22 members of the Class of 2022 recognized at commencement with academic and citizenship awards

May 13, 2022

Twenty-two members of the Class of 2022 received academic honors, journal awards, citizenship and leadership awards, or recognition from the Vanderbilt Bar Association. Award recipients recognized in the Commencement program are listed below:

Academic Awards

Bryan J. Teresi of San Diego, California, received the Founder’s Medal for First Honors.

Samantha Caroline Smith of Roswell, Georgia, received the Weldon B. White Prize, awarded for submitting the best paper in fulfillment of the law school’s advanced writing requirement.

Peter Lawrence Byrne of Nashville, Tennessee, received the Robert F. Jackson Memorial Prize, awarded to the member of the second-year law class who has maintained the highest scholastic average during the two years. This prize was awarded in 2021 at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

Robert Cramer of Atlanta, Georgia, received the Archie B. Martin Memorial Prize for Scholarship, awarded to the student who earns the highest general average for the first year of law school. This prize was awarded in 2021 for the 2020-21 academic year.

Lucas T. Osborne of Lancassas, Tennessee, received the Stanley T. Rose Memorial Book Award, awarded to the law student who has submitted the best legal writing in the field of jurisprudence or legal history in fulfillment of the Law School’s advanced writing requirement.

Emily Alison Webb of Fayetteville, Arkansas, 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.

Jackson M. Hill of Tampa, Florida, and Kate L. Uyeda of Mountain View, California, shared the Carl J. Ruskowski Clinical Legal Education Award, which recognizes the student who, in his representation of clients in the law school’s clinical program, demonstrated excellent in practice of law and best exemplified the highest standards of the legal profession.

Citizenship and Leadership Awards

Emily Joellen Burgess of Kingsport, Tennessee, and Anya van Soestbergen of Richmond, Virginia, shared the Junius L. Allison Legal Aid Award, awarded annual to the students judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work of the Legal Aid Society.

Jackson M. Hill of Tampa, Florida, received the Bennett Douglas Bell Memorial Award, which is awarded “to the student of the senior law class, who is not only well versed in the law, but who embodies the highest conception of the ethics of the profession, and who would strive to ‘Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,’ as did the one in whose memory the prize is given and whose name it bears, Bennett Douglas Bell.”

Kate Uyeda of Mountain View, California, received the Damali A. Booker Award, presented annually 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, and the Junius L. Allison Legal Aid Award, which honors the graduate judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work of the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society during his tenure at Vanderbilt.

Natalie Ruth Graves of Fort Collins, Colorado, received the Philip G. Davidson Award, presented to the graduate “chosen by the Vanderbilt Bar Association Board of Governors, who is dedicated to the law and its problem-solving role in society, and who provides exemplary leadership in service to the Law School and the greater community.”

Nicholas J. Prendergast of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, received the Chris Lantz Award, awarded each year to a student who demonstrates a dedication to developing a sense of community among his or her classmates with a strong capacity for leadership and commitment to his or her legal studies. The award was endowed by the Class of 2011 to honor the memory of their dear friend and classmate Chris Lantz.

Kahlil Harris Epps of Washington, D.C., received the Jordan Quick Memorial Award, awarded to the student judged to have made the greatest contribution to the quality of life at the Law School through her leadership with the Vanderbilt Bar Association.

Emily Joellen Burgess  of Kingsport, Tennessee, received the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Outstanding Law Student Award, which includes membership in the NAWL.

Journal and Moot Court Awards

Lauren M. Lankenau of Fullerton, California, received the Thomas C. Banks Award for the Outstanding Jessup Team Member, selected by the Jessup Moot Court competition team and awarded to the team member who has made the greatest contribution to the team’s overall success during the prior year.

Natalie Ruth Graves of Fort Collins, Colorado, received the K. Harlan Dodson Moot Court Staff Award, awarded to the senior member of the Moot Court staff other than the chief justice who has rendered the most outstanding service throughout the school year in all aspects of the Moot Court Program.

Chandler C. Gerard-Reimer of Ventura, California, received the Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law Student Writing Award, which goes to the student who submitted the most outstanding piece of student writing for publication in the journal.

Lisa Orucevic of Maryville, Tennessee, received the Law Review Editor’s Award, which goes to the third-year editorial board member who has made the most significant contributions to the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Nicholas J. Prendergast of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, received the Law Review Candidate’s Award, awarded by the second-year staff of the Vanderbilt Law Review to the third-year staff member who made the most significant contribution to their development as Law Review staff members.

Peyton J. Klein of Fort Pierce, Florida, received the Morgan Prize, awarded to the graduate who submitted the outstanding piece of writing to the Vanderbilt Law Review during the academic year.

Meredith Rolfs Severtson of Saint Anthony, Minnesota, received the Myron Penn Laughlin Note Award, awarded to the student, other than the recipient of the Morgan Prize, who contributed the best student Note published in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Joshua Campbell Moscow of Lexington, Kentucky, and Anya van Soestbergen of Richmond, Virginia, shared the Grace Wilson Sims Medal 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.

Kimberlyn Hughes of Saint Simons Island, Georgia, received the Grace Wilson Sims Prize for Excellence in Student Writing in Transnational Law, award to the member of the graduate class contributing the best Note submitted for publication in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.

Kathleen C. Laird of Nashville, Tennessee, 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.


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