Brad Baranowski Named 2023 Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award Recipient
While a student at Pymatuning Valley High School in 2005, Brad Baranowski, Ph.D., J.D., enrolled in classes at Kent State Ashtabula through the College Credit Plus program starting an educational journey that has led him through law school and now to the highest court in the land.
The Andover native and 2022-2023 Supreme Court Fellow is the 2023 Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award recipient.
He was presented the award at a community reception event in the Blue & Gold Room prior to the May 11, 2023 commencement ceremony at Kent State University at Ashtabula.
“My time at Kent State Ashtabula was the single most important educational experience of my life,” he said. “My time here led me to develop the capacity and confidence to think critically and creatively. All of my professional achievements, and many of my personal ones, too, can be traced back to the campus on the shores of Lake Erie.”
Roger T. Beitler, the first director of the Ashtabula Academic Center from 1958-1963, laid the firm foundation upon which the Kent State University at Ashtabula Campus has continued to build. To honor his memory and dedication to faculty and students, the Ashtabula Campus Faculty Council established the Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award. Outside of 2020, it has been awarded annually since 1980 to former students who have made notable contributions in their respective vocations.
"Looking at the list of past recipients of the Beitler Award, what struck me about the names was the diversity of backgrounds and accomplishments associated with them," Baranowski told the guests in attendance. "From farmers to teacher, from doctors and nurses to local and state politicians, from scholars of the arts to business professionals of various stripes, the list stands as a testament to Kent State Ashtabula’s broad impact on an equally broad community."
Baranowski attended Kent State Ashtabula as a CCP student for two years – first part-time then full-time – and following his high school graduation in 2007, he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in history from Kent State, summa cum laude, and then obtained his master’s and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in U.S. History. He attended Boston University School of Law where he was an articles editor for the Boston University Law Review and graduated summa cum laude with his juris doctorate in 2020.
He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2021 and has since clerked at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for the Honorable David A. Lowy and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where he clerked for the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore. He was one of only four attorneys selected to be a Supreme Court Fellow for the October 2022 term where he was assigned to the Federal Judicial Center researching rules that govern complex litigation.
Baranowski is part of the 50th anniversary Supreme Court Fellows class. The program, established by the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in 1973, provides participants the opportunity to work alongside top officials in the judicial branch on projects to gain a greater understanding of the federal judiciary. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., says the program offers “a unique opportunity for exceptional individuals to contribute to the administration of justice at the national level.”
He has published on a variety of topics ranging from the history of photography, to developments in moral philosophy, to the intersection of the First Amendment and labor law. Baranowski lives in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Mass. with his wife.
"I want to thank you for this recognition, but also to recognize and thank the faculty and staff of this campus," Baranowski said. "This is a great laboratory, a place where democratic values can be nurtured and grown. But the lab does not run itself; the experiment does not go unguided. You run it. You provide the guidance. And you do it with the care, compassion, and creativity that befits a wonderful institution and an ever-important cause."