Pediatric Alumni Reunion August 25-28, 2022.

On Aug. 25-28, 2022, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine will welcome alumni from all over the country and all pediatric subspecialties back to Lexington for its first-ever Pediatric Alumni Reunion.


For students in research, the journey toward earning a graduate or postgraduate degree can be rewarding once they begin laboratory work, but at times, also very isolating.

“Once you join your lab, you go to your specific department, and even within departments, we hardly see each other because we are just doing the individual work that our lab focuses on every day, day in and day out,” said Meagan Kingren, a doctoral student in pharmacology and nutritional sciences.

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For more than two decades, Michael Cecil, MD ’00, R ’05, has served the Lexington, Ky., community as a physician committed to advancing the health and well-being of the Commonwealth.

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While completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky, Jonathan Davies, MS, found himself at a crossroads. He had stretched himself too thin with involvement in organizations and programs, and he started suffering burnout. He then missed the window to take his medical school entrance exam junior year.

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In 2020, high-profile murders of Black civilians by police garnered national attention, shining a light on the growing need for social change. Learners at the UK College of Medicine collaborated to compose a letter to their leadership, advocating for solutions to combat systemic racism. The College of Medicine administration engaged with learners to implement strategies and initiatives that would address their concerns.

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Early in her undergraduate years of college, Elena Shelepak had several career paths in mind. She was good at biology and curious about genetics. During freshman year, she took a few psychology courses. Criminal justice also piqued her interest.


Rob Brooks is from Bedford, Ky., a town of fewer than 600 people in Trimble County. He grew up knowing that rural areas like his hometown are typically underserved in regards to health care, so he planned to become a doctor who could be part of the solution.

Through the UK College of Medicine Rural Physician Leadership Program (RPLP), Rob received two years of education at UK’s large academic medical center in Lexington, Ky., followed by onsite rural medicine experience and training in Morehead, Ky.

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The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is excited to announce the appointment of faculty members Sarah Marks, MD, MA, and Jordan Clay, MD, to serve on its committees. The electeds have been endorsed by the College of Medicine acting dean and Faculty Council. They will serve three-year terms on their respective committees.

Dr. Marks has been appointed to the College of Medicine Admissions Committee. Dr. Clay has been appointed to the College of Medicine Medical Student Curriculum Committee.

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A Frankfort, Ky., native, Josh Karsner originally planned to attend the UK College of Medicine’s main campus in Lexington. Near the start of medical school, he learned about the college’s new regional campus in Bowling Green that would offer the same curriculum but smaller class sizes, as well as a chance to pave the way for future physicians-in-training in western Kentucky.

His first thought: “Why not?”

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When Emmanuel Dike-Udensi was a first-year student, his peers in third and fourth year would always give him the same warning – that medical school goes by quickly. But Emmanuel was skeptical.

“I didn’t believe them,” he said with a laugh. “Back then, I had so much to study, I couldn’t imagine that.”

Now, as Emmanuel approaches the end of medical school, he said reflecting on the past four years – and how fast they have gone by – is surreal.

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The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is pleased to announce the faculty, staff, and learner winners of the inaugural Mission, Vision, Pillar, and Enabler Awards.


A new division has been established in the UK College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to improve the coordination of care in labor and delivery.

Assistant professor Andrea Tucker, MD, collaborated with department chair Wendy Hansen, MD, knowing that laborist services would be crucial for ensuring safe, quality care for patients and enhanced mentorship for future physicians.

Dr. Tucker spearheaded efforts to create a laborist division, which was officially established in July 2021.


Graduates say the online certificate program is “1,000-percent worth doing.”

Cathryn Benson, APRN, has worked 13 years in health care, most recently in hospital medicine and anesthesia. She wanted to learn how she could further help her patients with nutrition, but as a mom who worked 14-hour days, she never thought additional schooling would be an option.

Then she heard about an online program offering flexible scheduling and a well-rounded nutrition-related curriculum – that was also, conveniently, run on the University of Kentucky’s campus.

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Bowling Green, Ky., native Caitlyn Galloway always felt right at home in a small town, but that posed a challenge when she made plans to apply for medical school. She wanted to stay close to home, but in her third year of undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University, there were no four-year medical schools where she grew up that would allow her to stay near her small, close-knit community.

She soon found out that was about to change.

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Match Day is always a special event for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. This year, the college added to the excitement by celebrating an incredible milestone in its mission of training more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky.

The college’s first regional campus in Bowling Green, Ky., which opened in 2018, celebrated its first Match Day on Friday, March 18. Because of the regional campus celebration, the Class of 2022 was the College of Medicine’s largest group of students recognized at this annual event.


As a former college basketball player, March has always been exciting for Rachel Potter. This year, as she prepares to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, the month holds even more significance.

Instead of March Madness, Potter’s focus is on Match Day, an annual celebration recognizing medical students across the country as they simultaneously learn which residency program they “matched into” and will pursue.

Potter is excited to reach this pivotal career milestone, which she compares to college basketball’s Selection Sunday.

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Housed in the UK College of Medicine Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology is a new professional master’s degree program that is the only one of its kind in the state of Kentucky, and the fifth of its kind in the country.

And due to its unique educational experience and strong curriculum, this new program is seeing a jump in its number of students.

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Whether it was pediatric neurology, pediatric surgery, or pediatric emergency medicine, Lily Weddle, MD, found a recurring theme in the clinical rotations she enjoyed most during medical school – they allowed her to help children. It became obvious to her that for residency, pediatrics was her ultimate specialty.

Driven by her strong faith, Dr. Weddle says it is her calling to be there for children in their ultimate time of need. Today, she has found a way to answer that call, both during and outside of work.

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On crisp fall or spring mornings, Bradley Bale, MD ’74, wakes up early enough for his daily five-mile run so he can witness one of his favorite scenes in nature. When there’s a certain amount of moisture in the ground, and the temperature is just right, water comes up through the weeds, weaves into the branches and freezes. It’s called a “frost flower.”

This moment of tranquility motivates Dr. Bale to get out and exercise at 73 years old. And he knows that that’s important because as a cardiovascular specialist, he needs to embody his advice to earn the trust of his patients.

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Top photo: Brittany Rice, PhD, (left) and Kevin Pearson, PhD, director of inclusive research initiatives, pose for a portrait in Dr. Pearson's lab.-------

Urim Geleta is only into her senior year of her undergraduate degree, yet she has already played a key role in neuroscience research at UK.