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.

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2014

April:

  • Robin Belleau ('95) became the Executive Director of the Illinois Lawyers' Assistance Program in January 2014. LAP is a commission of the Illinois Supreme Court and assists the legal community with addiction and mental health issues.
  • Rocio S. Becerril's ('09) Chicago-based immigration law firm, The Law Office of RSB, will expand their services into the western suburbs starting on May 1, 2014. The new office will be located at 29W522 Batavia Rd, Suite 2, in Warrenville, Illinois. The firm focuses on family based petitions and deportation defense.

March:

  • Jonathon Hoag ('06) made partner with the law firm of SmithAmundsen LLC (St. Charles, IL).  A member of the Labor & Employment Practice Group, he focuses his practice on representing employers in labor & employment matters before state, federal, and administrative courts.  His practice involves matters including wage and hour claims, employment contract issues, disability claims, discrimination and retaliation claims, harassment claims, prevailing wage issues, union issues, and safety and health matters.  He is a contributing author to the Labor & Employment Law Update blog.

February:

  • Carmen (Mosier) McCormickCarmen (Mosier) McCormick (’94) joined MicroVention, Inc., a Terumo Corporation, as their Corporate and Compliance Counsel. Carmen is looking forward to getting back into international law after being only one of a handful of attorneys in the country who has, as in house counsel, defended five separate companies against Department of Justice health care fraud investigations.


  • Cherilyn MurerCherilyn Murer ('78) was appointed to the National Readmission Prevention Collaborative (NRPC).  NRPC is a volunteer organization that showcases case studies of 'Best Practice' readmission prevention programs for hospitals and provides readmission prevention tool kits.

January:

  • Francis M. Martinez ('83) has been selected to fill the Illinois 17th Judicial Circuit associate judge seat vacated by the retiring Associate Judge Steven G. Vecchio. Martinez is expected to take his oath of office February 3, 2014.
  • Phil Nicolosi ('85) has been selected to fill the Illinois 17th Judicial Circuit associate judge seat vacated by the retiring Associate Judge Gary Pumilia.  He began his term as judge on January 6, 2014.
  • Karl Kelz ('99) opened the Kelz Law Office, LLC in Medford, Wisconsin after serving 10 years as Taylor County District Attorney. Kelz Law Office, LLC provides legal services in Criminal, Family, Business, Estate Planing and Real Estate areas of the law.  Karl is an experienced litigator with over 100 jury trials completed.

2013

December:

  • 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 with his family after winning the 2013 Outstanding Young Attorney award.Brad Fuller (’10) (second from left, with his family) received the 2013 Outstanding Young Attorney Award from the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.




November:

  • Joanna Panici and Anita AlvarezJoanna 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. ApostolLouis 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 DenningMike 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.

October:

  • 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.

September: 

  • 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 LinnabaryIan 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.

August:

  • 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 OlsonDavid 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.

July:

  • 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.

June:

  • 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.

May:

  • 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.

March:

  • 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.

February: 







  • 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.

January:

  • 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.

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