Sr. Judith Schaefer, O.P., Ph.D., will begin service as interim president of Cotter Schools on July 15, 2012.
Currently, Sister Judith is Professor and Chair of Theology, and University Dean for University Affairs at Saint Mary’s University of MN. Sister Judith has been granted a leave of absence from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to serve in this transition position. She has been with the University since 2000.
Dr. Rita Miller, Chair of the Cotter Board of Directors, states, “The Cotter Board of Directors is grateful to Brother William Mann, FSC, and St. Mary’s University for granting Sister Judith a leave of absence to lead Cotter Schools. Sister’s passion for Catholic education as well as her academic background and leadership experience make her an ideal President for our schools.”
Sister Judith brings a wealth of experience in religious education and administration to Cotter Schools. Prior to her current roles at Saint Mary’s University, Sister Judith served as director of several multi-parish education programs, served in leadership for programs in her religious community, and taught in parish and diocesan programs, such as the Diocese of Winona’s Institute of Lay Ministry and Deaconate Program, the Diocese of New Ulm’s Lay Formation Program, and the Institute of Pastoral Ministries.
Sister Judith is also frequently invited to do workshops and presentations on theology, religious life, and organizational planning. She has served as a facilitator of group process for the Mission and Ministry Council for the Midwest District of the Christian Brothers, INSECT (International Network of Societies of Catholic Theology), the Communicative Theology Symposium, and various local and regional organizations.
Sister Judith is a professed member of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation, which has its Motherhouse in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin.
Sister Judith completed her doctoral work at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, in Theology and Society, with an allied discipline in psychology. She has a Masters of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute in Saint Louis, MO, and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago. Sister completed her undergraduate work in elementary education and received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL.
Sister Judith states, “It is an exciting privilege to join the Cotter Community at the start of their second 100 years. I look forward to working with the dedicated faculty and staff, as well as the devoted Board of Directors, in continuing to provide our students with an excellent Catholic education. We are moving forward together.”