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Due to COVID, we will be celebrating our 2020 and 2021 Alumni Award Recipients together!
Thirteen accomplished alumni were honored in the following categories: Distinguished Alumnus, Visionary and Rising Star. These distinctions recognize alumni who display leadership and innovation in their career fields as well as a personal dedication to philanthropic endeavors. Congratulations!
Nazneen Razi, Ph.D. ’99 - Organizational Development, MBA '84 - Human Resources and Operations Management
Nazneen Razi is a two-time graduate of Benedictine University. She received her MBA in Human Resources and Operations Management in 1984 from Illinois Benedictine College. She later returned in 1999 to receive her Ph.D. in Organization Development.
Nazneen worked as a Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a federation of 36 separate United States health insurance companies that provide health insurance in the United States to more than 106 million people.
After years of amazing contributions to the executive leadership team at Blue Cross Blue Shield, she became President and Principle for NRHR Talent Consulting. NRHR Talent Consulting is a leadership, culture, and human resource consulting service. Through her leadership, NRHR Talent Consulting is positioned to help their clientele, consisting of companies the likes of Blue Cross Blue Shield, JLL, CNA and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, just to name a few, deliver value through innovative and high impact HR strategies and talent solutions that drive exceptional business performance and create positive employee experience and engagement.
Through Nazneen’s Leadership, NRHR Talent Consulting has worked with start-ups, not-for-profits, and small to mid-size companies, as well as fortune 500 organizations. With her more than twenty years as a CHRO at large, Nazneen has utilized her experience in various industries such as healthcare, technology, real-estate, and insurance in both public and private sectors to provide unmatched leadership in the field of Human Resources and talent acquisition. She has also pursued her passion of sharing her wealth of experience teaching both graduate and undergraduate Human Resources courses.
MICHAEL J. ABERNATHY, J.D. earned his B.A. in Philosophy and History, magna cum laude, from Illinois Benedictine College (Benedictine University) in 1979 and his Juris Doctorate, with honors, from DePaul University College of Law in 1982. At IBC, he met the love of life, Pam (Zitnik) Abernathy, B.A.’78, to whom he has been married for 40 years. Abernathy is a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, a 2,200-lawyer law firm with 31 offices worldwide. Abernathy is a member of the firm’s Advisory Committee, coleader of the firm’s global Life Sciences Industry Practice and the firm’s global Intellectual Property Disputes Practice, as well as a member of the firm’s Chicago management team. He focuses his practice on pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical patent litigation, representing clients such as Takeda, Nestle-Purina, and Merck KGaA. He also is on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and served for 14 years as an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Abernathy has received a number of professional recognitions, including IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals (2016–2019); Life Sciences Star, Intellectual Property, LMG Life Sciences (2016–2019); The Best Lawyers in America: Intellectual Property (2014–2019); and Illinois Super Lawyers: Intellectual Property Litigation (2010–2019). Abernathy is passionate about Catholic primary and secondary education. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at St. Michael Parish School, and formerly served on the Board of Trustees at All Saints Catholic School and as the Board Chair of St. Francis High School. He also has been the head girls’ track and field coach at St. Michael Parish School since 1994 and an assistant cross-country coach at St. Francis High School since 2003. In addition, in 2018 he became a member of President’s Planning Advisory Council of Benedictine University.
"I’m very grateful to the administration, faculty and staff at Benedictine for their life-enduring lessons on community, hospitality, stability and stewardship. I’m particularly grateful to Dr. Phil Bean for instilling in me a love of American history, to Dr. Bernard Toussaint for teaching me the virtues of logic and metaphysics, to Fr. David Turner for his tutorials on Benedictine virtues, and to Coach John Ostrowski for teaching me that empathy and laughter are essential leadership traits.”
KEVIN L. LORENZ, J.D. received an M.B.A. from Benedictine University in 1992, holds a J.D. from George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, and a B.S. in economics from Illinois State University. Kevin L. Lorenz, Chief Investment Officer, Senior Vice President, Treasury & Private Investments at the Katz Group, is an accomplished executive with over 25 years of experience guiding and implementing investment strategy across public and private companies. Lorenz also works directly with the principal to oversee the design, implementation and monitoring of the overall investment strategy for public and private passive investments. Prior to joining the Katz Group, Lorenz was Director, Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) Private Client Business at Credit Suisse Securities, L.L.C., where he was selected to expand Credit Suisse’s UHNW private client business into Canada. From 2004 to 2009, Lorenz was the Director, UHNW Management Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc., where he was a key contributor to the formation and build out of the company’s first dedicated UBS UHNW office. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury that charters, regulates and supervises all national banks and thrift institutions.
"I am deeply honored to accept this Alumni Achievement Award from Benedictine University. I can directly trace the turning point in my professional career to the day that Benedictine University accepted me to the M.B.A. program. The education I received and the legitimacy of the degree I earned lead to my acceptance to law school, which opened doors to a career on Wall Street and ultimately to my current position as CIO for one of the wealthiest families in the world. It is I that owes a huge debt of gratitude to Benedictine University for taking a chance on me back in 1989 and changing the trajectory of my life in ways that I could not imagine that first day I stepped on campus.”
SR. AFRA MGWAMA O.S.B., is a member of the African Benedictine Sisters of St. Gertrude Imiliwaha in the Diocese of Njombe, Tanzania. Since 2013, she has overseen the creation of a now-thriving Catholic elementary school in the bustling city of Sumbawanga, in western Tanzania. Sr. Afra’s educational path began with her family of eight siblings in a remote Tanzanian village. Traditionally village girls did not go to school. With her mother’s help, she convinced her father to let her get an education. She excelled at her schoolwork, entering the convent in Imiliwaha at 16 where she completed her secondary education. In 2003, her Sisters selected her to study for advanced education degrees to better serve orphans and village children. This opportunity was possible because of the generosity of the Benedictine Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery and Benedictine University, both in Lisle. International travel provided unimaginable experiences, from flying to escalators, elevators and hotels. Walking through the International Terminal at O’Hare Airport, she entered a world far from her simple world in Tanzania. Besides needing to quickly become fluent in English, Afra had to learn the culture and customs of this affluent country. In 2005, she began her studies at Benedictine University. In 2009, she earned her first degree in Liberal Arts in Elementary Education. In 2011, Sr. Afra earned her M.Ed. degree in Leadership and Administration, followed by a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She fostered many relationships through studentteaching, her connection with parishioners and her classmates. She returned to her homeland in February 2012. In 2013, she was charged with the formidable task of starting a school in Sumbawanga, in western Tanzania not far from the famous Lake Tanganyika. With generous support from Lisle-based Friends of Imiliwaha, a nonprofit group dedicated to supporting educational and health initiatives of the Imiliwaha Sisters, Afra’s seemingly impossible challenge is now a thriving school with over 300 preschool to seventh grade students including poor neighborhood children who attend the tuition-free, ranked in the region’s top 10 schools. This bustling campus, developed “brick by brick,” Afra’s motto, also features a modern computer lab. Dozens of orphans attend the school and live in a wing of the modest convent. Sr. Afra continues to develop this mission to better serve those in need of education, especially girls. Because of her childhood experience of fighting for the opportunity to go to school, she strives to ensure girls have the tools they need to lead productive lives. Her next project: building a modest convent so they can expand current facilities for orphans and boarding students.
"I am grateful to Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart for having me as part of the community and the Benedictine University community for providing a great education “Informing Today Transforming Tomorrow”. I appreciate, and cannot thank you enough Friends of Imiliwaha and all who have supported me. I do carry a light with me wherever I go. It was given to me the first day I was welcomed to Benedictine University. Thank you again.”
MICHAEL O’LEARY received his B.S. in Mathematics at Illinois Benedictine College (Benedictine University) in 1989. He later obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Northwestern University. He is currently professor and Department Chair at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. Prior to taking this role, he was the founding Director of the School of Emerging Technology. Michael’s areas of expertise include analysis, applied mathematics, cybersecurity, differential equations, and fluid dynamics. He wrote the book “Cyber Operations - Building, Defending, and Attacking Modern Computer Networks”. This book walks the reader through the processes involved in setting up, defending, and attacking computer networks. His work provides a practical, hands-on approach to cyber security and focuses on real-life examples of networks and attacks, offers extensive coverage of offensive and defensive techniques. This text is supported by a rich collection of exercises and resources. Michael has coached Towson University’s cyber defense team since 2006, and the team has made it to the finals of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition three times. He also does research in the development of improved mathematical algorithms for the geographic profiling problem, which is the problem of estimating the location of a serial criminal’s home-base from the known locations of the crimes. This work has been sponsored by the National Institute of Justice.
"Let me thank the great faculty from what was then Illinois Benedictine College- especially Rose Carney, Phyllis Kittel, Lisa Townsley, Ralph Meeker, John Spokas, and Paul Tsi who helped me learn about mathematics, physics, and life.”
MICHAEL SUGLICH grew up in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood. From an early age, he learned that work ethic, confidence, strong values and respect for others would make great tools for life. After graduating from Quigley South High School, he continued to pursue his education and baseball dreams at IBC, graduating in 1982 with an Accounting degree. Mike enjoyed a successful All-American baseball career and was recently honored by his induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1984, Suglich married his IBC sweetheart, Colleen Collins, B.S.’82, Biology, a physical therapist. With a few years’ experience under his belt and Colleen’s support, he launched a start-up, MAS Consulting, an accounting software business in Chicago. Signature clients included the University Club of Chicago, Harpo Studios (Oprah Winfrey Show), WTTW, Ravinia Festival and Arthur Andersen. As CEO at MAS Consulting, he grew the vision, sales and delivery of consulting services to hundreds of businesses in the Chicago area. After leading MAS Consulting for 20 years, in 2010, Suglich merged his business upstream with Sikich L.L.P., a regional C.P.A., Technology and Advisory Firm. Mike joined the firm as a Senior Partner and participated on the firm’s Executive Board, during which time Sikich doubled in size and transitioned into a national Firm. Today, several Benedictine alumni continue to serve as partners, directors and key employees of the firm. He retired from Sikich in 2018 and now continues to keep his entrepreneurial spirit alive by running a new start-up: Greenlight Advisors, a Benchmark portal service designed to help business leaders make confident, informed decisions to improve their business performance. Mike and Colleen have been blessed with three children, Cara (Tommy), Matthew (Erin) and Kelsey and three grandchildren, Emilia, Martin, and William. Mike and Colleen continue many strong IBC friendships to this day. Mike will meet you for a round of golf or a baseball game any time. Go White Sox.
"I am humbled and honored by the recognition of the Benedictine Alumni Achievement Award. Benedictine laid the groundwork for my entrepreneurial spirit and human respect that helped me drive business success. Personally, Benedictine established friendships that continue to last a lifetime and more so, my beautiful wife, children and grandchildren that have come into my life. For that, I am most grateful. Benedictine is forever in my heart.”
2020 Rising Star
AYAYI AYITE holds a dual M.P.H./M.B.A. from Benedictine University which he received in 2017. He received a B.S. in Management and Economics from University of Poitier in France and is a Certified Medical Laboratory Scientist. He is currently focusing on strengthening his competencies and practical skills in epidemiology and surveillance, data analysis, monitoring and evaluation, with the professional goal of becoming a global health expert in these areas. Ayayi Ayite is a current Epidemiology and Surveillance Fellow with the Public Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Center for Global Health, Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis at C.D.C. Headquarters. As a native French speaker, he supports Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (P.H.I.A.) projects in various Francophone countries including Haiti, Burundi, DRC, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire and Botswana. In this role, he develops study protocols, survey materials, and standard operation procedures. He also provides data analysis support and in-country technical assistance to implementing partners, including training to field workers, and monitoring of project progress. Ayayi’s interest in Epidemiology began with a yearlong volunteering experience with the Office of Epidemiology and Statistics of the Dekalb County Board of Health, where he acquired basic practical knowledge in epidemiology, surveillance, and infectious disease case management and control. At the Dekalb County Board of Health, he investigated Hepatitis C cases from the Refugees’ Health program which played a key role in deciding to pursue a career in global health epidemiology. For the past five years, he has worked as a medical technologist in hospital laboratory settings, including Grady Memorial Hospital and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center. His outstanding work and love of the laboratory has led to his role as PRN Laboratory Supervisor at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta while in the Fellowship.
"I am truly grateful, and I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Benedictine University and the M.P.H. faculty for providing me with the competencies, required academic knowledge and the tools that help me build my professional self-confidence enabling me to be highly competitive on the public health job market. I will not make it to the C.D.C. without my M.P.H. degree. I feel so honored and happy to be a Rising Star Award winner at Benedictine University! My special thoughts to Dr. Susan Cheng who has been a real mentor and an inspiration! Thanks! Thanks! and thanks Benedictine University!”
2020 Rising Star
DR. THOMAS J. CARTOLANO graduated from Benedictine University in 2004 earning his B.S. in Biology. He later attended the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, completing his medical degree in 2008. With more than 12 years of diverse experience, Dr. Cartolano is currently a Trauma Surgeon at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL. Prior to this position, he worked as a physician for Jackson Memorial Hospital located in Miami, Florida where he began as a Surgical Critical Care Fellow, then progressed to Trauma/Acute Care Surgery Fellow. He is affiliated with multiple hospitals, including Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and University of Illinois Hospital. Fueling his dedication to education, Dr. Cartolano is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois Chicago and Midwestern University. He is also President of the Chicago Metropolitan Trauma Society.
"I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Alumni Achievement Rising Star Award for 2020. Benedictine University laid the foundation for the success I have achieved in my field of work. Without the unparalleled education I received at Benedictine University, and the constant guidance and support from Ms. Alice Sima, I would not be where I am today. Benedictine University holds a special place in my heart, as I also met my wife, Melissa, there. Together, we have welcomed two beautiful girls into the world. I cannot express my gratitude enough for this award. Benedictine University put me on the path to success, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
2020 Rising Star
DR. PETER GALLOS is a longtime resident of Plainfield, IL with his wife of almost 20 years, and their three wonderful children, Andrew, George, and Chrissa. Dr. Gallos attended Benedictine University where he earned his B.S. in Health Science with high honors in 1996. He furthered his training in dentistry by attending the University of Illinois College of Dentistry where he earned both a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry and later his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Gallos earned his D.D.S. degree with highest honors and finished as the Valedictorian of his class. Upon completion of his program, Dr. Gallos entered the University of Illinois at Chicago Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery’s residency program. Dr. Gallos credits this program with teaching him the skills necessary in performing complicated extractions and dental surgery. As a result of this program Dr. Gallos earned his State of Illinois Sedation licensure. Throughout his years of practice, Dr. Gallos has sharpened his skills in all areas of dentistry including orthodontics, implants, sedation, TMJ disorders, gum disease, and cosmetic dentistry. In addition to his 20 years of extensive expertise, Dr. Gallos has been inducted into the Pierre Fauchard Academy, Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society, Alpha Omega Valedictorian Award, Omicron Kappa Upsilon Award for Clinical Excellence, The American Association of Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons Award, the University of Illinois at Chicago Howard Kubacki Award for superior clinical performance, the University of Illinois at Chicago Donald McElroy Endodontic Award, the University of Illinois at Chicago Ted Rosen Award for occlusal problem solving, the University of Illinois at Chicago John Spence Award for excellence in dentistry, the American Equilibration Society’s Award for outstanding performance in the TMJ joint, past president in the Chicago Component of the Academy of General Dentistry, and is a Fellow in the American Dental Implant Association. Dr. Gallos is also currently on staff at Rush Copley Hospital in Aurora; teaches in the dental practicum at Benedictine University; and runs an internship for high school students interested in dentistry.
"As I approach 25 years since graduating Benedictine University, all I can say is how humble and grateful I am to all the faculty and staff who played a pivotal role in guiding my undergraduate education. They not only motivated me to be a lifelong learner, but also provided the encouragement and education which got me to where I am today - dentist, business owner, and educator.”
2020 Rising Star
ANTHONY GONZALEZ earned a B.S. in Social Science in 2008 at Benedictine University. In 2017 he completed his Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and Leadership as well as earned a Technology Specialist license. Anthony has spent his 11-year career teaching at Nazareth Academy, a college prep high school in La Grange Park, IL. At Nazareth Academy, Anthony teaches Contemporary World Issues and Economics, both senior-level courses. In addition to teaching, he has spent his career as the Assistant Coach on the Girls Cross Country team and leading Nazareth’s summer service trip to Solsberry Hill in southern. Indiana. During his tenure, Anthony has also served as the moderator of the Young Entrepreneur’s Club, led Kairos retreats, organized and led the FISH Prom for Teens with Disabilities, and was the Assistant Varsity Softball Coach. Anthony has been active in helping teachers innovate the classroom through the usage of technology and innovative pedagogy. He has helped the school achieve its technological goals by leading/ assisting the transitioning to Google Apps for Education in 2013, planning and unrolling the 1-1 iPad initiative in the 2014-2015 school year, and developing the 2017-2018 initiative to have 100% Google Certified Educators at Nazareth. As a Google Certified Trainer, Anthony was invited to speak at the Google Education Summit at Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2013 and 2014, presented a technology in-service at Immaculate Conception High School, and has run numerous in-services at Nazareth Academy regarding classroom implementation. In the Fall of 2011 and 2013, Anthony earned the “Most Inspiring Teacher” award by Western Illinois University and was named “Educator of the Year” at Nazareth Academy by students and administration in both 2012 and 2018. In addition, Anthony earned a nomination for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership in 2019.
"I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be a Benedictine alum, but during this pandemic, I am even more thankful. As a teacher who has been thrust into situations that I never would have expected, I am appreciative of my time in my education classes where hard work and innovation was always expected. As Benedictine provided a great environment to learn, it also provided me with a great community of friends and professors that still offer guidance and support today. Whether it was hosting a steak dinner in Founders Woods with Fr. David and the roommates, grabbing coffee and conversation with Dr. Gaddis every year to catch up, or continuing to see Benedictine graduates connect and succeed, I am happy to continue to be part of the Eagle community. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss the community and connections that Benedictine has provided me with, so I am forever grateful. Thank you for the award, but most of all, thank you for continuing to instill great values in the future while appreciating past graduates.”
2020 Rising Star
KIMBERLY GROLL was a stay home mom raising her three children for 15 years before entering into college in 2003. In 2009, Groll completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology degree at Benedictine University. She has the distinction of completing her Associates, Bachelor, and Master’s degrees in sixand one-half years. She continued in her field of clinical psychology and became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Alcohol and Drug/Addictions Counselor, and Certified in Anger Management and Crisis Counseling. Working with court mandated anger management clients she gets them through the process. The Crisis Counseling allows her to get out of the office and go directly to the scene of a crisis and deal with the issues. In May 2020 she added one more certification as a divorce mediator. Groll was a columnist for the Sun Times Media Newspaper for two years where she wrote a monthly column titled “Dear Counselor”. Later using the same title, she published a book to help others in the community who are struggling with sensitive issues along with addressing ways to cope with the surrounding issues. She is a member of the DuPage Child Abuse Prevention Coalition and is actively involved in the community with speaking publicly on a variety of topics. As the owner and president of Achieving Solutions Counseling, Inc., located in Naperville, she is committed to providing individualized and professional services for substance abuse, anger management and a variety of mental and behavioral health issues.
"I am honored to receive the Rising Star award and must admit I was surprised when I was contacted. I graduated in 2009, and would like to thank Benedictine University for providing me with a wonderful education along with proper guidance to be able to accomplish my goals. I would also like to give special thanks to Margie Salyer who was a terrific educator, advisor and exceptional mentor.”
2020 Rising Star
NICOLE KONKEL holds a B.A. in Communication from Western Illinois University, a M.A. in Communication and Training from Governors State University and earned her Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University in 2013. Konkel is Vice President of Property Management, for Home Partners of America, a company that is committed to making home ownership a reality for more people. She began her career in real estate management over 20 years ago as an administrative assistant. She quickly progressed into leadership roles within various organizations including CEO of a management company in the greater Seattle area. She has worked in the multifamily, single family, luxury high-rise, condominium and homeowner association industries. In addition to her real estate experience, she has an extensive training and development background and has utilized those skills in property management firms to build learning platforms. In addition to her formal education, Konkel holds the highestranking designation in community association management, the Professional Community Association Manager (P.C.A.M.) from Community Associations Institute, the industry leader in the governance of HOAs and condominium associations. In her spare time, she enjoys training for triathlons, including having completed an Ironman distance race and traveling with her husband, Erick.
"Thank you very much for the distinguished honor of receiving the Alumni Achievement Award. I am honored and humbled to have been selected. One of the great things about our dear university is that there are so many individuals that have excelled both personally and professionally, so it makes it even more special to have been chosen to receive this award. My education and experience at BenU has been instrumental and rewarding. I look forward to being active in this community for years to come.”
2020 Rising Star
MARGARET ‘PEGGY’ YOUNG has been a registered nurse for over 22 years, including a background in medical-surgical and maternity nursing along with several years in quality improvement. Young began her nursing career after completing her Associate in Applied Science, Nursing degree at Triton College. After several years in the nursing field, Young elected to return to school to achieve her personal goal of completing her Bachelor of Science (B.S.N.) degree. This decision was sparked by her involvement in a research project that landed her at Mayo Clinic’s Quest for Quality conference. There she presented research that she and her colleagues conducted with mothers post-delivery. In 2008, Young completed her B.S.N. with honors at Benedictine University and was accepted into the Lambda Upsilon-at-large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing. With such a positive learning experience during her B.S.N. program and with the encouragement of her professors, Young continued to advance her education. In 2009, she joined the inaugural cohort of Benedictine University’s online Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program. Young received her second degree from Benedictine University with an M.S.N. in 2010. That same year, Young received a Nursing Excellence Award from Westlake Hospital in 2010 for her work in quality improvement. Young then began her teaching career as an adjunct instructor. After several years as both clinical and didactic adjunct instructor for Triton College and Benedictine University, Young “re-joined” Benedictine University as a full-time professional instructor in 2015. Prior to joining Benedictine full-time, Young was faculty and Clinical Coordinator for Triton College. Since 2017, Young has served as program director for Benedictine University’s R.N. to B.S.N. program. During this time, she oversaw the addition and launch of the 100% online modality of the R.N. to B.S.N. program alongside the ongoing hybrid delivery model. As an active member of Sigma Theta Tau, she has held past service as vice-president, president and leadership succession chair. She maintains certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (C.P.H.Q.) and Certified Professional In-Patient Safety (C.P.P.S.). She is honored to guide students as they seek to advance their education and professional development through B.S.N. completion and beyond. Young is quite proud to be a two-time graduate and now full-time faculty of Benedictine University.
"I would like to express a huge thank you for being recognized with a 2020 Alumni Achievement Award as a Rising Star – it is truly humbling! This recognition reminds me of the value I place on being a lifelong member of the Benedictine family. My educational experience in both the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) programs sparked my spirit of inquiry. In nursing practice, this equates to using evidence-based practice to deliver equitable and quality care to all patients. As a current Benedictine faculty member, student advisor, and former R.N. to B.S.N. program director in the Department of Nursing and Health, I am inspired to guide and support nurses in their quest to advance their education and thus enhance their nursing practice – the same as my BenU nursing instructors did for me! On a day to day basis, I strive to embrace the Benedictine Hallmarks in my personal and professional relationships by listening, keeping an open mind, and encouraging collaboration. I am honored to receive this distinction and happy to accept this meaningful award. Thank you again for this recognition and thank you to Benedictine University for the ongoing impact in both my personal and professional lives!”