College of Law > About > Diversity, Equity & Inclusion > Cohort 2 Presenter and Mentor Bios
Benjamin E. Alba is a Professor of Legal Practice and Director of Academic Success for the College of Law. He serves on the Faculty/Staff Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community-building and as faculty advisor for the Asian Pacific-American Law Student Association (APALSA). Previously, he taught Remedies and Legal Analysis, Research & Communication; and he served as Director of Bar Passage and Student Advising.
Professor Alba received his BS in Psychology, summa cum laude, from DePaul University and his JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Before joining DePaul in 2002, he practiced for 19 years (including 12 years as partner) in the Chicago civil litigation firm of Sneckenberg, Thompson & Brody. Areas of practice included insurance, personal injury, malpractice, civil rights, product liability, and administrative review. His practice encompassed state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels. During this time, he trained and supervised the firm’s law clerks and associates. In addition, he served on the Loyola adjunct faculty, teaching legal writing and moot court, and he created and taught a course in pretrial litigation.
Professor Alba served as certified arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County (1990 – 2015), and he formerly chaired the board of the Grant Park Conservancy. He is the author of Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen and the Original Tonight Show (Prometheus Books 2005).
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, DePaul University; JD, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Dr. Theresa Popp Braun is the Midwest Regional Director for the AccessLex Institute Center for Education and Financial Capability, where she directs education services and financial capability programming in ABA-member law schools and partner schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Her past professional experience in higher education and non-profit organizations includes serving as the director of student financial aid and student wellness divisions.
Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science Education, Master of Arts College Student Personnel, and an earned Doctor of Education Leadership Studies, from Bowling Green State University. She is also an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFCâ) through the Association of Financial Counseling and Professional Education and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPFâ) through the Institute for Financial Literacy.
Dr. Braun’s research interests include student loan debt, higher education affordability and cost transparency, financial wellness, and financial capability.
Theresa is active in her community and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Mercy Health Foundation – Greater Toledo. She is also past Board Chair and Treasurer of the Bowling Green State University Foundation, Inc. and a founding member of the Champions for Children Giving Circle.
Dr. Braun is passionate about empowering individuals with knowledge and tools to help them understand and strategically apply personal finance concepts so they can effectively manage their money to reach their personal and financial goals.
Education: Bachelors of Science Education, Bowling Green State University; Master’s Degree, Bowling Green State University; Doctor of Education Leadership Studies, Bowling Green State University
Amna will be entering her second year at DePaul University College of Law this August. She is particularly interested in going into the field of health law, and is a fellow for DePaul’s Jaharis Health Law Institute. Amna is among the youngest in her class since she is part of the 3+3 BA/JD program where she completed her undergraduate study in three years. She received her undergraduate degree from DePaul with a major in political science and a minor in Spanish. Amna is a first-generation high school, college, and law student. Her family are refugees from the country of Bosnia where they fled the Yugoslavian war with no money. Amna has always held her family’s experience in a high regard and her biggest goal in life is to make them proud. Amna is excited to meet the scholars and help them smoothly transition into law school since she knows first-hand how to tackle it as a first-generation student.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, DePaul University; BA/JD-2nd Year, DePaul University College of Law
Professor Cue joined the College of Law as an instructor of Legal Analysis, Research and Communication in fall 2007. She comes to DePaul from the John Marshall Law School, where she served as an adjunct professor in the lawyering skills program. Prior to teaching, she was an associate at Roberts & Vess PC in Wheaton, Illinois, where she handled a variety of commercial litigation matters. Cue is actively involved in the Legal Writing Institute (LWI). She is the Technology Chair of the LWI listserv committee, on the editorial board of the LWI Monograph series, and an assistant editor of the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. She received her bachelor’s degree and JD from the University of Illinois.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree and JD, University of Illinois
Stephanie is currently privacy counsel at Meta where she advises on global privacy compliance for the Facebook and Instagram apps. Prior to Meta, Stephanie was part of a small privacy team at ZS Associates, Inc. where she handled incident response and third-party risk assessments, advised on global privacy matters, negotiated technology and privacy agreements, and oversaw the global privacy and security training. Stephanie holds numerous certifications from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and is a Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) from the IAPP. Stephanie graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2017. While at DePaul, she was A Vice President of the Appellate Moot Court Society and Editor-in-Chief of the DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal. She received her Bachelor of Sciences from Drexel University in Entertainment and Arts Management in 2013.Outside of the law, Stephanie enjoys cooking and reading. She also manages her corgis Instagram account.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Drexel University; JD, DePaul College of Law
Quinn David Furness has been the Assistant Director of Admissions at DePaul Law since 2019. Before working in law admissions, Quinn worked for a number of years in undergraduate admissions at both Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Quinn earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the DePaul University School of Music and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University. In addition to serving as one of the program managers for FGLP, Quinn also manages on-campus events for the Office of Admissions, the BA/JD 3+3 program, and a variety of other areas. In his free time, Quinn enjoys going for long runs along Lake Michigan, attending Chicago Cubs games with family, and training to one day appear on Jeopardy.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, DePaul University School of Music; Master’s Degree, Northwestern University
Anne Hudson has served as the senior faculty research librarian at DePaul College of Law since December 2017. Prior to moving to Chicago, she served in a similar role at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, for 14 years. Before beginning her academic law librarian career, Professor Hudson worked for the Department of Justice for eight years in the environmental enforcement, civil rights and civil case divisions.
Education: JD, Western Michigan University (Thomas Cooley Law School); MLIS, Wayne State University
Sean is an advisor within Ayco’s Family Office. In his role, he provides comprehensive financial advice to high net worth individuals and their families. Sean’s main areas of focus include income tax planning, philanthropy, risk management, investment services and multi-generational estate planning. Sean takes a hands-on approach, by not only providing strategic advice and planning concepts, but also assisting with implementation and ongoing oversight of each client’s financial affairs.
Sean joined Ayco in July 1999 and has held multiple positions throughout the firm prior to his current role in the Family Office.
Sean earned a degree in Finance (with honors) from the University of Illinois and also earned a Master in Science in Taxation (with distinction) from DePaul University.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Illinois; Master’s Degree, DePaul University
Elizabeth (Beth) Lopez received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in political science from Loyola University Chicago. A year after graduating from Loyola, Ms. Lopez attended the University of Detroit School of Law (now known as University of Detroit Mercy School of Law) in Michigan, where she studied Constitutional Law. During her final semester of law school, Ms. Lopez began working part-time as a researcher for a general practice law firm in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. After graduating from law school, she continued working with the Michigan law firm for five years. While employed there, Ms. Lopez drafted pleadings, motions, wills, and trusts. She also argued motions and assisted with trial preparation. Ms. Lopez is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Michigan.
In 2004, Ms. Lopez began teaching test prep classes to high school students at a community college. In 2010, her course load grew to include LSAT, GMAT, and GRE prep classes. Ms. Lopez also tutors students individually for each of these tests. Ms. Lopez began teaching GMAT prep courses at DePaul University in 2014 and LSAT prep at DePaul University in 2015. In her current position as the LSAT lead instructor, she is responsible for helping each student develop techniques to solve reasoning and comprehension questions quickly and accurately as well as to learn how to write a strong essay for the writing portion of the LSAT test. Her goals are to help students strengthen the skills needed to excel on the LSAT, learn strategies for succeeding on the LSAT, and increase confidence in preparation for the test day.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Loyola University Chicago; JD, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Nichole Lopez-Tackett is a partner in Ropes & Gray’s finance group, based in Chicago. Her practice focuses on the representation of corporate borrowers, private equity sponsors, investment funds and lending institutions with respect to complex financing transactions, including syndicated/non-syndicated, secured/unsecured, multi-jurisdictional and leveraged buyout financing transactions, as well as, liability management transactions, recapitalizations, restructurings and other special situation transactions.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Loyola University Chicago; JD, DePaul University College of Law
Gregory Mark joined the College of Law in July 2011, serving as dean until July 2014. A noted legal historian, he has extensive experience in academia, administration and the professional world. From 1996 until joining DePaul, he was a vice dean, professor of law, center director and Justice Nathan L. Jacobs Scholar at Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, where he taught Business Associations, Contracts, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance and Legal History. He was an assistant professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law from 1992 to 1996 and a visiting faculty member at Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1994. Professor Mark also was a member of the graduate faculty in history at Rutgers and a teaching fellow in the history department at Harvard University.
Prior to his academic career, Professor Mark served as associate counsel for the office of Independent Counsel in the Iran-Contra affair. In that role, he helped develop a case against Duane Clarridge, a former high-ranking official of the CIA, who later received a presidential pardon. He also led a project on foreign intelligence and national security concerns in the prosecution of government officials and acted as liaison to the White House Counsel’s office, the U.S. Senate, the National Security Agency and the CIA.
Professor Mark’s scholarship focuses on the areas of corporate finance, corporate governance and American legal history.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Butler University; JD, University of Chicago; Master’s Degree, Harvard University
Bradley A. Mueller is the Senior Pre-Law Advisor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Upon graduation from The John Marshall Law School n/k/a UIC School of Law and passing the Illinois Bar Exam, Brad was hired by the Chicago law firm Righeimer, Martin & Cinquino, P.C. where he practiced for over 25 years in the areas of health care law, adult guardianships, and minors’ estates. Brad has also served as a volunteer attorney at Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Brad became the Pre-Law Advisor at UIC in 2016 where he advises UIC students and alumni from all UIC colleges in connection with their law school journey, from exploring the legal profession to the law school application process. In addition to one-on-one advising, Brad produces and organizes workshops, experiential activities, and brings guest presenters/panels to UIC. Brad is a 2019 winner of the UIC Provost’s Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; JD, The John Marshall Law School, University of Illinois Chicago
Amanda Noascono returned to the College of Law as Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions in 2017, bringing with her over a decade of higher education admissions and recruitment experience. Amanda began her career in higher education at DePaul University College of Law after graduating in 2006 and has been the director of admissions at Northern Illinois University College of Law, North Park University and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. She has been a member of the Law School Admission Council Finance and Legal Affairs Committee, Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors, Illinois Association of College Admission Counseling, Illinois Medical School Admissions Consortium, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Amanda has presented at university campuses and prospective law student forums across the country and has taught pre-law students in college. Amanda has a particular interest in diversity and inclusion in legal education.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; JD, DePaul University
Dean Ray joined Illinois Law in fall 2012. Before joining the College of Law, Rebecca worked as an associate at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP in Chicago, where she practiced in the areas of general and commercial civil litigation before federal courts, state courts, and administrative agencies. Her clients included Audi of America, Louis Vuitton North America, Sephora USA, and Volkswagen Group of America. Previously, Rebecca worked as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago. Rebecca received her J.D. summa cum laude and Order of the Coif in 2004 from the College of Law, where she served as the managing editor of the University of Illinois Law Review. She received her B.A. summa cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Illinois Wesleyan University; JD, University of Illinois College of Law
David Rodriguez joined DePaul in 2011 to teach the Poverty Law Clinic, now known as the Civil Litigation Clinic. Professor Rodriguez attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating with a degree in English, and earned his JD from the University of Michigan. Prior to law school, Professor Rodriguez worked as a youth care counselor at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he practiced for five years with the general litigation group Sidley Austin then practiced for five years with the Legal Assistance Foundation before joining DePaul.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Illinois; JD, University of Michigan
Nicholas E. Rodriguez describes himself as a first-generation everything (it feels like that to him!). He was born in Medellin, Colombia and immigrated to New York at a very young age. Nicholas’s parents barely spoke English and were blue collar workers. Yet, his parents believed in the importance of an education, having faith, working diligently, making sacrifices, and helping others. Those were the qualities that helped Nicholas (and his two sisters) succeed personally and professionally. The moral of his story is that if he can do it, so can you!!! Please do not give up!
The following is additional color on Nicholas’s professional and educational background.
Nicholas is a partner in Winston & Strawn’s Miami office. His experience includes representing strategic and private equity investors on complex and sophisticated business acquisitions and divestitures, strategic investments, corporate restructurings and recapitalizations, asset acquisition and sale transactions, joint ventures and other strategic partnering arrangements. He also has extensive experience in a wide array of industries, including technology, software, energy, infrastructure, financial services, media, agriculture, and telecommunications.
Nicholas has represented companies such as Advent International; Atlas Holdings; Brookfield Asset Management; Citigroup Global Markets; Enjoy, S.A.; General Electric; GIC Special Investments (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation); Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.; Mapei International; Mastercard International; Millicom International Cellular SA; NII Holdings; Ospraie Management; and Verint Systems. He advised Advent International in its acquisition of the largest airport operator group in the Dominican Republic, which was recognized by the International Financial Law Review as the 2008 Private Equity Deal of the Year for the Americas. Nicholas also advised NII Holdings, Inc. in its US$178 million sale of Nextel Argentina to Grupo Clarin, which LatinFinance named as its 2015 Domestic M&A Deal of the Year.
Chambers notes that Nicholas is “is very diligent and responsive” (2021). Nicholas is also the sole recipient of Lexology's 2019 Client Choice Award (M&A) (Florida), which recognizes law firm partners who provide exceptional client care and provide significant value to clients' businesses above and beyond others in the market.
Nicholas also clerked for two U.S. federal district court judges (one in California and the other in Houston).
Nicholas was appointed to serve on the U.S.-Colombia Business Council’s Board of Directors.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, New York University; JD, St. John’s University School of Law; Master’s Degree, Colombia University School of Business
Now in her second term at DePaul and fourteenth year as a law dean, Jennifer Rosato Perea has served as dean of DePaul University College of Law since 2015. A nationally recognized leader in legal education, Dean Rosato Perea brings a wealth of experience to DePaul as an experienced administrator, a longtime advocate of student engagement and professionalism, and a respected legal scholar. One of only a small number of Latina law school deans in the nation, she has been recognized and honored for her commitment to diversity through her presentations on implicit bias, mentoring, and creation of innovative programs. Most recently, Dean Rosato Perea received the Aguila award, the highest honor bestowed by the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. She also has presented nationally and regionally on the future and challenges of legal education before a variety of organizations, including the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association. Dean Rosato Perea is an accomplished scholar and expert on family law, bioethics and legal ethics, having published extensively on a variety of legal issues affecting children and families. Prior to joining DePaul, she served as dean of Northern Illinois University College of Law for six years.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Cornell University; JD, University of Pennsylvania
Lukas is currently studying at DePaul University majoring in finance and minoring in marketing. Lukas has been working at the DePaul Law Office of Admissions under Dean Amanda Noascono for over a year with a focus on projects, budgeting, expenses, etc. Lukas also has vast knowledge in accounting and finance, as he worked in an accounts receivable position for Ozinga for a little over a year. He also has a great interest in philanthropy as his mother is the head of a non-profit for educational change. Lukas loves to play golf, exercise, trade stocks, and focus on bettering himself in his career in finance in his free time. Lukas will be working as a FGLP fellow this summer and is extremely excited to work in a position where he can help and guide first generation law students. Throughout his life Lukas has always been interested in making a difference on the world and strives to create opportunities for others through finance and law.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree - 3rd Year, DePaul University Driehaus College of Business
Mr. Thomas is the Director of Professional Development at the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. As an Assistant Public Defender, Mr. Thomas was assigned to the Homicide Task Force where he exclusively represented indigent clients charged with murder and other homicide-related offenses. During his more than 13 years with the Office, Mr. Thomas has tried over 60 jury trials and has worked in the Office’s Felony Trial Division at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse as well as the Misdemeanor and Traffic Divisions of the Maywood Courthouse.
When he is not zealously representing his clients or training, Mr. Thomas spends his time mentoring young attorneys and law students. One of his dearest passions is his service as head coach of the National Trial Team at DePaul University College of Law, where he has closely mentored hundreds of aspiring lawyers. He is also an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy I at DePaul University College of Law and has presented various topics related to trial advocacy and the rules of evidence. Mr. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University College of Law.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; JD, DePaul University College of Law
Alexander von Ribbeck is a second-year law student at DePaul University College of Law and a full-time financial analyst at Goldman Sachs in the wealth management division.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Alex graduated from Lake Forest College earning a Bachelor's degree in Finance with Magna Cum Laude honors.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Lake Forest College; Second Year Law Student, DePaul University College of Law
Donna Welch is a Kirkland trial lawyer, who has tried complex cases involving a broad range of business and commercial issues before federal and state courts. Her practice includes public nuisance claims, breach of fiduciary duty, pharmaceutical litigation, government investigations, class actions and litigation involving fraud and civil RICO. Donna was recently recognized as an American Lawyer "Litigator of the Week" for achieving a complete defense win in a $50 billion public nuisance suit against opioid manufacturers in a six month trial in Orange County, California. CVN named it the #1 most impressive defense verdict of 2021. Donna’s practice also includes plaintiff-side litigation, obtaining the largest civil verdict then recorded in Wisconsin and a top ten national jury verdict involving breach of fiduciary and RICO claims. Donna also serves as pro bono coordinator for Kirkland’s Chicago office.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Chicago; JD, DePaul University College of Law
We are grateful to Winston & Strawn LLP for serving as a lead sponsor of FGLP and for their continued investment and support.