2020 Alumni of Color Awards

At Law Alumni Weekend 2020, the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association (SULAA) Inclusion Network and the College of Law will celebrate the distinguished achievements of alumni of color for their service ‎to the College, the legal profession, Syracuse University, or the world ‎at large.

BLSA Legacy Award Recipient

Felicia Collins Ocumarez L’98, G’98

Felicia Collins Ocumarez L’98 G’98 is serving as in-house in the Legal Division of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the Corporate, Consumer, Insurance, and Legislation Branch and is co-founder of the Syracuse Black Law Alumni Collective (Syracuse BLAC).

Prior to joining the FDIC, Collins Ocumarez was ARRA Special Counsel for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Vice President and Associate Counsel at The Gallup Organization, and Senior Legal Counsel over the Operations, Maintenance & Logistics Division at Halliburton. She also held positions as a Manager at Arthur Andersen and worked in New York City’s Financial District in public & municipal structured finance.

Collins Ocumarez’s experience includes a broad range of in house counsel positions supporting defense services, finance, grants, procurement, and information technology. Her practice has spanned across 130+ countries accounting for millions in commercial and public sector contracting dollars with US state, local, federal and foreign governments.

In addition to serving as chief legal steward for Chapter 207 of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), supporting over 150,000 federal employees in 33 departments and agencies, Collins Ocumarez has experience with both corporate and non-profit boards. And as a former social worker, works with TRIO education programs, assisting low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

Collins Ocumarez has a commitment to the success of African American students at the Syracuse University College of Law and diversifying the legal profession. Through Syracuse BLAC’s social justice initiatives and its endowed scholarship for African American law students with The Our Time Has Come fund, Syracuse BLAC is committed to equal access to justice. In February of 2019, she worked with the New York Court of Appeals to grant posthumous admission to the first black graduate of the Syracuse College of Law in 1903 (prohibited from practicing law because of his skin color).

Collins Ocumarez is a joint degree graduate from the College of Law and Maxwell School and has clerked for Chief Judge Susan Gertrude Braden (Retired) at the United States Court of Federal Claims. She is currently working on a dissertation at the George Washington University Law Center on minority communities and blockchain technology for a LL.M in Government Procurement. She received her B.S.W. from Grand Valley State University in1995.

LALSA Legacy Award Recipient

José Bahamonde-González L’92

Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Professional Development Officer
Miles & Stockbridge PC

José Bahamonde-González is the firm’s first chief diversity, inclusion & professional development officer. In this role, José leads all of the Miles & Stockbridge’s initiatives and programming in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. He also coordinates the Firm’s Lawyer Professional Development projects and programming, as well as Miles University curriculum. José is a member of the Firm’s Leadership Team and Pro Bono Committee.

A highly-regarded diversity and inclusion professional, José has served as the associate dean for professional education at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law for the last five years and in other related associate dean positions during his 23-year career with the law school. He continues to provide the Professional Development Lecture Series to students in the Master of Science in Law (MSL) and the Master of Laws (LLM) programs, as well as promote pro bono opportunities to Juris Doctor (JD) students. José is also a frequent speaker on topics related to the professional development of law students and lawyers, job search strategies, mid-career lateral transitions and strategies, as well as cultural, gender and LGBTQ intelligence.

José was the inaugural chair of the Diversity Advisory Council for the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus and, throughout his entire career at the law school, served as advisor to the Latinox Law Student Association (LLSA) and the OUTLaw student groups. An active member of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) since 1992, he has served as vice president, among other roles, and currently serves as chair of the NALP Diversity Committee, LGBTQ Work Group. José is a member of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) and serves on its Judicial Endorsements Committee. He received the MHBA 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award for his work counseling and mentoring Latinox law students and lawyers.

José earned his BS in Management from the University of Massachusetts and his JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Immediately after graduating from UMass and before enrolling at Syracuse Law, José was an Internal Auditor for New England Financial and a Human Resources Officer in the Executive Compensation Department of the Bank of Boston in Boston, Massachusetts.