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Alumnae Features

img_7684Our alumna are making significant impact on the world today. From lawyers, to savvy business women, to scientists and techies, to civic minded community members and more, Women of Mercy are prepared to face the challenges of today. The picture to the left highlights several alumnae that recently attend our Volleyball Alumnae Appreciation Night.

To highlight their stories, we will be developing features on some of our interesting alumna. Their stories will be told on these pages.

Mercy Alumna Shares Performance Passion

Kathy Mulcahy Mittan ’83 and her husband are award winning, short film movie producers who used Mercy High School’s chapel recently for a new movie project. Students were invited to attend, watch the action, and work behind the scenes in the making of the film. Performance, especially on the stage, has always been Kathy’s passion and it was nurtured during her years at Mercy.

A Lifetime of Achievement Influenced by Mercy

Linda Walsh Fell ’65 received the 2016 Member Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology recently. Not surprising for the Mercy graduate who feels the school taught her to be inclusive and to care for others which helped advance her career through work with patients, students and colleagues.

Her Mercy Grounding Has Helped Her Soar

She has been all over the world thanks in part to the “grounding” she received from Mercy High School. Leanne Prewitt ’97 is now a Creative Director at Ervin & Smith and has been using her Mercy experiences to help her along the way.

Pride and Drive

Tondeleya Newson ’03 wants donors to know that the opportunity she had to go to Mercy has truly been life altering. She is confident the same will be true for her 15-year-old daughter, Ta’Vaisya, who is a freshman this year.

Six Sisters Succeeding on Their Own Journeys 

The six Dunn sisters are all Women of Mercy. Their journeys span decades, they are as different as night and day, but all have at least one thing in common—their love of Mercy High School and the impact the institution has had on their lives.

Molded by Mercy

Teacher, health care advocate, clinician, cancer specialist, and active alumna— all these words and phrases might describe Kelly K. Nystrom ’86. Kelly is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Creighton University

During Hard Times She Comes Back to Mercy

Mckayla Roberts ‘15 is studying Medical Molecular Biology with a double minor in Psychology and Biochemistry at Oral Roberts, while running track and field.

Mercy Opened Her Mind to the World  

She lives on the other side of the world, teaching at a middle school and university in South Korea.   And she feels such an adventure would not of been possible without her years at Mercy. Elizabeth Ferrante ‘08 participated in an exchange program with a sister school in Argentina during her time at Mercy and it changed her life.

Faculty Helped to Model Her Teaching Career

Kathy Roccaforte Denning ’03 is trying to model the enthusiasm and passion for teaching she saw in Mercy’s faculty in her current job as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. After earning her advanced degree, she plans to pursue a career in teaching and research, preferably at a small, liberal arts college.

Mercy Helped Her Get Her Dream Job

Katelyn Cherney ’04 has her “dream job” and she credits her Mercy education for giving her a sense of self and the inspiration to pursue a social justice career to make that job happen. Mercy also instilled in her the idea that—no matter what you do—you should strive for excellence and endeavor to be challenged and fulfilled. She is now a Staff Attorney at the Abrahams Legal Clinic, Creighton University School of Law.

Mercy Lessons of Social Justice Impacted Her Career Choices

 “Mercy had a huge impact on the way I looked at the world and the person I’ve grown to become,” said Lynn Fullenkamp ’02.   The pediatric resident at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital/Brenner’s Hospital in North Carolina chose Wake Forest because they have a strong reputation for advocating for children, especially those living in poverty.

Mercy’s Impact Beyond Measure

“I honestly cannot even begin to measure Mercy’s impact on me,” said Rose A. Laughlin’08, recent graduate of Creighton’s School of Law and new clerk for the Department of Justice for Immigration Judges in Houston. She also worked with the Public Defender in Omaha while attending law school.

I Belonged Here

Her family gave her the choice of where she would attend school, but after visiting Mercy,“ I had the feeling I belonged there,” said Rebecca (Becky) Marie Dale Girthoffer ’99. And belong she did whether it was on the softball team all four years, working in theatre or participating in numerous clubs or doing volunteer work at the Habitat for Humanity or Open Mission.

Mercy Fueled Her Creative Passion

“Some of my best memories of my time at Mercy were spent creating,” said Molly Cavanaugh ’90, co-host of the Omaha morning drive radio show, “ The Big Party Morning Show,” on Channel 94.1 since 2006 and veteran of The Second City in Chicago.

Mercy Skills Stay with Alumna

“Most people hear ‘tax’ or ‘accountant’ and think you must have a boring job. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Being willing to look at things (definitions, laws, tax regulations) in a different way, and the ability to express technical issues in plain English are skills I use every day. It is the writing skills (from journalism and creative writing classes) and critical thinking skills I learned at Mercy that help me the most,” said Liz James Joyce ’72.

Giving Her Confidence to Lead

She works for one of North America’s largest construction and engineering organizations and she credits Mercy with giving her the confidence to lead and take on new challenges.  Julie Pentis Link ’02 is a University Recruiting Manager for Kiewit Corporation.

Mercy Leadership Helped Alumnae Pursue Engineering Career

Attending Mercy High School, where every leadership position is primarily held by a woman, has helped Kristine Mattini Evans ’06 stay confident in pursuing a career in a male dominated job field.

From Mercy to the White House

She has one of the most unusual jobs in the world and the opportunity to hobnob with some of the world’s most influential leaders. Katie Bradley Waldo ’03 serves as senior associate director and trip manager in the White House Office of Scheduling and Advance. During this interview, she was planning President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba, the first visit from a sitting president since 1928. Yet she credits Mercy High School with being her guiding force, her North Star.

Providing Opportunity and Reinforcing the Importance of Being Involved 

“It is hard to imagine where I would be without Mercy in my life. The school gave me opportunity and taught me the importance of being involved,” said Emily Gonderinger ’09.

Applying Mercy Lessons Every Day

“The Sisters of Mercy instilled in me a sense of social justice and desire for equality.  I bring a bit of Mercy to my work every day,” said Shannon McClure ’95, Director of Research at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Acting with Courage

When Carrie Potter ’95 attended Mercy High School, the teachings of Catherine McAuley resonated with the young student and had a profound impact on her view of life and eventually how she approached her business career.

Alumna, Donor Pioneers in Legal Profession 

Meeting Jane Green Alseth ‘65 is like meeting a force of nature. The passionate, articulate and savvy lawyer, who worked in the profession for more than 40 years, tells it like it is and credits Mercy High School for helping form her as the person she is today. That is why she continues to engage with the school.

Alumnae Admires Radicalness of McAuley

Perseverant, compassionate, obedient, focused and open to new opportunities—these are all qualities that Margaret “Molly” Collins Beran ’97 admired in Catherine McAuley. Catherine’s life, to this day, inspires the successful Omaha physician, wife and mother.

Adventure, Art and Science Combine for Alumna

From an early age, Coleen Brannen Grant ’98 had an adventurous spirit. That willingness to explore nontraditional studies, try new things, and travel was nurtured at Mercy High School and led ultimately to an interesting and rewarding career in the sciences.

Mercy is in the Babbs’ Genes

For the Babb family  the connection to Mercy High School is truly in the “genes.” Matriarch Ellen and her husband Bill sent six daughters to our school. And that legacy continued when those daughters sent their daughters to Mercy. The family’s involvement spans decades beginning in 1971 and continues today.