Page 1




2015 - 2016 I S SUE 1


S T. F R A N C I S

Leach College of Nursing expansion is underway


Outstanding alumni honored in annual awards presentation

Generous gifts given by the Bellah and Webb families

A Message From the President

Engaging Mind & Spirit Dear Members of the USF Family, Welcome to the latest issue of the newly-renamed “Engaging Mind and Spirit” – our University of St. Francis magazine and one way that we strive to remain connected to you: our alumni, our friends, our parents, our employees, and our supporters…in short, our USF family.

Engaging mind and spirit – which has long been at the heart of USF’s “brand promise” to

its students – is the way that we make real the Franciscan ideal that “knowledge may never Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. President

be divorced from personal holiness,” as Mother M. Thomasine Frye stated in her charge to the university upon her stepping down as our first president. Said another way, and as reflected in our tagline, we call our students to “Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.” – through which we celebrate

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

both the liberal arts roots of a USF education and our Franciscan heritage.

Clearly, one of the most important ways that we deliver on this promise is through our high-

quality academic and co-curricular programs, which is the focus of the third objective of our strategic plan. (If you’ve read any of my past columns, you know that it always comes back to the strategic plan!)

In order to continue to build the quality of our programs, USF has invested in growing our

number of full-time faculty members. This issue of the magazine is full of great examples of how these faculty members are helping our students to accomplish truly remarkable things! Through increased emphasis on student achievement and experiential learning opportunities, we look to increase our already-admirable graduation and employment rates – in order to continue to provide a positive “return on investment” to our students.

USF is also investing in facilities to support the expansion and enhancement of our nursing and

science programs. Inside this issue, you can read about the multi-million dollar renovations of Guardian Angel Hall that are in progress at our St. Clare Campus in order to create an expanded, state-of-the-art home for our Leach College of Nursing. Students will begin using this facility next August. You’ll also find an announcement of a lead gift to support the construction of our new science building – an exciting project about which we’ll be saying a great deal in upcoming issues.

As many of you have heard me say in several venues, these are exciting times for USF and I

believe we have all the pieces in place to become a leading Catholic Franciscan university! With my “junior year” at USF well underway, I continue to consider myself incredibly blessed to serve as your president and promise to work hard to earn the trust that you have placed in me. Peace and all good things,

Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. President

University of St. Francis Magazine

Table of Contents Feature Story University of St. Francis Magazine 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


LCON Campaign Launched

Renovations at St. Clare Campus continue; nursing students will begin classes there in 2016.

CO NTEN T Michael Austin | Feature Interviews Bonnie Covelli | COBHA Julie Futterer Katie Goron David Hilbert | Athletics Michelle Madura | COE Michele O’Boyle | CAS Tracie Terlep | LCON David Veenstra | Feature Story

USF Success Campus News

The Fighting Saints


The Colleges Arts & Sciences Business & Health Administration Education Leach College of Nursing

Faith & Mission University Ministry

USF Athletics

Other USF employees, students & friends


Staying Connected

8 10 12 14 16

Alumni News

Cherry Hill Studios


Giving Back Donor News

Julie Futterer Dave Hilbert Holabird & Root


Image Group Photography, LLC



Calendar of Events Upcoming Events and Activities


Other USF employees, students & friends

Jeff Hall Design |

P R I N TIN G St. Croix Press |

FRONT COVER PHOTO: Early nurses from the St. Joseph College of Nursing. CORRECTIONS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: We were not aware that the Caritas photos that appeared in the last issue were graciously taken and services donated by Art & Design students Jennifer Bronson, Chris Jones and Stephanie Zelinski. Our apologies are extended for the oversight, and we thank all three of you for your talented work!

Please help us in our efforts to reduce waste. If this is an old or incorrect address for the intended recipient, if you no longer wish to receive University of St. Francis Magazine, or if you would like to receive this publication electronically, please call 815-740-5052 for a database adjustment.

University of St. Francis 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, IL 60435 800-735-7500 |

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Feature Story

Leach College of Nursing Expands

Rendering of new nursing facility at St. Clare Campus.


Sisters in town longer than antici-

house at Plainfield Road and Taylor

of St. Francis, the Cecily

pated, and after working tirelessly in

Street (now part of the University of

a registered nurse, began teaching a

& John Leach College

a community they grew to care for,

St. Francis main campus and current

two-year nurse training program for

of Nursing (LCON) has a rich history

they elected to stay permanently to

home of LCON). The old convent

members of the Sacred Heart con-

and strong foundation, built on the

continue to provide medical services

was quickly converted into a func-

gregation. As demands for skilled

needs of the Joliet community.

for the people of Joliet and the sur-

tional hospital, complete with 20

nurses grew, the Sisters decided

rounding region.

beds, and was eventually dedicated

to open the St. Joseph School of

back to 1880, when the Franciscan

to St. Joseph. With that purchase,

Nursing to the public in 1920. That

Sisters of the Sacred Heart were

convent on Broadway and Division

the Joliet Franciscans, renowned for

same year, the College of St. Francis

called to the Joliet area to care

Streets from the Sisters of St. Francis

teaching, agreed to provide educa-

(CSF) was established by the Joliet

for those afflicted by a devastat-

of Mary Immaculate, referred to as

tion for the Sisters of the Sacred

Franciscans, who offered tuition

ing typhoid epidemic. A smallpox

the “Joliet Franciscan Sisters,� who

Heart in exchange for their medical

gratis to the St. Joseph nursing

outbreak two years later kept the

were moving into a new mother-



Its humble beginnings reach

LC O N T I M E L I N E St. Joseph School of Nursing (SJSN) founded



In 1911, Sr. M. Liliosa Limacher,

uch like the University

University of St. Francis Magazine

They purchased a two-story

SJSN becomes first day school of nursing in Illinois


B.S. in Health Arts established


M.S. in Health Services Administration established



y the mid-1930s, the

College of Nursing and quickly

and several class rooms. By increas-

important to continue education

nursing school had

received state and regional accredi-

ing the number of labs and required

in nursing.”

grown significantly and

tations. A decade later, St. Joseph

lab time (from approximately 6 per-

developed affiliations with DePaul

College of Nursing became a divi-

cent to near the 25 percent allowed

learning space that will encourage

University in Chicago and several

sion of the College of St. Francis, and

by the Board of Nursing), more stu-

collaborative and real-world experi-

regional hospitals. Medical care

took on the allied health programs.

dents will be educated at the high

ences, LCON will grow the number

changed dramatically during the

The following year, CSF attained

level of professional competency

of students it serves—potentially by

years surrounding World War II,

university status and the division

that will be desired and required by

50 percent. By enhancing an already

with a necessity for lengthier hospi-

became the College of Nursing and

future employers.

high quality of nursing education,

tal stays and specialized treatments.

Allied Health. In 2011, the division

USF will ensure its nursing students

The number of nursing students

was re-named the Cecily & John

field of nursing,” says Carol Wilson,

will remain the best prepared in their

increased and the ways in which

Leach College of Nursing.

Ph.D., Dean of the Leach College

field and the most passionate in

they were educated and trained

of Nursing. “Given the increasing

their profession, with the Franciscan

improved. In January of 1964, St.

generations of nurses known for

requirements of employers and

values of respect, service, integrity

Joseph hospital and school moved

the highest level of patient care and

ongoing changes in the field of

and compassion to guide them.

to a larger facility across town on

professional ethics. The college has

health care, it has never been more

Madison Street. Later that year, the

outgrown its present space at USF’s

school became the first day school

main campus and will soon begin a

of nursing to operate in Illinois.

new chapter in nursing education.

In 2014, the university purchased the

In the early 70s, nurses started

LCON has now educated four

asking officials at the College of St.

former Guardian Angel Home in Joliet

Francis how to obtain a four-year

from the Sisters of St. Francis. The

degree with credits they had already

historic building and environs, now

earned in diploma school. By

called St. Clare Campus in honor of

offering the liberal arts portion of

Clare of Assisi (one of USF’s patron

the college curriculum and accept-

saints, known for healing), is being

ing clinical and classroom experi-

renovated to become the new home

ence from R.N. and LPN programs,

of the Leach College of Nursing.

CSF created an innovative Health

Arts program.

especially critical time in the field of

nursing. With shortages in nurs-

In 1987, after years of contin-

This new space is coming at an

ued course expansion including a

ing projected in the coming years,

groundbreaking on-site psychiatric

LCON will now have the opportunity

nursing program, the St. Joseph

to accept more nursing students,

School of Nursing became an

especially those seeking their BSN.

upper division college by offering

The new space offered at the St.

a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Clare campus will house four new

The school was renamed St. Joseph

simulation laboratories or ‘simlabs’

SJSN offers a BSN and becomes St. Joseph College of Nursing (SJCN)

SJCN becomes a division of College of St. Francis



“A perfect storm is upon the

In this new state-of-the-art

“A perfect storm is upon the field of nursing. Given the increasing requirements of employers and ongoing changes in the field of health care, it has never been more important to continue education in nursing.” —LCON Dean Carol Wilson

Division moves to motherhouse facilities; first sim lab opens


Division is re-named Cecily & John Leach College of Nursing (LCON)


LCON will move to new facilities at the St. Clare Campus


A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


USF Success

Storm Season Inspires Volunteerism

2015-16 MERIT Scholar


group of students, faculty, alumni, staff and friends of USF spent a rainy day this summer in Coal City, Ill., as part of the relief efforts from the tornado that struck the surrounding area. Everyone came together quickly to gather water, trash bags, nonperishable snacks, work gloves and boxes for the clean-up efforts. After receiving their orders and a quick safety briefing, the team was out in the neighborhood by 11 a.m.

To USF Security Guard, William Linz, spending the day volunteering was like second nature. “My parents raised me to always lend a helping hand,” he says. “And it’s obviously a big part of the culture at USF.” Linz spent the day with a few other USF staff members and with people he had never met before. “It was nice to see people come together from all over the area. There was a police officer from St. Anne, Ill., who came up on his day off to help. He didn’t know anyone else, he just drove up for the day. Everyone worked right alongside one another with no issues. It didn’t matter what we did for a living or that we were total strangers. It was moving to see everyone come together like that” recalls Linz. For USF administrator Jeanine Calogero, the experience started out as a little overwhelming. “There was so much to be done and we were able to do so little I found myself wondering if we made an impact,” she says. After a few hours of work and moving amongst many families and their homes, Jeanine began to change her mind. “Upon second thought I realized how much it meant to the people who were still reeling from the shock of this event to see the support that was out there, in the rain, doing whatever they could to help.” Though the rain continued to fall at the end of their volunteer shift, the team departed, hopeful they had made even a small difference that day.

MERIT scholarship recipient Alexandra Cazales has wanted to be a teacher since her mother started teaching kindergarten at their church when Alex was a sophomore in high school.

When she helped out in the

classroom, she particularly enjoyed using different methods in order to help individual children learn a subject in their own way. Alexandra wants to teach elementary school children because they respond better to hands-on lessons, which is the kind of teaching Alexandra favors. She looks forward to seeing the changes she is able to make and watching her students grow in knowledge. Gonzalez came to USF through a summer program that visited various schools, including the university.

She’s looking forward to meeting

new people and experiencing new things in college. Alexandra is also excited for the fresh start and the opportunity to make her own way. She believes that the hardest part of college will be getting used to USF volunteers prepare to aid in the cleanup efforts after the tornado touch-down in nearby Coal City.


University of St. Francis Magazine

studying more.

USF Recognized for Excellence


s the 2015-16 school year

nursing, and was a “Best College

These institutions were selected

notified that nursing students

progresses, publications

for Veterans,” ranking #29 in the

primarily for their excellent aca-

achieved a 100% pass rate on

including U.S. News &

master’s Midwest category.

demic records and positive student

the NCLEX exam.

World Report and The Princeton


Review begin releasing their top

also proud to be among the 159

and every day to provide the best

picks for outstanding collegiate

colleges already deemed “Best in

including recognition for having

possible educational experience

institutions all over the country.

the Midwest” by The Princeton

“added value” by the Brookings

for students,” said Arvid Johnson,

Review. Each year, this presti-

Institute, being honored as one

USF president. “While we very much

its rankings and USF progressed

gious publication releases its Best

of the 50 Best Online RN-BSN

appreciate outside organizations’

three spots to #36 on the Regional

Colleges: Region by Region edition,

Programs by Value Colleges, and

recognition of the quality and return

Universities Midwest list. USF was

which identifies colleges as “regional

announced as a top online health

on investment of a University of

the third highest ranked Catholic

bests” in four geographic areas:

care administration program by

St. Francis education, what is most

master’s institution in Illinois. The

Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and

important to us is preparing our

university was also ranked for online

West. Only 649 colleges received

Yet another impressive accolade:

students to contribute to the world

programs in business, education and

this distinction nationwide this year.

the Leach College of Nursing was

through service and leadership.”

U.S. News recently released

University of St. Francis is

USF has received other honors,

“Our university strives each

Inaugural Relay for Life Event Successful T hanks to the dedication of

several students, student

we had so many participants attend.

“We were really impressed that

groups and administrators, USF

We were even more ecstatic when

hosted their first Relay for Life at

we surpassed our $5,000 fundraising

the end of this past school year.

goal,” Grachan said.

The event, which lasted from 6

p.m. to midnight in the Pat Sullivan

first USF Relay for Life committee

Recreation Center, drew over 200

proudly donated $7,314.01 to the

participants, including 20 cancer

American Cancer Society.

survivors who served as the

unofficial guests of honor.

thanks for the help of committee

members Christina Bravo, Jenna

The Relay for Life event was

At the end of the event, the

Annis and Grachan expressed

started by the American Cancer

Bronson, Samantha Launius, Renee

Society (ACS) as a means of

Shibley and Allison Sterka, as well

celebrating survivors, remembering

as Amy Erva, ACS representative, the

those who lost their fight with

Student Activities Board (SAB) and

cancer and fundraising for

Student Government Association

continued research.


Students and administrators came

together to make this inaugural event

If you are interested in

a possibility. Relay co-chairmen

participating or helping out

Director Of Student Engagement

with next year’s Relay for Life,

& Leadership, Dominique Annis,

please contact Grachan at

and student Jeremy Grachan were or

ecstatic with the turnout.

Annis at

Committee members from all different corners of campus worked together to make the first USF Relay for Life a possibility and a reality.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


USF Success

Community Educators Recognized


he University of St. Francis

High School since August of 2000.

previously worked at the Chicago

partnered with WJOL and

Her nomination states that “Ms.

Autism Academy in Frankfort.

year of teaching math at Montini

Chrissy McManus is in her 23rd

STAR 96.7 radio stations

Bratkovich has not only been an

According to Motykowski’s nomina-

Catholic High School. She teaches

this year to recognize exceptional

exceptional teacher of French in

tor, “Nathan is a role model for all

AP AB Calculus, AP BC Calculus,

classroom educators in the Joliet/

her 20 years of teaching, but she

the students that he works with, he

Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry and

Will County region. Current and

genuinely cares for her students.”

never gives up. He thinks outside

she is the head Math Team coach.

former students, coworkers, parents,

Bratkovich fell in love with the

the box and is determined to see

She has led the Montini Math Team

administrators, friends and family

French language and knew she

success with every student.“

to nothing less than fifth in the state

submitted hundreds of nominations.

wanted to be a teacher when she

Recipients were chosen in relation

was young. Her teacher role models,

taught first grade at Forest Park I.E.

and as an AP teacher, every one of

to the theme for the recent academ-

according to Bratkovich, “were

Magnet School in Joliet District 86

her students scored 3 or higher (in-

ic year in the College of Education:

positive in all they said and did and

for the past 17 years. According to

cluding 22 PERFECT scores of 5) on

“A Year of Respect – Building

showed their passion for not just the

Sanchez-Paramo, “I tell my children

the high-level College Board Test.

Fraternitas.” Fraternitas describes a

subjects, but for teaching children.”

that it is important to choose a ca-

relationship that transcends com-

Julie Renzi is an early child-

reer that makes you happy because

bilingual Kindergarten teacher at

munity and involves a familial type

hood instructor at Oak Valley Early

then you never feel like it is work. It

Jonas Salk in Bolingbrook for the last

relationship among members.

Childhood in the Laraway School

becomes your passion.”

two years. At her first teaching job,

District in Joliet and an employee

Martinez learned from her school’s

tion teacher at Hufford Jr. High.

of SOWIC (Southern Will County

Lab at Gompers Junior High in

owner, Karen Wells, “go big or go

According to Katie’s nominator,

Cooperative for Special Education).

Joliet. She also teaches a fine arts

home” and “give it all you got.” She

“Kind, compassionate, understand-

According to Renzi, teaching is not

rotation, which supports language

lives this advice every day according

ing, willing and dedicated are just

just a career for her, it is a passion

arts skills and runs the Gompers

to the multiple nominations sub-

some of the adjectives I would

and she credits her parents as her

Business Club. Guerrero’s nomina-

mitted for Martinez by coworkers,

use to describe Katie as a person

greatest teachers.

tion states, “Alita brings cutting edge

parents and students.

and educator, and they don’t even

instruction and technology into her

scratch the surface.”

education instructor at Arbury Hills

classroom helping to prepare her

teacher at Irene King Elementary in

School in the Summit Hill School

pupils for the future. She is an asset

Romeoville. Lori’s nomination states,

District 161 in Mokena. Motykowski

to Gompers Junior High School.”

“Her level of dedication is matched

Katie Walsh is a special educa-

JoAnne Bratkovich has been

a French teacher at Joliet West

Nathan Motykowski is a special

Nicole Sanchez-Paramo has

Alita Guerrero teaches Literacy

or higher in all her years as coach

Erika Martinez has been a

Lori Russ is a third grade

Fall Play Announced The Department of Music & Performing Arts and Saints on Stage have announced “Androcles and the Lion” by George Bernard Shaw as this year’s fall play, being presented November 12-14, 2015, in the Turk Studio Theater. Shaw’s 1912 play tells the tale of Androcles, a slave whose life is spared by the requited mercy of a lion. Androcles represents the many Christians being led to the Colosseum for torture and execution. The play illustrates topics facing modern as well as early Christians.

USF’s theater performances are always exceptional and typically sell

out. This spring, USF brought the classic musical “The Sound of Music” to life. Four sold out performances took place in March. Soprano Sarah Sheehan (at left), led the 37-member cast as lead character, Maria. The cast consisted of university students, faculty, and staff, as well as children and adults from the Joliet and Chicagoland community.


University of St. Francis Magazine

For tickets or performance details, visit

Gonzalo Farias by no other and most importantly is

bell to bell and brings the learning to

what is making the difference is in

them in making it relevant to their

our students’ lives. And she does this

lives; making them want to come to

all without a thought of recognition,

his classroom and want to learn.”

just “merely doing what is right,“ she

tells us.

grade language arts and reading at

Jennifer Tingley teaches fifth

Melanie Short is a reading

Nelson Ridge School in New Lenox.

teacher at Chaney Monge School

Accordingly to Tingley, “My philoso-

in Crest Hill. Short states “I have

phy toward teaching has always

had many educators in my life that

been to do what is best for the child.

have been stellar role models, but

Some days that reflects solely on

my third grade teacher, Mrs. Helen

their academics and other days their

Bucher, is the reason I went into

social and emotional needs take

teaching.” Short’s nomination states,

precedence. I make every effort to

“I have watched a group of reluctant

know my students as learners and

readers turn into students that want

as people so I can best meet their

to read and at every available min-


ute they are reading.”

Georgia Balderas has been

Named as JSO Director

Daron Wojnowski is an art

teacher at Plainfield South High


he Joliet Symphony Orchestra (JSO) at the University of St. Francis

a fifth grade teacher at Farragut

School. Wojnowski’s nomination

Elementary in Joliet for over 15

states, “He puts his own money into

years. Balderas was once a strug-

supplies for his students, and stays

where he assisted conductor Donald Schleicher since 2014.

gling young reader. Now, as a

after school to let them work in his

Reading Specialist, Balderas is able

studio. His appreciation, talent and

age of five. While in Santiago, Farias attended the Catholic University

to work with students who face

passion for art are contagious. He

of Chile on full scholarship for piano performance. Starting in 2006,

many of the same struggles she

has developed the PSHS art program

Farias attended the New England Conservatory for his Master’s degree,

did. Balderas’ nominator says, “She

into such popular courses that the

graduate diploma and doctoral degree – all as a full scholarship student.

pushes students in a safe environ-

program at PSHS has expanded,

He received his DMA in 2014.

ment to be the best they can be and

where other school’s art programs

make incredible academic gains.”

are declining.”

with. From 2012 to 2014, Farias served as the assistant conductor to

the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra in Cambridge, Mass.

Sharon Clark is a first grade

Marge Brettrager has been

is proud to introduce Gonzalo Farias as its new music director.

Farias comes to Joliet from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Farias is a native of Chile, where he began his musical studies at the

JSO will be the second symphony orchestra Farias has worked

teacher at Aquinas Catholic

an early childhood educator at

Academy in Kankakee. Clark’s

Troy Crossroads since 2001. She

with several conductors including Charles Peltz, Hugh Wolff, Diane

nomination states, “She takes an in-

began her teaching career in the

Wittry, Jorge Mester, Harold Farberman, Larry Rachleff and Otto Werner

dividualized approach in educating

Archdiocese of Chicago where she

Mueller. He has also worked with members of the Boston Chamber

her students in order to bring out

developed a full day kindergarten

Orchestra, Worcester Youth Orchestra, the Norwalk Symphony, Bard

the best in them, inside and outside

program at the Catholic school

Conductor’s Institute Orchestra, Pleven Philharmonic, Bohuslav

the classroom. She is always willing

she attended as a child. After 40

Martinu Philharmonic and the National Symphony of Chile.

to go the extra mile to help her

outstanding years of teaching and

students and the other employees

service, Brettrager retired at the

and contemporary pieces, Farias is an avid reader of second-order

at our school.”

conclusion of the 2015 school year.

cybernetics texts.

Patrick Haaker teaches Biology

Congratulations to all of the

In addition to his impressive education, Farias has worked privately

Although his love for music is consuming, particularly chamber

The Joliet Symphony Orchestra at the University of St. Francis was

and Advanced Biology at Rich

winners and nominees for nurturing

founded in 2005 as a university-community partnership. It performs

East High School in Park Forest.

“fraternitas” in their schools and in

varied works for orchestra, and membership is open to USF students,

According to Haaker’s nominator,

their classrooms!

faculty and staff as well as area community residents.

“He engages all his learners from

For more information, please visit

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Students Make Eight-Legged Discoveries


his spring four USF students

While these spiders are both large

traveled to the Costa Rican

in size and build webs, they have

rainforest accompanied by their

very different habitat specializations.

advisor, Brian Moskalik Ph.D., for a

Masterson observed that the large

16-day trip to study spiders. Senior

orb weavers make sticky webs in

biology students Amanda Crombie

bright and open air regions of the

and Patricia Masterson collected

forest usually in light gaps, while

data for their senior thesis projects.

Tengella radiata require very low light

Assisting them were freshman

conditions and high humidity. This

Timothy Fleener and TREE

creates a cooler microenvironment,

sponsored research assistant

which is preferred by the species and

and USF senior, Jacqueline Mann.

limits its population expansion.

During the trip, the group mem-

These studies stemmed from a

bers individually logged more than

prior year’s trip to Costa Rica where

130 miles of hiking in the nearly two

the students were first exposed to

feet of rain that fell during their stay.

tropical ecology and arachnology. In

2014, a three-week trip provided the

Crombie’s work emphasized how

different forest structures influenced

group with 1,200 individual spiders

the abundance of kleptoparasites

they identified while surveying four

(spiders that use other spiders’

unique tropical habitats.

webs for housing, prey capture and

acquiring mates) that inhabited

presented at a national meeting

Nephila clavipes webs, a large orb

and all are being prepared for

weaving spider.

submissions to professional journals.

The students are aiming to return

Mastersons’ work addressed the

Above: Assistant Professor, Brian Moskalik, Ph.D. and students Jacqueline Mann, Amanda Crombie, Patricia Masterson and Timothy Fleener take time out of the jungle to visit the National Museum of Costa Rica during their trip.

This original study has been

sub-social behavior in the sheet

to Costa Rica again in 2016 and

web spider and the species Tengella

hope to continue with the previous

radiate. She researched the environ-

two years’ work to develop new

ment’s influence on the likelihood

hypotheses and networks for

the spiders will form aggregations.

potential graduate studies.

At Left: Spiders are remarkably diverse and some have quite a personality. Here a tropical jumping spider Phiale formosa poses for the camera. These spiders have color vision and are capable of seeing images in a similar fashion as humans.

Lawrence Dunbar Joins Substance Abuse Counselor Program


University of St. Francis Magazine


he Psychology Department

and Other Drug Abuse Professional

Vice President for Clinical Services

welcomes Lawrence Dunbar

Certification Association for more

at the South Suburban Council on

as a half-time instructor and program

than a decade, and at a point, served

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

coordinator for the newly launched

as president.

in East Hazel Crest, Ill., where he man-

Bachelor’s degree program in

aged adult residential and outpatient

Substance Abuse Counseling (SAC).

to USF, where he earned both his

treatment, and programs for DUI

bachelor’s and master’s degrees in

and youth patients. Dunbar has also

been teaching the capstone course

business. With his ties to USF and his

developed drug and alcohol abuse

in the SAC program and supervises

rich experience, Dunbar hopes to help

and dependence treatment programs,

SAC students in their field practicum.

earn accreditation for the SAC program.

gang prevention programs, employ-

He has been a member of the Board

ment training and counseling, and

of Directors for the Illinois Alcohol

include previous service as the

Since spring of 2015, Dunbar has

Dunbar is actually “coming home”

Other experiences Dunbar brings

community and coalition building.

For more information about the College of Arts & Sciences, call 800-735-7500 or visit

Boundary Waters Teach New Lessons The Recreation Sport & Tourism Department coordinates a student excursion to the Boundary Waters each year. Following are reflections from four attendees after this past summer’s challenging adventure. Tatiana Guerra

improving my leadership skills. I

I wanted to participate in this trip

can’t stress enough how fun and

because it seemed like a great op-

inspiring this trip was. The biggest

portunity to learn practical outdoor

challenge for me was leaving my

skills that I will be able to use in my

family, but I found a supporting and

future career. It also was a great en-

caring atmosphere with our group.

vironment to learn leadership skills

with hands-on activities, including

which is definitely tougher than I

getting to be a leader of the group.

thought; physically, mentally and

emotionally. I have learned invalu-

Having to carry a 60-pound pack

I learned just how tough I am

along with a 55-pound canoe was

able things about myself, my leader-

very challenging at the beginning of

ship style and, most importantly, my

the week. Day by day, it got easier

ability to problem solve in diverse

and easier until it seemed like

situations or “on the fly.”

second nature.

has provided me with essential

I learned that life is simple, but

I honestly believe that this trip

we make it complicated. We need to

skills in becoming a stronger and

My favorite part of the trip was get-

to say we conquered an expedition

learn to relax and take a step back

more effective leader. The best part

ting to spend individual time with

that many people will ever encoun-

from the madness. We need to take

was the incredible views, fun and

everyone and as a group. I got to

ter. I am happy our university offers

time to look around at the world,

experienced professors to guide us,

learn so much about the environ-

this type of course because I learned

see how beautiful it is, and enjoy

and the development of unlikely but

ment from my instructors but I

very valuable things about myself

it. My favorite part of the trip was

truly awesome friendships. I am very

learned even more about the other

which include: learning how to work

getting to spend time away from

grateful to have had this experience.

students. Getting our trail names,

with a diverse group in challenging

checking for ticks, comparing bruis-

situations, becoming a more effec-

“real life” without technology or distractions. It helped the group

Lynette Peterson

es and having coffee in the sunrise

tive leader, and more importantly, I

bond and unite. It taught us that

I initially enrolled for the trip

are moments I will never forget. My

learned that if I put my focus on a

social media has nothing important

because of the instructors, with

time spent in the Boundary Waters

subject I am not familiar with I can

to say.

whom I had previous experiences,

reminded me to live in the present

still achieve my goal, as long as I

and to simply finish more credits.

and appreciate the simple things in

have determination and a strong

from interaction with people and

However, it turned out to be a

life. I will be forever grateful.

team by my side.

how you make a difference in other

much more fulfilling adventure.

people’s lives.

Hiking portage trails and canoeing

Jesus Reyes

well-organized trip that empowers

The importance in life comes

Dr. Sklar and Dr. Gabriel run a

all day was physically demanding,

The Outdoor Leadership course

the students and provides them with

Kristen Dillon

as expected, but the emotional

will forever be one of my favorite

the opportunity to not just learn

The Boundary Waters trip for the

journey took me by surprise.

classes as an undergrad here at the

how to survive outdoors, but also

Outdoor Leadership class was an

University of St. Francis. We achieved

to become all around better leader.

incredible experience.

and using a map seemed so foreign

goals that are impossible to reach

I advise all students – not just those

I initially wanted to participate in

especially in a group of people we

in a classroom setting. This was an

in the recreation field – to take

this trip because I love the outdoors,

were all unfamiliar with but by the

experience that I will remember for

advantage of this opportunity. The

however, after reading about the

last day, we were transitioning in

the rest of my life.

breathtaking scenery you will see on

trip I was intrigued by the thought

and out of the water. timing our-

the Boundary Waters trip beats any

of learning my leadership style and

selves for efficiency.

mentally demanding, but all worth it

On the first day single portaging

It was very physically and

traditional classroom setting.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


New COBHA Dean Named


he University of St. Francis

that his students are at the center of

is proud to welcome

every decision he makes.

Orlando V. Griego, Ph.D.,

“Dr. Griego brings with him

as the new dean of the College of

experience in the business world

Business and Health Administration.

and a successful academic career

Griego comes to Joliet from Azusa

as both teacher and scholar,” said

Pacific University in Azusa, Calif.,

USF Provost Frank Pascoe. “He is

where he was a professor and asso-

a proven servant leader, which is

ciate dean for operations and faculty

exactly what a Catholic, Franciscan


business college needs.”

Student Projects

Since 1992, Griego has taught

courses focusing on leadership, performance improvement, strategic planning, organizational development, training and quantitative research. Griego is the co-author of four books as well as an author of over 50 scholarly articles, conference proceedings and conference presentations. He has also worked as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies and a host of small businesses. Griego has a Ph.D.

While at Azusa, he was awarded

specializing in Human Resource

the Teaching Excellence and

Development and a master’s degree

Campus Leadership Award. He was

in Human Resource Management.

twice nominated for Best Teacher of

the Year at Colorado State University,

Health Administration looks forward

where he worked from 1994-1999.

to growth of its programs and build-

Griego also served as a senior facul-

ing a closer inter-college commu-

ty member at the Federal Executive

nity under Griego’s guidance. The

Institute in Charlottesville, Va.,

college currently offers programs

from 2003-2004. In that role,

for undergraduate and graduate

he taught, led, and trained high

students in areas such as account-

level federal executives and military

ing, entrepreneurship, health care

generals in the area of leadership

management, marketing, transpor-

development. Griego has identified

tation and logistics management

teaching as his passion and says

and finance.

The College of Business and

TOP: Dr. Tony Zordan coached accounting majors Justyna Joswik, David Felkins and Stephanie Burke and MBA student Pengyu (Ada) Lu in the inaugural Aurora University Accounting Case competition this spring. CENTER: Guests roam COBHA’S Entrepreneur Expo, held in the Rec Center on campus. BOTTOM: Emily Egizio and Jaylen Thompson had the pleasure of meeting Governor Bruce Rauner at a University of St. Francis event.


University of St. Francis Magazine

For more information about the College of Business & Health Administration, call 800-735-7500 or visit

Robert Hall ‘13

Alumnus “In Training”


obert Hall wants to show

you how it’s done. That

tell my kids that they have to go to

department’s training coordinator,

is an oversimplification,

college, I had to have my degree

first and foremost, and that is what

and a brash statement that a gentle-

first,” says Hall, who lives in Joliet,

his degree helped him do.

man like Rob Hall would never

just a few blocks from USF, with his

make, but when you get right down

wife and three daughters.

setting up all of the department’s

to it, that is exactly why he is study-

On a more practical note, a

training (though incoming cadets

ing at USF and he loves training and

bachelor’s degree also would help

attend outside police academies)


him advance within the police

and keeping everyone already em-

department. So Hall approached

ployed by the department current

degree in organizational leadership

USF and quickly learned that dealing

with their certifications. He makes

of training,” he says. “So I can now

from USF in 2013, and now he is

with the school was going to be one

sure the JPD meets state and federal

look at a training program in a very

in the midst of his master’s degree

of the most hassle-free processes

mandates for training standards,

different light than I used to. I would

studies, on his way to earning a

of his life. USF staff helped him col-

along with the department’s overall

attend training sessions and say,

certificate in training and develop-

lect and coordinate all of his prior

accreditation standards. It is a full-

‘Hey, that was really great training’

ment and then bridging to an MBA.

credits, scattered across two states,

time job that requires all of Hall’s

but I could never put my thumb on

In the bridge program at USF he

and even awarded him credit hours

attention and focus, and when he

why it was great. Same thing when

will be allowed to apply credits he

for his previous work experience.

retires from the department he

it was terrible. Now I can tell the

has already earned toward his MBA

He enrolled in 2012 and earned his

hopes to land a similar job, say, in

difference, and I know why one is

instead of having to retake classes

bachelor’s degree a year later.

human resources management.

great and one is not.”

that would overlap. This allows him

to earn his MBA with just 24 credit

not a huge surprise. Through

and development is, it’s a function

first-ever online training—an idea

hours instead of the 36 it would

his police work Hall was already

of human resources, and every

that occurred to Hall because of his

have taken had he entered the MBA

acquainted with USF. He had been

company needs some kind of

USF experience. He has completed

program directly after receiving his

assigned to the Joliet School Unit,

training,” he says. “If you’re going

all of his USF courses online, as

bachelor’s degree.

and Farragut Elementary School was

to be a Wal-Mart greeter, at some

showing up to traditional classes

part of that duty. When he reached

point someone is going to take you

would have been impossible con-

to retire in 2020 at age 50, Hall is

out to USF to enroll some student-

over to the doors and say you have

sidering his ever-changing work

now planning for his next career.

teacher volunteers in his after-

to stand in this area. You have to


After graduating from Bolingbook

school programs at Farragut, it was a

check for receipts, and you have

High School in 1988 he spent time

painless, efficient process.

to look people in the eye and say

taking is online, it’s really helped me

in the United States Coast Guard,

hello to them.”

see the value of online learning,” he

and has worked for the Joliet Police

says. “I was allowed to go in and ad-

says. “I have been able to com-

Department since 1995. He had some

dress the student-teachers, and we

more complex, as it is at the Joliet

plete my assignments on my time.

higher education under his belt—

ended up getting a great turnout—

Police Department, but that was

I could work on things Sunday or

from colleges in the Joliet area and

not only from the student-teachers

something Hall already knew. He

Wednesday and it didn’t matter as

in Wisconsin—but he was nowhere

but from other USF students, too.”

also knew that some training pro-

long as it was done on time.”

near obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

grams could be better than others.

received more tutoring, counseling

The thing that he has learned at USF

done not just on time but also very

himself covering a territory that

and mentoring, and several young

is “why” some training programs are

well because going into the final

included USF’s campus. The thought

lives were certainly made better. USF

better than others.

stretch of his master’s program his

of someday stressing the impor-

seemed like a place that Hall could

grade point average is a perfect 4.0.

tance of college to his kids began

give his support to—a place he could

in large part because I have learned

So yes, it seems that Hall truly is

to haunt him.

entrust his future to. He was inter-

the fundamentals and the theory

showing us how it’s done.

He received his bachelor’s

A Joliet police officer who plans

As a police officer, Hall found

“To have the moral authority to

The pleasant atmosphere was

“USF was extremely helpful,” he

Because of that, at-risk kids

ested in taking over as the police

Today he is responsible for

“The nice thing about training

Of course training can be much

“School right now ties into that

In June the JPD rolled out its

“Since the whole program I’m

It is safe to say that Hall’s work is

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


First Doctoral Education Class Graduated May 2015

Conference Inspires Boy to Love Reading Matthew Zukauskas, a second grader at Churchill Elementary School in Oswego, is an avid reader, but this was not always the case.

Matthew’s second grade teacher,

Tracy Zalud, attended the College of Education’s professional development conference on reading, READ 2015 for Educators, in March. One of the things Zalud carried away from the conference was exposure to a book titled “The One and Only Ivan.”

Since the beginning of the school

year, Zalud had been trying without success to find the right book to engage Matthew, a reluctant reader. Two weeks after the USF READ Conference, Zalud read “ The One



and Only Ivan” to her class.

According to Zalud, Matthew “fell

pring commencement

College of Education and the faculty

field of expertise, some of which

in love with every word of the book,

always brings a spe-

who work within the program.

include hospital administration,

bought the book from the book fair

cial energy to campus

marketing, law enforcement,

and read...and read...and read. He

When the Doctor of Educational

as candidates, family, and friends

Leadership program was started in

veterans affairs, social work, speech

took the book outside to recess and

celebrate significant academic and

January 2012, it was the intent of Dr.

therapy, community college and

would also read it during lunch. His

personal accomplishments. In a

Stephen Midlock, program coordina-

university education and administra-

mom even found him reading in bed

landmark moment for the College

tor, that candidates would greatly

tion, and pastoral ministry. Fall 2015

early in the morning when she went

of Education, the first 17 graduates

benefit from a curriculum focused

enrollments in this concentration

to wake him up.”

from the Doctor of Education in

on the values of servant leadership

currently number about 50.

Educational Leadership program

as well as on the key components

There are currently 120 candi-

aged Matthew to enter the “I Love

were officially hooded in education

required to prepare for future roles

dates in the Doctor of Educational

Reading” essay contest sponsored

blue over their new brown and gold

as school district superintendents.

Leadership program. New candi-

by Illinois Reads/Illinois Reading

doctoral regalia.

dates applying for admission are

Council. After lots of hard work,

added to this educational leader-

choosing USF based on the pro-

Matthew’s essay was chosen from

been different, their aspirations were

ship program in 2014 for individuals

gram’s collaborative cohort format,

over 300 entries as one of the win-

similar. The decision to pursue a

seeking to impact and transform

real-world relevance, and unique

ner. He read his winning essay in

doctoral degree is a formidable one,

leadership in service-oriented orga-

dissertation experience, which is

front of a full auditorium...

given the time, energy, academic

nizations outside of P-12 education-

interwoven throughout

focus, financial commitment and

al administration. The Stewardship,

the curriculum.

I read during out door recess! I even

persistence required to successfully

Leadership, and Learning concen-

read during lunch! Me…Matthew

complete the program.

tration track is for individuals who

Zukauskas! I love to read! Did I just

These doctoral graduates are

aspire to bring servant leadership

say that? Yes, I did!”

honored and celebrated by the entire

practices to their organization or

While their journeys may have

University of St. Francis Magazine

A second concentration was

Over spring break Zalud encour-

“I read waiting for school to start!

For more information about the College of Education, call 800-735-7500 or visit

Marla Putnam ‘15

Alumna Raises Awareness


arla Putnam came to

mouth and let the kids run with it’”

curriculum, and it is student-led.

the people at USF made it a joy, she

teaching later in life,

Putnam says. “And they ran with it.”

says. The newest chapter in her life

and that, she says,

already on a smaller scale with her

is one of the best.

Immediately the principal invited

Putnam had been doing this

is what makes her a much better

the two lead students to organize

students, even before she took the

teacher than she would have been

a presentation at an all-school staff

USF class. As part of some of the

job,” says, who also teaches parent-

straight out of college. Recently,

meeting in the auditorium. Four

classes she taught at Bolingbrook

ing and fashion design. “It’s not just

an anti-bullying initiative that she

students addressed the crowd and

her students made blankets for hos-

a job, it’s a career. I really love what

helped her Bolingbrook High School

delivering after their impassioned,

pice and a local nursing care facility.

I do.”

students develop has become a

moving accounts, some of which

They even made pajama pants and

huge success.

included tales of hospitalization and

presented a pajama pants fashion

complete her coursework at USF

“I tell my students I’m a second-

“Ten years later and it’s a terrific

Putnam loved that she could

even suicide, many of the faculty

show, complete with music from

both online and in actual class-

career teacher, instead of an old

and staff were left in tears. The kids

when the nursing care facilities’

rooms. She had great flexibility in

teacher” says Putnam, who has

had made it clear to Bolingbrook

residents were in high school.

the classes she could take, too.

taught at Bolingbrook High School for 10 years. She loves her job, but the first time she tried studentteaching, years earlier, she hated it and vowed never to teach again.

“I asked my students, ‘What’s the

difference?’” she says. “It was the

Within a class period they came up with a mission statement, ideas to raise awareness about bullying, and a group name: the One Voice-Strengthening Society.

mindset. The students didn’t change.

“All the USF classes allowed me

to tailor my projects and research to the actual classes that I teach,” she says. “My master’s work has had a huge, positive impact on my curriculum and teaching. The instructors gave very helpful comments and critique on all projects

I changed.”

High School leaders that bullying

was a very real, very serious issue

class, Putnam’s goal became to

have been what compelled Putnam

that was not going away.

include a service learning project

starting students she has mentored

to be open to her students’ very

each semester. The anti-bullying

in Bolingbrook, the people at USF

focused interest in a local bullying

that Putnam’s students developed,

campaign could easily be seen as

were quick to help her — not only

case. When the incident occurred

anti-bullying awareness is top-of-

a form of community service, or at

with her application, but all the way

in the fall of 2014, the victim’s aunt

mind at Bolingbrook High School.

least doing something to help others

through her studies.

mentioned it on social media and it

The power point was presented to

in need.

caught the attention of the Chicago

all 33 freshmen homeroom classes,

in the world,” she says of the people

television news program. The stu-

and in January an official anti-bul-

doing community service work and

she encountered at USF. “I mean

dents in Putnam’s Adult Living class

lying club was formed at the school.

having to give back,” Putnam says.

every single person through the

expressed great concern and told

There is even a student ambassador

“We have so many blessings, we

process was just nice, and helpful.

their teacher that something had to

program, which trains students to

need to give back


be done.

be pro-active bystanders, instead of

to others.”

ignoring instances of bullying.

ence to heart, and now her own

and talked to the principal,” Putnam

get where she is today had some

says. “The principal gave them four

way this initiative grew out of the

twists and turns. After graduating

topic ideas.”

concepts that Putnam learned in a

from college in 1980 she worked

class that was part of her master’s in

in retail management while raising

a class period they came up with

education studies at USF. The class,

her sons. It wasn’t until 1997 that

a mission statement, ideas to raise

taught by Dr. John Gambro, was

she went back for her teaching

awareness about bullying, and

called Service Learning, and it was all

certificate, and not until 2014 that

a group name: the One Voice-

about giving back. Service learning

she began her master’s studies at

Strengthening Society.

is different than community service

USF. The experience could have

in that it is tied directly to the class

been intimidating and confusing but

This greater wisdom might

“The next day they went down

The class brainstormed. Within

“I said to myself, ‘Just shut your

Today, because of the program

One could say that in an indirect

After completing Dr. Gambro’s

“I really believe in everybody

The path that Putnam took to

and assignments.” Most of all, like the caring, self-

“They’re just the nicest people

Clearly Putnam took that experi-

students are following suit.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Mary Petrella ‘78

Nurse Practitioner Provides Holistic Care


”Thank you. Thanks for caring, thanks for helping, thanks for not giving up on me.”

o Mary Petrella, nurse

Other challenges for her, and

also administrators, nutritionists,

care she provides in a primary care

practitioner at Edward

most nurses, are finding the right

mental health professionals and


Hines, Jr. VA Hospital,

means of communication, compro-

other hospital employees. Petrella

“thank you” are the most rewarding

mising and staying patient focused

quickly realized that earning her

developed from my diploma nurs-

words she can hear from a patient.

despite other tasks that require her

advanced degree would help her

ing through my doctoral nursing

Despite the daily challenges of her

attention. No matter the obstacles,

become a better-rounded member

program every day that I work in

department, Petrella works hard

Mary’s goal remains to never stop

of the team.

my ambulatory care setting or retail

to connect with patients and truly

listening to clients, no matter how

health care clinic,” she says.

listen to what they have to say.

busy the work day gets.

ing since her first day of nursing

school. “All of my nursing experience

USF roots by serving as a preceptor

“It can be a challenge to stay

Shortly after graduating from St.

Petrella has never stopped learn-

“I use all my nursing skills

Petrella stays connected to her

motivated when progress with a

Joseph Hospital School of Nursing,

from that day forward, whether it

for nurse practitioner students. In

patient is slow or has plateaued. No

Petrella became interested in

was clinicals, lectures, or daily work

her free time she reads as much as

matter how many times that has

earning her master’s degree after

experiences, have helped me get to

she can, staying up to date on nov-

happened in my career, I am always

working with several members of

where I am today.”

els and adventure series. Between

renewed when they turn a corner

the health care provider team who

stories, she travels and cares for her

and you can see the change in their

had their advanced degree. These

primary care provider, Petrella is

behavior or health,” says Petrella

coworkers were not just nurses, but

most proud of the holistic nursing

As a nurse practitioner and


Patients Motivate Student to Pursue Advanced Degree


Thomas Gulino has a dream of see-

ing his own patients at an orthope-

directed, online program, I am chal-

dic practice. After working as an R.N.

lenged by the curriculum constantly.

many different capacities over

for several years and assisting with

I am sure that I’m going to be well

the years, certified athletic trainer,

too many patients to count, Gulino

prepared for the future.” Gulino says

medical assistant, surgical assistant

decided it was time to become a

with confidence.

and R.N., he has worked with many

mid-level practitioner and go back

health care professionals and physi-

to school.

its flexibility in both admittance and

cians. Many of his learning experi-

course design.

ences have been positive, learning a

work and the online class set

best practice or a tip that helps aid

up were factors that made the

ing full time, the online offering was

in recovery. But on occasion, Gulino

University of St. Francis an easy

the only way I could pursue this de-

has also learned what NOT to do.

choice,” says Gulino.

gree. I was also pleased to discover

that USF offers an MSN degree for

with both positive and negative

seeing his own patients. “The most

the educational preparation and

someone who has a bachelor’s de-

experiences. Its important to learn

rewarding aspect of this journey will

professional training he has received

gree in something other than a BSN.

from each and keep them in mind as

be when I have earned my FNP and

so far has challenged him beyond

If USF had not set up this program

you move throughout your career.”

am a provider of patient compre-

what he had anticipated.

the way they did, I would not be

hensive orthopedic care.”

“The proximity to my home,

He is pleasantly surprised that

University of St. Francis Magazine

“For what is essentially a self-

Gulino was also drawn to USF for

“As a parent, husband and work-

able to pursue this degree.” Since Gulino has worked in

“The practice of nursing comes

Gulino is looking forward to

For more information about the Leach College of Nursing, call 800-735-7500 or visit

Future Nursing Grad Makes the Most of USF Opportunity Janelle Gedmin has been passion-

the advice of her supervisor, Gedmin

in nursing is to research all the dif-

ate about nursing since she was a

decided to visit the University of

ferent kinds of nursing available to

child. She read books about nursing

St. Francis. During her visit, she


and talked to nurses whenever she

talked to an admissions counselor

could. She was so intent on being

and took a tour of campus.

nursing, they picture nurses working

a nurse that her mother moved

“I visited the Quad where I

in a hospital, as a floor nurse, an ER

the first aid kit to a higher shelf so

found a gorgeous Grotto,” recalled

nurse or as a nurse with a specialty,”

Gedmin couldn’t use the supplies on

Gedmin. “I sat on the bench by the

said Gedmin. “However, there are

her dolls or siblings anymore.

Grotto and looked around at the

skilled nursing facilities, infection

By the sixth grade, Gedmin

historical buildings, the fountain and

control nurses, school nurses, prison

became CPR certified. As an adult,

all of the beautiful flowers and trees.

nurses, occupational health nurses,

she earned an associate’s degree

I was overcome by a sense of ‘home’

home health nurses, insurance com-

in Medical Assisting and became a

and comfort, which I did not feel at

pany nurses, military nurses, mental

Certified Medical Assistant through

the other campuses. I had already

health nurses, nursing informatics

the American Association of Medical

compared the accreditations, cur-

and TeleHealth nurses. There are

Assistants (AAMA). Clearly, Gedmin

riculums and looked at NCLEX pass

endless possibilities.”

was very focused on becoming a

rates of the schools, but at that

nurse from the start.

moment, I knew that USF is where I

es her studies by being a part of the

After being urged by physicians

“When most people think of

As a USF student Janelle enrich-

wanted to be.”

Student Nurses Association (SNA).

and supervisors, Gedmin decided

This past year, Janelle served as the

to become a Registered Nurse

in Gerontology in addition to her

secretary of SNA. For the 2015-16

(R.N.). To do so, she would need a

RN-BSN studies, because she enjoys

academic year, Gedmin will serve

bachelor’s degree. Attending school

working with older adults and feels a

as the president of the student-run

out of town was not an option for

sense of accomplishment in teach-


Janelle due to family, so she looked

ing them to manage their health.

into several local colleges. Taking

Gedmin’s advice to others interested

Gedmin plans to pursue a minor

Gedmin finds that she enjoys working with older adults and feels a sense of accomplishment in teaching them to manage their health.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Faith & Mission

Feast of St. Francis Week

TAU Retreat Provides Repose for Students The TAU Retreat is alive and well at USF. Developed by a group of students, along with University Ministry, the TAU Retreat is a Franciscan experience specifically designed for USF. The name “TAU” has twofold meaning: used as an acronym, it stands for “Transformation And Unity,” and it also has roots in the Tau cross, which was used by St. Francis as his only signature in his writings.

Based on Franciscan values, the

retreat challenges participants to take a step back from the hectic pace of everyday life and spend some time reflecting on the important relationships in their lives– those with God, others and self. It gives students a chance to dialogue LEFT: RICOH employee Renee Geary and her dog, Remi, at the pet blessing on campus. TOP: Students celebrated the week with numerous activities on campus. ABOVE: Leslie McGowan poses near the apples that were distributed in honor of Founder’s Day and the Sisters of St. Francis.

with others about how to incorporate faith into their daily lives. Led by a group of student leaders, the retreat offers participants a spiritual journey and encourages them to go forward and more fully live lives of service, integrity, compassion and respect. Students who have participated have appreciated the opportunity to take time away to focus on the things that often get lost in the busy and stressful world of college life.

The retreat is hosted twice a

year, in the spring and in the fall, and has grown since its inception in March of 2014. The next TAU Retreat will be held in November of 2015. If you would like more information about the retreat, please contact


Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate Celebrate 150th

Laura Lagreid, Assistant Director

The Sisters of St. Francis were spotted on campus recently after gathering for a meeting. This year, the Sisters celebrated their 150th anniversary as a congregation. The USF community congratulates them and thanks them for their loving support!

University of St. Francis Magazine

of University Ministry at llagried@

Athletics: The Fighting Saints

Tevin Hopkins (Expected ‘16)

Star Athlete & Student chair—and he won.

look at whether the Augustus

Tolton Honor Society, which honors

The opportunity could not have

been more appropriate for Hopkins,

scholarship and leadership among

who happens to be majoring in

African-American students at USF,

political science.

can be improved. If so, the goal is

to spread the program to other col-

“It’s great,” he says. “I want to go

to law school, and politics and man-

leges and universities.

agement is what I am interested in.

This experience with the ASA gives

ing information and getting focus

me a good taste of what politics is.”

groups together,” Hopkins says. In

His interest in government and law

the end he will publish his findings,

comes from his father, who is in

one more feather in his cap on his

law enforcement. His mother is a

way to law school. For now he has

healthcare professional who man-

one more year of political science

ages medical clinics in Oak Park and

ahead of him.

on the West Side of Chicago, and his

brother will be a freshman at Purdue

dealing with all of these moving

University this fall.

parts and making them work for

“I’ve got a pretty good fam-

you,” he says of his interest in law

ily,” says Hopkins, who grew up in

and politics. “I like thinking things

f you ask Tevin Hopkins, who

“So I have to take a lot more

Shorewood and graduated from

out and thinking of them in different

began his senior year at USF this

strides,” he says with a laugh. “Their

Minooka High School. “I wouldn’t

ways—seeing all of the options.”

fall, he will tell you that he has al-

strides are like one-and-a-half of

have been able to do the things I’ve

ways had to work a little harder than


done without them. It’s a big plus

track in front of him and he returns

most of his peers. Yet—and this is a

having a solid family at home.”

to the sport as one of the best in

big “yet”—he is without question a

work for him, too.

the NAIA—something he never

model student-athlete, reaching the

his success. He wanted to stay close

could have imagined when he was

pinnacle in both the classroom and

I think everybody has to work a

to home for college, and he was not

younger. His plan back then was

in his chosen sport, track and field.

little bit harder, and study a little bit

interested in a larger university with

always to be a football player, and

more,” he says. This is probably why

100 students in every class.

track was just something he did in

a natural athlete,” says Hopkins,

in addition to his ultimate athletic

the off-season to stay in shape. After

whose main event is the 400 meter

honor he was also named an NAIA

enjoyed it,” he says. “My advisors

missing two high school football

run. “Ever since I was younger I was

Scholar-Athlete, and a member of

have been great, all of my teachers

seasons due to injuries, he focused

always smaller than everybody else.”

the Academic All-District team.

have been really reasonable and

on track and never looked back. He

helpful, and it’s been a very support-

started “putting a good effort toward

being named an NAIA All American

accomplishment for one person’s

ive environment overall.”

it” and that is when he started to

last year.

junior year of college, Hopkins was

love running.

chosen as one of 27 student-ath-

involved in an undergraduate

placed 7th at the NAIA National

letes from NAIA schools across the

research project, led by USF profes-

that putting a good effort toward

Championship last year in the

country to serve on the Association

sors Dr. Alicia McLaughlin and Dr.

anything worthwhile was something

4 x 400 meter relay. In those races

of Student-Athletes (ASA), a student-

Leia Levy, aimed at finding causes

to love, too.

Hopkins was running against com-

athlete advocacy group in the

and solutions for USF’s lower rate

petitors who were often 5’10” to 6

governing structure of the NAIA.

of graduation among African-

feet tall, and he is 5’7”.

Empowered by the honor, he ran for

Americans. The study took a close

NAIA Scholar Athlete and Member of the Academic All-District Team


“I was never really considered

That did not stop him from

Hopkins and his teammates

School has always required extra “In order to really, really excel

As if that were not enough

USF has also been a big part of

“Ever since I’ve been here I’ve

Most recently, Hopkins was

“We’re still researching, collect-

“I like the puzzle aspect of it,

He also has this last year of

Along the way he surely learned

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Athletics: The Fighting Saints

Krystal Garritson (Expected ‘16)

Garritson Golfs to Win K

rystal Garritson began golfing

little. When it came time to start

practices. She hopes the experience

at age five, with the en-

looking for colleges I really did not

will help her figure out which part

couragement of her father. For

look anywhere because USF was the

of banking she is drawn to most

the longest time, she dreamed of

place I wanted to be. It was close to

when she graduates this year.

attending USF and golfing for the

home and just far enough away to

Fighting Saints.

get the college experience.”

been easy for her, even in junior

high school when she was sent to


She is solidly in the midst of

Tragically, O’Connor passed

Crunching numbers has always

that beautiful dream right now, and

away during Garritson’s first semes-

Lockport High School to attend

USF is benefitting from it as much

ter at USF. It was difficult for her to

high-level math classes. She has

as she is. Besides leading the team

carry on, but she did—honoring

been blessed with brains and ath-

with an average score of 80.1 in 18

his legacy and leading the Saints

letic ability, but she also puts in the

rounds this past season, Garritson

to success, especially with her

work required to excel.

also scored an impressive four-day

putting, which O’Connor had

total of 316 at the NAIA Women’s

stressed so much.

like having a full-time job, in my

Golf Championship at Savannah

opinion,” she says. “I put countless

Quarters Country Club in Georgia,

I do on any other aspect of the

hours into the books, in the library

finishing in the top 50 nationwide.

game,” she says. “I learned this

at night, and some days I spend

through Tom O’Connor. He drilled

the whole afternoon on the golf

her the honor of being named

in my head that the ‘short game’ is

course. I treat my studies just as

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic

very important. When I was young-

importantly as golf.”

Conference Women’s Golfer of the

er this is what I practiced the most,

Year. In addition to that honor,

the short game, which consists of

family—mother, father, sister and

she was named an NAIA Scholar-

pitching, chipping and putting.”

grandparents—definitely has helped

Athlete, and a member of the

Garritson achieve her goals, she

Academic All-District team.

one how relaxing the game can be,

says. It is also nice to have a boy-

A mathematics and finance

especially when she is at Mistwood

friend who understands, and often

major, Garritson is the type of stu-

Golf Club playing a round with her

comes out to watch her play. All of

dent-athlete any university would

father and sister, who will join her

these people have contributed to

be proud to have. As a top student

as a freshman on the Saints team

her success. She also has another

and golfer at Lockport High School,

for the 2015-16 season. But like any

family at USF.

she did not even consider other

competitive athlete, Garritson also

universities. Her loyalty was with

loves to win.

says. “I love how it is my time away

USF because she took her first of-

for myself to grow in such a lov-

ficial lessons from Tom O’Connor,

golf is competing against others,”

ing and fun atmosphere. The one

who also happened to be her

she says. “I play in many tourna-

thing that really comforts me at

father’s instructor. What’s more,

ments, and I just get in this zone

USF is the people, whether they are

O’Connor was USF’s Women’s Golf

where nothing else matters.”

students or faculty. I like how you

head coach.

She also knows that there is

know just about everyone at the

more to life than golf. This summer

university. The best part of USF is

always my dream of going to ‘col-

she worked as a full-time intern at

that it feels like home to me. From

lege,’” Garritson says. “The best part

First Midwest Bank. Her respon-

the day I walked into my dorm

about it was that Tom O’Connor

sibilities included assisting credit

to today, I consider it my home,

was head women’s golf coach and

analysts and loan officers with the

my community.”

he wanted me to play on his team

preparation of credit write-ups,

for the longest time, since I was

financial analysis and basic lending

Her play last season earned

“When I was younger, USF was

University of St. Francis Magazine

“I work more on putting than

Garritson knows as well as any-

“My favorite part about playing

“Being a student-athlete is

Having a loving, supportive

“I love my university,” Garritson

NAIA Scholar

Athlete and Member of the Academic All-District Team

80.1 average

score in 18 rounds

316 Four-day total at NAIA Women’s Golf Championship

Troy Torrence ‘15

Former Fighting Saint Pursues NFL Career


ongratulations are in order for former University of St. Francis wide receiver and Fighting Saint, Troy

Torrence, who is one of eight college football players featured on the Emmy nominated series

The Fighting Saints See Success This Fall As of Oct. 6, three USF teams were ranked among the NAIA top-25: men’s cross country (#6), women’s cross country (#14) and football (#22).

“Undrafted.” The show follows the story of eight collegiate players who went without being drafted to the NFL and attended small colleges. The show follows them in and out of training sessions, doing whatever it takes to make their dream of playing professional football come true.

“Torrence was a pleasure to coach for the three years he was here at

USF,” says head football coach Joe Curry. “He worked extremely hard to be the best wide receiver we have ever had and he became just that.”

Torrence was also instrumental in leading the Saints to a top 25 ranking

all season in 2013. He holds school records for the most receiving touch downs in a career (20 between 2012-2014), most yard receiving in a season (1,141 in 2013) and most yards receiving in a game (243 against St. Xavier in 2013). Torrence was also named to the Mid-States Football Association AllMideast League First Team in 2013 and 2014.

Sophomore Josh Woodard was named NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in the Saints’ 24-14 upset victory over No. 7-ranked Robert Morris University Illinois on Sept. 26. Woodard intercepted three passes – all in the second half – as the Saints won their third consecutive game.

“Undrafted” had a special premiere on CBS Sept. 16 and will continue to

air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET from Sept. 22 to Nov. 3 on the NFL Network.

PLAY BALL! Annual Alumni Homecoming Game

Junior Alyssa Bridleman was selected as the CCAC Volleyball Attacker of the Week twice during the first five weeks of the season. She has ranked among the CCAC leaders in kills, hitting percentage and blocks throughout most of the fall.

The men’s golf team won its first three tournaments of the fall and placed among the top three in four of its first five events.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Staying Connected: Alumni News

Lee Parrott ‘04

Golden Apple


ay 12 is a significant date for

there was more to come.

“I had a long career of education

children’s book about 10 years ago,

Lee Parrott—it’s his birth-

“The surprise was over and I

and no one really matched her,” says

so part of what he would like to do

day—but May 12, 2015 will always

thought I was just heading to lunch

Parrott. “That’s what I try to create in

with his time off is devote some

be memorable for another reason. It

with my family,” he says. “But they had

my classroom—that feeling.”

energy to that, specifically by taking

was on that day that he learned he

called the whole school quietly to the

a storytelling class at NU. Other than

was the recipient of a Golden Apple

gym.” They diverted Parrott there for

Parrott started out in a completely

that, he will take classes just for his

Award for Excellence in Teaching, the

one more congratulatory celebration,

different field. Already working at

general enhancement, and hope-

highest honor for Illinois educators.

and the place exploded with cheering

UPS as an undergraduate at Illinois

fully return to Wesmere Elementary

and applause when he arrived.

State University, he chose to study

refreshed and ready to continue his

communications so that he might

commitment to his students.

The day, a Tuesday, started like

any other school day, except for


Classroom Motto: “The more you use your brain the more brain you will have to use.”

“It was a major uproar and it was

Now in his 15th year as a teacher,

two things:

very moving,” he says. “We walked

find work in the package delivery

Parrott was

through the middle of the crowd and

company’s communications depart-

more you use your brain the more

46 years old

the best part of it was seeing how

ment. That plan never materialized

brain you will have to use.”

for the first

proud my students were. They just

and after 12 years working for UPS,

time, and he

felt so important at that moment.”

he left to try his hand at teaching.

they’re at school,” he says. “A lot

was sitting

of times they go to school and go

among the

why Parrott won his Golden Apple

at the time, and her work stories

through the motions. We say our


Award—because he cares so deeply

intrigued him. His first day as a sub-

motto every day.’”

in his

about his students. The most im-

stitute teacher he taught a kinder-


portant thing, Parrott says, is making

garten class, and the next day they

club and “Lunch Bunch,” an activity


real connections with students, and

put him in a high school calculus

in which every other week a handful

a student-

building rapport.

class. He loved both days and soon

of students get to have lunch with


decided to return to ISU to obtain his

him in their classroom instead of

This is probably a big reason

“I want them to know that I’m

A friend of his was teaching

His classroom motto is, “The

“I want the kids to know why

Parrott also instituted a running

This is how Parrott was able to see

there for them,” he says. “I have a

teaching certificate.

going to the lunchroom.

representatives from Golden Apple

very positive environment in my

approaching the door.

classroom. The kids want to be

Association, he was able to compete

time, and not a trinket or a toy. It’s

“I saw my administrator first and

Through the Illinois Education

“They really enjoy it because it’s

there. I never get disappointed. I

for a scholarship by writing a 500-

time together to just talk,” he said

then I saw the corner of a sign, and

never yell at them. It’s okay to not do

word essay on teaching. He won,

it was red, and I thought ‘This can’t

something well, it’s okay to make a

and that validation solidified his

who understands a child’s need to

be,’” says Parrott, who teaches sec-

mistake because that’s when you’re

decision to change careers. Later, in

be respected and protected.

ond grade at Wesmere Elementary

learning the most.”

2004, he received a master’s of sci-

School in Plainfield. Next, he saw a

ence in education, with a certificate

molded,” he says. “I think teachers go

representative from Golden Apple,

environment he remembers in the

as a reading specialist, from USF.

into it thinking that kids should know

and the superintendent of the school

classroom when he was a kindergar-

everything at this point, and they

district. And then he saw his mother.

tener in Maroa, Illinois, learning from

Parrott says. “I actually was part of a

should walk around like little soldiers.

one of his favorite teachers.

cohort through the Plainfield school

That’s not always the case.”

thought, ‘Whoa, this is big,’” he says.

“I just felt smart,” Parrott says. “I

district. There were 12 people in the

She was joined by Parrott’s father,

felt safe. I felt respected. I felt loved

cohort, all getting the same degree,

knew long ago, kids thrive when the

three brothers, their wives and kids,

by her. I don’t remember what she

and it lasted about two years. I

right people are looking out for them

and an aunt. They had driven up

did, or even much of what I learned.

took some summer classes at the

and creating the best environment

from the Decatur area, where Parrott

I just remember that feeling.”

campus, too.”


grew up, and secretly stayed in a

hotel the night before. Unbeknownst

Parrott brought his teacher flowers.

with a $5,000 stipend and a paid

Parrott says. “I just want them to

to Parrott, after the formal presenta-

He still remembers walking with his

quarter semester at Northwestern

feel smart.”

tion of the award in the classroom,

mother away from school, crying.

University. Parrott started writing a

“When I saw my mom’s face I

University of St. Francis Magazine

Parrott tries to foster the same

The last day of kindergarten,

“I had a great experience at USF,”

The Golden Apple Award comes

Quite obviously Parrott is a man

“They’re clay that still needs to be

Like his kindergarten teacher

“Safety, honesty and respect,”

USF Begins New 50-Year Anniversary Tradition During Commencement


pring 2015 Commencement saw a new class of students join the ranks of nearly 47,000 USF alumni. It also welcomed back Carol (Ardaugh) McCafferty and Celeste (Konecny) Turk—graduates from the 50th year reunion Class of 1965. The practice of inviting members of the 50th reunion class to participate in the an-

nual commencement is a new tradition recently started by the Alumni & Family Relations office. McCafferty and Turk were invited to process in with the undergraduates while carrying the alumni banner. They were also welcomed to the reception and were greeted by President Arvid C. Johnson.

The class of 1965 was formally honored at the Grand Luncheon & Awards Ceremony during Homecoming/Reunion

Weekend. The class was inducted into the Assissian Club and was able to attend all Homecoming events free of charge for the weekend.

Class of 1966, mark your calendars for the honor of leading the graduates during the May 2016 Commencement!

For more information please contact the Alumni & Family Relations Office at 877-811-ALUM or

A LUMN I ASSO CIATIO N B OARD O F DIRECTO RS President Shawn Walsh ‘00 President-Elect Keith Schomig ‘13 Vice President for Constitution Joseph Ferrallo ‘85, ‘06, ‘07 Vice President for Programs Caroline Portlock ‘02, ‘04 Vice President for Scholarships Judy Bulat ‘72 Vice President for Young Alumni & Student Engagement TBA Secretary Wihelmine Vidmar ‘68 Sisters of St. Francis Representative Sr. Lois Prebil, OSF ‘61 Alumni & Family Relations Office Administrators Aubrey Knight ‘04, ‘07, Director Valerie Penn ‘09, ‘13, Assistant Director Student Representatives Haley Collins Laura Munoz Lopez Taylor Ringo


Class of 1965 representatives Carol (Ardaugh) McCafferty, and Celeste (Konecny) Turk enjoy the spring 2015 commencement ceremony, held at USF.

New Assistant Director of Alumni & Family Relations


he Alumni & Family Relations Office is happy to introduce Valerie Penn as its new assistant director. Valerie has her Bachelor of Arts in

Communication from Mississippi State University and a Master of Science in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University. She is currently working to obtain her MBA from the University of St. Francis. Valerie has worked in higher education since she began her freshman year at MSU and spent seven years in Residence Life before switching over to the alumni side of university life. She is looking forward to working with the student alumni group, Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) in addition to working with the office's social media platforms in order to best engage USF alumni.

She enjoys running, crafts and traveling. Valerie is the proud owner of a

rescued West Highland White Terrier, Kipper.

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 Lynley Louzensky ‘10 Erika Martinez ‘11 Frances H. Naal Sczepaniak ‘58 Jan Novotny ‘67 L. Scott Pekol ‘99 Candice Quinerly ‘10 Alan Randolph ‘07 Corey Richardson ‘09 Susan Rogina ’94, ‘99 Anne-Christine Tompkins ‘14

S TAY IN TO U CH Send news and class notes to or call 877-811-ALUM. To read about what other alumni and old friends have been doing, visit

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Staying Connected: Alumni News

Outstanding Alumni Honored On September 20, 2015 the University of St. Francis (USF) in Joliet, Ill. will honor five talented alumni for their professional achievements. Nominations were received from family members, coworkers, fellow alumni and others who could testify to the nominee’s achievements. The recipients were selected by the association’s executive board of directors, based on outstanding professional and personal successes as well as involvement in civic, cultural or charitable activities. The most prestigious award, the Presidential Alumna of the Year, is awarded by the university president. In addition, one alum from each of the university’s four colleges is honored each year, highlighting the diverse disciplines of a comprehensive university.


2015 Presidential Award Winner

2015 College of Education Alumni Award

Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate

Daniel Markun ’13

Joliet Franciscans have lived the challenge and dream given

Daniel Markun earned his Bachelor’s

to St. Francis of Assisi by Jesus, “Rebuild my Church,” since

degree in Biology from Loyola University

their founding in Joliet in 1865 by Mother Alfred Moes.

in Chicago as well as a Master of Science

During the young Congregation’s first 11 growth-filled

with a concentration in Secondary

years, Sisters were sent to 36 different missions in Illinois,

Education. Dan began his teaching career

Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Ohio. The Sisters taught children in

with Plainfield Schools, working at both

parish schools and played integral parts in the parish life of the Catholic

their Turnabout Program and Heritage

Church as it grew strong roots in America.

Grove Middle School. He then went on

to continue his career within the Joliet

At home in Joliet, these first Illinois Franciscans built a motherhouse,

took in orphans and boarding students, staffed parish schools, and wel-

Township School District as a teacher, sci-

comed new members into their novitiate. They used precious resources

ence content specialist and instructional

to establish a variety of ministries and built a number of Catholic institu-


tions that continue to serve the people of Joliet.

the University of St. Francis in 2013. He is currently the Academy

From the earliest days, the Sisters studied and mastered every academic

Markun obtained a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from

area in order to provide a well-rounded education through their schools.

Coordinator of the Health and Medicine and Human Services Academies

In 1920, they founded the University of St. Francis, inspired to provide an

at Joliet West High School, working to create career connections and

excellent education for students in the Catholic, Franciscan tradition.

community service opportunities for the students within his academies.

Markun is also a member of the USF MERIT Executive Board and the High

Through the years, the Joliet Franciscans listened to a call that led

them in 1963 to Brazil, where they soon established several missions and

School/Community College Action Council for MERIT.

a novitiate, welcoming Brazilian women to join their life and work. The

Brazilian community continues to flourish.

has been married to his wife, Katie (Juricic ‘02), for the past 10 years and

together they have three rambunctious boys; Danny, Andrew and Nathan.

While traditionally trained as teachers, the Sisters eventually broadened

Markun is a life-long Joliet resident and the ninth of eleven children. He

the scope of their ministries and now serve as nurses and holistic health

As alumni, Markun, his wife, mother and mother-in-law, several brothers,

practitioners, social workers and jail ministers, and an ever-expanding

sisters and in-laws continue to share a rich tradition at the University of

variety of other service professions.

St. Francis and College of St. Francis.

University of St. Francis Magazine

2015 College of Business & Health Administration Alumni Award

Laura Messineo ’11, ’15 Laura Messineo serves as the System Manager TeleHealth Operations at Presence Health. She earned a dynamic nursing a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Leadership from the University of St. Francis in 2011 as well as a Master of Science in Health Administration in 2015. Messineo speaks nationally on a variety of topics and sits on various professional boards. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), and sits on various professional Advisory Boards. Laura is passionate about raising money and community aware-

2015 College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Award

Kasia Wereszczynska ’06 (Chicago)

ness of sepsis. In 2014, she spearheaded the first Illinois Sepsis Challenge

Kasia Wereszczynska is a Crisis Worker

5K raising over $27,000 for the Sepsis Alliance. She is actively championing

at Ada S. McKinley Community Services

the State of Illinois to pass sepsis regulations.

in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor

A resident of Orland Park, Messineo has been married to her husband

of Science in Psychology from the

Steve, for 20 years and is the proud mom of Nicholas, Vince and Andrew. In

University of St. Francis in 2006 and

her free time, Laura can be found cheering her boys on during their soccer,

a Master’s degree in Community

baseball and football games.

Counseling from the Illinois School of Psychology 2008. Originally from

2015 Leach College of Nursing Alumni Award

Poland, she has a strong appreciation

Dr. Mary Lauric Petrella ’78

for different cultures.

Wereszczynska has provided

Dr. Mary Therese Lauric Petrella did

clinical mental health counseling and crisis intervention to a culturally

her basic nursing training at St. Joseph

diverse population serving the South Side of Chicago and the North Shore

School of Nursing and graduated with a

area. She has a history of working in various settings including the mental

diploma in Nursing in 1978. She achieved

health court system within the Cook County jail, hospital emergency rooms,

a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from

community mental health agencies, and both inpatient and outpatient

University of Illinois Medical Center

psychiatric hospital settings.

Chicago in 1982, a Master of Science in

Nursing from Rush University Chicago

Association, has served on the NAMI-Metro Sub Board and volunteers

in 1986 and her Doctoral degree in

with the Sheliah Doyle Foundation. She is the founder of In Her Shoes

Community Health Nursing, Family

Foundation and co-founder of Counseling Speaks. As part of her self-

Nurse Practitioner Program in 1997.

care, she enjoys horseback riding, swimming and practicing yoga.

Wereszczynska is the past president for the Chicago Counseling

Lauric Petrella is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Hines Veterans Hospital’s

Joliet Community Based Outreach Clinic. She provides primary care to veteran patients in an ambulatory care setting. In addition, Mary works for Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, providing treatment for minor acute care issues and illnesses as well as school and work physicals and immunizations.

Lauric Petrella married Bradley, a double alumnus from USF, in 1979.

They have two children, Laurica ’07 and Philip, and one grandchild, Antolina Francesca.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Staying Connected: Alumni News

Patricia Shelvy ‘13

Professor Impacts Lives



hen Dr. Patricia

enjoyed the educational experience

becoming “Dr.” Patricia Shelvy, she

Shelvy decided that

while earning her BSN. She enjoyed

continued with her position at the

she would pursue

it so much that after her BSN, she

City Colleges of Chicago. In addition

a career in nursing, she hoped to

went on to earn her master’s degree

to her DNP, she has also earned

make a positive impact in people’s

as well.

distinctions as a certified critical care

lives. “I wanted to be a part of the

nurse (CCRN) as well as maintains

greater good, to help people and

calling,” Shelvy said.

her credentials as an advance prac-

make a difference,” Shelvy says.

tice nurse (APN)—both certifications

Today Shelvy continues to make

training R.N.s and LPNs, she began

being important to Shelvy.

a difference, but she now has an

making strides toward not only

impact at a much higher level.

influencing the lives of patients

distinguished because it shows my

Shelvy started her career as an

“I realized that teaching was my Once Shelvy got involved with

“Certifications such as these are

through better nursing care, but also

the right place for Shelvy and her

dedication to clinical and didactic

R.N. and over the first several years

began to realize she could influence

experiences. The online format was

experiences,” she explains.

gained experience in many different

nursing education itself.

another selling point for her, so she

specialty areas; medical-surgical,

could manage her course load in a

at City Colleges of Chicago as an

mental health, critical care, and oth-

people who actually pass on the

timeframe that worked best for her.

associate professor of nursing. Her

ers. Though she enjoyed them all,

lessons and skills in nursing care

next big goal is to earn the title of

she felt like something was missing.

motivated me to take the big step

Shelvy grew particularly close to one

‘full professor’ within the next three

of pursuing my DNP to become an

faculty member, Dr. Deena Nardi.

years. Her short term immediate

options,” recalls Shelvy. “I saw many

educator full time,” she says.

goal is to obtain her certification as

opportunities come up, but they felt

tor throughout the process,” recalls

nurse educator (CNE).

out of reach to me since I did not

knew USF would be an excellent fit

Shelvy. “I truly credit her for the

have a master’s or even a four year

for her. Since St. Francis provides

person I am today. I learned so much

Patricia also consults with prospec-

degree. That’s when I decided to get

a dual enrollment in advanced

under her supervision and grew as a

tive students who are considering

serious about going back to school.”

nursing practice and an education

professional with her guidance.”

pursuing their doctorate or master’s

concentration within the DNP, it was

degrees in nursing.

“I started to feel limited in my

She was nervous at first, but truly

“Realizing I could be one of the

Almost immediately, Shelvy

Throughout her time at USF,

“Dr. Nardi truly became my men-

After earning her DNP and

Today, Shelvy continues to work

When she is not in the classroom,



The Alumni Association sponsored a “selfie” campaign in conjunction with spring commencement. Grads who took a selfie and posted it to the alumni Facebook page got a T-shirt. Here are two of our favorites — yes, that’s Arvid!

The Alumni & Family Relations Office thanks all alumni and friends who participated in Homecoming 2015! A week of activities brought FUN for all. Alumni Association Board members (pictured) distribute T-shirts on Homecoming day.

University of St. Francis Magazine

Colleen Wyse ‘75

Alumna Experiences Pope’s Visit


hen Colleen Wyse

graduated in

World Meeting of Families would

When it was announced that the

1975 from then-

take place in Philadelphia over the

College of St. Francis with a B.A.

weekend of Sept. 26-27, 2015, Pope

in Communicaitons, she never

Francis’s U.S. visit itinerary began to

dreamed the places her degree

take shape.

would take her — especially to

Philadelphia, where she’d be busy

around the world attend that event

making plans for a Pope’s visit.

and it’s usually a draw for the

After a long and successful

Pope,” said Wyse, when asked why

career in arts marketing and then

Philadelphia was selected as a stop

in publishing, selling advertising

on his whirlwind U.S. tour.

for such publications as Vogue,

Glamour and InStyle, Wyse “met

to be storming the city for both

a guy” who stole her heart and

the World Meeting of Families and

changed her path — quite literally.

the Pope’s visit, Wyse and the Visit

They first moved to Florida, where

Philadelphia team devoted months

so joyful.”

there were so many events planned

they lived a relaxed life. But when a

and months to preparation and

throughout the city that drew so

new career opportunity presented

planning. Every office member sat

mance, which featured performers

many people. What impressed me

itself to Wyse, the couple made an-

on every city and event committee

like Aretha Franklin, Sister Sledge,

most was how Pope Francis made

other move in 2013 to Philadelphia,

they could. The Visit Philadelphia’s

Andrea Bocelli and The Fray, “we

himself visible in so many places,

where she accepted a job as the

media relations group developed an

even saw a group of ten nuns rock-

sometimes even circling areas twice

VP for Strategic Initiatives for Visit

impressive media outlet center and

ing out,” said Wyse.

so he could greet more people or

Philadelphia — the official tourism

were eventually approached with a

kiss more babies,” she recalled.

branch for the City of Philadelphia.

multitude of inquiries — questions

ly a million people were on

about the city, questions about

Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin

out of her mind was the vision of

advertising, partnerships and spon-

travel, questions about Catholocism.

Parkway for Sundays’ ourdoor Mass.

Pope Francis in his “Popemobile,”

sorships, and the creative vision of

Wyse says Philadelphia has likely

driving down the evening streets.

the company. It appears she is also

“Cars were cleared out so there was

never seen a gathering even close to

in charge of Papal visits — a duty

no traffic. People were walking and

that magnitude.

light was shining on him against

few people outside of Rome would

riding their bikes down the street,

the black sky made him look like an

ever experience in their daily grind.

singing and dancing out loud. It was

concerts, but nothing like this —

There, Wyse is in charge of

“Thousands of people from

With all of the people estimated

“The city was giddy,” said Wyse.

TOP: An ad from the “Phillyosophy” campaign developed by Wyse and her colleagues. ABOVE: An aerial view of Pope Francis in his Popemobile on the streets of Philadelphia.

At the Festival of Families perfor-

It was estimated that near-

“We have had large events and

The other thing she couldn’t get

“The way the vehicle’s iridescent

angel,” she beamed.

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Giving Back: Donor News

Flo Freeman

Called to Serve


ome people don’t find

of St. Francis. Freeman helped to

Freeman reached her ultimate goal

she is active in her church and with

their calling until later in

develop the nursing program with

of earning a Ph.D. specializing in ger-

community projects. Most impor-

their lives. Others, how-

support from the rest of the faculty.

ontology. She believes that “without

tantly, she can be found having fun

ever, find it early. For some, like Flo

The college quickly blossomed to

ongoing education, high standards

with her family and particularly her

Freeman, both can be true. When

include programs like the Master of

of care would be compromised.”


she was ten years old, Freeman

Science in Nursing, Family Nurse

was hospitalized for meningitis. She

Practitioner, Physician Assistant

her knowledge with her students at

recalls the nurses clearly—in their

Studies, Doctor of Nursing Practice,

USF. She loves seeing her students

crisp white uniform and welcoming

and other degrees and certificates.

demonstrate the attributes of what

smiles. Freeman knew right then she

Due to the efforts of fellow fac-

a nurse should be, and seeing that

had to be a nurse when she grew

ulty members, the since re-named

“light bulb moment” when a student

up. What she would find out later in

University of St. Francis boasts

comes to fully understand a concept.

life, was her calling to also become a

an excellent nursing curriculum,

nursing professor at USF.

complete with clinical skills and

at USF has been the most enjoyable

In that pursuit, Freeman shares

Indeed, working with students

After graduating from high

simulation labs that allow students

part of Freeman’s teaching career.

school, Freeman went on to com-

to demonstrate nursing procedures

Witnessing them transition from un-

plete a diploma program in nursing

outside of a clinical setting.

sure college students to professional

before enlisting in the Air Force.

nurses was incredibly rewarding for

Once she was discharged, she at-

to a student,” says Freeman. “Due

Freeman. “In all of my years, I can

tained her BSN and MSN through

to clinical site restraints, a student

truly say I have loved my job,” she

the GI bill. Freeman began teach-

may not get to encounter certain

said. “I was always excited about

ing at St. Joseph School of Nursing

procedures. In the skills lab, students

making a difference in the lives of

(SJCON) in 1979 and was actively

can master skills that will allow them

patients and students.”

involved with the beginning of a

to take on more procedures during

collegiate program offering the up-

their clinical time with less anxiety.”

part-time at USF, sharing her experi-

per division nursing curriculum.

ences and putting her sharp un-

ing education is a lifelong process

derstanding of nursing theory into

in nursing. Because of this belief,

practice. Freeman loves to travel;

On January 1997, SJCON

became a division of the College

“These skills labs are so critical

Freeman believes that ongo-

Freeman continues to teach

“In all of my years, I can truly say I have loved my job. I was always excited about making a difference in the lives of patients and students.”

SAVE THE DATE: CARITAS 2016 On January 23, 2016, the University of St. Francis will host it’s annual Caritas Scholarship Ball at Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook, Ill. This year’s chaircouple is Mr. and Mrs. Terrence O. D’Arcy. Committee members are Mr. and Mrs. Cesar D. Cardenas, Dr. and Mrs. Terrance L. Cottrell, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Franklin, Mr. and Mrs. Cyril W. Habiger, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Johnson, Dr. and Mrs. Arvid C. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. James Klang, Dr. and Mrs. Michael V. LaRocco, Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Mikuska, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Panayotovich, Dr. and Mrs. Jesse K. Park, Mr. and Mrs. Tyler D. Qualio, Mr. and Mrs. Steven J. Randich, Mrs. Candice and Dr. Steven Rosen, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Vana, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Vidmar, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel T. Vogen and Ms. Denise Winfrey.


University of St. Francis Magazine

Bill ‘82 and Trish (Banks ‘83) Bellah

Bellah Family Pledges SevenFigure Gift for Science Building


niversity of St. Francis is

grateful to

continue its close relationship

as a classroom, event, and meeting

announce a generous,

with the Bellahs, whose leadership

space for not only students but also

seven-figure pledge made as a lead

and service reach out to students

the community.

gift for a new science building

and the community. This most

at USF by alumni William “Bill” ’82

recent pledge will be recognized

that the only thing their college

and Patricia “Trish” (Banks ’83) Bellah.

by naming of the 150-seat, multi-

degree did for them was open the

The Bellahs are long-time support-

purpose lecture hall within the new

doors to opportunity in the world.

ers of the university. They have been

science building, which is sched-

Trish and I feel the education and

leading alumni donors participating

uled for ground breaking in 2016.

assistance we received by attend-

in various fundraising events for USF

The new science building will be

ing the University of St. Francis and

Chemical International LLC., an

including the last capital campaign,

constructed at the corner of Wilcox

achieving our degrees opened up

importer of phosphorous acid and

Continuing the Tradition, and a lead

and Douglas Streets and will include

the world to endless opportunities.

other chemicals. The Bellah family

gift to the naming of the Sullivan

nine teaching laboratories, four stu-

Most importantly, we were always

now resides in Spring, Texas, just

Recreation Center. The Bellahs are

dent/faculty research laboratories,

treated like family!” says Bill Bellah.

north of Houston. They have three

also major sponsors of the Sullivan

11 faculty offices, two student study

children: Amber, Brandon and

Golf Outing, the Brown and Gold ath-

lounges and the multi-purpose lec-

the founder and CEO of Compass

The university is proud to

ture hall. The lecture hall will serve

“Most college graduates will say

Bellah, recently retired, was


letic events, the Caritas Scholarship Ball auction, and have given recurring annual gifts. Most recently, they donated a home to the university

Generous Gift to USF From Eileen Webb Estate

to be named in honor of Sr. Carlene

Eileen’s husband, was

established by Packey and Eileen in

Howell, Bill’s English professor.

a member of the USF

1990. The university’s science lab was

Board of Trustees

named after the Webb family in 1997.

dous supporters to our programs

from 1986-1997. Brad

not only in terms of their treasure

continued his father’s

members of the Webb family and

but also in giving so much of their

tradition while serving

friends, including Brad Webb, Diane

time and talents,” said USF President,

as a trustee from 1995-

Villimek, Sarah Webb, Joyce Webb,

Dr. Arvid C. Johnson. “Their past

2014 and acting as

Carroll Keigher ‘82 Webb, John

giving has included our athletic

board chairperson for

Webb, Molly Webb, Tom Webb,

programs, the communication and

eight of those years.

Liz Webb, JoAnn Barber ‘52,

“Bill and Trish have been tremen-


George Block ‘79, Sr. Dolores

n Monday, Sept. 14,

J. Bradley Webb, former

and treasure as members of the

Zemont OSF, Sr. Mary Jane Griffin

trustee and son of Eileen Webb,

Caritas Committee from 1982-1999.

OSF, Sr. Peggy Quinn OSF and

by their generosity.”

presented a nearly $100,000 gift to

When they left the committee,

Sr. Albert Marie Papesh OSF. Past

USF from his mother’s estate. The

Eileen’s daughter, Caroll Keigher ‘82,

USF Presidents John C. Orr and

once they started giving, they have

gift was given during a luncheon at

took their place and served from

Michael Vinciguerra were also in

never stopped and they have been

Bernie’s Pub on campus, attended

1999-2003. Caroll’s daughter, Katie

attendance, hosted by current USF

more gracious with each passing

by family and friends of the Webbs.

Keigher Easton, joined Caroll on

President Arvid C. Johnson, Chief

year,” remarked Dave Laketa, USF

the committee for one year in 1999.

Advancement Officer Regina Block,

Athletic Director and friend of

history of supporting USF financially

and other USF staff members.

the Bellahs.

and through their leadership. Packey,

an endowed scholarship that was

media arts department, and the university as a whole. Everyone on our campus has been touched “The most incredible thing is

The Webb family has a long

Eileen and Packey also gave time

The luncheon was attended by

This generous estate gift joins

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016


Giving Back: Donor News

New Advancement Office Staff


do need them to provide scholar-

commute doesn't hurt!”

opportunity. “I loved my student

ships for our students and improve

In her free time, Quinn spends

experience here,” says Beck. “I was

our programs.” she says. “Many

time with her husband, Kevin, and

confident I would have an equally

alumni don’t realize that their gifts

their son, TJ. The family likes to boat

supportive and positive experience

not only go toward scholarship as-

and play with their two dogs. She

here as an employee.”

sistance, but they also help build the

also enjoys running, having already

reputation of the university to news

completed two full marathons and

Beck spends her time organizing the

sources like US News and World

numerous half marathons.

details of each donor event and also

Report. When alumni participation


helps other Advancement Office

from USF last December. When she

most of her time to the logistics

rises, the value of a degree from St.

eet Amanda Quinn ’02,

Francis also rises.”

USF alumna and Director of

Quinn returned to St. Francis after

lso new to the Advancement

colleagues with their projects when

team, Kori Beck ’14 graduated

she can. So far, Beck has dedicated

the Annual Fund. Quinn manages

eight years at Joliet Junior College.

heard USF was looking for a Donor

behind the Leach College of Nursing

the Annual Fund program and has

Events Coordinator, she leapt at the

campaign. Soon, Beck will turn

been focused on building new

wonderful experience as a student

her attention to the annual Caritas

revenue streams and increasing

here,” she recalls. “When the op-

Scholarship Ball.

the number of donations received

portunity to work at USF arose, I

from alumni, employees and friends

couldn't resist. It is easy to want to

tries to volunteer as much time

of the university. Right now her

help USF grow when you know first-

as she can to local organizations,

primary goal is to cultivate relation-

hand the education each student

especially animal rescues. Her

ships with USF alumni.

receives truly does prepare them

favorite places to go are Joliet

“Our alumni are our biggest

for the real world. Plus, I live in the

Township Animal Control and

supporters and advocates; we really

neighborhood and the one minute

Ellis Equestrian Center.

“I am a USF alumna and had a

Bob Baron

Longtime USF Board of Trustees member Bob Baron recently competed in the U.S. Masters National Swim Meet in Minneapolis, Minn. Baron participated in the 75-yearold age group and placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke and third in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard individual medley. It was Baron’s first time competing in the national meet after training for six months in order to qualify. Though the training was rigorous, he is proud of his accomplishments and the several personal records he set. From now on, Baron looks forward to swimming for his health and enjoyment.

University of St. Francis Magazine

When she isn’t working, Beck

USF Mourns Loss of Sr. Dorothy Kinsella The USF community was saddened by the recent pass-

Trustee Swimmer Competes


As Donor Events Coordinator,

ing of treasured friend, alumna, faculty member, trustee and colleague, Sr. Dorothy Kinsella OSF ‘60.

Kinsella was an alumna of the Class of 1960. After

completing graduate studies in 1971, she became an assistant professor in the history department of the College of St. Francis.

In 1975, her ministry became a ministry of peace

and justice when she joined NETWORK, a religious lobby in Washington, D.C., as a staff member.

Kinsella served on the Central Administration of the Congregation for

four years. The plight of women and children in abusive family situations prompted Sister Kinsella to start Groundwork, a temporary home and educational opportunity for battered women at the Guardian Angel Home in Joliet. She expanded these services to encompass violence prevention for adults.

In 2001, she became the director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Andrew

Parish in Romeoville, Ill. She had been a member of the USF Board of Trustees for the past three years.

Kinsella celebrated her 60th anniversary with the Sisters of St. Francis of

Mary Immaculate in June before passing away peacefully on Sept. 14.

Calendar of Events NOVEMBER 2015 5 “Now That You’ve Been

DECEMBER 2015 1 Music at Moser: Student

Hired” Panel, sponsored by the Alumni & Family Relations Office

6 12

15 19

Recital II


EAN Education Alumni Network Mingle Night Music at Moser: Fall Play “Androcles and the Lion” by George Bernard Shaw, through Nov. 14

5 6

Freshman Visit Day • Music at Moser: New Music Concert

7 12

• Music at Moser: Student Recital I

• “This is Ladies’ Night,” sponsored by the Alumni & Family Relations Office


Music at Moser: Vocal Jazz Ensemble “Swingin’ Saints”

• EAN Education Alumni Network Mingle Night • Music at Moser: Christmas at the Motherhouse, through Dec. 5 Breakfast with Santa Christmas Caroling at Sunny Hill Nursing home, sponsored by the Alumni & Family Relations Office

The USF community gathered at St. Raymond Cathedral for the annual start-of-year Convocation.

JANUARY 2016 5 Breakfast with Santa 6 Christmas Caroling at

Saturday Info Sessions

Sunny Hill Nursing home, sponsored by the Alumni & Family Relations Office

9 20

EAN Alumni Network Mtg. Operation Christmas Service Day


• Mock Trial Competition

• Caritas

are brief Saturday campus visits which include a short tour. Space is limited to three per family.

NOVEMBER 7 & 21 DECEMBER 5 & 12 JANUARY 9, 23 & 30 RSVP: 815-740-2270

BAN Alumni Network Mtg. • African American Alumni Association Mtg. • Music at Moser: Joliet Symphony Orchestra, through Dec. 13

19 Winter Commencement 20 Operation Christmas Alumni Service Day

Admissions event information or registration: 800-735-7500 | | OR /openhouse Alumni event information or registration: 877-811-ALUM | | Athletics information or game schedules: 815-740-3464 | USF Art Gallery exhibitions: 815-740-3787 | | Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and by appointment. For information about all other university events and activities: 800-735-7500 |

A Year of Integrity • 2015-2016



500 Wilcox Street Joliet, Illinois 60435 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Engaging Mind & Spirit  

The official magazine of University of St. Francis 2015-2016, Issue 2

Engaging Mind & Spirit  

The official magazine of University of St. Francis 2015-2016, Issue 2