Widener Law announces 2008 alumni awards
Public Relations - Published: September 17, 2008



The School of Law recently handed out its 2008 alumni awards, given annually to recognize outstanding leadership, service, and achievement of its graduates. Widener Law has honored and awarded its distinguished alumni since 1976. This year’s event was held Sept. 15 in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on the Delaware campus.

“Whether student, alumni or faculty member, we all understand that when we are called to the practice of law, we must give back,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons said. “Tonight’s recognition captures the passion of civic engagement that is known at Widener Law.”

Widener University President James T. Harris III also attended the event, and spoke of the school’s Washington Monthly ranking, which puts Widener among the top 50 universities that do the most for our country. In determining the rankings, the Washington-D.C.-based magazine and website looks in part at alumni contributions to society. Harris said people like the 2008 alumni honorees help Widener shine. “Thank you for all you do for your communities, and for helping to raise the profile of Widener Law,” he said.

The awards were handed out by Steven P. Barsamian ’75, president of the Widener Law Alumni Board. Recipients were:

Alumna of the Year Award was given to Risa Vetri Ferman ’92 of Montgomery County. The award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who, through service to her or his community or profession, or by honors received, service rendered or other accomplishments, has brought honor, recognition and distinction to the Widener University School of Law. Ferman graduated from Widener’s Delaware campus. She was elected Montgomery County district attorney in November 2007 and took office in January. She is the first woman to be district attorney in her county and she oversees a staff of more than 130 full-time employees, including about 40 assistant district attorneys. They open roughly 10,000 new adult cases annually.

Outstanding Service Awards were presented to Sharon R. Lopez ’93 of Lancaster, Pa.; Maria C. McLaughlin ’92 of Philadelphia and Gregory E. Sciolla ’75 of Moorestown, NJ.

Lopez graduated from Widener’s Harrisburg campus. She is a partner at the Lancaster firm of Deem, Farney & Lopez. McLaughlin graduated from Widener’s Delaware campus. She is an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, where she serves as chief of
the child support enforcement division. Sciolla was a member of the law school’s first
graduating class, when it was known as the Delaware Law School. He is a partner in the firm of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP, and based in their New Jersey office.

Service awards are granted for outstanding alumni service to the law school as a whole, to a particular concentration within the school, and/or to one’s profession where the Widener University School of Law is involved in the service.

The Outstanding Recent Alumna Award was presented to Dana Vinograd Reynolds ‘06 of Wilmington. The award recognizes work by a recent graduate who shows energy and dedication as a community leader or provides invaluable service to the Widener University School of Law.

Vinograd Reynolds, a Delaware campus graduate, is an attorney with Richards Layton & Finger in Wilmington.