MORGANTON – West Virginia University law professor Joshua Weishart has been named one of six faculty members to receive the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching.
According to a WVU press release, the award honors "exceptional professors who go above and beyond to inspire their students."
Weishart, who teaches at both the Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics and the WVU College of Law, was nominated for the "variety of techniques (he uses) to engage his students in what he calls 'the common enterprise of learning,' challenging them to build for themselves the connections between abstract legal rules and real world application,” according to the press release.
Weishart’s ties with the university began with his own education at WVU, where received his bachelor’s degree at the university before heading to Berkeley to complete his law degree. He was the WVU law school's 14th Truman scholar.
After passing the bar, he pursued a career at a private law practice in California.
"I began my legal career at Severson & Werson, a San Francisco firm, where I practiced financial service litigation for five years,” Weishart told The West Virginia Record. "I then returned to West Virginia to clerk for 4th Circuit Judge Robert King in Charleston. Following the clerkship, I joined the WVU College of Law.”
Weishart was elected WVU Professor of the Year by the Class of 2016 and delivered the commencement address that year, which he says may have contributed to this latest recognition.
"The law school’s nomination was based in substantial part on the fact that I was honored last year as Law Professor of the Year by the 2016 graduating class,” he said.
Weishart says he has no regrets about leaving private practice to pursue a career in academia.
“The award reaffirms that I made the right decision to take a risky leap off the law firm partner track and onto the tenure track,” he said. "Although my scholarly interests initially drew me to legal academia, I now find the teaching more fulfilling. I appreciate the extraordinary opportunity to have an immediate and lasting effect on my students but, in truth, they are the ones who inspire me. I owe this award to them."
Weishart and his fellow honorees will receive a $5,000 honorarium from the WVU Foundation and will be recognized by WVU President Gordon Gee and Provost McConnell at a faculty and staff awards dinner.