With multiple plates already spinning in the air, School of Architecture student Montre’ale Jones realizes that he is going to have to make room for one more. This March, Jones was one of only 12 undergraduate students to be awarded a prestigious Gaines Fellowship.
“With only 12 students campus-wide receiving a Gaines Fellowship, this makes quite a statement about Montre’ale’s work as an architecture student and potential in his future career,” said School of Architecture Director Jeffrey Johnson.
The goal of the Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky is to balance students’ academic focus on science and technology with a healthy dose of humanities to ensure both sides of the brain are fully engaged. These fellowships are awarded to students in their junior and senior years and come with a stipend of $2,000 in the junior year and $3,000 in the senior year.
And with great stipends come great responsibilities. Juniors are required to take part in a four-hour seminar each semester as well as complete a jury project that benefits the community. During their senior year, fellows will work on an independent study project that requires anywhere from six to 15 credit hours.
Luckily, Jones is no stranger to hard work. Although this is his first year at the University of Kentucky, he is a junior by credit hours, having completed two years at Hopkinsville Community College. Jones left Hopskinsville, his hometown, with two associates degrees and a CAD (computer-aided design) certificate.
Jones’s future plans are to earn his Master of Architecture degree, gain firsthand experience at a firm then funnel that knowledge into humanitarian architecture. “I come from a low-income family, so I want to be in a place where I can help others and be an inspiration for other African American males,” he said.
“Montre’ale is a consummate example of the College’s mission to strengthen its efforts toward inclusivity,” said Dean Mitzi Vernon. “The more emphasis we put on diversity and community engagement, the greater impact our College can have campus-wide and beyond.”