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Monday, March 23, 2015

Yale Law Women Celebrates Winners of 2015 Faculty & Staff Excellence Awards

On Monday, March 23, 2015, Yale Law Women (YLW) celebrated the winners of the 2015 YLW Faculty & Staff Excellence Awards. At the lunchtime ceremony, YLW presented three awards: the Faculty Excellence Award, to Professor Abbe R. Gluck; the Staff Excellence Award, to Director of Financial Aid Jill C. Stone; and the Award for Outstanding Leadership to Ruth Swift ’15.

YLW invited all students at YLS to cast their votes for the faculty and staff members they felt most enriched their academic and personal experiences during their time at YLS. Twenty-four faculty and thirteen staff members were nominated for this honor. The Outstanding Leadership award is given at the discretion of the Yale Law Women Board to a member of the YLS community who has shown exemplary leadership and commitment to the advancement of women at YLS and in the legal profession.

During the ceremony, students lauded Professor Gluck, Jill, and Ruth for their contributions to the YLS community. Julian Polaris, a former student and Teaching Assistant for Professor Gluck, commented on Professor Gluck’s strengths in teaching, scholarship, and mentorship. He remarked, “It’s often said that the greatest resource at YLS is its students. By being a wonderful teacher, a forceful advocate, and a wise mentor, Professor Gluck helps to bring out the best in us.”

In praising Staff Excellence Award winner Jill Stone’s exceptional service to YLS in her role as Director of Financial Aid, 1L Jacqueline Van De Velde reminisced about her first meeting with Jill. “What I immediately admired about Jill – and what still impresses me about her – is that she is so obviously invested in all of our successes, whether they are professional (like landing that dream Fellowship) or personal (like being able to afford to have children). Jill gives us the knowledge and financial literacy to understand how to accomplish our diverse goals.”

Ruth Swift, the recipient of the YLW Award for Outstanding Leadership, helped to establish the First Generation Professionals (FGP) affinity group at YLS. In so doing, she brought issues of opportunity, privilege, and class to the forefront of discussions at the law school. FGP Board Member Hillary Vedvig thanked Ruth for creating a community for a “historically invisible group of students at YLS” and praised her problem-solving dedication. Swapna Reddy, Ruth’s classmate in the Workers and Immigrants Rights Advocacy Clinic, attested to Ruth’s client advocacy: “No one works harder and more selflessly for WIRAC clients than she does.”

Yale Law Women congratulates these remarkable and inspiring women on their well-deserved awards!