Dr. Laura Beer was recognized by her peers with the 2015 Professional Practice Award from the Western Region American Association of Music Therapy.
English alum Rita Vistica, SNJM, received the Excellence in Education Award at St. Mary's Academy alumni celebration in April 2013.
Vistica, 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 a bachelor's degree in English from Marylhurst University (then College) and master's and doctorate degrees from Fordham University. She 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 and is now a professor emerita. In her retirement, Vistica volunteers as a sacristan and adult education coordinator at St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Now in its 11th year, the St. Mary's Academy Awards recognize alumni for outstanding achievements and contributions to our community. Alumni are nominated by their peers in a spectrum of categories, and honorees are selected by the alumni association.