A&S Students Selected for Undergraduate Research Ambassador Program

By Jesi Jones-Bowman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research has selected 23 undergraduates for the 2021-2022 Undergraduate Research Ambassador program.

The newly redesigned ambassador program’s mission is to increase awareness and create opportunities for students to actively engage in research and creative scholarship. Ambassadors must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and be involved in mentored research or creative work. This year's ambassadors represent seven colleges, 15 disciplines and 19 research areas.

“Mentored research and creative work provide distinct opportunities for UK undergraduates to put to practice knowledge from the classroom and develop new skills,” says Chad Risko, director of the UK Office of Undergraduate Research. “This year’s class of ambassadors, who have each showcased success in their research and creative efforts, represent a broad spectrum of disciplines across the university. Such extensive representation is important as OUR seeks to make more visible the contributions of our fantastic undergraduate scholars and create opportunities for anyone that would like to pursue mentored research and scholarship.”    

The student leaders’ goal is to make undergraduate research more accessible. Ambassadors will promote undergraduate research involvement and opportunities through student outreach and program events, such as tabling, information sessions, student workshops, speaking engagements, class and student organization presentations and events including the 5-Minute Fast Track Competition and Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars.

The 2021-2022 Undergraduate Research Ambassadors are:

●     Sophia Abraham, College of Communication and Information.

●     Maya Abul-Khoudoud, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Humza Anwar, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Bridget Bolt, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

●     Kayli Bolton, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Shelby Brantley, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Trey Coburn, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Ethan Cofer, College of Design.

●     Riley Droppleman, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Isabella Erickson, College of Nursing.

●     Sarah Fields, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

●     Claire-Marie Hall, College of Nursing.

●     Wilson Harris, College of Engineering.

●     Emily Keaton, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Caleb Kennedy, College of Engineering.

●     Courtney Martin, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Shelby McCubbin, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Nadja Nelson, College of Nursing.

●     Reagan Parker, College of Arts and Sciences.

●     Avery Patrick, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

●     Gretchen Ruschman, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

●     Haley Shaver, College of Engineering and College of Fine Arts.

●     Gabija Ziemyte, College of Arts and Sciences.

The Research Ambassadors are available by request for class and organization presentations, college and university research events, and campus outreach efforts. Requests must be submitted two to three weeks in advance and approved by OUR staff. If you would like to request a Research Ambassador presentation, please submit a request form.

To learn more about the Office of Undergraduate Research, visit https://our.uky.edu.

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.


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