Tomasky Leaders 2018-2019

(L to R) Sebastiana Smith, Rory Barron, Jasemine Jones, Erin Hoskins, and Michelle Kuiper

The Department of Gender & Women’s Studies is excited to introduce our first cohort of Tomasky Leaders! The Tomasky Leaders Scholarship Fund, which serves undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky, encourages students to engage in politics and public debate, to pursue higher office, and to lead an activist life.

Scholarship recipients, the Tomasky Leaders, will receive funding for registration and travel fees for leadership and activism trainings, seminars, conferences, programs, and cost-of-living expenses for unpaid internships.

Rory Barron is a student activist at the University of Kentucky who has participated in many local activist organizations and will be attending the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) conference with his Tomasky funds. He is a senior majoring in Gender and Women’s Studies. His interests are in reproductive justice, queer history, and racial justice in the rural US South.

Erin Hoskins is a junior at the University of Kentucky, studying English and Gender and Women’s Studies. Erin plans to attend law school after she finishes her undergraduate degree in hopes of one day working on reproductive rights cases and other cases focused on helping our nation’s least represented, least privileged citizens. She is excited to apply for an internship with the Kentucky Health Justice Network with support from the Tomasky Fund.

Sebastiana Smith, currently in her sophomore year, is an English major with a minor in political science on a pre-law track.  “I want to offer the world new ideas to unsolved preexisting problems. I believe that the National Young Women’s Leadership Conference will provide me with networking opportunities to help bring my ideas to life, and show me what it means to be a successful woman in a leadership role," Smith said. 

Michelle Kuiper is a junior at the University of Kentucky, where she is majoring in Gender and Women’s Studies and minoring in Criminology. Michelle has been a powerful advocate for the backlog of rape kits in Kentucky and Indiana as well as passing legislation to create better laws and policies for people victimized by crime in both states.  Michelle will use her Tomasky Scholarship to attend the PLEN Women in Congress Seminar in March.

Jasemine Jones is a sophomore double majoring in Neuroscience and Economics with a Sexuality Studies certificate. In her free time she plays the harp and has an applied study in the harp at UK. Like Sebastiana Smith, she will be using her scholarship funds to participate in the National Young Women’s Leadership Conference. “I am very passionate about reproductive justice and women’s health. I am so blessed and grateful to be a Tomasky leader and to be able to have the opportunity to follow my passions," Jones said.



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