Campus News

UK Land-Grant Engagement announces award recipients, advancing Kentucky through collaboration


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Office of Land-Grant Engagement has announced nine projects — that will focus on community engagement — are receiving supporting funds. This engagement funding will expand collaborative efforts between UK and partners across the Commonwealth while addressing important public needs — strengthening outreach and extension efforts in Kentucky.

“We are excited to see how these projects enhance engagement work,” said Nancy Cox, vice president for land-grant engagement and dean of the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Finding new and collaborative opportunities are essential in carrying out our land-grant mission of improving lives and advancing Kentucky.”

The nine proposals selected for funding demonstrated outstanding partnerships both within and outside of UK, including important connections with Cooperative Extension Service.

Awardees and the primary contacts include:  

  • Appalachia Corps: Kathryn Engle, UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies, UK College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Arts Preparedness in Kentucky: Leah Hamilton, UK College of Fine Arts 
  • Assessing Access to Care: Melody Ryan, UK College of Pharmacy 
  • Building Bridges of Trust: Sarah Geegan, UK College of Communication and Information 
  • Building Community of Practice: Nicole Breazeale, Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Community and Leadership Development; Margaret McGladrey, UK College of Public Health 
  • Empowering STEM: Philip Lee, UK Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering 
  • Equipping Extension Professionals: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment  
  • Growing Our Own: Melody Flowers, UK Economic Development Collaborative 
  • Together We Can: Maria Cahill, UK College of Communication and Information 

UK Engage’s visioning process produced this competitive grant program, identifying strategies and goals for advancing land-grant engagement and aligning funding with important priority areas. Those priorities include industry and workforce development, health and wellness, community vitality and economic development, youth leadership and service, community areas, and the land-grant university partnership.

The UK Engage website features a full list of projects, partners and brief descriptions.

To learn more about the Engagement Academy and Land-Grant Engagement, visit

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.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.