Campus News

UK Students Recognized as 1st Social Media Ambassadors

A post by the Social Media Ambassadors in response to COVID-19.
A post by the Social Media Ambassadors in response to COVID-19.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 30, 2020) During the Spring 2020 semester, the University of Kentucky established the first Social Media Ambassador Program geared toward enhancing the University of Kentucky social media channels.

Upon completing an application and interview process, eight students from various disciplines were selected to be ambassadors.

Ambassadors are encouraged to create student-centered content for various platforms like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. These students are responsible for brainstorming and submitting creative ideas.

The social media ambassadors include:

  • Lennox Brinks, agricultural economics, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; 
  • Shauna Claiborne, journalism, College of Communication and Information;
  • Katelyn Dougherty, integrated strategic communication, College of Communication and Information;
  • Sofia Espinoza, integrated strategic communication, College of Communication and Information;
  • Nick Joseph, marketing and management, Gatton College of Business and Economics;
  • Jeremy Middleton, integrated strategic communication, College of Communication and Information;
  • Mary Glenn Powell, integrated strategic communication, College of Communication and Information; and
  • Chaney Willett, integrated strategic communication, College of Communication and Information.

“We want to appeal to current students while also trying to recruit new students, so it is essential to create content that each audience is interested in,” said Blair Conner, UK social media manager.  

According to Katelyn Dougherty, a senior in the College of Communication and Information, the program has given her the tools to feel completely at home in this position. “In my years at UK, CI has prepared me to take on being a social media ambassador through my coursework and several opportunities within the college.”

Tasks for these students include keeping up with the latest social media trends and transforming them into relevant content for the UK community.

Being the first year for the program, the social media ambassadors are paving the way for the continuation of this program and working to adapt to all scenarios. With the recent transition to online learning, the ambassadors are interested in keeping the campus connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just because we are no longer on campus doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected, and the nature of social media allows us to do so. We’re using hashtags like #LearnAnywhereUKY, #TeachAnywhere and #WorkAnywhereUKY to show that we are still a united university,” Espinoza said.

The ambassadors are looking forward to returning to campus, but until then, they are keeping the university connected through social media.

For any questions about the program, contact Blair Conner at

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.