March 19, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Alumna becomes first lay Cardinal Stritch University president
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Helen Sobehart, a 1972 Slippery Rock University graduate, has been named the first lay president of Cardinal Stritch University. The 71-year-old institution with an enrollment of 6,900 is in Milwaukee.
"Dr. Sobehart is a highly respected, dynamic and experienced academic leader with a demonstrated commitment to Franciscan values," said Thomas Zabjek, chairman of the university trustees. The Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi founded the university.
Sobehart, an award-winning educator, has been associate provost at Duquesne University for 10 years. She also served as director and a faculty member for Duquesne's interdisciplinary doctoral program. Prior to joining Duquesne, she was the superintendent of the Fox Chapel Area School District for seven years.
She has received many awards, including the 2008 American Association of School Administrators' Dr. Effie Jones Humanitarian Award. The national honor recognizes educators who are advocates for women and minorities in education.
Sobehart is a well-known speaker and author. Her work has been published in several academic journals. She authored a book schedule for release later this year, "Sharing the Spirit, Fanning the Flame: Women Leading Education Across the Continents." Her community service includes involvement with boards focusing on the homeless, minority scholarships, foster children and women in educational leadership.
She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from SRU, a master's degree in education from Duquesne and a doctorate in history from Carnegie Mellon University.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.