Campus News

UK Graduate Student Congress Receives National Recognition

photo of members of UK Graduate Student Congress with award
UK GSC was previously recognized in the spring as the 2019 Student Organization of the Year by the UK Office of Student Organizations and Activities. Photo courtesy of: Joel Klipfel.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2019) The University of Kentucky Graduate Student Congress (GSC) was recently named the National Member of the Year and the Midwest Regional Member of the Year by the National Association of Graduate-Professional Student Associations (NAGPS) at the 2019 National NAGPS Conference hosted at UK from Nov. 7-10.

These awards are conferred to member graduate and professional student associations that have shown themselves to embody the values and capacity to empower campus graduate/professional student communities. The UK GSC has been recognized by NAGPS because of its ability to amplify graduate and professional student voices on campus and with policymakers on the state and national level.

In addition to these organizational awards, GSC members and leadership were also recognized with individual awards.

GSC President Emeritus Kaylynne Glover was recognized as the 2018-2019 NAGPS National Board Member of the Year for her work as NAGPS national director of legislative affairs. Alatriste Gonzalez, the current GSC professional development and networking chair, earned a special commendation for her work as national conference director. Also, GSC President Emeritus James William Lincoln was honored with an invitation to serve as the 2019 national conference’s keynote speaker with his address, “Social Justice and Community Knowings.”

“All of us in the GSC have worked, and continue to work, extremely hard to make UK a better place,” said Joel Klipfel, current GSC president. “It is intensely gratifying to see everyone’s efforts recognized at the national level. I am looking forward to seeing how this recognition will open more doors for us to better empower the voices of graduate-professional students and postdocs at UK.”

UK GSC was previously recognized in the spring as the 2019 Student Organization of the Year by the UK Office of Student Organizations and Activities for their monthly program initiatives, dedication to mental health awareness and widespread impact on university culture.

The UK GSC raised just over $10,000 during the 2018-2019 Graduate Student Success Project to provide gap-funding to students as part of the GSC Awards Program, which helps graduate and professional students pay for miscellaneous costs such as professional attire, child care and medical needs while completing field research and conference travel.

“Graduate student associations at universities across the U.S. in recent years have strengthened their representative roles and advocacy efforts," said Morris Grubbs, assistant dean of The Graduate School. "That UK’s Graduate Student Congress has risen to the top by the high standards of NAGPS demonstrates our graduate students' deep commitment to improving the graduate school experience locally and nationally, now and for future generations.”

The University of Kentucky Graduate Student Congress was formed in 2006 with the purpose of providing a vehicle for advocacy, community and empowerment for UK’s graduate and professional students and postdoctoral scholars. Through interdisciplinary collaborations, seminars, forums and community outreach, the GSC has been a strong and compassionate voice for its members. For more information about the GSC, please visit

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 three 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" two 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 four 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.