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Professor Joshua Dressler recognized for distinguished scholarship

March 19, 2007 | Faculty

Frank R. Strong Chair in Law Joshua Dressler is one of only six faculty members at The Ohio State University to be named a 2007 Distinguished Scholar. OSU President Karen Holbrook recently visited his class to personally present the Award.

The Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments by senior professors and is particularly appropriate given Professor Dressler’s widely adopted casebooks on criminal law and criminal procedure, and more than thirty influential and constantly cited law review articles.

In 2003, Professor Dressler founded, with his exceptional colleagues and inspired Moritz students, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law (OSJCL), which soon became one of the top two leading specialty journals in criminal law. In what some say establishes him as first among equals in the field, he was asked by publisher McMillan to be editor-in-chief of the four-volume Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, a compilation of top scholars’ analyses of the most important contemporary criminal law issues.

The OSU award also recognizes the character and collegiality that define extraordinary scholars. Throughout his academic career, Professor Dressler has demonstrated courage in taking on the most difficult criminal issues, both substantive and societal. Respect and civility characterize his commentary on and critiques of colleagues’ work.

Professor Dressler is a generous mentor to younger scholars and he serves as a role model for students. Cheryl Collins Gutridege ’03, who served as chair of the founding board of OSJCL, recounts, “Although it is very common for graduate students and faculty to collaborate in most areas of higher education, it is relatively rare in law school. Professor Dressler created a system where student participants in the OSJCL were essentially treated as peers in a peer-edited journal. This collaboration was the defining experience of my education at the Moritz College of Law.”

In a note to the Moritz community that demonstrates his wisdom transcends criminal law, Professor Dressler expressed his thanks, “Receiving an award is largely a fluke… In all matters of life, luck – good or bad – has a lot to do with results.  Things sometimes come together the way you want them to, sometimes they don’t.  Ultimately, what really matters, what we all really should hold on to in life, are friendships and kind words and deeds from others.  I received the award because of kind words from within Moritz and outside and hard work by the Dean, [Associate Dean] Donald B. Tobin, and others (I don’t know who all of the persons are who have participated).  Those words and deeds are what mean so much to me, recipient or non-recipient.”