Campus News

Proposed Clinical Trial Could Change the Game for Deadly Type of Breast Cancer

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 11:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 13, 2016) –  University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Oncologist Dr. Edward Romond spent his career at UK treating and studying breast cancer, even leading major Phase 3 clinical trials on the breast cancer drug trastuzumab in the early 2000s. Commonly known as Herceptin, this drug became a standard of care for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

 

Though he retired from practice last year, Romond continues to work part-time with the research team at Markey, this time pushing toward a cure for a different, more deadly, type of breast cancer. 

 

"Breast cancer, we now recognize, is at least five different disease that are completely different from each other," Romond said. "And the hardest nut to crack is this one called triple-negative breast cancer."

 

Triple-negative breast cancer is a moniker given to a particularly aggressive group of breast cancers that often affect younger women. Unlike the receptor-positive types of breast cancer, which have biomarkers that tell oncologists which treatment the patient should respond to, triple negative breast cancers have no definitive biomarkers. If the patient does not respond well to the current standard of care, it's up to the oncologist to make an educated guess about which chemotherapy will do the job.

 

The good news is that triple-negative breast cancers do generally respond well to chemotherapy. However, because triple-negative breast cancers are not homogenous, and every single patient responds differently to various chemotherapies, it's difficult to predict which chemotherapy will best treat each patient's cancer.

 

But the researchers at the UK Markey Cancer Center are working to change that paradox. Markey's Breast Translational Group is currently developing a proposed clinical trial that could create a major shift in the way triple-negative breast cancers are treated.

 

Currently, after a patient is diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, she usually receives chemotherapy first to try and shrink the tumor (known as neo-adjuvant therapy), followed by surgery to remove as much of the mass as possible. The patients are then monitored for signs of recurrence. If a patient has residual cancer despite getting neoadjuvant chemotherapy, they are at a high risk for recurrence.

 

There are currently at least six different types of chemotherapy that can be used as a possible therapy for patients, and each one may affect each individual patient in a different way. To tailor the treatment to each distinct patient, the investigators aim to test the tumors in a set of animal model “avatars” with these different therapies to gauge the response.

 

Here's how the proposed trial would work: after the patient's biopsy, her cancerous tissue would be transferred into a mouse that is bred to grow human tumors, then subsequently into three dozen mice: her "avatars." While the patient undergoes neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and then surgery – a process that can take up to six months – the avatars will be divided into groups, with each group receiving one of the six available chemotherapies.

 

When the researchers see which avatar group has the best result, they'll know which chemotherapy should work best for that patient. Knowing this would provide additional options for women who have residual cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and may reduce their risk for disease recurrence.

 

"It would prevent us from having to experiment with each individual patient, and end up finding that they didn't respond to that therapy," said Kathleen O'Connor, director of Markey's Breast Translational Group. "If we can do this, then the oncologists will no longer have to guess."

 

Dr. Aju Mathew, a medical oncologist who treats triple-negative breast cancer patients at Markey, compares his team's game-changing proposition to the way Uber has altered the use of public and personal transportation.

 

"We often hear about disruptive technology — Uber being one, for example," he said. "It disrupted the current paradigm of everyone driving a car on their own or hiring a cab. This trial is our way of disrupting the current standard of care, the current technology, and the current practice of medicine, to try to change the paradigm of 'one size fits all' approach for triple-negative breast cancer patients."

 

Though the avatar model of research isn't new, O'Connor notes that not many researchers are using them specifically for the treatment of an individual patient. Using a trial protocol to get the tissues directly from the patient's biopsy is a key factor in making the research work.

 

"The important thing is that we need to get the tumor tissue before they've been exposed to chemotherapy," O'Connor said. "This is one of the things that makes our trial unique."

 

With the trial design in place, the team just needs to provide ample data showing that growing a patient's tumor in the avatar from biopsy will work. But to gather that data, they need more funding. Initial pilot funds stemming from Markey's National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation grant have enabled the team to establish their first set of avatars with tissues taken from patients' surgeries. But a boost in funding would help them establish the preliminary data for the trial and allow the team to then apply for major federal funding.

 

"We have a large group of people who have freely given their time up to this point," O'Connor said. "But we need to have money to protect the time of the researchers doing this work, and we need enough money to get the mice in order to do this."

 

Video produced by UK Reveal. 

 

Funding for triple-negative breast cancer has been a major focus for Lexington resident Cindy Praska, whose daughter Whitney was diagnosed with the disease in 2007 at age 24. After undergoing a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation at another hospital, Whitney was deemed cancer-free.

 

In the years following her diagnosis, Whitney became an advocate for breast cancer awareness and fundraising, becoming actively involved in the Frankfort Country Club's Rally for the Cure, which has raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center for nearly 20 years.

 

Though her initial treatment for triple-negative breast cancer was successful, Whitney then developed osteosarcoma in 2012. This time, she elected to have her surgery out of state and came to Markey for her chemotherapy. Genetic testing revealed she carried a P53 genetic mutation, which was the cause of her original cancer, and combined with the radiation she had received prior, also caused her osteosarcoma. Despite Whitney's and her doctors' best efforts, her cancer metastasized and she succumbed to the disease in November of that year.

 

Carrying the torch for her daughter, Cindy continues to push for education, awareness, and research toward triple-negative breast cancer and is still heavily involved in fundraising.

 

This Saturday, Cindy and the team behind the Frankfort Country Club Rally for the Cure have planned a "party with a purpose" called Bourbon & Jazz for the Cure to celebrate the organization's 20th anniversary. Held at the Frankfort Country Club on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m., this special fundraising gala includes a silent and live auction featuring limited-edition Buffalo Trace bourbon bottles, and the funds raised from the gala will directly benefit the research team behind this proposed clinical trial.

 

“Whitney helped bring awareness to this disease, and it is so rewarding to me that work is progressing so that more young women her age will live to marry, have a family, and be able to see their young children grow up,” Cindy said. “It has given me a purpose to be an advocate for these causes and it’s an honor to be supporting Markey, who we called family and home the last year of her life.”

 

For more information on Bourbon & Jazz for the Cure, visit the Frankfort Country Club website. To make a donation directly to the UK Markey Cancer Center for this or any other research projects, visit the Markey Cancer Foundation and specify where you would like your gift to go under "Tribute."

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit  uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

 

 

New Director Ron Zimmer is Right at Home in UK’s Martin School

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 17:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016) – “I’m at the point in my career where I really want to make a difference in an institution, and I think I can make a difference here at the Martin School. It’s a place I’m really passionate for.”

 

Those words are from University of Kentucky Professor Ron Zimmer, who on July 1, came back ‘home’ to become director of UK’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. You see, Zimmer earned his Ph.D. in public policy at the Martin School, working with the likes of Genia Toma, Merl Hackbart and Ed Jennings, who remain stalwarts among the school’s faculty.

 

“From my experience here being a student, it’s just a special place where the faculty really cares about the students, not only while they’re here but after they leave and take an interest in helping you beyond the classrooms, so I wanted to give back in that way,” Zimmer said.

 

Consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally among public policy programs, UK’s Martin School is in the top 5 for its public finance, financial management and budgeting program. With about 65 to 70 students in its master's degree offerings and 15 to 20 doctoral students at any given time, the Martin School can provide its students the personal touch.

 

The school is also providing new academic offerings. This semester, the Martin School began offering an online, 12-credit-hour, four-course graduate level Certificate of Public Financial Management. The first two classes are being taught this fall and two more will be offered in the spring. Each class in the certificate program is being offered in an eight-week module. 

 

Two of the courses have been developed in partnership with the Von Allmen School of Accountancy, part of UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics, including a course taught by Urton Anderson, the director of the Von Allmen School.

 

Martin School Professor Merl Hackbart, who spearheaded the action to establish the new program, said, "The effective partnership forged by the Martin School and the Von Allmen School of Accountancy has made possible a unique program, which establishes a niche serving an important national need -- the enhancement of financial management processes and procedures of public and nonprofit organizations. The Certificate of Public Financial Management will help individuals enhance their knowledge and career advancement."

 

The Martin School will also soon launch a 36-hour Master of Public Financial Management (MPFM) program as a result of the Council on Postsecondary Education's recent unanimous vote to approve the degree. Also offered completely online, the MPFM will be the school's fourth degree program and will be distinct nationally because of its focus.

 

Another plus for the Certificate of Public Financial Management is that students who complete the 12 hours will be able to transfer that credit to the master's program.

 

"The programs leverage the nationally recognized strength in financial management of the Martin and Von Allmen Schools to train students here in the U.S. and internationally,” Zimmer said.

 

The existing Martin School degree programs are the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Public Policy, and the Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.

 

Among Zimmer’s future goals is to develop undergraduate course offerings.

 

“I think there’s a real need or demand for that type of major and developing those types of skills for undergraduates," he said. "There aren’t many universities across the country, actually, that have undergraduate majors in public policy, so there’s a real opportunity to provide a skill set not many other schools could provide.”

 

Zimmer, who is nationally regarded for his educational policy research, previously served on the faculties of both Michigan State University and Vanderbilt University.

Prior to that, he worked at the Rand Corporation, a highly respected research ‘think tank’ for nine years.

 

The Martin School’s new director wholeheartedly endorses the school’s growing reputation for bringing prominent public figures to the UK campus to engage in dialogue on vital issues of the day.

 

For instance, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will deliver the 2nd Annual Wendell Ford Public Policy Lecture at UK Tuesday, Oct. 18.

 

In an address titled ‘The 2016 Federal Elections: Crisis Point in a Dysfunctional Political System,’ Daschle will comment on anticipated effects of the current federal elections on partisan gridlock, the lost art of compromise and his proposals for improving the political climate. The presentation will begin at 4 p.m. in the new Kincaid Auditorium of the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

 

Daschle currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the Center for American Progress and remains actively engaged in major public policy debates.

 

Following the presentation, Al Cross, former political reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal and director of UK’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, will moderate a conversation with Daschle, joined by Steve Voss, associate professor in UK’s Department of Political Science, and Mike Duncan, former chair of the Republican National Committee.

 

The event is sponsored by the Martin School,  UK, and co-sponsors include the UK Libraries’ Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, the Council of State Governments, the UK College of Communication and Information, and the Gatton College.

 

Admission to this event is free and open to the public. The Kincaid Auditorium in the Gatton College has seating for 500, and people planning to attend are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

 

The lecture is named in honor of the late Wendell Ford, who served as governor of Kentucky before being elected to four consecutive terms in the U.S. Senate. After his retirement from public office, Ford served as a Distinguished Fellow at the Martin School.

 

Last year’s initial Ford Lecture featured Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former editor of Newsweek magazine Jon Meacham as he helped to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 

“The Ford Lecture is fast becoming a signature event for the Martin School and for the University of Kentucky,” Zimmer said. “To hear some of the stories from these individuals who have lived the experience I think is instrumental and really important for students. I am confident that this will be an important, informative, and stimulating program not only for our students, but also for our faculty, staff and members of the greater Kentucky community.”

 

To hear a recent "UK at the Half" interview with Zimmer, click on the play button below.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit  uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; carl.nathe@uky.edu

Groundbreaking Israeli Scholar Visits UK to Learn About New Teaching Practices

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 15:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016) Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija, the first Israeli Arab woman to be appointed an associate professor at an Israeli research university, spent the day recently with Brian Bottge and his Institute of Education Sciences grant team in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky College of Education.

 

Nasser-Abu Alhija is a professor in the Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education at Tel Aviv University, where she heads the Center for Advancement of Teaching. Accompanying Nasser-Abu Alhija was her husband, Adnan Abu Alhija, and Allan Cohen and Hye-Jeong Choi from the University of Georgia.

 

Cohen and Choi are co-principal investigators on Bottge’s four-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) to develop more sophisticated measurement tools for assessing the conceptual understanding and procedural skills of students with disabilities in math. NCSER is one of four centers within the Institute of Education Sciences, which serves as the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

 

The Israeli visitors had read about Enhanced Anchored Instruction (EAI), and they came to UK to learn more about it.

 

“The work being done here is remarkable, and the results so far are very promising, not only in terms of the mathematics achievement but also in terms of the students’ attitudes towards learning mathematics, their self-efficacy regarding doing mathematics, and their motivation to be engaged in mathematics learning,” Nasser-Abu Alhija said seeing several of the EAI units. “Definitely the EAI units could be used in Israel after making some changes so they align with the Israeli contexts.”

 

Bottge’s UK grant team also displayed the new math assessments developed for the Institute of Education Sciences grant and discussed the research designs for evaluating them.

 

Cohen, professor of educational psychology in the quantitative methods program and director of the Georgia Center for Assessment, praised the work on the new assessments as being “truly impressive.” Cohen also noted that “the use of the iPad makes these assessments more accessible to students who have difficulty in math. They have been developed to get at underlying cognitive processes of students so they can show us what they really understand about math concepts. Aligning what and how students learn in class to what and how assessments measure is very important. This information is sure to help teachers get a more accurate picture of their students’ math skills.”

 

Nasser-Abu Alhija was a high school math teacher in Tira, Israel, prior to completing her doctoral degree in educational psychology at the University of Georgia (UGA). During her studies at UGA, she was the research coordinator for the GRE testing program at Educational Testing Service. She became the first Israeli Arab woman appointed to an Israeli research university in 2010, about 30 years after she began her teaching career.

 

The UK grant team consists of Brian Bottge (PI), Xin Ma (Co-PI), Linda Gassaway (project manager), Enrique Rueda (multimedia artist), and Meg Gravil and Megan Jones (research assistants).

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

SGA Offers Spring 2017 Internships in Lexington, Frankfort and Washington D.C.

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 13:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016)  The University of Kentucky Student Government Association (UKSGA) is excited to announce that applications for 2017 spring semester internships in Lexington and Frankfort, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. are now available.

 

Offices currently taking applications are listed below:

· U.S. Sen. Rand Paul;

· U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (Washington, D.C.);

· U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (Lexington Field Office);

· U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5);

· U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-6, Washington, D.C.);

· U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-6, Lexington Field Office); and 

· Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (Frankfort).

 

“Government internships can be beneficial for any student, regardless of major or program of study," said Gammon Fain, director of Government Relations. "Many offices, both legislative and executive, have staff positions relating to political operations, media, finance, management and marketing. You don't have to be a political science student to benefit from these internship opportunities by any means."

 

The interns selected will receive a stipend to help pay for some of the cost of living, working and commuting to the cities. Schedules will be discussed between the intern and their respective offices.

 

Along with the specific office’s application, students must also include the UKSGA Government Internship Program application, a cover letter addressed to the Student Government Selection Committee, and an updated résumé.

 

All application materials are to be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24. Materials must be sealed and mailed or dropped off to the Student Government Office in room 351 of Blazer Dining. Contact Gammon Fain, director of Government Relations, at government@uksga.org or visit http://uksga.org for more information.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-323-2395 

Doug Boyd Wins Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 13:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016) Doug Boyd, director of the University of Kentucky Libraries Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, has won the 2016 Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History for his project “Goin’ North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia.” The American Historical Association (AHA) awards the Rosenzweig Prize each year to an innovative and freely available new media project.

 

Boyd shares the award with partners Charles Hardy III and Janneken Smucker, of the Department of History at West Chester University. The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the AHA’s 131st Annual Meeting in Denver the first of January.

 

“It is most fitting that Dr. Boyd joins his oral history colleagues in receiving this coveted award from AHA,” said Terry Birdwhistell, dean of UK Libraries and William T. Young Endowed Chair. “Dr. Boyd is recognized internationally for his innovative approaches to providing students, scholars and citizens digital access to oral histories.”

 

West Chester University student talks about participating in the "Goin' North" project and working with UK's OHMS technology.

 

“Goin’ North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia” — a collaborative initiative linking archives and the college classroom — draws on a range of digital platforms for students to curate, interpret and share oral history interviews recorded before the advent of digital technologies and the World Wide Web.

 

The project was built around Nunn Center interviews conducted during the 1980s with African Americans who migrated from the American South to Philadelphia during the era of the first Great Migration and black Philadelphians who witnessed their arrival and impact.

 

“We believe 'Goin’ North' is a model for engaging students with oral history, utilizing innovative digital platforms, connecting the archive and the classroom with effective pedagogy, multi-institutional collaboration and the production of a final product that is powerful, professional and useful,” said Doug Boyd.

 

The project engaged 45 students with Nunn Center staff and collections, and features student created Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) Level 3 indexes, each including an audio file synchronized with an exact verbatim transcript, curated segment synopses, keywords drawn from a controlled vocabulary of over 1,600 terms generated by students, images that illustrate the interview content, and GPS coordinates that situate the topics in geographic space. Students also created digital storytelling projects. See www.goinnorth.org.

 

According to the Rosenzweig Prize Committee, “the 'Goin’ North' website, which demonstrates how oral history can be married with digital history, effectively integrates a variety of off-the-shelf digital tools — iMovie, historypin, thinglink and ESRI Story Maps — for the purpose of telling a story.”

 

“In integrating the work of successive cohorts of students, 'Goin’ North' offers a compelling model of how iterative project development can be made part of teaching.”

 

The prize was developed by friends and colleagues of Roy Rosenzweig (1950–2007), the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of History and New Media at George Mason University, to honor his life and work as a pioneer in the field of digital history.

 

The American Historical Association is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies. The AHA provides leadership for the discipline, protects academic freedom, develops professional standards, aids in the pursuit and publication of scholarship, and supplies various services to sustain and enhance the work of its members. As the largest organization of historians in the United States, the AHA is comprised of approximately 13,000 members and serves historians representing every historical period and geographical area. For more information, go to www.historians.org

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Choristers Help Raise Funds for Tates Creek Choirs

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 10:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Choristers will join choirs from Tates Creek High School, directed by UK alumnus Nick Johnson, in concert this week. Also featured will be Blue Note, UK's only mixed a cappella group. The concert will begin 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the sanctuary of Tates Creek Presbyterian Church, located at 3900 Rapid Run Dr. The event is free and open to the public, with free-will offerings being accepted to benefit Tates Creek High School Choirs.

 

The UK Choristers, conducted by Beth Wilson, is the oldest performing organization on campus. Filled with enthusiastic underclassmen and representing a wide variety of majors, the group frequently performs on and off campus. The 60-voice mixed choir specializes in choral repertoire of all periods and styles, both a cappella and accompanied, and also performs a major work each year with the UK Symphony Orchestra. UK Choristers have also been featured with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra in the orchestra's “Unplugged and Untied” Concert Series.

 

For more information about the Choristers, contact William White, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at william.white@uky.edu.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

2 UK Students, Confucius Institute Recognized at National Level

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 10:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016) Two University of Kentucky students received nationwide recognition at Confucius Institute U.S. Center’s inaugural National Honor Gala held Sept. 24.

 

David Cole and Rachel Lietzow, both members of the UK Honors Program, were acknowledged among eight individuals from across the nation with a People to People Exchange Award for creating cross-cultural connections and initiatives between China and the United States.

 

"Never have I found myself surrounded by people who I couldn't verbally understand, but I wholeheartedly felt a connection toward," said Cole, honoree and UK senior majoring in English. A native of Monticello, Kentucky, Cole participated in the UK Confucius Institute 2016 Young Leader’s Trip to China, as part of his Gaines Fellowship.

 

“David is a particularly special case, as his first plane trip ever was the one we took to Shanghai,” said Philip Harling, interim dean of the Lewis Honors College and executive director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities. “He’s grown immensely as a result of his recent travels, and it’s been such a pleasure to see him blossom and extend his already formidable talents.”

 

Though Lietzow, a native of Union, Kentucky, is more familiar with the Chinese language and culture, she also felt blessed by her experiences with the institute and was honored to receive the award.

 

“The Confucius Institute has sent me to wonderful places, where I have returned with unimaginable experiences and memories,” said Lietzow, honoree and UK sophomore and Chellgren Fellow majoring in foreign language international economics with a focus in Chinese. “That night was truly an eye-opener: I realized that I am not alone on my Chinese journey. Along the way, I hope to make my own impact in bridging the Chinese and American people and culture.”

 

"Cultural understanding is key for a successful partnership," said C.D. Mote Jr., president of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and former president of the University of Maryland, who gave a keynote speech at the gala.

 

Mote reportedly told the audience that in order to achieve sustainability of the international Confucius Institute program, they needed to build strong relationships with the Confucius Institute headquarters located in China, Confucius Institutes at each university, and the community. 

 

The Confucius Institute U.S. Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high-quality Chinese language education and introducing Chinese culture for enhancing people to people interaction between China and the U.S.

 

A gateway for Chinese language, culture and art to the people of Kentucky, the UK Confucius Institute provides leadership, support and coordination for Chinese language and programs in K-12 schools as well as on UK's campus; assists and facilitates establishing and maintaining faculty and student exchanges between UK colleges and Chinese universities; conducts Chinese language and cultural exchange; and promotes education about China on campus, across the Bluegrass region, and throughout the Commonwealth. To keep up with UK Confucius Institute and future events, join the institute's litserv and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Snapchat (UKConfucius).

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Who Said Studying Isn’t Relaxing?

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 10:00

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2016) — Are midterms stressing you out? Join Student Activities Board (SAB) and Transformative Learning at the Starbucks in the William T. Young Library tonight at 6 p.m. to kick back and relax at Study Sounds. Midterms can take a toll on students, but there is nothing like a little bit of music and some coffee to clear the mind.  

 

SAB’s Concerts Committee and The Study are combining forces to help students through this stressful week. Students can attend a session held by Transformative Learning and presented by the Media Depot at the room B108C at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. The first 75 to each event will receive a voucher for Starbucks to keep them awake for a long night of studying.

 

“I am really excited to unwind at William T. Young Library with relaxing music and a free cup of Starbucks during the crazy week of midterms,” said Jess Loflin, the director of Concerts. “This year we are also offering students the opportunity to participate in a workshop provided by Transformative Learning that gives them tips and tricks on how to make it through midterms!”

 

SAB brings more than 60 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 www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKSAB, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB/. For more information about SAB and events, email publicrelations@uksab.org.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

SAB CONTACT: Kaelin Massey, publicrelations@uksab.org, 859-257-8868

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-323-2395 

UK Student Discount for NBA Preseason Game at Rupp Arena

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 09:59

LEXINGTON, Ky.  (Oct. 11, 2016) — Lexington's Rupp Arena has announced a special discounted ticket option for University of Kentucky students to an NBA preseason game Saturday, Oct. 15, featuring UK Wildcat Basketball alumni. John Wall and the Washington Wizards will play DeMarcus Cousins, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley Stein and the Sacramento Kings.

 

UK students can get $15 off originally priced $40 tickets, which are located in the lower level end zones, and $10 off originally priced $25 tickets, which are located in the upper level sidelines. Tickets are only available in-person at the Rupp Arena Ticket Office starting at 10 a.m. today, Tuesday, Oct. 11, and will run until tip on Saturday as supplies last. Students must present a valid UK-issued student ID to receive the discounts.
 

UK Announces Establishment of the Heyburn Initiative

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 10:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Dr. Martha K. Heyburn on Monday announced the establishment of a national, nonpartisan federal judicial initiative at the university in honor of the trailblazing U.S. Senior District Judge John G. Heyburn II.

 

The Heyburn Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary, in partnership with the UK College of Law and UK Libraries, will establish an archives and oral history program for Kentucky’s federal judges and a national lecture series on relevant judicial topics. It also will play host to federal judicial conferences.

 

"The John G. Heyburn Initiative for Judicial Excellence is a perfect tribute to my friend," Sen. McConnell said. "John was kind, he was thoughtful, he was principled — and the Heyburn Initiative will remind us that these virtues count both on the bench and in life. Dedicated to the preservation and study of judicial history in Kentucky, I look forward to the Heyburn Initiative becoming an integral part of Kentucky’s judicial community and a national focal point and destination for all students of our legal system."

 

Based on the recommendation of Sen. McConnell, President George H.W. Bush appointed Judge Heyburn to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in 1992. He served as chief judge in the Western District of Kentucky from 2001 to 2008.

 

Heyburn's opinions on same-sex marriage are well known: He struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage and the state’s refusal to honor such marriages from other states, ruling that both violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. He died on April 29, 2015, at age 66 of cancer.

 

Dr. Heyburn, his wife of nearly 39 years, said the initiative seeks to spark a continuing conversation about the rule of law and aid in the constant improvement of the judiciary.

 

"John was determined to make better the legal system he considered 'the envy of the world,'" Dr. Heyburn said. "This initiative will mark his legacy by educating citizens about the American government and democracy itself through the prism of the third branch and by sparking a robust dialogue about our legal system."

 

UK officials said the Heyburn Initiative will be unique in the nation, enhancing the public’s understanding of the third branch and how the three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — interact. UK and the College of Law will establish a lecture series to annually bring speakers to address current issues facing the judiciary. Sen. McConnell announced Monday that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be the first speaker, in early 2017.

 

UK and the College of Law also will work with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the Federal Judicial Center to host conferences and training sessions for the federal judiciary’s judges, administrators and staff. By focusing on timely legal issues and providing seminars of exceptional quality, the Heyburn Initiative will be distinguished as the leading resource to improve the quality of the judiciary. 

 

The initiative will seek to create a complete history of all Kentuckians who serve or have served in the federal judiciary, with archives and oral histories managed by UK Libraries. The material is to be made publicly available online. 

 

No independent or university-based center currently offers these unique components, UK officials said.

 

"The importance of today’s announcement is two-fold," said President Eli Capilouto. "First, the university is proud to honor the legacy of astute jurisprudence and public service left by Judge Heyburn. Indeed, his contributions to legal doctrine ensuring fair and equitable application of the law are renowned and far-reaching. Second, as the home of the new Heyburn Initiative, the University of Kentucky is enhancing and extending its capacity as a place of knowledge, discourse and service. The mission and programs of the Heyburn Initiative going forward will support scholars and jurists for many years to come, building on our role as a public flagship and land-grant research university." 

 

In addition to his well-known opinions on same-sex marriage, Heyburn played a significant role in the Jefferson County Public Schools student assignment plan, ruling that schools cannot use race or gender as the sole factor in determining admittance, but that busing could continue. The case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

An independent advisory board will be created to support the Heyburn Initiative. Funding to support the Heyburn Initiative will be raised and managed by the Community Foundation of Louisville.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue
 

 MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton, jay.blanton@uky.edu, 859-257-6605

 

Strut Your Smile Event Supports Victims During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 08:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 11, 2016) – Smiling is one of the easiest ways to boost your mood and health. Among its many benefits, it helps lower stress by causing endorphins to be released and strengthens the immune system by encouraging the production of white blood cells. Victims of abuse are often robbed of their smiles, unable to afford to replace them.

 

Members of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry are preparing to host the 10th annual Strut Your Smile fundraiser to support their commitment of restoring lost smiles to victims of domestic violence. This event raises thousands of dollars to support care for residents of Lexington’s Greenhouse 17.

 

“Victims of domestic violence living at Greenhouse 17 many times have trauma to their teeth and jaws or may have been victims of neglect, so they are often times in desperate need of dental care. It's an honor to be able to provide this service for no cost to them. With 100 percent of the proceeds from Strut Your Smile we can, many times, offer victims a new smile," said Beth Goebel, UK Dental student and AAWD president.

 

Sponsored by White, Greer and Maggard Orthodontics, Strut Your Smile will be held from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Manchester Music Hall in Lexington. A silent auction will take place featuring over 50 items like UK basketball tickets, Lexington Opera House tickets, UK apparel and signed Lady Antebellum memorabilia. UKCD students, faculty and staff will walk the runway during the evening’s fashion show, featuring pieces by Lululemon, Bluetique, Morton James and more. 

 

The master of ceremonies will be UKCD’s Dr. David Thornton. Live music will be provided by UK DMD students Rebecca Rafla and Nate Reuter and UKCD alumni member Dr. Josh Diamond will serve as DJ. Cash bar and food by Ellos Tacos food truck will also be available.

 

"What I love about the Strut Your Smile event is that it is put on by women to help women. This event, and the dental work we are able to do because of the event, are important. We are lifting women up in their time of need, as well as contributing to their health and future," said Madison Beach, UK dental student and AAWD vice president.

 

Tickets for the event are available at the door for $15 for UK students who present a current UK Wildcat ID Card or any other current student ID at time of purchase, $20 for UK faculty and staff/non-students, and $35 for couples. T-shirts are available for purchase at event. Parking information for the venue is available here.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

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UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

Kreutzer and Smith Named Homecoming Queen, King at UK

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 08:18

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) Willow Kreutzer, daughter of Gigi Kreutzer, of Lake Orion, Michigan, and Patrick Smith Jr., son of Crystal and Patrick Smith Sr., of Belleville, Illinois, were crowned the University of Kentucky Homecoming queen and king during halftime ceremonies at the UK vs. Vanderbilt University homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 8.

 

Kreutzer is a senior, majoring in political science with minors in international relations and gender and women’s studies and a certificate in global studies. She is the founding president of her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and vice president of the political science honors fraternity, Pi Sigma Alpha. She hopes to attend graduate school to continue her studies in international relations and pursue a career in government helping women in developing countries gain more rights. She was nominated by Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

 

Smith is a senior majoring in marketing and business management and was nominated by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. He is involved in leadership with the National Pan-Hellenic Counsel and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and has been honored on regional, provincial and national levels. In the past, he has also been involved with Student Government, the Black Student Union and the National Association of Black Accountants. After graduation, Smith plan on attending law school.

 

Other finalists for queen and king were:

 

·      DeAnna Duffy, daughter of Carolyn and Brian Duffy, is a senior from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, majoring in psychology with a minor in history. She was nominated by the Leadership Exchange.

 

·      Elizabeth Foster, daughter of Winnie and Joe Foster, is a junior from Owensboro, Kentucky, majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics. She was nominated by Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

 

·      Rowan Reid, daughter of Michael and Therese Reid, is a senior from Louisville, majoring in economics and management. She was nominated by Chi Omega sorority.

 

·      Savanah Sellars, daughter of Thom and Melinda Sellars, is a senior from Lexington, majoring in integrated strategic communications with a minor in philosophy. She was nominated by Air Force ROTC - Flying Wildcats.

 

·      Evan Adams, son of Doug and Stephanie Adams, is a senior from Lexington, majoring in psychology. He was nominated by Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

 

·      Tommy Daley, son of Lee and Megan Daley, is a senior from Springboro, Ohio, majoring in biology and philosophy. He was nominated by Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

 

·      Richie Simpson, son of David and Carol Simpson, is a senior from Lexington, majoring in economics. He was nominated by Chi Omega sorority.

 

·      Wit Wang, son of Qi Wang and Miao Li, is a senior from China, majoring in business management. He was nominated by the Leadership Exchange.

 

The winners of the Wildcat Cup were also announced Saturday. Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and STAT Team Wildcat won overall points, which were awarded for attendance, participation and victory at the events that took place throughout the week of Homecoming. The competition was split between three categories: sorority, fraternity and non-Greek.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-323-2395 

NIDA Director Examines Scope of Substance Abuse Research Undertaken at UK

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 16:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) — Multidisciplinary researchers unified by a mission to develop therapies, interventions and evidence-based solutions to substance use disorders delivered snapshots of their work to National Institute on Drug Abuse director Dr. Nora Volkow on Oct. 7.

 

The series of presentations and roundtable discussion concluded Volkow’s two-day tour of Kentucky. Volkow traveled to Kentucky with the purpose of better understanding the gravity of the opioid epidemic and learn about projects underway to resolve the state’s austere substance abuse problems.

 

Researchers from the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR), UK College of Pharmacy, and UK College of Medicine described multiple nationally funded research projects testing alternative therapies for opioid use disorders, training pharmacists to dispense naloxone, investigating opportunities for opioid dependence treatment during hospitalization, and monitoring the spread of disease associated with injection drug use in rural communities.

 

The research showcase exemplified the breadth of expertise, research productivity, and resources at UK dedicated to addressing substance abuse problems. In addition to addressing the opioid epidemic, Volkow and the researchers deliberated on drug-related topics, including smoking and lung disease, cannabis use, and the risks of benzodiazepines in combination with opioids.

 

Volkow, who has served as the NIDA director since 2003, applauded the spectrum of “creative” substance abuse research at the University of Kentucky. She said UK researchers are targeting substance abuse problems flagged as top NIDA priorities. She was especially impressed with the combination of clinical and basic sciences research informing new insights into opportunities to develop evidence-based therapies for addiction.

 

“I was very impressed by the diversity of the research that goes on and also by the subject matters that are being investigated — all of which are priorities for our institute due to the fact that the problems that are being addressed are having devastating consequences, starting from the opioid prescription epidemic that is leading to a massive increase in overdoses and fatalities from overdoses as well as an increase in Hepatitis C that we are observing, as well as a significant increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome,” Volkow said.

 

Dr. Sharon Walsh, director of the CDAR; Lisa Cassis, UK executive vice president for research; and Dr. Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK College of Medicine, accompanied Volkow for the scientific presentations.

 

“Meeting with Dr. Volkow was a golden opportunity to affirm the University of Kentucky’s status as a national force in substance abuse research,” said Walsh, who coordinated the event. “We showed our strength in producing high-quality substance abuse research and our capacity to drive research into implementation in the community. As a fellow scientist, Dr. Volkow is aware of the challenges associated with putting discovery to action. She left Kentucky with a better understanding of the complex public health problems faced by the Commonwealth and the important role of UK researchers, who are making a difference in the communities where substance abuse takes its devastating toll.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

UK to Host Student National Medical Association Conference

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 15:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) – The University of Kentucky College of Medicine chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) will host the 2016 Region X Regional Conference on Oct. 14 and 15.

 

Three current medical students — Elochukwu Ibekwe, president of UK’s SNMA chapter, Fatima Yadudu, vice president, and Cameron Henry, a past SNMA president — worked together to plan and coordinate this year’s meeting. While the planning process has been rewarding, it has also had its challenges, Ibekwe said, “combined with school, the planning process has been a little bit tough but my fellow classmates on the planning committee are very smart, hardworking and dedicated; this has made the planning process run smoother.”

 

Nutrition and food inequality will be the focus of this year’s meeting entitled, “The Seeds of Health: Addressing the Effect of Nutrition Inequality in Minority Communities.” The topic was chosen because nutrition inequality, such as access to fresh foods, and its consequence impact health in underrepresented minority communities.

 

With this in mind, the goal of this conference is to address these issues and come up with possible solutions as a community. The choice of topic was in part due to issues that are facing our Kentucky community, Yadudu said, “As of 2013, the state of Kentucky has been ranked the fifth highest in poverty with 19.4 percent of the state’s population suffering through poverty and food insecurity. We therefore thought it befitting to have that as a theme of our conference.”

 

A unique aspect of the conference is the inclusion of a community service project. Attendees will participate in volunteerism at community gardens around Lexington, including the Seedleaf Community Garden.

 

This year’s meeting is expected to attract current and potential medical students from the University of Louisville, Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, University of Pikeville, Meharry Medical College and other schools within the SNMA’s southern region.

 

Interested students and staff are invited to join the UK College of Medicine at this year’s conference and can RSVP and purchase tickets through Eventbrite.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

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UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

UK Medical Student Works to Improve Access and Understanding of Medicine and Engineering

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 14:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) –  Alex Wade, a third year medical student in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, wanted to give at-risk high school students opportunities they may not have known about and the chance to learn that they have the skills necessary to solve complex medical and surgical problems, even when they’re not taught how up front. 

 

 

To provide these opportunities, Wade founded the Medical Technologies Innovation Team. Students who participate in the program are not given a set format for solving the design problem, they choose their own groups to work in and set their own goals. This non-traditional approach to education creates an opportunity for students, who may not have been successful in traditional settings, to participate in college-level design projects.

 

On Sept. 18, Wade made a presentation at Kentucky State University to discuss how the learning environment provided by the program helped students who were at-risk find success in the classroom and new hope that they too can be high performers in school.

 

The program was inspired by similar work done by Ronald Chi, chief academic officer at Kentucky State University. Chi worked to develop The Learning Center at Linlee, a school that provides alternative education to students who did not have as much success in traditional classrooms. Linlee teaches core subjects like math, English and science, and incorporates other subjects like cooking, hydroponics, music production and robotics. This program is less structured and has the main goal of teaching students to use education to maximize their potential.

 

Wade incorporated many aspects of Linlee into the program he and Chi developed and added the emphasis on medicine. Students who participate in the program have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the minimally invasive surgery lab. They solve medical and surgical problems and present their findings to surgeons at UK. Additionally, participants develop relationships with professionals, which can lead to mentorships, patents, and presentations at scientific conferences.

 

Wade is looking forward to seeing the program continue to grow. Currently, Boone County High School and The Learning Center at Linlee participate. Wade would like to see more high schools and hope to include middle schools and elementary schools soon. He’s also looking forward to a new partnership with Biosystems Engineering, a program within the UK Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture, Food and Environment. Wade also hopes creating a student organization and inviting graduate and professional students to serve as mentors will expand the learning opportunities for participants.

 

Programs like these can have an exponential impact on what’s being taught. The students who participate in the program teach what they’ve learned to their friends who didn’t participate and information is able to reach more people. Wade appreciates the chance to teach future physicians and engineers and hopes students see how the skills they learn can apply to anything they are passionate about even fields outside of STEM.

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

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College of Social Work Hosts 14th Annual Rosenstein Lecture

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 08:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work will celebrate the 14th annual Irma Sarett Rosenstein Distinguished Lecture on "Building Pathways to Success from Youth to Adulthood" at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

 

This year’s lecture will feature Leslie Boissiere, senior fellow at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropy dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. She has focused throughout her career on reforming the public systems that serve vulnerable families, closing youth prisons, and creating economically inclusive and family-supportive communities.

 

Irma Sarett Rosenstein grew up in New York City and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in social work. Rosenstein has always cared deeply about the welfare of children, the most vulnerable population. She was a social worker at the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital and also taught in the UK College of Social Work where she worked closely with the first dean of the college, Ernest Witte. She recognized early on in her career that early intervention was the key to both treatment and prevention for kids in need. Rosenstein brought an ethos of openness and of clarity to community problems. She did not shirk from addressing racism and bigotry. She took on the big issues of her day, and still now her passion for social justice is evident.

 

Rosenstein was the driving force behind the Kentucky Conference on Christians and Jews, now called the Kentucky Conference on Communities and Justice (KCCJ), an organization dedicated to building community and ending bigotry. She hosted one of social work’s most prominent leaders, Whitney Young, at a KCCJ dinner when no public places outside of UK were desegregated.

 

“We are thrilled to have Leslie from the Annie E. Casey Foundation speak to our faculty, staff and students to further advance our work in the state of Kentucky,” said Ann Vail, interim dean of UK College of Social Work.

 

Thanks to a generous gift from Rosenstein and her family in 2002, the College of Social Work has been providing research-based and practice-driven lectures by distinguished national speakers in child welfare.

 

To RSVP for the lecture, contact Leigh Oakley at leigh.oakley@uky.edu or 859-257-6654.

 

To register for continuing education units, contact Christina Gevedon at christina.gevedon@uky.edu.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at ann.blackford@uky.edu or 859-323-6442.

 

National Institutes of Health Directors Join Rogers and Health Leaders to Discuss Scourge of Cancer and Substance Abuse

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 21:44

 

Video by UK Public Relations & Marketing

 

HAZARD, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2016) — U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers along with top leaders from the National Institutes of Health spent Thursday in Hazard discussing and examining efforts to combat high rates of cancer and substance abuse disorders plaguing Kentucky's Appalachian region.

 

Dr. Doug Lowy, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), joined Rogers, leaders and researchers at the University of Kentucky, the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Appalachian Regional Healthcare and medical leaders from across southern and Eastern Kentucky.

 

“We are honored to have these federal leaders like Dr. Volkow and Dr. Lowy join us in the trenches as we examine these health challenges that have plagued our region for so many generations,” said Rogers. “Cancer rates in the region have been something we have been battling for many years and in more recent years this region has become ground zero for the prescription drug abuse epidemic.”

 

As part of the day’s activities, leaders met with Dr. Sam Bailey, oncologist at ARH Cancer Center in Hazard, and Dr. Tim Mullett, professor of surgery and medical director of the Markey Cancer Center Research Network, to discuss some of the particular cancer-related issues in the region.

 

Although rates of screenings for colorectal and lung cancers – two of the most deadly forms of cancer that persist in the region – have increased, there is still work to be done.

“Getting patients to undergo the initial cancer screenings is still the hardest part,” said Dr. Bailey. “These screenings can save a person’s life but it is a challenge often to get people to take that first step that is so vital in detecting cancer early before it has advanced.”

 

As an affiliate of the Markey Cancer Center, the ARH Cancer Center refers patients to Markey that need specialized care as well as for cancer clinical trials. However, Bailey says often getting people to travel to both Lexington to UK and but also to the clinic in Hazard can be a barrier due to costs associated with gasoline and other transportation-related expenses.

 

“We have been proactive in raising money to provide gas cards to patients for them to use to get here to Hazard for their treatment or to UK and we’ve found for some patients it really makes a difference in whether or not they are able to get the care they need,” said Hollie Harris Phillips, vice president of corporate strategy at ARH.

 

Overall, in trying to reduce the factors that cause cancer, there are no short-term solutions. “What I do know is that to make strides we have to do it all -- clinical care, education, healthier food options and promoting more exercise,” said Mullett. “Things are better now than they were 30 years ago in terms of engagement but things are worse than they were 30 years ago because of the consequences of obesity and lifestyle issues.”

 

Despite the challenges that remain, Lowy commended local health leaders in their efforts to confront the issues impacting their community.

 

“To see the way you have marshalled your resources in a multi-pronged way to seek answers to the issue of cancer as well as the very difficult situation occurring with the severe problem of prescription drug addiction is impressive,” said Lowy. “I applaud you for not just focusing on one problem. You really are a community that has come together to try to deal with the multifaceted nature of health and health problems in your community.”

 

Also part of the day’s activities was a roundtable discussion on the prescription drug epidemic in the region.

 

Participants in the discussion included Dr. Michelle Staton-Tindall from the UK Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, Nancy Hale from Operation UNITE, Tim Robinson from Addiction Recovery Care, and a former drug addict who shared her story of prescription drug abuse and her recovery.

 

“I cannot tell you how valuable this day has been to me because it gives me a perspective that you can’t get by reading journals or through scientific meetings,” said Dr. Volkow. “I hope we can continue this relationship and continue the discussion on how to battle this epidemic together.”

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, kristi.lopez@uky.edu

 

 

'UK at the Half' Hits Highlights of Homecoming

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 15:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2016)  University of Kentucky Homecoming 2016 was the topic of the "UK at the Half" that aired during the UK vs. University of Alabama football game, broadcast on radio Oct. 1. 

 

UK National Alumni Association President Peggy Meszaros and UK student Katie Sterling of Kenton County were the guests. Sterling is president of two student groups involved with the Alumni Association — Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow and Team Wildcat.  

 

"UK at the Half" airs during the halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.

 

To hear the Oct. 1 "UK at the Half," click on the play button below. To view a transcript of the show, click here.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

UK to Host Kentucky Hunger Dialogue on Nov. 12

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 15:31

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Oct. 11, 2016)  Food insecurity affects 17 percent of Kentuckians. The University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Campus Compact will host The Kentucky Hunger Dialogue to raise awareness about this issue and to develop action plans for a healthier Kentucky.

 

The dialogue will be Nov. 12 at UK and will provide college students, anti-hunger advocates, community leaders and food justice advocates the opportunity to share ideas and create a vision to improve food security throughout the state.

 

“While 700,000 Kentuckians experience hunger, one in three adults is obese. Nearly 58 percent of hungry households have a member with high blood pressure and 33 percent have a member with diabetes,” said Amanda Hege, event organizer and director of community outreach in the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “This paradoxical situation occurs due to limited access to affordable, diverse and healthful food.”

 

During the event, participants will hear from several speakers including UK President Eli Capilouto and Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Foodbanks. Colmon Elridge, executive assistant and senior adviser to former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, will be the keynote speaker. Elridge will share his personal story of growing up in homelessness and poverty and the power of education and opportunity.

 

Registration is open for the conference and interested individuals can purchase tickets on the event’s website at www.kyhungerdialogue.com. Tickets are $15 for students and $30 for the public if purchased by Oct. 21. After that date, tickets will be $20 for students and $35 for the public. 

 

The Kentucky Hunger Dialogue is a part of UK’s efforts in the Universities Fighting World Hunger and Presidents United to Stop Hunger initiatives.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774; katie.pratt@uky.edu

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Previews Forum on Race and Policing in the U.S.

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 14:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2016) 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 previews an upcoming forum titled "Black and Blue: Critical Issues on Race and Policing in the U.S." Guests Christia Spears Brown, psychology professor, and Mark Peffley, political science professor, discuss the forum that will be held Oct. 14.

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-forum-examine-race-and-policing.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

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