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School of Law | School of Law Honors Alumni and Friends over Alumni Weekend

School of Law Honors Alumni and Friends over Alumni Weekend

The Dayton Law Alumni Association honored five members of the School of Law's community with special awards during the 2010 Alumni Weekend, May 14 and 15.

Steve Yuhas '85 was honored for his eight successful years as president of the Alumni Association with the creation the Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award.

Jeff Ireland '80 received the Distinguished Alumni Award. School Chaplain Sr. Mary Louise Foley, F.M.I., received the Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award.

Ria Farrell Schalnat '99 received the Francis J. Conte Special Service Award. Adam Armstrong '05 received the President's Award.

Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award: Steve Yuhas

In honor of his dedication to the School of Law and his accomplishments as president of the Alumni Association, the School created the Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award. The award recognizes a Dayton Law graduate's extraordinary service and contributions to the Alumni Association, the School of Law, its students as well as the community. The award recognizes individuals who have been deeply involved in the work of the Alumni Association and the School of Law through exceptional contributions of time, talent and financial assistance.

Steve Yuhas served as president of the School of Law's Alumni Association from 2002 to 2010. He was instrumental in the association's efforts to increase involvement of alumni in activities at Dayton Law. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 for his many contributions to the School and the Dayton community.

Yuhas graduated from the School of Law in 1985, and received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from UD in 1982.

He has been an attorney with Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim in Dayton for 22 years, specializing in workers' compensation, personal injury, juvenile law, divorce and criminal law.

After receiving the Yuhas Award over Alumni Weekend, Yuhas credited his fellow graduates for his success as Alumni Association president. "After thousands of phone calls, I can count on one hand the number of people who have said 'no,'" he said, adding, "I appreciate all your support, and it's been an honor to learn, lead and serve."

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: D. Jeffery Ireland

Jeff Ireland, a founding partner at Faruki Ireland & Cox of Dayton, has been trying business cases for almost 30 years and has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He specializes in competition and business litigation relating to advertising, antitrust and employment.

Ireland graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980, and received a B.A. in economics and history from Denison University in 1976. A loyal supporter of the School of Law, he helped establish the Faruki Ireland & Cox Scholarship in 1999.

A native of Dayton, Ireland has been recognized each year since its inception as an Ohio Super Lawyer. He has been recognized annually as one of the Best of the Bar based on a survey conducted by the Dayton Business Journal. He is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Antitrust Section of the Ohio State Bar Association.

He has been active in the local community as a master of the Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court, a board member of the Dayton Corps of the Salvation Army and as chair of the Dayton Opera Association board. He served as mayor of the city of Oakwood, Ohio, for 10 years and as a member of the Oakwood city council for 12.

In his acceptance remarks, Ireland said that attorneys and judges have "special skills, special tools" to help work through the problems facing communities and the country. He encouraged alumni to use those skills by serving on community boards and organizations.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given each year to a Dayton Law graduate who reflects the school's values of professional integrity and community service through achievements of exceptional merit, honor and influence.

Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award Recipient: Sr. Mary Louise Foley

In 1991, Sr. Mary Louise Foley joined the School of Law as campus minister, serving as counselor and friend to the students, faculty and staff. She helps organize the School's annual Interfaith Prayer Service and Red Mass, and serves as an advisor for the St. Thomas More Society, a student organization.

Judge Rice, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, presented the award to Sr. Mary Louise, calling her the "heart and soul of our law school community." He said she was responsible for making Dayton Law a special place, a place where you know "everyone cares about you and your success in law school and beyond."

Sr. Mary Louise has been around the University for many years. After graduating from UD, she went to San Antonio, Texas, to join the Marianist sisters. After novitiate, she taught sixth graders for several years, then returned to Dayton and worked at Marycrest Hall. Another trip to San Antonio brought new ministry opportunities: work at the Marianist Sisters renewal center was followed by pastoral ministry at a Marianist parish, then administrative work for the Sisters. In addition, she is involved in the University's Hand in Hand program, which helps students who are pregnant.

The Honorable Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award is presented each year to an individual who is not a graduate of Dayton Law, but who represents the ideals of the School through exemplary achievement. This award recognizes significant contributions to the legal profession, the community and the School of Law.

Francis J. Conte Special Service Award: Ria Farrell Schalnat

Ria Farrell Schalnat is a patent attorney at Frost Brown Todd, LLC, and has a technology focus in telecommunications, billing and other software-oriented inventions. Her substantive practice includes prosecution, litigation, due diligence reviews and portfolio management.

She graduated magna cum laude from Dayton Law in 1999. She worked for several years as a programmer after graduating in 1995 with a B.S. in computer science from Northern Kentucky University.

An adjunct professor at the School of Law, Schalnat teaches the Patent Litigation Capstone. She is a board member of the Cincinnati Intellectual Property Law Association. She served as president of that organization in 2008 and 2009 and previously as vice president. She is also a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Subcommittee on Open Source. She performs pro bono legal services through Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor in the area of adoption law.

"Truly this is an award that belongs to the University of Dayton School of Law as much as it belongs to me," she said.

The Francis J. Conte Special Service Award recognizes an individual's extraordinary community service, as reflected in the School's Catholic and Marianist values, and support for the School of Law through donations of time, talent or financial assistance. This award is not reserved for alumni, but may be given to anyone who supports the School of Law.

President's Award: Adam Armstrong

Adam Armstrong is an attorney at Freund, Freeze & Arnold of Dayton. His areas of practice include appellate group, business litigation, employment law, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, nursing home defense and pharmacy liability.

He graduated from Dayton Law in 2005. While at the School of Law, Armstrong served executive editor for notes and comments for the University of Dayton Law Review and clerked at various law firms in the Dayton area. He received a B.A. in speech communications/public relations in 2002 from Miami University.

Armstrong remains involved with the School of Law as an active member of the Alumni Association board and assists with organizing the annual Kessler Golf Tournament and Alumni Weekend. He also serves as an adjunct professor, teaching a course in Tort Litigation, and volunteers his time in the recruitment of new law students.

He is also a member of the Dayton Bar Association, Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court and Ohio State Bar Association.

After receiving the award, Armstrong credited the efforts of Yuhas and Dean Lisa Kloppenberg, saying that they have inspired him to volunteer at Dayton Law.

The President's Award is reserved for an individual who provides outstanding and remarkable support to the School of Law and its mission. A recipient is chosen and the recognition is awarded at the discretion of the Alumni Association president.


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