Widener Law announces new faculty; key administrative changes
Public Relations - Published: August 20, 2012
Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons has announced key faculty and staff changes for the upcoming academic year.

“This is an outstanding group of people and we are fortunate to have them with us,” Ammons said. “Each one of them brings unique talents and insights to the school, and I’m certain they will all make significant contributions to the outstanding legal education we provide at Widener Law.”

Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 20. The appointments took effect July 1. They are broken down here by campus.


BrownDonheadshots 2012_200x230Donald Brown joins the faculty as scholar in residence for sustainability ethics and law through Widener’s Environmental Law Center. Brown comes to Widener from Penn State University where he taught interdisciplinary courses on climate change and sustainable development. He also directed the Pennsylvania Environmental Research Consortium, an organization of 56 Pennsylvania universities and the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources. He previously worked as program manager for United Nations Organizations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of International Environmental Policy. He represented the agency on U.S. delegations to the United Nations negotiating climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development issues. At Widener, he will do research and public presentations on climate change, ethics and sustainability.

ColeLanceheadshots 2012_200x230Lance Cole joins the faculty for a one-year term as visiting professor. Cole has been on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law since 1996 and has served as director of its Center for Government Law and Public Policy Studies since founding the center in 2008. Cole also has served as a legal consultant and staff member to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, and he was Democratic deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee from 1995 to 1996. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School and he teaches and writes in the areas of Congressional investigations and oversight, business entities law, corporate law and governance, federal securities law and white collar crime.

AcriMolly 2012_200x230Molly Acri becomes the registrar of the Harrisburg campus. Acri, who has been an employee of the law school since 2008, had served as assistant registrar. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Assistant Dean and Registrar Dorothy Hemphill. Acri has a bachelor of science degree from Bloomsburg University.


AllieChristineheadshots 2012_200x230Christine D. Allie joins the faculty as an assistant professor. Allie is completing her doctor of juridical science degree through the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She also holds a master of laws degree from Trinity College, Dublin and a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. Her expertise is in cross-border commerce taxation issues and she will teach classes in federal income tax. Allie worked as a consultant to Corrotherm International USA, Inc., where she coordinated the opening of a U.S. subsidiary of a United Kingdom-headquarted multi-national, specialty-metal distribution enterprise in 2010. She also served as senior law clerk to Judge Thomas J. Aquilino Jr. of the U.S. Court of International Trade.

SmithChris_200x230Christopher R. Smith joins the faculty for a two-year stay as a visiting assistant professor. He comes to the school from the National Community Pharmacists Association in Alexandria, Va., where he has served as director of policy and regulatory affairs since June 2010. Prior to that, he was a legal fellow to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Majority Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and Sen. Arlen Specter. He has held associate attorney positions in the Washington, D.C. corridor and spent two years, between 2005 and 2007, working as a special assistant attorney general in the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, representing the state in federal civil litigation. Smith holds a law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. He will teach through Widener’s acclaimed Health Law Institute.

CataniaFran2012_200x230Widener Law Associate Professor Francis J. Catania Jr. assumes the role of director of clinical programs. Catania, who joined the Widener Law Delaware campus faculty in 1985, will oversee operations of the four clinics and four externship programs on the Delaware campus, including the Veterans Law Clinic, the Delaware Civil Clinic, the Pennsylvania Criminal Clinic and the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Clinic. He will also direct the judicial, clinical, global and health law externship programs. These programs prepare students for the active practice of law with hands-on experience, while providing a valuable resource to clients who benefit from their services. Catania teaches and writes in the areas of family law, lawyering skills and ethics and professional responsibility. He replaced Associate Professor Nathaniel C. Nichols in this role. Nichols left to become a Court of Common Pleas judge in Delaware County, Pa.

GrahamTammyheadshots 2012_200x230Tammy L. Graham becomes the registrar of the Delaware campus. Graham, who has been an employee of the law school since 1998, had served as associate registrar. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Assistant Dean and Registrar Dorothy Hemphill. Graham has a degree in professional studies from Widener University.