TMLA Celebrates International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women's Day on March 8, we invited back 11 TMLA Alumnae Trailblazers who have opened doors and shattered glass ceilings in fields such as finance, film, education, medicine, journalism, and leadership.

Anjali Aidasani '12 has a double Bachelor's in Political Economy from Barnard and Columbia. She currently serves as VP of Private Credit for Alliance Bernstein. Her career has been in finance, business, and leadership. Anjali also served as CIO of Smart Woman Securities, which is a leader in encouraging financial literacy for women and girls.  

Danielle Battista '95 is Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and a passionate advocate of Financial Literacy for women. Danielle has also served as President of the NYC Women's Exchange. 

Jada Gomez Lacayo '00 with Bachelor's in Print and Broadcast Journalism from NYU, has worked as a Reporter for FORTUNE, Time and People magazines. Jada has also served as Digital Editor for Latina Media, Deputy Editor for Interactive One, Executive Editor for Bustle, Senior Editor for Medium and Executive Editor for POPSUGAR

Jessica Lee de Jimenez '78 graduated from Wheaton College and has had an extensive career as an entrepreneur and in the entertainment, fashion and film production industries.

Erin Lynch Reyes '97 has BA in Social Studies from St. Joseph's, MA in Social Studies Education from St. John's and  MA in Educational Administration from Mercy College. Erin serves as Deputy Superintendent of the NYC DOE, has served as Principal and AP of IS96 in Brooklyn as well as Dean of Students and Social Studies teacher at IS62 in Brooklyn. Erin is a new member of TMLA's Board of Trustees. 

Marie Menendez '79 with BS and MBA from NYU. A retired Senior VP for Moody's Investors,  Marie is passionate about financial literacy and introducing more young women to finance. Marie works with a group called Invest in Girls that provides financial literacy education to young women. This program normally charges a fee for participation but Marie has volunteered to cover that fee and serve as the instructor for any financial literacy courses offered at TMLA. 

Rosalba Messina '79 is a highly regarded "C-Suite Executive" with BBA in Business Administration and Human Resources and MPA in Public Administration from Baruch College. Rosalba has served as VP of Finance for Women in Need, as CEO of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and also owns a consulting firm where she serves as interim CEO, COO or CFO of large corporations during their searches for new leadership. 

Amy Rapkiewicz, M.D. '95 is Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Suffolk County. She is owner of her own Anatomic Pathology Lab and is also Assistant Professor of Pathology at NYU Langone Medical School. Amy is the pathologist who first spotted blood clots as a leading cause of death from Covid.  

Denay Richards '15 has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Molecular Biology (with minors in Neuroscience) from Princeton and is currently a dual MD/Ph.D. candidate at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of Rutgers. 

Marissa Joyce Stamps '17 has double Bachelor's degrees in Drama and Journalism from NYU and MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. She is an Instructor in Brooklyn College's English Department, the Literary Manager of The Workshop's Theater, and a member of Dramatists' Guild and Playwrights' Center. Marissa is the recipient of the 2023 Princess Grace Playwriting Award/New Dramatists Residency. She is a member of Clubbed Thumb's 2023-2024 Early-Career Writers Group, a member of EST/Youngblood, a New Georges Affiliate Artist, and was named Finalist for The National Black Theatre's 2023 I AM SOUL Playwrights Residency. She is also a Mercury Store Fall 2023 Lead Artist. 

Marina Tejada, D.V.M. '00 has a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell and is the Supervising Veterinarian for North Shore. 

Alumnae met with students in small group discussions where they answered any student’s questions related to her paths up to and after graduation from TMLA. Our alums enjoyed lunch with Student Council and leadership from TMLA's Black Student Union before embarking on a tour of some of TMLA's new spaces, like our Caroline Tear Latham '79 Engineering Lab and new Health Sciences Lab. At the end of the day a school-wide assembly enabled our alums to engage in a spirited and empowering Q&A session with students.

When The Mary Louis Academy opened its doors in 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, opening a school with the stated purpose of preparing young women for college was a statement of belief in the future and in the incredible contributions of women to that future. The Mary Louis woman would make a difference...and she does!