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Mock Trial

Head Coach Don Martin addresses the Spring 2015 Mock Trial Participants.


Head Coach and Faculty Advisor

Don Martin is a career litigator with experience in the corporate world and with the federal government. Coach Martin has 12 years of experience coaching mock trial at the high school and college levels. During that time his teams have garnered dozens of awards and accolades, including nationally recognized honors and distinction. He holds a BA in history from Yale University (1995) and a JD from William & Mary School of Law (2000).

Assistant Coach

Kierra Zoellick competed on mock trial teams at the junior high, high school, and college levels from 2001-2010. While attending the University of Iowa, she competed as an attorney on one of Iowa's two nationals teams. She spent two years as an assistant coach at Iowa before coming to AU in 2012. Kierra has a bachelor of science in political science with an emphasis on international relations as well as a bachelor of arts with honors in American studies, both from the University of Iowa (2010). She also has a master of arts in international development from American University (2014).

Student Executive Board

Email the executive board at

President: Ashwini Velchamy, CAS 2017
Vice President: Jessica Cianci, CAS 2017
Logistics Coordinator: Anna Mehrabyan, SPA 2018
Treasurer: Taylor Heywood, Kogod/CAS 2018
Event Coordinator: Lorrin Melanson, SPA 2017

Ashwini Belchamy, Mock Trial President

President: Ashwini Velchamy

Ashwini Velchamy is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a dual degree in Computer Science and Economics. Ashwini is from the Bay Area in California and is passionate about reforming the "criminal justice" system as well as in combining her majors to find a practical way to reduce corruption in lower level offices in Tamil Nadu, India. During her time at AU, Ashwini has worked at the university's technology support desk and interned at the Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and Girls Who Code. Ashwini is currently the President of American University's Mock Trial team, of which she's been a proud member since her freshman year.

Jessica Cianci, Mock Trial Vice President

Vice President: Jessica Cianci

Jessica Cianci is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a degree in Anthropology with a minor in Psychology. She is from the western suburbs of Chicago and had never done Mock Trial before she got to American University her freshman year. She enjoys being both a witness and an attorney on the team and is excited to be recruiting new members as the Vice President. She is a Junior Research Associate with the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute and works as a Student Research Associate part time at American University's Justice Programs Office. Jessica is currently studying for the LSAT and hoping to go into the legal field after graduation, but until then the theatrics and strategy of Mock Trial will help her fill the void.

Anna Mehrabyan, Mock Trial Logistics Coordinator

Logistics Coordinator: Anna Mehrabyan

Anna Mehrabyan is a rising junior in the School of Public Affairs, pursuing B.A. in Law and Society with a minor in the School of International Service. She is a three-year scholar with SPA’s Politics, Policy, and Law Program. This summer Anna worked as a legal intern at the Armenian National Committee of America, helping build the case for genocide reparations. In the fall she will be a teaching assistant for Western Legal Tradition under Dr. Klusmeyer with whom she has also researched the legal history of European minority rights. She will also be a peer facilitator for American Constitution under Professor Lara Schwartz. She AU’s joined Mock Trial Team last year as a freshman, had a blast competing the entire season, and is thrilled to serve as this year’s Logistics Coordinator.

Taylor Heywood, Mock Trial Treasurer

Treasurer: Taylor Heywood

Taylor Heywood is a sophomore in the Kogod School of Business pursuing a double major in Accounting and Computer Science with a concentration in Game Design. Taylor works as a peer consultant in the Kogod Center for Business Communications where she helps fellow students improve their business papers and presentations. She also works with other Computer Science students and professors in a development team working to increase traffic to lesser visited areas of the American Art Museum via interactive game play. Taylor is excited to take on the role of Treasurer for Mock Trial this coming season.

Lorrin Melanson, Mock Trial Event Coordinator

Event Coordinator: Lorrin Melanson

Lorrin Melanson is a senior in the School of Public Affairs, pursuing a B.A. in Law & Society with a minor in Leadership and Management. Lorrin grew up in a small New Hampshire town, and moved to DC to begin her studies at AU. She joined AU Mock Trial her sophomore year, and has been working with the team ever since. In the fall of 2015 Lorrin studied abroad in Copenhagen with the DIS program where she took courses on the Scandinavian justice system and international law. During her time at AU Lorrin has also worked in the University’s Justice Programs Office, and currently works with students as an RA in the on-campus residence halls. Lorrin is interested in attending law school after graduation and pursuing a career in the legal field. She is thrilled to be the AUMT team Event Coordinator for the upcoming season.