New Gaines Fellows selected

By Brooke McCloud

Eleven students were accepted to the Gaines Fellowship Program last Thursday, joining a nearly 25-year-old tradition at UK.

With academic excellence and a passion for the community, the students will venture on a two-year fellowship dedicated to the humanities.

“The environment is a real laboratory for learning in the humanities,” Lisa Broome-Price, acting director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities, said. “They are always learning something new and challenging themselves to develop new or bigger skills.”

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gaines Center also hosts events like lectures and concerts.

Between 35 and 36 students apply each spring, but Broome-Price encourages more students to apply in the future. Students are eligible to apply if they have two years of school remaining.

“The day I found out, it was raining really hard,”  Mary Jennings, a biology and Spanish sophomore and new fellow, said. “I ran the entire way home in the rain because I was so happy.”

The Gaines Center awards 10 to 12 students each year $2,000 and $3,000 stipends in their junior and senior years, respectively.

Students of every background and age are encouraged to apply as long as they have a drive for academic achievement and an interest in the humanities, Broome-Price said.

“Since I enrolled at UK, I have been working to find challenges that were outside of the normal undergraduate experience,” Catherine Brereton, an English and gender women’s studies major and new fellow, said. “I wanted to find a way to give back to the community.”

Students apply during the spring of their sophomore years. The students are given all of winter break to work on their applications.

This year, the deadline was January 14, and the selected students were notified March 1.

During junior year of the fellowship, students take eight credits of intensive humanities study and complete a community engagement project.

During senior year of the fellowship, they complete a thesis that is at least 50 pages long. All of the past theses from the last two decades are proudly displayed in the Gaines Center office on East Maxwell Street.

At the end of their senior years, fellows take a trip to New York City to visit art museums.

“I am excited about everything,” Brereton said. “I am excited to be a part of a discussion with so many clever people contributing.”

The creative minds behind Lexington’s Stella’s Kentucky Deli and Holly Hill Inn were both Gaines Fellows.

Many alumni have been selected into prestigious graduate and professional programs, like Harvard University’s School of Design, Mayo Medical School, Yale University and others.

“I am really honored to be a part of the program,” Jennings said, “and I hope I can add to this UK tradition.”