Director, Robinson Scholars
Jeff Spradling became the director of the Robinson Scholars Program in December 2009. At UK, he has also served as research administrative coordinator at the Center for Poverty Research and the assistant director of the Appalachian Center. He also served as the 2013-14 Chair of the UK Staff Senate. He is in his 13th year at UK. Spradling has also worked at Union College, Morehead State University, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. In addition to his administrative duties, he has taught college English and journalism for 22 years. He began his career as a journalist in eastern Kentucky after graduation from Morehead State University. Spradling is from Menifee County. He lives in Jeffersonville with his wife and three daughters. His hobbies are gardening, camping, and thumping on his old Gibson guitar.
“The program is for and about young people in east Kentucky, and I am encouraged by the investment UK is making in our region. A college education made a big difference in my life, and it will make a big difference in the lives of our scholars. It is very gratifying for me to see our scholars learn and grow. I very much believe in the value of family and community, and the scholars are family to me. The community they are creating is a source of great hope for east Kentucky.”
College Services Coordinator, Robinson Scholars
George Scott joined the Robinson Scholar Program Staff in April 2011. He is a native of Morgan County and a Class 4 Robinson Scholar. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Community Communications and Leadership Development from the University of Kentucky in 2008. He also holds a Master of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Louisville. After graduation from UK, Mr. Scott began working for the institution as a records officer in the UK Admissions and Registrar, followed by a position in the Undergraduate Resource Center in the Gatton College of Business and Economics. He is a member of the Peer 2 Peer Collaboration Committee, the First Generation Advisory Board, the First Year Focus Orientation Committee, the Chair of the Undergraduate Education Council Committee, the Young Professionals of East Kentucky, and the University of Kentucky Staff Senate. He currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky.
"I know firsthand how the Robinson Scholarship changes the lives of young eastern Kentuckians, and being here allows me to be a part of that enrichment. I now represent the program on a multitude of levels, as a UK employee, as the College Coordinator, but, most importantly, as a Robinson Scholar myself."
Regional Coordinator, Robinson Scholars
Neomia Hagans Flores joined The Robinson Scholar Program Staff in January of 2011. She is a native of Knott County and a Class 1 Robinson Scholar. Since her graduation from the University of Kentucky in 2005, she has dedicated her career to serving first generation students. She has worked with both GEAR UP Kentucky at Hazard Community and Technical College and Educational Talent Search at Bluegrass Community and Technical College as a Student Services Coordinator. In addition to her duties with Robinson Scholars, she is a high school speech and debate coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Social Work, both from the University of Kentucky. She is a member the Kentucky Association of Education Opportunity Program Personnel (KAEOPP) and South Eastern Association of Education Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP).
She currently resides in Lexington, Ky., with her husband and two sons. Her favorite hobby is reading.
“The Robinson Scholarship and the education that it provided were the greatest gifts that I have ever been given. I now take great pride in knowing that I have the ability to give this gift to others.”
High School Coordinator, Robinson Scholars
(606) 666-2438, extension 232
Jessica Watkins joined the Robinson Scholars staff in March 2011. She has been a native of Breathitt County for 28 years and currently resides in Jackson, Ky., with her husband and two sons. In December of 2009, Jessica completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Morehead State University. Throughout college Jessica worked as a substitute teacher in the Breathitt County School System. Some of her favorite hobbies are riding horses and singing.
“Coming from eastern Kentucky myself, I know the hindrances some students face that deprive them of a college education. This program gives students the opportunity to overcome those hindrances. I am truly honored to be a part of this program.”