Student and Academic Life

Whitney Barber Honored as Student Employee of the Year

Whitney Barber
Whitney Barber was honored during a banquet at the Hilary J. Boone Center for her recognition as Student Employee of the Year.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2019) — Whitney Barber, a student employee with the University of Kentucky's College of Arts and Sciences and Education Abroad, recently received the 2019 Student Employee of the Year award. 

Barber was one of 10 finalists chosen from more than 50 nominations submitted by supervisors of student employees at UK. Each finalist, along with their supervisor and family members, were recognized at a banquet at the Hilary J. Boone Center to honor their accomplishments and contributions to the university. 

“In her role, (Barber) has routinely been called upon to train the professional staff because she has become so knowledgeable about the office and how our processes work,” wrote Katherine McKinney, Barber’s supervisor at the International Center. “Ms. Barber has become such an indispensable part of the team that we often have to remind ourselves that she’s still a student.” 

Brooke Hendricks, Barber’s nominator from the College of Arts and Sciences, praised her passion and creativity. 

“She is not afraid to challenge predisposed authority, but does so with grace and maturity beyond her years,” Hendricks wrote. 

The award is presented by UK Human Resources Student Employment each year. 

This year’s 10 finalists included: 

  • Whitney Barber, College of Arts and Sciences, and Education Abroad; 
  • Ryan Belcher, UK HealthCare Retail Pharmacy;
  • Adam Blevins, Parent and Family Association; 
  • Candace Bone, Residence Life; 
  • Caroline Leggett, College of Pharmacy; 
  • Hannah Rice, Transformative Learning; 
  • Jared Rigdon, Information Technology Services; 
  • Adrian Sanchez, Residence Life; 
  • Beeson (Bee) Shin, International Student and Scholar Services; and
  • Maggie Tuckey, Campus Recreation and Wellness.

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 two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  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 three 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.