March 18, 2015 at 10:45am

Model Illinois Government

Millikin University student-attorneys and delegates were recognized for their efforts at the 37th annual Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation held Feb. 26 '€“ March 1 at the State Capital Complex in Springfield, Ill.

Each spring semester, students from around the state of Illinois participate in the Model Illinois Government simulation. Nearly 300 students from over 20 colleges and universities participated in this year's simulation." 
The MIG Moot Court competition included teams of two attorneys arguing cases before a panel of student-justices and legal professionals. Teams were scored on the basis of presentation and knowledge of the case facts. Millikin University brought five teams to this year's competition with teams advancing to the quarter-final round, semi-final round, and a newly configured four-team final round." 
In addition to the students who participated as attorneys, three Millikin students participated as student-justices: Kara Anderson, a senior philosophy major from Danville, Ill., Kiana Holmes, a junior sociology major from Elgin, Ill., and Rob Spurling, a senior philosophy major from Taylorville, Ill. The student-justices demonstrated mastery of the case files by firing a continuous volley of questions at the attorneys.

"Our students worked extremely hard in advance of and during the competition to produce and then deliver sophisticated legal arguments," said Dr. Robert Money, Millikin professor of philosophy. "The results speak for themselves. It is an honor to work with such bright and motivated students."" 
Millikin student-attorney Courtney Burress, a junior philosophy major from Marseilles, Ill., was elected to serve as Chief Justice of the Model Illinois Government Moot Court competition for 2015-2016. Burress will be on the Model Illinois Government Executive Board for the upcoming year.

"This was my first year participating in the competition and the experience was absolutely incredible," said Burress. "Listening to other schools compete and talking to actual lawyers, professors of law, and students from other schools who have the same aspirations as me thoroughly showcased to me that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Millikin students who participated in the competition included: Taylor Lindemann, a first-year theatre major from Oak Lawn, Ill., John Tasch, a sophomore philosophy major from Roselle, Ill., Joshua Rose, a senior philosophy major from Saint Jacob, Ill., Taylor Godwin, a junior political science major from Hillsboro, Ill., Nick Roberson, a senior political science major from East Troy, Wis., Alex Brase, a junior mathematics major from Decatur, Ill., Hannah Serbe, a sophomore philosophy major from Decatur, Ill., Victoria Jackson, a senior psychology major from Chicago, and McKensie Meadows, a junior philosophy major from Decatur, Ill.

Burress added, "I learned a lot about myself as a person and a scholar during Moot Court. I learned a lot about the skills I possess and the skills I need to work on that will help me in my educational pursuits at Millikin and in law school."


In addition to the Moot Court competition, the MIG simulation featured a Legislature Simulation where students are assigned political parties and districts and placed in committees of their particular interests. The legislators simulated the legislative processes in the actual committee rooms and chambers of the Capitol building.

Millikin University brought 10 delegates to this year's MIG Legislature Simulation. Aaron Thomas, a junior political science major from Orland Park, Ill., was re-elected to the executive board, this time as the Attorney General of Model Illinois Government. As Attorney General, Thomas will be in charge of original legislation for the simulation, as well as running the MIG Journal.

"Working at the Capital has always been a great learning experience," said Thomas. "I think Model Illinois Government is a perfect example of what students need in terms of getting involved with politics, and understanding what it means to get bills passed that affect our everyday lives."" 

Students Courtney Woelfel, a sophomore political science major from Jerseyville, Ill., and Abby Beaty, a junior political science major from Nokomis, Ill., submitted original legislation to the simulation and their original legislation was debated in committee.

"I was incredibly impressed with the poise and confidence of our students, both in committee action and in floor debate," said Amber Lusvardi, Millikin lecturer of political science. "Their ability to speak passionately and in-depth on a range of government issues was inspiring to me as their faculty advisor."

Millikin students who participated in the Legislature Simulation included: Paige Ehrat, a junior communication major from Shobonier, Ill., Jessica Bird, a senior political science major from Chicago, Karen Padilla, a first-year political science major from Chicago, Colten Watrous, a first-year political science major from Decatur, Ill., Jenny Zima, a junior political science major from Greenfield, Wis., Taylor Morthland, a senior political science major from Decatur, Ill., and Kate Wrigley, a junior political science major from Decatur, Ill.

For more information on Model Illinois Government, visit