Board of Trustees Elects New Members
Members introduced at summer meeting
On June 15, Saint Mary’s College welcomed six new members of the Board of Trustees to campus for the 2022 summer meeting. The new Trustees are Jacqueline Leskovec ’74, Elizabeth Mendez ’23, Eileen Gallagher Loranger ’90, Tina Patton, Christine Swanson, and Lorraine Sheehan Wilson ’85.
The summer meeting also marked the transition of two key leaders. Current Trustee Maureen Karnatz Smith ’85 assumed the role of Board Chair, and Loranger became the new president of the Alumnae Association Board of Directors.
President Katie Conboy expressed her gratitude toward outgoing board members, including chair Gretchen A. Flicker ’93 who leaves the board after 11 years. “Simply saying ‘thank you’ to these dedicated individuals does not adequately express how important they have been to the College. In their time on the board, they have worked to ensure that future students will get to experience Saint Mary’s in ways that honor traditions of the past, but with an eye toward the future. When we welcome the new Trustees this week, they join a board that is strong and prepared for what lies ahead.”
Jacqueline Leskovec is a member of the Class of 1974, earning her BA in psychology. In 1977, she completed her MA in counselor education from Northwestern University. She earned her registered nurse (RN) credentials in 1983, and her master’s in library and information science from Dominican University in 1999. Leskovec is the Network Coordinator for the Network of the National Library of Medicine for Region 6 at the University of Iowa. Leskovec and her wife, JoAnne Grant, live in Chicago. She is one of the founders of Pride SMC, the first official affinity group of the Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Association. Founded in 2021, Pride SMC was started by LGBTQIA+ alums to foster engagement and programming, and to give voice and visibility to the SMC LGBTQIA+ community of the present and past.
Eileen Gallagher Loranger graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1990 with a degree in government. After working for a few years in San Diego with other Saint Mary’s classmates, Loranger returned to Chicago and received her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is a licensed attorney with a specialization in non-profit association work. She spent nine years with the American Bar Association where she focused on advocacy efforts to promote judicial independence, judicial selection reform, and judicial ethics. Following her work with the ABA, she served as the Associate Director for Governance, Liaison and Legal Affairs with the American Bar Foundation. In 2015, she joined the American Academy of Periodontology and served as the Associate Executive Director, Governance, Advocacy and Academic Affairs with a focus on board governance, policy, organizational management, and education. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Board of Periodontology, the national certifying board for the specialty of periodontology. She has served in various volunteer capacities throughout her career, especially in support of organizations that promote traditional Irish music, culture and arts. She lives in Woodridge, IL with her husband, Matt.
Elizabeth Mendez ’23, of Plymouth, IN, is a global studies major, and is this year’s student Trustee. Mendez is actively involved in many organizations and projects, including Student Diversity Board (vice president), La Casa de Amistad (youth program volunteer), and Catholic Relief Services (university & diversity intern). She is also a member of an international research project, “Colorism in the Mexican Education System”. Based in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico, this initiative is studying Mexican public and private high schools and universities, interviewing students on their experiences. At Saint Mary’s, Mendez has maintained a 3.95 cumulative GPA for five semesters and is a Realizing the Dream Scholar.
Tina Patton lives in Granger, IN. She earned a bachelor of science degree from IU South Bend in 1990, and an Executive MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1993. Patton is the vice president and director of nonprofit and foundation engagement at Indiana Trust Wealth Management from 2020–present. She started at the company in 1989 and has been a trust operations manager as well as the executive vice president/director of IT and operations. Patton and her husband Michael are working to revitalize the Near Northwest Neighborhood (NNN) in South Bend, IN. She has served on several boards in the South Bend community including Memorial Hospital and Hannah’s House. Her passion is her commitment to women and children, believing that education is an important building block to success. Tina and Michael are co-owners and co-pastors of Kingdom Life Christian Cathedral in South Bend, where she also serves as minister of music.
Christine Swanson, lives in Pasadena, CA. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1994, then a master’s in fine arts from New York University. A first-generation college student, Swanson and her husband Michael (ND ’93) live their lives inspired by their Christian faith. She is a director at Faith Filmworks, a production house that creates films, commercials, and music videos for genres including comedy, romantic comedy, legal thriller, drama, holiday themed movies, and more. She is also a faculty member at the University of Georgia’s MFA Screenwriting Program and a current advisor to the Film and Television program at the University of Notre Dame. In February 2021, she was the speaker for Black Excellence in Film as part of the programming opportunities for Black History Month at Saint Mary’s.
Lorraine Sheehan Wilson, of Fairfield, CT, earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Mary’s in 1985. A certified public accountant, Sheehan Wilson practiced at Arthur Young, Citicorp and a small business before choosing to stay home to support her family. She and her husband Chris Wilson (ND ’85) established the Wilson Sheehan Foundation in 2012 as a way to act on their strong Catholic faith. At Saint Mary’s, the Wilsons invested in scholarships for first-generation students during the College’s Faith Always, Action Now campaign. Through conversations with their scholarship recipients, Lorraine and Chris recognized the economic and social challenges their students faced despite generous scholarship support. Lorraine and Chris felt called to do more, and were inspired to invest in the Office for Student Equity so that all Saint Mary’s students can fully engage in the college experience and increase persistence to graduation.
Continuing to serve as Trustees at Saint Mary’s are: Maureen Karnatz Smith ’85 (chair); Jill Tiefenthaler ’87 (vice chair); Colleen Flynn Roohan ’85 (secretary); Michael J. Mathile (treasurer); Sister Esther Adjoa Entsiwah, CSC; Sister Veronica A. Fajardo, CSC; Sister Vanessa Cruz Ferreira, CSC; Donald R. Fischer; Gregoire Gallant; Sister Taposi Gomes, CSC; Sister Judith Hallock ’65, CSC; Mary McEnery Harding ’84; Father Stephen Katsouros, SJ; Rev. Paul Kollman, CSC; Susan Olney Latham ’91; Joseph A. Miller; Theresa Sullivan Norton ’92; Jennifer Mathile Prikkel ’95; Linda Schultz Salvi ’79; Michael Schmitt; Renee R. Schultz ’92; Amy C. Shelly ’91; Kimberlyn Martin Troy ’00; Kathleen Murphy Villano ’79; Sister Veronique Wiedower ’70, CSC; and Trustee Emeritus William J. Schmuhl, Jr.