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Prof. Beckman Receives Distinguished Teaching Award

5/20/05—Boston College Law School is pleased to announce that Professor Sharon Beckman has received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University, given out at the recent 2004-2005 Faculty Day celebration.

"Sharon has made significant contributions to our faculty, to the Boston College community and to the teaching profession," said BC Law Dean John H. Garvey. "I’m very pleased to see her get the recognition she deserves."

In a letter signed by a dozen of Professor Beckman’s students and submitted in support of her nomination for the Distinguished Teaching Award, Professor Beckman was singled out for her commitment to her students and to the mission of Boston College “In addition to her excellent classroom teaching, Professor Beckman has had a tremendous impact on our students and on the larger Law School community,” the letter reads. “As a former Supreme Court clerk with a keen analytical mind, Professor Beckman has chosen to share insights and understandings of law with her students and to help us formulate our own ideas. She spends hours each week talking with students in her office, encouraging our development as lawyers, human beings, and advocates for the poor and underrepresented. These conversations further Boston College Law School’s goal as described in the mission statement to ‘train a diverse student body, not merely to be good lawyers but to be lawyers who lead good lives and who will be prepared to seek and to find meaningful work in service to others that will enrich their communities.’"

Professor Beckman has been a member of the BC Law faculty since 1996, and has recently become a member of the clinical faculty. An expert in criminal and constitutional law, Beckman has taught courses on White Collar Crime and the Supreme Court, as well as the seminar "Perspectives on Punishment," among others.

In 2002 she was awarded the Emil Slizewski Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2003 she received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Black Law Students Association for “outstanding contributions in the area of diversity.”

Professor Beckman was born and raised in Illinois. She is a graduate of Harvard College, and the University of Michigan Law School, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review. After law school she served as a law clerk for Hon. Frank Coffin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and then for Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to joining the Boston College Law faculty, Professor Beckman practiced law in Boston with Silverglate, Gertner, Fine & Good (later Silverglate & Good) and in Chicago with Jenner & Block. Her practice focused on criminal defense and civil rights/civil liberties litigation.

Professor Beckman swam across the English Channel in 1982. In 1983 she was ranked 1st in the United States and 3rd in the world among female marathon swimmers.