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NICU Nurses Receive Training to Facilitate Important Family Bonding

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 17:45

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2015) — With her tiny body too vulnerable to withstand the world outside her mother’s womb, infant Emma Lewis continued to grow and develop inside an incubator during the first four days of her life.

 

But the life-preserving incubator at Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) also separated Emma from her mother’s nurturing touch, which plays an important role in comforting and strengthening newborns. Those days were emotionally grueling for parents Katie and D.J. Lewis, who feared they were missing out on a critical time of bonding with their baby.

 

“I just always thought I’d have a picture-perfect delivery,” Katie Lewis said. “That I will get to hold her, and all the family will come and see her and hold her.”

 

Halfway through Katie’s pregnancy, a serious and rare complication expedited Emma’s delivery, making Katie’s vision of a perfect birth impossible. Obstetricians at St. Joseph East diagnosed Lewis with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening variation of preeclampsia that causes a depletion of red blood cells and liver failure in the mother. As symptoms worsened, Katie’s brain swelled and liver started to fail. Because the only way to stop the progression of HELLP syndrome is through delivery, doctors sent Lewis to UK HealthCare where an obstetrics teams delivered baby Emma via emergency cesarean section at 26 weeks gestational age.

 

One-pound, 15-ounce Emma arrived on July 13, 2015, attached to intravenous lines, beeping monitors and a breathing ventilator to support her underdeveloped lungs. The neonatal care team watched Emma closely because of the risk of brain bleed, and monitored her red blood cell count and bacterial infections. While the team focused on giving Emma the best chance for survival and recovery, they did not neglect the essential function of maternal and paternal bonding during her stay in the NICU. Even in cases involving the earliest born and weakest babies, the NICU nursing staff attempts to accommodate maternal-paternal bonding with families through postponed Kangaroo Care.

 

In 2015, three Kentucky Children’s Hospital nurses, LaQuinta Bailey, Tara Hunt and Lisa McGee, received special training to facilitate Kangaroo Care for parents whose baby required treatment in the NICU. A standard method for initiating the maternal-infant bonding process of skin-to-skin contact, Kangaroo Care is typically conducted immediately after birth by placing the baby on the mother’s chest. Skin-to-skin contact soothes infants under stress, stimulates the nervous system, regulates an infant’s heart rate, and improves weight gain, among other benefits for mothers and babies. In the busy NICU environment, where intravenous lines, incubator isolation, heart monitors, and feeding tubes complicate the process, nurses must work within their environment and parameters to engage families in bonding practices.

 

Lisa McGee, a NICU clinical nurse specialist, said the additional expertise has prepared KCH nurses to help families navigate the challenges of implementing Kangaroo Care hours, days or even weeks after birth.

 

“There is a lot of science behind Kangaroo Care,” McGee said. “Actually, the biggest thing it does is to decrease stress in the baby, and it helps parasympathetic nervous system to come into play, so that the baby calms down.”

 

Katie Lewis recalls nurses in the operating room encouraging her to look at Emma immediately after the cesarean delivery. Because Emma required immediate placement in an incubator, the medical team couldn’t spare any time for maternal bonding. Instead, the nurses initiated paternal bonding with D.J. Lewis after birth by allowing the new dad to touch Emma as she was relocated to an incubator.

 

A day later, Katie recovered from surgery and reunited with Emma, who was still inside the incubator. After four days passed, the eager parents were able to hold Emma outside the incubator for the first time. During this interaction, nurses helped initiate skin-to-skin contact by setting Emma on the chests of her parents.

 

At first, the couple held Emma for increments of an hour and a half because getting the baby in and out of the incubator frequently was a risk. Emma relied on the warmth of her parents’ bodies to retain heat, calories and body temperature. As Emma gained strength, the nursing staff gradually introduced the parents to new bonding opportunities, such as giving Emma a bath, pushing her food through a feeding tube, giving her a bottle of Katie’s breast milk and reading her books.

 

Bonding was especially important for D.J. Lewis, a sergeant in the U.S. Army. At the time of Emma’s birth, Lewis was preparing for a yearlong deployment to Kuwait in September. He couldn’t wait for IV lines and monitors to disappear to begin the bonding process with their daughter.

 

“He loved it,” Katie Lewis said of D.J.’s role in paternal bonding. “He would just fall asleep with her and rub her head and read books.”

 

Katie Lewis said the NICU nurses encouraged and affirmed the parents in interacting with their fragile child. The nurses shifted equipment and rearranged areas in the NICU pods to accommodate peaceful Kangaroo Care time for the family, even in the middle of the night. As Emma’s chances of survival increased with each day, the nurses transitioned the responsibility of care to the parents. The parents learned the baby’s signals indicating breathing problems or a loss of body heat.

 

“None of them made me feel like I didn’t know what I was doing,” Katie Lewis said of the nursing staff. “They would help reposition us, they would move the incubator — to make us feel as at home as possible.”

 

By the time Emma was ready to leave the hospital in September, Katie Lewis felt terrified but also excited.

 

“When we got home, I sat on my couch and I held her and I cried because it’s such an exciting feeling,” Katie Lewis said. “To be able to reach that milestone and go home for good was a very exciting feeling.”

 

More NICU nurses will receive formal training to become certified Kangaroo Care Caregivers. McGee said low birth weight infants received Kangaroo Care in about 45 percent of cases, with efforts underway to increase the number of families benefiting from Kangaroo Care.

 

And paternal bonding was worth the extra effort for D.J. Lewis, who came home to visit his family in November. Emma had no trouble snuggling and sleeping on her dad’s chest after his time away.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

 

 

 

Confucius Institute Director is Guest on WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 16:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell. Today, guest host Chase Cavanaugh speaks with Huajing Maske, director of the University of Kentucky's Confucius Institute, which offers programs on Chinese language and culture. 

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-perspectives-look-confucius-institute.

 

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

UK Studio Season Shines Spotlight on Directing, Playwriting Talents

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 16:12

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016) — Performances of "Dead Poets Society" will kick off this semester of productions in the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance Studio Season. The spring portion of the season, which gives UK students the chance to stage their own work or interpretations of work, opens with two showings of "Dead Poets Society" at 5 p.m. today (Friday, Feb. 5) and noon Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Lucille C. Little Black Box Theatre, located in room 102 of the Fine Arts Building.

 

The UK Theatre and Dance Studio Season provides an opportunity for students to generate their own work in the department's facilities with the department's available resources and benefiting from the advice and supervision of the department's faculty and staff. Theatre faculty encourage students to use the Studio Season as a laboratory for experimentation in a variety of theatrical forms. Students are challenged to think creatively.

 

This spring's productions and the students presenting them are:

· "Dead Poets Society," play by Gina Cerimele-Mechley and Cincinnati Actor’s Studio and Academy, directed by theatre senior Faith Gingrich-Goetz, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 5-6;

· "Nevada, Nevada," play by English and theatre senior Jenny Winstead, of Louisville, Kentucky, directed by theatre junior Maddy Williamson, of Norfolk, Virginia, Feb. 26-27;

· "Revenge on Reality," play written and directed by theatre senior Rob Miller, of Hilliard, Ohio, March 25-26;

· "Our Town," play by Thornton Wilder, directed by senior Daylin Tone, of Burbank, California, April 1-2;

· "Women and Wallace," play by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by theatre senior Katy Vest, of Frankfort, Kentucky, April 8-9;

· "Eat (It’s Not About Food)," play by Linda Daugherty, directed by elementary education and theatre junior Myranda Thomas, of Corbin, Kentucky, April 18-19;

· "Five Drinks," play by Jake Willams and Anna Dye, directed by Tone, April 22-23; and

· "Jefferson Hawthorne," play by English and theatre senior Abby Schroering, of Louisville, directed by theatre junior Curtis Lipsey, of Louisville, April 29-30.

For specific times for each production, visit http://finearts.uky.edu/theatre/studio-season. All performances will be staged in the Little Black Box Theatre, except "Our Town," which will be held in the Wallace N. Briggs Theatre. All shows are free and open to the public.

 

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; whitney.hale@uky.edu

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: Feb. 5-7, 1912

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 15:24

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 165th, 166th and 167th diary entries from Feb. 5-7, 1912, recall her missing a yearbook meeting due to a bad cold, and after a day of rest, getting back on her feet to attend her Y.W.C.A. cabinet picture, another yearbook meeting where she turned in a piece to be published on the "disappearance" of a fellow student, and the UK women’s basketball game against University of Tennessee

 

Feb. 5th. Stay in and can't speak a word. Everybody lovely to me. Have to miss Annual Meeting.

 

Feb. 6th. Go to have Y.W.C.A. cabinet picture at Spengler's.

 

Feb. 7th. Annual meeting when I hand in first contribution, Mr. Nagel says, "Much Ado" is "rich." Very few present. Go with Jessie Mit to Tennessee game, which was fine. We beat them 27-15.

 

 

More on Virginia Clay McClure

 

Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.

 

The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.

 

Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish. 

 

McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.

 

The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.

 

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

 

The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.

 

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections Research Center. UK Special Collections 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, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UKSGA Child Care Grant Applications Now Open

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 13:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016) — 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," SGA Senate President Ben Childress said. "SGA strives to enhance the overall student experience, assisting the student body in any way possible by providing necessary student services — child care grants are 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 day care 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 noon Thursday, March 1. No late applications will be accepted.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, 859-257-1909; katy.bennett@uky.edu; Rebecca Stratton, 859-323-2395; rebecca.stratton@uky.edu

 

Heart-Healthy Tips, Treats and Prizes in Chandler Hospital Pavilion A Tomorrow

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 11:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — Want a free chair massage? An aromatherapy hand massage?  A chocolaty fruit treat? If you "Go Red" tomorrow, you can get all of this and more.

 

February is Heart Month and Feb. 5 is the American Heart Association's "Go Red Day" celebrating women's heart health. Beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the atrium of Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A, the Gill Heart Institute will celebrate Go Red Day with heart-healthy tips, treats and prizes.

 

According to Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of the Women's Heart Health Program at the Gill Heart Institute, women's hearts are different from men's in certain ways, which can affect the way women develop heart disease and experience heart attack symptoms.

"People assume all heart attacks feel like a crushing in the chest, but often, and for women in particular, the symptoms of a heart attack can be quite different," Wells said.  "Events like Go Red Day give us another opportunity to teach women what to look for and how to take the best care of your heart."

 

There will be free chair massages and aromatherapy hand massages beginning at 11 a.m. in the Pavilion A atrium of Chandler Hospital. At noon, Wells will offer tips for women's heart health. Afterward, there will be delicious treats, gifts and take-home information. Anyone wearing red is encouraged to participate in a group photo session at 12:30 p.m.

 

To be eligible for a prize, take a selfie wearing red and post it to the Gill Heart Association's Facebook page with the hashtag "#GillGoesRed."  You can also visit http://twibbon.com/Support/gill-goes-red-2016-2 for instructions on how to customize your photo.

 

 

 

UK Faculty Win Big at Lexington Music Awards

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:36

 

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016) — Two University of Kentucky School of Music faculty and a former faculty member took home awards at the second annual Lexington Music Awards held Jan. 31, at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.

 

Raleigh Dailey, associate professor of UK Jazz Studies, took home the award for Best Keyboardist. Dailey, who earned his doctoral degree from UK, is an internationally recognized jazz pianist, composer, scholar and educator. Under his direction, UK's Lab Band and Jazz Combos have performed nationally at various jazz festivals, including the International Jazz Education Network Conference. Dailey regularly performs worldwide, and his recordings were the subject of a recent feature article in DownBeat magazine.

 

Kevin Holm-Hudson, an associate professor of music theory, took home the Jay Flippin Music Education Award. Holm-Hudson has taught at UK since 2000. He holds a doctoral degree in composition (with an ethnomusicology emphasis) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of "Genesis and the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" (Ashgate, 2008) and the editor of "Progressive Rock Reconsidered" (Routledge, 2002). He is currently preparing a music theory textbook for Oxford University Press.

 

This is Holm-Hudson’s second Lexington Music Award. In addition to being one of the evening's winners, Holm-Hudson and his group, The Twiggenburys, served as the house band for the awards ceremony.

 

Vince DiMartino, a former UK faculty member, received the Lexington Music Award’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to Kentucky music. Described as one of the most sought after trumpet performers and educators, DiMartino has also received the CASE Professor of the Year award in Kentucky in 2004 and the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. DiMartino retired in 2012 from Centre College.

 

The idea for the Lexington Music Awards came about from Lexington musician and music teacher, David McLean. McLean intended for the event to be a small gathering, but soon realized that there was much more interest in the event than he originally predicted. In order to determine the winners of each category, McLean has the public make nominations online. He then narrows down the votes to the top four candidates per category and had individual nominees vote on each category to determine the winners.

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK's Math and Science Outreach Recognized with Robinson Award

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016) — At its February meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education presented the annual Dr. Samuel Robinson Award to co-winners — the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER) at the University of Kentucky and the Playhouse in the Park/Murray Calloway County Community Theater.

 

Since 2004, the Dr. Samuel Robinson Award has been conferred on an individual or group in Kentucky for outstanding leadership, commitment and service in promoting equity and opportunity to learn at high levels for all Kentucky students.

 

PIMSER was nominated for the Robinson Award by Tim Schneider, an interim secondary teaching and learning lead teacher in the Campbell County public schools. Schneider described PIMSER as his “educational leadership Think Tank” that he uses frequently.

 

“PIMSER is ‘that’ place where I can go to see and experience the current research put into practice," he said. "The research-based initiatives shared by experienced, well qualified staff at the institute are phenomenal!”

 

Sara M. Poeppelman, chair of the Lewis County High School Science Department, agreed with Schneider’s assessment of PIMSER.

 

“Through their outreach programs and offerings for teachers who take these experiences back to enhance their student learning experiences, PIMSER has undoubtedly positively impacted thousands of young Kentuckians’ learning and understanding of mathematics and science and engineering concepts,” she said.

 

Samuel Robinson, for whom the award is named, is a former educator, who served on the Kentucky Board of Education from 1991 to 2004, and is known for being a racial and social justice advocate and for promoting the difference education can make in the lives of all students.

 

Past Recipients of the Dr. Samuel Robinson Award

 

2004 (joint recipients) Sen. Gerald A. Neal of Louisville and the One Community, One Voice Achievement and Closing the Gap Community Committee of Fayette County

 

2005 Robert Smotherman, superintendent of the Bardstown Independent school district

 

2006 (joint recipients) Marlene Helm, Ed.D., former interim dean of the Eastern Kentucky University College of Education and Rep. Frank Rasche of Paducah

 

2007 Kathy Reed, member of the Bardstown Independent school board

 

2008 Laura McGrail, lead school psychologist for the Henderson County school district

 

2009 (joint recipients) Arriba Ninos (Upward Children) program in Shelbyville and the First Baptist Church Bracktown in Fayette County

 

2010 Helen Mountjoy, former secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

 

2011 Robert Sexton, former executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence (posthumous)

 

2012 (joint recipients) Gregory Ross, Ed.D., former principal of McNabb Elementary, Paducah Independent school district, and Kern Alexander, Ed.D., former president of Murray State University and Western Kentucky University

 

2013 (joint recipients) The Fayette Co. Equity Council and Ronnie Nolan, director of the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children (KECSAC)

 

2014 (joint recipients) Cindy Heine, retired associate executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, and Henry Webb, superintendent of Floyd County Schools

 

The Kentucky Department of Education contributed to this report.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

UK Dining Encourages Commuters to Sign Up for Commuter Meal Plan

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016)  With 26 campus dining locations, living off-campus shouldn't stop students from enjoying all that UK Dining has to offer. With specially designed meal plans, students have access to delicious food from Blazer’s made-to-order pasta bar to the gluten free zone at the Fresh Food Company.

 

UK Dining is now offering a chance to win a $100 gas card when non-residential or commuter students sign up for a spring Meal Plan or Flex Plan.

 

To review meal plan options or to sign up, visit the Dining Center or go to www.uky.campusdish.com

 

Commuter students on annual contracts, as well as new spring contracts, will be added to the drawing. The drawing will take place if at least 50 commuters sign up for a new spring Flex or Meal Plan. Promotion excludes Custom Flex Plan. This promotion ends Feb. 12, 2016.
 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

School of Journalism and Telecommunications Welcomes New Director

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 09:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2016)  The University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information welcomes Lars Willnat as the new director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

 

A committee appointed by Dean Dan O’Hair and led by Mike Farrell chose Willnat for this position during the spring 2015 semester. Willnat arrived on UK’s campus in January to begin his new role.

 

“I was thrilled,” Willnat said. “It’s a nice change for me. I’ve been a professor for 20 years. I want to do something different, create something, work with a program that already exists and build on that.”

 

Willnat will take a break from teaching for one semester to allow time for him to settle into his new role. He is looking forward to teaching in the fall semester and plans to instruct a course on media and the upcoming presidential election.

 

His vision for the school includes incorporating additional emerging media courses to the curriculum, updating technology resources for students and creating a professional master’s program within the school.

 

“The big thing that I would really like to accomplish within the next one or two years would be to start a professional master’s program here, and I think there’s big potential for that, focusing on new and emerging media,” Willnat said.

 

Willnat also hopes these changes will bring national recognition to the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at UK.

 

“I would like to make it one of the leading schools in the country,” Willnat said. “I would like to see it as one of the top schools, really.”

 

Preceding Willnat was Beth Barnes, the former director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. Barnes served the school's limit of three four-year terms and went on to teach a UK education abroad course in London, England, this semester, followed by a sabbatical doing research in Zambia during the fall 2016 semester.

 

Willnat, too, has seen much of the world. Before coming to UK, he was a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and most recently at Indiana University.

 

Willnat then spent a sabbatical semester last fall conducting research in Hong Kong, focusing on journalism, politics and social media.

 

Willnat is settling in and enjoying his time on campus.

 

“The campus here is beautiful,” Willnat said. “I was really excited because I like campus life, and Kentucky has a nice one. To me that was one big draw when I came here.”

 

Willnat’s wife, Annette, is now also a part of the Wildcat family. She is teaching "Strategic Public Relations, ISC 341," and "Global Strategies, ISC 497," this semester.

 

Along with David H. Weaver, Willnat has conducted research in digital journalism. Together they will publish a book this year titled "The American Journalist in the Digital Age." The book is based on a representative survey of more than 1,000 U.S. journalists that focuses on how journalists think about their roles in society and their profession overall. 

 

Willnat is the author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters and the co-editor of four books. He has written more than 80 conference papers and worked as a consultant for American industries and government agencies. Willnat is on the editorial boards of four academic journals, has lectured and conducted research in more than 30 countries, has been a Fulbright scholar and guest professor at leading universities across the world.

 

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Willnat join our journalism and media school,” Dean O’Hair said. “Lars is a recognized scholar in the field of journalism and brings a great deal of international experience to the role. Additionally, we are excited to welcome Annette Willnat to the Integrated Strategic Communication faculty. Both Willnats come to UK with a wealth of teaching experience.”

 

Willnat earned his bachelor's degree in media research and political science from the Free University of Berlin and his master's and doctoral degrees in mass communication from Indiana University.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

UK Entomologist Leads Zika Solution Effort

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 18:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — A University of Kentucky entomologist is  leading an international effort to find long-term, sustainable control options to effectively manage a mosquito known to transport several potential deadly viruses, including the Zika virus.

 

Grayson Brown, entomologist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a former president of the Entomological Society of America, the world’s largest entomological organization. Brown along with Luciano Moriera of Brazil, are organizing a meeting of the world’s entomological societies March 13 in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil. There, the world’s leading mosquito experts will discuss collaborative control options for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

 

“Preparations to host this important summit began two years ago as a way to address dengue and chikungunya, which have become global epidemics with a reported 2.35 million cases in the Americas alone,” said Brown, director of UK’s Public Health Entomology Laboratory in the Department of Entomology. “Now that Zika has become an important health crisis, our mission has become even more critical. It is vital that the world’s scientific leaders work together on this issue.”

 

A native of Africa, the Aedes aegypti now exists in subtropical regions throughout the world. In the United States, the mosquito is mostly found in the southernmost states including Texas, Florida and California.

 

Zika and chikungunya rapidly gained momentum as major public health threats after their recent introductions in the Americas. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently identified Zika as a probable cause of microcephaly in newborns, leading the U.S. government to issue travel warnings to affected regions.

 

“For years, Zika virus was associated with monkeys, but it was hardly ever known to impact humans until recently. It became better adapted to humans after reaching South America,” Brown said. “The virus has mutated to be more pathogenic, but we don’t know much about that mutation yet. The Zika virus is mostly a threat to pregnant women, especially those in the first trimester. The average person has nothing to fear from Zika.”

 

In addition to carrying virus that could cause birth defects, the mosquito could be a major economic threat to the affected countries, whose economies depend greatly on the tourism industry.

 

During the summit, entomologists will meet with leaders from government agencies, industry and public health organizations, as well as potential donors, to discuss the crisis caused by the mosquito and create a long-term, sustainable solution using modern techniques and technology to effectively suppress the mosquito’s population.

 

The meeting in Brazil will be the first of two summits hosted by the Entomological Society of America as part of its Grand Challenges Agenda, which looks for areas where entomologists can make a positive impact for people across the world. The second summit will be during the International Congress of Entomology in September in Orlando.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774, katie.pratt@uky.edu

First Ever DanceBlue UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon to be Held Feb. 18

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 16:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — To support outstanding University of Kentucky students who devote a tremendous amount of time and energy fighting against childhood cancer with DanceBlue, the UK Clubs (The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall and the Hilary J. Boone Center) and the UK Staff Senate have teamed up to present a challenge to all colleges and units across the university to see who can raise the most money for DanceBlue. UK faculty and staff who raise funds over the next two weeks are encouraged to celebrate this collective effort by attending the first ever DanceBlue UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon, on Thursday, Feb. 18.

 

The UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Hilary J. Boone Center. View a special video invitation from the DanceBlue leadership at below.

 

UK Faculty and Staff Mini Marathon from UK DanceBlue on Vimeo.

 

"I'm so happy that we are giving the faculty and staff of UK a chance to become a part of this cause," said DanceBlue Overall Chair Erica Shipley. "It has become such an integral part of the student experience at UK, whether you're a dancer, volunteer or just a general supporter, and now we can give our professors and role models a chance to become part of it as well."

 

The mini marathon will feature a DanceBlue presentation from the leadership, as well as:

· Teaching of the line dance to attendees performed this fundraising year

· Patient stories and video

· Corn hole

· UK Basketball film

· "Just Dance" video

· Food from a special menu prepared by Chef Russell (see menu below)

· The final reveal of the total amount of money raised by the the faculty/staff challenge.

 

The only mini marathon rules are “no sitting, no sleeping” for the duration of the event in the spirit of supporting children with cancer. As Shipley states, “DanceBlue ... means so many things to so many people. For students (who participate in the 24-hour marathon), it means standing and dancing for kids whose strength is unparalleled.”  

 

Now in its 11th year, DanceBlue represents the University of Kentucky's commitment to the fight against childhood cancer. Since 2005, DanceBlue has raised over $8.1 million for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital DanceBlue Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic and research at the Markey Cancer Center. In its short history, DanceBlue has become the largest student-run philanthropic initiative in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference. 

 

DanceBlue’s success is the result of the hard work of students and the generosity of donors across Lexington, the state of Kentucky, and the nation. These donations provide valuable support and resources to families battling pediatric cancer and give them hope in a difficult situation. Fundraising initiatives have helped to provide social workers, child life specialists, renovated clinic space, groundbreaking research, and a new patient assistance program. 

 

All money raised over the next two weeks should be turned into the ticket office at Bowman’s Den. Instructions are:

1) Complete a deposit slip.

2) Check “Overall account.”

3) In the "Event Description" portion write Faculty/Staff Mini Marathon.

 

Money also may be turned in on the day of the mini marathon at the Boone Center on the Feb. 18. Organizers recommend that entities with staff councils coordinate fundraising in their respective areas. Proven ideas for fundraising are:

• Bake Sale/Lemonade Stand/Hot Chocolate Stand: Do not set a price; rather accept donations from co-workers for the kids.

• Department Contest: Give each area within your college or unit a deadline to see who can raise the most money through bucket collections, etc. and provide incentives.

 

Because it is important to recognize participants' commitment and support, a Best Spirit Prize will be announced at the conclusion of the mini marathon that will go to the college or unit that raises the most money. The prize will be an invitation to attend a special event hosted by President Eli Capilouto. In addition, DanceBlue benefits are granted to each college or unit based on donation amount. Visit http://danceblue.org/corporate/ for a list of donation level benefits. 

 

The cost to attend this special event is $20 per person, and organizers are proud to announce that at least 50 percent will go to DanceBlue.

 

"We thank Bryant's Rent-all and US Foods for their generous donations," said Gerald Marvel, general manager of the Boone Center and The Club at Spindletop Hall.

 

To participate in the DanceBlue UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon, follow these two easy steps:

1) Reserve attendance for the mini marathon at the Boone Center by calling 859-257-1133.

2) Register the college or unit’s donations to be eligible for the Best Spirit Prize by clicking the following link and then clicking on the DanceBlue invitation on the main page: www.uky.edu/staffsenate/.

Be sure to bring a copy of your receipt from the ticket office to the event or email it to orvis.kean@uky.edu if you cannot attend. 

 

Contact any of the following committee members for more information:

Holly Clark, hclark@uky.edu

Nate Antetomaso, communityevents@danceblue.org

Ayriana Catlett, ayriana.catlett@uky.edu

Orvis Kean, orvis.kean@uky.edu.

Erica Shipley, overall@danceblue.org

 

Menu for DanceBlue UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon:

Fruit skewers with citrus yogurt drizzle

Chicken salad mini croissants

Cuban sandwich sliders

Coconut chicken w/ Thai sweet chili sauce

Bite sized twice baked potatoes with bacon, crème fraiche and chives

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Potato gaufrettes with caramelized French onion dip

Deviled eggs

Caprese skewers

A selection of gourmet cookies

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

UK Wind Symphony to Give Featured Concert at KMEA Conference

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 15:42

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016)The University of Kentucky Wind Symphony, under the direction of John Cody Birdwell, will be a featured performing ensemble at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Conference. The symphony will perform 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at the Kentucky International Convention Center, in Louisville, Kentucky. 

 

UK's Wind Symphony will perform three musical selections at the conference: "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" by John Adams, "Gone" by Scott McAllister and "Bells for Stokowski" by Michael Daugherty. The ensemble’s performance of “Gone” will be dedicated to the memory of Ken Haddix, a UK alumnus and former associate director of bands and professor of trombone at Eastern Kentucky University.

 

This marks the second time since 2006 that the UK Wind Symphony has been invited to perform at the annual KMEA conference, which is attended by as many as 10,000 teachers, students and performing artists annually. The UK Wind Symphony consists of the finest wind and percussion graduate and undergraduate students in the nationally recognized UK School of Music. As the centerpiece of a band program that has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 100 years, the symphony continues a rich tradition of performing the finest traditional and contemporary compositions in the concert band/chamber winds repertoire.  

 

The UK Wind Symphony has been invited to perform at many of the nation’s most prestigious concert band events, including recent appearances at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conferences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Minnesota and University of Georgia. The symphony was also recently invited to perform at the Southern Division CBDNA Conferences in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oxford, Mississippi. In 2008, the UK Wind Symphony performed a 10-day concert tour of the People’s Republic of China.

 

Next up, the UK Wind Symphony will be a featured performing ensemble at the 83rd Annual Convention of the American Bandmasters Association to be held March 8-11, 2017, in Lexington.

 

For more information on the UK Wind Symphony, contact Director of UK Bands John Cody Birdwell at cody.birdwell@uky.edu.  

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Capilouto Forms Committee to Recommend Long-term Mural Resolution

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 14:57

 

 

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 on the "thought bubble" in the same area.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a broad-based committee to recommend a long-term resolution for a mural in UK's Memorial Hall that has sparked dialogue across the campus.

 

The Mural Committee is co-chaired by Melynda Price, a professor of law and director of the African American and Africana Studies Program at UK, and Terry Allen, interim vice president for institutional diversity.

 

"I have asked these dedicated members of our campus and broader community to move expeditiously, but thoughtfully, in recommending a long-term step with respect to the mural," Capilouto said. "Our campus has benefited greatly from the discussion fostered by the mural, its history and its meaning. Now, it is time to place it in a more historically accurate and complete context. It is an important work for our campus and our Commonwealth. But it can no longer be displayed in a context that is incomplete or one that unintentionally marginalizes members of our community.

 

To move forward, we have established a committee with varied backgrounds and areas of expertise that I know will deliberate and discuss this important issue in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner and arrive at recommendations that reflect our evolution and progress as a campus, even as we recognize that we have much work to do on many fronts."

 

Other appointees to the committee, which may add additional members, are:

  • Rashad Bigham, student
  • Terry Birdwhistell, dean of UK Libraries
  • Jim Clark, director of the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, former executive director of the Public Art Fund in New York City and former president and CEO of LexArts. 
  • Anastasia Curwood, assistant professor of history at UK
  • Jacqueline Hamilton, director of UK HealthCare's Arts in HealthCare program
  • Nicole Jenkins, associate professor of accounting in the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Allan Richards, associate professor in the School of Art and Visual Studies at UK
  • Arturo Sandoval, professor in the School of Art and Visual Studies at UK
  • Richard Schein, professor and chair of the Department of Geography at UK

"This issue has provoked a necessary dialogue on our campus," Price said. “Hopefully, the committee’s long term suggestions for solutions will more sensitively recognize the multiple meanings and reactions that this piece provokes in so many on our campus and beyond it."

 

"We have a committee with a deep and abiding interest and expertise in art, history, diversity and most of all the well-being of this community," Allen said. "We hope to use this discussion and process to arrive at recommendations that promote healing, reconciliation and continued dialogue about how we become the campus community we want to be for everyone who comes here."

 

As part of the process of dialogue, an email address — mural@uky.edu — has been established for the committee to take feedback about the issue from the campus and broader community. Allen said a precise timeframe for the committee's work has not been established, except that the members know their charge is to move as quickly as possible.

 

The committee met for the first time last week to get organized and to begin discussing a plan of action for moving forward. Allen and Price, in addition to serving as co-chairs, will act as spokespeople for the committee.

 

The mural was completed in the 1930s by the artist and UK alumna Ann Rice O'Hanlon. A depression-era Public Works of Art project, the mural depicts scenes from Lexington and Kentucky's history. The fresco is considered by some observers to be one of the most important works of art in the Commonwealth.

 

At the same time, over the years it has been a point of controversy as many have objected to its sanitized depiction of the lives of African Americans and Native Americans in the state during the 1800s.

 

As part of a larger set of initiatives around the issues of diversity and inclusion, Capilouto last semester pledged to students as well as faculty and staff to examine the mural's future. A temporary shroud was placed over the mural last semester while the university continued to discuss the issues surrounding the work.

 

Capilouto has said that the piece will continue to be displayed but the question is how and in what context going forward.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Jay Blanton, 859-257-6605, jay.blanton@uky.edu

It's DanceBlue Season — Fundraising Deadline

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 14:46

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016)  There is something unique in the air on the University of Kentucky’s campus during this time of year. Fall semester has come and gone; yet a contagious energy is building. A buzz of life and excitement makes its way through the pathways between classes as students table and hand out information in blue and yellow gear. After countless team fundraisers, restaurant nights, community events and weekends spent passing around cans collecting money, a special time has come — it is DanceBlue season.

 

This week, DanceBlue committee members are tabling across campus to celebrate a huge milestone, the fundraising deadline. Today at 4 p.m., the ticket office in Bowman’s Den will close and team fundraising will be finalized. Though DanceBlue accepts donations up until the last hours of the marathon, today’s fundraising deadline is in place to select a very important aspect of the marathon — the students who will be standing for 24 hours on the floor of Memorial Coliseum at DanceBlue 2016.  

 

DanceBlue encourages all students, whether they met their fundraising goal or are just reading about DanceBlue for the first time now, to attend the marathon to see what their peers care so deeply about. There is a reason students are devoted to this cause — DanceBlue is something that not only pulls at your heartstrings but also challenges your heart to be stand up for the cause. 

 

All proceeds of DanceBlue go to the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic. The thought of helping the kids in the clinic is what keeps students going through the hard 24 hours on the floor, but most importantly, through the 364 days of prep and work that go into the marathon.

 

The 2016 DanceBlue Dance Marathon takes place from 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, through 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Memorial Coliseum on UK's campus.

 

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. For more information about DanceBlue, registration information or to support its efforts, please visit www.danceblue.org. Connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danceblue and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKDanceBlue.

 

DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite UK with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote lifelong community service.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: Feb. 4, 1912

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 14:17

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 164th diary entry from Feb. 4, 1912, recalls staying home from church due to the start of an unpleasant cold.

 

Feb. 4th. Stay home from church and Sunday-school with a bad cold.

 

 

More on Virginia Clay McClure

 

Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.

 

The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.

 

Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish. 

 

McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.

 

The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.

 

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

 

The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.

 

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections Research Center. UK Special Collections 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, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Kentucky Civics/History Teachers Award Taking New Applicants

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 11:01

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2016) — The National Archives and the University of Kentucky Wendell  H. Ford Public Policy Research Center are currently taking self-nominations for the Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers (Clements Award). The deadline for submission for the Clements Award, recognizing promising and innovative Kentucky high school educators, is Friday, March 11.

 

The Clements Award honors the life and career of the late Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. Clements’ political career included service as a county sheriff, clerk and judge; in the state senate and as governor; and in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where he was a close colleague to future President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

 

Up to three high school history and/or civics (social studies) teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be selected by an independent review panel for the Clements Award and will receive $1,000 each. The award criteria include the following:

· teacher’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the subject and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service;

· demonstrates expertise in civics and history content and the ability to share it with students;

· impact on student success; and evidence of creativity and innovation.

 

Interested applicants must submit the following by email or postmarked mail by March 11.

· completed application;

· letter from applicant addressing criteria;

· letter of support from principal;

· (optional) sample assignment, and other supporting materials, including student letters of support.

 

Application packets may be completed electronically at https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3z1WMOjIX1ZusL3 or sent via mail to: Clements Award, Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, Margaret I. King Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0039.

 

Winners of the Clements Award will be notified in April and the award ceremony will be held in the coming weeks after.

 

For more information on the Clements Awards or to send questions, email Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Special Collections Research Center, at deirdre@uky.edu (include Clements Award in the subject line).

 

The National Archives is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our government, so people can discover, use and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at www.archives.gov.

 

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, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the 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; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Entomologists Help Sequence Bed Bug Genome

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 18:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2016) — Nobody likes to think of getting a bed bug bite, but those bites have become all too common in recent years. Now a group of international researchers has taken a significant step forward in understanding how to control these pesky insects.

 

The group called the Bed Bug Genome Consortium recently sequenced the genome of this insect. Their findings, which included more than 14,000 protein-coding genes, were recently published in a journal article in Nature Communications.

 

“We now have a blueprint of what is in the genome of this insect,” said Reddy Palli, entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and co-leader of the consortium. “This new information is definitely going to increase our research productivity and move us toward our ultimate goal of developing better ways to control them.”

 

Palli and his lab members Hemant Gujar, Jayendra Nath Shukla and Fang Zhu are all co-authors on the study. In a previous study, Palli’s lab found genes in the bug’s tough outer shell that could be related to its ability to resist pesticides.

 

Through the genome sequencing, scientists found genes linked to the insect’s unique form of reproduction, called traumatic insemination. In this process, a male pierces the female’s body and deposits sperm into her body cavity. In addition, researchers found genes linked to smell and taste that give the insects the innate ability to find a blood meal and then feed without inflicting pain on their host. Researchers also found hundreds of gene transfers to the bed bug genome from bacteria, most notably Wolbachia and Arsenophonus.

 

Scientists will now be able to take the sequenced genome and begin subsequent studies in their areas of interest. UKAg entomologist Ken Haynes is optimistic about future research.

 

“The sequencing of the bed bug genome and how it compares with those of other arthropods will enable us to explore what makes bed bugs unique and perhaps uniquely vulnerable,” he said. “I’m particularly interested in what the genome will tell us about the bed bug’s unusual mating, aggregating and host-finding behaviors.”

 

In Palli’s lab at UK, researchers will use the sequenced genome to further understand bed bugs’ resistance to pesticides and bed bug biology with the goal of finding a way to halt reproduction and ultimately control insect populations.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Katie Pratt, katie.pratt@uky.edu, 859-257-8774

Love is in the Air on New Disney Medley from Acoustikat and Grammy Winner Kirstin Maldonado

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 18:04

 

 

"Disney Love Medley" perfromed by Kirstin Maldonado, Jeremy Michael Lewis and Voctave. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2016) — University of Kentucky acoUstiKats alumnus and 2014 marketing graduate Jeremy Michael Lewis and his girlfriend, Grammy award winner Kirstin Maldonado of Pentatonix, have joined voices with a cappella group Voctave to deliver a medley of Disney love songs just in time for Valentine’s Day. 


Jamey Ray, lecturer in music technology at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, took a chance reaching out to the couple asking if they’d be interested in coming to Orlando to sing with his group Voctave (formerly known as the Magic of Voices). After watching a few videos on Voctave’s YouTube channel, both Lewis and Maldonado were eager to accept the invite and start working on ideas for an arrangement.

 

The medley released yesterday features pieces of songs from three popular Disney animated movies, "Tangled," "Tarzan" and "Hercules." The music can be purchased on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

 

"Fans have been asking us for years us to record music with one another. We’re both huge Disney fans so we knew it was the perfect fit for us to perform together," Maldonado said.

 

Lewis is an alumnus of the popular UK a cappella group the acoUstiKats that was selected to compete on NBC's "The Sing-Off" in December 2013. The group was founded in 1993 during Director of UK Choral Activities Jefferson Johnson's first semester at UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. As a subsection of the nationally renowned UK Men’s Chorus, this 12-member group serves to promote and encourage male singing of all ages.

 

Maldonado is the only female member of the platinum selling recording artists Pentatonix, which has sold more than 2.7 million albums in the U.S. alone, won a Grammy Award and appeared in the feature film "Pitch Perfect 2." Their latest release, "Pentatonix," debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and Current Albums Chart. The group recorded a platinum selling holiday album, "That’s Christmas To Me," and recently released a documentary, "On My Way Home," which follows the quintet on their sold out 2015 North American Tour.

 

Voctave is an a capella group of singers from the Central Florida area. Members of the group have performed all over the world with multiple artists and in countless venues.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Education Abroad Issues Leap Day Challenge

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 15:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2016) — February is the month when students at the University of Kentucky begin solidifying their summer plans. For many, those plans will take them abroad to earn course credit from a UK faculty member, complete an internship or service-learning project with an international business or nonprofit, or maybe even teach English at a school abroad.

 

With 2016 being a leap year, the UK Education Abroad office is launching the “Leap Day Challenge” to UK students which will begin Feb. 4 at the Spring Expo and end Feb. 29 (leap day).

 

Students are challenged to attend at least five of 10 events or activities that the UK Education Abroad office has selected, encouraging them consider how education abroad can fit into their four-year degree plan in a way that is both affordable and relevant to their area of study.

 

Some of these activities include:

Students who complete the challenge will be entered into a drawing to receive $100 off the price of their summer or fall 2016 education abroad program. There will be a total of 10 drawings.

 

The "Leap Day Challenge" official checklist will first be distributed at the Spring Expo but students who cannot attend that event will be able to pick their checklist in 315 Bradley Hall at any time or at any of the subsequent UK Education Abroad events.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

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