Student Support Services
University of Kentucky
6 Alumni Gym
Lexington, KY 40506-0029
Phone: (859) 257-9797
Fax: (859) 257-2960
Lydia Wims received her Bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement Administration and Master's degree in Community Counseling from Kent State University. She has over 20 years experience working with individuals who are underrepresented in higher education, and is currently the Director of Student Support Services (SSS), which serves first generation, low-income, and students with documented disabilities. Services provided are tutoring, counseling (academic and personal, and career), seeking financial aid assistance, peer mentoring and social/cultural activities. Prior to becoming the director, Ms. Wims was the counselor at Lincoln University and UK's SSS programs.
Lynda Bush is the Administrative Associate at Student Support Services. She brings extensive administrative experience to this position. Her responsibilities include coordinating the front office operations, assisting the director with budget, and database management, maintaining payroll and supervision of SSS work-study students, in addition to a host of other responsibilities. Prior to joining the University of Kentucky, she worked as a staff associate at Allstate Insurance Company Lanham, MD and American Mutual Insurance Co. Lexington, KY.
Cassandra received both her Bachelors (1995) and Master's (1997) degrees in Social Work from the University of Kentucky as a first generation college student. In 1993 as a Social Work Practicum student Cassandra had the opportunity to research data for the first UK Student Support Services Grant received in 1993. While working on her Master's she became the first Tutor Coordinator for the program in 1996. Along with being an alumnus of Student Support Services Cassandra is also an alumnus of another Trio program; Educational Talent Search at Eastern Kentucky University. Cassandra believes in the importance of motivating and keeping young people encouraged, as she herself was as a SSS participant. Before returning back to Student Support Services in July 2001 as the Counselor she worked at Berea College as an Admissions Counselor working with low income, first generation, minority, and nontraditional college students.
Cassandra is a member of the Kentucky Association of Educational Opportunity and Program Personnel (KAEOPP) and the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity and Program Personnel (SAEOPP).
Valerie Rister graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors of Arts in Education with a concentration in English, Sociology, and History. After graduation, she taught special needs students which prompted her interest in specialized instruction; therefore after a move to Chicago she attended DePaul University where she proceeded to get a Masters of Arts in Education in Language Literacy and Specialized Instruction and Behavioral Disorders, while continuing to work as a teacher. Ms. Rister worked in educational programs such as TRiO as well as teaching high school and college. Later, she returned to Kentucky, where she has continued working in TRiO as the Learning Specialist for Student Support Services for the last seven years.