Alumnae Spotlight of the Month

List of 5 news stories.

  • June Alumnae Spotlight, Caroline MacLaren, Skip of 2019

    Caroline MacLaren ’19 was selected as the 2019 Cor Unum Award Recipient by the Ursuline Alumnae Association. The award is given to one senior each year. Candidates are judged solely on their love for Ursuline Academy and their honest expression of what the Academy means to them.

    1. What does it mean to you to be in the 292nd graduating class of Ursuline Academy of New Orleans?
     
    Ursuline to dear old Ursuline…the words sound familiar, but only to a few. The fingers that strike the piano keys signal a song innate to a select number of people - those who have looped the brown strings of their oversized shoes, those who have buttoned up their stark white oxford blouse, those who have trekked up three flights of stairs - heavy bag fastened to their back, those who have strolled the long halls of this castle-like building. Cheers, we pledge our endless love today, bounce off the stone walls of the arching Chapel. The sound that you hear - you, an Ursuline girl - resembles something so unique: a legacy. The faces that surround you, joyful and exuberant, are merely a small amount of a large body of women that make up the astonishing community of Ursuline. Ursuline, forever Ursuline.
     
    292 years. The number is remarkable. Of course, I have understood that my school is the oldest Catholic girls school in America, established in 1727. That information has been born into me since my first day at Ursuline ten years ago. Yet, that number - 292 - is almost inconceivable. 291 classes of women that have come before me. Women who have become the leaders of our city, our state, our nation, our world. Lab researchers, doctors, lawyers, photographers, biologists, teachers, judges, congresswomen, state officials, pharmacists…women who are peacemakers. Women who live the spirit of Ursuline despite graduating - Though life may lead us far away. These are women who have created a legacy - Lamp that lights the flame of all our hopes and dreams - A legacy that I get to be a part of. Beacon bright that guides us onward with its beams. All of which has been produced from the very school I am graduating from. 292 years of women who lived happy hours within your sacred halls. Women who had laughs and learning just as I have. Women living with the cherished memories that I live with.
     
    Ursuline, to dear old Ursuline. It is more than just New Orleans. It is the network of women across the country, across the world - New Rochelle, Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Paris, Dublin, Wimbledon, Budapest, Athens, Bangkok, Kellyville… All of these women making a change in our world. The song grows louder, We pledge our endless love today. Love. It is all a legacy rooted in love - the courtesy, loyalty, and courage instilled in us. It is cor unum - one heart, one legacy.
     
    Ursuline, forever Ursuline. It is more than just a school. It is the tangible representation of growth and discovery. Though life may lead us far away, we are all still a part of Ursuline by the actions we take. We are still a part of that legacy, no matter how far life may lead us. It is a legacy that draws alumnae back. A legacy that defines who we, collectively and individually, are. A legacy that produces pride in our alma mater. The song you hear is not just the echo of the school, it is the echo of 292 years. Alma Mater beautiful, Starlike ever shine, On our paths To guide our faltering steps, Home at last, Dear Ursuline.
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  • May Alumnae Spotlight, Jo-Ann Fazzio Mueller Salassi, Sioux of 1957

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now? 

    My thirteen years at Ursuline instilled in me a path of learning to follow in all aspects of my life. Courtesy taught me to treat my family, friends and coworkers with respect. Loyalty taught me to stand by and for all individuals in my life in good times and bad. Courage taught me to go after my dream and found the first hospice program in Louisiana. Serviam taught me to care for my family and the terminally ill and their families.
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  • April Alumnae Spotlight, Amy Johnson Ponson, Sioux of 2005

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

    When thinking back about how Ursuline has prepared my for the work I do today, I can think of two key areas. One of which is at the heart of Ursuline is the motto “Serviam” meaning ‘to serve." That simple phrase is one that has forever changed my heart and one that I continue to live by each day. As the current Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana, I serve the church and the people of our diocese every day in a very unique way. Ursuline opened my heart to the understanding how important it is to serve your community. In my current career, not only do I serve the church but more importantly, I serve the people of our community. I work directly with parishioners who want to plan their legacy of giving back to the church. I connect the passions of families to the needs within our community and together make an impact for the greater good. At the core of what I do is to build solid relationships with people built on trust, compassion, and faith. Ursuline taught me how to give back to our community, how to work with different types of people, and how to prioritize within my life.
     
     
    In addition to serving, Ursuline taught me how to work hard and set priorities in life. As an Ursuline Sioux of 2005, I was involved in a number of extracurricular activities. I ran both cross country and track, served on God Squad and Student Council, and at one point I kept stats for the UA basketball team. Being so busy and involved with so many activities, I had to learn to prioritize and put in the work to achieve goals. Nothing in life comes easy, but if you put forth the effort and drive to accomplish your goals you can do just about anything you set your mind to. Running the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux is not an easy task, however it is one that brings great purpose and its fulfilling!

    The teachers at Ursuline and my friends at Ursuline all helped shape me into the person I am today. While I don’t get to see my classmates much anymore, each of them have a special place in my heart and I am so grateful for my time at Ursuline.
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  • March Alumnae Spotlight, Lisa Lavie Martin, Sioux of 1999

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

    I had always done well in school, especially in math and science, but Ursuline Academy helped me to increase my love for these subjects to the point where I decided I wanted to be an electrical engineer. The core courses helped me build a foundation, but the opportunities provided during electives made all the difference. I really enjoyed the standard computer science course where we learned to program in Pascal. Once complete I decided I wanted to go further, but I was the only one interested in that particular subject. The faculty worked out a plan so that I could take a next level computer science course, C++, in a one-person class. When I wanted to go beyond that, and the instructor was no longer available, they let me explore through independent study. The trust that Ursuline put in me and the lengths they went to help me follow my passion for learning helped pave the way for who I am today.

    I now work for the electric utility in Austin, Texas, and I get to work on innovative projects that involve renewable energy, battery storage, and controlling distributed energy resources. The work we are doing is charting a course towards a more sustainable future. I've recently learned about the enhanced STEM curriculum that Ursuline offers the young women who attend today. How I wish I could take some of those classes. Robotics, Makerspace, programming in new languages: it all sounds so exciting. I am grateful that Ursuline continues to mold the curriculum to meet the needs of its students. Just as she did for me, Ursuline is preparing the next generation of innovators and leaders. No matter where your interests lie or what your future field will be, Ursuline prepares young women for success.
     
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  • February Alumnae Spotlight, Dr. Candyce Williams, Merry Mac of 1973

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now? 
     
    My Ursuline education prepared me for a lifetime of studying, learning, exploration, and discipline. My goal to become a physician was realized in no small part, by understanding the importance of academic excellence in college, in medical school and in my residency. The skills and habits that were inculcated during my years at Ursuline served me well as I pursued my goals. Importantly, I learned from my Ursuline teachers’ compassion, lots of patience, humor and support. I believe my patients feel I provide this for them. When people ask me where I learned to type so fast in a new and changing field of electronic medicine, I attribute it to my senior elective of typing at Ursuline. Today, 40 years later, I can take a medical history, look at my patients and never glance at the keyboard as I type!!! Who knew that typing would impact our lives so much in the 21st Century?
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