Campus News

Classical Superstar Joshua Bell to Perform With UK Orchestra

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 14:00


Joshua Bell performs "The Four Seasons" Summer III. Presto by Antonio Vivaldi.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Classical aficionados will not want to miss celebrated violinist Joshua Bell as he joins Maestro John Nardolillo and the acclaimed University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in concert at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Bell will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.


Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."


Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.


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



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

National Archives, UK Libraries Taking Applicants for Civics/History Teachers' Award

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 13:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — The National Archives and the University of Kentucky Wendell  H. Ford Public Policy Research Center are currently taking applications for the Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers (Clements Award). The deadline for submission for the Clements Award, recognizing promising and innovative Kentucky educators, is Friday, April 10.


The Clements Award honors the life and career of the late Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. Clements’ political career included service as a county sheriff, clerk and judge; in the state senate and as governor; and in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where he was a close colleague to future President Lyndon Baines Johnson.


Three high school history and/or civics (social studies) teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be selected by an independent review panel for the Clements Award and will receive $1,000 each. The award criteria include the following: 

  • teacher’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the subject and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service; 
  • demonstrates expertise in civics and history content and the ability to share it with students;
  • impact on student success; and
  • evidence of creativity and innovation.


Interested applicants must submit the following by email or postmarked mail by April 10, 2015:

  • completed application;
  • letter from applicant addressing criteria; 
  • letter of support from principal; 
  • sample assignment; and
  • other supporting materials, including student letters of support.


Application packets may be completed electronically at or sent via mail to: Clements Award, Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, Margaret I. King Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0039.


Winners of the Clements Award will be notified May 4 and will be recognized at an award ceremony to be held in June in Lexington.


For more information on the Clements Awards or to send questions, email Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Special Collections Research Center, at (put Clements Award in the subject line).


The National Archives is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our government, so people can discover, use and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at


UK Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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

UK Alum Takes Easter Oratorio on the Road

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — When University of Kentucky alumnus Lorne Dechtenberg wrote his Easter oratorio, "King of Glory," in 2014, he hoped those who experienced the work in Lexington would enjoy it. As it turned out, not only did they enjoy it, but so did residents of other communities who began requesting performances as well. As a result, Dechtenberg and the Bluegrass Opera will present six performances of the work this Easter season in five different Kentucky towns.


The work tells the story of the crucifixion and resurrection through a musical journey that is designed to reach audiences on a visceral level, enabling them to experience the text in a new and vivid way. "It's like Handel's "Messiah" only it's meant for today's listeners instead of 18th-century ears," said Dechtenberg, who has been receiving praise for the work since its premiere last April.


The work features professional singers, auditioned from across a 200-mile swath of Kentucky (from Hodgenville to Hazard), with tight, colorful harmonies and warm, rich melodies that they hope will stay with listeners long after the performance ends.


Dechtenberg, who holds degrees from UK School of Music in composition and conducting, co-founded the Bluegrass Opera in 2008. In 2010, he and his "Honeymoon Symphony" were chronicled in the KET documentary "Composer at Work," an effort that brought together members of the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Community Orchestra for a premiere at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts


In addition to Dechtenberg, "King of Glory" will feature several performers with ties to UK, including alumni Gordon Earl Thomas, Kaymon Murrah and Dena Sullivan Smith, as well as staff member Mike Bratcher, of UK HealthCare Information Technology.


"King of Glory" will be presented:

· 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Actors’ Playhouse of Georgetown;

· 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Lexington; 

· 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Union Church, in Berea; 

· 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, at First Christian Church, in Frankfort;

· 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at First Baptist Church, in Richmond; and 

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Lexington Seventh Day Adventist Church.


Tickets for "King of Glory" are $20 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID, and kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be ordered online at or by phone at 859-940-9379.


The Bluegrass Opera is a nonprofit performing arts company that specializes in the performance of new and underperformed musical works for the stage – operas, musicals, and everything in between. 



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

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Previews Arboretum's Party for the Planet

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 22:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today he talks to Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum, about the upcoming 2015 Party for the Planet.  The complete schedule of Party for the Planet events is available at


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


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

Bluegrass Earth, Initiated by WUKY GM, Invites Citizens to Celebrate Earth Day

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 21:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2015) — As the 45th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, the newly formed Bluegrass Earth coalition is inviting the public to celebrate sustainability in Lexington throughout March and April.


Bluegrass Earth was initiated by WUKY’s General Manager Tom Godell to bring together environmental groups in Central Kentucky. WUKY is the University of Kentucky's NPR station.


“Having long been a strong advocate of sustainability issues, I saw a need for environmental groups to come together under one umbrella so that they could share resources and have a greater impact with their outreach, education and events,” Godell said.


Bluegrass Earth is promoting multiple events to celebrate environmental sustainability around Earth Day, which is April 22. The first event is the launch of a free environmental movie series that runs between March 25 and May 8. The first film, "The City Dark," a documentary about light pollution, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at the Central Library’s Farish Theater. A discussion about the film will follow. 


WUKY will host a performance by Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee. He plays the cello in a unique way and his music ranges from folk to R&B. The concert is April 22 at the Kentucky Theatre. Tickets are available on WUKY’s website at


Dozens of other Earth Day related events can be found on the Bluegrass Earth website at


In addition to WUKY, Bluegrass Earth partners are:


  • AARP Kentucky
  • Bluegrass Greensource
  • Bluegrass Tomorrow
  • Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council
  • Central Kentucky Audubon Society
  • Downtown Lexington Corporation
  • Fayette County Public Schools
  • Flora Cliff
  • Good Foods Coop
  • Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
  • John Muir Kentucky
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Lexington Farmers Market
  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
  • Lexington Habitat for Humanity
  • Lexington Public Library
  • Kentucky Environmental Foundation
  • Kentucky State Government
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences program, UK College of Agriculture Food & Environment
  • Safety City
  • Seedleaf
  • Transylvania University
  • UK-LFUCG Arboretum
  • UK Office of Sustainability
  • USPS Lexington
  • Venerable Trees


Bluegrass Earth partners are dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and responsibility in Lexington and surrounding counties. The coalition’s mission is to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in Central Kentucky by uniting individuals and organizations dedicated to environmental sustainability.


To learn more about Bluegrass Earth, events and volunteer opportunities, please visit or follow them on You can also keep track of Bluegrass Earth on social media through the hashtag “BGEarth2015.”





NIH-Funded Research Tackles Behavioral Disorders in Children, Delivers Training to Appalachia

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 17:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Children exhibiting disruptive behaviors are at a greater risk for antisocial behaviors, such as substance abuse and criminal activity, later in life. With the support of a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), University of Kentucky College of Public Health researcher Tina Studts, Ph.D, is partnering with health departments in rural Appalachia to increase parent’s accessibility to programs to prevent behavioral disorders in children.


Studts, an assistant professor in the UK Department of Health Behavior, was recently awarded a three-year, $450,000 grant from NIMH to improve the delivery of behavioral parent training programs (BPT) in underserved communities. Studts is working with local health departments in the Cumberland Valley district, UK’s Center of Excellence in Rural Health and Kentucky Homeplace to disseminate the training to families.


BPT programs are effective in preventing negative outcomes and public health consequences stemming from disruptive childhood behaviors. In Appalachian communities, limited access to BPT programs and a lack of engagement from parents in utilizing these program pose significant challenges to implementing evidence-based interventions. Mental health professional shortages exist in nearly 70 percent of Appalachian communities, where poverty rates are high and health disparities are significant. 


“The need is great in many Appalachian communities for improved delivery of parenting interventions," Studts said."Parents in the Appalachian region frequently cite stigma as one of the barriers they navigate in seeking specialized care for their children suffering from mental health issues. Other cultural consideration can also come into play as well, including strong self-reliance and a preference for local providers. These can present major challenges to the delivery of BPT programs by mental health professionals in settings such as clinics.”


Studts, who is completing her final year as a KL2 scholar with the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), initiated her research in BPT programs through a CCTS community-engaged pilot grant, “Preventing Conduct Disorder: Valuing Parent and Provider Perspectives in Appalachia.”  Aims of the pilot study were to establish a Community Advisory Board (CAB) in Perry County focused on early childhood mental health, and to assess parent and provider preferences regarding modality, location and interventionist of BPT in rural Appalachian communities. Guided by the board, Studts found parents preferred brief interventions delivered by local health workers, and that child service providers recognized the needs but lacked resources and staff to provide preventive BPT services in the community. 


Studts' newly funded project will adapt the delivery method of a BPT program, the Family Check-Up, to be administered to families by community health workers instead of mental health professionals. The Family Check-Up is a brief preventative intervention designed to help parents address young children’s challenging behaviors before they become more serious.


In collaboration with the Center of Excellence in Rural Health and the Perry County Early Childhood CAB, Studts and her team will adapt and pilot-test the training and intervention protocols of the Family Check-Up, assessing the feasibility, acceptability and costs of service delivery by existing community health workers in four under-resourced Appalachian counties. This study will provide the data and infrastructure needed for a future large-scale implementation trial of the Family Check-Up in underserved communities.



Kohl's Donates Nearly $90,000 to KCH Read to Your Baby Initiative

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 17:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Kohl’s Department Stores recently donated $89,833 to Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) to support the Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program, a hospital initiative encouraging parents read to their children during the earliest stages of life.  


Dr. Donna Grigsby, chief of general pediatrics at KCH, has used these funds to raise public awareness by promoting the importance of reading to babies at events and making reading resources available to parents across the Commonwealth. The Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program offers free children's books during infant and toddler storytimes at dozens of libraries across Kentucky. In addition to preparing children for future success in school, reading to infants and toddlers on a daily basis helps calm them and foster healthy parent-child bonding.


"Studies have shown that reading aloud to your infant is the single most important factor in helping your child’s language development and love of reading," Grigsby said. "We are so grateful to Kohl’s for their support of our mission to encourage families and caregivers to read to their babies."


Kohl's commitment to KCH is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, and 100 percent of net profits benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like the one with KCH. Kohl’s has raised more than $274 million through this merchandise program. Kohl’s has donated more than $1.2 million to KCH since 2000.


For more information about the benefits of reading to children and a list of baby-friendly books, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK's Bagh Quoted in Wall Street Journal Story on NCAA Tournament Brackets

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 10:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2015) — Adib Bagh, assistant professor in the departments of mathematics and economics at the University of Kentucky, was recently quoted in a March 16 Wall Street Journal article examining office bracket pools for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  


Bagh teaches Introduction to Game Theory at UK and applied his expertise to NCAA tournament brackets, saying, “If you really believe that everyone else is following the same rule of thumb…then you have an incentive to deviate from that rule of thumb.”


Even as a game theorist, knowing he could win bigger if his bracket was unlike the majority's, Bagh's pick is still UK.  


“Game theory or no game theory,” he said, “my money is on the Wildcats.”


To read the full article, visit




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

USDA Partners With UK to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015)Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky officials today to announce the establishment of the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The center will use cutting-edge solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in states with the highest number of persistently poor rural counties. Currently, about 85 percent of all persistently poor counties in the United States are in rural areas, and children are one of the most vulnerable groups living in rural areas.


"The Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center underscores this administration's focus on addressing poverty and food insecurity among children in rural areas where hunger and obesity are too common," said Vilsack. "The center will make it possible for children in rural areas to access much-needed nutrition assistance and help close the large food insecurity gap between urban and rural communities."


"This program will target child hunger and poverty in persistently poor rural communities by partnering with agencies who have the resources and expertise to make a difference," said Gov. Beshear.  "This program will do more than offer aid.  It will attack the root causes of child hunger and poverty."


"In the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, part of our core mission as a land grant institution is to improve the lives of our citizens," said Dean Nancy Cox. "We are honored the USDA has chosen us to be their partner in this extremely important endeavor to reduce child food insecurity in persistently poor rural counties in Kentucky and several other states."


With USDA's investment of $2.5 million, the Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center will administer and evaluate a series of sub-grants targeted to as many as 30 rural areas with high poverty rates in up to 15 states.  The communities will use the funds to better coordinate existing child nutrition programs and create solutions to target child food insecurity. The University of Kentucky will partner with Altarum Institute and the Southern Rural Development Center to develop the center.


This announcement is part of the Obama administration's continuing efforts to combat poverty and food insecurity among children, especially in rural areas. In Kentucky alone, over 26 percent of children live in poverty. In 2014, President Obama designated Eastern Kentucky as a Promise Zone, to receive integrated federal efforts to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety through local community partnerships.  Seventy-three counties in Kentucky are also part of the USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, a strategic approach to addressing the unique set of challenges faced by many of America's poorest rural communities.


USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers America's nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net. USDA's focus on nutrition and obesity is also an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity.



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155; or Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774;

Volunteer Now to Assist With WUKY Fund Drive

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015)  — The University of Kentucky's NPR Station, WUKY, will connect with listeners across Central Kentucky for its annual  Spring Fund Drive, Thursday, April 2 –Friday, April 10.  WUKY is seeking volunteers to assist with the fundraising effort. 


"We need groups, organizations, and individuals who are willing to volunteer to help answer calls and take pledges from our listeners," said Robert Hansel, WUKY membership manager.  "Feel free to contact your friends and have them join you during this worthwhile event."


Computers are available for all volunteers to take pledges, entering them in automatically, while making the transaction seamless and cost effective for the donor and radio station.     


For organizations or companies that provide multiple volunteers for a day or multiple shifts, WUKY will designate those specific days or shifts to the group.  Announcements will be made on the air that phones are being answered by volunteers from that group.  Furthermore, WUKY will provide 10 free public service announcements for the organization or company.


"We are listener supported, with a loyal audience, but we need your help to collect their dollars and make it all work," Hansel said.


Shifts available include: 


Thursday, April 2:    6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Friday, April 3:          6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Saturday, April 4:     8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 5:       10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Monday, April 6:       6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 7:     6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Wednesday, April 8:  6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Thursday, April 9:     6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Friday, April 10:        6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.



WUKY is located on the third floor of UK's McVey Hall. If you have questions or want to sign up to volunteer, call 257-3272 and ask for Robert Hansel, or send an email to with contact information.

Key Agency Upgrades UK’s Credit Rating Reflecting Financial Strength, Growing Reputation

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 22:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — A national agency has upgraded the University of Kentucky’s credit rating, reflecting the institution’s increasing enrollment, strong health care system and growing reputation.


Standard & Poor’s, one of the country’s major credit ratings agencies, recently upgraded the university’s bond rating from AA- to AA. The upgrade is occurring as many institutions across the country have faced challenging financial circumstances and, in some cases, a downgrade in ratings. 


“This endorsement of our direction from a national credit ratings agency underscores that the vision our Board of Trustees and others have for this institution is a compelling and strong one,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “The work of so many — in administration, enrollment management, our faculty and staff, and at UK HealthCare — is reflected in this endorsement of UK’s expanding reputation as a vibrant, residential public research university.”


In particular, S&P cited UK’s increasing enrollment, revenue diversity aided by a strong health care system, financial performance and low debt burden. The agency also cited the university’s strong governance and management as well as continued philanthropic support. UK had a record first-year class this year of nearly 5,200 students and, for the first time, more than 30,000 students overall. UK HealthCare patient volumes are expected to be more than 35,000 this year and the university has initiated some $1.5 billion in construction in recent years, including the recent approval by the state of a $265 million multi-disciplinary research building focused on the state’s health disparities. UK is paying half the cost of the facility.


In fact, in a news release about the upgrade, S&P said: 


"UK, although at the moment getting a lot of attention for its undefeated

basketball team as the March madness national conference playoffs are

underway, is in our view increasingly being recognized for its role as a

comprehensive research-based university that according to management now pulls

almost 40% of its freshman students from out of state. Also, UK's health

system known as UK HealthCare is gaining national recognition for clinical

care in a number of disciplines including its Markey Cancer Center that in

2013 was designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer

center, one of only a very limited number of such centers nationally. In

addition, the health system enjoys generally rising patient utilization and

increasing health services market share as it continues to draw more patients

from a wider area for its services.”


"Those words, by knowledgeable experts who closely follow our industry, say so much about what we are doing together as the university for Kentucky,” Capilouto said. 


VIDEO: UK's Media Depot Fosters Creativity For Students Trying to Perfect Projects

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:53



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — As University of Kentucky students complete their final projects, many of them must go beyond simply writing papers — making presentations in front of the class. 


Utilizing video in coursework is becoming more and more common for students across a wide variety of majors and minors.  Fortunately, resources are available to students regardless of their level of experience.  Media Depot, located in The Hub @ WT’s inside the William T. Young Library, is one of those resources.


Watch the “Where I ‘see blue.’” video feature above to discover why UK senior Kevin Angel, a media arts and studies major from Walton, Kentucky, loves working in the Media Depot and how his experience will help him long after he graduates.


Click on the playlist below to view videos produced by Angel and the rest of the students on the Media Depot team:



The "Where I 'see blue." video feature is part of a special series produced by UKNow focusing on locations across campus that are meaningful for UK students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni.   The idea is to show how the physical spaces on campus help foster discovery, community, research, knowledge and success for the UK family.  As the university celebrates its 150th anniversary, we want to show readers what our campus is like today by showcasing locations that have stood for decades along with some of our newest spots.  


Since the “Where I ‘see blue.’” video series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If there’s an obscure spot on campus you don’t think many people know about or an area that’s on everyone’s radar but you have a special connection to it, email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!



VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,

UK College of Dentistry Students Bring Home Two 2015 ADEA Preventive Dentistry Scholarships

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:02


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) - University of Kentucky College of Dentistry students Lauren Morris and Mike McQuinn are two of only 13 dental students in the nation to be awarded the 2015 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Preventive Dentistry Scholarship. The award, presented annually, is given to support predoctoral dental students who have demonstrated academic excellence in preventive dentistry.


Morris, a fourth-year student, and McQuinn, a third-year student, will each receive $2,500 to be applied to their tuition and fees for predoctoral dental study.


“With only 13 of these scholarships being awarded, it is a real honor for two UKCD students to receive this honor,” said Sharon Turner, dean UK College of Dentistry.


Scholarship recipients were required to demonstrate a strong interest in preventive dentistry through their personal activities and achievements, possess a superior academic record and be nominated by their school’s dean.


“When I decided that my goal and passion in life was to become a dentist, I knew this career would provide me with the opportunity to make a positive impact on the oral health of my community and state. I'm hopeful that my research on post-operative care compliance of pediatric patients will lead to changes that will enable more children to obtain preventative dental care and education in the future,” said Morris. “I’m truly honored to receive this prestigious scholarship supporting dental students who have demonstrated academic achievements in preventive dentistry.”


"It is truly an honor to receive the Preventative Dentistry Scholarship from the American Dental Education Association. The fact that two students out of the thirteen selected nationally attend the University of Kentucky speaks to the fact that we, as students, are truly blessed to have an amazing group of faculty and staff providing us with the best education and mentorship available. The hard work and dedication that they invest in us will continue to open up opportunities for us to serve as the top scholars, clinicians and philanthropists in our field," McQuinn stated.


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

At Markey, Music Is a Powerful Tool in Cancer Treatment

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) – Singing, laughing and smiling are not words that most people would associate with a cancer treatment, but for Lexington resident Bahar Aleem, it's a common experience.


Aleem was diagnosed with breast cancer after her doctor found a small cancerous lump in her breast during an annual mammogram. After having surgery to remove the tumor, she was required to come to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center weekly for chemotherapy. That's when she discovered the healing power of music therapy.


Music therapy is a specific type of complementary therapy where a board-certified music therapist provides patient-preferred music before, during, or after treatments to help a patient relax and explore new ways of thinking about their experiences. Studies indicate that music therapy can help reduce patient anxiety, lower pain perception and even reduce the amount of sedative intake needed before a procedure.


Music therapy is always conducted with the purpose of achieving therapeutic outcomes. Because there's not one specific type of music that functions the same for everyone, music is chosen carefully in order to find songs that will have the best therapeutic effect for each individual patient and/or family. 


UK HealthCare has offered music therapy in many inpatient areas of the hospital since 2010. Last year, Music Therapist Jennifer Peyton was hired to treat patients at Markey, and the cancer center is able to offer this service to both its inpatients and chemotherapy outpatients.


During cancer treatments, Peyton will visit a patient's room, armed with her guitar, shakers and other musical instruments. She sings and plays for the patients and encourages them to participate with her, hoping that the music will allow them to express their emotions in a new, comfortable way.


Peyton is quick to point out that the therapy aspect of what she does is the most important part.


"We use patient-preferred music to elicit change in spiritual, cognitive, physical, and emotional domains," said Peyton. "This is not entertainment. While it can be entertaining, music therapy is not entertainment. It's therapy that uses music as a vehicle to do it."



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.


Peyton sees Aleem regularly, and the song of choice for Aleem is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."


"I think it takes you away from your current situation and just makes you feel normal for a little while," said Aleem. "You don't think about or worry about anything. It just takes you away and makes you feel happy."


After singing, Peyton asks Aleem a round of questions, including "What does this song do for you?" or "Where is 'over the rainbow' for you?" These are opportunities for Aleem to explore any emotions the song might have evoked.


"It's amazing how people can identify with lyrics of a song much more readily than they can express them themselves," said Peyton.


Once the music starts, Aleem's eyes light up and she begins to smile from ear to ear. Peyton plays her guitar and sings while Aleem happily sways back and forth, taps her feet, claps her hands and sings along.  Even Aleem's husband joins in by playing small maracas. Because of music therapy, Aleem now looks forward to getting her treatments.


"Even though having someone sing and play to you isn't a typical event, it can help someone feel special and it normalizes things and make things not so scary and not so anxious and not so stressful," said Peyton.


Overall, Peyton says the response from patients receiving music therapy has been very positive. She looks forward to growing the program at Markey and serving even more patients from all across the state.


After experiencing its positive effects, Aleem hopes the program expands as well.


"It just kind of uplifts you and makes you feel better no matter how you feel," said Aleem. "So hopefully we will be seeing more of it."


For more information on the music therapy program at Markey Cancer Center, contact Jennifer Peyton at


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

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tourney to Impact Some North Campus Parking

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 17, 2015) — For the second consecutive year, the University of Kentucky has been selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships in Memorial Coliseum; games will be held at noon and 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22.


According to UK Parking and Transportation Services North Campus parking will be impacted beginning Wednesday, March 18, due to lot closures associated with tournament operations. However, since this event occurs during the university’s Spring Break, this will limit the impact to the broader campus community. Regardless, employees who typically park on North Campus should plan accordingly and allow extra time in arriving to work.


The College View Lot, adjacent to Wildcat Coal Lodge, will be reserved for tournament operations parking only from Wednesday, March 18, through Sunday, March 22; the lot has 75 spaces. Additionally, 20 spaces in the Coliseum Lot, located behind the Joe Craft Center, will be unavailable from Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22, to accommodate satellite trucks for media outlets covering the tournament games.


The Linden Walk Lot will also be unavailable to general parking Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, for tournament operations. The lot consists of 63 spaces.


Additionally, employees who park in the South Limestone Garage (PS #5) should expect an increase in visitors parking in the facility Friday, March 20, and plan accordingly.


Members of the UK community with valid E permits who normally park their vehicles in the areas listed above may park in other E lots on campus. Go to to view a campus parking map.

UK Dental Students Offer Reduced-Fee Dental Screenings

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2015) – Individuals looking for a low-cost dental screening option can visit the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry on March 26 or April 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


UK College of Dentistry students will be providing dental screenings for $5 at the College of Dentistry on these dates for individuals age 14 and older. No appointment is necessary. Screenings will include limited x-rays and review for tooth decay.


In order to qualify for a $5 screening, participants must be available to also attend the dental students’ licensing exam on either Friday, April 17 or Saturday, April 18. Dental patients who are then selected will come back on either April 17 or 18 and will receive their dental services that day at no charge.


For more information, please visit Please call (859) 323-5994 or (859) 323-5958 with any questions.


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


Impacted by UK Mentor, Education Alum's Work Now Impacts High School Students Worldwide

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2015) — A seemingly insignificant moment can launch a chain of events that shape a lifetime. Some call it the butterfly effect. Perhaps you begrudgingly put down a good book to go out with a friend, and end up meeting the person with whom you start a family.


The twists and turns of life are often shaped by mentors. University of Kentucky College of Education alumnus Brandon Abdon (’03) had one of those moments when he met Les Burns, English education program faculty chair and an associate professor of literacy in the college’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


At the time, Abdon was in postgraduate classes at UK and Burns was taking over the English education program. The two easily connected and a mentoring relationship began. It was Burns who told Abdon about the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he earned one of his master’s degrees and developed contacts that have mentored, challenged and supported him since.


“If not for various mentors, I never would have taken the chances and been given the opportunities I have been given in my life and career,” Abdon said. “Sometimes they pull you aside and sometimes you have to seek them out — in either instance mentors are available and give freely of themselves.”  


Abdon recently became director of AP English Curriculum and Content Development for the College Board, where he will help design and manage two of the largest AP courses: AP English Language and AP Literature. This means his work will indirectly affect more than 1 million students in 10,000-plus high schools around the world annually.


He relocated to Atlanta from Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where he taught English at Highlands High School, to take the position. He spent evenings and summers in Lexington during the past several years, giving back to his alma mater by instructing UK courses designed for future English teachers.


Abdon is a 1997 graduate of Greenup County High School and began his college studies as an undergraduate at UK in English education with a minor in classical languages and literature. He also has a master’s in education from UK and has since earned a master’s in English from the Bread Loaf School and a specialist degree in education from Northern Kentucky University.


Abdon said the best aspect of his studies at UK was “being immersed in the context of a (high) school the entire time so that we were constantly reminded of our audience and how the different research and projects we did would fit within the larger program of a school. It made me immediately feel I was part of something bigger.”


He will take these experiences to the College Board, where he is responsible for collaborating with colleges and high schools to create, revise and implement English curriculum that meets college standards while fitting in the high school calendar.


“I would not be here at all were it not for my mentors,” Abdon said. “Especially considering Les Burns, who was the first phone call I made when I got the notice I was being considered for the position. Dr. Burns advises and mentors well beyond his current students.


"He is committed to the growth of those around him and the field of English education in general. Anyone who seeks out his advice or perspective regarding career, educational opportunities, programs at UK, and so on will find him ready and eager, not just willing, to help. He has questioned and challenged me when needed and taught me to understand myself better and be ready and able to explain and justify my reasoning," Abdon said.  

UK Vocalist Advances to Finals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 13:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. is one of nine vocalists who has advanced to the finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against 17 semifinalists March 15 at the Metropolitan Opera. He will vie to win the competition performing with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi, this weekend in the grand finals concert 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22.



"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.


Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. He studied under Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.


Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.


The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.


The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.


The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at



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

Museum Explores Art From Horses to Tattoos

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2015) — The Art Museum at University of Kentucky is currently presenting four simultaneous exhibitions, offering a range of historical and contemporary works including photography, painting, sculpture and video. These free public exhibitions, on display through April 12, feature acclaimed artists known for their capacity to combine provocative ideas and exquisite craft.


'Same Difference'


Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh and Russell Maltz are dedicated studio practitioners who each use strategies of theme and variation, often finalizing their works at the gallery or museum, where component parts are experimentally stacked, clustered and dispersed. Their installations in "Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh, Russell Maltz" highlight a commitment to process as well as product, and in this exhibition the artists take advantage of the Art Museum at UK’s own architecture, especially the wooden floors and soaring ceiling height.


Grabner’s abstract paintings are grounded in the real world, often taking their cues from handmade or store-bought blankets, tablecloths and quilts. Her recent paintings accumulate lines and shapes that are the result of pushing glossy enamel paint through crocheted baby blankets. Textured and illusionistic, these canvases have a homey elegance and complex spatial depth.


Leigh’s sculptural works are known for their intense physicality, and she is adept at forming and firing ceramics that range from the ornamental to the ominous. At UK, she creates a gravel garden with “cowrie shell” sculptures that feature stunningly glazed surfaces with jagged openings, and a video clip from the 1960s-1970s television show "Julia," featuring Diahann Carroll as a nurse. In combination, her installation offers a meditation on identity, labor and beauty.


Maltz uses a range of industrial materials as his palette, creating singular and multi-part works that alert audiences to the nature of creating — making choices about content, context, color, scale, density, gravity and sequence. His recent paintings feature plywood sections that are covered in Day-Glo paint and overlaid on top of each other, then suspended from steel posts on the wall; referencing Kazimir Malevich’s infamous 1915 "Black Square" and continuing the evolution of the monochrome into the 21st century. Maltz consistently examines states of entropy, assembly and permanence. "Same Difference" is meant to highlight the aspects of consistency and mutability that each artist is known for, as well as making connections between their distinct productions.



May Series Photographer's Work Examines Human Rights in Middle East



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

Tanya Habjouqa’s photographs focus on gender, social, and human rights issues in the Middle East. She approaches her subjects with sensitivity and humor, striving to capture nuances rarely seen in press coverage. Her images invite the viewer to more deeply consider the humanist situations she documents, including women practicing yoga in a Biblical landscape, and young men somersaulting in the air outside of a refugee camp in Gaza.


In her series, "Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots," Habjouqa photographed women who live in exile in Jordan, struggling to feed their children while coping with loneliness and grief. In 2014, she won a World Press Award for her series "Occupied Pleasures," in which she pictures many of the ludicrous moments of everyday life that the 47-year occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem has created. Habjouqa is a founding member of Rawiya, a collective of female photographers from across the Middle East.


The photographer's exhibition at UK, "Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs," is presented in conjunction with Habjouqa's lecture presented as part of the Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series. The May Lecture series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. This series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography.



Tattoo Who?


Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

Installed on a new “project wall” at the Art Museum at UK is a combination of photographs, wall graphics and video, documenting the collaborative projects by noted local artists Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde. Included are images from the "Lexington Tattoo Project" developed with Lexington poet and UK doctoral candidate Bianca Spriggs, whose poem "The ____of the Universe: A Love Story" inspired numerous residents to have their bodies tattooed with suggestive fragments of text, punctuation marks and small design elements.


Also on view, are elements from Gohde and Todorova's current tattoo-endeavor, "Love Letter to the World," a global celebration of pride and place, prompted by a poem by Kentucky poet Laureate and UK English Professor Frank X Walker. Their installation posits the museum as a gathering site for those interested in how flesh, love and ideas can come together in thoughtful inclusive ways.



Edward Troye on the Horse, Of Course



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

The restrictions of an art form can sometimes provide the most interesting variations. "Edward Troye: Theme & Variation," a series of lithographs reproducing Edward Troye’s celebrated 19th-century paintings of famous American Thoroughbreds is a case in point. The pose of the horses — intended to showcase desirable traits — doesn’t waver, establishing a visual rhythm of the equine bodies in the middle of each composition.


Troye's works have been selected from the Art Museum at UK's permanent collection, and offer memorable equine portraits with distinctive profiles yet subtle differences in proportion, musculature, color and personality. Of course, the lithographs, already a step away from Troye’s paintings, are themselves multiple interpretations of distinct originals.


The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 



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

"Made in Kentucky" Documentary Examines Kentucky's Energy Challenges, Solutions

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:07



Video Produced by the UK Vis Center.  To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click the "thought bubble" icon in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 17, 2015) — "Why did the automotive industry come to Kentucky? Good question, and the answer starts with energy," says KET's Bill Goodman, narrator of a new full-length documentary released March 6, and produced by the University of Kentucky Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments (Vis Center) and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (Kentucky EEC).


"Made in Kentucky," a one hour documentary, discusses the issues Kentucky faces — growing concerns about climate change and the demand for coal replaced by the demand for natural gas — and explores some of the solutions that might lead to a stronger Kentucky economy while still protecting the environment.


A collaborative effort, the Kentucky EEC was actively involved in providing data for the visualizations and connected the Vis Center to individuals representing the different viewpoints presented in "Made in Kentucky." Among those interviewed are Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association, Tom FitzGerald of the Kentucky Resources Council, Justin Maxson of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and others representing the various energy and manufacturing industries in the state.


The documentary proposes that a major factor in Kentucky's low energy rates has been its "historic abundance of cheap coal," but that demand for coal is falling and the future of those energy rates and Kentucky’s economy is uncertain.


Dave Adkisson, president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, suggests that Kentucky isn't alone and that new technologies have altered the energy landscape across the United States. As Rebecca Taylor, senior vice president of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, points out in the video, fracking is increasingly becoming the lower cost alternative to coal.


"The rise of fracking in the United States has really dramatically increased the availability of the pool of natural gas, which drives prices down," Taylor said.


The documentary also examines other factors in Kentucky's changing energy industry, and both sides of the coal and clean energy spectrum, advising viewers, "no matter how you interpret the history, the law and data, our energy future requires bold, yet common sense thinking to promote the prosperity and well-being of all Kentuckians."


"How do we grow new jobs and new economic opportunities, particularly in East Kentucky, but all over the state? And the reality is there's no one silver bullet…the answer is going to be much more about smart, silver BBs — a range of strategies that we have to invest in to build the sort of economy we want," said Maxson, executive director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.


The range of strategies featured in the documentary includes reducing energy use with more efficient systems and diversifying Kentucky's energy portfolio with natural gas, renewables and nuclear power, without eliminating coal.


View the video above or at




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