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By Meg Mills 

Nizhoni McDarment

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2022) — The University of Kentucky strives to ensure every member of our community — regardless of who they are, where they are from, what they believe or who they love — feels a sense of belonging.

This sense of belonging is something journalism and political science double major Nizhoni McDarment had spent her whole life searching for, but says she didn’t find until she attended UK.

A child of a military family, McDarment spent 18 years moving from state to state, reintroducing herself to every new person she met. Each introduction came with questions about her name and her Native American culture. She and her family are proud Native Americans.

“For a long time, my Nana was not allowed to share that she was a proud


By Nizhoni McDarment

LEXINGTON, Ky.  -- The University of Kentucky’s Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, recently received a Best Chapter Awardfor the 2021-22 school year.

The UK chapter was one of six institutions, similar in size, to receive this award out of more than 800 Pi Sigma Alpha Chapters in the United States.

“These awards are intended to recognize local chapters that are particularly active in their institutions and communities and embody our society’s mission to stimulate scholarship and intellectual interest in political science,” according to the National Pi Sigma Alpha Organization.

The honors society hosts panels, speakers, debates, workshops and political science mixers to engage students in the UK College of Arts & Sciences community.

“Our group was formed with the intention and goal


By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tiffany Barnes, professor of political science in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, will co-edit a series of books from Cambridge University Press titled “Elements in Gender & Politics.”  

The series will combine scholarship with theory to show how politics and gender shape the world. Monographs will examine traditional areas of political science as well as diversity, intersectionality and LGBTQ+ issues. Her co-editor is Diana Z. O’Brien, professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis. 


By Lindsey PiercyAllison Perry and Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2022) — In a myth-busting WVLK segment, “That’s Not How Any of This Works,” experts from various disciplines at the University of Kentucky discuss how their career paths and fields of study aren’t as they always appear on screen.

Stephen Voss, associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, guest hosted the show, which aired live on Aug. 19. The segment is also 


By Jesi Jones-Bowman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2021) — Eight University of Kentucky students have been selected for the Sustainability Summer Research Fellowship program, a high-impact learning experience that contributes to the students’ academic growth as well as sustainability-focused research initiatives at UK and within the community at large.

The Sustainability Research Fellowship is a collaborative program coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Research and sponsored by the UK Student Sustainability Council and UK Sustainability. The fellowship’s goal is to support and promote sustainability-related undergraduate research endeavors. The program, which launched in 2014, has supported 48 undergraduate sustainability summer projects.

“Sustainability Research Fellowships have been




LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Researchers at the University of Kentucky have released a 10-minute film titled “Becoming Myself: Positive Trans & Nonbinary Identities.” It features narratives from the lives of seven transgender and nonbinary identified young adults, reflecting on their experiences navigating gender identity.  

The film’s executive producers, based in the colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education, are Zak Clements, Ph.D. candidate in counseling psychology; Ellen Riggle, professor and chair in the 



LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2022) — This spring, the University of Kentucky is celebrating more than 5,300 degrees conferred by the Board of Trustees, with around 3,900 expected to cross the stage of Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center during the UK Commencement Ceremonies.

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," we spotlight three of those graduates to talk about their time at UK, the memories they’ll take with them and how they’re prepared to move ahead and make the most of what they’ve learned.

Growing up, Emily Lucke’s father spent time in Iraq as a member of the U.S. military, and sent home newspapers and other material written in Arabic that fascinated the Clarksville, Tennessee native. Upon arrival at UK, Lucke was able to turn that fascination into a career path, majoring in both political science and international studies, and becoming a member of the


By Olaoluwapo Onitiri 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- We often hear about rags to riches stories: how some people come from a tough background and push their way to a better situation down the line. Juan Montilla Pabòn has embarked on a similar path. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May from the University of Kentucky with a major in political science and a minor in history. UK’s Employee Education Program has given him a big boost toward reaching his dream.  

“Since I moved to Kentucky after leaving Louisiana, I knew that UK was the best option for me,” said Montilla Pabòn, who works as a patient clerical assistant with UK HealthCare. “UK has a


By Kody Kiser and Jay Blanton


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2022) — Primary elections in Kentucky and across the country are only weeks away and this fall promises hotly contested midterm contests, with control of the Congress in play for Democrats and Republicans. At the same time, states across the country — including Kentucky — are engaged in redistricting of federal and state legislative districts as required every 10 years following the national census.

Stephen Voss, professor of political science in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has a distinct and deep perspective on all of these issues. Recently, he provided expert testimony as part of litigation over Kentucky’s legislative redistricting. He also has provided his insights on the effectiveness of messaging and


By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2022) — Two University of Kentucky students and one local citizen have received UK’s highest honor for humanitarian efforts — the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

Established by the New York Southern Society in 1925 and named for its first president, Algernon Sydney Sullivan, the award recognizes those "who exhibit Sullivan's ideals of heart, mind and conduct as evince a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women." After the society closed, the award has lived on through the Sullivan Foundation and is given at several universities in the South.

At UK, the Sullivan Award is bestowed each year on two graduating seniors and one citizen who has a connection to the university. This year’s


By Kate Maddox

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2022) — University of Kentucky junior Rayleigh Deaton, a communication and political science major from Charleston, South Carolina, has been awarded an English-Speaking Union (ESU) Scholarship presented by the English-Speaking Union Kentucky Branch. The scholarship will cover Deaton’s expenses for summer study at the University of Oxford, where she will study English literature.

ESU scholarships are awarded for studies in English literature, history and social sciences at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge or Edinburgh. Scholarship winners, selected through an essay


By Ryan Girves

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected undergraduate students as new scholars for the Gaines Fellowship Program

Fellowships are awarded in recognition of outstanding academic performance, a demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Founded in 1984 by a 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. 

UK’s 12 new Gaines Fellows are:

Ellie Browning, community and

By Richard LeComte  

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- With the war in Ukraine raging, human rights, international law and the courts that seek justice for the victims are hot topics. That is where Jillienne Haglund’s scholarly interests lie: The associate professor of political science in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences has found a passion for studying human rights, and her interest has led to a book that examines international courts of justice.   

“When I was an undergrad, I took a class with a professor that really piqued my interest


Tiffany D. Barnes, professor of political science in the University of Kentucky's College of Arts & Sciences, and UK postdoctoral scholar Bomi K. Lee have written an essay for the Washington Post titled  "Even after Albright, foreign policy leaders are still mostly men." Their coauthor is Diana Z. O’Brien of Rice University. 

"Trailblazing diplomat Madeleine Albright died last week. Albright is well known as the first woman to serve as the U.S. secretary of state. She shattered that glass ceiling in 1997, and in the past 25 years, many more countries have appointed women to serve in


Ph.D. candidate Peter S. K. Lynch studies American Politics, and his research focuses on judicial politics and behavior.  His dissertation examines the Federalist Society (FS), a network of conservative and libertarian judges, attorneys, legal scholars, and law students. This network has come to play a central role in US judicial politics over the last 40 years. Currently, it plays a dominant role in Supreme Court decision-making: six of the nine Supreme Court justices are Federalist Society members! But the network’s influence extends well beyond the Supreme Court; it permeates almost every aspect of American political life through its influence on the law.

Surprisingly, there is very little quantitative or systematic research on the Federalist Society’s influence on judicial behavior, which Pete’s dissertation is rectifying. Moreover, Lynch’s research is particularly timely


Chris Gorman and Department Manager Eva Hicks had a conversation recently about the Political Science Outstanding Alumni Award, his involvement with the University of Kentucky, and his hopes for our students and the nation. Read their conversation below.

Mrs. Hicks:  Chris, you were awarded the first ever Political Science Outstanding Alumni Award in October 2021. Congratulations! We were so pleased to present the award to someone with such a heart for the department, the College, and the University of Kentucky. When we developed the award, we wanted to give it to someone who had been a successful businessperson, had given back both with their time and funds to the department and college where they learned and grew, and had a heart for the development of our students. You have certainly met the criteria. You have been a successful businessman for many years, serving as


By Ryan Girves

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2021) — Firsts can be scary. The first time riding a bike or learning how to drive, or a first job — all scary. Being the first in your family to do something — even scarier. 

Austin Huff, a first-generation University of Kentucky senior from Topmost, a small town in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, knows this all too well.  

With a dream of making a change in his small town, Huff came to UK to make his dreams reality, despite his hesitations.

“My hometown has some of the highest poverty rates in the nation, and some of the worst health conditions in the nation,” Huff said. “My inspiration for coming to college was making a change for the place I call home. After graduation, I want to attend law school and I want to return to my community and


By Adrian Ho

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2021) — More than 11,800 students have gained free online access to essential course materials and saved more than $1.48 million in textbook spending from 2017 through 2021, thanks to the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Alternative Textbook Grant Program. The program supports UK faculty to switch from commercial textbooks to openly licensed textbooks, library-licensed information resources or free course content created by grant recipients.

“It is exhilarating to hear that the Alternative Textbook Grant Program has enabled equitable access to learning materials for so many students,” said Deirdre Scaggs, UK Libraries associate dean of services. “UK Libraries


By Jesi Jones-Bowman

UK undergraduate researchers Bridget Bolt and Gretchen Ruschman. Students are encouraged to explore undergraduate research opportunities at the Research + Creative Experience Expo.

At the University of Kentucky, undergraduates have access to outstanding research and creative work activities led by world-class faculty and staff that promote self-discovery, experiential learning and lifelong achievement.

Explore exciting undergraduate opportunities at the first annual UK Research + Creative Experience Expo 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, around the Gatton Student Center’s Social Staircase.

“The goal of the Research + Creative Experience Expo is to introduce undergraduates to the diversity of research and creative work conducted at UK,” said Chad Risko, faculty director of the


Doctoral student Abbie Saulsbury became fascinated with the sheer power the U.S. Supreme Court holds and its ability to shape the law and history when she was an undergraduate in political science at East Tennessee State University. Since joining the program at UK, Saulsbury has continued her focus on the Supreme Court, devoting particular attention to determinants of justice voting.

The summer following her first year of the Ph.D. program, Saulsbury worked as a research assistant for Justin Wedeking and Michael Zilis. In that role, she gathered data on and coded thousands of news sources that cover the Supreme Court. Her work contributed to an ongoing project by Zilis and Wedeking examining new media coverage of the Supreme Court. Working as a research assistant on such an important project proved valuable both in exposure to media coverage of the court and in the opportunity