Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award

Created in 2010, the Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award recognizes a University of Dayton School of Law graduates who have been deeply involved in the work of the Alumni Association and the School of Law through exceptional contributions of time, talent and financial assistance.

Steve Yuhas '85, 2010 Recipient

Steve Yuhas served as president of the School of Law's Alumni Association from 2002 to 2010. He was instrumental in the association's efforts to increase involvement of alumni in activities at UDSL. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 for his many contributions to the School and the Dayton community.

In honor of his dedication to the School of Law and his accomplishments as president of the Alumni Association, the School created the Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award in 2010. The award recognizes a University of Dayton School of Law graduate's extraordinary service and contributions to the Alumni Association, the School of Law, its students as well as the community. The award recognizes individuals who have been deeply involved in the work of the Alumni Association and the School of Law through exceptional contributions of time, talent and financial assistance.

Steve graduated from the School of Law in 1985, and received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Dayton in 1982. He has been practicing law in Dayton for over 25 years and specializes in Plaintiff's Worker's Compensation, Personal Injury, Divorce, Juvenile Court work and Criminal Law. Steve is currently practicing with Thorson, Switala, Mondock and Snead "of counsel". He served as president of the Alumni Association from 2002 to 2010.

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Jeff Rezabek '97, 2011 Recipient

Jeff Rezabek has operated his Dayton law practice since 2003. He also serves as a substitute magistrate with the Dayton Municipal Court. Rezabek has been a Guardian Ad Litem since 1998 and has assisted the CASA Program and the Dayton Bar Association in the training of GALs since 2000. He started his legal career at the firm of Charles Smiley and Associates in 1998, and was recognized as partner two years later.

He was named the GAL of the Year in 2003 by Montgomery County Juvenile Court's CASA Program, and Attorney of the Year in both 2003 and 2009 by the Appointed Council Program of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

An active and valued member of the School of Law¿s Alumni Association, Rezabek has served on the association's Board of Trustees since 1998 and plays an instrumental role in organizing the School's annual Honorable Carl D. Kessler Scholarship Golf Tournament. He received the Alumni Association's President Award in 2005.

Rezabek also received his undergraduate degree, in psychology and history, from the University of Dayton in 1991.

Judge Mary Kate Huffman, president of the Alumni Association, presented the Yuhas Special Service Award to Rezabek, praising his dedication to service, "whatever the need or occasion." "We can always count of Jeff," Huffman said. "He is always there for his community, for the law school and for the students."

Rezabek said that he was exposed to University's mantra to "Learn, Lead and Serve" throughout his time as a student at Dayton, first from Bro. Raymond Fitz, who was president of the University when Rezabek was an undergrad, then from Fran Conte, who was dean while Rezabek was a law student. Today, the current dean, Lisa Kloppenberg, has taken that philosophy, Rezabek said, "and run with it." Rezabek also noted that the students in the Class of 2011, who graduated earlier in May, had contributed more than 12,000 hours of community service during their time in law school. UDSL students, he said, are "challenging us to do more" and to serve our communities more.

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Tom Whelley II '77, 2012 Recipient

Tom Whelley has been a consistent and loyal supporter of the law school since graduating in 1977. He is a member of the School of Law’s Advisory Council and teaches civil trial practice at the law school.  

He also serves on the boards of the Dayton Early College Academy and the Law Leadership Institute and has served as president of the Legal Aid Society of Dayton and the Dayton Bar Association, and as chair of the Western Ohio Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Whelley is a partner in Dinsmore & Shohl’s Dayton office He has extensive experience in litigating complex business cases, including shareholder disputes, accounting malpractice, broker dealer actions, and other related fields. Previously, he worked at Chernesky, Heyman & Kress and Thompson, Hine & Flory.

“I believe community service is a learned behavior,” Whelley said, crediting his parents, professors and “icons” of the Dayton community for instilling him the importance of service.

“This institution has been wonderful to me,” Whelley said. “My legal career started here and it only made sense that over the years I give back.”

In 1994, he received Dayton Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award. While in law school, he was editor-in-chief of the University of Dayton Law Review.

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