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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.
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.

July 25
College Readiness and the ACT in Kentucky

Presented today at a UK Admissions college prep workshop for high schoolers about the importance of the ACT in Kentucky.

Here's the Prezi:

and here's my notes from the presentation:

Why is the ACT important?
Your ACT scores mean that colleges and scholarships will find you. By taking the exam you are providing info to schools behind the scenes
Think of it this way : It's another way to help you get ready for life after high school.
      Some people make it seem easy  - but it's just a bat trick! Everyone has different talents - what's yours? Keep your eyes on the goal
Your ACT scores mean that some academic pathways will be all ready for you when you enter college. Some roadblocks are inevitable, but turn them into speed bumps  not dead-ends.
It's another way to help you plan for your major and career choices.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE  - need rose-colored glasses sometimes to see past the glare and drama distractions
ACT Subject Area Tests = benchmarks for public institutions
Reading 20
Writing 18
Math 19 BUT 22 Algebra, 27 Calculus
*    liberal arts major
*    professional/vocational major
*    Natural Science courses require calculus
GET READY NOW  in high school - take hard courses, MOOCS, dual credit with KCTCS
So there are lots of pathways for you to find your way. The ACT can be tricky, but keep your eyes on the road and watch for "speed bumps." Remember: Your ACT scores can be mix-and-match for us here at UK. So, practice regularly at that bat trick!
OUR GOAL  is your college and career success - SO WHY IS the ACT important?  It's another way to meet the statewide benchmarks and take college-level courses right away. Graduate on time or even early, save money on college costs and get out there to make Kentucky a better place for us all! We're counting on you!

July 21
Fierce conversations via H-Net networks

​In my work both in and out of the classroom, I am often an instigator of what Susan Scott calls "fierce conversations" (  I believe strongly that the passions we bring to our research and our educational environs are crucial to H-Net's success, both current and in the future. I also believe that the principles behind H-Net bylaws and guidelines for developing a meaningful conversation in the midst of dissenting voices are sound. One might imagine that this is a new age of incivility wherein the technologies spawned by the growth of the Internet harbor and resound with heightened levels of unprofessional conduct.  However, in these online environs I call for more of what the Occupy movement called the "human microphone" - not less.  And, we in H-Net are in an excellent position to support the art and the craft of a sustained scholarly discussion.

Imagine in your classroom - or in your research discipline - a passionate debate about a scholarly subject changed into a personal diatribe from one scholar against another scholar.  You know you have done well as a facilitator of that discussion when most people in that conversation quickly identify this as an aberrant change and a distraction.  I believe that it is inevitable when passions run high that feelings can be hurt - well-meaning people can feel misunderstood and frustrated.  We should not turn away from this challenge in keeping conversations "fierce" and seeking innovation or change (i.e., higher learning).  Instead, we offer more avenues for small group discussions - the Internet is infinite, and we should not veer from taking full advantage of it.

As President-Elect of the H-Net Council, I encourage the membership to offer multiple opportunities for personal and professional development in learning how to use the various platforms for facilitated, continued discussion. A discussion network could feed (and be fed by) small group discussions taking place via

  • webconferencing (for those who want to meet in a synchronous environment)
  • wiki (for those who want a collaborative effort in building a visual representation of the discussion)
  • blog (for those who want to construt a threaded/nested series of comments based off of one major statement)
  • pod- or vodcasting (for those who want a face-to-face session but need time to think and construct recorded responses as in a documentary via radio or TV)
  • social bookmarking (for those who collaborate on finding resources to support their positions)
  • gamification (for those who want to use roleplay or simulation to help develop and expand a conversation into a scholarly publication that could be used by others as they encounter this passionate debate in their own studies)
  • microblogging (for those who think in small bits and pieces - 140 characters or less - and want to crowdsource their position with international conversants attracted by the passionate terminology via a hashtag)

At a point when the small group participants believe they have something to report to the larger group, a designated member could send a summary and link to the H-Net main network for general circulation.

Randolph Hollingsworth, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky

H-Kentucky List Editor

July 16
GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy@UK 2014

​Today marked the last day of the GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy@UK (see more details at the UGE website). Social media (#GEARUPatUK hashtag used on Twitter and Instagram - as well as a Flickr photo stream organized by the CPE staff) and press coverage was generally positive:

It was an exciting time, and we're still gathering information about the students' experiences as debriefing the staff and instructors.

Here's the general information that was available to the schools and parents as well as the UK community.

May 30
THATCampKY 2014 and a session on Wikipedia

​For the 2nd annual THATCampKY at the University of Kentucky, I agreed to present on the use of Wikipedia for understanding how scholarly communities collaborate ... and how general knowledge is created and maintained via crowdsourcing in an open educational resource. 

Here's the general outline of my presentation/discussion:

Q - How do wikis work best? Why is Wikipedia interesting and worth understanding? What are Wikipedia's core values and principles?

My experiences with Wikipedia:

  • Assigning a writing/research project for my students that then get placed into Wikipedia as a peer-reviewed article.
    • making sure of the 4 Pillars, especially neutrality and connections to other articles
    • uploading the articles on the students' behalf - as opposed to establishing their online profiles within the Wikipedia community which could be built by letting them make minor edits or contributions of cross-links in the "Also See" section of a chosen article
    • emphasizing the ethics of contributing to a community through WikiProjects
  • WikiSOO (which stands for Wikipedia/School of Open) LOOC (Little Online Open Course) 

So, the final idea was to emphasize the culture of wiki - working with others and not just using the space for posting/publishing what you are interested in yourself.

April 07
Facilitated a Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) session at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2014

NCUR2014 slides for FAN session on April 4​On Friday, April 4th, I had the honor of contributing to one of the Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) sessions at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2014 here at the University of Kentucky. The session was titled: "Assessment and Undergraduate Research: Developing a Plan for Assessment and Utilizing Tools to Maximize Impact and Ensure High Quality Research Experience for Undergraduates."

My colleague, Dr. Chris Thuringer, put together a series of slides that explained the basic concepts as well as good practices in assessments for student learning outcomes in a program. 

In addition, Dr. Rose Constantino from the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh explained her model of learning and teaching in engaged research with her undergraduates: ELSI (Ethical, Legal, Sociocultural Imperatives). The ELSI model clearly works well for Dr. Constantino's students (two of their short video presentations were shown during the session), but also transfers easily to other disciplines to adopt when addressing the teaching and learning of undergraduate research:

  • ETHICS: respect for individuality and self-determination, fairness and truthfulness, a faithfulness to the project but also for anyone else involved in the process; an adherence to the autonomy and self-determination of the target audience for an undergraduate research project - remembering the importance of non-malfeasance (do no harm)
  • LEGAL: understanding the law and jurisprudence theory to make clear a "social contract" among group members involved in the research; an understanding that scholars and researchers of all disciplines have rule systems established by their own professions as well as an obligation to laws addressing property rights and human rights overall.
  • SOCIOCULTURAL ISSUES: the cultural competence of the researcher is key to success and this is easily identified in this A-B-C-D mnemonic:
    • A is for Accommodation - assuring inclusion (even of ideas or people you don't normally entertain) is not only ethical and good research, but it can readily address national standards such as Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards (CLAS) - a fun visual metaphor that Constantino used here was that the word itself seems crowded with two Cs and two Ms, emphasizing that one can always try to make room for others not previously imagined as needed in a project
    • B is for Building bridges and foundations - in order to insure inclusion and fairness, the researcher needs to show strong leadership in providing appropriate and accessible information about the study, assuring a supportive infrastructure for cultural competence and allowing constructive interactions; engaged research should offer channels for two-way conversations for co-design as well as collaboration on assessing results
    • C is for Collaboration - a good research project is one that develops integrated education and practice, including community leaders as partners; engaged research is a reciprocal (co-created) partnership, focused on public purposes, and with critical reflection generating learning (including civic learning)
    • D is for Diversification - including persons from diverse backgrounds in key decision making roles will help to assure diversity of data as well as effective communications with underrepresented populations not always considered in mainstream publications
  • IMPERATIVES: the risks and benefits of a research project can be a part of the designing process, using the above components of the model; this analytical effort will also produce the assessable components for a good research effort in any discipline but especially those involving community engagement (download this .pdf file to see the National Center for Education Research primer on engaged research).

The ELSI model was almost overlooked during the discussion afterwards. Instead, the faculty and administrators in the packed room were more interested in how to count instances of undergraduate research in their institutions, e.g., quantitative values over those of ethical or attitudinal learning gains. Thuringer was able to emphasize the difference between Program Goals (e.g., how many presentations were accepted at NCUR) and student learning outcomes for an undergraduate research program.  Some issues arose around the efficacy of using indirect vs. direct measures of assessment - and Thuringer returned to his slide describing the differences and emphasized again the assessibility of many of the intangibles associated with the AAC&U VALUE rubrics. I encouraged the participants to review the ELSI model, especially regarding collaboration and accommodation, and positing that the model could be used in nearly any kind of engaged research project (not just nursing) - but this kind of perspective needs much more time and energy to discuss than in the few moments left after a couple of presentations.

Download the slides from our NCUR FAN session here (FAN-NCUR-2014-1.pdfFAN-NCUR-2014-1.pdf).

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