Campus News

Lyman T. Johnson Award Winners Announced; Virtual Presentation Planned for Monday

artistic image of Lyman T. Johnson with the wording "30th Annual Lyman T. Johnson Awards Recognition"

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2021) The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group, in partnership with the UK Office for Institutional Diversity, will host the 30th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer and Torch of Excellence awards via Facebook Live at noon Monday, Feb. 1. The program honors and celebrates African American students and alumni from each college who epitomize the ideals of Lyman T. Johnson.

UK’s academic colleges select alumni whose faith, hard work and determination have positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These colleges also choose students within their respective college whose academic achievement and ability to impact the lives of others would warrant them to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award.

To watch this year’s awards presentation, tune into the UK Alumni Association’s Facebook page at noon Monday Feb. 1.

This year’s award winners are:

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Torch Bearer: Jahqethea Johnson 

Torch of Excellence: Tiffany Monroe

College of Arts and Sciences

Torch Bearer: Jacob Barnes, Trinity Houston, Pasama Cole-Kweli, Jillean McCommons, Jordan Ashlee McCray, Kayla Woodson

Torch of Excellence: Eunique Gaither, Aretina Hamilton, Ursula Mullins

Gatton College of Business and Economics

Torch Bearer: Ariel Brent

Torch of Excellence: Erica Miles

College of Communication and Information

Torch Bearer: Akhira Umar

Torch of Excellence: DeBraun Thomas

College of Dentistry

Torch Bearer: Udechukwu Iheduru                            

Torch of Excellence: Dr. Linda Larkin-Scott

College of Education

Torch Bearer: Heather Cowherd

Torch of Excellence: Felicia C. Smith

College of Engineering

Torch Bearer: K’Lynn King

Torch of Excellence: Tracy Drain

College of Fine Arts

Torch Bearer: Moniece La’Shay Mosely

Torch of Excellence: Key’Mon Murrah

College of Health Sciences

Torch Bearer: Isaiah Jones

Torch of Excellence: Brandon Reeves

J. David Rosenberg College of Law

Torch Bearer: Maya S. Marshall

Torch of Excellence: Steven S. Reed

College of Nursing

Torch Bearer: Danielle Duncan

Torch of Excellence: Delanor Manson

College of Pharmacy

Torch Bearer: Anisa Moore

Torch of Excellence: William Ifeachor

College of Public Health

Torch Bearer: Kayla Dougherty

Torch of Excellence: Sydney S. Taylor

College of Social Work

Torch Bearer: Shawndaya Thrasher

Torch of Excellence: Shaniek Tose

The Graduate School

Torch Bearer: Kevely Dumay

Torch of Excellence: Jeana Dunlap

Lewis Honors College

Torch Bearer: Khari Gardner

Torch of Excellence: Tracy Drain

To learn more about the UK Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group, visit For information, contact Katie Schaffer at or 859-257-7172.

The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit or call 800-269-2586.

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.