Shoemaker Named Recipient of the Ray H. Bunger Memorial Award for Excellence

05 Oct 2021    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker headshot

Professor Jessica Shoemaker is this year’s recipient of the Ray H. Bunger Memorial Award for Excellence. This Award is an annual award chosen on the basis of demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, academic promise, and achievement related to the fulfillment of the research and teaching mission of the University of Nebraska College of Law. The donor for this award gave this gift to commemorate the life of the donor’s father, Ray H. Bunger, who was a lifelong devoted supporter of the University of Nebraska. He sent his three sons to the University of Nebraska for varying periods and several of his grandchildren also received education at the University. He firmly believed that “a good education is something that can never be taken away from you.” He was President of the Franklin County School District #44 and Secretary of the Board of Upland COOP Credit Association. 

Shoemaker’s scholarship productivity has been outstanding again this year. She had an article placed in the Michigan Law Review. She also wrote several other pieces that are gaining national attention, such as her piece for The Conversation and her essay in the online Regulatory Review. She also created, with Anthony Schutz, the Rural Reconciliation Project, which is a tremendous way to apply her scholarly insights and interact with a large group of scholars. I think this Project will have a significant impact going forward. Finally, Shoemaker received a Carnegie Fellowship, one of only 26 awarded across the country. It is quite an acknowledgment of the importance, impact, and high-quality of her scholarship. 

Shoemaker also has had an impact with her teaching, both in her own classroom and with our colleagues across the College. In her classroom, she continued to excel, with extremely positive teaching reviews. Students raved about her ability to lead a class discussion, her effective communication style, and her use of technology and various visual aids. Shoemaker also was a peer leader by working with her faculty colleagues to create a forum for the faculty to discuss pedagogy, which was especially helpful during our turn to hybrid and remote learning over last summer. She also helped the faculty focus on race and inclusion issues as we discussed ways to bring those issues into our curriculum and pedagogy.

Finally, Shoemaker’s service was outstanding. She was a tremendous chair of the faculty appointments committee during a very difficult hiring year. She worked on other important committee projects, such as the readmission process, awarding NPILF grants, and hiring a new associate dean for faculty. She also engaged with the broader university through planning a national symposium for the Center for Great Plains Studies.