USF Librarian Selected for 2018 Road Scholars Speakers Bureau

Dec. 19, 2017 | Joliet, Ill.

The University of St. Francis (USF) congratulates Ruth D. Nelson, circulation supervisor in the Brown Library, for her appointment to the 2018 Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. The Illinois Humanities Council sponsors the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau program, which invites writers, historians, folklorists, musicians and others from Illinois to share their expertise and enthusiasm for their craft with residents throughout the state.

Nelson’s selection was based upon her book, “Searching for Marquette” which tells the story of Fr. Jacques Marquette, the 17th century French Jesuit missionary-explorer through the many works of art and monuments dedicated in his honor and his enormous impact on present-day Illinois.

As part of the Road Scholars program, Nelson will be invited to present on her subject across the state for a modest fee. The purpose of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau is to provide high quality, free-admission cultural programs for groups such as libraries, civic groups, museums and historical societies.

“The story of Marquette has faded,” commented Nelson, “so I am gratified that the Humanities Council chose to highlight this piece of our regional history.”

The Illinois Humanities website further described the impact of the program: “The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.”

For the full 2018 roster, please visit

Nelson received her M.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2007 and an M.S. in Library and Information Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014. She teaches in the continuing education departments of the College of DuPage and Joliet Junior College in addition to her work at the Brown Library at USF. When she is not teaching, she continues her research and writing on her favorite topic, American art history.

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are more than 48,000 USF alumni across the globe. University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.