Requests for Applications

Current Awardees

UNITE collaborated with the Office of the Vice President for Research to support the following 2021 Lyman T. Johnson postdoctoral fellowship awardees – named in honor of the University of Kentucky’s first African American graduate student. 


Dr. LeAnna T. Luney

Dr. LeAnna T. Luney will join the University of Kentucky under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah LaCour and Dr. Gregory Vincent. Her postdoctoral position as a Lyman T. Johnson fellow will contribute to scholarship produced in the College of Education's Civil Rights Initiative.

Luney will continue her research on how Black womxn and femme student organizers cope and care for themselves at predominantly white universities. Her work will provide an intersectional intervention to scholarship on African Americans in higher education within unique sociopolitical contexts (e.g., the University of Kentucky's history as a land grant institution and Kentucky’s Black Lives Matter activism). She hopes to advance research in which policymakers create systemic change and educational resources that center the demands of Black womxn and femme undergraduate student organizers to improve racially gendered experiences in academia.



Dr. Aurora Santiago Ortiz

Dr. Aurora Santiago Ortiz is a social justice educator and scholar, lawyer, and filmmaker. Her work focuses on antiracist feminist, anti-colonial, and participatory research methodologies and popular education projects. As a Lyman T. Johnson Fellow, Santiago Ortiz will be working with Dr. Fatima Espinoza and Dr. Gia Mudd-Martin on the development of a sociotechnical infrastructure that improves health outcomes and facilitates the sharing of information during crisis for Latinx communities through a social justice, participatory research framework. She will also focus on preparing her book manuscript, Circuits of Self-Determination: Solidarity as Decolonial Praxis, for publication.