Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Suzanne McGinnis and Laneshia Conner talk employee affinity groups at UK

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2023) — At the start of every academic semester here at the University of Kentucky, there is often discussion regarding the importance of belonging for our students. But, what about our employees? UK was recently recognized for the sixth consecutive year as a great college to work for, according to a survey conducted by ModernThink. One of the reasons UK received that honor is because of its efforts to create spaces for employees to find belonging.

Employee affinity groups at the University of Kentucky (EAGs@UK) are voluntary clusters of employees who share common interests. These groups play an important role in building community, articulating collective concerns and promoting employees’ holistic well-being. EAGs@UK also advance the university’s goals and strategic priorities around creating a campus culture of inclusion, belonging and expansion. The primary focus of EAGs@UK is to advance inclusive excellence by supporting the connection, collaboration, work-life and well-being of every employee throughout the institution.

Suzanne McGinnis and Laneshia Conner serve as co-leads for two of the university’s EAGs: McGinnis with the Asian and Asian American Affinity Group and Conner with the African American, Black, African Diaspora Affinity Group. On this episode of "Behind the Blue," they talk about UK’s Employee Affinity Groups and their mission to build community, help members provide support for one another, and advocate for the needs of minority employees on campus.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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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.