Law School Alumni Honored at Annual Gala
Three graduates of Rutgers Law School and two current students were honored for their service and achievement at this year’s Newark Alumni Association Gala, held in Newark on November 9.
Jane Hanson ‘84, the executive director of Parters for Women & Justice, a non-profit that offers legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, was given the Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service.
Lucinda Long ’84, senior vice president and general counsel of Valley National Bank, received the Distinguished Alumna Award.
Mark Angelson ’75, chairman of the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund, and a member of the Rutgers University Board of Governors, was recognized with the first-ever Alumni Leadership Award. This award is given by the merged Rutgers Law School and will rotate each year between a Newark and Camden alumnus/a at the annual gala of the respective alumni association.
Rutgers Law-Newark Alumni Association President Osato Chitou talked about the mission of the law school, “We are a voice for the voiceless, an advocate for the people that have had no name. “ She credited the Minority Student Program, created at the law school in the 1960s with helping to diversify the bar in the state of New Jersey .
Co-deans Ronald K. Chen from Newark and Michael T. Cahill from Camden greeted the guests and Chen noted that the gala was being held at 15 Washington, the former home of the law school, which recently was reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation.
Two students were given awards by the Alumni Association. Robert “Bobby” Papazian ’17 was given the Alumni Student Recognition Award. He is the senior notes editor of the Law Review, co-founder of the Rutgers Law Runners’ Society, a student representative to the Academic Policy Committee, volunteers with the Hon. Morris Stern Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project and has interned with Justice Barry T. Albin of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and with Judge Jane Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Papazian said he had found a home at Rutgers Law School, “Every day I find myself surrounded by smart, thoughtful people. The discussions are so thought provoking, I buzz with satisfaction coming out of every class.”
Farah Rahaman ’17 received the student Fannie Bear Besser Public Interest Award. She serves as the senior editor for the Rutgers Race & the Law Review, is a teaching fellow for the Minority Student Program, is an Equity & Opportunity Studies Fellow, and a member of the LRAP Board. She’s interned with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal justice, with the Juvenile Law Center and with the Essex County Public Defender’s Juvenile Section. She is a Kinoy/Stavis Public Interest Law Fellow and an Eagleton Raimondo Legislative Fellow.
“I’m committed to the public interest,” she said, upon accepting the award. As the mother of a three-month-old son, Rahaman said she wants to leave the world a better place for him, “I’d like to create a world where there is less hatred.”
Hanson said, “I remember fondly my years in law school. I like to say it was at Rutgers Law School Newark that I learned American history. It’s an institution that held us together and taught the importance of social justice.”
She thanked her staff and the pro bono attorneys who assist domestic violence victims through her organization, “You are too numerous to mention individually. You are helping our clients fight domestic violence and helping clients break the cycle of violence.”
Long, who was a professor at Montclair State University, said she knew she’d be at home at Rutgers Law School, “Rutgers sounded like the perfect place for an old leftie.” She said the school welcomed “nontraditional” students including second-career students and women returning to work.
Angelson, who received a standing ovation, said he was drawn to Rutgers Law School, in part, because of a professor named Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice. However, he said, she left for Columbia University after he enrolled. He praised the constitutional law professors he had in law school and said Rutgers had “a culture of inclusion and collaboration” and noted how Rutgers University has become an anchor institution in Newark. The introduction of Angelson included a video tribute from Jamil Ammar, Visiting Instructor of Law, at Rutgers Law School, who was brought to Rutgers from the faculty of the University of Damascus School of Law by the International Education Scholar Rescue Fund, which Angelson chairs.