Living on campus a big part of the college experience.  

It allows you to take advantage of university resources, connect with other students, and transition to life away from home.  Also, research shows you're more likely to earn better grades if you live on campus. 

About This Program

The Belle C. Gunn First-Year Program is open to all first-semester freshmen at the University of Kentucky.

Through field trips, professional development workshops and service programs, students in our Living Learning Program (LLP) apply their knowledge and passion to global issues at the intersection of food, economics and environment.  All students in this program will also enroll in connected courses, share study groups and have an assigned peer mentor - all to help with the transition to college life. 

While all students will enjoy the same benefits, some events and projects will be geared toward students' preferences and career goals. Depending on interests, each student will join one of the following tracks: 

  • Food & Health 
  • Family & Community 
  • Nature & Landscapes 
  • Livestock & Equine

All students participating in our living learning program will live in Woodland Glen IV, one of the University's newest residence halls

How to Apply

To apply, select the "Belle C. Gunn First-Year Program" while completing the University of Kentucky housing application. For more information, visit the University of Kentucky Housing website

Belle C. Gunn First-Year Program

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Living Learning Program (CAFE LLP) is named after Belle C. Gunn who, in 1888, became the first female graduate of the University of Kentucky (then known as State College of Kentucky).

About Our Namesake

Born Arabella Clement Gunn, the Lexington native spent her childhood on a farm near Shelbyville, Kentucky. While living in Shelby County, she attended the well-respected Science Hill Academy for girls. Her family returned to Lexington in the early 1880s, and Gunn attended the public schools of Lexington and Sayre Institute.

At State College, classmates remembered Gunn as "well above average in scholarship, but not so brilliant as to inspire envy and jealously." She participated fully in the limited social life available, including the literary societies.

Before Commencement exercises that year, President James K. Patterson summoned Gunn to his office. He asked the only woman graduate, "I suppose you will not want to sit up on the platform with the young men on Commencement Day, will you Miss Gunn?"

Gunn's reply was brief and pointed, "I've been through four years in classes with them, and I don't see why I shouldn't sit on the platform with them now."


Our first-year program attracts new freshmen with similar tenacity, grace and ambition demonstrated by Gunn. As the program focuses a number of critical issues at the intersection of food, environment and economics, our students learn how their passion and skills can make an impact on 21st century challenges in Kentucky and around the globe. 

 

Meet Our LLP Coordinator + Peer Mentors

Derek Scribe

Hi y'all, I'm Derek and I'm your Academic Living Learning Success Coordinator. That's a long and fancy term we use around the office to basically say I'm the one dedicated to enhancing your learning and supporting you throughout your first year as an Agriculture, Food and Environment student. 

I was an agriculture student myself! I studied Animal Health at Murray State University here in Kentucky. I then went on to study Human Development and Leadership which helped me expand my career in Agriculture and Higher Education. I've traveled a bit and have lived in Boston and San Francisco. I am very happy to be back in my ole Kentucky home. I am very passionate about (addicted to) coffee, love getting outside among the trees, and am a proud plant dad and even do my own home vermicomposting (Links to an external site.). I'm an aspiring minimalist  (Links to an external site.)and I love tackling life's big questions. I also love quotes. If you've got any good ones, send them my way - derek.miller@uky.edu   

My office is located in N24-C in the Ag Info Center (click for map (Links to an external site.)). If I'm not there, I might be around Woodland Glen or on campus. I'll also be teaching sections of GEN100. I look forward to getting to know you and learning how I can help you. 

Abigail Roy

Hey everyone! I’m Abigail, one of your LLP peer mentors this year. I’m a sophomore here at UK studying Animal Science on the pre-veterinary track. I was born and raised in Southern Kentucky on an Angus beef farm. So, as you can tell by my major and how I was raised, of course I love any and everything animal related, but I also have a passion for reading and being outdoors. You can usually find me in a hammock somewhere or with my nose stuck in a book.  

Here at UK, I believe it is super important to get involved so I try to get my hands in as many activities as possible. Other than being a peer mentor, I’m also a member of the Agriculture Student Council, I’m a peer instructor for a UK 101 class, and I’m a member of various CAFE clubs. If you need anything, feel free to send me a message on group me, or drop by room 749! And of course, if you see me around campus or in the dorm be sure to yell and say hi! I’m super excited to be y’all’s peer mentor and to officially get this year kicked off.  

Hope Holbrook

My name is Hope Holbrook and I’m a sophomore at the University of Kentucky. Before coming to Lex, I lived in Rockcastle County. I am majoring in Agricultural Education and hope to become a high school teacher. Other than my studies, I love drinking coffee, the outdoors, going to the gym, and hanging out with my friends.  

My favorite quote: “Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another. But let him labor diligently and build one for himself, this by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” -Abraham Lincoln 

Malia Jones

Hey guys! My name is Malia and I am one of your peer mentors for the Agriculture LLP. I am a sophomore (junior by credit hours) here at UK and I am majoring in Animal Science on the pre-veterinary track. Additionally, I have a double minor in Biology and Wildlife Biology and Management.  

I am from a small town in central Ohio about 30 minutes northeast of Columbus. My father was born and raised in Belize, so I know a little Spanish. I am an alumni of both FFA and 4-H. I raised and exhibited breeding and market poultry at both county and state level, primarily chickens but also the occasional duck. I participated in state avian bowl and poultry judging and last year my poultry judging team competed at the national competition in Louisville. Additionally, I showed breeding and market rabbits, a dairy goat, and a dairy heifer at the county level. Besides livestock, I also completed a project in archery and submitted photography and craft projects. I am very passionate about birds, animal medicine, and animals in general. I have always been surrounded by nature and opportunities to learn more about animals and wildlife.  

Currently, I am raising a service dog in training through 4Paws For Ability. Her name is Button and she is a Golden/Lab. I will be starting my first job at Animal Care Clinic here in Lexington as a student assistant.  

If you have any questions at all about anything, ask away! - mejo263@uky.edu or on GroupMe!

Michaela Carpenter

Hi everyone! I’m Michaela, and I am one of your peer mentors for the CAFE LLP this year. I was born and raised in Boyle County, Kentucky, but I absolutely love being here in Lexington and on UK’s campus. I’m a sophomore in the Agricultural Education program, and my goal is to teach agriculture in the classroom one day. 

Besides being passionate about agriculture and farming, I also love listening to music of all kinds, being outdoors, travelling to new places, and spending time with friends and family. I like to find ways to stay involved here at UK, so I am also an officer of Agricultural Education Society as well as Block & Bridle. If you are interested in either of these, let me know!  

Being a student in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment truly feels like home, and I hope all of you all can say the same. If you ever need anything or have questions, feel free to send me a message on GroupMe. I’m excited to get to know you all more and to have a great year!

Ashley Zalla

Hi everyone! I’m Ashley, one of your mentors. Some of you have seen me around the dorm and at the events before school started. I am here for you if you have questions, comments, or just want to talk, so please feel free to reach out!  

Currently, I am an Animal Science student on a pre-vet track. I’m originally from Chicago, but live in Northern Kentucky and went to Covington Latin School where my graduating class was a whole 35 students. I spent a bit of my summer junior to senior year of high school in Lanus, Argentina with a host family who are originally from Russia, so I do speak a bit of Spanish and Russian. In my free time, I love to do CrossFit, Judo, help train service dogs, catch up on Amazon Prime/Netflix/Disney + series, and explore Lexington with friends! If you have any movie or show suggestions, please send them my way!   

I am almost always in my room (701), in a class, or walking a dog around campus. I can’t wait to see where this semester takes us and look forward to seeing you all in the halls!  

Questions?

Derek Miller
derek.miller@uky.edu
859-257-3468

More Info

For more information on campus housing, including deadlines and step-by-step directions on applying, click here