The 2017 Bellie Awards

August 15, 2017

The Bellarmine, also known as the greybeard or the bearded-man jug, is a 16th century salt-glazed stoneware vessel with a round belly and a bearded face on the neck opposite the handle. The German-made jug, typically used to store spirits, is usually finished in a mottled golden brown or gray, sometimes with splashes of cobalt blue. While some sources say the jugs were caricatures of St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., this has largely been discounted, as he would have been only 8 years old when the oldest known example was made in 1550.

And now, let me introduce this year’s Bellie Award recipients.

Catholic Identity in the Inclusive Spirit of Thomas Merton

From its very beginning, Catholicism at Bellarmine University has sought to be faithful, creative and inquiring. Bellarmine is committed to academic freedom and to the search for truth, wherever that search may lead. We affirm both faith and reason as important and compatible ways of knowing, and we emphasize not only academic excellence, but also ethical awareness in all we do, in order to provide an educational environment that addresses ultimate questions of meaning and value. Our Catholic identity in the inclusive spirit of Thomas Merton is the foundation of our commitment to student fulfillment.

This award, therefore, goes to a colleague whose work is emblematic of our Catholic Identity in the inclusive spirit of Thomas Merton.

This year the recipient is: John T. (Tom) Byrd, Professor of Business

For his love and dedication to the study of Thomas Merton, Tom Byrd is this year’s recipient of the Catholic Identity in the Inclusive Spirit of Thomas Merton Award. Tom has spent his past two sabbaticals studying Merton and developed an MBA elective (Self-Leadership and Merton), combining concepts of organizational leadership and introspection, which have proven vital for students to the cultivation of mindfulness and compassion.

Community, Collegiality, and Civility Award

Good academic citizenship, genuine collegiality in our work with one another, and civility in our discourse, all are vital qualities in the University’s ability to fulfill its mission. They are prerequisites for good teaching, research and service and, as such, they are core values of our community.

For consistently demonstrating and elevating the ideals of community, collegiality and civility, this year’s award goes to: Martha Perry Lundgren, Reference Librarian

Students, faculty, and staff alike recognize Martha Perry Lundgren for her kindness, patience, helpfulness, collaboration and welcoming disposition. She is a champion for the Courage to Teach group and serves on various committees throughout the university. As one faculty member wrote “Martha Perry has done more for my students’ research than any book.” For her outstanding commitment to academic citizenship and community building, Martha is this year’s winner of the Community, Collegiality and Civility Award.

Cura Personalis

Cura Personalis -- meaning "Care of the Person" -- is an essential value in the Jesuit education tradition which formed St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., and it describes the ideal relationship between educators and students, and among all those who work together in the university community.

Cura Personalis demonstrates care for each person as an individual, and for each individual as a whole person, thereby modeling a key core value of the Bellarmine community.

This award therefore goes to the man or woman who demonstrates individualized attention to the needs of the other, respect for his or her unique circumstances and concerns, and an appreciation for his or her particular gifts.

This year we have two recipients. The first recipient is: Christopher (Chris) Michael Golden, U-team member

As a member of the beloved U-team, Chris consistently provides support to the entire university. But, it was one day when a faculty member was confronted by an angry student over a parking space, that Chris displayed courage, sensitivity and care when he stepped in to diffuse the situation, making the faculty member feel safe and secure. For his willingness to stand up for others, Chris Golden is a recipient of the Cura Personalis Award.

The second recipient of the Cura Personalis Award is: Ronda Purdy, Director of Disability Services

One student recently stood up at the Student Success Conference and said they would not be graduating if it had not been for Ronda’s support. On a daily basis, Ronda works one-on-one with students seeking support from Disability Services. She sees each student as an individual and identifies their strengths and opportunities for success. For her advocacy and care for each individual student, Ronda exemplifies the characteristics of Cura Personalis.

Homines Pro Aliis for Service to Others

Homines Pro Aliis, meaning “men and women for others,” is an important characteristic of the Jesuit educational tradition that formed St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., and calls us to seek to achieve the full potential of mind and of heart by leading a life beyond self through service to others.

This year, we have two recipients. The first recipient is: Christy Kane, Associate Professor of Respiratory Therapy

Service is at the core of Christy’s philosophy as a leader, mentor and educator. In 2016, Christy was recognized for her outstanding service when she was inducted as an American Association of Respiratory Care International Fellow. She has dedicated countless hours to the development and growth of the Respiratory Therapy program, as well as individual support for students.

The second recipient is: Dottie Willis, Associate Professor of Graduate Education

Dottie is described by her colleagues in Education as the “sunshine committee,” never missing a birthday or other important day, and demonstrating genuine care for others in difficult situations. Dottie doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk – serving on numerous committees at Bellarmine from student conduct to faculty council, and working with organizations in the community including Kentucky Refugee Ministries, JCPS, and Shakespeare in the Park.

Hospitality in the Merton Spirit

In its deepest, truest sense, “Hospitality” means welcoming the new, the unknown, and the different. It is a genuine openness to new people and to new ideas.

For exemplifying the bigness of heart that characterizes our community and helps make Bellarmine a University like no other, the Hospitality Award this year goes to: Dawn Hodges, Coordinator of Graduate Events & Registration

Dawn Hodges goes out of her way to provide hospitality to our graduate and second-degree students that is central to our Bellarmine values. Constantly thinking of how to make the experience better for students, Dawn makes the needs of new students her top priority. Because she truly cares for each student individually, she makes every effort to make them feel comfortable and welcome at Bellarmine.

Innovation and Creativity

Innovation and Creativity are intelligence on the move. Many of us with great knowledge and expertise will witness and understand the same collection of circumstances that surrounds us, and will do so in about the same way -- but sometimes one of us will see and assemble that information differently, creating new possibilities or solutions – novel outcomes that improve things for everyone.

Innovation and creativity are vital to the competitive success of any organization, and perhaps especially to the competitive success of an institution of higher learning that envisions future greatness for itself, and particularly for its students.

This year’s Innovation and Creativity Award goes to: Katie Kelty, Director of Campus Communications

As a graphic designer by training, Katie has a natural inclination toward creativity and imaginative problem solving. I’m sure everyone in this room has seen her handiwork, whether it’s on a printed product promoting the university, on our web or social-media sites, or on the very walls in the halls we walk through every day. As director of campus communication, she also takes on a much larger creative role, one that not only beautifies our campus, our printed materials and our digital spaces but also helps impact enrollment, retention, fundraising and even our campus culture. In short, she makes us all look better, and who doesn’t love that? This year, the Innovation and Creativity Award goes to Katie Kelty.

Hidden Wholeness Award for Internationalization and Inclusion

Bellarmine University embraces the richness of diversity, multiculturalism and internationalization so that students, faculty and staff gain global competencies through international study and international experience.

To be fully educated, a person must be able to apply a global perspective to analyses of social, economic, political and environmental issues.

To fully live, a person must be able to recognize, understand and love similarities and differences among peoples, religions, customs, arts, and cultures of the world.

The recipient of this year’s Hidden Wholeness Award for Internationalization and Inclusion goes to: Fedja Buric, Assistant Professor of History

Forced with his family from his native Bosnia-Herzegovina as a young teen, Dr. Buric spent two years in a refugee camp in Turkey before settling in Louisville, and eventually graduated from Bellarmine’s history program summa cum laude. He has made it his mission to promote tolerance, to expose injustice where he sees it, and to share a global perspective on U.S. and international events with students, the community and the world. Dr. Buric offers classes on the Balkans and a comparative history of genocide. Dr. Buric regularly participates in panel discussions and writes publications related to national and international events - and the ties between the two - including such topics as immigration, refugees, and religious intolerance.

Pursuit of Excellence

At Bellarmine University, we pursue excellence in everything we do and in everything we are. We believe the importance of continuous improvement in our learning environment, our inner lives, our relationships and all of our endeavors. This award goes to the colleague whose work clearly demonstrates this passion for excellence, and whose passion this year has brought excellent results.

This year the recipient is: Debbie Fox, Director of Public Safety

Debbie is off on a well-deserved vacation today. Accepting the award on her behalf is Kyle Rieber, Assistant Director of Public Safety.

Debbie challenges her staff to always be alert, helpful, professional, and continually improving. She works to strengthen and create new community partnerships. Her relationship with Louisville Metro Emergency Services has facilitated cooperation between Bellarmine and Metro, as evidenced by our recent full-scale Active Aggressor exercise. As a result of Debbie’s commitment to our community, new highly-qualified security staff members have joined our team, the Annual Security Report is complete, and the Disaster Preparedness plan is being re-evaluated to be more strategic and comprehensive. Debbie knows that the only way to lead the Public Safety team is to demonstrate and promote excellence, which is why this year’s Pursuit of Excellence Award goes to Debbie Fox.

Let’s have another round of applause for all of our deserving Bellie Award winners!

As we close this community luncheon, I ask that we reach out our support to all members of the community. We will strive for justice and peace. Bellarmine sets an example for others, but we too have work to do to ensure that all are welcome at this place.

Thanks to everyone for attending today’s Welcome Back Luncheon. Don’t forget to pick up your Bellarmine gear on your way back to your offices.

Thank you and Go Knights!