Student interviews Syrian refugees, alumna's journey to Capitol Hill: ASU Law Case File highlights

April 25, 2016

The ASU Law Case File looks at the accomplishments of students, faculty and alumni of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Arizona State University. Student Laila Ikram-Alkahlout traveled to Jordan to interview Syrian refugees, professors Rhett Larson and Erik Luna were named Fulbright Scholars, and the moving story of U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s journey from homelessness to Capitol Hill highlight this issue.


Laila Ikram-Alkahlout (JD Candidate) traveled to Jordan to interview Syrian refugees for a course paper. Ikram-Alkahlout, a Law Science & Technology scholar, assessed the impact of law and technology on the lives of refugees, while reflecting on the current state of affairs and what is lacking from a regulation, policy and technology perspective.   Laila Ikram-Alkahlout ASU Law student Laila Ikram-Alkahlout traveled to Jordan to interview Syrian refugees for a course paper. Download Full Image

Keelah Williams (Joint JD/PhD Psychology Candidate), a Law Science & Technology scholar, was part of a group that recently published its research on stereotypes in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In “Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes,” Williams and his co-researchers conducted a series of five studies examining the stereotypes people hold about individuals who live in resource-poor and unpredictable (“desperate”) environments, as compared with those who live in resource-sufficient and predictable (“hopeful”) environments.

The student team of Lisa Bivens, Nicole Metzgar-Schall, Ethan Bernardone, Kaitlyn Carr, Derek Flint, Daniel O’Connor, Lauren Shapiro and Racheal White Hawk finished first at the 10th annual Michael Thorsnes International Arbitration Pre-Moot Competition at the University of San Diego. The team beat Stanford in the final to take first place. The Vis program is led by professor Charles Calleros and ASU Law adjunct professor Mark Nadeau, who is the managing partner at the Phoenix office of DLA Piper. The team was coached in San Diego by ASU Law and Vis alum Gayathiri Shanmuganatha.


Professor Paul Bender was featured in an article in the Arizona Republic about Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey seeking authority to cut costs without the Legislature's approval. Professor Bender spoke on-air to Phoenix radio station KJZZ 91.5 on how the short-handed U.S. Supreme Court could affect Arizona cases. He was quoted again in an Arizona Republic article on his thoughts on newly appointed Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick. Bender was quoted in The Guardian for his take on an Arizona state senator’s proposed bill to restrict recording videos of police.

Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee spoke at the 41st Annual Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference. Ferguson-Bohnee reflected on the Supreme Court’s Indian law decisions of the past decade and the lasting impact of those decisions moving forward. In addition, Ferguson-Bohnee was a guest on Native America Calling to discuss the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Native Youth.

Professor Dan Bodansky was interviewed by KUOW 94.9 in Seattle on the Paris Climate Summit. The conversation focused primarily on the topic of offsetting carbon emissions.

Professor Sarah Buel wrote an article featured on titled, “Let’s Talk About It: 10 reasons a survivor may not be able to leave an abuser.”

Professor Adam Chodorow wrote a commentary for Slate on Donald Trump’s tax returns, analyzing what might (or might not) be in them. Chodorow also wrote an article for the Conversation that looks at bitcoin’s biggest threat. He was also interviewed by Inc. Magazine on how taxes may doom ISIS. In addition, Chodorow was quoted in a New York Times piece on corporate inversion.

Professor Bob Clinton offered his analysis of how the U.S. Supreme Court will function following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a Cronkite News article.

Professor James G. Hodge Jr.’s research on the Zika virus outbreak has been featured in many media outlets: a Public Health: Behind the Scenes podcast, the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the JURIST, the Journal of Disaster Management and Public Health Preparedness, and JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. Hodge was also interviewed by FORTUNE magazine how employers use data on employee pregnancies for future budget analysis, and co-wrote an article for Preventing Chronic Conditions on legal regulation of sodium consumption.

Professor Rhett Larson has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar. He will be teaching International Water Law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito. He will also be pursuing a research project on Ecuador’s constitutional right to water. Larson will be evaluating how courts and agencies interpret the state and water systems’ obligations under the new constitutional right to water, and how the private system in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and the public system in Quito compare in their approach to meeting those obligations. He will also be researching the treaty regime governing how the countries of the Amazon River basin share rights to the river.

Professor Erik Luna will be the Fulbright-University of Birmingham Distinguished Chair for 2016-17. While in residence at the University of Birmingham, he will conduct an in-depth comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of the role that Anglo-American law has played in creating communities of suspects, and its ultimate impact on the “rights of Englishmen” that explicitly or implicitly underpin the British and American frameworks of law. His project will look at law, law-in-action and societal impacts, as well as feed into a broader theoretical discussion in order to provide a rich dialogue on the enactment of counterterrorism laws, their implementation and effect on particular communities, and the consequences for fundamental rights. 

Professor Robert Miller was a guest on Native America Calling in which he spoke about a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving tribal courts and civil lawsuits on non-Native-owned businesses. Miller was also the keynote speaker at the Kai hiku, kai upoko Tribal Economic Wananga conference at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Professor Troy Rule was quoted in a Government Technology article regarding recent legislation on drone zoning that was approved through the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He was also quoted in USA Today in an article looking at state laws and federal drone policy. He also hosted a lecture at Vanderbilt University titled, “Property and Renewable Energy: Conflicts in Development.”

Professor Michael Saks was recognized in a Harvard University blog as having the most-cited tort law article in the past 25 years. The article is called “Do We Really Know Anything About the Behavior of the Tort Litigation System — And Why Not.”

Professor Rodney Smith wrote a column published in USA Today on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s temperament and how it will impact the outcome of the election.          

Professor Rebecca Tsosie spoke at the 41st Annual Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference on climate change and how it is negatively impacting tribal lands and resources. She was also part of a panel at the 20th annual Tribal Law & Government Conference at the University of Kansas, where she discussed the legal issues surrounding the use of images of American Indians as sports mascots. In addition, Tsosie was named to the board of directors of the ASU American Indian Policy Institute.

Professor James Weinstein was quoted in the Associated Press article, “Hate speech and free speech: Establishing a line can be challenging for prosecutors.”



Susan Goodwin (JD ’77) has joined Gust Rosenfeld’s Public Law Group. She will advise Arizona cities and towns on land use, planning and zoning, construction law, employment law, elections, open-meeting law, public records and procurement.

Benjamin Hanley (JD ’71) was an award recipient at the 17th annual Indian Legal Program Alumni & Friends Awards Ceremony.

Les Schiefelbein (JD ’71) was named one of the world’s leading technology arbitrators and mediators. He was honored with this selection by the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center, which recognized his expertise in resolving technology-sector commercial matters to include corporate, intellectual property and aviation, and aerospace.

James Tanner (JD ’75) co-wrote the book “Southern States: Research Guide,” published in January 2016. The book informs the reader on Southern states’ research and sources, old-style handwriting, strategies, and locating and using records to identify ancestors.


Alan Bayless Feldman (JD ’88) was named a new partner in Steptoe & Johnson’s Phoenix offices. He focuses his practice on labor relations and employment law. At ASU Law, he was a Pedrick Scholar and notes and comment editor for Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology.

Robert Kramer (JD ’88) was named Fennemore Craig’s first chief talent officer. Kramer will oversee attorney recruitment, professional development, and retention. He is a member of the executive council for the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona. He is also a member of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Blake Whiteman (JD 82) joined Jennings, Haug & Cunningham. Whiteman’s practice focuses primarily in business disputes, construction and commercial litigation, including breach of contract claims, reputation management, and commercial leases. 


Tom DelRosario (JD ’99) joined Cantor Colburn as an associate at its Houston office. Cantor Colburn LLP is one of the largest full-service intellectual property law firms in the country.

Brian Myers (JD ’92) joined Jennings, Haug & Cunningham. He has represented numerous financial institutions and equipment leasing companies in actions to recover equipment and other assets/collateral through the use of pre-judgment Orders of Replevin, coordinating with the U.S. Marshall’s Office and various county sheriff’s offices across Arizona.

Amy Brandt Schumacher (JD ’97) was added to New Penn Financial’s Senior Leadership Team. She will serve in a new role focused on aligning the New Penn customer experience with its technology. She will be responsible for overseeing all three business distribution channels (Call Center/Direct, Distributed & JV Retail, and Third Party Originations) and its Information Technology group.


Leila Barraza (JD ’08) has joined the Esperança board of directors. Esperança provides volunteer surgical missions, health education, training of community health workers, home building, clean-water projects, micro enterprise, agricultural development, dental treatment and prevention programs, and sends donated medical equipment and supplies to project sites around the world.

Liz Medicine Crow (05) was a keynote speaker at the Kai hiku, kai upoko Tribal Economic Wananga conference at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Charles Galbraith (JD ’06) was an award recipient at the 17th annual Indian Legal Program Alumni & Friends Awards Ceremony.

Jon Howard (JD ’08) was appointed to the executive committee of the Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC). WESTMARC is a public-private partnership of the 15 communities, the business community and the educational sector in the West Valley of Greater Phoenix.

Tonya K. MacBeth (JD ’05) has been appointed shareholder in the firm at Burch & Cracchiolo. Burch & Cracchiolo focuses on areas of business and corporate law, construction, insurance defense, personal injury, estate and wealth preservation planning, family law, finance, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and taxation.

Michelle Ogborne (JD ’08) was honored as a top family attorney by the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA). Ogborne, a founding partner of Phoenix-based Ogborne Law, was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” Family Law Attorneys in Arizona for 2016.

Miguel Prietto (JD ’08) was elected president of the Associate Board of the Orange County Bar Foundation for 2016. Prietto is an associate of Archer Norris, a leading California law firm. The Orange County Bar Foundation’s mission is to keep at-risk youth out of jail, in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring and family-strengthening.

Matt Seider (JD ’01) of Re/Max Alliance Group has earned Certified New Home Specialist (CNHS) and Residential Construction Certified (RCC). The CNHS and RCC designations are recognized as the premier real estate certifications representing professionalism in working with new home buyers and residential home builders.

Kyrsten Sinema (JD ’04) was featured in the Arizona Republic article, “The congresswoman who grew up in a gas station.” The article highlighted U.S. Rep. Sinema’s journey from homelessness to earning a PhD, a JD and an office on Capitol Hill.

Phyllis Smiley (JD ’00) has joined Gust Rosenfeld’s Public Law Group. She will advise Arizona cities and towns on land use, planning and zoning, construction law, employment law, elections, open meeting law, public records and procurement.

Marki Stewart (JD ’06) is a newly elected member to Dickinson Wright’s Phoenix office. Stewart focuses her practice on health-care law, appellate law, family law, and litigation. She is a member of the Arizona State Bar and the Oregon State Bar. She is also a member of the boards of director for Susan G. Komen of Arizona and Mountain Park Health Center, and is a member of the Corporate Counsel Advisory Committee at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Trish Stuhan (JD ’09) has joined Gust Rosenfeld’s Public Law Group. She will advise Arizona cities and towns on land use, planning and zoning, construction law, employment law, elections, open meeting law, public records and procurement.

Jerod Tufte (JD ’02) announced his candidacy for the North Dakota Supreme Court. Tufte was appointed to the Southeast Judicial Bench in 2014. Before that, he served as legal counsel for three years. He has worked in private practice, as a state’s attorney in Kidder and Sheridan counties, and as a law clerk with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He’s also served as a judge advocate in the North Dakota Army National Guard.


Robert Clarke (JD ’15) has joined the Esperança board of directors. Esperança provides volunteer surgical missions, health education, training of community health workers, home building, clean-water projects, micro enterprise, agricultural development, dental treatment and prevention programs, and sends donated medical equipment and supplies to project sites around the world.

Hal Cohen (JD ’14) joined Resnick & Louis, a Scottsdale-based law firm, as an associate. He focuses his practice on insurance defense, personal injury litigation, construction defect, general civil litigation, and first-party defense.

Krystal Delgado (JD ’13) has been representing clients in the entertainment industry and recently launched her own firm, Delgado Entertainment Law. The firm works with musicians, artists, filmmakers and other entertainers to negotiate deals, review contracts, and handle copyrights and trademarks.

Dallin Maybee (JD ’11) was named the chief operating officer of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He is an award-winning artist, international performer and lecturer. Maybee’s work is in several public and private collections worldwide including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Adam Saylor (JD ’14) has joined the Legacy Capitol Advisors team as a senior analyst. Saylor will be responsible for analyzing potential deals, presenting loan requests to lenders, and managing the loan process from securing quotes to closing the loan.

Sarah Staudinger (JD ’15) joins Jones, Skelton & Hochuli as an associate. Staudinger focuses her practice on general civil litigation and insurance defense, construction litigation, and automobile liability defense.

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law


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'Vehicle of Resistance'

ASU student on a two-wheeled mission through 15 Indian reservations.
Selfless acts, surprise friendships on the road part of the joys of the journey.
April 25, 2016

ASU master's student rides his bicycle around 15 Indian reservations to spread the word about indigenous history

Kenny Dyer-Redner is somewhere in the wilds of Nevada’s Indian country, and he’s spinning his wheels.

No, he’s not taking a break from his studies at Arizona State University. Dyer-Redner is on a two-wheeled mission.

The American Indian StudiesThe American Indian Studies Program is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. student is speaking about indigenous history as part of his master’s thesis and touring 15 Indian reservations in 34 days on a bike. He’s hoping to inspire youth and other community members to make their own history.

“As American Indian people, we are taught to think about history from a Western point of view. Too often American Indians accept this,” said Dyer-Redner, who is about three-quarters finished with his 34-day bike ride, which will encompass approximately 1,000 miles in and around northern Nevada.

“Most people think that stories and storytelling are powerful. I argue that stories have the power to shape our thoughts, consciousness and even our actions. I urge people to begin a process of engaging in physical activity and intellectual reflection.”

Dyer-Redner’s thesis, “Vehicle of Resistance: A Bicycle Ride for the Land, Culture and Community,” uses a theoretical framework that explores four concepts: history/land, storytelling, the physical body and political action.

ASU master's student Kenny Dyer Redner with a class of Native students

Kenny Dyer-Redner
visits students
on the reservations
he's biking through.

Photo courtesy
of Dyer-Redner

He’s putting to the test a theory he called “Active Indigenous Presence,” which argues that a presence of indigenous thought, voice and physical body disrupts and introduces the concept of decolonization and self-determination.

“At one time this country was all indigenous land, and right now we’re all separated on different reservations,” Dyer-Redner said. “We might be scattered, but there’s indigenous people everywhere and they’re very supportive. They are showing me that we are all one big community.”

Those kinds of life lessons are inspiring and the epitome of use-inspired research, said Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, director of the Center for Indian Education and ASU’s Special Advisor to the President on American Indian Affairs.

“Kenny’s thesis project is remarkable in that he is, quite literally, embodying his scholarship. I suspect he will learn a great deal about himself as he braves the elements and tells his story,” Brayboy said. “Young boys and girls in communities will see that Native peoples can be thoughtful and serious scholars, generous people and engaged community members.”

The 34-year-old master’s student is fully engaged at the moment; he rides his bike 50-70 miles a day and sleeps in a tent at night. He said it helps him to connect with the land and the people.

“I purposely chose a bike because it’s not as quick as a vehicle and it forces me to get to know the landscape more intimately,” said Dyer-Redner. “There’s no way I’d be able to do that driving by in a car really fast.”

Riding a bike at 4,000-feet elevation can have its drawbacks, said Dyer-Redner. He has endured rain, severe wind, snow, and on a couple of occasions, hail. But that’s nothing compared with the sacrifices he made before taking off for Nevada earlier this month. He quit his job as a stocker at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in west Phoenix and had to get the blessing of his wife and two kids, ages 15 and 2, to fulfill his thesis.

But Dyer-Redner is quickly acquiring a new support system while on the road, thanks to a social-media post by longtime pal Derek Hinkey, who announced Dyer-Redner’s academic sojourn. News of his arrival has caught on with the locals, as well as an Elko, Nevada, TV station, who recently filed a story.

“When I come to a reservation, people either have heard of me or know I’m coming,” said Dyer-Redner. “I’ve even had people pull me over on the side of the road and say, ‘Hey, you’re that guy!’ People feed me, have hosted me in their homes and are showing they care.”

In return, Dyer-Redner speaks to youth groups, high school and college students, community members and elders about his life on the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Indian Reservation. He speaks honestly about some of the obstacles he faced in his youth — racism, loneliness and some self-destructive behavior when he turned 12. He said athleticsDyer-Redner played football and basketball and was recruited by several colleges. He was a champion boxer on the club level at the University of Nevada, Reno. gave him the discipline to turn his life around and that education is helping to shape his future.

“Everybody can relate to my story because growing up I was very shy and passive, your typical res kid,” Dyer-Redner said. “I was a good athlete, and that gave me the confidence I needed to overcome my shyness. But some of these kids are dealing with challenges I didn’t face.”

Some of those challenges include poverty, substance abuse, isolation, unemployment and lack of basic resources, including law enforcement.

“There are some reservations that don’t even have their own police departments or rely on Bureau of Indian Affairs — but they don’t really enforce the law that much,” Dyer-Redner said. “Many drugs are being sold out of houses in plain sight but nothing’s being done. When that happens, things get skewed.”

Dyer-Redner said it’s not all gloom and doom. He’s also witnessing the other side of humanity — selfless acts, good deeds and surprise friendships on the road. They include: Bird from Lovelock, Nevada, who teaches underserved youth traditional Paiute songs; Pete, an 82-year-old man who is walking across the United States and who stopped to share his story; and Deb, who heard about Dyer-Redner through Facebook and posed for a selfie at a Native American landmark at Pyramid Lake, 40 miles northeast of Reno.

Dyer-Redner is keeping a daily journal and recording his trip using a GoPro camera. His thesis will include these mediums as well as the many lessons he is learning along the way.

“I feel like I’ve definitely changed,” said Dyer-Redner, who wants to host a weeklong creative writing workshop for youth in the area in the future. “I feel more humble and possess a stronger sense of community. I feel like I’ve achieved great things as an individual, but it’s no longer about that.

“I’m part of a community, and now I have a responsibility to them.”