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Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award

The Stuart Alumnae Association is proud to announce Ellen Susman, Class of 1968, as the 2018 recipient of the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award.

Established to honor the memory of Barbara Boggs Sigmund, a former Stuart teacher and public servant, the purpose of the award is to highlight the achievement of a Stuart alumna and to demonstrate the relevance and merit of a Sacred Heart education in the contemporary world.

Criteria for the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award require that a candidate demonstrate a commitment in her life to the Sacred Heart values of:

  • A social awareness which impels to action,
  • A critical sense which has led to reflection in our society and its values, and
  • A profound commitment to the improvement of the human condition in the world.

Ellen Susman ’68 was one of the earliest graduates of Stuart and took advantage of every opportunity to create connection and community while she was here. Ellen found Stuart to be a welcoming environment for her boundless creativity. Her initiatives to implement a school store and establish the school’s first yearbook united the students in new and meaningful ways. She credits Stuart and its inspiring female faculty for encouraging her curiosity and giving her permission to be fearless and to try anything—lessons she carries with her to this day.

Ellen’s early career as a television journalist honed her talents as a reporter. She later put those skills to use, producing an award-winning television show focusing on work-life balance. After the death of her sister Carol Spencer Mitchell, who also attended Stuart, Ellen edited and published “Danger Pay,” a memoir based on Carol’s journals as a photojournalist in the Middle East.

Ellen’s passion for art, theater, media, healthcare and women’s issues have led her to do meaningful work in each of those communities—not only throughout the United States but around the world. She served for three years as the director of the US Department of State Art in Embassies Program, a public-private partnership of American and international artists, collectors, galleries, foundations, museums and universities. She is currently active on many nonprofit boards and is president of the Susman Foundation, which supports a national progressive agenda in the areas of justice, the environment, and media.

Prior Recipients

2016: Lily Parrot '06
Service manager, refugee support and international family tracing at the British Red Cross

2014: Margaret "Gary" Hughes Bender ’75
Social advocacy leader and educator committed to creating awareness of injustices facing people with developmental disabilities

2012: Leigh Morlock ’00
Founder of Push Pull Cambodia, a fashion social enterprise that uses business as a tool to combat poverty

2010: Kathy Fox Feeny ’71
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for HealthCompare

2008: Shelley A. Hearne, Ph.D. ’79
Managing Director for The Pew Charitable Trusts' National Health and Human Services Program, Washington, D.C.

2006: Catherine McVay Hughes ’78
Founder and President of and leader in the rebuilding of an environmentally safe Lower Manhattan after 9/11.

2004: Megan Hunter Ruf ’97
Manager of the Environment and Community Health office at Isles, Inc., Trenton, N.J.

2002: Sasa Olessi Montano ’78
Princeton University’s first Director of the Center for Community Service and Founder of Latinas Unidas, Trenton, N.J.

2000: Lee Jamieson Englert ’83
Attorney and Community Volunteer.

1998: Nina Shea ’71
Founder and Director of the Center for Religious Freedom, Washington D.C.

1996: Nell Merlino ’71
Founder of Take Our Daughters to Work Day.

1994: Margaret O'Hara Swanke '79

1992: Reverend Lisa G. Fischbeck '73