NASAMS Melissa Kupferberg Annual Training Scholarship
The Melissa Kupferberg Annual Conference Scholarship recognizes Melissa’s life work and commitment to providing indigent persons accused of criminal violations of state and federal law with zealous, client-centered advocacy through providing high quality training for all members of the defense team and promoting best practices for client representation in non-capital cases.About Melissa Kupferberg
Melissa exemplified the mission of NASAMS. Through her persistent hard work, scholarship and training, as well as dedication and compassion, Melissa became a shining star in our profession. Melissa worked in the capital and non-capital communities in Arizona and Florida. She was a tireless champion for her clients and celebrated the uniqueness and “beauty” she found in each person she represented. Melissa always went beyond the call of duty with each person she met whether client, colleague or friend. She was a wonderful listeners, which led clients, as well as friends, to trust and confide in her without reservation, knowing that their confidences were well placed. Melissa had the uncanny ability to become a cherished part of someone’s life within minutes of meeting her. She embraced life and all it had to offer
Melissa was vice-chair of NASAMS and co-chair of NASAMS Annual Conferences. She was an active Executive Committee member. She had co-developed and presented an ethics training for social workers in defenders offices and had planned to concentrate on writing professional articles on the subject. Melissa had also begun to develop a graduate school curriculum on defense-based mitigation training. In the years before her untimely death, Melissa provided training throughout the country for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Office of Defender Services and was a greatly sought faculty member. She was also co-authoring a handbook for mitigation investigators, specialists, and social science experts which was close to completion.Scholarship Application Process
We invite all those interested in applying to the Melissa Kupferberg Scholarship to write a 1,000-1,500 word essay detailing:
Please send your application via email and two references from attorneys, defense-based social workers, investigators and/or a sponsoring agency to:
The Melissa Kupferberg Annual Scholarship will cover your annual training tuition, up to $400.00 to cover travel and hotel room and taxes. No personal expenses will be covered. Applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Lori James-Townes, Betsy Biben, James Tibensky, all of whom were friends of Melissa. A representative of Melissa's family will also be on the scholarship panel.
Applicants must be NLADA/NASAMS member in good financial standing.
NLADA has established a dedicated account for donations to the Melissa Kupferberg Scholarship.