Golden wins prestigious UC award


Samuel Golden receives his award.

The 2021 recipient of the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Award is Samuel Golden. The H.N. & Frances C. Berger Awards honor a male and female student from the senior class who demonstrate outstanding leadership and service to the University of the Cumberlands and to the larger community as a whole. Recipients must also demonstrate sound academic achievements.

Samuel Golden is the son of Dr. Jeffrey and Emily Golden of Somerset, Kentucky. He majored in chemistry and minored in biology.

Samuel has served as an orientation leader and a campus ambassador. He has been a Hearst Scholar, serving as a teaching assistant for several chemistry classes. He has also been a member of the Alpha Lambda Honor Society.

Samuel has conducted research on the depolymerization of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is a plastic used in water bottles. This research is helping to refine a complete recycling method by making it more environmentally friendly through the use of different solvents and methods. It is also going to result in a method that can be replicated in any college organic chemistry lab setting. Samuel also presented a report about the off gassing of formaldehyde and related toxic compounds from cotton products made from non-organic cotton.

Outside academics, Samuel went on a mission trip to Northern Ireland and volunteered at an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Shiloh in Israel. He has also served as a LifeGroup leader at Immanuel Baptist Church. Samuel was a member of Cumberlands' cross country and track teams. He is an avid runner and has participated in two full and three half marathons.

Samuel plans to pursue a career in the medical field as a dermatologist, a field he believes is underrepresented in rural Kentucky, and also plans on participating in biomedical research.

University of the Cumberlands is one of the largest and most affordable private universities in Kentucky. Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at

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