University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

CEDIK Leadership and Staff

Alison Davis Alison Davis, PhD

Executive Director, CEDIK
Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics
411 C.E. Barnhart Building

Lexington, KY 40546-0276
859-257-7260 office

Alison’s job includes building relationships across campus and the Commonwealth to promote a stronger sense of community and an improved economic base.  She is responsible for obtaining external funds and generating a portfolio of programs that both county agents and non-Extension audiences can use. In the last two years, CEDIK expanded to include 23 people including 4 staff, 9 faculty (core and closely-affiliated), 3 county fine arts agents, 6 graduate students and 2 undergraduate students. The additional personnel allow us to provide a comprehensive, integrated research/extension program.

Dr. Davis is also responsible for growing her own individual extension program in Kentucky. Her programming is dedicated to advancing economic development and improving rural healthcare systems. Her rural economic development program utilizes workshops, trainings, and educational materials to highlight the importance of community engagement, infrastructure development, regionalism, and the impact of changing public policy on rural communities.  Alison was one of four authors for the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. The program is funded by USDA Rural Development and the curriculum is being used by over 50 regions in over 20 states.   The program was recently awarded Top Educational Program by NACDEP (The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals).

Alison’s rural health program consists of educating community leaders and health care professionals about the economic impact of health care, implementing the community health needs assessment program, identifying markets for new health enterprises, and developing rural health networks to promote accessibility and quality health care for all rural communities.
PDF of Alison's bio

Dan Kahl, PhD

Associate Director, CEDIK
Assistant Professor, Community and Leadership Development 
513 W.P. Garrigus Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0215
859-257-2542 office

Dan joined the leadership of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) in Fall 2014. One of his objectives is to support the development of Community and Leadership programming for the UK Cooperative Extension Service. His current areas of interest and study include Community Coaching and work with communities to improve methods for citizen involvement. Dan holds a B.S. in Education from Iowa State University, a M.S. in Leadership Studies from Fort Hays State University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership from Kansas State University.


Sarah Bowker Sarah Frank Bowker, MA

Program Coordinator, CEDIK
Agricultural Economics

419 C.E. Barnhart Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0276
859-257-7272 office

Sarah is a full time staff member in the Agricultural Economics Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. She has worked at UK for over six years in rural community and economic development and applied demography.  Sarah is prepared to promote CEDIK and all that this Initiative offers to diverse Kentucky audiences.


James E. Allen IV, MS

Research Director, CEDIK
Agricultural Economics

404 C.E. Barnhart Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0276
859-218-4386 office

James Allen is the research director for CEDIK in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He is responsible for coordinating several economic development research activities with faculty and graduate students and developing new studies in line with CEDIK’s research agenda. A sample of current activities includes estimating the value of rural access to healthcare, fine arts extension programs, and the non-market impacts of the equine industry on Kentucky communities. Previously James served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali (2010-2012) and graduated from Michigan State University, where his research focused on food security and farming systems in West Africa.



  Marisa Aull, BA

Senior Extension Associate, CEDIK
Agricultural Economics

404 C.E. Barnhart Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0276
859-218-4385 office

Marisa is an extension associate for CEDIK in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  She has worked for Kentucky's Cooperative Extension Serivce for 10 years prior to joining CEDIK.  Marisa is coordinating the Community Health Needs Assessment Program for rural Kentucky hospitals and CEDIK's involvement in the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone.


Lucia Ona, PhD

Research Associate, CEDIK
Agricultural Economics

440 C.E. Barnhart Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0276
859-218-5764 office


Lucia is a research associate for CEDIK in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.