Student and Academic Life

Kentucky Kernel Photographers Take Home Several Awards and Accolades

This photo, by Arden Barnes, won 2nd Place Spot News.
This photo, by Arden Barnes, won 2nd Place Spot News.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2020) — The staff of the Kentucky Kernel, the University of Kentucky's independent student-run newspaper, recently took home several awards and accolades at the annual Kentucky News Photographer Association meeting.

One of those students was Arden Barnes, who won runner-up for the student photographer of the year. “Being recognized for my work is always a great thing, but really I think doing well at KNPA is a testament to the Kernel and UK’s School of Journalism and Media. We’re competing against some of the best photojournalism schools in the country and being able to match up against those students says a lot about UK’s student photographers,” Barnes said.

Barnes gave special credit to David Stephenson, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Media in the College of Communication and Information and Kernel photo advisor, as her mentor. “He answered all of my questions about what I should be doing to make myself a better photojournalist. He pushes us all to be better and gives us tough love when we need it. We’re all better with him around,” Barnes said.

Stephenson’s advice to these students is to take photos every day and to always carry a camera with you. “It’s hard to do that as a student, balancing classes and finding time to take photos. Practice makes all the difference, and doing it as much as you can will only do good things,” Barnes said.

“I am so very proud of our Kernel photographers,” Stephenson said. “They work hard and earn every photo they take. They don't do it for class, they do it because they love it. It has been a great pleasure to watch them grow and develop into award-winning photographers.”

Here is the full list of awards won by Kernel photographers:

  • Spot News: 2nd - Arden Barnes; 3rd - Barnes.
  • General News: Honorable Mention - Barnes.
  • Sports Action: 1st - Jordan Prather; 2nd - Prather; Honorable Mention - Michael Clubb.
  • Sports Feature: 3rd - Prather; Honorable Mention - Prather.
  • Portrait: 1st - Clubb. 
  • Pictorial: 1st - Clubb; 2nd - Barnes; 3rd - Clubb; Honorable Mention - Breven Walker.
  • Sports essay: 1st - Barnes; 2nd - Clubb; 3rd - Isaac Jensen. 
  • Multimedia: 1st - Barnes. 
  • Kentucky Student Photographer of the Year: Runner-up - Barnes. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.