Meet the Team
Dr. Nicole Martin (Director)
Dr. Martin completed her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in performance studies and African & African Diaspora studies. She joins IEDE having worked previously as Director of Academic Affairs and Lecturer for the Lewis Honors College, and as a faculty instructional consultant in the University of Kentucky’s teaching and learning center (CELT) to advance inclusive pedagogy in the classroom.
Dr. Martin’s approach to anti-discrimination education is informed by her scholarly background in performance studies, critical race studies, black feminisms, critical pedagogy and critical ethnography. She believes that systemic inequities must be addressed in community with others and with careful consideration for the materiality of lived experience.
In her role as director, Dr. Martin hopes to be a catalyst for collective organizing around the ideas and practices that demand our attention toward justice. She believes this work must be improvisational, dynamic, and deeply historicized. As James Baldwin reminds us, “For history, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.
Dr. Martin is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies (Adjunct Series) and a faculty affiliate for the African American and Africana Studies program here at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Rae Loftis (IEDE Associate)
Dr. Rae Loftis completed her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University where she co-authored a collaborative dissertation on building feminist sisterhood between Black women and White women. Prior to joining U.K. and the Office for Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education, Rae served as the Assistant Director for the Center for Student Inclusiveness at Northern Kentucky University in the division of Student Affairs. Rae earned her M.A. in Higher Education Leadership from Siena Heights University and her B.A. in Theatre from Carthage College.
Dr. Rae is an educator, scholar, and practitioner who approaches anti-oppression work through Black feminism, antiracist, and queer frameworks that seek accountability and solidarity through collaboration and sisterhood. She advocates for and advances the interrogation of Whiteness and anti-Blackness through education and community accountability. Rae believes in the power of collaboration to transform our practices and further our understanding and advocacy for anti-oppression. She roots herself and her work in the understanding that we are all responsible for and have stake in advancing this work towards equity and liberation. As the Combahee River Collective admonished us in 1977, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” Rae’s approach to this is always to the advancement of liberation, knowing that our differing and varying oppressions are intrinsically linked and must be challenged as such through collective action and education. As the IEDE Associate in the Office for Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education, Dr. Rae centers the work of the Office for IEDE to further the education and shared goals of equity, justice, and liberation at the University of Kentucky.
Brittany Gollihue (Administrative Coordinator)
Brittany Gollihue completed her undergraduate studies at Bellarmine University in Louisville and received her Master of Arts from the University Of Kentucky. She is a scholar of philosophy, French language, and Francophone culture. She is also an educator who has taught at U.K. and Eastern Kentucky University. In 2014, the College of Arts & Sciences awarded her its Outstanding Teaching Assistant certificate in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
Her background in theory, ethics, and cultural studies informs Brittany’s work at IEDE. She provides support for office initiatives ranging from financial reporting to research, evaluation, and recommendations. Her approach to diversity work is collaborative and dynamic. To effect the most positive change one must participate in a unified effort that is ongoing and constantly adapting.
Outside of work, she enjoys collecting and caring for houseplants as well as spending time with her husband and their pet rabbit. She believes in the restorative potential in our connection to nature.
One of her favorite quotes is from the author Antoine de Saint Exupéry in his novel Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince): « Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. » (Here’s my secret. It’s very simple : one can see well only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes).