Page 1

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

top-level objectives:

university itself.

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

communities.

“together!”

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 jfutterer@stfrancis.edu. To join in our efforts to reduce waste, contact Penny Basso at 815-740-3748 or pbasso@stfrancis.edu 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.

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FEAT U R E S TO RY

USF Embraces Diversity Through Fr. Augustus Tolton

6

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

HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

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

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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.

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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

1


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

underserved areas.

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

objectives:

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

USF community.”

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

2

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

October 2019

14

Discover USF Day (Admissions)

15

Ambassador Day (Institutional Advancement)

23

Transfer, Adult Degree Completion & Graduate Open House (Admissions)

25

enhakē concert (Music at Moser)

8-10

Fall Play: “Rehearsal for Death” (Music at Moser)

9

Business Alumni Network Meeting (Alumni)

10

Freshman Campus Visit Day (Admissions)

12

Transfer Registration (Admissions)

14

Student Alumni Mentoring Induction Dinner (Alumni)

15

The Swinging Saints Swing in the Holidays (Must at Moser)

16

28th Annual St. Francis Writers’ Conference (Department of English

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

November

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)

December 3

Giving Tuesday: A 24-hour Global Day of Giving (Institutional Advancement)

5

USF Society Event: Christmas at the Motherhouse (Institutional Advancement)

6-7  

Christmas at the Motherhouse: “One Child – A Centennial Concert of

7

Breakfast with Santa (Alumni)

14

Winter Commencement

20

Chicago Christmas Trolley Tour (Alumni)

25

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Premieres” (Music at Moser)

January 2020 1

Happy New Year! USF’s Cenennial Year Begins

18

Joliet Symphony Orchestra Family Concert (Music at Moser)

25

Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala (Institutional Advancement)

7    

Freshman Scholarship Competition (Admissions)

15

In Recital: Rae Myra Hillard, Soprano (Music at Moser)

17

Discover USF Day (Admissions)

February

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

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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

recent years.

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

Wisconsin.

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.

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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.

ADDITIONAL EVENTS

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

recognized for

honorary degree of doctor

professor and dean of the

an academic partnership

overcoming

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)

extraordinary

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

graduates.

education that USF provides

was recognized for both as she and four other

Technical University—

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

eloquently and

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

international academic

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.

Johnson.

Chicagoland area,” Johnson

Economics and Business in

said.

Hanoi.

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

heights. Maribeth

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

5


F

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.

microaggressions.

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

7


‘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

women’s experiences.

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

Committee do.

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.

8

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

re-accreditation.

nursing programs.”

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

9


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 USF’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 815-740-3748. The University of St. Francis financials will be published in later fall, 2019.

10

10

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 USF’s Main Campus.

Celebrating Our Centennial in 2019–2020

23


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

Successful Summer

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

Undergraduate Research

ecological impacts on the new

invasive species without invasive or

in the country.

Experience (SURE) program this

environments.

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

done crayfish

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

hands-on research.”

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

understanding of

posting photos of their adventures

conductor of the Westminster

crayfish CO2

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

between settings.”

Disorder Professional Level 1 Registration

Lawrence Dunbar, USF professor and Substance

(CODP-1) as credentialed by ICB.

24

“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

community. Additionally,

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

COBHA.

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

servant leadership.

professions.”

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

25


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

our own.”

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

communities.

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

experienced.”

in the upcoming academic year.

26

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

commence.

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

for all.

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.

passion.

“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

Wealth.”

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

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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.

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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 (dlaketa@stfrancis.ed) or Brian Michalak, head baseball coach (bmichalak@stfrancis.edu).


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

Secretary

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

Faculty Representative

1974, 1969 and previous years

Joseph Ferrallo ’85, ’06, ’07

are this year’s special honorees.

Student Representatives Liz Badalamenti

Several communications

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 alumni@stfrancis.edu 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!

STFRANCIS.EDU/HCRW

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 alumni@stfrancis.edu 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

29


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

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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

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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.

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Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine

Left to right: Bill & Diane Habiger and Gloria & Edward Dollinger will serve as 2020 Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala event chairs.


NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE P A I D UNIVERSITY OF ST. FRANCIS

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 • admissions@stfrancis.edu stfrancis.edu/visit OR /openhouse Alumni event information or registration 877-811-ALUM • alumni@stfrancis.edu 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 • jmoore@stfrancis.edu 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

S T F R A N CI S.EDU

Profile for University of St. Francis

Engaging Mind & Spirit, 2019-20, issue 1