LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 18, 2021) — Winners of the University of Kentucky Intern of the Year and UK Employer of the Year awards were announced Thursday, May 6, in an evening Zoom ceremony coordinated by the James W. Stuckert Career Center and the Graham Office of Career Management at the Gatton College of Business and Economics. The annual awards recognize the achievements of students who have excelled in their internships over the past year, as well as honor the investment employers have made in UK students through opportunities, events and collaborations.
UK junior Lauren Hudson was named UK Intern of the Year. Hudson, a neuroscience and biology dual major from Edgewood, Kentucky, was honored for her internship work with Nathan Vanderford, assistant director for research at the Markey Cancer Center and assistant professor in the College of Medicine's Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology.
Hudson’s internship with Vanderford focused on cancer research. Since 2020, Hudson has published seven peer-reviewed journal articles, four as first author. She also co-edited a book, "The Cancer Crisis in Appalachia: Kentucky Students take ACTION" (2020), with Vanderford and has participated in several cancer research presentations.
“I am not aware of any other undergraduate student that has had such exceptional research success,” Vanderford said at the event.
"This experience has allowed me to understand more about myself, my school and my state," Hudson said. "After working with Dr. Vanderford, I discovered a passion for cancer education and cancer literacy that I intend to incorporate into my future career as a physician."
Lexington-based experiential and digital marketing firm BrainBox was named UK Employer of the Year at the awards ceremony. BrainBox was selected based on their deep commitment to UK students through internships, mentoring, resume review events, mock interviews and panel discussions. Scott Bridegam accepted the award on behalf of the company.
UK also honored its student intern runners-up, including:
- Arizzona Albright (College of Agriculture, Food and Environment), Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association (KITA)
- Chess Necessary (College of Engineering), SpaceTango
- Sabrina Jacobs (College of Agriculture, Food and Environment), UK Ag Equine Programs
- Shyla Horton (College of Social Work), Community Inspired Solutions
- Thomas Daugherty (Gatton College of Business and Economics, Lewis Honors College), UK Athletics
UK Employer of the Year runners-up included:
- MCM CPAs and Advisors
- Ronald McDonald House
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.