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

September 30, 2010

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 (’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.”


The 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                       E-mail:                       Phone: 519-432-8353, ext. 28071

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