April 22, 2024

Faculty of Law announces Class of 2024 award winners

Three awards were handed out at the annual grad banquet April 20
Joel Tallerico

Joel Tallerico, JD/MBA'24

Campbell McLaurin Achievement Award 

This award, representing outstanding achievement by a graduating student, is presented annually to the graduating student who has not only achieved high academic standing, but who has also made a significant contribution to the life of the Law School during the three years of the Juris Doctor degree.

The 2024 winner is Joel Tallerico, JD/MBA'24

Joel was an active member of the Society for Law Students (SLS) from the beginning of his law school journey. He was the 1L representative, followed by the VP Finance in his second year while completing MBA courses. Joel then served as SLS president for two consecutive years, bringing back many popular events that were put on hold during the pandemic, and creating a new VP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Joel was also instrumental in creating the SLS Wellbeing Committee, the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee, and the SLS Lounge Committee.

"Joel is one of the most involved students I have ever met. He is willing to help out anyone in any way, shape, or form that he can."

Joel was also a staunch advocate for student mental health, and as the Chair of the SLS Wellbeing Committee he introduced regular surveys on student mental health, established “No Stress November” which provided students with a number of events to help reduce stress including Spin with Fasken, Yoga with BLG, Lunch Hour Meditation, and a speaker series on building resiliency. Joel also worked on the creation of the UCalgary Law Connects program using the Ten Thousand Coffees platform to create stronger bonds between students of different years.

"Joel has worked hard to make law school an inclusive, fun, and enjoyable experience for all his classmates. Law school is only three years, a very short time in the span of life. He hopes he was able to help students make positive memories and have an enjoyable experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives."

Chyna Brown

Chyna Brown, JD'24

Dean Mike Wylie Social Responsibility Award

The Social Responsibility Award honours a graduating student who has made a significant contribution to the understanding or resolution of social or human rights issues while acquiring his/her legal education at the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary, including:  

  • making the public aware of human rights abuses;
  • helping to resolve human rights problems;
  • furthering equality of disadvantaged minorities, and/or;
  • human rights advocacy.

The 2024 winner is Chyna Brown, JD'24

Chyna has done phenomenal work both at the University of Calgary and nationally in promoting and advocating for greater inclusion of black students in law school and the broader legal community. Chyna served as the VP Events of the Calgary Chapter of the Black Law Student Association and served as the National Director of Communications for the BLSA. She served for two years on the Society of Law Students, and was the second ever VP Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and worked closely with the Faculty's EDI committee on EDI issues impacting students. Chyna was the SLS 3L rep, and helped organize orientation for first-year students and the grad banquet for third-year students. 

"Chyna has used her time in law school to further the equality of disadvantaged minorities, particularly in law school and the legal profession."

Ryan Morstad

Ryan Morstad, JD'24

Grant McKibben Prize

This prize, in honor and memory of a highly popular member of our first graduating class, is presented to "a graduating student who epitomizes the energy and spirit of the Calgary Law School community."

The 2024 winner is Ryan Morstad, JD'24

"Ryan is inquisitive, passionate, and always willing to lend his classmates a helping hand."

While in law school, Ryan worked as a caseworker with Student Legal Assistance (SLA), was a member of the SLS Trial Division, and the SLS Outreach Coordinator. During his time in SLA, Ryan built a niche for himself in residential tenancy files, and never hesitated to lend other caseworkers a hand with their residential tenancy files. Ryan served for two years as the VP Finance with the Society of Law Students, increasing sponsorship opportunities and helping to manage the books. Ryan was a Foundations tutor, which is critical for supporting new students as they begin their law school journey. 

"Everyone knows Ryan as a positive guy and leader amongst our students, he is always willing to lend a helping hand and to advocate for our student body. Ryan is very deserving of this award for his dedication and promotion of UCalgary Law."