A dietetic entrepreneur and an education leader are the two newest inductees into the University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame.
Carolyn Workman Breeding and Betty Jean Brannan will be honored for their years of dedication to the betterment of their professions, local communities and the school during a recognition ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 at the Hilary J. Boone Center on UK’s campus.
"We are thrilled to honor Betty Jean Brannan and Carolyn Breeding for their work to improve quality of life for individuals and families in Kentucky and around the world," said Ann Vail, director of the school, which is part of the UK College of Agriculture. "They are role models and inspirations for our current students."
It was at UK that Breeding discovered her interest in dietetics. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the university, she became a registered dietician.
She began work as a corporate dietitian for the EPI Corporation, which operates a chain of nursing homes in Kentucky, and developed a passion for long-term care.
After 15 years at EPI, she started Dietary Consultants Inc. Over the years, she’s added and acquired companies focusing on long-term care and dietetics, including Quality Provider Services, Breeding and Associates, and NAPA Health Care Connection. Her businesses employ 50 registered dieticians.
She’s held various leadership roles within professional organizations. She served in leadership positions at the state, local and national levels of the American Dietetic Association, including the association’s liaison to the American Health Care Association and president of the Kentucky Dietetic Association. She also was president of the Kentucky Consultant Dieticians in Health Care Facilities and is serving her second term as chair of the Kentucky Board of Licensure and Certification for Dietitians and Nutritionists.
Breeding, along with fellow UK alumna Marianne Smith-Edge, created a scholarship for UK students in the School of Human Environmental Sciences pursuing a dietetics internship focusing on business and consultation.
Brannan spent 36 years promoting the fields of home economics and family and consumer sciences as an educator and administrator. She was the first dean of the College of Home Economics at the University of Kentucky.
A native of Chickasha, Okla., her interest for home economics began while she was a 4-H’er. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma College for Women (now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) and received her master’s and doctorate degrees from Oklahoma State University.
Her career started as a home economics teacher at Amber High School in Oklahoma. She then moved into higher education and held various extension, teaching and leadership positions at Oklahoma State University, University of Florida, Kansas State University, University of Arkansas and University of Kentucky.
During her tenure at UK, which ran from 1969-1972, Brannan oversaw the College of Home Economics expand into five departments, an increase in student enrollment and the establishment of the college’s alumni association.
She has received numerous honors over the years including induction into the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Hall of Fame and centennial laureate of the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences.