UK Graduate School to Host Screening and Discussion of 'Ivory Tower'

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 12:51
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) — The UK Graduate School, the Preparing Future Faculty Program, and the department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation (EPE) will host a free screening of the new documentary "Ivory Tower" at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in Room 158, Taylor Education Building Auditorium.


Filmmaker Andrew Rossi's documentary focuses on rising tuition costs and increasing student loan debt, asking the essential question: "Is college worth the cost?"  Exploring this crucial point in the university landscape from Harvard, to community colleges to online learning programs, the documentary provides an interesting lens into the state of higher education.


Featured representative institutions include Arizona State University, Bunker Hill Community College, Cooper Union, Deep Springs College, Harvard University, Spelman College, Stanford University and Wesleyan University. The film also features the “Uncollege Movement,” based in San Francisco.


A discussion will follow the screening. Panelists include Jeffery Bieber, EPE (moderator); John R. Thelin, EPE; Eugenia F. Toma, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration; and Heather Yonutas, a doctoral student in Anatomy and Neurobiology and president of the Graduate Student Congress. 


Click here to view the trailer.




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

UK Alert - Armed Robbery

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 03:14

Reported armed robbery in the area of 315 Scott St. at approx 2:15 a.m. tuesday, Oct. 21. Suspects: two black males in black hooded sweatshirts armed with handguns.  They reportedly left the scene toward South Limestone in a black four-door car. Avoid area.

Numbers That Tell a Story of Transformation

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 18:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday regularly blogs about UK's campus transformation. Over the weekend, Monday presented to the UK Board of Trustees about the university's transformational impact. He posted the following blog post today,telling a story with numbers:


40 months.


84 projects.


$1.36 billion.


Three numbers. Linked together for a transformational impact.


And more than anything else, the numbers tell a compelling story about you and this special place. We shared this story at our Board of Trustees retreat this past weekend; I'm excited to share it with you.


Over the last 40 months, under Eli Capilouto's leadership as president, our Board of Trustees has authorized 84 construction projects, each totaling more than $600,000. Those projects, in total, represent nearly $1.36 billion in investment — investment in quality of life, investments in academics and research, investments in health care, and investments in infrastructure.


Consider the breadth and depth of the investment that is taking place across our campus.


It's authorization for more than $1 million in construction each and every day and more than $33 million a month — all on this campus. It's nearly 4.4 million square feet of space.


The total investment represents roughly one-third of the value of UK's current total physical plant and is greater than our endowment, which at about $1 billion is the largest among Kentucky's colleges and universities.


But more important than sheer volume, square footage and space is what those numbers mean in terms of impact on this campus and for our Commonwealth.


New residence halls, with collaborative, high-tech learning spaces, are allowing faculty and students to work more closely together than ever before.


Additional space in the Chandler Hospital is further extending the network of specialized, complex care we offer to more Kentuckians throughout our state.


New classroom space affords us the opportunity to teach and learn with Kentucky's best and brightest in a setting that enhances learning and scholarship.


All of the investment means that we can extend and enhance the work we do for Kentucky … with Kentucky. We are — with nearly 150 years of history to guide us and a mission as Kentucky's flagship, land-grant institution — rooted in community.


And these numbers — 40 months; 84 projects; $1.36 billion in infrastructure — tell a story about steadfast commitment to making the future for Kentucky and the communities that we partner with even brighter.


I'm excited to be part of a team of people, working with a President and Board, dedicated to this place and committed to a mission that is uniquely ours at the University of Kentucky.



Go Cats.





Read more of the Monday Blog here. 




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

UK Students to Say 'Thank You' in a Big Way to University Donors

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 16:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) — As state funds become a smaller percentage of UK's overall budget, private gifts are becoming increasingly important to the university. And now UK students can say "thank you" to donors in a special way.


Thank-A-Donor Day is planned for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, when a large banner will be mounted on campus in the area between White Hall Classroom Building and the Ralph G. Anderson Building. Students can stop by and write a personal thank you note on the banner or make a short video recording of gratitude. Photos of the banner and a video of the event will be shared with UK donors via email at Thanksgiving.


The event is sponsored by UK Student Government and coordinated by the UK Office of Annual Giving to provide students the opportunity to show their appreciation for the impact donors make on them and the university as a whole.


“Last fiscal year, more than 53,000 donors gave gifts to UK,” said Anne V. Lichtenberg, Director of Annual Giving and a recent UK graduate. “And most of those gifts are having a direct impact on students – funding scholarships, improving campus facilities, strengthening academics and providing resources in the W.T. Young Library.”


"UK students have many reasons to say thanks," said SGA President Jake Ingram. "More than 85 percent of all UK undergraduate students receive scholarships or financial aid they do not have to repay – and a considerable amount of that is the result of private gifts. Philanthropy is also expanding the Gatton College facilities, helping provide a new student center and impacting student programming. I invite all UK students to join me in letting donors know that we appreciate what they are doing for us."


UK President Eli Capilouto also plans to sign the banner.


“Many of our donors were UK students at one time, paying tuition and other school expenses,” Lichtenberg added. “They give now to help today’s students follow in their footsteps in pursuit of an education at UK. It’s very natural for us to say thanks to people like this.”


One student was able to sign the banner before it goes up later this week. Chelsea St. Clair works in the Office of Annual Giving as an intern and wrote this message to donors: "Scholarship assistance is one of the main reasons I can attend the University of Kentucky and be as involved around campus as I am. Thank you for supporting me and making a difference in my life."


The rain location for Thank-A-Donor Day is the Student Center patio.



For more statistics on giving to UK visit


UK HealthCare Efforts to Improve Patient Safety Showcased This Week

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) — When a patient experiences an unanticipated outcome or an employee is stuck with a needle, UK HealthCare leaders need employees to wave a red flag by reporting the incident.


In 2013, ambulatory clinics accounted for 4 percent of total incident reports at UK HealthCare. According to leaders within the department, the low percentage didn't signify a lack of patient safety incidents— it revealed that employees weren't reporting incidents through the system. 


"We knew they were happening, but we needed people to report them," Jenny Dusso, director of ambulatory clinical operations at UK HealthCare, said of safety incidents. "It's so important that our patients and employees are safe, but in order to do that we have to hear from those on the front line."


Dusso and Morgan Dezarn, systems and procedures analyst for ambulatory services, were tasked with heading the Ambulatory Patient Safety Team, a group of officials dedicated to patient safety and quality. Since the team was established, incident reports from ambulatory clinics have risen by 40 percent. The reports have prompted systemic process changes, including designated phone numbers for clinic staff to report a patient emergency as well as a process that ensures patients in the ambulatory clinics can access transportation to and from their appointments.


During National HealthCare Quality Week, Oct. 19-25, UK HealthCare departments and specialty areas will showcase their efforts to improve the quality, safety and accessibility to health care services for all patients. Representatives from ambulatory, women's health, radiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology and other areas across the UK HealthCare enterprise will display posters that showcase patient safety and quality initiatives. The interactive poster session will be held in Pavilion A of the UK Chandler Hospital from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 22.


UK HealthCare joins the National Association of Healthcare Quality in observation of National HealthCare Quality Week. The National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) is a professional organization that shares knowledge and represents healthcare quality in all settings and specialty areas.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Medical Resident is Contributing Author in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Textbook

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 15:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) -- Dr. Ruhel Boparai, resident in the University of Kentucky's Department of Psychiatry, is a contributing author on one of the chapters in "Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Targeting Neurobiological Mechanisms."


The book brings advances in genetics, neurobiology, and psychopharmacology to the clinic to enhance treatment for neurodevelopmental disorders.


Boparai assisted in the writing of fourth chapter, entitled "Neurodevelopmental and Neurobiological Aspects of Major Depression: From theory to therapy."


"Significant progress has been made in identifying the neurobiological mechanisms of several disorders," Boparai said. "However, the ability to utilize this knowledge has not been summarized in one place for the practicing clinician. This book will fill that gap by providing the theoretical underpinnings and the latest advances in targeted treatments."


Several neurodevelopmental disorders are reviewed in detail including clinical features and behavioral phenotypes, standard treatments and new targeted treatments based on the latest advances in neurobiology and the animal model studies that have lead to new treatments.


The disorders covered include psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, autism and ADHD; single gene disorders including Tuberous Sclerosis, Fragile X Syndrome and fragile X- associated disorders, Angelman Syndrome, PKU, and Muscular Dystrophies; and complex genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. This book also highlights the commonalities across disorders and new genetic and molecular concepts.


More information can be found at


Candle Lighting Ceremony to Commemorate National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging will hold a National Commemorative Candle Lighting service at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 9.


The service will be held in the Fellowship Hall at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 541 Jefferson Street in Lexington.   It is free and open to the public.


The National Commemorative Candle Lighting is an annual event sponsored by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America to remember and honor people who have been or will be affected by Alzheimer's disease or related illnesses. It is held each November in recognition of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.


"The ceremony is designed to bring together individuals from different backgrounds as we stand united lighting ‘candles of care’," said Sarah Smith, a research assistant at Sanders-Brown.  "Our hope is that by uniting as one we will be able to show all of those affected by this devastating disease that they are not in this fight alone." 


If you have someone you would like to honor during the recital of names in memory and recognition, please call Sarah Smith at 859-323-6316 or give the written name to a Sanders-Brown staff member at the beginning of the ceremony. 



Calling All Cats to the Post for "see blue." Day at Keeneland

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) — The University of Kentucky, DanceBlue and Keeneland have teamed up to bring big blue fans the best way to kick off Homecoming Weekend! Join UK students, faculty, staff, alumni and the rest of big blue nation for “see blue.” Day at Keeneland Friday, Oct. 24.


Festivities begin with a "see blue." tailgate on The Hill at Keeneland at noon. There will be live music, food trucks and giveaways along with appearances by the Wildcat, the UK cheerleaders, DanceBlue and other special guests.

The fun will continue with live racing beginning at 1:05 p.m. Students, faculty, staff and alumni with campus identification cards or UK Alumni Association membership cards will be admitted free. General admission usually is $5. 


Students who do not want to drive to Keeneland may utilize the "see blue." Day shuttle for $1. The shuttle will begin running at 11 a.m. and will depart from Wildcat Alumni Plaza. Students who ride the shuttle will receive a free long-sleeve "see blue." Day at Keeneland T-shirt (while supplies last)!


“See blue.” Day at Keeneland is just one of many events celebrating Homecoming Week at UK. For a complete list of events, visit the Homecoming website.


Wear your UK blue and show your UK pride at “see blue.” Day at Keeneland!


Faculty and staff who are unable to attend “see blue.” Day at Keeneland because of work commitments will receive free admission on Saturday, Oct. 25, with their valid ID card.



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909


UK's Ziliak is Featured on 'PBS NewsHour Weekend'

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) — James P. Ziliak, Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics in the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics and director of UK's Center for Poverty Research, appeared on national television over the weekend on "PBS NewsHour Weekend."


Ziliak was interviewed by producer/reporter Megan Thompson as part of a story about the new federal Promise Zone initiative in Kentucky. The Promise Zone initiative is aimed at fighting poverty by concentrating aid in specific regions of the U.S. The Promise Zone in Kentucky includes parts of eight counties in the southeast part of the state.


The work of Ziliak and other colleagues at UK has been featured in a number of national news publications and broadcast outlets in recent years, including the New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR).


"PBS Newshour Weekend" airs in Kentucky on KET2.




MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;




Trustees Say UK Must Invest in Research to Address State's Most Pressing Needs

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 22:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Saturday adopted a sweeping statement of principles, directing President Eli Capilouto to focus on the "most pressing" needs of Kentucky by determining how best to grow UK's research enterprise through strategic investments in facilities and talent.


"The challenges are overwhelming, but we can be up to the task of making a difference," Capilouto said. "These are not easy issues, but they must be our issues. The University of Kentucky represents the greatest hope in making progress against these issues, but it will take focus."


The resolution, adopted unanimously at the board's two-day annual retreat, directs Capilouto to take the steps necessary recognizing "the essential nature and value of all scholarly and creative activity" to:


·         Align resource commitments to optimize efficiency and facilitate faculty, student and staff success;

·         Recruiting and retaining additional world-class scholars and research teams;

·         Strengthening the commitment to interdisciplinary exploration; and

·         Confirming and detailing the critical need for additional research infrastructure.


"These principles reflect who we are as a people and as an institution," said Keith Gannon, chair of the trustees. "These principles synthesize the depth of the challenge we face and what must be the approach as we honor the mission that must be — and is — uniquely ours at the University of Kentucky."


Trustees have used their annual retreats over the last four years to focus intently on university priorities and, with President Capilouto, to articulate an institutional agenda and direction for moving forward.


On the first day of the retreat Friday, UK trustees received an overview of the university's research enterprise in areas such as health and energy as well as information about the challenging funding climate for grants and awards.


Trustees also reviewed data illustrating the Commonwealth's distressing challenges, particularly with respect to health issues such as cancer, heart disease and other preventable deaths.


Kentucky has mortality rates above national averages in most major health indices  ̶̶ ̶  challenges that are particularly acute in the state's Appalachian region.

Capilouto described for trustees how UK is “uniquely positioned to help answer” the most fundamental challenges confronting the Commonwealth.


UK is uniquely positioned, Capilouto said, because of a number of factors:

·         An extension network and clinical programs that reach all of the state’s 120 counties;

·         170 clinical outreach practices;

·         17 colleges and professional schools supported by a campus-wide research library system;

·         The fact that UK is one of only eight universities in the country with the full range of health, professional and undergraduate programs on one contiguous campus; and

·         UK is one of only 22 institutions in the country with a trifecta of federal designations of excellence in three key areas of health — cancer, aging and translational science, the idea that discoveries can be taken from the laboratory into communities where they have an impact.


            Capilouto and leading researchers at UK told trustees during the retreat that attacking Kentucky’s systemic challenges will require close collaboration among many academic and research disciplines.


Many of the maladies that affect Kentucky communities are manifest in issues indirectly tied to health care — poverty, education, socio economic mobility — and the University’s breadth and depth of intellectual expertise can help address these challenges, holistically.


In other board action Saturday, Trustees approved the awarding of two honorary doctorates:

 —Don L. Jacobs will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities. Jacobs has owned 14 automobile dealerships in Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. He is a passionate philanthropist on behalf of education in Kentucky, with gifts supporting the Sayre School, the Gatton College of Business and Economics and UK HealthCare.


—Brady J. Deaton, former chancellor of the University of Missouri from 2004-2013 and a graduate of UK, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science. Deaton grew up on a family farm in Kentucky and received bachelor's and master's degrees from UK. He held a number of key administrative appointments at the University of Missouri before becoming chancellor.


The board also:

—Approved an increase in scope from $1.6 million to $2.7 million for a project being conducted by UK's Center for Applied Energy Research. The Slipstream Capital Project is designed to test a carbon dioxide capture system and is funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory.


—Board members moved toward completely "paperless" meetings by utilizing a new meeting software tool called "Directors Desk." The new tool will allow board members to download all meeting materials, rather than using paper copies.


Herzenni Receives Thomas R. Ford Distinguished Lecture Award

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 16:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2014) — The College of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology will present the Thomas R. Ford Distinguished Lecture Award to Ahmed Herzenni, before his lecture “Living in Times of Regression: A Personal Account” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the President’s Room of the Singletary Center for the Arts.


A recipient of dual doctorates in sociology and anthropology from the University of Kentucky in 1994, Herzenni went on to become a well-known human rights activist and was at one time imprisoned for his human rights activism.


Born in Guercif, Morocco, in 1948, Herzenni began his professional career as a teacher, and then became a sociologist specializing in rural world issues. From 1995-96, he was a professor at Akhawayn University in Ifrane. He was a committed researcher and subsequently became research director at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). 


Herzenni was a member of the International Group on Collective Action and Property Rights, the Réseau Maghrébin des Experts en Sciences Sociales (Maghreb Network of Experts in Social Sciences), the Forum Maghrébin de Etudes Sociologiques (Maghreb Forum of Sociological Studies), the scientific commission for treating the results of the general census of population and housing, and the scientific commission in charge of the Jubilee Report on Human Development in Morocco. He also served on the commission that drafted his nation’s new constitution in 2011.


Herzenni was editor-in-chief of the magazine, Assahib (The Companion) and director of Al Mouzarí Al Maghribi (The Moroccan Farmer). He has published numerous articles and is the author of three books, “A Reading in Marx’s Political Biography,” “The Left, Islam, and Democracy” and “Un Maroc Décanté.”


The event is co-sponsored by the UK College of Arts and Sciences Crossroads of the World: Year of the Middle East, the Peace Studies Program, and International Studies. 


Established in 1977, University of Kentucky Sociology Department Thomas R. Ford Distinguished Alumni Award is given to doctorial alumni who have distinguished themselves in a sociological career.


MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302,

UK Trustees Discuss Focused Research Agenda to Address Kentucky’s Challenges

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 16:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky is “uniquely positioned to help answer” the most fundamental challenges confronting the Commonwealth, UK President Eli Capilouto told trustees during a retreat Friday.


But maximizing UK’s potential to tackle Kentucky problems will require greater investment in people and facilities that bring together researchers across a range of disciplines.


That idea — a strategic approach across the campus to specifically tackling Kentucky’s problems — was a recurring theme for Trustees during the first day of a two-day strategic planning retreat.


“The problems are too great … but our potential to attack those problems is even greater,” Capilouto told Trustees. “But we must focus. We must establish priorities. We have an opportunity to build a model system of health that will take a number of micro interventions to produce a macro effect.”


“As a board, there is a strong consensus that we must marshal our resources and our people in a focused and strategic way to attack Kentucky’s most significant challenges,” said UK Trustee Chairman Keith Gannon. “That’s what Kentucky needs from us. And it’s our mission as Kentucky’s flagship, land-grant institution of higher learning."


UK is uniquely positioned, Capilouto said, because of a number of factors:


—An extension network and clinical programs that reach all of the state’s 120 counties


—170 clinical outreach practices


—17 colleges and professional schools supported by a campus-wide research library system


—The fact that UK is one of only eight universities in the country with the full range of health, professional and undergraduate programs on one contiguous campus


—UK is one of only 22 institutions in the country with a trifecta of federal designations of excellence in three key areas of health — cancer, aging and translational science, the idea that discoveries can be taken from the laboratory into communities where they have an impact.


The problems and the challenges — along with the opportunities — are significant, Capilouto said, and they require a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary response.


Citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Capilouto said Kentucky is well above the national averages in the five leading preventable causes of death in the country — heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and unintentional injuries. Kentucky also has high utilization rates for health care, which leads to higher costs for access to quality care. Many of these issues — high incidences of disease and access to affordable care — are particularly acute in Appalachia and the 5th Congressional District.


“I’ve been impressed by our commitment to this people-centered place,” Capilouto said, referring to the university and the Commonwealth. “We are a people centered place. It is what we do to, for and with each other. We are the university for Kentucky."


Capilouto and others said attacking Kentucky’s systemic challenges will require close collaboration among many academic and research disciplines. Many of the maladies that affect Kentucky communities are manifest in issues not directly tied to health – poverty, education, socio economic mobility – and the University’s breadth and depth of intellectual expertise can help address these challenges, holistically. To underscore that point, Capilouto cited work being done by a number of faculty in the arts, poetry, business, humanities, medicine, engineering, energy and other sciences.


Nancy Schoenberg, a behavioral scientist and professor in the College of Medicine who works in Eastern Kentucky alongside churches and faith communities on health interventions, said she came to UK “because of the promise of collaboration” and “to address particular Kentucky problems.”


“I would like lots more people … who do work similar to what I do."


In addition, Lisa Cassis, UK’s interim vice president for research, said one of UK’s critical needs is to create more space where professors and researchers can talk with — and work with — each other across disciplines. “What we vitally need is a way to bring us all together … in building a center,” Cassis said. “Everybody is in close proximity and there’s a healthy research environment.”


That research can be tied to creating a more coherent and efficient health-care system in the state, said Mike Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at UK. “We are trying to create a system that rationalizes health care but does not ration health care. It will take cooperation between providers” along with analytic systems to understand data and refine and create best practices that improve care.


UK is trying to focus these efforts on Kentucky problems in an era in which federal funding — the most significant source of research funding — “is still not recovering,” said Rodney Andrews, director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. “The prospects for funding going into the future are flat. What we are doing is competing more aggressively for the same amount of money.”


Other state universities, he said, are making leaps even in this constrained funding environment, he said, citing universities such as the University of Florida, the University of Southern California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


North Carolina, for example, benefited by a more than $1 billion bond issue by the state of North Carolina several years ago that was targeted toward university buildings and infrastructure. At the same time, the state returned more money to the university that had previously been captured from research grants. That allowed UNC-Chapel Hill to invest hundreds of millions in faculty retention and recruitment packages while also investing at the same time in research facilities, Andrews said.


UK can make a similar leap by making smart, strategic decisions, Andrews said. The university, he said, must:


—Make strategic decisions and investments

—Focus specifically on Kentucky’s problems

—Invest in areas of strength that support the university’s mission

—Develop and enable multidisciplinary teams to tackle these issues


An important by-product of investment in research is its economic impact, said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance and administration.


For example, according to a recent study of Fiscal Year 2013, the annual economic impact of UK’s sponsored research was:


—$581 million in annual direct and indirect economic impact

—8,114 jobs created and support

—$21.3 million generated annually in local and state taxes


“What could that number be,” Monday said. “What will it be as UK grows that research enterprise?”


“That’s not why we do what we do,” Capilouto told Trustees. “But it’s an incredible by-product."



MEDIA CONTACT:  Jay Blanton, 859-699-0041; 


Counseling Center Expands Group and Workshop Services

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Counseling Center, a department of the Division of Student Affairs, has expanded and renamed its group programs to better reflect their purpose.


Understanding Self and Others (USO) groups, for example, help students feel more confident and accepting of themselves, leading to more successful relationships.


“We all interact with people at times in ways that don’t help us get our needs met,” said Tina Bryant, senior staff psychologist for the UK Counseling Center. “Some students may feel that they are consistently blocked, confused or ineffective in their interactions with others, but may not know why. USO groups are designed to help students learn more about themselves and how they interact with others, then try new behaviors that may be more successful.”


Several other groups focus on reducing anxiety and stress, two of the major concerns that bring students to the Counseling Center. These groups ‒ Anxiety ACTion (based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), Mindfulness, Social Confidence and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ‒ help students learn skills to reduce and manage their symptoms of anxiety and depression. Other popular groups include the Graduate Student Support Group, which has grown to two meeting times, and the Cultural Coffee Hour, which has been attracting 20-30 students each week. The center has created a new group called Decide Your Future dedicated to helping students choose a major and career that fit with their interests, skills and abilities.


“In an effort to emphasize mental wellness, de-stigmatize counseling services, and make it easier for students to utilize our services, we have also developed several drop-in workshops,” said Bryant. Students don’t need an appointment for these drop-in workshops.


Several popular drop-in workshops ‒ Healthy Dating, Major/Career Decision Making, Test Anxiety and Yoga ‒ have returned by popular demand, while a new workshop, Wildcat Wellness, is offered as a way to help students manage stress.


Wildcat Wellness meets at 4 p.m. in 203 Frazee Hall. It is a one-hour workshop with rotating topics:

·       Monday: Expressions: Creative Stress Relief

·       Tuesday: Meditation

·       Wednesday: Relaxation

·       Thursday: Stress Management


Students do not need any experience or knowledge about any of the groups or workshops to participate. For schedules for each support group and workshop, visit




MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302,


Buck Ryan's 'Ballot Bomb' on KET Tonight Gets National News Coverage

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2014) — "Ballot Bomb: Exploring the Young Voter Explosion," a documentary by journalism professor Buck Ryan airing on Kentucky Education Television (KET) tonight, has been the subject of FOX News and MSNBC reports nationally before its Monday night debut.


The half-hour program, co-hosted by Ryan and his 19-year-old son, Austin, will be shown for the first time statewide on KET at 9:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20. KET plans to rebroadcast the program several times on its various channels.


"We've been working on this for two years, ever since young voters, 18 to 29 years old, swung the presidential election," Ryan said. "Austin was an 18-year-old Lexington Catholic graduate when we started; now he's a 19-year-old Centre College sophomore studying in Shanghai."


"Ballot Bomb" is an update to Ryan's award-winning 2001 KET documentary, "Citizen Kentucky: Democracy and the Media," when Austin appeared with several children in the opening segment as a kindergartner. 


"Austin and his contemporaries in the Millennial Generation have come of age to vote in what may be America's most watched election," Ryan says in his fifth documentary aired by KET. 


Ryan, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications in the College of Communication and Information, is director of the Citizen Kentucky Project of UK's Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. The 13-year-old project is designed to engage young people in civic life.


The "Ballot Bomb" program raises the question of whether young voters can swing the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky. It features segments where Austin interviews three Senate candidates about their messages to young voters and about the first time they voted.


When the Democratic candidate, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, declined to tell the Louisville Courier-Journal about whether she voted for President Barack Obama, her comments made national news.


Sam Youngman, political writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, wrote an Oct. 10 story, along with reporter Jack Brammer, about Austin's interview with Grimes, who said she voted for then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 Kentucky Democratic primary election against Obama.


Austin's interview then went viral. Youngman's tweet, "Grimes did tell UK's Buck and Austin Ryan she voted for HRC in '08 primary," launched a discussion on Oct. 14 with the All Star Panel on "Special Report with Bret Baier" on FOX News.


Austin's interview with Grimes was aired for the first time the next morning, Oct. 15, as part of a panel discussion on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.


In his interview, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell tells Austin that when he was 18 years old he "proudly voted for Richard Nixon" in the 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy because his father, a World War II veteran, was a big fan of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. At the time Nixon was President Eisenhower's vice president.


Citizen Kentucky's research project with UK's Honors students highlighted that even today young voters are influenced by their parents' political views.  


The "Ballot Bomb" program focuses on three questions about the Millennial Generation: "Who are they?" "What are their politics?" and "What can we learn from them?"


The Pew Research Center suggests that young voters tend to be independent and lean libertarian. 


David Patterson, the Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, sued unsuccessfully to appear in the  Monday, Oct. 13, KET debate with Grimes and McConnell that was moderated by Bill Goodman.


Cpl. Patterson, a Harrodsburg police officer, gets equal time in "Ballot Bomb."


"My goal for the documentary was to present people in the best possible light to contrast with the dark, depressing negative news coverage and political ads," Ryan said. "The people, the press and the candidates have become one big dysfunctional family. With 'Ballot Bomb' I hope to serve the Commonwealth as a civic marriage counselor. Will that work? Just watch."




MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Highlights UK's New 'Pick It Up' Campaign

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 20:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2014) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell. Today's guests are UK recycling coordinator Mari Long and sustainability coordinator Shane Tedder talking about a new program at UK that rewards those who help keep campus free of litter. 


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


"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

UK's Martin School Continues Tradition of Success

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 15:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2014) — While summer generally is a somewhat slower time on a college campus, including at the University of Kentucky, it does not mean that significant things are not happening. Take, for instance, UK's renowned Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, which received word on July 11 of this year that its master's degree program in public administration (MPA) had been reaccredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) for another seven years.


The Martin School also completed its periodic external review. Members of the review team, comprised of representatives from nationally recognized peer schools, said in their report, "The Martin School is a local and national success story."


Indeed, the school's programs regularly show up prominently in various national rankings, such as Martin's public finance and budgeting program being ranked second in the country by U.S. News and World Report, 'America's Best Graduate Schools,' last year and its doctoral program being ranked fourth in the nation by the National Research Council.


In addition to the MPA, with both a traditional and an accelerated program, the Martin School offers a master's degree in public policy (MPP), a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, and several joint degree programs which combine the MPA with programs at the UK colleges of Pharmacy, Law and Engineering, as well as the University Scholars program.


"Our alumni lead government organizations large and small, " said Merl Hackbart, longtime faculty member and interim director of the Martin School. "They also manage nonprofits as well as leading business organizations. And our faculty are recognized nationally as foremost researchers dedicated to investigating and solving public policy issues and identifying new ways of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of public and nonprofit organizations."


Judging by a recent sampling of alums, it is evident that the Martin School scores high on the satisfaction scale.


John Hicks is a 1984 MPA graduate of the school who is now in his 31st year of working in state government, 24 of those in the Commonwealth of Kentucky Budget Office. He currently serves as Deputy State Budget Director.


"The Martin School was the perfect academic preparation for my career in public sector budgeting and finance," Hicks said. "I quickly recognized that the higher-order thinking skills emphasized in the school were a precursor to dealing with the challenges of real-world problems."


Hicks happily adds that he met his wife, Susan Hultman Hicks, while they both were studying at the Martin School.


Associate Executive Director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Brigitte Blom Ramsey earned her MPP degree from the Martin School in 2007. Her impressive career also includes service to United Way, Kentucky Youth Advocates, and six years on the Kentucky Board of Education, including being vice chair. 


"The faculty at the Martin School all have a wealth of experience as researchers and/or practitioners," Ramsey said. "This level of practical expertise not only serves students well, it also effectively provides them with career opportunity exposure, which is critical to successful placement upon graduation."


2014 Martin School MPP graduate Marina Byrd served as graduate fellow at the Council of State Governments, headquartered in Lexington. After her fellowship, she caught the attention of people in Washington, D.C. as she achieved Presidential Management Fellows finalist status. Byrd recently accepted a position as a legislative policy analyst at the Florida Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.


"The faculty definitely are what I like best about the Martin School," Byrd said. "They all spend a lot of time outside of class helping students with questions and providing guidance with research. Thanks to putting in the hard work in my master's program, I am confident that the education I received has given me the tools necessary to take on the challenges that will come up in my career."


Jamie Giles is another May 2014 grad of the Martin School. Her capstone project paper has won two national awards and is a semifinalist for a third award. Giles is putting her MPA to good use as legislative aide to Harry Clarke, 10th District Council member of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG).


"The Martin School is extremely well respected in local and state government," Giles said. "Leaders know that students who come out of the school are extremely well versed in economics and legislative analysis."


Giles also has international experience, having earned a Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship to Thailand in 2011 after receiving her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Louisville.


Each of these Martin School alumni, together with hundreds of others spread out across the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world feel fortunate to have invested time and effort in this outstanding graduate program at the University of Kentucky.


"The Martin School and its graduates embody that sense of purpose to something larger than the sum of its parts," said Ramsey. "I'm proud to have the school as a foundation for my life's work and to be in the midst of so many Martin School graduates working in Kentucky."




MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;





UK Men's Chorus Lends its 'Voices' to Concert Series

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:39


"Gaudete" performed by the University of Kentucky Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of ACDA.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2014) — The 2014-15 University of Kentucky Men’s Chorus will make their fall debut as part of the "Voices! Choral Concert Series" at First United Methodist Church this weekend. The concert featuring the chorus, under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and including a special performance by UK's male a cappella group, the acoUstiKats, will begin 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at the church, located at 200 W. High St. in Lexington.   


The UK Men's Chorus concert will feature several world premieres and works commissioned exclusively for the chorus as they prepare for their trip to the 2015 American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) National Convention being held Feb. 25-28, in Salt Lake City.


The UK Men’s Chorus is a 90-voice ensemble of students who range from freshmen to graduate students. These young men represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. Begun in fall of 2002, UK Men's Chorus has grown in size and popularity each semester. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chants to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, the UK Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Kentucky, touring each semester.


UK Men's Chorus is excited to be part of the "VOICES! Choral Concert Series" at First United Methodist Church, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. The series is organized by UK doctoral candidate Brock Terry, who serves as director of music at the church. All concerts are open to the public and admission is free. Donations to the concert series are suggested.


For more information on the "VOICES" concert or the UK Men’s Chorus, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant to UK Choirs, at


UK Men's Chorus 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 theory and music history.



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

UK Medical Students Named Masters of Ultrasound at First World Cup Competition

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2014) — A group of University of Kentucky medical students who call themselves the "Sonokittens" have distinguished themselves as the world's savviest student sonographers with a win at the first-ever World Cup of Ultrasound Competition.


The UK College of Medicine students who share a special interest in bedside ultrasound competed in the ultimate skills test at the World Congress of Ultrasound in Medical Education, Oct. 10-12 in Portland, Oregon. The team of Jenn Cotton, Carolyn Martinez and Brett Dickens won first place, beating teams from some universities that offer four-year integrated ultrasound curriculums.


During the four-hour contest, teams of three students are paired with a leading ultrasound expert and then tested on their ability to diagnose different sections of the body using ultrasound technology. The test involves unexpected twists, including blindfolds and simulations that require students to think on their feet and show a mastery of human pathology.


In addition to entering teams to compete in the skills contest, several students from the University of Kentucky presented scientific posters during the meeting. The third annual World Congress included sessions and workshops on the latest developments in ultrasound technique and teaching from international educators and experts in the specialty. The competition was held at Oregon Health and Science University, with 11 teams representing the University of California-Irvine, the University of South Carolina, The Ohio State University, the University of Utah and more.


Dr. Matt Dawson, director of point of care ultrasound at the University of Kentucky, said colleagues attending the meeting admired the skill level demonstrated by the UK teams. Deans, provosts and practitioners from across the world were in attendance to see the skills of the Sonokittens in action.


"During the competition, they showed a remarkable ability, both when it came to their knowledge and diagnostic abilities when recognizing pathology and also their hands on abilities," Dr. Dawson said of the Sonokittens. "They were poised, confident and brilliant. They made me super proud to be part of the University of Kentucky."


The Sonokittens credit Dawson's elective class and online ultrasound podcast as the starting point of their interest in the specialty. The ultrasound interest group at UK College of Medicine has risen to nearly 100 members and hosts video tutorials on its website. Many upper-level students take time to teach acquired ultrasound skills to the more junior medical students through educational workshops.


Jenn Cotton, president of the Ultrasound Interest Group, said UK's peer-to-peer model of teaching ultrasound skills to students has caught on at other medical schools, and she is instructing those groups on how to set up similar programs. She has also received invitations to international conferences to speak to the success of the grassroots educational movement within the College of Medicine. 


"I am so proud of our group of students and so grateful for our encouraging and supportive leader and role model Matt Dawson," Cotton said. "We all work as a team together for a common goal, and we have a huge following among medical students. It's been a great experience for us. Our students are excited and love what we're doing." 

Ultrasound is listed by Stanford University as one of the most valuable skills for medical students entering the field.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Chemists Tackle Battery Overcharge Problem

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 13:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2014) — Research from the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will help batteries resist overcharging, improving the safety of electronics from cell phones to airplanes.


The research, led by Susan Odom’s group, has focused on the design, synthesis, and testing of organic compounds that can be incorporated into the electrolytes of lithium-ion batteries to improve their safety profiles. Specifically, Odom’s team is studying compounds called redox shuttles.


Lithium-ion batteries are the energy storage technology of choice for portable consumer electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones. Over the past few years, these batteries have been incorporated on larger scales into electric vehicles and airplanes. Battery safety is of utmost importance to manufacturers and consumers, especially in applications where battery failure can result in the loss of lives.


Overcharge is a serious concern for batteries connected in series. It can lead to catastrophic failures in the form of fires and explosions. The redox shuttle compounds being studied at UK prevent overcharge by transporting electrons between battery electrodes when excessive current is applied to fully charged batteries.


Members of the Odom group, including undergraduate researcher Corrine “Nina” Elliott, designed a new phenothiazine derivative that protects batteries from overcharging for thousands of hours. The protection offered by this compound, 3,7-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenothiazine, lasted more than four times longer than the only commercial competitior. 


The Odom group plans to test the performance of this redox shuttle in larger batteries, similar to those that are being used in electric vehicles.


This work was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.


MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; 



Chemistry's John Anthony Named ACS Editor's Choice

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2014) — A paper by John Anthony, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry and faculty member of the Center for Applied Energy Research, has been recognized as the American Chemical Society's Editors' Choice. 


Anthony's article, "Synthesis and Optical Properties of Dioxolane-Functionalized Hexacenes and Heptacenes," was recently published in the ACS publication, "Organic Letters," and was then selected to be featured in ACS Editors' Choice. The article was selected based on its importance and broad appeal across the field of chemistry. A rare honor, editors of all ACS journals are allowed to select less than 1 percent of accepted articles for this recognition.


Not only does ACS Editors' Choice recognize the most significant work in the field, but it opens the selected works and new discoveries to researchers across the world. According to the ACS website, ACS Editor's Choice "offers free public access to new research of importance to the global scientific community."


Significant work indeed, Anthony's article describes the design and preparation of a new material for bio-imaging. The new material both absorbs and emits light in the window of transparency in animal tissue, allowing researchers to visualize anything in the body that the material “sticks” to using harmless infra-red light. Anthony and his team are currently collaborating with researchers at other universities to use the material described in the article to detect tumors in live mice.


Anthony, Hubbard Professor of Chemistry, instructs a range of chemistry courses at UK and conducts his research at the CAER, one of UK's multidisciplinary research centers.