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Baxter-Ward Fellowship

The Baxter-Ward Fellowship is named in honor of retired Government Professors Alan J. Ward and Donald J. Baxter.

It recognizes outstanding alumni from the Government Department who have distinguished themselves in their post-graduate field of work.

Fellowship recipients are invited to return to the College to give a public talk, interact with Government students and faculty through classroom presentations, and provide students with insights into their career path and opportunities in their field.

Recent Fellows have been drawn from academia, journalism, politics, international affairs, and management. 

2022 Vivek S. Sankaran

Vivek S. Sankaran ’98 presented his talk, titled “The Future of Juvenile Courts: What Can We Learn from the Pandemic about Dispensing Justice to Families?” at William & Mary on April 25, 2022, at 5:00 pm in Tucker 127A.

In March 2020, the pandemic forced juvenile courts across the country – which adjudicate the fate of children in foster care - to use remote platforms like Zoom because in-person proceedings were no longer possible. Professor Sankaran will explain that, while these courts didn’t ask for this change, in many ways, it was long overdue. For years, advocates had argued that courts were not accessible to families, who often feared coming to court, weren’t able to effectively participate in hearings, and lacked the financial means to engage in the process. In many ways, using remote technology made juvenile courts more accessible than they had ever been.

As we start exiting the pandemic, questions have arisen about how juvenile courts should operate moving forward. Should hearings remain virtual? Would doing so jeopardize the fundamental rights of children and parents? How can courts weigh the protection of these rights with the convenience and efficiency that modern technologies provide?