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T HE AMBASSADOR College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

July 2019

Alumni Focus:

Sue H. Whitaker '64 pg. 14

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

03 Dean's Corner Family Sciences 06 Department Feature

10 It Starts With Us


Philanthropy & Alumni Staff Pamela Gray

Senior Director of Philanthropy

859-257-1207

Elizabeth Vaughn

859-257-8783

Danielle Jostes

859-218-1176

David Kessler

pamela.gray@uky.edu

Associate Senior Director of Philanthropy elizabeth.vaughn@uky.edu

Director of Equine Philanthropy

danielle.jostes@uky.edu

Director of Extension Philanthropy 859-323-7912

david.kessler@uky.edu

Jonathan Furnish Associate Director of Alumni Engagement and Communications 859-257-7211 jonathan.furnish@uky.edu

Tressa Neal April Bridenbecker

Associate Director of Leadership Annual Giving 859-257-2146

tressa.neal@uky.edu

Services Manager & Executive Assistant

859-257-4069 april.bridenbecker@uky.edu

Sara Gardner

Business Officer

Brooke Stone

Administrative Assistant

859-323-7809 sara.gardner71@uky.edu

859-257-3814

brooke.stone@uky.edu

Alumni Board of Directors Executive Board Sue Whitaker '64 - President Quentin Tyler '02, '05 - Vice President Jill Conway '00 - Secretary Bill McCloskey '84 '87 - Treasurer Stephanie Chamberlain '99, '01 - Affiliate Network Representative Charles Canter '89 - Past President Michelle McDonald '84 '93 - UK Alumni Association Liaison Affiliate Network Representatives Ben Conner '16 - Bluegrass Area Brian Osterman '00 - Fort Harrod Area Darla Kirkland '00 - Green River Area Chelsey Anderson '11 - Lake Cumberland Area Stephanie Chamberlain '99 '01 - Licking River Area Jeremy Hinton '98 - Lincoln Trail Area Rick Ryan '98 - Lincoln Trail Area - Louisville Area Grant Hildabrand '07 - Mammoth Cave Area Danny Bailey '68 '71 - Northeast Area Whitney Stith '90 - Northern Kentucky Area Kellie Padgett '14 - Pennyrile Area

- Purchase Area Camille Rice '98 '00 - Quicksand Area - Wilderness Trail Area Hannah Niebielski '13 - Equine Antomia Farrell '12 - MANRRS Tiffany Harper '17 - MANRRS Janet Mullins '82- Dietetics & Human Nutrition Jessica Coffie '06 '10 - Dietetics & Human Nutrition Cristina Hiten '06 '10 - Dietetics & Human Nutrition - Forestry & Natural Resources Student Directors Fabian Leon - Agricultural Biotechnology Major Amelia Iliohan - Individualized Studies in Agriculture Faculty Directors Will Snell '83 '85 '89 - Teaching Representative Robert Houtz - Research Representative Gary Palmer - Extension Representative

Committee Members Diana Doggett '75, '77 Bart Giles '03 Brandon Gilles '12 James Gilles '10 Kim Henken '92 '95 Kate Hildabrand '15 Tony Holloway '91 Brooke Jenkins-Howard '00 '05 Kyle Kelly '14 Liz Kingsland '87 '97 Michaela Mineer '18 Martha Nall '70 Bill Smith '70 Daniel Smith '01 Megan Tennison '13 '17 Melissa Tomblin '02 Administrative Personnel Nancy Cox - Dean Larry Grabau - Associate Dean for Instruction Wayne Centers '08 - Director of Student Relations Amanda Saha '02 - Dir. of Career Development & Enrichment

A look at the past Faculty member working with the milk bottling machine. Taken in the late 1950s. For more photos, visit the college Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/ ukagriculture 2 | July 2019


Dean's Corner s a land-grant university program with over 150 years under our belt, we A like to say that we were multidisciplinary before it was cool. Our college thrives on cross-departmental and college collaborations. People in our

college work hard every day to advance our partnerships with the industries we serve, and rarely is a problem solved using just one special area of knowledge. One recent collaboration that honors our three mission areas is the new James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. We are honored to be the recipient of the largest philanthropic gift in the history of Beam Suntory. This institute, under the leadership of Seth DeBolt, is driven by an interdependence between the industry and the university and part of our land grant mission to serve the economy of the state. Our initial partners in this effort are the UK colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Gatton. This gift, coupled with other generous philanthropic gifts and college funds, we will soon produce a new spirits building and restoration of the Cooper House that will provide a wonderful front door for the college. The spirits building will be constructed behind the Cooper House to hold a research still, classroom and office space. Additional pieces of this project are still being discussed, but we are excited to see the project moving forward with plans for a groundbreaking in September. In September, we will also celebrate the completion of the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence in Princeton. The center exemplifies collaboration for without our wonderful stakeholders and donors, this $30 million project would not have been possible. And our partnerships with the equine industry continue to be strong. A gift from the Keeneland Association of an additional $1.3 million to the Keeneland Endowed Chair in Equine Veterinary Science brings the fund to $3 million and will allow the college to launch a world-class equine drug research and testing program under the direction of Scott Stanley. Additionally, a gift of $100,000 from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Charities will be used to renovate lab space in the Barnhart building for the Equine Surfaces and Safety Research Laboratory. This lab will allow us to further support research on equine surfaces and safety under the direction of Mick Peterson, director of UK Ag Equine Programs. And we have just launched a new online master’s degree in science translation and outreach that will aid our extension agents across the state and others around the world who wish to continue their education. The degree offering is also a collaboration between multiple areas of the college. With collaboration and support of important partners such as these and our wonderful alumni, we can continue to thrive. We mean it when we say "it starts with us." -Nancy Cox Dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

The Year Ahead July 13

Three Chimneys Farm & Bluegrass Stock Yards (Central KY)

18

Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia)

19

Great American Ball Park - Cincinnati Reds

August 1

Challenger Learning Center (Hazard)

3

Boundary Oak Distillery (Radcliff )

Bluegrass & Fort Harrod Area Summer Event Lake Cumberland Area Summer Event Northern Kentucky Area Summer Event

Quicksand Area Summer Event

Lincoln Trail Area Summer Event

September 14 Roundup - Kentucky vs. Florida E.S. Good Barn - Lexington, KY

19

Green River, Mammoth Cave, Pennyrile & Purchase Areas Grain & Forage Center (Princeton)

Western Kentucky Area Summer Event

27-28

Columbia, South Carolina

SEC Football Road Game

October 5 CAFE Alumni Association Board Meeting Lexington, KY November 2 CAFE Scholarship Luncheon Gatton Student Center, Lexington, KY 12

State Farm Champions Classic Pre-game Event

New York, NY


Fall 2019


3p.m.

SEPTEMBER 14 THE

TENTS OPEN

LIVE MUSIC BY WILDCAT ZONE & BAR OPENS YARD GAMES, FACE PAINTING & MORE!

5p.m. MEAL PROVIDED BY PEP RALLY 5:30p.m.

WITH THE UK CHEERLEADERS, PEP BAND & MASCOTS

7p.m.

VS

Visit alumni.ca.uky.edu for more details & to register!


Department of Family Sciences

$

Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling program coming this Fall

In the Fall 2019 semester, a new bachelor's degree program will be available in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Housed in the Department of Family Sciences, students will be able to pursue an undergraduate degree in Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling. Q: How do you see individuals and families benefiting from the undergraduate Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling program?

A: The Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling program will provide students with the knowledge and skills to make sound economic and financial decisions for themselves, as individuals, and for their families. The coursework in consumer economics, personal finance, and financial counseling will provide students with skills to, ultimately, improve overall economic well-being and financial security for themselves and others. Students will receive training that will allow them to pursue careers in local government agencies such as the housing authority; state agencies such as health and human services; and federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration. For students who choose to pursue the AFCŽ (Accredited Financial Counselor) certification option, careers are available as financial counselors in credit counseling agencies and non-profits and as financial aid officers and debt counselors. Additionally, program graduates will have a clear understanding of consumer issues and personal finance for their own use. This educational background will result in individuals capable of making healthy and informed family and personal financial decisions leading to financial independence for themselves and their families. Q: Why do the people of Kentucky need this new program? A: The impact of the Great Recession and the protracted period of economic growth that followed, highlights the need for individuals and families to have a base level of economic understanding, as well as financial literacy. Graduates of Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling programs are well-equipped to make their own financial decisions and excel in careers such as financial counseling and to design and deliver educational programs which combat financial illiteracy among individuals and families; especially during recessionary periods. Economic events, notably the Great Recession, have demonstrated a nationwide need for financial education and counseling. The Department of Family Sciences focuses on understanding and improving the lives of individuals and families. There are multiple factors influencing overall family well-being, one of which is economic/financial wellbeing and security. The new program in Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling strives to address the economic and financial needs of families, and the communities in which they live, through innovative teaching, research, and outreach.   Q: What are the career paths that the new major offers? A: The Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling program will directly address consumer and financial issues that impact family economic well-being. Coursework, which will have the prefix designation of CEF, will focus on household consumption theories, the role of consumers in the economy, and the effect of economic policies on the financial well-being of individuals and families. The program will provide Department of Family Sciences hands-on experiential learning 6 | July 2019


through both internship and service learning opportunities. Additionally, students may select a series of guided courses and electives designed to prepare students with the financial skills and counseling training to serve as financial counselors; thereby preparing them to sit for the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) exam. At the end of the program, all students will be able to effectively evaluate financial decisions in order to become more productive, financially independent, and financially responsible consumers. Also, students will be able to assess and support the needs of consumers at the individual and family levels to address financial difficulties, make sound financial decisions, and work through complex financial situations. Q: What are the primary objectives of the new program? A: The objectives of this program are to respond to the Commonwealth’s need for a Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling (CEF) program at the undergraduate level. An objective of the CEF program is to produce graduates who have the knowledge and skills to positively impact the economic and financial decision making of individuals and families. Program graduates are expected to pursue careers in local government agencies such as the housing authority; state agencies such as health and human services; and federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration. For students who choose to pursue the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor) certification, careers are available as financial counselors in credit counseling agencies and non-profits, student financial aid offices, debt counseling agencies, and related financials offices and agencies. Q: Are faculty in place to deliver the CEF program and mentor the students? A: Faculty in the Department of Family Sciences who will have academic responsibilities in the new program area are Drs. Heath, Hunter, Kim, and Ross. These faculty members have expertise in the application of economic theory and financial principles from the perspectives of households and consumers; including the use of best practices in personal finance to maximize the economic/financial well-being of individuals and family members in changing economic environments. Q: How do you see the establishment of this new undergraduate degree program contributing to employment opportunities in Kentucky? A: Prior to the establishment of this new degree program, an undergraduate program in Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling did not exist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A similar southern land-grant institution experienced a growth of 20 students/year following the implementation of their financial counseling certificate program – we anticipate the same growth trajectory for this degree program. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor website demonstrates that there is an above average rate of growth in careers related to Consumer Economics and Family Financial Counseling.

To learn more about this program in UK's Department of Family Sciences, visit fam-hes.ca.uky.edu or find us on Facebook.


Alumni Affiliate Networks

Summer Event Schedule July 13 - Bluegrass & Fort Harrod

Three Chimneys Farm & Bluegrass Stock Yards - Central KY

July 18 - Lake Cumberland

Lindsey Wilson College - Columbia, KY

July 19 - Northern Kentucky

Great American Ball Park - Cincinnati, OH

August 1 - Quicksand

Challenger Learning Center - Hazard, KY

August 3 - Lincoln Trail

Boundary Oak Distillery - Radcliff, KY

September 19 - Green River, Mammoth Cave, Pennyrile & Purchase Grain & Forage Center of Excellence - Princeton, KY

Visit alumni.ca.uky.edu for more information. We hope you will join us!


GRASSROOTS

INSURANCE

EDUCATION

ADVOCACY

LEADERSHIP

SERVICE

Proudly supporting the next crop of Kentucky farmers. Farming in Kentucky has seen dramatic changes over the past century. New technologies. New practices. New ways of bringing products to market. In the midst of these changes, the future of Kentucky agriculture demands that tomorrow’s farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau proudly supports giving young farmers the tools, skills and knowledge they need for success. Why Farm Bureau? Because education ensures a brighter future for all Kentuckians.


It starts with us Stephenson named director of UK Cooperative Extension Service

Laura Stephenson has been named associate dean and director of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. She will begin her duties on August 1. "Dr. Stephenson's appointment is one more step in the college's ongoing efforts to provide the best leadership and fiscal management for a system that is indispensable to communities across Kentucky," said Dean Nancy Cox. "We are happy to have her back home and excited about the wealth of knowledge and leadership she brings to the post." Stephenson currently serves as assistant dean of extension and department chair of family and consumer sciences at the University of Tennessee. However, much of her extension career has been in Kentucky. She brings an abundance of experience to the system, having served the state as an extension agent, district director and assistant director for family and consumer sciences extension field programs. Stephenson is a strong advocate for county-based programming, building capacity of interdisciplinary faculty teams and engagement of local, regional and state stakeholders. "The expertise and talents of the faculty, staff and volunteer leaders solidly positions us to build local skills to meet community challenges. Extension is the strong bridge between the university and the people across the state," Stephenson said. "I am honored to lead the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service's efforts to serve each of the 120 counties in the commonwealth." Stephenson holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and a doctorate in gerontology from UK.

Keeneland Association gifts $1.3 million to UK for equine drug research and testing program

The Keeneland Association continues its long-standing philanthropic relationship with the University of Kentucky with a gift of $1.3 million to the Keeneland Endowed Chair in Equine Veterinary Science. This gift will grow the fund to $3 million and will allow the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's Gluck Equine Research Center to launch a world-class equine drug research and testing program under the direction of Dr. Scott Stanley. Stanley, an internationally recognized equine researcher, came to UK in late 2018 from California where he served as director of the K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at University of California, Davis. "This wonderful gift will help our college make new advances as we strive to serve the industry in all aspects of safety," said Dean Nancy Cox. "The research capability afforded by this gift will allow a robust effort to develop new tests. This research will serve the new commercial testing laboratory that will be led by Dr. Stanley in partnership with the U.S. Equestrian Federation. We greatly appreciate the association's support of the college." The laboratory at UK's Coldstream Research Campus will provide drug testing services to a diverse equine clientele from the performance horse and racehorse industries. The Keeneland Association gift will support the research side that will underpin the commercial venture. "Keeneland applauds UK's commitment to create a true center of excellence at the Gluck Center," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. "In support of our mission, Keeneland has long championed UK's goal to become an industry leader in equine safety, integrity and research. We believe the important work undertaken by Dr. Stanley will serve as a platform for change in Kentucky and beyond." 10 | July 2019


Carter named to new CAFE government relations post

Nicholas Carter has been named county and local government relations director in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. "Relationships with our local, state and federal government partners are critical to the success of the college. Nick brings a depth of understanding of these important partnerships along with a passion for the mission of the college to this position. I am excited to have him in this role," said Dean Nancy Cox. The new position will serve as a point of contact for county and municipal officials on collegewide issues, including such mandated programs as Cooperative Extension, The Agricultural Experiment Station, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Regulatory Services. In concert with the college's new, as-yet unnamed, director for state and federal government relations, Carter will lead a statewide effort to promote government relations and awareness of UK, as well as advise and represent the dean and the college with various agriculture, food and natural resource leadership organizations. He will also ensure real-time communications between Cooperative Extension leadership and judge executives and extension district boards. "I think Cooperative Extension is hugely important in Kentucky. A lot of times, it's the glue that holds communities together, in my opinion. It plays such an important part in building relationships and in meeting local needs with scientific-based information that we bring from UK," Carter said. I think this position will open up communications both ways to give everyone a voice. I'm looking forward to working with all the counties and their elected officials, as well as the commodity groups, to make the extension service in Kentucky stronger than ever."

USDA, UK, Purdue partnering to provide technical assistance to help build long-term rural economic growth

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced the names of 47 rural communities and regions that will receive technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation, REDI. USDA’s Innovation Center created REDI to support recommendations identified in the Report to the President from the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Each of the 47 communities and regions will be paired with one of four partner organizations that will provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help them create and implement economic development plans. USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to these partners in September 2018, which will help the partners finance the free technical assistance. The partners are the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and Purdue University Extension; the National Association of Counties Research Foundation; the Rural Community Assistance Partnership; and McClure Engineering Company. CEDIK and Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development will support eight communities and regions in the South and North Central U.S. to help them build long-term economic development plans by leveraging public and private funding sources. CEDIK will work with regions in Kentucky, Florida, Alabama and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Alison Davis, CEDIK’s executive director, said the assistance CEDIK will provide will be a combination of virtual and face-to-face training and information. “It will entail providing a fair amount of data access describing their current situation, walking them through strategic planning, trying to create formal partnerships and collaborations where they do not presently exist, helping them identify funding sources, as well as implementing something out of the plan that can get them moving in a forward trajectory,” said Davis, who is a professor in the UK Department of Agricultural Economics. “I really like working in our far west counties, so I’m excited that they put forward a good application and were selected.” Western Kentucky generally doesn’t have nearly the number of technical assistance providers that are in Appalachia, Davis said. “They really have bootstrapped themselves and done a lot on their own, so we’re happy to provide support, in partnership with Kentucky’s USDA Rural Development office, in any way we can be useful to them,” she said. The hope is for the region to leverage what they’ve learned from this program to attract private and public investment to the area. Despite the program’s short time window, Davis said CEDIK will be there for them for the long haul.

11 | It Starts With Us


UK MANRRS wins seventh consecutive national chapter award

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Kentucky MANRRS chapter was named National Chapter of the Year at the 34th annual Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences conference. The chapter is housed in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Mia Farrell, interim director of the college's Office of Diversity and chapter advisor said seven in a row has nothing to do with luck. "Our students work hard to achieve this national recognition," she said. "We are committed to helping promote and advance members of ethnic and cultural groups that are underrepresented in agriculture and related sciences. Our students are dedicated to making our chapter the very best, and it shows year after year as they are recognized nationally for their efforts." "I don't do what I do for UK MANRRS for accolades, but I do it to make sure I give back to those coming after me like the ones before me did," said Jericho Curry, a senior majoring in community and leadership development. Curry received the prestigious U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Lead Agent Award. He is one of just five members in the nation to win the award. "I always tell myself that I'm not winning until my whole team is winning. Therefore, receiving this award amongst five other scholars across the nation means a lot. It shows that my hard work and dedication doesn't go unnoticed." Farrell said, "It seems each year, our organization just gets stronger. I am proud of what our current members are accomplishing, and I look forward to the future. Kentucky is making a different in diversity nationwide."

UK's Robinson Forest is Important to Our Path Forward

The University of Kentucky's Robinson Forest, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, spans 15,000 acres across three counties in Southeastern Kentucky. For decades, as one published report recently put it, the forest that covers parts of Breathitt, Perry and Knott counties has served as a 'living laboratory for how healthy forests can impact the water and animals that run through them." Now, though, thanks to the innovative thinking of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, the forest has the ability to provide additional resources to enhance its research, teaching and demonstration missions. As part of the Our Path Forward initiative, Robinson Forest is helping preserve the environment and protect UK's fiscal future, too. The concept is a novel and innovative one: UK is working with The Nature Conservancy's Working Woodlands program, which allows Eastern Kentucky landowners to certify conservation efforts of forests. The conservancy calculates how much carbon is in the forest and then helps convert it into carbon credits that can be purchased by others who want to offset pollution that may be attributed to them. The effort could ultimately yield several million dollars over several years - dollars that would help meet the mission of Robinson Forest to serve Eastern Kentucky, while generating revenues for UK's efforts in the region. "This initiative is a win-win for UK and for the environment that Robinson Forest and the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources has been so central to protecting for decades," said dean Nancy Cox. "Our team developed a way of reducing the global carbon footprint with a nonprofit partner, while at the same time helping generate the revenues necessary to help expand our mission of education, research and service to Eastern Kentucky."

For more stories, visit news.ca.uky.edu

12 | July 2019


Alumni Focus Sue H. Whitaker B.S. Home Economics '64 By Aimee Nielson


F

rom her early life on a Bracken County farm, Sue Whitaker’s sphere of influence over the years expanded beyond Kentucky to homes in Wisconsin and Indiana and beyond, but she still gives back in her home state. Whitaker is the current president of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association. It’s a position that brings her back to a place that launched her career, her marriage and a lifetime of service to human environmental sciences. Whitaker came to UK in 1960 to major in home economics education. She lived in Hamilton House, a co-op of students with similar majors. “I found the College very friendly,” Whitaker recalled. “The faculty members were wonderful, and my advisor worked closely with me.” Whitaker said a great deal has changed on campus since those days, but perhaps the most noticeable change for her is the way women dress. “In the 1960s, the women wore skirts and dresses,” she said. “I can remember wearing slacks under our dresses when it was cold, and we had to walk across campus. We’d come into Erikson Hall, take the slacks off and put them in our lockers before class. It wasn’t until I graduated and was teaching school that women began to wear pants, but even then, it had to be a matching outfit; you couldn’t just wear jeans and a top. A lot has changed, seeing how students dress on campus now.” Sue and her husband Don met at a UK basketball game, but their romance didn’t spark until they had both graduated and were teaching at Harrison County High School in Cynthiana. They ended up teaching in classrooms right across the hall from each other. “During the time between classes, we were required to stand in the hallways as students passed through,” she said. “We would chit-chat with each other, which led to dating, falling in love, and then three years later getting married.” This summer, Sue and Don will celebrate 52 years of marriage. In 1972, the Whitakers left Kentucky and went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue doctoral

degrees. After that, they both accepted teaching positions at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Sue taught home economics, and Don taught mathematics. Eventually, Sue became chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, a position she enjoyed for nearly 10 years. “When we went to Ball State, we truly thought we’d only be there three or four years and then move on,” she said. “But we loved Ball State and the Muncie community, so we ended up staying there for 34 years before retiring in 2010.” Although the Whitakers primary residence is in Muncie, they also have a home in Lexington, which they purchased a few years ago to be closer to Kentucky family and friends. The couple doesn’t have children, but Sue was quick to say that their children are the many students they’ve taught and mentored.

“It has certainly been a passion, working with students over the years and staying in contact with them,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve set up scholarships at UK and three other universities.” She explained as the cost of education continues to rise, scholarships become more and more important. Even a small scholarship can mean the difference between a continued on pg. 16

15 | It Starts With Us


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student dropping out and staying in school. “Unfortunately, many of today’s students are graduating with large amounts of debt,” she said. “My parents, although not wealthy, were able to put my brother and me through college. We worked to help and with a few small scholarships, we were able to graduate without debt. Don and I know the scholarships we provide don’t relieve all the debt students have, but they can help.” Over the years, the Whitakers have enjoyed meeting students who have been recipients of their scholarships. They have enjoyed that communication and being able to see where education takes the students. “I hope that as time and finances allow, those who receive our help will also give back by setting up scholarships or making contributions to established scholarships at their alma maters,” she said.

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Commitment to her profession has led to numerous awards including induction into the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame in 2005 and being named one of the school’s Centennial Laureates in 2007. In 2003, she received the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Distinguished Service Award. In her role as alumni association president, Whitaker wants to look at its membership structure, ways to get more graduates to participate and ways of connecting with all alumni. “We have to remember that the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has graduates all over the world,” she said. “Today’s graduates are very service oriented, so maybe’s there is a new direction we need to pursue as an association.”


Student Spotlight Danielle Marie Chesney Family Sciences

Minor: Community Leadership & Development Graduation Year: 2019 Hometown: Turlock, CA Activities: Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Big Blue Family Care, The NEST. Q: What led you to choose the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment? A: The University of Kentucky has been a dream school of mine since I was a little girl. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specifically caught my interest because of the human environmental sciences program. The College has a strong reputation around the world for many of its programs. Through personal experiences, I discovered my passion for studying the scientific perspective of families. After visiting the College and meeting the faculty, I knew it would be a perfect fit, and I put my whole heart and effort there! Q: What does the College mean to you/describe your best/overall experience? A: Coming from a small, agriculturalbased community in California, the College has really been a home away from home for me. The faculty have academically and personally challenged me, cultivated confidence and provided a learning environment in which all students have a chance to succeed. Additionally, the College provides a unique personal experience for students and I believe this is so important to have throughout college. Overall, the College faculty, staff and students have made an indelible impact on my life.

Q: How is the College preparing you for your future? A: My academic advisor, Pamela McFarland has mentored and academically and personally guided me throughout my time here as a student, invariably preparing me for my future endeavors. The faculty really values our future by always making the effort to provide career guidance and opportunity for growth. The College provides career fairs throughout the year that allow students to network within their fields of interest and to gain a better understanding of job requirements. Family Sciences requires an internship class during senior year working at least 16 hours a week, which is a crucial experience because it enables students to learn and explore their field in a real-world setting. The college has truly made me feel at ease with my future plans. Q: Where do you see yourself in 15 years? A: I want to earn my master’s degree in family sciences, to focus on research and to present unique perspectives on the subject. I see myself in a community, hospital or university setting, either assisting children and adults or conducting research within family sciences. I hope to give back to my community, and to support children and families in need.

Q: Why would you recommend the College to future students? A: The College provides so many opportunities with the faculty’s genuine desire to assist others in their passions. There is a huge variety of specializations where students can find what they love, and they will have support waiting for them in whatever they choose. I highly recommend the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to future incoming students because of the unique and strong connections that are formed with the faculty and students during school and after graduation as well. Come join this experience that will last a lifetime! Go Wildcats!

To learn more about the Family Sciences Program, visit their website at: fam-hes.ca.uky.edu

17 | It Starts With Us


Philanthropy University of Kentucky and Jim Beam Partner to Create the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits By Laura Skillman

Jim Beam® Bourbon will donate $5 million to the University of Kentucky to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. The institute will support a curriculum to educate the next generation of distillers with the skills needed to succeed in the distilled spirits industry at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. “As the University for Kentucky, we are the engine of our state’s industry — the pulse of its economy,” said University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto. “When we envisioned ways to prepare our workforce to meet the changing needs of our rapidly growing bourbon industry, a partnership with Jim Beam was a natural fit, and I can’t thank them enough for the generous gift that will help bring our vision to life. Together, as the Commonwealth’s indispensable institution and the world’s No. 1-selling Bourbon, we’re inspired by the common goal of maintaining the welfare, prosperity, and sustainability of Kentucky’s spirits industry for generations to come.” This $5 million gift represents Beam Suntory’s largest single philanthropic or educational gift in the company’s history. “This donation is an investment in the future of bourbon, and Kentucky’s future workforce, and we are confident that the future for both is very bright indeed,” said Albert Baladi, president and CEO of Beam Suntory. “We are excited about the key role that this program will play in the continued global expansion of America’s native spirit.” The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, led by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will support the offering of courses across engineering, chemistry, business, law, horticulture, forestry, food science, and entomology to address spirits industry needs in sustainable agriculture, research and development, and more. “With the continued global growth of bourbon, we need to focus on educating the next generation of distillers, scientists and engineers who can tackle the needs of this industry well into the future,” said Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s seventh generation master distiller. “And there’s no better place to make Bourbon than right here in Kentucky.” According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, there are nearly two barrels of bourbon resting in the state of Kentucky for every person living there, valued at $3 billion, up 300% from 2009. Bourbon contributes $8.6 billion to Kentucky’s economy each year, including $1 billion in payroll, and $235 million in state and local tax revenue. The bourbon industry also provides more than 20,000 jobs in the state. “Very few places in the world have a historic landmark product like bourbon,” said Seth DeBolt, horticulture professor and institute director. “The institute is a collaboration to increase the longevity and the economic development for the spirits industry in Kentucky. It is really driven from an interdependence that we see between the university and the industry, and of course, remembering UK’s land-grant mission is to serve the economy of Kentucky. It’s a win-win all the way around, and we’re really excited about it.” The university began a popular certificate in Distillation, Wine and Brewing Studies in 2014, and its online version is set to launch this fall. It is a collaboration between the UK colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Business and Economics. The institute will build on this existing teaching opportunity as well as in research and outreach. 18 | July 2019


“Our signature bourbon industry is an incredible economic engine for the Commonwealth and a thriving global symbol of Kentucky craftsmanship and tradition,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “In the coming months, we look forward to sharing details of an impressive statewide initiative that will leverage many of our universities' strengths and prepare the workforce of tomorrow for careers in bourbon hospitality, business and tourism, in addition to distillation and research and development.” UK and Jim Beam are dedicated to responsible consumption and together will develop and expand successful alcohol awareness programs statewide, including programming already funded by Jim Beam parent Beam Suntory. About Jim Beam Jim Beam is the world's best-selling bourbon, crafted by seven generations of family distillers since 1795. The Jim Beam portfolio of products includes Jim Beam Bourbon, Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Double Oak, Jim Beam Devil's Cut, Jim Beam Bonded, Jim Beam Rye, Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece, Jim Beam Vanilla, Jim Beam Honey, Jim Beam Kentucky Fire and Red Stag by Jim Beam among other offerings. About Beam Suntory Inc. Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. Its brands include Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier cognac, as well as premium brands including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and Midori liqueur.

Incredible year for Philanthropy in the College Pamela Gray, Senior Director of Philanthropy

Fiscal year 2019 has been an incredibly successful year for the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Thanks to the support of more than 1,750 alumni and friends, the college raised more than $18.3 million for priority projects. The KentuckyCAN Campaign kicked off its public phase and the college has raised more than $90 million of our $137.5 million goal. In the coming year, we will break ground on the Cooper House renovation and the new James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits off Nicholasville Road between Farm Road and Cooper Drive. On Sept. 19, we will celebrate the opening of the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence in Princeton. The college has many priorities that you will hear about soon, as we continue to do more to impact our student experience, provide cutting-edge spaces for research, and serve the Commonwealth through our land-grant mission. As the University and the college focus on helping our students leave UK with less debt, we are proud to announce that the college has reached our goal of having more than $1 million annually available to award in scholarships to our students! If have any questions or would like to learn more about giving back, please contact the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni at 859-257-7200.

*At left - Seth DeBolt, horticulture professor and James B. Beam Institute director *At right, a rendering of the Cooper House renovation and the new James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits.


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The Ambassador - July 2019