NEWSLETTER - SPRING 2021
NBC Bay Area was on campus to interview students as they watched history being made with the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris.
IN THIS ISSUE...
Partnerships for Impact
Women Leaders Living the Hallmarks
Celebrating Our Alums
Conversations that Connect
Partnerships for Impact Elizabeth Aguilar and her daughter, Rachel Aguilar '21, are two powerful women who partnered this year to create impact. Not content to stand on the sidelines as our community, along with the country, struggled with issues of racism and inequity, they took action to educate, inform and bring about change.
Elizabeth Aguilar & her daughter, Black Student Union president Rachel Aguilar '21
As president of Notre Dame's Black Student Union (BSU), Rachel led the group as they worked with Associated Student Body (ASB) leadership to design and sell t-shirts and stickers to support the Black Lives Matter movement. To date, they have raised $5,600 for the African American Community Service Agency and Girls to Women.
The BSU also committed to partnering with Notre Dame as we educate our community about race, equity and inclusion. In the fall of 2020, they helped organize an all-school assembly which featured nationally-recognized speakers Dr. Brett Solomon, associate professor in the Santa Clara University liberal studies department, SCU law professor and attorney Margaret Russell, and La Toya Haynes, director of racial equity at Intuit. The panel discussed the Black Lives Matter movement as it relates to education, law and the corporate world. Dr. Solomon emphasized the importance of cultural competence and developing a world-view, especially given today's global community. To help launch Black History Month, Rachel hosted the Women of Impact Speaker Series about culturallyrelevant education. The event, which had more than 400 registered guests, featured educator and researcher Dr. Felicia Mensah, critically-acclaimed author Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Wanda Holland Greene who serves as head of school at The Hamlin School in San Francisco. Holland emphatically reminded viewers that, "This is not a conversation only for black people by black people." Ladson-Billings echoed her thoughts and added that Black History Month is about celebrating the culture. "You want to have some knowledge of the people with whom you are living and interacting." All three women emphasized the importance of one of Notre Dame's graduation outcomes, that people need to be life-long learners. "What do I not know and what do I need to learn," added Dr. Mensah. We are thankful to our guest speakers for helping us to continue our journey and deepen our thinking. Rachel’s mother, Elizabeth Wells, also took action, spearheading the establishment and funding of the Village Scholarship initiative which will support an incoming Black student of African ancestry with a full tuition over four years. As Elizabeth shared, “There are a great many bright and talented young women of African ancestry who would make the ND experience so much richer for the entire community. Unfortunately, many of these students cannot attend ND because they cannot afford the tuition. In an effort to bridge this gap, I have collaborated with the ND administration to establish the Village Scholarship. It takes a village to raise a child and it will take a village to fully fund this scholarship." Learn more at www.ndsj.org/village-scholarship.
Principal’s Message “You know that desires are not enough. Action is needed.” — St. Julie Billiart Dear Notre Dame Community, It seems that our Lenten pathway this year is sprinkled with signs of the resurrection. Each day we hear of more vaccinations distributed and everyone has experienced that flutter of hope as friends and family receive their first shot. We are relieved to know that our teachers are able to start the process of vaccination and that we will be able to bring students back to campus soon. So many reasons to give thanks! In a recent Lenten reflection, our faculty and staff were encouraged to take time for almsgiving – for being kind, offering of ourselves and our resources to others. This is what St. Julie was calling us to when she said ‘action is needed.’ In this edition of Notre Notes, we see strong evidence of our Notre Dame community in action during the pandemic. Strong spirits, filled with desire, have brought important actions forward. Elizabeth Wells and her daughter, Rachel Aguilar ’21, share an ardent desire to call our Notre Dame community to a deeper understanding of racial inequities and they have both taken action. Rachel’s leadership with the Black Student Union has engaged students, faculty, staff and the board of directors in important cultural and historical conversations. Her mother, Elizabeth, has spearheaded the founding of a Notre Dame scholarship for an incoming Black student of African ancestry with financial need. For years to come, The Village Scholarship will stand as a testimony of the convergence of desire and needed action, and we are grateful for Elizabeth's leadership. Throughout this edition of Notre Notes, we celebrate the stories of parents, students, staff, alums and community members who have taken action and demonstrated leadership. All inspire. All bring gifts to our community and our world. We are proud to share their stories with you. That brings me to you. Will you take action for us? Will you ‘join a circle and change a life?’ The Village Scholarship, ThirtyOne Women, Impact ND, and Sister Circles await you. Learn more on page 11. Ora et labora,
Mary Beth Riley, Principal
ON THE COVER... On Wednesday, January 20th, Notre Dame held a virtual watch party for students to witness the Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris. Notre Dame was honored to be recognized by NBC Bay Area News on Inauguration Day and featured in their coverage of the event. Our students were sought out for their thoughts on the impact of the first woman, and first woman of color, to become Vice President of the United States. Jordan Paran '21, featured on the cover, and wearing a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers, shared her excitement and commented that "this is something I will remember for the rest of my life." Shirlene John '21 (pictured to the right) said, "I think it's really inspiring for a lot of little girls like me who had not seen anyone in the media who looked like me. If I could go back and tell my kindergarten self that there would be a woman of color in the vice presidency, it would be amazing."
Don't know what goes here
Women Leaders Living the Hallmarks Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community • We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God is good. • We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person. • We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world. • We commit ourselves to community service. • We embrace the gift of diversity. • We create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve. • We develop holistic learning communities which educate for life.
The Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community are the essential values and characteristics that guide program content — from classes to activities and events. The impact of these Hallmarks extends beyond the classroom to our entire ND community. We see their influence in the actions and lives of our students, parents, staff and alums every day. As the Center for Women's Leadership in Silicon Valley, Notre Dame and the Hallmarks embody a learning community that influences women's leadership and cultivates the next generation of strong voices. Here we introduce you to just a few.
Kristine Pashin '22 & Anna Yang '23 Social justice, advocacy and amplifying youth voices are a few of the issues that are important to Kristine Pashin '22 and Anna Yang '23 who "educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world." Having learned the power of the written word as journalism classmates, they launched The Journals of Justice in the midst of a COVID summer. Their mission — to educate youth on topics of social justice, and to encourage students to advocate through journalism so that they can serve, lead and make a change in their communities. "We wanted to create an online advocacy and social justice platform where students could write about injustices that they have experienced, advocacy issues they are passionate about, or reflect on current local/global news in the form of articles, poems or art," explains Kristine. Kristine and Anna, along with a marketing and editorial team of classmates, launched the Journals of Justice with their first monthly issue in June, 2020. "Our target audience is anyone interested in gaining knowledge or experience on a variety of advocacy issues, or just starting out as someone interested in seeking the greater manifestation of justice in their local/ global community. We like to think of the Journals of Justice as a transition point from online to in-person advocacy because we also offer a variety of resources to further educate individuals interested in advocacy, allowing them to make connections across different disciplines." With interests in foreign affairs, national and international politics, economics and public international law, Kristine describes herself as an aspiring human rights activist. Anna, who has won awards for her creative writing, hopes to make an impact on the community around her through her passion for computer science and artificial intelligence. Monthly issues of The Journal of Justice are available online at JournalsOfJustice.wordpress.com.
Claire Nguyen '21 Advocating for justice, serving her community and sharing her faith through music are just a few of the ways Claire Nguyen's '21 "proclaims by her life even more than by her words that God is good." "Claire is a gifted, faith-filled young woman who embodies the best of Catholic education," shares Kathleen Quiazon. "A Notre Dame education forms young women of impact who are life-long learners, spiritual seekers, justice advocates and community leaders. Claire purposefully engages these graduation outcomes for her own growth as she discovers her own power, faith and potential." Last spring, as the shelter-in-place orders became the norm, Claire authored a poem in her theology class that articulated her own determined faith in this difficult time. She wrote, “We must hold onto each other’s hands and help each other get out of the darkness. We’ll find our way out together, reminding ourselves that every person is precious, every person has dignity and every person deserves to live.” This spring and summer, Claire and her siblings responded to the pandemic with the creation of thousands of face masks. In May, Claire was recognized by State Assemblyman Kansen Chu for her work to protect essential health workers and nursing home residents. More recently she participated with Quarantutors to support children with remote tutoring. These recent service experiences are emblematic of an ongoing service mindset. Recognizing Claire's accomplishments and dedication to her faith and her community, The Catholic Community Foundation named her this year's Catholic Impact Scholar. She will receive $5,000 towards her senior year tuition at Notre Dame.
DeEnna Holohan, Director of College Counseling As Notre Dame's director of college counseling, DeEnna Holohan, was recently recognized as one of only 12 recipients, nationwide, of the 2021 Counselors that Change Lives Award. The awards are presented by Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the ideal of a student-centered college search - a philosophy DeEnna is passionate about. DeEnna was nominated by a colleague in college admissions who shared, “DeEnna knows each of her students … on a deeply personal and individuated level and is always willing to advocate for schools of best fit. She is a passionate representative of CTCL and performs in her role with grace, diligence and a wonderful sense of humor — always with a beaming smile.” DeEnna meets personally with every Notre Dame student, getting to know who they are as a whole person rather than just seeing them as a combination of grades and test scores, and ensuring that "we honor the dignity and sacredness of each person." She also hosts a range of events designed to help both parents and students navigate the college admissions process as well as a summer writing workshop which has been recognized nationally.
Cindy Hendrickson & Rose Que '82 Lue As a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, mother of teenagers and community volunteer, Cindy Hendrickson (Julie '19, Sarah '20 & Emma '22) is a busy woman. However, her responsibilities didn't stop her from volunteering to chair the Notre Dame Parent Association, believing it is important to "create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve." She has seen how hard the teachers have worked to keep students engaged throughout the pandemic. Wanting to recognize their efforts, she reached out to parents to ask them to contribute toward gift cards for teachers. “The Notre Dame Parent Association was anxious to provide an overdue thank you for our awesome teachers and their extraordinary efforts over the past year," shared Cindy. "At a time when we have fewer occasions to tell them in person how much we appreciate them, they are working harder than ever — tackling the social and technological challenges of distance learning, and in many instances also juggling homeschooling and caring for their own children whose schools or daycare facilities are closed. We wanted to send a clear message that we see their hard work and we are profoundly grateful.” As a result, every Notre Dame faculty member who works with students, a few of which are pictured below, was surprised with a $100 gift card as a small token of their appreciation.
Rose Que ’82 Lue feels the same sense of appreciation for the faculty and staff of Notre Dame and understands the importance of "developing holistic learning communities that educate for life." From the moment her daughters, Amanda and Diane, joined the Class of 2023, she has been impressed with the way Notre Dame’s faculty and staff are living out its mission. She remembers her dad using the phrase, “it's the singer not the song” to remind his children that employees are the key to any successful business. It was that emphasis on people that inspired Rose, together with her sister, Joanne Que '80 Nguyen, and the rest of the Que family to establish an endowment for faculty and staff support at Notre Dame in honor of their parents, Mariano and Estelita Que. Endowments are gifts that remain intact, offering investment income that can support specific needs. Until now, Notre Dame’s endowments have been designated to support tuition assistance and campus improvements. Rose and her family have been advocates of investing in students, investing in the campaign for the Center for Women’s Leadership and now want to recognize the critical role of Notre Dame’s faculty and staff by investing in them as well. The Mariano & Estelita Que Memorial Endowment Fund for Faculty & Staff will support teachers with continuing education and, as this endowment fund grows over the years, possibly provide additional revenue to support pay increases for the faculty. These investments in Notre Dame faculty underscore the community support for their work. If you would like more information about how to invest in endowments at Notre Dame, contact the advancement office at 408-294-1113 ext 2181.
Rupali Batta '22 At her core, Rupali Batta '22 is a scientist with a passion for social justice and a deep "commitment to serving her community." She is the founder of Optimus Robotics, created to increase the understanding of STEM and robotics through classes targeted in low-income communities, as well as articles and interviews directed at the general public. To date, the group has taught more then 2,500 students. Rupali is also an accomplished scientist whose research has won her national recognition. This summer she completed a research project titled "Question Answering Data Collection and Analysis" with other students as part of her summer internship. Their project recently won 2nd place in Interdisciplinary Science at Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society. The project was chosen from those created by more than 350 high school, undergrad and grad students. Rupali presented the project at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in December, which was held virtually this year. As well as presenting at AGU, Rupali was the only high school student to serve on the leadership team helping to plan for the conference. On campus, Rupali is part of the Facing History & Ourselves Student Leadership Group. Part of their goal is to discuss issues and their connections to history and discover ways that they, as young people, can be part of the change they seek.
CLASS NOTES Sr. Ann Carmel Badalamente '50 (1) celebrated
her 70th Jubilee as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. After receiving her master's degree in administration from San Jose State College, she taught or was principal in California, Oregon and Washington state schools. She currently works on special projects at the Province Center in Belmont, California.
Sister Joanne (Catherine Rose) Miller '50 (2) also celebrated her 70th Jubilee. She has enjoyed many years as a teacher and administrator in Notre Dame elementary schools from Los Angeles to Seattle to Honolulu. Since 2016 she has been living at the Mercy Retirement & Care Center in Oakland.
Gretchen Schmitt '52 Cody (3) has
been very active with Life Moves (formerly InnVision) for 31 years. She has served on the board, chaired fundraisers, and provided hands-on help. She is currently part of a support group for The Vendome, a former hotel in San Mateo that provides stable housing for formerly homeless single adults.
Sr. Mary Ellen Howard '60 (4),
who celebrated her 60th Jubilee, always thought of herself as a natural born missionary. Initially a teacher in ND high schools, she spent 30 years in refugee camps in Kenya and South Sudan teaching and building community. Since 2014, Sr. Mary Ellen has been serving as a chaplain at the Los Angeles County Jail in
Lynwood, California, working with some of the 2,000 women held there.
Sr. Karen Pozniak '60 (5),
who also celebrated her 60th Jubilee, has always listened for, and responded, to God's call. Her ministries have included teaching in California, Oregon and Hawaii, decades of pastoral ministry in parishes from California to Vermont, and service to her Sisters in infirmaries. She is now part of the Novitiate Community in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Carolyn (Callie) Calcagno '60 Smith (6) fulfilled
a life-long dream of her mother's, opening Fly Trap Antiques in Donnelly, Idaho, in 2004 after retiring from a 45-year career in nursing. What started with her mother's glass collection has grown to include antiques, collectibles and all sorts of weird, wild and wonderful things — all under one roof. The Class of '60 celebrated its 60th reunion over Zoom in October. An in-person reunion is planned for later in 2021.
Mandy Wong '08 (7) graduated
Magna Cum Laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic West with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree. She was class salutatorian and awarded the Clinical Excellence Award.
Andrea InesAnderson Scanlon '09 Cadena (8)
welcomed her second child, a healthy baby girl, Arianna Kelly Cadena, on April 13, 2020.
Lizzie Diemer '10 completed her
Ph.D. dissertation in January and has been studying eating disorders since her undergrad work.
Rosemary Hua '10 (9), head of retail
strategy at Snowflake, was recently named one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in Enterprise Technology.
Sabreen Abdelrahman '17 (10) graduated with
a major in political science and a minor in human rights from UC Berkeley.
Yashna Bansal '17 (11) is currently
working as a fulltime build reliability engineer at SpaceX. She is working on the Raptor engine and
is a part of all the upcoming, amazing milestones in the Starship program.
Carly Vaughn '17
started her first term as a marriage and family therapist and counseling trainee at Loma Linda University Graduate School. She credits Ms. Valentine for the inspiration!
Ariel Cheng '18 is
conducting biophysics research in UCLA's Physics & Astronomy Department.
Ella Colic '20 (12) published a
book, Trees Without Roots, containing her family's oral history of survival during the Bosnian War. The book is available on Amazon.
Shreya Garg '20 (13) is part of
Stanford University's Biopolymer Research for In-situ Capabilities (BRIC). Her team was selected by NASA to send their project to the International Space Station (ISS). Alums from the Class of 2019 participated in a virtual college panel and shared insight into their first or second year of college and their transition from high school.
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Conversations that Connect The Women of Impact Speaker Series expands the Notre Dame mission and provides opportunities for alums, students and the wider community to network and establish connections. In addition to providing networking opportunities for our community, the Speaker Series can help close the learning gap by increasing access to enriched educational experiences. In the first two months of 2021, students and adults have had the opportunity to expand their understanding of topics including culturally-relevant education and opportunities for women in sports. You can watch replays of previous events at www.crowdcast.io/notredamesjevents
January Speaker Series: Women in Sports Alyssa Nakken, Brenda Villa & Maddi Wong '21 February Speaker Series: Culturally Relevant Education Gloria Ladson-Billings, Wanda Holland Greene & Felicia Mensah
By far the best and most engaging and relevant panel discussion I've attended in a long time. Well done! — Margaret Powerful, inspiring, beautiful women. Thank you NDSJ for bringing us Felicia, Gloria and Wanda. — Katie We consider ourselves life-long learners and have acquired knowledge and new information from each of the speakers. True wisdom includes the acknowledgement of what we do not know. We are humbled by this fact and inspired by the new experiences, new relationships and new connections that the WOI Speaker Series offers. — Gary & Marcella
Notre Dame's Women of Impact Speaker Series highlights the contributions and achievements of women, bringing them together to share insight, wisdom, experience and perspective as leaders. Register for these free virtual events at www.ndsj.org/speaker-series. APRIL 22, 2021 LEADERSHIP WITHOUT LIMITS DeAnna Pursai Co-Founder & Executive Director, College of Adaptive Arts Anastasia Somoza Human Rights Defender, Speaker, & Consultant, TasSpeaks Gail Williamson Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates, Diversity Department MAY 6, 2021 THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE Thuy Vu Journalist, Co-Founder, Global Mentor Network, Emmy Award Winner Gianna Nino-Tapias Stanford Medical Student
JUNE 10, 2021 WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS Pamela Anderson-Brule Founder & CEO, Anderson Brule Architects, Inc. Helen Kane Founder & President, Hedge Trackers, LLC Doris Yeh Co-founder & CEO, Mirapath
C ircle , C hange
Approximately 25% of students rely on tuition assistance to attend Notre Dame High School. Gifts to support our tuition assistance program help to maintain our tradition of making a Notre Dame education possible for the most qualified students regardless of their financial circumstances. Tuition assistance also helps ensure that we will continue to be ranked as the most diverse private Catholic high school in Santa Clara Valley. For additional information, or to join a circle, contact Shannon Chastaine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408.294.1113 ext. 2123.
Founded by Mary Quilici '75 Aumack and Maria Bellafronto, ThirtyOne Women provides a four-year Notre Dame education for a young woman from Our Lady of Grace Nativity School. The concept is simple - a group of 30 women committed to giving $60 each month for four years. The outcome — four years of a Notre Dame Catholic education for one young woman who then becomes the center of the circle and the thirty-first woman.
The Village Scholarship is a circle of 40 donors who want to take an active role in ensuring that an increasing number of Black voices and stories will be included in the Notre Dame student body. Each member of the “village” pledges a monthly gift of $45 over four years. The Village Scholarship provides an all-inclusive, four-year scholarship for a young Black woman of African ancestry with financial need.
Sister circles are groups of alums and friends who provide tuition assistance support for one student throughout her four years at Notre Dame. Each member of the circle commits to a gift of $25 per month over four years which provides an all-inclusive Notre Dame education for a young woman with financial need.
IMPACT ND is a giving circle of men dedicated to making a Notre Dame education available to talented young women with limited financial resources. Each giving circle consists of 25 men committing to a gift of $75 each month for four years to cover the costs of one young woman from a low income family to attend Notre Dame.
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NOMINATIONS OPEN... Don't know what goes here
Each year, Notre Dame San Jose honors alums who are distinguishing themselves as emerging leaders through their academic, professional and community achievements. We invite you to help us identify up-and-coming women to be recognized as 2021 Alums to Watch during the Women of Impact event on October 15, 2021. Anyone can submit a nomination and all Notre Dame alums who graduated before 2016 are eligible to be honored. More information and a nomination form are available on the Notre Dame website at www.ndsj.org/alum-to-watch. Nominations are due August 1.
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