The North Central College Mock Trial team received several individual awards during its 2013-2014 season, October to February.
Team members performed exceptionally well, winning 11 individual awards as they competed against powerhouses such as the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and Princeton University. Their season ended with a well-fought Regional Tournament with 24 of the most competitive teams in the area.
North Central’s Mock Trial team members include seniors Jessica Connor, Tom Finnegan and Julie Mussared; juniors Sarah Cline, Christopher Danielson, Brianna Pirro, Brandon Sarkauskas and Mark Vear; sophomores Hugo Gonzalez, Samantha Guttenberg, Jacob Magyar, Katie Madel and Adam Sehr; and freshmen Brandon Kneller, Jonathan Larson and Brianna Scott.
Sarkauskas led the team with five individual awards and one Honorable Mention during the season. He received an Outstanding Attorney award during the 10-team Bradley University Tournament in October. He won the same award and an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Witness award a month later at the 20-team Lewis University Tournament. While battling Princeton University at the 30-team University of Illinois Tournament, Sarkauskas earned an Outstanding Witness award. He capped off his individual accolades by winning both an Outstanding Attorney award for the prosecution and an Outstanding Witness award for the defense at the 50-team Loras College National Invitational.
Gonzalez won two individual awards during the season. Earning a perfect score, he received an Outstanding Attorney award at the Wheaton College Tournament and an Outstanding Attorney award for the prosecution at the Loras College National Invitational.
Four other members of the College’s Mock Trial team received individual recognition. Vear won an Outstanding Witness award with a perfect score during the Wheaton College Tournament. Larson earned an Outstanding Witness award at the Bradley University Tournament. Mussared received an Honorable Mention Outstanding Witness for her contribution in the Lewis University Tournament, and Sehr took home an Outstanding Witness award on the defense at the Loras College National Invitational.
North Central’s Jennifer Fredette, assistant professor of political science, is the team’s educator-coach and Josh Bailey ’11, periodicals and electronic resources assistant, is assistant coach. Two new coaches joined the program this year: Ronald B. Kowalczyk, a partner at Kowalczyk Law Offices, P.C., and Rebecca Koper, a legal manager at Hyatt Corporation.
Mock Trial is an intercollegiate team activity that promotes critical thinking, cooperative problem-solving, public speaking and mutual trust among team members. Students have the opportunity to actively participate in the trial process. They assume the roles of both attorneys and witness while competing against other colleges and universities at tournaments. Students considering law school and careers in law are naturally encouraged to participate, but the team is open to all majors and interests. Participants can earn course credit and scholarships are available to new students.