At the Law School's Diploma Ceremony on May 14, the Class of 2017 honored Professor Stacy Kern-Scheerer with the Walter L. Williams, Jr., Memorial Teaching Award, which is given each year by graduating students to a member of the faculty to recognize outstanding teaching.
Claire Lashley J.D. ’17 presented the honor on behalf of her class, and told the audience that the award goes annually to a professor “who has shown excellence in teaching, devotion to law, and friendship to students.” Kern-Scheerer “exemplifies every one of these characteristics, and more,” she said. “She is an excellent classroom practitioner with up-to-date knowledge of her field, a patient listener, and a dedicated champion of her students and their interests.”
Kern-Scheerer relishes sharing her expertise in law as evidenced by “the passion with which she teaches,” Lashley said. She distills complicated topics “into easily digestible concepts, allowing all her students to understand even the most complex issues,” is “balanced and impartial” on potentially controversial topics, and facilitates classroom discussions “so that all students feel included and able to participate.” She also is genuinely interested in students’ well-being, and “enjoys mentoring them through the stresses and challenges of law school and beyond.”
Lashley was a student in Kern-Scheerer’s Health Law & Policy course, and worked with Kern-Scheerer as a Fellow in the Legal Practice Program. She said Kern-Scheerer’s “mentorship, wisdom and kindness have left an indelible mark, not only on me, but on our entire class.”
Kern-Scheerer served as Assistant Counsel in the U.S. Senate Office of the Legislative Counsel prior to joining the William & Mary faculty in 2013 as a Professor of Practice. In addition to serving as Assistant Director of the Legal Practice Program, she teaches courses in Legal Research & Writing, Food and Drug Law, and Health Law & Policy. She holds a J.D. and Master of Public Health from Boston University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Beloit College.
Walter L. Williams, Jr., was a member of the Law School faculty from 1972 to 1991. A scholar of international law, he taught with "enthusiasm, warmth and good humor," as noted in the resolution establishing the teaching award that bears his name.
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