2010 Alumni Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following alumni who were selected by the Alumni Board of Directors as the 2010 Alumni Award Recipients.

Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award

Catherine Bordeau, B.A. History ’04

Catherine Bordeau has committed her life to social justice issues, using her gifts, connections, and resources to help people. Currently pursuing her Master of Divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Catherine has lived on the East Coast since graduating from Stritch and has worked for such organizations as Franciscans International, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, and the World Council of Churches coordinating programs, developing communication materials, and working tirelessly to mobilize others worldwide to support efforts to address issues such as human trafficking, education, health and gender equity, and AIDS.

One cause that is deeply personal for Catherine is the termination of female genital mutilation, and she traveled to Kenya to help support efforts to counter this traditional cultural practice. Her inspiration for her work was a woman and her family who fled to the U.S. so her daughters could be spared from the procedure. Catherine eventually helped them gain asylum. Today, Catherine’s focus centers not only her continuing education, but also on serving as a community minister at Judson Memorial Church and as the interim coordinator of the New York City New Sanctuary Coalition, an interfaith organization that targets immigration reforms on behalf of families facing deportation.

Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award

Ellen Vander Heyden, M.B.A. ’01

In 2000, while still working on her M.B.A. at Stritch, Ellen decided that, if she had enough time to go to class, study, work full time, and still enjoy time with friends and family, then she had enough time to volunteer. After completion of her degree, she devoted the time she would have been doing schoolwork to volunteering. Coming from a family of four generations of breast cancer survivors, Ellen got involved with the Young Survival Coalition, an international organization which advocates for research and awareness in early-onset breast cancer. Ellen also got involved with the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition (WBCC). She has been with the WBCC for the last eight years and is currently serving her fourth term as president. As the public face of the Coalition, she speaks and writes articles on behalf of and travels across the state representing the organization.

She also participates in conferences, events, and fundraisers, as well as lobbying for legislation, occasionally testifying before committees in the Senate or Assembly. She also serves on the Public Policy Committee of the Wisconsin Cancer Council and is a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, where she was asked to serve on the national board of directors. She has participated in and helped organize public educational forums, and has promoted a public action campaign to gather personal breast cancer stories from people throughout Wisconsin to effect change at the national level.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement

Rev. Dr. Thomas Maikowski,  M.A. Special Education, ‘74

In May, Rev. Maikowski will celebrate 34 years of priesthood in the Diocese of Gallup, N.M., one of the poorest in the country. For 27 of those years, he also served as the superintendent of schools/director of education. Since 1984, he has served as a reserve chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and from 2005-08, he served almost full time while continuing to work part time for the Gallup Diocese. He has received the Air Force achievement medal, two Air Force Commendation medals, and two Meritorious Service Medals. Since December 2008, he is the pastoral administrator of a parish in Page, Ariz., but continues part-time ministries in the Gallup Diocese and the U.S. Air Force. He holds educational and administrative licenses in Arizona and New Mexico and has received recognition at the state and national levels in education.

In 1997, the New Mexico board of education recognized him for his assistance to the department in chairing committees, participating in on-site accreditation visits to schools, and working on projects with the state department to benefit Catholic schools. In 1998, The Catholic Education Association presented him with a national award for significant contributions to American Catholic secondary education. He leads conferences, keynote presentations, and retreats for Catholic school educators across the country. He is also a college instructor through various universities, where he continues to help teachers in remote areas maintain their accreditation.

Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award

Terri Rocole, M.E. Ministry ’06

As the senior vice president of Mission Services at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare (WFH), Terri provides leadership for the integration of the mission and values into the strategic direction. Wheaton is a division of Wheaton Franciscan Services, Inc., a Catholic, nonprofit organization with more than 100 sites in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

As a member of the Wheaton senior executive team who oversees the areas of ethics, spiritual care services, and mission integration, she has redesigned and implemented a new model for the delivery of Mission Services across the Wheaton system; developed and implemented qualitative and quantitative measures for mission integration, ethics, and spiritual care; chartered the Wheaton Environmental Sustainability Council and set the team’s strategic goals for 2010. She is also the on the board of directors for the Wheaton-All Saints Volunteers in Partnership. In addition to Wheaton, she has been on the boards of United Way of Racine and the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization and was a member of the College Readiness 21 Task Force for Racine/Kenosha County.

Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award

Justina Shaw, B.A. Sociology ’06

Having overcome many obstacles in life, including a childhood marred by her mother’s drug addiction and mental illness, Justina Shaw understands how difficult life can be. During her graduate studies at Eastern University, she saw a need for services for homeless young adults and decided to help. She and Nijah Famous created the non-profit organization OPPORTUNITIES in 2008 to help 18-25 year old homeless individuals in the Philadelphia area achieve their academic and professional goals. OPPORTUNITIES provides stable shelter, life skills training, career counseling, and educational training.

Through mentorship, goal setting, and financial literacy training, OPPORTUNITIES residents are equipped with the skills necessary to become self sufficient adults. During her time at Stritch, Justina was involved in myriad activities on and off campus and received the President’s Student Service Award from the White House for her varied volunteer efforts. In addition to a study abroad experience at London Metropolitan University in England, she became involved in Students in Free Enterprise and helped develop marketing plans for local businesses. She also assisted in the promotion of programs offered by Stritch’s Center for Calling and Engagement and was among the first to participate in its Lilly Vocation Fellows program, which affords students an opportunity to receive financial support for the theological exploration of vocation while completing their degree. 

Spirit of St. Francis Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the Community
Sherrie Tussler, B.S. Management, '97

For the past 20 years, Sherrie Tussler has been working towards social justice, including leading advocacy, job training, education, and health care programs serving the poor. Since 1997, she has served as executive director of Hunger Task Force, Inc., where she has organized local, state, and federal administrators to improve access to food for children. She secured large commodity distribution contracts from the state and federal governments in order to augment Hunger Task Force's ability to provide for Milwaukee's hungry, and she moved the organization to a dramatically improved office and warehouse facility. Prior to her work with Hunger Task Force, she served as director of the nonprofit Milwaukee Emergency Shelter, Inc., also known as Hope House.

As director, Sherrie secured a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and successfully completed a $1.7 million capital campaign, including oversight of construction of a new facility. She also oversaw the creation of emergency and transitional housing services, health care, education, job placement, and child care for homeless families. She has also won several awards for her social justice work, including being named one of Milwaukee’s “Forty under Forty” leaders by the Business Journal in 1996, the Dan Glickman Pyramid of Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1999, the Charles McNeer Leadership Award from Future Milwaukee in 2000, and the Victory Against Hunger Award from the Congressional Hunger Center in 2001.