One of UK's Earliest International Faculty Members Celebrates History

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 20:32

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2014)  As UK celebrates its sesquicentennial this year, one faculty member in particular has plenty to remember about his history with the university.


 Out of 150 years, I’ve experienced 58 years of UK’s history. Technically, I’m in my 116th semester,” said Pradyumna (Paul) Karan, who is originally from India.    


In August of 1956, Martin M. White, dean of the UK College of Arts and Sciences, hired Karan to teach geography – making Karan one of the first international faculty members in UK's history.


“[Dr. White] couldn’t say my name – that’s when he asked if he could just call me Paul. It’s been my name ever since,” Karan said. 


At the time, Karan had just received his doctorate in geography from Indiana University, which was something that few Indian natives chose to do with their graduate experience. Rather, many Indian nationals opted to go to London due to the colonial ties with the United Kingdom. However, through connections he had made at a conference for American geographers, Karan chose to come the U.S. to pursue his studies and explore the American "wild west."


“When I left India, I hitchhiked all across the U.S. to the West," Karan said. "It was nothing like the old western movies that I watched in India. However, education was always a top priority. Education was important to my family; it’s the same in most Indian families.”  


At UK, Karan would experience many important changes happening at UK.  He describes 1956 as a "wake-up year" for campus. 


That year, the university had fewer than 9,000 students and about 200 faculty members, according to Karan. The UK Chandler Hospital was being built. In addition, numerous businesses were coming into Lexington, such as IBM (later the facility became Lexmark). These big changes to Lexington’s landscape also influenced the growth of the population and diversity within the city and within UK.


“A lot of people were coming from the East Coast to work with IBM, and the new medical center was also bringing in many people from around the country," said Karan. "Many Lexingtonians didn’t want outside influences in their community. The old, strictly Southern character of Lexington was definitely changing.”


When Karan was hired, there was little international activity on UK’s campus.


“UK had no department or area that focused on international matters like we have now," Karan said. "There was only one foreign student advisor who would sign student visas, etc. UK’s sixth president, John Oswald, really fostered internationalization at UK. Coming from California, Oswald created a sense of community at the university. He knew the importance of research and diversity within an academic atmosphere; he brought many Ph.D. programs and got all kinds of funding from the government. He was a very open and transparent president with boundless energy.”


Also helping to broaden UK’s horizons, Toyota opened up a facility in Lexington in 1984, not only transforming the economic growth of central Kentucky, but also generating interest in Japanese studies at UK.


“That year, Japanese was first taught at UK," said Karan, who also took an interest in Japan after meeting with Japanese researchers in the Himalayas. "Then UK received the Japanese Foundation grant, which was basically seed money to grow UK’s Japan Studies Program. It started with humble beginnings, but in the past 25 years, Japan Studies has grown into a good program." 


Taking a leave of absence from UK from 1957-59, Karan worked for the United Nations to develop an economic plan for Nepal, where he made an inventory of general land use patterns to help grow Nepal’s economy.


Although Karan is passionate about documenting geographical matters worldwide (specifically within Southeast Asia), he has developed a love for his home in the Bluegrass state.


“It wasn’t hard for me to consider going back to Kentucky; there was good climate – not too hot, not too cold – plus there were nice people,” Karan said. “I knew, though, that I wanted to do work eventually with Japan. I thought Japanese landscape was amazing, and I appreciated everything about Japanese society and industry.”


In 1980, Karan would be a visiting professor in Japan for one year – by 2000, Karan would be a visiting professor three more times.


From experiencing different geographies as he worked abroad to seeing the landscape of UK grow, Karan has also seen changes within his students.


“In my early years at UK, my overall impression was that it was a party school," Karan said. "There were serious students, but UK had many students who didn’t really care about their academics. Now, the quality of students has improved; they are overall more responsible and care about their classes."


Karan is still passionate about teaching at UK; 1956 may have been a critical year for the development of the university, however that year was also instrumental because UK was able to obtain a faculty member who has helped educate thousands of students on geography and international matters. 


“I look at college as a time in life to build character and personality," said Karan. "I try to teach my students to be good members of the community."


And Karan, who is now in his mid-80s, has no immediate plan to retire.


"I plan to continue teaching and traveling as long as my health is good. I could have retired 20 years ago, but I like listening to students. I still get excited going into class.”




MEDIA CONTACT:  Jenny Wells, 859-257-5363;

Biology Professor Helps Bring New York-based Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Therapeutics Company to Lexington

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 17:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2014) — Gismo Therapeutics Inc., a New York-based biotech startup, has recently relocated its company to the University of Kentucky Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC), a business incubator housing new and emerging technology-based companies on UK’s campus. The company is a recipient of a 2014 SBIR Matching Funds grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.


The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP) — comprising business development specialists from UK, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government — celebrated Gismo Therapeutics' and three other out-of-state companies' moves to Lexington Monday to kick-off Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).


In addition to Gismo Therapeutics, Multi Scale Solutions Inc., Patent Rank and nanoRANCH Environmental Systems LLC are relocating to Lexington. Combined, they will create 17 new jobs in the Commonwealth with average wages over $80,000. The companies specialize in lifesciences, IT/software and environmental technology.


Gismo Therapeutics Inc. utilizes the cutting-edge technology Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) Interacting Small Molecules (GISMO) that its founder, Paul Gregor, invented, to develop oral therapeutics for the treatment of both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.


The company’s connection to UK began with Bruce O’Hara, a biology professor within the College of Arts and Sciences. O’Hara initially had a small role in the company, serving on its Scientific Advisory Board and providing consulting, but is now the director of research operations.


O’Hara not only connected Gismo Therapeutics to ASTeCC, but also to the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. The company is collaborating with Michael P. Murphy, associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. Murphy conducts Alzheimer’s research, specifically concentrating on the molecular pathways that it shares with other disorders.


The announcement of the relocation comes after the company announced another significant development in October. Gismo Therapeutics received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health, and a SBIR Matching Funds grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, administered by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) in Lexington. The funding will go toward investigating therapeutics directed against a newly identified disease pathway in Alzheimer’s disease, according to a company news release.


“By leveraging the state’s matching program and the intellectual assets of UK’s faculty and research facilities, the BBDP partnership has hit another home run with the addition of these companies to the growing entrepreneurial landscape of Lexington,” said David W. Blackwell, dean of UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics and Commerce Lexington board member.


O’Hara expects Gismo Therapeutics' move to help the startup and its research expand in Kentucky, adding to the employment and entrepreneurial spirit in the region, and benefit UK students as well.


“I believe having Gismo on campus provides great opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students (and faculty and staff) in our biology department to see how startup companies can translate advances in basic research to preclinical and clinical studies,” O’Hara said.


The opportunities have already begun for one recent UK biology graduate. Elliott Campbell now works full time in the company’s ASTeCC lab before attending medical school next year. During his time as an undergraduate, Campbell received training in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) from Department of Biology Chair Vincent Cassone’s lab.


This is the second company O’Hara has united with ASTeCC. Signal Solutions LLC, co-founded by O’Hara and Kevin Donohue, UK Data Beam Professor of electrical and computer engineering, was formed in 2009. The company sells products and conducts research associated with their sleep-wake tracking system for mice.


Lexington is fast becoming a leading location for high-tech information jobs, a key factor in economic growth. The Atlantic City Lab ranked Lexington 17th in America’s Top 25 High-Tech Hotspots. Lexington grew 14.2 percent in high-tech information jobs from 2007–2012.


O’Hara says there is an “excellent environment here for startups, including lots of assistance from Commerce Lexington, KSTC, ASTeCC, the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, the Kentucky Innovation Network, and much more, all of which benefit UK, Lexington, and Kentucky as a whole.” 




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, or Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200, 

'Much Ado' at UK Theatre

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season with a production of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20-22, and at 2 p.m.  Nov. 22 and 23, in the Guignol Theatre in the Fine Arts Building.


"Much Ado About Nothing” is widely considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies for its combination of hilarious banter and slapstick with thoughtful commentary on public affairs of the day. At the center of the play are two dissimilar couples, Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero. Benedick and Beatrice, an opposing pair equally matched in wits, are tricked into confessing their love for one another. Claudio easily wins Hero’s heart, but their happiness is threatened when Don John plots to destroy the wedding. Deception and rumor drive the action in this wickedly charming tale.


"Our production is very accessible — full of comedy, tragedy, dancing, dirty jokes; it's weird, it's lyrical, it's tone runs the gamut of theatrical's Shakespeare,” said Matthew Johnson, director of the production and adjunct instructor at UK Theatre. Johnson is the former associate artistic director of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.


Tickets for "Much Ado About Nothing" are $10 for students and $15 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling 859-257-4929, by visiting, or in person at the ticket office.


The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.



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

Multicultural, International Students Invited to UK Thanksgiving Dinner

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 15:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association, the UK Student Government Association and the UK International Center are hosting the 9th Annual Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the Student Center Grand Ballroom.


All multicultural and international students are invited to this free event. Several student performances are also planned for the evening.


Traditional Thanksgiving foods, including vegetarian options, will be on the menu, as well as dessert. There will be a drawing for door prizes at the end of the event. Space is limited, and students can RSVP by clicking on the blue “Registration” button at  


For questions or more information, contact Meg Phillips at or 859-275-3569.


The UK Alumni Association is a membership supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit or call 1-800-269-2586.




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

Employees Can Sponsor Children in Need During Annual Circle of Love

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 15:09
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) — UK HealthCare employees, volunteers and departmental groups can brighten the holidays for families in need by fulfilling a child's wish list through the Circle of Love program.


Starting Nov. 19, UK HealthCare volunteers will distribute names and wish lists of individual children or entire families to UK HealthCare employees and departments. Using the wish list as their guide, individual sponsors will purchase two to four gifts for a child. UK HealthCare departments or groups supporting entire families are asked to purchase gifts for every child younger than 18.


Organized by the UK HealthCare Volunteer Office, Circle of Love will support 800 children from eight Central Kentucky counties and two Fayette County schools this year. The program also fulfills wish lists for children of families staying at Kentucky Children's Hospital through the holidays.


UK HealthCare employees and departmental groups interested in sponsoring a child or a family should stop at an information table at one of several UK HealthCare locations:

·         Kentucky Clinic near the Wildcat Café

·         Good Samaritan Hospital at the cafeteria entrance

·         UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion H near the gift shop

·         Fountain Court facility

·         Sterlington Road facility


Volunteers will be distributing wish lists at information tables from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, Nov. 24 to 26 and Dec. 1 to 5. Gifts for families will be collected on Dec. 8 and 9, with the drop-off location at Pavilion H North Lobby in the UK Chandler Hospital. All gifts will be loaded onto school buses at the entrance of Pavilion A at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 12.


Monetary donations are also accepted through the UK HealthCare Volunteer Office. For more information, contact Sara Miller at (859) 323-4117.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Money Management Matters Site to Aid Students, Topic: Credit

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 14:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2014) — What might your degree be worth?


The University of Kentucky Graduate School is prepared to aid students in developing the personal financial knowledge to answer this question and others related to financial literacy.

The UK Graduate School has created a personal financial education webpage titled "Money Management Matters," (MMM) built upon six salient personal financial topics that pertain directly to students and graduates:


1.         Student loans

2.         Employment

3.         Health care

4.         Credit

5.         Saving and investing

6.         Money management


Click here to view a video about "Money Management Matters."


This week, UKNow will highlight the fourth topic: credit


Building a strong credit history is a vital component in the quest to obtain good personal financial standing. The MMM web page provides a comprehensive collection of resources that are specifically designed to ensure that students have the information they require to make informed and responsible decisions when it comes to credit management.  Topics include: obtaining a FICO score; developing a credit card repayment strategy; and researching strategies to protect against identity theft.


Students are encouraged to visit the Credit tab on the Money Management Matters website to learn exactly how a FICO score is calculated. This information can help in developing a solid credit profile, which could lead to lowering costs of borrowing for large purchases in the future.


The UK Graduate School is one of 15 universities, in partnership with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the investment firm TIAA-CREF, introducing a personal financial literacy initiative aimed at educating students and graduates.


Last fall the 15 university partners distributed surveys to their graduate student populations concerning a variety of personal financial questions, to understand their “baseline” of personal financial knowledge. Using this information, the CGS developed as a personal financial education platform designed to help students and graduates enhance their personal financial knowledge.


The UK Graduate School has created the "Money Management Matters" website to strengthen this initiative at UK. 


 “We hope the information provided within and MMM will aid students and graduates in establishing a strong foundation of personal financial knowledge that they can build upon in order to make sound decisions across all stages of their personal financial life cycle,” said Chris Riley, project manager of the Enhancing Student Financial Education Grant and graduate student at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.




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

Four UK Entities to Benefit from GoodGiving Guide Challenge

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 12:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2014) — The GoodGiving Guide Challenge, a campaign started nearly four years ago by Smiley Pete Publishing and the Blue Grass Community Foundation, is looking to raise $2 million this year to support 155 nonprofit organizations in the Bluegrass. Just last year, the GoodGiving Guide Challenge raised $1,671,958 for 107 nonprofit organizations. As part of the fundraising drive, four University of Kentucky organizations will be recipients of the Commonwealth's generosity.


Founded on the ideas of informing the community of the work local nonprofit organizations do, the fundraising program's goal is "to partner with individuals, businesses and nonprofits to grow charitable giving that makes our community a better place to live, learn, work and play," said Lisa Adkins, CEO and president of Blue Grass Community Foundation


Participating for its fourth year in the fundraising event is the Art Museum at UK. Part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the museum strives to promote understanding and appreciation of art to enhance quality of life for the people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. The museum, located in the Singletary Center for the Arts, at the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue, is home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture. The Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from their permanent collection.


The UK Markey Cancer Foundation has returned to the drive for its second time. The mission of the foundation is to reduce cancer mortality in Kentucky and beyond by supporting innovative cancer research and treatments, education, community engagement, state-of-the-art facilities and compassionate patient care at the Markey Cancer Center. In its 35-year history, the UK Markey Cancer Foundation has raised more than $75 million to improve cancer care in the Bluegrass region and beyond.


WUKY, UK's public radio station, has returned for its second year as part of the fundraising event as well. The station is Central Kentucky’s source for in-depth news and new music. Operating the largest radio newsroom in Lexington, WUKY has won many Associated Press Kentucky awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards and an award from the Society for Professional Journalists. 


Joining the drive for their first time is the Child Development Center of the Bluegrass (CDCB). The organization was one of the organizations to win the Quick Start Endowment Challenge, which awards the first 10 organizations that earn $7,500 with a $75,000 endowment grant. CDCB is dedicated to ensuring that children with special needs reach their full potential. Their preschools and child care programs cater to the needs of both children with special needs and those without.


In addition to the UK organizations listed above, several university affiliated organizations like OperaLex, Shoulder to Shoulder Global and The Makenna Foundation are participating this year. OperaLex, formerly known as the Lexington Opera Society, is an organization that is dedicated to promoting UK Opera Theatre. Shoulder to Shoulder Global, an organization that seeks to help improve the health and well-being of impoverished communities globally, works with the Provost Office and the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health. The Makenna Foundation partners with the Kentucky Children's Hospital to help children with life-threatening trauma and illness. They have also created the Makenna Davis Pediatric Emergency Center, which is one of the only dedicated 24-hour children's emergency rooms.


Donating to the GoodGiving Guide Challenge can earn givers some prizes based on the amount that they give. Donors giving $50-$2,500 donations will get to choose prizes from barrel of options.


The GoodGiving Guide Challenge will take donations through Dec. 12. For additional information and a list of all of the participating organizations, visit



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

UK Operating on Regular Schedule Tuesday, Nov. 18

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 05:41

The University of Kentucky will operate on a regular schedule Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.  Offices will be open and classes will take place at their scheduled times. UK HealthCare clinics are operating on a regular schedule.


UKAg Celebrates Land-grant Research

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 22:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) — Current issues in land-grant research and recognition of award-winning researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment took center stage at the 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research.


Hosted by its research office, the college welcomed keynote speaker Will Carpenter, retired vice president and general manager of the New Products Division at Monsanto Company, to give his perspective on the land-grant system.


Carpenter retired from Monsanto in 1992 after 34 years with the company, where he was involved in the development and commercialization of herbicides like Lasso and Roundup. Since retiring, he has served as chairman of the board of directors of Agridyne Technologies Inc., executive-in-residence at Mississippi State University, board member of Aetos Technologies Inc. and adviser to numerous chemical companies.


Asked to represent the chemical industry as an adviser on chemical disarmament, he was instrumental in both the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the creation of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. Carpenter’s recently published biography, "will d…a life in science," provides an intimate look at his life and career. Carpenter also met with UKAg students prior to the celebration to answer questions.


After Carpenter’s keynote, the winners of the 2014 Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award, Research/Extension Impact Award and the Prestigious Research Paper Award were announced.


The Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award is annually given in memory of former UK Department of Entomology chair Bobby Pass. The 2014 recipient is Udeni Balasuriya, Veterinary Sciences, for leading a grant-funded project titled Identification of Genetic Factors Responsible for Establishment of Equine Arteritis Virus Carrier State in Stallions, which received $2.9 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


The Research/Extension Impact Award is annually given to faculty in the college whose research program has resulted in a fully developed Cooperative Extension program. The 2014 recipient is Daniel A. Potter, Department of Entomology, for his outstanding research and outreach program in turf and landscape entomology.


His nominator’s said, although Potter has no formal extension appointment, he has served as a critical resource for practitioners and extension educators as a turf and landscape entomologist for more than 35 years. He has been recognized for excellence in research in the biology and responsible management of insect pests in the urban and suburban environments. Potter regularly coauthors extension publications with UK extension colleagues, and extends his research through dozens of service presentations at extension conferences and workshops each year. He annually provides more than 500 service consultations about urban landscape insect pests. Those activities reach thousands of end-users and support Best Management Practices for turf and landscape insect pests throughout the United States.


The Prestigious Research Paper Award is annually given to college faculty based on research papers published between 2008 and 2014. The 2014 recipient is Pradeep Kachroo, Department of Plant Pathology, for a paper coauthored with department researchers Bidisha Chanda, Ye Xia, Mihir Kumar Mandal, Keshun Yu, Ken-Taro Sekine, Qing-ming Gao, Devarshi Selote and Aardra Kachroo. Additional coauthors include Yanling Hu and Arnold Stromberg, from the UK Department of Statistics and Duroy Navarre with the USDA in Prosser, Washington. Titled Glycerol-3-Phosphate, a Critical Mobile Inducer of Systemic Immunity in Plants, the paper was published in Nature Genetics.


For four decades the phenomenon of systemically acquired resistance (SAR) in plants has been central to the study of plant resistance to diseases, with such studies consistently indicating that an unknown SAR signal, a hormone, must be transmitted throughout the plant to provide that disease resistance. Discovery of that molecular signal would fill a key gap in understanding plant disease resistance. Kachroo and his group identified glycerol-3-phosphate as that signal, a landmark discovery in the field of plant pathology. This paper was highlighted by The Faculty of 1000 Biology and has been cited 48 times by outside groups since its publication in May 2011. Pradeep Kachroo is the corresponding author of the paper, and as such he was responsible for conceptualizing the study, obtaining funding from the National Science Foundation, and guiding others in the group in their conduct of the experiments.


The recipient of each category received $1,000.

Education Abroad at UK Hosts Open House

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 15:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) Students interested in education abroad programs can find all the information they need for their international adventures at the Education Abroad Open House.


This free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, on the third floor of Bradley Hall, where students can learn about education abroad programs and scholarship opportunities — and enjoy some free snacks.


“The open house really provides a plethora of information to students wanting to learn about our different program offerings, from our partner programs to our faculty-sponsored programs,” said Sarah Moore, an Education Abroad Peer Ambassador.


Education Abroad Peer Ambassadors will be available at the event to share information about the different program types and to answer specific questions about education abroad.

Students can also find “MAPs,” or major advising pages, which are major-specific recommendations for various types of education abroad programs. General information will also be provided for students hoping to take the first step toward education abroad.


“The open house is a great opportunity for students who haven’t done a lot of investigating on education abroad,” said Sally Evans, an Education Abroad Peer Ambassador. “It’s a great introduction to the different types of programs and scholarships. Plus it’s a really relaxed atmosphere.”


Those interested in education abroad can also find helpful information about different scholarship, financial aid and fundraising opportunities.


Among these scholarships is the Diversity Abroad Scholarship, a brand new scholarship that provides money to students of diverse backgrounds interested in education abroad. This scholarship is unique, because winners of the scholarship have up to two years to use the scholarship.


The Education Abroad Peer Ambassadors work within the Resource Center inside Bradley Hall, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students interested in study abroad can stop by any time to ask questions and to get information about international opportunities.


The Peer Ambassadors also host “First Step” sessions at 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and at 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, where students looking for a place to start with their education abroad journey can learn more information.


The Education Abroad Open House is part of International Education Week, a celebration of the benefits of international education held each year by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education.


College campuses across the U.S. celebrate International Education Week with various activities to learn more about subjects like global design and about the benefits of international education. 


Click here to view a full schedule of International Education Week events.




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


This Week is International Education Week at UK

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 09:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) The University of Kentucky will celebrate International Education Week, this week, November 17-21.


International Education Week is a joint, annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.




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


"International Education Week is a national week to make sure that everyone thinks about how and whether their education is global enough for the 21st century," said Susan Carvalho, UK associate provost for internationalization. "We are very proud to participate in that national initiative by bringing very visible speakers to campus and by honoring the contributions of our faculty and staff who have contributed in so many ways to globalizing UK's curriculum and to highlight particular initiatives or programs related to students going out or students coming in."



The following events will take place on UK's campus, and are free and open to the public.



The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
W.T. Young Library
A weeklong event
The winner will be announced  Nov. 24


Monday, Nov. 17
Bridge the Differences: A Dialogue
3:30–5 p.m.
Niles Gallery in the Fine Arts Library
Food and drink will be provided


Tuesday, Nov. 18
Education Abroad Open House
10 a.m.– 2 p.m.
Third floor of Bradley Hall
Food and drink will be provided


Wednesday, Nov. 19
International Game Day
1– 4:30 p.m.
Room B-108C in the W.T. Young Library


Global Design
Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer for The Procter & Gamble Company
3:30–5 p.m.
UKAA Auditorium in the W.T. Young Library
There will be a reception following talk


Thursday, Nov. 20
International Education Week Keynote Speaker
Christie Vilsack, senior advisor for international education at USAID

6–7 p.m.
Memorial Hall
A reception will follow the talk in the Lexmark Room




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-53675;

UK Teams Achieve Top Honors at Collegiate Computer Programming Competition

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:56
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) — Three teams of University of Kentucky computer science students continued a tradition of success in programming competitions this month. On Nov. 1, nine students took top honors at the 2014 Mid-Central Regionals of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).


Out of 146 teams, teams "UK-algorithmic" placed fifth, "UK-Blue" placed ninth and "UK-Cats" placed 25th.


The "UK-algorithmic" team included:

  • Matthew Fahrbach, a computer science and mathematics senior from Louisville, Kentucky;
  • Samuel Saarinen, a computer science, mathematics and physics junior from Shelbyville, Kentucky and
  • Long Le, a computer science freshman from Hanoi, Vietnam.


The "UK-Blue" team included:

  • Khang Le, a computer science and mathematics senior from Edgewood, Kentucky;
  • J. David Smith, a computer science and mathematics senior from Lexington; and
  • Stephen Parsons, a computer science and international studies senior, with minors in physics, Spanish and mathematics from Lexington.    


The "UK-Cats" team included:

  • Alexander Girdler, a computer science and computer engineering sophomore from Florence, Kentucky;
  • Ethan Toney, a computer science freshman from Jacksonville, Indiana; and
  • Zeyu Su, a computer science senior from Beijing, China


The 2014 Mid-Central Regionals included colleges and universities from Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois (including the Greater Chicago metropolitan area in Indiana), Kentucky and Tennessee. UK was the only school from Kentucky to place in the top 20.


ACM ICPC is a multitier, team-based, programming competition headquartered at Baylor University. The contest involves a global network of universities hosting regional competitions, with tens of thousands of students competing, culminating with the ACM-ICPC World Finals, according to the ACM ICPC Regionals' website.


UK programming teams, led by Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Jerzy Jaromczyk at the Department of Computer Science, are no strangers to top honors at the prestigious competition. Last year, a team also took fifth place, and in 2009, another UK team competed in the ACM ICPC's world finals in China. Jaromczyk has been coaching UK programming teams since 1999.


"It's a testimony to the quality of the entire program and continual work of our students," said Jaromczyk speaking on their success in the competition.


Continual work indeed; students on this year's teams practiced months in advance and took part in five-hour long online practice competitions, as well as a 24-hour programming competition, "IEEExtreme."


For all the effort they contribute, they also benefit. Competing in the ACM ICPS Mid-Central Regionals exposes the students to visibility from top companies, fosters collaboration, inspires students to improve their skills and opens doors to many down the road, Jaromczyk explained.




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

UK Operating on Regular Schedule Today

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 06:32

The University of Kentucky is open and operating on a regular schedule today, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014.  Offices will be open and classes will take place at their scheduled times. UK HealthCare hospitals and clinics are operating on a regular schedule.


December 2014 Graduates: Don't Forget to Register for Commencement

Sun, 11/16/2014 - 21:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — Calling all December graduates! It’s time to register for December Commencement.


Ceremonies will be held Friday, Dec. 19, in Memorial Coliseum. The Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. followed by the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at 6 p.m.


Graduates are asked to register at Students who have not registered will not be guaranteed to have their names appear on the screen during the ceremonies.


Information regarding caps and gownsparking and travel and college receptions is also available on the Commencement website.


For questions regarding Commencement, visit the Commencement FAQs page.



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; or Sarah Geegan, 859- 257-5365;

Distractions from Mobile Devices, Headphones Threaten Teen Safety

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:08
This Your Health column first appeared in the Nov. 16 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.  LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — Every morning, parents send their children out the door with homework, lunch money and backpacks. But one item many teens are carrying today could seriously jeopardize their safety as they cross the streets.  Distractions caused by smart phones, headphones and other mobile devices are making walking more dangerous for all pedestrians, but a new report suggests teens are especially at risk. More than half of teens admit to crossing streets while distracted by a mobile device.  According to a recent Safe Kids International and FedEx survey, every hour, a teen pedestrian is injured or killed after being hit by a car in the United States. In a survey of 1,000 teens, 40 percent reported being hit or almost hit by a car, bike or motorcycle while walking. In 2012, 10,000 teens were injured in a pedestrian accident, and teens account for two-thirds of all child pedestrian fatalities in the country.  Most teens involved in incidents also reported using a mobile device, including a music player or cellphone, at the time they were hit or nearly hit. Twenty percent of teens were talking on the phone, 18 percent were texting and 47 percent were listening to the music at the time of the incident. As of September 2012, 78 percent of teens owned a cellphone and 37 percent owned a smartphone. Sixty-three percent of teens said almost everyone they know walks and texts at the same time. Additionally, pedestrian run-ins with vehicles can be attributed to risky crossing behaviors, such as running across the street or crossing in the middle of a block.   To prevent pedestrian accidents, parents and teens should discuss a few safety points: 
  • Take action against distraction. In 2012, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward was killed while crossing a street just two blocks from her high school. She was wearing headphones and looking at her phone when she was struck. In Christina's memory, many teens are taking the Moment of Silent Pledge and putting down their phones while walking and crossing the street. Talk to your children about making this important pledge. 
  • Review basic pedestrian safety rules. Stay on sidewalks and use crosswalks. If no sidewalks are available, walk facing traffic as far away from oncoming vehicles as possible. 
  • Instruct teens to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Pedestrians should also watch out for cars that are turning. If they won't they won't remove headphones while walking, advise them to turn down their music before crossing a street.
To review the Teens on the Move Survey produced by Safe Kids International, visit   Sherri Hannan is a registered nurse and the director of Safe Kids Fayette County based at UK HealthCare. 

UK Art Ed Project Gives Voice to City's Homeless

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 16:53

Video by Jenny Wells/UK Public Relations and Marketing


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — A new mobile exhibition of art, which debuts on University of Kentucky's campus this week, hopes to shed light on homelessness. The show, featuring messages and depictions of life on the streets and in shelters for Lexington's own homeless community, was created with the assistance of 13 students in an art education course led by Marty Henton, head of art education, in the UK School of Art and Visual Studies at UK College of Fine Arts.


The art featured in the exhibition, "Streetvoice Art," was created over four weeks at Community Inn, a homeless shelter on Winchester Road. The UK students met weekly in a studio-type setting with five members of the Street Voice Council, individuals who are currently homeless or have experienced homelessness and work with the Catholic Action Center. The meetings were an opportunity to get to know these new artists' personal stories, the heartache and the courage they had.


At first, the idea of spending so much time with a group of homeless individuals was daunting for some of Henton's students. But they soon learned any anxiety was unfounded, and they realized the artists they were paired with were just like them, full of fears and hopes.


As they listened and learned about one another, the UK students helped their counterparts translate those feelings on blank 18-inch-by-24-inch yard signs. What came pouring out were not only powerful images of life on the street, but new bonds of friendship.


Street Voice member Rodney Lee, who regularly sports his blue and white showing his love for the Wildcats, was eager to share his story and work with his team of students. "I wanted people to know what homeless life is all about. I wanted them to know my story, my experience being homeless and how I learned to deal with it."


Art history and visual studies senior Candice Cress found the experience working with her Street Voice member, Paula, rewarding as well, and was glad she could help her artist express her dreams and even fears on paper. "It's always a joy for me to help someone else express themselves."  


In addition to being happy to help bring these messages to light through art, the bonds formed in the teams changed minds.


"This is one of the best experiences I had. It's changed my entire outlook on homelessness as a whole," said art history and anthropology senior Addie Towery. "I work downtown, and I work around a lot of homeless people. Before this project, I wasn't willing to maybe say that prayer or give that change that I had to them. Now that I understand that a lot of them do have jobs, and that they are just wanting that chance rather than my change, I do make the extra effort to stop and say a prayer with them or talk to them and get their story. That's all they are looking for, just someone to talk to."


And Henton believes the students weren't the only ones impacted. "I think it is eye opening for all sides."


The moving art, ranging from Paula's bright yellow dream home to Rodney's depiction of his "rollercoaster" ride of the ups and downs of life, are being displayed on campus beginning Monday as part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.


The exhibition is one of two opportunities to get to know what it means for these artists to be homeless. The campus community can hear from the Street Voice Council members in person and the UK students who worked with them at "Panel Stories of Homelessness" running from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Room 211 of the Student Center. To see other activities planned by UK Center for Community Outreach, visit


"Streetvoice Art" was made possible by a collaboration of Henton's "AE 560: Community Art Education" course and Ginny Ramsey, of the Catholic Action Center, and Christine Leistner, of Center for Community Outreach. Leistner and Ramsey individually spoke to the class before the project to help prepare the group.


With the project now complete, the artwork will be returned to the artists to use as they see fit in the future. The mobile nature of the pieces would allow the Street Voice Council to use them almost anywhere to bring awareness to the struggles they must endure. But, while the coursework might be done, many of Henton's students long to keep the connection alive.


In hopes of not losing touch with their new friends, the class has already planned to return in December for a holiday art project. Individually, some students are considering volunteering with the homeless, while at least one senior hopes to send letters to keep in touch with her new friend.


The class has even impacted some students' future career goals. "It has definitely inspired me more to want to work in a nonprofit, to actually work more in communities and given me more of a drive to want to help people and meet more people to see what we can do to make things better," said art history and museum studies senior Bonita Ybarra.


In addition to the upcoming December project and correspondence, Henton gave the Street Voice Team artists journals to record their thoughts and ideas and created a chalk board for people staying at the shelter to share their feelings with a prompt asking them to share what people need to know about them.


Prior to the project at Community Inn, Henton's class worked with the Lexington Art League on "Interstruct," a multi-venue, site-specific exhibition of art in non-art spaces throughout Lexington. Henton's class worked at Pope Villa, a suburban villa designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe for Senator John and Eliza Pope in 1810-11.


Up next, the class will create muslin flags with local school children that will be featured on the Isaac Murphy Memorial Garden Christmas tree. To round out the semester the group will take on the "Dream Big" project where they will interview faculty at UK School of Art and Visual Studies on the new Bolivar building to design a celebration for the new facility.


From the celebratory to the sometime painful messages, Henton and the class hope they are shining a light on the breadth of the community and the sometimes forgotten within it. "It’s about seeing your community through the lens of an artist, through the lens of a creative eye, and figuring out how art communicates that message that you want to share."


And Towery offers a word of advice for those with hesitations. "For all the people that do have anxieties about something like this, I'd say throw them out the window. They are people just like us, and they want to be people just like us. So, you know, dive in."


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


Enthusiasm Greets UK-UofL Exec MBA; Info Session Tuesday

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 16:07

Lexington, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — Three months in, the new University of Kentucky-University of Louisville joint master of business administration program for executives continues to draw rave reviews from participants.


The University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Louisville College of Business welcomed the first cohort of students in August to the executive MBA program (EMBA) aimed at preparing mid-level executives at profit, non-profit and government organizations for senior leadership positions.


Nineteen men and women are in the inaugural class of this 17-month program. The average age of the students is 42, and the average work experience is 18 years. Four vice presidents and two doctors are among the students in the class.


"We have executives in this first group who supervise 3,000 people in their current job and others who manage 10 or 12 people, said Joe Labianca, Gatton Endowed Chair in Management and director of the Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center and the Executive MBA Program.  "These students represent a wide variety of industries and functions. They are setting a very high standard for this program."


The classes meet every other weekend on Fridays and Saturdays, with about half of the sessions taking place in Lexington and the other half in Louisville. The schedule allows students to keep their existing jobs, while preparing for more senior roles.


During a recent Friday class session on the UK campus, Allyson Wolfe of Hilliard Lyons in Louisville said, "Being a little further along in my career, I was looking for a program which would provide a top-notch and challenging curriculum, while still giving me the opportunity to balance work, home and school. The UK-U of L Executive MBA is just what I was looking for."


Lexington-based James Thompson of Diversified Crop Insurance Services added, "I love the fact that we as students are getting to interact with and learn from faculty at both of these institutions. The width, breadth, and quality of the instruction and perspective we are gaining is amazing. This program already is helping me in the workplace."


The program’s 46-credit-hour curriculum includes 22 course hours on management, six on current business issues, four each on accounting, economics, finance and marketing and two on quantitative methods.


UofL and UK officials have said the program will boost Kentucky’s business climate by providing an advanced education to emerging leaders who might otherwise leave the area.


The recruiting process already is underway for the next cohort, which will begin the program in August 2015.  An information session is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 11:30 a.m. in the Boone Center on the UK campus in Lexington


For more details, see or contact Joe Labianca at 859-257-3741, or, Vernon Foster, UofL's executive director of MBA programs and career management, at 502-852-2855.


To see a new video about the program, please click here.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;; Michelle Lowe, 859-257-1838;




Big Blue Crush Blood Drive Runs Nov. 17-21

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 15:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — Cat fans should get ready to roll up their sleeves to prove they bleed blue because the 27th annual Big Blue Crush — the blood battle between Kentucky and Tennessee — begins today and runs through Friday, Nov. 21.


Kentucky, which has won the past four years, leads the competition 13-12 with one tie against Tennessee and Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville.


Besides saving a life and helping to keep the win streak alive, donors will receive a long-sleeve gray T-shirt and a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Kentucky-Louisville game Nov. 29.


Big Blue Crush is always the week prior to Thanksgiving and helps ensure a strong blood supply heading into the holidays. This year, for the first time in its 27-year history, Big Blue Crush follows the UK-UT football game instead of preceding it.


Donors this year have a new Jefferson County donation location opportunity. Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) recently opened the new Middletown Donor Center at 12905 Shelbyville Road in the Middletown Station Shoppes near the Walmart Supercenter and Target.


“While Big Blue Crush is a fun week for donors, it’s also an important week for the blood supply because blood donated during Crush is needed by Kentucky patients during the upcoming holiday season,” said Martha Osborne, KBC’s executive director of marketing and recruitment.


Along with the new Middletown location, KBC also has donor centers in Beaumont Centre and the Andover Shoppes in Lexington, and in Somerset and Pikeville. All KBC donor centers are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during Crush week.


Big Blue Crush blood drives located throughout the region can be found at, where Cat fans can also make donation appointments.




MEDIA CONTACTS:  Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;; Denise Fields, 859-519-3721/859-333-2022.

UK Libraries, UPK Deliver Access to 1,000+ Titles

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) — In a collaborative project placing the University of Kentucky at the forefront of national trends in academic publishing, University of Kentucky Libraries and the University Press of Kentucky (UPK) are providing digital access to more than 1,000 books published by UPK over the course of its 45-year history freely available to students and researchers in the UK community.


More than 600 of the texts are already available in UKnowledge, a digital collection of scholarship created by UK Libraries. With the debut of the UPK project, UKnowledge becomes the primary access point for the research and scholarship published by UPK. More UPK titles will debut in the collection in coming months.


“This digitization project represents a commitment by UK Libraries and the University Press of Kentucky to provide access to these texts to the scholarly community most likely to need them: UK students and faculty," said Mary Beth Thomson, senior associate dean of UK Libraries. "It makes one of the most valuable research collections available to the UK community through UKnowledge.” 


The books now available through UKnowledge cover a broad spectrum of titles published by UPK including: Appalachian studies, history, and literary studies, broad selections of American and British literature, and all the books in UPK’s Studies in Romance Languages series edited by late UK professor emeritus of Spanish John E. Keller. Authors such as Maria Braden, Thomas D. Clark, Gladys M. Kammerer and P.P. Karan are represented in this collection.


“None of these titles were available as an ebook prior to this, and many had been out-of-print for years,” said Stephen M. Wrinn, director of UPK. Starting in early 2015, nearly 400 previously out-of-print books that were digitized as part of the project will be released by UPK as ebooks.


Among the works being brought back into print are books by former Kentucky Historian Laureate Thomas D. Clark and former UK history Professor Carl B. Cone, as well as UK political science Professor Malcolm Jewell’s three-volume collection of state election statistics, "Kentucky Votes."


The public announcement of this project fell during University Press Week, Nov. 9-15, which President Jimmy Carter initiated in 1978 to promote “the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.”


UPK Director of Sales and Marketing Amy Harris, UK Libraries Senior Associate Dean Mary Beth Thomson and Ingram Content Group Manager John Hussey presented a panel discussion on the project. “Coming Together: Successful Press, Library, Vendor Content Collaboration: A Case Study” on Friday, Nov. 7, at the 2014 Charleston Conference.


The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and was organized in 1969 as successor to the University of Kentucky Press, which had published since 1943. UPK represents a consortium that now includes all of Kentucky's state universities, five of its private colleges, and two historical societies. UPK became part of UK Libraries in 2012.


For more information or to browse the UPK titles available online through UKnowledge, members of the UK Community can visit



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

Health IT Funding Initiative Supports Rural Kentucky Providers Transitioning to Electronic Healthcare Systems

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 13:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2014) -- More than 85 national and state rural health stakeholders came together Oct. 16 in Somerset to discuss Health Information Technology (Health IT) funding initiatives provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the State of Kentucky to help rural Kentucky providers access financial resources to meet Meaningful Use and Health IT challenges in the years to come.


This collaboration aimed to streamline and improve the effectiveness of programs serving  rural America by helping resource strapped rural health care providers, including critical access and rural hospitals as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers and mental health clinics, leverage the full suite of complementary federal, regional, and state financial assistance programs to ensure that rural Americans can benefit from local access to care powered by the full range of Health IT applications, including mobile health, telehealth and electronic health record technology.


“Health IT is a critical foundation for making high-quality, safe and affordable health care available to all Americans,” said guest speaker Leila Samy, Rural Health IT Coordinator for Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). “Financing these projects is a big challenge for rural healthcare organizations, which makes it critical to leverage all of these existing programs.”


The day-long workshop included a current and future state review of healthcare and Health IT in Kentucky, presentations from various state and federal entities on respective funding opportunities currently available, and  a collaborative session to align participants immediate Health IT funding needs with known potential funding sources.


With more than 100 registrants and more than 85 people in attendance, the workshop was a success. However, the work has just begun. The next step is to form a cohort for further funding opportunities and continued assistance.


Those unable to attend the workshop may access the event materials at Rural healthcare provider organizations interested in pursuing these funding opportunities and joining the cohort may contact Kentucky Regional Extension Center at 859-323-3090 or


Partners in this effort include Kentucky Regional Extension Center, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE), The Center for Rural Development, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Kentucky Office of Rural Health, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and Delta Regional Authority (DRA).