RADNOR, Pa. (March 12, 2012) — Risa Vetri Ferman, district attorney of Montgomery County, will receive the 2012 Ivy Young Willis Award in a ceremony at Cabrini College on March 15. Presented annually, the Ivy Young Willis Award recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions in the field of public affairs.
Students and the public are invited to attend the award presentation, which will include a lecture by Ferman. The event is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Mansion on the Cabrini campus (610 King of Prussia Road).
Elected in November 2007, Ferman is the first woman to serve as district attorney of Montgomery County. Her tireless work to protect vulnerable citizens, especially children, is a major reason why the College is honoring her.
As district attorney, Ferman established the Elder Abuse Unit to target criminals who prey upon senior citizens, and was a driving force behind the creation of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center, Montgomery County’s first child advocacy program aimed at easing the criminal justice process for victims of child abuse. She also is the co-founder of Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project, which provides pro-bono legal services to abused children.
Prior to her election to district attorney, Ferman served for 15 years as a courtroom prosecutor. Taking on some of the most challenging cases in Montgomery County, she worked her way to the rank of captain of the Sex Crimes Team, specializing in the prosecution of homicide, child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence cases.
Many organizations have lauded Ferman for her commitment to justice. In 2006, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania appointed her to serve on the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, an advisory arm of the court. Ferman also serves on the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and on the Joint State Government Commission on Wrongful Convictions. The Legal Intelligencer named her a “Woman of Distinction 2010,” and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodges and the Police Chiefs of Montgomery County have recognized Ferman as an honorary member of their associations.
Ferman earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law.
Ivy Young Willis was a pioneer in teaching and reading on television, and worked closely with The League of Women Voters and the World Affairs Council. Past recipients of the award include CBS3 news anchor Pat Ciarrocchi; Jane Golden, executive director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; Cokie Roberts, ABC News Political Commentator and author; Lisa Nutter, president of Philadelphia Academies, Inc.; and others.
For a full list of past honorees, visit www.cabrini.edu/WillisAward.
For more information about the Ivy Young Willis Award, contact Dan DiPrinzio at 610-902-8255.
About Cabrini College
Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming learners of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. Founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College provides a transformational “education of the heart,” focusing on academic excellence, leadership development and a commitment to social justice.
Cabrini offers 1,300 full-time undergraduate students more than 30 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations and minors. More than 1,900 students are in graduate studies programs at the main campus in Radnor, Pa., and at 15 off-site locations. The College’s serene 112-acre campus is located 30 minutes from Philadelphia.