College of Law recognizes faculty, staff, students at annual awards ceremony

University of Tennessee College of Law students, staff, faculty and recent graduates were recognized this month for their scholarship, service and overall excellence.

During a virtual awards ceremony Thursday, Interim Dean Doug Blaze acknowledged Professors Teri Baxter, Alex Long, Paula Schaefer and Scott Childs, as well as staff members Chris Bombardo and Teresa Peterson for their extraordinary leadership and service while working through the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.

Blaze also acknowledged College of Law support staff members for their persistence and dedication throughout a year that has challenged routine work practices.

In addition, the following individuals received awards:


  • Tucker Beard: Stanuszek Law Group, PLLC Award for strong interest in private practice
  • Samantha Buller Young: Knoxville Auxiliary to the Tennessee Bar Association Award for the highest scholastic average as a first-year law student
  • Kaleb Byars: Herbert L. Davis Memorial Trust Fund Award for the highest grade point average as a second-year law student and the Pryor Award for excellence in advocacy
  • Martha Dinwiddie: Harshfield Award for Excellence In Civil Procedure and the Jerry V. Smith Evidence Award for outstanding promise and expertise in evidence
  • Drew Ellis: Merchant and Gould Excellence In Intellectual Property Award
  • Lindsey Hull and Miles McDowell: James L. Powers Award for excellence in criminal advocacy
  • Dave Hall: Cunningham Excellence in Legal Writing
  • James Cole Hodge: Tennessee Attorney General’s Trial Advocacy Award
  • Andres Lozano: Cunningham Legal Research Award for exemplary performance in legal research as a first-year law student
  • Robert Meyer: International Academy Of Trial Lawyers Award
  • Avery Morelock and Kelsi Pratt: Frank Benson Creekmore Memorial Award for future promise as practitioners of law in Tennessee
  • Olamide Oso: Hodge-Worthington-Baker-Donelson Leadership Award for a student who does not hold a prominent leadership position but who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership
  • Zee Peterson: Susan B. Anthony Award for academic achievement and a commitment to enhancing the legal rights of women
  • Johnelle Simpson: William M. Leech, Jr. Public Service Prize for uncommon commitment to public service
  • Jesse Small: Cunningham First-Year Best Brief Award
  • Cristina Spear: National Association Of Women Lawyers Award for commitment to enhancing the reputation of women in society and the profession
  • Abena Tawiah: Herbert L. Davis Memorial Trust Fund Award for outstanding academic progress as a second-year law student


  • Taylor Flake-Lawson and Nicole Williams: Charles H. Miller Civil Advocacy Award for outstanding achievement in advocacy
  • Elana Samuels: Jerry P. Black, Jr. Student Clinic Attorney Award
  • Bei Yang: Transactional Clinic Student Attorney Award


  • Eric Amarante: Tom and Elizabeth Fox Faculty Award for service to the bench and bar
  • Rebecca Kite: Carden Outstanding Faculty Award for Service
  • Don Leatherman: Harold Warner Outstanding Teacher Award
  • Tom Plank: Carden Outstanding Faculty Award for Scholarship
  • Briana Rosenbaum: Wilkinson Research Professor for 2021
  • Brooklyn Sawyers Belk: College of Law Outstanding Adjunct Teacher Award
  • Greg Stein: Marilyn V. Yarbrough Faculty Award for Writing Excellence
  • Maurice Stucke: W. Allen Separk Faculty Scholarship Award for outstanding body of work in any area of legal research