Campus News

Bright Idea: Breckinridge Hall Saving Energy, Money With LED Upgrade

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 17:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — While the many new facilities being constructed on the University of Kentucky campus are utilizing cutting edge green building techniques, some of these advances can also be used to illuminate the charm of existing buildings. This is the case with Breckinridge Hall, an 85-year old building that recently received a complete overhaul of its lighting system.


Britney Thompson, the energy engineer for the UK Campus Physical Plant Division and project lead for Breckinridge Hall lighting upgrade, believes it is the first building on UK’s campus to get a full LED retrofit. This upgrade in Breckinridge Hall will drastically reduce energy use, improve the quality and level of light, save money, and give UK personnel experience adapting the new fixtures to older buildings.  


The amount of energy needed to light Breckinridge Hall has dropped by about 63 percent (from 170,000 kilowatt-hours to 62,500 kilowatt-hours) as a result of the project, and energy savings combined with avoided maintenance will save the university about $12,000 a year, bringing the return on investment to approximately 10 years.


"The occupants at Breckinridge Hall are quite pleased with the new look and safer environment the new lighting creates," Thompson said. "For instance, each of the LED fixtures in the hallways has an occupancy sensor and dimmer, and after 15 minutes of inactivity, the lights will dim to 10 percent."


Thompson says much of the new construction on campus is implementing LED fixtures, and she is looking at options to do additional retrofits on other existing facilities.


"Breckinridge will serve as an excellent test case to see how the new technologies perform, and if it is successful we will be much more apt to seek out other locations to upgrade," she said.


Breckinridge Hall, located on the west side of the quadrangle bounded by Funkhouser Drive, Rose Street, and Washington Avenue, contains various offices, including the offices of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Survey Research Center. It was completed in 1930 as a dormitory and named for W. C. P. Breckinridge.




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

Grand Rounds Session Explores Psychiatric Case of Artist Known as Sybil

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The body of artwork left behind by Shirley Mason offers visual clues into the famous psychiatric patient's creative mind and her struggle with dissociative identity disorder.


Today the topics of creative expression and psychiatric medicine will converge during a special grand rounds session titled "Creative and Madness: The Art of Sybil." Presented by the UK Arts in HealthCare program and the UK College of Medicine, the grand rounds session will explore the psychiatric case of Shirley Mason, or "Sybil," whose diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) was made famous by the 1973 book "Sybil" and made-for-television movie starring Sally Fields. The session will also address the value of art therapy in the clinical setting.


The presentation on dissociative identity disorder will be led by Dr. Daniel Nahum, professor emeritus in the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry and chair of the psychotherapy scientific section for the World Psychiatric Association. Fran Belvin, a certified art therapist, will also give an overview of how art therapy is employed in many clinical areas at UK HealthCare.


The grand rounds session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Pavilion A Auditorium, will be held in conjunction with the official opening of an art exhibit featuring 40 original works by Shirley Mason. The artwork was donated for exhibition by art collector and former Lexington resident Jim Ballard. The exhibit opening will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in the West Gallery, which is the hallway leading to the Emergency Department located on the ground level of the hospital. Refreshments will be provided.


Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, the psychiatrist who was deeply involved in Sybil's treatment and co-authored the book about her life, served as a faculty member for the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry in the 1970s. Many long-time faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry remember Wilbur's unorthodox methods and passion for treating patients whose psychiatric diagnoses were attributed to traumatic experiences.


The grand rounds session is open to all UK faculty members and other interested individuals. Participation qualifies physicians for continuing education credits through UK HealthCare CECentral. For more information about obtaining CE credits, contact Vanessa Webb at


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Carol Jordan Named Woman of Distinction

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The Center for Women and Families (CWF) will honor five Women of Distinction tonight at the center's 28th Annual Celebration of Service and Survival at Churchill Downs in Louisville. One of those outstanding women is Carol Jordan, executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.


“The Center for Women and Families has been recognizing outstanding women in the community through the Women of Distinction Award since 1988,” said CWF’s CEO Marta Miranda. “An individual honored as a Woman of Distinction has given a lifetime of professional and/or volunteer services that has left an indelible mark on the Kentuckiana community.”


“Women of Distinction have made significant contributions to education, health care, civil rights, the arts, human services, the welfare of children and the advancement of women,” she said. To date, 152 women have received this honor.


For 30 years, Jordan has worked in research, writing, programming, public policy and legislative advocacy to address intimate partner violence, rape and stalking. She has served as the first director of a statewide sexual and domestic violence program in the Department for Mental Health, as founding executive director for the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services. At UK, she was the founding director of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, a premiere academic research center, and is now founding director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence against Women in the College of Arts and Sciences.


“When one receives an award of any kind, one is reminded of the influence and enduring support of colleagues and loved ones who helped make the success possible,” Jordan said. “I glance back over more than 30 years and feel that way today. That this award comes from the Commonwealth’s first and largest domestic violence and rape crisis program also amplifies its significance to me, so I am grateful on one hand, and inspired to continue this work on the other.”


A primary focus of Jordan’s career has been advancing legislative reform. She has co-authored 30 pieces of legislation including criminal and civil justice reforms related to domestic violence, rape, and stalking; bills to expand and strengthen services to victims; and legislation to advance victim’s rights. Many of her accomplishments have had a broad influence; however, it is the idea that those accomplishments have touched the lives of individual women that she finds most meaningful. 


“It is our honor to celebrate these distinguished women. We are humbled by their contribution to our community and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments,” Miranda said.


This year’s honorees are Jordan, Pat Byron, president emeritus, Mary Byron Project; Dawne Gee, anchor for WAVE 3 News; Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings, past president, Council on Foundations; and Audrey Tayse Haynes, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky.


Pat Byron

Byron was thrust into advocacy work for victims as a direct result of her daughter Mary's murder in 1993. Since that time, Byron has been very active in the rights of crime victims. She helped with the creation of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) and lobbied to help create a statewide notification system for victims. The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of Byron’s daughter. As a nationally recognized thought leader on domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project cultivates and supports efforts that extend beyond crisis management to attack the root causes of this epidemic and help build safer, healthier communities. Byron continues to use her expertise to speak in communities throughout the nation about dating violence and crime victims' rights. She served as president of the Mary Byron Project from 2000 to 2008, when she was designated president emeritus.


Dawne Gee

Dawne Gee is no stranger to Kentuckiana with her diverse broadcasting background in Louisville. Her experience includes 17 years in radio broadcasting and 20 years at WAVE 3 news anchoring and hosting WAVE Country with Dawne Gee showcasing wonderful people, places and events in Louisville. With her love of community, Gee steps out of the role of newscaster to be an advocate for people in need and a neighborhood leader. She donates her time and efforts to organizations all over the region and presents at more than 200 speaking engagements each year, many specifically for women and girls in Kentuckiana. She gives her time, heart and soul to motivate her community to always be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keeper. Recently, Gee founded two nonprofits: A Recipe to End Hunger, which helps feed children in food-insecure homes, and Care for Kids and Families, which helps children in low-income families receive free dental care and glasses.


Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings

Ridings has been passionate about education, information and advocacy throughout her career. She has worked hard to help provide opportunities for everyone to have the best education that will enable them to succeed in life. Ridings works to encourage every person to speak out, stand up, and work hard to advance the issues they believe will improve social and political orders. She is a past president of the Council on Foundations, the Washington-based membership association for grant-making foundations and corporate-giving programs both in the United States and abroad. Before joining the council in 1996, Ridings’ professional career was as a journalist, working as a newspaper reporter and editor at newspapers in Charlotte, Louisville and Washington and as a daily newspaper publisher in Bradenton, Florida. Ridings served four years as president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, and 10 years on the league’s national board, after serving as president of the local league in Louisville. She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and has served 16 years as a trustee of Louisville.  


Audrey Tayse Haynes

Haynes has devoted most of her career to furthering and improving the status of women in the workplace as well as promoting policies that will have the greatest influence on women and families. Since her appointment as secretary of the cabinet by Governor Steve Beshear, she has overseen the transition from a fee-for-service delivery model to managed care for the majority of Kentucky’s Medicaid population, saving taxpayer dollars and improving member health outcomes. During her tenure, Kentucky has also received widespread national recognition for its participation and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Haynes has helped prior appointments in the administrations of three previous Kentucky governors (Wilkinson, Jones and Patton), including executive director of the Kentucky Literacy Commission; a member of the Kentucky Board for Elementary and Secondary Education following Kentucky’s landmark education reform legislation; and as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health Services.


The Center for Women and Families helps victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence to become survivors through supportive services, community education and cooperative partnerships that foster hope, promote self-sufficiency and rebuild lives. The center has been serving the community since 1912, when it began as part of the YWCA. Today, it is a private nonprofit organization serving nine Kentuckiana counties and operating seven regional locations, three of which provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and/or long-term housing options. The center maintains a $4.7 million budget and provided housing, advocacy, counseling, therapy and education to over 30,000 people last year.


MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302

UK Hosts Graduate Student Day at the Capitol

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Graduate Student Day at the Capitol will take place on the morning of Feb. 27, on the second floor mezzanine of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.


Graduate students will travel to Frankfort to share their research projects through poster presentations with legislators and staffers.


“The Graduate School Congress (GSC) has worked tirelessly to bring together graduate students at UK who want to share the message of their Kentucky based and Kentucky focused research with our state leadership,” said GSC Vice President Sarah Spaulding.


The GSC serves the graduate student body at the University of Kentucky by unifying and representing it in matters affecting the quality of graduate student life and work, by facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, and by promoting professional development for graduate students through seminars, forums and social functions.


“As the vice president of GSC, I was approached by a fellow graduate student, Chrissy Herren, interested in communicating some of her research with state legislators," Spaulding said. "Together, we decided that a state hill day would be an excellent venue to communicate the important research done by UK graduate students on Kentucky focused issues.”


After working with the state government relations office, they determined that the sesquicentennial celebration week was the perfect time to debut this event.


The graduate students at the University of Kentucky pursue advanced study in 90 program areas, representing doctoral degrees in 61 fields, master's degrees in 120, and specialist degrees in five.




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

Biology Graduate Student Receives Fellowship to Present at Genome 10K Conference

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — Melissa Keinath, a graduate student in the University of Kentucky Department of Biology, has been awarded a Genome 10K fellowship to attend the 2015 Genome 10K Conference and present her research poster, "Characterization of a Large Vertebrate Genome Using Shotgun and Laser Capture Chromosome Sequencing." The conference will take place March 1-5 in Santa Cruz, California.


A relatively exclusive event, the Genome 10K Conference will explore critical topics essential for assembling a "genomic zoo" of some 10,000 vertebrate species. The zoo will help understand how complex animal life evolved through changes in DNA and create a resource for worldwide conservation efforts.


Working with Department of Biology Professor Jeramiah Smith in his lab and co-mentored by Associate Chair of Research and Professor Randal Voss, both part of the unofficial "regeneration cluster" in the department, Keinath has conducted research on axolotls, also known as Mexican salamanders. Axolotls, among the most-studied salamanders in the world, can regenerate or regrow a variety of body parts, including limbs and even portions of major organs.


Keinath's poster at the Genome 10K Conference will describe the team's recent efforts to sequence and assemble the axolotl genome, a very complex and highly repetitive genome approximately 10 times the size of the human genome. Sequencing the genome could prove useful in understanding how axolotls regenerate, and as the species is considered critically endangered, it could also be useful for conservation efforts.


More recently, Keinath has begun working on the axolotls' sex chromosome evolution.


"Axolotls offer a unique perspective on the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, as their sex chromosomes are recently evolved," she said. Keinath is using genomic and cytogenetic approaches to better characterize these sex chromosomes within a few closely related species in the tiger salamander complex.


Learn more about the work of the "regeneration cluster," a dynamic and productive collaboration of researchers in the Department of Biology, in a previous UKNow article and UK Research Communications video at


Watch Keinath working in the UK Imaging Facility below. Video produced by UK Research Communications





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

Big Blue Family VIDEO: Couple Celebrates UK's DanceBlue for Many Reasons

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:05



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — It’s easy to hear, see and feel the love when you attend DanceBlue at the University of Kentucky.


The 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraising efforts to support the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic through the Golden Matrix Fund.  Earlier this month, students celebrated raising $1,615,057.18 at the 10th annual event.


As hundreds of students screamed, clapped and cried tears of joy over the feat, newlyweds Erin Priddy and Joey Wright watched from the sidelines at Memorial Coliseum.  Just a few years ago, they were the students on stage announcing the total amount of funds raised at the big reveal.   


Returning to campus to witness the jubilation brings back a lot of special memories for Erin, now a medical resident, and Joey, a lawyer, who both currently live in Louisville.  The couple originally met at UK because of their participation in DanceBlue.   


Watch the video above to discover how DanceBlue brought them together and why the impact this program made on them as college students continues to motivate them to return year after year to celebrate this 10-year-old tradition at the University of Kentucky.


This video feature is part of a special series produced by UKNow focusing on families who help make up the University of Kentucky community.  There are many couples, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters who serve at UK in various fields.   The idea is to show how UK is part of so many families’ lives and how so many families are focused on helping the university succeed each and everyday. 


Since the "Big Blue Family" series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If you know of a family who you think should be featured, please email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!



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




African Students Association Photo Project Debunks Stereotypes About Africa

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — Students from the African Students Association (ASA) at the University of Kentucky recently gathered in the Student Center to participate in a photography project to raise awareness of stereotypes about Africa.


“We organize this event to help the UK community become aware that Africa is not a continent of just poverty,” said Bill Kofi Aboagye, president of UK African Students Association.


About 20 to 30 students participated in the event. Students were holding signs with quotes like "Africa is not a country," "I do not speak African," and "Africa is not filled with diseases."


Aboagye said a lot of students at UK have little knowledge about Africa.


“Many times when you run into people who do not have a lot of information about Africa, most of the things they say are basically stereotypes about the continent,” Aboagye said. “We’re just trying to help people understand what Africa really is.”


Aboagye said often people are only exposed to the negative side of Africa portrayed by the media. He said it is important to inform people about the positive aspects of Africa.

“Africa is a blessed continent,” Aboagye said. “Africa is not just about war, not just about poverty. It is a land blessed with a lot of natural resources and a very strong labor force. It’s a continent that is supporting the whole world with its resources.”


Yao Yu, a second year graduate student in journalism, who participated during the event, said she wanted to showcase African culture to people in China.


“I’m very interested in African culture,” Yu said. “I want to make some videos to introduce the lives of African students at UK and African culture to Chinese citizens through different Chinese social media platforms.”




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


Winter Expo Offers Interactive, Real-Time Instruction in Neuroscience and Stroke Care

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) -- Most symposia are highly intellectual affairs, offering lectures and poster sessions designed to bring the latest information on a designated topic to attendees.


The Clinical Neuroscience Winter Expo will go a step further, offering interactive, real-time instruction on the latest advancements in the neurosciences and stroke care.


"We wanted this to be very different from traditional symposia, so the Expo was designed to be highly interactive," said Dr. Michael Dobbs, interim chair for the University of Kentucky's Department of Neurology and director of UK HealthCare's Stroke Network. "Through the use of interactive learning methods and patient simulation equipment, our goal is to help attendees learn by doing and translate this new-found experience to current treatment practices."


The Expo, March 6 and 7, 2015, is presented by the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, Office of Clinical Simulation, and the UK HealthCare/Norton Healthcare Stroke Care Network. 


Three different tracks are available to attendees: medical, interventional and research, and tracks are staggered throughout the day so that attendees are able to follow a single track or cherry-pick from each track according to their interests.


The keynote speaker will be Dr. Avindra Nath, clinical director of NINDS, the director of the Translational Neuroscience Center and chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous System at the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C., who will present "Cracking the Code of Neuroinflammatory Disorders."


Pointing to the fact that the human and economic impact of neurological disorders is exacerbated by a prevailing shortage of neuroscience specialists and the burgeoning aging population, Dr. Dobbs emphasized that augmenting multi-specialty provider groups’ neuroscience awareness and knowledge base is key to improving equitable access and patient outcomes.


"Our goal with the Winter Expo is to provide that guidance in a new and interesting way, to the ultimate benefit of patients."


For more information about the Expo or to register, go to


Sarah Bennett Holmes Award Nominees Announced

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 08:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) — Seventeen women at the University of Kentucky have been nominated for the 2015 Sarah Bennett Holmes award, and registration is underway now to attend the award ceremony and luncheon 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5, at the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom. Visit for more information. The registration deadline is March 2.


Coordinated by UK Women's Forum, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award is granted annually to women working at UK who promote the growth and well-being of other women at the university and across the Commonwealth. Two awards are presented — one to a faculty member and one to a staff member.


The 2015 nominees are:



·         Henrietta Bada-Ellzey, Pediatrics, College of Medicine and Health Behavior, College of Public Health

·         Ruth Bryan, Special Collections Research Center, UK Libraries

·         Rebecca Collins, Pediatrics, College of Medicine

·         Beth Goldstein, Education Policy Studies, College of Education

·         Marty Henton, School of Art and Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts

·         Beverly A. Hilton, UK Libraries

·         Elizabeth Oates, Radiology, College of Medicine

·         Melynda Price, College of Law

·         Pamela Remer, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, College of Education

·         Susan Smyth, Internal Medicine, College of Medicine

·         Anita Superson, Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

·         Alice Thornton, Internal Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine



·         Joanne Brown, University Health Service (student health)

·         Evie Russell, Undergraduate Research

·         Elizabeth Snider, UK HealthCare Polk Dalton Clinic

·         Gaye Whalen, UK Women's Health - Obstetrics and Gynecology

·         Shane Winstead, Pharmacy Services


The Sarah Bennett Holmes award was established by UK Women's Forum in 1994 and honors a distinguished former dean of women at the University of Kentucky. Holmes, who was widowed at a young age, raised four children while completing her own education.  She went on to have a successful career at UK where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of hardship and pursue their career goals.  Among her accomplishments, Holmes developed work programs for women during the Depression.

UK Researchers Awarded Grant to Study Aggressive Cancer Metastasis

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 17:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) – The National Cancer Institute recently awarded a two-year, $357,743 grant to University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers to study the role of a certain protein in aggressive cancer metastasis.


The lab of Kathleen O'Connor, professor in UK's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, studies how tumor cells interact with their environment to make cancer more aggressive.


Specifically, O'Connor's lab studies a protein called integrin α6β4, a protein that integrates signals from its environment so that cells can respond properly and die off if they are in the wrong context. This protein can cause carcinoma cells to take on some of the worst properties of cancer, including invasion, metastasis and drug resistance.


The integrin can selectively increase the expression of genes that cause cells to become particularly invasive and metastatic through a process known as DNA demethylation, but O'Connor says they do not yet know how these specific genes can be regulated.


"Through this study, we expect that understanding how the integrin affects this process will tell us more about how specific DNA demethylation occurs, as well as how cancers can become more invasive without mutating the DNA," O'Connor said. 


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

Bill Cosby Program at Singletary Center Postponed

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — By mutual agreement with Bill Cosby and the show’s promoter, National Artists Corporation, the show at the Singletary Center for the Arts at the University of Kentucky has been postponed. The Singletary Center box office will begin issuing refunds for the March 15 performance to all ticketholders on Monday, March 2.


Quit and Win Contest Winners Announced at Reception

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) - University of Kentucky employees who successfully quit smoking and/or using tobacco for 30 days as part of UK’s Quit and Win contest were honored at a reception at the UK Student Center on Tuesday afternoon.


“Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health,” said Janie Heath, dean of the UK College of Nursing, who recognized contest winners at the reception. “We are here today to celebrate your success. We believe in you.”


Winners of five cash prizes provided by UK HealthCare were announced.


The winner of the $1,000 prize was Lauran Devine, a nursing care technician at UK HealthCare. The $500 cash prize winners were:  Clarence Barton Switzer Jr., a carpenter with the UK Physical Plant Division; and Christine Johnson, human resources manager in the UK College of Fine Arts


The $250 cash prize winners were: Pamela Thompson, a medical technologist at UK HealthCare; and Benjamin Travers, a patient clerical assistant at UK HealthCare


“I am happy UK recognized the hard effort it is to quit smoking and helped motivate my desire to quit …I feel better than I have in a long time, and I would like to encourage others to quit smoking as well,” said Johnson. 


UK supports its employees who want to quit using tobacco products by offering free tobacco treatment programs and medications. If individuals enroll in one of the programs, they can receive up to 12-weeks of FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Anyone can also purchase low-cost NRT at on-campus pharmacies, hospital gift shops, and convenience stores to manage cravings while on UK’s tobacco-free campus. Learn more here:


UK’s Quit and Win Contest marked the end of UK’s five year tobacco-free anniversary celebration starting on Nov. 20, 2014. UK HealthCare and UK’s Tobacco-free Task Force joined together to sponsor the first ever Quit and Win Contest at UK. The Contest ran from Jan. 16 to Feb. 16 and was open to UK faculty and staff, including employees of any affiliated corporation, 18 years of age or older and current tobacco users. Contest enrollees and their buddies received weekly tips to quit and resources to help them via email during the 30-day contest. For more information on the contest:


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

UK Orchestra to Showcase Concerto Competition Winner Pianist Yuri Kim

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Nardolillo, takes the stage this Friday with a variety of compositions that showcase the diverse talent of its own student musicians.


The concert will feature one of UK School of Music's own, Yuri Kim, winner of the UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, playing music by George Gershwin. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.


Fresh off its dramatic live presentation of “2001: A Space Odyssey” with the UK Chorale, the orchestra will begin the concert with Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Atmosphères,” featured in the film. Next, the orchestra will back up Yuri Kim as she plays George Gershwin’s Concerto in F for piano and orchestra. The concert will conclude with German composer Robert Schumann’s uplifting Symphony No. 2.


The UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition presents a prestigious opportunity for UK music students to perform a solo concerto with the orchestra. Artistic excellence is the primary criterion, but students must also be fulltime music majors and prepare the entire concerto. A panel of judges composed of artists from outside UK reviews excerpts performed by each contestant and selects the top four to return and play their entire concerto. From these finalists, one to three winners are chosen to perform with the orchestra in the Concerto Competition Concert.


Yuri Kim, a native of South Korea, holds a master’s degree in piano performance from UK and a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from Campbellsville University, where she graduated with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and was a member of the honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Kim earned the certificate in piano pedagogy at Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Regionally, she won the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Piano Competition in Kentucky and advanced to the Southern division. Kim is currently pursuing a doctorate in piano performance at UK School of Music, where she studies with Professor Irina Voro and serves as a teaching assistant in "Introductory Piano."


Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The 100-member all-student orchestra presents more than 50 concerts each year including classical, chamber and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Lang Lang, Ronan Tynan, Natasha Paremski and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009.


The UK Symphony Orchestra also collaborates yearly with UK Opera Theatre and has recently presented "Porgy and Bess," "La Bohème," "Die Fledermaus," "Carmen," "La Traviata" and "Madama Butterfly." Over the last three years, they have also begun an active outreach program bringing classical music to all corners of the Commonwealth. To date, they have performed for more than 10,000 students as part of this new initiative. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record for with Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.


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



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

Nominations Open for Sullivan Awards to Honor Humanitarians

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 12:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) Nominations for the 2015 Sullivan Awards, the University of Kentucky's prestigious honor for inspirational humanitarian achievements by students and community members, are open with a deadline of late March.


Three winners, an outstanding senior woman, an outstanding senior man and a distinguished community member, will be formally announced Monday, April 13, at the University Honors and Recognition Awards Program in the Student Center's Grand Ballroom.


To start the nomination process, email Buck Ryan, chairman of the faculty selection committee, at Letters may be sent to Buck Ryan, 134 Grehan Building, School of Journalism and Telecommunications, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0042


"The Sullivan Awards are a highlight of my academic year," said Ryan, director of the Citizen Kentucky Project of UK's Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. "We have so many amazing students who are out to change the world and so many friends dedicated to making our community a better place. Selecting winners is a difficult task for our faculty committee."


The non-student winner must have a connection with UK as an employee, alumnus or friend.


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


Officially known as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards, they were established by the New York Southern Society in 1925 and aspire to honor recipients with "high qualities which ennoble and beautify living and bind man in mutual love and helpfulness."


The University of Kentucky has been recognizing Sullivan Award winners since 1927. UK is one of several Southern universities that present Sullivan Awards, sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, to recognize "those citizens and students who exhibit Sullivan's ideals of heart, mind, and conduct as evince a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women."


Nominations are open until 5 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2015.




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

Global Health Fulbright Seminar Gathers Students from Around the World

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 12:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) The University of Kentucky will host 100 Fulbright students from 55 different countries who are studying public health and related areas in the United States for the 2015 Fulbright Global Health Innovations Seminar from Feb. 25 to March 1. The U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program strengthens ties between the United States and countries around the world that are necessary to address global foreign policy issues like public health.


The seminar, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, will explore various public health topics and trends, including pandemics and international response to disease outbreaks.  Beth Barnes, interim assistant provost for internationalization, said the Fulbright students will have a wide range of events to choose from including presentations, panel discussions, community service, skill building workshops and group discussion.


The primary text for the seminar’s curriculum is "Contemporary Public Health: Principles, Practice and Policy," which was edited by James Holsinger, associate dean for academic affairs in UK’s College of Public, and published by University Press of Kentucky.


“UK’s College of Public Health is rated one of the top 25 in the country,” Barnes said. “This is a great opportunity to showcase the important work our faculty members are producing.”


The Fulbright students will also participate in a Fulbright idea-generating session on the global response to Ebola and how it is shaping the future of public health.


“One of the critical issues in all health care areas — public health in particular — is to look at things that affect large populations rather than isolated incidents,” said Barnes. “Having a seminar like this that is going to look at a number of different issues and dimensions related to global public health is very important.”


This is the second Fulbright Program Seminar hosted by UK. Last November, 142 Fulbright graduate students from Pakistan attended the Fulbright Pakistan Enrichment Seminar on Social Movements from Nov. 5-9, 2014.


The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from more than 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. 




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


Alumni Gym Parking Lot Closed Morning of Feb. 25, Student Center Lot Impacted

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services has announced the Alumni Gym E Lot will be unavailable for general parking from 6 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 25, in order to accommodate event parking for the Fellows Founders Week Luncheon. Thirty spaces in the Student Center Lot will also be blocked during the same time period for event parking.


Members of the UK community with valid E permits who normally park their vehicles in these areas may park in other E areas on campus and are encouraged to allow for additional commute time during this impact. Go to to view a campus parking map. Additionally, employees who park in other north campus lots should anticipate possible increases in demand for parking in their areas, and plan their commute accordingly. 

Two UK Vocalists Advance to Semifinals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 16:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — The Mid-South Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions were held Saturday, Feb. 21, on University of Kentucky’s campus. Singers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, including three from UK, competed to advance to the semifinals to be held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera scheduled for March 15 in New York City. UK student Matthew Turner took first place at the regional in Lexington and will advance to the semifinals at the Met. Joining Turner in New York, will be another semifinalist from UK, Reginald Smith Jr., from the Southeastern Region Finals.


UK bass Matthew Turner appeared in the tile role of the fall 2014 UK Opera Theatre (UKOT) production “Sweeney Todd,” and will appear in the upcoming UKOT March production of “The Tales of Hoffmann.” A student of Everett McCorvey, director of UKOT and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies, and Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice, Turner received a cash prize of $4,200 from OperaLex, the host of the auditions, and an additional $800 from the Metropolitan Opera for the Mrs. Edgar Tobin First Place Award. A Lexington resident, he holds bachelor's degrees in accounting and vocal performance from UK.


Turner sang "Il lacerate spirito" from Giuseppe Verdi’s "Simon Boccanegra," "In diesen heil'gen Hallen" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s "Die Zauberflöte" and "Arise, ye subterranean winds" from Thomas Adès’ "The Tempest."


Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UKOT as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. Like Turner, he also studied under McCorvey at UK School of Music. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.


The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.


The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.


The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at



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

UK Alum Becomes Two-time Oscar Winner

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:47



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — University of Kentucky alum Henry “Bub” Asman took center stage during the Academy Awards Sunday evening as he accepted his second Oscar.


The 1971 UK graduate won the Oscar for sound editing for his work on Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper.”


The Louisville native, who now lives in Union, Kentucky, won his first Academy Award for sound editing in 2007 for his work with “Letters from Iwo Jima.”


A special section of the 2015 Oscars website features a Q&A session with Asman about being nominated for an Academy Award.


To read the original story that ran on UKNow in 2011 about Asman’s rise to Hollywood fame in the world of sound editing, visit:



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


Apply to be a Leadership Exchange Ambassador

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — The Center for Student Involvement is now accepting applications to become a Leadership Exchange Ambassador. The Leadership Exchange Ambassadors (LEA) is an organization comprising student leaders committed to the development of leadership on the University of Kentucky campus. The main focus of LEA is to offer opportunities for authentic, intentional development through campuswide and statewide programming made available to all students interested in leadership.


Students who want to meet current LEAs and find out what the organization is all about are invited to attend the LEA Info Session from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in the Center for Student Involvement, 106 Student Center.


Duties of the Leadership Exchange Ambassadors include:

·       Focus on individual leadership development through creation of a personal leadership portfolio;

·       Assist with planning, promotion, and facilitation of leadership events for students;

·       Promote involvement on campus through meeting with students one-on-one; and

·       Help student organizations grow through leadership workshops and OrgSync trainings.


Benefits of becoming a Leadership Exchange Ambassador:

·       Develop relationships with other student leaders and organizations;

·       Develop a strong sense of personal leadership style;

·       Improve presentation and communication skills; and

·       Have the unique opportunity to help other UK students “lead from where they are.”


The application is due Friday, March 13.


Interviews will take place the week of March 30 - April 3. Students will be contacted to schedule an interview the week of March 23 - 27. Applicants will be notified by Friday, April 10, of application status, following the interview process.


For more information visit the LEA website. If you have any questions, contact Leslie Pedigo at



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

Gill Heart Institute Selected for Major Clinical Trial for Bioabsorbable Stent

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:01
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) -- The Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky is participating in a multi-center clinical trial of a new medical device that has the potential to improve the outcomes and reduce the incidence of angina for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).


For decades, cardiologists opened blocked coronary arteries using balloons and followed that by implanting stents (mesh-like devices) that act like scaffolds to maintain the patency of the artery. Traditionally, stents are a permanent implant made of metal.  The ABSORB IV trial will test a new stent called the Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS), a scaffold made of a polymer that can be completely absorbed by the body after the artery heals.  As with metal stents, the BVS is covered by a drug coating that prevents excessive scar tissue from re-narrowing the artery. The BVS, the coating and the drug all dissolve approximately 12-24 months after the procedure. The hope is that the artery recovers its ability to respond to the heart’s needs for more blood flow with activity.


Gill is one of 40 centers in the U.S. participating in this landmark clinical trial, which aims to enroll 3,000 patients nationwide.


Dr. Khaled Ziada, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at the Gill Heart Institute, is enthusiastic about the impact this study might have for the millions of people suffering from coronary artery disease worldwide.


"We've come a long way in the treatment of CAD, starting with balloon angioplasty in the 1970s, bare metal stents in the 1990s, and drug eluting stents in the 2000s," says Ziada. "Bioresorbable stents like the Absorb BVS allow us to take advantage of using stents to keep the arteries open, without leaving behind a permanent implant. 


"We hope this leads to healthier arteries and better control of patient symptoms."


Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and CAD is the most common type of heart disease. CAD occurs when arteries that supply blood to the heart are narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of fatty deposits called plaques, leading to angina (chest pain) and increased heart attack risk.