Sister Mary Fest PhotoThere are two awards in honor of Sister Maria Fest.

The Sister Maria Fest Award for Scholarship and Service in the Sciences was established in 1997. This award is presented annually to a graduating science major with the most outstanding combination of academic excellence and student service to La Roche University and who has demonstrated active participation and leadership in extracurricular activities.

The Sister Maria Fest Award for Distinguished Career Service in the Health Science Profession was established in 1999. This award is presented (ad hoc) to individuals, from La Roche-affiliated institutions, who have achieved a career of exemplary leadership and service in the health science -related professions. 

Throughout the University’s history, 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 rst served as the director of nancial 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 a airs 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 the Congregational Leader for the Sisters of Divine Providence.