UK’s Dillon Pulliam Earns 2018 Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship

photo of Dillon Pulliam
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photo of Dillon Pulliam and SEC trophy
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2018) Recent University of Kentucky graduate and member of Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) Dillon Pulliam has received the 2018 Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship. Pulliam was a member of the Wildcat men’s basketball team for the past three years while earning computer science and computer engineering degrees from the UK College of Engineering. PKP is the nation's oldest and most selective all discipline honor society, having over 300 chapters across the nation and more overseas.

PKP annually presents 50 fellowships of $5,000 each to award winners entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Each active PKP chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the society-wide award.  

Pulliam graduated last month and this fall will enter the master’s degree program in electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“This $5,000 fellowship will go a long way as I pursue my master’s at Carnegie Mellon,” Pulliam said. “I am extremely honored to receive this award as it will be a tremendous benefit in helping me grow as an engineer, and prepare for a future in the field. I have always been fascinated with technology and how it works. From a young age I have dreamed of having a hand in one day developing the innovations that will shape tomorrow.”

Pulliam said Jerzy Jaromczyk, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in computer science, has been extremely influential throughout his time at UK.

“He’s an incredible professor who is tremendously passionate about what he does, and really cares about his students and their goals.”

Pulliam not only graduated summa cum laude, he served as a research assistant for NASA KY at UK, built an electronic pitch detection device capable of recognizing which string had been played on a guitar, and developed a mobile application for both iOS and Android devices.

Potential future career paths for this Cynthiana native and 2014 graduate of Harrison County High School include either research and development of artificial intelligence, or designing embedded systems specifically for the aerospace industry.

Pat Whitlow, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships and current president of the UK chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, praised Pulliam.

“Dillon is a talented, energetic and well-rounded young person,” Whitlow said. “He is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious fellowship. His achievement brings further distinction to the University of Kentucky and to the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.”

PKP was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine. The UK chapter was established in 2009. Each fall, the chapter initiates eligible juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders into its ranks. PKP recognizes students for their academic excellence and service to the community.

For more information on the UK chapter of PKP, email Lynn Hiler at or visit PKP is supported by the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence which is part of the Division of Student and Academic Life at UK.

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