Professor Scully receives national award for mentorship

A photo of Law Professor Judith Scully in front of a stack of legal texts
Law Professor Judith Scully

The Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust has chosen Law Professor Judith Scully as one of eight recipients of its prestigious Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award.

Each year, the award aims to honor a teacher or professor who has inspired former students to “create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large” or established “on a lasting basis a concept, procedure or movement of comparable benefit to the community at large.”

As founder and co-director of Stetson Law’s Social Justice Advocacy Concentration and a champion of Stetson Law’s robust, pioneering pro bono program, Scully works tirelessly to help turn students’ passion into actionable initiatives capable of creating transformative outcomes. This includes having led the Stetson Law Innocence Initiative and co-chairing the St. Petersburg Higher Education for Racial Equality (SPHERE) Consortium.

Mentee honors mentor

Educators who are honored with this award must be nominated by a former student whose work they inspired.

In Scully’s case, Alumna Taylor Sartor, a graduate of Stetson Law’s Social Justice Advocacy Concentration, nominated her. It was Scully’s guidance in helping her develop and establish what ultimately became FosterPower, a digital platform that empowers youth in the foster care system to advocate for themselves, that compelled Sartor to nominate her.

The platform, which launched in June of 2023, grew out of a know-your-rights guide offering information and resources to youth in the foster system, which Sartor worked on under Scully’s mentorship.

“Professor Scully has inspired so many students to go on and do impactful work with our law degrees, and I am grateful she gave me the tools to be the social justice attorney I am today,” Sartor said. “Professor Scully planted the seed during my time in law school, and in years to come my vision of kids knowing their rights bloomed into a movement that has given youth across the state of Florida access to vital information on their rights.”

A screenshot from a YouTube video featuring a smartphone that reads "Foster Power" on the screen.
FosterPower was designed to be an easy-to-access resource for youth in the foster care system.

To the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Advisory Committee, Scully’s guidance on the project reflects the purpose of the award.

In addition to being honored at an October 14, 2023 ceremony in Atlanta, Scully will receive a $25,000 award.

Spotlighting transformative work

Scully said she is profoundly thankful to Sartor for taking the time to nominate her, and that she hopes it will help spread awareness of the Social Justice Advocacy program and the important work of program graduates like Sartor.

“I am deeply honored to be named as an awardee particularly because of the spotlight we can place on both our SJA program and the work that Taylor began several years ago as a student in our program,” Scully said.

The Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award honors Hurlock Beckman’s contributions to the field of psychology. It was established by her daughter, Gail McKnight Beckman in 2008. Though the committee has given the award to more than 20 educators in some years, in 2023, just eight educators received the award, Scully among them.

Learn more about the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman award.