Wedding announcement: Lawler & Helms

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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Janet Marie Lawler and Ben Helms were united in matrimony on May 21, 2023 at Meadow Creek Triangle Park in Richmond, Virginia. Janet is the daughter of John J. and Lois Colleen Lawler of rural Northwood.

Janet is the granddaughter of the late Thurman and Lois Willis of Hansen, Idaho and the late Jack and Marian Lawler of Oak Park, Illinois. Ben is the son of Clay Helms of Monroe, N.C. and Janet Childers Helms of Taylorsville, N.C. Ben is the grandson of Carolyn and the late Barry Helms of Taylorsville, N.C. and Wade and the late Annie Childers of Taylorsville, N.C.

Janet graduated as Valedictorian from Albert Lea High School in 2010, was an intern at Albert Lea Tribune, and graduated from University of Iowa in 2015 with a BA in Journalism and a BS in Political Science.

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Ben and Janet met at the University of Virginia where both completed their doctoral programs in the Department of Politics, defending their theses on the same day. At UVA, Janet taught a wide range of courses in political theory, was recognized with a Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award in Social Sciences and Education and an All-University Teaching Award. At UVA, Ben co-authored “The Ties That Bind: Immigration and the Global Political Economy” with David LeBlang, before going on to be a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, while Janet joined the Eberly Center at Carnegie Mellon University as a Post-doctoral Teaching Consultant. After a two-week honeymoon in Italy, the couple will move to Texas where Ben will teach at Texas A&M, and Janet will work at the University of Houston.

The wedding party included dear friends of many years, Man of Honor Evan McCarthy, Best Man Robby Evans, Maid of Honor Emily Archer, Groomsman Caleb Marley, Bridesmaid Rachel Vazquez, and Groomsman Alex Gibson. Officiant was their friend from grad school and neighbor in the Fan District, Dan Henry. Reception was held at Heritage Restaurant in Richmond.