We’re Honored: This Year, CHS Outpaced University Average with 13.3 Percent of Students in Honors College

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

When Katie Gaines came to UK, she didn’t expect to engage in rural research in Kentucky, shadow holistic medicine providers or study abroad in Paris, France.

But the pre-med, Human Health Sciences major has done all of those things, thanks to her participation in the Lewis Honors College.

Combined with her College of Health Sciences degree, the London, Ky., native has gotten the chance to step outside of her comfort zone.

“I am on the pre-med track, so my course schedule was already set for the most part,” Gaines said, “but Honors has pushed me to do things I never saw myself doing.”

Welcome to UK’s Lewis Honors College.

While many UK students choose to participate in the Honors College (on average, it’s 9 percent — 1,955 out of 21,722 undergraduate students), the College of Health Sciences is actually outpacing the University average (125 out of 938 total undergraduates in CHS, for 13.3 percent).

It’s an extraordinary number, especially when considering that the classes taken are more thought-provoking and challenging. Students say they find them a welcome supplement to their CHS curriculum — and their UK lifestyle. 

“I wanted to be among a community that was as open-minded, goal-oriented, and as passionate about learning as I was,” Gaines said. “The Honors community offered classes I was interested in taking outside of my major — and it allowed me to live in the Honors Living & Learning Program my first two years of college. I connected with others in the LLP who shared my ambition and made many friends I am still close to.”

But the LLP is only one of the many perks, students say.

Grace Brecht, a sophomore Communications Sciences and Disorders major from Fairfield, Ohio, said the people make the community feel like home.

“I've met so many amazing people who have become some of my best friends,” she said. “I feel like I can be my full self around all the faculty and students. I've also loved being a peer mentor for the Honors College because I've had the opportunity to mentor awesome students who are doing impactful things in the campus community.”

Others felt there were even more reasons to enroll in Honors.

“I must admit, receiving priority registration is a very convenient feature of being an Honors student, but my favorite part is having the opportunity to take classes with a group of my peers whom I never may have met otherwise while at UK,” said Emma Pastirik, a Human Health Sciences (pre-PA track) major from Cleveland. “As an HHS major, most of my science and CHS courses are with the same people, but in my Honors classes, I get to know students across all different majors, which helps me practice how to establish interprofessional connections with those outside of the healthcare field and overall, makes campus feel more familiar.”

Ben Vickery is a Human Health Sciences (pre-Dental Track) major from Monticello, Ky., and he said his Honors experience was more than he expected.

“Their promise of helping students explore their purpose and find themselves has been upheld and my experience with the professors, advisors and other staff has definitely not disappointed,” Vickery said. “I have been able to connect with other like-minded students, as well as Lewis alumni, that have been able to give me good advice in addition to the mutually beneficial relationships formed. Overall, the Honors experience is one that I would definitely recommend to other students here at UK.”

Kennedy Brown, an HHS major from Chicago, said the best thing is the Center for Personal Development.

“I am able to receive assistance with resumes, career exploration, mock interviews, personal statements and so much more,” Brown said. “They event host a plethora of professional development events that anyone can come to.”

Clinical Leadership and Management major Carly Necessary, who hails from Georgetown, Ky., says she’s always loved a challenge — and the Lewis Honors College provides that.

“Honors pushes me that extra step to better myself as a student and leader,” she said. “I have stayed close and in touch with many of the friends I met in my Honors classes, and it makes campus feel so much smaller.”

One-on-one attention. Experiential learning. Meeting new people. The Honors College sounds like a perfect fit for a student in the College of Health Sciences — as most of the benefits seem to be similar, if not enhanced.

“I believe it has allowed me to view the world in a much more educated and empathetic way,” Gaines said. “It also placed me in an environment that challenged me to excel and step out of my comfort zone throughout my college career. I am so glad I did it.”

Interested in the Lewis Honors College? Visit our website at: https://www.uky.edu/honors/home