Press Release

NIU College of Law Selects
“Bridge to the Bar” Scholarship Recipients

May 2, 2012

DeKalb, Ill.--Following a competitive process, the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Bridge to the Bar Scholarship recipients have been awarded to five outstanding law students. Third-year NIU Law students Nareman Abdallah, Jeffrey Brown, Alia Choudhury, Corey Sealy, and Sania Merchant are the first five students to receive the scholarships established by NIU Law alumnus Kenneth C. Chessick (’84) and his wife Ellen Chessick.

“The committee was very impressed by the submissions of all of the applicants,” said Dean Rosato. “The applications were inspiring and they reflect on the dedication of our law students and their strong desire to succeed on the Bar.”

The law students recently attended a scholarship dinner hosted by Ken and Ellen Chessick where they were able to personally express their appreciation and gratitude as well as gain valuable insight from Ken Chessick on having successful careers in the law and business.

The first Bridge to the Bar Scholarship winners.

Pictured above, from left to right: Sania Merchant, Alia Choudhury, Kenneth C. Chessick ('84), Ellen Chessick, Nareman Abdallah, Jeffrey Brown, and Corey Sealy.

Jeffrey Brown was extremely honored to have received the Chessick Bridge to the Bar Scholarships and expressed sentiments felt by all of the award recipients. “Mr. Chessick represents everything that we should all strive to be as lawyers and members of society. For the school and him to choose me to carry an award bearing his name truly fills me with a great deal of humility and graciousness,” said Brown.

The Bridge to the Bar scholarship is intended to help raise the bar passage rate of NIU Law graduates by offering recipients financial support while preparing for the exam. The five students will each receive $5,000 to help defray their costs of living for the summer. Due to the Chessicks’ generosity, the scholarship fund will continue to expand and the number of scholarships will increase over the next two years.

As volunteer and philanthropic leaders, the Chessicks seek to provide the NIU College of Law and its graduates every opportunity to be successful as lawyers and business professionals. The state-of-the-art Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Training Skills Center opened in 2004. Established in 2007, the Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program now has five $25,000 endowed awards named for his clients who were victims of medical negligence. Most recently, the Chessicks pledged $3 million to NIU athletics to name the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Facility. This gift is the largest ever made to Northern Illinois Athletics and the second-largest gift to the university.


For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or