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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 15 years and has worked in the CARES office for more than 6 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. She has enjoyed her work at CARES for nine years.

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. After graduation, 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/Sophomore Counselor
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.

Sarah Gaines

 

Sarah Gaines
Freshman Counselor A-K
sarah.gaines@uky.edu

Sarah Gaines serves as one of the freshmen counselors, and works with first year students and third semester freshmen. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics. Sarah is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and she is passionate about helping young people achieve their personal, educational, and professional goals.

>Ashley Carrasco

 

Ashley Carrasco
Junior/Senior Counselor
acarrasco@uky.edu

Ashley Carrasco currently serves as the Junior/Senior Counselor at CARES. She began working with CARES in 2012 as a Residence Hall Director for the Freshman Summer Program and then as a Graduate Practicum Student during the 2012 fall semester and is now officially a Student Affairs Officer at the University of Kentucky! 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. Most importantly, she wants to ensure that each student has a person on campus that cares about their success and can lead them to the resources to help them succeed and achieve their goals! 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 College Retreat, and Harambee Celebration for graduating seniors. In addition to working with juniors and 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. She will obtain her Master's of Social Work degree from UK in May 2014 and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the near future.

If you are a junior or senior at UK and would like to meet with Ms. Ashley Carrasco, do not hesitate to contact her.

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 plans to begin working on her Master's degree in Education Policy Studies in the fall of 2012. Vernida 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.