Distinguished Alumnae

Distinguished Alumnae 2017

Young Alumna Award

Helen Jonas Nardi ’97 is the recipient of the young alumna award. Helen graduated from Dominican University with a BS in Psychology with a minor in Theology.  While attending Dominican, Helen was struck by a pipe bomb in a tragic accident. The accident nearly caused her to lose her life. She underwent numerous operations while fighting for her life. She lost an eye as a result. This did not deter Helen from achieving her goal of graduating. Moreover, she went on to earn a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Helen has been faced with many obstacles in her life and she has never let them deter her love of life. She is a never-ending optimist who shares her joy with all of her patients and all she comes in contact with. She is an inspiration to so many. Helen and her husband and two children live in Chicago.

Alumnae Service Award

Muriel Quinn ’87 is the recipient of the Alumnae Service Award. Muriel graduated with a BA in Political Science from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota. She spent her first-year post-grad as a full- time volunteer for Amate House: the Chicago Archdiocesan Young Adult Volunteer Corp, where she worked with inner- city youth for the I Have A Dream Foundation. Muriel went on to receive dual master’s degrees in Divinity from Catholic Theological Union and in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Following graduate school, Muriel worked on the policy staff of The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

 Muriel studied Hatha Yoga at the Temple of Kriya Yoga and currently teaches yoga in public and private groups. She works to promote sustainability and wellness and serves on several committees and boards including the Board of Trinity High School.  Muriel and her husband Robert Pasin (fellow Amate House Alumnus) and their four children live in Oak Park where they are very involved with their parish, St. Giles, and the Family Mass Community.

Alumnae Leadership Award

Dr. Marian Sassetti ’77 is deeply grateful for and gives credit to Trinity High School for first awakening and nurturing the very leadership qualities for which she is being recognized. She is known for her commitment to patients, especially those who have suffered violence or who have mental health needs, in her medical practice and throughout the community.

Marian is a longtime advocate for universal health care and mental health parity. She is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Rush University Medical Center, where she volunteers at Rush’s free community clinic, teaching medical students who serve the poor and uninsured. Marian also mentors medical students in her Oak Park practice, Lake Street Family Physicians, where she has served the community for 25 years.

After graduation from Trinity, Marian attended Northwestern University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and earned Summa Cum Laude honors, with a degree in Psychology.  She went on to Stanford University Medical School. There, as a student representative on the hospital ethics committee, she began to understand the challenges of delivering compassionate care in complex situations.

Marian chose Family Medicine as the conduit to provide comprehensive care for a diverse community. During her residency at Cook County Hospital, she learned to advocate for the marginalized. Marian completed a fellowship in Faculty Development and designed a curriculum to teach physicians to recognize and treat victims of domestic violence. She continues to write articles and lecture to physicians around the country about violence against women and girls and has served on the American Medical Association’s Task Force on Family Violence. Recently, she participated on panels to address sexual assault among high school students. She is especially excited to work on efforts that empower girls and women to self-advocate.

Marian is honored to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors at the Well Spirituality Center in LaGrange, where she works with Well CEO Bridget Romano Sperduto ‘77. Marian is passionate about The Well’s mission to work toward healing and wholeness for the individual, the community, and the planet. She also served for seven years on the board of Thrive Counseling Center in Oak Park, where she worked to make mental health services more accessible to those in need. In addition, Marian served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.

Marian has lived in within walking distance to Trinity for most of her life, and now resides in Oak Park. Marian and her husband Robert Kent are the proud parents of three sons and a daughter, and were thrilled to welcome their first grandchild in 2017. 

Distinguished Alumnae 2016

Alumnae Leadership Award

 Gail Conmy Hafner ‘51 was born in 1933 in Fargo, North Dakota. At the age of two, her family moved to River Forest. Gail was educated by the Sinsinawa Dominican distinguishedsisters at St. Lukes, Trinity and Rosary College. Among the lessons she learned from the Sisters were the importance of works of mercy and also the obligations of privilege. She has always been grateful for the charism of the Sinsinawa Dominican sisters. Gail was active in student government at Trinity and Rosary. She also became involved in the Young Christian Student Movement thanks to Sr. Reynoldine. She volunteered for the organization until her marriage to her husband Yates, sixty years ago.

For fifty years Yates’s academic career brought her many leadership and service opportunities in Palo Alto and Ann Arbor. In 1967 Gail went back to school and earned a M.Ed. degree with a Montessori teaching certificate. She founded and directed a Montessori pre-school in her small Ohio town. After moving to Detroit, Gail founded and directed an inner-city Montessori full day daycare center for six years.

In 1983 she earned a Legal assistant Certificate at Roosevelt University in Detroit. This certification allowed her to become a crime victim advocate in the County Court. While in Detroit, Gail also taught pre-GED students for the Detroit School Board.

Retirement has allowed travel, more reading time, sacred scripture study and volunteering at various literacy centers. It also allows her more time to spend with her three children and four grandsons.

Alumnae Service Award

agnesAgnes Tierney Prindiville ‘46 was born in 1928 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She graduated from St. Petronille Grade School, Trinity High School and Rosary College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with teaching minors in Physics and French. Agnes came back to her alma mater and taught mathematics to Trinity students for a year until she married Jim Prindiville. The Prindiville’s had seven children and while Agnes stayed home with them, she was always anxious to take classes. She studied Russian and courses offered by the University of Illinois Extension program. When the University of Illinois opened its Chicago Circle campus, she was delighted to think that she could do graduate work on her masters in mathematics with her oldest and youngest children: Mary, the oldest, studying for her BA and Elizabeth, her youngest was enrolled in the beginnings of a very rudimentary day-care facility on the campus. Agnes received an MS in mathematics in 1973 and taught college Mathematics at Roosevelt University. While at Roosevelt, she was given a grant to study for an MS in Computing and Information Sciences, which she earned in 1987 and concurrently she studied and finished the four-year Great Books Program at the University of Chicago in 1993.

When she retired from teaching mathematics, Agnes fulfilled a dormant wish she had to study law. She pursued and graduated from DePaul University College of Law and was sworn in as a lawyer one month before her 82nd birthday in 2010! She volunteered in the Death Penalty Clinic and interned at the Public Defender’s Office while at DePaul. She also was an Ombudsman for the State of Illinois Department of Health. Currently, she does pro-bono law for the Lake County Bar Association’s Guardianship Help Desk. Agnes is extremely active in the Kenilworth Historical Society where she is a member and serves on two committees. Faith, Hope and Charity Church is also a recipient of Agnes’ talents as she lectors, sings in the choir and serves on the Bereavement and the Wit and Wisdom Committees. When she has a spare moment she works on her most recent hobby, oil painting.

Young Alumna Award

The first nine years of Maura Woznica’s ‘01 life were spent in Bolivia, Nicaragua and Mexico where her parents were volunteers in the poverty stricken countries. Maura exclaims “that is what I grew up with, this is what I know, and this is what I love to do”. Maura graduated from Ascension, Trinity and The University of Notre Dame with a degree in psychology and pre-medical studies. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she took a year off to travel the world and explore public health practices in Kenya and the impact of HIV/AIDS in Bolivia where she learned firsthand that the world truly is the greatest classroom. Upon returning she enrolled and graduated from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine with a MD/PhD in 2010. After completing a Family Practice Residency in Ventura, California she served at a county hospital treating an immigrant and underserved population.

In 2015, she joined Doctors Without Borders, an organization she has always highly respected, fulfilling a lifelong dream of working in an underserved region in South Sudan. She worked for a refugee camp in a country whose people are continually suffering from political and environmental instability. This taught Maura the strength of community, faith, and hope in this world, the resilience of the human spirit, and the importance of providing a voice for those who too often go unheard. The experience was amazing and is beautifully accounted for in Maura’s blog (www.maurasouthsudan.blogspot.com). She continues to stay actively involved with Doctors Without Borders and for the many policies they advocate, including vaccine for all children, affordable prices for much-needed drugs around the world, and the end to political oppression in many countries.

Since returning to the United States, and her beloved Chicago, Maura has become very involved in prison reform and anti-violence organizations, hoping to understand the structural violence contributing to the inequalities in our community and how they can directly impact individual and public health. She recently joined the family medicine community at UIC, working in a clinic aimed at providing care for the underserved in the community. In her free time, she also enjoys reconnecting with old friends, including wonderful friends at Trinity, running along the lakefront, and discovering the improv comedy scene in the city.


Distinguished Alumnae 2015

The Following alumnae were recognized at an all-school assembly on March 11th, 2016, allowing the entire school to hear about these impressive alumnae.

Alumna Service Award

Dr. Victoria Saracco Brander ‘80 was born and raised in Oak Park, with her sister Mary (Trinity Class of 1981) and brother, Bill. Her parents, Vic and Hilde, were born of immigrant Italian parents and were the first in their families to attend college. Vicky graduated from Trinity in 1980 as Valedictorian. She was admitted to and graduated from the Six-Year Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University.

Dr. Brander serves as Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Adjunct Faculty in Northwestern’s Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Global Health Initiative. A board-certified PM&R Specialist, Dr. Brander is an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and NorthShore University Health System.

Dr. Brander has held leadership roles in a variety of national organizations including serving as President of the Illinois State Society of PM&R and as an advisor to various academic organizations, including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. She was awarded the prestigious Knee Society for research in joint replacement outcomes.

Dr. Brander co-founded and directs Operation Walk Chicago, a medical not-for-profit organization that performs free hip and knee replacement surgeries for underserved patients throughout the world. In recognition of her humanitarian service, Dr. Brander was presented with the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” award by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Dr Brander and her husband Bill (who is a family physician) have three children Caroline: Class of 2008, who graduated from the University of Chicago and is now in her second year of medical school at Rush Medical College, Billy is in his senior year at Purdue and Andrew is a senior at Fenwick.


Alumna Leadership Award

Elizabeth Moore Cummings ‘75 was born in Oak Park, as one of eight children of John and Jean Moore. Bess (along with her 3 sisters) attended Trinity High School. Bess graduated in 1975 and went on to receive a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Elmhurst College and an MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology.
Bess currently holds the position of Chief Information Officer and Managing Director for The PrivateBank, a leading Commercial bank located in Chicago. She has worked for The PrivateBank for eight years and is a member of the Executive Committee. She previously served at JPMorgan Chase as Senior Vice President, Global Client Service and Implementation for 24 years. Her illustrious banking career began at First National Bank of Chicago serving in a variety of technology and service positions.
Throughout her career, Bess has been involved in countless charitable organizations. She currently serves as a member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Board of Managers, Playworks Illinois, Board of Directors (a unique organization that works with schools in Chicago to bring in recess coaches that help students gain leadership skills and create a fun, energetic and inclusive recess environment), volunteers monthly at the Ronald McDonald House and serves on the Trinity High School, President’s Advisory Council.

Bess loves to spend time with her grown children, Jeanne and Mark, as well as her extended family.


Young Alumna Award

Jessica R. Harris graduated from Trinity High School in 2005 and went on to receive a Bachelor Degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish at Spelman College in Atlanta. In 2011 she earned a Master of Social Work Degree with a specialization in Management from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jessica is the Manager of Institutional Relations at The Cara Program, a Chicago-based workforce development agency whose mission is to assist the homeless and at-risk population in their efforts to return to a life of self-sufficiency and achievement, by providing job readiness training and permanent job placement to participants who successfully complete the program. She manages a two million dollar portfolio of local and national foundation and corporate partners for this very worthy not-for-profit. As The Cara Program celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, Jessica has led a fundraising campaign to help commemorate the milestone, and to date has raised over $200,000 in additional sponsorships.

Before joining The Cara Program, Jessica interned with the former Executive Director of the Prevail Program (formerly the Oak Park River Forest Area Walk-In Ministry). Jessica has also worked in the development capacity in both Chicago and St. Louis-area organizations. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals through which she completed the Chicago Fellows Program in 2014.

In her spare time she serves as the Recording Secretary for the Chicago Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman.


Distinguished Alumnae 2014

The Following alumnae will be recognized at an all school assembly on March 7th, 2014, allowing the entire school to hear about these impressive alumnae. If you would like to attend this event, please contact Marigayle Watts Harrington at 708.453.8328.

Alumna Service Award

Felice Mooney Madda ‘54 graduated from Trinity and Rosary before going on to teach first grade in the Chicago Public Schools, earned her Masters at DePaul University, and was selected to be the teacher-hostess by CBS for their early childhood television series called Head Start.

Felice, her husband and family moved to Wellesley, Massachusetts in 1978. While her two daughters were at school, Felice volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister and volunteer music teacher for the Catholic school to which the girls went. She was also a member of the Newcomer’s Club and then the Postcomer’s, where she was elected President. She joined the House and Garden Club of Wellesley and found great satisfaction as a member in the Service League serving Meals on Wheels and visiting nursing homes.

Upon returning to Chicago in 1998, Felice joined the City Associates of the Art Institute and was elected Chairman. She also supported Big Sisters, helped raise tuition scholarship money for girls to attend Catholic high schools and joined the Fortnightly of Chicago, the oldest women’s club in Chicago where she has held many titles. In 1999, Felice and a friend decided to host a luncheon at Misericordia for their friends who lived in downtown Chicago. Now in its fifteenth year, that group has grown from 30 attendees to 469 and has raised thousands of dollars for Misericordia. Felice joined the Misericordia Women’s Board in 2000 and continues to serve its residents and represent its mission. Being a member of such a meaningful association is one of the highlights of Felice’s life and consistent with her belief that volunteering is more a treasure than a task.

Alumna Leadership Award

Laurie Van Wieren ‘69 is a dance maker, curator and teacher, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has been creating dance and performance since 1980. Laurie found her way to Trinity her sophomore year, where she continued her development in the visual arts and was encouraged to go outside her comfort zone by performing in plays.

After Trinity, Laurie attended the Art Institute of Chicago and then moved to Minneapolis to study modern dance and work at the Walker Art Center. Laurie’s choreography has been seen in Dancespace, DTW, Links Hall, Walker Art Center, Fabrik, Potsdam, Germany and Art of Movement Festival, Yaroslavl, Russia. Lauire has also been the recipient of fellowships from McKnight, Jerome, Bush and NEA and Rockefeller Foundations for her dance making.

Laurie has been the Performing Arts Curator at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis, the dance curator at the Southern theater where she was the director of the Twin Cities SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance, and was the host and curator of a monthly dance/discussion series: 9×22 Dance/Lab at The Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater, which is now in its 11th year. Laurie was also a member of the Dance USA host committee for the 2014 conference and is the chair of dancemn.org, the Twin Cities dance newsletter. Laurie received a Minnesota Sage Award for Dance Special Citation for her ongoing work in the dance community and Sage Award for Dance Outstanding Performance. This past summer she created 4×4= 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside for Walker Art Center’s Open Field and continues to create and perform contemporary dance and performance work.

Young Alumna Award

Luz Maribel Jimenez ‘94 currently holds the position of Director of Human Resources for Carnicerias Jimenez, a leading Hispanic Retail Grocer in the Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs. In this role, she guides and manages the overall provisions of Human Resources services, policies and programs for more than 400 employees. Her responsibilities include recruiting and staffing, employee orientation, development and training, regulatory employment compliance, policy development, employee relations, compensation and benefit administration, employee safety and welfare, community relations, and charitable giving.

Luz Maribel received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois in 1998. While at DePaul, she was an active member and treasurer of the Midwest Association of Hispanic Accountants. In May, 2009, she received her Masters of Business Administration from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois.

Luz Maribel has served on several school board committees, including Maternity BVM School, Trinity High School, and St. Gall. She has served as auction co-chair for the St. Luke Annual Dinner Dance and is an active member in Itzcali, a Youth Ministry Organization. Outside of her professional life, Luz Maribel dedicates her time to her ten year old son. She also enjoys reading, home decorating and traveling.