IU McKinney School of Law to honor outstanding alumni

  • April 29, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will honor five outstanding alumni during a special reception this week.

IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law alumni Andrea Ciobanu, Kenan Farrell, Janet Gongola, Kirby Lee and Mark Roesler will be this year’s honorees at the Evening of Celebration at 5:30 p.m., Friday, May 3, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

Mark Roesler, Class of 1982, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Roesler, founder, chairman and CEO of CMG Worldwide, is the pre-eminent authority on the valuing, marketing and protecting of celebrities’ intellectual property rights.

In a 2009 segment of “60 Minutes,” television journalist Steve Kroft said, “No other agent in the world represents more famous people than Mark Roesler, stroll down Hollywood Boulevard with him and he’ll point out 62 of his clients who are immortalized with their own stars on the ‘Walk of Fame’  . . .”

The law school graduate has represented and worked with more than 1,000 celebrities, including such icons and legends as Elvis Presley, Norman Rockwell, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Jackie Robinson and Amelia Earhart. Roesler and his company represent the marketing and legal interests of his various clients, particularly focusing on establishing their rights of publicity, trademarks and copyrights.

Andrea Ciobanu, Class of 2010; and Kenan Farrell, Janet Gongola, and Kirby Lee, all of the Class of 2003, are recipients of Early Career Achievement Awards.

Ciobanu has her own practice and focuses on civil rights and litigation, education law, ADA compliance, family law, and appellate practice.  She also serves as a consultant to the Indiana Supreme Court on its civil law and family law pilot project, and works with the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Family Law Executive Committee.

Ciobanu is a passionate supporter of her alma mater, serving as a permanent host committee member for the school’s Public Interest and LRAP Dinner, and often serves as a guest speaker on various topics, including how to become acclimated to law school life and how to pass the bar.

The law school alumna, who is fluent in American Sign Language, also strives to serve as the legal voice for the deaf community, and deaf rights, and works through the various bar associations to accomplish this goal.

Kenan Farrell advises clients on a range of business and intellectual property issues, including copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent and privacy issues, as they relate to technology, new media and the arts.

He has provided legal services to businesses and non-profits in international and domestic transactions, as well as litigation and litigation avoidance counsel in state and federal matters.

Kenan also is an adjunct professor of art and museum law at McKinney School of Law.

Even when he’s not on the clock, he’s working to improve the arts in Indianapolis, currently serving as president of IDADA, the local arts group that organizes the First Friday Art Tour, and secretary of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. 

Gongola is the patent reform coordinator at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In this capacity, she manages all aspects of the agency’s implementation of the America Invents Act.  Gongola also is the associate commissioner for patent examination policy and is responsible for developing patent policy for the agency.

Gongola also is an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law and the George Washington University Law School.

Before joining the patent office, Gongola served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Paul R. Michel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Court and for Chief Judge Sue L. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.  In addition, Gongola worked as a patent attorney, patent agent, and research chemist at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis.

Lee is a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice where he represents the federal government in intellectual property disputes, including patent, copyright and trademark matters. Last year, the department’s intellectual property task force selected Lee for a White House detail, and Lee served as senior policy advisor to the intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the Executive Office of the President.

Lee is a visiting fellow as part of the Harvard Law School Wasserstein Fellowship Program for the 2012-2013 academic year. The Wasserstein Public Interest Fellows Program brings outstanding public interest attorneys to the Harvard Law School campus for one or two days during the year to advise law students about public service careers. Wasserstein Fellows are selected based on their public interest experiences, areas of expertise which interest students, and personal qualities that will make them excellent advisers.

All law school faculty and staff are invited to attend the Evening of Celebration reception. Online registration is available.

Andrea Ciobanu

Andrea Ciobanu

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Kenan Farrell

Kenan Farrell

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Janet Gongola

Janet Gongola

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