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2016–2017 Issue 3

Fighting Saints & Scholars


Cheer for the Fighting Saints… the Brown and Gold!

Our spring season is not quite done. As a matter

of fact, as I write this, our softball team is headed to Kentucky for the opening round of the NAIA championships. I (absolutely, positively, even-if-

Dear Members of the USF Family,

it’s-not-exactly-Franciscan) have to “brag” at this point: • Within the CCAC, USF earned seven conference

Welcome to the latest issue of “Engaging Mind &

titles, one conference co-championship and two conference tournament championship plaques.

Spirit”—our University of St. Francis magazine and one way that we strive to remain connected to you:

• Eleven of our 22 athletics teams earned invitations

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

to NAIA national tournaments—with our women’s

and our supporters…in short, our USF family.

bowling team winning its first-ever NAIA National

Invitational Championship, our men’s cross country

What if I told you that there was a group of almost

450 USF students (almost 30% of our undergraduate

team finishing as the national runner-up, and our

population) who comprise about half of our male

women’s basketball team advancing to the national

students and four of five of our out-of-state students,

semi-finals as the first team in USF’s history to go undefeated in the regular season.

and have maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.1 for the past three semesters? What if I told you that

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

• Our first-ever individual national champion, Jenna

this group of students has a six-year graduation

Moody, earned her crown in the 400-meter at the

rate 3–11% higher than our overall average (which is,

indoor track and field championships.

admittedly, already higher than our peers)? Would you want to know their “secret?” It’s being a

student-athlete at USF!

without Dave Laketa, our incredibly dedicated

athletics director, and the leadership of our many

USF is a proud, 45-year member of the National

Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)—an organization committed to ensuring that student-

Of course, none of this would have been possible

coaches—seven of whom were recognized as “best-in-the-CCAC!” My sincere hope is that they know

An aside from Arvid…

athletes are, first and foremost, “students.” Being a part

how proud I am of each of them.

Being the “Fighting Saints” is not the oxymoron

of the NAIA, with its commitment to developing

you might think it to be, as our mascot is a SAINT Bernard named Bernie. That said, Bernie is nowhere near as fearsome as our athletics

“Champions of Character”—athletes who evidence the

In recognition of all this, at first quietly in 2015–16,

and then in full force in 2016–17, I have encouraged

NAIA’s values of respect, integrity, servant leadership,

every member of the USF family to be ready to

responsibility and sportsmanshipis also congruent

sing the USF fight song (composed by our Grammy-

making appearances at our home (and many of

with our core values of respect, integrity, service,

nominated College of Arts & Sciences Dean, Dr. Bob

our away) athletic events, Bernie is a key

and compassion. As a result, our student-athletes not

Kase) every time we win:

recruitment partner. We have several “Bernie

only provide a critical mass of committed student

Cheer for St. Francis, loyal and true!

Days” each semester (an event that allows

leaders for many university-led mission and service

Fighting for Victory!

prospects to “sample” USF before committing to a

initiatives (please see the last magazine issue

We are St. Francis, strong and bold!

for many examples), but also develop and lead

Cheer for the Fighting Saints, the Brown and Gold!

logo might have you believe. In addition to

longer, traditional visit day) which include a photo with Bernie. Bernie also visits local schools in town, and has served as the grand marshal

mission-supporting initiatives of their own—e.g.,

of Joliet’s Light Up the Holidays parade for

the “It’s On Us” sexual violence prevention campaign.

many years.

myself incredibly blessed to SERVE as your president

Through the NAIA, we partner with 15 nearby

As always, please know that I continue to consider

public and private institutions as part of the

and promise to work hard to earn the trust that you

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC)

have placed in me.

to ensure that our “conference play” permits both a high-quality athletic experience as well as the scheduling flexibility necessary to minimize adverse academic impact (i.e., missed class time). In this regard, across our 22 athletic teams (up four teams since I arrived in 2013), USF is committed to “doing athletics right”...and that includes winning!

Peace and all good things,


Engaging Mind & Spirit is published three times each academic year. Feedback is welcomed and can be sent to Julie Futterer ’93, Director of Marketing Services: 815-740-3826 or Content Michael Austin Julie Futterer David Hilbert Gina Korczak Michelle Madura Katie Smith Other USF employees, students & friends



Fighting Saints Make the Grade



2 U S F N EW S Washington 3 C A L EN DA R O F EVEN TS 155


Montana 35

A R T S & S C I EN C Oregon ES

North Dakota 28



Idaho 32 Wyoming 28




12 Utah 56


Alaska 24

Arizona 1,242


Wisconsin 1,327

South Dakota 26

Michigan 332

Iowa 1,024 Illinois 20,295

Kansas 187

Missouri 838



Maine 29 Design Adam Middleton

Minnesota 1,489

Nebraska 231 Colorado 784

New Mexico 562

Imagery Don Bersano Photography Regina Block Danielle Conrad ’17 Julie Futterer Image Group Photography, LLC Dave Laketa 300–599 100–299 1–99 Ron Molk John Patsch Megan Powell Other USF employees, students & friends

Oklahoma 41

Arkansas 173

Indiana 1,761

Ohio 357

Kentucky 123 Tennessee 1,321

ON THE COVER Mississippi Fighting Saints Renee Martin, Logan Timmons 103 and Alabama Jordan Giddings take excellence off the court and into Texas 421 the classroom at the University of St. Francis. 701 Louisiana PHOTO BY DANIELLE CONRAD ’17 689

Our Mission As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners Hawaii 34 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,Updated and peace-making. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing 01-2017 women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.

Connecticut Delaware Printing & DistributionDistrict of New York Columbia Courier Graphics / CEREUS—Phoenix 113 Maryland Massachusetts Pennsylvania Please help us in our efforts reduce New to Hampshire 1,936 Newaddress Jersey waste. If this is an incorrect Rhode Island for the intended recipient, if you no longer Vermont wish to receive this publication, or West Virginia Virginia want to receive it electronically, 166contact Christina Kuzava at 815-740-4287 Australia

Canada North or to update China Carolina your records. Czech Republic 278 Ecuador South Foreign State Carolina Greece 153 Guam Georgia Ireland 1,022 Italy Military-Europe Military-Pacific Northern Mariana Islands Florida Ontario 2,058 Puerto Rico University of Sweden St. Francis United Kingdom 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435 Virgin Islands 800-735-7500 / Yugoslavia

A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017


32 22 11 88 55 17 154 14 11 12 1 14 1 2 1 10 2 1 1 1 11 4 1 2 4 1 1 2 1


Jeremy Grachan Named 2016 Lincoln Laureate Jeremy Grachan was recently recognized for excel-

USF students can major in

lence in his curricular and extracurricular activities

Biochemistry starting in fall of 2017.

by being selected as a 2016 Student Laureate of

Biochemistry is the study of the

The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Grachan graduated in

molecules and chemical processes

May with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.

present in cells. The Biochemistry

Grachan has been very involved at the University

major builds upon the strengths of

of St. Francis, including serving as president of both the

the Department of Natural &

Student Government Association and Beta Beta Beta,

Health Sciences through its

the biology honor society. He was a resident assistant,

innovative and student-centered

a Duns Scotus Honors Program student and a biology

curriculum. The opening of the

fellow, and was involved in numerous other campus

LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Science

groups and activities. Says Grachan about his future

Hall in January 2018 will

path, “After some of my experiences at USF, I really like the idea of going on to get a Ph.D. and teach anatomy or physiology. I’d love to be able to lead my own human dissection course one day.”


Jeremy Grachan is pictured with USF Provost Frank Pascoe, First Lady Diana Rauner, Governor Bruce Rauner and The Lincoln Academy of Illinois Chancellor Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall at the 42nd Annual Student Laureate Award Ceremony in Springfield, Ill.


profoundly enhance the growth and development of this new major and other science programs offered by USF.

Congratulations, Class of 2017 Albuquerque students in USF’s Physician Assistant and Family Nurse Practitioner programs graduated in April, and the Joliet campus sent off its newest graduates after the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies in early May.

Congratulations to all of USF’s newest alumni!

The University of St. Francis was thrilled to have three alumni return to campus during Green Week in April to discuss their work on the eco-documentary “Making Waves: Battle for the Great Lakes.” Brendan ’05 and Jessica (Saraga ’05) Walsh, both Communication & Media Arts graduates, and Gabe Jaskowiak ’16, a Digital Audio Recording Arts graduate, spoke to more than 60 students, employees and community members regarding their work on the documentary. The Walshes are co-owners of Great Lakes Media, the video production company responsible for “Making Waves.” They filmed, wrote and produced the documentary which was narrated by Chicago news-legend Bill Kurtis. The Walshes then partnered with Jaskowiak, who composed a compelling score for the film, providing recorded, engineered music that truly completed the piece. 2

Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

June 2 Athletics—Pat Sullivan Golf Outing

Dr. Alicia McLaughlin Awarded Fulbright Scholarship Associate Professor of Social Work Dr. Alicia McLaughlin has been awarded a 2017 Fulbright Scholarship. McLaughlin has been teaching for nine years in the bachelor’s and master’s Social Work programs and is the first professor at the university to receive this honor. She plans to conduct her research at the University of Guyana in Guyana, South America, and will focus on the nationwide suicide epidemic affecting the country associated with mass murders by cult leaders.

“The values associated with social work promote the dignity and

worth of a person,” says McLaughlin. “I am so privileged to be in the position to train aspiring social work professionals at USF and I really look forward to doing the same in Guyana.”

SHA RE YO U R S O L E S F O U N D E R MO N A P U RDY RECEIVES 2 017 SI S T E R C L A RE AWA RD Each year in March, USF bestows the Sister Clare Award upon a deserving individual in honor of Women’s History Month. The award, presented in honor of USF’s patroness, Clare of Assisi, recognizes women of vision who have transformed the world of their time. The 2017 Sister Clare Award recipient is Mona Purdy, founder and CEO of Share Your Soles—a not-for-profit organization founded by Purdy 17 years ago after a visit to South America. More than 2.5 million pairs of shoes later, Purdy has donated lightly used and new shoes to children in 40 impoverished nations. For more information or to donate to Share


13 Youth Camp—Radio Camp 15 Alumni—Trip to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion and Lunch at Tiebel’s 19–23 Youth Camp—Digital Audio Recording Arts Camp July 17–28 Youth Camp—Summer Strings Music Camp 19 Admissions—Open House for Transfer, Adult Degree Completion and Graduate Students 21 Alumni—Business Alumnni Network (BAN) Bowling Party 25 Alumni—Crosstown Classic at Wrigley Field August 8 Admissions—Freshman Sneak Peek 12 Alumni—12th Annual Mystery Progressive Dinner

For a complete listing of events, visit

Your Soles, please visit

NOTA B L E N O T ES President Arvid C. Johnson was elected to the

USF will join representatives from across the

The university celebrated the retirement of

Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Board

Joliet community on the Chicago St. Corridor

loyal employees Chuck Beutel, John Bowers,

of Directors. Johnson will serve a three-year

Advisory Committee, a 9–12 month project

Patrick Brannon, Sara Leone, Billie Terrell,

term beginning January 2017 until January

that will review and discuss ideas for the

Marilyn Vollmer and Ling-Yi Zhou during an

2020. The CIC is the only national higher

upcoming Chicago Street re-construction plan.

all-campus presentation and reception in

education association that focuses solely on

Criminal Justice major Juanita Munoz-Lopez

May. This group, combined, has given the

providing services and a broad range of

and USF’s Communications Content Manager

university more than 200 years of service, with

initiatives directly to independent colleges

Katie Smith will join the rest of the committee to

Charles “Chuck” Beutel offering 41 of those

and universities to help improve the quality of

review drawings by the architectural consultant

years. Beutel was honored at commencement

education and strengthen resources.

hired by the City of Joliet.

with VP Emeritus status. Best wishes to all! A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017



Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine




Jordan Giddings—get this—received an Honorable Mention not only on the same All-American team, but also was named a CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American—one of the country’s highest scholar-athlete honors. An All-American in basketball and school—wow. There was some pain and struggle along the way. Coach Quigley Smith recalls Giddings being ill and curled up in a ball when the team was on its way to Sioux City, Iowa for the NAIA National Tournament. After deciding that enough was enough, they called an ambulance,

Athletes who wear the brown and gold of the Fighting Saints are

and that night Giddings underwent emergency surgery to have

expected to bring the same passion and dedication to their classroom

her appendix removed. In subsequent days, she rested, rejoined her

activities as they do to their practices and games. There is no sliding

teammates, sat on the bench and cheered them on, and then exactly

scale when it comes to academic dedication for USF student-athletes.

one week after surgery entered a game and hit a big three-point

This is why one of the greatest teams the university has ever produced—the 2016–17 women’s basketball team—has such a wonderful story. It’s not just because for much of last season they were the best team in NAIA—literally the No. 1-ranked team in the country. It’s not because for the second straight year, they won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. And it’s not because even when this year’s dream season ended too soon, with a semifinal loss to the defending national champions, the Saints still finished with a USF all-time-best record of 34-2.

shot in the first half of a Final Four game. “It was quite an inspirational moment,” Quigley Smith says. Did we mention that Giddings’ GPA is a perfect 4.0? She also carried 17 credit hours during the season, worked for the maintenance department, tutored in the math center, and regularly observed a high school math class, as she hopes to one day be a teacher and coach close to her hometown of Rock Falls, Ill. “I think the biggest ‘struggle’ for me was time management,” says Giddings, the first person in her family to attend college.

MAKE THE GRADE It’s because on top of all of that unprecedented athletic success,

“Sometimes I would leave my apartment at 7:30 a.m. and not get back

head coach Samantha Quigley Smith’s team also posted the

until 10:30 p.m. But I never felt stressed. I didn’t feel like my school

highest cumulative GPA in the entire USF athletic department.

work suffered if my game was lacking, or vice-versa.”

No team did better this season in their arena or in their classrooms. The women’s basketball team’s impressive GPA also landed them on the nation’s Top 25 list, academically.

Her version of “lacking” may be different than most of ours because all evidence points to a conspicuous lack of lacking in all of her pursuits. This is what the model scholar-athlete looks like—at USF or

For her skill on the court, senior guard Charnelle Reed was named

anywhere—with the words on both sides of the hyphen treated with

a First Team 2016–17 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball

equal respect and dedication.

First Team All-American, while her teammate, senior center


A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017


“I think many athletes decide which college to attend based on how

effort to try to get closer to fairness for both teams—so that

much playing time they’re going to get, and how successful the

ideally both teams would have a 50 percent chance of winning.

program is going to be,” she says. “The academics are sort of pushed

And they succeeded.

to the side, and thought about last. I was the complete opposite. My first instinct was, ‘How is the academic program? How many students are normally in a classroom? What will an employer think if they see that school’s name on my resume?’” The answers to those questions are what led her to USF.

Shaving fractions of percentage points off of the probability of the first team with possession winning may not seem like a very big difference to us, but if you are somehow invested in those games, it’s a different story. Besides that, Timmons and Martin essentially outsmarted the NFL at its own rules. They offered a viable alternative,

Yet another teammate, Renee Martin, who is a junior guard/forward,

increasing the fairness of the game while minimally increasing

is also excelling off the court. She partnered with a senior forward

the length of overtime. It’s satisfying work for two people who love

from the men’s basketball team, Logan Timmons, on a unique project

sports and also love math, and they both agree that the hard work

that recently won both of them an Outstanding Undergraduate

was worth it.

Research award at the Illinois section of the Mathematical Association of America conference.

“We all are given an opportunity to have an impact on our own life,” says Timmons, an NAIA Scholar-Athlete and two-time conference

The project, begun in the spring of 2015 by Timmons under the

All-Academic honoree. “The hardest thing to understand is that

guidance of Assistant Professor Dr. Megan Powell, centers on

the reward from all of the time, effort and energy you are putting into

the application of a Markov Chain (a mathematical system in which

a particular subject or sport won’t be received until a later date.”

the movement of a set of states is not dependent on any previous events). Applied to the game of football, as is the case in Timmons’ and Martin’s project, those “states” are represented by ball possessions. Specifically, the research partners looked at National Football League overtime rules, which have become

Timmons recalls a scripture passage (1 Peter 5:7) when his workload starts to weigh on him: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” “Once you can truly let go of all of the ‘What Ifs’ in life and put all of your energy into working hard, that’s when you will see the dovetail between academics and athletics. I approach each

Their education, after four years, is far more important than the successes on their court. Don’t get me wrong, we love to win. But more importantly, we love to learn.

thing that I am doing in my life as an opportunity to change my life for the better. As an athlete you’re asked to dedicate yourself to both your studies and your sport. However, we are students before we are athletes,” says Timmons. He has a point. The hyphen in “student-athlete” implies equality but “student” literally comes first. Any college athlete who realizes this is taking a preliminary step in the right direction, and at USF, the concept is always emphasized.

controversial in recent years. Even as recent as this year’s Super Bowl, a game that involved a thrilling comeback to tie the game and subsequently ended on the first possession of overtime. Timmons and Martin used a Markov Chain to determine the average length of overtime in the NFL (the League is concerned that previous overtime rules let games drag on too long), and to arrive at the probability of a team with the first overtime possession winning the game. They also proposed an Alternative Modified Sudden Death overtime, in which both teams get a chance to score. It was all an


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

“We talk a lot about being competitive,” says Quigley Smith. “Otherwise, what’s the point? Their education, after four years, is far more important than the successes on their court. Don’t get me wrong, we love to win. But more importantly, we love to learn.” All women’s basketball team members are required to complete a certain amount of study zone hours each week (based on their GPA) and sit with the coaching staff for an academic update. It’s that kind of accountability that keeps many of the athletes on track. Still, many others need even less outside support.

Martin believes that excelling in both sports and academics is

Beyond the nose-to-the-grindstone dedication and success of these

basically a single pursuit since they require the same mindset.

students in sports and studies, there is also humanness—shining

“For me, it’s more of a lifestyle to work hard,” says Martin, who is from Poplar Grove, Ill. “I grew up on a small farm in northern Illinois and learned a lot of great life skills from it. I’ve always really enjoyed

examples of young adults who look beyond their personal goals and get involved in pursuits that are far less glamorous than the hours they spend in front of screaming, adoring fans.

being super-involved, too, and I’ve found that it has helped become

For Martin, one of those outside pursuits involves greeting potential

more successful. It also has a lot to do with time management,

students and showing them around campus—a volunteer gesture that

being aware that sometimes you’ll have to type that paper on the bus

could easily be filed in the “giving back” category.

ride to an away game because you don’t have any other time to do it.” Speaking of papers, Timmons and Martin have submitted their work

“One of my favorite things to do is go on a campus tour with Renee when she is acting as a Saints Ambassador,” says Quigley Smith. “She begins each tour by talking with every potential student, and

to the Journal of Sports Analytics and, after making a few requested

looking each one of the tour members in the eye, stressing

revisions, they expect their findings to be published.

how wonderful this place is. Her involvement on campus is a great

Timmons, a native Floridian, will graduate this year and move straight

example to underclassmen and other students here at USF.”

into a position as a risk analyst for BMO Financial Group in Chicago.

This is what a real student-athlete looks like—like Martin, Timmons

Martin will conduct further research on the project this summer

and Giddings, along with scores of their teammates and the

and then return for, no doubt, yet another year of basketball and

exceptional scholars and athletes on other USF teams. They are the

classroom excellence.

complete package. They make not only USF, but the world around them, a better place to be.

A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017



CAS Notes Six Communication and Media Arts students

In February, USF’s new College Democrats

highest amount of online listening time ever

and two instructors attended the Illinois

club held a town hall forum, featuring State

recorded—24,566 hours. (The average is

College Press Association conference in

Representative Will Guzzardi. Councilwoman

between 2,000–3,000 hours during the rest

February. The Encounter staff was awarded first

Brooke Hernandez Brewer, members of

of the year.) WCSF and the USF Radio Club

place for “full page ad” (open division),

the Will County Progressives, and USF alumni,

are also preparing for the second annual

second place for “sports page design” (small

students and faculty were in attendance.

Mega-Music Rummage Sale, to be held in

schools division); and third place for “critical

early summer.

review” (open division).

The Department of Natural & Health Sciences

In February, four Recreation and Sport

to the 2016 Chicago Area Radiation Therapists

hosted its annual winter research symposium in

Management students traveled to YMCA Camp

Annual Conference and Student Seminar

December. Fifty-three students participated,

Mystic Lake in Michigan to participate in

in April. Students who participated in the

with 25 posters exhibited, and compelling

the Midwest Outdoor Leadership Conference.

scholarship, essay and research, and poster

presentations given by Jekzaly Arellano and

Also in February, RSM hosted a student

board competitions were Jamie Burian, Ashley

Terry Blondin, Bridget Burke and Haylie Lohmar,

luncheon of the South Suburban Professional

Golda, Danielle Hoffman, Rutvi Patel, Lisa

Shannon Pedone, and Bradley Schoenrock.

Recreation and Park Association, allowing

Ringstmeyer, Christopher Rogina, Andrea Serna,

students to network with field professionals.

and Deanna Wright.

into the Gamma Kappa chapter of the Beta Beta

Members of the Mock Trial team—Captain

The work of graduating Art & Design students

Beta national biology honor society:

Miranda Castro, Co-captain Alejandra Medina,

Danielle Conrad, Yifan Mao, Jose Ortiz,

Leah M. Alles, Bridget Burke, Brenda Carbajal,

Christina Budd, Courtney Joyce, Roberto

Joey Santillo, Amber Shibley, Ashlee Stevens

Kelly Elizabeth Gould, Taylor P. Green,

Santillan, Jeremiah Soto and Irma Sandoval

and Shannon Walker was displayed at

Patrycja A. Lalik, Haylie J. Lohmar,

Vizcaina—competed in the American Mock Trial

the Senior Thesis Exhibition in May at the

Peyton Paterson, Meghan J. Price,

Association Illinois Regional Competition

USF Art Gallery.

Lindsey Sayner, Sara Shan, Nicole Troha and

in February. Castro, Joyce, Medina and Santillan

Vashni Patrice V. Vasquez.

ranked as Top Attorneys, while Vizcaina ranked

“Spirit of Christmas” on WCSF-FM saw the

Instructors Leia Levy and Elva Dawson accompanied senior Radiation Therapy students

In December, 13 students were inducted

as Top Witness.



Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

How has athletics impacted your life as a young person and a college student? Athletics has impacted how I view life. Not everything has to be a victory through winning. You can lose and still win; it’s all how you look at the situation. For instance, I may not have been accepted into medical school, but that doesn’t mean I lost. It will just guide me toward my real purpose. Are there any good life lessons you have learned as a scholar-athlete? Besides staying true to yourself, my other lesson would be to live “in the now” by reaching out to people and doing things that may scare you. I once attended a conference where there was a presentation about taking daily risks. The risks don’t have to be anything crazy, like sky-diving. It could be as simple as saying “hello” to the person who lives next to you that you see every day and never say a word to.

Any sage advice instilled in you by an influential teacher or coach at USF? Some good advice came from my coach, John Nikchevich. I don’t know exactly how he said it, but the meaning was something along the lines of “nothing lasts forever.” He mentioned that soccer seasons come and go quickly— it’s all about what the team makes of it. I always enjoyed his pre-game speeches and translate his advice to real-life applications. In the end, I want to say that I did all I could do. For instance, when college is over and I graduate, I want to look back and be able to say I took advantage of every opportunity I had and got the grades I wanted. I made my college experience the best it could have possibly been and there is nothing I would have done differently. For that, I thank USF for all the opportunity I was given.


Two COBHA student-athletes ‘bowl over’ the rest: Sam Marcotte and Michael Dertz find success in the classroom and on the lanes Sam Marcotte ’17 and Michael Dertz ’18 are not only two of COBHA’s best performing students with GPAs of 3.92 and 4.0, respectively,

I will never forget when Dr. Tony Zordan was

but they’re also both members of the USF men’s bowling team.

giving my class tips on how to save money,

A May graduate, Marcotte was a Management major and obtained

and he told us to try to avoid wasting money

minors in Economics and Finance. He has always enjoyed math, and at USF, finance and banking were his favorite courses. Marcotte began his

on items that depreciate immediately. Another

athletic career at age 10—participating in youth bowling leagues,

lesson I will always remember came from Dr.

then adding golf and tennis to the mix in high school. At USF, Marcotte

Steve Morrissette. In his Business Policy class,

joined the bowling team and bowled for four years. The experience taught

I learned how to make quality presentations

Marcotte quite a bit about teamwork. Juggling multiple athletic and

and learned presentation skills. I will be able

academic responsibilities has helped him improve his time management and organization skills—skills he knows will help him as he pursues his

to use those lessons for the rest of my life.

professional aspirations.


Recipient of USF’s Dean’s Scholarship and Meritorious Service Awards

Dertz, soon to be a senior, is double-majoring in Accounting and

Marketing. He has felt a love for sports since he was young—making many friends along the way through baseball, football and bowling. He was part of a state championship bowling team as a high school sophomore,

and was recognized as a USBC Dexter All-American. Those accomplish-

week, it becomes difficult to budget time for schoolwork. It’s also

ments led him to the University of St. Francis, where he continues

challenging to go on the road for a tournament when you need to prepare

to bowl and enjoys accounting classes, which allow him to use critical

for an exam the following week.”

thinking and problem solving skills. His marketing classes bring out

his creative side.

Marcotte, “so I can plan out my day and find time for homework too.”

While Marcotte and Dertz are branching out into different fields

Says Dertz, “When you are expected to practice three or four days a

“Luckily, we have a pretty consistent practice schedule,” adds Both Marcotte and Dertz have also learned many valuable life lessons

in business, they agree that it can be difficult, at times, to balance

at USF. One of the most important is that being a scholar-athlete means a

their academic and athletic priorities in college. Time management and

student needs to work just as hard in the classroom as they do on the

planning skills are an absolute necessity.

playing field. Without classroom success, a student cannot be a successful athlete. Marcotte and Dertz take pride in being both, and Dertz feels discipline has a lot to do with it.

Dr. Rich Vaughan talked a lot about creating a

plan for ourselves before we graduate. He said

from those who are just trying to get by. Being disciplined as an athlete

that if we have a plan, we can be as successful as we want to be. But there is a difference

“Discipline makes those who are dedicated to working hard stand out

requires things like showing up on time to practice, maintaining a good diet, and representing USF in a positive manner. Being disciplined as a student is a little different. I have always had strong discipline with

between saying you ‘might’ do something

schoolwork, because I want to have a successful career one day,” he says.

and actually taking the necessary steps. I have

now developed a five-year plan that I am

Marcotte enjoys watching sports and is a big Cubs fan. He interned at

sticking to in order to have a successful career after I graduate from USF. M I CH AE L DE RT Z

Providence Bank over the last semester and has plans to become a credit analyst there after graduating. Dertz’s favorite sport is hockey, and his favorite team is the Chicago Blackhawks. After graduation, he hopes to become a CPA and work alongside his father.

Recipient of USF’s Dean’s Scholarship Award

A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017



Former USF Scholar Athletes-Turned-Educators Reflect on Experiences John Greenan

a lot about determination, work ethic, team

’01, ’04

work and perseverance. Though his playing

of Education, saying, “There are so many things

Current Ed.D.

career was cut short due to a medical issue and

I learned from professors and other staff

in Educational

injury, the situation turned positive when

members that have made me successful.” She


Sullivan allowed him to remain a part of the

adds that while those individuals taught her


program as a student assistant coach. This role

how to be a successful teacher, they more


offered Greenan great experience for his

importantly showed her by demonstrating an


future profession in education and coaching.

authentic passion for helping students achieve


great things in the classroom.

Greenan still speaks fondly of his coaches

Webb enjoyed studying in USF’s College

received their foundation for teaching at the

and instructors, saying they were “great

University of St. Francis, including John

examples of servant leadership. Servant

the volleyball court—both coaches and

Greenan. His excellence as a classroom teacher

leadership is emphasized at USF and has

teammates—for helping her to become the

for nine years, dean of students for six years,

resonated with me in all of my roles as an

person she is today. Coach Cara Currier,

and boys’ basketball coach for twelve years led

educator and always will.”

her staff and her players were exceptionally

him to his much-deserved position as assistant

welcoming, and Webb remembers feeling like a

principal for leadership, student, and building

Greenan, who is pursuing his Doctor of

Saint from her very first visit. Playing in

operations at Lockport Township High School’s

Education degree in Educational Leadership.

Currier’s program provided insights about the

East Campus for the 2017–18 school year.

It will be his third degree from USF. “The

special qualities that make an effective leader.

knowledge and support of my professors has

Webb applied knowledge gained from every

reasons. Growing up in the nearby Cathedral

been tremendous. I have formed many

mistake and loss to help make herself and the

Area, he was already familiar with the university.

partnerships with people that I know will aid me

team more successful.

He attended youth basketball camps coached

as I continue my career,” stated Greenan.

by Pat Sullivan and Jack Hermanski, and

School in Minooka, Ill. and in her spare time,

Greenan chose to attend USF for many

Twenty years later, USF remains “home” to

Webb also gives credit to her teachers on

Now a teacher at Minooka Intermediate

recalls being a spectator at many St. Francis


an assistant coach for the Fighting Saints

games with his father. During senior year of


volleyball team, Webb acknowledges that she

high school at Joliet Catholic Academy,

Webb ’13

relies on that same kind of determination

Greenan’s familiarity with USF was influential

Current M.S.

in her classroom and on the court. Drawing on

when he made his college decision. He already


past experiences and lessons learned at USF,

knew the coaches and some players, and


she works hard to demonstrate to her students

liked the idea of a smaller school setting. He


and players the same passion that made

also already knew that someday he wanted

For as long as

the difference for her. “I want my students and

she can

players to love every day of school, to practice

to be a high school social studies teacher and basketball coach. After visiting three other

remember, Ashley Webb wanted to be a

colleges, his heart told him that St. Francis and

teacher. Ashley remembers teachers who left

its College of Education was the perfect fit.

big impressions on her while growing up and

easily recalls how those role models sparked

He was recruited by Sullivan to play

basketball at St. Francis, and so his career as a

her excitement for learning. She decided she

Saint began. His academic experiences began

wanted to pass that same kind of passion on

to shape him, and through athletics, he learned

to younger generations by empowering them to learn and to enjoy the learning process.


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

hard, and to work to be the best they can be.”


Scholarship Day a Success The Leach College of Nursing hosts a special scholarship day each year to allow students the opportunity to share the results of their work throughout the year. LCON Scholarship Day 2017 took place May 4 in the Turk Studio Theater at USF. During the event, DNP and MSN students presented their research to partners, guests and the community.

LCON students and faculty gather in front of their research presentation boards at LCON’s Scholarship Day in May.


STUDE N T N URSE S AS S OCI ATI ON DON ATE S $ 1,0 00 TO H ERO Student Nicole Walshon

On May 1, USF’s Student Nurses

was one of six Silver Cross

Association (SNA) presented

Hospital employees to

the Heroin Epidemic Relief

receive a $500 Silver Cross

Organization (HERO) with a

Foundation scholarship.

check for $1,000. Students raised

Walshon works as a CNA on

funds through a spring blood

the hospital’s 4:2 patient

drive, a clothing sale, and a sale

care unit.

of LCON lanyards, badge pulls and decals.

Student Lana Laschober’s

abstract, “A Life-or-Death

assistant professor and SNA

Said Kate Weigel, LCON

Situation: The Right to Die

faculty advisor, “This is a

vs. Right to Live Debate”

wonderful demonstration of

has been accepted for

LCON’s community involvement,

presentation at the biennial

and evidence that the college

convention of Sigma Theta

and its students actively live out

Tau, International. Laschober

USF’s four values of compassion, service, integrity and respect. SNA fully supports HERO in

was a May graduate of the

its continued efforts to combat the heroin epidemic in our community.”

BSN program.

Left to right: Dr. Carol Wilson, dean of USF’s Leach College of Nursing; Caitlyn Coneset, SNA vice president; Crystal Conteras, SNA president; John Roberts, HERO president; Lauren Vandelinde, SNA fundraising rep; Kate Weigel, LCON assistant professor and SNA faculty advisor; and Dr. Deb Peterson, LCON professor and associate dean.

SNA also received the Student Government Association’s 2017 Vinciguerra Award,

presented annually to the USF club or organization that 1) fulfilled all club requirements as outlined in the Student Government Association Constitution; 2) exhibited the values of respect, integrity, compassion and service in mission and in other club-related activities; 3) actively portrayed a strong community in club and among other students on campus, and 4) has become a great model of the USF community.

A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017



David Ross, Chicago Cubs catcher, speaks at 2017 Brown & Gold David Ross, a catcher for the 2016 World Series

Dodgers (2002–04), Pittsburgh Pirates (2005),

champion Chicago Cubs, was the featured

San Diego Padres (2005), Cincinnati Reds

speaker at University of St. Francis’ 40th annual

(2006–08), Boston Red Sox (2008, 2013–14),

Brown & Gold Night in January. $40,000

Atlanta Braves (2009–12) and Chicago

was raised.

Cubs (2015–16). He was a member of two

World Series champion teams, beginning with

Nine-hundred people packed the Pat

Sullivan Center to hear emcee Scott Slocum,

the Boston Red Sox in 2013.

from Joliet’s WJOL Radio, speak with Ross

about his 15-year Major League Baseball career.

professional sports personalities featured at the

Ross hit 10 home runs in 67 games for the

Brown & Gold event, including Cubs executive

Ross joins an impressive list of Chicago

Cubs last season. He batted .400 in the World

vice-president/general manager Jed Hoyer

Series, including a key home run against

(2016), Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster (2014),

the Cleveland Indians in game seven. He also

Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox (2013),

homered in the decisive fourth game of

Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl XX quarterback

the National League Divisional Series against the

Jim McMahon (2012), Denis Savard of

San Francisco Giants.

the Chicago Blackhawks (2011), Fergie Jenkins

of the Cubs (2008) and Chicago Bears’

Since his rookie campaign in 2002, Ross

played for seven teams: the Los Angeles

Mike Ditka (1982, 2007) and Dick Butkus (1980).

FIGH T IN G S A IN T S RO U N D U P In only its fourth year as a varsity

In women’s track & field, Jenna

of the Meet. Coach Jeff Chiapello

Women’s Basketball finished in

program, the USF women’s

Moody earned Female Track

was named the Midwest Region

the Final Four and Charnelle Reed

bowling team captured the 2017

Athlete of the Year and won the

Men’s Assistant Coach of the

was named 1st Team All-American.

NAIA National Invitational

400m indoor national champion-

Year for U.S. Track and Field and

Women’s Coach Sam Quigley

championship in April. Freshman

ship. She is USF’s first track and

Cross Country Coaches

Smith was named CCAC Coach of

Abby Ragsdale was a key figure in

field individual national champion,

Association 2017.

the Year.

the title drive winning the National

among other wins. USF’s softball team, ranked as

The USF Fighting Saints athletics

Association’s Rookie of the Year

The combined men’s cross

high as No. 11 in the nation this

app, developed by alumnus Nick

Award and gaining honorable

country and track & field program

season, captured its first confer-

Bond ‘15, is the official app of the

mention All-American accolades.

has pulled off the trifecta this year.

ence regular-season title since

USF athletic depart-

Beginning this past fall with

2001 and its first-ever league

ment. Features include

its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic

tournament championship this

having access to the

Conference (CCAC) men’s

spring. This year’s team was led

latest sports news

cross country title, the Fighting

by CCAC Player of the Year

from around campus,

Saints followed that up with

Morghan Dieringer, Freshman of

up-to-date roster

their first-ever indoor and outdoor

the Year Kayla Garcia and Coach

information, Pat

track & field conference champi-

of the Year Amanda Jensen.

Sullivan Center gym

Collegiate Bowling Coaches

schedules, sporting

onships this past spring to sweep the league titles this year.

Volleyball player Leah Alles

At the outdoor championships,

was named an All-American and

Kyle Mitchell was recognized as

the Region Libero of the Year.

the Outstanding Track Performer 12

Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

event schedules and a live stats scoreboard and a fan rewards program called The Boneyard.



Pakistani Student Enjoys Studying at USF through Global UGRAD-Pakistan Program

Day of Service in April

The University of St. Francis was pleased to welcome “Abdul,” an international student from Pakistan, to campus in the spring semester as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan). Through semester-long programs of study, the program works to build the capacity of diverse

The university community participated in its annual Day of Service just prior to Easter on Holy Thursday. Volunteers could choose from four worksites—Our Lady of Angels, Helping Hands Food Pantry, the Theodore Marsh Forest Preserve in Joliet and a plarn-making gathering (plarn is a unique kind of “yarn” made out of plastic shopping bags, used to make mats for the homeless). Nearly 100 employees and students participated in the event and enjoyed living out the university’s core Franciscan values of respect, service, integrity and compassion.

young leaders from underserved populations across Pakistan. U.S.-based training and opportunities for practical experience in the students’ desired professional fields enables them to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities—building stability through cross-cultural understanding.

Abdul, a chemistry major, has been grateful for this unique leadership

experience. So far, he has observed that “American people are very kind and loving people. Everyone I have met here is very nice and helpful.”

In addition to his studies, Abdul experienced American culture

firsthand while participating in community service projects alongside other USF students. The interaction with not only community members, but also other students, helped Abdul develop a more well-rounded perception of American culture. Hopefully he will share this understanding with friends and family when he returns home to Pakistan. His plan is to work in rural communities to promote literacy and education.

“This experience has made great changes in my personality and

confidence level. I have also sharpened my leadership skills,” says Abdul.

This partnership was made possible through USF’s International

Programs Office (IPO). USF is currently home to approximately 70 international students from 18 countries. The IPO handles international student services, study abroad, international recruitment assistance and the English Language for Academic Purposes (ELAP) program.

Employees, students and friends of the International Programs Office were in attendance to support Abdul and his involvement in the Global UGRAD-Pakistan program.

Top: Deb Bacharz and Gina Korczak help to clean the chapel at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home. Bottom: Dr. Carol Wilson and Lynnann Murphy make plastic “plarn” from shopping bags.

A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017



60th Annual Caritas Scholarship Ball

The 2017 Caritas Scholarship Ball in January raised over $330,000, including $95,000 in sponsorships thanks to Gold Sponsor: Wintrust Commercial Banking; Silver Sponsors: an anonymous alumna, Mr. and Mrs. LaVerne Brown, Carlson Construction; and Bronze Sponsors: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Jay and Lori Bergman, Fifth Third Bank, Hollywood Casino and Bob and Pat Wheeler. Additional scholarship dollars were secured through the paddle raise, which netted almost $140,000. In addition, over $19,000 was raised in the silent auction and over $42,000 in the live auction. Finally, the event would not have been possible without the leadership and support of the Caritas committee, led by Tom and Michele Vana. Photos can be viewed at Caritas 2018 has been scheduled for January 27.

Left: Members of the 2017 Caritas Committee gather for a photo before this year’s event. Right: Sr. Rosemary Fonck, OSF and Sr. Juanita Ujcik, OSF of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate were in attendance to support the university.

LIFELO N G ED U CAT O R A N D JO L I E T RE S I D EN T E STAB LI SHE S JAME S R. S E F CI K E N DOWE D S CHOL AR SH IP Through a $25,000 gift, donor James Sefcik

appointed the chief examiner for the Will

has established the James R. Sefcik Endowed

County Regional Office of Education.

Scholarship at the University of St. Francis (USF).

Sefcik chose St. Francis because the mission of

in Catholic education. I feel that there are

the university aligns closely with his personal

many pitfalls in society that can trap a young

educational philosophy.

person and Catholic education provides

them the structure and background they need

Sefcik, born and raised in Joliet, is a

“In my heart, I believe totally and completely

graduate of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Grade

to avoid those pitfalls and lead a successful life,”

School, Joliet Catholic High School, Joliet

said Sefcik.

Junior College, Lewis University and George

Williams College. Later in his career, Sefcik

scholarship annually, but it is Sefcik’s wish

came to St. Francis and enrolled in the Chemical

that the endowment will continue to grow and

Dependency Certificate program. He taught

allow $1,000 awards to be presented. “I want

science in numerous schools throughout

to see students benefit from this scholarship as

his career—at the pinnacle of which he was

much as possible,” he said.


Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

Currently, two students will receive a $500

Donor James Sefcik recently met with Dr. Arvid Johnson, president of USF, to discuss the establishment of his scholarship at the university.


New USF Trustee Reminisces About Time as St. Francis Scholar-Athlete The University of St. Francis recently

welcomed Mike Brennan ’81 as a new

Inc., which was owned by Spear, Leeds & Kellogg (SLK). SLK was then

member of the USF Board of Trustees.

purchased by Goldman Sachs in 2000. Brennan stayed through all the

Brennan received his Bachelor

After leaving St. Francis, Brennan got a job at First Options of Chicago,

transitions, became a vice president for the company, and recently retired

of Business Administration from St. Francis.

after 35 years of loyal service. He noted that even though he worked

He transferred in as a sophomore student

in a high pressure field, he was lucky to find a group of colleagues that

and commuted until the second semester

reminded him of the people he knew at St. Francis. “We had each

of his junior year, when he moved into the

other’s backs and mentored each other. My boss was exceptional. I always

dorms. He started learning from energetic

equated that environment to USF, and felt lucky to be a part of it.”

instructors like Sr. Rose Marie Surwilo, who “got a 20-year-old to like

philosophy,” Brennan joked. The next year, Brennan made the basketball

the campaign to name the basketball court after him. They were also

team, playing for legendary coach Pat Sullivan.

key participants in the university’s campaign to re-name the rec center as

the “Pat Sullivan Center.” Brennan and Kenny remain great friends today,

His best mates (and teammates) quickly became Pat Quigley and Ron

When Quigley passed away in 1993, Brennan and Kenny spearheaded

Kenny, both class of ’81. Quigley was the one who first encouraged him

united in their loyalty to and passion for education and the university.

to try out for basketball and introduced him to Sullivan. Little did Brennan

know that Sullivan would soon become such an influential figure in his life.

in Arizona, where they hope to spend the winter months. They have three

sons—the oldest attended University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.;

“Sully reminded us that nobody would ever ask what our scoring

average was, they’d only be interested in our GPA. He made me focus on

In February, after retiring, Brennan and his wife purchased a condo

the second attended Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.; and the youngest

academics and life after graduation. When I started looking for work,

is currently attending Texas Christian in Fort Worth, Texas.

he’d call people in the financial industry trying to get me an interview.

At times, I’d be sitting there for the call and he’d be saying such

enjoying life with his family, he offers some words of wisdom to

complimentary things that I didn’t realize he was talking about me!

current Saints.

As Brennan’s focus now turns away from work and more towards

Even though it sounded like he was talking to an old friend, I eventually

realized that Pat had never met some of the people he called on

but it doesn’t have to be all academics, every second of every day.

my behalf. Once I started working, he’d call me about a St. Francis

The university has so much to offer, both in and out of the classroom.

student for the very same reason. With Sully, it wasn’t just about

Take advantage of it,” advised Brennan. “When it came time for me

basketball—it was more than that. Coach Sullivan wanted everyone to

to graduate, I had a friend that was so excited to leave—I couldn’t

graduate and enjoy a successful and happy life,” said Brennan.

understand it. ‘Are you nuts?’ I asked. I really enjoyed my experience at

St. Francis and didn’t want it to end.”

Distinguished Alumni Award Nominations Being Sought

Student Alumni Mentoring (SAM) Mentors Wanted

Do you know, or are you, a USF alumnus/a with outstanding

The Alumni & Family Relations Office is currently accepting applica-

professional and personal successes and/or involvement in civic,

tions for alumni mentors. Mentors are paired with students with

cultural or charitable activities? Consider nominating a worthy

similar career goals for the academic year in a guided, professional

alum candidate! Nominations due by July 31. Learn more or

program. SAM provides alumni with a great reason to stay engaged

nominate at

with their alma mater while helping current students reach their

“I hope you enjoy your college years. Your grades are important,


A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017



Playing Field and Cheer Mat Lessons Give Alumni Leadership Skills Necessary for Success Mike Mravle ’97

Former Fighting

outstanding and growing business, and interact

best effort! Also, one of the things I loved about

Saints soccer

with all kinds of stakeholders including

going to USF was the focus on Christian and

player Mike

franchisees, board members, shareholders, and

Franciscan values. I encourage you to keep God

Mravle ’97

bankers. One great thing about my job is that

at the center of your life, and through Him

obtained his B.A.

every day is different,” says Mravle.

you will find happiness and salvation.”

in Accounting

and Mathematics

collegiate experience, but also helped him to

Mravle’s favorite sport is soccer but he likes

from USF, and

learn the importance of hard work, preparation

watching football and his favorite Chicago

his degree has served him well. Mravle, who was

and adversity. He feels the lessons of leadership,

team is the Bears, with the Cubs coming in at a

recently named CFO of Wingstop Restaurants,

teamwork and accountability that were learned

close second.

Inc., loves his job and knows exactly what kind

through sports have remained applicable in all

of determination it took to climb to the top.

areas of his life—including his job.

One of the things that helped Mravle

“I get to manage great people, work in an

one of the best times of your life. Give your

Playing soccer not only enhanced his

Lexi (Herrera) Schladenhauffen ’00 Lexi (Herrera)

Though he hasn’t lived in the Chicago area

develop his leadership skills was sports. Mravle’s

since 2006, Mravle remains involved at USF


father introduced him and his older brother,

from afar as an alumni mentor—most recently

’00, a four-year

Tony ’95, to the game of soccer when they were

giving guidance to Sebastian Thurner ’14, who is


very young. Once they reached college, the

currently working on his graduate degree at

cheerleader at

brothers got the opportunity to play on the

USF. Thurner actually traveled to Dallas to do an

USF, has

same college team at USF, led by coach Mario

internship with Mravle, who for obvious reasons

channeled her

Dukovac. Dukovac encouraged his players to be

was recently named “Mentor of the Year” within

“Saints spirit” to

leaders and to build enduring friendships.

the student-alumni mentoring program.

Mravle fondly remembers the team’s annual

He also keeps the Saints Connection alive

climb the corporate ladder. As Senior Vice President of

fall trip—traveling to Florida twice and also

through maintaining friendships with old friends

Marketing and Design at 1888 Mills,

visiting Boston and San Diego. He credits

from St. Francis—his two roomates, Eric Futterer

Schladenhauffen oversees the product

Dukovac for organizing the schedule so the

‘98 and Jim Hoff ’97—and great friends like

development, design and marketing for her

team could play some competitive games but

Jason Swicionis ’98, DJ Birdsell Holmgren ’98,

company—a global manufacturer of home

also enjoy some free time. “They were great

Shane ’97 and Shawn ’97 Green, Jason Blust ’98,

and commercial textiles.

times when we could bond and have some fun.”

Brian Sharp ’97 and Mike Kovas ’97.”

kitchen towels and window and shower

Perhaps more a friend than a coach, Mravle

However, Mravle would have never gotten

1888 Mills makes bath towels, bedding,

feels Dukovac always cared about his players

where he is today without the love and support

curtains. The company’s products can be found

beyond athletic participation. He feels Dukovac

of his family. He and his wife, Amy, will celebrate

in just about every retail store that carries

helped him to get prepared for his career.

their 15th wedding anniversary this year and

home décor, as well as many hotels around the

The two of them still keep in touch today—

have three beautiful children. Mia (11) is in sixth

world. It makes for an interesting work day.

20 years later.

grade and plays the flute and softball. Andrew

(9) is in third grade, plays soccer, and just started

color palette for Target, reviewing a new

sports due to getting old and having too

playing flag football. Finally, Luke (4) will be

bedding design with one of the designers,

many injuries,” he still plays sports with his kids

head to kindergarten next year.

negotiating a licensing deal with a celebrity like

and tries to coach their teams when possible.

Jessica Simpson or Chip and Joanna from

He also enjoys both cycling and mountain

Saints who are playing sports and trying to

HGTV, or planning a social media blitz. It truly

biking, which are his chosen forms of exercise

maintain good grades: “It is challenging to focus

is a job that changes daily or even by the

these days.

on both but try to enjoy it. You will look back on

hour. I wear many hats and have to be ready for

your time in college and realize that it was

anything,” says Shladenhauffen.


Though Mravle has “given up competitive

In his career, Mravle is content. Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

Fatherly advice from Mravle to current

“In one day I could be working on a new


Keith Schomig ’13 President-Elect

Caroline Portlock ’02, ’04


Past President

Shawn Walsh ’00, ’15 Vice President for Constitution

Jason Whiteside, J.D., ’00 Vice President for Programs

Erika Martinez ’11, ’15 Vice President for Scholarships

Karen Ciarlette ’94, ’97 Vice President for Young Alumni & Student Engagement

Candice Quinerly ’10 Secretary

Wihelmine Vidmar ’68 Sisters of St. Francis Representative

Sr. Lois Prebil, OSF ’61 Alumni & Family Relations Office Administrator(s)

Aubrey Knight ’04, ’07, Director Student Representative(s)

Ava O’Connor


Matthew Bisek ’10 Patricia Bracken ’73, ’86, ’94 Judith M. Bulat ’72 Danielle Ciechanski ’08 Sharon Dewart ’78

Schladenhauffen feels athletics has helped her

build confidence in her career and in life. She also feels

“Rebecca used to call us ‘little warriors,’” she said.

“We had a saying my first year on Spiritline: ‘Be strong,

Elmer F. Eddy ’80 Jacqueline A. Edmonson ’63, ’88, ’94 Laura Eggert ’09, ’13

that being part of a team was one of the most

little warrior.’ I use that phrase to this day with my son,

Ysenia Gallegos ’13

important things she learned through participating in

family, friends and associates.”

H. Richard Hagen, J.D., ’90

athletics—something she will always carry with her

Linda M. Kilroy ’72

through life.

doing yoga, and she is even learning to surf. She sees

a big connection between cheer and yoga, noting

“Not just being a good teammate, but learning the

Today, Schladenhauffen keeps in shape by running,

Eric Lawhead ’07 Lynley Louzensky ’10 Frances H. Naal ’58

dynamics of how a team works, who is going to play

that balance, flexibility, strength and mindfulness are

what roles and the best way to motivate the group.

all important in both practices. She hopes to become a

And as you gain experience, you learn how to lead.

yoga instructor and master surfing someday when

Alan Randolph ’07

Attitude is everything. As a cheerleader, the goal was

her work life isn’t so busy.

Corey Richardson ’09

to be positive, upbeat, outgoing and passionate.

Susan Rogina ’94, ’99

I really think having those characteristics helped me

Perhaps appropriate advice to our current Saints:

“Find balance. Make sure your attention is being

Jan Novotny ’67 L. Scott Pekol ’99

Anne-Christine Tompkins ’14

accomplish my career goals. The way you approach

given to the right areas when they need it. Sometimes

life, work, successes and failures says a lot about your

it’s your speed or strength that needs focus and


character. I look for these characteristics in candidates

sometimes it’s your studies. Don’t ignore the area that

when hiring as well. If I have two candidates for a job

needs work, but be sure that one is not dominating

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

and one has more experience and the other is less

the other.”

experienced but has amazing energy, I will go with less experience and great energy every time,” she admits.

Schladenhauffen loves watching her six-year-old son,

Sawyer, play football. Her favorite Chicago team is,

Schladenhauffen’s coach, Rebecca (Stonitsch)

Zalewski ’91 instilled a “toughness” in the team that

and will always be, the Cubbies! She has been married

Schladenhauffen still really appreciates. According to

for almost 15 years and she and her husband also

Schladenhauffen, cheerleading can be hard on

share their Frisco, Texas home with a Peekapoo named

a body, and training for competitions is exhausting.

Wrigley and an English Bulldog named Soldier. A Year of Compassion / 2016–2017

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



500 Wilcox Street Joliet, Illinois 60435

The University of St. Francis was founded and is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.

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. See calendar of upcoming events inside. For information about all other university events and activities: 800-735-7500 •


Engaging Mind & Spirit  

The official magazine of University of St. Francis 2016-2017, Issue 3

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