By GALEN HAWES
ADA – Dr. Christine Pappas, chair of East Central University’s department of Politics, Law and Society, has been honored by the Oklahoma Bar Association with its prestigious Outstanding Service to the Public award.
“I feel lucky to have been nominated for this award by a past student of mine, Conner Alford, who is now a Political Science professor at Southeastern,” Pappas said. “This award is special and I’m honored to be recognized by lawyers who do so much for their communities.”
Pappas has taught American politics at ECU since 2001. She teaches courses in Tribal Politics, Constitutional Law, and Women in Politics. She has been an OBA member herself since 2010 and is currently a board member of Oklahoma Indian Legal Services.
Pappas earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Pappas also serves as director of the Native American Legal Clinic, as well as director of the Water Resource Policy and Management master’s degree program. In addition, she directs three Early Settlement Mediation offices that offer mediation services in 27 counties.
As the Pre-Law advisor at ECU, Pappas has advised almost 50 students through law school and 16 of her former students are currently enrolled in law school. ECU’s Politics, Law and Society department boasts a 100 percent law school acceptance rate.
Notably, Pappas leads ECU’s voter registration team, which has won the Voter Registration Contest sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education every year since 2014 – registering approximately 2,000 students for Oklahoma elections over that time span. Last fall, she registered nearly 10 percent of the full-time enrolled student body, the best rate per capita among all Oklahoma colleges and universities.
“I have always had two important goals,” Pappas said. “One is to help students feel as though they belong at ECU, and the other is to empower them to become strong leaders in the careers they choose. Promoting diversity and empowerment is a focus in everything I do.”