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The Gaines Center

Alumni

2017 Spring Semester Greetings!

Happy New Year, Gaines Alumni!

As this week marks the start of a new semester at UK, it seems like the right time to check in and say hello.

Let me start by reminding you that we’ve developed a webpage for alumni news. We’ve compiled all the updates we’ve thus far received into a user-friendly format that will make it easy for you to see where alums find themselves, and what they’re up to. We’d love to hear from all of you, so if you have not already sent us a brief update, simply click here to do so.

I’ve attached my Fall 2016 director’s report, which will give you a good sense of what we’ve been busy with lately.  I’m very pleased to report that last year saw a record number of applications for the Gaines fellowship program. Applications for next year are due later this month, and we’re hoping for another bumper crop. I’m no less happy to report that for the third straight year a number of fellows will be travelling to China, where they will serve as UK ambassadors to several Chinese universities between walks along the Great Wall and bike rides around the city walls of the Xi’an, China’s ancient capital. I am also delighted to report that Rachel Dixon, a senior fellow, made it all the way to the finals of this year’s Rhodes Scholarship competition. Finally, I’m happy to note that last year’s Gaines graduates are doing very well for themselves. Kalin Wilson, for instance, is on a full ride at Vanderbilt Medical School. Jordan Keeton is at Harvard Law School. Sarah Wagner is on a full scholarship to study Architecture at MIT. Jonathan Elliott won a highly competitive scholarship to study Economics at NYU, while Kevin Bloomfield won another to study architecture at Penn. So our recent graduates continue to pursue exciting opportunities that they’ve created for themselves.

Very many thanks indeed to those of you who’ve contributed to the Gray Art Appreciation fund. We continue our fundraising campaign to replenish the Gray Fund, so that we can keep alive the now 16-year tradition of sending the senior fellows for a cultural weekend in New York City. For full details of our needs, and for how to give, just click this link.

May 2017 bring peace, health, and happiness to you and yours!

Cheers, Phil

 
​Phil Harling
Gaines Professor of the Humanities
Distinguished Service Professor of History
Director, Gaines Center for the Humanities

 

 

 

Check out our alumni updates!  See what our alumni who live all over the world are doing!

 

Name

 

Year

 

Update

Adam Kegley

 

1992

 

 

William Allen

 

2003

 

I'm working at UK as the Advisor for WRFL, 88.1FM, Radio Free Lexington--UK's student managed, community operated radio station.

George Haviland Argo III

 

2003

 

I am currently building 21c Museum Hotel Lexington as On-site Owner's Representative.

Sam Beavin

 

2014

 

 

Dan Bernitt

 

2008

 

I now serve as Director of Admission Communications for The New School in New York City. And I continue to write, perform, and tour my solo show (and Gaines thesis!)) "PHI ALPHA GAMMA."

Claire Bishop

 

2012

 

I am currently in my second year of teaching Latin as part of the International Baccalaureate program at Tates Creek High School in Lexington.

Jay Blanton

 

1989

 

 

Catherine Bozio Eldridge

 

2009

 

 

 

Jenna Brashear

 

2010

 

I am working at Kentucky Wesleyan College as the Advancement Coordinator and approaching my first wedding anniversary with John Palmer (Law '12). I'm also looking forward to visiting Spain next May, a stop I didn't get to make on the Zolondek tour!

Catherine Brereton

 

2013

 

I'm in my final year of the MFA program here at UK; I write this update between working on applications for academic positions in creative writing. I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Limestone, at least for the time being, but hoping to begin working on other editorial opportunities in the Lexington literary community after I graduate in May. I've had several pieces of work published in respectable journals--most significantly my essay, "Trance," was published by Slice magazine last year. This year, the same essay was selected by Ariel Levy and Robert Atwan as a Notable Essay in the Best American Essays, 2015. It feels like the literary equivalent of an Oscar nomination! I continue to work on publications, mostly in the field of creative nonfiction, but I also have one novel and several short stories at various stages of the writing process. / On a personal note, thanks to DOMA's demise, Susan and I were able to marry in 2013 (thanks, too, Cumberland, Maryland). We now have permanent residency via green cards, and were, I believe, the first same-sex family in Kentucky to get green cards following the DOMA decision. Susan successfully fought breast cancer last year, which was immense. I had a run-in with squamous cell carcinoma and early melanoma this summer, both now also squished successfully. Becs has started at university--the business and Honors program at NKU--and Izzy continues to pursue dreams of Juilliard. Oh, and I still knit a lot!

Melissa Bright

 

1988

 

Update from the Bright's (Melissa C Shore Bright) In 2016 I am starting my 12th year at Catholic Health Initiatives, currently serving as a Technical Business Analyst responsible for coordinating user acceptance testing on data used by the Decision Support Services Department, a part of the Finance group. I split my volunteer time between Cub Scouts as Pack Committee Member, Professional Women's Forum as the incoming outreach program chairperson, and coordinating the student pages for KY State Senator Reggie Thomas. My husband James (Jay) Bright teaches German and Spanish at Henry Clay High school and coaches their Academic Team. Our son, Ralph, attend Meadowthorpe Elementary in the GAP program, is busy with scouting, saxophone, piano, soccer and Meadowthorpe Academic Team.

Alex Brooks

 

2003

 

 

Benjamin Bryant

 

2010

 

 

Brittany Buchanan

 

2009

 

 

Carrie Bass

 

2008

 

 

Katy Chiles

 

1998

 

 

Katie Cross

 

2015

 

 

Sarah Daley

 

2015

 

I am putting my cross-disciplinary study to work at the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. At the Field Museum, I intern in the exhibition department helping to design exhibits. At the Museum of Science and Industry, I work as a facilitator, doing science demonstrations and engaging guests with science content.

Stacey Doran

 

2009

 

Stacey Doran earned an M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2013 and then completed the first two years of General Surgery residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She recently was awarded a two-year research fellowship in surgical oncology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Stacey will return to the University of Cincinnati in July of 2017 to complete her final three years of surgical residency training.

Clay Dunn

 

2000

 

 

Lisa Catron Ernst

 

1986

 

Currently R&D Vice President at Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, OH. Married to Richard T. Ernst, Jr., mother of two sons (Thomas -- 22, in the UK accelerated MBA program, and John - 19, a sophomore in UK's Global Scholars Program). Volunteers for Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church and Boy Scouts of America; active in P&G's diversity and talent programs.

Ross Ewing

 

2005

 

I practice law at Gess Mattingly & Atchison in Lexington and am involved in a number of community organizations.

Melody Flowers

 

1999

 

 

Emily Furnish

 

2015

 

I am still attending the University of Kentucky to complete my majors in vocal music and chemistry. I will be attending medical school next fall but am not yet sure whether I will be attending the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville.

Joanna Grant

 

2010

 

 

Jason Grant

 

2011

 

After working as a PTI for UK (French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), I moved to Nantes, France, where I taught English in a high school for a year. This fall, I started my PhD in French Studies at the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor.

Rekha Gupta

 

2015

 

I am currently in medical school at the University of Louisville.

Karyn Hinkle

 

2000

 

 

Wesley Holbrook

 

2009

 

 

Drake Jackson

 

2014

 

 

Nazeeha Jawahir

 

2011

 

 

Cara (Childers) Keller

 

2008

 

 

Diana Keyes

 

1991

 

Greetings! I finished my MSN degree in August 2015! My thesis addressed the problem of homeless people with serious mental illnesses--which often go untreated thanks to Right to Fail! I am currently writing a work of creative historical non-fiction about my g-g-g-grandmother who came to Canada from Switzerland when her mercenary-father joined the deMeuron regiment to fight on the British side in the War of 1812. I am learning SO much from the background research!

Kelly King

 

2013

 

 

Andrew Lynch

 

2008

 

After engineering grad school in the UK, I joined McKinsey & Company (a strategy consulting firm) in their Dallas office, and then joined Humana's corporate strategy team in Louisville. I'm now about to move to join a strategy team at a large tech player in the Bay Area.

James Marcotte

 

2008

 

 

Martha Groppo

 

2012

 

I've passed my generals examination with distinction and have moved on to ABD status in the Princeton University History Department doctoral program.

Justin Maxson

 

1995

 

 

Stefanie Muller

 

2015

 

 

Dyche Mullins

 

1988

 

I live in San Francisco where I work as a professor at the UC Medical School and as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. You can hear about some of my students work on Radio Cytoskeleton (https://soundcloud.com/mullins-lab). / / Although I am an unrepentant cell biologist, I still dabble occasionally in the study of Russian poetry (I remain confounded by early Pasternak). I have also assembled a long-running (seventeen years) book club composed of scientists and poets. / / I come back to Kentucky as often as I can, and I recently became misty-eyed hearing Wendell Berry interviewed on a San Francisco radio show.

Autumn Murphy

 

2015

 

I am working as an administrative assistant at a law firm in Indianapolis. In a couple years, I plan to apply to law school.

Julie Murray

 

2003

 

 

Harry Neack

 

2007

 

 

Benjamin Neal

 

2015

 

 

Douglas Niemann

 

2013

 

Since my time as a Gaines Fellow, I have earned my MBA and moved to Houston, Texas, where I am working as a Portfolio Planner at PDR, an Interior Architecture firm.

Tara Noland

 

2007

 

Tara (Bonistall) Noland - living in Cincinnati, Ohio with husband Zac and daughter Elliot (18 months). Starting new position in November as Executive Director of the GreenLight Fund, a national philanthropic initiative coming to Cincinnati.

Lesli Proffitt Nordstrom

 

2004

 

Our family welcomed our second child in October of last year. Axel Daniel Nordstrom arrived on Halloween and has proven to be more treat than trick! Our oldest, Stella, is now in jr. kindergarten where she makes her own "books" and enjoys asking others about their thoughts on oxidation and/or unicorns. While we do have our hands full at home, Fredrik continues to work discovering new drugs and treatments at AbbVie and I tackle marketing and development work at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago's historic Andersonville neighborhood. It is also at the Museum where Fredrik and I run a biweekly song and play hour for Swedish-speaking children. In my free time I volunteer as a member of the Chicago Sister Cities International's Gothenburg Committee.

Ben Norton

 

2013

 

Ben Norton is now living in New York City, where he is a politics staff writer at Salon.com. He writes and reports on international politics, foreign policy, the Middle East, war, and corruption. As he was so frequently seen doing as a Gaines Fellow, Ben also continues to compose and perform music in his free time.

Alyssum Pohl

 

2003

 

Alyssum completed a successful solo kayaking expedition down the Mississippi River, documenting plastic waste and water quality (June 29-Nov 4, 2015). She is now working on a memoir. Follow at Paddle On on Facebook , or alyssumpohl.weebly.com/paddle-on

Tyler Powell

 

2000

 

I am a member of Frost Brown Todd's Lexington office and devote my legal practice to bankruptcy and commercial litigation.

Donald Puckett

 

1995

 

 

Katherine Reynolds

 

2011

 

Greetings Gaines Center! / / 2015 has been eventful for me so far- I got married over the summer and just began a PhD program in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation at Boston College. Hope everyone in the office is doing well! / / -Katie

Jason Richards

 

2007

 

Currently a Senior Associate at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Architects in New Orleans. Have been there since 2007. Firm won American Institute of Architect National Firm Award in 2014 (very big honor). Married this year in October to Jennie Cannon West! That's all so far.

Glenn Rudolph

 

2002

 

 

Kendra Sanders

 

2015

 

I've embarked on the very long path of a career in academia. I'm going back to school to take a few philosophy courses as I prepare for applying to graduate school for philosophy. My top pick is the University of Chicago as of now.

Pampati Sanjana

 

2015

 

 

Phillip Sauerbeck

 

2003

 

This year I started an exciting tea business called Totem Tea: http://www.TotemTea.com where I sell teas that are uniquely exceptional in quality and character. It has been incredibly rewarding to build relationships with restaurants and other tea drinkers through this business. Last week I signed a lease for our tasting room in Portland, Oregon, and it feels great to be taking steps to make this long-time dream more and more tangible!

Elizabeth Schaller

 

2013

 

I am working as the Digital Asset & Metadata Librarian at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville.

Eric Schlich

 

2010

 

I'm currently pursuing a PhD in Fiction at Florida State University.

James Seaver

 

2004

 

 

Dr. Hays A. Steilberg

 

1986

 

I work today for a large German media conglomerate, Bertelsmann SE, which is known in the United States for properties such as Penguin Random House Publishing (the world's leader not only in market share, but also in Nobel Laureates), Fremantle Media or BMG Music (which recently produced the new Janet Jackson Album). At Bertelsmann, I am the global head of Corporate Human Resources and responsible for all top executives in the Company. My most recent intellectual interests revolve around how the mapping of the human genome tells us about the path of human migration since our species first left Africa. I have also renewed an interest in the work of Thomas Merton.

Laura Stipanowich

 

2002

 

Laura recently began working with the law firm of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP in their Washington, D.C. office, where her practice focuses on Construction Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Laura lives with her husband, Patrick, who is a comedian and microbrewer, and their "children" (cats Piggy and Pancake, and dog Stella) in Silver Spring, MD.

Courtney Stoll

 

2003

 

Working full-time as an archaeology principal investigator and pursuing classes to also be qualified as an architectural historian.

Mandy (Chiles) Stone

 

2001

 

 

Brittany Strobel

 

2001

 

I live and work on a small, seventh generation family farm in Rhodelia, KY. I am involved in community organizing around healthy, local and accessible food and food justice initiatives. I lead reflection retreats on the farm, helping people connect with the growing season as a way to delve deeper into themselves, and I am a spiritual director. I work part-time at the Kentucky Foundation for Women, which supports feminist art for social change. I have one son, Cedar, who will be two in December.

Kristina Talbert-Slagle

 

2001

 

I live in Meriden, Connecticut, with my beloved husband Jamie, also a former Kentuckian, and our three children Collin (13), Julia (9), and Katerina (4). I completed my PhD at Yale in 2010 in molecular biology and am now the Senior Scientific Officer at the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and a Lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health, where I teach and conduct research in global health. Jamie is an attorney for the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission, where he works to support clean elections and public campaign financing. We're New Englanders now but always hold a soft spot in our hearts for the Bluegrass State! Warm regards to the extended Gaines Fellow clan!

Daniel Turner

 

2006

 

I'm working in Philadelphia as an Assistant Principal at Simon Gratz HS, part of the Mastery Charter Schools network. My wife Meredith and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our daughter- Charlotte Jane Turner, who was born on March 19, 2015. / / I'm happy to serve as a mentor to fellows interested in TFA, Ed reform, or issues involving race and class.

Clay Turner

 

2013

 

I graduated from UK medical school May 2015 and am currently in the first year of Neurology residency at the University of Cincinnati.

Jessalyn Ubellacker

 

2010

 

Hi all! I'm working away in my 3rd year of my Ph.D. in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University. After I graduate, I'd love to stay in academia for cancer research and to teach at a medical school.

Jill Uhl

 

1991

 

I am currently the senior director of intellectual property at Johns Hopkins University.

M. Elizabeth Walker

 

2002

 

I am in Indianapolis, with 3 daughters - 8, 6 and 2 - and made partner this year, focusing on tax-exempt finance for hospitals and healthcare systems. We also bought a "new" house this year (built in 1898), which is downtown, but has some land, so I'm doing some farming on the side!

Raabia Wazir

 

2008

 

I'm currently a personal injury attorney at the law firm of Gary C. Johnson in Pikeville, Kentucky. My work is largely focused on medical device litigation.

Cat Wentworth

 

2014

 

 

Kayla Rae Whitaker

 

2007

 

I have been living in New York since completing my MFA at New York University in 2011. I recently sold my first novel to Random House - something that, I am convinced, would not have happened had I not had the good fortune of being a Gaines Fellow. The novel, titled THE ANIMATORS, is slated for an early 2017 release.

Jamie Winders

 

1998

 

I'm an associate professor of geography at Syracuse University. I've been at SU since 2004.

Annalee Cato Worthington

 

1988

 

I'm a senior communications specialist with LG&E and KU Energy, and my areas of specialization are internal communications, change management and employee engagement. Since graduating from UK, I received an MA and Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, and an MBA from University of Louisville. My husband, Jim, and I have two children, Jay (16) and Clarissa (13). We'll be making college visits to Lexington soon.


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