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Alumni Success Stories

Janet Neisewander

Janet Neisewander spends a lot of her time with rodents and cocaine.
As strange as that may sound, the research the Arizona State University professor is doing with those two things may someday help people struggling with addiction.

Panayotis “Taki” Petrou

Growing up in Athens, Greece, Panayotis “Taki” Petrou knew he wanted to study in the United States when he was older.
Three of his uncles lived in America and his older sister had already left Greece for school in Chicago.
“I was finishing high school and thinking about college, and it had always been my dream to go to the U.S.,” Petrou said.

Steven Murdock

“The mentoring I received from UK sociology faculty such as Drs. James Brown, Clyde McCoy, and Tom Ford was instrumental in my professional development," Murdock said. "They not only provided me with a rigorous education in demography but also provided examples that served as role models for me as I developed professionally. I will forever be indebted to them, the department, and the University of Kentucky for their help and guidance.”

Benny G. Johnson

One-on-one teaching assistance is hard to come by in math and science courses, where many students struggle to understand balancing equations, solving for variables, and applying formulas. To address the problem, Benny G. Johnson, Sr., and Dale Holder joined forces, merging chemistry, computer programming and teaching philosophy to create Quantum Tutors, the first artificial intelligence tutoring program for the sciences.

Kevin Harrelson

Kevin Harrelson discovered the works of 17th century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza and early-19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel while an undergraduate philosophy major at Villanova University.
Their writing—and their questions—captivated him. His readings of Hegel led to an interest in German Idealism in general, and led him to pursue his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Kentucky. 

Sonja Petrovic

At the end of every big chapter of our lives, we are faced with tough choices. As I was applying for graduate schools, I was overwhelmed by the opportunities that awaited... somehow in the jungle of choices, everyone finds one that seems most appropriate at the moment, chooses it, and hopes that it proves to be a good one for the future. These choices define us in some way. In case of graduate school, this choice defines us as mathematicians. In this sense, I have chosen the perfect department.

Rachel Dunnagan

Rachel Dunnagan has always been as dedicated to the education of others as she is to her own education.
Teaching comes natural to the math and classics senior.
Her love of education began with creating pretend assignments for her younger sister when they played school as children and continued with Dunnagan’s devotion to helping her classmates with their studies in high school.

Jason Cummins

Jason Cummins’ employer gave him a three-year, full-tuition college scholarship, sent him to flight school, paid him to attend one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the country, and asked him to teach economics at West Point. In May, the UK Class of 1993 alum returned to take up the leadership of the UK Army ROTC program; the same program from which he himself graduated 16 years ago.

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