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Brian Koch - Spring 2002 Illinois Centennial Honors College Scholar

May 10, 2002

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Brian Koch - Illinois Centennial Honors College Scholar
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Photo of Koch.

The drive from Mount Sterling to Macomb is about 40 miles. That is what Brian Koch has done the past five years as a student at Western Illinois University. Beginning in fall, Koch's drive will be times 10 when he heads the 400 miles to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Law School.

On May 11, Koch graduated from WIU as the Spring 2002 College Scholar in Western's Illinois Centennial Honors College, the Political Science Departmental Scholar, a Political Science Honors Scholar and a Pre-Law Honors Scholar, while earning the highest academic distinction of Summa Cum Laude.

The 1997 Brown County High School graduate squeezed the most out of his time at Western, performing in numerous music ensembles including the WIU Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Bands, Steel Band and Marching Band; serving as treasurer of Western's Bureau of Cultural Affairs; and representing the student's voice on the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Curriculum Committee and the CAS Student Council. Koch, who participated two years in the Midwest Model United Nations Conference, was named the CAS 2002 Outstanding Student in Social Sciences; and as part of his Honors thesis, he conducted research in international political economy, studying the relationship between political preferences and institutions in determining international trade policy outcomes.

Before heading to law school, Koch will return this summer for a second consecutive intern experience in the Attorney General's West Central Illinois Bureau in Quincy. He served a Summer 2000 internship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Although undecided about the specific field of law he may go in to, Koch said, "I will pursue something in the field of public interest law - - whether in the domestic sphere, such as public defense or legal aid for the poor; or in the international sphere, such as human rights or refugee and asylum law.

"I've narrowed down my options, but I am waiting to decide on which I will pursue until I have finished my first year of law school and have more experience with these fields," he added.

Brian is the son of Paul and Charlotte Koch.

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