Elon University School of Law alumna Tiffany Atkins ’11 was honored during the law school’s Commencement ceremony on May 22, 2011. The David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism was presented to her by Eric Fink, an associate professor of law at Elon.
“This year's award recipient has earned accolades from students, faculty and staff alike for her dedication and community-mindedness, her integrity and strength of character, and her gracious and engaging personal manner,” Fink said during the ceremony.
Atkins’ commitment to leadership and professionalism is exemplified by the volume of activities in which she participated as a student. A Student Bar Association (SBA) class representative during her third year, Atkins also served as committee chair to multiple SBA committees throughout her time at Elon Law. In 2010 she was elected Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association, and in 2011 she chaired the planning committee for the Elon Law Martin Luther King, Jr. forum. Atkins was invited to join the Moot Court Board at Elon Law in fall of 2009 and was active until graduation in 2011. She chaired the intramural moot court competition committee in 2010 and assisted in planning and hosting the inaugural Billings, Exum and Frye National Moot Court Competition at Elon Law in 2011.
Not limited to activities within the school, Atkins helped make connections between Elon Law and the surrounding community as a Young Lawyers Division Liaison for the North Carolina Bar Association and a member of the Elon University Graduate Student Council. In the spring of 2011, she coordinated a food drive to assist people whose homes were destroyed by tornadoes in Sanford, N.C.
A Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Intern for Legal Aid of North Carolina, Atkins worked in the Domestic Division after spending the previous summer volunteering in that area.
“I didn't serve expecting anything In return, but it was such a wonderful feeling to be recognized by my classmates and professors for my contributions,” said Atkins. “It was a truly humbling experience.”
While at Elon, Atkins was employed as both a Research Assistant to the Director of Communications and a Student Ambassador for the Admissions Department.
The David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism is given to one student from each graduating class whose contributions to the law school and the community at large represent a commitment to Elon’s mission of leadership. The award is named in honor of David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN, former adviser to four United States Presidents and Chair of Elon Law’s national advisory board.