Introducing Alicia Abney!

Originally from Kokomo, Indiana, Alicia's journey in higher education took her to middle Tennessee, where she began her career as an academic advisor in 2015. Recently, she and her husband, along with their two rescue dogs, Oliver and Alley, relocated to Lexington. As a newcomer to the area, she's excited to embark on this new chapter at UK as an advisor.

Alicia's entry into higher education was a happy accident! While originally aiming for a career as a School Counselor, she found herself in the Student Development Counseling & Administration program at Indiana Wesleyan University, focused on higher education administration and counseling. Despite the unexpected path, Alicia found joy in the content and its applicability to her own experiences as a first-generation student.

As a new member of Gatton, Alicia has already discovered what makes Gatton students special: their sense of humor and love for life! During BBNO, she witnessed their excitement and enthusiasm for this new stage in their lives, and it reminded her of why she loves working with students as an advisor. She also finds the Gatton community incredibly supportive and eager to learn, always ready to lend a helping hand and share their knowledge.

Here's an interesting fun fact about Alicia: She flunked out of school during her first year! Despite attending an expensive private school with only a couple of small scholarships, she struggled academically during that time. However, those challenging experiences have given her valuable empathy and perspective when supporting students who are facing difficulties. As a first-generation student herself, she emphasizes the importance of utilizing available supports and resources on campus to succeed.

Alicia has also been recognized for her outstanding achievements in her career. In 2021, she received the Woman of Achievement award from Women in Higher Education – Tennessee, and in 2022, she was awarded the NACADA Scholarship from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. She was recently named Outstanding Academic Advisor – Primary Role and will be recognized for this achievement during NACADA's annual conference in October 2023.

On a lighter note, during her high school days, Alicia's mom encouraged her to participate in a pageant. However, Alicia was less enthusiastic about the idea. On the day of the fitness/sportswear event, she "accidentally" forgot to put on her sliding pad during a softball tournament and ended up with a "messy" leg after sliding into second base.