Alumni News



Thank you to St. Joseph Alumni Association for donating six new benches for the Grotto! 






Archer Parquette '14



Miss Kenosha earns Miss Congeniality honors

Lily Karnes '19

Lily Karnes Miss Kenosha.jpg

Though she didn’t finish as the winner or a semi-finalist in the Miss Wisconsin pageant, Miss Kenosha Lily Karnes still walked away being named Miss Congeniality.

Miss Congeniality is an award voted upon by the contestants and is given to the contestant they believe best embodies the spirit of the competition and has a great attitude and mindset.

Earning this honor meant a lot to Karnes, especially after all of the time she spent with her fellow competitors.

“It’s amazing that after spending a week with each other, (the other competitors) voted for me,” Karnes said. “When I got there, I opened myself up to the other girls, and I was myself. I think that made others comfortable to be themselves too.”

Being herself was something that Karnes was no stranger to during her run through the pageant circuit. Karnes said the most important part of her doing the pageants was the impact she made talking about mental health.

“A lot of people have reached out to me to talk about their situation,” Karnes said.

Karnes, who graduated from St. Joseph Catholic Academy earlier this month, has been open about her own struggles.

As a freshman in high school, Karnes’ life took a dark turn when she stopped hanging out with friends and doing the things she loved.

With the help of her parents and a counselor, she was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Competing to become Miss Kenosha was a way for her to spread her platform of mental health awareness and stopping the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

Karnes talked to people of all ages, but it was her conversations with kids that meant the most to her as well as being able to see the impact she made with them.

Competing at the Miss Wisconsin pageant was, Karnes said, probably the best week of her entire life.

However, she is still unsure about whether she will compete again next year.



Dan Zamudio '86


Interiors-Exteriors: Life in a Factory


Logan Square has its very own Factory. When Logansquarist paid a visit on a blustery day this past March, no latter-day Edie Sedgwick teetered down the precipitous staircase, nor was there any evidence of recent debauchery. The scene was, in fact, replete with coffee and cookies. But Andy Warhol would, I think, still approve.

The boundaries between art and life are simply non-existent in the renovated Wold Airbrush Factory, located steps from the California Blue Line stop. Home to artists Julie Sulzen and Dan Zamudio and their two teenage children, Bella and Vaughn, it doubles as the Sulzen Fine Art Studio and gallery, where the couple create and display their work and, sometimes, the work of other artists. Domesticity and industry blend seamlessly in the lofty space, which from the late 20th century to 1980 served as headquarters and manufacturing center for Olaus Wold, an innovator in airbrush paint technology. (Wold airbrushes are now made in New Zealand.) MORE....

You can see more of Dan's work at



Andre Speed '97 & Brandon Morris '01


By Mike Johnson -Kenosha News

Brandon Morris remembers the shoeboxes.

The ones full of letters from major NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs. The ones belonging to Andre Speed.

Speed was a standout at St. Joseph then. And not just any standout. He was the show at Madrigrano Gymnasium, the heir to Nick Van Exel’s throne for the Lancers, the next player from Kenosha who was going to make it big.

Morris and David Tolefree, both future standouts at St. Joseph themselves, were in middle school, and boy did they look up to Speed.

“We were going into the stands watching those games, excited because of Andre Speed,” Morris, who recently completed his first season as the St. Joseph boys basketball coach said over dinner with Speed and the reporter of this story recently.

“And then, once we were able to build a relationship with him — as little seventh-graders — and then going over to his house and seeing shoeboxes full of college letters and all that stuff, it was just like, ‘Dude, we’re going to St. Joe’s. We’re going to be like ‘Dre Speed.’ MORE.....





Eric Wistrom '09

Eric Wistrom, a St. Joseph High School graduate has been selected to present a paper at a doctoral seminar sponsored by the Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies. That’s a big enough deal, but here’s the even cooler part: The seminar takes place in May in a castle. Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness castle, specifically Rauischholzhausen Castle. The seminar is hosted by the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture at Justus Leibig University in Giessen, Germany.

Wistrom is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying French and Francophone literature — specifically studying the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) — and his proposal was evaluated by a campus committee. MORE....



Mahone Fund honoree Don Gillespie '77 on volunteerism: ‘Do what you can’


For multiple decades, Don Gillespie’s influence on Kenosha has been visible in a number of ways — from heading up a gospel music brunch to organizing a live music series in a previously underused park.

For Gillespie, volunteering and plugging into the community any way he can has been an opportunity to forge connections and foster relationships.

“I really believe it’s natural and important to do what you can,” said Gillespie, whose professional background is in consumer finance. “You help people find their purpose.”

The Mary Lou & Arthur F. Mahone Fund has named Gillespie, a lifelong Kenosha resident, as the recipient of its inaugural Shebaniah B. Muhammad Signature Award, to be presented at this year’s Reaching for Rainbows Gala on April 9.

The Mahone Fund’s first-ever award is designed to recognize a person or organization for continuous leadership and legacy support through the fund and its programs.

Last year, the Mahone Fund’s Board of Directors, which Gillespie serves on, decided to rename the award in honor of Muhammad in recognition of his longtime commitment and dedication to the fund’s mission.

In a statement released in February, at the time award winners were announced, Tim Mahone — chairman of the Mahone Fund — said Gillespie was a logical first recipient for the Signature Award.

“It is most befitting for Don Gillespie to receive the inaugural award, given his 20 years of service to the Mahone Fund,” Mahone said.

He further stated Gillespie’s “grassroots commitment, energy, expertise and loyalty have been the backbone of (the fund’s) mission to support young people and empower future leaders.”

Gillespie said he learned of the award when Mahone delivered the news during a visit to his home.

“I was humbled,” Gillespie said. “Really, what I do is a small effort within something bigger.”

At the same time, Gillespie said he is honored to have his name associated with an award bearing Muhammad’s name.

“He really has a way of lighting up the room,” Gillespie said of Muhammad. “It’s good company to be in.”

As he reflects on the various figurative hats he has worn within the Mahone Fund, Gillespie said he feels blessed to be a part something that is moving Kenosha in a positive direction.

As the original sponsor of the Reaching for Rainbows Gospel Brunch, Gillespie has witnessed a range of choirs share their vocal talents.

Serving on the board of directors, Gillespie said, has been an enriching experience.

“It’s populated by pretty sharp folks,” Gillespie said. “There’s quite a mix of different talent.”

Assisting with the Lincoln Park Live series, Gillespie said, has been a satisfying endeavor.

“It was an opportunity to shine a light on one of the gems in Kenosha,” Gillespie said. “Lincoln Park was underused, and I think we helped improve the aesthetics.”



Kim Westphal '08

Gregory Hyde '13

Congratulations to Greg Hyde '13, UW Whitewater '17 on being accepted as a Ph.D. candidate at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.


Cameron Kormylo '15


Congratulations to Cam Kormylo '15, University of Notre Dame '19 on being accepted as a Ph.D. candidate in Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech! Cam is the son of Rodger & Peggy Schlater Kormylo '90 and grandson of Fredric '63 & Lena Caira Schlater '66.


Sidney Cooks '17

Sidney Cooks reaches her career-high at MSU in scoring with 32 to finish the 2019 season.



Sandra DeAngelis Bisciglia '68

Sandra Bisciglia.jpg

                            Care of the spirit at the end of life

  • In our lifetimes, each of us will be challenged to help a loved one face the end of life, whether that person is an aging parent or a terminally-ill child. Most of us will focus on lessening the physical suffering of those we love while having more difficulty approaching their spiritual needs.

Healthcare professionals face similar struggles in caring for dying patients. Yet, they consistently report that they receive little training on how to address patients’ end-of-life spiritual needs.

As a result of this identified gap, we are currently collaborating across the fields of nursing and religion to teach an undergraduate course focused on communication strategies to guide spiritual care of patients at the end of life. In doing so, we wish to integrate the advice of the true experts: patients who are dying and their families. Through the sharing of case studies of individuals facing the end of life, we are teaching our students how to help patients find peace.

Spirituality is complex and can vary dramatically from one person to the next. For some people, spirituality involves a focus on connections with friends, family members, or colleagues; for others, a relationship with God or a higher power is a central focus. It is common for spirituality to involve an individual’s personal beliefs and values, as well as important principles like hope, faith, and meaning and purpose in life.

Through the incorporation of case studies, our students learn that despite these and other differences, patients have many of the same hopes and fears as they approach the end of life. Children with cancer, as well as elderly patients who are dying, often struggle with expressing their feelings and fears, for they do not want to burden loved ones. They also wish to leave a legacy behind to ensure they are remembered.

Dying patients search for things to hope for in the future, whether that involves a rib dinner next Sunday or the belief in the afterlife. Many individuals want to know they are appreciated and loved, to find meaning in their life and death, and to uncover the purpose of their lives. They search for forgiveness from those they have wronged or to forgive those who have hurt them. Finally, dying patients of all ages long for supportive relationships with those they love, including God.Mute

You may wonder why spirituality is so important to end of life care. Prior studies have shown a relationship between spirituality and positive coping in patients facing the end of life, as well as improved quality of life and enhanced satisfaction with health care.

Compassionate communication is at the heart of spiritual care, allowing for the creation of a trusting relationship between a patient and healthcare professional in which the patient feels supported to explore very personal concerns and struggles, as well as the opportunity to express feelings and fears.

Our course gives Carthage students experience with communication strategies and listening techniques to allow them to better understand what gives hope and a sense of graced moments to the terminally ill. Our hope is that the course will allow our students to respond with a higher level of sensitivity to the spiritual needs of the dying, as well as provide them with an overview of what people of different religious traditions might want from caregivers at the end of life. These are skills necessary in a global world, where our students will encounter people from many different religious traditions and cultures.

We believe that preparing our students for these rich and varied encounters is the essence of a liberal arts education. We also advocate for all educational programs — for undergraduates studying to work in the healthcare professions and for those working on advanced degrees — to include this critical training to prepare those in the health professions to aid the dying to find spiritual peace.

Sandra Bisciglia, MA, is an assistant professor of religion and women and gender studies at Carthage College. Cheryl Petersen, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor of nursing at Carthage College.



Michael Schilf '93

What: The short film "SWORN"

Plot details: The action is set in the mythical land of Nath, where four of the five kingdoms have fallen to the invading barbarian Thorns from the Wasteland. Jarl Vallon (plyaed by Kenosha native Michael Schilf) has led a valiant stand to defend Fendholm, the last free kingdom. As Vallon falls, the fate of Nath rests on the shoulders of Capt. Andin Marr and his five elite warriors, known only as SWORN.

Project details: Schilf and the rest of the "SWORN" production team are using this short film as a pitch for an eight-hour fantasy TV series.

Michael Schilf: 5-second bio

Grew up: In Kenosha, the son of Julie Schilf, who now lives in Pleasant Prairie.

School: He graduated from St. Joseph High School, where he was a champion cross-country runner.

College: He went to Marquette University, majoring in broadcast communications and English.

Post-college: Schilf said he "took a year off after college more by accident than by plan. I took some creative fiction writing classes at Marquette, and that's how I ended up in Los Angeles. When I started writing short fiction, I realized I really enjoyed that whole writing process, and I love film and TV, so I got into screenwriting, which blends both passions." he worked construction jobs for seven moths, saved up some money and traveled through Europe for six months before earning his master of fine arts degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

Academic career: Schilf has been a professor for nearly two decades at Glendale Community College, teaching composition, literature, screenwriting and motion picture film analysis.

Outside the classroom: Schilf is a screenwriter, script doctor and advertising consultant. He has written nine features, six TV pilots, numerous short films and has written for more than 100 ad campaigns for clients such as Nike, American Express, KIA, Volvo, Ford, Target, Chrysler, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.

Personal life: He is married, with three kids and two dogs. Huskies, to be exact. (The dogs, not the family members.)

Fun fact: As a fifth-grader at St. Mary's Catholic grade school, he made it to the top three finals in a national Lego competition. "They flew my mom and I to New York," he said. The three 10-year-old finalists had three hours and a pile of Legos to crate something. Schilf built a factory with a working conveyor belt, crane and truck. The winner, however, built a working Mickey Mouse clock. "I was a distant, distant second," he recalled. "It was crazy what that kid built. The clock face looked like Mickey, and it had internal gears and actually told time. It wasn't even close, but it was a great trip, and I got to ride in a limo."

"SWORN"  - Michael Schilf '93 is film's writer and star. Click here to read the full article.  



Ali Cesnovar Fett '99

 Ali Cesnovar Fett '99  seeks to help others go from good to great as she launches new consulting agency.  For those who know her, describing Ali Fett in one word is a difficult task. This is because she is so many things to so many people: a mother, a co-worker, a cheerleader, a support system, a problem-solver, but most of all, an inspiration. Fett, who currently lives in Oshkosh, has always lived a life of servant leadership. This line of thought speaks to the core of her person and the life she strives to live daily. “

At a very young age, I remember seeing people differently than how they saw themselves, and even today I have such a great passion for almost mirroring to them their beauty – who they truly are and the gifts they bring to the world,” Fett said. “This has always been a joy and a passion for me.”

Keeping in tune with her personal and professional life goals, Fett is launching her own talent consulting business, Tashi Deley LLC, located in Oshkosh, with the hopes of becoming a nationwide phenomenon. The organization will serve both individuals and organizations by assessing their strengths and how they can contribute to their organization and society as a whole.

“The whole goal of the company is to pull out what is already the greatness within people and help them clarify their purpose,” Fett said. “I want to show people that who you are is good enough, and together, we can foster the greatness in who you already are.”

The name Tashi Deley is derived from a Tibetan greeting that means “I see you and I honor the greatness within you,” which is the basis of Fett’s developmental training, motivational speeches, and one-on-one coaching.

Fett had quite a few other life experiences that have shaped her, such as the TEDx talk she gave in August, her days playing and coaching basketball, becoming a school principal at age 28, working for the Milwaukee Bucks and, most recently, leaving her job at Verve, a Credit Union as the assistant vice president of talent development where she worked since 2013.

The most influential parts of any of these experiences though, according to Fett, were the people she met and the experiences she had along the way. “I’ve had such wonderful experiences that have been encompassed with beautiful leaders and mentors that I’ve been privileged enough to be around and that have always seen something in me,” Fett said. “They’ve always thought I could do a job that I thought I wasn’t qualified for.” 

After lots of reflection and self-discovery, something Fett does best, she realized it was time to answer her calling of serving others in a new way – by opening Tashi Deley. While there is still work to be done on her next adventure, Fett said she is optimistic and excited about the company’s future. “I hope this is something that lasts long beyond me,” Fett said. “It’s not about Ali Fett in the least bit. This is about lasting beyond looking to potentially affect others globally. We’ll be rooted here (in Oshkosh) but will hopefully affect many lives for years to come.”


Brandon Morris '01

Brandon Morris '01 has joined the Building Our Future team as Manager of Community Engagement / College Career Readiness. Brandon will be responsible for working with a wide range of community partners committed to cradle to career success that adopt shared goals and hold each other accountable for getting results. Brandon will facilitate the Lincoln Park CommUNITY Conversations and College Career Readiness Network. We’re so pleased to have him on board.

Brandon's background is in education; he worked as a long-term substitute teacher in Kenosha Unified School District.  Brandon also had many collaborations with community members throughout the city to help make Kenosha a better place.  He recently completed his first season as a Head Boys Varsity Basketball Coach at Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic Academy.  Brandon earned his Bachelor's Degree in Human Development with a Coaching Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.