ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY & LEADERSHIP
Who we are and
what we do !
We in the Department of Community & Leadership Development vigorously pursue our
mission to strengthen the capacities of individuals, organizations, and
communities to act on their shared visions and challenges.
Whether you share this mission, want to work with us, or simply want to learn
more, we invite you to both explore this web site and contact us for additional
information. See the exciting things going on in our classes, explore how and
why we conduct research, and learn about the ways we engage communities across
the Commonwealth of Kentucky and around the world.
We take our location in Lexington, the heart of Kentucky’s renowned Bluegrass
Region, as an important resource for the Department. Working with local
community professionals and organizations, we provide students both
opportunities for practical, real-world experiences while taking their classes
and career opportunities after graduation.
Our faculty has strong disciplinary training in such fields as communication,
education, and sociology and takes pride in their disciplinary homes. When it
comes to our overall focus, however, we are moving beyond the disciplinary
approaches of the past. Believing it best represents contemporary approaches to
21st century reality, we are more about the processes of functioning effectively
in community and fostering ethical leadership.
CLD is a dynamic department representing the cutting edge in scholarship in five
overlapping emphasis areas.
Community and organizational development
focuses on community processes, the role of community organizations and
institutions, and how communities are affected by such societal factors as
location, inequality, and demographic patterns.
focuses on the intersection of communication and community both in physical and
virtual contexts with special emphasis on the role communication plays in
community change, development, and integration.
provides the knowledge and skills necessary for careers as either high school
teachers or community-based educators and advocates for agriculture.
focuses on youth and adult development and learning within a community context.
It is education created as a result of community involvement and is designed to
match community interests.
builds the knowledge and skills required to function as effective community
leaders and change agents and focuses on both the practice of leadership and the
context in which it occurs.
We strive to realize the "land-grant values" of the College of Agriculture,
Food, and Environment in each of these areas. Simply stated, we value,
encourage, and foster:
• learning -
enhancing access to educational opportunities for all;
• discovery - expanding
knowledge through research; and
• engagement - collaborating with diverse
and people to improve lives.
Formed in the then College of Agriculture in
2002, the Department of Community & Leadership Development brought faculty from
rural sociology, agricultural education, agricultural communication, and program
and staff development together in one unit. In terms of University structure,
the "rural sociology" component or College of Agriculture "side" of the
Department of Sociology formed the administrative foundation for the new
department and the academic appointments of all of the faculty members were
transferred to it. While our department is still relatively young, our programs
have long histories.
Rural sociology faculty at the University of
Kentucky have also been recipients of nearly every award given by the Rural
Sociological Society. Eleven awardees of the Society’s highest honor have ties
to the University of Kentucky including Howard Beers who was among the first
persons to be named Distinguished Rural Sociologist. In 1987, Lorraine Garkovich
was the first person to receive the Society’s award for Excellence in
Instruction. Some recent recognitions and awards include Ronald J. Hustedde for
his work in extension (2007), Keiko Tanaka for instruction (2010), Julie N.
Zimmerman as the Society’s Historian (2012)and C. Milton Coughenour as
Distinguished Rural Sociologist (2012).
Agricultural education remained
in the College of Education for decades where, in 1980, Charles Byers served as
the Director of Graduate and Undergraduate studies in the Department of
Agricultural Education. In 1994 the program moved to the College of Agriculture
where the program's faculty were housed in the Department of Agricultural
Economics. This arrangement lasted until 2002 and the formation of CLD.
Two other programs with more recent histories predated CLD and were incorporated
into it. Both agricultural communications and public service and leadership
started informally as individualized undergraduate majors. Randy Weckman, who
was later joined by Deborah Witham, initiated the agricultural communications
effort in the 1970s and Lorraine Garkovich, a rural sociologist, spearheaded the
public service and leadership one in the late 1980s.
Forming a new department out of our constituent pieces has meant changes for
each and some firsts not only for the department but in the history of the
College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. For example, both our
undergraduate and graduate degree programs have been reorganized to better
integrate and utilize the resources of the entire department; the agricultural
communications program has been refocused on community communication to
highlight the fundamental role of communication in both community and leadership
development; resources have been redirected away from rural sociology extension
and research to support the department’s new instruction programs; and programs
which were previously instruction-based (community communication and
agricultural education) now contain active and successful research components.
There have also been firsts for the College of Agriculture. In partnership with
4-H Youth Development, the CLD Department hired Kentucky’s first extension
faculty to focus on youth development – Kenneth R. Jones (who is now Director of
Program and Staff Development). While at different times leadership development
was a component of rural sociology extension, CLD hired Kristina Ricketts,
Kentucky's first extension faculty member with a specific focus on leadership.
CLD also hired Seungahn Nah, the first faculty member in the new area of
For the CLD department, we continue to have our own share of “firsts.” For
instance, Patricia Hyjer Dyk is the first faculty member in the new department
to receive a Fulbright; the first book written by a department faculty member
(and nominated for a national award) was co-authored by Julie N. Zimmerman; and
a student in our agricultural education undergraduate program became the first
Kentucky woman to become a national officer in FFA (Future Farmers of America).
Since its creation in 2002 and the appointment of Extension Professor Gary
Hansen as its first chair, CLD has continued to evolve, develop, and honor the
land-grant values of learning, discovery, and engagement. Our goal throughout
has been to offer programs that make just as much, if not more, of a difference
in the 21st century as our land-grant predecessors did in the last century.
We are located on floors 3, 5, and 7
of the W. P. Garrigus Bldg. on the University of Kentucky campus at 325 Cooper
Dr. (Corner of Nicholasville Road and Cooper Drive) in Lexington KY. Reception
and information is in 510.
By Mail: Department of Community &
500 Garrigus Bldg.
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0215
By phone: 859-257-7587
By fax: 859-257-1164
For specific information on our undergraduate
degree programs, contact:
Dr. Stacy Vincent, Director of Undergraduate Studies in
Career and Technical Education (Agricultural Education), 859-257-7588,
Director of Undergraduate Studies in
Community and Leadership Development,
For specific information on our graduate
degree program, contact:
Dr. Rosalind Harris, Director of Graduate Studies,
For specific information on one of our
emphasis areas, contact:
Community and Organizational Development, Dr. Lorraine
Community Communication, Dr. Seungahn Nah, 859-257-1509,
Agricultural Education, Dr. Rebekah Epps, 859-257-3275,
Community-based Education, Dr. Bryan Hains, 859-257-7588,
Leadership Development, Dr. Kristina Ricketts,
For general information on the Department,
Dr. Gary Hansen, Chair, 859-257-7586,
Ms. Ruth Durham, Administrative Assistant, 859-257-7587,
& Leadership Developmenttt ●
University of Kentucky
● 500 Garrigus Building
● Lexington, KY 40546-0215
Phone: (859) 257-7587
● Fax: (859) 257-1164
Questions/Comments to Bruce Gage, Webmaster
An Equal Opportunity University,
University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture ·