Paralegal Studies Faculty and Staff - Not pictured: Elizabeth McGuan, Sandra Polanco, and Lori Vardas
Full-Time Paralegal Faculty
Annie Knight received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois, with a secondary emphasis in Fine and Applied Arts, dance, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, summa cum laude. While in law school, she served as co-chief notes editor of the Law Review, as career chair of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and as an extern for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Further, Annie was a 2008 student winner of the National Burton Award for Legal Achievement in recognition for her published Law Review Note addressing the conflict between anti-discrimination laws and First Amendment freedoms in the context of higher education.
Prior to attending law school, she was an assistant teacher and lead teacher for young children with autism.
Upon graduating from law school, she served as staff attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, conducting research and drafting opinions for the circuit judges. She spent a year in private practice as a plaintiff’s attorney and municipal counsel before returning to the public sector. Then, she served as assistant state’s attorney for the Civil Division of the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s office, where she advised county government offices and departments. She also served as an assistant attorney general in the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s office. Further, she has published several articles and provided continuing legal education presentations to the legal community.
Annie began teaching Introduction to Legal Research and Writing at the College of DuPage in 2010. In 2022, she returned to College of DuPage as the Paralegal Studies program chair, teaching Introduction to Paralegal Studies and the Paralegal Practicum, in addition to serving as co-advisor of Paralegal Club and LEX Honor Society.
Adjunct Paralegal Faculty
He was appointed an associate judge in DuPage County in 2012, and is currently serving in the domestic relations division in Wheaton.
Prior to becoming a judge, he worked in the civil division of the DuPage County State's Attorney's office, and in the Illinois Attorney General's office. He also worked in private practice. He previously taught at the American Institute of Paralegal Studies.
Judge Douglas was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve
in 1979. After completing the Judge Advocate General's course in 1983, he was recommissioned
in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. His last post was as the Staff Judge Advocate
of the 84th Division, Milwaukee and Ft. McCoy, WI. He was deployed as a civil affairs
officer to the NATO Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina from October 1997 to
August 1998, where he served as the Staff Judge Advocate for the Combined Joint Civil
Military Task Force. He was deployed as a civilian affairs officer as part of Operation
Iraqi Freedom from March 2003 to April 2004, where he served in a variety of positions,
culminating in the job of civil-military liaison between the Coalition Provisional
Authority and the 101st Airborne Division, commanded by Major General David Petraeus.
He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Legion of Merit, which is the military's seventh highest decoration. He retired from the military at the rank of colonel, after 30 years of service.
Judge Douglas teaches Civil Litigation at COD.
He was appointed an associate judge in DuPage County in 2011.
Prior to becoming a judge, he worked as a prosecutor in Cook County, and then practiced civil and criminal litigation in his own firm.
He has written numerous articles published by the DCBA Brief; the Illinois State Bar Association, Family Law; and the Illinois Bar Journal.
He has held a number of offices, including president of the Illinois Judges Foundation and president of the DCBA., and has served on numerous professional committees.
He received the DuPage County Legal Assistance Foundation Pro Bono Award in 2004, and was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2007.
He previously taught at Triton College and Elmhurst College. He has taught Criminal Justice: Rules of Evidence, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law at COD since 2012. He has taught Criminal Law and Procedure in the Paralegal Studies program at COD since 2019.
Capper served in the United States Army during Vietnam, and was awarded a Bronze Star.
He worked as a senior litigation lawyer and resident attorney for a leading insurance company's staff legal department. He is a chair- qualified arbitrator for the Illinois Supreme Court Mandatory Arbitration program.
He serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the Paralegal Studies program at COD.
Capper received the 2013-2014 COD Divisional Outstanding Part-time Faculty Award and was the keynote speaker at COD's LEX (National Honor Society for paralegals) Induction Ceremony in 2017.
Capper has taught at College of DuPage since 2008. He teaches Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Ethics/Law Office Organizations, Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, Tort and Insurance Law, and Corporations and Other Business Organizations.
Margaret (Peggy) Herrmann received an Associates in Paralegal Studies from College of DuPage, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from North Central College, and a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, magna cum laude.
Before her current role as Counsel – Global Patents for The Kraft Heinz Company, Peggy, who is a registered patent attorney, was an associate at two intellectual property boutiques, where she provided services in all areas of intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition, and licensing. She has worked with clients engaged in a spectrum of technology, such as semiconductors, virtual reality devices, building materials, automotive braking systems, medical devices, polymers, food science, food packaging, rail transportation, and personal mobility devices.
She teaches Intellectual Property Law at COD.
After working as a law clerk, she served as an assistant attorney general for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General - Environmental Division. Later she worked at two private law firms.
Suzi began teaching Business Law at College of DuPage in 2008, and she began teaching paralegal classes at COD in 2011. Suzi teaches Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Drafting Legal Documents, Advanced Legal Research and Writing, and Environmental Law.
Linda Jenkins received a Bachelor of Science in General Management from Purdue University, and a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law.
She is a retired bankruptcy lawyer. At different points in her career, she represented mortgage companies, worked for the Chapter 13 trustee, and represented debtors.
She is a co-advisor of Paralegal Club and of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), the national paralegal honor society. She received the 2010-2011 COD Club Advisor of the Year award. She received the 2012-2013 COD Divisional Outstanding Part-time Faculty Award. She was honorarily inducted into LEX in 2013. She received the 2019 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award at COD. She received the 2019-2020 COD Club Advisor of the Year award.
Linda has taught at COD since 2009. She teaches Advanced Legal Research and Writing, Drafting Legal Documents, and Bankruptcy Law.
As a paralegal student, she was inducted into LEX, the national paralegal honor society. She worked as a litigation paralegal for several years before becoming an attorney.
A certified domestic relations mediator, Liz concentrates her practice in family law and immigration law. She speaks frequently in the community on issues relating to immigration law, and volunteers her time with Administer Justice, a legal aid clinic based in Elgin.
She has taught Introduction to Legal Research and Writing at COD since 2016.
Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a paralegal for nine years. Her past legal experience includes bankruptcy, investment management, worker's compensation, commercial litigation, real estate, and employment law. She also served as general counsel for the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She currently works as in-house counsel for American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc., and is an elected official on the DeKalb County Board. She is fluent in Spanish.
Sandra has taught part-time at Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University and Chicago State University. She teaches Introduction to Paralegal Studies at COD.
Ellen has focused her practice on litigation and transactional matters in a variety of areas, including Elder Law and Public Interest law.
Prior to law school, she researched human neurobiology using functional magnetic resonance imaging at the University of Iowa's Huntington's Disease Center of Excellence.
Ellen teaches Drafting Legal Documents, Elder Law, and Law Office Technology at COD.
Michelle R. Valencic received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Ohio University, a Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University's School of Law, and a Master's degree in Social Service Administration from Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in Cleveland, Ohio.
Michelle has been a practicing attorney and partner in a Chicago law firm for over 20 years, where her practice focuses on insurance coverage counseling and civil litigation. Michelle is a frequent speaker, published legal writer, and CLE instructor.
She began teaching at COD in 2021. She teaches Drafting Legal Documents.
She worked as a legal consultant for McDonald's Corporation, negotiating and drafting various finance contracts for the company's treasury department. Prior to that, she was an enforcement attorney for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, where she investigated and litigated potential securities laws violations, such as insider trading and market manipulation.
She has taught at COD since 2007. She teaches Legal Ethics/Law Office Organization, Drafting Legal Documents, Introduction to Paralegal Studies, and Business Law.
Maria Vasos received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, with honors, from Illinois Institute of Technology on a full-tuition Honors Law Scholarship, and a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
In law school, she served as a legal extern for U.S. Senator, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. She also served as editor-in-chief of the Chicago-Kent College of Law newspaper, The Commentator, and received the “Student Organization of the Year” award. She additionally was the law student columnist for Chicago Lawyer Magazine.
She earned three CALI Awards in estate planning, mediation, and state & local taxation.
In 2020, she was president of her local chamber of commerce. For two terms, 2017-2021, she served as president of the Chicago West Alumnae Chapter for Alpha Sigma Alpha national sorority. She currently serves on the Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Board of Directors.
She has her own law firm located in Wheaton, where she focuses on estate planning & administration, real estate, and business matters.
She has taught Estate Planning & Probate at College of DuPage since 2020.
Paul is currently employed as the managing attorney for State Auto Insurance Company's in-house counsel office located in Naperville, Illinois. He defends personal injury actions brought against State Auto insureds, and he litigates coverage disputes. He is licensed in both Illinois and Indiana.
As a practicing attorney, Paul is a member of COD's Paralegal Studies Program Advisory Council.
Paul has taught at COD since 2007. He teaches Personal Injury, Tort and Insurance Law, and Corporations and Other Business Organizations.
If you are considering this program as an area of study, consult with a faculty member in this field.
- Douglas, Robert - Adjunct Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Good, Shawn - Adjunct Faculty, email@example.com
- Herrmann, Margaret - Adjunct Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Horn, Susan - Adjunct Faculty, email@example.com, (630)942-2800.
- Jenkins, Linda - Adjunct Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org, (630)942-2800.
- McGuan, Elizabeth - Adjunct Faculty, email@example.com
- Polanco, Sandra - Adjunct Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Samuel, Ellen - Adjunct Faculty, email@example.com
- Valencic Crowley, Michelle - Adjunct Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vasos, Maria - Adjunct Faculty, email@example.com
- Watkiss, Paul - Adjunct Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org