Campus News

Martin School to Honor Jeana Dunlap, Mike Duncan at Annual Award Ceremony

 LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2019) — The University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy and Administration will hold its annual Alumni and Friends Reception to honor Jeana Dunlap with the Distinguished Alumni Award and to induct Mike Duncan into the Kentucky Public Service Hall of Fame Friday, Nov. 22, at the Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall in Lexington.

Jeana Dunlap, an urbanist and community development practitioner, was a 1989 Governor's Scholar at Centre College who earned her master’s in public administration (MPA) from the Martin School in 2006. She also earned a master's from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Dunlap was one of nine members of the 2018-19 Loeb Fellowship class at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. This prestigious fellowship recognizes exceptional mid-career practitioners from around the world for their achievement and potential, and includes a year of independent study at Harvard.

She became Louisville’s director of redevelopment strategies in 2016 as the city received a competitive $29.5 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to redevelop the Beecher Terrace public housing complex in the historic Russell neighborhood.

In addition to affordable housing and place-making initiatives, Dunlap also has been instrumental in fostering a community-wide dialogue on the issue of past and present redlining practices.

“Jeana has earned a well-deserved national reputation as an innovator in community development,” said Ron Zimmer, director of the Martin School. “We are very proud of what she has accomplished and she is most deserving of the the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.”

Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, of Inez, is a Kentuckian whose career has touched the highest levels of government and politics over the course of four decades. He is also a UK College of Law graduate.

Duncan currently serves as chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service and also chairs the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships

His federal government service began in 1989 with an appointment to the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange.  Duncan was also assistant director of the White House Office of Public Liaison under President George H.W. Bush.  He was on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors from 2006-2011, serving as the board’s chair from 2009-2010.

In addition to his government service, Duncan was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2007-2009 and president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.  He is chairman of the Board of Trustees at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, and chairman and CEO of the Inez Deposit Bank. 

“Mike Duncan’s career personifies the meaning of citizen involvement in government service and the political process,” Zimmer said.  “He has affected public policy in countless ways from both inside and outside of government. He has served with distinction in every position he has held, earning widespread respect for his dedication and commitment.”

The Hall of Fame was established by the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration in 2012 to recognize individuals for outstanding achievement in public service.  Last year’s honoree was long-time Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.

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 four 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 five 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.