using social media as a tool for awareness and resource-sharing and has previously used those passions while working as an adviser for Beyond Resolved, a student-run nonprofit improving the experiences of marginalized high school speech and debate competitors through online storytelling and educational initiatives. She hopes to use her background in journalism and web development to improve AMTA's digital outreach in order to identify and prevent acts of discrimination by and against members of the AMTA community and to solicit feedback from members of underrepresented communities within AMTA to build and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ayesha Pasha: Senior
Ayesha is a senior majoring in History at Stanford University, where she is the current President of Stanford Mock Trial. Ayesha hails from Washington D.C., by way of Tokyo, Japan, and Aberdeen, Scotland, and hopes to contribute her perspective as an international competitor who discovered mock trial in college. On the SAB, Ayesha is excited to work on optimizing teams' transition to the online format in 2020-2021, and to reduce bias in scoring by recruiting diverse judging panels and developing implicit bias training.
Traelon Rodgers: Senior
Traelon Rodgers is a rising 3rd year Urban Studies and Public Policy Major at Dillard University, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He plans to help bring a unique perspective centered around social justice and civil rights. Inclusivity and diversity is something that Traelon cares deeply about and wants bring into the mock trial arena.
Amaya Ronczyk: Junior
Amaya Ronczyk is a third-year undergraduate student at Dillard University, where she majors in Urban Studies & Public Policy and minors in Criminal Justice. As a competitor for four years, Amaya has a special relationship with mock trial that she enjoys sharing. Her experiences as a Black woman attending an HBCU have placed her in an important position for creating the changes she wants to see in AMTA. In this role, she hopes to focus her efforts on garnering more support for mock trial teams at HBCUs and making sure the concerns of her fellow competitors are met with zeal.
Sydney Selman: Senior
Sydney is a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville pursuing a major in Political Science and minors in Child & Family Studies and Women, Gender, & Sexuality. She is currently serving her second term as President of her mock trial program, where she is most passionate about mentoring new members and representing student-run teams. As a member of the Student Advisory Board, Sydney plans to focus her attention on projects aimed at reducing judging bias and making mock trial more inclusive.
Meadow Walshaw-Wertz: Senior
Meadow is excited to be a part of SAB and provide her perspective as a woman from the small, newly established program at Juniata College. Meadow looks forward to focusing my attention on reducing judging bias, increasing judging diversity, and improving transparency within the AMTA community. Meadow will strive to be an ally and advocate for all competitors.