Andria Leigh Cooper, 44, Wayne, Neb., died Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Providence Medical Center, Wayne.
She was born Nov. 27, 1973, in Alamosa, Colo., to Larry and Sandra (Wood) McNames. She graduated from Beatty High School in Nevada, receiving her undergraduate studies from Fort Hays State University and graduated law school from University of Kansas in Lawrence. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree in 2000 from the University of Kansas School of Law and bachelor’s degree from FHSU.
She married John Cooper on July 30, 1999, in Colby. She was an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Wayne State College. Before teaching at WSC, she sat as a New Mexico state level district court judge after serving as an attorney, primarily in the area of criminal law. She has served as a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney and also has experience in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, victim advocacy, and general areas of legal practice. She has trained law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals in the areas of arrest, search and seizure, report writing, warrant preparation, juvenile justice, fraud investigation and prevention, domestic violence investigation and victim advocacy and sat on a governor’s domestic violence fatality review board.
She was an advisor of Delta Upsilon, a chapter of the National American Criminal Justice Association, which participates in regional and national competitions on criminal justice knowledge, agility, firearms and crime scene competitions. She also creates mock crime scenes and mock trials for classes, which allows students to present cases at trial, testify as witnesses, listen to the case as jurors or assume other criminal justice roles in the courtroom.
She was a member of the American Criminal Justice Association, Justice Clearinghouse and Pi Gamma Mu (a social sciences honor society). She also was a consultant on Faculty Row, and was involved in several committees on campus and the Wayne community as well.
She has been honored as an outstanding professor (2005) and outstanding advisor (2005), as well as received a faculty appreciation award from Sigma Chi (2007). She has received service awards from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (2004) and the Northwest Kansas Family Shelter (2003).
Her teaching interests include criminal law and procedure, criminal evidence, report writing and trial techniques for criminal justice professionals, civil liability in criminal justice, comparative justice systems, and all legal aspects of other criminal justice disciplines.
Her research interests include civil rights, especially privacy advocacy, search and seizure, and the Second Amendment. She also enjoyed scholarly work in constitutional issues involving federalism and separation of powers.
Survivors include her husband; two daughters, Devon Cooper, Clayton, N.M., and Skylar Cooper, Wayne; her parents, Palco; two brothers, Ryan McNames and Neal McNames, both of Palco; her grandmother, Veda Wood, Oberlin; her parents-in-law, C.W. and Pat Hamilton, Levant and Galen Cooper, Goodland; her brother-in-law, Trey Hamilton, Hays; her grandmother-in-law, Margaret Chick, Colby; and nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by a grandparents.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Wayne State College Fine Arts Building Ramsey Theater, Wayne. hosted by her criminal justice students.
Visitation will be from noon until time of service Sunday at the theater.
Memorials are suggested to the Cooper family for later designation.
Hasemann Funeral Home, Wayne, is in charge of arrangements.