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2004 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

The Goldman Prize is awarded to recognize excellence in teaching. The Goldman Prize Committee considers research and public service as they contribute to superior performance in the classroom. Students nominate professors who distinguish themselves in these categories. This year the Goldman Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Professors Mark Godsey, Verna Williams, and Ingrid Wuerth as this year's recipients of the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Committee recognizes and applauds each of these professors for their outstanding work.

Although Professor Mark Godsey has been at the College of Law for only one year, he has made an immediate and remarkable impact as a teacher, a scholar, and a clinical advisor. His academic vigor inspires students to attain strong legal skills in the fields of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence. His ability to clarify the intricacies of these areas of law through creativity enhances the educational experience for every student in the classroom. Professor Godsey’s ability to challenge students allows them not only to test their intellectual limits but also their ideals of justice. With his work as Faculty Director of the Center for Law & Justice and Ohio Innocence Project, Professor Godsey enables students to confront their conceptions of guilt and innocence while working to investigate past crimes. He leads, teaches, motivates, and challenges. His work inspires students to work for justice.

In the three years that Professor Verna Williams has been on the faculty, she has made a tremendous impact in and outside of the classroom. Her courses include Family Law, Juvenile Law, Gender and the Law, and a seminar on Title IX. She also serves as a faculty advisor for the joint degree program in women's studies. Professor Williams' past work experience at the Women's Law Center has enhanced her teaching ability and her enthusiasm for the law is infectious. Her classes are known for their lively discussions and she constantly pushes students to think about the broader social concepts of the law. She combines in-depth knowledge of the substantive area of the law with the passion and insight that makes the law understandable for her students. Professor Williams is readily available to answer questions and serves as an invaluable mentor to students. Her dedication to teaching enriches both her students' lives and the College of Law itself.

Professor Ingrid Brunk Wuerth has excelled in teaching for her unfailing scholarship, passion, and professionalism in the classroom. She has distinguished herself by her ability to guide classes through complex civil procedure material in a manner that is pragmatic, yet always thought-evoking. Using the traditional Socratic method, Professor Wuerth respectfully presses students to answer challenging questions, following with clear and concise commentary on the material, often with a touch of humor. In this manner students are led to a comprehensive, multi-faceted understanding of not only black letter law, but of the political and ethical implications, and historical context of the law. Most importantly, Professor Wuerth uses every class as an exercise in the practical application of the law to the real world. She treats students as equals, challenging them to think far beyond the text book. She is able to ingrain in students the skills to analyze difficult material and the confidence to apply and shape the law in the future.

We congratulate Professors Mark Godsey, Verna Williams, and Ingrid Wuerth and we look forward to their continued contributions to the College of Law.