2019–2020 Issue 1
2018–19 Annual Report USF Diversity & Augustus Tolton
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A Welcoming Community of Learners
While certainly aspirational—and not without their challenges—the goals by which we’ll measure USF’s progress against these objectives are achievable, build upon and extend the progress of the prior strategic
Dear Members of the USF Family,
plan, and are supported by strategies that have been embraced in supporting plans across the university
Welcome to the latest issue of Engaging Mind and
community. While the new plan explicitly recognizes
Spirit—our University of St. Francis magazine and one
that the university is celebrating its centennial, its
way that we strive to remain connected to you:
focus remains on ensuring alignment with our
our alumni, our friends, our parents, our employees
mission—the aim of a “Franciscan Future” passed onto
and our supporters…in short, our USF family.
us by our founding and sponsoring congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. And, a big
This is an exciting time for the University of St.
part of that future is continuing “Our Sisters’” example
Francis as we prepare to celebrate our centennial
and tradition of meeting the needs of the communities
year in 2020. Part of that preparation has been the
we serve. (Much more on this in a future issue.)
completion of the university’s strategic plan for
Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. President University of St. Francis
2014-19—“Preparing for Our Second Century:
As we begin the implementation of the new strategic
Learning to Lead and Love in the Real World”—
plan, USF is well-positioned to enter its second
and the creation (and approval by the Board at its
century of service and leadership—and you’ll see much
June 2019 meeting) of the strategic plan for
evidence of this in the pages that follow…with honors
2020-24—“Building a Franciscan Future...Together,
and recognitions being garnered by our alumni, our
in Our Second Century!”—with the following five
students, our faculty and staff members, and the
1. Leverage our Catholic heritage and Franciscan
More importantly, you’ll see lots of evidence that we
identity (of a values-oriented institutional culture) to
are making real our mission of being “a welcoming
create an intentionally diverse and welcoming
community of learners”—a community that is
community—so that our students lead, succeed, and
strengthened by a diversity of perspectives and
graduate in order to positively contribute to their
members, and a community committed to working
2. Enhance the reputation and awareness of USF as a leading Catholic, Franciscan university with excellent
So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy
student educational outcomes to increase the size of
this latest update about what’s happening at your USF.
the student population.
And, as always, please know that I continue to
3. Increase the quality of USF’s academic and co-curricular programs—so that graduates of USF are prepared to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 4. Strengthen the financial capacity and long-term sustainability of USF through strategic investments, securing major grants and donations, and effective stewardship of resources. 5. Cultivate an environment that attracts, develops, and retains faculty, staff, and administrators, who embrace a culture of continuous improvement along with USF’s mission and values.
consider myself incredibly blessed to serve as your president and promise to continue to work hard to earn the trust that you placed in me almost seven years ago. Peace and all good things,
IN TH IS IS S U E
Engaging Mind & Spirit is published three times each academic year by USF’s Institutional Advancement and Marketing Services offices. Feedback is welcomed and can be sent to Julie Futterer ’93, ’18, director of marketing services and magazine editor, at 815-740-3826 or email@example.com. To join in our efforts to reduce waste, contact Penny Basso at 815-740-3748 or firstname.lastname@example.org if this magazine includes an incorrect address for the intended recipient, if you prefer to receive it electronically, or if you would like to be removed from the mailing list.
FEAT U R E S TO RY
USF Embraces Diversity Through Fr. Augustus Tolton
2 U S F N EW S
25 CO L L EG E O F B U SINE SS &
3 C A L EN DA R O F EVEN TS
10 2 01 8 – 1 9 H O N O R RO L L
26 CO L L EG E O F E DU CATION
O F D O N O R S
27 LEACH COLLEGE OF NURSING
22 T H R EE OA K S S O CIET Y
28 THE FIG HTING SAINTS
23 FAITH, MISSION & DIVERSIT Y
29 ALUM N I N EWS
24 CO L L EG E O F
Content Jessica Conte Dave DiLorenzo Julie Futterer Allison Heard Glen Gummess David Laketa Kelly Larson Michelle Madura Wilsando Seegers Kristin Short Timothy Weldon Debra Workman Other USF employees, students & friends Imagery Cherry Hill Studios Jessica Conte Dave DiLorenzo Don Bersano Photography Nicole Salow Lucy Sanchez Other USF employees, students & friends
32 DO N O R N EWS
A R T S & S C I EN C ES
Design Julie Futterer Nicole Salow ON THE COVER The USF Office of Institutional Diversity and the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate’s Anti-Racism Committee joined forces to sponsor a summer trip for the USF community to the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
Printing & Distribution St. Croix Press, Inc. | stcroixpress.com
Our Mission As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation,
University of St. Francis 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435 800-735-7500 | stfrancis.edu
compassion, and peace-making. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.
Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
USF N EWS
USF Earns Nursing Grant Worth Close to $1.5 Million The University of St. Francis was awarded a grant through the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services’ Advanced Nursing Education
experiences and traineeships for Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Workforce (ANEW) program. The grant will provide $1,452,947 in funding and will bring USF and the Will County Community Health Center
and Psychiatric Health Nurse Practitioner students; •
recruit, train, develop, support, and evaluate preceptors as program
integrate the HRSA Health Resource Connector into the USF
(WCCHC) together to offer high quality clinical experiences for USF Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
partners to enhance community-based clinical nursing education;
(PMHNP) students. It will also place USF graduates at WCCHC or in
curriculum to connect graduates with employment opportunities
another rural or undeserved community within Illinois.
“Thanks to this funding, the University of St. Francis and the Will
in rural and underserved areas; •
increase awareness of telehealth programs and facilitate integration of
establish mechanisms to track and network USF nurse practitioner
County Community Health Center will partner to expand the availability of primary care and mental health services for residents of Will County
organize and implement longitudinal immersive clinical training
telehealth into FNP and PMHNP curricula and WCCHC services, and;
while enhancing educational opportunities for our students,” said USF
graduates after graduation to verify compliance with the program
President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. “We are the Joliet region’s university,
mandates and support continued success in providing care to
and this is a prime example of how government entities and higher
education institutions can collaborate to benefit the citizens of the communities they serve.”
joining the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant, worth close to $1
The university’s plans for the grant, whose principal investigator was
This is the third federal grant USF has received in the past 12 months,
Susan Thompson, DNP, ACNS-BC, assistant professor and assistant dean
million, and the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and
of graduate nursing for USF’s Leach College of Nursing, include six main
Mathematics (S-STEM) Program Grant, worth nearly $650,000—both
through the National Science Foundation. Collectively, the three grants
will provide approximately $3.15 million in funding.
establish an innovative academic-clinical partnership with WCCHC;
USF RA N K S H IG H, O N C E AG A I N, W I T H CO LLE GE CON SE N S US AN D COLLE GE S OF DI S TI N CTIO N As it nears its centennial in 2020,
Universities” (#191 in the U.S.) lists.
with the depth and breadth of
USF continues to be recognized as
knowledge that they will need to
a top university by various
by College Consensus as one of
be ready to hit the ground running,
respected national college ranking
the top universities in both Illinois
both today and in the future.
systems. The university recently
and the Midwest,” said USF
Recognition such as this serves as
learned that it has been named as a
President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D.
validation of the efforts of our
2019 “Best Regional University–
“As a welcoming community of
students, our faculty, and the entire
Midwest” by College Consensus,
learners, USF is pleased that its
ranking seventh in the Midwest and
commitment to student success
second in Illinois on the list.
continues to be recognized. The
named a 2019-20 College of
College Consensus also named
university’s commitment to prepare
Distinction for the eighth consecu-
USF in its 2019 “Best Catholic
women and men—our students—
tive year, recognized for its nursing,
Colleges and Universities” (#24 in
to contribute to the world through
business, education and career
the U.S. and #1 in Illinois), “Best
service and leadership is realized
development programs in addition
Small Colleges” (#54 in the U.S.)
through challenging academic
to the Catholic college distinction.
and overall “Best Colleges and
programs that provide our students
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
“USF was honored to be named
USF was also proud to be
HIG H ER ED U CAT I O N G RO U P I N C LU D I N G USF N AME D A FIN A LIS T IN S U S TA I N A BI L I T Y AWA RD S P ROGRAM
Discover USF Day (Admissions)
Ambassador Day (Institutional Advancement)
Transfer, Adult Degree Completion & Graduate Open House (Admissions)
enhakē concert (Music at Moser)
Fall Play: “Rehearsal for Death” (Music at Moser)
Business Alumni Network Meeting (Alumni)
Freshman Campus Visit Day (Admissions)
Transfer Registration (Admissions)
Student Alumni Mentoring Induction Dinner (Alumni)
The Swinging Saints Swing in the Holidays (Must at Moser)
28th Annual St. Francis Writers’ Conference (Department of English
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
colleges and three universities in the Will County region, including the University of St. Francis, has been named a finalist for the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Awards for the group’s Growing Sustainable Communities Together Through Leadership in Higher Education project. Finalists’ entries will be judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.
“To be named a finalist for the AASHE award is a tremendous honor.
It highlights the work of the South Metropolitan Regional Higher Education Consortium’s Sustainability Committee, leading the way to work together with our communities to be equipped to solve sustainability challenges now and for the future,” said Janine Hicks, USF sustainability coordinator.
Above: The USF Sustainability Committee has developed butterfly gardens at different locations on campus.
As part of a program under
the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium, member regions were established to engage their communities in becoming more sustainable. Principle objectives include: •
Fostering cross-community collaboration
Providing a vehicle for building upon existing initiatives
Supporting innovative and effective projects
Facilitating the sharing of resources
Promoting successes, build excitement, and catalyze collaboration
ECO N O M ICS M A JO R N OW BE I N G O F F E RE D AT US F If you know a student interested in how and why people make the choices they make in business, then economics is the degree to suggest. As a combination of psychology, finance, business, and government, this new degree from USF is incredibly useful and can lead to many interesting career choices. Economics is a social science and students who graduate with an econ degree are in high demand. It provides individuals with a useful skill set and background for careers in government policy, business, or finance. Other studies include microeconomics, macroeconomics, advanced problem solving, quantitative reasoning, data analysis and modeling, quantitative analysis and communication, decision-making and research. You will also have opportunities for internships with profes-
C ALE N DA R O F E V E N TS
(AASHE) announced recently that a group consisting of three community
Alumni Board Committee Brainstorm Meeting (Alumni)
and Foreign Languages) 21
In Recital: USF Music Students (Music at Moser)
23-24 Joliet Symphony Orchestra: “A Classic Concert” (Music at Moser) 26
Campus Lighting and Blessing of the Creche (Ministry) In Recital: USF Music Students (Music at Moser)
Giving Tuesday: A 24-hour Global Day of Giving (Institutional Advancement)
USF Society Event: Christmas at the Motherhouse (Institutional Advancement)
Christmas at the Motherhouse: “One Child – A Centennial Concert of
Breakfast with Santa (Alumni)
Chicago Christmas Trolley Tour (Alumni)
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Premieres” (Music at Moser)
January 2020 1
Happy New Year! USF’s Cenennial Year Begins
Joliet Symphony Orchestra Family Concert (Music at Moser)
Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala (Institutional Advancement)
Freshman Scholarship Competition (Admissions)
In Recital: Rae Myra Hillard, Soprano (Music at Moser)
Discover USF Day (Admissions)
For more detailed information or to confirm any changes that may occur with these scheduled events, visit stfrancis.edu/usf-calendar or see the back cover of this magazine for phone numbers and email addresses to contact specific departments.
sionals in businesses, firms, government, and non-profits. You can learn more and review the curriculum at stfrancis.edu/economics. Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
USF N EWS
J OS EPH T. M A L LO F S U CC E E D S A R T HU R S CHE UB E R AS CHAI R OF USF B OARD OF TRUS TE E S
The University of St. Francis Board of
Trustees named Joseph T. Mallof of
Sarasota, Florida, as its new chairperson.
Mallof joined the USF board in November
Franciscan education. Not only do they believe in the values, but they also
2013 and will now serve a three-year term,
live them. We have developed and implemented board education to
through June 2022, as chair.
define our fiduciary roles and to detail the responsibilities these roles carry
Mallof, retired president and CEO of
Scheuber expressed pride in what the group has accomplished in “The trustees on this board believe in the value of a Catholic,
with them. Board members have been active in fundraising for St. Francis,
World Kitchen, LLC, succeeds Arthur
and we were very successful in our recent capital campaign (to fund the
Scheuber, who is leaving the board after
new LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall on the university’s main
serving for seven years. Scheuber, a USF alumnus, is the director of
campus in Joliet). Campaigns such as that one have allowed us to increase
administrative services for St. Anthony on the Lake Parish in Pewaukee,
scholarships and improve the facilities and resources that are needed
today. Because of these campaigns, we are able to provide state-of-
the-art facilities that provide top-notch education and research
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Art Scheuber
for his years of service to USF,” said Mallof. “As the board’s newly-elected
opportunities for our students and faculty,” he said.
chairperson, I sincerely look forward to the opportunity to continue the
legacy of leadership rooted in Franciscan values that Art and all previous
chairperson. McCarthy, a USF alumna and retired superintendent for Joliet
chairpersons, as well as the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, have
Township High School District 204, will serve a two-year term through
provided for this university, its students and its staff. I am especially excited
June 2021. McCarthy succeeds Thomas Vana, who is leaving the USF
to be the chairperson as we celebrate the university’s centennial in 2020.”
Board of Trustees after serving since 2013.
The board has also elected Cheryl McCarthy, Ed.D., of Joliet, as vice
C EL EB RAT E T H E C E N T E N N I A L W I T H U S F I N 2 0 2 0 Centennial Christmas Concert December 6 & 7 | 7 p.m. St. Joseph Chapel, Motherhouse This Centennial kick-off event will include a special “Christmas at the Motherhouse” performance by the university’s Schola Cantorum, and will feature the debut of an original composition, written especially for the USF Centennial by Dr. Robert Kase, former dean of USF’s College of Arts & Sciences. Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala January 25, 2020 | 6 p.m. Patrick Sullivan Center USF’s annual black tie scholarship gala will return to campus for this one night only and will include gourmet dining, dancing and live music by the Gentlemen of Leisure Band—all for a great cause.
USF Pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy March 6-14, 2020 Travel with other alumni and USF friends to Assisi, hometown of Saints Francis and Clare! Contact Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF, at 815-740-2622 or mimler@ stfrancis.edu to express interest! Mass of Peace Concert Friday, April 24, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. Cathedral of St. Raymond, Joliet A performance including a collection of original musical compositions by Dr. Robert Kase, former dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus. Centennial Convocation August 27, 2020 | 2:45 p.m. Cathedral of St. Raymond, Joliet Opening academic convocation and mass welcoming incoming new students and marking the beginning of the school year.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
CAMPUS H APPENING S Celebration of the Century August 27, 2020 | 4:15 p.m. Centennial Gateway & Quad The Centennial celebration continues with the dedication of the new Centennial Gateway at the corner of Plainfield Road and Wilcox Street and the Centennial Quad at main campus, followed by a picnic and entertainment.
St. Albert Hall was razed in June to make way for the new Centennial Quad.
FOR THE CENTENNIAL ARE BEING PLANNED. TO STAY INFORMED, VISIT OUR WEBSITE: stfrancis.edu/centennial
Charlotte ’74 and Norman Codo gifted USF with their Frankfort, Ill. farm and prairie, to be used by natural science students and faculty.
PRES ID EN T J O H N S O N AWA RD E D HO N O R ARY DOCTORATE BY B RN O U N IVERS IT Y O F T E C HN O LO GY
CARE E R S UCCE S S C ENTER’S MARI B E TH HE ARN RECOG NIZ ED
As part of its 120th
Johnson discussed the
anniversary celebration, the
origins of BUT’s academic
Trustees chairperson Joseph
recognized as an
Brno University of
partnerships with USF and
T. Mallof attended at the
inspiration. It is also
Technology (BUT) in Brno,
Dominican University (where
ceremony and feels that the
an honor to be
Czech Republic, awarded an
Johnson served as a
honor recognizes more than
honorary degree of doctor
professor and dean of the
an academic partnership
honoris causa to University of
School of the Brennan School
between USF and BUT.
obstacles to climb
St. Francis President Arvid C.
Business prior to joining USF)
Johnson, Ph.D., in June.
that have since, collectively,
the moral aspects of a
produced 18 cohorts of MBA
Catholic and Franciscan
Hearn, director of USF’s Career Success Center,
then known as Czech
education that USF provides
was recognized for both as she and four other
and Arvid personifies, which
honorees were presented with the Ignitor Award by
awarded its first doctor
Stepanek notified me that the
fills a need and is valued by
the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) at its
honoris causa. Since then,
Scientific Board of the Brno
BUT and its students. Arvid’s
2019 Summer Soiree.
only 66 other honorary
University of Technology had
acceptance speech, that
degrees have been awarded
approved the proposal of the
reflected on servant
the university’s Career Success Center director,
by the university. Past
Faculty of Business and
leadership and its religious
was one of PWN’s founding members and has
honorees include Serbian-
Management to confer upon
foundation, addressed this
since held a variety of roles within the organization.
American inventor Nikola
me the degree of doctor
Tesla; Edvard Benes, former
honoris causa, I was certainly
courageously,” Mallof said.
Success Center has on both current USF students
president of Czechoslovakia;
honored—and even thrilled.
and USF alumni.
and Vaclav Klaus, former
But, at the same time, I
with the university, he has
president of the Czech
recognized that this proposal
also helped USF establish
employment needs. We are devoted to helping
Republic. Mexico’s Sebastian
was not so much about
students and alumni research potential career
Diaz de la Torre, Ph.D. was
honoring me as celebrating
partnerships with the
options,” she said.
also awarded an honorary
the many years of partnership
University of Finance-
degree of doctor honoris
between BUT and its
Marketing in Ho Chi Minh
award, Hearn looks to the purpose of USF’s Career
causa this year alongside
American partners in the
City and the University of
Success Center and PWN.
Chicagoland area,” Johnson
Economics and Business in
proponents of experiential learning and helping
In 1909, the school—
In his ceremonial address,
“When Rector (Petr)
New USF Board of
It is an honor to be
“I think it also recognizes
During Johnson’s time
Hearn, who has been with USF for five years as
Hearn is proud of the daily impact USF’s Career
“We assist students with their internship and
As for what it means to be honored with this
“In the Career Success Center, we are
students learn about how they can contribute to the world through work and service. I credit my service on the board of PWN as the experiential learning that taught me how to be a better manager and leader. The acceptance speeches of the other recipients resonated with me as they each talked about following their path, igniting their ‘why,’ and living their purpose. My goal is to help as many people as I can to not only hear their calling, but to also make a plan to live it,” Hearn said.
The Career Success Center’s efforts and impact
have garnered national attention after recently being named a 2019-2020 Colleges of Distinction USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor honoris causa by the Brno University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic.
Career Development Office.
Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
rancis and Clare, make
because of his strong connection
commitment to, anti-racism. After
Francis, in which they educate
some room. The University
to the Franciscans—moved deeper
sponsoring a workshop for the
others on the history of racism and
of St. Francis Office of
into the public eye in 2010 when
Sisters and their associates, Sr. Lois
address topics such as overt
Institutional Diversity has
Cardinal Francis George in Chicago
Prebil, OSF, had a sense of what
racism, white privilege and
another special patron
announced a cause for Tolton’s
direction the Sisters needed to go.
who’s been inspiring and guiding
canonization. As Fr. Tolton’s story
Prebil had been working on
the USF community, and he’s
was shared, the university also
anti-racism initiatives with the
institutional diversity and Title IX
getting closer to becoming a saint
pulled him nearer in different ways.
Archdiocese of Chicago since
coordinator at USF, is closely
with every passing day.
1998, and was the perfect person
involved with the Sisters in their
honor society was officially named
to help the Sisters form an
efforts. She communicates
black Catholic priest to be ordained
the ”Augustus Tolton Honor
anti-racism committee. The group
regularly with Prebil, and together,
in the United States, lived from
Society.” The society honors the
now hosts workshops within all of
they have been instrumental in
1854 to 1897. His parents were
spirit of scholarship, leadership, and
the Sisters’ sponsored institutions,
bringing important programs and
both slaves. He and his family
identity for high-achieving African
including the University of St.
activities to the USF campus to
eventually gained freedom in
American students at USF and
Illinois, where he was moved by the
nurtures intellectual ability,
calling to become a priest. It was
promotes leadership development,
the Franciscans who welcomed
fosters knowledge of self, and
him into St. Francis College (now
provides service to the community
Quincy University) in Quincy,
while upholding the university’s
Illinois, to begin his higher education
values of respect, compassion,
when no seminary or religious order
service and integrity.
in the U.S. would accept him
because of his race. With their help,
Francis of Mary Immaculate (USF’s
he was finally able to go to Rome
sponsoring congregation) formally
to study for the priesthood and was
adopted a corporate stance on
ordained in 1886.
anti-racism. Their Justice, Peace
and Integrity of Creation
Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first
Tolton, who has long been
In 2012, USF’s African American
Allison Heard, director of
In 2016, the Sisters of St.
recognized by the USF community
Commission had seen a need to
as an inspirational figure—perhaps
deepen the understanding of, and
Left to right: Sr. Lois Prebil, OSF; Helen Hester-Ross, Joliet Historical Museum; and Allison Heard, director of institutional diversity at USF.
USF Embraces Diversity Through Spirit of Fr. Augustus Tolton 6
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
create a greater awareness for diversity issues. Some USF initiatives include ally training and resources for DREAMer students, anti-racism workshops, a “hot topics” series, FrankChat campus discussions, a multicultural speaker series, a multicultural student graduation reception and the University Success Scholars program, which provides support for first generation students.
Last February, for Black History
Month, Heard helped coordinate a special event at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. There, a documentary about Tolton, produced by USF’s Glen Gummess as part of his doctoral studies at the university, was screened. “From Slavery to Glory” was also later aired on WTTW-Chicago and at the annual Bluestem Festival, which is planned and executed by
Born into the deeply conflicted state of Missouri in the antebellum year of 1854, in the town of Brush Creek—some 171 miles from St. Louis—Fr. Augustus Tolton’s early life was as traumatic as it was insufferable. His father and mother were enslaved. Peter Paul and Martha Jane Tolton had the infant Augustus baptized in St. Peter’s Catholic Church while the wife of the elder Tolton’s master’s wife, Savilla Elliot, served as the attendant godmother. Now, the story of how the Tolton family won their freedom is remarkable in itself. In one reference, Father Tolton was to later tell friends that his father escaped slavery to enlist in the the Union Army while Fr. Tolton’s mother, Martha Jane, fled Missouri with Augustus and his three siblings. With the assistance of sympathetic Union soldiers and police, the Toltons were to cross the Mississippi River into the free state of Illinois.
the Associates of the Sisters of St. Francis. The film received very positive reviews. Among those in attendance at the museum screening was Archdiocese of Chicago’s Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry of Chicago, who has been instrumental in leading the charge for Tolton’s canonization.
Gummess approached the
documentary project as a fact-finding journey on the life of Tolton. He assembled a group to help him, which he affectionately named “The Augustus Tolton Task Force,” including Heard; Andrew Lyke, Sr. Albert Marie Papesh, OSF; Sr. Juanita Ujcik, OSF; Augustus Tolton Honor Society advisors Leia Levy, Deborah Glenn and Alicia McLaughlin; Heather Bigeck, Joliet Area Historical Museum curator of collections, and Helen HesterRoss, the museum’s Board of Directors secretary.
In the Land of Lincoln, Martha Tolton quickly moved to Quincy and, with some of her children, started work at a tobacco company making cigars. In Quincy, Augustus met Father Peter McGirr, an immigrant priest from Northern Ireland. Fr. McGirr gave the young Augustus the opportunity to enroll in St. Peter’s parish school. The priest’s support was not without local contention as, according to one source, there were parishioners who objected to a black student at the parish school. Fr. McGirr remained steadfast in his support for the education of young Augustus. However, even with Fr. McGirr’s loyal backing, an older Augustus Tolton was not allowed to study for the priesthood in his own country. It is here that we find the inviting subtext of Franciscan influence: How does one navigate hate? With love—with its foresight, with its action and subsequent momentum. How does one persevere—through real adversity—with the very laws of an entire country against you
and with the dizzying weight of hateful glares upon you, town after town? Here, one is tempted—and understandably—to see survival as the goal. But greater still was the thriving Fr. Tolton sought and accomplished. Through it all, he, like you, studied and graduated from a Franciscan college (now university) and in the face of prejudice, was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome, Italy in 1886. After everything he had been through, Fr. Augustus would declare: “I felt so strong that I thought no hardship would ever be too great to accept.” Newly ordained, he was given his first mission: return home to Quincy, Illinois. His second mission was answering the call of still greater needs in Chicago. On the South side, at St. Monica’s parish, the first African American priest in our history became noted for his preaching eloquence, in and out of the pulpit. Parishioners, locals, and witnesses marveled at his dedication to all aspects of parish life. No wonder then that he would grow St. Monica’s to some 600 parishioners as it became a storied part of Chicago’s Catholic history. Referred to as ‘inexhaustible’ or, simply tireless, Fr. Tolton was to die during an oppressive July heatwave in 1897 at the too-young age of 43. His example was and continues to be a never-ending gift.
EXCERPT FROM A BLACK HISTORY MONTH LECTURE ABOUT FR. AUGUSTUS TOLTON, “LOVE’S LEGACY,” PRESENTED BY USF THEOLOGY PROFESSOR DR. TIM WELDON. Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
‘microagressions’ still persist.”
America, from pre-Columbian
considering that the university’s
Gummess’ production work was a
The result of their input and
times to the present, through the
centennial celebration will also be
piece that tells the story of Tolton’s
viewing the documentary, validated
lens of gender and other
coming soon in 2020. After nearly
life in four phases: being born into
Gummess’ work and deemed it
hierarchies of difference. Students
nine years of research, the cause
slavery in Hannibal, Missouri in
accurate. Perry came back to USF
explore the ways ethnicity, class,
for Fr. Tolton’s canonization is
1854 and his family’s escape to
shortly after to attend a public
race, age and sexual orientation
progressing. Earlier this year, the
Quincy, Illinois, in 1863; his
lecture by Timothy Weldon, Ph.D.,
have both divided and united
Vatican’s historical commission
adolescent life in Quincy where he
professor and chairperson of USF’s
approved the accuracy of the
repeatedly attempted to enter the
Department of Philosophy and
“positio,” or the paper summarizing
seminary but was rejected; his six
Theology, who gave a rich and
continues to find new ways to
Tolton’s life and works. In June,
years in Rome, where he was finally
informative presentation about
create awareness on campus. This
Pope Francis moved the cause
able to successfully enter the
Tolton’s life called “Love’s Legacy.”
summer, she worked with the
forward by declaring Tolton
seminary through the support of
[Excerpt appears on previous page.]
Anti-Racism Committee to sponsor
“venerable”—recognizing that he
the Franciscans and become
Other internal supporters
a USF community trip to the Illinois
lived a life of heroic virtue. With
ordained in 1886, and; his return to
include faculty members like Dr.
Holocaust Museum and Education
one confirmed miracle, he will be
Quincy and his ministry there until
Deb Workman, who helps to lead
Center in Skokie, Illinois. All were
declared “blessed,” and if a second
his death in 1897.
the university’s Gen Ed Committee
invited to visit a special exhibition
miracle can be attributed to him
and who is working to establish
titled “Purchased Lives: The
and approved by the Vatican,
some dots between Tolton and USF
academic programming that
American Slave Trade from 1808 to
Tolton will be canonized a saint.
through his research. “I know that
provides students with cultural and
1865.” The exhibition illustrated the
service and leadership are core to
social competencies that are
pain and injustice of the American
as he was—a talented person who
the Franciscan tradition, and that’s
needed to navigate our world.
domestic slave trade, illuminating
had a big dream to be a priest, and
what Fr. Tolton was all about
Workman, a USF history professor,
just how widespread the practice of
an African American person with
through his entire life,” said
proposed and pushed forward a
slavery was in American life, as well
his roots in slavery. We see what
Gummess. “His legacy will live on
“History of Women and Diversity in
as its impact on enslaved families
role racism played in his life and in
through our youth, including the
the United States” course last year.
across the country, while
the lives of those around him. Our
USF students who were interviewed
The powerful, semester-long class
showcasing original artifacts, slave
purpose is not only to further the
for the documentary. We hear in
has a syllabus that includes
narratives, and oral histories.
canonization cause, but to see his
their own words what being black
portraits of important women in
During Black History Month in
life from the racial point of view.
means in today’s society. Anyone
history including Madam C.J.
USF’s centennial year 2020, Heard
Who supported him? Who made
who is not black, and especially
Walker, Anna Howard Shaw, Alice
hopes to work with the Sisters of St.
his life difficult? How did he deal
anyone who is white, may have
Paul, Ida B. Wells, Ellen Ochoa and
Francis to host a live drama from St.
with so much against him? What
their eyes opened by the fact that
Connie Chung. It surveys the
Luke Productions called “Tolton:
does his life say to young people
biases and so-called
historical experiences of women in
From Slave to Priest.” Sr. Prebil, with
today? What does it say to all of us
input from Heard and the Anti-
as we support or block the dreams
Racism Commitee, is seeking
of others, particularly when race is
funding. She submitted a grant
part of the issue?”
proposal to the Daniel Rudd Fund,
established by the National Black
be taking a closer look at Fr. Tolton,
Catholic Congress, which supports
too, and appreciating all the same
organizations that promote the
things that the university and
Gospel and leadership among
members of the Anti-Racism
African American Catholics. If
received, the grant will cover half of
the production’s cost, while the
is a beautiful example for our times,
Sisters of St. Francis have pledged
and any time, of spiritual triumph
to pay the other half.
through adversity. His life stands as
profound inspiration for all.”
Gummess was able to connect
Auxiliary Bishop Perry, after
Students and employees of USF, Sisters of St. Francis congregation members and members of the greater USF community traveled to the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie in July.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
Outside the classroom, Heard
The timing of that event may
be more perfect than expected,
Said Sr. Prebil, “We look at him
Perhaps the whole world will
Said Weldon, “Augustus Tolton
Meet Dr. Ebere Ume, New Nursing Dean Dr. Ebere Ume’s contagious smile
hopes to keep building her already
says it all when it comes to the
strong and supportive team.
future of USF’s nursing program.
Ume, a trained nurse with a focus
grant funding to add new and
in psychiatric/mental health and
innovative programming in the
geriatrics, was recently named
college. Some initiatives she’s
dean of the Cecily & John Leach
anticipating are expanded
College of Nursing (LCON). She
relationships with USF’s community
comes enthusiastically to the USF
college partners, so students can
from the Mervyn M. Dymally
obtain their ADN from their
School of Nursing at Charles R.
community college, while earning
Drew University of Medicine and
a BSN at University of St. Francis.
Science in Los Angeles, California.
USF’s mission and values were
Illinois with more BSN-educated
what “sold” Ume on making the
nurses, which are hugely lacking
long distance transition.
right now,” she said.
“The mission of USF was in
She also hopes to secure more
“That would help provide
Finally, Ume, from Nigeria,
alignment with my personal
Africa, hopes to enhance LCON’s
mission to serve the underserved.
curricula with more international
Nursing and teaching is a call to
and global health programming.
ministry, and every day, I want to
work with students and faculty to
heading to Uganda, Africa, with the
support people who may not have
Diocese of Joliet’s Office of Human
advocates,” she said.
Dignity to explore relationships
with a Catholic-based hospital and
Ume says she has started out
“Over fall break, we will be
jumping. She walked into this
nursing school there. We want to
academic year as preparations for
expose our students and faculty to
LCON’s spring re-accreditation
global health experiences. Perhaps
with the Commission on Collegiate
as early as next year, we will be
Nursing Education (CCNE) were
able to do a faculty-supervised
getting underway. She says her
students’ clinical mission trip as
primary goal right now is to ensure
part of our clinical courses, in both
that the college has a successful
our undergraduate and graduate
Her second goal is to be sure
In the meantime, Ume plans to
all nursing courses continue to be
keep her bright and sunny L.A.
staffed with great faculty “in order
attitude, even though she admits
to give students the quality
she’s slightly fearing her first
education they came here for.”
Midwestern winter. Welcome to
Ume already feels LCON is staffed
USF, Dr. Ume!
by a committed, dedicated faculty members who are highly experienced in their fields, so she
At right: Dr. Ebere Ume, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., PHN, new dean of the Leach College of Nursing.
Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
The generous support of the following donors in 2018-19 enabled the University of St. Francis to advance its mission, vision and goals. Every attempt was made to ensure the accuracy of this listing. If there is an error or omission, please contact USFâ€™s Office of Institutional Advancement at 815-740-3748. The University of St. Francis financials will be published in later fall, 2019.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
FAI T H, M I SSI ON & DIVER SIT Y
Nearly 600 students, faculty, staff, trustees, and Sisters of St. Francis attended the 2019 Convocation in August. The event began with a walking procession that started in front of Tower Hall and traveled down Wilcox Street, then Douglas Street, then Raynor Avenue to the nearby St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral. After Mass and a keynote address by congregation president, Sr. Dolores Zemont, OSF, a cookout celebration took place back on the Quad at USFâ€™s Main Campus.
Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019â€“2020
CO LLEG E O F A RT S & S CI E N CE S
College of Arts & Sciences News & Notes SURE Program Sees Another
plants or animals introduced to a
tolerance will be understood. This
Individuals and the university get
new ecosystem where it has
knowledge can be implemented in
points, which add up to determine
As part of USF’s Summer
significant negative economic or
order to help reduce and remove
who is the most “outdoorsy” school
ecological impacts on the new
invasive species without invasive or
in the country.
Experience (SURE) program this
harmful measures. In effect, native
past summer, junior biology major
species can begin to flourish again.
engaged your departments,
Emily Siegler, under the guidance
centered upon the hypothesis that
It is not a small task, but one that
coworkers, and community
of Bill Bromer, Ph.D., studied the
increasing the levels of dissolved
Siegler’s summer research will be
connections to join the USF team,”
effects of varying carbon dioxide
CO2 in a body of water will induce
instrumental in helping accomplish.
said professor Jerome Gabriel of
concentrations on the movement
movement in F. rusticus (rusty
of invasive species of crayfish.
crayfish) and P. clarkii away from
Though crayfish are native to many
the source of CO2.
AORE National Campus
areas, oftentimes they enter an
Challenge Coming Soon
environment as an invasive species,
experiment for the SURE program,
USF, led by the Recreation Club and
Spreading Joy Through Music
which is a non-native species of
Siegler said, “I was interested in this
the Department of Recreation and
In October, lllinois-ACDA and the
project because in
Sport Management, will again
USF Department of Music and
past semesters I have
compete in a nationwide
Performing Arts will proudly
competition called the Association
present JoyFest, an event for music
research for class
of Outdoor Recreation and
directors and singers in which
assignments and I
Education (AORE) Campus
gospel, spirituals, and traditional
really enjoyed it! I
Challenge. It’s an opportunity for
music will be used as a vehicle for
especially liked being
students, faculty, staff,
bridging cultures, communities,
able to go out into
administrators, alumni and friends
and approaches to meaningful
the field and conduct
to get active outdoors... including
musicmaking. Leading the charge
walking or hiking, running, cycling,
will be USF director of choral
and/or more adventurous activities
activities, Paul Laprade (also
collected from this
like kayaking and rock climbing.
affiliated with the Illinois-ACDA),
research, a better
Participants log their activity by
and Donald Dumpson, founding
posting photos of their adventures
conductor of the Westminster
online through the AORE app.
Choir College Jubilee Singers.
Siegler’s research projects was
Explaining why she chose this
From the data
“We would love it if you
USF’s Recreation and Sport Management program.
NEW U S F PRO GR A MMI N G T O CO M BI N E ME N TAL HE ALTH AN D SUB S TAN CE AB US E TRAI N I N G The Illinois Certification Board (ICB) has
Abuse Counseling program coordinator. “Mental
the treatment of dually diagnosed substance
authorized USF to offer a program designed to
illness and substance use both occur on a
use and mental health disorders is a specialty
combine both mental health and substance
continuum of severity in people. We see a varied
field requiring performance by competent
abuse training and education in its Substance
population with ranges from slight or moderate
professionals, Dunbar explained.
Abuse Counseling program. The authorization
issues to truly severe and profound. Mental
places USF in select company among its Illinois
illness and substance use both occur on a
Abuse Counseling degree program at USF, and
peers, as only a handful of the state’s colleges
continuum of severity, and can vary
complete the CADC credential, will have fulfilled
and universities offer a similar program.
independently and concurrently across
the education requirements for the
individuals, within individuals, across time and
Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health
are often diagnosed together in patients,” said
Disorder Professional Level 1 Registration
Lawrence Dunbar, USF professor and Substance
(CODP-1) as credentialed by ICB.
“Substance use and mental health disorders
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
ICB and USF both endorse the concept that
Students that complete the Substance
CO LLEG E O F BU S I N E S S & H E A LT H A D M I N I S T R AT ION
COBHA Receives Funding for “Spiritual Rebuilding” Thanks to a generous gift from Patricia ’67 and Robert Wheeler, COBHA
projects. COBHA will hire a
will deeper integrate the Catholic, Franciscan faith to prepare students not
student worker or provide a
only for successful careers, but also for purposeful lives through three key
faculty member with a stipend
principles: academics, service and faith. While the university’s core values
to act as such a coordinator,
of respect, integrity, service and compassion are integrated in all parts of
serving as the conduit
life at USF, the College of Business and Health Administration (COBHA) is
between the university and
working to hone in on these values to create a premier, spiritually-focused
experience for students.
classes will put a greater
emphasis on service learning,
“Students struggle on a daily basis with academics and life. Many
students are searching for meaning beyond a degree or paycheck.
which offers students
COBHA can be more than a degree-granting institution. It can point to a
worthwhile experiences that
direction for spiritual growth,” explained Orlando Griego, Ph.D., dean of
include applying what they
learn in the classroom to a
community setting. This
The first focus of the program is to incorporate the Franciscan values
more deeply into the curriculum. While theology and ethics courses are
provides greater learning and
already part of COBHA’s core curriculum, faculty will be encouraged to
an enhanced sense of civic
integrate Franciscan intellectual traditions into the classroom and receive
responsibility while simultaneously benefiting the community.
training opportunities to help seamlessly incorporate these principles.
Additionally, COBHA’s undergraduate and graduate programs plan to use
focus of the college, visual faith reminders will be incorporated
more spiritually-loaded verbiage to brand and differentiate COBHA as a
throughout the college’s decor. Students in the Interior Design program at
Franciscan college. For example, the Management bachelor’s and master’s
nearby Joliet Junior College will put their skills to the test in a contest for
programs may be marketed as “Values-Based Management” with the
the best design for COBHA’s campus spaces.
intent not only to emphasize its commitment to spiritual growth, but also
attract potential students who may be searching for a program that
use part of the funds to implement a Servant Leader Program. These
prepares them to be servant leaders in their workplaces.
Servant Leaders will be tasked with spreading a faith-based message to
fellow students through activities and events, and referring students to
“Our foundation enthusiastically supports the innovative curriculum
To remind students, employees and visitors about the Franciscan
Finally, for students who want to deepen their faith, COBHA plans to
design that Dr. Griego plans,” said Patricia Wheeler, trustee for both USF
University Ministry. Servant Leaders will be given a small stipend, and will
and the Wheeler Family Foundation. “We believe that greater integration of
be required to attend an off-site retreat with a focus on prayer, reflection,
Catholic, Franciscan values into the core curricula of COBHA is needed to
peer mentoring, faith development, Franciscan and Catholic values, and
prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s businesses and
members would serve as advisors, called “Faculty Shepherds.” The faculty
Connecting work, worship and service is the second focus of the
While this would be a student-led group, a small group of faculty
program. While COBHA students and faculty currently serve through clubs
will be trained in faith integration, Franciscan and Catholic intellectual
and university-wide programs, there is no dedicated individual to assist
teachings, mentoring, counseling, and guidance.
faculty and students with acquiring and implementing service-learning
With detailed plans already in place, COBHA faculty and staff are
prepared to implement the initiative this fall. Griego is enthusiastic about what the initiative may help achieve for the college.
DR . B O N N IE COV E L L I HO N O RE D
Dr. Bonnie Covelli, COBHA instructor, was honored
will serve as a role model for other Catholic universities. It will serve as a
with the Meritorious Service Award from the
center for spiritual awakening and development. It will serve as distinctive
Association for Continuing Higher Education. The
from other business colleges,” Griego said.
award recognizes individuals for their outstanding
leadership, performance, and service to continuing
Matthew 5:16, ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that
higher education at their own institution and within
they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in
the association for a minimum of five years.
heaven,’” he concluded.
“The potential is immense. It will impact lives for decades to come. It
“Ultimately, the goal is to follow the path of Christ who said in
Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
CO LLEG E O F E D U CAT I O N
High School Dual Credit Course Offered by COE While current projections indicate that America’s
student population will increase by three million
during his senior year at Joliet West.
students over the next decade, teacher
education programs have seen a 35 percent
huge role in why I came to USF! I have
drop in enrollment since 2009. (American
committed to major in secondary education
Association for Employment in Education,
based on my field experience placement during
2018). Considering that teachers who are well
the course. Not to mention, the instructor being
prepared to teach are more likely to stay in the
warm and welcoming to us all.” Elkins shared.
classroom, this information is concerning.
attract and prepare exceptional educators who
Where to find the next generation of
Sophomore Robert Elkins took the course “Exploring the Teaching Profession played a
The ultimate goal of the partnership is to
excellent teachers? It turns out they are sitting in
will return to teach in the community.
high school classrooms right now. More than
60% of teachers currently teach within 20 miles
because they have lived in Joliet. They know the
of where they attended high school (Ingersoll &
neighborhoods and the families,” said
Merrill, 2012) and communities that “grow their
Schroeder. “We are hoping that we are growing
own” teachers have found a direct way to target
this potential teaching force. The University of
St. Francis is proud to be a part of one of those
University of St. Francis will expand its reach for
teaching talent this academic year. Dr. Janel
Grzetich, Director of Curriculum and
During the 2017-18 academic year, the
“We want them to come back to Joliet
With a successful program in place, the
College of Education partnered with Joliet
Instruction, expressed her eagerness to begin
Township High School District 204 to introduce
the course at Minooka Community High School.
the dual-credit course, Exploring the Teaching
Profession. The unique learning experience
students an opportunity to learn more about the
offers students planning to pursue teaching in
teaching profession in a way that allows for
college, as well as those who are interested to
them to work one-on-one with a mentor
learn more about teaching as a career, a
teacher. Being able to share the complex facets
meaningful look at the vocation. To date, nearly
of the profession is an excellent way for high
50 high school students have completed the
school students to understand how teachers
course and several are now pursuing degrees in
build relationships and utilize various
education at the University of St. Francis.
instructional strategies. This dual-credit course
will hopefully encourage students
The course curriculum focuses on
“We are extremely excited to offer senior
professional teaching standards and provides
to enter the profession and grow
the opportunity to observe students and
Illinois’ pool of excellent
teachers in K-8 classrooms within area schools.
educators,” said Grzetich.
“The key piece of this course is the field
Along with Minooka, Alan B.
experience, because although the course was
Shepard (Palos Heights), Dwight
built around a text book, you can’t explore
D. Eisenhower (Blue Island),
teaching from a text book,” says Amy Schroeder,
Harold L. Richards (Oak Lawn),
Instructor and Reading Program Coordinator at
Joliet Catholic Academy,
the University of St. Francis. “So much of what
Lockport East, Plainfield Central,
we do in the class is built on the conversations
Plainfield East, Plainfield North,
we have when students come back from the
and Plainfield South will all offer
field. We discuss what they saw and what they
the dual-credit course to students
in the upcoming academic year.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
“As a high school senior, I had an idea of what I wanted to major in, but it was not until I took Exploring the Teacher Profession that I really made a decision. I fell in love with the class and teaching as a whole; with hands-on experience in the classroom and personalized instruction, the class was the perfect transition into college and the teaching profession.” -Amanda Long
LEAC H CO L L EG E O F N U RS I N G
LCON Explores Mission Partnership with Joliet Diocese LCON administrators, faculty, staff
director of mission formation, and
both institutions. There is an
Uganda include two general
and students are excited about a
Bruce Carlson, mission coordinator,
increasing interest in global health,
hospitals, one pediatric hospital,
new collaboration with the Diocese
on an exploratory trip to Mbarara,
and dwindling availability of clinical
and 21 clinics.
of Joliet’s Office for Human Dignity,
Uganda in October. There,
practice sites in the U.S.—
through the diocese’s Partnership
discussion and initial planning for
particularly for specialties such as
of both institutions would
in Mission initiative, regarding a
future medical mission trips will
obstetrics and pediatrics for
collaborate on best practice
partnership that will ultimately
pre-licensure and post-licensure
teaching strategies, evidenced-
result in medical mission trips for
FNP nursing students. The
based practice guidelines, research
nursing students and faculty.
administrators and faculty at the
opportunity for conducting and
and scholastic activities, which are
Uganda Martyrs College of
participating in global medical
foundation for current nursing
and Dr. Deborah Terrell, assistant
Midwifery and General Nursing, and
mission trips designed to provide
practice. It is anticipated that this
professor and director of USF’s
possibly the Ugandan Ministers for
intensive learning, clinical practice,
partnership will provide rich clinical
Family and Psychiatric Mental
Education and Health. They will
and cultural immersion
opportunities as well as excellent
Health Nurse Practitioner
work to identify best structures for
opportunities for undergraduate/
teaching and learning experiences
programs, will join diocese
ongoing mission trips that will be
graduate students and faculty, is
employees Sr. Nancy Schramm,
beneficial to students and faculty at
priceless. Possible clinical sites in
Dr. Ebere Ume, dean of LCON,
Ume and Terrell will meet with
In addition, the nursing faculty
NUR S IN G O U T S ID E T HE BOX When Jennifer Marasco decided to become a nurse she knew she
wanted to make a difference in the life of others. As a proud graduate of
about nutrition and wanting to teach them something about business and
the first merger class between St Joseph’s College of Nursing and the
creating opportunities for themselves using their passion as the catalyst,
University of St Francis in 1997, she has made her rounds in the field. She
Marasco made her next move—her best one to date, in her opinion. She
has worked in children’s medical surgical (med-surg), respiratory, private
decided to combine her passions of service, health, children, and business
duty and hospice care. However, school nursing is where she found her
together… and the Salubrious Stop was born.
“salubrious” means healthy). It is a full-service mobile kitchen that prides
As a school nurse in Joliet Grade School District 86, Marasco realized
After spending time brainstorming on ways to help kids learn more
The Salubrious Stop is a food truck that lives up to its name (the word
there was much more depth she could bring to the position. In this role,
itself on selling savory dishes with names that leave your taste buds
she was not only a medical and emotional caregiver, but she relished in
yearning, such as “Vibrantly Vital Vegetables” (a colorful medley of
being a mentor, a teacher and a role model for students. And as a role
peppers, carrots, and broccoli), “Captivating Capacious Chicken,”
model, she tries to practice what
“Thrillingly Trim Tenderloin” and “Savory Salubrious Shrimp.”
she preaches by constantly
being active and participating in
agave and coconut milk: “Benevolent Blueberry,” “Beneficial Banana,”
Shaun T fitness challenges.
“Phenomenal Pineapple” and “Salubrious Strawberry.”
It was after grueling
Equally creative in taste and name are her smoothie drinks, made with
The truck has been licensed to operate since 2018 and can be seen at
workouts and during
varioius events around Joliet and throughout Dupage, Kendall, and Kane
conversations with other
counties, happily offering the community health at a reasonable price and
participants that she began to
staying true to its creed: “Happily Serving the Community Health as
notice a growing pattern: many
people seemed to struggle with
ways to find healthy food
of St. Francis nurse Jennifer Marasco has proven that when passion and
options that tasted great, offered
drive meet creativity, great things can happen.
It is not every day that people get to fulfill their dreams, but University
real nutritional value, and were sold at reasonable prices.
Story by Wilsando Seegars, USF doctoral student. Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
THE F I G HT I N G S A I N T S
School Record: 20 Teams Claim NAIA Scholar Team Status Another banner academic season for USF’s athletic program culminated with a school-record 20 of a possible 22 teams earning National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Scholar Team status for 2018-19. The 20 teams gaining the distinction tied for fourth most among the nearly 450 institutions competing at the NAIA level.
“This is an incredible accomplishment,” stated USF director of
athletics Dave Laketa. “It speaks so highly of the emphasis that both our coaches and student-athletes place on academics. Our student-athletes work tremendously hard both in the classroom and at their playing venues.”
To be eligible, a team must have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, at
the completion of the academic year. USF’s top overall program was women’s golf, with a 3.52 GPA over the past two semesters, while basketball boasted the highest GPA on the men’s side at 3.27. Other teams recognized included baseball (3.10), women’s basketball (3.40), men’s bowling (3.03), women’s bowling (3.42), competitive cheer
S AI N TS ROUN DUP Ten Teams Advance to
Bruno, Galason Gain Academic
Nationals in 2018-19,
All-America Status Spring sport student-athletes Eva Bruno and Ashley Galason were recognized for their academic and athletic accomplishments in track & field and softball, respectively, when they were honored as Google Cloud Academic All-Americans in the college division. Bruno, a senior English major, was a part of three relay teams that garnered NAIA All-America status this past winter and spring en route to first-team honors. Galason, meanwhile, was a second-team pick in her sport after setting personal bests in hitting (.450), doubles (16), runs batted in (45) and slugging percentage (.750). She graduated with a degree in
Leading to Top-3o Finish For the eighth year in a row, the University of St. Francis athletic department posted a top-40 finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup NAIA Standings. The Saints totaled 454.5 points to register a 28th-place finish out of nearly 450 NAIA institutions. This is USF’s fourth-best showing in recent memory (10th in 2016-17, 24th in 2014-15, 25th in 2017-18). Ten of St. Francis’ 22 athletic teams made appearances at NAIA National Championship events in 2018-19. Those teams included men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s bowling, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field and men’s and women’s cross country. Known as “The Crowning Achievement in College Athletics,” the Learfield Directors’ Cup gives points based on performance at NAIA championship events.
Finance this past May.
(3.04), competitive dance (3.410), men’s cross country (3.21), women’s cross country (3.21) and men’s golf (3.14). Also earning scholar status
Men’s & Women’s Cross Country
were women’s indoor track & field (3.25), men’s outdoor track & field
Ranked in Preseason Polls USF’s men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to be regarded as among the NAIA’s best as the Saints ranked third in the NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll and fifth in the women’s poll. St. Francis, under eighth-year head coach Jeff Barker, placed third (men) and eighth (women) at last fall’s NAIA National Championships with the women’s finish being a program best. USF’s men’s team has placed among the top 10 at the NAIA National Championships all seven years under Barker, including five top-5 showings.
(3.07), women’s outdoor track & field (3.31), men’s soccer (3.18), women’s soccer (3.35), softball (3.27), men’s tennis (3.21), women’s tennis (3.35) and women’s volleyball (3.46). Including this past spring semester, USF student-athletes boast a combined 3.16 cumulative GPA.
The team honors come on top of numerous individual academic
accolades earned by more than 430 student-athletes throughout the year. Among them were two Google Cloud Academic All-Americans, 50 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, 73 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic selections and 19 Mid-States Football Association All-Academic picks.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
50 Years of St. Francis Athletics While the entire university celebrates its 100th anniversary over the next 12 months, the athletic department will prepare to turn 50 at the start of the 2021-22 academic year. In honor of the milestone, the athletic department is seeking at least one volunteer to represent each sport and to serve on the anniversary committee. If interested, please reach out to Dave Laketa, director of athletics (email@example.com) or Brian Michalak, head baseball coach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
STAYIN G CO NNEC TED A LU MN I N E W S ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President Caroline Portlock ’02, ’04 President-Elect Wilhelmine M. Vidmar ‘68
HOM ECO M IN G & RE U N I O N N E W S The University of St. Francis community will be celebrating Homecoming on October 5, JUST as this magazine is arriving in homes, so we’re cheering on our students and alumni with a roaring “Go, Fighting Saints!”
Annual Homecoming and
Past President Keith Schomig ’13, ’17 Vice President for Constitution Jason Whiteside, J.D., ’00 Vice President for Programs
reunion festivities include a
Erika Martinez ’11, ’15, ‘18
tailgate and football game (live
Vice President for Scholarships Karen Ciarlette ’94, ’97
stats, audio and video for games can be found on the football
Vice President for Young Alumni & Student Engagement Anne-Christine Day ’14, ’16
team’s schedule webpage), alumni meetings, athletic alumni
games, an awards ceremony and
Danielle Ciechanski ‘08
a young alumni happy hour. The classes of 2014, 2009, 2004,
Sisters of St. Francis Representative Sr. Lois Prebil, OSF ’61
1999, 1994, 1989, 1984, 1979
1974, 1969 and previous years
Joseph Ferrallo ’85, ’06, ’07
are this year’s special honorees.
Student Representatives Liz Badalamenti
Rodolfo Perez Haley Rednour
have been sent to alumni about planned activities. Contact the
Alumni & Family Relations Office Aubrey Knight ’04, ’07, Director Ashleigh Dillon ’13, ’15, Assistant Director
Alumni & Family Relations Office at email@example.com or 877-811-ALUM to update your records if you discover you’re not
GENERAL BOARD MEMBERS
on USF’s mailing list. Also,
Matthew Bisek ’10
post-weekend photos will be made available— check the website!
Patricia Bracken ’73, ’86, ’94 Sharon Dewart ’78 Elmer F. Eddy ’80 Jacqueline A. Edmonson ’63, ’88, ’94 Jeremy Grachan ‘17 H. Richard Hagen, CPA, J.D. ’90 Linda M. Kilroy ’72 Frances H. Naal ’58 Jan Novotny ’67 L. Scott Pekol ’99 Candice Quinerly ‘10 Alan Randolph ’07 Susan Rogina ’94, ’99 Shawn Walsh ’00, ’15
STAY IN TOUCH
Send news and class notes to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-811-ALUM.
Above: Alumni participated in the sold-out, 14th annual Mystery Progressive Dinner, with stops at three different breweries for beer tasting and dinner. Learn about more alumni events at stfrancis.edu/alumni/events.
To read about what other alumni and old friends have been doing, visit stfrancis.edu/alumni/successstories.
Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
STAYIN G CO NNEC TED A LU MN I N E W S
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients Named The University of St. Francis, through the USF Alumni & Family Relations Office, have honored five outstanding alumni with annual Distinguished Alumni Awards as part of the university’s Homecoming & Reunion October festivities. One alumna/us from each of the university’s four colleges is honored each year, highlighting the diverse disciplines of a comprehensive university, and the Presidential Alumni Award is selected by the university’s president.
PRESIDENTIAL ALUMNI AWARD
COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES ALUMNI AWARD
• B.A. English Retired Educator
• BSW Social Work MTSS Behavior Specialist & Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Thorton Township High School
Margaret Benoit grew up on a farm and had wonderful, hard-working parents. They were kind and honest, and they taught her, by example, to give her time and talent. When she started school, she went to a one-room country school for three years, and then to St. Rose School in Wilmington, Illinois. She attended high school at St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy), and went on to receive her B.A. from the College of St. Francis, where she majored in English and minored in music and education. Benoit feels she had many excellent and dedicated teachers, both in high school and college, who inspired her to join the teaching profession. After graduating from St. Francis, Benoit was told by Sr. Vivian Whitehead, OSF, that there was a need for teachers at a Franciscan school in a very poor area of Fairfield, Alabama. Benoit heeded the call and spent her first teaching year as a second grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Fairfield. It was a special experience for her. After one year in Alabama, Benoit returned to Joliet, where she taught elementary grades (grades 1-5) for over 30 years in District 86. She also enjoyed directing Christmas programs and spring musical events. Now retired, Benoit enjoys volunteering at Our Lady of Angels retirement home, where she assists in the gift shop and presents “Music with Margaret” every Monday. She and her husband, Bill, have one daughter, Beth, who lives and works in Chicago. After Bill also retired from teaching, he began working at USF in the College of Education so both Bill and Margaret have very meaningful connections with USF. She is very proud to be a graduate of USF, and is most humbled to be the recipient of the Presidential Alumni Award.
Julius C. Patterson was born and raised in Harvey, IL. His love for his community and the people that influenced him is evident in his everyday life. As a child, Patterson was heavily involved in sports and music, and went on to receive an athletic scholarship to play baseball at the University of St Francis. Patterson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2013 and continued his education at Illinois State University, obtaining a master’s degree in 2016. Upon finishing school, Julius worked as a counselor for a non-profit organization that catered to Chicago’s inner-city youth. Patterson co-founded the South Suburban Defenders, a non-profit youth baseball team, which focuses on developing children’s skills and promoting the importance of giving back to the community. In 2018, Patterson completed his professional educator’s license and is currently on staff as the school social worker and head varsity baseball coach at Thornton High School in Harvey, Illinois. Patterson’ deep love for his community and desire to give back led him into recently campaigning for the aldermanic position in Harvey’s 5th Ward. He is both creative and a scholar, and in his spare time, he dabbles in fashion design and produces music. Julius C. Patterson is very much a “hometown hero”— his heart is in Harvey and he lives his life for his people.
MARGARET (KENNEDY) BENOIT ‘69
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
JULIUS PATTERSON ‘13
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS & HEALTH ADMINISTRATION ALUMNI AWARD
CAROLINE PORTLOCK ’02, ‘04 • B.S. Professional Arts • MBA Business Administration Director of the Workforce Investment Board of Will County Prior to joining the Workforce Investment Board, Caroline Portlock was the workforce development director at Joliet Junior College and managed WIOA grants in Will and Grundy counties, totaling over $2 million. Portlock participates in the Regional Planning Council for Workforce Boards and is a member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and the Northern Illinois Workforce Coalition. She previously served as the board chair for the Grundy Livingston Kankakee Workforce Board and on the executive committee of the Grundy Economic Development Council. She is the past president/CEO of the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, responsible for the overall marketing, planning and directing operations for the business services organization. She was also the HR manager for a local casino, where her experience included recruiting, training and retaining employees with emphasis on employee relations and internal communications. Portlock received her PHR certification through the Society of Human Resource Management in 2002, completed her MBA at USF in 2004 and received her IOM certification for non-profit organizational management through the U.S. Chamber in 2008. She’s currently president of the USF Alumni Board and is member of the USF Board of Trustees, Kiwanis Club of Joliet, Illinois Workforce Partners, and Advisory Council for the United Way of Grundy County. In 2015, Portlock finished her first marathon at Walt Disney World, and in 2016, she earned her school black belt in combat hapkido. She is married to local attorney Vince G. Portlock, and spends time chasing her dog, Rooby.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION ALUMNI AWARD
LEACH COLLEGE OF NURSING ALUMNI AWARD
• B.A. Elementary Education • M.S. Teaching & Learning Bilingual Teacher at Joliet School District 86
• B.S. Health Arts • M.S. Health Administration • MSN Nursing Administration Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America - Chicago
PATRICIA ARIAS ’08, ‘11
Patty Arias’s life could best be described as a big roller coaster. She has lived through as many ups and downs, twists and turns, and highs and lows as anyone could imagine. Still, she would not trade a moment of it for anything. Arias was born in the bustling, large Mexican city of Moroleón, Guanajuato, where she lived until her parents brought to the United States when she was nine years old. She quickly became acculturated to the vastly different U.S. customs, but eight years later, she found herself to be a newly single mom who had dropped out of high school. Thankfully, when she was 20 years old, with encouragement and motivation from her husband, Oscar, she finally got her GED. This accomplishment left her with a great desire to return to school and further her education. With this new determination and mindset, she enrolled in courses at Joliet Junior College. After obtaining her associate’s degree, she transferred to the University of St. Francis, where her love for education grew immensely. The university’s commitment and dedication to upholding its core values, including ensuring student success, is what made Arias believe that she was finally on the path to a future she never imagined would be possible. She received her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and several other endorsements from the University of St. Francis. She’s now both a student and a teacher at the university, taking classes and also teaching some courses as an adjunct professor. She’s also a mother to five children and grandmother to one beautiful, baby girl who is one of Arias’s greatest inspirations. 25 years ago, if you had told her that this would be her life, she wouldn’t have believed it. But it was strength, love and education that got her where she is today: a shining member of the University of St. Francis family.
LISA PITTMAN ’00, ’10, ‘13
Lisa Pittman MHA, MSN, R.N., NEA-BC, OCN is a nurse executive and assistant vice president of patient care services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) Chicago. She has 24 years of hospital-based nursing with progressive leadership experience. After graduating from Parkland College in Champaign in 1994, Pittman obtained three University of St. Francis degrees— a B.S. in Health Arts in 2000, an M.S. in Healthcare Administration in 2010, and an M.S. in Nursing in 2013. In addition, Lisa holds two national certifications, both as an oncology certified nurse and an executive advanced-board certified nurse.
Pittman is a proven leader with experience in transformational culture change. She has a passion for assisting organizations to exceed expected benchmarks in quality, satisfaction and efficiency by ensuring evidence-based, patient-centered, cost effective, and compassionate care. Key priorities in her leadership roles have been leading initiatives, achieving results and advancing professional nursing practice. Under her leadership, CTCA Chicago received the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award three times and continues to perform in the top decile for patient satisfaction. Some of her work was highlighted in Press Ganey’s August 2018 issue of Industry Edge. Pittman has presented nationally on several topics including “Improving Symptom Related Patient Outcomes: Oncologic Surgical Site Infection Bundle,” “CVAD No Blood Return Algorithm and its Impact on Patient Safety,” “Leveraging Patient Complaints to New Heights” and “Patient Centered Care Next Stop: Bedside Shift Report.” Lisa has two daughters: Danielle, also a practicing nurse who resides in Dallas, Texas, and Casey, a high school senior who’s active in speech and theatre.
Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship ARE YOU THE SON, DAUGHTER, HUSBAND, WIFE, BROTHER, SISTER, OR GRANDCHILD OF A USF ALUMNUS/NA AND INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A UNIVERSIT Y OF ST. FRANCIS UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE? ARE YOU AN ALUMNUS/NA WHO WANTS TO CARRY FORWARD THE LEGACY OF A SAINTS EDUCATION IN YOUR FAMILY? THERE’S AN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION LEGACY SCHOL ARSHIP UP TO $1,000 WAITING JUST FOR YOU! APPLICANTS MUST APPLY FOR AN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, WITH NO PRIOR DEGREES EARNED FROM USF.
For More Information: stfrancis.edu/alumni/alumni-student-discounts Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020
G IVIN G BAC K DO NO R NEWS
C EN T EN N IA L CA MPA I G N I S U N D E RWAY We are over halfway to our Centennial Campaign goal of raising funds for student scholarships, the Quad, and the new Centennial Gateway— a “northern entrance” to campus that will include a statue of Saint Francis, a stone patio area and a donor recognition wall. With a donation of $5,000 to the Centennial Gateway, your name or family name will be included on the wall.
To that end, we have reduced the minimum donation required to
endow a scholarship from $50,000 to $25,000 to raise awareness and encourage support of new endowed scholarships that will create a legacy at USF. Creating a scholarship in a loved one’s name or in your family name ensures that your love for USF continues into the future.
On Giving Tuesday, which will take place on December 3, 2019, you
have the opportunity to support the Centennial Campaign. All donations on Giving Tuesday will support the Centennial Scholarship Fund. Please use #GivingTuesdayUSF, #EveryGiftMatters and #USF100 on social media and watch the conversation unfold!
A rendering of the new Centennial Quad design.
C ARITA S CEN T EN N I A L S C HO L A R S HI P G A L A: J OIN U S FO R T H E G A L A O F T HE C E N T U RY! The Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala will return to the Pat Sullivan Center for this one night only as part of a yearlong series of events in celebration of USF’s centennial. Chairs Gloria & Edward Dollinger and Diane & Bill Habiger, along with hosts Arvid & Anne Johnson, look forward to welcoming you to campus for a wonderful evening of gourmet dining, dancing and live music by the Gentlemen of Leisure Band—all for a great cause.
Since its inception over 60 years ago, Caritas has raised more than
$5 million for USF student scholarships, and this special Centennial Scholarship Gala will surely be one of the most memorable ever.
Members of the committee include Gloria & Edward Dollinger and
Diane* and Bill Habiger (event chairs); Dorothy Brown; Kim & Michael* Bryant; Corey* & Steve Carbery; Michelle* & Terry* Cottrell; Jeanette D’Arcy*; Sue & Terry D’Arcy; Sr. Sharon Frederick, OSF*; Ani Johnson; Suzanne* & Gordy Marsh; Marianne Murphy*; Frances Naal*; Stephanie* & Tyler Qualio; Ann* & Steve* Randich; Candice* & Steven Rosen; Willie* & Jay Vidmar; and Tracey* & Dan* Vogen. (*alumni)
For more information about Caritas, to purchase a ticket or to become a sponsor, visit stfrancis.edu/caritas.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine
Left to right: Bill & Diane Habiger and Gloria & Edward Dollinger will serve as 2020 Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala event chairs.
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500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
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 • email@example.com stfrancis.edu/visit OR /openhouse Alumni event information or registration 877-811-ALUM • firstname.lastname@example.org stfrancis.edu/alumni/events Athletics information or game schedules 815-740-3464 • gofightingsaints.com Donor and community events and giving information 815-740-3748 • stfrancis.edu/giving USF Art Gallery exhibitions 815-740-3787 • email@example.com Fall Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. See calendar of upcoming events inside. For information about all other university events and activities: 800-735-7500 • stfrancis.edu
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