Encouraging women to be the very best they can be is in the DNA of the Sisters of St. Joseph, so it’s not surprising that the women of the CSJ community support each other's pursuit of academic excellence. The CSJ sisters who work at the College and serve on the board of trustees are an unassuming group, but their academic pedigree is impressive. One holds a juris doctorate and served as a lawyer for years. Almost all of them have master's degrees - some even have two - and the three sisters who serve as faculty all earned doctorates.
Sister Annette Debs '61 worked toward a law degree so she could help families in poverty who needed legal aid. "My particular practice was helping the poor, regular, down-to-earth people, and (helping remove obstacles) that hamper them from being able to reach the American dream," says Debs, one of five CSJ sisters on the Mount's board of trustees and a former administrative law judge for the state of California.
For Sister Darlene Kawulok, chair of the religious studies department, her doctorate in ministry allowed her to teach higher education, where she could infuse a sense of inclusivity and social justice to her classes. She takes to heart the CSJ tradition of empowering women. "From the very beginning, the Sisters of St. Joseph have lived with the notion that women are capable of all their God-given gifts. Nothing should get in the way of the development of these gifts for the life of the world," she says.
Kawulok says her best self is a woman of justice, someone who speaks on behalf of the marginalized and the poor, and who empowers young women to do the same. "The Sisters of St. Joseph have made me who I am. I am a better woman because of them," she says.
We interviewed some of the CSJ sisters on campus and asked them to share their personal journeys.