From the Desk of the Dean

“This year our College explored new ways to address long-standing challenges and pursue expansive possibilities. Moving forward, we recognize that as social problems become increasingly complex, so too must our response. We are, and will remain, resolute in actualizing our mission. Always, in all ways.”

 – Jay Miller, PhD, MSW, CSW
Dean & Dorothy A. Miller Research Professor in Social Work Education
Director, Self-Care Lab

A Leader in Social WOrk Education

by the numbers

Student Retention Rate
AY 21-22
0 %
Enrollment Growth
FY 21-22
1 %
Research Funding Growth
0 %

Field experiences are a seminal component of social work education and students’ matriculation into the profession. In 2021, CoSW invested in fostering field practica conducive to preparing students for contemporary practice realities and positively impacting agencies in which students were placed.


that matters

CoSW research spans basic and applied sciences and promotes translational and evidenced-based clinical, group, and community practice modalities.

FY22 Grant Increase
0 %
FY22 Proposal Increase
1 %
FY22 Grant Yield Rate
0 %

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Alumni Spotlight

Tamara Vest ’20 Grew Up in Foster Care. Now, She’s Working to Improve the System.

Vest, 25, aged out of Kentucky’s foster care system when she was 17. Her experience motivated her to pursue a degree in social work. Shortly before graduating, Vest wrote what became Senate Bill 8, an all-inclusive bill addressing many needs pertaining to the child welfare system.


UK Alumna Transforms Substance Use Treatment Through Technology, Passion

Raenae Moore, College of Social Work Alumna, is dedicated to helping people who struggle with substance use disorders do more than just complete a program – she wants to help them live again. When Moore returned to the Commonwealth after 20 years away, she learned there was a lack of solutions for people with substance use disorders. This motivated her to create long-lasting solutions, such as helping those struggling with substance use disorders find employment. Moore has partnered with organizations that provide technology to help achieve her goals.


UK Alum Creates App to Eliminate Bias in Hiring Process

Rhett Lindsey, a College of Social Work alum and Forbes Next 1000 honoree, created an app that educates employers and job seekers about the biases that occur in the hiring process and workplace. Siimee (pronounced “see me”) helps job candidates connect with recruiters by prioritizing inclusivity and mitigating bias.


Tyran Price '22 Aims to Help Kids Win on the Wrestling Mat and at Life

Just as Price refused to let unfairness and inequality pin him down, he takes pride in helping Frederick Douglass High School students build confidence on the mat and in life.”

When a kid is upset, I have the awareness to say, ‘don’t worry about practice — let’s talk, and tell me what’s going on in your personal life,’” he said. “And it’s helped me be a better coach and a better person.”


New Research Shines Light on Intimate Partner Violence

CoSW’s Katie Showalter, PhD, has recently published two new studies examining the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV).


Help-Seeking in Women Affected by Postpartum Depression Impacted by Mental Health Literacy

A new study from CoSW’s Aubrey Jones, PhD, used self-reported data collected through Facebook and Reddit to evaluate the effects of mental health literacy on professional help-seeking in women experiencing postpartum depression.


Masculinity Positively and Negatively Impacts Mental Health of Gay Black Men

A new study from CoSW’s Keith Watts, PhD, discusses the social construction of masculinity and the implications it has on the mental health of gay Black men.


Mental Health Screenings Could Be Useful for Kids as Young as 8

Julie Cerel, PhD, spoke with Erika Edwards of NBC News about the importance of talking to kids about anxiety, depression, and other complicated feelings.

DSW Class of 2022

Inaugural DSW Cohort Makes History

A 2017 survey from the National Association of Social Workers found nearly 70% of social workers are white. In the inaugural DSW cohort at the UK CoSW, twenty-three of the seventy-two graduating doctorate students are Black, including three Black men.

Army MSW Program

24 Graduating Officers Honored During Ceremony at Fort Sam Houston

After completing 14 continuous months of study in the full-time, 60-hour Army MSW program, 24 officers graduated with a one-of-a-kind degree.

Alumni Spotlight

Her Brother’s Miraculous Survival Led Marissa to UK Social Work

Marissa Massey ’20 will never forget the support she received from a caring social worker after watching her brother fight for his life in an Indianapolis hospital. Marissa decided she wanted to offer that same support to individuals and families in need. So, she embarked on a plan to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree from the College of Social Work.


Kotomi Yokokura Recognized as 2022-23 Newman Civic Fellow

Kotomi, an Otis A. Singletary Scholar and student in the BASW program, is recognized as a leader on campus, and in the greater community, on the issue of “period poverty,” which describes the inadequate access to menstrual hygiene products and education in the United States and abroad.

Last year, Kotomi founded the “Take a Tampon” initiative — hosting a donation drive to ensure ample supply of hygiene products across campus.


Rujeko Machinga Recognized as Pre-Dissertation Fellow by AGESW

Rujeko Machinga, a Ph.D. student in the College of Social Work, has been recognized as a pre-dissertation fellow of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW). Rujeko’s research explores the often-invisible relationship between intimate partner violence and older adults. She has previously collaborated on research, manuscripts, and conference presentations on topics ranging from HIV risk predictors among older adults to the sexual health of Black women.


Kris W. Kimel Receives Doctor of Humane Letters

Kris W. Kimel a graduate of the UK College of Social Work, has spent most of his career working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Throughout every stage of his career, Kimel has exemplified an exceptional commitment to bettering the lives of those in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


UK Students Shine in Mental Health Hack-A-Thon

“Participating in the Mental Health Hack-A-Thon allowed me to explore the idea of entrepreneurial and intrapreneurship within the social workspace,” said Brittney Pendergrass. “The mentorship, as well, as the networking opportunities were a prize within themselves, and I would recommend that anyone take the time to participate. You’ll be surprised what you can do.”

Centers & Labs

UK Social Work Adoption Support Program Receives National Excellence Award

Adoption Support for Kentucky – Virtual Interaction Program (ASK-VIP) received a 2021 Adoption Excellence Award in the Child Welfare/Judicial Systemic Change category. ASK-VIP, in partnership with the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services, offers support groups and specialized training for adoptive and foster families.

Faculty News

Dr. Allison Gibson Named Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America

Associate Professor Allison Gibson, PhD, has been named a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Gibson is an expert on aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs).

Faculty News

Dr. Natalie Pope Receives 2021 Rose Dobrof Award

Associate Professor Natalie Pope, PhD, was selected for the 2021 Rose Dobrof Award for her article “Just like Jail: Trauma Experiences of Older Homeless Men.” This award is presented to authors of articles published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work that are methodologically rigorous, innovative, and show an impact in the field of gerontology.

Faculty News

Dean Miller Named Friend of School Social Work

Dr. Jay Miller, Dean at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, received the 2021 Friend of School Social Work Award from the Kentucky Association for School Social Work.

Centers and Labs

Adoptive Family Needed Support, They Found it Through CoSW

When the Schroders decided to adopt their foster child, they knew they needed support. They were directed to the Adoption Support for Kentucky – Virtual Interaction Program (ASK-VIP).

Centers and Labs

KY-KINS Expands Service Region, Includes 62 KY Counties

As of April 1, the Kentucky Kinship Information, Navigation and Support Program (KY-KINS), housed in the CoSW’s Training Resource Center, is available in the Southern Bluegrass Service Region and the Two Rivers Service Region. Now, families in 62 Kentucky counties will be able to access the much-needed resource.

Community Outreach

UK Social Work Help School Social Workers Address Unique Challenges

This summer, the UK College of Social Work, in collaboration with UK Online and the UK College of Education, will offer a fully online program to help a cohort of Fayette County Public School social workers become certified School Social Workers

Mental Health

Navigating the Mental Health Conversation with Your College Student

Julie Cerel, licensed psychologist and professor in the College of Social Work, alongside Mary Chandler Bolin, licensed psychologist and Director of the UK Counseling Center, answer questions focused on mental health to prepare students and parents for the upcoming semester.

Mental Health

UK HR, College of Social Work Collaborate to Expand Mental Health Resources for Diverse Employees

UK HR collaborated with the College of Social Work to expand their services with therapists from diverse backgrounds to further support the mental health needs of Black and other diverse faculty and staff. This collaboration helps support the resources provided through Work + Life Connections.

Be Part of the Team

We’re Recruiting Talent

As a result of our unprecedented growth, the UK CoSW is accepting CVs and resumes for upcoming faculty and staff employment opportunities. Tap the button below to send your resume or CV directly to our Human Resources Administrator.


Supporting Our Researchers

CoSW seeks to foster a robust culture of research predicated on consistent faculty and student development, intentional investment in research infrastructure, mutual support, and rigorous evaluation of CoSW research initiatives.

The Office of the Vice-President for Research at the University of Kentucky offers a number of unique supports to researchers and students.


CoSW Wellness Initiative

The overarching goal of the CoSW Wellness Initiative, which is supported by the Office of the Dean, is profoundly simple: To support faculty and staff in practicing self-care and wellness, no matter how they define it.


Explore UK Benefits

The University of Kentucky offers a wealth of employment benefits to faculty and staff, including matching a 200 percent match on eligible retirement contributions; competitive health, dental, and vision coverage; tuition benefits for classes at UK, and much more.