Skip to main content
Arts & Sciences Academic Excellence Fund

Arts & Sciences Academic Excellence Fund

The Arts & Sciences Academic Excellence Fund enables students to experience a well-rounded and enriched education, while preparing them to compete in a global world. Your support helps provide valuable opportunities for students through study abroad, Living Learning Programs, pilot programs, and much more. Your gift to the fund allows the dean to allocate resources quickly, seek innovative solutions, and respond to opportunities for the benefit of students and faculty. Click the button below to make your gift.

Arts & Sciences Academic Excellence Fund


Student Success Programs

The fund allows the dean to launch innovative pilot programs that serve students throughout the university. One such program is FastTrack, a one-week intensive educational program that takes place the week before the start of the fall semester. FastTrack allows incoming first-year students to move onto campus early and get started on a successful year by experiencing college-level course work prior to the start of the semester. Launched as a pilot program for math preparation, FastTrack now offers courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish, and writing, rhetoric and digital studies. FastTrack participants have significantly higher retention rates compared to their peers and also form lasting friendships, gain an understanding of expectations for college courses and homework, and build stronger relationships with professors.

I would really recommend FastTrack for any incoming student, not just those in the STEM disciplines. And because we’ve expanded it, it really is open to anyone. I would love to see every A&S incoming major taking part in the program.

– Ruth Beattie, Professor of Biology and Associate Dean of Advising

Study Abroad

The College wants to position our students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. The College uses the Arts & Sciences Academic Excellence Fund to provide scholarships and awards for students to experience cultures outside of the United States.

I learned that patience and simple kindness are important no matter where you go in life. In the most impoverished areas of India I have danced with the happiest individuals I am sure that I will ever come in contact with. I can never explain how thankful I am for the opportunity to participate in the Semester at Sea study abroad program. This past semester was truly the best four months of my life. I hope the Trunzo’s know I am beyond grateful.

– Savannah Grey, Topical Studies | Winston Salem, NC

After competing for and receiving the Dee Dee and Mike Moran Scholarship I was able to experience the trip of a lifetime. Partaking in the journey to Munich, Germany has enhanced my foreign language capabilities and helped me to develop a more global mindset, expediting and enriching my collegiate career. I would not trade my education abroad experience for the world.

– Alan James Bouvin, Foreign Language and International Economics-German | Union, KY

Living Learning Programs

Arts & Sciences is proud to support multiple Living Learning Programs which allow students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment. This allows students to connect with each other, faculty, and the community. The Arts & Sciences Academic Excellence Fund allows the dean to respond to specific  programmatic needs. One such program is STEMCats, the College's science, medicine and research focused living learning community.

My favorite part of the STEMCats program is the research I have been able to participate in, studying the regenerative properties of axolotls. The STEMCats Scholarship has allowed me to expand my research and take advantage of the resources the Chemistry department provides. This scholarship has helped me stay on track to graduate and pursue my dream of going to medical school to become a pediatric surgeon or a pediatric oncologist.

– Lilly Do, Chemistry-Biochemistry Track | Middlesboro, KY