Professional News

2021 Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisors Named

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 25, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Advising Network has recently announced the recipients of the 2021 Ken Freedman Awards during the Ken Freedman Day of Recognition virtual awards ceremony. 

Each year, the Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award is presented by the UK Advising Network to one full-time professional advisor and one faculty advisor for outstanding service. Ken Freedman, the award’s namesake, was one of the founders of the UK Advising Network in 1986 and served as a professional advisor at UK until his death in 2001. 

Awardees received a $500 monetary award from UK Student and Academic Support, a unit of Student Success. Awardees in all categories are also nominated by the UK Advising Network for the Region 3 and National NACADA (academic advising association) awards. 

This year’s professional advisor award went to Jennifer Riggs Doerge from the College of Engineering. Riggs Doerge currently serves as the senior director of Advising and Student Success in the College of Engineering and works with the Scholars in Engineering and Management (SEAM) Honors pathway students. 

Riggs Doerge started at UK in 2006 as an account manager in the computer science department where she discovered her true calling: academic advising. Riggs Doerge had a close mentor who helped mold her into the advisor she is today, her mother, Jane Riggs, who worked for years in the College of Engineering as the advising director. 

As a freshmen advisor, Riggs Doerge is grateful to play an instrumental role in helping students transition from high school to college. She is proud that many keep in touch as they progress through their majors and even after graduation.  

This year’s faculty advisor award winner is Sherali Zeadally from the College of Communication and Information. Zeadally is an associate professor and a university research professor in the School of Information Science in the College of Communication and Information. He teaches undergraduate/graduate courses in cybersecurity and privacy in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) program. Over the years, he was won several outstanding teaching, research and advising awards. 

NACADA Aligned Award winners include:

Outstanding New Advisor: Heather Hardesty, College of Health Sciences

Innovative Advising: Nathan Vanderford, College of Medicine

Outstanding Advising Administrator: Casey Shadix, College of Health Sciences

To watch the virtual awards ceremony, click here. To see the full list of previous Ken Freedman awardees, click here; to see the full list of University of Kentucky advisors recognized by NACADA, click here.

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.