Academic Excellence: Alumnus Honored with Top Graduates

Take a breath. Take a bow. Hug your family. But get to work.

Steven "Cash" Nickerson

JD ‘85, MBA ‘93

Members of the Class of 2018 who finished in the top 15 percent of the WashULaw Class of 2018 were honored at an Academic Excellence Ceremony on May 17 in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom. The ceremony also featured Steven “Cash” Nickerson, JD ’85, MBA ’93, as the Honorary Order of the Coif Initiate.

Nickerson charged the honorees with three duties:

  1. Continuously improve the law and their lawyering skills.
  2. Use the lawyering skills for good. “You make hundreds of decisions a day, and good or bad becomes a habit,” he said.
  3. Help the less fortunate and promote diversity. “Help bring others along,” he said. “We’re not done. We’re not even close.”

Nickerson is president and a principal of PDS Tech, Inc., one of the largest engineering and IT staffing firms in the United States. Nickerson also has served as an attorney and marketing executive for Union Pacific Railroad and as an associate and partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago. He is the author of eight books, most recently The Samurai Listener (2018).

Vice Dean Adam Rosenzweig  noted that Nickerson taught a class in the spring semester based on his most recent book, which focused on the day-to-day skills a lawyer uses, listening chief among them.

“I was impressed with his passion,” Rosenzweig said. “In every profession, it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees. Law is no exception.  His enthusiasm infected me. I was inspired by him. He brings the same dedication and enthusiasm to his careers in law, business, and philanthropy. It’s no surprise he’s been so successful.”

Dean Nancy Staudt, the Howard & Caroline Cayne Distinguished Professor of Law, congratulated the students for being “prepared, engaged, and at the top of their class − in every single class.”

Rosenzweig and Associate Dean Elizabeth P. Walsh assisted Dean Staudt in presenting certificates to the honorees:

James Edward Barton, Kelsey Lynn Bolin, Brittainy Anne Cavender, Samantha Jill Chestney, Elizabeth Schriver Coors, Taylor Owen Curtis, Francesco Di Cosmo, Bayley Flint, Tyler Vernon Friederich, Danielle Ashley Haberer, Karen Marie Hinkley, Kevin Charles Hirst, Duncheng Jiang, Jeffrey Pierce Lamberson, Samuel Henry Lemberg, Kara M. Lillehaug, Michael Ling, Han Liu, Daniel T. Mader, James Patrick Mansfield III, Austin Philip Mayron, Rose Stern McCarty, Toni Heath Mullenix, Michael Thomas Nowicki, Jr., Tyler Dean Nullmeyer, Kelly Ruth Oeltjenbruns, Chao Qu, Neda Valentine Raeker, Sasha Diana Riedisser, Sharion Trenell Scott, Richard Arthur Stratton, and Edward M. Tjaden.