Student News

Nominate Your Faculty: 2021-22 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards Nomination Portal Now Open

2020-21 faculty award winner Melinda Ickes, right, who was nominated by Julia Estes. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo
2020-21 faculty award winner Melinda Ickes, right, who was nominated by Julia Estes. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research is now accepting nominations for the 15th annual UK Excellent Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year awards. The student-nominated award recognizes excellence in supporting undergraduate research and conveys the campus’ high regard for outstanding contributions made to the academic and research community.

Nominations should be based on exemplary mentorship with a focus on advising students on enriching projects, a commitment to providing exceptional undergraduate research experiences above and beyond the classroom, as well as supporting and promoting undergraduate research initiatives on campus. 

Candidates must be faculty members from any department at UK. Past award winners are not eligible for future nomination due to the large number of faculty participating in undergraduate research mentoring activities at UK.

Nominations are open now through April 1. Students may nominate their faculty mentor for the award HERE.

The awards will be presented at the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars’ awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the Gatton Student Center Grand Ballroom. Last year’s faculty award winners were Patrick Hannon, Ph.D., Melinda Ickes, Ph.D., Nathan Vanderford, Ph.D. and Sherali Zeadally, Ph.D.

If you have questions about submitting a nomination for the UK Excellent Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, please contact Jesi Bowman at


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.