University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Faculty, Staff, Alumnae Recognized at Honors Convocation

Publish Date/Time: 
February 22, 2013

Three Pitt Law faculty members, one staff member, and two alumnae will be recognized today during the University’s 37th annual honors convention, held at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Music Hall in Oakland.

Clinical Associate Professor Harry Gruener is one of only a dozen faculty members University wide to receive 2013 chancellor’s awards for distinguished teaching, research, or public service. Gruener has been awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award, which recognizes outstanding public-service contributions by Pitt faculty. Public service is defined as “the use of University and academic resources to address social problems and to improve the general welfare of humankind.” Gruener was recognized for his “outstanding work with the School of Law's Family Law Clinic” and its mission of access to justice. Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg noted that Gruener structured the clinic to serve “individuals who would not otherwise have the benefit of the advice and aid of an attorney in personal matters of great importance to them.” Each award includes a $2,000 cash prize to the faculty member and a $3,000 grant to his/her school in support of his/her activities in teaching, research or public service. Awardees will also be honored at a reception later in the term.

In addition, Gruener will be recognized for having received Pitt Law’s Excellence in Teaching Award, presented by the 2012 graduating class.

Gina Huggins, program administrator for the Center for International Legal Education (CILE), has received the 2013 Chancellor's Award for Staff for Excellence in Service to the University. Given to only five people per year, it is the highest award the University of Pittsburgh grants to staff members in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the University. According to the Human Resources website, the award recognizes "those whose performance consistently exceeds the standards and expectations set for their position." It is a true testament to Huggins' commitment to Pitt Law, CILE, and the students.  

The award carries a $2,500 prize, and Huggins' name will be inscribed on a plaque in the William Pitt Union.

Professor Vivian Curran will be honored for her election to the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law (see story here).

Clinical Professor Stella Smetanka will be honored for having received the Eileen P. Sweeney Distinguished Service Award from the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (see story here).

Sarah Miley, ’12, will be honored for having been designated by the University as an Outstanding Student. During her time at Pitt Law, Miley served as a senior/peer editor for JURIST, a research assistant for Professor Ronald Brand, and a certified student intern with the Securities Arbitration Clinic. She also worked in the Office of Professional and Career Development where she helped to direct recruiting activities, including assisting law firm recruiters and producing a career development manual for 1L students. Now an associate in Thorp Reed & Armstrong’s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, Miley concentrates her practice in employment and labor-related issues, including discrimination, labor arbitration, and compliance matters.

Amber Jackson, '12, will be honored for having received several awards in 2012, including the Ronald D. Ecker Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Client Counseling Program, Law School Student Leadership Award, and National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award. She was also named a Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Fellow.


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