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Oliverio Insights on Success
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Distinguished Faculty Member Shares Insights on Success, Character

Notre Dame College Assistant Professor of Education and Reading Specialist Kathleen Oliverio, Ed.D., knows success.

The winner of the 2013 Distinguished Faculty Award also knows that success is measured in many ways: by wealth, power and hard work, among others.

Oliverio shared famous opinions on achievement with the nearly 100 students present to receive 2013-2014 President’s List and Dean’s List academic honors in Regina Auditorium.

“This evening is about success, your success. We are celebrating a quantitative measure of your success as indicated by your grade-point average,” she told the students.

But she also shared her own insights on accomplishment, noting that external gauges like awards and honors are only the start.

“Success is objective and subjective… there is more to it. Success and integrity go hand in hand. And to take success to a higher level, that is character,” she said.

Oliverio conveyed famous descriptions of character, too: To do everything and ask for nothing, to laugh often and leave the world better, what you do when no one is watching.

Always the teacher, rather than imparting her own personal definition of the distinguishing trait, she advised the students of steps to further develop their own.

“When you leave Notre Dame, you will have your GPA. You will have some awards, too. But what will be your personal profile?” she asked.

First, the faculty member—who supervises 18 adjunct reading instructors in addition to teaching a full courseload—told students they can develop their character by continuing to learn from her colleagues.

“Respect the faculty. They have so much to offer you. They have been where you want to go. They know how to help you,” she said.

Second, according to Oliverio, students can take advantage of the campus chapel.

“It is a place where you can be alone… to think about your character, where you are going, how you can make yourself even better,” she said.

And one of the best ways for the students to develop their character is by striving beyond the traditional measures of success for which they are being honored this night, she said.

“Your dreams are big. I’m glad. But you need passion behind them. You are setting the stage with these good grades to make a difference,” she said. “You had to work your way here. You are still working toward a future to have the best chance you can.”

Since she started working at Notre Dame College in 2004, Oliverio has written 17 online reading courses and now is working to add a dyslexia certificate at the College.

She teaches in the Teacher Education Evening Licensure program, directs the reading practicum for master’s and bachelor’s degree students and conducts the reading field experience for undergraduate and graduate students.

In addition, Oliverio developed her character as the education department liaison to the College’s assessment committee, advisor for the education council and serves on the Faculty Advisory Council. She also is a member of the International Dyslexic Association Development Team.

And always in character as the consummate educator, Oliverio ended her address to the honorees with a simple test. She asked the audience: “What you do with your success is all driven by your …”

“Character,” they all answered.