Angels Impacting the World


Jill Garlich ‘80 tells the students about her life after St. Joe. (Photo Claire Price)

Kate Doehring

On Friday October 12, students attended a panel filled with five St. Joe alumnae from different classes.  The purpose is for students to see examples of how former Angels have made a profound impact in the world.  

Director of Development at SJA Linda Decker, class of 1983, led with asking the panelists to give some background on themselves and something they are proud of.

Jill Garlich, ‘80, runs a family business and works with Girls and Boys Club.  This club provides children ages 5-18, who live at the poverty level and below. with help in academics and extracurricular activities.  She also stated she was proud to have had two daughters who graduated from St. Joe.

Katherine Fouler, ‘93, was a civil attorney, but was recently appointed by the governor to the circuit court bench.  She said that it was her senior service project at St. Joe with incarcerated women and children that led her towards her career.  

She said she is very proud of her ability in her career “to find a way as a woman in her job to be for her as a woman.”

Heidi Cerneka, ‘83, began with saying her thanks for being on the panel and said to the students, “it feels like we are touching your world”.  

Cerneka then explained she began teaching high school in Belize but realized teaching was “not for her.”  She came back to the U.S but quickly left for Brazil where she performed human rights work with women in prison.  She came back to the U.S to attend law school at the age of 49.

Connie Diekman, ‘68, began focusing on health and dieting after she took a home economics class at St. Joe.

 Early in her career as a dietician at Washington University there was an eating disorder issue with athletes.  She began working with athletes, student health, and human resources. She is the former president of the National Academy of Dietetics and former chair of American Heart Association.  She was even on Oprah spreading her knowledge about diet and fitness!

Dr. Stephanie Heavey, ‘93, attended Washington University and medical school at Loyola in Chicago.  While in Chicago, Stephanie is most proud of her volunteer work at a free health clinic.

Students were then given the opportunity to step up to the mic and ask some of their own questions.  

The closing question came from Senior Maggie Hannick asking, “How do you stay connected to SJA?”  

Jill Garlich said she was ‘thrilled’ to have daughters attend SJA and to see how SJA bests equips their students with skills.  

The panel was a great way for students to see how alumnae have carried out the SJA values and use the skills learned at SJA in the world.