Campus News

UK launches Engagement Academy to advance land-grant mission

Alex Elswick, assistant extension professor in a classroom
Alex Elswick, assistant extension professor, leads a public health substance use recovery program in Lexington. His program is one example of the kind of projects that will be discussed at the Engagement Academy. Mark Cornelison l UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2023)  The University of Kentucky’s Land-Grant Engagement Office announced its first annual Engagement Academy, marking a significant milestone in UK’s commitment to serving the Commonwealth.

The Engagement Academy, developed under the leadership of Nancy Cox, vice president of Land-grant Engagement and dean of the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the UK Engage Visioning Committee, will bring together faculty and staff from across the university with a common interest in engagement and outreach in Kentucky communities.

“We are responsible for taking care of Kentucky's citizens,” said Cox. “The Engagement Academy is an opportunity for UK’s faculty and staff to collaborate with their peers and with communities across Kentucky to identify and solve real-time problems.”

The academy will take place Sept. 13 and 14. The first day will consist of seminars, discussion and a review of projects that could lead to campuswide collaborations. The second day will include a tour of several campus-community engagement efforts within the state. An opportunity to apply for pilot-project funding will be announced later.

All interested individuals are invited to apply at:

“I want to thank Dr. Capilouto for his vision in setting this up,” said Cox. “The Engagement Academy is an opportunity for us to work ‘of, for, and with Kentucky.’"

If you have questions about the program, please contact academy leaders Ken Jones at or Kim Henken at

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.