Alumnae Accomplishments

Ursuline has many accomplished graduates working in a multitude of fields. They continue in the tradition of learning not just for school, but for life. Their accomplishments are a source of pride and inspiration for our community.

We'd love to hear from you! If you are interested in sharing an accomplishment -Did you just get a promotion? Were you given an award? Were you featured in an article?- please contact Ellen Funk Valentine ‘08, Director of Alumnae Relations, at evalentine@ursulineacademy.org


Deborah Dryer Vo ‘02 was inducted into Brown University’s Hall of Fame for rowing on Saturday, October 20, 2018. In addition to the support of her college coaches and family, she had this to say about Ursuline, "UA taught me to be independent, confident, open to the ideas and beliefs of others, and above all, to enjoy the journey of learning, challenges and all - all things that allowed me to be successful at Brown and beyond."

Cate Frank Cammarata ‘79 has been busy recently! A professor at Stony Brook University in NYC, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct in Teaching for her work in the Department of Theatre Arts in 2018. Cate also recently published her second book, Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater, an anthology of monologues from new and under recognized dramatists.

Caitlin MacEachen Steininger '05 is appearing on
the 16th season of 'Top Chef' as a contestant. The show will begin running in December on Bravo.

The season preview shows chefs in Kentucky locations like Churchill Downs and a UK basketball game, using ingredients like bourbon and corn, according to the article in The Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more here.

Caitlin owns Cooking With Caitlin Restaurant in Wyoming.



Jenny Neyer Berg ’79 and Mary Stagaman ’71 were recently named “Second Act” Honorees by the Cincinnati Business Courier. The “Second Act” awards are for professionals who begin a new career after having had success in their previous career. Jenny is currently the executive director of the Leadership Council for Nonprofits. Mary is the senior inclusion adviser at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Read about Jenny here.

Read about both women here.



Kelly Dehan ’79 was honored as a Woman of Influence by the Lead Tribune Media group. The Women of Influence Award honors our region’s leading women who have helped shape the success of their organization and have demonstrated exceptional leadership. The criteria for the Women of Influence Award is based on the individual’s invaluable contributions, professional achievements and continuous dedication to their organization as well as their commitment to cultivating a thriving and progressive community.



Sarah Fitzpatrick ’12 is pictured at the Yale School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony - a ceremony marking the beginning of her journey as a physician and welcoming her into the profession of medicine. She graduated from Ohio State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and then worked in a research lab for 2 years at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital before starting her journey toward a Md/PhD degree.



Colette Tolbert ‘07 graduated from Boston College Law School in May 2016 and successfully passed the Massachusetts bar exam. Colette then completed Officer Development School and Naval Justice School at the Navy War College facility in Newport, Rhode Island. Colette is a Lieutenant Junior Grade in The United States Navy, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, assigned to the Region Legal Services Office Northwest, Bremerton, Washington.



Grace Kelly ‘15 was awarded the prestigious Irving Kabiller Memorial Award for student-athletes from Northwestern University in October 2017. From Grace: “I am studying Biomedical Engineering with a goal of becoming a physician, and I am a member of the Cross Country team. I received this award through the Northwestern Athletics department along with 4 other student-athletes. It is a $5,000 award to explore my career interests. I am attending a conference in December to learn about improving community health for marginalized populations and hope to work with physicians in clinics and on programs to improve healthcare for the poor.”



Meghan Bowers ‘13 at her white coat ceremony at University of Kentucky. She recently graduated from Miami University and started medical school at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.



Carolyn Bender ‘10 received her white coat at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2017. As of January 2018, she was in her last year of veterinary school, which consisted of various clinical rotations.



Nancy Eigel-Miller '77 was named the 2018 Jefferson Award for Public Service winner in Greater Cincinnati for her decade-long efforts destigmatizing mental illness.



Congratulations to Olivia Schwartz ‘14 on her success at the 16th Annual Independent Music Awards! Olivia Frances (Olivia’s artist name) was named VOX Pop (Voice of the People) winner in the Love Song category for her original song, “Moon to my Sun.” Written on her dorm room floor, “Moon to my Sun” arose from an ordinary night of guitar practice and turned into the makings of an ethereal love song. This is the second award Olivia has won for “Moon to my Sun” as it won Best Pop Song of Year in the 2017 Ohio Music Awards. Listen to the song at oliviafrancesmusic.com

Olivia currently resides in Worcester, MA where she attends Clark University.



Heather Tholking Lester '98 released her first children's book, titled I Love You For You, in February 2018. The book release party was held at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood. The book was published by For Good Media, which is owned by UA alum Kristen Cardenzana Hausfeld '92 who was in attendance. Check out the book at www.heatherlester.com



Jackie Homan ‘14 recently self-published a book called On The Record: Notes from 20 Powerful Women in Journalism featuring interviews with 20 women in journalism and digital media. She wrote and designed the book herself and created a corresponding website (ontherecordbook.com) that features previews of each interview. The book, which is aimed at students who aspire to work in the fields of journalism and digital media, includes interviews with women who work at places like The Atlantic, The L.A. Times, Slate, Glamour, Vulture, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, USA Today and more.

Jackie graduated form Syracuse University in May with a major in magazine journalism. While at Ursuline, she was co-editor-in-chief of Ursuline student newspaper, Lion’s Roar.



In the spring of 2018, three Ursuline alumnae from the Class of 2011 graduated together from The Ohio State University with doctorate degrees. Erin Wallach and Christie Mauch earned doctorates in Physical Therapy and Grace Reifenberg earned a doctorate in Occupational Therapy.



Anne Dammarell ‘56 has had a prolific career with the state department, working for the US government all around the world. While working with the Agency for International Development (USAID), Anne served in Lebanon and Sri Lanka. She has also worked in Afghanistan as the Afghan Desk Officer and worked to set up an international training project in Arusha, Tanzania. USAID handles our foreign aid program, dealing with international social and economic development. Post-retirement, Anne has volunteered with Maryknoll, a Roman Catholic foreign missionary group. Her volunteerism with Maryknoll has brought her to working and teaching in Cairo, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand; and Kathmandu, Nepal.



Sr. Rita Geoppinger SND ‘59 lived and worked in Buseesa, Uganda from 2002-2014. There, as a Notre Dame educator, she founded, built and established a single gender secondary school for young women living in the Bush. She was able to teach, which she claims as her greatest passion, and also served as “headteacher” at the school for eleven years.



Currently based in Mexico City, Katie Schlechter ‘07 is a freelance radio and print reporter. She has also lived and worked in New York City and France. Katie reports on a variety of issues, specializing in Mexico and Central American politics related to human rights, migration and international law and policy. Her work has been broadcasted on NPR and printed by NPR, The Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera English.




Kim Thoene Menier ‘80 launched a consumer electronics marketing practice in the Pacific Rim during the dot com boom in the 90s. Since then, Kim has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney, Wellington (NZ), Bangalore, Madrid, and Puerto Rico. Now, Kim lives in Blacksburg, VA and runs a software company specializing in text analysis. She has also launched a company that provides low cost ways for medical providers in developing countries to digitize patient records. Through her work, Kim frequently travels to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and various countries in Western Africa.



Living in Australia for most of her working life, Nancy Kasprzycki ‘69 has spent a career working for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in South Australia. She recently took a new position as NAPLAN Transition Lead with the South Australian Department of Education. NAPLAN, the National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy, assesses and supports Australian efforts in curriculum development and student learning. Nancy is working on transitioning Australia’s national student assessment program to online formatting.