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Professor Kevin Marshall Honored by Students, Peers

Students enter the classroom in search of knowledge and inspiration. As a faculty member who teaches in both the College of Law and the College of Business & Public Management, University of La Verne Professor Kevin Marshall presents all his students with the same level of experience, confidence and passion, no matter what the subject.

“What makes Professor Marshall so popular among the students is his dedication. Dedication to giving students the best education he can; dedication to help the university succeed; and dedication to being a confidant for the students,” said La Verne Law student Emeline Garcia, who calls Marshall one of the best professors she has ever had. “His dedication draws students to him and makes him a great professor.”

Marshall’s commitment to teaching, research and publishing is recognized by students and fellow faculty members alike. He was one of two professors recently selected as La Verne Law Professor of the Year for 2012-13 by the Student Bar Association, the second time he has earned that recognition. He was also named to the prestigious ULV Academy, which recognizes the university’s top scholars and researchers.

Only 15 of the university’s 232 faculty members have been chosen to join the Academy since it was founded in 2006. This year’s other honoree was Matthew Witt, associate professor of Public Administration in the College of Business & Public Management.

Marshall called each honor rewarding in its own way, one being from students and the other from peers. Both reflect his enthusiasm for his work, which he describes as an opportunity to thoroughly examine the links between the law, economics and public policy. He is especially interested in “markets and rules that nurture or obstruct market activity.”

“There is always a need for the rule of law for free markets to thrive,” Marshall said. “I spend a lot of time looking at rules and which rules inspire innovation and which rules discourage innovation.”

A staunch free market proponent, Marshall said he and others sometimes are criticized for wanting few, in any regulations, on market activity. But he said that is a mischaracterization, noting that “there has to be some basis in law because anarchism does not work.”

Something that obviously does work is Marshall’s teaching style. His expertise and dedication has encouraged learning and left a lasting impression on his students.

“Through my work at a law firm that has employed a number of La Verne alumni, I had prior knowledge of Professor Marshall. They (the alumni) all raved about him and were excited to see me in his class,” Garcia said. “He never stopped challenging us. He always went above and beyond to help his students succeed.”

Fellow Professor and Dean Emeritus Charles Doskow joined Marshall in receiving this year’s Law Professor of the Year honor. The award, voted on by members of the Student Bar Association, annually recognizes professors whom students believe have contributed the most to student success.

Marshall’s booming voice and powerful classroom presence made an immediate impression on Andrea Martinez, who as a first-year student swore she would never come unprepared to one of his classes on contract law.

Martinez, who graduated in May from La Verne Law and is the immediate past president of the Student Bar Association, recalls older students warning her that Marshall was likely to be the toughest professor she would ever have.

“He’s going to bring the heat and everyone is going to know if you’re not ready,” said Martinez. “He demanded a lot from us, but he also really helped us to push ourselves to be better. His command of the subject is why I feel so comfortable with contracts now.”

Other Law students, in nominating Marshall for Professor of the Year, wrote that he is “more than just a Contracts professor,” demonstrates “genuine passion” for the material, and has a real “demand for excellence.”

“He’s a person who I have come to see as my own father,” said Sandy Perez, who also recently graduated. She said she never expected to feel that way because of Marshall’s reputation. “He’s really tough, but it forces you to do all your work, get on top of everything and be ready to be called on.”

According to Garcia, Marshall gets the best out his students because he gives his best.

“He goes above and beyond to help his students succeed,” Garcia said. “Professor Marshall always does what he can in class to teach effectively and to ensure every student’s complete understanding.”

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