2018 Alumnae Association Award Recipients Announced

June 11, 2018  (Notre Dame, Ind.) — Saint Mary’s College is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual awards given by the Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Association. Four alumnae were honored at the Reunion Banquet on Saturday, June 2 as part of this year’s Reunion Weekend, May 31 – June 3. 

Distinguished Alumna Award: Karen Bush Schneider ’73

After graduating with a degree in modern languages, Schneider went on to be one of the first women to earn her juris doctor degree from the Notre Dame Law School in 1976, which propelled her 40-year career dedicated to justice and advocacy for others.

Alumna Achievement Award: Joann Vanek ’63

Vanek used her math degree to make a difference in the world and in women’s studies. A gender and social statistician, Vanek established, and significantly expanded, the global program in gender statistics, developing and directing three issues of The World’s Women: Trends and Statistics.

Humanitas Award:  Mary Hustead Bottum ’58

Guided by Catholic social teaching, Bottum has supported the College by establishing a scholarship and is an active member of the Los Angeles Alumnae club. She is committed to serving others as an active volunteer in hospice and pianist at a jail Mass in her area.

Outstanding Young Alumna Award: Erin Heck Shambaugh ’08

During her time at Saint Mary’s, Shambaugh worked with Professor Toni Barstis to improve the institutional agreement with Notre Dame for the engineering program. She now works for GE Aviation, but stays involved with the College on the STEM Professional Development Committee and as treasurer of the Cincinnati Alumnae Club.

About Reunion Weekend 2018: Class years ending in 3s and 8s returned to campus to celebrate the Reunion weekend, which amounted to 900 alumnae and 124 guests. Three classes had more than 100 attendees: 1968, 1978, and 2013. This was the first Reunion where the 50-year class had 100+ attendees with 121 alumnae returning.

About Saint Mary's College: Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College is rooted in its mission to prepare women to make a difference in the world. A pioneer in the education of women, Saint Mary’s is a four-year, Catholic, residential, liberal arts college in Notre Dame, Ind. The College is an academic community offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 30 major areas of study, including business, nursing, education, biology, social work, and English. Saint Mary’s also offers co-educational master’s degrees in data science, speech language pathology, autism studies, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

Contact for News MediaHaleigh Ehmsen, Assistant Director of Integrated Communications, Saint Mary’s College, hehmsen@saintmarys.edu (574) 284-5343