Delaware Press Association honors Widener Law faculty member, staff
Public Relations - Published: April 28, 2011
Widener Law and three of its people were honored recently when the Delaware Press Association handed out awards in its annual communications contest.

The association gave a second-place award to Professor Alan E. Garfield for his personal-opinion column “Bench Press,” which is published monthly in The News Journal, Delaware’s statewide newspaper. Garfield writes about constitutional law issues, most often those under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. His winning entry centered on protests at military funerals.

“I am greatly honored to receive this award from the Delaware Press Association,” Garfield said. “I am grateful to all of the people at The News Journal who have made my Bench Press column possible, especially Editorial Page Editor John Sweeney and his associate Rhonda Graham.”

A second-place award also went to Public Relations Officer Mary Allen and Audio-Visual Specialist Jim Hampton, in the Public Relations category for Public Service. The two won for their work on the Oct. 19, 2010 debate between Christine O’Donnell and Chris Coons in the race for U.S. Senate.

The debate was presented by 1150 AM WDEL and was held in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom. Allen coordinated the event for the law school and Hampton oversaw all the technical logistics that made it possible for media outlets from around the country to share debate audio and video. The event included an exchange about the U.S. Constitution that sparked a national discussion about the separation of church and state.

“Jim and I are honored to be recognized in the category of public service,” Allen said. “The debate had a major impact and really got Americans talking about the candidates and the Constitution. It was a pleasure to host such a noteworthy event at Widener Law and we thank the Delaware Press Association.”

Allen’s work on the debate was also honored in March by CUPRAP: The Association of Communicators in Education, which gave her a bronze award in its 2011 Cuppie Award special event category.

“I congratulate Alan, Jim and Mary on their well-deserved recognition,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons said. “Alan’s monthly contribution to the newspaper editorial pages does much to enlighten the community on Constitutional issues, and the debate award in the public service category is particularly fitting given the law school’s commitment to that very ideal.”

The Delaware Press Association awards were given at a dinner Wednesday, April 27 at the University & Whist Club in Wilmington.