Page 1







Supervisor Cindy Chavez Welcomes Emerging Women of Impact

Lilly Hackworth ’17, Speech & Debate Star, Looks to the Future

Catch up With Class Notes

Alumna Profile - Turning a Love of Science Into a Global Business

E m e rgi ng W o m en


I m pac t

One of the most recognizable outcomes of a Notre Dame education is the formation of young women who are positioned to create change in the world. Through the year-long project known as the Senior Service Learning Project (SSLP), the Class of 2017 has already shown that they are well on their way down that path. Based on both direct service and advocacy, the SSLP allows each senior to create a project around a social justice issue about which she is especially passionate. The project is then presented at the Young Women’s Advocacy Summit (YWAS). This year’s YWAS keynote address was presented by Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who praised the seniors for their hard work and the hope they inspire for a brighter future. Principal Mary Beth Riley & Supervisor Cindy Chavez

Chavez, who has long been a friend of Notre Dame, was interviewed by Mikaela Fenton ’17 and Caroline Chmielewski-Anders ’17 for their SSLP, The Hummingbird Project: Human Trafficking, which featured a video portfolio of Bay Area anti-trafficking advocates. “You become women and leaders at a time when the world couldn’t need you more — climate change, world conflict, the globalization of an economy — the nuances that it takes to lead are so different now that we know what the rest of the world looks like. Each one of you understands that. What will be required is much more daunting than what was required for me. We will take care of things on a local level and build momentum for you to do that on a global level. Speaking different languages, understanding different cultures and not being afraid.”

Mikaela Fenton ’17 & Caroline Chmielewski-Anders ’17

Halle Sousa ’17

Halle Sousa ’17, who is of Japanese-American descent, understands what can happen when fear and a lack of cultural awareness collide. For her SSLP, The Preservation Project: Protecting the Future with the Past, she worked with the University of Denver and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation. Through her project, she documented the history of the Japanese-American incarceration during World War II, helping to spread awareness of cultural differences and the importance of understanding the past in order to change the future. “You all give me hope that what we will see in the future is so much brighter than what many people believe it will be today,” said Chavez. “I am so confident in your intellect, in your passion, in your brilliance and in your strength. I am so convinced that you are going to make the future better even in these challenging times. I know you will look back and hand a better world to your children.”

Principal’s Message by Mary Beth Riley When the jacaranda trees on 1st Street in downtown San Jose bloom and the pavement is scattered with purple petals, you know it is time for Notre Dame’s graduating class to march off to their futures. The 166th graduating class, the Class of 2017, donned traditional blue gowns in the city center for their Baccalaureate Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on a Thursday evening and then returned for a repeat showing on the following Saturday morning at the historic California Theater. I know that I am biased, but I don’t think there is a graduate more fetching than our ND young women. As they stroll the downtown neighborhoods that have become a second home, arm-in-arm with family and friends and wearing their blue robes, they are a heartwarming site. I watch passers-by turn and take another look. ‘Where is she off to?’ is clearly in their thoughts. She’s off to everywhere – east, west, Europe, Canada! Sharon Truong, who will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall to study pre-med, was elected by her classmates as the St. Julie Billiart award winner and delivered the salutatory address. She welcomed everyone and aptly noted that her class, the Teal and Orange Ravens, were leaving the ‘nest.’ “Nurtured from the nest on third floor of Manley Hall to the branches of downtown San Jose, ready for take-off,

the Class of 2017 possesses an insurmountable spirit of diversity and unwavering love whose roots run years deep.” Diverse, they are! They will attend 68 different colleges and universities to study computer science, molecular and cell biology, film, civil engineering, nursing, linguistics…..the list goes on. As they fly from the nest, resting momentarily in the array of purple jacaranda blossoms, these young women inspire and invigorate us. There is good in the world. They are it. Blessings on their flight!

CLASS OF 2017.... Notre Dame’s 166th class of graduates earned accolades and were rewarded for their four years of hard work, academically, co-curricularly and in the community.

$16 Million 146 3,428 offered more than

in scholarships to colleges and universities around the world

students in the Class of 2017 served

hours of community service during the year


of students are matriculating to colleges and universities listed in Princeton Review’s List of Best Colleges

You can view a scrapbook of photos of the Class of 2017 Baccalaureate Mass and graduation, as well as videos of their events, online at



Addressing ND’s 166th Graduating Class Anika Kumar ’17 earned highest honors by maintaining a minimum 4.45 weighted GPA throughout her high school career and taking a minimum of 7 Honors/AP courses. One of 35 students to do so, she was invited to deliver the valedictory address. In her address, Anika encouraged her fellow students to be bold as they step into the future.

We are the next generation of thinkers, leaders and achievers.

May we never shy away from bold ideas, courageous decisions

and unflinching perseverance. May we never miss an opportunity to step up and take the plunge to change the world around us.

Anika Kumar’’17, UC Berkeley Molecular & Cell Biology, Public Health

During her sophomore year Anika created Forget Me Not, an intergenerational nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce instances of isolation, loneliness and depression among older adults. The organization partners isolated elderly with caring high school volunteers for weekly friendly phone calls. The calls are mutually enriching and forge special bonds. Anika received the Jefferson Award for public service for her work and was recognized by the San Jose Mercury News and KPIX.

Developing a Love of Science Riana Karim ’17, who also earned highest honors, has been a member of Notre Dame’s Robotics Team (the Janksters) for four years where she developed her love for computer science and engineering. As a member of the Girls Who Code group on campus, Riana visited LinkedIn earlier this year on a field trip, which resulted in an internship opportunity. In the last four months, Riana was recognized with several awards. • At the Synopsys Science and Engineering Championship, her project on the effect of different probiotic bacterial strains on ammonia production levels, developed with partner Sharon Truong, earned a first place award in the Biological Science & Engineering Category.

Riana Karim ’17, CalTech Computer Science, Business

• She received the Society of Women Engineers Northrop Grumman Community Award for a web application created to promote environmental stewardship with technology. The highlight for Riana was meeting former Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Maya DiRado, who is currently an engineer.

• The National Center for Women in Technology presented her with the Bay Area Affiliate Award and National Honorable Mention. • Riana was also selected from applicants around the world to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June. WWDC scholarships reward talented students for their technical accomplishments and creativity, both of which shone in the app she created for learning about constellations.

I have been fortunate to receive a powerful and truly galvanizing education at Notre Dame for

the past 4 years, allowing me to grow as an individual and explore my interests as well as build community and strengthen my teamwork with women I am proud to call my ND sisters.

Lilly Hackworth Recognized Nationally Even in a school filled with brilliant young women, Lilly Hackworth ’17 stands out. Her love of learning, keen intellect and ability to connect topics across disciplines is unique and exemplified by her award of four curricular and co-curricular department medals — speech and debate, mathematics, modern language (bilingual) and social studies. She was also recognized as a National Merit Scholar, having scored in the top 0.5% of students taking the PSAT and SAT. In addition to a love of learning, Lilly has a passion for speech and debate which has earned her recognition at the local and national level. Along with partner Spencer Dembner, Lilly won ten championships in open parliamentary debate in addition to multiple trophies and awards for individual performances including being named district champion in extemporaneous speaking and student of the year.

Lilly Hackworth ’17, University of Chicago Dean’s Scholarship & National Merit Award Computer Science & International Relations

For her senior service learning project, Lilly ran a public speaking class for middle school students attending the summer academy at Sacred Heart Community Service, wanting to help low-income students develop confidence. “I’ve been part of speech and debate here at ND for the past four years now, and have had the opportunity to see girls become significantly more self-confident and assertive as they learned how to present themselves and speak in front of others — skills that are useful for life.”

San Jose Downtown Doors Notre Dame’s diverse student community is filled with different talents, skills and passions. The artistic talent of one of these students, Pauline Nguyen ’17, is being recognized by the San Jose Downtown Foundation. Pauline’s artwork, which includes Pauline Nguyen’’17, Notre images of pressed flowers Dame de Namur University and an original poem, was chosen from more than 180 submissions to be featured as a new Downtown Door. Over the last several years, the art of 32 Notre Dame students has been selected for the San Jose Downtown Doors program. SUMMER 2017


ND Reads - Lessons From Little Rock by Dr. Terrence Roberts The ND Reads Selection Committee is pleased to announce the ND Reads book for 2017-2018, Lessons from Little Rock, by Dr. Terrence Roberts. The memoir chronicles the journey of one of the nine black students to first attend an all-white school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. As a high school student, Roberts made a profound sacrifice and decision to become an upstander in the face of hatred and institutional racism. His story is compelling and his reflections are timely. Roberts’ life is a testament of advocacy, personal responsibility and solidarity, the core themes of our Education for Justice and Leadership program. Moreover, he models what it means to be a community leader, justice advocate, spiritual seeker and life long learner — all of our graduation outcomes. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Roberts to campus for our 11th Annual ND Reads Author Talk on October 2, 2017. Save the date and join us for what will undoubtedly be an inspiring evening.

f o n e m Wo

t c a p m I eon h c n u L

Introducing our 2017 Honorees Notre Dame’s Women of Impact luncheon spotlights the role women have played in history and celebrates those making significant contributions to society today. The 2017 honorees, Kelly Powell ’88 Bruno and Lisa Sobrato Sonsini exemplify what it means to be a woman of impact. Both are strong women leaders in non-profit organizations and are passionate about helping others, Lisa as board president of the Sobrato Family Foundation and Kelly as president and CEO of National Health Foundation.

30 Under 30

Kelly Powell ’88 Bruno

Lisa Sobrato Sonsini

Kelly has fond memories of her time at Notre Dame and credits her all-girls, Catholic education with making her who she is today — a strong advocate for social justice and believer in women’s leadership and the responsibility to pave the path for future women of impact. Lisa has been a leading community advocate for the rights of abused and neglected children and youth in need throughout the Bay Area. She also works passionately as a catalyst for civic engagement among many of the rising leaders in Silicon Valley. Save the date and join us as we honor these two inspirational women on October 5, 2017.

At this year’s Women of Impact Luncheon we will also be recognizing thirty Notre Dame alumnae who are under 30 years old and doing some amazing things in the community. Stay tuned as we share their names and accomplishments over the next few months.

Notre Dame’s Party of the Year 2017 - Cirque de Lune This year’s event was held at the popular downtown venue, The GlassHouse, and raised more than $150,000 for academic programs and tuition assistance. In the 2016-17 school year, 23% of Notre Dame’s students received tuition assistance through scholarships and financial support with an average award of $9,000. Funds raised are also helping to support new classes for the 2017-18 school year including Advanced Graphic Design, Visual Storytelling, EdgeMakers and AP Chemistry. Thank you to the people who made this event a success, including committee chairs Lisa Jackson (Holly ’18) & Trish Shukwit (Paige ’19), the auction committee, and the many parents, faculty, staff and student volunteers. Save the date and join us next year for our annual benefit and auction on April 21, 2018!

Samina Palla (Manahil ’14, Rukhsar ’13), Molly Knox (Allison ’20, Mackenzie ’16) Francesca Paist (Rebecca ’17, Jillian ’13)

Tarry & Conny Barton (Kelsey ’13, Petra ’09)

Denis Colic, Ella Colic ’20, Rajka Colic, Margaret Cucuzza, Frank Cucuzza, Rosalie Ledesma, Alexia Gutierrez Ledesma ’20

Jessica Rose-Tracy & John Tracy (Emma ’18, Allison ’16) Ellen Donlin, Claudia Aguilera (Kiara ’17)

Sarah Kane, Maggie Kane ’11, Helen & Mitch Kane (Maggie ’11, Audrey ’14) Mac Makhni & Leann Cherkasky-Makhni (Meilani ’15)

$150,000+ raised for academic programs and tuition assistance

silent auction online bidding raised a record



of students receive financial assistance SUMMER 2017



CLASS NOTES Premeileen Mann ’87 Valverde (1) was ordained as a licensed minister on April 1. She serves alongside her husband, Pastor Gilbert Valverde.

Deanna Burneikis ’93 Ebenhahn (2) welcomed a

daughter, Ember Rose, on May 5.

Magdalena Pereyra ’93 Constantino

has been living in Sasebo, Nagasaki Japan for the past eight years where she started an online site, Vintage Sources, that specializes in antiques. The mother of two, she is working on her second MBA and also works at the USO helping military families.

Kimberly Yang ’95 (3) welcomed a baby girl, Gianna Zuo, in February.

Heather San Miguel ’98 (4)

gave birth to a baby boy, Kai Alexander Arce, on March 2.

Gigirose Achanzar ’99 Sy

welcomed a son, Caden Elliott Sy, born on March 27.

Azenith Smith ’99 (5) , a reporter

for KTVU Fox 2, married Nicholas James at the Cathedral Basilica where she graduated from Notre Dame 18 years ago!

Nicole Lecheler ’01 (6) graduated

from Regis University in May with a master’s degree in nonprofit management.

Tram M Nguyen ’02 Richards (7) welcomed a baby girl, Emmaline Mai, on April 2.

Andrea Justo ’04 (8) 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 after earning her J.D. from Lincoln Law of San Jose and graduating as valedictorian of her class. Andrea will also be getting married at the Mission Santa Clara in November.

Larissa Cabrera ’05 was recently

blessed with a little sister for daughter, Kianna. After battling bacterial meningitis as a newborn and losing hearing in her right ear, Kaliya is now strong and healthy!

Rebekah Chang ’06 Miguel

welcomed a son, Benjamin Jacob, on February 6.

Monique Cadena ’06 Alkire (9) welcomed a baby boy, Dylan Isidor Alkire, on March 25.

Kimberlin Borca ’09 was recently accepted into UC Berkeley’s master’s in social welfare program.

Allyson Banales ’10 graduated

from San Jose State University with a master’s degree in education with a concentration in speech language pathology.

Abigail Johnson ’12 is returning

to her alma mater, Notre Dame, to teach in the Social Studies Department after earning her master’s degree in teaching from Santa Clara University.

Rebecca Lynch ’12 will be attending

Abigail Heiser ’14 (12), majoring

in biology and anthropology at Wellesley, is spending several weeks on an archaeological dig excavating the ancient site of Eleon in the village of Arma in central Greece. The site of Eleon has uncovered evidence from the Mycenaean Age, the ArchaicClassical periods and Medieval times.

Madison Campione ’15 (13) co-wrote

George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development in the fall where she will pursue a master’s in higher education administration.

and directed “Remembrance,” a dramatic thriller (short film) selected for screening at the 2017 Cinequest Film and VR Festival (Voted Best Film Festival in the US by USA Today).

Monica Ocampo ’13 (10) graduated

Saher Daredia ’16 (14) is currently

from the University of Redlands with a bachelor’s in biology and chemistry. She will be attending UCSF’s School of Dentistry in the fall.

Emily Bordelon ’13 (11) graduated

from Carnegie Mellon in May. She will soon be headed to the bright lights and big city of New York where she has been accepted into the 3-year apprenticeship program with the scenic painting union!

working as manager of partnerships for TedX Berkeley where she works to secure sponsorships with local and global companies.








10 13









ALUMNA PROFILE Lisa Gonzales ’85 White When one thinks of brewing beer and making a business out of it, rarely does an image of a woman or a scientist come to mind. For Lisa Gonzales ‘85 White, working in a science lab and with experiments had always been a dream of hers since her days at Notre Dame High School and the business of brewing beer is, actually, a science. Lisa credits her love of science to the Notre Dame teachers who also made an impact on her decision to start a business. “Everything is a business. No matter what you go into, you need to understand the basics of business and marketing.” Lisa is vice president of White Labs, Inc., a yeast fermentation company that creates craft beer around the world and has facilities in Hong Kong and Copenhagen, as well as four offices in the United States. “I love combining science, education and craft,” Lisa says, especially when she is working in a maledominated industry. And, to her, raising the bar to improve her product on a daily basis is what drives her motivation. That, and giving back to the community. Lisa started a non-profit organization called “Beer for Boobs,” after learning of family members affected by breast cancer, as well as a good friend who had lost her mother. She uses her beer business to

raise money for organizations dedicated to promoting cancer awareness.

Beer for Boobs creates a positive relationship with the beer brewing community and compassionate businesses to promote breast cancer awareness and financially support non-profit cancer research and recovery organizations.

Lisa continues to support Notre Dame, especially tuition assistance, and says she will always cherish her high school education and the memories. The friends she made are her sisters for life. Now, with two sons, ages 8 and 2, Lisa has to set limits to allow her quality time with them, but is proud to set an example for them as a business leader — at work, at home and in her community.

Notre Dame planted the seed for me. It’s a

community where one is never alone and there is always a network and a bond for life. When you give back, you become a champion for someone else.

Patty Hayes ’74 Stuart (bottom middle) with classmates and friends at the 2016 Women of Impact Luncheon

Planning for the Future When Patty Hayes ’74 Stuart’s lawyer recommended she update her estate plans, she made the choice to include Notre Dame in her will. According to Patty, “resolving to make an estate plan was actually the hardest part of that decision.” Patty’s reaction to the suggestion that she create a plan for the end of her life is fairly common. According to a recent article in USA Today, 64% of Americans don’t have a will. The number one reason cited for not having an estate plan is not getting around to it. “People don’t like to think about life ending, but we all know it will happen,” Patty says. Patty is an only child with no children and recently faced a major life change. Without an apparent successor for her estate, she knew she needed a plan. It is equally, if not more, important for those with a large family. Not having a plan leaves unanswered questions that can make things more difficult for loved ones. Once she made the decision, her lawyer made it easy. She included provisions for her two favorite charities. That choice, she says, was the easy one. “Notre Dame is in my blood,” shares Patty. Her mother and aunt both attended Notre Dame and Patty never considered going anywhere else. Her grandfather was a police officer in downtown San Jose while his daughter, Patty’s mother, attended Notre Dame. At that time, downtown San Jose was the vibrant hub of the city. The neighborhood was different in the 70s when Patty was a student, but she recalls her own fun experiences in downtown. She laughs as she tells the story of her father’s reaction when she told him that meeting with Hare Krishnas in downtown was part of her religion homework. He was not amused as Notre Dame had not yet embraced using the city as a classroom. Patty enjoyed being a student at Notre Dame, making good friends and having fun on the yearbook committee, which met in the mansion. Patty continues to be an active member of the Notre Dame community. She serves on the alumnae council where she helps with events such as the upcoming reunion weekend, October 5-7. Patty and her Class of 1974 Pirates are a closeknit group of women. They have annual pirate party reunions that include a plethora of pirate décor and can be counted on to attend Notre Dame events such as the Crab Fest, Women of Impact Luncheon and auction together every year. With her future plans secure, Patty, now retired, enjoys staying connected to her Notre Dame classmates, fostering animals and traveling as much as possible. She recently drove to Indiana, visiting friends along the way. Become a lifelong Notre Dame 1851 Legacy Society member by including Notre Dame in your estate plan. To learn more, contact Leah Schnoor, executive director of advancement at 408-294-1113, ext. 2181 or by email at SUMMER 2017


NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION 596 S. Second St. San Jose, CA 95112 Address service requested


SAVE THE DATES! 9th Annual Women of Impact Luncheon Thursday, October 5, 2017 11:30am to 1:30pm Tickets for this event will be available online at on August 1st.




Profile for Notre Dame San Jose

Notre Notes Summer 2017  

Notre Notes Summer 2017