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Fourth Annual Markesbery Symposium Features Latest Research on the Aging Brain

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 10:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2014) -- The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky will hold its fourth annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22.

 

The Markesbery Symposium is named in honor of the late Dr. William R. Markesbery, founder and long-time director of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and an internationally renowned expert on aging and dementia.

 

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease (AD) today and millions more are affected by their role as family member, friend or caregiver to those with memory loss. The Markesbery Symposium was established to improve awareness of and education about AD and the latest research on it and other age-related dementias.

 

On Friday, Nov. 21, a scientific symposium will be held where scientists and physicians will share their research findings through lectures and poster sessions. Featured speakers on include Steven Greenberg of Harvard University; William Van Nostrand of Stony Brook University; and four members of the UK SBCoA faculty:  Anika Hartz, PhD; Ai-Ling Lin, PhD; Paul Murphy, PhD; and Donna Wilcock, PhD.  Scientific sessions will be held in the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium. 

 

On Saturday, Nov. 22, the general public is invited to the community symposium, where the keynote speaker will be Roberta Diaz Brinton from University of Southern California, who will discuss "Lessons from the 68 percent: What the Female Brain Tells Us about Preventing Alzheimer's Disease in Women and Men.”

 

In addition, a panel of SBCoA faculty will take questions from the audience about AD, dementia, and brain aging, moderated by SBCoA faculty member Fred Schmitt, PhD. The faculty and their specialty topic are:

 

  • Elizabeth Head, PhD, Down’s Syndrome and AD
  • Chris Norris, PhD, Forgotten Cells in AD
  • Dr. Peter Nelson, PhD, Not all Dementia is AD
  • Dr. Ronan Murphy, What’s New in AD Clinical Trials

 

In addition, Linda Van Eldik, PhD, SBCoA director, will offer closing remarks.

  

The community symposium will be held from 8:30 am to noon in the Bluegrass Room of the Lexington Convention Center, 430 W. Vine St, Lexington.  A continental breakfast will be served.  The symposium is free and open to all, but registration is required.

For more information or to register for the symposium, visit http://medicine.mc.uky.edu/conference/; phone 859-323-6040; or email shmall2@uky.edu

 

The William R. Markesbery Senior Star Awards and the David R. Wekstein Centenarian Awards presentation luncheon immediately follows the symposium in the Regency Ballroom of the Lexington Convention Center. The luncheon honors individuals who exemplify graceful aging and serve as an inspiration to others to remain engaged in life and the pursuit of personal goals.  

 

Luncheon tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by calling the Center on Aging Foundation Office at 859-323-5374.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

 

 

 

UK ALERT: All Clear

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 23:06

Last updated 12 a.m.:  UK Police has given the all clear.  They have searched the south campus area and deem it safe for students to resume their normal activities. More information at www.uky.edu. Mobile users select "view full site" at bottom of page.

 

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Police searched area near Woodland Glen residence hall construction site, which is direction suspects fled.

 

Three shots were reported fired in the Kirwan Blanding Complex area around 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28. No one was injured. UK and Lexington Police are on scene. K-9 units are searching for assailants. Witnesses say the shots came from a group of group of college aged males in dark attire and they fled on foot. Everyone is asked to avoid the area and students are urged to remain in their residence halls.

Kentucky REC Recognizes Providers at 7th Annual Kentucky eHealth Summit

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 17:16

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2014) -- The Kentucky Regional Extension Center, based at the University of Kentucky, recently honored eight health care provider organizations for leading the charge to transform primary care in Kentucky.

 

The “Practice Transformation Award” was presented to members of Kentucky REC’s inaugural Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) cohort in recognition of their commitment to improving health care quality outcomes and cost. Recipients of the award were recognized on Tuesday, Sept. 16,at the 7th Annual Kentucky eHealth Summit in Louisville, which brings together parties invested in advancing Health Information Technology in Kentucky.

 

Sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Electronic Health Information, the event draws hundreds from around the state who come to present ideas and listen to state and national leaders speak about new initiatives and opportunities in Health Information Technology.

 

Recipients were:

  • Bluegrass Community Family Practice – Bardstown
  • Central Internal Medicine – Lexington
  • Drs. Borders and Associates – Lexington
  • Family Medicine Clinic of Danville – Danville
  • Georgetown Pediatrics – Georgetown
  • Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky – Hazard
  • UK Family and Community Medicine – Lexington
  • UK HealthCare – Georgetown – Georgetown

These practices are working to achieve National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) PCMH Recognition. A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a team-based model of care led by a personal physician who provides continuous and coordinated care throughout a patient's lifetime to maximize health outcomes. 

 

The PCMH practice is responsible for providing for all of a patient's health care needs or appropriately arranging care with other qualified professionals. This includes the provision of preventive services, treatment of acute and chronic illness, and assistance with end-of-life issues. The team members work collaboratively to provide high levels of care, access, communication, care coordination, integration and safety.

 

Medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve experience of care for both the patient and provider.

 

Kentucky Regional Extension Center works with health care organizations to enhance the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of care through the use of Health Information Technology. Kentucky REC is one of 60 Regional Extension Centers across the country commissioned by the Office of the National Coordinator to help providers and hospitals transition to EHR technology. Kentucky REC Health IT Advisors provide resources and guidance to help providers earn federal incentives through the Meaningful Use Incentive Program.

 

To date, Kentucky REC is assisting more than 2,800 providers and more than a third of all Kentucky hospitals. Kentucky REC has helped providers in Kentucky secure over $100 Million in Meaningful Use incentive dollars. For more information about the Kentucky REC, visit www.kentuckyrec.com.  Follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EHRResource.

 

Singletary Center to Produce Live Orchestration of Kubrick’s '2001: A Space Odyssey'

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 15:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2014) — The Singletary Center for the Arts and the University of Kentucky School of Music will make history this January as it presents a live orchestration of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” featuring the UK Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Nardolillo, and the UK Chorale, conducted by Jefferson Johnson. This will be the first-ever performance of the repertoire by a university orchestra and chorus.

 

Highly regarded as the most groundbreaking sci-fi movie of all time, "2001" is a masterpiece achievement of artistic innovation in cinema. Known for its astute integration of music in film, it features a score like none other. From the iconic first notes of Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” to the gentle drift of Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz” and the dramatic tension of Gyorgy Ligeti’s contemporary compositions for orchestra and choir, the power and beauty of the score accompany breathtaking large-format scenes of outer space exploration to create an unforgettable journey “beyond the infinite.”

 

This program has been presented by an exclusive selection of the world’s greatest orchestras including the London Philharmonia Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, The Brussels Symphony, and the National Symphony. The UK Symphony Orchestra and UK Chorale have the prestigious honor of being the first university ensembles to perform this concert. 

 

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, and 3 p.m. Sunday Feb. 1, in the Singletary Center Concert Hall.

 

Tickets prices range from $40 to $30 for the general public, and $20 for UK students, faculty and staff (all tickets subject to box office fees). Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday), Sept. 30, at the Singletary Center Box Office (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), by phone at 859-257-4929, and online at www.SCFAtickets.com.

 

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.

Luster Wins Phi Kappa Phi Award; UK Chapter Honored

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 15:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2014) — 2014 University of Kentucky graduate Dominque Luster is the recipient of a $5,000 graduate fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (PKP), the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Luster, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater within UK's College of Fine Arts, recently began pursuit of a master's in library and information science  at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

In addition, two UK graduate students have received Love of Learning awards, worth $500 each, from Phi Kappa Phi. Sara K. Ehrensberger, who is pursuing a Master of Science in physician assistant studies in the UK College of Health Sciences, and Ekim Ekinci, a third-year student in the UK College of Pharmacy, are among 147 PKP members nationwide to be selected for this honor.

 

Due in part to these awards, together with strong participation by members in other campus and national activities, the UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was named a 2014 'Chapter of Excellence' by the organization at its recent biennial convention held in St. Louis. This is the second time the UK Chapter, in only its sixth year of existence after being chartered in the spring of 2009, has received the 'excellence' distinction.

 

"The University of Kentucky chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi continues to distinguish itself nationally," said Kenneth Roberts, dean emeritus of the College of Pharmacy and president of the UK chapter. "Our student members routinely excel in national competition and the chapter has consistently exceeded the expectations and high standards established by the national headquarters. Throughout the chapter's brief history it has prospered under outstanding leadership and institutional support. The recognition received this year is a credit to the exceptional women and men who have become active members of the UK chapter."

 

“It was an honor to receive the Certificate of Excellence at the biennial convention on behalf of our chapter,” said Austin Cantor, emeritus faculty member of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and UK chapter faculty vice president.The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has over 300 chapters across the country. We were one of a small number of chapters to merit this distinction.”

 

Luster's interest in library science, and more specifically in archives and records management, took hold while she served a Learning Lab internship in Special Collections at UK.

 

"As an undergraduate, I researched a variety of topics across the humanities and presented at a number of conferences, including the Harvard Collegiate Research Conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR 2014), which was hosted by UK in the spring," Luster said. "I am really grateful for all of the support I received from across the UK campus, including the folks involved in the Gaines Center for the Humanities, the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards."

 

Luster also spoke of her appreciation for PKP and the UK chapter. "Being named a PKP Fellow is about more than just name recognition or financial compensation, it's about being part of a community of scholars who are there to support or encourage you whenever you need them."

  

Phi Kappa Phi's robust award programs give more than $1 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

 

Founded in 1897, the society annually inducts students from more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. PKP membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff, alumni and community members who have achieved scholarly distinction also may qualify.

 

PKP's mission is "to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others." For more information, visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

 

The UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi http://www.uky.edu/academy/phi-kappa-phi

will issue its annual invitations for membership Oct. 10. The chapter's annual induction ceremony will take place Monday evening, Nov. 3, in the Small Ballroom of the UK Student Center.

 

 

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

 

 

New Child Care Program Connects UK Families With Student Helpers

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 17:31

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Office of Work-Life is helping to connect UK families in need of child care with UK students who are able to provide occasional care, through a new program called Big Blue Family Care (BBFC).  

 

“Last winter, we noticed that a lot more employees had to take vacation or sick days when Fayette County Schools were closed," said Erika Chambers, director of Work-Life. "Through the BBFC program, we are trying to address some of the breakdowns in child care that occur on school closings, after-school, and other school breaks.”

 

The goals of the program are to help UK families find great child care providers and to make it simple for UK students to connect with these families.

 

“UK has a lot of great students on campus who like working with children and have experience as nannies or in a daycare," says Bethany Smith, program coordinator for BBFC. "However, due to their schedule and studying, they need a job that is flexible.  The BBFC program meets these needs and makes it simple for students to connect with a UK family directly.” 

 

The Office of Work-Life also provides support in helping parents find center-based and activity-based child care activities when schools are closed. Many parents don’t realize that the YMCAs of Central Kentucky and the Living Arts and Science Center offer activities during school breaks and snow days, Chambers said. These can be great alternatives to in-home child care for parents seeking a group setting and activities for their child.

 

There is no charge to UK students or UK families for being part of the BBFC network.  For more information, including a program description and other caregiving solutions, visit the Work-Life Big Blue Family Care and Back-up Care Solutions website at http://www.uky.edu/hr/work-life/resources-for-parents/big-blue-family-care-and-back-care-solutions.  Students can apply to become a caregiver through the UK Jobs portal at https://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/41270.

 

For any questions contact Bethany Smith at bethany.smith@uky.edu or the Office of Work-Life at 859-257-1003.

 

Aligning Assessment and Accountability Under Common Core

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 16:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014) — Gene Wilhoit and Linda Pittenger, of the National Center for Innovation in Education (based at the University of Kentucky College of Education), and Linda Darling-Hammond, of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, have recently published an article on assessment and accountability in schools.

 

The authors write “As schools across the country prepare for new standards under the Common Core, states are moving toward creating more aligned systems of assessment and accountability. This paper recommends an accountability approach that focuses on meaningful learning, enabled by professionally skilled and committed educators, and supported by adequate and appropriate resources, so that all students regardless of background are prepared for both college and career when they graduate from high school.

 

"Drawing on practices already established in other states and on the views of policymakers and school experts, this paper proposes principles for effective accountability systems and imagines what a new accountability system could look like in an imagined '51st state' in the United States. While considerable discussion and debate will be needed before a new approach can take shape, this paper’s objective is to get the conversation started so the nation can meet its aspirations for preparing college- and career-ready students."

 

The full article can be viewed at http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/1724/1334.

UK Adolescent Medicine Reaches Rural Teens through Health Clinics in Schools

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 14:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014) — Off the top of her head, Kaylee Brown can think of 10 girls at her high school who are pregnant. One of them is her younger brother's age, and he's only 14.

 

But when asked about her priorities, 16-year-old Kaylee doesn't mention dating or boys. Wearing a swing purse and a denim shirt during an appointment with Dr. Hatim Omar at the University of Kentucky Adolescent Care Clinic, Brown talks about assuming a leadership role with her Future Farmers of America chapter, playing on her high school volleyball team and making good grades in her advanced-level classes. The farmer's daughter needs good grades to achieve her goals of going to college and becoming a large animal veterinarian.

 

A student at Lincoln County High School, Brown knows about the health stigmas associated with teens in her hometown and other rural areas of Kentucky. Lincoln County's teen pregnancy rate is high in a state that leads the nation in teen pregnancy. In a 2007 study of county health from the Kentucky Institute of Medicine, Lincoln County was one county that trailed in high school graduation rates, but showed high rates of youth smoking. Brown said many girls at her school also deal with intense social pressures to be "perfect" and other mental health issues.

 

"Lincoln County was like that high school that nobody thought any good would come out of," Brown said.

 

Brown believes Omar, chief of Department of Adolescent Medicine at UK, is one doctor who is trying to change that perception of teens in Lincoln County. Through a partnership with school district offices, Omar and his staff provide on-site health clinics at six high schools and middle schools in Lincoln and Boyle counties. A member of the UK Department of Adolescent Medicine visits schools once a week, and Omar visits the schools at least once a month. They provide services that range from physical examinations to mental health consultations to dietary recommendations, and when necessary, more specialized care.

 

Kaylee Brown and her mom Miranda Brown were so impressed with Omar and his staff that they travel to Lexington for more specialized headache care at the Kentucky Clinic. Omar diagnosed Brown with polycystic ovarian syndrome, which caused unbearable migraines that disrupted her daily life. He prescribed a medication that helps Brown concentrate on the activities she loves. In addition, he helped her cope with depression that was coupled with frequently feeling ill.

 

Omar has seen many teens in Lincoln County who are in dire need of attention. Most teens aren't dealing with illness, so health care issues in this age group are related to their environment, personal choices and mental wellness. Omar's clinic deals with issues including drug use, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and more. He's seen teens in Lincoln County who are homeless, abandoned by their parents and struggling to survive. He said having one adult who cares and one activity to engage them can direct teens toward a better life.  

 

"Most of the problems are the things that they do because of their environment," Omar said of teens. "The approach has to be, 'I am here for you — how do I help you make the best out of this life?'"

 

Eva Stone, a nurse practitioner and school health coordinator for Lincoln and Boyle county schools, reached out to Omar seven years ago after a teen attending one of the high schools committed suicide. After discussing the need for more adolescent health resources in rural Kentucky, she contracted Omar and UK Adolescent Medicine to provide regular in-house clinical visits at local schools. Stone said many students have difficulty accessing a health care provider. Stone doesn't believe adolescent health issues are unique to Lincoln County, but these health disparities are linked to environmental factors, such as poverty and high instances of drug use, which are found throughout rural Kentucky. 

 

"Being a rural community, there are stresses that go along with poverty," Stone said. "We have kids with unstable home situations, we have kids that are homeless, we have kids who don't have food on the weekend — and being in the middle of that, they are trying to be a teenager."

 

Since coming to Lincoln County, Omar has assisted with the development of student health protocol in the school system and hosted community outreach events, including a youth suicide awareness day. He also helped introduce a 20-question health screening, which is reviewed with middle school students at the beginning of every school year. Health officials then use the screening as a tool to measure preventable health risks in the student population.

 

Stone admires Omar's ability to relate to teens. She said he doesn't treat them like a "15-minute office appointment." For this reason, Omar has few no-shows for appointments at the Kentucky Clinic. 

 

"He has a heart for kids that I've never experienced before," Stone said.

 

Omar is now working with community activists in Lincoln County to establish an adolescent health clinic in the developing King's Mountain Community Center. He views Lincoln and Boyle County schools a platform for spreading awareness of the importance of adolescent health across the state. 

 

"Teens in all of rural Kentucky need help and attention," Omar said. "Lincoln County was one of the worst counties in teen outcomes statewide, and the school officials were happy to collaborate with us to improve these outcomes. Lincoln County is one of the examples of how doing the right thing can help."

 

Kentucky Education Television (KET) will air a program in the spring highlighting Omar and his work with teens in Kentucky. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

TGIF Means Free Musical Performances at the UK Chandler Hospital

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 14:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014)  — Musicians will ring in the weekends this fall with free Friday performances during the lunch hour at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

 

The UK Arts in HealthCare program and the UK School of Music have partnered to debut the TGIF Fall Performance Series, a series of musical performances held every Friday at noon in the atrium lobby of Pavilion A.  

 

To open the series today, the UK Opera Theatre program will perform a special preview of its much-anticipated showing of the dark musical Sweeney Todd. The performances will feature UK faculty and students in the School of Music and the genres will range from opera to classical guitar to pop hits by The Beatles. The schedule of performances includes:

  • Sept. 26 - UK Opera Theatre - A Preview of Sweeney Todd
  • Oct. 3 - Guitarist Jeremy Bass
  • Oct. 10 - The UK Oboe Studio - Selections from Telemann and Mozart to Billy Joel and the Beatles
  • Oct. 17 - Flutist Andria McElroy - Traditional Irish Folk Tunes
  • Oct. 24 -  Guitarist Ricardo Saeb Velenzuela - Concierto de Arajuez by Joaquin Rodrigo
  • Oct. 31 - The UK Faculty Brass Quintet - Jason Dovel and Steve Siegel (trumpet); Brad Kearns (trombone); David Elliot (horn); and Skip Gray (tuba)

Employees of UK and UK HealthCare, as well as patients and members of the general public, are encouraged to enjoy their lunch while listening to the live music in the Atrium Lobby. Performances will last no longer than one hour. The series will run through December and additional performances will be announced as more musicians are scheduled.

 

To learn more about the UK Arts in HealthCare program, click here

SAB’s “Nerd Night” Celebrates Fandoms and Folk Music

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014)  Student Activities Board's Cultural Arts and Concerts Committees are collaborating to host an art gallery reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the Rasdall Gallery in the University of Kentucky Student Center. The “Nerd Night” reception will feature artwork from different fandoms, including "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Dr. Who," and a performance by the band Branches. Students will have the opportunity to win one of the prints on display.

 

“We are excited to be celebrating Nerd Night with an acoustic set by the band Branches and a nerd theme photobooth," said Melissa Simon, director of cultural arts. "It will be a really interactive and fun reception."

 

Hailing from California, Branches has recently received a lot of attention in the television industry, having their songs played on "Cougar Town," "One Tree Hill" and "The X Factor." Paste magazine recently named them one of "12 California Acts You Should Listen to Now." They will play original music, as well as some audience favorites in their own style. The band is perhaps most famous for their ingenious covers of songs like "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and "Halo."

 

“In order to bring attention to one of the Student Center's most unique assets, Melissa and I have teamed up to plan an art exhibition reception that will showcase the value of the Rasdall Gallery," Jordan Keeton, director of concerts, said. "She is stocking the gallery with art that appeals to all of our contemporary pop culture favorites, including 'Harry Potter,' 'Dr. Who' and 'Star Wars.' To accompany the artwork, I'm bringing the band Branches to perform. Like the visual art, Branches is sure to appeal to a large audience. They are a 'fun-folk-force' that has been compared to Mumford and Sons and The Head and The Heart.”

 

SAB brings more than 100 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff, and the greater Lexington community.

 

Connect with SAB at www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/UKSAB or Instagram at instagram.com/uksab or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB. For more information about SAB and events, email contact@uksab.org or text a question beginning with SABQ, followed by your question or comment, to 411-247.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

SAB CONTACT: Olivia Senter, publicrelations@uksab.org, 859-257-8868

College of Social Work Hosts 12th Anniversary Rosenstein Lecture

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work, along with Dean Ike Adams, will celebrate the 12th anniversary of the  Irma Sarett Rosenstein Lecture on Early Childhood Interventions from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public. 

 

This year's lecture will feature Don Cipriani, director of the Just and Fair Schools Fund, a national donor collaborative fund supporting grassroots organizing initiatives that work to eliminate harsh school discipline policies and practices and uphold the right to education for all youth.  A reception will immediately follow the lecture.

 

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

 

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

 

"Rosenstein came to Lexington more than 50 years ago and we know that she changed this community for the better," said James P. “Ike” Adams Jr., dean of the UK College of Social Work and Dorothy A. Miller Professor in Social Work Education. "The entire community is indebted to her and grateful for her courage.  The College of Social Work counts Mrs. Rosenstein as one of our Hall of Fame members and as a friend and colleague.  Irma remains one of the college’s staunch supporters, and we feel blessed to have someone with her integrity and compassion involved in our work.  Specifically, we are honored that Irma and Irv have gifted us with an endowment for this prestigious lecture series.  This lecture series is something the college is proud to offer each year to our students, faculty and to the wider community as a very special learning opportunity."

 

"We are delighted to have created this lecture series for UK and the community. Compassion for child welfare and social justice, which was instilled in me at an early age, continues to be a driving force in today's world even with all of the progress that has been achieved," Rosenstein said.

 

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

 

To RSVP for the lecture, contact Heather Bosworth at heather.bosworth@uky.edu or 859-257-6654.

 

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

 

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

College of Law Welcomes Campaign and Election Lawyer Trevor Potter

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014)  — Trevor Potter,one of the nation's best-known and experienced campaign and election lawyers, will speak to the University of Kentucky College of Law Wednesday, Oct. 1.  Potter is leads the Political Law Group of the law firm Caplin and Drysdale; is president and general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center; and is former commissioner and chairman of the Federal Election Commission. 

 

Potter has served as general counsel to several presidential campaigns, most recently for John McCain in 2008. He has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as "hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law, and money."  Potter has frequented "The Colbert Report," often as the campaign finance attorney for Stephen Colbert.

 

Potter, a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, has published several books and articles. He has testified before Congress on federal election proposals and campaign finance regulation, and has taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University. He co-chaired the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on Lobbying Regulation and co-chairs the ABA’s Administrative Law Section’s Election Law Committee and is the liaison for the Advisory Committee of the Standing Committee on Election Law.

 

Potter received his law degree and Order of the Coif from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief for the Virginia Journal of International Law, and his undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

 

Potter will speak during an open forum at noon Oct. 1, in the College of Law courtroom about campaign finance and then later to Professor Josh Douglas’ Election Law class. The noon forum is open to the general public.

 

 

 

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

 

With UPK Book Bourbon Gets its 'Just Desserts'

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 10:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2014) — France is famous for wine, and its cuisine makes excellent use of the nation’s signature libation. From boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin to classic sauces, wine is an integral part of French cooking. Similarly, beer is at the center of German culture, and no Oktoberfest would be complete without bratwurst and onions cooked in beer. Bourbon holds a similar position in American culture. It is our nation’s native spirit and the only one to be designated by congress as a “distinctive product of the United States.” Why then, despite bourbon’s complex and sophisticated flavor, is it not used more in cooking?

 

Food writer and journalist Lynn Marie Hulsman seeks to change that by showcasing how bourbon can be incorporated into confections and sweets in "Bourbon Desserts," published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK). With over 100 recipes ranging from cakes and candies to sauces and sorbets, this collection contains all the knowledge a home cook needs to whip up sophisticated and delectable desserts.

 

Anecdotes about Hulsman's own childhood in Kentucky and her relationship to bourbon make this cookbook a treat to read. Each recipe begins with her own insightful observations and comments on the dish. Her careful, step-by-step directions make complicated recipes easy to execute, and the fun bourbon facts and helpful cooking tips scattered throughout are both useful and entertaining.

 

Hulsman includes sections on cakes, cookies and bars, pies and tarts, puddings and custards, frozen dishes, syrups and sauces, candies, compotes and spreads, and dessert drinks. The breadth of dishes covered means there are multiple options for every occasion, like grilled bourbon-glazed peaches at summer cookouts and cooked and spiked eggnog custard for Christmas parties.

 

In addition, the recipes go beyond traditional desserts to encompass a broader variety of sweets. Breakfast can include bourbon-infused orange doughnuts or bourbon-flapjack coffee cake along with bourbon-cherry jam to spread on browned butter and bourbon biscuits.

 

Though designed for the amateur baker, "Bourbon Desserts" collects a broad range of dishes from the startlingly simple to complex, multi-stage recipes sure to wow even the most dedicated foodies. Something as basic as substituting bourbon for extracts can often create subtle and complex flavors in familiar recipes. Bourbon’s spicy oaken flavors pair exceptionally well with the tang of cream cheese in frostings. Other recipes are more involved. Pumpkin gingerbread trifle with bourbon whipped cream requires multiple steps, though it will be the talk of a Thanksgiving feast in place of pumpkin pie.

 

With color photos to entice, "Bourbon Desserts" offers something for everyone from whiskey enthusiasts looking beyond rocks glasses to dedicated Southern cooks who enjoy putting news twists on traditional fare. Hulsman enables ambitious cooks to dazzle their cocktail party compatriots with bourbon trivia while serving up delectables tinged with the unique, unmistakable flavor of the whiskey that makes Kentucky famous.

 

Hulsman is a freelance food writer, journalist, and editor. She is the author of "Thornton Hall" and coauthor of "Make Your Own Soda" and "Irish Pantry: Traditional Breads, Preserves, and Goodies to Feed the Ones You Love."

 

UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.

 

WUKY's Phoenix Fridays Concert Series Wraps Up Sept. 26

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 23:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2014) ― WUKY's Phoenix Fridays concert series wraps up in Lexington's Phoenix Park tomorrow night with opening acts — The Northside Sheiks and Jarekus Singleton— followed by headliner — Jukebox the Ghost.

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The free concert series presented by WUKY, the University of Kentucky's NPR station, presents its fourth and final event of the summer at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in downtown Lexington.

 

 The Northside Sheiks bring the pre-'50s blues and R&B vibe to the concert, while Jarekus Singleton melds the sound of original blues with the energy of rap and rock to create his own unique style.  Indie pop group Jukebox the Ghost is known for its quirky song lyrics and flamboyant, energetic live shows.

 

Band details, interviews and videos can be accessed on the WUKY website.

 

Local food trucks will be onsite at Phoenix Park, located at the corner of Main Street and South Limestone in downtown Lexington.

 

Produced by the Downtown Lexington Corporation, WUKY's Phoenix Fridays series has brought local and up-and-coming musical acts to the stage each fourth Friday this summer. 

  

For more information contact WUKY’s Mike Graves at mgrav1@email.uky.edu.

 

 

 

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

‘LiveWell Check In’ Empowers Employee Health

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 17:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2014) — Employees at the University of Kentucky are taking advantage of a new health benefit called “LiveWell Check In,” which enables them to get a “snapshot” of their overall health status — and an extra $100 in their paycheck.  

 

Announced earlier this month in a series of emails from campus leaders, early response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 500 employees signed up on the first day. In the first two weeks, that number had grown to 2,000. All regular employees working half-time (0.5 FTE) or more are eligible to participate.

 

“We want to ‘see transformation’ in our culture on UK’s campus, as we support employees getting closer to their wellness goals,” said Andrea Deweese, a wellness specialist with UK Human Resources who serves as team lead on the LiveWell Check In project. “We will meet them wherever they are, with no judgment and no expectations, just support.”

 

Eligible employees can sign up online for a Check In appointment at one of 20 convenient locations both on and off campus, with slots available from now through Dec. 19. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the online registration and questionnaire, and the Check In itself takes only 20 to 30 minutes.

 

Employees enrolled in a qualifying UK health benefit plan are eligible for a $100 incentive, in the form of a plan premium rebate on the employee’s pay statement, just for completing the Check In. 

 

When an employee visits a Check In site, a Check In specialist (or “guide”) will greet them and ask a few questions about their current health concerns and goals. The guide will also record the employee’s height, weight and blood pressure. A quick “finger stick” blood test provides information about blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

 

Visitors to a Check In will also receive valuable information about a wealth of health maintenance benefits available to UK employees free or at very low cost. These include classes for weight loss/management and tobacco cessation, group fitness, gym memberships — even individual consultations with a registered dietitian or exercise specialist.

 

A secure online portal, which employees can access by logging in with their myUK linkblue credentials, enables LiveWell participants to view a “snapshot” of their health status, and to track their progress toward individual health goals through a visual dashboard-style interface. Individualized follow-up is available, with employees determining the level of feedback they want, and how they’d prefer to be contacted.

 

It’s all part of what the program leaders call a “conversation-based” approach to health promotion.

 

“The Check In is special because it’s so much more than just a screening,” Deweese said. “We see the participants as the experts on themselves — their needs, schedules, preferences and readiness to change. In most screenings the participants are just told what they need to do differently and are expected to walk out and just do it. We see the Check In as more of a two-way conversation, where participants can get the information and support they need in order to make positive changes in health behavior.”

 

The LiveWell Check In program builds on the success of two previous UK health promotion initiatives, Healthtrac Rewards and Wellness on Wheels, which ended last year. Unlike Healthtrac Rewards, a third-party vendor-supplied program, LiveWell Check In was developed entirely at UK, to better integrate the entire spectrum of health promotion expertise and resources available on campus. So far, Deweese says, employees seem to appreciate the more personal touch that comes with a program designed by UK employees for UK employees. 

 

“Participants are noticing the difference from our screenings in the past and are liking it,” she said. “They feel listened to instead of talked at. They know we’re here to help them along the way, no matter where they are in relation to their goals.” 

 

One early adopter, Matt Presby, a billing coordinator for UK Analytics and Technologies, said the Check In was more user-friendly than other health interventions he has been through.         

 

“I thought the health screening was much more personable and intuitive,” Presby said. “They actually have time to listen and address your problems and go over what you need to work on.”

 

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe says he and his department have already benefited from the new program. 

 

“The LiveWell Check In program is an initiative that we support 100 percent at UKPD,” he said. “We feel that this is just one crucial piece in the wellness puzzle to promote healthy living and reduce health-related problems, both in and out of the workplace.”

 

There is no deadline to register. However, appointment slots are limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, so employees are encouraged to secure their preferred Check In time now. To learn more about LiveWell Check In or to sign up for an appointment, please visit http://www.uky.edu/hr/wellness/exclusive-offerings/uk-livewell-check-in.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu

 

SAB to Host First #TrendingTopics Event of the Semester

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2014) — Student Activities Board's Engaging Issues Committee will host "#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform," an interactive debate, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the Student Center's Center Theater. This event provides students with the rare opportunity to participate in an interactive debate over a hot-button issue in a safe environment. Attendees will have the chance to ask questions and share their opinions through SAB’s Twitter feed.

 

The issue of immigration reform has come to public attention recently due to many questions about providing amnesty to illegal immigrants as well as uncertain border security. The debate will address the issues of how responsible the United States is in providing opportunities to immigrants. Debaters will then go on to argue what the appropriate steps relating to amnesty, border security, and other issues are.

 

“The #TrendingTopics Immigration Reform Debate will be extremely unique because the issue involved has come into the spotlight politically," James Collard, director of engaging issues, said. “This topic will allow for analysis on what political action should be taken in regard to issues like border security and amnesty, as well as a more broad exploration of how obligated we are to provide opportunities to others as human beings. I am excited to hear the thoughtful consideration of both debaters, as well as see what students have to say through the use of twitter and text-in response polls.”  

 

#TrendingTopics is a debate series that covers relevant, engaging topics and provides a safe environment for students to interact and participate. Each debate consists of two or more debaters knowledgeable on the topic at hand. Two more debates #TrendingTopics debate will take place this semester, each with a different topic.

 

SAB brings more than 100 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community.

 

Connect with SAB at www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/UKSAB or Instagram at instagram.com/uksab or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB. For more information about SAB and events, email contact@uksab.org or text a question beginning with SABQ, followed by your question or comment, to 411-247.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

SAB CONTACT: Olivia Senter, publicrelations@uksab.org, 859-257-8868

Intense Sports Culture Can Cause Kids to Strike Out with Injuries

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 14:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2014)  Whether on a field or a court, in a gymnasium or a pool, outdoors or indoors, on a team or practiced by an individual, competitive sports will always come with some risk of injury for youth.

 

Sports are fun and constructive activities for children and teens that instill important life lessons and healthy habits. However, when kids are pushed too far, unsupervised or violating the rules of the game, their safety — and the safety of their teammates — is compromised.

 

According to a recent report from Safe Kids Worldwide, 1.24 million children were sent to the emergency room because of a sports-related injury in 2013. Any kid who has worn a cast can tell you a sports injury is no fun. Still, 90 percent of youth have sustained an injury while playing a sport. The most at-risk children for sports injuries are at the age of puberty, between 13 and 15 years old. As coaches, parents and cheerleaders for our kids, we have the power to prevent sports-related injuries.

 

Put me in, Coach 

To stay in the game, kids will keep quiet about the extent of an injury. While 42 percent of children admitted to downplaying an injury, only 27 percent of coaches reported their players hiding or downplaying an injury. Let kids know it's okay to sit on the bench so they can avoid further injury to their body. Make sure the child who was injured receives release from their doctor to play a sport before getting back into the game.

 

Set a zero-tolerance standard for bullying and dirty play.

One-third of athletes reported an injury as the result of dirty play from an opponent and 28 percent believe it's normal to commit a hard foul to "send a message" to the other team. Before the season begins, every player should know the rules of the game and the consequences for dirty play and hard fouls. Coaches and referees should call hard fouls appropriately, and address those fouls with the child and parent as necessary.

 

Encourage prevention.

Coaches and parents should encourage proper stretching, warming up and strength-building exercises to help prevent injuries. Sprangs and strains are the most frequently reported sports-related injuries, followed by dehydration and broken bones. Make sure children are well-hydrated and properly dressed in the appropriate protective gear for their sport. Talk to your child's coach about ways they are preventing injuries, or work with them on a plan to prevent injuries for the entire team.

 

Keep sports fun.

The culture of youth sports today puts an extreme amount of pressure on young athletes. Pressure to succeed from parents, coaches and peers can lead to burnout or set the stage for an injury. More than half of coaches said they felt pressure from a parent to put a child back into the game after an injury. Allow time off for rest, especially after an injury, and keep a positive attitude about competition. 

 

Sherri Hannan is the director of Safe Kids Fayette County based at UK HealthCare.

UK College of Public Health Receives $1.8 Million to Support Public Health Organization, Financing, and Delivery Research

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 13:11

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept, 25, 2014) —The National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR), based in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, has received $1.8 million of renewed funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to extend its research on ways to improve the health and economic impact of public health and prevention strategies across the United States. This award contributes to a total of $9.4 million in RWJF funding received by the Coordinating Center since its launch in 2010, and enables an expansion of its nationwide research capacity.   

 

Launched as a national program office of the RWJF in 2011, the Coordinating Center supports research, both at UK and at other institutions nationwide, that examines how the public health system can best implement the many programs, policies, services and supports that keep people healthy and safe. PHSSR compares alternative approaches for financing, organizing and delivering  public health strategies that protect Americans against a broad array of preventable health problems and risks, ranging from tobacco exposure and obesity to food-borne illness and vaccine-preventable infections.  These strategies vary widely across the United States, as do the mix of organizations and funding mechanisms that support their implementation, creating ample opportunities for research and learning about what works best.  

 

“We have an expanding array of programs and policies that are scientifically proven to prevent disease, injury and premature death, but many of them fail to reach and protect large segments of the American population,” says Coordinating Center director Glen Mays, who serves as the Scutchfield Endowed Professor of Health Services and Systems Research at the UK College of Public Health. “Our research seeks to address these failures in delivery by discovering more effective, efficient and equitable delivery systems and implementation strategies that, ultimately, can support a healthier nation.”

 

To date, the Coordinating Center and its partners have supported more than 120 individual studies, some of which are implemented through its constellation of practice-based research networks (PBRNs), which engage more than 2,000 public health organizations and 50 academic research centers across 32 states. Important areas of study for both the Coordinating Center’s extramural and intramural research endeavors include examining the cost, quality, and value of specific public health delivery strategies and investigating efforts to better coordinate these strategies with the nation’s medical care delivery and financing systems, which are currently undergoing reform.

 

In addition to supporting and conducting research studies, the Coordinating Center strives to translate research results into real-world applications and solutions by providing policy-makers and stakeholders with evidence-based information.

 

"We need to ensure that research findings end up in the hands of people who can use them to inform key policy and practice decisions," says Coordinating Center deputy director Anna Hoover.

 

To boost dissemination of scientific findings and downstream research translation, the Coordinating Center is redesigning its website to better share project-specific information across four domains: public health workforce, systems structure and performance, financing and economics, and information and technology.

 

“By expanding access to research projects and scientific results, we can truly maximize the PHSSR field’s real-world health impact,” says Mays.

 

About the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services & Systems Research:  The National Coordinating Center supports applied research that uncovers strategies for improving the organization, financing, and delivery of public health programs and policies, including ways of improving the health and economic impact of these activities. The Center designs and conducts research studies, provides technical assistance and direction for other researchers across the U.S., develops methodological advances in measurement and analysis, and accelerates the translation and dissemination of research findings for policy and practice stakeholders.  The Center is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at the University of Kentucky. www.publichealthsystems.org

 

About the Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks Program: The Public Health PBRN Program is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that engages public health practice settings and research institutions across the U.S. in the collaborative study of innovations in public health practice and policy. More than 2000 state and local public health agencies located in more than 30 states are engaged in Public Health PBRN activities along with more than 50 academic research centers.  The PBRN program is directed by the National Center for Public Health Services & Systems Research based at the University of Kentucky. 

 

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

 

UK Researcher Earns NIH Funding to Expand Gender-Based Studies on Foodborne Illness

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 12:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2014) — In her research, Sarah D'Orazio, associate professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics,   investigates why some people get sicker than others after ingesting the foodborne bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Using a mouse model, her research team observed that a subset of mice most susceptible to the dangerous bacteria share one common trait: they are all female.

 

With supplemental funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), D'Orazio has the resources to explore why Listeria infection affects females more severely than their male counterparts. Part of an effort to promote sex-based research, the NIH is investing $10 million in clinical and preclinical trials that consider sex, or gender, a fundamental variable in scientific results. D'Orazio was one of 82 researchers in the nation to receive an award to expand her studies to look specifically at the immune response to Listeria in both male and female mice.

 

"It was an interesting observation, but we really didn't have the funds to investigate that question," D'Orazio said of comparing male and female immune responses.

 

Launched in 2013, the supplemental grants from the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health are awarded to research studies that will contribute to a body of sex-based knowledge to inform future studies. The awards enable researchers to expand their studies to investigate sex-based differences by adding elements of gender comparison and data analysis.

 

According to the NIH, an overreliance on male subjects in preclinical trials can obscure key findings related to sex differences that are later used in human studies. This year, the grants were awarded to projects spanning many scientific areas, including basic immunology, cardiovascular physiology and behavioral health. 

 

"This funding strategy demonstrates our commitment to moving the needle toward better health for all Americans, while helping grow our knowledge base for both sexes and building research infrastructure to aid future studies,” said Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, NIH associate director for women’s health research. “The scientists receiving these awards have approached their research questions with fresh thinking, and are looking for innovation and discovery through a new lens.”

 

Prior to receiving the supplemental funding, D'Orazio's Listeria research was funded by an R01 grant from the NIH. Listeriosis is one of the most deadly foodborne infections in America.  A 2011 outbreak in Colorado involving contaminated cantaloupes affected 147 people in 28 states, and resulted in 33 deaths. Since then, the USDA has recalled an average of 40 to 50 food products per year due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  

 

From the start of the project, D'Orazio's research team factored sex as a possible variable in the mice's immune response to Listeria infection. D'Orazio is looking at how the rapid production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine in some mice helps to trigger clearance of the bacteria.  With the additional funding, she and her research team will investigate whether this immune response differs in susceptible females compared to the more resistant male mice.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Presents Affrilachia, Fiddle Concerts

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 11:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2014) — From Affrilachia to fiddles, the next two performances in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series are sure to entertain. On Friday, Sept. 26, celebrated folk duo Sparky and Rhonda Rucker will perform. The next Friday, Oct. 2, Letcher County's only female fiddle duo, the SkiPdiPPerS, will appear. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

 

A Folk Concert with Some Spark

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform "Which Side Are You On?" at UK's Niles Gallery. 

 

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky has been performing more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller and author. He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo and spoons. Rhonda is an accomplished harmonica, piano, banjo and bones player, and also adds vocal harmonies to their songs.

 

The couple is known to deliver uplifting presentations of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history and tall tales. Sparky and Rhonda take audiences on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, cowboy music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.

 

Sparky and Rhonda have numerous recordings, and their 1991 release, "Treasures and Tears," was nominated for the W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Recording. They have also contributed music to the syndicated television miniseries "The Wild West," directed by Keith Merrill. Sparky's renditions of "John Henry" and "Jesse James" were used in the National Geographic Society’s 1994 video "Storytelling in North America."

 

Sparky has also appeared on numerous radio programs, including National Public Radio’s "Morning Edition," "Prairie Home Companion" and "Mountain Stage." He also performed in "Carry It On" and "Amazing Grace: Music in America," two videos produced by the Public Broadcasting System.

 

A Fiddlin', Skippin' Good Time

Sylvia Ryerson and Carrie Jean Wells make up the SkiPdiPPerS, the only female fiddle duo from Letcher County, Kentucky.

 

Ryerson is Appalshop’s coordinator of traditional music and director of the Pick and Bow Program that provides instruction in traditional music for Letcher County students. As a fiddler, she is heavily influenced by a long lineage of Kentucky musicians from Art Stamper to Paul David Smith.  

 

Wells comes by the fiddle through her birthright. She is a member of the Wells family of East Kentucky that includes her father, Jamie Wells, and brother Jesse Wells, who are considered among the region's finest fiddlers.  

 

The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.

 

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring Sparky and Rhonda Rucker or the SkiPdiPPerS, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit the website at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles.

 

 

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

 

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