Alumnae Spotlight of the Month

List of 5 news stories.

  • August Alumnae Spotlight, Suzanne Dorsey Heidel, Mac of 1985, High School Dean of Students

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
     
    Like so many others, living the Serviam motto became a major element of my profession. I have served Catholic high school girls in various roles, always incorporating community outreach and service learning. Serviam, “I will serve” is a mandate. It does not suggest, recommend or encourage service. Serviam reminds us all that we have both an inherent desire to serve our world and an obligation to do so. I remember my high school senior service project vividly. It was an eye opening experience working with young deaf children. I felt so far out of my element, but the wisdom of St. Angela teaches Ursuline graduates that you must ACT anyway - even if it feels awkward or calls for all of your courage, or in the case of St. Angela, even if you are beginning work at age 61. I acknowledge that for students, serving others can sometimes be messy, even scary, but when the risk is joined to prayer, the experience is always reciprocal, reminding us that we are all responsible for one another and are one family and therein rewarding us by bringing us closer to one another and to God.
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  • July Alumnae Spotlight, Kimberlin Pittman Brown, Skip of 1995

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now? 
     
    My Ursuline education is something that I reflect on regularly. I work in healthcare and am often having to be the decision-maker with processes or the implementation of new initiatives. As I have advanced in my career, Ursuline prepared me to stay humble and stay hungry. Humility allows me to always try to understand the needs of others and seek out ways to do good for all, and not just because it may benefit me or someone I am around. As a nurse, I encounter people from all walks of life and various socio-economic backgrounds. My Ursuline background allows me to see the entire person and their family and not treat them as just another patient. Hungry, not in the sense of looking for physical food, but hunger for me is wanting to learn more, wanting to do more, and the drive to understand cultures and communities and how to best serve them. Whether we are talking about healthcare disparities or the opioid epidemic that is affecting everyone to some degree, I am hungry to help make a change by educating and empowering families to live better lives that are rich in quality and seek out help when they are sick, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. Mental and emotional fitness/wellness is equally as important as taking care of your heart. And we have to embrace and encourage each other to do this and offer support. We all need each other and we need to eliminate topics being taboo--if it affects your life or your family's life. We need to have a safe circle or village to help walk with us during the trying times.
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  • 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.

    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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