The University of Chicago News Office
June 30, 2003 Press Contact: Sabrina Miller
(773) 702-4195

Julie Sorkin, graduate of S.S.A., and Henry “Jay” Wischerath, Jr., rising 2L in the Law School

Julie Sorkin, a 2003 graduate of the School of Social Service Administration, and Henry “Jay” Wischerath, Jr., who had just completed his first year in the Law School, were among the twelve young people who died in the tragic June 29 collapse of a porch in an apartment building on the North Side of Chicago.

Sorkin, who was 25, was awarded an M.A. degree from S.S.A. at the recent convocation ceremonies. She was also completing the requirements for the Illinois State Certification in School Social Work, and had recently been accepted for a position with the Special Education District in the Lake County schools as a counselor for children with disabilities and other special needs.

“The tremendous tragedy of this accident has only been amplified today as we continue to learn of the great influence that Julie had on her fellow students, and on our staff and faculty,” said Edward Lawlor, Dean of S.S.A.

Sorkin was from Glenview and had graduated from New Trier High School and The University of Wisconsin at Madison before coming to the University. As part of her program at S.S.A., she worked as an intern at Evanston Hospital, the Presbyterian Home in Evanston, and the James Middleton Elementary School in Skokie.

“Julie was a bright, eager learner who was deeply committee to improving the lives of others,” said Karen Teigiser, Deputy Dean for the Masters in Social Work Program and a Senior Lecturer at S.S.A. “In dealing with the elderly, people with physical disabilities or children, Julie had a warm, engaging manner that immediately won people over. She was cherished by the entire S.S.A. community.”

Wischerath, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was 24, graduated at the top of his class at Boston University, where he studied History and American Studies and was coxswain on the rowing crew. After his studies at the Law School, he had planned to return to Buffalo and work in public service.

“Jay was an extremely personable student - well liked by faculty, staff and fellow students. His loss will be deeply felt and mourned by the many friends he made during his short time with us here at the Law School,” said Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove.

Wischerath had scored in the top one percent in the U.S. on his LSAT tests and had been accepted by the University of Chicago Law School before matriculating at Chicago last year.
Last modified at 02:04 PM CST on Tuesday, July 01, 2003.

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