Alumnae Highlights

Sacred Heart Academy is proud to share with you the achievements of our alumnae.  Forever infused with the SHA mission, our girls have grown into strong women leaders who continually strive for the best and give back to their communities in countless ways. 

If you would like to share a story about a student or alumna, please contact


Allison Merlo ’08

During her years at SHA, Allison Merlo ’08 developed an understanding of the immense value of service to others. She was passionate about working with people with special needs after she spent a week in Colorado, during the summer of her sophomore year, working at a special needs camp. She found her passion after her hands-on experience of feeding, changing, transporting and facilitating activities for children who otherwise could not do so physically and or cognitively on their own due to various diagnoses.

Allison received her bachelors and went on to finish her masters in Occupational Therapy with minors in Psychology and Counseling and Human Services from The University of Scranton. At the University of Scranton, Allison was further inspired by a Jesuit education to serve others. As the Vice President of the Women's Crew team, Allison organized Habitat for Humanity spring break trips, she traveled to Mexico with the International Service Program living and serving in an all-girls orphanage and worked closely with a member of the Scranton community who is disabled and advocates for persons of all abilities within the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. 

Now, Allison is living in Arizona working as a licensed and registered Pediatric Occupational Therapist working full time in a school district servicing 5 schools throughout the school week.  She also acts as a lead occupational therapist at an outpatient pediatric clinic where she supervises assistants and completes initial evaluations for incoming clients. Allison's love for helping special needs children does not end in Phoenix where she works primarily with Mexican/Spanish speaking families. In fact, she has extended internationally traveling to Haiti three times in the past two years.

This past year, herself and close friend, also an occupational therapist recently co-founded and incorporated a non-profit organization (5013c), Outreach Theraplay, Inc. The organizations strives to facilitate community integration by providing play resources to third world, impoverished communities worldwide. Allison and her team are currently working very closely with a non-profit in Haiti that has a special needs school as well as with a ministry in Costa Rica and soon an orphanage in Mexico. Their mission is to utilize resources within these communities throughout the world to create sustainable and diverse play opportunities for people of all abilities.

Allison is also passionate about teaching yoga and is a certified yoga instructor. She has been teaching yoga at a local gym and fundraising events. She is also teaching the transformational practice of mindful movement and mediation within the Arizona jail system to incarcerated veterans, juvenile females and juvenile males both in the general population and closed custody (handcuffed to the desks). 

In her spare time, Allison trains for triathlons and has been very successful in a very short period of time as she recently began to race competitively. She qualified for USA Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska and placed within the top 10% on both the sprint and Olympic distance races, qualifying her for a spot on Team USA for the World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2017. In addition, Allison has completed two half Ironman races within the past year, placing 3rd in her most recent race and 1st overall female in 2 triathlons this past month. Allison's motivation to compete and improve in each leg of a triathlon; the swim, bike and the run derives mainly from her drive as an occupational therapist to help others reach their very own optimal potential. Her drive to constantly improve and better herself allows her to transform that motivation to encourage others. 

She hopes always to inspire her clients with whom she works with every day as an occupational therapist in the schools and the clinic, the children/communities she works with internationally with her non-profit, the inmates she teaches yoga and mindfulness to within the incarcerated population, people who attend her yoga classes seeking oneness and peace and anyone else she meets! Allison's experience with people of all different walks of life has allowed her to become increasingly more humbled by each individual person's impact and purpose.  She knows each and every person she meets has a lesson to teach and every day she works to become more present and in-tune to these lessons.


Sister Virginia Barry '58

"To be good in this life, we have to be pilgrims prepared for journeys to any and all places."


During Sacred Heart Academy’s Opening Liturgy, we honored Sister Virginia Barry '58, a proud alumna and a Sister of St. Joseph.  In 1973 Sister Ginny responded to a call to start to work in Brazil giving workshops, demonstration lessons and courses to priests, religious and educators of people who were deaf.  With another Sister of St. Joseph, the goal was to awaken the conscience of government and church officials to the needs of deaf people throughout Brazil and South American countries.  

The missionary work Sister Ginny has done is remarkable.  Perhaps what speaks to her zeal most is the Miriam Imelda Education Center begun in Recife, Brazil in 1999.  The center provides education for young children, meals, showers and supports women trapped in the cycle of poverty to have the courage and hope they need to face each day. 

The center and its workers help as many children as possible; however, the process of choosing children they can enroll is not easy.  They weigh their decision considering the level of poverty in the family, the age of each mother and also whether she is single. 

Every year, the student-led Mission Club at Sacred Heart Academy organizes SHAlloween, a fundraising event during which students wear Halloween costumes.  The funds raised from this event are donated to the Sisters of St. Joseph and are allocated specifically to the Miriam Imelda Education Center.

In a letter written in 1977 by Sister Joan de Lourdes, then the General Superior, she writes:  “We, the Congregation of St. Joseph, are present in Brazil because S. Ginny is there.”

At Opening Liturgy, Sister Jean Amore, Vice President for Mission and Academic Affairs, said:  “We at Sacred Heart Academy have a presence in Brazil because of our support of the Miriam Imelda Education Center.  As the cover of our booklet says, our SHA students here today: are women of courage, compassion, commitment – who Lead with Heart.”

Career Day Alumnae

Career Day at Sacred Heart Academy provides alumnae with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the young women who will follow in their footsteps.  Nothing quite compares to the genuine connection that exists between alumnae and current SHA students.  Their efforts inspired our young woman to learn, to connect with others, to never give up and to find the path that best suits their gifts and talents so that they may lead with heart.

We gratefully acknowledge the following alumnae for their participation in Career Day:

Allison Cabbibo ’06 -  International Affairs Professional

Lynn Cipriani ’05 -  PRN Occupational Therapist, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Jacqueline Coleman ’07 -  HR Generalist, Northwell Health

Michelle McAree Freel ’83 - Head of HR and Administration, Northwell Health

Mary Galligan ’80 - Director in Deloitte & Touche’s Cyber Risk Services Practice (Formerly New York Office as the Special Agent in Charge of Cyber and Special Operations, FBI)

Katie Voight Hoey ’02 - Vice President of Private Equity (PE) & Tactical Opportunities (BTO) Financial Planning and Analysis, The Blackstone Group

Marissa Cipriani Jakovcic ’03 - Senior Manager, Global Regulatory Affairs

Natalie Kovac ’03 - Project Engineer, ads Engineers

Catherine Jahn ’03 - Assistant District Attorney, Queens County D.A.

Wendy LaBella ’02 - Veterinarian, North Shore Animal League America

Amanda McKelvey ’11 - Social Media Assistant, Business Insider

Siobhan Moran ’79 - Managing Partner, MORAN • KARAMOUZIS LLP

Kaitlin McTague ’04 - Assistant District Attorney, Queens County D.A.

Jennifer Minogue ’02 - Account Executive, Digital & TV Sales, ESPN

Colleen O’Connor ’09 - Account Executive, Crenshaw Communications

Colleen Mcginn O’Neill ’88 - Partner, Ernst & Young

Carol Pernice ’97 - Senior Recruitment Manager, Macy’s

Bonnie Huber Porzio ’92 - Chief Legal Counsel, Triumph Construction Corp

Laura Roche ’88 - Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Roystone Capital

Elizabeth Speck ’05 - Assistant District Attorney, Queens County D.A.

Caitlin Sullivan ’04 - Speech-Language Pathologist, NYC Department of Education

Ariel Tassy ’05 - Pediatric Resident, Cohen Children’s Medical Center

Jennifer Pujdak Tuschong ’95 - Director, Technical Services Organization R&D, The Estée Lauder Companies

Lauren Vaicels ’00 - Freelancer – Sign Language Interpreter

Irene V. Villacci ’82 - Attorney/Principal of Law Firm, IRENE V. VILLACCI, ESQ.

Patricia Butler Woicik ’81 - Research Psychologist and Private Consultant, Biosciences Department, Brookhaven National Lab

Click here to learn more about our participating alumnae and read their bios. 

Alexandra Dos Santos '15


Alexandra Dos Santos '15 is a writer and activist who was part of the 2015 Sacred Heart Academy graduating class. Her interest in environmental justice began at Sacred Heart Academy, particularly in the Awakening the Dreamer Club. With this club she attended the People's March, where her passion for climate justice became a personal priority. Since then, she's been volunteering with Greenpeace NYC and leading her college's green club. She's written posts for Greenpeace's volunteer blog, and was published on the organization's national website. Her most recent work includes a narrative-style piece about her experience at the Democracy Awakening March in Washington, D.C., where thousands of people mobilized to protest a crumbling and ineffective democratic system. Alexandra will be featured in a documentary about the march through her "young activist" perspective. She's also been interviewed by The New York Times and Voice of America for her involvement in other issues related to environmental activism. She attributes much of her writing and editing skills to SHA's English department, where she felt pushed to her potential. The school has also helped her recognize the important role nature plays in spirituality; her spiritual connection with nature is what motivates her to do this work. Alexandra plans to continue writing and working for the protection and integrity of the earth

Kristin Sample ’88

Writer. Teacher. Dancer. Mother.

So reads the tagline on Since her graduation from Sacred Heart Academy in 1998, Kristin has used what she learned at SHA to make an impact in whatever milieu she finds herself. She has worked as an educator, a blogger, a dancer, and a novelist. Kristin holds two Master’s degrees from Fordham University, one in English and one in Adolescent Education, and worked for several years as an English/Theatre Arts teacher at Preston High School, an all-girls college preparatory school in NYC, much like Sacred Heart Academy.

During her time at Preston, Kristin wrote the school’s Middle States Accreditation, served on the Academic Council, and directed and choreographed the school’s musical. When her husband’s job took them to Los Angeles in 2007, Kristin started blogging for TV Squad, now a property of HuffPost TV. She did set visits, interviewed celebrities, and worked as the website’s West Coast Editor. It was at this time that Kristin began writing her first novel North Shore South Shore, a family saga set on Long Island (Sacred Heart Academy makes an appearance as “Our Lady of Victory” and Chaminade as “Chancellor High”). In 2012, Kristin launched a kickstarter project and received full funding to publish her novel independently.

When Kristin moved with her family to Austin, TX in 2013, she became more involved in volunteer work. She served on the Board of Trustees for St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School and started her work with Women’s Storybook Project, a program that helps mothers in prison “read” to their children via recordings made by volunteers. Recently, Kristin has written a piece for the New York Times about the prison program and appeared on HuffPost Live on behalf of the project.

You can also find Kristin’s work on Read Write Think, an online professional resource for the National Council of Teachers of English. And currently, Kristin is writing her second novel Stagecraft and shopping around the television pilot for North Shore South Shore. She lives with her husband C.K., son Jackson, and daughter Darcy (named after her favorite character from Pride & Prejudice, a book she first learned to love in Ms. Minogue’s Junior English class!) in Dallas, TX.


Alexandra Lowell ’09

Alexandra Lowell '09 might be better known now as Alexandra Winter.  Now on Broadway in Spring Awakening at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre until January 24, Alexandra uses her mother’s maiden name for her stage name.

Alexandra’s run with Spring Awakening began in September 2015 in a tiny theatre of off Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.  The cast is comprised of hearing and non-hearing actors. Alexandra’s experience playing the harp helped her land the role in the play where instruments give voices to the actors who use sign language to communicate.


When the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway had a gap in its schedule, Deaf West’s production of Spring Awakening seemed to be a perfect fit for a limited engagement.  The original cast was kept and Alexandra travelled back to NY with the company.  She performs 8 shows per week over 6 six days.  The show will end its run at the Broadway theatre on January 24

Alexandra recently visited Sacred Heart Academy and shared some advice with Mrs. Mary White’s class.  Alexandra credited Sacred Heart with empowering her and giving her the confidence to accomplish her life’s ambitions.  She says, “Everything thing I dreamed about - it’s possible.  Sacred Heart Academy showed me that.”  While attending Sacred Heart Academy, Alexandra held the lead role for the spring musical, Anastasia, performed in Beauty and the Beast and played the harp in the pit band for Peter Pan.  Alexandra also participated in St. Thomas Aquinas Youth Group summer musicals directed by SHA Social Studies teacher, Jim Conway. 

After graduating from Sacred Heart Academy, Alexandra attended the theatre program at University of Southern California and was a successful student of the arts.  She obtained an agent after entering a competition and performing an original song, Happily Ever After. 

Alexandra’s involvement with Spring Awakening has provided her with incredible experiences.  She and the cast were guests on the Seth Meyers Show and were able to go on the Saturday Night Live Stage.  She also performed at the White House for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This multi-talented young woman seems to never be at rest, always striving for her best.  In addition to acting and playing the harp, Alexandra plays the guitar and is a singer/song writer.  Once her run with Spring Awakening is completed, she will begin filming for an independent film directed by her fiancée. 

Click here to see Alexandra perform her original song, Happily Ever After.


Alumnae Highlight: Trees for Troops

Adele Dukes DiDominica '55

Adele Dukes DiDominica '55 returned to Sacred Heart Academy for her 60th Reunion in October 2015. Her company, The Dees' Nursery & Florist, Inc. provided beautiful floral arrangements for the event that gathered nearly 40 alumnae.

During lunch, Adele humbly shared with us the amazing gift Dees' Nursery provides each year to our troops. Since 2003, they have sent over 5,000 Christmas trees to the Far East so that our women and men in service can enjoy the holiday a little more and remember that the people they are protecting are grateful for them and for Christ.Adele Dukes DiDominica '55 returned to Sacred Heart Academy for her 60th Reunion in October 2015. Her company, The Dees' Nursery & Florist, Inc. provided beautiful floral arrangements for the event that gathered nearly 40 alumnae.

Sacred Heart Academy is pleased to share with you Adele's story of how this gift came to be. She stresses that its success rests on the shoulders of family, friends, volunteers and the collaboration of generous, service-minded organizations.

Click her for Adele's Trees for Troops Story

Jeannine Marie Miranne, MD, MS, FACOG, Class of 2000

My time at SHA instilled the value of service in me and laid the groundwork for the success I have experienced throughout all of the phases of my career. I continue to keep in touch with a core group of my SHA friends and have many fond memories of the teachers who always challenged me to work towards achieving my full potential."

Throughout her educational path and professional career, Dr. Jeannine Marie Miranne '00 as been committed to making a difference in the world. A participant in the Siena College/Albany Medical College program in Science, Humanities and Medicine, Dr. Miranne studied Biology and Spanish at Siena College before attending Albany Medical College where she graduated with honors. She participated in many volunteer activities and spent seven weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico, working at a clinic that services the poor and teaching English to Mexican children.

Her commitment to serving others continued in medical school where she was the Community Service Chair of the American Medical Association and the Community and Public Health Action Committee Chair of American Medical Students’ Association.    She is actively involved and has held multiple leadership positions in the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Urogynecologic Society. 

Jeannine completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brown University/Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and her fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine/MedStar Washington Hospital Center. During her fellowship, she earned her Master’s of Science degree in Clinical and Translational Research from Georgetown University.  She is currently practicing with the Division of Urogynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

click here for full bio


Regina Loftus '08

“Sacred Heart Academy shaped me into the educator and leader that I am today. Sacred Heart is a community that educates both the heart and the mind of their students through the values of hospitality, excellence, accountability, respect, reverence, truthfulness, and trust. I have always felt that Sacred Heart was the happiest place on Earth and I want my students and teachers to feel that same way.”

In 2014, Regina received a Qualities of Excellent Teaching Award in June of 2014. Out of nearly 1,000 teachers, Regina was recognized as ‘an energetic leader among her peers who works tirelessly to push every scholar to succeed beyond what they thought was possible. Her humor and ability to cultivate strong relationships with her students have made her one of the most beloved teachers in our school community.’ –Carolyn Roby, Principal of Success Academy Upper West 2013-2014

Click here to read her full story

Karen O’Brien, Class of 2007

Karen O’Brien  is a Creative Recruiter for L Brands Inc., a Fortune 500 global fashion retailer with nearly 100,000 employees and such flagship brands as Bath and Body Works, Henri Bender, and Victoria’s Secret. Karen searches for top creative talent to ensure the continuing success of this multi-billion dollar business.  Karen is also the founder of Karen O’Brien Designs, where she enjoys a freelance career in graphic design, specializing in brand development, digital and experiential marketing, and event design.  Karen credits Sacred Heart for helping her to choose a career path in a field that she finds most rewarding.

“My experiences at SHA not only kick started the development of my artistic skills, but they also revealed to me the practicality of art; that it’s not just something locked away in a museum collecting dust. Art is in everything; it’s accessible, and it’s useful and it’s profitable. There is a demand for art and my hope for Karen O’Brien Designs is to meet that demand.” 

Read more about Karen’s education and career path here

The 2015 Empire State Games for the
Physically Challenged Kick-Off at ucpn

On April 14th,  a press conference was held at the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc. (ucpn) to announce the 2015 Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged.  The event was hosted by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and a host of dignitaries attended including Susan Gordon Ryan (SHA ’67) who is the Founder of the Games.  The event was a true SHA family affair because 3 other alums (and family members) were part of this very special day: Patricia O’Grady Quinn ’75), Megan O’Grady Manning (’84) and Samantha Vezga (’07) .  Megan and Pat are sisters and Samantha is their niece!  Megan is a Physical Therapist at the agency, Pat is the Community Outreach Manager and Samantha joined the staff this past November as the Coordinator of Volunteers!  All played a role in the event, Megan demonstrated a new device called the UPSEE that helps children who usually use a wheelchair, to stand, and take steps.  About 100 children who go to school at the Children’s Learning Center at ucpn will participate in the Empire Games and some will use the UPSEE there.  Everyone was very impressed by the UPSEE and Megan was interviewed by FOX 5, News 12 and FIOS at the event.  Susan Gordon Ryan enjoyed her visit to ucpn and sated that the welcome she and the other special guests received from the student upon their arrival was the nicest welcome she had ever experienced!


Renee Marquardt ’88

Renee is Senior Vice President, Client Services, Didit.  Renee has been a member of the Didit team since the summer of 2005.  In her current role, Renee applies her keen sense of detail and strong organizational skills to the overall department management as well as relationship management to our marquee clients. As the leader of the largest department within Didit, Renee ensures the inter-departmental integration within the company is top priority. Renee has played a key role with the recent acquisitions of Inceptor, HLD Communications and most recently LVM Group, streamlining process, improving efficiencies and establishing a holistic approach.  Prior to joining Didit, Renee held various positions within Client Services at direct marketing leaders, Rapp Collins Worldwide (9+ years) and Wunderman Cato Johnson (3 years). She had the opportunity to lend her expertise for numerous accounts including, Mercedes Benz USA, Delta Air Lines, Discovery Travel, Procter and Gamble, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Radio Shack, a deregulated energy start-up, The NewPower Company and American Express.   Renee attended Adelphi University. There she earned a Bachelor in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.


Susan Simon ’93

Susan, an accomplished dancer and actor, is Program Director for the Maurer Foundation.  In the spirit of service, she raises awareness through the Maurer Foundation mission of breast health education.  Read her full bio here.

Alida Rose Delaney '10

Alida received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in May where she also minored in Costume Design and Photography.  Alida is currently working on expanding her photo and design company, Alida Van Alan (AVA); she also serves as the photographic consultant for Taylor Rafferty, the world's leading global investor relations firm. 

"My drive and determination in this very competitive world of today came from the knowledge and the confidence that I developed while at SHA. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I value SHA, the faculty, and the community that it has created over the years.  It is a very special place."

Read her full bio here

Sacred Heart Academy Career Day

April 11, 2014

Thank you to our returning alumnae for sharing their career insights with us.  If you would like to connect with an alumna for further information on her education and career path, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at or visit us in the Joseph House.


Elizabeth A. Baulch ’88
Managing Director & Chief of Staff, BNY Mellon Asset Servicing-Americas
Fordham University, B.A. Economics
Participated in Fordham University’s Internship Program

Liz has more than 22 years experience in the financial services industry in all areas of the investment lifecycle.  Prior to her current role, Liz filled a variety of staff and management roles within custody operations, client service and relationship management for BNY Mellon.  Her experiences in these roles and in working with almost every type of institutional investor have made Liz a recognized subject matter expert related to trust and custody, merger and integration activity, Taft-Hartley and ERISA regulatory and compliance requirements, operational risk management, and best practices for sales and relationship management. 

Shortly after the merger of The Bank of New York and Mellon Bank in 2007, Liz was named Managing Director & Chief Administrative Officer for the newly merged company's U.S. Corporate, Government & Not-for-Profit business segment.  In this capacity, she supported the Business Head in all aspects related to staff and client integration necessitated by the merger.  During her tenure, the business consistently exceeded its integration and financial targets and in 2011, Liz was appointed to her current role as Chief of Staff for BNY Mellon Asset Servicing-Americas.  In addition to her oversight and management responsibilities for all of the administrative, operational and financial activities for this $5 trillion business, Liz drives the development and execution of the strategic priorities for the business and has direct influence over product development for multiple client segments. 

Liz received a B.A. in Economics from Fordham University.  Prior to earning her degree, she participated in Fordham University's Internship Program.  In addition to representing BNY Mellon in a wide variety of community partnership activities, Liz is an active member of the firm's Women's Initiative Network (WIN) and has served as a mentor in their formal program as well as for Year Up NYC, an organization focused on providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support needed to help them reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

Liz resides on Long Island, NY with her husband, their teenage son, and chocolate lab.  She has served on various committees and boards for St. Agnes Cathedral School, St. Agnes Cathedral Parish and Chaminade High School.  In her free time, Liz enjoys playing golf, spending time at the beach with family and friends, and watching any kind of sporting event, especially lacrosse.



Jessica Buckley ’99
Environmental Scientist, RTP Environmental Associates
Adelphi University, 2007, M.S. Environmental Science
SUNY Stony Brook, 2004, B.A. Environmental Studies

Ms. Buckley is an Environmental Scientist with RTP Environmental Associates, Inc. and has over eight years of environmental consulting experience.  Ms. Buckley’s clients include both private industry and municipalities.  She has permitting and compliance experience with many ethanol plants across the United States, including both new and existing facilities.  In addition to ethanol, she has experience with environmental audits, environmental impact statements, municipal solid waste landfills, landfill gas recovery facilities, and other private and industrial facilities. 

Ms. Buckley has a varied background providing environmental consulting services in many areas, including industrial facility design reviews, Best Available Control Technology (BACT) analysis, air dispersion modeling, pollution control reviews, stack testing assistance, environmental compliance assessments, air emission inventory development and reporting including greenhouse gases, air toxics monitoring, methane migration analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, business continuity planning and carbon lifecycle analysis for the California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program.    She will also be completing a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management from Adelphi University in the summer of 2014 as a member of the Sword and Shield Honor Society. 

During her collegiate years at Stony Brook University, she worked for and helped build the Department of Recycling and Resource Management.  Ms. Buckley was also instrumental in developing the campus Recycling and Resource Management program’s various other campus-wide “greening” efforts that have yielded much success.  She is credited with being one of the creators and proliferators of “EarthStock”, now the largest campus event of the year at the University.  She is a firm believer in the simple lesson of the Lorax:  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better.  It’s not!”     



Melanie Charles ’97
Genetic Counselor, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center
Genetic Counselor, OB/GYN Office of Dr. F. Dolisi & Dr. J. Hanauer
Arcadia University, 2008, M.S. Genetic Counseling
Adelphi University, 2004, M.S. Deaf Studies
Binghamton University, 2001, B.A. Sociology

While attending pharmacy school in Massachusetts, Ms. Charles worked as a teacher’s aide for Nassau BOCES and decided to go to school for deaf education.  After obtaining her M.S. in Deaf Studies from Adelphi University, she worked for Nassau BOCES for a few years and then decided pursue a M.S. in Genetic Counseling, which she achieved in 2008.  Since then, Ms. Charles has been working as a genetic counselor, first at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, then for a large laboratory that placed her at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and now at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip.



Kathleen Dwyer ’87
Principal Product Manager, ACI Worldwide
CUNY Queens College, 1996, M.A. Mathematics
Long Island University, 1991, B.A. Mathematics

Ms. Dwyer started her career as a Mathematics/Computer Programming teacher, working for 5 years on Long Island.  She then entered the software development industry holding various positions related to web-based software development.  Ms. Dwyer has worked for Fiserv,, ACI Worldwide in different Product Management roles defining, designing and developing financial software for consumer and corporate users.  In recent years she has continued with trends moving into mobile application development for financial products.

Ms. Dwyer currently works as a Principal Product Manager for ACI Worldwide where she holds responsibility for domestic/international payments and all software integration components for all of their online and mobile applications.  She has spoken at many industry conferences and holds certifications of CTP and AAP. 

Ms. Dwyer currently works and resides in Mineola NY with her family.



Maureen Goff ’00
Music Therapist, Association for Children with Down Syndrome
Molloy College, 2005, B.S. Music Therapy

Ms. Goff graduated from Molloy College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Therapy. Shortly after graduating, she took a standardized exam given by the Certification Board of Music Therapists and received her board certification. Ms. Goff is currently employed as a music therapist at the ACDS, Inc., where she has been working since July 2006.  ACDS is a preschool for children (ages birth through 5 years) with special needs. The school, founded in the 1960's, initially only serviced children with Down Syndrome. Today, they have services for children with Down Syndrome, Autism, sensory issues, speech and language delays, vision and hearing impairments, and other developmental disabilities. The school also has typical children in the integrated preschool classes, as well as 4 daycare classrooms. Ms. Goff sees each class for 1 or 2 half-hour music therapy sessions per week. During these sessions, she uses musical activities to help students work towards their developmental goals. These goals may be social, physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, sensory, communication, or any combination of these. Ms. Goff works as part of a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, and teachers. This multi-modal approach is used to increase opportunities for students to achieve their developmental goals.



Christine Goodwin ’92
Director of Data Management, Analysis and Reporting; Office of Institutional Research, St. John’s University
St. John’s University, ABD, ED.D. Instructional Leadership
St. John’s University, 2002, APCRT, Library and Information Studies
St. John’s University, 1998, M.L.S. Library Science
St. John’s University, 1996, B.S. Mathematics

After graduating from Sacred Heart, Ms. Goodwin went to St. John’s University on a four year Women In Science/Clare Booth Luce full academic scholarship where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics, Summa Cum Laude, in 1996. During her undergraduate years, Ms. Goodwin was an active member of the Math Club, Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society, the Roger Bacon Scientific Honor Society and the Women In Science Society. She was also a member of the Skull and Circle Honor Society (highest honor society within St. John’s College) and the President’s Society-the highest honor society at St. John’s University and received the Outstanding Student Achievement Medal at commencement.

In 1997, Ms. Goodwin began her successful career in Institutional Research at St. John’s University as a Research Assistant. Still in this department, Ms. Goodwin is currently the Director of Data Management, Analysis, and Reporting. Her responsibilities include managing University Data; providing reports for planning and decision making purposes; assisting in maintaining the departmental web site; coordinating submission of state and federal reports; and managing the production of the University Fact Book.  She is also the Chair of the Data Integrity Committee where as necessary, she provides data training and workshops to colleagues on accessing University Data. She currently serves on the Commencement committee and the Athletic Advisory Board. She has also served on both the Middle States and NCAA Self-Study committees. Over the years, Ms. Goodwin has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member as a computer lab teacher in the Division of Library and Information Science, and managed its Computer Laboratory on a part-time basis. She is also a certified NYS Public Librarian. Ms. Goodwin has co-authored presentations at national and regional conferences and is a member of many professional organizations.

Ms. Goodwin serves as Lector at St.  Thomas More Church on campus and coordinates various service opportunities for her office such as serving dinner at the Ronald MacDonald House. In addition, Ms. Goodwin continues to assist her family’s business as an assistant bookkeeper helping out whenever possible. Ms. Goodwin continues to give back to SHA by being a member of the Board of Trustees serving as Chair of the Mission Committee and as a member of the Development Committee. Ms. Goodwin is thankful to her family and the members of the SHA community for their love and continued support.



Loretta Herman Heur ’65
Mathematics Staff Developer, Researcher, Online Educator, USAID Curriculum Writer/Guest Lecturer
SUNY New Paltz, B.S. Elementary Education and Geology
Cambridge College, M.Ed. Integrated Studies

Loretta Heuer (’65) majored in Geology (Sr. Grace Angela) and Elementary Education at SUNY New Paltz, hoping to become an elementary science specialist. But when working in urban and suburban schools as Grade 1 teacher, Loretta learned to teach math (Sr. St Thomas) without textbooks, using manipulatives instead.

When Loretta left the classroom to raise her children she was influenced by John Holt’s educational philosophy and homeschooled her sons, writing her Master’s thesis: Re-Engineering the High School Transcript.

Having taught mathematics from Pre-K through Trig in non-conventional ways, Loretta was hired as mathematics coach and eventually became a mathematics staff developer, researcher, NSF grant recipient, online educator, and finally the USAID curriculum writer/guest lecturer for college professors teaching student-centered math to future K-8 teachers in Pakistan.

Loretta has been married to her Marist grad husband Bill for 45 years. Both her homeschooled sons have successful careers in law and in the arts and are married to wonderful young women.



Jaclyn Jansen ’99
Ph.D. Scientist
eBriefing Science Writing Associate, New York Academy of Science
Organizer of the Career Development Program, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Science Writer, Public Affairs
Northwestern University, 2009, Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology, 2009
Cornell University B.A., 2003, Chemistry and Biology

Ms. Jansen has been a successful research scientist for over ten years.  After completing her PhD, she returned to Long Island and has been working at Cold Spring Harbor Lab studying the mechanisms underlying DNA replication.  As a freelance writer, Ms. Jansen prepares summaries of seminars and conferences held at the New York Academy of Science, which are published online. Ms. Jansen has taught at Northwestern University and Cornell University, which has forced her to think critically about education in STEM fields.  She has also had the unique opportunity of teaching K-12 students in community outreach programs and participating in a formal mentoring project that brought high school girls from rural upstate New York into the lab so that they could see basic research.  Ms. Jansen promotes science education through volunteering at 826CHI, a nonprofit center that provides free tutoring for K-12 students in underprivileged areas. 



Natalie Kovac ’03
Project Engineer, ADS Engineers
Manhattan College, 2009, M.S., Mechanical Engineering
Manhattan College, 2007, B.S., Mechanical Engineering

Ms. Kovac’s responsibilities at ADS Engineers include preparation of heating and cooling load calculations, equipment selection, piping and duct system design, site investigations and evaluation of existing HVAC, shop drawing review, and construction management.  Prior to ADS, Ms. Kovac worked as a mechanical engineer for a major engineering firm designing mechanical systems for hospitals, offices, schools, and fire departments.  She provided working drawings and specifications for HVAC design projects, reviewed construction shop drawings, and surveyed existing mechanical systems.  Ms. Kovac is registered as a Professional Engineer in NY, an LEED Accredited Professional-UGSBC, and is certified through TRANE Air Conditioning Clinic. 



Shannon McLay ’96
Founder/President, Next-Gen Financial, LLC
Wake Forest University, 2000, B.S. Business

Ms. McLay is a financial planner who, after nearly 12 years in banking and investments, left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, NextGen Financial. She felt traditional financial service firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt.  She realized that the key to long term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices.  Through the Financially Blonde blog, her books and her company, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for others. 



Maureen Raichel ’84
Civil Engineer, LKB Consulting Engineers
Villanova University, 1988, B.S. Civil Engineering

Maureen Raichel, P.E. is a Professional Engineer with Lockwood, Kessler and Bartlett, Inc, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm located in nearby Syosset, NY.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Villanova University and upon graduation began her engineering career at the New York State Department of Transportation.  She spent 13 years working for NYSDOT in the Bridge Maintenance Department starting as an entry level engineer and progressing to the title of Regional Bridge Maintenance Engineer, supervising million dollar bridge repair contracts.  While at NYS, she earned her Professional Engineering License.  Ready for a change, Maureen moved to work in the private sector and joined her current employer where she continues to work on projects to further the repair and rehabilitation of bridges and roadways throughout Long Island and Westchester County.  She currently resides in Westbury, NY with her husband Tim (also an engineer), and their three children Jennifer, Brian and Nicole.



Amy Smith Dundon ’92
Vice President, Program Management Office, The Princeton Review
Williams College, 1996, B.A. Political Science
Oxford University, 1995, Williams-Oxford Programme, Political Science

Ms. Smith Dundon manages projects and drives initiatives across Sales, Operations, Product and Marketing to support execution of The Princeton Review’s long-term strategy. She supports the Senior Management team in mapping capability needs and performing process re-engineering. She also works closely with the Vice President of Product Technology to gather business requirements and prioritize technology projects to drive sales and enhance customer experience.



Sarah Todd ’01
Senior Physical Therapist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Sacred Heart University, 2007, DPT, Physical Therapy
Sacred Heart University, 2005, B.S. Exercise Science

Ms. Todd began her career at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she worked from 2007 - 2010. From 2010 - 2012 she worked as a physical therapist and facility manager at Sports Physical Therapy of New York.  Since 2012, Sarah has been a Senior Physical Therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in their Outpatient Rehabilitation Department.

For April, we are pleased to highlight our Dinner Dance honorees, Elizabeth Salogub ’00,  Jill Scalamandre ’76, and Mary Jo Hammill Clarke ’79.  We thank them for leading lives filled with compassion and accomplishment.  We are grateful to all those who joined us at the Dinner Dance and our generous donors who support  us.  The income raised from this major fundraiser benefits the students of Sacred Heart Academy and will aid us in fulfilling the school’s mission of providing an excellent education for young women and challenging them to become leaders of today and tomorrowView more photos from the Dinner Dance.

Jill Scalamandre ’76, is a driven executive in the cosmetics industry and an advocate for women leadership. Shortly after obtaining her Linguistics degree from Skidmore College, Jill began her career at Revlon where she spent 16 years climbing the ranks through a variety of positions ultimately finding her niche in marketing and assuming the role of Senior Vice President of Marketing. She then continued her successful career at Prada Beauty, Avon Products, Inc., Chrysallis Inc., and in July 2013, Jill was appointed to the freshly created position of Senior Vice President, philosophy and Skincare for Coty Prestige. Jill has led the development and execution of strategic business initiatives to build brands through product innovation, channel expansion, and international growth. She is a true example of a Sacred Heart Academy Graduate—a woman who leads in an increasingly interdependent global community. In addition to her own constant professional development, she answers the call to serve others by advising private equity companies on portfolio opportunities as well as mentoring entrepreneurial brands on growth initiatives. Jill also serves as Chairwoman of Cosmetic Executive Women Inc., an organization with 5,000 members that is committed to advancing the professional growth and leadership development of women in the cosmetic industry. Jill resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with her husband Mark and daughter Allegra Clark.

Elizabeth Salogub ’00, is a passionate leader who has been a true blessing to Sacred Heart Academy. Since becoming the President of the Alumnae Association in 2008, she has created the Alumnae Scholarship Fund, a partial need-based scholarship that benefits an incoming Freshman. Liz established a Networking Committee and maintains the SHA Alumnae Facebook and LinkedIn pages. She cleverly instituted fundraising efforts in conjunction with the popular Red & Gold competition. This past fall, she led the organization and management of the Inaugural SHA 5K Run/Walk with nearly 500 participants and netting over $15,000 for the school. A true believer in the benefits of Catholic education, Elizabeth attended St. John’s University where she received her BA in Accounting. She is currently a Director, Americas Operations for AIG and has had a successful career in strategic and tactical planning. Her efforts enhance performance and create savings as demonstrated by her track record of saving millions of dollars for her company. Elizabeth is the recipient of the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award and the St. John’s University Vincentian Mission Award. Elizabeth and her family are strong supporters of Sacred Heart Academy, its mission, and Catholic education as a whole. We are grateful to have Elizabeth, her mother Michelle, father Mike, and brothers: Chris CHS ’94, his wife Sheila (nee Murphy SHA ’95), Tom CHS ’04, his wife Suzanne, Danny CHS ’07, and Mikey CHS ’09 in our Sacred Heart community.

Mary Jo Hammill Clarke ’79, P’12 is a devoted Catholic, dedicated professional and a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women. Mary Jo graduated Mount Saint Mary’s University in ’83 with a BS in Economics and Finance.  She had a successful career on Wall Street initially working for Dean Witter Reynolds brokerage firm and subsequently becoming a Second Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank.   In 2002, Mary Jo returned to SHA to work in the Office of Institutional Advancement during the school’s first capital campaign, One In A Million. The successful completion of this campaign was celebrated at the inaugural SHA Dinner Dance at The Garden City Hotel in 2004.  In nearly 12 years at SHA, Mary Jo has cultivated relationships with students, parents and alumnae, while organizing and leading countless events. Her most recent achievement and gift to Sacred Heart is the success of the Building the Dream Capital Campaign.  Together with S. Jeanne Ross and campaign chairs, Steve and Nancy Vincent P’05, ‘07, ‘11, Mary Jo galvanized support to achieve Sacred Heart’s greatest success thus far, exceeding our $5 million dollar goal. In her current role as Director of Major Gifts and Alumnae Relations, Mary Jo continues to work tirelessly to advance the mission of Sacred Heart Academy, always living her faith in the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph embodying the virtues of unity, reconciliation, inclusive love, peace and justice. Mary Jo is the oldest of Catherine and Gregory Hammill’s six daughters who all attended Sacred Heart Academy: Cathy ’80, Suzanne ’81, Sheila ’83, Christine ’84, Lonnie ’85. Her nieces currently attend SHA, Grace ’14 and Clare ’17.  Mary Jo is the proud mother of Michael CHS ‘10 and Molly ’12.   Molly is in the Business school at the University of Scranton and Michael is studying Sports Management and Business at St. John’s University.