Meet the 2017 Kentucky Fellows
(back to NLC 2017 Fellows)
Aaron Bugg, Barista Etcetera, Coffeehouse
Aaron was born and raised in Paducah, KY. Uncertain of his future career, he left college and began working as a deckhand on an Illinois river towboat. After two years he left the river to spend more time in grassroots volunteering for several political campaigns, aiming to spread the ideas of productive policies across Western Kentucky. Now a full-time barista, while off the clock, he volunteers for charities and policy campaigns. Hi goal is to bring his community together to shape a more economically, ethically, and environmentally sustainable city.
Dustin Duncan, Grants Coordinator, Louisville Metro Government
Dustin Duncan is a Grants Coordinator for the Office of Mayor Greg Fischer, where he works with Louisville Metro agencies to discover and execute grant opportunities. In this position, he also assists in the coordination of education policy among community partners and stakeholders. Prior to this role, Dustin served as Local Government Analyst for the Green River Area Development District in Owensboro. Dustin earned his BS in Political Science from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2012 and his MA in International Relations from Liverpool Hope University in 2015. He volunteers with Migrant and Refugee Services, an office of Catholic Charities, and previously served on the board of the Owensboro Area World Affairs Council.
Logan Gatti, Consultant, Humana
Logan Gatti is a native Kentuckian and lifetime Louisvillian. He graduated from the University of Louisville with his undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science in 2012, and his MBA in 2014. During his time at UofL, he was involved in student government and worked with the UofL Alumni Association. He also served as the graduate assistant to the Department of Economics at the UofL College of Business while working towards his MBA. Logan is currently employed as a Consultant within the Commercial Strategies area of Humana Pharmacy. There, he works to ensure Humana’s compliance with all laws and regulations relating to prescription drugs, and manages projects to update Humana offerings when compliance has not been achieved. He also owns and operates Gatti Properties LLC, a property management business he began in 2014. He has previously worked with the U.S. Commercial Service, a trade promotion arm of the International Trade Administration. Outside of work, Logan is actively involved in both the Louisville Young Democrats, where he serves as Secretary of the organization, and the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party as a member of the Marketing and Messaging Committee. He is currently Marketing Chair and Board Member on the UofL MBA Alumni Council. He began the annual MBA Alumni Council Golf Outing in 2015, a fundraising event that allowed the Alumni Council to create an endowment that provides scholarships to deserving MBA candidates.
Bob Henson, Teacher, Villa Madonna Academy
Bob Henson is in his sixth year of teaching United States history and International Relations at a Catholic high school in Northern Kentucky. He is also the moderator of the Debate Team and Kentucky Youth Assembly/Kentucky United Nations Assembly programs. After graduating with a B.A. in History and an M.Ed. in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Kentucky, he worked briefly at a Cincinnati law firm before returning to graduate school for an M.A. in History at the University of Cincinnati. He taught first at the college level at Wright State University for a year before moving to secondary education. He's had a lifelong interest in politics, including volunteering for campaigns and interning for former Kentucky Congressman Geoff Davis. His research and teaching interests include American history, politics, international relations and economics, and participated in last year's McConnell Teacher Scholars Program at the University of Louisville. As an educator, Bob strives to engage every student, and teach that American citizenship is an active responsibility.
Emily LaDouceur, Editor and Yoga Instructor, (The Good Men Project) and (Body, Mind, & Sol Studio)
”Emily is a mother of two boys and a social justice educator when she is not editing for The Good Men Project or leading yoga practice at the Body, Mind, & Sol studio. She hails from North Carolina originally, but obtained her BA in Studio Art from Berea College and her MA in Human Services with a concentration in Student Personnel Services from Eastern Kentucky University. After establishing her career in higher education administration for several years in New York City metro area, she found her way back to Berea, KY to work for her alma mater, where she also serves on the Young Alumni Advisory Council. After devoting three years to Berea College, she recently left the field of higher education to pursue the racial healing of the nation through writing, public speaking, and anti-racism training that she offers to schools, organizations, and social interest groups. Emily believes that now more than ever, Kentucky needs people like her to remain in the state to push progressive ideas to the forefront of both discussion and policy decisions. Like the late Maya Angelou, she believes that her "mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ”
Christina Libby, Owner, Birth Doula Commonwealth Doula Services
As a student at at the University of Kentucky, Christina was introduced to feminism and the value of activism while she volunteered for the Y, UK’s Women’s Place (since renamed the VIP Center), and the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center. After graduating with a degree in Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies in 2006, Christina began working for the organization that helped shape her, the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association. Over seven years she served in multiple roles handling Organization Structure Management, Public Relations, Program Development & Execution, and Conference Planning & Direction for the nation's largest YMCA Youth Civic Engagement program. In 2013 she decided to try a new route in public service and began working for the Office of the Inspector General in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She was soon offered a position in the Secretary’s office tasked with attending Legislative Committee Meetings and assisting in keeping the Cabinet Staff on top of relevant legislation. However, through pregnancy and the birth of her son in 2015, she was introduced to a new world of reproductive rights and advocacy that felt so familiar she took the leap and started her own business as a birth doula. She continues to actively work for the betterment of her community through the Frankfort Human Rights Commission, Frankfort Fairness, and the Franklin County Women’s Shelter. When not attending a birth you will most likely find Christina in a cafe in Downtown Frankfort with or without her husband, son, and Great Dane, Beulah.
Zachary Losey, Legislative Aide, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
Zac Losey is the Legislative Aide for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council’s 12th District. In this role, he manages the councilmember’s legislative portfolio, advises on matters of policy and procedure, handles constituent services and works with the district’s 26 neighborhood associations to address their needs and concerns. With a focus on collaboration with neighborhood and community leaders, he has opened new lines of communication and grown the councilmember’s presence in the community. His efforts have led to increased awareness and education among citizens regarding local issues and projects, and have allowed constituents to have input on matters important to them. A native of Independence, Kentucky, Zac attended Georgetown College where he graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology in 2014. He was involved in a variety of honors organizations and activities which included the campus LGBTQ+ rights organization, various philanthropic events, and social justice advocacy. His passion for science literacy and education were the main focus of his extracurricular efforts, which led him to help organize and lead a student fellowship program which organized over 40 on-campus events focused on increasing understanding and appreciation of science. After graduation, Zac was hired by Lexington’s first microbrewery, Country Boy Brewing, becoming the youngest brewer in the state of Kentucky. At Country Boy, he was able to live out his passion for both craft beer and community through the brewery’s many philanthropic efforts. In addition to his duties as a brewer, Zac helped lead the 2015 effort to pass HB168 (the ‘Beer Bill’) in the Kentucky General Assembly, which closed a loophole that allowed large, out-of-state corporations to have a competitive advantage over in-state small businesses. Zac has been involved in several political campaigns and serves in leadership roles for the Fayette County Democratic Party and Kentucky Young Democrats. He currently resides in Lexington, where you’re likely to find him hiking, enjoying some great Kentucky craft beer, or frantically chasing after his dog, Tonks.
Jill Miller, Communications Coordinator, Volunteers of America Mid-States
Jill Miller is currently employed as part of the External Relations team at Volunteers of America Mid-States, headquartered in Louisville, KY. In her role as Communications Coordinator, Jill creates both internal and external written content, manages the organization’s social media accounts, assists with media relations and works with her dedicated team to support and grow Volunteers of America’s services. Prior to this role, Jill worked as Administrative Director at the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation. Jill earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky, minoring in political science. After graduating, she worked for a startup website in Lexington, KY where she focused on covering human interest stories, education and philanthropic work in the area. Jill began her career as a nonprofit professional in 2013 at God’s Pantry Food Bank, which serves people at risk of hunger in Central and Eastern Kentucky. In this role, Jill found her passion for nonprofit work and realized she desired to use her professional skills to serve children and families in need. Jill is a member of the Coalition for the Homeless’ Associate Board, and as a public radio enthusiast, she enjoys volunteering for Louisville Public Media. In her free time, Jill enjoys reading, yoga and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Will Nash, Director, Office of the Chairman - The Advisory Board Company
Will is a native of Glasgow, Kentucky, and a 2006 graduate of the University of Kentucky. After graduation, will joined Teach For America and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to teach middle school math and drama. After a few years in the classroom, Will joined the staff of Teach For America as a recruiter managing TFA’s recruitment efforts in Louisiana and Texas. In 2010, Will founded and became the Executive Director of Teach For America – Appalachia – a new region within TFA that serves low-income communities in eastern Kentucky Under Will’s leadership, Teach For America – Appalachia grew district partnerships by more than five times, and increased receivables to nearly $2 million. After 6 years of managing the day-to-day operations of TFA Will joined the Office of the Chairman at the Education Advisory Board. In his current role, Will works to ensure EAB members are deriving significant value from their relationship with EAB. He leads internal learning and development processes and oversees some of the company’s largest client relationships. In his free time, you can find Will supporting UK athletics, serving on various non-profit boards, and taking in Lexington’s newest eateries and breweries. Will is married to Katti Bowling Nash of Louisville, and together they struggle to keep plants alive.
Erik Pederson, Sales Consultant, Clayton Homes
Erik Pederson is a direct sales consultant at the largest homebuilder in the US, Clayton Homes. In his first year, he ranked in the top 25% of the company in two consecutive quarters and was recognized as a ""Rookie Pacesetter"" for being one of the top performers among all company new hires. Within the context of his role, Erik is responsible for having an understanding and ensuring all facets of the home purchase are addressed, including but not limited to: constructing, financing, and insuring a home, working within county ordinances and township municipalities and zoning boards, and works with the industry lobbying group, KMHI, to push progressive legislation to open more access to affordable housing solutions. Erik graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Administration in 2014. During his tenure at NKU, he served as the Student Body President from 2012 through 2014 and, during this time, also served as a voting member on the university's Board of Regents. He has continued to serve in his other role on the university's library board and has worked with the board and university administration on creating new scholarships for first-generation college students in the field of library media and informatics.
Josie Raymond, Student Success Coordinator, University of Louisville
osie Raymond has dedicated her career to creating opportunities, particularly pathways to education, for people in poverty. After more than a decade away, she returned home to Louisville in 2015 to raise her family and do meaningful work with Kentuckians. In her current role as a Student Success Coordinator at the University of Louisville, Josie counsels students facing barriers to graduation. Previously, Josie was an anti-poverty journalist for Change.org, where she recruited people living in poverty and homelessness to write the most authentic poverty blogs on the internet. Seeking to make a more direct impact, she joined Teach For America and taught at two low-performing middle schools in Indianapolis, where she saw 8th graders begin to use paragraph breaks for the first time in their lives. While there, she had 10 of her students’ anonymous personal essays—on topics including fatherhood, rape, and the desire to own a gun—published on the front page of the Indianapolis Star. In an effort to deepen her impact once again, she moved to Oakland, California to do college access work with the community organization College Track. There, she coordinated academic support for 250 low-income students of color who achieved record ACT and GPA growth on the way to becoming the first in their families to attend college. Back home in Louisville, she has coached underrepresented entrepreneurs on Kiva’s nonprofit microlending platform and written an innovative scholarship proposal for 55,000 Degrees. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in journalism, both from Columbia University, and a master's degree in teaching from Marian University.
Josh Sparks, Executive Director, Teach For America
A native of Eastern Kentucky, Josh Sparks graduated from Berea College and earned a Masters of Education from the University of Kentucky where he’s also pursuing a Doctorate of Educational Leadership. He was selected into the 2008 Teach For America–New Mexico corps where he taught middle school science. Inspired by this early experience of working side by side with educators, school and business leaders, and students and families to positively impact the community, Josh decided to continue serving in his home state of Kentucky. As Director of Teacher Leadership Development, Sparks supported the Appalachia team to enhance corps member training leading to an increase in student achievement results, as well as fostering a positive culture across the corps. Sparks is honored to now be serving as Executive Director of Teach For America- Appalachia where partnership between teachers, schools, and communities remains a priority in ensuring all East Kentucky students receive a great education.
Jacob Taulbee, Paralegal/SHIP Coordinator, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
Jacob Taulbee is a native Kentuckian who was raised in Montgomery County. He is a 2014 graduate of Morehead State University, where he earned his B.A. degree in Legal Studies. Jacob began his career at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass in October of 2013 performing the roles of a State Health Issuance Program Assistant and paralegal intern. After graduating from college Jacob continued working for Legal Aid of the Bluegrass as part of the Public Benefits and Ombudsman Unit. He is currently in the position of SHIP Coordinator for Kentucky’s FIVCO service region, a certified long term care ombudsman, and works as a Public Benefits Counselor throughout a 30 county service area which reaches individuals in Central, Northern and North Eastern Kentucky. Jacob is currently pursuing his graduate degree in public administration from Eastern Kentucky University. From his graduate studies, Jacob is interested in research on nonprofit organizations and community development, particularly in rural areas. Jacob currently lives in Mount Sterling with his wife, Jessica.
Dustin Warren, Attorney at Law
Dustin W. Warren is the owner of Dustin W. Warren, PLLC, a general practice law firm that works within the law offices of Elmer J. George in Lebanon, Kentucky. Dustin obtained his degree in Business Management from the University of Kentucky, and both his Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration degrees from Samford University. After graduate school and marrying the love of his life in the May of 2016, Dustin moved his family back to the Commonwealth, where they now reside in Danville. After passing the Kentucky Bar Exam in July of 2016, Dustin opened his own practice in Lebanon in October of the same year. In his free time, Dustin enjoys playing golf, working out and talking politics. Dustin has a strong interest in public equality, prosperity and efficient government actions. Always having his Christian morals in mind, Dustin performs many cases pro bono and does what he can to help every person, regardless of their race, religion, social status or political affiliation. Moving forward, Dustin plans to create a legal foundation to serve people who otherwise would go unrepresented, providing them with the same service that regular, paying clients receive on a daily basis.
John Weber, Legal Clerk, Louisville Gas and Electric
John Weber is a law student at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. He holds regional and national positions within the American Bar Association (ABA), including 6th Circuit Governor and Law Student Division Delegate. In these positions John represents law students across Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio on the Law Student Division Board, in addition to law students from across the country in the ABA’s legislative body, the House of Delegates. Outside of school, John works as a Corporate Law Clerk at Louisville Gas & Electric and is engaged through a fellowship with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty that combines his interests in education, litigation and legislation with his faith. He previously combined his interests of law, policy and politics as a Senior Fellow with Hillary For America. John graduated from the University of Louisville cum laude with a degree in Political Science. He held leadership roles including Student Government Vice President, President of the Kentucky College Democrats and Chair of the McConnell Scholars. During college, he studied abroad in China and received leadership training through Sigma Chi fraternity’s national Horizons academy. Upon graduation, John was selected by Teach For America to teach 12th grade United States Government in Nashville, TN. Since then John has remained active in the community and in his church, along with his wife, Chelsea. John is a musician, scuba diver and an avid Cards fan.
Katherine Woods, Epic Certified Health Information Analyst, Baptist Health Corporate
”Katherine Woods, a native of Pineville, KY is an Epic Certified Health Information Management Analyst at Baptist Health Corporate in Louisville, KY. As an Epic Certified HIM Analyst, she implements and maintains Epic systems and databases to ensure optimum performance. In addition, she is responsible for facilitating system updates, new releases, and system enhancements. Before advancing her career to serve as an Epic Certified HIM Analyst, Katherine previously held the role of a Health Information Technology Consultant at HealthTech Solutions, LLC in Frankfort, KY. As a Health Information Technology Consultant Katherine worked with a wide range of state and federal programs and agencies to provide support for Meaningful Use initiatives, health information technology grant writing, population health research, data analytics support, auditing services, Medicaid Information Technology Architecture, and numerous other Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiatives. Katherine graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration (HSA) degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where she received the 2016 HSA Outstanding Student Award and the 2016 Kentucky Health Information Management Association (KHIMA) Outstanding Student Award. In addition to Katherine’s bachelor degree, she is a certified Registered Health Information Administrator, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Health Informatics degree from Northern Kentucky University. As a strong supporter of positive transformation within the realm of health information management, and an advocate for enhancing education, Katherine is currently an active member of KHIMA where she serves as the Co-Chair of the Education Committee. In addition to outside work activities, Katherine spends time volunteering for numerous efforts provided by the Franklin County Young Democrats, and she is also an active member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.”
Katie Wright, a native of southern West Virginia, first established her career in public service by volunteering for the West Virginia Democratic Party as a field organizer while earning her Bachelors of Arts in History from Marshall University. She strengthened this lifelong passion by serving as a Student Senator for the Graduate College at Marshall University and by working for The MU Foundation, all while simultaneously earning her two graduate degrees in Master of Arts in History and Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. Katie served her community with dedication by volunteering for the St. John’s House Learning Center (a local, after-school learning, mentoring, and feeding program for children residing in the largest public housing complex in Huntington) and the West Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross. Continuing her career in public service, Katie began working at the West Virginia Women’s Commission, an agency dedicated to improving the legal, social, economic, educational, and political status of women by advocating with the state Executive and Legislative branches. She facilitated town hall meetings with women across the state to gain understanding of their experiences that then led to policy recommendations endorsed by the Commission. While there, she worked with, and learned from, an insightful and open-minded mentor about working as a public administrator. Upon moving to Lexington in the summer of 2016, she began working to support Mayor Jim Gray’s 2016 US Senate race as a state-wide field organizer for the coordinated campaign of the Kentucky Democratic Party. In this position, Katie also supported multiple KY House of Representatives campaigns and is most proud of her success in building support for the Democratic Party in all 120 counties of Kentucky. Katie looks forward to continuing to explore and learn more about her new community of Lexington and is excited to dedicate her efforts to improving lives across the Commonwealth.