Congratulations to Aleks Tomaszek and Evan Schryver on winning the 2020 Luke Campbell Alumni Prize.
Aleks made a major contribution to her cohort’s learning and community experiences, as well as successfully representing Oxford Brookes in mooting competitions. As President, Evan transformed the Law Society and centred it in social responsibility, and mentored another student to succeed him in the role.
Observe caught up with both Aleks and Evan, who have both now graduated in the Class of 2020, to ask them about their time at Brookes and what winning the Alumni Prize means to them.
What were the highlights of your time at Brookes?
Aleks: From having met many like-minded individuals who are sure to become life-long friends, to participating in internal and national Mooting Competitions, it is hard to narrow down my most enjoyable experiences at Brookes. Being a member of the Oxford Brookes Law Society was an immensely rewarding experience and so was being able to co-represent Undergraduate Brookes Mooters before Lord Wilson, at the Supreme Court.
Evan: During my time at Brookes, there were many seemingly small acts of compassion and kindness from my tutors that will have a lasting impact on me. Whether I would have an academic question, was seeking career advice, or wanted to know more about their field of research, my tutors would always go above and beyond to ensure I could make the most out of my time here.
What did you do at Brookes that you are most proud of?
Aleks: I am most proud of being able to contribute to the Oxford Brookes Law Society, through my positions as Vice President and Treasurer respectively. Through it, I was able to work alongside a passionate and inspirational student-lead committee, who, through incredible teamwork and strong dedication, provided vast opportunities for students at the Law School. Seeing students engage with, learn from and be motivated by events and talks we organised was very meaningful.
Evan: I was most proud of my year serving as President of the Oxford Brookes Law Society in my second year. At the start of the year, the role, as any new role can be, seemed overwhelming. However, with the help of my tutors and committee, we achieved record numbers at the Winter Law Ball, enabled the internal Mooting final to take place at the Supreme Court before Lord Wilson, hosted a wide variety of law firms, created “Brookes Bites”, which invited legal academics to discuss their research, drastically improved the Society’s financial well-being, and succeeded in fundraising activities for the Access to Justice Foundation.
With the pandemic stopping graduation ceremonies, did you do anything special to celebrate your graduation?
Aleks: Though lockdown impeded the originally planned celebrations, I was able to celebrate our graduation in my student house, with my housemates who also undertook the same course, to commemorate our achievements.
Evan: I am still yet to celebrate. During the time that we ought to have graduated, I was undertaking a summer internship with the international law firm, Osborne Clarke. That said, after the internship, and when it is safer to do so, I look forward to celebrating with coursemates in person, and hope to have an in-person graduation ceremony in 2021.
I donate to Brookes because I want to give back something to a place which has helped me so much, and to support students who are starting out along the path that I have trodden.
To support a student prize at your old department, contact the Alumni Team on firstname.lastname@example.org
How did it feel to win the Alumni prize?
Aleks: I was very pleasantly surprised by the award and I believe students greatly appreciate being recognised in this way, as it not only builds upon a student’s self-confidence but gives them the important feeling of being valued within their academic community.
Evan: My first feeling was happiness and excitement. It is nevertheless a very humbling experience; I think of those who have come before me who have made the School of Law what it is today, and I am honoured to be recognised among them. In my opinion, students are most often appreciative of such recognition, as it ensures that their hard work does not go unrecognised.
Why should alumni support student prizes?
Aleks: Being recognised maybe the necessary catalyst to inspire students to pursue something beyond their initial aspirations.
Evan: It instils and demonstrates a sense of pride in your institution, and binds past, current, and future generations to one another.
Will you miss Brookes?
Aleks: I will, without a doubt, look back on my times at Brookes very fondly and will miss people I have met through Brookes and who I have had the pleasure of going through my degree with. I am sure many will become life-long friends and I look forward to seeing them move onto accomplishing great achievements.
Evan: There is no doubt that I will miss Brookes. There are many individuals with whom I hope to keep in touch after my departure, including a few good friends that I met through the LLB program who will surely be friends for life, the tutors who have been instrumental in my development, and my teammates from the Oxford University Varsity Men’s Ice Hockey team. These personal relationships were crucial to my enjoyment whilst in Oxford, and it would not have been the same without them.
Aleks has a place at the University of Oxford to study the Bachelor of Civil Law, while Evan will study towards the Bachelor of Civil Law and Juris Doctor degrees at McGill University, Montreal.
Complete list of School of Law prize winners, 2020
The Eric Kemp Prize: Megan Willmott
Awarded for the best performance in the module ‘Law and Religion in the 21st Century’ (£100 cash prize).
The Hart Publishing Prize: Alice Hepworth
Awarded for strong overall academic performance (£100 book token).
The Luke Campbell Alumni Prize: Aleks Tomaszek and Evan Schryver
Awarded for for outstanding contribution to the Law School (£150 cash
prize per student).
The Oxford University Press Law Trove Prize: William Denegri
Awarded to the first year Law student who achieved the highest overall percentage in the academic year (one year’s access to the Law Trove).
The Oxford University Press Law Prize: Chinonyelum Asiegbu
Awarded to a Stage 2 undergraduate Law student with a strong overall academic performance (£150 book token).
The Harcourt Chambers Family Law Prize: Megan Smith
Awarded to the student who achieved the highest overall mark in Family Law (£100 cash prize).
Many congratulations to all this year’s prize winners.