Student Presenters Share & Learn at USF Writers’ Conference

USF’s Mary Kate Hynek and MaKenzie Munson were recently interviewed by sophomore Hannah Mitchell about their experiences as student presenters at the November 13 Writers’ Conference. The conference, hosted by the USF English Department, took place on Saturday, November 13. Poet Naoko Fujimoto gave the keynote address.

Q. What was it like creating your own graphic poem during the workshop with Naoko? 

MH: Creating a graphic poem with Naoko Fujimoto was an experience like no other; I’ve never worked with graphics and poetry in combination before (although I am a huge advocate for graphics and writing working together), so the process opened my eyes to new ways of thinking that I can incorporate into my creative writing process. Naoko’s energy and passion really inspired me to create, and she made me feel part of a creative community of writers. 

Q. What was your presentation about? 

MH: My presentation, titled “Dying Rose,” was a work of short fiction and an adaptation of a graphic novel scene set to appear in a future collaborative project. This piece is the result of seven years of collaboration and character development. The main character of this piece, a young man named Briar who struggles with an ancestral curse that causes irrational insanity, will be one of the main characters appearing in the graphic novel. My collaborative partner made an appearance during my presentation, and we emphasized the benefits of images and words coming together to create something amazing. My presentation won best overall performance at the SFWC. 

MM: My presentation was a paper I wrote for my foundations II class that focused on analyzing the movie The Social Network.

Q. How did it feel to present your work in front of a group of people?

MH: Presenting something that I put my heart and soul into was a nerve-wracking experience. Never before had I presented such a treasured piece of writing outside of a classroom setting. My parents, professors, and peers were all watching, and I was hoping my reading would be clear and concise. I made sure to read with emotion, and the nerves I felt before reading my piece disappeared. It was rewarding to hear the applause (and to applaud my fellow presenters) as I finished; the SFWC was such a positive, supportive environment. Presenting in a conference setting boosted my confidence and gave me valuable experience as a writer. 

MM: I have experience with public speaking but have not been able to do it for a while, so it felt great to be in front of an audience again! 

Q. Overall, what was your takeaway from this experience? 

MH: Overall, the SFWC was an incredible experience. It allowed me to make connections, share my work, and appreciate the work of other writers. Perhaps, most of all, I learned so much at the SFWC. I’m so glad that the University of St. Francis has a safe, supportive environment for writers.

MM: While I loved sharing my own work, the most inspiring part of the conference was hearing from others and being part of a space that included so many other talented and passionate writers. 

The St. Francis Writers’ Conference is Just Around the Corner

The St. Francis Writers' Conference is Just Around the Corner

Naoko FujimotoOn Saturday, November 13, the University of St. Francis English Department will host the 30th annual St. Francis Writers’ Conference, featuring poet Naoko Fujimoto as keynote speaker. This conference gives students the opportunity to share multimodal writing and gain presentation experience outside of the classroom.

Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan where she attended school at Nanzan Junior College. She then became an exchange student at Indiana University, where she received both a B.A. and an M.A. Some of her recent work appears or is forthcoming in POETRY, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse and The Arkansas International.

Fujimoto is the author of “Glyph: Graphic Poetry=trans. Sensory,” a multi-media graphic art book that relays the work of translating sources, events, and emotional revelations into text (Tupelo Press, 2021). Additionally, she is the author of “Where I Was Born” (Willow Publishing, 2019), and three chapbooks, or short books of poetry.

Assistant Professor of English Elizabeth McDermott looks forward to the event and the presentation by Fujimoto.

“The exciting aspect of the 30th annual St. Francis Writers’ Conference, in addition to the students’ presentations, is the interactive keynote. Naoko Fujimoto is leading conference attendees in a graphic poetry exercise, and attendees will leave the keynote with their very own graphic poem,” McDermott said. “Fujimoto previously visited my Introduction to Creative Writing course, and the students really enjoyed her workshop style because she took them through her process step-by-step, inviting them to become inspired by the relationship between words and images.”

Naoko Fujimoto is an associate and outreach translation editor at RHINO Poetry, as well as a senior translation editor at Tupelo Quarterly. You can learn more about Fujimoto by visiting her website here, and if you are curious about her artistic process, check out this YouTube video: youtube.com/watch?v=eL42xuov0C0.

To learn more about the St. Francis Writers’ Conference or to RSVP, visit stfrancis.edu/sfwc or email sfwc@stfrancis.edu!

University of St. Francis Time Capsule

USF Alumni Association
alumni time capsule

University of St. Francis Time Capsule

Celebrating the Start of Our Second Century in 2021

Throughout the university’s rich history, we recognize that it’s the people who helped establish our legacy. Whether it was the Sisters who founded the institution, the students who spent years pursuing a degree, the faculty and staff who spent decades teaching, coaching, and helping, or the alumni who remain engaged and continue to support us, it has always been about the people.

Be part of this historic event!

The Alumni & Family Relations office invites you to submit a photo to be included in a time capsule that will be buried on the USF Quad! Choose a photo that best represents your legacy at St. Francis – whether hanging out on campus, in class, at a student event, athletics game, study abroad program, with friends, or any other St. Francis activity. Photos will be preserved in the USF archives and printed as 3×5” photos for inclusion in the capsule, which will be opened in 2045, the University of St. Francis’ 125th anniversary.

Save the date for the time capsule burial ceremony!

Homecoming & Reunion

Saturday, October 2, 2021

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Graduate and Transfer Open House Set for March 18

This event has been canceled as a preventative measure in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Questions about this cancellation can be directed to ssloka@stfrancis.edu.

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Joliet, Ill. – Are you a current college student who is planning to transfer from a community college? Are you coming from military service and wanting to advance your education? Are you wanting to complete your degree as an adult learner? Are you interested in earning a master’s or doctoral degree? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the University of St. Francis (USF) invites you to attend its Graduate & Transfer Open House on Wednesday, Mar. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in San Damiano Hall, which is located in the Motherhouse/Welcome Center at 520 Plainfield Road in Joliet. Visit stfrancis.edu/openhouse to register for this free event.

USF offers a variety of on-campus and online degree options, including undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. This variety of options is something that Eric Wignall, USF vice president of admissions, enrollment services and marketing, hopes will draw the interest of students of all ages and backgrounds.

“This is an evening event for people who are looking for a way to earn their next promotion, step up to the next opportunity, or even ‘fire-proof’ themselves against the next economic downturn. It is designed to be convenient for working adults who may have learned about the university online, but have more detailed questions For some, it might be a matter of transferring credit and earning the bachelor’s degree that they began years ago. For others it might be taking the next step to a graduate degree. Regardless the starting point, USF can help you move forward in that journey,” he said.

“You can speak with faculty, admissions counselors, financial aid representatives, academic advising staff, and even take a tour of campus,” he said. “We want you to experience USF firsthand and learn about all the academic programs our university has to offer.”

USF is unique in Illinois for having as many graduate as undergraduate students. Many public and private universities tend to have two or three times the number of undergraduates as graduate students.

“We offer a variety of options, depending on where you might be in your life and career. We offer online degree completion programs for adults who may have military training or community college credits, but did not yet finish a bachelor’s degree. We offer post-bachelor’s degree certificate programs, as well. The professional certificate programs have been very popular because they are online and very convenient for working adults, and the credits can later transfer to master’s degree programs,” Wignall said.

Wignall added that, while USF and its programs continue to be recognized nationally by ranking agencies including U.S. News and World Report, College Consensus and the Princeton Review, events like the open house on March 18 provide attendees with a personalized experience that can demonstrate the impact of its academic programs on an individual level.

“It’s nice to see us listed as a ‘best college’ or ‘best value’ but at our local events, like the open house, we can showcase the programs that work best for people who want to take that next step and earn a degree that can change their lives. Any of our students can attest to this personalized approach to education, and I really believe it makes USF unique,” he said.

“As we have grown, particularly our graduate and doctoral degree programs in nursing and business, the different rankings groups reclassified us from a Midwestern university to a national university. It was very gratifying to see our place in those rankings actually increase, even in the face of more competition from much larger institutions,” Wignall added.

Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, 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 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 to Host Free Coding Workshop for Educators on April 2

This event has been postponed as a preventative measure in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. More information will follow when available.

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Joliet, Ill. – Area educators (grades 6-12) are invited to attend a free coding workshop designed around basic coding principles in the fun world of Karel the Dog from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 2, in the University of St. Francis’ (USF) LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall (Room B206) on the main USF campus at 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet. The event is sponsored by the USF Noyce STEM Educator Program.

No coding experience is required. In addition to basic coding principles, the session will focus on the importance of teaching computer science, as well as basics of the CodeHS platform and how it can help students to learn how to code. Attendees will make several Karel the Dog programs (in JavaScript) to share and will be able to take their knowledge and CodeHS materials back to the classroom to teach their own students to code, too! Educators can also earn two professional development (PD) clock hours for participating in the workshop.

Visit stfrancis.edu/real/professional-learning to register and for directions to campus. Please note that registration closes on Mar. 25 and that space is limited.

Instructor Lea Sloan has been part of computer science education since she was bitten by the teaching coding bug in 2004. She has taught computer science courses to high school students, college students, and corporate web developers. Lea is currently the Director of Professional Development for CodeHS, a comprehensive platform for teaching coding and computer science, and previously served as the organization’s Computer Science Curriculum Developer.

Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, 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 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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Department of Social Work to Host Licensure Exam Prep Workshop

This event has been canceled as a preventative measure in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please contact kmacek@stfrancis.edu if you have any questions.

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Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Department of Social Work will host a social work licensure exam prep workshop on Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This intensive, 8-hour, preparatory review workshop for LSW/ LCSW licensure will be taught by USF social work instructors Kyung-Mee Choi, Ph.D., MSW; Laura Honegger, Ph.D., LCSW and Joyce Kraus, MSW, LCSW. Relevant examination content will be covered, such as social work practice theories and terminology; therapeutic strategies; practice techniques; assessment and diagnosis; professional ethics; and diversity sensitive practice. This workshop includes 8 hours of CEUs and will also include test-taking strategies, sample test questions, and a course manual review.

Workshop registration costs are as follows:

  • Community Attendees with Study Package ($250)
  • Community Attendees without Study Package ($60)
  • USF Alumni with Study Package ($220)
  • USF Alumni without Study Package ($30)
  • Current USF Field Instructors/Supervisors with Study Package ($220)
  • Current USF Field Instructors/Supervisors without Study Package ($30)

Visit https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=YQxK2D to register (registration is necessary). The workshop will take place in Brown Science Hall (Room B114) on the main USF campus, which is located at 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet.

Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, 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 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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