Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) recently announced that two faculty members from the USF College of Arts and Sciences – Debra Workman, Ph.D., and Jacqueline Wittke-Thompson, Ph.D. – were promoted to the rank of full Professor. The rank, which is formally approved by the University President based on the recommendation of the Provost and the Rank, Promotion and Tenure Committee, officially begins with the start of the fall 2021 semester at USF.

“The rank of full Professor is earned with ten years or more of full-time teaching experience at a four-year college or university and a record of accomplishment that demonstrates sustained excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. At the University of St. Francis, Professors are outstanding teachers in their fields and leaders in the broad academic arena,” said Beth Roth, Ph.D., USF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Debra Workman, Ph.D., teaches history in the USF College of Arts and Sciences. She earned both her B.A. and her M.A. in history from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and earned her Ph.D. in modern European history from the University of Kansas. Workman has taught at USF since 2007.

“Receiving a promotion to full professor is the realization of a goal of many years.  It is gratifying to know that I have spent my career at the most exciting place I’ve ever found – the University – as I have been able to share my love and appreciation of history with my students.  Today they are teaching or working in all levels of education, and some are working in business, politics, and law. It is a pleasure to follow their careers and I am excited to continue mentoring students. I also look forward to adding new knowledge in my research field, with the recent acceptance of an article,” Workman said.

Jacqueline Wittke-Thompson, Ph.D., teaches biology in the USF College of Arts and Sciences. Wittke-Thompson earned her B.S. in biology from Loyola University in Chicago, and then earned her Ph.D. in human genetics from The University of Chicago. She has taught at USF since 2010.

“This promotion is recognition of the last 20 years of hard work and overcoming many challenges – from being only 21 years old when starting a PhD program at one of the best universities in the world and as a first-generation student, to having my children while in graduate school and as a post-doc, to being hired at USF first as a Visiting Assistant Professor and then a tenure-track Assistant Professor, and having to consistently learn new scientific methods to construct a successful research program. This is an acknowledgement of my continuing contributions to USF in the areas of teaching biology, research with undergraduates in genetics and genomics, service on numerous committees and within the scientific community, and my leadership as a department chair.  This promotion also helps to increase the number of Professors that are women at USF, as Professors who are women and especially in science disciplines continue to be in the minority across the country,” Wittke-Thompson said.

: :

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.

# # #

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin