Twenty 2018 graduates honored with awards at Commencement

May 14, 2018

Twenty 2018 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.

Richard Turner Henderson of Nashville received the Founder’s Medal, signifying first honors in Vanderbilt Law School’s Class of 2018, at the university’s Commencement ceremony. He 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 2015-16, and one of two Myron Penn Laughlin Note Awards, which recognize the best student Notes published in the Vanderbilt Law Review other than the recipient of the Morgan Prize.

Lynn E. Stopher of Louisville, Kentucky, 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.

Samuel Thomas Mallick of  Dallas, Texas,  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. Mallick also 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, and 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.

Michael Charles Tackeff of Boston, Massachusetts, received the Welden B. White Prize, awarded for submitting the best paper in fulfillment of the law school’s advanced writing requirement, and the Grace Wilson Sims Prize for Excellence in Student Writing in Transnational Law for contributing the best Note for publication in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.

Alana Dominique Seixas of Weston, Florida, 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.

Rachel Zaldiver Johnson of Temple, Texas, 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.

Celine Lucie Fey of Ghent, Belgium, 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.

Julie Lynn Rooney of Monroe Falls, 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. Rooney’s Note also received the 2018 Scribes Law Review Award from the American Society of Legal Writers.

Nell B. Henson of Columbus, Georgia, 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, for her Vanderbilt Law Review Note.

Mark Alexander Carver of Kingsport, Tennessee received one of two Myron Penn Laughlin Note Awards, which recognize the best student Notes contributed to the Vanderbilt Law Review other than the recipient of the Morgan Prize.

Jeremiah Joseph Cioffi of Dummerston, Vermont, 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. Cioffi also 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.

Eric Dylan Watts of Abilene, Texas, 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.

Rachel S. Johnston of Harding, New Jersey, 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.

Stephen A. Vickery of Stone Mountain, Georgia, received the Carl J. Ruskowski Clinical Legal Education Award, which honors the student who, in 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.

Kaitlin Olivia Hawkins of Morrow, Ohio and Blake C. Woodward of Bethel, Ohio, 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.

Margaret Grace Wilkinson Smith 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. Smith also 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.

Samuel Collins Fulliton of Memphis, 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.

Megan Tomoko McGuire of Bellingham, Washington, 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.

Michael Taylor Buschmann of Greensboro, North Carolina, 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.

Congratulations to these members of the Class of 2018 whose law school accomplishments were recognized at Commencement!


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