Monday May 2, 2016 through Sunday May 8, 2016


Gov. Rauner Signs Bill to Fund MAP Grant

The Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate passed a bill on Friday, April 22 that will provide $170 million to fund the Monetary Award Program (MAP) to approximately 130,000 MAP recipients in the State. This amount represents 50 percent of the total MAP allocation owed to these financially needy students. This legislation also includes $600 million for Illinois public universities and community colleges.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed the SB 2059 on April 25. In a statement, he said, “By passing this bipartisan agreement, lawmakers in both chambers put aside political differences to provide emergency assistance for higher education, ensuring universities and community colleges remain open and low-income students can pay for school.”

“I have directed my staff to begin processing payments immediately, giving top priority to students and the institutions that are suffering the most,” said Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Munger in a statement. There are 1,397 Lewis University students that have the MAP awards for the 2015-2016 academic year. The amount totals more than $6 million. The MAP students at Lewis University have had a pending credit on their account while the State did not fund the grants.

“This brings much needed relief to our students, although this represents only half of the expected MAP funding for this year. We appreciate all those who worked together to advocate for our students in their time of need,” said Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University. According to the Chair of the Illinois Senate’s Higher Education Committee, Lewis University proved to be the #1 advocate for MAP students among all the universities and colleges in Illinois, so much gratitude to everyone who wrote letters, made phone calls and sent emails.

Rep. Dan Lipinski Honors Brother James on House Floor

U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski honored Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University, in a tribute Tuesday, April 20, on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Congressman Lipinski presented a five minute speech on the accomplishments of Brother James who is retiring on June 30, 2016, as President after more than twenty-eight years as President. Televised and aired on C-Span, the tribute includes facts about Brother James’ early life and education, teaching and administrative experience, community leadership and awards, and his accomplishments as President of Lewis University.

“Under his leadership, the school's student body nearly tripled in size, dozens of new programs were added, and several new educational sites were built around the Chicago area and the nation, including one in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” Congressman Lipinski stated. “He guided the university to nationwide recognition and influenced students around the world.”

Congressman since 2013 in the Third district that includes Lewis University, Congressman Lipinski referred to a “number of opportunities” to meet with Brother James. “I have always been impressed by his strong commitment to the university and its Catholic and Lasallian mission. It is obvious in his interactions with students, faculty, staff, trustees, and everyone who is a part of Lewis University. He knows his flock and they know him, and the respect and love between them is mutual. There could not be a higher dedication that anyone has as an educator and as a Catholic Brother,” he said.

Congressman Lipinski congratulated Brother James on his retirement to close the tribute, noting “…Lewis University and its students have greatly benefited from his long tenure leading the school, and we all look forward to his continued service.”

Lilly Endowment Grant Supports High School Youth Theology Institute at Lewis University

Lewis University received a grant of almost $600,000 to establish “Engaging Stories: An Intensive Journey of Faith, Life & Action!” part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative. The program will begin in June 2017. It encourages young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues, and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

“Engaging Stories” is a weeklong residential summer experience encouraging high school juniors and seniors to explore theology as an academic study and a lived practice, cultivating their personal sense of God and life’s calling. The program invites participants to engage stories at four interconnected levels—human, Catholic, Lasallian, and personal—correlating with the Lasallian mission of Lewis University.

“Self-discovery within one’s faith tradition necessarily leads to an appreciation of the dignity of every life, the need for empathy, and the repertoire of practices, large and small, that nourish our spirits and allow us to serve others as selflessly as possible,” noted Dr. Maryellen Collett, associate professor in Lewis University’s Theology Department.

Instituto Fe y Vida, which is a Hispanic youth ministry, will partner with Engaging Stories to bring its widely recognized expertise in pastoral theological processes to foster leadership formation among young Latinos in the U.S. “We will work closely with Lewis University’s Theology Department to secure a meaningful representation of Latino youth in this program,” said Dr. Carmen Cervantes, executive director of Fe y Vida.

“Theology Department members collaborated with University Ministry, Instituto Fe y Vida, the Warren-Sharpe Community Center in Joliet, Ill., and faculty from across Lewis University to propose this program," said Dr. Karen Trimble Alliaume, chair and professor of theology at Lewis University. “We look forward to building meaningful community with high school participants and sharing our passion for theology.”

Dr. Joanne Kuttner, director of Engaging Stories and assistant professor of theology at Lewis University, will be reaching out to invite high school juniors and seniors to participate in the first summer experience in June 2017. Contact Joanne at to volunteer for the program.

Lewis University is one of 82 schools participating in the Lilly Endowment initiative. The schools are located in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Although some schools are independent, many reflect the religious heritage of their founding traditions. These traditions include Baptist, Brethren, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches, as well as Roman Catholic, non-denominational, Pentecostal and historic African-American Christian communities.

“These colleges and universities are well-positioned to reach out to high school students in this way,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment. “They have outstanding faculty in theology and religion who know how to help young people explore the wisdom of religious traditions and apply these insights to contemporary challenges.”

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family - J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli - through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.

Terry Granger Earns Principal of the Year Award

The Lewis University Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education honored Terry Granger, principal of Maternity BVM and Bishop McNamara High School, with the Seventh Annual Bishop Roger Kaffer Outstanding Principal Award in the Diocese of Joliet.

The April 28 award ceremony at Lewis University included more than 100 principals, educators, support staff and friends from around the Diocese of Joliet. “It is an honor to recognize the steadfast faith and leadership of the many outstanding principals in the Joliet Diocese,” said Dr. Pamela Jessee, dean of the Lewis University College of Education.

She added, “As a Lewis University graduate, we salute Terry for his tireless leadership and passion for Catholic education.”

Granger has been a principal in the Joliet Diocese for 14 years where he served at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Elementary School for 10 years and four years at Bishop McNamara High School.

“For Terry being a principal is not a job, or a career or a title. It’s a vocation. It’s a calling from God. It’s his destiny and his passion,” said Father Richard J. Pighini, CSV, pastor of Maternity BVM Parish.

Recently, Granger was appointed president of the Bishop McNamara Catholic School, a newly formed regional Pre-K through 12 Catholic school system in Kankakee County that will go into effect for the 2016-2017 school year. The system will have two Pre-K through 6th grade facilities; one in Bourbonnais and another one in Bradley. Bishop McNamara High School will host grades 7 through 12.

“Terry’s leadership and passion for Catholic education was instrumental in the recent regionalization of the Catholic schools in the Kankakee area,” said Father John Belmonte, S.J., Ph.D., superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Joliet, “We spent four years planning this effort which included five listening sessions attended by hundreds of people and Terry’s commitment and enthusiasm for the mission of Catholic education never wavered. I am most grateful for his dedication.”

The Bishop Roger L. Kaffer Award is in honor of the auxiliary bishop that served in many roles as an educational leader during his more than 50 years of priesthood in the Joliet Diocese. He served as rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville before becoming principal of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, where he revitalized the school and personally met with each school family.

The award is sponsored and given by the Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education. The institute focuses on leadership development, teacher preparation, professional development, outreach and consulting, grants and research and Lasallian formation. For further information, please contact Larry Wiers, director of the Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education, at or 815-836-5790.

Tri Beta Inducts New Members

On April 19, Beta Beta Beta, the honor society for Biology majors, inducted 31 new members. Eight associate members were inducted during the evening. Those inducted include: Viridiana Bustamante, Andrea Distor, Katie Doherty, Jessica King, Alexandra Lockhart, Neera Mistry and Stephanie Nguyen.

Twenty-three students qualified for regular membership in Beta Beta Beta. To become a regular member, students must be a Biology major, have taken no less than three semesters of coursework in the major at Lewis University, and achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the major. Students inducted as regular members were: Kamille Agustin, Abigail Bieker, Alexis Borrelli, Courtney Dial, Angela Dominici, Michelle Fernandez, Kaetlyn Hernandez, Kaitlinn Hitt, Sarah Kucek, Kyle Leto, Kristen Lodygowski, Shawn Milhauser, Bridget Murphy, Cailey O’Donnell, Ashley Olsen, Nik Paramo, Emily Richart, Kirsten Rothenbucher, Alexa Sanocki, Sarah Simar, Cristian Silva, Lauren Werth and Emily Vihnanek.

Regular members Jenna Saleh, Thara Abu-Mallouh, Mario Barrios, Lauren Werth and Abigail Bieker assumed the roles of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian respectively. Werth and Bieker replace out-going officers Hannah Wills and Stephanie Brandner.

Dr. Jennifer Roberts, faculty advisor of Tri Beta, and Dr. Jerry Kavouras, chair of the Biology department, recognized the 21 graduating members of the organization and distributed honor cords to all regular members to be worn at the graduation ceremony. Graduating members of Tri Beta include: Ashley Arce, Xaverie Benedict, Taylor Benes, Caitlyn Baltazar, Stephanie Brandner, Erin Cox, Destiny Evans, Georgeann Garcia, Lauren Harnois, Katelyn Lanasky, Kristen Lodygowski, Anna Marek, Maggie Majcher, Ashley Olsen, Kirsten Rothenbucher, Haleigh Saari, Hannah Wills and Amanda Williamson.

Jet Fuel Review Launches 11th Issue

Lewis University student-run and faculty-advised literary journal, the Jet Fuel Review, recently launched their 11th issue. The online journal features work by Lewis University students as well as national artists. The work includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews, art and eBooks.

The high-octane literary journal includes students and faculty on its staff. The student staff members include Jess Jordan, Sam Gennett, Ashley Castillo, Audrey Heiberger, Sarah Ford, Michael Cotter, Sabrina Parr, Rachel Steele, Bianca Apato, Haley Renison, Armon Thurmond, Michael Lane, China McDonald, Gina Capperino, Dominique Dusek, Rae Powell, Nicole Reidy, Caitlyn Quinlan, Tina McKee, Tim Fitzpatrick, Theresa Marten, Katelyn Bittke and Ashley McCann.

Chief faculty advisor is Dr. Simone Muench, professor of English. Dr. Jackie White, associate professor of English, also serves as a faculty advisor.

Persons of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to submit their work of art for review with the chance of being featured in the next issue of the Jet Fuel Review. Visit to read the latest issue and submission guidelines.

Romeoville Family Receives Extra Special Flyer Gear

It is now a lot easier for the Graves family to cheer on their favorite team in the rain. Dr. Kathleen Blanchfield led a handful of other Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Professions faculty and administrators in providing Lewis University spirit wear to the family that neighbors the 410-acre Romeoville campus.

Suzan Graves, mother of two daughters, was grateful for the ponchos and tote bags the Lewis group secured for the family. The gift was the result of a conversation the Lewis group had with Graves in a local restaurant. She told the Lewis group that her family loved walking over to the Lewis University Flyers athletic games often, and she absolutely loved the ponchos the Lewis athletes and fans wore.

Blanchfield led the group in making sure the family could cheer on the Flyers in rain or shine. They pooled together resources to buy ponchos and tote bags for the family.

“It’s a blessing,” commented Graves.

The Lewis University faculty and administrators that contributed to the family gift include Dr. Kathleen Blanchfield, Dr. Kathleen Fitzgerald, Dr. Suling Li, Dr. Peggy Rice and Dr. Anne Porter.


Scholarship on Display at Lewis University

More than 300 Lewis University undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty showcased their scholarly work and creative endeavors April 14 during the Fifth Annual Lewis University Celebration of Scholarship.

Accepted Celebration of Scholarship entries were selected from submitted abstracts through a blind-review process. Expert and lay judges evaluated the poster presentations that reflected the best of undergraduate and graduate scholarship for 2015-16.

Several awards were given to poster presentations. Samantha Brain’s “Synthesis and Characterization of Functionalized CdS-QD Polymeric Nanocomposite Films to Mitigate Laser Attacks on Commercial Aircrafts” earned first place honors at the graduate level. Dr. Jason Keleher, chair and associate professor of chemistry, served as her mentor. Second place honors went to Erin Gee, Andrea Paladino and Rubie Costales. Dr. Janice Smith, professor and coordinator of Parish Nursing, mentored the poster “Evaluation of an Undergraduate Peer Mentor Program.” The third place poster project was “The Synergistic Effect that Semiconductors, Organometallics, and Visible Light Chromophores Have on the Photodegradation of Organic Pollutants” by Jacob Murray and Arielle Floyd. They were mentored by Dr. Keleher.

Undergraduate poster winners included Thomas Cornes with “An Analysis of Lewis University’s Waterprint.” Dr. Jerry Kavouras, chair and associate professor of biology, mentored the first place poster. Second place honors were awarded to “Emojivision: A System for Mapping Facial Expressions to Emoji” by David Lucas Campos-Faial, Evan Wunder and Nicholas Biegel. Dr. Piotr Szczurek, assistant professor and director of Master of Science Data Program, served as their faculty mentor. Samantha Bluemer’s poster “What’s Powering Lewis?” earned third place. Dr. Kavouras served as mentor.

Celebration of Scholarship is an opportunity for students to present scholarly work to a student, faculty and staff audience to celebrate the academic excellence that is central to the mission of Lewis University. Undergraduate and graduate students in any major are encouraged to submit posters, present a paper at a concurrent session or present a creative work.

Brother James Gaffney, FSC, provided a keynote address on Lasallian scholarship. He shared the three priorities: 1) Food, nutrition and health; 2) Sustainability and protection of our environment; and 3) Education and learning innovations. The overview given by Brother James was followed by brief presentations given by three Lewis University faculty members, who shared overviews of their research projects, currently funded by Lasallian Research Grants.

Dr. Seung Kim, professor and director of M.Ed. Instructional Technology, discussed her work with several international universities to study the effect of mobile technology on the college classroom. Dr. Ryan Phillips, associate professor and associate chair of Aviation and Transportation, shared how he is working on increasing crop yields with local companies by using Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Dr. Jerry Kavouras, associate professor and chair of Biology, explained how quagga and zebra mussels are dramatically changing the ecosystem in the Great Lakes.

Tri Beta Challenge 2016 is Another Success

More than 60 Lewis students along with faculty, staff and others participated in the 10th annual Tri Beta Challenge on April 21.

In the spirit of Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honor Society sponsoring the event, challenge participants raised funds for scientific research. Close to $2,000 was donated this year to the Platelet Disorder Support Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since 2006, Tir Beta has been donating funds from the event to the Platelet Disorder Support Association. Dr. Jennifer Roberts, challenge coordinator and biology professor, lost a daughter in 2002 to a Platelet Disorder. Last year, Tri Beta members chose to also include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a recipient of funds in memory of Sarah Wielgos, daughter of English professor and website consultant Dr. Christopher Wielgos.

Students and faculty participating in the Tri Beta Challenge came from a variety of majors including Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Science and Physics, among others.

The Chemistry team won this year’s event and will hold the challenge plaque in their department till next spring.

High School Cyber Security Contest Secures Power Grid

High school students tested the security of the electrical grid and discussed future careers in cyber security during the April 23 Guardians of the Grid competition at Lewis University in Romeoville. Professor and Chair of Computer and Mathematical Sciences Dr. Ray Klump shared his expertise with the students before they took on the challenging competition.

Funded by the National Security Agency and contributions from ComEd, this competition features a simulator of the commercial power grid. Students play the role of hacker, working in teams to try to cause a blackout on the grid. The system has automatic defenses to try to keep the system stable even in the event of attack, but persistent, orchestrated threats can compromise it, and students get an opportunity to explore those kinds of weaknesses. Through this, they see how big an impact cyber security can have on the grid's operation.

“The Guardians of the Grid competition gives students the ability to learn about the cyber security threats facing one of our most critical infrastructures – the electric power grid,” commented Dr. Klump. “Most people probably don’t think very much about the network of generators and transmission lines that bring electric power to our homes, but hackers have been thinking a lot about it and how to interrupt that flow of power,” he added.

Prior to the competition, all participating students learned how the grid works and how data are encrypted. They applied these lessons, then, in the competition.

“It is important to teach high school students about this, because they have been learning about cyber security largely from the perspective of privacy and how cyber-attack can compromise it,” Dr. Klump said. “But most of them haven’t thought too much about the physical consequences of a cyber-attack, how it can compromise all of the systems on which modern life depends.”

The first, second, and third-place teams won scholarships. All participants were given a Raspberry Pi computer.

“On top of the chance to win prizes, this competition will give students a chance to learn how power travels from generating stations to our homes and business, how the increased computerization of the grid has left it more susceptible to cyber-attack and how steps can be taken to design the grid to respond to and withstand such attacks,” added Dr. Klump.

Dr. Klump is hopeful that this competition will help students learn to identify the possible threats out there so they can become part of the solution.

Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, with concentrations in Cyber Security, Web and Mobile Development, Data Science, and Video Game Development. It also offers minors in Computer Science, Cyber Security Science, Data Science, and Web and Mobile Application Development. At the graduate level, it offers a nationally recognized for a Master of Science in Information Security program, which includes an innovative fast-track that enables students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. A master's degree in Data Science is also available for students who wish to learn more about Big Data. A new Master of Science in Computer Science will start in August 2016.

Lewis University Early Childhood Majors Join Early Childhood Advocacy Day in Springfield

More than a dozen students and faculty of Lewis University’s Early Childhood Education program joined more than 200 advocates from across Illinois April 12 at Early Childhood Advocacy Day in Springfield. The group asked state legislators to protect early childhood funding in the upcoming budget.

Students communicated with representatives from their home districts about how early childhood programs can narrow the academic achievement gap, prepare young children for school and increase high-school graduation rates.

“We can either invest a little money now in high-quality early learning programs, or we can pay a lot more later,” said Dr. Rebecca Pruitt, director of Early Childhood Education at Lewis University. She continued, “Research has shown that high-quality early childhood programs reduce long-term costs for solving social problems later on.”

Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with Special Education and English as a Second Language Endorsements. The program is designed to help future teachers become invaluable to districts and schools through their abilities to adapt curriculum and teaching techniques to successfully meet the needs of preschool through third-grade students. Field experiences are completed in three different age groups—infant and toddler, pre-K and K-3. After completing extensive coursework and field experiences, Lewis University graduates are able to dynamically integrate theory and teaching practices specific for the early childhood student.


Birthdays for May 2016

Happy Birthday to the following faculty and staff members who celebrate their birthdays from May 1 - May 31.

May 1, Leigh Bancsy, Office of the President
May 1, Daryl Soave, Facilities

May 2, Robert Eric Jones, Aviation & Transportation Studies

May 3, Michael Fahey, Athletics

May 4, Lisa Brown, Psychology
May 4, Kathleen Bruss, Financial Aid Services
May 4, Joseph Jirka, Academic Technology Solutions
May 4, Katherine McDannel, College of Nursing & Health Professions
May 4, Mary Myers, Career Services

May 5, Dr. Samuel Enyia, Communications
May 5, Becky Paaso, College of Nursing & Health Professions

May 7, Caleigh O'Connell, College of Arts & Sciences

May 8, Michelle Hoehn, Student Development and Leadership
May 8, Catherine Hopp, Health & Counseling Services
May 8, Dr. Emily Normand, Communications

May 9, Myra Benavides, Business Office
May 9, Lisa Caldwell, Academic Technology Solutions
May 9, Dr. William Chura, Biology
May 9, Larry Wiers, College of Education

May 10, Jefferson Gole Cruz, Office of Technology
May 10, Jennifer Janczak, Athletics
May 10, Dennisa Walker, University Advancement

May 11, Dr. Mark Schultz, History
May 11, Keith White, Theatre
May 11, Lesley Wolfgang, Library

May 14, Erin Argianas, Athletics
May 14, Dr. Donna Martin, College of Nursing & Health Professions
May 14, Dr. Sarah Powers, Biology

May 15, Dr. Cynthia Misischia, Biology
May 15, Michele Ryan, Graduate School of Management
May 15, Dr. Jeffrey Trask, College of Business

May 16, Craig Garibay, Office of the Registrar
May 16, Br. Leo Jones, FSC, Office of the President
May 16, Jean Lucas, College of Education

May 17, Dr. Jerome Blakemore, Social Work
May 17, Linda Steffens, College of Nursing & Health Professions
May 17, Huma Zia, Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies

May 18, Claudio Jacobo, Facilities
May 18, Nii Tettey, Office of Human Resources

May 19, Randi Jackson, Human Resources
May 19, Keith McGill, Flight

May 20, Matthew Franklin, Aviation & Transportation Studies
May 20, John Kilpatrick, Communications
May 20, Dr. Pramod Mishra, English Studies
May 20, Barbara Nichols, Social Work/Human Services

May 22, Janet Dorencz, Library
May 22, Dr. Pamela Jessee, College of Education
May 22, Dr. Rebecca Pruitt, College of Education

May 23, Alice Creason, Library
May 23, Christine Kosinski, College of Nursing & Health Professions

May 24, Evan Noffsinger, Flight
May 24, Kathryn Sheehan, Business Office

May 26, Jeralyn Dunlap, Oak Brook Campus
May 26, Dr. Calvin Edwards, Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies
May 26, Edward Lenckus, Facilities
May 26, Matthew Massey, Flight
May 26, Dr. Jason Perry, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
May 26, Corbett Sherman, Facilities

May 27, Nicholas Kazanjian, Flight
May 27, Dr. Bonnie Kyburz, English Studies
May 27, Vera Smith, Office of Technology

May 28, Cynthia McCallen, Admission

May 29, Kathryn Hettinger, SPCE
May 29, Dr. Joanne Kuttner, Theology
May 29, Dr. Samar Makhlouf, Chemistry
May 29, Karen Radz, College of Nursing and Health Professions

May 30, Allison Castello, Tinley Park Campus
May 30, Brian Duffy, Campus Police

May 31, Dr. Daniel Kissel, Chemistry
May 31, Dr. Ibrahim Mescioglu, College of Business
May 31, Roman Ortega, Jr., Enrollment Management

If you'd rather not have your birthday published, please notify the Office of Marketing and Communications (Unit 196, ext. 5974). To make sure your request is met, call each year at least one month before your birthday. Any corrections should be reported to the Office of Human Resources at ext. 5270.


Service Anniversaries for May 2016

The following faculty and staff members will celebrate their service anniversaries at Lewis from May 1 - May 31.


33 Years, Daryl Soave, Facilities

18 Years, Nancy Hanley, College of Arts & Sciences
18 Years, Leonard Collum, Jr., Office of Technology

16 Years, Steven Zlatic, University Ministry
16 Years, Kathleen Anderson, Office of the Provost

15 Years, Jim Cowan, Marketing and Communications

14 Years, Dr. Judith Zito, Psychology

11 Years, Dr. Keith Lavine, Organizational Leadership
11 Years, Jose Sanchez, Facilities

9 Years, Susan Leece, Admission
9 Years, Kathleen Hutchinson, Office of Technology

8 Years, Christopher Swanson, Office of the Provost

7 Years, James Saya, LUA
7 Years, Melissa Carlson, Business Office

6 Years, Keith Kameron, Facilities
6 Years, Kelley Plass, Library

4 Years, Jeffrey Ritchie, Office of the Provost
4 Years, Safia Rabah, Campus Police

2 Years, Dr. Markisha Woodson, Health & Counseling Services
2 Years, Lisa Nicoll, Enrollment Management
2 Years, Joseph Fenili, Facilities
2 Years, Kari Orseske, SPCE
2 Years, Matthew Venegone, Facilities
2 Years, Robert Beckmann, Flight


Jeff Ritchie Receives NCURA Reg. IV Service Award

Jeff Ritchie was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Service Award by NCURA Region IV. The Distinguished Service Award is for region members who have shown continuing and long-term contributions to NCURA, the region, and to the profession of research administration.

Jeff got his start in research administration in the private sector, working as a senior contract administrator for Fluor Daniel, Inc. Since that time, Jeff has worked for the University of Cincinnati as a Senior Grant Administrator and for Aurora Health Care as a Grant Manager. Jeff currently serves as the Director of Sponsored Programs at Lewis University.

Jeff has served NCURA and Region IV since 2003. Over the years, Jeff has presented numerous sessions and workshops and has served on the Professional Development Committee and the regional board as Chair-elect, Chair, and Past-chair. In addition to his work with NCURA, Jeff is an active member of the RACC—the Research Administrator’s Certification Council – and will be that Board Chair starting later this year.

Dr. Lee Harsy Helps Illinois High School Coundelors

Professor Lee Harsy, in the Psychology Department’s Graduate School Counseling Program, spoke at the April 28 Illinois School Counseling Conference in Rosemont.

"Using Data to Guide College Counseling from Senior Year to College Graduation" focused on the role of high school counselors as they attempt to increase the percentage of first generation and economically disadvantaged students who graduate from college.

At the conference, he promoted a new service the Lewis University Graduate School Counseling Program will offer high school counselors called the College Pipeline Project. It will provide college data for high school counselors about the colleges and universities that are most popular among their graduates. The data demonstrates that not all colleges are equal when it comes to supporting first generation students in their quest for a college degree. The goal of the project is to offer students and families additional data when they apply for college admission.

Billups Receives Community Leader Award

Dr. Christie Billups, Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of Service Learning, received the Community Leader Award from Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Beta Rho Chapter on May 2.

Billups was honored for her work with Noté Karacel in Uganda. The non-profit organization provides community development support in Alenga located in northern Uganda. They use funding and direct support to provide opportunity for better lives through education, water security, health care, and food security.

Dr. Normand Speaks on Serving First Generation Students

Dr. Emily Normand, assistant professor of Communication, presented on an April 14 panel at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Building the Foundation: Approaches for Supporting First-Generation College Students” was a discussion on various strategies, programs and initiatives being implemented at their respective institutions to help FG students build a "foundation" for future success.

Dr. Clare Rothschild Receives Distinguished Title from South African Institution

Dr. Clare Rothschild, professor of Theology, recently received a substantial honor from a South African institution.She was appointed Professor Extraordinary within the Department of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch University.


Lewis Trio Earns AVCA Men’s Volleyball All-America Honors

Lewis senior middle hitter Bobby Walsh (Chicago, Ill./Mount Carmel) has been named to the 2016 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American First Team, the organization announced on Monday (May 2). Additionally, freshman opposite hitter Mitch Perinar (Channahon, Ill./Minooka) and junior middle hitter Jacob Schmiegelt (Lombard, Ill./Willowbrook) have been named honorable mention All-Americans.

"I'm thrilled and proud of all of the guys," Lewis head men's volleyball coach Dan Friend said. "They each elevated their games throughout the season and were key components of our success."

Walsh hit .471, third best in the nation, with 2.10 kills per set. He added 1.11 blocks per set (128 total) on his way to All-Midwestern Intercollgiate Volleyball Association First Team honors. He also earned MIVA All-Tournament Team accolades. Walsh finished his career second in program history with 556 blocks. Walsh was an AVCA All-American Second Team selection last season.

"To see Bob garner a First Team All American selection as a senior is awesome," Friend said. "Teams knew Bob was one of the main guys every might and he continued to produce at an extremely high level along with helping a younger team grow and mature throughout the season."

Perinar finished the season averaging 3.15 kills per set on a .325 attack percentage. The opposite hitter's 20 kills were crucial in Lewis' 3-1 win over Loyola-Chicago in the MIVA Semifinals. Perinar was the only freshman selected to the honorable mention team.

This is Schmiegelt's first career AVCA honor. He hit .427 with an average of 1.63 kills per set (179 total). He averaged 1.03 blocks per set (113 total) as he helped the Lewis defense limit opponents to a .227 attack percentage.

"Mitch and Jacob were staples for us during the course of the year," Friend said. "Each of them had big nights when we needed it. I'm pleased to have both guys returning next season."

The trio guided Lewis to a fifth consecutive trip to the MIVA title match before finishing as runner-up to Ohio State in five sets. Lewis was ranked No. 9 in the nation in the most recent AVCA Top 15 Poll thanks to a 19-13 record.

Lewis Women's Tennis Defeats No. 24 Drury, 5-1, for 2016 GLVC Title

An all-around effort pushed the Lewis University women's tennis team to its second Great Lakes Valley Conference title in five years with the 5-1 win over No. 24 Drury University at the 5 Star Tennis Center on Sunday (May 1).

The Flyers had a 2-1 advantage after doubles and rode that momentum into singles action with three straight wins to claim the championship. The victory avenges a 7-2 loss at the hands of Drury on February 26th earlier this year.

"Drury is a tough, tough team and we knew we had a tough task ahead of us," Lewis head women's tennis coach Brett Bridel said. "I'm so proud of the way we battled right from the beginning.

"After the very first point of doubles, we knew we were in for a fight and it wasn't going to be easy," Bridel continued. "I couldn't be prouder of the kids for how hard we fought and how much we've improved from back in February."

With the victory, the Flyers extend their winning streak to 12 matches and improve to 18-4 on the season while earning an automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Tournament. Drury falls to 18-3 on the campaign.

At No. 1 doubles, Lewis' sophomore tandem of Dora Andrejszki (Budapest, Hungary/Dozsa Gyorgy) and Nora Mindiyarova (Moscow, Russia/Gimnasium 1577) earned the 8-4 triumph over Drury's Lara Muller and Samanta Zambrano. Andrejszki added a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Drury's Hadeil Ali at No. 1 singles, while Mindiyarova battled for a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-1 win over Muller at No. 2 singles, clinching the team victory for the Flyers.

Lewis' senior duo of Megan Nguyen (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora) and Jill Wetmore (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa) proved dominant once again after blanking Drury's Larissa Karl and Ali, 8-0, at No. 2 doubles. Nguyen also defeated Zambrano 7-6 (6), 6-4 at No. 3 singles.

The NCAA Division II Selection show will be at 7:30 PM on Tuesday (May 3). The link to the show can be found here.

Lewis' Dora Andrejszki Named GLVC Women's Tennis Player of the Year

The Great Lakes Valley Conference announced that Lewis University redshirt sophomore Dora Andrejszki (Budapest, Hungary/Dozsa Gyorgy) has been selected as the GLVC Women's Tennis Player of the Year in a league wide vote of GLVC Coaches announced at the GLVC Women's Tennis Championship Tournament Awards Reception on Thursday (April 28).

Andrejszki is the third Flyer to be named the GLVC Player of the Year, joining Yuliya Kuznets (2003, '04) and Zsofia Lanstiak (2012, '13, '14). She is joined on the All-GLVC Team by teammates Nora Mindiyarova (Moscow, Russia/Gimnasium 1577) and Megan Nguyen (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora).

"It is great that Dora, Nora and Megan have been recognized by the GLVC Coaches," Lewis head women's tennis coach Brett Bridel said. "Dora is an extremely hard worker and very team oriented; Nora is a super-skilled player and hopefully this award will motivate her and Megan has come a long way (from when she was a freshman) and is someone we truly rely upon."

Andrejszki - who is ranked 37th in the nation - is 21-6 in singles play in 2015-16 and owns a mark of 16-3 in dual matches, including an unblemished 6-0 in GLVC action. She has won her last 14 singles matches.

The Budapest, Hungary native and Mindiyarova, who are sixth in the country and first in the region, have gone 28-2 in doubles play this season. That includes a third-place finish at the USTA/iTA National Small College Doubles Championships. They are 18-0 in dual matches and have won their last 19 matches as a tandem.

Mindiyarova, who is ranked sixth in the region in singles play, earns All-GLVC accolades for the second consecutive season. The Moscow, Russia native is currently 20-9 in singles action and has won her last eight matches. The Russian sophomore is 16-3 in dual matches - primarily at No. 2 singles - and was undefeated in GLVC play.

Nguyen, a senior, takes home All-GLVC honors for the third-straight year. The Germantown, Ill., native - who has won her last 12 singles matches - has amassed a career-high 24 singles wins in her final season. Nguyen is 17-2 in dual matches - primarily at No. 3 singles - and is ranked No. 8 regionally.

She and classmate Jill Wetmore (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa) have also dominated at No. 2 singles, collecting a record of 19-4 and enter this weekend's GLVC Championship Tournament on an eight-match win streak. Nguyen and Wetmore are currently ranked ninth in the region.

Andrejszki has also been recognized as one of 16 GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These individuals must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The honorees are now eligible to become one of their school's two Spalding Sportsmanship winners, which will be announced in May.

Lewis' Srdanovic and Braschinsky Named to All-GLVC Men's Tennis Team

The Great Lakes Valley Conference announced that Lewis University junior Mate Srdanovic (Split, Croatia/Graditeljsko-Geodetska Tehnicka) and freshman Alan Braschinsky (Tallinn, Estonia/Milna Harma) have both been named to the All-GLVC Men's Tennis team at the 2016 GLVC Championship Tournament Awards Reception on Thursday (April 28) night.

Srdanovic and Braschinsky, who have combined for 65 wins this season, were selected in a league-wide vote of conference coaches.

"It is great that Mate and Alan were recognized by the GLVC coaches and I am very proud of the both of them," Lewis head men's tennis coach Brett Bridel said. "Mate has stepped it up this year not only as a player but as a leader.

"Alan is very skilled player," Bridel continued. "Hopefully this award will push him to strive for excellence in the years to come."

Srdanovic earns the award for the second time in three seasons, as he has accumulated a singles record of 24-6, including a 17-3 mark in dual matches and an undefeated showing of 6-0 in GLVC action.

He and Braschinsky have paired up as doubles partners and own a combined record of 25-6, including a mark of 17-3 in dual matches. The duo went on to place seventh overall at the USTA/iTA Small College Doubles Championships last October.

In singles action, Braschinsky is 16-9 overall and 15-5 in dual matches. Braschinsky has competed primarily at No. 2 singles and owns a mark of 13-4 at that slot.

Srdanovic has also been recognized as one of 16 GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These individuals must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The honorees are now eligible to become one of their school's two Spalding Sportsmanship winners, which will be announced in May.

Lewis Nets Two On All-GLVC Softball Teams

The Great Lakes Valley Conference announced that Lewis University outfielders Jenna Cairo (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) and Carolyn Nojiri (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) both earned All-GLVC accolades on Thursday (April 28) night.

The awards were announced at the 2016 GLVC Softball Tournament Awards Reception with Cairo being named to the All-GLVC First Team and Nojiri claiming Second Team honors.

Cairo, a sophomore outfielder, is first in the GLVC in hits (75), second in batting average (.439), third in on-base percentage (.487) and doubles (17), fifth in runs (42), seventh in total bases (106) and 10th in slugging percentage (.620).

The Chicago native is also among the Lewis All-Time Top 10 for several single season marks including:
Batting Average .439 4th
Slugging Percentage .620 7th
On-Base Percentage .487 t-6th
Runs 42 t-7th
Hits 75 5th
Doubles 17 3rd
Total Bases 106 4th

"Jenna is what you look for in a leadoff hitter," Lewis head softball coach Becky Pearl said. "She knows what she's looking for and has an innate ability to get on base.

"For her to bat over .400 in just her second year at the collegiate level is a tremendous accomplishment and I'm happy that the rest of the GLVC coaches are able to recognize her performance this season."

Nojiri, a junior, earns her second All-Conference honor in three years as she was named to the All-GLVC East Division Second Team as a freshman infielder in 2014.

A converted outfielder, Nojiri was third on the team in batting average (.360) and registered two home runs and 16 RBI in 2016. One of those home runs was a dramatic three-run, walk-off shot to give the Flyers a 6-5 victory over Rockhurst on April 16th. In conference play, Nojiri batted .404 and was second on the team in hits (36).

"Carolyn made a seamless transition from infield to being one of the better defensive outfielders in the league," Pearl said "Her hard work was not only evident in her fielding, but she was a threat at the plate as well.

"Carolyn certainly earned this award!"

Lewis freshman first baseman Carley Maupin (Peotone, Ill./Peotone) has been recognized as one of 16 GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These individuals must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The honorees are now eligible to become one of their school's two Spalding Sportsmanship winners, which will be announced in May.

Lewis finished the 2016 season with an overall record of 20-30 and a GLVC mark of 8-22

Lewis Women's Golf Earns NCAA Bid

The Lewis women's golf team has earned an at-large bid in the 2016 NCAA East Super Regional. It is the second consecutive NCAA berth for the Flyers.

Lewis is the No. 11 seed in the regional. The East Super Regional will run May 2-4 at Piper Glen Golf Course in Springfield, Illinois, with the University of Illinois at Springfield serving as the host. The top three teams along with the top three individuals not with a team from each super regional will advance to the 2016 NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championships May 18-21 at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Colorado. The championships will be part of the 2016 NCAA Division II Championships Festival.

East Region Teams:
1. Grand Valley State
2. UIndy
3. Findlay
4. Southern Indiana
5. Missouri-St. Louis
6. Ashland
7. California (Pennsylvania)
8. Northwood (Michigan)
9. Trevecca Nazarene
10. Illinois-Springfield
11. Lewis
12. William Jewell

East Region Individuals:
1. Kasey Frazier, Wheeling Jesuit
2. Krystal Knight, Merrimack
3. Jamie Ellison, Ohio Dominican
4. Nicolle Barmettler, Truman
5. Ellen Mitchell, Drury
6. Diana Munoz, Gannon

Lewis Men's Golf Earns Fourth Consecutive NCAA Regional Bid

The Lewis University men's golf team has earned an at-large bid to compete at the 2016 NCAA Division II Central/Midwest Regional, the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Committee announced on Friday (April 22). Lewis is the eighth seed in the Midwest Region. The regional is hosted by Grand Valley State at The Meadows in Allendale, Michigan on May 2-4.

Lewis makes their fourth-straight and eighth overall program appearance at the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Flyers head to the Super Regional after taking fifth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship earlier this week.

There are four regional sites across the country, with two regions at each site. The top five teams and the top two student-athletes not with a team from each regional (regardless of region) will advance to the finals May 17-21, at Green Valley Ranch in Denver, Colorado. The finals will be hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver.

The entire regional field:
Central Region:
1. Central Missouri
2. Central Oklahoma
3. Southwestern Oklahoma State
4. Winona State
5. Arkansas Tech
6. Southeastern Oklahoma State
7. Henderson State
8. Lindenwood (Missouri)
9. Washburn
10. Minnesota State Mankato
1. Tate Williamson, Northeastern State
2. Taylor Lansford, Missouri Southern State
2. Mason Banger, Harding
3. Blake Lammers, Lincoln (Missouri)

Midwest Region:
1. Missouri-St. Louis
2. Indianapolis
3. Tiffin
4. Grand Valley State
5. Northwood (Michigan)
6. Northern Michigan
7. Ferris State
8. Lewis
9. Bellarmine
10. Trevecca Nazarene
1. Jake Troyer, Malone
2. Talon Supak, Illinois-Springfield
3. Keenai Sampson, McKendree
4. Nick Arman, Rockhurst

No. 12 Lewis Men’s Volleyball Falls in MIVA Title Match 3-2 at No. 2 Ohio State

Lewis' furious comeback attempt for a 2016 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association title came up short on Saturday (April 23). The 12th in the nation and No. 4 seed Flyers fell 3-2 (25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 17-25, 15-12) at No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 seed Ohio State. It was Lewis' fifth consecutive trip to the MIVA title match.

The first two sets were all Ohio State. It seemed Buckeyes were on their way to a MIVA title. But not so fast. Even after Ohio State took a 13-11 lead in the third with back-to-back aces, the Flyers didn't back down. They tied it at 15 on an ace by junior John Hodul (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg). A kill by junior Trevor Weiskircher (Loves Park, Ill./Boylan Catholic) followed to put Lewis up 16-15. Later in the set, down 22-20, Lewis finished the frame on a 5-3 run to win the set. Senior Scott Fifer (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) had an ace to tie it at 22. Freshman Julian Moses (Atlanta, Ga./Atlanta International School) had a kill for point 25.

Lewis controlled the fourth set, out-hitting the Buckeyes .333 to .057. Perinar had five kills in the set.

"In set four we really took off and capitalized on some errors from Ohio State, " Lewis head coach Dan Friend said.

Lewis' only lead in the fifth set came at 1-0, but the Flyers tied it six times. They rallied from a 9-6 deficit to tie it for the final time at 11 on a kill by Perinar. But the Buckeyes put it away with a 4-1 run to take the match. Christian Franceschi found the sideline on an ace for point 15.

"We put our selves in a position in the fifth game," Friend said. "We weren't bad in the fifth, we just made a couple errors."

Ohio State out-hit Lewis .293 to .260. The Flyers out-blocked Ohio State 10-7. The Buckeyes held a 45-38 edge in digs. Lewis committed 25 service errors to Ohio State's 21.

Perinar finished with 17 kills and 7 digs. Moses had 13 kills, six digs and three blocks. Senior Bobby Walsh (Chicago, Ill./Mount Carmel) finished with eight kills and six blocks (one solo) in his final match as a Flyer. Walsh and Perinar were named to the 2016 MIVA All-Tournament Team.

Lewis played 13 different Flyers on Saturday night.

"We've been doing that all year long," Friend said of using the bench. "We've been finding ways to put guys in position to wins us games and matches. Tonight was an accumulation of which we've done all year."

The Flyers finish the 2016 campaign 19-13. Ohio State moves to 28-3 with their 20th consecutive win.

No. 7 Lewis Women's Track and Field Wins Cougar Invitational

Lewis University senior Jamie Hershfang (Chicago, Ill./Walter Payton Prep) carded a NCAA Provisional and first-place finish of 35:57.6 in the 10,000-meter run to lift the No. 7 Flyer women's track and field team to the Cougar Invitational Championship, hosted by Concordia University, on Saturday (April 23).

Flyer sophomore Zoe Mead (Princeton, Ill./Princeton) captured the 400-meter dash title with a time of 56.32, while junior Stephanie Nielsen (Racine, Wis./Case) was victorious in the 1,500-meter run (4:43.95). Mead also ran a leg of the first-place 4x400 relay (3;:58.81) along with sophomore Taylor Jones (Louisville, Ky./Ballard), junior Andrea Holm (Plainfield, Ill./Oswego East) and junior Courtney Cross (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor).

Lewis sophomore Keanu Taylor (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) won the triple jump with a leap of 37'4 1/2" (11.39m).

Lewis senior Amber Cook (Grayslake, Ill./Warren Township) won the high jump with a leap of 5'3" (1.60m), while junior Jackie Marchildon (Saline, Mich./Saline) took home the long jump championship with a leap of 18'7" (5.66m).

Lewis freshman Cierra Pulliam (Plainfield, Ill./Romeoville) finished second in the 100-meter dash (12.37), while sophomore Haley Renison (Channahon, Ill./Minooka) was a runner-up in the 1,000-meter run (3:17.48).

"It was a really fun meet," Lewis head women's track and field coach Dana Schwarting said. "We had a lot of season-best performances and we had a lot of people competing in new events.

"This was a great team building day and sets us up really well going into this next week."

Lewis returns to action on Tuesday (April 26) for the Lewis Twilight. Action is set to begin at 3 PM at Lewis Stadium.


Picture This! Spring at Lewis

Spring transforms the Lewis University campus with blossoms and sunlight.

Thanks to Brother Peter Hannon, FSC (History) for taking the photo and to Syl Goyette (Marketing and Communications) for formatting the “Picture This!” article. To suggest a topic for an article, contact Carol Wassberg (President's Office) at To access more photos of Lewis University activities, use this link,

Picture This! Celebration of Scholarship

Among the more than 250 students who presented research, papers, posters, creative works and business plans at the Celebration of Scholarship: Soaring to New Horizons, held Thursday, April 14 at Lewis University, were the following: (left to right) Julia Mach describing how she, Taylor Morgan and Jeff Jurinek prepared “The Power of Postcolonial Theory; and (right) Urtan Rrahmani explaining research for his paper on Microbiological Peptides to Brother Thomas Dupré, FSC, (Computing and Mathematical Sciences).