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Ken Turchi
IU Maurer School of Law

Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

IU Maurer School of Law honors outstanding faculty

April 23, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three Indiana University Maurer School of Law faculty members and one adjunct professor were honored this month with prestigious teaching awards from the law school. They are:

  • David P. Fidler, the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law
  • Mark D. Janis, the Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law and director of the Center for Intellectual Property Research
  • Joseph D. O'Connor, adjunct professor of law
  • Deborah Widiss, associate professor of law

"Excellent teaching is a core commitment of our educational mission, and our faculty takes that commitment very seriously. There are many wonderful teachers at the Maurer School of Law, and it is an honor to celebrate their achievements," said Hannah L. Buxbaum, interim dean and John E. Schiller Chair in Legal Ethics, who presented the awards.

Trustees' Teaching Awards were presented to Fidler and Widiss.

David Fidler

David P. Fidler

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Fidler teaches a wide range of courses in the international arena, including the foundational course in international law, international trade, international business transactions and international human rights. He also teaches cybersecurity and global health law.

Fidler's students describe him as "clear, calm and challenging." They said that he "expects them to tackle highly complex concepts in class, but is a patient and supportive instructor, giving them the tools they need to rise to that challenge."

Deborah Widiss

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Widiss teaches family law, employment discrimination and legislation. Students appreciate the wide range of teaching methods that she uses to enrich their experience -- a combination of lecture, discussion, role-playing, assignments, guest speakers and practical problems. They also praise her "willingness to engage them in complicated policy discussions, while simultaneously making clear the black-letter law."

Janis was presented the Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award. Named for the school's former dean, it is the highest teaching honor given to IU Maurer School of Law faculty. Janis is an expert in intellectual property, teaching in the areas of patents, trademarks and IP antitrust law.

Janis was praised for "making complicated material resonant, lively and interesting." Students added that he works extremely hard to give them practical legal experience through externships, internships, moot court competitions, mentoring relationships and research positions -- creating networking opportunities and employment paths that simply would not exist otherwise.

Joseph D. O'Connor

O'Connor received the Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award. A partner in the Bloomington firm of Bunger & Robertson, O'Connor teaches mediation at the law school.

Students spoke not only of his deep knowledge and experience but also of the way he "shares his real-world experience with the class in thought-provoking ways." His students describe him as engaging, insightful and passionate about his subject, adding that they come away from the class with a thorough understanding of the duties and methods of mediators.

A special committee of students presented teaching award recommendations to the dean, who made the final selection.