Our Staff

Taryn Henning
[she, her]
Director
taryn.henning@uky.edu
 
About:
"Coming from a background in youth and young adult development, anti-sexual violence, and community engagement, I am very excited to be able to serve the UK community in my role as VIP’s Director. It is incredibly important to me that my work be carried out through an intersectional lens and with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I work to bring all of that into my professional and personal lives. When not working, I enjoy reading young adult fiction, cooking (and eating), and traveling. Please feel free to stop by the office to say hello!​"
Words that inspire:
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” - Lilla Watson​
  
 
Lenzi Dodgen
[she, her]
Survivor Advocate
lenzi.dodgen@uky.edu
 
About:
“I was originally born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to Lexington, KY at 5 years old to set roots with my family.  I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Social Work.  I have spent several years practicing in the community with at-risk children, families, and individuals, by providing support and advocacy. I have a sincere passion for working with vulnerable populations to combat gender-based violence and empowering individuals to become the best version of themselves.  I feel the VIP Center is the perfect fit for my strengths and practices to push the social paradigm towards equity and social justice. In my free time, I enjoy my family, my dog, and volunteering in the community in different capacities.”

Words that inspire:
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” – Cynthia Occelli
  
 
Rikketta Franklin
[she, her]
Violence Prevention Coordinator
Rikketta.Franklin@uky.edu
 
About:
I am a native of Flint, Michigan and started my professional career in higher education as a Student Outreach Specialist with TRiO at my Alma mater, Lincoln University of Missouri. It was there that I discovered my passion for working with non-traditional and underrepresented populations like myself. I have since worked as a Career Transition Specialist with Job Corps, the Educational Enhancement Services Intern with Johnson C. Smith University, and as a Resident Director at the University of Kentucky.  It has been my passion to facilitate programming that creates supportive communities that focus on empowering others to lead productive lives.
 
Words that Inspire:
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”   –Maya Angelou

Josh Nadzam, MSW 
[he/him]
Violence Intervention Coordinator
jnadzam07@uky.edu
About:
I am originally from Monaca, Pennsylvania, and I'm a graduate from the University of Kentucky where I was a member of the Track and Field and Cross Country Teams while earning my Master's in Social Work. I am extremely passionate about social work, social justice, and each one of us doing our part to make the world a better place for all. I'm fortunate that my career has been able to be aligned with these values as I've worked in fields of homelessness, domestic violence, and poverty. Before working at the VIP Center, I was most recently running a non-profit I co-founded called On The Move Art Studio, where we brought free arts classes to underserved neighborhoods using a mobile art studio. Outside of work I love running, hiking, reading, people, and life! 

Words that Inspire:
“It's the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.” - Frank Warren

Mariah Beatty-Adams
[she, her]
Violence Prevention Coordinator
mbe239@uky.edu
 
I am a Lexington native as well as a UK graduate from the College of Social Work. In addition to being a UK alumnus, I have recently graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a MSW last spring. I have recently accepted the position of Survivors Advocate at the VIP Center. I look forward to utilizing my past experience serving survivors of intimate partner violence, to effectively provide advocacy to the students, faculty and staff of the University of Kentucky.  
 
Words that Inspire: 
“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational and so disciplined they can be free” – Kavita Ramdas 

Sonja McGuire
[she, her]
Staff Support Associate
sonja.mcguire@uky.edu
 
About:
I have worked in administrative positions for more than 25 years. I became interested in advocacy and community engagement after attending at several On the Table public conversation sessions. I learned some data regarding the intersection of survivors by organizations whose services are centered around supporting survivors.  I volunteered with Ampersand for a short time which exposed me to the language of advocates and supporters.  I am eagerly looking forward to learning more about shifting the culture. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, book clubs, house tours and spending time with my family and friends.

Words that inspire:
"Challenging power structures from the inside, working the cracks within the system, however, requires learning to speak multiples language of power convincingly."  Dr. Patricia Hill Collins