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Ten UK Scholars Awarded Gaines Fellowships


By Whitney Hale, Lea Mann

gaines houseThe University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has chosen 10 outstanding undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.

Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities. Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of a student's junior and senior years, or for the last two years of a five-year program; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK's 10 new Gaines Fellows are:

  • Sam Beavin, of Prospect, Ky., majoring in chemistry;
  • Atanas Golev, of Lexington, majoring in psychology;
  • Dominique Luster, of Louisville, Ky., majoring in theatre;
  • Xiao Wang, of Louisville, majoring in accounting; and
  • Catherine Wentworth, of Bowling Green, Ky., majoring in architecture.

All Gaines Fellows are required to take a specially designed, four-credit hour per semester seminar in the humanities during both semesters of their junior year. In addition, each junior fellow must complete a jury project planning and optionally carrying out an improvement for a local community. Senior year, each fellow must complete a major independent study project of six to 15 credit hours. At the conclusion of this project, a thesis paper must be submitted and defended in front of a thesis committee of three university faculty members and the director of the Gaines Center.

In addition to the course requirements, Gaines Fellows enjoy a rich program of field trips, lectures, and other activities designed to widen and deepen their educational experience.

For the students, being chosen as a Gaines Fellow is a tremendous honor and recognizes their dedication to academics. "I am incredibly honored to be chosen as a Gaines Fellow. This is a truly significant opportunity for me to enrich my undergraduate experience at the University of Kentucky," said Nicole Schladt.

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. Devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty, the center embraces varied paths of knowledge, and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.