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THE AMBASSADOR College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

March 2020

PAT HUDSON

‘80 Textiles and Clothing


From the Dean

The land-grant university system has endured since 1862 because we are good at responding to change. In Kentucky, new areas of need are emerging with every new year, and we thrive on addressing new issues. I’d like to share with you, our alumni and friends, some areas where the college and our many partners are offering opportunities and solutions for new and ongoing needs. As a system, we are recommitting to how we address the needs of our partner communities through the Cooperative Extension Service offices across Kentucky. Every four years, these local offices review the needs in their communities to prepare their plans of work. This past year, led by Associate Dean and Director of Extension Laura Stephenson, we ramped up that needs assessment to bring as many people as possible to the table. This was done through surveys, focus groups and individual interviews. We heard from a larger and more varied audience than ever before. As a result of this community input, three statewide initiatives were developed. Those include 1) substance use and mental health; 2) community pride, engagement and, leadership; and 3) workforce development. The college has an excellent track record at developing resources to work in these important areas, and we are focused on providing even more to assist Kentucky communities through our teaching, research and outreach programs. In the year ahead, Extension offices in every county in Kentucky will work with their communities to implement plans to support these initiatives. But that is just a part of their work, because this process is far from “one size fits all.” Each community is unique and so too are their needs. So, Extension agents will also develop plans tailored to their own communities. It will be exciting to see what new and innovative ideas and programs will come from this important collaboration between Extension and counties. Our county agent and staff are dedicated to bring innovation to their communities. Additionally, within the next year, we are refining and strengthening our focus on animal agriculture. Extension faculty, agents and staff have contributed more than 65,000 hours and made more than 558,000 contacts supporting animal agriculture in Kentucky. Yet we believe there is more to do. Animal agriculture is a key part of the state’s economic base and 25 percent of students at CAFE are enrolled in degree programs related to the field. Undergraduate enrollment, retention and graduation trends in animal agriculture programs and courses indicate a demand exceeding our current supply of course offerings and teaching space. To meet the growing demand, CAFE is focused on identifying and investing in teaching space for larger classes and other needs to course offerings, and research and outreach opportunities. A beef task force made up of college faculty and staff, and most importantly, stakeholders began work in late 2019 to review and make recommendations on how the college can provide an even greater impact through teaching, research and extension programming. The task force’s recommendations will be reviewed, and we are looking forward to seeing what further opportunities the college can provide for this key sector of our economy. Assisting farmers, families and communities provides the ground up support needed to lift the economies and health of our state and nation. We are humbled by the support that we receive from our alumni and friends in our endeavors. Working together, we can just imagine what’s wildly possible. We remember every day; it starts with us.

Nancy Cox

02 | MARCH 2020


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Executive Board

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

PHILANTHROPY & ALUMNI Pamela Gray

Senior Director of Philanthropy

859-257-8783

Elizabeth Vaughn

Assoc. Sr. Director of Philanthropy elizabeth.vaughn@uky.edu

Danielle Jostes

Director of Equine Philanthropy

859-257-1207

pamela.gray@uky.edu

859-218-1176

David Kessler 859-323-7912

danielle.jostes@uky.edu

Director of Extension Philanthropy david.kessler@uky.edu

Jonathan Furnish 859-257-7211

Tressa Neal

859-257-2146

Cynthia Byars 859-257-4069

Sara Mendoza 859-323-7809

Brooke Stone 859-257-3814

Assoc. Director of Alumni Eng. jonathan.furnish@uky.edu

Assoc. Director of Leadership Giving tressa.neal@uky.edu

Services Mngr. & Exec. Assistant

cynthia.byars@uky.edu

Business Officer

sara.gardner71@uky.edu

Affiliate Network Representatives

Ben Conner ‘16 - Bluegrass Jessica Coffie ‘06, ‘10 - Dietetics & Human Nutrition Cristina Hiten ‘06, ‘10 - Dietetics & Human Nutrition Hannah Niebielski ‘13 - Equine vacant -Forestry & Natural Resources Brian Osterman ‘00 - Fort Harrod Darla Kirkland ‘00 - Green River Chelsey Anderson ‘11 - Lake Cumberland Stephanie Chamberlain ‘99, ‘01 Licking River Jeremy Hinton ‘98 - Lincoln Trail Rick Ryan ‘77 - Lincoln Trail John Johnson ‘80 - Louisville vacant -Mammoth Cave Antomia Farrell ‘12 - MANRRS Tiffany Harper ‘17 - MANRRS Danny Bailey ‘68, ‘71 - Northeast Whitney Stith ‘90 - Northern Kentucky vacant -Pennyrile Lena Mallory ‘94 - Purchase Thomas Cravens ‘83, ‘90 - Quicksand vacant -Wilderness Trail

Administrative Assistant brooke.stone@uky.edu

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Philanthropy & Alumni office is located in the E.S. Good Barn on the University of Kentucky campus. 1451 University Drive | Lexington, KY 40546 The Ambassador is published three times yearly by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association.

IN THE ISSUE 04 06 10 14 17 18

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

Student Directors

Gracie Furnish - Ag. Education & Ag. Economics Jesse Neal - Animal Science Lexi Shepherd - Dietetics & Human Nutrition

Faculty Representatives

Will Snell ‘83, ‘85, ‘89 - Teaching Representative Robert Houtz - Research Representative Laura Stephenson - Extension Representative

Committee Members

Diana Doggett ‘75, ‘77 Bart Giles ‘03 Brandon Gilles ‘12 James Gilles ‘10 Kim Henken ‘92, ‘95 Amelia Iliohan ‘19 Brooke Jenkins ‘00, ‘05 Kyle Kelly ‘14 Michaela Mineer ‘18 Martha Nall ‘70 Daniel Smith ‘01 Megan Tennison ‘13, ‘17 Melissa Tomblin ‘02

Administrative Personnel

Nancy Cox - Dean Carmen Agouridis ‘05 - Associate Dean for Instruction Wayne Centers ‘08 - Director of Student Relations

EVENTS MARCH

SEPTEMBER

APRIL

OCTOBER

12 SEC Tournament Happy Hour 24 Call To The Post Derby Bash

26 Roundup - Kentucky vs. South Carolina 02 SEC Football Road Game Happy Hour - Auburn

MAY

07 The Graduate Farewell Visit alumni.ca.uky.edu for additional information.

CALL TO THE POST DERBY BASH RETAILING & TOURISM MANAGEMENT

IT STARTS WITH US ALUMNI FOCUS STUDENT SPOTLIGHT PHILANTHROPY

STAY SOCIAL @ukcafealumni

ukyagriculture

@ukagriculture

THE AMBASSADOR

| 03


Spring 2020

20

FRIDAY, APRIL 24

The Round Barn at Red Mile 1200 Red Mile Road | Lexington, KY 40504

HAPPY HOUR

6PM

Join us for hors d’ouevres and local spirits tastings.

DINNER & DRINKS 7PM Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Bayou Bluegrass Catering and complimentary drinks.

LIVE MUSIC 8PM Put on your dancing shoes and hit the dance floor! Dress in your Derby Best!

*Dress - Derby Clubhouse. A prize will be awarded to the best ladies and gentlemens attire.

TASTINGS - SILENT AUCTION - BOURBON PULL - AND MORE! Register today at alumni.ca.uky.edu/derbybash. All proceeds support College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Scholarships

04 | MARCH 2020


THE AMBASSADOR

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Department

THE COLOR ME SPRING FASHION SHOW PRODUCED BY THE STUDENTS OF RETAILING AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT

When most people think of culture shifting fashion, they think of places like New York and Paris. But the University of Kentucky Retailing and Tourism Management program brings world fashions right to our campus, with the help of local businesses. The Color Me Spring Fashion Show, this year themed Color Me Glam, has been a fun and functional event to look forward to for many years. It not only gives students a chance to try their hand in planning a fashion show, but also to get more in touch with their local community.

The fashion show operates as a fundraiser in three main areas of support; fashion

show ticket sales, a silent auction with a wide variety of items, and monetary donations from local businesses. After expenses, all the proceeds help fund programs and trips to give students extraordinary experiences and educational opportunities. The Color Me Spring Fashion Show raised more than $9,000 in 2019 through contributions from local businesses and organizations. This year the students hope for bigger and better. With more supporters and businesses involved, it is a learning opportunity for students and a way for community members to grow their own networks. The fashion show class will implement their business skills in reaching out to local boutiques for the clothing and accessories.

LEXINGTON

More than 10 years ago, the fashion show began as a club-supported event to help fundraise for special programming and scholarships . More recently, it has turned into a class that requires serious

application and commitment. The group that puts on the show has grown from five interested students and supporting faculty, to a dedicated class of 21 and faculty who support them in every step. The students not only have an eye for big-city style with an understanding for Lexington style, they also have incredible backgrounds and experiences to execute an amazing fashion show. In this year’s class, there are students who have studied abroad in places like Italy and France, worked at fashion markets and for Fortune 500 companies, and some who have even been supported by the funds raised during this extravagant event.

Color Me Glam Edition (At left) Join us for the 2020 Color Me Glam Edition Fashion Show. For more details visit our website at rtm.ca.uky. edu or our Facebook page at /UKYRTM.

WEDNESDAY, April 22 , 2020 6:00 Cocktail hour 7:30 Fashion show

University of Kentucky

Department of Retailing & Tourism Management

06 | MARCH 2020

(At right) Photos from the 2019 Color Me Spring Fashion Show.


They also gain some soft skill experience in reaching out to businesses to attain items for the silent auction. Students plan the show from concept to completion, including all the small details. Through support of the community, the School of Human and Environmental Sciences prospers and fun events like this allow the students to show all of the things they’ve learned and a model for future students. To be a part of this action-packed night as a spectator or donation contributor, reach out to the department or check out the Facebook page for links to the tickets. This fun night out includes a cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres, table and isle seating are available for purchase and a silent auction with more than 100 items will be available.

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Membership

IS CHANGING

The purpose of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association is to foster professional pride and to promote the advancement, best interests, and welfare of the College. We are now proud to welcome all alumni as Members of the association; to better connect with and inform our family. We offer two levels of membership, each with its own set of benefits. (Effective May 1, 2020) Together, we can continue to advance not only our alumni association, but our college and our community; making them stronger than ever.

MEMBER

LIFE MEMBER

All Wildcats who have successfully completed a degree within the College are Members of the CAFE Alumni Association. All members will receive the following:

As a Wildcat, show your loyalty by becoming a Life Member. Your donation will support CAFE Alumni Association programming and current students in the College through scholarships. Life Members enjoy all Member benefits plus:

Gift at The Graduate Farewell

Invitation to events (hard copy)

During your first year of membership you receive Lifetime Member perks

The Ambassador newsletter (hard copy)

Birthday Recognition (email)

Recognition in The Ambassador newsletter

Invitation to events (digital)

Member decal

The Ambassador newsletter (digital)

Early access and/or discounted tickets to alumni events

Additional benefits from the UK Alumni Association (for a complete list of perks, visit www.ukyalumni.net/benefits)

*Current Annual Members of the Alumni Association will be grandfathered into the new membership model on May 1.

Become a Life Member

To become a Life Member of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association, complete the membership form online at alumni.ca.uky.edu/membership or dial 859-257-3814.

08 | MARCH 2020

Alumni Travel Program (domestic & abroad)

YOUNG ALUMNI SINGLE JOINT

years post $200 (10graduation) $300 $400

*Life Member dues are split evenly between the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association and it’s Scholarship Endowment. *Life membership status is open to everyone. You do not have to be a College of Agriculture, Food and Environment or University of Kentucky alum.


GRASSROOTS GRASSROOTS

INSURANCE INSURANCE

EDUCATION EDUCATION

ADVOCACY ADVOCACY

LEADERSHIP

SERVICE

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

of theseinchanges, Kentuckychanges agriculture tomorrow’s Farming Kentuckythe hasfuture seenofdramatic overdemands the pastthat century. New farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau technologies. New practices. New ways of bringing products to market. In the midst supports giving young theagriculture tools, skillsdemands and knowledge they need ofproudly these changes, the future of farmers Kentucky that tomorrow’s for success. Why Farm education ensures a brighter for farmers be educated in Bureau? the field Because and in the classroom. Kentucky Farmfuture Bureau all Kentuckians.

all Kentuckians. 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.

THE AMBASSADOR

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farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau

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

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

Proudly supporting the the nextProudly crop ofsupporting Kentucky farmers. next crop of Kentucky farmers.

Farming in Kentucky has seen dramatic changes over the past century. New

Proudly supporting the next crop of Kentucky farmers.

for success. Why Farm Bureau? Because education ensures a brighter future for

proudly supports giving young farmers the tools, skills and knowledge they need

farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau

of these changes, the future of Kentucky agriculture demands that tomorrow’s

technologies. New practices. New ways of bringing products to market. In the midst

Farming in Kentucky has seen dramatic changes over the past century. New

all Kentuckians.

Proudly supporting the next crop of Kentucky farmers.

RASSROOTS

INSURANCE

EDUCATION

ADVOCACY

LEADERSHIP

SERVICE

for success. Why Farm Bureau? Because education ensures a brighter future for


It Starts With Us

UK COOPERATIVE EXTENSION ANNOUNCES REGIONAL DIRECTORS

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has hired three regional directors. This is the first step in a new administrative structure announced last fall after a comprehensive review of the service was completed. Natasha Lucas, of Beattyville, has been named the Central Region director. Lucas currently serves as one of seven district directors and has more than 20 years of experience in extension at the county and district levels. She has a bachelor’s degree in home economics education and a master’s degree in vocational education from UK. She also is a graduate of the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute. Lucas’ office will be on UK’s Lexington campus. Anna Porter, of Louisville, has been named the West Region director. Porter currently serves as one of seven district directors and has more than 30 years of experience at the county and district levels. She focused on youth organizations in her bachelor’s degree in recreation from Western Kentucky University. She earned a master’s degree in vocational education with an emphasis on agriculture from UK. Porter’s office will be at the UK Research

From left to right: Natasha Lucas, Central Region director. Anna Porter, West Region director. Daniel Wilson, East Region director. and Education Center in Princeton. Daniel Wilson, of Tyner, has been named the East Region director. He currently serves as one of seven district directors and has more than 13 years of experience at the county, district and state levels. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in career, technical and leadership education from UK. Wilson’s office will be at UK’s Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability. “We were fortunate to have an outstanding candidate pool, and we extend our sincerest thanks to all who applied,” said Laura Stephenson, associate dean and extension director in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Throughout the process,

we have had valuable feedback from staff and stakeholders. I am looking forward to working closely with the new regional directors.” The three regional directors will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of extension operations within their respective regions and will report to Stephenson. Each will oversee nine to 10 area extension directors. The 28 areas comprise between three to five counties each. Hiring of these positions will take place throughout 2020. The goals of the new administrative model are to increase the time available that county agents have for programming; increase supervisor mentoring opportunities; streamline fiscal accountability and compliance; and reduce staff-to-supervisor ratios.

HANCOCK RECEIVES UK WHEAT SERVICE AWARD The University of Kentucky Wheat Science Group recently honored Hickman County farmer Curtis Hancock with its Service Award. Hancock is a longtime supporter and research collaborator with UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment scientists. He has collaborated with multiple soil scientists and agronomists on various projects throughout his career to

10 | MARCH 2020

help move Kentucky grain crop production forward. “I saw the possibilities of how well no-till wheat production might work and wanted to get involved. The partnership between Wheat Tech, the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association and UK has been important for advancing wheat production in this state,” Hancock said.


LEMON TREE PREPARES SWEET EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS, PATRONS ALIKE Homemade butternut squash bisque, Italian sausage, sweet pepper relish, handrolled parmesan breadsticks and a double chocolate brownie sundae. Just one of the many hand-crafted meals put together by a UK class and served at the Lemon Tree, an on-campus restaurant. Sound like the agenda for a typical college classroom? It is for some students at the University of Kentucky. The Lemon Tree is a full-service restaurant located in Erickson Hall that is managed and operated jointly by dietetics and human nutrition and hospitality management and tourism students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment School of Human Environmental Sciences. Throughout the eight-week course, students learn quantity food production using locally grown foods. Each week, students rotate on teams through positions in front-of-house and back-of-house. Students have a hand in everything from folding napkins and decorating tables, to reservation management and table set-up. The course enables undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in every facet of the food production and hospitality sector.

The dining room, which can serve up to around 50 guests, welcomes guest from the university and Lexington community. Students are taught under the guidance of co-instructors Bob Perry, chef and Food Labs coordinator and coordinator of the Food Systems Initiative, and Aaron Schwartz, lecturer and Dietetic Internship Program director in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Perry handles everything and anything in the kitchen, while Schwartz manages the front-of-house operations like set-up, serving and reservation management. Perry and Schwartz understand that not every DHN and HMT student will go on to work in a restaurant environment or

manage food production directly. But they aspire to instill lessons in students about the environment that will carry them into a multitude of fields in the future, as well as their personal lives. The Lemon Tree is located on the second floor of Erikson Hall and serves lunch Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon sharp for select weeks during both spring and fall semesters. Patrons of the restaurant pay just $14 for a three-course meal made from scratch. Reservations are on a firstcome first-served basis and are required for patrons. For inquiries regarding reservations, contact Tracy Cayson at 859-257-3800 or by email at tracy.cayson@uky.edu.

ROSALIND HARRIS INDUCTED INTO THE GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER HALL OF FAME The University of Kentucky’s Rosalind Harris recently was presented with the George Washington Carver Public Service Award and inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 77th annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference at Tuskegee University. The award recognized an individual whose work mirrors the philosophy of George Washington Carver, as reflected in this statement by the renowned scientist: “It has always been the one great idea... to be the greatest good to the greatest number of people.” The conference

views public service as significant accomplishments and contributions in the areas of extension and outreach activities designed to improve the quality of life for the rural clientele served by the 1890 landgrant universities and Tuskegee Institute. “Dr. George Washington Carver lived his life with unwavering authenticity, courage and commitment to nurturing the wellbeing of a politically emancipated people still living under economic slavery postReconstruction,” said Harris, an associate professor in the UK Department of Community and Leadership Development.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful for the honor of being acknowledged for working in the spirit of Dr. Carver’s calling.” Harris is involved in food justice and youth restorative justice research, teaching and community engagement. She received the award based on her history of research on the 1890 historically black landgrant institutions. Her most recent work documented Tuskegee University’s role employing its Southern Food Systems Education Consortium model, giving the community a vision and mission for a Black Belt Regional Commission.

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COLLEGE INDUCTS LATEST CLASS TO HALL OF DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment inducted four new members into its Hall of Distinguished Alumni. This year’s recipients include a leader in the field of antibody engineering for cancer therapies, an agricultural educator and advocate, college administrator and home economics leader, and a devoted educator and advocate of The Arboretum. Zhiqiang An, of Houston, received his doctorate in plant pathology in 1991 from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and has worked in the private sector and academia establishing himself as a leader in the field of antibody engineering for cancer therapies. Today, he is the director of the Texas Therapeutics Institute at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in chemistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center. A holder of 17 patents, he leads a team of scientists focusing on the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies and antibiotics against human diseases including cancer and infectious diseases. Patrick Henderson of Irvington earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 1968 and a master’s in education in 1972. He was a high school agriculture teacher in Breckinridge County and FFA advisor for many years before serving as assistant superintendent of Breckinridge County Schools from 19962002. He remains committed and involved in agriculture through his own farming operation as well as serving on multiple local, state and national boards.

12 | MARCH 2020

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Hall of Distinguished Alumni’s newest members are (from left to right) Patrick Henderson, the late Dorotha Smith Oatts (accepted by her niece Jacky Watson), Sarah Tabb Henry and Zhiqiang An. He is as a board member of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board and Kentucky Farm Bureau and Breckinridge County Conservation District. Sarah Tabb Henry, of Lexington, received a bachelor’s degree in home economics in 1956. Tabb’s career included being a high school home economics teacher, a supervisor for the Kentucky Department of Education and university professor. She served as assistant dean of the former UK College of Human Environmental Sciences for 13 years and upon retirement as special assistant to the dean. She continues to be a strong advocate for education and has established the TabbHenry scholarship fund in the college. The late Dorotha Smith Oatts earned a bachelor of science in home economics education in 1946 and a master’s degree in home economics in 1950. She was an educator and coordinated the development of a consumer and family life skills program for post-secondary institutions in the 1970s. When she retired in 1982, she turned her attention to her love of gardening, providing leadership

during the establishment of The Arboretum, a partnership between UK and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Oatts provided the challenge gift for the fundraising drive to build The Arboretum’s visitors center that today bears her name. She continued her support of The Arboretum until her death in 2018.

The College biennially honors extraordinary alumni who have contributed substantially to their chosen fields, their communities and society through induction into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. This award is the highest honor the college bestows. Would you like to nominate a deserving alum? Visit alumni.ca.uky.edu/hallof-distinguished-alumni for the 2022 nomination materials.


COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

SPONSORSHIP 2020

In 2016 the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment adopted the tagline “It starts with us”. This statement stresses the importance of our programs and contributions to a sustainable future in the Commonwealth and beyond. The CAFE Alumni Association echoes this tagline. We believe, when it comes to professional pride, activities advancing our college, collegiate communication and support, and engagement for our network; “It starts with us”. By supporting the association, you will access a growing audience of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members. Your organization has the opportunity to reach nearly 20,000 individuals through communications and events. We would be proud to have you represented in 2020. We hope you will consider sponsoring the CAFE Alumni Association. For a complete list of sponsor benefits and additional information, visit alumni.ca.uky.edu/sponsor or contact Jonathan Furnish by email at jonathan. furnish@uky.edu or by phone at 859-257-7211.

19,922 ALUMNI REACHED

GLOBAL ALUMNI BASE

5,000 + ALUMNI EVENT ATTENDEES

LARGEST 18 ALUMNI AFFILIATE EVENT ON NETWORKS CAMPUS

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Alumni Focus

PAT HUDSON TEXTILES & CLOTHING ‘80 By Aimee Nielson


F

rom a farm in Boston, Kentucky, to designing for international fashion icons and celebrities, Pat Hudson always knew she was bound for the Big Apple.

“I was knitting a sweater for a 4-H competition, and I slipped a stitch and said, ‘Ah! I’m not going to do this anymore.’ I threw the sweater down, at that very moment on TV — I believe in things coming to me for a reason — was a fashion show with Oscar de la Renta’s knitwear. It was being featured for Fashion Week in New York City,” Hudson said. “The models were coming down the runway in all their beautiful sweaters, knit coats, knit skirts and knit pants. “I’ll never forget, I got all excited, and I ran into the kitchen and said, ‘Mom, Mom, come here, come here. I know what I want to do when I grow up.’ By the time I finally got her attention to come to the living room, of course it was off the TV. But from that day on, all I ever wanted to do was to move to New York and be in fashion.” Before moving to New York, Hudson came to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to study home economics, fashion merchandising and design. “In those classes, I learned that a fabric is not just a fabric,” she said. “We tested fabrics in chemistry lab class and learned what was flammable and not flammable. I learned that even more important than how the fabric looks is how it reacts to the body, to the situation it’s being used for.” Hudson said she enjoyed a well-rounded education at UK with classes in child development, interior design and psychology. At the time, she didn’t understand how she might use some of those classes in real life, but looking back now, she can see how they were vital. “I’ve ended up making hardware for furniture companies and helping people refurbish a part of something to make it beautiful again. Then the childhood development classes helped me understand my employees with children through the years. Although I don’t have any children myself, I helped raise 11. All of that knowledge that I learned at UK back in the day, really, really still sticks with me today.” Hudson moved to New York in 1981. She managed the designer sportswear floor at Saks Fifth Avenue. She went on to own and operate a chain of Neuchâtel chocolate shops at The Plaza Hotel, Trump Tower, 60 Wall Street, Trinity Place and Park Avenue Plaza in New York City. She also had shops at 900 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago and South Coast Plaza in Orange County California.

In 1991, she started the private-label company Grinnell Designs. They make costume jewelry, trims and home accessories for other companies and designers. Many of the costume jewelry items and artistic pieces show up on fashion runways, award shows and in movies. Through the years, she’s had many unique and unusual commissions. “Michael Kors came to me with a piece from an African tribal museum,” she said. “It was about four feet long and he wanted me to recreate it to be wearable. It was a challenge but with 10 hand-carved models, 10 molds, the right leather, pewter and resin castings, I was finally able to make it look like a smaller version of the original piece. It ended up being a hit at his Fashion Week runway show.” Hudson said seeing models wear jewelry made by her company at New York Fashion Week always gives her a sudden flashback to when she saw her first runway show on television. Over the years, Hudson has made pieces for the late Kate Spade, Longaberger, Tommy Hilfiger, JCPenney, Mary Kay Cosmetics, The Doncaster Collection, Escada, Isaac Mizrahi, Ellie Tahari, Tory Burch, Peter Som, Lulu Frost, Rebecca de Ravenel and Lela Rose, to name a few. She helped create 35 crowns for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and also recalled an interesting request from the Museum of Natural History. A large shark’s jaw was set to be on display, but it was missing some teeth. Hudson created molds from the real teeth and created false teeth for the shark’s jaw before it was placed on display. Another unique opportunity Hudson had was to design Japanese black pearl necklaces that she hand-knotted with silk thread and finished with a Swarovski crystal snap closure. Her client was Liz Taylor, who purchased several hundred of the necklaces to give as presents through the years. As for what Hudson would tell students who want to pursue her line of work, it all comes down to what her grandmother told her many years ago. “On Saturdays, I helped her clean her house. Afterward, she would make some sweet tea, and we’d sit on the porch,” Hudson recalled. “She would rock in her rocking chair, and I’d sit on the step. We would look over the field and past the trees, and we would play a kind of game. She would say, ‘What do you think is out there?’ and I would say things like Egypt or Tennessee or wherever. I’ll never forget that click sound of her rocking chair.” ‘She’d say to me, ‘Well, just always remember, don’t ever wish you had (gone somewhere or done something), you can always come back home.’ It gave me the courage to go out there and pursue my dreams and know I could always come back home. I want students to know continued on pg. 16

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that; to not limit themselves and to take advantage of opportunities.” She said that even more important than being a good designer, students need to be savvy businesspeople who can ebb and flow with current trends and ways of reaching customers. With fewer brick and mortar stores, students need to learn the ins and out of marketing online. Hudson has also found ways to give back as the president of Kentuckians of New York. She still serves on the board. She also has volunteered for more than 10 years for the enCourage Kids Foundation. The foundation envisions a world where every child, regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey, experiences joy, hope, resilience and healing. She’s helped the Girl Scouts learn to make vests, handbags, jewelry and belts with leftover beads and fabric to help them earn the Doncaster Girls Change the World badge. A long-time New Yorker now, Hudson still follows her grandmother’s advice and loves to come back to visit her old Kentucky home. (Below) Various creations from Pat’s design company, Grinnell Designs. From inspiration, to sketch, to finished product. A crown produced for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. The tribal necklace for Michael Kors.

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Do you love Lexington? Are you a member of an organization that hosts annual meetings or conventions? Recommend Lexington, KY for your next event and let us help you bring it home! Learn more or get in touch with a VisitLEX representative today Meetings@VisitLEX.com | VisitLEX.com/recommendlex

Paid in part by the KY Department of Tourism


Student Spotlight

JULIA BELL POPE MERCHANDISING, APPAREL, and TEXTILES MAY 2020 HOMETOWN: Birmingham, Alabama

ACTIVITIES: +Kappa Delta Sorority +Retailing, Tourism, and Management Club Q: What led you to choose the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment? A: As a little girl, I was constantly doodling purses, bags, dresses and shoes. My family and I knew from the very beginning that I would end up pursuing a job in the fashion industry. Years later, and still sketching design ideas, I decided to pursue the business side of fashion. I was drawn to this college because of its unique ability to blend business components with the creative aspects required for the fashion industry. Q: What does the college mean

to you? Describe your overall experience.

A: All of my favorite memories with this college have taken place outside of a classroom. In Paris, France, I met with a leather glove designer. In Florence, Italy, I discussed visual merchandising strategies with the director of visual merchandising for La Rinascente. I interned with The Frye Company and learned from efficient companies like Target. All of these unique experiences have shaped me into a worldly, curious student. Q: How is the college preparing you for your future?

A: My academic advisor Scarlett Wesley has played a massive role in my success at the University of Kentucky. Since my freshman year, she has guided me through personal and academic experiences. The high standard she has held me to throughout my four years at UK have molded me into a responsible, hardworking student. The professors in the Retailing, Tourism, and Management Department work tirelessly to see their students succeed. The expertise they have provided me will allow me to thrive in any future career I may hold. Q: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

A: I came to college with a strong desire to find a career I was passionate about. Since I was young, my parents instilled in me a passion to find a job that I love. While on an education abroad trip in Florence, Italy, I discovered my passion for leather technology. In the next 15 years, I would love to find a niche in the leather industry. Whether it be creating my own leather brand, specializing in leather engineering or sourcing materials. The knowledge I have gained in my time here has allowed me to feel prepared for any job in the fashion industry, and I look forward to the twists and turns ahead.

Q: Why would you recommend the college to future students?

A: There are countless reasons that I would recommend this college to future students. The unique job opportunities, ability to travel, and experiential learning are just the tip of the iceberg. For me, what has made the biggest difference in my time here is the sense of family in this college. Professors are attentive, passionate experts in their field. My peers share my unique passion, and they push me to be the best version of myself. I can say with full confidence I have created lifelong relationships with both my peers and professors.

Do you know someone that would be interested in the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles program? Visit their website, rtm.ca.uky.edu, to learn more.

THE AMBASSADOR

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Philanthropy

ONE DAY. One Gift ONE ENORMOUS IMPACT.

On April 21, the University of Kentucky will rally its alumni, friends, and fans to support One Day for UK, a 24-hour day of giving where donors can support the college, unit or cause of their choice. Last year, One Day for UK raised more than $1 million for funds across campus thanks to the support of thousands of alumni and friends. This year, the goal is to double that total, reaching more alumni and friends and raising $2.1 million to support and sustain programs. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment was proud to raise more than $44,000 during the inaugural One Day for UK. Thanks to hundreds of supporters and those who spread the word and shared their experience, the college unlocked a matching gift and placed on the unit leaderboard. This year UK CAFE will feature the CAFE General Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, providing unrestricted scholarship dollars for deserving students, and the Building Extension Professional Leadership Fund, which supports professional development opportunities for University Cooperative Extension Service employees. While these funds will be featured, donors are encouraged to support any area of the college that is most meaningful to them. By conducting the campaign online, UK hopes to reach a broader audience, including reconnecting alumni, engaging young alumni and motivating its strongest supporters to make a gift. In addition to financially supporting the college, unit or cause

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of their choice, supporters can repost messages, spark conversation about UK and encourage their friends and family to give. To further promote the day, students, alumni, employees, friends, and donors are all invited to become #BBNfluencers. These supporters are more than an ambassador. Every day, in person and online, they champion the University of Kentucky, celebrating its accomplishments and encouraging people to support teams and programs. #BBNfluencers set the tone for giving day, direct the conversation and help spread the message across the country. For more information on how to get involved, visit: https://kentuckycan.uky.edu/ bbnfluencers It’s a community effort. Together, the entire Big Blue Nation can make a huge impact on campus in just 24 hours. We can provide more scholarships and research opportunities for students, give colleges and departments the resources they need to be successful and strengthen our creative and outreach efforts which help transform our Commonwealth and the world. UK will be mailing information about One Day for UK to all alumni, employees, and friends. People can make a gift through the mail or at https://uky.networkforgood.com before April 21 to the college, unit, or cause of their choice. On April 21, all supporters should visit https://onedayforuk.uky.edu to make a gift, track the progress, and read stories about how donor support and UK has shaped lives. All college,

department, and unit funds will be found on that page. To join the online conversation, people should follow #OneDayforUK on all social media platforms throughout March and April to learn more and discuss how UK shaped their lives.


17 colleges. 13,940 employees. 30,473 students. 290,342 alumni.

THE AMBASSADOR

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The Ambassador - March 2020