Lower Level of Frazee Hall, next to the student center facing Administration Drive.
University of Kentucky
Violence Intervention and Prevention Center
406 Administration Drive
Frazee Hall, Lower Level
Lexington, KY 40506-0031
Email is not a confidential form of communication; please contact us in person or via phone if you are seeking help for yourself or a friend.
Interview Requests (Media/Class) The VIP Center is happy to participate in interviews for media outlets and class assignments. However, due to the nature of the services we provide and because we represent the University of Kentucky, there is a process that must be completed before we can participate. Please note that this process may take several business days, so we suggest you submit requests with as much lead time as possible.
Email our director, Dr. Melanie O. Matson) to request an interview. Please include the nature of your request (class, television, radio, newspaper, etc.), as well as the topic and questions you plan to ask, so that we may be prepared.
Dr. Matson will then contact UK Public Relations (UKPR) to request permission to participate. UKPR may follow up with you before granting permission. Once permission is granted, Dr. Matson will coordinate scheduling available staff to participate in the interview as soon as possible.
A proud native of Minnesota, led to KY by way of California (wait, isn't that the wrong direction?), honored to be a part of the University of Kentucky's Violence Intervention and Prevention Center. Melanie is a big believer in primary prevention. Just imagine what our world would be like if we didn't have power-based personal violence. Violence is not inevitable; each and every one of us can do something to make the difference. The possibilities are endless. Melanie loves to hear how people have made a difference and would love to hear your story!
Baked spaghetti, candy, and vast varieties of cheese, tea, and vegetarian delights.
Hiking, running, dancing, exploring, traveling, cooking, reading, watching movies.
Uff da! (Expressing frustration or feeling overwhelmed. Hey, she's from MN, what did you expect?!)
I believe that one of the most important things to learn in life is that you can make a difference in your community no matter who you are or where you live. - Rosalynn Carter
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Rhonda is a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Social work and happy to return to the campus world. During college, she became passionate about helping those impacted by interpersonal violence. She worked for many years as an advocate for domestic violence survivors at the Fayette County Attorney's office. In 1998, she joined the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, most recently serving as the Executive Director. She finds all forms of advocacy exciting, challenging and life-changing- for clients and advocates alike. In addition to her passion for ending power based personal violence, here is what you should know about Rhonda to strike up a conversation:
Girl Scouts, golden retrievers, Foo Fighters, air conditioning, Diet Coke, being creative, reality TV, being from Kentucky, basketball, politics and Mexican food.
Humidity, judgmental people, mosquitoes and roller coasters.
Iced tea and the mittens versus gloves debate.
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. - Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. - Albert Camus
Laura completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Eastern Kentucky University. She received her Bachelor's in Communication Studies and a Master's in Human Services. Prior to joining the VIP Center, Laura worked in Res Life, where she focused on student involvement and engagement. Laura joined the VIP Center, eager to be a part of a group who works tirelessly to end power-based personal violence. Laura is without a doubt an extrovert, and gains her energy from being around others. Whenever you are bored and need someone to talk to, swing by the VIP Center, she would love to talk and get to know you!
Malones, Chedders, Dominos, Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
I LOVE Reality TV... The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Dance Moms, Hardcore Pawn, Real World/Road Rules Challenges, Big Brother, Amazing Race, Shipping Wars and The Real Housewives.
Catch Me if You Can, Crazy Stupid Love, Wedding Crashers, The Notebook, Bridesmaids and Just Go With It.
Carol A. Taylor, MSW comes to the VIP Center from the world of child welfare after surviving it for nearly 20 years. Taking all that she's learned from working with families, children, communities and agencies she's ready to spend the next 20 years working to end power based violence. "This is my dream job" is a phrase you'll hear from her over and over again for the forseeable future or until someone drops of one of those gigantic checks for millions of dollars.
SportsCenter, Top Chef, Any NFL or NBA Game, Any and all judge shows (Judge Judy is the best!), Kitchen Nightmares, and Real Housewives of Atlanta.
My mission in life is not merely to survive...but to thrive; and to do so with some passion...some compassion...some humor...and some style. - Maya Angelou
Everybody should take an interest in his own future, since he has to live with it for the rest of his life. - Mark Twain
Catherine hails from the University of Michigan where she received her Bachelor's in Psychology and Master's in Social Work. While at U-M, she was heavily involved in Student Affairs and first developed her enthusiasm for working with students and striving to end power-based personal violence. Catherine is a big proponent of following your passion and using that to make positive change in the world. She is proud to be a part of the positive change being made at the VIP Center and happy to return to working with students- the change makers of the future!
The Poisonwood Bible, any of the Harry Potter books, The Stranger, Cat's Cradle, To Kill A Mockingbird
Les Misérables, Wicked, In the Heights, The Pee-Wee Herman Show (seriously one of the best things EVER)
Lilies, Daffodils, Orchids, Fire-and-Ice Roses and Tulips, Peonies (though she's pretty sure she's allergic to at least one of these)
Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something. - Henry David Thoreau Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness. - Ayn Rand
Leah is a proud graduate from the University of Kentucky a degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Gender and Women's Studies. With a passion for art and all things creative, she is happy to put her graphic design skills to work towards the mission of the VIP Center. Through her designs and outreach materials, Leah brings visibility to the issue of power-based personal violence.
Outdoorsy things, puns, the color green, peach pie, Kentucky, reading, CSNY and printmaking.
Fluorescent lights, sitting in cars, and too much buttercream icing.
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am. I am. I am. -Sylvia Plath
Well done is better than well said. -Benjamin Franklin