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
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.