ASU Law awards Morrison Prize to duo for article on energy policies

University of Chicago Law School's Joshua C. Macey earns award for 2nd year in a row

March 2, 2022

Joshua C. Macey, professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and Matthew R. Christiansen, general counsel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, are the recipients of the 2022 Morrison Prize for their scholarly article “Long Live the Federal Power Act’s Bright Line.” Bestowed with the award last year, Macey is the first professor to win the prize twice.  

The winning article interprets a trio of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases to articulate a coherent framework for determining when state or federal energy policies violate the Federal Power Act’s allocation of jurisdiction, an increasingly important and complicated question today as renewable energy, energy storage technologies and emerging competitive forces are transforming electricity markets across the country.   Side-by-side portraits of ASU Law Morrison Prize winners Matt Christiansen (left) and Josh Macey. Matthew R. Christiansen, general counsel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (left), and Joshua C. Macey, professor at the University of Chicago Law School (right). Download Full Image

“I’m extremely grateful to receive ASU’s Morrison Prize and to be able to see the environmental law community in Phoenix,” Macey said. “ASU Law’s program on law and sustainability brings together an extraordinary and diverse group of environmental and energy law scholars. I’ve learned so much at this conference in the past, and it will be an enormous honor to talk about energy jurisdiction in May.”

The $10,000 award, an honor established in 2015 and administered through the Law and Sustainability program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, recognizes the most significant published paper that has a positive, long-term impact on the advancement of the environmental sustainability movement. Eligible papers entered for consideration undergo independent review and scoring by a diverse group of full-time, non-ASU Law professors who teach in environmental, sustainability-related areas at accredited law schools across the nation.

“Competition to win the Morrison Prize continues to get stronger year after year,” said Troy Rule, professor of law and faculty director of ASU Law’s Law and Sustainability program. “This year, the field of contest entries was stronger than ever, and the winning article was truly outstanding.”

The annual Morrison Prize will be presented May 13 to Macey and Christiansen in a plenary session during the seventh annual SRP Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators at ASU Law’s Beus Center for Law and Society, where law professors who conduct legal research in sustainability-related areas will gather.

“I am so grateful and honored to receive ASU’s Morrison Prize,” Christiansen said. “My thanks to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, its faculty and the program on law and sustainability. I look forward to presenting the article with my friend Josh Macey in May.”

Each year, Richard N. Morrison, a Phoenix attorney and major supporter of ASU Law, funds the Morrison Prize, which has become one of the most distinctive national prizes for environmental legal scholarship.

In 2016, the inaugural winners of the Morrison Prize were Dave Owen, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, and Colin Aspe, a freshwater conservation adviser at the Nature Conservancy, for their article “Trading Dams,” which described creative policy approaches for better balancing hydroelectric energy generation and environmental protection of the nation’s river system.

Past winners also include:

2021: Joshua C. Macey, assistant professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, for his academic article “Zombie Energy Laws."

2020: Jim Rossi and Christopher Serkin, professors at Vanderbilt Law School, for their paper “Energy Exactions.”

2019: A six-author team, for their article “Climate change challenges for land conservation: Rethinking conservation easements, strategies, and tools.”

• Federico Cheever, professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
• Jessica Owley, director of the environmental law program at University of Buffalo — State University of New York.
• Adena R. Rissman, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology.
• M. Rebecca Shaw, chief scientist at the World Wide Fund for Nature.
• Barton H. Thompson Jr., a professor of natural resources at Stanford Law School.
• W. William Weeks, director of the Conservation Law Clinic at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law.

2018: Hari M. Osofsky, professor at Minnesota Law School, and Jacqueline Peel, associate dean of the University of Melbourne Law School in Australia, for their academic article “Energy Partisanship.”

2017: Michael P. Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan, professors at Vanderbilt University, for their article "Beyond Gridlock."

Those interested in participating in this year’s event on May 13 can register here.

Meenah Rincon

Public Relations Manager, ASU Online

Transfer student shares about his journey from community college to ASU

Nguyen Khoi (Korey) Phung always knew that pursuing higher education would help support his family in attaining a better life

March 2, 2022

Before he became a student at Arizona State University, Nguyen Khoi (Korey) Phung grew up in a working-class family in the developing country of Vietnam, where his mother held several jobs simultaneously to provide for him and his sister.

When Phung and his family eventually migrated to the United States, his mother had to start all over again, without knowing the language or culture. That experience and his mother’s sacrifice made Phung realize that education could be the key to improving their quality of life. Portrait of ASU transfer student Nguyen Khoi (Korey) Phung. Download Full Image

“I made a promise to myself that even if I make mistakes, I won’t ever upset my mom,” he said. “By pursuing higher education, I will give us a better life.”

After graduating from high school, Phung took some time off to prepare for his next steps. He did some research and decided that community college was the most affordable option for him.

“Attending a community college gave me a pre-university experience with less stress and a smaller classroom size as well,” he said.

Having settled in Yuma, Arizona, Phung then decided to begin his educational journey at Arizona Western College (AWC). He successfully completed his associate degree before he found out about ASU’s transfer student pathway program, MyPath2ASU.

Today, Phung is studying psychology in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU. He is also working for Academic Alliances as a transfer student ambassador, educating prospective transfer students all about the benefits of MyPath2ASU.

ASU News spoke with Phung about his journey from community college to ASU, and he shared some advice for other students who are interested in transferring like he did.

Question: Were you involved in any clubs or organizations at your community college?

Answer: Unfortunately, I did not have time to join any clubs or organizations at AWC. I was busy with my job, and most importantly, taking care of my family. If I could go back in time, I would have tried to be involved at AWC as much as I could.

Q: Why did you choose your major?

A: I chose psychology because I want to be a therapist who specializes in family and marriage. I want to help other families solve their problems through effective communication and understanding for each other. By doing that, I want to make sure that children won’t have to suffer from the same issues as I did.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: Location. Location. Location. ASU’s Tempe campus is just less than three hours away from home. It is also located in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area, which is one of the fastest growing metros in the nation. Moreover, ASU offers a top tier psychology program that can help me thrive in my career later.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about your ASU experience so far?

A: I love it that we are free to express ourselves here at ASU, which results in the school’s rich diversity. The hustle and bustle of life at ASU also reminds me of my hometown, Ho Chi Minh City. Weird as it may sound, unlike most people, I’m actually fond of the fast-paced life.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs, organizations, research or internships?

A: I’m a member of the K-pop Dance Evolution club to continue my hobby since high school, dancing. It is a way for me to destress. I am also searching for an internship opportunity this summer, most preferably at a local organization that provides therapy to patients. 

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a new transfer student?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your questions will help us understand you better, and in reverse, you will gain more knowledge about the school. In Vietnamese, we have a popular proverb: "Muon biet phai hoi, muon gioi phai hoc," which means if you want to know something, ask; if you want to be good at something, study. By asking questions and getting assistance, you’ll have a much smoother transfer process.

Q: What are your plans after you graduate with your bachelor's degree?

A: I would like to apply to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree or doctorate, probably at ASU! However, I’m also interested in studying abroad because I want to know how people in other cultures view mental health, and on a broader scope, psychology.

Melanie Pshaenich

Coordinator senior, Office of the University Provost, Academic Alliances