Campus News

Second Annual Relationship Checkup Runs Today thru Feb. 16

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 17:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2016) — Appointments are still being taken for the second annual Relationship Checkup being offered by the University of Kentucky Family Center. The sessions take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today (Feb. 10) through Feb. 16, and are free of charge.


Relationships need the proper attention and care to function properly just like many other things in our lives. Visiting a doctor regularly is necessary to maintain a healthy body, just as routine maintenance is key to keep a car running.


As Valentine's Day approaches, the UK Family Center is making these free relationship checkups available to married couples, couples who are dating, engaged and/or living together, as well as gay and lesbian couples.


A relationship checkup can be arranged by calling the UK Family Center at 859-257-7755, or by visiting their website at The Family Center is located on the second floor of Scovell Hall on UK's campus.


"The relationship checkups seek to strengthen the relationship by finding out what you are doing right and helping the couple become even stronger by building on that instead of focusing on the negatives," UK Family Center Director Tracey Werner-Wilson said.


The UK Family Center suggests that everyone in a relationship should take advantage of these services, and not just couples who feel they are struggling in their relationship.


"Just like everyone needs a six-month checkup at the dentist to help keep their teeth healthy, so too everyone in a romantic relationship benefits from a relationship checkup," Werner-Wilson said.


Appointments usually last one hour. Couples fill out a questionnaire, which is reviewed by an intern therapist. The answers, in conjunction with conversation with the couple, allow the intern to coach the couple on what they are doing well and help them figure out areas of disagreement.


Intern therapists are master's students who are working to become licensed marriage and family therapists through UK's fully accredited Couple and Family Therapy Program. Within 16 months, these interns must log 500 hours of client contact. Interns are supervised and instructed three to four hours a week by a licensed marriage and family therapist.


To meet this demand for clients, the Family Center offers low-cost services to UK, Lexington, and surrounding communities. Utilizing a sliding scale fee, the Family Center works with clients to make therapy affordable for those who need it.


"Not only does it help our students attain the practice hours they need, but we see it as the service arm of UK's mission statement. This helps the students see the relationship as a client, and not an individual person. We are helping all Kentuckians create a better life for themselves. We are improving the lives of Kentuckians which creates an attractive place for people to live," Werner-Wilson said.


The UK Family Center first opened its doors in 1988, serving families, couples and individuals alike. Common needs addressed by the Family Center include stress, relationship issues, parent-child conflict, behavioral issues in children, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, play therapy is offered to families with young children.


The focus of family science is to help understand and improve the lives of individuals, working with the roles that family and interpersonal relationships perform in shaping one's experiences.


"We believe lasting change happens within relationships. As humans, we do not live in a vacuum. We are constantly in a relationship with someone, not always a romantic relationship. Sometimes these relationships try to sabotage us when we try to change. If we include those relationships within the therapy sessions, they can become a support for change instead of fighting against change," Werner-Wilson said.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Terrance Wade, 859-257-8716; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.



German Artist Christoph Mügge Invites Bluegrass to 'See It Again Here!'

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 16:41



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2016) — The Bolivar Art Gallery will present an exhibition of work by German artist Christoph Mügge. "See it again here!," running Feb. 12-25 at the gallery, will be free and open to the public, as well as several other events presented in conjunction with the artist's residency at the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies.


In a mix of trashy and dramatic absurdity, Mügge's work grapples with ideas of overstimulation, surplus and overproduction that are at the center of our culture and the organization of our knowledge. He readily disrupts principles for recognizable objects, whether these are food packages, pill boxes or garbage bins. Mügge has created a broad artistic vocabulary for his works that manifest themselves in the borderland between drawing, painting, sculpture and installation where the boundaries are gradually eroded and one category is absorbed into another.


Mügge's complex installations maintain a kind of sabotage, ad-hoc aesthetic of improvisation, error and un-usefulness without undoing the integrity of materials and gravity or the transparency of procedure that he has asserted as axioms of historically informed sculpture. A consistent subject in his work is technical constructs or containers leaking amorphous outgrowths. These are often materialized as painted constructions of waste wood combined with other elements.


The way the artist seeks to deconstruct familiar everyday life and give it a new significance is a constant in his work and in his current installation at Bolivar Art Gallery, located in the new UK Art and Visual Studies Building. Through repurposing discarded materials that were recently part of life, like cereal dispensers and overhead projectors, as well as imagery of contemporary American consumer culture, Mügge's installation invites the viewer to move among these diverse elements to grasp meaning through their placement — to "see it again here" like the exhibition title implies. In addition, his solo exhibition will include a display of a new edition of screen prints that were created with the help of UK students.


During his residency, Mügge will also present an artist talk at noon Thursday, Feb. 11, at Bolivar Art Gallery. An opening reception for the artist and his show will immediately follow the lecture from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The artist talk and reception are both free and open to the public.


Born in Bonn, Germany, in 1983, Mügge studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf where he graduated in 2013 after studying under Professor Richard Deacon. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in German venues, including Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen (Gelsenkirchen); Kunsthaus Rhenania (Cologne); Kunstverein Bochumer Kulturrat (Bochum); K21, Museum Kunstpalast and Philara (Düsseldorf); 6. Höhler Biennale (Gera); and Galerie Gerken (Berlin), as well as Concordia in Enschede, Netherlands. He has been awarded with residencies at Aabenraa Artweek (Aabenraa, Germany), the French-German artist exchange "PASSAGE" at isdaT beaux-arts (Toulouse, France), Antonie-Leins-Künstlerhaus (Horb a.N., Germany), ARE (Enschede, Netherlands), Schlossbergstipendium (Böblingen, Germany), Serlachius Residency (Mänttä, Finland) and Platform (Vaasa, Finland).


Patrons may visit "See it again here!" and other exhibits at the Bolivar Art Gallery from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.


The UK School of Art and Visual Studies at the UK College of Fine Arts is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies and art education.



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

VIDEO: UK Alumni Association Honors the Heart of Teaching

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 16:00



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2016) — Fans cheered for more than three pointers, dunks and steals last night as UK honored this year’s Great Teachers on the court at Rupp Arena. 


On Tuesday evening, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association presented its 2016 Great Teacher Awards to six recipients at a recognition dinner. The award-winners were then recognized on the court of Rupp Arena during the Kentucky vs. Georgia men’s basketball game.


The recipients are:


Matt Dawson, College of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine;

Wallis Miller, College of Design, School of Architecture;

Gurney Norman, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English;

Brett Spear, College of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics;

Tammy Stephenson, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition; and 

Amy Murrell Taylor, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History.


The Great Teacher Award, started in 1961, is the longest-running UK award recognizing teaching. In order to receive the award, educators must first be nominated by a student. The UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Committee, in cooperation with the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa, then makes the final selections. Recipients receive an engraved plaque and monetary reward.


Here is a compilation of what the student nominators had to say about this year's Great Teachers:


The fact that Matthew Dawson cares about students inside and outside of the classroom greatly impacted students in the College of Medicine.  


“Dr. Dawson is willing to act as a mentor both within medical education and as a sounding board for students who are seeking advice,” said Melissa Murray, a medical student in her second year.


Shannon Newberry, a UK senior in the College of Design, spoke of Wallis Miller’s ability to connect with her students. 


"She never fails to brighten my day as well as make me feel important and full of potential,” Newberry said. "Her gift as an instructor (is that) she knows how to understand students and re-kindle their love and confidence for learning.”


An undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences felt compelled to nominate Gurney Norman because of his expertise on all things Appalachia and the way he communicates that knowledge to his students. 


"I don’t know anyone more knowledgeable about Appalachian culture, nor do I know anyone more acquainted with Appalachian writing and writers," UK senior Nicole Solakiewicz said. "It is what truly sets him apart from the rest — his passion and love for what he does, and the way he shares it with students.”


Students in the College of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics appreciate how Bret Spear puts students first. 


"To say Dr. Spear is ‘pro-student’ would be an understatement," said Katie McKenna, a UK graduate student. "I am not sure I can think of another professor who goes to the lengths he does to provide an education and to help others."


A group of students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment nominated Tammy Stephenson partly because of her positive attitude.


"Dr. Stephenson finds that one special strength in every student and does her very best to make sure that student is able to shine with whatever strength that may be,” the students said. 


The enthusiasm Amy Murrell-Taylor brings into the classroom each and every day is not lost on Ryan Mosley, who is currently a first-year law student.


"From the moment she walks into the classroom, she is bright-eyed and smiling," Mosley said. "She conveys to the class, just with her body language that ‘I’m excited to be here’ and ‘Man I love my job!’"


This year’s recipients first learned they were chosen for the awards in a series of top-secret surprises in late December. Watch the video above to see firsthand the reactions of each winner as they realized the balloons were for them! You’ll also hear why teaching at UK is so rewarding for this group of professors. 


The UK Alumni Association is a membership-supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university.


For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit or call 800-269-2586. 


Click below to watch videos featuring UK’s Great Teachers throughout the past eight years. 



Construction Impact of the New Research Building Begins Feb. 15

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 15:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2016) — Construction is scheduled to begin next week on the University of Kentucky’s new research facility, immediately to the west of the Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) along Virginia Avenue. In November 2015, Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) shared an overview of the construction and its impact on campus parking. PTS continues to work closely with Capital Projects Management Division to minimize the impact of this project on the campus community.  


Construction of this facility will impact parking starting at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, and will result in shifting reserved (E+) parking west toward Press Avenue into the remaining Press Avenue North surface parking lot, relocating disabled accessible parking into several newly designated accessible parking areas, and ultimately displacing approximately 200 employee (E) parking spaces. Sufficient capacity exists in a variety of campus parking areas to accommodate those impacted employees. Last month, PTS updated the campus community on a variety of alternative parking and multimodal options. As the start of the project draws near, this communication serves as a reminder of the many available choices. Employees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with alternative parking and multimodal options this week to find one that best meets their needs.


Employee (E) Parking Alternatives:


With the transition of the surface parking between Press Avenue and BBSRB from Employee (E) to E+ Reserved parking, employee parking demand will likely shift to the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6), which will result in the garage reaching capacity earlier in the morning. To aid with the anticipated increase in demand at the Press Avenue Garage, PTS installed a digital space counter sign at the garage’s entrance; this sign will allow drivers to avoid searching for space in the garage if the structure is full.


Employees with valid E permits are authorized to park in any campus employee (E) parking areas, which include the Commonwealth Stadium parking lots. Employees who currently park in the Press Avenue Area may find that some of the options listed below are just as fast and convenient as their current parking accommodations.


Approaching campus from the south:

  • The Orange Lot at Commonwealth Stadium, located at the corner of University and Alumni Drives. The Orange Lot is served by the Purple (UK HealthCare) Route, which provides frequent access to the Health Sciences Research Building (HSRB) and the new Hospital (Pavilion A) with interior building connectivity to the Kentucky Clinic, College of Pharmacy and BBSRB.
  • The Blue and Red Lots at Commonwealth Stadium, located across University Drive from the Orange Lot and along the south side of Commonwealth Stadium. The Blue and Red Lots are served by the campus Blue and White bus routes which provide convenient access to and from the Kentucky Clinic and College of Pharmacy bus stops.

Approaching campus from the north:

These areas listed below are a modest 6-10 minute walk from the Virginia Avenue corridor, as well as a short ride using the campus Blue and White bus routes from the Taylor/Dickey bus stop.

  • The Scott Street Lot, located off Scott Street, behind the Lexington Fire Department Station #6.
  • The Taylor/Dickey Lot, located off Scott Street behind Taylor Education and Dickey Hall.
  • The Reynolds Lot, located off Scott Street, adjacent to Reynolds Warehouse #1.
  • The South Limestone Garage (PS #5), located on South Limestone next to Kennedy’s Wildcat Den, with access on both South Upper and South Limestone Streets.

Virginia Avenue Disabled Accessible Parking Alternatives:

  • In anticipation of this construction, PTS transitioned the Huguelet Drive Reserved Lot to disabled accessible parking in August 2015, resulting in a net increase in disabled accessible parking in the area.
  • Last week, PTS added four disabled accessible parking spaces in the Leader Avenue Lot, adjacent to the College of Medicine Building.
  • The Press Avenue Garage has disabled accessible parking spaces with convenient shuttle access to the Kentucky Clinic via the Pink Route.
  • The Orange Lot has disabled accessible parking spaces with shuttle service provided by the Purple (UK HealthCare) Route.

BBSRB E+ Reserved Parking Accommodations:  Employees with BBSRB E+ permits will shift slightly to the west into what remains of the adjacent Press Avenue North Lot, which will change from an employee (E) lot to E+ designation. At that time, all remaining surface UK-controlled parking between Press Avenue and BBSRB will be reserved for E+ permit holders. This includes the spaces on BBSRB Drive. The new BBSRB E+ Lot will be controlled for valid BBSRB E+ permits from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Long-Term Solutions:  The university has been working hard over the past several months with Sasaki and Associates to develop a comprehensive Transportation Master Plan (TMP) focused on enhancing mobility to, from and around campus; the TMP provides a framework, which will guide campus mobility into the future. The final recommendations from Sasaki call for investments in enhancing alternative commuting options while also adding additional parking resources. After adding nearly 1,000 new spaces in time for the 2015-2016 school year and implementing the BluPass program, under which UK students and employees ride all Lextran routes free of charge, PTS is currently developing plans that will add several hundred new spaces to the campus for the start of next academic year. Moreover, the university continues to explore alternatives that could allow further expansion of parking, in addition to options to ensure that campus remains accessible to all members of the campus community.


A map of the specific parking areas and bus stops outlined here may be found below. Additionally, a campus parking map can be found at



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

Center for Clinical and Translational Science Calls for Abstracts for 2016 Spring Conference

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:48


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science is soliciting abstracts for poster and oral presentations at its annual spring conference to be held April 21 at the Lexington Convention Center. The theme of this year’s conference is personalized medicine. Abstract submissions are due Friday, March 25 and decisions will be announced by April 4.


The conference is held in conjunction with the several colleges and programs, each of which are accepting abstracts:


·      College of Dentistry Research Day

·      College of Engineering Biomedical Research Day​

·      College of Health Sciences Research Day​

·      College of Nursing Scholarship Showcase

·      College of Public Health Research Day

·      32nd Annual BGSFN Spring Neuroscience Research Day

·      35th Annual Symposium in Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences


Please review each category’s specific details and formatting requirements on the CCTS conference website. All abstracts must be submitted online with a maximum of 250 words.

Do not include diagrams, illustrations or other graphic objects.


The call for abstracts is open to interested students (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral), faculty, research personnel, trainees/scholars and administrators. It is also open to those in government agencies, private foundations and community organizations. No individual should be first author on more than one abstract. Submissions from individuals participating in research career training programs (e.g., NIH training programs, including T32, K12, COBRE, Physical Scientist, and Clinical Research Scholar) are particularly encouraged. There is no cost for abstract submission.


Abstracts may describe work that has been or will be submitted at other meetings and may address any aspect of clinical health-related research, including basic research with animal models of clinical disease and/or with human tissue; clinical research that involves human subjects; health-related clinical, epidemiological and/or community-based research; outcomes research; health services research; and behavioral science investigations. Preclinical research designed to inform clinical translational research is also permitted.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

Original Research: All prospective and retrospective studies that involve testing a hypothesis by collecting and analyzing data. Abstracts must specify the following: hypothesis, number of subjects, procedures, results, statistical analysis, and important findings (conclusions). Ongoing original research is acceptable/encouraged from individuals receiving career research training.


Research Description (Trainees Only):  Individuals who are developing their research plan but have not yet initiated the studies are welcome/encouraged to provide a description of their current plans, including hypotheses, number of subjects, proposed methods and procedures, statistical analysis, expected results, research skills to be acquired, and a description of how the research plan will support career development.


Theoretical/Commentary: Abstracts addressing issues related to clinical health including (but not limited to) policy, trends in the field, treatment strategies, mechanisms of action and methodological issues.  No data is required and no concluding statement is necessary.


Literature Review: Abstracts should provide a scholarly discussion of a specific topic via review of the current literature.  The abstract does not need to present data, but a concluding statement about the findings is required.


For more information, please visit the CCTS conference website or contact Ryan Vicini at


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,



Record Number of Students on UK Dean's List

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 10:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) — For the first time, more than 7,000 students have made the University of Kentucky Dean’s List. UK has released its Dean's List for the fall 2015 semester. 


A record high 7,189 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance. That's an increase of more than 800 since fall 2014 and over 1,000 more than spring 2015.


To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes. Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.


The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting



MEDIA CONTACT: Lori Minter, 859-257-1754;

Gatton Professor Examines How Performance Brands Can Cause Placebo Effects

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 17:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — Firms frequently promise consumers that use of their brands will improve performance outcomes. Whether it's a high school athlete considering the premier brands of basketball shoes, or a college student weighing which graduate test prep course to take, a ubiquitous marketing message remains “you will perform better with us.”


A new research study led by Aaron Garvey, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, reveals that brands can improve human performance through purely psychological means that are unrelated to functional differences in a branded product’s materials, craftsmanship, or design.


"In our research, we examine whether the mere belief that a particular brand is effective at enhancing performance can actually result in better performance outcomes, while holding product functionality constant" said Garvey. "That is, we examine if brands can induce a placebo effect upon performance."


The results of the study, soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, indicate that using particular brands can positively impact human performance in athletic and test-taking contexts.


Together with fellow investigators Lisa Bolton of Penn State University and Frank Germann of the University of Notre Dame, Garvey conducted multiple experiments to determine how brands cause such a placebo effect.


"In one study, we invited participants to take part in a market research study about a new, prototype golf putter," said Garvey. "All participants used the exact same golf putter to complete several putts on a putting green. However, we manipulated the label such that one group of participants believed they were putting with a Nike putter (a strong performance brand), whereas those in another group were provided with no brand information about the putter. Although all participants used the same putter, those who thought that it was a Nike putter needed significantly fewer putts to sink the golf ball (approximately a 20% improvement). Thus, our results indicate that strong performance brands can elicit a placebo effect that objectively improves outcomes in an athletic context."


In another study, participants took part in a moderately challenging math test. “All participants were told that they would be wearing a pair of foam ear plugs to minimize distractions and improve concentration. Each participant again received the exact same ear plugs; however, the package labels were manipulated such that half of the participants believed that the ear plugs were made by 3M (a strong performance brand), whereas the other half received no brand information. Those who thought that the ear plugs were made by 3M answered significantly more questions correctly.”


Why does this placebo effect emerge? "Our results indicate that performance brands help through reducing performance anxiety during the task, which in turn leads to better performance outcomes," said Garvey. “Specifically, participants using a strong performance brand (versus a weak brand or no brand information) felt better about themselves when undertaking the task. This heightened, task specific self-esteem buffered against otherwise detrimental performance anxiety.”


Garvey said the research team also discovered some important factors that can strengthen or weaken this performance brand placebo effect.


“First, we discovered that not everyone benefits equally from this performance brand placebo," said Garvey. "The effect is strongest among people who consider themselves novices in the respective task, whereas experts receive little or no boost. People who are inexperienced at a task (e.g., golf putting or math tests) have more self-doubts and performance anxiety that the brand helps to alleviate, whereas experts already have high task specific self-esteem and low performance anxiety when undertaking the task."


In addition, Garvey and his team found that the brand placebo effect only emerges when participants firmly believe that the brand is effective at improving performance. For example, in a golfing context, a very prestigious brand that is not strongly associated with athletics (e.g., Gucci) did not elicit the placebo effect. Thus it is not enough to be a premium brand — the brand must also have strong credibility at improving performance in the task domain.


Furthermore, this study also indicates that consumers who benefit from the placebo do not increase the amount of credit given to the brand but rather take more credit for themselves.


Generally, the results indicate that performance brands can improve consumers’ athletic as well as cognitive performance. This finding leads to interesting insights for both consumers and brand managers.


"An important takeaway for consumers is that using a strong brand can actually improve your performance outcomes — even if that brand does not actually have functional advantages. However, you must strongly believe in that brand’s capability to improve your performance," said Garvey.


"Brand managers should be excited to learn that mere beliefs about their brands can provide customers with tangible benefits in the form of improved performance. Hence, we recommend emphasizing the performance characteristics of your brands, and positioning brands on those performance dimensions.”


Again, the full manuscript will be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Consumer Research.



MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750;



UK Student Entrepreneurs Take First Place at Georgia Bowl

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 17:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — A team of University of Kentucky students captured first place this past weekend at the Georgia Bowl intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition hosted by Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.


Team Race Assured, comprising Julia Fabiani, an undergraduate student in equine science and physiology, Ben Martin, a graduate student in finance and agricultural economics, and Stefanie Pagano, a graduate student in biomedical engineering earned a $2,500 cash prize for their efforts.


Race Assured is a service that provides a blood test, which can potentially predict injuries in horses well before serious problems occur.


The UK squad bested six other teams representing five other major universities: Georgia Tech, two teams from the University of Texas (Austin), the University of Tennessee, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Manitoba (Canada).


Thanks to its first-place finish, Team Race Assured will receive a recommendation to be accepted into Rice University's global competition, which is the largest competition for startups in the world.


The UK team's project was spun out of research developed by David Horohov, director of the Gluck Equine Research Center and chair of the Department of Veterinary Science, as well as the Jes E. and Clementine M. Schlaikjer Endowed Chair and professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


"It is both gratifying and exciting that our students have received this recognition," said Horohov. "Having watched their interest and enthusiasm for this project grow throughout the semester, I am not surprised they were successful in the competition."


The three students brought the project to the UK Venture Studio bootcamp and after 10 weeks, the team elevated the concept into a business plan. Their ultimate goal is to start the company and launch Race Assured in Lexington.


The Venture Studio and bootcamp is part of UK's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, within the Gatton College of Business and Economics. To learn more or to get involved, click on their homepage for upcoming events in the Venture Studio: The Venture Studio is located in Room 124 of the new Gatton College building.


"We are very proud of Julia, Ben, and Stefanie and what they have accomplished," said Von Allmen Center commercialization specialist and UK Venture Studio Director Mariam Gorjian, who serves as team coach. "This demonstrates the growing entrepreneurial spirit and savvy which is increasingly evident on our campus."




MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750;

CCTS Offers Enhanced Services, Informatics Resources for Participant Recruitment

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 17:09


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) – The UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) aims to accelerate the process of discoveries by supporting a broad range of innovative research to improve human health. Health research is integral to UK’s role as the state’s flagship academic medical center, and such research depends on the participation of individuals, both healthy and with medical conditions. Engaging with potential volunteers, however, can be so difficult that studies sometimes end before important questions are answered.


At a Clinical Research Updated Tuesday from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in CTW 014, members of the CCTS participant recruitment team will explain enhanced participant recruitment services and resources now available to investigators and their research teams.  Lunch will be served beginning at noon and the presentation will begin at 12:30 pm and CEs are available. Please RSVP to Walk-ins are also welcome. 


During the presentation, Jeffery Talbert, PhD, co-director of theCCTS biomedical informatics core and director of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, will demonstrate new biomedical informatics resources such as i2b2 and TriNetX that can inform and support participant recruitment.


Roxane Poskin, participant recruitment and marketing manager, will also provide an update about the continuum of recruitment services available through the CCTS, including initial consultations, increased marketing opportunities through UK Public Relations and UK HealthCare Marketing, interactive online study flyers, health registries, and ResearchMatch, a national registry that connects volunteers and researchers. Poskin’s innovative use of ResearchMatch at UK resulted in her receiving the “Match Maestro” award in 2015.


Over the past year, the CCTS has engaged with investigators and stakeholders across campus to better understand recruitment challenges and opportunities and facilitate more effective recruitment efforts. A survey to gauge satisfaction with CCTS recruitment services indicated that recruitment is inhibited by lack of awareness and/or negative perceptions of research, as well as difficulty accessing patients and engaging physicians. Following the survey, the CCTS held the first annual Recruitment Summit in June 2015 and established a quarterly Recruitment Workgroup consisting of 19 members representing multiple colleges.


To learn more about CCTS participant recruitment services or provide feedback about recruitment needs and opportunities, please join the CRU today, visit the CCTS website, or contact Roxane Poskin, participant recruitment and marketing manager, at or 257-7856.


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,



UK Strategic Plan Highlights Research in Addressing Kentucky Challenges

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 16:33


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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — As an academic, research and health enterprise, discovery is at the core of the University of Kentucky’s mission — which is why research and scholarship serve as one of the five strategic objectives outlined in the 2015-2020 UK Strategic Plan.


As one of only eight public institutions in the U.S. with colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, Medicine and Pharmacy on a single campus, UK is especially poised for groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration.


"Our research and scholarly endeavors offer the brightest hope for transformation and change for our Commonwealth and the broader world we serve," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "Our sense of connection to those we serve and our steadfast commitment to changing lives is an integral part of what makes our campus community special."


UK is already home to many nationally recognized programs in aging, cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease, as well as emerging areas in renewable fuels and plant-based alternatives for industrial manufacturing. The Strategic Plan aims to enhance and expand UK's research enterprise by the following measures:

  • Invest in UK’s existing strengths and areas of growth that benefit and enrich the lives of the citizens of the Commonwealth and beyond
  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty, staff and students who support research across the range of disciplines at UK
  • Improve the quality of the research infrastructure across campus
  • Strengthen engagement efforts and translation of research and creative work for the benefit of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world

“I want to make sure that what we are putting down on that paper is what we effectively realize in the next five years,” said Lisa Cassis, UK Vice President for Research. “(The Strategic Plan) is becoming my own mission, and my colleagues and I are working to develop these initiative and action items. We know we need to focus some of our efforts and investments so that areas that are strong can be the best in the nation — if possible, the world. And those areas should relate to problems or issues in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”


Last fall, UK broke ground on a $265 million research building that will be dedicated to addressing health disparities in Kentucky, such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, and drug abuse. Scheduled for completion in spring 2018, the new facility will be linked to other major research space in the heart of the campus, further fostering collaborative and multidisciplinary work. Being referred to as the “Appalachian Translational Trail” this connecting conduit will house the nucleus of translational researchers who bring together all disciplines.


“It gives us the space and resources that we need, and it’s a great time right now to do that, when we’re competing for very tight funding across the nation,” said Cassis. “We’re engaging the best and brightest here, and we hope to also use this as a recruitment tool to bring even more people here who can add dimensions to what we’re currently able to do. In my experience that is really how you do the best work.”


In addition to building and optimizing infrastructure to support all types of research and creative work, Cassis said a critical part of the plan is community impact and engagement.


“Making a difference can be from improving cardiovascular health or from writing a poem that elevates someone’s soul,” said Cassis. “All types of research and activity we do can make people’s lives better.”


The entire strategic plan can be read here. Over the next several weeks, UKNow will be exploring different facets of the plan, focusing on each of the five strategic areas:

  • Undergraduate student success
  • Graduate education
  • Research
  • Diversity and Inclusivity
  • Community engagement


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

Dr. Natasha Kyprianous Establishes Global Collaborations During Journey to Taiwan

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 16:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) – Dr. Natasha Kyprianou, professor of Urology, Biochemistry, Pathology and Toxicology and Cancer Biology in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, recently was invited by the director of the Institute of Biological Chemistry of Academia Sinica, Dr. Ching-Shih Chen, on an eight-day academic tour of Taiwan that provided unique opportunities to establish global collaborations in cancer research.


The James F. Hardymon Chair of Urologic Research at the Markey Cancer Center, Kyprianou was a distinguished scholar at Academia Sinica and nominated to become a member of the Academy in Taipei.


During her visit in December 2015, she gave presentations at prestigious national institutions and universities in Taiwan including: the National Health Research Institute (NHRI), Taipei Medical University and Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU), where she interacted with the senior leadership and other faculty. Kyprianou was also honored with the invitation to give the keynote address at the international conference on Frontiers in Cancer Research organized by KMU. Finally, she gave a lecture to the departments of Biochemistry and Urology at the National Cheng Kung University in the historic Tainan City. "I was honored and humbled by the recognition I received in Taiwan on a national level," Kyprianou said.


Kyprianou's trip was more than a lecture series on her work on prostate cancer, she also sat on the international advisory board for the NHRI, the international equivalent of the National Institutes of Health, led by NHRI President Kung, and was invited by KMU President Dr. Ching-Kuan Liu to become an adjunct chair professor in the College of Biomedical Sciences.   Kyprianou discussed the significance of this appointment, her trip and its impact to UK and the Markey Cancer Center. She said she believes it will foster "creative research interactions between investigators and scholars among the leading academic institutions in Taiwan and UK and also nurture mentoring programs in cancer research between the two countries." 


Media Contact: Olivia McCoy, 859-257-1076


UK Nursing Dean Speaks to Congress on Dangers of E-cigarettes

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 16:23

Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — University of Kentucky College of Nursing Dean Janie Heath joined nursing and public health professionals on Capitol Hill Feb. 4 to testify in support for legislation protecting children from the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Heath advocated on National Cancer Prevention Day on behalf of the Less Cancer Foundation, a national organization with the mission of keeping prevention at the forefront of the “cancer conversation.” Heath, who also serves as the UK Warwick Professor of Nursing, argued e-cigarettes are marketed to youth through colorful, deceptive packaging and framed as fun product, with flavors including Dr. Pepper and Fruit Loops. Marketing tactics have contributed to a significant rise in youth using e-cigarettes in the past few years, she said.


Heath emphasized that the known dangers of e-cigarettes are not limited to nicotine exposure, but also include the inhalation of carcinogens such as formaldehyde and the adverse effects of nicotine-brain. She authored an opinion piece on the issue, which was published in the Huffington Post on Feb. 3.


In January, the U.S. Senate and Congress passed a safety-cap bill requiring child-resistant packaging for the liquids used in e-cigarettes. Heath said these products should be closely monitored to prevent a public health crisis, and more must be accomplished to protect youth from the possible health consequences of e-cigarettes.


“Without additional, commonsense measures going forward, we risk repeating the public health nightmare caused by cigarette smoking,” Heath said. “We must ensure that the progress represented by the safety-cap legislation is only a first — not the last — step we take together.”


To read the opinion piece, click here.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Spring Art Courses Help Community Harness Creativity

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 14:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's Fine Arts Institute will offer a variety of classes this spring that explore different aspects of art and creativity. The classes are all offered as noncredit art courses and are perfect for adults with busy work schedules. Courses range anywhere from metalworking to digital photography and are offered from the beginners' level to the more advanced.


Three times a year, UK Fine Arts Institute offers weekly classes as well as some weekend workshop options to suit various types of schedules. Most classes meet once a week during the evening. This spring there are a total of 12 courses being offered, nine weekly classes and three one-time workshops as well as open drawing sessions every Thursday and Saturday. The classes and workshops will be held in the new UK School of Art and Visual Studies Building and in the Metal Arts Building.


Most of the weekly classes start the week of Feb. 15 and run through April with no classes during UK's spring break, the week of March 14.


The classes being offered include:

· "Explorations in Drawing" with Christine Kuhn, 6-9 p.m. Mondays, beginning Feb. 15;

· "Taking Ceramics to the Next Level" with Jill Coldiron, 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 16;

· "Learn to Paint, Yes You Can!" with Kuhn, 6:30- 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 16;

· "Layering it On: Mixed Media Painting Techniques" with Kuhn, 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 17;

· "Beginning Ceramics" with Coldiron, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Feb. 18;

· "A Fresh Approach to Improving Your Painting Skills" with Kuhn, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Feb. 18;

· "Metalworking" with Jeremy Colbert assisted by Nick Guarliardo, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Feb. 18; and

· "Photoshop Class" with Lennon Michalski, 6-8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, session one beginning March 21, session two beginning April 11; and

· "Felting on the FeltLOOM Felting Machine" with Laverne Zabielski, 1-3 p.m. Saturdays, session one beginning Feb. 20, session two beginning March 26, and session three beginning April 23.


This semester's one-day workshops are:

· "One Day Digital Photography Workshop for Beginners" presented by Michalski, March 26 or April 23;

· "One Day Advanced Digital; Photography and Studio Portrait Lighting Workshop" presented by Michalski and Shelly Petty of Rochambeau Photography, March 20 or April 10;

· "One Day Natural Lighting Portrait Photography and Photoshop Editing Workshop" presented by Michalski and Petty, April 17.


For more information on any of these classes or workshops or their instructors, including cost and specific class times, visit the institute online at or visit the institute's Facebook page: www.


The Fine Arts Institute, an outreach program of the School of Art and Visual Studies at the UK College of Fine Arts, offers all the resources and classrooms that the department has to offer through these noncredit art classes. All courses and workshops are open to the public.


Registration for UK Fine Arts Institute courses is available online at, by calling the institute at 859-257-8151, or by emailing Jane Andrus at



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

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: Feb. 9, 1912

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 14:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 169th diary entry from Feb. 9, 1912, recalls getting breakfast at the university lunch stand and not getting to see “Billy Burke.”


Feb. 9th. Go down at second hour and try for another picture. Get breakfast at the University lunch stand. Write up good times book. Don't get to see "Billy Burke."


More on Virginia Clay McClure


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


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


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


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


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


McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.


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


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


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



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


Early Action Track Deadline for UK Housing Approaching

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 12:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2016) — Students who apply to the University of Kentucky on the Early Action Track and plan to live on campus must apply for housing by Monday, Feb. 15.


To start the application process, visit


All parts of the application, including the $50 application fee, must be submitted in order for the application to be considered complete. Students who meet the Feb. 15 deadline will know which residence hall they are living in by April 15. For students who applied to the university on the Regular Decision Track, the housing application is due May 1. Housing requests are processed on a first come, first served basis.


Benefits to living on campus include close proximity to classes and campus resources, higher retention rates and higher GPAs — hear what Erin Harville, a current student who lives on campus at UK, has to say. Students interested in the living learning programs (LLP) can also apply through the same housing application.


For a step-by-step guide to completing the application, visit UK Housing, Residence Life, and UK Dining staff will be available to answer questions regarding housing, dining and LLP applications during a Google+ Hangout session today, Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 4 to 5 p.m. EST.


Other questions and concerns can be directed to the housing and residence life Twitter account or the housing assignments office at 859-257-1866 or




MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398;

UK Woman's Club Offering Tuition Scholarship to Students

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 17:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) —The University of Kentucky Woman's Club (UKWC) is currently accepting applications for its 2016-2017 tuition scholarship, awarded to undergraduate full- or part-time students. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Tuesday, March 15, 2016.


Each year, the UKWC awards scholarships covering up to full tuition for residents of Kentucky as defined for tuition and fee purposes. Applicants must have completed at least 12-credit hours at UK with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. Consideration will be given to nontraditional women students with outstanding academic records who have unmet financial needs.


Scholarship applications for the 2016-2017 academic year can be found here on the Woman's Club website. Applications are due in the UK Office of Academic Scholarships in the Funkhouser Building before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Applicants must also complete the 2016-2017 Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) by March 15.


The pool of applicants that will be chosen to participate in an interview with the UKWC Scholarship Committee must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester and must be residents of Kentucky. Current members of the UKWC and UK employees whose tuition is covered by the Employee Education Program are ineligible.


Since its inception in 1973, the UKWC Aid Fund has provided 196 undergraduate scholarships totaling more than $400,000.


"In an era where higher education is so costly, for students who might have families, are working second jobs, and have high financial aid need, the UKWC undergraduate scholarships often provide the lifeline to degree completion," said Lisa Collins, chair of the UKWC Scholarship and Fellowship Committee.


With a rich tradition of more than 100 years of service, the UKWC provides a welcoming and enriching environment for all women to be part of a group committed to supporting the campus and its students. UKWC scholarship and fellowship programs provide nearly $40,000 annually to students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition, UKWC partners with other UK organizations and programs to provide needed services to the student body.


For more information about the UKWC scholarship, visit or contact the Office of Academic Scholarships at 859-257-4198.




MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Smith,, 859-361-2318



February Drawing Date Set for Lexus for the Little Ones Raffle

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 16:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) — Lexus of Lexington will raffle away a brand new Lexus ES 350 to support Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Lexus Store located at 1264 East New Circle Road. Tickets can still be purchased to enter the drawing.


Funds raised through raffle tickets will improve facilities for children receiving treatment at KCH. Lexus of Lexington has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2015-2016 raffle and supports Ocean Pod renovations at KCH. 


“Giving back to the community has always been an important part of our business, and who better to support than KCH, the pediatric care center that takes care of Kentucky’s kids,” said Lexington businessman Rick Avare, co-owner of The Lexus Store of Lexington.


Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online at, in person by visiting the Lexus dealership on 1264 E. New Circle Road, or by contacting the KCH Development office at (859) 257-1179. There is no limit on the number of tickets purchased, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Your Major Just Got Easier To Find With Launch of AET

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 15:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016)  Since 2012, the University of Kentucky Office of Enrollment Management has envisioned an innovative tool to streamline and centralize information about academic degree offerings. This tool would improve and transform the way prospective and current students blueprint their academic experience.  As of Wednesday, Feb. 3, this vision became a reality when the university launched the new Academic Exploration Tool (AET). 


The project has two phases.  The first phase was made available Feb. 3 and includes bachelor's, minors and pre-professional programs.  The second phase will bring in a live-feed of curriculum data based on the four-year degree plans developed in the new myUK: GPS (Graduation Planning System) project and expand into graduate and professional programs.

This was a campuswide project, partnering with individuals from all 16 colleges, Undergraduate Studies, the Stuckert Career Center, UK PR and Marketing, UK Analytics and Technologies and several others.


In an effort to create a better search and exploration process for prospective and current students, academic major sheet PDFs have been transformed into an adaptive and responsive website.  The outdated website that hosted the major PDFs is replaced by the university's AET, which offers a revamped, structured and user-friendly webpage that is easily accessible. The website functionality allows students to discover degree programs at a personal level.


Users begin searching for degree paths by first selecting from categories within "I like to…," "I want to be a…," "I'm searching for….," or "Browse all programs" options. After selecting personal preferences, they are then given a list of degree programs offered that correlate with selections they made under the different categories.  From here, users then can click on different degrees to learn about careers in the field, courses offered at UK, work environment as well as featured careers, which include salary, number of jobs in the U.S. and a 10-year job outlook all streamed into the site by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


"We're really proud of the technology that's taking place behind the scenes," said Tyler Gayheart, communications and technology director for Enrollment Management. "For the users, it's a seamless process, but we made a point to listen and partner with the right people to strike a good balance between academic, curricular, career and program level information to make the exploration process seem uninterrupted and data rich.  We've collectively created a platform that has a lot of possibilities for expansion into other areas such as online programs, certificates and advanced filtering and search."


Beginning in the fall, Enrollment Management will be utilizing data from myUK: GPS to utilize a Web service to dynamically feed curriculum and course information into the Academic Exploration Tool. The myUK: GPS will reshape the student planning, auditing, advising and course registration experience, delivering real-time, critical information via self-service features to promote proactive planning for students and advisors.


This tool includes features that have brought together the feedback from our staff, faculty, prospective and current students as well as institutional surveys and research. Enrollment Management has been committed to listening to what parents and students most want in the recruitment and information gathering process. Research conducted by Ruffalo Noel Levitz indicates that academic degree and career outlook information continues to be the primary need for parents and students seeking additional information about universities.


AET is also designed to be accessible and editable by each college and program.This puts the control in the hands of the individuals most familiar with the program itself.


"As an academic advisor in Undergraduate Studies, my main role is to assist students in exploring interests and majors that may be connected in those interests," said Jesse Farley. "I'm excited about the release of the Academic Exploration Tool as it will be a great conversation starter.  In a typical meeting with students, we discuss the major, the classes associated, related majors and some potential careers. Therefore, it is great to see this information streamlined into one online tool!"


"We're very excited for this cross campus collaboration to bring a tool online that can be used by prospective and current students, as well as advisors," said Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Don Witt.


Research shows that content regarding academic majors and minors is the most searched feature on the university's main website. However, there can be slight differences between information that live on the colleges' websites versus the university's website. The AET effectively creates a uniform voice flowing from the information projected by individual colleges to the information housed on  This causes less confusion when prospective and current students search for information about majors on different websites within the university. 


The AET revamps the way students prepare for college classes and their futures, making the process more user friendly and allowing for more creativity when searching and considering forthcoming career possibilities.



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

"Go Red for Women" Celebrates Women's Heart Health at Gill Heart Institute

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 14:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016)  The unspoken pact among Wildcat fans to always "Bleed Blue" was suspended last week in the Pavilion A atrium of UK Chandler Hospital long enough for supporters to "Go Red."


The American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" day was Friday, Feb. 5 and dozens of supporters showed up dressed in red to promote awareness of women's heart health.


"Sadly, we are seeing more women with heart disease at a younger age," said Dr. Gretchen Wells, Gill Heart Institute's director of Women's Heart Health and the event's featured speaker.  "It's critical we help women understand that heart disease affects them differently, that their heart attack symptoms can be different than men's, and that they shouldn't put off seeing a doctor if they have symptoms."


Wells explained that mortality rates for heart attack are actually higher in women than in men primarily because many women downplay their symptoms and/or don't recognize them as symptoms of heart attack until it's too late. She offered her own "Top 10" to encourage women to think about their heart health, including:


Know your symptoms. "Half of all women having a heart attack will experience chest pains, but the other half won't have that 'Hollywood Heart Attack,'" she said. Women are more likely to experience chest pressure, chest discomfort, back pain, jaw pain, or even tooth pain.  Other symptoms include shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness. "Sadly, all of these symptoms mimic common illnesses like flu, and so women tend to dismiss them," Wells said.


Know your numbers.  "Blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar are all factors that contribute to heart disease," said Wells.  "It's critically important that you find out what your numbers are and take measures to correct anything that's out of line."  Wells added an interesting note: while weight is important, waist size is perhaps a more relevant predictor of heart disease. "Women don't like to have their waists measured, but it is a really good way for us to predict heart disease."


Pay attention to lifestyle factors. Quitting smoking, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, get 150 minutes of exercise a week and find ways to reduce stress all can help reduce heart attack risk. "You don't necessarily have to join a gym or invest in a lot of expensive equipment to get heart-healthy," Wells explained. "Simply find ways to incorporate more energy into your day — park your car a little bit farther away in the lot, walk to lunch — even some household chores can burn a decent number of calories."


Call your mother. "This suggestion came from my mother," Wells explained with a smile. "Your family history can tell a lot about your risk for heart disease, and you should talk to your mother or other family member to learn whether heart disease runs in your family and, if so, which types."


The event ended with fruity treats, free chair massages and aromatherapy hand massages, and a group photo of participants dressed in red to honor the day.


"I didn't realize until today how women are different than men when it comes to heart disease," said Elizabeth Carman as she surveyed a table full of heart health information and giveaways. "I'm glad I came, and I will definitely be paying more attention to what I eat in the future to stay heart healthy."


Wells is already planning for Go Red 2017. She hopes UK HealthCare staff will contribute their heart-healthy recipes to a cookbook or even a bake-off to see who can make the tastiest healthy treats.


"Nothing would make me happier than to see our women commit to healthier living," Wells said. "We are role models for our spouses, our children, and our peers, and we must learn to put our health first for our own sake and as a model for those who love us, admire us, and/or work with us."





MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare,

UK Partnership Will Prepare STEAM Students for Geosciences Careers

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) — A new partnership between the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) in the College of Arts and Sciences, UK College of Education and STEAM Academy will prepare a diverse population of high school students for careers in geosciences. The program is being funded by a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is expected to begin fall 2016.


"Many high school students don't realize they can make a living studying rocks, and that it's not just rocks — we study water resources, energy, natural hazards, environmental issues and even focus on community planning," said Rebecca Freeman, principal investigator (PI) on the NSF proposal and EES assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies.


Through field work, hands-on activities and new curriculum, the "Full STEAM Ahead" program will expose all STEAM students to four career options in the geosciences during their first two years of high school. Interested students can continue the program with a semester-long internship in EES laboratories during their sophomore year. Students can then transition into a "geoscience career pathway" through dual-credit EES courses on the UK campus during their junior and senior years, while continuing a customized curriculum at the STEAM Academy.


"It's a great opportunity to partner together, to package our STEM curriculum with UK's deep content expertise in geosciences, which we would never have access to on our own," said Justin Bathon, a UK College of Education associate professor who provides leadership to the STEAM Academy as the college’s director of innovative school models.


Bathon along with EES Associate Professor Alan Fryar and Pioneer Natural Resources Professor Michael McGlue are co-PIs on the NSF grant and will help lead the program.


"Because there are not a lot of geoscience courses in high school, it doesn't get reinforced systematically; students often don't know how to make a career track out of it," Fryar said.


At the same time, the need for geoscientists is growing and a workforce shortage is approaching. To address this, the "Full STEAM Ahead" program will not only aim to attract more students into the field, but also more diverse students, a challenge geosciences has dealt with for years.


The program will particularly focus on recruiting underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and others, and easing their transition from high school to college. Of approximately 340 students, minority students represent 42 percent and students with free/reduced lunch represent 40 percent of STEAM's student population.


"We’re hoping to make life easier for other groups who may have obstacles in pursuing a STEM education or career path," said Freeman, who noted her own obstacles as a woman in geosciences. 




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