23 2019 graduates honored with awards at Commencement

May 10, 2019

Twenty-three 2019 law graduates were honored with awards recognizing their scholastic achievements and professional and personal leadership during their tenure at Vanderbilt Law School at or before the law school’s Commencement ceremonies May 10.

Joshua Burton Landis (BS’14) of Hamilton, Massachusetts, received the Founder’s Medal, signifying first honors in Vanderbilt Law School’s J.D. Class of 2019, at the university’s Commencement ceremony. Landis, who was a John W. Wade Scholar, also received 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 2016-17, and the Myron Penn Laughlin Note Award, which recognize the best student Note published in the Vanderbilt Law Review other than the recipient of the Morgan Prize.

William D. Pugh of Irondale, Alabama, 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.

Wesley Jarrett DozierWesley Dozier (BA’16) of Memphis, Tennessee, 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. Dozier also received one of two Damali A. Booker Awards, presented each year to one or more third-year law students who have demonstrated keen dedication to legal activism and a demonstrated commitment to confronting social issues facing both Vanderbilt Law School and the greater Nashville community.

Shannon Nicole Vreeland of Overland Park, Kansas, 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.

MacKenzie HayesMackenzie Doska Hayes of Flowery Branch, Georgia, received the Weldon B. White Prize, awarded for submitting the best paper in fulfillment of the law school’s advanced writing requirement.

Megan N. Mitchell of Flint, Michigan, received one of two Damali A. Booker Awards, presented each year to one or more third-year law students who have demonstrated keen dedication to legal activism and a demonstrated commitment to confronting social issues facing both Vanderbilt Law School and the greater Nashville community. Mitchell also received one of two Junius L. Allison Legal Aid Awards, which honor graduates judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work of the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society during their tenure at Vanderbilt.

Vanessa Michelle Zapata of Larchmont, New York, 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.

Alvaro A. Manrique Barrenechea (LL.M.) of Lima, Peru, received 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.

Samantha N. Sergent of Cleveland, Ohio, received the Morgan Prize, awarded to the graduate who submitted the outstanding piece of writing to the Vanderbilt Law Review during the school year.

Nicholas Anthony Baniel of Saint Louis, Missouri, 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.

Emily Paige Lipka of Baltimore, Maryland, 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.

Lea M. Gulotta of Brookfield, Wisconsin, received 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.

Michael D. Hoffmann of Bloomington, Indiana, 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.

Ben Joseph Colalillo of Stockton, New Jersey, 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.

Emily Maree Grand of Springfield, Missouri, received one of two Junius L. Allison Legal Aid Awards, which honor graduates judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work of the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society during their tenure at Vanderbilt.

Timothy N. Townsend of Nashville received Law Review Editor’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.

Natalie P. Christmas 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.

Jade B. Magalhaes of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, received the National Association of Women Lawyers’ 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.

Jenna Irene McCarthy of Sayreville, New Jersey, 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. McCarthy also 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 F. Pike of Annapolis, Maryland, 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

Reem Blaik of Colton, California, received the Christopher S. 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.

Spencer Christian Brooks of Alexandria, Virginia, 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.

Daniel Stephen Lawless of Hockessin, Delaware, received the Stanley D. Rose Memorial Book Award, awarded to the law students 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.

Congratulations to these members of the Class of 2019 whose law school accomplishments were recognized at Commencement!


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