Monday October 5, 2015 through Sunday October 11, 2015


“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” casts off at Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre

Mark Twain’s American classic, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” is the story of a boy’s journey with a runaway slave as they make their way down the Mississippi River. Huck (Sean Gallagher of Mokena), a rebel at heart, is escaping from starched collars, civilization and the drunken rages of his Pap (Michael Frale of Elk Grove). Seeking life as a free man is Jim (Kawaan Panama of Chicago), the runaway slave. On their journey, Huck learns the true meaning of friendship and freedom. The play is an action-packed dramatization of Mark Twain’s wit, and it’s also hilariously funny. In addition, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is ranked among literature’s most powerful condemnations of racism.

Theatre Manager Jo Slowik of Joliet is directing the talented cast of 22 actors. The ensemble cast includes: Zackary Abu-Shanab of Plainfield, Kevin Bukauski and Jordin Richards of Tinley Park, Christy Carlson of Lockport, Kayla Carson of Burbank, Taylore Cephas and Jamie Voustros of Chicago, Lauren Finnegan of Wheaton, Jill Jeffrey of Romeoville, Simon Merheb of Bartlett, Luke Murphy and Briana Reidy of Darien, Katy Papineau of Kankakee, Adam Parker of Naperville, Brianna Peoples of Melrose Park, Ebonie Rucker of Joliet, Miguel Salazar of Crest Hill, Tyler Senjanin of Evergreen Park, and Jessica Sheppard of Monee.

Working behind the scenes are Andrew Nelsen of Joliet (scenic design), Ashley Stajura of Lockport (properties), Adam Jezl-Sikorski of Burbank (lighting design), Kate O’Neil of Yorkville (light board operator), Robert Kornaus of Plainfield (sound design and sound board operator), Celeste Mackey of Joliet (costume design), Justin Anderson of Orland Park (stage management), Carole McKee of Plainfield (assistant stage manager), and Dave Pomatto of Naperville (assistant technical director).

The dreamlike raft trip will run October 2-4 and October 8-11 and is recommended for patrons 13 years old and up. The evening performances are 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinees are 2:30 p.m. In addition, there is a matinee performance at 4 p.m. on October 10. Advanced tickets purchases are strongly encouraged. Ticket prices are $10 for an adult, $9 for students and seniors. Lewis students pay $2 with an ID. For groups of 15 or more tickets is $8. Tickets are non-refundable. For more information, patrons can check out the PLT Website at, or call the box office (815) 836-5500 Monday through Friday 1-4:30 p.m. The theatre is located on the main campus, the Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53 in Romeoville.

Lewis Team Participates in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge

A contingent from Lewis University recently traveled to Washington, DC to participate in a national gathering for President Barack Obama’s Fifth Annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Participation in the gathering marks the start of Lewis’ engagement with the initiative beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year. The Lewis team included Dr. Kurt Schackmuth (Mission and Identity), Dr. James Burke (Theology) and Laura Wilmarth Tyna (Service Learning).

The initiative was launched in 2011 by President Obama, as a result of ongoing religious tensions and violence in the United States and around the world. Obama’s challenge encourages colleges and universities to create a space for people of different religious and non-religious backgrounds to “tackle community challenges together” – especially through service. To date, over 400 institutions of higher education have responded to the Challenge, including community colleges, public and private universities, and professional schools.

Engagement in the initiative, which is being organized by the Office of Mission and Identity, provides an opportunity for Lewis to continue working towards creating an welcoming campus community which values the development of the complete person. Moreover, it provides another valuable path for preparing Lewis graduates to live and work in our pluralistic society.

For more information about the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, go to the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships website:

Fall Flight Competition to be Hosted by Lewis University

Lewis University will host flight teams from Region 8 of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association for the NIFA Region 8 – SAFECON competition, scheduled October 6-10 on campus and at the Lewis University Airport. Six teams will participate, including Lewis, Purdue University, Southern Illinois University, Quincy University, Indiana State University and Parkland College. Megan Zahos, Assistant Chief Pilot will serve as Head Coach for Lewis University, while also focusing on assisting students as they practice for competition in Short Field Landings, Power Off Landings, and Message Drops. Collaborating as coaches are: Julia Harrington – Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), Karyn Wojcik – Computer Accuracy, Dan Magner – Preflight, Alex Kwiatkowski – Navigation, Kayan Todiwalla, a graduate student – Ground Trainer, and Kyle Jachcinski, also a student – Aircraft Recognition.

Student members of the Flight Team include Kevin Deboissiere, Leigh Agustin, Calvin Warren, Jon Brown, Mike Calloway, Jordan George, Kayan Todiwalla, George Chiampas, Kyle Meyer, Geoff Culloton, Kyle Jachcinski, Doug Jette, TJ Roth, Dan Curran, Cody Kammerer, Jason Fourdraine, Jimmy Kobler and Raymond Sanchez.

National Voter Registration Day Recruits 150-plus voters at Lewis University

More than 150 people filled out voter registration applications during a National Voter registration Day event Sept. 22 on Lewis University’s Main Campus in Romeoville.

“The event far exceeded my expectations. We had a steady stream of registrants all day long and were completely jammed during the passing periods between classes,” said Dr. Steven Nawara, assistant professor of Political Science, who led the Voter Registration booth. Other event organizers included Dr. Laurette Liesen, chair and professor of Political Science, Dr. Justin Delacour, assistant professor of Political Science, Dr. Jim Rago, associate professor of Biology, Laura Wilmarth Tyna, community partner liason for the Service Learning office, Dr. Tennille Allen, chair and associate professor of Sociology, Dr. Barbara Mackey, associate professor and Educational Leadership program director for the College of Education, and Dr. Michael Lloyd, assistant professor for Social Work and Human Services.

Students Andres Mendez, Sandra Ramirez, and Isaac-Jean-Paul volunteered to man the booth along with many of the faculty organizers. For four hours, they had voter registration forms, a computer to instantly check registration status, and the ability to answer any questions.

National Voter Registration Day is a single day of coordinated field, technology, and media efforts to create widespread awareness of voter registration opportunities that would otherwise be missed.

Lewis students were encouraged to participate in the event where they could check their registration status, change their information if needed, or register themselves to be eligible to vote on the Nov. 3 Election Day.

If potential applicants missed the table, they can register to vote at government offices, public libraries, and online through visiting, which is the State Board of Elections website.

Lewis University Sets Performing Arts Series for Fall 2015

A Flamenco performance, super hero spectacle, a quartet concert and a Will Rogers one-man show are part of the Lewis University Fall 2015 Performing Arts Series.

All events are located on the University’s main campus in Romeoville. Admission is free for Lewis students, $5 for guests and $10 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling (815) 836-5500.

The first performer, Noche Flamenca is a lively flamenco group based in Chicago, with members from Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States. The group’s distinct sound is infused with elements of modern and traditional flamenco, encompassing the three main elements of the voice, guitar, and dance. The group will inform the audience about the roots and present expressions of Flamenco and all its elements. The performance will take place on at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 in the Sancta Alberta Chapel.

Superman headlines the second performance as an epic story in pocket proportions—seven actors share one tiny platform, just 3-by-7 feet of space, and upon it an original Superman tale unfolds. Set in a fictional 2050 Metropolis with a remarkable resemblance to Chicago, the show’s imaginative, resourceful cast members use only their bodies and voices to create every prop, scene, sound effect, and character in a battle between Superman and Lex Luthor for the future of the Midwest’s beloved high-speed rail network. Superman 2050 is bare-bones theatre at its most physical and imaginative. The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the Philip Lynch Theatre.

The Spektral Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 in the St. Charles Borromeo Center Convocation Hall. Founded in 2010, the Spektral Quartet is widely regarded as one of Chicago’s most magnetic and forward-thinking chamber ensembles. The group’s inclusive approach to concert format, shifting the role of audience member from spectator to ally, has earned it a loyal following within and beyond the city limits. Since its inception, the Spektral Quartet has sought out the discourse between the masterworks of the traditional canon and those written this decade, this year, or this week. The Spektral Quartet serves as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago. The program includes Franz Schubert, Quartettsatz; John Cage, Quartet in Four Parts; Sergei Prokofiev, String Quartet No.1, Op.50; Ludwig van Beethoven, Op.133, and Große Fuge.

Will Rogers: An American Original will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23 in the Philip Lynch Theater. This one-man show features Kevin McKillip as the renowned author and humorist. At the time of his death in 1935, Will Rogers hosted the most popular radio show in America, had a daily column that ran in over 400 newspapers, and was an exceptionally popular male box office star in Hollywood. In the course of a career that ranged from Texas Jack’s Wild West Show to The Zeigfeld Follies, Will Rogers, the “Cowboy Philosopher,” spoke to all of America, and all of America listened. Using rope tricks to punctuate his delivery, Will’s folksy observations on government, the economy and society are as timely today as ever.

The Performing Arts Series is being presented as a part of Lewis University’s Arts & Ideas Program, providing cultural and educational programming for students and the community. A portion of the Arts & Ideas events is sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. For additional information, please contact Dr. Michael Cunningham, director of Arts & Ideas, at (815) 836-5385.

Lewis Receives $1.4 Million Grant for STEM Teacher Preparation

Lewis University has received a significant grant of $1,440,000 from the National Science Foundation to support a project in “Using Reality-Based Learning Practicum and Mentoring Structures to Enhance STEM Teacher Preparation for High Needs Schools.” It is the third grant received by Lewis from the NSF this year. Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President, offered congratulations to those who assisted in successfully applying for the grant. Dr. Dorene Huvaere (Secondary Education/Technology), Dr. Raymond Klump (Computer and Mathematical Sciences) and Dr. Jerry Kavouras (Biology) will direct the relevant and very important project that will be funded by the grant. Working on the application with the three professors were Jeff Ritchie, Director of Sponsored Programs; Dr. Pamela Jessee, Dean of the College of Education; Dr. Bonnie Bondavalli, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Nan Yancey, Dean of Graduate Studies; Dr. Erica Kwiatkowski-Egizio (Secondary Education); Dr. Joseph Kozminski (Physics), Dr. Lauren Rentfro (Secondary Education).

“How encouraging that Lewis University has now received three NSF grants in one year,” said Brother James, pointing out that the first grant was announced in February for $613,428 in support of the STEM Connections program and another for $201,123 in June for a Mathematical Modeling focus involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Brother James praised the entire team for their remarkable success in planning, developing and collaborating on the strategies to acquire this substantial grant for a project that is closely related to Lewis University’s Lasallian mission in that it assists in improving teaching and targets high-need schools, thus serving the poor. “You are to be greatly commended for your success in acquiring funding for this promising venture to enhance teacher preparation in the STEM areas to positively affect education for countless numbers of students in challenged schools,” he told the team that completed the grant application.

Br. James Named Honorary Founder at Red Tie Ball/Signum Fidei Celebration

Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President, had high praise and voiced his personal gratitude for the splendid recognition that was presented to him at the 2015 Red Tie Ball/The Signum Fidei Celebration, staged most impressively on Saturday, September 12, at the Palmer House in Chicago. “It is a privilege to be named the 20th Honorary Founder of Lewis University, joining such historical founding figures as Michael and Frances Fitzpatrick, Bishop Bernard J. Sheil, Frank J. Lewis, and the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross, as well as the entire list of highly regarded Honorary Founders,” he said following the ceremony. “I am deeply appreciative that the recognition of my service and leadership as President was part of such a delightful evening.”

“Much gratitude to all who collaborated and assisted so capably in arranging that wonderful evening,” he continued. “Since this event annually benefits the Mission Fund to provide scholarships for financially at-risk students who have urgent need, it is especially encouraging that the event drew nearly 500 people. It also was quite gratifying that among our guests were many alumni, Trustees, and Congressman Dan Lipinski, Romeoville Mayor John Noak and the Honorable Edward Maloney, an alumnus and former state legislator.” The evening included an elegant cocktail party in the Empire Room, a gourmet dinner, delightful entertainment, a spirited live auction and dancing to a fine orchestra.

Special thanks were extended to all involved in the very moving and beautifully planned presentation of the title of Honorary Founder. Brother James was presented with a lovely, symbolic and meaningful Mission Star Sculpture, designed by Professor Leslie Colonna (Art & Design) who was assisted in the sculpting by Daniel L. Burgess, Jr., an adjunct professor in Aviation Maintenance Administration, and Dwight DeVries, Superintendent of Grounds, who selected wood from a salvaged green ash tree on the Lewis campus for the base. The ceremony, planned by Dr. Kurt Schackmuth, Vice President for Mission and Academic Services, was very uplifting and representative of the breadth of the Lewis community, featuring Trustee Mohra Gavankar, Brother Armand Alcazar, FSC, (Theology), Dr. Jeanette Mines (Academic Associate to the Provost), Registrar Robert Kempiak, Pam Maciulewicz(Bursar), alumnus Larry Tucker and students Mickey Juricic and Michael J. Harris.

Following the tradition of previous Red Tie Ball/Signum Fidei Celebrations, generous and spirited student volunteers, including Peer Ministers and others, were extraordinary ambassadors for the University, conversing with the guests, assisting in various tasks, and some even sharing their Lewis experiences with those attending the Celebration. Peer Ministers participating included Jessica Kaluzny, Michael Ramirez, Hannah Wills, Caitlyn Quinlan, Abigail Persicketti, Rachel Seiberlich, Jessica Tennant and Lauren Grady.

Great thanks were extended to John Kilpatrick (Television Operations) and all who were involved in the concept, filming, editing, production and presentation of the video that evoked many grand memories. Gratitude was expressed to the six very talented Philip Lynch Theatre students who presented two delightful and quite clever songs and their fine dance routine, prepared especially for this Red Tie Ball. The students were Christopher Hueg, Taylore Cephas, Kayla Carson, Michael A. Frale, Kawaan Panama and Adam Sikorski. Special praise as well to Keith White (Theatre) for the lyrics and overall orchestration and Jo Slowik (Theatre) for her contributions. Also assisting with the program from University Ministry were Steven Zlatic, Jennifer Rutherford and Joseph Preston. Those attending reported that the dinner was really exceptional and of very high quality, and the Palmer House staff was remarkable in its warm welcome, courtesy and efficiency. The evening was well-staged, with videos and entertainment alternating with various courses, followed by the live auction and Fund-A-Need feature. Students Jessica Kaluzny and Michael Ramirez were praised for their very moving invocation prior to dinner. Guests also enjoyed the music and dancing to the Dan Hayes Orchestra. Brother James extended thanks to all others who assisted with the program in any way, and to everyone who worked so hard in arranging for sponsors, particularly Robert DeRose, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Associate Vice Presidents Dr. LeRoy Butler (Technology) and Don Castello (Facilities), and to all who worked on the highly successful live auction.

Responsible for planning the event, including the award ceremony, were committee members Leonard Bertolini, Vice President for University Advancement); Julie Penner and Lisa Heizer (University Advancement); Margaret Kientop (President’s Office); Brian Sisson (Athletics), John Carey (Electronic Media) plus previously mentioned Rob DeRose, Dr. Schackmuth, Dr. LeRoy Butler, Donald Castello and Professor John Kilpatrick. Assisting from University Advancement were: Luigi Amendola, Allison Rios, Kelly Kolton, Kathryn Risor-Heise, Dennisa Walker, Denise Salvino, John Mathews, Robert Kanonik, Margaret Grabowski, Reggie Bustinza, Joseph Volin, Mary Cronin, Tina Crowther, Jennifer Doherty, Jared Taylor, Brianne Dougherty, Kyle T. Hayes and Rachael Tracey. Contributing from Meetings, Conferences and Events were: Robert Arnold, Lisa Salazar, Melanie Sandberg and Kelsey Wallace, plus Stephen Loza (Residence Life). Helping behind the scenes were staff from Marketing and Communications, including Dr. Ramona LaMontagne, Jim Cowan and Anne Koleff. Additional student volunteers included Kiantra Thornton and Tracy Bradley.

“The Red Tie Ball - Signum Fidei Celebration has evolved into an exceptional event that is quite effective in raising funds for scholarships through sponsorships, ticket sales, and the enjoyable live auction,” Brother James noted. “It also promotes the Mission of the University very well. It is wonderful that our marvelous students, volunteers and staff so enthusiastically collaborated in assuring that our guests greatly enjoyed the evening. As a vital fundraiser for scholarships and a way to strengthen relationships within the community to promote the University, the event provided an excellent opportunity to focus on the quality of Lewis programs and on our Catholic identity and Lasallian tradition.”

Highly successful, the 2015 Red Tie Ball - Signum Fidei Celebration was attended by close to 500 people, the largest attendance by far in the history of the gala downtown. Also, $450,000 in total revenue was the greatest ever in the history of the Signum Fidei events. The actual net revenue raised for the Mission Fund will be announced in the very near future.

Brother James Speaks on FOX Chicago Before Seeing Pope


Julie Penner Appointed to New Combined Post

Julie Penner, currently Executive Director of Alumni & Parent Relations, has been appointed Executive Director of Meetings, Events, and Conferences, a position that will combine her current assignment in University Advancement with responsibility for overall direction of the Meetings, Conferences and Events department. She will assume her new duties on Monday, October 5, reporting to Aaron Scheiwe, Assistant Vice President for Business.

Highly experienced in planning and coordinating events, Julie has overseen arrangements for Lewis University’s Red Tie Ball – Signum Fidei Celebration for many years. She has also coordinated the annual planning and preparations for the President’s Circle Dinner, as well as for various alumni gatherings and other celebratory events. Julie came to Lewis in 2001 as Assistant Director in Conferencing & Events where she served for three years before a brief leave and returning to University Advancement as Director of Constituent Relations. She was promoted to the role of Executive Director of Alumni & Parent Relations in 2007.

Service Award Recipient for October 2015

Congratulations to Lucy Alvarez, Secretary for the College of Arts & Sciences for being selected the recipient of the Service Recognition Award for October 2015. Lucy was nominated by the President’s Student Advisory Council for her exceptionally affable, enthusiastic, competent and highly effective service.

Each month, Lewis University confers a Service Recognition Award on an individual who consistently has exhibited outstanding service, concern for others and a genuine spirit of Association. Recipients receive a gift certificate for the Lewis University Bookstore and are honored at an annual luncheon, hosted by Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President.


Save the Date – SCBC Dedication/Blessing Event

Please mark your calendars for the Saint Charles Borromeo Center Dedication, Ribbon Cutting, Blessing and Open House. This special event will take place on Monday, November 2 from 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

The Lewis University Community is invited and encouraged to join in this celebration.

Lewis alumnae share success at Celebrating Women in Leadership Conference Oct. 9

Join alumnae of Lewis University as they share their experiences at the Celebrating Women in Leadership Conference at noon Friday, Oct. 9 on the main campus in Romeoville. Following the success of last year’s event, Lewis University women will come together to network, educate, mentor, inspire and motivate each other.

All alumnae of Lewis University and all current female students, faculty and staff are invited.

The one-day, female-focused conference offers career development opportunities, ways to help attendees achieve personal goals, and a chance for Lewis alumnae to meet and network with fellow graduates. Participants at the conference will hear 1983 alumna Dolores Pavletic, Fleet Captain, Senior Manager Flight Operations and Flight Standards at FedEx Express, while enjoying lunch.

Following lunch, there will be breakout sessions for the women to attend:

  • “The Power of Visual Goal Setting” by Latina Harris ’94

  • “Marketing Yourself: What is your Personal Brand?!” by Terry Arya ’14

  • “The Only Woman in the Room: Technology Startups from the 1980s to Today” by Dr. Dana Dominiak ’91

  • “Leading Your Team” by Amy LaFine ’01

  • “Breaking Down the Barriers: Steps to Create Positive Life Changes” by Genesis Hey ’06,’10

  • “Re-inventing Yourself: A Journey of Self-Discovery & Sowing Seeds for the Soul” by Janet Viano and Stephanie Wise

  • “Why I Say YES When I Want to Say NO” by Lisa Groeper ’75

  • “Negotiating Professionally and Personally” by Stephanie York ’13

  • “Leading the Next Generation: A Woman’s Responsibility to Future Female Leaders” by E. Elaine Harris ’03,’08 and Michelle Mikka-Van Der Stuyf ‘00

The day concludes with a Wine and Cheese Reception.

Before the conference begins, there will be optional activities for attendees including one-on-one resume reviews, prayer and reflection time, a Meet & Greet with the conference presenters, a resume workshop, and campus tours.

RSVP with Lisa Heizer at or (815) 836-5545. The event is free for current undergraduate and graduate Lewis students and Class of 2015 graduates, but they must register directly with Margaret Grabowski at

Contact Margaret Grabowski at or (815) 836-5944 or visit for more information.


Powerhouse Flex and Fitness Center Opens

The Powerhouse Flex and Fitness Center Dedication took place on a beautiful Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm. Located just west of West Hall and the College of Nursing and Health Professions, the new 5,000 sq.ft. building is a weight training facility designed for students, faculty, and staff.

Jill Siegfried ‘85, Director of the Student Recreation and Fitness Center and Joe Falese ’78, ‘84, Senior Vice President for Student Services welcomed the students, faculty and staff in attendance.Steven Zlatic '96, Director of University Ministry, led the group in prayer.

Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University said that the design of the Center was based on feedback received from the President’s Student Advisory Council (PSAC) and the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). The facility was constructed in a 2.5 month fast track with a budget of $500,000 for the building, and another $100,000 for the equipment.

Students participating in the ribbon cutting included Gaby Rocco, Jason York, and Louis Cruz.

In keeping with the Mission of the University, Brother James said, “Lewis University has always promoted the development of the complete person. As we continue to grow, this new facility allows us to continue to support that goal.”

Higher education prepares graduates for industry

The collaborative relationship between business and higher education is “unparalleled,” said Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University, at the “Higher Education and Workforce Forum,” presented Sept. 16 by the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Partnership.

Tom Gimbel, President and CEO of LaSalle Network, moderated the discussion between Brother James and Amy King, Metro President of DeVry University.

The forum addressed the emerging workforce needs of area employers and discussed what higher education institutions are doing to help employers fill current and future skills gaps.

Higher education acknowledges the need to be responsive and have engagement with business, Brother James said. “We’re concerned about student success and the development of the full person; but also, very importantly, readiness for careers,” he explained.

The relationship of higher education and business has been evolving and changing over many years, commented King. There are many more partnerships and adaptions, she said.

Lewis University’s Oak Brook Campus was singled out as an example of evolving in purpose over the years. This regional campus provides convenient, accessible classes to working adult students at night. During the day, the 30,000 square foot facility serves as an ideal environment for businesses for meeting and training purposes.


Service Anniversaries for October 2015

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


22 Years, Joan Williams, College of Education

21 Years, Dr. Betsy Wilber, College of Nursing & Health Professions

18 Years, Jane Trainor, College of Nursing & Health Professions

15 Years, Kathleen Medved, Admission
15 Years, Claire Tincher, Marketing and Communications
15 Years, David Zurek, Flight

14 Years, Joseph Pasternak, Facilities

13 Years, Carol Chaplin, Tinley Park Campus

11 Years, Claudio Jacobo, Facilities

9 Years, Linda Fitzpatrick-Russell, College of Arts & Sciences

8 Years, Ruben Ruiz, Facilities
8 Years, Kathleen Bruss, Financial Aid Services

7 Years, Patricia Perez, Graduate School of Management
7 Years, David Alsip, Facilities

6 Years, Ann Candelaria, LUA

5 Years, Sarah Coleman, College of Nursing & Health Professions
5 Years, Claudia Alves, Admission

4 Years, Walter Purdy, Facilities

3 Years, Michael Marr, Facilities
3 Years, Sandy O'Brien, College of Arts & Sciences
3 Years, Alexandria Ktenas, Oak Brook Campus
3 Years, Cheryl Kleina, Financial Aid Services

2 Years, Marcus Perry, Financial Aid Services
2 Years, Erin Valentine, College of Nursing & Health Professions

1 Year, Joseph Jirka, Center for Academic Technology Solutions
1 Year, James Addis, Office of Technology


Aviation Sponsors BSA Explorer Post

Lewis University will sponsor an Aviation Explorer post for the Rainbow Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The post’s first Open House was held Tuesday, September 8, in the Harold E. White Aviation Building. The Explorer program is the BSA’s career education program for young men and women who are at least 14 years and have completed the eighth grade or 15 years old, but not yet 21. For more information, contact Professor William Brogan, Chair of the Aviation and Transportation Studies Department.

Julie Penner Appointed to New Combined Post

Julie Penner, currently Executive Director of Alumni & Parent Relations, has been appointed Executive Director of Meetings, Events, and Conferences, a position that will combine her current assignment in University Advancement with responsibility for overall direction of the Meetings, Conferences and Events department. She will assume her new duties on Monday, October 5, reporting to Aaron Scheiwe, Assistant Vice President for Business.

Highly experienced in planning and coordinating events, Julie has overseen arrangements for Lewis University’s Red Tie Ball – Signum Fidei Celebration for many years. She has also coordinated the annual planning and preparations for the President’s Circle Dinner, as well as for various alumni gatherings and other celebratory events. Julie came to Lewis in 2001 as Assistant Director in Conferencing & Events where she served for three years before a brief leave and returning to University Advancement as Director of Constituent Relations. She was promoted to the role of Executive Director of Alumni & Parent Relations in 2007.

Calendar Change for Wine & Cheese Reception

Early Alert: The Wine and Cheese Reception that is hosted each December by the De La Salle Christian Brothers for the Lewis University Community will be moved from its traditional first Friday of December this year to the second Friday. This year’s event is scheduled for faculty, administrators and staff on Friday, December 11, in La Salle House.

New Sign for Burnham Centennial Nature Trail

An attractive and informative new sign has been posted at the entrance to the Burnham Centennial Nature Trail. Similar to signs found in museum exhibits, the new installation features helpful information, directions, photographs and an excellent map to encourage those visiting the trail to explore it. The sign was designed by Christine Morrow, Secretary for History, Sociology, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and Brother Peter Hannon, FSC, Assistant Professor of History and founder of the Flyers Photo Club.

Incorporated into the display are educational features such as how to identify poisonous plant species, illustrated by botanical pictures, and guidelines for use of the Trail. Photographs taken by Brother Peter along the trail by are quite inviting and beautiful, focusing on different areas of the trail and wildlife.

The three-mile trail is named for Daniel H. Burnham (1846-1912), a visionary genius who was an architect, city planner and the co-author of The Plan for Chicago, now known as The Burnham Plan, the first comprehensive urban planning document in the United States. The Burnham Centennial Trail at Lewis was established to commemorate the launching of the Centennial in 2009 of The Burnham Plan, a historic document that provided a blueprint for the entire Chicago region and included provisions to protect the Chicago lakefront, along with a plan for the transportation, recreational, and business needs of the six county Chicago region. Far ahead of his time, Burnham incorporated environmental concerns into his plans, balancing highway systems with parks and forest preserves, setting aside shoreline as open space, and balancing residential areas with business, corporate and commercial lands.

Photos provided by Brother Peter Hannon, FSC (History).


Helm, Allen set to present at national conference

Two Lewis University professors will present at the 2015 Association of Black Women in Higher Education National Conference. Dr. Katherine Helm, professor of Psychology and Director of Graduate Programs in Counseling, and Dr. Tennille Allen, associate professor and chair of Sociology and Director of Applied Sociology and Political Science will present at the national conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago on October 14-16.

They will present a Best Practice/Skill Development Workshop. It focusses on two African American female professors' challenges in teaching diversity/multicultural courses in a predominantly white mid-sized liberal arts institution. Strategies for dealing with microagressions will be discussed.

Along with their presentation, their work will be included in a special edition of the Association of Black Sociologists Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal.

ABWHE has been an advocate for and celebrant of the accomplishments of Black women in higher education for more than two decades.

McFerron’s work to be featured in annual 60x60 dance performance

Lewis University Music Professor Dr. Mike McFerron’s electroacoustic piece, “Minute Distances,” was selected for the 15th Annual 60x60 dance performance.

The performance will be part of the Vox Novus Festival held Oct. 23 at the Winter Garden Atrium in New York City. The performances in New York will then be followed by performances all over the world throughout the next several months.

The 60x60 performance is a project containing 60 works each 60 seconds in length presented continuously in an hour performance synchronized with an analog clock. 60x60 presents a slice of what is happening in the contemporary music scene by representing 60 works that are diverse in aesthetic and style. Works are selected from an international pool of emerging and established composers and sequenced in order.

Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree in Music and Music Merchandising. The curriculum explores music theory, history, technology, and business. Visit and for more information about the Music program at Lewis University.


Lewis Pair Wins Women's Tennis ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Title

Despite playing on their opponents home court, Lewis University junior Dora Andrejszki (Budapest, Hungary/Dozsa Gyorgy) and sophomore Nora Mindiyarova (Moscow, Russia/Gimnasium 1577) earned the 8-4 victory over the University of Indianapolis' Stephanie Hirsch and Florence Renard to win the ITA Midwest Region Doubles Championship on Sunday (Sept. 27) morning.

"I am proud of the way they fought and played together, having only played one match together before this tournament," Lewis head women's tennis coach Brett Bridel said. "This is a great result for them and we're looking forward to Nationals."

Andrejszki and Mindiyarova now advance to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in Sumter, S.C. from October 15-18th.

Lewis returns to action on October 9th, as they head to Kalamazoo, Mich., to participate in the Western Michigan Invitational.

Lewis Men's and Women's Soccer Claim 2014-15 NSCAA College Team Academic Awards

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced on Wednesday (Sept. 23) that both the Lewis University men's and women's soccer teams have earned the 2014-15 College Team Academic Award.

The award is given to any team with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for the 2014-15 schoolyear. Lewis is one of 208 schools in the country that had both of its teams recognized by the NSCAA.

The women's team takes home its 11th overall NSCAA College Team Academic Award with a 3.41 cumulative GPA in 2014-15. The men's squad earns the honor for the third-straight season with a 3.29 cumulative GPA.

Lewis Women's Hoops Earns DII Bulletin Preseason Player Of The Year & #2 Rank

The Lewis University women's basketball team has earned the number two spot in the 2015-16 Women's Basketball Division II Bulletin Preseason Poll. Lewis claims this spot after winning the NCAA Midwest Region Championship and advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in the team's history last season. The Flyers set a program record for wins with a 31-3 record.

Senior guard Jamie Johnson (South Holland, Ill./Marian Catholic) has been named the National Preseason Player of the Year by DII Bulletin. Johnson and senior forward Mariyah Brawner-Henley (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) were also named to the Super 16 Team, made of the top two players from the eight NCAA Division II regions. Lewis is the only university to claim both Super 16 Selections from their region.

Johnson led her team on the court and in the classroom last season. She nabbed the title of 2015 Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year as well as earning Daktronics Third Team All-American honors after leading her team in scoring with 619 points. She was named the Elite 89 award winner for academic excellence among all DII women's basketball teams at the Elite EIght. She was also a Capital One Academic All-American First Team member.

"I cannot say enough about Jamie," Lewis head coach Kristen Gillespie said. "Her work ethic is unmatched. She deserves every accolade that comes her way because of the time she has spent in the gym working on her game. I am blessed to have the opportunity to coach her this season."

Brawner-Henley was a difference maker for the Flyers in 2014-15. The senior forward led the nation with 25 double-doubles and set the single season rebound record for the Flyers with 410. Brawner-Henley was dubbed to the WBCA DII All-American Team, All-Midwest Region First Team, All-GLVC First Team and All-GLVC Defensive Team.

"Mariyah may be the most versatile player in the country," Gillespie said. "She has worked tirelessly on her game to be a threat at any position. What I love most about Mariyah is that she is phenomenal leader and a great teammate."

Lewis opens the 2015-16 season with an exhibition at Loyola-Chicago on Nov. 4. The festivities will begin on Oct. 22 evening at Neil Carey Arena for Fan Fest.

Former Lewis Harrier Andrew McLain Signs Professional Running Contract

Former Lewis University men's cross country and track and field standout Andrew McLain (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) saw his collegiate career come to an end last May, but his racing career will continue on.

Atlanta Track Club Elite has announced that they have inked the former cross country and track and field All-American to an 18-month contract. Atlanta Track Club Elite is comprised of the Atlanta Track Club's top athletes who train together and represent the Club at local, regional and national races. With more than 24,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States.

McLain was a four-time All Great Lakes Valley Conference Cross Country performer, two-time All-Region and NCAA Qualifier and a NCAA All-American as a senior in 2013. On the track, McLain was a six-time All-American and won GLVC championships in both the indoor 5,000-meter run (2013) and 10,000-meter run (2014, '15). Both of those titles were GLVC records.

"I'm very excited to see Andrew move on and continue his training in preparations for the 2016 Olympic trials and beyond," Lewis head men's cross country coach James Kearney said. "This is such a fantastic step for our program to send someone on to the professional ranks and a mark of our continued growth.

"I couldn't be happier for the Atlanta Track Club and Andrew, and I'm excited to see what the coming seasons have in store for him."


Did You Know? Mission Fund Key in Helping Lewis Students

This section of University News will be published as little-known or new information is discovered that may be of interest to the Lewis University Community. Send news or suggestions from your department to Carol Wassberg (President's Office) at

Did you know that proceeds of the Red Tie Ball/Signum Fidei Celebration have added to the Mission Fund at Lewis University by nearly $1 million in the past four years? This annual event was initiated in 1999 to bring together hundreds of friends of Lewis University in a celebratory event that raises funds for needy students and provides an opportunity to promote the University in the community. Originally held on campus, this event quickly gained in popularity and was moved to downtown Chicago to attract a wider audience. The celebration has included a gourmet dinner, dancing and auctions as well as entertainment.

In the past four years, the net income for the event has reached nearly $1 million for the Mission Fund with approximately $250,000 realized each year. The fund’s purpose is to provide additional financial assistance to students who experience severe financial hardship while they are attending Lewis and would likely have to withdraw from the University if not for the extra financial support. It is estimated that approximately 275-300 students have been assisted since the Mission Fund was created in 2009, receiving funding toward tuition or room and board. Much appreciation to all who have been instrumental in establishing the Mission Fund, presenting the Signum Fidei events and allocating much-needed funding to students in need.

Did you know that the Lincoln Academy of Illinois is entering its fourth decade in naming Student Laureates from each university and college within the State of Illinois?  Lewis University currently is in the process of selecting one outstanding senior to recommend to the Academy for this year’s award.  Students are chosen for exhibiting “a personal commitment to excel” in their academic accomplishments and extra-curricular activities.  The Lincoln Academy presents Student Laureate Awards to seniors from each of the state’s four year, degree-granting colleges and universities and one student from among all the community colleges in Illinois.  Each student receives a medallion plus a $1,000 educational grant and certificate of achievement.  The awards usually are presented just prior to Thanksgiving. The first Lewis student to receive this award was Richard Ritz, selected in 1975.  Among recipients through the years are Dr. Erica Kwiatkowski-Egizio (College of Education) in 1993, and Joseph Volin (University Advancement) in 2008.  Attorney Anthony Sam ’07, ’08, an At-Large member of the Lewis University Alumni Association Board received the award in 2006. The complete list includes the following:

1975 Richard Ritz
1976 Kenneth Wiggins
1977 Clare Marie Slowik
1978 Lawrence S. Lauffer
1979 Stephen Joseph Sobey
1980 Harlene Harden
1981 Alma Harrell
1982 Joyce Hilsabeck
1983 Carolyn Ann Short
1984 Richard S. Noose
1985 Leonardo C. Cruz
1986 Charles B. Pelkie
1987 Vicki Mravca
1988 Sheila A. Cristofaro
1989 Mary E. Fons
1990 Michael W. Sebastian
1991 Frank K. Hattula
1992 Vivian T. Sirgo
1993 Erica L. Kwiatkowski
1994 Kevin A. O'Donnell
1995 Jodi L. Berg
1996 Maureen C. Carroll
1997 Kathleen M. Brauch
1998 Takiyah O. Olatunbosum
1999 Kimberly S. Earls
2000 Winifred Adams
2001 Rebecca R. Rank
2002 Arturo Cabral
2003 Todd D. Kleine
2004 Paul A. Sevcik
2005 Tessie C. Hilton
2006 Anthony Sam
2007 Colleen M. MacGruder
2008 Joseph F. Volin
2009 Ashley D. Jones
2010 Summer Hallaj
2011 Salvatore Ursino
2012 Emily A. Keene
2013 Samantha Rinehart
2014 Lindsy Caitlyn Morgan

Did you know that the Bookstore Oversight Committee meets regularly to assist in decisions regarding the Lewis University Bookstore, sponsored by the Follett Corporation? Each year, a group of administrators, faculty, staff and a student representative serve as advisors to Follett’s. This Committee also oversees presentation of awards of $200 each to ten students in fall and spring semesters. Scholarship winners are chosen based on need, grade point average, their year at Lewis and programs. Members of the Committee include: Robert DeRose, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Joseph Falese, Senior Vice President for Student Services; Mary DeGraw, Senior Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management/Dean of Retention; Leigh Bancsy (President’s Office); Dr. Jennifer Consilio Kukler (English); Jim Cowan (Marketing & Communications); Katherine Keating (Regional Campus Director – Hickory Hills); Brian Sisson (Athletics); Randell Venzke (College of Arts & Sciences); Joseph Volin (University Advancement); Sarah Wiegman (SPCE) and student representative Megan Hernandez plus Lillian Knight, Bookstore Manager, and Kristen Brown, Text Book Manager.


3-D Technology at Work

Beautiful chess pieces are among the projects being produced in the new 3-D Printer Lab in the Mathematical and Computer Sciences area. Students working on the printers include Joe Block (left) and Erik Medina (right). A senior in Computer Science, Joe is doing an independent study to set up the Maker Lab and define its services. Made of a thermoplastic called ABS, the chess pieces were produced as the 3D printers melted and deposited layer upon layer of the ABS filament to form the shapes. Also formed recently were a set of shapes that nest inside each other for Mathematics classes taught by Dr. Amanda Harsy Ramsay as well as a part that will be used in a Physics experiment.

Thanks to Brother Peter Hannon, FSC, for taking the photos 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,



There are no official rules of the road when it comes to texting, but there are some best practices.

In order to be an efficient ‘texter,’ you must be able to distinguish the difference between professional and leisurely texting. The text you might send to your family member or best friend is not appropriate for a student or colleague.

Professional texting has some best practices that ensure proper and productive communication.

1. Ask for permission: Make sure the recipient of your text message is aware of who you are and is okay with the idea of a text conversation.

2. Keep it brief: Remain efficient by sending concise, informative messages. If you need to use more than 160 characters, you are better off sending an email or making a phone call.

3. Avoid abbreviations and emoticons: ‘LOL’ or ‘OMG’ with a smiley face emoji might be appropriate for your best friend, but don’t even think about sending that to a student.

4. Don’t over do it: Think small amounts of hard to remember information, not ongoing conversations…and no texts between 9 p.m. – 9 a.m.!

5. Know when to call: When a more complicated, delicate issue presents itself, do the old-fashioned thing: call.

6. Be appropriate: Avoid discussing legal and financial issues, as there is no paper trail. Also, stick to good news – bad news should be delivered in person.

7. Tone awareness: Emotion is not conveyed in a text, so stay away from one-word responses and leave little room for misinterpretations.

These rules are good guidelines for a professional relationship via texting. However, do not forget text messaging is the most informal channel of communication. Make sure your text is necessary before sending it off, and by necessary, I mean…

  • When time is critical and location is anywhere: Texts can be received by anyone with a cell phone within minutes.

  • When they offer convenience: Unlike computers, cell phones are always with us.

  • When you can’t use email and cost is important: Calls can be expensive and Wi-Fi a pain.

Don’t fall into the trap that just because everyone else is texting irresponsibly that makes it tacitly okay for you to do the same.

Be a professional and text responsibly.

Communication 101

Communication can be complicated, but it can also be simple and effective if done correctly.

As a university, we are constantly communicating internally and externally via emails, phone, social media, etc. Reminders, events, updates and miscellaneous information are being sent around through these different channels daily.

Instead of reading through every email and notification, the overload sends us on a race to zero. Often times, recipients wake up every morning and delete nearly every message from Lewis University in attempt to clear out their inbox of what many consider, spam.

This column caters to the efficiency and effectiveness of your communication. It provides tips on how to better communicate with your audience through technology and in person.

Before breaking down the different communication channels, it is important to remember your audience and their attention span.

Busy, tired, tech-savvy students are highly unlikely to give your message a chance unless they feel it is somehow worth their time. The rest of your audience is made up of on the go, working individuals that will tune out instantly if they do not see a need for it.

If you want your messages to truly be digested by the masses, you must take some time to carefully craft your communication in a way that makes them listen to it.

Keep reading to learn about the basics of communicating within an organization, like Lewis University.