'Fabulous Five' honored by College of Nursing

Posted: September 16, 2020

With deep gratitude and appreciation for leading change, the University of Kentucky College of Nursing is proud to honor the first African-American graduates in each of its nursing degree programs.  These “Fabulous 5” graduates are trailblazers at the College of Nursing—each going on to excel and affect change in nursing, healthcare, and beyond. Representation is paramount in the fight for equity and racial justice, and the Fab 5 are an inspiration for future generations of black and minority students. 

The College is honoring the Fab 5’s legacy by installing a permanent, commemorative art display on the third floor of the College of Nursing building. This honor coincides both with 2020 being declared the "Year of the Nurse and Midwife" and the University of Kentucky's 70th anniversary of integration. 

The Fab 5 were officially recognized for their trailblazing efforts during the College of Nursing's 2020 Celebration of Alumni Stars held online Sept. 10.  The event also honored the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees and the  Dean's Puma Award for Alumni Excellence recipients.

Leaving a legacy 
During the virtual celebration, Marsha Hughes-Rease, the first African American graduate of the College of Nursing, announced the renewal of a scholarship fund in honor of Dr. Juanita Fleming, the college's first African American faculty member. The fund was renewed thanks to an initial contribution of $5000 from the Fab 5, to recognize Dr. Fleming's contributions and to help carry on her legacy.  The group is leading the charge to raise a total of $50,000 to put toward the scholarship fund, which will benefit minority and underrepresented students seeking degrees in any of the college's undergraduate or graduate programs. More about the scholarship fund

The Fabulous Five

BSN | 1972
Marsha Hughes-Rease, MSN, RN, MSOD, PCC

MSN | 1974
Katherine S. Detherage, PhD, MSN, RN
Alalia J. Mack, MSN, BSN, RN

PhD | 1994
Vicki Hines-Martin, PhD, CNS, RN, FAAN

DNP | 2005
Tukea L. Talbert, DNP, BSN, RN

Video: The UK College of Nursing's Fabulous Five

View the 2020 Celebration of Alumni Stars

About the Fab 5 

Marsha Hughes-Rease, MSN, RN, MSOD, PCC
Marsha L. Hughes-Rease, MSN, RN, MSOD, PCC, was the first African American to receive her BSN (1972) from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. With post-baccalaureate education from George Mason University and Harvard, she is currently the owner of Qua Vadis Leadership Coaching and Consulting. 

Hughes-Rease also has over 26 years as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer and retired as a Captain. She has over thirty years of nursing and organizational leadership experience throughout the world. True to the Latin phrase “quo vadis”, find where you are going, she has masterfully shepherded hundreds of individuals to find their true north just as she has with advancing racial and health equality. 

Dr. Katherine S. Detherage, PhD, MSN, RN
Dr. Katherine S. Detherage was one of the first African Americans to receive her MSN (1974) from the UK College of Nursing and her PhD from Boston College. She was a member of the first faculty that launched the Department of Nursing at the University of Louisville. She taught at Boston College, the University of Rochester, SUNY College at Brockport, and chaired the Departments of Nursing at St. John Fisher College and Nazareth College. 

Dr. Detherage was the first, and thus far, the only African American President of District II of the New York State Nurses Association. She has served as a volunteer on many professional and community boards and associations. Dr. Detherage has also successfully developed funded research projects and published numerous articles in the field of gerontological nursing, cardiovascular risk management and HIV prevention. In 2011, she was awarded UK’s Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award for her work in diversity leadership.

Alalia J. Mack, MSN, BSN, RN
Alalia J. Mack was one of the first African American to receive her MSN (1974) from UK’s College of Nursing. Mrs. Mack was teaching nursing when she entered the MSN program at UK. Mack was the first masters prepared African American to work at the Cincinnati Department Veterans Affairs. 

She fought tirelessly against discrimination in the workplace. Mack also encouraged and advocated for nurses to earn advanced degrees in the field. She taught within the hospital setting and worked in the Outpatient Department for 32 years. In 2018, she was awarded UK’s Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award for her work in diversity leadership. 

Vicki Hines-Martin, PhD, CNS, RN, FAAN
Dr. Vicki Hines-Martin was the first African American to receive her PhD (1994) from UK’s College of Nursing and the first African American to be inducted in the College’s Hall of Fame in 2011. She is currently a professor and Associate Dean, Office of Community Engagement and Diversity Inclusion, School of Nursing at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Hines-Martin’s research activities have been focused on health disparities and diversity with an emphasis on mental health, low income and African American populations. She also has over 55 publications and over 100 presentations at the local, national and international levels.

Tukea L. Talbert, DNP, BSN, RN
Tukea L. Talbert received her BSN (1990), MSN (1993) from the UK’s College of Nursing, and was the first African American to receive her DNP (2005) from the UK College of Nursing. She is the Assistant Operation Executive and Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusivity for UK HealthCare. Dr. Talbert is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Bluegrass Oncology Nursing Society and Past President of Delta Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Dr. Talbert serves on the Dean’s Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Board where she served as past chair and activing director. In 2001, she was awarded UK’s Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award for her work in diversity leadership.