AnnaMaria Cardinalli is the child of two Gael alumni and the youngest person to graduate from Saint Mary’s. She received her B.A. in Performing Arts at 18, a master’s from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame at 24. A classical and flamenco guitarist and singer, she recorded her first album at 15 and began her own label, Musica Mundial Productions. She worked in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008-09, where she was a social scientist embedded with the Marines. “I’m most proud of the heroic spirits I’ve been privileged to know and serve with in Iraq and Afghanistan,” she says.

Her role model is her mother, Giovanna Cardinalli ’72, ME ’73, who she calls “a model of faith and service,” and her advice to young women is: “Follow your passions. The things you love will be the things you have the dedication to succeed in doing.”

See other Women of Influence

40 Years/One Night, a "Gaela" celebration recognizing the 40 Influential Women of Saint Mary's, will be held on Sat., Nov. 6 in the Soda Center. It begins with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, a raffle and a silent auction. The keynote speaker will be Kristine Carlson, co-author of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series. Go to stmarys-ca.edu/womeninphil for tickets and more information.

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