May 18, 2020
Lexington, Ky.

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment student Melissa Molho-Medina is the 2020 recipient of the UK Graduate School's Dr. Benjamin Nero Student Inclusive Excellence Award. This award recognizes outstanding graduate and professional students at UK’s campus who are working to make our community more inclusive.

Melissa Molho is an international graduate student from Mexico. She is pursuing her doctorate in the Department of Plant Pathology, where she is studying host-virus interactions in plants. Melissa has been an officer in the graduate student organization in her department for four years and served as the advocate for international graduate students in the UK Graduate Student Congress since 2018. As a result of her enthusiasm to advocate for graduate students’ needs, in 2019 she was selected as the director of international graduate student's concerns in the Midwest region by the NAGPS.  As a local and regional advocate, she has focused on empowering international graduate students and educate domestic students about the importance of international students in the U.S. She organizes events for students to promote cross-cultural experiences and create a collaborative environment in the UK.

Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, born in Greenwood, MS, was the first African American to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Dentistry in 1967. He is an orthodontist. Prior to attending UK, Benjamin Nero attended Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University) and was the starting quarterback on the football team.

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