The Catholic University of America


Graduates Awarded Honors for Academic Achievement and Pro Bono Participation

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During the Law School’s 129th Commencement students were awarded the highest honors for academic achievement and pro bono participation.

Associate Dean Marin R. Scordato presented the John L. Garvey Faculty Award to Thomas Robert Gentry (Day Division) and Crystal Jackson-Kaloz (Evening Division).

The John L. Garvey Faculty Award recognizes outstanding academic achievement during the law school course study. Awards are conferred during the Commencement ceremony upon the highest-ranking graduate from each division, day and evening. The faculty named the award to honor Professor Emeritus, John L. Garvey. It recognizes his 49 years of dedicated service to the Columbus School of Law as teacher, dean, scholar, and colleague.

Assistant Dean Katie Crowley introduced Michael F. Curtin ’65, who presented the Michael F. Curtin Pro Bono Award to Sydny Bryan (Day Division) and Veda Rasheed (Evening Division).

Michael F. Curtin Pro Bono Award recognizes a law student from each division, day and evening, who has honored the highest ideals of the Columbus School of Law by voluntary pro bono service to others. The award is named in tribute to alumnus Michael F. Curtin, 1965, in recognition of his more than 40 years of leadership and selfless dedication to the Law School and the legal profession. The range of his pro bono work and his significant portion of his professional life that he has devoted to the causes of justice, compassion, and opportunity for all have set a new standard for what it means to serve others.


“Sydny has dedicated herself to a diverse range of pro bono projects. Sydny worked on projects for both victims of violence and victims of sex and human trafficking. She also worked with Hogar Immigrant Services clinics to assist immigrants gain citizenship and the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Sydny also regularly volunteered with her local civil legal aid provider, Good Samaritan Advocates, and took part in the law school’s Legal Service Society trip to work with the Orleans Public Defenders. In addition, Sydny interned and clerked with the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney and was a member of the CUA Law Pro Bono Advisory Board,” Curtin said.



“Veda contributed extensively to public interest work at the law school and in her own community. In 2016, Veda organized a Record Sealing and Expungement Fair in Southeast D.C.  She also partnered with the CUA Law Pro Bono Program to host ‘Back to School Carnivals’ during orientation where first-year evening students pack school supplies for over 100 children each year.  In her own community, Veda organized ‘Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace’ Rallies and organized ‘Know Your Rights’ seminars in partnership with D.C. Criminal Defense Attorney Bar and Trial Lawyers Association. In 2017, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed Veda to serve on the Commission on African-American Affairs as a public member. In addition, she was a member of the CUA Law Pro Bono Advisory Board, an active member of the Black Law Students Association, and was named the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Law Student of the Year by The National Jurist magazine. Finally, Veda received The Cardinal Hickey Award for Community Service,” Curtin said.