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September 30, 2010

Brescia bestows alumnae awards on a volunteer icon and a successful young role model

The Brescia University College Alumnae Association will be honouring a member of the Order of Ontario and a National Nestlé Gold Plate Award winner with alumnae awards at the Homecoming luncheon on Sunday, October 3.

Joan Francolini

Joan Francolini (’55) is the winner of the 2010 Carmelle Murphy Award of Distinction. Since graduating, Francolini has been an exemplary model within the Brescia, London, and national communities. She has served as director or chairperson on numerous boards including YMCA, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Ontario Hospital Association, London United Way of London and Middlesex, London Community Foundation, and just recently completed her term as Chair of Brescia University College Foundation – all while raising six children.

In 2005, she was awarded the Order of Ontario and in 2009 she was recognized as one of YMCA’s 2009 Women of Excellence honourees in the Lifetime Achievement category. While being recognized is nothing new to Francolini, she says the alumnae award is special. “This award is meaningful to me because it places me with an extremely talented and impressive group of alumnae who share the values and tools taught to us by the Ursuline Sisters as we entered adulthood. To have this nomination come from my classmates is truly humbling.”

She continues to have an active role at her alma mater, saying “It is payback time! Brescia is a special place for me and anything I can do to help advance Brescia's strategic plans just seems the least I can do.”

Pat Pettigrew (’55) is one of the classmates who nominated Francolini. She wrote these words on behalf of the group about this year’s recipient: “We, her classmates, applaud Brescia’s action in recognizing her outstanding principles, leadership, and involvement in the community.”

Noelle MartinThe Young Alumnae Award of Merit will be presented to Noelle Martin (’04). After graduating with an Honours BSc in Foods and Nutrition from Brescia, Noelle completed a comprehensive dietetic internship at London Health Sciences Centre and went on to complete her Masters at Brescia in 2009. During her university career, Martin was recognized nationally as a leader within the dietetic community through receiving the National Nestle Gold Plate Award and the Canadian Home Economics Association Sally Henry Leadership Award in 2003.

Prior to her successful startup as founder and president of RD Services, Martin held a variety of clinical and community positions in the dietetic field, as well as research and administrative roles. In addition to counselling at RD Services, Martin teaches at Brescia. She is the past president of the Canadian Association of Food Service Professionals (London branch), and most recently assumed the role of Chair with the Hope’s Garden Board.

Martin’s nominator and Brescia colleague, Dr. Alicia Garcia, describes Martin as a natural leader. “Noelle took on leadership roles in the student association and in the process received a national award of recognition for her accomplishments. While at Brescia in her undergraduate years, she balanced her academic achievements with loads of volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and extending help to other students. What a wonderful record of success and role-modeling! I am extremely proud to have assisted her in her endeavors!”

In addition to the presentation of the alumnae awards, 10 second-generation students will receive Mother-Daughter Awards. This year’s Homecoming weekend features new events – including a tent at Saturday’s football game – and traditional favourites, such as the 100-mile luncheon. For more information about the events of the weekend, please visit

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Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Colleen Aguilar
Alumnae Relations Officer
Phone: 519-432-8353, ext. 28071

Julie Maltby
Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer
Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28280