Skip to Content
Fall 2016 Class Notes

Fall 2016 Class Notes

November 1, 2016 at 5:38am


Georgina Picos ’87 was appointed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to serve as a federal immigration judge. She was one of 15 sworn in earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. She began hearing cases in June.


Aida Fernandez Brena ’92 was featured recently in Modern Luxury Interiors Magazine for her remodel of a Dominican Republic home.

Dorothy Negrin ’93 was hired as commercial litigator at the law firm of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC’s Fort Lauderdale office in July.

Ann Justiz ’94, the vice president and director of sales and marketing at Safe Fuel Systems, was featured with her husband on the cover of 145 Magazine, in which she discusses their growing company.

Joe Madera ’96 was appointed manager of the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Jackson, Wyoming.

Mireidy Fernandez ’98 was promoted to senior planner in Miami-Dade County’s Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, where she serves as project manager for amendments to the county’s Comprehensive Development Master Plan.

Elizabeth Garland ’99, MA ’08 and husband Douglas Garland ’10welcomed their first child, Adeline Katherine, on April 15, 2016. Adeline loves the Dixie Chicks and her daddy’s goofy faces.


Charo Oquet ’00, an interdisciplinary artist who creates installations, videos and live performances, received the 2016 Here & Now Commission Award. Here & Now is an initiative launched in 1999 by the Miami Light Project to promote South Florida-based performing and multimedia artists.

Steven Harper ’01, JD ’06, a partner at Harper, Meyer, Perez, Hagen, O’Connor, Albert & Dribin LLP, was elected treasurer of the Inter-American Bar Association’s executive committee.

Patrick Redmond ‘03, who for years taught English at George Washington Carver Middle School in Coral Gables, published his first novel, “Some Go Hungry,” in 2016.

Marcia del Rey JD ’05 created a $25,000 scholarship for first-generation students. When matched by the College of Law’s First-Generation Scholarship, awardees will receive near-full tuition.

Claudia Dominguez ’08, an attorney in the Deerfield Beach office of ROIG Lawyers, will participate in the 2016-2017 Leadership Fort Lauderdale Program.

John Ellis “Jeb” Bush Jr. MS ’09 was appointed to the board of directors of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.


Tyler Schwartz MA ’11, a landscape designer, received the 2016 “Green Means Green” award from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce for promoting sustainability in his company, Tyler Schwartz Design, Inc.

Marcelle Taha MS ’11 joined High Street Retail USA as a design specialist.

Ryan Benson MBA ’12 was appointed to the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, an organization dedicated to providing a safe environment in which to promote the education, vocational leadership and character development of children.

Claudia Gonzalez ’12, MPA ’16, assistant chief of staff in FIU’s Office of the President, and her husband Anthony Gonzalez ’12, ’13, a student in FIU’s College of Law, welcomed their first child, Sofia Leonor, on April 14, 2016. Both parents and family are thrilled at the arrival of the newest little Panther.

Shantavia O’Bryant MBA ’12 welcomed the birth of her second child, Gia Madison, in June 2015.

Simone Cook ’14, a social media manager and account coordinator at Sonshine Communications, received an award of distinction at the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards.

Chanel Rowe JD ’14 was appointed to the Florida Bar’s “Student Education
& Admissions to the Bar” committee. She is an attorney with Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Miami.

Natalia Zuluaga MFA ’14 was appointed artistic director at Art Center South Florida.

Jennifer Lacayo ’15 was hired as a junior public relations associate in FIU’s Office of Media Relations.