Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards

Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2019) — A portrait unveiling of civil rights pioneer Lyman T. Johnson highlighted the University of Kentucky’s 29th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards Banquet Oct. 11 at the Gatton Student Center.

The UK Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group honored students and alumni during the awards ceremony as part of the 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Homecoming Celebration.

UK’s academic colleges and units selected one African American alum whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals received the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These units also chose an African American student within their respective colleges/departments whose academic achievement and ability to impact the lives of others warrant them the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award.

Taunya Phillips, UK Alumni Association president, emceed the event. Imar Lyman Hutchins, grandson of Lyman T. Johnson, was the event’s keynote speaker. A collage portrait of Johnson created by Hutchins was also unveiled. The piece will be on display at the UK Art Museum through Dec. 8 and will then go to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville as part of its “Inheritance” exhibition. The artwork will then be returned to UK later next year when it will be installed permanently in Lyman T. Johnson Hall at UK. Read more on Hutchins’ artwork here.

In addition, UK President Eli Capilouto, UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Sonja Feist-Price and Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group President Lee Jackson spoke.

Award winners were:

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Torch Bearer: Caitlyn McFadden
Torch of Excellence: Yolanda Jackson

College of Arts and Sciences
Torch Bearer: Cagney Coomer, Tsage Douglas, Myles Gibson, Myles D. Moody, Wanida Sommersell, Royal Todd, Kenneth Trotter Jr.
Torch of Excellence: Jessica L. Burris, Ricky L. Jones

Gatton College of Business and Economics
Torch Bearer: Jada Green
Torch of Excellence: Victoria Russell

College of Communication and Information
Torch Bearer: Chandler Frierson
Torch of Excellence: Sabirah Rayford

College of Dentistry
Torch Bearer: Sandra Onekhena
Torch of Excellence: Frank Kendrick

College of Design
Torch Bearer: Montre’ale Jones
Torch of Excellence: Eugene Poole

College of Education
Torch Bearer: Rasheed Flowers
Torch of Excellence: LaDonda Porter

College of Engineering
Torch Bearer: Mfon-Abasi Itama​
Torch of Excellence: Dominique R. Wright

College of Fine Arts
Torch Bearer: Michael Preacely
Torch of Excellence: Tony Hardin

College of Health Sciences
Torch Bearer: LaToya Walker
Torch of Excellence: Shelby Baez

College of Law
Torch Bearer: Chynna Hibbitts
Torch of Excellence: Pamela R. Goodwine

UK Libraries
Torch Bearer: Kyle Desnoyer
Torch of Excellence: Kingsley Uzodinma

College of Medicine
Torch Bearer: Ochuko Diamreyan
Torch of Excellence: Dr. Ima Ebong

College of Nursing
Torch Bearer: Candace R. Adams, Anansa Thompson, Karlene Woods
Torch of Excellence: Marsha Hughes-Reese

College of PharmacyTorch Bearer:
Jasmine Browning
Torch of Excellence: Dominique Medaglio

College of Public Health
Torch Bearer: Talia Woody
Torch of Excellence: Angelica Geter Fugerson

College of Social Work
Torch Bearer: Alexis Bell
Torch of Excellence: Diatra Allen

The Graduate School
Torch of Excellence: Brittany Rice, Cheavar Blair

Lewis Honors College
Torch Bearer: Caylyn Railey
Torch of Excellence: Dominique Medaglio

For information, contact Hannah Simms at 859-257-7174 or email