Dr. Melinda Ickes, professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, is one of 16 University Research Professors for the 2023-24 academic year. Established by the UK Board of Trustees in 1976, the professorships program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research at UK.
“The Commonwealth and university continue to benefit from the work and expertise of these dedicated scholars and scientists,” said Lisa Cassis, UK’s vice president for research. “It is an honor to recognize this outstanding group of faculty and to support their future endeavors to improve the lives of Kentuckians as we continue to expand the depth and breadth of UK’s research enterprise.”
College leadership developed criteria for excellence within their area of expertise and then nominated faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000 and participates in the University Research Professors Lecture Series.
This summer, the university will feature a 2023-24 University Research Professor each week on UKNow to share more about each professor’s area of research and how they are addressing scientific, social, health and economic challenges in Kentucky and beyond.
Ickes has extensive experience in college and youth health promotion, including tobacco prevention, and has worked with university and community partners to reduce the prevalence of emerging tobacco products among at-risk youth and young adults.
She has a joint appointment in the UK College of Nursing where she serves as co-director of the Tobacco Policy Research Program of the BREATHE (Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy Toward Healthy Environments) research team.
Ickes serves as director of both Tobacco-free Take Action! and Go Tobacco-free, two initiatives to promote evidence-based tobacco control, including implementation and evaluation of tobacco policies. Through these initiatives, Ickes and her colleagues have assisted over 500 campuses and organizations working toward tobacco-free policies.
She is also program director of #iCANendthetrend, a peer-led youth prevention and empowerment program that has reached thousands of Kentucky youth and has been recognized nationally.
Ickes’ research interests go beyond tobacco control, including community-engaged research, youth empowerment, evidence-based program planning and evaluation, college health promotion, physical activity promotion and childhood obesity.
The 2023-24 University Research Professors are:
Feng Li: Veterinary Science; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Ann C. Morris: Biology; College of Arts and Sciences
Crystal Wilkinson: English; College of Arts and Sciences
Allison Gordon: Communication; College of Communication and Information
Luciana Macchion Shaddox: Periodontology; College of Dentistry
Michael McKay: School of Architecture; College of Design
Melinda J. Ickes: Kinesiology and Health Promotion; College of Education
YuMing Zhang: Electrical and Computer Engineering; College of Engineering
Dieter Hennings Yeomans: School of Music; College of Fine Arts
Brian Murtha: Marketing and Supply Chain; Gatton College of Business and Economics
Ron Zimmer: Martin School of Public Policy and Administration; Graduate School
Matthew Hoch: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition; College of Health Sciences
Christopher M. Norris: Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences; College of Medicine
William Walton Stoops: Behavioral Science; College of Medicine
Björn Bauer: Pharmaceutical Sciences; College of Pharmacy
Erin N. Haynes: Epidemiology and Environmental Health; College of Public Health