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Delaware Law Recognizes Outstanding Students with Top Awards

Delaware Law Student Awards Collage

Top: 2019 Outstanding Student Award Honorees.

Bottom Left: President Award Winner Shella Borovinskaya and Widener University Provost Fred A. Akl. Bottom Right: Dean Rodney A. Smolla and Joseph D. Farris III.

Delaware Law School recently held its annual Student Awards Ceremony honoring outstanding students from the current academic year.  Two top honors were awarded at the ceremony:  The President’s Award and The Dean’s Award.

Provost Fred A. Akl presented the President’s Award on behalf of President Julie Wollman.  The President’s Award is awarded annually to a second-year regular division or third-year extended division student who has demonstrated high scholastic achievement and possesses high potential for meaningful future contributions to the law school, the community, and the profession. The 2019 recipient of the President’s Award was Shella Borovinskaya.

Borovinskaya is second-year, full-time law student, who has been named to the Dean’s List every semester since beginning law school in 2017, and has been awarded Certificates of Achievement in Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Law and Property II.

Borovinskaya is a Widener Merit Scholar and an Academic Success Fellow.  She is a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and Phi Alpha Delta, as well as the Delaware Bankruptcy American Inn of Court.

Borovinskaya currently works as a Judicial Extern to The Honorable Lee Solomon, associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and has also worked as a litigation legal intern for Bristol-Myers Squibb.  She will join the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro Fellow beginning next month where she will work as a law clerk.

Borovinskaya is a 2017 graduate of Montclair State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies.  She is scheduled to graduate in 2020 and will sit for the Delaware Bar Examination.  Borovinskaya plans to practice corporate or bankruptcy in Delaware.

Dean Rodney A. Smolla presented the Dean’s Award, which is awarded annually to a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding legal aptitude, exemplary service, significant leadership skills and the potential to become an outstanding member of the legal community.  The 2019 recipient of the Dean’s Award was Joseph D. Farris III.

Farris is a fourth-year, extended division student.  He has been named to the Dean’s List every semester since beginning law school in 2015, and has been awarded Certificates of Achievement in Contracts, Property I, Administrative Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property Law, Federal Tax, and Business Principles.  

Farris is a current Wolcott Fellow, working for The Honorable Karen Valihura of the Delaware Supreme Court.  He is also the John Schmutz Corporate and Business Law Institute Fellow, an Academic Success Program Fellow, and Copy Editor on the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.

Farris earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, where he participated as a midshipman in the Navy ROTC program.  He then served in the U.S. Navy as a naval officer aboard guided missile destroyers USS Stout and USS Gonzalez as the Communications Officer, and USS McFaul as the Damage Control Assistant.  After the Navy, he worked as an applications engineer in filtration technologies and portable electronics, and as a project manager for medical device labeling at W.L. Gore and Associates.

Farris is the author of “Competing Interests of a Government Appointed Public-Private Partnership Board of a Nonprofit Corporation,” which will be published in the next issue of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.   

Farris is an active member of the Black Law Students Association, the Student Bar Association, the Delaware State Bar Association, the Delaware Barristers, and the Rodney Inn of Court, and has participated in the law school’s Veterans Law Clinic and the Wills for Heroes program.

Farris is the recipient of multiple scholarships and awards, the most recent of which are the 2018 President’s Award and the 2019 American College of Bankruptcy/Distinguished Bankruptcy Law Student Award for the Third Circuit.

Farris is scheduled to graduate in May and will sit for the Delaware bar examination and ultimately practice corporate law in Delaware.



Linda L. Ammons Diversity Scholarship: Rachel L. Tarver
Alfred Avins Memorial Scholarship: Amanda R. Jester
Bank of America Scholarship: Morgan T. Smith
Carl Battle and Leon Williams African-American Law Scholarship: Libna Destin 
Howard M. Berg Scholarship: Justin K. Risser 
E. Wallace Chadwick Memorial Scholarship: Rachel E. Cordano and Ryan M. Messina 
Harvey Alan Chernoff Memorial Scholarship: Alexandria M. Shaffer
Esther F. Clark Memorial Scholarship: Gordon W. Prince 
William Conner Memorial Scholarship: Gordon W. Prince 
The Honorable James C. Crumlish Scholarship: Vernon M. Vassallo
The Honorable Joseph W. deFuria Scholarship: Na'tise M. Bankston 
Delaware Association of Lawyers' Spouses Scholarship: Jaevan C. Owens
Edmund Dobrowolski Memorial Scholarship: Ashley L. Pipari
The Honorable William Duffy Memorial Scholarship: Olabisi A. Alabi 
Nancy and Howard Finkelman Scholarship: Regan M. Ward-Allen 
Friends of Widener University Delaware Law School Scholarship: Emily R. Mathews 
Honey F. Golby Memorial Scholarship: Kacee R. Benson
Zelda K. Herrmann Memorial Scholarship: Ashley N. Farrell 
The Honorable Ned L. Hirsh Memorial Scholarship: Michael R. Stacey 
Fairfax Leary, Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Joseph D. Farris III 
Paul Isaac Leiter Memorial Scholarship: Yvette L. Donaldson 
The Honorable Alan B. Levin Scholarship: Megan E. Traynor 
Thomas Lodge Memorial Scholarship: Victoria K. Storz 
Miller Scholarship Fund: Hunter Nicole Urban
Charles P. Mirarchi, Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Mathieu W. O'Brien 
Bruce M. & Elizabeth M. Monroe Endowed Scholarship: Joseph D. Farris III and Adam F. Grott 
Michael J. Petrelia Memorial Scholarship: Anna E. Brady
Angelina & Victor Piccone Memorial Scholarship: Tamara N. Holloway 
William Prickett Corporate & Business Law Scholarship: Jill K. Dolan 
Dean Anthony J. Santoro Scholarship: Colleen M. Degnan 
Alexander V. Sarcione, Jr. Scholarship: Alexandria M. Shaffer 
William I. Schaffer Memorial Scholarship: Connie E. Henderson 
Taishoff Family Endowed Scholarship: Christopher M. Farrell 
John Warrington Memorial Scholarship: Kathryn S. Stein 
Bernard S. Wildstein Scholarship: Claudine Malone


Chadwick Constitutional Education Fellowship: Carlene S. Clark and Alberto M. Longo 
Domestic Violence Research & Advocacy Fellowship: Allison H. Danta 
John F. Schmutz Corporate & Business Law Institute Fellowship: Joseph D. Farris III 
The Honorable Peter J. Walsh Externship for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware: Libna Destin 
The Josiah Oliver Wolcott Fellowship: Carlene S. Clark, Joseph D. Farris III, Travis S. Gray, Justin S. Pollard, and Gordon W. Prince.

Pro Bono Distinction

Olabisi A. Alabi, Na'tise M. Bankston, Nicole L. Crincoli, Alexandria J. Crouthamel, Colleen M. Degnan, Giovanna C. Genoese, Mark Gurenlian, Claudia E. Kriza, Denita C. Latta, Kaley J. Miller-Schaffer, Brooke E. Mills-Deckert, Hannah B. Race, Ashley R. Resh, Vincent A. Sannuti, Kathryn S. Stein, Monica L. Szyszkiewicz, Megan E. Traynor, and Regan M. Ward-Allen.

Achievement Awards

Howard M. Berg Award: Joseph D. Farris III
BLSA Award: Karla Jean-Baptiste
Beth H. Christman Award of Excellence: Kaitlyn M. Mazur
William J. Conner Memorial Award for Administrative Law: Gordon W. Prince
Nicole Cullison Memorial Award: Cassandra T. Destefano 
The Erin Daly First Generation Award: Sarkis Dramgotchian 
The Honorable Joseph W. deFuria Commencement Award: Travis S. Gray 
Judge J. Cullen Ganey Criminal Procedure Award: Gordon W. Prince 
The Dr. Arnold V. Giusini Award: Jill K. Dolan 
Graham Foundation Award: Elen O'Donnell 
GreenWatch Institute Award in Memory of June MacArtor: Sara E. Evans 
GreenWatch Institute Scholarship Award in Memory of Jerry Shields: David C. Little 
GreenWatch Institute Award in Memory of Charles J. Zencey: Myca L. Davis 
Reed Hamilton Memorial Award: Patrick J. Brennan
Zelda K. Herrmann Memorial Cup Award: Claudine Malone 
International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award: Elen O'Donnell
George B. Lindsay Foundation Award: Quinn T. Griffith and Justin S. Pollard 
Thomas P. Lomax and Nicholas Theodore Memorial Award: Denita C. Latta
Christine McDermott Award: Giovanna C. Genoese 
Lucinda Peipher Memorial Award: Courtney C. Tibbet 
Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association: Elizabeth K. Rall 
William Prickett Corporate Law Award: Jill K. Dolan 
Alexander V. Sarcione, Jr. Memorial Award: Alexandria J. Crouthamel 
Dean Arthur A. Weeks Outstanding Student Service Award: Elizabeth K. Rall 
E. John Wherry, Jr./Widener Law Public Service and Advocacy Award: Breana D. Barker and Allison H. Danta 
William J. and Ella C. Wolf Award in Real Property Law: Ashley N. Farrell 
Charles J. Zencey Memorial Award: Charlotte M. Mastoridis
Outstanding Student Service Award: Breana D. Barker, Giovanna C. Genoese, Travis S. Gray, Connie E. Henderson, Claudia E. Kriza, Denita C. Latta, Elen O'Donnell, Elizabeth K. Rall, Zachary J. Schnapp, Megan E. Traynor, and Kathryn S. Stein.