The Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law honored its outstanding academic and service student leaders Thursday, April 26 at a ceremony in the administration building moot courtroom. The event is a prelude to the Law School commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 20.
The audience included students and their families, donors and members of the law school community. Law Dean Linda L. Ammons told the students they are "absolutely phenomenal."
"You students are the heart of this Law School," she said. "You are all examples of the very best that society has to offer."
Ammons also thanked the donors and supporters of the awards. "Without you most of the work being done by our students would be absolutely impossible," she said.
She went on to give the Valedictorian Award to student Ann L. Martin, as the top student in the class of 2007. Prior to law school, Martin spent time as a writer/editor for a liberal arts college, administering educational exchange programs with China and directing the East Asia relief and development programs of the nonprofit organization Mennonite Central Committee. Martin now works part-time for the Lancaster firm Gibbel, Kraybill and Hess, LLP with plans to join them full-time after the bar exam as an associate in general litigation.
Ammons then presented the Dean's Award to student Elizabeth F. Murdock. The honor is given annually to the graduating student who, in the dean's opinion, has demonstrated outstanding legal aptitude, exemplary service, significant leadership skills and the potential to become an outstanding member of the legal community.
Murdock's prior professional background as a physical therapist spans 21 years with a broad base of clinical skills and management experience. She hopes to combine her medical and legal knowledge toward a future goal of working in health care or disability law. She is in the top 10 percent of the evening division class and has earned multiple certificates of achievement.
Murdock is the recipient of the 2004-2005 James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship and a Widener University School of Law Merit Scholarship. She currently works as a certified legal intern at the Widener Civil Law Clinic in addition to her job at Hershey Physical Therapy Services in Lititz. Murdock is a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and advanced to the quarter finals in the 2007 internal competition.
Widener University Senior Vice President and Provost attended the ceremony and gave the President's Award to student Nicole E. Carter. The honor is given to the second-year student who has demonstrated scholastic achievement and possesses high potential for meaningful contribution to the law school, the community and the profession.
Carter has worked with the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program, preparing income tax returns for mid to low-income Pennsylvanians. She also plans to volunteer with the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Center over the summer. CATRA provides therapeutic horseback riding to children and young adults who have mental and physical disabilities, as well as terminal illnesses. Carter is a 20-year equestrian and competed for Clemson University while completing her undergraduate degree.
At Widener, she will be the 2007-2008 Widener Law Journal Executive Managing Editor and the comment she wrote on the Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment initiative in Pennsylvania will be published in the forthcoming volume of the Widener Law Journal. She also participates in the student mentor and academic support fellow programs. Additionally, she is the Harrisburg campus student blogger for the Admissions Office.
She will work this summer as an associate in the Harrisburg office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.
A full list of the other honors:
- George C. Blissman Memorial Award - Jonathan D. Koltash
- Honorable James C. Crumlish Scholarship - Brandon J. Pierce
- Edmund Dobrowolski Memorial Scholarship - Cynthia Von Schlichten
- Pamela K. Karpouzis Memorial Scholarship - Angel M. Lineberry
- Fairfax Leary, Jr. Memorial Scholarship - Audrey L. Buglione
- Paul Isaac Leiter Memorial Scholarship - Rebecca R. Waldemar
- Thomas S. Lodge Memorial Scholarship - Lisa K. Kelly
- John Warrington Memorial Scholarship - Kirsten Gardner
- ALI-ABA Scholarship & Leadership Award - John J. Herman
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Award - Audrey L. Buglione
- American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence - Tara J. Mondelli
- James S. Bowman American Inn of Court Award - John K. Geschwindt
- E. John Wherry, Jr. Award - Christopher F. Schellhorn
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award - Brian C. Jordan
- Legal Research and Writing Award - Jessica L. Wray, Ann L. Martin
- John A. Fillion Memorial Award - Kimberly K. Moraski
- Most Promising Civil Litigator Award - Sara M. Hockenberry
- Outstanding Clinical Advocacy Award - Richard W. McCoy
- Dean of Students Pro Bono Service Award - Brian C. Jordan
- Moot Court Honor Society Outstanding Executive Board Member - Audrey L. Buglione
- Trial Advocacy Honor Society Outstanding Executive Board Member - Sara M. Hockenberry
- Widener Law Journal Award for Distinguished Legal Scholarship - Tara J. Mondelli
- Dean Anthony J. Santoro Outstanding Service Award - Kimberly A. Allen
- Widener University School of Law Outstanding Service Awards:
- Arnold Bituin
- Jonathan D. Koltash
- Dean P. Fox
- Jeremy S. Montgomery
- John J. Herman
- Angela Sindaco
- Trisha D. Hoover
- Niti Zinzuwadia-Trikha
- Outstanding Law & Government Student Award - Lena Monje
- Distinguished Service Award - Alyssa H. Knisely