President's Update — October 25, 2019

Dear Bellarmine Students, Faculty and Staff,

I’m proud to report that Bellarmine University debuted in the top 200 of U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the best national universities last month.

This is Bellarmine's first year on the national universities list, a result of our changed status in the Carnegie Classification system earlier this year. (We were previously ranked on a list of regional universities in the South.) Bellarmine was elevated from the "master's large" to "doctoral/professional studies" category to reflect our increased number of doctoral degrees that serve professions outside of higher education. U.S. News ranked Bellarmine in a tie for 197 on its list. This is the 26th consecutive year that U.S. News has included Bellarmine in its rankings of the nation's best universities.

As we rise to increased regional and national prominence, we're eager to compete against the best. This move allows us to benchmark ourselves against other prominent institutions (for perspective, U.S. News’ list was topped by Princeton, followed by Harvard) as we strive to deliver a transformative student experience and become known as a model for academic excellence and innovation.

These, of course, are goals of our new Strategic Plan, Tradition and Transformation, launched this summer. Another goal of the Strategic Plan is a commitment to keeping a Bellarmine education accessible and affordable—so I was particularly pleased to have consumer finance magazine Kiplinger name Bellarmine one of the nation’s best values among private universities in July.

Finally, the Princeton Review included Bellarmine in the 2020 edition of its annual college guide, The Best 385 Colleges. Only 13 percent of U.S. colleges qualified for inclusion in the book, based on demonstrated academic excellence and 140,000 student survey responses.

Thank you all for the commitment and dedication that you exhibit every day as we continue to pursue academic excellence and innovation and provide a distinctive and transformative student experience.

Bellarmine College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Gail Henson, professor emerita of Communication, was named chair of the KCTCS Board of Regents for a one-year term beginning July 1. She was quoted in her role as chair in the Sept. 20 Lane Report on the budget decisions and other business handled in the Board of Regents meeting.

Dr. Shawn Apostel, associate professor of Communication, became program director of Design, Arts, and Technology on June 1. He had a book chapter, “Prezi and PowerPoint: Getting the most out of ‘Quick and Dirty’ Pathos,” published in Multimodal Consulting: Strategies for Twenty-First-Century Writing Consultations (Utah State University Press, 2019). Dr. Apostel also presented “Using Microsoft Teams to Enhance Engagement and Learning with Any Class: It’s Fun and Easy,” with Ms. Janice Poston and Dr. Keith Richardson at the Pedagogicon conference at Eastern Kentucky University on May 17, 2019.

Dr. Michael LaRocco, assistant professor of Communication, presented the paper, "The Techno-Corporeal Limitations of the Virtual Reality Witness" on July 27 at the Visible Evidence Documentary Conference in Los Angeles.

Dr. Kyle Barnett, associate professor of Communication, became director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communication effective June 1, 2019.

Ms. Stacie Shain, instructor of Communication, presented "Rick Pitino and Image Restoration as Brand Management," a paper she co-wrote with Dr. Michael Strawser, at the 102nd Annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication meeting in Toronto in August. She also moderated the Sports Communication Teaching Panel session at the AEJMC Conference in August called "What Does Journalist Objectivity in Sports Look Like for Marginalized Groups?" 

Dr. Greg Hillis, associate professor and interim chair of Theology, was quoted in an article on keeping young adults in the church in Catholic News Service and in June.

Dr. J. Milburn Thompson, professor emeritus of Theology, has publishedJustice and Peace: A Christian Primer (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded, 2019), and a review of No Innocent Bystanders: Becoming an Ally in the Struggle for Justice by Shannon Craigo-Snell and Christopher J. Doucot (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2017)  in Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society 46 (June, 2019).

Dr. Frank Hutchins, program director and professor of Sociology/Criminal Justice/Anthropology, wrote an article that was published in The Courier-Journal on July 19 about conditions along the U.S.-Mexican border and plans for a field school to allow students to have firsthand experience with such conditions.

Dr. Robert Korn, professor emeritus of Biology, was interviewed in August on the WFMP radio show Bench Talk: The Week in Science. Dr. Korn talked about his research in the study of cellular and plant development. A survey of his research publications is available on the Bench Talk Facebook page. 

Ms. Megan Burnett, program director and associate professor of Theatre, gave two performances of her one-woman show in Michigan in September. The League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties sponsored the show as part of their celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage. In Conversations with a Suffragist, Ms. Burnett portrays Mattie Griffith Browne, a 19th century suffragist, abolitionist and author.

Ms. Karole E. Spangler, adjunct faculty in Theatre, played Mrs. Beckoff inTorch Song for Pandora Productions in September. This is the two-act, 2018 Tony-nominated revival of Harvey Fierstein’s groundbreaking Torch Song Trilogy, rewritten by the playwright 35 years after the original Broadway production. 

Dr. Samantha Ryan Barnsfather, adjunct faculty in Music, has been named vice-president and program chair for the South-Central Chapter of the American Musicological Society. Dr. Barnsfather will also present her paper, “Placing a Bet in Louisville: Virgil Thomson’s ‘Wheat Field at Noon,’” at the 2019 College Music Society/Association for Technology in Music Instruction National Conference in Louisville on Oct. 26, 2019.

Dr. Jon Blandford, Honors Program director and associate professor of English, was interviewed in September on WFMP Forward Radio for the Perks of Being a Book Lover series. Dr. Blandford’s interview included his thoughts on old guys such as Chaucer and Dickens, as well as modern authors whose works may be considered “classics.”

Dr. Martha Carlson Mazur, associate professor of Environmental Studies, presented a talk titled “Riparian vegetation and hydrologic routing affect water quality and habitat viability in two restored urban wetlands” at the Ecological Society of America conference in Louisville in August. She was a co-author on student posters by Suraj Neupane and Catherine Gomez titled “Effects of flow regime on water chemistry and soil of restored wetlands” and “Water quality implications for macro-invertebrate communities in restored urban wetlands,” respectively. Dr. Carlson Mazur also participated in community engagement with various groups. At the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center (PESC), she helped with bush honeysuckle removal during the Knights in Action day of service in August. She continued ongoing monitoring of two restored wetlands at PESC to guide wetland ecosystem recovery. She also supported environmental education efforts by Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana by volunteering at Camp Shantituck in Shepherdsville, Ky., in August. She also participated in the Beargrass Creek Alliance, an action-oriented watershed group committed to raising awareness and preserving Beargrass Creek through community involvement.

Dr. Martha Carlson Mazur and Professor Carolyn Waters, doctoral student in Education and Social Change, gave an invited talk titled “Connecting Ecology” as part of the Earth Stewardship Initiative (ESI) during the Ecological Society of America conference in Louisville in August. With interaction among city officials, community groups, and community members, the weeklong effort brought together student attendees arranged in teams to tackle a local environmental or social issue by combining ecological and urban design methodologies. Dr. Carlson Mazur and Professor Waters also advised the teams throughout the week.

Dr. Kate Bulinski, associate professor of Environmental Studies, was a co-author on a student poster by Aspen Burman titled “Examining regional and global paleoecological trends in Middle Devonian biostrome builders” at the Ecological Society of America conference in Louisville in August.

Dr. Fedja Buric, associate professor of History, was featured in an article in the Sept. 21 issue of Al Jazeera Balkans in which he discussed his research on Islamic law in Europe between the two wars. Earlier in September he presented his paper, “Muslims of Yugoslavia after the Great War: One Hundred Years since the Peace Treaty of Saint Germain 1919-2019,” in Sarajevo.

Professor Caren Cunningham, program director of Arts Administration and professor of Art, currently has wood sculptures in three exhibitions: “Enid—Generations of Women Sculptors” (two venues), Louisville Free Public Library through Oct. 8, a 2019 sculpture with over 20 parts, and Bellarmine’s McGrath Gallery through Oct. 5, a 200-pound 2019 piece with over 220 parts; and “Connecting Community Through Creativity,” Zoom Group StudioWorks Gallery through Nov. 1, a 2019 sculpture with over 70 parts. 

Professor Fong Choo participated in the St. Louis Art Fair this fall, earning the first place award in his category. He also taught a glazing workshop in Indianapolis for Amaco (the Amercian Art and Clay Company), international distributors of ceramics equipment and materials.

Ms. Sarah Martin and Ms. Laura Hartford, professors of Art, have several works in "State of Photography" at the Gallery at Georgetown College, a statewide invitational exhibit of photography by university educators. Ms. Hartford, associate dean of Bellarmine College, also participated in Un’ombra su carta: The Art of Fixing a Shadow, an exhibition of the International Calotype Society at the RB Fine Art gallery in Milan, Italy, in July.

College of Health Professions

Professor Carol Scherbak (assistant professor and chair, Radiation Therapy) provided an invited presentation entitled “Implementing Radiation Therapy Research” at the 2019 Radiation Therapy Conference sponsored by the American Society of Radiologic Technology in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2019.

Dr. Megan Danzl (associate professor and assistant chair, Physical Therapy) and 12 colleagues with the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine published “Classification of Mild Stroke: A Mapping Review” in PM&R: Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation, September 2019.

Dr. Barbara Jackson (associate professor and associate chair, Nursing) and two colleagues published “Game On: Evaluating the Impact of Gamification in Nursing Orientation on Motivation and Knowledge Retention” in the Journal of Nursing Professional Development.

Professor Julia Beran (instructor, Nursing) led a workshop entitled “A Research Paper, Freshmen, and Effective Interdisciplinary Collaboration: The Perfect Partnership for Student Success” at the 2019 AIKCU Conference. She and Ms. Martha Lundgren and Mr. Kevin Peers, Bellarmine reference librarians, conducted a roundtable discussion on “Effective interdisciplinary collaboration between reference librarians and didactic faculty to nurture writing intensive pedagogy in Freshmen Pre-nursing students in an Introduction to Nursing Course" on June 14, 2019.

Dr. Chelsey Franz (assistant professor, Athletic Training) and a colleague had an article, “Utilization of Social Determinants of Health to Improve Education among Youth in Dominican Baseball Academies,” published on Sept. 22, 2019, in Health & Social Care in the Community.

Dr. David Wolf (professor and chair, Health Services & Senior Living Leadership) began work on a 5-year, $1.5 million National Institute of Health grant titled “Developing and Testing an Evidence-Based Toolkit for Nursing Home Care of Residents with Obesity” on July 1.  This project is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Wolf accepted an invitation to sit on the Board of Directors and serve as a Senior Long-Term Care Policy Scholar for the Palm Beach Center for Democracy and Policy Research. He was re-elected to a second three-year term (2019-22) as the academic director on the Board of Directors of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA); was named as board liaison to the American College of Healthcare Administrators Mentoring Committee and also to their New Students Experience Committee; and was accepted to begin the Health Enterprise Network Fellows program in January 2020. He also accepted an appointment as guest editor for a special Post-Acute Care edition of the Journal of Healthcare Administration Education. Finally, he served as a subject matter expert for Quality Matters to review a course for another university.

Professor Dennis Lesch (instructor, Physical Therapy) provided a seminar regarding “Age Related Changes” on Sept. 13, 2019, as the initial component of the Professional Certificate in Gerontology Program coordinated by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Dr. Chris Webb (assistant professor, Nursing) successfully defended his doctorate of nursing practice capstone project, “Implementation of an Evidence-Based Electronic Clinical Algorithm to Improve Screening, Evaluation, and Referral of College Students for Depressive Symptoms and an Evaluation of Differences Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data.”

Dr. Julia Senn-Reeves (assistant professor, Nursing) successfully defended her doctorate of nursing practice capstone project, “Early Identification of Frailty Predictors in a Vowed Religious Community: A Strategy to Support Successful Aging in Place.”

Dr. Kathy Hager (associate professor, Nursing) presented “Marijuana: Health impacts on at-risk and underserved populations: Infants/children/youth/pregnant women” for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky on Sept. 23, 2019.

Dr. Kevin Hansen (assistant professor, Health Services & Senior Living Leadership) submitted two articles for publication: “Qualitative Analyses of Nursing Home Residents’ Quality of Life from Multiple Stakeholders’ Perspectives” and “Factors Leading Diverse Candidates to Select a Faculty Position in Colleges of Business.” He also submitted a white paper on “Death, Grief, and Beyond: A Multitude of Issues to Consider when Beneficiaries Die” to the Stetson University College of Law National Conference on Special Needs Planning and Special Needs Trusts. Dr. Hansen served as director of the National Emerging Leadership Summit (NELS), an annual gathering of 30+ emerging professionals in health and aging services that meets annually in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Beth Quinn (assistant professor, Physical Therapy) and Dr. Carrie Clark-Hawkins (assistant professor, Physical Therapy) presented “Best Practices in Student Onboarding: Strategies to Optimize the Student and Clinical Site Experience” at the KPTA Annual Conference, Sept. 28 in Lexington.

Dr. Tony Brosky (professor and dean, School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences) presented a research paper in Dublin, Ireland, titled “Maximal Hand Grip Force Production Dependent on Hand Size and Rung Position?” with DPT students Mason Sullivan and Nigel Ouslan at the Performance Health-TRAC Annual Research Meeting on July 22, 2019. Dr. Brosky also has been appointed to a three-year term on the Louisville Health Enterprises Network Board. 

Dr. Barbara Jackson (associate professor and associate chair, Nursing) was elected to the Kentucky Nurse’s Association Education and Research Cabinet.

Dr. Thomas Wójcicki (assistant professor, Exercise Science) attended the National Walking Summit in Columbus, Ohio, in partial fulfillment of his Walking College Fellowship via America Walks. The National Walking Summit celebrates and identifies local approaches and applications of national solutions that feature projects, programs, and practitioners that are creating safe, accessible, equitable, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active.

Dr. Nancy York (professor and dean, Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences) joined the Leadership Louisville class of 2020 for community leaders. The group will spend 10 months diving into the community’s history, assets and challenges, emerging ready to create positive change alongside a network of fellow influencers and decision-makers.

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education

Dr. Kristin Cook co-published and edited a volume entitled Evolution Education and the Rise of the Creationist Movement in Brazil with Lexington Books. She also co-published invited blogs entitled "STEAM learning experiences: Thinking beyond a makerspace" and "STEAM education for each and every student" with Corwin Connect. Dr. Cook co-presented "Teaching STEAM through a problem-based paleontology exploration" at the 8th Annual STEM Expo and Forum hosted by the National Science Teachers (NSTA) in San Francisco, as well as an invited presentation on "STEAM for Elementary Educators."

Dr. Alexandra Taylor presented “Choice as an Antecedent Behavior Intervention for Children Diagnosed with an Emotional Disturbance” at the 2019 Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators (KATE) annual conference in Louisville.

Dr. Kevin Thomas, in collaboration with the Archdiocese, Oldham County, and Christian Academy of Louisville schools, welcomed approximately 200 teachers to campus to attend the annual Imagining the Future of Learning Conference, where he gave a presentation on “Real vs. Fake News.”

Dr. Will Wells was invited to lead a workshop at the Saint Mary Academy during their back to school professional learning activities for teachers on Aug. 7. The title of the session was “Building a Great School, Together.”

W. Fielding Rubel School of Business

Ms. Christy Burge, instructor of Accounting, presented "Accounting is our Specialty--Bellarmine is Focused on the Specialization of the Profession" at the 2019 Kentucky Career and Technical Education Conference on July 24. 

Dr. Elizabeth Payne, endowed chair of Accounting, as a member of the Board of Directors of Financial Executives International, delivered two programs in August and September, featuring Chris Ryan, vice president of ADP, and Gregg Dedrick, co-founder of oGoLead, respectively. Additionally, she continued her service on the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy during these months and attended the annual retreat in September. She made two presentations at the AIKCU conference in June, with Ms. Christy Burge and Dr. Patty Selvy.

Dr. Frank Raymond, interim dean, was guest speaker at Forcht Bank's "Supply and Demand Exchange" on Sept. 19. The open discussion centered on future economic trends and concerns for Kentuckiana businesses.

Staff News and Achievements

Ms. Colleen Arnett, coordinator of operations in Residence Life, has been selected to serve a second term as a Chapter Excellence Board Volunteer Advisor for Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. In this role, she will provide guidance and support to nine collegiate chapters and their members on chapter initiatives, national standards, and leadership development. 

Dr. Patrick Englert, associate vice president for Student Affairs, Ms. Natasha Begin, assistant dean of Students, Dr. Anne Bucalos, vice provost for Faculty Development, Dr. Kristen Wallitsch, dean of Student Success, and Dr. Graham Ellis, vice provost for Program Assessment, published an article, “Digging into Difficult Topics: Cultivating Community within the Classroom,” in The Faculty Development Journal.

Mr. Eric Satterly, chief information officer, represented Bellarmine at the “Dell Kentucky Higher Education Executive Briefing,” Sept. 24-26 at Dell headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. He shared customer insight based on his, Bellarmine’s and the Office of Information Technology’s experiences. He also attended meetings on “Driving Innovation & Student Success Through Digital Transformation,” “Creating the Classroom of the Future with IOT & AI” and “Rethinking Security to Accelerate Innovation.”

Bellarmine was also represented by several members of the Office of Information Technology at the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) meeting on June 14 at Sullivan University. Mr. Brian Henry presented “Rethinking DR/Plans with Legos” and “Azure for Single Sign-On Services.” Mr. Shawn Snapp shared his knowledge in “Intro to Microsoft Graph.” Mr. Eric Satterly co-presented on “Using Commercial Business Approach and Platform-Thinking in the Higher Ed Ecosystems to Faster Campus Innovation” with Mr. Fred Claypool and “Sharepoint Online and Microsoft Teams Work Better Together with PowerShell” with Mr. Tony Morrow. Mr. Morrow also presented independently on “Setup/User LinOTP.”

Mr. Mark Meade, assistant director of the Merton Center and the 16th president of the International Thomas Merton Society, gave the Presidential Address, “From Merton to a Friend and from a President to the Society: ‘The Reality of Personal Relationships Saves Everything,’” at the 16th Conference of the Society held at Santa Clara University from June 27-30, 2019.

Dr. Paul Pearson, director and archivist of the Merton Center, presented “Wearing ‘Our Mitres to Bed’: Thomas Merton and the Need for Humor in ‘This Mad Place’” and took part in a panel presentation on “Creating a Community of Merton Scholars” at the International Thomas Merton Society’s 16th Conference.