Campus News

Smoke Causes McVey Hall to Close for a Few Hours

11 hours 39 min ago

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — A small fire in the University of Kentucky's McVey Hall this morning forced evacuation and the building to close for a few hours.  What is thought to be a fire from an electrical device was contained to an office on the third floor, however heavy smoke spread through out that level of the building.  No one was injured.


Occupants of the basement, first and second floor offices were allowed back into the building around 9:30 a.m.


A fire call was made at 7:19 a.m., and Lexington Fire Department responded, quickly extinguishing the fire.  UK Facilities Management is on the scene and expects to bring in large fans to ventilate the third floor. Occupants of the third floor are expected to return to their offices by noon.


The third floor of McVey houses WUKY radio station and offices of Computational Sciences.


Live Music Returns to UK Chandler Hospital on Tuesdays

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 15:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — The UK Arts in HealthCare program will revive its "Tuesdays at Noon" performance series in the Pavilion A Atrium lobby of the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital on Sept. 1. Providing free lunch-hour entertainment on the UK HealthCare campus, this season's series will run through December and feature popular performers from previous seasons. 


The line-up of local performers includes:


Sept. 1 - Warren Byrom (guitar and vocals)

Sept. 8 - Seth Murphy (cello)

Sept. 15 - Kyle Meadows (hammered dulcimer)

Sept. 22 - Austin Abby and Pat (acoustic covers)

Sept. 29 - Diane Earle (pianist)

Oct.  6 - Warren Byrom (guitar and vocals)

Oct. 13 - Seth Murphy (cello)

Oct. 20 - Matt Proffitt (guitar and vocals)

Oct. 27 - Will Solomon (singer/songwriter)

Nov. 3 - Warren Byrom (guitar and vocals)

Nov. 10 - Seth Murphy (cello)

Nov. 17 - No Tools Loaned (Bluegrass)

Nov. 24 - TBD

Dec. 1 - Warren Byrom (guitar and vocals)

Dec. 8 - Seth Murphy (cello)


For more information about the UK Arts in HealthCare program, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Mitch Barnhart Part 1: Building a Stadium, Establishing a Legacy for Entire UK Campus

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 15:03


Video Produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing.  To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click the "thought bubble" icon in the same area. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's Mitch Barnhart recently won the NCAA Division I Athletics Director of the Year Award — not an award he set out to win, but ones he deserves for his tireless efforts at the helm of UK Athletics.


Since his arrival in 2002, Barnhart has worked toward his vision of distinguishing UK Athletics as one of the best athletic departments in the nation.


To that end, in November 2008, Barnhart established the 15 by 15 by 15 Plan, which called for UK Athletics to finish in the top 15 of national all-sports standings, win 15 conference or national championships and achieve a 3.0 department-wide grade-point average by the year 2015, all while expanding the department's service efforts in the community. After the men's basketball team claimed the SEC Tournament championship in March 2015, Barnhart's plan had been completed.


Never one to rest on his laurels, Barnhart has eagerly issued the next challenge — it's called 1-3-5 Elite.  This plan envisions that by the year 2022 all of UK’s 22 teams will win a conference or national championship, there will be a department-wide grade-point average of 3.0 for UK student-athletes every semester, and all UK athletic teams will pursue a top-five Directors’ Cup finish in the next seven seasons.


Even as he pursues national recognition and excellence for the department, Barnhart never forgets his commitment to the university and its goals. He takes pride in making sure his athletes are just as successful in the classroom as they are in their athletic careers, and he has implemented new goals every year to prepare student-athletes for success far after their athletic journey ends.


"One year from now we will be celebrating a successful year at our renovated Commonwealth Stadium, but because of Athletics we will also be opening an academic science building to which Mitch Barnhart and that department pledged well over $60 million," said UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto.


The New Academic Science Building, scheduled to open Fall 2016, is the result of a unique partnership between UK Athletics and UK Administration —  a partnership even more remarkable in the context of how self-sustaining UK's program is compared to a majority of others nationwide.


"This project would never have gotten where it is without the support of the campus and without the support of Dr. Capilouto," said Senior Associate A.D. for Capital Projects Russ Pear. "I think the partnerships we created to get the bonding authority — together with our contribution to the science building — is something you wouldn't find at too many universities."  


The transformation within UK Athletics does not simply center around facilities, though. Most agree there has been a cultural shift since Barnhart took the helm 14 years ago.  


Tomorrow on, Part 2 of this special series will focus on Mitch Barnhart, not just as a leader but as a mentor and friend.  Current and former student-athletes, the president who hired him and even UK Athletics staff members from near and far will share why Barnhart is all about 'People, Passion and Pride' as he continues to transform the culture of the program.  



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;


VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,


Gas Leak Between Blazer and Roselle Halls Closes part of MLK

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 13:56
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2015) — As of 1:45 p.m. today, Martin Luther King between Avenue and Champions and Maxwell was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic due to a gas leak. Fire crews and Columbia Gas are on the scene. Please avoid area.



Officials on the scene say the leak is small and Columbia Gas has a repair crew on the way. Units will remain on scene for traffic control. Buildings in the area have been deemed safe.



Scholar Speaks to Difficulties of Documenting Black LGBTQ* Experience

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 11:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — For centuries, African Americans in the United States have had to overcome a lack of resources chronicling individuals' lives and culture in the nation's early history based on bigotry and societal status. Today, the black community's LGBTQ* members face similar obstacles in capturing their story. Scholar Jennifer Jones will speak to these difficulties at a talk at the University of Kentucky beginning 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Great Hall of the Margaret I. King Library Building. The event is free and open to the public.


Jones' talk, "A Complicity of Silence: Aaron Henry, 'The Fire Ever Burning' and the possibilities of archiving Black genders/sexualities," explores the notion of "a complicity of silence" to consider broadly the challenges and possibilities of documenting black LGBTQ* intimacies, identities, communities and politics in the past. Focusing on the archival collections, public memories and personal memoir of Mississippi civil rights activist Aaron Henry, the talk analyzes the necessity of creating "new" black LGBTQ* collections, interrogating the holdings of "straight" black archival repositories, and reimagining what constitutes historical "evidence" of black LGBTQ* experiences, epistemologies and expressions.


Currently, Jones is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Race Studies, as well as American studies, at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa. Jones teaches 20th century African-American history, black sexuality and the history of sexuality in the U.S.


Jones received her doctoral degree in American history from Princeton University in 2014. In 2007, she received her bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Currently, she is working on a book about the effects of racial equality and the civil rights movement on modern perceptions and understandings of homosexuality. "Queering an American Dilemma: Gender and Sexuality in the United States' Race Relations, 1945-1985," seeks to establish the intertwined histories of African Americans, sexuality and modern conservatism.


The event featuring Jones is sponsored by UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center and the African American and Africana Studies Research Program in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.



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

WUKY Looking for Volunteers for Upcoming Fund Drive

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 22:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2015) — WUKY 91.3FM, the University of Kentucky's NPR station, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year as it connects with listeners across Central Kentucky during the 2015 Fall Fund Drive, Thursday, Sept. 24 - Friday, Oct. 2.  The public radio station is seeking volunteers to assist during the on-air fundraiser.


WUKY Membership Manager Robert T. Hansel said the station depends on the generosity of its listeners and volunteers during fundraisers to make it all work.


"We need groups, organizations, and individuals who are willing to volunteer to help answer calls and take pledges from our listeners" Hansel said. "Feel free to contact your friends and have them join you during this worthwhile event.  Experience the excitement and energy of public radio that rocks!"


Hansel said this is also a good opportunity for companies or organizations to provide a group of volunteers for a day or multiple shifts.  WUKY will designate that specific day or shift to the group, and on-air announcements will be made during that time recognizing the company or organization for providing volunteers.  Ten free public service announcements will also be provided.


WUKY is located on the third floor (which WUKY has dubbed the rock 'n' roll penthouse!) of McVey Hall in the heart of UK's campus. Computers are available for all volunteers to easily take pledges, entering them automatically, while making the transaction seamless and much more cost effective for the donor and station.     


Shifts available include: 


Thursday, Sept. 24              6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 25                  6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 26               8 a.m. – noon

Sunday, Sept. 27               10 a.m. – 1 p.m., 9 – 10 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 28                 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 29                6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 30          6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 1               6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 2                    6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. 


Any hours within the shifts are available.  For more information or to register, call Robert Hansel at 257-3272 or send an email with your contact information.

Campus Safety Survey Reveals Student Perceptions and Experiences

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 15:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2015) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and Diane Follingstad, director of the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women, today unveiled preliminary results from a campus-wide survey of students. Campus Attitudes Toward Safety (CATS) found that most students believe UK is safe, but that too many remain reluctant to report sexual assaults.


UK officials believe the university is among the first in the country to undertake a mandatory campus-wide survey regarding sexual assault and campus climate.


"Our priorities put students first in all that we do, and the University of Kentucky has been at the leading edge of this important campus issue for more than 10 years," Capilouto said. "We've taken a multi-faceted approach to fostering a safe and welcoming campus. This robust survey instrument is the next step in answering important questions about sexual assault, learning and asking more questions that help us improve, and implementing data-driven strategies to make progress at UK. This is what we must do as we undertake our sacred trust to care for the health and well-being of our students."


The data released today represents year one of Capilouto's five-year initiative to assess student perceptions and experiences regarding violence and/or harassment while attending UK. These preliminary results are being published as part of a commitment to transparency and reporting of the results to inform changes in policies to improve safety and the campus environment as necessary. A full demographic breakdown of this 2014-15 academic year data will be available this December.


"This survey and its information IS a next step in addressing violence and harassment for UK students," said Follingstad. "We expect that the detailed information we will be able to abstract from this survey will provide information that units and services on campus will use to make the kinds of changes and introduce programs that will enhance students' safety."


An executive summary of the initial results can be found here:


The early results reveal that students perceive UK to be a safe place. Specifically, more than 98 percent reported feeling safe at UK during the day, while 77 percent felt safe at night. Almost all students (94 percent) believe that UK cares about their safety, and over 90 percent trust the institution, including UK Police, to manage sexual assault reporting in a fair and helpful manner.


However, a large number of students indicated a reluctance to report violence or sexual assaults to campus authorities. Specifically, students who did not seek any help from UK sources (65 percent) reported reasons such as wanting to forget it happened, privacy, or embarrassment. Around 26 percent of those students did not want to deal with the formal procedures for reporting a sexual assault.


Regarding sexual violence specifically, students were asked about "unwanted sexual experiences" in the past year. These experiences were defined using federal reporting criteria, and included incapacitation due to alcohol or drugs (whether voluntarily taken or slipped into a drink), threats of harm, physical force, as well as escaping from attempts to force sex. Based on these measures, 4.9 percent of UK students reported experiences of sexual assault.


"Because we surveyed the entire student population, we have a clearer understanding of our strengths and areas where we need to improve," Capilouto said. "By utilizing both quantitative and qualitative survey tools, we've collected important feedback and shared the results with relevant units. We will continue to administer this survey over the next five years, but units are already beginning to develop and implement data-driven solutions based on what we learned."


Data from national samples that used similar parameters as CATS had comparable results in terms of the prevalence of sexual assaults. For example, the Campus Sexual Assault Study (2007) by the U.S. Department of Justice, found 3.4 percent of female students saying they had been victims of sexual assault.


All UK students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) completed CATS last semester as part of their class registration process. The confidential survey consisted of several sections that asked questions about students' beliefs, opinions, and knowledge of various topics concerning personal safety and the social environments of the university.


The development of these sections occurred through partnerships with the UK President's Office, UK Police, University Health Services (UHS), Student Affairs, Legal Counsel, and the office of Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP).


Watch the news conference from Monday, Aug. 31, 2015:



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

UK's Woodrum Appointed to American Chemical Society Exams Committee

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — Kim Woodrum, a senior lecturer in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry, has been appointed as a committee member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute.


The committee is responsible for producing the 2017 General Chemistry Paired Questions Examination. This exam, and others prepared by the Examinations Institute, is used by many high school and undergraduate chemistry courses in the U.S. 


"The appointment to this committee is a significant recognition of stature in the chemistry education community and is an important creative and professional activity. I am sure that you are pleased to have outstanding individuals such as Kim as a member of your faculty," wrote Kristen Murphy, director of the Examinations Institute, in a letter to Department of Chemistry Chair Mark Meier.


Woodrum has taught general chemistry courses for more than 20 years, and her research interests are in the field of chemical education. She has received the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher award, the Provost's Outstanding Teaching Award and the College of Arts and Sciences' Outstanding Teaching Award. Woodrum received both her bachelor's and doctoral degrees from UK. 




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

UK Officials to Unveil Results From Campus-wide Survey

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 08:26
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2015) — At 10 a.m. today, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and Diane Follingstad, director of the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women, will unveil preliminary results from the Campus Attitudes Toward Safety survey, or CATS. UK officials believe the university is among the first in the country to undertake a mandatory, campus-wide survey regarding sexual assault and campus climate. Watch the live stream here: The data represents year one of President Capilouto's five-year initiative to assess student perceptions and experiences regarding personal safety while attending UK.  All UK students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) completed CATS last semester as part of their class registration process. The confidential survey consisted of several sections that asked questions about students' beliefs, opinions, and knowledge of various topics concerning personal safety and the social environments of the university. More information about the preliminary results will be available at 10 a.m. on UKNow.  MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; 

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Highlights the Singletary Center Signature Series

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  On today's program, guest host Alan Lytle, WUKY news director, talks with Matt Gibson, marketing and ticketing manager with UK's Singletary Center for the Arts, about the upcoming 2015-16 Signature Series. 


To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit


"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

DanceBlue Opens the Semester Big With DanceBlueU and Begins a New Decade

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 14:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015) — This year is DanceBlue’s biggest yet as it goes into its 11th year of supporting the kids! After a decade of rapid growth and hard work, there is no better way to kick off the next decade than with your help.


DanceBlue is the University of Kentucky's 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Now in its 11th year, DanceBlue has raised more than $8.1 million dollars for pediatric cancer research and child life efforts.


DanceBlue is not just 24 hours; it is a culmination of 365 days of work. And as we get back to school, DanceBlue has planned some exciting events for the UK community, starting with DanceBlueU, which will be held this evening from 6-9 p.m. at the Seaton Center Gym.

What is DanceBlueU? It is a three-hour mini dance marathon for freshmen! As DanceBlue’s first K Week event, it serves as a way for the new students to get a feel of the 24-hour dance marathon. During the three hours, freshmen will stand, get to know their morale group, meet DanceBlue committee members, learn the line dance, and play a game from the 2015 marathon.


Other big events to look out for this semester include the following:


Blitz Week Sept. 21-25


For an entire week, UK goes gold for the kids and supports National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. DanceBlue leads this effort each year with its annual Blitz Week event. The week features fun, games, and giveaways, but most importantly, you can register as a team or an individual to dance at the DanceBlue Marathon.


DanceBlue 5K Oct. 4


DanceBlue will host the annual DanceBlue 5K race Oct. 4 at Coldstream Park in Lexington. Coldstream Park was once a prominent Kentucky horse farm and home to the first Kentucky Derby winner, Aristides. So, take a break from your studies, lace up your running shoes, and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the heart of horse country for the kids!


For more information about DanceBlue, registration information or to support its efforts, please visit Connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at and on Twitter at


DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. For more information about the CCO, visit



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;


Collaborative and Novel Methodology Projects Awarded Pilot Funding

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 14:22

Lexington, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015) —The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) awarded pilot funding to 10 projects that foster collaboration and new medical product development. The pilot funding program provides research support and up to $50,000 for preliminary and proof-of-concept studies critical to moving basic laboratory findings into clinical applications.


Awardees for this round of funding include:



Gilson Capilouto, PhD, UK College of Health Sciences

"Lingual Dynamics and Feeding Coordination in Neonates"




CCTS-Markey Cancer Center Collaborative Pilot Award: 

Tadahide Izumi, PhD, UK College of Medicine

"Selective sensitization of head and neck tumors by arsenic trioxide"


CCTS-Sanders Brown Center On Aging Collaborative Pilot Award:

Ai-Ling Lin, PhD, UK College of Medicine

"Rapamycin restores cerebrovascular and cognitive functions in APOE4 carriers"


CCTS-Barnstable Brown Diabetes And Obesity Center Collaborative Pilot Award:

Sanda Despa, PhD, UK College of Medicine

"Ion Transport in Diabetic Human Hearts"


CCTS-Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Collaborative Center Pilot Award:

Patrick Sullivan, PhD, UK College of Medicine

"mitoNEET as a Novel Therapeutic Target for TBI"


Community Engagement

Claire Snell-Rood, PhD, UK College of Medicine

"Cultural adaptation of collaborative care for depressed Appalachian women: a community health worker model"


Partnership with other Appalachian Translational Research Network Institutions:

University of Kentucky-University of Cincinnati Collaborative Award:

Peixuan Guo, PhD, UK College of Pharmacy

Lisa M. Privette Vinnedge, PhD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine 

"Targeting the DEK oncogene using RNA nanoparticle technology as a novel cancer therapeutic" 


University of Kentucky-University of North Carolina Collaborative Award:

Jimmi Hatton Kolpek, PharmD, UK College of Pharmacy,

Denise Rhoney, PharmD, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy

"The Impact of Kidney Function on Drug Concentration after Acute Brain Injury"


University of Kentucky-Marshall University Collaborative Award:

Jeremy McAleer, PhD, Marshall University College of Pharmacy

"Regulation of pulmonary CD4 T cell immunity by commensal bacteria"


University of Kentucky- West Virginia University Collaborative Award:

Babak Bazgari, PhD, UK College of Engineering

Xiaopeng Ning, PhD, WVU College of Engineering, Department of Industrial Management Systems Engineering

"Toward an objective and quantitative assessment of lower back pain: understanding patients' biomechanical changes after lumbar facet nerve block"


For inquiries regarding the pilot program visit or contact Elodie Elayi, research development director and pilot coordinator, at



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


UK Offers Experiential Learning to STEM Teachers

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 14:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — Teaching science is one thing, experiencing it is another. Through a unique program, Kentucky science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers spent this past summer experiencing the subjects firsthand on the University of Kentucky campus through the STEM PRIDE program.


Spearheaded by faculty and staff in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and UK College of Education, the two-year program focuses on providing teachers of middle and high school students and area technology centers broad experience in each area.


“The teachers get to see what happens in research labs at a university and in a related industry and how they connect or differ in practices, skills and the questions that the researchers ask,” said Carol Hanley, a staff member in the Office for Environmental Programs Outreach Services and project principal investigator. “To our knowledge, we are the only ones with a program like this.”


These are opportunities teachers wouldn’t have received going straight from college graduation into a K-12 classroom — opportunities that can provide them with background and context as they educate and guide students interested in pursuing careers in one of these fields. It is made possible by a Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education grant.


“We all recognize the need for our educational system to better prepare students for the world,” said Brett Criswell, UK clinical assistant professor of STEM Education. “The idea we had was to start with the teachers and help them really understand the world of STEM research.”


During summer 2015, teachers from six school districts worked in the labs of researchers at UK and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Schools were chosen based on a priority list from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education that focused on districts that were lacking in certified STEM educators and had student needs.


While in the lab, the teachers worked on investigations beside researchers and graduate students. The teachers plan to develop their own teaching modules based on these experiences.


“I think it was a great surprise to the teachers, because their idea of what research was totally changed this summer,” said Eve Proffitt, director of the P20 Innovation Lab. “These teachers see the value of the research process and how they can connect that to their classroom.”


In the summer of 2016, the teachers will work with an industry mentor. Teachers will keep in contact with both their university and industry mentors throughout both years of the experience.


The program focuses on eight STEM areas including nutrition, manufacturing, energy, medicine, biology, agriculture, earth science and chemistry. Participating researchers are from the UK Center for Applied Energy Research and the colleges of pharmacy, engineering, medicine, arts and sciences and agriculture, food and environment. Industry representatives include Alltech, Big Ass Fans, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, Markey Cancer Center, Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Ferm Solutions, Amec Foster Wheeler and Evolva.


“Everybody we partnered with was willing to help, because they know the importance of having quality K-12 teachers, quality K-12 education and better students,” Hanley said.

During the school year, participating university faculty will visit the classes of each of the teachers they mentored to share information about their careers with students. The teachers are encouraged to take their classes on a field trip to the lab where they worked over the summer.


“This project really gets at the heart of STEM, helping teachers find their STEM identities and increasing STEM literacy. Most importantly, it connects them with like-minded colleagues, university faculty and industry professionals who are available on a regular basis to help them increase their overall content knowledge as well as integrate it into their classroom,” said Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, UK associate professor of STEM Education and co-chair of the Secondary Mathematics Program.


College of Education faculty were also able to share this experience with students in their Master’s with Initial Certification program. The goal is for STEM PRIDE to be sustained for both experienced and future teachers.




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

Ann Vail Named College of Social Work Interim Dean

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 14:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015) — University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy announced that Ann Vail, director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has been named interim dean of the UK College of Social Work.


Professor Vail, who also is assistant director of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, is a distinguished educator and researcher who received the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Leader Award in 2006.


Prior to coming to Kentucky she headed two departments at New Mexico State University, Family and Consumer Sciences and Extension Home Economics. Vail previously held faculty positions at Iowa State University, the University of Idaho, and The Ohio State University. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Ohio State and her bachelor's degree from Colorado State University in Family and Consumer Sciences Education.


Vail is the author of several books, numerous refereed publications, abstracts, proceedings and technical reports. Her books include: "Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Family and Personal Relationships," an issues-based book used in college courses across the country; "Taking Sides Instructors Guide"; and an AAFCS yearbook titled, "Leadership for Change: National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education."


“I am pleased that Dr. Vail has accepted this position as she brings a wealth of administrative skills and scholarship to the position," said Tracy. "Her extensive experience in working with families through the School of Human Environmental Sciences is a perfect complement to the outstanding work of the College of Social Work in helping families, as well.”


Vail, who will continue to serve as director of HES while she assumes her new responsibilities, is principal investigator on the following grants:

·         National Coordination Center for Regional Nutrition Education Centers of Excellence

·         UK Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education

·         Collaborative Environment Approaches to Reduce Obesity Disparities in Kentucky

·         Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center 


Vail holds membership in three honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Omicron Nu, and Phi Upsilon Omicron.


"I am honored to join with the outstanding faculty and staff in the UK College of Social Work," said Vail. "The college has a proud tradition of helping to find solutions to difficult societal problems as well as preparing the next generation of social work professionals."


James P. "Ike" Adams, Jr., dean of the College of Social Work for the past six years, will serve as special assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs working with UK's Living Learning Programs.


MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;

New Podcast Tackles Current Events With a 'Brief History of History'

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 13:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2015) — Have you ever wondered if your vote actually counts? Is a drone or a dog more useful in a combat zone? How long has there actually been a war on Christmas? And why is it taking so long to elect a female president? Two University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences doctoral students want to answer these questions by talking with UK historians. The catch: they have to be brief.


"Long Story Short: A Brief History of History," a podcast produced by Department of History doctoral students Cody Foster and Dara Vance, premiered last week on the college's SoundCloud. In the first episode, Foster and Vance talk with history Professor Mark Summers about the history of voting in America and "whether or not your vote really counts."


Listen to the episode above or at


"Long Story Short" will air bi-monthly through December, featuring faculty in the Department of History and answering questions rooted in U.S. studies, while offering a comparative perspective at the international level. Foster and Vance will also spotlight new faculty publications in 30-second book promotions.


"Podcasting is a great way to both connect the community to the department, but also produce a tangible product of one of the things historians can 'do,'" Vance said.


Foster believes podcasts have the potential to reach vast audiences around the world, especially with the convenience of listening while "in your car, on a run, while cooking, etc." The pair thought, "what if we take advantage of this and use it to educate audiences?"


"We also want to promote the extraordinary historical talent in the UK history department. A typical history professor at the University of Kentucky can reach an average of 30 students in a single classroom; a podcast can reach the world," Foster said.


Within 12 hours of being posted online, the podcast reached 186 listeners throughout the U.S., England and Australia. In 48 hours, the podcast had been played 220 times. One high school teacher even contacted Foster via Twitter to ask if she could use the podcasts in her classroom. (He said yes.)


The team is still sorting out the podcast schedule for this semester, but they hope to expand to bi-weekly podcasts in the spring. Eventually, undergraduates will also participate by exploring local museums, historic sites and libraries to interview history experts and the local public about historical topics.


"For now, though, we really want to answer interesting questions that get students excited about history," Foster said.


The podcast can be found on the UK Department of History website, SoundCloud and iTunes. "Long Story Short" is also on Twitter: @AShorterHistory. And it will be offered on UKNow.




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

Student Government Offers Child Care Grants

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 10:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Student Government Association (SGA) is once again offering child care grants to part-time and full-time UK students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. 


"The goal of these grants is to help any University of Kentucky student who is having to pay for child care while attending the university," said SGA Academic and Student Affairs Committee Chair Ben Childress. "SGA strives to enhance the overall student experience, assisting the student body in any way possible by providing necessary student services — child care grants is one of these services."


By helping students pay for child care services, Student Government hopes that UK students can further their education with less financial stress.  The grant will be credited to the student’s myUK account.


In order to qualify for a child care grant, a student must be enrolled at UK in the semester that they are applying for the grant.  The student’s child must be enrolled in a daycare or after-school program that requires a weekly or monthly payment.  This is a one-time grant with applications available each semester. 


To apply, click here.  The deadline to apply is Oct. 1 at noon.  No late applications will be accepted.




MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;


Apply for Special Collections Learning Lab Internships Now

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 10:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2014) — One week remains for students to apply for the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Learning Lab internship. The SCRC Learning Lab is a center of primary research, experiential learning, and training targeted to UK undergraduates in various disciplines who want to enhance their studies through training in archival methods and theory. Applications for fall and spring internships are due Friday, Sept. 4.


Interns with the SCRC Learning Lab will be taught to arrange and describe rare or unique collections in their area of research interest, and enhance access to those collections through the broader academic community through creating guides, exhibits or transcriptions. Interns will also produce a final scholarly project, such as a poster, presentation or exhibit, reflecting on the impact the internship had on their research.


Interns will be expected to work five to 10 hours a week and will receive $8.80 per hour.


This year's interns will make accessible a collection that highlights Lexington’s architectural history by processing the Frankel and Curtis blueprints and papers. Multiple students will work together on a multi-format project after the collection is processed that will layer GIS technology, city government data, and archival photos using digital humanities tools. This project will also include analysis of a National Register of Historic Places application.


This is an ideal project for students of various backgrounds, including computer science, architecture, engineering, historic preservation, geography, sociology, anthropology, fine arts or history. For more details, visit the UK Libraries website at:


Interested applicants in the SCRC internship are encouraged to submit a completed application form found on the lab’s website at, with cover letter, resume/CV, and one faculty reference by Friday, Sept. 4, to: Deirdre Scaggs, Associate Dean of Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries, Margaret I. King Building, Lexington, KY, 40506-0039. To email an internship packet, send materials to


UK Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center and the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection. The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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

Submit Proposals Now for Gaines Center's Bingham Seminar, Clark Lectureship

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 09:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015) — Only a couple more weeks remain to submit faculty proposals for the Spring 2016 Mary C. Bingham Seminar and Thomas D. Clark Lectureship in the Humanities from the University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities. Every other year, the Gaines Center holds an open competition among UK faculty who wish to offer a special humanities-oriented seminar that includes a travel experience. Proposals are due by Sept. 14.


The Bingham Seminar provides faculty and students a chance to explore a subject not in the university's regular course offerings and to do so on-site, since the seminar provides funding to offset the cost of course development and two to four weeks of study either in the U.S. or abroad. The winning educator is responsible for documenting the Bingham Seminar experience. Ten students are selected for the seminar by way of competitive application.


The associated Clark Lectureship provides funding to host a visiting lecturer. The lectureship allows the seminar instructor to invite a distinguished person in the field of study to offer two lectures, one for the public and the other for the seminar in the spring of 2016. The Clark Lectureship provides an honorarium and also covers transportation and hospitality expenses of the speaker.


Faculty should submit their proposals for the Bingham Seminar and the Clark Lectureship no later than Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. More information about the seminar can be found here: The application can be found here:


Proposals may be submitted by email to Phil Harling, director of the Gaines Center, at Faculty may also submit a hard copy of the proposal to: The Gaines Center, 232 E. Maxwell Street, Lexington, KY 40506-0344.



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

UK Ag's Jacqueline Smith Earns National Honor

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2015) — The American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) recently awarded an honorary diploma to Jacqueline Smith at the annual meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association in Boston.


Smith is the epidemiology section chief for the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL) in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. UK VDL Director and AVES Executive Director and President-elect Craig Carter said Smith has revolutionized the way the laboratory uses large volumes of diagnostic testing data to delineate current animal health trends.


“Jacqueline has played a key role in our ability to provide early detection of animal disease outbreaks via a custom-developed mathematical disease cluster detection system,” he said. “This is vital to keeping Kentucky veterinarians, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services informed regarding endemic and emerging animal diseases, as well as confirmed diagnoses of zoonotic diseases that can spill over into the human population.”


Smith received her bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Berea College before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, to complete a master’s in dairy science in 2001. She joined the UK VDL epidemiology group as a research analyst in 2006 while earning a doctorate in animal science from UK with a strong focus on epidemiology, graduating in 2012. She has served as the epidemiology section chief since 2008.


The society annually awards the honorary diploma to up to 10 recipients who have made significant contributions to veterinary epidemiology.



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

Behind the Scenes of Becoming a Wildcat

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 13:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015) "see blue." Preview Nights leave paw prints on cities throughout the Bluegrass State — and the country for that matter. During these evenings of recruitment, the University of Kentucky travels as far as Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and other major cities spreading Wildcat pride — and has done so for more than 10 years.  Behind the scenes, UK staff, faculty and students work diligently to provide an unforgettable initial "see blue." experience for high school students getting ready to make that huge college choice.


Preview Nights are evenings where prospective students and their families have the opportunity to talk with faculty, staff and current students about academic programs, campus departments, residence halls, student life and involvement.


"'see blue.' Preview Nights represent the best of the University of Kentucky showcasing the incredible academic and student success opportunities for all prospective students," said Don Witt, associate provost for enrollment management. "The program is really a unique way for students and families to learn what UK offers with the many academic majors, minors along with financial aid/scholarships, housing, student account services, and student affairs just to mention a few."


Hosting a Preview Night is no small task. For this opportunity that allows students direct access to representatives across all departments of the university, collaborative and precise planning must go into every Preview Night to make it spectacular and worthwhile for future Wildcats.


"Preview Nights are so special because you can feel the students' excitement as they explore options for the next phase of their lives," Senior Associate Director of Recruitment Jonathan Blazejewski said. "We try to give prospective students academic expectations through a fun event — for instance while teaching them the Cats cheer. It's the excitement of those students going through the college process and finding the right fit and realizing the possibilities they have with those decisions — that's what motivates us to provide as wonderful experience as we can for them."


Many different units of campus cooperate to create "see blue." Preview Nights.  A typical Preview Night features more than 30 different tables, displaying 13 colleges within the university and their programs as well as different departments, such as financial aid and housing.


Universities don't typically showcase such specific units on campus in their college preview events, therefore UK's collaborative effort makes a "see blue." Preview Night one-of-a-kind. This allows each prospective student to gain a deeper understanding of the countless opportunities at UK. 


Each college and program provides at least one representative, sometimes more. This allows Preview Night attendees the opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with an ambassador directly in that field. Every college and department plays a vital role in the functionality of the event. 


The preparation for Preview Nights starts early with logistical coordination — the reservation of the venue months in advance, invitations, post cards and letters that are mailed to prospective students in early August, and all those charter busses, moving trucks and hotel rooms that are booked.


Then, a kick-off meeting will take place mid-August which includes all departments and colleges.  At this meeting, directors and recruiters will discuss the organizing of transportation and materials needed to make the trips. Also, a collaborative plan will provide a uniting of each college and department through a listserv which supplies each unit with updates and allows for constant communication between departments.


The end of August marks the start of Preview Nights. Wildcat ambassadors, tour guides, student speakers, college ambassadors, recruiters, faculty and staff combine to create an unforgettable "see blue." experience for the approximately 12,000 people who attend each year.


Encouraging prospective students to "Become a Wildcat" takes countless efforts among a broad spectrum of members in the UK family. For a typical Preview Night, 10 to 15 student recruiters, 40 staff and faculty members and 10 or more student workers are in attendance.  Each person plays a vital role in the success of Preview Nights.


"UK is on the move and the Preview Nights are a true reflection of the excitement on campus," said Witt. 


A collaborative effort behind the scenes makes "see blue." Preview Nights possible.  With the help of numerous colleges and departments on campus, the university is able to provide 13 in-state Preview Nights and eight out-of-state events, including an additional virtual Preview Night offered for those unable to attend in person.  All efforts strive to foster excitement in students to "Become a Wildcat!"



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;