Maryam Ahmad headshot
Photo: Trinity Goode
Chi-Town Legal Eagle
Maryam Ahmad M’90 is the chief of the Juvenile Justice Bureau for the Cook County, Ill., State’s Attorney’s Office. She oversees all of Cook County’s child protection and juvenile delinquency prosecutions. She is also president of the Chicago Bar Association, one of the nation’s oldest and largest metropolitan bar associations, with more than 18,000 judges and lawyers as members.
1. How did Bucknell shape your career?
While working in University Admissions, I enrolled in evening classes and completed my master’s degree in English literary criticism. I achieved this milestone due to Bucknell’s tuition remission program for employees.
2. What class opened your eyes the most?
Professor Richard Smith’s Chaucer course introduced me to medieval literature and The Canterbury Tales. Professor Smith was soft-spoken and erudite. He challenged my imagination in ways I never imagined.
3. If you could go back to college, what would you do differently?
I would try to relax more and enjoy the beauty of Bucknell and the natural sights of Lewisburg, Pa.
4. What fun moment at Bucknell is the most memorable for you?
During January 1987, a major snowstorm hit Lewisburg. I convinced my good friend, Karen Grasso Kreulin ’87, to build anatomically correct male and female snow people outside of Freas Hall. Although being at Bucknell involved a lot of work, I recall most the times when we laughed.
5. What lesson did you learn at Bucknell that you still carry with you?
I was blessed to have the late Dick Skelton ’60, M’80, P’91 (assistant vice president of student services and enrollment planning) as my first boss after college. I try to demonstrate Dick’s great giving spirit and patient wisdom with the many young lawyers I presently supervise.