Our Team

Patsy Carruthers' Headshot

Patsy Carruthers

Senior Director

patsy.carruthers@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-8110

Patsy Carruthers provides leadership for the UK Online teams within Teaching, Learning and Academic Innovation. Patsy came to the University of Kentucky in 2007 from a career in teaching, instructional technology, and communications. She has a Master of Arts in Education with a focus in secondary English education, and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English. Her background includes high school teaching, directing public television educational technology services, and working as a journalist. While at UK, Patsy has grown support services for learning management systems and other academic technologies, developed opportunities for instructional and outreach activities, and led campus-wide teams of faculty, staff, and students in the examination of technologies for teaching and learning.

Kelley Cruse's Headshot

Kelley Cruse

Associate Director, UK Online

kelley.cruse@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-9898

Kelley Cruse leads UK Online’s Instructional Design team. She has worked as an Instructional Designer in Higher Education since 2009. Within her role, Kelley leads the team to design, develop and support quality learning environments. She particularly enjoys working with faculty as they develop courses for online and hybrid delivery. Kelley is inspired to work in the field of online learning and increasing the access of educational opportunities for students. She has two degrees from the University of Kentucky’s College of Education - Master’s in Instructional Systems Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education.

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Miranda Hines

Associate Director, Distance Learning Administration

miranda.hines@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-8218

Miranda Hines leads UK Online’s Distance Learning team in providing guidance and support with Distance Learning compliance, policy, faculty and program consultations, and other considerations that impact Distance Learning. Miranda has a B.S. in Individual and Family Development from the University of Kentucky, an M.S. in Human Resource Education from the University of Louisville, and over 20 years of Higher Education experience. Her expertise is in organizational & employee development, management, and policy oversight.


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Sarah Asher

Instructional Designer

sarah.asher@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-8239

Sarah Asher is an instructional designer for the Instructional Design team. She also supports integration of many instructional technologies used for synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning for both online and hybrid courses. Sarah consults with faculty and students in the use of instructional technology, and she assists in troubleshooting difficulty. Prior to working for the Instructional Design team, Sarah worked as technical support in both the Office of Learning Management and in ITS Customer Services. Sarah has one degree from Eastern Kentucky University's College of Arts and Sciences, a Master's in Biology, and one degree from the University of Kentucky's College of Arts and Sciences, a Bachelor's degree in Biology.

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Alicia Benben

Instructional Designer

alicia.benben@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-1633

Alicia Benben is an Instructional Designer for UK Online. She enjoys working with faculty from a variety of disciplines on the design and development of programs and courses for online delivery, and on rethinking course content in various mediums to help students achieve their learning outcomes. A strong proponent of having a well-rounded instructional toolkit, Alicia is passionate about learning new tools and technologies that may aid in the classroom experience. Prior to joining UK, Alicia spent more than 10 years in the equine industry in both hands-on and higher education roles, including as an Assistant Professor in Equine Studies at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Alicia is currently finishing her Master’s in Instructional Systems Design at the University of Kentucky and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Equine Business Management Specialization, from Cazenovia College.

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Michia Brangers

Online Admissions Counselor

michia.brangers@uky.edu  |  (859) 562-2446

Michia joined UK Online as its Online Admissions Counselor in 2019. Previously she worked as an Academic Advisor for online learners around the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. She holds an M.A. in Adult and Higher Education with a focus in Counseling from Morehead State University, a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Kentucky and an A.A. degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on Legal Studies. In her current role she is responsible for coordinating the operations and administration of recruitment and enrollment activity for online students. Michia brings to the role an extensive knowledge of adult learners, student services, student relations and recruiting. Putting student success at the forefront of all that she does here at UK, Michia strives to always ensure online students at the University have an advocate for their success. She enjoys helping students pursue their passions while exploring new pathways forward at the University level. Michia is thrilled to help grow the online presence at the University of Kentucky and is looking forward to helping students excel personally, professionally and academically.

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Alex Cutadean

Multimedia Specialist / Faculty Media Depot

alex.cutadean@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-4052

Alex Cutadean is a Multi-Media Specialist who manages UK Online’s Faculty Media Depot, where he assists faculty with the creation and conversion of audio/visual assets. He also contributes to the implementation of technologies within courses, working closely with the Technology and the Instructional Design teams. Alex joined UK Online in 2013, coming from the horse industry where he spent 14 years creating media and implementing technologies for racing, sales, veterinary topics, and horse health education. Alex initially attended Asbury University before obtaining his Bachelor's in Telecommunications from the University of Kentucky.

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Buddy Hall

Educational Technology Solutions Specialist

buddy@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-9046

Buddy Hall works for the UK Online Technology team, specializing in various educational technology tools such as learning management and systems. He enjoys working with faculty to assist them with selecting the right tools for their specific needs and maximizing the effective use of these tools by leading workshops and training seminars. Buddy received a BBA in Decision Science and Information Systems from the University of Kentucky. He is also interested in analytics and reporting as well as roller coasters, amusement parks, and themed entertainment.


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Franklin Johnson

Release & Deployment Coordinator

franklin.johnson@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-9340

Franklin Johnson is part of the UK Online Technology team. In his role, Frank manages performance and troubleshoots technology tools that support learning environments, including web conferencing, learning management systems, and others. He also works closely with students, faculty and staff to examine issues as they arise that prevent them from using the technology. Frank has worked at the Service Desk as a second level support tech, but prior to that he completed 20+ years of military service as an Information Systems Specialist in the US Navy, spearheading Desert Storm and the War on Terror. Frank enjoys civil war re-enactments, Japanese flower arranging, and long distance paramotoring.


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Chris McGuire

Distance Learning Coordinator

chris.mcguire@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-3010


Chris McGuire is the Distance Learning Coordinator where he coordinates with Colleges, the Registrar's Office, and other support areas to facilitate the scheduling of ITV (Compressed Video via Internet) classrooms on campus. Additionally, he provides support and answers questions related to Distance Learning services, programs, and technologies. He has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Kentucky in English and Secondary English Education. He began his time supporting online learning as a student intern for the Office of Learning Management and transitioned to working for ITS Customer Service for 2 1/2 years after graduating. Now, he has rejoined online learning support as part of UK Online’s Distance Learning team.

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Jessica Wells

Instructional Designer

Jessica Wells is an Instructional Designer for UK Online. She enjoys working with new-to-online teaching faculty, introducing practical approaches to pedagogy, and building community in a digital world. Jessica believes that content should drive the use of technology and strives to make the transition to online as seamless as possible for new to online instructors, while upholding standards that ensure exceptional learning environments for our students. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Sociology.

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Tia Williams

Instructional Designer

tia.williams@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-8642

Tia Williams is an Instructional Designer with UK Online. Tia has an extensive educational background with a B.A. in Psychology and Liberal Studies from Kentucky State University, and a M.S. and Ed.S. in Counseling Psychology, a M.S. in Instructional Systems Design, and a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Communication from the University of Kentucky. Tia has designed, developed, and taught face-to-face and online courses at the higher education level for more than six years. In her current role as Instructional Designer with UK Online, Tia supports faculty with the design and development of hybrid and online courses and further supports faculty and staff as a Quality Matters-certified trainer for the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) face-to-face workshop.

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Emily Woods

Distance Learning Compliance Coordinator

emily.woods1@uky.edu  |  (859) 257-3010

Emily Woods is the compliance coordinator for the Distance Learning team, where she manages the State Authorization process and ensures that the University and its distance learning programs are compliant with state and federal regulations. Emily earned a B.A. in English from the University of Kentucky and a MS Ed in Higher Education from the UK Department of Education Evaluation and Policy Studies. In 2013 Emily was an English instructor in China at the Chengdu Sichuan University of International Studies. After returning to Lexington, she worked in Human Resources at UK and then became the Continuing Education Program Coordinator at the College of Nursing, where she assisted with data management and accreditation for the program. Emily is originally from Lexington and loves the city! Her hobbies include music (piano and songwriting), reading, yoga, and coffee.