Women's Leadership and Career Development Task Force

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”

-Toni Morrison

The purpose of the Women’s Leadership and Career Development Task Force was threefold:

  1. To help identify career and development opportunities for women faculty and executive staff.
  2. To help promote the visibility and acknowledgement of women’s contributions on campus.
  3. To help create an understanding of the status of women on campus.

A June 2014 status update from the Task Force can be read here.  The Task Force concluded its work in December 2014.


The Task Force was comprised of the following individuals.


Terry Allen, Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity (Co-Chair)


For more than 10 years I have served as the University of Kentucky Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity.  This responsibility includes representing the University to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education for equal opportunity and diversity, and monitoring compliance with Federal and state regulations.  The Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity is responsible for upholding the University’s commitment to provision of equal opportunity to all members of the University community in academic programs, employment, services and activities.  As an educational institution, the University of Kentucky must have an awareness of, and sensitivity to, all populations that comprise our community, and provide an environment where the contribution of every individual is respected and valued.  The Women’s Leadership and Career Development Task Force provides a framework of professional colleagues to engage in further assessment and foster creative initiatives that affirm and support the institution’s commitment to equal opportunity and equitable involvement.


Mary Davis, Stites & Harbison Professor of Law, College of Law (Co-Chair)


I have been a member of the faculty at the College of Law since 1991.  I have been interested in women's leadership and career development throughout my legal and academic career.  I am honored to be serving on this initiative to enhance leadership and career development opportunities for women at UK.  I believe we should honor the work done of the many women and men who have engaged in similar past efforts and to forge new paths to enhance the career and leadership potential for women at UK.


Sub-Committee # 1: Opportunities


Carol Hanley, Environmental Outreach Programs Director, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (Lead)


I have always been concerned with women's issues, especially in the STEM fields.  The Task Force gives me an opportunity to help women across our compus.



Anna Brzyski, Associate Dean for Research and Undergraduate Education, College of Fine Arts

I have joined the School of Art and Visual Studies as a faculty member in 2003. My interested in issues affecting careers of women in the academia is both personal and professional. As a woman negotiating the academic system, moving through tenure and promotion, from faculty position into administrative responsibilities, I have experienced many of the challenges facing female faculty members. As a mentor and administrator I am keenly interested in the success and professional advancement of my female colleagues. I am honored to serve on the Task Force and hope to be able to bring to the table discussion of unique challenges facing women in the arts and humanities.   


Patrice Carroll, Director of Training and Development, Human Resources


I currently serve as the Human Resources Director for staff leadership and development training for both the campus and HealthCare Enterprise. I am passionate about developing employee potential, whether it be through Talent or Succession Management strategies, training or career development. I am honored to be a part of the Women's Leadership and Career Development Task Force and feel I can bring my passion and energies to the table to address women's leadership and development concerns.



DeShana Collett, Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant

I am proud to be a University of Kentucky Alum, having earned my bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from this University.  I have been a faculty member in the College of Health Sciences, Division of Physician Assistant Studies since 2008.  As a faculty member, the accomplishment of greatest importance in which I am most proud, is the ability to develop meaningful mentoring relationships with my students and colleagues. This success has helped me to understand and appreciate that I serve as a positive role model of the accomplishments that a minority woman faculty member can achieve in an environment that embraces and supports diversity and inclusivity.


Sonja Feist-Price, Interim Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs

I have been a member of the faculty in the College of Education since 1992 where I am a professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. I am delighted to serve on this very important task force where we address issues related to leadership and development for women. I am excited about positively impacting the lives of women at UK and beyond. 



Thomas Lester, Dean Emeritus and Professor, College of Engineering

I am interested in working towards a more supportive environment for female faculty and staff at UK.



GT Lineberry, Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement





Nancy Schoenberg, Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavioral Science





Rhonda Strouse, Director of Student Involvement

I am a committed professional member of the university community with 30 years of cumulative administrative leadership focused in student development and student affairs.  A primary focus of study and educational program delivery is leadership education and civic engagement with experience in teaching, mentorship, and group facilitation in varied settings.  My involvement with women's issues has been long standing ranging from the Commission on Women and contributing to the evolution of the current committee format.  An example of my own professional development includes work through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) where I was selected to participate in the national program "Manicur Leadership Symposium for Women Aspiring to be Senior Student Affairs Officers".  I serve as the state NASPA board chair and am the program director for the state-wide Kentucky Leadership Academy dedicated to public service and student government leadership.  My service with the task force is driven by the following: - commitment to identify leadership development and advancement systems within and external to the university; - integrating multiple tracks of leadership development to meet identified needs across faculty, executive and upper administrative, mid-level, and entry level staff; - assuring institutional and systemic review of policies, systems, and strategic planning relative to gender and equity with application of contemporary best practices; - creating a culture of strong leadership recognized across the institutional ranks where women are seamlessly included in strategic planning and significant decision making; - establishing an intersection point for women across academic and administrative affairs to engage in shared collaborations addressing gender-based needs.


Hollie Swanson, Chair of College of Medicine Faculty Council; Professor, College of Medicine


I have been a professor at the University of Kentucky in the College of Medicine for almost 20 years.  What I have observed from my interactions with our students, staff and faculty is that we have many outstanding, talented women who often feel frustrated by lack of opportunity for personal and career growth.  I have tried to address this issue by mentoring a number of individuals, by becoming familiar with the literature on leadership and career growth and by leading efforts such as a book club and the Women in Science and Medicine within the College of Medicine.  I would like to extend these activities to the university-wide level.


Sub-Committee # 2: Advancement


Karen Tice, Professor and Chair of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, College of Arts and Sciences (Lead)

I am pleased to serve on the Women’s Leadership and Career Development Task Force. I have been involved since coming to UK in a variety of efforts to promote gender equity, on and off campus. I am currently the chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and have a joint appointment in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation. My research interests include gender and education and collegiate student cultures. I am very interested in continuing to find creative ways to increase the visibility and acknowledgement of the contributions of women in higher education, past and present, as well as to develop programming, collaborations, resources, and policies that enhance gender and racial equity, diversity, and advancement on campus.



Karen Badger, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs, College of Social Work





Erika Chambers, Director, Work-Life

As the Director of Work-Life, my primary function is to ensure UK programs, policies and work practices support work-life needs and make UK an even better place to work. My role often involves finding creative solutions for concerns that many faculty and staff deal with at some point in their career, especially women  – work/life effectiveness, childcare, returning to work after parental leave, and flexible schedules.  I am a member of the Women's Leadership and Career Development Task Force because I believe in not just bringing awareness to these topics, but being an advocate for positive change.



Katherine McCormick, Professor, College of Education

I am member of this task force because I have a deep interest in the status of women on campus. Our efforts to examine, address and repair gender inequaties or barriers have stalled recently and I am enthusiastic to participate in this opportunity to address these issue now.  I believe how women are promoted, recognized, and celebrated at UK sends a message to the women who are faculty, staff, and students here. These messages have lasting impact for both the present and the future. 



Deanna Sellnow, Gifford Blyton Endowed Professor of Communication, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education, and Faculty Director, Presentation U

I currently serve as the Gifford Blyton Endowed Professor of Communication, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Educaiton, and Faculty Director of Presentation U.  I have been part of the academy after earning my Ph.D. since 1991. Over the course of the years, I have observed and experienced women that do so much meaningful work but don't get compensated or acknowledged for their efforts.  I would like to improve the situation for women that come after me.


Heather Wagoner, Associate Director, Office of Student Involvement

As a member of the Office of Student Involvement in the Division of Student Affairs, I have the great opportunity to contribute to the personal and leadership development of UK students and staff every day. A doctoral candidate in the College of Education, my dissertation focuses on the perceptions and experiences of college women student leaders within a student organization context. I am appreciative of the opportunity to serve on the task force, bringing the accomplishments of many great women to the forefront of our campus.


Sub-Committee # 3: Benchmarking

Debra Anderson, Associate Professor, College of Nursing


As a Public Health Nurse, social justice and equity are deeply held values. Improving women's situations, from homelessness to domestic and workplace violence to salary equity, has always been important to me. I serve on committees such as this one for the simple purpose of workplace equity. And, because I do not want my daughters to have need to serve on similar committees in their future work places.


Lee Blonder, Chair, University Senate Council; Professor, College of Medicine


I am an Anthropologist and a Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging in the College of Medicine. I joined this faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1989. I am currently Chair of the University Senate Council and in that capacity sought to revive interest in the President's Commission on Women.  Following discussions with an informal group of women faculty, President Capilouto, and J.J. Jackson, this committee was formed and I became a founding member.


Stacey Greenwell, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and Research, University of Kentucky Libraries


Since August 2010, I have served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at UK Libraries. This position is administratively responsible for all public services based in the William T. Young Library as well as nine branch locations. Formerly I was the first Director of the Hub in Young Library, the library liaison to the English Department, and the Head of Library Desktop Support.  I am currently serving as Chair of the Academic Computing Committee and am a former chair of the UK Libraries Faculty Council.  I am an active leader in the Special Libraries Association and was inducted into the SLA Fellows in 2009.  I completed a doctorate in education in 2013. /  / My interest in women’s leadership and career development began in my undergraduate years through a minor in women’s studies.  I served as web manager for the UK Gender and Women’s Studies department for several years and am a graduate of UK’s Circles of Power leadership program.  I look forward to participating on the task force!



Claire Renzetti, Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair for Studies of Violence Against Women; Professor and Chair of Sociology


I have been involved in activities related to women's advancement since graduate school.  As a Task Force member, I wish to continue to contribute to women's career development on campus through collaboration with UK colleagues who share this commitment.


Diane Snow, Director, Undergraduate Research; Professor, College of Medicine


I am a woman, a wife, a mother of 2 sons, a professor of 18 years, and an administrator, for a start. For the majority of my life, I have been a crusader for gender equality and a promoter of women. Merely by observing all the amazingly talented women at UK, I find it unconscionable that any of that talent go unrealized, unappreciated, or worse, ignored. I want to do as much as I can to set things right.  From organizing the informal "Faculty Women's Sanity Club" to directing a formal leadership and advancement program for women faculty (Circles of Power), I have made efforts to help other women, as well as myself, realize our full potential, grow, and succeed. I applaud the Provost for listening to our stories, and from there, launching into motion a concrete platform to identify, celebrate, and advance UK women.  I'm in!!






Hannah Eddy, Director of Provost's Initiatives, Office of the Provost








JJ Jackson, Vice President for Institutional Diversity





Roxanne Mountford, Director of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media, and Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences





Ellen Usher, Research Director of P20 Motivation and Learning Lab; Associate Professor, College of Education




Kim Wilson, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer