Assistant professor of political science and moot court head coach Julie Keil recently gave a speech on Constitution Day at Central Michigan University.
Keil graduated from law school in 1979 and worked as an attorney for 30 years before going back to college to earn a master degree in history.
“I became interested in political science and added the work for a master’s, but didn’t finish the master’s,” Keil said. “I transferred to Wayne State University for a Ph.D. instead.”
At SVSU, Kiel has served as the law club adviser and moot court director and head coach. She started SVSU’s moot court program after a group of interested students approached her in 2010.
“I had students from my international law class approach me about doing moot court competitively,” Kiel said. “After researching it, I found the American Moot Court Association website, and we started competing.”
Keil was humbled to be asked by one of her favorite professors to speak at CMU.
“I was asked by my favorite former professor from CMU, Dr. David Jesuit,” she said. “He had been my thesis adviser, and I had taken several classes from him, and he has followed my career at SVSU since I graduated, so he asked me to speak.”
In her speech, on Sept. 24, Kiel shared about what Constitution Day means to her.
“Constitution Day to me doesn’t mean so much honoring the Constitution as it means to think deeply about what it means and how it affects the U.S. today,” she said.
Keil stressed that understanding the Constitution is imperative to understanding our rights as American citizens.
“Many people aren’t aware of how different the U.S. Constitution is to other countries and the effect it has on voting rights and political participation,” Keil said. “It’s key to understand it to understand what works and what doesn’t and how change could occur.”
Dr. Keil also stressed remaining politically active and aware.
“The best way to stay informed is to, at a minimum, look at the internet news on a regular basis to see what events are happening,” she said.
There are several on-campus organizations that students can get involved in too.
“As far as the university is concerned, we have several student organizations — the College Democrats, the College Republicans and the Law Club, all of which are active with students on political and voting issues,” she said.
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