Suja Parakamannil Ali received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and immunology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. After working in biomedical research for the American Red Cross, she went on to receive a master’s degree in human development from the University of Maryland. Suja is the Directing of Training and Support Services for the Early Childhood Montgomery County Government overseeing training and support services for early childhood educators in the County. She is also a certified health coach and certified fitness instructor. In her spare time, Suja enjoys pursuing health and wellness efforts.
The Stone Ridge Alumnae Association is comprised of over 3,000 women worldwide. Whether or not you graduated from Stone Ridge, all are considered alumnae and members of the Alumnae Association.
The Alumnae Board, consisting of 18 elected members, represents the entire Alumnae Association. The Alumnae Board, in conjunction with the Advancement Team, coordinate events and programs locally, nationally, and even internationally to keep alumnae CONNECTED!
Valeria Boucas '06 was a lifer at Stone Ridge having spent 14 years as a Gator! In 2010, she graduated from The University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature. She moved to New York for a few years where she became an Editor at Conde Nast writing for various magazines. She returned to the Washington DC area and decided to pursue her newfound passion for Public Relations. She is now the Director of Marketing and Communications for McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, a dermatology practice in Virginia. Valeria also runs a business on the side called BonBon Brasil, with her sister Teresa Boucas (and a fellow Gator!), making brigadeiros, which is the national truffle of Brazil. They love to pay tribute to their Latin American heritage and The Washington Post recently featured them as a "New and Notable" dessert company.
Ashleigh Canton '12 spent thirteen years at Stone Ridge as an active student athlete, president of Best Buddies and a proud member of the Blue Team! Ashleigh graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2016 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in business administration and Spanish. After graduation, she moved back to Washington D.C. and spent two years working on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent for a member of Congress. Ashleigh is currently in her first year of law school at Georgetown University Law Center.
Alex Kolakowski Connor '01 was a Stone Ridge girl for four years of high school. While there she received a ceramics award, played multiple sports, and was captain of the Gold team during her fourth academic year. Go Gold! Her interests in arts as well as math and physics led her to pursue an architectural path. After a four-year arts degree from Miami University of Ohio in architecture, and five years working in two architectural firms both east and west coast, she returned home to pursue dual graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America (CUA). The combination of a master of architecture and a master of science in sustainable design allowed her to passionately pursue a specialized field within the industry called building enclosure consulting.
She currently leads the national building enclosures practice within Burns & McDonnell Engineering, seeking to improve the built environment by providing technical architectural consulting and commissioning services. Since graduating from CUA, she has returned multiple times to Stone Ridge to connect with fourth academic students through the career panel. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and two young children, and is thankful to have so many immediate and extended family members living in close proximity.
Elizabeth Emerson '92, AIA is Principal & Co-founder of EL Studio PLLC, an award-winning architecture and design firm with studios in Washington DC and New York City, which specializes in building finely-crafted, innovative structures within challenging constraints. EL Studio’s design work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for design excellence and their on-going research project Washington Alley Project (WAP) is a winner of the 2018 World Architecture News (WAN) Urban Challenge.
Following four happy years at Stone Ridge, Elizabeth studied architecture at Catholic University of America (B. Arch, 1997) and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning (MS AAD, 2002). Before co-founding EL Studio in 2007, Elizabeth worked with RTKL Associates in Washington DC and Garrison Architects and Tina Manis Associates in New York City.
A licensed architect in New York and DC, Elizabeth has worked with a diverse group of private and public clients ranging from single-family and multi-tenant residential, hospitality, institutional and government projects including the Syracuse University School of Architecture, the US Embassies in Rabat, Morocco and Vienna, Austria, and the Australian Embassy in DC. She has taught at several institutions, most recently in the graduate Urban Practice concentration at Catholic University School of Architecture and Planning.
Elizabeth Emerson’s architectural interests spring from the social and cultural. In addition to her design work and academic research, she undertakes art exhibition and residency projects in partnership with Carpe Diem Arte et Pesquisa in Lisbon, Portugal and leads architectural tours through Portugal and Spain with the AIA’s Architectural Adventures.
Yvette Escudero ‘84 is a second-generation Stone Ridge graduate, one of four Escudero sisters that graduated from Stone Ridge. After Stone Ridge, she went to Mount Vernon College, earning a degree in marketing. In 1994, after working in retail for many years, Yvette started her own personal/executive assistant company. She enjoys working with various clients and the exciting and ever changing responsibilities of overseeing taxes and charitable foundations, organizing events and engagements, managing appointments, second homes, travel arrangements and reservations, both locally and around the world.
Yvette has also been an active volunteer in the Junior League of Washington, Catholic Charities, and the Knights of Malta.
Maria-Stella Gatzoulis attended Stone Ridge since the first grade and graduated in 1986 with High Honors and was named a Maryland Distinguished Scholar Semi-Finalist. She completed her undergraduate studies in Switzerland in International Political Studies, followed by a Masters’ Degree in International Affairs from The American University in Washington, DC. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Event Management from George Washington University. She is fluent in Greek, French and Spanish.
Maria-Stella is the Special Events Coordinator/Protocol Officer at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has over fifteen years of event planning and international protocol experience for a major foreign policy research institute. On a typical day, she interacts with and facilitates events for Heads of State, Members of Congress and other high level VIPs. She also coordinates logistical and event support for over 1,200 meetings a year related to International Affairs.
During her four years at Stone Ridge, Omolara Bewaji Joseney was deeply committed to promoting support systems for students of color and cultivating a spirit of inclusion. To that end, she was involved in re-instituting the school's Black Student Alliance and represented Stone Ridge in local diversity conferences and workshops. After graduating Boston College with a major in Political Science and a minor in International Studies, Omolara attended Columbia Law School where she was a member of the Columbia Law Review and competed in moot court competitions. After law school, Omolara worked as a litigation associate in the New York office of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP where she practiced for over five years, and clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York.
Omolara recently returned home to the Washington DC area. She currently works as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, and is looking forward to getting reacquainted with the city and old friends.
Mara was a Stone Ridge Gator for 6 years and an enthusiastic Gold Team member! She began her Sacred Heart education at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, MI before joining Stone Ridge. Mara graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Health and Societies. She subsequently earned a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Cambridge. After completing her studies, she worked as a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs and then went on to combine her interests in healthcare and business by working in the healthcare startup space. She currently works as a Director at Oxeon Partners, a firm that fuels the growth of early stage healthcare technology companies through investing in them and helping to build out their management teams. Mara lives in Philadelphia, PA.
During her eight years at Stone Ridge, Meg MacWhirter was involved with Campus Ministry, SOME, People for Peace, and Core Group. At Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, she stayed involved with organizations addressing hunger and homelessness in DC and helped lead campus volunteering programs through the Center for Social Justice. After graduating, she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Caribbean working on gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS programs. Meg then worked for Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia on international partnerships including the Georgetown AIDS initiative. She graduated from Georgetown’s MBA program then worked at Deloitte Consulting, supporting public and non-profit leaders to maximize the impact of organizations. Her projects focused on global health, health systems strengthening, capacity building, and leadership development. Meg now manages learning and development programs focused on Leader Development and Performance for Deloitte Consulting practitioners.
Meg and her husband Dan are co-owners of an artisan distillery in Mount Airy, Maryland. MISCellaneous Distillery creates award-winning spirits using locally sourced ingredients and serves as an active contributor to the Mount Airy community.
Claire Nowlin '07 spent ten years as a Stone Ridge student, where she was involved with Campus Ministry and Core Group, and played on the tennis team. In 2011 she graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Political Science and French and European Studies. Claire then spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in southern Namibia, where she taught English to sixth grade students and ran several gender and HIV/AIDs programs in her community. She returned to DC and has been here since, earning her masters degree at the George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs in 2016 while working for the American Institutes for Research, where she conducted research for numerous program evaluations focused on education, health, and social protection in sub-Saharan Africa. She currently works as a Senior Project Manager for Management Systems International, where she is thrilled to get to use the French she learned at SR, managing two USAID projects in Mali and Senegal that build the capacity of mission staff in monitoring and evaluating their programs.
Patricia Wimsatt Myler (Patty) '64, loved every minute of her four years as a Stone Ridge student, athlete and student leader. She attended Marymount College in Arlington, VA where she received an AA degree in early childhood education before moving north to Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY. Following Marymount, Patty taught elementary school in both New York City and Fredericksburg, VA. She then spent seven years working for the DC Department of Recreation & Parks as Director of Lafayette Recreation Center in Northwest. Patty was then joined the Charles E. Smith Companies and started a new career in property management. Patty spent ten years with the company in management positions at Skyline Plaza Condominium and then Skyline Racquet & Health Club. With a quickly growing family, Patty decided to take an “early retirement.”
She didn't retire for long! She then started a catering company which she successfully ran for ten years, often catering Stone Ridge events. In 1993, Sr. Dyer called Patty and asked if she would be interested in coming to work at Stone Ridge. She spent the first two years overseeing events and the housekeeping department before being asked to take on a newly established position as director of facilities, a position she loved and served in for 18 years. Patty retired from Stone Ridge in 2013. Her two daughters, Caitlin Myler Taylor ’98 and Brigid Myler ’03 are both proud Stone Ridge graduates.
Patty has been an active member of the Christ Child Society of Washington, served on the National Board of the Christ Child Society for 10 years and as the National President in 2010-2012. Patty is a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Washington where she has served on the Parish Council, the Buildings & Grounds Committee and as a lector and Eucharistic Minister. She is a Master Gardener and gardening is her passion.
Jodi Paci '01 was a Gator for four years, member of the gold team, played varsity tennis and was captain and MVP of the varsity soccer team. She was the 2001 recipient of the Sacred Heart Award and Ms. Sebes' "Most Likely to Suck the Marrow out of Life" award. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree, she moved back to DC and has been working as a general contractor for 12 years, first at Turner Construction and currently at DPR Construction. She has held many roles from estimating to project management and now in business development.
Since 2007, she has been a teacher and fundraiser for the 100 Entrepreneurs Project, which endeavors to help veterans recovering at Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir start businesses. Jodi lives in DC with her son Beckett and husband Matthew Mansfield – the two have adopted the portmanteau PacMan (Paci Mansfield). She enjoys mentoring Stone Ridge and University of Virginia students and is looking forward to serving on the SR Alumnae Board.
Robyn Schwartzman '08 spent eight years as a Gator and then went on to study at Duke University, where she graduated in 2012 with a BSE in biomedical engineering and a minor in Spanish. She returned to the DC area and began working in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, and in 2015, Robyn earned her Master’s degree in biotechnology with a focus in regulatory affairs from Johns Hopkins University.
Robyn recently moved back to Durham, NC, where she is working as a quality engineer at Yukon Medical, a small medical device company in Research Triangle Park. Outside of work, Robyn is enjoying the slow pace of the South after living in the hustle and bustle of DC for six years. She loves to visit farmers markets, spend time at breweries, and go to Durham Bulls games. She is excited to continue being involved with the Stone Ridge Alumnae Board, despite being 300 miles away!
Mary Ellen Ruff '90 went to Saint Louis University where she was a varsity swimmer and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in studio art. From there, Mary Ellen pursued her M.S. in art therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School. Mary Ellen returned to the DC area in 1996 and began her career as an art therapist. She currently has a private practice, and is an associate professor in the graduate art therapy program at George Washington University. Mary Ellen is interested in engaging alumnae in meaningful experiences over the next two years.
Julie Verratti '97 is Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Denizens Brewing Company, based in Silver Spring, MD. She graduated from Brandeis University is Waltham, MA with a triple major (politics, philosophy, and history) and a minor in economics. At Brandeis she also played varsity soccer.
After college, Julie worked on various issue and electoral campaigns around the country as a fundraiser, field organizer, and political operative. She eventually went to and graduated from the George Washington University Law School, after which Julie was a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) and Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration where she focused on the Affordable Care Act, veterans entrepreneurship, women’s business ownership, and local economic development policies. During her time as a PMF she worked as a policy aide for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship under Chairman Mary Landrieu’s leadership.
In 2013 Julie founded Denizens Brewing Company with her wife Emily Bruno and brother-in-law Jeff Ramirez. Julie serves in a number of leadership positions within the beer industry, including the board of directors for the Brewers Association where she is the chair of the diversity committee. Locally, she serves on the board of directors of the Brewer’s Association of Maryland. Julie is also closely involved in local business issues, and is a founding board member of the Democratic Business Council of Maryland. She is also a former board member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and currently sits on the Government Affairs Committee of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce.
In 2016, Julie was named to the Washington Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40". Julie has testified before the U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, the Maryland State Legislature, Montgomery County Council and DC Council on matters impacting small businesses, the beer industry, and LGBT rights. In 2017 she served on the Reform on Tap Task Force that analyzed beer laws in MD to see how they can be reformed to grow Maryland businesses. In 2018 Julie ran for Lieutenant Governor of Maryland in the Democratic Party primary with Alec Ross as her running mate. She has been featured in the Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, NPR, WAMU, and WTOP. Julie currently directs all business development and distribution sales for Denizens Brewing Co.
Julie still plays soccer on the weekends and rides her motorcycle whenever the weather and her schedule permits. The best career decision she ever made was to jump into the beer business.