During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September, the administration, faculty and staff of the Spalding University School of Nursing unanimously took a meaningful step toward equipping themselves to address the most serious of mental health crises.
Spalding Associate Professor Dr. Erica Lemberger, who helped organize the initiative among her colleagues, said she thinks Spalding is likely the first school of nursing in the state to have 100 percent of faculty, staff, administration and students trained in QPR. Spalding nursing students have for years already been receiving training to become QPR gatekeepers as part of their mental health curriculum.
Lemberger is the Co-Chair of the Behavioral Health Committee of the Louisville Health Advisory Board, which has a goal of increasing education in the public about suicide prevention, particularly during this time of stress, trauma and anxiety caused by the pandemic. Nurses working on the front lines have been especially vulnerable.
Lemberger decided the first step she should personally take would be to spread the word within her own professional community at Spalding. She proposed to her colleagues a goal of 100 percent QPR training among themselves in the School of Nursing.
“I gave this proposal so that we could be that light to recognize those individuals who are at risk for suicide,” Lemberger said. “It could be your parent, your sibling, your coworker, your student, you neighbor. It could be anyone. As nurses, because we have increased clinical demands and a difficult work environment and workforce stress, nursing and nurses’ mental health are all related. I thought, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s get 100 percent. Let’s be all in.'”
“Spalding University faculty members are dedicated to the mental health improvement of the community, and one of the steps in the process is being prepared to support and address mental health issues,” said Dr. Lana Watson, Chair of the School of Nursing. “Completing this training provides faculty the tools needed to save a life of someone considering suicide. The training is open to those interested, and we encourage anyone who would like to complete the training to contact NAMI to complete this free training!”
Lemberger, who is a certified QPR instructor, said she hopes other academic and support departments and student organizations on campus will follow the School of Nursing’s example and work to get all their members trained in QPR. She encourages any department to contact her or visit the NAMI Louisville website. Counseling and Psychology Services Director Dr. Allison From-Tapp has also offered training to the campus community.
“You can be the person to save a life; that’s a really big deal,” Lemberger said. “You don’t have to have a nursing degree to know how to save a life; anyone can save a life. You just have to be able to identify the risk factors, know how to ask the questions, know how to persuade someone to get help and know who to refer someone to get help.”
Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has been awarded a grant from the Wallace Foundation worth up to $8.2 million over five years to help develop and support equity-centered school leaders, the school district announced Wednesday, and Spalding University’s College of Education will be a partner in training those leaders.
JCPS was one of only eight districts nationally awarded funds from the Wallace Foundation’s Equity Centered Pipeline Initiative. The grant will provide professional learning opportunities, mentorship and programming to strengthen the leadership pipeline for school principals with a focus on equity.
“This grant offers us the tremendous opportunity to develop and support principal candidates ‘on the bench’ as well as those new to their positions,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “We know that effective principals have a strong, positive influence on students and schools, impacting student achievement across an entire school. Having a comprehensive, aligned principal pipeline will produce leaders who can help bring our district’s vision of equity to fruition.”
As it relates to Spalding, the Wallace grant will support the College of Education’s JCPS-focused Aspiring Leaders principal preparation program, which launched in 2020-21 and is now on its second cohort.
JCPS will receive $1.79 million in each of the first two years of the grant. If the grants are successfully renewed in years 3-5, the district would receive a total of $8.2 million.
Funding from the grant will create the Jefferson County Leadership Academy (JCLA), which will offer aspiring administrators workshops and programming to introduce them to the duties and expectations of an assistant principal and principal, along with mentoring and internship opportunities. In addition, JCLA will provide executive coaching sessions for current administrators.
JCPS will partner with Spalding, the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Department of Education to provide certification programs, professional development and mentoring based on equity-centered leadership to new and aspiring principals.
“Spalding University and its College of Education are proud to be partners with JCPS in developing equity-centered leaders in our public schools, and we are grateful for the Wallace Foundation for investing in this meaningful work,” Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said. “The grant from the Wallace Foundation will support ongoing work to further embed equity-centered leadership within all aspects of Spalding’s Aspiring Leaders principal preparation program, including its curriculum, assessments and clinical field experiences. This work goes hand in hand with the Spalding mission of compassion and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
In addition, Spalding is continuing work with the JCPS Diversity, Equity, and Poverty Division to refine a leadership equity screener that requires Aspring Leaders candidates to reflect on and demonstrate equity-centered leadership. The Spalding School of Social Work will also be providing cultural humility training for the Aspiring Leaders candidates with an emphasis on restorative practices and leadership, said Dr. Glenn Baete, Director of Advanced Programs in the College of Education.
“Through our collaboration with JCPS to provide the Aspiring Leaders Program to JCPS teacher leaders seeking administrative certification, the College of Education is committed to developing equity-centered learners,” Baete said. “The Wallace Foundation grant will help us deepen and accelerate that work.”
The Wallace Foundation works nationally to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone.
“Spalding University’s College of Education is excited for the opportunity to work in partnership with so many wonderful local, state and national groups to strengthen P-12 school leadership for the ultimate benefit of children in Louisville,” said Dr. Kristen Harris, Chair of the School of Education.
Video from March 2020, announcing Spalding-JCPS Aspiring Leaders program:
Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) was notified late last month by ACOTE that the entry-level OTD program has been approved for the next seven years – the maximum period that could be awarded for an initial accreditation. Spalding will seek reaccreditation in 2028.
ACOTE assessed and approved all aspects of Spalding’s three-year entry-level OTD program, including its administrative structure, faculty qualifications, course and curricular content, clinical experiences and capstone experiences.
Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy has been a leader in Kentucky in preparing occupational therapists since 1995, with its programs consistently accredited by ACOTE. In 2015, ASOT began planning for a new three-year Occupational Therapy Doctorate program to become its primary entry-level degree offering, and it began phasing out its ACOTE-accredited Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program.
Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy Chair Dr. Sara Story, a longtime faculty member who earned her MSOT from Spalding and participated as a student in the accreditation process of that degree program, said that helping her alma mater achieve the OTD accreditation was “truly an honor.”
“Our faculty members, staff and students are extremely proud to become the first institution in Kentucky to earn ACOTE accreditation for an entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program, and I thank them as well as our university administration, our clinical supervisors and our many other community stakeholders for their amazing support,” Dr. Story said. “This accreditation from ACOTE is proof that Spalding’s long history and tradition of excellence in occupational therapy education will continue. ASOT has gone from an entry-level bachelor’s program years ago to a master’s program to now offering the highest-level degree that we can award at the entry level. We have always been a very strong, dedicated school of occupational therapy that is here to serve students, and I think the accrediting officials could see that. Spalding continues to thrive, and students here will thrive.”
Spalding welcomed its first OTD cohort in January 2019, with new cohorts being added each fall and spring trimester while the accreditation process progressed. In line with the timing of the initial accreditation, the first cohort is set to graduate in January 2022. As an ACOTE-accredited program, graduates of Spalding’s entry-level OTD are now eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam.
Dr. Story said she has received feedback that community stakeholders, such as hospital administrators and fieldwork supervisors, who were contacted by ACOTE were high in their praise of Spalding’s students.
The Report of the Accreditation Council listed five strengths of Spalding’s program: administrative support and the university’s mission, the curriculum model, learning experiences in diverse practice areas, the creation of a clear plan for implementation of the doctoral capstone by the doctoral capstone coordinator and faculty, the work of the academic fieldwork coordinator and faculty to create a client-centered approach that garnered community stakeholders’ enthusiastic support of the program.
ACOTE’s complete findings stated, “all standards were found to be compliant based on the review of the materials submitted by the program and the findings of the on-site team.”
Spalding University and all of its academic programs are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
ACOTE is an additional national accrediting agency specific to occupational therapy programs. ACOTE is an Associated Advisory Council of the Executive Board of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and it is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by both the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. ACOTE currently accredits or is in the process of accrediting nearly 600 occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs in the United States and its territories as well as programs in the United Kingdom.
Spalding’s 110-credit-hour entry-level OTD program is completed over three years (nine trimesters) with about 35 students per cohort. More than 96 percent of graduates of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy have become employed within six months of graduation. Over the past five years, more than 95 percent have passed the national board certification exams.
For more information about the entry-level OTD and all the programs offered by Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, visit spalding.edu/occupational-therapy.
Spalding University, which will begin Fall 2021 classes on Monday, has new faculty chairs leading two of its largest academic schools.
Dr. Svjetlana “Lana” Watson, previously a member of the nursing faculty of Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, is the new Chair of the Spalding University School of Nursing, and Dr. Sara Story has been promoted to the position of Chair of Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, where she is a longtime faculty member.
Both Watson and Story officially started their new positions on July 1. They also both hold the title of Associate Professor at Spalding.
Dr. Watson, who will oversee all of Spalding’s undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, spent the past five years as director of the traditional and accelerated tracks of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at IUPUC. There, she developed innovative models for clinical placements and enhancing preceptor training.
“I am excited to join the long tradition of nursing education at Spalding University,” Dr. Watson said. “I feel I was called to accept this position because of Spalding’s dedication to service and its strong relationship with the community it serves. My previous work included growing healthcare access in underserved rural areas through retention efforts of new nurse graduates. Spalding’s strong service focus closely aligns with my personal beliefs and education philosophy. As an educator, I am student-centered and believe with appropriate student support, success is within reach for every student. Growing and improving the program will be my first priority.”
Dr. Watson earned the degrees of BSN, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice from Indiana Wesleyan University. She also taught on the nursing faculty of Spencerian College
Dr. Story has been a full-time member of the Spalding occupational therapy faculty since 2013. She is a Spalding alumna who earned the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership from the university. She also holds an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) from the University of St. Augustine.
Dr. Story will oversee Spalding’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate programs, which are among the largest graduate programs on campus, as well as its certificate program in Upper Extremity Rehabilitation. In addition, the Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana assistive technology resource center, also known as enTECH, is a division of ASOT that is under Story’s leadership.
Dr. Story enjoys using 3D printing to develop inexpensive assistive technology devices that aid clients of all ages in carrying out everyday tasks. Dr. Story is board-certified in gerontology through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Like Watson, Dr. Story is also an accomplished scholar and researcher who frequently presents at professional conferences and publishes scholarly articles.
“I am excited and honored to serve as Chair of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy at Spalding and to take on this leadership role with such a dynamic faculty,” Dr. Story said. “Spalding is my alma mater, and ASOT has been a leader in occupational therapy education and research for years in this region, preparing hundreds of skilled, compassionate therapists. I am proud to work with devoted faculty who inspire students to grow and continue Spalding’s mission to meet the needs of the times.”
Dillon named Communication Interim Chair: Spalding also announces that Dr. Pattie Dillon, who is the Chair of the School of Liberal Studies, will also serve as Interim Chair of the School of Communication for the 2021-22 academic year. Dillon is a professor of history who has served as Faculty Senate President and Faculty Trustee.
NEW PROGRAM DIRECTORS
In addition to the new Chairs, Spalding has had three faculty members step into new leadership roles as academic program directors for the 2021-22 academic year.
Spalding University has once again received a grant of more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support advanced-level psychology and social work students who provide behavioral health services in integrated primary care settings in medically underserved areas of Louisville.
Over the four-year cycle, a total of 36 Spalding PsyD and MSW students will provide assessments, counseling, addiction therapy and a range of other services at five Louisville health and wellness sites that also provide primary medical care. In addition to providing in-person services, the program aims to train students in and familiarize patients with the use of telehealth.
The practicum and fieldwork sites partnering with Spalding are Family Health Centers’ Iroquois, Portland and Southwest branches; the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center; and the Smoketown Family Wellness Center. These sites also provide pediatric services and support at-risk youth, which is a focus of the Spalding program. The sites are located in parts of the community that have a shortage of behavioral health providers.
School of Professional Psychology Professor Dr. Steve Katsikas, who will continue to direct the project on behalf of Spalding, said the university’s HRSA BHWET grant “represents an incredible investment in the future workforce that will have immediate and long-term benefits to Louisville and surrounding areas.”
“The majority of health conditions that impact people have a behavioral component, including smoking, diabetes, asthma, substance misuse, COPD, obesity and chronic pain,” Katsikas said. “Professionals working as a part of an integrated team can help prevent or address these and other concerns in a setting that is accessible and familiar to patients. We are thrilled to be able to support these students in their training and bring healing and help to our community.”
School of Professional Psychology Chair Dr. Brenda Nash said integrated primary care (IPC) settings are projected to be a “major avenue of practice for psychologists in the near future.” The training opportunities provided by the BHWET-supported project will make Spalding PsyD students more competitive for IPC internships and, ultimately, those emerging jobs, she said.
Spalding PsyD students selected for the program will receive $25,000 annual stipends, and MSW students will receive $10,000 stipends.
“The fact that we are able to train students in this model and provide grant-funded stipends to them is huge as it helps cut down students’ debt load as they are learning marketable skills,” Nash said. “We do everything we can to find opportunities and partnerships to help reduce students’ debt. We are thrilled and honored to have received the HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant for the second cycle in a row. It shows our commitment to training and supporting students, and it shows the confidence that HRSA has in us to train the next generation of psychologists.”
School of Social Work Chair Dr. Shannon Cambron called the grant “a game-changer for both our Master of Social Work students and the community they serve.”
“Students are given the opportunity to prepare for the work they’re called to in an interdisciplinary setting where they can holistically consider the needs and strengths of the client,” she said. “The tuition support means they graduate with far less financial burden, which opens more broadly their avenues of service to the community. This grant and those who participate in it are living examples of Spalding’s mission to meet the needs of the times. It’s an exciting reflection of what truly being a diverse community of learners can mean for the student, the university and the community.”
The HRSA grant also supports a faculty clinical coordinator and student supervisors. Dr. Sarah Shelton from the School of Professional Psychology will continue to serve as the clinical coordinator and PsyD supervisor. School of Social Work Assistant Professor Glynita Bell is the MSW supervisor.
Note: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,048,827 with 0 percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
While Juneteenth has been celebrated for generations, many Americans are still unfamiliar with its history and meaning. As a greater number of government entities, organizations and institutions officially observe Juneteenth this year – it became an official Spalding University holiday in 2020 – it’s an opportunity to understand its historical and modern-day significance.
Juneteenth, or June 19, is recognized as the day in 1865 when Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger informed the enslaved African American people of Galveston, Texas, that they were free, effectively ending slavery in the United States. The Civil War had ended two months earlier, but slave owners in the Confederate territory of Texas had maintained the status quo until Granger’s arrival.
Spalding Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies Dr. Deonte Hollowell said that he would be speaking at a Juneteenth event in his hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on Saturday. At celebratory events like that, he said, it is important to have a historian/storyteller – known in African traditions as a griot – on hand to provide the attendees with the historical context of the occasion.
“It’s a serious celebration,” Hollowell said. “It’s an opportunity to look back and recognize the struggles and achievements of Black people but also a chance to celebrate those accomplishments. Juneteenth should always be about a) educating yourself about those accomplishments, b) celebrating those accomplishments, c) trying to figure how to progress those accomplishments into equality for our people.
“You have to have the celebration and educational moments be a part of it. … (At a Juneteenth celebration), someone can say, ‘OK, what can we do now that we have all of these people here in one space? What can we do to get everyone on the same accord and address some of the issues we have?'”
Hollowell said White people should engage with and celebrate Juneteenth by educating themselves about the history surrounding the holiday and slavery, including acknowledging the role White people played. He said it’s an opportunity for White people to consider how they can support and racial equity, including helping educate or change the mind-sets of White relatives or friends.
Hollowell said that because the U.S. government failed to free all Black enslaved people at the same time in the 1860s, a situation has existed since then in which there has been no universally recognized day to celebrate Black emancipation.
Hollowell said he was unfamiliar with Juneteenth until he was a college student in an African American theatre class at the University of Louisville and participated in a series of Juneteenth plays.
Growing up, his family and community in Western Kentucky recognized the Eighth of August as the primary day to celebrate Black freedom.
He said important dates pertaining to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, are also considered appropriate days to celebrate.
“Even to this day, we find ourselves celebrating at different times,” he said. “That’s fine; I don’t have a problem with us celebrating our freedom (at any time), but it’s a little difficult when it’s not unified.”
“Especially in this current racial climate, we really need to reflect and celebrate what it means to be Black,” Hollowell said. “And you can celebrate what it means to be Black even if you’re White. (For everyone to celebrate that is) what my hope is for Juneteenth.”
Spalding safely returned to in-person Commencement activities Thursday-Saturday, June 3-5, 2021 in celebration of the classes of 2021 and 2020. For 2021, Spalding celebrated a total of 585 graduates who have earned or will earn bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees. The number of graduates in 2020 was 486.
Spalding also honored five individuals for 2021 with the university’s highest awards for faculty, undergraduate students, and alumni. Two retiring faculty members were also honored with the designation of professor emeritus. Here is a rundown of those awards and honors:
BOARD OF TRUSTEES’ OUTSTANDING FACULTY AWARD – Dr. Donna Elkins, Professor, School of Communication
In addition to teaching a range of undergraduate communication courses at Spalding and being an outstanding instructor, Dr. Elkins has been an invaluable resource to her colleagues on the faculty, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and as an expert in online and hybrid teaching, Dr. Elkins was instrumental in helping faculty who needed guidance in suddenly shifting their courses online at the onset of the pandemic. She conducted or arranged for multiple trainings for faculty and has been a constant, available resource over the past year.
Dr. Elkins’ helpfulness, compassion and positivity have earned her the admiration of her colleagues on the faculty, and she has helped build their confidence in learning new ways to teach.
In addition, Dr. Elkins teaches in the Master of Science in Business Communication program, chairs or serves on multiple important faculty committees on campus, and is a dedicated researcher and scholar who frequently presents at conferences and publishes journal articles.
MOTHER CATHERINE SPALDING SERVICE LEARNING AWARD – Jaz’Myne Ware, Bachelor of Science in Social Work
This award is presented to a graduating senior who embodies the spiritual values of faith, hope and charity, which emulate the university’s founder, Mother Catherine Spalding. Ware was chosen for having made a mark on the Spalding community as well as the greater community of Louisville through her service, intellect, and passion for social justice.
Ware completed her senior practicum at Family Scholar House, contributing more than 460 hours of unpaid service in support of single parents and their children as the parents pursue their educational and career goals.
In addition, she has been a work-study in the Spalding Library and is heavily involved in campus organizations and activities.
Ware has been praised by faculty for her deep critical thinking and desire to make connections and integrate her classroom experiences. She made the Dean’s List seven times while maintaining an excellent GPA.
An advocate for equity and social justice, Ware participated in demonstrations last year in support of racial justice, and she is a leader in Spalding’s Sexuality and Gender Acceptance student organization.
Ware has been described as, “cheerfully involved in everything, deeply giving of herself, and a strong advocate for those who have been underrepresented and historically oppressed.”
Ware’s long-term goal is to work in low-income communities of color. She also aspires to raise awareness about the need for social workers and improve young people’s understanding of social work, in order to grow the profession and foster systemic change.
MOTHER ROSE MEAGHER SENIOR AWARD – Kristen Garren, Bachelor of Science in Social Work
The Mother Rose Meagher Senior Award is presented annually to a member of the senior class who has performed well academically and has a proven record as a mature leader and member of the campus community.
Garren was an exemplary student who earned high praise for the meaningful, diligent work she did during her senior practicum at Frazier Rehabilitation Institute. During 475 hours of unpaid service, she supported patients with spinal cord injuries and illnesses with their cases, helping them attain durable medical equipment and receive appropriate care.
Garren’s practicum supervisor described her as a joy to work with and someone who is kind, respectful and empathetic.
In having developed an understanding of trauma-informed care, Garren would like to pursue a career in social work in a medical setting, advocating for patients and families who are navigating the complex health care system. Her effectiveness in social work and understanding of others’ needs is deepened by her background teaching and working in public schools.
Ware, who also earned a minor in addiction studies, is a nine-time Dean’s List selection who has achieved a near-perfect GPA. She has been praised by faculty for her valuable contributions to class discourse.
Her professionalism, helpfulness and proactive approach as a work-study in the Spalding Library and at the enTECH assistive technology resource center have also been praised.
CARITAS MEDAL (Alumna of the year No. 1) – Vicki Hines-Martin
At a time when the nation and world continue to celebrate the contributions of nurses during the pandemic, School of Nursing graduate Dr. Vicki Hines-Martin, who received the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1975) and Master of Arts in Education (1983) from Spalding, was one of two School of Nursing graduates this year to be presented with the Caritas Medal. It is considered the university’s highest honor.
An educator and researcher who is acclaimed for her work focused on health disparities, access to care and healthcare needs of minority populations, Hines-Martin serves as Associate Dean for the University of Louisville School of Nursing’s Office of Community Engagement and Diversity Inclusion, as well as Director of Community Outreach for the U of L Health Sciences Center’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Hines-Martin has been on the full-time faculty at U of L since 1998. She has also taught at the University of Kentucky, Indiana University Southeast and Jefferson Community and Technical College and served on a range of national journal editorial boards, advisory panels and peer review boards.
In addition, from 2019-20, she was President of the International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, and she has served in a variety of roles since 1980 with the Kentucky Nurses Association, including Co-Director of the Kentucky Nurses Helping Nurses Project in 2020.
In addition to her Spalding degrees, Hines-Martin earned a PhD in Nursing from the University of Kentucky (1994) and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati.
CARITAS MEDAL (Alumna of the year No. 2) – Mary Romelfanger
The other School of Nursing graduate to be honored with the Caritas Medal was Mary Romelfanger (BSN, 1976), who has been a longtime leader, administrator and consultant in geriatric and senior care who recently became the Director of Operations for Hildegard House.
Romelfanger, who received the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Spalding in 1976, has been a longtime leader, administrator and consultant in geriatric and senior care who recently became the Director of Operations for Hildegard House, Kentucky’s first and only comfort care home. Hildegard House provides a home and compassionate care for individuals at the end of life who have no home or loved ones to care for them so that they may die with dignity.
Romelfanger previously served as Associate Director for the University of Louisville School of Medicine’s Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging (2013-16), and she was Vice President for Clinical Services for Presbyterian Homes and Services of Kentucky (2008-09). From 1994 to 2005, Romelfanger was Director of the U.S. Office of Health Services for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, and before that she spent 14 years as Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky Board of Nursing.
Romelfanger’s civic service includes membership on the Board of Directors of ElderServe since 2016. She also served on the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Alzheimer’s and Dementia Workforce Assessment Task Force, the Kentucky Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the U of L Department of Family and Geriatrics Advisory Board and the Spalding School of Nursing Advisory Board.
She has recently served as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination volunteer.
DESIGNATION OF FACULTY EMERITUS – Dr. Joseph Maloney, Professor, School of Nursing
Maloney was one two retiring faculty members from the School of Nursing to be honored by the trustees, who deemed that they have left a lasting mark on the university by displaying an intense love of learning and teaching, a powerful dedication to their students and a strong loyalty to Spalding that will be remembered and appreciated for years to come.
Maloney served and taught for 18 years in the School of Nursing. In recent years he has taught in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the areas of medical/surgical nursing and pharmacology. His tenure at Spalding followed a 27-year career in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. In addition to teaching, Dr. Maloney has published more than 30 scholarly articles.
DESIGNATION OF FACULTY EMERITUS – Brother Ignatius Perkins, PhD, Chair and Professor, School of Nursing
Brother Perkins has been a key figure in nursing education at Spalding during its century-long history in downtown Louisville, having served two separate stints as Nursing Chair during more than a decade of total service on the faculty. In addition, Brother Perkins is one of the country’s leading scholars on bioethics and medical ethics, as well a leader in Catholic health care who has held numerous leadership roles within the Dominican Friars. Brother Perkins was Chair of the School of Nursing from 2003 to 2005 while dually serving as Dean of the College of Health and Natural Sciences. He returned to the role of Nursing Chair in 2019. Brother Perkins, who is a graduate of the nursing school and the College of Education, is a past recipient of the Caritas Medal as Alumnus of the Year.
At Commencement, it was also announced that the conference room in the Republic Bank Academic Center will be renamed in honor of Perkins.
2020 AWARD WINNERS
In 2020, the Caritas Medal was awarded posthumously to the late Dr. Perry Sangalli (Doctor of Education, ’98), who was the longtime President at St. Xavier High School and a longtime Spalding trustee. Last year’s Outstanding Faculty Award recipient was Dr. Brenda Nash of the School of Professional Psychology. Psychology Professor Dr. Kenneth Linfield, who retired last year, received the designation as Faculty Emeritus. The undergraduate student award winners were Sally Rother, BFA in Creative Writing, Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award; and Kasim Alsalman, BS in Business Administration, Mother Rose Meagher Senior Award.
As a longtime member of the Board of Trustees and a former board Chair, Paul M. Ratterman has for years been one of the most influential leaders of Spalding University, and the institution has become an important part of his life.
Now, when he advocates for Spalding in the community or when he votes on a board action, he’ll have the additional sense of purpose and pride that comes with being an alumnus of the university.
Ratterman earned the degree of Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership from Spalding’s College of Education and celebrated Thursday, June 3 on the first day of Commencement. Ratterman’s wife, Kim, a Spalding nursing alumna, performed the ceremonial hooding of her husband.
“It’s amazing,” said Paul Ratterman, who joined the Spalding board in 2007 and served as chair from 2014-18. “I never thought I would be a Spalding alum, but here I am. Doing the program changes a lot of how you look at life. It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.”
Ratterman, who serves as Managing Director of Fixed Income Capital Markets for Stifel Financial, is one of three Spalding trustees who have recently earned their EdD from the College Education, along with Dr. John P. Malloy, who also participated in Thursday’s Commencement as part of the Class of 2020, and Dr. Rick Blackwell (2018).
As a veteran of banking and investment for more than 30 years as well as an instructor of the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the ABA International School of Banking, Ratterman was already well-equipped with professional and teaching experience before he sought his doctorate.
But he was intrigued by the opportunity of the EdD program to build on his MBA and professional experience by conducting in-depth research and taking on the challenge of academic rigor.
Ratterman was part of an eight-person cohort for the 2021 EdD, and he said the small size of the cohort was valuable in offering a supportive network for the students. Making those friendships will be his favorite memory of the EdD process, he said.
“We all became very, very close, and that interaction was really where the learning takes place,” Ratterman said. “The faculty was also awesome and did a great job.”
He said the EdD program’s guest speakers and panel discussions on leadership topics – including those of the Abramson Leadership Exchange, which are moderated by Spalding Executive in Residence and former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson – were an enriching addition to the standard curriculum.
“I’d have to rate the quality (of the program) very highly,” Ratterman said. “The Spalding EdD program gave me the opportunity to go much deeper into a topic than I ever would have been able to. And the diversity of the program, diversity of the class allowed me to see things from many different perspectives that I would not have been able to before.”
The doctorate will help expand his opportunities to teach in higher education, said Ratterman, who plans to contribute to the Spalding EdD in the future and be an active alumnus.
Ratterman’s doctoral capstone project was titled, “An Exploration of Ethics Education in U.S. Graduate Banking Schools.”
He interviewed curriculum directors of banking schools around the country about how they teach ethics to students, and he said those banking schools are now eager to read his research conclusions in order to consider ways potentially to improve their programs. Ratterman hopes to publish his findings in a scholarly journal.
Ratterman said serving on the board and studying at Spalding have been rewarding and meaningful.
“It’s exciting to see the growth of the campus from when I started on the board,” he said.
We were much different back then. We’ve more than doubled the campus. We have exciting initiatives in healthcare and physical therapy. Talking to the outside community about Spalding and what it’s doing and how it’s changing lives and the diversity of the school is really powerful. It’s neat to be a part of that.”
What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic?
I remember being in class the weekend the world shut down. With the unknown looming over us, my cohort and I spent our last “normal” weekend pushing through to learn the best methods for setting up our research studies. Little did we know that weekend would be our last in-person event and we would be tasked with additional obstacles as we began our capstones. The unknown of the world and the unknowns of research were stressful. However, my cohort, “The Great 8” (our group nickname) stayed connected and pushed through. In a time where stress and worry could’ve overtaken us, we linked arms (virtually) and continued to hold each other up. We agreed we to cross the finish line together, and that is exactly what we will do on June 3.
Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of:
I’ve been able to make lasting friendships and strong community connections with agencies that I knew nothing about before the EdD program. My new connections to community members, agencies, and even my cohort mates have helped me become a stronger educator and influence the students I’m privileged to teach with amazing ways to help serve and access community resources.
What is something personal about your journey to graduating from Spalding that people may not know but that you’d like to share and that you are proud of?
After accepting my seat in the EdD program, I found out I was expecting my third child. My daughter was born during the launch week of EdD 902. I was proud to have this moment and show my children that no matter your goals in life, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I was able to virtually participate in class and continued to progress through the curriculum. Regardless of the circumstances, my family was always there to help see me through. I’m proud my children were able to see me accomplish something for myself, even when it required a lot of hard work. It was great for them to see how a family bonds together to help support someone they love. So this degree is for me, but it wouldn’t be possible without my husband, three kids (A,E & I), and my parents.
What are your next steps with this degree – job, pursuit of another degree, etc.?
Celebrate with a trip to a Disney World! My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and my EdD degree completion occurred in the same week. So we are going as one big happy family to Disney.
Spalding will celebrate graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 during Commencement, June 3-5, 2021. In the leadup, Spalding is featuring graduates from a range of academic programs. Today’s featured graduate is Felicia Graham, who is earning the degree of Master of Education in Instructional Leadership as part of the first cohort of Spalding’s Aspiring Leaders principal preparation program with Jefferson County Public Schools. Graham is a third-grade teacher at JCPS’s Dunn Elementary School.
How do you feel about your accomplishment of completing your degree and graduating?
There are not enough words to accurately describe how I feel about completing my program and graduating, especially during a pandemic. I feel so much pride and joy in my dedication to finish this commitment. Spalding certainly prepared me for my next step in my career. I am excited to know what my future holds after completing this milestone!
What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic?
It was extremely difficult to balance work, school and other commitments. Truly, I contemplated stopping and pursuing this opportunity at another time. However, I was able to prioritize my responsibilities to make it easier to embrace all of my roles that I maintain on a daily basis. In addition, my cohort members and instructors were a great support system that helped me along my journey. I found out what I was truly made of. I pushed myself to new limits and accomplished my goal of completing my degree and graduating.
What is something specifically about your academic program that you liked or that stands out about Spalding’s program/system that may not be the case at another school?
I liked the hybrid format offered by Spalding because of the flexibility we had in attending both online and in-person classes. I also loved how personable my instructors were. If I needed any assistance, they were readily available at any time. Most importantly, my academic program was an established partnership with the local school system, Jefferson County Public Schools. It was amazing and so powerful to have guest speakers from the district because it made the work that I will be doing very realistic! It was so powerful to hear and learn from local leaders who are experts at their positions for the district I work for. The commitment of Spalding to the community is evident as they are preparing future leaders to lead and improve issues faced in schools. I feel these reasons support why Spalding was the perfect fit for me.
Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of:
Receiving my degree is the best accomplishment that I am most proud of at Spalding. I am a proud alumna and look forward to supporting the school in any way possible in the future. I would like to continue to see Spalding work more with the schools in the community.
What does it mean to you to become a graduate of Spalding University? What do you think you will take with you from your time at Spalding that will serve you well in your career or life?
Being a graduate of Spalding is one accomplishment that I am very proud of! Out of all of my degrees, this one feels different because it was very relatable to the career I am pursuing currently. I grew more as an individual and enjoyed learning so much from people who are acutely aware of what it takes to be an effective administrator. By Spalding incorporating local guest speakers along with readings help make the learning so personable for me. With my degree from Spalding, I know that I will be able to take what I have learned and apply to become a leader of change in Jefferson County Public Schools and also positively affect our communities.
What are some of your favorite aspects and favorite memories bout attending Spalding?
My favorite memories will be all of my instructors that I had this year: Dr. Glenn Baete, Mr. Kirk Lattimore, and Dr. Tracy Barber. They were all very passionate about educating aspiring leaders and sharing valuable lessons that they learned from their experiences. They are still active and aware of the needs of the district, and they truly take pride in sharing their knowledge and helping to prepare others to continue the necessary work to create equitable, high-performing schools. In addition, it was an honor to have my principal, Dr. Barber, to encourage and support me throughout my graduate education and also apply my learning experience at our school. She is a great leader who is dedicated to helping others thrive and succeed!
What is something personal about your journey to graduating from Spalding that people may not know but that you’d like to share and that you are proud of?
In graduating from Spalding, I was able to overcome my negative experiences that I have had relating to racism and equity and actually pursue a career in which I can attempt to change this for others. Students need a school leader who believes in the potential for all students to be successful while doing whatever it takes to provide equitable opportunities to guide and assist them throughout their education. I am so passionate about this work that is needed to make our communities better while creating influential and successful citizens. I am so grateful that Spalding believes and supports making the necessary changes to make the world a better place for all people to be accepted and live in.
Share some information about academic work and capstone project.
My group and I were so honored to present our Capstone project to Dr. Barber and Mr. Lattimore. It was a great culminating activity that encompassed everything we learned. We were able to apply our knowledge while analyzing a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), which is actually the work of a school leader. It was very relatable and a great experience to actually lead the work as if we were administrators. This opportunity also provided ways for us to prioritize, collaborate, guide and lead others, just as we would have to do if we were a principal. Presenting this project allowed for us to work on our public speaking skills while creating an engaging presentation to accommodate the research we conducted. It was a great and useful learning experience!
What are your next steps with this degree?
My next step is to pursue a job as an assistant principal or seek other leadership opportunities within the district. Eventually, I can see myself attending Spalding to seek a Doctorate of Education in Leadership.