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Gerald Smith Named Martin Luther King Center Scholar in Residence

by Kody Kiser, Amy Jones-Timoney

(April 23, 2014) — As a long time researcher of the Kentucky African American experience and a contributing volume editor of the "The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr.: Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948-1963 Volume VI (2007),” Gerald Smith has a lot to share when he’s in the classroom. 

The associate professor of history is in his first year under a new title, serving as the Martin Luther King Center Scholar in Residence.

“It’s definitely an honor as well as a great opportunity to inspire future students who are interested in researching the life and legacy of Martin Luther King,” Smith said.

Smith hopes to use the position to further expand research in other related topics, such as the connection between King and religion.  Students will soon help in the process of conducting oral history interviews. 

“We hope to have a nice collection of interviews with African-American ministers in Kentucky within the next two years,” Smith said. 

He hopes to ignite a passion in his students as they begin asking questions.  It is a goal Smith holds dear partly because he discovered he had a knack for research when he was a UK student back in the early 1980s.

Watch the video above to discover how Smith’s various experiences as an undergraduate, graduate student and professor help him empathize with his students both inside and outside of the classroom.