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UK Alum's 'BrownGirl. Bluegrass.' Returns to Lyric for Final Performances

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:58

 

Lacresha Denise Berry talks about her one-woman whow "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center is set to bring back University of Kentucky theatre alumna and playwright Lacresha Denise Berry for her final performances of “BrownGirl. Bluegrass.” Music only from the show will be performed Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and the entire show will be presented Oct. 2.

         

Berry's show is an autobiographical story that looks at the cultural history of African Americans in Kentucky while honoring the work of her ancestors whose lives parallel with her own. "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is a one-woman show with seven original songs that evoke ideas of womanhood, family, love and race.

 

Berry, a Kentucky native, used her hometown of Lexington for more than just inspiration for her story. She conducted her own research at the UK Libraries' Archives to discover important African Americans in Lexington, such as Oliver Lewis, the jockey who won the first Kentucky Derby; Lucy Harth Smith, a pioneer who worked for equality in public schools; and Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin, an activist who was shot encouraging African Americans to vote.

 

In addition to her performances, Berry will be visiting local schools during her visit, as she seeks to give youth a voice who are struggling to find their own and to inspire confidence in their everyday life.

 

Lacresha Denise Berry visits Lexington schools leading up to her fall performances of "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." at the Lyric. 

 

To date, Berry has captivated the minds and hearts of over 1,300 audience members with "BrownGirl. Bluegrass."

 

Show times for the music only performances of "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." at the Lyric are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The following day the full production of the show will be presented at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Performances are pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $10.

 

This show will be the last of "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." in Lexington, so don’t miss the last chance to enjoy this inspiring and entertaining performance from a Lexington native.

 

For more information on this production, visit www.lexingtonlyric.com/event.php?id=740.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Officials Release Year-Two Report of CATS Safety Survey

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) — As part of its commitment to transparency and continuous improvement in campus safety, University of Kentucky officials have released an executive summary of the 2016 Campus Attitudes Toward Safety (CATS) survey. This summary provides results from the second year of a five year commitment by UK President Eli Capilouto and the endowed faculty of the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women (CRVAW) to assess student perceptions and experiences regarding violence and/or harassment while attending UK. 

 

“This is important work for the University of Kentucky, and our campus has been a leader on this issue for more than 10 years. We’re home to the Green Dot Program, we initiated our first climate survey several years ago, and now we’ve conducted the second year of the campuswide CATS climate survey,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “We entered into this task of data collection and analysis with the goal of listening to our students and acting on their feedback about the things we do well and where we have work to do. This is an intentional, constant improvement process, and we’ve made progress since the first survey, but our second year of data collection indicate that there is more work we must do in creating a safe and supportive environment for reporting, raising awareness about sexual assault, and providing support for victim survivors.”

 

Funded by the UK President’s Office, Capilouto and the endowed faculty at CRVAW initiated the first CATS survey in the spring of 2015, which revealed that more than 90 percent of UK students believe the UK campus is safe, but that too many remain reluctant to report sexual assaults. The 2016 survey produced similar results, with nearly 98 percent of students reporting feeling safe on campus during the day, and over 88 percent reporting they feel campus authorities are fair in their responses to reports of sexual assault. However, it’s clear that use of alcohol and other substances remain a factor in cases of sexual assault as 19 percent reported witnessing events where they suspected a person under the influence was being led away for sex. 

 

View the 2016 CATS Executive Summary.

 

UK continues to use data from both surveys — among the most in-depth regarding safety in American higher education — to address student safety issues.

 

Read more: UK Officials Make Recommendations to Address Student Safety.

   

Following on the release of this data, the Office of the President and CRVAW will host the second annual CATS conference — “Assessing Campus Climate: Higher Education’s Challenges, Strategies, and Adjudication Issues” — this Friday, Sept. 30. While last year’s conference focused primarily on institutions in Kentucky, this year’s will extend to regional colleges and universities that are interested in these topics. To address this timely issue and to promote strategies for institutions to understand issues surrounding campus safety, climate, and violence, this conference will offer panels to promote information exchange and discussion of relevant topics. Representatives from both public and independent institutions will be participating in these panels that will cover topics including: senior administration perspectives, barriers and challenges for initiating a campus climate survey, strategies for utilizing survey results, and adjudication issues.

 

“Most universities and colleges are currently somewhere in the process of either considering a campus climate survey, developing one, or implementing one,” said Diane Follingstad, director of CRVAW. “We are excited to bring together interested parties from more than 19 institutions to promote the implementation of this type of assessment on campuses as well as to suggest policy and program changes that may be warranted based on survey results.”

 

About CATS

The development of CATS occurred through partnerships with the UK President's Office, UK Police DepartmentUniversity Health Service (UHS)Student AffairsLegal Counsel, and the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center. All UK students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) are required to complete CATS as part of their class registration process. The confidential survey consists of several sections that ask questions about students' beliefs, opinions and knowledge of various topics concerning personal safety and the social environments of the university followed by their report of adverse interpersonal experiences over the past year.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

Cats Got the Vote

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:39

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) — It’s election year! University of Kentucky's Student Activities Board (SAB) and Student Government Association (UKSGA) have teamed up to present Cats Got the Vote with Judah and the Lion and special guest The Lonely Biscuits! Tonight at 7 p.m., in Memorial Hall, students have the opportunity to enjoy free live music, T-shirts and stickers as they register to vote (while supplies last).

 

"I couldn't be more excited to be hosting Cats Got the Vote with SGA," said Jeff Loflin, SAB director of Concerts. "This event gives students the opportunity to vote while listening to a free concert with Judah and the Lion!"

 

Voting is very important and some students may not know what to do when it comes to registering to vote during college. Those who partake in this event will not only be able to register, but they will learn all about the ins and outs of voting while catching a few tunes. Students will also hear from Stephen Voss, of UK's Department of Political Science, about the importance of voting and civic engagement.

 

"While college students must live with the decisions our politicians make for the longest amount of time, college students are significantly underrepresented in the pool of registered voters that elects those politicians,” said Todd Montgomery, SGA Senate president. “Operations like Cats Got the Vote are critical to ensuring that student voices are heard."

 

SAB brings more than 60 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community.
 

Connect with SAB at www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKSAB, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB/. For more information about SAB and events, email publicrelations@uksab.org.

 

The mission of the UKSGA is to represent all undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled at the university. UKSGA exists to increase student influence over academic policy, provide necessary student services, protect and expand student substantive and procedural rights, and to better represent the student body in relations with the faculty, administration, Board of Trustees and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

SAB CONTACT: Kaelin Massey, publicrelations@uksab.org, 859-257-8868

 

SGA CONTACT: Blair Johnson, SGA director of communications, uksgacommunications@gmail.com

 

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

Campus Partners Celebrate Resident Appreciation Week

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016)  This week at the University of Kentucky, Campus Housing, Residence Life, UK Dining and the UK Bookstore will host Resident Appreciation Week. The week will be packed with activities including three cookouts complete with free food, giveaways, a DJ and, in some cases, inflatables. Students are encouraged to bring their friends and have a great time.

 

The cookout locations are as follows:

 

Tuesday, Sept. 27: 5-7 p.m. Woodland Glen Courtyard

Wednesday, Sept. 28: 5-7 p.m. Outside Blazer Dining

Thursday, Sept. 29: 5-7 p.m. Haggin Courtyard outside K-Lair


The Living On Campus application for the 2017-2018 school year is now live. Students who apply now will get to participate in room selection starting as early as Nov. 1. Returning students can apply for any residence hall on campus, including University Flats. This brand new residence hall will feature two- and four-bedroom apartments. University Flats apartments will be equipped with a full kitchen, therefore, there will be no meal plan requirement.

 

For more information and to apply to live on campus, visit uky.edu/housing.

 

 

UK is the  University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Taking Nominations for 2017 'Top Innovator' Supply Chain Award

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) Submissions are now being accepted for the 2017 Commonwealth Supply Chain Innovation Award competition, sponsored by SAS. This award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated operational excellence in supply chain management as evidenced in a recently completed supply chain improvement project.

 

The 2016 winner of what is fast becoming a coveted salute was Tempur Sealy International. The award is administered by the advisory committee of the Supply Chain Forum. It will be presented at the forum on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in the Woodford Reserve Club at the University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium.

 

This year’s nomination process has been streamlined, making it very easy to enter. Candidates must submit a 250-300 word description of their projects. Finalists chosen from the initial round will be notified, and will then present more extensive project descriptions. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit http://gatton.uky.edu/executive-education/professional-development/supply-chain-forum/commonwealth-supply-chain-innovation.

 

An effective supply chain is a key component to business success, ensuring a product or service moves efficiently from supplier to customer.

 

"It’s an exciting time to be in the supply chain industry, and it’s especially exciting to honor one of our companies for their innovative work in the field with the Commonwealth Supply Chain Innovation Award,” said David W. Blackwell, dean of the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics. “It’s great to see the inventive ways companies are enhancing their supply chain processes to not only improve customer service, but return on investment. I look forward to seeing all the entries this year."

 

The forum, which is hosted by the Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center within the Gatton College, is now in its seventh year. The theme for the upcoming forum is "Managing Supply Chain Risks."

 

For any questions regarding the upcoming Supply Chain Forum or the 2017 Commonwealth Supply Chain Innovation Award, contact Lucy Tepper, conference coordinator, at 859-257-8746, or email lucy.tepper@uky.edu.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit  uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, carl.nathe@uky.edu, 859-257-3200; Ann Mary Quarandillo, annmary.q@uky.edu, 859-257-0750

UK Summit to SPARK Interest of Entrepreneurs, Investors Oct. 14

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) The Kentucky Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Summit, sponsored by SPARK and the Kentucky Angel Investors Network, will hold an educational and networking event at the University of Kentucky Oct. 14. This event is tailored to interested investors and entrepreneurs.

 

The summit will take place from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, in the Woodford Reserve Club at Commonwealth Stadium. The event will include presentations from trusted local service providers, investors and representatives of angel and venture capital groups from Louisville, Lexington, Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Covington, Ashland and Cincinnati, as well as nationally renowned author Alejandro Cremades.

 

Cremades is the co-founder and executive chairman of Onevest, an investment crowdfunding site for startups for entrepreneurs to raise capital from investors. Cremades is also the author of the best-selling book, "The Art of Startup Fundraising."

 

“We are very excited to have such a nationally recognized speaker as Alejandro featured during the summit, as well as a wide representation from the regional angel and venture capital community,” said Warren Nash, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship within UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics, and director of the Kentucky Angel Investors Network.  

 

Tickets for the Kentucky Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Summit are on sale now for $100. Admission includes breakfast, lunch and a free book by Cremades. Tickets can be purchased until Oct. 14 online here.

 

In conjunction with the summit, Geeks Night Out (GNO), organized by Commerce Lexington, will be presented from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at HopCat, located at 419 West Short St. This event will include an Open Mic Pitch Competition and a book signing by Cremades.

 

Eric Hartman, the new director of the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, pointed out, “The Open Mic concept is something new we are trying with this GNO. We encourage community entrepreneurs to take advantage of this fun addition to a great event.”

 

Admission to GNO is free and open to the public. 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kathryn Macon, kathryn.macon@uky.edu, 859-257-8716; Carl Nathe, carl.nathe@uky.edu, 859-257-3200

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kathryn Macon, kathryn.macon@uky.edu, 859-257-8716; Carl Nathe, carl.nathe@uky.edu, 859-257-3200.

UK College of Dentistry Introduces Craniofacial Genetics Externship

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 09:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) – The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry has expanded its continuing education options to include a flexible, one month to one year, externship in craniofacial genetics. This opportunity is designed to benefit individuals interested in expanding their understanding of clinical craniofacial genetics, and its application to clinical care and research, as well as faculty seeking a sabbatical experience.

 

The externship emphasizes clinical craniofacial, oral and dental genetics; and how molecular genetics can be applied to the diagnosis and study of these conditions. Participants will gain experiences in a broad range of topics in clinical craniofacial genetics, including craniofacial, oral and dental anomalies, disorders and diseases.

 

Opportunities are available to learn how to evaluate patients for diagnosis, clinical testing and research studies in the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs Cleft Lip & Palate/Craniofacial Anomalies Clinics, the Delta Dental Research Clinic and the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases Hereditary Genetics/Genomics Core within the College of Dentistry; as well as observation rotations in the College of Medicine with Dr. Stephen Amato, director of the Division of Genetics and Metabolism; and Dr. Sivakumaran Theru Arumugam, director of the Clinical Molecular and Genomic Pathology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

 

“In this time, when precision medicine is on the rise and fast-paced technology breakthroughs are enabling the discovery of key genetic components in normal development and disease, dental professionals often lack good educational resources for the genetic conditions affecting their patients, and/or they lack the know-how of when or to whom to refer their patients for a clinical genetics evaluation, testing, and follow-up,” said Dr. James Hartsfield, a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Craniofacial Genetics Externship Director and UK College of Dentistry E. Preston Hicks Endowed Professor in Orthodontics and Oral Health Research. “Our externship aims to target these needs so that dental professionals can offer the best overall care to their patients; and current or future academic professionals can acquire the knowledge in this field to teach future practitioners.”

 

Participation may be tailored to fit an individual’s background in clinical and basic genetics, area of particular interest and overall length of participation time. Completion of the externship results in a continuing education certificate in Craniofacial Genetics from the University of Kentucky.

 

For more information on the College of Dentistry’s Craniofacial Genetics externship, visit https://dentistry.uky.edu/craniofacial-genetics or contact Dr. James Hartsfield at James.Hartsfield@uky.edu.

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

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Big Blue Madness Campout Begins Wednesday

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 17:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016) – Fans looking to secure tickets to Big Blue Madness in person at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions may begin camping out at 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

 

No tents are permitted to be set up prior to 5 a.m. on Wednesday at either designated camping locations or the areas surrounding Memorial Coliseum. Any fans who set up tents prior to the designated move-in time will be instructed to take them down immediately and tents left unattended are subject to removal.

 

Additionally, sidewalks must be kept clear for pedestrians, and all chairs should be moved to the side of the sidewalk farthest from the road.

 

As a reminder, to support regular campus operations and to facilitate student pedestrian routes to and from class – which have been affected due to surrounding campus construction – space will be limited to fans wishing to line up ahead of time for tickets. More information can be found at this link.

 

Fans are highly encouraged to use Ticketmaster.com to obtain tickets, though UK Athletics cannot guarantee fans will receive tickets either by lining up or going online. Tickets will be available on Friday at 10 p.m.

 

Big Blue Madness, the first open practice opportunity for UK’s 2016-17 men’s and women’s basketball teams, is Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. It will also air live on the SEC Network.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Guy Ramsey, guy.ramsey@uky.edu, 859-257-3838

Professor's Math Education Blog Provides Important Teaching and Learning Resources

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 16:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) — A University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences math professor is founding editor-in-chief of a math education blog for the American Mathematical Society focused on providing mathematicians with commentary and resources regarding teaching and learning.

 

“My reason for starting the blog was to provide a source of high-quality information regarding mathematics teaching and learning for members of the American Mathematical Society, given that there are currently many changes taking place in mathematics education at the postsecondary level,” said Ben Braun, associate professor of mathematics.

 

Launched in June 2014, the blog has received more than 190,000 unique page views and currently has an editorial board of seven mathematicians located across the U.S. The blog focuses on postsecondary and pre-K –12 education, and explores issues that affect both high- and low-achieving students as well as issues that affect students who are minoritized in their mathematical communities.

 

The most shared article on the blog is about using unsolved math problems as homework in Braun’s upper-division UK math courses. Last fall, Braun co-authored a six-part series on active learning methods in mathematics education. The six-part series was developed collaboratively by Braun, Priscilla Bremser at Middlebury College, Art Duval at University of Texas at El Paso, Elise Lockwood at Oregon State University, and Diana White at University of Colorado Denver. Other UK contributors to the blog have included mathematics and STEM education double-major Morgan Mattingly, who wrote about her experience in a problem solving course, and Professor of Mathematics Carl Lee, who wrote about the importance of personal context and informal education for mathematics students.

 

Braun is an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics at the University of Kentucky, where he holds the Wimberly and Betty Royster Research Professorship. His mathematical research is in geometric and algebraic combinatorics, and he is active in mentoring graduate and undergraduate research students. Braun's scholarly interests in teaching and learning include active learning, using writing in mathematics courses, pre-service teacher education, pedagogical use of the history of mathematics, and connections between mathematics education and educational psychology. He serves as a member-at-large on the American Mathematical Society Committee on Education and as the editor-in-chief of the American Mathematical Society blog On Teaching and Learning Mathematics.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Launches Energy Conservation Program

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 15:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) — On July 1, 2016, the University of Kentucky launched an energy conservation program to reduce energy costs and conserve natural resources.

 

The program is a partnership with Cenergistic Inc., a leading energy conservation company with over 30 years of experience helping educational organizations nationwide optimize energy consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Cenergistic with an Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the past eight years.

 

"This program will improve building energy efficiency and optimization on campus, allowing us to maximize our investments and realize energy savings that can be aligned with the institution’s strategic initiatives," said UK Vice President for Facilities Management Mary Vosevich.

 

The program does not require the university to increase its utility budget, purchase new energy equipment or upgrade existing equipment. Instead, Cenergistic engineers will work on-site with Facilities Management employees to monitor energy usage in campus facilities, find conservation opportunities and implement energy savings strategies.

 

While energy usage patterns may change; employees, students and visitors should not experience discomfort in campus buildings during occupied hours. This comprehensive, rigorous and sustainable energy program will help conserve resources and reduce energy costs.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

Information Session Explores Language/Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 13:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards will host an information session on language/study abroad programs. The session, which will include information on the Boren Scholarship, Boren Fellowship and the Critical Language Scholarship, will begin 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the William T. Young Library Alumni Gallery.

 

The Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), provides funding for undergraduates to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Scholarship recipients must work in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

 

Additionally, NSEP offers the Boren Fellowship, which provides funding to graduate students who are looking to study languages in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Like recipients of the Boren Scholarship, Boren Fellows are also be expected to work in the federal government for at least a year.

 

Also being discussed at the information session is the Critical Language Scholarship Program, a program that provides intensive language instruction for less commonly taught languages during an eight- to 10-week program in the summer. The CLS Program is also part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.

 

Spaces are limited for this information session. Students interested in attending should register at https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7OjvDcArAx4nstn.  

 

Part of the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Student and Academic Life at UK, the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the office's director, Pat Whitlow, well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

Kentucky Cancer Registry Uses Power of Data to Fight Disease

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 12:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) – When most people think of the "fight against cancer," mental images of doctors counseling patients or white-coated researchers looking through a microscope often come to mind.

 

However, clinicians and researchers across the country wouldn't be able to make major strides forward in cancer care without the critical information provided by cancer registries.

 

In the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) has been dedicated to providing medical personnel with valuable cancer data for 30 years. Originally beginning as a voluntary reporting system in 1986, the KCR has grown into a robust, unique registry that catalogs uniform data on approximately 29,000 cases of cancer occurring in Kentucky citizens each year.

 

KCR was selected in 2000 to join the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, a group considered to be among the most accurate and complete population-based cancer registries in the world. KCR is currently one of only 17 SEER cancer registries in the country.

 

Housed at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the registry is overseen by Director Thomas Tucker, who also serves as associate director for cancer prevention and control at Markey. Tucker has been working with the surveillance program since its inception, an era when cases were mailed to the registry via paper forms and manually edited.

 

"The Kentucky Cancer Registry has evolved quite a bit over the years," Tucker said. “In the beginning, if data errors were found, we had to go back to the source hospital and pull the patient's chart a second time to correct the errors. Now, cases are entered directly from the chart into a state-of-the-art computer program and hundreds of edits are automatically run to ensure data accuracy while the chart is open and being abstracted.”

 

Tucker also noted that registry data standards have change over time as cancer experts' understanding of the disease has progressed.

 

"Even how we define cancer changes as our knowledge and understanding of the disease evolves," he said. "For example, the way we define and classify hematopoietic cancers has changed significantly in the past 10 years.”

 

Using a sophisticated informatics method called Natural Language Processing, the KCR now receives pathology reports in real time from all of the pathology labs that see histologic material from Kentucky cancer patients. Many patients have no time to waste in pursuing their best option for treatment. That's where the real-time pathology reports become especially important, says Eric Durbin, director of cancer informatics for KCR.

 

"For example, in late stage lung cancer patients, median survival time is between eight and nine months," Durbin said. "If you're going to recruit those patients into a study, you have to get to them quickly. Using the electronic pathology reporting for patients seen at the University of Kentucky, we know about their cancer diagnosis almost at the same time as their physician. It gives us an opportunity to reach out to those patients and determine if they're interested in enrolling in a trial."

 

In addition to providing data on cancer patients, the KCR also serves as a "virtual population-based tissue repository." By keeping track of electronic pathology reports for every cancer patient, KCR is able to locate the tissue taken from patients at the time of their surgery or biopsy. These tissues can be invaluable for specific research projects. 

 

Though tissue repositories exist across the country, the KCR is unique in that its data is truly population-based.

 

"This process allows us to generalize the findings from individual studies to the underlying population, and that dramatically elevates the science." Tucker said.

 

KCR is one of five other registries in the country to receive funding from the National Cancer Institute to develop the process behind using a registry as a virtual population-based tissue repository.

 

The registry has grown tremendously since its launch. In 1986, only about 60 percent of Kentucky hospitals were voluntarily reporting their cancer cases. In1990, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law making KCR the official population-based cancer surveillance program for the state and mandating reporting to the system. The KCR has been recognized for its completeness, accuracy and timeliness on a national level, including being one of only six U.S. population-based registries to earn a gold certification from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries every year since the certification program was initiated in 1997.

 

The registry has played an important role in aiding researchers and clinicians throughout Kentucky, and Tucker says it will continue to be a major part of the cancer center's efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in the state.

 

"If you can't see where incidence is occurring, you can't allocate resources to address the problem, and you won't be able to see if your efforts to reduce the cancer burden are being effective," Tucker said. "The registry is the eyes of our public health effort to control the cancer burden in the Commonwealth.”

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

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

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Confucius Institute Launches Student Ambassador Program

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 11:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) The University of Kentucky’s Confucius Institute is now offering a student ambassador program as an opportunity for students to get involved and help represent the best of what the Confucius Institute has to offer. Student ambassadors will promote events and programs, strengthen relationships between communities through Chinese cultural outreach at UK, and provide support from CI to UK students, faculty and staff. Also, UKCI Student Ambassadors will enjoy the priority in the selection process for scholarships to visit China for two weeks with UKCI’s Young Leaders trip next summer.

 

The Confucius Institute at UK is a center for Chinese language, art, culture and business. The institute is a gateway from the university to China and offers many faculty and student exchange programs.

 

The new student ambassador program is a great way to develop and strengthen leadership and cross-cultural communication skills as well as gain valuable work experience that would be helpful on a résumé. In order to be considered for an ambassador position, applicants must be a full-time student with at least a 3.0 GPA, actively attend meetings and sponsored events, and commit to the role and responsibilities for a year.

 

Students interested in applying for a UKCI ambassador position, should submit the following:  

· an online completed application form;

· a letter of recommendation, preferably from a faculty or staff member; and

· a signed code of conduct.

 

The online application form and recommendations, as well as the signed code of conduct, must be submitted by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, to Grace Dai at jda242@g.uky.edu.

 

For more information on the UK Confucius Institute student ambassador program, contact Grace Dai at jda242@g.uky.edu or 859-323-3392. 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

 

Johnson, Latterman Ranked Among Top Knee Surgeons by Orthopedics This Week

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 10:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) — Drs. Darren Johnson and Christian Latterman, both professors in the University of Kentucky Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, have been ranked as two of the “16 Standout North American Sports Knee Surgeons” by the publication Orthopedics This Week, the most widely read publication in the Orthopedics industry.

 

“I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized at this level. I have always strived to provide the best care to the patients I serve," said Johnson who has been working at UK since 1993 and serves as chair of the department. “This could not be accomplished without those that I work with in my department including colleagues and partners, residents and fellows, athletic training staff as well as our overall staff support in the clinic and operating room.”

 

Latterman who was also included in the ranking serves as director for cartilage repair and restoration. “This honor is the result of hard work towards the orthopaedic mission at the University of Kentucky," he said. "As a physician scientist I am particularly happy to be included in this list of outstanding sports medicine physicians.”

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

 

'Ragtime' Opens UK Opera Theatre Season

Sun, 09/25/2016 - 21:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016) University of Kentucky Opera Theatre opens their 2016-17 season with the Tony Award-winning musical "Ragtime." The musical will take the stage Oct. 6-9, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

 

"Ragtime" is a compelling musical capturing the American experience in turn-of-the-20th-century New York, tracking three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream. Over the course of the show, the worlds of a wealthy white couple, a Jewish immigrant father and his motherless daughter, and an African-American ragtime musician intertwine. Together, they discover the surprising interconnections of the human heart. This musical sweeps across the diversity of the nation to create a stirring epic that captures the beats of the American experience: the marches, the cakewalks and, of course, the ragtime.

 

The “Ragtime” curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 6-9, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Tickets range from $38-$45. Discounted tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are available exclusively through the Singletary Center ticket office. To purchase tickets, visit online at www.SCFATickets.com, call 859-257-4929, or in person at the venue

 

In addition, UK alumni may also get a $5 discount on tickets purchased during Homecoming week Oct. 1-9. To take advantage of this special offer, alumni should go to www.SCFATickets.com, pick the performance of "Ragtime" they plan to attend, and when choosing their desired seats select the "Alumni Homecoming” price code from the dropdown menu. Push the “Add Tickets” button and enter password “HOMECOMING” to receive your $5 discount. This special ticket offer is also available in person at the Singletary Center ticket office and by phone at 859-257-4929. UK Alumni Homecoming ticket promotion only applies to full-price adult tickets and may not be combined with any other ticket discounts. Additional ticket processing fees apply at purchase.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

Call for Transformation of Education in Kentucky

Sun, 09/25/2016 - 18:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016) The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky and the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Next Generation Leadership Academy are launching a statewide effort to galvanize schools, businesses and communities to quickly and effectively transform Kentucky’s public schools into systems that promote deeper learning.

 

Most Kentucky students still experience public education as it was originally designed over 120 years ago. Though changes are occurring, they continue to be in isolated pockets of the Commonwealth and are dependent upon the courage and initiative of individual teachers and leaders rather than as part of a cohesive, system-wide effort. Together, these two organizations are heading up a movement and calling upon educators from Paducah to Pikeville to transform the way they think about educating their students. 

 

“The goal here is systemic change,” said Barbara Bellissimo, executive director of The Fund. "We’re creating a grassroots movement to innovate our public education system to benefit all students. This is a matter of equity — a moral imperative.”

 

“It’s about driving changes that promote real world, meaningful learning experiences for our kids — experiences that are just as intentional about those skills essential for success like perseverance, problem solving, collaboration and communication — as they are about content — and a very personalized approach,” said UK College of Education faculty member Carmen Coleman, who co-directs the college’s Next Generation Leadership Academy.

 

The Call for Transformation will be launched with a weeklong visit from Ted Dintersmith, co-author and producer of the documentary "Most Likely to Succeed." After completing a 50-state tour with the film, Dintersmith recently named Kentucky one of five states showing the most potential to make bold progress in the next two years and reset the way America thinks about education.

 

Dintersmith will meet with various stakeholders utilizing messages from the film to spark innovative ideas that can be implemented in communities across the state.

 

On Sept. 27, the campus community is invited to a screening of “Most Likely to Succeed” at the Taylor Education Building. On Sept. 28, Dintersmith will address Kentucky school leaders attending the UK College of Education’s Next Generation Leadership Academy in a keynote.

 

“The innovations Ted Dintersmith is promoting are exactly what we help schools implement through the college’s Next Gen Academy,” Coleman said. “And, just as we promote in the Next Gen Academy, Ted suggests that our system of schooling is obsolete in many, many ways and that we are far beyond the need for incremental improvements. Instead, we believe, as he does, that we need a transformation — a completely new approach, and it’s a goal that we believe is within reach of our schools. One transformative project is often an entry point to systemic innovation.”

 

Launch week is only the first step in the movement. More details will be released as communities define and begin implementing their projects, but all materials and processes will be shared in an online collaboration space.

 

Schedule of "Most Likely to Succeed" Kentucky film screenings (open to media)

10 a.m., Sept. 26 – Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, Richmond.

3 p.m., Sept. 27 – University of Kentucky, Taylor Education Building Auditorium, Lexington.

8:30 a.m., Sept. 28 – University of Kentucky College of Education Next Generation Leadership Academy session at the Elkhorn Crossing School, 2020 Frankfort Pike, Georgetown.*

5 p.m., Sept. 29 – Hilary’s at Treece Hall, Bellarmine University, Louisville.

 

* denotes Dintersmith keynote and film screening

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

VIDEO: How UK Helped Prepare Chad Yelton for His Dream Job

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 15:28

 

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. Special thanks to the Cincinnati Zoo for some of the video used in this production. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016) — When you walk into the office of Chad Yelton, vice president of communications and marketing at the Cincinnati Zoo, you might just think you are back on the other side of the Ohio River in the Bluegrass State.

 

His University of Kentucky cups, signs and paperweights fill his office, which is tucked away from the crowds at the zoo. 

 

The UK alumnus, who is originally from the Northern Kentucky area, entered the professional workforce in 1997 at the Cincinnati Zoo and has worked his way up the ladder to his current role. 

 

We recently had a chat with Yelton about what his job is like and memories of his alma mater.

 

UK: What is the typical day like in your position?

 

Chad Yelton (CH): My favorite part about my job is there are no typical days. The Cincinnati Zoo is the number one year-round family attraction in the region. Over 1.6 million people visit the zoo each year. It's exciting for me that so many people travel from Lexington. Each year, we do media tours where we bring animals to Lexington TV and radio stations to promote the zoo.  

 

UK: How did you go from being a UK graduate to your current position?

 

CH: My courses in marketing, advertising and integrated strategic communication set a great foundation for my career. I also was fortunate to get an internship with Host Communications where I sold advertising, compiled stats and interviewed players for the basketball and football game day programs. After my internship, I returned home to Northern Kentucky and became the media specialist for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. After 19 years, I am now the vice president of marketing and communications at the zoo.

 

What is the best part of your job?

CH: I truly love my job. How many people can really say that? I have the privilege of working with some of the best and most passionate people. I'm around some of the rarest and endangered animals in the world. I've had the privilege of traveling to exotic places, meeting celebrities and athletes, and witnessing the births of so many animals just to name a few of my highlights.

 

UK: What is the most challenging aspect of your position?  

 

CH: Not having enough time to tell every story. 

 

UK: You sometimes have to deal with international media events as VP of marketing and communications. How do you draw up on your education experience during those times? 

 

CH: The University of Kentucky did a great job preparing me for life. I've certainly put my education experience to the test during my long career at the zoo. From the creative writing classes to communication courses to advertising projects, I'm living my college days on a daily basis.

 

UK: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

 

CH: Making a difference at one of the oldest nonprofits in Cincinnati. I get to witness so much joy on the faces of the hundreds of thousands of children that visit the zoo every year. Last week, a hospice patient said her dying wish was getting to see some of the animals up close. We were able to bring her and a few of her friends to the zoo and give her a special experience.

 

UK: Do you have kids? If so, what do they think about their dad working at the zoo?

 

CH: Yes, I have three kids — Abby (15), Maggie (12) and Jack (10). They love it. I used to visit their elementary school for career day with a penguin and my kids were like rock stars. They also looked forward to the annual "take your child to work day." While their friends were spending the day in some boring office cubicle, my kids were feeding animals, riding the train, setting up for concerts and going to radio and TV studios.

 

UK: What zoo animal is most interesting to you and why?

 

CH: I would say giraffes. My office is approximately 100 feet from the Giraffe Ridge exhibit. I've also been fortunate to witness these amazing animals in Kenya and Tanzania. Recently, I have seen several births. In 2013, we won an American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year Award for live tweeting a giraffe birth.

 

UK: How did UK prepare you for your career?

 

CH: My entire UK experience prepared me for my career. I would do it all over in a second. I had great professors and great courses. 

 

UK: What is your favorite UK memory?

 

CH: Of course UK basketball is a big part of my memory. I was on campus when we won the 1996 National Championship. I was at the game in Indianapolis when we were runner-up in 1997. I also loved playing on the Club Volleyball team, my dorm at Holmes Hall, sledding on Nicholasville Road during a snowstorm, mud volleyball, Two Keys and Tolly Ho.

 

UK: What is the best piece of advice you would give to current UK students?

 

CH: In 2014, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The best piece of advice I was given before I went was "enjoy the journey, not just the top of the mountain." So, I will pass that advice on to current UK students. Enjoy the entire college experience. Don't just focus on graduation day and getting a job. Enjoy all the little moments like learning to live on your own, learning how to cook, pay bills, getting to class on time, etc. Enjoy everything that is UK. 

 

Watch the video above to discover how UK helped prepare him for what he calls “the best job in the world.” This video is part of a new bi-monthly UKNow series. We want to tell “see blue.” stories about our alumni to show how the University of Kentucky prepares students to succeed after graduation. 

 

If you know of any UK alumni who should be featured, please email us. We might choose your suggestion for our next “see blue.” alumni story on UKNow. 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK Career Center Aids Career Advancements of International Students

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 15:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016)  Like any other University of Kentucky upperclassman, international students studying in the Big Blue Nation will soon begin making plans for either graduate school or employment. Awareness and information are the keys to successfully planning ahead at this crucial time.

 

Students considering work in their field of study after graduation should attend one of the workshops hosted by International Student and Scholar Services. These workshops will give international students all the information they need to know about the Optional Practical Training (OPT) application process, regulations and expectations.

 

Upcoming OPT Workshops are scheduled the following dates at Bradley Hall, room 207:

· 2:30 p.m., Oct. 4;

· 10 a.m., Oct. 28; 

· 1:30 p.m., Nov. 14; and 

· 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

 

Seats can be reserved by signing up through iCAT. Workshops can be found under the Session Sign-ups menu, and selecting the OPT Workshops.

 

For students who are not sure exactly what they want to do upon graduation, or even if they are sure and just need help updating a resume and/or getting ready for that big interview, the James W. Stuckert Career Center is an indispensable resource. Students can schedule an appointment with the Stuckert Career Center on its website or alternatively drop in for a 15-minute session 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

UK Ag Scientist Wagner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:57

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Sept. 27, 2016) A life spent in discovery was recognized recently when the Tobacco Science Research Conference presented University of Kentucky Professor Emeritus George Wagner with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its 70th annual conference in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

 

From his laboratory in the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center (KTRDC), Wagner has been a global leader in unlocking the mysteries of tobacco, making major contributions in the areas of cadmium accumulation, trichome gum studies and the discovery of anti-fungal peptides. The UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment professor has focused on many research topics that have commercial potential, pushing for his discoveries to be tested in field trials, so that others could profit from his work.

 

Wagner spent years studying the pesticidal properties of trichomes, small outgrowths on the surface of tobacco leaves. In the process, he and then doctoral student Ryan Shepherd discovered that sGSTs, or short glandular secreting trichomes, produce a protein that appears to protect the plant against major fungal diseases, such as blue mold and a number of major diseases of turfgrasses. Believing the growing organic sector and the turfgrass industry could benefit from his tobacco research, Wagner began PhylloTech, a company based in Kentucky and Wisconsin, to develop new, natural fungicides derived from that substance.

 

Retirement has not slowed Wagner. He continues his research in a post-retirement capacity. He has a keen desire to keep his scientific inquiries moving forward in a way that will positively impact the tobacco industry.

 

“George continues to have an impact on our tobacco research community through his extensive knowledge and his willingness to provide advice and to mentor other tobacco scientists, including me and the many students, post-docs and tobacco researchers he has worked with over the years,” said Orlando Chambers, KTRDC managing director. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone as uniquely qualified and experienced as George is to help steer our tobacco research programs.”

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324; cspence@uky.edu

UK's Gluck Center Develops Novel Test for Equine Arteritis Virus

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016)   The University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center has developed a novel test to determine the likelihood of a long-term equine arteritis virus (EAV) carrier state in stallions.

 

Gluck Center faculty members Professor Udeni Balasuriya, Professor Ernie Bailey and Peter Timoney, Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science, within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, developed the test to determine the genetic basis of a specific haplotype, a group of genes inherited from one parent. Their work was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant.

 

Outbreaks of equine viral arteritis, which is caused by the virus, may result in significant economic losses to the equine industry due to pregnancy loss in mares, death in young foals and establishment of the carrier state in stallions. The virus is maintained in the equine population between breeding seasons by persisting in the carrier stallion.

 

“It is gratifying to see how Drs. Balasuriya and Bailey’s work has led not only to a better understanding of the nature of persistence of this important disease, but also to a test that can help identify those animals at risk for persistent infection,” said David Horohov, chair of the Department of Veterinary Science, director of the Gluck Equine Research Center and Jes E. and Clementine M. Schlaikjer Endowed Chair.

 

Stallions possessing the susceptible haplotype, consisting of four specific nucleotide changes in the CXCL16 gene, are more likely to remain long-term carriers of the virus in their reproductive tract than horses that possess the resistant haplotype. Stallions that are resistant initially shed the virus in their semen following infection but in most cases cleared the virus from the reproductive tract within months following infection. Stallions possessing even one copy of the susceptible haplotype are at greater risk for becoming long-term shedders of EAV.

 

“Since surgical castration can be resorted to in stallions that are confirmed carriers of EAV, this test can help identify those horses that may spontaneously clear themselves of the virus, thus avoiding the loss of a valuable breeding animal,” said Kathryn Graves, director of the Genetic Testing at Gluck Laboratory. 

 

In addition, the test indicates which horses have the susceptible haplotype and therefore are at higher risk for becoming carriers if infected with EAV. In these cases, the risk of infection and becoming a carrier can be prevented through vaccination and implementation of appropriate management practices.

 

It is important to emphasize that despite the availability of this test, all colts and stallions negative for antibodies to EAV should be vaccinated against EAV in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, irrespective of their genetic makeup for the CXCL16 gene.

 

The new test is available at the Genetic Testing at Gluck Gluck’s genetic testing laboratory. The cost is $100, and the test can be done from a mane or tail sample. More information, including a submission form, is available at www2.ca.uky.edu/gluck/AGTRL.asp.

 

The mission of the Gluck Center, a UK Ag Equine program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is scientific discovery, education and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of the health and well-being of horses. The Gluck Center faculty conducts equine research in seven targeted areas: genetics and genomics, infectious diseases, immunology, musculoskeletal science, parasitology, pharmacology/toxicology and reproductive health.

 

For more information on the Gluck Center, visit www.ca.uky.edu/gluck.

 

 

UK is the  University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Evans, 859-218-1089

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