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WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Features New UK Provost Tim Tracy

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 22:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 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.  WUKY News Director Alan Lytle sits in for Godell today, and his guest is UK's new provost, Tim Tracy. 

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-perspectives-conversation-new-provost-tim-tracy.

 

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

UK Sophomore Recognized in Regional Woodwind Competition

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Sophomore bassoon major Jonathan Barrett was recognized at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Performance Competition held in January at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Barrett, who represented Kentucky in the competition, performed three pieces, including Alexander Tansman's Sonatine for bassoon and piano. His performance earned him an honorable mention honors.

 

“I've been playing bassoon for 8 years now and have been studying with Professor Peter Simpson for the last three,” Barrett said. “I want to thank all of my teachers over the years, my parents, friends and family, and especially Peter for helping me prepare for this competition, and my trusty accompanist, Tedrin Lindsay.”

 

Barrett has studied other instruments including clarinet, flute, bassoon, guitar and saxophone. He says that guitar was his first instrument but he has been playing the saxophone for nine years.

 

“Music is a life style,” Barrett said. “Growing up with discipline, passion, hard work and the joy of music has no doubt made me the person I am today”.

 

The MTNA's mission is to “support the careers and professionalism of teachers of music” for students like Jonathan Barrett. Each year, nine surrounding states send the winners from their own competition to the Southern Division Competition for an opportunity to be sent to nationals. Winners from the regional competitions go onto nationals, which is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The MTNA recognizes six Young Artist award winners in composition, brass, piano, string, voice and woodwind.  

 

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 Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Three With Leadership Awards

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Three members of the University of Kentucky community, a student, alumna and faculty member, received awards from the University of Kentucky's Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa at its 2nd Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony Monday evening.

 

Founded Dec. 3, 1914, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes achievement in:

·         scholarship;

·         athletics;

·         campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government;

·         journalism, speech and the mass media; and

·         creative and performing arts.

 

Nominees, guests, members of the Nu Circle and President Eli Capilouto, who is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, attended the ceremony to honor the impact and leadership of several UK students, faculty and alumni. In addition to Capilouto speaking about his own experience in becoming a leader, UK Veterans Resource Center Coordinator and retired Lt. Col. Anthony G. Dotson spoke on the qualities of leadership at the ceremony.

 

Winners of the awards, presented by Capilouto, Nu Circle President Christina Walker and Vice President James Robertson, included Tristan Moorman, Buck Ryan and Natalee Feese.  

 

Tristan Moorman, awarded the Omicron Delta Kappa Impact Award, earned his bachelor's degree in human nutrition in 2012, master’s degree in business administration in 2013, and is currently pursuing a degree in pharmacy and a master’s degree in public administration. Moorman, president of the UK College of Pharmacy Class of 2017, is an active volunteer for Operation Diabetes, member of the Operation Heart Committee, and counselor of the Georgetown health fair. He has completed service projects in impoverished areas of Birmingham, Alabama, and Toronto, Canada. Moorman is also the vice president of the UK Pre-pharmacy Club and member of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association.

 

Buck Ryan, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications and UK Honors Program, was awarded the Omicron Delta Kappa Outstanding Leadership & Student Enhancement Award. He is also the director of the Citizen Kentucky Project at the UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, and is the former director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. Ryan developed the Maestro Writing Concept, which has been nationally recognized and sited on Wikipedia, and was recognized for mentoring his students and hosting award-winning instructors as guest speakers in his classes.

 

Natalee Feese, a mathematics K-12 learning/innovation specialist at Fayette County Public Schools and co-president of the UK Alumni Band, was awarded the Omicron Delta Kappa Excellence Award. Feese graduated from UK with a bachelor's degree in education in 1989 and a master's degree in education in 1991. She continues her involvement at the university by organizing UK Alumni Band reunions, Homecoming weekend events and events at the UK Boone Center.

 

Other finalists for the leadership awards included:

·         Rachel Allgeier

·         James Collard

·         Ebony-Nicole A. Davis

·         Rebecca Freeman

·         Jon Lannertone

·         Dia Smith

·         Matthew Whisman

  

The Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa was founded at UK in 1925. It was the 14th circle to be established in the nation. Previous inductees have included Kentucky governors, UK presidents, William T. Young, Ambassadors Thomas Niles and Cary Cavanaugh, and Kentucky coaches Adolph Rupp, Orlando "Tubby" Smith and Bear Bryant, among other notable leaders.

Blog: Kentucky Needs Smoke-free Act

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:10

 

The following is a Blog by Janie Heath, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing

 

The science is clear. Tobacco smoke is deadly -- to smokers and to all of us who share the air.  The truth is that, as a result, too many Kentuckians are working in unhealthy environments.

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) -- The economics are clear as well. In Kentucky alone, second-hand smoke kills nearly 1,000 citizens a year and costs us almost $130 million a year in health care expenses.  

 

The facts of health, science and economics make it clear that it’s time to say yes to the Kentucky Smoke-free Act.

 

Kentucky, after all, leads the nation in tobacco-related death and disease. We can do better than that. Other states, including those with tobacco traditions as deeply ingrained as ours, have already enacted statewide smoke-free public policy to improve the health of their citizens.

 

Prohibiting smoking in public buildings and workplaces isn’t about taking away business rights. It’s about restoring a very important one—the right to breathe healthy air at work and in shared public places. And that’s not just me speaking as a nurse practitioner whose research focus is on tobacco-free health. This is you speaking.  A recent public poll shows a full 66% of adults in Kentucky support a statewide smoke-free law.

 

The bipartisan support for the Kentucky Smoke-free Act is both heartening and hopeful. It reminds me of a story I heard when I first came to UK as the College’s new nursing dean. How, a little more than 50 years ago, a group of brave and forward-thinking Kentucky legislators from both sides of the aisle decided to put aside their differences and link arms to meet a critical health care need for their constituents.

 

Together, they found the will and the funds to establish a medical school and nursing program that would produce more quality health care professionals for Kentucky as well as path-breaking research into the challenges that confront our state.  

 

Today, UK is home to nationally recognized academic programs that are preparing the next generation of leaders for our state in medicine, nursing and health services.

 

As in the past, the decisions we make today will resonate for generations. The decisions we make today, in fact, can save lives tomorrow. Put public health first and say yes to the Kentucky Smoke-free Act.

                                               

                                                            ###

 

 

Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, Warwick Professor and Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing in Lexington, Kentucky, is a national leader in nursing education, advanced practice and health care outreach research.

 

E-Day: Engineering Discovery, Exploration and Fun for All Ages

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:02

 

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — The field of engineering can be demanding – constant problem-solving, experimenting and delivering tomorrow’s innovations – but it can also be fun, especially on days when Newton’s Third Law of Motion can be tested through a balloon race, laser beams are shot through Jell-O, and 10-year-olds learn the basics of construction blasting with a dynamite demonstration.

 

At the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, that kind of day takes place once a year to celebrate everything engineering has to offer, and to expose students from elementary to high school to the vast opportunities in the field. After all, how often does a 14-year-old get to explore a fully functional solar car built by college students?

 

Approximately 150 contests, demonstrations and exhibits will engage and entertain, and teach a lesson or two in science, technology, engineering and math, at this year’s E-Day, or Engineers Day, Saturday, Feb. 28, at the end of National Engineers Week.

 

"E-Day at UK is easily the best celebration of the joy of engineering that I have ever seen," said John Walz, dean of the College of Engineering. "This will be my third time attending and I still haven’t made it to all of the different exhibits and activities. It is fun, educational, and offers something for everyone."

 

On the UK campus, E-Day will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at various engineering facilities. E-Day will also be celebrated at the college’s Paducah Campus at West Kentucky Community and Technical College from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

 

UK students and departments, government organizations and industry groups host the activities, including several new events this year. Attendees will still have the chance to show off their skills in traditional favorites like the LEGO bridge, volcano, egg-drop and edible car contests, but will also get creative in the chocolate composite, candy crane, Coach Cal’s mansion makeover and haul truck racing contests.

 

Longtime E-Day attendee and current UK computer science sophomore Zack Anderson described his experience at E-Day throughout the years as seeing things he's never seen before. "I mean some of these projects are extraordinary," he said.

 

Entertaining and engaging, the contests and activities are also learning experiences.

For example, young builders participating in Coach Cal's mansion makeover contest, sponsored by the Department of Civil Engineering's construction engineering class, will be tasked with creating their own version of UK men's basketball coach John Calipari's house.

 

Supplied with a budget and certain resources priced for the occasion - Popsicle sticks, skewers, toothpicks, glue and tape - participants will work to build a structure that withstands a load and fits within certain dimensions. Just as construction project planners often face unexpected situations, participants my experience "bad weather" (rain causes delays so they are required to pause a minute before continuing construction) or other circumstances.

 

Another project, "egg drop crash survivability," otherwise known as the egg drop, sponsored by the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at UK, has drawn crowds of curious students and parents for years.

 

"It's not a task that requires advanced computations, but it is something that gets students thinking about subjects like physics, by encouraging them to think about the forces on the egg," said Katherine Gerwig, vice president of the chapter. "It's always fascinating to see the many different ways the students approach the same problem each year; even after years of the competition, students still manage to come up with unique improvements to their designs."

 

For Anderson, the egg drop is a must-see event. "If there's one thing that I remember out of everything, it was always the egg drop, every single year. You couldn't miss the egg drop…you had to go to the egg drop," he said.

 

Anderson began attending E-Day when he was six years old and made a tradition of it, attending until he was 13. With both parents being chemical engineers, and his mother Kim Anderson the associate dean for administration and academic affairs at the College of Engineering, E-Day was more than a day full of exciting activities. It became Anderson's opportunity to figure out if he should follow in his parents' footsteps of chemical engineering, or go a different route.

 

He conducted his first electrical engineering experiment at E-Day with a battery and a few wires. But what caught his eye and has stuck with him since is computer science.

 

"I remember there being a computer science booth set up to where they had their supercomputer…I mean I knew what a computer was, but I didn't know what a supercomputer was.

 

"And I remember we actually, I believe, sat there for three hours because I just had so many questions. I discovered that computer science was my thing, what I wanted to do in life, because of Engineering Day, and I wouldn't have gotten that experience anywhere else," said Anderson.

 

With many demonstrations and contests for younger students, E-Day is also perfect for the high school student that may be interested in engineering, but isn't quite sure what kind or what to do with an engineering degree.

 

"It really is a game-changer as far as trying to figure out, 'okay well, is this really the field that I want to go into?'" he said.  

 

In addition to sparking Anderson's curiosity in computer science, E-Day also ignited his interest in attending UK. He was impressed that UK students were not only interested in their own projects, but were able to share what they were doing with so many others, and noticed how much UK faculty members appreciated their students.  

 

After years of participating in E-Day and two years as a computer science student at UK, Anderson is now involved in a project working to display vital signs in real-time on Google Glass for doctors conducting surgery. He is also working with a local optometrist to take photos of the eye with Google Glass, instantly transmitting any growths or disorders to patients' medical records, rather than spending 30 minutes setting up a large machine.

 

In the near future, it may be Anderson and his Google Glass projects captivating the minds of young students at E-Day, following suit of those who inspired him.

 

"I wanted to learn how to make stuff, and not only did I want to learn how to make stuff, but I wanted to learn how to make it better, and I learned that through E-Day," Anderson said.

 

For more information about E-Day, visit http://www.engr.uky.edu/eday/ or contact Chelsea Hansing at 859-257-5823 or chelsea@uky.edu

 

 

 

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

Kentucky Japan Bowl Educates and Entertains

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Thirty-five students from Lafayette, Scott County, Atherton and Eastern high schools visit the University of Kentucky campus on Saturday to immerse themselves in the Japanese culture and to compete in the Kentucky Japan Bowl®.

 

The Japan Bowl is a franchised quiz competition for high school students studying Japanese. The competition challenges the students’ knowledge of the Japanese language and culture.

 

“We are hoping that students will enjoy this event and get motivated to study Japanese even more,” said Atsushi Hasegawa, assistant professor of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

 

Hosted by UK Japan Studies, the Kentucky Japan Bowl is the regional version of the national competition, which began in 1992, organized by the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. Two winning teams will be awarded a trip to Washington to compete in the National Japan Bowl® April 9-10. After the competition, the contestants will attend the Sakura Matsuri, the largest Japanese cultural street festival in the United States, on April 11. 

 

Questions and answers won’t fill the entire day at the Kentucky Japan Bowl, either. Performances of taiko (Japanese drums) and budo (Japanese martial arts) will entertain the students, and there will be presentations from regional colleges’ Japanese programs.

 

“We are really excited about this event because it is not only for the sake of high school students, who rarely have opportunities to share their learning outcomes with the public, but also for college Japanese programs in the region, who can use this occasion to promote their programs to the high school students. It is a great outreach opportunity for us as well,” said Hasegawa.

 

“On top of that, it is one of the rare occasions for the local Japanese people to get together and celebrate our language and culture. We are hoping that this event will help create a stronger bond within the community,” he added.

 

The Kentucky Japan Bowl will be held in 118 White Hall Classroom Building from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28.

 

Staff Senate Provides Service, Leadership to UK Community

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 18:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Staff Senate is an excellent opportunity for UK’s employees to contribute to the greater university good through leadership and service. But how exactly are staff senators impacting UK?

 

In addition to serving as the administrative voice for the more than 17,000 full and part-time staff at UK, the senate also administers several key activities for the university community, such as the CRISIS financial assistance program and the annual UK Appreciation Day.

 

The annual UK Appreciation Day is a large undertaking, involving nearly a year of planning by the Appreciation Day Committee, about 200 volunteers to assist in delivery of the event, a free meal for all employees who attend, and coordination with myriad UK departments and local vendors who participate.

 

“It is important that staff are represented in university matters,” said Senate Chair Mike Adams. “Staff bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and the Staff Senate is where we can contribute to the betterment of each other and the university as a whole.”

 

Staff Senate also organizes the monthly Conversation with the President, which gives rank and file staff members opportunities to discuss issues of importance to them with President Eli Capilouto during an informal meeting at his Maxwell Place home.

 

“Staff always appreciate the opportunity to connect with the president in his home,” said Fadyia Lowe, who organizes the event through the Senate’s Public Relations Committee. “The amount of positive feedback we receive from participants is very encouraging!”

 

Staff senators are also involved in a variety of university activities and shared governance responsibilities, such as service on strategic planning committees, coordination of the Outstanding Staff Awards ceremony, membership on search committees for upper level administration, and input on employee benefits.

 

The CRISIS program is an excellent example of how the senate serves UK employees. It was developed by senators in conjunction with UK Human Resources and is now fully administered through the senate office. The program provides one-time financial support of up to $500 for UK employees who are experiencing financial difficulty.

 

For instance, payments have been made to help with utilities or rent when a UK employee is struggling to pay bills due to unexpected loss of income or unforeseen expenses. CRISIS is supported through employee contributions, which are tax deductible, and a five-member committee of staff and faculty, which reviews and approves applications for assistance.

 

Staff senators serve three year terms, are full-time employees, and are elected by staff who are at least .75 full-time equivalent. The typical time commitment for senators is about four hours a month, but many volunteer their time to the university community well beyond that.

 

“Empowering staff is part of the Staff Senate mission. Creating avenues to serve is one way we can serve the University community, and the Staff Senate helps create those opportunities. CRISIS, Shared Leave Pool, and UK Appreciation Day are just a few examples of how the Senate advances our shared interests,” Adams said.

 

For more information about Staff Senate, visit the program Web site at www.uky.edu/staffsenate or contact Holly Clark, office coordinator, at hclark@uky.edu or 859-257-9242.

Bright Idea: Breckinridge Hall Saving Energy, Money With LED Upgrade

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 17:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — While the many new facilities being constructed on the University of Kentucky campus are utilizing cutting edge green building techniques, some of these advances can also be used to illuminate the charm of existing buildings. This is the case with Breckinridge Hall, an 85-year old building that recently received a complete overhaul of its lighting system.

 

Britney Thompson, the energy engineer for the UK Campus Physical Plant Division and project lead for Breckinridge Hall lighting upgrade, believes it is the first building on UK’s campus to get a full LED retrofit. This upgrade in Breckinridge Hall will drastically reduce energy use, improve the quality and level of light, save money, and give UK personnel experience adapting the new fixtures to older buildings.  

 

The amount of energy needed to light Breckinridge Hall has dropped by about 63 percent (from 170,000 kilowatt-hours to 62,500 kilowatt-hours) as a result of the project, and energy savings combined with avoided maintenance will save the university about $12,000 a year, bringing the return on investment to approximately 10 years.

 

"The occupants at Breckinridge Hall are quite pleased with the new look and safer environment the new lighting creates," Thompson said. "For instance, each of the LED fixtures in the hallways has an occupancy sensor and dimmer, and after 15 minutes of inactivity, the lights will dim to 10 percent."

 

Thompson says much of the new construction on campus is implementing LED fixtures, and she is looking at options to do additional retrofits on other existing facilities.

 

"Breckinridge will serve as an excellent test case to see how the new technologies perform, and if it is successful we will be much more apt to seek out other locations to upgrade," she said.

 

Breckinridge Hall, located on the west side of the quadrangle bounded by Funkhouser Drive, Rose Street, and Washington Avenue, contains various offices, including the offices of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Survey Research Center. It was completed in 1930 as a dormitory and named for W. C. P. Breckinridge.

 

 

 

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

Grand Rounds Session Explores Psychiatric Case of Artist Known as Sybil

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The body of artwork left behind by Shirley Mason offers visual clues into the famous psychiatric patient's creative mind and her struggle with dissociative identity disorder.

 

Today the topics of creative expression and psychiatric medicine will converge during a special grand rounds session titled "Creative and Madness: The Art of Sybil." Presented by the UK Arts in HealthCare program and the UK College of Medicine, the grand rounds session will explore the psychiatric case of Shirley Mason, or "Sybil," whose diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) was made famous by the 1973 book "Sybil" and made-for-television movie starring Sally Fields. The session will also address the value of art therapy in the clinical setting.

 

The presentation on dissociative identity disorder will be led by Dr. Daniel Nahum, professor emeritus in the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry and chair of the psychotherapy scientific section for the World Psychiatric Association. Fran Belvin, a certified art therapist, will also give an overview of how art therapy is employed in many clinical areas at UK HealthCare.

 

The grand rounds session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Pavilion A Auditorium, will be held in conjunction with the official opening of an art exhibit featuring 40 original works by Shirley Mason. The artwork was donated for exhibition by art collector and former Lexington resident Jim Ballard. The exhibit opening will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in the West Gallery, which is the hallway leading to the Emergency Department located on the ground level of the hospital. Refreshments will be provided.

 

Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, the psychiatrist who was deeply involved in Sybil's treatment and co-authored the book about her life, served as a faculty member for the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry in the 1970s. Many long-time faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry remember Wilbur's unorthodox methods and passion for treating patients whose psychiatric diagnoses were attributed to traumatic experiences.

 

The grand rounds session is open to all UK faculty members and other interested individuals. Participation qualifies physicians for continuing education credits through UK HealthCare CECentral. For more information about obtaining CE credits, contact Vanessa Webb at vlwe222@uky.edu.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

Carol Jordan Named Woman of Distinction

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The Center for Women and Families (CWF) will honor five Women of Distinction tonight at the center's 28th Annual Celebration of Service and Survival at Churchill Downs in Louisville. One of those outstanding women is Carol Jordan, executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.

 

“The Center for Women and Families has been recognizing outstanding women in the community through the Women of Distinction Award since 1988,” said CWF’s CEO Marta Miranda. “An individual honored as a Woman of Distinction has given a lifetime of professional and/or volunteer services that has left an indelible mark on the Kentuckiana community.”

 

“Women of Distinction have made significant contributions to education, health care, civil rights, the arts, human services, the welfare of children and the advancement of women,” she said. To date, 152 women have received this honor.

 

For 30 years, Jordan has worked in research, writing, programming, public policy and legislative advocacy to address intimate partner violence, rape and stalking. She has served as the first director of a statewide sexual and domestic violence program in the Department for Mental Health, as founding executive director for the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services. At UK, she was the founding director of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, a premiere academic research center, and is now founding director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence against Women in the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

“When one receives an award of any kind, one is reminded of the influence and enduring support of colleagues and loved ones who helped make the success possible,” Jordan said. “I glance back over more than 30 years and feel that way today. That this award comes from the Commonwealth’s first and largest domestic violence and rape crisis program also amplifies its significance to me, so I am grateful on one hand, and inspired to continue this work on the other.”

 

A primary focus of Jordan’s career has been advancing legislative reform. She has co-authored 30 pieces of legislation including criminal and civil justice reforms related to domestic violence, rape, and stalking; bills to expand and strengthen services to victims; and legislation to advance victim’s rights. Many of her accomplishments have had a broad influence; however, it is the idea that those accomplishments have touched the lives of individual women that she finds most meaningful. 

 

“It is our honor to celebrate these distinguished women. We are humbled by their contribution to our community and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments,” Miranda said.

 

This year’s honorees are Jordan, Pat Byron, president emeritus, Mary Byron Project; Dawne Gee, anchor for WAVE 3 News; Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings, past president, Council on Foundations; and Audrey Tayse Haynes, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

Pat Byron

Byron was thrust into advocacy work for victims as a direct result of her daughter Mary's murder in 1993. Since that time, Byron has been very active in the rights of crime victims. She helped with the creation of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) and lobbied to help create a statewide notification system for victims. The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of Byron’s daughter. As a nationally recognized thought leader on domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project cultivates and supports efforts that extend beyond crisis management to attack the root causes of this epidemic and help build safer, healthier communities. Byron continues to use her expertise to speak in communities throughout the nation about dating violence and crime victims' rights. She served as president of the Mary Byron Project from 2000 to 2008, when she was designated president emeritus.

 

Dawne Gee

Dawne Gee is no stranger to Kentuckiana with her diverse broadcasting background in Louisville. Her experience includes 17 years in radio broadcasting and 20 years at WAVE 3 news anchoring and hosting WAVE Country with Dawne Gee showcasing wonderful people, places and events in Louisville. With her love of community, Gee steps out of the role of newscaster to be an advocate for people in need and a neighborhood leader. She donates her time and efforts to organizations all over the region and presents at more than 200 speaking engagements each year, many specifically for women and girls in Kentuckiana. She gives her time, heart and soul to motivate her community to always be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keeper. Recently, Gee founded two nonprofits: A Recipe to End Hunger, which helps feed children in food-insecure homes, and Care for Kids and Families, which helps children in low-income families receive free dental care and glasses.

 

Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings

Ridings has been passionate about education, information and advocacy throughout her career. She has worked hard to help provide opportunities for everyone to have the best education that will enable them to succeed in life. Ridings works to encourage every person to speak out, stand up, and work hard to advance the issues they believe will improve social and political orders. She is a past president of the Council on Foundations, the Washington-based membership association for grant-making foundations and corporate-giving programs both in the United States and abroad. Before joining the council in 1996, Ridings’ professional career was as a journalist, working as a newspaper reporter and editor at newspapers in Charlotte, Louisville and Washington and as a daily newspaper publisher in Bradenton, Florida. Ridings served four years as president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, and 10 years on the league’s national board, after serving as president of the local league in Louisville. She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and has served 16 years as a trustee of Louisville.  

 

Audrey Tayse Haynes

Haynes has devoted most of her career to furthering and improving the status of women in the workplace as well as promoting policies that will have the greatest influence on women and families. Since her appointment as secretary of the cabinet by Governor Steve Beshear, she has overseen the transition from a fee-for-service delivery model to managed care for the majority of Kentucky’s Medicaid population, saving taxpayer dollars and improving member health outcomes. During her tenure, Kentucky has also received widespread national recognition for its participation and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Haynes has helped prior appointments in the administrations of three previous Kentucky governors (Wilkinson, Jones and Patton), including executive director of the Kentucky Literacy Commission; a member of the Kentucky Board for Elementary and Secondary Education following Kentucky’s landmark education reform legislation; and as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health Services.

 

The Center for Women and Families helps victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence to become survivors through supportive services, community education and cooperative partnerships that foster hope, promote self-sufficiency and rebuild lives. The center has been serving the community since 1912, when it began as part of the YWCA. Today, it is a private nonprofit organization serving nine Kentuckiana counties and operating seven regional locations, three of which provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and/or long-term housing options. The center maintains a $4.7 million budget and provided housing, advocacy, counseling, therapy and education to over 30,000 people last year.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302

UK Hosts Graduate Student Day at the Capitol

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Graduate Student Day at the Capitol will take place on the morning of Feb. 27, on the second floor mezzanine of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

 

Graduate students will travel to Frankfort to share their research projects through poster presentations with legislators and staffers.

 

“The Graduate School Congress (GSC) has worked tirelessly to bring together graduate students at UK who want to share the message of their Kentucky based and Kentucky focused research with our state leadership,” said GSC Vice President Sarah Spaulding.

 

The GSC serves the graduate student body at the University of Kentucky by unifying and representing it in matters affecting the quality of graduate student life and work, by facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, and by promoting professional development for graduate students through seminars, forums and social functions.

 

“As the vice president of GSC, I was approached by a fellow graduate student, Chrissy Herren, interested in communicating some of her research with state legislators," Spaulding said. "Together, we decided that a state hill day would be an excellent venue to communicate the important research done by UK graduate students on Kentucky focused issues.”

 

After working with the state government relations office, they determined that the sesquicentennial celebration week was the perfect time to debut this event.

 

The graduate students at the University of Kentucky pursue advanced study in 90 program areas, representing doctoral degrees in 61 fields, master's degrees in 120, and specialist degrees in five.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu

Biology Graduate Student Receives Fellowship to Present at Genome 10K Conference

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — Melissa Keinath, a graduate student in the University of Kentucky Department of Biology, has been awarded a Genome 10K fellowship to attend the 2015 Genome 10K Conference and present her research poster, "Characterization of a Large Vertebrate Genome Using Shotgun and Laser Capture Chromosome Sequencing." The conference will take place March 1-5 in Santa Cruz, California.

 

A relatively exclusive event, the Genome 10K Conference will explore critical topics essential for assembling a "genomic zoo" of some 10,000 vertebrate species. The zoo will help understand how complex animal life evolved through changes in DNA and create a resource for worldwide conservation efforts.

 

Working with Department of Biology Professor Jeramiah Smith in his lab and co-mentored by Associate Chair of Research and Professor Randal Voss, both part of the unofficial "regeneration cluster" in the department, Keinath has conducted research on axolotls, also known as Mexican salamanders. Axolotls, among the most-studied salamanders in the world, can regenerate or regrow a variety of body parts, including limbs and even portions of major organs.

 

Keinath's poster at the Genome 10K Conference will describe the team's recent efforts to sequence and assemble the axolotl genome, a very complex and highly repetitive genome approximately 10 times the size of the human genome. Sequencing the genome could prove useful in understanding how axolotls regenerate, and as the species is considered critically endangered, it could also be useful for conservation efforts.

 

More recently, Keinath has begun working on the axolotls' sex chromosome evolution.

 

"Axolotls offer a unique perspective on the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, as their sex chromosomes are recently evolved," she said. Keinath is using genomic and cytogenetic approaches to better characterize these sex chromosomes within a few closely related species in the tiger salamander complex.

 

Learn more about the work of the "regeneration cluster," a dynamic and productive collaboration of researchers in the Department of Biology, in a previous UKNow article and UK Research Communications video at http://uknow.uky.edu/content/talking-bout-regeneration

 

Watch Keinath working in the UK Imaging Facility below. Video produced by UK Research Communications

 

 

 

 

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

Big Blue Family VIDEO: Couple Celebrates UK's DanceBlue for Many Reasons

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:05

 

 

Video Produced by UK Public Relations & 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. 26, 2015) — It’s easy to hear, see and feel the love when you attend DanceBlue at the University of Kentucky.

 

The 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraising efforts to support the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic through the Golden Matrix Fund.  Earlier this month, students celebrated raising $1,615,057.18 at the 10th annual event.

 

As hundreds of students screamed, clapped and cried tears of joy over the feat, newlyweds Erin Priddy and Joey Wright watched from the sidelines at Memorial Coliseum.  Just a few years ago, they were the students on stage announcing the total amount of funds raised at the big reveal.   

 

Returning to campus to witness the jubilation brings back a lot of special memories for Erin, now a medical resident, and Joey, a lawyer, who both currently live in Louisville.  The couple originally met at UK because of their participation in DanceBlue.   

 

Watch the video above to discover how DanceBlue brought them together and why the impact this program made on them as college students continues to motivate them to return year after year to celebrate this 10-year-old tradition at the University of Kentucky.

 

This video feature is part of a special series produced by UKNow focusing on families who help make up the University of Kentucky community.  There are many couples, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters who serve at UK in various fields.   The idea is to show how UK is part of so many families’ lives and how so many families are focused on helping the university succeed each and everyday. 

  

Since the "Big Blue Family" series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If you know of a family who you think should be featured, please email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!

 

 

VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, amy.jones2@uky.edu or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282, kody.kiser@uky.edu

 

 

 

African Students Association Photo Project Debunks Stereotypes About Africa

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — Students from the African Students Association (ASA) at the University of Kentucky recently gathered in the Student Center to participate in a photography project to raise awareness of stereotypes about Africa.

 

“We organize this event to help the UK community become aware that Africa is not a continent of just poverty,” said Bill Kofi Aboagye, president of UK African Students Association.

 

About 20 to 30 students participated in the event. Students were holding signs with quotes like "Africa is not a country," "I do not speak African," and "Africa is not filled with diseases."

 

Aboagye said a lot of students at UK have little knowledge about Africa.

 

“Many times when you run into people who do not have a lot of information about Africa, most of the things they say are basically stereotypes about the continent,” Aboagye said. “We’re just trying to help people understand what Africa really is.”

 

Aboagye said often people are only exposed to the negative side of Africa portrayed by the media. He said it is important to inform people about the positive aspects of Africa.

“Africa is a blessed continent,” Aboagye said. “Africa is not just about war, not just about poverty. It is a land blessed with a lot of natural resources and a very strong labor force. It’s a continent that is supporting the whole world with its resources.”

 

Yao Yu, a second year graduate student in journalism, who participated during the event, said she wanted to showcase African culture to people in China.

 

“I’m very interested in African culture,” Yu said. “I want to make some videos to introduce the lives of African students at UK and African culture to Chinese citizens through different Chinese social media platforms.”

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu

 

Winter Expo Offers Interactive, Real-Time Instruction in Neuroscience and Stroke Care

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) -- Most symposia are highly intellectual affairs, offering lectures and poster sessions designed to bring the latest information on a designated topic to attendees.

 

The Clinical Neuroscience Winter Expo will go a step further, offering interactive, real-time instruction on the latest advancements in the neurosciences and stroke care.

 

"We wanted this to be very different from traditional symposia, so the Expo was designed to be highly interactive," said Dr. Michael Dobbs, interim chair for the University of Kentucky's Department of Neurology and director of UK HealthCare's Stroke Network. "Through the use of interactive learning methods and patient simulation equipment, our goal is to help attendees learn by doing and translate this new-found experience to current treatment practices."

 

The Expo, March 6 and 7, 2015, is presented by the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, Office of Clinical Simulation, and the UK HealthCare/Norton Healthcare Stroke Care Network. 

 

Three different tracks are available to attendees: medical, interventional and research, and tracks are staggered throughout the day so that attendees are able to follow a single track or cherry-pick from each track according to their interests.

 

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Avindra Nath, clinical director of NINDS, the director of the Translational Neuroscience Center and chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous System at the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C., who will present "Cracking the Code of Neuroinflammatory Disorders."

 

Pointing to the fact that the human and economic impact of neurological disorders is exacerbated by a prevailing shortage of neuroscience specialists and the burgeoning aging population, Dr. Dobbs emphasized that augmenting multi-specialty provider groups’ neuroscience awareness and knowledge base is key to improving equitable access and patient outcomes.

 

"Our goal with the Winter Expo is to provide that guidance in a new and interesting way, to the ultimate benefit of patients."

 

For more information about the Expo or to register, go to http://neurowinterexpo.com/.

 

Sarah Bennett Holmes Award Nominees Announced

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 08:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) — Seventeen women at the University of Kentucky have been nominated for the 2015 Sarah Bennett Holmes award, and registration is underway now to attend the award ceremony and luncheon 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5, at the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom. Visit http://www.uky.edu/womensforum/sbhal.html for more information. The registration deadline is March 2.

 

Coordinated by UK Women's Forum, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award is granted annually to women working at UK who promote the growth and well-being of other women at the university and across the Commonwealth. Two awards are presented — one to a faculty member and one to a staff member.

 

The 2015 nominees are:

 

Faculty

·         Henrietta Bada-Ellzey, Pediatrics, College of Medicine and Health Behavior, College of Public Health

·         Ruth Bryan, Special Collections Research Center, UK Libraries

·         Rebecca Collins, Pediatrics, College of Medicine

·         Beth Goldstein, Education Policy Studies, College of Education

·         Marty Henton, School of Art and Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts

·         Beverly A. Hilton, UK Libraries

·         Elizabeth Oates, Radiology, College of Medicine

·         Melynda Price, College of Law

·         Pamela Remer, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, College of Education

·         Susan Smyth, Internal Medicine, College of Medicine

·         Anita Superson, Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

·         Alice Thornton, Internal Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine

 

Staff

·         Joanne Brown, University Health Service (student health)

·         Evie Russell, Undergraduate Research

·         Elizabeth Snider, UK HealthCare Polk Dalton Clinic

·         Gaye Whalen, UK Women's Health - Obstetrics and Gynecology

·         Shane Winstead, Pharmacy Services

 

The Sarah Bennett Holmes award was established by UK Women's Forum in 1994 and honors a distinguished former dean of women at the University of Kentucky. Holmes, who was widowed at a young age, raised four children while completing her own education.  She went on to have a successful career at UK where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of hardship and pursue their career goals.  Among her accomplishments, Holmes developed work programs for women during the Depression.

UK Researchers Awarded Grant to Study Aggressive Cancer Metastasis

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 17:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) – The National Cancer Institute recently awarded a two-year, $357,743 grant to University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers to study the role of a certain protein in aggressive cancer metastasis.

 

The lab of Kathleen O'Connor, professor in UK's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, studies how tumor cells interact with their environment to make cancer more aggressive.

 

Specifically, O'Connor's lab studies a protein called integrin α6β4, a protein that integrates signals from its environment so that cells can respond properly and die off if they are in the wrong context. This protein can cause carcinoma cells to take on some of the worst properties of cancer, including invasion, metastasis and drug resistance.

 

The integrin can selectively increase the expression of genes that cause cells to become particularly invasive and metastatic through a process known as DNA demethylation, but O'Connor says they do not yet know how these specific genes can be regulated.

 

"Through this study, we expect that understanding how the integrin affects this process will tell us more about how specific DNA demethylation occurs, as well as how cancers can become more invasive without mutating the DNA," O'Connor said. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

Bill Cosby Program at Singletary Center Postponed

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — By mutual agreement with Bill Cosby and the show’s promoter, National Artists Corporation, the show at the Singletary Center for the Arts at the University of Kentucky has been postponed. The Singletary Center box office will begin issuing refunds for the March 15 performance to all ticketholders on Monday, March 2.

 

Quit and Win Contest Winners Announced at Reception

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) - University of Kentucky employees who successfully quit smoking and/or using tobacco for 30 days as part of UK’s Quit and Win contest were honored at a reception at the UK Student Center on Tuesday afternoon.

 

“Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health,” said Janie Heath, dean of the UK College of Nursing, who recognized contest winners at the reception. “We are here today to celebrate your success. We believe in you.”

 

Winners of five cash prizes provided by UK HealthCare were announced.

 

The winner of the $1,000 prize was Lauran Devine, a nursing care technician at UK HealthCare. The $500 cash prize winners were:  Clarence Barton Switzer Jr., a carpenter with the UK Physical Plant Division; and Christine Johnson, human resources manager in the UK College of Fine Arts

           

The $250 cash prize winners were: Pamela Thompson, a medical technologist at UK HealthCare; and Benjamin Travers, a patient clerical assistant at UK HealthCare

 

“I am happy UK recognized the hard effort it is to quit smoking and helped motivate my desire to quit …I feel better than I have in a long time, and I would like to encourage others to quit smoking as well,” said Johnson. 

 

UK supports its employees who want to quit using tobacco products by offering free tobacco treatment programs and medications. If individuals enroll in one of the programs, they can receive up to 12-weeks of FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Anyone can also purchase low-cost NRT at on-campus pharmacies, hospital gift shops, and convenience stores to manage cravings while on UK’s tobacco-free campus. Learn more here: www.uky.edu/TobaccoFree.

 

UK’s Quit and Win Contest marked the end of UK’s five year tobacco-free anniversary celebration starting on Nov. 20, 2014. UK HealthCare and UK’s Tobacco-free Task Force joined together to sponsor the first ever Quit and Win Contest at UK. The Contest ran from Jan. 16 to Feb. 16 and was open to UK faculty and staff, including employees of any affiliated corporation, 18 years of age or older and current tobacco users. Contest enrollees and their buddies received weekly tips to quit and resources to help them via email during the 30-day contest. For more information on the contest: http://www.uky.edu/TobaccoFree/quit_win.html.

 

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu 

UK Orchestra to Showcase Concerto Competition Winner Pianist Yuri Kim

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Nardolillo, takes the stage this Friday with a variety of compositions that showcase the diverse talent of its own student musicians.

 

The concert will feature one of UK School of Music's own, Yuri Kim, winner of the UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, playing music by George Gershwin. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

 

Fresh off its dramatic live presentation of “2001: A Space Odyssey” with the UK Chorale, the orchestra will begin the concert with Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Atmosphères,” featured in the film. Next, the orchestra will back up Yuri Kim as she plays George Gershwin’s Concerto in F for piano and orchestra. The concert will conclude with German composer Robert Schumann’s uplifting Symphony No. 2.

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition presents a prestigious opportunity for UK music students to perform a solo concerto with the orchestra. Artistic excellence is the primary criterion, but students must also be fulltime music majors and prepare the entire concerto. A panel of judges composed of artists from outside UK reviews excerpts performed by each contestant and selects the top four to return and play their entire concerto. From these finalists, one to three winners are chosen to perform with the orchestra in the Concerto Competition Concert.

 

Yuri Kim, a native of South Korea, holds a master’s degree in piano performance from UK and a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from Campbellsville University, where she graduated with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and was a member of the honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Kim earned the certificate in piano pedagogy at Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Regionally, she won the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Piano Competition in Kentucky and advanced to the Southern division. Kim is currently pursuing a doctorate in piano performance at UK School of Music, where she studies with Professor Irina Voro and serves as a teaching assistant in "Introductory Piano."

 

Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The 100-member all-student orchestra presents more than 50 concerts each year including classical, chamber and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Lang Lang, Ronan Tynan, Natasha Paremski and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra also collaborates yearly with UK Opera Theatre and has recently presented "Porgy and Bess," "La Bohème," "Die Fledermaus," "Carmen," "La Traviata" and "Madama Butterfly." Over the last three years, they have also begun an active outreach program bringing classical music to all corners of the Commonwealth. To date, they have performed for more than 10,000 students as part of this new initiative. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record for with Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.

 

The UK School of Music at the 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

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