Class Notes

Class Notes are displayed in the order that they are received. You may also view notes by decade, or by class year – simply click on the decade or click on the + symbol to expand the decade and display by year. If a given class year does not appear, notes do not exist for that particular year.

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Hilda Bahena '01


In March of 2023, Hilda Bahena was appointed Associate Judge in Cook County. Prior to her appointment, she served as Executive Director Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crime following stints with Catholic Charities and Legal Aid.

Daniel C' Jackson '01

Daniel Clark Jackson passed away on June 19, 2021 at the age of 70 in his adopted hometown of Champaign, IL. Following a successful career in business, he enrolled in law school at the University of Illinois at the age of 48. Dan practiced law in Champaign, first, as a prosecuting States Attorney for Champaign county, helping to improve the quality of life of its citizens, before moving on to private practice as a highly respected criminal defense attorney.


Hilda Bahena '01

Hilda Bahena received the 2020 Distinguished Intern Award from the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) in early December. She was selected for her outstanding contributions to public interest law and pro bono in Illinois. As a law student, she served as a PILI Intern at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Since then, Hilda has dedicated her entire career to public interest in the service of others. 

Thomas Asmar '01

Thomas Asmar joined Baker McKenzie (Palo Alto) as a partner, bringing nearly 20 years of experience advising companies and private equity funds on all employee benefits and compensation issues related to corporate transactions, such as mergers, acquisitions, IPOs and financings. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 2001.

Susan Welsh '01

Susan Welsh joined Schiff Hardin LLP (Chicago) as a partner in the leveraged finance group, where she will focus on middle market transactions and advise lenders and borrowers on various financial transactions ranging from $1 million to $3 billion. She received her J.D. magna cum laude in 2001 and was the Associated Editor of the Illinois Bar Journal, Illinois Law Update.

Chad Allen '01

Chad Allen has been named senior vice president and chief risk officer of COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington, Illinois. 

Joe Saltiel '01

Joe Saltiel has joined Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP. Saltiel is a first chair litigator with experience successfully representing clients in courts across the country, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the ITC. He also counsels clients on IP matters such as licensing, opinions, and related commercial agreements.

Jennifer Vance '01

Jennifer Vance, of Bloomington, Ill., was recently promoted to general counsel, secretary and chief legal officer for COUNTRY Financial®, Illinois Farm Bureau and other affiliated companies. In her new role, Vance will serve on COUNTRY Financial’s Leadership Council, oversee OGC, advise the board of directors and executive management and oversee all related legal matters for the organization.

Heather Aeschleman '01


Kutak Rock is pleased to announce that Heather K. Aeschleman has joined the firm’s Omaha office. She will focus on commercial real estate lending transactions and low income housing tax credit transactions throughout the country. Ms. Aeschleman joins Kutak Rock from Dykema, where she was a partner in the real estate group. She brings to Kutak Rock 17 years of experience in commercial real estate lending, representing institutional lenders in a variety of financing transactions, including construction loans, term loans, unsecured and secured lines of credit, and construction and bridge financing for affordable housing developments with low income housing tax credits.

Clovia Hamilton '01

Dr. Clovia Hamilton has accepted a tenure-track position at Winthrop University in their College of Business Administration.

Esperanza Segarra '01

Litigation attorney Esperanza Segarra, a partner in the Coral Gables office of the US law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, has been selected to DiversityMBA’s 11th annual list of Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders for 2017. DiversityMBA is a national leadership organization that integrates diversity and inclusion with talent management.

Sam Garrison '01

Sam Garrison has been appointed to the board of trustees at St. Johns River State College for a one-year term.

Sam Garrison '01

Sam Garrison was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the St. Johns River State College District Board of Trustees for a term beginning May 15, 2017.

Merrell Bennekin '01

Merrell R. Bennekin has been named Executive Director of the Board of Police Commissioners Office of Community Complaints, a civilian oversight of law enforcement agency in Kansas City, MO. Prior to this appointment he served as Deputy Executive Director, a position he has held since 2008. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice with the Metropolitan Community College system, teaching courses in Criminology and Criminal Investigations. He is also a P.O.S.T. certified instructor with the Kansas City Regional Police Academy and teaches courses focused on mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and conflict de-escalation. Merrell is married to the former Kedra Williams '01 and they have two daughters, Avery and Angela.