The Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo Award

Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo

Each year, the Women's Law Caucus (WLC) honors a female in the legal profession who has had a distinguished career and who, by example, has made the professional success of other women more likely. A list of past recipients is available below.

The WLC established this award in 1993 when it honored Judge Sylvia H. Rambo as the first recipient, paying tribute to her contributions as a lawyer and jurist and to her interest in promoting the role of women in the law. Judge Rambo graduated cum laude from Dickinson College in 1958 and earned her juris doctor from The Dickinson School of Law in 1962. She served as the Chief Public Defender for Cumberland County, PA, and as an adjunct professor of law. Judge Rambo currently serves as a Senior Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She was appointed to the Federal Bench by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and became the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the Middle District from 1992 to 1999.

In conjunction with the award, the Law School hosts the annual Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo Award Ceremony and Reception during the spring semester.

The Recent Alumna Award

In 2020 the Women's Law Caucus created the Recent Alumna Award to recognize a graduate of Dickinson Law within the last ten years who represents exceptional dedication to the school while a law student or exceptional dedication to her current job, a pioneer in her respective field, or someone who has done an extraordinary study, event, or program while a law student, and who promotes the encouragement of women in the legal field. Alexia Tomlinson ’18 and Erin Varley ’18 were selected as the inaugural co-recipients of the award. The Recent Alumna Award is given in conjunction with the annual Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo Award Ceremony & Reception each spring.

Past Rambo Award Recipients
Year Recipient
2022 Prof. Laurel S. Terry
2020 Noreen Tama, Esq.
2019 The Hon. Mary Hannah Leavitt
2018 Barbara R. McLemore, Esq.
2017 Prof. Marina Angel
2016 Karen F. Copenhaver, Esq.
2015 Catherine A. Christian, Esq.
2014 Dusty Elias Kirk, Esq.
2013 Ramona E. Romero, Esq.
2012 Teresa K.D. Currier, Esq.
2011 Maureen F. Del Duca, Esq.
2011 Frances H. Del Duca, Esq.
2010 The Hon. Carol L. Van Horn
2009 The Hon. Jan R. Jurden
2008 Maureen P. Kelly, Esq.
2007 The Hon. Cynthia Baldwin
2006 The Hon. Sharon MacRae
2004 Prof. Christine H. Kellett
2003 The Hon. Jane M. Alexander
2002 Helen Mercer Witt, Esq.
2000 The Hon. Carolyn Engel Temin
1999 Barbara D. Underwood, Esq
1998 Nancy Aliquo Long, Esq.
1997 Leslie Anne Miller, Esq.
1996 Romona J. Washington, Esq.
1995 The Hon. Helen S. Balick
1994 Prof. Jane Muller-Peterson
Past Recent Alumni Award Recipients
Year Recipient
2022 Marissa LaWall, Esq. '18
2020 Alexia Tomlinson, Esq. ’18
Erin Varley, Esq. ’18
Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo Award Nomination Form

Nominations are being accepted online or by printing out and submitting a nomination form.

Nominations should reflect how the nominee meets the following criteria being used to select the recipient of the Award. All nominees for must be female, hold a J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school, and have been in the legal profession for at least ten years. Nominees may be attorneys, judges, or public officials, either currently practicing or retired, but may not be a current employee of Penn State Dickinson Law. The Selection Committee shall take into consideration whether the nominee has an affiliation with Pennsylvania State University and/or Dickinson Law. However, such affiliation shall not be the determinative factor in selection. Nominees must have demonstrated outstanding legal expertise through election or appointment to managerial, leadership, supervisory, or advisory positions and must have contributed to the status of women in the legal profession by demonstrating two or more of the following:

  • Advising or mentoring female students in high school, college/universities, and/or graduate/professional schools
  • Advising or mentoring female attorneys or peers in the legal profession
  • Volunteering services to organizations affiliated with women’s issues
  • Contributing to, participating in, or being affiliated with by membership in, or founding organizations affiliated with women’s issues
  • Providing legal advice to organizations affiliated with women’s issues
  • Being promoted as the first woman in a particular position
  • Having an employment or an educational background in women’s issues
  • Being a member of a women’s commission, committee, or council
  • Having gained recognition through awards, honors, or achievements by other organizations or peers in the legal community, including but not limited to, local and state bar associations