‘UK at the Half’: Meet UK Junior, Astronaut Scholar Kayli Bolton

By Allison Perry

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2022) — For this “UK at the Half,” we catch up with University of Kentucky biology major Kayli Bolton, a 2021 scholarship recipient from the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

A junior in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and the Lewis Honors College, this Corbin native is using her personal experiences to drive her desire to help others.

Since the beginning of her freshman year at UK, Bolton has been active in undergraduate research working in Professor Matthew Gentry’s laboratory in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry in the UK College of Medicine. One of UK's three 2021-22 Goldwater Scholars, Bolton is also part of the Markey STRONG Scholars Program

Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree, Bolton plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. with a focus in biochemistry. Her goal is to eventually conduct research in the biomedical sciences investigating diseases such as cancer in an industry or academic setting.

To learn more about Bolton’s story and the ASF scholarship, visit https://uknow.uky.edu/student-news/uk-junior-kayli-bolton-named-astronaut-scholar.

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK students, like Bolton, and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. For more information, visit https://www.uky.edu/chellgren/competitive-awards.

“UK at the Half” airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast on the radio and is hosted by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To hear the “UK at the Half” interview, click the play button above.

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.