Twenty-two 2017 graduates honored with awards at Commencement

May 12, 2017

Twenty-two 2017 law graduates were honored with awards recognizing their scholastic achievements and professional and personal leadership during their tenure at Vanderbilt Law School, and recognized during Commencement ceremonies May 11.

Laura DolbowLaura Elizabeth Dolbow of Alpharetta, Georgia, received the Founder’s Medal, signifying first honors in Vanderbilt Law School’s Class of 2017, at the university’s Commencement ceremony. She also received the Robert F. Jackson Memorial Prize, awarded to the member of the second-year class who maintains the highest scholastic average during the first two years of law school, the Archie B. Martin Memorial Prize for Scholarship, awarded to the student of the first-year law class who earned the highest general average for the year for 2014-15, the Weldon B. White Prize, awarded to the graduate who submitted the best paper in fulfillment of the law school’s advanced writing requirement, and the Morgan Prize, awarded to the graduate who submitted the outstanding piece of writing to the Vanderbilt Law Review during the school year.

Carly MyersCarly Alexis Myers of Gainesville, Florida, received the Bennett Douglas Bell Memorial Prize, awarded to “the student of the senior law class who is not only well-versed in the law, but who shows the highest conception of the ethics of the profession.” This is the only award whose recipient is chosen by the vote of the entire law faculty.

Kamron Cesar Cox of  Lexington, Kentucky,  received the Chris Lantz Award, awarded each year to a student who demonstrates a dedication to developing a sense of community among his classmates with a strong capacity for leadership and commitment to his legal studies. This award was endowed by the Class of 2011 in memory of their friend and classmate Chris Lantz.

Darrius M. Woods of Riverdale, Georgia, received the Damali A. Booker Award, presented each year to the third-year law student who has a keen dedication to legal activism and a demonstrated commitment to confronting social issues facing both Vanderbilt Law School and the greater Nashville community.

Stan Onyeador J.D./M.B.A. '17Stanley Onyeador of Randolph, New Jersey, received the Philip G. Davidson Award, presented each year to the student who has demonstrated dedication to the law and its problem-solving role in society, and who has provided exemplary leadership in service to the law school and the greater community.

Di Hao of Tianjin, China, received the LL.M. Research Prize, awarded to the student in the graduating LL.M. class who has submitted the best research and writing project.

jeanxiaoJean Y. Xiao of San Antonio, Texas, who completed her J.D. and her Ph.D. of law and economics with the Class of 2017, received the Richard Nagareda Award from the Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program, which recognizes extraordinary achievement in the study of litigation and dispute resolution. She also received the Morgan Prize, awarded to the student who contributed the outstanding piece of student writing to the Vanderbilt Law Review, in 2015.

Clayton Jeremy Masterson (J.D./Ph.D. in Law and Economics) of Golden Valley, Arizona, received the Myron Penn Laughlin Note Award, which goes to the student other than the recipient of the Morgan Prize, who contributed the best student Note published in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Daniel J. Metzger of Rochester, New York, received the Grace Wilson Sims Prize for Excellence in Student Writing in Transnational Law, awarded for submitting the best Note for publication in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, and the Grace Wilson Sims Prize in Transnational Law, which goes to the editorial board member, other than the editor-in-chief, judged to have done the most outstanding work on the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law during the academic year

Kristine L. Gallardo of Tucson, Arizona, received the Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law Student Writing Award, which goes to the graduate who submitted the most outstanding piece of student writing for publication in the journal.

Bianca DiBella of Fort Meyers, Florida, received the Jordan A. Quick Memorial Award, which honors the graduate judged to have made the greatest contribution to the quality of life at the law school through his leadership with the Vanderbilt Bar Association while a student at Vanderbilt.

Soraya Ghebleh of Paradize Valley, Arizona, received the Junius L. Allison Legal Aid Award, which honor the graduate judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work of the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society during their tenure at Vanderbilt.

Ben Raker '17Abigail Elizabeth Moskowitz of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Benjamin D. Raker of Brunswick, Maine, both received Carl J. Ruskowski Clinical Legal Education Awards, which honor students who, in their representation of clients in the law school’s clinical program, demonstrated excellence in practice of law and best exemplified the highest standards of the legal profession.

Andrew James Marino of Westfield, New Jersey, and Benjamin D. Raker of Brunswick, Maine, both received Law Review Editor’s Awards, awarded by the second-year staff of the Vanderbilt Law Review to the third-year staff members who made the most significant contribution to their development as Law Review staff members.

Danielle Lynne Robertson of Birmingham, Alabama, received the G. Scott Briggs Transnational Legal Studies Award, awarded to the third-year student who has exhibited a high degree of scholastic achievement in transnational legal studies and made the most significant contribution to the development of international legal inquiries while a student at Vanderbilt.

Laura C. Williams of Nashville, Tennessee, received the Law Review Candidates Award, awarded by the second-year staff of the Vanderbilt Law Review to the third-year staff member, other than the editor-in-chief, who has made the most significant contribution to their development as staff members of the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Sasha Danielle Beatty of Ellicott City, Maryland, received the Grace Wilson Sims Medal in Transnational Law, Third Year, which goes to the member of the third-year staff selected as having done the most outstanding work on the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law during the academic year.

Tiffany Marie Burba of Mount Airy, Maryland, and Katherine Rachel Murphree Joy of Jacksonville, Florida, both received Thomas C. Banks Awards for the Outstanding Jessup Moot Court Team Member, awarded by the competition team to the members who have made the greatest contribution to the overall success of the team during the previous year.

C.J. Donald of Memphis, Tennessee, received the K. Harlan Dodson Moot Court Staff Award, which goes to the senior member of the Moot Court staff, other than the chief justice, who has rendered the most outstanding service throughout the previous year in all aspects of the Moot Court program.

Natalie M. Gabrenya of Columbus, Ohio, received the Chris Lantz Memorial Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law Outstanding Service Award, which goes to the student, other than the editor-in-chief, who has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law.

Abby MoskowitzAbigail Elizabeth Moskowitz of Silver Spring, Maryland, received the National Association of Women Lawyer’ Outstanding Law Student Award, which goes to the student whose law school involvement best fulfills the goals of contributing to the advancement of women in society and promoting women’s issues in the legal profession, and who has exhibited tenancy, enthusiasm and academic achievement while earning the respect of others.

Congratulations to these members of the Class of 2017 whose law school accomplishments were recognized at Commencement, as well as to Carly Myers, who was recognized at the law school’s student award ceremony for contributing the most hours of service through the Pro Bono Pledge Program.


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