Page 1

2015–2016 Issue 3

USF in the Community


Town and Gown— USF in the Community

Our students’ experiences are supported and enhanced by faculty members who invite the community into our classrooms—e.g., through class projects, guest speakers, and service opportunities—

Dear Members of the USF Family,

to enable our students to put into practice the classroom-based principles and lessons that have

Welcome to the latest issue of Engaging Mind &

prepared them “to contribute to the world through

Spirit—our University of St. Francis magazine and

service and leadership.” Our faculty members are

one way that we strive to remain connected to you:

also deeply present in the communities we serve

our alumni, our friends, our parents, our employees,

through supervising clinical and student-teaching sites

and our supporters…in short, our USF family.

or internships that directly impact the organizations

As I mentioned in our last issue, our mission statement makes it clear that we aspire to be “a welcoming community of learners.” To achieve

students seek to make their contributions. And, then, of course, there are our employees,

that end, and in accordance with the charism

who not only live in our surrounding communities but

of “our Sisters” (i.e., the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary

also serve on a variety of community-based boards

Immaculate, who founded the university 96

and organizations.

years ago), we must also be of and in the community

Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. President University of St. Francis

(both for-profit and not-for-profit) in which our

Bottom line: while many universities proclaim the

in order to understand and meet the needs of

importance of their “town and gown” (i.e., community

its members. That, in a sense, is a major focus of this

and university) relationships, the University of St.

issue…just as it is a principal means by which we

Francis—in the best of the Franciscan tradition—has

realize our mission.

simply been “doing what is ours to do” each and

As an “urban” campus located in Joliet, Illinois,

every day in the communities we serve…often without

the University of St. Francis is an integral part

fanfare…but with an incredible impact. “Well done,

and proud supporter of the Cathedral Area of Joliet,

good and faithful servant[s]!”

where the central campus is located. However,

As always—and, especially in light of the

our community footprint—even within Joliet and Will

university’s commitment to and impact on the

County—is much bigger than this. Our St. Bonaventure

communities we serve—I continue to consider myself

Campus (which includes our Plaster Center and

incredibly blessed to serve as your president and

Art and Design facilities) flourishes in downtown Joliet

promise to work hard to earn the trust that you have

and our St. Clare Campus prepares to receive

placed in me.

its first nursing students in Fall 2016. In fact, USF’s footprint is a national and increasingly international one—with our historic strengths in distance and online education in the U.S. being supplemented by a growing international presence in the Czech Republic and elsewhere. (More in this and future issues!) Indeed, USF is “in the community” in many, mutually-reinforcing ways. Our students, of course, engage with the community through internships, student teaching, and clinical assignments that impact directly those our students aspire to serve. And, upon graduation, they leverage these experiences to find employment in their fields of study.

Peace and all good things,


Engaging Mind & Spirit is published three times each academic year. Feedback is welcomed and can be sent to Julie Futterer ’93, Director of Marketing Services: 815-740-3826 or


University of St. Francis: A Powerhouse in the City of Champions

Content Michael Austin Bonnie Covelli / COBHA liaison Julie Futterer David Hilbert Michelle Madura / COE liaison Michelle O’Boyle / CAS liaison Katie Smith Tracie Terlep / LCON liaison Other USF employees, students & friends


Imagery Don Bersano Cherry Hill Studios Dustin Grove Julie Futterer Dave Hilbert Image Group Photography, LLC Adam Middleton Ron Molk Other USF employees, students & friends


Design Adam Middleton


Printing Courier Graphics / CEREUS—Phoenix

16 T H E F I G H T I N G S A IN TS 19 FA I T H, M I S S I O N & DIVER S IT Y



14 6



8 7 11 13

1 12

In addition, please help us in our efforts to reduce waste. If this is an incorrect address for the intended recipient, if you no longer wish to receive this publication, or if you would like to receive it electronically, contact the Advancement Office at 815-740-3717 or to update your records.


Our Mission As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation,

University of St. Francis 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435 800-735-7500 /

compassion, and peace-making. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



University of St. Francis: A Powerhouse in the City of Champions You’ve probably heard Joliet referred to as “The City of Champions” or the “Crossroads of Mid-America.” Located at the intersection of two of the nation’s longest stretching interstate highways, I-80 and I-55, Joliet is one of the fastest-growing cities in Illinois with 148,000 residents and counting. The city limits have expanded in every direction, including as far west as Kendall County.

Like Joliet’s borders, the footprint of the University of St.

Francis has also grown to include two new local campuses. Both the St. Clare Campus near Crest Hill and the St. Bonaventure Campus in downtown Joliet have expanded USF’s presence in new areas of the city, which is significant considering USF is Joliet’s only four-year university— forever tied and true to the city and the community it serves. A testament to that loyalty, 89% of freshman and transfer students come from within a 35-mile radius of the school. Of USF’s 3,700 students, 1,358 reside in Will County. The university contributes heartily to the local economy, too. A 2011 study by EconImpact stated that the university has added $173 million to the Joliet and Chicago metropolitan-area economies, $64 million to the Will County economy and $1.6 million to Joliet’s economy.


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

All of this is symbolic of one thing: a positive relationship between

Walsh and Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk both know that this kind of

the university, its people, and the Joliet and Will County communities

commerce means something more exciting: jobs. Currently, logistics and

is essential. USF President Arvid Johnson, who was inaugurated in 2013,

related businesses represent Will County’s third largest employer.

understood that when he began strategizing for the future. The

Entry-level salaries for logistics jobs start at $45,000 with a median salary

university’s current strategic plan includes building on its Catholic heritage

of $70,000. USF has been beefing up its programming in these fields in

and Franciscan tradition, to create a values-oriented culture that

light of all the potential that exists for USF students.

produces graduates who become leaders who contribute to USF and their

Said O’Dekirk, “It is vital that our young people are introduced to

communities. He even gave his inaugural year a theme: “Called to

this field and the opportunities that now exist in Joliet as a result of this

serve, called to lead.” As part of that, he urged students, employees and

economic development.”

alumni alike to do regular service work. Though Johnson is now three years in, USF students and employees are still fostering the community relationship by “giving back.” Students

In addition to being a centerpoint for commerce, Joliet has also become a hub for fun. Back in the day, you would pass through Joliet to “get your kicks” on historic Route 66, and today, there are many exciting

and employees volunteer regularly at Joliet’s Daybreak homeless shelter

options for activity and entertainment. The University of St. Francis

and the Joliet Hope Center (a food and supply distribution facility).

adds more to the lineup with its Music at Moser Performing Arts Series,

Nursing students sponsor community and grade school blood drives and

exhibits at the USF Art Gallery in downtown Joliet, collegiate sporting

health fairs. Communication & Media Arts students give back creatively

events, and high profile speakers (most recently, “Godmother of Title IX”

by filming, editing and producing the “Exploring Joliet” cable TV show,

Dr. Bernice Sanders, oceanographic explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and

aired on Joliet’s Channel 6, which focuses on the city, its people, its plans

author Cheryl Strayed). The university’s Business Solutions office works

and activities.

with Recreation & Sport Management faculty to staff a nearby challenge

Another way USF gives back is through research work. Many of USF’s

course, complete with ropes and obstacles for teambuilding. Business

faculty members task their students with class projects that help local

Solutions also facilitates continuing education courses and youth summer

businesses. In the fall, a group of business students helped a local high

camps for the community.

school develop a busing solution, and a team of biology students

Mary Jaworski, president of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce,

did a study on microbial communities for a local cancer treatment center.

looked at it through another lens...commenting that in addition

Over the past few years, students in USF’s transportation and logistics

to partnering by way of culture and recreation, the university and the

programs have offered assistance to county leaders with the intermodal

chamber also work together on education initiatives. The chamber’s

facilities and logistics centers popping up in the region.

Education Committee was developed about 10 years ago and has

Will County Executive Larry Walsh said that Will County is becoming

received numerous awards for programs that allow public and private

known as the “Intermodal Capital of North America.” USF’s College

school students, educators and the business community to work and

of Business & Health Administration staff and students have assisted his

grow together.

office with research, tackling assignments that “we would normally

“The committee coordinates major initiatives including the Joliet

bring in a consultant to do,” said Walsh. COBHA students considered the

Region Scholarship Fund, Joliet Partners in Education, Great Teacher

pros and cons of various scenarios related to the county’s increasing

Awards, Top Student Banquet, New Educators’ Breakfast and

intermodal activity and provided suggestions.

Entrepreneurship Club, and the university participates in and helps to sponsor all of them. USF is always present and I love that,” Jaworski said. CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



She also mentioned that USF interns regularly staff her office. “I can’t even tell you how much they help us,” she said. “Their knowledge of marketing and social media is so vast and helpful, they definitely help keep us on the cutting-edge.”

Walsh noted that he feels the Cathedral Area is an excellent home for the university, and thinks people are proud to be USF’s neighbors. “When people are proud of their community, they take better care of their property. It creates a nice atmosphere for community

USF’s main campus, nestled in Joliet’s historic Cathedral Area, is a fitting centerpiece for the neighborhood. Among quaint houses, with

members as well as the students who want to attend USF,” said Walsh. Two of Walsh’s children attended USF. He said he has always

the glorious spire of St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral towering nearby,

appreciated the university’s willingness to “meet the wishes of diverse

USF really feels like a “home away from home” for resident students.

students.” Twenty-seven percent of USF’s current student body is

The Cathedral Area Preservation

is to increase the diversity of students and employees. USF wants its

relationship with the university,

campus to be a reflection of the community it serves.

according to CAPA President

Larry Walsh with Arvid Johnson at the groundbreaking ceremony in April.

comprised of minority learners, and one of the university’s strategic goals

Association (CAPA) has a nice

Since his inauguration, USF’s president has encouraged service

John Kella, whose wife, Patricia, is

and leadership from students, employees and alumni. Those who know

a St. Francis alumna. Kella says

Johnson know he expects no less of himself. Each year, the university

representatives of USF’s administra-

sponsors the city’s Light Up the Holidays parade, and Johnson can

tion and security team regularly

be found serving as Grand Marshal—marching the streets with USF’s fuzzy

attend CAPA’s monthly board

mascot, Bernie the St. Bernard. He is member of numerous community

meetings, and the USF safety and

boards, committees and organizations, representing the university and

security team joins local police

providing his support and expertise at every level.

to keep watch over the neighbor-

Said Mayor O’Dekirk, “The leadership of Dr. Johnson is crucial…

hood during their rounds around and between campuses. On the flipside,

his strong, positive personality is a terrific fit for the University, and he has

CAPA supports the university’s annual Caritas Scholarship Ball, so “it’s a

opened eyes in our community. I interact with Arvid somewhat

great cooperation and very neighborly,” he remarked.

regularly and I see him as an asset and ambassador not only for USF, but also for the entire city.”

Students Grow Skills Through Internships/Clinicals in Joliet Through the work of the Career Success

our students remain in the Joliet community

A typical day on the job

Center, the four colleges and the Alumni &

after graduating, being hired for jobs at the

We help pro se litigants through the court

Family Relations Office, students at University of

companies where they did their internships.

process with legal information, be it assisting

St. Francis are connected to internship

Let’s take a look at the experiences of

with courthouse forms, referring them to

opportunities that enhance their skills and help

three students who are currently interning in

legal advice services, or simply navigating

to define their career path. Staff members

the Joliet area:

through the building and letting them know

in the Career Success Center are, first and foremost, dedicated to helping students and alumni find jobs. They provide assistance with employment needs and help students and alumni research career options. In doing so, the personalized needs, goals, and values of each individual get top consideration. The Career Success Center also offers services to provide assistance with resume and cover letter writing, career counseling, and interview preparation. USF definitely prides itself on helping students obtain challenging internships in their chosen fields, but even better—many end up working at community businesses. Many of


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine


What do you like about the work you’re doing? The job at times is fascinating when you see just how human the whole process at a courthouse is. When we make a law—a rule, if you will—it never perfectly applies to every person’s situation. Seeing how the system adapts and amends itself to these special cases is very interesting. How do you think this internship will prepare you to get a job after graduating? The interaction with the public has been a fantastic experience. I’m not a particularly

brilliant speaker and I’d hardly call myself a man

with the patient. I know what is lacking and

people would imagine. When people come into

of the people, but this internship has helped a

what she is concentrating on by knowing what

the ER, I assess them to make sure they are

lot in that respect.

muscles do what movements.

stable and provide interventions that are within

How have you been able to “give back” to the

What’s the neatest thing you’ve seen/learned

community through this internship?

as an intern?

We have many people walk in that oftentimes

There was one patient that came in with

have no idea what to do or where they

extreme weakness. The physical therapist had

are in the process, and it’s our job to make sure

been working for a while and I was there the

they have a clearer understanding of how

first time she was able to jump. For me this was

to reach their goal. It’s easy to say that we’re

just incredible because it shows how much

giving back in this way, but I get a lot out

physical therapy can help kids, especially those

of it myself. It’s amazing how thankful people

with different disabilities. Also, it was an

are when you’re done helping them. It’s like

experience that I know I want to be able to have

you’ve saved their life on the spot. I suppose it’s

over and over again. Here was a child whose

somewhat expected since we take them

family and doctors never expected to be able to

Any life-changing moments during

through some very delicate situations at times,

run around, jump and play with others, but

your clinicals?

but when I compare it to my weekend job, it’s

every week she got stronger and stronger.

Thirty minutes into a “code” (which is when

simply rejuvenating.

Do you feel this internship will contribute positively to career success after you


leave USF? Honestly, this experience has been the greatest blessing. It put me in the environment I want

my scope of practice to get them stable. Some nights I will get a patient that comes in via ambulance with full cardiac arrest, which requires a whole team of nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, a phlebotomist, and radiology techs all at once, and then I can get a patient with some kind of trauma like an open ankle fracture that’s bleeding. Other nights, people will come into the ER with issues that they could’ve easily waited to see their primary care providers for.

a patient has a heart attack) and while BLS/ACLS protocols were being performed, two other students and myself were doing CPR on the patient. We finally got his heart rhythm back. If he hadn’t gotten his rhythm back, the physician would have pronounced him dead,

A typical day on

to work in and confirmed that this is what

the job

I want. I still have to endure physical therapy

My internship

school, but now I have a picture of what

is mainly

my career life will look like and I use that as

Would you consider staying in town to work at

observation hours

my motivation.

Presence St. Joseph after you graduate?

work with patients since I do not

literally save someone’s life.

Sure! I like the emergency department a lot,

because I am not allowed to

so it felt awesome to put in all that effort and


but I’ve lived in Joliet nearly my whole life so my only fear is seeing someone that I know in a critical situation.

have a physical therapy license. I mainly observe

How have you been able to “give back” to the

the physical therapist and ask questions.

community through this experience?

She will also explain the patient’s history and

Giving back to the community is awesome.

reason for being there. The more time I

A lot of underserved people seek care at

spend there, the more the children become

PSJMC and it’s really an honor to serve them

comfortable with me, and I sometimes

with dignity and respect.

help with the exercises by either handing them rings, counting or other minor activities. Have you been able to use knowledge gained at USF in your internship? The number one class that applies to what I am learning in the clinic is anatomy. I put a lot of my anatomy knowledge to use when looking at the exercises that the therapist does

A typical day on the job At clinical I do a variety of things. No two days are the same in the emergency department at PSJMC. I’ve been doing my clinical overnight, which is much faster paced than many A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



Construction Revitalizes Campus Over the past few years, the University of St. Francis has made significant

operates on the second floor of the Motherhouse, connecting the

improvements in various campus spaces. The improvements have made

Motherhouse and Donovan Hall. On the lower level, the Bistro’s

USF more attractive to potential students, but they have also made

communal area was updated with fun new furniture, and Bernie’s Pub

the university a more valuable asset within the community. Many spaces

opened for afternoon/evening pub-style grub—complete with a root

at the university are open to and enjoyed by local residents, including

beer fountain and restaurant-like seating.

the library, the performing arts center, the rec center, the chapel, Bernie’s Pub, the Quad and more. Said Campus Planner Don Fisher, who helped direct many of the

In Tower Hall, classrooms were updated with new paint and carpeting, new flooring was installed in primary thoroughfares, and more comfortable lounges and seating areas were created. More efficient windows were

projects, “The community thinks of USF as a landmark, or pillar, in the

installed in certain parts of the building. Two upper hallways in the

community…historically, architecturally and culturally. I think Joliet is

south wing were transformed from office spaces to student dorm rooms,

really proud of the ‘new’ St. Francis. There have been numerous significant

in anticipation of new student residents.

improvements and people have noticed. First impressions are very important when selling an institution.” Besides expanding the campus footprint to include Guardian Angel

The Marian Hall residence hall also received a facelift. The Abbey gathering space was completely renovated, creating a large, enjoyable gathering space for students on campus. The courtyard entry to the

Hall at St. Clare Campus and the Plaster Center at St. Bonaventure

building was completely overhauled—now complete with small tables

Campus in the downtown area, the main campus has also been updated

and seating areas, and a peaceful waterfall. “Even little things, like

and enhanced. Not only will ground soon be broken on a new

the renovation of the Marian courtyard, have made a big difference,”

35,000-square-foot science building at the corner of Wilcox and Douglas

said Fisher. “When you walk through there now, you get a warm, inviting

Streets, but also several areas of campus that were previously unfinished

feeling and that is really important to students and parents alike.”

have been renovated and modernized. At the Motherhouse, the overhaul of the main parking lot was followed by the renovation of building wings that were previously closed off

The Pat Sullivan Rec Center has seen great change, with digital assets and new interior designs donning the lobby and common areas. Said Fisher, “All of these changes, plus the university’s addition of two

and not being used. One wing includes the area where the Welcome

new campuses [St. Bonaventure and St. Clare], are a real testament

Center, the Alumni & Family Relations Office, the Advancement Office and

to the university’s commitment to the overall health and vitality of our

the president’s new board room are now located. Another updated

community. It’s a true commitment, and St. Francis is in it for the

area includes the wing where the International Programs Office now

long haul.”


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

USF Hosts Diocese of Joliet Activities


In January, the College of Education welcomed the Most Rev. R. Daniel Conlon and students and faculty from diocesan schools to USF’s 16th annual Breakfast with the Bishop and Prayer Service. During this annual event that kicks off Catholic Schools Week, one student from each school in the Diocese of Joliet is invited. They enjoyed talks from Bishop Conlon and Rev. John Belmonte, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Joliet. In March, the Diocese returned to campus for the annual Illinois Junior Academy of Science Region 11 Science Fair. The fair, for students in grades 7–12, is organized by the Joliet Diocese Science Teachers Association (JDSTA). The fair was held in the Pat Sullivan Rec Center on campus.

Dr. Arvid Johnson, USF president; Most Rev. R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of Joliet; Mary Buchler, recipient of the Bishop Joseph L. Imesch Award for Excellence in Teaching; and John Gambro, COE dean.

Illinois Representative Larry Walsh, Jr. visited campus in February to discuss the MAP grant funding issue and other legislative topics related to the City of Joliet, the State of Illinois, and education, in particular. USF’s Student Government Association and History Club collaborated on the event, thanks to students Frank Kasilik and Brandon Ivins. There was a very good turnout of students, faculty, and administration, according to Ivins, president of the SGA. Even when Walsh left, many people stayed to continue the discussion. “Representative Walsh Jr. showed us how conflicted the budget impasse is in Illinois,” said Ivins. “His presentation allowed students who have no personal investment in state politics to understand how it is affecting them on a daily basis, especially in regards to funding higher education.”

Godmother of Title IX at USF Dr. Bernice Sandler visited the University of St. Francis in March for its Women’s History Month celebration. Sandler gave a keynote address on the topic “Title IX: How We Got It, What Difference It Made, and Why It Still Matters,” providing enlightening conversation on the evolution of Title IX and how it continues to positively impact our society today. While on campus, Sandler received the university’s 2016 Sister Clare Award, which recognizes women of vision who have transformed the world of their time. The university

presents this award in honor of one of its patron saints, Clare of Assisi. Sandler, a visionary and pioneer for gender equality in education, is a Senior Scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC, consulting with institutions and others about achieving equity for women. She is also an adjunct associate professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Widely known as the “Godmother of Title IX,” Sandler has spent over 50 years advocating for women’s rights.

USF’s Dr. Deb Workman with Dr. Sandler.

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



DARA Outreach Brings Good Vibes Back In An excerpt of that letter: “I was so amazed by their effect on students

were normally shy come out of their shell and create wonderful drum beats. I also saw

that I chose to become one myself this past

students who thought they had little ‘natural

summer, joining their summer recording camp.

talent’ create wonderful melodic improvisations

My intent was to immerse myself in their

and realize they had more within them than

curriculum while getting ideas on how to refine

they realized. The session Jeff and Alby gave

my own with my students at the Lab School.

was truly one of the highlights of the entire day.

Again, I went in expecting great knowledge and

So much so that we have plans to bring my

instruction, but also added a true admiration

Music Appreciation class to USF this spring for a

for their ability to take students with a wide

field trip to visit the DARA studios.”

Digital Audio Recording Arts (DARA) students

array of talent and understanding, and harness

attended and presented at a clinic at the

them all into a week of meaningful final student

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

works from the class. [At Artsfest], Jeff and

by Naperville North High School students in

Artsfest—a student-planned/executed

Alby planned a hands-on session to show our

February and continues to welcome groups of

day of clinics, activities and performances from

students the creation of a song, built from

visitors from local schools and organizations to

students, faculty and guests from the

start to finish. I had pre-selected a few students

see the studios and learn more about audio

Chicagoland community. Francisco Dean, of the

to come and share their music talents, but

engineering. In February, the BBC did a live

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

was pleasantly amazed when I saw that not only

broadcast from the DARA studios, interviewing

Music Department, wrote a complimentary note

did they use these students, but found ways

renowned harmonica player Joe Filisko, who

about instructors Jeff Jaskowiak and Alby

to engage the ENTIRE student body in a fun,

works frequently with DARA students and staff.

Odum to CAS Dean Bob Kase after the event.

interactive, hands-on way. I saw students who


Art & Design’s COMP Magazine


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

Each year, the Art & Design Department hosts the Illinois High School Art Competition and Exhibition at the USF Gallery in downtown Joliet. In January, more than 160 pieces of artwork were exhibited. In addition, the Art & Design Department’s COMP Magazine has been giving Joliet and Chicagoland extensive arts coverage— specifically through artist Q&As and exhibition coverage. Since its inception, the magazine has done more than 70 artist interviews, covered music festivals, Comicons, and other cultural activities. Art & Design students write the articles and professor Chester Costello edits the issues. Wrote Costello, “The magazine is recognized as one of the primary sources for covering contemporary art!” To peruse the magazine, visit or check out the blog here:

In other community news, DARA was visited

B OB KASE F ORMS NEW JAZZ E N S E MB LE A new jazz chamber ensemble is being formed by USF’s GRAMMY-nominated College of Arts & Sciences Dean, Bob Kase. A scholarship opportunity will make it possible, allowing recipients to perform and study jazz within the context of a jazz chamber ensemble (combo) experience. Selected musicians will receive group and individual lessons, knowledge about jazz history, and high-profile performance opportunities while attending USF. The program is based on individual performance proficiency and instrumentation, and is not tied to any specific academic major, meaning qualified musicians in any major can apply. This significant, renewable scholarship award is part of a financial package based on individual qualifications and determined by live audition.

Substance Abuse Counseling Program Approved for Accreditation, Getting Active

USF Mock Trial Team Success

The new B.A. degree program in Substance

The USF Mock Trial Team, coached by faculty

Dunbar and students Lana Crump, Brook

Abuse Counseling (SAC) at the University

Griffith and Allison Byrne attended the ICB

member Stephanie Washington, had a

of St. Francis has been approved by the Illinois

spring conference in Itasca, Ill. in March, staffing

successful season. Throughout the season,

Certification Board (ICB) as an Advanced

an exhibit booth. The group attended several

the team competed and received honors

Accredited Training Program.

workshops and presentations, including

for their hard work. After competing in three

Dunbar’s “Luck Be a Lady Tonight—A Look at

preliminary tournaments in North Carolina,

conduct the site visit. After meeting with

Problem Gambling in America,” presented

Ohio and Colorado, respectively (and placing in

SAC faculty and students, and representatives

to approximately 75 conference attendees. The

all them), our “Mockers” took home several

from the program and USF administrators

group had great networking opportunities

top attorney and witness awards. They went on

including USF President Arvid C. Johnson, SAC

and met numerous treatment providers, ICB

to place in the Midwest Challenge, hosted

Program Coordinator Larry Dunbar, CAS Dean

board members and students from other

at USF, then competed at the American Mock

Bob Kase, and Provost Frank Pascoe, the ICB

colleges and training programs. The icing on the

Trial Association Regionals held at the Will

site visit team concluded that “the University of

cake: Crump won a full scholarship to the

County Courthouse in February. Once again,

St. Francis is committed to providing excellent

2017 ICB Spring Conference.

the team held its own, beating the University

In November, ICB had a four-person team

education to their students.”

For more information about the Substance

of Chicago’s renowned team and handing them

Abuse Counseling program at the University

their only loss of the season. The 2015–2016

Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

of St. Francis, please visit

USF Mock Trial Team roster included Captain

Counselor Training Program from November


Justyna Jozwik, Co-Captain Emily Limbach,

ICB accredited the SAC program as an ICB

Giovanna Almada, Alex Campos, Miranda

20, 2015 to September 1, 2017.

Castro, Ramon Colon, Giovanni Conte, Katelyn

The Substance Abuse Counseling program at USF is now among 26 ICB-Accredited

Doyle, Karen Guzman, Cori Herbert, Britany

programs in Illinois. As an advanced accredited

Jaskiewicz, Jens Kennedy, Robert Kiser, Mayra

training program, our SAC students, upon

Marin and Alejandra Medina.

graduation, are prepared and meet all requirements to take the certification exam to become


Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC) by the ICB. They are also prepared

Syd Sklar served as a guest editor for an issue

to begin a master’s curriculum in the fields of

of Therapeutic Recreation Journal, providing

psychology, social work, criminal and social justice or many other fields if so desired.

From left to right: ICB Executive Director Jessica Hayes, SAC student Allison Bryne, and USF SAC adjunct professor Christine Slattery

an “Introduction to the Special Issue on Strengths-Based Practice—Part I.” His co-editor, Marcia Jean Carter, is a USF adjunct instructor.

Schola Cantorum & The Chieftains Schola Cantorum singers Elijah Anderson, Christina Bravo, Marisa DiBennardi, Mary Jackson, Erick Kubacki, Lorraine Lawson, Eric Lindstrom, Chloe Miller, Shannon Patino and Jake Taheny sang with The Chieftains at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet in March.

Director Patrick Brannon was proud, noting, “It was an honor for me to sit in the beautiful Rialto Square Theatre and hear some of my best singers perform with The Chieftains— a traditional Irish group that I have been a fan of for decades."

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



USF offers its MBA Program in the Czech Republic

“Brno.” One might think it’s just a word with a missing vowel, but gorgeous

of organizational behavior. All courses are taught by Brno University

Brno is actually the second largest city in the Czech Republic, situated in

and USF professors using the same syllabi and course materials as USF’s

the historic region of Moravia. It is also home to Brno University of

U.S.-based students. The program is designed so that students

Technology, where the University of St. Francis has established a partner-

attend classes in an “executive” format over weekends, with additional

ship to offer its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

coursework outside the classroom. USF faculty teach classes in the

The program is based upon one begun at Dominican University, where USF President Dr. Arvid Johnson served as Dean of the Brennan School of Business. “I had the great fortune of teaching in Dominican’s Brno MBA program

Czech Republic several times per calendar year, over two consecutive weekends each time. Said COBHA Dean Orlando Griego, who teaches in the program, “The Czech students find our faculty members to be creative and

for many years,” said Johnson. “Once I found out that Dominican

innovative. The students conduct interesting case studies and activities

would no longer be continuing its partnership with Brno University of

and develop a sense of how Americans do business. The U.S. is an

Technology, I felt it would be a good fit for the University of St. Francis.

economic powerhouse, so the students really benefit from the education

After having worked with me for many years, both as a professor and

they are receiving from our professors.”

as a dean, our Brno partners were excited to continue our collaboration.” The program matriculated its third cohort in February 2016 and will graduate its first cohort in September 2016. The 35 students currently enrolled in the 18-month program take courses in international business, economics, finance, strategic business management, and management


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

Our professors also bring U.S. pedagogical practices to the Brno program, including flipped classrooms, blended learning practices and open-source textbooks.

Transportation & Logistics Program Growing at USF “The Crossroads of Mid-America.” Those words

high-paying jobs—in Illinois, entry salary is $45,000

are prominently displayed on the official seal for the

and $70,000+ is median, per the IDES statewide

City of Joliet. The nickname couldn’t be more

wage database 2011. Logistics-related businesses are

appropriate, considering the city’s proximity to the

Will County’s third largest employers. Given the

juncture of U.S. Interstates 80 and 55. I-80 is the

growth of logistics in the area, and the important

country’s second longest highway, spanning between

business benefits for improved logistics operations, a

New Jersey and California. I-55 runs north-south,

talent shortage for qualified transportation and

from Illinois to Louisiana. They meet approximately 35

logistics employees exists, both locally and nationally.

miles southwest of Chicago, creating the perfect

This means that there are many jobs available.

landscape for some the nation’s largest intermodal


The College of Business & Health Administration

In April, four COBHA students competed in the second annual

offers bachelor’s and master’s degree options

Aurora University Accounting

(including an MBA concentration) in this field, as well

Case competition. The event, held

new commerce (IKEA and Mars are both landing

as minor and graduate certificate programs in

on AU’s campus, was sponsored

in Joliet soon) and intermodal centers and distribution

logistics. Students choosing this undergraduate course

by Becker Professional Services

facilities are popping up along the highways at

of study in Transportation and Logistics will also

and the Mueller accounting firm,

an amazingly fast pace. One day, a field. The next day,

gain important core business skills such as accounting,

whose representatives served

a logistics center on hundreds or thousands of acres.

economics, finance and marketing, as well as acquire

as judges. USF competitors were

the general liberal arts education for which USF is

accounting majors Justyna Jozwik,

this industry and innovation with its Transportation &

famous. For information, please contact Carol Lindee

Kevin Lederer, Pengyu Lu, and

Logistics Management program. This field offers

at or 815-740-3849.

Sophia Maki. Though the team did

transportation centers. It’s no wonder that Will County is booming with

The University of St. Francis is capitalizing on

not place, a significant amount of time went into preparing their presentation, according to accounting professor Tony Zordan. “These students represented the university in a very professional manner. They did us proud!” said Zordan.

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



College of Education embraces needs of the community Following the model of the university’s patron St. Francis, the COE embraces the community


qualified and have had unique experiences during their preparation. Those same experi-

and its needs. Programs in the college extend to

I am involved in

ences make them more likely to be successful

the community at large through collaborations

the JPDSP and

and stay within our district, ultimately providing

with schools, religious institutions, social service

am also a newly

excellent teaching to the Joliet community.

agencies, businesses and the government.

initiated member

Candidates are expected to view their

of Kappa Delta Pi


vocation as an educator as a calling in which

(KDP), the

the needs of students and the community



take on primary importance. Service is not

honor society

fellow, I have

limited to schools but may extend to families,

organized to

had many

communities, and professional organizations.

recognize excellence in education. JPDSP


The COE believes that service, especially

is a partnership between the University of

to learn about

to the traditionally underserved, should be of

St. Francis and Joliet School District 86. It is a

the surrounding

central concern for educators, and it values

thoughtful, committed pairing of USF


those practices that promote systemic change

teacher candidates with schools and teachers

One experience

and social justice for the betterment of

dedicated to the preparation and success of

the community.

new educators entering the field.

Following are reflections from education

As an administrator in a Joliet public school

that shines for me was meeting with the technology director and assistant superintendents of Joliet Public

program candidates involved in the Joliet

and doctoral candidate at USF, I have the

School District 86. Through our interaction

Professional Development School Partnership

unique opportunity to see the rich educational

with these leaders, I learned more about the

(JPDSP) program, which according to candidate

benefit of the JPDSP alliance. I have first-hand

large number of tasks administrators are

Eric Lindstrom, “is designed to help teacher

knowledge of the profound impact the

responsible for as well as how involved they are

candidates learn more about residents, assets,

collaboration has on teacher candidates and on

with each and every school.

and resources in the community as well as the

the lives of the students they serve. Having

many ways educators can contribute and

quality teaching candidates in our schools can

I always think of it as going beyond the

provide support.” These thoughtful observations

potentially lead to fully vested educators

job that’s held inside school walls. Serving the

illustrate the rich benefits of community

in our school district. Watching USF teacher

community is about reaching out to our

experiences, for both the COE candidate and

candidates come into the school with such

neighbors and lending a helping hand when

the students they serve.

a passion for education and drive for serving

one is needed. To that end, helping at the Boys

the community inspires me to continue to

and Girls Club for a holiday party or serving

do the same, even after 23 years in the

breakfast to residents at Daybreak reminds me

profession. When we hire USF graduates, we

of the importance of serving others. As a

know that we have teachers who are well

teacher candidate I have gained perspective that

COE Renews Accreditation


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

When I reflect on serving the community,

COE Dean John Gambro reported

levels for national accreditation

The visiting team specifically

that the National Council for the

with no “Areas for Improvement.”

commented on the exceptional

Accreditation of Teacher Education

This accomplishment would

(NCATE) Board of Examiners team

not be possible without the

informed USF that the College of

exemplary efforts of countless

Education has met all six standards

individuals and groups across

at both the initial and advanced

USF and the local community.

hospitality (i.e., Franciscan spirit) that they experienced on campus.

allows me to better understand the whole

Participating in JPDSP has opened my

School District 204, Joliet Public Schools

child—not only who they are as individuals, but

eyes to problems that arise in the community

District 86, Joliet Junior College, and the Joliet

also their communities and their culture.

and how, in my role as an educator, I can

community. It is intended to help recruit

Students in the Joliet area deserve the best

involve my students through awareness and

and prepare a new generation of excellent

education possible. With the help of great

getting their input for possible solutions.

teachers of color for Joliet schools.

teachers, kids have the ability to achieve their

Each community experience has influenced my

dreams and serve others along the way.

professional goals in a way that gives me a

I have been in several classroom settings

better understanding of who my students are

as a volunteer. Being able to observe and be of

and where they come from. I believe if I

help to teachers and students in local schools

know my students, I am more likely to have a

has provided great motivation to continue

positive relationship with them, which, in turn,

my studies and work on being the best educator

makes for a successful learning environment.

that I can be for my future students. Serving


Through this program, I have

the community is something that is very

learned a great deal about our community

During my teacher preparation program,


hood, school or work community, I strive to give it my all and help in any way possible.

and about myself

I am currently an

Working in the community has allowed

as an educator.

active member

me to stay in touch and remain informed about

I have had

of KDP and also

some of the things the community needs.


serve as a

I have made it my personal objective to pay it

with the JPDSP and as a member of KDP,

student repre-

forward. My goal is to serve as an educator

an honor society that recognizes and supports

sentative on the

in the school district of my local community

pre-service and current teachers. With each


because I feel a responsibility to serve as a role

experience, I have gained insight about


model and advocate for children in the area.

many different topics such as diversity or issues

Recruitment in

within the community that can impact

Teaching (MERIT) Action Council. MERIT is a

student learning.

partnership between USF, Joliet Township High

J OL IET M AYO R B O B O ’ D E KI RK A N D CO U N CI LMAN MI KE TURK V I S I T US F E DUCATI ON S TUDENTS In February, the College of Education (COE)

Spesia and her class were thrilled when they

In addition to this visit, JPDSP Fellows have met

welcomed Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and Councilman

learned that Mayor O’Dekirk and Councilman

other community leaders, toured facilities

Mike Turk to campus for the Joliet Professional

Turk accepted their invitation to join and discuss

that meet many needs of Joliet residents and

Development School Partnership (JPDSP)

the resources available to educators in the

learned about the goals and innovations utilized

Fellowship class. Tracy Spesia, COE Field

Joliet area. In preparation for the meeting,

at the district and building level to support

Experience Coordinator and School Partnership

students researched the district boundaries of

student learning.

Liaison, facilitates this pilot course.

their students and the council members who

“The JSDSP Fellowship is offered to any teacher candidate who is completing an

represent those neighborhoods. “Teacher candidates definitely came away

intermediate or advanced field experience in a

with a better understanding of how our

Joliet District 86 or 204 school,” explains

city council works and who they can turn to

Spesia. “The purpose of the course is to connect teacher candidates in Joliet schools with the

with concerns for their community,” says Spesia. “They are also learning that they are not teaching

assets and resources in the Joliet school districts

in a vacuum. They teach students

and community.”

in the context of their families, neighborhoods and greater community. Teachers who are connected to the community are better positioned to serve their students.”

JPDSP Fellowship students with Turk, O’Dekirk and Spesia (sixth, seventh and eighth from left).

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



Health Fair a Success The Leach College of Nursing (LCON)

Dr. Rodney Hiser, who coincidentally recently

is committed to the community...after all,

obtained his doctoral degree from USF.

the very heart of nursing is helping others and

“The concept is to get the students

nurturing those in the community who are

interacting and teaching people at different age

sick. Oftentimes, nurses do a lot of work to

levels. This is also our way of getting our

prevent health issues, too, and that is how the

students out in the community,” said Murphy,

Leach College of Nursing began hosting

who helps to coordinate the program.

itsannual health prevention fairs for area grade school students. For more than ten years, LCON has been “giving back” by hosting one grade school health

During the fair, USF students presented information related to 17 different health topics. They did research and created table displays and handouts as required coursework for

fair each semester, as part of the NURS 310

their fundamentals class. They made their

(nursing fundamentals) course. This year’s first

stations interactive, so the fair would be fun for

event was held in September at Minooka

young students.

Elementary and the second was held in March

The fair was held in the Jones Elementary

LCON students Nancy Serrano, Molly Szajerski and Daniela Munoz teach Jones Elementary students about proper and healthy exercise techniques.

each topic. They were engaged in activities and were given prizes that were contributed by LCON’s nursing faculty.

at Jones Elementary in Joliet. The Jones

gym. Displays focused on things like stress

Elementary event drew 520 students from

management (table visitors might learn about

kindergarten through 4th grade, who were

yoga), exercise (how to stretch and do safe

prior to the fair to determine appropriate and

guided by 52 LCON students and four LCON

exercises), asthma and food allergies (what they

relevant topics.

faculty members including Mario Paulino,

are and how to manage and prevent attacks),

Lynnann Murphy, Jennifer Wills-Savoia and

proper hand-washing, health careers and

Karen McDermott. They were supported by the

even internet safety. Students rotated through

school’s P.E. teacher, Amy Vlcek, and principal,

all of the tables so they could learn about

Murphy talked to school administrators

“For instance, bullying might be an issue at that time or in that school,” said Murphy. “We discuss whether or not we should add that to the list and work with the school to agree onother presentation topics. Then our students choose what they want to research.” Weeks before the fair, the students and faculty sit together in a “Collaborative Learning Day,” where students get in front of their instructors and peers and present their posters while explaining how they will distribute the information at the fair. Faculty members critique the projects, and peers give suggestions and ideas—then presenters get time to tweak their research if necessary. Murphy says sometimes students have to change parts of their presentations or posters, which is a good learning experience for them. Said Murphy, “This event gives our students the chance to learn what it means to be a professional, to represent the nursing profession and to represent USF. It gives the students a chance to be creative, to have a little fun and to learn about dealing with the public. I love it because I love kids—that’s what nursing is all about—teaching and sharing knowledge.”


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

SNA Activities LCON’s Student Nurses Association (SNA) has been

Awareness T-shirt fundraiser for Pink Heals Joliet

very active all year. Last summer, SNA assisted

Chapter, an organization that supports local women

LCON with the expansion campaign by recruiting

with breast cancer and their families.

students and alumni to participate in the filming of an

SNA continues to collaborate with Commuter

LCON campaign video, as well as a simulation

Assistants in organizing and volunteering with other

demonstration during a fundraising presentation.

USF students for bingo activities at Our Lady of

In the fall, SNA hosted another successful blood drive with Heartland Blood Centers and raised $1,200 for the Alzheimer’s Association by participating

Angels Retirement Home in Joliet on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Several SNA representatives attended the Student

in the organization’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s at

Nurses Association of Illinois (SNAI) annual convention

Rock Run Preserve in Joliet. The group also raised

this fall, and two students were elected to offices

$1,000 in donations through a Breast Cancer

on the SNAI Board of Directors: Brittany Long was elected to serve as Membership Director and Janelle Gedmin was elected to serve as Marketing Director. This spring, SNA continued their service while volunteering for the bingo activities at Our Lady of Angels, planning a Blood and Bone Marrow Registration Drive, participating in the USF Relay for Life event, and participating in the Pink Heals Mother’s Day Walk. Representatives also participated in the SNAI Leadership Conference in Bloomington, Ill.; the National Student Nurses Association Annual

SNA members Meaghann Gorecki, Lauren Wojdyla, Janelle Gedmin, Maggie Toporkiewicz, Samantha Nayder and Brittany Long present a $1,000 check to the Pink Heals Joliet Chapter.


Convention in Orlando, Fla. and the Student Nurse Political Action Day in Springfield.

Deborah Terrell, Ph.D., FNP-BC, R.N. is an associate professor of nursing in LCON. She was recently recognized as one of the “Influential Illinois NP Professors Who Teach Online” by a blog that honored some of the most outstanding professors and universities in the field. Terrell obtained both her doctoral degree and FNP education from Rush University. She received a Pioneer Medical Miracles Award from Provident Foundation, and has been on the cover of Nursing Spectrum

NC L EX S U CCES S LCON is proud to announce that the 2015 nursing

Upon graduation, these students are fully prepared to

class achieved a pass rate of 97% on the NCLEX

be competent clinicians and advocates for their

(National Council Licensure Exam).

patients. In addition to the traditional BSN program,

“The college of nursing is ecstatic with this report,”

USF offers an online R.N. to BSN degree completion

says Carol Wilson, dean. “LCON continues to meet

program and articulation agreements with many

its benchmark of always having a higher NCLEX pass

area community colleges including Joliet Junior

rate than the state and national average.”

College, Kankakee, Moraine and Waubonsee.

The NCLEX is a nationwide examination for

Additionally, LCON offers a Doctor of Nursing

registered nurses. After graduating from nursing

Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing

school, potential R.N.s take the NCLEX to receive their

(Family Nurse Practitioner/FNP), Psychiatric Mental

nursing license from the state in which they plan to

Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Nursing Education,

practice nursing.

Nursing Administration and Teaching in Nursing

“Dedicated faculty, small classes and motivated

Magazine. She is board certified, and her teaching responsibilities include teaching a variety of clinical courses in USF’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program as well as an introductory course in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.

Certificate. Post-master’s certificates in FNP and

students are absolutely responsible for a 97%,”

PMHNP are also available. For more information about

says Wilson.

becoming a USF nurse, please visit

The University of St. Francis has educated four generations of caring and skilled nurses.

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



Landus Anderson

Two Fighting Saints Rise Above Challenges of Erb’s Palsy

Imagine how physically gifted a person has to be to earn a spot on a college sports team. Now imagine trying to earn that spot with paralysis in one arm.


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

belief in me made me the student-athlete I am today. She never gave up on me, and would never let me give up on myself.” Over the summer, when Balandis is home in Burbank, she coaches the little league team that she first played on when she was five years old. “It’s nice to share my love for the game with young, aspiring athletes. It’s also nice to give back to the program that started my love for softball.” When summer comes to a close, she leaves her home in Burbank to return to USF, her other home, where her sister Caitlyn will be graduating with a nursing degree in May. “I knew I was not the type of student to learn in a big lecture hall with 200 other students,” Ally Balandis says. “I wanted to go to a school that felt like home.” After graduation, Balandis plans to pursue a career in law enforcement, either as an FBI field agent or a big-city police officer, and no one doubts that she will be great at it.

Ally Balandis

LANDUS ANDERSON Landus Anderson is also studying criminal


justice with a minor in psychology, and his

wo student-athletes at USF, Ally Balandis

It also didn’t stop her from hitting five home

plan is to become a lawyer after his playing days

and Landus Anderson, have not only

runs in the first half of the 2016 season. She just

are over. A starting shooting guard on the men’s

earned their spots, but are also key players on

finds a way to succeed, and always has.

two of the university’s most successful

At Reavis High School in Burbank, she won

basketball team, Anderson has Erb’s palsy in his

teams—softball and men’s basketball, respec-

multiple honors as a two-sport athlete and was

right arm, but it has done nothing to hold

tively—and both of them have lived their

inducted in the school’s Hall of Fame.

him back on the court or in school. In his native

entire lives with Erb’s palsy.

“With softball, I don’t do things ‘text book,’”

Florida, he scored more than 1,000 points in

she says. “I look different fielding a ground ball,

high school and was named a scholar-athlete.

difficult childbirth, when, due to excessive

a pop up, or even catching a ball. But when

He was a four-time All-Conference and All-Area

pulling or awkward positioning, nerves

I was younger I didn’t let that affect me. I figured

honoree, and the team MVP his senior year.

in the upper arm or shoulder are damaged.

out ways to get it done, even if it looked odd.”

The injury occurs most often during a

This result is a loss of some muscle function,

She excels in the classroom, too. A criminal

After high school he played for two years at a Florida junior college, where his team

justice major with a focus in forensic

won two consecutive conference titles. He also

psychology, her 3.8 GPA landed her on the

won the school’s inaugural “Heart of a Titan”


Dean’s List last semester. Like just about

award for his performance on and off the court.

For Ally Balandis, a starting sophomore catcher

every successful person, she has received help

But basketball had become more of a job

on the softball team, it means that her left

and support, and most of it has come from

than a game at that point, and he considered

arm is about five inches shorter than her right,

her mother.

quitting—maybe not seriously, but he was

and limited mobility.

and with her left hand she cannot turn a

“She has been my rock through everything

definitely frustrated. Then he caught the eye of USF Head Coach

doorknob or lift a fork to her mouth. But it didn’t

I’ve been through with Erb’s palsy,” Balandis

stop her from driving-in the tying run for

says. “When I was first born, she would

Ryan Marks, and soon he was suiting up for

the Saints last season when she was called on to

constantly move my hand for me because

the Saints.

pinch-hit in the NAIA National Tournament.

I could not do it on my own. Her constant A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016




It wasn’t easy getting to where he is today,

NAIA II Men’s Basketball National Tournament.

“I had been wanting since high school just to be groomed into a better player, and just

He did this after posting perfect grades the

but he realizes as well as anyone that life is

to be happy on and off the court,” Anderson

previous semester.

full of challenges. Growing up with Erb’s palsy

says. “When I met Coach Marks he seemed like

“I got my love for the game back,” he says. “I’m enjoying playing, and working hard, and

a genuine guy. He really loves his players, and he loves the game. I made a great decision

being the best person I can be.”

presented some obstacles, but for the most part they are behind him now, thanks to a mother who, out of love, pushed him hard. “It was tough back then, but as I’m maturing

That person was shaped by his mother.

to come here.”

“She found that perfect balance of tough love

This past season Anderson helped the

now and looking back, I really appreciate

Saints achieve their best-ever winning

and unconditional love,” he says. “She never

what she did,” he says. “In fact, as soon as I get

percentage (.875), tie the school record for wins

let me take the easy way out. She didn’t give me

off the phone with you I’m going to call my

in a season (28), and earn a top seed in the

any shortcuts.”

mom and thank her again.”


Q Is service a requirement for your team? A Yes, we try our best to do two or three service projects each semester. They can range anywhere from shaking cans for donations, to reading with local youth, participating in basketball skill sessions with local high schools, cleaning up around the community and more.


Q Why is it important for you, as a coach, to have them It’s hard to imagine athletes finding time to do service between homework, practices and games, but Fighting Saints athletes are making the time. Besides team service projects, the USF StudentAthlete Advisory Committee regularly plans service activities, including an annual winter coat drive. Even coaches, trainers and members of the administrative staff make a habit of volunteering. The women’s basketball team, guided by Coach Samantha Quigley, is one group that makes

involved in service projects? A It is important because helping our community demonstrates the care and love we have for this area. St. Francis is one of the only universities in the area and getting our name out there is very important to us. Our young women learn the importance of helping others and the strong impact one can have on someone else’s life.

Q What kind of work did you do? A This year (so far) we have shaken cans for Lions Club (I am a member) outside local establishments to help collect money for eye care supplies, we participated in the university service day just before Easter, and shook cans for Misericordia in April to help individuals with disabilities.

In early March, baseball pitching coach Adam Panayotovich ’15 received a call on his cell phone. It was the Chicago White Sox, inviting him to attend spring training. One of the most successful pitchers in USF history, Panayotovich capped his career in 2015 by being named an NAIA First-Team All-American. The right-hander concluded

Q How do you think it changes them, and what do they seem

his career as USF’s all-time leader in wins (39) and strikeouts (342).

participate, which makes all

to get out of it? A I truly believe it helps them recognize how their small act of kindness can greatly impact others. Being kind and generous can make someone’s day, and even someone’s life.

the difference. Quigley was inter-

Q Do you know if any other teams are doing this kind

viewed recently about her hopes

of service? A Yes, many of our athletic teams and clubs do service projects like this. Our Student Athlete Advisory Committee has collected clothing and shoes and eating contests—all for those in need.

service a regular part of every season. Not only does Coach Quigley expect her players to participate, but they WANT to

and expectations as far as her team and service are concerned…


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

Said Athletic Director Dave Laketa, who spoke with Panayotovich in the beginning of April, “He will either be staying with a rookie team in Glendale, Arizona or reporting to another rookie team in Great Falls, Montana. A decision will be made by the organization in early May.”


Service Day Makes Future Brighter for Those in Need The University of St. Francis is all about service and leadership, and USF

bags of beans and sugar for distribution, worked with the elderly, painted

doesn’t just talk—it “walks the walk.” Service, one of the university’s

and repaired a home and cleaned public property.

four core values, is at the heart of the university’s mission. It’s urged not

“We plan to do this twice a year,” said Fr. Deffenbaugh, noting the possibility of adding a service effort around Christmas, so there’s

only of students, but also of employees. Each year, the university organizes a university-wide service day for

one university-wide service opportunity each semester. “It’s important to

employees on Holy Thursday. It’s a fitting day for helping others,

let people in the area know what we can do. Students aren’t just going

because according to USF Chaplain Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh, “That was the

to school here, but they’re taking their gifts to the streets, which is what

day Jesus taught us to serve by washing the feet of the Apostles.”

Jesus did.”

This year’s service day saw 98 employee and student participants at five locations in the Joliet area. Service was done at the Joliet Hope Center, at Our Lady of Angels retirement home, in the Will County forest preserves and in some areas of need in New Lenox. Volunteers packed

He continued, “You know, St. Francis was known for saying ‘Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words!” The Service Day Committee included Fr. Deffenbaugh, Angela Antonou, Michele O’Boyle, Megan Powell and Joe Wysocki.

SAIN T S M A RCH F O R L I F E Five students were on their way to the annual

“However,” said Considine, “this was my

experience that is very unique to the March

March for Life in Washington, DC in January,

third and probably my favorite March for

for Life and one that I hope to be able to

but bad weather altered their plans.

Life experience. The group that went was a lot

share in again with my USF community in years

of fun. Sharing faith-filled experiences with

to come.”

Abigail Blome, Joseph Considine, Frank

USF’s Pro-Life Club moderator is

Kalisik, Kacey Short and Melanie Fonseca had a

them was well worth the 14-hour bus ride, even

great experience despite the fact that they

if the trip was cut short. Being able to share

Dr. Tim Weldon, Chair of USF’s Theology &

had to leave before actually participating in the

our faith and belief with others who are

Philosophy Department.

march, due to horrible weather.

like-minded and some who disagree was an

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



IPO Partners with Minooka Schools USF’s International Programs Office enjoys a

high school each week to help students work

Spain, the Philippines and Brazil. The students

mentoring partnership with Minooka

on English language skills and homework.

presented to Walnut Trails second graders who

Community High School’s English Language

The students have even taken field trips

were working on a unit about foreign exchange

Learners. Last year, USF started working with

together. USF students’ participation in this

students. They focused on customs and

Minooka’s Spanish/ELL teacher, Lisa Fraticola,

program has helped them gain confidence

traditional clothing from around the world. The

to find additional resources and mentorship for

and form bonds with others who might be

USF students talked about holidays in their

their students from various linguistic back-

struggling with the language.

home countries, and according to Angie Maffeo,

In addition, the International Programs

grounds. Minooka currently educates students

director of USF’s International Programs Office, “The event was a big hit with the Walnut Trails

from Mexico, Latvia and Ukraine in their

Office worked with Walnut Trails Elementary

program. USF’s international students and

School (also a Minooka District 201 school) to

teachers and students—they already asked us to

others interested in helping to tutor go to the

host four USF international students from China,

come back next year!”


14 10

6 8

11 13

2 7

1 4


9 5

Ever wonder where USF students are able to travel to in order to study, just as if they were studying at USF? Some locations


are offered through the Illinois Consortium of International Studies and Programs (ICISP) and the others are through bilateral agreements USF has arranged with universities in the host countries. Get packing, Saints!

1 Graz, Austria

Medical University of Graz 2 Salzburg, Austria

ICISP—Salzburg College 3 Curitiba, Brazil

Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná 4 Xi’an, China

ICISP—Xi’an International University 5 San José, Costa Rica

ICISP—Costa Rican Language Academy

6 Canterbury, England

ICISP—Canterbury Christ Church University 7 Dijon, France

ICISP—Centre Internationale d’Études Françaises 8 Normandy Region, France

Normandy School of Management 9 Hyderabad, India

ICISP—English and Foreign Language University

10 Carlow, Ireland

ICISP—Carlow College 11 Avila, Spain

Universidad Católica Santa Teresa de Jesús de Ávila 12 Murcia, Spain

Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia 13 Seville, Spain

ICISP—International College of Seville 14 Kristianstad, Sweden

Kristianstad University


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine


Spotlight: Rachel Esparza ’15 Credit the cadavers for bringing Rachel Esparza to USF. They weren’t everything but they

“This is something I really care about,” she says. “I’ve noticed that a lot

certainly were a draw. Another big part of

of women, including myself, are hesitant to pursue careers in surgery

the equation was the opportunity to

because of the demanding lifestyle. However, after attending an exchange

avoid a lifetime of debt. Today the Joliet

between various AWS chapters on the East Coast, I was amazed by

native—and the first person in her family to

how many women surgeons are actually able to be fantastic mothers and

go to college—is a medical student at

have fulfilling careers in surgery.”

Yale University in New Haven, Conn. “I distinctly remember being extremely excited about the mention of the cadaver

Esparza is also serving her community as a patient navigator for a refugee from Afghanistan, and as a referrals volunteer for the student-run HAVEN free clinic, among other pursuits. But her interest in global

lab at USF when I was interviewing for the Biology and Environmental

health will take her far from home this summer. After a European vacation

Science Fellowship as a high school senior,” Esparza says. The excitement

with two of her closest friends at Yale, she will start a research project

did not wane, and the classes that allowed her to experiment on cadavers

in the pediatric surgery oncology department of Mulago Hospital in

ended up ranking among her favorites.

Kampala, Uganda.

Esparza had decided during her freshman year at Joliet Central High

She has done research before—at the Rehabilitation Institute of

School that she wanted to be a doctor, and by the time senior year

Chicago as a student at USF—but she has never been to Africa, and

rolled around her college preferences leaned toward Northwestern and

has never spent any significant amount of time in a developing country.

Loyola. But USF won her over by offering the best financial aid package—

If you ask her, though, leaving her comfort zone in such a dramatic

by far.

fashion is a good thing.

“Being the oldest child in my family, and first-generation, I was worried about finances,” she says. “I wanted to avoid debt as much as possible, and I figured I didn’t need to go to a big-name school to get into medical school and become a good doctor.” Choosing USF was easy, but falling in love with it was never a guarantee. Luckily for Esparza and USF, it happened. “My time at USF was a really eye-opening experience on a number of levels,” she says. “I really valued USF’s emphasis on the liberal arts. The classes I took, and experiences I had, completely shaped my perspective on the world.” She wasn’t just a pre-med bookworm. In addition to exploring a variety of subjects—from philosophy and languages to ceramics and yoga—she also made meaningful human connections. “Having accomplished professors that I could call by their first names and talk to like normal people over lunch was great,” she says. She credits those experiences with helping her navigate the potentially intimidating

Rachel Esparza meets with Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General and Yale School of Medicine alumnus, after he gave an engaging lecture there last fall.

experience of applying for medical school. When it comes down to it, she came to realize through her USF experience, no matter how accomplished people are, they’re still just people. Esparza’s plan is to become a pediatric surgeon in an academic setting

“From my experience, that’s the best way to learn and grow,” she says. No matter where her work takes her, Joliet will always be home, and her family will always be important to her. Since arriving in Connecticut

and to make an impact, through education and research, in global

last August she has been home to visit four times. Family to her is not

health. In her new home community in Connecticut, she is a co-leader of

only her relatives but also the people who helped her become who she

the Yale Surgery Interest Group, and one of her goals in that position

is today.

is to form an Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) chapter at the Yale School of Medicine.

“It felt like the USF community was not only the place where I studied, but also a family,” she says.

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



Spotlight: Anne-Marie “Annie” Udell ’04 Annie Udell was not the best student in high school, and she will be the first one to say so. She was “too social,” wasn’t serious enough about her studies, didn’t have good grades and wasn’t very concerned

“USF was perfect for me because it was small enough where I got to know almost everyone, and I loved that!” she says. After two years of working on-air, Udell was hired full-time by Young

about her future. In fact, she struggled so

Life. This also was an extension of her college experience, the fruit

much that she entered USF on academic

of a seed that was planted at USF. As a student, her community involve-

probation. It was the tight-knit community

ment stretched from the Joliet area all the way to Naperville, where

at USF that helped her get on track,

she mentored Neuqua Valley High School students as a volunteer for

and eventually make her way onto the

Young Life. And a big part of her full-time job with the organization

Dean’s List. A few years later, in 2007, she

has been volunteer management—helping people who want to give

was named Alumna of the Year. Who better to mentor kids and teach

something back find a place to do it.

them how to find hope and purpose in their lives? “Honestly, what attracted me to USF was that they took a chance on me,” says Udell, a Naperville native. “It made me want to do better. My admissions counselor and my professors were really kind to me, and they would check in and make sure I was doing okay. I did better than I ever did in school at USF because of the class size and the personal attention.” Today, Udell is the Chicago area’s associate regional director for Young Life, a Christian outreach ministry that serves high school and middle school students. She oversees Young Life staff in Oswego and Plainfield, but also contributes to growing the organization and reaching more kids, spreading Young Life’s message and mission. Part of that goal will include founding new Young Life communities in Will County— specifically in Joliet, Romeoville and Bolingbrook, where Udell lives. During her senior year at Naperville Central High School, Udell did not have a good handle on what kinds of colleges were available to her. USF was a school that came into focus only because her mother, Karen

Even after a “pie in the face” at a Young Life event, Annie Udell loves the young people she ministers to!

(Reilly) Udell, had gone there, graduating in 1973. Not only did USF open the younger Udell’s eyes to the possibility of academic success— it also provided her with career opportunities. “I majored in mass communications and broadcasting, and I loved

“To me giving back to your community is one of the best things you can do,” Udell says. “It is fulfilling personally, and the time you pour into something that you believe in is never wasted. My personal conviction

the fact that USF had a radio station,” she says. “That was a big part of my

to do what I do with Young Life comes from my deep belief that Jesus is

college experience. It was because of the connections through USF

the only hope for this world, and that He is in all things and for all people.”

and the mass comm department that I was able to land a great job right out of college at Next Media working as an on-air radio personality.” Yes, Miss “Too Social,” who says she is “as far as you can get on the extroverted scale,” earned a living by talking on the radio, all because of an extra-curricular activity she got involved in at USF. Besides hosting the morning show on the campus radio, she also hosted or emceed countless events on campus, wrote for the school newspaper, gave tours to prospective students and served on the student activities council and campus ministry.


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

It sometimes seems like she is alluding to a younger version of herself when she talks about counseling and inspiring kids. “I think all opportunities for life change should be in front of them,” she says. She knows what she is talking about. She had USF, and now hundreds of kids have Young Life and her. For more information on Young Life, visit


Shawn Walsh ‘00, ‘15 President-Elect

Keith Schomig ‘13

Alumni Network Days Beginning in the fall, the Alumni & Family Relations Office will host four “Alumni Network Days” each academic year that will bring all local alumni groups together. This will create awareness on campus, so students can see life after USF, and will encourage them to get engaged before they graduate. It will also foster alumni networking, as alumni will gather in one common place for breakfast. Network days are currently scheduled for September 24 and November 5, 2016, and February 4 and April 1, 2017. To learn more about USF’s alumni networks, visit or contact the Alumni & Family Relations Office at 877-811-ALUM or

ALUMN US STE PHE N CS E RV E N YAK ’ 13 TO PE RF ORM AT 2 0 16 TAS TE OF JOLI E T Former marketing major and

Past President

Karen Ciarlette ’94. ’97 Vice President for Constitution

Joseph Ferrallo ’85, ’06, ’07 Vice President for Programs

Caroline Portlock ’02, ’04 Vice President for Scholarships

Fighting Saints baseball player,

Judy Bulat ’72

Stephen Cservenyak ’13 (known on

Vice President for Young Alumni & Student Engagement

the country music scene as

Candice Quinerly ’10

Stephen Neal), will be playing at


this year’s Taste of Joliet at Joliet

Wihelmine Vidmar ’68

Memorial Stadium. The Stephen

Sisters of St. Francis Representative

Neal Band will perform at 3 p.m.

Sr. Lois Prebil, OSF ’61

on Saturday, June 25, leading off a

Alumni & Family Relations Office Administrators

day of country music.

Aubrey Knight ’04, ’07, Director Valerie Penn, Assistant Director Student Representatives

Haley Collins Laura Muñoz Taylor Ringo

St. Francis Sweethearts


Dominique Annis ’00, ’02 Luise A. Baldin ’58 Matthew Bisek ’10 Patricia Bracken ’73, ’86, ’94 Sharon Dewart ’78 Elmer F. Eddy ’80 Jacqueline A. Edmonson ’63, ’88, ’94 Laura Eggert ’09, ’13 Ysenia Gallegos ’13 H. Richard Hagen, J.D., ’90 Caryn Jakielski ’03, ’06 Linda M. Kilroy ’72 Eric Lawhead ’07

In February, we featured alumni couples who met while at USF. Stories and photos were shared, which was met with much enthusiasm from our alumni. The stories gained much popularity on the Alumni & Family Relations Facebook page. Due to its popularity, this program will be continued, and if you met your spouse while at USF, we want to hear your story! Please share it here:

Lynley Louzensky ’10 Erika Martinez ’11, ’15 Frances H. Naal Sczepaniak ’58 Jan Novotny ’67 L. Scott Pekol ’99 Alan Randolph ’07 Corey Richardson ’09


Susan Rogina ’94, ’99 Anne-Christine Tompkins ’14, ’15

Planning is underway for this year’s festivities for Homecoming & Reunion Weekend to be held September 24–25. Save the date and plan on coming


back to your alma mater! Reunions, alumni network

Send news and class notes to or call 877-811-ALUM.

meetings, a Beatles tribute band, tailgating and football game, Mass, brunch and more will be included in the lineup of events. Stay tuned for more information

To read about what other alumni and old friends have been doing, visit

and visit our web page at

A Year of Integrity / 2015–2016



Caritas Raises $360,000 for Student Scholarships The 59th Caritas Scholarship Ball, held Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, welcomed 388 guests and raised more than $360,000 for student scholarships. “We are very excited that our community members—our alumni, students, parents and friends, led by Terry and Sue D’Arcy and their Cartitas Committee team members— believe in the USF mission and support our goal of providing high-quality education to as many students as possible,” said USF President Arvid Johnson. “The support that we receive at Caritas is evidence of a forward-thinking community that will continue to thrive.” The event, hosted by Johnson and his wife, Anne, was chaired by Terry and Sue D’Arcy of Shorewood.

Top Row: 2016 Caritas Committee members; Terry & Sue D’Arcy with family and friends. Bottom Row: Guests gave generously in the Golden Paddle Raise and filled the dance floor.

gathered at TopGolf Scottsdale on

LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Science Hall Groundbreaking Event

Saturday, April 2. The event was

Friends and supporters of the University of St. Francis, including state

hosted by alumni Frank Huette ’93

and local officials, helped USF celebrate the LaVerne & Dorothy Brown

and Brian Barnes ’89, ’96.

Science Hall during a groundbreaking ceremony in April. The university

A RIZO N A GO L F O U T I N G Arizona alumni and friends

plans to build the 35,000 square-foot facility at its main campus, at the corner of Wilcox and Douglas Streets.

GUARD IA N A N GE L HA L L G R A N D O P E N I N G — SAVE T H E DAT E On Thursday, Aug. 17—fittingly, one week after the Feast of St. Clare— the University of St. Francis will enjoy the official grand opening of Guardian Angel Hall at St. Clare Campus. The new building will house the Leach College of Nursing and other administrative offices that service the university. Invitations and more information to be issued this summer. For more information, contact Regina Block in the Advancement Office at or 815-740-5065.

From left: Kathleen McGowan; Dorothy Brown; Sr. Dolores Zemont, OSF; Bill Foster; Trish Bellah; Bill Bellah; Larry Walsh; James Hock and Arvid Johnson.


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

T H E Y M A D E IT… W IT H A LIT TLE HE L P FRO M ALUMNI AND FRIENDS ! On May 14, members of the Class of 2016 walked proudly across the stage to accept their diplomas. Like thousands of graduates before them, most relied on the support of financial assistance provided through the Francis Fund. As our primary annual giving program, the Francis Fund is the most direct way for donors to support students who need a little extra help to finance their education. If you’ve already contributed, thank you! If you haven’t yet, please fill out the envelope in this publication or visit

Educators Give Back to USF Two new scholarships have been established at the University of St. Francis. The Wyrostek Family Scholarship was

When asked what made him want to give back to USF in this way, Wyrostek replied, “The University of St. Francis provides students

to the University of St. Francis and enrolled in the Chemical Dependency Certificate program. He taught science in numerous schools

established by Dr. Frank Wyrostek, former

with a unique opportunity to develop

throughout his career. At the climax of his

USF professor. Wyrostek began teaching at the

themselves personally, academically and

career, Sefcik was appointed the chief examiner

College of St. Francis in 1986 as the finance

professionally. I am most interested in assisting

for the Will County Regional Office of Education.

professor in a newly created finance major.

our students as they learn more about

Sefcik is a lifetime member of St. Joseph’s

Passionate about financial literacy, he counseled

themselves and apply the knowledge they gain

Parish in Joliet.

students and alumni for years. Dr. Wyrostek was

of themselves in helping them choose a

the faculty advisor to the Business Alumni

career path.”

Network (BAN), Student Business Association

Dr. Frank Wyrostek

Sefcik believes strongly in the education of the whole person and recognizes the

Wyrostek, who benefitted from scholarship

importance of athletics as a means to that kind

(SBA) and the

assistance himself during his undergraduate

of development. Because his beliefs about

Financial Research

studies (by way of work study programs), can

education are in tune with the mission of

Education through

really appreciate the role it played in his financial

the University of St. Francis, he established this

Experience (FREE)

plan. And when it comes to his enthusiasm

scholarship, which will be awarded to two

clubs. Dr. Wyrostek

about COBHA’s business programs and students,

students—one male and one female with at least

served the University

Wyrostek appreciates the diversity of back-

a sophomore ranking. Preference will be

for 29 years and has

grounds, the natural skills of students and their

given to biology majors and athletes, however,

chosen to continue

willingness to take on challenges. “Our programs

the scholarship may be awarded to a student

his legacy of service

are truly centered on assisting our students in

with financial need if no students meet

and leadership with

becoming ethical, responsible and caring

the preferred criteria. All students are expected

professionals in the profession they choose.”

to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.

the creation of the Wyrostek Family Scholarship. The Wyrostek Family Scholarship will award a

The James R. Sefcik Scholarship has been

$1,000 scholarship yearly to a College of

established by James Sefcik, a strong advocate

Business and Health Administration student

of higher education. Born and raised in Joliet,

majoring in Finance, Management, or Marketing.

Sefcik is a graduate of St. Cyril and Methodius

The student must be at least a sophomore with

Grade School, Joliet Catholic High School, Joliet

a minimum of a 2.5 GPA

Junior College, Lewis University and George Williams College. Later in his career, Sefcik came

A Year of Integrity / 2015-2016



500 West Wilcox Joliet, Illinois 60435 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Calendar of Events June 2016

Visit for information on youth camps,


Pat Sullivan Golf Outing

athletic camps, and adult continuing education courses


Online Information Session for Adults


Freshman Registration

July 2016 12

Online Information Session for Adults


Adult & Transfer Open House

August 2016

Admissions event information or registration 800-735-7500 • OR /openhouse Alumni event information or registration 877-811-ALUM •


Summer Academy


Freshman Sneak Peek


Online Information Session for Adults


Summer Academy

USF Art Gallery exhibitions


Grand Opening—Guardian Angel Hall at St. Clare Campus

815-740-3787 •

Athletics information or game schedules 815-740-3464 •

Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and by appointment.


For information about all other university events and activities

Brief Saturday campus visits which include a short tour.

800-735-7500 •

Space is limited to three per family. JUNE 4, 11, 25 • JULY 9, 16, 23, 30 k RSVP by calling 815-740-2270 S T F R A N CI S.EDU

Engaging Mind & Spirit  

The official magazine of University of St. Francis 2015-2016, Issue 3