By Meredith Weber
A portrait unveiling of civil rights pioneer Lyman T. Johnson highlighted the University of Kentucky's 29th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards Banquet Oct. 11 at the Gatton Student Center.
The UK Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group honored students and alumni during the awards ceremony as part of the 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Homecoming Celebration.
UK’s academic colleges and units selected one African American alum whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals received the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These units also chose an African American student within their respective colleges/departments whose academic achievement and ability to impact the lives of others warrant them the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award.
Taunya Phillips, UK Alumni Association president, emceed the event. Imar Lyman Hutchins, grandson of Lyman T. Johnson, was the event’s keynote speaker. A collage portrait of Johnson created by Hutchins was also unveiled. The piece will be on display at the UK Art Museum through Dec. 8 and will then go to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville as part of its “Inheritance” exhibition. The artwork will then be returned to UK later next year when it will be installed permanently in Lyman T. Johnson Hall at UK. Read more on Hutchins’ artwork here.
In addition, UK President Eli Capilouto, UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Sonja Feist-Price and Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group President Lee Jackson spoke.
Award winners were:
College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Torch Bearer: Caitlyn McFadden
Torch of Excellence: Yolanda Jackson
College of Arts and Sciences
Torch Bearer: Cagney Coomer, Tsage Douglas, Myles Gibson, Myles D. Moody, Wanida Sommersell, Royal S. Todd, Kenneth Trotter Jr.
Torch of Excellence: Jessica L. Burris, Ricky L. Jones
Gatton College of Business and Economics
Torch Bearer: Jada Green
Torch of Excellence: Victoria Russell
College of Communication and Information
Torch Bearer: Chandler Frierson
Torch of Excellence: Sabirah Rayford
College of Dentistry
Torch Bearer: Sandra Onekhena
Torch of Excellence: Frank Kendrick
College of Design
Torch Bearer: Montre’ale Jones
Torch of Excellence: Eugene Poole
College of Education
Torch Bearer: Rasheed Flowers
Torch of Excellence: LaDonda Porter
College of Engineering
Torch Bearer: Mfon-Abasi Itama
Torch of Excellence: Dominique R. Wright
College of Fine Arts
Torch Bearer: Michael Preacely
Torch of Excellence: Tony Hardin
College of Health Sciences
Torch Bearer: LaToya Walker
Torch of Excellence: Shelby Baez
College of Law
Torch Bearer: Chynna Hibbitts
Torch of Excellence: Pamela R. Goodwine
Torch Bearer: Kyle Desnoyer
Torch of Excellence: Kingsley Uzodinma
College of Medicine
Torch Bearer: Ochuko Diamreyan
Torch of Excellence: Dr. Ima Ebong
College of Nursing
Torch Bearer: Candace R. Adams, Anansa Thompson, Karlene Woods
Torch of Excellence: Marsha Hughes-Reese
College of Pharmacy
Torch Bearer: Jasmine Browning
Torch of Excellence: Dominique Medaglio
College of Public Health
Torch Bearer: Talia Woody
Torch of Excellence: Angelica Geter Fugerson
College of Social Work
Torch Bearer: Alexis Bell
Torch of Excellence: Diatra Allen
The Graduate School
Torch of Excellence: Brittany Rice, Cheavar Blair
Lewis Honors College
Torch Bearer: Caylyn Railey
Torch of Excellence: Dominique Medaglio
For information, contact Hannah Simms at 859-257-7174 or email Hannah.Simms@uky.edu.
The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit www.ukalumni.net or call 800-269-2586.
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 three 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" two 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 four 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.