To learn more about the Council, check out this article announcing the launch of the Alumni DEI Council.
Akua Akyea (97JD)
Akua Akyea is the Assistant Dean for Public Service at Cornell Law School where she serves as the primary contact for students and alumni interested in public services work. Before going to Cornell Law School, she was Assistant Dean of Career Services at the University of Iowa College of Law and prior to that she was at Yale Law School for five years as Director of Public Interest after nine years at Columbia Law School’s Social Justice Initiatives where she directed several public interest summer programs.
Dr. Tess Barker (09JD)
Dr. Tess Barker was appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Indiana University Kokomo in 2020. Reporting directly to the Chancellor, Dr. Barker has over 20 years of experience in higher education and is well-versed in all aspects of student affairs with broad management experience, strategic and operational leadership, and a deep commitment to student success.
Her professional experience includes: Chief of Staff to the Chancellor at the University of Michigan-Flint, where she managed high-level initiatives, including development of UM-Flint’s Strategic Plan and responding to the Flint Water Crisis; national-level experience at NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education where she supported the Center for Women, the Minority Undergraduate Fellows Program, and the James E. Scott Academy for Leadership; and teaching in the higher ed and student affairs graduate programs at the University of Iowa and Eastern Michigan University.
Dr. Barker earned both her law degree and doctorate in education policy and leadership studies from the University of Iowa, her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Maryland – College Park, and her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota.
Brad Biren (11JD)
Brad Biren is a first-generation American, gay man, Jewish person, autistic individual, and survivor of traumatic brain injury. He has an extensive background in Elder Law and Tax law with a passion for crisis Medicaid planning. Brad specializes in helping those with special needs and diverse abilities. Brad has an inspiring story of overcoming sudden adversity and uses it to help motivate others in the community to pursue their goals.
He was born in New York City but fell in love with the people of Iowa after moving here to attend the University of Iowa College of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate degree (J.D.). Later, Brad obtained his LLM in Taxation from Washington University in St. Louis in 2022 in order to improve his skills. Brad enjoys working with employers to demonstrate that their greatest pool of untapped employee talent lies within the Autism and neuroatypical community-- especially those on the Autism Spectrum who are often overlooked by traditional hiring practices because they may not fit neatly into boxes.
Kayla De Loach (18JD)
Kayla attended the University of Central Florida for her undergraduate career and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2018. At Iowa Law, she was highly involved in multiple student associations, research, student ambassadors, Legal Clinic, and is currently is a Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Missouri.
Tiffany Ferguson (96JD)
Tiffany Ferguson is the Director of Allstate's Discovery & Information Governance Solutions team dedicated to e-discovery, information management, and related analytics. She has tried a variety of cases—from murder to Title VII—in private practice and served as a partner at multiple law firms. In 2013, she was awarded the Alumni Service Award from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Eugenia Hernández (99JD)
Eugenia “Jeannie” Hernández is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Sodexo, one of the world’s largest employers, where she leads the North America Office of Ethics, Compliance, Privacy, and Corporate Security. In this role, she is responsible for the development and management of the ethics, compliance, and privacy program, manage internal investigations, and partner with internal controls, audit, and risk management. Prior to Sodexo, she provided legal support to Daymon Worldwide as their General Counsel and Pitney Bowes as Assistant General Counsel.
Anthony Hightower (86JD)
Anthony Hightower is a Senior Associate General Counsel with Augusta University and has substantial experience in higher education. He served as the Director of the Offices of Equity Access and Diversity at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a former Supervisory Attorney with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. He also has private practice experience and has held elected office at the city and state level in Georgia. Anthony graduated from Clark Atlanta University and earned his JD from the University of Iowa College of Law. While at Iowa, he participated in Iowa’s Comparative law program with the University of Bordeaux, in Arcachon, France. He later earned his MPA from Harvard University where he was awarded the Kennedy Fellowship.
McCeil Johnson (99JD)
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, McCeil Johnson pursued her desire for knowledge and scholarship at the University of Iowa earning a BA in 1994; and a MA and JD in 1999 from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts, and the University of Iowa College of Law, respectively. McCeil is currently the University of Phoenix’s Vice President, Accreditation & Regulatory Compliance, providing leadership and management of the University of Phoenix’s institutional and college-specific accreditation and regulatory initiatives including institutional, programmatic, state boards, and other regulatory functions.
Justin McCorvey (20JD)
Justin McCorvey is a dynamic change agent who is dedicated to sharing with the world his expertise in law, corporate strategy, and politics. Justin has multiple years of experience with Fortune 10 companies and a deeply rooted passion for politics and policy with a significant amount of expertise in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion space with a specific emphasis on recruitment and culture changes within the workplace.
Julie Mehta (13JD)
Julie Mehta is based out of Chicago and is currently in-house counsel at Ecolab. Prior to Ecolab, she was in-house counsel at Allstate Insurance Company. Prior to her legal career she spent almost nine years at Accenture, a global consulting company, within finance and global business operations. An attorney with a non-traditional career trajectory, she now enjoys solving problems at the intersection of business, finance, and law. She also provides pro bono counsel to asylum and clemency seekers.
Julie dedicates her time and talent to several professional and community organizations focused on diversity, education, and empowerment initiatives. A DE&I champion throughout her career, she has led pipeline diversity programs for law students, consistently mentors students and professionals alike, and is vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She currently co-chairs the Ecolab law department’s D&I Council and leads its supplier diversity efforts. She also serves on the board of the Legal Prep Charter Academy, a local Chicago charter school. A certified domestic violence advocate with a personal connection to the cause, she has served on the executive leadership team on the board of Connections for Abused Women and their Children ("CAWC"), a women's shelter serving Chicago for 40+ years, and continues to remain a strong advocate for the cause. Julie earned her Masters in Finance from the University of Mumbai and her JD from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Steven Nelson (07JD)
Steven L. Nelson is an associate professor of leadership and policy studies in the Department of Leadership at the University of Memphis. He also serves as program coordinator for the educational leadership and policy studies doctoral program, the Pre K-12 school administration and supervision masters program, as well as the Pre K-12 educational leadership graduate certificate program. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Nelson served on the faculty of the University of New Orleans. He has taught and led in charter schools, traditional public schools, and private schools in the New Orleans area. He also served as the first education advocate at the Southern Poverty Law Center's School-to-Prison Pipeline Project in New Orleans where he worked on charter school law and policy, special education access and equity, and juvenile justice issues. He earned his PhD in Education Leadership from Oennsylvania State University, M.A.T. Secondary Education (Social Studies), from Xavier University of Louisiana, JD from the University of Iowa College of Law, and BA in Political Science from Louisiana State University.
Corinna Ochsmann (10LLM)
Corinna has worked as in-house counsel in compliance departments of different multinational companies in the automotive industry, such as Bosch, Daimler, and Volkswagen. She also supported Judge Louis Freeh with the compliance Monitorship of a German car manufacturer. Corinna is a 2010 alumni of Iowa College of Law LL.M. Program. She is admitted to practice in New York and Germany. She holds her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cologne, Germany. After having worked in the metro Detroit area for a few years, she returned back to Germany in 2018.
Erick Orantes (18JD)
Currently works at Stinson LLP assisting in a number of cases involving multimillion dollar commercial contract disputes, mergers and acquisitions, foreclosures, tort litigation, and product liability. Additionally, as part of Stinson's Sports & Recreation group, Erick is well-versed in esports, staying current in this ever-changing area of law by attending conferences, writing content and engaging with clients concerning development of their own esports programs.
Erick gained experience as an intern for the Honorable Kim Kelley of the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois. Erick also interned for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in Washington, DC.
Laura Pattermann (93JD)
Laura L. Pattermann practices in Workers' Compensation and a Plaintiff Law Practice at the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann. Laura was admitted to practice in front of the Supreme Court, is involved with many distinguished associations, and has been credited with numerous awards for her outstanding work.
Crystal Pound (16JD)
Crystal Pound is an attorney with a general practice, including business and commercial litigation, transportation law, and municipal law with additional experience in guardianships and conservatorships. Upon graduating from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2016, she received the Boyd Service Award for her commitment to community service and the Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award. She continues to volunteer her time educating students about law and constitutional rights.
Jason Sanders (02JD)
Jason Sanders was an equity partner at one of the largest international law firms in Texas. After clerking
for the Supreme Court of Nevada for a year and practicing law for more than 13 years, Jason elected to
leave the law firm to start Sanders Collins PLLC. His practice focuses on complex business related and
financial services litigation. He has litigated hundreds of lawsuits and tried more than 20 cases in state court, federal court, and arbitration. Jason has litigated cases all over Texas and in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming.
He has also handled appeals in state and federal court. Texas Monthly and Law & Politics Magazine regularly named Jason a “Rising Star” and since 2017 it has named him a “Texas Super Lawyer” in Business Litigation. For the past three years, Jason has also been named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas”.
Lata Setty (91JD)
Lata Setty is the First Founding LP, Investor & Deal Flow Advisor at How Women Invest Fund, which is an an early stage venture firm extracting the untapped economic potential of diverse founders and diverse investors. Lata also serves as the Chair of the Minority In-House Counsel Association (MIHCA) and is on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Law School Foundation.
Jerome Taylor (10JD)
Jerome Taylor is the President of Minority Legal Education Resources (MLER), a Professor at DePaul University College of Law, the Supervisory Attorney Advisor for the department of Social Security of Administration, and an author. Jerome received his undergraduate degrees in Sociology and African American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his JD from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Winnie Uluocha (18JD, 19MHA)
Currently, Winnie Uluocha is an associate in Goodwin and Procter’s Life Sciences group and Healthcare practice. She advises all segments of the healthcare and life sciences industry, including hospitals, health systems, pharmacies, private equity investors and their platform companies, healthcare startups, biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies in transactional, regulatory, and compliance matters. Winnie is actively engaged in meaningful community service. Winnie is an Associate Board Member for the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP), which assists women of color law students in professional development, academic coaching, mentorship, and obtaining summer employment positions. Winnie received her undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul University, an M.H.A. at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and a J.D. at the University of Iowa College of Law. While at the College of Law, Winnie received the University-wide Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award, one of the University of Iowa’s top student honors, for her work and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, in her last year of law school, Winnie established the Alexander Clark Jr. Award Fund to assist underrepresented and historically disadvantaged admitted prospective law students with travel and lodging expenses to visit the College of Law’s campus.
Neva Wagner (17JD)
Neva Wagner is a real estate associate in Perkins Coie LLP’s Chicago office. They assist partners with a wide variety of commercial real estate matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, development, financing, and leasing. A significant portion of their practice involves hotels, shopping centers, and multi-family and senior housing. Neva is a strong supporter of pro bono legal assistance, and they volunteer with the Transgender Law Center’s prisoner mail program and have represented a number of asylum seekers in partnership with the National Immigrant Justice Center. Neva is a member of the Chicago’s LGBTQ+ bar association and the LGBTBar.
Neva has a bachelor of science in justice studies from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. While attending the University of Iowa College of Law, Neva was an articles editor for Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, a member of the Equal Justice Foundation, and active in the university’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Margaret Acosta Weirich (11JD)
Margaret Acosta Weirich is a senior staff attorney with Iowa Legal Aid. Margaret is a member of Iowa Legal Aid's Race Equity Committee. Prior to coming to Iowa Legal Aid Margaret spent almost four years at Prairie State Legal Services as an attorney focused on assisting domestic violence survivors with protective orders, and related custody and divorce cases. Margaret also spent time working at New Mexico Legal and Legal Assistance of Western New York. Margaret is a 2010 alum of the Iowa College of Law and was one of the co-presidents of the law school's Latinx student organization her 2L year. Margaret holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University's School of international and Public Affairs, and a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College.