Friends of LSJ Builds Alumni Network and Supports Students

Submitted by Kyla Mayer on

By Emma York, LSJ Communications Student Assistant

As a culmination of efforts to build a strong alumni network and provide a supportive community for students, LSJ welcomes the valuable addition of a new alumni board -- Friends of LSJ.

Department Chair and Professor Steve Herbert perceives this board to have great potential in achieving these aims.

“Our principal goal in LSJ is to provide an enriched experience for our undergraduate majors,” Herbert said. “We want to transform our students during the time that they are here, and we think they are more likely to do that if they have opportunities to explore intellectual and career interests, and if they feel they are part of a strong community.”

The Friends of LSJ can provide unreplicable help with these goals, Herbert said.

“Alums can help us identify internship possibilities, provide various form of professional and other support, and provide advice on what path to potentially follow post-graduation,” he said. 

Friends of LSJ will serve two main functions. First, the board will provide advice to the Chair on how to better interact with alums, and how more generally to improve the Department. Second, the board will assist in philanthropy to help provide the financial resources needed to manifest opportunities and support for students. 

“We strive to create a strong sense of community around our majors and to do that successfully we do need to have some financial resources to draw upon,” said Herbert.  “Another goal of Friends of LSJ is to the help the Chair identify sources for philanthropy and determine the best way to use those resources.”

Meeting quarterly, the ten board members will engage with the Chair on current affairs within the Department and have an opportunity to provide their personal input. The members are comprised of local alums across the legal and nonprofit sector.  Herbert expects that the group will further diversity going forward.

Reflecting on her participation in the board, LSJ alum and attorney for Weinstein Couture, Alex Caggiano, stressed the importance of interacting with fellow members of the Department.

“It is valuable to see how things have progressed, how things have changed since I was there," Caggiano said, “and I think being able to keep alumni engaged and interested helps keep students engaged and interested.”

Sheryl Garland, Deputy General Counsel for Nordstrom, is another board member and LSJ alum who shares her excitement to be involved in the Department in such a capacity.

“When I saw the opportunity to reconnect, it felt right. It felt grounding to come back on campus and feel the energy of the students of the LSJ Department,” Garland said. “I remember how LSJ helped me figure out what I wanted to do as a student, and I want to see if there is something I can do to help ease the way for current students.”

The complete roster of the Friends of LSJ includes: 

  • Munish Bharti (LSJ, ’12) – Attorney, Sound Injury Law
  • Alex Caggiano (LSJ, ’10) – Attorney, Weinstein Couture PLLC
  • Ryan Dreveskracht (LSJ, ’06) – Attorney, Galanda Broadman
  • Sheryl Garland (SoJu, ’82) -- Deputy General Counsel, Nordstrom
  • Falesha Johnson (LSJ, ’10) – Associate Director of Development, Foster School of Business
  • Andreas Kaltsounis (SoJu, ’96) – Privacy and Data Security Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • James Louie (SoJu, ‘87) – Director of Global Security Investigations, Microsoft
  • Anica Stieve (LSJ, ’09) – Lead Project Manager, Center for Children and Youth Justice
  • Brittany Ward (LSJ, ’12) – Attorney, Mix Sanders Thompson
  • Lauren Mariko Wegener (LSJ, ’04) -- Criminal Defense Attorney, Bradley Johnson