Willett and Reddy Selected as May 2014 Commencement Speakers

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — As a University of Kentucky Commencement tradition, two students have been selected to serve as speakers for the two undergraduate ceremonies Saturday, May 10.


Emily Willett will speak at the 1 p.m. ceremony and Pooja Reddy will speak at the 6 p.m. ceremony. Willett and Reddy were selected among several candidates by UK President Eli Capilouto to represent the May 2014 undergraduate class.


Willett, from Ormond Beach, Fla., is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in management from the Gatton College of Business and Economics.  She is a third-generation UK student and has been involved in the UK Women's Choir (serving as president for one year); Paws and Listen (UK's female a capella group); UK Student Government; DanceBlue  (2013-14 corporate relations chair); and Alpha Delta Pi sorority.  She is also a campus tour guide and student director at the UK Visitor Center.


Willett will enter the UK College of Dentistry this fall, and ultimately wants to open her own practice in orthodontics.


“I am very excited to be giving the student commencement address to the Class of 2014," Willett said. "At the beginning of my sophomore year, I had the privilege of welcoming incoming freshmen to UK as the student speaker for the New Student Induction Ceremony.  It is a real honor to be able to cap off my Wildcat career by delivering this speech.”


Reddy, from Glascow, Ky., is graduating Cum Laude with a degree in psychology from the UK College of Arts & Sciences. She has two minors, political science and international studies, and a global studies certificate.


While at UK, Reddy has served as co-creator of the "Get Fit, Get Active" initiative, an effort to mobilize UK's campus, and as a peer mentor for the Emerging Leader Institute. She was the recipient of the "Wildcats in Washington" Congressional Scholarship and was chosen for the Freshman Leadership Development Program. She has worked with the World Health Organization headquarters under the Tobacco Free Initiative in Geneva, Switzerland, and completed a legislative internship with the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. This semester she held a legislative internship in Frankfort under the Majority Caucus Chair. Reddy is also a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the Indian Cultural Exchange Dance Team, and is an on-air DJ for WRFL, 88.1FM.


Reddy says she'd like to use her identity as a first generation American with deep ties in India to serve the interests of both India and the U.S. She plans to study international law and earn joint master's degrees in public policy and diplomacy.


"As Commencement speaker, I'd like to unite our class and highlight the similarities we share as University of Kentucky graduates," Reddy said. "My upbringing in rural Kentucky, background as a first generation American, and broad involvement on campus, allow me to understand that UK hosts a diverse student body deserving of a representative they can relate to. I'm honored to address the Class of 2014 and hope they take away an important theme of my speech: education is a gift and a responsibility not to be taken lightly, and what we choose to do with that gift is entirely in our hands."


The May 2014 Commencement Ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 10 in Rupp Arena. The Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony will take place at 9 a.m., followed by the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The 1 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Agriculture, Food & Environment; the Gatton College of Business & Economics, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing. The 6 p.m. ceremony will feature the colleges of Arts & Sciences; Communication & Information; Design; Fine Arts; Health Sciences; and Social Work. 


Students who plan to participate in the Commencement ceremonies should register by April 25 to have their names appear on screen when their names ae called during the ceremonies.  


All three ceremonies will be live streamed on UKNow.


For more information about the May 2014 Commencement Ceremonies, visit



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;

College of Law to Induct Three Into 2014 Hall of Fame

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 14:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Law and the UK College of Law Alumni Association will induct three new members into the 2014 Hall of Fame at an alumni reception in conjunction with the Kentucky Bar Association Convention in Covington June 18.


The Hall of Fame was established to acknowledge graduates of the college who have achieved extraordinary professional success, have a high degree of character and integrity, and have a profound positive impact on the College of Law. The three Hall of Fame inductees are Albert B. “Ben” Chandler III, W. David Denton, and William R. Garmer.


Chandler is the director of the Kentucky Humanities Council. He was named Young Lawyer of the Year in 1990, right before starting his political career as state auditor of public accounts from 1991 to 1995. As suditor, he performed the highest number of audits in history. From 1996-2003, he served as Kentucky's attorney general (the nation’s youngest at that time) and created KASPER – the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System.  Chandler represented the sixth congressional district of Kentucky from 2004-2013 and while in Congress, served on the House Appropriations Committee, House Ethics Committee and House Intelligence Committee. He is a 1986 graduate of the UK College of Law and established the Kentucky Prosecutors Institute at the Law School.


Denton is the senior partner of Denton & Keuler in Paducah, Ky., and has been involved in the practice for more than 25 years. He successfully handles clients in both state and federal courts and within a broad spectrum of the law. Denton previously served as special justice for the Kentucky Supreme Court and is a Life Fellow of the Kentucky Bar Foundation. He is a 1969 graduate of the UK College of Law.


Garmer, a 1975 graduate of UK's College of Law, is a partner of Garmer & Prather, PLLC. During his career, he has secured many successful settlements and verdicts for his clients. Some of his successful cases, Hilen v. Hays and Williams v. St. Claire Medical Center, have led to groundbreaking decisions. His name has appeared in The Best Lawyers in America since 1987, Who’s Who in American Law since 1991, named to Kentucky Super Lawyers since 2007, and in 2008 and 2010-2014 he was named one of the top 50 lawyers in Kentucky by Super Lawyers. Garmer has served as a board member of the UK College of Law Alumni Association and is a member of the College of Law’s Visiting Committee.


Other honorees include Kenneth R. Taylor (Professional Achievement), Angela Logan Edwards and Thomas Ruden Post (Community Service), Jennifer Lee Ann Brinkley (Young Professional), Karl Spillman Forester (Distinguished Jurist, honored posthumously),Wil Schroder (Distinguished Jurist, honored posthumously), and Albert Jones (Legacy).




MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or


College of Health Sciences Inducts Two Into Hall of Fame

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:48


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) − The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences recently welcomed two new inductees into its Alumni Hall of Fame. The latest inductees are:

Russell E. Miller, physical therapy, ’80. Miller, who is retired, worked most recently as a consultant for Avacore Technologies, a company in Ann Arbor, Mich., which developed a device to augment natural body cooling; and Lori Stewart Gonzalez, speech-pathology & audiology, ’79, who served as dean of the UK College of Health Sciences for seven years before becoming the first female provost and executive vice chancellor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.. 


Russell E. Miller

Miller received a bachelor of science in health and physical education, from Wilmington College in Ohio in 1966. He received a master of science in health and safety with an emphasis on athletic training from Indiana University in 1968. He then earned a bachelor of science in physical therapy from UK in 1980.


Miller began his career in athletic training prior to receiving his degree in physical therapy. Over a span of 13 years, Miller worked as head athletic trainer at Wilmington College, DaPauw University, and Western Kentucky University. In 1980, Miller became dual-credentialed as a licensed physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer. Miller served as head athletic trainer for the University of Michigan (UM) and developed and directed the UM Physical Therapy Department at UM’s Sports Medicine Clinic. In 1991, he began working as senior athletic trainer for the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team, where he advanced to medical director and head athletic trainer before retiring from athletic training in 2002.

Miller has been influential on a national level, serving as a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) since 1964. He was part of the original NATA committee that developed the certification requirements for the board certification for athletic trainers. Miller has held service and leadership positions within multiple professional organizations, including the American Academy of Sports Dentistry, the Michigan State Medical Society (Sports Medicine), and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Association. Miller has also shared his knowledge and expertise through many lectures, publications and presentations.


“As a clinical supervisor, he taught the students and his staff how to interact with athletes, coaches, and physicians, in order to meet their individual expectations. He was remarkable in educating the physicians about the coaches’ and athletes’ concerns regarding injury and facilitated the best outcome and care for his athletes,” said nominator Tim Uhl, who is co-director of the Musculoskeletal Laboratory, and an associate professor in the Division of Athletic Training. “He epitomized the role of master clinical practitioner and problem solver.”


Lori Stewart Gonzalez

The second inductee, Gonzalez, received a bachelor of arts in speech-pathology and audiology from UK in 1979. She then pursued graduate work, receiving a master of arts in communication disorders from Eastern Kentucky University in 1981, and earning a doctorate in communication disorders from the University of Florida in 1989.


Gonzalez, a native Kentuckian, began her academic career at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU) in 1988. As an assistant professor, she assumed the role of director of supervision and clinical training at SIU. In 1991, she returned to UK as an assistant professor in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Gonzalez devoted 20 years of her career to UK, moving up to professor, then serving the College of Health Sciences as associate dean of academic affairs, and later serving as dean. Gonzalez was selected as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2001, providing her with the opportunity to work with and learn from a variety of college and university presidents. Following her ACE Fellowship, she returned to UK and became more engaged in campus leadership and governance.


Following a national search in 2005, she was appointed as the third dean of the UK College of Health Sciences. Gonzalez served as dean for seven years. Under her leadership, the research profile of the college was significantly elevated. The college continued its tradition of excellence in teaching, research and service, and Gonzalez remained directly engaged, facilitating excellence across the college. Her priorities as dean included mentoring young professionals and faculty, as well as supporting staff development.

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or


UK Libraries Seeks Research Volunteers For Website Enhancement

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2014) — In efforts to improve its website for students, faculty, staff and the public, University of Kentucky Libraries is currently seeking volunteers for a research study to better understand and address issues with its online platform. Undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, and members of the public are all welcome to participate.


In the fall of 2013, UK Libraries conducted surveys to receive patrons' feedback regarding its user needs and satisfaction. Surveys and research studies conducted by UK Libraries in regards to enhancing users' experiences have proved valuable.


UK Libraries is now conducting a follow-up study focusing on issues raised in the fall 2013 surveys and will utilize this research to advance its website. If you are interested in volunteering for the research study, email WEBADMIN@LSV.UKY.EDU.


In 2011, UK Libraries asked students and faculty to participate in a similar survey and significant academic and technological changes occurred as a result, for example, new collaborative study spaces on the second floor and quiet study areas on the fifth floor in the William T. Young Library, and Medical Center Library renovations with new furnishings, reflected current user needs and desires.


Services were also enhanced and expanded including information literacy classes designed to help both students and faculty locate and evaluate information, services to assist with individual research papers and projects, and hundreds of subject-oriented and course-specific online research guides. In addition, a book delivery service that delivers books from any campus library location to another was added.


Guided by the previous survey's responses, UK Libraries also "increased access to electronic resources like books, journals and databases and now provides access to more than 580,000 e-books through InfoKat, UK Libraries' online catalog."


As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries provides ever-expanding access to quality information resources, services and programs. UK Libraries locations include the William T. Young Library, the Agricultural Information Center, the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, the Education Library, the John A. Morris Library (Gluck Equine Research Center), the Kentucky Transportation Center Library, the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Library.

UPK Authors Win Susan Koppelman Award for 'Women and the White House'

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — University Press of Kentucky (UPK) authors Justin S. Vaughn and Lilly J. Goren have been named co-recipients of the 2014 Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in Feminist Studies for their book Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics.


The Susan Koppelman Award, presented by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA), was established in 1985 to honor renowned feminist literary historian Susan Koppelman, who edited the first anthology of feminist literary criticism.


The award was presented April 17 at the 2014 PCA/ACA annual convention held in Chicago.


With a strong, multidisciplinary approach, “Women and the White House” examines how the president and the first lady exist as a function of public expectations and cultural gender roles. Vaughn and Goren lead a team of distinguished scholars who consider the way our contemporary political culture frames the role of gender in politics and how citizens are encouraged — if not instructed — to observe and engage with female political leaders.


Portrayals of the first family have long been shaped by public perceptions of life in the White House, and in turn, how they reflect trends in the nation’s changing ideas of what makes an ideal family. Initiating a wider discussion about the possibility of a female president in the United States, “Women and the White House” looks at the ways in which popular perceptions of gender will impact her leadership, and the cultural challenges she will face.


Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science and global studies at Carroll University and the editor of You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: Women Politics, and Popular Culture.”  Justin S. Vaughn is assistant professor of political science at Boise State University.


The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association strives to stimulate an international interest in popular culture studies through the establishment and promotion of conferences, publications, and discussion.


The University Press of Kentucky 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.   


To order the "Women and the White House," visit online at




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

UK Health Sciences Professor Receives Excellence in Teaching Award

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) − Richard D. Andreatta, an associate professor in the  Division of Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences and a member of the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctorate Program (RHB) graduate faculty, has been named the 2014 recipient of the college’s Kingston Award for Excellence in Teaching. 


Andreatta is the director of Undergraduate Studies for CSD, teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate courses in the CSD and RHB programs, and serves as a research mentor. He is also a faculty associate in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the UK College of Medicine. He received his doctorate in Speech Physiology and Neuroscience in 1999 from Indiana University, Bloomington. Andreatta also serves as the director of the Laryngeal & Speech Dynamics Lab.


“The Kingston Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious honor, and it shows how much value our college places on teaching,” said Sharon R. Stewart, interim dean of the UK College of Health Sciences. “Dr. Andreatta is highly respected by undergraduate and graduate students alike. Student evaluations of his teaching are routinely very high, with students indicating that he is a dedicated and caring teacher, who is able to teach difficult content effectively.  As the director of Undergraduate Studies for CSD, Dr. Andreatta provides valuable counsel and mentorship to students just entering the profession. As a member of the graduate faculty, he is viewed as an excellent academic and research advisor.”


The Kingston Award was established in recognition of Richard “Dick” Kingston’s creativity and innovation in education. This award recognizes faculty for outstanding contributions and long-term consistent excellence in teaching


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or


Swag Bag Bash at King Alumni House

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 20:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) ― University of Kentucky students, get ready for the Swag Bag Bash 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Wednesday, April 23, at the King Alumni House at the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue.  Students can enjoy:


  • Free pizza and drinks
  • Door prize drawings every hour
  • Games and prizes
  • Swag Bags


The event is offered to students by the UK Alumni Association to show Wildcat spirit and celebrate the end of the semester. Students who are already members of STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) and TEAM WILDCAT can renew or extend their membership or other students can join for the first time.  Membership for one year is $25, and the swag bag will be given to all new and renewing members.

STAT and TEAM WILDCAT are the student organizations of the UK Alumni Association and UK Athletics.  As a member, a student can join fellow Wildcats on UK football game road trips, sign up for poster rolling and a ticket for Big Blue Madness, go on all-access tours of UK athletic facilities and help lead the student section at all UK sporting events.


In addition, STAT and TEAM WILDCAT members have opportunities to network with UK alumni, volunteer for service projects and DanceBlue and enjoy all the benefits of regular alumni association members. Visit to see a full list of Wildcat loyalty rewards.



Arboretum to Host Arbor Day, Renew Partnership

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) – The Arboretum is recognizing 28 years of partnership between the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and the University of Kentucky  as part of its Arbor Day festivities on April 26.


The partnership began in 1986 with an agreement to develop 100 acres of university property as an arboretum for use by faculty, students, staff and the general public. In March 2000, it was named the “Official State Botanical Garden for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”  A new agreement between the urban-county government and UK, ensures the future of The Arboretum through 2086. The agreement will be signed by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and UK President Eli Capilouto following the mayor’s annual proclamation of Arbor Day at 10 a.m.


The Arbor Day festivities conclude this year’s ‘Party for the Planet’, a month-long series of events made possible by Kentucky Utilities Company. This year’s theme is “Leave a Legacy.”


Following the proclamation, agreement signing and planting of the Arbor Day tree, exhibitor and children’s activity tents open.


The event brings together experts on tree care, native plants, birds, gardening, and recycling, among others. Additionally, state and local entities that support the environment will be in the exhibitor tent. The children’s activity tent features interactive opportunities for families to explore the relationships between plants, food, history and art.


Thanks to the support of presenting sponsor Kentucky Utilities Company, co-sponsors Lexmark and Kentucky American Water Company, and event supporters Big Beaver Tree Service, Community Tree Care, Dave Leonard Tree Specialists, Keep Lexington Beautiful, Lexington Emergency Planning Commission, Lexington-Fayette Environmental Commission and Lexington Tree Board, the 23rd annual Arbor Day at The Arboretum is free and includes free admission to the Kentucky Children’s Garden.


“We will have experts on hand to answer questions about our environment,” said Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum, which is part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “People will go home with information that they can use in their home landscape and gain knowledge of natural areas in the region. One of the most popular aspects of Arbor Day at The Arboretum, free tree seedlings, will have a new twist to make sure that homeowners ‘Leave a Legacy’ by choosing the right tree for the right place.”


Davis said Arbor Day is a popular event, attracting several thousand people each year. As in the past, this year’s festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. More than 40 exhibitors in two tents will present options for the greening of Lexington. Children can enjoy many activities, including a puppet show in the Kentucky Children’s Garden, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Davis said each year they aim for a zero-waste event by reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills by sorting recyclables, composting by serving food and soft drinks in recyclable or compostable containers.


“We also urge the exhibitors to use things that can be recycled or things that are made of recycled materials,” she added.


Five exhibitors, including Kentucky Utilities, will hand out tree seedlings and discuss how to save money by saving energy at home. They also will provide information about the Kentucky Utilities “Right Tree, Right Place” program, which encourages people to think carefully about what they plant near power lines.


On April 25, The Arboretum will host an Arbor Day volunteer training from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to help volunteers learn what they need to know to successfully volunteer for Arbor Day. Volunteers will help with parking, unloading and loading exhibits and many other jobs. Contact The Arboretum for more information about volunteering.


For more information, call The Arboretum at 859-257-6955 or visit their website,




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


Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 43 Students

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — The University of Kentucky chapter of Phi Beta Kappa held its annual induction ceremony last week, inducting 43 students into the nation's oldest and most widely known academic honor society.


Susan Carvalho, UK associate provost for international programs, delivered a keynote address.


The 2014 inductees are: 

  • Rachel Ball
  • Allan Bartlett
  • Sarah Bindner
  • Felisa Bowman
  • Eric Butterbaugh
  • Dahlia D'Arge
  • Ann Dickson
  • Julia Dyer
  • Mary Elliott
  • Dayna Ferguson
  • Megan Ferrell
  • Atanas Golev
  • Caroline Goode
  • Matthew Gray
  • Julia Grzech
  • Caitlin Hagan
  • David Harper Jr.
  • Byron Hempel
  • Katherine Jay
  • Kayla Johnson
  • Umang Khandpur
  • Jessime Kirk
  • Joshua Koontz
  • Stephen Manek
  • Emily McClure
  • Michael Miller
  • Stefanie Muller
  • Autumn Murphy
  • Joseph Papp
  • Stephen Parsons
  • Katherine Pelphrey
  • Ryan Pitts
  • Joseph Ryne
  • James Schilt
  • Nicole Schladt
  • Carley Schroering
  • Rebecca Scott
  • Zachary Stewart
  • Daniel Vincent
  • Arti Vula
  • Sarah Whelan
  • Matthew Wilson
  • Ryan Winstead

Phi Beta Kappa elects more than 15,000 new members a year from 270 chapters across the United States. There are also more than 50 associations that foster friendship and learning in their members' communities and provide a means for members to continue their active affiliation with the society after graduation.The society celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.


UK's Phi Beta Kappa chapter is supported by the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, which is part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:18


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — A team of nanotechnology researchers at the University of Kentucky has discovered new methods to build heat resistant nanostructures and arrays using RNA. 


The research, led by Peixuan Guo, professor and  William Farish Endowed Chair in Nanobiotechnology at the UK College of Pharmacy and Markey Cancer Center, is reported in an article titled "RNA as a Boiling-Resistant Anionic Polymer Material To Build Robust Structures with Defined Shape and Stoichiometry," coauthored by Emil F. Khisamutdinov and Daniel L. Jasinski.


The article, which will appear in a forthcoming edition of the journal ACS Nano, published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), was selected as an ACS "Editors’ Choice" and prepublication data is available for free download as a PDF through open access at


Chemical polymers have seen extensive use in a variety of industries — including clothing, piping, plastics, containers, bottles, cookware, tools and medical materials for drug delivery and tissue engineer materials — because of their high stability and ability to hold their global shape and size. However, on the microscopic scale, these polymers form into random micro-structures, making their size and shape difficult to control. 


The Guo lab reports that RNA (ribonucleic acid) can be used as an anionic polymer material to build nanostructures with controllable shape and defined structure. The researchers have fabricated a new RNA triangle structure that utilizes RNA’s intrinsic control over shape and size on the nano scale, while demonstrating strong stability.


Previously, RNA was seen as structurally fragile and easily dissociable at a range of temperatures from 35-70 degrees Celsius, making its application feasibility in an industrial setting very limited. Using the special RNA motif discovered in Guo's lab and a new methodology, the researchers demonstrated that they can build RNA nanostructures and patterned arrays that are resistant to 100 degrees Celsius, the boiling temperature of water.


The new RNA triangular nanoarchitechtures can be used to form arrays with a controllable repeat number of the scaffold, resembling monomer units in a polymerization reaction. Thus, the Guo lab was able to produce a honeycomb RNA structure with the new RNAs, allowing for the production of RNA sheets.


Experts say this breakthrough pushes the field of RNA nanotechnology forward, positioning RNA to be a new, unique type of polymer with advantages over conventional chemical polymers.


"This research shows great potential for building stable RNA nanoparticles with properties that could be more easily controlled than standard polymers," said Jessica Tucker, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering program director for drug and gene delivery systems and devices. "The more control we have over the nanoparticles, the better we can tailor them for use in therapeutics for diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes."


The research was supported by National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering AND National Cancer Institute grants NIBIB EB003730 and NCI CA151648.  

Virtual Laboratory Prepares UK Undergraduates for Professional-Level Anatomy

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) - At the University of Kentucky, the gross anatomy course that introduces students to the intricacies of body systems is reserved for graduate-level students. But, as Dr. April Richardson-Hatcher has discovered, real-world rules can be bent in a virtual universe.


A professor of anatomy and neurobiology in the UK College of Medicine, Hatcher teaches Anatomy 309: An Introduction to Regional Anatomy, a course that meets weekly in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life. In this preparatory course, which is not available in a live classroom, Hatcher gives students who are serious about health care professions a head start visualizing and understanding complex regions of the human body.


Hatcher's virtual course is founded on the Team-Based Learning Collaborative, a technique that engages students through team collaboration and the application of course content through critical-thinking exercises. Instructors have found the Team-Based Learning approach improves student motivation, participation, attendance and performance. Hatcher, who is studying how students respond to learning medical science through a virtual platform, offered the course for the first time during the spring semester of 2013. In March, she presented observations from the first edition of the class at the Team-Based Learning Collaborative conference in San Diego, Calif.


"Medicine is very group-oriented in some ways," Hatcher said. "In a lot of online courses, you are disconnected with the students around you. There's something about being in the virtual world. You feel immersed in the room, like you are in an actual classroom and you are having a shared experience."


Every week, students log into the virtual classroom that exists on the "UK Island," or the Second Life virtual real estate owned and managed by the University of Kentucky Information Technology Department. Before the course started, students were required to create an account in Second Life and design an avatar. Student avatars wear blue scrubs and a white lab coat to simulate a professional environment.


Hatcher's 90-minute course is divided into three activities: the individual quiz, the group quiz and the classroom discussion, all of which are centered on a specific body region assigned to the classroom the week before. After completing a timed individual quiz, the students "teleport" to an assigned classroom where they deliberate in groups of four to six to answer questions on the group quiz and clinical scenarios. Students use instant messaging and voice communication to discuss the clinical scenario. They conclude the session by teleporting to the "main" laboratory where Hatcher's avatar leads an open discussion of the clinical scenarios and reviews answers. These components of the Team-Based Learning cirriculum are designed to enhance students’ confidence and group skills prior to entering their professional training programs.


Instructors and teaching assistants also wear lab coats and continuously monitor the dialogue among students during the group exercises. As an instructor in the virtual classroom, Hatcher has the advantage of engaging in multiple discussions with students at once and monitoring their thought processes.


With the help of Matt Hazzard, a biomedical illustrator in UK Information Technology, Hatcher custom built multiple classrooms and a laboratory in the Second Life program. In preparation for the weekly Team-Based Learning sessions, students study descriptive, animated PowerPoint presentations of the regional anatomy. They also study a customized list of cadaver structures through an online program Anatomy and Physiology Revealed 3.0. Students can virtually dissect the regions of interest with clickable phases revealing each layer of muscles, ligaments, vessels, nerves and bone structures. These images are then presented as practicum-style questions on the course exams to mimic the experience of a lab exam in future professional anatomy courses.


Hatcher and Hazzard also worked together to design the Cranial Nerve Skywalk, a room hovering above the UK Island in Second Life where students from all over the world can visualize and study a 3-D model of complex cranial nerves III, V, VII and IX.


Hazzard constructed the models from 3-D scans of human bones, provided by Dr. Paul Brown from Stanford University, by superimposing basic nerve structures on the skull models. Teaching and learning the cranial nerve pathways is often a challenge using only two-dimensional illustrations. Using the virtual 3-D models, students are able to grasp an understanding of the pathways of cranial nerves and the types of fibers carried within those nerves.


The virtual world also allows collaboration and conversation with students from all parts of the world. Students and professors from universities in Manitoba, Canada, and Perth, Australia, have logged into Second Life to sit in on classes and view the cranial nerve models on UK’s Island. Hatcher will present a workshop on the virtual Team-Based Learning technique at upcoming conferences for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society in May and International Association of Medical Science Educators in June.


A student in the inaugural class offered in 2013, Mary Jennings is now a first-year medical student at UK. Jennings, a biology and Spanish major, added Hatcher's class to her final semester schedule to prepare for hands-on anatomy courses in medical school. She said the course helped her become familiar with medical terminology and develop habits to memorize an immense amount of material. In addition, the class helped her prepare psychologically for working on real cadavers in medical school.


"It was nice in the sense that you were prepared to see people who had passed and treat that in a scientific way," Jennings said.


Because medical school involves group learning and often competitive personalities, Jennings thinks the Team-Based Learning environment gave her valuable experience engaging in fast-paced scientific discussions and collaborating with a team.


"There are so many type A people who are so competitive and you are asking them to work as a team," Jennings said of medical students. "At some level, (the course) did prepare me for how tough people are on each other. Most the time, people are great, but they are really academcially strong."


Austin Stratton, a senior studying biology and psychology, echoed an appreciation for the preparatory course. As a visual learner, Stratton, who is applying to medical school, was able to get a sense of what he expects to see in medical school. 


"An online interactive kind of class was very cool for me because I play a lot of video games," Stratton said. "In a great way, it contributed to my future in medicine."


To view the cranial nerve skywalk in Second Life, visit 


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Italian Pianist to Explore Love, Loneliness, Loss in UK Concert

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:43

Marco Tezza plays Franz Schubert's Moments Musicaux, D 780.  


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — Internationally renowned Italian pianist Marco Tezza will take the stage at the University of Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Memorial Hall. The concert, presented by the UK School of Music, is free and open to the public.


A celebrated pianist and conductor, Tezza is a prolific artist who presents a vast repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music. He is well-known to the public and critics as an artist who finds unique ways of interpreting scores, looking for new expressive logic and sonorities. Tezza has performed in prestigious concert halls and conducted master classes throughout the world in Milan, Zurich, Paris, Hamburg, South Africa, Beirut, Brazil and the U.S.


Tezza has studied and refined his skills with artists Milde Molinari, Carlo Mazzoli, Giovanni Guglielmo and Giuliana Padrin, as well as Jorg Demus, Gyorgy Sandor, Bruno Canino and Aquiles Delle Vign. He is the artistic director of the Stravinsky Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 1994, and conducts concert seasons and festivals in Europe and South America. Tezza is also a member of the Accademia Veneta of Arts and Science and a professor of piano at Vicenza Conservatory in Italy.


The concert will include works by Hungarian and German composers that explore themes of love, loneliness and loss.


In describing the music, Robert Schumann wrote to Clara Wieck in an 1838 letter, “I meant, now, at the end, all to resolve in a merry wedding, but in the final bars the painful longing for you returned too and now it sounds like the intermingling of a wedding and dying."


Selected works on the bill include:

· Franz Liszt’s “La lugubre gondola II S. 200”;

· Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”; and

· Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke op.12.


During his visit, Tezza will also conduct a master class for UK students at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Center Theatre in the UK Student Center. This event is also free and open to the public.


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



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants Available to UK Students, Faculty Interested in Travel to China

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) — Several scholarships, fellowships and grant opportunities to study and teach in China have been made available to University of Kentucky students and faculty through the UK Confucius Institute and partner universities in China.


Students at UK interested in studying in China should consider applying for Confucius Institute Student Scholarships or the Shanghai Summer School program.


The Confucius Institute Student Scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate levels of academic study in Chinese language, literature, history and philosophy. The Confucius Institute Student Scholarship provides support for terms lasting from one semester to five years. Awards vary depending on program type. Learn more at the International Center website.


Shanghai Summer School participants will discover the rich history of Chinese culture, learn about China's central role in globalization and experience Shanghai through lectures, exchanges, discussions and exhibitions


In order to be eligible for these scholarships, UK students must take HSK (Chinese Proficiency) testing. More information about HSK testing at UK can be found here:


Faculty Fellowships and Grants

In partnership with Jilin University, UK Confucius Institute (UKCI) offers several fellowships and grants for UK faculty. One of the largest and most prestigious universities in China, Jilin University offers opportunities for scholarly exchange in many disciplinary categories.


Faculty interested in participating in conferences in China can apply for the UKCI-Jilin University International Conference Grant. The grant supports scholars who want to attend international academic conferences on sinology and China studies.


Faculty, researchers and postdoctoral scholars interested in conducting research with faculty at Jilin University can apply for an "Understanding China" Visiting Scholar Fellowship. Fellowships can cover expenses from two weeks to six months of study.


Senior officials from government, education and culture, nongovernmental organizations and business are eligible to apply for "Understanding China" Short-Term Visit Fellowships. These fellowships cover expenses for visits ranging from two weeks to two months.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

UK Libraries' 'Circ2Go' Offers Convenience to Faculty, Staff

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — The end of the semester, filled with work, projects and busy schedules, can be a hectic time for not only University of Kentucky students but UK faculty and staff as well. It's also a time for many to renew and return library books. To make this process more convenient for UK faculty and staff during this busy time, UK Libraries will offer "Circ2Go," a mobile circulation service set up in Patterson Office Tower from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., April 23-24 and April 30-May 1.


In the past, faculty and staff could only bring materials to a UK Libraries location to renew or return after their electronic renewals had been exhausted, a difficult requirement for some.


The pop-up circulation station in Patterson Office Tower, where many faculty offices are housed, will allow faculty and staff, including graduate students, to extend their borrowing period, with the exception of outstanding holds or recalls, and return UK Libraries' materials.


UK Libraries staff may also be able to resolve some fines at "Circ2Go."


As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries provides ever-expanding access to quality information resources, services and programs. UK Libraries locations include the William T. Young Library, the Agricultural Information Center, the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, the Education Library, the John A. Morris Library (Gluck Equine Research Center), the Kentucky Transportation Center Library, the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Library.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

UK Junior Samuel Saarinen Named Goldwater Scholar

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of External Scholarships announces Samuel Saarinen, of Shelbyville, Ky., has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship worth up to $7,500 per year. Saarinen is one of 283 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.


The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by Congress to honor the former Arizona U.S. senator who served the nation for 30 years. The scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed more than 7,163 scholarships worth approximately 46 million dollars.


Saarinen plans to use the Goldwater Scholarship to fund studies at the graduate program of his choice.


The son of Anne and Tim Saarinen, Saarinen is currently pursuing computer science, mathematics and physics majors. He has been active in research since an early age working with Western Kentucky University professors Claus Ernst and Uta Ziegler on mathematics research in high school.


A member of the UK Honors Program, Saarinen is currently participating in undergraduate research with Judy Goldsmith, professor of computer science at UK College of Engineering. Saarinen considers his research supervisors as also mentors who have had a major impact on his academic and personal growth. He also credits Paul Eakin, professor of mathematics, and Jerzy Jaromczyk, associate professor of computer science, as great influences on his studies.


Saarinen hopes his interest in and work in these fields will help better the world. "First and foremost, I enjoy these math-heavy disciplines. But there is also the opportunity to conduct socially significant research. My dream is that the work that I am good at will someday improve the lives of those around me."


After completing his undergraduate studies at UK, the Singletary and Patterson Scholar hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in artificial intelligence and teach one day. "I think becoming a professor might be a good way to continue doing what I love."


Students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships (OES). Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, OES assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with OES well in advance of the scholarship deadline.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,

UK Researchers Find Correlation Between Unhealthy Diets and Testosterone Levels

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:31

This column first appeared in the April 20 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) -- For years, doctors have advised patients about the relationship between diet and health risks for conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Now, as community health researchers, we are seeing a correlation between a self-reported unhealthy diet and reduced levels of testosterone in men ages 45 and older.


Testosterone is a androgenic hormone found in men and in lower concentrations in women. In addition to playing an important role during male puberty and sexual development, testosterone serves important functions and affects multiple organ systems. Studies have indicated that men with lower levels of testosterone have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as diabetes, obesity and all other causes of mortality. Testosterone serves an important function in developing muscle mass, especially in the face and upper body, and building bone density. Probably the most commonly known function of testosterone is its role as a sexsteriod, which means it increases libido and improves sexual function.


Our team at the UK HealthCare Division of Community Medicine in collaboration with the University of North Texas Health Science Center found a correlation between poor diet and low levels of testosterone in men ages 45 and older. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, analyzed testosterone levels and lifestyle factors of 147 men in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.


All participants underwent a one-hour interview in addition to having blood drawn to measure testosterone levels. Participants were asked whether they had a healthy diet, which was classified as having high amounts of fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish, or an unhealthy diet, which was classified as having high amounts of red meat, fried food and fast food. The study found reduced testosterone levels were related to the increased age and unhealthy diets self-reported by participants. The study implicates that diet, in addition to advanced age, is a possible risk factor for developing reduced testosterone levels.


Testosterone levels among men decline by 1 percent per year starting at age 40. Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms/deciliter. Our study found that 39 percent of participants had levels below 300 nanograms/deciliter. According to an unaffiliated 2009 study by the National Institutes of Health, five million men have low testosterone.


While low levels of testosterone won't threaten a man's life, the condition can lead to a reduction in quality of life. Testosterone deficiency is typically only treated for symptoms as therapies to treat low testosterone levels are still under testing and review. Only a small percentage of men in the study exhibited symptoms of lower levels of testosterone. More research will be required to fully understand the relationship between diet and testosterone levels. Still, our findings point to evidence diet is a major indicator when it comes to overall health and wellness. 


Dr. Roberto Cardarelli is the chief of the Division of Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Jason Meyer is a combined MD/Ph.D student at the University of Kentucky. 

Enhanced Security of UK Employees' Direct Deposit

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 23:25
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — Enhanced security for making changes to banking information is now available to University of Kentucky employees.  Employees who want to make a change to their main bank account or who want to add or change a secondary bank account will now need to enter the existing main bank account number in the validation field within the myUK Employee Self Service (ESS) portal in SAP.  This is another layer of security to employees' bank details in addition to providing the bank name and bank routing number in the visible fields within myUK ESS.


Employees only need to take this action when wanting to make changes to their main or secondary bank account.


In addition, the change will generate a system email to the employee asking them to confirm accuracy of the change by visiting myUK ESS and reviewing banking details, or contacting the University of Kentucky Payroll Office 859-257-3946.


The system will also generate a separate message for new employees who are set to receive a check rather than direct deposit, with a reminder to update banking information through Employee Self Service or complete a direct deposit form. Employees who currently receive a check or are new hires will enter their new main bank details and no validation will be necessary because no previous account existed for new employees.


For employees planning to change their banking information, instructions on how to do so are available at:


Some UK employees were affected by the "Your UK Salary Raise" phishing scam recently, and it resulted in their pay being redirected to a different bank account.  While the University's Division of Analytics and Technologies is working diligently with the Office of the Treasurer and Human Resources to protect employees from scams and other fraudulent activities, the best protection for all UK employees is to observe "best practices" for network security by never entering password information on a website reached through a link in an email, and not replying to any email asking for passwords.


When in doubt, call the UK Analytics and Technologies (UKAT) Service Desk, 859-218-HELP (4357), or email For more information, please visit the UKAT website about phishing scam emails.


UK Faculty Member Helps Redevelop Africa University's Curriculum

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 18:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — University of Kentucky Agricultural Economics Professor Mike Reed visited Zimbabwe’s Africa University (AU) to evaluate their faculty of agriculture and natural resources (FANR) curriculum during the Spring 2014 semester.


Reed connected with AU through the Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP), which promotes linkages between U.S. scholars and their counterparts at host institutions abroad through short-term collaborative projects.


Non-U.S. institutions – such as Africa University – submit FSP project requests to strengthen and support their development needs. AU submitted a project to FSP seeking help for the redevelopment of its FANR curriculum.


Reed was selected to review the curriculum of each of FANR’s programs, suggest changes in course content, recommend faculty development, present strategies for AU students to engage with small agribusiness and review FANR’s infrastructure for training.


Reed’s curriculum review was the third in a nine-part process to revise FANR’s curriculum, which will be finalized for approval by December 2014.


“AU has a curriculum that is 25 years old, and they have never had anyone look at it,” Reed said. “They realized they needed to change, and were very motivated to do so.”


One of the primary problems Reed identified was the shortage of staff and resources.


“They have so few faculty, it is amazing that they can accomplish so much – they are very dedicated,” he said. “However, if you don't have enough faculty members you are not going to have an effective curriculum.”


FANR has three bachelor's and two master’s degree programs, with a teaching staff of only seven. Subsequently, students take a broad range of required courses. This gives graduating students broad capabilities in many aspects of agriculture, however they lack the depth of specialization.


“Farmers account for 70 percent of the population in Zimbabwe and even many city dwellers have their own farm plots, it makes sense for graduates from FANR to have a broader background that covers many aspects of agriculture,” Reed said . “However, the students need more options for specialization in their coursework in order to produce effective, innovative graduates who will succeed as entrepreneurs.”


Due in part to the international efforts of Reed, UK is now one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright Scholars in the U.S. In a recently released ranking in the Chronicle of Higher Education, UK is tied for fifth among research institutions for its number of professors earning Fulbright grants for the 2013-2014 academic year.


UK Student-managed Investment Funds Step Up

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 16:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — Students in the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics not only receive instruction on the fundamentals and theory associated with managing investments, they are actually managing money on behalf of UK. And, thanks to recent action approved by the Investment Committee of the UK Board of Trustees, we are talking about some substantial sums now being managed by students.


"We got started here at UK about 15 years ago, with a $100-thousand dollar initial capital injection, and we’ve been managing money ever since," said professor Brad Jordan, the Richard and Janis Furst Endowed Chair of Finance who heads up the Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods in the Gatton College.


"What the students are getting through the student managed investment program is almost an apprenticeship," Jordan said. "They’re getting a chance to actually manage real money and make all of the relevant decisions, but nonetheless they’re doing it in a relatively structured environment. So, it’s a bridge from the university to the real world."


This past December, the Investment Committee, impressed by the positive results of UK’s student managed investment fund, appropriated over $5 million from the university’s $1 billion dollar endowment.  Five separate $1 million dollar plus investment portfolios are being established and each will be managed by Gatton students at the undergraduate and graduate level:


  • Undergraduate students
  • One-Year MBA Program students
  • Professional (evening) MBA students
  • Students in the new UK-University of Louisville Joint Executive MBA Program
  • Students in the proposed Master of Science in Finance Program


In a separate but related development, a team of five UK students recently took first place in advancing to the North American round of the Chartered Financial Analysts Investment Research Challenge, defeating teams from Indiana University, the University of Louisville, Butler, Western Kentucky University, and others. Gatton faculty member Will Gerken served as team advisor.


"They face a lot of challenges by dealing with real world problems," Gerken said. "Getting their hands dirty they kind of go through these types of exercises and come up with a lot more appreciation of all the hard work that goes into this, the importance of the 'nitty gritty' details."


Team member and UK senior Lee Pinkston of Union, Ky. is thrilled with the education and practical experience he has received at Gatton.


"The faculty in the accounting and finance program are top notch," said Pingston. "I’ve learned a lot and have gotten some tremendous hands on, real world experience."


Teammate and fellow senior Grant Schumacher of Versailles commented, "Don’t underestimate what you can get coming to UK. The Gatton College is on the move with the current expansion and renovation of its facilities, including a brand new finance learning center."


Along with students eagerly anticipating the new center, which has naming opportunities available, Jordan and his fellow faculty members are equally excited.


"The day it’s built, it will be the best of its kind," Jordan said. "It will contain exactly the same types of databases, the same types of terminals, the same types of access that a trader would have at a Wall Street firm. It’s also a classroom designed in a way that facilitates group work and interaction between faculty and students."


Jordan said UK students are already proving that they can compete and succeed.


"Name any major Wall Street firm, we have students who have been undergraduates here within the last five years who are working at these firms now."


For more information, go to




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



Center for Clinical and Translational Launches New Website

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 14:16


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) -- The UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) has launched a new website that is especially oriented to researchers who currently use or could benefit from CCTS resources, including research services, funding opportunities, and education and career development.


The CCTS offers a spectrum of multidisciplinary support to assist investigators across the entire cycle of clinical and translational research, from protocol development and participant recruitment to regulatory affairs and evaluation. Researchers can easily navigate the new website to explore available resources and services and find contact information for further assistance. 


The site lists open research funding announcements, and the “Services & Resources” tab offers a researcher-oriented listing of services by stage of research development.  Investigators can also find information about CCTS core services (including biostatistics, informatics, clinical services, community engagement, drug and device development, and regulatory support) and electronic tools. The online CCTS Service Request Form facilitates access to these services and resources.


Additionally, the website includes information on the various educational and career development programs that CCTS offers for graduate and professional students, staff, and faculty, including funded training programs, graduate and certificate programs, and mentoring opportunities.


The new homepage also provides the latest CCTS news, a calendar of upcoming events, and research spotlights. Information for research participants is available as well.


Explore the new wesbite at Researchers can also contact the CCTS research concierge, Elodie Elayi at or 859-323-7939 to learn more about the CCTS and identify ways that CCTS can support their research.



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,