Celebrate the Sounds of the Season with USF at Christmas at the Motherhouse

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis’ Music & Performing Arts Department presents Christmas at the Motherhouse: “One Child – A Centennial Concert of Premieres” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 in St. Joseph Chapel in the Motherhouse on the main USF campus in Joliet (520 Plainfield Road). Join USF at it begins the celebration of its centennial with a concert of premieres. USF’s own Claritas Master Chorale, Schola Cantorum, and Swinging Saints will join forces to sing about the birth of Jesus, one child, a moment that changed the world. The concert will include new versions of familiar pieces and will feature premieres of “One Child” and Dr. Robert Kase’s “Dance in the Light,” a work written especially for this concert celebration.

Tickets cost $10 per adult and $7 for seniors (65+), alumni and non-USF students. USF students & staff with ID are admitted free of charge. To reserve your tickets, please visit stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser.

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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Lifetime USF Friend and Supporter Dorothy “Dottie” Brown Passes Away

Joliet, Ill. – It is with great sadness that the University of St. Francis (USF) shares the news that Dorothy “Dottie” Brown, lifetime friend and supporter of USF, passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Dottie is now reunited with her husband, LaVerne “Bitz” Brown, in eternal life. Bitz passed away on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

Dottie will be remembered for her perpetual smile, her humble heart, and her lifelong service to the community. She will be greatly missed.

Services for Dottie will be held on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, at the site of her baptism, St. John’s Catholic Church, which is located at 404 N. Hickory Street in Joliet. Visitation will be at the church from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., followed by a Burial Mass at 11 a.m.

Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville. 

In recognition of her longtime support of the USF, campus flags will be flown at half-staff on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.

Over the course of many years, the Browns have created a lasting legacy at USF. Their ongoing, generous support for and love of the University can be seen across its main campus in Joliet. In 2011, the University’s library was renamed the LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Library, and in 2018, and the LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Science Hall opened. The Browns have and will continue to positively impact the lives of current and future generations of USF students.

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 Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review®.

The education services company features USF in its just-published free resource, The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition. Released on October 22, the guide can be accessed at princetonreview.com/green-guide.

“The University of St. Francis is pleased to be included in the Princeton Review’s 2019 Guide to Green Colleges. This marks the first time that USF has been included in this listing, which serves as a nice reflection of our efforts to increase sustainability projects and awareness on our campuses,” said Janine Hicks, USF Sustainability Coordinator.

USF has organized formal sustainability efforts for close to 20 years. These efforts have resulted in the installation of water filling stations in campus buildings, the organization of recycling programs, the implementation of energy efficient lighting in various areas of campus, the creation of beehives and monarch butterfly sanctuaries, and elimination of general plastic straw usage. Last year, USF earned a grant from the Illinois American Water Environmental Grant Program to purchase rain barrels and soaker hoses for its community garden. This year, students are being given water timers as a reminder to limit water use when showering, which supports the City of Joliet as it continues to investigate options for its future water supply. To keep up with USF’s latest sustainability efforts, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/StFrancisSustainability.

“We salute—and strongly recommend—the University of St. Francis to the many environmentally-minded students who want to study and live at a green college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief.

Franek noted that college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. Among the 11,900 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2019 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64% said that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.” The full survey report is downloadable at princetonreview.com/college-hopes-worries.

The Princeton Review chose the 413 schools it profiles in the guide based on a survey the company conducted in 2018–19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The school profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges provide information about admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body demographics. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools, with details on such matters as the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

The Princeton Review first published its annual guide to green colleges in 2010. The company is also known for its dozens of categories of college rankings in its annual books, The Best 385 Colleges and Best Value Colleges.

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on Green Rating scores the company tallied (on a scale of 60 to 99) for 689 colleges in summer 2019 using data from its 2018–19 survey of administrators at the colleges. The survey asked administrators to report on their schools’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were analyzed for the Green Rating score. Colleges with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. The Green Rating scores appear in the profiles of the schools on princetonreview.com and in the 2020 editions of The Princeton Review books, The Complete Book of Colleges and The Best 385 Colleges (published in summer 2019). More information about The Princeton Review’s Green Rating methodology and its Green Honor Roll (a list of schools that received the highest possible rating score, 99) is at princetonreview.com/green-guide.

How the Guide’s Top 50 Green Colleges Ranking List Was Tallied

The Princeton Review tallied this ranking list based on data from its institutional survey of administrators at the colleges for its Green Rating and its surveys of students attending the colleges. Ten data points from the institutional survey were factored into the assessment. Data from the student survey included student ratings of three factors: the influence of sustainability issues on their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school–bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. Its Tutor.com brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 17.5 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit PrincetonReview.com. Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev and Instagram @theprincetonreview.

About USF

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

Joliet, Ill. – Starting at 12 noon on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019) and running through January 2, 2020, University of St. Francis (USF) radio station WCSF-FM 88.7 switches over from its regular programming to the Spirit of Christmas, a 24-hour, commercial-free, season-long holiday format.

Spirit of Christmas features a variety-filled rotation of over 4,000 songs, including multiple versions of holiday classics, like “White Christmas”. 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, which tells 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.

Established in 1993 by Bob Zak, Spirit of Christmas was ahead of its time because season-long broadcasts of holiday music were not yet airing.

“At the end of the fall semester, the radio station would shut down for a few weeks because students were finished with their coursework for that semester,” said current Spirit of Christmas Director of Programming Don Burke. “Bob wanted to experiment with a holiday format that ran from December 1st through December 26th and that continuously played a variety of Christmas songs. Within two days of the original launch, the station’s phones were constantly receiving calls about how much people loved the station and to make song requests.”

You can tune in to FM 88.7 to listen to the Spirit of Christmas on your radio in the Joliet area, or you can livestream it at stfrancis.edu/spirit.

Area businesses are also invited to promoting themselves through special sponsorship opportunities that air during Spirit of Christmas programming. Sponsorships start at $250. For more information about sponsorships, please call 815-740-3610.

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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Speaker and Sexual Assault Survivor Tim Mousseau to Share Story on Nov. 18

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Criminal and Social Justice Department and Office of Institutional Diversity welcome guest speaker Tim Mousseau to campus for a special presentation of “Retaking Our Story: Reframing the Sexual Assault Conversation” at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18. in San Damiano Hall (located inside the USF Welcome Center/Motherhouse at 420 Plainfield Road in Joliet). This is a free event and is open to the public.

“Retaking Our Story: Reframing the Sexual Assault Conversation” tells the story of Mousseau’s experience as a victim of sexual assault. In this keynote, Tim leads a deep and vulnerable conversation on the delicate topic of sexual assault drawing from his experiences and countless interactions with others in support groups. Why is an underlying culture of shame implicit, and how can it be stopped? Tim will help your communities understand the background information needed to facilitate healthy conversations on sexual assault, resources to assist in the survivor recovery process, and how the power of our personal and community stories can be utilized in prevention. Students will leave feeling prepared to create a culture of compassion while realistically facing an issue prevalent on campuses across the country.

Visit campuspeak.com/speaker/tim-mousseau for more information on Mousseau and his “Retaking Our Story: Reframing the Sexual Assault Conversation” presentation.

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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Annual USF Distinguished Alumni Award Winners Announced

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF), through the USF Alumni & Family Relations Office, honored five outstanding alumni with the annual Distinguished Alumni Award as part of the university’s Homecoming & Reunion festivities on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Nominations for these prestigious awards were submitted by family members, coworkers, fellow alumni and others who could testify to the nominees’ achievements. The recipients were then selected by the USF Alumni Association’s Executive Board of Directors based on outstanding professional and personal successes, as well as involvement in civic, cultural or charitable activities. The most prestigious award, the Presidential Alumni Award, was selected by the University. In addition, one alumnus/alumna from each of the university’s four colleges is honored each year, highlighting the diverse disciplines of a comprehensive university.

The 2019 University of St. Francis Distinguished Alumni Award winners are:

Margaret Benoit

Presidential Alumni Award
Margaret Benoit ‘69
(B.A., English)
Retired educator at Joliet District 86

Margaret Benoit grew up on a farm and had wonderful, hard-working parents. They were kind and honest and they taught her, by example, to give her time and talent.

When she started school, she went to a one-room country school for three years, and then to St. Rose School in Wilmington, Ill. She attended high school at St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy), and went on to receive her B.A. from the College of St. Francis where she majored in English and minored in Music and Education.

Benoit feels she had many excellent and dedicated teachers, both in high school and college, who inspired her to join the teaching profession.

After graduating from St. Francis, Benoit was told by Sr. Vivian Whitehead, OSF, that there was a need for teachers at a Franciscan school in a very poor area of Fairfield, Ala. Benoit spent her first year as a teacher guiding a second grade class at St. Mary’s School in Fairfield. It was a special year for Benoit.

After that year in Alabama, Benoit returned to Joliet where she taught elementary grades (grades 1-5) for over 30 years in District 86. She also enjoyed directing Christmas programs and spring musical events. Now retired, Benoit enjoys volunteering at Our Lady of Angels retirement home, where she assists in the gift shop and presents “Music with Margaret” every Monday.

Benoit and her husband, Bill, have one daughter, Beth, who lives and works in Chicago. After Bill also retired from teaching, he began working at USF in the College of Education so both Bill and Margaret have very meaningful connections with USF. She is very proud to be a graduate of USF, and is most humbled to be the recipient of the Presidential Alumni Award.

College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Award
Julius Patterson ‘13
(BSW, Social Work)
MTSS Behavior Specialist and head varsity baseball coach at Thornton Township High School

Julius C. Patterson was born and raised in Harvey, Ill. His love for his community and the people that influenced him is evident in his everyday life.

As a child, Patterson was heavily involved in sports and music, and went on to receive an athletic scholarship to play baseball at the University of St Francis. Patterson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2013 and continued his education at Illinois State University, obtaining a master’s degree in 2016.

Upon finishing school, Julius worked as a counselor for a non-profit organization that catered to Chicago’s inner-city youth. Patterson co-founded the South Suburban Defenders, a non-profit youth baseball team, which focuses on developing children’s skills and promoting the importance of giving back to the community.

In 2018, Patterson completed his professional educator’s license and is currently on staff as the school social worker and head varsity baseball coach at Thornton High School in Harvey, Ill.

Patterson’ deep love for his community and desire to give back led him into recently campaigning for the aldermanic position in Harvey’s 5th Ward. He is both creative and a scholar, and in his spare time, he dabbles in fashion design and produces music.

Julius C. Patterson is very much a “hometown hero”- his heart is in Harvey and his life is for his people.

Caroline Portlock

College of Business & Health Administration Alumni Award
Caroline Portlock ’02, ‘04
(B.S., Professional Arts; MBA Business Administration)
Director of the Workforce Investment Board of Will County

Prior to joining the Workforce Investment Board, Caroline Portlock was the workforce development director at Joliet Junior College and managed WIOA grants in Will and Grundy counties, totaling over $2 million.

Portlock participates in the Regional Planning Council for Workforce Boards and is a member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and the Northern Illinois Workforce Coalition. She previously served as the board chair for the Grundy Livingston Kankakee Workforce Board and on the executive committee of the Grundy Economic Development Council.

She is the past president/CEO of the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry. responsible for the overall marketing, planning and directing operations for the business services organization. She was also the HR manager for a local casino, where her experience included recruiting, training and retaining employees with emphasis on employee relations and internal communications. There, Portlock successfully increased employee satisfaction and decreased turnover while also gaining experience in public relations and marketing.

Portlock received her PHR certification through the Society of Human Resource Management in May 2002, completed her MBA at University of St. Francis in May 2004 and received her IOM certification for non-profit organizational management through the U.S. Chamber in June of 2008.

She currently serves as president of the USF Alumni Board and is member of the USF Board of Trustees, Kiwanis Club of Joliet, Illinois Workforce Partners, and Advisory Council for the United Way of Grundy County.

In January of 2015, Portlock finished her first marathon at Walt Disney World, and in June of 2016, she earned her school black belt in combat hapkido. She is married to a local attorney, Vince G. Portlock, and spends her time chasing her Australian cattle dog, Rooby.

College of Education Alumni Award
Patricia Arias ’08, ‘11
(B.A., Elementary Education; M.S., Teaching & Learning)
Bilingual teacher at Joliet District 86

Patricia Arias’s life could best be described as a big roller coaster. She has lived through as many ups and downs, twists and turns, and highs and lows as anyone could imagine. Still, she would not trade a single moment for anything.

Arias was born in the bustling, large Mexican city of Moroleón, Guanajuato, where she lived until her parents brought to the United States when she was nine years old. She quickly became acculturated to the vastly different U.S. customs but, eight years later, found herself to be a newly single mom who had to drop out of high school to care for her child. Thankfully, when she was 20 years old and with the encouragement and motivation of her new husband, Oscar, she finally got her GED. This accomplishment left her with a great desire to return to school and further her education.

With this new determination and mindset, she enrolled in courses at Joliet Junior College. After obtaining her associate’s degree, she transferred to the University of St. Francis, where her love for education grew immensely. The university’s commitment and dedication to upholding its core values, including ensuring student success, is what made Arias believe that she was finally on the path to a future she never imagined would be possible.

She received her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and several other endorsements from the University of St. Francis. She’s now both a student and a teacher at the university, taking classes and also teaching some courses as an adjunct professor.

Arias is also a mother to five children and grandmother to one beautiful, baby girl who is one of her greatest inspirations. Twenty-five years ago, if you had told her that this would be her life, she would not have believed it. However, it was strength, love and education that got her where she is today: a shining member of the University of St. Francis family.

Lisa Pittman

Leach College of Nursing Alumni Award
Lisa Pittman ’00, ’10, ‘13
(B.S., Health Arts; M.S., Health Administration; MSN Nursing Administration)
Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago

Lisa Pittman MHA, MSN, R.N ., NEA-BC, OCN is a nurse executive and assistant vice president of patient care services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) Chicago. She has 24 years of hospital-based nursing with progressive leadership experience.

After graduating from Parkland College in Champaign in 1994, Pittman obtained three University of St. Francis degrees – a B.S. in Health Arts in 2000, an M.S. in Healthcare Administration in 2010, and an M.S. in Nursing in 2013. In addition, Lisa holds two national certifications, both as an oncology certified nurse and an executive advanced-board certified nurse.

Pittman is a proven leader with experience in transformational culture change. She has a passion for assisting organizations to exceed expected benchmarks in quality, satisfaction and efficiency by ensuring evidence-based, patient-centered, cost-effective, and compassionate care. Key priorities in her leadership roles have been leading initiatives, achieving results and advancing professional nursing practice. Under her leadership, CTCA Chicago received the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award three times and continues to perform in the top decile for patient satisfaction. Some of her work was highlighted in Press Ganey’s August 2018 issue of Industry Edge.

Pittman has presented nationally on several topics including “Improving Symptom Related Patient Outcomes: Oncologic Surgical Site Infection Bundle” (Oncology Nursing Society 44th Annual Congress); “CVAD No Blood Return Algorithm and its Impact on Patient Safety” (lnfusion Nurses Society Annual National Conference and the Association for Vascular Access Scientific Meeting); “Leveraging Patient Complaints to New Heights” (Rush University Medical Center’s What Patients Say: Improving Quality, Safety and the Patient Experience Using Patient Comments) and “Patient Centered Care Next Stop: Bedside Shift Report.” (Adventist Patient Experience Summit).

Pittman has two daughters that are the loves of her life: Danielle, also a practicing nurse who resides in Dallas, Texas, and Casey, a high school senior who is active in speech and theatre.

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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