Check out the fall issue of Notre Dame's Class Notes for alumnae. In addition to all the latest news, this issue features the 30 Under 30 Women to Watch!
Every Notre Dame graduate is part of a sisterhood of women whose history, legacy and traditions date back to 1851. Through participation in several activities and programs with our alumnae and our students, we aim to create a global network that supports the life-long growth of each Notre Dame woman. We encourage all Notre Dame alumnae to visit campus often, keep us up to date with your life events, and to stay connected with Notre Dame and the alumnae community.
Recent Class Notes:
Barbara Donohue ’61 Amsbury, now retired from Children and Family Services in the County of Orange, is taking much joy in the lives of her children and grandchildren.
Since retiring, Joan Gabriele ’61 Barcellona has become an active volunteer. This past fall, she organized members of her church to fill 500 boxes of food through the Holiday Outreach Project and oversees the MHMR Tarrant silent auction for the care of mentally ill.
Felipa Bejarano ’81 Carrillo retired as deputy director of Benefits & Employment Services with Santa Clara County Social Services Agency after 34 years. Now she is having fun with floral design and event planning.
Sylvia Flores '81 CEO and Co-Founder, Manos Accelerator, a 3 month mentorship program targeting Latino Entrepreneurs.
Shelley Castro ’83 Andersen welcomed her first grandchild, Grant, on December 7th, 2014.
Erin Menard ’83 Gibson celebrated her youngest son’s graduation last December from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is currently focusing on her design business and finishing her second book.
Karen Robinson ’86 Marion was recently featured in Women’s World magazine as the founder of Acts of Simple Kindness (www.actsofsimplekindness.org) - a nonprofit that awards grants to pay for sports, music, education and art programs for children who have lost a parent. Karen founded ASK to honor her late husband Steve. ASK has brought joy back into the lives of more than 300 kids by covering the costs of Little League, ballet lessons, and music classes.
Premeileen Mann '87 Valverde was ordained as a licensed Minister along side of her husband Pastor Gilbert Valverde.
Katie Heagerty ’87 Zazueta was named the new CEO/president for HyperRelevance, Inc., a marketing brand strategy firm in San Jose. She is excited to be leading a team of quality account managers, strategists, planners, designers and writers. She is celebrating 20 years with the firm.
In April, Kelly Powell ’88 Bruno was appointed chief executive officer of the National Health Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the healthcare of the under served by developing and supporting innovative programs.
Abigail Castillo ’89 Buada was promoted to social worker supervisor for the Human Services Agency in San Joaquin County.
Catherine Del Biaggio ’92 recently received her BS in criminology and criminal justice from Portland State University after receiving her AS in administration of justice at Hartnell College. In January 2015 she started a new job with the Seaside Police Department.
Magdalena Pereyra '93 Constantino has been living in Sasebo, Nagasaki Japan for the past 8 years. Has two daughters and started a global company, called Vintage Sources, an online site specialized in antiques. While working on her 2nd MBA in International Relations, Magdalena also works at the USO helping military families.
Deanna Berneikis '93 Ebenhahn welcomed baby girl, Ember Rose, born on 5/5/17.
Jennifer Fiamingo ’94 Smith now works for the Business Operations Department at Stanford University in the Department of Public Safety.
Monica Leong ’95 Fleming is currently a vice president, senior credit officer with the San Diego Regional Commercial Banking group and was honored to throw out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres vs. LA Dodgers game this past season. She continues to live in San Diego with her husband, AJ, and their two children, Logan (8) and Courtney (5).
Kimberly Yang '95 welcomed baby girl, Gianna Zuo, born on 2/27/17.
Asma Ghori ’98 is kept on her toes with her two children, Safa (4) and Ayoub (7), and the many adventures they have as a family with her husband Zaakir. She is working toward her teaching credential and volunteers as a speaker for ING, and at her children’s schools.
Azenith Smith '99 married Nicholas James on March 4, 2017 at St. Joseph's Cathedral - the same place she had her high school graduation. Azenith is a reporter for KTVU Fox 2.
Kati Decker ’99 earned a BFA in photography from St John’s University while supporting the Div 1 fencing team she was recruited for, winning NCAA’s in 2001. She has had multiple gallery shows in New York City as well as the San Francisco Bay Area, and her work has been published nationally and internationally. Moving back to the Bay Area, she started her own wedding photography company, LightSplash Photography and is currently working for Lockheed Martin in their Space Systems Company as a program planner.
Emily Dilling ’00 will publish her first book, “My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes” in September 2015. Emily has been living in Paris for the past 10 years and her book takes readers on a tour of the city’s growing artisanal and craft food scene.
Marissa Gonzalez ’01 Phillips will celebrated her one year wedding anniversary to Ben Phillips on July 4, 2015. She recently moved to London and works as a content strategy manager at Facebook.
Nichole Lecheler '01 After being with Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose for 4.5 years, Nicole Lecheler ’01 was promoted to outreach supervisor in September 2014. Additionally, she was elected to the Board of Directors for Catholic Cemeteries of the West in April 2015. She graduated in May 2017 with Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.
Mallory Hills ’02 Covert-Ross is currently a high school art and photography teacher while also volunteering with Alpha Phi International through UC Davis and CSU Chico. She has a 2-year-old daughter and welcomed a baby boy in March.
Sumaila Palla ’02 Since obtaining her master’s in urban planning from NYU Wagner, Sumaila Palla ’02 has been working on implementing resiliency and development projects with the NYC Economic Development Corporation as senior manager for the Capital Improvements Division. Prior to NYC EDC, Sumaila directed the Resiliency Storefront Program with the NYC Department of Small Business Services, providing small businesses with grants and design assistance after Hurricane Sandy. As much as she loves NYC, she recently accepted a job offer with Stanford Hospital’s Transition and Strategy Department in the Bay Area, and will be assisting in overseeing new hospital construction.
Veronica Lazalde ’03 Shuler was married in Santa Cruz over Labor Day weekend 2014 complete with a mariachi band and tortillas made on site. “It was a celebration for the ages!”
Isabelle Du ’03 appeared in the 25th season of CBS’s TV show The Amazing Race.
Andrea Justo '04 began working for the Costanzo Law Firm as an Associate in December 2016, practicing in general civil litigation with an emphasis in employment law, personal injury, and advocacy. Prior to her position, Andrea worked for the Law Office of Reg J. Lormon for over seven years, while obtaining her J.D. from Lincoln Law of San Jose, graduating as valedictorian of her class. Lori J. Costanzo (mother of Ariel Limberis, ND Class of 2013, and Gabrielle Limberis, currently a sophomore) started the firm in 2011. With the location of the firm in close proximity to Notre Dame, Andrea hopes to continue being an active member in the ND community.
Jocelyn Barker ’04 presented an oral defense for her PhD thesis in biophysics at Stanford University in March. “Notre Dame really was a great school to attend, and I still think of my time there as one of my favorite periods of my life. The school really did ‘teach [me] what I need to know for life’ and I appreciate it so much.”
In April 2014, Ismat Yassin ’05 accepted a position as a project management associate with Chemonics International, Inc. working on US Government foreign policy initiatives to improve the lives of people in the Middle East. She is working on water management projects and has started to specialize in gender and social inclusion in international development. In November 2014, she presented a paper on behavior modification strategies for Middle East civil societies to Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Monique Cadena '06 Alkire welcomed baby boy born 3/25/17.
Rebekah Chang '06 Miguel welcomed baby boy, Benjamin Jacob Miguel born on 2/6/17.
Katie Harrington ’07 is working as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Arizona State University with men and women’s track and field while pursuing a master’s in athletic training from A. T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona.
Melanie Lei ’08 is working at Coursera, an online education company that provides college courses online for free with the mission of universal access to the world’s best education. “ND was a huge inspiration for my decision to focus my career on pursuing a more equal and just society for everyone around the world and I am forever grateful to the amazing social justice curriculum and service that we learned from ND!”
Rachel Buckley ’08 is completing her master’s degree in public administration at the Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Citizenship at Syracuse University after two years of teaching Spanish in Jackson, MS with Teach for America.
Tora Troop ’08 left her job in education software to pursue an opportunity at an equine breeding barn where she is working horses and managing the day-to-day operations at the barn.
Kimberlin Borca '09 accepted into UC Berkeley's Masters in Social Welfare program.
Neda Lahidji ’09 is currently pursuing her master’s of music in musical theater at NYU Steindhardt. She made her public debut in New York City at Room 53 during the 2014 holiday season. Neda has been accepted into the dual degree program at NYU Steinhardt in musical theater and vocal pedagogy. Starting in the fall, she will also be an adjunct professor at NYU Steinhardt.
Eunice Marie Almaden ’10 graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BS in nursing. She is now working as a registered nurse at Adventists Medical Center in Hanford, CA and is currently enrolled in their New Graduate Program specializing in cardiology and telemetry.
Hana Blatter ’10 graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BS in biology with honors before earning her master’s in public health from UC Davis. She is also working at the California Department of Health in Sacramento in the Tobacco Control Department.
Jadey Gonzalez ’10 received her BS in food science and technology from UC Davis and is currently working as the quality assurance manager of Wine Country Kitchens in Napa, CA. She also continues to pursue her interest in music, including song-writing.
Allyson Banales '10 Graduated with a Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Speech Language Pathology from San Jose State University.
Christine James ’10 graduated from Chapman University in May 2014 with a BS in athletic training and a minor in nutrition. She became a certified athletic trainer and is the head athletic trainer at Menlo-Atherton High School.
Helen Green ’11 left for Oslo, Prague, Vienna, Venice, and Istanbul with Taylor Hendershott ’11 in June. Helen just rented an apartment in Manhattan with two friends and will be interviewing for jobs when she returns in July.
Kaitlyn Stauber ’11 just graduated from Sonoma State with a degree in communications with an emphasis on public relations. “I am graduating college in Spring 2015 and Notre Dame is a huge part of my success. I cannot express how much help and support I received from the Notre Dame faculty. ND prepares you for the real world without a doubt.” She recently started two new jobs at Mayo and Lynmar wineries.
Cindy Arce ’12 will be headed to Florence University of the Arts for a study abroad opportunity this year. Following her trip to Europe, she will intern with a professor at an architectural engineering firm in San Francisco.
Gina Gacad ’12 is working as a peer mentor to help transition high school students into college life through a course that enriches their knowledge and understanding of diversity, social issues, and their own identity. Additionally, she is working with other Filipino Americans to launch a small magazine, Kapwa, by sharing her experiences as a Filipino American.
Harleen Kaur ’12 is an economics and government major at Smith College. She is currently serving as a summer analyst with J.P, Morgan Chase Bank in New York City, working with their foreign exchange (FX) team. Harleen interned at the U.S. Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C last fall.
Rebecca Lynch '12 this fall will attend George Washington University's Graduate School of Education and Human Development, pursuing Masters of Higher Education Administration.
Monica Ocampo '13 graduated from University of Redlands - BA in Biology with Chemistry and Religious Studies minors. Attending UCSF School of Dentistry Post-Baccalaureate Program this Fall 2017
Isabel "Izzy" Ullman '14 Izzy's current research while on an education abroad program in Yunnan province of China is researching the impact of rural-urban migration on the Mosuo ethnic minority in Northern Yunnan province
Her work in Malaysia this summer: — creating educational trainings for refugees and asylum seekers vulnerable to human trafficking in Malaysia to protect them from abuse and exploitation as well as researching potential legislative shifts that would allow trafficked refugees to access work permits and freedom of movement.
Saher Daredia '16 Manager of Partnerships for TedX Berkeley, she works to secure all sponsorship initiatives with companies on both corporate and local levels.
Kelly Powell '88 Bruno
Catherine Del Biaggio '92
Jennifer Fiamingo '94 Smith
Monica Leong '95 Fleming
Asma Ghori '98
Katie Decker '99
Emily Dilling '00
Veronica Lazalde '03 Shuler
Jocelyn Barker '04
Neda Lahidji '09
Eunice Marie Almaden '10
Jadey Gonzalez '10
Christine James '10
Helen Green '11
Cindy Arce '12
Gina Gacad '12