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School of Law graduate is handed an award.

A Recognition of Excellence

Mission Awards

Annual Mission Awards

Because our mission is the heart of St. Thomas Law, we annually recognize the students, faculty, adjuncts, staff and alumni who work to further it. The Mission Award ceremony gives special attention to the qualities we value so highly as a community. Individuals or groups are honored in four categories:

  • Living the Mission
  • Excellence in Professional Preparation
  • Scholarship Engagement and Societal Reform
  • Service and Community

Also awarded are:

  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship

Award Descriptions and Winners

The University of St. Thomas School of Law, as a Catholic law school, is dedicated to integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice. One student from each class and a graduate(s) are selected to receive the “Living the Mission Award.” The award is given to the student/graduate who best exemplifies the mission by his or her activities in and/or outside the classroom or in the profession. The student recipients of this honor also receive cash awards.

2003 Keshini Ratnayake
2004 Mark Haase, Susan Smith, Marianna Vielma
2005 Summra Shariff, Artika Tyner, Lael Veldhouse Robertson
2006 Andrea Pavelka, Kathy Klos, Kate Nilan
2007 Christina Davenport, Margaret Donohue, Christopher Nelson
2008 Zaylore Stout, Erbayne Jarvis, Christopher Wheaton
2009 Danny Lyskowski, Amber Barnett, Graciela Gonzalez, Loddy Tolzmann (alumni)
2010 Krista Griffith, Tim Flynn, Trusha Patel, Victoria Jacobsen Brenner/Brook Swenson (alumni)
2011 Roger Maldonado, Celestial Roman, Lucas Rezac, Brekke, Cyborne & Ribich
2012 Charlye-Nicole McMillan, Tyler Graber, Robyn Brown, Michael Kemp
2013 Nicki Limper, Alison Griffith, Elliott Robinson, Cory Wessman
2014 Michael Lawyer, Christopher Clark, Meagan Tinajero, Marie Coulter
2015 Aaron Brown, Ngeri Azuewah, Martha White-Price, Christina Botts/Carmeann Foster
2016 Daniel Dosch, Jules Porter, James Robbins, Juno Nayagam
2017 Nora Huxtable, Samuel Adams, Marcy Kreimier, Michael Boulette
2018 Michael Kelley, Dustin Cesarek, William Thomas Wheeler, Amanda Heinrichs-Milburn
2019 Joseph Nelson, Nathaniel Fouch, Matt Hough, Teddy Michel '07
2020 Samia Young, Adam Pilon, Victor Reim, Eddie Ocampo '18
2021 Kevin Green, Chris Kinze, Sarah Williams, Amy Bystrom Micek, Kristin Giant '14
2022 Gabe Zempel, Lily Hastings, Ka Bao Jennrich, Adam Terwey '11
2023 Dustin Andruski, Micayla Bitz, Molly Novak, Abril Herrera Vallejo, Jeffrey Wald '13
2024 Blair Kirby, Marian Farah, Consuela Abotsi-Kowu, Mohammed Nure Gobena, Megan Bowman '15

The award for Excellence in Professional Preparation exemplifies the following aspect of the mission of St. Thomas Law: “By providing, from a faith-based perspective, practical skills and theoretical legal education and mentoring, the law school commits to preparing students to become accomplished servant leaders in the practice of law, in the judiciary, in public and community service, in business, and in education. The law school’s faculty and curriculum will be distinctive in supporting and encouraging students’ integration of their faith and deepest ethical principles into their professional character and identity. Because a legal education is enhanced by a broad understanding of global society’s many challenges, the law school will also provide students with opportunities for interdisciplinary study and experiential learning.”

2003 Elizabeth Brown, Neil Hamilton, Lizabeth McKibben, Hank Shea
2004 Lisa Brabbit, Gene Hennig, Interprofessional Center Faculty and Staff, Judge Edward Touissaint
2005 Stephanie Boucher, Bruce Grosland, Jerry Organ, Judge James Rosenbaum
2006 Ann Burns, Mary Edel-Joyce, Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition Team (Laura Cole, Jenese Dawson, Sheila Tegomoh, Artika Tyner)
2007 Crixell Shell, Brooke Swenson, Anne Towey, Jenny Weigel
2008 Kathy Bredesen, Robert Delahunty, Saran Jenkins, Ken White
2009 Dave Bateson, Nora Fitzpatrick, Sarah Sommarstrom, Peter Surdo and Tayari Garrett
2010 Chato Hazelbaker, Aaron Knoll, Joel Nichols, Julie Oseid
2011 Sarah Broughton, Deborah Hackerson
2012 Monica Anderson, Center for Girls Leadership (Kathryn Short, Alexandria Campion, Michael Biver, Katherine Wertheim, McKinzie Hopkins)
2013 Jill Akervik, Lindsey Blanchard, Susan Lang, Mary Wells
2014 Ben Carpenter, Melissa Martinez, Scott Taylor, Don Zhou
2015 Adam Brown, Stefanie Hollmichel, Nicole Fredricks Jackson, Judith Rush
2016 Astrid Idalia Lima Castillo
2017 Greg Sisk
2018 Cari Haaland, Virgil Wiebe
2019 Dennis Monroe, Henry (Hank) Shea, Carl Warren
2020 Jon Husted (posthumously), Anne St. Amant
2021 Neil Hamilton, Technology and library staff (Wendy Biddle, Niki Catlin, Bryan Newman, Michael Robak)
2022 Ben Carpenter, Kerry Conboy
2023 Taylor Daniels, Business Basics for Lawyers Student Advisory Group (T.J. Bowman, Trysten Cisney, Anna Johnson, Mike Petschel)
2024 Phuong-Uyen Campbell, Monica Gould, David Grenardo

The award for Scholarly Engagement & Societal Reform exemplifies the following aspect of the mission of St. Thomas Law: “The law school will undertake to expand knowledge about law and society and participate in the improvement of legal institutions and other organizations through recruitment and development of a faculty of outstanding teachers and scholars, sponsorship of academic lectures and interdisciplinary research activity, and establishment of a strong law library collection and staff. As members of a Catholic law school, faculty and students will particularly explore the intellectual integration of faith into the study of law, professional ethics, public policy, and social justice.”

2003 Tom Berg, The Forum, Chuck Reid, Celia Rumann, Corey Wessman
2004 Monica Bogucki, Tom Holloran, The Law Review Editorial Board, Larry McDonough, Salon
2005 Ed Edmonds, Immigration Law Practice Group, Pat Shrake
2006 Daryl Atkinson, Family Law Practice Group (Adam Brown, Kelli Goodwin, Jessica Monson, Artika Tyner, Jennifer Musolf), Janet Krueger and Sonja Larson
2007 Community Justice Project (Angie Hoppe, Tim Kilgriff, Joy Quimby, Brock Specht, Mike Turpin, Artika Tyner)
2008 Dan Olson, Luis Verdeja, Andy Pieper, Shawn Stuckey
2009 Chris Clark, Nicole Concordia, Nate Dahl
2010 Frank Aba-Onu, Hugo Chan, Joanna Salmen, John Sandy, Matthew Stewart
2011 Brotherhood, Inc. (Abigail Hahn, Brian Walsh, Mike Biver, Alexandra Campion, Roscoe Heaton, Billy Baker, Jason Luna, Sarah Gillaspey, Athena Hollins), Lillian Monfort, Mark Osler, Jennifer Wright
2012 Minnesota State Advisory Committee to United States Commission on Civil Rights (Marcus Jones, Roger Maldonado, Ashley Oliver, Erica Sanft, Erin Westbrook, Leah Yamada), Murphy Institute Hot Topics: Cool Talk (Seanne Harris/Elizabeth Schiltz), Thomas Mengler, Robert Vischer
2013 Campaign for Prison Phone Justice (Margaret Higgins, Dominika Malisz, Elysia Newton, Natalie Peterson, Shannon West), Christopher Motz, Greg Sisk, Susan Stabile
2014 Chris Damian, Lisa Johnson, Joseph Orrino, Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society founding members (Jenna Bordson, Austin Bowyer, Kristin Giant, Allison Kadrmas, Steven Kool, Peter Postma, Rachelle Velgersdyk, Deborah Walker)
2015 Rachana Chhin, Richard Farris/Megan McNevin, Carlos Gustavo Martinez Garcia, Roadmap Research Assistants (Madeleine Coulter, Christopher Damian, Katherine Jirik, Peter Leslie, Patrick Lucke, Robert Maloney, Carl Numrich, Sarah Schaefer, Colin Seaborg, Bryan Wachter, Bradley Yenter)
2016 Sara Gangelhoff, Jerome Organ
2017 Elizabeth Schiltz
2018 Rob Kahn, Danielle Liebl
2019 Kaitlyn Hennessy, Leslie Redmond
2020 Ashlie Steppat
2021 Knock First MN (Sara Hunemiller, Sarah Murtada, Jon Troe), Robert Kahn
2022 Mulualem Adgeh, Mariella Manrique Guillen
2023 Sean Smallwood and Robert Rohloff, Daniela Farfan Arevalo
2024 "The Sweep and Force of Section Three" article co-author (Michael Stokes Paulsen) and research support (T.J. Bowman and Niki Catlin)

The award for Service and Community exemplifies the following aspect of the mission of UST Law: “The law school will work to establish a diverse community of talented students, faculty, and staff dedicated to supporting and serving each other, the law school’s mission, and the local, national, and global communities. The law school, inspired by Catholic social teaching, and members of the law school community, drawing on their own faith and values, will promote and participate in service programs designed to address the needs and improve the conditions of the disadvantaged and underserved. The law school will strive to enhance social justice and will assist students in integrating their commitments to serve society into their personal and professional lives.”

2003 BLSA, Dorothy Buhr, Barbara Sauer, Scott Swanson, Tracy Zill
2004 Victoria Jackson Brenner, Teresa Collett, Margaret McDonald, Maggie Skelton, The Student Ambassador Organization
2005 Michael O’Connor, Kristi Schlosser, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, Pete Willner
2006 Katherine Fries, Joe Johnson, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Teddy Michael
2007 Henry Bishop, Kelli Goodwin, Sonia Laird, Women Law Students Association
2008 Cari Haaland, Tom Mastroianni, Sara Swanson, Rebecca Vandenberg
2009 LuAnn Hudson, Ted Litzner, Kasii May, Laura Orr
2010 Valerie Aggerbeck, Grace Magill-Cuerden, Caitlin Tangen, Katrina Viegas, Peter Williams
2011 Steve Astrup and Jacob Saufley, Sue McGuigan, Virgil Wiebe
2012 Ann Bateson, Erik Beitzel, Bethia Hyatt, Amanda Mortwedt
2013 Angela Dzik, Faculty Crisis Team (Tom Berg, Wulf Kaal, Rob Kahn, Diane Edelman), Kerri Kovalesky, St. Thomas More Chapel Choir
2014 Madeleine Coulter, Alex Migambi, Susan Shogren Smith and Jeffrey Smith, Playmakers Minnesota founders (Erik Beitzel, Kellen Fish, Hank Long, Charlye McMillan)
2015 Nerea Carmona Bravo, Teri Guhl, Eugene Kelly, Colin Laffey
2016 Saarah Berenjian, Teresa Collett, Ashley Oliver
2017 Joshua Damberg
2018 Paul Provost, Scott Swanson
2019 Kim Boche, Michelle Gonzalez, Sarah Koziol and Thomas Godfrey; Dillon Lang
2020 Erin Schoenbeck, Wendy Raymond and John Dixon; Wendy Biddle, Niki Catlin and Megan McNevin; Xander Moser
2021 Henry Bishop, Commutations Clinic Students (Kjestina Bruer, Madeleine Haberman, Dalia Istephanous, Andrea Meitler, Zachary Port, Sam Prins, Katherine Running, Ryan Todd)
2022 Sarah Murtada
2023 Kevin Green, Timmie Strand
2024 Noor Datagir, Gloria Myre, Laurel Severns Guntzel, Joel Nichols

2006 Mitchell Gordon, Robert Kressel
2007 Rob Vischer, Pam Alexander
2008 Nekima Levy-Pounds, Steven Tourek
2009 Julie Oseid, Ann Alton
2010 Bruce Grosland, Jerry Organ, Artika Tyner
2011 Neil Hamilton, Al Coleman, Scott Swanson
2012 Ben Carpenter, Uyen Campbell, Sarah Brenes
2013 Mark Osler, Marya Robben, Matthew Shea
2014 Virgil Wiebe, Jenny Weigel
2015 Michael Paulsen, Jenny Cornell, Judge Leonard Castro
2016 Robert Kahn, Steven Adams
2017 Pamela Alexander, Shawn Webb, Jennifer Wright
2018 Gregory Sisk, Michael Boulette, Barbara Weckman Brekke
2019 Aaron Knoll, Lisa Schiltz
2020 Thomas Berg, Ben Kwan
2021 Mark Bradford, Elizabeth Holmes, Joel Nichols
2022 Carl Warren, Kathryn Richtman, Ken White
2023 The Hon. Juan Hoyos, Peter Marker, Rachel Moran
2024 Julie Jonas, Brenda Arndt, Sean Cahill

2007 Lisa Schiltz
2008 Charles Reid
2009 Robert Vischer
2010 Greg Sisk
2011 Joel Nichols, Michael Paulsen
2012 Neil Hamilton, Verna Monson
2013 Wulf Kaal
2014 Robert Delahunty
2015 Mark Osler
2016 Thomas Berg
2017 Julie Oseid
2018 Jerry Organ
2019 Michael Paulsen
2020 Mariana Hernandez Crespo Gonstead
2021 Rachel Moran
2022 Rob Kahn
2023 Benjamin Carpenter
2024 Michael Paulsen