Trailblazers

 

Brescia alumnae are women who choose to lead. In recognition of the women who have chosen to lead as students and as alumnae at Brescia University College, since its inception in 1919, the first 12 Alumnae Trailblazers were revealed on September 14, 2009 at the launch of a year of 90th-anniversary celebrations and a bold new brand of Canada’s premier women’s university.

 


Jaimie Hemsworth (’09)

Jaimie HemsworthJaimie Hemsworth was the first Brescia student to win a Morgan Medal from the Dietitians of Canada for her work on groundbreaking research in the development of probiotic yogurt for HIV patients. Jaimie is currently studying for her PhD at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in England.

In September 2009, Jaimie was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 

 


Crona (Hassenstein) Airgid (’96)

Crona AirgidCrona Airgid was one of four Brescia students who demonstrated their leadership abilities by becoming the first students to oversee the residence as Residence Assistants in 1994–95, replacing the Sisters who had held this responsibility for many years. RA’s take the lead in building a vibrant community.

In September 2009, Crona was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


Michelle (Krech) Burrell (’96)

Michelle BurrellMichelle Burrell was one of four Brescia students who demonstrated their leadership abilities by becoming the first students to oversee the residence as Residence Assistants in 1994–95, replacing the Sisters who had held this responsibility for many years. RA’s take the lead in building a vibrant community.

In September 2009, Michelle was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


Janet (Van Damme) Denkers (’96)

Janet DenkersJanet Denkers was one of four Brescia students who demonstrated their leadership abilities by becoming the first students to oversee the residence as Residence Assistants in 1994–95, replacing the Sisters who had held this responsibility for many years. RA’s take the lead in building a vibrant community.

In September 2009, Janet was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


Claudette (Turnbull) Zijlstra (’96)

Claudette ZijlstraClaudette Zijlstra was one of four Brescia students who demonstrated their leadership abilities by becoming the first students to oversee the residence as Residence Assistants in 1994–95, replacing the Sisters who had held this responsibility for many years. RA’s take the lead in building a vibrant community.

In September 2009, Claudette was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


Wilma de Rond (’81)

Wilma de RondAs a member of Brescia’s Students’ Council, Wilma de Rond initiated the off-campus faculty/student pot luck dinner that is an annual Brescia event to this day. As an educator, in 2007 Wilma became the first female Director of the London and District Catholic School Board.

In September 2009, Wilma was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 


 

Margaret (O’Grady) Wickware (’76)

Margaret WickwareMargaret Wickware attracted wide attention when she became Western’s first female Students’ Council President in 1975. In 1997, as guest speaker at Baccalaureate, Margaret described how her involvement in student politics led to a career in bank administration at a time when few women were considered for management positions.

In September 2009, Margaret was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 


Dr. Marlene (Smith) MacLeish (’68)

Dr. Marlene MacLeishDr. Marlene MacLeish currently works as Professor of Medical Education at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta Georgia. She is also team leader of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) National Space Biomedical Research Institute Education and Public Out Reach Program.

Marlene gave the address at the 2009 Baccalaureate at St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica in London.

In September 2009, Marlene was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary. In October 2010, Marlene was honoured with an Honorary Degree from The University of Western Ontario.


Carmelle Murphy (’50)

Carmelle MurphyEver a loyal member of Brescia’s Alumnae Association, Carmelle Murphy worked closely with the members and with Sister Margaret Hanley. In 1988, Carmelle became Director of the Alumnae Association – the first person who was not an Ursuline Sister to hold that office.

In September 2009, Carmelle was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


Dr. Geraldine Montag (’47)

Dr. Geraldine MontagDr. Geraldine Montag was the first graduate of Brescia’s Home Economics program to earn a PhD.  At Iowa State University, her second alma mater, Geraldine became a Professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department where she served as Chair for two years.

In September 2009, Geraldine was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


C. Rosalina Saez (’35)

Rosalina SaezFrom her founding, one of Brescia’s goals has been to provide a culture receptive to and supportive of international students. Rosalina Saez was the first international woman student to graduate from a Canadian university.

In September 2009, Rosalina was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.

 

 


Christine Dawson (’23)

Christine DawsonWhile a student of Brescia’s first class, Christine Dawson had many chats with Mother St. Anne who was envisioning an organization to maintain the bond between the College and her alumnae. Through Christine’s continuing efforts after graduation, the Alumnae Association was established in 1927.

In September 2009, Christine was one of 12 women recognized as an Alumna Trailblazer in celebration of Brescia’s 90th anniversary.