Professional News

WELD Participants Announced for 2019-2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2019) — The Women’s Executive Leadership Development (WELD) program at the University of Kentucky has announced a group of 25 faculty and staff members selected to participate in the fourth cohort of the program. 

The eight-month WELD program is designed to develop the next generation of UK leaders through retreats, monthly meetings, conversations with upper level administrators and a group project. 

Those selected to participate in WELD during the 2019-2020 academic year are:

Adedokun (Lola) Omolola, senior extension evaluation specialist, Nutrition Education Program, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment;                       

Jitana Benton-Lee, patient care manager, Trauma Surgical Services, UK HealthCare;

Trisha Clement-Montgomery, director, Residence Life;

Esther Dupont-Versteegden, professor and director of Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program, Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health Sciences;    

Allison Elliott-Shannon, director of communication, College of Public Health;

Cara Franke, associate director of undergraduate admission, Enrollment Management;

April Hatcher, associate professor, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine;

Melissa Henke, associate clinical professor and director of Legal Research and Writing Program, College of Law;

Lori Hetzel, associate director, School of Music, College of Fine Arts;   

Nicole Keenan, director of student success and career development, College of Pharmacy;

Barbara Knutson, professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Chemicals and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering;

TK Logan, professor, Department of Behavioral Science, College of Medicine;

Kim Lush, director, Endowment and Gift Accounting, Accounting and Financial Reporting Services;

Sarah Madison, director of manager of employer relations, Gatton College of Business and Economics;

Kristen Mark, associate professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, College of Education;

Shari Meyerson, professor, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine;

Lindsay Ragsdale, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine;

Paula Sandford, assistant dean for finance, College of Fine Arts;

Asha Shenoi, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, assistant dean of clinical learning environment, College of Medicine;

Laura Sutton, director of philanthropy, College of Arts and Sciences;

Akiko Takenaka, associate professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences;

Elizabeth Tovar, associate professor, College of Nursing and Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine;

Donna Wilcock, professor, Department of Physiology, College of Medicine;

Julia Wilson, director of communications, College of Design; and

Olivia Yinger, associate professor, School of Music, College of Fine Arts;

"I am happy to welcome the 2019 cohort to our WELD program. I look forward to guiding them on this next phase of their leadership journey," said WELD Director Hollie Swanson, who is also a professor in the UK College of Medicine. "The high caliber of this group is a testament to all of the highly qualified individuals who applied, the strong support of their sponsors and the dedicated work of our WELD Advisory and Selection Committees.”

The WELD program will officially kick off with a lecture by Shirley Raines, former president of the University of Memphis and former dean of the UK College of Education, at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the Lexmark Room in the Main Building. Raines' talk will be about leading change, and it is open to the public.

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 two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  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 three 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.