Professional News

Ashford Receives Science and Teaching Awards

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 6, 2011) − Kristin Ashford, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing recently received two awards in recognition of her outstanding research and teaching skills.

Ashford received the Kentucky Nurses Association Education and Research Cabinet Nurse Researcher of the Year 2010 Award. Ashford's program of research focuses on prevention of preterm birth, including the effects of prenatal secondhand smoke exposure on maternal and infant outcomes. Because of her expertise in smoking and birth outcomes, she was asked by the Kentucky Department for Public Health to develop a program to reduce smoking by pregnant women.

In 2007, Ashford was the first faculty member from the College of Nursing selected as a Scholar in the "Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health Program," funded by the National Institutes of Health. Under this program, Ashford conducted interdisciplinary research with senior members from the UK Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry. She published, presented, conducted research, participated in interdisciplinary training and wrote grant proposals during this time.

Ashford also received the 2010 Outstanding Early Career Outstanding College/University Teacher Award from the Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS). Ashford is highly regarded as a role model for outstanding teaching and mentoring” and has demonstrated highly effective teaching in both the classroom and in clinical settings.

Colleagues also note that Ashford uses many innovative strategies and multi-sensory approaches to engage her students including the use of birthing simulation manikins, Turning Point software technology, integration of movie themes/ clips as teaching tools, and a wide variety of visual aids and learning tools. Ashford’s students rate her as consistently “excellent,” and note that her enthusiasm about the course material greatly enhances their learning.

"Dr. Ashford is true to her philosophy of encouraging students to take a proactive approach in their learning by fostering an environment in which they are stimulated to think critically," said Jane Kirschling, dean of the UK College of Nursing. "She believes in promoting academic growth in a non-threatening but challenging atmosphere where students can achieve their personal and professional goals."