Learning Lab

2020-2021 Intern Cohort

Humza Anwar

Humza Anwar is a sophmore majoring in Biology. 

My research project focuses on the development of a novel healthcare model addressing healthcare inequality in the city of Lexington. There are many factors that lead indigent and minority populations to poorer health outcomes. I am looking to better understand how to solve these issues by looking into the past. I am using the unprocessed records from the Hunter Foundation for Health Care at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research center as a valuable roadmap. The findings of my project will help to better provide equitable healthcare delivery to poor and minority citizens. I enjoy the Learning Lab because it's a great environment for collaborative discussion and doing important research. 

Briley Chambers

Briley Chambers is a junior majoring in Political Science with minors in Community & Leadership Development and Criminology. 

I am studying the Judge Charles M. Allen papers and the case Louisville Black Police Officers v. the City of Louisville, which sought equal employment for black officers. My research will uncover how the resulting consent decree affected the demographics of the police department over time. I enjoy the Learning Lab because I feel like I am on a team, despite each of the members having separate research projects. We all support one another's efforts and help each other flourish in our research. 

Austin Coke

Austin Coke is a junior majoring in History and Anthropology with minors in International Studies, World Religions, and Jewish Studies. 

For my research project in the Learning Lab, I am utilizing the Moses Kaufman Papers to learn more about Lexington’s early Jewish community. This collection concerns one of the most prominent Jewish citizens in Lexington in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kaufman was an integral member of Lexington’s Jewish community who also served many roles in local government. Through many of his letters and newspaper articles, I hope to uncover more about the early Jewish citizenry in Lexington. This project’s aim is to rediscover the lost history of the local Jewish community by understanding how that community was represented through local newspapers and identify other prominent members and supporters of the early Jewish community.

What I enjoy the most about the Learning Lab is the opportunity to work closely with documents that unveil a lifetime of stories and relationships from the past. While I do most of my work digitally, I valued the time I spent physically sifting through the many letters and newspaper articles which make up this collection. As a person who studies History, I love discovering many moments of the past as well as watching how the lives of the individuals within my collection were affected by larger global events. I also have greatly appreciated getting to do my research alongside several other interns. Learning from what these other students have discovered in their own research has inspired me in my efforts in this project.

Emily Keaton

Emily Keaton is a senior majoring in Sociology, Philosophy, and English with minors in Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Appalachian Studies.

Using newly-donated Kentucky Mountain Club Records at the UK SCRC to examine the impact outside narratives have had on Appalachian policy efforts and portrayals. Getting the opportunity to interact with new materials firsthand is incredibly special, and research can often be more thorough or nuanced when one has had this unique chance to see and hold everything in the collection that they want!


Olivia Morris-Bush

Olivia Morris-Bush is a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Geography. 

The intent of this project is to explore how the racialized landscape of the Illinois Central Railroad Company (IC) during the early 20th century can be uncovered by analyzing the racialized language of Thomas Redd's letters from the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center and Cornell University's Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives. Redd was an African-American brakeman and union organizer from Louisville who fought for equal pay among workers performing the same jobs. Analyzing how Redd describes how African-American brakeman endured racial inequality, discrimination, and racism as IC employees will uncover the different work experience between white and Black brakemen and the IC's racial power dynamics. 

I really enjoy how the Learning Lab allows me to examine archival material with the assistance of my peers. Overall, the community within our cohort give me various perspectives about my research that is extremely helpful! Also, my mentor is amazing and provides assistance with research!

Aaron Shrout

Aaron Shrout is a sophmore majoring in Economics.

My research project is about a failed railroad that was to be constructed from Lexington to Louisville during the 1830s, and how the failure of the creation of the railroad lead to Lexington's stagnation in growth compared to Louisville, a city that had modern transportation infrastructure at the time. There are so many things I enjoy about the Learning Lab. The opportunity to conduct my own research with material literally from hundreds of years ago, getting to work with such smart and impressive other interns, and our mentor. A literal lifesaver, who I couldn’t be more thankful is in charge of the program.

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