Disability Services

Students with disabilities celebrate faculty who create an inclusive environment at Bellarmine

Student Success

By Alexia Gardon, M.Ed.
October is Disability Awareness Month. As a way to celebrate, the Accessibility Resource Center asked students to reflect on their campus experiences with a focus on faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond to make sure students with disabilities have access to and are included in all aspects of Bellarmine. 
"When professors like Dr. John James work with my use of accommodations, it empowers me not only academically, but also emotionally, to do my best work."

Students were eager to share their appreciation. Throughout the month of October, students submitted ARC Shout-Outs recognizing faculty and staff for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for students with disabilities. The Shout-Outs below were featured in Bellarmine Today, an internal Bellarmine newsletter, and the recipients received a note of thanks from the Accessibility Resource Center. 

Dr. Laura Ping
Department: History
Shout-Out: “Dr. Ping is a wonderful professor who really goes out of her way to let her students know that she cares. Before the semester started, Dr. Ping scheduled a time to meet with me via Teams to go over my disability and the accommodations that I would need to utilize within her class. This meant a great deal to me. There have been countless times that she has checked in to see if the semester is going well and if my needs are being met. I feel very blessed to be a student in her class.”
Dr. Lara Needham
Department: Communication
Shout-Out: “Dr. Needham teaches a really cool unit on disability in her Intercultural Communication class and taught me so much about disability and communication. Even I, as a person with disabilities, didn't know most of what she taught, and the unit made me proud of my identity as a disabled person.” 
Dr. Maggie Rossman
Department: Communication
Shout-Out: “Dr. Rossman has always been fabulous with accommodating me. Her classes are enjoyable to begin with, and also stress-free because she accommodates me so well.”
Dr. John James
Department: Honors Program
Shout-Out: “Dr. James allows me to attend class virtually and turn in assignments late when my symptoms flare up while putting no shame on me, which is such a relief. Often shame for using my accommodations shapes my entire experience of a course, and when professors like Dr. James work with my use of accommodations, it empowers me not only academically, but also emotionally, to do my best work - which is especially important in writing. Thank you, Dr. James.”
Dr. Kate Bulinski
Department: Environmental Studies
Shout-Out: “Dr. Bulinski goes above and beyond for all her students, dedicating time to take care and consideration to help ensure student success--not just in the context of classes, but in life. She’s a really hard worker and an excellent beekeeper.”
Dr. Martha Carlson Mazur
Department: Environmental Studies
Shout-Out: “Dr. Carlson Mazur has excellent tact and caring and considerate modalities of being that allow students to feel safe, supported and understood in the academic environment. She goes above and beyond to give students an understanding and appreciation of their own worth and prioritizes what really matters.”
Dr. Roberta Challener
Department: Biology
Shout-Out: “Dr. Challener is a very caring, lighthearted professor who offers good advice and will take the time to really sit down with you and figure things out.”
Dr. Heather Pruss
Department: Criminal Justice
Shout-Out: “I’d like to give Dr. Heather Pruss a shout-out. She’s part of the Criminal Justice department. Dr. Pruss truly cares about her students. She has really helped me when I was struggling, celebrated my victories with me, and made me feel included and heard. I also don’t remember ever having any issues regarding my accommodations with her.”
Alexia Gardon is Assistant Director of Bellarmine’s Accessibility Resource Center. If you need help with accommodations or are just interested in learning more, visit the ARC’s website

Tags: Disability Services



Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, 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.