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 a tuition-free fifth-year Master’s Degree for undergraduate Business Management and Accounting majors. Dr. Free serves as Chair of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education Board of Directors and Secretary of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges Board of Directors.
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 The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has announced the hiring of Karen Nell as its next head coach of the women’s lacrosse program and first-ever head coach of the inaugural field hockey program, which is set to begin competing in the fall of 2020. The announcement was made this afternoon by Amanda Devitt, USJ’s Director
Reading Time: 1 minute On May 7, 2019, Yvonne Joy, DNP, APRN, director of the DNP Program and assistant professor of Nursing, joined Mornings with Ray Dunaway for National Nurses Week. During this radio interview, Joy discussed the University of Saint Joseph’s (USJ) online Doctorate of Nursing (DNP) program, career opportunities in Connecticut, and latest trends in nursing. In
Reading Time: 1 minute In the 87 years since USJ was founded, many things have changed. The college is now a full-fledged university, it has a downtown Hartford Pharmacy program in addition to its bucolic West Hartford campus, and its curriculum has continued to evolve. In the fall of 2017, the women’s institution of higher learning became coeducational. But
Reading Time: 2 minutes Kemche Michalic ’20 is an Accounting major at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ). Since moving to America from the Philippines in 2011, Michalic has accomplished a lot in her personal and professional life. Not only is Michalic happily married, but she’s enjoying life as a mom. Her latest accomplishment was landing an internship as
Reading Time: 2 minutes Kelly Deegan ’19 is a Child Study major at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ). As part of her Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Internship course, Deegan was given the task of finding an internship to prepare her for a career after college. After searching, she landed one at the Village for Families and
Reading Time: 1 minute Photo from L-R: Nana Kyem, Megan Ricci, Jessica Karwowski, and Tara Moseni Four students from the University of Saint Joseph’s (USJ) Honors Program presented at the 2019 Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) Conference from April 11-14, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme of this year’s conference was “Generating Power: Impact. Influence. Endurance.” USJ students were selected to
Reading Time: 5 minutes The following students have been named to the University of Saint Joseph Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester. Students who are awarded this academic achievement have earned a GPA of 3.50 or higher for the semester, with no grade lower than a “B.” “Time and again, our students prove their dedication to the University’s
Reading Time: 1 minute On April 17, 2019, the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC) held their 22ndAnnual Connecticut Immigrant Day at the state capitol. This ceremony recognized 19 immigrants living in the state of Connecticut who have made significant contributions to the state and nation, including the University of Saint Joseph’s (USJ) Campus Ministry Music Coordinator Ezequiel Menéndez.