Campus News

UK HealthCare Transplants Record Number of New Hearts in Kentucky

48 min 47 sec ago

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Transplant Center recently performed its 38th adult heart transplant for 2015, setting a record for the most heart transplants performed by a Kentucky medical center in a single year and easily eclipsing the previous state record of 27 heart transplants performed in a single year.


With roughly one month to go in the calendar year, that number may increase as appropriate organs become available for transplant.


The 2015 numbers place the UK Transplant Center in elite company – historically, only 20-25 medical centers in the country perform more than 30 heart transplants in a single year. With a heart transplant team comprised of multiple cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists and nursing staff working together, UK has adeptly managed to handle the ever-increasing demand of patients who require transplantation.


"This has truly been a banner year for the UK Transplant Center and the UK Gill Heart Institute," said Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, medical director of heart transplantation at UK HealthCare. "Never before has a transplant center in Kentucky performed more than 30 heart transplants in one year.  Our outcomes remain good, a testament to the strong team we have assembled at the University of Kentucky."


Additionally, more heart transplants could not be performed without a corresponding increase in the number of organ donors. Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) have worked tirelessly in recent years to encourage more Kentuckians to sign up for the organ donor registry, enabling more patients to receive the gift of life.


The surgical transplant team works in conjunction with UK Gill Heart Institute's Advanced Heart Failure Program, offering a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to treating heart disease. While some patients will receive a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) as a destination treatment, some patients with advanced heart failure will receive a ventricular assist support device to serve as a "bridge" to transplant, enabling them to be more mobile – and thus healthier and stronger – by the time a matching donor heart becomes available. UK has implanted 29 durable LVADs this calendar year, maintaining a balanced program between circulatory assist devices and transplants.


"At UK, we're able to offer a wide range of services for heart problems, from the very common heart bypass procedures for blockages to the more difficult, intricate procedures like VADs or transplants for advanced heart failure," said Dr. Michael Sekela, surgical director of the UK Gill Heart Institute. "But our focus has always been to provide the most complex care for the most acutely ill citizens of the state, and our increased VAD and transplant numbers reflect that."


UK HealthCare's ability to provide these complex, specialized services for patients reinforces the medical center's mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line health care.


“Our program fulfills a need in Kentucky for many patients who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to receive a life-saving transplant,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “The commitment UK HealthCare has made to the program over the years has made a difference in the lives of many patients and their families and exemplifies the complex advanced subspecialty care it is important for our academic medical center to provide.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or

UK Fine Arts Wishes 'Happy Holidays to You'

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 15:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2015) — From the university's own art studios to the stages of Guignol Theatre, Singletary Center for the Arts and the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, the talented students and faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts are ringing in the holiday season with everything from classic annual offerings to several new theatrical productions from the stage's next celebrated playwrights, directors and choreographers. With "New Works Now!," Open Studio, "Collage," "Amahl and the Night Visitors" and "Celebration of Song," as well as the visiting production of Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" at Singletary, there is something sure to make your every wish come true Dec. 4-13.


Open Studio Ready to Deck Your Walls with UK Art


For the first time ever UK School of Art and Visual Studies will throw open its doors to the public for its popular Open Studio event at UK's new Art and Visual Studies Building. Open Studio gives the public a chance to tour the new building, as well as view and even purchase artwork by current students and acclaimed UK faculty.


UK School of Art and Visual Studies from University of Kentucky on Vimeo. Video by Jenny Wells, UK Public Relations and Marketing.


After more than 50 years in the Reynolds Building, the school celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art academic creative space in September. As part of this holiday event, the studios of graduate and select undergraduate students will be open with the young artists present to talk about their ongoing projects. A variety of artwork will be on display including metalwork, fiber, paintings, photographs, drawings, ceramics, plaster casts, printmaking and woodwork. Much of this work can be purchased in time for the gift-giving season.


Open Studio also includes the Carey Ellis Juried Student Show, featuring UK students' best work over the last year. To round out the festivities there will be arts and crafts for children, live music, food and drinks.


Check out Open Studio from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the Art and Visual Studies Building located at 236 Bolivar Street. This event is free and open to the public, but a $5 donation is suggested.


UK Theatre Gifts Community with 'New Works Now!'


Feel the holiday cheer as the UK Department of Theatre and Dance's brightest creative minds stage this year's performances of "New Works Now!," running Dec. 4-6, at Guignol Theatre.


An array of past and present UK theatre and dance students will present their original works with holiday settings from Christmas to New Year's Eve and even President's Day. The showcase of plays, poetry, choreography and even a "choreopoem" will offer a glimpse into the future of the stage.


In the spotlight are the following productions:

· "The D/s Auditions" by English and theatre junior Jenny Winstead, of Louisville, Kentucky, directed by theatre junior Maddy Williamson, of Norfolk, Virginia;

· "Paper People" by biology senior Olivia Grothaus, of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky;

· "President’s Day" by English and theatre senior Abby Schroering, of Louisville, directed by theatre senior Katie Noble, of Corbin, Kentucky;

· "Bitch Goddess" by UK alumna and noted Kentucky-born, New York City poet and playwright Ellen Hagan, directed by theatre junior Sloan Gilbert, of Lexington;

· "In the Midnight Hour" by alumna Madison McGhee, directed by theatre senior Alexis Slocum of Fort Knox, Kentucky;

· "Santa Baby" by theatre junior Kenny Hamilton, of Ludlow, Kentucky, directed by theatre and secondary social studies education junior Curtis Lipsey, of Louisville; and

· "New World Eve" by theatre senior Rob Miller, of Hilliard, Ohio, directed by theatre senior Peter LaPrade, of Marietta, Georgia.


"New Works Now!" hits the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Guignol Theatre. Tickets for "New Works Now!" are $5 for students with a university ID and $10 for general admission. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visit online at, or visit the ticket office in person.


'Collage': 18 Years of Joyous Sounds


Performance by UK Choirs and guest artists of "Betelehemu," the traditional closing number of the popular "Collage" concerts. 


UK Choirs' most popular concert of the year, "Collage," will get audiences in the spirit of the season at their 18th annual performances. Critically acclaimed vocalists and musicians from the UK School of Music and the Lexington community will take to the stage for this much awaited concert Dec. 5-6, at the Singletary Center.


A local tradition, the "Collage" concerts feature some of the most treasured holiday carols from around the world. Under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and Lori Hetzel, associate director of UK Choral Activities, "Collage" showcases the university's critically acclaimed UK ChoraleUK ChoristersUK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus, as well as the UK Choir's a cappella groups, the acoUstiKatsPaws and Listen and Blue Note. 


In addition to the choral talents filling the stage, "Collage" also features some of the school's most celebrated musicians and vocal soloists, including this year's winners of the Kentucky District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions doctoral student Shareese Arnold and vocal performance senior Mary Catherine Wright, as well as Lexington's best musical talents.


The curtain rises on "Collage" 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Singletary Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $27 for general admission, $13 for children and UK students with a valid student ID, and $22 each for groups of more than 15. Tickets can be purchased at the Singletary Center ticket office by calling 859-257-4929, visiting, or in person.


We're Dreaming of 'An Appalachian Christmas' with Mark O'Connor at Singletary


A performance of "Jingle Bell Rock" from Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas."

One of the world's most celebrated musicians, Mark O'Connor, will return to the Bluegrass this winter with a wonderful holiday experience for the whole family. O’Connor and company will present "An Appalachian Christmas" 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11.


A product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, O'Connor's creative journey has garnered two Grammy Awards, six consecutive Musician of the Year titles from the Country Music Association, and seven National and Grand Master fiddling championships — all testaments to the outstanding skill and dedication of one of America’s most accomplished instrumentalists of any genre. With his body of work including 45 feature albums of mostly his own compositions, O’Connor has melded and shaped his classical, jazz and folk influences into a new American classical music form and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing. 


"An Appalachian Christmas" is now in its fifth nationwide tour, combining the familiar melodies of traditional Christmas songs with O’Connor’s world-class musicianship. The Associated Press called the concert "heavenly" and the Boston Globe remarked, "All Christmas music should be played so elegantly on violin."


Tickets for Mark O’Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" range from $37 to $25 for general admission and $23 to $15 for children based on seating location. Fees will be applied upon transaction. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center box office by phone at 859-257-4929, online at, or in person.


Double the Holiday Fun with UK Opera Theatre's 'Amahl,' 'Celebration of Song'


The talents of UK Opera Theatre give local audiences two popular traditional ways to rejoice in the holiday season with their production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" and their 10th annual sing-along concert with Alltech, "Celebration of Song."


UK Opera Theatre will team up with the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra to present the English one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Written by Gian Carlo Menotti, "Amahl" tells the story of a disabled shepherd boy, who unexpectedly encounters three kings, traveling to Bethlehem to meet the newborn king. When Amahl offers his crutch to the kings as a gift for the child, a miracle happens and a new journey begins.


UK Opera Theatre's three performances of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec.12, at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are $22.50 for general admission and $12.50 for students. Handling fees apply. To purchase tickets contact the Lyric Theatre box office at 859-280-2218 or visit online at


Later that same weekend, UK Opera Theatre and Alltech invite the community to lend their voices in the spirit of the season at their beloved old-fashioned holiday sing-along concert "Celebration of Song." The free public concert, led by Professor of Voice and Director of UK Opera Theatre Everett McCorvey, will begin 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at The Square.


The UK College of Fine Arts is the vibrant arts hub of UK. It's an incubator for creativity and discovery, offering quality educational opportunities for students and engaging arts experiences for the community. The college is comprised of the School of Music, the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Theatre, the Arts Administration Program, the Singletary Center for the Arts and the UK Art Museum.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

'Collage': 18 Years of Joyous Holiday Sounds

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 14:34


Performance by UK Choirs and guest artists of "Betelehemu," the traditional closing number of their popular "Collage" concerts. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2015) — Get in the spirit of the season at the 18th annual "Collage" holiday concerts presented by University of Kentucky Choirs. Critically acclaimed vocalists and musicians from the UK School of Music and the Lexington community will take to the stage for this much awaited concert Dec. 5-6, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.


A holiday tradition in the Bluegrass, "Collage" is presented by the UK Choirs under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and Lori Hetzel, associate director of UK Choral Activities. The concerts showcase the department's highly celebrated student groups: UK Chorale, UK Choristers, UK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus, as well as the UK Choir's a cappella groups, the acoUstiKats, Paws and Listen, and Blue Note. The concert is fast-paced and a visually exciting program featuring the best of holiday music from around the world.

In addition to the UK Choirs, this season’s concerts will feature the Saxcats, a 10-piece ensemble made up of members of the UK Saxophone Studio, led by Director of UK Jazz Studies Miles Osland. The Saxcats will play their rendition of a soulful holiday classic.


Other UK faculty members performing in the concert include Schuyler Robinson, organist; Scott Wright, clarinetist; ToniMarie Marchioni, oboist; and Dieter Hennings, guitarist. Other UK ensembles scheduled to join in the entertainment are the GrassKats, the UK Steel Band, under the direction of UK Percussion Studies Director James Campbell, UK Trombone Quartet and the UK Holiday Clarinets.


In addition to showcasing the UK Choirs and musicians at UK School of Music, each year "Collage" features the rich talents of the Lexington arts community. This year’s concert is no exception as it will include performances by the Lexington Singers; the Lexington Singers Children's Choir, conducted by Hetzel and Daniel Wesley; the handbell ensemble Alluring, led by Patti Saunders; and the Lexington Christian Academy Women’s Choir, also conducted by Wesley.


The concerts' featured solo of "O Holy Night" will be sung by award-winning sopranos Shareese Arnold, a doctoral student from of Sheffield, Alabama, and Mary Catherine Wright, a vocal performance senior from Lexington, at the Dec. 5 and 6 concerts respectively. Both UK vocalists were among the winners of the Kentucky District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. They will be accompanied by more than 200 singers.


"Collage" graces the stage 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Singletary Center. Tickets for "Collage" are $27 for adults and seniors, and $13 for students and children. Groups of 15 or more can get tickets for $22 per person. A handling fee will be added upon transaction. Tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office at 869-257-4929, online at, or in person at the venue.


For more information on "Collage," contact Joseph Wrightson, administrative assistant to UK Choirs, at


The UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national acknowledgment for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

PTS, Student Government Partner for Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle for Students

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 10:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2015) — University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS), in conjunction with Student Government Association, is providing a transportation option to simplify holiday shopping for students. The groups will provide free shuttle service between campus and Fayette Mall on Sunday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015.


The shuttle will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Sunday, with daily campus pick-up times of 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Passengers will be picked up at the north side of the mall, near the entrance to Macy’s, at 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and returned to campus.


Although the shuttle is free, reservations are required. To schedule a pick-up, students should submit a ride request through the form found here: Ride requests must be submitted no later than noon on Friday, Dec. 4 or Friday, Dec. 11, respectively.


A PTS representative will follow up via email to confirm the pick-up details.

Navigating the Construction Impact of the New Research Building

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 00:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) — In early February 2016, construction is scheduled to begin on the University of Kentucky’s new research facility, immediately to the west of the Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) along Virginia Avenue. This $265 million research facility is dedicated to addressing Kentucky challenges, particularly health disparities in areas such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, drug abuse and other health conditions, as well as fostering multidisciplinary research across numerous fields working in close proximity and collaboratively to solve complex problems. 


Construction of this facility will result in shifting reserved (E+) parking west toward Press Avenue into the remaining Press Avenue North surface parking lot, relocating disabled accessible parking into several newly designated accessible parking areas, and ultimately displacing approximately 200 employee (E) parking spaces. Sufficient capacity exists in a variety of campus parking areas to accommodate those impacted employees.


Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) continues to work closely with Capital Projects Management Division to minimize the impact of this project on the campus community. While construction is not scheduled to impact parking until February 2016, employees are encouraged to explore parking alternatives prior to the start of construction. A map of campus parking areas referenced below can be found at


Employee (E) Parking Alternatives:  With the transition of the surface parking between Press Avenue and BBSRB from Employee (E) to E+ Reserved parking, employee parking demand will likely shift to the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6), which will ultimately result in the garage reaching capacity earlier in the morning.


The university has sufficient capacity in both the Blue and Orange Lots at Commonwealth Stadium, which are a short shuttle ride away from most campus destinations; employees with valid E permits are authorized to park in either location. The Blue Lot is served by the campus Blue and White bus routes which provide convenient access to and from the Kentucky Clinic and College of Pharmacy bus stops, while the Orange Lot is served by the Purple (UK HealthCare) Route, which provides frequent access to the Health Science Research Building (HSRB) and the new Hospital (Pavilion A) with interior building connectivity to the Kentucky Clinic, College of Pharmacy, and BBSRB.


For those who approach campus from the north, other options include the Scott Street Lot, the Taylor/Dickey Lot and the Reynolds Lot, all located off Scott Street.  These areas are a modest 6-10 minute walk from the Virginia Avenue corridor as well as a short ride using the campus Blue and White bus routes from the Taylor/Dickey bus stop.


Virginia Avenue Disabled Accessible Parking Alternatives:  In anticipation of this construction, PTS transitioned the Huguelet Drive Reserved Lot to disabled accessible parking in August 2015, resulting in a net increase in disabled accessible parking in the area. PTS also plans to add additional disabled parking in the Leader Avenue Lot, adjacent to the College of Medicine Building. The Press Avenue Garage (PS #6) also has a number of underutilized disabled accessible parking spaces with convenient shuttle access to the Kentucky Clinic via the Pink Route.


BBSRB E+ Reserved Parking Accommodations:  Employees with BBSRB E+ permits will shift slightly to the west into what remains of the adjacent Press Avenue North Lot, which will change from an employee (E) lot to E+ designation. At that time, all remaining surface parking between Press Avenue and BBSRB will be reserved for E+ permit holders. While there will be fewer E+ spaces than currently exist in the BBSRB Lot, PTS has purposely limited the sale of these permits in anticipation of this impact and is prepared to accommodate all current E+ permit holders.


Long-Term Solutions:  The university has been working hard over the past many months to develop a comprehensive Transportation Master Plan focused on enhancing mobility to, from and around campus. The draft recommendations call for investments in enhancing alternative commuting options while also adding additional parking resources. The university will continue to explore options to ensure that campus remains accessible to all members of the campus community.

Tips for Parents in Managing Distress in Children Following Terrorist Attacks

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 20:31

This article first appeared in the Sunday, Nov. 29 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) — Whether it is the local evening news or a 24-hour cable news channel, images of violence and terrorism inundate our homes.  But these scenes can be disturbing and stressful, especially for children.  It is important to manage distress and take appropriate steps in helping your children and adolescents following terrorist attacks.



Take advantage of the teachable moment by starting a dialogue about the event. 

Questions such as:  “What do you think about what you just watched on TV.” “Do you have questions about terrorism?” or “what are kids at school saying about terrorist attacks?” create the space for conversation about what the event means to the child. Avoidance of the topic may increase anxiety and send the message that the event is too horrible to talk about.  As the conversation unfolds listen carefully for what the child knows, what they believe to be true and where they are getting their information.


Correct any misconceptions or inaccurate information.

Age and stage of development can greatly impact the way situations are perceived.  Children may unduly personalize the situation, or have an exaggerated sense of danger.


Tailor the amount of media exposure to the needs of the child.

A good rule of thumb is no child under age six needs to be exposed to media accounts of terrorist events. The replaying of graphic images and scenes of distress are confusing to young children who do not have the ability to keep events in temporal sequence and who may feel the event is ongoing. Even if young children do not appear to be listening, they may pick up on the sense of chaos and danger created by adult conversations and repeated media accounts.  Parents should limit the amount of exposure in young children, and for those who are distressed by the event.


Model good coping. 

Children take their cues on how to respond to events based on the lessons learned from their caregivers. If parents are worried, talking a lot about the event, highly anxious or over-reactive, children will mimic this behavior.  It is normal and expected to have a response to tragedy, but an expression of worry or anxiety should be accompanied by solution focused language.  This might include describing ways adults in the child’s life take action to keep them safe, pointing out the quick response of law enforcement, and examples of the benevolence of strangers. This sends the message to the child that while bad things happen, there are good people in this world and adults that are there to keep them safe. 


Know when to refer.

If children have symptoms of anxiety, worry, sleep disturbance, sadness or preoccupation with the event that lasts beyond two weeks, a referral for a trauma assessment at a community mental health center, a faith-based organization or the UK Center on Trauma and Children is recommended. 


By Ginny Sprang, Ph.D., Executive Director of the UK Center on Trauma and Children

NASA Awards UK's Martin $500,000 for Orion Heat Shield Research

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 11:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) — A $500,000 Early Stage Innovations award from NASA will allow Alexandre Martin, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky, to improve the software and thermal property models of the Orion spacecraft's heat shield.


Martin's project is one of only 15 university-led proposals selected by NASA for the study of innovative technologies that address the space program's high priority needs.


Analyzing data from Orion's first flight, Martin and his co-investigator from the University of Illinois will update the material models used for designing the AVCOAT thermal protection system, which protects the spacecraft from high temperatures during atmospheric reentry.


"EFT-1 (Orion's first test flight) provided a set of unique experimental data, and current numerical models fail to replicate them," Martin said.


New models will help to design a new generation of heat shields. In Orion's first flight, the heat shield was based on technologies used during the Apollo era.


"The next flight, EM-1, will use a newer version of it, but there is still much to do to ensure that the new generation of heat shield materials are used on future manned spacecrafts," Martin said.


Orion is NASA's new exploration vehicle, designed for manned missions to Mars and other destinations in deep space. It made its first test flight on Dec. 5 last year.


This is Martin's second Early Stage Innovations award from NASA, receiving it last year for research on the gas-surface interactions of heat shield material. This year's award builds on previous work supported by NASA Kentucky.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323,2396,

Open Studio Ready to Deck Your Walls

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 11:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) — This holiday season the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies will throw open the doors for their first ever Open Studio in the new Art and Visual Studies Building on campus. The popular annual event known for showcasing the talents of the university's undergraduate and graduate students and celebrated art faculty in a festive atmosphere is sure to be the best yet in the sprawling new facility located at 236 Bolivar Street. Open Studio, scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, is free and open to the public but a $5 donation is suggested.


This fall has been the first semester in UK's Art and Visual Studies Building after more than 50 years in the Reynolds Building. The school celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting in September.


UK School of Art and Visual Studies from University of Kentucky on Vimeo. Video by Jenny Wells, UK Public Relations and Marketing.


Open Studio will give the public a chance to tour the new building and view artwork by current students. The studios of graduates and select undergraduates will be open with the young artists present to talk about their ongoing projects. A variety of artwork will be on display including metalwork, fiber, paintings, photographs, drawings, ceramics, plaster casts, printmaking and woodwork.


In addition, the festivities for Open Studio include:

· the Carey Ellis Juried Student Art Exhibition featuring pieces by graduate and undergraduate art students (an awards ceremony will take place during the event);

· an art sale, including the popular ceramic bowl sale;

· crafts and activities for children provided by the students of the Art Education Program; and

· live performances and refreshments.


The current Master of Fine Arts students with studios in the Art and Visual Studies Building are: Michael Bell, Esther Chin, Madison Cowles, Tianlan Deng, Todd Herzberg, Trey Jolly, Alexandra LeNeave, Rachel Moser, Alan Serna and Caleb Williams.


Michael Bell comes from Jacksonville, Florida.  He earned his bachelor's degree from University of North Florida and began a career as an art educator for the public school system before coming to UK. Bell has studied sculpture under two of UK's alumni, Jenny Hagar and Lance Vickery. Through them he entered into the sculpture family that grew out of the UK College of Fine Arts program. 


Esther Chin says her art is "the truth of my heart through which I speak." From Jamaica, Chin's passion for art was encouraged by her mother and grandmother who allowed her to use the interior and exterior of her home as canvas. She earned a bachelor's degree with honors from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and has exhibited in various shows including "Natural Histories "at the National Gallery of Jamaica. 


Madison Cowles was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She has lived all over the United States, providing many diverse experiences. She received her bachelor's degree with a concentration in printmaking from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Cowles' artwork explores the psychological and emotional states of the individual. She investigates these ideas through printmaking, drawing and painting.  


Tianlan Deng began his studies at UK in 2013 after earning a bachelor's degree in Chinese painting at Shanghai University, in Shanghai, China. Deng's interests lie in defining the new contemporary younger Chinese identity, and he is producing a project in relation to the contemporary Chinese education system, which plays a crucial role in defining the younger Chinese identity. Deng also has won a large design commission from the Gatton College of Business and Economics.


Todd Herzberg is an artist originally from Michigan. He received his bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University. Herzberg is a co-founder and president of the Lexington Guild of Printmakers. He has exhibited in multiple regional and international exhibitions, and is in private collections in nine different countries.


Trey Jolly is an artist and photographer based in Lexington. He received his bachelor's degree from Georgetown College in biological sciences. His recent work explores the environmental, cultural and political issues that surround central Appalachia. As a native of of Eastern Kentucky, he grew up accustomed to watching the media misrepresent Appalachia with stereotypical views and two-dimensional narratives, providing him a unique backgroun and perspective for his art.


Alexandra Corrinne LeNeave is a conceptual artist. Crossing the mediums of photography, video, performance and installation, LeNeave focuses on personal insecurities within her family and relationships to family members at the end of their lives. She is strongly influenced by the paradigms of a daughter and a granddaughter and seeks the answer to questions: what does it mean to be a family member? And is there a perfection to this role? 


Rachel “Rowe” Moser is an artist whose work includes performance, video, installation, sound and dance. Moser graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a bachelor's degree in dance and motion design. Influences and inspiration come from Moser's many years being immersed in movement practice and performance dancing and touring as a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. 


Alan Serna is a Kentucky-based printmaker from Huanusco, Zacatecas. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Serna’s current work is inspired by the unseen nature of formal and informal economies, as well as international conflicts, and their resulting effects on their citizens. A first generation immigrant and dual citizen, Serna looks to his personal experiences, as well as those of loved ones, to imbue his work with strong personal narratives.


Caleb Williams is a painter and sculptor who was born in Western Kentucky. He studied philosophy and art studio at Western Kentucky University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy. Williams’ art deals with themes of spirituality, consumerism and questions contemporary cultural symbolism. His work has been included in several group sculpture shows, the most recent of which at Eyedrum Gallery in Atlanta for the Midsouth Sculpture Alliance. 


The UK School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts is an accredited member of the National Association of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies and art education.


To hear Rob Jensen, director of the UK School of Art and Visual Studies, talk about the new facility and Open Studio on "UK at the Half" interview click on the play button below.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Register for December Commencement Before Dec. 7

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 11:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) — December graduates: the deadline to register for the December Commencement ceremonies is quickly approaching!.


Students graduating in December are asked to register at before 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 7. After that, students who have not registered will not be guaranteed to have their names appear on the screen during the ceremonies as they walk across the stage.


Ceremonies will be held Friday, Dec. 18, in Rupp Arena. The Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., followed by the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at 3 p.m.


Information regarding caps and gownsparking and travel and college receptions is also available on the Commencement website.


For questions regarding Commencement, visit the Commencement FAQs page.



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; 

NINDS Director Discusses "The Brain Initiative" at Grand Rounds

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 09:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) — Dozens of neurologists, other medical professionals and researchers gathered at the University of Kentucky Nov. 25 to hear the words of Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health.


In his first year as director, Koroshetz has made it a point to travel around the U.S. to share the Institute's plans to reduce the burden of neurological disease through vigorous investments in basic, translational and clinical research.


Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis are the most commonly known neurological diseases. However, Koroshetz reminded the audience that this classification includes disorders like substance abuse, depression and neurodevelopmental diseases.


"Neurological disease is today what infectious disease was to the 20th century:  the most disabling and expensive group of chronic diseases today," Koroshetz said.


The good news: the world has begun to recognize the potential economic and quality-of-life impact of investment in research in the neurosciences.  The brain and its mysterious functions — and malfunctions — has caught the eye of major consumer publications like Time, Scientific American, and National Geographic. There are rising numbers of Ph.D. candidates in the neurosciences.  And the U.S. Congress has requested that the NIH present directly to them plans (and an accompanying budget) to solve the mysteries of neurological diseases, bypassing the usual funding mechanisms.  Previously, only cancer and AIDS have been blessed with this designation.


As a part of that process, several government agencies and private groups have banded together to form The Brain Initiative.  Called "The Next Great American Project," the Brain Initiative's goal is to provide the tools and resources necessary to map and understand the circuits and networks in the brain.  By doing so, the hope is to understand how brain circuits function, find the basic mechanisms by which cellular pathways contribute to circuit dysfunction, and figure out ways to improve outcomes for patients.


That effort will require a whole new set of tools, says Koroshetz.  He points out that while advances in imaging have revolutionized how we look at the brain, we are still largely reliant on antiquated technology.


"The EEG was developed in the 1920's, and the MRI, while effective, only records images at the rate of one per half a second, whereas the brain fires in milliseconds,” Koroshetz explained. "It's said that new tools are often more valuable than new concepts, and that is equally applicable in this case."


Dr. Larry Goldstein, chair of the UK Department of Neurology, emphasized the importance of Koroshetz's message.


"The Brain Initiative is the Manhattan Project of our age, and pursuit of effective treatments for this group of debilitating and costly diseases is a worthy cause," Goldstein said. 


Goldstein added that, in light of the fact that UK already has research strengths in several relevant areas such as Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, epilepsy, stroke, spinal cord and brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, and substance abuse, having Koroshetz present to UK faculty and staff was particularly timely.


"We were extremely fortunate to have Dr. Koroshetz as our guest at UK HealthCare to help welcome the advent of a new chapter in neurological research both at UK and around the world."  



Putting UK Students in the Fast Lane

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:53


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2015)   Our cars have become more than just a mode of transportation; they are a literal vehicle of self expression, with windows and bumpers full of stickers showing one's favorite band, monogram or what team they cheer for on the weekend. But with the University of Kentucky "Go Big Blue!" car tag, you take that Wildcat pride one step further; the car tag not only displays one's love for the University of Kentucky, it also helps support student scholarships at UK.


Nearly 30,000 Kentuckians have the University of Kentucky car tag. Ten ($10) dollars of the initial and renewal registration fee goes toward providing scholarships to students at the university.


"This scholarship means so much to me," Ryan Stephens, a pre-marketing/management freshman from St. Louis, Missouri, and Collegiate Plate Scholarship recipient, said. "From the day I was born, my mom raised me to love Kentucky since she went here. The scholarship helped me fulfill my dream of coming to UK."


Each December, members of the UK community are encouraged to renew their "Go Big Blue!" car tags. If you do not have the UK car tag, it is easy to opt for when you renew your plates at the local county clerk's office.


1.     When your car tags are up for renewal, simply tell your county clerk that you want the UK car tag.

2.     Pay the plate fee and turn in your regular plate to receive your UK car tag.

3.     Put your new UK car tag on your car and drive with pride!


The purchasing of a UK license plate impacts current and future UK students by providing funds to the general scholarship fund. Nearly $300,000 annually is received from the Collegiate License Plate program.


Each year, student recipients, called Collegiate Plate Scholars, are recognized at the UK Alumni Association's scholarship recognition dinner. The Office of Academic Scholarships uses these awards to fulfill a variety of necessities directly connected with the student's needs. The amounts of scholarships offered vary in size and are sometimes used to complete a scholarship package that a student has already received.


"I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to pay for school," Stephens said. "This award is crucial to me so I can stay here."


Any owner of a noncommercial motor vehicle required to be registered for use on Kentucky highways is eligible to purchase the UK license plate.


The initial cost when a new plate is issued is $56 (the standard plate is $21), but the annual renewal cost each December is $31, only $10 more than the standard plate. The decal expires Dec. 31 of each year rather than in the owner's birth month. Plates can also be personalized for an additional charge.


While the cost associated with the car tag is minimal, the impact it is making on the lives of UK students is huge.


"It means the world to me," Stephens said.


The UK "Go Big Blue!" car tag is the most purchased college plate in Kentucky.



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, or, 859-257-1909 or 859-323-2395 

University of Victoria Fulbright Scholar Studies Health Systems at UK

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — A recipient of the Fulbright Canada Scholarship will study health systems and services at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health’s Systems for Action (S4A) center throughout the 2015-2016 academic year.


Second-year doctoral student Thi Hong Phuc Dang from the University of Victoria works with Glen Mays, the F. Douglas Scutchfield Endowed Professor in Health Services and Systems Research and director of the S4A program, to conduct research on public health services and systems in both the United States and Canada. Her Fulbright project is titled, “Are We Measuring Up? Exploring Public Health Performance and Health Equity in the United States and Canada.”


Dang obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in applied health sciences from Brock University. She is involved in the Equity Lens in Public Health (ELPH) program at the University of Victoria, which focuses on exploring priorities and strategies of health equity in British Columbia. During her training, she will explore how accountability structures and measures influence the performance of core public health activities and how this performance influences health equity using various measures of population health status. She will analyze data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems Instrument combined with demographic and health status surveillance data.  


S4A at the UK College of Public Health is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that aims to discover and apply new evidence about ways of aligning the delivery and financing systems that support a Culture of Health. This program flows directly from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Action Framework, which focuses on four action areas for achieving improvements in health and well-being for all Americans, including making health a shared value, fostering cross-sector collaboration to improve well-being, creating healthier and more equitable communities, and strengthening the integration of health services and systems.


Fulbright is a world-renowned program of highly competitive, merit-based grants and scholarships for academic exchange. The program has supported some 325,000 students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. The Fulbright Program, which operates in some 155 countries and is one of the world’s most prestigious academic honors, is specifically aimed at promoting mutual understanding and supporting excellence.


Fulbright Canada is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. It is a bi-national, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, governed by an independent board of directors, charged with identifying and supporting the very best and brightest in Canada and the United States.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


Coat, Blanket Drive: UK Students Helping Fellow Students

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Getting around on the University of Kentucky campus during the winter months can be a chilly experience, especially without proper cold-weather attire. Students in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment want to make sure their peers are prepared.


In January, students in GEN 302 will travel to Merida, Mexico, to lend their hands to community development efforts focusing on disadvantaged youth and natural resource conservation. This fall, however, the education abroad program requires students to start their development and service efforts in their own community. They decided they could make the greatest impact by organizing a winter coat and blanket drive for fellow students. This is the second year for the project, led by agricultural biotechnology and pre-pharmacy student Will Sharp.


“Last year we had great success putting warm winter coats in the hands of many UK students and families,” said Amanda Saha, CAFE career development & enrichment director. “We were able to help many international graduate students who sometimes come to Lexington ill prepared for the brutal temperatures that winter can bring.”


Students will accept all sizes of winter coats in clean, good condition and new or gently used blankets Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 in 112 Erikson Hall or room N8 of Ag Science Center.


As a convenience to faculty and staff outside of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, drive-through-drop-off of donations will be available Dec. 1-2 in the loop outside the Agricultural Science Center at the corner of Limestone and Cooper Drive. Anyone in the UK family who is in need of a winter coat or blanket can come to the Seay Auditorium Lobby in the Ag Science Center between noon and 7 p.m. Dec. 7-11. For more information, email Saha at




MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707.

UK HDI Staff Recognized by Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — The University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute staff was honored with two of the most distinguished awards given by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) last week in Washington, D.C.


Harold Kleinert, retired HDI executive director and professor emeritus, received the AUCD George Jesien Lifetime Achievement Award. Katie Hastings, HDI research assistant, received the AUCD Anne Rudigier Award for an outstanding student demonstrating a commitment to supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families.


Kleinert was recognized Tuesday, Nov. 17, with the top honor from the AUCD. The award is named for George Jesien who served as the executive director of AUCD for 14 years and led the organization’s growth to a national force in the disability community. Joining Kleinert for the ceremony were his wife and daughter, Jane and Coady, Interim HDI Executive Director Kathy Sheppard-Jones, and a number of HDI staff and students.


Jesien offered a glowing introduction of  Kleinert, describing his infectious laugh and good nature as he has inspired and mentored other professionals during a critical transitional time for people with disabilities in the U.S. During his acceptance speech, Kleinert described the tremendous progress in the disability movement since his early days as a special education educator working in an institution; the tremendous developments through the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and movements toward educational and societal inclusion; and the important role of advocates in ushering in those changes. He also emphasized that more work is yet to be done, particularly in the most vulnerable moments during a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis and at the end of life.


“We can think of no one who better exemplifies the characteristics of a George Jesien recipient than Harold Kleinert," Kathy Sheppard-Jones said. "So many of his colleagues have expressed that he ‘walks the talk.’ His strong spoken and written advocacy has been consistent with his lived advocacy. Harold has inspired, motivated, and empowered HDI staff to make our vision happen as well as colleagues around the state and nation. He does that by focusing on people first, not projects. He sees the strength in all of us and our ability to contribute, connect, and make a difference in a vision much bigger than us. In that way, he has inspired the next generations of leaders who will continue to carry on his work and be the agents of change he knows that they can be.”


Katie Hastings is an HDI Graduate Certificate student and a research assistant for the KY Peer Support/Network Project, where she has contributed tremendous energy and passion toward helping students with intellectual disabilities develop friendships and join their communities. She is a doctoral student in UK's psychology program and she serves on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky and works directly with a young lady with Down syndrome to access supports. Hastings has been proactive in recruiting students to participate in the KY Peer Support/Network Project and developing a student leadership module to train students with disabilities to take on leadership roles at school.


 “I have been the research assistant on the KY Peer Support Network Project since January 2014," Hastings said. "My primary role is to support my designated pilot site schools and monitor data collection from each of our schools every month. My favorite part of the job is visiting with my pilot sites; I travel to each of my three schools once a month. I have developed some great relationships with my contacts at the schools and have even gotten to know some of the students! I also love presenting to different groups about the project. I have been involved with presentations to the Kentucky Exceptional Children’s Conference, Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools, and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky. Of all the environments I find myself in as a graduate student, HDI and this project are my favorites!”

UK Study Finds Kentucky Ag Development Investments Good for Farmers

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund investments from 2007 through 2014 have positively and significantly impacted agriculture and agribusiness in Kentucky according to a report released Nov. 20. Researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment estimated $2.03 in farm income was generated for every dollar invested in KADF projects.


In November 2014, the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board commissioned UK to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board’s investments in agriculture, agribusiness, leadership development, county agricultural investment programs and Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation loan programs. Evaluation criteria focused on measuring the performance of projects that reinforce the board’s overall investment philosophy. The philosophy includes priorities for increasing net-farm income, stimulating new markets, affecting tobacco growers and tobacco-impacted communities, adding value to Kentucky agricultural products and exploring new opportunities for Kentucky farms.


“We found convincing evidence that the investments made by the board were successful in diversifying agricultural opportunities for tobacco-dependent farmers and tobacco-impacted communities across Kentucky,” said Alison Davis, director of UK’s Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics. “The success of these investments is vital to many of the local communities where agriculture is an important component of economic activity. It’s important to recognize the rich history of agricultural production in Kentucky, and these investments allow local communities to continue the tradition.”


The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board invested $198 million in programs and projects from 2007 through 2014. This resulted in 465 products being created and the creation or expansion of 77 markets. The board invested $42 million in state and county projects, an investment that has resulted in an estimated $86 million in additional farm income. In addition, approximately 708 new jobs were created by the board’s investments.


“The evaluation highlights many successful projects that have directly contributed to the growth in income for farmers as well as exciting new Kentucky-based products and companies that have emerged as a result of KADB investments,” Davis said.


Additional highlights include:

33,958 farmers were estimated to have been affected by KADF projects, of which approximately 17,617 were estimated to be current or former tobacco growers.


For every dollar the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund invested, return on investment was highest for marketing and promotion ($3.07), followed by livestock ($2.81) and horticulture ($1.20).


County Agricultural Investment Programs, designed to increase net-farm income, add value to products and diversify operations, accounted for an investment of more than $100 million with over 61,000 participants.


The Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation’s Beginning Farmer Loan program was found to be highly regarded. It was a critical component to accessing financing for recipients purchasing land to develop, expand or buy into a farm enterprise. The finance corporation completed 198 loans between January 2007 and June 2015.


“Program evaluation is a critical tool in helping the KADB guide the direction of future programming,” said Roger Thomas, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “Knowing what works and learning where there is room for improvement will help drive the evolution of the KADF to meet the future needs of our farmers and the agriculture industry. I am proud of the accomplishments that these investments have made in positively affecting Kentucky’s agricultural and rural economy over the last eight years.”


The study was co-authored by Davis, Rick Maurer, extension professor in the UK Department of Community and Leadership Development; James Mansfield, CEDIK extension associate; Chandler Purdom, graduate research assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics; Karen Fawcett, CEDIK program associate; and James Allen IV, CEDIK research director.


The executive summary of the study is available on the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy’s website, The complete study will be available in mid-December.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Angela Blank, 502-564-4627; Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324.

UK Theatre to Ring in the Holidays With 'New Works Now!'

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 16:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Before the curtain call for every great work of art, be it dance, drama or comedy, there is a young playwright or choreographer waiting for the chance to show off his or her creative talent. Feel the holiday cheer as the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance's brightest and most creative minds stage this season's performances of "New Works Now!," running Dec. 4-6, at Guignol Theatre.


An array of past and present UK theatre and dance students will present their original works as a part of "New Works Now!" With holiday settings from Christmas to New Year's Eve and on to President's Day, the department showcase of plays, poetry, choreography and even a "choreopoem" will offer a glimpse into the future of the stage. This year's production marks the third appearance of "New Works Now!" and remains dedicated to showcasing the remarkable work of students and alumni as emerging playwrights, actors, directors and designers.


"Well, this is not your ordinary 'holiday' program," said Herman Farrell III, associate professor of playwriting at UK. "It certainly has a Santa Clause here and a North Pole there but as the audience will learn, this is a decidedly off-kilter, provocative, thought-provoking and completely entertaining holiday season show made up of seven short plays and dance works by five UK theatre and dance majors and two theatre alums."


A UK faculty jury of five theatre and dance professionals selected the seven works from a pool of 17 submissions for "New Works Now!" Student directors and design teams were assigned for each piece and then open auditions were held to cast each show. Directors and design teams worked closely with faculty mentors in the development, design, rehearsal, tech and production of each new work.


Taking center stage this December are the following productions: 

· "The D/s Auditions" by English and theatre junior Jenny Winstead, of Louisville, Kentucky, directed by theatre junior Maddy Williamson, of Norfolk, Virginia, a 10-minute study of psycho-sexual manipulation and the mundane holiday job search;

· "Paper People" by biology senior Olivia Grothaus, of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, a dance work inspired by a slam poem;

· "President’s Day" by English and theatre senior Abby Schroering of Louisville, directed by theatre senior Katie Noble, of Corbin, Kentucky, two students use a holiday as an entrance point into matters of human dignity and mortality;

· "Bitch Goddess" by UK alumna and noted Kentucky-born, New York City poet and playwright Ellen Hagan, directed by theatre junior Sloan Gilbert, of Lexington, an exploration of womanhood and all the many roles and selves we embody  throughout our lives;

· "In the Midnight Hour" by alumna Madison McGhee, directed by theatre senior Alexis Slocum of Fort Knox, Kentucky, inspired by Samuel Beckett’s "Krapp’s Last Tape," an exploration of how far one can truly run from their demons and the clarity to be found in isolation;

· "Santa Baby" by theatre junior Kenny Hamilton, of Ludlow, Kentucky, directed by theater and secondary social studies education junior Curtis Lipsey, of Louisville, a play about a young Chris, on this first night as Santa Clause, caught delivering presents to a woman, his one night stand the night before; and

· "New World Eve" by theatre senior Rob Miller, of Hilliard, Ohio, directed by theatre senior Peter LaPrade, of Marietta, Georgia, the morning after New Year’s Eve, a young man makes a work of art in reflection of the night he just had.


"New Works Now!" hits the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Guignol Theatre. Tickets for "New Works Now!" are $5 for students with a university ID and $10 for general admission. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visit online at, or visit the ticket office in person.


The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from the renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Cognitive Therapies Prove Effective for Treating Low Back Pain

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 16:05
This column first appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Nov. 22. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Low back pain affects 67 to 84 percent of people residing in industrialized nations, including the United States, and is responsible for more lost workdays than any other health condition.  


While a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications target the condition, non-medicinal therapies, including cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, are also effective treatments for relieving low back pain. Cognitive therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During treatment, a therapist teaches patients about these relationships and how thought processes can be changed to improve health outcomes.


Many research studies describe the effectiveness of cognitive therapy to improve aspects of health such as pain, anxiety, depression and physical functioning in patients suffering from low back pain. A recent clinical trial found that over the course of a year cognitive therapy administered early to high-risk low back pain patients reduced pain and disability, and increased return-to-work rates.


Despite the known benefits of this therapy, researchers at the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing conducted a study reporting that only 6 percent of low back pain patients in Kentucky and 8 percent of low back pain patients in the United States received cognitive therapy. Accessing cognitive therapy in Kentucky is difficult because there are few therapists available to administer the treatment. Cognitive therapy has been administered to some patients using technology such as a computer.


Researchers at the University of Kentucky are currently conducting a study that will examine the effects of a cognitive treatment in patients with low back pain. The study will administer cognitive therapy using mobile health technology, such as FaceTime and iPads. Researchers hope to learn more about the factors that impact the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and the effect of this therapy during specific time periods.


Individuals ages 18 years or older who are being treated for low back pain that was diagnosed by a health care provider and have experienced low back pain for less than three months are invited to participate in this research study. For more information about the study, please contact Elizabeth Salt at (859) 433-5393 or email:


Elizabeth Salt is an associate professor with the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing.

Markey Cancer Foundation Announces New President

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, as new president and chief executive officer. Delzotti will begin his new role in early December.


The UK Markey Cancer Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center serving Kentucky and the surrounding Appalachian area. The Foundation underwent a nationwide search for their new president and chief executive officer this past summer.


Delzotti comes to Markey from the world-renowned and number one-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he served as senior director of philanthropic resources. There his role focused on two successive $1.25 billion campaigns. He also directed a $60 million campaign focused on discovering novel drug therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.


Prior to Delzotti’s tenure with MD Anderson Cancer Center, he held major leadership positions with Rice University, UCLA and the Special Olympics of Southern California.


“I am honored to have been chosen by the UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board to join them in their effots,” said Delzotti. “This Center has such a distinguished history of providing world-class care for the citizens of Kentucky and producing cutting-edge research for the entire field of cancer care.


“Our number one goal will be to build the relationships necessary to support Dr. (Mark) Evers’s vision of elevating Markey to NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status. This designation is so important because it means additional advanced research and comprehensive care for our patients and their families. The Center and the Foundation have one focus – to care for the patient and cure this disease.”


In his new role with the UK Markey Cancer Foundation, Delzotti will also serve as the Foundation’s chief development officer, focusing on major gift development and corporate and foundation grants, as well as overseeing capital campaign initiatives and all other aspects of the Foundation.


"With government funding for cancer research waning, philanthropy is critical to the continued success of NCI-designated cancer centers," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "I look forward to working with Mike to help support and grow so many of the outstanding clinical and research programs we have here at Markey."


With Kentucky’s status as the nation’s leader for overall cancer incidence and mortality, the UK Markey Cancer Center plays an important role in supporting patients around the Commonwealth. Since achieving NCI-designated status in 2013, the Markey Cancer Center has undertaken several new initiatives in the areas of research, treatment and prevention.


“From the moment the search committee sat down with Mike for the first time, we knew he had so much to offer, said UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board Chair Sally Humphrey. “Mike’s experience at MD Anderson, one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, and his thorough knowledge of healthcare fundraising will allow him to best equip the Foundation to secure financial support for groundbreaking research and ultimately help Dr. Evers and his team to achieve NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.”


Media Contact:  Kristi Lopez,

UK Dining Adjusts Operating Hours During Thanksgiving Break

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015)  Thanksgiving Break is right around the corner. Although many students will be leaving Lexington for the week, some are sticking around campus.


To accommodate students, faculty and staff who will be on campus throughout the break, UK Dining has adjusted hours of operation at all campus dining locations. The image below reflects the adjusted hours.


For more information and to view the altered hours visit

Puppy Power: Law Students De-stress During 'Dog Days of Finals'

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 13:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — With two weeks to go before their final exams, University of Kentucky law students needed to take a break and relieve some stress. It wasn't hard to do with a lobby full of puppies on Monday.


The "Dog Days of Finals" event, hosted by the Christian Legal Society, a UK College of Law student organization, offered law students the chance to play and cuddle with puppies from Kentucky SAVE, an animal rescue organization who brought the playmates to campus.   


"We choose puppies as a means to bring some joy to our classmates because dog is man’s best friend and puppies are so ubiquitously adored," said Joseph Brown, member of the Christian Legal Society. "Kentucky S.A.V.E. is also an organization that promotes adoption of these puppies and many of them actually find permanent homes because of this event."


Brown's friend fell in love with a puppy at the event two years ago and adopted her. He hopes another adoption takes place this year.


Puppies, and pets in general, have been shown to provide sensory stress relief.


"One can discern from the students’ reactions that Puppy Day is a wonderfully therapeutic experience for people under so much stress," Brown said. 




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,