North Central College - Naperville, IL

Mock Trial team advances to national tournament

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307,

Feb. 22, 2010—Students from North Central College’s Mock Trial team will sharpen their critical thinking and public speaking skills and knowledge of legal practices by competing in the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) national tournament March 12-14 in Waukegan. Top finishers from the opening round advance to the National Championship Tournament April 16-18 in Memphis, Tenn.

North Central’s Mock Trial team advanced to national competition for the first time since 2003 by finishing tied for the third-best record (5-1-2) in the 20-team field at the AMTA’s Joliet Regional competition Feb. 20-21 at Lewis University in Romeoville. North Central finished behind teams from the University of Michigan and Loyola University Chicago and ahead of teams from the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the University of Notre Dame, Bradley University and other Midwestern colleges and universities.

Team co-captain Alyssa Rabulinski, a junior from Westmont, was recognized with a first-place outstanding attorney award and Alyssa Figueroa, a junior from Poplar Grove, Ill., was recognized as an outstanding witness. The team is rounded out by co-captain Brett Buckley, a senior from Orland Park; Jessica Branch, a junior from Chicago; Matt Grennell, a senior from Tinley Park; Colin McGowan, a senior from Woodstock; and Tanvi Potdukhe, a sophomore from Woodridge.

The North Central team’s emergence in regional competition was a surprise, since the team did not place in any of the invitational competitions this year, said Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, associate professor of political science, who coaches the Mock Trial team with Mary Constantino, an assistant state's attorney for DuPage County.

“We knew that the team had been underperforming throughout the invitational season,” Caliendo said. “In the spirit of the ‘Who Dat’ New Orleans Saints in 2009 and the ‘We Are Family’ Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979, the Cardinals have adopted a fitting moniker for their season: ‘Google Us!’”

The American Mock Trial Association has been sponsoring intercollegiate simulated trial competitions since 1985. North Central College students have participated as an extracurricular activity since 1987. Visit to learn more about AMTA.

Visit to learn more about North Central’s academic Mock Trial team, or contact Caliendo at or 630-637-5344. Academic scholarships are available for incoming students.