March 26, 2021
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Maurer School of Law has honored five faculty members with prestigious teaching awards. They are:
Shana Wallace, Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award
Charles Gardner Geyh, Trustees' Teaching Award
Joseph A. Tomain, Trustees' Teaching Award
Deborah A. Widiss, Trustees' Teaching Award
Terrance Blackman Stroud, '03, Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award
Austen Parrish, Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law, explained that the school prides itself on having faculty known not only for legal scholarship and service to the university and the profession, but also for their strong commitment to our students and to exceptional classroom instruction.
"Our faculty recognizes that teaching is an important part of their responsibility as faculty members, and they receive consistently high marks from our students every year," Parrish said. "Their commitment was even more in evidence this year, as our faculty adapted their courses to online learning and provided guidance to students during an unprecedented global pandemic."
Wallace received the Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award. Named for the school's former dean (who is not related to Prof. Wallace), it is the highest teaching honor given to Maurer School of Law faculty. A former antitrust attorney with the US Department of Justice, Wallace was cited for bringing her impressive background to the classroom while remaining kind and accessible. She also encouraged students to focus on health and wellness during the pandemic as they juggled responsibilities at school and at home.
Geyh, Tomain, and Widiss received Trustees' Teaching Awards.
In his first-year Civil Procedure course, Geyh quickly dispels any notions that the class will be dull and technical. His passion for the subject and dedication to making it accessible to students have made Civil Procedure one of the most interesting courses in the first-year curriculum. Students cited Geyh for his innovative teaching methods during the pandemic, such as making video summaries of each class available when faced with teaching the course in a condensed format last fall.
Tomain was recognized not only for his mastery of both privacy and contract law, but also for his recognition of the difficulty and stress of law school. Like many other faculty members, he adjusted his methods quickly in the face of the pandemic, and he was quick to remind students that there is more to life than work. He was also cited for his dedication to the expansion of privacy and cybersecurity law programming through his teaching and through his support of related student organizations.
Widiss's students in Legislation and Employment Discrimination describe her as a rare professor about whom almost anyone has only good things to say. They praised her teaching methods, which encourage students to gain the confidence to participate in class, even in the Zoom-based environment of the current academic year. She has also shown a remarkable willingness take on extra responsibilities, including supervising an independent research project when a student unexpectedly needed additional credit.
Stroud received the Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award for his supervision of the school's New York Externship Program, in which students spend eight weeks working in public interest positions. As deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services, Stroud brought unique perspectives to this program, and students praised him for his enthusiasm and insights. The program has become the school's national model for guided learning in other regional markets, including Washington, DC, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Stroud has created the IU–Brooklyn College Bridge Program in honor of his almae matres, which created a scholarship pipeline for selected students. He is the first Black recipient of the Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award.
A special committee of students presented teaching award recommendations to Dean Parrish, who made the final selections. Because Indiana University continues to operate largely on line, this year's awards were presented via Zoom during the Law Alumni Board meeting, with students, faculty, and board members in attendance.