The College of New Rochelle
A L U M N A E / I  C O L L E G E
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Angela Merici Medal recipients pictured with President Sweeny are l. to r.:
Eileen Case Sibson ’60, Virginia Hartcorn Fortney ’40, and
Ann Hines Lo Voi ’55. 


A N G E L A  M E R I C I  M E D A L

The Angela Merici Medal is conferred on alumnae for their outstanding demonstration of exceptional loyalty to church and College and distinctive achievement in their careers.

The Medal, designed by Ernest Thorne Thompson, chairman of the Fine Arts Department at the College from 1929 to 1967, was instituted to mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the College. Since 1953, over 100 alumnae have received the distinguished award.

2010 Angela Merici Medal Recipients 


Virginia Hartcorn Fortney ’40
If there is one thing Virginia Hartcorn Fortney is not lacking, it is energy. Her zest for life as a CNR student and throughout her post-graduate years has made an impact on so many who have crossed her path. Ginny has many fond memories of student life that have stayed with her, each demonstrating “the camaraderie of students, faculty advisors and teachers, which greatly influenced my teaching experience.”  After graduating from CNR, Ginny attended Columbia University, where she earned a Masters degree in History.  Ginny taught the subject at the high school level for several years, then went on to a long, successful career in physical education.  Her enthusiasm resulted in numerous awards and commendations including Teacher of the Year from the Continuing Education Department in Garden City, NY.  Both before and after retirement Ginny willingly volunteered her services as an exercise instructor to church organizations, hospital auxiliary groups, and senior citizens. One of her favorite classes was at the St. Teresa Ursuline Community, where she taught retired religious, including two of her former instructors, Mother Berenice and Mother Margaret.  “I often told my students that when the sisters did their knee bends, not a knee cracked because they had been genuflecting for so many years!”
    Ginny gives generously of herself by volunteering at the Garden City Historical Society, the American Cancer Society, Mercy Medical Center, and her parish, the Church of St. Joseph, where she is a longtime member of the Rosary and Altar Society and, since 2005, a Eucharistic Minister.  Her latest endeavor, ballroom dancing, has been a successful turn for her.  Earlier this year, Ginny participated in forty heats of a dance competition with her 24-year-old instructor; she took first in 34 heats and second in the rest!
    The College and her classmates have benefitted tremendously from Ginny’s past service as Reunion Chair and her current role as Class News Agent, as well as her generous support of the Annual Fund.  It is with great pleasure that the College bestows upon Virginia Hartcorn Fortney the Angela Merici Medal.


Ann Hines Lo Voi ’55
Ann’s involvement with CNR has been a constant throughout her post-graduate life.  She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumnae/i Association, held twice the office of Class News Agent, was co-chair of her class’ 50th reunion in 2005, and has attended almost every reunion.   Ann is a past president of the Western Massachusetts Alumnae Chapter, has served as co-chair of the Celebration of  Spring Luncheon of the Connecticut and Western Massachusetts chapters, and was the Connecticut co-chair for the College’s 90th anniversary celebration in Hartford, CT.  She is a member of the President’s Circle, a founding member of the Fidelis Society, and represented the College at the installation of a new president at St. Joseph College in West Hartford, CT. 
    After receiving her degree from CNR, Ann earned a MEd and CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) at Springfield College.  She was the youngest elementary principal in the State of Connecticut in 1961.  Ann enjoyed a long and diverse career in education that included five years as a Student Teacher Advisor at American International College, twelve years as a Special Education Coordinator for the Town of Enfield and fourteen years as a Surrogate Parent for the State of Connecticut, representing handicapped children.  Ann made the decision to retire completely in 2008. 
    Another constant in her life has been Ann’s dedication to her parish and community.  She has taught CCD at every level, served on a number of committees at St. Patrick parish, and been Parish Council president.  She is a community representative for the Women’s Auxiliary of St. Francis Hospital, fostering increased membership in this altruistic organization.  She was inducted into Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization for women educators, and has held office in the local Kappa chapter.  Currently, she serves as co-chairman of the scholarship committee.  Ann has served on local Boards, such as New Directions, a group that provides outpatient substance abuse counseling and other mental health treatment services, and ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) of Greater Enfield, of which she was a charter member and which honored her in 1990 with its Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. 
    Ann has made ‘Serviam’ her life’s motto since she embraced it at New Rochelle.  For her outstanding service, leadership and loyalty, the College is proud to present the Angela Merici medal to Ann Hines Lo Voi.


Eileen Case Sibson ’60
Firebrand, comedienne, and steadfast friend are still the first words that come to mind when describing Eileen Case Sibson. Her energy and drive are palpable when she enters a room.  Her attention to detail is legendary. We marvel at the endless catalogue of quips and quotes that pepper her personal brand of sage and poignant advice.  And now, Eileen’s generous service to The College of New Rochelle and to the Ursuline Sisters proceeds into a sixth decade.
    Married just three weeks after graduation, Eileen found time to volunteer for many church committees, serve on her Parish Council and the Board of the Rosary Altar Society, edit the weekly Parish Bulletin, and create a monthly Parish Newsletter while raising her five children. In 1974 she entered the professional work force as an admissions counselor for Berkeley Business School and later applied her natural talent for sales as representative and then manager of classified advertising at R.H. Donnelley. 
    After early retirement and an outstanding volunteer performance as the Class of 1960 Fund Agent, Eileen was hired as the first Director of Major Gifts at The College of New Rochelle and was soon appointed Director of Annual and Planned Giving.  It now seems preordained that she would return to CNR and leave a legacy that has touched the lives of thousands.  Always mindful of the needs of others, her dedication to forging bonds of friendship and trust with alumnae and friends of the College knew no bounds then and continues today.  The United Way recognized her strengths when she coordinated their solicitation of CNR employees and immediately asked her to join their Board and become Vice Chair of their effort to increase major donors.
    Since 2000, when she was honored with the Ursula Laurus citation, Eileen has broadened and deepened her daily acts of loyalty, commitment, and compassion.  As an Ursuline Associate, Eileen has partnered with the daughters of Angela in mutual support and service to giving new expression to the spirit of Angela Merici in the world today.  Her pilgrimages to Desanzano and Brescia, Italy, to the Shrine of Blessed Marie of the Incarnation in Quebec, and to the North American Ursuline Experience in Great Falls, Montana have deepened her understanding of the Ursuline heritage and the mission to serve.  While on the Board of the Ursuline Institute, Eileen introduced the concept of the “Serviam Award” to recognize students of the four schools of the College who model “Education for Service”.  As a member of many Ursuline Boards and advisory committees, she has put her fund raising expertise to use with creative annual and planned giving programs for the Marion Residence Fund in support of the retired sisters; Angela House, the transitional residence for homeless women and their children; and more recently, Angela’s Piazza which is devoted to transforming the lives of Native American women overwhelmed by addiction, violence, stress, and poverty.  In service to the Eastern Province, Eileen assisted in marketing a communications plan for the 150th Anniversary celebrations. 
    Eileen’s generosity is extended to every community blessed by her presence.  While living in Massachusetts, she lent her skills to The Ursuline Academy in Dedham as well as the Archdiocese of Boston’s Capital Campaign “Promise for Tomorrow” – a tag line that aptly describes her own fulfillment of the Ursuline ideals instilled in her. 
    For her exemplary devotion to Serviam as she faithfully applies it to her family, career, alma mater, and the Ursuline mission, The College of New Rochelle proudly bestows the Angela Merici Medal upon Eileen Case Sibson.

U R S U L A  L A U R U S  C I T A T I O N

The Ursula Laurus Citation, created by the College of New Rochelle in 1956, is a special and distinctive award honoring alumnae and friends of New Rochelle who have provided outstanding leadership and have demonstrated by their capabilities, efforts, and interest, their selfless and generous devotion to furthering the high ideals and rich traditions of Ursuline education. 

2010 Ursula Laurus Citation Recipients


Class of 1950
Elizabeth Stanton Colleran
Betty’s career in education involved much more than time spent in the classroom.  Having earned her MA in English from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, Betty also completed summer sessions at several universities both here and abroad.  She continued to develop her knowledge through affiliations with Yale University’s Women’s Organization, Rare Book Library, and Art Gallery Associates, as well as the New Haven Symphony Auxiliary.  Betty has been an active member of the Connecticut Association of Retired Teachers.  In retirement, Betty has had more time to indulge her love of France, where she has studied French conversation in several French language schools.    The annual Elizabeth Stanton Colleran Award in English was established by the school system upon Betty’s retirement from the Amity Regional Junior High School.

Gertrude (Doty) Quinlan Ryan
Doty’s ties to CNR are strong.  She was active in the Yonkers/Bronxville Alumnae Club, serving as President, hosting bridges and various speakers, to raise funds for the College.  She is a past Class President and has served on planning committees for many reunions.  When Doty moved to Putnam, she helped revive the Northern Westchester/Putnam alumnae group, arranging luncheons and inviting Ursulines to speak.  For forty-five years, she has been a member of the Lake Mahopac Garden Club which initiated a spring clean-up program that gradually grew to include Boy and Girl Scouts first and, eventually, the entire town.  She has served her parish for many years as a CCD teacher, a member of the parish council and a dedicated volunteer at the food pantry.


Class of 1955
Marianne Bachand Geiger
Marianne is currently an Adjunct Professor in the History Department at Fordham University, having earned a Masters from LIU and her PhD from NYU.  In 2008 she was awarded the Teacher of the Year award from the graduating seniors at the Lincoln Center campus, where she has taught since 1979.  Currently News Agent for the Class of ’55, she has also remained active in CNR alumnae/i activities, helping organize the 50th and 55th class reunions.  A wonderful writer, she had produced the 50th reunion booklet for her class.

Jeannette Carry Parshall

Professionally, Jeannette has built a successful career in the tax preparation industry, as Director for 13 years of the largest H&R Block Premium office in the country, and as an expert in the field who once had a call-in radio show and now is called upon by the media for her expertise.  In addition to her career, she is a devoted wife and mother of four boys, now grown, and an active member of the Class of ’55 through her work as Fund Agent and support as a member of the President’s Circle.


Class of 1960
Anne Butkovsky Messina
Anne has been an active member of the Class of ’60, serving as News Agent, Fund Agent, and now as Reunion Co-Chair, a role she also fulfilled five years ago. Her community has also benefitted from her time and energy, including her parish, where she has taught CCD for fifteen years. In East Williston, Anne is involved in the Art Upstairs Gallery and Friends of the Library.  A librarian at New Hyde Park Memorial High School and advisor to the school’s Library Club, she has also been a support to her local school district, through the Floral Park Bellerose School PTA and Sewanhaka High School, volunteering for Homecoming activities and the Scholarship Committee, and serving as advisor to the high school’s Junior Honor Society.


Class of 1965
Patricia Ahearn Mastellon
Pat’s experience at CNR obviously made an impression on her daughters, both of whom graduated from the College in the 1990s. A teacher, Pat retired in 2009 after twenty-five years with the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, nineteen of those spent at St. Joseph’s School. She is affiliated with the National Catholic Educational Association and has been recognized by her peers and community with the Golden Apple Teacher’s Award from the New Jersey Cable Television Network and has multiple listings in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  Active in her two communities, Pat has given of her time to the Girl Scouts of America, the Order of the Evergreen, the Irish Repertory Theatre, and her parish’s CCD program; in the summer months in Cape Cod she volunteers at a thrift store benefitting abused women, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, and her summer parish. Pat is currently on the Board of the Alumnae/i Association; her example of service is continued by her daughter, Meghan, who is also recognized by the College today.


Class of 1975
Nancy Harkins
As Class President, Nancy has taken on another leadership role, in addition to her longtime involvement with the Board of the Alumnae/i Association, of which she is the current Vice President.  Nancy has assisted the College with recruiting.  One of two sisters who graduated from CNR, she is currently a Manager at The Vanguard Group in the area of Information Technology, and previously served in systems management positions for Bank America and Security Pacific Automation in California. At Vanguard she continues to give back to the community, coordinating their blood drive and spearheading a community outreach program in partnership with local colleges that promotes interest in computer science and math to area middle school students.

Rosa Puleo Napoleone
Within a year after graduation, Rosa jumped right into alumnae/i affairs by volunteering her time as Class President and presenting at a CNR Women in Technology event. Her involvement has continued throughout the years, with her service as Class Fund Agent, Class President, a Director of the Alumnae/i Board (2004-09), Chair of the Annual Giving Committee (2005-09), and most recently, President of the Alumnae/i Association.  She was recruited on campus by New York Life Insurance and has worked there since her graduation, holding a number of positions within the company’s Information Technology department and has enjoyed a successful career culminating in her current position of Vice President.  In 2001, Rosa attained professional accreditation as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2.  Active for several years in Women Unlimited, a mentoring group, Rosa was one of the original mentors when the program was launched in the early 1990s.  In recent years, she has remained committed to offering mentoring support by actively participating in a formal mentoring program within New York Life, and by informally forming mentoring relationships with those who seek her guidance, including a fellow CNR graduate at New York Life.  Rosa has another strong connection to the College, having married George in Holy Family Chapel on campus in 1980.  Rosa is also active in Holy Name of Jesus Church in Valhalla, NY, the site of her son Michael’s Boy Scout Eagle project.  


Class of 1980
Susan Ball Miles
A very involved student while attending CNR, Sue has maintained her ties by taking on her current role of Class President, in addition to her service as Class News Agent for the past thirteen years. She is currently a sales associate for AFLAC, and is affiliated with the Society for Human Resources Management and the Eastern Connecticut Personnel Association. Sue has devoted time to various church groups and is also President of the Connecticut Chapter of the Boyds Bears Collectors Club, which raises funds for various charitable groups, including the World War II Warriors Association. She took time off from her career and volunteer activities to care for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and passed away in 2005, but began a new chapter of her life in 2007 when she married and became “Grandma Sue” to her husband’s twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Marianne Smith Sullivan
Marianne has spent a majority of her post-graduate years applying her artistic talent for the benefit of others. From helping to develop a weekly art studio class at her children’s grammar school in California to mentoring and assisting students at her local community college in New Jersey with portfolio development and applications for BFA programs, to her current project of instituting clay programs in local underperforming schools, Marianne has made a difference in the lives of many.  Currently practicing her ceramic art full time, she has also found time through the years to teach CCD, volunteer for Special Olympics, help raise funds for local charities as a spouse through Chevron’s Office of Public Affairs in Utah, and, since 2002, has served as Fund Agent for her class. A former business owner, Marianne stays in touch with the alumnae/i office to stay on top of class communications and reunion details.


Class of 1985
Silvana Bajana
Currently the Director of Purchasing for the College’s Financial Affairs department, Silvana is also involved with Campus Ministry.  To date, she has participated in three “Plunges,” the CNR-sponsored community service projects to Texas, Mexico and Guatemala, where she helped provide health education and assistance in the constructions of homes for needy families.  Acting as both a translator and a cultural bridge, Silvana clarified any misconceptions of an impoverished community.  She has served as a chaperone with a Student Services’ trip to Paris, teaches English to newly-arrived immigrants at the Adult Learning Center in New Rochelle, delivers food for the homeless, and has worked with Habitat for Humanity.  Silvana is also involved in alumnae/i affairs, having served her class as Reunion Chair.


Class of 1990
Meghan Mastellon Mahon
Currently enjoying time at home with her three children in Pennsylvania, Meghan is part of a CNR family that expanded when she married.  In addition to her mother and sister, she also has a mother-in-law and cousin-in-law who have CNR degrees.  After graduation she earned her JD at Villanova and focused on a successful legal career, but also found time to serve the Class of ’90 as Fund Agent and to volunteer for Roundhouse, an agency for battered women in Philadelphia.  Meghan has followed her mother’s example of service, and the College is proud to recognize two generations of Mastellons today.


Class of 1995
Mildred Perez
Since graduation Mildred’s professional focus has been in the human resources industry, and she is currently the Senior Human Resources Generalist at Jetro Holdings, LLC.  She has also made a point of helping those in need through her involvement with www.drivingfordonors.com, a non-profit organization that works with The National Marrow Donor Program, The Marrow Foundation, law enforcement department, local donor centers, businesses, colleges and the media to host successful bone marrow donor drives across the country.  She is also involved with the New York Blood Center organizing Blood Drives, with Support Our Troops Care Package Drive, preparing hundreds of care packages for our military troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq and recently organized a Haiti Relief Fund drive among the employees at Jetro Holdings, LLC which collected over $30,000 which were given to www.americares.org a non-profit organization that delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis across the world.


Class of 2000
Angela Valitutto
After earning both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from CNR, Angela forged a successful career in fundraising, leading to her current position as Director of Annual Giving at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx.  For more than 10 years, Angela served as a key member of Holy Family Chapel’s Liturgy Committee, bringing forth innovative ideas to the Chapel community which she continues to serve as a Eucharistic Minister.  Angela is an Ursuline Associate who continues to embrace the principle of Serviam that she learned in her freshman year.  With an emphasis on social justice, Angela has volunteered as counselor, mentor and tutor to disadvantaged youth throughout New York City.  More than a dozen women and men, encouraged by Angela to pursue their dream of a college education, have graduated from the School of New Resources.  Currently, Angela serves as President of her class.  She is extremely proud of her alma mater, and her alma mater is equally proud of her.    


Suzette Walker-Vega
As Campus Minister at the College, Suzette has been a vital part of on-campus affairs. Off campus, she volunteers her time every weekend at Safe Haven in Waterbury, CT, and Meriden Women and Family Center in Meriden, CT, counseling women and children who have been sexually assaulted or domestically abused. Suzette has also been involved in alumnae/i affairs by having served on the Board of the Alumnae/i Association.


Class of 2005
Jennifer Smith Jacobs
Jennifer has chosen a career path that takes the CNR mantra of “Wisdom for Life” one step further. After graduating with a BA in English and Psychology, Jennifer worked first in the fundraising department of CNR and then at Columbia University's Business School.  In 2008, Jennifer moved to Georgia where she currently works at Georgia Tech's College of Management as the Coordinator of the TI:GER (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results) Program.  TI:GER is an innovative multidisciplinary program, in conjunction with Emory Law School, that brings together PhD, MBA and Law students in the classroom and research lab. Students are awarded a unique opportunity to work on teams to learn about the challenges of commercializing the research of Science and Engineering doctoral students.
    Jennifer is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, an organization whose mission is to provide service to all.  Begun in 2004 through Omicron Eta, the Westchester County undergraduate chapter, it afforded Jennifer the opportunity to enhance her leadership skills while serving as an active student leader on campus.  She continues to be   active in CNR's Alumnae/i Association and the Annual Giving Committee, as well as the Omicron Eta chapter.  



W O M E N  O F  A C H I E V E M E N T  A W A R D

This award was instituted in 1999 to recognize alumnae/i for brilliant accomplishments in their chosen careers. We honor them for their talents which distinguish them amongst their colleagues. Their outstanding achievements as innovators, visionaries, and leaders have already been noted within their fields with numerous other awards and citations. They bring acclaim to themselves and to The College of New Rochelle, and we are proud to acknowledge them as Women of Achievement/

2010 Women of Achievement Recipients


Mary Ellen Masterson-McGary ’70
Taking the road less traveled, Mary Ellen Masterson-McGary entered the traditionally male-dominated world of physics as a CNR undergrad. Today, as Chief Physicist at the Cyberknife Center of Tampa Bay, she is responsible for groundbreaking work in clinical cancer treatment.  It is obvious that her choice of career field was the right one.
    While pursuing her graduate degrees at Columbia University and then at Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Mary Ellen was introduced to the chairman of the Medical Physics Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).  She spent the next nineteen years at MSKCC researching emerging detection and treatment technologies and serving on the faculty of Cornell University Medical College.  Armed with this cutting-edge knowledge and experience, Mary Ellen left New York for Florida, where she gains immense satisfaction from offering state-of-the-art care on the local level.  “I’d like to bridge the gap between the academic medical center, where the major R&D takes place, and the community hospital and out-patient treatment environment.”
    While at Naples Community Hospital Regional Cancer Institute, Mary Ellen pushed for the purchase of the CyberKnife, a major advance in radiation therapy.  The precision offered by this tool decreases the collateral damage to healthy tissue associated with radiation, and provides effective treatment for otherwise inoperable cancers near vital organs and the spinal cord.  She and her physician colleagues are carrying forward this seminal work at the CyberKnife Centers of Tampa Bay.  Mary Ellen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Medical Physics, and is a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American College of Medical Physics.  She has served her profession in many roles including as Chairman of the Board of Chancellors of the American College of Medical Physics.  She has published and spoken on her work at many national and international conferences.  In fact, she recently spoke at a conference in Brussels where she shared some of the exciting clinical outcomes now being observed following CyberKnife treatment. 
    As a woman, Mary Ellen has set the bar very high for future graduates of CNR and all women pursuing careers in the sciences.  She has proved that with dedication and perseverance, it is possible to find your niche and make a difference.  For this, the College is pleased to honor Mary Ellen Masterson-McGary with the Women of Achievement Award.


Esther Schoffelen Rada ’75
To many, it is hard to believe that Esther Schoffelen Rada has accomplished as much as she has since graduation thirty-five years ago. From law school to her appointment as Brigadier General in the Air National Guard to elder law attorney, she has demonstrated a commitment and drive that has taken her far beyond the halls of CNR.
    Esther graduated from St. Louis University School of Law in 1978, and began her six-year active duty tour with the Air Force in 1980. During this time she served as a Chief of Military Justice and Chief of Labor Law for Strategic Air Command.  She then transferred as a Staff Judge Advocate to the Air Force Reserve, then to the New York National Guard.  In 2001, Esther was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and was appointed the Joint Headquarters New York Air National Guard Staff Judge Advocate at the Division of Military and Naval Affairs.  She was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 2005, and became the Assistant Adjutant General of the Air National Guard for the State of New York.
   While in the military, Esther received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and Strategic Air Command Outstanding Attorney.  In 2007, she moved on from her long and distinguished military career to practice law at Connecticut Legal Services, with a specialization in Elder Law and Poverty Law.
    Referring to a recent advocacy training program she attended, Esther said, “This training reinforced that we must be very careful in assessment of people and their situations - it actually brought me back to my basic values: treating every person with dignity and respect.”  For her faithfulness to these core values which are such a large part of the Ursuline tradition, we honor Esther Schoffelen Rada with the Women of Achievement Award.

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