Campus News

#WomenOfUK: Alumna Plays Pivotal Role at CBS News

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2019) — The University of Kentucky community is celebrating Women’s History Month. Throughout March, UKNow will feature the women — past and present — on whose shoulders we stand and whose hard work has made our achievements possible. With a combination of fierce resolve and deep compassion, UK women have left indelible marks on our university. Join us as we highlight these #WomenOfUK.

During the week, Cathy Black is laser-focused on her job as a CBS News senior producer and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) liaison. 

But on the weekend, she thinks about returning home to Lexington on a plane to cheer on her beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

Such is the life for Black, who works with all CBS News broadcasts, including "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Evening News," as well as the BBC, a CBS News partner.

A Lexington native, there was never any doubt that the University of Kentucky was where she would attend.

It's a decision she's never regretted.

"It just proved to be everything I thought it would be," Black said from the CBS News Hub in New York City where she now lives. "UK has something for everybody, and I think that's what really drew me to the school. The history is so great and broad. It offers so many great opportunities across the board."

In particular, Black cites the individual attention she received from professors in the College of Communication and Information as being key to her success. Professors, she says, helped her line up internships at TV stations in Lexington and Washington. They also cultivated her interest in producing.

"They gave me an opportunity to earn credit off campus while I was in school," Black said. "They didn't limit me, and when they saw the need for an internship program they developed it immediately. The faculty was great. The department really honed in on each student and the individual things they were interested in, and that is what I really appreciated. The professors there were really tuned in with each student, and I really honestly wouldn't be here today at CBS News … if it weren't for UK, because they gave me the foundation and laid the groundwork for my career."

Black says a number of scholarships helped her family, one in which two other children were attending college as well. The experience and the help meant so much that Black recently started a scholarship, named for her mother.

Now, Black relishes the opportunity to return home on weekends to a city with plenty of shopping and "so much beauty … driving through horse farms."

Flying back to Lexington, she inevitably runs into other Wildcat fans.

"It is fun flying in when there's a game, and everyone on the plane is going to the game and there's excitement," she said. "The fever still exists."

Coming home reminds her of the education and opportunities she and other family members received at UK — opportunities that laid a foundation to work on a national stage at one of the country's most revered and historic TV networks.

"You're going to get support from a diverse group of students and professors," Black said. "The opportunities that you're going to be offered, just based on my experience alone, are worth going there. The sky is the limit. It really comes down to how much you want to put into it. … When people ask me 'Where did you go to school,' I'm proud to say, 'the University of Kentucky!' I bleed blue. I'm a Wildcat. It's everything that I thought it would be. I'm here because of the education I got at UK."

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This is a photo of Cathy Black, CBS News Senior Producer
This is a photo of Cathy Black, Senior Producer at CBS News

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.