Albany Law School is proud to welcome a new group of Government Law Center Fellows.
The new students, who started in June, include two Anderson Fellows, two Sandman Fellows, and four Summer Legal Fellows from Siena College
The Government Law Center Fellowship program was established in 2015 to support the GLC’s mission, effort, and advancement. It is a unique opportunity for law students to explore a career in public service alongside GLC staff attorneys or with an organization or law firm with a public-minded focus.
Fellows combine academics with professional practice through course requirements and involvement with community partner organizations. The program allows first-year law students to broaden their scope and get involved with Albany Law School’s government connections early on in their legal education.
Gienabou Diallo '23 is from New York, N.Y. and graduated from University at Albany (SUNY) with an M.A. and B.A in Africana Studies and with a minor in Sociology.
Prior to entering Law School, Diallo joined the United States Army Reserves as a 92A logistical specialist, and wants to pursue a future as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the military to ensure that all soldiers have their basic legal rights. She is passionate about human rights and education and strongly believes that equality should not only be in environmental settings where people pay for their education, but also publicly.
Diallo also serves as a voter educator and social media strategist for the League of Women Voters of Albany County and is involved with Albany Public Library, AVillage, NAACP, Sisters of Salaam Shalom, Center for Law & Justice, Capital District Urban League and many more community groups in developing policy reforms, and engaging in peace-advocacy to make real-time change in the world.
At Albany Law School, she is involved with the Government Law Center, serves as Vice President for the Muslim Law School Association, and is a member of the Moot Court program and the Black Law Student Association. She enjoys meeting people, helping others, talking, writing, traveling, experiencing new cultures, trying new foods, public speaking, and watching documentaries.
Andrew Doody '23 of Brunswick, NY is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Political Science. Prior to Law School, Doody worked as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Russell Sage College. For three years, he worked with the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) to provide and promote equitable learning environments for all students.
He has been coaching collegiate soccer for Russell Sage College Women’s Team for the past five years. He also currently coaches soccer with Bethlehem FC and has previously held positions with Black Watch Soccer Club and Dutchman FC.
Sandman Fellows & Scholars
The Edgar ’46 & Margaret Sandman Fellowship in Aging and Health Law & Policy is the most prestigious fellowship awarded to an Albany Law School student. The Fellowship allows students to research cutting-edge issues in aging or health law and policy.
Established in 1992 by Morris Silverman ’36 to honor Edgar Sandman ’46, the Sandman Fellows have produced nearly 20 years of in-depth legal research and analysis that is published and disseminated to lawmakers and policymakers nationwide.
Jeffrey Shapiro ‘22 is a rising third-year student who aspires of working in public-interest law when he graduates. This summer he will be joining the Government Law Center as a Sandman Fellow researching disability law.
Shaprio was inspired to pursue this opportunity by his parents, who both work as special education teachers. He has previously worked in advocacy and research positions with the New York State legislature, the New York Attorney General’s office, and The Institute for Racial Justice Research & Advocacy.
Outside of his professional work, he is the treasurer for the Albany Law Men’s Rugby Team and sometimes you will find him playing chess in the cafeteria. He is always looking for a friendly game so feel free to approach him if you see him, he said.
Sophie Zhang '23 is a rising second-year student who is excited to have the opportunity to work on a team of such amazing people, and she hopes to contribute her knowledge to the team. She graduated with a double major in criminology and equity from her undergraduate program.
Her hobbies include reading and traveling, as it gives her different perspectives on various topics and issues. She has also volunteered a lot throughout her life and hopes those experiences will bring more insight to the research.
"The Sandman Fellowship gives me the amazing opportunity to explore an area that is very close to me," she said. "My mother is a nurse and I hope that any research or impact that I make will one day benefit her, even in the slightest."
The Government Law Center began hosting Siena Fellows 20 years ago as one of the program’s original three partner schools. Over the years, a high percentage of Siena Fellows have entered the legal profession, including many who have graduated from Albany Law School.
The collaboration between the two educational institutions has been made possible thanks to Professor Leonard Cutler, Ph.D., program co-founder and professor of political science and pre-law advisor at Siena College, who also serves on the Government Law Center’s Advisory Board.
Isabella G. Denysenko, a senior majoring in Health Service Administration, is passionate about healthcare public policy and legislative advocacy. She hopes to pursue this field after completing her undergraduate degree. Outside of school, she participates in community orchestras, where she plays the cello, and works as a barista. She’s excited to meet everyone and is very thankful for this opportunity.
Nicholas D. Discala is a member of the 3+2 Siena College/Albany Law Program. He is currently the Siena College Pre-Law Society President as well as the Secretary of the Political Science Society. He has spent the past year and a half assisting Dr. Cutler with research on U.S national security policy. He and Dr. Cutler will be presenting the research at this year's annual Midwestern Political Science Association Conference in April 2022. They will also be co-presenting the research at the Northeastern Political Science Association this fall.
Sarah E. Meyers is a senior majoring in Political Science with minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology and a certificate in pre-law. She is the president of the Siena College’s Best Buddies chapter which is an organization that builds one-on-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. During the academic year, she works at the Siena College Research Institute as an interviewer. For the past five years, she has participated in the winter games for Special Olympics in Connecticut as a unified partner for speed skating.
Harrison C. Robbins is a senior majoring in American Studies with a pre-law certificate. He is from Granville, New York, a town on the eastern border of Washington County, next to Rutland County, Vermont. He is a member of the Siena Academic Integrity Committee as well as the Siena College Pep Band where he plays the Sousaphone. He has also been a tutor for the community for more than two years.