April 27, 2022 | By: Jenny Wells-Hosley
LEXINGTON, Ky.

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center is honoring students with its annual research awards.

Two UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment students received the center's Eller and Billings Student Research Award.

"Every year students from across the university conduct outstanding research projects in the Appalachian region," said Kathryn Engle, director of the Appalachian Center. "The Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program is thrilled to support these students and their summer work." 

In the spirit of collaboration across units, colleges and academic/community boundaries, the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program established the UK Appalachian Center Eller and Billings Student Research Award for research by UK students focused in and on the Appalachian region, especially toward furthering the conversation on sustainable futures in the region. Named after longtime UK historian Ronald D. Eller and longtime UK sociologist Dwight B. Billings, the award seeks to encourage and promote cutting-edge research across disciplines.

To be eligible for this award of up to $1,000, students must be actively enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program at UK. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Recipients of this award will also present their findings during the 2022-23 academic year. 

The 2022 Eller and Billings Student Research Award recipients are:

  • Megan Buland, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: "Exploration of the Orchid-Fungal Symbiosis in White Fringeless Orchid — A Federally Threatened Species”;
  • Courtney Martin (undergraduate), Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences: “Assessing Cancer Literacy and Risk Behaviors among Appalachian Kentuckians through an Oral History Approach”; and
  • Sarah Tomke, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: “Status Assessment of Kentucky’s Largest Salamander, the Eastern Hellbender.”

The winners will be acknowledged at a special “Coffee Hour at the Appalachian Center” this Thursday, April 28. The UK community is invited to join to meet the students and learn more about their work.

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center contributes to the land-grant mission of the University of Kentucky by fostering community-university partnerships in research, learning and engagement in Appalachia, a region faced with unique opportunities and challenges toward sustainable development in a globalized context.

The Appalachian Studies Program, like the Appalachian Center, has an active 40-year history at the University of Kentucky. It is an interdisciplinary program based in the College of Arts and Sciences with participation by faculty and students from across the colleges at UK.

 

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