Rhona C. Free, Ph.D., became the ninth President of the University of Saint Joseph in July 2015. During her time at USJ, she has championed the creation of the Women’s Leadership Center, which provides educational programs and supports research regarding the skills that are needed for women to advance in organizations, and guided the deliberations that led to the University’s decision to become fully coeducational in fall 2018. Additionally, she oversaw the University’s successful institutional reaccreditation site visit; the start of its Physician Assistant Studies program; the creation of an annual Veterans Day observance; and the launch of the Catholic Promise Scholarship program. Dr. Free serves as Chair of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges Board of Directors, and she is a member of the Connecticut Science Center's Board of Trustees.
Dr. Free came to USJ from Eastern Connecticut State University, where she served as vice president for academic affairs from 2007-2013 and provost from 2013-2015. She taught Economics at Eastern for 25 years before becoming an administrator. In 2004, she was recognized as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education/Carnegie Foundation National Professor of the Year from Master’s Granting Institutions.
Dr. Free’s research has focused on gender and racial/ethnic earnings differences, collective bargaining and occupational health and safety, and innovative teaching methods. Her publications include a chapter, “On Scholarly Teaching: A Personal Account,” in Inspiring Academics: Learning with the World's Great University Teachers. She also edited the two-volume text 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook, which received the American Library Association’s RUSA 2011 Outstanding Reference Sources Award, and co-authored a chapter, “Faculty Workload Issues Connected to Undergraduate Research,” in Enhancing and Expanding Undergraduate Research: A Systems Approach: New Directions for Higher Education, Number 169.
Rhona Free holds a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College, and earned both master’s and doctoral degrees in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. She has been married to Peter Boardman since 1979. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Reading Time: 2 minutes At The Hartford, a company with 200 years of expertise in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds offering a Freshman Experience Program makes sense for everyone involved. If you ask most first-year college students, typically about 18 years old if they want a career in property insurance they might need some help
Reading Time: 1 minute The University continues to monitor the guidance from federal, state, and local officials regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Aligned with our priority of meeting students’ educational needs while keeping faculty, students and staff safe, please note that as of Monday, March 23, 2020, all instruction offered by the University of Saint Joseph – including labs and
Reading Time: 3 minutes About 15 months before the lights got flipped on in the stadium, the Super Bowl LIV Host Committee was already starting to make plans in Miami, Fla., for February 2, 2020 – Game Day. The backbone of the series of events, including staffing for Game Day events is all of the volunteers and short-term paid
Reading Time: 2 minutes When USJ students get selected for a very competitive scholarship, you know there are going to be cheers heard around campus. Our entire community is grateful to the CVS Health Foundation for granting the University a $4,000 scholarship to distribute to deserving Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students. The excitement and gratitude was led by faculty
Reading Time: 1 minute On Friday, March 6 the 2019-2020 USJ basketball season officially came to a close. The men’s historic season ended with a hard-fought loss to Hobart in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament. In 2019-2020 the men captured their first-ever GNAC conference title, en route to a 26-3 record that included an unblemished
Reading Time: 1 minute At the Institute for Advanced Studies in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT) 15th-anniversary conference, USJ’s Reverend Joseph Cheah, OSM, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, shared his presentation titled, “Asian Pneumatology of the FABC and the Reimagining of the Hospitality and Spirituality in Asia”. Following the conference, his work was accepted by the prestigious international
Reading Time: 1 minute Freshman midfielder Noah Mocksfield (Colchester, Conn.) of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men’s lacrosse team was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Rookie of the Week, announced Monday, March 2, by conference officials. It marks the first time in program history that men’s lacrosse has received a weekly GNAC honor. OFFICIAL GNAC RELEASE Mocksfield set the bar for
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Dietetic Internship Certificate Program at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is widely recognized as a top program for individuals interested in pursuing careers in nutrition and dietetics. Alongside faculty guidance, students complete rotations in a variety of fields, giving them the experience that will help them succeed in the future. James Jamieson, a