NAPLA - The Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors


The NAPLA Nomination Committee 2020-2021 is honored to present the following slate of Executive Board and At-Large Board positions.

NAPLA Nominations Committee: Recommended Executive Board – 2021
  • President: Phillip Mink (George Mason University)
  • 1st Vice President: Lauren Dropkin (Brandeis University)
  • 2nd Vice President: Alex Jablonski (Binghamton University)
  • Treasurer: Heather Frederick (Slippery Rock University)
  • Secretary: Tianna Ransom (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))
  • Communication Coordinator: Michelle Yingling (University of Pittsburgh)
Slate of Self Nominations for At-Large Board Positions – 2021
  • Scott Boddery (Gettysburg College)
  • Christina Butler (Villanova University)
  • Monica De Jesus (New York University)
  • Greg Shaffer (University of Maryland)
  • Marcus Thomas (University of Hartford)

Associate Member Candidate (non-voting Law School Representative)

  • Michelle Heck (University of Richmond School of Law)

    BIOS of Recommended NAPLA Executive Board Members

    President: Phillip Mink (George Mason University)

    Phillip Mink is Director of Pre-Law Advising in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is also Director of the Patriot Pre-Law Program, an assistant professor in the Schar School, and an assistant professor in the School of Business. Professor Mink advises a diverse group of students at Mason, including many underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students. Because of his background in writing, Professor Mink specializes in helping his pre-law students perfect their personal and diversity statements. Prior to his work at Mason, Professor Mink was director of the Legal Professional Preparatory Program at the University of Delaware and an assistant professor in English and Legal Studies. He was also the university’s primary pre-law advisor. Professor Mink’s main research interest is the methods used to teach legal writing, and he has presented papers on the topic before the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisers, the Association for Business Communication, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication. He joined the Board of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors in 2017, and by participating in this organization he has become a far more effective resource for his students.

    1st Vice President: Lauren Dropkin (Brandeis University) 

    Lauren Dropkin practiced family law for 13 years in Chicago before transitioning to her current roles at Brandeis University. While Lauren servesas a general career counselor, she specializes in advising students who are considering a career in law, as well as those who seek to continue their education in other types of graduate school programs. In addition to her role at the Hiatt Career Center, Lauren is a teaching fellow for the Legal Studies Department. She is also very active in the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors (NAPLA), currently serving as the 2nd Vice President on the Executive Board and as NAPLA representative on the PLANC strategic planning committee. Lauren has run the mentorship program for several NAPLA Conferences and has presented on writing personal statements and other essays as well as on Letters of Recommendation.

    2nd Vice President: Alex Jablonski (Binghamton University)

    Alex Jablonski currently serves as NAPLA Secretary. He earned his Master's in History from Binghamton University in 2013 and, after some time as a general advisor, assumed his current position as pre-law advisor in 2017. He has been an active member of NAPLA since 2018, first as a member of the planning committee for the 2019 conference and then, beginning in Fall 2019, as a member of the board.

    Treasurer: Heather Frederick (Slippery Rock University)

    Dr. Heather Frederick received her PhD in political science from West Virginia University and her BA from Hollins University where she majored in Philosophy and Communications with a minor in women’s studies. She regularly teaches courses in American Government, including The Presidency and American National Government. Dr. Frederick also serves as the Prelaw Program Coordinator for the university and offers courses in The Courts, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and Constitutional Law. She is known by her students as a fun and informative lecturer, and by her upper-level majors as a tough, demanding, and thorough professor. She has taught at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania since 2004. She has been a member of NAPLA since 2011, has served on the NAPLA board since 2018, and is actively engaged in research to aid prelaw advisors, regularly and often presenting at NAPLA conferences.

    Secretary: Tianna Ransom (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))

    Tianna Ransom is the Assistant Director of Career Exploration at MIT and serves as the liaison for the Social Impact, Policy, and Law Career Pathway for First-Year Undergraduate through PhD students and recent alumni. She is the staff advisor for the MIT Pre-Law Society and manages career exploration initiatives for the Institute. Tianna has led and collaborated on multiple DEI efforts at MIT and has presented on DEI at four regional and national conferences. She has been involved in NAPLA events since beginning her role as a Pre-Law Advisor in 2018.

    Communications Coordinator: Michelle Yingling (University of Pittsburgh)

    Michelle Yingling currently serves as Communications Coordinator. She has been a pre-law advisor at the University of Pittsburgh for the past seven years where she advises students on all aspects of the pre-law process including applying to law school. Michelle has served on the conference planning committee for the conferences in Pittsburgh, North Haven (Quinnipiac) and Boston and has presented at many of the past NAPLA and PLANC conferences. She has a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Carlow University and currently works in the Career Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

    BIOS of NAPLA At-Large Board Candidates

    Scott Boddery (Gettysburg College) 
    Scott Boddery is a political science professor and pre-law advisor at Gettysburg College.  He joined Gettysburg College in 2017 after spending several years at Davidson College as a visiting professor. Scott is also the editor of The Law Journal of the Liberal Arts, which aims to cultivate undergraduate legal scholarship from students throughout the country. He writes extensively for both academic and popular audiences. His Supreme Court commentary been published in Politico, the Washington Post, and the USA Today, among others outlets. His scholarship—which focuses on judicial behavior, legal decision making, and court legitimacy—has appeared in a wide array of peer-reviewed publications and has been cited in political science, economics, and law journals, including the Harvard Law Review. Scott is committed to liberal arts education and seeks to prepare students for a lifetime of active citizenship and to help them achieve careers in law, public policy, and government service. Scott lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Sara Anne, and their three English Labradors.

    Christina Butler (Villanova University) 
    Christina Butler serves as the Assistant Director for Career Development & Pre-Law Advising at Villanova University since August 2018. She serves all students and alumni in a career-counseling capacity, as well as works directly with international students, but most of her time is dedicated to pre-law advising. Christina advises applicants on the law school application process, hosts numerous events, manages the pre-law newsletter, and hosts the Villanova Law School Fair which attracts 60+ law schools. She also is the advisor to Villanova's Pre-Law Society, Black Pre-Law Student Association, and Mock Trial team. Additionally, Christina teaches a professional development pre-law course every Spring. Before working at Villanova, Christina worked at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA for over 3 years as a career counselor and marketing specialist. She holds an M.S. in Higher Education Counseling from West Chester University and an NCC certification (National Certified Counselor), along with a B.A. in English from Penn State University, and she will complete her Organizational Development certificate in Human Resource Development at Villanova University in Spring 2022. Christina lives in West Chester, PA with her husband and German Shepherd.

    Monica De Jesus (New York University) 
    Monica De Jesus (she/her) serves as an Assistant Director of Preprofessional Advising at NYU's College of Arts and Science where, among other duties, she advises prelaw students on questions related to the law school application process, and plans events and programs that enhance the academic journey of prelaw students. Monica has been a part of NAPLA for 6 years, and holds a certificate in DEI and in Inclusive Leadership. She's an active member of the NYC Bar Association, Diversity Pipelines Committee, and has presented at conferences hosted by the New York City Bar Association, the Northeast Association of Prelaw Advisors, and the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals. Before working in NYU, Monica worked as an instructor at Boricua College, a small non-traditional college in New York City. She also practiced law as a litigation associate at a large firm in Puerto Rico and is admitted to practice in Puerto Rico, New York, and the District of Columbia. She received her Bachelor's and her Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Laws from Columbia University Law School.

    Greg Shaffer (University of Maryland) 
    Greg Shaffer currently serves as the Associate Director of Pre-Law Advising at the University of Maryland, where he has been the pre-law advisor for 17 years. Greg attended Maryland as an undergraduate, later completing a law degree at Notre Dame. He practiced corporate law for 5 years before returning to his alma mater. Greg has been part of NAPLA for 15 years and previously served on numerous NAPLA conference planning committees, as well as several terms on the Board. After a short time away, he is excited at the prospect of returning to the Board and contributing his experience, institutional knowledge, and connections within the law school admissions community to further the goals of an organization that has meant so much to his personal and professional development.

    Marcus Thomas (University of Hartford) 
    Marcus Thomas is an educator and entertainment attorney. During his 25-year career, he has maintained an entertainment law practice and held in-house positions with a major record label, major-affiliated music publisher and the nation's largest education music print publisher. Thomas serves as Associate Professor, Chair of Music and Performing Arts Management at the University of Hartford. He’s the pre-law advisor for The Hartt School and The Hartford Art School. Thomas teaches Pre-Law I and II, Entertainment Law, Artist Management, and Music Publishing. Thomas was a Governor for the Recording Academy’s Atlanta chapter and on Atlantis Music Conference’s Urban Advisory Board. He’s been a participating member of the Georgia Music Industry Association, MusiCares, the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association, and NAMM Generation Next.

    BIOS of Associate Member Candidate (non-voting Law School Representative)

    Michelle Heck (University of Richmond School of Law) 
    Michelle Heck is the Associate Dean of admissions at the University of Richmond School of Law. Prior to joining Richmond Law in 2019, she spent 13 years as the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Missouri School of Law, where she worked in admission, financial aid, and student services. She earned her BS in marketing from Union University and her MA in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri. During her time in law school admissions, she has served as Vice President and President of the Midwest Alliance for Law School Admissions (MALSA) and on the Planning Committees for the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors (MAPLA) and MINK Law Day (a law fair sponsored by the law schools in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas). In her participation with the Law School Admission Council, she has served on the Annual Meeting and Educational Conference Planning Work Group, Services and Programs Committee, and Information Systems Division Advisory Group, as well as on many forum panels. She has served as well as chaired the New Admission Personnel and Faculty Members Workshop Planning Work Group.

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