College of Communication Students Get Advice From the Pros

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 13:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information is preparing soon-to-be graduates for their postgrad life. On Oct. 29, the college hosted a Professional-Amateur Networking Day at the Hilary J. Boone Center. This event gave junior and senior students in the college the opportunity to network with alumni and supporters of the program. Students were able to hear valuable advice before they embark on their professional lives.


Shari Veil, Elisia Cohen and Cyndy Miller organized and planned the event modeled after similar ones held on other college campuses. Cyndy Miller, director of the College of Communication and Information Internship Program, brought in the pros.


Students in attendance were given the opportunity to listen to real world experiences of professionals who are in positions similar to the ones students hope to hold. Companies represented ranged from Columbia Gas of Kentucky to Awesome Inc. The relaxed atmosphere made students feel like they were having lunch with a colleague, rather than sitting through an interview. According to Miller they were trying to “create an open conversation, led by students.”


Drew Curtis, founder and CEO of, gave the keynote address at the event. He mixed humor and a casual outfit into his highly insightful speech, which consisted primarily of life stories. The best piece of advice given to students in attendance was his version of the “secret to life,” “do what’s easy.” That’s not to say he didn’t impress upon the audience the importance of hard work. He discussed how he chose his educational path, computer science. He noted how he liked the homework, and so that was the career path he chose to pursue. Because he chose a field that interested him, his 16-hour work days don’t seem so long.   


The college hopes to be able to offer this event again in the future to students.




MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 


YouVisit Campus Virtually With New Online Tour Experience

Sun, 11/02/2014 - 22:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2014) — The University of Kentucky is proud to the launch two brand new virtual tours — one of the main campus and one of residence halls — through the YouVisit platform. The YouVisit tours provide both prospective undergraduate and graduate students an up-close and engaging view of the university.


"Our community is continuously becoming a more diverse, global society," Kelley Bozeman, marketing director, said. "We wanted to give students from across the Commonwealth, country and world a way to experience our campus, even if they are unable to travel to Lexington."


This project was a collaborative project between the UK Office of Public Relations and Marketing and Enrollment Management.


The online tours simulate an actual campus tour. Each of the tours is led by a campus tour guide who narrates the visitor through the tour much like they do on a campus visit. Cassidy and Arayo, both UK Visitor Center tour guides, take visitors to the site on a tour of campus and residence halls, describing each tour stop and giving fun information about UK, academics and campus services along the way.


The main campus tour guides you through the campus, Rupp Arena and Downtown Lexington, the Arboretum and Keeneland. The second tour gives you a personal view of the many residence halls on campus.


"We felt it was important to include parts of Lexington with the campus tour," Bozeman said. "Lexington is a great college town and is part of what makes UK so special. We selected a few locations to highlight that are favorites of our students."


Viewers are able to watch videos and view 360-degree panoramic shots that connect to each stop to give them an even more exclusive look at the university. The website also provides text-only subtitles for each stop of the tour. Interested students can also schedule a campus tour and apply to the university from the site.


"We know that students spend a lot of time online researching prospective institutions," Bozeman said. "YouVisit allows students to check out UK as they are researching schools and gives them a great sampling of what our campus is like. We also anticipate students using the site to review campus as they make their final college decisions. The University of Kentucky is an amazing place to spend your collegiate years and we're excited to offer YouVisit as another tool to help in the college selection process."


The online virtual tours provide translations in both Spanish and Mandarin to accommodate  interested international students. They are also mobile-friendly and work on any mobile device including smartphones and tablets. The tours will be able to help keep prospective students informed and aware of the many new innovations going on at UK.


"The tour will be updated on a yearly basis, but we will continuously add supplemental photos and videos to the site," Bozeman said.


The YouVisit tour platform, along with and, are innovative ways that the University of Kentucky is utilizing to share our "see blue." story with prospective students.


"Visiting, our YouVisit campus tour and, along with following our social media accounts, should give a prospective student a good idea of what life would be like as a Wildcat," Bozeman said.


View the University of Kentucky virtual tour at the YouVisit website at


Let us share our "see blue." story with you. Connect with "see blue." on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Visit to see why our students, faculty, staff and alumni love being a Wildcat.


Share your UK experiences with us using #seeblue.



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

Information Sessions Available on STEM, Summer Research, Environmental Service Opportunities

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards is offering three information sessions about awards, scholarships, fellowships and internships during the month of November. Students pursuing undergraduate studies in STEM fields; wanting summer research opportunities; or looking for opportunities related to the environment, should plan to attend.


Nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships are awards that are funded by sources independent of UK. These sources include non-profit groups, government agencies and companies. Criteria for scholarships vary but generally include academic performance, financial need, community affiliations and specific attributes important to the sponsoring organization


The first information session will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 213 Funkhouser Building. Director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, Pat Whitlow, is holding a session titled STEM Scholarships for Undergraduate Study. This session will focus on the Astronaut Scholarship and the Goldwater Scholarship. The Astronaut Scholarship recognizes sophomores and juniors in engineering, natural or applied science, or mathematics fields who intend to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees. The Goldwater Scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition for sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in engineering, natural or applied science, or mathematics fields. Students intending to pursue a practice in professional medicine are not eligible for these awards.


The second information session, Summer Research Opportunities, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 213 Funkhouser Building. Whitlow will provide more information about funding opportunities to pursue research during the summer months.  The session will focus on three potential opportunities. Specifically, this session will focus on the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Amgen Scholars, and UK Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Research Grants. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates funds student research at sites across the U.S. Each student applies for a specific research project in an area funded by the NSF where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers at that site. The Amgen Scholars Program provides financial support and a hands-on research experience at a participating university for undergraduates in science and biotechnology. UK Office of Undergraduate Research provides Summer Research Grants to enable students in any discipline to conduct research at the lab of their choice during the summer.


The third information session is titled Environmental Opportunities and will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 213 Funkhouser Building. At this program, Whitlow will discuss funding opportunities related to the environment. The Udall Scholarship awards sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated a commitment to careers related to the environment.


Space is limited for all of the November information sessions. Students interested in attending should register at If you have questions contact Jennifer N. Strange at


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




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

Q&A With Mary Sue Coleman, Next "see tomorrow." Speaker

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2014) The "see tomorrow." Speaker Series will continue on Thursday with Mary Sue Coleman, former University of Kentucky faculty member and former president of the University of Michigan.


Coleman will address the UK community at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Lexmark Public Room of the Main Building.


Mary Sue Coleman led the University of Michigan as its 13th president from August 2002 until she retired in June 2014.


As president, she developed numerous large initiatives that impacted the community, the campus, and future generations of students. These initiatives included enhancing interdisciplinary richness of university, strengthening student residential life, bolstering the economic vitality of the state and nation, increasing the university's global engagement, and encouraging innovation and creativity.


TIME magazine has named Coleman one of the nation’s “10 best college presidents,” and the American Council on Education has honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award.


In anticipation of her presentation, UKNow asked Coleman the following questions.


1.    What do you plan to discuss in your presentation on the UK campus?


I will talk about the need for America’s universities to be more innovative and entrepreneurial. We are doing great work teaching these values and talents to our students, and I believe we, as institutions, should be just as innovative. The principles we teach students about entrepreneurship are exactly the same principles all of higher education needs to navigate in today’s turbulent waters.


I also plan to leave time for conversation with the audience. I’m eager to hear what is working well at UK and how we can learn from each other.


2.    You were president of one of America’s leading public research universities and have served in senior leadership roles at a number of institutions. How has the role of the presidency changed over time in your judgment?


I see the job of university president becoming more and more challenging. With the extensive reductions in aid from the federal and state governments, coupled with absolute need for higher education to control costs and keep tuition affordable, presidents must be very disciplined and very creative. An educated citizenry matters, and we must do whatever it takes to keep college affordable, accessible and excellent.


Today’s president must be a leader with a talented executive team and a commitment to working with those in business, government and philanthropic circles.  And, more than anything, a president must be dedicated to an exceptional education for students.


3.    What do you think are the most significant challenges confronting higher education, particularly public research institutions?


We are threatened by shrinking financial support from our federal and state governments. And threatened by waning public confidence and those skeptical of our value and our contributions. There is a compact between American society and public higher education that cannot be found anywhere else. I truly believe it is one of the great achievements of our nation. But that compact is frayed and it must be strengthened.  It is frayed because of a divestment in public higher education that threatens our future — threatens it as much as climate change.


4.    With those challenges, what do you think are the prospects for the future?


I am an eternal optimist. No other nation has a system of higher education like ours, and students from around the world continue to seek out an American education. When Congress passed the Morrill Act of 1862, establishing land-grant universities like the University of Kentucky, it launched a public education movement that is a crown jewel of our country and the envy of the world. But to remain so, we as a society must make higher education — and in particular, public higher education — a national priority.


The "see tomorrow." Speaker Series is co-sponsored by the University Senate and the Office of the Provost.   MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365;

UK Honors Program Brings the World of 'Harry Potter' to Life

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 10:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) — After an October full of spells, potions and wizardry, University of Kentucky Honors Program students celebrated Halloween at a Yule Ball last night, straight from the world of Harry Potter himself.


The ball was a culmination of Harry Potter Month, a series of events sponsored by the Honors Program and the residence halls Central I and II.  Now in its third year, the themed month has proven to be quite popular with Honors students, with 94 percent of those living in the Honors residence hall participating in events last year. This year's numbers appear just as high, with nearly 600 students participating.


Jillian Faith, resident director of Central Hall, originally came up with the idea of Harry Potter Month, and has worked with the students to implement it for last three years at UK.


"It’s something they grew up with — and they just own it," Faith said. "Before this generation there was 'Star Wars' or 'Lord of the Rings,' and this group happens to love 'Harry Potter.'  And so we just capitalized on that. It works really well with the Honors Program and our student population because we can put an academic spin on it - it fits all the criteria that we would want."


The idea behind the month of activities is community building — encouraging students to get to know those in their residence hall and within the Honors Program better. Throughout October, students participate in a variety of Potter-themed events, such as a trip to Hogsmeade (the farmer's market), a workshop in "potions" (a study session for Chemistry 105 and 107) and social events like a house-sorting ceremony, among many others.


The program also works with faculty from across campus to offer an array of learning experiences that tie back to the theme.  For example, Rita Picklesimer, a dance instructor in the UK College of Education's Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, attended the Yule Ball to teach the students the waltz dance from the movie.


"When we tell faculty it’s part of Harry Potter month, they’re usually very excited to take part in it," Faith said.


While the students all go crazy for "Harry Potter," it's not the only month of activities the program offers.  Every month centers on a timely theme. For example, November and December will offer opportunities for students to learn about community service.


Heather Carpenter, advisor and co-curricular programmer in Honors, said these themed activities get students excited and make them feel more at home within the residence hall.


"We had 98 students return this year that lived in Central last year," Carpenter said. "I think if you provide them with programming that is both interesting and fun — and also ties to their academics — then you can increase retention."


Elementary education junior Colleen Kochensparger is "very much a "Harry Potter" fan, and was in attendance at last night's ball. 


"I know a lot of the people in the Honors residence hall are fans, and I think this is a good community where you can be unashamedly passionate about nerdy things like 'Harry Potter,'" she said. "I was sorted into Gryffindor for the month, so in order to earn points we had to get with other people who were also sorted into our house. We went to programs with them and made videos about the importance of our house. It was very fun and a way to meet new people in our residence hall."


Faith said the month's programming is student-led, with residence advisors and peer mentors coming up with most of the ideas.


"I think that is what really helps get all of these students involved — the RAs and peer mentors befriend the students and are able to reach all four corners of the hall,” she said.


Samuel Burkhardt, an animal science junior, has served as a peer mentor in the program for that past two years.  He believes creating smaller programs of this nature within the university helps students acclimate more to the campus community.


"The first few months you're on campus can be really stressful if you come from a small school background like I did," Burkhardt said. "The peer mentors' roles are to create programs to help students get to know each other better. Harry Potter Month brings a great theme into the programs because I feel like everyone in Honors loves Harry Potter — it’s what we grew up with as kids. It's a really special event for a lot of people."


Carpenter thinks the world of "Harry Potter" resonates particularly well for Honors students.


"There is something special about the notion of 'I am like a wizard because I’m curious and I'm an enthusiastic learner.' Maybe they come from a high school where that's not so cool, but here it is. Everyone is an active engaged learner — and that's kind of what Hogwarts is like — everyone is passionate about learning magic."


The Honors Program is part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.

Ag's Atkinson Receives National Guard Award

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 17:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2014) — The National Guard Bureau recently honored a staff member of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment for his impact on the state’s military youth and youth programs.


Tyrone Atkinson, program coordinator for Operation Military Kids at UK, received the Youth Development Volunteer Award from bureau chief Gen. Frank Grass at the National Volunteer Workshop in Oklahoma. Cindy Culver of the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort nominated Atkinson.


“Words cannot describe Tyrone’s passion and compassion for military kids and families,” said Culver, lead child and youth programs coordinator for the Cognitive Professional Services Company, a Kentucky National Guard contractor. “There’s never a request too large or small for Tyrone to handle, and he has shown great dependability and enthusiasm for his career and those he serves.”


Since 2009, Atkinson, a 2007 UKAg graduate from Louisville, has managed the day-to-day operations of UK’s Operation Military Kids contract with family and consumer sciences extension. He regularly collaborates with the military personnel to provide enriching programs to National Guard and Active Duty youth and families. In addition, he trains civilians on ways they can build a stronger community capacity to support military families, especially those facing or just returning from a deployment. Through several Department of Defense family and adventure camps, Atkinson and colleagues help military families reconnect after a deployment.


"We couldn't be more proud of Tyrone,” said Kerri Ashurst, senior extension specialist in UK family and consumer sciences extension and director of the Operation Military Kids contract. “He gives so much of himself to our Kentucky military families. His passion is working to strengthen families, and it shows through in everything he does in his work with the military. He is so very deserving of this award.”




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

Free Tickets for Employees to Women's Hoops on Nov. 17

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 16:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) — Current UK employees may receive up to four complimentary tickets for the Kentucky Women's Basketball PACK THE HOUSE game against Baylor 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at Rupp Arena.  For this event only, bring your UK employee ID to the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Friday, to pick up the tickets. This option must be done in person and in advance and is based upon availability.


If you are unable to pick up tickets in advance, you may present your UK Employee ID at the gate at Rupp Arena to gain free admission for yourself and one guest, based on ticket availability in the general admission areas.


Additional tickets for purchase are available in the reserved lower level and in the general admission upper level. Prices are as follows: $9 reserved seats (all ages), $8 adult general admission, $5 youth/senior general admission (18 & under, 65 & over).  Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge in the general admission area.


Contact the UK Ticket Office at 859-257-1818 with any questions.




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

KSBDC Launches Enhanced Website

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 16:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) — The Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) is pleased to announce the launch of the newly enhanced website, with much of the restructuring resulting from a call for help by the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative.


Formed by Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, the SOAR initiative held over 100 listening sessions with residents throughout Eastern Kentucky during the summer of 2014 and collected valuable input from business owners regarding what were deemed the greatest needs. From the numerous conversations with residents, one of the top requests presented to the initiative administrators was to develop and promote a web portal clearinghouse to better market resources currently available to potential entrepreneurs and existing small business owners.


In response to this need, the center, in partnership with the East Kentucky Technical Assistance Providers network, has launched The extensive online directory contains detailed profiles and information on Kentucky’s non-profit and government agencies that provide services to assist the region with its continued economic growth. 


“When Gov. Beshear and Congressman Rogers launched the SOAR initiative last year,this is exactly the type of success they envisioned; a unique collaboration and the elevation of an organization that is already doing fantastic work within the region,” said Jared Arnett, executive director for SOAR. “We are encouraged to see the Small Business Development Center responding so quickly to meet one of the needs identified in the final report as submitted to the SOAR Executive Board in September.”


Entrepreneurs who need help starting a new business or growing an existing business can gain access to an array of services by using’s advanced search functionality. The system allows the user to select the type of assistance they need. It then filters through the available catalog of resources and delivers a customized list of local service providers offering the specific support requested.


The website’s resource partners provide assistance with issues relating to business planning, business training, economic development, financing/loan programs, importing and exporting, management assistance, manufacturing and product development, marketing, small business advocacy, business networking, permits and licenses, procurement assistance, research and technology and many more areas.


“KSBDC is pleased to collaborate with service providers to help make it easier for entrepreneurs to find the resources they want,” said Becky Naugle, KSBDC state director. “We heard over and over that they wanted and needed a one-stop place to find all the help available, and that is what KyBIZinfo provides.”


Access to the website is free for entrepreneur hopefuls and participating resourcepartner organizations. Currently, hosts more than 325 service providers with detailed profile information available to Kentucky businesses.


Additional information is available at the KyBIZinfo website, or 877-592-4946.


The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 15 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The center is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services is available online at




MEDIA CONTACT: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-7668.


Coldstream Park Hosting 4th Annual Free to Breathe Run/Walk This Saturday

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) – Coldstream Park will host the city's fourth annual Free to Breathe fundraiser this Saturday, Nov 1. The inspirational event will feature a 5k run/walk and a 1-mile walk for all fitness levels, with awards for top fundraisers and finishers.


All proceeds from the event support Free to Breathe, a nonprofit lung cancer research and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring surviving lung cancer is the expectation, not the exception.


Kentucky leads the nation in both new incidences of lung cancer and deaths from the disease. Though tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer, anyone can develop the disease regardless of his or her smoking status. Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the U.S.  Despite this, lung cancer receives proportionately less government funding per death than other types of cancer.


Free to Breathe aims to rally Kentuckians to create change and help defeat lung cancer. Supporters and participants are creating communities of hope by raising awareness of the disease and funds which can fuel advances in detection and treatment and ultimately save lives.


Registration for the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the opening rally at 9:40 a.m. The cost to register that day is $30. Registrants can choose to participant in one of three events:


·      5K Run, beginning at 10 a.m.

·      5K walk, beginning at 10:05 a.m.

·      1-mile walk, beginning at 10:10 a.m.


For more information on Free to Breathe, visit


Adjusting Your Body Clock When the Time Changes

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2014) -- As we reset our clocks and watches for daylight saving time, it's a good opportunity to think about our body clocks as well. Our bodies naturally operate on 24-hour cycles, called circadian rhythms, that respond to external cues such as time of light and dark, eating and physical activity.


While we often think of the body as having one "master clock" in the brain, current science now makes it clear that every cell in the body has its own individual clock.  Together, these timekeepers direct our behaviors--telling us when to sleep, wake up and eat-- and work to keep our cells healthy.


When we set our clocks back an hour each autumn, we don't see it as anything more than gaining an extra hour of sleep. In reality, though, all the cell clocks in our body are making an adjustment to this change in time.  Even this small time change can cause our body clocks to become slightly and temporarily out of sync. As a result of the time change, for about a week you might feel tired earlier at night and wake up earlier in the morning. The good news is that the fall time change, where we delay the clocks and our exposure to light by an hour (known as a "phase delay"), is easier for us to adjust to than setting our clocks forward.


For best health we need to be mindful our body clocks all year long. Minor changes like daylight saving time can have small, temporary effects on us. But long-term disruptions to your circadian rhythm, like chronic sleep deprivation, shift work, or eating and exercising late in the day, can cause more serious problems. According to the National Institutes of Health, abnormal circadian rhythms have been associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.


How do you keep your body clock in healthy working order year round?


 -- Use light as your guide. The best way for you to keep your body clocks synchronized is to keep light, eating, and activity consolidated. Use daytime hours for your meals and exercise, and try to do most of that earlier in the day.


-- Get enough sleep. Sleep serves an important function - it's when our bodies do maintenance, which is why our body clock tells us to go to sleep every day. Try to get about eight hour of sleep each night.


-- Pay attention to your natural time cues of light exposure, when you eat, and when you're physically active/exercising. Your sleep cycle is an output of your body clock system, and eating, exercising, and bright lights (including your cell phone, computer or TV) near bedtime can make it difficult to sleep.



Dr. Karyn Esser is a professor of physiology at the University of Kentucky. She specializes in targeting circadian rhythms to optimize health and directs the Center for Muscle Biology. 


This column appeared in the November 2, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 

Class Registration Reminder for Students: Pay Parking Citations

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — Priority registration for the University of Kentucky's 2104-2015 winter intersession and the 2015 spring semester begins Monday, Nov. 3. UK Parking and Transportation Services is reminding students who have unpaid parking citations that they may be unable to register for classes due to an administrative hold. Students are urged to pay all of their citations before their class registration window opens. Students can pay citations online at


Administrative holds for outstanding citations are not automatically released upon payment of fees. To remove an administrative hold from a student account, please call Parking and Transportation Services at 859-257-5757 after paying any outstanding fees. The PTS office is open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


If you are unsure whether you have outstanding parking citations, you may check on PTS website at You may also use the myUK portal to check your student account, including any unresolved academic or financial holds.

56 Honored at UK Outstanding Staff Awards Ceremony

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 19:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — Fifty-six University of Kentucky staff members were honored during the 2014 Outstanding Staff Awards (OSA) recognition ceremony Wednesday at Spindletop Hall.  This was the fifth year for the event sponsored by Staff Senate and the President's Office.


More than 100 people were in attendance to honor the award winners, including University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, representatives of the Board of Trustees, colleagues, and other campus leaders. Entertainment included performances by students from the UK Department of Theatre and Dance.


“The University of Kentucky is full of dedicated, passionate people who help advance our multi-faceted mission of teaching, research, service and health care,” said President Capilouto. “Our campus is about people, and the Outstanding Staff Awards is a special opportunity to congratulate and thank the UK Family."


OSA winners were all referred by their respective work units as their most deserving employees of 2013-14.


"Since implementation of the program in 2010, unit participation across the university has more than tripled from eight to 20," said Holly Jones Clark, the OSA program chair.  “We are delighted that administrators see the value in recognizing the professional contributions of our diverse staff.”


The 56 OSA winners represented 20 colleges and administrative units, including the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, Gatton College of Business and Economics, College of Communication and Information, College of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health Sciences, College of Law, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, Human Resources, Office of Development, Office of the Treasurer, Student Affairs, UK HealthCare, UK HealthCare IT, UK Libraries, and Undergraduate Studies.


2014 Outstanding Staff Award winners are:

Alice Carpenter

Allison Webster

Amanda Henderson

Amy Eason

Amy K. Triana

Annette Garth

Ashley West

Brian Powers

Catherine Streiff

Charles Arvin

Christina King

Corey Preston

Cortney Decker

Cynthia Lane

David Higginbotham

David Powell

Diane Riddell

Eric McWhorter

G. Wayne Rogers

Heather Yattaw Wagoner

Helen Williams

James Ash

James Morris

Jeff Allen

Jill Dobias

Jim Paugh

Jolene Ruble

Jon Davis

Julie Cleary

June Horn

Kitty Simpson

Laura DaCanto

Laura Gardner

Lynn Fresca

Marc K. Blevins

Mary Ann Nestmann

Matt McMahan

Melissa Huffman

Meredith Houlihan

Michael Mayfield

Nancy DeMarcus

Nancy McDevitt

Randy Pratt

Robby Martin-Curry

Robert Caskey

Robert Hayes

Rosalyn Robinson

Sara Lawson

Sarah Gabbard

Sally Quigley

Shari Dutton

Sharise Harrison

Stephanie Tate

Stephen Leedy

Terry Shelton

Tsitsi Gwanyanya


The OSA Program Committee includes Holly Jones Clark, Jann Burks, Chris Crumrine, Misty Dotson, Keith Hautala, Mindy McCulley and Clem Stambaugh.

VIDEO: New Residence Halls Building Community on UK's Campus

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 16:42



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) — On UK’s campus, you can see and hear the transformation taking place. 


A major part of that transformation is the construction of new residence halls for future students.  While some halls are already occupied and others are still being built, this effort is changing the way students live and learn on campus.


Watch the UKNow video feature above to discover what it’s like for current students to live on UK’s campus in the midst of UK’s residential transformation. 


For more information about all the different residence halls available to undergraduate students, click here:


To apply for housing at UK, visit:


Click on this playlist to watch more videos about what it’s like to live on UK’s campus!



VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,





UK HealthCare Obstetricians Provide Care Close to Home for Mothers in Appalachia

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 14:33
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — Two years after her son Nicholas was born, Elma Thorpe still agrees with a phrase used to describe her baby in the first seconds of his life.    "He's perfect," Thorpe said, repeating the words of nurses who stabilized Nicholas after he was delivered by emergency caesarian section in November 2012. Today, the Breathitt County mom can't imagine life without the blond-haired child she considers a blessing. Now a toddler, Nicholas is running around the house.  But the moments before Nicholas was born were anything but perfect for Thorpe and her family. At 36 weeks pregnant, Thorpe thought pains in her stomach meant she was going into labor. After having a miscarriage with an earlier pregnancy, Thorpe was taking every precaution to ensure her baby's safety.  "I was just making sure nothing went wrong," Thorpe said.  Thorpe was admitted to the emergency department at Appalachian Regional HealthCare Medical Center in Hazard. Her regular doctor was on vacation, so on-call obstetrician Dr. James Dawson, one of two doctors based at the UK HealthCare Women's Clinic in Hazard, stepped in to deliver Thorpe's baby.  While waiting to be transferred to the labor and delivery department, Thorpe felt a gush of fluid release from her womb. She assumed the sensation was her water breaking, but the fluid was blood. When Dawson checked Thorpe's progress, he knew the amount of vaginal bleeding indicated a serious complication, and the baby needed to be delivered immediately.  "With some emergencies, you have several minutes or an hour, but this was one where we had only a few minutes," Dawson said. "We just needed to treat the problem."  Dawson's diagnosis was a placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta prematurely breaks away from the wall of the uterus. From his decades of experience delivering babies in rural Kentucky, Dawson suspected that the blood was complicated by placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is set low on the uterus and vulnerable to separation during contractions. The abruption cut off the baby's oxygen supply, and the doctor feared that the baby would die inside the womb before he was able to deliver. He also knew Thorpe was in danger as she was losing a high volume of blood.  Dawson's first priority was removing the baby from the womb by emergency caesarian section. While working with the ARH medical team, Dawson kept Thorpe and her family calm and informed as the medical team rushed into surgery.   "He let on like nothing was wrong until it was happening and we knew it was happening," Thorpe said. "He talked to me and told me everything's going to be ok."  After Dawson delivered 5-pound Nicholas, he and the medical team focused on stopping Thorpe's bleeding. Nicholas had swallowed a small amount of blood, but was otherwise a healthy, breathing baby. Thorpe received several transfusions of blood before she was ready to go home with Nicholas. But before leaving the hospital, Thorpe and the baby took a picture with Dawson so they would remember the man who worked fast to save their lives.  "To me, he's the best doctor out there," Thorpe said of Dawson.  For some prenatal emergencies, rural patients in Appalachia are transferred by air ambulance to the UK Chandler Hospital, which has resources and teams of high-risk obstetricians and neonatologists. But today, UK HealthCare's Women's Health employs two full-time obstetricians on the ground in Hazard with the intent of keeping women closer to their home for prenatal care and delivery, even when emergencies arise. Dawson and colleague Dr. Misty Thompson provide prenatal care and gynecological services at the UK HealthCare Women's Health Clinic at the Medical Mall in Hazard. These doctors live and work in the Appalachian community where they serve.  Through a partnership between UK HealthCare and Appalachian Regional HealthCare, Dawson and Thompson are on-call for deliveries and emergencies, and provide women's health services at health departments in surrounding counties. In addition, obstetricians in Hazard who partner with UK HealthCare are granted access to the latest ultrasound technology and consultations with UK HealthCare specialists in Lexington through telemedicine.  UK HealthCare women's health providers are now based at permanent community clinics in Morehead, Georgetown and Hazard. The recently established UK HealthCare Blue Angels group of providers also extend telemedicine services to obstetricians in Manchester, Kentucky, with plans to expand their reach to providers in other Appalachian communities.  Dr. Wendy Hansen, chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UK HealthCare, said the department offers resources and support to Appalachian providers in a collaborative effort to improve the level of care for women in every part of Kentucky. The goal is to keep women at home, bringing only the most high-risk cases to Lexington. UK HealthCare's presence in the Hazard community also helps recruit doctors to an historically underserved area that struggles to attract providers.  "It's really an effort to bring quality women's health, from contraception to pregnancy care, to that area," Hansen said. "The idea is to have a very robust obstetrics and gynecology practice."  A few months after Nicholas was born, Dawson was seeing patients at the health department in Breathitt County as part of his weekly routine. Thorpe, who was a patient at the health department, realized that Dawson traveled to the clinic every Wednesday. She left Dawson a copy of the picture she had taken with him and her the baby before leaving the hospital. She wrote a personal note on the back of the photo thanking him for saving their lives.  "That makes me energized and makes me feel good about what I do," Dawson said of the note. "That's a reward that is so special to me. I like being part of a family picture — it's what keeps me going."  MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, 

Old-time Music and Dance Focus of 'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Concerts

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:30

Rich Kirby, who will play UK Nov. 7, performs "Rocky Island" at Portland Oldtime Music Gathering in Portland, Oregon.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — From a mother-daughter duo boasting both music and dancing skills to a traditional music virtuoso, "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series is sure to present a rollicking good time at Niles Gallery. On Friday, Oct. 31, old-time musicians Julia Weatherford and Pearl Angeline Shirley will perform. The next week, on Friday, Nov. 7, virtuosic fiddler, banjo player and mandolinist Rich Kirby is in the spotlight. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.


Like Mother, Like Daughter

Growing up in Berea, Kentucky, Julia Weatherford’s magical youth was filled with traditional old-time music, handcrafts, folk dancing, baroque ensembles and church choirs. She studied cello from the age of 10, sang in harmony vocal groups, performed and sang in summer theater and puppetry theater, and folk danced her way through high school and college. 


In 1980, Weatherford settled at the family home place near Black Mountain, North Carolina, and has lived in a cabin built by her grandfather ever since. For 13 seasons, she has played cello with the Asheville Symphony, meanwhile moonlighting as a traditional dance fiddler. In addition, she previously was the artistic director of the legendary Black Mountain Festival from 1986 to 1995. Weatherford has performed and taught at such venues as the LEAF, the Black Mountain Festival, Berea Country Dance School, Pinewoods, Moondance, The Gypsy Meltdown and Folkmoot International. 


Weatherford has been a longtime member the Akira Satake Band, Far Horizons, Fly by Night and The Free Range Ensemble. Currently, she is the logistics director at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and the coordinator of Fiddle Week for that same event. A visual artist as well, Weatherford is a member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild and is the mother of Pearl.


Pearl Angeline Shirley grew up in Black Mountain soaking up traditional Appalachian music and dance almost without noticing. She picked up a tiny violin at age 5, and since then has fiddled her way through hundreds of footstomping contra and square dances and concerts.


Shirley has toured with the popular contra dance band Mock Turtle Soup from Alnwick, England, to Santa Barbara, and currently performs with the acclaimed old-time band, Blue Eyed Girl. She is a step dancer and the director of Asheville’s “Twisty Cuffs” Cape Breton performance dance troupe. Shirley is a first grade teacher and the mother of two.


Traditional Music Virtuoso Rich Kirby Returns

Rich Kirby is a virtuosic fiddler, banjo player and mandolinist, who has served as news director for WMMT, Appalshop’s radio station. He has played and recorded with a number of bands including Wry Straw and Rich and the Po' Folks, and has produced many albums for the June Appal label including a recent release of his grandmother’s music, "Addie Graham: Been a Long Time Traveling."


Kirby is a founding member of the celebrated East Kentucky old-time string band, Rich and the Po’ Folks, the best (and only) old-time string band in Letcher County, Kentucky. The band explores the full range of traditional mountain music — fiddle tunes, ballads, coal mining songs, Carter Family pieces and contemporary mountain songs. Rich and the Po' Folks' repertoire comes from the members' home territory of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia, hot spots for one of America's great musical traditions. They recorded the album "When the Whistle Blew" on the June Appal label in 2010. 


The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.


For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring Julia Weatherford and Pearl Angeline Shirley or Rich Kirby, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website at



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

Welcome Young Trick or Treaters

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 11:20


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) ‒ University of Kentucky faculty’s and staff’s little ones can get a head start on Halloween trick or treating this Thursday evening.


For the 18th year, students living in selected campus residence halls will open their doors this Halloween season to the children and grandchildren of UK faculty and staff. Children ‒ 12 years and younger only ‒ should come dressed in their trick or treating costumes. Adult supervision is required.


The lobbies of South and Hilltop residence halls ‒ Blanding/Kirwan Complex, Ingels, Baldwin, Smith and the new Woodland Glen ‒ will be open 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.


Employees can park in the baseball stadium lot during the event.


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

First Generation Students "see blue." in London

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 18:30


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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) When N'Deyah Belle, Brandon King and Abel Rodriguez first set foot on the University of Kentucky campus, they had one thing in common: they were each the first person in their families to go to college.


Today, they have something else in common.


As part of a class tailored for first-generation students, they had the opportunity to enroll in an education abroad course in London, England during the summer of 2014.


In a three-week course led by Director of First Generation Initiatives Matthew Deffendall, the students explored global communication and business, visiting various international corporations and global brands in London such as Coca Cola, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and the Chelsea Football Club. The class also met with the vice president responsible for Europe at the global, but Lexington-based-corporation, Alltech.


The course is part of UK's larger initiative to support first generation students from recruitment to graduation through research based programs, resources, best practices and campus wide advocacy about the needs of students who are the first in their families to go to college.


"It's already hard for first generation students comparatively to adjust to college," said Rodriguez. "You don’t have parents who have had the experience that you are going through now, so it is kind of hard to find someone who relates to you and can help you transition through it. And it's even harder to find opportunities outside of just going to college, like education abroad, because it's hard enough to deal with college as it is."


The UK Office of First Generation Initiatives addresses these issues. Through tailored pre-departure sessions and programming, the course is designed to create a strong community among the students before they even set foot on a plane, (some for the first time). The course also provides pre-departure information session for parents.


“The First Adventures Program provides an opportunity for first generation students to have an education abroad experience while also being in a supportive, small community environment of fellow UK students," Deffendall said. "We go beyond just teaching a course but creating a holistic program that empowers students to feel inspired to travel again in the future on their own. Our students return ready to go again and accept the challenges of an international experience.”


King said that this support was incredibly important.


"I'm so grateful that they guided us through everything, because I certainly didn’t know how to go about any of it," he said. "So with Matthew we had several sessions where they laid everything out in front of us; it would have been very difficult to navigate that myself and to figure out what I needed to do and by when, how to prepare, how to pack, how to do my finances, how to budget, things like that. So being able to have them guide us through it, and being able to do it together, was the most important thing as a first-gen student."


Citing the relationships she developed, the knowledge she gained and the fun she experienced, Belle said that the most rewarding part of her time in London was learning more about herself.  


"I learned a lot," Belle said. "I learned that I am able to adapt to different environments, and I’m so welcoming to it. It meant realizing that there is so much more in the world, and that I’m not afraid of it. I’m into trying a lot of new things now, and it was really fun and different to see how accustomed I can get in that short amount of time. I just fell in love with a place that I’d never been to before."


A similar course designed for first generation students will be offered during the 2015 summer II session, in Dublin, Ireland. Click here for more information.


The Office of First Generation Initiatives is part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.




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


'UK at the Half' Focuses on Research in the Commonwealth

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 18:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — President Eli Capilouto was the guest of "UK at the Half" that aired during the UK vs. Mississippi State University football game, broadcast on the radio Oct. 25.


President Capilouto discussed the importance of UK conducting research for the most pressing needs of the Commonwealth. These challenges include health issues such as cancer and heart disease.


"UK at the Half" airs during the halftime of each UK football and basketball game radio broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.


To hear the "UK at the Half" interview click on the play button below. To view a transcript for the Oct. 25 "UK at the Half" interview, click here

Grand Opening of The Study North and Presentation U! North is Today

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 17:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — The campus community is invited to enjoy refreshments while checking out a new, state-of-the-art peer tutoring space in action today. 


University of Kentucky Academic Enhancement and Presentation U! will host a grand opening of The Study North and Presenation U! North from 4-6 p.m. today on the first floor of Champions Court I.  The new facility recently became fully operational and now offers free peer tutoring every Monday through Thursday from 3-9 p.m. 


"We are really excited about our new space and to have the opportunity to provide UK students with more options!" said Harley Gilman, an intern with Academic Enhancement. "That being said, our original space, The Study, will remain open Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will continue to act as a 'home base' for Academic Enhancement."


The Study North is also home to a satellite location for Presentation U! (aka Presentation U! North), a program developed to help UK students enhance their multimodal communication (oral, written, visual) skills for projects and presentations. Presentation U! North is open from 3-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The primary location, Presentation U! @ the Hub in the William T. Young Library, opened earlier this semester.


The complete schedule for peer tutoring at both The Study and The Study North is available at 

Markey, Nanjing Medical University in China Sign Cooperation Memorandum

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 15:23
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has signed a memorandum of cooperation to collaboratively study lung cancer with the Nanjing Medical University in the Jiangsu Province, China.

Earlier this month, Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center, and Daret St. Clair, associate director for basic research, visited Nanjing Medical University to sign the memorandum with Nanjing Medical University Chancellor Shen Hongbin agreeing to collaborate on future projects in cancer research.


The initial contact between the two institutions developed with the exchange of researchers and clinicians between St. Clair’s laboratory and Nanjing Medical University Affiliate Hospital, the first Nanjing Hospital. Markey's strength in basic research was a collaborative match with Nanjing Medical University investigators who have specific expertise in the genetic and epigenetic analyses of lung cancers.


Kentucky has the highest mortality rate of lung cancer in the U.S., but lung cancer is also a common disease in China.


“Cancer is a global problem,” Evers said. “This partnership with Nanjing Medical University will establish collaborative ties with their talented investigators as we work together to fight cancers that have a high incidence in both Kentucky and China.”


In addition, there may be opportunities to share clinical trial expertise between the two institutions.


“This is an excellent example of how the Markey Cancer Center continues to expand its network and reach, not only regionally but globally as well,” Evers said.