LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2019) — Dr. Marian Swope has done it all: University of Kentucky College of Medicine graduate, professor and a pioneering physician. She was recently recognized at the College’s first Faculty of Color Network (FCN) Gala held on Oct. 18.
Swope started teaching soon after finishing medical school but that wasn’t always the plan. Becoming a doctor with altruistic plans of providing medical treatment to the underserved was her ultimate goal. However, the mission of education, research and clinical care in medical school and residency helped lay the groundwork for her future. Now Swope’s time at UK has amounted to about 30 years, and she contributes that to UK’s atmosphere.
“The academic setting at the University is a very stimulating work environment,” says Swope. “The mission of the University makes me enjoy providing patient care, administrative work, mentoring and educating even more.”
Swope is professor in the Department of Psychiatry and specializes in child psychiatry. She was honored at the gala for being a pioneering physician of color. Swope feels grateful, but says she’s still working on feeling worthy of following so many pioneers who came before her.
“There are many other programs on campus that recognize people of color, but this has a different feel to me,” says Swope. “It’s especially an honor to have them reach out to the College of Medicine specifically.”
The Faculty of Color Network was established in the College of Medicine in 2018. It is designed to advocate for African-American and Hispanic members of the school’s faculty. Minorities in the field of medicine have had a long history of being underrepresented, but Swope says she has always felt a sense of unity with people of color at UK.
“Being recognized for this is such an honor, but it also raises consciousness and lets people know that we do have people of color here that are ready to serve,” says Swope.
The FCN continues to champion and celebrate people of color year-round. It is an organization completely committed to recognizing the progress that College of Medicine faculty members are making in their respective fields. The organization has created a platform to honor individuals within the College for the innovative work they do for the University.
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 three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, 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 four 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.