UK Happenings

College of Education Hosts Symposium on Gender and Equity in Education

Kayla Johnson, Melinda Lemke, Hollie Mackey
Kayla Johnson, Melinda Lemke, Hollie Mackey

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2020) — A symposium featuring speakers focused on gender and equity in education will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the University of Kentucky College of Education (Taylor Education Building auditorium).

The event is sponsored by the UK College of Education Inclusiveness Committee. Featured presentations include:

Collaborating as an Outsider-Insider: Developing Culturally Grounded Curriculum with Marginalized Students and Communities

Kayla Johnson is a visiting assistant professor in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Cincinnati. She performs interdisciplinary, collaborative and international P-20 work, with a primary focus in higher education. In her research, Johnson uses visual participatory and student voice-centered methods to explore equitable and learning-centered practices in study abroad and service-learning, as well as processes for collaborating with indigenous and other marginalized communities to make their education more socially just. She is also co-founder of Centro Educativo Pallata Ayllu, a nonprofit, culturally grounded education center that serves Quechua-speaking indigenous children and adults in the Peruvian Andes. Prior to her current role, Johnson was a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Originally from Appalachia, she is also a proud graduate of UK’s Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, where she earned her master’s in 2014.

Youth Violence, Sexual Trauma, and Schools: Responsibly Framing and Focusing the Conversation

Melinda Lemke is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. An interdisciplinary, qualitative educational policy researcher, her body of work focuses on the politics of education, normative culture and how educational organizations address the needs of underserved youth. Lemke has researched curriculum policy reform and implementation; gender violence and prevention; immigration and trafficking policy; refugee student trauma and resettlement; and practitioner self-care. Prior to her position at UB, she held a postdoctoral research position at Swansea University’s Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law. Her research and teaching also is shaped by a previous career in U.S. urban public education.

Leadership, Advocacy, and Social Change: Thoughts on Equity in Indian Country

Hollie J. Mackey is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne nation and associate professor at North Dakota State University. Her scholarship empirically examines structural inequity of indigenous and other marginalized populations in educational leadership and public policy. As an experienced policy consultant, public speaker, program evaluator and community educator, she seeks to bridge theory and practice as a means of addressing complex social issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. She serves as the director of the Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education and associate co-director of the Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network. Mackey recently designed and currently serves as founding director of the RAVEN Project (Reconciling Accountability and Visibility for Engaged Native Communities), a multi-state collaborative policy and prevention initiative addressing missing and murdered indigenous persons.

Pizza will be provided, so please RSVP here. To request a dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegetarian pizza option, please email

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.