Campus News

King and Queen of 100th UK Homecoming Celebration Named

Sat, 10/03/2015 - 23:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2015) — Lauren Henrickson, daughter of Julie and Jeff Day and the late Donald Henrickson Jr., of Lexington, and Austin Mullen, son of Daryle and Patti Mullen of LaGrange, Kentucky, were crowned the University of Kentucky homecoming queen and king during halftime ceremonies at the UK versus Eastern Kentucky University homecoming football game today.


Henrickson is a senior integrated strategic communications major and pursuing a certificate in innovative and entrepreneurial thinking with a psychology minor and was sponsored in the homecoming royalty candidacy by Alpha Delta Pi. She is a Singletary Scholar, Honors Program student, a member of the UK Dance Team and music chair of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.


Austin Mullen is a senior finance, marketing and business management major and was sponsored by Alpha Delta Pi. Mullen serves the university as Student Body President. He is a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, served on the leadership of DanceBlue and Wrap Up America.


Other finalists for queen and king were:


·         Chelsea St. Clair, daughter of Suzanne Lubbers, is pursuing a dual degree in psychology and integrated strategic communication along with two minors, from West Des Moines, Iowa. She was sponsored by Phi Mu sorority.


·         Chanel Friday, daughter of Rufus and Melody Friday is a senior integrated strategic communications major with a visual studies minor, from the state of Washington. Friday ws sponsored by STAT/Team Wildcat.


·         Amy Shelton, daughter of Doyle and Kelly Shelton, is a senior integrated strategic communications major with minors in digital media and design and Italian studies, from Hopkinsville, Ky. sponsored by Delta Zeta.


·         Lauren Bosler, daughter of Courtney and Bill Wobbe, is a senior marketing major with a minor in international business, from Louisville. Bosler was sponsored by the Global Scholars Program.


·         Jacob Ewing, son of Debbie Daly and Kevin Ewing, is currently studying integrated strategic communication and gender and women’s studies and seeking the certified nonprofit professional credential, from Covington, Ky. Ewing is sponsored by Student Government Association.


·         Ben Conner, son of Kenley and Dawn Conner and Steve and Beth Sterchi, is a pursuing a degree in career and technical education with a minor in animal sciences, from Smiths Grove, Ky. Conner was sponsored by Beta Theta Pi.


·         Arayo Sokan, son of Babatunde and Amanda Sokan, is a senior pre-medicine, pre-law, psychology, and Spanish major with minors in neuroscience and biology, from Lexington. Sokan is sponsored by Chi Omega.


·         Andrew Kirk, son of Michael and Deborah Kirk, is a senior chemical engineering major, from Lexington. Kirk was sponsored by Sigma Chi. 

New Traffic Light on Avenue of Champions

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 13:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — A new temporary traffic signal will become operational Saturday, Oct. 3, on the University of Kentucky campus.  The signal is at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and Avenue of Champions, and a new pedestrian crosswalk has been located there. 



Meanwhile, the signal at South Martin Luther King Boulevard and Avenue of Champions will go into flashing mode for the duration of the Student Center construction project.  These changes are being made to improve traffic flow and safety in the area.


UK Police will monitor the Lexington Avenue intersection through Monday morning to insure safe and proper signal operation.

Alum Discusses Upcoming Show on WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 19:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  On today's program Godell talks to UK alumna Lecresha Berry who is bringing her one-woman show "BrownGirl. BlueGrass." to the Lyric Theater in Lexington next week. 


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


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

President Capilouto Talks "All Things UK" at Oct. 7 Good Morning Bluegrass

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — As the Bluegrass region’s largest employer, the University of Kentucky’s impact is felt far and wide across the Commonwealth. From its academic programs to its advances in health care to important research efforts and of course the successful athletics programs, UK has seen many changes and a lot of activity on campus lately.


UK is also undergoing a significant physical transformation of its academic, research, residential, health care and community spaces. Through partnerships, increased philanthropy and effective financial management, UK is self-financing the vast majority of its more than $1.7 billion infrastructure development.


At an upcoming Commerce Lexington Good Morning Bluegrass event presented by Fifth Third Bank from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the Hyatt Regency Lexington’s Patterson Ballroom (401 West High Street), UK President Eli Capilouto will be on hand to talk about the plethora of changes and enhancements happening across the campus, and what we can look forward to during the next 150 years of the University of Kentucky.


Capilouto became the 12th president of the University of Kentucky July 1, 2011. Under his leadership, the $3.4 billion flagship and land-grant research university has gained significant momentum in fulfilling its multi-faceted mission of teaching, research, service and health care. A native of Alabama, Dr. Capilouto previously served as provost of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and dean of the UAB School of Public Health.


The cost to attend Good Morning Bluegrass is $25 for Commerce Lexington Inc. members and $35 for non-members. To register, email to or register online at




MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Mark Turner, 859-226-1606. 



DanceBlue Reveals 2016 Marathon Date

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015)  DanceBlue announced Wednesday that the 2016 dance marathon will begin at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, and conclude 24 hours later, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. The countdown toward the "best day of the year" has officially begun! 


DanceBlue also released a "The Best Day of the Year" video, which announced the date for this year's marathon. The video not only announced this year's marathon date but it featured students elaborating on the true meaning behind DanceBlue as it kicked off the initial countdown of the 150 days until the marathon.


"We're so excited to begin the next decade of dancing For The Kids," Overall DanceBlue Chair Erica Shipley said. "Our committee works so hard to provide for families at the clinic financially as well as mentally to make sure that the University of Kentucky community is a shoulder to lean on. February 27th can't come soon enough!"


DanceBlue is UK’s 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Now in its 11th year, DanceBlue has raised more than $8.2 million for pediatric cancer research and child-life efforts.


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


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



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

Public Health Researcher Develops Innovative Tool to Quicken COPD Diagnosis

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 15:54




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — An umbrella term for impaired lung function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), describes a number of diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some types of asthma. More than 12 million Americans were diagnosed with COPD in 2011, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate twice that number suffer from undiagnosed cases.


Patients with COPD experience reductions in lung function, which interfere with their ability to perform routine activities. Modern medical therapies and disease management practices for COPD can delay lung impairment and improve the patient’s quality of life. According to Dr. David Mannino, at least a third of Americans living with COPD discover their diagnosis after experiencing late-stage disease exacerbations. At this point, lung deterioration eliminates the possibility of intervention.


“Undiagnosed and untreated COPD can lead to detriments in quality of life, and basically people start doing less because they have difficulty breathing,” Mannino, a professor in the UK College of Public Health. “Many people attribute this difficulty of breathing to just getting older when, in fact, they may have a disease that is potentially treatable. With the appropriate therapy and interventions, our patients can live near to normal lives and do many of the things that they would like to do.”


Mannino collaborated with a national team of public health experts to develop a novel tool intended to hasten the process of detecting and diagnosing cases of COPD in moderate to severely impaired patients. Maninno, professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health in the UK College of Public Health, led a team of researchers charged by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung and Blood Institute with designing a direct and timely process for identifying cases of COPD in the primary care setting. As the presenting author on the project and principal investigator on the grant awarded by the NIH, Maninno reported on the findings from a study examining the effectiveness a five-step diagnostic tool during a meeting of the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam on Sept. 29.


The three-year trial tested the diagnostic effectiveness of a simple patient questionnaire, as well as two common methods for diagnosing COPD: a peak flow examination and spirometry. A peak flow procedure measures the amount of air pushed from the patient’s lungs and a spirometer calculates the air capacity of the lungs. The experimental design tested all three methods, with an additional condition of peak flow used in conjunction with the questionnaire, in patients with clinically-significant COPD and patients with mild or no COPD. Study results supported the five-series questionnaire paired with the peak flow condition as the most effective of the three diagnostic approaches.


The tool poses five simple “yes or no” questions related to the patient’s lifestyle. Questions ask about pollutant exposure in workplace environments, frequency of respiratory infections, energy levels, and occurrences of pneumonia. The tool did not ask about smoking history. Once tested in more populations, Mannino believes this tool can enable health providers to diagnose COPD in a matter of seconds, but will also help proactive patients find out whether they are suffering from COPD symptoms before a doctor’s visit.


“What we would like to see is that this tool be used certainly in primary care practices,” Mannino said. “There is the potential that this is something that could be used by individuals to screen themselves and sort of give them something to talk about with their physician.”

While smoking is a significant predictor of COPD, it is not the sole cause of the disease.


Previous screening methods to diagnose COPD relied on the smoking history of patients, as well as patient cough and sputum, as the primary determinants of a diagnosis. According to Mannino, COPD is caused by a number of factors, including surrounding environments and occupational hazards. Mannino said high rates of smoking parallel with high rates of COPD in Kentucky, but a number of other factors, such as coal mining, environmental dust and poverty, put Kentuckians at a high risk of COPD.


A 2011 survey reported 9.8 percent of Kentuckians have received a diagnosis of COPD from their doctor. Oxygen therapies and medications can help alleviate symptoms of COPD at an early stage. 


In the next stage of the project, Mannino and colleagues will test the effectiveness of the five-question tool in different populations.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Improvisational Photographer Nina Katchadourian Opens May Lecture Series

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — Nina Katchadourian, a photographer known for her inventive and improvisational photographs, will open this year's Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series, organized by the University of Kentucky Art Museum. The lecture begins 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. Both the lecture and exhibition of Katchadourian’s work, currently on display as part of a reinstallation of UK's permanent collection through Dec. 23, are free and open to the public.


A profound spirit of invention distinguishes Nina Katchadourian’s work in photography, installation, video and sound. She has exploited a diverse set of subjects and situations over the years: spider webs in the forest, the color of cars in parking lots, and the linguistic possibilities of stacked library books, to name a few. One of her most acclaimed projects is "Seat Assignment," in which the artist uses materials available during airplane trips (magazines, seat belts, pretzels, tissues and toilet paper) to craft unique images taken with her iPhone.


Katchadourian's work has been exhibited at many art institutions, including MoMA PS1, Serpentine Galleries, Saatchi Gallery, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, SculptureCenter and Palais de Tokyo.


The May Lecture Series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. The lecture series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography. Other speakers coming to town as part of the series include Deborah Willis and Paul Shambroom.


The mission of the UK Art Museum, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,800 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the museum presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 




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

UK Biofuels Team Receives Nearly $1 Million from U.S. Department of Energy

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 11:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded nearly $1 million to a research team at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) for its microalgae-based carbon dioxide capture project.


CAER's Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis team's project was one of 16 selected by the DOE to receive funding through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Carbon Capture Program, which funds development and testing of transformational carbon dioxide (CO2) capture systems for new and existing coal-based power plants. According to the DOE's website, research funded by this program is expected to help overcome limitations of singular, standard gas treatment systems, such as those based on solvents, sorbents, or membranes alone.


"Our initial work has shown that capture and utilization of power plant CO2 emissions using microalgae is feasible from a technical standpoint," said Mark Crocker, CAER associate director in biofuels and environmental catalysis. "This project aims to lower the costs of this approach to CO2 utilization and identify remaining areas where work is needed."


The DOE is funding $990,480, while $266,935 will come from the university and other project partners. Total funding is $1,275,415. The UK team will also work with researchers from the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and ALGIX, LCC in Meridian, Mississippi.


More information at

Campus Encouraged to Provide Feedback in Final Round of Transportation Master Plan Forums

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) – Sasaki and Associates, the consulting firm developing the Transportation Master Plan, will return to the University of Kentucky campus for the third and final round of public forums on Thursday and Friday, Oct 8 and 9.


Two forums will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Thursday, Oct. 8, beginning at 3:30 p.m., Pavilion A Auditorium in the Chandler Hospital
  •  Friday, Oct. 9, beginning at 10 a.m., Gatton College of Business and Economics, Room 399

The forums will also be live-streamed on UKNow.


The UK Transportation Master Plan (TMP) aims to improve access and mobility to, from, and around campus for all members of the UK community.


Sasaki will present the final draft of the Transportation Master Plan. The plan is highly informed by feedback the university received from the first and second rounds of public forums, which took place in January and March, as well as through the "send us your feedback" feature on the EVPFA website, and from the TMP online survey, which yielded nearly 4,800 responses. 


Feedback from these conversations has already led to new programming on the UK campus.


The new BluPass partnership with Lextran, which began in July, was a direct result of feedback received at previous Transportation Master Plan forums.


Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday said that he hopes to continue receiving feedback from the UK community.


“We have received an exceptional amount of feedback regarding the challenges and opportunities that we face in regard to parking and transportation on our campus, and we have listened,” Monday said. “We look forward to having another meaningful conversation with the community in this next round of forums."


Use the following links to view videos of the January and March campus forums.


The TMP aligns with the UK Campus Master Plan — the blueprint for UK's campus transformation that‘s allowing it to become a national model for a thriving, public residential research campus. 




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365;

Learning Through Play: College of Education Brings LEGO to Students, Kentucky Teachers

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — A classroom full of college students tinkered with LEGO toys last Thursday, building ducks and snakes. But this wasn't play-time for University of Kentucky elementary education students. It was professional development.


In the one-day workshop led by LEGO Education trainers, a total of 98 UK College of Education students — who will be student teachers in the spring — learned how to use LEGO kits to teach hands-on language arts, science, math and engineering curricula in their own classrooms someday.


Fifty teachers in Fayette County and across Kentucky, from both private and public schools, also participated in a similar LEGO workshop co-hosted by the college, Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) and LEGO on Friday at the Lexington Public Library. Representatives from the American Institute for the Blind also attended to explore how LEGO instruction might be adapted for the visually impaired. During the workshop for teachers, 10 school administrators visited classrooms and observed teachers using LEGOs in instruction.


"What is novel and important about this particular workshop is bringing together educators, working along the P-20 (primary through college) continuum — some just learning to teach, some many-year veterans — to leverage the expertise and perspectives we all bring to creative and engaging teaching and learning," said Joan Mazur, professor of instructional systems design in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


Mazur helped organize the workshops, along with Leanna Prater, a technology resource teacher for FCPS and doctoral candidate in instructional systems design at UK, and Regina Dawson, co-chair of the Elementary Education Program.


Students and teachers learned how to lead simple activities that had deep and engaging content connections. For example, a task for first graders required using 14 LEGO blocks to build a snake. A second round of building required they use the same blocks but in a different configuration, and a third round required they build another snake with different blocks.


"Very simple but complex ideas of division that first graders might not necessarily tackle on paper," Mazur said.


Following the student workshop, one UK student said their takeaway was that "everybody thinks differently, everyone solves problems in different ways." Another student said it proved to her the power of communicating and sharing ideas in an elementary classroom. 




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

Lead UK Conference Applications Now Available

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015)  The fourth annual Lead UK Conference is coming up soon. This year, Lead UK will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.  Applications for this year's conference are now available.


Lead UK is a conference for University of Kentucky students who want to expand their leadership skills through workshop-style forums and intellectual speakers. This event is hosted by the Leadership Exchange in the Office of Student Involvement. The conference will include dynamic speakers from the Lexington community and fun breakout sessions from a wide selection of speakers from the University of Kentucky’s campus, the Lexington community, and the region.


This year’s theme is The Quest for Excellence and will include nautical themes throughout the conference. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


"I got so much information and guidance from the sessions I attended and left more inspired to take on leadership roles and become more of a servant leader," said UK student and Lead UK 2014 attendee Austin Horn.  "Overall, attending this conference was probably one of the best things I have ever done, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to become more involved or if they want to be a strong, cooperative leader.”


Applications are now available and can be completed either on OrgSync or via the link (


For more information, contact Tori Amason, program director for Leadership Education, at




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

UK Theatre Alum Making Kentucky History on Stage With 'BrownGirl. Bluegrass.'

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 15:14



Trailer for "BrownGirl.Bluegrass."


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — From the work on the stage to her return to Lexington, University of Kentucky theatre alumna Lacresha Berry is making history.


Berry, a Lexington native, is set to bring her show, "BrownGirl. Bluegrass.," back to her hometown for the fifth anniversary of the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center Oct. 6-7. The production is an autobiographical story that examines the cultural history of African Americans in Kentucky, honoring the work of her ancestors whose lives parallel her own, and a perfect fit for the city landmark.


"Before I left, the Lyric was still untouched. Its doors had been closed for years. I had only heard stories about its legacy. So, celebrating its fifth year after being revitalized makes me feel like I’m part of the legacy. It only makes sense that I come back to the Lyric because it's rooted in African-American history just like my play," Berry said.


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is a one-woman show with seven original songs evoking ideas of womanhood, family, love and race while pushing universal themes and intergenerational messages in each piece of poetry, prose and song. Through her work Berry blends the perspectives of her own childhood via Kentucky geography and personal events while honoring the work of important ancestors. Her take on the culture, geography and the history of Kentucky is poignant, didactic and enlightening as audiences see the historical figures of the past come to life with ancestral music as a soundtrack behind the powerful stories.


The passing of Berry's father in 2010, spurred the creative energy behind "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." The loss of her father made the playwright realize how much of her personal family history she didn't know. Inspired by the play "Affrilachia," she began to pen poems that talked about family history.


"I didn’t know it back then, that I, too, would be creating and performing monologues, poetry and music about my family and Kentucky’s forgotten ancestors."


A few years later, Berry would take her research further looking at integral individuals in Lexington's history. In 2013, she came home for a week to do research and to talk out her ideas for the show. She had written two songs already and took those to create the vibes of the play. With her idea in hand, she sat down in UK's Breckenridge Hall with poet Frank X Walker, now a professor of English at UK, and civil rights leader Chester Grundy, currently an administrator at UK College of Medicine, who then guided her on where to look, what to listen to, and who to talk to in finding local history resources.


"I was sent to Reinette Jones, an oral historian and African-American studies liaison at UK Libraries," Berry said. "We sat down for an hour or so searching for individuals from Kentucky who mirrored my experience as a woman of color in Kentucky. From there, I searched archives, books and websites scouring people and stories to add to the future show."


The individuals Berry chose to portray include jockey Oliver Lewis, who won the first Kentucky Derby; education advocate Lucy Harth Smith; and voting rights activist Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin. She selected them because they inspired her and reminded her of her family.


"I turn into two Kentucky women and two Kentucky men. I found people whose voices were similar to mine. Throughout my years in school in Lexington, I never learned of anyone who looked like me in the history books. So, finding historical figures whose lives looked like mine made me realize that I’m not alone or crazy because what I’m doing or have done, has been done before," Berry said.


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." premiered in New York City at Harlem's Dwyer Cultural Center in 2014. This year the production has been staged three times in New York at the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival at Roy Arias Studios, the Gallatin Arts Festival at New York University (NYU) as part of the "#BlackLivesMatter Series Finale," and Dixon Place. It debuted in Washington D.C. this summer, at the DC Black Theater Festival and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.


Rounding out the crew for "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is director and UK journalism graduate Shauna Horn, who Berry worked with in college, and composer David Cohn. For the Lexington performances, Berry's musical accompaniment will be provided by Jami Schumake-Young on piano, Jewan Clay on guitar and Marcus Wilkerson on handdrums.


Berry is excited to take audiences on this journey. She hopes after taking in the production they will feel a longing to know who they are.


"Identity is such a hot topic in the news right now," she said. "Once I embraced myself, stories came out of my body freely. My heart was open to give and receive. I think this Chief Seattle quote sums up best what it means to know who you are: 'When your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will. No cold can touch your heart, no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive.'"


A 1997 graduate of Tates Creek High School, Berry chose UK for her undergraduate studies as a first generation college student who wanted to stay close to home. Her first experiences on campus as a child had only solidified that choice.


"My mother used to go to UK’s libraries all the time researching and reading so many books — I just became hooked to the campus. I even worked as a teenager during the summers in the dorms. All the workers treated me wonderfully. I definitely knew UK would be an affordable and exciting experience. The access to great academic facilities would be at my disposal, plus I am a huge UK basketball fan. It was only right that I chose UK. It was definitely an awesome experience," said the playwright.


Once she became a Wildcat, Berry would find a second family at UK's Department of Theatre (now the Department of Theatre and Dance).


"Nelson Fields was the first professor that made me feel at home — like, I was his daughter. He was firm with me because he saw something in me and he never let me give up. I shed lots of tears in his office when there were classes or projects I struggled with. He helped me find my costume design eye and urged me to apply to graduate school at NYU’s costume design department. On the performance side, Nancy Jones helped me to experiment with my body and voice. I bruised myself so many times just being totally committed to the characters I created in her classes. Bill Caise (a former theater faculty member and UK graduate) helped me to take risks and discover my creative writing," Berry said.


At UK, Berry's creative talents began to shine both on and off stage. She served as stage manager for UK Theatre's production of "Affrilachia," was a costume designer for "The Colored Museum" and "El Mundo de Los Suenos" and starred as Rosa Parks in "Buses." Berry also wrote two one-woman shows during her time in college.


"I gained so much knowledge in performing, designing and building sets that I was ready to take on the theatrical world. UK theatre department was small, but that made us more like a family. I loved my classmates and classes because I was allowed to be myself." 


After graduating from UK in 2003, Berry attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied costume design. She believes the combination more than prepared her for a career in the arts.


"UK gave me the fundamentals of theater. I delved into nearly every discipline. I built sets and worked in the costume shop for two years. I directed a few plays and wrote a few as well. I starred in my own shows and in the department produced shows. I graduated with a well-rounded foundation for theater. Tisch helped me to focus, get serious, and hone my design eye and skills. Even though I didn’t graduate from Tisch, the competitive nature never left me. Being in New York City, everyone is acting, singing, directing and designing, so I had to really buckle down and create a niche for myself that made sense. Tisch taught me that life after undergrad is no game."


A teacher, naturalista, playwright and singer/songwriter, Berry currently works as the musical director for BK Nation, a movement of people from all backgrounds that sparks projects and campaigns, led by the people, for the people. As part of BK Nation, she curates quarterly live music and culture sessions throughout New York City. Berry recently released her album, "Daddy's Girl" on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.


A creative success story, Berry suggests students wanting to follow in her footsteps put in the hours and learn to believe in themselves.


"I’d say to those students, practice makes progress. If you don’t practice, you won’t improve. If you don’t improve, you won’t get hired. You must hone your skills — period," Berry said. "Taking a class in undergrad is just the beginning. Develop a voice that is unique to your experience and go for it. Belief is a huge part of the success of any project. Believe in the work you’re doing and the positive energy will start to start to attract the right people and situations."


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." will make its Lexington debut at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 6 and 7, at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Both shows are free and open to the public. To reserve tickets, call the Lyric Box Office at 859-280-2218.


A day before the production is staged, the playwright will participate in a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at Blue Stallion Brewing Co.


The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center was a thriving entertainment centerpiece for Lexington's African-American families from 1948 to 1963. Before its closing, numerous small black-owned businesses were launched in and around the theatre as well. The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center was reopened in October 2010 in an effort to preserve, promote and celebrate diverse cultures and community inclusion with a special emphasis on the African-American experience.


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



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


UK Trumpet Student Tours World With NCPA Orchestra

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 14:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — Rui Li, a doctoral student in trumpet performance at the University of Kentucky School of Music, now finds himself traveling the world as a full-time member of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Orchestra. Located in Beijing, China, NCPA Orchestra is considered one of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras.


The NCPA Orchestra tours internationally and hosts many of the world’s greatest conductors, soloists and guest artists. Their home venue is China’s prestigious NCPA, which is more colloquially known as "The Giant Egg."


At present, Li is touring Italy with the NCPA Orchestra. This tour will include performances in Milan, Turin, Palma, Florence and Genoa. The orchestra will be premiering a new Chinese opera, "Il Ragazzo del Risciò," and also performing many impressive and difficult masterworks, including Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 5, Igor Stravinsky’s "Soldier's Tale," as well as a new opera "Dawn Quiet."


In the last year, the NCPA Orchestra toured Guangzhou, performed Giuseppe Verdi’s "Aida" with guest conductor Zubin Mehta, and performed Richard Strauss’s "Alpine Symphony" with guest conductor Antoni Wit, a Polish conductor who serves as music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.


Li won the trumpet position with the NCPA Orchestra in January 2015 after highly competitive international auditions were held in North America and Asia. Prior to his permanent appointment, he was a visiting/guest musician with NCPA Orchestra for several months in late 2014.


In addition to his work with the NCPA Orchestra, Li was recently invited by Valery Gergiev to serve as tutti trumpet for the China-Russia Union Symphony Orchestra.

As a teaching assistant at UK, Li taught many classes and founded/held a leadership role with FreeK, the UK Free Improvisation Ensemble, which performed at the 2014 International Society for Improvised Music Conference in New York City. He also taught applied trumpet lessons, including serving as a temporary trumpet instructor during the 2012-2013 academic year during the national search for a permanent teacher.


When Li completes his Doctor of Musical Arts in trumpet performance at UK, it is believed he will be the first Chinese citizen to complete a doctoral degree on a brass instrument.


At UK, Li studies trumpet with Jason Dovel, assistant professor of trumpet, and his dissertation chair is David Elliott, associate professor of French horn. While at the university, he also studied with former faculty members Vince DiMartino and Mark Clodfelter.


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



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

Four UK Professors Named SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 13:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — Four faculty members at the University of Kentucky have been selected as 2015-2016 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows, the SEC announced Wednesday.


Fellows selected from UK are:


  • David Puleo, professor and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering


A total of 50 faculty members and administrators from Southeastern Conference universities were selected.


The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) is a professional development program that seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has two components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own participants and two, three-day, SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants.


This year’s workshops will be Oct. 5-7 at the University of Arkansas and Feb. 24-26, 2016, at the University of Mississippi.


“The individuals selected by their SEC universities to participate in the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program represent the future of higher education administration,” said Torie Johnson, SECU executive director. “The leadership skills they already possess are sure to be enhanced by the SEC ALDP experience.”


Since its creation in 2008, more than 270 faculty and academic administrators have completed the SEC ALDP, and program alumni have become deans and provosts, among other senior-level positions, at universities around the SEC and country. 


The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program is a part of SECU, the academic initiative of the SEC. SECU actively highlights the endeavors and achievements of the students and faculty of the conference’s 14 member universities.


To view the full list of fellows, visit  




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

With Tent City on Campus, University Urges Respectful Behavior

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — As University of Kentucky basketball fans gather in tents on the UK campus awaiting Friday's distribution of Big Blue Madness tickets, the university wants to welcome these fans and remind them of campus policies and practices.  Following is a statement from the university to "Tent City" fans.


The University of Kentucky appreciates your ongoing support of our Wildcat athletic teams! As a University, we hope you will support all our Wildcats while you are on campus, including students, employees and other visitors.


UK Athletics has also provided locations and guidelines for campers. Please know that university policies and regulations will be enforced.  UK is a tobacco-free campus, therefore no tobacco products and no electronic cigarettes can be used on university property.  Also, you cannot be in possession of alcohol or firearms on UK property. Furthermore, everyone on our campus — students, faculty, staff, and visitors — has a right to an environment free of discrimination and harassment. Campers and members of our campus community are expected to display respect for each other at all times.


To report inappropriate behavior, call UK Police at 257-8573 or #UKPD from any cell phone.


If visitors on campus for Big Blue Madness tickets are identified as participating in inappropriate behavior in violation of university expectations, those violators may be required to leave their position in line and lose access to tickets. Please help us maintain a respectful and policy abiding environment as we enjoy the special atmosphere that can only be found with Big Blue Nation!


For more information on events associated with Tent City, visit the UK Athletics website at



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155

VIDEO: All 7 Siblings From Carter County Family Call UK Their Alma Mater

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 17:06



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. (Sept. 30, 2015) — A lot of Wildcat fans like to say they bleed blue.  But the Davis Family might add some serious competition to that claim.


That’s because all seven out of seven siblings, who were all born in Carter County, graduated from the University of Kentucky between between 1970 and 1982!


First came Gene, who graduated in 1970 after studying mechanical engineering. Then Barbara, who majored in elementary education, finished up in 1974.  That very next year Mary earned her degree after studying business administration.  Sharon followed shortly thereafter in 1977, completing her Bachelor of Science in nursing while Janet earned her degree in Horticulture in 1978,  Two years later, Chuck graduated with his degree in mechanical engineering.  Finally, the baby of the family, Jerry, graduated in 1982 after studying forestry.


This summer five of the seven siblings returned to campus and sat down with UKNow for a video interview.  They explained how each one of them went on to use their degrees in Lexington, across the Commonwealth, and throughout the United States.


“UK provided a good opportunity for us," said Jerry Davis, who currently serves as a research statistician for the University of Georgia.  “We were eligible for financial resources, and we made the most out of our educational experience.”


His sister, Janet (Davis) White, who is a retired science and horticulture teacher in Western Kentucky, added, “We make sure he has a University of Kentucky flag in his yard even though he lives in Georgia!”


They also make sure Mary Davis-Barton, who lives in Virginia, shows her blue spirit.  “I spent most of my career as marketing director for Virginia wines," Davis-Barton said. “I’m retired now and volunteer with the American Red Cross.”


Her sister, Barbara (Davis) Stacy, is now retired, too, after a long career as a reading specialist with the Scott County public schools. 


Sharon (Davis) Wilham also lives in Lexington.  In fact, she never left the UK campus!


“I've worked at UK since 1976 at the hospital,” Wilham said.  “I started working when I was a junior in college, and now I’m a neo-natal intensive care nurse and lactation consultant for UK HealthCare.”


Their oldest brother Gene, who lives in Seattle, is a retired pilot with United Airlines, while their other brother Chuck is an engineer and project manager for federal contract work in Kansas.


They attribute their educational and professional success to their parents.  Though their mother, Carolyn Davis lives in Lexington today, she worked as a teacher at  Star Elementary School in Carter County.


“She set the bar pretty high because she went back to school her herself,” Wilham said.  “When she started teaching, you had a two year certificate. She had all us kids and went back to college and finished her degree. So she would go to school during the summer, teach during the winter and took care of all of us. She is a pretty amazing woman and she set the bar very high for all of us.”


Their father, Edward Davis, who passed away in 1980, was also strict about making sure they put school first.  


“You always had to do your homework first,” said Barbara (Davis) Stacy.  “On Sunday evening before you watched 'Walt Disney,' you had to have all your homework done!”


Watch the video above to discover what it was like attending the University of Kentucky with so many siblings and what it means to this tight-knit family today.   


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 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, or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,



UK College of Public Health Granted $1.2 Million to Launch Systems for Action Program

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 16:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Public Health received a $1.2 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to lead a new national research program focused on improving the delivery of health and social services. The award will support the initial year of the multi-year Systems for Action (S4A) research program, which will test methods for coordinating nation’s complex and fragmented systems for medical care, public health and social services.


The S4A program will study the delivery and financing systems for a broad range of services and supports that are fundamental to health and wellbeing, such as medical care, transportation, housing, nutrition and child care. The program will support studies based at the University of Kentucky and at collaborating centers across the United States.


“Keeping an entire community healthy and productive requires a bundle of interrelated services and supports, but unfortunately we tend to pay for and deliver them piecemeal, which can be ineffective or even counterproductive,” Glen Mays, director of the new center and Scutchfield Endowed Professor of Health Services and Systems Research in the College of Public Health, said. “Through S4A, we will discover how to align services and systems in ways that can improve health and reduce disparities across the country, and maybe even save some money.”


A UK College of Public Health team with extensive experience managing RWJF’s previous National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research joins Mays in directing the program.


“We have been privileged to spend the last several years working with researchers across the U.S. who are passionate about optimizing the public health system to improve population health,” Anna Hoover, S4A center co-director, said. “We are thrilled to expand that lens and facilitate multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral research that can improve quality, efficiency and equity in service delivery.”


A new partnership with the UK Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR), housed in the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, enhances the team’s expertise. This academic research center studies the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, along with the programs and policies designed to solve these problems. According to director James Ziliak, poverty and poor health are linked, so the delivery and financing systems that target these problems need to be connected in productive ways.


S4A is one of three new RWJF research programs the foundation’s vision to work with others to build evidence for a national Culture of Health in which everyone has the opportunity to live their healthiest life possible.


Evidence for Action, housed at the University of California, San Francisco, is an investigator-initiated research program designed to support high-impact, action-oriented research. Policies for Action, housed at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, will explore how policies, laws and other regulatory tools can support RWJF’s mission to build a Culture of Health as they are put into practice in both the public and private sectors.


For more information, click here


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,




UK Women's Soccer Again Earns NSCAA Academic Award

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team received the national “Team Academic Award” from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for the 2014-15 year, with a team GPA of 3.37.  This award honors teams that have received a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.


The Wildcats have earned this award for seven consecutive seasons, receiving it every year under head coach Jon Lipsitz, who is currently in his seventh season at Kentucky.


The Wildcats are currently 9-2-1 on the year and will continue SEC play this coming weekend in Gainesville, Florida, against the No. 12 Florida Gators. The match will be shown live on the SEC Network+, WatchESPN and ESPN3.


For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer team, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at




MEDIA CONTACTS: Emily Brown, 859-257-3838; Chris Shoals, 513-312-2489.

UK Animal and Food Sciences Names Distinguished Alumnus, Hall of Fame Inductee

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 16:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences is recognizing two individuals who have been big supporters of Kentucky animal agriculture for decades.


David Switzer is the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus. Switzer, a 1967 graduate of the college, has been associated with the Thoroughbred industry for more than 50 years, working in both racing and breeding. For 21 years, he was the executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. He retired in 2014 and soon after began serving as a lobbyist for Keeneland Association and the KTA, where he continues to advocate for agriculture.


“Many people may not know that David serves agriculture beyond the horse industry,” said Richard Coffey, UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences department chair. “He recognizes that everyone in agriculture must be united to keep the rural quality of the Bluegrass. He’s served on many task forces to promote all agriculture in the region. David also continually supports the college’s mission in many ways. He is a prominent industry stakeholder who also understands the university world.”


Over the years, Swizer has advocated for issues that affect the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He was a lead supporter of the capital project for the expansion of the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, serving on its initial industry advisory planning committee and its present day industry advisory committee. He joined with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Bureau and other key agricultural organizations to secure funding for the center and was instrumental in the project finally gaining full approval in 2008. This was key to the college, as the UK VDL has the highest equine necropsy caseload in the world, and one of the top five in cattle.


Switzer received the Friend of the UK Equine Initiative Award in 2006 and was inducted into the UK CAFE Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2012, the highest award the college bestows.


Gary T. Lane is the 2015 UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Hall of Fame inductee. After growing up on a dairy and row crop farm in Central Kentucky, Lane graduated from Lindsey Wilson Jr. College in Columbia in 1961 and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Berea College in 1963. He then earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from Purdue University before joining the faculty at Texas A&M University. During his tenure at TAMU, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in animal nutrition, dairy science and dairy production.


In 1977, Lane came to UK to fill the role of dairy extension specialist. During his tenure at UK, he served as dairy section leader and overall extension leader for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. Lane left UK in 1986 to become a nutritionist and director of technical service at Burkmann Feeds in Danville. At the time, the company was small and had one mill and one company store in Central Kentucky. During his 20 years of service, Lane helped the company grow to nine feed mills and five company stores. Today Burkmann Feeds sells feed throughout most of Kentucky and has expanded to Tennessee. He retired in 2006 but continues to work part time.


“Gary has served the animal science profession in many ways and has been a powerful leader, teacher and manager,” Coffey said. “Any organization he’s been a part of has grown or become more secure and meaningful. He’s been a friend to the college and to agriculture for decades.”


He has been involved in a number of other national and state activities, including the organization of the North American Livestock Exposition dairy judging contest and participation on state and local livestock teams to promote animal agriculture in Kentucky. Lane was instrumental in the formation of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council in 2005, consisting of dairy producers and allied industry members.


Switzer and Lane will be recognized at the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Reunion at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in the Roundup Tent near the E.S. Good Barn, Lexington campus. Organizers welcome anyone who graduated or has a connection to the department to attend with their families for $10 per person. For more information, visit the Ag Roundup website




MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707


Walk, Run, Bike, Explore Proposed Town Branch Water Walk

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 15:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — A little fresh air, a little exercise, a little information — it all comes together Oct. 11 in Fayette County at the second of this year’s 2nd Sunday Lexington events. Young and old, families and individuals are invited to gather that afternoon to follow a dedicated cycle and walking track to explore the path for the proposed Town Branch Water Walk.


There are two remaining livableLex 2nd Sunday Town Branch Water Walks in Lexington left: Oct. 11 and Nov. 8, both from 2 to 5 p.m. ET. The walk begins at the corner of Vine and Limestone streets and concludes at Charles Young Park on Midland Avenue. Community partners will present fun family activities, food and music. Exhibits and listening stations will provide information about Town Branch, Lexington’s hidden waterway. Participants can also take part in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes.


This is the eighth year for 2nd Sunday, a community-based University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension program designed to increase physical activity and improve access to safe places to do so. It allows people to explore local opportunities for physical activity and improving health. With Kentucky ranking sixth in the nation for its obesity rate and only 12 percent of its adults achieving at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, family and consumer science extension agents around the state conceived the program as a way to combat those statistics.


Town Branch Creek, buried for more than 100 years, still flows beneath downtown Lexington. In 1775, settlers traveling along Elkhorn Creek’s middle branch, now known as Town Branch, discovered spring water. In time, that source of fresh water became the source of a young town, Lexington.


The Town Branch Water Walk was created by SCAPE Landscape Architecture PLLC, MTWTF, the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, Peach Technology and the UK Landscape Architecture Program, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, in collaboration with Bluegrass Greensource, the Fayette Alliance, Town Branch Trail, Lord Aeck Sargent, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Fayette County Cooperative Extension, Downtown Lexington Corporation, the UK College of Design and the YMCA.


For more information about 2nd Sunday Town Branch Water Walks, visit or call Fayette County family and consumer sciences agent Diana Doggett, 859-396-0579.




MEDIA CONTACT:  Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324.