Academic Affairs Team

Dr. Paul Gore


Paul GoreDr. Gore 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 professional development of faculty members. He oversees SACSCOC accreditation and compliance (and other school-specific accrediting demands), and institutional assessment and effectiveness. The areas of responsibility that fall under the auspices of the Office of Academic Affairs include: Faculty Development; the Registrar’s Office; the Library and Merton Center; the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness; the Office of Sponsored Projects; the Office of Student Abroad and International Learning; International and Veterans Services; assessment of student learning (general education and all academic programs); and academic grievances.

Prior to his appointment at Bellarmine, Dr. Gore was Dean of the College of Professional Sciences at Xavier University – Cincinnati. His academic and leadership career includes appointments as Professor and Director of Institutional Research at the University of Utah, Director of Career Transitions Research at ACT, Inc., and academic appointments at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, and the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Dr. Gore’s research and consulting practice focuses on factors that influence secondary and post-secondary student’s career choice and satisfaction and academic success. In particular, Dr. Gore is interested in the role that psychosocial and motivational factors play in shaping students’ success.

Dr. Gore earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University – Chicago, an M.Ed. in Community and Family Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University – Chicago, an M.S. in Applied Bio Psychology from the University of New Orleans, and a B.S. in Psychology and Biology from Saint Louis University. He is a Fellow of the Division of Counseling Psychology in the American Psychological Association and was a 2013-2014 American Council on Education Fellow at Montana State University – Bozeman.

You may contact Dr. Gore at

Dr. Mark Wiegand

Vice Provost

WiegandDr. Mark Wiegand was appointed Associate Provost on June 1, 2017, and served as the Dean of the Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences (now the College of Health Professions), for which he still provides oversight. He is a Professor of Physical Therapy. In addition to Office of Academic Affairs responsibilities with the College of Health Professions, he oversees the Office of Study Abroad and International Learning (OSAIL), Office of Sponsored Projects, and Veterans Services, and is deputy Title IX coordinator.

Prior to serving as the Lansing School dean (2013-2017), he was the chairperson of Physical Therapy Department at Bellarmine (2001-2013). Dr. Wiegand also served as President of the University Faculty Council (2011-2012). He has taught anatomical sciences to physical therapy, occupational therapy and medical students at the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University. His research interests are in the role of service and experiential learning and professional development in health sciences education, and has over 70 presentations, publications and reviews in journals, books and at national and international meetings.

Dr. Wiegand received his B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas, his M.S. in Human Performance from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and his Ph.D. in Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology from the University of Louisville. In 2002 Dr. Wiegand received the Outstanding Physical Therapist Service Award from the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association, and was a Bellarmine University Wyatt Fellowship recipient in 2007 and a 2008 Louisville Health Enterprises Network Fellow. He is a 2016 Bingham Fellow with the Leadership Louisville Center.

You may contact Dr. Wiegand at

Dr. James Breslin

Assistant Provost


Dr. Breslin works closely with the Provost, academic affairs leadership, and colleagues across the university to provide leadership and oversight for institutional effectiveness. In support of the university achieving its mission and strategic goals, Dr. Breslin oversees general assessment efforts, accreditation support, institutional research, and collaborates with stakeholders campus-wide to create informed decision-making processes. He serves as the university’s SACSCOC liaison, leads teams and collaborative groups that promote effectiveness, and is responsible for identifying opportunities and leveraging data to create strategic advantages for the university.

Before his appointment as Assistant Provost, Dr. Breslin served as the Dean of Student Success at Bellarmine. Dr. Breslin has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on his research and professional work and has presented more than 60 conference sessions. He has been recognized by colleagues in the field with multiple awards, including the Diamond Honoree Award from the American College Personnel Association.

Dr. Breslin earned his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and his M.S. and Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Kentucky. His research interests include student cultures on American college campuses, leadership issues in higher education, effective assessment practices, and student transitions.

You may contact Dr. Breslin at

Dr. Nancy York

Assistant Provost

Headshot of Nancy York

Dr. Nancy York, Professor of Nursing, was appointed Assistant Provost in June 2021. Her responsibilities in Academic Affairs include oversight of the library, undergraduate honors program, endowed lecture series, Thomas Merton Center, and School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Dr. York was a faculty member at Bellarmine University from 1998 – 2006 and returned in 2011. She has also held teaching positions at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Dr. York has served in various academic leadership roles including the Undergraduate Nursing Coordinator at UNLV School of Nursing, BSN Department Chairperson, Associate Dean, and Dean of the Lansing School of Nursing Clinical Sciences at Bellarmine. Professional service includes serving as a Program Evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Dr. York’s scholarship focuses on fostering healthy communities through evidence-based practice interventions and public policy development. She has presented her scholarship at regional, national, and international scientific conferences and has over 40 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. York received her PhD from the University of Kentucky and her MSN and BSN from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

You may contact Dr. York 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 enhancing the culture of professional growth and development at Bellarmine, while also promoting excellence and innovation in teaching. He provides leadership for the Faculty Development Center and the university’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 a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky.

Adam’s research interests include digital transformation of academics as well as managing change in institutional identity and operations resulting from shifts in instructional modality. He has presented at numerous state and national conferences, on topics such as innovative teaching, instructional technology, delivery models, and postsecondary trends. His work has been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and he is co-author of Emerging Trends in Higher Education, published in 2019 by New Forums Press.

You may contact Adam Elias at

Lindsay Gargotto

Director, Military & Veterans Services

Lindsay Gargotto serves as the Director to Military and Veteran Services and is a United States Air Force Veteran. She helps develop and coordinate programming and services for military and veteran students to ensure the success of their transition into the University and the workforce. She accomplishes this by working with University programs, faculty, veteran alums, and community partners on behalf of military and veteran students. She also teaches in the English and IDC Department.

Prior to her position at Bellarmine University, she founded Athena's Sisters in 2014- the first non-profit run by and for military women in Louisville, Kentucky. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Louisville Literary Arts and Clinical Research Foundation in partnership with the VAMC. Lindsay earned her Masters in Social Work (MSW) and her MFA in Creative Writing - both at Spalding University.

You may contact Lindsay Gargotto at

Trent McNeeley

Instructional Design Consultant

Trent McNeeley Headshot Trent McNeeley serves as Instructional Design Consultant, a role in which he supports faculty in online, hybrid, and face-to-face teaching through the development of effective, engaging, and accessible digital courses and materials. Prior to coming to Bellarmine, Trent was senior instructional designer at Wiley Education Services.

Trent received a BA in Journalism from Indiana University and began his professional life as an award-winning journalist. He concurrently served in the National Guard, including a combat tour in Afghanistan. After earning an MA in Teaching from Bellarmine, he taught in the secondary environment, specializing in government and economics. Additionally, he has taught Economics of Sports as an adjunct at Bellarmine.

You may contact Trent McNeeley 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

Pearson 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. Pearson at

Dr. Janice Poston

Instructional Developer

Poston Dr. Janice Poston serves as Instructional Developer, a role in which she is charged with assisting faculty with learning the course management system, Moodle, as well as other tools they can use in the design of courses. Janice will assist faculty in developing online courses. Prior to coming to Bellarmine, Janice spent 25 years as Reference/Instructional Librarian and Assistant Moodle Administrator at Spalding University. She has also been adjunct faculty at Spalding since 2007.

Janice earned a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Louisville, a BS in Accounting and an MA in School Media Librarianship from Spalding University, an MS in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, and most recently a doctorate in educational leadership from Spalding University.

Janice’s research interests include teaching presence, which was the subject of her dissertation “Has the Teacher Left the Classroom? An Examination of Teaching Presence in Online and Hybrid Learning Environments," and the flipped classroom model. She also had an article on teaching presence published in 2015 in “Quick Hits for Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers: Successful Strategies from Award-Winning Teachers.”

You may contact Dr. Poston at

Connie Smith

Director, Office of Sponsored Projects

Connie Smith is the Director of 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 research administration. She provides leadership for pursuit of grants, contracts and other sources and provides oversight of sponsored programs in alignment with Bellarmine’s mission and strategic plan. She oversees all aspects of pre- and post-award functions including proposal administration, sponsored program agreements, contract negotiation with external agencies as well as ensures compliance with all federal administrative requirements and costing principles, state regulations, grantor restrictions, and university fiscal policies.

Connie also provides valuable support to Bellarmine’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Bellarmine’s IRB has primary oversight over all human subject research and is charged with protecting research participants and the public.

Prior to joining the Bellarmine team, she served in a variety of roles 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.

Connie earned her B.A. in Communications from Bellarmine University.

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

Dr. Kristen N. Wallitsch

Dean, Student Success and International Programs

Kristen N. WallitschDr. Kristen N. Wallitsch leads student success efforts across the university and provides leadership and oversight for the Student Success Center at Bellarmine. The units that report to her include Academic Advising, Learning Communities, Pioneer Scholars, Tutoring Center, Writing Center, and the Testing Center. Some of the initiatives housed in the Student Success Center include but are not limited to the Student Success Task Force, BU100 First-Year Focus Seminar, the student alert management system FIRE, incoming student non-cognitive assessments, and academic recovery.

Dr. Wallitsch is a higher education scholar whose research interests include student learning outcomes assessment, first-generation college students, curriculum design, social justice, and the international student experience. Dr. Wallitsch earned her Ph.D. in Studies in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky (2014), her M.A.Ed. (2006), and B.A. in Elementary and Special Education (2000), both from Bellarmine. She received a Japanese Ministry of Education Dissertation Research Fellowship, spending two years at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, drafting policy recommendations for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on US-Japan Education Cooperation for Global Issues. Dr. Wallitsch recently won two awards for her work with the university’s home-grown predictive analytics model, Award for Innovative Academic Support Initiative (ACPA College Student Educators International) and the NCLCA (National College Learning Center Association) Award for Innovation for the First-Year Predictive Model. She also won the Assessment Champion Award from the OSU Center for the Study of Student Life for her assessment work in the division of Student Success at Bellarmine.

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

Tara Lawson-Harris headshotTara Lawson-Harris
Administrative Assistant
M.A., English, University of Louisville

Headshot of Betsy O'NeillBetsy O'Neill
Executive Assistant to the Provost
B.S., Business Administration, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign