February 2018

President Free named one of the top five to watch by Hartford Business Journal
E ach year, the Hartford Business Journal highlights five business, government, nonprofit, or higher-education leaders to watch in the coming year because of their likelihood to be in the spotlight.
President Free said that one of her many goals continues to be, "Helping students, especially from other parts of the country, appreciate that we have this fabulous city that is the capital of the state and that is a wonderful destination to go to college."

Congratulations, President Free.  

To read more, follow this link
Meet Shannon Kula, D.L.S., Director of the Women's Leadership Center

The Women's Leadership Center (WLC) at the University of Saint Joseph proudly welcomes Shannon Kula, D.L.S., as its founding director. In this role, she will oversee all aspects of USJ's important commitment to empower women as leaders in their academic pursuits, community life, and professional careers.

Most recently, Dr. Kula was Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. After Senator Mikulski's retirement in 2017, Dr. Kula left the Senate after completing over 13 years of service in the Senator's office. For nearly two decades, Dr. Kula led strategic initiatives with advocates on women, children, and the nation's military. Prior to Senator Mikulski, Dr. Kula was a legislative aid to U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd and worked in both his Connecticut and Washington, D.C. offices. In addition, Dr. Kula worked for the public relations/public affairs firms Hill & Knowlton and WPP. Dr. Kula is also a proud member of a U.S. Marine Corps family that has worked to help other military families with loved ones serving at home or overseas. Currently, Dr. Kula is working on publishing her book about the bipartisan accomplishments of the women of the U.S. Senate. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester and her master's and doctoral degrees from Georgetown University. 

With a dedicated volunteer leadership council, public donations, and USJ support, the WLC develops, encourages, and strengthens opportunities to advance women's leadership experiences and increase their presence at decision-making tables in all disciplines.

Save the Date: March 7, 5:30 p.m. for the Women's Leadership Council and the World Affairs Council International Women's Day event to be held on the USJ campus.

To learn more about the Women's Leadership Council and to check for details on the International Women's Day event, follow this link. 
The Office of Community Engagement needs your help.

The Office of Community Engagement is seeking your help. Donations are needed for the following personal care items (travel size):
  • Shampoo
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Lotion
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Dental Floss
  • Deodorant for men and women

In March, eight nursing students will travel to Guyana to provide medical support to citizens and distribute these much needed personal care items through the Mercy Wings Vocational Program in Georgetown, Guyana.

This is the sponsored work of the Guyanese Sisters of Mercy. USJ faculty, staff, and students have been traveling to Guyana since 2002 for an immersion experience.

To donate personal care items, please contact Sister Beth Fischer, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Community Engagement at 860.231.5449 or
A Day at The Met 
During Reunion 2017, Professor Dorothy Keller, M'85, C'97, DAA'99, H'17 presented a lecture on Michelangelo. In response to overwhelming interest from alumni, Professor Keller led a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to view the Michelangelo "Divine Draftsman and Designer" exhibit on January 13. A group of 50 alumni and friends attended and enjoyed Professor Keller's expertise and guidance. Maureen Fenton '90 summed up well, Professor Keller is, "a true treasure" at USJ. It was a wonderful day, shared by all who attended.
Photos from the day at The Met are available on our Facebook page.
Calling Members of the Class of '71  
Members from the class of 1971 met last spring to discuss Laura Hayden's '71 book: "Staying Alive: A Love Story." The book club was an idea that was sparked in the fall of 2016 during their 45th class reunion.  
The club is pleased to announce its second annual meeting and book discussion on Thursday, May 3, on the USJ Campus at 11 a.m. The book selected is "Housebreaking" by Dan Pope and can can be purchased at local bookstores or on  
To register, follow this link .

Additional information will be available in next month's newsletter.

If you have an idea for a class gathering or have questions, contact Tonja Russo at or 860.231.5447.

Alumni Trip to Ireland: Highlighting the Homestead of Catherine McAuley
Sept. 30 - Oct. 6 

The Office of Alumni Relations, in conjunction with Cruise Planners, is offering a trip to Dublin, Ireland, with stops in several other historic locations. The tour will begin with a visit to the homestead of Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy - the very foundation upon which the University of Saint Joseph thrives.

In partnership with Mercy International and Cruise Planners, a full-day program at the McAuley homestead will include a tour of Catherine's house, an opportunity to review and reflect on her writings, morning tea and lunch, followed by a program about several of the Mercy International mi ssions. The trip will continue with travel to other highlights of Ireland, including: Trinity College, Glendalough, Kinsale and Killarney, the Dingle Peninsula, and the Cliffs of Moher. When you are planning your vacation for this coming year, think about the connections you will make and the fun you will have with this trip!
For more information, please contact Saint Joseph alumna, Lisa Martin, M'96, at Reservations and deposits are being accepted now.
University of Saint Joseph Annual Fund

The core ambition of the University of Saint Joseph is to secure the strongest, most vital, and most vibrant University we can imagine. We are committed to keeping education affordable and accessible for all students. Our entire community is grateful for the success of our ambitious students, accomplishments of our expert faculty, leadership of our alumni, and generosity of our donors.
Consider demonstrating your passion for your University, the education you received, and the pathway it helped create for you, by making a gift to the USJ Fund today.
We will always depend on you, our alumni, to be our voice, our ambassadors, and our faithful supporters. Whether this is your first gift, your largest gift, or your twentieth gift: thank you. Because of you, the University of Saint Joseph will continue to challenge and educate students as it has done throughout its 84-year history.

Or call the Office of Alumni Relations 860.231.5364.
Reunion 2018 - Come and Celebrate

Help us make your reunion experience a memorable one.
Please take the following survey.  
Save the date for Reunion 2018 - Saturday, Sept. 15 - celebrating all classes, with special emphasis on those ending in 3 or 8.

If you are interested in serving on the 2018 Reunion Committee, contact Tonja Russo at or 860.231.5447. Classes with active reunion committees have significantly higher turnout; volunteer today to ensure strong attendance from your classmates!
A Special Opportunity for the Class of 1968
A long-standing tradition at the University is to invite members of the Golden Anniversary Class to participate in our Commencement ceremony. We hope all members of the Class of 1968 will join us on Saturday, May 12, as we welcome the Class of 2018 into our community of USJ alumni.  
You will be provided with academic regalia as you are invited to process in the Commencement ceremony with faculty, Trustees, and the members of the Class of 2018. If you have your own regalia, please let us know. If you do not, and need us to provide it for you, please click the following link to complete the order form.
More information will follow. Please contact Tonja Russo, Alumni Relations, at or 860.231.5447 with questions. 
Save the Date: USJ is coming to a location near you!

The office of Alumni Relations has the following gatherings planned near you. Connect with fellow alumni and hear about current USJ programs from President Rhona Free. We are planning to visit several locations, each listed below. Use the link next to each location to register today. We look forward to seeing you.

Thursday, March 15: Vinoy Renaissance Resort, St. Petersburg, Fla. For more information and to register, follow this link.

Friday, March 16: Home of Aelish Clifford '78, Naples, Fla. For more information and to register, follow this link.

Thursday, April 5: Wakefield Plantation, Raleigh, NC. Hosted by Diane Burgess from the Office of Alumni Relations. For more information and to register, follow this link.

Tuesday, May 15: Mercy by the Sea, Madison, Conn. For more information and to register, follow this link.  

Tuesday, May 22: Langham Hotel, Boston, Mass. More information will be available in next month's newsletter.

If you have questions, contact Katie DaSilva '15, M'17, Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, at or 860.231.5364.
University Highlight:  Office of Career Development & Employer Relations
The goal of the Career Development Center is to support the whole student. The objective is that each student will graduate with choices. Combining pre-college experiences and undergraduate experiences at USJ, the Career Development Center helps each student prepare for the path they choose. 
The Center focuses on experiential learning to prepare students for post-graduate life. Programming facilitates skill building through doing. For many, this is recognizing the skills they have created from participating in community service activities sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement, researching with professors, or being student leaders. USJ provides many on-campus opportunities for students, while encouraging them to seek internships and real-world experience as well. 
Above all, the Career Development Center is a resource for students. As students prepare to enter the workforce the Center provides guidance on resume writing and offers mock interviews.  The Center also facilitates networking sessions with alumni. Providing a platform for USJ students to interact with alumni is one of the many resources that the Center is pleased to offer USJ students as they work toward their post-graduate goals.
Maintaining relationships with alumni and providing opportunities for interaction is a critical goal of the Career Development Center. 
If you would like to participate in future student development or networking events, please call or email Tonja Russo, Alumni Relations, at 860.231.5447 or
The Career Development Center is located on the second floor of the Pope Pius XII Library. Contact the Center at 860.231.5514.   
Career Development Center Hours of Operation:  
Mon. - Thurs.: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. 
Fri.: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Trivia Question

 This building was the final building completed during the tenure of President Theodore Kelleher, RSM. She was instrumental in raising the funds necessary to complete it. The building was dedicated on Nov. 12, 1966.

All correct answers received by Feb.23 will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Email us your answer at

Interestingly, Ann Uccello has twice celebrated the naming of a street in her honor: first in Sept. 2008 in Hartford, CT and again in July 2016 in Canicattini Bagni, Italy.

Congratulations to Eileen Smith '72 who submitted the first correct answer.

This month's winner and answer along with a new question will be posted in the next edition as well as on our
  Facebook page.

Upcoming Events

January 12 - March 11
Art Museum Exhibit "Relief Work: Woodcuts, Wood Engravings, and Linocuts"
Bruyette Athenaeum
Learn more here.

Wednesday, February 14
Daniel Salazar Ensemble  presents 
Romance de la Guitarra
8 p.m.
Hoffman Auditorium 
Learn more here.

Wednesday, February 28
American Red Cross Blood Drive
8 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
McGovern Hall
Wednesday, February 28 
   Book Signing
Dr. Randa Elbih presents:  
"Dialectics of 9/11 and the War on Terror: Educational Responses
3 p.m.
Crystal Room, Mercy Hall
Learn more here .
Friday, March 2
Autorino Center Performance:  
Ranky Tanky
7:30 - 9 p.m.
Hoffman Auditorium 
Learn more  here.
Monday, March 5 
Student Speaker Series Featuring US Attorney John Durham:
Discussion on the arrest and prosecution of James "Whitey" Bulgar, infamous Irish gangster.
Hoffman Auditorium
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public. 
Wednesday, March 7 
Celebrate International Women's Day!
"Women in Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship" 
5:30 p.m.  
6:30 p.m.  
Panel Discussion presented by the Women's Leadership Center and the World Affairs Council. 
Bruyette Athenaeum
Learn more here
Friday, March 23
Autorino Center Performance:
"Resilience" by Samite
7:30 p.m.
Hoffman Auditorium
Learn more
  here .
Save the Date!  
Friday, September 14

2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards
to be held on campus.
Nominations open on April 2.

 For more information on DAA, visit us here

Learn more about our upcoming events
here or call 860.231.5447.
Future Events at USJ 
The Office of Alumni Relations invites your suggestions as we develop alumni programs and activities. If you have an idea for a group gathering, contact Tonja Russo at 860.231.5447 or
Save the Date
Friday, June 8, at 6 p.m.  
Connecticut Convention Center
Online registration opens on March 6.

Join us as we honor: 
Karyn Cahill '83 
Sr. Scientist at EnviroLogix 

Pamela E. Clark '73, DAA'85
Director of the Cubesat Development Laboratory

Manon Cox H'14
President and Chief Executive Officer
Protein Sciences Corporation

Learn more here about sponsorship.


Save the Date!  
Friday, September 14

2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards
to be held on campus.
Nominations open on April 2.

 For more information on DAA, visit us here
Connor Chapel of  
Our Lady 
Seeking Choir Participants

Do you enjoy singing?   
Would you like to be a member of the Chamber Chapel Choir? 
All singers are welcome and no audition is necessary.
Rehearsals are on Wednesdays  
at 8 p.m. in the Chapel. 

For more information, please contact the Choral Director, Ezequiel Menendez, at 860.836.0193.