catherine ryder with cynthia riceAt the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on May 6, 2017, Saint Joseph’s College honored alumna Catherine Renquin Ryder ‘81 of Windham with the Professional Excellence Award. This award is presented to the alumnus who has distinguished him or herself professionally in such a way as to positively reflect on Saint Joseph’s College and its Mission and Core Values. The College chose Ryder as her work exemplifies these values.

Ryder is known as a tireless advocate for mental health awareness in Maine and across the nation. As Executive Director of Tri-County Mental Health Services, she is nationally recognized as a leader in the mental health field and embodies the values of integrity, community and compassion.  Tri-County Mental Health Services is committed to providing hope and recovery to the people of Maine.  We will deliver state of the art mental health, substance abuse, habilitation, and life skills services that are trauma-informed, recovery-based and integrated. We will secure our ability to provide such services through maintaining financial stability.

Accepting the award, Ryder offered, “I have been uniquely positioned to help bring needed change in health care services to our state and the nation. Each of the faculty and staff at Saint Joseph’s College offered me their unique wisdom and dared me to dream bigger than I had ever imagined possible. I hope that my work will continue to positively impact those in our community who are marginalized disenfranchised and whose voices remain largely unheard.”

About Ryder’s honor, Cindi Rice '82 said, "Catherine is passionate about providing access and appropriate levels of care and reducing the stigma associated with behavioral health services. Catherine's heart and soul go to those in need; she truly exemplifies the core values of Saint Joseph's College and the Sisters of Mercy."

Ryder’s daughter, Shannon, also graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in the Class of  2015.