Four Graduate Students Named Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Scholars

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 28, 2018)  Four graduate students at the University of Kentucky have been chosen to be 2018 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) Diversity Scholars.

The annual multi-arts festival, held in Ithaca, New York, is dedicated to showcasing global media projects focusing on issues pertaining to sustainability.

FLEFF was launched in 1997 as an outreach project from the Center for the Environment at Cornell University. The festival, always dedicated to films with a powerful message, has expanded in recent years to become a major regional event in Upstate New York.

This year, toxicology doctoral student Aria Byrd, history doctoral student Jillean McCommons, English doctoral student Chinwe Morah, and pharmacology doctoral student Kai Zhang were selected from UK. Rarely are more than two students from any one university chosen as scholars.

"FLEFF Fellows are afforded an immersion and networking experience with scholars and artists with richly diverse perspectives. That we have not one or two, but four doctoral students chosen this year as FLEFF Fellows speaks to the rich mentoring and professional development opportunities our students are already engaged in here at UK," said Morris Grubbs, assistant dean of the Graduate School. "Aria, Chinwe, Jillean and Kai are all active participants in initiatives both within their colleges and departments and in campus-wide initiatives, such as the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition and the Preparing Future Faculty/Professionals courses. These four students, from the humanities and health sciences, join FLEFF Fellows on a diverse range of career paths, from future professors and administrators to filmmakers and journalists."  

The students will participate in screenings, lectures and workshops. The goal is to explore links between sustainable development, globalization, race, ethnicity and gender in order to stimulate new research in the areas of sustainability.

The 20th annual FLEFF will be held April 9-15. The festival embraces sustainability across all forms: economic, social, political, cultural and technological.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue