Published on: Friday, April 19, 2013
Each year, the University of St. Thomas School of Law presents mission awards to faculty, staff, students and alumni for their contributions to the school’s mission. This year’s winners were announced at a lunchtime ceremony on April 15.
One of the highlights of this year’s ceremony was the announcement of a new scholarship. The Oppenheimer Mission Scholarship will be awarded annually, beginning in the fall of 2013, to an entering student who will contribute significantly to the school’s mission. In announcing the scholarship Dean Robert K. Vischer thanked members of Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly who attended the event and noted how important it is that the school “will be adding a mission-centered scholarship as an additional resource to strengthen the day-to-day role of the mission in our community.”
Other highlights included recognizing the team that directed the Rome study abroad program in 2012. The team – School of Law faculty members Tom Berg, Wulf Kaal, and Robert Kahn, along with Villanova University’s Diane Edelman – was recognized for their role in caring for one of the students in the Rome program who was seriously injured last summer. It was a happy reunion for Edelman and the team as the student, Ricky DeMello, was in the audience after missing only one semester of law school while recovering from his injuries.
This year two adjunct professors received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching. Marya Robben, a partner with Lindquist & Vennum, and Matt Shea, a principle at Gray Plant Mooty, teach Estate Planning and Administration and Wills, Estates and Trusts. In presenting the award, Dean Rob Vischer cited their consistently stellar teaching evaluations and quoted one evaluation form on which a student proclaimed, “The Robben-Shea dynamic duo has this course in the bag. Don’t change a thing.”
All the award winners are listed below along with a description of the award category:
Living the Mission
The Living the Mission Award is given to a member of the first, second and third year classes who best exemplifies the mission by his or her activities in and beyond the classroom. The first and second year awards includes a check for $500, which is supported by an anonymous donation to the School of Law and the third year award includes a check for $1000, which is supported by a donation to the School of Law from the law firm of Fafinski, Mark & Johnson.
Alumni Living the Mission Award
Excellence in Professional Preparation
The Mission Award for Excellence in Professional Preparation recognizes those members of the School of Law community who have done an excellent job in preparing students to become professionals by providing instruction in or demonstrating or fostering ethical principles, character, faith-based perspective, and/or global perspective to enhance our students’ knowledge and skill in the practice of law.
Scholarly Engagement and Societal Reform
The Mission Award for Scholarly Engagement and Societal Reform recognizes members of the School of Law community who integrate faith, law, ethics, public policy, and social justice into scholarly or advocacy projects which seek improvement in the law, legal institutions, or society.
Service and Community
The Mission Award for Service and Community recognizes members of the UST Law community who have shown exceptional service or leadership through living out our Mission’s commitment to improving the lives of members within our law school community and/or in our local, parish, cultural or global communities.
Dean’s Teaching Award
Dean’s Scholarship Award