Young Alumnae in Science Panel

The most recent Young Alumnae Leadership Council webinar was a wonderful way to connect and learn about our SHA alumnae working in science.
This accomplished group of young women gave us insight into their current careers, their paths to getting there, and how their education and teachers from Sacred Heart Academy helped pave the way.

Stephanie Berluti ’07, a budding entrepreneur created South Haven Farm in Orange, CT, where she is growing annual flowers, lettuce, and other crops, which she distributes to farmers markets and local restaurants. While Stephanie originally thought she would pursue a career in finance, many experiences and an open mind led her to find the happiness and fulfillment in farming. Similarly, other stories from panelists taught us that professions are not always linear. For instance,
Dominika Bajguz ‘11 shared she initially thought she would pursue a Ph. D and work go into research, however her knack for talking to people paired with her love for science, led her down a different path. She now works as a genetic counselor in North Carolina. We hope their experiences inspire our students and our young alumnae to pursue their interests and to be receptive in allowing those interests to evolve.
We love to hear where our SHA alumnae are now and to hear about the positive impact our academy and faculty has. Kyle Mitchell ‘11 credits SHA for preparing her “for all aspects of life. From your social life to your academic life to your work life and how to treat others and how to treat yourself..."
To summarize, here are some of the main takeaways from the conversation: 
  • Be Curious. No matter what field you might be interested in, learn all you can about it and get experience in it. If it ends up not being for you, keeping trying new things until you find your path.

  • Explore. The country and the world are big places. If you can, leave New England to experience other things that interest you. Home will still be here if and when you want to come back.

  • Use your network. Sacred Heart Academy not only provides you with an exceptional four-year education, but it also continues to support you through a strong network of SHA women.

  • There are no right answers. Focus on what makes you happy and what feels right.
Thank you to all the alumnae who participated in this webinar – we love hearing about where you are now! A special thank you to Erin Hillis ‘12, a member of our Young Alumnae Leadership Council, for moderating the conversation.
SHA Women in Science Panelists:  
Rita Matta '12, Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering
Rachael Cisto '12, Occupational Therapy
Dana Yakabowskas '12, Archaeologist, MA, working on Ph.D.
Alexis Cardinali '13, Physician Assistant
Dominika Bajguz '11, Genetic Counselor
Kyle Mitchell '11, Nurse
Stephanie Berluti '07, Farmer
JoJo Corrales '93, Ph.D. Basic Biomedical Science