I MMA C U L ATA MA G A Z I N E * S UMM E R 2 0 1 4
Sister Joanna Mary Pepper, IHM ’34 Oldest Alumna Dies
Alumnae Honored by the Pennsylvania
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Congratulations to Eileen Monahan Chopnick ’73, who was recently elected president of
the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
At its annual meeting in April held in Bethlehem, PA, two other Immaculata alumnae
were also honored.
The Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award was presented to Lisa Jones, M.A., RDN,
FAND, LDN. Jones received her master’s degree from Immaculata in Nutrition Education
in 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from West Virginia University.
Currently, Jones works as a nutrition communications consultant. She is the current president
of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and is the past president
of the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association. She received the Keystone Award in 2013 and the
Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award in 2005.
Nicole Benusa Rhoads, RD, LDN, was honored with the Recognized Young Dietitian of
the Year Award. Rhoads earned a B.S. in Dietetics from Immaculata in 2005. She works as a
clinical/outpatient dietitian at St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, PA. She served on the
Lehigh Valley Dietetic Association Board as secretary from 2011 to 2013.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an affiliate of the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics, is the advocate of the dietetics profession, serving the public through
the promotion of optimal nutrition, health and well-being. The organization has over 3,700
members throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Sister Joanna Mary Pepper,
IHM, a graduate of the class of
1934 and the oldest alumna of
Immaculata University, died on June
9, 2014. She was 101 years old and
was in her 80th year of religious life.
Born in Ashland, PA, daughter
of Anna and John Pepper, she
entered the Congregation of the
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary in 1934 from St.
Joseph Parish, and professed her vows in 1937.
Sister spent most of her religious life teaching and serving as
principal in high schools in the dioceses of Philadelphia, Arlington
and Miami. In later years she served as superior of Gillet Hall at
Immaculata, and Epiphany in Florida. She resided for many years at
the Immaculate Heart Faculty House in Harrisburg. She retired to
Camilla Hall in August 2005.
Sister Agnes Hughes, IHM, professor of Psychology at
Immaculata, who lived with Sister Joanna during her years in Gillet
Hall, recalls her as a person “whose presence was regal. In a word, she
was classic. She loved her family and by example encouraged us to love
and be attentive to our families. Her gracious manner was appreciated
by all of us in the local community as well as by the guests who came
to Gillet. She loved to travel and, consequently, delighted in whatever
opportunity we had to do the same. After any such adventure or trip,
we were welcomed home with enthusiasm and interest.
“In summary, she had the gifts to generate a warm, caring
environment in which each of us was supported and encouraged to
function effectively in our respective professional roles and, most
importantly, to grow spiritually in freedom and grace. Surely, she has
reaped her reward in a rich harvest and will continue to intercede for
her beloved Immaculata. We give thanks for her presence among us!”
Her funeral Mass was celebrated at Camilla Hall on June 12.
Sister is survived by members of her religious community, her brother,
John, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Nicole Benusa Rhoads ’05 and Eileen
Monahan Chopnick ’73
Eileen Monahan Chopnick ’73 and Lisa Jones ’99