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Randolph Hollingsworth's observations on student success in higher education - discovering what this means at the University of Kentucky,  If you have a UK account, please sign in (see top right hand corner of the page) in order to add your comments.
August 03
Project on Indexing Kentucky Black Women's Voices Completed

​Last year, with the generous support of the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC), I hired the services of Ms. Danielle Gabbard to index the digitized versions of oral history interviews of black women in the central Kentucky area. The interviews were already catalogued by the University of Kentucky's Louie B. Nunn Oral History Department and the grant from the KOHC helped push the prioritization of getting the interviewed digitized and uploaded to the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) system and viewable via the Kentuckiana Digital Library. 

We had anticipated 56 interviews to be digitized and indexed - we ended up with 66 completed overall. While she was working on her indexing, Danielle posted some reflections on what she was learning as she listened to the interviews:

In addition, I added a post that focused on a later batch of work and included some of the catalog descriptions of the interviews:

As we had originally hoped, the interviews are indeed highly diverse, well conducted by seasoned interviewers, and can provide a good micro-history of Kentucky in the twentieth century. It is my intention to craft a journal article dedicated to the findings associated not only with the excellent indexing but also the contribution these women’s voices make to our better understanding of Kentucky women’s roles in this important era within and surrounding the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

Interviews Indexed and Interview Time (in minutes)
NOTE: Accession Numbers include Interview Date and Collection/Series Name, e.g., 1986OH239 KH 366 Grace Potter Carter = Interview Date 1986; Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project – see legend below for more abbreviations.

1986OH239 KH 366 Grace Potter Carter 118
1989OH256 KH 474 Mary Edna Berry 44
1988OH164 KH 457 Elizabeth P. Thomas 70
1990OH009 KH 477 Elenora L. Smith 30
1978OH107 KH 069 Harriet B. Haskins 20
1990OH019 KH 479 Annie B. Coleman 20
2009OH097 EEL 003 Anna Coons 11
1978OH094 KH 056 Virginia S. McDonald 13
1978OH097 KH 059 Alvinia Newell 10
1979OH064 KH 129 Ella Bosley 22
1979OH065 KH 130 Abby L. Marlatt 22
1979OH068 KH 133 Faustina Cruise 13
1979OH071 KH 136 Estelle S. Tatman 19
1979OH073 KH 138 Mary Muir 9
1983OH167 BK 003 Annette C. Brown 69
1984OH023 BK 004 Mary Brown Ashford 74
1985OH194 BK 007 Thelma B. Johnson 61
1990OH088 BK 022 Barbara Jackson Givens 45
2008OH149 AAW 001 Mary Levi Smith 49
1987OH011 BK 017 Lillian Butner 60
1990OH086 BK 020 Mary E. Rawlings 61
1990OH093 BK 027 Geneva Hunter Pope 64
1990OH094 BK 028 Bertie Nokomas Wilkerson 64
2011OH203 BK 032 Molly M. Bradley 78
1990OH090 BK 024 Corinne Jefferson 43
2009OH106 EEL 012 Helen Higgins 38
1993OH397 KH 559 Eula Tatman 44
1997OH030 KH 609 Sandra Richardson 39
1986OH202 KH 332 Lillie H. Yates 89
1986OH252 KH 379 Frances A. Smallwood 30
1986OH223 KH 351 Bettye Simpson 40
1986OH240 KH 367 Virginia Anderson 80
1986OH251 KH 378 Verna B. Clark 49
1987OH090 KH 421 Sophia D. Smith 71
1998OH037 KH 630 Mrs. Sidney Bell Johnson 79
1987OH096 KH 422 Susie E. White 75
1988OH163 KH 456 Helen Smith 83
1978OH078 KH 044 Evelyn Livisay 24
1978OH081 KH 047 Madeline C. Jones 24
1979OH074 KH 139 Mary Jones 120
1986OH218 KH 347 Dorothy P. Pumphrey 134
1986OH230 KH 358 Mattie Gray 109
1986OH243 KH 370 Jennie Didlick 106
1986OH248 KH 375 Florence A. Young 57
1987OH078 KH 409 Ann Hunter 66
1987OH079 KH 410 Ann B. Black 62
1987OH080 KH 411 Edythe J. Hayes 57
1998OH035 KH 628 Lilia Garrison 45
1989OH009 KH 468 Virginia Shelby 78
2009OH096 EEL 002 Dorothy Perkins 48
1979OH072 KH 137 Mattie Jackson 28
1986OH225 KH 353 Loretta Nickens 50
1978OH068 KH 034 Marilyn Gaye 47
1986OH236 KH 364 Mrs. Charles C. Jones 120
1987OH089 KH 420 Ruby Benberry 76
1987OH083 KH 414 Delores Vinegar-Oderinde 112
2009OH098 EEL 004 Valinda Livingston 85
1993OH388 KH 550 Lillian B. Gentry 70
1993OH389 KH 551 Alice J. Alexander 70
1986OH235 KH 363 Laura W. Moore 48
1986OH227 KH 355 Wilhelmina Hunter 75
1986OH231 KH 359 Elizabeth R. Harris 60
2009OH108 EEL 014 Lillian Buntin 56
2009OH100 EEL 006 Rosetta Beatty 97
1979OH070 KH 135 Roberta Laine 29
1986OH232 KH 360 Patricia R. Laine 71

June 01
Dreamers and Doers - a documentary about Kentucky women's history from the KY Commission on Women

"Dreamers and Doers: Voices of Kentucky Women" is an hour-long documentary, a production of Michael Breeding Media and the Kentucky Commission on Women (KCW). It premiered in Frankfort on March 10th where I was invited as a person who was included in the film. My spot is brief and is early in the film - my point is that the state constitutions crafted by the early 19th century had begun to write women out of the New Republic's definition of citizen. This point, I hope, anchors the film's focus on woman suffrage movement and why it was so important as a political movement in Kentucky as well as the U.S.

The film was also shown to audiences in Louisville, Springfield and Lexington. The documentary profiles more than forty Kentucky women and their achievements, and is based on the Kentucky Women Remembered (KWR) exhibit displayed in the state Capitol. Eleanor Jackson, the executive director of the KCW, described the project in an interview on KET - The KCW will distribute the film on DVD free to every public middle and high school in the state.

Here are 2 slightly different versions of the whole film freely available for you to see:​​

May 10
History of Women at Bryan Station in the 1780s - an interview for a KET "Mother's Day Special"

​Paul Smith, the producer and Director of KET's Kentucky Life interviewed me on Thursday April 16th for a Mother's Day episode on the women (and girls) at Bryan Station in 1782. He wanted a historian to talk about the famous tale of their bravery as they walked in front of the enemy during a seige to draw water from the spring nearby. The team set up my office as I spoke with Paul about my ideas to focus on the important and often overlooked history of illiterate, rural women in the 18th century. I had set up my office so that I would be seated beside my bookshelf full of Kentucky history books. I was intrigued to see that they shifted everything around so that I was seated in front of my knick-knack shelf instead! I guess they wanted to show the pictures of my beloved girls and memorabilia instead of my  books.

Check out the "Mother's Day Special" video on the KET website (aired 05/09/2015). The section featuring the Bryan Sation seige starts around the 11:00 minute mark and ends around the 19:30 minute mark. It follows a profile of a mother-daughter team of entrepreneurs who own HorseFeathers Gifts in Henderson as well as a description of the Louisville Family Scholar House. The segment on Brian Station They had interviewed Dr. Richard Taylor, a literature professor at Transylvania University, and Carol Bailey, regent of the DAR Bryan Station chapter also. I will let you guess the amount of air time given to the male scholar compared to the female interviewees - and, in this case, this meant that the focus of this segment fell mainly on the male military prowess (and defeat) rather than on the historical information presented during my interview on the experiences of the Kentucky women of the time.

Here are the notes I composed in preparation for the interview:


March 10
My first blog post as H-Net President 2015

​In an effort to provide a greater transparency with the work of the H-Net Council and to improve communication with H-Net editors as well as the larger digital humanities community, we've started a new network called HNet Executive Council.

I published my first blog post there today:

"Greetings and a Few Introductory Remarks"

I plan to try and write every 2 or 3 weeks - wish me luck!

March 08
Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon at UK 2015

​University of Kentucky librarians Abbye Allan and Ida Sell approached me last month to ask for my help as a Wikipedian to help out during their Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon in honor of International Women's Day.

Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

Here's from their press release:

"Wikimedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. The reasons for the gender gap are up for debate; suggestions include leisure inequality, how gender socialization shapes public comportment, and the sometimes contentious nature of Wikipedia’s talk pages. The practical effect of this disparity, however, is not. Content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge. 

"Let’s change that. Join us at the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library, Study Room 1 on March 8th from 1:00pm to 9:00pm for an all day communal updating of Wikipedia entries on subjects related to art and feminism. We will provide tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, as well as reference material. Bring your laptop, power cord and ideas for entries that need updating or creation. For the editing-averse, we urge you to stop by to show your support. Women, women-identified, and male allies are welcome. RSVP on Facebook and sign into the event on Wikipedia.

"Edit-a-thons are taking place across the globe on International Women’s Day weekend, March 7-8, 2014. Confirmed satellite edit-a-thon hosts include: Morton R Godine Library at The Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston; F/LAT, Brussels, Belgium; Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with East of Borneo; Canadian Women’s Art History Initiative, Concordia University and Eastern Bloc, Montreal; Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris; Albert M. Greenfield Library at University of the Arts, Philadelphia; Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives at Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA; and online in a Google Hangout with Addie Wagenknecht, with many more in development. Those interested in organizing a satellite event are encouraged to contact

Ida Sell and Abbye Allan

"Organized by Abbye Allan and Ida L Sell. Contact us at with questions and comments."

Here are the related links for this international event: 

The event was very well organized (see my tweet and pictures here). I spent most of the time working with Ruth Bryan, Head of the UK Archives to correct and expand the Wikipedia article on UK professor and Kentucky civil rights activist Abby Marlatt.

February 18
Dreamers and Doers: Voices of Kentucky Women

Tomorrow I go to be interviewed by Michael Breeding for his new documentary about Kentucky women entitled “Dreamers & Doers: VOICES of Kentucky Women.” Commissioned by the Kentucky Commission on Women, the film will feature more than forty Kentucky women whose contributions to public service and civic life have shaped the Commonwealth. Most all of them are also featured in the KCW's Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit in the State Capitol West Wing. Former Governor Martha Layne Collins is one of the on-camera narrators for this documentary. Come see for yourself: register at the KCW website ( to attend one of the following premier showings of the film (free and open to the public) next month.

Scheduled Premier Showing of

Dreamers & Doers:

Voices of Kentucky Women



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Thomas Clark History Center

100 West Broadway

Frankfort, Kentucky

6:00 p.m.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Clifton Center

2117 Payne Street

Louisville, Kentucky

6:00 p.m.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pettus Auditorium

St. Catharine College

2735 Bardstown Road

St. Catharine, Kentucky

6:00 p.m.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kentucky Theatre

214 East Main Street

Lexington, Kentucky

7:00 p.m.

November 14
Experiential Education at the University of Kentucky

​Will you take 30 minutes of your valuable time to help review some new webpages for us here in UGE? We are working to create new webpages on the UGE site that explain to faculty and advisors how the EXP courses work (similar to what we have in place already for UKC courses, UK 101/201 instructors - - and the other UK-prefix courses -

Key to the new webpages' content are some new processes: 

1) a change in process for EXP section creation - starting this academic year, we will be acknowledging the faculty's effort in mentoring the students by placing their name as instructor of a particular section (we've worked out a system of numeration of sections with Enrollment Management's help and Cindy Edwards will continue to manage the section numbering, but now in partnership with the faculty member's department).

2) a change in process for the EXP course enrollment -

   a. starting this spring, we will ask that the faculty mentors take a stronger role in determining the credit hours earned in relation to student learning outcomes for each EXP student's performance; i.e. to determine the learning performance criteria for credit hours, instead of using work hours onsite to serve as the basis for determining credit hours earned (using the onsite work hours as a guide, not a rule); this would then be articulated in a formal syllabus that describes more fully the faculty expectations of student learning and grading policies, etc.

   b. starting this spring, we will begin working with all the EXP course community partners to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines roles and responsibilities for UK students, the faculty, the Stuckert Career Center and the community partner. UK Legal Counsel has asked us to implement a template MOU, but we are still negotiating with them as to what that template will look like for UK's EXP community partners. (We have gathered examples from other schools if you are interested in knowing more about this - give me a call at 7-0047.)

NOTE: These draft pages are posted in a Google Site - and the banner is not fully functional. Once we get your feedback (using the survey instrument below), we will revise the content and hand the design of these pages off to a professional who will make sure the pages are fully encompassed within the UGE website.

Please, first - review the feedback survey for our beta test of these new pages:

and then point your browser to our draft webpages located at

We look forward to getting your feedback via the survey at your earliest convenience.


In addition, I am working with Drs. Katherine McCormick (Endowed Professor of Service-Learning), Diane Snow (Endowed Professor and Director of Undergraduate Research), and Karen Badger (Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education) on developing new courses (see the proposed curriculum map of the new courses to be added to existing EXP coursesEXPcourses-CurriculumMap.docEXPcourses-CurriculumMap.doc). The following will be revised and submitted to Senate this fall:

November 05
History of Racism and Anti-Racist Activism in Fayette County, Kentucky

As part of the training sessions for the RCCW Fayette County (see more in the previous post and at the RCCW website)​, I will present on the "History of Racism and Anti-Racist Activism in Lexington and Fayette County, Kentucky." The goal is to provide an historical -- and local -- context for the understanding of racism here in our community. 

This historical context will help to explain why this problem is so deeply ingrained in our cultures and institutions. As anti-racist practitioners we need to be patient and persistent since racism has been an integral part of the creation and growth of Lexington and Fayette County as much as it is the reason for violence, inequities and apathy.

Here is my speech (HistoryRacismFayetteCounty-RCCW2014.docxHistoryRacismFayetteCounty-RCCW2014.docx), the accompanying slides (HistoryRacismFayetteCounty.pptxHistoryRacismFayetteCounty.pptx) and handout (HistoryRacismFayetteCounty-HO.docxHistoryRacismFayetteCounty-HO.docx)for the participants in the training.

October 19
RCCW Fayette County

Part of my work at the University of Kentucky includes serving on local groups where a high level UK employee presence is important for showing our commitment to community needs. One of these groups is the Race, Community and Child Welfare (RCCW) Initiative, Fayette County. This diverse group of volunteers are committed to taking action in order to "create and promote equity for all in Fayette County." Supported by the Administrative Office of the Courts which provides data and funding, this community advisory board of anti-racist advocates works to create and promote equity for all in Fayette County.

Training Workshops Planned

Fayette RCCW established several working committees following a November 2013 event: Realizing Accountability Creates Equity (RACE) Community Forum hosted by Fayette RCCW, the Children’s Law Center, the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, the NAACP and the Kentucky Human Rights Commission along with other community-based organizations. (See more about the followup to the meeting on the CKCPJ PEACE Leaders blog.) As the subcommittee established to promote education and dialogue, Fayette RCCW’s Education and Dialogue on Race Disparity in Child Welfare Subcommittee identified this training to fulfill RCCW’s targeted training goal for 2014. Delivery of training for Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) front line staff was identified as essential by community members and DCBS staff alike and endorsed by the entire Fayette RCCW Committee.

The Fayette RCCW’s education subcommittee has agreed to organize a training that will deliver Fayette County based education and dialogue on race disparity in child welfare that should show impact on the employees’ everyday work overtime and show a reduction in the disproportionate number children of color placed in out-of-home-care in Fayette County.  The trainings will engage approximately 120 Fayette County Department for Community Based Child Protective Services’ Ongoing, Investigative and Recruitment & Certification staff.  The three 2-day sessions will be scheduled as follows:

Thursday & Friday

November 6 & 7

Tuesday & Thursday

December 2 & 4

​January 2015 (TBA)

Each of the two-day sessions will focus around the "Race Matters" Toolkit and be led by a consultant who is familiar with the role of the DCBS employees and holds a Masters in Social Work. See more about the training on the RCCW Fayette County website.

In order to assure that the training is fully attended by the employees, the Cabinet’s Training Office will handle the registration, assignment of training days and allocation of continuing education credit. So to avoid “training fatigue” that occurs when nothing much changes after a powerful experience such as from the anti-racism training proposed here, the Fayette RCCW subcommittee is committed to overseeing more than just the training experience itself. Faculty from the University of Kentucky College of Social Work Training Resource Center will support the co-facilitators in designing and implementing pre- and post-training activities and assessment strategies to ascertain the training’s impact in the workplace and the community.

September 22
Hate speech at Constitution Day at UK

The UK Honors Program sponsored the University's celebration of Constitution Day. Buck Ryan, a UK journalism professor, and his students organized the event as part of HON251: "Citizen Kentucky," a course in Honors. The course includes a community-based service learning project in which leadership development and professional experience are goals. Scotty Reams, a UK Honors student, created a Facebook community page describing all the events taking place. The students contributed to the advertising of the event with video. On September 13th, Honors student Clay Thornton uploaded a vide to the Facebook community page that explained what the Constitution Week events were about (also see this one with all the students in HON251, posted by Honors student Abby Shelton). 

Clay Thornton - snapshot from his video on Facebook

As Clay describes in his video, the expectation was that people would attend these events and "... feel more patriotic, learn about the Constitution, hear from representatives, learn about young voters and civic service..." Instead of offering educational statements, the ultra-rightwing candidate for Kentucky's seat in the U.S. Senate, Robert Ransdell (see a recent news story on his campaign strategies), used the opportunity to recruit followers to his neo-Nazi cause. Ransdell speech cut off by Student Center employee
Immediately, the response on social media was vivid and passionate. The Manual duPont High School students who were visiting UK that day wrote an article describing their disappointment at UK's handling of the event: They also published a Vimeo of a student's recording of their award-winning teacher's response to Ransdell's speech. Kathy Johnson of UKPR issued a statement that same day: Friends and acquaintances in the community have been contacting me daily about this incident. The Anti-Defamation League has spoken out publicly about the University's leadership decisions in allowing for Ransdell to have a podium for his recruitment efforts and a lack of careful planning for the event.

This is when students need some relaxed, neutral space to talk about the event - as well as why ultra-right hate groups exist, how they recruit here in Kentucky and how they get and maintain power on a national and international level. However, it seems that much of the conversation with students here at UK has focused on the First Amendment and someone's right to "free speech." The Kernel reporter focused on this topic in the article about the incident. (See also the WUKY article and the more recent Courier-Journal article on this issue.) The public response to the incident by President Capilouto (sent by email the next day and printed in the Herald-Leader) was powerful - and from my perspective - exactly on point.

This horrifying incident has affected me personally and professionally as a member of the UK unit that sponsored the Constitution Day event. I've always offered to help with organizing the celebrations, but somehow never end up being involved directly. This year, I didn't even attend. This was a terrible mistake. Since my research background has recently focused on ultra-rightwing hate groups, I think I might have been helpful during the process of decision-making that led to allow Mr. Ransdell to have free access to a podium for his recruitment activities.  Mr. Ransell's allies on the ultra-rightwing discussion forum, Stormfront, are celebrating his triumph and use the opportunity to continue to spread doubt on the core values of public education.

James Miller at the podium on Constitution DayCertainly, with my deepest wishes I think that if I had been there when he spoke, I would have taken action. I was proud of the brave staff of the UK Student Center who cut his access to a microphone - despite the direction by the UK faculty who were there to allow him to continue to speak. Or perhaps I would have joined the Manual DuPont teacher,
James Miller, who spoke with such passion afterwards in rebuttal and with anger about how the hate speech was allowed - without any explanation or context by which it could be received by a community that respected human rights and dignity of all.

However, I will never know now what I would have done, and I am personally ashamed that I was not there from the beginning to help make sure that any educational venue would remain safe from the violence of extremist hate speech.

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