Donors Address Need for Adjunct Faculty Work Space at USF

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) recently dedicated and blessed a renovated space on its main campus that now provides much-needed work and meeting space for the university’s adjunct faculty.

The idea for the project came about organically as Terry D’Arcy, whose mother, Jeanette, is an alumna of the university, toured USF’s main campus in Joliet. Upon seeing the space, which is located on the first floor of Tower Hall and was previously occupied by the university’s graduate admissions team, D’Arcy saw a need and value to the space and enlisted the support of friend Jeff Kohl of OC Restoration to plan and execute improvements to the area.

A special ribbon-cutting and blessing ceremony took place in the space on October 13th, and was followed by tours of the finished work.

“We are all stewards of what we have been blessed with. Jeff (Kohl) and I feel the same way in that when you see a need, you do what you can to fill it. Even when no one is asking for help and you see that need, sometimes you just step forward and help, which is how this project came about. We are proud to be partners with USF on this,” said Terry D’Arcy.

“This is a wonderful space. It is already being used by adjunct faculty and students as a space to gather and work. This is a type of space that many universities don’t offer, so I sincerely thank Sue and Terry D’Arcy, and Kaity and Jeff Kohl for their generous gifts that have made this space possible,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D.

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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 Featured in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges 2023 Edition

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 website resource, The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2023 Edition, released on October 25, 2022. The guide is accessible for free at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The Princeton Review chose the schools in the guide based on its survey of administrators at 713 colleges during the 2021-22 academic year and surveys of students attending the colleges. The company editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points to select the 455 schools chosen for the guide.

“It is an honor for the University of St. Francis to continue to be recognized for its sustainability efforts by The Princeton Review. This recognition serves as a nice acknowledgement of our efforts to increase the campus’s sustainability projects and awareness,” said Ashley Swanson, co-chair of the USF Sustainability Committee.

Recent sustainability projects at USF include a creation of a pollinator garden, maintenance of on-campus beehives, study and restoration of the Charlotte Codo Prairie in Frankfort, composting, and the creation of community gardens.

The university’s sustainability efforts are tied to the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is remembered for his love of the environment and all living things.

“We believe that our patron Saint Francis of Assisi is the example par excellence challenging us to of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically (adapted from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Paragraph 10),” added Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF, USF Vice President of Mission Integration.

“We strongly recommend the University of St. Francis to the increasing number of students who care about the environment and want their ‘best-fit’ college to also ideally be a green one,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief. “USF demonstrates an exemplary commitment to sustainability and to green practices—and it offers excellent academic programs.”

Franek noted that The Princeton Review has seen an increasing level of interest among students in attending green colleges. Of the more than 10,000 college applicants the company polled for its 2022 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 77% said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a school. A report on the survey findings is downloadable at www.princetonreview.com/college-hopes-worries.

The school profiles in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges report on the colleges’ uses of renewable energy, their recycling and conservation programs, the availability of environmental studies in their academic offerings, and their career guidance for green jobs. The profiles also include information on the schools’ admission requirements, cost, and financial aid.

The Princeton Review has published its Guide to Green Colleges annually since 2010. The company is also known for its dozens of categories of college rankings in its book, The Best 388 Colleges, and its website resources including The Best Value Colleges.

USF was also recognized by The Princeton Review’s Best in the Midwest section of its “2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website. The honor marks the fourteenth consecutive year USF has been named to this national listing.

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the 455 colleges based on its 2021–22 survey of administrators at 713 colleges concerning their institutions’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 data points from the survey to tally Green Rating scores for the schools on a scale of 60 to 99. Colleges that earned a Green Rating score of 80 or higher were chosen for the Guide to Green Colleges. Of the 455 schools selected for the 2023 edition, 422 are in the U.S., 26 are in Canada, two are in Taiwan and one (each) is in Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, and Morocco.

Thirty-one of the 455 schools in the guide earned a Green Rating score of 99 (the highest possible score). They are listed in The Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll (reported August 2022). The Princeton Review’s Green Rating scores of colleges appear in the profiles of the schools on PrincetonReview.com and in profiles in the company’s flagship college guide, The Best 388 Colleges: 2023 Edition (August 2022).

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. The company’s Tutor.com brand is one of the largest online tutoring services in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 21 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 and the company’s Media Center.

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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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Support the USF Student Emergency Fund on Giving Tuesday

USF Giving Tuesday

Joliet, Ill. – This Giving Tuesday, November 29, join the University of St. Francis (USF) as generosity transforms into impact in the form of a Franciscan education for USF students.

This year, USF is focusing Giving Tuesday efforts to support the Student Emergency Fund. This fund provides emergency financial assistance to students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses forcing them to consider withdrawal from the university. Applicants apply for this one-time assistance through University Ministry. As applicant needs are pressing, applications are processed within 48-hours for rapid response to the issue.

“The Student Emergency Fund is one way the University of St. Francis responds to our students’ growing needs. The Student Emergency Fund was created to address the unforeseen hardships of our students that compromise their pursuit of education. With the generosity of donors who contribute to the Student Emergency Fund we provide one-time scholarships of $500 for things like temporary food assistance for a student who may have lost their part-time job,” said Lisa Sampalis, vice president for advancement.

Visit stfrancis.edu/givingtuesday to learn more and participate in Giving Tuesday. Please contact the USF Advancement team at ahogan@stfrancis.edu for more information.

About Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Visit GivingTuesday.org for more information.

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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 Awarded SAMHSA Grant to Support Mental Health Resources for Students

Joliet, Ill. – Providing mental health resources that meet the needs of students is an important area of focus institutions at all levels of education. The University of St. Francis (USF) is pleased to announce that its efforts to provide mental health resources to its students will be enhanced thanks a three-year matching grant through the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“We were aware that our students, having navigated the challenges presented by COVID-19 for the past two years, were in great need of support. Many students come to campus with lack of awareness about the things they can be doing day to day that have a great impact on their mental health. This grant will greatly help us to raise their awareness and take positive steps forward” said Mollie Rockafellow, Ed.D., dean of student life at USF and grant project director.

The two primary goals to be addressed through the matching grant include increasing the university’s capacity to identify at-risk students and improve mental health services for all college students, including those at risk for suicide, depression, or serious mental illness (SMI)/serious emotional disturbances (SED), and to prevent and reduce suicide and mental and substance use disorders by increasing awareness of resources and creating a campus culture surrounding mental health that is culturally competent and promotes help-seeking behavior.

Efforts funded through the grant began earlier this fall and have enhanced the university’s partnership with Advocate Aurora Health.

“Advocate Aurora Health offers amazing counseling support for our students, both in-person on our campus and in virtual formats. We believe this grant will help increase overall mental health while also building a safety net for when students need additional support in working through mental health challenges,” Rockafellow added.

Ultimately, Rockafellow is grateful for the positive impact that the matching grant will have on USF’s campus community.

“The grant committee is very appreciative that this grant will support our work with our campus community. We know that this grant will allow us to have a positive impact on our USF students teaching them skills that they will be able to carry with them their entire lives. We have an amazing population of students who have varying levels of history working toward a positive mental health experience. Creating spaces and engaging with students on this topic will greatly impact their success as they graduate and contribute to the world through service and leadership,” Rockafellow said.

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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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Hope of Bethany Award Presented to the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, USF

Joliet, Ill. – The Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate and the University of St. Francis (USF) were recently presented with the 2022 Hope of Bethany Award from Bethany House of Hospitality for their support of a Bethany House resident with four years of tuition, room and board at USF. The award was presented at the 5th anniversary celebration of Bethany House of Hospitality at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Oakbrook, Ill., on Sunday, October 23.

“We all know that it takes a village to raise a child. Those receiving the Hope of Bethany Award have also proven it takes both a sponsoring religious community and a university to provide a four-year college education! The Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate (Joliet Franciscans) and the University of St. Francis gifted one of Bethany House’s young women with just that— a four-year college education,” said Sr. Joyce Shanabarger, OSF, Bethany House of Hospitality board member.

Accepting the award at the event were Sr. Jeanne Bessette, OSF, president of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate; Sr. Dolores Zemont, OSF, founding member of Bethany House; Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., USF president; and Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF, vice president of for mission integration at USF.

About Bethany House of Hospitality

Since its opening on October 2017, Bethany House has welcomed more than 72 women and 22 small children. They come from 18 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South and Central America. The average length of stay is 10 months. Most arrived in this country as unaccompanied children seeking asylum. They have ‘aged out’ of the children’s detention centers. Most take ESL, GED or high school classes. Several women at Bethany House have been helped to attend local colleges.

Visit http://bethanyhouseofhospitality.com/ for more information.

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Assistant Professors Present on Partnership with Will County Problem Solving Courts

Joliet, Ill. – University of St. Francis instructors Stacy Dewald, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal and social justice, and Laura Honegger, Ph.D., LCSW, assistant professor of social work, presented at the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts Conference on Friday October 21, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott in Normal, Ill. The presentation, which included Dr. Scott DuBois and Mitch Crandall from the Will County State’s Attorney’s office, was titled, “Demystifying the Research Process: Collaborating with Universities.”

The session discussed the three-year researcher-practitioner relationship between the Will County Problem-Solving Courts (PSC) and the USF Social Work and Criminal & Social Justice Departments. This session also explained how to forge a relationship with a university and discussed the opportunities and benefits of doing so.

“This partnership has been mutually beneficial. Universities have professors with the expertise, resources, and desire to conduct research, which can benefit a PSC that lacks the financial means or ability to conduct such research. At the same time, universities can benefit from partnering with PSCs, which can offer internships, service-learning projects, and opportunities for students to connect with the local community. Conducting research not only contributes to improving a Problem-Solving Court but opens up the opportunities for innovative ideas and grant funding,” said Dewald.

Visit stfrancis.edu/arts-sciences for more information on USF’s criminal and social justice program, and social work program.

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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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