Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2013) — Summertime to University of Kentucky students can mean study or service abroad, summer internships, employment or vacationing with family or friends. For two seniors, Emory Jones and Joshua Jennings, their summer was devoted to leading dozens of students (the K Crew) in putting the finishing touches on K Week, the university’s welcome week encompassing 250 events over nine days, all designed to help new students transition to college life.
President Eli Capilouto recognized the value of Kentucky’s welcome last week when he said, “Our top priority is fostering student success at all levels in everything that we do. Creating that environment starts from the moment students and their families arrive on campus. The entire campus is invested in the success of our students... After all, our students are why we are here.”
Both Jones and Jennings signed up as freshmen for the K Crew, followed by the Super Crew as sophomores, and finally they agreed to the 18-month commitment as K Week coordinators.
“I became interested in the leadership roles offered by K Crew. I wanted to be part of a close knit group of experienced leaders of the Super Crew, and I have learned so much,” said Jones, a New Albany, Ind., native majoring in communications and community leadership development in the College of Agriculture. Her post-graduation plans are to work in the nonprofit service industry.
“My personal goal is to give our new students an even better experience during K Week than I had as a freshman. I remember feeling that I was really part of something now, more comfortable, not a stranger,” said Jennings, a native of Crestwood in Oldham County, with a double major in international studies and Spanish in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is also interested in nonprofits as well as global diplomatic services.
Both will have their eye on the new students and K Crew leaders for their eventual replacements.
“We want to empower new leaders with our encouragement. We want to call them out on their strengths, so to speak,” Jones said.
While Jones’ favorite K Week event, Big Blue U, where she “first felt like a UK student,” took place Saturday night, and Josh’s favorite, Tuesday’s Common Reading Experience, where he “first got to express my opinion as a university student,” they both truly enjoy their experience at today’s FUSION.
“FUSION is the coolest because everyone – students, faculty, staff and members of the community – is working toward the same goal, helping our neighbors,” said Jennings of the state’s largest single community service day.
“FUSION really makes us feel like a community,” Jones said, “and not just with the campus but the city of Lexington.”