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Arts and Sciences Student Wins 5-Minute Fast Track Competition

By Jesi Jones-Bowman 

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Abigail Knoy, center, is a neuroscience major in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

LEXINGTON Ky. (Oct. 25, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research has announced the fifth annual 5-Minute Fast Track student research competition finalists. These undergraduates competed in the competition’s preliminary round and were selected as Top 10 finalists. They presented their research Oct. 26 on campus. 

Abigail Knoy, a senior Lewis Honors College member and neuroscience major in UK's College of Arts and Sciences, won first place. Knoy's mentor is Myunghee Kim, Ph.D., Pigman College of Engineering.

Finalists will present their research in five minutes in front of a panel of judges and a live audience using only a single static slide. This challenges students to develop their academic, presentation and research communication skills while also allowing them to showcase their research in a captivating way.

The goal of this competition is to improve undergraduate students’ abilities to communicate their research effectively to a general non-specialist audience while creating a compelling story about their scholarly work. Students will compete for cash prizes: $750 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place.

The other finalists are:

  • Artin Asadipooya, senior, Lewis Honors College member and neuroscience major; Mentor: Pavel Ortinski, Ph.D., College of Medicine.
  • Brianna Bryant, senior, biology and political science major; Mentor: Robbie Burger, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Sydney Chapman, senior, computer science major; Mentor: Brent Seales, Ph.D., Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering.
  • Jordan Colella, senior, human nutrition and nursing major; Mentor: Courtney Lueking, Ph.D., Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
  • Shria Holla, senior, Lewis Honors College member and mathematical economics major; Mentor: James Ziliak, Ph.D., Gatton College of Business and Economics.
  • Ashbey Manning, senior, chemical engineering major; Mentor: Brittany Givens, Ph.D., Pigman College of Engineering.
  • Connor Stuart, junior, Lewis Honors College member and neuroscience major; Mentor: Ann Stowe, Ph.D., College of Medicine.
  • Ellen Williams, junior, Lewis Honors College member and agricultural and medical biotechnology major; Mentor: Jennifer White, Ph.D., Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
  • Caroline Youdes, junior, Lewis Honors College member and biology major; Mentor: Zhenheng Guo, Ph.D., College of Medicine.

The 2023 5-Minute Fast Track Oral Research Competition is sponsored by the UK Office of Undergraduate Research. The event is open to the public.

For more information on the competition, visit

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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