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FRANKFORT — President M. Christopher Brown II is pleased to announce the promotion of Sonia Sanders from executive assistant to the president to assistant vice president for public engagement and community outreach, effective immediately.

The vice president for public engagement and community outreach is a senior level administrative position supporting the vice president for institutional advancement and alumni affairs, says President Brown.

“Ms. Sanders is the right person to inspire all of our constituent groups to collaborate for the best outcomes for Frankfort, surrounding communities, Kentucky State and the state of Kentucky,” President Brown said. “As a key member of the leadership team, I am confident that she is committed to and will foster ongoing efforts to accomplish the institution’s mission and goals while promoting a high-performance culture that energizes and engages our work in outreach and public engagement.”

For several months, Sanders took on extra responsibilities as acting director of campus auxiliary services. She successfully managed and scheduled community events that showcased and utilized Kentucky State’s facilities.

With the eventual closure of Frankfort’s Convention Center, she is working diligently with stakeholders to secure space on Kentucky State’s campus.

“It is crucial for Kentucky State to fulfill the need for space so we can bridge the gap in keeping tourism revenue for our city and county stakeholders,” Sanders said.

President Brown applauded her initiative, “At its next meeting, the KSU Board of Regents will be voting to approve a Campus Space Utilization Policy and fee schedule developed under the leadership of Ms. Sanders.”

Sanders joined the institution in 2008 as an administrative assistant to the president.

Prior to joining the Thorobred nation, she held executive level positions in vehicle regulation, transportation and real estate. Sanders has over 30 years of executive management experience.

In 2004, Sanders was appointed by former governor Ernie Fletcher as the Director of Motor Carriers.  Within two years Sanders became Director of Motor Vehicle Licensing, Director of Driver’s Licensing, and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation.

She has also served in leadership positions on numerous boards, commissions and committees. Among those appointments include appointment by Fletcher and former governor Paul Patton to the Kentucky Motor Carrier Advisory Committee, as a board member for the International Fuel Tax Agreement, a liaison for the Kentucky Circuit and County Clerks, as board chairperson and board member of the Kentucky Motor Transportation Association, as a representative on the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, as a chairperson and secretary treasurer of Kentucky Motor Transport Association, and many, many other appointments.

Community and civic involvement have played a large role in her life, as well. She currently serves as chair of the Frankfort/Franklin County United Way Board of Directors and as vice chair of the Frankfort Tourist Commission. She has a long history with Kentucky Business & Professional Women, having served as state president, on the board, as president-elect, vice president, on the foundation board and as a parliamentarian. She was appointed by Patton to the Madisonville Community College Board of Directors and by Mayor William Cox to the Hopkins County Planning and Zoning Commission, among many, many other roles in the community.

Sanders says she is honored to serve Kentucky State in her new role and is looking forward to positioning and strengthening the University’s capacity as a fully engaged institution that facilitates the mutual exchange of ideas, resources and expertise.

“I am blessed to be able to serve Kentucky State and thrilled that I will work in an area I’m passionate about,” Sanders said. “Working together, we will champion a bold agenda to integrate community outreach and public engagement across a broad range of University initiatives including our teaching, research and public service activities to create a new engagement culture that will afford our faculty, staff, students and alumni opportunities to become involved in valuable campus-community partnerships.”

Sanders is a native of Madisonville, Kentucky and a member of First Baptist Church Georgetown, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Leadership Madisonville and a recent graduate of Leadership Frankfort.


Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 2,000 students.