More than 145 alumni, faculty, students, and guests gathered to honor three outstanding Rutgers Law Camden alumni at the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards and Scholarship Benefit. “Remembering the Past and Forging Our Future” was the theme for this year’s event.
The ceremony, widely known as the “DAAC,” was held on October 27 at The Merion in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Rutgers Law School - Camden Alumni Association hosted the event which featured a cocktail reception, dinner, and dancing. Proceeds fund Alumni Association programs and scholarships for Rutgers Law students.
Gigio Ninan (RLAW ’11), emcee and Rutgers Law Alumni Association-Camden Chancellor, said, “Donations support our scholarship programs and afford unprivileged students an opportunity to attend.” He continued, “Retaining the best students helps us grow a strong and successful alumni network for all Rutgers Law graduates.”
There was also a moment of silence along with a special tribute to former New Jersey Governor James Florio (RLAW ’67) by his law school classmate, longtime friend, and former law partner, Carl Poplar. A previous Alumni Award recipient, Florio passed away in September 2022 and attended last year’s celebration.
About the Honorees
New Jersey Attorney General, the Honorable Matthew Platkin, introduced William Castner (RLAW ’99) who received the Arthur E. Armitage, Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award. Castner is a partner at Connell Foley LLP’s Cherry Hill office. He previously served as Senior Advisor to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, advising the Governor on legal, regulatory, and policy alternatives to help reduce gun violence in New Jersey. He also served as Chief Counsel to former Governor Jon Corzine and then as commissioner on New Jersey’s State Commission of Investigation. His career also spans the private sector, having previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. The Arthur E. Armitage, Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1983 in memory of Armitage, who was a founder of the South Jersey Law School which later became Rutgers Law School’s Camden Campus. The award honors graduates who have distinguished themselves since graduating from the law school.
Janice Heinold (RLAW '97) accepted the Honorable Joseph M. Nardi, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. She is a partner at Raymond, Coleman & Heinold LLP, based in Moorestown, New Jersey, where she practices law with her brother, Douglas Heinold (RLAW ’96), who introduced her at the ceremony. She practices in the areas of real estate, worker’s compensation, estate administration, and civil litigation. Heinold previously served as Chancellor of the Alumni Association and remains an active Trustee on the Board. The Honorable Joseph M. Nardi Jr. Distinguished Service Award commemorates the life and accomplishments of the late Superior Court judge, former Camden mayor, and 1956 Rutgers Law graduate who passed away in 2003. The award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding voluntary service to the Rutgers Law community while exhibiting professional excellence and/or service to society.
Kiomeiry Csépes (RLAW ’13) received the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award. She is the owner and managing attorney of Kiomeiry Csépes Law Offices in Trenton, New Jersey where she practices family and immigration law. Csépes served as a student lawyer in Rutgers Law’s Immigrant Justice Clinic where she assisted an unaccompanied minor on the path to obtaining a special immigrant juvenile visa. In addition, she created a scholarship benefiting young minority high school students in pursuit of an education through Alianza, the Latino Law Student Association at Rutgers Law. Former Nardi award recipient, the Honorable Carmen Garcia (RLAW ’85), introduced Csépes at the ceremony. Established in 2011, the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award is presented to a recent graduate for achieving distinction in the legal community within 10 years of graduation. The criteria for the award includes demonstrated leadership capability, substantial commitment to service of others, demonstration of potential for long-term leadership, and substantial commitment to Rutgers Law School and Alumni Association.