Submit a Nomination for the 2023 Sister Clare Award at USF

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF), under the patronage of Saint Francis and Sister Clare of Assisi, invites community members to submit nominations for the 2023 Sister Clare Award, which recognizes women of vision who have transformed the world of their time. The award is presented each year to a deserving recipient USF in the spirit of its sister, Clare.

Who comes to mind when you think about a woman who has made a difference in the lives of others through service? Nominate her today through the following link: https://forms.gle/7cTLzmn9R2CynHxy5. Nominations should be received by February 14, 2023. The award recipient will be notified by March 1st, and a reception will be held to celebrate the recognition. Decisions for the award will be made by members of the USF Women’s History Month committee.

The first award was presented in 2013 during Women’s History Month to the university’s founding congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.  Other honorees have included Diane Nilan (2014), Cleopatra Pendelton (2015), Bernice Sandler (2016), Mona Purdy (2017), Petra Jamie (2018), Nancy Economu (2019), Roxiana Fuqua (2020), Dr. Ngozi Ezike (2021), and Patricia Alvarez (2022).

Please contact Dr. Maribeth Hearn by phone at 815-740-3384 or by email at mhearn@stfrancis.edu with any questions.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 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 Programs Shine in Online Program Rankings by U.S. News

Joliet, Ill. – U.S. News & World Report recently released its 2023 Best Online Programs rankings, and the University of St. Francis (USF) is proud to announce that its online graduate business programs (excluding MBA) were ranked the best in Illinois. The publication also recognized four other online programs offered by USF, including two named as the best private programs in Illinois (online graduate education programs and online MBA programs).

Recognized USF programs included:

  • Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA) – #1 ranked program overall in Illinois (36th percentile nationally);
  • Online Graduate Education Programs – #1 ranked private program in Illinois (18th percentile nationally);
  • Online MBA Programs – #1 ranked private program in Illinois (36th percentile nationally);
  • Online Nursing Programs – #3 ranked private program in Illinois (35th percentile nationally), and;
  • Online Bachelor’s Programs – #4 ranked private program in Illinois (24th percentile nationally).

As online education programs gain in popularity and demand, USF continues to leverage its comprehensive history of offering quality options that meet the changing needs of students interested in earning undergraduate and graduate degrees. 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 2023 Best Online Programs rankings.

About U.S News & World Report’s Ranking Methodology

U.S. News & World Report (U.S. News) has been publishing school rankings in the education sector since 1983 and has done so specifically for online degree programs since 2013. 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 separate from those for U.S. News’ Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings. Ranking methodologies are typically updated on an annual basis.

Additional details are available at usnews.com/education/online-education.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

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USF Faculty Members Present at National Teaching and Learning Conference

Joliet, Ill. –University of St. Francis (USF) educators Joyce Kraus, DSW, and Karen Blaha, Ed.D., served as presenters at the annual Lilly Conference in San Diego, Cal., in early January. Kraus and Blaha’s presentation, “Creating a Classroom Culture: Engaging with the Diverse Learning Environment,” offered their perspectives on practices that support a diverse, engaging, and equitable environment that, in turn, supports the learning and social needs of higher education students.

Kraus and Blaha’s intended participant outcomes for their presentation included reflecting on how a cultural frame of reference might impact communication and interaction with students, identifying cultural and familial factors that contribute to one’s own intersectionality to enhance one’s understanding of students’ intersectionality, and exploring instructional practices that engage multiple perspectives and intersectionalities and support an equitable learning environment.

For Kraus, the director of field education and assistant professor for USF’s social work department, the opportunity to present with Blaha offered an opportunity to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to higher education.

“Working with Karen using an interdisciplinary approach toward the common goal of introducing diversity and equity in the classroom has been very enriching. The opportunity to present to a multi-disciplinary audience at the Lilly Conference, San Diego left me believing our frameworks and approaches are indeed universally applicable to any classroom when faculty are supported and given effective tools to facilitate brave spaces in their classrooms,” Kraus said.

Blaha, a program coordinator and assistant professor in the USF College of Education, echoed her co-presenter’s remarks and added that opportunities such as the Lilly Conference offer important learning opportunities for higher education instructors.

“The opportunity to present with Joyce at the Lilly Conference to an audience of higher education instructors, of various contents, showed me that educators are interested in learning how to create an inclusive environment for their classrooms. The conference showed me that our frameworks can be applied to any classroom to create an optimal learning environment,” Blaha said.

Kraus and Blaha’s were also invited to write up their presentation into a manuscript format for publication consideration in The Scholarly Teacher.

About the Lilly Conference

For 40 years, Lilly Conferences have provided opportunities for the presentation of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Conference participants are made up of faculty and administrators at various stages in their academic careers that come from across the world representing nearly every discipline found in higher education. For more information, visit lillyconferences.com.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

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World Series Champion Manager Joe Maddon to Speak at USF Brown and Gold Night

Joliet, Ill. – Joe Maddon, the Major League Baseball manager that helped the Chicago Cubs organization break its 108-year World Series drought in 2016, will be the guest speaker at University of St. Francis’ 44th annual Brown & Gold Night.  The event will take place at the Pat Sullivan Center on the campus of USF on Monday, February 13.

A three-time Manager of the Year, Maddon has worked with two other organizations besides the Cubs.  Most recently, he was with the Los Angeles Angels, where he has had two tours of duty, while getting his first full-time managerial opportunity with the Tampa Bay Rays.

In all, Maddon has managed at the major-league level in 19 of his 45-plus years involved in professional baseball.  During that time, he has amassed 1,382 victories, including 32 career postseason wins, which ranks ninth all-time.  Among all victories, he sits in the No. 32 spot all-time.

Maddon has also been responsible for two of the best turnarounds in MLB history with the 2008 Rays and 2015 Cubs.  The Rays went from being the worst team in baseball – a 66-96 record – in 2007 to going 97-65 and winning the 2008 American League pennant.  The Cubs also went 97-65 in Maddon’s first year at the helm after the team went 73-89 in 2014.  One year later, Chicago captured its first World Series title since 1908 by going 103-58-1.  It marked the most wins in a season for the organization since 1910 when that team posted 104 victories.

Maddon becomes the second member of the Chicago Cubs World Series championship team to speak at USF’s Brown & Gold Night.  Former catcher David Ross spoke in January, 2017, right after the title.   

Maddon also joins Ross in having written a book, which just came out this fall.  Co-authored with award-winning sportswriter Tom Verducci, “The Book of Joe” is a memoir of Maddon’s journey in life and baseball.

Maddon is yet another in the long list of sports celebrities to speak at USF’s Brown & Gold Night, one that has featured 17 Hall of Fame inductees.  Among the list have been John Wooden, AL McGuire and Ray Meyer in basketball, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Dan Hampton, Brian Urlacher, Paul Hornung and Bart Starr from football and Fergie Jenkins and Frank Thomas on the diamond.  Others have included Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable and Blackhawks forward Denis Savard as well as USF’s own Gordie Gillespie, one of college baseball’s all-time winningest coaches. 

The annual fundraiser begins with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the program at 8 p.m. The event will also include both a silent and live auction.  No autograph requests will be granted the night of the event. 

Tickets are available for $65 each or a table of 10 for $650.  Corporate sponsorships are also available.  For more information, contact the USF Athletic Department at 815-740-3842 or www.gofightingsaints.com.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 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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American Red Cross Blood Drive at USF on Tuesday, January 24

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is hosting an American Red Cross blood drive on Tuesday, January 24, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Assembly Hall Gymnasium at USF’s St. Clare Campus, which is located at 1550 Plainfield Road in Joliet.

For an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org, click on the “Find a Blood Drive” link under the “Give Blood” navigation menu item (enter “60435” when prompted). You can save up to 15 minutes when you donate blood by using RapidPass. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass for more information.

If you are an eligible type O, B – or A – donor, consider making a Power Red donation. Red blood cells are the most commonly transfused blood component.

For more information, please visit redcrossblood.org.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

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Spirit of Christmas Programming on WCSF-FM 88.7 Starts Thanksgiving Day

Joliet, Ill. – Starting at noon on Thanksgiving Day (Thurs., November 24, 2022) and running through noon on January 2, 2023, University of St. Francis (USF) radio station WCSF-FM 88.7 switches over from its regular programming to the 30th season on the Spirit of Christmas, a 24-hour, commercial-free, season-long holiday format.

“As we enter our 30th season, I’d like to express how grateful we are for the support of the Spirit of Christmas program and WCSF Radio from our many listeners and the local sponsors which help pay the bills.  We work tirelessly to bring you the highest quality and most variety in Christmas music and programming available anywhere in the world, all commercial-free.  We even have listeners across the country and around the world either finding us online or taking a bit of home with them to the office or wherever they travel through stfrancis.edu/spirit.  We hope you and your family will continue to join us at 88.7FM for the Spirit of Christmas,” said Don Burke, director of programming for the Spirit of Christmas.

Spirit of Christmas features a variety-filled rotation of over 4,000 songs, including multiple versions of holiday classics, so you’ll never get tired of hearing the same songs over and over again. One special program that airs nightly at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during Spirit of Christmas is the classic 1937 radio series, The Cinnamon Bear. Relive the story of Judy and Jimmy Barton and their adventure to an enchanted world alongside Cinnamon Bear, a stuffed bear with button eyes and a green ribbon around his neck, to recover the missing silver star from their Christmas tree. The Cinnamon Bear starts at 6 p.m. on November 29th and continues through Christmas Eve.

Tune in to FM 88.7 to listen to the Spirit of Christmas on your radio in the Joliet area or livestream the station at stfrancis.edu/spirit.

Area businesses are also invited to promote themselves through special sponsorship opportunities that air during Spirit of Christmas programming. Sponsorships start at $250 and are a great way to promote your business or extend holiday wishes to the Joliet community and beyond.

For more information about sponsorships, please call 815-740-3748.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 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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