Gwenda AdkinsEach year, Women Leading Kentucky honors an outstanding female leader with the presentation of the Martha Layne Collins Leadership Award. This year, Gwenda Adkins, Elliott County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences was one of three finalists for this prestigious honor.

A native of Magoffin County, Adkins has served as the Elliott County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences since 1979. She holds two degrees from Morehead State University – a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles and a M.A. in Outdoor Recreation.

Throughout her career, Gwenda has worked with both adults and youth in Elliott County to promote economic development and improve the quality of life. She has always taken an integrated approach to address critical issues confronting families, and believes strongly in collaboration. “We can do more together than we can alone, so building collaborative partnerships has always been my philosophy for moving the community forward,” stated Adkins.

Through her Extension programming, personal efforts, and work with volunteers, Adkins has helped turn Elliott County into a model of tourism growth. She has worked tirelessly in seeking grants and writing proposals to enrich the county, and has generated nearly $1.5 million in funds for various projects and programs. Adkins exploration of community development ideas has taken her to many places, including Serbia, Scotland and Canada.

A life-long learner, Gwenda has instilled her passion for education in her two sons. Joshua is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky and Kevin, an honors student, is pursuing Physics and Math degrees at Morehead State University.

Janet Holloway, Executive Director of Women Leading Kentucky, shared the following about Adkins, “Gwenda is a strong leader who understands the importance of working together and going the extra mile, which is what makes her a great example of how women can impact the workplace and the community.

The School of Human Environmental Sciences congratulates Gwenda Adkins for her recognition as finalist for the Martha Layne Collins Leadership Award.