External Advisory Board

Bear Brown 

Bear is a Ph.D. candidate at The Ohio State University where he studies American politics and political theory. His interests include populism and anti-elitism, participatory democracy and civility in politics. Bear completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at UK, where he was a Singletary Scholar and member of the Lewis Honors College. Outside of his academic interests, Bear engages with initiatives to help younger students succeed, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, particularly in areas of recruitment, mentorship and retention.

La Tasha Buckner, J.D.

La Tasha is a graduate of the UK Honors program with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a juris doctor degree from UK College of Law. She is currently Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to Governor Andy Beshear. Previously, she held positions as General Counsel to Governor Andy Beshear, Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Division under then Attorney General Andy Beshear, Deputy Executive Director for the Office of Legal Services at the Public Protection Cabinet; and Assistant Commonwealth Attorney in Fayette, Jessamine and Garrard Counties. La Tasha was awarded the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence from the University of Kentucky Alumni Association and is the mother of two children, Sophia and Thiers. 

Jack Challis, Ph.D.

Jack is the Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations at Lucence. A physicist by training, Jack co-founded CliniCast – a start-up that helped providers in the United States and Singapore organize complex cancer information for research and patient treatment. After Elekta acquired CliniCast, he helped grow Elekta’s operational analytics portfolio to a global customer base. He brings his entrepreneurial mindset to Lucence, and oversees laboratory operations, evidence generation and commercial growth to achieve the sustained excellence necessary to succeed in the United States. Jack is a graduate of the UK Honors program in mathematics and physics. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Yale and lives in Burlingame, California with his wife Rachel and children, Penelope and James. 

Linda Crabtree Cornell

Linda is a graduate of one of the earliest UK Honors programs. After completing her degree in political science, she obtained an MBA in marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She served as VP of New Products Marketing for Jergens/Kao Corp. of Japan and VP of Strategic Planning for Sive/Young & Rubicam ad agency before retiring as co-owner of Pfyzz, Inc., a marketer of effervescent personal care products. Linda is widowed with two daughters and five grandchildren and divides her time between Cincinnati and Marblehead, Ohio and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She loves sailing, visual and performing arts and puzzles of all sorts. Linda provides funding for the Lewis Honors College Crabtree-Cornell Fund for the Environment as part of her personal mission to support efforts to help preserve and protect the environment.

Scottie Day, M.D.

Dr. Day was recruited to the University of Kentucky from Hazard Community College with a Singletary Scholarship. He graduated with Honors and a degree in biology and went on to graduate from UK’s College of Medicine. Following his residency at Indiana University, Indianapolis in addition to a fellowship in critical care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Day was actively involved in the development of the Pediatric Early Warning System (PEWS) at Kaiser Moanalua Hospital in Hawaii. Dr. Day is currently the Physician-in-Chief for Kentucky Children's Hospital and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. In addition, he is immediate past-President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kentucky Chapter, and current President of the Kentucky Pediatric Society. He has served internationally helping develop a hospital and clinic for children in Haiti and has been an active volunteer with Christian Student Fellowship on UK’s campus. He and his wife, Dr. Kristi Day, have four children. 

James C. Duff, J.D.

James C. Duff of Bethesda, Maryland, is executive director of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He was Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts from 2006 to 2011 and again from 2015 to 2021 where he also served as Secretary of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In between those two periods of service, he was president and chief executive officer of the Newseum and Freedom Forum. Duff is former chairman of the Supreme Court Fellows Commission and has been an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University for 16 years, teaching constitutional law and civil liberties. He was previously managing partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Baker Donelson PC. Previously, Duff served as counselor to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and was his liaison with Congress, the executive branch, and various state and federal organizations involved in the administration of justice.

Duff is a graduate of the UK Honors program with degrees in philosophy, political science and history. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a walk-on for the UK basketball team. He attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He was named to the UK Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, and was given the Georgetown Entertainment and Media Law Achievement Award, both in 2012. In addition, he was recently inducted into UK’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Ambassador Christine Elder

Christine Elder is the U.S. Consul General in Sydney. Prior to her assignment in Australia, she worked on U.S. efforts in Washington, D.C. and at safe havens to assist in the relocation of Afghan citizens fleeing Taliban rule. She was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia from 2016-2020, and subsequently served in the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General as Senior Inspector. Previously, Christine held positions as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique, Director for the Office of Southern African Affairs, and U.S. Cultural Attaché in Germany and in Hungary. Her other assignments included serving as Deputy Coordinator for International Information Programs in the U.S. Department of State, as well as assignments in the Bureaus of Near Eastern and European Affairs, as well as the Executive Secretary’s Operations Center, and Bureau of Economic Affairs. She has served at U.S. Embassies in Monrovia, Maputo, Bonn, Budapest, and Berlin, and speaks German and Portuguese. She began government service in the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce.

Christine was a member of the UK Honors program and holds a bachelor’s degree in Germanic Language and Literature and an M.A. in International Relations from The George Washington University. She is married and has two stepchildren.

Lisa Ernst

Lisa is a UK Gaines Humanities Fellow and UK Honors program graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She is recently retired from her position as Senior Vice President of Research & Development, Oral Care and Consumer Health Sector, at Proctor & Gamble Company. She led product breakthroughs in oral care, personal health care, hair care and pet care. She innovated in “tight spaces” within narrow regulatory frameworks, high governance and quality requirements. Lisa is passionate about talent development, diversity and inclusion, building capability, innovation and transforming how work gets done. She is member of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council and she previously served as Chair of the Gaines Humanities Foundation at UK. She was recently inducted into the UK College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. Lisa lives with her husband, Richard T. Ernst, Jr., in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Lori Hudson Flanery, J.D.

Lori graduated from the UK Honors program with departmental honors in English. After obtaining her juris doctor degree from UK College of Law, she joined Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs to begin her legal career. Lori next served in executive or legal positions in state government agencies focused on economic development, utility regulation, executive branch ethics and affordable housing. She served last as the Secretary of the Finance & Administration Cabinet, responsible for Kentucky’s facilities, technology network and operations, procurement, accounting, tax revenue collection and administration, debt issuance and management. Lori now serves as President & CEO of New Directions, a dynamic community development corporation specializing in affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization in the Louisville. Lori also serves as a trustee for the Gheens Foundation and serves on the boards of the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, the Homeless & Housing Coalition, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (advisory), and several other banking, finance and housing entities. Lori has been recognized as one of Louisville’s 25 Most Admired CEOs, as well as one of of Kentucky Gazette’s “Notable Women in Kentucky Politics and Government” and as someone to know in real estate. Lori lives in Simpsonville with her husband, Kevin, who just retired as President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. The two met during the first semester of law school at UK when their lockers were across from one another and they quickly became study buddies with a core group of students who remain friends to this day. Lori and Kevin share four wonderful adult children and have two equally fantastic grandsons.

Leslie Land Geoghegan 

Leslie’s professional career spanned almost 25 years in information technology, operations improvement, strategic planning and project management. While holding responsible positions with General Electric Appliance Park, Cybernetics & Systems, and Norton Healthcare, the majority of her career was spent in management consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from UK, where she was in Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA from the University of Louisville. 

Leslie has utilized her professional experience to serve the local community for the last 20 years, especially in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, financial oversight, construction management and board leadership, through a variety of organizations. She is currently Board Chair for the Louisville Arena Authority and Treasurer for Beargrass Christian Church. At UK, Leslie oversaw the recent renovation and construction project for the UK chapter of Alpha Delta Pi, serves on the Kentucky Can campaign leadership council, is chair of the Lewis Honors College campaign committee and is a member of Women and Philanthropy. She has been board chair for Louisville Collegiate School, Lexington Theological Seminary, Beargrass Christian Church and the Beargrass Christian Church Endowment.

Leslie was a co-founder of the St. Matthews Farmers Market, Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana and a commissioner for PARC – City of Louisville. In recognition of her meaningful service to both organizations, Leslie received the Service Award from Louisville Collegiate School and the President’s Award from Lexington Theological Seminary.

Melissa Humphries

Melissa graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in marketing, which she has utilized in the hospitality and financial services industries. She has extensive fundraising and volunteer experience, including being a  founding member and chair of Lewis Honors College’s Family Advisory Council. She enjoys riding horses on her farm in Georgia in her spare time, as well as occasional trips to UK to visit her daughters, one of whom recently graduated with a degree in animal sciences and a minor and agricultural economics and another who is a current Honors student.

Thomas W. Lewis

Tom created a successful home building business, T. W. Lewis & Co. (later sold to David Weekley Homes) in Phoenix, Arizona. He and his business have been recognized with multiple national industry awards, including being recognized as the first inductee into the National Housing Quality Hall of Fame and receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Professional Builder Magazine and the National Housing Quality Award Committee. Tom earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the UK College of Engineering and is a member of UK’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Tom and his wife, Jan, formed the T.W. Lewis Foundation to support higher education, children and families in need, youth education and a variety of community nonprofit organizations. In 2015, in order to give back to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Tom and Jan made a generous gift to the University of Kentucky to establish the Lewis Honors College. 

Gary Loyd, M.D.

Originally from Utica, KY, Dr. Loyd is a graduate of UK’s Honors program and completed his bachelor’s degree in biology before attending medical school at the University of Louisville and then Carnegie Melon for a Master of Medical Management degree. He is currently the Director of Perioperative Surgical Home at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where he is an anesthesiologist. He serves the Lewis Honors College as a mentor for students who are interested in medical careers. Gary and his husband, Bud, enjoy traveling together and have three adult children. 

Davis “Lee” Marksbury, III

Lee is a graduate of UK’s Honors program where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both history and economics. Honors courses sparked his interest in early Christianity, which remains a passion. He pursues strategic investments through his company, D3 Investments. Lee and his wife, Stacie, who is a UK alumna, enjoy being active in the greater Charleston community and spending time with their two sons and rescue dogs.

Sherry Remington Moak 

Sherry graduated from the UK Gatton College of Business & Economics with high distinction and Honors in accounting. She is a certified public accountant and recently returned to private consulting practice after serving five years in a church setting overseeing financial and administrative operations. She has held management positions with Ernst & Young, Humana, HCA and Kindred. She currently serves as a member of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a member of UK Women in Philanthropy. She is the treasurer of the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club, where she previously served as president, and a Middletown Christian Church Elder. In the past, she served as president of the Junior League of Louisville, board chair of Middletown Christian Church and was a Courier Journal Forum Fellow. Sherry was also a recipient of a UK National Alumni Service Award. 

Sherry has been married for 33 years to her husband, Jim, and is the proud mother of three grown sons, one of whom graduated from the Lewis Honors College. 

Richard A. Neill, M.D.

Dr. Neill graduated from the UK Honors program with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry before continuing his studies to earn a doctor of medicine degree from UK’s College of Medicine. In his "pretirement," he is working as a general practitioner with Tararua Health Group in rural New Zealand, spending six months each year in country and the balance performing telephone consultations from the U.S. After a brief period in private practice, he taught in the Department of Family Practice at UK, where he served as Residency Program and Fellowship Director, before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, where he helped start the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and eventually served as Chief of Family Medicine and Vice-Chair of the Department. Richard is married with two grown sons who live in Oakland and Hanoi. He and his wife enjoy day hikes, travel and time with family.

Carter Ruml, J.D.

Carter received his bachelor’s degree in public affairs and geosciences from Princeton University before continuing his education at Stanford Law School. After founding Rumls PLC, a trust and estate law practice, he and his wife and business partner, Sara, recently merged with Graydon Law in Cincinnati. Carter is a member of the Bar in four states, including Kentucky, and is a Certified Financial Planner who enjoys rowing on the Ohio River in his free time. Carter’s oldest child is a student in Lewis Honors College.

Joe Ruschell, J.D.

Joe Ruschell is Vice President, Associate General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Humana, a leading health and well-being company. Joe’s work focuses on corporate governance and organization, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, and securities law. He provides counsel to Humana’s management team and corporate development and strategy group as the company works to create a new kind of integrated healthcare with the power to improve health outcomes, lower costs and make it easy for its members to achieve their best health. Prior to re-joining Humana, Joe served as Corporate Counsel at Alltech, a global animal health and nutrition company, and was previously in private practice in New York City with the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and in Kentucky with the law firm Stites & Harbison.

Joe received his juris doctor degree from Columbia University, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a managing editor of the Columbia Law Review. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from UK, where he was a Singletary Scholar and member of the Honors program. Joe is an avid runner and enjoys spending free time with his wife, Caroline, and their two daughters.

Terry Samuel 

Terry is currently serving as the president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC). KSTC is a statewide independent and innovative non-profit leader in developing and managing creative initiatives in education, entrepreneurship, disruptive R&D, and economic competitiveness. KSTC works closely with the University of Kentucky in promoting research-driven economic development and technology commercialization across the commonwealth. Prior to KSTC, Terry spent many years in Fortune 500 companies with IBM and Lexmark serving in roles in general management, international and domestic sales, finance & strategy, supply chain and manufacturing operations, product development​ and services. His time at Lexmark included two and a half years on assignment in Singapore and an assignment to chair Lexmark's Diversity Council.

Terry holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Xavier University. He is a founding member of Lewis Honors College’s Family Advisory Council, serves on the Advisory Board for Launch Blue and is on the External Advisory Council for the UK Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) Innovation Subcommittee. He resides in Lexington with his wife, and they have three adult daughters, one of whom is a graduate of the Lewis Honors College.

Julene B. Samuels, M.D.

Dr. Samuels is a board certified cosmetic plastic surgeon in Louisville, where she specializes in aesthetic surgery of the face, breast and body. She is a UK Honors program alumnus, having earned a bachelor’s degree from the UK College of Pharmacy, after which she continued on to receive her doctor of medicine degree from the UK College of Medicine. Dr. Samuels completed a residency in General Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW), followed by a second residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UTSW. Dr. Samuels is widely published and is an internationally recognized plastic surgeon for her research and clinical trial work with multiple renowned medical device manufacturers. She is a Key Opinion Leader and Clinical Investigator for Allergan, Mentor, BTL, Candela, InMode and Sciton. Dr. Samuels and her husband as well as their 25-year-old twin daughters are all UK graduates. Her daughter Kaitlyn is also a Lewis Honors College alumnus and is currently in medical school at UK. The entire family golfs together and enjoys the sports of three day eventing and foxhunting. Between them, the family owns Irish Sport Horses, thoroughbreds, and quarter horses used in eventing, foxhunting and English pleasure riding. 

Becky Timmons 

Ms. Timmons is chief product officer at Alltech, focusing on product development, formulation and quality assurance. She ensures that all Alltech products meet the high standards demanded by the company through its Alltech® Quality System (AQS). AQS was established by Timmons to meet or exceed all global and regional standards of quality, and it requires all Alltech offices and production facilities around the world to meet very stringent traceability requirements. In the area of product development, Timmons works with Alltech divisions, departments and customers to generate ideas and concepts. She oversees several pilot plants and manages applications departments (in Kentucky, Ireland and Brazil) that includes food scientists, registered dietitians, chemists, microbiologists, fermentation specialists and engineers who work on development and scale up projects. Timmons has held a number of positions at Alltech both in the areas of quality and new product development, including serving as director of fermentation and director of flavor development. She sits on Alltech's Reputation Overview Committee (ROC) and is also a member of Alltech's Growth Council. She received bachelor's degrees in chemistry and biology from UK, a master’s degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and has completed an advanced business studies program.

Elizabeth Rehm Wachtel, Ph.D.

Wachtel graduated from the UK Honors program with a bachelor’s degree in psychology after which she continued in her education to earn a masters and Ph.D. in social psychology, also from UK. She retired from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), where she served as an associate professor in the College of Justice and Safety and director of the Training Resource Center. During her career, Wachtel held numerous senior academic administrative positions at EKU. In addition, she served as commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disability. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. 

In her spare time, Wachtel enjoys reading mysteries and keeping in shape with aerobics, weights, Pilates and walking. She and her husband enjoy traveling together and are proud grandparents to 8-year-old Dinah.

Amanda T. Whitaker, M.D.

Dr. Whitaker graduated from the UK Honors program with a bachelor’s degree in biology before pursuing her doctor of medicine degree with special qualifications in biomedical research from Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Since completing her residency at the University of California San Francisco and a fellowship at Harvard Combined/Boston Children’s Hospital, she has been working as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Shriners Children’s Hospital - Northern California and assistant professor at University of California Davis. Dr. Whitaker specializes in improving care for children and adults with cerebral palsy, focusing on hip surveillance, outcomes, gait, clubfoot and lower limb deformities. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, long-course triathlons, spending time with family and playing with her dog Wompus.

Richard Whitaker, J.D.

Richard graduated from the UK Honors program with a bachelor’s degree in sociology before continuing his education at UK College of Law. He is currently a member at the law firm of Gess, Mattingly & Atchison, P.S.C. where he practices in the areas of real estate, transportation law, and corporate and business. He is the manager of the Lexington office’s Real Estate Department, and his experience also includes mineral title work and review of coal, gas and other property issues. Previously Richard worked in private industry, having many years’ experience in the transportation industry, and additional experience as a practicing transportation attorney. Born and raised in Somerset, Richard’s Hobbies include golf, wine and travel.

Rick Wood 

Rick is proud to have graduated from his father’s alma mater, the University of Kentucky, with distinction in the Honors Program in economics. After graduating from The Ohio State University College of Law, he moved to San Francisco, passed the California bar exam, and started working with Gay Rights Advocates. Later, he obtained a position with the Office of Chief Counsel in the national office of the Internal Revenue Service. He worked in the Disclosure Litigation Division and then transferred to Washington, D.C. District Counsel. He attended Georgetown University Law Center as an evening student and earned an LL.M. in tax. Rick reached a turning point in his career when he participated in a program that allowed three attorneys from the IRS to teach for one year at one of three approved American law schools. He applied, and was accepted into the program by the Service and was placed at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio as a visiting professor, where he taught three tax courses and loved it. Luckily for him, Capital was pleased with his work and after completing an obligatory one-year return with the IRS, he returned to Capital where he served happily teaching Tax and Business Associations courses for the next many years.

Emeritus External Advisory Board member, President Emeritus Lee Todd, Ph.D.

Todd received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UK and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), after which he returned to UK and joined the electrical engineering faculty. After several years of serving on the faculty, Todd left UK to found two companies in Central Kentucky based on the patents he developed during his time at MIT. Todd served as the 11th President of the University of Kentucky. His tenure was marked by profound growth in UK’s health care and research enterprise. His priorities in addressing the Commonwealth’s chronic health disparities were integral to UK’s growth as a research university.

Todd and his wife, Patricia are natives of Earlington, Kentucky and both attended UK. They have two adult children and love spending time with their granddaughter.