Meet Distinguished Professor Lori B. Andrews and Sarah Blenner '11
Professor Lori Andrews directs the Institute for Science, Law and Technology at IIT Chicago-Kent and leads the ethics and policy initiatives of IIT's Center for Diabetes Research and Policy. Sarah Blenner graduated in December 2010 with her J.D. and Master of Public Health through a joint program with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sarah currently works as a Legal Fellow at IIT's Center for Diabetes Research and Policy.
Prof. Andrews: I do research outside the classroom, so it's only natural that I should encourage students to work on real-world projects like diabetes. You understand issues much better if you have to apply the law instead of just study it. That's an emphasis at Chicago-Kent: doing it now. Real-world experience prepares students better for the job market, but it also makes them better lawyers through their interaction with key players who make our laws.
Sarah: I'm really interested in public policy, specifically with a health focus. I was shocked to learn that some schools in Illinois make it difficult for children with diabetes to attend safely. Some schools have policies to call 911 rather than administer life-saving medication. As a student, I helped draft legislation, which became law in December 2010, that allows non-nurse school employees in Illinois to be trained to administer glucagon to students. Now, we are working to help implement the law at both public and private schools across the state.
Prof. Andrews: Getting a bill passed is an amazing experience for a student. Many practicing lawyers don't see a project like this all the way through. It might take a decade or longer to get a law changed.
Sarah: Professor Andrews really wants to hear your opinions and wants student input on the work she does. You don't feel you're just working on a memo. You're part of a collaborative process.