After hearing a lawyer speak to his fourth-grade class, Jason Render Jr. decided to dedicate himself to “working for justice,” he says.
Now, a decade later, Render is a junior majoring in political science (national security track) and minoring in international relations at The University of Akron (UA), where the Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College (WHC) is preparing him to achieve his dream of becoming an international lawyer.
“The Williams Honors College has prepared me to achieve this goal by helping to expand my mind to think critically about the world around me,” he says, “so that I am now confident in my abilities to make a difference.”
As a student assistant in the Office of Admissions, she shares that experience, that passion, by giving campus tours to prospective students and their parents, and by accompanying admissions counselors on their visits to recruits.
He cites Honors courses and guest speakers who “provide students the opportunity to examine topics in an extremely critical way,” such as an Honors Colloquium with former UA President Luis M. Proenza, called “Truth, Lies, and Alternative Facts: Are You Perplexed?” Render says the class taught him “how to discern truth and deconstruct lies in many different scenarios” — skills that are essential in the practice of law.
Render has also benefited from living in the Honors Complex, with its common room and study areas, a computer lab, “counselors right within the residence hall,” and accessible staff and faculty members who are “all very invested in the success of Honors students at UA,” he says.
Through the Office of Career Services, he has also interned at the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, where he assisted attorneys in preparing information for cases.
Render adds that similar opportunities are available to political science majors through the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics Internship Program.
“Students in the political science program are able to get great internships that have direct ties to UA through the Bliss Institute and learn every day from amazing professors, many of whom have taken an active role in politics, law and security,” he says.
Render has rounded out his undergraduate experience through extensive extracurricular involvement. He is the president of the Student African American Brotherhood, a student Ambassador, an intramural sports athlete, and a member of Phi Delta Theta.
After graduating in spring 2021, he plans to attend law school — setting his sights on one school in particular.
“It would be great to remain a Zip and attend The University of Akron School of Law!” says Render, who adds that, as an international lawyer, he is interested in defending human rights and protecting U.S. citizens abroad.
And what counsel does this aspiring lawyer have for students just beginning their journeys at the Williams Honors College?
“Definitely take advantage of the resources and opportunities that the WHC presents to you, no matter how well you think they relate to your goals right now, because through those experiences you will be able to continually grow and learn,” he says.
Students in our prestigious Williams Honors College live in the Honors Residence Hall with other high-achieving, self-motivated students. They can apply for additional scholarships, and gain leadership experience through student organizations and through the Honors Leadership Summit. Further, students in the Williams Honors College design their own research focus, and get personal attention from faculty advisers.