LATROBE, PA – Dr. Julia Cavallo, Saint Vincent College director of assessment and institutional research, has been named executive director of the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities (ABCU).
Cavallo, who will remain in her position at Saint Vincent, will be responsible for helping to advance the needs and priorities and increasing the visibility and viability of the ABCU, a consortium of 13 Catholic, Benedictine higher education institutions from across the U.S. and Canada committed to academic and professional excellence by concretizing Gospel values as interpreted by the Rule of Saint Benedict.
“I am humbled and honored to take on the role of ABCU executive director,” Cavallo stated. “I see this opportunity as ABCU’s executive director as a way to make a far-reaching contribution to helping students achieve academic excellence by promoting the common good of Church and society and assisting young people to lead lives of balance, generosity and integrity.”
“Congratulations to Dr. Cavallo on this well-deserved appointment,” said Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., Saint Vincent College president. “It is critically important for Benedictine colleges and universities to forge ahead with a single mission. It is providential that Dr. Cavallo will have the opportunity to take the lead in this effort, as her presence at Saint Vincent, the first Benedictine college in the U.S., offers a unique and historic perspective.”
In advancing the mission and reach of the ABCU, Cavallo will oversee a number of initiatives, including the organization’s annual Benedictine Leadership Formation Institute and its Benedictine Pedagogy Conference for faculty.
“In 2018,” she recalled, “Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B. (former Saint Vincent College president) invited me to the Benedictine Leadership Institute at Saint Anselm College. It was an opportunity to hear about how other Benedictine schools operate and how to reflect more deeply on my own role advancing our mission. It was extremely valuable.”
A native of Hastings, Pennsylvania, Cavallo has worked at Saint Vincent College since 2006. After two years working as a public relations associate, she transitioned to the Office of Academic Affairs, where she worked on special projects and in assisting the registrar. She took over institutional research responsibilities in 2013 and in 2018 added the role of director of assessment.
She graduated with honors from Saint Vincent with a bachelor of arts in communication, before earning a master’s in curriculum and instruction from SVC in 2009. In June 2020, she completed her doctorate in education, with a concentration in higher education management, from the University of Pittsburgh.
Prior to attending Saint Vincent College, Cavallo also attended Catholic elementary and high schools and is passionate about the significance of Catholic education.
“I feel strongly about our Catholic, Benedictine identity and I really believe in what we do at Saint Vincent,” she stated. “We develop our students just as our mission states – both professionally and personally, spiritually and emotionally – as we help prepare them for happy lives while seeking truth in all that they do. That can be said for all of the Benedictine colleges in the U.S. and Canada and it is something that I look forward to helping advance.
“With so much uncertainty and so many injustices in the world,” she continued, “it is vitally important that Benedictine institutions continue to serve as beacons of hope for students as they prepare for their careers and live meaningful lives.”
The 13 institutions which comprise the ABCU include Saint Vincent College, St. Peter’s College (Muenster, Saskatchewan), Saint Leo University (Saint Leo, Florida), Benedictine University (Lisle, Illinois), Benedictine College (Atchison, Kansas), College of Saint Benedict (St. Joseph, Minnesota), College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, Minnesota), Saint John’s University (Collegeville, Minnesota), Saint Anselm College (Manchester, New Hampshire), Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, North Carolina), University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota), Mount Marty University (Yankton, South Dakota) and Saint Martin’s University (Lacey, Washington).
PHOTO: Dr. Julia Cavallo, Saint Vincent College director of assessment and institutional research.