Campus News

'Behind the Blue': UK journalism alumna Ashley Westerman tells the stories of everyday life in war-torn Ukraine

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2022) — Part of the mission of the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information is to teach students how to communicate effectively, obtain and evaluate information, and to create, produce and disseminate effective communication messages. Implementing that mission into their careers, many of the college’s graduates are doing important work in their area of study that often takes them across the globe.

Ashley Westerman is one such graduate. A 2010 journalism major from Western Kentucky, she has lived out her dream of working in public radio. Currently, she is a producer for National Public Radio (NPR) based in Kiev, Ukraine, where she and her team cover the current war there, and the stories of the Ukrainian people living day-to-day in uncertainty.

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," Westerman talks about growing up in Kentucky and the importance of attending the University of Kentucky, how her career path took her from Washington, D.C., to southeast Asia and eventually Ukraine, and how her mentors and teachers at UK prepared her for the unpredictable path her career as a journalist has led her on.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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