March 6, 2018 | By: Aimee Nielson

Recently, the State Extension Council announced the 2017 Kentucky Extension Diversity Awards. Among 29 nominations, several University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment professionals received honors.

Diane Mason, Boone County family and consumer sciences extension agent, received the Individual Diversity Award for her hands-on cooking class for English as a second language participants. The program reached more than 325 people in under a year.

The Team Diversity Award went to a group that is creating opportunities for homeless youth in Louisville. Team members include Kenneth Jones, UK Community and Leadership Development; Janet Kurzynske, UK Research Center for Families and Children; Kerri Ashurst, senior extension specialist for UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension; Corbin Hannah, youth development coordinator the YMCA Safe Place Services, Jefferson County and Shayonne Gibson, outreach specialist for the YMCA Safe Place Services, Jefferson County. The program is helping homeless and unstably housed youth and young adults earn GED diplomas, start college, create resumes, get jobs, learn job skills and much more.

Mia Farrell, recently named interim director of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Office of Diversity, presented the awards. She said the awards are a great opportunity to showcase diversity efforts throughout the state. She’s looking forward to continuing to create diverse programs and opportunities through her interim role.

“My goal is to ensure that students, faculty and staff have a strong sense of belonging through intentional diverse and inclusive efforts,” she said. “I am committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at the local, state and national level. Our college will continue to foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives. We will leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity and engage all individuals to help them thrive.”

The Kentucky Extension Diversity Awards aim to recognize outstanding achievements and commitments professionals have made to strengthen community diversity, recruiting and retaining diverse clientele and fostering inclusive environments to continue to improve the lives of all Kentuckians.


Mia Farrell, 859-218-4800