Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave several Capitol Hill staffers and a family member props today during a commencement speech in New York. 

"Speaking of the next generation, we are proud to have a Cornellian in the family: my son-in-law Michael Kenneally, received his Master's degree from Cornell. Also, two of my staff are Cornellians: Amy Rosenbaum and Tom Manatos," Pelosi said at Cornell University in Ithaca on Saturday. 

"I'm also pleased to have worked in a bipartisan way with another Cornell grad: Chief of Staff to House Minority Leader John Boehner, Paula Nowakowski, who we sadly lost this year."

The 46-year-old Nowakowski died suddenly of a heart attack in January at her home in Alexandria, Va. She was Boehner's staff chief since 2006 and had been named to Roll Call's 2009 list of the "Fabulous Fifty" staff members. 

"Sn avowed conservative" she was "highly regarded by leaders of both parties," according to a story in the Washington Post.