Senior Fellows

Hadeel Abdallah is a junior born in Philadelphia, but considers herself a proud Lexingtonian! She is currently interning with the Lexington Vice Mayor, and is involved in the Student Government Association, Muslim Student Association, and the Chellgren Fellowship Student Outreach Team. Hadeel is double-majoring in Political Science, Arabic and Islamic Studies and would like to attend a Public Policy and Law dual degree program post- graduation. Hadeel is especially passionate about policies that affect refugees and immigrants, and hopes to use her Law and Public Policy degrees to focus on broader economic development, job training, employment opportunities, and higher education options for young, unprivileged immigrants and refugees. In her spare time, Hadeel enjoys reading theology, baking, swimming, and spending time with her family and friends.





Meg Coppala is a Junior English and GWS double major. Meg is originally from Scott Depot, WV. They are the head poetry editor for Shale, UK's undergraduate arts journal. They also enjoy writing poetry and fiction of their own. Meg is the vice president of The Queer Project, a student organization dedicated to providing space for queer artists to develop their skills and create community. They sing in the UK Women's Choir and play assorted instruments. Meg enjoys reading, writing, and running physically away from the world while wearing jogging clothes for verisimilitude.





Nate Cortas, who calls Louisville home, is currently pursuing a degree in English and music. He is interested in the interface between those disciplines, particularly in the areas of poetry and song. On campus, he works teaching writing one-on-one as a consultant at the UK Writing Center. An ardent environmentalist, he is a member of UK’s student run environmental activism organization, Greenthumb, where he now serves as co-coordinator.  As a classical clarinetist, he performs with the UK Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra. When he has time to spare, he enjoys reading, writing poetry, deejaying on WRFL, singing "My Old Kentucky Home" whenever possible or appropriate (not necessarily both), and going for walks that invariably take up entire evenings.





Sophia Decker is a native of Los Angeles pursuing dual degrees in Classics and Linguistics with a minor in Vocal Performance.  She has a special interest in Ecclesiastical authors and in proving that Latin is not a dead language. She also enjoys visiting other countries.  Last year, she studied abroad in Heidelberg, Germany, and the previous summer she studied in Krakow, Poland. When not in class, she loves spending time at the Catholic Newman Center, speaking Latin, playing the violin, singing Gregorian chant, and learning new languages.





Ben Jones is a History major hailing from the sleepy mountain town of Harlan, Kentucky. Ben enjoys Roman history and Latin, and is also interested in the applications of social theory to the history of Appalachia. He is a T.W. Lewis Scholar and a member of the UK Mountain Cats and Young Americans for Liberty. In his free time, he sits on his porch, takes occasional solemn strolls to the arboretum with fellow Gaines man Nate Cortas, and attempts half-baked covers of Goo Dolls songs on his never-quite-tuned guitar. Ben plans to attend law school and wishes to devote his career, in one form or another, to serving and improving Eastern Kentucky.





Meghana Kudrimoti is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Biology and Political Science. Her diverse academic interests stem from her passion for policy and commitment to women’s health. She aspires to attend medical school to become a gynecologist, and she hopes to use her medical background to increase healthcare access for marginalized communities through policy reform. She has involved herself in not only many organizations on campus, including Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity and the Center for Community Outreach, but also community organizations such as FoodChain and Planned Parenthood. In her free time, Meghana enjoys debating politics, discovering new music, and spending time with friends and family. Meghana is a proud native of Lexington, Kentucky.





Alyssa Mertka is from Geneva, Illinois (about an hour west of Chicago). She is a third-year English major with a minor in classics, and she is especially interested in medieval literature (both in English and Latin). After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school for rare book/manuscript librarianship or research. She hopes that her efforts to study and preserve such valuable sources will lead to new discoveries about the medieval world and the Catholic Church. When not in class, she works as a Senior Peer Mentor in the Lewis Honors College and as a tutor in the Writing Center. She is also involved in student ministry at UK’s Newman Center and is a member of the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys hiking, writing, watching old movies, and learning new things about Kentucky. She also collects unique coffee mugs, rocks, and postcards.





Eric Poore is a junior from Williamsburg, Kentucky, majoring in Political Science with a minor in History. Eric is very involved with the choral music program at UK, singing in the UK Men’s Chorus, Chorale, and the AcoUstiKats. Eric is also involved with a number of other student organizations including DanceBlue, where he is serving on Morale Committee for the first time this year. Upon graduation, Eric plans to attend law school and become a District Attorney. In his free time, Eric loves to sing and play music, play basketball, and watch movies.





Michael Regard was born in Schenectady, New York but moved to Lexington at the age of two and has lived here ever since. He is a junior public health major and political science minor on the pre-law track. He is involved in student government, serving as the Director of Government Relations, works in the Visitor Center (Go Cats!), and volunteers as a tutor for the Carnegie Center. In his free time, Michael enjoys reading, cooking (see: eating), photography, binging on Netflix, and running. He hopes one day to become involved in politics on the national stage, but for now his focus lies in studying for the LSAT.





Beau Revlett grew up with his mom, dad, brother, and Mae Mae in Georgetown, Kentucky; his family is from McLean County.  He loves his family and friends. The past two years, he and other students in Wildcats for HOMES and SSTOP Hunger have planned events and programs to reduce food and housing insecurity.  This year, he hopes these organizations will empower people experiencing food and housing insecurity; he plans to do his best to make that happen. Finding habits that work for him makes him happy, like doing yoga and reading the news from lots of viewpoints.  His major is philosophy.





Susie Smith is a junior Gaines Fellow from Lexington, Kentucky studying Political Science with a minor in Economics. She has been involved with SGA since her freshman year and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Student Government Association. Her interests lie in educational policy, specifically in equitable education. She has worked with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Student Voice Team for five years in various roles. She has also conducted education policy research as a Chellgren Fellow while at the University of Kentucky and continues to do research in this area. In the summers, she has interned for the U.S. Department of Education and spent last summer in New Orleans teaching 8th grade writing with the Breakthrough Collaborative, a program aimed toward providing academic enrichment to disadvantaged students. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying out new recipes, and nostalgically watching old Disney movies. In the future, she plans on continuing her education in a Master’s program or law school (or both, who knows).





Amaris Wade is an International Economics major on the Chinese track in the Lewis Honors College. She has attended Lexington Chinese School since age 10. Her love for the Chinese language prompted her to study in Taipei, Taiwan for two semesters under the Boren Scholarship and one summer in Changchun, China under the Critical Language Scholarship. She researches Chinese women's labor force participation under PhD candidate Daniel Duncan at the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Amaris additionally serves as a student manager for The Study's Chinese program at UK, tutors Syrian refugees in English, is actively involved with Alpha Phi Omega, and has previously served as an Economics Society officer and Honors Ambassador. With a close ear, one might hear her talking about feminism, R&B and hip-hop music, good coffee/tea, or role-playing games from Japan.