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UK HONORS TOP STUDENTS OF 1999-2000

By Selena Stevens

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The honorees are outstanding freshman Julie Murray, outstanding junior Darshikaben Patel, outstanding senior male finalist Jimmie Overton Jr., outstanding senior man Robert Pierce, outstanding senior female finalist Julia Meadows and outstanding senior woman Kasey Buckles.

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May 5, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Several University of Kentucky students have been recognized as being at the top of their classes at the annual UK Honors and Recognition Awards program.

Outstanding Freshman

Julie Murray, a clinical lab science/biology major from Cross Lanes, W.Va., was honored as the top UK freshman. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Murray of Cross Lanes.

Murray is a Singletary Scholar, one of the university’s highest academic honors, and serves on the Freshman Representative Council. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and has maintained at 4.0 grade point average. Her excellence earned her a spot in the Emerging Leaders Institute, a university program to develop student leaders.

There was no award given for outstanding sophomore.

Outstanding Junior

Darshikaben Patel, a clinical lab science major from Ndola, Zambia, was honored as the top UK junior. She is the daughter of Kajal and Nalin Patel of Ndola.

Patel is an international student who entered UK at the age of 16. She has served in numerous laboratory assistantships and in a variety of leadership roles including president of the International Student Council, resident adviser for UK Residence Life and member of the Cultural Diversity Festival Committee.

Outstanding Senior Male Finalist

Jimmie Overton Jr., a pharmacy major from Lexington, was honored as the runner-up for the senior man award. Overton is the husband of Toni Overton and the son of June Dunlop of Samson, Ala., and Jimmy Overton Sr. of Desert Spring, Calif.

Overton serves as class president and has received numerous leadership commendations within the college. He has won national recognition through the American Pharmaceutical Association for his work in service learning.

Outstanding Senior Man

Robert Pierce, a finance and marketing major from Owensboro, was honored as UK’s outstanding senior man. He is the son of Ann and Garry Pierce of Owensboro.Pierce has maintained a 3.9 grade point average while working toward his degree. He has served as a UK and Gatton College of Business and Economics student ambassador, a UK 101 student instructor and is an active member of the Student Development Council. He is the founder of the Gatton College’s First Year Focus Program which assists entering students.

Outstanding Senior Female Finalist

Julia Meadows, an agricultural communications major from Wallingford, was honored as the finalist for the outstanding senior woman award. She is the daughter of Willa and Randall Meadows of Wallingford.

Meadows brought national recognition to the UK Diary Club in her role as president of the club her freshman year and has served as a national officer for the American Dairy Science Association. She is a key leader in the College of Agriculture’s ambassador program and is an alumni board member for the college.

Outstanding Senior Woman

Kasey Buckles, a foreign languages and international economics major from Elizabethtown, was honored as UK’s outstanding senior woman. She is the daughter of Benita and James Buckles of Elizabethtown.

Buckles had maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving as president and senior challenge co-chair for the Student Development Council. She is president and co-founder of the Community Bookshelf Project which helps increase awareness of literacy issues. She also is a member of UK’s President’s Initiative for Undergraduate Education and has served as a student ambassador for two years.


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