Wilmhoff, Perry Central High School Students Receive 2020 UK-CARES Community Engagement Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES), in partnership with the Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH), recently announced the nominees and the winner of the 2020 Community Engagement Award in Environmental Health Sciences. 

Craig Wilmhoff and biology students at Perry County Central High School won this year’s award. The decision was unanimous among the reviewers.

“The UK-CARES/UKCERH Community Engagement Award means a great deal to me,” said Wilmhoff. “The students have done such an amazing job on projects in air quality and on in-home radon testing.”

The award recognizes individuals or community-academic teams who demonstrate effective research or project evaluation to improve environmental health in Appalachia. The nominees had to meet at least one of the following guidelines:

  • Community-engaged environmental health scientist
  • Community member engaged in issues to keep the air or water healthy
  • Involved in community-academic partnerships
  • Demonstrate outstanding community-engaged science.

“The students should be very proud of the way they have represented Perry County and Eastern Kentucky,” said Wilmhoff.

Wilmhoff’s fellow nominees included Dylan Baker (Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Perry County), Madison Baker (Appal-TREE: Knott County Field Director), Brittany Combs (City of Jackson, Parks & Recreation), Nina McCoy (Martin County Concerned Citizens), Sherrie Stidham (Kentucky River District Health Department) and Carley Watts (InVision Hazard).

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

News article originally appeared on UKNow.