Class of 2016

At colleges and universities around the country, many of our Mighty Mac alumnae recently celebrated graduation, eager and ready to begin the next chapter in their lives. It is a defining moment, a milestone to be commended and cherished. These young women have all inspired us with their resilience and determination, now it is our turn to inspire them. I ask all of you to share your advice with our college graduates by simply emailing your thoughts to alumnae@mothermcauley.org. I know there is a great deal of wisdom to share!

Below you will read some reflections from a few of our Mighty Mac college graduates who share about their recent accomplishments, and impart their wisdom and hope for the future of our McAuley Class of 2020.

Know a member of the Class of 2016?! Send photos and any other details (school, major, etc), and we’ll share on this page, on social media and in our upcoming alumnae publications!

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Alejandra Alvarez ‘16

Valparaiso University

Bachelors degree in both Economics and political science
 

Future plans 

Pursuing Master of Science in International Economics and Finance at VU in the fall. After graduation in spring 2021, she plans to attend law school.

"The rigorous courses that Mother McAuley offered prepared me exceptionally well for my first year in college. The educational structure allowed for me to feel comfortable with upper college classes, and allowed me to never feel behind."

Maggie Hackett ‘16 (pictured right)

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dean’s List

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Minors in Global Health and Gender and Women’s Studies

 

Played rugby and received first-team all-conference, forward of the year for D1 USA Midwest Rugby, and was named Female Athlete of the Year by the department of recreation and well-being at UW.

Future plans 

Maggie will be going on to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health to pursue a Master's in Public Health, preparing to hopefully make the transition into medical school. She will also be continuing her research in neonatal hypoxia-ischemia and assisting with a new clinical study.  

Advice for the Class of 2020

“My advice for this class is to remember the strong, intelligent, and confident women you became in your four years at McAuley. These skills you developed will continue to set you all above and beyond your peers. Remember to seize opportunities that scare you and use your mistakes as lessons toward reaching your goals.”

“My Mother McAuley education has allowed me to use my voice in spaces where a young woman could ever dream to hold. By being taught the value  of a strong woman's voice,  I can assert my expertise and experience, using my abilities as an educated woman to forge a path in the field of pediatric medical advancements."  

Kristyna Kresic ‘16

University of Missouri

Master of Arts in Journalism

 

In her four years at Mizzou, she was able to complete her undergraduate degree in three years and her Master’s in one year.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my McAuley education setting my foundation of success!”

Grace LePretre ‘16

Bradley University

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, Summa Cum Laude

Minor in Entrepreneurship

Kathryn McCarthy ‘16

Marquette University

Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, Cum Laude

Minors in Advertising and Digital Media

Annie Murnane ‘16

College of St. Benedict

BSN Nursing
 

Future plans 

Annie has accepted an RN position at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis

Faith Nolan '16


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, dean's list

 

Future plans 

Faith will be pursuing a Master of Architecture at UIUC in the fall.

Rebecca Rimkus ‘16

Carthage College

Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Summa Cum Laude

Minors in Public Relations and Women’s and Gender Studies

Named Outstanding Senior in Communication by the Communication and Digital Media Department at Carthage
 

Future plans 

She would love to work in sports media, particularly baseball! However, she is open to working anywhere in sports media or in media in general. She’s also interested in doing recruitment and admissions in higher education!

“My McAuley education provided me with the skills and confidence to excel in all of my classes. McAuley taught me that I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to, I frequently would look back on advice from teachers at McAuley that I received over the years to help guide me through tough decisions. This last semester was tough, but I knew that I was able to finish strong and could still succeed and a lot of that has to do with how much McAuley helped me grow academically and as a strong individual. McAuley truly helped shape me into an empowered woman, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Miranda Velez ‘16

University of Illinois at Chicago

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Summa Cum Laude with College Honors
 

Future plans 

Pursuing Masters in the College of Education with a concentration in Urban Higher Education at UIC in the fall

Madelynn Bolster ‘16

Saint Xavier University

Bachelor of Arts in English Secondary Education


“I am confident about my future and excited to begin teaching high school English. I'll try to sum up how my McAuley education has prepared me for the future, but I always find this to be a difficult task because McAuley has impacted me so deeply. My McAuley education instilled in me an appreciation for Mercy education. Not only did I continue my education at a Mercy university, I dedicated myself to learning more about the values of the Sisters of Mercy. This education allowed me to strive for excellence even through unprecedented and difficult times.

In all honesty, if I did not attend Mother McAuley, I don't think I'd be where I'm at today. Without all my amazing teachers, mentors, friends, and the guidance of the Sisters of Mercy's values, I don't think I'd have the vision or passion I do today!”

Kara Hynes '16 (left) and Gabrielle Marback-Pehler '16

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Graduated with Degrees in Theatre Studies (Public Relations minor) and History (Anthrolopogy minor) respectively

Kaitlyn Johnson ‘16

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Named an IUPUI Top 100 Student and Dean’s List

Simone Johnson ‘16

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Gies School of Business
 

Future plans 

Simone’s future career plans are to further develop her experience in marketing and sales in the leasing and real estate industry. She also plans to further develop herown business, House of GLAM, LLC. and continue to expand their non-profit sectors to various college campuses. Learn more: https://www.bookglamsquad.com/

“My McAuley education has prepared me for my collegiate experience by enhancing my leadership qualities at an early age. McAuley has taught me the true meaning of professionalism, dedication, and perseverance. Furthermore, McAuley instilled the value of education within me, even outside of the classroom. Because of this, I have been able to become a Forbes Under 30 Scholar and attend the 2019 summit, sit side by side with founders and CEOs of the largest companies in Silicon Valley during a six-day trip, and attend Think Chicago where I learned the true meaning of innovation within the Chicagoland area. When looking back at my high school years, I can honestly say that I received a lifetime advantage like no other.”

Breege McCarron ‘16 (left) and Kerry Mahoney ‘16

Bradley University

Graduating with degrees in Nursing and Community Wellness

Grace McKee ‘16

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management, Cum Laude

Minors in Airport Management & Planning, Political Science

 

Over the course of undergrad, Grace has completed four internships including with the Chicago Department of Aviation, Southwest Airlines (two internships), and United Ground Express (subsidiary of United Airlines). While in school she was also promoting the aviation degree program and mentoring students as the Aviation Management Academic Associate. When not interning or in class, Grace served as the Executive Director of SIU for St. Jude benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Future plans 

Grace has accepted a position as an Airport Planning Consultant. She plans to return to school and pursue a Master of Science in Aviation.

Jaclyn Prucha ‘16

University of Michigan

Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

Minor in Biological Anthropology
 

Advice for the class of 2020

“I want to say congratulations to the Class of 2020 on all of your accomplishments, and I am sorry that such a special year for you all has been cut short. McAuley has prepared you greatly for all the exciting things that are to come! The best piece of advice that I have received and would like to extend is to follow your personal passion. This applies to what you would like to study in college, your future career, and to life in general. A large salary or a number of achievements will not make you happy if you do not enjoy what you are doing every day. Use college as a time of exploration. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. College will be an academic challenge that is very new and different, BUT my four years of college were some of the best and the most fun I have ever had. Keep your head up because your future is bright, Class of 2020!"

Meghan Rokas ‘16

Loyola University

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Minor in Statistics
 

Future plans 

Meghan will be attending school in the fall to get her Masters in data science (a combination of statistics and computer science)

Advice for the class of 2020

“I would honestly just say to take advantage of every opportunity you can. The last four years have gone by faster than I could've ever imagined. Especially with my senior year ending like this, I only wish I had more time."

Mia DePatie ‘16

Bradley University

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
 

Future plans 

She accepted a job as a special education preschool teacher at Richland Elementary School 

Asia Ester '16

Southern Illinois University of Carbondale

Bachelors of Science in Health Care Management

Minor in Long Term Care

 

Future plans 

Pursuing a Masters in Health Care Administration at SIUC in the Fall. 

Caitlin Jandacek ‘16, Claire Riemersma ’16, and Nora Halleran ‘16 (left to right)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Graduating with degrees in finance, elementary education, and English, respectively

Mary Jennings ‘16

College of the Holy Cross

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
 

Future plans 

Getting her Master of Science in Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship (ESTEEM) at the University of Notre Dame

“My McAuley education gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and taught me the importance of community. My Holy Cross experience was all about trying new things and taking risks, and during this last semester the sense of community was especially prevalent.”

Lauren Kuras ‘16

Concordia University Chicago

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Arts

Erin Ludwig ‘16

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies, minor in Spanish Studies (graduated in 2019!)

Currently pursuing her Masters of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Future plans 

Using her degree to address issues like fair housing policies, homelessness alleviation, and housing for formerly incarcerated individuals

“McAuley teaches young women to speak their minds and hold their ground. The self-confidence I built during my four years of high school empowered me to embrace opportunities out of my comfort zone that have shaped me into the woman I am today.”

Isabella Mueller ‘16

University of South Carolina, Summa Cum Laude

Bachelors degree in Public Health (graduated December 2019)

Minor in Spanish
 

Future plans 

Isabella plans to return home to Chicago to pursue a doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Rush University starting this fall.

Advice for the class of 2020

“My advice is to get out of your comfort zone whenever you can. Being far from home was a challenge for me but it has helped me grow so much! I know they will all do amazing things wherever they go, as all McAuley girls do."

Tiffany Pickett ‘16

University of Illinois at Chicago

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering
 

Future plans 

Tiffany accepted a full-time job offer in November of 2019 as a Product Development Engineer at Navistar, and started working a week after graduation.

Joy Rogers ‘16

University of Dayton

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Early Intervention

Bachelor of Arts in French
 

Future plans 

Her career plans include her new position as a Preschool Special Needs teacher in Ohio. She wants to later go back to UD for her Master’s and get her Autism certificate, as well as continue pursuing her passion for language and global connections by traveling more. She studied abroad in Angers, France in the Summer of 2019 and did research on the special education system there.

“My McAuley education gave me the resources to become a candid, open, mature young woman who has a love for service, faith, and connecting with her community. McAuley developed my sense of advocacy, exposure, global awareness, and passion for teaching children that aided in my success at The University of Dayton.”