Skip to content
Home / About Us / SJEM Leadership / Rita Schmitz, CSJ

Rita Schmitz, CSJ

PhD in Family and Child Development • Professor Emerita at Fontbonne University, St. Louis, MO

Rita Schmitz

Sister Rita started her education career at Fontbonne College, receiving her degree in Home Economics in 1966. She went on to receive a MS in Home Economics from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois in 1967 and her PhD in Family and Child Development, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1974. On August 6th, 2022 she celebrated 60 years as a member of the Sisters of Joseph of Carondelet.

Connection to the CSJs and their sponsored ministries

Sr. Rita has an extensive background in her involvement to serve others through the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  She was a dedicated teacher at Fontbonne University for 43 years. During those 43 plus years she was actively engaged on the following boards: Carondelet Day Care Center, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, Lewis-Clark Institute, Avila University and St. Joseph’s Academy. She wrote three successful NCATE institutional reports in the 1990s, 2002 and 2008. She was a member of the St. Louis Providence Leadership team from 2014-2019. During her tenure in leadership, she worked with Sr. Margaret Lazio and many others to develop the proposal to become a Ministerial Public Juridic Person. She is currently a member of the SJEM (St. Joseph Educational Ministry team) and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Fontbonne University.

Sr. Rita has received numerous awards during her stellar career: Recipient of the Joan Goostree Stevens Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004-2005 and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005.  Sr. Rita was the recipient of the Fontbonne Service to the University Award in 2007. She was also awarded Post-Tenure Review Status in 2009. Sr. Rita was awarded the distinguished Founder’s Award in 2010 and was recognized for 40 years of Enlightened Service at Fontbonne.  She was honored with the Fontbonne-Carondelet Heritage Award in 2013.