McLane Law Firm Presents Seacoast Students with the 2009 Harvard Prize Book Award

August 10, 2009, Portsmouth, NH – Attorney David Wolowitz of the law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, recently presented five area high school students with the coveted Harvard Prize Book Award on behalf of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of New Hampshire.

The Prize Book is awarded to an outstanding student in the junior class who combines excellence in scholarship, high character, and achievement in other fields. Students are nominated by their school’s administration during their junior year.

This year’s Seacoast area winners are upcoming seniors Saralyn Marquis of Nute High School; Katja Luxem of Oyster River High School; Jillian Niler of Dover High School; Erin Benotti of Exeter High School; Rhianna James of Newmarket High School and Elizabeth Harvey of Portsmouth High School. Each of the students received a copy of the book entitled, Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds.

About the Students:
Saralyn Marquis of Nute High School is president of her class and will be president of the Student Council during her senior year.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, and serves on her school’s yearbook committee and business club.  Saralyn is a member of the Div. III State Championship Volleyball Team, as well as Nute High School’s softball team.  She participated in the New England Leadership Conference and the national conference last January for President Obama’s Inauguration.  She serves as a volunteer at statewide events that support and promote foster and adoptive programs, and is a speaker at foster parent training classes.  Saralyn is working this summer as a junior counselor in the field sports department at Camp Calumet Lutheran.  

Katja Luxem of Oyster River High School is a member of the National Honor Society, Varsity Math Team, Community Service Club, Literary Magazine, and Russian Exchange Program.  She runs varsity cross country in the fall, swims in the winter, and participates on the Junior Varsity spring track team for her school.  She is also captain of the Oyster River Otters, a swim team in Durham. She enjoys photography, skiing and gardening, and spent her summer in the Advanced Mathematics program at St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program in Concord before traveling to Europe.

Jillian Niler is a member of Dover High School’s National Honor Society and the Latin Honor Society, and has received the International Foreign Language Award and the Rensselaer Medal Award for math and science achievement.  She was also recognized this year for excellence in chemistry and U.S. history.  Jillian serves her community through Interact and competes on the Dover High School math team.  She has also been a member of the championship fall and winter color guards for her school since sophomore year.  She is a member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance and has participated in the UNH Project Search program.  Jillian also participated in the Advanced Mathematics Program at St. Paul’s this summer.

Erin Benotti of Exeter High School is a member of the National Honor Society.  She is the recipient of the 2009 University of Rochester’s George Eastman Young Leaders Award; she earned the Magna Cum Laude Award on the 2009 National Latin Exam and is a member of the Latin Honor Society.  Erin was twice named an Outstanding Delegate at the 2008 and 2009 Model United Nations UMass conferences.  She serves as a student senate representative, and will serve as vice president of its executive board this coming year.  She is the Exeter High School Interact Club president and a member of the Key Club, as well as the National History Club, Model United Nations club, Consul and Historian of Latin club. She is also a social studies pee tutor.  Erin is a member and co-captain of both the Varsity field hockey and lacrosse teams for her school. In her spare time, she volunteers, having worked for the Obama campaign and Special Olympics, and she enjoys skiing, reading, kayaking and traveling.

Rhianna James of Newmarket High School is a year-round athlete. She plays varsity soccer and runs indoor and outdoor track. She also played winter and spring soccer with an Exeter team. She will serve as secretary of National Honor Society, as well as captain of Newmarket’s Granite State Challenge team. In her spare time, Rhianna enjoys reading, writing, Irish step dancing, and playing flute. She participated in St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program this summer, where she studied Artificial Intelligence.

Elizabeth Harvey of Portsmouth High School is very involved in her community.  She is a member of her school’s National Honor Society; is captain of her school’s Granite State Challenge team; serves as secretary of Student Council, and is a member of Peer Leadership, among other clubs.  Outside of school, she plays the harp, and tutors advanced math students at Little Harbour elementary school.  Last summer, she spent five weeks in Bangkok conducting research in the Biotechnology lab of Mahidol University. She recently also attended the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School, where she studied Ancient Greece.

 About the Award:
The national Harvard Prize Book Award program encourages Harvard alumni to conduct outreach to their local schools, to give students who may consider applying to Harvard a local contact and role model.

David Wolowitz, a Director at the McLane Law Firm’s Portsmouth Office, was the first to introduce the program to Seacoast schools, where he has been honoring students for more than twenty years. More than 60 New Hampshire schools have had students honored with the award.

“This award is important as it recognizes not just academic contributions, but those students who are well-rounded and are a positive role model in the community and with their peers,” comments David Wolowitz.  

Rolf Goodwin, a fellow Director at McLane’s Manchester office and Harvard alumnus added, “Through this program we are interested in encouraging New Hampshire students to apply to Harvard.  Many students are not aware of Harvard’s generous financial aid programs.”

Comprehensive information about Harvard admissions and financial aid may be found at  The College website may be found at

About the McLane Law Firm
Founded in 1919, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association is the largest full-service law firm in the state of New Hampshire, with offices in Manchester, Concord and Portsmouth, as well as Woburn, Massachusetts.  Driven by the firm’s depth of sophisticated legal expertise and an unwavering commitment to client service, McLane has built collaborative and lasting relationships with a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients.