A Special Thank You to our Hill Alumnae Veterans

St. Joseph Hill Academy is deeply grateful to all Veterans who have selflessly and bravely served our country and to those who continue to serve. We are especially proud of our own Hill Alumnae for their courage, fortitude, and sacrifice. You are an inspiration to all of the Hill Community and you have paved the way for future generations of servicewomen. On Veteran's Day, and every day, your Alma Mater thanks you for your commitment, strength, and perseverance in the service to your country!

In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to share the stories of the following Hill Alumnae who have bravely served our country. This is not at all an exhaustive list of all the Hill Alumnae who have served or continue to serve in the US Armed Forces. We want to recognize and honor Veterans all-year round so please share your stories with us if you or a fellow Hill grad is a US Veteran. Contact Lindsey Minkoff at LMinkoff@stjhill.org and we will continue to share your stories with our Hill community and current students.
 
Veterans
 
Below we share the stories of five Hill graduates and Veterans of the United States Armed Forces:
  • Michele Gonzalez, '99
  • Cindy Codispoti, '91
  • Robin L. Mahady, '88
  • Kaitlin Dryden, '06
  • Angela Monfiletto, '14
 
GonzalezMichele graduated from St. Joseph Hill Academy High School in 1999 and then from West Point (United States Military Academy) in 2003. Michele was commissioned a 2nd LT in the Army (branched Military Intelligence). Over the next six years, she was promoted to Captain and deployed to Iraq three times (in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/OIF). Her roles ranged from Executive Officer of a Military Intelligence Company, Brigade Intelligence Staff Officer (for an Aviation Brigade) and the Division Lethal Targeting Officer (for all of Baghdad). The targeting officer role was her last in the army and most rewarding. She was in charge of a 14-soldier team that was responsible for tracking the high value networks operating in/around Baghdad and identifying/tracking the leadership and high value individuals in those networks. They were able to work with the combat arms units to lethally (kill/capture) take out the individuals and networks who were targeting US forces and local citizens.
 
After the Army, Michele stayed home with my (then) two sons for a few years and spent some time in the social media space. She was able to marry her love of running with her love of writing and worked with Women's Running, Active.com, Garmin and several other fitness-related sites for articles of interest.
 
Michele began her career in the 'corporate' world in 2015 at JPMorgan where she spent the last six+ years, primarily as a program manager for a strategic initiative program in the firm. In November 2021, she began a new position at Goldman Sachs where she will be in the Global Markets Division doing data and analytics. 
 
Michele has been married to her husband Paul for over 11 years. They have three sons (Austin - 10, Ryan - 9 and Edward - almost 3). Her little guys are her world and keep her husband very busy with soccer, basketball and all their other activities. They also have two dogs (Attie and Dash) because life isn't crazy enough! 
 
Michele is an avid runner. She has run over 15 marathons including NYC five times and Boston four times and she have completed an Ironman Triathlon. 
cindy codispotiCOL Cindy Codispoti graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts. She continued on to complete post-baccalaureate classes and pharmacological research at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1996, she commissioned as First Lieutenant in the United States Army at Fort Hamilton, NY and subsequently began her first year as a medical student at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. COL Codispoti earned her Doctor of Osteopathy in 2000 and was accepted to the Internal Medicine Internship and Residency program at San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. 
 
COL Codispoti graduated Internal Medicine Residency in 2003 and was accepted directly into the San Antonio Uniformed Health Services Cardiology Fellowship program. Upon graduation from the Cardiology fellowship in 2006, COL Codispoti became an attending and teaching faculty for the Residency programs and Cardiology fellowship at BAMC. She was instrumental in developing what was then a cutting-edge CT coronary calcium scoring and cardia CT angiography program. She was appointed the ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction Champion at BAMC by the hospital Commander and Chief of Cardiovascular services and served as the hospital representative with key stakeholders. COL Codispoti then served as the BAMC Director of Cardiology clinic from 2007-2008 and as Director of Echocardiography from 2008-2010. 
 
In 2009, COL Codispoti deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she served as the Director of the ICU at the Combat Support Hospital in Tikrit and as theater Cardiology consultant. She was instrumental in developing and sustaining tele-consultative services, leveraging multi-speciality support to deployed providers who were in austere, sometimes isolated, environments. Upon return from deployment, COL Codispoti resumed her role as Director of Echocardiography at BAMC.
 
From 2010-204, COL Codispoti served as Chief of Cardiovascular Services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. COL Codispoti leveraged her team to provide world-class care to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, their dependents and retirees.
 
In late 2014, COL Codispoti separated from active duty and joined the United States Army Reserves. She served as Deputy Chief of Professional Services until 2018. In 2018 through early 2019, COL Codispoti deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Madigan Army Medical Center as an attending Cardiologist, directly impacting patient access to care and significantly improving wait times. In 2020, COL Codispoti led the Brigade in all clinical and preventive aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
COL Codispoti has proudly served the United States Army for over 24 years and is forever grateful to her family who has served alongside her. After retirement from the United States Army Reserve, she will continue growing her Cardiology practice in Northwest New Jersey under the Atlantic Health System. She spends her time with family and friends and pursues her passions including travel, dance, and cooking. 
 
RobinLieutenant Colonel (LTC) Robin L. Mahady – United States Army (Retired)
 
Deputy Director, Education & Compliance
Ohio Department of Veterans Services
 
Civilian Education:
St. Joseph Hill Academy Elementary School – Class of 1984
St. Joseph Hill Academy High School – Class of 1988
St. Peter’s University – Class of 1992 (B.S. Psychology)
Kansas State University – Class of 2005 (M.S. Education)
 
Military Education (most notable):
Command and General Staff College – Class of 2005
Joint Combined Warfighting School – Class of 2009

Robin earned her commission as an Ordnance Officer from St. John’s University in 1992. She served in numerous operational positions in three countries and seven states over her 23 ½ year career in the active Army. Some of her most notable assignments include her deployment to El Salvador in support of Hurricane Mitch and her two deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Robin served with the 4th Infantry Division while in Iraq.  Her first deployment was at the Brigade level, first as the Brigade 4 and then as the Brigade Support Operations Officer for 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.  During her second deployment to Iraq she was hand selected to serve on the Generals staff as the Division Maintenance Officer for her expertise in logistics and dedication to the mission.  She was recognized by the Commanding General for maintaining the operational readiness of the Division over 90% throughout the entire deployment.  She is grateful for the opportunities she had while serving our great nation and for her extended Army family. Robin is the proud parent of Ryan, Ashley and Conor who have sacrificed, supported and served alongside her throughout the years.

Military Awards:  Bronze Star Medal (2nd Award), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Iraq Campaign Medal with four campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon (3rd award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation (3rd award), Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Army Service Ribbon.  Also received the Ordnance Order of Samuel Sharpe award. 
 
Current Civilian Job:  Deputy Director of Education and Compliance for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. 
drydenKaitlin graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2010, where she earned a B.S. in Oceanography and commissioned as a Naval Officer. Kaitlin attended flight school and earned my Naval Flight Officer “wings of gold” in 2012. From 2012 - 2015, she was a Naval Flight Officer in Patrol Squadron FIVE (VP-5), based in Jacksonville, FL. Kaitlin was a member of the aircrew on the P-3 C Orion and the P-8A Poseidon (multi-mission aircraft) and completed two deployments overseas. From 2015-2019, she was on the active duty staff of the University of Wisconsin Naval ROTC unit, where she taught Naval Science classes and mentored college students preparing for active duty service. Kaitlin left active duty service in 2019 and is now in her third year at the University of Wisconsin Law School here in Madison, Wisconsin. Kaitlin is also married with three children.

Angela MonfilettoHi, I’m Angela Monfiletto! I’m a current doctoral student studying Audiology at Towson University and a Training, Advising, and Counseling (TAC) Officer with the 70th Regimental Training Institute, Maryland Army National Guard. I graduated from Hill in 2014 and went on to Loyola University Maryland to study Speech Language Hearing Sciences and participate in their ROTC program. I graduated with honors and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and Military Intelligence Officer in the Maryland Army National Guard in 2018.

About a month after I commissioned, I reported to my first unit with nervous excitement. I was going to be a leader of 40 Soldiers!...as the youngest and least experienced person in the room. All the training I received did not prepare me for that first interaction with my Platoon Sergeant (the most senior person in the Platoon) and with the Soldiers who served under me. But that was ok, this was not my Soldiers’ first rodeo and I was not their first Platoon Leader. They expected me not to know everything, but to make decisions that benefited their training and care. Those decisions helped form relationships built on mutual trust.

Then I deployed with these Soldiers to Afghanistan and Qatar in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel as the youngest and least experienced person in the room. How was I supposed to lead these Soldiers in a deployed environment? I had to learn quickly and to trust myself and others. We accomplished a lot of great things, but not without a few sleepless nights along the way. I think I learned the most about myself during that deployment not just in my weaknesses, and trust me I found many of those, but also in my strengths. I learned a great deal from mistakes I made and will never make again and experiences I will never forget. I also learned a great deal from others. I had a great Officer and Platoon Sergeant who worked with me to help shape my decisions to benefit the Soldiers. They became mentors, companions, and close allies to help accomplish the mission and bring everyone home.

When I came home operations did not stop, it was COVID after all. I worked as the Deputy Chief of Current Operations for Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force and at one point the Chief of Current Operations, a position two ranks above mine. How was I, as no longer the youngest, but still one of the least experienced people in the room, to plan and carry out COVID vaccine operations? I am not a medical officer and I do not have any medical operations training, but that was ok. I just did it. It was lot of on-the-job training, cross communication with other departments and entities, and interpersonal trust to make sure we achieved the mission: shots in arms.

Now I teach others how to be good Officers. How do I as one of the least experienced people in the room teach others to be Officers? I just do it. I don’t pretend I know everything because I don’t. There is plenty I learn from the Officer Candidates and from my fellow TAC Officers and instructors that help me become better at my job and a better Officer.

I’m still learning. I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve learned from them. I remember the great words from the Kairos retreat, “the only mistake is the one from which I learn nothing.” Those “mistakes” helped build who I am today. I’ve also had many successes and I am thankful for those too.

I would not be where I am without the Officers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Soldiers I’ve worked with throughout my short military tenure. They have helped shape the person I am both professionally and personally. I am grateful to have served and to serve beside them.