Meet Some of Our Alums

  • Three Alums (Video)

    This year in celebration of Founders' Day, we sat down with three amazing Visitation alums who are truly living beautiful Salesian, service-filled lives.

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  • Carolyn Callahan Keller '79 with Dean of Students Eve Grimaldi

    Carolyn Callahan Keller '79: Breast Cancer Nonprofit Founder

    A two-time breast cancer survivor, Carolyn Callahan Keller '79 felt the urge to help other women going through treatment after experiencing it herself. She started EBeauty Community, an organization that collects and cleans donated wigs, then donates them to other women going through chemotherapy.

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  • Genevieve Ryan '07: Entrepreneur

    While interning on Wall Street at a bank, Genevieve Ryan '07 encountered a problem when she had cycled through all her work clothes within a couple of weeks. She felt that there was something that could be done about it and decided to look at current economic trends, which got her thinking about the concept of a sharing economy. Ryan started to think: Why not make borrowing clothes an option? After putting much detailed thought into her idea, she set up a pilot company called Blue Hanger, which she plans to officially launch in Washington after graduating from Georgetown with both her law and business graduate degrees.

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  • Laura Spanton Wharton '79: Novelist

    Novelist Laura Spanton Wharton '79 has written nine historical adventure and contemporary mysteries, many of which are award-winning. A professional writer for three decades, she has worked in journalism, marketing, and communications.

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  • Jamis Seals '99: Naval Flight Instructor

    Lt. Cdr. Jamis Seals ’99 is one of 56 Florida-based helicopter flight instructors charged with training every helicopter pilot for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. In this role, she has logged over 1,000 training flights with students—and along the way has learned that anything can happen up in the air.

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  • Marian Gallagher Canney '38 & '40: 45-year religion department veteran, inspiration, mentor

    One of the most prominent faces of Visitation, Marian Gallagher Canney '38 & '40 has touched the lives of thousands of Visitation students throughout her several decades of working in the religion department.

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  • Marguerite Lelong Kelly ’50: Parenting Expert and Author

    At a time when there were few resources for new mothers to turn to for parenting advice, Marguerite Lelong Kelly '50 decided to use her experience as a mother of four to write "The Mother's Almanac," one of the first parenting books to ever be published. She later wrote another book and a sydicated column on parenting that ran for 35 years - including in the "Washington Post."

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  • Annie Savarese ’00: Doctor for the Underserved and Imprisoned

    Working to meet the medicinal needs of the underserved and imprisoned, Annie Savarese '00 has a history of selflessly taking initiative to help those in need. Dividing her time between a health center in Northeast Washington and a jail in Southeast D.C., she practices family medicine and treats men of life-threatening diseases.

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  • Megan Gaiser '76: Video Game Developer

    Megan Gaiser ’76 describes herself as a creative strategist— and true to form, she has spent her career forging a novel path and bringing new ideas to fruition. She is best known for her 15-year stint at Her Interactive, where she and her team developed the Nancy Drew video game series for girls—a series that has garnered 26 Parent’s Choice Gold Awards, sold more than 9 million units, and shattered the notion that video games are just for boys.

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  • Evan Ryan '89

    Evan Ryan ’89: Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

    At a time when so many headlines teem with tragedies and conflicts from around the globe, Evan Ryan ’89 is hard at work on an alternate narrative. As the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, she helps manage nearly 150 exchange programs aimed at forging cross-cultural connections, improving lives, and promoting peace and positive change in our world.

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  • Katherine Hamm ’95: Franciscan Sister

    Katherine Hamm '95, now known as Sr. Ann Kateri, took her final vows as a Franciscan Sister of the Renewal in June 2014. Later that summer, she was elected Superior at Our Lady Queen of Angels Convent.

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  • Amina Brown Hammond ’02: Christian Meditation App Creator

    Amina explores the intersection of faith and technology with her Christian Meditation App, Mindscape.

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  • Pat Browne Randolph JC ’44: Reporter with a Front Seat to History

    Pat Browne Randolph JC ’44 spent her 40-year career in print and broadcast journalism focusing on what she likes to call “the good news.” While working for Dallas-based weekly newspapers and later TV news stations, she tried to publicize small, happy stories from her community. She shares one of her few difficult, sad stories: her recollections of the day she was to meet President John F. Kennedy, which happened to be the day his life was taken 50 years ago

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  • Zena Barakat '98

    Five Alumnae in Journalism

    Here, we introduce just a small handful of the myriad alumnae who belong to the fourth estate. To all of the women on the following pages, telling stories is a passion, and every day is an opportunity to learn something new and enlighten others. In their own words, these women share some of their most memorable experiences on the job and explain why they keep coming back to the page, the mic, and the camera day after day, year after year.

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  • Maurya Scanlon ’06: Theater Technical Production Director

    Nearly 10 years ago, Maurya was a Nolan Center regular, performing in and teching a variety of shows. Since then, she has completed her studies at NYU’s prestigious Stella Adler Studio of Acting, become a founding member and technical production head of a theater company that performs lost Depression-era plays, and had her hands in a host of other productions both on- and backstage. This fall, she returned to serve as Tech Director Dan Goldsmith’s right-hand woman and inspire students with her tales of real-world theater life.

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  • Barbara Tappan Black ’84: Chef and Restaurateur

    Barbara and husband Jeff run a total of seven food-and-beverage outposts under six roofs: Addie’s, Black’s Bar and Kitchen, Black Market Bistro, BlackSalt, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and upstairs brother BlackJack, and the recently unveiled Republic. The spots are frequent best-of list favorites and have won titles like the “Washingtonian’s” 2013 Restaurateurs of the Year.

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  • Amanda Kircher ’07: Theater Lighting Designer

    Amanda was a bright-eyed Visitation freshman when she joined the tech crew of fall production “Fiddler on the Roof,” hoping it would be a fun extracurricular activity. The experience was so much more, sparking within her a burning passion for technical theater that would propel her through four years of 35th Street productions, a demanding history-theater double major at the University of Pittsburgh, and numerous freelance lighting jobs post-graduation.

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  • Annie Daniel '06: Nuclear Submarine Designer

    Annie discovered her calling during a high-school internship at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division, where the Navy performs rigorous ship tests. Now, she designs nuclear submarines with General Dynamic Electric Boat, the Navy's preeminent contractor for these vessels.

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  • Liz McCartney '90: Co-Founder of the St. Bernard Project & CNN Hero of the Year

    A visit to New Orleans months after Katrina moved Liz to uproot her life and make a difference in nearby hurricane-ravaged St. Bernard Parish. The organization she co-founded, the St. Bernard Project, has now rebuilt almost 500 homes, and countless lives.

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  • Emily Warren Roebling, 1860: Bridge Builder

    With no formal training as an engineer, Emily Warren Roebling oversaw the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband was crippled during its construction—a remarkable testament to the power of her Visitation education.

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  • Jane Dammen McAuliffe '62: Former President of Bryn Mawr College

    Even at Visitation, Jane gravitated toward leadership roles. At the helm of Bryn Mawr College, she took women's education full speed ahead into the 21st century.

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  • Helen Carey JC '63: Award-Winning Actress

    Whether starring in a film alongside Meryl Streep or stealing the stage in a Helen Hayes Award-winning turn, Helen is captivating to watch, a master of her craft.

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  • Harriet Lane, 1848: First Lady of the United States

    This charming young alumna served as the official First Lady of the United States from 1857-1861 during her uncle James Buchanan's presidency.

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  • Photo by Marea Evans

    Francine Barron Mathews '81: Prolific and Critically Acclaimed Author

    After a stint as an intelligence analyst in the CIA, Francine established herself as a skilled and popular novelist. To date, she has published some 23 mystery and suspense books, including the Jane Austen mystery series.

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  • Elizabeth Tritschler Hillebrenner '97: Biomedical Engineer, Wife, and Mother

    Enthusiastic, outgoing, and bright, Elizabeth earned both bachelor's and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from Tulane University, returning to the Washington, D.C., area after graduation to begin her career at the Food and Drug Administration.

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