Mediation teams finish 3rd and 4th at national championship

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Lewis University Mediation teams finish 3rd and 4th at international competition

Published: November 6, 2013.

For the fifth time in six years, the Lewis University Mediation team performed exceptional at the national championship competition.

The team of Matt Vasquez, Shannon Lukowski and Ashley Patek finished third and the team of Jake Garringer, Lexi Austring and Olivia Estrada finished fourth.

Students Bridgette Ferreira (fifth place in Advocacy), Collin Kent (third place in Advocacy), Moon Joo (third place in Advocacy), Shannon Lukowski (15th place in Advocacy) and, for the second year, Matt Vasquez (15th place in Advocacy) earned All-American honors.

Coaches Angela Henderson, Joseph Volin, and Dr. James Houlihan were awarded All-American too.

Lewis University’s team of Matt Vasquez, Shannon Lukowski and Ashley Patek were chosen by the competitors for the Spirit of Advocacy Award, citing their fair play, cooperation, sportsmanship, courtesy and civility. It was the first time Lewis University students earned the award.

The InterNational Academy of Dispute Resolution awarded Dr. James Houlihan as Coach of the Year for the performance of the Lewis teams and quality of the students both in the competition matches and in general. In the past five years, Lewis had very successfully competed in England and Scotland Law School tournament and came into this year’s competition ranked eighth in Advocacy and tenth in Mediation nationally.

InterNational Academy of Dispute Resolution hosted the competition at Drake Law School, Des Moines, Iowa and invited international teams for the first time. More than 40 teams competed. International participants were from Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Dubai, and British Colombia.

Lewis was the only school to have two teams, both in Advocacy, in the final four. “In two tough battles, one team lost to National Institute of Law University, India, by three points and the other team lost to Middle Tennessee State University by one point, thus finishing ranked third and fourth nationally,” Houlihan noted.

“This was a true team accomplishment with each of the 11 members contributing significantly,” Houlihan continued.

In the first round, Lewis University students Collin Kent, Moon Joo, and Bridgette Ferreira swept Morningside College and Texas Wesleyan. Samantha Ryczek, Jake Garringer and Olivia Estrada split their matches with Western Carolina and Georgia Southern. The results of these contests became critical in Lewis University making the final 16.

In the second round, Lewis University gave a solid performance only losing one match, and Ying Gao and Shannon Lukowski splitting with India. Lewis University made its move in the third and final qualifying round. They split three matches with the then-closest competitor for position, Loras College, and swept University of Dubuque and University of Wisconsin, Platteville. In the semifinals, Lewis University swept Hardin-Simmons University and the University of Texas, Dallas to make the finals with the third and fourth place finishes.

Dr. James Houlihan, professor of Justice, Law, and Public Safety Studies, is the head coach. Angela Henderson, attorney at Henderson Law and Mediation Center in Joliet and Joseph Volin, alumnus and assistant director of Lewis Alumni Relations, coach the team. Contact Dr. James Houlihan at (815) 836-5313 or to learn more about the academic teams at Lewis University.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.

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