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Student Health and Safety Committee Recommends Extending Student Code Off Campus, Revising Alcohol Policy

11 hours 7 min ago

                                

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) ― After months of extensive review of best practices across the country, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced today that this fall UK will extend its Code of Student Conduct off campus as part of a comprehensive approach to ensuring student safety and strengthening relationships with neighborhoods.

 

That recommendation, which will be implemented over the next several months, is one of several adopted by Capilouto following an extensive review by a diverse 16-member committee, which included representatives from the University of Kentucky, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), Lexington city government and neighborhoods surrounding UK.

 

"Our first priority is the safety of our students and the community we serve," Capilouto said. "At the same time, we want to build on the strong relationships we have with our neighbors and the broader community. This report, the work of so many people on our campus and in Lexington, is another important step in building an enduring, mutually beneficial relationship of trust and candor."

 

"I believe this report and the efforts of this task force represent a significant step in the right direction in regards to student safety,” said UK Student Government President Roshan Palli, “and I am excited for the coming months and years as we, as a community, continue to improve our processes and practices in the best interests of this student body."

 

To that end, Capilouto today is forming a standing 15-member Health and Safety Task Force and Implementation Committee -- comprised of university administrators, faculty, staff, students, and representatives from surrounding neighborhoods, city government and Bluegrass Community and Technical College -- charged with implementing the recommendations in the report.

 

The Implementation Committee will convene in May and meet throughout the summer in a run-up to Fall 2014 when many of the recommendations are expected to be implemented. The committee is being chaired by Robert Mock, UK's vice president for Student Affairs.

 

A summary of recommendations from the Workgroup on Student Health and Safety that Capilouto said will be implemented for Fall 2014, includes:

 

·       Expanding the Code of Student Conduct beyond campus boundaries. Several other campuses, including The Ohio State University, have expanded their Code of Student Conduct as part of an effort to improve safety and community relations.

 

·       Revising the university's alcohol policy to allow consumption on campus under predetermined guidelines and conditions. Only people who are of legal age (students, employees and visitors) would be allowed to consume alcohol in prescribed places on campus.

 

·       Developing an active enforcement task force ― composed of Lexington and campus police, the UK Office of Student Conduct and Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Student Affairs ― to coordinate reporting and handling of violations of the student code of conduct if, and when, they occur.

 

·       Instituting a medical amnesty policy within the Code of Student Conduct for reporting instances of substance abuse or potentially dangerous situations.

 

·       Encouraging students who live off-campus to establish positive relations with neighbors and neighborhoods and providing more formal opportunities for town forums for both UK and the broader community to exchange ideas and discuss concerns.

 

·       Developing a more formalized, year-round community service program focused on near-campus neighborhoods.

 

·       Rehabilitating and leasing university-owned houses and apartments in adjacent neighborhoods to faculty and staff.

 

·       Improving and increasing student-focused prevention and education programs throughout campus and the surrounding community.

 

“These are solid steps forward that are good for the university’s nearby neighbors, and good for all of Lexington,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “These steps will have a positive impact, even in neighborhoods that have been changed forever. And they will provide real support in neighborhoods where there is an opportunity to renew and restore. All great cities depend on partners working together. As our community grows and as UK, Transylvania and BCTC grow, we must continue to work together.”

 

"I value the task of having represented the UK adjacent neighborhoods throughout the Workgroup on Student Health and Safety's comprehensive study and thank Dr. Capilouto for accepting our recommendations," said Lee Thomas, neighborhood representative on the taskforce. "As citizens of Lexington, we all carry the responsibility to protect the attributes which make our community exceptional and to improve the areas which are not. We're looking forward to the implementation of the task force's recommendations."

 

The workgroup was formed last year as an outgrowth of several conversations Capilouto had with neighborhood representatives regarding ways to strengthen town-gown relations.

 

The group examined several reports and policies from other universities, including Ohio State, Georgia and Auburn, and conducted interviews with national experts on campus safety and substance abuse issues. It submitted a report to Capilouto in December. He reviewed the report over the last several weeks and met with workgroup members in recent days to discuss their recommendations before deciding to implement the report.

 

Although not isolated to concerns regarding parties, off-campus alcohol use, in particular, has been a perennial issue for many years even before UK revised its alcohol policy in 1997. Statistics regarding alcohol usage and violations of law have been cyclical, according to the report, which reviewed years of data regarding arrests and other violations before and after the 1997 decision. But it is clear from the data that keeping the campus "dry" has not resulted in students drinking less; it's only changed where they drink, the data demonstrate.

 

Although UK is above the national average for nearly all substance-related health and safety issues in an ongoing survey that includes many Southeastern Conference institutions and students, the data is the result of increased awareness and reporting due to UK's enhanced programming for substance abuse education, said Andrew Smith, staff coordinator of the task force and director of the UK Office of Substance Education and Responsibility.

 

“The data obtained from our surveys indicate that UK students tend to have a work-hard/play-hard mentality," Smith said. "In general, they place a high emphasis on academic achievement but also cope with that stressor through risky substance-related behaviors. These associated behaviors are unfortunately not uncommon for college students and can be effectively addressed through proactive means of education, prevention, and policy development. I am excited to see that the University of Kentucky is openly recognizing and addressing this issue through evidence-based practices that best meet the needs of our university and our city.”

 

Mock, UK's vice president for Student Affairs, said the best approach to both town-gown issues and the national problem of college substance abuse is transparency and vigilance.

 

"Our concern is with the total well-being of our students and the community that we proudly call home," Mock said. "We have to confront issues where they exist and work together toward solutions that benefit everyone involved. This report ― and the recommendations we will adopt over time ― represent a collaborative approach to these issues. They are an important start. But what we do next and how we move forward together will be just as important to the future of our campus and this community."

 

For a copy of the workgroup's report, go to http://uknow.uky.edu/sites/default/files/workgroup_on_student_health_and_safety_-_final_report.doc

 

The composition of the Health and Safety Task Force and Implementation Committee includes:

 

·       Robert Mock, vice president for Student Affairs, chair

·       Andrew Smith, director of UK's Office of Substance Education and               Responsibility

Representatives from:

·       3rd District Council representative

·       Neighborhood representative

·       UK Faculty

·       UK Police

·       University Relations

·       UK Counseling and Testing Center

·       Athletics

·       Assistant Vice President for Public Safety

·       Student Government

·       Greek governing councils

·       BCTC

·       LFUCG Public Safety Commissioner

·       UK HealthCare

·       Office of Student Conduct

·       Office of Risk Analysis and Process Improvement

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton, 859-257-6605, jay.blanton@uky.edu or Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

 

Vehicle Relocation for April 26 Spring Football Game

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 19:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) ― To accommodate fan parking for the University of Kentucky Spring Football Game Saturday, April 26, the university requires vehicles in the Commonwealth Stadium area to relocate as they would for a typical fall football game.

 

Students and employees who park at Commonwealth Stadium must move their vehicles before 7 a.m. Saturday, April 26, for the UK Football Spring Game. Additionally, parking is prohibited on University Drive at any time on game days. Failure to move any vehicle from the stadium parking lots or University Drive may result in a citation and impoundment at the owner’s expense. This includes the Stadium Red, Green, Blue and Black Lots, the Soccer/Softball Complex and the Greg Page Overflow Lot.

 

Vehicles may be relocated to other lots any time after 3:30 p.m. Friday, and must be moved back by 5 a.m. Monday.

 

For a map illustrating where to move your vehicle for the April 26 Spring Football Game, visit www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps.

 

UK College of Education to Host 16th Annual Teachers Who Made a Difference Program

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) — Susan Wormley, a former teacher from Oswego, Ill. may not have realized at the time, but she inspired one of her fifth grade students, who would eventually become a familiar face on the televisons in Lexington, Ky.

 

Bill Meck, chief meterologist for WLEX18, says Wormley was the one who encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming a weatherman.

 

"Even before I had Mrs. Wormley as a teacher, I wanted to be a television weatherman," said Meck. "What I still remember, and a story I often tell, is she made me a weather map out of felt; blue covered cardboard with a yellow United States on it. I used to put the highs, lows, fronts, and raindrops on it and give a weather report to the class."

 

Meck says without Wormley's encouragment, there is a chance he would not be where he is today.

 

"It's hard to imagine how many lives she's touched directly in her 40+ years of teaching, but I'm sure there are many of us who would not be where we are without her," he said. "It's hard to imagine someone more dedicated to the craft of teaching."

 

Jazmene Landing, a UK student, says DeShana Collett, an assistant professor of physcian assistant studies in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, has inspired her to persist in her education.

 

"Dr. Collett was able to finish high school early and graduate from college all while supporting herself and a young daughter," said Landing. "As an African American student and mother, there were times I thought that schoool wasn't for someone like me and that I should start working and looking for other options.  But seeing Dr. Collett set goals and achieve so much, I knew that I could also aspire to do great things in my life."

 

Landing said Collett makes an effort to support diversity throughout campus, and advocates strongly for her students.

 

"She makes an effort to help students that are ready and willing to put in the time and work to be a success," said Landing. "She beat the odds and stigmas against her and showed many that when you put your mind to it, anything can be achieved."

 

Meck and Landing will honor Wormley and Collett as "Teachers Who Made a Difference" this Saturday, and will escort them to a ceremony where they will be recognized along with nearly 150 other educators.

 

The 16th annual Teachers Who Made a Difference ceremony, part of the UK College of Education, gives all individuals the means to thank an educator who has impacted their lives. Nearly 2,000 teachers have been honored since the program's inception. 

 

"The UK College of Education prides itself on preparing great teachers," said Mary Ann Vimont, the college's director of public relations and student, alumni and community affairs. "As part of our mission, we also think it is important to honor those teachers who are making a difference in the lives of their students, here in Kentucky and across the country."

 

Each year, all submissions are accepted up to a predetermined limit with each being honored that year. Also each year, the program is assisted by a spokesperson who helps get the word out. In the past, John Calipari, Dermontti Dawson, Tubby Smith, Lee T. Todd Jr., Kyle Macy, and Dan and Cheri Issel have led the charge. In 2012, 2013 and again this year, UK Women’s Basketball Coach Matthew Mitchell has served as the spokesperson.

 

“Teaching is my job, teaching is my passion. And it is something that I love and hope to do the rest of my life,” said Mitchell. “It is a tremendous thing to be a teacher.”

 

Submissions for the 2015 program will be accepted beginning in December 2014 at education.uky.edu/Community/TWMAD.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; jenny.wells@uky.edu 

UK Symphony Orchestra to Present Grand Season Finale of Brahms, Mahler

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) — In a grand collaboration with University of Kentucky Chorale, Choristers, Men's Chorus and Women's Choir, the UK Symphony Orchestra will take the Singletary Center for the Arts stage to perform works of Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 25. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

More than 300 performers from UK School of Music ensembles, along with mezzo-soprano Holly Dodson and soprano Rebecca Farley, will perform Brahms' "Song of Destiny" and Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection" under the direction of Music Director and Conductor of the UK Symphony Orchestra John Nardolilo, guest conductor James Burton and assistant conductor Daniel Chetel.

 

Mahler, a descendant of the Austro-German tradition epitomized by Ludwig van Beethoven and Brahms, combines elements of symphony and tone poem, and programmatic and absolute music in "Resurrection."

 

Best known as a symphonist, Brahms and his "Song of Destiny," or "Schicksalslied," captures German romantic Frederich Hölderlin's poem “Hyperions Schicksalslied” with choral-orchestral music.

 

James Burton, Schola Cantorum of Oxford conductor and a graduate of St. John’s College Cambridge and the Peabody Conservatory, is renowned for his choral conducting and has conducted concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  and the Hallé. Last season he conducted Schola together with the OAE in the International Baroque Festival in Malta and gave performances of “Messiah” with the Oxford Philomusica.

 

In addition to the numerous talented ensembles and conductors, the concert will showcase the voices of Holly Dodson and Rebecca Farley.

 

Dodson, currently working on a master's degree in voice at UK, completed a double major in vocal performance and arts administration at UK last year and is an Alltech Vocal Scholar. In summer 2013, she traveled to Novafeltria, Italy, to perform the role of La Zia Principessa and in the fall delivered a passionate interpretation of Eponine in UK Opera Theatre's (UKOT) production of “Les Miserables.” Dodson has performed in both musical theater and operatic roles with UKOT, including Madame Giry in "Phantom of the Opera," Mistress Quickly in "Falstaff," Gertrude in "Romeo et Juliette" and Ruth in "Pirates of Penzance."

 

Dodson has also had numerous leading roles with the Bluegrass Opera including world premieres of "With Such Friends" and "Quantum Mechanic." She has worked with Carol Vaness, Douglas Ahlstedt, Ronan Tynan, Bill Lewis, Brygida Bziukiewicz, Francois Loup and Ubaldo Fabbri. Dodson has studied with Noemi Lugo and is a current student of Assistant Professor in Voice Elizabeth Arnold.

 

A Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Kentucky District winner, Farley earned her bachelor’s of music degree from UK. She has delighted audiences playing the roles of Nannetta in “Falstaff,” Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance,” Zerlina in “Don Giovanni,” and as a soloist in the annual "It's A Grand Night for Singing" concert. Farley was a part of UKOT history when she starred as Christine Daaé in its groundbreaking production of "The Phantom of the Opera."

 

Farley recently performed with the Lexington Singers as the soprano soloist in Handel's “Messiah,” Mary the Mother in Angela Rice's Easter oratorio “Thy Will Be Done,” and in Latin America with the Alltech Scholars. Farley has received awards from the Orpheus Vocal Competition and Peterson Vocal Competition, and studies with UK Endowed Chair in Music Cynthia Lawrence.

 

Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success racking up recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Lynn Harrell, Gil Shaham, Mark O'Connor, Sarah Chang, Marvin Hamlisch and Itzhak Perlman. The UK Symphony Orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. The orchestra is housed at the award-winning UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts.

 

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, Ronan Tynan 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 achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

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

 

University Honors and Awards Program Recognizes Outstanding Students, Faculty and Staff

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 11:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) — Each year the University of Kentucky pauses to recognize the achievements of its students at the annual University Honors and Recognition Awards Program. Hosted in the Frank H. Harris Grand Ballroom in the Student Center, students were recognized with university-wide awards at a ceremony Monday, April 14.

 

The ceremony boasted several of the university's brightest and hardest working students. Dean of Students Victor Hazard shared his praise and thanks to these outstanding young adults and offered them his advice for their futures moving forward.

 

The evening culminated with the awarding of the Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award. Given to a senior man and woman, this award, named after the former UK president, was established in 1978 and was the first award recognizing overall student leadership at UK. Students nominated for this award have shown outstanding leadership while attending the University of Kentucky, made significant contributions to academics and are dedicated to service through campus and community involvement. 

 

Alex Wade and Lindsey Steller

The 2014 Outstanding Senior Male Award was given to Alex Wade, a Lexington native majoring in agricultural biotechnology and who will be attending UK College of Medicine in the fall. Wade served as the 2013-14 DanceBlue family relations chair after serving on the Family Relations Committee for two years. Wade was also president of his fraternity, Sigma Chi, was president of Wrap Up America - UK Chapter, and was named the 2013 Homecoming king.

 

Drew Ritzel, a finalist for the Outstanding Senior Male Award, is from Bellbrook, Ohio. Ritzel is a biology and Spanish pre-med major who serves as the executive director of the Center for Community Outreach. He has also served as the director of Alternative Service Breaks in the CCO for two years. Ritzel is active in many student organizations.

 

The 2014 Outstanding Senior Female Award was given to Lindsay Steller, from Fort Thomas, Ky. Steller serves as the editor of the K Book, the new student guide to campus, as a UK 101 peer instructor and was president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. She is an active member of the DanceBlue Morale Committee and Wrap Up America - UK Chapter. The Spanish major will begin her professional career this fall serving as a leadership consultant for Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity.

 

Claci Ayers, a finalist for the Outstanding Senior Female Award, is from Bowling Green, Ky., and is majoring in agricultural biotechnology. She was the 2013-14 DanceBlue overall chair and is an active member of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. She was named the 2013 Homecoming queen and will attend UK's College of Medicine in the fall.

 

Major fellowships were also awarded at the recognition ceremony. Given by The Graduate School and UK Athletics, UK awards both the Otis A. Singletary Fellowship and Charles Wethington Fellowship. The quasi-endowment fund in memory of Otis A. Singletary provides a fellowship of $12,000 to be awarded annually to a UK graduating senior who plans to continue in one of the university’s graduate or professional programs. The fellowship is awarded for a first year of graduate or professional study at UK and is not renewable for subsequent years. The Otis A. Singletary Fellowship recipient this year was Cyrus Hettle.

 

The Charles T. Wethington Jr. Fellowship, named in honor of the former UK president, is awarded annually for graduate or professional study and was presented to Adam Carrico. The $20,000 fellowship is awarded to a UK graduating senior who plans to continue in one of UK's graduate or professional programs. The fellowship is awarded for a first year of graduate or professional study and is not renewable for subsequent years. Preference is given to Kentucky residents who are first-generation college students.

 

Since 1929, the University of Kentucky is one of several southern schools to present the Sullivan Medallion Award. The award was named after Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a southern businessman who became successful as a lawyer and philanthropist in New York in the late nineteenth century.  Sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, the award recognizes faculty, staff or students who exhibit Sullivan’s ideals and character. Debra Hensley received the Citizen Sullivan Medallion Award.  Katharine Skarvan received the Senior Woman Sullivan Medallion Award, and Drew Ritzel received the Senior Man Sullivan Medallion Award.

 

Three students were awarded the Shane Carlin and Annie Sit Inclusion Award. The Shane Carlin and Annie Sit Inclusion Award recognizes the achievements of students that have made strides in assisting to move our campus forward. Carlin is a 1995 graduate of the University of Kentucky and has been a student affairs professional since that time.  While at UK, Carlin was involved in many student organizations.  He and his wife want to celebrate and appreciate students who strive to make the University of Kentucky more inclusive. The Carlins developed this award to recognize students who work in social justice, diversity and inclusion in the most impacting and discerning manner, which transcends race. This year’s awardee was Jasmine Pulce.

 

The Spirit of King Award presented by the Martin Luther King Center honors undergraduate students at UK who demonstrate fellowship, scholarship and service. The recipient is a student who is not only committed to academics, but one who also shows exemplary behavior for their community and peers.  This year’s award was presented to Llord Brooks.

 

UK's Student Development Council (SDC) annually awards scholarships to deserving students. Joseph P. Kennedy, owner of Kennedy’s Book Store, helped create the fund from which SDC makes these scholarship awards. The group paid tribute to Joseph P. Kennedy for his continuing support by renaming the Student Development Council Scholarship Fund the Joseph P. Kennedy Student Development Council Scholarship Fund in the summer of 2002. The 10 recipients of this award were Raevti Bole, Andrew Parks, Sibi Rajendran, Forrest Miller, Lee Foster, Corinna Hughes, Matthew Fahrbach, Alex Wade, Jacob Sword and Lauren Hatfield.

 

UK's Student Government Association recognized five students and a staff member. Allison Ferguson received the Association Constitutional Scholarship.  Allyson Lough received the Academic Excellence Scholarship. Alex Wade was awarded the Lyman T. Johnson Odyssey Award, bestowed each academic year on a student who has, by their actions, exemplified a high degree of personal integrity and a commitment to the betterment of the community or campus. Wade received a $1,500 academic stipend in both the fall and spring semesters of the following academic year. The award is in honor of Lyman T. Johnson, the first African-American student to be admitted to the University of Kentucky. Kaitlyne Motl received the Graduate Scholarship Award. Eriauna Stratton and Heather Wagoner were each awarded a Robert G. Zumwinkle Student Rights Award. The Zumwinkle Student Rights Award is bestowed on students, faculty and staff members who have done the most to promote and protect student rights on campus during each academic year. A $300 gift accompanies this award. The award is in honor of Robert Zumwinkle, former vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

 

The Honors Program bestowed two awards. Drake Jackson received the Raymond Betts Crystal Award for Service. This was first awarded in 1986 and is for outstanding service to the Honors Program and the University community at large. Sarah Hayden received the Diachun Award. The Stephen Diachun Award, named after the first director of the Honors Program, has been presented since 1982 to a graduating senior who has “demonstrated outstanding research talent in the form of his/her Independent Project and who holds high promise for further professional development in graduate school.” The Diachun Award comes in the form of a check for $1,000 to be used for expenses in graduate or professional school.

 

The Maurice A. Clay Award is sponsored by the UK Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa and is presented to graduating seniors based on leadership. The 10 awardees this year were Kyle Smith, Connor Appleman, Emily Ralenkotter, Anthony Carney, Cassie Cox, Mel Simon, Kellie Owen, Jessica Griffitt, Nicole Brown and Paxton Roberts.

 

The Viji Jeganathan Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding presented by the International Center  was presented to Yasuka Miura.  

 

UK's Greek community honored their highest achieving chapters and leaders. The highest academic achievement awards were handed out for fraternities, sororities and UK's historically African-American fraternities and sororities. Beta Theta Pi received the Highest Academic Achievement Interfraternity Council Award.  Chi Omega received the Highest Academic Achievement Panhellenic Council Award. Alpha Phi Alpha received the Highest Academic Achievement National Pan-Hellenic Award. Roshan Palli, a member of Delta Sigma Phi, won the Outstanding Greek Man Award. Claci Ayers, a member of Alpha Delta Pi, won the Outstanding Greek Woman Award.

 

The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Student Involvement honored students and staff. Dr. Todd  Cheever was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year. Three outstanding members of our community received the Robert and Freda Carlin Unsung Hero Award presented by Student Affairs. The awardees were Karen Doyle, Robert Cardom and Elena Shulgina. The award honors quiet leaders without whose contributions UK would not be the institution that it is today.

 

2014 marks the 23rd year the University of Kentucky recognizes the outstanding volunteer service achievements of Darrell A. VanMeter, through the presentation of an undergraduate award named in his honor. VanMeter, a sophomore at the time of his death in 1991, was recognized by the university community and his home community for his positive contributions and his dedication to serving others. The impact of his "good samaritan" approach to helping others was apparent to faculty, staff and students alike. This year’s winner is Drew Ritzel.

 

The Office of Residence Life honored several of their student staff. The Robert A. Clay Scholarship was awarded to Claire Crawford and Alexa Pettyman. The Robert A. Clay Scholarship is named for a former director of Residence Life and recognizes resident advisors who have outstanding job performance and have shown evidence of financial need with a $1,000 scholarship.

 

Allyson Lough, Keisha Dawson and Caroline Davis were named recipients of the Rosemary Pond Leadership Award. The award is named for a former dean of students at UK for over 20 years.  The award recognizes residence hall staff and hall government members who have consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and have made significant contributions to the Office of Residence Life, particularly in the areas of programming, advising, student development or departmental operations.

 

Duke Pettit II and Morgan Jasko were awarded the Carol S. Adelstein Outstanding Student Award. The award, given by the Disability Resource Center, was first presented in 1984 and is annually presented to the student with a disability who best serves as an inspiration to the UK community through excellence in any or all of the following: academics, leadership, extracurricular activities and social and personal qualities.  It is named for Carol Adelstein who was a successful person with a disability and wife of a UK professor.

 

The University of Kentucky is proud of the accomplishments of all their outstanding students.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

Willett and Reddy Selected as May 2014 Commencement Speakers

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — As a University of Kentucky Commencement tradition, two students have been selected to serve as speakers for the two undergraduate ceremonies Saturday, May 10.

 

Emily Willett will speak at the 1 p.m. ceremony and Pooja Reddy will speak at the 6 p.m. ceremony. Willett and Reddy were selected among several candidates by UK President Eli Capilouto to represent the May 2014 undergraduate class.

 

Willett, from Ormond Beach, Fla., is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in management from the Gatton College of Business and Economics.  She is a third-generation UK student and has been involved in the UK Women's Choir (serving as president for one year); Paws and Listen (UK's female a capella group); UK Student Government; DanceBlue  (2013-14 corporate relations chair); and Alpha Delta Pi sorority.  She is also a campus tour guide and student director at the UK Visitor Center.

 

Willett will enter the UK College of Dentistry this fall, and ultimately wants to open her own practice in orthodontics.

 

“I am very excited to be giving the student commencement address to the Class of 2014," Willett said. "At the beginning of my sophomore year, I had the privilege of welcoming incoming freshmen to UK as the student speaker for the New Student Induction Ceremony.  It is a real honor to be able to cap off my Wildcat career by delivering this speech.”

 

Reddy, from Glascow, Ky., is graduating Cum Laude with a degree in psychology from the UK College of Arts & Sciences. She has two minors, political science and international studies, and a global studies certificate.

 

While at UK, Reddy has served as co-creator of the "Get Fit, Get Active" initiative, an effort to mobilize UK's campus, and as a peer mentor for the Emerging Leader Institute. She was the recipient of the "Wildcats in Washington" Congressional Scholarship and was chosen for the Freshman Leadership Development Program. She has worked with the World Health Organization headquarters under the Tobacco Free Initiative in Geneva, Switzerland, and completed a legislative internship with the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. This semester she held a legislative internship in Frankfort under the Majority Caucus Chair. Reddy is also a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the Indian Cultural Exchange Dance Team, and is an on-air DJ for WRFL, 88.1FM.

 

Reddy says she'd like to use her identity as a first generation American with deep ties in India to serve the interests of both India and the U.S. She plans to study international law and earn joint master's degrees in public policy and diplomacy.

 

"As Commencement speaker, I'd like to unite our class and highlight the similarities we share as University of Kentucky graduates," Reddy said. "My upbringing in rural Kentucky, background as a first generation American, and broad involvement on campus, allow me to understand that UK hosts a diverse student body deserving of a representative they can relate to. I'm honored to address the Class of 2014 and hope they take away an important theme of my speech: education is a gift and a responsibility not to be taken lightly, and what we choose to do with that gift is entirely in our hands."

 

The May 2014 Commencement Ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 10 in Rupp Arena. The Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony will take place at 9 a.m., followed by the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The 1 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Agriculture, Food & Environment; the Gatton College of Business & Economics, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing. The 6 p.m. ceremony will feature the colleges of Arts & Sciences; Communication & Information; Design; Fine Arts; Health Sciences; and Social Work. 

 

Students who plan to participate in the Commencement ceremonies should register by April 25 to have their names appear on screen when their names ae called during the ceremonies.  

 

All three ceremonies will be live streamed on UKNow.

 

For more information about the May 2014 Commencement Ceremonies, visit www.uky.edu/Commencement

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; jenny.wells@uky.edu

College of Law to Induct Three Into 2014 Hall of Fame

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 14:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Law and the UK College of Law Alumni Association will induct three new members into the 2014 Hall of Fame at an alumni reception in conjunction with the Kentucky Bar Association Convention in Covington June 18.

 

The Hall of Fame was established to acknowledge graduates of the college who have achieved extraordinary professional success, have a high degree of character and integrity, and have a profound positive impact on the College of Law. The three Hall of Fame inductees are Albert B. “Ben” Chandler III, W. David Denton, and William R. Garmer.

 

Chandler is the director of the Kentucky Humanities Council. He was named Young Lawyer of the Year in 1990, right before starting his political career as state auditor of public accounts from 1991 to 1995. As suditor, he performed the highest number of audits in history. From 1996-2003, he served as Kentucky's attorney general (the nation’s youngest at that time) and created KASPER – the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System.  Chandler represented the sixth congressional district of Kentucky from 2004-2013 and while in Congress, served on the House Appropriations Committee, House Ethics Committee and House Intelligence Committee. He is a 1986 graduate of the UK College of Law and established the Kentucky Prosecutors Institute at the Law School.

 

Denton is the senior partner of Denton & Keuler in Paducah, Ky., and has been involved in the practice for more than 25 years. He successfully handles clients in both state and federal courts and within a broad spectrum of the law. Denton previously served as special justice for the Kentucky Supreme Court and is a Life Fellow of the Kentucky Bar Foundation. He is a 1969 graduate of the UK College of Law.

 

Garmer, a 1975 graduate of UK's College of Law, is a partner of Garmer & Prather, PLLC. During his career, he has secured many successful settlements and verdicts for his clients. Some of his successful cases, Hilen v. Hays and Williams v. St. Claire Medical Center, have led to groundbreaking decisions. His name has appeared in The Best Lawyers in America since 1987, Who’s Who in American Law since 1991, named to Kentucky Super Lawyers since 2007, and in 2008 and 2010-2014 he was named one of the top 50 lawyers in Kentucky by Super Lawyers. Garmer has served as a board member of the UK College of Law Alumni Association and is a member of the College of Law’s Visiting Committee.

 

Other honorees include Kenneth R. Taylor (Professional Achievement), Angela Logan Edwards and Thomas Ruden Post (Community Service), Jennifer Lee Ann Brinkley (Young Professional), Karl Spillman Forester (Distinguished Jurist, honored posthumously),Wil Schroder (Distinguished Jurist, honored posthumously), and Albert Jones (Legacy).

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

 

College of Health Sciences Inducts Two Into Hall of Fame

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:48

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) − The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences recently welcomed two new inductees into its Alumni Hall of Fame. The latest inductees are:
 

Russell E. Miller, physical therapy, ’80. Miller, who is retired, worked most recently as a consultant for Avacore Technologies, a company in Ann Arbor, Mich., which developed a device to augment natural body cooling; and Lori Stewart Gonzalez, speech-pathology & audiology, ’79, who served as dean of the UK College of Health Sciences for seven years before becoming the first female provost and executive vice chancellor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.. 

 

Russell E. Miller

Miller received a bachelor of science in health and physical education, from Wilmington College in Ohio in 1966. He received a master of science in health and safety with an emphasis on athletic training from Indiana University in 1968. He then earned a bachelor of science in physical therapy from UK in 1980.

 

Miller began his career in athletic training prior to receiving his degree in physical therapy. Over a span of 13 years, Miller worked as head athletic trainer at Wilmington College, DaPauw University, and Western Kentucky University. In 1980, Miller became dual-credentialed as a licensed physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer. Miller served as head athletic trainer for the University of Michigan (UM) and developed and directed the UM Physical Therapy Department at UM’s Sports Medicine Clinic. In 1991, he began working as senior athletic trainer for the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team, where he advanced to medical director and head athletic trainer before retiring from athletic training in 2002.


Miller has been influential on a national level, serving as a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) since 1964. He was part of the original NATA committee that developed the certification requirements for the board certification for athletic trainers. Miller has held service and leadership positions within multiple professional organizations, including the American Academy of Sports Dentistry, the Michigan State Medical Society (Sports Medicine), and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Association. Miller has also shared his knowledge and expertise through many lectures, publications and presentations.

 

“As a clinical supervisor, he taught the students and his staff how to interact with athletes, coaches, and physicians, in order to meet their individual expectations. He was remarkable in educating the physicians about the coaches’ and athletes’ concerns regarding injury and facilitated the best outcome and care for his athletes,” said nominator Tim Uhl, who is co-director of the Musculoskeletal Laboratory, and an associate professor in the Division of Athletic Training. “He epitomized the role of master clinical practitioner and problem solver.”

 

Lori Stewart Gonzalez

The second inductee, Gonzalez, received a bachelor of arts in speech-pathology and audiology from UK in 1979. She then pursued graduate work, receiving a master of arts in communication disorders from Eastern Kentucky University in 1981, and earning a doctorate in communication disorders from the University of Florida in 1989.

 

Gonzalez, a native Kentuckian, began her academic career at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU) in 1988. As an assistant professor, she assumed the role of director of supervision and clinical training at SIU. In 1991, she returned to UK as an assistant professor in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Gonzalez devoted 20 years of her career to UK, moving up to professor, then serving the College of Health Sciences as associate dean of academic affairs, and later serving as dean. Gonzalez was selected as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2001, providing her with the opportunity to work with and learn from a variety of college and university presidents. Following her ACE Fellowship, she returned to UK and became more engaged in campus leadership and governance.

 

Following a national search in 2005, she was appointed as the third dean of the UK College of Health Sciences. Gonzalez served as dean for seven years. Under her leadership, the research profile of the college was significantly elevated. The college continued its tradition of excellence in teaching, research and service, and Gonzalez remained directly engaged, facilitating excellence across the college. Her priorities as dean included mentoring young professionals and faculty, as well as supporting staff development.

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

 

UK Libraries Seeks Research Volunteers For Website Enhancement

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) — In efforts to improve its website for students, faculty, staff and the public, University of Kentucky Libraries is currently seeking volunteers for a research study to better understand and address issues with its online platform. Undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, and members of the public are all welcome to participate.

 

In the fall of 2013, UK Libraries conducted surveys to receive patrons' feedback regarding its user needs and satisfaction. Surveys and research studies conducted by UK Libraries in regards to enhancing users' experiences have proved valuable.

 

UK Libraries is now conducting a follow-up study focusing on issues raised in the fall 2013 surveys and will utilize this research to advance its website. If you are interested in volunteering for the research study, email WEBADMIN@LSV.UKY.EDU.

 

In 2011, UK Libraries asked students and faculty to participate in a similar survey and significant academic and technological changes occurred as a result, for example, new collaborative study spaces on the second floor and quiet study areas on the fifth floor in the William T. Young Library, and Medical Center Library renovations with new furnishings, reflected current user needs and desires.

 

Services were also enhanced and expanded including information literacy classes designed to help both students and faculty locate and evaluate information, services to assist with individual research papers and projects, and hundreds of subject-oriented and course-specific online research guides. In addition, a book delivery service that delivers books from any campus library location to another was added.

 

Guided by the previous survey's responses, UK Libraries also "increased access to electronic resources like books, journals and databases and now provides access to more than 580,000 e-books through InfoKat, UK Libraries' online catalog."

 

As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries provides ever-expanding access to quality information resources, services and programs. UK Libraries locations include the William T. Young Library, the Agricultural Information Center, the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, the Education Library, the John A. Morris Library (Gluck Equine Research Center), the Kentucky Transportation Center Library, the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Library.

UPK Authors Win Susan Koppelman Award for 'Women and the White House'

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — University Press of Kentucky (UPK) authors Justin S. Vaughn and Lilly J. Goren have been named co-recipients of the 2014 Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in Feminist Studies for their book Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics.

 

The Susan Koppelman Award, presented by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA), was established in 1985 to honor renowned feminist literary historian Susan Koppelman, who edited the first anthology of feminist literary criticism.

 

The award was presented April 17 at the 2014 PCA/ACA annual convention held in Chicago.

 

With a strong, multidisciplinary approach, “Women and the White House” examines how the president and the first lady exist as a function of public expectations and cultural gender roles. Vaughn and Goren lead a team of distinguished scholars who consider the way our contemporary political culture frames the role of gender in politics and how citizens are encouraged — if not instructed — to observe and engage with female political leaders.

 

Portrayals of the first family have long been shaped by public perceptions of life in the White House, and in turn, how they reflect trends in the nation’s changing ideas of what makes an ideal family. Initiating a wider discussion about the possibility of a female president in the United States, “Women and the White House” looks at the ways in which popular perceptions of gender will impact her leadership, and the cultural challenges she will face.

 

Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science and global studies at Carroll University and the editor of You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: Women Politics, and Popular Culture.”  Justin S. Vaughn is assistant professor of political science at Boise State University.

 

The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association strives to stimulate an international interest in popular culture studies through the establishment and promotion of conferences, publications, and discussion.

 

The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.   

 

To order the "Women and the White House," visit online at www.kentuckypress.com.

 

 

 

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

UK Health Sciences Professor Receives Excellence in Teaching Award

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) − Richard D. Andreatta, an associate professor in the  Division of Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences and a member of the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctorate Program (RHB) graduate faculty, has been named the 2014 recipient of the college’s Kingston Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

 

Andreatta is the director of Undergraduate Studies for CSD, teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate courses in the CSD and RHB programs, and serves as a research mentor. He is also a faculty associate in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the UK College of Medicine. He received his doctorate in Speech Physiology and Neuroscience in 1999 from Indiana University, Bloomington. Andreatta also serves as the director of the Laryngeal & Speech Dynamics Lab.

 

“The Kingston Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious honor, and it shows how much value our college places on teaching,” said Sharon R. Stewart, interim dean of the UK College of Health Sciences. “Dr. Andreatta is highly respected by undergraduate and graduate students alike. Student evaluations of his teaching are routinely very high, with students indicating that he is a dedicated and caring teacher, who is able to teach difficult content effectively.  As the director of Undergraduate Studies for CSD, Dr. Andreatta provides valuable counsel and mentorship to students just entering the profession. As a member of the graduate faculty, he is viewed as an excellent academic and research advisor.”

 

The Kingston Award was established in recognition of Richard “Dick” Kingston’s creativity and innovation in education. This award recognizes faculty for outstanding contributions and long-term consistent excellence in teaching

 

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

 

Swag Bag Bash at King Alumni House

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 20:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) ― University of Kentucky students, get ready for the Swag Bag Bash 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Wednesday, April 23, at the King Alumni House at the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue.  Students can enjoy:

 

  • Free pizza and drinks
  • Door prize drawings every hour
  • Games and prizes
  • Swag Bags

 

The event is offered to students by the UK Alumni Association to show Wildcat spirit and celebrate the end of the semester. Students who are already members of STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) and TEAM WILDCAT can renew or extend their membership or other students can join for the first time.  Membership for one year is $25, and the swag bag will be given to all new and renewing members.

STAT and TEAM WILDCAT are the student organizations of the UK Alumni Association and UK Athletics.  As a member, a student can join fellow Wildcats on UK football game road trips, sign up for poster rolling and a ticket for Big Blue Madness, go on all-access tours of UK athletic facilities and help lead the student section at all UK sporting events.

 

In addition, STAT and TEAM WILDCAT members have opportunities to network with UK alumni, volunteer for service projects and DanceBlue and enjoy all the benefits of regular alumni association members. Visit www.ukalumni.net/rewards to see a full list of Wildcat loyalty rewards.

 

 

Arboretum to Host Arbor Day, Renew Partnership

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) – The Arboretum is recognizing 28 years of partnership between the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and the University of Kentucky  as part of its Arbor Day festivities on April 26.

 

The partnership began in 1986 with an agreement to develop 100 acres of university property as an arboretum for use by faculty, students, staff and the general public. In March 2000, it was named the “Official State Botanical Garden for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”  A new agreement between the urban-county government and UK, ensures the future of The Arboretum through 2086. The agreement will be signed by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and UK President Eli Capilouto following the mayor’s annual proclamation of Arbor Day at 10 a.m.

 

The Arbor Day festivities conclude this year’s ‘Party for the Planet’, a month-long series of events made possible by Kentucky Utilities Company. This year’s theme is “Leave a Legacy.”

 

Following the proclamation, agreement signing and planting of the Arbor Day tree, exhibitor and children’s activity tents open.

 

The event brings together experts on tree care, native plants, birds, gardening, and recycling, among others. Additionally, state and local entities that support the environment will be in the exhibitor tent. The children’s activity tent features interactive opportunities for families to explore the relationships between plants, food, history and art.

 

Thanks to the support of presenting sponsor Kentucky Utilities Company, co-sponsors Lexmark and Kentucky American Water Company, and event supporters Big Beaver Tree Service, Community Tree Care, Dave Leonard Tree Specialists, Keep Lexington Beautiful, Lexington Emergency Planning Commission, Lexington-Fayette Environmental Commission and Lexington Tree Board, the 23rd annual Arbor Day at The Arboretum is free and includes free admission to the Kentucky Children’s Garden.

 

“We will have experts on hand to answer questions about our environment,” said Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum, which is part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “People will go home with information that they can use in their home landscape and gain knowledge of natural areas in the region. One of the most popular aspects of Arbor Day at The Arboretum, free tree seedlings, will have a new twist to make sure that homeowners ‘Leave a Legacy’ by choosing the right tree for the right place.”

 

Davis said Arbor Day is a popular event, attracting several thousand people each year. As in the past, this year’s festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. More than 40 exhibitors in two tents will present options for the greening of Lexington. Children can enjoy many activities, including a puppet show in the Kentucky Children’s Garden, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

 

Davis said each year they aim for a zero-waste event by reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills by sorting recyclables, composting by serving food and soft drinks in recyclable or compostable containers.

 

“We also urge the exhibitors to use things that can be recycled or things that are made of recycled materials,” she added.

 

Five exhibitors, including Kentucky Utilities, will hand out tree seedlings and discuss how to save money by saving energy at home. They also will provide information about the Kentucky Utilities “Right Tree, Right Place” program, which encourages people to think carefully about what they plant near power lines.

 

On April 25, The Arboretum will host an Arbor Day volunteer training from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to help volunteers learn what they need to know to successfully volunteer for Arbor Day. Volunteers will help with parking, unloading and loading exhibits and many other jobs. Contact The Arboretum for more information about volunteering.

 

For more information, call The Arboretum at 859-257-6955 or visit their website, http://www.ca.uky.edu/Arboretum.

 

 

 

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

 

Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 43 Students

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — The University of Kentucky chapter of Phi Beta Kappa held its annual induction ceremony last week, inducting 43 students into the nation's oldest and most widely known academic honor society.

 

Susan Carvalho, UK associate provost for international programs, delivered a keynote address.

 

The 2014 inductees are: 

  • Rachel Ball
  • Allan Bartlett
  • Sarah Bindner
  • Felisa Bowman
  • Eric Butterbaugh
  • Dahlia D'Arge
  • Ann Dickson
  • Julia Dyer
  • Mary Elliott
  • Dayna Ferguson
  • Megan Ferrell
  • Atanas Golev
  • Caroline Goode
  • Matthew Gray
  • Julia Grzech
  • Caitlin Hagan
  • David Harper Jr.
  • Byron Hempel
  • Katherine Jay
  • Kayla Johnson
  • Umang Khandpur
  • Jessime Kirk
  • Joshua Koontz
  • Stephen Manek
  • Emily McClure
  • Michael Miller
  • Stefanie Muller
  • Autumn Murphy
  • Joseph Papp
  • Stephen Parsons
  • Katherine Pelphrey
  • Ryan Pitts
  • Joseph Ryne
  • James Schilt
  • Nicole Schladt
  • Carley Schroering
  • Rebecca Scott
  • Zachary Stewart
  • Daniel Vincent
  • Arti Vula
  • Sarah Whelan
  • Matthew Wilson
  • Ryan Winstead

Phi Beta Kappa elects more than 15,000 new members a year from 270 chapters across the United States. There are also more than 50 associations that foster friendship and learning in their members' communities and provide a means for members to continue their active affiliation with the society after graduation.The society celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

 

UK's Phi Beta Kappa chapter is supported by the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, which is part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:18

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — A team of nanotechnology researchers at the University of Kentucky has discovered new methods to build heat resistant nanostructures and arrays using RNA. 

 

The research, led by Peixuan Guo, professor and  William Farish Endowed Chair in Nanobiotechnology at the UK College of Pharmacy and Markey Cancer Center, is reported in an article titled "RNA as a Boiling-Resistant Anionic Polymer Material To Build Robust Structures with Defined Shape and Stoichiometry," coauthored by Emil F. Khisamutdinov and Daniel L. Jasinski.

 

The article, which will appear in a forthcoming edition of the journal ACS Nano, published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), was selected as an ACS "Editors’ Choice" and prepublication data is available for free download as a PDF through open access at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn5006254.

 

Chemical polymers have seen extensive use in a variety of industries — including clothing, piping, plastics, containers, bottles, cookware, tools and medical materials for drug delivery and tissue engineer materials — because of their high stability and ability to hold their global shape and size. However, on the microscopic scale, these polymers form into random micro-structures, making their size and shape difficult to control. 

 

The Guo lab reports that RNA (ribonucleic acid) can be used as an anionic polymer material to build nanostructures with controllable shape and defined structure. The researchers have fabricated a new RNA triangle structure that utilizes RNA’s intrinsic control over shape and size on the nano scale, while demonstrating strong stability.

 

Previously, RNA was seen as structurally fragile and easily dissociable at a range of temperatures from 35-70 degrees Celsius, making its application feasibility in an industrial setting very limited. Using the special RNA motif discovered in Guo's lab and a new methodology, the researchers demonstrated that they can build RNA nanostructures and patterned arrays that are resistant to 100 degrees Celsius, the boiling temperature of water.

 

The new RNA triangular nanoarchitechtures can be used to form arrays with a controllable repeat number of the scaffold, resembling monomer units in a polymerization reaction. Thus, the Guo lab was able to produce a honeycomb RNA structure with the new RNAs, allowing for the production of RNA sheets.

 

Experts say this breakthrough pushes the field of RNA nanotechnology forward, positioning RNA to be a new, unique type of polymer with advantages over conventional chemical polymers.

 

"This research shows great potential for building stable RNA nanoparticles with properties that could be more easily controlled than standard polymers," said Jessica Tucker, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering program director for drug and gene delivery systems and devices. "The more control we have over the nanoparticles, the better we can tailor them for use in therapeutics for diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes."

 

The research was supported by National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering AND National Cancer Institute grants NIBIB EB003730 and NCI CA151648.  

Virtual Laboratory Prepares UK Undergraduates for Professional-Level Anatomy

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) - At the University of Kentucky, the gross anatomy course that introduces students to the intricacies of body systems is reserved for graduate-level students. But, as Dr. April Richardson-Hatcher has discovered, real-world rules can be bent in a virtual universe.

 

A professor of anatomy and neurobiology in the UK College of Medicine, Hatcher teaches Anatomy 309: An Introduction to Regional Anatomy, a course that meets weekly in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life. In this preparatory course, which is not available in a live classroom, Hatcher gives students who are serious about health care professions a head start visualizing and understanding complex regions of the human body.

 

Hatcher's virtual course is founded on the Team-Based Learning Collaborative, a technique that engages students through team collaboration and the application of course content through critical-thinking exercises. Instructors have found the Team-Based Learning approach improves student motivation, participation, attendance and performance. Hatcher, who is studying how students respond to learning medical science through a virtual platform, offered the course for the first time during the spring semester of 2013. In March, she presented observations from the first edition of the class at the Team-Based Learning Collaborative conference in San Diego, Calif.

 

"Medicine is very group-oriented in some ways," Hatcher said. "In a lot of online courses, you are disconnected with the students around you. There's something about being in the virtual world. You feel immersed in the room, like you are in an actual classroom and you are having a shared experience."

 

Every week, students log into the virtual classroom that exists on the "UK Island," or the Second Life virtual real estate owned and managed by the University of Kentucky Information Technology Department. Before the course started, students were required to create an account in Second Life and design an avatar. Student avatars wear blue scrubs and a white lab coat to simulate a professional environment.

 

Hatcher's 90-minute course is divided into three activities: the individual quiz, the group quiz and the classroom discussion, all of which are centered on a specific body region assigned to the classroom the week before. After completing a timed individual quiz, the students "teleport" to an assigned classroom where they deliberate in groups of four to six to answer questions on the group quiz and clinical scenarios. Students use instant messaging and voice communication to discuss the clinical scenario. They conclude the session by teleporting to the "main" laboratory where Hatcher's avatar leads an open discussion of the clinical scenarios and reviews answers. These components of the Team-Based Learning cirriculum are designed to enhance students’ confidence and group skills prior to entering their professional training programs.

 

Instructors and teaching assistants also wear lab coats and continuously monitor the dialogue among students during the group exercises. As an instructor in the virtual classroom, Hatcher has the advantage of engaging in multiple discussions with students at once and monitoring their thought processes.

 

With the help of Matt Hazzard, a biomedical illustrator in UK Information Technology, Hatcher custom built multiple classrooms and a laboratory in the Second Life program. In preparation for the weekly Team-Based Learning sessions, students study descriptive, animated PowerPoint presentations of the regional anatomy. They also study a customized list of cadaver structures through an online program Anatomy and Physiology Revealed 3.0. Students can virtually dissect the regions of interest with clickable phases revealing each layer of muscles, ligaments, vessels, nerves and bone structures. These images are then presented as practicum-style questions on the course exams to mimic the experience of a lab exam in future professional anatomy courses.

 

Hatcher and Hazzard also worked together to design the Cranial Nerve Skywalk, a room hovering above the UK Island in Second Life where students from all over the world can visualize and study a 3-D model of complex cranial nerves III, V, VII and IX.

 

Hazzard constructed the models from 3-D scans of human bones, provided by Dr. Paul Brown from Stanford University, by superimposing basic nerve structures on the skull models. Teaching and learning the cranial nerve pathways is often a challenge using only two-dimensional illustrations. Using the virtual 3-D models, students are able to grasp an understanding of the pathways of cranial nerves and the types of fibers carried within those nerves.

 

The virtual world also allows collaboration and conversation with students from all parts of the world. Students and professors from universities in Manitoba, Canada, and Perth, Australia, have logged into Second Life to sit in on classes and view the cranial nerve models on UK’s Island. Hatcher will present a workshop on the virtual Team-Based Learning technique at upcoming conferences for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society in May and International Association of Medical Science Educators in June.

 

A student in the inaugural class offered in 2013, Mary Jennings is now a first-year medical student at UK. Jennings, a biology and Spanish major, added Hatcher's class to her final semester schedule to prepare for hands-on anatomy courses in medical school. She said the course helped her become familiar with medical terminology and develop habits to memorize an immense amount of material. In addition, the class helped her prepare psychologically for working on real cadavers in medical school.

 

"It was nice in the sense that you were prepared to see people who had passed and treat that in a scientific way," Jennings said.

 

Because medical school involves group learning and often competitive personalities, Jennings thinks the Team-Based Learning environment gave her valuable experience engaging in fast-paced scientific discussions and collaborating with a team.

 

"There are so many type A people who are so competitive and you are asking them to work as a team," Jennings said of medical students. "At some level, (the course) did prepare me for how tough people are on each other. Most the time, people are great, but they are really academcially strong."

 

Austin Stratton, a senior studying biology and psychology, echoed an appreciation for the preparatory course. As a visual learner, Stratton, who is applying to medical school, was able to get a sense of what he expects to see in medical school. 

 

"An online interactive kind of class was very cool for me because I play a lot of video games," Stratton said. "In a great way, it contributed to my future in medicine."

 

To view the cranial nerve skywalk in Second Life, visit http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/University%20of%20KY/123/40/1001. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

Italian Pianist to Explore Love, Loneliness, Loss in UK Concert

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:43

Marco Tezza plays Franz Schubert's Moments Musicaux, D 780.  

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — Internationally renowned Italian pianist Marco Tezza will take the stage at the University of Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Memorial Hall. The concert, presented by the UK School of Music, is free and open to the public.

 

A celebrated pianist and conductor, Tezza is a prolific artist who presents a vast repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music. He is well-known to the public and critics as an artist who finds unique ways of interpreting scores, looking for new expressive logic and sonorities. Tezza has performed in prestigious concert halls and conducted master classes throughout the world in Milan, Zurich, Paris, Hamburg, South Africa, Beirut, Brazil and the U.S.

 

Tezza has studied and refined his skills with artists Milde Molinari, Carlo Mazzoli, Giovanni Guglielmo and Giuliana Padrin, as well as Jorg Demus, Gyorgy Sandor, Bruno Canino and Aquiles Delle Vign. He is the artistic director of the Stravinsky Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 1994, and conducts concert seasons and festivals in Europe and South America. Tezza is also a member of the Accademia Veneta of Arts and Science and a professor of piano at Vicenza Conservatory in Italy.

 

The concert will include works by Hungarian and German composers that explore themes of love, loneliness and loss.

 

In describing the music, Robert Schumann wrote to Clara Wieck in an 1838 letter, “I meant, now, at the end, all to resolve in a merry wedding, but in the final bars the painful longing for you returned too and now it sounds like the intermingling of a wedding and dying."

 

Selected works on the bill include:

· Franz Liszt’s “La lugubre gondola II S. 200”;

· Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”; and

· Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke op.12.

 

During his visit, Tezza will also conduct a master class for UK students at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Center Theatre in the UK Student Center. This event is also free and open to the public.

 

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

 

 

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

Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants Available to UK Students, Faculty Interested in Travel to China

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — Several scholarships, fellowships and grant opportunities to study and teach in China have been made available to University of Kentucky students and faculty through the UK Confucius Institute and partner universities in China.

 

Students at UK interested in studying in China should consider applying for Confucius Institute Student Scholarships or the Shanghai Summer School program.

 

The Confucius Institute Student Scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate levels of academic study in Chinese language, literature, history and philosophy. The Confucius Institute Student Scholarship provides support for terms lasting from one semester to five years. Awards vary depending on program type. Learn more at the International Center website.

 

Shanghai Summer School participants will discover the rich history of Chinese culture, learn about China's central role in globalization and experience Shanghai through lectures, exchanges, discussions and exhibitions

 

In order to be eligible for these scholarships, UK students must take HSK (Chinese Proficiency) testing. More information about HSK testing at UK can be found here: www.uky.edu/international/HSK_Test.

 

Faculty Fellowships and Grants

In partnership with Jilin University, UK Confucius Institute (UKCI) offers several fellowships and grants for UK faculty. One of the largest and most prestigious universities in China, Jilin University offers opportunities for scholarly exchange in many disciplinary categories.

 

Faculty interested in participating in conferences in China can apply for the UKCI-Jilin University International Conference Grant. The grant supports scholars who want to attend international academic conferences on sinology and China studies.

 

Faculty, researchers and postdoctoral scholars interested in conducting research with faculty at Jilin University can apply for an "Understanding China" Visiting Scholar Fellowship. Fellowships can cover expenses from two weeks to six months of study.

 

Senior officials from government, education and culture, nongovernmental organizations and business are eligible to apply for "Understanding China" Short-Term Visit Fellowships. These fellowships cover expenses for visits ranging from two weeks to two months.

 

 

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

UK Libraries' 'Circ2Go' Offers Convenience to Faculty, Staff

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — The end of the semester, filled with work, projects and busy schedules, can be a hectic time for not only University of Kentucky students but UK faculty and staff as well. It's also a time for many to renew and return library books. To make this process more convenient for UK faculty and staff during this busy time, UK Libraries will offer "Circ2Go," a mobile circulation service set up in Patterson Office Tower from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., April 23-24 and April 30-May 1.

 

In the past, faculty and staff could only bring materials to a UK Libraries location to renew or return after their electronic renewals had been exhausted, a difficult requirement for some.

 

The pop-up circulation station in Patterson Office Tower, where many faculty offices are housed, will allow faculty and staff, including graduate students, to extend their borrowing period, with the exception of outstanding holds or recalls, and return UK Libraries' materials.

 

UK Libraries staff may also be able to resolve some fines at "Circ2Go."

 

As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries provides ever-expanding access to quality information resources, services and programs. UK Libraries locations include the William T. Young Library, the Agricultural Information Center, the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, the Education Library, the John A. Morris Library (Gluck Equine Research Center), the Kentucky Transportation Center Library, the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Library.

 

 

 

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

UK Junior Samuel Saarinen Named Goldwater Scholar

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of External Scholarships announces Samuel Saarinen, of Shelbyville, Ky., has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship worth up to $7,500 per year. Saarinen is one of 283 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

  

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by Congress to honor the former Arizona U.S. senator who served the nation for 30 years. The scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed more than 7,163 scholarships worth approximately 46 million dollars.

 

Saarinen plans to use the Goldwater Scholarship to fund studies at the graduate program of his choice.

 

The son of Anne and Tim Saarinen, Saarinen is currently pursuing computer science, mathematics and physics majors. He has been active in research since an early age working with Western Kentucky University professors Claus Ernst and Uta Ziegler on mathematics research in high school.

 

A member of the UK Honors Program, Saarinen is currently participating in undergraduate research with Judy Goldsmith, professor of computer science at UK College of Engineering. Saarinen considers his research supervisors as also mentors who have had a major impact on his academic and personal growth. He also credits Paul Eakin, professor of mathematics, and Jerzy Jaromczyk, associate professor of computer science, as great influences on his studies.

 

Saarinen hopes his interest in and work in these fields will help better the world. "First and foremost, I enjoy these math-heavy disciplines. But there is also the opportunity to conduct socially significant research. My dream is that the work that I am good at will someday improve the lives of those around me."

 

After completing his undergraduate studies at UK, the Singletary and Patterson Scholar hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in artificial intelligence and teach one day. "I think becoming a professor might be a good way to continue doing what I love."

 

Students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships (OES). Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, OES assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with OES well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

 

 

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

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