Sarah Thorrens '82 helps current Panthers find their strengths

Regina Dominican High School’s Leadership Institute provided a wonderful opportunity for Senior Scholars this semester that allowed them to connect with a fellow Regina Panther while also learning about their own strengths as leaders.

Sarah (O'Malley) Thorrens ‘82 volunteered to meet with 25 senior Leadership Scholars after they had taken the Clifton Strengths Assessment. The Clifton Strengths Assessment distills a person’s unique talents down into 34 different strengths, helping give a name to what it is each individual does best. The idea is to focus on your dominant talents (“Top 5”), navigate supporting your talents, and manage your areas of lesser talent. The Clifton Strengths assessment is a widely used (almost 30 million people have taken the assessment globally, from every walk of life) strengths-based (vs. deficit-based) development tool, used in 90% of Fortune 500 companies and on a huge number of college campuses.

Sarah met individually with each student to discuss the outcomes of the assessment. When asked what stood out most to Sarah during her coaching sessions, she responded “They were super open and engaged! Most students found the results incredibly accurate with their self-view. They enthusiastically gave examples of their strengths, asked great questions, shared challenges they were facing, and together we explored how they could further develop their natural talents. Many are finalizing their college choices and thinking about majors and professions. My conversations with each student were focused on specific ways she could leverage what she naturally does best to be successful in the classroom, on teams, in an internship or campus job, in relationships and, eventually, in a career.”

Sarah graduated from Regina Dominican in 1982 and her daughter Kerry graduated from Regina in 2010. After graduating from Regina, Sarah attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Sarah has 35+ years of corporate HR experience, 20 in healthcare and 10 in financial services. She worked for Baxter International and Baxter Credit Union, where she spent the last 15 years of her career as the Vice President of Talent Management. 

Sarah was excited to connect with Jennifer Herrington, Director of the Leadership Institute, and work with current Regina students, as this was an opportunity not many high schoolers have. “The students I’ve worked with at Regina are light years ahead of llllllllwhere I was at their age as a Regina student, in terms of maturity, planning for their futures, their self-awareness and just the way they question everything! These women are truly going to make a huge difference in the world. I am so excited to see what they will achieve in the coming years!”