Centre graduate wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Parker Lawson
Parker Lawson


▪ Parker Lawson, a 2015 graduate of Centre College, has won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, created in 2000 with a $210 million endowment from Bill and Melinda Gates.

The Class of 2017 includes 90 scholars, 41 of whom will pursue a master’s degree and 49 a Ph.D. at the world’s fourth oldest university, founded in 1209.

According to the Gates Cambridge Trust, “competition for the scholarships is fierce,” with the 90 new scholars selected from 6,000 applicants representing 34 nationalities.

A Spanish and international studies double major from Prospect, Lawson was elected to both Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, made the dean’s list and was named to honor societies in Spanish and political science. Lawson was also a Bonner Scholar at Centre, which requires a minimum of 10 hours of community service each week.

Since graduation, Lawson has won three major international awards.

He previously received a Fulbright grant in 2015 and taught at a bilingual high school in Madrid, Spain. Since then, he has been completing a master’s degree in modern European history as a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship recipient.

▪ Kentucky students and teachers were recognized for their accomplishments at the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools program and the Kentucky National Energy Education Development Project’s 10th annual Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon recently.

The event recognized students and their projects in promoting school and community health and environmental sustainability. Examples of student projects included worm composting at Providence Montessori Middle School; updating an outdoor classroom with benches made of recycled plastic caps at Morton Middle School; and teaching peers about healthful eating choices at Kit Carson Elementary School.

Carla Trisko of Morton Middle School was recognized asTeacher of the Year. The following schools received awards: Kit Carson Elementary, Madison County; Lloyd Memorial High, Kenton County; Morton Middle, Fayette County; Providence Montessori Middle, Fayette County; Redwood Cooperative, Fayette County; Pikeville High, Pike County; Virginia Chance, Jefferson County; and West Hardin Middle, Hardin County.

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▪ Eastern Kentucky University’s mock trial team ended the season with a 15th-place finish at the American Mock Trial Association’s National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles.

Allie Maples, of Mount Sterling, won her first All-American Attorney Award, while Hayley Abbott, Corbin, received the All-American Witness Award. Each missed an All-American Award by a single rank out of 30.

Other members of EKU’s National Championship Tournament team included Laura Jackson, Artemus; Tyler Swafford, Franklin, Tenn.; Melissa Mahan, Bloomington, Ill.; Brianna Palmer, Richmond; Angel Spurlock, Rockcastle; Alexa Turner, Winchester; and Ryan Wiggins, Georgetown.

▪ University of Kentucky professor of history Francie Chassen-Lopez will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Athens (Greece) on Tuesday. This is the highest honorary title awarded by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and signifies the impact of Chassen-Lopez’s work in history and Latin American studies.


▪ Dan McBride has been named executive director of alumni engagement at EKU. He grew up in Richmond, graduated from Model Laboratory School and EKU, astern Kentucky University, and has spent most of his adult life as a member of the EKU athletics leadership team.


▪ Kentucky State University has launched the Institute for Lifelong Learning. The institute’s lineup includes Supper with Spanish, English to Speakers of Second Language, Dinner and a Movie, Belly Dancing, Wine Tasting and other non-credit and credit-bearing courses available to Frankfort residents. The institute’s intent is for Frankfort’s community to find courses that appeal to them for personal development and professional growth.

Courses will be offered throughout the calendar year and will vary from three-weekend workshops to six-week seminars. The institute also welcomes individuals interested in completing their GED or college degree.

For more information, go to or call 502-597-6429 or 502-597-5803.