Academic Affairs Team

Dr. Carole C. Pfeffer


Dr. Pfeffer works closely with the President and academic leadership and colleagues across divisions to think creatively about curricular programming and innovative academic initiatives, assessment and accreditation, and the hiring and ongoing development of outstanding faculty members. Her areas of responsibility include strategic planning, SACS accreditation and compliance, and institutional assessment. She oversees academic grievances, academic honesty, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Faculty Development Center, and the Office of the Registrar. She also helps administer Bellarmine's General Education & Assessment units.

Prior to her appointment as Provost, Dr. Pfeffer served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, with a particular emphasis on assessment. Dr. Pfeffer has held various administrative roles in her 27 years at Bellarmine, and while she will tell you that none of them involve the pure joy that walking into the classroom held for her for so many years, each position has allowed her to focus on student learning and success, the heart of Bellarmine’s promise to every student who enrolls at the University.

As a Bellarmine faculty member, Dr. Pfeffer served as Chair of the English Department, directed the IDC and Browns Scholars program, and served as Faculty Council President and as a faculty representative on the Board of Trustees. Dr. Pfeffer earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Louisville. She holds and M.A. in Literature from the University of Louisville and a B.A. in English from Bellarmine University.

You may contact Dr. Pfeffer at

Dr. Anne B. Bucalos

Vice Provost for Faculty Development

As Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Dr. Bucalos works to enhance the culture of professional growth and development at Bellarmine University. She oversees distance learning initiatives, assessment and faculty credentialing, honors and awards, and student external awards.

Before joining the Office of Academic Affairs, she served as the Associate Dean of the School of Education from 2007-2012. As a Bellarmine faculty member she also served as Undergraduate Chair in Education from 2000-2006. Dr. Bucalos earned her M.Ed. and Ed.D from the University of Kentucky with an emphasis in Special Education. She holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Bucalos’ research interests include educator dispositions, adolescent behavior disorders, and generational differences. She has been published in journals such as Behavior Disorders, Teaching Exceptional Children, and AILACTE Journal, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Bucalos served as the south region representative for the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) and as a member of the AILACTE Journal editorial board. She has served as a Kentucky Professional Standards Board of Examiner for state accreditation/NCATE site visits. Dr. Bucalos was the recipient of the Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Educator Award for 2012.

You may contact Dr. Bucalos at

Dr. Graham Ellis

Vice Provost for Program Assessment

Dr. Ellis oversees General Education and Academic Program Assessment, the W.L. Lyons Brown Library, and the Thomas Merton Center.  He also serves as director of the IDC Program.   He is responsible for ensuring that Bellarmine’s general education program offers all undergraduate students a liberal arts education which, when coupled with their major field of study, allows them to develop the intellectual, moral, ethical and professional competencies for successful living, work, leadership and service to others. Dr. Ellis is also responsible for fostering an educational environment committed to excellence and academic freedom through the effective use of information collected through the assessment of academic programs.

Prior to becoming Vice Provost, Dr. Ellis was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Physics, serving twice as the departmental Chairperson. He was the President of the Faculty Assembly from 1994-95 and a member of the Board of Trustees from 1998-2000. Dr. Ellis earned his Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (U.K.) with an emphasis in Physical Organic Chemistry. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Sciences also from the University of East Anglia.  His research interests lie in the area of chemical education.

You may contact Dr. Ellis at

Dr. Jay Gatrell

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Research

Jay D. Gatrell, Ph.D. is professor of geography & environmental students and vice provost with an administrative portfolio that includes the Office of Sponsored Projects, Internationalization, Veteran Student Services, curriculum development, and broader research initiatives. Additionally, Jay oversees critical compliance issues and works with the University’s Institutional Review Board and Biosafety Committee. Finally, he has responsibilities in the broad area of internationalization, as well as serving as the Title IX Deputy Coordinator.

Dr. Gatrell is an economic geographer with interests in human environment interactions. He earned a B.S. in political science from Eastern Michigan University, as well as graduate degrees in geography from the University of Toledo (M.A.) and West Virginia University (Ph.D.). Prior to joining Bellarmine, he held appointments at Indiana State University and Wright State University. He was selected and served as an ACE Fellow at Bellarmine in 2012-13.

You may contact Dr. Gatrell at

Eric Satterly

Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

As Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Eric Satterly is charged with developing Bellarmine’s vision for technology and aligning it with the mission of the university. In addition to responsibility for the strategic direction of Information Technologies, he also directs the day-to-day operations of Bellarmine’s Information Technology resources. These resources include the Enterprise Resource Planning system, email, Internet, data centers, telephony, document management, learning management, campus networks, database systems, computing devices, and classroom technology. In order to support its diverse portfolio of services the Information Technology department is organized into five teams: Administrative Computing, Enterprise Software, Network Operations, Institutional Research & Effectiveness, and the Technology Support Center.

Eric joined Bellarmine University in June 2012 after serving the previous 13 years of his career as the Chief Technology and Information Officer for PBI Bank, where he was responsible for the bank’s technical vision and IT management. Eric has led disaster recovery and virtualization initiatives over the years. He also led a team that developed one of the first successful Internet banking systems. Eric has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering degree and a B.S. in Engineering Science, both from the University of Louisville. In addition, he is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

You may contact Eric Satterly at

Dr. James Breslin

Dean of Student Success


Dr. James Breslin leads student success efforts across the university and provides leadership and oversight for Bellarmine’s Student Success Center. He chairs the university’s Student Success Committee and is responsible for student-centered leadership, decision-making, and assessment. The units that report to him include the Tutoring Center, Writing Center, Learning Communities, Testing Center, Academic Advising, and Pioneer Scholars Program, among a number of other initiatives. Recent student success efforts include the completion of a university-wide advising review, implementing a new student alert management system, and a reorganization and reorientation of the Student Success Center.

Dr. Breslin in a higher education scholar whose current research interests include student cultures on American college campuses, peer-based support programming, student educator impacts on professionals and the profession, assessment, and student first amendment rights. He hold a BA in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an MS and PhD in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Breslin currently serves on the governing board of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the editorial board of The Learning Assistance Review, and has received awards from the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education and from the National College Learning Center Association.

You may contact Dr. Breslin at

Adam Elias

Director of Innovative Learning Systems

Adam Elias serves as Director of Innovative Learning Systems, a role in which he is charged with developing Bellarmine’s distance education initiatives.  Prior to joining the Bellarmine community, Adam served as Director of eLearning Initiatives at Jefferson Community and Technical College, and in the Office of Student Life at Edison State College in Fort Myers, Florida.  

Adam earned a B.A. in Sociology and an M.S. in Human Development and Leadership from Murray State University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Western Kentucky University.  He is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Policy and Evaluation from the University of Kentucky. Adam’s research interests include distance education perceptions and policy, as well as the management of institutional change resulting from shifts in instructional modality.

You may contact Adam Elias at

Ann Olsen


Ann Olsen is Bellarmine University’s Registrar.  She oversees all aspects of the Registrar’s Office which is responsible for all course registration and related enrollment activity, maintaining and releasing students’ official records, class schedule planning, degree conferral, publication of the University Catalog, and other related responsibilities.

 Ann earned her B.A. degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN in 1992 and has worked in higher education since graduation, starting out in academic advising before moving into registration and records.

You may contact Ann Olsen at

Dr. Paul M. Pearson

Director, Thomas Merton Center


Dr. Paul M. Pearson is Director and Archivist of the Thomas Merton Center Kentucky and Chief of Research for the Merton Legacy Trust. He is Resident Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society, served as President for the 10th administration (2005-2007), program chair for the 11th ITMS conference held in Rochester in June 2009, treasurer for the Society (2007-2013, 2015-) and was site coordinator for the 2015 conference celebrating the centenary of Merton’s birth. He completed his Ph.D. in theology at Heythrop College, University of London, has an M.A. in Library Science from University College London, and is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Paul is a founding member and first secretary of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He served as an editorial advisor to The Merton Journal, an editor of Thomas Merton: Poet, Monk, Prophet, (Three Peaks Press, 1998) Thomas Merton: A Mind Awake in the Dark, (Three Peaks Press, 2002)  and Seeds of Hope: Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Message, (Cistercium-Ciem, 2008).

You may contact Dr. Paul Pearson at

Connie Smith

Grant & Research Specialist

Connie Smith serves as the Grant & Research Specialist in the Office of Sponsored Projects.  She is charged with guiding, assisting, and cultivating a culture of research and exploration for the Bellarmine community.

Connie has extensive experience in the area of grant/contract budgets.  Prior to joining the Bellarmine team, she served in a variety of roles in the broad area of research administration including providing critical pre- and post-award functions as well as supporting research compliance efforts, specifically the IRB.  In the area of grants/contracts, Connie’s experience has ranged from front line service to project management and includes experience in higher education and the non-profit sector.

You may contact Connie Smith at

Dr. John K. Stemmer

Director of Library Services

Dr. Stemmer is the Director of Library Services at Bellarmine University. He has more than 19 years of experience in a number of research libraries at institutions including Raymond Walters College, Virginia Tech, and Xavier University. He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Ohio University and holds an MLS from Indiana University.

Dr. Stemmer’s professional activities since coming to Bellarmine have focused on fostering collaboration among academic libraries by serving as the founding chair of the Federation of Kentucky Academic Libraries (FoKAL) consortium and chairing funding subcommittees for the Kentucky Virtual Library. His current research interest is developing library assessment to highlight the value of academic libraries and their support for student learning.

You may contact Dr. Stemmer at

Calene Baldwin
Administrative Assistant (Commencement Coordinator)
B.A., Art History, University of Georgia

Dr. Rick Brown
Special Assistant, International Initiatives and Veterans & Military
Ph.D., Psychology, Saybrook University
J.D., Law, University of Louisville

Pam Deskins
Executive Assistant to the Provost
A.S., Murray State University


Paul Fultz
Administrative Assistant
B.A., Communication, University of Louisville