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Esther Mignanelli and Stephen Pauwels receive the 2014 Marc Grinker Student Commitment Award

May 13, 2014

Esther Mignanelli and Stephen Pauwels, third-year students at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, are the recipients of the 2014 Marc Grinker Student Commitment Award.

The award was created in memory of Professor Marc A. Grinker, a member of the IIT Chicago-Kent faculty from 1990 until his death in 1996. Professor Grinker taught courses in legal writing, corporations, and securities law and served as the first director of the law school's Appellate Advocacy Program. Under his leadership, the program won local, regional and national individual and interscholastic honors. The award, which includes a cash stipend, is made at the end of the academic year.

Stephen Pauwels '14 and Esther Mignanelli '14 received the 2014 Grinker Award for their dedication to IIT Chicago-Kent and the law school's appellate advocacy program."Each year, members of IIT Chicago-Kent's Moot Court Honor Society nominate senior members of the program who embody Marc's dedication to our program and the law school," said IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Kent D. Streseman, director of the Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy. Esther and Steve have been skilled competitors, highly effective coaches and mentors, and indispensable leaders throughout their time here."

Esther Mignanelli is an IIT Chicago-Kent Honors Scholar who graduated from Bethel University in Minnesota with a double major in history and political science and a minor in philosophy. Mignanelli represented the law school this school year in the Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition and the National Moot Court Competition. She coached the winning ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition team.

"Esther has gone well beyond the call of duty as a board member, an advocate, a mentor and a coach, and we have benefitted greatly from her talent and hard, smart work," said Professor Streseman. "But perhaps what has mattered most to our members is Esther's generosity of spirit. She is a valuable resource for peers and proteges because her advice and insights are formed as much by her humility and wisdom as by her intellect and talent."

Stephen Pauwels received his bachelor's degree with a double major in political science and history from Miami University. Pauwels participated in the Appellate Lawyers Association's National Moot Court Competition and coached an Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition team. He also coached the IIT Chicago-Kent team that won the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition championship and best brief award in 2014 and participated in the McGee Competition in 2013.

"Steve has been a tireless and innovative coach who helped five highly talented—and very different—advocates produce a string of great performances in the McGee and Evans competitions. As one of his nominators said, ‘Steve just keeps showing up and doing the work. He is a steady presence as a practice judge, one whose preparation and insights have shaped the performances of dozens of advocates. He has been a highly valued mentor, competitor and ambassador for our program.'"

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. In 2008, IIT Chicago-Kent became the only law school ever to win the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year. In 2009, IIT Chicago-Kent successfully defended its title in the National Moot Court Competition to become the first law school to win back-to-back championships in the largest appellate advocacy tournament in the United States. 

For More Information:

Susan O'Brien
Assistant Dean for Public Affairs
(312) 906-5250