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The Lyman T. Johnson Awards Ceremony recognizes and celebrates African American alumni and students who exemplify the passion and courage exhibited by Lyman T. Johnson, as he led the racial desegregation efforts at UK more than 60 years ago.

Each college will recognize an African American alum for the Torch of Excellence, whose faith, hard work, and determination has positively impacted the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state, or nation; and the Torch Bearer Award, whose academic achievement and ability to positively impact the lives of others.

On Friday, October 14th, 2022, at 12:00 noon, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association’s Lyman T. Johnson Constituency Group, with the support of the Office for Institutional Diversity, will continue the tradition by hosting a luncheon in the Gatton Student Center Grand Ballroom where all of the awards recipients will be honored. Event registration can be found here.

Daniela Nakinoja - 2021 Torch Bearer 

Daniela Nakinoja came to the United States in 2015 as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, spending most of her childhood in refugee camps in South Africa. Almost immediately upon arriving in Lexington, she began looking for ways to help others who also had to adjust to a new country.

Nakinoja participated in a UK Markey Cancer Research Program, and now has the goal of finding a career in early cancer prevention for minority communities. “I aspire to incorporate my public health knowledge and skills with research to provide adequate healthcare for my community,” she said. 

Princess Agbozo - 2022 Torch Bearer

Princess Magor Agbozo is a junior public health major on the pre-medical track. The first-generation college student hails from Ghana and attended high school in Qatar. She serves in multiple leadership roles at UK, including as the director of multicultural affairs for the Student Activities Board where she works to host events that educate and showcase different cultures around the world to students on campus.

Agbozo serves as an international student ambassador, an ambassador in the College of Public Health, a resident advisor and is a selected member of the Rising Leaders Program in the Lewis Honors College. As a SPARK (Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky) scholar, Agbozo is conducting research on health equity, based on the childbearing experiences of Black mothers in Kentucky. The goal of this research is to find the best methods of care to better the childbearing experience. She plans to earn a master’s degree in the global health field to improve healthcare accessibility for impoverished and underserved communities. 

Dr. Regina Washington - 2021 Torch of Excellence

Dr. Regina Washington graduated with a doctorate in public health in 2007. She has experience in academic, governmentaland nonprofit organizations as she focuses on eliminating health disparities within a variety of populations, including the older adult and LGBTQ communities. She currently serves as a public health consultant helping public health systems in health promotion, chronic disease program development and community-based strategies to address chronic disease in people living with HIV. 

Kia Bryant - 2022 Torch of Excellence

Kia Bryant earned a master’s in public health in epidemiology and biostatistics from UK in 2008 and a bachelor’s in chemistry from Wittenberg University. She serves as the team lead for the data management and implementation team within the clinical research branch of the Division of TB elimination at the National Center of HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).

Prior to this role, she served as the acting team lead and was an epidemiologist on the team working primarily on the quality assurance of study data through the development of quality assurance reports for Tuberculosis Trials Consortium clinical trial sites. Bryant also participated in the implementation of the TBTC Study 31/ACTG A5439, a landmark study that led to the identification of the first successful short-course treatment regimen for drug-susceptible TB disease in almost 40 years. She has been a member of the CRB since 2016, coming from the Georgia Immunization Program.