UK Student Entrepreneurs Win $19,000 at Idea State U Competition

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) —Three UK undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneur teams won a total $19,000 at the Cabinet for Economic Development’s Idea State U competition last weekend.


Twenty-six teams, comprised of more than 80 undergraduate and graduate students from seven Kentucky public universities, the University of Pikeville and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, participated in Idea State U. With the help of faculty advisors, students spent months developing business concepts or formal business plans, which were presented to panels of business experts serving as volunteer judges.


“I was impressed by the professionalism and the seriousness of the students and their advisors,” said judge and local angel investor David Goodnight. “Every single student that I engaged was passionate about his or her ideas. Each one of the business plans and concepts can work — and many of them will — which will produce meaningful products, jobs and money.”


UK team Shouter, computer science seniors Josiah Hanna, Charlie Effinger and Craig Schmidt, won third place in the undergraduate business plan category for their social media mobile application. They were also the top undergraduate team in the UK Venture Challenge.


“Venture Challenge has really opened our eyes to the world beyond our technical field. For most of our time as undergraduates we've only approached software development from the technical viewpoint,” said Shouter team leader Josiah Hanna. “Now we are asking, ‘how can we make this something people will use?’ Venture Challenge and Idea State U have shown that creating a startup is much more than just having a great, original idea. It’s putting in the work to make it happen and adapting to provide something your customers want.”


Venture Challenge graduate winners MosquitoTech and MBA candidates Alex Blasingame, Justin Johnson and Rob Arnold won second best graduate business plan team in the state. They presented a plan for an environmentally responsible product to control and eliminate the Asian tiger mosquito using UK researcher and medical and veterinary entomology Professor Stephen Dobson’s patented technology.

“Participation in the UK Venture Challenge and Idea State U enabled our team to receive professional feedback and new ideas to further develop our business ideas,” said Rob Arnold. “These events gave exposure to our product and enabled us to polish our presentation skills as well as network with many esteemed members of the Lexington community.”


Placing second in graduate concept was Arymza Technologies, Satrio Husodo, molecular and cellular biochemistry Ph.D. candidate; and MBA candidates Erica Clark and Miguel Doughlin.

Arymza targets the $15 billion starch market using new enzyme technology developed by UK molecular and cellular biochemistry researchers Matthew Gentry and Craig Vander Kooi that makes it easier to process starch.


Miguel Doughlin said “Embedded in the entrepreneurial process is the ability to calculate risk and execute on an idea which you are passionate about. Venture Challenge and Idea State U present opportunities for students to practice communicating rich ideas to peers, judges and potential investors in the hope of one day fulfilling their dream to own and manage a business.”


“Events like Venture Challenge and Idea State U are opportunities for students to learn about entrepreneurship outside of the classroom. I grasp concepts infinitely better through practice, and events like these provide a chance to do just that,” said Erica Clark. “We receive valuable feedback from the judges which helps to further pursue our entrepreneurial passions, and we have opportunities to network with countless amazing people who share these passions.”


“I think the greatest benefit of being able to participate in Venture Challenge and Idea State U is the chance to get your name out there; there really is no better way,” architecture junior Bryan Wright said. He represented UK in the undergraduate business concept category with Reinforcer, a new venture to increase a home’s tolerance to withstand potentially damaging winds using an affordable internal structural system design.


UK advisors for Idea State U are Deb Weis, director of iNET, the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking hosted by the College of Communication & Information; and Executive Director Dean Harvey and Mariam Gorjian, Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, Gatton College of Business & Economics.




MEDIA CONTACT: Deb Weis, 859-338-0751,; Joe Hall, 502-564-4886



UK Family Sciences' Kim Receives National Award

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:37
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) — Hyungsoo Kim, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, recently received a prestigious award from the American Council on Consumer Interests.


The organization recently awarded Kim the Mid-Career Award. The award is given to an active member in the organization who has worked in the field of family finance for less than 15 years and excels at research and teaching. He received the award during the organization’s annual conference in Milwaukee.


In the UK Department of Family Sciences, Kim focuses on research related to family financial security over a lifetime. He specifically studies how chronic health conditions later in life affect financial security and personal motivation tools geared toward middle-aged individuals to increase their retirement savings to mitigate and better plan for chronic health problems later in life. Kim has published 24 peer-reviewed articles in various journals on this topic including three that appeared in the council’s Journal of Consumer Affairs.


“Dr. Kim’s current research interest uses a theory from behavioral economics designed to increase retirement savings and investment amounts for individuals nearing retirement,” said Claudia Heath, professor in the UK Department of Family Sciences who is working with Kim on several projects. “His work in this research area is very promising for changing the way scholars view and practitioners approach developing financial self-sufficiency.”


Kim also teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of personal and family finance.


As a member of the council, Kim served as a member of the group’s board of directors from 2010 to 2013, and helped increased international activities and participation. He has also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Consumer Affairs.




MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774.


UK's Advanced Ventricular Assist Device Program Continues to Grow, Excel

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) — Two years ago, John Doty came down with a cold that just wouldn't go away.


After weeks of dealing with the symptoms, Doty was diagnosed with walking pneumonia and received antibiotics. He started to feel better, but the illness crept back. Finally, after a trip to Red River Gorge — where he felt he just couldn't catch his breath — he went back to his physician and was referred to a cardiologist.


After running tests, his doctors gave him a new diagnosis — a severely weakened heart with an ejection fraction of less than 10 percent. The ejection fraction is a measure of how effectively the heart can pump blood volume into the body — and in a healthy heart, that number falls between 50-65 percent.


At a local hospital, Doty underwent a procedure to have a defibrillator implanted.  However, during the procedure, he became very unstable and his blood pressure began to drop. 

Doty's heart was so weak, he needed a left ventricular assist devices or LVAD. He was swiftly transferred to UK Chandler Hospital — the only hospital in Lexington and only one of two in the state that perform VAD procedures for emergency treatment.  


“When Mr. Doty was transferred to UK, he was very sick, on a ventilator and requiring two medications to support his blood pressure,” says Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, a heart failure cardiologist at the UK Gill Heart Institute.  “He was going into kidney and liver failure. It was clear that he needed an assist device as soon as possible before the damage to his body was irreversible.”


VADs are devices that are used to partially replace the function of a failing heart. Though they are frequently only used on the left ventricle (LVAD), some patients may require an assist device to support the right ventricle (RVAD).  Some patients may also require two devices to support both ventricles (BiVAD).


VADs are sometimes used briefly following heart attacks or surgeries because they can allow the heart to rest and even heal. Some patients require them long-term — as a bridge to transplant, for instance — and some patients with advanced congestive heart failure require a VAD for the rest of their lives.


Andy Baker, a UK patient whose heart was damaged by a viral infection, says he was initially reluctant to get a VAD. Now, however, the Danville resident says he's happy to keep the device and has no interest in getting a heart transplant. With the VAD, he's able to stay active and busy, noting that he "doesn't see any sense in just sitting around."


"I had mixed feelings about it," Baker said of getting the VAD. "But it's given me life again."


UK began performing VAD procedures in 1995, and each year, UK performs about 20 to 30 procedures on patients all across the Commonwealth and beyond. UK's Advanced Ventricular Assist Device program recently received their third straight biannual Certificate of Distinction from The Joint Commission (TJC), the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America. To earn this distinction, eligible VAD programs must demonstrate excellence in TJC's standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures.


"Receiving the VAD Certificate of Distinction for the third straight review cycle shows just what an outstanding job our physicians, nurses and support staff are doing when it comes to treating patients who require these assist devices," said Dr. Maya Guglin, director of UK's Mechanical Assisted Circulation Program. "It's proof that we are going above and beyond to ensure our patients are receiving the best quality care."


For most patients, a VAD provides an opportunity to recover at home without the repeated readmissions to the hospital that may come from other heart failure treatment options — thus saving costs for both the hospital and the patient. With a VAD, many patients are able to return to their everyday lives and still do many of the same activities they did before.


And in some cases, the VAD allows the heart to heal enough so that the device is no longer needed. Doty is one of the lucky 5 to 10 percent of patients who recovered enough to warrant removal of the device. After 16 weeks of being on his VAD combined with regular cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, his ejection fraction had improved to 55 percent, and his device was explanted in December 2013.


"I almost feel like I never had it," Doty says, noting that having the VAD was a small price to pay for being healthy. "It wasn't that great of an imposition, considering that it was keeping you alive."


Baker, a father of three, echoes a similar sentiment.


"I had three girls at home, and I wanted to see them grow up," he said. "The LVAD has allowed me to do that."


MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or

Gatton College Inducts Two Into its Alumni Hall of Fame

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics recently inducted two more individuals into its Alumni Hall of Fame.

The 2014 inductees into the hall, which was inaugurated in 1994, are:


  • Chuck Martz, UK Class of 1973, is CEO, president, and chairman of the board of Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., headquartered in Lexington. Link-Belt is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI), Tokyo, Japan.
  • Douglas D. Tough, UK Class of 1972, is chairman and CEO of International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), Inc., based in New York City.


Martz is also executive vice president of Sumitomo Heavy Industries and is the first officer from a U.S. subsidiary to achieve this level in the SHI organization. Link-Belt is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of lattice and telescopic boom cranes.


Martz began his career at Link-Belt in 1975. He was named chairman of Link-Belt and vice president of SHI in early 2009 after three consecutive years of record earnings and aggressively expanding Link-Belt’s international presence. Martz was named Link-Belt CEO in March of 2007 and president in September 1998. Within the company he has held numerous positions, including controller; vice president, finance and administration; and vice president of manufacturing.


Martz was born and raised in Lexington, attending Lafayette High School prior to graduating from UK with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Lexington along with their three children and five grandchildren.


Douglas D. Tough assumed the role of chairman and CEO of IFF in March of 2010. Prior to that, Tough served as the CEO and managing director of Ansell Limited, a $1.1 billion global leader in health care barrier protection.


Prior to joining Ansell, Tough had a 17-year career with Cadbury Schweppes PLC, where he held a variety of positions including president of Cadbury Beverages International from 1992-1996 and president, Africa, India, Middle East and Europe Division from 1996-2000. From 2000-2003, he was president and CEO of Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. Tough began his business career with the Procter & Gamble Company in 1974.


Tough has been a member of IFF’s Board of Directors since October 2008. He joined the Board of Directors of Molson Coors Brewing Company in February 2012.

While he was an undergraduate at UK, Tough was a standout player on the men's intercollegiate tennis team.


In addition to earning his bachelor's degree from the Gatton College, Tough also holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.


“Chuck Martz and Doug Tough continue to have tremendous impact on their fields of commerce and on the quality of life in their communities," said Gatton College Dean David W. Blackwell. "We are proud to welcome them into the Gatton Alumni Hall of Fame where they will serve as a model and inspiration for our current and future students."




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


Students Invited to Next "Monday on Mondays"

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) Students: come have lunch with Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday at noon Monday, April 21, in the Student Center cafeteria. Lunch will be provided. 


As part of an effort to hear from and exchange ideas with students, Eric Monday is initiating a monthly dialogue called "Monday on Mondays."  It's an opportunity for students to casually meet with Monday, a leader of major initiatives on facilities, finance, housing and dining at UK. 


“Students are why we are here,” Monday said. “And much of what we do, from construction of new residence halls to how we provide dining, impacts the student experience. They need to be part of the dialogue as we set the course toward an ambitious and exciting future at UK.”


The first “Monday on Mondays” took place Monday, March 10, in Blazer Cafe. Each month, a similar session will be held to allow for some informal dialogue.


Come learn about what’s happening in the Office of the EVPFA and share your ideas.

You can also reach Monday at his new Twitter account: @UKYMonday.




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

UK Libraries to Celebrate 'Nation of Nations' Time at UK

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:50


To see a video of artist Marjorie Guyon talking about "Nation of Nations," click play above. To read a transcript of the video, click here. Video courtesy of artist.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) — After a three-year loan to University of Kentucky Libraries, "Nation of Nations," a major 10-panel art work by Lexington artist Marjorie Guyon, will be leaving. The piece, an exploration of people, place and promise, will be celebrated with a presentation, "Nation of Nations: Awakening to a New World," and reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in the UK Libraries Athletics Auditorium. The event and reception are free and open to the public.


"Nation of Nations" includes a series of 10 works embodying the spirit of many different peoples and creeds: Incan, Kenyan, Mexican, Moroccan, Cherokee, Hindu, Hebrew, Creole, Arab and Russian. On each one, the phrase, “Have Mercy on Us,” is written in a different language: Cherokee, Chinese, English, Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew, Swahili, Latin, Russian and Haitian Creole.  In addition, the titles of the 10 paintings echo the anthems, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and "America the Beautiful."


"Nation of Nations" was installed in 2011 in recognition of a central theme of UK's general education curriculum, UKCore. The curriculum, implemented in Fall 2011, embraces arts and creativity and the ideas of citizenship in a contemporary context.


Now in its third year, UKCore embodies what the university believes every graduate will need in order to compete in a global marketplace, participate in democratic self-governance, and live a well-intentioned and meaningful life.


Guyon's art has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Memphis and Los Angeles, and appears in public and private collections including those of the Keeneland Foundation, Yum Brands, FedEx, Morris Museum of Art, the Art Museum at UK and more. 


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




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

UK Students’ WPA Research Project Leads to Museum Exhibition on Prints

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 14:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2014) — An art history project on the Works Progress Administration (WPA) at the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies has led to an exhibition of prints. The Art Museum at UK is currently displaying “Prints for the People,” based on students’ research in the class “History of the Print in the Western Tradition” being taught this semester at UK. The free public exhibition will run through July 27.


“History of the Print in the Western Tradition,” an in-depth seminar in the College of Fine Arts taught by Jane Peters and Art Museum Registrar Bebe Lovejoy, involves hands-on study of original prints in the museum’s collections.


One requirement of the class was to select a WPA print to research. The WPA (1933-1943) was a government program created during the Great Depression to provide employment for out-of-work artists throughout the nation. Many well-known artists participated in the program, including Lee Krasner, Jacob Lawrence, Louise Nevelson, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Ben Shahn.


The Art Museum at UK's WPA collection, an allocation from the U.S. Government, includes more than 160 prints, drawings, and paintings.


“Prints for the People” features works that were the final choices for research of nine students in the course including Courtney Anich, Phil Giles, Renée Lindsey, David Martin, Erin McDonald, Grant Pangallo, Alisa Reynolds, Carly Schrider and Whitney Scott. The students’ research papers on each of the selected WPA prints are available for viewers to read while visiting the exhibition.


The Art Museum at UK is located in the Singletary Center for the Arts at Rose Street and Euclid Avenue. The hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Friday.


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



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

Excitement Builds as Gatton Enhances MBA Programs

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 14:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics is moving forward with some very significant enhancements to its MBA programs for the upcoming 2014-15 academic year.


"We are getting ready to welcome the 10th class of students in our accelerated one-year MBA, and they are going to be the beneficiaries of some really hard work done by members of our MBA Policy Committee, which includes faculty, students, staff and individuals from the Lexington and Kentucky business community," said Steve Skinner, associate dean for graduate programs and chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain. "The one-year program continues to be highly successful and very popular, yet we believe these improvements will make it even stronger."


Skinner, together with Gatton MBA Programs Director Harvie Wilkinson and others, have conducted focus groups with current students and previous graduates.


"The students and recent grads have been terrific with their feedback," Wilkinson said. "We are listening to our students."


The calendar for the one-year MBA program will now be aligned with the academic calendar followed by the vast majority of campus. Instead of beginning in early July and finishing in early June, the program's schedule will run from June 10 until early May with graduates being able to participate in the university's May Commencement ceremonies.


An eight-week summer term will be followed by 16-week terms in the fall and spring, with students completing a total of 51 program hours. Project Connect, in which students work on actual assignments for a number of different corporations located across the Commonwealth, continues to be a centerpiece of the one-year program.  Students will complete two longer, more in-depth projects instead of three projects of a lesser length.


"This new schedule also matches up better for our faculty who teach both in the MBA program and at the undergraduate level," Skinner said.


Students in the one-year MBA program will still have the opportunity to earn certifications in project management, Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt, and global commerce, the latter being carried out through a partnership with the World Trade Center of Kentucky.


"This new calendar will give students and faculty even more opportunity for small group and one-on-one interaction," Wilkinson said.  "The camaraderie within our MBA program already is outstanding, and we expect it to be even better with this new format."


The accelerated one-year MBA program has averaged about 65-70 students since its inception in the summer of 2005, and Gatton officials are expecting the class for 2014-15 to be in that size range. The application deadline for admission for the new one-year MBA class is May 11, 2014.


Gatton's part-time evening MBA programs, which provide both a two-year and a three-year option to individuals who have job responsibilities during regular business hours, will offer professional certification in several areas beginning with the classes entering for the fall semester of 2014.


The evening MBA programs average 45-50 new students each year. The application deadline for Gatton's evening MBA is July 1, 2014.


For more information, visit, email, or call 859-257-1306.




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


UK Radio and TV Broadcast Students Take AP Awards

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 13:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2014) ― University of Kentucky Student News Network (SNN) and WRFL reporters won awards in the College Contest of the recent Kentucky Associated Press Broadcast 2014 Awards presentation. SNN is a live, weekday all-student produced television newscast and WRFL is UK's student-operated public radio station.


SNN staff and programming won six awards:


  • Elizabeth Suh won first place in the Best Public Affairs - TV category for "Free Speech"; second place in the Best Public Affairs - TV and Best Sports Coverage -TV categories for "Sports Handshake"; and Best of Show for overall College TV.
  • Garrett Wymer won first place in the Best College Television Reporter category for "Tuition Hike." 
  • Stuart Hammer won second place in the Best News Story category for "Jobless Vets."
  • Garrett Gabehart won third place in the Best College Television reporter category for "Break-ins."


WRFL reporters and programming won two awards:


  • Shelby Steele won second place in the Best Sports Coverage - Radio category for "Best High School Football Coach."
  • Hadley Stein and Candice Cruz won third place in the Best Public Affairs - Radio category for "Campus Voices - Social Media."


Many of the students involved in WRFL and the Student News Network are in academic programs in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications in the College of Communication and Information.


“This recognition by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters reflects on the high standards of our broadcast journalism program,” said Mel Coffee, assistant professor who teaches broadcast journalism.  “Professor Scoobie Ryan and I prepare them to meet rigorous academic standards as well as demanding and changing industry standards.  We’re proud of our winners and all our students who consistently work toward excellence and produce material recognized by broadcast professionals in the industry."


Hadley Stein, a broadcast journalism major who will graduate in May, co-produced the award-winning episode of "Campus Voices,' a 30-minute live program discussing issues affecting students and the Lexington community that airs each week day on WRFL.  She said the show examined how social media can impact people's face-to-face relationships.


"Because of all the new social media outlets, people are not communicating the same way as they have in the past, both socially and professionally, and I thought it would be interesting and worthwhile to report on and research this topic," Stein said.


UK, Energy Cabinet Forecast Kentucky's Energy Future

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:16
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2014) — A team of students and researchers from the University of Kentucky Department of Statistics and the UK Center for Applied Energy Research worked last summer with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to evaluate energy and environmental policy under a range of potential carbon dioxide regulatory scenarios.


The UK team assisted with the enhancement of the Kentucky Electricity Portfolio Model which was developed at the EEC and responds to highly variable factors such as weather, fuel prices, and federal environmental policy, to identify the optimal electricity portfolio and forecast electricity prices, demand, emissions, fuel consumption, employment, and economic growth.


The project report, available online at (PDF), discusses the results of the study  including  the potential economic implications of changing Kentucky's electricity-generating portfolio.


The UK team worked directly with Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Leonard K. Peters and his staff. Peters spent nearly two decades at UK as a professor of engineering and administrator. During his time at the university, Peters served as chair of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, and as acting vice president for research and graduate studies.


The model will help the Commonwealth to predict and prepare for the economic effects of projected greenhouse gas emissions regulations, Peters said.


"We were looking at things like what would happen if we had a carbon tax," Peters said. "What would happen if natural gas prices doubled or tripled? If coal prices would change, or if in fact we were able to generate power via nuclear? And what roles do renewables play?"


The model can also help inform policymakers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by highlighting the specific energy needs Kentucky has, as a state with an intensive manufacturing sector.


"Kentucky is different than New York, we’re different than California, and we’re different than Utah," Peters said. "If you’re doing something that’s going to hurt the manufacturing industry, it’s going to hurt Kentucky, but it’s also going to hurt the nation because those jobs probably aren’t going to go to another state, they’re going to go overseas.”


The collaboration was the brainchild of Aron Patrick, assistant director for the Cabinet, who saw the potential for the Cabinet and the university to work together. The work of the team was two-fold. One part consisted of data analysis, looking at the relationship between variables (such as comparisons between energy sources). The other part, called an optimization problem, is more mathematical, and it involves looking for a particular solution given data with constraints.


“It was our job to determine potential constraints by the EPA: What is the best strategy for building power plants, what to do with existing power plants, et cetera," said Woody Burchett, one of the graduate students who worked on the project. "So it was kind of a fun problem to tackle, because there are a lot of ins and outs that need to be controlled for."

Stromberg said the project is a source of pride for his department.


"We’ve been able to show others across the Commonwealth and across the nation that this type of analysis produces useful information, and that’s exciting," Stromberg says. "And we would hope that it leads others as an example of the kinds of things we can do. This was a bit outside the box for the Department of Statistics."


The UK team included several students, Department of Statistics Professor Arne Bathke, and department Chair Arnold Stromberg. Students on the project were Adam Blandford, Edward Roualdes, Woody Burchett, Matt Rutledge, Shaoceng Wei, Zhiheng Xie, Joel Perry, Yang Luo, and Michael Skapes.  From CAER, Shiela Medina served in leadership role for the project team.


An A&S Podcast about the project is available online at

Student Teacher Student Exhibit and Reception at Rasdall Gallery

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:44

LEXINGTON,Ky. (April 15, 2014) — The Student Activities Board Cultural Arts Committee presents the Student Teacher Student Exhibit and Reception. The Student Teacher Student Exhibit opens today and is on display through April 25. The opening reception will take place today in the Rasdall Gallery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Attendees will be able to look at the displays of work by student teachers who are currently teaching at schools in the local Lexington area. The students range from elementary to high school. Some of the artists include students from Lafayette, Bryan Station and Henry Clay high schools, Beaumont Middle School, Veteran’s Park, Harrison, and Tates Creek elementary schools, The Learning Center, and many more.


“This will bring together students in Lexington,” said Cultural Arts Committee Director Melissa Simon. “It will also create a community to show what students do once they leave the University of Kentucky.”


The reception and exhibit give students the chance to see how other students are impacting children in the Lexington area. All of these displays will get to show what the local students have to offer as they showcase their work.


SAB brings more than 100 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, follow them on Twitter at, or like them on Facebook at For more information about SAB and events, email or text a question beginning with SABQ, followed by your question or comment, to 411-247.


Marvel Comics’ Bill Rosemann Brings Insight Into Comic Industry

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2014) ― What happens behind the comics at one of the industry’s most iconic companies? How can you be the hero of your own story? Bill Rosemann, Marvel Comics’ creative director, will share insight and inspiration tonight at “Superheroes On and Off the Page” at 8 p.m. in Worsham Theater of the University of Kentucky Student Center. The event, sponsored by the UK Student Activities Board Pop Culture Committee, is free and non-ticketed.


Rosemann, who has written comics featuring superheroes including Spiderman, Captain America, Iron Man, Superman, Batman and the Avengers, seeks to help audiences realize their own abilities. His work attempts to inspire and entertain. Rosemann has experience in numerous roles within the comic industry, including project manager, marketing director, blogger and editor. “Superheroes On and Off the Page” will cover what Rosemann has learned in his 20-year career working with comics ― and how audiences can unleash the hero inside them.


“Superheroes are an integral part of pop culture, and comic books are just as important,” said Zach Johnson, SAB director of pop culture. “This is an event that we feel will empower students while giving an inside look at the comic industry.”


Students can win a Marvel prize package by describing or drawing their personal hero and explaining why in 500 words or less. Winners will be selected by Rosemann, who will announce them at the event. Entries should be sent to by noon Tuesday.


SAB brings more than 100 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, follow them on Twitter at or like them on Facebook at For more information about SAB and events, email or text a question beginning with SABQ, followed by your question or comment, to 411-247.



MEDIA CONTACT:  Katy Bennett,


UK Alum’s Lifelong Curiosity Fosters Unique Career at Area Zoo

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:35


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 the "thought bubble" icon in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2014) — While the animals understandably take center stage at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the environment where they live is always on the mind of UK alum Steve Foltz.


As director of horticulture for the zoo, it’s his job to create habitats for hundreds of animals every day. 


“It's so hard to get the right plants to grow in exhibits,” said Foltz.  “Trying to put shade in a giraffe exhibit when they can reach 20-25 feet is very difficult.  We also have to make sure we have the right plants in some of the exhibits but then also use some plants to actually feed them, and we have to make sure there's nothing toxic in the exhibit.”


Part of the Covington native’s job involves research, as he discovers what plants grow best in particular locations within the zoo exhibits.


“What excites me everyday is we get to plant plants, and not only just plant them but test them out, keep records on them and figure out which plants are doing better than other plants and then we provide that information back to the community,” Foltz said.  “That obviously came from my training at the University of Kentucky.”


Foltz was an ornamental horticulture major in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

“The University of Kentucky taught everything from trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, to soils, to the chemistry of turf. It's not just about the plants, it’s about being able to grow plants successfully and all of those courses were tailor-made for my job right now.”


Foltz says his outside-the-classroom experience also helped propel his career through internships. 


“I did two internships at the Cincinnati Zoo and botanical gardens, and that’s when I realized this was more than just a zoo,” Foltz said. “Then I was hired as assistant director, and I just basically worked my way up.” 


He also earned valuable experience helping to build The Arboretum near UK's campus, what is today a favorite spot for students.


“Just as I was leaving, they were building The Arboretum, so I was one of the ones that helped with the first planting. It’s nice to see that grow and see how well it’s doing now,” Foltz said. 


The Northern Kentucky resident enjoys making the short drive to Lexington to visit not only The Arboretum but also to cheer on the Wildcats and reminisce about life on campus.


“It was just really a great place to be ― it felt like home,” Foltz said. “UK offers a wide variety of learning experiences.  It was just so well rounded for me, and I really enjoyed that type of environment.” 


Foltz says the professors helped to foster an atmosphere of learning. 


“The professors were so welcoming and knowledgeable,” Foltz said.  “They were and still are the best in their field."


Some 25 years later, Foltz is thankful his professors shared that expertise with him as he gears up for another summer season doing the job he loves.


“We have 1.3 million people coming through the door, so to create a landscape that’s enjoyable to that many people is just phenomenal,” Foltz said.  “Seeing the people come in and go, ‘wow it’s so beautiful here,’ I never get tired of hearing that. It is really a nice way to make a living.”


Watch more UK Alumni “see success.” stories by clicking on the playlist below.




Alliance of Nine Universities Seeks to Improve Diversity in STEM Fields

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 00:08
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, as the principal investigator, will lead a multi-million-dollar initiative with Kentucky and West Virginia universities to increase underrepresented undergraduates studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


The five-year, $2.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant establishes the Kentucky-West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KY-WV LSAMP) in the STEM disciplines. Coordinated by the UK Office for Institutional Diversity and UK’s co-PI and engineering Associate Professor Johné Parker, the alliance of nine institutions of higher learning includes UK, University of Louisville, West Virginia University, Western Kentucky University, Centre College, Marshall University, Kentucky State University, West Virginia State University and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.


With an undergraduate focus, the grant will fund programs and initiatives at the alliance members’ institutions to increase diversity in the STEM fields. The alliance has the potential of significantly impacting the lives of up to 5,000 underrepresented undergraduate students in the two Appalachian states. Programs will be developed at the member institutions to attract greater numbers of diverse students to the STEM fields, increase retention and graduate up to 500 students over the next five years. 


“The University of Kentucky is proud to lead an alliance of exceptional public and private colleges and universities in our region,” Capilouto said. “The LSAMP initiative provides rich opportunities that we hope will excite more underrepresented students to explore, delve into, and thrive in academic and research programs in STEM fields. Their increased participation will stimulate and improve the alliance institutions' outcomes in disciplines critical to the future of our state, our region and the nation.”


Projected goals are:

·       To increase minority student enrollment in the STEM fields alliance-wide by 15 percent by 2016 with a 10 percent to 20 percent increase yearly thereafter.

·       To increase the 4-5 year graduation rate for minority STEM majors alliance-wide by 50 percent or above and maintaining or increasing this rate thereafter.


Reaching the LSAMP goals by 2018 will translate into 260 or more STEM baccalaureate graduates among the nine universities each year.


"This partnership — one that brings together strong, though different institutions — creates wonderful opportunities for young people who might otherwise miss such a chance to do research and learn about first-rate higher education.  Centre College — with its shared commitment to high quality and high opportunity — is honored to play a role in the lives of these young men and women," said Centre College President John A. Roush.


"Forming alliances is crucial in today's world, and it is an honor for West Virginia University to be part of this innovative and collaborative partnership with various institutions in West Virginia and Kentucky," said WVU President E. Gordon Gee. "LSAMP is a project that mirrors our university's commitment to diversity and research. We stand firmly in line with LSAMP's goals to increase minority enrollment in the STEM fields, in addition to improving retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students."


While each campus will be evaluating and improving its own programs, they will be collaborating, sharing information and ideas, as an alliance. The first KY-WV LSAMP alliance-wide conference “along with others involved as appropriate” will be held at UK in the 2014-15 academic year, said UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Judy “JJ” Jackson. Jackson is also an associate professor of educational policy studies and evaluation.


Jackson recently completed site visits to all alliance member campuses to learn how each is structured and to gain valuable insight and feedback. The alliance will seek out cross-institutional opportunities for students in undergraduate research and internships.


“We can only imagine what we can achieve with $2.5 million to mine the talents of the promising young people across the alliance. This investment will have a multi-generational impact on the future of this region,” Jackson said.


“The impact on students will help to define the future of these institutions and this geographical area. The people of this region are coming increasingly to believe in their potential for greatness,” said Jackson. “We will be constructing our future success without the bias of economic status, skin color, gender, religion...”


The goals are ambitious, but the KY-WV LSAMP universities plan to reach them with strategic recruiting and intentional focus on senior year attrition. National studies show that underrepresented minority students enroll as STEM majors at the same rate as their counterparts, but graduate at significantly lower rates. The project abstract asserts that the key to retention will be the provision of timely and effective individual support as needed, based on real-time tracking and both faculty- and peer-mentoring.


The NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program’s aim is to grow a greater number of diverse students to successfully compete in the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate degree programs, and to increase the number of students interested in, and academically prepared to matriculate into graduate study programs. LSAMP supports sustained and comprehensive efforts that facilitate achievement of the long-term goal of increasing the number of students who earn doctorates in STEM fields, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM fields. The program defines under-represented groups as African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans.




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


Sullivan Award Winners Announced for 2014

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 23:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) ― A local business owner with 30 years of public service focusing on social justice issues and homelessness, the founder of a service-dog training program to assist people with disabilities, and a student leader who expanded alternative spring break service trips globally are the recipients of the University of Kentucky's 2014 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions for outstanding humanitarian service.


They will receive their medallions this evening at UK's annual Honors and Recognition  Awards Program in the Student Center Grand Ballroom. A 6 p.m. reception will be followed by the formal program beginning at 7 p.m.


The citizen recipient of the Sullivan Award this year is Debra Hensley, owner of the Hensley Agency of State Farm Insurance Companies in Lexington. She has worked in insurance and financial services since 1974.


When she was a council member for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government from 1986 to 1992, she focused on social justice issues and homelessness. As chair of a task force on homelessness in Lexington, Hensely emerged as a leading force behind creation of the Hope Center to assist homeless and at-risk people.


Hensley is a past recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, and she is the founder of Debra Hensley’s Social Stimulus, which hosts events featuring local “do good” businesses and nonprofits. She is past chairwoman of The Plantory, which covers administrative needs of nonprofit tenants focused on social innovation, bringing together artists, activists and entrepreneurs who share the goal of improving the well-being of people and the planet.


As a co-founder of JustFundKY, Hensley helped create an endowment to fund efforts to eradicate discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. She worked with public officials and community advocates for passage of the Fairness Ordinance to protect LGBT individuals against discrimination.


She was honored in 2012 by the Girls Scouts of Kentucky as one of 100 Women of Distinction, and in 2013 she was recognized by the Lexington Herald-Leader as one of Lexington's Most Influential Leaders.


Katharine E. Skarvan was selected to receive the Sullivan Award for the graduating senior woman. An animal science major, Skarvan was the founder as a freshman and the inaugural president of Wildcat Service Dogs (WSD) at the University of Kentucky. WSD is a student-run organization that trains service dogs for the benefit of disabled individuals.


With its goal to "help students to help dogs help people," WSD trains dogs to turn on lights, fetch phones, open refrigerators and perform other basic tasks that challenge their disabled owners.


Skarvan recruited and trained an 11-member officer team and negotiated with the UK legal office to allow the organization’s dogs to live in the dormitories and attend classes with their handlers.


She secured a State Farm community service grant to ensure the program's future success after she graduates, and her work has been featured on local television and in area newspaper coverage. WSD received the 2014 Outstanding Leadership Award from the UK chapter of ODK, the National Leadership Honor Society.


Currently training a dog for the Louisville nonprofit Paws with Purpose, Skarvan keeps the dog in Lexington every other week and on the off week drives him to the Kentucky Correctional Institution in Pee Wee Valley, where an inmate handler also trains him.


The Sullivan Award for the graduating senior man goes to Andrew Ritzel, a double major in biology and Spanish who, beginning as a freshman, became involved in the Alternative Service Break (ASB) program at UK. Under his leadership, the program's opportunities doubled from 2010 to 2014 and the first service trips to Nicaragua and Ghana were launched.


He initiated ASB’s first formal partnership at UK with Shoulder-to-Shoulder Global, resulting in a medical brigade being sent to Ecuador for the first time over a Spring Break. In 2012-2013, Ritzel developed a need-based scholarship program to address increasing concerns about access for all UK students to be able to participate in the program.


Under Ritzel's leadership, ASB was named 2014 Program of the Year, a national recognition by College Educators International.


UK has been recognizing Sullivan Award winners since 1927 and is one of several Southern universities that present Sullivan Awards, sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation. The award recognizes individuals whose commitment to community service evokes a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women.


The criteria for selection, which puts a premium on character, integrity and humanitarian service, are written in the spirit of Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a Southerner who became a prominent lawyer, businessman and philanthropist in New York in the late 19th century.





Employee Band to Perform at UK Chandler Hospital Atrium

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) - A couple of times a week during the lunch hour, the tapping of drums, strumming of guitars and harmonizing of voices trails into the hallways of the Kentucky Clinic and the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.


Faculty and staff stop to listen at the doorway of an office used as a rehearsal room for The CatsEclectic, a band comprised of UK HealthCare employees. The six-member band plays a variety of pop music and classic hits from artists including Neil Young, The Everly Brothers, The Chiffons and Marvin Gaye, as well as a couple original songs. As part of UK HealthCare's Arts in HealthCare program, the band will perform in the Pavilion A Atrium from noon to 1 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month beginning April 15.


True to their name, the band is made up of a diverse mix of UK HealthCare staff members. Carolyn "Chef Cat" Burnette, who works in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, recruited members of the band when she was organizing a flash mob around Christmas. The band started out with Burnette on guitar and two of her department co-workers, Kim “Sugar Cat” Pugh and Teresa “Sweet-T” Harmon, on vocals. After sending out a call for band members through a UK HealthCare listserv, Mike “Riff Daddy” Bratcher, an information technology trainer, joined as a bassist, and Glen “Tigger” White, a customer relations specialist, came on board as a percussionist. The band recently added Jimmy “J Flow” Thomas, medical technician and assistant manager in Women's Health/Rheumatology, on vocals and piano.


During their first and only performance so far in Atrium A, Burnette said co-workers, students and patients gathered to groove to the music. She remembers a man sitting with his son in his lap while enjoying the performance. Burnette thinks fun and upbeat music serves to cheer up patients in the hospital.


"It's a chance for us to share some good feelings with the patients and people passing by," Burnette said. "Music is a really powerful thing - words are powerful, but when you combine them with music, it's like medicine."


The Cats Eclectic are looking for experienced instrumental musicians at UK HealthCare as new members. If you are interested in joining the band, contact


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Student Wins Scholarship to Study at Oxford

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) — University of Kentucky's Ryan Winstead, an English and gender and women's studies junior, has been awarded an English-Speaking Union (ESU) Scholarship presented by the English-Speaking Union Kentucky Branch. The scholarship will cover Winstead's expenses for summer study at the University of Oxford.


The Kentucky Branch of the English-Speaking Union awards a limited number of scholarships to qualified Kentucky college students for courses offered at institutions in the United Kingdom. Scholarship awards include tuition, lodging and two meals daily for three-week courses at the institutions chosen by the scholarship winners. Scholarships also include one week’s lodging in London and a cash allowance.


ESU scholarships are awarded for studies in English literature, history and social sciences at Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh University for the summer of 2014. Scholarship winners, selected through an essay and interview process for the program, are expected to become articulate lifelong ambassadors for British/American cultural exchanges. 


Winstead looks forward to pursuing studies in English literature while at Oxford. "The ESU will grant me invaluable insight into English literature that will be essential in my career path, as well as allow me to travel abroad."


The son of Denise and Russel Winstead, of Madisonville, Ky., Winstead is a 2011 Madisonville North Hopkins High School graduate. Besides pursuing majors in English and gender and women's studies, Winstead has also taken on undergraduate research working with Michael Trask, associate professor of English, social theory, and gender and women's studies, rhetorically analyzing the young adult LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) literature genre.


Winstead was attracted to his area of studies in his pursuit of finding a way to lend his voice in the fight for LGBT rights. "My experience as an LGBT individual growing up in a small Western Kentucky home prompted me to use my opportunity in college to explore and fight for rights for social outsiders. I believe writing is an especially effective way to accomplish this."


Outside of the classroom, the Gaines Fellow and former Chellgren Fellow is a member of UK's Speech and Debate Team and Phi Beta Kappa. Winstead also finds time to volunteer coaching local chess clubs and previously interned with the Lexington publication Ace Weekly.


Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Winstead plans to pursue a doctoral degree in English.


The ESU of the United States is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, educational service organization whose mission is to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in an expanding global community. Headquartered in New York City, the organization implements programs through a network of 78 branches throughout the United States. The Kentucky branch of the ESU was chartered in 1923 by local business and civic leaders. Since 1960, more than 450 Kentucky teachers and college students have been awarded scholarships by the Kentucky branch of the ESU.


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



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

Twitter Chat Offers Insight on Organ Donation

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:20
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) — Donna Slone, client services coordinator for Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) at UK HealthCare, and Teresa Schladt, a liver transplant recipient who underwent surgery at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, will give insight on Donate Life Month for UK's April edition of the #AskACat Twitter chat.


Both Slone and Schladt have first-hand experience with the organ donation process.  They will answer questions about this and related topics beginning 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, via the university's official Twitter account, @universityofky.


Those interested in following the conversation or participating in the chat can follow the university's official account or use the hashtag #AskACat for questions and responses from the Twitter chat.


Individuals interested in asking questions about the topics of organ donation, Donate Life Month or other related topics should send their questions to through 3 p.m. April 15, or to the UK Facebook page prior to 2 p.m., April 15.  Responses to questions will be shared with the university's Twitter followers and those following the hashtag #AskACat.


UK's transplant program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and is one of only two transplant programs in the state of Kentucky. Founded in 1987, KODA is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. For more information on the organization or to learn how to become an organ donor, visit


UK will present its next #AskACat Twitter chat June 17.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

Learn About UK's Spring Writing Gallery on WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 22:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 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.  On today's program, Jennifer Rice, director of composition for Writing, Rhetoric & Digital Studies, and her doctoral student Craig Crowder discuss UK’s Spring Writing Gallery, a showcase for the best nonfiction writing at the university.


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.


Ambati Receives 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 16:22


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 11, 2014) – Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine has been named one of 14 recipients of the 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Awards. The annual awards recognize a faculty member from every SEC university who demonstrates outstanding records of teaching, research and scholarship.


To be eligible for the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, a professor must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor at an SEC university; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.


Since Ambati's arrival at UK in 2001, he has made significant contributions to the University as a teacher, physician-scientist, and researcher. His published studies appear in top-tier journals such as, Cell, Nature, and the New England Journal of Medicine. On a national and international level, Ambati and his team are perhaps most noted for groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to the body of knowledge related to Age Related Macular Degeneration.


Ambati's research has led to numerous coveted physician-scientist awards such as the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Translational Research Clinical Scientist Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging, the Prix Soubrane de la Recherehe en Ophthalmalogie in Paris, France, for his contributions to research in age-related macular degeneration, and the Mark Brothers Award from the Indiana University School of Medicine.  Additionally, he was recently inducted as a member of Club Jules Gonin, which is regarded as the most exclusive society of retina physicians and surgeons in the world.


“The 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners are some of our nation’s most accomplished instructors, researchers and scholars,” said Dr. Jay Gogue, President of Auburn University and President of the Southeastern Conference. “It is my great pleasure to preside over an intercollegiate athletics conference that not only recognizes their work, but strives to support it as well.”


SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners receive a $5,000 honorarium from the Southeastern Conference and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year, to be named later this month, receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized at the SEC Spring Meetings in May and the SEC Symposium in September.


SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “These 14 professors positively represent the breadth and depth of education in the Southeastern Conference, and I want to congratulate each of them. The commitment to their students, universities and communities is truly commendable.”


Selected by a committee of SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference, which sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.


Below is a complete list of the 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients.

  • University of Alabama, Dr. George Rable, Charles Summersell Chair of Southern History
  • University of Arkansas, Dr. Carol Reeves, Cecil and Gwendolyn Cupp Applied Professorship in Entrepreneurship
  • Auburn University, Dr. Geoffrey Hill, Professor and Curator of Birds, Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Florida, Dr. Peter Hirschfeld, Professor of Physics
  • University of Georgia, Dr. Gregory Robinson, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
  • University of Kentucky, Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, Professor and Vice Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Louisiana State University, Dr. Mark Batzer, Dr. Mary Lou Applewhite Distinguished Professor
  • University of Mississippi, Dr. John Hall, Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics
  • Mississippi State University, Dr. Hossein Toghiani, Thomas B. Nusz Endowed Professor of Chemical Engineering
  • University of Missouri, Dr. Judy Wall, Curator’s Professor in Biochemistry
  • University of South Carolina, Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider, University Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • University of Tennessee, Dr. Daniel Simberloff, Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies

UK Media Contact:  Ann Blackford,