Each year at Commencement, the law school recognizes
outstanding faculty with three award categories: service, scholarship and
teaching. This year, Professor Donna Young, Professor Keith Hirokawa and
Professor Mary Lynch received awards.
Professor Young received the Faculty Excellence in Service
award, in large part for dedicating more than 20 years to the professional
development and well-being of Albany Law students, often meeting students
before the enroll at the school and continuing to serve as a mentor beyond
their graduation. She serves as advisor for the Black Law Student Association,
the Latin American Law Student Association, and the Worker’s Rights and Labor
Law Pro Bono Project. She is active at recruitment forums and student events,
and this past year she was the faculty advisor for the Gibbons Criminal Law
moot court team.
Professor Hirokawa, who was granted tenure the day prior to
Commencement, received the 2014 Award for Excellence in Scholarship for his
work on some of the most critical challenges facing the planet, from the health
of water systems to the threats of climate change. He has authored dozens of
articles on wide-ranging topics, and he has co-edited a book on sustainable
local development. Professor Hirokawa also plies his scholarship in the field,
bringing his students to the streams and other areas affected by the laws and
regulations that they study.
Professor Lynch was named the Albany Law School 2014
Distinguished Educator for Excellence in Teaching, emerging from a field of
nominations that totaled nearly half of the full-time faculty. Professor Lynch,
in particular, was recognized for her outstanding contribution to teaching in
legal education nationally and even internationally. She is the director of the
Center for Excellence in Law Teaching and the editor of the blog Best Practices
for Legal Education. She also teaches her students the practice of law through
her Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic and other classes.