Campus News

Lead UK Conference Applications Now Available

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015)  The fourth annual Lead UK Conference is coming up soon. This year, Lead UK will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.  Applications for this year's conference are now available.


Lead UK is a conference for University of Kentucky students who want to expand their leadership skills through workshop-style forums and intellectual speakers. This event is hosted by the Leadership Exchange in the Office of Student Involvement. The conference will include dynamic speakers from the Lexington community and fun breakout sessions from a wide selection of speakers from the University of Kentucky’s campus, the Lexington community, and the region.


This year’s theme is The Quest for Excellence and will include nautical themes throughout the conference. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


"I got so much information and guidance from the sessions I attended and left more inspired to take on leadership roles and become more of a servant leader," said UK student and Lead UK 2014 attendee Austin Horn.  "Overall, attending this conference was probably one of the best things I have ever done, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to become more involved or if they want to be a strong, cooperative leader.”


Applications are now available and can be completed either on OrgSync or via the link (


For more information, contact Tori Amason, program director for Leadership Education, at




MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;

UK Theatre Alum Making Kentucky History on Stage With 'BrownGirl. Bluegrass.'

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 15:14



Trailer for "BrownGirl.Bluegrass."


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — From the work on the stage to her return to Lexington, University of Kentucky theatre alumna Lacresha Berry is making history.


Berry, a Lexington native, is set to bring her show, "BrownGirl. Bluegrass.," back to her hometown for the fifth anniversary of the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center Oct. 6-7. The production is an autobiographical story that examines the cultural history of African Americans in Kentucky, honoring the work of her ancestors whose lives parallel her own, and a perfect fit for the city landmark.


"Before I left, the Lyric was still untouched. Its doors had been closed for years. I had only heard stories about its legacy. So, celebrating its fifth year after being revitalized makes me feel like I’m part of the legacy. It only makes sense that I come back to the Lyric because it's rooted in African-American history just like my play," Berry said.


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is a one-woman show with seven original songs evoking ideas of womanhood, family, love and race while pushing universal themes and intergenerational messages in each piece of poetry, prose and song. Through her work Berry blends the perspectives of her own childhood via Kentucky geography and personal events while honoring the work of important ancestors. Her take on the culture, geography and the history of Kentucky is poignant, didactic and enlightening as audiences see the historical figures of the past come to life with ancestral music as a soundtrack behind the powerful stories.


The passing of Berry's father in 2010, spurred the creative energy behind "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." The loss of her father made the playwright realize how much of her personal family history she didn't know. Inspired by the play "Affrilachia," she began to pen poems that talked about family history.


"I didn’t know it back then, that I, too, would be creating and performing monologues, poetry and music about my family and Kentucky’s forgotten ancestors."


A few years later, Berry would take her research further looking at integral individuals in Lexington's history. In 2013, she came home for a week to do research and to talk out her ideas for the show. She had written two songs already and took those to create the vibes of the play. With her idea in hand, she sat down in UK's Breckenridge Hall with poet Frank X Walker, now a professor of English at UK, and civil rights leader Chester Grundy, currently an administrator at UK College of Medicine, who then guided her on where to look, what to listen to, and who to talk to in finding local history resources.


"I was sent to Reinette Jones, an oral historian and African-American studies liaison at UK Libraries," Berry said. "We sat down for an hour or so searching for individuals from Kentucky who mirrored my experience as a woman of color in Kentucky. From there, I searched archives, books and websites scouring people and stories to add to the future show."


The individuals Berry chose to portray include jockey Oliver Lewis, who won the first Kentucky Derby; education advocate Lucy Harth Smith; and voting rights activist Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin. She selected them because they inspired her and reminded her of her family.


"I turn into two Kentucky women and two Kentucky men. I found people whose voices were similar to mine. Throughout my years in school in Lexington, I never learned of anyone who looked like me in the history books. So, finding historical figures whose lives looked like mine made me realize that I’m not alone or crazy because what I’m doing or have done, has been done before," Berry said.


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." premiered in New York City at Harlem's Dwyer Cultural Center in 2014. This year the production has been staged three times in New York at the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival at Roy Arias Studios, the Gallatin Arts Festival at New York University (NYU) as part of the "#BlackLivesMatter Series Finale," and Dixon Place. It debuted in Washington D.C. this summer, at the DC Black Theater Festival and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.


Rounding out the crew for "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is director and UK journalism graduate Shauna Horn, who Berry worked with in college, and composer David Cohn. For the Lexington performances, Berry's musical accompaniment will be provided by Jami Schumake-Young on piano, Jewan Clay on guitar and Marcus Wilkerson on handdrums.


Berry is excited to take audiences on this journey. She hopes after taking in the production they will feel a longing to know who they are.


"Identity is such a hot topic in the news right now," she said. "Once I embraced myself, stories came out of my body freely. My heart was open to give and receive. I think this Chief Seattle quote sums up best what it means to know who you are: 'When your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will. No cold can touch your heart, no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive.'"


A 1997 graduate of Tates Creek High School, Berry chose UK for her undergraduate studies as a first generation college student who wanted to stay close to home. Her first experiences on campus as a child had only solidified that choice.


"My mother used to go to UK’s libraries all the time researching and reading so many books — I just became hooked to the campus. I even worked as a teenager during the summers in the dorms. All the workers treated me wonderfully. I definitely knew UK would be an affordable and exciting experience. The access to great academic facilities would be at my disposal, plus I am a huge UK basketball fan. It was only right that I chose UK. It was definitely an awesome experience," said the playwright.


Once she became a Wildcat, Berry would find a second family at UK's Department of Theatre (now the Department of Theatre and Dance).


"Nelson Fields was the first professor that made me feel at home — like, I was his daughter. He was firm with me because he saw something in me and he never let me give up. I shed lots of tears in his office when there were classes or projects I struggled with. He helped me find my costume design eye and urged me to apply to graduate school at NYU’s costume design department. On the performance side, Nancy Jones helped me to experiment with my body and voice. I bruised myself so many times just being totally committed to the characters I created in her classes. Bill Caise (a former theater faculty member and UK graduate) helped me to take risks and discover my creative writing," Berry said.


At UK, Berry's creative talents began to shine both on and off stage. She served as stage manager for UK Theatre's production of "Affrilachia," was a costume designer for "The Colored Museum" and "El Mundo de Los Suenos" and starred as Rosa Parks in "Buses." Berry also wrote two one-woman shows during her time in college.


"I gained so much knowledge in performing, designing and building sets that I was ready to take on the theatrical world. UK theatre department was small, but that made us more like a family. I loved my classmates and classes because I was allowed to be myself." 


After graduating from UK in 2003, Berry attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied costume design. She believes the combination more than prepared her for a career in the arts.


"UK gave me the fundamentals of theater. I delved into nearly every discipline. I built sets and worked in the costume shop for two years. I directed a few plays and wrote a few as well. I starred in my own shows and in the department produced shows. I graduated with a well-rounded foundation for theater. Tisch helped me to focus, get serious, and hone my design eye and skills. Even though I didn’t graduate from Tisch, the competitive nature never left me. Being in New York City, everyone is acting, singing, directing and designing, so I had to really buckle down and create a niche for myself that made sense. Tisch taught me that life after undergrad is no game."


A teacher, naturalista, playwright and singer/songwriter, Berry currently works as the musical director for BK Nation, a movement of people from all backgrounds that sparks projects and campaigns, led by the people, for the people. As part of BK Nation, she curates quarterly live music and culture sessions throughout New York City. Berry recently released her album, "Daddy's Girl" on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.


A creative success story, Berry suggests students wanting to follow in her footsteps put in the hours and learn to believe in themselves.


"I’d say to those students, practice makes progress. If you don’t practice, you won’t improve. If you don’t improve, you won’t get hired. You must hone your skills — period," Berry said. "Taking a class in undergrad is just the beginning. Develop a voice that is unique to your experience and go for it. Belief is a huge part of the success of any project. Believe in the work you’re doing and the positive energy will start to start to attract the right people and situations."


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." will make its Lexington debut at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 6 and 7, at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Both shows are free and open to the public. To reserve tickets, call the Lyric Box Office at 859-280-2218.


A day before the production is staged, the playwright will participate in a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at Blue Stallion Brewing Co.


The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center was a thriving entertainment centerpiece for Lexington's African-American families from 1948 to 1963. Before its closing, numerous small black-owned businesses were launched in and around the theatre as well. The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center was reopened in October 2010 in an effort to preserve, promote and celebrate diverse cultures and community inclusion with a special emphasis on the African-American experience.


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



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


UK Trumpet Student Tours World With NCPA Orchestra

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 14:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — Rui Li, a doctoral student in trumpet performance at the University of Kentucky School of Music, now finds himself traveling the world as a full-time member of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Orchestra. Located in Beijing, China, NCPA Orchestra is considered one of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras.


The NCPA Orchestra tours internationally and hosts many of the world’s greatest conductors, soloists and guest artists. Their home venue is China’s prestigious NCPA, which is more colloquially known as "The Giant Egg."


At present, Li is touring Italy with the NCPA Orchestra. This tour will include performances in Milan, Turin, Palma, Florence and Genoa. The orchestra will be premiering a new Chinese opera, "Il Ragazzo del Risciò," and also performing many impressive and difficult masterworks, including Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 5, Igor Stravinsky’s "Soldier's Tale," as well as a new opera "Dawn Quiet."


In the last year, the NCPA Orchestra toured Guangzhou, performed Giuseppe Verdi’s "Aida" with guest conductor Zubin Mehta, and performed Richard Strauss’s "Alpine Symphony" with guest conductor Antoni Wit, a Polish conductor who serves as music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.


Li won the trumpet position with the NCPA Orchestra in January 2015 after highly competitive international auditions were held in North America and Asia. Prior to his permanent appointment, he was a visiting/guest musician with NCPA Orchestra for several months in late 2014.


In addition to his work with the NCPA Orchestra, Li was recently invited by Valery Gergiev to serve as tutti trumpet for the China-Russia Union Symphony Orchestra.

As a teaching assistant at UK, Li taught many classes and founded/held a leadership role with FreeK, the UK Free Improvisation Ensemble, which performed at the 2014 International Society for Improvised Music Conference in New York City. He also taught applied trumpet lessons, including serving as a temporary trumpet instructor during the 2012-2013 academic year during the national search for a permanent teacher.


When Li completes his Doctor of Musical Arts in trumpet performance at UK, it is believed he will be the first Chinese citizen to complete a doctoral degree on a brass instrument.


At UK, Li studies trumpet with Jason Dovel, assistant professor of trumpet, and his dissertation chair is David Elliott, associate professor of French horn. While at the university, he also studied with former faculty members Vince DiMartino and Mark Clodfelter.


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



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

Four UK Professors Named SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 13:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — Four faculty members at the University of Kentucky have been selected as 2015-2016 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows, the SEC announced Wednesday.


Fellows selected from UK are:


  • David Puleo, professor and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering


A total of 50 faculty members and administrators from Southeastern Conference universities were selected.


The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) is a professional development program that seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has two components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own participants and two, three-day, SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants.


This year’s workshops will be Oct. 5-7 at the University of Arkansas and Feb. 24-26, 2016, at the University of Mississippi.


“The individuals selected by their SEC universities to participate in the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program represent the future of higher education administration,” said Torie Johnson, SECU executive director. “The leadership skills they already possess are sure to be enhanced by the SEC ALDP experience.”


Since its creation in 2008, more than 270 faculty and academic administrators have completed the SEC ALDP, and program alumni have become deans and provosts, among other senior-level positions, at universities around the SEC and country. 


The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program is a part of SECU, the academic initiative of the SEC. SECU actively highlights the endeavors and achievements of the students and faculty of the conference’s 14 member universities.


To view the full list of fellows, visit  




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

With Tent City on Campus, University Urges Respectful Behavior

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — As University of Kentucky basketball fans gather in tents on the UK campus awaiting Friday's distribution of Big Blue Madness tickets, the university wants to welcome these fans and remind them of campus policies and practices.  Following is a statement from the university to "Tent City" fans.


The University of Kentucky appreciates your ongoing support of our Wildcat athletic teams! As a University, we hope you will support all our Wildcats while you are on campus, including students, employees and other visitors.


UK Athletics has also provided locations and guidelines for campers. Please know that university policies and regulations will be enforced.  UK is a tobacco-free campus, therefore no tobacco products and no electronic cigarettes can be used on university property.  Also, you cannot be in possession of alcohol or firearms on UK property. Furthermore, everyone on our campus — students, faculty, staff, and visitors — has a right to an environment free of discrimination and harassment. Campers and members of our campus community are expected to display respect for each other at all times.


To report inappropriate behavior, call UK Police at 257-8573 or #UKPD from any cell phone.


If visitors on campus for Big Blue Madness tickets are identified as participating in inappropriate behavior in violation of university expectations, those violators may be required to leave their position in line and lose access to tickets. Please help us maintain a respectful and policy abiding environment as we enjoy the special atmosphere that can only be found with Big Blue Nation!


For more information on events associated with Tent City, visit the UK Athletics website at



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155

VIDEO: All 7 Siblings From Carter County Family Call UK Their Alma Mater

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 17:06



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — A lot of Wildcat fans like to say they bleed blue.  But the Davis Family might add some serious competition to that claim.


That’s because all seven out of seven siblings, who were all born in Carter County, graduated from the University of Kentucky between between 1970 and 1982!


First came Gene, who graduated in 1970 after studying mechanical engineering. Then Barbara, who majored in elementary education, finished up in 1974.  That very next year Mary earned her degree after studying business administration.  Sharon followed shortly thereafter in 1977, completing her Bachelor of Science in nursing while Janet earned her degree in Horticulture in 1978,  Two years later, Chuck graduated with his degree in mechanical engineering.  Finally, the baby of the family, Jerry, graduated in 1982 after studying forestry.


This summer five of the seven siblings returned to campus and sat down with UKNow for a video interview.  They explained how each one of them went on to use their degrees in Lexington, across the Commonwealth, and throughout the United States.


“UK provided a good opportunity for us," said Jerry Davis, who currently serves as a research statistician for the University of Georgia.  “We were eligible for financial resources, and we made the most out of our educational experience.”


His sister, Janet (Davis) White, who is a retired science and horticulture teacher in Western Kentucky, added, “We make sure he has a University of Kentucky flag in his yard even though he lives in Georgia!”


They also make sure Mary Davis-Barton, who lives in Virginia, shows her blue spirit.  “I spent most of my career as marketing director for Virginia wines," Davis-Barton said. “I’m retired now and volunteer with the American Red Cross.”


Her sister, Barbara (Davis) Stacy, is now retired, too, after a long career as a reading specialist with the Scott County public schools. 


Sharon (Davis) Wilham also lives in Lexington.  In fact, she never left the UK campus!


“I've worked at UK since 1976 at the hospital,” Wilham said.  “I started working when I was a junior in college, and now I’m a neo-natal intensive care nurse and lactation consultant for UK HealthCare.”


Their oldest brother Gene, who lives in Seattle, is a retired pilot with United Airlines, while their other brother Chuck is an engineer and project manager for federal contract work in Kansas.


They attribute their educational and professional success to their parents.  Though their mother, Carolyn Davis lives in Lexington today, she worked as a teacher at  Star Elementary School in Carter County.


“She set the bar pretty high because she went back to school her herself,” Wilham said.  “When she started teaching, you had a two year certificate. She had all us kids and went back to college and finished her degree. So she would go to school during the summer, teach during the winter and took care of all of us. She is a pretty amazing woman and she set the bar very high for all of us.”


Their father, Edward Davis, who passed away in 1980, was also strict about making sure they put school first.  


“You always had to do your homework first,” said Barbara (Davis) Stacy.  “On Sunday evening before you watched 'Walt Disney,' you had to have all your homework done!”


Watch the video above to discover what it was like attending the University of Kentucky with so many siblings and what it means to this tight-knit family today.   


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


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


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



UK College of Public Health Granted $1.2 Million to Launch Systems for Action Program

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 16:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Public Health received a $1.2 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to lead a new national research program focused on improving the delivery of health and social services. The award will support the initial year of the multi-year Systems for Action (S4A) research program, which will test methods for coordinating nation’s complex and fragmented systems for medical care, public health and social services.


The S4A program will study the delivery and financing systems for a broad range of services and supports that are fundamental to health and wellbeing, such as medical care, transportation, housing, nutrition and child care. The program will support studies based at the University of Kentucky and at collaborating centers across the United States.


“Keeping an entire community healthy and productive requires a bundle of interrelated services and supports, but unfortunately we tend to pay for and deliver them piecemeal, which can be ineffective or even counterproductive,” Glen Mays, director of the new center and Scutchfield Endowed Professor of Health Services and Systems Research in the College of Public Health, said. “Through S4A, we will discover how to align services and systems in ways that can improve health and reduce disparities across the country, and maybe even save some money.”


A UK College of Public Health team with extensive experience managing RWJF’s previous National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research joins Mays in directing the program.


“We have been privileged to spend the last several years working with researchers across the U.S. who are passionate about optimizing the public health system to improve population health,” Anna Hoover, S4A center co-director, said. “We are thrilled to expand that lens and facilitate multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral research that can improve quality, efficiency and equity in service delivery.”


A new partnership with the UK Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR), housed in the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, enhances the team’s expertise. This academic research center studies the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, along with the programs and policies designed to solve these problems. According to director James Ziliak, poverty and poor health are linked, so the delivery and financing systems that target these problems need to be connected in productive ways.


S4A is one of three new RWJF research programs the foundation’s vision to work with others to build evidence for a national Culture of Health in which everyone has the opportunity to live their healthiest life possible.


Evidence for Action, housed at the University of California, San Francisco, is an investigator-initiated research program designed to support high-impact, action-oriented research. Policies for Action, housed at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, will explore how policies, laws and other regulatory tools can support RWJF’s mission to build a Culture of Health as they are put into practice in both the public and private sectors.


For more information, click here


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,




UK Women's Soccer Again Earns NSCAA Academic Award

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team received the national “Team Academic Award” from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for the 2014-15 year, with a team GPA of 3.37.  This award honors teams that have received a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.


The Wildcats have earned this award for seven consecutive seasons, receiving it every year under head coach Jon Lipsitz, who is currently in his seventh season at Kentucky.


The Wildcats are currently 9-2-1 on the year and will continue SEC play this coming weekend in Gainesville, Florida, against the No. 12 Florida Gators. The match will be shown live on the SEC Network+, WatchESPN and ESPN3.


For the latest on the Kentucky women’s soccer team, follow @UKWomensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at




MEDIA CONTACTS: Emily Brown, 859-257-3838; Chris Shoals, 513-312-2489.

UK Animal and Food Sciences Names Distinguished Alumnus, Hall of Fame Inductee

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 16:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences is recognizing two individuals who have been big supporters of Kentucky animal agriculture for decades.


David Switzer is the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus. Switzer, a 1967 graduate of the college, has been associated with the Thoroughbred industry for more than 50 years, working in both racing and breeding. For 21 years, he was the executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. He retired in 2014 and soon after began serving as a lobbyist for Keeneland Association and the KTA, where he continues to advocate for agriculture.


“Many people may not know that David serves agriculture beyond the horse industry,” said Richard Coffey, UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences department chair. “He recognizes that everyone in agriculture must be united to keep the rural quality of the Bluegrass. He’s served on many task forces to promote all agriculture in the region. David also continually supports the college’s mission in many ways. He is a prominent industry stakeholder who also understands the university world.”


Over the years, Swizer has advocated for issues that affect the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He was a lead supporter of the capital project for the expansion of the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, serving on its initial industry advisory planning committee and its present day industry advisory committee. He joined with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Bureau and other key agricultural organizations to secure funding for the center and was instrumental in the project finally gaining full approval in 2008. This was key to the college, as the UK VDL has the highest equine necropsy caseload in the world, and one of the top five in cattle.


Switzer received the Friend of the UK Equine Initiative Award in 2006 and was inducted into the UK CAFE Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2012, the highest award the college bestows.


Gary T. Lane is the 2015 UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Hall of Fame inductee. After growing up on a dairy and row crop farm in Central Kentucky, Lane graduated from Lindsey Wilson Jr. College in Columbia in 1961 and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Berea College in 1963. He then earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from Purdue University before joining the faculty at Texas A&M University. During his tenure at TAMU, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in animal nutrition, dairy science and dairy production.


In 1977, Lane came to UK to fill the role of dairy extension specialist. During his tenure at UK, he served as dairy section leader and overall extension leader for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. Lane left UK in 1986 to become a nutritionist and director of technical service at Burkmann Feeds in Danville. At the time, the company was small and had one mill and one company store in Central Kentucky. During his 20 years of service, Lane helped the company grow to nine feed mills and five company stores. Today Burkmann Feeds sells feed throughout most of Kentucky and has expanded to Tennessee. He retired in 2006 but continues to work part time.


“Gary has served the animal science profession in many ways and has been a powerful leader, teacher and manager,” Coffey said. “Any organization he’s been a part of has grown or become more secure and meaningful. He’s been a friend to the college and to agriculture for decades.”


He has been involved in a number of other national and state activities, including the organization of the North American Livestock Exposition dairy judging contest and participation on state and local livestock teams to promote animal agriculture in Kentucky. Lane was instrumental in the formation of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council in 2005, consisting of dairy producers and allied industry members.


Switzer and Lane will be recognized at the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Reunion at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in the Roundup Tent near the E.S. Good Barn, Lexington campus. Organizers welcome anyone who graduated or has a connection to the department to attend with their families for $10 per person. For more information, visit the Ag Roundup website




MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707


Walk, Run, Bike, Explore Proposed Town Branch Water Walk

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 15:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — A little fresh air, a little exercise, a little information — it all comes together Oct. 11 in Fayette County at the second of this year’s 2nd Sunday Lexington events. Young and old, families and individuals are invited to gather that afternoon to follow a dedicated cycle and walking track to explore the path for the proposed Town Branch Water Walk.


There are two remaining livableLex 2nd Sunday Town Branch Water Walks in Lexington left: Oct. 11 and Nov. 8, both from 2 to 5 p.m. ET. The walk begins at the corner of Vine and Limestone streets and concludes at Charles Young Park on Midland Avenue. Community partners will present fun family activities, food and music. Exhibits and listening stations will provide information about Town Branch, Lexington’s hidden waterway. Participants can also take part in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes.


This is the eighth year for 2nd Sunday, a community-based University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension program designed to increase physical activity and improve access to safe places to do so. It allows people to explore local opportunities for physical activity and improving health. With Kentucky ranking sixth in the nation for its obesity rate and only 12 percent of its adults achieving at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, family and consumer science extension agents around the state conceived the program as a way to combat those statistics.


Town Branch Creek, buried for more than 100 years, still flows beneath downtown Lexington. In 1775, settlers traveling along Elkhorn Creek’s middle branch, now known as Town Branch, discovered spring water. In time, that source of fresh water became the source of a young town, Lexington.


The Town Branch Water Walk was created by SCAPE Landscape Architecture PLLC, MTWTF, the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, Peach Technology and the UK Landscape Architecture Program, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, in collaboration with Bluegrass Greensource, the Fayette Alliance, Town Branch Trail, Lord Aeck Sargent, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Fayette County Cooperative Extension, Downtown Lexington Corporation, the UK College of Design and the YMCA.


For more information about 2nd Sunday Town Branch Water Walks, visit or call Fayette County family and consumer sciences agent Diana Doggett, 859-396-0579.




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

Dutch named American Society of Virology President-Elect

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 15:31
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Medicine Professor Rebecca Dutch has been named President-Elect for the American Society for Virology (ASV).


The American Society of Virology, comprised of over 3,000 members from around the globe, was founded in 1981 to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration for investigators of human, animal, insect, plant, fungal and bacterial viruses. ASV sponsors a large annual meeting, promotes communication about virology research to the broader community, and represents virologists on national and international scientific councils. Dutch will serve as the ASV president-elect for 2015-2016 and ASV president from 2016-2017. 


Dutch is a professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and associate dean of Biomedical Education in the UK College of Medicine. She was named a UK University Research Professor for 2015-2016. 


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

UK Opera Theatre Opens Season With Beloved Classic, 'South Pacific'

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 15:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre will open its 2015-16 season with the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II multi-Tony Award-winning musical, "South Pacific," running Oct. 8-11, at the Lexington Opera House.


"South Pacific" is based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Tales of the South Pacific," which sends a strong progressive message about racism through the power of love. Considered among the 20th century's greatest musicals, the 1949 production won 10 Tony Awards and inspired the 1958 film adaptation and several successful revivals.


The curtain rises 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 8-10, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, at the Lexington Opera House. "South Pacific" tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or in person at the Lexington Center.


The UK School of Music at 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 music theory.



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

Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky Announces 2015 Participants

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 14:51


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — Eight community leaders have been selected to participate in the second annual Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK). The program empowers community leaders and organizations to reduce health disparities, leverage funding, and use data to improve services and programs.


CLIK participants are selected through a competitive evaluation based on proposals for "real world" project that build organizational and community capacity. Over the course of four weeks, they receive training in grant writing, utilizing public data sets, ensuring evidence-based practices, survey development and assessment, community health needs, budgeting, and evaluation. Their organizations also receive a $2,500 grant and ongoing technical support for their CLIK projects. The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, the Kentucky Office of Rural Health and the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Community Engagement and Research Program jointly offer the program. 



The 2015 CLIK participants, organizations and projects include:


  • Shannon Adams, Kentucky Rural Health Information Technology: Project Affecting Care Transitions 
  • Jill Conway, Hospice of the Bluegrass: Med Order Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form Advanced Planning Education
  • Emily Cornett, Discover Downtown Middlesboro: Analyzing the Impact of Trail Usage on Impacting Health Outcomes in Middlesboro
  • Ashley Harkins, Kentucky River District Health Department: Stick it to Diabetes
  • Brittany Martin, Big Sandy Healthcare, Inc.: Community Coordinated Diabetes Screening and Outreach Project in Martin County
  • Sarah Osborne, Leslie County Schools: Get Fit Academy
  • Kelli Thompson, Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative: Ensuring Growth is Our Business
  • Holly West, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital: Using the Social Influences Resistance Model to improve youth tobacco and substance-abuse prevention and control: Is it effective?


Read about a 2014 CLIK participant, Stephen Richardson, whose project addressed childhood dental health by bringing tooth brushing into Knott County classrooms.


For more information about CLIK, contact Beth Bowling at or (606) 439-3557 ext. 83545. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

Explore Leadership Workshops Available for Fall 2015

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 14:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015)  Students wishing to grow as leaders and take on greater leadership roles and responsibility on campus are encouraged to participate in Explore Leadership Workshops.


Explore Workshops are interactive workshops that consist of leadership topics focused on personal development and individual leadership training.  Workshops will occur every other Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m. in White Hall Classroom Building Room 204.  A complimentary dinner will be served at each workshop.


Topics remaining for the Fall 2015 semester include the following:


•   Oct. 13: Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

◦       Presented by Leadership Exchange Ambassadors & Student Wellness Ambassadors

•   Oct. 27: Conflict Management: How to Constructively Resolve Conflict

◦       Presented by the Leadership Exchange Ambassadors

•   Nov. 10: Budgeting & Job/Internship Opportunities for Students

◦       Guest Speaker

•   Dec. 1: How to Market Yourself 

◦       Guest Speaker


Students are welcome to sign up for workshops individually or may attend all workshops offered.  Those who attend four out of the seven workshops offered (three were already held in September) will be entered to win a $50 prize added to your Plus Account as well as an exclusive Leadership Exchange Padfolio!


For more information and to register, visit  For questions, please contact Chris Arnold at


MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;

UK Renames Outreach Center for Director Donald Frazier

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 14:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) – University of Kentucky Professor Emeritus Donald Frazier has had a lifelong passion for teaching and getting young students interested in the health and science world. On Friday, Sept. 25, he was honored for his dedication when UK announced that the UK Outreach Center for Science and Health Opportunities would be renamed after him.


The newly named Donald T. Frazier Science Outreach Center is a tribute to all the work Frazier has done for the center, for students across Kentucky, and for faculty and staff working in research at UK. Since his retirement from teaching at UK, Frazier has served as director for the Outreach Center, where he continues to give demonstrations on the human body using real-life equipment and even human organs and tissues.


Frazier also traveled all around the state of Kentucky to educate kids at their own schools. As a Floyd County native, he originally focused his efforts in Eastern Kentucky. In 1995, he received a grant that allowed him to purchase a truck that served as a miniature Outreach Center on wheels, expanding his ability to travel elsewhere in the state. Unfortunately, in 2014 this project was retired due to budget cuts.


Through his work, he was able to educate thousands of Kentucky kids about science and introduce young people to health related fields. With his high-energy personality and lively demonstrations, he was able to get even the quietest students to discuss their ideas. 


"Dr. Frazier is an inspiration to us all in his dedication to promoting science education and health care careers amongst our youth," said Lisa Cassis, vice president for research at the University of Kentucky. "It was an honor to participate in the re-naming of the Center to the Donald T. Frazier Science Outreach Center.  We hope that this important Center will continue to spark interest in science education and research careers across the Commonwealth."


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

Gatton College Hosts NBA's Sacramento Kings Owner Vivek Ranadive'

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 17:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — In an exciting way to inaugurate the brand new Kincaid Auditorium in the University of Kentucky's new Gatton College of Business and Economics building, the owner of the NBA's Sacramento Kings and software entrepreneur Vivek Ranadivé recently addressed more than 250 students Sept. 14.


Ranadivé founded Teknekron Software Systems and TIBCO Software, Inc. His TIB (The Information Bus) data system was deployed as the first platform for Wall Street trading technology. His software reinvented the way Wall Street and other global marketplaces operate, and is used by numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Ebay, FedEx, Amazon and many more. He is also a New York Times best-selling author of three books, and is one of the subjects of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, "David and Goliath."  


Born in India, Ranadivé was accepted to MIT, and arrived in Boston as a teenager with $50 in his pocket. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, where he was a Baker Scholar.


Ranadivé’s talk focused on what he called “Civilization 3.0” – the new data-driven, service-based economy typified by companies like, Uber and AirBnB, who are finding new, technology-driven ways to serve consumers.


“The next 15 years are going to be very exciting,” Ranadivé said. “It’s a great time to be alive.” He encouraged students to demand the best from their education, and for universities to look to technology to adapt and grow to best serve current and future students.


As owner of the Kings, Ranadivé has invested in several former University of Kentucky players, including DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and Willie Cauley-Stein. He was joined at the Gatton College by Kings General Manager and NBA all-Star Vlade Divac.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

UK's Gatton Alumni Hall of Fame Inducts Foran, Liang, Vest

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 16:56

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Sept. 30, 2015) — Surrounded by family, friends and fellow alumni, three exceptional University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business & Economics alumni — Joseph Wm. Foran (Dallas, Texas), Youguo Liang (Abu Dhabi, UAE), and Rebecca Barker Vest (Franklin, Tennessee) — were recently inducted into the Gatton Alumni Hall of Fame.


The Gatton College Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes Gatton alumni who have earned exceptional success in their careers and in their communities.


"As a member of the Hall of Fame, these three inductees join a group of highly accomplished individuals, including Fortune 50 CEOs, top business college deans and professors, entrepreneurs, judges and policymakers, internationally known researchers, and philanthropists, who have met the challenge to adapt and succeed in a quickly changing world market," said David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College.


Joseph Wm. (Joe) Foran is founder, CEO and chairman of Matador Resources Company (MTDR), one of the fastest growing oil companies in the country. He began his career as an oil and natural gas independent in 1983 when he and his wife, Nancy, founded Matador Petroleum Company. Ernst & Young selected him for its “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2002, and Oil & Gas Investor magazine named Matador Resources to its list of “15 Dream Companies” to own.


Foran earned his B.S. in accounting from UK in 1974, and his J.D. from Southern Methodist University. In addition to the Gatton Hall of Fame, Foran was one of the first inductees into UK’s Rugby Hall of Fame, honoring his time as captain of the UK team, as well as his semi-pro career with the Dallas Harlequins.


Youguo Liang is head of global research in the Real Estate and Infrastructure Department at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). He joined ADIA in April 2013. From 1997 to 2013, he served as managing director and director of research at Prudential Real Estate Investors in New Jersey.


Liang earned his Ph.D. in finance from UK in 1991 and an M.A. in management and a B.S. in operations research from the University of Science and Technology of China. He is a CFA charter holder, a Weimer School fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute, and a fellow of the Real Estate Research Institute. He has published more than 100 research manuscripts in both academic and industry journals. In his various careers, Liang has evaluated more than $150 billion equity and equity-like investments in commercial real estate globally.


Rebecca Barker Vest is vice president of Purchasing, for Nissan Americas, where she oversees more than $20 billion in purchasing activities for parts, materials, vendor tooling, logistics, services, machinery and equipment, media, aftersales and accessories for Nissan's operations in the U.S., as well as those in Mexico and Brazil. Her responsibilities also include supplier quality assurance, purchasing project management and supplier relations. She also serves as the North American operating general manager for the Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organization.


Vest earned her B.B.A. in management from UK in 1988, and took her first purchasing position at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky, after graduation. She joined Nissan in 2009 as director of Powertrain Purchasing, after more than 22 years in positions of increasing responsibility at Toyota.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

KL2 Program Fosters Collaborative Research on Hearing Loss, Behavioral Disorders in Appalachia

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 16:29




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2015) — Dr. Matt Bush and Tina Studts, Ph.D., work with children from Appalachia in very different capacities – he's a pediatric ear surgeon, and she studies childhood behavioral disorders – but in both of their fields, timing is everything. For children with hearing loss or disruptive behavioral problems, early intervention is critical to prevent negative, lifelong effects on education, employment, and well-being.


"The impacts of hearing loss in children are immense, and they're lifelong," Bush said. "It's sort of a race against the clock to be able to identify hearing loss, if it's there, and to treat it appropriately to help a child develop oral communication."


Childhood behavior problems, meanwhile, are associated with school dropout, drug use and involvement in the juvenile justice system.


"It's clear that the earlier you can identify kids and the earlier you can intervene, even in a preventive way, you can offset all these really devastating, long term effects," Studts said.


Bush and Studts, who met through the KL2 career development program for junior faculty, speculated that the connection between pediatric hearing loss and behavior disorders might extend beyond the shared importance of timely intervention.


"This is something that those of us that are in practice that care for children with hearing loss know – that inherent difficulties in communication can cause problems with behavior," Bush said.


When he saw a paper in his field that suggested behavioral disparities between children with and without hearing loss, the two researchers immediately recognized an opportunity for collaboration. With pilot funding support from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, which also facilitates the KL2 program, Bush and Studts are working with families in Kentucky to investigate and compare rates of behavior problems in three groups of children: those without hearing loss, those with hearing loss who have a cochlear implant and those with hearing loss who have a hearing aid.


Their project involves piloting a specific behavioral parent training program called the "Family Check-Up," which they plan to test as an annual aspect of care for children and families who are already receiving regular and frequent care related to pediatric hearing loss. The data and outcomes generated through this pilot research will be used to support applications for further grant funding.


"We're interested in implementation. We're going to be pilot testing a lot of measures and then hopefully taking all this information and developing a larger grant application to do a wide-scale test," Studts said.


She and Bush credit the KL2 program not only for fostering their collaborative project, but for accelerating their individual research careers as well. The program is designed to help junior investigators obtain independent investigator awards and provides funding, research training, conference travel support, and mentorship to that end. Both researchers have recently completed their two-year tenures as KL2 scholars. Studts received an R34 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for a community-engaged project to adapt an evidence-based parenting intervention to be acceptable and accessible to parents in under-resourced Appalachian communities. Bush was awarded a K23 grant to develop and implement a novel intervention for promoting early diagnosis of congenital hearing loss through patient navigation.


"It was professionally life-changing," Studts said, who benefited from participating in national conferences, workshops at other institutions and long-term planning of research goals.


Bush also recognizes the specific benefits of the KL2 program for clinicians, whose clinical demands can leave little time for research.


"Clinicians sometimes fall back on their default mode, which is to take good care of patients and to see patients on a daily basis. And even though they may be bright and have promise in the research realm, if they're not really connected with the right people, the right mentors,  and the right opportunities, then the research potential somewhat fizzles out," he said.


Vickie King, Ph.D., career development director for the CCTS, describes Bush and Studts as an outstanding example of interdisciplinary team science, which is a national priority of the KL2 program.


"Our focus is to help transform research at the University of Kentucky through providing career development support for junior faculty who want to engage in clinical and translational sciences," King said. "I feel extremely fortunate to work with scholars like Matt and Tina, who are really passionate about doing research, and to be able to provide them with the support that they need to start their research programs."



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,





UK Graduate School Now Accepting Nominations for Honorary Degrees

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 14:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2015) — This year the University of Kentucky will select up to four honorees to receive honorary doctorates at the May 2016 Commencement Ceremonies. An honorary doctorate recognizes those persons who exemplify the ideals of the University of Kentucky through sustained achievement and distinction of national or international significance.


Honorary degrees may be conferred upon those who have achieved distinction through outstanding intellectual or creative achievements, or through outstanding leadership in education, business or public service. The UK Graduate School welcomes nominations of individuals who merit this high level of recognition.


In awarding honorary degrees, the university accomplishes several purposes. It pays tribute to those whose life and work exemplify professional, intellectual or artistic achievement. It recognizes and appreciates those who have made significant contributions to society, the state and the university. It highlights the diverse ways in which such contributions can be made, and it sends a message that principles, values and contributions are important. Well-chosen honorees affirm and dignify UK’s own achievements and priorities.


The honoree must ultimately agree to be present at Commencement to receive the honorary degree. See for eligibility guidelines and nomination requirements.


The deadline to submit a completed nomination is midnight Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. 


Nominees chosen by the University Joint Committee on Honorary Degrees are forwarded to the University Senate for consideration by elected faculty senators. Decisions are not released to the public until after a vote by the Board of Trustees. Nominators will not receive notification until the process is complete.


Please direct questions to Morris Grubbs, assistant dean of the Graduate School, at or 859-257-9725.



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

Brown Receives Acorn Award

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 13:06


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2015) — The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education today announced the two winners of its 2015 Acorn Award for outstanding teachers at the state’s public and independent colleges and universities.


Associate Professor Christia Spears Brown of the University of Kentucky Department of Psychology received the Acorn Award as the four-year-institution representative. Awards were presented at the Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship luncheon in Lexington.


"I am honored to receive this award for my teaching," Brown said. "Teaching and connecting with my students is one of the most rewarding parts of my day. My goal is always to engage my students so that they can learn, think critically and graduate motivated to improve the world in their own way. I am always thankful when that effort is acknowledged."


Brown was the first member of her family to attend college. Transition was made easier by the counsel and support of a great teacher who encouraged her to attend graduate school.


"As a first generation college student herself, she is dedicated to her role as a teacher and mentor because she is keenly aware of a teacher's power to transform students' lives," said her department chair, Professor Robert Lorch Jr.


"Dr. Brown's professional roles as a researcher, teacher and advocate for public policy issues are integrated around her interests in issues of diversity and equality. Her passion on these issues are obvious to her students and they cannot help but be inspired by her," he added.


Brown teaches psychology, gender and women’s studies, and health and society classes from the freshman to graduate student levels, and is "extremely good at communicating her enthusiasm for her subject matter and for presenting in such an engaging and clear manner that she elicits … much discussion," Lorch said.


The award includes a $5,000 honorarium.


MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302,