Three Instructors Earn Title of Professor Emeritus at USF

Joliet, Ill. – With the spring 2021 semester at the University of St. Francis (USF) concluding on Friday, May 7, three of the university’s faculty members have now officially earned the title of Professor Emeritus and will begin their retirement. The title of Professor Emeritus is granted by the university president (Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D.) – with the consent of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees – in recognition of a faculty member’s loyalty and unique contribution to USF and commonly marks the professional retirement of the title’s recipient.

Debra Bacharz, Ph.D., held the rank of Professor of Nursing in the USF Leach College of Nursing and maintained a full-time faculty appointment at USF for 30 years. She earned her BSN from Marycrest College, her M.S. from Northern Illinois University, and her Ph.D. from Capella University.

For Bacharz, teaching for the past three decades has been a true calling.

“My teaching at USF has been my passion for the last 30 years! Through all the ups and downs – pandemic and all – it has been my joy and privilege to serve our future nurses.  The expertise, dedication and collegiality of the USF faculty and staff has added to added to that joy and privilege,” she said.

As she begins her retirement, Bacharz is already set to enjoy her newfound free time.

“I will walk on the beach more, spend as much time as possible with my family, especially my grandchildren, and maybe write an article or two,” she said.

Patricia Pascoe, M.S., held the rank of Assistant Professor with Distinguished Teaching Faculty Status in the USF College of Arts and Sciences and maintained a full-time faculty appointment at USF for 41 years. Pascoe earned her B.S. from St. Norbert College and her M.S. from Bowling Green State University.

As she reflects on her teaching experience at USF, Pascoe uses two words to describe it.

“My teaching experience at USF can be summarized as one of passion and growth. The passion was for my discipline and our wonderful students. Growth in my discipline was being able to develop a comprehensive human anatomy program, which uses cadavers for teaching and provides students with the unique experience of cadaver dissection. I have fond memories of the two years I spent in Albuquerque with the PA program and I am proud to have been a part of its establishment. A large part of my success at USF stems from my loving and supportive family,” she said.

Pascoe added that her fondest memories center around the experiences she shared with her students.

“My fondest memories of teaching at USF involve working shoulder to shoulder with my students, both as lab assistants and in my dissection class. These students have touched my life. I am especially proud of the students who went on to do graduate work in anatomy and those who found successful niches in healthcare,” she said.

While she knows that many projects await her, Pascoe begins her retirement awaiting the guidance of her heart.

“I am intentionally planning to do nothing until my heart leads me in a new direction. I have many projects that need my attention, but I am going to take some time to “be comforted by the sweet territory of silence,” Pascoe said.

Anthony Zordan, CPA, DBA, held the rank of (full) Professor in the USF College of Business and Health Administration and maintained a full-time faculty appointment at USF for 38 years. Zordan earned his BSC and MBA at DePaul University, and earned his DBA from Nova Southeastern University.

As Zordan reflects on his teaching experience at USF, he places a high level of importance on connecting with his students.

“I tried to motivate students to do two things: to ‘get it’; to understand the material, and to see their work as a vocation and calling. I also tried to motivate them by letting them know I loved them by taking an interest, showing I cared, getting to class early and staying late, by going to some of their sporting events, wearing a tie. It sounds corny, but that’s why I wore a tie,” he said.

Now that his retirement has begun, Zordan already has a variety of plans for his new journey.

“My only commitment as of today is to start giving piano lessons to the 6 year old son of one of my nieces, although I’ve never given lessons. I also plan to learn Spanish and am starting with signing up for a class at USF this fall,” he said.

“Ultimately, I want to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and I think he is leading me in the direction of  continuing with the work of the Wheeler Grant to help students and maybe even businesses see their work as vocation, along with helping seniors navigate Social Security and Medicare, and helping the chronically unemployed,” Zordan added.

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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 51,000 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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Three USF Faculty Members Earn Tenure

Joliet, Ill. – Three faculty members from the University of St. Francis (USF) were approved for tenure status by the USF Board of Trustees in February. The status officially begins with the start of the fall 2021 semester at USF. The three faculty members were also promoted to Associate Professor, which also takes effect in the fall.

“Tenure is awarded to faculty based on a record of achievement at the university in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. It is a mutual commitment to uphold academic excellence and the mission of the University of St. Francis,” said Beth Roth, Ph.D., USF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Carol Lindee, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Logistics, Supply Chain & Analytics in the USF College of Business & Health Administration. She earned both her B.S. and her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and earned her Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Stuart School of Business. Lindee has taught at USF since 2014.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to teach our amazing students about supply chain management and the world of business.  Serving the university and community in various aspects, along with my research and scholarship activities, have also been very rewarding aspects of my role at USF.  Being granted tenure is an exciting milestone, and I look forward to many more years of contribution to this great institution,” Lindee said.

Jessica Monu, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Recreation and Sport Management in the USF College of Arts & Sciences. Monu earned her B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa. She then earned her M.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Ph.D. from Middle Tennessee State University. Monu has taught at USF since 2015.

“I am honored that USF sees in me what I see in USF, the future is endless. I could not have received this honor without the community that surrounds me personally and professionally. Nothing is accomplished alone,” Monu said.

Eyal Sagi, Ph.D. is the Department Chair & Assistant Professor of Psychology in the USF College of Arts & Sciences. Sagi earned his B.A. from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and then went on to earn both his M.A. and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Sagi has taught at USF since 2015.

“For me, tenure is not merely a recognition of my efforts to enrich and prepare our students for the future but also a promise for the future. I see the grant of tenure as a transition from my academic ‘childhood’ to ‘adulthood’ and feel that I, and especially my teaching style and ability, have substantially grown and developed over the past six years. I look forward to using this growth as a seed from which my post-tenure academic career will continue to develop and thrive in the wonderful community of learners that is the University of St. Francis,” Sagi offered.

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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 51,000 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 Online MBA Program the Best in Illinois

Joliet, Ill. – U.S. News & World Report released its 2021 Best Online Programs rankings today, and the University of St. Francis (USF) is proud to announce that its online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program has been ranked as the top program of its type in Illinois.

The publication also recognized four other online programs offered by USF, including two named as the best private programs in the State.

Recognized USF programs included:

  • Online MBA Program – #1 ranked program in Illinois (one of the top 43 percent in the US);
  • Online Graduate Education Program – #1 ranked private program in Illinois (top 28 percent nationally);
  • Online Graduate Business Program (excluding MBA) – #1 ranked private program in Illinois (top 44 percent nationally);
  • Online Bachelor’s Program – #3 ranked private program in Illinois (top 16 percent nationally), and;
  • Online Nursing Program – #4 ranked private program in Illinois (top 43 percent nationally).

Throughout 2020, USF celebrated its centennial and the many significant milestones that have contributed to the University’s success to date. Among those celebrated milestones was USF first introducing online courses and degree programs in 1998. Last spring, USF’s vast experience administering high quality, academic programs remotely was of high benefit and played a key role to its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For over twenty years, USF has continued to expand its comprehensive online programs and is now recognized for offering many of the State’s top private, online programs. The University’s experience in this area played an important role in the call to pivot to remote instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as with the programs recognized by U.S. News & World Report, we largely credit the success of this pivot to a faculty committed to high-quality teaching via all delivery methods,” USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., said.

While colleges and universities across the country are developing a larger presence in world of online learning in higher education, as well, USF continues to stand out among its peers. One primary reason for this, according to Eric Wignall, USF Vice President of Admissions, Enrollment Services and Marketing, is the University’s student-first focus.

“They need to learn about our world and be prepared to join a profession, start a business, care for a patient, teach in a classroom, or explain ideas in a boardroom. These rankings are a wonderful validation of those efforts,” said Wignall.

“At the core, USF focuses on students. Yes, we concentrate our efforts on their safety and pay close attention to making our campus a great place to live, but we start and end with student learning. Our mission is to prepare women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership,” said Wignall.

“High rankings are nice, but our student’s success is the real measure of what we are doing. Their high graduation rate, the internships, and the great jobs they land after graduation are the best ‘grades’ we can earn for USF.  When our students learn more they can do more, and they get real value from what St. Francis offers,” Wignall added.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the place for quality online options, web-based education was already gaining momentum in higher education, according to U.S. News & World Report.

“Nearly 3.3 million higher education students enrolled exclusively in distance education programs in fall 2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Whether a student is just starting a degree program or switched to online learning due to these unprecedented circumstances, online colleges can provide the flexibility to study from anywhere. Students with family responsibilities or full-time jobs may also be able to work around their own schedules. Whether a student is just starting a degree program or switched to online learning due to these unprecedented circumstances, online colleges can provide the flexibility to study from anywhere,” usnews.com reported.

Visit stfrancis.edu/admissions-aid/online for more information on USF’s online programs.

Visit usnews.com/education/online-education for more information on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Online Programs rankings.

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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 51,000 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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Servant Leaders Donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Joliet

Joliet, Ill. –  As a reflection of its Franciscan values and as Joliet’s university, the University of St. Francis (USF) works closely with area organizations to serve those in need. One recent example of this saw USF’s Servant Leaders program donating new winter clothing to the Boys & Girls Club of Joliet in support of the organization’s upcoming Curbside Christmas Party and Gift Grab on December 19, 2020.

“Striving to serve others and uphold our Franciscan values, the Servant Leaders donated 100 pairs of hats and gloves for the Boys & Girls Club of Joliet. As a part of the Joliet community, we want to have a positive impact on the city, especially during such a challenging time.  We hope that our donations bring joy and comfort to the children who receive them,” said Nicole Kulon, a junior majoring in business management and minoring in marketing.

Kahlil Diab, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Joliet, was extremely appreciative of the USF group’s supportive efforts.

“This amazing group of young women and men was generous with their time to collect and deliver this critical donation. We sincerely thank everyone who took part in this effort, and also send a special thank you to Dr. David Gordon, Boys & Girls Club of Joliet ‘Club Ambassador’ (and USF professor), for facilitating this partnership and donation,” he said.

USF’s Servant Leaders program started in fall 2019 and was one component of a successful grant proposal submitted to the Bob and Pat Wheeler Foundation. In addition to the creation of the Servant Leaders program, the successful proposal has resulted in the ongoing transition of USF’s College of Business and Health Administration into a Franciscan College focused on three core areas: faith, service, and academics. The college’s curriculum is being refocused onto Franciscan business ethics at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“Our Servant Leaders program is comprised of students who focus on three things: Jesus Christ and the work of St. Francis; promoting Franciscan values within the college and university; and service to others. These leaders are overseen by ‘Faculty Shepherds,’ who guide the students to keep focused on those three objectives,” explained Orlando Griego, Ph.D., dean of USF’s College of Business and Health Administration.

Griego added that since its inception, the Servant Leaders program and its participants have donated over $2,000 to help with the feeding of the homeless and have volunteered many hours of service at local shelters. The group also posts positive, Christ-centered messages around campus, working hand-in-hand with University Ministry, and will provide the chapel with two new sets of altar clothes for daily Mass. The group also participates in annual spiritual retreats.

About the Boys & Girls Club of Joliet

The Boys & Girls Club of Joliet is a proud United Way of Will County funded community partner and is dedicated to helping all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Visit bgcjoliet.com to learn more about supporting the organization and its mission.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, 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 51,000 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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Veronica Gloria Earns New Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship

Joliet, Ill. – Earlier this year, the University of St. Francis (USF) announced its Will County Access Initiative, which offers a full-tuition scholarship to benefit academically-talented but economically-challenged commuter students from under-served populations who dream of earning a college degree.  In another demonstration of its investment in the Joliet area, USF is now introducing its Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship.

“The Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship is designed for local, not-for-profit agency directors and leaders who serve the greater Joliet community and assists them with earning their MBA through USF.  As Joliet’s university, this is a direct way to impact Joliet community members,” said Tracy Spesia, Ed.D., USF professor and Spanish Community Center board president.

At least one scholarship will be awarded annually – subject to demand and external funding support.  Recipients must commit to maintaining board-approved leadership position at their respective agency for two years beyond degree completion.

While future recipients of the scholarship will be determined through an application-based review process, the inaugural recipient of the Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship is Veronica Gloria, Spanish Community Center Executive Director.  As the inaugural recipient of the scholarship, Gloria sees the opportunity the scholarship presents and the lasting impact it, in turn, can create within the local community.

“What excites me most about this opportunity is that it creates sustainable access to higher education for myself and other professionals dedicated to the public good in Joliet. The more prepared we are as a sector, the more we can strategically make a difference in our local community. A quality education at USF can provide us with essential tools to creatively face challenges as change agents in our institutions, communities, and broader systems,” Gloria said.

“Although Spanish Community Center has many successes to celebrate, there are many serious challenges ahead, from devising our first strategic plan, to an impending recession, to the societal challenges that our agency and the underprivileged community we serve face,” she added. “Earning an MBA is a critical towards gaining new skills, insights, and tools to overcome whatever challenges lay ahead for our agency and community. Sharpening my business acumen will help me ask the right questions and seek the best answers to ensure that Spanish Community Center is sustainable and continues to weather the many complex storms ahead.”

Gloria began her MBA studies at USF this fall with a goal of completing the program within two years.

The idea for the scholarship originated with Spesia and her connection to the Spanish Community Center and Gloria.

“Veronica is a gifted and talent young professional and I knew she wanted to further her education.  She has her undergraduate degrees from Harvard University and she is already on the Illinois Board of Higher Education (appointed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker).  I approached (USF President) Arvid (Johnson) with the idea and that we can strengthen the positive impact our University has on the Joliet community by investing in one of its talented leaders.  Arvid immediately agreed, and the idea continued to build from that point,” Spesia said.

Community Investing in Community

The Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship is offered under a shared-cost structure with financial responsibilities assigned as approximately 25% to the recipient personally, 25% to the Joliet-area agency sponsoring the recipient, and 50% to the University of St. Francis – with the expectation that half of USF’s commitment will be donor-/business-funded.  To that end, USF is proud to announce that the first community business sponsor of the Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship is Joliet-area business owner and philanthropist Terry D’Arcy.

“Terry D’Arcy has long been a strong supporter of the University of St. Francis and so many other important organizations and causes in the Joliet area,” USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., said. “Through his support of the Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship this year, Terry is continuing to invest in the ongoing growth and development of the greater Joliet region by partnering with USF to help one of our bright, young leaders to advance her education.”

Additional details on the Joliet Agency Leadership Scholarship will be made available to local service and community agencies in early 2021. For more information on the scholarship, please contact Eric Wignall, Vice President of Admissions, Enrollment Services, and Marketing at ewignall@stfrancis.edu or 815-740-3444.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, 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 51,000 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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COBHA Clubs Hold Food Drive to Benefit Local Pantry

October 23, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

Earlier this month during the University of St. Francis’ celebration of SS. Francis and Clare Week, the student clubs and organizations in USF’s College of Business & Health Administration hosted their annual food drive to benefit a local food pantry, with the act serving as a reflection of two of the university’s core Franciscan values – service and compassion.

“This is an annual effort that our college’s student clubs organize as a way to give back to the local community,” said Amanda Dore, visiting professor of accounting. “We are extremely proud of the effort, as well as the result of the effort.”

The drive, which yielded a collection of over 1,100 non-perishable items, benefited the local food pantry housed in St. John’s Catholic Church, which is located Joliet’s Cathedral Area, along with USF.

“The St. John’s food pantry serves families in the 60435 zip code,” said Dore. “During a typical week, the pantry serves approximately 75 families. Once winter approaches, that number jumps to over 125 families each week. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and staff to make a difference for those in need while bringing to life our university’s Franciscan values. This was a true university effort.”

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 4,100 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 49,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.