2018 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Awarded to Professors Bergeron, Mangan and McMahon

Advocate. Dedicated. Available. These are just a few of the adjectives used to describe the winners of the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. A high honor for faculty members, it brings an opportunity for students to celebrate their professors and shine a light on their commitment to the best in teaching.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients: Jennifer Bergeron, Sean Mangan and Stephanie McMahon. Following is a compilation of excerpts from the nominating letters.

Jennifer Bergeron, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law, Ohio Innocence Project

Professor Bergeron was nominated by numerous students because of her practical teaching approach as well as her contributions to OIP. She is a fierce advocate in the innocence community and is widely praised for her contributions to the exoneration of three individuals who, combined, served over 54 years in prison for crimes of which they were wrongfully convicted. Recently celebrating her 10-year anniversary with the OIP, Professor Bergeron has mentored countless students and counseled them in the beginning of their careers as young attorney advocates. Her OIP students describe her as a mentor who is humble, hopeful, and kind. Notably, her students say her techniques, tips, and approaches are ones they will carry with them throughout their careers.

Sean Mangan, Associate Professor of Practice, Co-director, Corporate Law Center

Professor Mangan brings a much-needed practical perspective to the law school classroom. While many classes in the law school program emphasize legal theory over substance, Professor Mangan’s classes fill the practical gap left in the curriculum. His classes provide opportunities for students to cultivate and hone essential lawyering skills—such as drafting, negotiating with opposing counsel, and structuring a corporate deal. He prepares students for the everyday challenges they will face as new attorneys, and tasks them with refining the skills which promise to prove invaluable in the field. Professor Mangan does more, however, than guide students in the classroom. He consistently makes time for his students outside of his lectures, providing office hours and a flexible, open-door policy. Aside from being a fantastic professor, what really sets Professor Mangan apart is his commitment to mentoring students, both before and after graduation. Professor Mangan makes himself available to advise students on their specific career goals, and, in doing so, forges meaningful and lasting relationships with them.

Stephanie McMahon, Professor of Law

Professor McMahon distinguishes herself as a professor with her ability to take command of complex material, such as tax, and phrase it in a way that students can begin to understand. By giving her students tools and real world exposure to tax issues, she alleviates her students’ fears of tax law and the tax system. In an academic society where the cost of textbooks are skyrocketing, Professor McMahon illustrates her dedication by providing her classes with personally written handouts that take dense and abstract tax material and turn them into information that students can understand. Professor McMahon’s engaging teaching style incorporates her knowledge of tax into the minds of her students. And at the end of every semester, students leave her class with a basic understanding of tax law and the capacity to explain tax concepts to clients. Her commitment to making sure students understand the material is tremendous, which makes her one of the greatest assets the College of Law has to offer.

About the Goldman Prize for Excellence In Teaching

The Goldman Prize has been awarded for over 30 years. This award is unique because students nominate and choose the recipients—their professors. To make this decision the committee considers the professors’ research and public service as they contribute to superior performance in the classroom.