Masciotra, McDermott to Offer Readings at Heritage Village

Joliet, Ill. – University of St. Francis (USF) College of Arts & Sciences Interim Dean Elizabeth McDermott and USF English instructor David Masciotra will give readings from their recent publications at the Will County Historical Museum’s Heritage Village (located at 249 W. Second Street, Lockport, IL) from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 1. Food and drinks will also be available.

McDermott is the author of “Figure 1” and “How to Leave a Farmhouse”, and Masciotra is the author of “I Am Somebody: Why Jesse Jackson Matters,” “Mellencamp: American Troubadour,” “Barack Obama: Invisible Man,” and “Metallica by Metallica”.

The event is free and open to the public. Visit willhistory.org/heritage-village for additional 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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The Princeton Review Names USF a Best Midwestern College

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is one of the 158 best colleges in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review. The education services company lists USF in the Best in the Midwest section of its 2023 Best Colleges: Region by Region website. The honor marks the fifteenth consecutive year USF has been named to this national listing.

Arranged according to five regional categories (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West and International), The Princeton Review’s “2023 Best Colleges: Region by Region” recognizes 655 colleges and universities that the organization considers both academically outstanding and a valuable collegiate option.

“USF is dedicated to preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership, and continues to work together build a Franciscan future in our second century as an institution of higher education. National recognition such as this – a fifteenth consecutive year of recognition by The Princeton Review – demonstrates the University of St. Francis’ longstanding and ongoing commitment to student success in terms of retention to graduation rates to in-field job placement,” USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., said.

Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief, indicated that academics and overall campus experience play an important role in assembling this annual listing.

“We chose the University of St. Francis and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their academics,” Franek said. He noted that the company considered data from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, information from staff visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of college counselors and advisors whose perspectives the company solicits. “We also consider what students enrolled at the schools reported to us on our student survey about their campus experiences,” Franek added.

To learn more about The Princeton Review or to view the listing, please visit princetonreview.com/bestMWcolleges.

National Recognition Continues

USF continues to receive high praise from a variety of national ranking agencies. Most recently, Niche.com released its 2023 Best Colleges in America rankings and placed USF as the #4 Best Value College in Illinois and #112 Best Value College in the nation. Additionally, Niche.com ranked USF as the #49 Best Catholic Colleges in the nation, and among the top 200 schools in the in a variety of majors and programs.

Visit niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/ for more information the 2023 Best Colleges in America rankings by Niche.com.

Visit stfrancis.edu/nationally-ranked for more information on additional national accolades earned by USF.

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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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U.S. News & World Report Names USF in 2022-2023 Best Colleges Rankings

Joliet, Ill. – U.S. News & World Report continues to recognize the University of St. Francis (USF) as a top university in the United States. This year’s recognition in the publication’s 2022-23 Best Colleges rankings marks USF’s fourth year in the “National Universities” category, and the nineteenth consecutive year that USF has been honored by U.S. News & World Report.

According to usnews.com/education, “Schools in the ‘National Universities’ category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs. These colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.”

USF was ranked once again among the top 300 in the “National Universities” category of this year’s publication. The ranking placed USF eleventh among all Illinois schools included in the report, seventh among private Illinois schools, and third among Illinois’ ranked Catholic schools.

USF is also Will County’s only school included in U.S News & World Report’s 2022-2023 “National University” rankings.

U.S. News & World Report’s continued recognition of USF acknowledges the quality of a University of St. Francis education,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. “Rankings such as this help to validate the efforts of our faculty and provide us with many points of pride. These rankings are also more important now than ever before as high school students weigh their post-graduation options. USF graduates are considered top prospects by employers, and find jobs that launch their careers. This certainly validates our value proposition of the return on investment realized by USF graduates.”

U.S. News & World Report also ranked USF as one of the top 100 universities in the country in its Top Performers for Social Mobility list for a fourth consecutive year. The ranking recognizes USF as a school that supports and assists economically disadvantaged students. According to usnews.com, “Some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.”

USF was also included in the publication’s Best Undergraduate Nursing rankings for a second consecutive year, as well as the publication’s Campus Ethnic Diversity rankings for the first time.

Visit usnews.com/colleges for more information on the U.S. News and World Report 2022-23 Best Colleges rankings.

National Recognition Continues

USF continues to receive high praise from a variety of national ranking agencies. Most recently, Niche.com released its 2023 Best Colleges in America rankings and placed USF as the #4 Best Value College in Illinois and #112 Best Value College in the nation. Additionally, Niche.com ranked USF as the #49 Best Catholic Colleges in the nation, and among the top 200 schools in the in a variety of majors and programs.

Visit niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/ for more information the 2023 Best Colleges in America rankings by Niche.com.

Visit stfrancis.edu/nationally-ranked for more information on additional national accolades earned by USF.

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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 Art Gallery Exhibition Featuring Works of USF Alumni

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Art Gallery in downtown Joliet invites the community to enjoy the creative works of USF alumni.

The Alumni Exhibition, which runs through Thursday, September 29, will feature the works of several USF alumni, including: Megan Altmyer (2013); Jessica Baron (2013); Roger Carlson (2006); Jessica Cuevas (2014); Katia Hunt (2019); Sydney Jarrard (2019); Christopher Jones (2015); Dora Moore (2008); Meghann O’Hara (2001); Autumn Panzera (2011); Boris Peshev (2016); Joe Santillo (2017); Egzon Shaqiri (2014) ;Marguerite Stoiber (1973); Lauren Tuider (2020); Odessa Villarreal (2021), and; Ryan Wolfe (2004).

The USF Art Gallery is located at 25 E. Van Buren Street in Joliet, is open to the public Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit stfrancis.edu/artgallery/ 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 Announces 2022 Homecoming & Reunion Plans

Homecoming 2022

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) has announced its plans for USF Homecoming & Reunion with events that will take place from Friday, September 23, through Sunday, September 25. With the variety of events set to take place, there is something for all alumni and friends of USF to enjoy.

This year’s Homecoming & Reunion events include: (on Friday, September 23) Alumni Baseball Game; (on Saturday, September 24) Alumnae Volleyball Game; Homecoming Tailgate & Football Game (vs. Siena Heights); USF History in Photos; Campus Tour; Communication Reunion; Alumni Memorial Mass; and Distinguished Alumni Dinner; and (on Sunday, September 25) the Nursing Tour and Brunch.

Visit stfrancis.edu/hcrw for more information on Homecoming and Reunion events, to register for a specific event, and for information on lodging and directions to campus. Alumni are asked to note the event reservation cutoff date of September 21, 2022.

Lisa Sampalis, USF vice president for advancement, is excited to offer once again a full slate of homecoming activities to USF alumni.

“The University of St. Francis is delighted to welcome our students and faculty back to campus. You can feel the synergy on campus with bright smiles and big dreams,” Sampalis said. “We welcome our Alumni and the entire Joliet community to Homecoming & Reunion weekend September 23-25. Return home to your alma mater for a weekend of celebrating and reconnecting with faculty and friends.”

New this year is a Homecoming & Reunion outreach goal to raise funds that will provide financial assistance for current USF students.

“Our Homecoming & Reunion outreach goal is $25,000 in support of the Jane Engleton Snyder ’35 Scholarship, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and the Francis Fund. Scholarships help students realize the dream of education, and the ARC helps support that dream. We have a group of alumni who have committed to match gifts received through December 31, 2022,” said Kim Kalafut, USF director of the annual fund.

Gifts toward the Homecoming & Reunion Outreach goal can be made by visiting stfrancis.edu/hcrw.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Alumni & Family Relations Office either by email at alumni@stfrancis.edu or by phone at 877-811-ALUM (2586).

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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 ComEd Green Region Grant to Support Prairie Restoration

ComEd Green Region Grant award banner

Joliet, Ill. – Once covering over 21 million acres, less than 0.1% of Illinois’ native tallgrass prairie remains. A $10,000 matching grant awarded to the University of St. Francis (USF) and its ‘Reestablishing Illinois Prairie Land: Ongoing Tallgrass Prairie Restoration at Charlotte Codo Prairie in Frankfort, IL’ project through the ComEd Green Region Grant program looks to reverse that trend.

The Charlotte Codo Prairie, gifted by the Codo family to USF, is a local prairie restoration site approximately 15 miles east of Joliet. The restoration was initiated by the Codo family in 2014 and is maintained by USF today. Currently, this 47-acre property houses 24 acres of restored tallgrass prairie. Tallgrass prairie fields are used by USF faculty and students for research and educational purposes, including studying biological diversity, learning species identification, and contributing to future restoration practices. Codo Prairie is a site of active restoration.

“We plan to expand the acreage of the restored prairie in a multi-year, multi-stage project,” said Chloe Lash, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at USF and project director for the university’s ComEd Green Region grant.

“Seventeen acres of alfalfa field on the property will be the next stage of prairie restoration at Codo. While restoring native tallgrass prairie, we also wish to expand public engagement at Codo,” Lash said.

The project, supported by $10,000 in matching funds by USF, will be pursued through four stages, including (Stage 1) the establishment of native plant seed gardens, (Stage 2) the expansion of community outreach at Charlotte Codo Prairie, (Stage 3) the harvesting seed from the seed gardens, purchasing seed to supplement harvested seed, and planting of the native seed in the alfalfa field (using current best practices for prairie restoration), and (Stage 4) the planning of controlled burns at the restored site. The ComEd Green Region grant will support efforts for Stages 1 and 2 of this multi-phase project.

Lash sees the benefits of this project reaching beyond USF.

“This project will not only benefit the University of St. Francis (USF) community but will engage the broader local community in prairie restoration. USF faculty and students will continue to use Codo Prairie for engagement in scientific research and education. Beyond USF, the Codo Prairie Committee is working on establishing approval processes for research by universities and other scientific groups beyond USF affiliates. We are also working on making Codo Prairie more accessible to the public through community partnerships and long-term plans for the property,” Lash said.

Ultimately, Lash sees the restoration of native Illinois habitat in Will County as the ultimate goal and is grateful to the ComEd Green Region Grant program for helping USF to embark on that journey.

“We are so thankful for the support from the ComEd Green Regions Grant. This award will allow us to build on our educational efforts at the Charlotte Codo Prairie and will support the next stage of prairie restoration at this USF property. Increasing prairieland will support local pollinators, enrich local biodiversity, improve soil health, and assist in climate resiliency research. We are so excited to contribute to restoring native Illinois habitat in Will County,” Lash said.

For more information on the ComEd Green Region Grant program, visit www.openlands.org/greenregion.

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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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