Transition Timeline

January 24, 2020
Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of St. Ambrose University, announces to the Board of Trustees her intention to retire after 14 years as SAU president, effective August 2021.

February 7, 2020
St. Ambrose Trustee alumni John Anderson '87 and Renee Citera '81 appointed search committee co-chairs. Trustees Brian Bassier '91, Rita Bawden '97, Phil Doherty '78, Joe O'Rourke '72, Paul Sachs '76 and Kurt Tjaden appointed to search committee.

March 30, 2020
WittKieffer was hired on March 30, 2020 based on the recommendation from the Trustee members of the search committee.

August 25, 2020
Sister Joan officially announces her plan to retire and the Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula, Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport and Chair of the St.Ambrose Board of Trustees, unveils search plan along with search committee co-chairs John Anderson '87 and Renee Citera '81.

August 31, 2020
Bishop Zinkula announces the formation of a Presidential Search Committee to include Trustees Anderson, Citera,; Vice President for Finance Mike Poster '88, faculty members Marian Lee, PhD, Joe Miller, PhD, and Juleann Miller, PhD, staff member Merredyth McManus, alumnus Thomas Mason IV '91 and student Yazmeen Perez.

September 1-18, 2020
Search firm WittKieffer and Search Committee co-chairs and various committee representatives meet with SAU faculty, staff, students, alumni Diocesan priests, and community members to identify ideal profile of next SAU president.

October 2, 2020
Search profile posted at and

October 2020 - February 2021
Search committee reviewed applications, conducted interviews, and made a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

February 8, 2021
Dr. Amy Novak is introduced as the 14th president at St. Ambrose University.

August 7, 2021
Amy Novak officially succeeds Sister Joan as university president.

Oct 1-3
Inauguration and Homecoming Weekend

Transition Team

A Presidential Transition Team has been named to acclimate Dr. Amy Novak to her role and relationship with the University and Quad Cities community.

Renee Citera, co-chair, Board of Trustees
Jana Seutter, co-chair, President's Office
Aaron Deter, Student
Craig DeVrieze, Director of Communications
Laura "Divot" Ekizian, Alumni Representative
Executive VP, Chief Relationship Officer, Quad City Bank & Trust
Anne Gannaway, Executive Director of Advancement
Dave Krupke, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech-Language Pathology
Ryan Saddler, Associate Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office
Natalie Woodhurst, Coordinator of Veterans Recruitment and Services

Inauguration Committee

Matthew Coomber, PhD, Professor, Theology, Co-Chair

Jana Seutter '20 MBA, Senior Assistant to the President, Co-Chair

Kara Baker '19 MOL, Office Administrator, Nursing

Ezequiel "Zeek" Cuellar, Student Representative

Darcy Duncalf '12, Production Coordinator, Communications & Marketing

Mark Kilmer, Board of Trustees

Christie Kostichek, Administrative Assistant, School of Social Work

Tammy Norcross-Reitzler '93 MPS, Director Campus Ministry

Sophia Pierce, Campus Events Coordinator

Wendy Pondell '05, Director, Alumni Engagement

Lance Sadlek, Director, Galvin Fine Arts Center

Tracy Schuster-Matlock, PhD, Associate Vice President, Assessment and Institutional Research

So, what's next?

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