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2/20/2014 8:01:00 AM
Academy recognizes alumnae for achievements
Jennifer Mills-Perov, Brittney Ryan and Joan Cornely Miller.
Jennifer Mills-Perov, Brittney Ryan and Joan Cornely Miller.

On Feb. 22, St. Mary's Academy will honor three alumnae at the 12th Annual St. Mary's Academy Awards. This year's ceremony recognizes Joan Cornely Miller, class of 1975, for overcoming adversity; Jennifer Mills-Perov, class of 1992, for achievement in technology; and Brittney Ryan, class of 1973, for living out a dream.

The event is set for the rooftop commons at the school, 1615 S.W. Fifth Ave., Portland. A social hour begins at 4 p.m., followed by the ceremony with award presentations at 5 p.m. and a dessert reception and after-party at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $20 at the door and $5 for Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and current St. Mary's students.

Miller's world dramatically changed in 1999 when a drunk driver crashed into her car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Doctors did not expect her to survive. However, after many surgeries and many years of rehabilitation she has beaten the odds. While she still suffers symptoms, she founded an organization that helps brain injury survivors.

Mills-Perov was one of only a few nationally selected students to assist scientists on the Hubble Space Telescope while attending MIT. After she graduated with a degree in physics she started her own consulting firm building web-based applications. Later she sold the company and earned her master's degree, pursuing her dream of working in technology and games.

Ryan studied music and dramatic arts at the University of Portland. She has performed in musicals and has worked as a composer, producer and television commentator. However, she is best known as a storyteller and the New York Times bestselling author of "The Legend of Holly Claus," a magical Christmas fantasy book series about the daughter of Santa Claus.

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