Berkshire School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Alumni Council is pleased to announce that Dr. Kelly Price Noble ’82 will be joining as the new Council Co-Chair. Partnering with current Chair Rob Jacobs ’04, Kelly is eager to work with Council members and in alignment with the School’s strategic DEI priorities, to develop initiatives and programming that supports and celebrates the diverse identities and experiences of our Berkshire community.
Supporting DEI initiatives is not new for Kelly. For over a year she has held the position of National Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager for the nonprofit, U.S. VETS. In her role, she is responsible for promoting DEI programs for both veterans and staff, including implementing training on inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, and microaggressions. She has also been instrumental in helping change many of the existing policies and procedures within the organization.
Prior to her position with the U.S. VETS, Kelly was Chair for the College of Health Professions at University of Phoenix. In that position, she reviewed curriculum to ensure that the students were receiving the most up-to-date and relevant information to pursue careers and advance in the healthcare industry. In addition, as clinical researcher, and Executive Director for the Paralyzed Veterans at the VA San Diego Health Care System, she supported and advocated for both service-connected and non-service-connected veterans with spinal cord dysfunctions. She felt that these vets were often ignored and unable to get the care and treatment they needed. Kelly says her professional mission was to, "care for those not only carried off the field, but for those who did the carrying."
Kelly has guided much of her personal and professional life by following her mantra, “Blessed with Activity.” The phrase has given her so much inspiration, that in 2018 she published her first book, “Blessed with Activity: A Mindfulness Journey.” The book suggests ways to live your life to the fullest and stay focused on what matters. Something that Kelly practices daily and which is most evident within her career choices.
Kelly grew up as an Air Force “brat” and had a stint as a Casual Assistance Calls Officer for a Reconnaissance Squadron in the Navy. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in English, French, and Third World Relations; and earned a Master of Organizational Management and Doctorate in Health Administration from University of Phoenix. She has DEI certifications from Cornell University and University of South Florida.
Read the Q and A below to learn more about Kelly’s professional background, her eagerness to join the DEI Alumni Council, and her memories of Berkshire.
You have a multi-faceted career. What excites and challenges you the most professionally?
As far as my career, what excites me is having a mission statement. After reading “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” I chose a mission statement that would help guide me for the rest of my life. My mission is to affect people positively one person at a time.
In addition, when I began helping paralyzed veterans, I found my calling. I helped those who were carried off the field, as well as those doing the carrying.
The DEI Alumni Council is so pleased to have you join as the new co-chair. What interested you most about joining the Council?
In the long run, this is one way I can give back to the Berkshire School community. Helping people understand DEI and the essential conversation which surrounds the topic are ever critical. Helping people to understand we are humans, we need to get along. I gave a lecture on emotional intelligence last week and used the song “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along” by Hank Williams, Jr. Amazing! I want to help move the needle to the next level.
Can you tell us a little about your book, “Blessed with Activity: A Mindfulness Journey?”
“Blessed with Activity” is my mantra. When people ask, “How are you?” I say, “Blessed with Activity.” I make my schedule; I plan my day/activities. I choose the level of my activity where some, like my paralyzed veterans, could not. I could walk into the hospital and into my office. I could bound from one place to another without someone else’s assistance. I could not complain. I had choices. When I worked at Gallaudet University, I learned American Sign Language. Working with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and then paralyzed veterans has made me quite humble. I am truly “Blessed with Activity.”
What attributes did you learn at Berkshire that you have carried into your professional life?
Berkshire helped prepare me for college and the world. I developed a better sense of teamwork and focus. I would say to those following: find your focus, explore, and ask as many questions as possible. People tell you no question is stupid; well, they are correct! I always told my students, if a professor tells you he or she can learn nothing from you, RUN! We are always learning.
What was one of your fondest memories of your time under the Mountain?
Some I can tell; some I cannot! The days I was nominated as a prefect then a tour guide were two wonderful days. I was given two grand responsibilities: to authorize reasonable discipline and to take new families around the school, my home, for two years. Then there was the bat that flew into our room one rainy night during study hall. Boy, Mr. T. thought we were crazy! [The late Dr. David Terpenning, affectionately known as "Mr. T" taught math and coached soccer.] My roommate, Weezy, (Louise Leonard ‘81) and I screamed, chasing it out with a tennis racket!