February 2021: AmeriCorps VISTA Spotlight

Meet Jennifer Toyo Jennifer Toyo serves at Northern Kentucky University as the VISTA Coordinator for NKU R.O.C.K.S. (Responsibility, Opportunity, Community, Knowledge, and Success). NKU R.O.C.K.S. is a retention and mentoring program designed by the NKU African American Student Initiatives (AASI) that helps ease the transition of African American freshmen students from high school to college. The program focuses on connecting students to resources for success and community during their first year by pairing them with mentors and faculty/staff on campus. The program hopes to aid the students and encourage them to finish their degrees. Each year, NKU R.O.C.K.S. holds a…

January 2021: Message from the Executive Director

Home of the Brave One year ago, we had no idea what was ahead of us and what challenges we would face individually and as a country.  An unpredictable virus that infiltrated our communities, took the lives of loved ones, and forced us to change how we gather, educate our children, conduct business, and celebrate holidays. Unthinkable violence toward people of color that shook us into realizing that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the deep disparities in our country if we really believe that this is a country for all. A violent mob attack, fueled by…

January 2021: KY College Coach Spotlight

Meet Julianne Condia Julianne Condia (pronouns: she/her/hers) serves as a Kentucky College Coach with the University Connect & Persist Office at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). She works with Norse Skolars, a new NKU program designed to help first-year students transition from high school to college. This program is primarily for first-generation students who are new to the collegiate experience. Throughout this academic year, the Norse Skolars team has hosted different workshops and activities on topics such as time management, getting involved, budgeting, and others that are deemed beneficial for the participants. This past fall, Condia noticed that students had financial…

AmeriCorps Recognizes Five Kentucky Institutions as Schools of National Service

AmeriCorps has recognized five Kentucky institutions as Schools of National Service; Asbury University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lindsey Wilson College, Madisonville Community College, and Union College. This title benefits both institutions and the AmeriCorps alumni. Schools of National Service recognize AmeriCorps alumni who are a valuable asset to the academic community. It is a way to reward the AmeriCorps members by providing educational benefits to students who choose to serve. It is also a way for the institutions to host individuals that want to be role models on their campus and in their community, making a win-win program. “The AmeriCorps Schools…

Meet the 2021 Emcee

Anti-Racist & Community Engagement Virtual Conference 2021 Bennyce Hamilton, Ed.D. Dr. Hamilton is the Regional Director of Diversity & Multicultural Services and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Miami University. There, she coordinates educational, cultural, and social programs for faculty, staff, students, and community members. As Title IX coordinator, she is the first responder for victims of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, sexual harassment, and stalking for the regional campuses. Dr. Hamilton holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Kentucky State University. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Education (Secondary Education) and a Doctorate in Education (Literacy) from the University of…

November 2020: KY College Coach Spotlight

Meet Angela Duncan, Ph.D., or “Dr. D.” as students call her. Angela Duncan, Ph.D., or “Dr. D,” as students call her, is the Kentucky College Coach at Southern High School in Louisville, KY. Southern has a population of about 1,300 students, the majority of whom are students of color, economically disadvantaged, or in some cases both. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has been operating virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year. As you can imagine, this has made it challenging for all involved. Having worked in the college and career advocacy arena for the past 17…

November 2020: VISTA Spotlight

Meet Avery Crews. She serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the organization, Age-Friendly Louisville. This photo was taken from a service partnership with the Cutambi Indigenous Community in Otavalo, Ecuador ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Avery Crews works with the nonprofit Age-Friendly Louisville (AFL), a part of the worldwide age-friendly initiative run by the World Health Organization. AFL is under the guidance of the United States lead, AARP Livable Communities. The goal of AFL is to ensure accessibility, equity, and inclusivity throughout Louisville for individuals of all ages. This organization works specifically in four domains that were determined by the community as the most…

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Andrea Woodward, Associate Professor of Social Sciences and current Service-Learning Faculty Fellow.

 “Service-learning is relevant, helpful, and it keeps everyone in tune with what is happening,” Service-learning is an educational approach that incorporates community service with the learning objectives to meet societal needs in the community.“If you are teaching something that has direct relevance to a community that could use help, then why not tie it into the learning?” Dr. Andrea Woodward, Associate Professor of Social Sciences and current Service-Learning Faculty Fellow at Berea College said. Throughout her career of teaching, scholarship, and service, Woodward has incorporated service-learning into her classes so students can relate what they are studying to what is…

October 2020: VISTA Spotlight

Meet Michaela Mallory (she/her/hers). She serves at Berea College with the organization, Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS). CELTS is focused on being an active part of the Berea community and supporting everyone who calls this place home across generations. This organization has its own student-led programs that provide resources such as social justice outreach, tutoring, and mentoring. They also partner with other organizations in and around Berea. However, the organization also heavily focuses on the students that work and volunteer with CELTS by providing training, skill-building, and vocational opportunities. Throughout her time with CELTS, one of her most…

University of Kentucky Recognized As Top College For Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest publication and website in higher education today, has recognized the University of Kentucky as a 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipient and a 2020 Diversity Champion. This is the fourth year in a row UK has received both honors.  https://patch.com/kentucky/lexington-ky/university-kentucky-recognized-top-college-diversity

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