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Alumni Spotlight: Seanne (Hanke) Falconer

Seanne FalconerBrookfield Central Class of 1994

Impassioned by the loss of her mother to cancer, today Seanne Falconer is the Executive Director of the Masonic Cancer Center at University of Minnesota and is working to move the needle towards a cure.

Seanne's educational path took her from Brookfield Elementary to Elmbrook Middle School (now Pilgrim Park) and Brookfield Central High School. At Central, she was involved in a variety of activities including being Editor-in-Chief of the Tyro Newspaper; alto saxophone in various bands; and participating in the Debate and Forensics, NHS, Girls Swim team, French Honor Society, and Principal's Cabinet. "My Elmbrook education taught me to read, think critically, be prepared to assimilate new information, and to have the confidence to attempt to learn brand new things," she reflected. "The District offered such a variety of coursework from an early age that I felt I was able to get the most out of my education." During her junior year, Seanne's mother passed away after battling ovarian cancer. As a response to her loss, she founded a support group for students affected by parental illness and death to help each other during their time of need.

Falconer acknowledged band director Alan Johnson, English/Language Arts teachers Kay Esposito and Karen Bachman, French Professeur Annamay Bertazini, Gifted and Talented director Thomas Thaney, and her school librarians for their impact on her throughout each stage of her educational experience at Elmbrook.

Seanne graduated in 1994 and continued her education at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she was part of the inaugural class of the Business Scholars program. While attending UW, she was actively involved as Chapter President of Habitat for Humanity, Phi Chi Theta Accounting Fraternity, the Chadbourne and Barnard Housing Association, and played in the Pep Band. She graduated with honors in 1998 with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a certificate in International Business.

Following her undergraduate degree, Seanne worked as a Collegiate Challenge Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, Financial Analyst for General Mills, and for the Peace Corps in Agribusiness Development and NonProfit Development in the Republic of Moldova. Falconer then returned to higher education to complete for Masters in Business Administration with a focus on NonProfit Management in 2008 from Yale University. She then transitioned to the Harvard University Medical School where she served as Chief of Staff and Clinical Research Center Operations Director. "My career path has been unusual but one common thread is my ability to ask questions and to find shared objectives," she noted.

In 2014, Falconer began as the Executive Director of the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center where she works today. Each day she brings her experiences, education, skills, and passion together to help guide the Center in finding a cure for the disease that has had an impact on her character. She also coordinates monthly meal service for the homeless in Minneapolis, mentors women in health care as part of the Women's Health Leadership TRUST and Women Business Leaders in Healthcare Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Today, Seanne lives in Wayzata, MN with her husband, their twin six-year-old boys, and her cat, Svetlana, that she brought home from the Peace Corps. Seanne was recently elected to the Wayzata Public School Board, and is a proud member of Slytherin house at Hogwarts.

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