UK Design Completes First Phase of Pence Hall Renovation

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 14:06

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


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


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


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


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



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

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

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:21


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


Which Concert Artist Do You Want to See on Campus?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:28

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


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


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


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


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




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



Students Win Boren Awards to Study Languages Critical to National Security

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 14:42

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

UK Report Addresses Health Needs of Trauma-Exposed Grandfamilies

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 14:32

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams;


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

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 12:13

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


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


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


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


What will you be speaking about at UK?


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


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


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

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

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




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan 859-257-5365;

Undergrads Present Sustainability Research at NSF Student Showcase

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 11:07

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


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


The presentation agenda for the showcase is as follows:

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

UK Students Blast Onto Library Balcony for Study Break, Free Food

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 10:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) — Looking for a break during finals week or needing some fresh air during your long nights at the library? Balcony Blast is for you. University of Kentucky Libraries and Dean Terry Birdwhistell invite the student body to drop by William T. Young Library for free food, drinks and relaxation during finals week. Balcony Blast runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, in room 3-34 and the adjacent balcony, located on the third floor south wing of Young Library.


As part of Balcony Blast, UK Libraries is opening room 3-34 and the south balcony for a reception and will provide small sub sandwiches from Firehouse Subs and soft drinks. There will be music and students can drop by to relax, take a break from their studies and enjoy the fresh air.


UK Libraries hosted a similar event last spring when it opened the balcony to the public and student body for the first time.


In the event of rain, Balcony Blast will be moved to room B108-C.


UK Libraries is constantly looking for ways to support the success of students by utilizing its resources and space. With a donation from Kentucky American Water, last spring Young Library staff upgraded the Kentucky American Water Room at the library with a design that incorporated tablet arm chairs ideal for students using laptops or other electronic devices, movable whiteboards, and a flat screen display that can be used to project the images from laptop screens.


In the fall of 2013, Young Library opened two repurposed spaces on the second floor: a new interactive reference area in the north wing and a collaborative learning center in the south wing.



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

UK Alumnus, CTO of AngelList Here on May 14, 15

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 09:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) — In efforts to expand the discussion connecting startups and investors, crowdfunding and fundraising, University of Kentucky alumnus and founding chief technology officer of AngelList, Joshua Slayton, will return to Lexington to speak at the Lexington Venture Club meeting May 14 and at an "Open Coffee" event May 15.  AngelList is a San Francisco based startup that provides a platform that offers an online community and forum, as well as a platform where startups and investors can connect at


The Lexington Venture Club meeting featuring Slayton will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, at the Hyatt Regency Lexington. The meeting is hosted by the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network and Commerce Lexington, Inc. The event is $35 for non-members and includes a luncheon. To register for the LVC meeting click here: LVC


Continuing discussions from the Venture Club meeting, "Open Coffee with Joshua Slayton" will be from 9-10 a.m. Thursday, May 15, in the Commerce Lexington conference room at 330 East Main Street. The conversation with Slayton is sponsored by the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship/Lexington Innovation and Commercialization Center and the Kentucky Innovation Network, and Commerce Lexington, Inc. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Refreshments will be provided. To register for the Open Coffee click here.


Slayton, a Louisville native, graduated Summa Cum Laude from UK with degrees in mathematics and computer science. After graduating, he moved to San Francisco and three years later he joined AngelList's founding team as chief technology officer. In both events, Slayton will speak about connecting startups and investors, as well as crowdfunding and fundraising.


The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship/ Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation and Commercialization Center Network in the Gatton College of Business and Economics accelerates the Kentucky economy by commercializing UK research, facilitating university-industry collaborations, and assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses in creating jobs. The center works with faculty, clinicians, staff and student innovators to create start-ups and spinoff companies.


The Kentucky Innovation Network, managed in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, along with local partners, creates a network of business leaders and mentors that encourages relationships, grows companies new and existing, and creates jobs. The network comprises 13 offices located across Kentucky.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder,, or Carl Nathe, (859) 257-3200,





WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Focuses on Landscape Architecture

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 23:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2014) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's program offers an introduction to the world of the Department of  Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment with Professor Chris Sass of the department and his student Rachel Cunningham.


To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced,


"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

What's Next: Engineering Solutions to Society's Problems

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 17:12

Video by Vis Center media team.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2014) — Can engineering help people live better lives? Can it help to preserve our most deeply held values? University of Kentucky researcher Samson Cheung thinks so. He researches how technology can be used to help people in very realistic and immediate ways. 


An associate professor in the UK Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and faculty member of the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments (the Vis Center), the major theme of his research is in the area of using multimedia image processing and signal processing to help solve societal problems.


Cheung has two main areas of research. The first area of interest is in privacy concerns related to multimedia.


"We can use technology to, at the same time, provide the necessary security for the government or the military to do their jobs, while still protecting our civil liberties and our privacy, all the values that we cherish as a nation," Cheung says. 


He and his team are investigating a new computational framework for encrypted multimedia processing. The framework is being used in novel applications such as biometric matching, object detection, speech analysis and video surveillance.


His second area of interest has developed out of a personal interest in developing assistive technology for people with autism.


"That got started with my son, who was diagnosed as autistic," Cheung said. "I think engineering can be a big part of helping him. Kids nowadays really love all the technology, all the gadgets and all the toys, and that could be a very good way to help him and other people like him."


This project is an interdisciplinary, integrated research and education program to develop novel technologies in manipulating mirror images, aimed at studying and enabling behavioral modeling of children with an autism spectrum disorder. 

Cheung's work is featured in the above video, produced by the Vis Center as part of its "What's Next" series. It may also be viewed at "Reveal," the official website for UK Research Media, at




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


Ricoh USA Awards $20,000 in Scholarships Through Video Contest

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 15:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2014) — Ricoh USA, the contracted print vendor for the University of Kentucky, hosted a video contest this semester offering current UK students a chance to win one of four $5,000 scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. Entrants were asked to create a short video on the theme “see blue. print green.”


The videos were judged by various staff members from Ricoh, UK Purchasing, UK Admissions and Registrar, UK Analytics and Technologies, and the UK Sustainability Office. Ricoh representatives said they appreciated the judges' taking time to view and rate each entry, and they were impressed by the number of students who created and submitted a video.


The winners and their videos are described below. The judges also selected two honorable mentions. The winning videos can be viewed at


Kendra Sanders, topical major, College of Arts & Sciences


Kendra Sanders' well-produced video highlights the amount of paper used in the U.S. annually. It mentions ways UK reduces waste and how the collaboration between UK and Ricoh assists these efforts. Judges said Sanders made excellent use of footage, the edits had great timing, and that her video excelled in all areas, exhibiting a professional touch.


John Bishop, College of Law


John Bishop’s video features a UK student walking on campus as she describes how much paper is used and thrown away on university campuses and how UK and Ricoh are saving money by working together. She also provides a list of ways Big Blue Nation can help. Judges said the quality of Bishop's video was extremely professional, with graphics, sound and animation doing an excellent job of supporting the subject matter. Judges especially appreciated "the discipline in producing an uncut moving camera shot as well as the mastery of the material by the on-screen talent." 


Courtney Harris, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration


Courtney Harris' video uses animation to describe Ricoh’s services and how the services help UK lower costs and be more environmentally friendly. She illustrates the partnership between Ricoh and the university community in executing the goal to “see blue. print green.”  Harris' custom animation brought a unique style that set it apart.  Her efforts resulted in imagery tailored specifically for the message, which was concise and effective.


Clark Frye, accounting, Gatton College of Business and Economics


Clark Frye’s video exhibited campus landmarks and used a powerful narrative to describe world issues and transitions for improvement. Where "bold dreams go beyond seeing green" and "live life through verbs and not by actionless words." Frye's video distinguished itself with a captivating lyrical style that intensified the impact of the piece.


Judges’ Honorable Mention Awards


Tori Cincotta, media arts and studies, School of Journalism and Telecommunications


Tori Cincotta’s video was commended for its excellent cinematography and continuity. The flow between scenes feels natural, and judges especially appreciated the pace and quality of shots.


Mike Vance, pre-media arts and studies, School of Journalism and Telecommunications


Mike Vance’s video shows great use of animation, timing and sound effects. Attention to detail is a must when working in this format, and judges thought this video struck a wonderful balance while remaining energetic and relevant to the narrative.




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


Health Sciences Student Merges Passion for Opera with Desire to Help Others

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 14:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2014) − Few would know the power of the human voice better than an opera singer. Chris Conley, a former professional opera singer, decided to return to school to combine his two passions:  his love for opera and his desire to help others with communication disorders.


Conley, a student in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) graduate program, discovered his passion for singing as a child. He would sing hymns without hesitation during family gatherings, and eventually at events such as weddings and school performances.


"It was my defining trait since I was a kid," he said. "People always told me I'd go on and study music, so it was a natural thing for me to go into."


Conley’s love of singing and the spotlight led him to pursue a career in what he regarded as the highest level of singing – opera. He was inspired by opera’s rich mixture of storytelling and history, and he traveled around the U.S. for many years, singing in multiple distinguished Baroque chorales, such as the New Trinity Baroque group in Atlanta.


Conley's career vision shifted once he became a husband, and later, a father to two children. He worked in the banking industry for five and a half years, but he knew this wasn't his heart’s calling. Conley began exploring careers that would allow him to combine his passion for singing and for helping others. He found his calling in speech-language pathology. He hopes to bring his musical expertise to the field by becoming a singing-voice specialist.


Once at UK, Conley found two incredible mentors with a passion for helping others: Professor Joseph C. Stemple and Associate Professor Jody Deem.


Stemple is well-known for creating a set of exercises called "vocal function exercises" that transform how speech-language pathologists look at voice rehabilitation. He also was instrumental in the creation of the UK Voice and Swallow Clinic, the only dedicated voice clinic in the state.

"Coming to the University of Kentucky and studying under Dr. Stemple, who conceptualized these exercises, puts me in a great place professionally," Conley said. "I can’t say enough about what Dr. Stemple has done to transform what we do as voice professionals." 


He also speaks highly of his other mentor, Deem, who exudes professionalism, knowledge and great enthusiasm for speech-language pathology.


"Her enthusiasm made me excited to pursue this career. Dr. Deem was the first person I met at UK, and I have tremendous respect for her," Conley said.


Conley plans to merge his love of opera and speech-language pathology by pursuing a career as a singing-voice specialist. His experience as an opera singer will provide a distinct advantage as a singing-voice specialist, who helps amateur and professional singers manage their voices and address underlying voice-usage problems, in order to improve singing performance.


The Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program requires two years of academic coursework and clinical practice, and Conley is about to begin his second year, which consists of clinical rotations. As a father of two, Conley finds it challenging to balance the demands of graduate school, while working and maintaining his family life.


"It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," Conley said, "But the people in our program have been fantastic at letting me put family first."


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


UK Design Recognizes Outstanding Alumni, Friends, Faculty

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 13:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Design recognized outstanding faculty, alumni and friends of the college at the first Celebrating Excellence Awards Dinner and Exhibition held April 10, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.


The Distinguished Alumni Award honorees included:


William Peace, BA, 1980, School of Interiors

Founder and principal of Peace Design, in Atlanta, Ga., and Missoula, Mont., William Peace is a design visionary and leading force in the interior design community. Peace is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards, including the National ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Project award for residential interiors, City of Atlanta Urban Renewal, and Southeastern Designer of the Year. He has served on the board of trustees of the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of Design in Atlanta and as a legacy member of the Advisory Committee Board for the School of Interiors at UK.


George Metzger, BARCH, 1982, School of Architecture

George Metzger is the principal responsible for Adamson Associates’ West Coast Office in Los Angeles. He joined Adamson Associates Inc. in 2006 bringing a critically acclaimed design sensibility and a portfolio of high-profile projects across the world. His expertise encompasses all aspects of architectural practice — master planning, architectural design, interior design, technical issues, and project management. Metzger worked in close collaboration with the renowned architect Frank Gehry. His expertise with new and emerging technologies turned Gehry’s concepts and sketches into award-winning completed projects including the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, and the Seattle Experience Museum. Many of these projects have set new standards in project delivery methods, 3D computing technology - BIM (building information modeling), architectural technology and contractor collaboration systems. 


Kenneth Greene, BARCH, 1981

After graduating from the architecture program at UK, Greene first joined Omni Architects, where he developed a substantial portfolio of health care design, which he would later use as a managing partner and senior medical planner at GBBN Architects’ Lexington office. Greene worked on a myriad of health care design projects across the Commonwealth, Ohio, West Virginia, as well as China, and served as the project manager for the UK Albert B. Chandler Patient Care Facility and Pavilion. After his sudden passing in May 2011, two days before the Chandler Pavilion’s dedication, his family established the Ken Greene Architecture Scholarship Foundation to endow a scholarship at the UK College of Design’s School of Architecture. This endowed scholarship benefits talented second-year-and-older students demonstrating financial need, just as Greene received as a student at UK. The Ken Greene Memorial Endowed Scholarship has funded two students to date and will be awarded again in May 2014. 


The college also honored individuals who have demonstrated in multiple ways over many years their dedication to the mission of the college and its programs. The Friends of the College Awards went to:


Edith Bingham

Edith S. “Edie” Bingham is a loyal and passionate supporter of the Department of Historic Preservation at the UK College of Design. A native of Washington, D.C., she has been a fixture in the preservation community and robust advocate for preservation in Kentucky for decades. Currently, Bingham serves on seven preservation boards, including the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and the UK Department of Historic Preservation advisory boards. She has served on nearly 25 community-based boards in years past, and was instrumental in establishing the Helen Abell and Clay Lancaster professorships at UK. Bingham is the past recipient of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Kentucky Citizens’ Laureate Award, as well as the prestigious Preservation Lifetime Award conferred by the National Trust. 


Janet Pike

As chief executive officer of AIA Kentucky, Pike has increased the organization’s membership and budget since her arrival in 1988. She is an advocate for architects and architecture. Pike has worked closely with the state and regional AIA boards and architects within the state to provide resources, support and assistance to the UK School of Architecture. The results of her labor include scholarship funding; securing AIA national endowments; guiding the establishment of the AIA Kentucky Endowed Professorship within the school; providing support for students after graduation; and working with faculty and staff to establish and maintain a collaborative relationship.


Faculty members Michael Jacobs, architecture instructor; Wallis Miller, the Charles Parker Graves Endowed Associate Professor in Architecture; and Rebekah Radtke, associate professor of interiors, were also honored, as was Director of Student Services Azhar Swanson.



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

Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy Recognizes Policymakers and Advocates

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 11:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2014) – The Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy’s (KCSP) awarded the 2014 David B. Stevens, M.D., Smoke-free Advocate of the Year Award to Roger Cline Sr. from Olive Hill at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing’s KCSP annual Spring Conference.


The event was held on April 29 at the Doubletree Suites in Lexington during the conference luncheon. Cline, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and Smoke-free Kentucky, has been successful at voluntary policy change at the local level (Carter County) and works tirelessly at both the city and state levels. The advocate of the year is recognized for excellence in promoting secondhand smoke education and smoke-free policy. Other nominees for this prestigious advocacy award included: Cynthia Brown (Bullitt County Health Department) and Carol Douglas (Barren River District Health Department). 


Two new awards were presented this year. The 2014 Brian Early Mattone, Esq. Legal Counsel Smoke-free Support Award was presented to the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium (TCLC), a legal network that assists community leaders and public health organizations on issues related to tobacco control policy. Housed in the William Mitchell College of Law’s Public Health Law Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, TCLC was recognized for outstanding smoke-free legal service and continuous contributions to smoke-free environments which give life back to communities in a way that honors the memory, gentle spirit, and unwavering work ethic shown by Mattone.


The Lee T. Todd Jr. Smoke-free Hero Award was presented to the Bullitt County Board of Health. The Bullitt County Board of Health adopted a comprehensive smoke-free regulation in March 2011 but it is delayed pending legal action. Bullitt County Board of Health was recognized for their courage, perseverence, and continuous commitment to and leadership for smoke-free environments in the face of adversity.


Elected officials and advocates from the Mayfield City Council were also awarded the Smoke-free Indoor Air Endeavor Award. Members of the Mayfield City Council were recognized for their leadership in promoting the health of the citizens in their communities by enacting a partial smoke-free ordinance in 2013.


As of April 1, 2014, 38 Kentucky communities had implemented smoke-free ordinances or Board of Health regulations, with 22 of those being comprehensive policies, meaning that they cover all workplaces including restaurants and bars. This translates to 34.2 percent of Kentuckians protected by comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws. For more information about smoke-free ordinances and regulations in Kentucky, visit the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy at


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


Troske Receives 2014 Lyons Award for Service

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 09:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2014) — Kenneth R. Troske, the William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics and senior associate dean for administration, faculty and research in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, is the 2014 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award for Outstanding Service.


The Lyons Award is presented each year to an individual associated with UK who has contributed significantly to the university, the Lexington community, and/or the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The award is named in honor of the late Bill Lyons, longtime professor of political science and public administration at UK, a dedicated scholar, teacher, and public servant who made innumerable contributions in all areas of university life and extended his professional expertise to address problems affecting the local and state communities.


"Ken Troske is a most worthy recipient of the Lyons Award," said Merl Hackbart, professor and interim director of UK's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, which bestows the award. "Since joining the UK faculty in 2005, he has immersed himself in serving not only his students and fellow faculty, but also Lexington, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and our nation."


Previously, Troske served as chair of the Department of Economics and as director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Gatton College.


Troske is an expert in labor economics and is the author of many academic publications. He has served as a visiting scholar and research fellow at Australian National University, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Institute for the Study of Labor.


In addition to his academic work, Troske is very active in the community. He has  helped provide forecasts for the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) Revenue Department, and has worked on other projects both for current Mayor Jim Gray and former Mayor Jim Newberry. Troske also has advised many groups including Commerce Lexington, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Effort, a cooperative partnership between Lexington and Louisville. He currently serves on the Lexington Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and as a member of the budget committee for Lafayette High School.


Troske was selected to serve as one of only five experts on the U.S. Congressional Oversight Panel which reviewed government efforts to help stabilize the nation's economic situation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.


Originally from Seattle, Troske holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and graduated from the University of Chicago with a master's and Ph.D. in economics. He is married to another economist, Su Troske. They have two children and reside in Lexington.


"It is humbling to receive this honor," Troske said. "While I did not have the good fortune of knowing Bill Lyons personally, his record of service to UK, to Lexington, and to the state is legendary. To receive an award which carries his name is something I will always cherish."


During his career at UK, Lyons served as director of the Martin School, chair of the Department of Political Science, chair of the University Senate Council, executive director of the Merger Commission that established the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, member of the Urban County Council, and chair of various LFUCG government committees.


Hackbart added, "Through this award, the life and legacy of service exemplified by Bill Lyons continues to live."




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



UK Community Asked to Wear UK Apparel Friday in Support of Higher Ed

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 09:35


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2014) ― To demonstrate national support for higher education, first lady Michelle Obama is encouraging people across the country to wear their college apparel tomorrow, Friday, May 2.


Obama will speak at the Fourth Annual College Signing Day at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  In her keynote remarks, she will highlight the significance of pursuing and completing some form of higher education and the importance of students doing their part to answer the president’s ‘North Star’ Education Goal that by the year 2020, America once again has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.


College Signing Day is part of Destination College, a week of free events started during by San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to celebrate San Antonio as both a college town and a college-going town.  Residents there show their support by wearing their college apparel, and the first lady wants to extend that action nationwide in an effort to inspire youth all across the country to consider applying to college.


Obama encourages participants to share photos of themselves in college apparel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and across additional social media platforms using the hashtag #ReachHigher.

A 'Grand Night' for UK Staff

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 14:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2014) — University of Kentucky Opera Theatre will honor Russ Williams, the university's first representative of the staff on the Board of Trustees who died in 2009, by offering a special ticket price to UK staff for its popular musical revue, “It’s a Grand Night for Singing!” Each performance of “Grand Night” will have select seats available to UK staff for only $25, plus Singletary Center for the Arts processing fees. General admission tickets for "Grand Night" are $45.


Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre, said of Williams, “Russ was a tireless advocate for the staff and the staff’s concerns on the UK Board of Trustees. Russ loved the university and all it had to offer to the community and to the Commonwealth. He suggested to me the idea of having staff prices for opera performances. I am happy to be able to offer the staff prices in honor of Russ. He was well loved by all on campus.”


Williams held the staff representative position to the UK Board of Trustees for four terms beginning in 1998 until his death in 2009.


“Grand Night” will have six performances at the Singletary Center for the Arts, on UK’s campus, beginning 7:30 p.m. June 13, 14, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m., June 15 and 22. Staff tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office with a valid UK staff ID.


UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.


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;

Tenmast Software Honored as 2014 Innovative Workplace Award Recipient

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 11:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin) has announced Tenmast Software as the recipient of the third annual Dr. Lee T. Todd Jr. Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Research to Practice Award.


The award recognizes former UK President Lee T. Todd's vision in creating an institute committed to Kentucky's workforce challenges through engaging organizations in academic research, learning opportunities, and sharing best practices to implement in the 21st century workplace. As the award honoree, Tenmast will receive a complimentary one‐year partnership to iwin’s Innovative Employer Roundtable and participate in exclusive partner events. The award ceremony will take place May 14 during iwin’s Innovative Employer Roundtable Meeting.


The Innovative Employer Roundtable Steering Committee selected Tenmast as the honoree after reviewing numerous applications from impressive Kentucky organizations and personally interviewing three finalists. The award, effective for one year beginning in May, will include attendance at the May and October Roundtable meetings. Subsequent awards will be offered each year in May and are open to applications from any Kentucky organization beginning in November 2014.


“I believe that Tenmast embodies the essence of the Todd Award through demonstration of innovative workplace practices," said Kim Doty of Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing, iwin Steering Committee member and interview panelist.  "I am pleased with their addition as a partner to our iwin Roundtable.”


Tenmast Software serves public housing authorities and private affordable housing management companies with software for tenant management, finance/accounting, maintenance, inspections, document management, HUD reporting, and executive decision making. The 30-year-old company headquartered in Lexington, currently has 65 employees and two locations.


“The employees at Tenmast Software are very excited to receive the Dr. Lee Todd Award," said Greg Hodge, director of Human Resources at Tenmast. "Tenmast Software is in the process of becoming a 100 percent employee owned company, and we see iwin as a critical piece to our strategic plan. We are focused on maximizing employee engagement and bringing innovative ideas and solutions to our daily work. iwin is a great partnership between business and education, transferring knowledge and practical solutions from research to local businesses. We hope to use what we learn at iwin to create a 21st century workplace that values our employees, develops their skills and provides long lasting returns for our shareholders and the local community.”


The mission of the Institute for Workplace Innovation is to develop and disseminate knowledge about the 21st century workplace to create work environments that boost the bottom line, employee health, and work-life fit. In addition to operating the Innovative Employer Roundtable, iwin also provides consulting in a variety of topics including Change Cycle, the multi-generational workforce and executive coaching; iwin also specializes in the development, implementation, and analysis of customized surveys and assessments.


Housed in the College of Social Work, iwin is affiliated with other colleges including the colleges of Public Health, Design, Education, Engineering, Communication and Information Studies, and Gatton College of Business and Economics.


For more information, please contact: Stephanie Shaw,



Study Led by UK Researcher Provides New Insight into Common Disease Affecting the Elderly

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 10:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2014) --  A genome-wide association study (GWAS) led by Dr. Peter Nelson of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky, and David Fardo of UK's Department of Biostatistics, has provided new insight into Hippocampal Sclerosis of Aging (HS-A), a common disease affecting the elderly.


Researchers from 16 different institutions compared 363 persons with autopsy-proven HS-A to a control group of 2,303 other individuals in an attempt to identify genetic predisposition to HS-Aging. 


Nelson and his team found that small changes in the ABCC9 gene -- also known as Sulfonylurea Receptor 2 -- strongly paralleled the incidence of HS-Aging.  Further statistical analysis demonstrated a link between the use of sulfonylurea, a medication commonly used to treat diabetes, and an increased risk for HS-A.


"This is the first genome-wide association study of its kind, and it has terrific statistical power," Nelson said. "While certainly there's a lot more work to be done to confirm the drug-disease interaction, this study nonetheless describes a novel dementia risk factor."


GWAS studies are a relatively new way to explore the linkage between any disease and the genetic factors that may contribute to them. Using the DNA of similar people with the target disease and without, millions of genetic variants are read and analyzed in an attempt to mark a region of the human genome that influences the risk of the target disease. In contrast to methods which specifically test one or a few genetic regions, the GWA studies investigate the entire genome.


"This work confirms that the problems that occur in the brains of the elderly are complicated -- but until we delve deeper into that complexity, we will be frustrated in our goal of finding new cures for these horrible diseases," Nelson said. "If further research confirms the genetic link we have identified in this study, it might inform new strategies to search for cures."


The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is a worldwide leader in research on HS-A, a condition that affects up to 15 percent of individuals over age 85.  Its symptoms are so similar to those of Alzheimer's disease that patients are often misdiagnosed with the latter.  Currently, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of HS-A is by autopsy.


The study, which was funded in large part by the National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health, was published this week in Acta Neuropathologica.