Testimonials from Faculty and Staff

Dr. Melanie Prejean Sullivan
Director of Campus Ministry

Bellarmine University and the Office of Campus Ministry recognize diversity as one of the clearest fingerprints of God. That is, the fact that we humans look and think differently, that we express ourselves in language, art, and music so differently, and that the world is filled with such wonderfully diverse flowers, trees, colors, and terrain suggest that God LOVES variety. As people of faith, we are called to follow in God’s ways. So, whenever or wherever we can witness and celebrate our differences, it is actually a celebration of our oneness- special images of one God who loves us in our diversity.

From my professional perspective, I find diversity of faith on our campus a most delightful gift to my ministry. There is nothing quite as inspiring as listening to students as they share their understanding of their respective scriptures, interpretations, liturgies, and prayer. When a Jew and Mormon compare notes about the Creation story; when a Catholic and a Cooperative Baptist compare notes about women’s ordination; and when a Methodist, Orthodox Christian and a Hindu compare notes about the afterlife or redemption, they share their experiences of God and understandings of theologies which enrich each of them and our whole community.

Dani Reid
​Assistant Director of Student Activities

Most simply, diversity is difference. This difference can come in visible and invisible identities, in life experiences, perspectives, and in cultures. Diversity in and of itself is not enough, we need to recognize and appreciate the differences of those around us for diversity to truly impact our lives, because it is in these differences that we find our sense of self, understand the world, and challenge our conceptions of reality.

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
— Maya Angelou

Katie Kelty
Assistant Director of Creative Services

As a communication professional, an awareness and appreciation of a variety of audiences is vital to message reception. In the Office of Communication and Public Affairs, we see diversity as an educational opportunity and an experiential necessity for college students. Learning about and working with people who have different perspectives during college prepares students to enter a workforce where homogeneity is outside of the norm and adaptation is key to success.

For this reason, our marketing strategies continue to evolve in efforts to attract the best and the brightest, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, color, religion, and national or ethnic origin. This openness and commitment to diversity is what attracted me to Bellarmine as an undergraduate student, an intern, a graduate student and as an employee. As we continue to work toward the remaining goals outlined in Vision 2020, it is my hope that the educational lessons offered at Bellarmine will create a more diverse population on campus while concomitantly encouraging a more accepting community in and outside of Louisville.

​Elizabeth Cassady
Assistant Dean of Students, Division of Student Affairs

"The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God - if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That's what I think." — Maya Angelou

​Pat Carver
Professor, School of Business

“There is an underside to every age about which history does not often speak, because history is written from records left by the privileged.”

“The memory of oppressed people is one thing that cannot be taken away, and for such people, with such memories, revolt is always an inch below the surface.”

“The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don't listen to it, you will never know what justice is.”

Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492 - Present

Dr. Jean Edward
Bellarmine University '08

When I think about Diversity and Inclusion, I am always drawn to Maya Angelou’s Human Family-a poem that epitomizes the collective human spirit:

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I've seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I've not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England's moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

–Maya Angelou

No matter how different we are or where we come from, we are more alike than we think. In reading this poem I experienced a paradigm shift that enabled me to re-focus my lens and view the world from the perspective of the Other. This worldview continues to guide me in my research, teaching and practice focused on eliminating health disparities in our diverse communities.