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NIU Law dean honored as ‘Woman of Distinction’ by Suburban Life Magazine

May 27, 2014
Kelsey Rakers and Jennifer Rosato Perea

Kelsey Rakers and Jennifer Rosato Perea

NIU Law Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea was presented with a 2014 Women of Distinction Award from Suburban Life Magazine at a May 8 awards luncheon.

This inaugural award recognized 12 of the most remarkable women in Chicago’s western suburbs – for their contributions to their communities, professions and causes.

Rosato Perea was honored for her work to make the law and legal profession more accessible to the community.

“We were most impressed with her commitment to diversity. One of only four Latina law school deans, we felt she demonstrated a keen awareness of the importance of serving as a role model, for the students at NIU Law and well beyond,” said Kelsey Rakers, of Suburban Life Magazine/Shaw Media, who helped choose the finalists.

In 2009, Rosato Perea become the first female Latina dean of the NIU College of Law and is still amongst only a handful of minority women deans across the country. Under her guidance, NIU Law has enacted numerous initiatives to advance its mission of promoting diversity, professionalism and academic excellence. In addition, the school received recent recognition from The National Jurist as one of the most diverse law schools in the country.

Rosato Perea dedicated the award to her teenage daughter, and to all those diverse young women who are pursuing higher education. “That is part of why I fight every day – for access to education at the highest levels – for my daughter and for all students, from all walks of life.”

Rosato Perea was further honored individually with a 2013 Vanguard Award from the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, which recognizes lawyers, judges and institutions who champion diversity, making the law and the legal profession more accessible to and reflective of the community at large, and a 2013 Distinguished Leadership Award from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. In addition, she was named among the 2013 Hispanic 50 nationally by Hispanic Executive Magazine.

Suburban Life Magazine celebrates the communities, business and people that make Chicago’s western suburbs a great place to live.