Alumni Testimonials

Arts & Sciences Business & Health Admin Education Nursing

Janice (Hinkleman) Sterling ’95 BA, English
Owner/Attorney, Sterling Law Group
“St. Francis gave me both the educational foundation to succeed in my law career and the spiritual foundation to live my life according to God’s will. I am forever thankful for my time at St. Francis.”

Dan Goggins ’91 BA History; ’96 MS, Education/Curriculum and Instruction
Assistant Superintendent, Bremen Community High School District

“Academically and athletically, the University of St. Francis gave me the opportunity to learn valuable lessons to guide my life. It is truly a special place with special people. I was fortunate to be influenced by them.”

Barb Watters ‘79 BS, Biology
Retired, Kaiser Permanente

“A tennis scholarship from St. Francis made it possible for me to earn a degree in biology and then to become a family practice doctor. To the many dedicated and caring teachers and administrators who helped me to grow both academically and spiritually, I will always be grateful.”

Diane Habiger ‘77 BA, English
Property Manager, Lincolnshire Properties

“Studying at what was then CSF gave me the confidence to identify and pursue goals. I also learned the importance of being able to put into words what I wanted to express. Writing skills were really stressed in all of my classes.”

Pat Wheeler ’67 BA, English
Community leader, philanthropist, educator

“Inspired by its Catholic, Franciscan heritage, USF provides exceptional quality education in a variety of ways to meet the needs of its increasingly diverse body of students.”

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Caroline Portlock ’02 BS, Professional Arts; ’04 MBA
President / CEO at Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“I truly enjoyed my USF experience and feel the class sizes, faculty experiences and accommodating support services added to my success. I felt valued from every level and department throughout my academic tenure. I am fortunate to live close enough to the school to remain active.”

Alfred Boyter ’99, Health Services Administration
Director of Facility Planning at Northcrest Medical Center

“The program prepared me for the inter-workings between departments and how the hospital organization fits into the health care delivery system. My degree gave me a door to a career at the administrative level and opens unlimited opportunities for my future.”

Tommie McNeal ‘98 BBA, Management
“USF is the solid foundation on which I have built my success. I can always revert back to St. Francis when I feel like I am straying off course. Being a young, independent man going to college seemed so overwhelming. Once I got to campus, the staff must have seen the fear in my eyes because everyone did everything in their power to make me feel at home. I guess you can say that is an advantage of attending USF. It’s like a family here.”

Nancy Clodi ’96 BS, Professional Arts; ’99 MBA
Owner, Curves of Mokena

“USF offered me a scholarship to make it easier to make the decision to attend college as a full-time student. Top that off with an accelerated program and I finished my last two years in only one and one-half years. I found a new career with my degree and worked full-time while I pursued my MBA. My MBA afforded me the opportunity to adjunct teach at colleges in the area. I am very grateful for USF.”

Mary Darlene Baxter ’92, MS, Health Services Administration
Retired VP of Affiliate Services at Maury Regional Medical Center

“After being out of college for approximately 20 years, I realized the importance of having a graduate degree in the healthcare field. At this point in your personal and professional life, you cannot leave your job and return to college. The St. Francis program enabled me to keep working full-time and complete my graduate degree in three years. The instructors were employed in healthcare or related areas and related our textbook studies to the real world where we could use some of our new knowledge almost immediately in our jobs. The program was exactly what I was seeking.”

Craig Herkert ‘91 BBA, Marketing
President/CEO, SuperValu

“The small classroom setting that is offered at the University of Saint Francis provides a richer learning environment. You are able to learn more through robust, active discussions with your professors and classmates. This discipline of gathering multiple perspectives and listening to multiple views will serve students well as they pursue their career goals.”

Rich Hagen ’90 BBA, Accounting
Attorney and certified CPA; Spesia & Ayers

“While USF provided me an “Ivy League” level of education in my opinion, it also provided me with a “family” of caring individuals who have been with me since graduation. Many teachers and administrators have become very good friends and colleagues. I can still walk through the hallways at USF twenty years after graduation and several teachers still know my name.”

Jay Hamilton ’89 BBA, Finance; ‘07 MBA
CEO, North America, AXIS Global Accident & Health

“The College provided an environment that facilitated camaraderie, collaboration and continued learning. As an adult student, the College of St. Francis provided me with the opportunity and the skills needed for a successful career in the insurance industry.”

Joe Shankland ‘84 BBA, Management
Director, Sunny Delight Beverages Co.

“The diverse business courses, finance courses and accounting courses provided the framework to understand how companies operate. I did not go into the business world blind. I felt the professors really cared about the students. They taught respect, trust and belief in one another. These values are applied in the real world.”

Mike Spinozzi ‘81 BBA, Business Administration
President, Sally Beauty Company

“I thought the University effectively combined experiences that contributed to intellectual, social and spiritual growth. The quality of the program provided excellent preparation for a career in business. The quality of the people at all levels of the institution strongly influenced values and character development.”

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Stacy Heap ’10 BA, Elementary Education
4th Grade Teacher, Reed-Custer Intermediate School

“I recently became a 4th grade teacher and want to thank all of you for making my Education experience at St. Francis so rewarding. I feel very prepared and realize how much my education from St. Francis helped me become the teacher I am. I want to thank my professors for their dedication and passion for teaching. They never settled for just good work from any of the students, but great, and that is why University of St. Francis has such an honorable name for the Education department.”

Jeana Carrico Pekol ‘99 BA, Elementary Education
Assistant Principal, Minooka Junior High School

“Being a student-athlete at USF allowed me to not only obtain an outstanding education, but provided me the opportunity to have a competitive and fulfilling athletic experience. The combination of the phenomenal educational and athletic experiences has helped me become the successful teacher and coach I am today. Trust me when I say it would have been hard to find a better educational and athletic opportunity than the one that USF gave to me.”

Holly Bontkowski ’93 BA , Elementary Education
8th Grade Teacher, Kennedy Middle School

“I don’t know where I’d be without the caring staff and quality of education I received at USF.

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