Math Student Says at Xavier, You Can Find Ways to Give Back in Any Major

Dec 18, 2019

There’s being involved on campus. Then, there’s being super involved. And then, there’s the Kelly DeLano-level of being involved.

She can’t even name everything she is involved in. Here’s the list the Math major came up with off the top of her head:


Kelly also works in the math lab on campus, and with all of this going on, you may be wondering how she has time for academics. The answer involves superior time management and organization, as she has three (3!) minors: biology, statistics and peace & justice studies.

Kelly, a junior from Grand Rapids, Mich., was drawn to Xavier because of the emphasis on social justice and community service. She appreciated that no matter what major she chose, there was still a way to get involved in those areas.

“I also could tell that people at Xavier genuinely cared for one another,” she said. And that care is something she passes on to others.

Ashley Becker, a junior, said, “Kelly is always there when you need her, ready to help in whatever way she can.”

Kelly’s experiences at Xavier prepared her for an exciting opportunity when, at the end of her sophomore year, she applied for a research assistantship at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. This resulted in Kelly finding a mentor and participating in research over the summer where she explored the association between the environment in which a woman is pregnant in and how that effects the social/emotional development of a child.

It all seems to line up with her future career goal: To combine her love for social justice with her analytical thinking/problem solving skills and work in the healthcare field. She is currently working to have her research published in an epidemiology journal.

That love for social justice led her to discover Xavier’s Alternative Breaks program through the Center for Faith and Justice. After her first AB trip her freshman year, during which she learned about the immigrant experience in Texas, Kelly applied for a board position. Now, in her second year as serving as the financial chair, she’s made a positive impact in how the budget is operated. She noticed that previous financial records had no clear order, so she took it upon herself to organize them in a way that someone with little math/financial knowledge could figure them out. Was any of that expected of her?
“No, it wasn’t, but it was something I wanted to do,” she said. “Improving the transparency of the costs associated with AB needed to be done and it was a way to give back to a program I love.”

In contrast with the all the business in her life, Kelly’s favorite place on campus is the quiet reflection room in the CFJ. In a room filled with comfy pillows and dimmed lights, she can take a moment to breathe and also have very genuine conversations with others.

Emma Bruggeman, who has worked with Kelly in the CFJ, said that in that room, “Kelly wants to get to know others for who they really are, and is able to see the light in everyone.”

While we’d like to learn even more about Kelly, it’s time for her to go.

She has another class to get to. Or homework. Or leading a group.

Or something. Amazingly, with Kelly — it’s always something.

By Mary Bryan, '21, Office of Marketing and Communications