The award, given by UK's Disability Resource Center, honors students with disabilities who have inspired the university community through academic achievement, leadership, extracurricular activities, or social and personal qualities.
West, who is visually impaired, is in a dual degree program - working on two degrees at the same time. He is pursuing a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and also working on his master's in business administration. At UK, West has been a leader in PAWs (Preparing Aspiring Wildcats), meeting with incoming students to answer questions they may have about the university. He also is a member of the UK Wesley Foundation and serves on the Board of the Bluegrass Technology Center, which is concerned with matching technology of disabled people across the Commonwealth.
He was nominated for the award by Keith Rouch, professor and chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Bruce Walcott, professor and associate dean, College of Engineering. Both were impressed with his academic performance, a 3.0, in a "very demanding" engineering program.
"Many of our scholarly students do not apply themselves outside of the classroom because the demands of our engineering program are so great," wrote Walcott. "This is not the case for Sam West."
West, a Louisville native, is the son of Ralph and Bobbie West.
Newman is pursuing her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling. Despite living with a mobility disability, she maintains an excellent academic record while also working and participating in a number of extracurricular activities. Currently, Newman holds an assistantship in Special Education and is doing a practicum at UK's Markey Cancer Center.
Malachy Bishop, assistant professor, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, nominated Newman on behalf of the entire faculty of UK's Rehabilitation Counseling Program.
"The faculty and I feel that Sarah represents a person who is living a meaningful and successful life as a person and as a student with a disability," Bishop wrote. "We believe that she will go on to become a leader in a profession devoted to improving the lives of people with disabilities, and she will remain an inspiration to others with and without disabilities."
Newman is the daughter of Mark and Pam Newman of Louisville.
The award is named for the late Carol S. Adelstein, wife of former UK English professor Michael Adelstein, who passed away in March. Carol Adelstein, who used a wheelchair because of polio, provided an inspiration to persons with disabilities by leading a meaningful, successful life at a time when individuals with disabilities were not encouraged to be independent and contributing members of society.
A special ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. April 11 in 206 Student Center to present the award to the students. The students also will be recognized at the UK Honors and Recognition Awards program April 22 in the UK Student Center.