OLP’s Women's Symposium Mission: To Empower Young Women

A Mid City News Article 

As the oldest high school in San Diego and the only all girls’ school in the county, the Academy of our Lady of Peace School hosts third annual Women’s Symposium, March 31

(OLP) has been serving as an epicenter for young women’s education since its founding in 1882. From its humble beginnings downtown to its current location “between the Heights,” OLP’s mission continues to empower young women in an innovative learning environment, conscientious to the needs of others, with a commitment toward educational excellence.

OLP’s student population spans 72 ZIP codes across the mega-region of San Diego into Baja California. Annually OLP celebrates 100 percent of its graduates going on to higher education. On average, 22 percent of graduates are first-generation college students. In OLP’s 2016 graduating class, 39 percent of students declared a STEM major in college, compared with the national average of only 16 percent.

As the only all girls’ school in San Diego, OLP is thrilled to serve as the hub for girls and women to learn and network together across generations — to engage in topics that affect women alike. During women’s history month in March, OLP will host its third annual Women’s Symposium on March 31. Modeled after speaker panels at leading universities, the Women’s Symposium brings together top women in their fields to share their insights to success with students and guests. Open to the community, the event allows for intimate discussions to take place, aimed at helping the next generation of women leaders.

 OLP has partnered with some of San Diego’s premier companies such as I.E. Pacific Inc., Qualcomm and Barney & Barney to sponsor the Women’s Symposium.

This year’s keynote speaker is an OLP alumna from the class of 1996, Marcela Valladolid. Valladolid is a famous chef, entrepreneur, author and co-host of the Food Network television series, “The Kitchen.” She has released two cookbooks, both reaching the No. 1 spot on Amazon, hosted her own Food Network show, “Mexican Made Easy,” and created her own product line. As a student who experienced first-hand the powerful all girls’ community of OLP, Valladolid is excited to come back to her alma mater to share her inspiring journey with students.

Arts and Entertainment Panel: Facilitator: Anne Sweeney, member of the board of directors at Netflix and former president of Disney-ABC Television Group; Brenda Chapman, writer, animation story artist and director (“Brave,” “The Lion King”); Carol Lazier, president of the board of directors at the San Diego Opera; Priscilla Guido ‘00, client development at Christie’s Mexico City; Alexia Maria Esquer, fashion designer and CEO, Alexia Maria.

 Business and Entrepreneurship Panel: Facilitator: Felena Hanson, ounder of Hera Hub; Michele Comtois, principal, Barney & Barney; Mary Ann McGarry, president and CEO, partner of Guild Mortgage Company; Jamie Moraga, president and CEO of intelliSolutions Inc.; Amy Wimer, vice president and associate publisher of the San Diego Business Journal.

 Healthcare Panel: Facilitator: Dr. Diane Perez, physician, medical journalist, author, news anchor and television host; Dr. Patricia Aubanel, world renowned intervention cardiologist; Dr. Priscilla Ibarra ‘98, dermatologist; Patricia Robinson, R.N., co-founder and executive board member for Mercy Outreach Surgical Team (M.O.S.T.); Laura Van’t veer Ph.D, world-renowned molecular biologist.

STEM Panel: Facilitator: Cheryl Goodman, executive director at Athena San Diego; Ilkay Altintas, Ph.D, director for the Center of Excellence in Workflows for Data Science at the San Diego Supercomputer Center; Corina Antal, Ph.D, postdoctoral research associate at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Katy Croff Bell ‘96, vice president of Ocean Exploration Trust and chief scientist of the Nautilus Exploration Program; Kristi Jaska, vice president of strategy and innovation at ViaSat. She was the sixth employee at ViaSat.


Fri, March 31, 2017, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT


OLP Campus, 4860 Oregon St, San Diego, CA 92116

Event Schedule:
  • 8:45 a.m: Registration, Opens/Leaders Breakfast
  • 9:45 a.m: Welcome and Keynote Assembly
  • 10:30 a.m: Session 1
  • 11:10 a.m:  Break
  • 11:20 a.m: Session 2
  • 12:05 p.m: Closing Assembly
  • 1:00 p.m: Networking Lunch
All tickets include access to the Leaders Breakfast and Networking Lunch)
  • $50 – General
  • $15 - OLP Alumnae / College Student / Young Professional (under 30 years old)

To learn more about the event or purchase tickets, go to aolp.org/olpws or contact Alexis Rodriguez at [email protected].