University of Saint Francis news release:
University of Saint Francis announces valedictorians and graduating class information
(April 30, 2020) – The University of Saint Francis is pleased to congratulate the Class of 2020 and announce six valedictorians.
Due to COVID-19 precautions forcing the cancellation of the May 2 commencement, the Class of 2020 will be honored publicly at future events: A special reception will be held during Homecoming Weekend Sept. 18-19 and the May 2020 graduates are invited to participate in the May 2021 commencement ceremonies.
USF will confer 599 degrees this spring, including 428 undergraduate students and 163 graduate students. Those numbers include students with multiple degrees. Degrees also include 120 in online programs and 39 at USF Crown Point. Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees will be conferred to 10 students as they finish their curriculum in August, the first doctorate degrees at USF.
“We offer congratulations to our spring graduates and look forward to celebrating their successes as they move forward. The Class of 2020 completed their degree requirements under difficult circumstances and displayed resilience and dedication that will serve them well as they make a positive impact on the world,” said USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF.
USF also awards an honorary degree to Dr. Michael J. Mastrangelo. Dr. Mastrangelo is a retired surgeon who spent most of his career in Fort Wayne as a vascular, thoracic and general surgeon. He was a volunteer and board member of Matthew 25 Clinic for 35 years, an original board member at Bishop Dwenger High School and a USF Trustee Emeritus.
USF recognizes and honors the following students as valedictorians from the four schools:
Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership
Kara D. Morwood
Morwood is a Bachelor of Business Administration major and the daughter of David and Kandis Morwood. Putting to good use her minor in Risk Management and Insurance and skills from the Experiential Program with Integrated Cooperatives, Morwood plans to continue working as a claims operation associate at MedPro Group, a leading healthcare insurance carrier in Fort Wayne.
School of Creative Arts
Baylee K. Schmitt
Schmitt receives a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Pre-Art Therapy and Psychology and a minor in Studio Art. She is the daughter of Ron and Bonnie Schmitt. She plans to continue in education pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree.
School of Health Sciences
Lisbeth J. McCulfor
McCulfor is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing major and the daughter of John and Lori Nelson. She has a love for working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and plans to work part-time for the pro-life organization Created Equal while pursuing a part-time job as a NICU nurse.
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Kara M. Gerka
Gerka is a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Physician Assistant Studies and Biology dual major and receives an Associate of Science in Pre-Pharmacy and Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies. She is the daughter of Edward and Mary Jo Gerka and was a member of the women’s basketball team. She plans to pursue a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at USF.
Gabrielle A. Keller
Keller is a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education major with a minor in mild intervention. She is the daughter of Ken and Sheryl Keller. She has been a member of the women’s golf team and president of Kappa Delta Pi, the National Honor Society for Education at USF and plans to become an elementary or special education teacher.
Sam E. Rhoades
Rhoades is a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Physician Assistant Studies major and the son of Jack and Rita Rhoades. He plans to continue his education at USF in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program.
About the University of Saint Francis
Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.