When it comes to undergraduate academic excellence, look no further than the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Two professors and six students recently received honors from UK’s Chellgren Center, which promotes excellence in undergraduate education across the university.

Associate professors Tammy Stephenson and Ryan Hargrove were named endowed professors by the UK Chellgren Center

“We are incredibly proud of our undergraduate program, which includes an academic enrichment experience component, such as undergraduate research,” said Carmen Agouridis, CAFE associate dean for instruction. “The fact that so many of our people received Chellgren honors speaks to the high quality and impactful research occurring in the college.”

Associate professors Tammy Stephenson and Ryan Hargrove were named endowed professors by the center and will serve through 2022. Chellgren professors must maintain an active research program in their discipline, teach courses, and lead a project designed to advance progressive reform of undergraduate education at UK.

“My project will involve undergraduate students with unique skills sets from diverse backgrounds and majors to solve issues related to food insecurity, poverty, social injustice, food waste, and sustainability,” said Stephenson, a faculty member and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. “Through course work, experiential learning, research, and other high impact practices, students will address a global issue, gain transferable skills, and be involved on campus in a meaningful way.”

A faculty member in the Department of Landscape Architecture, Hargrove’s project is aimed at producing graduates who are as imaginative as they are skilled in their chosen profession. He will use a program called Muse that will develop students into creative agents of change by fostering innovative thinking and leadership skills.

“This area of research is now being recognized as a critical component in the advancement of design thinking needed to meet present and future challenges,” he said. “I hope this project elevates students into a position of influence and action and promotes problem-solving as a foundation of higher education.”

The Chellgren Student Fellows Program awards high achieving undergraduate students with experiences that elevate them toward greater academic success. Through intellectual enrichment, students gain the skills needed to successfully compete for prestigious national awards and gain admittance into exceptional graduate and professional programs.

CAFE Chellgren Student Fellows for 2018-19 include agricultural economics undergraduate Alex Cochran and agricultural and medical biotechnology students Carly Boone, Cole Blanford, James Campbell, Cheyenne Chandler, and Tristan Donovan.

-- Katie Pratt