Duke Law Community Gathers to Celebrate Excellence

April 20, 2007Duke Law News

Students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Law Library’s Reading Room on April 18 to celebrate initiative and excellence – achievements the student organizers dubbed “Duke Outstanding and Noteworthy Endeavors,” or D.O.N.E. “We wanted to appreciate one another as a community,” Duke Bar Association (DBA) Michael Pusateri told more than 200 attendees. “It’s cool to look out and see a community of people who are so passionate about what they do, considerate, and caring of one another. That’s what first brought me to Duke and what continues to inspire me every day.”

The DBA recognized Professor Catherine Fisk with its Distinguished Teaching Award for the 2006-2007 academic year. “There is no one at Duke more committed to students than Catherine Fisk,” said Ryan McLeod ’07, in announcing the award. “Hers is an infectious passion, and it is impossible to take her class without catching some of that passion. In her class, more than any other, I learned how to be a law student, how to think like a lawyer and, most importantly, how to maintain a larger perspective about what lawyers should be doing.”

The DBA also presented its inaugural D.O.N.E awards to student organizations for their work and achievements in the past academic year. The Black Law Students Association received the award for “Greatest Contribution to Civic Discourse.” The Women’s Law Students Association received the award for “Most Active in Law Student Life.” The Business Law Society received the award for “Greatest Role in Building Relationships” with special mention of its unique ESQ. career symposium, which brings students together with leading practitioners. The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) which this year raised a record $91,000 to help students pursue public interest positions, received the award for “Greatest Service to the Community.” Finally, Lauren Mandell ’07, founder of the Duke Law Hurricane Relief Project, and an organizer of the Spring Break Mission Trip to New Orleans, was named “Outstanding Student Organization President.”

Dean Katharine Bartlett presented her annual “Blueprint Awards,” which recognize staff and faculty commitment to the values set out in the Duke Blueprint to LEAD. Doris Henson, the Library’s long-time cataloguing librarian, received the “Staff Can Do Award” for excellence in “customer service,” creativity, collaboration, and demonstration of a positive attitude in her work.

Alston & Bird Professor of Law and Political Science Erwin Chemerinsky received the faculty Blueprint Award recognizing the faculty members who best facilitates and encourages student intellectual enlightenment and collaboration; Bartlett noted Chemerinsky’s accessibility to students, as well as his mentorship and practice of involving students in his work as an advocate.

The staff “Blueprint Award,” honoring the most significant contribution to the goals expressed in the Blueprint, including engagement, leadership, and professionalism, went to Director of Educational Technologies, Wayne Miller who is known, Bartlett said, for his calm, collaborative approach to his work across all areas of and constituencies in the Law School.

Professor Mitu Gulati, who Bartlett described as a “whirlwind of intellectual activity,” received the “Collaboration Award” for his prolific, interdisciplinary collaborations; no one on the faculty has written more co-authored works, Bartlett said.

Administrative Services team member Renee Valade was honored with the “Staff Collaboration Award,” which recognizes the staff member whose contributions to team work and collaboration enhance the productivity of others. Bartlett praised Valade’s patience, attention to detail, and teamwork in assisting faculty, centers, and staff with grant applications and budget planning and management.

Professor Ralf Michaels received the “Faculty Scholarship Award,” which honors the faculty member who a faculty committee finds has written the year’s best scholarly piece. Michaels’ widely praised article, “Two Paradigms of Jurisdiction,” was published as the lead article in 2006 in the Michigan Journal of International Law.

After celebrating faculty scholarship published during the academic year, including 15 full-length books, the community paid tribute to Dean Bartlett. The DBA presented her with a handmade quilt, featuring handwritten notes and photographs of student life taken over her tenure as dean.
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