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Penn Law Recognizes Excellence in Teaching

June 13, 2012

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has named four recipients of teaching awards for the 2011-12 academic year. They are Theodore Ruger (Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching), Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course), Peter Grossi (Adjunct Teaching Award) and David Rudovsky (Harvey Levin Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence).

Theodore Ruger Receives the Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching

Theodore Ruger, Professor of Law, joined the Law School faculty in 2004. He teaches courses in Health Law and Regulation, Legislation, Food and Drug Law and Policy, Constitutional Law, and has offered seminars on Theories of Judicial Behavior and “Doctors, Death Panels and Democracy.”

What Students Said

• “Professor Ruger is really outstanding and knowledgeable in this field. It was even more special this semester to be a part of this class while the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act was being challenged in the Supreme Court.”

• “Professor Ruger’s method for eliciting discussion in class is nuanced and really engages a number of students each class-day.”

• “Professor Ruger is a great discussion leader. He challenged us to take on the role of Supreme Court justices in statutory interpretation. I found the normative and technical debates to be fascinating.”


Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Receives the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan L’05, Assistant Professor of Law, was a George Sharswood Fellow in Law & Psychology at Penn Law from 2008 to2010, when she joined the full-time faculty. She teaches courses in Contracts, Psychological Analysis of Legal Decision Making, and Gender, Psychology and Law.

 What Students Said

• “Wilkinson-Ryan is fantastic. Easily the best 1L professor. She brings the subject material alive with her insight and attempts to engage students.”

• “Professor Wilkinson-Ryan was my favorite professor. She was able to clearly articulate the material and kept the class discussions at a level in which everyone could participate and follow (not to mention, she had a great sense of humor).”

• “She’s amazing…by far my favorite teacher. Her class is the perfect blend of funny and serious. She makes us think independently, while making sure to provide us with the law. I literally can’t say enough about how good she is.”


Peter Grossi Receives the Adjunct Teaching Award

Peter Grossi, Lecturer in Law, received the Adjunct Teaching Award for his course, Drug Product Liability. A senior litigator and former chair of the Litigation Group at Arnold & Porter LLP, he has served since 1997 as National Counsel for Wyeth in its diet-drug cases.

 What Students Said

• “Professor Grossi really makes sure we learn (and want to learn) this material! His demeanor is fun and inviting, and the materials are enthralling. I especially like the final project, which is a jury exercise where we give an open/closing argument based on the facts of a real drug product-liability case.”

• “He really knows his stuff because he’s been litigating it for the past couple decades. Learning it from someone who does this for a living every day has really been awesome.”

• “Professor Grossi is by far my favorite professor at Penn!! He was engaging, respectful and so enthusiastic about teaching the course. I felt that we got inside information on how to litigate a drug products case and I left the class feeling I’d learned actual skills I’ll use in my career.”


David Rudovsky Receives the Harvey Levin Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence

This is the fifth time a Penn Law graduating class has selected David Rudovsky, Senior Fellow, to receive the Harvey Levin Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. Rudovsky, one of the nation’s leading civil rights and criminal defense attorneys, began teaching at Penn Law in 1972 and was appointed a Senior Fellow in 1988. He teaches courses in Criminal Law, Evidence and Constitutional Criminal Procedure. Rudovsky also received the University’s Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence in 1996.

 What Students Said

• “Professor Rudovsky is a very engaging lecturer. His style of teaching gets students to think about both sides of each issue.”

• “Professor Rudovsky knows Evidence inside and out, but comes across as very enthusiastic each and every class. He challenges students on their comments and assertions, which encourages independent thought on the material.”

• “He is incredibly nice and respectful. He is always willing to meet with students in his office to go over issues. Most accessible professor I’ve ever had.”