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2012 Alumni Award winners announced

September 13, 2012 | Alumni

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law is pleased to announce the winners of its five prestigious alumni awards. They are:

  • Distinguished Alumna/us Award – Erin Moriarty ’77
  • Outstanding Alumna/us – Andrew Weaver ’02 and Jessica Weaver ’03
  • William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award – Herman J. Weber ’52
  • Community Service Award – Gregory J. Vincent ’87, Ph.D.
  • Public Service Award – Thomas Mlakar ’92

The Distinguished Alumna/us Award is given annually to a Moritz graduate for exceptional achievement or outstanding service to the college or community. Moriarty has been a correspondent for 48 Hours since 1990. Drawing on her training as an attorney, Moriarty has examined some of the most important social and legal issues of the day, including DNA testing of evidence in death-row cases, the abortion controversy, and battered women’s syndrome.

The Outstanding Recent Alumna/us Award is granted to an individual who has graduated from Moritz Law within the past 10 years whose accomplishments exemplify outstanding professionalism or loyalty to the college community.

Andrew Weaver is counsel based in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. His representative experience includes Nortel Networks Corp. in litigation related to the sale of its wireless infrastructure assets through a bankruptcy auction to Ericsson for $1.13 billion. Additionally, he won dismissal of claims brought by Bulgartabac Holding AD against the new government of Iraq.

Jessica Weaver is a former prosecutor for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. Her career there began in 2004 with prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence cases, and she was promoted quickly to the felony trials bureau to work on homicides, burglaries, and attempted murder cases. In 2009, she was tapped to join the Special Victims Bureau to prosecute sexual offenders. In her eight years with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, she prosecuted more than 1,000 cases and took dozens to trial, including two that involved life sentences.

The William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award is bestowed upon a current or former judge who has graduated from the College and whose personal integrity and commitment to fairness, freedom, and equality exemplify the highest ideals of the judicial system. Weber is an Article III federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. He joined the court in 1985 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan and currently serves on senior status.

The Community Service Award is presented to the Moritz Law graduate who has volunteered significant and sustained time and expertise to assist a local, state, national, or international humanitarian organization. Vincent serves as vice president for diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the School of Law and the Department of Higher Education and serves as the W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community College Leadership. In Ohio, Vincent was the assistant attorney general and successfully argued several major civil rights cases before the Ohio Supreme Court. He was promoted to legal and regional affairs director for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He was also vice president and lead counsel for Bank One Corp. and an associate in a corporate law firm.

The Public Service Award is given an alumna/us whose public interest career exemplifies a commitment to promote and provide access to the legal system. Examples of public interest organizations include, but are not limited to, legal aid, legal services, civil liberties, pro bono representation, or volunteer lawyer projects.

Mlakar has worked as an attorney with The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland since graduating from Moritz in 1992. He has held numerous positions there and has broad experience in serving the needs of low-income communities, including individual representation, impact litigation, and development of a regional intake and advice system. Mlakar also serves on the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Board of Directors and civil policy group and chairs the recruitment and retention subcommittee.

In addition to the Moritz alumni awards, the Ohio State University Alumni Association and the University honored Moritz alumni this year with awards of their own as well.

Huda Ahmed ’07 was selected as a recipient of the 2012 William Oxley Thompson Alumni Award by OSUAA. The award recognizes alumni who are 35 or younger for early career achievement who have demonstrated distinctive achievement in a career, civic involvement, or both.

William P. Blair III ’70 was presented with the Dan L. Heinlen Award for University Advocacy. It recognizes those who have realized outstanding achievements in advocating the interests of the University with one or more of its important publics. It recognizes achievement in activities ranging from students and faculty recruitment to advocacy with elected officials and opinion leaders on behalf of the University.

Finally, Alec Wightman ’75 received the prestigious University Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1952, the award is given to people who have provided a broad spectrum of services to the University in official and unofficial capacities.

This article was written by Monica DeMeglio.