2015 Hall of Fame Class

Community Outreach -

Helene Ballman Dudley '64

From the beginning of Helene Ballman Dudley’s days at IWA, her school and community involvement were evident: She helped spearhead a fundraising campaign as a freshman to raise money for a language lab – one of the first high school labs of its kind.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University in 1968, she joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Colombia. She returned to the United States in 1970 and worked in state and local government while also becoming a wife and mother. Her family grew to include five children, three of whom were Korean siblings adopted by Dudley and her husband. After her children were grown, Helene again became a Peace Corps volunteer in 1997 at age 50, traveling to Albania and Slovakia for two years. She also served as a board member of the National Peace Corps Association.

For more than 25 years, Helene Ballman Dudley has been involved with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Southern Florida. Using the skills she learned in Slovakia, Ballman worked to establish the Colombian Project, a micro-credit program that supports the Colombian community by connecting people with resources needed to help displaced families rebuild their lives. As chairman of the Colombian Project, she visits program sites to help ensure the sustainability of the project. She has also written and produced articles for major publications promoting the concept of making a difference through Peace Corp service.

In recognition of her many years of service, Helene was given the 2013 Lillian Carter Award named for the mother of President Jimmy Carter.

Education -

Mary Lou Mueller, Ph.D. '52

Mary Louise Mueller has spent her entire career in education, assisting students at all levels to reach their maximum capacity for learning.

Mary Lou graduated from IWA in 1952 and joined the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She taught ten years in elementary schools while completing her undergraduate education at Marillac College and then earning both a master’s in theology and a doctorate in education from the University of Notre Dame.

It was at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio where she thrived, rising to a full professor in 1975. After carefully discerning a call to lay life, she continued to teach at the university and ultimately was given the high honor of a named professorship, the Moody Professor, in 1990.

Yet it wasn’t academics where Dr. Mueller made her mark at UIW. She took time off from teaching to serve as acting dean of student development, where she was allowed to demonstrate her total commitment to assisting students in the learning process. She strengthened the university’s Academic Skills Program and authored an advisor’s handbook.

She continued to teach, and published countless articles and books in her academic career. She is recognized as an expert on the science of death and dying, developing a holistic and deeply spiritual approach to death and grieving. She is also recognized as an expert on Scripture.

Now retired, she continues to write and volunteer at an elementary school near her home in Schertz, Texas.

Government -

Mary Pat Benninger Carl, J.D. '95

Mary Pat Benninger Carl prosecutes homicides as an assistant in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office, but she’s hoping for a new job: That of circuit attorney, which will be up to voters in the city of St. Louis in 2016. But whether or not she gets elected, she’s already had a stellar career as lead homicide prosecutor since 2003.

Carl is committed to the pursuit of justice under the laws of the State of Missouri with the highest integrity and in an open and transparent manner. She seeks to send a clear message to those who break the law, while at the same time inspiring confidence in the criminal justice system. The felony cases she has prosecuted include instances of child abuse, assault, armed robbery, car theft, drug trafficking, weapons offenses and violent crimes.

In her role, she works with setting bonds for charged criminals, probable cause hearings, works with judges to enforce law and, when necessary, takes cases to court for conviction.

She believes citizen engagement is the key to a safe and vibrant community, and works with the police departments, neighborhood associations, community watch programs and other community stakeholders to ensure residents have many paths –and feel safe within the system – to come forward for the good of their community.

A 1995 graduate of IWA, Carl earned her undergraduate degree from DePaul University in Chicago and her JD from Washington University in St. Louis. She and her husband, Christopher, have four children.

Journalism -

Sue Killenberg McGinn '78

Susan Killenberg McGinn has spent more than 30 years in Public Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis. A 1978 graduate of IWA, she earned a degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1982. Shortly thereafter, she began her career in media at Washington University, writing news releases and editing the award-winning publication The Record.

Susan is now executive director for news at the university. In her tenure, McGinn has been a key, behind-the-scenes university figure for just about every major – and daily – event in the past 30 years. She has helped WashU grow from a regional university to one of the country’s top higher-educational research institutions. From around-the-world balloon trips following Steve Fossett in Brazil, to helping the university host presidential debates, to student events that happen on a daily basis, McGinn is known for her dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism. She not only has her steady hand and guidance in just about every event held at the university, she’ll answer the phone at any hour of the day to handle any media call that may come of it.

McGinn’s work has not gone unnoticed by her peers in the St. Louis media. In 1997, McGinn was the recipient of the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis’ Catfish Award; and, in 2010, she was given the Virginia Betts White Quest Award from the Missouri Professional Communicators. Susan and her husband, Jim McGinn, live in Ballwin, Mo., and have two daughters Bridget, 14, and Maggie, 8

Medical & Health Leadership -

Kate Reilly Becker, J.D., M.P.H. '80

This September, Saint Louis University Hospital officially became part of the SSM Health System. Helping make that transition was Kate Reilly Becker, who is now president of the 365-bed facility – a landmark and historic institution in the St. Louis region.

Becker’s new position is only the latest in healthcare administration that the 1980 graduate of IWA has successfully tackled. She has spent the summer transitioning from president of SSM Health St. Mary’s and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, where a national search is underway for her replacement. Becker, an attorney, has spent nearly her entire career either involved in medical cases or as a healthcare executive. Among her duties prior to coming SSM was chief executive officer of SLUCare, Saint Louis University’s medical group practice; associate general counsel for SLU and key positions in a variety of St. Louis area law firms.

After graduating from IWA, Becker attended Saint Louis University as an undergraduate, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in English. She also holds a master’s degree in public health and health policy from Saint Louis University and a JD degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

In a 2012 interview with the St. Louis Business Journal, Becker spoke about the importance of being a mentor to younger women. “We (women) tend to take for granted where we are,” she said. “But you can’t do that, especially today for women as they navigate through those early years of their career.”


Diane Hepper Snively '72

Throughout her entire adult life, Diane Hepper Snively has embodied the mission of Incarnate Word, using her God-given talents to promote human dignity.

That’s what Snively has done since graduating from IWA in 1972, beginning with teaching special needs students in the Indianapolis public school system. But she hit her stride as a volunteer at many levels in the St. Louis area, from assuming a leadership role in parish life to having a major impact on the St. Louis Archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate.

Now in her third decade of volunteering for the Respect Life movement, Diane is one of the persons responsible for the archdiocese’s Right S.T.A.R.T program, which explains to area grade school students the basic life issues and teachings of our Catholic faith. Snively was a co-developer of the curriculum and continues to teach it throughout the archdiocesan parishes. More recently she has begun preparing teachers to deliver the program. A devotee of all areas of Catholic education, Diane also serves on the School Board of St. Francis Cabrini Academy in St. Louis.

Snively and her husband Dave are active in a variety of charitable and philanthropic endeavors throughout the St. Louis region. Among the many recipients of her time, talent and treasure are the Roman Catholic Foundation; Legatus and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. She leads the rosary every Friday with residents of the Sunrise Senior Living Community and participated in two mission trips to Nicaragua with the Life Teen group from her parish, Incarnate Word in Chesterfield.

Diane and David’s generosity pours over to her Alma Mater. When she heard that IWA was planning a Mission Trip to Nicaragua, Diane was immediately moved to help make it possible for IWA students to participate. Quietly and anonymously facilitating access to Catholic education for students who need it is one of her signature activities. When pressed, Diane will tell you: “None of these ‘jobs’ were more important than raising my family and loving the people God put into my life – and praying for them,” she says. Diane Snively is a true woman of the Word.

Visual Arts

Susie Dietz McGaughey, A.T.R., L.P.C. '95

Susie Dietz McGaughey has made a career out of the fundamental belief that art, at its deepest level, can heal even the most strained connections — within an individual and within a community.

She has spent the past year on two projects in the wake of the unrest that broke in Ferguson last August: The project “Hearts for Ferguson,” a community arts project in support of affected children and families that resulted in more than 3,000 pieces of community art being distributed to Ferguson school children; and “Brush Pals,” a partnership of school districts in Ferguson and Maplewood-Richmond Heights in which art is used to develop a relationship between the two communities that promotes understanding and appreciation of racial diversity.

A 1995 graduate of IWA, McGaughey earned her bachelor of fine arts in theater performance through the highly competitive Conservatory of Theater Arts at Webster University in 1999, and her master’s in art therapy through Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 2006.

McGaughey is an art therapist at Great Circle Edgewood Children’s Center. She has also worked as an art therapist with the Wellness Community of St. Louis; in the Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care Unit of BJC Hospital; and as an art therapist in a variety of social service agencies in and around St. Louis. In 2003-04, she served as refugee youth drama director at the Center for Survivors of Torture & War Trauma.

She lectures on art therapy and is considered an expert on using art to deal with grief. She and her husband, Matt, live in Maplewood with their two boys.

Red Knight Great -

Sally Meek Robertson '93

This isn’t Sally Meek Robertson’s first appearance in the IWA Hall of Fame. She was on hand for the 2013 induction ceremony, when her 1993 state championship soccer team was inducted for the Red Knight Team Award. This time, she’s on her own as a Red Knight Great, and deservedly so: Robertson was a two-sport athlete from 1989-1993 in both basketball and soccer, helping both teams get to the Missouri State final four and was named female athlete of the year in 1992-93 by the Suburban Journals.

Her 1993 basketball team finished third in Class 3A and in that season she averaged 9.86 points per game, 4.41 assists and 3.45 steals. Robertson remains among IWA’s Top Ten All Time in assists and steals; was a St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro fourth team in basketball in 1993.

In soccer, her 12 goals and eight assists earned her first team All-Metro honors by the Post Dispatch. She chose to play soccer in college, first at Butler University then transferring to the University of Evansville.

Even with the individual honors, she still says it’s the team success that means the most to her – that, and the fact she got to play with her older sister as a freshman athlete.

She and her husband Ryan, live in Lake St. Louis, Mo., where she is raising — and coaching — their two daughters, Riley and Kayla, and works part-time in digital photography.

Red Knight Distinguished Alum-

Angela Kohnen '94

A state championship might have been just out of reach for Angie Kohnen, a four-year varsity basketball player at IWA from 1990-1994, but that didn’t mean her career wasn’t a success. Far from it: Kohnen still holds the school record for most career rebounds (975); is second in career points (1,202) and third in career free-throws (173). More importantly, through her quiet and unassuming leadership style, this “consummate team player” helped set the table for Incarnate’s first state basketball championship in 1995.

The championship would come in college. A four-year starter at Washington University, she helped lead the women’s basketball team to its first national title her senior year, becoming (at the time) the Bears’ all-time leading rebounder. Her impact on WashU women’s basketball program, which has since become one of the most successful Div. III women’s basketball programs in the country, remains large. She ranks fourth on WashU’s all-time career rebounding list (757) and 10th on the career field-goal percentage leaderboard (.496).

Kohnen embodied the idea of a student-athlete in both high school and college, earning a bachelor’s in English and American Literature from WashU in 1998; a master’s in secondary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2007, and her PhD in English Education in 2012 from UMSL. She joined the faculty of Missouri State University, where she was assistant professor and coordinator of English Education, teaching teachers how to teach writing. This summer, Kohnen and her family moved to Gainesville, Fla., where she is now on the faculty of the University of Florida.

Red Knight Champion -

Dan Rolfes

In 15 years as head basketball coach at Incarnate Word, Dan Rolfes has a 444-62 record — a .087 winning percentage— and has amassed an impressive six state championships, including the 2015 state title.

In the past three years alone, Rolfes’ teams are 91-3 and have won three consecutive Missouri state championships. His formula for success: Take talented grade school players and turn them into champions. For Rolfes, it starts in the gym, the familiar façade where no one takes for granted any of the championship banners hanging on the wall. At daily practice, Rolfes balances passion with precision to make sure every one of his players, from the superstar to the bench players, are getting better every day.

Among other accomplishments are nine appearances for his teams in the past 10 years in the national USA Today Top 25 poll, including 2014, when Incarnate spent the entire year No. 1; numerous coach of the year honors at the local, state and national levels; and an instructor at the Nike Skills Academy. But this might be the stat he is most proud of: In 15 seasons, 34 of his players have gone on to play basketball at the college level, 19 in NCAA Division I.

Prior to coming to IWA, Rolfes was varsity coach at Rosary High School and spent four years as an assistant at Saint Louis University. He and his wife, Lisa, have three children.

Red Knight Team Award -

2006 State Championship Basketball Team

2006 was truly an outstanding year in the annals of Red Knight athletics. Helmed by head coach Dan Rolfes, this group of young female athletes proved themselves to be one of the best defensive teams in the history of IWA basketball. They were able to hold opposing teams to an average of 36 points per game, and in doing so, brought home the state championship trophy.

On their way to finishing the season with a record of 31-1, this exceptional Red Knight team faced St. Joseph Academy at UMSL in the quarterfinal game for the state championship. Having already defeated St. Joe’s in the finals of the Visitation Christmas Tournament, the Red Knights came well-prepared for the task at hand. To those who witnessed this epic pairing of historic rivals, it has been recalled as one of the most memorable games of the decade. Although the coaches, the team, and Red Knight basketball fans felt it was almost as good as winning the championship, everyone knew they still had a job to do and headed to Columbia with their game faces on.

After blowing past Jefferson City 62-32 in the semifinal game, the Red Knights defeated Notre Dame de Sion 43-31 in an exciting, well-balanced match-up. Even realizing they were bringing the state championship back to IWA after an absence of 11 years, these young women were not content to rest on their laurels. Nine members of this 2006 team went on to play college basketball, seven of those with Division I teams. One outstanding member of this team, Felicia Chester, is to date the only person in the history of Incarnate Word Academy to be drafted by the WNBA.