Campus News

Universities Off to a Flying Start With Large Drone Research Project

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 14:35


Click the arrows to view photos of the flight campaign in Oklahoma. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 11, 2016)  Nearly 100 researchers and students from four universities, including the University of Kentucky, converged in Stillwater, Oklahoma, recently to do what they do best — fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), otherwise known as drone systems.


The groups from UK, Oklahoma State University (OSU), the University of Oklahoma (OU) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln were conducting their first flight campaign for CLOUD MAP, the $6 million NSF-funded project focused on using drones for improved precision agriculture and weather forecasting.


"It was a great opportunity as a student to learn and practice engineering skills; for UK to work closely with other schools; and for science to accomplish goals that very few have even attempted," said Rob Singler, a mechanical engineering student who attended the weeklong campaign.


With weather cooperating all week, UK flew 70 successful flights of nearly 250 total campaign flights testing different technologies. All UK flights were conducted per Federal Aviation Administration regulations under UK's blanket certificate of authorization.


"This flight campaign — the world's largest gathering of atmospheric science and UAS researchers to date — exceeded everyone's expectations," said UK College of Engineering's Suzanne Smith, director of the UK Unmanned Systems Research Consortium and principal investigator of UK's efforts in the project.


UK faculty, staff and students from the departments of mechanical engineering, biosystems and agricultural engineering and chemistry attended the campaign, which included a tour of the National Weather Center.


After 17 faculty investigators presented their research to more than 80 faculty, staff and students in attendance, "ideas started coming immediately as we witnessed the potential of this technology all together in one place," Smith said.


On the first full testing day, Smith said many were already imagining the possibilities of the research when working together for a second year — "and 2017 is only year two of this four-year project."


Collaboration kept the team flying high all week. UK's Sean Bailey and OU's Phil Chilson conceived joint test flights with two UK fixed-wing sensor platforms and OU's rotorcraft platform. UK's Michael Sama collaborated with OSU's Amy Frazier, sharing ground reference targets viewed with his multispectral imaging sensors.


Many joint exercises were conducted with the flights, allowing teams to compare sensor measurements and analyze which sensors could complement each other. Researchers also flew their UAS around an Oklahoma Mesonet site where high-quality reference weather and ground moisture data is available. 


"Now there is much data to evaluate and analyze over the next several months," Smith said.


A tour of the National Weather Center and the OU Advanced Radar Research Center completed the outstanding week for all.


The excitement of their accomplishments and collaborations is sure to energize the students and faculty as they work toward the next CLOUD MAP Flight Campaign tentatively scheduled for July 10-14, 2017, again in Stillwater. The 2018 flight campaign is planned for Kentucky.


UK staff attendees included:

Ryan Nolin (Mechanical Engineering)

Luis Felipe Pampolini (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering)


Other UK faculty attendees:

Marcelo Guzman (Chemistry)

Jesse Hoagg (Mechanical Engineering)

Michael Renfro (Mechanical Engineering)


UK graduate students:

Ali Hamidisepehr (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering)

Liz Pillar-Little (Chemistry)

Brandon Witte (Mechanical Engineering)


UK undergraduate students:

Caleb Canter (Mechanical Engineering)

Chris Good (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering)

Jonathan Hamilton (Mechanical Engineering)

William Sanders (Mechanical Engineering)

Rob Singler (Mechanical Engineering)


For more information on CLOUD MAP, visit


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




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


Jeff Zumwalt Named Director of Utilities and Energy Management

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 8, 2016)  The University of Kentucky has named Jeff Zumwalt the director of utilities and energy management, a role that will report directly to the vice president for facilities management as part of implementation of a new energy management and conservation effort across UK.


In his role, Zumwalt provides leadership on planning and implementing the university’s strategic initiatives related to utilities and energy management. This includes energy procurement, production and distribution throughout the campus. Zumwalt is also charged with developing and managing energy conservation programs.


Prior to coming to UK, Zumwalt worked as the associate director of production and distribution for Texas A&M University and the director of the physical plant department for the University of New Mexico (UNM).


At UNM, Zumwalt managed $80 million in utility renovations funded by energy efficiency improvements. His efforts in energy efficiency led to his appointment on UNM’s sustainability council. In this capacity, he drafted the first greenhouse gas inventory for the campus in 2007 and helped write the climate action plan.


He was also the vice president of Lobo Energy, a subsidiary of UNM that focused on opportunities to reduce energy costs. Prior to joining UNM, Zumwalt spent 12 years in the electric utility industry working for Reliant Energy and Southern California Edison.


Zumwalt earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and a MBA from UNM.


He is active in industry associations as demonstrated by his past membership on the board of directors for the International District Energy Association and the New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers. Zumwalt has also volunteered as a member of the faculty at the APPA Institute for Facility Management.



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



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

Martin School to Offer Online Public Financial Management Programs

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 15:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2016)  There are exciting developments in the University of Kentucky's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration in the way of new academic offerings.


Beginning with the fall semester, the Martin School is offering an online, 12-credit-hour, four-course graduate level Certificate of Public Financial Management. The first two classes will be available in the fall and two more will be offered in the spring. Each class in the certificate program will be offered in an eight-week module. 


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


"The Certificate of Public Financial Management is designed to provide 'in-place' staff of federal, state and local government or nonprofit organizational employees with an enhanced understanding of policies and processes needed for effective financial management of their department or organization," said Merl Hackbart, longtime professor who has served as the interim driector of the Martin School.


"Governmental accounting and auditing have a specific set of knowledge and skills which are different than those in corporate accounting," Anderson said. "Accounting programs have been able to provide only limited coverage to the governmental area. This program will offer governmental accounting professionals the opportunity to acquire this information in a structured and concise format so as to develop more efficiently and effectively their expertise."


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


The Martin School will also soon launch a 36-hour Master of Public Financial Management (MPFM) program as a result of the Council on Postsecondary Education's recent unanimous vote to approve the degree. Also offered completely online, the MPFM will be the school's fourth degree program and will be distinct nationally because of its focus. The master's builds on the Martin School's national reputation which includes a ranking of fourth in the country in the area of public finance and budgeting by U.S. News & World Report.


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


Rhonda Trautman, the director of the new online programs being offered through the Martin School added, "These opportunities provide students from across the country and beyond a very affordable, flexible way to pursue graduate education while still receiving the same quality education as those students attending classes on campus.”


Anderson also cited the contributions of Jennifer Siebenthaler, a senior lecturer in the Von Allmen School who teaches governmental and nonprofit accounting for the Master of Science in Accounting (MSACC), as well as undergraduate accounting programs. Siebenthaler will be teaching the governmental accounting course for the online MPFM. 


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


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



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




MEDIA CONTACTS: Nathan Antetomaso,, 585-690-7320; Carl Nathe,, 859-257-3200

UK Law Gives High School Students Inside Look at Legal Education

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2016) A diverse group of 18 high school students, representing all of Lexington’s public high schools and Sayre School, came to the University of Kentucky College of Law recently for the third annual Summer Law Institute (SLI) — a seven-day residential law camp for rising juniors and seniors interested in law and the legal profession.


Kenleigh Joseph, a student at Tates Creek High School, participated in the camp this year. "This is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had," Joseph said. "I also think it’s brought me clarity on what I want to go into after high school."


Law Camp, co-hosted by the UK College of Law and the Fayette County Bar Association (FCBA), consists of four days of classes, one day of job shadowing, and a day of oral argument presentations. The classes, taught by UK law professors Allison Connelly, Mary Davis and Melissa Henke, covered the fundamentals of trial procedure, the judicial system, and criminal and civil law.


In addition to seeing the academic side of preparing to be a lawyer, students had the opportunity to see lawyers at work, in their offices and in the courtroom. They toured the Fayette Circuit Courthouse, got a glimpse of several live court sessions, and shadowed attorneys to see what a day in the life of a lawyer is really like.


In the evenings, students worked on daily assignments in Champions Court II (recently renamed Georgia M. Blazer Hall), their assigned dormitory housing, to prepare for the individual oral arguments they presented on Saturday morning in the College of Law courtroom. A law professor and two local judges critiqued the arguments.


“Each year’s group has a different personality and this group was lively, engaged, smart and maybe a bit rambunctious," said Judge Sheila Isaac, executive director for the FCBA. "They fit together very well and bonded early. As the other two groups in previous years told us, they wanted to stay longer and have a second year camp next summer.”


Aside from the busy educational agenda created by Allison Connelly, academic dean for Law Camp, there was also time to get a glimpse of student life at UK. The group that formed an instant bond played ultimate Frisbee, card games, ping-pong tournaments and even had dessert at local favorites Sav’s Grill and Insomnia Cookies.


The idea to host a law camp is credited to Isaac. When she first began as director of the FCBA, she met with the director of the Louisville Bar Association who informed her about their annual law camp funded by the Louisville Bar Foundation — the only program they have allowed to be funded every year.  She loved the idea, decided to write for a grant, and with the help of UK College of Law faculty and staff, the rest fell perfectly into place.


“Law Camp challenges these students academically and hones their speaking and debate skills,” Isaac said. “Within a week, a shy, nervous, soft-spoken student will turn into a zealous advocate for their imaginary clients.”


“The mock trial was fun,” said Keymari Johnson, rising junior at Henry Clay High School. “We all were assigned cases and had to defend our argument in front of Professor Connelly. It was like we were in a real situation.”


Isaac looks forward to next year’s Law Camp, a week that makes young people better citizens by educating them on the fundamentals of the law and trial, broadening their understanding and awareness of the bar, and promoting a positive image of the law profession.


The UK College of Law thanks the following who helped make this year’s Law Camp possible:


Law Camp Executive Director

Judge Sheila Isaac


Law Student Mentors

Rachel Hepburn

Skylar Jewell


Law Camp Faculty

Professor Allison Connelly

Professor Mary Davis

Professor Melissa Henke


Law Camp Judges and Lawyers

Judge Joe Bouvier

Matt Boyd

Taylor Brown

Judge Kim Bunnell

Julie Butcher

Traci Caneer

Connor Egan

Lucy Ferguson

John Hayne

Robert Houlihan Jr.

Kelly Kilgore

LaToi Mayo

Austin Mehr

Larry Roberts

Gregg Thornton



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



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

Behind the Blue: UK"s Kathleen Montgomery Talks Brexit

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 16:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Financial markets and political conversations were roiled in recent weeks by the decision of voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The so-called Brexit referendum has left numerous questions for policymakers and pundits alike to stew over.


To help bring clarity and context to the conversation, this edition of “Behind the Blue” explores Brexit with Kathleen Montgomery, an associate professor in UK’s Patterson School for Diplomacy and International Commerce. Montgomery specializes in development and international economics, among other areas, and on “Behind the Blue” she discusses the implications for the referendum on the future of the EU and even the economic impact on the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


You can download this edition and others of "Behind the Blue" at:



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

UK Gill Heart Institute Partners with The Christ Hospital for Clinical Trial

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 15:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2016) — UK HealthCare's Gill Heart Institute and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati have partnered to test a new treatment for adults with congenital heart disease.


The COMPASSION Trial will test the efficacy of the Sapien 3 valve as a replacement for a diseased pulmonary valve. The Sapien 3 has already been approved for replacement of the aortic valve.  


“This study offers a revolutionary new treatment for patients with adult congenital heart disease who would otherwise be facing at least a second surgical procedure,” said Dr. Dean Kereiakes, medical director of The Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and The Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Research and Education. “The Compassion Trial offers leading edge technology currently available for catheter-based aortic valve replacement to patients with surgically repaired congenital heart disease who need pulmonary valve replacement."


Patients enrolled in the trial will undergo their procedure at The Christ Hospital under the care of physicians from both The Christ Hospital and UK HealthCare.


The Sapien 3 valve was developed by Edwards Lifesciences of Irvine, California, and is the leading catheter-based device for treatment of aortic valve stenosis. In the COMPASSION trial, the Sapien 3 valve will be inserted via the femoral vein in the leg to the right side of the heart and into the pulmonary valve position.


According to COMPASSION co-PI Dr. Andrew Leventhal, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky, the Gill Heart Institute is one of the few U.S. centers to offer a multidisciplinary program dedicated to Adult Congenital Heart Disease.


"This new specialty is for patients who were successfully treated by pediatric cardiologists and surgeons, and as a result have grown to adulthood,” said Leventhal. “The COMPASSION Trial is an excellent example of new technology that will help bridge the gap for adults with congenital heart disease who still need specialized follow-up care."

Media Contact:  Laura Dawahare, (859) 257-5307

UK Alumni Association Names Service, Alumni Award Winners

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 15:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2016) The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Distinguished Service Awards and Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award are presented annually to honor and recognize those who have provided extraordinary service to the university and the association. The 2016 recipients were honored during the recent UK Alumni Association Board of Directors Summer Workshop in Lexington.


Shelia Key, of Pineville, Kentucky, graduated from UK with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1991. She is a pharmacist at Walgreen’s Pharmacy. She has served on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2004 and she’s been part of the association’s Membership, Scholarship/Great Teacher, Executive and Nominating for Board of Directors Committees. Key also served as chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Club Development Committee. She is past president of the Cumberland Valley East UK Alumni Club, where she has been instrumental in assisting with many club activities including the annual student sendoff, club scholarship initiatives, student recruitment events and community outreach. She led the effort to bring a DanceBlue mini marathon to Bell County High School and helped put together an event for honor students in Eastern Kentucky to encourage the best and brightest students from the region to attend UK. She has served the university as part of the UK Advocacy Network, Women and Philanthropy Network and as a contributor to the Wildcat Society, College of Pharmacy, the annual fund, Cumberland Valley East Scholarship Fund and K Fund. She is married to UK graduate Brian Key and is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association.

John Ryan, of Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from the university with two degrees, earning a bachelor's degree in finance in 1992 and an MBA in 1995. He also earned a juris doctorate from the Brandeis School of Law, graduating cum laude, in 2000. He is senior vice president at Stock Yards Bank where he manages the credit department and performs various legal functions. Ryan's previous experience includes director of development for Churchill Downs where he managed mergers and acquisitions and negotiated the Derby TV contract and capital markets attorney for Stites & Harbison where he closed over $1 billion in capital markets transactions. Ryan also serves as a member of the UK College of Law Continuing Legal Education faculty where he has taught various financial institution law topics. Ryan has served on the board of directors for the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club since 2004. He was chairman of the annual Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club Kickoff Luncheon and is past president of the Young Alumni. Ryan was instrumental in negotiating sponsor contracts for the club. As a student at UK, he served as manager of the football team and as an undergraduate advisor. Ryan coaches multiple sports at Holy Trinity Parish. He is married to UK graduate Adele Pinto Ryan and they have twin boys who are 12 years old. He is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association.

Barbara R. Sanders, of Austin, Texas, graduated from UK in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and in 1976 with a master’s degree in educational and counseling psychology. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976. She is the chairwoman of the Department of Physical Therapy and associate dean of the College of Health Professions at Texas State University-San Marcos. Sanders is completing her second term on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. She has served on the Communications, Scholarship/Great Teacher and Executive Committees. She has served as chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Diversity/Group Development Committee as well as chairwoman of the Programs Optimization Task Force Strategic Planning Group. She was instrumental in starting the Central Texas UK Alumni Club and remains active in the club today. Sanders has worked throughout her career as an advocate for physical therapist education and is an active leader in the Academic Administrators Special Interest Group. She was named to the UK College of Health Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board in 2010 and inducted into the UK College of Health Sciences Hall of Fame in 2004. She is a UK Fellow and a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association. She is married to UK graduate Mike Sanders and they have one daughter, Whitney Duddey, who is also a UK graduate.


Will Nash, of Lexington, is this year’s Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award recipient. He graduated from UK with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science in 2006. He is a member of the UK Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and the Young Alumni Council. Nash currently serves as vice-chairman of the Membership Committee and has previously been a member of the Budget/Finance Committee. After graduating from UK, he began his career with Teach For America, spending time teaching students in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas. He proposed and successfully founded Teach For America Appalachia, relocating to Hazard, Kentucky. As executive director of Teach For America Appalachia, he was responsible for vision, goals, priorities and strategies; managing staff and teachers; fundraising for the organization;' and cultivating partnerships with school districts. He recently joined the Education Advisory Board as director in the account management group. While a student at UK, he was voted Homecoming King and held various positions within the Student Government Association and Sigma Chi fraternity. He was a College of Arts and Sciences Student Ambassador and received the Otis Singletary Award, which recognizes the most outstanding male and female graduating student. He is married to UK graduate Katti Nash and is a UK Fellow and member of the UK Alumni Association.


About the Awards


The UK Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Awards are presented annually to honor and recognize up to four recipients, of which one can be a non-alum friend of the University of Kentucky, who have provided extraordinary service to the university and the association. Nominees for this prestigious award should have:

  • Demonstrated a history of diligent work for the UK Alumni Association and/or a local alumni club.
  • Contributed to the accomplishments of the UK Alumni Association and/or a local alumni club.
  • Provided leadership and dedication to university and association programs.
  • Provided meaningful service to alumni and friends of the university, community and profession.
  • Shall have at least 12 credit hours.


The UK Alumni Association's Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award is named for a longtime UK administrator who has spent the better part of his or her life in service to UK students. A nominee for this award must be an alumna or alumnus who is an active member of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association, who is 10 years or less out of college at the time of nomination and who has worked on behalf of young people through the university, the association, their alumni club or in the local community:

  • Raising funds for scholarships and/or awarding scholarships for students to attend UK.
  • Working with local high school students through club-sponsored event and/or Preview Nights to interest students in attending UK.
  • Working to educate youth in the local community, whether through tutoring, coaching or other means to keep them interested in learning.
  • Assisting in efforts to support the student alumni association through mentoring or other means.


The UK Alumni Association is a membership supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit or call 1-800-269-2586.



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




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

UK Graduate Confronts Diabetes in Appalachia

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 15:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2016) — Growing up in Hazard, Kentucky, Brittany Martin was familiar with diabetes. Many of her older relatives had been diagnosed with the chronic condition, and her younger family members were starting to develop it as well. In a state with one of the highest rates of diabetes — 11.3 percent of adults had a diagnosis in 2014 —Martin’s family wasn’t out of the ordinary, but she found the status quo unacceptable.


Since she graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2014 with a dual degree in biology and sociology, Martin’s family history and her interest in health have converged in her current role as coordinator of the Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition (BSDC), where she serves as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer. The coalition, based at Big Sandy Health Care in Prestonsburg, aims to improve detection, prevention and treatment of diabetes through screening and connection with local resources; it serves the five southeastern counties of Floyd, Johnson Magoffin, Martin and Pike.


Diabetes is especially prevalent in southeastern Kentucky, with an average of 13 percent of adults diagnosed. In Pike County, at least 16 percent of adults have been diagnosed, and overall, an estimated 138,000 Kentuckians are thought to be living with undiagnosed diabetes.


In her role as the BSDC coordinator, Martin, 25, juggles many responsibilities, from hosting community screenings to planning board meetings and writing a regular newsletter. It didn’t take her long to observe that irregular screenings, a lack of follow-up, and shortage of robust data inhibited diabetes prevention and care at both individual and community levels.


“We decided we wanted to set up more systematic screenings, instead of opportunistic screenings, and eventually set up a diabetes registry and keep track of participants,” Martin said.


She is now leading a project to determine whether regular community screenings and targeted follow-up can help to identify undiagnosed cases, measurably improve health, and reduce the emotional and economic burden of diabetes through connection with local resources.


Martin, a registered phlebotomist, has personally screened 586 people since she began working with the Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition in August 2015. At each initial screening, she gathers baseline data and provides diabetes education. She then follows up with people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic to connect them with local resources and encourage them to come back for screening in six months.


Much of her work has been supported by grants and training from the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), which facilitates interdisciplinary and community-engaged health research with a focus on Appalachia. A CCTS community engagement grant provided funding for a pilot study of diabetes screening at a senior living center in Pike County. Martin has since received further funding and research training through the CCTS Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK), which aims to enhance the capacity of local leaders to address health challenges.


Through CLIK, Martin received training on evidence-based interventions, data mining for research, and data collection and analysis — essential skills to assess the impact of a project. Equipped with this additional expertise, she is now researching the effectiveness of her diabetes screening system in nearby Martin County. 


"Brittany’s important work, receptivity to our input, and unparalleled enthusiasm have made her a stellar CLIK participant. She is an ambassador for UK, the CCTS and CLIK, sharing her expertise and her commitment to the health of residents of the Commonwealth," said Nancy Schoenberg, Ph.D., co-director of community engagement and research for the CCTS. 


Depending on the month, Martin hosts up to 10 community screenings across the five counties served by Big Sandy Health Care. The opportunity to work in multiple counties in Appalachia has enlightened even a native of the region about the area’s diverse needs and challenges.


“People speak of Appalachia as a whole, but Martin County has so much less than Pike County. Martin County doesn’t have a hospital. They have such a lack of access to care. They have one grocery store. It was very hard for me to find the resources to give them,” she said.


The outcomes of her screenings also alarm her. Despite the discrepancies of resources between the two counties, she finds similar rates of disease.


“It’s actually kind of scary. Roughly 24 percent of people are pre-diabetic and 25 percent are diabetic. That’s roughly half of my sample in the red zone,” she said. She sees particular challenges for individuals who face multiple health issues and dire socioeconomic circumstances.


“Sometimes we’ll go do screenings in the homeless shelter. Imagine being homeless and diabetic. Sometimes people are also recovering from addiction. Really, can you imagine being homeless and diabetic and recovering from an addiction?”


At some of the community screenings, people have been surprised to learn that they’re diabetic or at immediate risk.


“We did a screening at Big Sandy Community College because some of the students didn’t have health insurance. A lot of them learned that they had pre-diabetes, and they were in their early 20s. It was scary for them. One person was diabetic and didn’t know it. At all ages we’ve screened, there’s been at least one person who’s said ‘Oh my god, I didn’t know, I didn’t know the signs.’”


Her data, however, encourages her about the potential impact of systematic community screening with targeted follow-up. Her initial screening study in Pike County found that 50 percent of people who received follow-up information and returned for their six-month screening had lower A1C levels.


Her demonstrated success has also yielded nearly $20,000 in outside funding to pay for community screenings and upcoming educational classes. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid, Aetna Better Health of Kentucky, and Passport Health Plan have provided a total of $11,000 in sponsorships for screenings (it costs about $7 to screen one person). Martin also recently received a $9,000 grant from Marshall University in West Virginia to support upcoming diabetes education classes in Big Sandy communities.


“Without the CCTS grants — without the money to start this program and show the results — I don’t think we would have gotten these other sponsorships in place. We wouldn’t have been able to screen as many people or even have the hope of screening more in the future,” Martin said.


Martin also initiated a partnership with Marshall University to train Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition colleagues to lead “gentle yoga” exercises for their clients in order to increase movement and activity, especially for individuals who are wheelchair-bound or have trouble exercising.


“There are a lot of positive health effects of gentle yoga,” she said. “We work with the aging population, and as they age we want to keep them moving. Safe, slow movements, even if someone is wheelchair-bound, can help keep away chronic effects of things like diabetes.”


She’s developing yet another partnership to integrate retinopathy screenings at some community outreach events. Over the course of nearly 600 diabetes screenings, Martin observed the acute need for eye care, and engaged both UK and the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry to provide retinopathy screenings at some of her events. Dr. Ana Bastos de Carvalho of UK and clinicians and optometry students from Pikeville University will conduct the screenings.

When Martin isn’t busy with her full-time (and mostly unpaid) work as the diabetes coalition coordinator, she works at least 30 hours a week as a waitress. She is also studying for both her MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and OAT (Optometry Admission Test) exams, with plans to apply to medical and/or optometry school at Pikeville University. Her ultimate goal is to become a practicing physician in a rural community. It’s a demanding portfolio of responsibilities, and though Martin only sleeps about five hours a night, she doesn’t tire of her work.


“I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”



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



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

WUKY, NPR Special Report Honors Slain News Reporters

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 12:12

LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 5, 2016)  The following is a special report from NPR (National Public Radio) and the University of Kentucky's WUKY.


NPR sent a reporting team to Afghanistan in May to get a sense of the security situation there. It was during that reporting trip that colleagues David Gilkey and Zabi Tamanna were killed in a Taliban ambush.


A series by Tom Bowman and Monika Evstatieva that includes coverage from that trip is airing today on "All Things Considered" and will continue to air on "Morning Edition" Wednesday morning and again on "All Things Considered" through Wednesday evening. There will be several appearances over two days accompanied by special online coverage with some of Gilkey's last photos and an essay by Bowman summing up the answer to the question behind the trip: "how is this war going?" The last of the stories includes audio from Bowman and Evstatieva’s vehicle as it was struck by gunfire during the ambush.


In case you missed this morning’s first report it will be online at


"We wanted to alert you that these stories were coming. We have also told David’s family and Zabi’s family about these upcoming accounts. These stories are more than powerful journalism — they are the ultimate testament to the courage and commitment of our colleagues," said Mike Oreskes of NPR.


Ashley Westerman, a former WUKY intern now a reporter with NPR, did a report on the Ark this morning which will also be on the WUKY website.  



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



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

PTS Extends Deadline to Apply for Bike Voucher Program

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 10:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2016)  As announced in April, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is renewing their bike voucher program. This program encourages employees to consider alternatives to driving a vehicle to campus.


The deadline to apply for a bike voucher has been extended to July 14, 2016. Faculty, staff and students who wish to participate and who have already purchased a 2016-2017 parking permit may return it for a pro-rated refund.


An eligible bike voucher candidate must:

  • Have had a parking permit last year (2015-2016) OR be new to UK (start date of 2/13/16 or later).
  • Have a graduation date or assignment end date at least two years in the future.
  • Be a student not living in campus housing OR be a faculty or staff employee with an office located on UK's campus (i.e. does not include areas like Alumni Park Plaza, Turfland, Coldstream).

In order to receive a voucher, participants must sign a car-free commitment that will restrict them from purchasing a motor vehicle parking permit for two years. Vouchers are awarded with the goal of removing motor vehicles from campus.


In the program's first year, PTS selected 100 bike voucher recipients from a pool of 462 applicants. The 100 qualified recipients each received a $400 voucher, redeemable at participating local bicycle shops, in exchange for not bringing a motor vehicle to campus for two years.


The one-time vouchers may be used toward the purchase of a bicycle or gear and accessories to outfit a bike that the employee or student already owns. Program participants will also receive 10 scratch-off parking passes — one-day permits that may be used on occasions when participants must bring a motor vehicle to campus. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase up to 40 additional scratch-off permits per fiscal year.


To learn more about the bike voucher program or to submit an application, visit



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



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

"see blue." #selfie: Rowan Reid

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 16:09


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 5, 2016)  Want to get to know the people behind some of the biggest student leadershIp positions on campus? We did, too! That's why we've introduced "see blue." #selfie  a series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organIzatIons. Up this week, 2016-17 Student Government (SGA) President Rowan Reid.


Rowan Reid is an upcomIng economics and management senior from Louisville, Kentucky. Reid, who has been invoived in SGA all four years of college, is eager to use her position to make sure each student has the best "see blue." experience possible. As student body president, she also has the opportunIty to be the only student representative on the university's Board of Trustees. Get to know Reid in her "see blue." #selfie!  


UKNow: What is your major and what year are you?

Rowan Reid: I am going to be a senIor. I'm a double major in economics and management with a minor in international business.


UK: When did you get involved with SGA?

RR: I got involved as soon as I stepped foot on campus. I ran for a freshman senate position and got that. It feels like so long ago! It was defInItely the most competitive race I've run in.


UK: What is one feature of the new student center that you're most excited about?

RR: I'm really excited because there's going to be a whole senate chamber. It's going to be an open concept that will allow the groups in the Office of Student Involvement to collaborate which will be really helpful! I'm really excited for that!


UK: What is your favorite thing to do off campus in the Lexington community?

RR: I love going to the Kentucky Native Cafe. That’s probably one of my favorite places! It’s awesome — they have food and you can sit outside. In the spring right when it starts warming up it’s beautiful — it’s perfect. I try to study there! 


UK: What made you decide to come to the University of Kentucky?

RR: I think, for me, the best part about it was that it still felt like home without being too close to home. I’m from LouisvIlle. I felt comfortable here and I’ve never regretted that decision at all. It has been what’s best for me. 


UK: Out of everythIng that you could have chosen to get involved in here at UK, what made you choose SGA?

RR: I think, first of all, it had to do with the role models in my life. I knew Jenna Hollinden from debate camp in high school. She was a big influence. Student Government is really a way that students’ voices are always heard. I have always had a focus on policy and that’s what we try to do, change the policy for students at UK. That’s something I’m passionate about. 


UK: What is the main impact that you would like to leave on the university once your graduate?

RR: I would like to be a role model for other young women coming to UK. That’s something that scared me about SGA. I felt like it was a boys' club. It would have meant a lot to me seeing someone in the SGA president position that was a woman. It has been 10 years since the last woman president, and I hope it’s not that way in the future. 


UK: How many services does SGA offer?

RR: We offer child care grants, free legal services for consultations only, scholarships — $7,500. Outside of that, we are working on a new safe ride home program. Also in the summer we are planning Wildcat Wardrobe. We are working with vendors around town to donate so students can come and rent professIonal clothing. We offer internships in Washington D.C. and in Frankfort, Kentucky, funding for registered student orgs from the senate side — that's one of the coolest things we do. I would say our mission is more policy oriented than programmIng, but we do like to do programming within our mission. For example, we are hopIng to host a senate debate in November. 


UK: Are there any faculty or staff members that have helped shape you in this role as president?

RR: I think Danielle, our graduate assistant, has assisted me in reaching my full potential last semester and this year. She’s a huge reason I have been able to start off so successfully and map out what I wanna do. As for faculty, from an education standpoint, one of my econ professors, Aaron Yelowitz — he has kept my focus on school and helped teach me to balance. I was taking four 400-level econ classes and running a campaign. He has taught me the importance of balancing and knowing the importance of doing so.


UK: What is one of your favorite aspects of SGA?

RR:  I think it is definitely helping each individual student's experience be great. UK and SGA have given me so much and I want to give back to it and make sure students have that same memorable experience that I have had. That could be the one thing that keeps a student in school — a great experience. I like to focus on the campus as a community.


UK: When you were 5, what did you want to be when you grew up? How about now?

RR: I think since the day I could talk my mom said I was going to be a lawyer and that’s always what I've wanted. When I was younger I wanted that to lead to president. I may want that to lead to state office now. I care about Kentucky a lot and I think there’s defInItely a lot we can improve on. I guess I’m one of those strange people that has always known what I wanted to do. I’m also the biggest planner in the entire world. 


UK: Where Is your favorIte place on campus to "see blue."?

RR: I love the engineering quad, I love sitting on the bricks in between classes. I’m right in Gatton for class so it’s not far. I feel like that’s the center of campus and people like to walk through there. It’s really beautiful! 


UK: What is your favorite memory that you've had from being at the university?

RR: I think my favorIte memory would be from when I was a freshman when we worked on our freshman senate campaign. It was a dream team! I think one of my favorite things ever was when we put a huge poster up on the ROTC building and every day someone would tear it down and every morning at 6 a.m. we would go put it back up. It was crazy, but it was so much fun.


UK: What is the best advice you have for incoming freshmen?

RR: To get involved as soon as possIble. I think the connections you make are strengthened if you don’t take four years to get comfortabe. I’m kinda a quiet person unless I know someone. I think getting involved is something I have never regretted doing. Finding those areas of comfort is definitely helpful. You’re here for the experience, but you're also here for the education that comes with It.


UK: If you were to go back to the beginning of freshman year, what's one thing you would have done differently?

RR: I  would have placed more of an emphasis on school. I was so excited about all the different things I could have been involved in and I lost site of what I was here for. 


UK: Imagine if you wake up tomorrow and you are the president of the university.  What is the first thing that you do?

RR: I think I would change the excused absence polIcy. Right now it’s not an excused absense for job interviews, and I think that’s a major point of college. I will be working on changing that during my role as president. 


UK: What are some other things your involved in?

RR: I’m involved in my sorority, Chi Omega, the Student Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion, and I like to volunteer off campus at the Hope Center. I volunteered at Junior Achievement last year, but I’ll have to see if I can this year. I taught a global economics class to sixth graders. It was different, but so fun. It was simple stuff. 


"see blue." #selfies will appear every other Tuesday on UKNow. Know a student leader we should feature? Contact Rebecca Stratton at to nominate someone.



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



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton,, 859-323-2395 

UK Alumna Named Ambassador to Liberia

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 15:04


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 5, 2016) — University of Kentucky alumna Christine Ann Elder has been appointed the new United States Ambassador to the West African nation of Liberia.


At her welcoming ceremony, Ambassador Elder, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service expressed gratitude for the level of cooperation that currently exists between the two countries.


“The U.S. government wouldn’t have done what she has and [is] doing in the country without the cordial level of cooperation from the Liberian people and government,” Elder said.


Ambassador Elder was making reference to the numerous interventions that the U.S. government has been making in several sectors in Liberia, including governance, security, education, agriculture, health and others.


Although Liberia and the U.S. are traditional partners, Ambassador Elder described the current partnership subsisting between the two countries as unique.


“This is a unique partnership and we have come to improve upon it and take on a higher level,” she said. “We will stand … with you shoulder to shoulder.” 


A Kentucky native, Ambassador Elder received a bachelor's degree from UK and a master’s degree from the George Washington University. Her career has spanned both civil and foreign service. She served as a trade policy assistant with the International Trade Administration at the United States Department of Commerce before joining the Department of State. Earlier State Department assignments include service in Germany and Hungary.



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



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


58th Annual Farm City Field Day to Highlight KSU Research Farm

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 13:43

LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 5, 2016)  The Farm City Field Day in Franklin County, presented in part by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, is still going strong after 58 years. The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service event will take place July 7, at the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm off Mills Lane in Frankfort.


Educational tours will begin at 9 a.m. EDT and continue until lunchtime. The last full tour will leave at 11 a.m. Tours will include the topics cover crops at the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s plots; everbearing blackberries; certified organic vegetable research; hemp plots; and KSU’s long-established pawpaw plantings and repository.


The tours will end up at the booth and display area for lunch provided by the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4075.


In addition to the presence of 4-H Livestock Club show animals, some alpacas and the KSU goat herd, the university’s new mobile fleet will be on display, including the fruit and vegetable mobile processing unit, the environmental education research trailer and the Thoroughbred Nutrition Kitchen.


Farm City Field Day is a waste-free event presented by UK Cooperative Extension, the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin County Conservation District and Kentucky Farm Bureau. It is made possible by the help of 125 volunteers and more than 30 groups and businesses that donate money or services. Free tickets are available at the Franklin County Farm Bureau office and the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce.



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



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

UK College of Pharmacy Names New Dean

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 11:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 5, 2016) – A renowned researcher who specializes in the development of drugs to combat pediatric diseases has been named the dean of the University of Kentucky’s highly ranked College of Pharmacy, Provost Tim Tracy announced today.


R. Kiplin Guy is currently chairman of the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Guy is expected to assume the dean's position Oct. 1.


“In Kip Guy, we have found someone who has an exemplary reputation as innovator and academic entrepreneur, identifying dozens of novel applications for drugs in clinical trials that could lead to breakthroughs in combating pediatric diseases,” Tracy said. “Equally impressive is Dr. Guy’s understanding of health care systems, pharmacy’s role in this changing health care environment and how best to position the College and its graduates to continue to make an impact of the health of people.”


At St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Guy created the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, where he held the Robert J. Ulrich Endowed Chair.


He also has held secondary appointments as adjunct professor of pharmaceutical chemistry for the University of California San Francisco; adjunct professor of biochemistry for Vanderbilt University in Nashville; and adjunct professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pathology for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.


"I am honored and excited to be selected to lead the UK College of Pharmacy with its strong tradition of excellence in the practice of pharmacy, the teaching of pharmacy, and research in the pharmaceutical sciences," Guy said. "As we move forward in a changing healthcare world our professional and research practices are increasingly interdisciplinary and collaborative. To thrive we must be nimble and constantly seek ways to better carry out our work. I look forward to leading the school in capitalizing on such opportunities presented by UK and UK HealthCare and to helping the College to continue driving how pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers think and work.  I am also personally very excited about the potential to continue and grow outreach efforts that enhance care for underserved people in the Commonwealth."


His research focus is chemical biology and preclinical drug discovery and development for neglected diseases, especially those that affect children..


Much of his work has focused on pediatric cancers and malaria. In recent years, he has led the team that discovered and developed a new drug candidate for malaria that is currently in Phase 1 trials. The Chemical Biology and Therapeutics group, built and led by Guy, has collaboratively repurposed drugs for clinical trials for ependymoma, leukemias, medulloblastoma, and other pediatric cancers.


Guy earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Reed College in Portland. He earned a doctorate in organic chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in cellular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.


“Our search committee, led by Trish Freeman of the College of Pharmacy and Dean Scott Lephart of the College of Health Sciences, did an outstanding job in conducting a national search to find the right person to lead this important college,” Tracy said. “In Kip Guy, we have found the right leader, at a pivotal moment, as we seek to continue our role as one of the country’s leaders in pharmaceutical research and education.”




UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky #seeblue


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

Dive Into Summer Session 2 at UK Fine Arts Institute

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 11:00


Hear what UK Fine Arts Institute students have to say about their ceramics and painting classes. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 5, 2016) The University of Kentucky's Fine Arts Institute is set to start their second session of art classes this summer on July 11. UK Fine Arts Institute will offer a variety of classes that explore all aspects of art and creativity.


All classes are being offered to anyone and everyone as noncredit art courses. The classes range from painting to jewelry making and are offered at a beginners' level to more advanced levels. Class fees range from $5 to $190 per session.


In the second summer session most of the classes are offered once a week in the evenings. For those that are too busy during the week there are some Saturday one-day workshops being offered as well. The classes and workshops will be held in the new UK Arts and Visual Studies Building.


Summer session 1 ended June 24 and summer session 2 will run from July 11-Aug. 19. Registration for summer session 2 is now open and includes the following classes:



  • "Beginning Ceramics" with Jill Coldiron, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, beginning July 7, and
  • "Taking Ceramics to the Next Level" with Coldiron, 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning July 5.


  • "Explorations in Drawing" with Christine Kuhn, 6-9 p.m. Mondays, beginning July 11;
  • Open drawing sessions with Anthony Roccanova, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays through Aug. 13; and
  • “Foundational Portrait Drawing” with Thomas Baker, 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning July 13.

Jewelry Making

  • “Connections: An Exploration of Jewelry Design for Beginners” with Dwayne Cobb, 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning July 12.


  • "Learn to Paint, Yes You Can!" with Kuhn, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning July 12, and
  • "Layering it On: Mixed Media Painting Techniques" with Kuhn, 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning July 13.


  • “Printmaking Using Alternative Silkscreen Techniques” with Sarah Brown, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, beginning July 16, and
  • "Printmaking Using Contemporary Woodcut Practices" with Brown, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, beginning July 16.

In addition to the weekly classes, the following one-day workshops will also be offered during summer session 2:


Fiber Arts

  • "Felting on the FeltLOOM Felting Machine" with Laverne Zabielski, 1-3 p.m., July 16, July 30 or Aug. 13


  • "One Day Digital Photography Workshop for Beginners" with Lennon Michalski, Aug. 13.

For more information on any of these classes or workshops or their instructors, including cost and specific class times, visit the institute online at or visit the institute's Facebook page here.


The Fine Arts Institute, an outreach program of the School of Art and Visual Studies at the UK College of Fine Arts, offers all the resources and classrooms that the school has to offer through these noncredit art classes. All courses and workshops are open to the public.


Registration for UK Fine Arts Institute courses is available online at, by calling the institute at 859-257-8151, or by emailing Jane Andrus at



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



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

East Meets West at Fourth of July Festivities

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2016) University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) and the Japanese/American Society of Kentucky (JASK) will team up together to participate in Lexington's parade for Independence Day. The groups will join in the celebration of the nation's founding beginning 2 p.m. Monday, July 4, in downtown Lexington.


UKCI and JASK will have community volunteers dressed in Chinese and Japanese traditional costumes taking part in the July Fourth festivities. The group's entry in the parade will include a giant panda balloon, taiko drummers, lions, a dragon dance and a Kung Fu demonstration executed by a group of UK Chinese students. This is the first year UK Confucius Institute has participated in the parade.


“It is also the first time that UKCI and JASK are working together to bring East Asia to Lexington and Kentucky,” said Huajing Maske, director of UKCI and executive director of the Office of China Initiatives.


As part of their participation in Independence Day festivities, UKCI and JASK will also promote Lexington's upcoming Chinese Summer Festival/Japan Summer Festival on Sept. 24, which will include cultural activities, workshops, main stage performances, and local Japanese and Chinese restaurants preparing food, as well as Japanese and Chinese drumming performances at the Singletary Center for the Arts.


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


Established in 1987, JASK is dedicated to sustaining a favorable business and community relationship between Japan and Kentucky by promoting cooperation and mutual understanding. The organization organizes a variety of business, cultural, educational and social programs, as well as provides relevant information for businesses, professionals, schools, families and others. Through these activities, JASK also facilitates social and business networking within the Japan/America community in Kentucky.



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



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


BLOG: As We Celebrate Independence Day, UK is Honored to Schedule 2017 Honor Flight

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 17:13

BLOG by Anthony Dotson, director of the University of Kentucky Veterans Resource Center:


The Fourth of July is already upon us, a reminder of just how short summer is and that the fall semester is just around the corner. As we enjoy this holiday with friends and family let us take a moment to reflect on the true meaning behind the "rocket’s red glare, and bombs bursting in air." John Adams famously said that “All men are born free….” And while that is true in America, we must acknowledge as Thomas Paine did that in order to “reap the blessings of freedom” we must “undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”


The freedoms we enjoy have been fought for here at home and on distant shores. It is something many of us may take for granted for few of us have had to fight for freedom.  It is with these few in mind, that UK is honored and excited to be the first institution of higher learning to sponsor an Honor Flight in 2017.


Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring our veterans for their sacrifices in support of our freedom. They do this by providing flights to Washington D.C. in order for veterans to visit their war’s memorial. Priority of course going to our greatest generation of WWII but veterans from the Korean War and Vietnam are also considered.


UK’s Honor Flight is scheduled for May 20, 2017, Armed Forces Day. The flight will consist of approximately 70 veterans from our UK alumni, and family of our faculty and staff. In addition, each veteran will have a guardian for the duration of the trip. This will be an opportunity for UK faculty, staff and students to get involved personally in honoring those who have undergone the fatigue of supporting our freedom.


We are very excited about this initiative and look forward to honoring our veterans in a very tangible way.


More details will be relayed once they become available. All funds will be privately donated and raised via UK's own Student Veteran Organization and the Veterans Resource Center.


Anthony Dotson

Director, University of Kentucky Veterans Resource Center

CDC Grant Awarded to the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2016)  — The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) based at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health has received nearly $400,000 in funding to implement evidence-based programs to evaluate violence and injury related fatalities in Kentucky.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which approved the federal competitive grant, on behalf of his constituents at KIPRC. KIPRC is a partnership between the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health.


“This funding will help the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center continue its important work and enhance its programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect, traumatic brain injury, motor vehicle injury, and sexual assaults,” McConnell said. “I was pleased to work with officials at KIPRC and the University of Kentucky in securing this competitive grant, which will allow researchers to address what is a major problem in Kentucky.”


In 2014, Kentucky ranked fifth highest in unintentional injury fatalities and 12th highest in motor vehicle fatalities in the nation.


“KIPRC thanks Sen. McConnell for his support of this CDC award that focuses on the prevention of injuries in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Terry Bunn, director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, said. “Over the next five years, the KIPRC will partner with a multitude of agencies and organizations to implement, evaluate and disseminate evidence-based programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, traumatic brain injuries, motor vehicle injuries, intimate partner violence/sexual violence, and falls among older adults.”


The competitive grant was awarded by the CDC and Prevention’s Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program.


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


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Places 91 on SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 16:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2016) – Student-athletes at the University of Kentucky combined to earn a total of 91 spots on the Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll, the league announced Thursday. 


Kentucky was second overall for having the most student-athletes on the list. UK had the most honorees in the sports of women’s basketball (five) and men’s swimming (11) while tying for the most in the league in men’s basketball (four) and softball (seven).


The 2015-16 First-Year Academic Honor Roll is based on grades form the 2015 summer and fall terms, along with the 2016 spring term. A student-athlete must have a 3.0 grade-point average to earn a place on the honor roll. 


The number of students on the first-year honor roll bodes well for the continued long-term academic success of UK Athletics.

·         UK athletes have a composite grade-point average above 3.0 for eight consecutive semesters

·         UK has never incurred a penalty in the 12-year history of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate

·         UK athletes have broken or tied the school record for graduation rate every year since the NCAA established that statistic in 2005


Kentucky representatives:


Student-Athlete – Sport – Major

Kole Cottam – Baseball – Exercise Science

Joe Dudek – Baseball – Marketing

Sean Hjelle – Baseball – Social Studies Education (Secondary Education)

Austin Keen – Baseball – Biology

Zeke Lewis – Baseball – Arts Administration

Gunnar McNeill – Baseball – Communication

Tristan Pompey – Baseball – Undergraduate Studies

Jonny David – M Basketball – Exercise Science

Isaac Humphries – M Basketball – Psychology

Charles Matthews – M Basketball – Undergraduate Studies

Dillon Pulliam – M Basketball – Computer Engineering

Evelyn Akhator – W Basketball – Community and Leadership Development

Batouly Camara – W Basketball – Marketing

Makenzie Cann – W Basketball – Psychology

Maci Morris – W Basketball – Exercise Science

Taylor Murray – W Basketball – Public Health

Kendall Muhammed – M Cross Country – Human Health Sciences

Daniel Southard – M Cross Country – Marketing

Jacob Thomson – M Cross Country – Accounting

Avery Bussjager – W Cross Country – Biology

Devynn Miller – W Cross Country – Mathematical Economics

Logan Stenberg – Football – Marketing/Business Management

Mason Wolfe – Football – Health Promotion (Teaching Certification)

Lukas Euler – M Golf – Finance

Fadhli Soetarso – M Golf – Finance

Jordan Chael – W Golf – Chemistry

Zoe Collins – W Golf – Chemical Engineering

Danaea Davis – Gymnastics – Exercise Science

Sidney Dukes – Gymnastics – Marketing

Alex Hyland – Gymnastics – Exercise Science

Katie Stuart – Gymnastics – Integrated Strategic Communication

Hanna Carr – Rifle – Agricultural Biotechnology

Cathryn Papasodora – Rifle – Integrated Strategic Communication

Jason Spaude – Rifle – Agricultural Biotechnology

Tanner Hummel – M Soccer – Community and Leadership Development

Xahne Reid – M Soccer – Undergraduate Studies

Landon Souder – M Soccer – Finance

Cooper Whitfield – M Soccer – Finance

Payton Atkins – W Soccer – Dietetics

Sophie Babo – W Soccer – Business Management

Becca Callison – W Soccer – Integrated Strategic Communication

Kaitlyn Forsht – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Katy Keen – W Soccer – Communication

Lauren Nemeroff – W Soccer – Undergraduate Studies

Abbey Cheek – Softball – Undergraduate Studies

Kelsee Henson – Softball – Pre-Marketing

Hannah Huffman – Softball – Dietetics/Human Nutrition

Madison Kearschner – Softball – Pre-Chemical Engineering

Sarah Rainwater – Softball – Kinesiology

Katie Reed – Softball – Kinesiology

Jenny Schaper – Softball – Undergraduate Studies

Bowen Anderson – M Swim & Dive – Biology

Shane Anderson – M Swim & Dive – Biology

Matthew Beach – M Swim & Dive – Exercise Science

David Dingess – M Swim & Dive – Accounting

Cobe Garcia – M Swim & Dive – Mechanical Engineering

Austin Haney – M Swim & Dive – Civil Engineering

Jarod Kehl – M Swim & Dive – Undergraduate Studies

Seb Masterton – M Swim & Dive – Exercise Science

J.D. Schurer – M Swim & Dive – Biology

Michael Summe – M Swim & Dive – Finance

Josh Swart – M Swim & Dive – Exercise Science

Kayla Churman – W Swim & Dive – Biology

Kailey Francetic – W Swim & Dive – Exercise Science

Geena Freriks – W Swim & Dive – Dietetics

Maddie Gordon – W Swim & Dive – Psychology

Erin Hart – W Swim & Dive – Psychology

Kristen Keifer – W Swim & Dive – Nursing

Haley McInerny – W Swim & Dive – Marketing

Kathryn Painter – W Swim & Dive – Exercise Science

Allie Petersen – W Swim & Dive – Exercise Science/Psychology

Meghan Taylor – W Swim & Dive – Psychology

Oliva Treski – W Swim & Dive – Exercise Science

Meredith Whisenhunt – W Swim & Dive – Psychology

Austin Hussey – M Tennis – Finance

Morgan Chumney – W Tennis – Marketing

Justina Mikulskyte – W Tennis – International Studies

Akvile Parazinskaite – W Tennis – International Studies

Noah Castle – M Track & Field – Social Studies Education (Secondary Education)

Maurice Simpson – M Track & Field – Computer Science

Will Walker – M Track & Field – Media Arts and Studies

Caleb Wilt – M Track & Field – Human Health Sciences

Donatella Asemota – W Track & Field – Communication

Destiny Carter – W Track & Field – Community and Leadership Development

Nicolette Gordon – W Track & Field – Middle Level Teacher Education

Olivia Gruver – W Track & Field – Special Education

Precious Hitchcock – W Track & Field – Community and Leadership Development

Tia Robinson – W Track & Field – Biology

Angelica Thompson – W Track & Field – Physical Therapy

Anna Nyberg – Volleyball – Integrated Strategic Communication

McKenzie Watson – Volleyball – Elementary Education





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



MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Neely, 859-257-3838.

VIDEO: Routing a Path for Everyone

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 13:51


Video by UK Public Relations and 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. (July 1, 2016) When Darrell Mattingly, a longtime University of Kentucky employee, heads to a meeting on campus, he often has to take a different route. Mattingly travels via wheelchair, and after years navigating the campus, he knows his way around. But for others — students, employees and visitors — with different types of mobility, the task can be difficult.


Mattingly, who works at the UK Human Development Institute and also attended school at UK in the 90s, said accessibility on campus has greatly improved over the years. But he knows just because there is a curb cut with a ramp at one entrance of a building doesn't mean others know about that option.


With around 400 buildings on UK's 800-plus acre campus, someone can spend a lot of time and energy searching for an accessible path leading to an accessible entrance.


So a group of students, led by HDI Disability Program Specialist Anna Bard, set out on a mission last year to map accessibility on campus so that everyone — no matter how they're navigating — can have the information they need to get around campus efficiently. In the fall 2016 semester, UK Facilities Management’s Facilities Information Services will unveil the new interactive campus map that includes accessibility attributes and can route an appropriate path depending on a user's needs. 


"I think that this reaches all people and that's what we're trying to do as a community, as a university," Bard said. "We are looking to engage a diverse student body and we're looking to enhance workplace diversity and inclusion and to send the message to people with disabilities, and really all people, that we want to provide this information so that your campus is most usable to you."


The student team with HDI has collected data across the entire campus, including external pathways and entrances to buildings. Measurements of doors, sidewalks and slopes were logged in their iPads. They also noted the locations of every curb cut and a plethora of other accessibility barriers and solutions.


"Say you go out to Funkhouser … the handicapped accessible entrance is around back," said Sawyer Wilson, a mechanical engineering junior from Lancaster, Kentucky, on the team. "It's in the sub-basement; there's this little steep ramp that you would miss if you really didn't know where it was. What this map will do is tell people where on the building that is in order to give you the most accessible and easily possible route to get to that destination."


Bard added that while some folks may be able navigate a 6 percent slope for 20 feet, those same individuals may not be able to navigate a 6 percent slope for 300 feet.


"We're just trying to document anything that might affect people's mobility on campus," she said.


And mobility and accessibility can significantly impact everyone's time on campus.


"It sort of sets up your entire day," Bard said. "If you can get to where you need to go quickly and you can do it fairly easily without struggling through multiple options or spending your time moving all through campus or all the way around the building — I think that you're going to show up to class or your meeting a little more motivated."


Noting that student success has been linked to how students plan their day, Bard said if students with disabilities are able to accurately schedule their classes — knowing the routes between each and the amount of time spent traveling —they have a better shot at being successful.


The initiative is already having an impact on the students working to collect data, helping them understand how people navigate space and instilling in them the value of creating a welcoming environment for every individual.


"I never realized that sidewalk is broken or there's a break in the pavement," said Marcus Garcia, a mechanical engineering junior from San Jose, Costa Rica, working on the project. "I just never think about that, but now every time I'm walking, I just see something that's not right and it comes to my mind ... now even when I go to the grocery store and there's not a curb cut in there, I just think about people with disabilities."


Garcia, Wilson and their team members are also obtaining skills that could give them an edge when it comes to their careers. They're learning universal design principles; gaining experience with AutoCAD and ArcGIS (software for design, drafting and GIS); and using technology like digital levels and door pressure gauges (a tool that measures how many pounds of force it requires to open a door). 


"I'm really happy actually I'm doing it now that I am in college, not in the future, because I'm getting some very good experience," Garcia said.


Wilson added that after being involved in the project, he wants to incorporate accessible design into his career. Whether the students on the team are on their way to becoming engineers, geographers or landscape architects — the mission of this project, and of HDI, will be carried on for many years to come.


The mission to map accessibility on UK's campus actually began around 13 years ago. Volunteers from HDI and the Kentucky Geological Survey, a partner in the current venture as well, mapped as much as they could over a weekend. That information was hosted in an online and print map and on building information pages. But it lacked the interactive interface that users are familiar with today (think the Maps app on your mobile device).


"Which were very useful, but move forward, you know, 13-14 years, and it's just not the way that we are interacting with maps now," said Bard, who earned a bachelor's degree in geography from UK and is currently completing a graduate certificate in digital mapping here. "Not to mention campus changes a lot, so throughout those years there have been a lot of physical changes to campus, but also in the way that we use technology."


The accessibility and mobility features collected by the HDI team will be implemented into the official interactive UK Campus Map, online and in the myUK Mobile app, and that's where UK Facilities Management’s Facilities Information Services takes over.


"I'm not aware of any interactive or dynamic accessible maps on other campuses, not quite like this will be," said UK GIS Coordinator Michelle Ellington. "I think it will level the playing field for anyone needing to find their way around campus."


Ellington is leading a team working to find a way to communicate accessible attributes and options in the best way possible. She said the map will not only show people how to get to an accessible door, it can also provide detailed information — like width of the door or curb cut nearby — "for anyone who needs to dig a little deeper to find a route that works for them."


While the task may seem like a simple data dump into the current map, it's really a heavy duty programming effort with a complex geometric network and many moving parts.


"It's an exciting project requiring out-of-the-box thinking," Ellington said.


Exciting, and meaningful, for everyone involved.


"There's all sorts of people navigating our campus and if we can help them do that quickly and safely, then, you know, we're all better for it," Bard said.


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



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