Faculty Awards


The Albert D. & Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize

The William B. Sturgill Award


The Albert D. & Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize

The Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize shall be awarded annually to a full time faculty member at the University of Kentucky who is deemed to have made outstanding contributions to original research or (creative) scholarship within the last four academic years. 


At the request of their two sons, The Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Fund recognizes their parents' collaborative efforts in many research activities and Dr. Kirwan's efforts to create an environment at UK that promoted high quality research and scholarship.

Head football coach from 1938 to 1944 and later dean of men, Ab Kirwan was a distinguished faculty member and scholar in the field of southern history, dean of the Graduate School, and president of the University from 1968 to 1970.

Elizabeth Kirwan was awarded the Sullivan Medallion in 1973 for her service to both the University of Kentucky and the Lexington community, service that included executive roles in over ten organizations such as president of UK Women’s Clubs and chairman of Lexington Parks and Recreation Board.


Nominees must be full time faculty members in any of the colleges or professional schools at the University of Kentucky.

Evidence of a nominee's significant contributions to original research or scholarship shall be based on publications and/or other evidence of (creative) scholarship produced at the University of Kentucky during a period of time not to exceed four academic years prior to the time of the nomination (Aug. 2019 through the present).


Candidates for the Kirwan Memorial Prize may be nominated by faculty, students, or others within the university community.

The nomination must include a primary letter (1) describing the candidate's research and/or scholarly activities within the last four academic years, (2) arguing what/how those activities have contributed to the field or fields, and (3) describing the degree and scale of graduate student involvement in the pertinent research project(s). A full or abbreviated CV should be included for reference. The nomination packet may include letters of support from colleagues and students. Supporting evidence, such as impact factor data, scholarly reviews of activities, etc., is welcomed. The selection committee shall take into account the varying disciplinary methods of assessing and estimating the impact of one's research and scholarly activity and will look to the nominator's letter and any other letters of support for primary guidance.      

Please upload the nomination packet as a single PDF here.

Completed nominations for the 2024 Kirwan Memorial Prize are due by Friday, March 1, 2024

Youling L. Xiong Animal and Food Sciences  2023
Susan Gardner Physics and Astronomy  2022
Michael D. Bardo Psychology 2021
Sherali Zeadally Information Communication Technology 2020
Suzanne C. Segerstrom Psychology 2019
Keh-Fei Liu Physics and Astronomy 2018
Chang-Guo Zhan Pharmaceutical Sciences 2017
Gary J. Ferland Physics and Astronomy 2016
Gang Cao Physics and Astronomy 2015
Jeremy D. Popkin History 2014
Sidney W. Whiteheart Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry 2013
John E. Anthony Chemistry 2012
Dr. Daret St. Clair Toxicology 2011
D. Allan Butterfield Chemistry 2010
Sylvia Daunert Chemistry 2009
Jayakrishna Ambati Ophthalmology 2008
Arturo Alonzo Sandoval Art 2007
Peter D. Little Anthropology 2006
Louis Barry Hersh Biochemistry 2005
Dibakar Bhattacharyya Chemical and Materials Engineering 2004
Joe Chappell Agronomy 2003
Thomas A. Widiger Psychology 2002
Don M. Gash Anatomy and Neurobiology 2001
Phyllis Wise Physiology 2000
Robert Olson History 1999
Moshe Elitzur Physics and Astronomy 1998
John J. Allen Spanish & Italian 1997
Salvatore Turco Biochemistry 1996
Tom Dillehay Anthropology 1995

Questions?  Please contact Dr. Morris Grubbs in The Graduate School.  


The William B. Sturgill Award

The William B. Sturgill Award is presented annually to a graduate faculty member for outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK.


William B. Sturgill was born in Lackey, Kentucky in 1924. A 1946 graduate of the University of Kentucky, Sturgill became prominent in the coal industry as an executive and owner of several coal operations. Sturgill also served in a variety of other businesses including East Kentucky Investment Company, Fourth Street and Gentry Tobacco Warehouses, and Hartland Development Project. In the 1980’s, he served Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr. as both Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Agriculture at a salary of one dollar a year. He was involved in numerous civic organizations, boards, and commissions.

His contributions to higher education include organizing and serving as president of the Hazard Independent College Foundation, as well as working closely with legislators to develop the commonwealth’s community college system. At the University of Kentucky, Sturgill served 18 years on the Board of Trustees, 10 years of which he served as chairperson. The Sturgill Development Building is named in his honor.

Nominations for the 2024 award are due by Friday, March 1, 2024. The nomination packet should include:

  • a letter of nomination; 
  • the nominee's curriculum vitae;
  • evidence of major contributions to graduate education within and beyond the nominee's department or program (e.g., influences on graduate curricula, graduate student professional and career development, and scholarly activities with respect to graduate education);
  • comments on reputation as a mentor who cultivates academic and career success;
  • a list of master's/doctorates directed and career status of graduates, when available;
  • names of students whose dissertations and theses are still in progress; and
  • letters of support (from graduate students, faculty, and/or alumni).

Please upload the nomination packet as a single PDF here.

Martha L. Peterson Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics 2023
Jonathan McFadden School of Art and Visual Studies 2022
Mark T. Fillmore Psychology 2021
Mark S. Coyne Plant and Soil Sciences  2020
Brett T. Spear Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics 2019
Dibakar Bhattacharyya Chemical and Materials Engineering 2018
Ellen D.B. Riggle Political Science & Gender and Women's Studies 2017
Carl G. Mattacola Rehabilitation Sciences 2016
Thomas R. Zentall Psychology 2015
John R. Thelin Educational Policy Studies & Eval. 2014
Linda Kraus Worley German - MCLLC 2013
Philip H. Crowley Biology 2012
Dr. Michael Bardo Psychology 2011
Gregory T. Smith Psychology 2010
Michael Andrykowski Behavioral Sciences 2009
Lynne Hall Nursing 2008
Ellen B. Rosenman English 2007
Susan M. Roberts Geography 2006
John van Willigen Anthropology 2005
Richard Milich Psychology 2004
Dale M. Bauer English 2003
Susan E. Carvalho Spanish 2002
John F. Wilson Behavioral Science 2001
Lance G. Banning History 2000
James A. Boling Animal Sciences 1999
Mary Vore Pharmacology/Toxicology 1998
D. Allan Butterfield Chemistry 1997
George C. Herring History 1996
Patrick P. DeLuca Pharmacy 1995
Steven W. Yates Chemistry 1994
Alan Kaplan Microbiology 1993
Billie R. DeWalt Anthropology 1992
Judith Worrell Educational and Counseling Psychology 1991
Edgar Enochs Mathematics 1990
Guy M. Davenport English 1989
Joseph A. Bryant English 1988
William Ehman Chemistry 1987
Joseph Kuc Plant Pathology 1986
Robert L. Lester Biochemistry 1985
George A. Digenis Pharmacy 1984
Tom Ford Sociology 1983
Robert Straus Behavioral Sciences 1982
Glenn B. Collins Agronomy 1981
H. Wyman Dorough Entomology 1980
Daniel R. Reedy Spanish 1979
Sam F. Conti Biological Sciences 1978
William McCrary Spanish 1977
Harry B. Kostenbauder Pharmacy 1976
James H. Wells Mathematics 1975

Questions, please contact Dr. Morris Grubbs in The Graduate School.