Awards Ceremony Honors Outstanding Harrisburg Students
Web Editor - Published: May 12, 2008

student h awards 08

Dean's award winner Nicole E. Carter, Law Dean Linda L. Ammons, president's award winner Diana C. Esposito

Widener Law’s Harrisburg Campus recently hosted its annual Commencement Awards Ceremony to honor outstanding students. Vice Dean John L. Gedid gave the welcome address, and Dean Linda Ammons remarked, “We take great pride in celebrating, awarding, and rewarding those students who have excelled.”

Dean Ammons presented the Valedictorian Award to Michelle Groleau for achieving the highest grade point average in the graduating class. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Michelle received a Widener Merit Scholarship each year that she has been at Widener. She also earned eight Certificates of Achievement, has been on the Dean’s List every semester, and was recently inducted into Phi Kappa Phi.

The Dean’s award, given to a student who demonstrated outstanding legal aptitude, exemplary service, significant leadership skills, and the potential to become an outstanding member of the legal community, went to Nicole E. Carter. The 2007-2008 Executive Managing Editor of the Widener Law Journal, Nicole graduated from Clemson University. A Student Mentor, Academic Support Fellow, and a recipient of the 2006-2007 President’s Award, she has been on the Dean’s List every semester and earned four Certificates of Achievement. Nicole also served as the student site chair for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, represented low-income clients for the Harrisburg Civil Law Clinic, and wrote a blog for the Admissions Office. After graduation, she will work as associate in the corporate finance practice group of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Harrisburg office.

Dean Ammons presented the President’s Award to second year student Diana C. Esposito. The President’s Award is presented to a student who in the opinion of the President of Widener University possesses high potential for meaningful contributions to the law school, the community, and the profession. A graduate of The College of William and Mary, Diana has been on the Dean’s List every semester that she has been at Widener, and she has earned Certificates of Achievement for Legal Methods I and Administrative Law. An Academic Support Fellow for Property Law, she currently works as a research assistant for Professor Christopher Robinette and has accepted a summer internship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Harrisburg.

Addressing the parents of the award recipients, Dean of Students Ann Fruth said, “We are extremely proud of your graduates. These students have excelled and we are happy to have family members here to help us celebrate.” A full list of the evening’s award winners follows.

Award Recipients

Scholarship Awards
Alfred Avins Memorial Scholarship: Michelle Groleau
George C. Blissman Memorial Scholarship: Jeni Pilgrim
Honorable James C. Crumlish Scholarship: Brianna Davidson
Edmund Dobrowolski Memorial Scholarship: Anthony Hoover
Embracing Global Women Scholarship: Clarissa Freeman
Howard and Nancy Finkelman Scholarship: Rebecca Waldemar
Friends of Widener University School of Law Scholarship: Michael Mitchell
Pamela K. Karpouzis Memorial Scholarship: Melissa Galarza
Charles P. Mirarchi, Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Adam Santucci
Bruce M. & Elizabeth M. Monroe Endowed Scholarship: Leanne Miller
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Minority Scholarship: Fateen Bullock
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Scholarship: Abby Trovinger
Dean Anthony J. Santoro Scholarship: Brian Gregg
William I. Schaffer Memorial Scholarship: Bonnie Hershberger
Bernard S. Wildstein Memorial Scholarship: Renae Kluk-Kiehl

Commencement Awards
ALI-ABA Scholarship & Leadership Award: Brian Cagle
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Eric D. Turner Award: Michelle Groleau
American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence: John Toresco
James S. Bowman American Inns of Court Award: Leanne Miller
The Widener Law Public Service and Advocacy Award: Gaetano D’Andrea
International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award: Chase Defelice
Legal Research and Writing Award: Michelle Groleau, Colleen Reilly, and Rebecca Waldemar
John A. Fillion Memorial Award: Bonnie Hershberger
Most Promising Civil Litigator Award: Clarke Madden and Gina Simonelli
Outstanding Clinical Advocacy Award: Alicia Petersen
Elizabeth G. Simcox Pro Bono Service Award: John Toresco
Moot Court Honor Society Outstanding Executive Board Member: Michael Simon
Trial Advocacy Honor Society Outstanding Executive Board Member: Gaetano D’Andrea
Widener Law Journal Award for Distinguished Legal Scholarship: Elizabeth Schwartz
Dean Anthony J. Santoro Outstanding Service Award: Kymberly Leyva
Widener University School of Law Outstanding Service Awards: Robert C. Altenberg, Chelsea Carter, Jonathan Wilkes Chatham, Chase Defelice, Clarissa Freeman, Meghan Goddard, Michelle Groleau, Amy Quimby, Elizabeth Schwartz, John Toresco, and Melissa Vega.
Outstanding Law & Government Student Award: Matthew R. Krupp
Distinguished Service Award: Steve Kwon