2024 Collegium Visionary Award: Kathryn LaFontana

Kathy LaFontana with Visionary Award citation

Collegium Director, Dr. Eifler, presenting the award virtually

On a brisk January morning, Kathy LaFontana, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike Ohio, received the 2024 Collegium Visionary Award. Fittingly, it was at Ursuline’s annual Epiphany Day celebration before the spring term, a day when the faculty gathers to reflect upon and renew their shared vocation as educators. Collegium director Karen Eifler was due to present the award in person, but because of a grounded 737 Max 9, she read the citation to the assembled faculty over Zoom. They gave Kathy a well-deserved standing ovation for her stellar work in bringing home the mission of Collegium via such initiatives as ensuring that mission values remain at the heart of innovative programs in nurse anesthesiology, African Studies, and a renewed MBA. Her practice of gathering Collegium alums over pizza to view livestreamed plenaries from the annual colloquy and webinars has been adapted by many member schools, and she has also been instrumental in programming the Epiphany event in recent years, shining a light on homegrown talent that increases the knowledge and skills of Ursuline faculty to carry out their shared mission. Keeping with her mission focus, Kathy used the honorarium that accompanies the Visionary Award to fund the food and speakers for the day. Heartfelt congratulations to 2024 Collegium Visionary Awardee Kathy LaFontana!

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