Adrian Diaz ’16 says he has witnessed the struggles of immigrants in the United States and it has shaped his career goals. “My parents’ and my experience with American xenophobia and racism has pushed me to pursue a career in immigration law.”

Diaz, who is originally from Waukegan, Illinois, studied sociology and sustainable community development at Northland College, while working at three law firms—a public defender, a general law firm, and for immigration lawyer and adjunct professor Charlene D’Cruz.

As part of his internship with D’Cruz, Diaz studied and analyzed immigration law policies, built cases for clients, translated forms from English to Spanish, and filled out and organized paperwork for immigration cases.

“I have attended many large protests in Chicago and Waukegan that fight for the rights of immigrants and these experiences have stuck with me,” he said. “My work with Charlene has reinforced my passion for human rights law,” he said.

On campus, he also took on issues around human and student rights. He sat on the Northland College Diversity Work Group, was elected as a senator to the Northland College Student Association, and participated in soccer. His proudest accomplishment, he says, was helping to establish the Northland College Multicultural Center and Club.

“I am proud to say that I helped start a center and club that celebrates ethnic and racial diversity,” he said. “I have gained tremendous experience in marketing, public relations, group organization, public speaking, and leadership—this center will help Northland attract more students of color and create a more inclusive environment.”

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