- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director
Allison Rulen says she’s always wanted to do something in healthcare — something scientific, she says — and she always loved the University of Kentucky.
So, the choice made sense. This week, the Ashland, Ky., native drove down the interstate and joined more than 350 other first-time students as they enrolled in UK’s College of Health Sciences. Rulen chose to major in Human Health Sciences with a pre-pharmacy track.
Throughout the entire Move-In Week, she was able to meet new people, find her way around and get prepared for the start of the school year. By Wednesday, she was already hanging out with the other girls in her residence hall.
“That’s been the most fun so far,” she said. “Just meeting these people you’ll be living with. Everyone is so different, and that’s been really cool to see.”
By Thursday, she was able to participate in the CHS K-Week College Meeting, where a couple hundred incoming freshmen packed the Harris Ballroom to officially be welcomed by CHS officials. Casey Shadix, PhD and director of the Office of Student Affairs for the College, was the first to say hello — and share a secret.
“I don’t know if the secret is out,” he offered, “but this is the best College.”
Students were able to learn about the countless ways the College can support them throughout their journeys, whether it is through counseling, advising or even through career or peer mentors.
Advisers from the Office of Student Affairs, Peer Mentors, Alumni Relations, as well as the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion spoke to the group on topics ranging from registering for classes to time management.
The overarching theme? That in CHS, someone is always there for you.
“Here, we educate and empower — you have a culture of support,” said Uriah Carter, director of the College’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “You are not in this alone.”
Caroline Arthur, director of Alumni Relations for CHS, told the crowd that two weeks ago, she helped organize an event for a group of Physical Therapy graduates who were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation.
“Relationships can last,” she said. “Who knows? Maybe 50 years from now, you’ll be contacting me, wanting to get together and come back to look at the University of Kentucky.”
Across campus, Rachel Grigg, a class of 2025 Clinical Leadership and Management major from Lexington, was just getting settled back into her residence hall.
“I was so ready to get back!” she said. “I couldn’t wait for Move-In Day. I’m excited to join some new clubs and get involved with campus life in my free time.”
Grigg was a part of a record class for CHS, which topped 1,500 students for the first time.
Faculty and staff learned those and other facts earlier in the week when they had their own kickoff meeting and celebration, hosted by Dean Scott Lephart. It was the first time in two years that the group was able to meet and celebrate in person.
Lephart used the opportunity to update the audience on the College’s budget, future plans for expansion, philanthropy opportunities and research successes.
He also noted growth in both faculty, up to 72 (an increase of 25 percent since 2015) and staff, up to 62 (an increase of 27 percent since 2015).
The Dean said he was pleased overall with the College’s accomplishments over the past year.
“We’re going to celebrate everyone’s successes today,” he said. “Despite what you have been dealt, your productivity has been off the charts. I could not be prouder.”
For new students like Rulen, the pride was also felt in this first week.
“I couldn’t be happier to be a Wildcat,” she said. “I’m ready to get out and meet some of the other people in the College.”
See more photos here from Move-In, the K-Week College Meeting, and the CHS Kickoff Celebration.