Georgetown Law Honors Four Professors with 2021 Faculty Awards
May 13, 2021
Georgetown Law has announced this year’s recipients of its annual awards for members of its faculty.
The Steven Goldberg Faculty Service Award, presented in recognition of exceptional dedication to service, goes to Professor Lawrence O. Gostin. The Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Awards go to Douglas Rutzen and Marta Baffy (G’16). The Frank F. Flegal Excellence in Teaching Award is presented posthumously to Professor Anne Fleming, who died unexpectedly last summer.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our entire faculty has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and resilience. I am very pleased to present these awards to four colleagues who have especially distinguished themselves over the past year,” said Dean William M. Treanor.
“Larry Gostin’s tremendous expertise in health policy has been invaluable to both the Law Center and the greater Georgetown community as we have navigated the challenges of COVID-19. Douglas Rutzen has generously shared his professional experience and enthusiasm with his students. Marta Baffy plays such an important role in unlocking the U.S. legal system and its language for our students from abroad. And the example of Anne Fleming, a teacher so beloved by her students and whose scholarship held such promise, will inspire our community for years to come. I congratulate the awardees, and thank all our outstanding faculty.”
The 2021 Frank F. Flegal Excellence in Teaching Award is presented to the late Professor Anne Fleming, a rising star on the Georgetown Law faculty who died suddenly of natural causes at the age of 40 in August 2020. Fleming, who held a B.A. from Yale, a J.D. from Harvard and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania, blazed her own scholarly path by incorporating consumer law, poverty law and legal history into her work. Her 2018 book City of Debtors: A Century of Fringe Finance was awarded the annual book prize of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and the Ralph Gomory Book Prize of the Business History Conference.
In addition to breaking new ground in her research, Fleming was beloved at Georgetown Law for her kind and caring nature, and dozens of students, colleagues and friends shared heartfelt remembrances on her online obituary. Professor K-Sue Park wrote, “Anne always made you see that humor, human dignity, and compassion were a part of what was essential.” Former student Grace V. Figueroa (L’19) wrote, “Her continued support and encouragement… is something I will never forget and hope to emulate in the future.”
Georgetown Law has also honored Fleming by renaming a set of professorships for faculty members within their first decade of receiving tenure. Formerly named for their original benefactor Agnes N. Williams (L’54), they are now known as the Anne Fleming Research Professorships.
The 2021 Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award for the JD Program is awarded to Douglas Rutzen. In addition to teaching “Global Revolutions and Civil Society,” a course on international human rights law, Rutzen is the president and CEO of the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, an organization that works with partners worldwide to strengthen the legal environment for civil society. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from Yale.
In their comments, Rutzen’s students praised both the real-world experience he brought to the classroom and his inclusive, engaging teaching style. One student wrote, “Professor Rutzen exudes kindness and compassion – something desperately needed during a semester like this one… This class was always a joy to prepare for and attend.”
The 2021 Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award for the Graduate Program is awarded to Marta Baffy, a lawyer and linguist who is Faculty Director of Georgetown Law’s Two-Year L.L.M. Program. This degree, the first of its kind, is designed for foreign-trained lawyers and includes a certificate in Legal English and other coursework tailored to introduce lawyers to the U.S. legal system. Baffy earned a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a M.A. in applied linguistics from Columbia; a J.D. from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. in sociolinguistics from Georgetown.
Baffy’s students expressed appreciation for the valuable insight she gave them into U.S. law, and her skill and patience in working with them to develop their fluency in English. One student commented, “I can tell how much my English improved because of this class, even though it is not yet perfect. I appreciate everything that the professor did for us to get us this far.”
The 2021 Steven Goldberg Faculty Service Award is presented to Professor Lawrence O. Gostin, who holds the titles of University Professor, founding Linda D. & Timothy J. O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law, Faculty Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights. A pioneer in national and global public health law, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Gostin has shared his expertise with the Georgetown community as a key advisor to Dean Treanor, President John J. DeGioia and other university administrators, and with the American and global public as a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media.
Gostin holds a B.A. from the State University of New York, Brockport and a J.D. from Duke. In a conversation with Dean Treanor last fall for the course “Lawyers as Leaders,” Gostin spoke of overcoming challenges in his early life; beginning his post-law school career as a mental health and civil liberties advocate in England; and eventually returning to the U.S. and becoming a leader in global health justice.
Speaking about his passion for promoting wellbeing in the Georgetown Law community, Gostin said: “When you’re physically healthy and mentally healthy, you can give so much, you can give to your family, your community, your job and your world. And so, I think that living a good life to me is being healthy, caring about the health and the wellbeing of the people that are around you — and then making some difference in the world.”