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November 09, 2018
 From left to right: Pamela Zarkowski, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; President Antoine M. Garibaldi; Karen McDonald Henning, JD, winner of the Faculty Excellence Award; Wissam Aoun, JD, LLM, winner of the Faculty Achievement Award; and Phyllis Crocker, Dean of the Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Detroit Mercy faculty, staff and leadership gathered together Nov. 2 to honor two faculty members at the 2018 Faculty Recognition Awards.

Professor of Law Karen McDonald Henning, JD, received the Faculty Excellence Award. The individual chosen for the Faculty Excellence Award is honored by faculty colleagues as the most outstanding faculty member within Detroit Mercy.

Assistant Professor of Law Wissam Aoun, JD, LLM, received the Faculty Achievement Award, which honors a faculty member with between three and seven years of service. The individual chosen for this award is honored by faculty colleagues as demonstrating distinctive merit and achievement as a junior faculty member.

Faculty Excellence Award – Karen McDonald Henning, JD

Henning joined the School of Law faculty in August 2008 and was granted tenure in 2016.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and with Honors from Trinity College. Throughout her career, she has been an exceptional scholar, teacher and colleague who exemplifies the mission and vision of the University.

In the classroom, Henning is demanding and compassionate, as well as fair and rigorous. She is well-known for her innovative approaches to formative assessments. This year, she received the Student Bar Association’s Professor of the Year Award.

As a scholar, Henning has co-authored the casebook Criminal Pretrial Advocacy and individually authored the accompanying Teacher’s Manual. This textbook is the first of its kind to focus on pretrial criminal litigation, with two case files that Henning developed. With Professor Julia Belian, she recently co-authored an article on formative assessment in legal education. 

In addition, Professor Henning’s service to the University has been exceptional. As a pre-tenure professor, she agreed to become the interim associate dean for Enrollment Management and Communications, while also continuing to teach at the same time. She has served on multiple faculty committees, including the School of Law Dean Search Committee. Henning works closely with the Moot Court Program as a coach and co-author, and has served on the Moot Court Committee for eight years.

Faculty Achievement Award – Wissam Aoun, JD, LLM

Aoun joined the School of Law in August 2015. He holds a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws from University of Windsor School of Law and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Windsor. He teaches and serves as the director of the School of Law’s International Intellectual Property Law Clinic, a joint program of Windsor Law and Detroit Mercy. In his three years at the School, Aoun has quickly emerged as a strong and influential scholar and a true innovator in clinical education and experiential learning.

Aoun has been an outstanding and innovative legal educator. He has taught courses in all areas of intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyright and commercialization of technology. He started the Intellectual Property (IP) Clinic in fall 2015. In addition, he assisted in establishing a joint clinic operation with the IP Clinic at Windsor, which is the world’s first international IP clinic experience. He has developed online training and educational materials in the IP field; created the Trans-Atlantic Patent Partnership with Queen Mary University of London; helped to develop an International Patent Drafting Competition; and is in the process of developing a certificate program through Detroit Mercy Law for non-lawyer professionals interested in obtaining education in IP law.

As a scholar, he has written several influential pieces. His articles have appeared in both the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society and the Canada-U.S. Law Journal. Several of his most recent pieces explore the reform of Canadian patent agent regulations. His writing was also recognized by the Canadian government as well as by IP leaders in Europe. He was invited to Munich where he conducted field work with the European Patent Office on licensing standards. Recently, he earned recognition as one of the world’s top 300 IP strategists and is the first clinician to achieve this honor based on his scholarship and research activities.

Aoun also serves on several University and school committees, including the Mechanical Engineering Faculty Search Committee and the Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Committee.

Pamela Zarkowski, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, believes that Henning and Aoun represent the integrity, care and commitment demonstrated by Detroit Mercy faculty members to their students, their discipline and the University. 

“Professors Henning and Aoun are great examples of exemplary faculty. We are fortunate to have them as part of our community,” she said.

To learn more about the Detroit Mercy School of Law, please visit http://lawschool.udmercy.edu/index.php.

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