Dean's Letter for Ampersand Magazine

Dear Friends,

In mid-January, we picked up our first puppy. A standard poodle, this little fellow weighed barely over 10 pounds and slept quietly in my wife’s lap on the ride home. Just six weeks later, he is a tall and rangy mass of black and white curls, weighing over 26 pounds and bounding around the house. His rapid growth, joyful exploration of a world that is totally new, and seemingly endless energy serve as a reasonable metaphor for the transformative growth that our students undergo in their time at the University of Kentucky. That growth has been inspired and guided by faculty who care for and about students and alumni who offer examples of perseverance, resilience and success.

This issue of Ampersand is filled with the inspiring stories of our living and vibrant community. Our alumnus Anthony Jones was motivated by his father’s workplace experience to seek to become an injury lawyer. In his time at UK he helped lead the Black Student Union, worked with then A&S Dean Grotch to recruit African American faculty to the University, and today he works for the White House. You will read about Prof. Hugo Reyes-Centeno from the Department of Anthropology who is doing amazing research on human remains and recently secured a cross-college grant with Engineering for $14 million from the National Science Foundation. Perhaps most inspiring of all, you will meet this past December’s commencement speaker, Bisimwa "Jack" Nzerhumana. He majored in neuroscience and psychology, but his path to UK was dangerous, circuitous, and, he will tell you, blessed as he journeyed from his home in Congo, through Kenya, and eventually settling in Lexington, KY. These stories of our faculty, students and alumni reflect the creativity and hope of our community.

These last two years have been difficult, to say the least, for everyone, everywhere. Yet our students, faculty and staff have risen to address the needs of our community and world. In my time as interim dean, I have been humbled by their resilience and commitment to one another and to our College. It has been matched by strength and support of our alumni. Thank you for your continued leadership and commitment.

Christian M M Brady

Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Ancient Hebrew and Jewish Literature
Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures
christian.brady@uky.edu