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IU South Bend Alumna Envisions Career of Service, Receives IU Regional Law Scholar Award

May 27, 2020

Chloe Deardurff ’18 is one of just three students from across the entire IU to receive the IU Regional Law Scholar Award for the 2020-21 academic year at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

The IU Regional Law Scholarship provides a minimum of a renewable half-tuition scholarship, as well as guaranteed experiential learning opportunities or paid employment as a research assistant following completion of 32 law school credit hours. The total value of the scholarship is approximately $40,000 over three years.

Deardurff, who graduated with a B.A. in political science and sustainability, is a fulltime AmeriCorps member at the Robinson Learning Center as a program assistant for the Youth Entrepreneurship Program.

She credits much of her success to her mother’s support and guidance. “My mom was a single parent. I am very proud of her,” the Kouts High School alumna explained. “She made sure I was signed up for the 21st Century Scholar program when we were in middle school, and told me I had to work hard to keep it.” She has a twin brother who graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis the same year. “I was the first in my family to graduate from college and my twin brother was the second, two days later,” she jested.

Deardurff also attributes her achievements to her experience at IU South Bend. “I chose to attend IU South Bend for financial reasons,” she said. “It ended up being such a great choice. I had small classes and wonderful professors, and I really appreciate all the guidance and care they gave me and still give me.”

Her advisor Dr. Jamie Smith took a special interest in helping her choose classes that fit her interests. “He helped me realize I like to help people,” she explained. “He guided me toward classes that had a lot of community engagement.” He also told her about the scholarship opportunity at the IU McKinney School of Law.

Retired Professor Mike Keen was also a strong mentor Deardurff said, “He helped me with my resume and he continues to stay in touch with me.”

Professor and Political Science Department Chair Steven Gerencser noted, “Chloe is an example of a student who took advantage of what was available at IU South Bend and took off and blossomed. I am very excited that she was able to get this scholarship.”

In her future law career, Deardurff hopes to practice family law. Her experience at the Robinson Center has inspired her to be an advocate for children. “I’m hoping my externships in law school will help me determine how I can best use my law degree to help kids,” she explained.

“IU South Bend was a wonderful experience for me,” Deardurff explained. “I’m looking forward to my next academic adventure at the McKinney School of Law.”

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