Congratulations to the 2022 Alumnae Award Recipients! Award recipients were celebrated with a private luncheon on Sunday, November 13, at The Theater at Ursuline Academy during Homecoming Weekend.
Distinguished Alumna: Susan Heller Stanzel '57
She attended Holy Trinity grade school and Ursuline Academy of Dallas. Upon her Ursuline graduation in 1957, she received the Sedes Sapientiae Award for loyalty, achievement, and scholarship.
That same year, she married Lt. Thomas Stanzel, Strategic Air Command, U.S. Air Force, whom she accompanied to Riverside, California; Morocco in North Africa; Madrid, Spain; and Charleston, South Carolina. At each post, she volunteered her time in serving the Catholic and military community.
In 1970, Susan returned to Dallas and began her work with Holy Trinity parish, the Diocese of Dallas, and the community. She served as a Board Member of the Diocesan Convention on Parish Life, Coordinator of the Holy Trinity Jail Ministry, and President of the Altar Society. Simultaneously, she served on the boards of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, the Dallas Ballet, the Dallas Council on World Affairs, the Way Back House for penal ex-offenders, the Ursuline Alumnae Board, and as President of the Colony of the Meadows School of Fine Arts.
In her current parish of Christ the King, Susan has served on the Altar Society Board, as Coordinator of the middle and high school C.C.D., and as a Liturgical Choir member.
In 1985, Susan and her husband co-founded the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation of Texas to bring annual conferences featuring national speakers on public policy issues including Pro-Life issues, Communism, and other timely topics. She received national awards including the Cardinal Mindszenty Freedom Award, Motherhood Award, the Bishop's Pro-Life Award for Education, and the Catholic Foundation Award.
Susan personally believes that human life begins at conception and that each baby is made in the image and likeness of God. She served on the Texans United for Life Board, the Vitae Foundation Steering Committee, and coordinates weekly meals for the Guadalupe Home for unwed mothers while supporting the Bishop's Pro-Life committee, the White Rose and Birth Choice. In 1988 Susan coordinated the Dallas' Patrons of the Vatican Museum's Sistine Chapel Restoration Presentation and chaired the Vatican Etruscan Gregorian Gala in 1992.
Since 1994, she has served the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land as a Board of Trustee member, organized six pilgrimages to the Holy Land, chaired eleven Dallas Benefit Dinners and coordinated seven Benefit Dinners at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. She has received the Pope Leo XIII Gold Cross of Honor, the Seal of Jerusalem, and the Guardian of the Holy Land Awards. In 2009 she received an Honorary Masters Degree of Humane Letters from the College of St. Thomas More.
Susan considers her major accomplishment and greatest blessing in life to be her marriage of 65 years to her husband, Tom, and the rearing of their children Rose, Richard, Paul Michael and Rachel.
Serviam Alumna: Dr. Cara Buskmiller '07
Cara Buskmiller graduated from Ursuline Academy in 2007. She was President of the Pro-Life Ursuline Students (PLUS) Club, a member of the Science Fiction Club, and an actor and director of theater productions. She earned her Bachelors in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula CA, where she founded the Pre-Health Society and was recognized as the top female graduate to address the College's Board of Governors as a senior student.
Following college, Cara attended Texas A&M Health Science Center, where she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and Alpha Omega Alpha, and received the American Medical Women's Association's Glasgow-Rubin citation for academic achievement in 2015, given to the top female medical student in each graduating medical school class. Also in 2015, Dr. Buskmiller was consecrated in the Diocese of Dallas as a consecrated virgin living in the world, an ancient vocation of permanent virginity dedicated to love Christ as a spouse, and service of His Church.
Dr. Buskmiller is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, having completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at St. Louis University School of Medicine in 2019, where she served as one of two administrative chief residents and won multiple teaching awards.
Most recently, Cara graduated from a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine from the University of Texas at Houston, during which she also earned a Masters in Bioethics from the University of Mary. She has published 21 peer-reviewed papers in 11 journals on clinical and ethical topics, given dozens of presentations on research and clinical medicine, and most recently, was the sole female co-author of Sexual Identity: the Harmony of Philosophy, Science, and Revelation, a Catholic attempt to understand the complex issues surrounding what men and women are.
Dr. Buskmiller serves as the Chair of the Research Committee of the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs and as the Treasurer of Conscience in Residency, a non-profit she started in 2015 to help medical students and residents successfully match to and graduate from residency, even while following Church teaching on contraception, abortion, and sterilization.
Young Alumna: Gabriela Aguilar '11
The daughter of successful immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico, Gaby was raised to be a mujer del mundo (woman of the world) and value hard work and dedication. Her passion for cultivating connections and educational opportunities compels her to work for the growth and empowerment of her family and communities.
An Ursuline Class of 2011 graduate, Gaby was President of Latinas Unidas and the Spanish Honor Society and participated in programs with the National Hispanic Institute, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and the Global Relationships and Cultural Exchange. She volunteered in after-school tutoring programs for elementary students, provided computer literacy classes to families at the Reverchon Recreation Center, and coached the Dallas and Ursuline Debate Club NHI teams. She was the 2011 recipient of the Sister Emmanuel Shea Award for serving Ursuline willingly and generously.
After graduating from Ursuline Academy, Gaby moved to Austin, Texas where she studied at St. Edward’s University. She was a member of Campus Ministry, Hilltop Mentors, and S.E.R.V.E., and she worked in the Office of Community Engagement as the Social Media and Marketing Manager. She was a member of the first Google Fiber Community Leaders Program in Austin, in partnership with the River City Youth Foundation, to build greater computer literacy for underprivileged communities in the Dove Springs neighborhood, an area labeled as “one of the most difficult places for a kid to grow up.”
In 2017, Gaby not only returned home to Dallas, but went back to the place where it all started- St. Mary of Carmel Catholic School (SMC). As the Development and Communications Officer at SMC, she oversees and manages the school's fundraising, admissions, marketing, and alumni and community outreach. Since 2018, Gaby has coordinated fundraising events to raise additional funds for tuition assistance and school operations, spearheaded volunteer opportunities, and led the Madrinas Program, an outreach program aimed to recruit and retain Latino families in Catholic schools.
Gaby is a leader within her communities, motivating others to find their voices, see their full potential, and live their faith in action. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, volunteering, and traveling.
Sister Marie Staats Award: Susan Flume Bauer '64
As a member of the Class of 1964, Susan worked on the yearbook, played both basketball and tennis, and participated in theater productions. At Class Day, Susan received the Linz Pin Award and the Mathematics Award. After she graduated from Ursuline, she attended the University of Incarnate Word, majoring in Mathematics and English. During her college years, she decided to become a secondary educator. During her time an Incarnate Word, Susan was involved in both Student Government and Athletics. She graduated in 1968 with a B.A. in Mathematics and English.
After college, Susan taught at several schools including a junior high, private alternative school, and public high school. She was never asked to teach English. During her career, Susan was supported and encouraged by her late husband Gene to pursue her ideas for innovation and education. Susan and Gene raised three boys: David, Kevin, and Chris who are all Jesuit graduates.
Susan began her teaching career at Ursuline in 1977 teaching Algebra I and Math Lab. During her time in the Mathematics Department, she taught all the possible mathematics courses. She became Mathematics Department Head in 1979. While she was Department Head, she expanded the mathematics curriculum to include a wide variety of 4th year mathematics courses including AP Calculus. Susan taught AP Calculus students and developed pathways for a broader group of students to be prepared for Calculus. Susan was a participant in a national grant to develop modern calculus curriculum and the graphing calculator in conjunction with TI.
Susan started the computer science program in fall of 1981 with 5 Apple II+ computers and a thermal printer. She went to the University of North Texas to get a Master’s in Computer Science to be thoroughly versed in the subject. The first programming class had 12 students. Several of these students went on to be quite accomplished in computer science. Susan expanded the curriculum to include AP Computer Science, data structures, e-serviam and networking. One year of Computer Science has been a graduation requirement at Ursuline for over 30 years.
During the summers, Susan was Principal Faculty for Federal Grants to Improve Mathematics Teaching in Elementary and Middle School with her colleagues who were at the University level. She could see how elementary and middle school teachers approached mathematics instruction and how conceptual knowledge changed their approach. Susan was involved in these grants for 25 years.
In November of 1995, Microsoft asked Susan and Shaun Underhill, Ursuline’s then principal, to join a group of 12 educators to evaluate educational technology use in Australia. 1:1 laptop education was being used in many schools. The following year, Ursuline partnered with Microsoft and Toshiba to introduce “Anywhere, Anytime Learning” and became the second school in the nation to implement a 1:1 laptop program. Susan was a member of the national Microsoft educational advisory council and the national Toshiba educational advisory council. She gave presentations at multiple national and international conferences.
With the advent of the 1:1 program, Susan became Ursuline’s first Technology Director. She continued to teach Calculus and Computer Science until 2010. Susan participated in NSF Computational Thinking grants. Over the next few years, Susan facilitated visits to/from over 400 schools internationally to help facilitate 1:1 learning. In 1998, Susan was awarded the Smithsonian Innovation Award with a case study of Ursuline’s program presented to the museum’s archives. Ursuline was also awarded the SPICE (Selected Programs for Improving Catholic Education) Award in 1999 from Boston College and NCEA.
Susan also played a key role in the creation and growth of Ursuline’s global program beginning with the first sister school partnership with Huaxia Girl’s School in Beijing, China. She has also helped many of our global sister schools advance their technology program including Collegio Santa Ursula in Santiago, Chile who became the first school in Chile to have a 1:1 laptop program.
Susan saw the benefits of being a member of One Schoolhouse to provide increased options for students to take courses that Ursuline couldn’t offer and professional development for faculty. Susan suggested an innovative time grant to give faculty the time and space for educational innovation.
Susan has had various roles at Ursuline as a Teacher, Department Head, Academic Dean, Technology Director, and currently Director of Research and Educational Innovation. She is always learning and searching for innovative ways to foster education at Ursuline Academy.