April 2021 Nine Alumnae Selected for 2020 Domer Dozen Honor

75% of 2020 YoungND board Domer Dozen Honorees are Alumnae

We share exciting news from our YoungND Affinity group partners: 9 of the newest Domer Dozen honorees are women! While proud of all the honorees, ND Women Connect is especially excited to see these alumnae innovating for good in fields as diverse as health care access, equity in global agriculture, faith connection, and refugee empowerment. 

Read on for a summary of the honor and its selection process, and check out a brief profile on each female honoree. The Domer Dozen honorees gathered virtually for an awards show celebration on March 23, and their individual remarks are available at the link. 


By Joanne Norell, Alumni Association:

The Notre Dame Alumni Association announced its second annual Domer Dozen cohort, honoring 12 graduates ages 32 and younger for significant contributions in their fields, as well as in service to others.

The Domer Dozen program is the signature initiative of YoungND, the Alumni Association’s newest affinity group. The 2020 honorees include alumni who have excelled in health care, childhood education, international aid, faith, cultural advocacy, gender equity and space exploration, among other areas. They were chosen by a selection committee consisting of the YoungND board, University officials and Alumni Association staff, who reviewed more than 140 nominations this past fall and evaluated them based on a weighted ranking system and the nominee’s dedication to at least one of the four core pillars of the association’s mission — faith, service, learning and work.

“I never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary impact our young alumni have in their communities and respective industries,” said Dolly Duffy, executive director of the Alumni Association and associate vice president for University relations. “Our newest Domer Dozen honorees continue to prove this point. Their accomplishments as innovators, faith leaders, educators, advocates, engineers and diplomats are truly remarkable, and I know this is just the beginning of their positive influence on the world.”

The 2020 Domer Dozen honorees are:

  • Sara Abdel-Rahim ’17: Breaking barriers for refugee and asylum-seeking chefs

  • Nate Alexander ’17: Saving time and expanding the reach of life-saving organ transplants

  • Jessica Binzoni ’15 J.D.: Empowering displaced people in the Middle East

  • Glynnis Garry, M.D. ’11: Revolutionizing the treatment of heart disease

  • Katarina Goitz ’16, ’18 M.A.: An inspiration to a deeper connection with faith

  • Maria Hinson Tobin ’14 M.S.: Combating gender inequity in global agriculture

  • Terrell Hunt ’19 MBA: Serving the country in pursuit of a better world

  • Ashley Kalinauskas ’13 M.S.: Innovating to help pets with cancer

  • Bill Kennedy ’17: Enabling humanity’s search for truth through space exploration

  • Alexandria Kristensen-Cabrera ’16: Advocating for health care equity among underserved communities

  • Kara Strass ’11: Revitalizing Myaamia language, culture and traditions

  • Jasmin (Simmons) Tow ’11: Providing innovative educational solutions in low-income schools

The Domer Dozen honorees gathered virtually for an awards show celebration on March 23. For more information on this year’s honorees, visit domerdozen.nd.edu and follow YoungND on Instagram.


Sara Abdel-Rahim ’17

Co-founder of Tables Without Borders, which provides opportunities for refugee chefs pairing them with notable restaurants in Washington, D.C., where they are able to develop their culinary talents, build networks, and receive reliable pay. Tables Without Borders then supports these chefs by helping them find a job or open their own restaurant.


Jessica Binzoni ’15 J.D.

Founded HOPE + FUTURE International,  non-profit organization based in Northern Iraq that aims to equip displaced people with the necessary tools to thrive, not just survive. Worked as an attorney for the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago where she represented asylum seekers in asylum interviews and before the immigration court.


Glynnis Garry, M.D. ’11

 A cardiovascular physician-scientist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who is researching the regeneration of the injured heart, while treating patients suffering from heart disease. Studies cardiac reprogramming, whereby scientists can force scar cells into functional heart cells in an attempt to therapeutically cure heart failure.

Katarina Goitz ’16, ’18 M.A

Posthumous Recognition

Youth minister for six churches in Galveston, Texas before she was tragically killed by a hit and run driver in June 2019. Her work continues in the form of a blog, Katarina Lives On, and a nonprofit foundation, the Katarina Goitz Foundation for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, to support the work and education of youth ministers.

Maria Hinson Tobin ’14 M.S

Oversaw the implementation quality of an initiative committed to transforming the lives of women farmers at CARE, an international humanitarian organization committed to saving lives, defeating poverty, and advancing social justice. Since 2019, Tobin has also spearheaded fundraising efforts, raising more than $12 million for humanitarian aid to address crises around the world.

Ashley Kalinauskas ’13 M.S

Founder and CEO of Torigen Pharmaceuticals, a startup providing veterinary cancer care solutions for companion animals. Torigen’s first product, VetiVax, is an autologous cancer immunotherapy that uses the patient’s own tumor cells to create a personalized treatment to fight the cancer.


Alexandria Kristensen-Cabrera ’16

Third-year medical student and health policy PhD student at the University of Minnesota, focusing on disparities such as the impact of racism on maternal and infant birth outcomes. A member of White Coats for Black Lives, Kristensen-Cabrera co-organized and spoke at the Twin Cities Health Care for Black Lives Protest, which was attended by over 1,000 health care workers. 

Kara Strass ’11

Director of Miami Tribe Relations at the Miami University (OH), where she is responsible for strengthening the relationship between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University, as well as for providing advising and support to Myaamia students.



Jasmin (Simmons) Tow ’11

 Assistant Principal of Instruction (and the only bilingual administrator) at Monarch Aspire Public School in East Oakland. Consults on culturally relevant instruction, educating English learners and newcomers, interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, dismantling systemic oppression in schools, and providing high-quality education during a pandemic.  





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