Throughout the University’s 50 years of service, Sister Maria Fest has been a leader and role model.
After earning a bachelor’s in biology from La Roche in 1965, Sister Maria obtained a master’s in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame and pursued her doctorate at Lehigh University. Her dissertation, “Chemistry Curriculum to Support a Master’s Level Nurse Anesthesia Program,” was the basis for La Roche’s current master of health sciences program.
Sister Maria began her career in education at Divine Providence Academy, where she taught for four years in the science and math departments. For seven years, she was principal at the Academy. From 1999 to 2007, she served as executive director of Providence Connections, Inc., a social ministry.
At La Roche, she first served as the director of financial aid and later as a professor of health sciences. From 1995 to 2006, Sister Maria also served on the La Roche University board of directors, as chair of the academic affairs committee and as a member of the human resources committee. Since 2007, she has been the Sisters of Divine Providence leadership liaison for the Founders’ Scholarship and the Divine Providence Scholarship. Her previous honors include the Alumni Achievement Award, the President’s Award and the Woman of Providence Award.
Sister Maria now serves as assistant to the Provincial for the Sisters of Divine Providence, Marie de la Roche Province, canonical treasurer and provincial councilor for finance, property and human resources.