14 Faculty Named 2021-2022 University Research Professors

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2021) — At the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees meeting on May 4, University Research Professorship Awards to 14 faculty members were announced. These awards recognize excellence in research and creative work that addresses scientific, social, cultural, economic and health challenges in our region and around the world.

The University Research Professorships were established by the UK Board of Trustees in 1976 to recognize outstanding research achievements. The professorships program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative endeavors within each college at UK. College leadership developed criteria for excellence within their area of expertise, and then nominated faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000 to be used to further their research, scholarship and creative endeavors.

“The impact of these faculty to the university, and to the Commonwealth, cannot be overstated,” said Lisa Cassis, UK vice president for research. “They are shining examples of the tireless work that is moving the research enterprise forward, creating new knowledge, discovering new cures, and empowering the next generation of scientists and scholars under their mentorship to change their world for the better.”

The 2021-2022 University Research Professors are:

  • Surendranath Suman: Animal and Food Sciences; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Anne-Frances Miller: Chemistry; College of Arts and Sciences
  • Carol Mason: Gender and Women’s Studies; College of Arts and Sciences
  • Maria Cahill: School of Information Science; College of Communication and Information
  • Xin Ma: Educational, School and Counseling Psychology; College of Education      
  • Issam Harik: Civil Engineering; College of Engineering
  • Jonathan McFadden: Art and Visual Studies; College of Fine Arts
  • Christopher R. Bollinger: Economics; Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Christopher Fry: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition; College of Health Sciences
  • Richard H. Underwood: J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • Thomas E. Curry Jr.: Obstetrics and Gynecology; College of Medicine
  • Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; College of Medicine   
  • Jill Kolesar: Pharmacy Practice and Science; College of Pharmacy                                                              
  • April M. Young: Epidemiology; College of Public Health                                                                                                                                                                                         

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.