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4/10/2013 10:19:00 AM
Academy honors three alumnae

On April 6, St. Mary's Academy honored three alumnae at the 11th annual St. Mary's Academy Awards.

This year's ceremony recognized Leah Bolstad, class of 1998; Patricia Haslach, class of 1974; and Holy Names Sister Rita Vistica, class of 1951.

The three women exemplify the spirit and mission of the school for girls, according to Coralynn Arrigotti, director of alumnae leadership giving and involvement.

All three have dedicated their lives to service — Bolstad as a prosecutor, Haslach as a U.S. diplomat and Sr. Rita through education and service to the Catholic community of Portland.

"They are beautiful illustrations of what women can do with a St. Mary's education," Arrigotti said.

A Portland native and graduate of Georgetown University and the University of California Hastings College of Law, Bolstad is an assistant U.S. attorney in Portland. She currently serves in the gangs and sex trafficking unit.  

As a U.S. diplomat, Haslach's work has taken her around the world, from Laos to Belgium to the Middle East. She currently serves as principal deputy assistant secretary in the Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Prior to this, Haslach served as coordinator for Iraq transition. She received an award for Afghanistan reconstruction.

Sister Rita, a Portland native who entered the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary congregation in 1951, has dedicated her professional career to inspiring a love of languages in her students. She holds an undergraduate degree from Marylhurst University and master's and doctorate degrees from Fordham University, was a Fulbright Scholar and received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. She taught at St. Mary's before moving to the post-secondary sector and offering French instruction at Marylhurst for nine years. She then spent 21 years in the French Department at Portland State University. In her retirement, Vistica volunteers as a sacristan and adult education coordinator at St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

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