Sister JoAnn Mark leaves NU for UN-affiliated international organization

Mar 12, 2015

JoAnn Mark, ASC, Ed.D. is leaving Newman University March 20 to become the executive director of Partnership for Global Justice, an international non-government organization (NGO) with special consultative status to the United Nations.

The Newman community will honor her with a reception Thursday, March 12 in the Heritage Room.

Mark has a long history with the university. She taught math and pioneered computer science classes at Newman and eventually served as vice president of academics. Mark left Newman in 1985 to work in a variety of academic settings and leadership roles. Although away, she remained connected to Newman thought the Adorers of the Blood of Christ’s ministry and being a member of the school’s board of directors. After 22 years away from campus, Mark returned as director of transfer student orientation and retention and institutional research in 2008.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Newman and with it being our sponsor ministry, it’s a place I prefer to serve,” Mark said, “But I really want to be able to do more for people in need and I’m passionate about the goals of the Partnership.”

Mark had served on the organization’s board of directors for eight years. Current board chair Sister Mary Ellen Loch, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wichita, helped recruit Mark to return for the executive director position opening.

“I’ve been off the board for a couple of years and the organization had been without an executive director for a year,” Mark explained, “At first, I didn’t want to go, but during Advent the gospel readings about Joseph listening to God helped me know (as an ASC) we always go where there is a need.”

Mark knows the work of the Partnership for Global Justice is important. Its goals include providing education for young people all over the world, reducing poverty and decreasing exploitation of women and lowering mortality rates. Mark knows assisting in such efforts to improve the lives of women and children will be a challenge, but like most endeavors of her life she approaches it humbly and with a warm smile.

“If it’s God’s work, we’ll get it done,” Mark said.

Mark and Loch will begin their drive to New York City in the afternoon on Easter Sunday, April 5.

The Newman community is invited to a come-and-go farewell reception for Sr. JoAnn Mark between 2 and 4 p.m. this afternoon (Thursday, March 12) in the Heritage Room. Please stop in to wish Sr. JoAnn well as she relocates to New York City  … and to thank her for the invaluable service she has provided to Newman University.

More information about JoAnn Mark from the ASC Biographies

Born to Gilbert and Evelyn Mark on November 21, 1940, in Platte Center, Nebraska, JoAnn became the sole girl in a family of four boys.  She was educated in Humphrey, Nebraska and completed her high school curriculum in 1958; she actually entered the religious community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in January, 1958 and completed the one hour she still needed to receive her diploma from her local high school.  She entered the novitiate in July, 1958 and was given the name of Ann Joseph; she returned to her baptismal name at the end of the 1960s.  She made her first profession of vows in 1959.  Sister JoAnn received her undergraduate degree in English; she took several math courses but SHC [Sacred Heart College] did not offer a math major at that time.  During the 1960s she taught the upper grades in two schools in Kansas; then, beginning in 1966 she started graduate work at Oklahoma State University.  JoAnn completed requirements for an M.S. in math in 1968 and for her Ed.D. with emphasis in math in 1975.  As was typical of many of the sisters, Sister JoAnn was asked to teach at Sacred Heart College while she was taking her graduate studies.