Mia Rivecco and Taylor Shuman receive Chicago-Kent’s 2020 Harold J. and Nancy F. Krent Excellence Award
Mia Rivecco ’22 and Taylor Shuman ’22 are the recipients of the Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology’s 2020 Harold J. and Nancy F. Krent Excellence Award.
“We are delighted that Taylor and Mia not only are academic superstars, but are committed to giving back to the law school institutionally,” says Professor Harold J. Krent, who also was Chicago-Kent dean from 2003–2019. “They both serve as teaching assistants, serve on law review, and are excelling in moot court. They are a credit to Chicago-Kent, and we are proud to support them.”
Krent and his wife, Nancy, a retired partner at the law firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, established the award in 2013 to recognize the student or students who rank at the top of the combined first-year full-time and second-year part-time classes. The winning students also receive a $2,500 cash award.
“It’s truly humbling and, honestly, a bit surprising. I felt very lost at the beginning of law school, and I was very lucky to have found a stellar group of friends to study with and help me find my footing,” says Rivecco, who notes that she came to Chicago-Kent because of the community-focused personality of the school. “I am extremely grateful for the Krents’ generosity in this award, as well as their kindness in hosting Taylor and me for a wonderful meal.”
A summa cum laude English and organizational communication graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, Rivecco earned membership in the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Academic Hall of Fame while an undergraduate. At Chicago-Kent Rivecco served as a law clerk in the Law Office of Jill M. Webb, a Chicago-Kent alumna and personal injury attorney, and over the summer participated in the 1L Your Way program and received a CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Torts in fall 2019.
This year Rivecco also took the top honor in the 29th Annual Ilana Diamond Rovner Appellate Advocacy Competition.
“It was such a wonderful opportunity to argue before such esteemed judges as Judge Ilana Rovner herself, and many of the school's distinguished faculty. It pushed me outside my comfort zone and challenged me in a way I had never experienced before, so it has definitely been a highlight,” says Rivecco, who credits her fiancé, Evan, for supporting her throughout her law school endeavors.
Shuman is proud to share her Krent Excellence Award win with her mother, Michelle, a member of the Chicago-Kent Class of 1990.
“I decided to attend Chicago-Kent largely because of my admission to the Honors Scholars Program, which has given me the invaluable opportunity to receive close guidance and mentorship from Chicago-Kent’s incredible faculty, the ability to collaborate with fellow Honors Scholars who have become dear friends, and the opportunity to connect with successful Honors alumni throughout the legal profession,” Shuman says, acknowledging that her Krent Excellence Award win only reaffirms her commitment to her studies.
“Winning the Krent award is an incredible honor. Law school, and 1L in particular, is incredibly challenging and involves a great deal of sacrifice,” she says. “I also want to join Mia in expressing my gratitude to the Krents for making this award possible and for their generosity in hosting us for a wonderful meal.”
Shuman received a bachelor’s in journalism and political science with Distinctive Scholastic Achievement from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and served as philanthropy chair of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. During her undergraduate years, she held positions within a number of political organizations, including the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, Tammy Baldwin for Senate, and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. A recipient of a CALI Award in Contract Law and a CALI Award in Legislation: Process and Interpretation, Shuman was a judicial extern for the Honorable Franklin U. Valderrama. This past summer she worked with The Free Internet Project and served as a research assistant for Chicago-Kent Professor Felice Batlan.
“The most meaningful and rewarding experience of my time at Chicago-Kent thus far has been working alongside Professor Batlan as her teaching assistant for Contract Law,” says Shuman. I have enjoyed getting to know the first-year students and the opportunity to further develop my relationship with Professor Batlan, who has been instrumental in my law school success, an incredible mentor, and is someone I greatly admire.”