Professional News

University Senate announces 2023 Outstanding Senators

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2023) — The University Senate has named two University of Kentucky faculty members as 2023’s Outstanding Senators, and one faculty member has been awarded the Senate’s 2023 Outstanding Service Award.

The Outstanding Senator Award recognizes exemplary service, notable contributions, a consistently strong voice and effectively promoting and supporting the goals of the University Senate. Current and former senators are eligible to be nominated for the award, and winners are selected annually by the Senate Award Committee of the Senate Council.

The Senate’s Outstanding Service Award was granted for the first time this year. The selection requirements are similar to that of the Outstanding Senator Award, however, all regular full-time faculty are eligible to receive the Outstanding Service Award.

The 2023 Outstanding Senator Award recipients are:

  • Sara Police, professor in the UK College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences; and
  • Richard Charnigo, professor in the UK College of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics.

The 2023 Outstanding Service Award recipient is:

  • Kristine Urschel, associate professor in the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

Richard Charnigo  

Charnigo is a dedicated member of the University Faculty Senate and is serving his third term as a senator. He currently serves as a member of the Senate Academic Programs Committee and as chair of the Senate Calendar Committee.

"(Charnigo’s) exceptional attention to detail in reviews and communications regarding the university calendars makes the Senate Calendar Committee’s work seamless,” said Sandra Bastin, vice chair of the Senate Council.

Throughout his tenure, Charnigo has demonstrated a tireless dedication to the betterment of the academic environment.

"Richard’s tenacious perseverance during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with his dedication to our shared governance here at the university makes him a perfect candidate for this award," said DeShana Collett, chair of the University Senate Council. "Richard's ability to navigate complex institutional structures and bring about positive change has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers."

Sara Police

During her tenure as a University Senator, Police has served on a number of committees, including the Senate Technology Committee and the Senate Ad Hoc Teaching Course Evaluations Committee, as well as currently chairing the Senate Committee on Distance and e-Learning.

In addition to serving as a University Senator, Police serves the university as director of Nutritional Sciences Education, director of Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine, and faculty advisor of the Nutritional and Pharmacology Students Association.

"Sara Police has worked tirelessly to uphold the Senate rules and regulations, while conscientiously working with proposers and reviewers for successful resolutions," Bastin said. "She has been a strong advocate for academic success in her tenure as a faculty senator.”

Kristine Urschel

Urschel serves the University Senate as the chair of the Undergraduate Council, which functions to review proposals for new and revised undergraduate courses and programs.

"Kristine has proven to be an articulate spokesperson for faculty concerns, effectively conveying the needs and aspirations of the academic community to the university administration," Bastin said."(She) has demonstrated spirited leadership and a passion for innovation that makes her perfect for this award. She has made substantive contributions to the Senate while working with the faculty at large on important issues that impact the faculty mission at the University of Kentucky.”

Selection criteria for the Outstanding Senator Award include:

  1. Nominee has contributed to the University Senate by showing active and exemplary service on one or more Senate committees during his/her tenure.
  2. Nominee has made notable substantive contributions in communicating with the Senate and administration while working with the faculty at large on important issues that impact the faculty mission at the University of Kentucky.
  3. Nominee has consistently given strong voice to faculty issues in forums such as Senate meetings, public events, and/or local/regional news media and actively defended the principle of shared governance in UK forums and debates.
  4. Nominee is effective in promoting and supporting the Senate’s broader agenda and goals.

For more information, visit the webpage here.

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.