Eleanore (Elle) Alexander '05 is a proud graduate of the Sacred Heart, attending Sacred Heart (New Orleans, LA), Stuart (Princeton, NJ), and graduating from Stone Ridge in 2005. Currently, Elle is Associate Director of Disease Prevention and Program Management at the Milken Institute’s Center for Public Health. Previously, Elle worked in the private and non-profit sectors in Washington DC and New York City, working to improve health through better nutrition and disease prevention. Elle holds a PhD in Health Policy & Management and a Masters of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Human Nutrition from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and an International Relations Certificate from UMass Amherst. Elle lives in Bloomingdale with her black lab puppy Rosie.
The Stone Ridge Alumnae Association is comprised of over 3,500 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!
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.
Ann-Casey Campagnolo ’90 is a senior retail consulting executive with extensive corporate strategy and business transformation experience, rooted in consumer insights and enabled by leadership, creative thinking and modern marketing approaches. She is credited with building outstanding teams that have proven successful in delivering valuable consumer experiences and driving profitable business growth with reputation for innovation, enthusiasm, and progressive business judgment.
Ann-Casey spent six years as a Stone Ridge Gator and went on to receive a BS in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park where she served as President of her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, for two terms and received the University’s Outstanding Student Leader award in 1994.
She began her retail career in the Buyer’s Training Program at Bloomingdale’s in New York in 1995 and later moving to Saks Fifth Avenue where she held a number of retail buying and merchandise planning leadership roles with increasing spans of control and revenue up to $1B annually.
After 10 years in luxury retail, Ann-Casey moved into retail consulting where she specialized in business process, organization design and change management. Her work spanned corporate strategy, merchandising, product development, store operations and global sourcing and her clients have included Victoria’s Secret, REI, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, El Palacio de Hierro, Big Lots, Payless, 7-11, and Petsmart.
In 2010, Ann-Casey joined dunnhumby, a global leader in customer data science, gaining experience in the world of big data and focusing on consumer behavior and marketing analytics in retail. As North American Head of Merchandising and Pricing solutions, Ann-Casey led successful client engagements with Macy’s and Kroger/Fred Meyer and consulted on work with Tesco UK and Poland, Raley’s and Monoprix France.
Ann-Casey also worked with Capgemini’s Invent consulting division, a digital innovation and transformation consultancy. As a Principal in the Retail practice, Ann-Casey led a multi-national consulting team in Düsseldorf, Germany focused on an ERP implementation and digital transformation for Aldi, a global discount grocery retailer.
In September 2018, Ann-Casey returned to the work marketing analytics and joined IRI Worldwide as Vice President and Principal. One of the original innovators in big data, IRI integrates the world’s largest set of otherwise disconnected purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data to help CPG, retail, over-the-counter health care and media companies grow their businesses. And after 20+ years based in the New York area, Ann-Casey returned to Washington, DC area where she now leads IRI’s engagement with Giant Food, a division of Ahold-Delhaize.
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.
Channing Cooper '02 came to Stone Ridge as a fourth grader. During her 9 years at Stone Ridge, Channing was active with CORE group and the varsity track team. She also served as vice-president of the high school during her senior year. In 2002, she received the Four Year Goals Award for Goal IV, building of community as a Christian value.
Channing went on to earn a BA from New York University and a JD from Washington College of Law at American University. After law school, she worked as a labor and employment lawyer for 7 years at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). At AFT, Channing represented the interests of a variety of workers, including teachers, healthcare workers, public employees, and graduate teaching assistants. She is currently in-house counsel at Tessemae's, an organic salad dressing and condiment company, owned by fellow Gator, Genevieve Vetter '02.
Channing lives in D.C. with her chocolate bassador (basset hound/labrador mix), Oscar. She feels fortunate to remain close with so many of her Stone Ridge sisters.
Katy Dunn ‘94 is an educational counselor at PrepMatters. PrepMatters is a premier provider of academic tutoring services, test preparation and educational planning, from one-on-one students in greater DC to online clients worldwide. Before joining PrepMatters, Katy was a counselor, teacher, and principal in schools throughout the DC area.
Georgetown University, undergraduate degree
University of Maryland, graduate degree
Susan graduated from Stone Ridge in 1972. Her undergraduate degree is from Connecticut College and her MPA from the Kennedy School, Harvard University. Susan has spent over 35 years in international development, starting as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, where she worked on developing improved cook stoves to address deforestation.
After the Peace Corps, Susan worked for several non-profit international development organizations as Project Manager and in Executive positions, working on emergency relief efforts, development projects in health, small business, natural resources, girls education and programs in human rights. She has lived and worked in several countries, Mali, Niger, Somalia and Tanzania, and provided oversight to programs in countries around the world.
Although Susan retired from the day job, Susan has continued to support non-profits in the DC area through the Compass Project which provides pro bono technical support to the Metro area’s non-profit community.
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.
Valeria Boucas Kantakevich ’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 passion for Public Relations. Valeria works in Corporate Communications at Capital One. 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.
Kay DeFranceaux Leonard ’64 attended Stone Ridge for 7 years and was a weekly boarder during 8th grade and on and off through high school. She was a proud member of the Blue Team; was a recipient of the Father’s Club Award in 1963; was a regular helper in Mer. Mouton’s office, and was passionate about field hockey and the Drama Club.
Kay worked in the satellite communications field for almost 30 years, working at the Public Service Satellite Consortium and then as Executive VP/GM of Beach Associates. After working as an independent satellite communications consultant for several years, she and her husband bought a gymnastics school on Kauai in HI and moved there to run it and be closer to one of their daughters and her two children. While on Kauai, Kay also became a REALTOR® selling over $45M in properties. After 15 years of owning/operating the gymnastics school, Kay and her husband recently sold their school and their home there, and moved back to Woodbine, Maryland where she will continue as a REALTOR®.
Kay has been a class rep for ’64 since graduating and was a past President of the Alumnae Board.
Madeline McCormick '11 attended Stone Ridge for four years where she was a student-athlete, Blue Team Captain, Math Club founder, and recipient of the Sacred Heart Award. Madeline graduated from Villanova University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She then entered the Construction Industry in Washington, DC and currently works at Whiting-Turner Contracting where she manages the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing trades on a large-scale commercial project. She resides in Arlington, VA and is very excited to be joining the SR Alumnae Board!
Tonija Hope Navas '93 was a spirited Gator for 4 yrs. During that time, she served as captain of the Blue Team and head of the Athletic Association. She was an active participant in student organizations that supported the anti-apartheid movement and environmental issues. Upon graduating from SR, Tonija attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where she double majored in Spanish/Latin American Studies. She studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and soon after graduation moved to South Africa where she worked at the University of Cape Town. After returning to the US, Tonija worked for proud SR parent, Jose Andres, for 12 years supporting the development of what is now ThinkFoodGroup. Taking a turn, she left the restaurant industry to commit herself full time to international education and completed a master’s degree at George Washington University in Tourism Administration with a concentration in International Education. She joined the Phelps Stokes Fund working on the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program and then served as its Director of Latin American Programs & Special Projects. Since 2015 she has served as the Director of the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University where she leads the university’s comprehensive internationalization process, oversees study abroad and the day-to-day operations of the Charles B. Rangel, Thomas R. Pickering, and Donald M. Payne Fellowship Programs. A commitment to a “Social Awareness that Impels to Action” was instilled in her as a student at Stone Ridge and her work at Howard University is a continuation of this commitment. Tonija has two children, lives in Washington, DC and is working towards her PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University.
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.
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.
Isabella Richardson ’15 was a “lifer” spending 14 years at Stone Ridge and remains a proud member of the Blue Team. During her years at Stone Ridge she was a 4 year letterman on the varsity lacrosse team and served as a captain her senior year. Isabella graduated from Washington College in 2019 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in business where she also spent four years playing NCAA D3 lacrosse. Isabella is currently a rising 2L at Catholic University Columbus School of Law. During her short Law School career she has already interned at Ruyak Cherian, LLP and Carr Maloney. Upon graduation she aspires to practice law here in the District of Columbia.
Mary Ellen Ruff ‘90 is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist. Mary Ellen is also an Assistant Professor in the Art Therapy Department at The George Washington University and is a Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision. She holds a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Studio Art from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Art Therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Since 1996, Mary Ellen has worked in a variety of settings with a special interest in adolescents and adults dealing with substance abuse. She began teaching in the Graduate Art Therapy Program at George Washington University in 2007 and works with clients using art materials to “illicit unconscious material in a more accessible manner.” She explains, “We have a lot of control over what we say and how we say things, but using art materials allows us to get past our defenses and access core issues more efficiently.”
The most challenging aspects of her profession come in working with people who are really struggling to make changes in their lives, whether it’s an addiction, a difficult relationship, a behavior, or a mental illness. “My role takes patience, but I think the challenge is where my creativity can be most helpful.”
Mary Ellen completed two installation pieces with at-risk and detained adolescents in programs in Alexandria, Virginia. Using a poem as a starting point, adolescents worked collaboratively on paintings reflecting each stanza of the poem. The finished works hang in the youth shelter and in the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home. She has also recently completed a chapter for a book on the topic of ethics and art therapy.
The field of art therapy has a high percentage of women and Mary Ellen feels that she is in great company. “I've never thought about this before, but it’s not too different than being at Stone Ridge – we are a group of strong, educated individuals, driven by the desire to make a difference. I feel like my desire to serve others through art therapy probably dates back to Social Action and learning the importance of service.”
The Goals of Sacred Heart have remained a priority for Mary Ellen since childhood. “I've always really valued my connection to the Goals of Sacred Heart education and have tried to use them as a framework for how I work. I certainly have always relied on my faith as a guide, believing that I'm right where I need to be in order to do the work I believe I was chosen to do. By teaching, working with vulnerable clients in the City of Alexandria, offering free or reduced fee sessions to clients in my private practice, and my commitment to my own growth as a person and a professional, reinforces how strongly I feel connected to my Sacred Heart education.”
St. Louis University B.S.
Eastern Virginia Medical School M.S.