February 20, 2023

Where to Get Ashes on Wednesday

Black History Month Speaker This Week

NEDA Week Awareness Event

Inspiring Women Discussion

Celebrate Read Across America Day

2023 Spring Retreat

Participate in Black History Month Trivia Round 2!

Black History Month Trivia is back for round 2! Click here to play!

CAPS Event on Wednesday Feb. 22

The Staff Recognition Committee and the President’s Cabinet encourage all USJ community members to submit nominations for the annual President’s Recognition Award for Inspiring Staff Excellence (PRAISE) and for Random Acts of Mercy recognition. Click for link to the PRAISE award nomination form. Forms are also available on MyUSJ / Employee / Human Resources & Payroll / Documents & Forms. 



Individual and Team PRAISE awards for 2022-23 will be selected in April and announced at the Community Forum, scheduled for May 9, 2022. Nominations can be submitted at any time, but must be received no later than March 30, 2023.



To recognize an individual staff member and a team who have performed above and beyond expectations, and who have made an extraordinary contribution to University of Saint Joseph during the past year. 

Eligibility – Individual Award

  • Staff employed at least 20 hours per week and 10 months per calendar year (“benefits-eligible”) and who have been employed at least one year.
  • The following staff are not eligible for the Staff Recognition Award. Nominations for people in these categories will be accepted and filed in the employee’s personnel file, but the nomination will not be placed in the selection pool.
    • Directors (grade 40) and above;
    • Any employee who has won the PRAISE award within the past 5 years.
  • Faculty are not eligible for the PRAISE award; to nominate a faculty member for the Reverend John J Stack Teaching Excellence Award, please refer to the email sent by Verona Jones on January 31, 2023 (attached).


Eligibility – Team Award

Definition of “Team” for the purposes of PRAISE:

  • A group of people working together toward a common goal on behalf of the University
  • A department or a team comprising members of multiple departments
  • 3 to 15 members
  • Team must include a minimum of two staff employees; it may also include faculty and students

Nomination Process

  • All staff, faculty and students (undergraduate and graduate) are invited to nominate individuals and/or teams.
  • The PRAISE nomination forms is attached; paper copies will be made available to departments with limited computer access.
  • No one may nominate him/herself for an individual award. An individual may nominate a team of which s/he is a member, but must then abstain from voting in the team category.
  • Nominations should be submitted electronically to For people without electronic access, paper nominations can be submitted to HR. 


Random Acts of Mercy employee appreciation recognition write-ups can be submitted at any time and are posted on MyUSJ on an ongoing basis. 


The Staff Recognition Committee and the President’s Cabinet are pleased to sponsor a Random Acts of Mercy Employee Appreciation “Wall” on the Employee tab of MyUSJ. The Random Acts of Mercy Employee Appreciation Wall is an opportunity to contribute to a culture of positivity and raise awareness about the good work being done on a daily basis throughout the USJ community. 



Any USJ employee (staff or faculty) who has contributed to a positive, constructive work and/or educational environment at the University is eligible for inclusion on the Random Acts of Mercy Employee Appreciation Wall. No random act of mercy or other kindness is too small for the wall! 


  • Nominations should be submitted electronically to Nominations may be submitted on the Random Acts of Mercy nomination form, available on MyUSJ, or simply by an email with the subject line “Random Acts of Mercy.”
  • For people without electronic access, paper nominations can be submitted to HR. The Random Acts of Mercy nomination form is available on MyUSJ.
  • When possible, the nomination should reference the specific aspects of the USJ Mission and/or Values that are embodied by the nominee’s actions. The Mission Statement and Mercy Values are listed at the end of this document.
  • Human Resources will review all nominations and post all submissions.
    • New submissions will be posted on at least a bi-weekly basis. 
    • HR reserves the right to edit submissions for space (and spelling!) prior to posting.
    • Postings may be removed periodically for space reasons, but not before they have been posted for at least three months.
  • Random Acts of Mercy recipients will receive a voucher for one lunch at the McGovern Dining Commons.
  • All employees are encouraged to check the Random Acts of Mercy Employee Appreciation Wall frequently!


Mission Statement

The University of Saint Joseph, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in the Roman Catholic tradition, provides a rigorous liberal arts and professional education for a diverse student population in an inclusive environment that encourages strong ethical values, personal integrity, and a sense of responsibility to the needs of society.

Core Values

o   Catholic Identity: University of Saint Joseph is grounded in its heritage as a Catholic institution, expressing the Catholic tradition in an ecumenical and critical manner.

o   Development of the Whole Person: University of Saint Joseph encourages, inspires, and challenges all students to fully develop their intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and leadership potential.

o   Compassionate Service: University of Saint Joseph promotes, supports and facilitates caring service as an integral part of all teaching and learning experiences.

o   Academic Excellence: University of Saint Joseph provides a value-centered education that prepares students as global citizens, lifelong learners, and informed decision makers.

o   Respect/Integrity: University of Saint Joseph demonstrates respect and reverence for all people and fidelity in personal witness.

o   Hospitality: University of Saint Joseph is a welcoming community where its relationships are based on openness, inclusivity and mutual respect.

o   Multiculturalism/Diversity: University of Saint Joseph is committed to fostering the growth of an inclusive community that welcomes differences among community members and benefits from them.

Tell Your Story Workshops

Faculty and Staff Fitness Class!

The USJ Exercise Science students are continuing to host a noon fitness class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays! The class is free, and open to all faculty and staff of all fitness levels. We can host 20 people per class and will leave it open to the first 20 people to show up.
  • Workouts will last approximately 55 min.
  • The workouts will have a cardio component, free weights, ball work and mat work.
  • People will get a little sweaty to really sweaty depending on how hard they push.
  • Obviously, the locker rooms are right outside the gym so people can take a shower/clean up following.
  • Please wear fitness apparel: tennis shoes, shorts or workout pants and t-shirts. 
In order to participate we need a copy of the OC Informed Consent Waiver of Liability.  Please send sheets to Sheila Gisbrecht at If you have any questions or concerns, reach out at the same email. We look forward to having you in class!

Creative Collaborations with Art and Music- TOMORROW!

Call For Proposals For Symposium Day 2023!

The Twenty Seventh Annual Symposium Day at the University of Saint Joseph will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Symposium Day is a day-long event that is designed to carry out the University’s mission to develop the potential of our students by offering them the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their achievements in a wide array of academic, professional and clinical studies.

We encourage undergraduate and graduate students in all schools and departments to submit abstract proposals. Faculty can ensure a high level of academic interest and performance by identifying students whose work (papers, a study or an experiment, a piece of creative writing, or another type of creative product) would be suitable for this event.

Abstracts are due on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023 by 5 p.m.

This year, abstract submissions will be hosted on the Center for Student Research and Creative Activity (SRCA) Blackboard page. Enrollment in this Blackboard page is automatic, and you can find it by going to MyUSJ Blackboard and scrolling down to ‘My Organizations’. If you do not have access to the SRCA Blackboard page, please send an email to and submit a ticket to MyIT.

Instructions for preparing and submitting a proposal:

• Students should decide if they would like to submit a proposal for an oral presentation (12- 15 min) or a poster presentation. Note that students giving oral presentations will be eligible for awards.

• Students should then contact their faculty sponsor to review their proposal abstract. Please give faculty sponsors adequate time to review the abstract before the submission deadline. The form will ask for your IRB or IACUC number, if applicable, so students should make sure to have access to that information.

• STUDENTS can complete the Symposium Day Proposal Form by downloading the document from the SRCA submission site. Students should be sure to answer all questions and paste the text of their abstract (including the title) at the end of the document.

• FACULTY SPONSORS must sign off on student abstracts before they are submitted. Spaces for a faculty signature and contact information are included on the proposal form.

• Students who are planning to present more than one project (for example, their independent research AND a class project) must submit a separate proposal form for each project. The submission portal is set up to allow multiple submissions from individual students to accommodate this.

• Only ONE proposal should be submitted for each project, regardless of the number of presenters. If multiple students are participating in either an oral presentation or a poster presentation, all student names must be listed on the same proposal form. Select one student to submit on behalf of the group.

• Please be sure you have thoroughly reviewed the completed form before submission. All submissions are final.

• The submitting author will be notified of the status of their abstract by Spring Break.

Please plan to be available for the entire symposium day so that you can present in your assigned time-slot and support colleagues by attending their presentations as well. Once all abstracts are reviewed, the schedule will be prepared
and distributed in early April.

What's New at the Art Museum!

Residential Life’s Housing Application is LIVE!

Residential Life’s Housing Application for the 2023-2024 Academic Year is LIVE!
 If you are interested in living on campus next year, please ensure to get your application in as soon as possible! Applications can be found at  

The priority deadline to submit your 2023-2024 Housing Application and complete your Roommate Groups is MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. If you would like to participate in the Housing Selection Process, select your own space, and pair with roommates, you need to ensure that you and those you are choosing to live with have completed your application and formed your roommate group by this date. 

Living on campus is a great opportunity to engage with the campus community, meet peers, and have the convenience of being closer to your friends, classes, and extra-curricular activities. Data from last semester has shown that 78% of students are on campus on the weekends, and last semester over 84 programs were hosted in the residence halls! We are also taking direct student feedback from our most recent Community Assessment and Housing Intent Survey to improve our residential living experience for students for next year. We will share more details about some of those changes and information about the Housing Selection process in the coming weeks.

Important Points 

  • The housing contract is an agreement for the full academic year (fall and spring semesters) and, once submitted, is subject to the cancelation policy outlined in the contract. 
  • Students who live in suites can choose between the Bronze or the Gold meal plan. Students who live in traditional halls can only select the 19-meal/week (Gold) meal plan. Suites are reserved for Junior and Senior standing residents first.
  • Students with active holds at the time of selection are unable to participate in housing selection. 
  • Students who submit an application after the priority deadline of March 20 will be assigned housing after the selection ends based on availability and compatibility with students who have vacancies.

How to Complete your Housing Application

1. Log into and log in using your USJ credentials

2. Select "Housing Overview" under the eRezLife logo

3. Click "Apply Now" for the fall 2023 session application

4. Fill out the application entirely and review the housing contract and terms of the application prior to submitting

Once you have completed your application, you will get a confirmation email and an additional email shortly after, including information on searching for roommates and creating a roommate group!

Information Sessions and Tabling

Several information sessions will be hosted in the next several weeks to help provide students with more detailed information regarding the Housing Selection Process. 

Monday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. - Assumption Hall Lounge 

Friday, March 3, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - McGovern Lounge

Tuesday, March 7 at 4:30 p.m. - Madonna First Floor Lounge

Monday, March 14 at 1 p.m. - Virtual via Teams 

If you have any questions regarding Housing Selection or the Housing Application, please reach out to Molly Abrahams, Assistant Director of Residential Life, at or

Students enjoying Woof Wednesday!
USJ Cares Wellness Fair
ConnectiKids will be having tabling on Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in McGovern Lounge for those interested in learning more. You can also reach out to Lynnette Colón with any questions at

Holidays Throughout the Month of February!

USJ Graduate Student and Army Veteran Ryan Hinton's Life of Service

When University of Saint Joseph graduate student Ryan Hinton tells his rich and multi-faceted life story, his commitment to service shines through. A student in USJ’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, Hinton also directs the first Veterans Upward Bound Program in Connecticut, and is an Army veteran, former high school principal, teacher, and Army Chaplin Assistant.  

For the full story click here.

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