Steph ’05 and Tyler Qualio

Steph Qualio received her teaching certificate (K-8) and master’s degree in education from USF in 2005. She loved being in a small classroom environment and having direct, close contact with her professors and the staff at USF. She had received her bachelor’s degree from another small school (St. Norbert College) and, seeking a similar experience for her master’s, she ended up at St. Francis.
Steph met and started dating her husband, Tyler, as sophomores at St. Norbert. When they married, they moved back to Steph’s hometown of Joliet. They both wanted to get involved in the community somehow and loved the idea of giving back to USF since Steph had such a great experience at the university as a student.
As they learned more about the “state of the university,” they were both inspired by the number of students who are the first in their family to go to college. They also learned that help was needed on the Caritas Committee. Tyler, who now runs Sentinus (a financial planning and investment advisory business in Oak Brook), has had many business networking opportunities over the years, including involvement on various committees. But the Caritas Committee proved to be something the pair could work on together to further their interests in helping students get degrees.
They’ve been involved with the Caritas Committee for several years now– 13, in fact– and they’ve seen many great changes occur at the university during that time. They’ve also met wonderful people in the process, many of whom have helped Tyler grow his business. Other reasons they stay involved include “opportunities we are helping to create, the people we get to see, and the wonderful evening of tuxedos and gowns, wonderful food, lots of dancing, and great friends!” says Steph.
Being part of the committee requires a lot of work. Securing items for the silent and live auctions is probably the biggest job for committee members because finding “one-of-a-kind,” “once-in-a-lifetime” items isn’t always easy. However, every year, the committee comes up with a fabulous lineup of items that draw great bids from auction-goers.
The second biggest duty is preparing all the behind-the-scenes details of the event like the theme, the decor, and more.
“We meet a few times as a committee in the fall and winter to discuss tasks and brainstorm ideas to keep the event fresh and exciting, decide on a band, taste food and wine options among other details,” says Steph.
“The staff at USF puts an unbelievable amount of work into the event and we couldn’t do it without them. There is also a group of students who volunteer their time to help out with the event and we are equally grateful for the work they put into it!”
For fun, Tyler stays busy golfing, traveling and hanging out with Steph, daughters Chase (10) and Macki (7) and their dog, Archie. Steph has recently started styling and designing homes since their girls are now in school full time. Home decor and design has always been her passion and she’s finally turning it into a business by  helping others create the home they’ve always wanted.
About those two little ones, Steph beams, “Our girls are the best! Tyler and I love being parents and watching our daughters become little ladies full of personality (with attitude, of course). We hope that they will learn to help others in need as they grow older by watching us and  the wonderful people around them.”
Finally, when asked about her 2018 resolutions, Steph giggled.
“Hmmm…I really like to make those throughout the year, instead of just at the beginning, because by the end of January I am burned out and disappointed with my progress! However, I am constantly working on becoming better at who I am as a mom, a wife, a friend, a new businesswoman, and as a member of this world. Life gets in the way a lot, but I do what I can.”