Dr. Kristin Ashford Receives SEC Faculty Achievement Award

Kristin Ashford, PhD, professor and associate dean in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, will be presented with the prestigious Southeastern Conference (SEC) Faculty Achievement Award. The SEC Faculty Achievement recognizes faculty from SEC universities with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship.

Dr. Ashford is a professor and a women’s health nurse practitioner in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Dr. Ashford’s research focuses on improving health for pregnant and postpartum women with addiction – primarily tobacco, electronic cigarette and opioid use disorder. She is an internationally known expert in perinatal tobacco use, immune response research and preterm birth. She has also developed a trimester specific bio‐maker data collection approach that has gained national recognition in multiple disciplines such as nursing, maternal‐fetal‐medicine, addiction medicine and dentistry. Dr. Ashford has been instrumental in the development of the Perinatal Assistance and Treatment Home (PATHways) and Beyond Birth programs that have served over 300 perinatal women with substance use disorders (SUDs). This program is receiving significant national attention due to the innovative, holistic and family-centered approach to care for perinatal women in an integrated, multidisciplinary outpatient clinic. PATHways and Beyond Birth have recently been highlighted in several state and national venues.

With more than $6 million in awards, her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Drug and Alcohol Research. Dr. Ashford was recently selected as a Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Ambassador, putting her on the frontline in helping educate policy makers on both state and federal levels about the importance of nursing research and funding. Dr. Ashford was named the 2010 Nurse Researcher of the Year by the Kentucky Nurses Association Nursing Education and Research Cabinet, and she also received the Outstanding Early Career College/University Teacher Award from the Kentucky Academy of Science.

Established in 2012 by the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and administered by the SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards recognize professors from within the fourteen SEC universities for their teaching accomplishments, scholarly contributions and discoveries. Each recipient receives a $5,000 honorarium and becomes their university's nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year award.

Each university is responsible for implementing a competitive process whereby a faculty member with a distinguished record can be selected to receive an SEC Faculty Achievement Award. The Provost on each campus is responsible for managing this process and assure winners meet the established award criteria.