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2024 Hall of Fame


2024 Hall of Fame Photos


Quentin R. Tyler, Ph.D. Sociology ’11

Dr. Quentin R. Tyler provides leadership to Michigan State University Extension as director and senior associate dean for outreach and engagement. Tyler’s focus is MSU Extension’s mission of improving people’s lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. As director of MSU Extension, Dr. Tyler leads an organization of more than 600 people strategically located in all of Michigan’s 83 counties and provides oversight to a budget of over $100 million annually. Previously, Tyler served as associate dean and director for diversity, equity and inclusion for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and associate dean for faculty affairs and administration both at Michigan State University.

Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Tyler spent more than 15 years in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion serving previously in the role of assistant dean and director for diversity at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. At the University of Kentucky, he received a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics, a Master of Science in agricultural economics and a doctorate in sociology, with an emphasis on social inequalities. Additionally, he has received a professional certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Notably, Dr. Tyler was the 2015-2016 National Professional President of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) and served as the National MANRRS Advisory Board Chair from 2017-2023. In 2022, he was awarded the MANRRS Legend Award for his commitment and leadership. Additionally, Tyler became a graduate for the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in June 2022.

Over the last decade, he has received recognitions for his work with students and in diversity and inclusion including the National MANRRS Advisor of the Year, a Tri State Diversity Champion, FFA Michigan State Honorary Degree Recipient, University of Kentucky Inclusive Excellence Awardee, Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awardee, and as a Game Changer by Workforce Magazine in the area of work-force management. He is a life member of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association where he is serving in his second term as president. He is also currently on the University of Kentucky Alumni Association Board of Director’s Executive Committee where he is the chair of the Nominating Committee previously serving as the chair of the Diversity and Engagement Committee. He recently was acknowledged and awarded the Distinguished Alumni Service Award by the UK Alumni Association. Dr. Tyler is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated at the University of Kentucky.



Leslie Land Geoghegan, B.S. Mathematics ’77

Leslie Land Geoghegan's professional career spanned almost 25 years in information technology, operations improvement, strategic planning and project management. Although she held responsible positions with General Electric Appliance Park, Cybernetics & Systems and Norton Healthcare, the majority of her career was spent in management consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from the University of Louisville.

Geoghegan has used her professional experience to serve the local community for the last 20 years, especially in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, financial oversight, construction management and board leadership through a variety of organizations. She is board chair for the Louisville Arena Authority and recently completed her tenure as treasurer for Beargrass Christian Church. At UK, in addition to the Lewis Honors College External Advisory Board, Leslie oversaw the renovation and construction project for the UK chapter of Alpha Delta Pi, served on the Kentucky CAN campaign leadership council and is a member of Women and Philanthropy. She has been board chair for Louisville Collegiate School, Lexington Theological Seminary, Beargrass Christian Church and the Beargrass Christian Church Endowment.

Geoghegan was a co-founder of the St. Matthews Farmers Market, Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana, and a commissioner for Parking Authority of River City – Metro Louisville.

In recognition of her service to both organizations, Geoghegan received the Service Award from Louisville Collegiate School and the President’s Award from Lexington Theological Seminary.


Philip D. Leming, B.S. Zoology ’71

Dr. Philip LemingDr. Philip D. Leming’s educational credentials include receiving the Oswald Undergraduate Research Award at the University of Kentucky followed by studies at the University of Louisville Medical School. Following medical school, he completed his residency at the University of Cincinnati for Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology, eventually serving as a chief medical resident.

During his Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Cincinnati, Leming was accepted as one of a small number of physicians in the nation to practice at The National Cancer Institute—widely regarded as one of the premier organizations for oncology—and was appointed to the Medicine Branch. There, he studied under some of the most influential cancer specialists in the world, which shaped his future in cancer medicine and cancer treatment.

Upon returning to Cincinnati, Leming joined an elite group of subspecialty academic physicians in private practice. He also co-founded and developed the medical oncology department at The Christ Hospital and founded and led the Christ Hospital Cancer Research Program until 2019.

With melanoma as his focus, Leming was a founding member of The Society for Melanoma Research and the Cincinnati-based organization Melanoma Know More. He has contributed to many of the developments in melanoma treatment and has extensive experience in immunotherapy having been trained by Steve Rosenberg M.D., Ph.D, and Don Morton M.D., as well as many other leaders in melanoma research and treatment. He is regarded as a local expert in melanoma and complex skin malignancies.



Ernest J. Yanarella, Ph.D., Department of Political Science

Dr. Ernest J. Yanarella received his Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in May 1966, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in August 1971. After coming to the University of Kentucky in August 1970, he was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and to professor in 1986. In 1991, he was selected for the College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award. In 1997, he was chosen for the Chancellor’s (now Provost’s) Distinguished Scholar Award for a Tenured Faculty Member. He was selected as the inaugural Endowed Professor, UK Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, 2007-2010, and then became Chellgren Faculty Fellow, 2011-2019. He was also selected by a committee of college faculty as the 2009-2010 Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Professor, the College of Arts and Sciences highest accolade. During the same year, he was awarded the William E. Lyons Distinguished University Service Award for his extensive service activities to the University of Kentucky and the Lexington community.

In addition to his teaching and research awards, Yanarella served in a number of administrative and faculty leadership positions during his time in the UK College of Arts and Sciences. For several decades, he served as the associate director of the Center for Sustainable Cities and was selected by the dean on faculty recommendation as director of Environmental Studies Program for two terms totaling 10 years of service. Within his department, he served as director of undergraduate studies and director of graduate studies for several stints, and from 2011-2017, he also served as chair of the Department of Political Science for six years before a year sabbatical and retirement in July 2019. At the university level, Yanarella was elected as Senate Council chair and presiding officer of the University Senate for two years, was elected as faculty trustee on the UK Board of Trustees for a two-year span and served as president of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Kentucky for seven years.