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Carvalho Named Interim Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2014) — Susan Carvalho, professor of Hispanic Studies and associate provost for internationalization at the University of Kentucky, has been named interim associate provost and dean of the UK Graduate School.

 

Carvalho will maintain her role as associate provost for internationalization, a positon she has held since 2010 that involves overseeing the UK International Center and the implementation of UK’s comprehensive internationalization agenda. A part-time interim assistant provost will be appointed during this transition period to assist Carvalho with the internationalization portfolio.

 

"Graduate education is essential to our mission as a research university," said UK Provost Christine Riordan in a message sent to faculty and staff of the university. "To this interim position, Susan brings a wealth of experience and a history of building successful partnerships, collaborations and programs. There are great synergies between the areas of internationalization and the graduate school, especially with the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and growing international graduate enrollments.  The Graduate School is also home to our top ranked Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. I know Susan will lead these areas well."

 

In her more than 25 years at UK, Carvalho has served in a number of key leadership roles including associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, chair of the General Education Reform Steering Committee and interim chair of the Departments of Hispanic Studies and Political Science.  At the graduate level, she has been a recipient of UK’s highest award for graduate education, the William B. Sturgill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education, and she has directed 32 doctoral dissertations to completion.

 

Last year, Jeannine Blackwell announced her intent to retire from her position as dean of the Graduate School, which she has held for 11 years, and return to the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

"I know everyone across the UK family joins me in thanking her for her leadership and commitment to our university," said Riordan.

Only Three More 'Grand Nights' Remain

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:38

 

Ad for "It's a Grand Night for Singing!" 2014. A transcript of this video can be found here. Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre.

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2014) — At the University of Kentucky, the music doesn't stop for summer break. UK Opera Theatre stages its final three performances of this year's "It's a Grand Night for Singing!" 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

In its 22nd year, "Grand Night" has become known for performances of beloved Hollywood, Broadway and Top 40 tunes. More than 100 university and community talents come together to present a musical extravaganza of these classic songs.

 

Ticket prices for "Grand Night" range from $17-45. Group rates are available for groups of 25 or more. A processing fee will be applied upon completion of all transactions.

 

In honor of Russ Williams, the university's first representative of the staff on the Board of Trustees who died in 2009, each performance of “Grand Night” will also have select seats available to UK staff for only $25, plus processing fees. There is a limit of two tickets per valid UK staff I.D.

 

To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person.

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

Markey Patients, Survivors Showcase Their Expressions of Courage

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:33

 

Video by Allison Perry, 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. (June 18, 2014) —  Facing a cancer diagnosis is no easy feat. Patients at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center have always inspired the community with their strength and courage, and Friday, June 6th was no exception, as Markey honored the experiences of those who have battled cancer with a day of recognition and celebration. 

 

June is National Cancer Survivorship Month, and to mark the occasion, Markey held its inaugural Expressions of Courage event, an art exhibit showcasing original, artistic expressions connected in some way to an experience with a cancer diagnosis, or crafted by or in memory of a Markey patient whose battle has ended.

 

"We sent out over 6,000 letters," said Cindy Robinson, a nurse practitioner at Markey and one of the organizers behind the event. "And we asked people for any type of creative modality that they wanted to share with us, to share their cancer journey, whether it be positive or negative."

 

More than 30 artists responded. Entries of visual arts included paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, and quilting. The performing arts involved vocal music, instrumental music, and dancing, and poetry and short stories encompassed the literary arts.

 

The creations were on display all day in the Combs Research Building at Markey, with readings and performances starting in the afternoon and continuing into the early evening.

 

"The artwork is very moving and inspiring, and actually will bring tears to your eyes if you read some of the pieces," Robinson said. " We have some pieces here from patients that are no longer with us, and we personally know those people."

 

Expressions of Courage was made possible by gifts from the Markey Cancer Foundation and Biological Systems Consulting, Inc. With the help of Carla Repass, the assistant director for administration at Markey, and fellow Markey staff members Christie Daniels, Valeria Moore and Mincha Parker, Robinson said she felt they planned and pulled off the cancer center's first-of-its-kind celebration with flair.

 

"I think for our inaugural event, it's gone beautifully," Robinson said. "We have a lot of survivors here. They've shared their joy."

 

Shawna Cassidy Quan of Richmond, Ky., was one of the survivors in attendance, having been diagnosed with four different primary cancers over the course of fifteen years. Her expression of courage was an essay about her struggles with her multiple diagnoses.

 

"You figure out the answers to a lot of your problems even while you're sitting down writing," Quan said. "It's just been a wonderful, theraputic thing for me."

 

Norton Cancer Center and Markey patient Phillip Meeks traveled nearly two hours from Jeffersonville, Indiana, to attend the event. Meeks' art piece, a drawing by his daughter, was inspired by the unlikely good fortune of his treatment. In 2012, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, requiring a bone marrow transplant to survive.

 

As an African-American -- a population which only makes up roughly 7 percent of the bone marrow registry -- and with an adopted son with no biological family members to get tested, the odds of finding a match were against him.

 

The day he was admitted to the hospital, Meeks said, they found a token underneath his hospital bed: one side said "Believe in Miracles" while the other side said "Faith."

 

"To me, that was God's way of saying that I'm there with you, you know, don't be scared," Meeks said.

 

A donor match was found for him, and he received his life-saving transplant in January 2013. He notes that Expressions of Courage was not only a day to showcase talent, but a day that survivors could show their appreciation to the staff of Markey.

 

"I just want to give back," Meeks said. "That's my big thing. How can you thank so many people that are involved in saving your life? There's not a gift that you can give that's big enough. Hopefully this is my one little piece to say thank you for everything that everybody has done for me."

 

Many survivors and their families expressed their appreciation of the love and support of the UK and Markey community.

 

"You live life just as fully as you can, because you're not promised even another hour," Quan said. "I think we've done that today… I hope Markey does this again and keeps on doing it."

 

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

 

Aphasia is Treatable and Often Misunderstood Communication Disorder

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:38

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2014) -- Aphasia is a language problem caused by brain injury, typically a stroke.  Aphasia occurs when a stroke or other brain injury damage and disconnect areas of the brain responsible for language, which includes not only speech, but also the ability to comprehend, read, write, and even gesture. Approximately one million people in the United States have aphasia, and more than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed each year.  Aphasia is sometimes mistaken for intellectual impairment, and so they are often ignored because they may seem not to understand, or “shouted at” as if they have a hearing loss.

 

Individuals with aphasia are like snowflakes because no two people communicate the same way. For example, when asked about the 2014-2015 UK basketball team, Mr. Z might just smile and nod his head enthusiastically; Mr. Y might say, “Wow good”; and Mr. H. might say, “They are going to go all the way.” While all reflect hope for the coming season, they do so differently. Aphasia clinicians and researchers have the skills and experience to examine these varied responses and use this information to determine the severity and type of aphasia and its causes and to develop a treatment plan. 

 

Currently, individual or group speech and language therapy from licensed speech-language pathologists is the primary means of treating aphasia. Aphasia therapy seeks to restore as much communication as possible, promote the use of compensatory strategies, and help the patient and the family resume desirable pre-stroke activities.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates treatment for people with aphasia both in  the short-term (when survival from the stroke is the first priority) an in the long-term when functional (i.e. having a conversation) and psychosocial (i.e. going back to meaningful activities) needs are paramount. The National Aphasia Association (NAA) (www.aphasia.org) is promoting June as National Aphasia Awareness Month.

 

In Lexington, the University of Kentucky Speech and Hearing Clinic provides speech and language therapy to individuals with aphasia and also sponsors the Greater Lexington Aphasia Support System (GLASS), a support group for people affected by aphasia. For more information on the GLASS program, contact remarsh@uky.edu or log on to the UK College of Health Sciences website at http://bit.ly/ukchs.

 

Robert C. Marshall is a Professor in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky and an internationally recognized authority on aphasia and its treatment. 

 

This column appeared in the June 15, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Current Students Help New Wildcats "see vision." at UK

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2014) — As the newest members of the Wildcat Family arrive on campus for what is now known as the “see blue." U Orientation, a group of current UK students will be ready to show them what college life is all about.

 

"This is our two-day university orientation where students and their families can begin the transition to the University of Kentucky,” said Stephen Barnett, senior associate director of admission and senior associate registrar.  “The main focus of the event is to begin preparing students academically by meeting with their academic advisor and registering for their fall courses.”

 

As part of that preparation, students will spend time with their "see blue." Orientation Leaders. 

 

"What's amazing about working with "see blue." U Orientation is that it gives me an opportunity to share my love for this university with all of the incoming students," said Cassidy Teager, a sophomore from Morehead, Ky.  "My first year at UK was one of the best years of my life, and I can't wait to see what this university can do for them, as well!"

 

Teager and her fellow student leaders will stay busy throughout the summer, as the two-day orientations for freshmen begin June 23 and run through July 17. 

 

“The success of “see blue.” U is the direct result of the collaborative spirit of numerous colleagues across the UK campus,” said Don Witt, associate provost for enrollment management.  “It’s one of the most exciting events of the year as we welcome new students and their families to their new Kentucky home.”

 

Formerly known as summer advising conference, the name was changed so that the brand could be renewed and revamped to ensure a smoother, more cohesive transition for students from high school to the University of Kentucky.

 

"We wanted to make a stronger transition opportunity for our students and given the current two-step orientation process that includes the outstanding K Week program, we believe the combination of “see blue.” U with K Week will provide additional excitement and enhanced connections for an optimal introduction to our campus," Barnett said.

 

In addition to updating the brand of the orientations, there will also be some changes made in the two-day schedule. One major change will be the addition of small group time, referred to as UKonnect.

 

"These UKonnect groups will allow students to meet twice in a small group with other new students and a “see blue." U Orientation leader to start developing friendships and learning about UK in a smaller setting,” Barnett said. 

 

If you are attending “see blue." U Orientation, there are a few things you need to know before arriving on campus. 

 

"We encourage students and their parents to take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions of representatives from around campus so they feel prepared and comfortable when arriving for the start of classes in August," Barnett said.

 

Barnett encourages all incoming students to watch this short video before arriving for their “see blue.” U Orientation. 

 

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.

 

To browse through more resources for incoming students, visit: http://www.uky.edu/registrar/seeblueu/resources.

UK Superfund Research Center Receives $12.2 Million Federal Grant

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 14:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2014) — The University of Kentucky has received a $12.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue its work to better understand and minimize negative health and environmental impacts from hazardous waste sites.

 

The Nutrition and Superfund Chemical Toxicity grant funded through the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is administered through the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. It supports the efforts of more than 50 scientists and students from 15 departments within the colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Medicine; and Public Health.

 

UK is one of only four programs funded in 2014, placing it in a very elite group of just 19 centers nationwide. UK has received funding for its Superfund work since 1997, with this being one of the largest NIH grants ever received by UK.

 

UK Superfund Research Center’s biomedical research focuses on the idea that nutrition can help reduce negative health effects from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Environmental science researchers at the center are working to develop new methods to detect hazardous chemicals and clean up contaminated sites.

 

Kentucky has rates of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension, well above national averages. The state is also home to more than 200 federal Superfund sites, including 14 active sites that are on the National Priorities List, a list of the worst sites in the country. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines Superfund sites as uncontrolled or abandoned places where hazardous waste is located.

 

In Kentucky, such sites include abandoned waste dumps and large industrial facilities.  Many of these sites are contaminated with environmentally persistent chlorinated organic compounds, molecules which contain carbon and chlorine, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trichloroethylene (TCE).

 

"Our biomedical research goal is to help offset the negative health impacts that can occur when humans are exposed to toxic chemicals, thus improving health and disease outcomes, which can be associated with such exposures,” said Bernhard Hennig, center director and professor of nutrition and toxicology in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “The team is also looking at the impacts of such exposures on prenatal development.”

 

“We are optimistic that the results from our environmental science research will help accelerate the clean-up of several Superfund sites in Kentucky, such as the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Our research is likely to have other applications as well, including uses in treating drinking water and removing toxic metals from power plant water," said Lindell Ormsbee, associate director of the UK-SRC and a Raymond-Blythe Professor of civil engineering.

 

“This project brings the best scientists from many different disciplines and colleges together for a high-impact collaboration that advances our knowledge of some of the most pervasive chemical contaminants in our environment,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “These scientists also collaborate with colleagues from other state and national agencies and work within affected communities to educate individuals about strategies that may help combat the effects of contaminants and improve overall health.”

 

For more information on the Superfund Research Center, contact the UK-SRC Research Translation Core at 859-257-1299 or visit the center’s website, www.uky.edu/Research/Superfund.

New Class Registration System Easier to Use, Supports Retention Efforts

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2014)  Underscoring the University of Kentucky's efforts to place students first, a sophisticated new course registration system debuting today will make it easier to sign up for classes and also will significantly assist efforts in degree planning.

 

"For the first time, we will have a registration system completely integrated with all of our customer management services and outreach," said Don Witt, UK's associate provost for enrollment management. "The student user experience will be greatly improved and advisors will have an additional, powerful tool to aid students as they plan throughout their academic careers toward a degree."

 

The system is open today for students to start pre-registering for classes. And, most significantly, new, first-year students will be able to use the new registration system for the first time during summer advising conferences -- 'see blue.' U, which starts June 23 on the UK campus. A guide to the new system is on the registrar's website.

 

Witt said the new system, which has been in development by Enrollment Management and the Enterprise Application Group (EAG) and its Mobile Portal Workflow Team for more than a year, offers several powerful tools and insights for students and advisors to utilize, including:

 

·         Easier searches for information, such as class availability and capacity, numbers of open seats in a class and wait list information

 

·         A display of the class schedule in a calendar friendly view and format

 

·         Vastly improved speed of the system and performance

 

·         Greater access for students at pre-registration stage to see what classes they are eligible for and to work with advisors on a formalized degree plan

 

Witt said several focus groups were held with students last year as the new system was being developed. Open forums also have been held with advisors to better understand their needs and how to make the system better.

 

One student from a focus group said of the new sytem that "the course registration app allows me to find my classes both more quickly and easily.  It allows me to see a plan of what my schedule would look like without having to continuously create a hand-drawn one.”

           

Still another student remarked that the new system is "a lot easier than the old registration process, and I like this tool better because you can see your classes on a weekly schedule rather than having to go to several different tabs.”

 

In the past, Witt acknowledged that some students also utilized third-party sources and platforms to help with class registration and degree planning. But the new system, with a complete integration of all the university's available technology, should alleviate the need for that.

 

"Our entire focus — our only focus — has been to create a new registration system that makes it as easy as possible and as intuitive as possible for students and advisors to use," Smitha Nair, manager of the UKIT Mobile Portal Workflow Team. "We know one of the first impressions that students have of UK is the registration process. We also know that the ability to quickly register for classes and to understand how that experience fits with planning toward a degree is critical. I'm excited we have a system that will help us maximize the experience our students have in this vitally important process."

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155, kathy.johnson@uky.edu

UK Students Take Top Honors at 'University Open'

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2014) — Two University of Kentucky art studio students, Roya Ramezankhani and Kwang Won Son, have taken first and third place at the eighth annual "University Open."

 

Sponsored by LexArts, "University Open" features 33 pieces of artwork from the state's best students, including nine works from UK. The juried competition and exhibition between fine arts majors attending Kentucky universities opened May 16, at the Downtown Arts Center City Gallery. A closing reception for the exhibition will be held as a part of Lexington's Gallery Hop June 20. The show and reception are free and open to the public.

 

“University Open provides an exceptional opportunity for Kentucky’s emerging artists to be critically judged amongst their regional peers,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of LexArts. “It is exciting to see the wealth of talent that exists in this next generation of Kentucky artists.”

 

The 33 pieces of art selected to exhibit at the "University Open" represent eight public and private colleges in the Commonwealth. The winners were announced at an award ceremony during the show's opening reception. Ramezankhani, a 2014 art studio graduate from Lexington, took first place for "Exhale," inkjet photography on silk. She received a cash prize of $500. Son, an art studio senior from Lexington, took third place for his set of ceramics titled "Dragon Pot." He received a cash prize of $100.

 

This year’s guest juror was Mary Rezny, owner of M.S. Rezny Studio and Gallery, a local photography studio that specializes in fine art.

 

Other UK students whose work was selected to be featured in the "University Open" alongside Ramezankhani and Son are: Hayley Black, a 2014 art studio graduate from Lebanon, Ohio; Katelyn Gabbard, an art studio senior from Frankfort, Ky.; Taran Parsons, an art studio senior from Eastern, Ky.; Melissa Shelton, an art studio and integrated strategic communication senior from Hopkinsville, Ky.; Abigail Taylor, an art studio junior from Lexington; and Ethan Wooldridge, a 2014 art studio graduate from Columbia, Ky.

 

LexArts is a nonprofit community organization that works for the development of a strong and vibrant community as a means of enhancing the quality of life in Central Kentucky. LexArts provides a wide range of programs designed to integrate the arts into our daily lives. Through its annual Campaign for the Arts, LexArts has raised millions of dollars in support of local arts. In turn, LexArts underwrites the operating expenses for a variety of beneficiary organizations, offers affordable exhibition and performance space for arts organizations, as well as competitive grants for community outreach projects. For more information, visit their website at www.lexarts.org.     

 

The public can view the UK students' winning artwork and art from the state's other featured student artists in the "University Open" through June 20th, at the Downtown Arts Center, located at 141 E. Main St. Gallery hours for viewing are from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturdays.

 

"University Open" will be among the slate of exhibitions included in the Gallery Hop, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 20.

 

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies in 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 studio, art history and visual studies, and art education.  

 

 

 

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

Portion of Washington Avenue to Close on UK Campus Monday

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) — Utility upgrades and construction of the new University of Kentucky Academic Science Building will require portions of Washington Avenue and Rose Street on UK's campus to close for an extended period of time.  The first phase of this work is slated to begin next week.

 

On Monday, June 16, Washington Avenue from South Limestone to Gladstone Avenue will close. This phase is scheduled to last until Friday, July 4. During this time, the Graham and Gladstone parking areas off Washington Avenue will only be accessible via Rose Street.

 

A map of the affected areas can be accessed here: http://construction.uky.edu/renderings/Utility_Roadwork_ASB.jpg.

 

Vehicle traffic will be rerouted along Huguelet Drive to Rose Street, with access at the east end of Washington Avenue.  See map here: http://construction.uky.edu/documents/WashingtonAvenueClosure_6-16-14.pdf

 

In response to the upcoming street closure, UK Parking and Transportation Services has announced that the CATS Summer/Break Route will now travel down Huguelet Drive instead of Washington Avenue, resulting in the addition of a bus stop at Scovell Hall and the elimination of the Donovan Hall and Washington Avenue stops.

 

The sidewalk that runs from South Limestone to Rose Street on the Scovell Hall side of the street will remain open throughout the project.

 

University of Kentucky Environmental Health & Safety has compiled a list of safety tips that pedestrians should keep in mind:

  • Barriers are in place for a reason. Please respect all barriers and do not trespass or attempt to "shortcut" across any construction zones.
  • Take extra precautions when walking along construction zones, particularly when approaching gates/openings in these zones.
  • When construction activities result in sidewalk closures and pedestrian detours, follow the detours. Do not walk in areas not designated for pedestrians.
  • Cross streets only at designated crosswalks.
  • While it is always safest to walk on a sidewalk or designated pedestrian area, if for some reason you must walk in a street, walk facing traffic.
  • Distracted walking caused by using a cell phone can be as dangerous as driving while distracted. Attention to your surroundings while walking and crossing streets will keep you safer.

 

To report any unsafe conditions to University of Kentucky Environmental Health & Safety, call (859) 257-3827.

 

More information about road closures, detours, utility work and the construction projects of the Academic Science Building, Commonwealth Stadium, Gatton College of Business and Economics Building and University Lofts Building can be found here: http://construction.uky.edu/projects.aspx.

 

If you want information about traffic impact only, please visit: http://construction.uky.edu/projects.aspx?ProjID=6.

 

If you want regular email updates about campus construction and its impact on traffic, please visit http://construction.uky.edu/contact.aspx to sign up for a listserv.

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Looks at UK's Record Budget for 2014-15

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 23:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's program features UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday discussing UK's new budget that exceeds $3 billion for the first time. 

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/eric-monday-uks-record-breaking-budget.

 

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

Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Day Combines Research, Opera

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:44

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) -- The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center hosted its fourth annual Diabetes Day on Tuesday, May 20. With a focus on current findings in obesity and diabetes research, the day's program featured presentations by nationally prominent physician-scientists as well as regional researchers chosen from abstract submissions.  A reception and awards banquet was held in the evening, including performances from established and upcoming stars of UK's opera theatre program.

 

The event, co-sponsored by the Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease and the Nutrition and Oxidative Stress Training program, included three invited speakers. Dr. Dale Able, director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, presented his research on the relationship between insulin, diabetes and heart failure. Dr. Jennifer Pollock, co-director of cardio-renal physiology and medicine and associate director of the Center for Free Radical Biology at University of Alabama-Birmingham, discussed novel therapeutic strategies for diabetic nephropathy. Dr. Ananda Basu, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, presented the "bench to bedside" process of developing an artificial pancreas for Type 1 diabetes patients.

 

A number of UK researchers also delivered podium presentations, and more than 70 posters competed for judged awards. Recipients of poster awards were:

 

Marcielle de Beer (Physiology), Ailing Ji (CVRC), Yepeng Sui (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences), Carie Boychuk (Physiology), Prabhakara Nagareddy (CVRC), Robin Shoemaker (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences), Yu Wang (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences), Kate Townsend Creasy (Microbiology and Immunology), and Robert (Nate) Helsley (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences).

 

"This was a great day where diabetes and obesity researchers came together to exchange ideas, to view each other’s ongoing work, and to become recharged in the search for new treatments for these major metabolic diseases," said Dr. Philip Kern, director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center. "The program is especially helpful to junior investigators who get to present their work to a friendly audience, and everyone was edified by our guest faculty, who contributed eagerly of their time during the day."

 

Following the day's academic proceedings, a reception and awards banquet at the Hilary J. Boone Center recognized the outstanding science of the day and also served as an opportunity to thank the members of Barnstable Brown family, who gave the founding donation to establish the center and reamin avid fundraisers to support its work.

 

The evening's entertainment was provided by Everett McCorvey, director of UK's opera theatre, who has performed at the event every year. McCorvey became involved in the event because he has Type 2 diabetes and wants to support efforts to find a cure.

 

"I’m always honored to perform and also to join in the celebration of what the Barnstable Brown family means to the University and also what the center that they helped to create means to the citizens of Kentucky," said McCorvey.  

 

He particularly appreciates the collaborative spirit of the arts and health care fields working together to solve serious problems.

 

"Professors in all disciplines are seeking and finding ways to work collaboratively across campus in order to solve the complex challenges facing not only Kentucky’s citizens but the world’s citizens," he said. "In solving the problems of the world, there is a place for the arts."

 

In this year's performance, McCorvey was joined by singers from the cast of “It’s A Grand Night For Singing,"  Endowed Chair of Voice and Metropolitan Opera Soprano Cynthia Lawrence, UK Artist in Residence and Metropolitan Opera Tenor Gregory Turay, and UK vocal coach Dr. Tedrin Blair Lindsay.  Some of UK's youngest opera stars also performed, including incoming freshman Clark Davis, undergraduate student Mary Catherine Wright, and doctoral student Ryan Traub.  The artists performed favorite opera selections from UK's past opera season and introduced selections from the upcoming season, which will include Sweeney Todd, The Tales of Hoffman, Amahl and The Night Visitors, and It’s A Grand Night For Singing!  

 

At the reception, the Second Annual Fred and Marcielle de Beer Award in Diabetes was presented to Dr. Lisa Cassis, professor and chair of the UK Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology and interim vice president for research.  Cassis is currently principal investigator on several multi-million dollar federal grants, including serving as program director of an $11.3 million National Institutes of Health grant that supports the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) focusing on obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

 

"Diabetes Day brought in great scholars and research, and provided a wonderful night of entertainment to thank the family for their continued support," said Kern.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, mallory.powell@uy.edu

 

Trombone Shorty to Bring Supafunkrock to the Bluegrass

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 12:27

 

Trombone Shorty performs "Fire & Brimstone" at Coachella. A transcript of this video can be found here. Video courtesy of Coachelle YouTube channel. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts will kick off its 2014-2015 season with an artist inspired by such a unique blend of musical genres that he dubbed it a whole new sound. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Tickets for Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will go on sale Monday, June 16.

 

New Orleans native Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is a rare artist who can draw both the unqualified respect of jazz legends and deliver a high-energy show capable of mesmerizing international rock stars and audiences alike. With an unprecedented mix of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul, he had to create his own name to describe his signature sound: Supafunkrock! Andrews is the kind of player who comes along maybe once in a generation.

 

Trombone Shorty began his career as a bandleader at the young age of six, toured internationally at age 12, and spent his teens playing with various brass bands throughout New Orleans and touring worldwide with Lenny Kravitz.

 

Andrews is currently the front man for his own ensemble Orleans Avenue, a funk/rock/jazz/hip-hop band. Together, Trombone Shorty and the band have toured across the U.S., Europe, Australia, Russia, Japan and Brazil. In 2010, Trombone Shorty released his debut album, the Grammy-nominated "Backatown," followed by "For True" in 2011, which topped Billboard magazine's Contemporary Jazz Chart for 12 weeks. His newest album, "Say That to Say This," was released in 2013 and features funk/jazz elements of New Orleans.

 

The popular musician has appeared in several episodes of HBO's "Treme," and has recently appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and "Conan." In 2012, Andrews performed at the White House in honor of Black History Month with such music royalty as B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Booker T. Jones.

 

At this year's Grammy Awards, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue performed alongside Madonna, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert.

 

In 2012, Andrews received the President's Medal from Tulane University in recognition of his charitable work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation. In collaboration with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Trombone Shorty Foundation donates quality instruments to schools across New Orleans.

 

Ticket prices are based on seating location and are $27 and $35 plus fees. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFATickets.com, or in person at the ticket office.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

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

WUKY Holds Vintage Vinyl Sale at Habitat Restore

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 23:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2014) — Have records that are no longer listened to and are taking up space, collecting dust? WUKY can help you reduce your clutter. WUKY is holding its second annual vinyl sale from June 13-15.  

 

Take those LPs, 45s, and CDs to the Lexington Habitat Restore at 451 Southland Dr. Records can be dropped off anytime between 10 a.m.-7 p.m. today through Saturday.

 

The records donated will be sold to raise funds for the segments “Morning Edition,” “Rock & Roots,” “Wait Wait Don't Tell Me” and more.
 

WUKY is a community-supported service of the University of Kentucky providing high-quality news, cultural and entertainment content. WUKY was first formed in 1921 with the station 9YC, and in 1939 radio studios were built in McVey Hall at UK where the station still resides broadcasting on air at 91.3 FM.  

UKPD Participates in Fundraiser for Special Olympics

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 23:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2014)University of Kentucky Police officers will participate in Cops on Doughnut Shops, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Kentucky, Friday, July 13.  Fifteen UK officers will join other local law enforcement officers from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Krispy Kreme location on Richmond Road in Lexington.

 

 

"Police officers in uniform will be asking for donations at the drive-through, the front entrance of the building, as well as having officers on top of the building to promote this fundraiser," said UK Police Lt. Robert Turner, who helped coordinate the event for the UK Police Department.

 

UKPD has volunteered for this event since it began in Lexington two years ago, Turner said.  Approximately $2,000 was raised last year. 

 

The Cops on Doughnut Shops fundraiser is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Kentucky.  The Torch Run initiative encompasses a variety of community-based fundraising events.

 

For more information visit http://www.kytorchrun.org/copsondoughnut.htm

UK Theatre's Name Change Recognizes Dance Program's Growth

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 16:26

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre in the UK College of Fine Arts has received approval from the university's Board of Trustees to change its name to the UK Department of Theatre and Dance to reflect the growing popularity of dance within the department. The name change was approved June 10.

 

The UK dance minor has become tremendously popular, drawing students from various majors in eight colleges across campus. At its inception the dance minor had six students and in less than three years has grown to more than 50 students.

 

This growth is one of many reasons the department has decided a name change is needed.

 

"The Dance Program has quickly become a major asset for recruitment, research/performance, outreach and instruction in the department," said Nancy Jones, chair of the department.

 

To acknowledge the program's growth and benefits to the department, UK Theatre faculty discussed and voted to approve the change in April. During that meeting the motion was brought before the full-time faculty and passed unanimously. 

 

The UK Department of Theatre was formed as its own unit in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1967, although theatre has been a dynamic part of the UK student experience since 1911 when it was housed in the English Department. Since that time the Department of Theatre has been an active and vital component of the Lexington and Central Kentucky arts scene. The department moved to the College of Fine Arts when it opened in 1976.

 

In April 2010 the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotions in the College of Education voted to suspend its dance minor, and at that time, the Department of Theatre began the process to revise the program and take over dance courses in its curriculum. The UK Senate approved the adoption of the dance minor in UK Theatre in November of 2011 and Susie Thiel was hired as lecturer and director of the Dance Program. Thiel is now an assistant professor in the college.

 

Since its move to UK Theatre, the UK Dance Program has presented an annual dance concert featuring nationally renowned choreographers. In addition, dance faculty and students engage in outreach programs with local schools, and have been awarded top recognition at national festivals and conferences like the American College Dance Festival and National Dance Education Organization.  

 

 

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

 

Brewer Appointed New Director of Medical Center Library

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 15:10

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2014) – Rick A. Brewer has been named new director of the Medical Center Library (MCL) at the University of Kentucky. Brewer has served as interim director of the MCL since August 2013.

 

A three-time graduate of UK, Brewer holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a master’s degree in library and information science. He has a long history of work in UK Libraries and other institutions, and brings to the position a wealth of library management experience.

 

Brewer began his professional UK Libraries career in 1985 working primarily in public services. Beginning in 1994, he served as a reference services librarian for the information and education services team of the MCL until 2001, then served from 2001 to 2004 as the team leader of access services. Beginning in 2005, he served as the MCL assistant director for research, education, and clinical services, until assuming the position as interim director in 2013.

 

Brewer is an active member of the Medical Library Association, including its Midwest Chapter. His publications and presentations have focused on innovative approaches to accessing health science information and the role of librarians in teaching and learning within the academic medical environment.

 

“Rick brings a wealth of experience to his new position. I look forward to working with him to meet the challenges of providing access to information and medical library services critical to academic health care – research, education and clinical care within UK’s six health sciences colleges and UK HealthCare,” said Terry Birdwhistell, dean of UK Libraries.

 

“I am pleased and excited to become the next director of the Medical Center Library (MCL). I look forward to working with everyone as we continue to make the MCL a strong and vital presence,” said Brewer.

 

Brewer will take on his new position as director of the UK Libraries MCL effective July 1. 

 

 

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

Dining Partnership Details Announced, Will Transform Vital Service To UK Campus

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 08:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2014) — Saying it will "transform overnight the way we provide a vital service to our campus," University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said Tuesday the university is moving forward with a 15-year, nearly $250 million contract with Aramark to provide dining services for UK.

 

"In many respects, the direction we are embarking on today is as transformative as the process we started two years ago to revitalize student housing across the campus," Capilouto said. "Both initiatives place as a priority our top goal as an institution — doing what is best for our students. We are placing students first — in how they live, how they eat, where they learn and how we prepare them through a first-class education alongside a stellar faculty and staff. Today marks another way that we are declaring that the University of Kentucky will be among the handful of top-tier residential public research campuses in America."

 

In the last two years, working with private developer EdR, more than $380 million has been invested in the construction of more than 5,700 high-tech residence hall beds — the largest overhaul of housing in American public higher education.

 

Capital investments of more than $600,000 have to be approved by the board. The board, as a result, was being asked to consider some $70 million from private funds in dining capital project investments at its Tuesday meeting.  The projects were approved and many will be ready for students this fall.

 

“Over the last three years, under the leadership of President Capilouto, our board has been focused on creating the kind of residential campus that will stand out in American higher education. That’s what Kentucky needs. It’s what our students deserve," said UK Board Chairman Britt Brockman. "This partnership represents another important step in that direction as we will be providing our students and university community with better food, healthier options, and the kind of facilities that will promote greater use and collaboration. That is all by design. Along with our housing revitalization efforts, and our initiatives to rebuild the core of campus, the University of Kentucky is, without question, leading.”

 

“Aramark is proud to partner with the University of Kentucky to transform their student experience and environment as part of our mission to enrich and nourish lives,” said Mark Nelson, president of Aramark’s Higher Education business. “We look forward to achieving that goal together with UK Dining’s employees and the Kentucky Proud program through local sourcing, offering nutrition and wellness initiatives, as well as introducing exciting new retail brands.”

           

Key provisions of the partnership with Aramark include:

 

  • Prices for UK's six current student meal plans will be reduced, with the most expensive plan falling in price by 26 percent or about $740 per semester.

 

  • $70 million in facilities investments, including $40 million in new facilities, subject to board approval, would be made by 2017-2018, including the new K-Lair at Haggin Hall and substantial upgrades to the Student Center Food Court, both to be ready for this fall and a newly constructed Commons for Fall 2015 that will feature Kentucky Proud products and sustainable design elements.

 

  • Several new food brands will be locating on campus starting this fall and next year. This fall, a new locally owned Common Grounds, Rising Roll Gourmet, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Greens to Go will open on campus.

 

  • In Fall 2015, the first on-campus Panera in the nation will open as part of a new, $32 million Commons that Aramark is building near the W.T. Young Library.

 

  • More emphasis will be placed on nutrition and wellness with a full-time dietician hired by Aramark, digital menu boards, a nutrition website and mobile apps for nutrition and fitness that will be instituted, among other innovations.

 

  • Aramark is providing guarantees to increase Kentucky Proud and local food purchasing, including an 11 percent increase in the first year of the contract with $2 million in guaranteed purchases. Over the life of the contract, local food and Kentucky Proud purchases are projected to grow each year and represent approximately 25 percent of total food purchases by the end of the term.

 

  • Significant sustainability initiatives will include LEED certification being sought on new construction, hiring of a full-time sustainability coordinator and implementation of Green Thread business practices, including waste stream management practices, minimizing food waste and supporting composting, energy audits and other energy and conservation initiatives.

 

  • The creation of a "Food Hub" in partnership with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, including a $5 million guaranteed investment in an unprecedented academic partnership. More details about the food initiative will be announced later this summer. "The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment community is excited about promoting food education and outreach campus-wide, in partnership with Aramark," said Nancy Cox, dean of the college. "Soon we will begin soliciting input to plan programs that strengthen the student experience and elevate UK's prominence in the study of food systems." 

 

  • Current UK employees with dining — about 110 people — will have the opportunity to remain university employees with the same salary and benefits — a guarantee made by the university more than a year ago.

 

  • Aramark is committed to growing the number of full-time and student employees.

 

  • Key Performance Indicators on all major facets of the contract between UK and Aramark will be tracked and will include financial penalties if measures are not met in areas such as local food sourcing, customer satisfaction, nutrition and wellness, and employee numbers.

 

"Better food, more reasonably priced and healthier options along with significant investments and upgrades in the facilities where our students, faculty and staff eat — those are the kinds of guaranteed investments this partnership represents. As a result, this contract represents a game-changer for UK, for our students and for the broader community we serve," said Eric N. Monday, UK's executive vice president for finance and administration. "This initiative says to everyone that UK is an institution looking to put students at the center of what we do and, in fact, we are acting on that in creating the best possible living and learning environment."

 

Terms of the contract are outlined in the PDF attached below or can be accessed here.

 

An update on the partnership presented to the UK Board of Trustees Tuesday is in the PDF attached below or can be accessed here.

College of Public Health Alum Selected as Lexington's First Local Food Coordinator

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 14:05

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2014) -- Ashton Potter Wright, a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, is serving as Lexington’s first local food coordinator, a new position charged with improving connections between Central Kentucky farmers and consumers.

 

“The goal is to grow the local agricultural economy while improving the health of local citizens by providing better access to healthy, locally grown foods,” Mayor Jim Gray said.

 

Councilmember Steve Kay worked to establish the position for three years. “Ashton will fill the gap between producers and consumers, improving connections at all levels, individual and businesses,” he said. “It’s a regional position. The consumers will be concentrated in Lexington, but Ashton will work with farmers and buyers throughout Central Kentucky.”

 

With the hiring of Wright, Lexington becomes the second city in the state with a Local Food Coordinator. Louisville’s Farm to Table Coordinator served as a model for Lexington. Wright will be part of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, but the pilot position is funded through a combination of agriculture development funds, private grants and $25,000 from the city.

 

Wright, a Lexington native, holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Kentucky. She has worked on several initiatives to improve access to healthy food at both the state and national level. She recently completed a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, where she served as the operations manager for First Lady Michele Obama’s Let’s Move! Childcare campaign.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, mallory.powell@uky.edu

 

Auto Mechanic Turned Neurosurgeon Credits UK Professor for "Transformative Moment"

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 09:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2014) -- It was a Toyota Corolla that brought Geoff Manley and Shelly Steiner together.

 

In the early 1980's, Manley was a high school dropout working as a mechanic -- first at the Texaco station in Lexington's Gardenside neighborhood, and then on his own.  His clientele included many University of Kentucky faculty.  Microbiology professor Shelly Steiner was among them.

 

"Geoff would fix my car and we would chat," Steiner, a professor of microbiology, recalls. "Some kids are polite -- you know, 'yes, yes sir' -- but disengaged. Geoff was clearly intelligent and focused. You can talk to someone for just a few minutes and know right away how bright they are.  Geoff was like that."

 

 

No one else in Manley's family had been to college, so "it just wasn't on my radar screen," he says.  Steiner's suggestion that Manley complete his GED and enroll at UK was, in his words, a "transformative moment."

 

As a student, Manley struggled to manage his classwork and multiple odd jobs, including two stints in Steiner's lab. But with Steiner's encouragement, Manley graduated in 1988, went to Cornell for his MD-PhD, and on to California, where he is currently vice chair for the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California-San Francisco.  Manley's earlier work with Steiner and a colleague in the lab influenced his decision to pursue a career in the neurosciences; his particular interest is in traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

 

While professional athletes and their concussions have become the poster children for traumatic brain injury, TBI manifests far more commonly in auto accidents or slips-and-falls. At least 1.7 million people in the US seek medical attention for TBI each year and 2 percent of the U.S.. population now lives with TBI-caused disabilities at an annual cost of about $77 billion, according to the CDC.

 

"I did a lot of bench work earlier in my career, but I was torn between my interest in the basic sciences and my desire to do something directly relevant for TBI patients," Manley explains. "So I began to explore a new translational research approach to TBI."

 

His work has caught the attention of National Institutes of Health (NIH), which has awarded him $18.8 million over five years to support worldwide research on concussion and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Manley is ground zero for one of the largest international research collaborations ever coordinated by funding agencies, which includes the NIH, the European Commission, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

 

Because of its complexity, TBI has defied conventional approaches to diagnosis and therapy development.  According to Dr. Manley, the search to find broadly applicable, effective treatments for TBI has been disappointing so far.

 

"After three decades of failed clinical trials, a new approach is needed,” he said.  By analyzing data from enormous cohorts of TBI patients worldwide, Dr. Manley and his colleagues hope to drastically refine current TBI measures. "Here we are in the 21st Century, and we classify TBI in one of three ways: mild, moderate, or severe," he says.  "Cancer, by comparison, can be characterized in a very precise way, and treatments are customized to each patient's needs."  Dr. Manley's goal is to create a set of TBI classifications that are as detailed as those for cancer -- the term he uses is "precision medicine."

 

“We expect that our approach will permit researchers to characterize and stratify patients more effectively, will allow meaningful comparisons of treatments and outcomes, and will improve the next generation of clinical trials. Advancing our understanding of TBI will ultimately lead to successful, patient-specific treatments.”

 

Dr. Manley returned to Lexington last month as a keynote speaker for this year's KSCHIRT Symposium, hosted by the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the University of Kentucky.  He shared the podium with experts representing a who's who of TBI research -- including SCoBIRC's own Kathryn Saatmann, Ph.D., who presented her findings on the therapeutic potential of insulin-like growth factor-1 in TBI. Approximately 150 scientists attended the symposium, in its 20th year, to share research data on topics like brain plasticity and the role inflammation plays in brain damage post-TBI.

 

SCoBIRC was established in 1999 to promote research on injuries to the spinal cord and brain that result in paralysis or other loss of neurologic function.  The center's revenues originally came from the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust Fund (KSCHIRT), which funneled revenues from fines for seat belt and other moving violations to TBI/SCI research projects in Kentucky, although these days that amount is dwarfed by funding from other sources, such as the NIH.

 

According to Jim Geddes, PhD, SCoBIRC is one of the few centers in the U.S. with expertise in both spinal cord and brain injury.  Consequently, SCoBIRC has been able to attract some of the best minds in the field to Lexington, from places like the University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve, and the pharmaceutical industry.

 

"For every dollar we receive from the state through KSCHIRT, we are generating another $4.80 in extramural support," says Geddes, SCoBIRC's director. "It's been a case study in momentum: we've used KSCHIRT money to do some interesting research, which attracts more researchers, who in turn get more money.  SCoBIRC is now reaching a critical mass where we are doing some pretty great things in both the basic sciences and in translational science as it relates to brain and spinal cord injury." In fact, Geddes notes, the center is gearing up for not one, but two Phase II clinical trials, and they are an active participant in what Geddes calls an international treasure hunt for the biomarkers of brain and spinal cord injury.

 

Steiner says one of UK's strengths is its emphasis on independent research projects for students. Any UK student who wants to get a feel of what it's like to conduct big-time research in a nationally funded lab has that opportunity. SCoBIRC is an excellent example of that commitment, with dozens of undergraduates (and three high school students) working in its labs alongside SCoBIRC faculty, helping to discover and advance potential therapies for the neuroprotective or neurorestorative treatment of TBI and SCI. This relationship between faculty and student develops bonds that can inform a student's life path in profound ways, as it did with Geoff Manley and Shelly Steiner.

 

Manley echoes this sentiment. "Having Shelly Steiner come into my life was a transformative moment. His persistence and encouragement got me my GED, got me through UK, and got me to where I am today."

 

Steiner shakes his head and in a gentle, self-deprecating voice, disagrees.  "Geoff would have made it anyway -- he had the intellectual octane and the motivation.  He may think others helped him, but it really was his trip."

 

Media Contact:  Laura Dawahare, laura.dawahare@uky.edu

 

 

Dining Partnership Will Transform Vital Service to UK Campus

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 08:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 10, 2014) — Saying it will "transform overnight the way we provide a vital service to our campus," University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said Tuesday the university is moving forward with a 15-year, nearly $250 million contract with Aramark to provide dining services for UK.

 

"In many respects, the direction we are embarking on today is as transformative as the process we started two years ago to revitalize student housing across the campus," Capilouto said. "Both initiatives place as a priority our top goal as an institution — doing what is best for our students. We are placing students first — in how they live, how they eat, where they learn and how we prepare them through a first-class education alongside a stellar faculty and staff. Today marks another way that we are declaring that the University of Kentucky will be among the handful of top-tier residential public research campuses in America."

 

In the last two years, working with private developer EdR, more than $380 million has been invested in the construction of more than 5,700 high-tech residence hall beds — the largest overhaul of housing in American public higher education.

 

Capital investments of more than $600,000 have to be approved by the board. The board, as a result, was being asked to consider some $70 million from private funds in dining capital project investments at its Tuesday meeting, many of which if approved, would be ready for students this fall.

 

“Over the last three years, under the leadership of President Capilouto, our board has been focused on creating the kind of residential campus that will stand out in American higher education. That’s what Kentucky needs. It’s what our students deserve," said UK Board Chairman Britt Brockman. "This partnership represents another important step in that direction as we will be providing our students and university community with better food, healthier options, and the kind of facilities that will promote greater use and collaboration. That is all by design. Along with our housing revitalization efforts, and our initiatives to rebuild the core of campus, the University of Kentucky is, without question, leading.”

 

“Aramark is proud to partner with the University of Kentucky to transform their student experience and environment as part of our mission to enrich and nourish lives,” said Mark Nelson, president of Aramark’s Higher Education business. “We look forward to achieving that goal together with UK Dining’s employees and the Kentucky Proud program through local sourcing, offering nutrition and wellness initiatives, as well as introducing exciting new retail brands.”

           

Key provisions of the partnership with Aramark will include:

 

  • Prices for UK's six current student meal plans will be reduced,   with the most expensive plan falling in price by 26 percent or about $740 per semester.

 

  • $70 million in facilities investments, including $40 million in new facilities, subject to board approval, would be made by 2017-2018, including the new K-Lair at Haggin Hall and substantial upgrades to the Student Center Food Court, both to be ready for this fall and a newly constructed Commons for Fall 2015 that will feature Kentucky Proud products and sustainable design elements.

 

  • Several new food brands will be locating on campus starting this fall and next year. This fall, a new locally owned Common Grounds, Rising Roll Gourmet, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Greens to Go will open on campus.

 

  • In Fall 2015, the first on-campus Panera in the nation will open as part of a new, $32 million Commons that Aramark is building near the W.T. Young Library.

 

  • More emphasis will be placed on nutrition and wellness with a full-time dietician hired by Aramark, digital menu boards, a nutrition website and mobile apps for nutrition and fitness that will be instituted, among other innovations.

 

  • Aramark is providing guarantees to increase Kentucky Proud and local food purchasing, including an 11 percent increase in the first year of the contract with $2 million in guaranteed purchases. Over the life of the contract, local food and Kentucky Proud purchases are projected to grow each year and represent approximately 25 percent of total food purchases by the end of the term.

 

  • Significant sustainability initiatives will include LEED certification being sought on new construction, hiring of a full-time sustainability coordinator and implementation of Green Thread business practices, including waste stream management practices, minimizing food waste and supporting composting, energy audits and other energy and conservation initiatives.

 

  • The creation of a "Food Hub" in partnership with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, including a $5 million guaranteed investment in an unprecedented academic partnership. More details about the food initiative will be announced later this summer. "The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment community is excited about promoting food education and outreach campus-wide, in partnership with Aramark," said Nancy Cox, dean of the college. "Soon we will begin soliciting input to plan programs that strengthen the student experience and elevate UK's prominence in the study of food systems." 

 

  • Current UK employees with dining — about 110 people — will have the opportunity to remain university employees with the same salary and benefits — a guarantee made by the university more than a year ago.

 

  • Aramark is committed to growing the number of full-time and student employees.

 

  • Key Performance Indicators on all major facets of the contract between UK and Aramark will be tracked and will include financial penalties if measures are not met in areas such as local food sourcing, customer satisfaction, nutrition and wellness, and employee numbers.

 

"Better food, more reasonably priced and healthier options along with significant investments and upgrades in the facilities where our students, faculty and staff eat — those are the kinds of guaranteed investments this partnership represents. As a result, this contract represents a game-changer for UK, for our students and for the broader community we serve," said Eric N. Monday, UK's executive vice president for finance and administration. "This initiative says to everyone that UK is an institution looking to put students at the center of what we do and, in fact, we are acting on that in creating the best possible living and learning environment."

 

Terms of the contract are outlined in the PDF attached below or can be accessed here.

 

An update on the partnership presented to the UK Board of Trustees today is in the PDF attached below or can be accessed here.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton, jay.blanton@uky.edu, 859-699-0041

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