Gaines looks for new fellows

By Audrey Smith

The Gaines Center is seeking bright, highly motivated students to apply for the Gaines Fellowship.

The Gaines Center will be holding an introductory interest session, Tuesday Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. for students who are interested in applying.

The session will be held at the Commonwealth House located at 226 E. Maxwell next door to the Gaines Center. The Gaines Fellowship accepts 11 or 12 students a year in a competitive application process to further their education in humanities and arts, said Robert Rabel, director of the Gaines Center.

Students can apply for the Gaines Fellowship as sophomores or if they have two years of study remaining. Students applying should have an outstanding academic record with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Applications for the Gaines Fellowship are due by Jan. 12, 2011, at 4 p.m. at the Gaines Center, located at 232 E. Maxwell Street.

Applicants are required to get two faculty recommendations and write an essay with their application. Applications are available on the Gaines Center website.

Rabel said students of any undergraduate major in the university are eligible to apply.

The Gaines Fellowship seeks diversity in its applicant’s intellectual interests as well as racial and national origins to promote a variety of perspectives in the program’s activities, Rabel said.

As juniors, Gaines Fellows are required to take a 4-credit-hour seminar both semesters exploring different subjects in humanities and arts.

In these seminars students are able to form a strong bond with their teacher and peers through motivated discussions.

These seminars engage students in “the highest level of insightful discussion that you’re likely to find at the University of Kentucky,” Rabel said.

Gaines Fellows are also required to complete a jury project their junior year. Students are expected to dedicate 40 hours to the jury project, which is designed to help students get involved and connected with the city at large.

Senior year, Gaines fellows write a thesis supervised by a committee of three faculty members who work in the field of that topic. Students can write their theses on a topic of their choice as long as a humanities element is included.

A stipend is paid to Gaines Fellows, $2,000 the first year and $3,000 the second year. Gaines Fellows are required to attend all Gaines events and maintain their good academic standing throughout the two years.

Many of the Gaines Fellows go on to continue high academic performance. Gaines graduates have attended Graduate Schools such as Boston University, MIT and Emory, said Rabel.

“One of the great benefits is getting the fellows connected with each other,” Rabel said as those connections can last well into the future.