Campus News

Two UK Seniors Awarded Gilman International Scholarships

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 10:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2015) — Two University of Kentucky seniors have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this spring. The scholarship will fund studies in the Czech Republic for human nutrition major Rebecca Blair and in Germany for biology major Austin E. Eirk.  


The Gilman Scholarship is a congressionally funded scholarship sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.


The scholarship supports students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities.


Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray the cost of tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.


Rebecca Blair is excited about the opportunities the Gilman Scholarship will make possible in advancing her studies. "I hope to gain pragmatic life skills and an insight into a diverse culture with a rich history that will impact me for years to come in my academics, in my career as a medical professional, and forge me into a better human being."


A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Blair graduated from Eastern High School in 2012. At UK, she is pursuing her bachelor's degree in human nutrition to further her understanding of the interplay between the environment and health. Blair participated in undergraduate research as part of a fellowship this past summer at University of Michigan (UofM) Department of Pathology. She credits both schools for introducing her to her mentors, Tammy Stephenson, assistant professor of human nutrition at UK; Dr. Anuska Andjelkovic-Zochowska, associate professor of pathology and neurosurgery at UofM; and Svetlana Stamatovic, assistant research scientist in general pathology at UofM.


Outside of the classroom, Blair has been active as a shift captain for the Campus Kitchens Project and as a member of both the Pre-Dental Society and Greenthumb.


Blair plans to attend dental school and pursue a career in dentistry after graduating from UK.


Austin Eirk will use his scholarship to travel to Germany this spring semester where he plans to build on his German language skills and conduct independent research at the University of Regensburg.


Like Blair, Eirk also hails from Louisville and graduated from Eastern High School in 2012. At UK, he is pursuing a major in biology, as well as a minor in German studies. Eirk selected biology as a conduit to serving society. "I believe that the problems of today are solvable. I seek to create a better tomorrow for mankind and the life sciences are the avenue that I am using to do so."


While at UK, Eirk has also been involved in undergraduate research as part of the National Science Foundation-Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) in toxicology at University of Montana Center for Environmental Health Sciences in 2014 and in chemistry at Miami University's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2015. It is through these programs and his studies at UK that Eirk was introduced to his mentors Sheldon Steiner, professor of biology at UK; Estel Sprague, professor of chemistry at University of Cincinnati; and Tony Ward, associate professor at University of Montana.


Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Eirk plans to attend medical school at an institution dedicated in their service to humanity and pursue a career in medicine.


UK students interested in the Gilman Scholarship may apply through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office 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 Pat Whitlow at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.



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

Libraries Maximizing UK Research Impact With SHARE

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 09:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2015) — University of Kentucky Libraries is providing bibliographic data about UK researchers' scholarly outputs to SHARE Notify, an online portal that aims to maximize research impact and enhance public access to academic studies. 


The SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem) initiative was jointly launched by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries to make academic research more findable, accessible and reusable. The pursuit of this goal includes the creation of a growing open dataset about scholarly and research activities at higher education institutions nationwide. 


UK's institutional repository, UKnowledge, holds bibliographic data about and provides seamless access to the research outputs from the UK community. As a SHARE provider, UK Libraries transmits data to SHARE on a daily basis. The data is subsequently made openly available via SHARE Notify to raise the visibility of what UK researchers have accomplished. Anyone around the world can access the research outputs via UKnowledge with just a few clicks. 


"SHARE is beneficial to all stakeholders in the research lifecycle and signifies a recognition of researchers’ scholarly and societal contributions," said Mary Beth Thomson, senior associate dean of UK Libraries. "It empowers people to build on academic studies for innovation and the public good. UK Libraries is proud to be a SHARE provider." 


SHARE’s online service functionality is currently being developed by the initiative’s technical partner, the Center for Open Science. In the long run, SHARE will play an active role in facilitating the discovery, tracking, retrieval and reuse of the research outputs of higher education institutions. More information about SHARE is available from its knowledge base


UK faculty who would like to make their research outputs available via UKnowledge or have questions about UK Libraries’ scholarly publishing services can contact Adrian Ho, director of digital scholarship, for information and assistance at


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 C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Research Center.



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


UK-UL Exec MBA Student Named Energy and Environment Secretary

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 16:55

Frankfort, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015) — Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin this week announced the appointment of Charles G. Snavely as secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet. Snavely, a native of Prestonsburg, brings more than 35 years of experience in the coal mining industry to the position. And this month he will complete his MBA degree through the joint UK-UL Executive MBA Program. Snavely is a member of the very first cohort in the 16-month program offered through the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Louisville.


“I am pleased to appoint Charles Snavely to lead the Energy and Environment Cabinet,” Bevin said. “His professionalism and leadership experience in the industry are well known. Charles understands the balance we must maintain between the Commonwealth’s need for low-cost, reliable energy and the need for clean water and air for all Kentuckians.”


“I am truly honored to be offered this opportunity to serve the governor and the Commonwealth,” said Snavely. “I will do everything in my power to further our progress on protecting the environment while helping nurture a healthy economy.”


Snavely served recently as the president of eastern U.S. operations for Arch Coal, Inc. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president of mining operations of International Coal Group. Snavely is a distinguished alumnus in mining engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech).


He and his wife, Shari, a native of Inez, live in Lexington. They have one adult daughter, Kathryn.



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

Barnes Stays Connected to UK During Year Abroad

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 16:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2015) — For most, a new year brings a time of change and resolutions. For Beth Barnes, interim director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications, the new year brings new global adventures. 


Barnes will spend the first part of 2016 in London where she will teach two courses: “Strategic Public Relations” and “Advertising to Multicultural Britain.”


Barnes, who spent a semester teaching in London in 2000 while employed at Syracuse University, is looking forward to returning for another semester and bringing UK students with her.


“Education abroad has been trying to encourage more UK students to do full semester study abroad programs,” Barnes said.


To do so, they decided to send UK faculty and professors to teach the courses.  Barnes is delighted to have the opportunity.


As for the fall semester, Barnes will be on sabbatical, an opportunity to take a full semester away from the university to work on research or a teaching project. For her sabbatical, Barnes will conduct research in Zambia, a country she fell in love with years ago during her travels.


“What I’m proposing doing for my sabbatical is spending a good amount of time in Zambia, where we had a project going for about six and a half years,” Barnes said. “Towards the end of my time working in Zambia I started working with the Zambia Institute of Marketing.”


Upon completing her research, Barnes will return to UK after her sabbatical.


Barnes is known in the College of Communication and Information for her love of travel and her global experiences. She notes that there is no country she wouldn’t travel to.


She is also widely known for her many accomplishments here at UK. As Barnes prepares for her time away from the University of Kentucky’s campus, she reflects on her proudest moments here.


“One of the things that I’m really proud of, and it certainly wasn’t just me, but during the time I’ve been director, we’ve really increased the amount of scholarship support in the school for our students,” Barnes said. She attributes much of the support to the alumni of the school.


Under Barnes’ leadership, the School of Journalism and Telecommunications received reaccreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and the journalism program received the same status twice.


In addition, she helped bring the Institute of Rural Journalism and Community Issues (IRJCI) into the college.


“The IRJCI was in existence when I arrived, but it was not yet part of the school,” Barnes said. “So working with the people who created that institute to bring it under the school [was a great accomplishment] because I think it’s such an important part of what we do. I’m also proud of helping to secure Al Cross to lead the institute.”


Barnes helped to improve the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center by supporting the creation of a much broader range of programs. She attributes much of the center’s growth to the involved faculty, particularly the center’s director, Mike Farrell.


Barnes is proud of all that she and her colleagues have accomplished. However, the project she’s most proud of is the work conducted in Zambia with five other UK faculty members and one UK staff member from 2008-2014, which is why she’s looking so forward to returning during her time on sabbatical.


Barnes and other UK faculty members conducted research focused on using journalism to fight HIV and AIDS. They also worked to help strengthen the media in Zambia overall.


“I think for all of us, it’s been a really important project,” Barnes said. “And I think for me, the entire time I’ve been in higher education, it’s the thing I’m most proud of.”


She loves Zambia so much that she hopes to be able to deliver the same positive experience to students through a study abroad program.


Barnes said when she returns to Zambia on sabbatical, she hopes to work with the Zambia Institute of Marketing to help further develop strategic communication practice in the country.


“I love the country and I have never met better, nicer people than Zambians, and I so would love to be able to put students there, whether on short term or ideally a semester-long program, which would be terrific,” Barnes said.


Increasing study abroad opportunities for UK students is something Barnes does along with her director responsibilities, advising and teaching.


“There have been several semesters during the time I’ve been director that I didn’t teach just because of other things that were going on, and I never liked those semesters,” Barnes said. “I missed teaching. I’ve always been much happier the semesters when I’ve been teaching at least one course.”


Barnes has a passion for teaching and she clearly loves her students.  In fact, UK students impressed her before she even accepted her position as director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications in 2002.


“When I came to do that campus visit, I really liked the students whom I met and also the alumni from the school whom I met with,” Barnes said.


When Barnes originally accepted the position at UK, she had plans to continue work in the administrative side of higher education and perhaps eventually become president of a small college. UK, however, changed her mind.


The contributions Barnes makes are astounding and vast, and as she dedicates her time for the next year to teaching in London and researching in Zambia, she will be missed.


“Beth Barnes is one of the more remarkable persons I have worked with in my 30 years in higher education,” said Dan O’Hair dean of the College of Communication and Information. “She is the consummate professional who holds her students and colleagues in the highest regard. Beth has accomplished so much for the school in the last 12 years. She leaves behind a large legacy, but at the same time, has so many exciting opportunities awaiting her in the future. I speak for all of her colleagues when I say, ‘Thank you Beth, and good luck with your newest endeavors.’”


While Barnes explains that she will miss UK, she reminds students and colleagues, “Be open to possibilities and don’t assume that you know what’s going to happen. Things happen sometimes that you never expected, and they turn out to be ever so much better than what you were expecting.”



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

'Amahl' Visits Lexington for the Holidays

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 14:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015)University of Kentucky Opera Theatre in collaboration with the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra present the holiday classic and family favorite, "Amahl and the Night Visitors." This one-act, English opera will enjoy three performances Dec. 11-12, at the historic Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.


Written by Gian Carlo Menotti, "Amahl" tells the story of a disabled shepherd boy, who unexpectedly encounters three kings, traveling to Bethlehem to meet the newborn king. When Amahl offers his crutch to the kings as a gift for the child, a miracle happens and a new journey begins.


Gian Carlo Menotti’s inspiration for the piece was Hireonymus Bosch’s painting "The Adoration of the Magi." The opera premiered on NBC television on Christmas Eve 1951 and was the first American opera.


UK Opera Theatre's three performances of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec.12, at the Lyric. Tickets are $22.50 for general admission and $12.50 for students. Handling fees apply. To purchase tickets contact the Lyric Theatre box office at 859-280-2218 or visit online at


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



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

Dobbs Appointed to Editorial Position for Prestigious National Journal

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 12:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015) — Dr. Michael Dobbs,associate chief medical officer for UK HealthCare, has been named associate editor for the publication, Quality Management in Health Care (QMHC), published by Wolters-Kluwer Health. 


QMHC is a peer-reviewed journal that provides a forum for readers to explore the theoretical, technical and strategic elements of health care quality management. The journal's primary focus is on organizational structure and processes as they affect the quality of care and patient outcomes. 


“Michael Dobbs is a natural fit for this postiion, and we're delighted that he has accepted,” said QMHC Editor Kathleen White, Ph.D., R.N.  “His experience as an academic physician leader and improvement scientist will prove highly valuable to the journal.” 


UK Percussionist/Professor Receives Yamaha Legacy Award

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 11:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015)James Campbell, University of Kentucky Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor and director of UK Percussion Studies, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Yamaha Legacy Award, which is presented annually to an individual considered to be legendary in their effect on music education.


"We take great time and give careful thought when considering who will receive the award, and are proud of the profound impact our artists continue to have within the music education community and beyond," said Yamaha artist relations assistant Jalissa Gascho. 


This is the latest of numerous awards presented Campbell over his storied career. In 2013, he was inducted into Music for All’s Bands of America Hall of Fame at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was recognized for greatly impacting Bands of America, the nation’s band activity and music education.


Campbell is responsible for much of the modern look and sound of today’s drum corps percussion ensembles. With a legendary background as an instructor and arranger for the Guardsmen, of Schaumburg, Illinois, and the Rosemont Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, of Rosemont, Illinois, from the 1970s through the '90s, Campbell’s drum corps credits include winning three High Percussion Awards and two World Championships during his tenure with the two corps, as well as being named to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.


Campbell is also credited with helping to introduce world music concepts and contemporary performance practice into marching percussion arrangements. As an equipment designer, he has helped design the modern tenor drum array, holds two patents for drum head design and pioneered the use of the front ensemble (pit) percussion.


At UK, the Percussion Ensemble, under Campbell’s direction, has won the prestigious Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest five times, the only collegiate group to have achieved that honor. The feat earned the ensemble featured performances at PASIC (PAS International Convention). Campbell’s other university groups, the UK Indoor Drum Line and UK Steel Band, have received the highest recognition in their fields. In addition, at the PAS 2005 Composition Contest, Campbell took first place for his work, "Garage Drummer," scored for multiple percussion solo with CD accompaniment.


Individually, Campbell’s current and former students at UK have been selected as finalists in the PAS International Solo Competition nine times, including five first place honors. Many of his alumni are now faculty at other institutions or performers in major ensembles across the country.


Campbell, a Yamaha Performing Artist, has toured extensively throughout North and Central America, Europe and Asia. Locally, he also continues to perform with the Lexington Philharmonic and the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra. Campbell has published works for concert and marching percussion with Alfred Publishing Company, where he served as percussion team author for the Expressions Music Curriculum, as well as numerous other music publishers.


Campbell is on the faculty of the UK School of Music in the College of Fine Arts, which is known for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.



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

PTS Offers Free Winter Break Shuttles to Blue Grass Airport

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 10:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015) — With the end of fall semester in sight, many students are making final plans to head home for the holidays. University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is offering complimentary shuttle service from campus to Blue Grass Airport during finals week for students who are homeward bound.


The shuttle will operate Tuesday, Dec. 15 through Friday, Dec. 18, with daily campus pick-up times of 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Students should plan to leave campus at least two hours prior to take-off.


Although the shuttle is free, reservations are required. To schedule a pick-up, students should submit a ride request through the form found here: Ride requests should be submitted at least two business days in advance.


A PTS representative will email to confirm the pick-up time. Students are responsible for their own transportation back to campus.

The Nexus Between Teaching and Research

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 10:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015) — When Samuel Choo was a middle school resource room teacher, six years ago, his school was selected for a research project led by University of Kentucky College of Education's Brian Bottge. Inspired by the work, Choo became a doctoral student in the college and today is making the same type of connections between research and teaching.  


Bottge's project, funded by a National Center for Special Education Research grant, was testing the effects of enhanced anchored instruction (EAI) on the math performance of middle school students.


"The project staff did a good job of teaching us how to implement EAI in our resource rooms," Choo said.


Soon after teaching with the new curriculum, Choo noticed that his students were more motivated and engaged.


"In fact, they looked like they were actually enjoying math!" he said.


Posttest scores showed positive results in favor of the new curriculum and the experience motivated Choo to continue exploring the research. After being accepted into the UK Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling doctoral program, he joined Bottge's team as a research assistant where he learned how classroom-based research is planned and conducted.


The middle school teacher-turned-researcher helped train math and special education teachers; observed classrooms and assessed research fidelity; provided teachers with technical support; assisted in scoring tests; and worked on data entry and analysis.


Choo later returned to North Carolina, where he taught low performing middle school students in a Title I resource room, and put his research experience to the test.


"Choo believed that it was important for his students to acquire math skills that could be applied to future job-related tasks," Bottge said. "From working on the EAI research, he observed the difficulty many students had in interpreting and drawing three-dimensional drawings."


In his dissertation, Choo proposed developing a new curriculum for improving students’ visual-spatial skills. This led him to develop a series of instructional units that included hand-drawing and computer-aided drafting.


"I ran my own pilot studies using what I had learned while teaching with EAI as both a research participant and research assistant," he said.


To help offset the cost of materials for his first study, he was awarded a $1,500 Bright Ideas Grant from the North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. Thanks to the company’s generosity, he was able to fully implement all the lesson plans developed by Bottge’s grant team.


"This whole process, from applying for funding to carrying out the study to reporting the results, helped me make connections between university, classroom, and community," Choo said.


From the training he received as a study participant, Choo said he has become a better teacher. And from working on an IES-funded grant team, he learned a lot about how to conduct classroom-based studies.


"Similar to how my students learned math in a hands-on way, I learned research methods by having the opportunity to use them in practice, and for that I am very grateful," he said.




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

Have Yourself 'An Appalachian Christmas' With Mark O'Connor

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 16:39


Mark O'Connor and Jane Monheit perform "Winter Wonderland" as part of "An Appalachian Christmas." 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015) — One of the world's most celebrated musicians, Mark O'Connor, returns to the Bluegrass this winter with a wonderful holiday experience for the whole family. Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" will take center stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.


O'Connor is a product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music. He is a heavily decorated artist, having garnered two Grammy awards, six consecutive Musician of the Year honors from the Country Music Association, and seven National and Grand Master fiddling championships.


With a body of work that spans 45 feature albums of mostly his own compositions, O'Connor has melded and shaped his influences into a new American Classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing. Known to many musical giants as a peer, student and leader, O'Connor is highly respected in the industry and continues to inspire future artists.


"An Appalachian Christmas" is now in its fifth nationwide tour, combining the familiar melodies of traditional Christmas songs with O’Connor’s world-class musicianship. The Associated Press describes the concert as "heavenly" and the Boston Globe remarked, "All Christmas music should be played so elegantly on violin."


Tickets for Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" $38-$25 for general admission and $23-$15 for children based on seat location. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center box office at 859-257-4929, on their website at, or in person at the box office. Processing fees will be added to all transactions upon purchase.


A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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

Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky Graduates Address Kentucky's Health Disparities

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 16:13


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015) — The Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK) has graduated its second class of participants who are leading community-based projects to reduce health disparities. CLIK is a three-week, intensive leadership development program that enhances research and capacity-building competencies in community leaders who play key roles in data-based decision making related to health and health care.


Leaders from schools, health departments and organizations in rural communities were among those completing the program, which is presented by the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science community engagement and research program, the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health.


"This year’s Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky graduates are addressing the Commonwealth’s most intractable and important health problems," said Nancy Schoenberg, associate dean for research in the UK College of Public Health and director of community engagement and research in the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science.


"Collectively, they have attended every seminar that we have offered, networked among themselves, and revised and developed their research projects extensively," Schoenberg said. "These eight leaders have gained insights on diverse and significant topics like data mining, grant writing, quality assurance, human subjects protection, and budgeting."


The CLIK program prioritizes projects in Appalachian Kentucky aimed at cancer prevention (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation), reducing obesity and sedentary lifestyle, prevention and management of chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and prevention and treatment of substance abuse.


Participants are supported in developing and implementing a project with a “real world deliverable” that builds organizational and community capacity for sustainable impact. Training sessions were held at the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Ky., and were led by UK faculty and staff and community partners with extensive expertise and experience. In addition to training, each participant’s organization received a $2,500 grant to support their project.


Shannon Adams was among the 2015 graduates. She works as a project manager for PACT, which stands for Project Affecting Care Transitions. The organization is funded by the Health Resources and Services administration to provide care coordination through patient navigators, who visit patients in their homes and connect them community services they need, from food to transportation to phones.


"I think the best part of the program was building a relationship with the speakers, who are successful in research. It opened my mind up to the importance of research, and it helped to be able to run my ideas by them. From their input I was able to change some things that will make my project more beneficial to our community," Adams said.


She specifically appreciated the ways in which the CLIK program helped her refine her methods for evaluating the project's impact.


"One thing I changed is how we're measuring some of our evaluations," she said. "I hadn't thought of doing a quality of life survey for the patients, but our mentor suggested it. And if we haven't improved the quality of life for our patients, we need to do something different."


Jill Conway, a provider liaison with Hospice of the Bluegrass, also graduated from the CLIK program this year. She's developing educational materials and activities to train clinical staff on using the new MOST (Medical Orders Scope of Treatment) form, which is similar to a living will for patients with chronic diseases or terminal illness.  The MOST form, however, is more user-friendly than a standard living will, goes into greater detail about conditions and care options, and becomes part of a patient's medical record so that it's transferrable across the health care system. The Kentucky legislature approved its use this year, but clinical staff needs to be trained on how to walk a patient through the form. Conway's project will train clinical staff at one hospital, two nursing homes, and six clinics in Knot and Perry counties, hopefully creating a model that can ultimately be used statewide.


Like Adams, Conway benefited from the expert support of the program faculty who helped her strengthen the evaluation process for her project.


"The people who came and spoke were very quality speakers who got me to look at my project from truly a quantitative perspective, to think about how I'm going to determine whether or not this is effective, and to look at other ways I could gather data and analyze if training is successful," she said.


Conway also found it helpful to network with and learn from other CLIK participants.

"It was good to look at other people's projects and see how they were handling obstacles," she said. "It got us thinking outside of our normal train of thought while using established research tools to consider not only where this project is today but where it could be five years from now, to impact the community even more."


As Adams, Conway, and the other CLIK graduates implement their projects, they will have access to ongoing support from the program instructors. 


"Our faculty members have provided extensive and grounded insights that will help CLIK participants improve their already strong projects. We can’t wait to see what they will accomplish. And we’re behind them every step of the way," said Schoenberg.


Adams foresees her program having a stronger impact because of the training and ongoing support from CLIK.


"I think it's a great support system, now that I have that group I can reach out to any time I have any concerns. It's invaluable," she said. "I think this program will have a better impact on the community, it will be more sustainable and affect more people in the long run. "


The CLIK 2015 graduates and organizations and projects are:


Shannon Adams, Kentucky Rural Health Information Technology: Project Affecting Care Transitions (PACT)


Jill Conway, Hospice of the Bluegrass: Medical Order Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form Advanced Planning Education


Emily Cornett, Discover Downtown Middlesboro: Analyzing the Impact of Trail Usage on Health Outcomes in Middlesboro


Ashley Harkins, Kentucky River District Health Department: Stick it to Diabetes


Brittany Martin, Big Sandy Healthcare Inc.: Community Coordinated Diabetes Screening and Outreach in Project in Martin County


Sarah Osborne, Leslie County Schools: Get Fit Academy


Kelly Thompson, Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative: Ensuring Growth is Our Business


Holly West, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital: Using the Social Influences Resistance Model to Improve Youth Tobacco and Substance Abuse Prevention and Control: Is it Effective?


For more information about CLIK, visit the program website.



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,




UK Debate Team Wins Transylvania University Tournament

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 15:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015) — The UK Debate Team finished the fall forensics season with another win at the WYRD Invitational hosted by Transylvania University Dec. 4-5.


UK placed first in team sweepstakes, which combines the points earned from all speech events and debate formats. Of the 54 events or debate teams entered at the tournament, 39 advanced to an elimination round. Additionally, sophomore Rachel Brase was crowned tournament champion in pentathlon after advancing to the finals in eight different events. Senior Logan Hurley took third place in pentathlon and junior Brynne Reilly tied for sixth.


“It was a great way to finish the semester,” said Director of Forensics Timothy Bill. “I could not be prouder of the team. They’ve worked hard all semester to get to this point.”


In addition to the awards and recognition won at the tournament, the team also qualified for another 12 events for the National Forensic Association national tournament in April. This brings the total number of qualifications for the season to 26 — a new team record. The team has the opportunity to continue to qualify for new events through March.


Team members from UK who won the following awards at the WYRD Invitational:


After Dinner Speaking

1st Place – Dianté Elcock


Communication Analysis

1st Place – Logan Hurley


Drama Interpretation

1st Place – Dianté Elcock

2nd Place – Kaylon Kennedy


Duo Interpretation

2nd Place – Rachel Brase and Kaylon Kennedy

3rd Place – Logan Hurley and Brynne Reilly


Editorial Impromptu Speaking

2nd Place – Veronica Scott

3rd Place – Rachel Brase

4th Place – Sam Northrup


Extemporaneous Speaking

1st Place – Logan Hurley

3rd Place – Brynne Reilly

4th Place – Sam Northrup


Impromptu Eulogizing

2nd Place – Rachel Brase

4th Place – Sam Northrup


Impromptu Speaking

1st Place – Rachel Brase

3rd Place – Matt Karijolic

5th Place – Logan Hurley


Impromptu Storytelling

2nd Place – Rachel Brase

3rd Place – Talha Muhammad


Informative Speaking

1st Place – Logan Hurley

2nd Place – Matt Karijolic


Radio Broadcasting

1st Place – Brynne Reilly


Persuasive Speaking

3rd Place – Talha Muhammad

6th Place – Sam Northrup

7th Place – Veronica Scott


Parliamentary Debate – Novice Division

1st Place – Dianté Elcock and Veronica Scott

2nd Place – Matt Karijolic and Talha Muhammad


Parliamentary Debate – Novice Speaker Awards

1st Place – Veronica Scott

2nd Place – Dianté Elcock

4th Place – Matt Karijolic

6th Place – Talha Muhammad


Parliamentary Debate – Open Division

1st Place – Brynne Reilly and Megan Wagner

2nd Place – Logan Hurley and Sam Northrup

Semifinalists – Rachel Brase and Kaylon Kennedy


Parliamentary Debate – Open Speaker Awards

2nd Place – Sam Northrup

4th Place – Logan Hurley

5th Place – Megan Wagner

7th Place – Kaylon Kennedy

8th Place – Rachel Brase


Poetry Interpretation

2nd Place – Dianté Elcock

3rd Place – Rachel Brase

5th Place – Kaylon Kennedy


Program Oral Interpretation

1st Place – Dianté Elcock

3rd Place – Kaylon Kennedy

4th Place – Brynne Reilly


Prose Interpretation

2nd Place – Rachel Brase


Public Debate – Novice Division

2nd Place – Dianté Elcock

Semifinalist – Talha Muhammad


Public Debate – Novice Speaker Awards

1st Place – Dianté Elcock

2nd Place – Matt Karijolic

6th Place – Talha Muhammad


Public Debate – Open Speaker Awards

3rd Place – Megan Wagner

7th Place – Kaylon Kennedy


The University of Kentucky Forensics Team’s next competition will be the Hatfield and McCoy Swing tournament the team will be cohosting with Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, Jan. 23-24, 2016.


UK Forensics is a student organization in the School of Information Science. The team regularly competes in 12 different public speaking events in three forms of debate. To find out more, please visit

New Leaders Announced for University of Kentucky Women & Philanthropy Network

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 15:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015)  The University of Kentucky Women & Philanthropy Network, an organization committed to bringing together women who “share the ambition of building a better UK” through philanthropy, has announced its Leadership Council Co-Chairs for 2016, according to Paula Pope, director of special projects in the UK Office of Philanthropy.


Marie Cull of Frankfort, Kentucky, and Bonnie Mays of Lexington were named co-chairs at the Annual UK Women & Philanthropy Symposium held at Spindletop Hall, Nov. 6, Pope said. Both will assume office Jan. 1, 2016. Cull will begin the second year of her two-term appointment while Mays will begin her first.


“The University of Kentucky deeply values the leadership of Marie Cull and Bonnie Mays as well as the 35 women philanthropists who serve on the Women & Philanthropy Network’s Leadership Council,” said D. Michael Richey, vice president for philanthropy and chief philanthropy officer. “Their passion for UK and unswerving devotion to this university is noteworthy and invaluable as they encourage President Eli Capilouto, the faculty and staff in creating and supporting a culture of philanthropy across our university community. We are most grateful for the time, talent and resources they invest in the university.”


Under the leadership of former UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., the Women & Philanthropy Network was co-founded by former UK First Lady Patsy Todd and Nawanna Privett in 2007 as a viable and meaningful way to recognize the essential and continuing role of women in the life and progress of the university, said Pope. Since its establishment, the UK Women & Philanthropy Network has made grants for scholarships, fellowships, travel abroad, research and special programs totaling nearly $1.3 million.  


For information concerning the University of Kentucky Women & Philanthropy Network, please write or call Pope at William B. Sturgill Office of Philanthropy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0015; 859-257-3187; or email her at The network is online at and




MEDIA CONTACT:  Marc C. Whitt, Office of Philanthropy,; 859-257-7825

SSS Offers Key to Success to Unprepared Freshmen

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 15:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015) — Family. Home. Sanctuary.


University of Kentucky students and alumni describe Student Support Services with those words — words that evoke a sense of being safe and secure in a place where your dreams are encouraged and your efforts supported. 


And that’s what Lydia Wims and her team of counselors, mentors and tutors do day in, day out for first generation and low income college students as well as those with disabiities.



Video courtesy of Lamar Smith and UK Student Support Services.


Since 1993, UK’s Student Support Services (SSS), a division of the Office of Institutional Diversity, has helped more than 1,500 diverse students with successful college careers. In the past five years, for example, SSS has seen an average first-year retention rate of about 92 percent and a graduation rate of 47 percent for first-generation college students, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The national average for the same population is approximately 32 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Among all UK SSS alumni, 20 percent have gone on to graduate or professional schools.


Student Support Services staff of 19 peer mentors and two professional tutors is designed to provide academic support services to improve academic performance and increase retention and graduation rates of college students who are first generation, low income or have a documented disability.  SSS provides opportunities for participation in study skills development, tutoring, academic planning, personal/career/financial counseling, peer mentoring, graduate school preparation and social/cultural activities. A major focus is individual tutoring and workshops in study skills, math, writing and foreign languages.


“SSS serves to motivate and support students as they transition from one level of education to the next, while working toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education,” said the program director, Lydia Wims.


The program recently won its sixth renewal of $5 million in federal funding to continue its successful operation, serving about 160 students annually.


“Our target populations are students who many consider on the edge — minority students or those that come from Appalachian or rural communities,” Wims said.  “Many of these students struggle with the rigors of college life and balancing academics with other obligations.  Many of their high school counselors came right out and told them that they would not make it in college. We delight in proving them wrong,” she added with a little smile.


One aspiring Wildcat was told he would not make it in college — at all. A first generation student with a learning disability, he was counseled to gear his education toward vocational schools. But he proved to his teachers and counselors that he was committed, not only to college, but specifically to UK. Thanks to SSS, he is now happily and successfully enrolled at UK.


Another freshman was so homesick that she wanted to go back home before she had scarcely unpacked. She didn’t do well initially and lost her scholarship. But with the help of SSS mentors and tutors, she earned back that scholarship and is now an SSS tutor, helping others succeed.


“That’s one of the beautiful things about SSS. It’s become an extended family. Enrolling siblings and cousins of former students is a common occurrence,” said Wims.


And the SSS family continues to grow and be successful.


One SSS alumni is now a college professor, another a dentist, another an engineer, another a physician assistant, another named a Kentucky teacher of the year. One alumnus recently created a scholarship specifically for an SSS student. Another just completed two research projects on water quality in Africa for the U.S. Army.


“SSS helped me navigate (UK) as a first generation college student. It was a home away from home,” said Meredith Madison, who just completed her master’s in social work at the University of Louisville. “They were the support I did not have from family... I could get my questions answered and my voice heard at SSS. The counseling, tutoring, and peer mentor program were invaluable as well as the educational and social (fellowship) enrichment activities offered by SSS. I survived undergrad because of SSS. SSS helped me become a college graduate!”


Wentzel Mitchell, another UK graduate and SSS alumnus who now works in Washington, D.C., said SSS “provided a family atmosphere at school that allowed me and other participating students to bond together and grow as individuals.” After completing his undergraduate degree he enrolled in a graduate program and worked part-time as an SSS tutor coordinator while tutoring statistics to undergraduates. “During my time with SSS,” he added, “I could see the development of myself and others from shy, unconfident young students to confidently taking on leadership roles.”


And so is the proof of one of Wims’ favorite quotes by John Holt, attached to every email she sends. She says it best communicates the faith and devotion she and her fellow counselors and tutors have for UK SSS: “The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.”




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



UK Libraries Replacing InfoKat Search System

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 13:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2015)University of Kentucky Libraries will launch its new library search system, InfoKat Discovery, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. InfoKat Discovery will be a significant improvement to unified searching of scholarly resources including everything in the current InfoKat system, plus hundreds of electronic databases, e-journals, e-books, articles, archival resources and media all in a single search interface. 


InfoKat Discovery will replace the current InfoKat catalog, e-journals list, e-books list, Get Text services and WorldCat Local article searching on Jan. 20. UK Libraries will also add new digital resources, like ExploreUK and UKnowledge, to InfoKat Discovery.  

This move to a new system also helps UK Libraries gain processing efficiencies and provide a more user-friendly web-based system to locate and access physical and electronic resources.  


UK Libraries will debut its new website on the same day that InfoKat Discovery launches. The new design is based on extensive patron research and analysis. One of the primary improvements is that the website will now be responsive to different screen sizes, displaying appropriately whether users are on desktop machines, laptops, tablets or mobile phones. This will improve access to materials and services.


The site will also display hours for each library branch, incorporating updates for each day. Additionally, the new site emphasizes the ability to search and access collections, with the aim of aiding in all our patrons' academic endeavors.


The last day for recall and book express requests will be Thursday, Dec. 17, to enable material delivery before the winter break. If students need something between the old system and the new, they may place an interlibrary loan request to get it.


Course reserves will not migrate. UK Libraries will be linking the titles in the new system as fast as possible after the Jan. 20 live date.


The InfoKat catalog, Get Text service and A-Z e-journals list will be turned off mid-April, and the WorldCat Local service will be discontinued sometime in the spring as well. 


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 C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Research Center.



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

Women’s Executive Leadership Development Program Accepting Applications

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 10:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015) — The Women’s Executive Leadership Development Program (WELD) will be accepting applications for the program to begin in 2016.


The eight-month long program, involving 20-25 faculty and staff, is planned to begin May 2016 and conclude in December 2016.  Applicants must be mid-to-senior level faculty (associate or professor) and staff in executive, director, and managerial positions and possess demonstrated leadership experience.  This includes serving as director of Undergraduate Studies, director of Graduate Studies, department chair, program or division director, center director, assistant or associate dean or assistant provost. 


The primary goal of WELD is to address the under-representation of women in academic leadership capacities and help aspiring women acquire the skills and capabilities to attain high-level academic leadership positions.


Although this is the primary goal, the program is open to all persons. Those interested in applying may go to the WELD program website to learn more.  Applications will be accepted until January 4, 2016, and selections will be announced in early February, 2016.


The program will be directed by Hollie Swanson, professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences in the College of Medicine. A diverse group of faculty and staff are serving on the Advisory and Selection Committees to assist in developing the program, monitoring its effectiveness, and identifying participants.  The program is being created under the oversight of the Office of Faculty Advancement with assistance from Human Resources.


Questions about the program may be directed to Hollie Swanson at or 323-1463.




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


UK Research Team Helps Share Ancient Manuscripts With the World

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 10:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2015) — A digital research team in the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences was instrumental in the recent opening of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library’s (HMML) public “virtual” presence.


Now, one of the world’s leading libraries for manuscript studies has a virtual library,, that the curious and studious alike can share, with images presented using the newest technology for zooming and panning high-resolution photographs.


Under the direction of Abigail Firey, UK professor of history, the team designed and built part of HMML’s virtual project that serves as exhibit space for the display of manuscript pages from different centuries and cultural traditions, each annotated with expert commentary on significant features of the script, layout, decoration and other physical or visual features.


To view some of these ancient documents, visit . For more about the development team, visit .


“You can even see the follicles of the hair that was scraped from the animal skin when the parchment was prepared to be a writing-surface,” enthused Firey.


The goals for folio were to provide a “paleography album” in a digital format – free and open to all – with the detailed information that paleographers-in-training have traditionally obtained in print resources.


“The really exciting and new aspect of this project – beyond the digital delights – is that it brings together for the first time materials from so many manuscript cultures,” said Firey. “The digital format allows visitors to select and display manuscript pages from Latin, Syriac, and in the near future, Ethiopian, Armenian, Old Church Slavonic, Arabic, Kurdish, Russian, and many other cultural traditions. Visitors can also easily select the chronological period they would like to invoke, and change the dates at will to sift and sort the images. This is a unique opportunity for study of manuscripts across cultural boundaries.”


The work done at UK brought together software developers from the College of Arts and Sciences with developers from Differential, a leading, independent group that works with Meteor coding, and colleagues in UK libraries, in addition to the fundamental collaboration with HMML.


“It was such a privilege to be able to develop this project for HMML,” Firey said. “Their work in rescuing and preserving cultural patrimony in troubled regions of the world, as well as their long-standing reputation for intensive manuscript research in North America, made this project especially meaningful for us.”


The project was initiated with an Institute of Museum and Library Sciences’ leadership grant and continued with funds from the Arcadia Foundation, as well as support from the UK College of Arts and Sciences.  Folio was created in a larger digital environment, called Scriptorium, that the college’s Digital Research Group is developing for collaborative research on manuscripts. In addition to supporting exhibits of manuscript pages, Scriptorium will bring large collections of digitized manuscripts to a single workspace, where scholars can transcribe texts collaboratively; share notes, documents and reference resources; and compare multiple manuscript images easily.




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


UK Physiologist Bradley Taylor Awarded NIH Grant to Study Chronic Pain

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 17:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2015) — University of Kentucky researcher Bradley Taylor recently received a five-year, $3 million research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to better understand the physiological mechanisms of chronic pain.


For many patients recovering from an injury, pain disappears after the injury heals, but for others, pain persists for months, years or even decades. Until recently doctors and scientists had few insights as to why the body’s natural mechanisms of pain relief failed in these patients.


Understanding why chronic pain occurs is crucial in Kentucky, where the condition has contributed to high rates of opioid abuse. The Institute of Medicine recently reported that chronic pain affects more Americans than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined, costing over $600 billion each year in lost productivity, medications and other medical treatments.


In 2013, Taylor, a professor of physiology in the UK College of Medicine, and his laboratory group made an important discovery concerning the body’s ability to control chronic pain. The results of this study, reported in Science magazine, suggested that mu opioid receptors (MORs), or receptors in the body that disrupt the transmission of chronic pain signals to the brain and are key targets of opioid painkillers, remain activated, or “turned on,” after an injury.


Taylor coined the termed “MORCA,” for mu opioid receptor constitutive activity, and demonstrated that it provides lasting pain relief in mice. When Taylor and colleagues “switched off” MORCA with a drug called naltrexone, they found signs of pain and symptoms of opioid withdrawal, similar to what doctors observe in patients suffering from chronic pain or withdrawal from heroin in the clinic. The results raised the idea that the body can become dependent on its own mechanism of pain control.


This new grant awarded to Taylor’s laboratory will help his team at UK (Suzanne Doolen, Renee Donahue, Ghanshyam Sinha and Weisi Fu) further investigate the body’s communication pathways for alleviating pain. Understanding how these signals travel from an injured site through the spinal cord to the brain will help doctors and scientists figure out why some patients suffer from chronic pain and why others do not. More importantly, Taylor hopes this grant will help physicians prevent or reverse chronic pain so these patients will not have to resort to potentially addictive painkillers.


“I want to understand endogenous opioid receptor analgesia, that is, how the body can control its own pain, because with that understanding, we can either mimic it using non-opioid pain medications or alternative therapies, and prevent chronic pain from developing in the first place,” Taylor said.


A preliminary study funded by the new grant has already shown that the endogenous opioid receptor analgesia observed in mice also occurs in humans. Future work will delve deeper into the molecular mechanisms governing this pathway.


The award funding this research (DA037621) was provided by NIDA under the National Institutes of Health and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Institutes of Health.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Community Helps Turnaround Academic Performance at William Wells Brown

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 16:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2015) — A student falling behind in math class at William Wells Brown Elementary counted figures on a color-coded worksheet aloud with help from a guest tutor on Oct. 23.


On her first day as a volunteer, Jenna Hatcher, a University of Kentucky College of Nursing associate professor, pulled a chair up to the young girl’s desk in the hallway of the school, providing individual attention as they solved problems as a pair. For Hatcher, who is more accustomed to teaching students at the doctoral level, working with a young mind was a refreshing reminder of the curiosity and enthusiasm at earliest stages of learning.


“The most special thing about reaching out to local children at a young age is the ability to work with them while they are still so open and innocent,” Hatcher, who serves as the college’s director of diversity and inclusivity, said. “They are full of hope and believe they can do anything. I think it is critical that they see people like me, who look like them, doing something like this.”


Working one-on-one with children at Williams Wells Brown, as well as other elementary schools struggling in the area, became a priority for faculty members and students across the University of Kentucky’s campus after the school was listed at the bottom of statewide rankings during the 2014-2015 academic year. With assistance from the United Way and support from Dean Janie Heath, Elizabeth Salt, a professor in the UK College of Nursing, organized a cohort of faculty members from her department to spend one hour a week working with students at the school. Salt believed it was unacceptable for an elementary school within the vicinity of the state’s flagship university to suffer from low academic scores.


“It occurred to me that the incredible resources available at the university were likely not being accessed at their maximum capabilities,” Salt said. “I started to brainstorm on what I could do to help. I thought I could likely recruit my colleagues in the College of Nursing — the college has an awesome group of faculty and staff with so many unique talents and an incredible capacity to give and care for others.”


The College of Nursing is joined by other UK groups in their work at William Wells Brown. Currently, pre-practicum students studying elementary education and special education are earning clinical hours at the school. Future plans include students being paired with a second grader through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters School Plus Program to improve their reading and math skills.


A group of graduate students studying applied behavioral analysis, led by Allan Allday, associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, also partners with the school to make behavior observations, collect data and support WWB staff with behavior interventions.


While what goes on in the classroom is paramount, for some students, their experiences outside the classroom can be just as significant. That’s why students and directors from LEXengaged, a UK Living Learning Program, work with WWB students in its after school program. Visiting the school about once a week, the group is focused on "helping WWB students develop an appreciation for their neighborhood," said Rosie Moosnick, LEXengaged co-director and UK College of Arts and Sciences lecturer.  


"Bringing back the incredible, African-American history of the area can give new insight into what Lexington has been built from," said Jacelynn Sturgill, a LEXengaged student and biology major from Jessamine County, Kentucky.


Celebrating Isaac Murphy Week was part of that effort. Murphy, a legendary 19th century African-American jockey, lived in Lexington's East End neighborhood. Sharing his story with WWB students, the LEXengaged group led art projects, helped host Patsy Trollinger, author of a children's book about Isaac Murphy, and read the book with WWB students. The group also met with Pellom McDaniels, author of the "Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy."


In addition to hearing from McDaniels on Murphy and the rich history of the East End, WWB students presented art work depicting their neighborhood to him. To wrap up the celebration, LEXengaged and WWB students took part in unveiling art panels at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Garden.


"Having learned about the history of the East End, I think it's really important for these kids to know and appreciate the story of where they live," said Michael Riggs, a LEXengaged student studying political science and sociology from Norman, Oklahoma.


The group also provides homework help and tutoring during their visits, and sometimes just friendship.


"Every week I get excited to see them; they greet me with smiles and hugs, and before we can begin to get anything done we have to ask one another how each of our days/weeks have been," Sturgill said, who is planning to be pen-pals with a few of the students once the semester ends.


The LLP will continue to partner with WWB and its after school program next semester with a new group of LEXengaged students. Moosnick and Lynn Phillips, LEXengaged co-director and assistant professor of geography, have encouraged this semester's students to continue volunteering and maintaining their relationships, suggesting they become Big Brothers or Big Sisters.


"It's clear that our students really enjoy the interaction with William Wells Brown students," Phillips said.




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

'Septemdimensiva' Art Show Features Seven Graduating UK Seniors

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 16:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2015) — The University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies presents a group exhibition of the work of seven graduating seniors earning their BA (Bachelor of Arts) in art studio this December. The BA show, "septemdimensiva," opens Dec. 7 and runs through Dec. 11. A reception celebrating the artists will be held 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Bolivar Art Gallery in the UK Art and Visual Studies Building, located on 236 Bolivar Street. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.


"Septemdimensiva" will feature the following soon-to-be graduates: Dallas Conn, Tiffany Graves, Elmer Lopes, Kimberly Parker, Christina Romano, Joshua Sevy and Ashley Worley. The art studio major helps art students gain critical skills for today's society including, but not limited to, the ability to work with still and moving images and the latest software, as well as the manipulation of traditional media and forms of expression as drawing, ceramics, metal sculpture and other intermedia sculptural constructions such as fiber art, photography, video and digital design.


Dallas Conn, a native of Henderson, Kentucky, was raised in Sturgis and Henderson and graduated from Henderson County High School in 2011. He obtained an associate's degree from Henderson Community College. Conn has experience as a commissioned digital artist with a body of freelance graphic design and illustration art work.


Conn's senior portfolio is based on postmodern surrealism, combining inspiration from early surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Zdzislaw Beksinski with modern elements. Using a dream diary, he is able to recall and recreate the fantastic compositions witnessed in his dreams. Conn paints digitally in Photoshop, learning on his own time under an independent study. He is versed in digital photography and creates video art with ambitions of creating and directing music videos for his own music.


Tiffany Graves is from Springfield, Kentucky, where she graduated from Washington County High School. In her high school years she received a grant to participate and create a horse sculpture for the World Equestrian Games. The sculpture was on view at the games along with preview dates at Lexington Green and Kentucky Horse Park: International Museum of the Horse. She also had two of her patriotic pieces hang in the Washington, D.C. Tunnel. In high school, Graves was a member of the art club, participated in marching band, and graduated with honors.


During her career in college, Graves has volunteered at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital where she subsequently worked with children teaching them various techniques in art. The following summer she interned at the Lexington Art League, helping the resident artists with works and installing, and teaching children art at camps. Her art inspiration includes nature and the aspects of manipulating nature. Her preferred medium is Photoshop, and her works tend to either be small or insanely large. Graves also has dabbled in video and animation.


Elmer Lopez works at developing his portfolio as he explores the differences and similarities between two- and three-dimensional work. The curiosity and research within dimensionality has impacted his art practice and his art work to move forward incorporating both drawing and relief. Graduating from DuPont Manual High School with his first group exhibition in 2011, Lopez has increased his art processes even further to demonstrate new development and skills as an artist. The work shown in "septemdimensiva" consists of mix media processes including drawing, painting, ceramics and papier-mâché construction. The motivation for his art is derived from the commonalities and differences of individuals that are connected regardless to race, gender, beliefs and status.


Kimberly Parker is a graduate of Taylor County High School, where she was active in the art club. She holds an associate's degree in art from Bluegrass Technical Community College. Parker's senior portfolio at UK consists of works done in painting, photography and ceramic mediums. The ideas for her work spring from cultural or social issues that surround women. Parker is inspired by projects that seem out of the ordinary in order to catch the viewer’s attention. She works in a variety of scale in photographs and oil paintings.


Christina Romano is a Kentucky-born artist who strives for growth and expression in her art and in everyday life. Romano knew from a young age that she loved to create, but it was not until she participated in the International Baccalaureate Visual Arts at Sacred Heart Academy that she knew she wanted to pursue art as a potential career. At UK, Romano has studied both art studio and art education in hopes of becoming an art teacher in addition to creating her own works. She strives to integrate her creativity into everything she does; whether that is through contributing her artistic skills to volunteer activities, holding multiple design positions in her sorority, or indulging her personal hobby of costume design and construction.


Romano’s senior portfolio is a collection of works that reflects her artistic journey and development. By drawing inspiration from her studies, interests and personal experiences, each of her works can be seen as a self-portrait. Common themes in her work are childhood development, femininity, mental health and freedom of artistic expression. Her works often refer to pop and mass culture; Romano uses comic book characters, fashion magazines, and Internet memes as sources of inspiration. Her work can seem eccentric and quirky and at other times ironic as if pointing at the strangeness in everyday culture and laughing at its absurdity.


Josh Sevy is a local photographer and sculptor. He works primarily in metal, wood and non-traditional photography, integrating traditional woodworking techniques (carpentry and furniture making) and traditional photography (cyanotype) and metalworking (casting, forging and fabrication) methods along with modern technique and technology to create art objects, which focus on the creation of self and identity.


Sevy's work was influenced by travels throughout the United States and Japan, where he witnessed the broad range of subcultures across the countries, the people and experiences encountered along the way, as well as his study of culture and art history. Strongly influenced by current events across the globe, particularly the strife caused by religion, the intent behind the creation of his objects is the depiction of a common human experience through the conceptual art object, to compel his viewers to consider the possibility of reaching amity in the world by viewing life from others' perspectives.


Ashley Worley is a senior pursuing degrees in both art education and art studio. She is the recipient of the Governors Scholars Program Presidential Scholarship and has made the Dean’s List every semester at UK. As an undergraduate, Worley has participated in several exhibitions, including the Carey Ellis Exhibit, University Open and Young Artists Competition. She holds a leadership position as vice president of the university's Art Education Student Chapter, where she organized a long-term community service project for students to volunteer at Kentucky Children's Hospital to paint the windows in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Worley is also an editor and manager for the UK undergraduate arts journal, Shale.


The concepts behind Worley's body of work revolve around the delicate and vulnerable relationship existing between humans and nature. Worley's interest in environmental issues encouraged her to explore this concept of the human vs. nature power struggle. Her work draws inspiration from the organic, aesthetic qualities of fungi, bacteria and seeds. Worley's work strives to provoke conflicting feelings of fear and curiosity. Whether through painting, drawing, photography, print, or sculpture the artist's work portrays a tension that exists between our desire to live harmoniously with nature and the fear that we are susceptible and exposed to its influence.


For more information about "septemdimensiva," contact Ashley Worley at


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




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