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Abigail Remore

Alumni Spotlight—Abigail Nickerson Remore

Alumni of the College of Applied Health Sciences have myriad career options thanks to the tremendous diversity of programs. We periodically will put the spotlight on an alum to find out what they're doing now, what experiences they had and what AHS means to them. This week, we talk to Abigail Nickerson Remore, who graduated from Illinois with a bachelor of science in kinesiology in 2006, and Seton Hall Law School in 2009 and is now a lawyer with the firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC in West Orange, N.J., specializing in intellectual property matters.

Q: Why did you pick AHS?

A: I was interested in a degree in exercise science/kinesiology, and knew that UIUC (and AHS) had one of the best programs in the world. While I looked at a couple of other universities, I only applied to one other school besides Illinois, and its exercise science program simply did not compare. Ultimately, my decision was pretty easy. Plus, I grew up in central Illinois, and my older sister graduated with a degree in Community Health so I was already a huge Fighting Illini fan, as well as familiar with AHS and the University as a whole.

Q: Which professors had the most impact on you?

A: Professor Mary Carlton (from whom I took several courses) and Professor CL Cole definitely had the most impact on me. I respected Professor Carlton’s passionate and friendly-yet-firm teaching style, and she was always a pleasure to be around. I took a sport sociology course with Professor Cole and enjoyed how she facilitated small group discussions and helped us to learn to talk about complicated and sometimes sensitive issues. During my time with Professor Cole, I substantially expanded my world view as well as my understanding of the impact that sport—and the business of sport—has on society as a whole.

Q: What course did you most enjoy?

A: I most enjoyed my sport sociology class with Professor Cole. To this day, one of my favorite books is one we read in that class—Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism by Walter LeFeber. I also loved gymnastics with Professor Carlton, because I used to do gymnastics when I was younger and was happy to be able to try it again (though I had definitely lost a step or two).

Q: Did you enter AHS knowing your career path, or did AHS help you decide?

A: I THOUGHT I entered AHS knowing my career path—I wanted to help keep athletes on the field and be as close to the action as possible, so I was either going to be an orthopedic surgeon or an athletic trainer. But that all changed when I took the required introduction course for the kinesiology major—I believe it is now KIN 125. It was in that course that I learned the wide range of careers you could have with a degree in kinesiology—on and off the field. After some personal reflection, I realized that I saw myself more on the “corporate” side of the industry. At the time, I wanted to be a sports agent, and my AHS advisor said I probably ought to go to law school for that. However, I had always loved science and I found the life-science based classes in kinesiology to be fascinating, so I did not change my major. I instead shifted my focus to sports law and pursued a minor in political science. I am so glad I did.

Q: Did your AHS experience lead to your current job?

A: It absolutely did, albeit indirectly. As I mentioned in my last response, my advisor suggested that if I wanted to be a sports agent, I should go to law school. So, after graduating, I moved to New Jersey to attend Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, where I focused my studies in sports law. At Seton Hall, the sports law concentration was affiliated with intellectual property law, so I was required to take courses on trademark, copyright and patent law. Though I worked at a very small sports management company immediately after I graduated law school and passed the bar, I soon realized that being an agent was not the career for me. Instead, I figured out that I was truly passionate about intellectual property law, so I started to pursue jobs where I could practice trademark and copyright law. After a few years at a boutique intellectual property firm here in New Jersey, I landed at CSG, where I am lucky to be able to exclusively practice in the intellectual property field, specifically trademarks and copyrights. I am thrilled to be able to represent a diverse array of clients, including some in the sports and entertainment industries, from all over the country and protect their brands and their creative works. I have also been able to take on leadership roles at my firm by building on the skills I learned at University of Illinois. If my AHS advisor had not recommended that I go to law school, I would not have had that opportunity and would not be where I am today.

Q: What was your favorite on-campus experience?

A: I was a member of the Orange Krush all four years at Illinois. Being able to be courtside for the 2004-2005 men’s basketball season was truly special, as was being able to see the team play in the Final Four and National Championship Game in St. Louis. Even though I still get chilly thinking about waiting outside Assembly Hall to get into the games, that was without a doubt my favorite on-campus experience.

Q: What does AHS mean to you?

A: Even though I do not have a traditional AHS career, I will always credit AHS for pointing me in the right direction. Before that kinesiology introduction course, if you had told me I would wind up going to law school and becoming an attorney, I would have laughed at you. I love that I graduated with a degree in something that I found truly fascinating, and that I was able to use my education in a unique and creative way.

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