University Honors and Awards Program Recognizes Outstanding Students, Faculty and Staff


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2015) — Each year the University of Kentucky pauses to recognize the achievements of its students at the annual University Honors and Recognition Awards Program. Hosted in the Frank H. Harris Grand Ballroom in the Student Center, students were recognized with university-wide awards at a ceremony Monday, April 13.

The ceremony boasted several of our university's brightest and hardest working students. Vice President for Student Affairs Robert Mock shared his praise and thanks to these outstanding young adults and offered them his advice for their futures moving forward.

The evening culminated with the awarding of the Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award. Given to a senior man and woman, this award, named after the former UK president, was established in 1978 and was the first award recognizing overall student leadership at UK. Students nominated for this award have shown outstanding leadership while attending the University of Kentucky, made significant contributions to academics and are dedicated to service through campus and community involvement.

Ja'Mahl McDaniel, a finalist for the Outstanding Senior Male Award, is from Louisville, and is graduating with a degree in community leadership and development. He is a member of Omega Phi Psi Fraternity, Inc., and the UK Black Voices Gospel Choir and served as president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The 2015 Outstanding Senior Male Award was given to Jake Ingram, a Nicholasville, Kentucky, native majoring in mechanical engineering. Ingram served as the student body president from 2014-15 and is involved in DanceBlue, Wrap Up America and Sigma Chi fraternity.

Lee Foster, a finalist for the Outstanding Senior Female Award, is from Owensboro, Kentucky, and is majoring in economics. She was the programming chair for DanceBlue 2015 and is an active member of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. She was also named the 2014 UK Homecoming queen.

The 2015 Outstanding Senior Female Award was given to Grace Trimble, an agricultural biotechnology major from Winchester, Kentucky. Trimble is a member of the UK women's tennis team, is a Truman Scholar and a Rhodes Scholar finalist. During her time at UK, she has been dedicated to community service and established her own charitable organization, LTC Smart Shots.

Three major fellowships were also awarded at the recognition ceremony. Given by the Graduate School and UK Athletics, UK awarded both the Otis A. Singletary Fellowship and Charles Wethington Fellowship. The Board of Directors of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association, which has since been dissolved, established a quasi-endowment fund in memory of Otis A. Singletary. The fund provides a fellowship of $12,000 to be awarded annually to a UK graduating seniors who plans to continue in one of the university’s graduate or professional programs. The fellowship is awarded for a first year of graduate or professional study at UK and is not renewable for subsequent years. The Otis A. Singletary Fellowship recipient this year was Thomas Grubbs.

The Charles T. Wethington Jr. Fellowship was awarded for graduate or professional study to Sibi Rajendran. In honor of Charles T. Wethington Jr., president of the University of Kentucky from 1989 to 2001, the university and UK Athletics annually provide funding for a fellowship of $20,000 to be awarded to a UK graduating senior who plans to continue in one of the UK's graduate or professional programs. The fellowship is awarded for a first year of graduate or professional study at UK and is not renewable for subsequent years. Preference is given to Kentucky residents who are first-generation college students.

Since 1929, the University of Kentucky is one of several southern schools to present the Sullivan Medallion Award. The award was named after Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a southern businessman who became successful as a lawyer and philanthropist in New York in the late nineteenth century.  Sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, the award recognizes faculty, staff or students who exhibit Sullivan’s ideals and character. Linda Gorton received the Citizen Sullivan Medallion Award. Grace Trimble received the Senior Woman Sullivan Medallion Award, and Max Godby received the Senior Man Sullivan Medallion Award.

Two students were awarded the Shane Carlin and Annie Sit Inclusion Award. The Shane Carlin and Annie Sit Inclusion Award recognizes the achievements of students who have made strides in assisting to move our campus forward. Carlin is a 1995 graduate of the University of Kentucky and has been a Student Affairs professional since that time.  While at UK, Carlin was involved in many student organizations.  He and his wife want to celebrate and appreciate students who strive to make the University of Kentucky more inclusive. The Carlins developed this award to recognize students who work in social justice, diversity and inclusion in the most impacting and discerning manner, which transcends race. This year’s awardees were Michael Frazier and Courtlynn Lindsay.

UK's Office of Development annually awards scholarships to deserving students. Joseph P. Kennedy, owner of Kennedy’s Book Store, helped create the fund from which these scholarship awards are made. The 10 recipients of this award were Mariel Jackson, Benjamin Norton, Malinda Massey, Danielle Wilson, Aiely Layson, Mallory Zaino, Joshua Kaine, Alex Wade, Joye Allen and Austin Mullen.

UK's Student Government Association recognized four students and a staff member. Kayla Brown received the Association Constitutional Scholarship.  David Luke and Erica Rogers received the Academic Excellence Scholarship. Po-Han Chen was awarded the Lyman T. Johnson Odyssey Award. This award is bestowed each academic year on a student who has exemplified a high degree of personal integrity and a commitment to the betterment of the community or campus. Chen received a $1,500 academic stipend in both the fall and spring semesters of the following academic year. The award is in honor of Lyman T. Johnson, the first African-American student to be admitted to the University of Kentucky.

Anthony Dotson was awarded a Robert G. Zumwinkle Student Rights Award. The Zumwinkle Student Rights Award is bestowed on students, faculty and staff members who have done the most to promote and protect student rights on campus during each academic year. A $300 gift accompanies this award. The award is in honor of Robert Zumwinkle, former vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

The Honors Program bestowed two awards. Samuel Vogel and Angela Mischke both received the Raymond Betts Crystal Award for Service. This was first awarded in 1986 and is for outstanding service to the Honors Program and the university community at large. Mary Boulanger received the Diachun Award. The Stephen Diachun Award, named after the first director of the Honors Program, has been presented since 1982 to a graduating senior who has “demonstrated outstanding research talent in the form of his/her independent project and who holds high promise for further professional development in graduate school.” The Diachun Award comes in the form of a check for $1,000 to be used for expenses in graduate or professional school.

The Maurice A. Clay Award is sponsored by the UK Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa and is presented to graduating seniors based on leadership. The five awardees this year were Lindsay Kroes, Heather Chapman, Corinna Hughes, Mary Boulanger and Connor Appleman.

The Viji Jeganathan Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding presented by the International Center was presented to both Shabika Arvijanti and Lei Sun.  

UK's Greek community honored its highest achieving chapters and leaders. The highest academic achievement awards were handed out for fraternities, sororities and UK's historically African-American fraternities and sororities. Beta Theta Pi received the Highest Academic Achievement Interfraternity Council Award. Alpha Delta Pi received the Highest Academic Achievement Panhellenic Council Award. Alpha Kappa Alpha received the Highest Academic Achievement National Pan-Hellenic Award.

The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Student Involvement honored students and staff. Bob Kuhn (PediaKATS) was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year. Two outstanding members of our community received the Robert and Freda Carlin Unsung Hero Award presented by Student Affairs. The awardees were Lauren Goodpaster and James Collard. The award honors quiet leaders without whose contributions UK would not be the institution that it is today.

2015 marks the 24th year the University of Kentucky recognizes the outstanding volunteer service achievements of Darrell A. VanMeter, through the presentation of an undergraduate award named in his honor. VanMeter, a sophomore at the time of his death in 1991, was recognized by the university community and his home community for his positive contributions and his dedication to serving others. The impact of his "good samaritan" approach to helping others was apparent to faculty, staff and students alike. Darrell A. VanMeter touched the campus community with his selfless heart and his continual acts of service. Service was not an isolated act for him. It was a way of being. This year’s winner is Max Godby.

The Office of Residence Life honored several of its student staff. The Robert A. Clay Scholarship was awarded to Alexa Williamson. The Robert A. Clay Scholarship is named for a former director of Residence Life and recognizes resident advisors who have outstanding job performance and have shown evidence of financial need with a $1,000 scholarship.

Tiera Mason, Tyler Priest and Jessalynn Cornett were named recipients of the Rosemary Pond Leadership Award. The award is named for Rosemary Pond who served as the Dean of Students at UK for over 20 years.  Her leadership continues to have an impact on life in the residence halls even today.  In her honor, the Rosemary Pond Leadership Award recognizes residence hall staff and hall government members who have consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and have made significant contributions to the Office of Residence Life, particularly in the areas of programming, advising, student development or departmental operations.

Shelley Zhou and Kelsey Doughten were awarded the Carol S. Adelstein Outstanding Student Award. The award, given by the Disability Resource Center, was first presented in 1984 and is annually presented to the student with a disability who best serves as an inspiration to the UK community through excellence in any or all of the following: academics, leadership, extracurricular activities and social and personal qualities.  It is named for Carol Adelstein who was a successful person with a disability and wife of a UK professor.

The University of Kentucky is proud of the accomplishments of all their outstanding students.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909