May 3, 2002
The Winners of the 2002 Yale Law Women Teaching Awards Are...
The winners of the 2002 Yale Law Women Teaching Awards, announced in April, were Kenji Yoshino, associate professor of law, Francis X. Dineen, clinical professor (adjunct) of law and supervising attorney, and Neal K. Katyal, visiting professor of law. Each recipient was chosen by the students at YLS to recognize their "excellence in teaching and mentoring," according to Amy Sepinwall '04, one of the organizers of the award.
This is the sixth year that the awards have been given, and the winners were selected through a process designed to elicit the students' choices. Every student is allowed to nominate his or her choice for the award, and more than 130 students responded this year. The Yale Law Women then derived a pool of finalists for the awards based on this response, and conducted surveys and interviews to determine which finalists had the most student support.
Yoshino was described by his students as "caring," "devoted," and "one of the most interesting and creative thinkers at the Law School." One student described Yoshino's pedagogical skills as follows, "His class was always interesting and enriching. He was encouraging in his response to students' comments but he also didn't hesitate to challenge his students. . . . Professor Yoshino is brilliant, kind, and he has a great sense of humor to boot!"
"As a teacher, he's a little like a very effective mom," one student said of Dineen. "Frank has a clear-sighted and undaunted vision of how the world ought to be and an unlimited faith in his students . . . to achieve that vision." Another student commented, "He taught me what it means to be a lawyer--how to be an effective advocate, how to deal with clients, and how to act in a professional and responsible manner. But more than that, Frank was a model of decency and an inspiring example."
Katyal, who won in the visiting faculty category, was lauded as "dedicated, innovative, and accessible, as well as exceptionally bright." Students approved of Katyal's organization of his classes and his innovative use of devices such as skits. "Professor Katyal truly cares about teaching and this is evident in his class preparation, his interaction with students, his design of the class, and his method of running class," said one student.
Honorable mentions for the teaching awards went to Brett Dignam, clinical professor of law and supervising attorney, and William P. LaPiana, visiting lecturer in law. Other professors who were highly commended by their students included William Eskridge, Jr., Deputy Dean and John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence; Robert C. Ellickson, Walter E. Meyer Professor of Property and Urban Law; Carol M. Rose, Gordon Bradford Tweedy Professor of Law and Organization; Vicki Schultz, professor of law; and Steven J. Gunn, visiting associate clinical professor of law.
All three winners received plaques from the Yale Law Women, along with a gift certificate to a restaurant in New Haven, at a reception attended by around 100 people. The honorable mention recipients were also congratulated. Sepinwall says she thinks it is great that these teachers have been acknowledged for their hard work and caring. She notes that the award "has the potential to serve an important role by allowing students to positively reinforce the professors whom they like."