Alumni On the Move
Alumni of the NIU College of Law are an accomplished and driven group, comprising a nationwide community of legal practitioners, judges, public servants, and educators. We are proud to highlight their distinguished achievements and activities. Check back regularly for updates and see how NIU Law alumni exemplify excellence in their professions.
Submit your information for Alumni On the Move.
- Mickel-Ange Eveillard (’12) is an attorney with the New York City Administration for Children Services - Family Court Legal Services Division.
- Bettie Lewis (’02) was elected to the Brownfield Remediation and Intermodal Promotion Act Advisory Council. She is a partner at SmithAmundsen LLC in Chicago.
- Brad Fuller (’10) (second from left, with his family) received the 2013 Outstanding Young Attorney Award from the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- Joanna Panici ('13) was recently sworn in as a newly appointed Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
- Louis G. Apostol ('78) was inducted into the United Hellenic Voters of America's prestigious "Hall of Fame" for his many contributions to the practice of law and government service. He was honored at the UHVA's 39th Annual Awards Dinner in October and by the City of Chicago with a resolution sponsored by Alderman Burke in November. Louis is Executive Director and counsel for the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board and a member of the NIU Law Board of Visitors.
- Blake Stone ('96) was named Staff Judge Advocate for the US Army Medical Readiness & Training Command at Ft. Sam Houston, TX. He formerly served (2010-2012) as Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs) at the Pentagon.
- Ingrid Lehnert ('85) was named Vice President & General Counsel, NAM Region, for Alstom Grid, Inc. in Philadelphia, PA.
- Emmet Fairfield ('13) was appointed staff attorney at the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District in Springfield, IL.
- Mike Denning ('02) was named to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company's list of the 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty who are "up and comers" in Illinois. Mike is a partner in Heyl Royster's Rockford office where he concentrates his practice in civil defense litigation, including medical malpractice and nursing home litigation; auto, premises and trucking litigation; and the defense of toxic tort and asbestos claims.
- Julie Proscia ('03) has been named to Chicago's Daily Herald Business Ledger list of Influential Women in Business for 2013. Julie is a partner at SmithAmundsen in St. Charles, IL.
- Clay Kawski ('07) was named as a 2013 Up and Coming Lawyer by the Wisconsin Law Journal on September 26, 2013 in Milwaukee. Clay is an Assistant Attorney General for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
- Ian Linnabary (’02) was named to the Top Lists of Leading Lawyers magazine in the areas of Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Election, Political & Campaign Law; Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; and Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law. With this honor, Ian, who is a partner at Reno & Zahm in Rockford, IL, holds the unique distinction of being the youngest Leading Lawyer in Winnebago County.
- Richard Lenkov ('95) was honored as Alumnus of the Year for outstanding career achievements and dedication to the College of Law.
- Adam Vaught ('05) was honored as Young Alumnus of the Year for outstanding achievements early in their careers and devotion to the public good.
- Hon. Mark Lopez ('83) was honored with the Outstanding Service Award for outstanding service to the College of Law.
- Alice Johnson ('02) was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding career achievements and devotion to the public good.
- Hon. Joseph McGraw ('85) was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding career achievements and devotion to the public good.
- Kate McCabe ('01) was honored with the Mentor of the Year Award for extraordinary dedication as a mentor.
- Former NIU Law Dean Jim Alfini was honored as an Honorary Alumnus for extraordinary commitment to the College of Law and the communities it serves.
- Julie Angelakos (‘01) joined the Addison,IL-based Stewart Legal Services team as State Counsel for Illinois.
- Rick Guzman ('09) was featured on the cover of the Beacon-News of Aurora, IL on September 17. Guzman was interviewd for an article discussing new properties on LaSalle Street in Aurora, including Emmanuel House, the non-profit organization that he co-founded and for which he serves as chairman of the board.
- Vincent Cornelius ('89) was featured in the September 2013 edition of Chicago Lawyer magazine.
- Cynthia Edwards ('09) was hired as Senior Contract Buyer at Pace Suburban Bus. She is responsible for conducting complex public procurements, negotiating contract terms and leading public bid openings.
- It was announced that Hon. Patricia Martin ('85) would be appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.
- David Olson ('85) was ranked in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA directory for excellence in the practice area of Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation. He is at the Milwaukee, WI office of Quarles & Brady.
- Hon. David Carlson ('01) was appointed associate judge in the 12th Judicial Circuit.
- Diane Romza-Kutz ('81) joined Husch Blackwell in Chicago, IL.
- Thomas Sewall ('96) joined De Renzo & Bomier LLC and practices bankruptcy law in the firm's Oshkosh and Neenah offices in Wisconsin.
- James McCluskey ('79) was elected as Secretary of the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors.
- Cecil E. Porter III ('01) received a Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel.
- Hon. Diann K. Marsalek ('89) was elected to the Illinois Judges Association Board of Directors.
- Gary Scott Pyles ('91) was installed as the new President of the Will County Bar Association on June 28, 2013.
- James Glasgow (’78) received an award from the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network for his work to protect victims of domestic violence.
- Dean Maragos (’78) was elected to the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois.
- Michael Steelman (’79) was honored as the 2013 Illinois Banker of the Year by the Illinois Bankers Association.
- Ron Wittmeyer (’82) was elected 1st Vice President of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association.
- Greg Madden (’99) was promoted to Chief, Contracting with the Federal Supply Schedule Service of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs National Acquisition Center in Hines, IL.
- Jamie Resch (’99), Senior Deputy Attorney General at the Nevada Attorney General’s office, won a case before the United States Supreme Court - NEVADA, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. CALVIN O’NEIL JACKSON.
- Ryan Armour (’05) made partner at Cassiday, Schade LLP in Rockford, IL.
- Shannon Stoker (Wapole) (’10) released her first book, The Registry.
- Chris Nickels ('88) was named as a Top 100 Litigator in the state of South Carolina by the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA).
- Vincent Cornelius ('89) was elected Third Vice-President of the Illinois State Bar Association.
- Richard D. Felice (‘79) will succeed to the office President-Elect of the ISBA.
- Steven A. Andersson (’92) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for the 16th Circuit.
- Susan W. Rogaliner (’91) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for the 16th Circuit.
- Colleen G. Thomas (’94) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for the 16th Circuit.
- Dick B. Williams (’96) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for the 10th Circuit.
- Robert Handley (’78) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for the 18th Circuit.
- Rhonda L. Rosenthal (’95) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for the 22nd Circuit.
- Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright (’03) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for Cook County.
- Julie A. Neubauer (’07) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for Cook County.
- Hon. John A. Wasilewski, ret. (’78) was elected to the ISBA Assembly for Cook County.
- The DeKalb (IL) County Board voted to appoint Riley Oncken ('04) to its open District 3 seat on March 20.
- Alumnus and Board of Visitors member Rich Lenkov ('95) was named to the Advisory Board of Legal Prep Charter Academy, Chicago's first and only legal-themed charter high school.
- Melissa Olivero ('97) was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge by the National Labor Relations Board.
- Hon. Mary Beth Bonaventura ('81) was appointed Director of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
- Brad Antonacci ('02)--Rockford, IL office--and Andrew Keyt ('02)--Peoria, IL office--made partner at the firm of Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen.
- Hon. Charles Weech ('88) was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Justice and Mental Health Planning.
- Rich Lenkov ('95) became the first President of the newly-formed Greater Chicago Chapter of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), a trade group including risk and litigation managers, insurance and claims professionals, corporate counsel, outside counsel and vendors to those occupations. CLM features 20,000 members nationally, and 1,345 in the Chicago area chapter.
- Timothy Cusack ('88) and Bradley J. Waller ('88) were appointed judges. Waller joined the bench as an Associate Judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit in DeKalb County, IL, while Cusack was appointed an Associate Judge to the 10th Judicial Circuit in Peoria, IL.
- Tim Conklin ('04) and Tait Lundgren ('04) made partner with The Foster and Buick Law Group in Sycamore, IL effective January 1, 2013.
- Katherine Haskins Becker ('11) announced the opening of Haskins Becker, P.C. in Wheaton, IL, concentrating its practice in the areas of Divorce and Family Law.
- Dave Neal ('80) has been appointed Special Prosecutor by the Illinois State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor. Special Prosecutors step in, upon appointment by the county's Chief Judge, when an elected State's Attorney is in a position of potential conflict. Neal, a two-term Grundy County State's Attorney, is a Past-President of the Illinois State's Attorneys Association and former Member of the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association. Neal concentrates on cases occurring in Illinois' Second and Third Appellate Court Districts.
- Sonni Williams ('99) has been promoted to Interim Corporation Counsel position for the City of Peoria, Illinois.
- Rene Cruz (’97), Chrystel L. Gavlin (’96), and John Benjamin “Ben” Roe IV (’00) were all appointed judges. Cruz became the newest Associate Judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit of Illinois, Gavlin became an Associate Judge in the 12th Judicial Circuit, and Roe was selected as Resident Circuit Judge of Ogle County, Illinois, 15th Judicial Circuit.
- Ron Matekaitis ('85) was elected Circuit Judge to the newly-created 23rd Circuit Court of Illinois on November 6, 2012.
- Julie Proscia ('03) was selected as one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” for 2012 by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company.
- Alice Johnson ('02) was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the Illinois Nurses Association, the largest nursing union in the state of Illinois.
- Brian Covert ('09) opened a new law office in Warrenville, IL. Brian's firm focuses on foreclosure defense, loan modification and short sales.
- Craig L. Boston (’09) was hired as an Assistant State’s Attorney in DuPage County, Illinois.
- Matt Pfeiffer ('00) started his own firm, Pfeiffer Law Offices, P.C. in Naperville, IL. He handles a broad range of civil litigation, arbitration, and mediation matters for individuals and small- to medium-size business entities in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, Lake, McHenry, and Kendall Counties as well as various transactional matters throughout those regions.
- Amy Colby ('04) opened her own practice, Amy Colby Law Firm, in Gonzales, Louisiana after four years as the Executive Counsel for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. She will be providing legal counsel in the areas of the Child Welfare System, Adoptions, Family Law, Civil Service Appeals, and Civil Rights Violations.
- John C. Redington ('90) was selected as an associate judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Lee, Ogle, Carroll, Stephenson, and Jo Daviess counties). Redington, with the Rochelle and Oregon law firm Tess & Redington, is a former Ogle County assistant state’s attorney.
- The 2012 NIU College of Law Alumni Council Award ceremony was held June 8 at River Heights Golf Course in DeKalb. Award recipients included alumni Kenneth C. Chessick (’84), Alumnus of the Year; Tom Kelly (’05), Young Alumnus of the Year; Hon. Carmen Goodman (’95), Distinguished Service Award; and John Monical (’94), Outstanding Service Award.
- Leonardo Castro ('92) was appointed a District Court Judge in the Second Judicial Circuit of Minnesota.
- Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. (’82) was elected Second Vice President of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association.
- Joseph J. Hylak-Reinholtz (’09) moved to Holland & Knight LLP.
- Janet Pioli ('84) elected President of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago.
- Congratulations to NIU Law alumni James J. Laraia ('01) for being elected Third Vice President and Patrick L. Edgerton ('96) & Matthew J. Pfeiffer ('00) for being elected to the Board of Directors of the DuPage County Bar Association. They were installed as officers on May 11.
- Diana Law ('04) was featured in a Chicago Sun-Times publication as the next Kane County public guardian.
- Congratulations to NIU Law alumni Cherilyn Murer ('78) and Hon. Anthony Iosco ('78). Cherilyn was re-elected as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for fiscal year 2013 and Judge Iosco as a member of the executive board.
- Carolyn Janson (’01) was elected to the Kane County Bar Association Board of Managers.
- Heather Wier Vaught ('05) and her role as Chief Legal Counsel for Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan were featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
- Rebecca Dobbs ('06) made partner at the St. Charles office of SmithAmundsen LLC on March 16th. Rebecca is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group where she focuses her practice on employee benefit compliance, administration, and litigation.
- Janet Pioli (’84) was named a Shareholder at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione.
- Rick Law ('83) and his daughter Diana Law ('04) of Law ElderLaw LLP in Aurora, IL were voted to the list of the Top Ten Illinois Elder Law Attorneys.
- Heather M. Wier Vaught ('05) was was named Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
- Brad Antonacci ('02), Michael Denning ('02), and Kenya Jenkins Wright ('03) were selected as 2012 Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars.
- John Elsner was selected Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit in Illinois.
- NIU Trustee Chair Cherilyn Murer ('78) Gives Lecture on Ethics in Law and Business
- Rick Law (’83) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Elder Law.
- Nancy Chausow Shafer (’80) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Family Law.
- Gregory W. Hoskins (’95) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Real Estate Law: Residential.
- Steven A. Greenberg (’86) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Criminal Defense Law: Felonies and Misdemeanors and Criminal Defense Law: White Collar.
- Peggy D. Gerkin (’88) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Criminal Defense Law: Felonies and Misdemeanors; Family Law; and Worker’s Compensation Law.
- Mr. Joseph G. Feehan (’88) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Personal Injury Defense Law: General; Products Liability Defense Law; and Transportation Defense Law: Including Aviation/FELA/Maritime.
- Lisa M. Nyuli (’89) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Family Law.
- Carol L. Hill (’93) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Family Law.
- Diana M. Law (’04) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Elder Law.
- Kathleen T. Zellner (’81) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Civil Rights/Constitutional Law; Criminal Appellate Law; Criminal Defense Law: Felonies and Misdemeanors; Personal Injury Law: General; and Personal Injury Law: Professional Malpractice.
- James A. Scheer (’78) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law.
- John E. Stevens ('78) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative.
- Nancy Hyzer (’84) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Real Estate Law: Associations & Condominiums; Real Estate Law: Commercial; and Real Estate Law: Residential.
- Mr. Richard S. Lauter (’81) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Bankruptcy & Workout Law: Commercial.
- James R. Patton (’84) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Personal Injury Defense Law: General and Products Liability Defense Law.
- D. Renee Schroeder (’85) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; Public Finance Law; and Worker’s Compensation Defense Law
- David A. Herman (’92) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation.
- Gordon W. Gates ('86) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Commercial Litigation; Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law; and Real Estate Law: Commercial.
- Julie L. Galassi (’87) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Employment Law: Employee and Military Law
- Gabriel M. Rodriguez (’84) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law.
- Jeffery T. Kubes (’81) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation; Personal Injury Defense Law: General: Products Liability Defense Law; and Prof’l Malpractice Defense: Incl. Legal/Technical/Financial.
- Joseph E. Kolar (’85) was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Personal Injury Law: General and Personal Injury Law: Professional Malpractice.
- Diann K. Marsalek ('89) was appointed Circuit Judge of Cook County by the Illinois Supreme Court.
- Nerino J. Petro (’88) was named to the “Fastcase 50” in recognition of his leading efforts in advancing legal technology.
- John E. Sebastian (’95), a Partner in the Chicago office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, was named a member of the prestigious Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys.
- Honorable Joseph G. McGraw (’85) elected Chief Judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court.
- Brian D. Moore (’92) opened a solo practice in Naperville, IL.
- John T. Elsner ('78) was elected Chief Judge of the Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois.
- Marcy L. Buick ('90) Appointed Associate Judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois
- David P. Olson ('85) of Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, WI was was named one of The Best Lawyers in America for 2012.
- Dr. Kenneth ('84) and Ellen Chessick Give $3 Million to NIU Athletics
- Cherilyn Murer ('78) Elected Chair of NIU Board of Trustees