Genesee Community College student, Leah Reino has recently returned from a trip to Albany where she was the top prize winner of the 2010 David A. Garfinkel Essay Competition. She was awarded $1,500 and traveled to Albany with instructor Michael Weston and her family for a recognition ceremony in the Court of Claims courtroom on Monday, May 3. Among the four finalists was another Genesee student, Phyllis Washburn and Honorable Mention was awarded to Kristen Casper and Genevieve Oliveira, also Genesee students.
The Historical Society of the Courts of New York Law Day Essay contest is open to SUNY students including community colleges, and to CUNY (City University of New York) students. The topic of this year’s contest was The Evolution of Justice Along the Erie Canal. Leah’s essay More Than a Canal: Erie’s Role in Changing the Law was the result of analyzing hundreds of pages of legal briefs, and comparing the past and present-day forms of justice in the state. Her winning easy is available at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/history/essay/2010/2010Winner.pdf
Leah has been a full time student since fall of 2007, when she was 15 years old. She was home-schooled through middle school and then completed her high school requirements through Genesee in the spring of 2008. She is now working on her associate's degree with plans to graduate in the spring of 2011. She is currently studying Biotechnology but is now considering law as a possible career avenue.
“I’ve always been interested in the law,” Leah said. “I’m now considering a career in law instead of science. (The essay project) has been very eye-opening.”
Leah is one of two Biotechnology students at Genesee who have been accepted into a medical pathology study-abroad program in Brisbane, Australia. Previously, Leah was a finalist in the Community College Week NISOD Student Essay Contest. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Community College Week magazine together sponsored an essay writing contest for community college students based on their most rewarding learning experience with faculty, staff or administrator at their college. There were over 1,300 entries, and Leah’s essay, Professor Weston and the Last Crusade, was one of nine finalists who were recognized.
Leah resides on a family farm in Farmersville, NY and lives with her mother and father, David and Gail Reino, and with her brother David Benjamin, who has also started his education at Genesee at 15 years of age. Leah’s father, David, is an emergency room doctor in Jamestown, NY, and has been her mentor and inspired her interest in science at a very young age. Leah is an avid horseback rider and competes at fairs and shows throughout Wyoming, Cattaraugus, and Allegheny counties. She also enjoys reading extensively in many genres, from fantasy to historical fiction to science magazines. She is an active member in Genesee's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
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Editors Note: A photo of Leah Reino in the NY Court of Appeals is available at http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/Leah_Reino_Court.jpg
A photo of Leah Reino with instructor Michael Weston in the NY Court of Appeals is available at http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/Reino_Weston.jpg