Keith Hautala

By

College: Engineering

UK Student to Swim in Deaflympics

Published: Jun 21, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 21, 2013) — Kenneth Freeman appreciates the breadth of specialties available within his major of mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky.

 

While the aerospace industry has piqued his interest, Freeman is also drawn to the idea of eventually pursuing graduate studies in biomedical engineering in order to design and innovate cochlear implants. Why cochlear implants? Perhaps because Freeman’s own implant allows him to hear — something which otherwise would be impossible.

 

Kenneth Freeman is deaf.

 

“Profoundly deaf in both ears,” Freeman says. “When I was 2 or 3, my parents noticed I was not responding to them. When my younger brother, Edward, came along, he had the same symptoms. The doctors diagnosed a shared genetic condition that resulted in deafness.”

 

After wearing hearing aids for several years, at age 6, Freeman received the cochlear implant that enables him to hear almost as well as anyone with normal hearing. Because he has an implant in only one ear, he cannot localize sound easily and hearing in noisy environments is a challenge.

 

His speech hasn’t been adversely affected, and he just finished his first year as a mechanical engineering major with a 3.7 GPA. In fact, handling the rigor of an engineering education might not even be Freeman’s biggest challenge — that could be swimming.

 

“I began swimming competitively at age 10,” he said. “Since then, I have been able to travel to several different places within the U.S. and abroad.”

 

In 2011, Freeman earned a spot on the U.S. Deaf Swim Team and competed in the World Deaf Swimming Championships, which were held in Coimbra, Portugal. This summer, he and his brother, Edward, will head to Sofia, Bulgaria, to participate in the 22nd Summer Deaflympics.

 

Most comfortable as a sprinter, Freeman’s best events are the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke and the 50 and 100 meter freestyle.

 

“I am looking forward to meeting people and taking in the Bulgarian culture. I think it will be a great experience,” he says.

 

To prepare for the Deaflympics, Freeman has trained two to three hours a day for the past year—while taking a full load of classes.

 

“Balancing swimming and school work hasn’t been easy,” he says, smiling. “But I hope to medal in the breaststroke events. Whether I do is up to me and my training.”

 

Given Freeman’s penchant for displaying determined effort, a medal — and a successful career within the disciplines of mechanical engineering — are well within his reach. 

 

Freeman's mother, Trish Freeman, is a faculty member in the UK College of Pharmacy. She received a Sullivan Medallion in 2009 for her work in lobbying for a state mandate for health insurance coverage for hearing aids for all Kentucky children.

freeman_excellence.jpg
Tags:
September
 
 
 
 
1
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
LGBTQ* and Friends Employee Picnic
Thu
2
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Fri
3
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sat
4
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
5
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
6
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Tue
7
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
UK Women's Club Volleyball - Open Gym
From The Streets to The Stage With Monti Washington
Wed
8
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
#IAMACCEPTANCE Let's Talk Mental Health with Hakeem Rahim
Thu
9
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
2016 New Chinese Students Welcome Party
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training
Fri
10
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
11
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Whipping In The Kitchen
Sun
12
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
13
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UKWC Welcome Coffee
Tue
14
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Greek Park Pictures
Wed
15
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Thu
16
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
A Day of Rising Strong
Fri
17
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
18
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sun
19
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
20
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Cuban Heritage Festival
Tue
21
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 50% Refund
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Wed
22
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
TGIT with SAB
Thu
23
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Fri
24
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
25
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Sun
26
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Let's Talk!
Empower: People of Color Support Group
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Mon
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UK Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair
Banned Books--A short history
Tue
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Cats Got The Vote
Business Internship & Career Fair
Women In Technology Gala event for UK undergraduate women
NSE (National Student Exchange) Information Session
Wed
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Yoga at Commonwealth Stadium
Thu
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Indonesia Focus Conference
Indonesia Focus Conference
Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture
Fri
 
Sep 28
Let's Talk! 09/28/2016

Repeats every 7 days until Thu Dec 15 2016 .
Thu, 09/29/2016

Thu, 09/29/2016

Fri, 09/30/2016

Reset Page