Dr. Ann Vail is Director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences, Assistant Director of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, and Interim Dean of the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. Prior to coming to Kentucky she was Department Head for two departments at New Mexico State University—Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and Department of Extension Home Economics. She held faculty positions in Family and Consumer Sciences Education at Iowa State University, University of Idaho, and Ohio State University. She has a Ph.D. and M.S. from Ohio State University and a B.S. from Colorado State University in Family and Consumer Sciences Education.
Dr. Vail’s publications include three books, numerous refereed publications, abstracts, proceedings and technical reports. Her books include: Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Family and Personal Relationships—an issues-based book used in college courses across the country; Taking Sides Instructors Guide; and an AAFCS Yearbook titled Leadership for Change: National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education.
Dr. Vail has secured more than $42,000,000 in external support for research, program development and evaluation, and outreach initiatives. Her research emphasis has been leadership development and teacher change. Her program development and evaluation efforts have focused on building strong families in the areas of marriage education, parenting education, and nutrition education. Currently, she serves as Principal Investigator for the following grants: 1) National Coordination Center for Regional Nutrition Education Centers of Excellence; 2) UK Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education; 3) Collaborative Environment Approaches to Reduce Obesity Disparities in Kentucky; and 4) Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center.
Currently, she serves as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties. Dr. Vail represents higher education on the Board of Directors for the Board of Human Sciences. She is an active member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Kentucky Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Kentucky Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Board of Human Sciences Executive Board, and the Council of Administrators for Family and Consumer Sciences. She holds membership in three honor societies—Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Omicron Nu, and Phi Upsilon Omicron.
In 2006 Dr. Vail was awarded the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Leader Award. In 1997, Ohio State University recognized her as one of their Outstanding 100 Human Ecology Alumni of the Past 100 Years.
As Director of the School, Dr. Vail has lead the school in efforts to establish the Kentucky Academy in Adjeikrom, Ghana; create a University of Kentucky tradition through the development of the official UK Plaid; and create Building Strong Families County Profiles for all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.