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.
Administrative Support Associate
Kimberly Toomey currently serves as the office manager in the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). She has been working in the CARES department since 2006 and employed with the University of Kentucky 9 years prior to working with CARES. Kimberly is a graduate of Sullivan University with an AA in Computer Science.
Freshman Counselor A-K
Kim Beatty, currently serves as the Freshman Counselor (A-K) at the University of Kentucky in the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). In this position, she works with first year students to help ease the transition from high school to college.
She is a graduate of Kentucky State University and holds a Master of Education degree in Counseling and Human Development from Lindsey Wilson College. Kim enjoys working with students, while helping them be successful in all areas of life.
She has worked with students and families in various capacities, including public schools, social services, and non- profit organizations in different communities and diverse populations. She encourages them to know and understand that success looks different for everyone and to take pride in yourself and accomplishments.
Kayla Gill currently serves as the interim Sophomore Counselor at the University Of Kentucky in the Office for Institutional Diversity’s Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services. As a counselor, she focuses on major and career exploration and helping students achieve academic success. Also as a past CARES student Kayla strives to make a strong connection with students through her shared experiences.
Kayla is a graduate of the University Of Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work. Kayla went on to earn a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Houston. Through her graduate research Kayla found her interest in working to improve retention rates in higher education and closing the achievement gap. Kayla is passionate about being helping her students excel in the classroom as well as being a great support.
Kim Jones-Goldring currently serves as the Senior 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 senior students to help ease the transition of life after college. Kim coordinates the Harambee celebration program and is very passionate about working with students in Higher Education and preparing students for life after college.
Kim is a graduate of Kentucky State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration Degree specializing in Human Resource Management. Kim also earned a Master of Arts Degree in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education from Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to joining the CARES staff, Kim worked as a Career Counselor at Kentucky State University for 19 years.
Assistant Director/Learning Specialist
Vernida J. Emerson currently serves as the Assistant Director/Learning Skills Specialist 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 tutors, pear academic coaches, as well as the CARES Ambassadors. She also facilitates learning skills workshops, conducts individual study skills sessions and coordinates marketing and outreach services.
Vernida is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management—Marketing. Vernida has a great passion for education and an even greater passion for sharing her love of learning.
Interim Jr. Counselor
Jonathan T. Davies is the Interim Junior Counselor at the University of Kentucky in the Office for Institutional Diversity's Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES). Jonathan works with junior students, meeting and advising them through a critical juncture in their collegiate career.
As a developer, Jonathan has been very passionate about connecting with students since he started at UK several years ago. He’s served as a tutor, mentor, peer academic coach, and has even worked on the resident staff for the Freshman Summer Program here at UK.
Jonathan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from UK in 2014. He has since went on to complete his coursework for a Master of Science Degree in Medical Science and will be graduating again from UK this fall 2017. During his time as a graduate student, he became a published author and even taught General Chemistry Labs as a teaching assistant. He plans to start medical school next fall and hopes to continue working with and teaching students during his medical career.