UK Recognized for Successful Student Transfer Program

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 12:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2014) ― The University of Kentucky has been honored for its leadership in assisting community college students with successful transfer to UK and completion of four-year degrees.  Recognized at the first Transfer Triumph Award ceremony in conjunction with the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for Community Colleges convention last week, UK was presented with the Transfer Pathway Innovations award.


The award is given to four-year colleges that facilitate transfer student transition and overall success by offering unique opportunities such as on-campus transfer centers, transfer visit days, exclusive scholarships, special residential experiences and more.


"Our team felt that University of Kentucky was very deserving of this award," said Sarah Reynolds, associate director of college relations for Phi Theta Kappa, in her award letter to UK. "We sincerely appreciate all of your efforts to champion the transfer-bound community college student, and it has been a privilege to partner with you in this effort."


"I am immensely proud of our team in UK Enrollment Management for its dedication to developing a comprehensive transfer process that puts the student first," said Don Witt, UK associate provost for enrollment management.  “This award is representative of the collaborative spirit of efforts across UK to serve transfer students including Undergraduate Studies, each academic college, and Student Affairs.”


The Transfer Triumph awards event showcased the best and brightest in community and four-year college transfer initiatives, programming and pathways. The awards were presented during the Phi Theta Kappa annual convention in Orlando, where more than 4,000 members, chapter advisors, and college administrators were in attendance.  Phi Theta Kappa recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students.


Powered by Phi Theta Kappa, is a website dedicated to serving as a resource to promote positive two-year college completion and transfer pathways, empowering students and the higher education personnel who support them to achieve their goals in a seamless, timely manner.

Student-Developed QR Codes Engage Viewers of UK Arts in HealthCare Collections

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 12:00


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2014) ― The vibrant colors and variety of wildlife portrayed in Robert Tharsing's vibrant "A Natural History of Kentucky" draws a casual interest from visitors in a waiting room on the first floor of the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital.


With a new QR code providing background information and a simple activity, curious visitors can go a step further in their exploration of the painting with a smartphone. The artwork's assigned QR code, which is available on a new brochure developed by two classes in the School of Art and Visual Studies in University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts, engages visitors with an eye-spy game of Kentucky animals in the piece and thought-provoking questions concerning the artwork's theme.


To see what information (note image may be stretched when accessed via computer) the QR code will access for the Tharsing work, visit:


Earlier in the spring semester, Jackie Hamilton, director of UK's Arts in HealthCare Program, took 12 students in Marty Henton's museum education course on a private tour of the art collection in the hospital. Students then chose a work, as well as its respective artist, to research and study. They developed a short description of the work and created a mobile activity to prompt observers to think a little more about the piece.


The students also designed a brochure that includes QR codes for each of their selected pieces and a map of the galleries, which can be found at the information desks in Pavilion A of the hospital. With the brochure, visitors can scan a QR code assigned to a specific piece and access a photo of the artwork, a description and a creative activity.


Hamilton said if the analytic reports show that hospital visitors are accessing the codes, she will consider including codes for more pieces in the Arts in HealthCare collection. She applauds the students' creativity designing activities to encourage more observer involvement in the artwork.


"The QR codes will provide immediate access to information about the artist and the work," Hamilton said. "More importantly, the students have developed activities around the piece so the observer is pushed into a deeper level of engagement."


Arts administration senior Samantha-Jane Harris, of Nicholasville, Ky., accompanied her mother Cibina Harris, a registered nurse in the department of infection control at UK HealthCare, on a trial tour of the collection using the QR codes brochure.


When the new pavilion of the hospital opened a few years ago, Cibina Harris brought her daughter to view the art. She said the artwork, in addition to the ability to learn more about it through a QR code, adds to the quality of the patient's experience.


"It gives another topic of conversation to get their mind off of what they're really here for," Cibina Harris said.


Through the project, Samantha-Jane Harris memorized fascinating details about the artwork and the artist of the piece she selected in the hospital. She thinks the course work developing QR codes for public artwork has helped prepare her for a career in the arts.


"It's along the lines of what I want to do - bridge the gap between the arts and health care," Samantha-Jane Harris said. "It's learning to engage people in art."


The brainchild of Henton, senior lecturer of art education, and Dima Strakovksy, associate professor of art intermedia, the QR code project came about as Henton looked for ways to show her museum education students how to use modern technology to stimulate the public's interest in art.


Henton approached Strakovsky for advice on the technical aspects of the project and was excited when her colleague suggested the project would also work well for his course on coding.


Henton's class of art history, arts administration and music students went to work on researching details on artwork featured at the hospital as well as information on the artists themselves. While preparing biographies for their favorite piece, they also crafted activities for viewers at a variety of ages. To see examples of the information and activities accessed via the QR codes, visit for Marjorie Guyon's "Still 2" and for LaVon Williams' "Out of the Wailing Artist." 


The class even came up with ideas for video and interactive gaming that was too ambitious for the short timeframe, but could be added in the future.


Additionally, the QR codes are connected to Google analytics which will provide the students, faculty and hospital with important data -- from hometowns of viewers to popularity of a particular piece.

Arts administration senior and artist Caitlin Serey, of Ashland, Ky., was excited to participate in the project and sees the importance of combining more traditional education tools with advances in technology. "I believe it is very valuable because today we learn news about the community or arts through technological databases."


Strakovsky's coding students also enjoyed working on the QR project. "The project was interesting. Most of the classes you take at UK can only simulate the experience of working with another group to achieve a joint goal. Our issues and obstacles weren’t artificial or unrealistic, they were real," said Andrew Johnson, an art studio senior from Lexington.


Serey and Johnson also enjoyed the change in art venue from a more typical museum or gallery to a hospital, where the art and corresponding QR codes make the visit not only more hospitable but also recognizes people's needs in digesting information.


"Users can translate the text more easily when it is digital. Users with visual disabilities can also change the color and size of the text if it is on a mobile display to make it more easily readable, which obviously isn’t possible with a traditional physical sign," Johnson said.


In the end, students in both Henton and Strakovsky's classes found the project rewarding and hope that it will benefit patients, visitors and staff at the hospital for years.


"I would say it's a prototype of bigger and better things to come from our classes in the future," Henton said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,; and Elizabeth Adams, 


College of Social Work Inducts Three New Members Into Hall of Fame

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 11:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work inducted three new members into their Hall of Fame Wednesday, May 7, at the Hillary J. Boone Center.       


In 1999, the College of Social Work inducted its first members into the Hall of Fame. Since then, each year the college recognizes the distinguished accomplishments of College of Social Work alumni who have made exceptional contributions to the field of social work. These individuals are deemed outstanding in their profession by their colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of their peers.


This year's inductees are: Elizabeth Croney, Teresa James, and Carl Smith.


Elizabeth Croney is the president of KVC Behavioral Health Services Kentucky. She began her career developing extensive experience working with alcohol abuse and mental health programs, and in 1989, she was appointed as the first director of Stoner Creek Centre, an inpatient psychiatric unit for children and adults. Croney established a private practice in Bourbon County in 1990, where she worked extensively with children and families.


In 1999, she formed Croney & Clark, Inc., a private, for-profit corporation serving three rural counties, and over a 10-year period, she developed it into an agency providing services in metropolitan Fayette County and 16 surrounding counties. Croney & Clark delivered wrap-around behavioral health and community-based services to children and families identified by the Kentucky Department of Mental Health as needing intensive services. KVC acquired Croney & Clark in 2009 and appointed Croney president of Kentucky operations. In December 2010, she became president of the KVC West Virginia subsidiary, which she left in 2012 when Kentucky was awarded eight Intensive In-Home and Family Preservation contracts. This meant more than doubling the size of the Kentucky operation to 235 employees. In 2009, Croney was awarded Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky’s “Champion for Children” Award.


Croney holds a bachelor’s in criminal justice from the University of South Florida and a master’s in social work from UK. She has published in the area of ethics and supervision and is a sought-after workshop leader, trainer, and speaker in the U.S. and Canada.


Teresa James was appointed commissioner of Kentucky's Department for Community Based Services in September by Gov. Steven Beshear. Prior to accepting the role as commissioner, she had been the acting commissioner since December 2011 and the deputy commissioner since 2008. A native of Midway, Ky., James received a bachelor’s of social work from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in social work from UK. She has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1993.


She has over 25 years of clinical social work experience, including more than 22 years working with severely abused and neglected children, their families and vulnerable adults. She began her career as a front line child protective service worker with the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources in 1986 in Danville, Ky.


Commissioner James is a proud and passionate social worker who has a wide range of experiences in the field of social work and child welfare. She is committed to the cabinet’s mission of protecting our most vulnerable children and adults as well as insuring that every child has an opportunity for permanency and a forever family. She is a collaborator who is committed to working with community partners to promote safety, stability, and well-being for the citizens of the Commonwealth.


Carl Smith attended the UK Ashland Extension (later named Ashland Community College) and moved to the main campus in Lexington in 1966 where he worked at the University Medical Center as a chemical surgical technician in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics as he continued his undergraduate studies.


He was drafted and inducted into the U..S. Army in April 1969. Upon completion of basic and advanced training, Smith was selected for Officer Candidate School, and became an infantry officer. He served in the military for the next 30 years with nine of those (1972-1981) in the active Reserve and National Guard. It was during those nine years that Smith became involved in social work. He received his master’s in social work while working for the Bureau of Social Services in Kentucky. In 1981, he returned to the active Army as a social work officer where he served in various jobs for the next 18 years.


Smith retired from the Army in 1999 at the rank of lieutenant colonel and began working for the Air Force in the Family Advocacy Program in San Antonio, Texas. He became the coordinator/director of juvenile treatment programs for The Brown Schools (in Texas) and Cornell Companies where he worked for the next five years. In 2008, he returned to federal service as a clinical social worker at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center working with wounded warriors.  From there, he moved in 2009, to the Army Medical Department Center and School as branch chief of the Combat and Operational Stress Control Training Branch where he continues to serve.


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


UK Center Develops Team Training to Create Safe Medical Homes for LGBTQ Patients

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 09:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 9, 2014) - In a clinical setting, conversations with the patient allow doctors, nurses and administrative workers to gather vital health information. But a University of Kentucky professor's research exposes a need to train health care teams to ask the right questions when treating patients part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.


For the past couple of years, Dr. Keisa Bennett, an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Family and Community Medicine, has studied nondiscrimination policies and basic knowledge of the LGBTQ community among health care practices in Kentucky. She is leading a project at the UK Center for Interprofessional Healthcare Education Research and Practice to develop continuing education modules that will train teams of providers to appropriately navigate conversations with the LGBTQ population. The project was recently awarded a grant from JustFund, a philanthropic organization that provides grants for small projects advancing equality and development of the LGBTQ community.


Bennett conducted 19 live interviews and nearly 400 surveys of patients in both rural and urban areas of Kentucky. In addition, she collected information from 64 rural health care providers about nondiscrimination policies, patient questioning processes, promotion of services to the LBGTQ community and other patient care practices. The online educational modules will instruct members of health care teams to hold constructive, patient-centered conversations and create a comfortable medical home for members of the LGBTQ community.


The two modules will cover topics including basic terminology, how to ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, and considerations for patient confidentiality. The second module focuses on implementing modes of LGBTQ communication as a health care team.


Bennett said the educational modules will eliminate awkwardness and assumptions that can hinder productive health care conversations between providers and LGBTQ patients. The training will be available to UK HealthCare providers through CE Central software in the fall. She also said the module training will reinforce the importance of creating a clinical environment that is centered on the health needs of the patient, incorporating each person's sexual orientation and gender identity as an integral part of his or her care. 


"When all your patients see you as being patient-centered and you have knowledge outside your social group, you will get more patients coming to you who want that from their doctor," Bennett said. "In terms of being models of business and service, I hope these modules will help health care providers have a good reputation in their community." 


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Design Professors' Work Acquired by France's National Centre for Visual Arts

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 15:48



AtFAB 002_ch chair by AtFAB on Sketchfab


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2014) — A chair designed by University of Kentucky College of Design faculty members Anne Filson and Gary Rohrbacher has been acquired by France's National Centre for Visual Arts (NCAP).


Filson and Rohrbacher are both assistant professors in architecture at UK School of Architecture. Their "5 to 30 Minute Chair" was purchased for the center's permanent collection, and is among 72 designs acquired during 2013, including iconic works by Enzo Mari, Hella Jongerius, Konstantin Grcic, and Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec.


This year, CNAP’s acquisition committee sought representative works that engage emerging modes of production, like collaborative practices, open source, distributed manufacturing, and DIY. The "5 to 30 Minute Chair" is part of Filson and Rohrbacher’s open source furniture line, AtFAB that demonstrates open design and networked, distributed manufacturing.


AtFAB furniture is available for individuals to download, parametrically customize, and then fabricate out of local materials with CNC machines. AtFAB has been downloaded and locally made by a global community of makers; has been commissioned by private clients, including MakerBot Industries; and has been exhibited in a wide range of venues from Maker Faires to Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture + Planning. Called an "IKEA Disruptor" and "iTunes for Furniture," Filson and Rohrbacher’s furniture line has been featured by NPR, Le Monde, The Economist, and The Atlantic, as well as by de Architect, MAKE and the Network for Business Sustainability.


Created in 1982, the CNAP is committed to the field of contemporary artistic creation. It fosters and supports artistic creation in France in all areas of the visual arts: painting, performance art, sculpture, photography, installation art, video, multimedia, graphic arts, design and graphic design. It pays close attention to young artists, provides its expertise and support to the emergence of new forms and assists artists and contemporary art professionals.




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

Social Work Student's Work with Violence Prevention Leads Her to Washington, D.C.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 15:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 7, 2014) — CARE International, a humanitarian organization designed to fight global poverty, invited college students from across the nation to their annual conference in Washington, D.C. this past March, including University of Kentucky College of Social Work student, Santana Berry, one of two citizens who represented the state of Kentucky.


The purpose of the annual conference was to brief the various state representatives on issues CARE focuses on and to meet with congressional representatives about global issues such as, gender based violence, food aid reform, and the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Berry was recommended to CARE by her mentor LeTonia Jones, adjunct faculty member in the College of Social Work, and Berry wrote about her experience as part of her Community and Social Development Practicum.


“I was very pleased that Santana was able to represent Kentucky at the CARE conference," Jones said. "I recommended her because I have witnessed Santana grow tremendously over the years, both as a person and in her advocacy. In developing her own voice I felt like she was in the perfect place in her education and in her life to advocate on international women’s issues related to poverty. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”


Berry attended three days of workshops to help prepare her and other conference attendees about CARE's issues and how to best talk about these issues with politicians the next day on Capitol Hill. 


Berry, a native of Louisville, and a first generation college graduate, earned a bachelor's degree in social work from UK in 2011. She will graduate in May with a Master of Social Work (MSW) concentration in community and social development.


Berry's interest in poverty and violence stems from personal experience.


 "I myself am a survivor of violence," Berry said. "However this issue is of great interest to me also because of its global impact. The perpetration of intimate partner violence is essentially the same around the world. It is interesting to me that a small percentage of violent individuals can cause such traumatic impacts around the world. Also when someone is impacted by violence they are not only impacted in that moment but for the rest of their lives."


Berry gained experience while she was a student volunteer at the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center at UK working with incarcerated battered women at the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association and GreenHouse 17, formerly known as the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program, a local domestic violence shelter. However, it is because of Berry's personal experience growing up in poverty and experiencing intimate partner violence, that CARE considers her to be an expert.


Berry was interviewed several years ago for a promotional video for the VIP Center's "In Love's Service" play. She says this is where her passion for violence prevention began.


"Telling my own story allowed space within me to focus on preventing this violence from occurring for others."


Berry said that she's not sure what's next for her after graduation, but she could easily see herself engaging in policy analysis and advocacy.


"This experience will be very helpful for me in the future as a social worker. Regardless of what population I work with in the future, I will need to be able to advocate for my clients."




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


Free Parking During Move Out; Take Bikes Home for Summer

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) ― Wednesday, May 7 through Friday, May 9, University of Kentucky students and parents moving out of certain residence halls will be offered two hours of free parking.



South Campus residents in the Kirwan-Blanding area will be able to park in Sports Center Garage (PS #7). North Campus residents will be able to park in the South Limestone Garage (PS #5), located next to Kennedy’s Wildcat Den.


All vehicles must be removed from the Sports Center Garage prior to closing at 10 p.m. All vehicles must be removed from the South Limestone Garage prior to closing at 10 p.m. May 7 and 8, and at 6 p.m. on May 9. Overnight parking without prior approval from PTS is prohibited.


Meanwhile, UK Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) reminds students and employees who are leaving campus for the summer break to take their bicycles with them. Abandoned bicycles are subject to impoundment, even if they are parked in a legal bicycle space. If a bicycle is impounded, the owner will have 90 days to claim it at PTS and pay all citation and impoundment fees. Bicycles unclaimed after 90 days will be disposed of in accordance with university regulations.


PTS identifies abandoned bicycles with tags before impounding them, and will wait a minimum of five days before removing bicycles that have been tagged. If a student or employee who is on campus during the summer months discovers a tag on their bicycle, simply removing it will notify PTS staff that the bicycle is actively being used.

Staff Senate Election Results Announced

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 18:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) — Voting has ended in the University of Kentucky's Staff Senate elections. Because each sector had fewer candidates than vacancies, all candidates will be seated. Senators-elect will begin their terms as senators July 1. A listing of senators-elect per sector is as follows. 


EVPHA's Sector


Nicole Garlin


President's Sector


Darlene Hisel

Karen Jackson

Orvis Kean

Provost's Sector


Melissa Barger

Edward Brown

Gary Case

Tommy Collins

Diana Doggett

Jonathan Gent

David Gillespie

Laura Hall

Ann Livingstone

Troy Martin

Karen Michul

Terry Olson

Covetta Ramey

Ben Rice

George Scott

Erin Short

Pamela Sigler

Jeffrey Spradling

Nancy Taylor

Melissa Wilkeson

UK Cooperative Extension Celebrates 100 Years

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 17:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) — In the past century, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has impacted millions of Kentuckians. This year, state extension personnel will celebrate a century of accomplishments and look toward ways the outreach arm of land-grant universities can improve the lives of Kentuckians in the next 100 years.


“To make this next 100 years as successful as the first 100 have been, we need to be continually asking ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing,” said Jimmy Henning, director of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. “What we do can and should vary based on the differences in our communities and their needs, but the ‘why’ should always focus on leveraging the knowledge and the research at the university to improve the lives of Kentuckians.”


Over the years, UK Cooperative Extension agents and specialists have implemented countless meaningful, educational programs and grassroots efforts. Such programs and efforts have given young people the self-confidence to speak in front of their peers, provided nutrition advice to young mothers, supplied information to help Kentucky farmers become better stewards of the land and helped in numerous other ways. Each year, extension personnel make more than 7 million contacts across the state through their programs, events, initiatives and efforts.


On May 8, the Cooperative Extension System will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the service. A national convocation will be held that day at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Paige Hart of Caldwell County, Kentucky State 4-H president, will carry Kentucky’s flag during the Parade of States. Other 4-H state officers will also attend, including Allie Click from Jessamine County, Rachel Droege from Madison County and Cody Phillips from Pike County.


In Kentucky, centennial events kicked off in February with a statewide conference for extension personnel from UK and Kentucky State University. The centennial will also be celebrated during the Kentucky State Fair in the West Hall and the West Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Numerous other celebrations will occur in counties across the state throughout the year.




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


Renee' Williams Honored as Top Forestry Communicator

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 17:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 7, 2014) — The Kentucky Forest Industries Association recently named Reneé Williams 2013 Kentucky Communicator of the Year.


Williams, who is an extension information specialist with the Department of Forestry in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, received the honor, which was sponsored by the Kentucky Tree Farm Committee, at the association’s recent 49th annual meeting in Louisville. Jeffrey Stringer, UK extension professor of silviculture, nominated her for the award.


“Without Mrs. Williams’s ability to manage all of UK forestry extension's publishing and websites, our impact would be significantly less than it is,” Stringer said. “She enables us to effectively communicate directly with over 30,000 woodland owners on a regular basis, a significant communication accomplishment, earning her the respect of the forestry community statewide. As a result of her hard work and accomplishments, it was an easy nomination.”


Williams is responsible for layout, design and distribution of educational and programming communications for forestry extension including hard copy, digital and web-based materials. She designs the award-winning Kentucky Woodlands Magazine, which is distributed to more than 10,500 woodland owners and aligned professionals in Kentucky. She currently is webmaster for several UK forestry websites. Williams also assists with the production of forestry fact sheets and other educational and promotional materials including three Constant Contact newsletters.


In presenting her with this honor, the Kentucky Forest Industries Association recognized Williams’s contribution to the success of the 2013 Wood Expo held in Lexington.


“She assisted KFIA staff with publicity for the event and worked tirelessly to develop local news and media interest. This ultimately resulted in spreading the word about the importance of the wood industry to Central Kentucky, an important region of the state that does not normally see the presence of the forest industry,” the organization noted in a news release.


The Kentucky Tree Farm Committee is sponsored by KFIA, which is a trade association dedicated to serving and promoting the forest products industry and forestry interests of Kentucky. Founded in 1965, it has more than 600 members in the areas of primary and secondary wood industry, supplier and service industries, wholesale, loggers and landowners. KFIA promotes sound forest management through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.




MEDIA CONTACT:  Carol Spence, 859-257-8324.


Wing Design Competition to Challenge Teens' Engineering Skills

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) — High school students will put their aerospace engineering skills to the test in the fourth annual Wing Design Competition, held by the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. 


The event will be held Saturday, May 17, at the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport. Visitors and volunteers from across the country are expected to be in attendance.


The competition challenges teams of high school students to design and construct a wing for a remote-controlled airplane suitable for meeting various payload challenges. Schools within the Institute for Aerospace Education (IAE) network create teams through formal class offerings and student clubs.


There are currently 20 schools within IAE, but schools may enter two teams into the event. Thirty teams have been working on their aircraft since January, and around 250 students are expected to compete. This year’s field will contain a non-Kentucky school for the first time, Greeneville High School from Greeneville, Tenn.


The event will be coordinated by the UK College of Engineering and is sponsored by NASA Kentucky, Stantec, Somerset-Pulaski County Airport Board/Lake Cumberland Regional Airport and Kentuckiana Post SAME.


UK engineering professors supply teaching modules on aerodynamics and stability to assist teams with their wing design. UK engineering students will help run the competition. Static displays will be provided by Air Methods Corporation, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and the Somerset Police Department.


“The hope is that the students who learn the material from the teaching modules this year will pass it on to new students next year, creating an accumulated body of knowledge that grows as it is handed down year after year,” said Jesse Hoagg, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UK.


Tim Smith, director of IAE, says he appreciates the ways in which the competition helps high school students learn engineering principles outside the classroom.


“This competition inspires students with flight, but gives them a great hands-on opportunity to apply math, science and problem solving in ways they don't get in a classroom,” he said. “For NASA and Kentucky, and the region, these students are the future — whether they decide to pursue careers specifically in aviation and aerospace engineering or whether they choose another field — they will have tried something very difficult, succeeded at some aspects and learned a lot along the way.” 


Smith also noted that the Wing Design Competition has led to more than 600 students studying aerospace. Those students fare better than average on the ACT college entrance exam, and about three-fourths of graduating seniors who have competed choose a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline for their college major.


For more information, please contact Tim Smith, executive director of the Institute for Aerospace Education, at 502-320-9490; Kellie Baker, airport manager, Lake Cumberland Regional Airport, at 606-679-7908; or Jesse Hoagg, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, at 859-218-0641.




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




UK Police Department Issues Crime Bulletin

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) — In the interest of safety, the University of Kentucky Police Department has issued the following Crime Bulletin to the UK community.  


On Monday, May 5, 2014, UK Police Department received a delayed report of the following crime, which took place on UK’s campus.  A sexual assault was reported by a third party to have occurred between the hours of 11 p.m. Friday, May 2 and 2 a.m. Saturday, May 3.  A female student was allegedly assaulted by a male student in a residence hall on campus.  The alleged suspect is known to the victim and the crime is currently being investigated.


University of Kentucky Police Department has issued this Crime Bulletin for the UK Community in compliance with the “Timely Notice” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.


If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police at (859) 257-8573.


The University of Kentucky values a safe community for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. In the interest of promoting a safe and secure campus environment, UK Police offer the following safety precautions:

  • If you see something, say something. For emergencies, call 911.
  • Carry a cell phone to be able to call for help in emergencies.
  • Whenever possible, look out for your friends when you go out together; walk together and make sure that everyone gets home safely.
  • Request a FREE SAFECATS student safety escort or coordinate after-hours on-demand bus service during the fall and spring semesters by calling (859) 257-SAFE(7233).
  • Park in well-lit areas, if available.
  • If possible, do not travel alone after dark; walk with a friend or with a group. 
  • Turn over any requested items (purse, wallet, etc.).
  • If you choose to drink, be responsible. Alcohol is never an excuse to hurt another person.
  • Make statements with authority – “BACK-OFF! STOP! NO-WAY!” You deserve to be respected.



UK Alumnus Designs Detroit's Future

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 16:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) — If you've read much about Detroit in the news lately, it hasn't been good. Facing $18 billion in debt, Detroit declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy last July, becoming the largest U.S. city ever to do so. Its population, having dwindled from a 1950s peak of 1.86 million, is now just 700,000. Roughly half of Detroit's residents aged 25-64 are unemployed. Its violent crime rate is one of the worst in the nation. Approximately 20 square miles of land within the city — roughly the size of Manhattan — sit empty, where abandoned and blighted buildings have been leveled. An estimated 80,000 abandoned buildings remain in pockets scattered across the city's 138 square miles.


To some, Detroit's challenges might seem hopeless, but not to Dan Kinkead, a 1997 architecture graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Design and native Detroiter. Last April, Kinkead was named director of Detroit Future City (DFC), a comprehensive, forward-looking, city-wide strategic plan charged with, in Kinkead's words, "transforming Detroit's current liabilities into future assets."


Transforming a city

Before his appointment at DFC, Kinkead — who followed his architecture degree at UK with a master's in architecture and urban design at Harvard University in 2002 — had made a career of designing innovative buildings like Wells Hall, a new language arts building at Michigan State University, which he had to situate, per the university's request, atop an older, already existing building on campus.


Just out of Harvard, while working as an urban design leader at the New York-based offices of renowned architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Kinkead helped develop a master plan for Columbia University's expansion and redevelopment of an unused, former industrial section of West Harlem, among other projects in the United States, Europe and China.


As design principal at Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates, Kinkead helped oversee the three-year-long development of the 350-page strategic framework that would become the basis of the "50-year land-use vision" at the heart of the DFC initiative.


"My whole education and career have been driven to understand what my clients are looking for and to find ways to translate their intrinsic objectives into something efficient and beautiful," Kinkead says. "In many ways, my work at DFC is no different. But the stakes are much higher. This is by far the most challenging thing I've ever done. This isn't about creating an individual building or an individual design. We're trying to fundamentally transform a major American city."


The DFC plan is multi-faceted, with goals to increase jobs and city safety, reduce blight, leverage the city's role as an inland port and logistics hub, develop neighborhoods that include capacity for food and clean-energy production, and transform unused land into city greenways and waterways.


"In Detroit, we have to move away from business as usual. But that's what is really exciting for us," Kinkead says. "I believe Detroit can be a leader in urban innovation, a model for how design, strategy and policy can impact legacy issues of older, industrialized cities."


Finding his calling

Growing up in Detroit, Kinkead knew he wanted to travel outside Michigan to attend college.


UK appealed to him because both his parents are alums, and he had spent his childhood summers around Kentucky's Rough River Lake.

While he'd always been a creative-minded child, forever drawing and building things, it wasn’t until driving from Detroit to UK for a planned college visit that Kinkead even considered architecture as a career.


"My dad and I were in the car, and I was flipping through UK's course catalog, those big blue books that they used to issue. I found the architecture listings and really got excited," he says. Kinkead set up a department visit and within five minutes of walking into Pence Hall, he knew he'd found his college home.


"We were greeted by professors Clyde Carpenter and Stephen Degar, and I saw all these models and drawings. They were building a structure that was sort of creeping out of one room and into the corridor," Kinkead says. "I knew right then and there that this was what I wanted to do."


Over the course of Kinkead's UK education, he had "many influential moments and a host of exceptional professors," he says. But two experiences stand out.


First, the opportunity to take part in the department's study abroad program in Venice, Italy, in spring 1995 under the tutelage of Maria Dallerba-Ricci was "transformative," Kinkead says. My studies came into sharp focus that semester, I formed a very tight bond with my classmates, and I came out of that experience a very different person."


Second, Kinkead's studies and subsequent teaching assistantship under UK faculty member Wallis Miller, who taught a course on the history and theory of modern architecture helped him understand how "context influences our work as architects, and how design can influence history itself," he says.


When Miller pegged Kinkead to be her teaching assistant, he says he felt it was the first moment someone saw something in him that was worthy of being elevated. "It was a foundational moment for me, and it gave me the confidence that I could do this work," says Kinkead.


"I want everyone to know what an incredibly strong program UK has. It's challenging, and has always celebrated creative curiosity and rigorous analysis," he says.


Measuring success

For Kinkead, helping Detroit realize a brighter future isn't just an academic or professional pursuit; it's also personal. Detroit is his hometown. It's where he and his wife are raising their children. They have a two-year-old daughter and are expecting twins this month.


"People ask me all the time, 'How will you know if you've succeeded with the DFC initiatives?'" Kinkead says. "That's a really difficult question. But what I can say is that, as a father, I focus on trying to make sure that this city is a place where my children can thrive as children and as adults. That it's a place where they can have a high quality of life and explore all the things they want to do. In many instances today, Detroiters struggle to realize that moment of success. So getting us there is a big thing for me. It's what keeps me going." 


Feature on Dan Kinkead reprinted from Kentucky Alumni magazine's spring 2014 issue, "Dan Kinkead: Designing Detroit's Future" by Robin Roenker.




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

UK Design Completes First Phase of Pence Hall Renovation

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 14:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Design (CoD) has recently completed the first phase of the renovation of Pence Hall.


A former studio space has been transformed into the Student Services Suite, complete with an expanded space for record storage, as well as a lounge area where students can wait to meet with academic advisors.


Also completed is the new UK/CoD Student Recruitment Center. Prospective students can use the space to meet with the college recruitment director, faculty and current students. The recruitment center also includes a display area for student work.


The next phase of the renovations, which will include a new reception area and directors’ suite, will begin in May.


Visit for more renovation information and updates from UK College of Design.



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

Bridge to Doctorate Program Removes Barriers for Underrepresented Students in Biomedical Sciences

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:21


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) -- Growing up in the small rural town of Paintsville, Kentucky, Hilaree Frazier always loved science. She remembers that from a young age she was interested in pursing a PhD in science, but when she finished her bachelors of science at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), she was intimidated by the prospect of going straight into a doctoral program. Even though she was interested in UK's Integrated Biomedical Sciences PhD program, she didn't apply.


"I think I just didn't have enough confidence," she said. "There weren't a lot of opportunities in science in my hometown."


Her undergraduate advisor at EKU suggested that she apply to a program a called the Kentucky Bridge to a Biomedical Doctorate for Appalachian Students. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and administered jointly by Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky, the program aims to increase participation of underrepresented students in science disciplines by removing "students' hesitancy about entering graduate school and the concurrent fear of creating additional financial indebtedness."


To achieve this objective, the program provides funding for two years of master's level study at EKU for up to five students each year, as well a yearly stipend as a graduate assistant, full-time summer research, and travel funds to attend and present at national conferences. One of only 13 Bridge to Doctorate programs in the county, the EKU-UK program is targeted towards students from Appalachia, but students from other underrepresented populations are also eligible. 


Frazier was accepted into the Bridge program and two years later she is now finishing her master's thesis at EKU, where she has been studying virulence factors related to acute infections. And in Fall 2014, she will enter UK's PhD program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBS), confident in her abilities as a biomedical researcher.


"I don’t regret not applying to a PhD program after undergrad because I wouldn't have been as prepared as I am now," she said,


Dr. Brett Spear, director of the IBS program at UK and principle investigator of the Bridge to Doctorate program, says that in the field of biomedical science, students from underrepresented populations who transition from a four-year bachelors degree program directly into a PhD program experience high dropout rates. The Bridge to Doctorate program, he says, addresses this by providing the educational and financial support to help students successfully transition to and complete a PhD program. And, like Frazier, he knows that student confidence is a key factor.


"It's not ability that's holding these kids back -- it's a lack of confidence," he said. "And as we've talked to the students to ask what about has been best about this program, they say that it builds their confidence."


The EKU-UK Bridge to Doctorate program is now in its second of five years, and six students have participated so far. In addition to funding and mentorship for their master's program at EKU, students in the program also benefit from the proximity to UK by taking a first-year PhD course in UK's IBS program. 


"The students who have taken the course have all passed it, and they say that being able to take a PhD course and see that they can perform at that level has given them the most confidence," he said.


Frazier agrees, saying that participating in the PhD course at UK while still in her master's program at EKU  was one of the most helpful components of the program. She also acknowledges that the Bridge program has allowed her to develop critical professional skills in addition to her academic and research training.


"Coming up to UK and attending conferences forces you to meet a lot of people," she said. "This program doesn't just support you academically but also professionally."


To further bolster the Bridge program, Spear has developed an additional mentorship component, pairing each Bridge student at EKU with both a PhD student and a faculty member at UK.


"We're developing some stronger mentoring programs so the students have people they can talk to and help them develop their confidence and really understand what they're getting into," said Spear. "The nice thing about this is that everyone wins - it helps the PhD students and the Bridge students."


He is also working to facilitate additional opportunities for Bridge students to participate in research activities at UK, including participating in research days and attending seminars.


"I think we have to be intentional to help students who need it," said Spear.


For more information about the EKU-UK Bridge program, please visit




MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


Which Concert Artist Do You Want to See on Campus?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 7, 2014) – The Student Activities Board Concerts Committee is seeking student feedback through a survey on concert artists.


The one question survey asks, “Which artist would you most likely pay $10-$20 to see in concert?” The options are Ke$ha, Kendrick Lamar, One Republic and none of the above. The survey can be found at


The SAB Concerts Committee has brought multiple large-scale concerts to campus to entertain students and create a connected community through music. The large-scale concerts have included the Lumineers, Brantley Gilbert, Drake, J. Cole and Gym Class Heroes. Students’ feedback is imperative to assist SAB in choosing acts students prefer.


SAB brings more than 100 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff, and the greater Lexington community.


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




MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909, or Olivia Senter, 859-257-8868,



Students Win Boren Awards to Study Languages Critical to National Security

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 14:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of External Scholarships has announced two UK students will study critical languages on scholarship in 2014-15.


Cassidy Henry, a graduate student at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce from Navarre, Fla., has been awarded a National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Fellowship of up to $30,000 to study Russian in Irkutsk and Vladivostok, Russia. Henry is one of 106 graduate student award winners selected nationally from a pool of 497 applicants.


Samuel Northrup, a political science and international studies junior from Wilmore, Ky., has been awarded a NSEP David L. Boren Scholarship of up to $20,000 to study Arabic in Amman, Jordan. Northrup is one of 165 undergraduate award winners selected nationally from a pool of 868 applicants.


Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide funding for study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and are underrepresented in education abroad. The awards are funded by NSEP, which focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to national security and the stability of our nation. This year's scholars and fellows will live in 43 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. They will study 40 different languages.


“The National Security Education Program is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures," said Michael A. Nugent, NSEP director.

In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for at least one year.


The daughter of Carol Henry, of Navarre, and Dean Walsh, of Garden Grove, Calif., Boren Fellow Cassidy Henry earned her bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University's Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in 2011.


Henry is excited to get to work on her Russian language studies at a critical time in the region's history. "Part of the NSEP is a service requirement that will allow me to work for the U.S. government and help promote our national security. By studying Russian, I will be able to help the U.S. interests in the larger Eurasian continent. As the situation in Ukraine is showing, learning Russian can be a valuable skill."


Curious about the field of diplomacy since the age of 13, Henry's interest in Russia came while studying abroad. "While I was on a semester study abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, I was wondering around utterly lost but having the time of my life. That semester changed my entire focus to the post-Soviet space. When I returned to the U.S. I knew I wanted to go back whenever I could."


A previous Fulbright recipient, Henry has also studied in Macedonia where she completed research on civil society organizations and how they work with the government to serve the people of Macedonia.

In addition to her previous research and study abroad experiences, Henry also credits Distinguished Visiting Professor Stacy Closson and Lockwood Chair Professor Karen Mingst as being major influences on her studies.


Henry will receive her master's degree from UK in May 2015.


Boren Scholar Samuel Northrup is the son of Betsy and Mark Northrup of Wilmore, and a 2013 graduate of West Jessamine High School.


Northrup's scholarship will allow the UK undergraduate to return to Jordan, which he first visited in high school. "In the summer before my senior year of high school, I was accepted into the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program to study Arabic in Jordan. I stayed in Amman for six weeks, during which I was introduced to the Middle Eastern culture and to the U.S. Foreign Service. The experience turned my interest in politics and the Middle East into a dedication. I was captured by the work of U.S. Embassies, and decided that I wanted to pursue a major in political science. Joining the U.S. Foreign Service continues to be a long term goal of mine."


The Boren Scholar hopes this next visit to Jordan will help him become fluent in the Arabic language, as well as learn more about the community. "I’ll live with a host family, where I can learn colloquial Arabic and Jordanian culture. The classes will allow me to get involved in the city through service projects and excursions throughout Amman."


In addition to his studies at UK, Northrup has also participated in undergraduate research working with Daniel Morey, associate professor of political science. The pair are researching the six European coalitions against France and the factors in states' decisions to leave a military coalition.


Northrup credits Jim Ridolfo, assistant professor of writing, rhetoric, and digital studies, for advancing his interest and advising him of such opportunities as the Boren Scholarship. "Dr. Jim Ridolfo has been the biggest influence in my decision to pursue Boren and my interest in the Middle East. Dr. Ridolfo and I had shared an Arabic course during my first semester at UK. As a faculty Fulbright conducting much of his research in the West Bank, he understands and shares my passion for the Middle East. Dr. Ridolfo encouraged and helped me to apply to both the Boren Scholarship and the Critical Languages Scholarships. Besides helping guide me through the applications, Dr. Ridolfo continues to offer insight into my academic and career goals. His academic understanding of the region is something I aspire to, and hope to pursue throughout my career."


Upon completing his bachelor's degrees, Northrup plans to continue pursuing an education in the Middle East and international relations throughout graduate school.

Since 1994, more than 5,200 students have received Boren Scholarships and Fellowships.


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

UK Report Addresses Health Needs of Trauma-Exposed Grandfamilies

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 14:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 7, 2014) - For centuries, American grandparents have participated in raising grandchildren. But contemporary problems, such as child maltreatment, exposure to substance abuse and the incarceration of a biological parent, are requiring more grandparents in Kentucky to assume the role of primary caregiver.


A breakthrough report by the University of Kentucky Center for Trauma and Children presents information about the health and well-being of Kentucky's grandfamilies, or families in which a grandparent serves as the primary caregiver in the absence of a biological parent.


Based on nearly 300 interviews collected from primary caregivers of grandfamilies living in both rural and urban settings across the Commonwealth, the report gathered information about types of childhood trauma exposure, pediatric symptoms and health services available to grandfamilies. The report also measured the health condition of grandparents raising grandchildren and the need for additional legal, financial and health care support for these modern families. The questionnaire was distributed through a network of kinship care groups and conferences across the state from March to December 2013.


Nationally, more than 42 percent of grandparents living with grandchildren function as the primary caregiver. More than 67,000 children in Kentucky are living with a grandparent, and more than half of those children are being raised by a grandparent in the absence of a biological parent. According to the report, substance abuse, child maltreatment and incarceration were the top three reasons children in the study lived with a grandparent. Incarceration accounted for a quarter of children living with grandparents while death of a biological parent accounted for 12 percent of children living with grandparents.


"We have a new group of caregivers trying to manage a new family configuration with children who are trauma-exposed," said Dr. Ginny Sprang, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and principal investigator for the report. "These grandparents are put in the position to parent children who have a special set of mental health needs. We really wanted to understand the experiences of these children coming into care, the levels of stress in the grandparents, and the level of functioning in these children and families."


Sprang said the report's findings indicated that many children in grandfamilies are coming from chaotic, abusive and unpredictable living situations. The report found 73 percent of children in participating grandfamilies had suffered from at least one traumatic experience. Sprang called attention to the 16 percent of children who reported four or more traumatic experiences. According to the benchmark Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, more than four traumatic experiences in childhood are strongly linked to a poor adult health and mental health outcomes and early mortality.


The report also highlighted the prevalence of symptoms and disorders in grandchildren. Forty-three percent of grandparents reported caring for a child with special mental health need, and more than 17 percent said their grandchild was diagnosed with a trauma-related disorder. In Eastern Kentucky, a region representing more than one-third of the surveyed population, grandfamilies reported that half of children required special mental health services and one-third showed symptoms of ADHD.


The report also revealed that grandparents heading these households are in poorer mental and physical health when compared with the general population. Many are overburdened with caring for young children, with 38 percent reporting raising children younger than the age of 5. More than half of grandparents in the study identified as a single caregiver. Grandparents reported having an average of at least two chronic illnesses.


"These grandparents are trying to manage the fallout from all the child's early experiences when they are also experiencing a decline of  their own health and well-being," Sprang said.


Based on the findings of the report, researchers determined Kentucky's grandfamilies need more specialized services for traumatic stress in children, as well as enhanced legal, financial and health care resources for primary caregivers. Grandparents were least likely to receive child services for traumatic stress or abuse problems because the services were either too expensive, or not available in their community. Sprang said the report underlines a need to provide training for mental health professionals to work with the trauma-exposed children across Kentucky.


The study was conducted by Sprang, and colleagues Dr. Moon Choi, Dr. Jessica Eslinger and Adrienne Whitt-Woosley. The study was made possible in part by a grant from Eastern Kentucky Health Education and Welfare Fund.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams;


Q&A With Buck Goldstein, Next Speaker in "see tomorrow." Speaker Series

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 12:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) What does it mean for a university to be entrepreneurial?


That's the topic of the next "see tomorrow. The University of Kentucky Strategic Plan" speaker series this Thursday.


Buck Goldstein is the University Entrepreneur in Residence and a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC and an honors graduate of the UNC Law School. He will speak Thursday, May 8, at 9 a.m. in the Lexmark Public Room.


UKnow recently had the opportunity to speak with Goldstein about his upcoming talk and the importance of entrepreneurship in the context of public higher education.


What will you be speaking about at UK?


Great research universities like UK have the ability and the responsibility to attack big, complex problems. Entrepreneurship, which operates at the intersection of innovation and execution, can increase the impact of the research and teaching that goes on at places like UK.


In your recent book "Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century" you and Holden Thorp (provost at Washington University) discuss how a university becomes more entrepreneurial? What do you mean by that and why is the concept important?


We think the real opportunity is to develop a culture that embraces innovation and tolerates failure. We suggest a number of ways such a culture can be encouraged, and I plan to discuss them in my talk.

What are some of the barriers or challenges to that goal?

Every institution is different but great universities have traditions and processes that have endured for centuries. On the other hand universities are facing existential threats that cannot be ignored. The challenge is to thoughtfully understand how innovation can be encouraged within a framework that has stood the test of time. Of particular interest to me is online learning, and I plan to discuss the MOOC I taught with Holden this past spring to 39,000 students called What's Your Big Idea?




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan 859-257-5365;

Undergrads Present Sustainability Research at NSF Student Showcase

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 11:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) — Undergraduate students who participated in the National Science Foundation-funded Systems Thinking for Sustainability (NSF-STFS) course at the University of Kentucky will present their research findings in a showcase from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, in the Lexmark Public Room in UK's Main Building. This project showcase, which is free and open to the public, will display the range of multivalent viewpoints, issues investigated, and potential solutions discovered over the course of the spring 2014 semester.


This is the third year of the curriculum development and the first year including a group of students from Texas A&M University, which were exposed to segments of the curriculum delivered by UK’s team and adapted by one of the UK team members.


The presentation agenda for the showcase is as follows:

· informal discussions with individual UK student teams, 10:30 to 11 a.m.;

· UK student team presentations, 11 a.m. to noon; and

· a question and response session, noon to 12:30 p.m.


This year’s NSF-STFS umbrella project titled "Campus Living" advances the research developed by the spring 2012 and spring 2013 STFS class. Using the last two years' projects as springboards for deeper and more thorough approaches, the students’ projects explore sustainable issues through the lens of systems thinking as a means of simultaneously seeing and assessing the issues from multiple vantage points.


The topics selected for this year’s projects are germane to ongoing campus planning initiatives and include topics like open space utilization, building the campus community, sustainable transportation, energy and water usage, campus amenities, and enhancing the student center experience.


To further substantiate how knowledge generated at UK can be translated to meet other outcomes, the faculty members have also been working with a number of universities both in the U.S. and abroad. The NSF-STFS team introduced a series of hybrid and blended learning modules this year that allowed the faculty to introduce the course at Texas A&M University's College of Architecture delivered by UK College of Design Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor of Architecture Gregory Luhan.


The Texas A&M students used the same course materials as UK but focused their umbrella project on rebuilding the community of West Liberty, Ky., that was destroyed by tornadoes in 2012. Their umbrella project is entitled “Moving West Liberty Forward. Together.” The set of a few developed modules have also been tested at the Bern University of Technology, located in Bern, Switzerland.


The faculty who collaboratively taught the NSF-STFS course at UK are Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering Fazleena Badurdeen; College of Design Associate Dean for Research Luhan; Associate Professor of Mathematics Education Margaret Mohr-Schroeder of the College of Education; Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dusan Sekulic; and Assistant Professor Leslie Vincent of Gatton College of Business and Economics.


NSF-STFS focused on the development of an innovative team-taught interdisciplinary course that will transform STEM education for undergraduates.  This course features the interactive teamwork of four UK colleges, Business and Economics, Design, Education, and Engineering, that uses a problem-based and project-based learning approach to address issues related to sustainability and living on the UK campus.


The hope and expectation of the three-year study is to enable students to engage in and learn from a systems thinking approach to solve problems in sustainability areas that will help students develop the perspectives and skills they need to work together in an increasingly cross-disciplinary world facing progressively more complex problems. The immediate benefit for many of the students, aside from working across disciplines through rigorous research-driven methods, is the synergistic link between the NSF-STFS course and their own discipline specific capstone projects and studio projects.


The NSF-STFS faculty continue to analyze the data developed in the class to frame research papers, presentations, and to inform workshops at national and international conferences using the showcase as a valuable vehicle to demonstrate “proof-of-concept” approaches that bridge between research, pedagogy and practice.



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