Kaak Featured on Special Health Report Airing on KET

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — Dr. Otto Kaak, associate director of the University of Kentucky’s Center on Trauma and Children, will be featured in KET’s new Health Special Report Safe and Sound: Raising Emotionally Healthy Children in a Stressful World, premiering at 9 p.m., Monday, April 21, on KET.


Safe and Sound will discuss the e importance of young children receiving positive nurturing and early experiences in order to develop good long-term mental and physical health. The program will present ways  parents can generate positive social and mental health for their children through interviews with experts an d profiles of programs across Kentucky that specialize in this field.


During the program, Kaak contributes important research findings from the UK Center of Trauma and Children and helpful advice for parents concerning the enhancement of the well-being of children. He focuses on developing and utilizing methods that can improve the health of abused children, through the research of the Center, whose main emphasis is identifying the source of problems displayed by children affected by trauma or abuse.


Kaak, a professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and social work for UK, has worked for the university since 1972, where he now primarily assists in evaluating families with open, substantiated cases of abuse or neglect.


The Center on Trauma and Children at UK mission is to develop and distribute knowledge and practices that will contribute to the reduction and end of violence against children and its traumatic effects. The Center specializes on developing evidence-based behavioral health practices with children, families and adults whose lives have been affected by violence. 

UK Oboe Professor to Perform in Carnegie Hall's 'collected stories'

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:27



ToniMarie Marchioni performs Johann Sebastian Bach's "Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C Minor" with violinist Ken Hamao and the New York Classical Players. Video courtesy of New York Classical Players.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — University of Kentucky School of Music's ToniMarie Marchioni will be the next guest performer at New York City's legendary Carnegie Hall. Marchioni, assistant professor of oboe, has been invited to perform as part of the hall's "collected stories" series beginning 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at Carnegie Hall.


Oboist Marchioni will perform in the second concert of the "collected stories" program, a six-concert series curated by David Lang, Carnegie Hall’s 2013-2014 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. The series "collected stories" explores how the act of composing changes depending on what kind of story the composer is trying to tell.


Marchioni will perform in the "spirit" concert examining how different cultures approach a sacred subject and featuring Tuvan throat singing and Arvo Pärt's "Passio."


"I fell in love with Arvo Pärt’s music while in college by listening to the CD 'Tabula Rasa' over and over. While I was not familiar with this particular piece, performing contemporary music and lesser known works has always been important to me," said Marchioni. "I am incredibly excited for this concert."


With performances praised as “excellent” and “elegantly rendered” by the New York Times, Marchioni has performed in Europe, South America, Asia and throughout the U.S. She joined UK's faculty in 2013 and is a member of the IRIS Orchestra (Memphis, Tenn.) and Decoda (New York, N.Y.). Marchioni is a recent alumna of Ensemble ACJW, a groundbreaking initiative of Carnegie Hall, The Julliard School and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education that combines chamber music performance, arts advocacy, leadership and teaching artistry.


Marchioni has appeared with the National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Georgia Woodwind Quintet, New Juilliard Ensemble, AXIOM, and the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble Continuum. In 2010, she performed the Martinů Oboe Concerto with the Orquesta Philarmónica del Ecuador, marking the Ecuadorian premiere of the work, and only the second time it had been played in South America. In 2008, she gave the United States premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s concerto "Sprechgesang for Oboe and English Horn" with the New Juilliard Ensemble.


A dedicated teacher and advocate for arts education, Marchioni has taught for Sinfonia Por La Vida, an organization dedicated to social inclusion through music, and has held faculty positions at the University of Georgia, Las Vegas Music Festival and the American Festival for the Arts. As a fellow in Ensemble ACJW, she participated in a two-year teaching residency with the New York Department of Education, working closely with middle school band students at MS 158 in Bayside, Queens.


Tickets for "collected stories: spirit" range from $34 to $40, based on seating, and tickets for the entire series begin at $120.


For more information, visit Carnegie Hall's website at   


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,

Appalachian Studies Association Honors Dwight Billings

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — The Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) recently awarded its highest honor for service to the field to Dwight Billings, a University of Kentucky professor in the Department of Sociology and on the Appalachian Studies Program faculty.


Billings, who has made many significant contributions to the field of Appalachian studies throughout a career that has spanned nearly 40 years, received the Cratis D. Williams/James S. Brown Service Award at the association's 37th annual conference, held March 28-30 at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. The award is given annually to an individual who has made "exemplary contributions to Appalachia, Appalachian Studies, or to the Appalachian Studies Association."  


"Dwight has done all three, making him a triple threat," said colleague Shaunna Scott, associate professor of sociology, who presented the award.


Scott said it was especially meaningful to her to present the award to Billings, who served as ASA president before she did, and who served as editor of the Journal of Appalachian Studies, the leading scholarly journal in the field, which Scott edits currently.


"His scholarship and service have extended the reach of Appalachian studies to national and international scholarly audiences in the social sciences, social and critical theory, and neo-Marxian and feminist studies," she said.


Billings has written groundbreaking works on Appalachia, including the book "The Road to Poverty: the Making of Wealth and Hardship in Appalachia," for which he and co-author Kathleen M. Blee received the Weatherford Award in 2000. The book he co-edited with Katherine Ledford and Gurney Norman, "Back Talk from Appalachia: Confronting Stereotypes," has been a widely used resource in challenging stereotypes of Appalachians. He has been active in the Appalachian region and community, and he has served as a mentor to many in the field of Appalachian Studies.


Throughout his career, Billings has worked to foster cross-institutional and academic/community collaboration. He was one of the founders of the UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program, working with colleagues to secure funding for these initiatives from the Rockefeller and Mellon Foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served terms as research director of the Appalachian Center and as director of Appalachian Studies in the course of his career at UK.


Ann Kingsolver, director of the UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program, says it was especially significant that the career award Billings received was named the Cratis D. Williams/James S. Brown Service Award, since Billings has worked to honor the legacy of James S. Brown.


Brown was a professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky who did groundbreaking research in Appalachian studies from the 1940s to the 1980s in Eastern Kentucky communities where Billings has also done research and has mentored student research. Billings has been a generous mentor to many new faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and he worked to establish the James S. Brown Graduate Student Award at UK, which funds graduate student research in Appalachia each summer.


“Professor Billings has always been committed not to building an individual career, but to building an intellectual community,” Kingsolver said. “He has contributed his keen eye for structural inequality to making sure the national Appalachian studies conversation remains inclusive and relevant, welcoming artists, activists, community members and scholars alike.”


Billings’ work appears in American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, Sociological Quarterly, Current Perspectives in Sociological Theory, the Annual Review of Sociology, the Journal of Appalachian Studies and other journals. He is currently working on a book-length analysis of class and culture in the Appalachian region. His research and teaching interests include social inequality, Appalachian and regional studies, poverty, sociological theory, and the sociology of religion.


Raised in Beckley, W.Va., Billings earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from West Virginia University in Morgantown. He earned both his master's degree and doctorate in sociology from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.



MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396;


Award Winning Television Journalist to Visit UK

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 09:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) — The Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information is partnering with UK's Martin Luther King Center to present award-winning television journalist, Jeff Johnson, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at Memorial Hall on UK's campus.


Johnson is a weekly commentator on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show tackling issues on politics, entertainment and social policy. Johnson is also chairman and CEO of the Jeff Johnson Institute for Urban Development, a solutions based institution currently leading a five-year project to recruit and develop 80,000 black male teachers. He regularly provides commentary for publications and other media such as CNN, MSNBC, BET, EbonyJet, and Huffington Post.


The event, supported by a grant from the College of Communication and Information’s Diversity Fund, is free and open to the public.




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


UK Police Make Arrests in Campus Arson Case

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 08:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) ― University of Kentucky Police arrested two teenagers last night in connection with a car fire in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot on UK's campus Wednesday night.


UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said Cullen Gallaher, 18, and Ian Baughman, 19, are charged with 2nd degree arson, a felony.  Additional charges are pending for a third suspect.  All are UK students.


Around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, the Lexington Fire Department reported that an empty cardboard beer case was placed under the bumper of a parked vehicle and started on fire in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot.  The fire was quickly extinguished and the vehicle sustained minimal damage.  Male suspects were seen leaving the scene of the incident in a dark Saturn station wagon. 


The arrests were made following photos and video of the suspects' vehicle being  released to the public yesterday.


"Our new camera system that provides extensive coverage of campus was again instrumental in assisting us with the identification of suspects in solving this crime quickly," Monroe said.


The high-tech system provides more than 400 cameras across campus, and it was used to quickly solve an attempted robbery on South Limestone last month and proved essential in monitoring South Limestone and other areas during recent NCAA Tournament game celebrations.


If anyone has any other information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police at 859-257-8573.


Join Bike Lexington Commuter Challenge

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 19:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) ― May is National Bike Month, and the University of Kentucky Bicycle Advisory Committee is encouraging the campus community to participate in the annual Bike Lexington calendar of events.


The fifth annual Commuter Challenge is one of the Lexington Bike Month events. Businesses and organizations of all sizes will compete to see who can the log most bicycle commuting among their employees during the month of May.


All UK units are invited to participate, and to form teams based on their departments. The winning business in each size category will be recognized in the July issue of Business Lexington. Prizes will be randomly awarded to the participating employees of the winning businesses, and the individual with the most trips during the challenge will receive the Golden Cranks award and a prize.


Each work and errand-related trip you make by bicycle counts as a trip in the Bike Lexington Commuter Challenge; in other words, only trips that normally would be made in a car will count. The competition runs Thursday, May 1 through Thursday, May 29.


Registration for New Wildcat Wheels Fleet Now Open

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 19:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) ― Registration for Big Blue Cycles – the new University of Kentucky Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library fleet – is now open. The fleet of 100 bicycles is available to students living in campus housing who sign a commitment not to bring a car to Lexington. Eligible students may register at


The Big Blue Cycles bicycles will be 8-speed commuter bicycles equipped with fenders, a rear rack and a bell. Participating students will be guaranteed the bicycle for the entire academic year. The addition of the new bicycles was made possible by a funding partnership between the Student Sustainability Council and Parking and Transportation Services. All participants will also receive a bicycle helmet, thanks to the UK HealthCare Level I Trauma Program, and a lock, thanks to Student Government.


To learn more about Big Blue Cycles, visit To learn more about Wildcat Wheels, please visit To learn more about bicycling on campus, visit

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Talks to President Capilouto About Recent Legislative Session

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 18:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  UK President Eli Capilouto joins Godell today for a discussion of the impact the recent legislative session had on UK’s budget.


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


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


Jeans for Justice Fight Sexual Assault

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 17:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) — Any style, any color, it doesn’t matter, as long as you wear blue jeans today in support of Jeans for Justice, an international campaign aimed at raising public awareness and community action to end sexual assault.


In 1999, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. To protest the decision, community members wore jeans to represent that it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted.


A rally is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. today at the Student Center Patio for volunteer appreciation and a testimonial by Matthew Deffendall, director of First Generation Initiatives. Deffendall is a champion of non-violence, social justice and advocacy. Wearing jeans on this day helps build awareness of sexual assault and how it impacts all of us, he said.


In addition there is a faculty and staff training “Shaping a Violence Free Campus: Understanding Campus Response” scheduled April 23.  In this session, the coordinated campus response to power-based personal violence will be discussed in-depth. This will include a panel of key campus stakeholders and a scenario-based discussion.


Participants will learn to recognize how power-based personal violence can change the dynamics in a class, office or department, as well as learning the skills to navigate challenging conversations about violence-related issues.


This training is appropriate for those who have never attended a VIP program in the past as well as those who have attended and would like a more in-depth look at campus resources and response.  


“We must challenge ourselves to move beyond raising awareness,” said Rhonda Henry, intervention program coordinator for the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center at the University of Kentucky, “and start taking daily actions to end sexual assault.


“There are simple actions we can take to end sexual assault, such as believing survivors,” she said. “Every time we do not believe a survivor, we are essentially telling perpetrators that what they are doing is acceptable. This is a harmful message to be sending.


“Nobody asks for or deserves to be sexually assaulted. Perpetrators are responsible for their choice, and we as a society must make it very clear that sexual assault is not acceptable in our community.”

University of Kentucky Police Release Photo of Suspected Vehicle in Arson Case Wednesday Night

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2014) ― University of Kentucky Police are asking members of the UK and Lexington communities for help in identifying a vehicle and its occupants suspected in an arson case on campus last night. 


As part of the investigation, photos of the vehicle are being released (below). Chief Joe Monroe says UK Police are looking for a dark colored ― possibly hunter green ― four-door Saturn station wagon and its occupants.


Around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, the Lexington Fire Department reported that an empty cardboard beer case was placed under the bumper of a parked vehicle and started on fire in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot.  The fire was quickly extinguished and the vehicle sustained minimal damage.  Two male suspects were seen leaving the scene of the incident in the dark Saturn station wagon pictured below.


Anyone with any information about the incident or who can identify those responsible is asked to contact UKPD at 859-257-8573.



Dance Ensemble Celebrates 75 Years of Modern Dance in Spring Concert

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Dance Ensemble spring concert will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 27, in the Singletary Center for the Arts (SCFA). Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for the public (price includes SCFA fee) and can be purchased in person at the SCFA Ticket Office located in the main lobby of the Singletary Center or online by visiting


Dance Ensemble (DE) is a student organization that provides students the opportunity to explore different dance styles, improve technique, choreograph and perform. It was founded 75 years ago by Mary King Montgomery Kouns, a student and eventual employee of UK. Since the first concert in 1939, Dance Ensemble members have continued to choreograph many of their own dances and make their own costumes.


Dance Ensemble has launched the careers of many dancers and choreographers, however, many students join DE as an outlet for creative expression without any intention of pursuing a dance career. DE members come from many colleges within the university and backgrounds of skill and talents. For the first time in DE history, Chris Upchurch, DE vice president, incorporates his singing abilities into a dance.


“DE has impacted my life in so many ways in my five semesters as a member. I have never considered myself a dancer, but just really loved to do it and share that love of dance with others," Upchurd said. "DE has given me a newfound confidence and ability to use my other talents. For example, this semester I will be singing live to a choreographed piece, and this is the first time something like this has been done.”


This year’s spring concert includes two guest choreographers and three DE alumni choreographers. Guest choreographers include Jeanne Mam-Luft, founder of MamLuft&Co. Dance in Cincinnati and Tamara Begley a middle school teacher and modern dance teacher at the Louisville Ballet School and Allegro Dance Theatre in Radcliff. Begley is also a co-producer of Moving Collective, an organization in Louisville, which promotes the work of local choreographers and presents original contemporary dance.


Alumni choreographers include former DE presidents, Elizabeth Foster and Jordan Seiter who collaborated on one dance and current director, Rayma Beal. Beal’s choreography was inspired by multitalented composer, David Gurwitz and by John Tuska, a longtime UK faculty member and artist. Beal said that Gurwitz’s song, “Coming Home,” enhances the dance concept well.


The Tuska pieces that inspired Beal preceded Tuska’s final "Illumine Study" which can be seen on the facade of the UK Fine Arts Building.


“I am inspired by the 'Illumine Study: Dance I' and 'Illumine Study:  Dance II' created by John Tuska that reflect the ‘history of the university as well as capture the future filled with new possibilities,’” Beal said.


UKDE concerts, scholarships and more are funded by student dues, ticket costs and donations. For additional information about UKDE or to donate please contact Rayma Beal,

Chi Omega Celebrates Centennial at UK

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) — The Lambda Alpha chapter of Chi Omega recently welcomed more than 200 alumni to celebrate 100 years of excellence at the University of Kentucky.

Centennial festivities began with a reception at the Boone Center, followed by the Centennial Celebration at the Hilton Downtown Lexington. UK President Eli Capilouto, Chi Omega National President Letitia Fulkerson and others addressed the group.  


Fulkerson led a presentation honoring “50 Year” sisters, and chapter adviser Mary Wis Haggin presented house renovation plans to alumni and active members. The historic house is the oldest sorority house on campus, and has been home to Chi Omega for 100 years.

Kentucky First Lady and Lambda Alpha Jane Beshear later hosted a reception at the Governor's Mansion in Frankfort.

Chi Omega has an outstanding history in the Greek community at the University of Kentucky. Three of the last six student body vice presidents have been Chi Omegas, and recently the chapter received recognition for raising more funds for their official philanthropy, Make A Wish Foundation, than any other chapter in the nation. This was accomplished in part by hosting the annual Greek Sing event on campus, which has helped raise over $100,000 dollars for the Make A Wish Foundation.


COPD Patient Returns to Active Lifestyle Thanks to Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:57


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) -- In the waiting room at UK HealthCare's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic sits a large binder labeled "Success Stories." Inside are pages and pages of testimony from patients who discovered a renewed quality of life as a result of their experience. "I can walk through the mall with my grandkids again," reads one.  "Most important thing I've ever done," declares another.


But certain words appear repeatedly throughout: encouragement, support, compassion, welcoming. It's evident that these patients adore the staff that helps them breathe more fully again.


Mike Graham, 53, of Harrodsburg, hopes to add his testimony to the binder soon.


A life-long scuba diver, Graham was making a dive in Findlay, Ohio, last year when suddenly he could not catch his breath. "I panicked," he recalls.  "At first I thought my tank was bad, but when I got back to the surface and still couldn't catch my breath, I knew something was wrong." His primary care physician diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD; a visit to UK in December confirmed the diagnosis. Graham was put on an inhaler to reduce airway constriction and referred to UK's pulmonary rehab program.



Just nine weeks in, Graham already delights in the return to many of his beloved activities. A self-described gentleman farmer, Graham has always shared an emotional bond with his cattle. "They're my kids," he says. Before he began his treatment, Graham couldn't climb a flight of stairs without losing his breath.  "I can play with my kids again," he says with a twinkle. "A walk to their pasture used to be out of the question, but now I get to give them their 'sweet feed' treats of molasses and ground corn every morning."


COPD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or non-reversible asthma. The disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness, frequent coughing, wheezing, and/or tightness in the chest. COPD is the No. 3 killer in Kentucky and the No. 5 killer for all Americans.  It affects an estimated 24 million individuals in the U.S.


"Perhaps the cruelest aspect of COPD is that it is initially a silent disease, developing for years without noticeable shortness of breath," says Dr. John McCormick, director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at UK.  "Often, by the time the patient comes to us, the disease has already seriously compromised lung function, medications are less effective in controlling symptoms and patients become reliant on supplemental oxygen, all of which reduces a patient's quality of life hugely."


However, Dr. McCormick explains, pulmonary rehab can be the lifeline that returns sufferers to a fuller life.  The magic comes in the form of an interdisciplinary team of pulmonologists, nurses, exercise physiologists, dietitians and lifestyle therapists -- also known as Beth Cundiff, Nancy Kessler, Jacob Stone, Craig Staub, Heather Leger and Audrey Darville.


Through exercise training, psychosocial support, and education, this team helps patients restore strength and endurance, reduce disease symptoms, self-manage common complications and know when to call for help. Patients who complete the program also often report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with chronic lung diseases. And, says Dr. McCormick, because it's been demonstrated that patients who participate in such programs actually end up needing less "health care" in the long run, COPD becomes less of a financial burden for those patients, particularly since many health insurance plans cover pulmonary rehabilitation programs.


"If it weren't for these people, the program would just be a roomful of machines," Graham says, counting names off using his fingers. Craig and Jake encourage me with my training and constantly monitor my heart rate and oxygen levels, which allows me to train as hard as possible without worry.  Dr. McCormick and Beth taught me about how the lungs work, which really helped me understand my COPD. And Audrey helped me leave my 35 year smoking habit behind."


"I could go on and on," he says with a smile.  "Absolutely everyone here contributes to my learning in a powerful way."


And that, Dr. McCormick says, is precisely the point.


"Exercise is, of course, an essential component of the program," he says.  "But our patient care team goes beyond the basics by facilitating therapeutic support among participants, their family members and friends and creating a milieu where patients encourage and learn from each other."  


On any given day in the clinic, there are patients on treadmills, bicycles, elliptical machines, or lifting weights. Some are on supplemental oxygen, and all of them wear equipment that monitors pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels while they work out. Exercise physiologists crisscross the room, checking on patients and offering advice and encouragement.


Behind the exercise area is a classroom where knowledgeable clinic staff teach participants about the disease process, share breathing and other relaxation techniques, offer nutritional advice, and facilitate idea sharing and troubleshooting among members of the group.


There are even field trips -- Graham tells how dietitian Heather Leger took a group of patients to a local grocery store for a hands-on tutorial on reading nutrition labels and making healthy food choices.


"This has been an amazing process of discovery," Graham says. "I've learned so much about my COPD and how to live a full life in spite of it.  If I can help just one other person by sharing what I've learned, it will be worth the effort." To that end, Graham has volunteered for a program with the National COPD Foundation that will pair newly-diagnosed sufferers with mentors like Graham who can offer advice and encouragement.


"And," he says, "I'm already hounding my brother, my sister, and two of my diver friends to quit smoking."


Those diver friends in particular are taking notice.  Graham returned to scuba diving last week at the same quarry in Findlay, Ohio, where he first realized that something was terribly wrong.


"I took basically the same dive," he says. "And when I got to the spot where I panicked last time, I paused for a moment, smiled and gave my diving buddy the 'OK' sign, and then kept on going."





Renowned Reporter and Editor for Courier-Journal to Speak at Annual Joe Creason Lecture

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) — Mervin R. Aubespin, a media consultant, will deliver the 37th annual University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications' Joe Creason Lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, in the Worsham Theater of the UK Student Center. The lecture, titled "35 Years in Journalism – What I’ve Learned and the People I Have Met Along the Way,” is free and open to the public.


Aubespin retired from The Courier-Journal in 2002 ending a 35-year journalism career as staff artist, news reporter and associate editor.


Aubespin began his journalism career at The Courier-Journal in 1967 as a news artist. He was the first African American to hold that position at the newspaper. Like many early African-American journalists, the Louisiana native got the call to be a reporter when racial violence broke out in western Louisville in 1968, and he was asked by editors to assume the role of news reporter. There were almost no minorities in the newsroom at that time. Sending his white colleague back to the newspaper for safety reasons, he spent the next 48 hours reporting on the disturbances, often at considerable personal danger.


Following the racial disturbances, the publisher of the newspaper decided that he was worth more to the news operation as a reporter and his career as a journalist was launched. As a reporter, his beat included local and national civil rights, which gave him significant opportunities to report on the African-American community. It was a task and challenge that he took seriously and resulted in hundreds of stories on African-American issues, institutions and personalities. He also co-authored a 40-story seven-day series on the status of African Americans in Louisville that won two national awards.


Before joining the staff of the newspaper, Aubespin was an active participant in local civil rights demonstrations for public accommodations in 1961 and other civil rights activities across the South.  During the 1950s and early 1960s he worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and others on a variety of civil rights issues in the South, including the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. and the march from Selma to Montgomery.


In 1987, Aubespin was promoted to associate editor, a first for the newspaper. As an editor, he monitored the newspaper’s efforts at including minorities in its everyday coverage. As a recruiter for his newspaper, he traveled across the country, visiting universities, job fairs and organizations seeking talent for The Courier-Journal. In addition, he was administrator of the newspaper’s summer internship program and a member of the publisher’s Operating Committee.


Aubespin has been recipient of dozens of local and national awards for his reporting on African-American issues and his leadership in providing employment opportunities across the country to minorities in journalism. Two journalism scholarships and one national award are named for him.


A former president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), he has served as a consultant on media to the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) and has led UN sponsored journalism trips to several African countries and to Guatemala.


Aubespin is a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. He was honored by Actors Theatre of Louisville with the “Keeper of the Chronicle Award” for his commitment and coverage of the African-American community in Louisville.  In 2010 he received the Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award for his civic activism and work for racial equality. He is co-author of a book, "Two Centuries of Black Louisville," a history of African Americans in Louisville over 200 years.

Aubespin is a graduate of Tuskegee University (B.A., Industrial Arts) and the Minority Journalism Program at Columbia University.


"We’re delighted to have one of Kentucky’s best known journalists deliver the 2014 Creason Lecture," said Beth Barnes, director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. "Merv Aubespin has been a leader in journalism and civil rights in the Commonwealth and nationally.  He has had an amazing career, and I’m looking forward to this opportunity for our students and the community to hear about the people and events he covered during that time.”


 The Joe Creason Lecture Series brings an outstanding journalist to the university to meet and talk with students, and to speak before an assembly of students, faculty and the general public. The lecture series honors the memory of Joe Creason, a Kentuckian who wrote for The Courier-Journal and The Courier-Journal Sunday Magazine. The lecture series was made possible through a matching grant from the Bingham Enterprises Foundation of Kentucky and gifts donated by UK alumni and friends of Joe Creason.




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


UK Crime Bulletin - Attempted Arson

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 09:15

In the interest of safety, the University of Kentucky Police Department has issued the following Crime Bulletin for the UK community.


•           On April 16, 2014, at approximately 8:50 p.m., the Lexington Fire Department reported that an empty cardboard beer case was placed under the bumper of a parked vehicle and started on fire in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot.  The fire was quickly extinguished and the vehicle sustained minimal damage.  The suspected vehicle in the incident is a newer model station wagon possibly a Saturn or Saab dark in color with two male suspects. 


The University of Kentucky Police Department is investigating the incident.  If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police immediately at (859) 257-8573.


University of Kentucky Police Department has issued this Crime Bulletin for the UK Community in compliance with the “Timely Notice” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.


Such acts are a violation of KRS 513.040 – Arson in the third degree, a Class D felony, and are punishable by up to five (5) years in prison.


The University of Kentucky values a safe community for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. In the interest of promoting a safe and secure campus environment, UK Police offer the following safety precautions:


•           If you see something, say something. For emergencies, call 911.

•           If you observe any activity described in this bulletin, call 911 immediately.

•           Report suspicious persons loitering around facilities or vehicles.

•           Carry a cell phone to be able to call for help in emergencies.

•           In the event that you smell smoke or see a fire, dial 911 immediately. 



If you have been a victim of violence, or would like to be a part of UK’s effort to end violence, please contact the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center for confidential services, support and referrals. 859-257-3564.



WUKY Partners With Downtown Lexington Corporation During Downtown Trash Bash

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:22
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) ― WUKY 91.3 FM has partnered with Downtown Lexington Corporation as the official radio sponsor of the Downtown Trash Bash from noon to 4 p.m. today in downtown Lexington.


The Downtown Trash Bash focuses efforts on keeping Lexington clean and green. The event provides a “spring cleaning” where hundreds of volunteers come together and save trash from being washed down the storm drains and into our local rivers. It is sponsored by Downtown Lexington Corporation and is held in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, which is coordinated locally with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.


Sign in at any of the following locations anytime between noon and 4 p.m. to pick up your trash bags and gloves:

  • Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park (WUKY Table will be located here)
  • Thoroughbred Park on East Main Street
  • Jefferson Street at Short Street
  • Duncan Park on North Limestone
  • South Limestone at Avenue of Champions


 Refreshments and giveaways will be available ― first-come, first-served. 



UK Scholar Athlete Grace Trimble Named Truman Scholar

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2014) – The University of Kentucky Office of External Scholarships is proud to announce that political science junior and UK Women's Tennis Team member Grace Trimble, of Winchester, Ky., has been named a 2014 Truman Scholar and will receive $30,000 to conduct graduate work in areas of public service. Trimble, the only Truman recipient this year from Kentucky or a Kentucky college or university, is the 13th UK student to receive the honor from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation


"Grace is joining a small number of exceptional UK students honored with the illustrious Truman Foundation Scholarship," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "The entire UK family is extremely proud of her achievements in academics and public service that earned her this award. We look forward to all that she will continue to do on our campus and beyond."


The Truman Scholarships are national awards given to college juniors who demonstrate outstanding leadership and are devoted to careers in public service. Recipients of the award are required to work in public service at least three of the seven years following completion of their graduate program. Trimble was among the 59 scholars nationwide selected by the Truman Foundation from 655 candidates nominated for the annual scholarship for graduate study. The scholars represent 52 colleges and universities from across the country.


The last UK student selected as a Truman Scholar was Corinne Keel, who received the scholarship in 2008.


In addition to the scholarship, scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.


The concept of service is very important to Trimble, who as a teenager founded and began operating a nonprofit organization. She is excited for not only the opportunities the Truman will afford her in the classroom but also in the community.


"Through founding a nonprofit tennis and education program, my life has been forever changed," Trimble said. "It is through serving others that I have been able to find myself and my passion. It is through the kids in my program and the lessons I have learned from them that I am able to reach my own goals. I hope to use the platform I have been provided through the Truman Scholarship to take my program to a new level and reach thousands more."


UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart was not surprised Trimble impressed judges of the prestigious Truman Scholarship.


"People are grateful Grace crosses their path because she gives of herself in more ways than I can describe," Barnhart said. "She has had a tremendous influence on her team, other student athletes and the community. Grace has represented the University of Kentucky at the highest level in every aspect of her college athletic career. In every facet of life, she excels not for her benefit but for the benefit of those she encounters."


Trimble, the daughter of Morton and Robin Trimble, will join the other 2014 scholars from across the nation for a week of programming and a special awards ceremony in May at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo.


A Chellgren Fellow, Trimble has advanced her studies in politics, nonprofits and public service as an undergraduate researcher at UK. As part of her research, Trimble had the opportunity to design and implement a survey to gauge the effectiveness of her nonprofit organization, Lexington Tennis Club Smart Shots. Through the surveying process, she has been able to take steps toward improving the overall effectiveness of Smart Shots.


Trimble counts her research advisor among the mentors at UK who not only influenced her work but also her career goals.


"Dr. Clayton Thyne, my PS 395 professor, has changed my trajectory as a student and future professional. He has taken me under his wing and provided me with the opportunity to pursue my passion for public service as a student," said the Truman Scholar.


Trimble is not only a competitor in the classroom but also on the court playing for the UK Women's Tennis Team. Trimble, who was just named to the 2014 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, credits her coaches as other important mentors in her life. "My tennis coaches Joanne Wallen and Carlos Drada have enabled me to pursue my passion on and off the tennis court. They have invested in my life enabling me to step out into the world and invest in others."


Certainly, Trimble also is grateful for her family's support in helping her pursue her goals. "My family is my foundation through which I propel myself to heights I never could have imagined."


After completing her Truman Week programming in May, Trimble will intern with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) this summer. The USTA has recognized her with many national awards through the years including the National Arthur Ashe Essay contest award and a Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship, as well as asking Trimble to be the keynote speaker at the U.S. Open's Opening Night Gala in 2011. 


Upon completion of her bachelor's degree in May 2015, Trimble will use her Truman Scholarship to pursue a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management.


Candidates for the Truman Scholarship were nominated by 294 different colleges and universities. Selection panels, typically comprised of a university president, a federal judge, a distinguished public servant and a past Truman Scholar, interviewed finalists from a three to four state region and elected one scholar from each state and one at-large scholar from the region. A complete listing of the 2014 Truman Scholars is available online at


The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd president. The foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Activities of the foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury. There have been 2,965 Truman Scholars selected since the foundation began.


Students interested in applying for the Truman 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, 859-257-8716;

Adventure Camps Open to Service Members, Their Teens

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:36
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2014) — Service members and their teenage children can experience new adventures together through camps provided by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.


Extension is partnering with Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass and the Center for Courageous Kids to host 10 adventure camps in Kentucky and neighboring states. The camps are funded by a Military-Teen Adventure Camp grant that UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension received from the Department of Defense. 


The camps are open to service members from any branch of the military, DOD civilians and contractors from any state, and their 14-to18-year-old child or children. Priority is given to families with at least one deployment.


“Military families face unique challenges and struggles,” said Kerri Ashurst, UK senior extension specialist for family and consumer sciences. “The parent/teen camps are especially well suited for families that are experiencing a reunion or reintegration after a deployment.”


2014-2015 Military-Teen Adventure Camp opportunities include:


  • Big South Fork whitewater canoeing and backpacking expedition – May 15-18 in Stearns. Activities include whitewater canoeing, camping, exploring sandstone bluffs and learning backcountry cooking. Availability: 20 slots (10 parent/child teams).
  • Red River Gorge rock climbing, rappelling and canopy excursion – June 6-9 in Campton. Parents and their teens will rock climb and rappel in the Red River Gorge. Participants will soar through the tree canopy on ziplines at speeds up to 55 mph at 300 feet over the gorge. Availability: 24 slots (12 teams).
  • Whitewater rafting and outdoor quest – July 8-23 in Oakhill, W.Va. Activities include whitewater rafting, ziplining, mountain biking, horseback riding, mud/water pit challenges and lakeside activities. Availability: 30 slots (15 teams).
  • Ultimate Green River paddling and caving adventure – Aug. 15-18 at Mammoth Cave National Park. Events include flat water canoeing, caving, zipline/canopy and sky bridge adventure, coastal camping and backcountry cooking. Availability: 20 slots (10 teams).
  • Wounded warrior family excursion – Aug. 29-31 at the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville. This camp is for military families caring for a wounded warrior. Activities include participation in an equestrian program, archery, bowling, swimming, climbing wall, team-building activities, campfire program, hayride and canoeing/boating. Availability: 60 slots (up to 30 families).
  • The great equestrian challenge – Sept. 12-14 at the Life Adventure Center in Versailles. Activities include horseback riding, vaulting, horsemanship, trail riding, horse care and grooming and unmounted equestrian team building initiatives. Availability: 30 slots (15 teams).
  • Extreme wilderness survival outdoor expedition – Oct. 24-26 at the Land Between the Lakes in Golden Pond. Events include trapping, foraging, fishing, shelter building, fire starting, navigation, water purification, outdoor cooking, camping and hiking. Availability: 24 slots (12 teams).
  • Intense winter wilderness survival primitive skills – Jan. 16-18 at the Life Adventure Center. Activities include primitive wilderness survival, flint knapping (the process of chipping away material from high silica stones like "flint" in a carefully controlled manner with special tools to build arrowheads), bow building workshop, archery skills instruction and more. Availability: 24 slots (12 teams).
  • Snowshoe Mountain ski and snow adventure – Jan. 29-Feb. 2 in Elkins, W.Va. Events include downhill skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding and a snowmobile tour. Availability: 50 slots (25 teams).
  • Whitewater rafting, climbing, rappelling and outdoor expedition – April 24-27, 2015 in Ocoee Retreat Center, Ocoee, Tenn. The agenda includes whitewater rafting, rock climbing and rappelling, paintball competition, team building, and high ropes course adventure. Availability: 30 slots (15 teams).


Spaces are quickly filling in all camps. To sign up, visit




MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774.


Markey, LLS Host Third Annual 'Meet the Researchers Day'

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted their third annual "Meet the Researchers Day" on Tuesday. Meet the Researchers Day is a field trip given as a prize to two schools in the region who successfully raise more than $1,000 for the LLS's Pennies for Patients campaign.


This year, students from Meece Middle School (MMS) in Somerset, Ky., and Lexington Traditional Magnet School (LTMS) won the opportunity to visit the Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) on UK's campus and learned more about how the money they raised for Pennies for Patients will help further cancer research.


After a formal introduction by Kathleen O'Connor, researcher and associate director of cancer education for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the students had the opportunity to rotate between presentations by pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. John D'Orazio and biochemist Craig Vander Kooi. Additionally, researchers Tianyan Gao and Garretson Epperly assisted O'Connor in giving the students a tour of O'Connor's research lab space in the BBSRB.


Pennies for Patients is the annual fundraiser for the School & Youth division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It encourages students to collect spare change during a set three-week time frame early in the year. Funds raised support leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research; patient and community service; public health education; and professional education.


For this year's campaign, 233 schools across the region raised a total of $264,062.03. Kentucky schools participating in Pennies for Patients had to raise a minimum of $1,000 to win the chance to attend Meet the Researchers Day. MMS and LTMS were chosen in a random drawing, raising $1,216.55 and $2,505.21, respectively. 


To learn more about the Pennies for Patients program, visit


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

First UK Musical Theatre Class Showcases Talents in Technicolor With 'Joseph'

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:54

Trailer for UK Theatre's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."  Video by Zachary Norton/UK Theatre. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2014) — Following a season of offerings on comedic afterlife, holiday classics, breathtaking choreography and the themes of love, life and death, the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and the UK College of Fine Arts’ first class of musical theatre students will close the season with a musical parable of family and prophetic dreams. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will capture audiences with sensational music and a larger-than-life cast April 25 through April 27, at the Lexington Opera House.


In addition to closing out the UK Theatre season, “Joseph” highlights the talent of the first cohort of students completing the UK Musical Theatre Certificate program. Musical theatre student and Singletary Scholar Peter LaPrade will take the title role in the performance.


Music and theatre go hand-in-hand and UK's School of Music and Department of Theatre agree. UK now offers a program to create the best musical theatre experience possible, shaping talented students to utilize both acting and musical skills. Beginning in fall 2013, the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Certificate in Musical Theatre debuted, offering a range of collaborative coursework and performance experience by drawing on resources from both departments.


The success of the musical theatre program is already evident beyond the UK stage. "The Musical Theatre Certificate has brought a vitality, energy and creativity to our program that is palpable," said Nancy Jones, chair of UK Theatre. "Our first graduate, Michael Sheehy, who plays Pharaoh in "Joseph," will graduate in May and go straight into professional summer stock and a full-time internship at Orlando Shakespeare Festival in the fall."


In addition to the cast of talented UK Theatre and musical theatre students, “Joseph” combines talent from across Lexington to bring every aspect of the tale to life. 


Lexington Children’s Theatre Associate Education Director Amie Kisling will direct 20 children from the Lexington community in the performance. Many of the children are already stage veterans in their own right. Cast members J.T. Snow and Alex Simpson, of Lexington, were featured in UK Theatre’s sold-out production of "A Christmas Carol" last December.


Animating the story and songs, UK Director of Dance Susie Thiel will serve as choreographer after directing UK's "(RE)Action Winter Dance Concert" this January.


The production is directed by Russell Henderson, associate professor of theatre acting and voice, and long-time director of the acclaimed outdoor drama "The Stephen Foster Story." The musical powerhouse wouldn't be complete without a live orchestra and a mix of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Brock Terry, pastor of music for the First United Methodist Church in Lexington, conducts the "Joseph" musical repertoire.


UK Theatre, which presents most of its productions at the Guignol Theatre, is excited to bring this production to a larger venue.


"We are thrilled to present this family favorite for our first production at the Lexington Opera House, where we will get to showcase the phenomenal talent of our faculty designers, guest lighting designer Matthew Hallock of Centre College, our wonderful students and many of the area's child actors," Jones said.


The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this production, the first collaboration of Broadway dream team Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics). Joseph, his father’s favorite son, is blessed with prophetic dreams. When he is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of adventures in which his spirit and humanity are challenged. When news of Joseph’s gift reaches the Pharaoh, Joseph is on his way to becoming second in command. His brothers, having suffered greatly, find themselves groveling at the feet of the brother they betrayed. Joseph reveals himself leading to a heartfelt reconciliation of the sons of Israel.


Setting the Old Testament tale to a colorful range of music, dance and acting, the musical emerges both timely and timeless.


Since "Joseph" was written and first performed in 1968, about 40,000 productions of the story have entertained audiences. With a U.S. tour beginning last month, the show is in the midst of a national resurgence.


UK Theatre's performances of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for general admission. To purchase tickets, call 859-233-3535 or buy them online through Ticketmaster here



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale,