Law student receives woman of distinction award


Third-year Wayne State University Law School student Rachel L. McDuffie of Belleville has been awarded the Woman of Distinction Student Award from the WSU President's Commission on the Status of Women.

The Nov. 2 awards reception celebrated three honorees who have demonstrated a commitment to women and/or issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. The event was presented jointly by the Wayne State University President's Commission on the Status of Women and Wayne Women LEAD.

"In the 11 years I've worked at the law school, Rachel McDuffie is one of the most exceptional students to join the incoming class. We are truly fortunate to have her in the Wayne Law community," said Wayne Law Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Felicia Thomas, who nominated McDuffie for the honor. "Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is not simply something to do or a box to be checked on a long list of accomplishments; it's a part of who she is. When she graduates next May, it will be a bittersweet moment for all of us."

An aspiring prosecutor, McDuffie is a legal intern at the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office. She also works part-time with the law school's Office of Marketing and Communications and served on the law school's Diversity Task Force. In February 2017, McDuffie established "Real Talk with Rachel," an initiative that provides prospective students with one-on-one insight into the admissions process.

McDuffie is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including Wayne Law's Damon J. Keith Scholarship. The Damon J. Keith Scholarship is available to incoming Wayne Law students who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Hispanic-serving institutions; Detroit public high schools and charter schools; and Michigan priority high schools.

Since enrolling at Wayne Law, she has worked to increase awareness of the scholarship and build a community of student and alumni awardees. Her efforts include outreach to prospective students, design of a signature keepsake pin and planning a reception with the scholarship's namesake, Judge Damon J. Keith.

McDuffie earned her master of public health degree from the University of Michigan, her bachelor's degree from Xavier University in Louisiana and is a graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

Published: Thu, Dec 07, 2017