Published on March 25, 2024  
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Tim McFarlin, Maryam Stevenson, Brannon Denning, Dean Blake Hudson

Each year, Samford University Cumberland School of Law announces faculty and staff award recipients. The below faculty and staff members were honored with these awards for their work during the 2023-24 school year.

Lightfoot, Franklin & White Faculty Scholarship Award

The Lightfoot, Franklin & White Faculty Scholarship Award is given to a faculty member based on law review articles or other scholarly work published in the past year. When choosing the recipient, the selection committee considers clarity of expression, thoroughness of research and analysis, scope and depth of subjects covered, difficulty and complexity of analysis, originality of study, and the actual or likely impact of the work.

Tim McFarlin, associate professor of law, received the junior faculty award for his two articles “A Copyright Ignored—Mark Twain, Mary Ann Cord, and the Meaning of Authorship” and “A Copyright Restored—Mark Twain, Mary Ann Cord, and How to Right a Longstanding Wrong.

Brannon Denning, the Starnes Professor of Law, received the senior faculty award for his new book To Trust the People with Arms: The Supreme Court and the Second Amendment.

The Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award

The Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded annually to faculty members for their mastery of subject matter, their ability to convey information effectively to students, their demonstrated enthusiasm for teaching, their commitment to excellence in the classroom, their innovation in teaching techniques, and their commitment to students.

Tim McFarlin, associate professor of law, received the award for teaching first-year courses. Students noted McFarlin’s engaging style for teaching Contracts and Real Property.

Maryam Stevenson, visiting assistant professor of law, received the award for teaching upper-level courses. Stevenson received multiple nominations highlighting her unmatched mastery of Administrative Law.

Jeffrey Gilliam

The award for outstanding adjunct went to Judge Jeffrey Gilliam. Gilliam has served the City of Birmingham for the past 27 years, including two decades in the Office of City Attorney and the past seven as a judge in Birmingham Municipal Court. Before that, he was a deputy district attorney for Jefferson County and in private practice. He is a three-time graduate of Samford University, with degrees from Samford, Cumberland School of Law and Beeson Divinity School.

Tami Zenker

Staff Appreciation Award

Tami Zenker was this year’s recipient of the Staff Appreciation Award, which is voted on by the student body. Zenker serves Cumberland School of Law as the registrar. In this role, she assists students with all aspects of course registration, joint program admission, and monitors academic progress for graduation requirements. A graduate of Samford University, Zenker received the law school’s Master of Studies in Law in 2023.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.