Joliet Chamber Honors USF with 2019 Education Award

Joliet, Ill. – The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry annually hosts a special Annual Dinner and Celebration of Success that honors area businesses, organizations and individuals for their contributions to the Joliet area. This year’s event, held on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 176 West Banquets in Joliet, honored seven businesses and organizations, as well as three individuals. The University of St. Francis (USF) was one of the evening’s honorees and was presented with the Chamber’s 2019 Education Award.

“The University of St. Francis thanks the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry for this award, which comes during our Centennial year. USF has been a proud partner of the Joliet region and the communities we have served for one hundred years. We look forward to continuing that in our second century as Joliet’s Catholic and Franciscan University,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson after accepting the award on the University’s behalf.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished. But what we are particularly proud of are the over 25,000 USF alumni who live in Illinois – many in Will County and many in Joliet. They make incredible contributions to the community because we have prepared them to contribute to the world through service and leadership,” Johnson added.

The Joliet Chamber also recognized businesses and organizations that are celebrating milestone anniversaries and recognized USF for its 100 years in business.

Others honored at the event included: Annette Szobar, Ambassador of the Year; ASK Dress Boutique, Retail Services/Consumer Services; NuMark Credit Union, Financial Services; Shorewood H.U.G.S., Social Services; Joliet Junior College Culinary Arts Restaurants – Thrive and Saveur, Professional/Business Services; The Great American Bagel, Small Business of the Year; Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel, Large Business of the Year; Lawrence Wiers, Lifetime Achievement Award; and James Roolf, Lifetime Achievement Award.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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USF Announces “Music at Moser” Spring 2020 Performance Series

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis Department of Music and Performing Arts is proud to offer exciting music and theater performances to the Joliet and Will County communities through its “Music at Moser” series. All performances have open seating and take place on the main USF campus located at 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet unless otherwise indicated. Please note all performances are subject to change. Visit stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser or call 815-740-3395 or for up-to-date performance information and to purchase tickets (indicated in event listing). Ticket prices are the same for all performances, unless noted otherwise in the event listing, and are as follows: $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65+), alumni and non-USF students; current students and staff admitted free of charge with valid USF ID.

Joliet Symphony Orchestra Family Concert
Saturday, January 18 at 11 a.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Free admission

A special concert for children and families! This interactive concert will teach children all about music through a variety of music compositions. Following the performance, children of all ages can take part in a variety of hands-on activities, including trying out the instruments themselves! This concert is conducted by Dr. Dianna Fiore, USF director of orchestra.

In Recital: Rae Myra Hillard, Soprano
Saturday, February 15 at 3 p.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

USF voice faculty member Rae Myra Hillard presents a concert of music composed by Black-American composers, featuring the texts of Black-American poets and orators. She will sing the music of such honored composers as Valerie Capers, Robert Owens, Adolphus Hailstork, Regina Harris Baiocchi, H. Leslie Adams and Dr. Charles Lloyd Jr. The music is set to timeless poetry and texts by Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Clarissa Scott Delany, and others. Rae Myra will be accompanied by Dr. Dana Brown, piano and Allegra Nontanari, cello.

In Recital: Teresa Walters, Piano
Friday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

Dr. Teresa Walters has performed as recitalist and orchestral soloist on six continents and in most of the 50 states in the U.S. at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Cortot in Paris, Moscow’s Great Hall, Australia’s International Conservatorium and Jerusalem’s Concert Hall. Her Lincoln Center recital in New York earned a standing ovation from a capacity crowd. She will present her acclaimed program, “Celebrating Our World,” at USF, a concert of music for solo piano, which honors the world’s shared heritage and common humanity.

The Swinging Saints Sing a Rainbow—A Concert about Colorful Music and Colorful People
Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. | San Damiano (Motherhouse/Donovan Hall) | Tickets required*

USF’s vocal jazz ensemble, the Swinging Saints, sing about colors and colorful people in this exciting performance! Classics like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” will be accompanied by favorites like favorites like “Orange Colored Sky,” “Black Coffee” and “Am I Blue?” Conducted by Paul Laprade, USF assistant professor of music.

Saints on Stage present Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot”
Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. | Sunday, April 19 at 3 p.m. | Turk Theatre (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

Lerner and Loewe’s classic, “Camelot”, comes to life in this exciting new interpretation by USF’s Saints on Stage and USF theatre director Daina Geisler. A single tree becomes the visual center of a battle for a kingdom (Camelot), the affections of a fair maiden (Guenevere), and the struggle for one’s dreams to come true. Some of the most memorable love songs from the Golden Age of American Musical Theatre will be brought to life on stage, including “Before I Gaze at You Again” and “If Ever I Would Leave You.”   What musical can evoke such noble images as “Camelot?” Few! Join King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Mordred, some of the Knights of the Round Table, and Guenevere this exciting musical!

Songs of Peace – A Choral Concert
Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. | St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral (604 N. Raynor Ave, Joliet, IL 60435) | Tickets required*

The University of St. Francis continues the celebration of its centennial with a concert of more premieres! USF’s own Claritas Master Chorale, Schola Cantorum, and Swinging Saints will join forces to sing about peace. The concert will include the premiere of Dr. Robert Kase’s “Mass for Peace,” a work written especially for this concert celebration. The program will also include Gwyneth Walker’s “Tree of Peace,” Mendelssohn’s “Grant Us Peace” (“Verleih uns Frieden”), Joan Szymko’s “All Works of Love,” Frank Ticheli’s “Earthsong,” and many other gems about our common desire for peace in this world.

Joliet Symphony Orchestra “A Centennial Celebration”
Saturday, April 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 2020, 5 p.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

The Joliet Symphony Orchestra (JSO) performs a concert honoring the University of St. Francis Centennial with works by Strauss, Dvorak, and Mendelssohn. The program will also feature “Declaration” by Ben Goldberg, the winner of the JSO’s annual composition competition. The concert is conducted by Dr. Dianna Fiore, director of orchestra, USF.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Five USF Online Programs Recognized by U.S. News & World Report

Joliet, Ill. – U.S. News & World Report released its 2020 Best Online Programs rankings today, and the University of St. Francis (USF) is proud to announce that five of its online programs were recognized in the publication.

Recognized USF programs included:

  • Online Bachelor’s Program – top 16 percent nationally (3rd highest ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online Graduate Education Program – top 19 percent nationally (top-ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online Graduate Business Program (excluding MBA) – top 34 percent nationally (top-ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online MBA Program – top 44 percent nationally (top-ranked private program in Illinois)
  • Online Nursing Program – top 45 percent nationally (4th highest ranked private program in Illinois)

USF introduced its first online courses and degree programs in 1998 and has since served as one of higher education’s online learning pioneers. USF President Arvid C. Johnson believes that twenty years of offering programs of this type has allowed the University to share them with as wide of a variety of students as possible.

“Since first entering the online education field over twenty years ago, the University has continued to expand its comprehensive online programs and is now recognized for offering many of the State’s top private, online programs. We largely credit this to a faculty committed to high-quality teaching via all delivery methods, which enables the University to provide highly-valued degrees to busy students who appreciate the flexibility that online education offers them,” Johnson said.

The variety and availability of quality online education program options continues to increase annually as more and more colleges and universities across the U.S. expand their academic offerings. While that competition increases from year to year, USF continues to stand out among its peers.

“With more competition, and more schools trying to provide online programs, USF quality continues to rise and our ranking shows that,” said Eric Wignall, USF Vice President of Admissions, Enrollment Services and Marketing.

Wignall pointed to the University’s focus on students as the driving reason for higher rankings.

“We’ve created a university where students learn in small groups, using high-tech labs, with shared student-faculty research experiences, and in hundreds of internships. We have faculty and staff who are fully engaged in student learning. It’s not a secondary concern at USF—it’s the primary focus,” he said.

According to usnews.com, “At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, U.S. News calculates rankings based on a variety of factors, which hold different weights depending on the ranking category. A program’s score for each factor, or ranking indicator, is calculated using data that online programs report to U.S. News in an annual survey. The rankings methodologies for online programs are different and separate from those for U.S. News’ Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings. Ranking methodologies are updated on an annual basis.”

Visit stfrancis.edu/admissions-aid/online for more information on USF’s online programs.

Visit usnews.com/education/online-education for more information on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Online Programs rankings.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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CCNE Re-accreditation Review Third Party Notification

Dear Nursing Students, Faculty and the University of St. Francis Community,

The Leach College of Nursing will be hosting a re-accreditation review visit by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) on April 6-8, 2020. The Self-study documents will be submitted to CCNE no later than Monday, February 24, 2020.

The following degrees/programs will be evaluated for re-accreditation during this visit:

  • BSN – Prelicensure and RN-BSN Completion
  • MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, MSN – Nursing Education, and MSN -Nursing Administration; and
  • PMC – PMC – Family Nurse Practitioner, PMC-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice 

CCNE will accept written third-party comments until 21 days before the scheduled on-site evaluation in April. All written third-party comments must be received by CCNE by Monday, March 16, 2020. If you wish to send any written comments directly to CCNE prior to the site visit, please send your comments to:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education Attn: Third-Party Comments 655 K Street NW Suite 750 Washington DC 20001

– or –

thirdpartycomments@ccneaccreditation.org

Please note that CCNE shares third-party comments with the evaluation team prior to the on-site evaluation, but at no time during the review process are these comments shared with the program, the Accreditation Review Committee, or the Board. During its review of the program, the evaluation team considers third-party comments, if any, that relate to the accreditation standards.

If you have any questions about the upcoming accreditation visit, please contact me and join our weekly faculty CCNE preparation meetings.

Blessings,

Ebere Ume, PhD, MSN, RN, PHN
Dean, Leach College of Nursing

Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala Set for Saturday, Jan. 25

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is bringing one of Joliet’s longest-running black tie events back to campus as part of its yearlong Centennial Celebration in 2020. The Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala, co-chaired by Gloria and Edward Dollinger, and Diane ‘77 and Bill Habiger, and hosted by USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., and his wife, Anne, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, starting at 6 p.m. in the Pat Sullivan Center on the main USF campus located at 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet.

“This Caritas is really special,” Diane Habiger said. “Bill and I chaired Caritas the first year it was moved off-campus after several years of being held at the Rec Center. We, along with the Dollingers, are delighted to bring Caritas back to campus for one year and are planning for a very special and nostalgic event.”

A lot has changed at USF over the years. In the past two years alone, the campus has undergone some very noticeable changes with the construction and opening of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall in 2018 and the razing of St. Albert Hall this past summer. In August 2020, USF will also unveil a new Centennial Quad and Centennial Gateway, which will further transform the university’s main campus. USF anticipates that its Centennial Celebration plans and special events, including the Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala, will attract alumni, friends and the community back to campus.

“Because this year’s event is part of USF’s Centennial Celebration, it is an opportunity to bring back to campus our donors and people who may have been unable to attend in recent years. They will be able to see first-hand the growth that has happened within the University.  We have several new facilities, and the campus has a completely different visual look and feel. This year’s Caritas is an opportunity to showcase that,” Gloria Dollinger said.

Each year, the University of St. Francis provides over $20 million in institutional financial aid for students. More than 1,200 students at USF receive scholarships and 100% of the incoming freshman class receives some form of financial assistance. In addition, USF has also been a home to many first-generation college students – students who are the first in their family to attend college – for several years. Over the course of the past nine years alone, an average of 58% of each of USF’s incoming freshman classes has been comprised of first-generation college students. The financial assistance generated through Caritas and the university’s other annual fundraising efforts goes on to help make a USF education attainable for so many students.

USF’s Caritas Centennial Scholarship Gala will feature a silent and live auction, gourmet cuisine by Jewell Events Catering, a premium bar and music by Gentlemen of Leisure. Ultimately, the evening will be an opportunity for attendees to celebrate the Franciscan spirit of the university while making an important difference for students.

“We continue to be grateful for the incredible, ongoing generosity of the USF, Joliet and Will County communities. This support inspires and affirms the important work that is being done by the University, while demonstrating an investment in our students, who are our future leaders,” said President Johnson.

The University of St. Francis would also like to thank this year’s Caritas sponsors for their difference-making generosity: Gold Sponsors – Sodexo and Wintrust Commercial Banking; Silver Sponsors – Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Gloria & Edward Dollinger and Diane & Bill Habiger; and Bronze Sponsors -Crowther Roofing & Sheet Metal, First Secure Bank, Hollywood Casino, Northern Trust, Packey Webb Ford, Pepsi-Cola, Piazza & Mannerino Masonry, Sentinus, LLC, Patricia & Robert Wheeler, and Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow.

Advance reservations for the event are required. Event tickets are $350 per person and seating is limited. To purchase tickets, please visit stfrancis.edu/caritas.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Criminal and Social Justice Students Help Make the Holidays Special for Families

Joliet, Ill. – Students in the University of St. Francis (USF) criminal and social justice program recently had a unique opportunity to bridge academic coursework with practical application while making a difference for the families of some of Will County’s incarcerated. The result of the opportunity provided Christmas gifts for area children with a parent currently participating in Will County’s Problem-Solving Courts.

In mid-October, USF assistant criminal and social justice professor Stacy Dewald, Ph.D., and her students partnered with Diana Murillo, social worker for the Will County Problem-Solving Courts, and Julie Sterr-McCabe, Will County Problem-Solving Court coordinator to facilitate the Reading Project, which engaged participants in Will County’s four problem-solving courts (drug court, mental health court, veteran’s count and Adult Redeploy Illinois). Incarcerated participants were able to select a children’s book to read to their child(ren) as USF students videotaped them reading. The USF students burned the recordings to DVDs and then gift-wrapped the DVDs and books, which were given to the participants’ children during the holiday season.

“Because of my prior professional career in the criminal justice field, I recognize the importance of bridging academic courses with practical application,” said Dewald, who formerly served as an investigator in the Will County Public Defender’s Office. “As a teacher, I want to connect the students to their own larger professional world as a way to encourage them to network and engage with those in the criminal justice field. I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to help the court participants of Will County Problem-Solving Courts.”

Dewald added that the experience was one that not only gave back to the community, but that also reflected the Franciscan values of USF.

“This was my first time incorporating a service-learning project and I believe that the project enriched the learning experience, taught civic responsibility and strengthened the community. I enjoyed watching the students grow as they gave back to their community. One of the best parts of the project was that it supported the Franciscan values of respect, compassion, service, and integrity as students humanized people that oftentimes our society views as invisible,” she said.

The project also had a positive impact on Dewald’s students, who were able to see a different side of the criminal justice system.

“I am very pleased that I got the opportunity to participate in the Reading Project. It gave my classmates and me a chance to contribute to the greater good and help those who are less fortunate. This experience allowed me to understand the benefits of problem-solving courts and how they help those reach program goals by living out better and non-criminal lifestyles,” said USF criminal and social justice major Steve Smock.

“This project marks a rare opportunity – an opportunity to re-humanize individuals in the court systems, be it problem-solving courts or otherwise. A reminder that despite the uniform of corrections, these are still people, with families they care about and people they love,” said criminal and social justice major Daniel Simmons.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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