2022 Alumni Annual Awards

The Centennial Medal Award

headshot of Mary Trapp

The recipient of this year's Centennial Medal Award is Hon. Mary Jane Trapp (LAW ‘81).

The highest award bestowed upon a graduate of our school. The recipient of this award has demonstrated excellence and leadership in the practice of law, public service, or commerce; significant legal scholarship; significant participation and leadership in professional organizations or activities; extraordinary commitment and active contribution to the recipient’s community; and consistent involvement in CWRU School of Law affairs.

Judge Mary Jane Trapp is recognized throughout the state for her distinguished legal knowledge and experience. Judge Trapp returned to the bench in Feb. 2019, having previously served as a judge on the Eleventh District Court of Appeals from 2007 to 2013. She served as its Administrative Judge in 2008 and as its Presiding/Administrative Judge in 2009, 2010 and 2021. She also served as a visiting judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio and in four sister districts by assignment of the Chief Justice.

She has served on nine Supreme Court of Ohio commissions, committees, and task forces to develop policy for the bench and bar, and served on Ohio Judicial Conference and College committees, including continuing service on the Ohio Jury Instructions Board of Editors, which she co-chairs, and on the Appellate Law and Procedure Committee. A member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal and chair of its Education Committee, she is the immediate Past President of the William K. Thomas American Inn of Court.

Judge Trapp served as President of the Ohio State Bar Association, enjoyed the highest “AV” rating for legal ability and ethics, a Super Lawyer designation in Business Litigation and Mediation. She is a Fellow in the trial lawyer honorary society, Litigation Counsel of America, which is composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.

Judge Trapp is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Southeast Ohio Food Bank Community Service Award, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association Founder’s Award, the Lake County Democratic Women’s Club Woman of the Year award, the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation’s Presidential Award for Pro Bono Service, the Ohio State Bar Association’s Nettie Cronise Lutes Award, the Women’s Leadership Council award from United Way Services of Geauga County and the McGregor Foundation Inspire Award. She is a Columbus School for Girls’ Alumna of the Year and the first Ohio Court of Appeals judge to be awarded a Henry Toll Fellowship by the Council of State Governments. In 2021, Judge Trapp was awarded the Ohio Bar Medal, the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest honor, and in 2022, she received the Legacy of Justice Award from the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

She was married to her former law partner, the late F. Michael Apicella, and is a stepmother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Judge Trapp graduated from Mount Holyoke College, cum laude in May 1978 and received her law degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1981. She was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1981 and admitted to practice before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

The Distinguished Recent Graduate Award

Mayor Bibb in front of an American Flag

The recipient of this year's Distinguished Recent Graduate Award is Mayor Justin Bibb (LAW ‘18).

Awarded to a graduate of the law school within the last ten years, whose accomplishments enhance the perception of the profession and of the law school in the eyes of the community. Professional accomplishments, significant participation in professional societies or professional activities, community activities and involvement in School of Law alumni affairs should be considered.

As the 58th Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Justin M. Bibb is committed to putting people and neighborhoods
first, delivering high-quality city services and leading bold change. The Bibb Administration is building a stronger and safer Cleveland and modernizing City Hall to improve outcomes for all Clevelanders.

Mayor Bibb and his team have made major progress on a wide range of initiatives including unprecedented support for public safety through the Raising Investment in Safety for Everyone (RISE) Initiative and a robust plan for the revitalization of Cleveland’s Southeast Side.

Mayor Bibb was born and raised on Cleveland’s southeast side in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Over the past 15 years, Mayor Bibb has worked in government, business and the nonprofit sector as an executive and nonprofit leader. He started his career in public service working for President Obama when he was in the U.S. Senate and later at Cuyahoga County as a Special Assistant advising on education and economic development policies. He led the Global Cities Practice at global research firm Gallup, served as Vice President at KeyBank and most recently as Chief Strategy Officer at Urbanova, a startup focused on improving cities.

Mayor Bibb is a proud American University alumnus with an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies. He completed the General Course Programme with an emphasis in Social Policy and Economics from the London School of Economics and is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Law (JD).

Mayor Bibb serves as chair of the national bipartisan coalition Climate Mayors, vice president of the Democratic Mayors Association and is a proud member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors advisory board, the Ohio Mayor’s Alliance and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.

Mayor Bibb’s vision is for Cleveland to be a national model for city management, public safety, and neighborhood revitalization.

The Distinguished Teacher Award

Ayesha Bell Hardaway headshot

The recipient of this year's Distinguished Teacher Award is Ayesha Bell Hardaway (LAW ‘04).

This award recognizes full-time, adjunct, or visiting members of the faculty, whose commitment to education and the pursuit of knowledge enriched the personal and professional lives of students. The recipient of this award should be a communicator, a motivator, a scholar, a model and an influence, and a teacher whose personal and intellectual qualities have left their mark on students.

Ayesha Bell Hardaway’s research focuses on criminal law, policing, and the intersection of race and the law. Her most recent work examines legal efforts to remedy police misconduct and abuses through federal intervention and community oversight. Her scholarship also explores the ways in which police associations can impact and impede efforts to end police abuses. She is currently working on a research project that seeks to provide a comprehensive examination of the political, socio-economic and racial conditions that support police misconduct through collective bargaining rights and lobbying.

Professor Hardaway’s academic career also aligns with her strong commitment to serve the community. She has represented individuals who are unable to hire private counsel as a clinician in Case Law School’s Health Clinic, Civil Litigation Clinic and Criminal Clinic. As Director of the Criminal Clinic, Professor Hardaway uses a client-centered pedagogical framework to instruct and supervise third-year law students on handling misdemeanor cases from arraignment to trial.

As Director of the Social Justice Law Center and Co-Director of the University’s Social Justice Institute, Professor Hardaway serves students and the broader community in the exploration of pressing social justice issues through research, community conversations, guest lectures and curricular offerings. Professor Hardaway’s expertise and analysis have been featured on-air and in print. Her influential voice has been featured on CNN, including The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, ESPN, USA Today, Associated Press, Rolling Stone Magazine, NY Times and US News and World Report.

Before joining Case’s Law School faculty, Professor Hardaway served as trial and National Coordinating Counsel in the Litigation Department at Tucker Ellis LLP. She also worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office at the start of her career.

She is a graduate of the College of Wooster and Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

The Joan Gross ’76 Annual Fund Award

Krajewski and Steiner pictured together in formal clothing

The recipients of this year's Joan Gross ’76 Annual Fund Award is John Krajewski (LAW ’85) and Judy Steiner (LAW ‘87).

Established in 2015, and chosen by the School of Law’s Office of Alumni Relations and Development, the Joan Gross ’76 Annual Fund Award is awarded to a member or members of the alumni association at large, who best exemplifies the extraordinary leadership of Joan Gross ’76 through the following award criteria: is an advocate of the law school annual fund, fosters a culture of philanthropy for the law school, volunteers with the law school’s Annual Giving or Development Office, and is a current donor to the annual fund.

John Krajewski (LAW ’85) is a Partner in the law firm of Stark & Knoll, Fairlawn, Ohio. He was Managing Partner of the firm for over 20 years, having recently stepped down from that position. John specializes in the areas of general corporate, business succession, taxation and estate planning law. John is a member of the Coldiron Family Foundation and former Board Member of the Greater Akron Chamber, First Friday Club of Akron and Weaver Industries.

Judy Steiner (LAW ’87) retired from Banner Bank (Bellevue, Washington) as EVP & Chief Risk Officer. At Banner she was responsible for enterprise risk management, regulatory matters, compliance, AML/BSA/OFAC, fraud, CRA and insurance. Prior to Banner, Judy spent 25 years at FirstMerit Bank (nka Huntington) where she served in various capacities including EVP, General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Risk Officer. She is Past Chair of the American Bankers Association General Counsels Group. Judy serves on the Board of Trustees, Humane Society of Summit County and is a member of the Boards of Alumni at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and St. Mary Urban Education Initiative. She is a former Member of the Board of Trustees of Archbishop Hoban High School, H.M. Life Opportunity Services and Fair Housing Contact Service. 

John and Judy were coaches of Mock Trial at Archbishop Hoban High School for many years. They have been married 37 years and reside in Copley, Ohio. They have three adult daughters (two lawyers, one accountant) and one granddaughter.

John and Judy are both first generation college graduates. They have established a scholarship at Case Law to assist first generation college graduates like themselves. They are grateful for the experience and education they received at Case Law and believe it is their duty to give back to the school that served as a solid foundation for their careers. They are honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.