Our Staff

Ashley Rouster Rigby

Director
ashley.rouster
@uky.edu
Ashley is a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in English and Women’s Studies. With a decade of advocacy and activism work in the field of sexual and gender-based violence response, intervention and prevention she has been privileged to serve survivors and advocate for change in many different spaces in lots of different ways. She has found her home in working for change on a college campus, and is most fulfilled when empowering others to ash_1.jpgcreate the world we want to see. Being able to return to her Wildcat roots and practice the work she loves in the community she loves is a dream realized. She believes that every single person deserves to live a life free of violence and knows that we are the solution and the revolution starts now. She lives for being in community with others - friends and family, the incredible scale of natural wonders, indie video gaming, dragon*con, the life and adventures of whales, UK basketball, feminism, the smell of campfires in the fall, animals wearing people clothes, and celebrating anything and everything.
Words that inspire:
For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed? - bell hooks
When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space. - Pema Chödrön
Own your greatness. - Janet Mock

 

Amanda Hamilton

Student Engagement Specialist
amanda.hamilton1@uky.edu

Amanda recently joined the VIP Center team after spending the last four years as a Resident Director because of her passion for supporting and advocating for college students. Originally from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Amanda recieved her amanda_0.jpgBachelor's of Arts in History from Genorgetown College and then went on to receive her Master's of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University-San Marcos. Some of her favorite things are: checking out new movies and shows on Netflix, reading (especially Harry Potter), listening to music (her taste ranges from classical to bluegrass to Lorde and Beyonce), and hanging out with her partner and her adorable dog, Charlie.
Words that inspire:
"It always seems impossible until it is done."  - Nelson Mandela

 

Chelsey Reid

Prevention Education Specialist
chelsey.reid@uky.edu 

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Chelsey has a passion for improving community health and wellness through programming, education, and direct advising. She is thrilled to bring her experience in higher education to the VIP Center to serve the University Of Kentucky campus community through violence prevention efforts. Chelsey completed her undergraduate education at Georgetown College and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health with an emphasis on Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 3.52.13 PM_4.pngHealth Behavior at the University Of Kentucky. In her spare time, Chelsey enjoys quality time with family and friends, teaching yoga, and spoiling her dogs, Maggie and Dolly Parton.
Words that inspire: 
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” - Cheryl Strayed, Wild
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”  - Barack Obama

 

Stephanie Smith

Program Specialist
​stephanietarasmith@uky.edu

Steph joined the VIP Center team in January and is absolutely thrilled to be in the Program Specialist role. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to help and engage with students, faculty, and staff at UK, and to be able to work steph_0.jpgtoward VIP's mission to end sexual and gender-based violence in ways big and small. Originally from Eastern Kentucky, Steph moved to Lexington to pursue a degree in Social Work at UK. She lives for music, literature, poetry, hiking, coffee, plants, laughter, art, photography, and cats.
Words that inspire:
"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear." - Rumi
"Sometimes there's only a hint, a possibility. What's magical, sometimes, has deeper roots than reason. I hope everyone knows that." - Mary Oliver