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School of Human
Environmental Sciences

102 Erikson Hall,
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
40506-0050
tel: (859) 257-3887

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HomeFamily SciencesGraduate › Alumni

Graduate

Alumni

2012


Master's

Mellisa Daltron

Melissa Dalton
M.S., 2012

Current Location: Owasso, Oklahoma
Current Position:   Therapist
                         
Grand Lake Mental Health
                          Center           

I work in a school setting with underserved individuals and families in need of mental health care and pharmacological management.

Benita Peoples

Benita Peoples
M.S., 2012

Current Location: Cynthiana, Kentucky
Current Position:   Extension Agent
                         
Family and Consumer Sciences
                          Extension
                          University of Kentucky           

As the FCS agent for Harrison County Extension, I serve as the liaison between the University of Kentucky and the county providing educational programming to individuals and families. Programs are focused on making healthy lifestyle choices, nurturing families, embracing life through the aging process, financial security, promoting healthy homes and communities, accessing nutritious foods and empowering community leaders.

Katie Washington

Katie Washington (Terrana)
M.S., 2012

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:   Diversion Specialist
                         
KVC Kentucky/
                          Croney & Clark           

I am currently working as a therapist at a mental and behavioral health agency in Lexington, KY.  I provide services to children and their families that have been identified by social services as needing intensive interventions.

Doctoral

Claire Kimberly

Claire Kimberly
M.S., 2000; Ph.D., 2012

Current Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Current Position:   Assistant Professor
                         
Department of Child
                          & Family Studies
                          University of Southern Mississippi

Teaching is the primary focus of my faculty position at the University of Southern Mississippi, but I also have continued my research on family and marital communication.

Varu Kankipati

Varu Kankipati
Ph.D., 2012

Current Location: Hyderabad, India
Current Position:   Co-Founder, Life Compass
                          Organization
                         
Psychological Counseling
                          & Psychoeducational Workshops           

In June 2012, I moved back to India to co-found a counseling organization, Life Compass. One of our missions is to spread awareness about the philosophy and science of counseling psychology and its effectiveness in making us better equipped to face the challenges of life. Our goal is to remove the social stigma attached to counseling in India. Life Compass provides individual and group counseling Life Compass and in addition we provide workshops on life skills for children, adolescents, and adults.

2011


Master's

Fatimah Shalah

Fatimah Shalash
M.S., 2011

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky & Nablus, Palestine
Current Position:   ESL & Psychodrama Teacher
                         
Project Hope           

I'm an English as Second Language (ESL) volunteer in Palestine, where I teach English to all ages and teach a pyschodrama class to university students. Once my volunteer program is complete, I plan to return to the Kentucky and work toward earning a full license in marriage and family therapy.

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith
M.S., 2011

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Positions:  Project Coordinator
                           Military-Extension Adventure Camps
                           Family and Consumer
                           Sciences Extension
                           University of Kentucky

I coordinate high-adventure camps for military families in Kentucky.  We travel all throughout Kentucky and occasionally the surrounding states to engage service member parents and their teenage children in high-adventure activities, like whitewater canoeing and zip-lining, while helping the families connect and bond after experiencing deployment.  I am also involved in the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and specifically in the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group.

Doctoral

Linda Bradley

Linda Bradley
Ph.D., 2011

Current Location: Chatsworth (LA County), California
Current Position:  Assistant Professor
                          Department of Family and Consumer
                          Sciences
                          California State University, Northridge

Since completing my doctoral degree in May, 2011 my career path has centered on transitioning into a tenure-track position at California State University, Northridge which services a diverse population of approximately 35,000 students. My focus is providing family financial education at both the undergraduate and graduate level, collaborating on the implementation of a service learning program for CSUN students and a community-wide Consumer Resource Center, and developing a research program centered on financial socialization and behaviors of disadvantaged populations.

 Ahlishia Shipley

Ahlishia Shipley
Ph.D., 2011

Current Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Current Position:   Program Specialist
                         
Division of Family & Consumer Sciences
                          USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture

My work falls within the scope of two main functions of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which are national program leadership and funding administration. Within DFCS, I provide program leadership and support for several programs including Military Family and Veterans Programs, Regional Rural Development, Sustainable Farm Enterprises, and Public Policy. I also handle communications in DFCS.

2010


Master's

Sally Dougherty

Sally Dougherty
M.S., 2010

Current Location: Eugene, Oregon
Current Position:  Family Relations Director
                          Holt International Children’s Services

I have worked at Holt, an international adoption agency and child welfare non-profit organization, since 2006. My responsibilities are to promote awareness of Holt's mission and adoption programs amongst prospective adoptive parents. Then, provide opportunities for parents to engage with Holt's staff to get the information needed to make their adoption decision.

 

Brooke Strickler

Brooke Strickler
M.S., 2010

Current Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Current Position:  Mental Health Therapist
                          Orchard Place Child
                          Guidance Center

I am currently working as an outpatient mental health therapist in a community mental health agency serving children, birth to age 21, and their families. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, Orchard Place provides mental health assessment and treatment to children diagnosed with moderate to severe emotional and/or behavioral disturbances. My focus is on children eight and under, struggling with a variety of symptoms from ADHD, to mood disorders, to complex traumas. 

Doctoral

Stephanie Blevins

Stephanie Blevins
Ph.D., 2010

Current Location: Danville, Kentucky
Current Position:  Cooperative Extension Specialist
                          4-H Youth Development
                          Family and Consumer
                          Sciences Extension               
                          University of Kentucky

Since graduating, I have continued my employment as a 4-H Youth Development Specialist.

Martie Gillen

Martie Gillen
Ph.D., 2010

Current Location: Gainesville, Florida
Current Position:  Assistant Professor & 
                          Extension Specialist
                          Department of Family, 
                          Youth and Community Services
                          University of Florida

I began my current position in June of 2011 with a 70% teaching and 30% extension appointment.  I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of personal and family finance and research methods.

Jennifer Hunter

Jennifer Hunter
Ph.D., 2010

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:  Assistant Professor & 
                          Extension Specialist
                          Department of Family Sciences
                          University of Kentucky

I'm employed within the department; see http://fam.uky.edu/hunter

2009


Master's

Lesley Graham (Martinez)

Lesley Graham (Martinez)
M.S., 2009

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:  Program Specialist
                          Save the Children  

Upon completion of the family sciences master's program, I obtained employment as a Family Resource Center Director for Woodford County Schools. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with families and students in this role, I have recently accepted the position of Program Specialist with Save the Children. My responsibilities with Save the Children include providing training and support to School Based Programs in impoverished areas of Southeastern Kentucky, specifically Literacy & Physical Activity programs. In an effort to address the growing concerns regarding childhood obesity, I am also working as part of the Save the Children Health Team to strengthen our current nutrition and physical activity efforts, as well as to establish new community programming targeting this issue.

N. John-Evan Waite

N. John-Evan Waite
M.S., 2009

Current Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Current Positions:  Marriage & Family Therapist
                           Jordan West Family Counseling

                           Mediator
                           Hatch Associates

I currently work as a therapist at a private clinic near Salt Lake City. I work primarily with couples and parent/child relationships. I am also certified as a mediator and do mediation occasionally at a law firm.

Doctoral

Megan Cox

Megan Cox
Ph.D., 2009

Current Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Current Position:  Research Associate
                          Center for Early Education 
                          & Development
                          University of Minnesota

My research interests include early childhood workforce and leadership issues, evaluation of large scale assessment initiatives, burnout and emotional labor in early care and education providers, and systems development. I’m currently working on two professional development initiatives within the state of Minnesota: (a) working with and training relationship based professional development providers, and (b) aiding the creation and evaluation structures of statewide cross-sector professional development systems. Additionally, I am working with the League of Michigan Infant Mental Health endorsement states to identify essential elements of reflective supervision in an effort to create consensus across state systems. 

Cynthia Reeser

Cynthia Reeser
Ph.D., 2009

Current Location: Columbia, Missouri
Current Position:  Assistant Teaching Professor
                          Department of Human
                          Development & Family Studies
                          University of Missouri

Since joining the Mizzou faculty in August, 2009, I’ve been active in incorporating educational technology in the classroom, and I have developed an online graduate certificate program due to offer its first course in Fall, 2012.  I’m a member of the Campus Writing Board as well as the board of ET@MO, for which I serve as one of eight e-mentors on the Mizzou campus charged with helping those faculty members contemplating greater use of educational technology in their classrooms.

 

Judy van de Venne

Judy van de Venne
M.S., 2004; Ph.D., 2009

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:   Project Coordinator
                           Military-Extension
                           Adventure Camps
                           Family and Consumer Sciences
                           Extension
                           University of Kentucky

Upon graduation I worked as Cooperative Extension Specialist and Lecturer for the Department of Family Sciences and the School of Human Environmental Sciences at UK. I’m currently developing a consultation business, "Family Matters, LLC.," which focuses on marriage preparation, marriage enrichment, family and divorce mediation (from a family strengths perspective), and research/technical writing with local businesses that work on behalf of neighborhoods and families. I have also taught at Asbury University and Eastern Kentucky University on a part-time basis.

 

2008


Master's

Jana Collins

Jana Collins
M.S., 2008

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:  Program Coordinator / 
                          Financial Manager

                          Bluegrass Care Clinic
                          University of Kentucky

In 2002, I joined the Bluegrass Care Clinic as a Data Manager and served in three different capacities before accepting my current position as Program Coordinator. I currently provide grant writing, federal reporting, as well as program and financial management for a Ryan White federally funded HIV clinic at the University of Kentucky.  Because of my experience in various capacities of this federal grant program I was invited in 2008 by the Health Resource Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a fiscal and technical assistant consultant. For the past three years I have traveled throughout the country auditing Ryan White programs to ensure legislative and program compliance, and providing program development and improvement strategies.

Amanda Veldorale-Brogam

Amanda Veldorale-Brogan
M.S., 2008

Current Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Current Position:   Clinical Therapist
                          Healing Transitions, Inc. 

I worked full-time as a family therapist working towards licensure after graduation. Currently I am working part-time as a therapist and attending school full-time at The Florida State University working on my PhD in Family Relations.

 

Doctoral

No Photo Available 

Xin Gao
Ph.D., 2008

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:  Research Coordinator
                         
Department of Special Education
                          & Rehabilitation Counseling
                          University of Kentucky

I am conducting evaluation research for an early childhood initiative implemented by the state of Kentucky.

2007


Master's

Erik Carlton

Erik Carlton
M.S., 2007

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Positions:  Project Director    
                           Department of Behavioral Science
                           College of Medicine
                           University of Kentucky

                           Owner and Principle Consultant
                           Erik Carlton Services

After completing my MS in Family Studies, I went on to complete a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree in Health Services Management, also from the University of Kentucky. During this time, I continued my employment as a project director at the University of Kentucky, first as director for a $250,000 annual contract and then as co-director for a $6 million annual contract with primary responsibilities for data management and research and evaluation. In addition to my work at the university, I own and run a pair of businesses under one corporate umbrella, Erik Carlton Services. These businesses include a small, private marriage and family therapy practice and a management consulting firm working with public sector and non-profit organizations.

No Photo Available

Trisha Jarnagin
M.S., 2007

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:  Marriage & Family Therapist
                          Department of Veterans Affairs

Began working at Sunrise Children's Services as a foster care therapist after graduation, after earning my full licensure I began working with the federal government. I currently provide family and marital counseling to combat veterans and their families.

 

No Photo Available

Josh Johnston
M.S., 2007

Current Location: Berea, Kentucky
Current Positions: Therapist
                          
Counseling & Disability Services    
                           Berea College
 
                           Marriage & Family Therapist
                           Johnston Counseling, PPLC

After graduating from UK I worked for Comprehensive Care—a community non-profit agency—for 4 years where I earned my licensure in marriage in family therapy working in various therapeutic settings. I have been working at Berea College since August of 2011 as a therapist working exclusively with students of the College. I have also started my own private practice, Johnston Counseling, PLLC, where I provide therapeutic services specializing in marital and family therapy.

 

No Photo Available

Shonda Faulkner Johnston
M.S., 2007

Current Location: Berea, Kentucky
Current Position:  Social Service Clinician
                          Cabinet for Health & Family Services
                          Commonwealth of Kentucky

Since graduation I have been a social worker investigating child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately my job does not afford me the opportunity to work toward MFT licensure, although that is still a goal of mine.

Karen Merkel

Karen Kiteck (Merkel)
M.S., 2007

Current Location: Marion, Indiana
Current Position:  Homemaker, mother, community volunteer

Following graduation, I was employed as an in-home family therapist by Highlands Community Services in Bristol, Virginia for 6 months. I am now in a season of caring for my own family fulltime.

Michelle Picnckney

Michelle Pinckney
M.S., 2007

Current Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Current Position:  Counselor Intermediate
                          Counseling Center
                          University of Louisville

After obtaining my second graduate degree from the University of Kentucky in 2007, I began working at the Child & Family Wellness Center, which is affiliated with Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board, Inc.  I worked as a Mental Health Specialist with children, adolescents and families. After working there for over 2 1/2 years, and living in Lexington for almost 16 years, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky (my current residence) due to obtaining a position at the University of Louisville Counseling Center in April 2010. My current position is as Counselor Intermediate working with both traditional and non-traditional university students.

 

Doctoral

Kerri Ashurst

Kerri Ashurst
M.S., 1999; Ph.D., 2007

Current Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Current Position:  Senior Extension Specialist
                          Family and Consumer
                          Sciences Extension
                          University of Kentucky

Since completion of my Ph.D., I have continued coordinating two different federal grants through Cooperative Extension that I worked with before graduation, including CYFAR (Children, Youth and Families at Risk) and CYFERnet (Children, Youth and Families Education and Research Network). I also have applied for and received several grants that I am now directing, including Operation: Military Kids (4 years), Operation: Military Kids Family Camp Grant (3 years), and Military-Extension Adventure Camp grant (1 year). My primary focus areas are in programming and support for military families throughout the deployment cycle; helping families cope with stress, crisis, and grief; youth leadership skills development; bullying prevention; family communication; and fathering.

Teresa Kern

Teresa Kern
Ph.D., 2007

Current Location: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Current Position:  Assistant Professor
                          Department of Public Health 
                          Sciences, and Department of 
                          Family & Community Medicine
                          Penn State University

I joined the Penn State College of Medicine as faculty in July 2009, where my work focuses on family functioning when faced by chronic illness(es) impacted by disparities related to poverty; geographic, rural isolation; and the conditions/resources of medically underserved communities. I’m also Director of Evaluation and Research for the Pennsylvania Area Health Education (AHEC) network. 

2004


Master's

Latoya Payne

Latoya Payne
M.S., 2004

Current Location: Danville, Kentucky
Current Position:  Quality Assurance Section Supervisor
                          Office of the Ombudsman
                          Cabinet for Health & Family Services
                          Commonwealth of Kentucky

Since graduating in 2004, I have worked as a case manager at a non-profit agency, a social service worker for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I’m currently working in the field of administrative social services. The Office of the Ombudsman serves the citizens of Kentucky by responding to requests for appeals of services and substantiated findings of abuse or neglect. We also, by request, review Cabinet cases for policy violations and provide information to the public regarding the Cabinet. My career path has been focused on the enhancement and protection of children and families.

 

Doctoral

Margaret Machara

Margaret Machara
Ph.D., 2004

Current Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Current Position:  Assistant Professor
                          Department of Family and
                          Consumer Sciences
                          Tennessee State University

My areas of expertise revolve around families, particularly young children, and interpersonal relationships.  My specific focuses are on parenting, the education of young children, interpersonal communication and intergenerational relationships. I also emphasize social, emotional, and cognitive development over the lifespan.  I teach undergraduate classes in development, parenting, relationships, classroom management and research methods.  I am currently working on a USDA funded project on Sustainable Living Practices.

Baomei Zhao

Baomei Zhao
Ph.D., 2004

Current Location: Akron, Ohio
Current Position:  Associate Professor
                          Department of Family & 
                          Consumer Sciences
                                   University of Akron

Since graduating from UK in December of 2004, I was Adjunct Professor at UK for a semester then, in fall of 2005, began a tenure-track position at the University of Akron. I earned tenure in May of 2011, and have continued in the same position as an Associate Professor.

1998


Master's

 Jenny Sievers

Jenny Sievers
M.S., 1998 

Current Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Current Position:  Licensed Mental Health Practitioner &
                          Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor
                         
Plaza West Psychiatrists

After graduating from the MFT program in December 1998, I moved back to Lincoln and began practicing as a therapist. I had two agency positions before venturing out on my own in 2008. In my private practice, my focus is on treating trauma disorders, mainly those of developmental and attachment traumas.

 
University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, An Equal Opportunity University
Copyright 2011, Questions/Comments - Last Updated: March 13 2013 14:51:04