The Power of Purpose at Kentucky

This is no ordinary year.

In our world, our nation, here in Kentucky and at the University of Kentucky College of Education, we have witnessed change and challenge, as well as inspirational accomplishments. In my first semester as dean, I have been awed by the passion within our students, faculty, and staff as they demonstrate time and again the heart to step up and work together to be a powerhouse for change. You’ll see just a few examples in the stories below.

As we reflect on the past few months and look forward to what we will build in the new year, I am filled with a sense of purpose. That’s a powerful word – purpose. It reminds us that we are doing work that is relevant, real, and vital.

Best wishes in the year to come.

Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D.
Dean, University of Kentucky College of Education

$2.3 million grant helps address special education faculty shortage
Without faculty, universities cannot fill the critical shortage of special education teachers. A $2.3 million grant is being used to recruit doctoral students to replace an aging special education faculty in Kentucky. (This means you – or someone you know – could earn a special education doctorate for free.)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium covers critical education issues
Some of the brightest minds in the field of education spoke at the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium in September.

Debunking a charter school myth
A common refrain: Charter schools are racially isolated because of where they tend to locate. UK College of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig’s analysis debunks this myth.

How will a $1.2 million grant help Kentucky’s youngest students? 
Classrooms are short on preschool teachers and applied behavior analysts. Why is this workforce not meeting demand? A grant from the U.S. Department of Education is helping fill Kentucky’s gap. (Learn how you – or someone you know – can earn a master’s degree for free in this program.)

Searching for answers for a painful hip condition
University of Kentucky researchers are in search of answers for those who suffer from a painful hip condition known as Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome (FAIS). A study in the January issue of Clinical Biomechanics helps shed light on the short-term outcome of anthroscopic surgery for the condition.

These alumni are solid gold
It has been 50 years since the class of 1969 graduated from the UK College of Education. Some returned to campus to become initiated into the Golden Wildcat Society.

Making a difference: Helping kids achieve “wondrous” things
We thrive on partnerships with schools. Thanks to donations from faculty, staff, students, and friends of the college, we will be using reading and art to help enrich learning at two Fayette County Promise Academies.

One comment

  • Please let me know if you include or included Dr. Ibram Kendi’s work and essential thesis in your equity and inclusion work, and how if you did, does it inform your vision, policy and process recommendations? As you know, he argues that racism is fundamentally interwoven with capitalism. This is not merely another protest for class analysis nor liberal wisdom of intersectionality, nor Marxist, but a humane democratic egalitarian inquiry about the nature of our freedom, purpose, values and relationships in why and how we do work, how we see selves and others, how we measure human and social worth, how we live in a society increasingly dominated by the market values of monopoly finance capital as a world system. If equity “uncomfortable” conversations does not include this kind of inquiry, it is a way to make afflicted comfortable less afflicted and unafflicted uncomfortable more afflicted. It is to transform being truly on fire for modest embers that keep our own hearts warm while complicit in the savage inequities and injustices here and throughout the world.

    Just sayin….



    Don W. Long, M.P.Aff. Consultant, P12 Public Education and Youth Leadership for Inspiring Futures Courageous, hopeful, creative, compassionate, imaginative, strategic, pragmatic.

    @DonWLong Sent from my iPhone



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