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

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

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