Daskalopoulos ’18 a Witness to Historic Court Case
July 21, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University political science major Ally Daskalopoulos ’18 never expected to witness history during her summer
internship in the Nashville (Tenn.) District Attorney’s office.
Daskalopoulos was in the courtroom June 23 when a Criminal Court judge declared a
mistrial in what has become known as the Vanderbilt rape case. Two former Vanderbilt
University football players were found guilty in January of raping an unconscious
student, but defense attorneys asked for a mistrial after discovering one juror had
not disclosed that he was a victim of a sexual assault.
“This is an unforgettable memory,” said Daskalopoulos (Morton Grove, Ill.) “The process
of jury selection is often overlooked, and the duty itself can be unpopular. But this
case proved to highlight the importance of the jury and all they are held responsible
for when determining the fate of the defendants.”
Daskalopoulos hopes to become a lawyer, an aspiration solidified during her first
weeks at Illinois Wesleyan. As a student in Professor Dave Marvin’s Gateway Colloquium
course “Legal Decision Making,” Daskalopoulos and her classmates were required to
form solid arguments to defend their positions.
“That class first taught me the basics of forming a concise argument,” she said. “I
thought back to the class every day when I saw real arguments constructed in front
of me in the courtroom.”
Daskalopoulos already had been following the Vanderbilt rape case because her aunt,
Illinois Wesleyan alumna Demetria Kalodimos ’81, had been reporting on the case as
the news anchor for the NBC affiliate in Nashville. “She is an incredible mentor
to me, and she encouraged me to apply for the internship in the DA’s office,” said
Daskalopoulos. “She knew of my interest in the law and thought the internship would
be a great opportunity to discover whether this was truly the career I should strive
After she was selected for the internship, Daskalopoulos was given her choice of units
within the DA’s office. Influenced by the rape case, she became a victim witness intern
in the Domestic Violence unit, where her duties included printing warrants and affidavits
and researching crime scene photos. And as a Hispanic Studies minor, she assisted
in translating when Spanish-speaking victims or witnesses testified in court. In her
spare time, she was allowed to attend court to witness trials in progress.
“I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time,” Daskalopoulos said of the five-week
internship. “The experience has confirmed my desire to attend law school and become
At Illinois Wesleyan Daskalopoulos is a columnist for the student newspaper The Argus, public relations coordinator for Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and a member of Alpha
Lambda Delta honor society for first-year students.