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Alumni Spotlight

Yesenia Lopez

Yesenia Lopez

After obtaining my degree in Political Science and minor in Women and Gender Studies in 2011, I did a year of AmeriCorps volunteer service in Chicago's southwest communities. In 2013, my passion for social justice led me to participate in the competitive Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C. As a CHCI Fellow, I worked with in the U.S. House of Representatives in the office of Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04) and the American Bar Association (ABA) in the Commission On Immigration division. After returning to Chicago, I worked with SGA Youth & Families Services, a social service organization, as the Operations Coordinator and continue my volunteer work with various Chicagoland organizations.

Currently, I work as the Director of Operations for the political campaign of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for Congress (IL-04). I also serve as the Vice Chair of Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep) Board of Directors, Secretary of the CHCI Alumni Association Chicago Chapter Board, and on DePaul University Young Alumni Committee.

My education and experience through DePaul University and the Steans Center have provided me with a wide range of opportunities to continue my work in the social justice field. I look forward towards the next chapter in my career and to continue expanding my education via a post-graduate degree in the upcoming years.​

Ashley Foster

I graduated from DePaul in 2007.  Afterward, I attended the University of Miami's law school.   I'm currently working as an assistant public defender for the Cook County Public Defender, in the Civil Division.

Fidel Tellez

​After I graduated from DePaul in 2012, I enrolled in nursing school and became a nurse. I worked in the healthcare field for about one year.  Currently, I am enrolled in the Northern Illinois University College of Law.  My goal is to specialize in criminal law and combine it with my healthcare background.  In June, I went to DePaul University's College of Law for a pre-law program called LegalTrek, a pipeline program to help prepare for law school.  I am also a mentor at DePaul University's ASK program.  I volunteer at the Alumni Sharing Knowledge program because it is one way to give back to DePaul.

Alex Thibodeau

Alex Thibodeau

After graduating from DePaul, I worked briefly as an on-air correspondent for WBEZ/NPR/Vocalo-Chicago on a variety of their programs, while also teaching journalism to at-risk high school students on Chicago’s west side. In 2013, I took a position with a healthcare technology company in River North, called “Upp Tech,” that worked to help the public health sector adapt to the regulations imposed on them by the Affordable Care Act and I eventually gained the title of senior consultant.

In 2015, I began law school at Indiana University, Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, IN.  During the first half of my 1L summer, I worked in a judicial clerkship/internship for Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. on the Michigan Supreme Court.  During the second half, I was granted the Milton Stewart Fellowship which provided the opportunity to work in New Delhi clerking for a senior advocate to the Federal Supreme Court of India.

I’m currently finishing up my second year and, so far, it has been extremely good to me.  I received "oral advocacy honors" in the Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition last fall and was elected “Mr. Maurer” (the Barrister’s Ball King) for my impact on the law school community.  I serve as the Notes & Comments editor for the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality, the Social Action Coordinator for the Black Law Student Association, and was elected chair of the Student Bar Association. I’ve also been chosen as the 2017-18 executive affiliate for the Center for Constitutional Democracy, an institution that advises constitutional reform processes in struggling and unstable democracies around the world.  I also work as an editorial affiliate on the Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design and hope to have my research regarding the “express and implied powers of a commander-in-chief” published next fall.

I will be spending my 2L summer as an associate with Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith in Grand Rapids, MI, in one of their litigation sections.

Joan E. Smuda

Joan Ellen Smuda

I graduated from LA&S (political science) in 1975 and from DePaul's law school in 1978.   I was an officer in the Political Science Student Association and served as a student-faculty liaison in the department.   I have fond memories of my professors and classmates.  Today, I am the chief of the Revenue Litigation Bureau in the Chicago office of the Attorney General of Illinois.​