LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2022) — This spring, the University of Kentucky is celebrating more than 5,300 degrees conferred by the Board of Trustees, with around 3,900 expected to cross the stage of Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center during the UK Commencement Ceremonies.
On this episode of "Behind the Blue," we spotlight three of those graduates to talk about their time at UK, the memories they’ll take with them and how they’re prepared to move ahead and make the most of what they’ve learned.
Growing up, Emily Lucke’s father spent time in Iraq as a member of the U.S. military and sent home newspapers and other material written in Arabic that fascinated the Clarksville, Tennessee native. Upon arrival at UK, Lucke was able to turn that fascination into a career path, majoring in both political science and international studies, and becoming a member of the Lewis Honors College. Equipped with a foreign language component in Arabic, she completed an internship at the U.S. Homeland Security-Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center. There, she translated and examined terrorism propaganda and threats to critical infrastructure, and collaborated on key intelligence questions posed by terrorism.
Lucke is proud of the personal and academic growth she experienced at UK, along with leadership and project management skills that she feels will take her far in her career. She believes it’s important for students to take advantage of counseling and other self-care resources the university provides in order to make the most of their time here and experience college to its fullest potential.
Breona Link is a UK superstar and her light shines bright among her peers. The Bowling Green, Kentucky, native calls her four years at UK the best of her life. Link made it her mission to get involved as much as possible during college to make the most of her education. She is the president of the UK Student Activities Board, former president of the UK NAACP, director of MLK Wildcats for Service, a UK 101 peer instructor and held an internship with Charles Booker for Senate.
Link encourages any new student to dive in and try everything. It will open doors you could have never dreamed possible. She will graduate from the College of Health Sciences' Clinical Leadership and Management program.
Balancing an excellent academic standing while conducting high-quality research, Alison Porter has soared through her veterinary science master’s program in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, with determination and tenacity. The Oil Springs, Kentucky native is eager to return to her Eastern Kentucky roots and be a force for good, ready to serve the underserved population and community where she was raised.
As a physician, Porter will fulfill a great need. With her well-rounded science background and acceptance into the UK College of Medicine, she will be well equipped to serve these rural communities and individuals without access to top-rate medical care in their local areas.
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For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.
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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 four 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 five 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.