News & Events

UK, Signet Real Estate Group Break Ground on $34M Mixed-Use Parking, Innovation Center

By:  Joel Maas/Signet Real Estate Group
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2019)
  University of Kentucky and Signet Real Estate Group have broken ground on a mixed-use parking facility in Lexington that includes over 900 new parking spaces and over 23,000 square feet of innovation and retail space that will revitalize one of the main corridors into the UK campus, located at the corner of S. Limestone and Winslow Street.

The P3 (public-private partnership) project is the first step in accomplishing UK’s vision of transforming this critical entrance to campus into a hub for innovation that will better serve the needs of students, faculty, staff and the community. The university anticipates that the project will anchor its programs in applied technology and creative development within a larger “innovation district,” where UK will partner with the City of Lexington toinvest in the adaptive re-use and re-imagination of this historic area.

Rendering of Winslow Project “There is a tremendous opportunity here to leverage the momentum we have as a university to expand what we are doing in partnership with the community, make progress on the university’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP), and serve our campus while looking toward the future of innovation, creativity, problem solving, education and research,” said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president of finance and administration.

Jason Perry, president of Signet Real Estate Group, said, “We are excited to partner with the University of Kentucky to deliver this forward-thinking project and achieve its vision for this corridor into campus. This facility will help address the university’s parking demands while transforming the edge of campus into an innovative destination for students, faculty, staff and the Lexington community as a whole.”

The ground floor of this mixed-use facility will house the innovation center and retail components. Plans for the university’s innovation center, which will serve students, the UK campus, and the greater Lexington community, are underway and may include application development, technology partnerships, design thinking studio space and e-sports initiative components. The innovation center and retail area will be managed in partnership between Signet and UK, and the parking will be managed as part of UK’s campus operations.

Financing for the project, provided by Signet in collaboration with UK, closed in early July. “This project is a true example of a public-private partnership where the collaborative efforts by all project stakeholders helped achieve optimal results. We work on higher education projects across the country and this stands out as a testament to what can be achieved through a P3 structure,” said Spencer Hyatt, vice president of Signet Real Estate Group.

The project is due to be completed by Fall 2020.

Signet Real Estate Group, a Signet LLC company, is a full-service development and project management firm in the areas of higher education, health care, research, and public-private partnerships. The company transforms complex development challenges into collaborative opportunities through a creative, flexible, and customized approach. Since the firm’s inception, Signet and its family of companies have successfully managed and currently have in progress more than $5 billion in real estate development and construction throughout the U.S. More information on Signet can be found at

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

Welcome Back A&W!

Great things are happening in Lexington. We are excited to announce that the new A&W global headquarters will be built on the Coldstream Research Campus. After celebrating their 100 years in business, A&W has decided to become the first company to construct a facility within the city’s land on the Coldstream Research Campus.
Dating back to 1919, A&W Root Beer is the nation’s No. 1 selling root beer, still making delicious root beers at every store location. The company was once part of the Yorkshire Brands, which was located in Lexington in the 1990s. 
Photo of Kevin Bazner, president and CEO of A&W Restaurants, Inc. A&W moved their headquarters back to Lexington in 2012 in leased space at Coldstream. Their  intent is to have a long-lasting future in this forever growing city. After the purchase from YUM! Brands, A&W seized the opportunity to push their brand to new heights and focus on the company’s growth. The move back to Lexington brought 30 excellent, well-paying jobs and A&W now wants to bring more jobs with future growth of their company.
“We set up offices for A&W in Lexington in 2012 with a long-term mindset. Development of our own offices just furthers that commitment,” said Kevin Bazner, CEO for A&W Restaurants Inc. “We are very happy to be associated with the City of Lexington.”
The first step for this great achievement was when the Urban County Council sold three acres of the Coldstream land to A&W for $585,000. The new building will house its corporate headquarters with plans that will be finalized by Jan. 15, 2020.
“We’ve put a strong plan in place to attract new business and help local businesses grow at Coldstream,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “It’s great that the first business is local, and that it is a global headquarters. Congratulations, A&W.”
When Mayor Gorton took office in January, she became more familiar with the Coldstream Campus and its development plan. This is including the shovel ready 50 acres on the campus and another 200 acres nearby.
In 2017, Lexington obtained the 250 acres to use for economic development. The University of Kentucky traded the land in exchange for ownership of sections of several city streets within the main UK campus. It is a win-win that addressed the economic needs of the city and pedestrian safety at the university.
“The Coldstream property gives us the opportunity to bring many new, good-paying jobs to Lexington,” Gorton said. “We need to maximize this opportunity with a strong development plan.”
“We are so pleased that A&W Restaurants has long term plans for Lexington with the announcement of their new headquarters building at the Coldstream Research Campus”, said George Ward, Coldstream’s Executive Director. “Kevin Bazner and his team have been great clients and the University of Kentucky is appreciative of our mutually beneficial engagement relationship.” 

Welcome Back A&W!

Happy 100th to Coldstream Neighbor A&W!

A&W Restaurants, long-term corporate citizen of Kentucky and resident of University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus for seven years, celebrated 100 years of refreshing America’s taste buds on June 20, the first American restaurant chain to reach that elusive century mark.
As root beer swiftly became the household beverage of choice, A&W Restaurants invented its famous accompaniment, the thick and juicy, sigh-worthy bacon cheeseburger. As the nation rushed for that spectacular combination of burger and root beer, A&W became today’s multi-billion-dollar global franchise restaurant industry.
A&W Restaurants, Inc. is the global headquarters for restaurants located within the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Bangladesh. The company provides franchisees with the marketing and operational support it takes to run a successful restaurant.
When California entrepreneur Roy Allen thought to try his secret recipe of herbs, bark, spices and berries at a parade honoring World War I veterans in the small town of Lodi, in northern California, he sold the first frosty 10-ounce mug of A&W at a refreshment stand for a nickel. His secret recipe was an instant sensation.
So, we know where the “A” in A&W originated – Roy Allen. The “W” is Frank Wright, Allen’s partner in the root beer phenomenon.  Allen and Wright first opened A&Ws throughout California. Franchising of roadside restaurants started in 1925 as America embraced that new-fangled horseless carriage and well-maintained roads became a necessity.  Naturally, it wasn’t long before A&W signs popped up around the country. An early root beer aficionado, J. Willard Marriott (as in the hospitality empire) opened A&Ws in Washington, D.C., launching what would become the Marriott hospitality empire.
Put roads, cars and hungry people together, and it wasn’t long (the 1950s and 60s) for the drive-in restaurant phenomenon conquered America. A&W grew rapidly in the years following World War II, with many returning soldiers using GI Bill loans to open franchises. The chain is credited with creating Its Modesto, California, restaurant was the inspiration for the classic film “American Graffiti.”
In 1963, Dale Mulder, a young A&W franchisee, invented the ooey-gooey bacon cheeseburger. Mulder became president of A&W and remains chairman today. Muldor took A&W international in 1963, when he opened A&Ws in Malaysia, making it the first American restaurant chain to expand to Southeast Asia. That year, it also became the first American hamburger chain to open in Okinawa, Japan. Three years later, A&W began serving guests in Singapore.
“There’s a lot of history in 100 years, but our longtime connection to veterans is a common thread,” said CEO Kevin Bazner. “That’s why we are especially pleased to again be supporting Disabled American Veterans – DAV – as part of our celebration.”
To commemorate its centennial, A&W created a book of memories and photos fans and former employees submitted. Sales benefit DAV, visit A&W Merchandise Store. A&W has also also kicked off its annual summer fundraising campaign for DAV, which culminates on National Root Beer Float Day, Aug. 6.
Bazner noted that A&W has survived recessions, wars, the Great Depression, sugar shortages, competition and 11 ownership changes.
“Today, A&W is the strongest it has been in decades, in part because we have returned to our roots, literally – serving freshly made Root Beer in frosted mugs along with all-American food favorites,” he said.
There are about 1,000 A&W restaurants around the world today, with almost 600 in the U.S. A&W is owned by its franchisees, who acquired it from YUM! Brands in 2011. Forty-five new A&Ws are scheduled to open this year.

UK’s Coldstream Research Campus Receives Tax Increment Financing Approvals

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2018) — The University of Kentucky received unanimous approval from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council (LFUCG) on March 22, 2018 and then received unanimous preliminary state approval from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on March 29, 2018 to establish a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District within the Coldstream Research Campus.

As a KY public university research park, the Coldstream Research Campus qualifies under state statute for a mixed-use TIF. To be eligible, Office, Laboratory, Residential, and Hospitality developments are planned at Coldstream. UK is seeking a private developer to build a new multi-family residential complex and has already negotiated with a separate developer to build a new hotel. Developers for new office and laboratory buildings, including a high-tech incubator, are also being sought.
Coldstream’s development plan in the TIF district calls for $33 million in infrastructure needs, including roads, sidewalks, expansion of utility lines, and shared public areas including meeting spaces, pedestrian trails, and parks. Final state approval from the KEDFA board will determine how much of this public infrastructure can be funded with incremental tax proceeds.
In recent months, Coldstream has worked with LFUCG to change the zoning definition for the its P-2 zoning, including the name change to the University Research Campus Zone. The new zone definition allows for an increase to the size of buildings and the removal of the former minimum 5-acre lots. Buildings no longer need to be set back 50-feet from interior Coldstream roads. Placing buildings closer to sidewalks will make Coldstream more pedestrian friendly. In addition, large green spaces are no longer required around every building, but can be aggregated into larger, usable public park areas. The new definition also allows for development of multi-family housing which will help Coldstream create the live-work-play-learn environment desired by today’s high-tech workforce.
The university has also been in talks with LFUCG on a land swap that will convey approximately 250 acres to LFUCG that will be sold for economic development/job producing users. 200 of these acres are farmland adjacent to Coldstream and the remainder of the acreage is “shovel ready” within the boundaries of the research campus. A memorandum of understanding is in its final form and will go through LFUCG council in the coming weeks for approval.  State and UK Board of Trustee approval has already been received.
“Everything we’ve been doing, from the zoning changes to the land swap and now the TIF district is to accelerate the growth of Coldstream,” said George Ward, executive director of the research park. “These recent changes will provide the social and physical infrastructure needed to attract and grow more businesses in Lexington.”

“The number one reason companies locate on research campuses is to have access to university talent including the students we are training for high-tech jobs and the world class researchers at UK. We believe the university as a partner to assist with infrastructure only adds to the attractiveness of the Coldstream development,” Ward said. “The TIF provides the university with the ability to give a developer a shovel-ready site with built-in amenities, as well as insuring that the cost of infrastructure is kept at a minimum. That enables a developer to build a more dense project than they would have otherwise. It’s all for job growth.”

A&W Restaurants’ Growth Trajectory

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2017) A&W Restaurants, Inc., a Lexington-based restaurant group with nearly 1,000 locations in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, looks to double down on restaurant growth in 2018 heading into its 100th Anniversary in 2019.  A&W recently celebrated the 6th Anniversary of their divestiture from Yum! Brands by announcing the brand’s core business is up nearly 30% over this timespan, and recent investments in new unit development look to increase those numbers in the foreseeable future.  The brand has seen many successful product launches since 2011, including the launch of Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders in 2013, which stemmed from the major restaurant industry trend towards boneless chicken.  In addition to new product launches centered on quality positioning, A&W has focused on a return to Local Store Marketing and developing tools for restaurant operators to advertise in their own communities.  And as of May 2017, one-hundred percent of all A&W restaurants now make their signature Root Beer fresh in each of their restaurants, with the same recipe that made the brand famous.
Photo of Kevin Bazner, president and CEO of A&W Restaurants, Inc.One of A&W’s major growth initiatives over the last few years has been a return to actively franchising the brand and building new units, something that was not emphasized during the first few years as a new company.  “For the first few years after leaving Yum! Brands, our focus was on strengthening the existing system.  We were not focused on building new restaurants,” Kevin Bazner, president and CEO explains. “We started getting requests to build from our franchisees in 2014 and in 2015 began actively franchising again.  Our goal this year was to build 15 new restaurants, and we hit that mark.  Next year we are shooting for 20.”  Bazner says A&W is going into markets where there used to be A&Ws, but they may have long closed down.  “The exciting part of this turnaround is being able to go back and build in smaller communities where there are so many fond memories of A&W.  We are definitely seeing increased demand to build in small-town America.”
When asked if being based in Lexington has impacted A&W’s overall business objectives and its team of approximately 30 Lexington-based employees, Bazner confirmed yes.  “The talent in central Kentucky is outstanding, and therefore we have not had to recruit outside of the region.  The cost of living is low, we are able to pay very competitive rates, and the strong arts and restaurant culture of Lexington continues to be a bonus for all those who live here.”  Bazner says the four company-owned restaurants in the Lexington market continue to do well, and A&W is looking at ways to expand the learnings that have come from their corporate stores into the other restaurants around the country.  “We are thankful to the Lexington community for allowing us to grow in the community.  We’ve been a quiet neighbor but you’ll be seeing much more of us in the coming years.”

Coldstream Research Park Could Get Townhomes, Retail, Restaurants

Changes to Fayette County’s zoning ordinances — to allow the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Park to add apartments, townhomes or condos to the 735-acre park — received first approval Thursday, March 23.
The Urban County Planning Commission voted unanimously to change the zoning ordinance to allow the research park to use as much as 15 percent of its land for multifamily housing or retail, apartments or townhomes. Some of the other changes include allowing for more density by requiring less greenspace around buildings and increasing allowed building heights.
The park off Newtown Pike on the north side of Lexington already is allowed to have some retail and hotels. The multi-family residences would be new.
Those changes to what is allowed in the office, industrial, research park, or P-2, zone now goes to Urban County Council for final approval.
Coldstream is the only property in Lexington zoned P-2, and the designation will be changed to “university research campus” instead of “office, industrial, research park zone.”
UK Coldstream Research Park officials have said that adding residential units will allow it to attract more businesses to the research park. Isolated industrial and research parks are outdated. People want to live, work and shop in the same area, UK officials have said.
The 2009 UK Coldstream Research Park master plan recommended adding apartments or other multifamily units. Coldstream Research Park has struggled to attract businesses. UK has pondered making changes to the P-2 zone for nearly a decade.
“Multifamily housing will allow for the creation of a dynamic-live-work-play-learn environment to provide the social infrastructure necessary to drive the development of office and R&D (research and development) facilities,” wrote George Ward, executive director of Coldstream Research Park, in his October application for the P-2 zone text changes.
“This is about a better, more efficient research park,” said Nick Nicholson, a lawyer who represents Coldstream. The current lot size is five acres, but only 25 percent of it can be used for buildings, Nicholson said. “You have greenspace around buildings that is not usable and is not pedestrian-friendly.”
By decreasing some of those requirements, the park can add apartments and restaurants, and can increase the amount of land available for job creation, he said.
“We are doubling employment square footage,” Nicholson said. “Smaller parcels also make it more affordable.”
Those restaurants, hotels or apartments will be in the interior of the park, Nicholson said.
Currently, there is only one restaurant in the park, which houses 56 companies or organizations. About 2,300 people work there. There was no opposition to the changes to the P-2 zone during Thursday’s planning commission hearing. The Fayette Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates on land use, supported the change.

UK Veterinary Diagnostic Lab Director Wins International Prize

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2017) — The University of Kentucky’s Craig Carter is a recognized leader in veterinary medicine around the world. Recently the American Veterinary Medical Association presented the 2016 International Veterinary Congress Prize to Carter, director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab located on UK's Coldstream Research Campus. The prize recognizes his international contributions to veterinary health.
“Throughout his career, Dr. Carter has displayed a strong commitment to improving international understanding of veterinary medicine,” said Joe Kinnarney, AVMA president. “He is a service-oriented individual whose contributions to One Health efforts have had far-reaching effects across the globe. I congratulate him on this award, and thank him for his many years of dedication to international veterinary medicine and tireless efforts to improve public health in the United States and around the world.”
“This is a great and exceedingly humbling honor that I accept on behalf of so many contributing to international veterinary medicine,” Carter said.
Carter earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine, a master’s degree in epidemiology and a doctorate of philosophy in veterinary public health from Texas A&M University. UK recruited Carter to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in 2005 to build an epidemiology program that would provide for the early detection of animal disease outbreaks such as Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. In 2007, he was appointed to his current position as director of UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory where he oversees lab operations, conducts research and works with graduate students.
He also is on faculty at the UK College of Public Health and at the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee. Carter’s military career spanned four decades, starting with active duty and then reserves in the U.S. Air Force and later in the U.S. Army Reserve, from which he retired as a colonel in 2009.
Upon his retirement, Carter received the Army Medical Reserve Legion of Merit for service throughout his 30-year career as veterinary readiness adviser for the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Command. He also received the Joint Service Commendation Medal for service as senior veterinarian in Task Force Ramadi, Iraq, in 2008. He received the Bronze Star in 2002 for commanding the first U.S. Army veterinary reserve unit deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11.
Carter has been very engaged internationally as a consultant to the Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS), the World Organization for Animal Health and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He recently traveled to Vietnam, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, China, Thailand, Australia, Uruguay, Nicaragua and Ethiopia, where he evaluated diagnostic laboratories, delivered lectures and participated in nation-building activities. In 2009, he participated in a USDA FAS mission to Afghanistan to advise the Afghanistan Ministries of Agriculture and Public Health on strategic planning for veterinary diagnostic laboratories, animal disease monitoring and surveillance and public health. Since 1999 as executive director of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, he has coordinated and helped to plan eight international meetings in various countries to advance the field of diagnostic veterinary medicine around the world.
Earlier this year, Carter took the helm of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society as president for a five-year term.

Piramal Pharma Solutions Expands Capacity for Sterile Manufacturing in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2016) Piramal Pharma Solutions, a provider of sterile drug product development and manufacturing services, has announced plans for a $25 million expansion of its facilities located on the Coldstream Research Campus in Lexington, Kentucky.
Piramal Pharma Solutions’ plan focuses on expanding the Lexington site capabilities and capacity for commercial aseptic manufacturing. This will be done by increasing vial filling capability and lyophilisation capacity, as well as upgrades to the associated facilities and utilities. Piramal’s Lexington site has a strong pipeline of products which are expected to be commercialized in next 3 to 5 years. Add to that the fast growing Sterile Market in the US, recent consolidations in the CMO space and shut down of many manufacturing sites in the US, has created a big demand for quality manufacturers in the Sterile segment. The Sterile market in the US and Europe is growing at a healthy rate of 11% and the Contract Manufacturing in the Sterile Dosage Form is growing at 13% year on year. Piramal believes that it can take advantage of the market situation and grow it Lexington business multi-fold.
Phase 1 of the expansion of the Lexington facility will add a new manufacturing suite including a high speed vial filling machine that provides controlled/safe environment for handling potent materials with an advantage of automated Vial Washing and Sterilization. Also as part of the first phase of expansion, Piramal will install a new isolator based vial filler in its existing manufacturing suite, which is a newer technology and considered much higher in quality standards. Combined, the two fillers installed under Phase I of the expansion will increase the company’s vial filling capabilities by more than five-fold. Phase 2 of the expansion will include the installation of two state-of-the-art lyophilizers and are planned to integrate with the new filler line in the new manufacturing suite offering dedicated capacity for both potent and non-potent products
Vivek Sharma, CEO – Pharma Solutions, Piramal Enterprises, commented: “Since our initial investment the Kentucky site has demonstrated both leadership and growth, and we are pleased to announce this next phase of investment to enhance capability and capacity. We appreciate the active support from the State of Kentucky, the local Government, and most importantly, the community, as we continue our growth plans in Lexington. The expansion in our capacity at Kentucky will help us better serve our customers who are looking for us to deliver solutions that will improve the standard of care.”
Bill Wedlake, President of Piramal Pharma Solutions Formulations Business added, “We are extremely excited to initiate this expansion and continue the company’s vision of becoming the premier aseptic manufacturing service provider that began with the acquisition of Coldstream Laboratories in January of 2015.”
About Piramal Pharma Solutions
Piramal Pharma Solutions, the Contract Development and Manufacturing arm of Piramal Enterprises Ltd., has assets across North America, Europe and Asia and offers services across the entire drug lifecycle – from development and commercial manufacturing to off-patent supplies of API and formulations. In 2015, the division acquired Coldstream Laboratories in Kentucky, a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization focused on the development and manufacturing of sterile injectable products. This facility is a specialty pharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization, also offering full analytical, and formulation, microbiology, and lyophilization development services. Piramal Pharma Solutions at Kentucky specializes in the development and manufacture of highly potent compounds and operates as Kentucky’s only parenteral manufacturing facility.
About Piramal Enterprises Limited
Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL) is one of India’s large diversified companies, with a presence in Healthcare, Healthcare Information Management and Financial Services. PEL’s consolidated revenues were around $ 1 billion in FY2016, with 61% of revenues from outside India.
PEL is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in India.
For more information, visit or email

UK Police Hosting Regional K-9 Certification and Trials

LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 8, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Police Department is hosting the United States Police Canine Association Region 5 Certification and Trials event beginning this Sunday July, 10, and continuing through Wednesday, July 13, at the Carnahan House in Lexington.
“Law enforcement canines serve an invaluable function both to their agencies and to the community they serve,” UKPD Chief Joe Monroe said. “We are honored to host the USPCA Region 5 Certification and Trials event this year.”
The United States Police Canine Association is the largest and oldest active organization of its kind. Region 5 encompasses law enforcement canine agencies across Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. These canines will be seeking recertification in agility, obedience, tracking, criminal apprehension, article evidence, narcotics detection and explosives detection at the historic Carnahan House, located on UK's Coldstream Research Campus, just off Newtown Pike.
“Regional and national certification for canine law enforcement agencies are an important tool in standardizing the level of expertise these canines and their handlers must have to become credible witnesses in their respective fields,” said USPCA Region 5 President Jason Thomas.
In 2004, UKPD obtained its first canine as a result of a mutual aid agreement with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The K-9 unit has grown to three canines — their names are Pink, Baska and Junior.
Members of the public are invited to attend the outdoor testing of law enforcement canines including the agility, obedience and criminal apprehension trials on Tuesday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 13.
For more information about USPCA, visit
For more information about the Region 5 Certification and Trials, visit

Dr. Shepard-Jones Appointed Director of UK's Human Development Institute

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) —The University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research has appointed Kathleen Sheppard-Jones as the new director of the Human Development Institute (HDI), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at UK. 

Sheppard-Jones received her doctoral degree in educational psychology from UK in 2002 and has worked with HDI since 1996. She previously served as training director for the institute. In that role, she built relationships with faculty and staff across colleges at UK and beyond. In addition to her director responsibilities, Sheppard-Jones is also principal investigator across a variety of grants and contracts around quality supports for people through the lifespan. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling.
”HDI promotes the inclusion, independence and contributions of people with disabilities across the lifespan," said Vice President for Research Lisa A. Cassis. "As one of 67 UCEDD programs across the nation, this mission is accomplished through research, education, information sharing, leadership and advocacy — across the Commonwealth and the nation. With 45 projects and over 200 staff, Dr. Sheppard-Jones’ background and experience building interdisciplinary collaboration will ensure HDI is part of the research agenda that improves life outcomes for all Kentuckians and particularly addresses disparities for those with disabilities.”
“I’m extremely honored to be HDI’s executive director," Sheppard-Jones said."We have huge challenges ahead of us, but I cannot imagine a better team of dedicated and innovative professionals, self-advocates and families with whom to share this journey. Together, we will forge ahead to promote a society that is inclusive for all, and help to erase health disparities for Kentuckians with disabilities. The University of Kentucky is an environment that will enable us to conduct state of the art translational research, provide training to interdisciplinary students who will be the leaders of tomorrow, and collaborate with communities to demonstrate service models that result in meaningful life outcomes.”

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