The Seventh Annual AUWCL National Health Law Writing Competition 

We are pleased to announce the Seventh Annual AUWCL National Health Law Writing Competition. This competition is designed to encourage law students to write scholarly papers on current topics of interest relevant to health law and/or food and drug law. Current 2L, 3L, and 4L (evening/part-time) JD and LLM students enrolled in a U.S. law school at the time of paper submission are eligible to participate. PAPERS MUST MEET COMPETITION RULES AND REQUIREMENTS. Certificates of Participation will be awarded to all participants.


First Place: $2,000
Second Place: $1,500
Third Place: $1,000
Honorable Mention: $750

Many thanks to our American University Washington College of Law alumni Shawn Fultz (’15), Sonali Gunawardhana ('03), Katherine Hayes (’02), Lindsay Holmes ('14), John Jacob (’93), Joel Michaels (’75), Corrine Parver (’82), Houeida Saad (’92), and Jeff Wurzburg ('12) for generously sponsoring the competition prizes.

The submission portal is now closed. 

Please direct all questions to Professor Asha Scielzo at

Congratulations to Our 2021-2022 Winners


Christina Fuleihan
Boston University School of Law

Shattering the Mirage: The FDA’s Early COVID-19 Pandemic Response Demonstrates an Urgent Need for Reform to Restore Agency Credibility


Morgan Cronin
Georgia State University College of Law

How Deep is the Objective Falsity Circuit Split?

Third Place

Delaney Bounds
The University of Iowa College of Law

Fulfilling the Olmstead Decision's Right to Home-Based Care in 2022: Paying Spousal Caregivers

honorable Mention

Weston McClain
University of Oregon School of Law

Preventive Care: Improving Health of Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program Patients Through Access to Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Meet Our Judges

Vanessa Burrows

Vanessa Burrows

Vanessa Burrows is Counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.  Ms. Burrows advises biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, healthcare and technology companies, hospitals and other healthcare providers on their regulatory and compliance needs, as well as in connection with M&A and capital-raising transactions.  Her previous experience includes serving as HIPAA Privacy Officer and Attorney for the City of Chicago and its Department of Public Health.  She also advised Members of Congress and their staff on FDA matters as a Legislative Attorney with the Congressional Research Service.  She handled healthcare law, administrative law and constitutional law matters during the creation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the H1N1 pandemic.  Ms. Burrows is a 2006 graduate of American University Washington College of Law.

Stefanie Doyle

Stefanie Doyle

Stefanie Doyle is an Associate at Baker Donelson. Ms. Doyle has an in-depth understanding of the federal rulemaking process, which she uses to her clients' benefit by guiding them as they seek to understand, comply with, and influence regulations. Her background in government relations, as a federal judicial law clerk, and as a law clerk with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services equips her to evaluate clients' regulatory and litigation needs. Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Ms. Doyle served as a health policy analyst for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists where she specialized in seeking to influence the statutes and regulations governing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid program.  Prior to beginning her legal career, Ms. Doyle served as director of government relations for the District of Columbia Hospital Association and earned a master's degree in public health. She graduated from American University Washington College of Law in 2014. 

Jacob Harper

Jacob Harper

Jacob Harper is an Associate at Morgan Lewis in Washington, DC. Mr. Harper advises stakeholders across the healthcare industry, including hospitals, health systems, large physician group practices, practice management companies, hospices, chain pharmacies, manufacturers, and private equity clients, on an array of healthcare regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters. His practice focuses on compliance, fraud and abuse, and reimbursement matters, self-disclosures to and negotiations with OIG and CMS, internal investigations, provider mergers and acquisitions, and appeals before the PRRB, OMHA, and the Medicare Appeals Council. Before joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Harper served as a law clerk at OIG and as a senior litigation paralegal at a national healthcare law firm, where he focused on fraud, abuse, and reimbursement matters. He is also a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist through the American Medical Billing Association. He graduated with his JD from American University Washington College of Law in 2013.

Sonali P. Gunawardhana

Sonali Gunawardhana

Sonali Gunawardhana is Assistant General Counsel-Regulatory Law at Cardinal Health.  In this role, Ms. Gunawardhana provides regulatory and legal support to Cardinal Health’s businesses including both pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing and distribution.  Previously, Ms. Gunawardhana served as Chief Counsel FDA and Regulatory Law at McKesson Corporation and as outside counsel to a myriad of pharmaceutical and medical device companies while in private practice at Wiley Rein LLP and Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, respectively. Prior to Ms. Gunawardhana's tenure in private practice, she served as Regulatory Counsel at the FDA for close to ten years. There she assisted on a variety of legal and policy issues in the following Centers: the Center for Devices and Radiological Health; the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Ms. Gunawardhana received a BA from Syracuse University, a MA from Webster University, an MPH from Boston University, a JD from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a LLM from Washington College of Law, American University.

Garrett Mannchen

Garrett Mannchen

Garrett Mannchen is an attorney at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the General Counsel. In that role, Mr. Mannchen represents the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in federal district court litigation.  His portfolio includes challenges to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, reimbursement for prescription drugs under Medicare Part B and Part D, decisions of the Provider Reimbursement Review Board, and Medicaid section 1115 demonstration projects.  Before joining HHS, Mr. Mannchen clerked for Judge Roger Wollman on the U.S. Court of Appeals or the Eighth Circuit. Mr. Mannchen is a 2015 summa cum laude graduate of American University Washington College of Law.

Cybil G. Roehrenbeck

Cybil G. Roehrenbeck

Cybil G. Roehrenbeck is a Partner in the Government Relations and Public Affairs group in Hogan Lovells' Washington, DC office, where she is a leader in the firm's health care lobbying practice. She provides counsel on legislative and regulatory opportunities, often focusing on health care reimbursement and emerging health care sectors such as digital health, artificial intelligence, and value-based care. Prior to coming to Hogan Lovells, Ms. Roehrenbeck was a Shareholder in Polsinelli and previously served as Assistant Director, Federal Affairs and Washington Counsel for the American Medical Association, as well as Legislative Counsel on Capitol Hill. Ms. Roehrenbeck holds several leadership positions with the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Government Affairs. Ms. Roehrenbeck attended the University of Virginia undergrad and earned her law degree from the University of Georgia, completing her third year at the American University Washington College of Law.  She is a member of the bar in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Cybil G. Roehrenbeck

Alexis Rose

Alexis Rose is a data privacy and compliance attorney at Beckage, PLLC. She works with clients in a variety of industries, including health care and life science clients, to build their data privacy and security programs. She provides counsel to clients subject to HIPAA, state privacy laws, and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Ms. Rose’s prior experience includes working as a compliance consultant for health care providers. While in that role, she advised clients on Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and Office of Inspector General (OIG) regulations and requirements.  She worked with clients who were under Corporate Integrity Agreements or subject to CMS and OIG audits. While in law school, she was a policy intern for HHS OCR and the DC Department of Health. Ms. Rose attended Rutgers University for undergrad, has a Master in Public Policy degree from American University, and graduated with her law degree from American University Washington College of Law in 2018. She is a member of the District of Columbia bar and has a Certification in Healthcare Compliance from the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).

Cybil G. Roehrenbeck

Chris Smith

Chris Smith is Senior Counsel in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation & Business Disputes practices, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. His practice focuses on pharmacy law, drug distribution, and reimbursement issues. Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Mr. Smith worked as a Director of Federal Public Policy at a nonprofit trade association that advocates for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy public policy and as a Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at a national trade association representing the pharmacist owners, managers, and employees of independent community pharmacies nationwide. He also has a lobbying certificate from the Association of Government Relations Professionals.  He holds an LLM from American University Washington College of Law's Program on Law and Government, a JD from Vanderbilt Law School, and a BA from the University of Richmond.