Leading without Limits

In each issue of Columns, we spotlight an alumna who is paving the way for others and "leading without limits" in her field.

If you would like to nominate an alumna, please complete the form below. Thank you!

Dr. Tracy Hilliard '95

Dr. Tracy Hilliard '95

Dr. Tracy Hilliard '95, PhD, MPD

Leading without Limits, Columns Summer '21

Tracy is the Director of Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement (CCRE) based at Michigan Public Health Institute's (MPHI) Seattle satellite. In this role, she directs culturally responsive engagement to advance racial equity through organizational development, strategic planning, measurement, learning, and evaluation.

Leadership Positions: "One of my first leadership positions was Student Body President at HNA! Thinking back on that experience, I realize now, that’s when I became aware of my love for engaging others for community building. The leadership skills I developed at HNA prepared me for my academic and career experiences as a lead researcher, evaluator, educator, consultant, and executive in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors."

Best Part: "In my experience, the best parts of serving in leadership roles are: inspiring a shared vision, motivating others to action, creating opportunities for others to grow and lead, advocating for those who have been marginalized, and uplifting the voices of those who have been silenced. I am particularly committed to leadership for mentoring students and creating spaces for diversifying STEM education and career opportunities in my professional and volunteer roles."

Read Tracy's full interview here!

  • Leading without Limits, Columns Fall 2020 - Alyson Palmer '02
    Alyson Palmer '02

    Alyson Palmer '02

    Alyson is an Associate Corporate Counsel on the Global Employment Legal team at Google in San Francisco. Alyson received a B.A. in Political Science from Seattle University and her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. She practiced law in Seattle with the firms Miller, Nash, Graham & Dunn and Stoel Rives. During the Obama Administration, she worked in the White House Office of Management and Administration and for the General Services Administration.

    Leadership Positions: "Service in leadership roles has always come natural to me. I enjoy partnership and collaboration, and I take pride in working with people to achieve a common goal. That’s been true for me since my time at HNA. While attending Seattle University, I was Co-President of the Black Student Union and founder and President of the university’s NAACP College Chapter. I also began volunteering as a mentor with the YMCA Black Achievers Program, where I led sessions on college admissions."

    Best Part: "There are so many great parts to leadership! At the top of the list for me is collaborating with other people and driving an audacious idea through to execution. Planning the Big Kids Block Party didn’t feel like work at all because the planning team was so invested, and the community came together to support our effort so beautifully and seamlessly. Doing that work reminded me that even as a leader, I don’t have to do big things alone."

    Read Alyson's full interview here!

  • Leading without Limits, Columns Spring 2020 - Denise Donahue Johnson '65
    Denise Donahue Johnson '65

    Denise Donahue Johnson '65

    Background: "I earned a B.A. in French Literature from the University of Washington in 1973 and spent my career working as a paralegal/office administrator for large Seattle law firms. When I was 64, I took up powerlifting; for the past eight years, I have competed locally, regionally, nationally, and abroad in powerlifting."

    Late Athletic Bloomer: "Growing up—and at HNA—I didn’t consider myself an athlete. I was 5 feet tall, and the few sports in which I knew girls participated didn’t really match my skills. Yes, I cycled, ran, and participated in dragon boat races, but who knew that at 72, I would be invited to participate in powerlifting competitions throughout the world as a member of Team USA! Powerlifting has three lifts: Squat, Bench, and Deadlift. I earned American and Washington State records in the Deadlift in 2014 and again in 2017. Of course records are made to be broken, and you know I’m still going for them again!"

    How Did HNA Help? "I was so excited to start at Holy Names—made many friends and learned how to coordinate with others. I was an only child so that skill was necessary! I learned discipline and caring and how to stand up for myself. I’m thrilled to read now how many more athletic opportunities are available to HNA students. Fantastic. I urge anyone who wants to follow a new passion, be it athletic or not, to do so. Through powerlifting, I not only reversed bone-density issues but brought added joy and stimulation to my life. Onward to future adventures!"

    Read Denise's full interview here!

  • Leading without Limits, Columns Fall 2019 - Ngozi Musa ’15
    Ngozi Musa ’15

    Ngozi Musa ’15

    Education: B.A. Sociology, minor in African American Studies, Harvard University.

    Leadership Positions: At Harvard, I captained the women’s track and field team and was a Student Chief Marketing Officer for the Athletic Department. As captain, I led a team of 60 very diverse people. I developed initiatives to improve team culture and cohesiveness, and served as a liaison between my team and the Athletic Department. I worked to drive engagement with Harvard athletes, students, fans, and alumni. In September, I began working in NewYork City at L’Oreal. I am a part of their marketing management development program. In the first nine months of the program, I am “in the sales field,” managing, monitoring, and analyzing L’Oreal and competitive business trends across retailers. Additionally, I monitor merchandizing and strategy execution in specific retailers across the New York metropolitan area. The second half of my position will be more marketing-focused on L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics.

    Best Part: "The best part about being captain of the Women’s Track and Field team was being able to learn from my teammates, coaches, and other captains, as well as grow in my leadership and communication abilities."

    Read Ngozi's full interview here!

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