Holy Family University Announces 2023 Alumni Achievement Award Recipients

2023 Alumni Awards Recipients

Recipients will be honored during Alumni Reunion 2023 on Saturday, May 13, 2023.

Holy Family University’s Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of the Alumni Achievement Award: Margaret “Peg” (Bigley) O’Grady ’84, RN, MSN, OCN; Jayda Pugliese ‘09, M’14; and Shaikha BuAli M’12, Ed.D.

The Alumni Achievement Award honors distinguished graduates who have displayed great accomplishments in one or more of the following areas: professional achievement, community volunteer service, and humanitarian efforts. Through these accomplishments, these alumni bring recognition to themselves and Holy Family University. The recipients will be honored during Reunion en bleu Celebration at the Reunion 2023 on Saturday, May 13.

Alumni Achievement Award Winners (by class year)

•    Margaret “Peg” (Bigley) O’Grady ’84, RN, MSN, OCN
•    Jayda Pugliese ‘09, M’14
•    Shaikha BuAli M’12, Ed.D.

Margaret “Peg” (Bigley) O’Grady ’84, RN, MSN, OCN, FAAMAMargaret (Peg) O'Grady ’84 is currently the administrative director of the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion – Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Health System based in Willow Grove, PA. She oversees an ambulatory care team in a free-standing outpatient oncology facility including a robust research relationship with the Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center.

O'Grady was previously the director of Nursing for the Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center Medical Oncology division. She has significant expertise in oncology care coordination, working at Fox Chase Cancer Center as the senior director of the first cancer center network in the United States – The Fox Chase Partners Program supporting the development of 30 plus institutions cancer centers.

O'Grady is the vice chair of the Pennsylvania Cancer Advisory Board to the Governor of Pennsylvania. She is the past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Oncology and Hematology, the state-wide American Society of Clinical Oncology group, and the past president of the American Academy of Medical Administrators. Her research interests are in health outcomes, transition of care, and navigation having been published in breast and colorectal navigation processes.


Jayda Pugliese ‘09, M’14Jayda Pugliese ’09, M’14 is a vivacious, passionate, and innovative teacher and leader. As a principal, she is responsible for planning and implementing the mission and strategic vision of Saint Mary Interparochial School. She supervises all school operations, which include but are not limited to, academics, finance, accounting, building facilities, tuition/financial aid, human resources, and policy development. She works closely with her school board and community stakeholders and continually works to build strategic partnerships. Before this role, she worked in the School District of Philadelphia as a 5th-grade mathematics and science teacher, an K-12 special education and ESL coordinator at ASPIRA Bilingual Charter School, and a middle school math specialist/teacher at the Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School.

Pugliese was a recipient of a 2016 Milken Educator Award in Pennsylvania (PA ‘16), the 2018 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Sylvia Shugrue Award, a 2019 finalist for the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year (NSTOY-PA), 2020- 2021 Performance Partner with Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders, and a 2022 International Fellow for Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes.

Pugliese facilitates national and international professional development and training programs and consults for schools, districts, and universities in best teaching practices, designing accessible instruction for diverse learners, STREAM-based technology integration for classrooms (e.g., 3D printing, design thinking, blended/remote learning practices, etc.), STREAM programming design, effective leadership practices, systems-wide strategic planning, policy development, and grant writing. Additionally, Pugliese helped lead the design and delivery of a new STEM-based curriculum used throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Pugliese, who is profoundly hearing-impaired, relates well to students with disabilities and teaches compassion, empathy, and understanding. She is the first in her family to graduate from high school and earn a college degree; graduating with a B.A. in Special Education and Elementary Education, an M.Ed. in TESOL and Literacy, and is a current doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Administration; all from Holy Family University. In 2016, she also became an adjunct professor at Holy Family University.


Shaikha BuAli M’12, Ed.D.Shaikha BuAli M’12, Ed.D. was born and raised in The Kingdom of Bahrain to an American mother who only spoke English and a bilingual Bahraini father. When BuAli was school age, her parents decided to send her to the neighborhood “Government” public school despite knowing they would be sending their then 5-year-old into an Arabic-only school until 4th grade.

This was the beginning of a journey of grit, resilience, and perseverance. While BuAli learned everything through one language at school, at home her mother could only help her in English while her father worked to provide for the family. It was BuAli’s teachers who bridged the gap between home and school, and never gave up on supporting her, constantly finding ways to help her grow, learn, and develop socially and emotionally despite being the only Arab American student in her school in a time of unrest and political tension in the Middle East. By the time BuAli was in middle school, her teachers encouraged her to participate in many youth programs such as the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, Model United Nations, as well as multiple national youth initiatives in the country such the National Youth Strategy Campaign and initiatives to Explore the implementation of a Youth Parliament Programs.

While BuAli was completing her BS in Management Information Systems at the Kingdom University in Bahrain, she continued to be an advocate for youth programs, education, and community service. BuAli served as the university’s first female Student Council President, volunteered to be the academic coordinator for Model United Nations, worked with the Rotary Club to organize the International Model United Nations conferences for students, taught English as a Second Language at language institutions, and substitute taught at the American Mission school in Bahrain.

In 2010, BuAli moved to Philadelphia to join the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows and enrolled at Holy Family University to complete her M.Ed. In Elementary and Special Education while working at Philadelphia “turn-around” schools (University City High School, Simon Gratz Mastery Charter, Universal Audenried High School) as a special education teacher and later special education liaison. 
BuAli went on to get accepted to and complete the PhillyPLUS Program, a Philadelphia Principal Residency Program, then complete a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University while serving in leadership positions (instructional coach, special education coordinator, assistant principal, and principal).

Today, BuAli is the chief academic officer at PA Virtual Charter School. During the Pandemic, BuAli’s experience, and dissertation research on instructional practices in online education allowed her to support multiple schools to help them pivot to online learning.

Giving back to the community is extremely important to BuAli, since 2011, she has been a host family during holidays for Bahraini students in the US who are attending boarding schools as part of the Crown Prince International Scholarship Program (CPISP). BuAli is also the Board Chair of Camp Jamison which provides diverse, inclusive, and affordable overnight summer camp to Philadelphia youth focusing on peacebuilding, interpersonal, and leadership skills so that they can return to their communities and help be the leaders of tomorrow.

BuAli and her husband David have three daughters and enjoy reading, cooking, gardening, and engaging in community service and volunteering together.