The Service to Society Award is presented to a graduate who best exemplifies the ideals of a Notre Dame education through the application of their education, initiative and humanity to socially useful ends in the community, nation or world.

In 1999, the Alumnae and Alumni Association established the Service to Society Award. All graduates are eligible.

2022 Award Winner

Dorothy Pula Strohecker

Dorothy Pula Strohecker '52

Dorothy Pula Strohecker is a 1952 graduate of Notre Dame, an Honor Society member, a 1996 PhD in Literature from the University of Maryland, and the mother of eight. Since college days, she has been a student and teacher of English, American, and World Literatures, especially of Russian and Polish Lit in translation. Her dissertation was on the Doppelganger in Joseph Conrad’s fiction, and she has presented many papers at Conrad Conferences at colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Poland. She has written works of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including a workbook on English grammar. After teaching for Baltimore City Public Schools for a total of 13 years, she has taught Literature, Literary Analysis, and Composition at the Community College of Baltimore County, Carroll Community College, Baltimore College of Commerce (now part of the University of Baltimore), Towson University, and the University of Maryland at College Park.

Equally important with her professional employment has been her volunteer work. She taught literature and literary analysis for 20 years as a volunteer with the Renaissance Institute, Notre Dame’s lifelong learning organization. She also created the Education Committee for the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland, under which she formed a Book Club for studying Polish Literature in translation, that she has continuously chaired for the past 13 years and is still teaching now. Before these endeavors, Dorothy had tutored in English as a Second or Other Language at a local church, been a member of the Board for a local music society, sung for two different choral groups, run a literary book club from her home, demonstrated with the League on Human Rights in Randallstown, and volunteered with a local chapter of the Christian Family Movement. All of these activities have given her a full and fulfilling life, while she hopes benefitting many students, church members, and community citizens, and she is grateful for these opportunities to be of service.

Past Winners
Year Winner
1999 Patricia Fosarelli ’73, M.D., Ph.D.
2000 Diana Mand ’69
2001 Sue Ford Patrick ’67
2002 Retta Blaney ’78
2003 Diane Roberts McGlinchey ’59
2004 Carole Artigiani ’62
2005 Margaret M. Wintz ’45
2006 Susan Mueller Aumann ’83
2007 Mary Ellen Vanni ’69
2008 Mary Ellen Dougherty, SSND ’58
Kathleen Marie Engers, SSND ’47
2009 Mary Gabriel Roeder, SSND ’59
2010 Christopher L. Benzing, M’05
Virginia Bartlett Rugemer, C’91
2011 Susan Love, M.D. ’70
2012 Judy Geilfuss Dobson ’62
2013 Margaret O'Connor Markovic '82
2014 Andrea Bowden '69, Ph. D. 
Betty Contino W'89
2015 Susan Gardiner Larkin '65 Ph.D.
2016 Sr. Patricia McLaughlin, SSND '66
2017 Mary Ellen McFadden '67, MSN '85
2018 Nancy Ruiz Lee '91
2019 Sara Martinelli de la Guardia '69
2020 Veronica Walker Hackett '67
2021 Natalie Mistichelli Ramirez ’94
2022 Dorothy Pula Strohecker '52