Five Vanderbilt Law professors– Edward Cheng, Tracey George, J.B. Ruhl, Michael Vandenbergh and Ingrid Wuerth–received 2016 Hall-Hartman Awards for Outstanding Teaching at an awards presentation in Blackacre April 22.
Hall-Hartman Awards are based on a student poll administered by the student-led Vanderbilt Bar Association. The annual awards, which recognize excellent teaching of both first-year and upper-level classes, are given to one professor in each of Vanderbilt’s three first-year sections and to two professors who taught upper-level courses, with separate categories for large classes with 30 students or more and classes with fewer than 30 students.
Hall-Hartman Awards are a longstanding Vanderbilt tradition recognizing faculty whose teaching is deemed outstanding in each first-year student section and for large and small upper-level elective courses. The awards are named in honor of former professors Donald J. Hall and Paul Hartman, both of whom spent their academic careers at Vanderbilt and were revered for their teaching.
“These awards are coveted by faculty—and they are hard to win because we have so many outstanding teachers on our faculty,” Dean Chris Guthrie said. “Professors cherish this recognition because it comes directly from the students they’ve taught first-year and upper-level courses.”
Tracey George was honored for her first-year Contracts class by students in Section A. George holds the Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Chair in Law and Liberty and directs the law school’s Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program. 2016 is the sixth year in which George has been recognized by students with the Hall-Hartman Award.
Michael Vandenbergh was honored for his first-year Property Law class by students in Section B. Vandenbergh holds a David Daniels Allen Chair of Law and co-directs the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program. He also directs the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review, an annual student-edited volume that includes condensed versions of journal articles from the previous year that offer the most compelling policy solutions to compelling environmental issues along with commentaries from leading environmental experts. 2016 is the fifth year in which Vandenbergh has been honored with the Hall-Hartman Award.
Ingrid Wuerth, who holds the Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, was honored for her first-year Civil Procedure class by students in Section C. A leading scholar of foreign affairs and international law in domestic courts, Wuerth directs Vanderbilt’s International Legal Studies Program. She also received the Hall-Hartman Award in 2014 and 2015.
Edward Cheng, whose research and teaching focus on evidence law, was honored by upper-level students in the category of courses with 30 students or more for his Evidence class. This is the fourth year in which Cheng, who holds the Tarkington Chair of Teaching Excellence, has received the Hall-Hartman Award.
J.B. Ruhl, a David Daniels Allen Chair of Law, directs Vanderbilt’s Program on Law and Innovation and co-directs the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program. An expert in environmental, natural resources and property law, he also studies the legal industry and legal technology. He was honored in the category of classes with fewer than 30 students for his Food System Seminar.