Professional News

UK Arts and Sciences inducts 4 into Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Photo of Inductees
Photo Courtesy of UK Arts and Sciences

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2024) — The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky inducted three alumni and one emeriti faculty into its Hall of Fame on Friday, April 5. 

The honor recognizes UK Arts and Sciences alumni and faculty who exemplify the foundational importance of an arts and sciences education and who have contributed significantly to their professions, their communities and the university.

“This year’s honorees exemplify extraordinary talent and steadfast dedication to their respective fields,” Ana Franco-Watkins, dean of UK Arts and Sciences, said. “We are thrilled to celebrate their remarkable accomplishments and acknowledge the enduring legacy they have crafted within their professions and beyond.”

This year, inductees were honored in three award categories: Distinguished Alumni Award, Young Alumni Achievement Award and Emeriti Faculty Award.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Leslie Land Geoghegan, B.S. Mathematics ’77

Leslie Geoghegan holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from UK and an MBA from the University of Louisville.

Her professional career has spanned nearly 25 years in information technology, operations improvement, strategic planning and project management.

Although Geoghegan has held positions with General Electric Appliance Park, Cybernetics & Systems and Norton Healthcare, the majority of her career was spent in management consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Geoghegan has also used her professional experience to serve the local community through fundraising, strategic planning, financial oversight, construction management and board leadership.

She is board chair for the Louisville Arena Authority and recently completed her tenure as treasurer for Beargrass Christian Church.

At UK, in addition to serving on the Lewis Honors College External Advisory Board, Geoghegan previously served on the Kentucky CAN campaign leadership council and oversaw the renovation and construction project for the UK chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. She is currently a member of Women and Philanthropy. 

Geoghegan has also served as board chair for Louisville Collegiate School, the Lexington Theological Seminary, Beargrass Christian Church and the Beargrass Christian Church Endowment. Geoghegan received the Service Award from Louisville Collegiate School and the President’s Award from the Lexington Theological Seminary.

She was co-founder of the St. Matthews Farmers Market, vice president of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana and a commissioner for Parking Authority of River City — Metro Louisville.

Dr. Philip D. Leming, B.S. Zoology ’71

Dr. Philip D. Leming currently serves as medical director for Cincinnati Cancer Advisors.

His credentials include receiving the prestigious Oswald Undergraduate Research Award at UK, where he majored in zoology.

Leming at University of Louisville Medical School, and Following upon graduation, Leming completed his residency at the University of Cincinnati for Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology, eventually serving as a chief medical resident.

During his internal medicine residency, Leming was accepted as one of a small number of physicians in the nation to practice at The National Cancer Institute and was appointed to the medicine branch. He studied under some of the most influential cancer specialists in the world, which shaped his future in cancer medicine and cancer treatment.

Upon returning to Cincinnati, Leming joined a group of subspecialty academic physicians in private practice. He also co-founded and developed the medical oncology department at Christ Hospital, and founded and led the Christ Hospital Cancer Research Program until 2019.

With melanoma as his focus, Leming was a founding member of the Society for Melanoma Research. He has contributed to melanoma treatment developments and has extensive experience in immunotherapy — having been trained by Dr. Steve Rosenberg and Dr. Don Morton, among other leaders in the field. Leming is regarded as a local expert in melanoma and complex skin malignancies.

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Quentin R. Tyler, Ph.D. Sociology ’11

Quentin R. Tyler provides leadership to Michigan State University (MSU) Extension as director and senior associate dean for outreach and engagement, where he focuses on MSU Extension’s mission of improving people’s lives by bringing the resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. 

As director of MSU Extension, Tyler leads an organization of more than 600 people in Michigan’s 83 counties and provides oversight to a budget of more than $100 million annually.

Previously, Tyler served as associate dean and director for diversity, equity and inclusion for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and associate dean for faculty affairs and administration at MSU.

Before joining MSU, Tyler spent more than 15 years in diversity, equity and inclusion, serving in the role of assistant dean and director for diversity in the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

While at UK, he received a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics, a Master of Science in agricultural economics and a doctorate in sociology with an emphasis on social inequalities. Additionally, he has received a professional certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Tyler was the 2015-2016 national professional president of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) and served as the National MANRRS advisory board chair from 2017-2023. In 2022, he received the MANRRS Legend Award for his commitment and leadership.

Tyler also graduated from the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in June 2022.

Over the last decade, Tyler has received several recognitions for his work with students. He was named a National MANRRS Adviser of the Year, a Tri State Diversity Champion, an FFA Michigan State Honorary Degree Recipient, a UK Inclusive Excellence Awardee, a Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awardee, and a “Game Changer” by Workforce Magazine in work-force management.

Tyler is a life member of the UK Alumni Association and the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association, where he is serving in his second term as president. He is also on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors’ Executive Committee.

Emeriti Faculty Award

Ernest J. Yanarella, Ph.D., Department of Political Science

Ernest J. Yanarella received his Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in May 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in August 1971.

After coming to UK in August 1970, he was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and to professor in 1986. 

In 1991, Yanarella was selected for the UK Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award. In 1997, he was chosen for the Chancellor’s (now Provost’s) Distinguished Scholar Award for a tenured faculty member.

Yanarella was also selected as the first endowed professor, UK Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, for 2007 to 2010, and then became a Chellgren Faculty Fellow from 2011 to 2019. He was also selected by a committee of college faculty as the 2009-2010 UK Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Professor, the college’s highest accolade. That year, he received the William E. Lyons Distinguished University Service Award for his service activities to UK and the Lexington community.

In addition to his teaching and research awards, Yanarella served in a number of administrative and faculty leadership positions. For several decades, he served as the associate director of the Center for Sustainable Cities and was selected by the dean as director of environmental studies program in the college for two terms totaling 10 years of service. Within his department, he served as director of undergraduate studies and director of graduate studies for several stints, and from 2011-2017, he also served as chair of the Department of Political Science for six years before a year sabbatical and retirement in July 2019.

At the University level, Yanarella was elected as Senate Council chair and presiding officer of the University Senate for two years, was elected as faculty trustee on the UK Board of Trustees for two years and served as president of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at UK for seven years.

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.