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MSU College of Law



December 9, 2011

CONTACT: Erika Marzorati

MSU Law Celebrates Human Rights Day by Announcing the Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children, and the Zekelman Professorship in International Human Rights Law

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law is pleased to announce the establishment of the Lori E. Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children, including an endowed professorship in international human rights law, made possible by a generous gift from alumnus Lori Talsky, ’96, and her husband, Alan Zekelman, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

“The Center will serve as a leading voice for international human rights, and provide opportunities for MSU Law students to do this important work around the globe,” said Ms. Talsky.

The gift was made to support the couple’s goals of increasing awareness about the importance of international human rights in improving life outcomes for women and children who suffer—or are at risk of suffering—human rights violations. 

The endowment also establishes the Alan S. Zekelman Professorship in International Human Rights Law.  The inaugural holder of the Zekelman Professorship will be Professor Susan H. Bitensky.  Professor Bitensky, who joined the MSU Law faculty in 1988, teaches Constitutional Law, Evidence, International Human Rights Law, and Jurisprudence. Her scholarship focuses on children’s rights under the federal Constitution and international human rights law. 

Professor Bitensky was one of Ms. Talsky’s most inspiring teachers, and this gift was made in part to honor her impact in the classroom and dedication to international human rights law.   As the Zekelman Professor of International Human Rights Law, Professor Bitensky will provide intellectual leadership and programmatic oversight of the Talsky Center.

“We are honored to receive such a generous gift from Ms. Talsky and Mr. Zekelman,” said Joan Howarth, dean of MSU College of Law. “Their contribution speaks to their deep and abiding interest in using the rule of law and education to ensure that fundamental human rights are preserved and strengthened around the globe for all people—especially for women and children.  This gift also reminds us that law professors can inspire their students to do remarkable things.”

Talsky graduated summa cum laude from Detroit College of Law, which is now MSU College of Law, in 1996. Upon graduation, she joined the firm Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth, & Heller. Talsky practices family and matrimonial law, litigation, and real estate law. She has an extensive working knowledge of the Canadian legal system and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association.

Zekelman is a successful businessman and philanthropist. A native of Windsor, Ontario, he holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of Rochester. He is an owner of various companies founded by his late father, Harry Zekelman, including JMC Steel, a leading manufacturer of steel construction and industrial tubing. The Zekelman family, which is very active in charitable activities, provided very generous support for the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Bitensky served as assistant general counsel to the United Steelworkers of America for three years in Pittsburgh, followed by four years of private practice with a Manhattan labor law firm. Before joining the Law College faculty, she was associate counsel to the New York City Board of Education for six years during which time she dealt mainly with commercial law and education law matters. Professor Bitensky has published a book Corporal Punishment of Children: A Human Rights Violation (Transnational Publishers 2006), a chapter of an American Bar Association volume, a piece in an encyclopedia on childhood issued by The University of Chicago Press, as well as a host of law review articles in leading journals such as Northwestern University Law Review and Notre Dame Law Review. She has also presented papers at numerous international symposia. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Before college, Professor Bitensky was an apprentice to the Robert Joffrey Ballet Company.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

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