2014 "Constitution Project" winners to receive fellowships

23 October 2014

2014 "Constitution Project" winners to receive fellowships

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Three dozen students will be selected from among those competing statewide in the 2014 Constitution Project to receive the first-ever Constitution Fellowships in the disciplines of crime scene investigation, journalism and trial advocacy, the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Committee on Civic Education announced today. One outstanding student from each field from each school competing this year will be declared a Constitution Fellow.

“The Constitution Project is unique in its ability to immerse students in learning about the importance of the constitution in their lives,” said Supreme Court Judge Patricia Breckenridge, chair of the Court’s civic education committee. “Regardless of who wins the statewide championship, there are winners at every level of this competition. The new Constitution Fellowships allow us to honor outstanding students from every competing school and give them an invaluable opportunity for special exposure to and instruction from experts in their chosen disciplines.”

Constitution Fellows in journalism will spend a day at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism; fellows in crime scene investigation will spend a day at the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s crime lab in Jefferson City; and fellows in trial advocacy will spend a day at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. Along with these organizations, the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg also is a co-sponsor of the new Constitution Fellowships.

“I am so honored and thankful for the wonderful support of the University of Missouri, the highway patrol and the University of Central Missouri,” said Texas County Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston, founder and leader of The Constitution Project. “It is so rewarding to see how willing these professionals have been in stepping forward, asking how they can help continue to foster these students’ interest in our criminal justice system. I am really excited for the students’ fellowship opportunities, which I believe will become a highlight of their Constitution Project experience.”

Now in its second year statewide, the Constitution Project is an intensive, hands-on competition that engages students in investigating a mock crime scene, reporting about the crime and processing the resulting case as it progresses through the system, culminating in a mock trial – all under the mentorship of local professionals in the fields of crime scene investigation, journalism and trial advocacy. This year, 12 schools in three regions in the state are competing for the opportunity to advance to the state championships, which will be held November 12 in Jefferson City.