Susan Donovan at 2019 Grad Ceremony

Great Grads 2021

Great Grads 2021


Jordan StacyJordan Stacy

Lexington, Ky.
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry

What career are you pursuing?
I’m pursuing a career in biomedical research and development. This fall, I’ll be beginning a Ph.D. program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt University. I’m not yet sure exactly where I want to end up using that degree, but I’m overall pursuing a degree in research because I’ve always loved science and understanding the world and have always loved asking questions and finding answers in creative ways.

Why Bellarmine?
I originally came to Bellarmine for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, specifically the interdisciplinary- nature of the degree; the small classes; the professors I met beforehand; and the academic reputation. But I stayed because of the relationships I built both inside and outside of the classroom. Bellarmine really is focused on relationships—definitely with faculty, and the one-to-one care and attention to us as whole people, but also with staff, like Student Affairs and other offices that also care about our personal success and development. I got involved with ResLife, and that helped me build relationships all across campus that were real, and mutual collaborations and friendships. I would recommend Bellarmine to people who want to truly find a home at their university, meaning people will know your name, care about your academic and personal well-being, and will push you out of your personal comfort zone to encourage you to lead and grow as an individual and community member. There’s no blending in at Bellarmine, and that’s my favorite part.

 

Alyssa Durbin

Alyssa Durbin

Louisville, Ky.
Elementary Education and Learning and Behavioral Disorders with a minor in Spanish

What career are you pursuing?
I plan to become an elementary school teacher because I am passionate about working with children. I believe in the power of education and the ability of teachers to make a significant difference in students' lives.

Why Bellarmine?
I chose Bellarmine because of the cooperative environment and caring people. Stepping onto campus, I knew that it was the right choice for me because people immediately started welcoming me, sharing about themselves and demonstrating genuine interest in me. Professors have always been more than willing to help with special projects and make accommodations when assignments or responsibilities conflict. This environment and genuine demonstration of care is why I would recommend Bellarmine to others.

 

Kelze Rile

Kelze' Riley

Columbus, Ohio
Political Science (Pre-Law) with a minor in Criminal Justice

What career are you pursuing?
I am pursuing a legal career, which is why I will be attending the University of Cincinnati College of Law. I hope to help people who have been wrongfully incarcerated be exonerated, which is why I am blessed to have been selected for a fellowship with the Ohio Innocence Project at the law school.

Why Bellarmine?
Bellarmine was my choice because it seemed like a place that would allow me to succeed. Further, when I toured, it seemed like everyone knew one another and like they were family. As I leave, I know this to be true of the Bellarmine community, as I have succeeded and recognize almost everyone on campus. I would recommend BU to a person who is looking for a similar experience for those reasons—this university has a family atmosphere and culture.

 

Stefania Romano

Stefania Romano

Naperville, Ill.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

What career are you pursuing?
I will finally be a registered nurse, as it has always been a dream of mine to provide people with the best possible care and compassion in their most vulnerable times.

Why Bellarmine?
I chose Bellarmine due to the small class sizes, the Nursing program and the support for first-generation students [first-generation American and first generation to attend college]. It is not always easy navigating through college when you are the first in your family to do so, but Bellarmine makes it all a little easier, and that is why I would recommend it to future students.

 

Juston Betz Juston Betz

New Albany, Ind.
Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Bachelor of Arts in Finance

What career are you pursuing?
I am pursuing a career in public accounting and plan to take my CPA exam upon completion of my MBA in the spring of 2022. I'm pursuing this career because I feel that it'll allow me to gain great experience with many different businesses both in Kentucky and around the world. My primary goal is to work my way up to a position where I can run my own company where I can manage and help others.

Why Bellarmine?
I chose Bellarmine for a few reasons. A lot of my family members have gone through Bellarmine, and it propelled both their lives and careers. When I saw how much Bellarmine did for them, I wanted to have a look at it for myself. After visiting campus a few times, going to basketball games and meeting with various advisors and mentors, I knew that Bellarmine was right for me for one main reason: The people here care. My professors, coaches and peers care about each other and the mission of Bellarmine University. They care about helping others grow to reach their full potential. They care about me. When people believe in you and lift you up, you feel like you can do anything, and that's what I believe Bellarmine has done for me. I would recommend Bellarmine to anyone considering it because it's a four-year decision that'll change your life for the next 40. There are so many alumni who are a testament to that.

 

Dr Diane Courington Dr. Diane Courington

Dayton, Ohio
Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Social Change, Individual Plan

What career are you pursuing?
I am a former K-12 educator for JCPS, and now I am an adjunct professor for Bellarmine in Education. I am unsure about what is next, but my focus will be on advocating for students, especially Students of Color.

Why Bellarmine?
I chose Bellarmine's Ph.D. program because it had different options for educators who were not focused on being administrators or school counselors. Furthermore, it was a program focused on social change, which I firmly believe in. The bonus was I could do whatever area of social change I wanted to focus on, which was the lens of trauma-informed care and social justice. I would recommend this program to anyone willing to lean into being uncomfortable, because making change is very uncomfortable. Sometimes you are standing alone advocating for what you believe in. I would recommend the program to anyone willing to do the real work it takes to get a Ph.D. while changing the world.

 

Israel Cuenca Israel Cuenca

Loja, Ecuador
Master of Science in Digital Media

What career are you pursuing?
Digital marketing, business analytics and international marketing because I'm passionate about it, I have experience in these areas and I will continue developing in these areas.

Why Bellarmine?
Bellarmine University is a great school with amazing faculty, an extraordinary level of education and great facilities. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to study in a great institution in Kentucky that will open doors for a great future.

 

Mary Daniels Mary Daniels

Born in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire; grew up in West Columbia, S.C.
Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Mathematics

What career are you pursuing?
I’m pursuing a career as an economist and hope to eventually work for the federal government or at a public policy research institution. I want to pursue this career because throughout my time at Bellarmine, I’ve become aware of many issues facing impoverished and marginalized communities in the U.S., and I want to craft effective policy to help address these issues.

Why Bellarmine?
I think it was actually just fate. I applied to Bellarmine in high school and was fully prepared to attend as a Bellarmine Scholar but ended up choosing another college. However, after a year there, I ended up transferring to Bellarmine, so I think God just wanted me to be here. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’m extremely thankful that I did end up here. I highly recommend it to other students. Bellarmine is very dedicated to the success of their students. Dr. Bradley Stevenson helped me get a really great internship, and Dr. Frances Raymond did everything to make sure I’d go to a highly rated graduate school program, which is not something I ever thought I could do. The Honors Program is very intellectually challenging and will prepare you to not only be a critical thinker but also an engaged member of society. There’s also Joe Frazier in the Office of Identity and Inclusion, who is an amazing resource for students of color and will go out of his way to make sure you know you belong here. You should come to Bellarmine because the people you meet here will change your life forever.

 

Kate LambKate Lamb

Owensboro, Kentucky
Bachelor of Arts in English and History; currently enrolled in Bellarmine’s early Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program

What career are you pursuing?
I plan to finish my MAT in the spring of 2022. Upon graduation, I plan to teach high school English and History in Jefferson County Public Schools.

Why Bellarmine?
I chose Bellarmine because of the love that I received and witnessed on campus from my first visit. The professors, administrators and staff are what make Bellarmine a special place. The people who make up the fabric of the university make a point to care for and listen to each individual student, providing personal attention that cannot be found at a larger university. Bellarmine provided me with an environment that cultivated my curiosity and also equipped me with the practical skills I need to succeed. I have no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision in attending Bellarmine, and I will forever be grateful for the friendships, mentors and experiences I gained in the past four years.

 

Maddie Horton with Valor

Maddie Horton

Charlotte, North Carolina
Bachelor of Science in Nursing

What career are you pursuing?
When I was growing up, I had no sense of personal space; I would hug everyone regardless of whether they were sick or not! So I spent a lot of time in my primary care provider’s office, and I became more and more fascinated with the medical field. I was strong in the sciences as well, so I ditched my original plan of being a supermodel astronaut and decided to pursue a career in medicine. As I grew up, I saw how important it was for me to spend time with the people I cared for, so nursing became the perfect fit.

Why Bellarmine? As strange as it sounds, I picked Bellarmine mostly from a vibe! I had read about the university and how it was small, situated near a city center and had a great Nursing program. The entire time on the tour I felt like this place could be my home. I could see myself going to the events my tour partners were talking about, and I felt a sense of belonging. I met with the Nursing staff and I heard something that no other program had told me: "We accept everyone who academically qualifies." That really cemented my decision, because I felt I could befriend my classmates and not be competing with them to continue in the program

Bellarmine is a place where you can discover who you want to be and what impact you want to leave on the world. Ever since my sophomore year, I have had mottos, and this year's motto completely captures what Bellarmine has shown me: "We are all capable of small great things." We don't always think we are impacting our communities, but even the smallest actions can make a tremendous difference.

Bellarmine also made me into the leader I am today. I considered myself a follower when I started at Bellarmine, and this community really lifted me up and helped me realize that there is no single cookie-cutter image of what a leader is.

About Bellarmine University

Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.