Campus News

School's Out, Summer Safety Is In

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among people ages 1-44 years. As with most U.S. hospitals, the University of Kentucky experiences the highest number of trauma related hospital visits between April and September.


Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are devastating and the effects can be irreversible. Your brain is the “boss of your body" because our brain "tells" our body to do virtually everything. Unfortunately, once the brain is damaged, there is not much a physician can do to reverse it. The good news is that most injuries are easily preventable.  This is why we need to use our brain to protect our body and to think before we act.


As the school year ends and summer activities pick up, here are some helpful tips on how you and your family can stay safe during "trauma season."


Always wear a helmet and wear it properly. Whether it’s a casual family bike ride or cruising the back trails on an ATV, you should always wear a helmet. According to the ThinkFirst Foundation, helmets are up to 87 percent effective in reducing the risk for a brain injury.  If it has wheels but no roof, you need to wear a helmet.


Feet first! First time! Most diving accidents occur in lakes, rivers or other natural bodies of water.  If you are unsure of how deep the water is, enter the water feet first the first time to prevent potentially life-threatening brain or spinal cord injuries.


According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes due to traffic accidents in the U.S. alone. Be a smart and predictable pedestrian. Walk only on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far away from traffic as possible on the left side of the road.  Stay alert and don’t be distracted by electronic devices; make eye contact with drivers and be predictable by following the rules of the road.


More than 200,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries, and 79 percent of those injuries are due to falls from playground equipment.


Never leave your child unsupervised on a playground.  Make sure the equipment is sized properly for your child: equipment 4 feet tall or lower is appropriate for children up to age 5; equipment up to 8 feet tall is sized for children ages 5-12. Make sure there are guardrails on all elevated platforms and remove your child's drawstring hoodie or jacket before they play to prevent strangulation injuries.


The University of Kentucky Trauma Program and the National Injury Prevention Foundation offer education programs free of charge. If you would like more information or would like to schedule a program, visit us at: or The National Think First Foundation at:


Have a safe and fun summer!


Amanda M. Rist, RN BSN, is Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator for the University of Kentucky Trauma Program


This column ran in the May 31, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

Doug Boyd Receives Willis Award for Outstanding Faculty

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:50



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — Doug A. Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center, is the recipient of the 2015 Paul A. Willis Award for Outstanding Faculty. The award, given by UK Libraries, honors the legacy of former director Paul A. Willis by recognizing one member of the libraries faculty each year. Boyd received the award at the UK Libraries Spring Gala earlier this month.


Since becoming the director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in 2008, Boyd has overseen the addition of more than 2,500 new oral history interviews to the Nunn Center’s collection. He led the team that developed OHMS (the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer), an innovative tool to enhance access to online oral history. Boyd created an oral history partnership with the bourbon industry in Kentucky, raising funds for the Kentucky Bourbon Tales oral history project, and produced the award-winning documentary “Quest for the Perfect Bourbon.”


Boyd launched SPOKEdb, the Nunn Center’s online catalog, which garners more than 10,000 page views per month. He works with WUKY public radio on the regular feature “Saving Stories,” and wrote the book "Crawfish Bottom: Recovering a Lost Kentucky Community," published by University Press of Kentucky in 2009. He edited another book, "Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement," published by Macmillan in 2014. Boyd is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, and regularly presents on oral history topics at national and international conferences.


Under Boyd’s guidance, the Nunn Center expanded the project "From Combat to Kentucky" to include interviews from student veterans at Eastern Kentucky University, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, and Northern Kentucky University, in addition to UK. The project inspired a play that ran off-Broadway as part of the NYC Fringe Festival in 2011, and completed a statewide tour to state universities in Kentucky. "From Combat to Kentucky" is now integrated into a veteran transition course that engages student veterans with archival materials, as well as interviewing each other about their powerful experiences serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their transitions back into civilian and student life.


"Dr. Boyd is recognized internationally as a scholar who excels at collecting, interpreting and publishing oral histories; he also has the digital expertise to make oral histories available to researchers in new ways. His work represents the future of oral history. Further his contribution to UK Libraries advances our mission to serve the UK community as well as scholars around the world,” said Terry Birdwhistell, dean of UK Libraries.


UK Libraries solicits candidates for the Willis Award each fall. Any member of the UK Libraries faculty and staff may submit a letter nominating a member of the faculty for this recognition. The award recipient is selected based on achievements in their primary assignment, as well as national leadership, scholarship, teaching, creativity, innovation, and service. The final determination of the award winner is made by the UK Libraries National Advisory Board.



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

Blue Angels Program Brings High-Risk Obstetric Care to Rural Kentucky

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Two-week old Bransen Roberts sleeps peacefully despite the bustle of the Pediatric Clinic at UK Healthcare. When his mother Becky Triplett removes him from his car seat to be weighed and measured, he grimaces slightly and stuffs his fist into his mouth, annoyed at the interruption, but otherwise submits quietly to the gentle poking and prodding.


Bransen appears the picture of health, with 10 perfect fingers and toes that his parents, like so many parents before, counted when he was born.  But he's here today to be examined by Dr. Ali Ziada, a pediatric urologist, who will evaluate Bransen's condition and map out a treatment strategy. 


Before Bransen was born, he was diagnosed with hydronephrosis, a rare condition where urine backs up in the kidney as a result of an obstruction in the ureter or backward flow of urine from the bladder. The condition is potentially dangerous and can result in the loss of one or both kidneys without proper intervention.


"They way they described it to me was it was like a kink in a garden hose," Becky said.


Early diagnosis and intervention in most instances is key to assuring the best possible health outcome, and hydronephrosis is no different.  In Bransen's case, a new UK HealthCare program called The Blue Angels made this early intervention possible.


Becky and Bransen's father Jason are from Manchester, Kentucky.  Kentucky is well known for its poor marks on health measures like obesity, diabetes, smoking and heart disease, and Clay County is among the worst of its 120 counties.  The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of specialty health care nearby.


UK HealthCare saw an opportunity to fulfill its institutional mission to keep patients as close to home for their treatment as possible and worked with Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH) to forge a partnership providing high-level specialty care to MMH patients in several areas, including cardiology, optometry, and obstetrics. In the latter case, UK HealthCare set up a twice-a-month clinic where highly trained obstetricians use special equipment to review fetal ultrasounds remotely, in real time, and talk with the patient simultaneously.


Dr. John O'Brien, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at UK HealthCare, says the program fills a need in a meaningful, expedient and personal way. 


"Before Blue Angels, patients had two choices: they had to travel to Lexington for their high-risk consult, or a technician did the ultrasound in their hometown and it was shipped up to Lexington for us to assess," he said.


According to Dr. O'Brien, neither option was ideal, since it meant that either the patient wasn't with him while her ultrasound was evaluated, or she would have to travel -- sometimes a far distance -- for her ultrasound. Furthermore, explains O'Brien, if the patient's ultrasound didn’t answer all of his questions, it had to be repeated.


"It was a burden for the mother to travel, or it was expensive, or both," he said. "And the time spent traveling or waiting and wondering was stressful for the mother."


Now ultrasound techs travel to locations throughout Kentucky with a portable videoconference device, seeing patients whose hometown obstetricians have identified as high-risk based on their own ultrasound technology.


The briefcase-size video system, which includes a camera and microphone, connects to the ultrasound equipment in each location and allows O’Brien to see the ultrasound as it is being performed, guide the technician through difficult studies and communicate with the patient just as if they were in the same room.


"I can talk directly with the patient to explain right away what I see and what the next steps should be," O'Brien said.  "It provides a measure of comfort to the mother when we can tell her immediately what’s going on and if necessary we can intervene more quickly, which is always the best option for both mother and baby."


In Becky's case, the ultrasound scheduled as a routine part of her checkups with her obstetrician in Manchester revealed some troubling abnormalities in one of Bransen's kidneys.  She was immediately scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound with Dr. O'Brien via the Blue Angels.


“Based on my review of the ultrasound, I was concerned that Bransen's condition was worsening," he said.  "I felt it was imperative that we preserve Bransen's kidney function and the best way to do that would be follow up with a pediatric urologist.  So I reviewed the information with Bransen's parents and referred them to Dr. Ziada." 


"I really appreciated how much time they spent with us explaining the situation, the next steps, and the possible outcomes," Bransen's father Jason said.  


Bransen will continue to be followed by Dr. Ziada, who will schedule periodic tests to ensure that Bransen's condition isn't worsening.  Ultimately, should the "kink in the garden hose" not resolve on its own, Dr. Ziada might recommend surgery to correct it.


"No matter what," Dr. Ziada said, "Bransen is likely to come out of this a healthy boy."


Dr. O'Brien firmly believes that Blue Angels and programs like it increase access to the highest level of health care for the poor and the rural, both of which are numerous in this state, and therefore promote more equity in the health care system.  In particular, by improving access for high-risk pregnant women, the program helps build faith in the healthcare system and reinforce the connection between mothers and their physicians -- both of which serve to maintain good health long term.


"Obstetrics is the most cost-efficient way to invest healthcare dollars, since it helps prevent mortality and improves healthcare outcomes for decades," said Dr. O'Brien.  "And Blue Angels is a cost efficient way to bring the highest level of obstetric care to the patient, wherever she may live."


Media Contact:  Laura Dawahare,


State-of-the-Art Feed Mill Dedicated at UK Farm

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — In the early morning hours of May 26, 2013, a fire destroyed the feed mill at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s C. Oran Little Research Center in Woodford County. The college’s farms are home to thousands of animals including sheep, swine, poultry and cattle, and the fire threw a big hitch in the way the UKAg staff feed those animals. But the college chose to see the fire as an opportunity to create a state-of-the-art facility that would better serve the animals and propel research programs associated with animal feeding.


The new mill is designed to produce high-quality feed in a user-friendly environment. Feeding thousands of animals every day is a monumental task, and the mixing capacity of the new mill is poised to take on the task with expanded mixing capacity with four stainless steel mixers — a two-ton mixer, one-ton mixer, 1,000-pound mixer and a 500-pound mixer.


"This state-of-the-art feed center greatly enhances our feed mixing capabilities and will improve our nutritional research efforts through more precise blending of diets to targeted nutrient levels," said Richard Coffey, chair of the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "Additionally, the computer-controlled automation and expanded ability to handle prepared diets in bulk makes this feed center much more user-friendly than our previous feed mills for those responsible for preparing diets."


The new mill has the same footprint as the old mill, but the storage silos were placed in a different location. The mill allows the staff to accurately mix simple and more complex diets and is automated in many ways, which is a very important feature for impactful research.


"Our research on nutritional management must be as accurate as it can be, because the information is used to recommend feeding systems for producers in Kentucky and beyond," said Nancy Cox, dean of the college and director of the Kentucky Experiment Station. "With this new feed mill, we are confident our recommendations can serve our industries as well as individual owners."


Anthony Pescatore, UKAg extension professor for poultry, said the fire allowed the research team to redefine the capacity needs of the farm and forced upgrades that will become essential to a top-notch research college. The stainless steel mixers help reduce cross-contamination between batches. It also furthers the college’s mission to be as sustainable as possible.


"Having milling capability allows us to produce our own feed and to use the grains and corn we produce on our farms," Pescatore said. "It also helps us keep our feed costs under control."


Precision is another important feature of the new mill. With different-sized mixers, users will be able to mix diets from 200 pounds all the way up to 2 tons with high accuracy. That’s important because all animals, even within species, don’t have the exact same nutrition requirements.


"We have been able to design a facility from the ground up that should serve our programs well into the future," said Robert Harmon, who was chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the time of the fire.


The new mill has dust-collection equipment and a vacuum system to aid in the cleaning process. A 1-ton hoist will lift ingredients into the mixers instead of workers having to carry them. The walkways and stairs are designed to prevent slips and falls, and it is temperature-controlled to make the facility more comfortable for workers. Another important feature of the new mill — the electrical system is explosion-proof.


"This is by far, a step up for our feed mill," Pescatore said. "A big focus of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences has always been animal nutrition, and we want to continue to build on our history of nutritional research. Precision nutrition is an important part of the future of animal agriculture. We’ll continue to focus on fine tuning the nutrient needs of animals and increase their efficient use of grains and feed."




MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707;


UK Law Students Save Taxpayers $95,000, Devote 2,732 Hours to Clients

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 10:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — The American Bar Association calls on each lawyer to render at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year. In the 2014-2015 academic year, University of Kentucky College of Law students went well above and beyond that to serve Kentuckians.


Through the UK College of Law Legal Clinic and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, UK law students provided legal and tax preparation services for free, saving clients from hefty fines and finding solutions for difficult situations.


In the Legal Clinic, 29 third-year law students handled 92 cases for a total of 2,732 hours devoted to classroom and client casework, or approximately 94 hours of free legal aid provided by each student.


"For almost 20 years, the College of Law Legal Clinic has successfully met its educational goals of academic excellence through the development of practice skills and promotion of ethical values and responsibilities," said Professor Allison Connelly, who has directed the clinic since its founding in 1997. "The Clinic has firmly integrated itself into the community, established a sterling reputation of legal excellence and helped thousands of low income individuals."


"More importantly, by putting a human face on the legal problems and needs facing those without means, the clinic has promoted an understanding of the need for fairness and justice in our legal system, and has translated those needs into a valuable educational experience," she said.


In addition to working directly with clients and representing them in estates matters, divorces, housing, and tort and contract claims, UK Legal Clinic students also gained invaluable experience in mediation, interviewing, landlord-tenant laws, civil procedure, legal drafting, consumer protection law and more.


"Our clients have limited income and are often faced with situations in which they feel helpless because of their limited resources," said Marc Manley, who graduated from the UK College of Law in May but is still engaged in several Legal Clinic cases that will conclude over the summer. "Being able to close a difficult chapter in someone's life is indescribably more valuable than closing the chapter of a textbook."


Legal Clinic students also went beyond the classroom and courtroom and straight to the homes of their clients when they raised money and delivered Thanksgiving dinners to several clients and their families.


"The UK Legal Clinic is an important institution not only because it serves the less fortunate, but also because it provides meaningful assurance to the law student that their long hours in the library do in fact have the ability to make someone's life better," Manley said.


While the UK Legal Clinic provides an array of legal services to those in need, another UK College of Law clinic has been specializing for more than 20 years in one service: tax preparation, often a very complex and confusing process for taxpayers.  


For the 2015 tax return season, 19 law and 12 accounting students volunteered in the UK College of Law VITA program to assist 475 taxpayers complete their returns. Logging a total of more than 600 hours over the course of six and a half weeks, UK law students saved taxpayers about $95,000 in return preparation fees.


"This year was particularly challenging with the large number of unusual situations presented by taxpayer clients, as well as the rollout of the Affordable Care Act requirements," said Douglas Michael, UK College of Law associate dean of academic affairs and director of the VITA program. "These volunteers helped clients with complicated situations navigate many new and sometimes confusing rules. It is hard to imagine being a taxpayer in that situation without the help these student volunteers provide for free."


On behalf of those taxpayers, students prepared returns claiming total refunds of $536,844 for low-income taxpayers, as well as the large population of foreign students and scholars at UK.


To qualify as tax return preparers, students completed at least 15 classroom or online training hours and passed three IRS tests on tax law and procedure. But it is well worth the time and effort for students who are eager to use their legal skills to benefit community members.


"I like the idea of making taxes and tax preparation less stressful, and less expensive, for beleaguered taxpayers," said Cate Poole, who volunteered in the VITA program year after year until she graduated from the College of Law in 2011, and has returned as a site supervisor each year since 2013.


Noting that each taxpayer has a unique situation, Poole said, "I've seen a lot over the years … no, unfortunately I cannot verify your spouse's ID over FaceTime," she joked. "I love using that experience to help people."


The UK College of Law VITA program will open again to the community in February of 2016. For information about the program, visit For more information about the UK College of Law Legal Clinic, call 859-257-4692. 




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

College of Public Health Research Center Team Receives Award for Tractor Safety Program

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 17:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) — A research team from the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (SCAHIP), which is housed within the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, has been awarded top honors in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Evaluation Contest.


The Kentucky team was awarded the honor for its project, “The UK-CROPS Project – Cost-effective Roll-over Protective Structures,” and was recognized for this accomplishment at the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium on May 21 in Kingwood, West Virginia. The aim of the project is to implement a cost-effective solution for farmers in Appalachia who are using older model tractors that are not equipped with Rollover Protection Structures (ROPS).  Nationwide, tractor-related fatalities account for as much as one-third of agricultural-related deaths. 


The project team was led by Joan Mazur, Ph.D., of the UK College of Education and Stacy Vincent, Ph.D., of the College of Agriculture. Other team members include Susan Westneat of the College of Public Health, and graduate students Jennifer Watson (College of Education), Morgan Schafbuch (College of Agriculture), and Kyle S. Wood (College of Agriculture).  


While ROPSs have been required installations on tractors for 30 years, many farmers in the Appalachian region employ older machines, and the cost of retrofitting them with these safety devices is not feasible for the farmers. The UK-CROPS project carries out a goal of NIOSH to address the barrier cost can provide to retrofits by designing and testing cost-effective ROPS plans.  In so doing, it offers a intervention tool that could not only increase farm safety, but strengthen local communities.


“The UK-CROPS Project partnership with high school Ag Power Mechanics programs in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina to install CROPS in their local communities is a powerful intervention to save lives and empower youth in rural communities,” Mazur said.



Summer Camps That Are Fun and Educational

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 16:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — There is a surplus of summer camps available for local children, but the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences offers a summer day camp experience beyond the norm — camps focusing on linguistics, geography, creative writing and philosophy that not only keep kids occupied, but engaged, active and informed.


UK Department of Geography's summer MapCamp is a weeklong day camp for children in middle school that includes exercises in map making and outdoor geo-challenges. Attendees will participate in the ancient craft of cartography, build digital interactive maps to share with the world and conduct campus treasure hunts with GPS-enabled mobile devices.


MapCamp runs June 22−26 or July 6-10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in UK's state-of-the-art GIS and Cartography Lab (Room 313) in the White Hall Classroom building on the UK campus. Mornings in the lab will be dedicated to map making. After lunch, children will spend most of the afternoon putting maps in action outside of the lab. For example, on day 3, campers will create a digital map and learn how to find “treasures” by reading a GPS.


During all activities, children will be grouped into teams of four and directed by an adult team leader. While UK will provide a limited number of GPS devices, organizers encourage attendees to bring a mobile smart device to get the best experience. The cost is $200 per week; register at


Camp LingoCats, sponsored by the UK linguistics program, is an exciting adventure into the study of language. Campers — rising 7th and 8th graders — will learn new alphabets, explore the history of old words, discuss the importance of language in our families and communities, perform experiments, play games, make T-shirts and go on scavenger hunts.


Linguists study language just as chemists study chemistry — through experimentation and the scientific method. Although they may not speak a language, linguists study many languages, applying  the knowledge of how languages work in general to any language data they find.


Camp LingoCats will run July 20-24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the UK campus. The camp is $75 per camper; registration for the sibling of a registered camper is $50. For more information or to register, email or


Philosophy can be transformative. At UK’s Philosophy Camp, slated 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 13-17, campers will be introduced to some of the most influential ideas of western philosophy. But the camp goes far beyond what some old guys thought decades, even centuries, ago.


This camp is a young person’s chance to practice critical thinking and become more logical thinkers and speakers. It is the chance to ask the big questions that go unanswered, if not unasked. What are morals? Why do we have society? What is the meaning of life? Faculty and campers work together to think carefully about such important philosophical ideas, both throughout history and in our world today.


Space is limited to 25 students, and applications must be received by June 20. For more information or to obtain an application, email Sponsored by the UK Department of Philosophy, UK’s Philosophy Camp is managed by philosophy graduate students who love philosophy and have a passion for sharing it with others.


The Kentucky Young Writers Summer Colony is an intensive weeklong program for incoming high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, and incoming college freshmen who would like to advance their writing skills.


Led by the distinguished faculty of the UK Creative Writing Program, the colony offers workshops in fiction, poetry and nonfiction. It emphasizes imaginative development and the creative process while providing positive feedback in a noncompetitive, constructive environment. Workshop leaders and special guests include published UK faculty, such as Frank X Walker, Julia Johnson, Michael Carter, Gurney Norman, Erik Reece, Hannah Pittard, Bobbie Ann Mason, Andrew Ewell, Jeff Clymer, and Manuel Gonzales.


Registration deadline for 2015 has passed, but don’t forget to register early next year.


UK Tomorrow Corps Subject of WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 16:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) — 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 guests are Ann Kingsolver, director of the UK Appalachian Center, and assistant director Shane Barton talking about UK Tomorrow Corps -- UK students going into Eastern Kentucky this summer to help improve children's math and lliteracy skills.


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


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

Markey Researchers Present Latest Studies at Annual Research Day

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 15:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center held its sixth annual Markey Cancer Center Research Day, highlighting the work of UK students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from the past year.


Research Day provides an opportunity for investigators to showcase their work and also view the work of their colleagues across the campus. Markey researchers are housed all across the University, spanning seven colleges and 26 departments.


“We’ve investigators interested in cancer research from all across the campus coming together to talk about their latest findings and sharing those findings,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “We’re seeing new collaborations being formed through this day, and overall it’s just a wonderful event that brings researchers together.”


UK College of Pharmacy graduate student Sherif El-Refai, who presented a poster for the first time at Research Day this year, echoed Evers’ sentiment.


“This is the best way to get a feel for the research being done all across campus, and to find collaborators interested in the same subjects that you are,” El-Refai said, noting that he’d already met several professors and statisticians to collaborate with in the future.


This year’s event featured 122 posters; oral presentations from a current medical student, two graduate students, and one postdoctoral fellow; and faculty oral presentations from Ellen Hahn, the Marcia A. Dake Endowed Professor in the UK College of Nursing, and Dr. John D’Orazio, Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair in the UK Department of Pediatrics.


Dr. Edward Romond, breast oncologist at Markey, was honored for his years of breakthrough research and stellar patient care with a lifetime achievement award from the Markey Cancer Foundation. 


Additionally, Evers presented his annual State of the Cancer Center Address, highlighting major accomplishments from Markey over the past year. Evers’ annual address is a highlight for many attendees.


“I really appreciate the opportunity to hear Dr. Evers talk about the Cancer Center – especially everything we’ve done well over the past year, and also what we need to do in the future,” said Jamie Studts, associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky and director of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative.


To finish the afternoon’s presentations, Kentucky native Phil Sharp, Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor for the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the Susan B. Lester Memorial Lecture.


The event concluded with an award ceremony. Awards were presented in two different categories - basic science and clinical/translational science - for both graduate and postdoctoral fellows. An Overall Winner was honored, as well as a Researcher's Choice Award, based on a popular vote by people who attended Research Day.


The winners are:


Basic Sciences - Graduate


SECOND: Payton Stevens


Basic Sciences - Postdoc

FIRST: Yekaterina Zaytseva

SECOND: Jie Chan


Clinical and Translational Sciences - Graduate

FIRST: Meghana Kudrimoti

SECOND: Kristine Song


Clinical and Translational Sciences - Postdoc

FIRST: Rachel Stewart

SECOND: Swati Yalamanchi


Researcher's Choice Award

Fengmei Pi


Overall Winner 

Stuart Jarrett


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

UK Artist Ebony Patterson's Work Featured in Havana Biennial

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 12:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) — Artwork by Ebony G. Patterson, an associate professor of painting at the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies, is featured in the 12th Havana Biennial "Between the Idea and the Experience." Patterson is one of approximately 200 artists from 44 countries selected to display their artwork in the series of exhibits running through June 22, in Havana, Cuba.


The 12th Havana Biennial, which opened May 22, involves architecture, design, the communicational phenomena, science and the forms in which the habitat is constructed. The projects being carried out in Havana must bear an effect upon its inhabitants, either through the latter’s participation in their concept and achievement or through the presentation of the works as a live social laboratory.


The event explores the intersections between different art expressions such as dance, theater, music, the cinema and literature, considering the semantic wealth that hybridization contributes to what we understand as visuality. The basic idea is to grant these crossings a leading role instead of being mere backdrops.


Work featured in the 12th Havana Biennial is on display throughout the city in squares, parks and urban spaces, as well as galleries and museums. Patterson's work is on exhibit at the Navy building on the Avenida del Puerto, the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center and Trillo Park.


In addition to showing in Cuba, Patterson's art is the subject of a solo exhibition closing May 30 at the LUX Art Institute in Encinitas, California, and two group shows: "Black Portraiture[s] II: Imaging the Black Body and Restaging Histories," organized by New York University, running through May 31, in the Villa La Pietra, outside Florence, Italy; and "Disguise: Masks & Global African Art," running June 18-Sept. 7, at the Seattle Art Museum. 


Prior to being selected for the 2015 Havana Biennial, Patterson has been included in notable group exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Tacoma Contemporary, Kingston's Mutual Gallery, and France's Centre International d' Art Contemporian. Her show credits include "Prospect.3" (New Orleans), curated by Franklin Sirmans; "Young Talent V" (Washington D.C.); The "Jamaica Biennial"; "Ghetto Biennale 2009" (Haiti); "Black Gossamer" at Glass Curtain Gallery, at Columbia College Chicago; and the solo show "dy/nas/ty" at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, Kansas).


Patterson's work has also been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Frieze Magazine, Huffington Post, Art Nexus, Art Papers and the International Review of African-American Art. 


A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Patterson earned her bachelor's degree in painting at the Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts and a master's degree in printmaking and drawing from the Sam Fox College of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. She has been teaching painting and mixed media at UK since 2007.


The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, at the UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studies, and art education.



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

UK Advisors Win National Honors

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 10:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) — Two University of Kentucky advisors have been named recipients of awards from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), a volunteer organization that works to better the advising process for students. Alumnus Mike Farrell, associate professor in UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications, has been awarded the Outstanding Advising Award - Faculty Academic Advising. Denise Brazzell, director of student services at UK College of Engineering - Paducah Campus, has been awarded a Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding Advising Award - Primary Advising Role.


NACADA's Outstanding Advising Awards annually recognize individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students or outstanding academic advising administration. The awards are presented in three categories, Academic Advising Administrator, Academic Advising-Primary Role and   

Faculty Academic Advising. All recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony held during the organization's annual conference scheduled for Oct. 4-7, in Las Vegas, Nevada.


As a winner of the Outstanding Advising Award - Faculty Academic Advising, Farrell will receive a complimentary basic registration for this year's conference, a plaque and one-year membership in NACADA. Brazzell will receive a certificate for her honor.


Farrell and Brazzell are no stranger to honors in advising. The pair won UK's 20th annual Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Awards this March, which made them nominees for regional awards, as well as the NACADA awards. The Freedman Awards are named for one of the founders of the UK Advising Network who served as a professional advisor at UK until his death in 2001.


NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising was chartered as a nonprofit organization in 1979 to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students. Since that beginning, NACADA has grown to 11,000 members consisting of faculty members, professional advisors, administrators, counselors and others in academic and student affairs concerned with the intellectual, personal and vocational needs of students. In addition, NACADA is the representative and advocate of academic advising and those providing that service to higher education. For more information, visit NACADA's website at  


The UK Advising Network is part of the Office of Student Success in the Division of Undergraduate Education




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

Section of Patterson Drive to Close Temporarily

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 08:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — Starting Monday, June 1, portions of the one-way section of Patterson Drive will be temporarily closed to through traffic. This closure is to facilitate electric and communication ductbank work associated with the Student Center renovation project. The work is expected to be completed by Friday, July 17.



The project will occur in phases, beginning on the west side of Patterson Drive. Signage will be in place to indicate road closures. Sidewalks will remain open throughout the project, and the White Hall Classroom Building loading dock will remain accessible at all times. 




UK College of Medicine Celebrates Class of 2015 with Commencement and Senior Awards Lunch

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 16:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) – The University of Kentucky College of Medicine Class of 2015 assumed the title of “doctor” during the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16. The graduating class consisted of 113 students who will pursue 22 different specialties in Kentucky and throughout the United States.


Prior to the commencement ceremony, students and faculty received awards at the College of Medicine Senior Awards Lunch. View the complete list of awards presented at the Awards Lunch and Graduation here or view photos from the events here.  

UK Softball's Joiner Honored with Senior CLASS Award

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 16:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2015) — University of Kentucky senior catcher Griffin Joiner has been named a 2015 Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American — one of five players nationally to claim such honors — it was announced Wednesday. 


An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Joiner, a captain for the Wildcats this year, was selected as one of 30 players to the initial list in March before being honored as a top-10 finalist in early April. The native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, has proved her worth to the program and community. One of just two seniors on the team this season, Joiner embraced a leadership role on the squad and was without question the backbone of the squad.


Joiner has been active in the Lexington community since arriving on campus, recording countless community service hours. Most recently, Griffin helped mentor students at Dixie Elementary School, spending time during the fall semester reading and helping students with work. The last two years, she has spent several hours before UK football games walking around tailgates collecting money for the United Way and helped organize teammates to help as well. She regularly volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House on campus, rings the bell for Salvation Army and has been active in UK Athletics Backpack Program, which supplies food for children from less fortunate homes during the weekends. Each of the last two holiday seasons, Griffin has helped collect blankets for the UK Children's Hospital and delivered them. Other community service projects include helping at Miracle League, packing meals at Southland Christian Church for "Hope for Haiti" service project and volunteering at Big Blue U, introducing incoming freshmen to campus life at UK.


Joiner is an amazing student-athlete and recently graduated with honors from UK. A three-year member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, Joiner has been on the Athletics Director's Dean List multiple years and can be seen leading study sessions during long road trips with the entire team. Last season, Joiner was a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and is a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete. Her strong leadership academically helped Kentucky have a 3.56 GPA as a team last spring, which was the best mark in the SEC and second-best nationally among BCS schools.


A member of the school's Frank. G. Ham Society of Character, which honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model, Joiner was voted captain of the team each of the last two seasons. Joiner has been described by her coaches as the perfect teammate and can always be seen going the extra mile. Born and raised in Kentucky, Joiner takes a lot of pride in wearing Kentucky across her chest.


Joiner, who has started every game of her collegiate career, including 245 games at catcher, ranks top 10 all-time in several single-season records at UK, including batting average, doubles, walks, home runs, slugging percentage, putouts and fielding percentage. Her name is also inked all over UK's single-season records list. Joiner ended her career with a .303 batting average with 42 doubles, two triples, 35 homers and 143 RBI. This season, Joiner hit .299 with nine doubles, one triple and 11 home runs and 43 RBI. Last season, Joiner was named national player of the week, becoming only the fourth player in school history to claim a national player of the week honor. She has earned several postseason honors and is only the third player in school history with five or more All-SEC honors. Joiner was named SEC All-Freshman in 2012, Second-Team All-SEC and All-SEC Defensive Team in 2013 and All-SEC Defensive Team in 2014 and 2015. Joiner is the only catcher in SEC history to earn three-straight All-SEC Defensive Team honors.


During UK’s 4-0 victory over in-state rival Louisville on April 1, Joiner was selected in the fourth round and 19th overall in the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Akron Racers. Joiner is the third Wildcat player to ever be selected in the NPF Draft, joining All-American and current assistant coach Molly Johnson-Belcher, who was selected second overall in the 2010 draft, and All-Southeastern Conference performer Megan Yocke, who went ninth overall in 2011. Joiner will join UK’s all-time home run leader Brittany Cervantes as the only two former Wildcats currently in the league. Cervantes plays for the Chicago Bandits.

2015 Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans:

Lacey Waldrop, Florida State (overall winner)

Griffin Joiner, Kentucky

Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma

Kaitlyn Richardson, Minnesota

Kaitlyn Thumann, Baylor       



MEDIA CONTACT: Evan Crane;; 859-257-3838.

UK Excels in NCAA 'APR' Report

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 15:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report Wednesday, showing that all 22 of the University of Kentucky sports teams surpassed the NCAA cut score. Eighteen of the 22 squads exceeded the national average for public universities in their sports and 19 of the 22 Wildcat teams improved or maintained their scores from a year ago.


The men’s golf and women’s cross country teams led the way with perfect 1,000 scores, followed by women’s indoor track and field, women’s outdoor track and field, volleyball, men’s basketball, and men’s tennis with scores of 995.


The marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, that measures academic eligibility and retention of scholarship student-athletes. The NCAA cut score for each sport is 930.


The 18 Wildcat teams that exceeded the national average among public universities in their sports included the seven teams listed above, along with women's golf (992), women's tennis (992), rifle (990), men's cross country (990), women's basketball (987), women's soccer (986), softball (985), baseball (983), men's outdoor track (978), men's indoor track (973) and men's soccer (967).


Another highlight of the report was that 14 UK teams notched perfect 1,000 scores for the 2013-14 school year: men’s basketball, women’s cross country, men’s golf, rifle, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, volleyball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s golf, softball, men’s outdoor track and field, women’s indoor track and field, and women’s outdoor track and field.


Last week, a school-record-tying three UK teams received public recognition for their APR being in the top 10 percent of their sport -- men's golf, women's cross country and men's basketball.


“Combined with strong GPAs and the amount of students graduating each year, our APR scores demonstrate that academics are an essential part of our mission,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “From coaches to staff to the students themselves, I am proud of the way we have embraced that as a department and that our scores continue to improve and exceed national averages.”


With each team exceeding the NCAA cut score, no Wildcat squads are subject to penalties, such as scholarship reductions or postseason restrictions. None of UK’s 22 teams have incurred a penalty during the 11-year history of the APR.




MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Neely; 859-257-

UK Dining to Benefit From Deal for Local Beef

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 15:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — Starting this summer, University of Kentucky students from Eastern Kentucky may be more familiar with their UK Dining hamburgers than they expect. An agreement between two Kentucky processors and a large food distributor is opening up a much-needed market for Appalachian beef cattle. That burger the students enjoy might very well originate from their own family farms or neighboring farms.


This shouldn’t be unusual, when one considers that Kentucky has more cattle than any state east of the Mississippi River. Yet, it is extremely difficult to find enough beef that is finished, processed and packaged in Kentucky to supply institutional clients like UK. Most of the cattle raised in the state are sent for finishing to the Great Plains. The new agreement between The Chop Shop in Wolfe County, a Kentucky Proud and Appalachian Proud meat processing facility; Omni Custom Meats Inc. in Bowling Green, a minority-owned Kentucky Proud meat processing facility; and Sysco, one of UK Dining’s two primary suppliers of food, will result in 10,000 pounds of ground meat per week staying in the state. In the process, it also will help Aramark, which runs UK Dining, meet their contractual agreement with UK for Kentucky Proud food products. When all is said and done, UK Dining will be able to offer Kentucky Proud ground beef to their customers.


“We are delighted that our campus partnership has provided an opportunity not only to make this connection with Appalachian farmers and food producers, but also to provide another Kentucky Proud and direct farm impact menu option for the campus community,” said Leisha Vance, UK Dining sustainability manager.


Aramark’s UK contract commits the company to purchasing $1.2 million in Kentucky Proud products and $800,000 in local products in the first year. In this case, local is defined as originating in Fayette or the six surrounding counties. The contract also stipulates purchasing will increase by 5 percent for each of the first five years. By 2024, 20 percent of UK Dining’s food and beverage purchases will be Kentucky Proud and locally sourced. By 2029, that obligation will increase to 25 percent.


Though it looks fairly direct on paper, the road to acquiring locally produced beef can be a winding one. Ground beef is highly regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Sysco has more conditions on safety, process control, and refrigeration than the USDA does, not to mention insurance and certification requirements. This makes it difficult for some of the smaller processors in the state to work directly with Sysco, so this is where Omni Meats stepped in.


Omni Meats is a 32-year-old business built on processing beef, poultry and pork products for institutional customers. The company has worked with Sysco in the past and is able to meet the large distributor’s requirements.


“So the motivation was passed from Aramark to Sysco to Omni to acquire sources of Kentucky beef. This is an important step in efforts to move locally produced food beyond farmers markets and on-farm retail and expand the benefits to food producers and consumers,” said Scott Smith, faculty director of The Food Connection at UK, the purpose of which is to promote a healthy, sustainable food economy. The Food Connection is housed in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


In Eastern Kentucky, where The Chop Shop is located, a robust food-based system could be one of the solutions to strengthening an economy weakened by the loss of tobacco and coal. Wolfe and Morgan counties’ agricultural and natural resources extension agents, Daniel Wilson and Sarah Fannin respectively, wrote the proposal that ultimately led to a $280,000 Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund grant, as well as $70,000 in other grants — money that was used for freezer facilities for The Chop Shop.


“This arrangement is great for The Chop Shop, it’s great for farmers, and it’s great for the area,” Wilson said. “Agriculture provides people with another avenue to make money.”


Wilson said the number of livestock producers in the region is growing, including the number of cattle producers, and he has heard from them time and time again that they want their product sold and consumed locally.


“Omni, Sysco, Aramark and UK are the first ones to really buy into what The Chop Shop can provide,” he said. “I’m passionate about these (Chop Shop) guys. They have a wonderful facility over here. It’s the most modern slaughter facility I’ve ever been in, and I’m just happy to see it go to them.”


The Chop Shop owner, Jonathan Whitt, is pleased that he will be able to give his region’s beef producers a new market for their product.


“This is paving the way for a new community- and state-minded business environment,” Whitt said. “This revolutionary partnership will unite all levels of the agribusiness community, starting with ground level, local farmers all the way to larger wholesalers and end-users, like the University of Kentucky.”




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

New Biospecimen Bank Enrolls More Than 12,000 Patients, Begins Dispersing Samples to Researchers

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 13:27
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — More than 12,000 UK HealthCare patients have consented to join UK's new Research Registry and Biospecimen Bank, or biobank, allowing blood or tissue leftover from their normal health care procedures to be stored for use by researchers. Access to human tissue is critical for learning about human health and disease, developing treatments, and finding cures. The biobank, developed by the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), serves as resource to catalyze such discoveries.


“We accelerate research by making it easier for scientists to test their ideas with samples from patients. We can help research groups turn their discoveries into therapies that advance patient care, " said Ken Campbell, Ph.D., director of the CCTS biospecimens core.


Currently available specimens include plasma, serum, buffy coat, adipose tissue, myocardium, urine, and toenails. Every sample in the biobank can be linked to de-identified clinical data that are extracted from the patients' medical records. Researchers can submit a CCTS biobanking request form to request specimens or ask for a new specimen type to be collected. Most scientists can receive specimens without needing to submit their own application for regulatory approval. Additionally, the biobank regulatory framework makes it easy to establish partner banks.


The biobank is currently enrolling patients who will undergo surgery in Pavilion A or who are receiving care at the Markey Cancer Center. More than 80 percent of patients have opted join the program and most are from Appalachian counties.  


Dr. Phil Kern, director of the CCTS, is encouraged that most patients are agreeing to participate.


“It’s an opportunity for people to give back and be a part of research in a way that doesn’t cost them anything, by donating tissue that would otherwise be thrown away," he said.


Investigators and patients can learn more about the biobank in this two-part video series from UK Reveal Research Media: 


The Kentucky Research Registry and Specimen Bank: Investigator Q&A




The Kentucky Research Registry and Specimen Bank: Patient Q&A




Media Contact: Mallory Powell,

Peter Morris Returns to UK as Division Chief for Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 13:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) - UK HealthCare has announced the appointment of Dr. Peter Morris to the University of Kentucky faculty as chief for the Division Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.


He brings more than 24 years of experience in patient care and research.  While at  Wake Forest, Morris served as director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and most recently as director of the Critical Illness, Injury and Recovery Research Center.


Morris received his medical degree from Cornell University. He completed his residency  and fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 journal articles and is a reviewer for several journals, including Chest, JAMA, and Critical Care Medicine.


He was an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky from 1993-1999.


Morris’ research focuses on clinical trials for severe sepsis, ICU Rehabilitation Strategies, shock, and acute lung injury (ARDS).  


MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare,, (859) 257-5307




UK Design Presents Successful End of Year Show

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 12:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Design (CoD) closed the academic year with its sixth End of Year Student Show showcasing projects and proposals from fourth year and graduate students in the college's architecture, historic preservation and interiors programs for the 2014-2015 school year on May 8, at Pence Hall.


The annual exhibition featured innovative research, design and partnerships taking place at CoD through the work of the most noteworthy studios. Studios presented in the show are revolutionizing design solutions for problems experienced on a global level and even more locally within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


President Eli Capilouto attended the event and took a guided tour of the exhibition with Regina Summers, director of recruitment.


To view photographs from the 2015 End of Year Show, visit the college's Facebook site here



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


UK Rural Health Expert Named to National Advisory Committee

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 11:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Public Health professor Ty Borders, Ph.D, was recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.


Borders is the chair of the Department of Health Services Management and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair in Rural Health Policy. He also serves as a founding co-director of the University of Kentucky Institute for Rural Health Policy. Borders is the editor of the Journal of Rural Health, an academic publication devoted to rural health research. His term on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services began in the spring and will continue until April 2019.


The committee, a part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is a 21-member panel of nationally recognized experts in the area of rural health. The group provides recommendations to the U.S. Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services on issues of particular interest and impact in rural health. The committee was created in 1987 with the charge to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services on solutions to key health care problems in rural America. 


“This appointment is an honor not only for Dr. Borders and his family, but also for Kentucky,” Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., said.  “Dr. Borders possesses a broad and deep understanding of the health care challenges facing rural Kentucky and America. His unique insight about evidence-based strategies that could improve rural health and health care delivery will greatly benefit the committee.”