Academic Excellence Fund

The Academic Excellence Fund helps make Arts and Sciences students’ time at UK a well-rounded, unforgettable experience, while preparing them to compete in a global world. Your support helps provide valuable opportunities for students through Education Abroad, Living Learning Programs, pilot programs, and much more. Your generosity in giving to the Academic Excellence Fund enables the Dean to allocate resources quickly, seek innovative solutions, and respond to opportunities for the benefit of students and faculty.

Make a gift to the Academic Excellence Fund


Student Success Programs

The Academic Excellence Fund also allows the Dean to fund innovative pilot programs serving A&S students as well as all students at the University of Kentucky. One such program is FastTrack, a one-week intensive educational program which takes place the week before the start of the fall semester. FastTrack allows incoming first-year students to move onto campus early and get started on a successful year by experiencing college-level course work prior to the start of the semester. Launched four years ago as a pilot program for math preparation, FastTrack now offers additional courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish language, and writing, rhetoric & digital studies. FastTrack participants have significantly higher retention rates compared to peers and also report forming lasting friendships, gaining an understanding of expectations for college courses and homework, and building stronger relationships with professors.

I would really recommend FastTrack for any incoming student, not just those in the STEM disciplines. And because we’ve expanded it, it really is open to anyone. I would love to see every A&S incoming major taking part in the program.

– Ruth Beattie, professor, College of Arts & Sciences Department of Biology, and associate dean of advising


Education Abroad

Arts & Sciences wants to position our students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. To that end, the College uses the Academic Excellence Fund to provide scholarships for students to experience cultures and studies outside of the United States.

I learned that patience and simple kindness are important no matter where you go in life. In the most impoverished areas of India I have danced with the happiest individuals I am sure that I will ever come in contact with. I can never explain how thankful I am for the opportunity to participate in the Semester at Sea study abroad program. This past semester was truly the best four months of my life. I hope the Trunzo’s know I am beyond grateful.

– Savannah Grey, Topical Studies | Winston Salem, NC

After competing for and receiving the Dee Dee and Mike Moran Scholarship I was able to experience the trip of a lifetime. Partaking in the journey to Munich, Germany has enhanced my foreign language capabilities and helped me to develop a more global mindset, expediting and enriching my collegiate career. I would not trade my education abroad experience for the world.

Alan James Bouvin, Foreign Language and International Economics-German | Union, KY


Living Learning Programs

Arts & Sciences is proud to support multiple Living Learning Programs which allow students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment. This let's them connect with each other, faculty, and the community. The Academic Excellence Fund allows the Dean to respond to specific needs in these programs including provinding resources to students in Living Learning Programs such as STEMCATS, the College's science, medicine and research focused living-learning community; and Greenhouse, which engages students in learning about many aspects of the local environment, all in the context of sustainability. 

My favorite part of the STEMCats program is the research I have been able to participate in, studying the regenerative properties of axolotls. The STEMCats Scholarship has allowed me to expand my research and take advantage of the resources the Chemistry department provides. This scholarship has helped me stay on track to graduate and pursue my dream of going to medical school to become a pediatric surgeon or a pediatric oncologist.

- Lilly Do, Chemistry-Biochemistry Track | Middlesboro, KY



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