Austin wearing a green, linen shirt smiling in front of trees. She has long, brown wavy hair

Austin Nugent named 2021 AUCD Emerging Leader

Austin Nugent, Disability & Health Program Coordinator for the UK Human Development Institute (HDI) has been selected as a 2021 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Network Emerging Leader. The individuals are selected based on their contributions to the network, how they have demonstrated leadership, and their values and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others.  

Austin holds her bachelor’s in sociology and disability studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Administration and a graduate certificate in developmental disabilities at the University of Kentucky. Over the last eleven years, she has held many roles in the community centered around supporting and advocating for the meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities. However, her favorite role is being the older sister to a biological brother with Down syndrome and two adopted brothers with various support needs resulting from adverse childhood experiences.  

Given my lived and family experience with disability, my professional and personal goals are identical. Knowing firsthand the value of information and opportunities, my mission is to support others to access resources and services that empower them to lead healthy, self-determined lives”. Following graduate school, Austin is considering pursuing a law degree to gather additional knowledge needed to advocate and protect the rights of people with disabilities.   

Staff Photo of Danielle Augustin

Danielle Augustin selected as AUCD Emerging Leader

The UK Human Development Institute is pleased to announce the selection of Danielle Augustin as an Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Emerging Leader.  Emerging Leaders can make a collective impact at the local, state, and national level and are part of a community of early career professionals from all health and related disciplines, including self-advocates and family members; and others that are relatively new to the disability field.  AUCD provides an array of resources, including access to a diverse range of disability experts from across the country, as well as opportunities for leadership, academic, and professional growth.  

Danielle has her master’s degree in Health Promotion and is the Disability Education Health Coach for UK HDI Health and Wellness initiatives. As a health coach, Danielle aims to empower individuals with disabilities and their support networks to live a holistically healthy lifestyle which prioritizes the mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, sexual, and social aspects of health alongside the physical aspects.  

“The ability to continue to fight for the equality of people with disabilities, without discouragement, is both a meaningful skill and a beautiful art”.

              -Danielle Augustin

 Learn more about AUCD Emerging Leaders at