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CARES Staff
Director Toni Thomas

 

Toni Thomas
CARES Director
toni@uky.edu

Toni Thomas began her career at the University of Kentucky with the Cooperative Extension Service. She worked as a County Extension Agent for 4-H in Louisville, Kentucky. Toni transferred to the main campus in Lexington to join the Office for Minority Affairs staff as a counselor at the Learning Services Center. After working as a counselor for two years and serving as Acting Director for one year, she became the Director of the Learning Services Center. Upon receiving a grant that she assisted in writing, she served in a special assignment capacity to set up the Student Support Services Program which became a part of the retention programs in the Office for Minority Affairs. She then became the Director of Retention Programs in the newly renamed/refocused Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs. Currently, Toni is the Director of the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES) under the auspices of the Office for Institutional Diversity.

Toni earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Guidance from Eastern Kentucky University and a Masters degree in Family Studies from the University of Kentucky.

Kim Toomey

 

Kim Toomey
Administrative Support Associate
kim.toomey@uky.edu

Kimberly Toomey currently serves as the office manager at the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). She has been employed with the University of Kentucky for more than 18 years and has worked in the CARES office for more than 9 years. Kimberly is a graduate of Sullivan University with an AA in Computer Science.

Stephanie Mayberry

 

Stephanie Mayberry
Assistant Director/Freshman Counselor L-Z
stephanie.mayberry@uky.edu

Stephanie R. Mayberry currently serves as the Assistant Director and Freshman Counselor at the University of Kentucky in the Office for Institutional Diversity's Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). In this position, she works with first year students to ease the transition from high school to college. Stephanie coordinates the Critical First Year Program and the Freshman Summer Program.

Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a Masters of Social Work. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Counseling and Personnel Services with emphasis in College Student Personnel at the University of Louisville. Prior to joining the CARES staff, Stephanie spent three years working as the Student Development Specialist for the former Lexington Community College Upward Bound program.

Kairise Conwell

 

Kairise Conwell
Assistant Director/Freshman Counselor A-K
kconwell@uky.edu

Kairise L. Conwell currently serves as the Assistant Director and Freshman Counselor at the University of Kentucky in the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). In this position, she works with first year students and also coordinates marketing and outreach services.

Kairise is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently completing a Masters in Educational Policy Studies. Kairise has over ten years of experience working in higher education holding various positions within admissions and student affairs.

Andrew Fast

 

Andrew Fast
Sophomore Counselor
andrew.fast@uky.edu

Andrew Fast is the Sophomore Counselor at the University of Kentucky in the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). Andrew works with sophomore students coordinating events like the "Sophomore Success Supper," "Take the Lead" student leadership conference, and the "Pathfinder" calendar of events. He initially started his career in Student Affairs at UK as a Graduate Assistant while pursuing his Master's Degree in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation. He has worked in all facets of Student Affairs, from Judicial Affairs, Greek Life, Student Activities, Residence Life and Admissions. He is very passionate about connecting students to resources and providing them excellent support. If you are a sophomore and would like to get involved or connect with him please contact him via e-mail.

Andrew earned a Bachelor's degree in both International Business and German from Georgetown College in 2004 and received his Master's Degree in Education from UK in 2007.

>Ashley Carrasco

 

Ashley Carrasco
Junior/Senior Counselor
acarrasco@uky.edu

Ashley Carrasco currently serves as the Junior/Senior Counselor at CARES. As the Junior/Senior Counselor with the CARES office, she is passionate about not only helping students be successful throughout their time at UK, but in life beyond college! She is committed to assisting students prepare for their future careers, graduate/professional school, and other post-graduate endeavors. At CARES, Ashley works on the SOAR Program for junior and seniors which focuses on three components: Career Preparation, Graduate & Professional School Preparation, and Leadership. Signature SOAR programs include the Graduate & Professional School Showcase, the Life After UK Conference, and Harambee Celebration for graduating seniors. Ashley also works with UK's women of color empowerment group known as Majestic UNITY! She also coordinates the Math/Science Experience for the Freshmen Summer Program.

Ms. Carrasco received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2010 and completed her Master's of Social Work degree from UK in May 2014!

Vernida Emerson

 

Vernida Emerson
Learning Specialist
vjemer2@email.uky.edu

Vernida J. Emerson currently serves as the Learning Skills Specialist/Tutor & Study Group Coordinator at the University of Kentucky in the Office for Institutional Diversity's Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). In this position, she supervises academic tutors as well as Peer Academic Coaches. She also facilitates learning skills workshops and conducts individual study skills sessions.

Vernida is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management - Marketing and attended Sullivan University pursuing a Masters of Business Administration. She then worked for 17 years at GTE/Verizon in various positions prior to coming to UK. Vernida has a great passion for education and an even greater passion for sharing her love of learning.