Mississippi Valley State University

July 23, 2016

University News


October 22, 2012


Six MVSU students won honors in the John Marshall Gulf Coast Regional Undergraduate Diversity Mock Trial Competition at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La., October 7.

Larry W. Chappell, university pre-law adviser, professor of political science and coordinator of the political science program who coaches mock trial the team said, "I am very pleased that the season is off to such a good start. I was very concerned about a team with no members who have any experience competing at the collegiate level. Fortunately, we have a strong and dedicated group this year. I think we will be very competitive in the remaining regional and national competitions.”

In the John Marshall Diversity format, students are assigned to teams with students from other colleges and universities. Each student must play five roles during the course of three trial rounds: 1) opening attorney, 2) closing attorney, 3) directing attorney, 4) crossing attorney and 5) witness.

The MVSU Mock Trial Team has been participating in the competition since 1998. The team is the only one at a historically black university in Mississippi and one of the very few in the nation.

In its first year in regional competition, the team won the award for “best new team” at the Birmingham Regional of the American Mock Trial Association at Samford University. In 2011 and 2012, the team participated in the John Marshall Regional and National Undergraduate Diversity Mock Trial Competitions, which are sanctioned by AMTA, receiving awards there as well.

MVSU President Donna H. Oliver said, “For fourteen years, the Mississippi Valley State University Mock Trial Team has competed with students all over the U.S. and has shown they can compete with the best.”

 “Under the leadership of Dr. Chappell, the year has gotten off to a good start and I believe their accomplishments have only just begun,” said Oliver.

MVSU student winners are:

  • Arlinda Carter - Sophomore Criminal Justice major from Greenville, Miss., won top honors at the tournament. Individually, she won the First Place Overall Advocate Award. She also participated on the team (along with students from Southern University and Loyola University of New Orleans) that won first place. For her efforts, she won $15,000 in Law School Scholarship
  • Jacqueline Stokes - Senior Political Science major from Yazoo City, Miss., won Third Place Overall Advocate, and her team finished third in the competition. She earned $7,000 in Law School Scholarships
  • Kylon Alford-Windfield - Senior Political Science major from Jackson, Miss., won Fourth Place Overall Advocate and his team finished second in the competition. He earned $7,500 in Law School Scholarships
  • Darren Woodson - Senior Business Administration major from Picayune, Miss., was on the team that finished third in the competition. He earned $2,500 in Law School Scholarships
  • Randall Johnson - Senior Criminal Justice major from Clarksdale, Miss., received an honorable mention
  • Gianni Williams - Sophomore Biology major from Greenwood, Miss., received an honorable mention 

Upcoming competitions include Southeast Diversity Mock Trial Competition, February 15-16, 2013 at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tenn., and the National Undergraduate Diversity Mock Trial Competition, April 12-13, 2013 at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Ill. 


Initially created by the state legislature in 1946 to train teachers for rural and elementary schools in the Mississippi Delta, Mississippi Valley State University is one of eight state supported institutions for higher education in the state of Mississippi’s consortium of Institutions for Higher Learning (IHL) 

Mississippi Valley State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's and master’s degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga.,  30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Mississippi Valley State University.