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Elizabeth Gooen Wins Leadership Award

American Constitution Society honors 2L for her "amazing job of building community."


Elizabeth Gooen ’22 has been selected as an American Constitution Society (ACS) Next Generation Leader. Each year, ACS selects a small group of students from its nearly 200 chapters to be part of the Next Generation Leader program.

“This is a big deal,” said BC Law Professor Kent Greenfield. “This is the second year in a row that BC Law has a student recognized as a Next Generation Leader.” Last year, Justine Sheehan ’21 received the honor.

Students who have demonstrated commitment to ACS engagement and strong leadership qualities are selected through a competitive application process. Twenty-eight up-and-coming leaders comprise the 2021 cohort.

“Elizabeth has led our chapter during a time of remote learning, and our chapter is one of the nation’s most active,” Professor Greenfield said. “She has done an amazing job of building community and facilitating discussion and involvement in a time when such connection and engagement has been both difficult and essential.”

Gooen’s application, her work as a student chapter leader during this very challenging year, and the compelling letter of recommendation from Professor Greenfield really impressed our team, Meghan J. Paulas, the society’s vice president of network advancement, said in a letter to Dean Vincent Rougeau announcing the honor.

“ACS Next Generation Leaders are the future of our organization,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “We are at a turning point in this country. We need dedicated, young progressive leaders who have the requisite skills, knowledge, and talent to act now during this critical moment in our country. Part of ACS’s role is to enhance the connections within our network, and increase support for our leaders, especially our leaders within the next generation. I am thrilled to welcome this class of 2021 ACS Next Generation Leaders.”

Gooen was touched and inspired by ACS’s recognition. “Being selected as an American Constitution Society Next Generation Leader externally affirmed that the work I did at Boston College Law School this past year was valuable. Retrospectively, I am genuinely proud of what the board and I accomplished. I hope that because I brought engaging speakers and legal ideas to campus that others feel my leadership was valuable,” she said.

“Perhaps more importantly, I hope others felt that I succeeded in trying to create inclusive spaces. Beyond recognition of my past commitments, being a Next Generation Leader means that ACS (and my faculty advisor Professor Greenfield) see my potential,” Gooen added. “I plan to use this honor to further my public interest career aspirations and my values that are deeply rooted in social justice.”