Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Women’s History Month Committee annually solicits nominations for, selects and awards the Sister Clare award. The award, presented during Women’s History Month in March, recognizes women of vision who have transformed the world in their time, is presented each year to a deserving recipient by USF in the spirit of our sister, Clare. USF congratulates Patricia Alvarez on being selected as this year’s award recipient.

Alvarez, administrative assistant at Washington Junior High School (WJHS) in Joliet, was nominated for the award by WJHS parent (and USF library reference and instruction manager) Abigail Mastin, whose son recognized Alvarez’s continual acts of kindness to the school and community. Alvarez accepted the award during a special ceremony at USF on March 14, 2022.

USF’s inaugural Sister Clare award was presented in 2013 during Women’s History Month to the university’s founding congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. Other honorees have included Diane Nilan (2014), Cleopatra Pendelton (2015), Bernice Sandler (2016), Mona Purdy (2017), Petra Jamie (2018), Nancy Economu (2019), Roxiana Fuqua (2020), and Dr. Ngozi Ezike (2021).

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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 52,000 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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