UK Happenings

International Studies Program to host symposium on conflict-induced displacement

Photo of international flags

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2023) — In honor of International Education Week, the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences' International Studies Program and the UK International Center are proud to host a symposium on conflict-induced displacements from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 17, in the Office of China Initiatives.

The goal of this symposium is to highlight the stories and experiences of Kentucky-based refugees in order to increase awareness of the effects of wars and conflicts in different parts of the world.

In January of 2022, the University of Kentucky welcomed new undergraduate students who were displaced from Afghanistan as part of several new initiatives, including the Kentucky Innovative Scholarship for Displaced Students and the Qatar Scholarship for Afghans Project (QSAP). Currently, there are 20 students studying at UK under these programs.

The keynote address will be delivered by Jospeh Dudi Miabok, co-founder of Elimisha Kakuma, an organization that provides access to higher education opportunities for high school graduates living in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

A graduate of Harvard University, Dudi grew up in Kakuma where he studied and taught in primary and secondary school. In the summer of 2020, he helped with the construction of Elimisha Kakuma’s on-site center in Kakuma and equipped it with necessary equipment to facilitate learning. He is passionate about creating access to quality education, one of the U.N.’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), to the less fortunate, especially refugees and internally displaced persons through the application of modern technology.

The event will also feature a panel discussion featuring UK students and an employee who have firsthand experience of the effects of displacement as well as a local expert on working with refugee populations. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

Keynote speaker: Joseph Dudi Miabok, co-founder of Elimisha Kakuma (


  • Inna Pryimak, Ukrainian, UK employee
  • Miriam Al Kharait, Syrian, UK student
  • Becky Jordan, Kentucky state refugee coordinator, Kentucky Office for Refugees 
  • Husna Ahmadi, Afghan, UK student 

Moderator: Emily Jones, Kentucky Refugee Ministries attorney

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.