Class Notes – July 2012 Edition

Schara, Rita M. (Guertin) 1951 (BA, Science) has lived in Manteno, Ill.; Battle Creek, Mich.; Norwalk, Conn.; Princeton, N.J. and Lexington, Ky. She was a research chemist for General Foods, Corp. and obtained an MSL degree at Western Michigan University, specializing in scientific information for special library associations. She was library director for Norwalk State Technical College in Conn. She is now retired and has been the historian and archivist for her parish, Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington, for 16 years.

Midlock, Mark 1985 (BBA, Marketing) is Vice President and Audit Portfolio Manager for BMO Harris Bank N.A. He received his BBA from USF, his MBA from Lewis University, and also graduated from the Cannon Financial Institute as a certified trust auditor.

Wiers, Mike 1990 (BBA, Finance), a leader in the financial industry, is planning to meet with members of the USF “FREE” organization about career planning. Mike started his career in Joliet with First Midwest Bank. He then served as Director of Nationwide Credit Underwriting for Merrill Lynch Business Services, and is currently a private banker with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. The event with FREE was planned after some employed graduates were looking for advice on future career planning related to the fields where Wiers has expertise. After contacting him through LinkedIn, he generously agreed to meet up with them to dialogue about their interests and help them plan their futures.

Hunter, Kelly K. 1991 (BS, Chemistry) is currently an assistant professor of biology at Roosevelt University. Recently married to Marty Lundgren, they have one son, Justin Hunter, who currently attends Joliet Catholic Academy.

Michaels, Kathryn A. (Padden) 1995 (BA, Education, English) and her husband, Brian, have two children, Gwen (6) and Sam (3). She teaches sixth grade reading and language arts at Genoa-Kingston Middle School in Genoa, Ill. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in early adolescence English language arts.

Byrne, Peter T. 1997 (BA, History, Secondary Education Certification) is currently teaching alternative education in Waukegan, Ill. He is married with two children, Carly Rose (2) and Ryker Lewis (1 month).

Rohde, Andrea A. 2000 (BBA, Management) recently moved to Texas.

Jakielski, Caryn 2003 (MS, Continuing Education & Training Management), 2006 (MBA, Business Administration) was recently honored for her work with REACh (Resources for the Education of Adults in the Chicago area). Jakielski has been the REACh Membership Chairperson for four years and the award she received is given annually and recipients must be nominated by their peers. REACh is a not-for-profit consortium of educational, civic, and corporate organizations and was organized as a collaborative effort to provide adults easier access to information about educational and financial aid opportunities. REACh also offers an annual scholarship program for adult students enrolled with member institutions. Said Jakielski, “I am very grateful for all the outstanding opportunities this brings to USF and for all the incredibly wonderful members I have come to know both personally and professionally.”

Farning, William M. 2005 (BBA, Business Administration) is an assistant examiner in the Community Bank, Safety and Soundness Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Kerfin, Suzanne M. (Clark) 2005 (BA, Education), 2010 (MS, Reading) has a 20-year-old daughter who is a junior at the University of Missouri. She loves her job as a reading specialist in the New Lenox, Ill. School District 122 and also enjoys being secretary for the South Suburban chapter of the Illinois Reading Council. Says Kerfin, “I am excited about the newly forming Alumni Association for the College of Education!”

DeCraene, Angela 2006 (BA, Psychology) co-founded “Building a Global Community” (BGC), a non-profit devoted to assisting children, families, and their surrounding communities worldwide by providing for their spiritual, educational, and health care needs through holistic approaches. BGC works mainly with people in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho, Africa, working among some of the most impoverished and diseased areas in the world and attempting to educate people about and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. If interested in helping, contact Angela at or visit the BGC website at “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

Johnson, Niaya C. 2007 (BS, Nursing) has graduated from USF’s Leach College of Nursing. Says Johnson, “I love being a nurse and soon I will be continuing my education hopefully as a CRNA!”

Martinez, Erika M. 2011 (BA, Elementary Education) and her husband, Ozzie Barrera, welcomed daughter Brianna Isabelle to their family on New Year’s Eve. Martinez also recently began working at The Goddard School in Plainfield, Ill. as a kindergarten teacher.