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10 Under 10

Congratulations to our 2019 10 under 10 Award Winners

Liz Armitage ‘11 is a Marketing and Business Development Manager who works to help individuals suffering from substance use disorders and their loved ones find services and treatment. Seeing how addiction has touched the lives of so many of her friends and family, she knew she wanted to begin a career in helping people heal and change their lives. After spending nearly 5 years working in the substance use disorder treatment field, Liz has used her passion for marketing and outreach to engage individuals and help them find treatment placement. Liz collaborates with other treatment professionals, healthcare organizations, city officials, task forces, and advocacy groups to reach as many people looking for services and help them being their recovery journey. Liz graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 2011 and continued her education at West Virginia University and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing.

Catherine Knox ’12 - After graduating from Notre Dame Academy in 2012 Miss Knox started college at the University of Rochester and majored in Mechanical Engineering. While at UR she was captain of the cross country and track teams and the professional chair of the society of women engineers.She also TAed/tutored for numerous classes and participated in mechanical engineering research involving liquid metal batteries. After graduating in 2016 Catherine stayed at UR to finish her master's degree in mechanical engineering. Her thesis focused on computational fluid modeling and the movement of fluid in the inner ear. In 2018 she moved to Boston to work at the Wind Technology Testing Center doing structural testing on wind turbine blades. She has since changed positions and now works at Cambridge Consultants as an analytical mechanical engineer.

Deborah LeDoux ’11- A 2011 graduate of NDA, Deborah received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cazenovia College in upstate New York, where she studied fashion design and marketing. She also addressed issues of social justice and human dignity on campus through her involvement as a Resident Advisor, and later Resident Director, where she worked to develop a strong sense of community among students and staff and helped with both preventative measures and crisis management for a number of challenging situations including such issues as roommate conflict resolution, substance abuse, helping pregnant students on campus, bomb threats, and more. Deborah is currently the Marketing Developer for Visitation House, Inc., a home that supports women in crisis pregnancies. As a non-profit organization with a Catholic foundation and mission to serve those who are most vulnerable, Visitation House provides a caring home that helps women choose life for their babies and accompanies them during their pregnancies as well as after birth. At Visitation House, women have a safe home, healthy meals, and the support of a caring staff that help them re-discover their God-given dignity as women and aid them in developing their gifts and talents along with the skills needed to foster healthy families and make a difference in the world, giving them hope for their future. In her role at Visitation House, Deborah develops strategies for campaigning and fundraising, raising awareness among donors and the community at large about the transformational work that Visitation House provides in women’s lives.

Laura Madigan ’10- After graduating from Notre Dame Academy in 2010, Laura went on to attend Villanova University. There, she was a member of the honors program, ski team, and had the opportunity to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark during her junior year. As an undergraduate, she also became very interested in scientific research and worked in several biomedical research labs both at Villanova University and other institutions. After graduating with a BS in Biochemistry, Laura accepted a job at the National Institutes of Health as a postbaccalaureate research assistant. At the NIH, she studied severe asthma and determined that she wanted to make scientific research her career. In 2016 she enrolled in the Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry PhD program at Brown University. Her graduate research is focused on molecular signaling pathways that regulate adult muscle stem cell activity, specifically when these cells become activated to generate new muscle after injury. Long term, her findings could help lead to potential therapeutic targets to treat a range of muscle wasting conditions, such as muscular dystrophy or muscle atrophy due to aging. Additionally, she is also working on a project to characterize a novel mouse model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, one that is believed to be more relevant to study human disease treatments than the mouse models previously used. Outside of the lab, Laura enjoys running and skiing, hobbies that she developed as a member of the NDA cross country and ski teams. In the past several years, she have completed three full marathons and eight half marathons.

Urmila Mallick ’16- While at Notre Dame, Urmila received the AP Scholar and RPI Medal Awards. Most importantly, education at NDA instilled in her appreciation and the importance to serve one’s community. She served as an advisory committee member for the Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s Youth for Community Improvement program, volunteered for Sweetpea Animal Shelter and several youth programs, and later worked as a research volunteer in UMass’s Gene Therapy Center. The nine trips to Nrityagram in this time were only made possible by the immense help her teachers, Sister Ann, and her parents provided. Graduation from NDA coincided with her invitation into Nrityagram’s company, for which she then spent a gap year abroad. She taught, trained, and toured intensively within major cities of India, as well as in the UK, Sri Lanka, and the US. Since her return to the US in 2017, Urmila has been a full-time student recognized on the Dean’s List at Worcester Polytechnic Institute as well as a professional member of Nrityagram. She recently completed her 5th international tour with Nrityagram, including venues such as Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. She is double majoring in Biotechnology and Environmental & Sustainability Studies, with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Since childhood, she has noticed the disheartening situation of stray animals in India and has structured her own ongoing project at WPI to address this issue. She is researching social integration feasibility of stray dogs in developing countries through means such as service/therapy, law enforcement, and anti-poaching, and hopes to propose an effective organizational structure for this task to soon start working hands-on for better animal welfare and public health.

Libby McCusker ’14- Libby McCusker graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 2014. During her time at NDA she was a 4 year member of the Varsity Softball and Alpine Ski Racing teams. During her ski racing career she was the CMSL Champion 3 times, a Mass State Championship medalist 3 times, and a T&G Super Teamer all 4 years. Libby was also a 4 year member of student council and ski raced competitively in Vermont.

Libby attended Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where she pursued a Business Degree. Libby was a 4 year member of the USCSA Alpine Ski Team and helped her team qualify and compete for 3 National Championships. She was also a student manager in the office of undergraduate admissions where she managed over 50 student employees and was an active member of the Society of Professional Women. Libby graduated from Clarkson in the Spring of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship with minors in Human Resource Management and Project Management.

During her time at Clarkson she completed internships with top companies including Amphenol Aerospace and Target Corporation which helped to build an important professional foundation. She also completed a study abroad trip to Croatia and an internship with Camp Sunshine - a camp for children with life threatening illnesses and their families.

Libby was recruited from Clarkson by Anheuser-Busch and began her career in August of 2018 as a People Trainee. After training in St. Louis, MO she moved to New York City to complete a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt project. After earning her yellow belt, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay area where she now sits as a People (HR) Generalist supporting the Anheuser-Busch Fairfield and Los Angeles Breweries. In addition to her current role Libby is a lead in Anheuser-Busch’s PANORAMA group. PANORAMA is corporate wide organization that is committed to providing a work environment that is both diverse and inclusive; empowering employees to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

Kara McNamara ’15- After graduating from NDA in 2015, Kara went on to UMass Amherst to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology. During the spring of her freshman year she joined Dr. Alice Cheung's lab, whose research focuses on understanding and dissecting the signal transduction pathways that mediate plant cell responses to external growth and developmental stimuli. During her senior year she completed her honors thesis and she recently graduated in May '19 and have since started her PhD in the Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt University. She is currently in her first rotation, which examines the innate immune response of macrophages to the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori that causes peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer.

Sarah Nann ’14 - Sarah graduated with Honors from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with concentrations in Industrial Engineering and Computer Science. She currently works for The Boeing Company as a member of their Engineering Career Foundation Program (ECFP), a two-year, four-rotation leadership development program focused on technical skills development, networking, and the opportunity to experience challenging statements of work throughout the business and world. In her first rotation, she is a Manufacturing Engineer for the 787 commercial aircraft program based in Charleston, South Carolina. In her current role, she provides hands-on technical support to the production and engineering teams in the final stages of the build process. Prior to joining Boeing as a full-time engineer, Sarah took multiple internships and co-op rotations with Boeing, GE Aviation, and AbbVie Pharmaceuticals.

Outside of work, Sarah is an avid photographer, baker, traveler, and runner, and spends her weekends enjoying lots of time with family and friends. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her fiancé August and their German Shepard puppy Jaxon.

MacKenzie Niness ’14- Mackenzie Niness is a 2014 graduate of Notre Dame Academy. While in high school, she was the captain of the Swim Team, multi-event champion at States and Sectionals, and a Scholastic All-American in 2013 and 2014. She was also Class Treasurer, member of the Track Team, and a volunteer at the St. Anne's Food Pantry and Thrift Shop in Shrewsbury. She won the Coaches Award in 2012 and the Holy Cross Book Award during her senior year.

After NDA, Mackenzie attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania, where she studied Criminology and Sociology, with a concentration in Peace and Justice. While at Villanova, Mackenzie was a D1 Swimmer; her team won four consecutive Big East Championship titles, and Mackenzie won two individual and two relay Big East titles. Her team awarded her the Academic Award in both 2016 and 2017. The Philadelphia Inquirer named Mackenzie a part of the Swimming & Diving Academic All-Area Team in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In 2018, she graduated summa cum laude from Villanova University and was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In addition, Mackenzie was recognized as one of Who’s Who Among Students in American University and Colleges in 2018; she won the 2018 Joseph Betz Solidarity Award from Villanova’s Peace and Justice Department; and she won the 2018 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Edwin Sutherland Medallion for Academic Excellence in Criminology.

Mackenzie is very proud of two fellowships she won while in college. In 2016, she was selected to be one of 10 participants in a US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. She spent one month studying the transatlantic slave trade from the British perspective. In 2018, Mackenzie became a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Student Fellow to the Netherlands. She was an English Teaching Assistant in Amsterdam, where she taught students who were enrolled in hospitality programs. Mackenzie is now currently living in Pennsylvania after returning from the Netherlands in June 2019. She is using this time to search for her next challenge and is enjoying some time with family and friends.

Kristen Rezuke ’14- Kristen Rezuke grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts before attending Notre Dame Academy. At NDA, Kristen participated in Track and Field and the Swim team. She was the president of her class and editor of the yearbook. Kristen worked to her fullest potential in all of her NDA classes, including honors courses, ending her high school career with a near 4.0. Following NDA, Kristen was accepted to Providence College where she majored in Sociology and minored in both Business and Black Studies. She was a member of the Liberal Arts Honors College. During her college career, Kristen was a member of the Board of Multicultural Student Affairs and Women Will in hopes of bringing attention to the injustices certain groups face based on race, gender, and other identities. Kristen studied abroad at Stellenbosch University in South Africa where she explored the numerous cultures and languages within the country. One course at Stellenbosch had a volunteering component, working at a local primary school. It was at Ikaya Primary School where Kristen found a passion for serving students facing educational inequity. Upon her return to the United States, Kristen applied and was accepted to Teach For America to serve the students in her own country facing the same educational inequity. Kristen graduated magna cum laude from Providence College before setting off into the world to work in education. Today, Kristen is a Teach for America corps member living in New Orleans, Louisiana teaching mathematics in struggling schools where many students drop out or do not graduate. It is Kristen's hope that one day all children will have the education they deserve like the one she received thanks to her parents and Notre Dame Academy.