Campus News

UK Forestry Students, Extension Play Big Role in 2015 KY Wood Expo

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2015) — The Kentucky Wood Expo returns to Masterson Station Park in Lexington Sept. 18-19, and University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension will have a big hand in two days of educational and fun activities for the entire family.


The biennial event, sponsored by the Kentucky Forest Industries Association, offers classes, competitions and more than 100 exhibits and demonstrations for everyone, from the forest professional to simple lovers of wood and wildlife. Sawmill, pallet, logging, secondary and wood processing machinery will be on display along with a wide range of support services. Logger education classes will be offered, as well as educational opportunities for woodland owners.


Got Woodlands? One Acre at a Time, a woodland owner seminar offered by UK Forestry Extension in conjunction with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Kentucky Association of Consulting Foresters, will address woodland health issues, timber sales and working with wildlife biologists and foresters. The seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 19 and is a great opportunity to make important connections with experts who can help with woodland management.


Jeff Stringer, UK Forestry extension professor for hardwood silviculture and forest operations, will also offer a demonstration on small-scale logging using all-terrain vehicles and tractors. The session will run from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 19. To register for either One Acre at a Time or the small-scale logging session, call the UK Department of Forestry, 859-257-7597. Expo admission is required.


It’s not necessary to be a woodland owner or industry professional to enjoy this year’s expo. Other activities will include chainsaw carving demonstrations, open lumberjack competitions, knuckleboom and skidder contests, log guess, craft displays and a silent auction to benefit the Log a Load for Kids and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. On both days, woodworking classes taught by UK Forestry’s Bobby Ammerman will offer a chance for attendees to make their own free cutting board or birdhouse. A Critter Tent hosted by Steven Price, assistant professor of wildlife ecology in the UK Department of Forestry, and Blake Newton, extension specialist in the UK Department of Entomology, will have displays of Kentucky reptiles, amphibians, insects and spiders, plus a few insects from other parts of the world, such as tarantulas and giant roaches. Visitors can learn about the critters’ ecology and management as well as about invasive insect species, such as the emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid, which threaten Kentucky's trees.


UK Forestry associate extension professor Terry Conners will work his “wood magic” on both days of the expo. Demonstrating the importance of wood in everyday life, Conners will share information about wood properties, musical instruments, forest fires and more in a fun, interactive presentation. Everyone will leave with a wooden bubble blower. He and UK Forestry’s Billy Thomas will also hold a Saturday session on wood and tree identification.


College students from UK, University of Tennessee, West Virginia University and others will be competing in the 2015 Kentucky Wood Expo Conclave Sept. 19. Comprised of 12 events, the conclave has both men’s and women’s competitions for the underhand chop, stock chainsaw, axe-throwing and manual sawing, both single and pairs.


For a full schedule of events Kentucky Forest Industries Association’s website,



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

Impact Leadership Series Begins Sept. 30 With Info Session

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 10:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2015)  The Impact Leadership Series is right around the corner! This series will take place on Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Oct. 7 through Nov. 18, in White Hall Classroom Building Room 204.


The Impact Leadership Series is a seven-week series where students discover their own leadership style, learn the "5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership" and learn how to apply that knowledge to make an impact on the University of Kentucky and greater community.


An Impact Info Session will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, in White Hall Classroom Building Room 204 for students to find out more information about the series and hear from previous participants about their experiences in the program. Free dinner will be provided at the info session!


The Impact Leadership Series has been a major success in previous years.  Participants spoke volumes about last year's series.  The following provides some feedback offered by last year's participants:

·       "The series was great! It really helped me learn about myself. I honestly feel that I can help others better.”

·       "My behavior, my demeanor and my attitude will reflect what I’ve learned here in any given situation.”

·       “My biggest takeaway is the characteristics that are essential to being a good leader. The series sharpened my leadership skills.”


The Impact Leadership Series will include the following:

·       Exclusive access to the Leadership Practices Inventory - an online assessment to determine your best leadership practice

•           A Student Leadership Challenge workbook that will be used throughout the series

•           A certificate of completion at the end of the seven weeks

•           Free dinner during the first informational session 


This program is free and there are only 25 spots availableSign up today through OrgSync by using your LinkBlue log in.


For questions, please contact Leslie Pedigo at



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;

TEDxUKY Seeking Speakers From University, Community

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 10:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2015)  TEDxUKY is now seeking applications for those interested in speaking at its conference Oct. 28. 


“We're thrilled to have TEDxUKY back for a second year and hope to build on all of the progress made in 2014," said Nick Aerni, the executive director for the conference. "We believe not only that TEDxUKY can provide a powerful experience to Lexington, but that the Lexington and University of Kentucky community can leave its mark on the titan of idea sharing that TED has become."


Anyone who has an idea worth sharing is encouraged to apply to speak at the conference. Once the deadline to apply has passed, the TEDxUKY Executive Team will field the responses and invite the top 15 applicants to audition in person.  From that pool of applicants, six to eight speakers will be selected to give their talk at the conference.


TEDxUKY will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Marksbury Building on UK’s campus.  The conference is open to students and members of the Lexington community.  Tickets will be available in the coming weeks.


Follow TEDxUKY on Twitter or like its Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the latest TEDxUKY news.


TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading.  What started as a conference in California 26 years ago has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.  TEDx, similarly, is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. 


The deadline to apply to be a speaker at TEDxUKY is Monday, Sept. 21.  To apply, click here.



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;

Muscular Dystrophy Association Funds ALS Research at UK

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 17:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2015) — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) awarded Haining Zhu, a professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, a three-year, $300,000 grant to study the underlying mechanisms of ALS.


In an effort to accelerate treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases, the MDA distributed $10 million in grants this summer to scientists conducting significant research on muscular dystrophy, ALS and other muscle-debilitating diseases. Zhu’s research seeks to understand the mutations of the Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) gene, which is a known cause of ALS. He was one of 36 international researchers — and the only researcher in Kentucky — selected for MDA funding.


Zhu and his laboratory team will use MDA funding to build upon recent findings in the study of FUS protein modification and dysfunction occurring in ALS patients. At the cellular level, aberrant modifications of the FUS protein result in toxicity and neuronal death, which ultimately leads to ALS. Zhu and his collaborator Dr. Jianhang Jia, who is also a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and other colleagues are testing whether inhibiting the modification will reverse the effect by reducing toxicity and preventing neuronal death.


Zhu graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China. He received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2000 and joined the University of Kentucky in 2002.


“We are grateful that MDA is willing to support this research in the early stages of development,” Zhu said. “This grant will enable us to build upon these initial findings to better understand the disease and to develop future therapies.”


MDA is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to saving and improving the lives of people with muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. The MDA has contributed to 30 clinical trials in the past year alone for novel drugs and other therapies aimed at treating a broad spectrum of neuromuscular diseases.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Eat Well, Live Well Event Will Showcase Campus Health and Wellness Services

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 14:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2015) — As a part of University Health Service's (UHS) Wellness Week, University of Kentucky Dining along with UHS will host an event — Eat Well, Live Well — to showcase UK's campus health and wellness and sustainability services and offerings.


Eat Well, Live Well will be staged on the Rose Street walkway outside of the Mining and Minerals Building from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16.                   


UK students and employees who attend the event will receive an event passport that acts as an entry to a drawing at the end of the event. During the event, participants are encouraged to visit each sponsored table and receive a stamp from each campus partner.


Participants who receive a stamp on their passport from each campus partner will be entered into a drawing for $50 in Flex.


This event will include campus partners from UK Dining, Johnson Center Recreation, Student Dietetic & Nutrition Association (SDNA), UK Health and Wellness, Work Life, UHS and the Kinesiology and Health Promotion Club (KHP Club).



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

Video Shows Future of New $175 Million UK Student Center

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 13:43



LEXINGTON, Ky.  (Sept. 15, 2015) — The University of Kentucky has released a video depicting the future of the UK Student Center.


The UK Student Center is a $175 million, 360,000-square-foot building designed to be the heart of the university community. With a dedicated student organization space, Visitor Center, Martin Luther King Center, Blue Box Theater, Senate chambers, a social staircase, residential and retail dining, outdoor social spaces, a 650-seat Cinema, two large multi-use ballrooms, and a fitness complex, the UK Student Center will serve as the ‘living room’ of campus.


“We are committed to creating a Student Center that does just that: provides a community-gathering venue that serves as a welcoming respite for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors,” said Eric Monday, executive vice president of finance and administration.


The video displays all these services in graphic design animation.


Dedicated Student Org Space.  Students said they want more space for their student organization offices — spaces like the Center for Community Outreach, the Student Activities Board and Student Government. The new Student Center will provide a dedicated area for these offices, with more space than the previous facility. 


Visitor Center. A beautiful new Visitor Center will be located off of the skywalk leading from Parking Structure #5, allowing prospective students and families to enter this area immediately when they arrive on our campus. The plan is that prospective students will look around as they enter the building and say “wow…this is where I need to be.”


Martin Luther King Center. The Martin Luther King Center will be located at the heart of the building. It will house cultural heritage information, program and educational support functions, as well as social and cultural development areas.


Blue Box Theater. A 250 variable seat “Blue Box Theater” will be equipped with state of the art technology, making it flexible for all kinds of performances from recitals, to concerts, to experimental theater and performance art, to dinner theaters.  It will be a remarkable and innovative space.


Senate Chambers. An 80+ seat, high-tech senate chamber, equipped with video technology, roll-call voting and individual microphones will create an ideal space for Student Government functions and University Senate meetings, among other events.


Social Staircase. Located in the center of the building and inspired by the limestone creek and riverbeds, a huge social staircase will serve as an ideal space to see and be seen in the Student Center. This staircase will allow students to socialize, relax and converse in this area. The contours will resemble the bed of a “river of knowledge” flowing through the building.


Residential and Retail Dining. The residential dining area will accommodate more than 600 people, and will provide a large fresh food area. Retail dining options like Subway, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Greens to Go, Starbucks and other favorites will also be included.


Outdoor Social Spaces.  On all sides of the new and reimagined Student Center there will be outdoor social spaces for dining, informal programs, and socializing.  The outdoor spaces will interact seamlessly with space inside the Student Center in a very transparent way, so the outside becomes an active part of the Student Center.


Fitness Complex. Alumni Gym will be completely rebuilt inside the historic walls of the facility.  It will house cardio equipment, group fitness rooms, free weights, and other state-of-the-art fitness equipment.  Staff will be available to assist with health, wellness and exercise program planning and execution.


Carol Martin "Bill" Gatton, UK benefactor and Board of Trustees member, donated $20 million to the student center project in 2014, the single largest gift in UK’s history.


“I am a son of Kentucky, and I believe deeply in higher education,” Gatton said. “I believe deeply in what this university — the University of Kentucky — means to my native state. By investing in the students at the University of Kentucky, I am investing in Kentucky's future."


Planning and construction of the new UK Student Center began in summer 2014, and is expected to be completed by January 2018. Today, the final phase of demolition to the 1963 addition begins; however, the university is committed to preserving historic parts of the original student center, such as the entrance to Alumni Gym (as seen in the video), and honoring past student leaders on campus through artwork within the facility.


"This is a truly exciting time for UK students, and the entire University of Kentucky community,” said John Herbst, executive director of the Student Center.  “This major transformation of the UK Student Center will enhance the quality of student life in ways never before imagined.  The facility will set a new standard in building a university-centered learning environment and sense of UK pride in community building. It will become the legacy of current students for future generations of Wildcats decades into the future.  We hope you enjoy this video glimpse into the future!"


Currently, the UK Student Center services have been relocated to other areas on campus, such as dining and student services in Bowman’s Den, the temporary Bookstore on Lexington Avenue behind the Joe Craft Center and student center offices in Blazer Hall. Click here for a full list of relocated services.


For updates on the Student Center renovation, visit




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365;



Call for Proposals! Lead UK Conference is Looking for Workshop Proposals

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 12:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2015) — The fourth annual student leadership conference called Lead UK, presented by the Leadership Exchange in the University of Kentucky Office of Student Involvement, needs volunteers to lead worshops and present topic proposals. Any student, faculty or staff member who has a passion for helping students further their leadership skills is urged to take this opportunity to submit a proposal for a workshop session at the Lead UK Conference. 


This conference is focused on students who want to further their leadership skills, and workshops are expected to enhance this mission.  Some topic ideas are, but not limited to:

·      Building partnerships/collaboration

·      Leadership styles

·      Visioning and goal-setting

·      Diversity and inclusion

·      Organizational leadership (i.e. leading teams, managing a budget, event-planning, running effective meetings, etc.)


Workshop opportunities are available to students, faculty and staff. The conference will be held Saturday, Oct. 24. Workshops can be presented in one of two different time slots of either 11 a.m. to noon or 1 to 2 p.m. Applications are due Sept. 25. Applicants will be notified by Oct. 2 if their proposal is accepted. This conference is free for all students, faculty, and staff.


The workshop proposal form is online and can be accessed by clicking here.


If you have any questions, please contact Leslie Pedigo at or 859-257-3005.



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;

UK Students Among First Recipients of SEC Dr Pepper Education Abroad Awards

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 23:10

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Sept. 14, 2015) — Twenty-eight students representing each Southeastern Conference university will study abroad during the 2015-16 academic year, the result of a contribution to the league by Dr Pepper. The longtime SEC corporate sponsor allocated $100,000 to the conference to provide study abroad opportunities for high achieving SEC students with demonstrated financial need who represent nontraditional study abroad participants.


 Two students from each university are recipients. From the University of Kentucky, Adam Creamer, an environmental science major, will travel to Costa Rica, and Rockia Harris, a gender and women's studies major, will travel to South Africa.


“We are enthused to expand upon the SEC’s commitment to education by giving deserving students a chance to study abroad through the SECU academic initiative,” Jaxie Alt, senior vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper said when the program was established. “Dr Pepper has continued to fund one-of-a-kind dreams since 2008 through our tuition giveaway program, and now we are able to support the great work the SEC is doing.”


Each SEC university identified two students to participate in a faculty-led program occurring during either the summer, fall or spring terms. Funds will also be provided to selected students for the 2016-17 academic year.


“Increasing the amount and type of education abroad opportunities available to SEC students has been an SECU goal for more than a decade,” said Torie Johnson, executive director of the SECU Academic Initiative. “It’s exciting to know that thanks to Dr Pepper’s generosity, more SEC students than ever will have a life-changing experience in another part of the world.”


SECU was established in 2005 as the SEC Academic Consortium, and one of its original focal points was education abroad. In response, the consortium secured an Institute for Study Abroad Foundation grant to provide scholarships for SEC students to study at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. In addition, by utilizing a cooperative agreement, students from SEC universities now have access to programs offered at other SEC universities. Finally, the SEC also has a partnership with the Politecnico di Torino which gives SEC engineering students the opportunity to study in Torino, Italy, each spring.


Below is the list of SEC students, their universities, majors and destinations abroad.


Student                                                            Major                                       Destination

Brittany Groves, University of Alabama              History                               Germany

Joshua Harvey, University of Alabama               Interdisciplinary Studies    Semester at Sea  

Britney Washington, University of Arkansas       Chemical Engineering       Belize

Tevin Whitney, University of Arkansas                Social Work                      France

Isabella Premont, Auburn University                    Engineering                       China

James Sims, Auburn University                           Psychology                       Spain

Pearl Hanna, University of Florida                       Interior Design                   Czech Republic

Claudia Lievano, University of Florida                 Telecommunication           India

Aaron Kask, University of Georgia                       International Affairs          Germany

Attiyya Skeete, University of Georgia                   Biology                             Japan

Adam Creamer, University of Kentucky               Environmental Science   Costa Rica

Rockia Harris, University of Kentucky                  Gender & Women’s Studies  South Africa

Jaude’ Petrie, Louisiana State University             Biological Sciences          France

Nelson Williams, Louisiana State University         Classical Civilizations       Netherlands

Kenedi Hobson, University of Mississippi             Communication DisordersTanzania

Austin Powell, University of Mississippi                 Public Policy & Leadership Spain

Brandon Baxter, Mississippi State University        Chemical Engineering     Germany

Karissa Logan, Mississippi State University          Human Sciences             Italy

Stevie Winingear, University of Missouri               Anthropology                   Greece

Kenny Yang, University of Missouri                       Elementary Education    India

Sidney Cutter, University of South Carolina          International Studies        South Korea

Harrison Howell, University of South Carolina      Computer Science          Japan

William Burks, University of Tennessee                Biological Sciences         Spain

Nichole Stevens, University of Tennessee            Communication               England

Mitchell Parma, Texas A&M University                  Biomedical Sciences     Costa Rica

Kayla Villarreal, Texas A&M University                  Visualization                   Italy

Jason Miller, Vanderbilt University                         Biomedical Engineering  Australia

Hannah Stack, Vanderbilt University                      Latin American Studies  Chile  




Tech Entrepreneur, Owner of Sacramento Kings Speaks at Gatton This Morning

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 22:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015)Vivek Ranadivé, founder of Teknekron Software Systems and TIBCO Software Inc. and owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA team, will speak at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics at 10 a.m. today, Monday Sept. 14, in the Kincaid Auditorium in the Gatton Building.


The campus community is invited to attend.


Ranadivé will speak on "Emerging Technologies that will define the Future of Business."  His data system was deployed as the first platform for Wall Street trading technology, and his software powers most trading floors today.  TIBCO has expanded that work to  other industries including retail clients, governments, financial institutions, tech companies, and major sports teams.

Education Abroad Opportunities To Be Showcased at Annual Fall Fair

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 15:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2015) — University of Kentucky Education Abroad (UK EA) is hosting the annual Fall Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Buell Armory on UK's campus. This event is open to all students, faculty and staff who are interested in learning more about education abroad at UK.


The annual Fall Fair is the first and biggest event of the year for UK EA. This kick-off event provides students an opportunity to explore the international academic programs offered by UK EA and partner providers.


This year the fair will highlight education abroad programs within each college so students can easily access program options relevant to their academic interests. The colleges will feature each department’s major advising pages (MAPs) so that students can discuss their education abroad goals with a representative from their college. New education abroad programs available specifically to UK students, such as Blue Grass Down Under and First Year Seminar in London, will also be introduced at the fair.


“For some students, our Fall Fair is the first exposure they have to Education Abroad,” said Austin Hughes, UK EA promotion and outreach coordinator. “Our goal is to make international education less daunting.”


Other campus resources such as the Office of Student Financial Aid, Wildcat Passport Services and National Student Exchange will be available to share their services and answer student’s questions. In addition to these informational resources, fun awaits! Students will be able to enjoy candy, popcorn, receive free T-shirts and take part in a UK EA photo booth.


Education Abroad at the University of Kentucky is a unit of the International Center. Its primary responsibility is to facilitate high quality, academically sound and experientially rich study abroad, research abroad and intern abroad programs for University of Kentucky students. More information about the International Center can be found at


Connect with Education Abroad at Visit 315 Bradley Hall to talk with an Education Abroad Peer Ambassador, email or call (859) 257-4067 for more information.



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

UK Historians Publish Five Books in One Month

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 15:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of History needs to build an extra book shelf. 


Five department faculty members — Ronald Formisano, Erik Myrup, Gerald Smith, Jeremy Popkin and Akiko Takenaka — published their own books between July and August of 2015.  The publication of five books in a year is a significant achievement for many academic units, but the publication of five books in one month is unprecedented at UK. 


The simultaneous publication of five books by faculty at varying stages of their careers indicates the diversity and depth of talent in the UK history department, said the department’s interim chair, Tracy Campbell.


“Five books in one month is a really big deal, and we want to celebrate with Lexington,” Campbell said.


In order to directly connect Lexington with the authors, the history department and Morris Book Shop have collaborated to host an authors’ reception at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. 


Writing a book, Campbell said, is a tremendous commitment involving years of research, travel and endless editing. Each of these books is unique, covering a wide range of interests: Plutocracy in America, power and corruption, historiography, Kentucky’s African America heritage, and postwar Japan.


Authors will address their research and inspiration, and event attendees can meet the authors, ask questions and obtain signatures.   


“This is a chance to celebrate with the Lexington community,” Campbell said.  “We want to share with people, inside and outside of UK, the remarkable productivity and creativity of the UK history department.” 


The history professors’ new books are:

·        Ronald Formisano – “Plutocracy in America: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor,” John Hopkins University Press

·        Erik Myrup – “Power and Corruption in the Early Modern World,” LSU Press

·        Jeremy Popkin – “From Herodotus to H-Net; The Story of Historiography,” Oxford University Press

·        Gerald Smith – “The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia,” The University Press of Kentucky

·        Akiko Takenaka – “Yasukuni Shrine: History, Memory, and Japan’s Unending Postwar,” The University of Hawaii Press


For more information, contact The Morris Book Shop, 882 E. High St. in Lexington, 859-276-0494,



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


'BrownGirl. Bluegrass.' to Return to its Kentucky Roots

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 15:27


Trailer for "BrownGirl.Bluegrass."


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — University of Kentucky theatre alumna Lacresha Berry is set to bring her show, "BrownGirl. Bluegrass.," to the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center in Lexington, for its fifth anniversary Oct. 6 and 7.


Berry's show is an autobiographical story that examines the cultural history of African Americans in Kentucky while honoring the work of her ancestors whose lives parallel with her own. "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is a one-woman show with seven original songs that evoke ideas of womanhood, family, love and race.


Berry, a Kentucky native, used her hometown of Lexington for more than just inspiration for her story. She conducted her own research at the UK Libraries' Archives to discover important African Americans in Lexington, such as Oliver Lewis, the jockey who won the first Kentucky Derby, Lucy Harth Smith, a pioneer who worked for equality in public schools, and Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin, an activist who was shot encouraging African Americans to vote.


In addition to Berry, "BrownGirl. Bluegrass." has another tie to UK. This production is directed by journalism alumna Shauna Horn. Berry received her bachelor's degree in theatre from UK in 2003. The play was composed by David Cohn.


"BrownGirl. Bluegrass." is set to make its Lexington debut at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 6 and 7, at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Both shows are free and open to the public. To reserve tickets, call the Lyric Box Office at 859-280-2218.


A day before the production is staged, the playwright will participate in a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at Blue Stallion Brewing Co.


The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center was a thriving entertainment centerpiece for Lexington's African-American families from 1948 to 1963. Before its closing, numerous small black-owned businesses were launched in and around the theatre as well. The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center was reopened in October 2010 in an effort to preserve, promote and celebrate diverse cultures and community inclusion with a special emphasis on the African-American experience.



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


Plant Extract From Traditional Indian Medicine May Fight Blood Cancer

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 13:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky study shows that withaferin A, a component of Withania somnifera (winter cherry) plant extract, may hold promise as a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


Winter cherry extract was used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for thousands of years before it caught the interest of Subbarao Bondada, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor and researcher for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Because withaferin A shows promise in treating other cancers without the side effects associated with current treatments, Bondada’s laboratory tested it against lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and is known for being particularly aggressive.


Unlike other studies using withaferin A to treat cancer, Bondada’s study, published in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, is the first to test the chemical against a blood cancer. Previous studies using withaferin A focused on cancers producing tumors that grow as a mass in tissue, more commonly known as solid tumors.


Katie McKenna, a graduate student in Bondada’s laboratory, found that withaferin A prevented the lymphoma cells from dividing and ultimately killed them. Specifically, they found withaferin A directly targeted a signaling pathway in the cancer it needs to survive.


“It may be possible to develop orally administered versions of withaferin A that could be used in lymphoma patients with fewer side effects than current chemotherapy regimens,” Bondada said.


Because withaferin A shows promise in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Bondada’s team is now testing the chemical on chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.


Bondada's group collaborated with University of Louisville Professor Ramesh Gupta, who aided in the isolation of withaferin A. This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute to the UK Markey Cancer Center, the National Institutes of Health, Office of Vice President for Research for Core Research facilities and the Sabinsa Corporation and does not necessarily represent the views of these institutions.


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

Enrollment, Academic Quality Show UK is Poised for Excellence

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 22:56

HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto believes that the last four years of UK's campus transformation has helped lay a foundation — the goal of which is achieving excellence in everything that happens at the institution.


"We are conducting research that tackles the state's most pressing challenges. We are providing service in every corner of the Commonwealth," Capilouto said. "And, increasingly, the students we recruit and graduate signal that the UK brand means excellence throughout Kentucky and the region."


The foundation for excellence, Capilouto said, is evidenced most recently in preliminary 2015-2016 enrollment numbers released Friday during a meeting of the Board of Trustees in Hazard.


"Four years ago, the Board of Trustees charted an ambitious path forward — one that focused on academic excellence in every phase of our mission, but that particularly focused on the success of students," Capilouto said. "This fall's first-year class, and our overall enrollment, testifies to the progress we've made in achieving our goal to be a first-choice university for the best students, faculty and staff."


Highlights of enrollment for this fall include:


  • A larger campus, educating more students: With 5,217 students this fall, it's the second consecutive year, UK has had more than 5,000 students in its first-year class as well as the second consecutive year the university has had more than 30,000 students overall. It's a 21 percent increase in first-year students since 2010.


  • The most academically prepared: The average ACT of first-year students is 25.5; the average GPA is 3.68; 117 students in this class are National Merit, Hispanic and Achievement Scholars and more than 700 students had ACT/SAT scores of 31 or above


  • An increasingly diverse campus: Nearly 560 students in this first-year class are African Americans, more than 10 percent of the class; 265 are Hispanic. The UK campus is now the most diverse in its history


  • Poised for greater progress in the future: The UK Office of Retention and Student Success reports that UK's first-to-second year retention was a record 82.7 percent, with the largest ever-returning cohort of students at 4,253. The six-year graduation rate is 61 percent, the second highest in the school's history.


"We have an incredible enrollment management team, led by Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Don Witt, who visits every high school in the state and the leading schools in the region," Capilouto said. "Their efforts, and our increasing quality as a first-choice institution, are paying off as reflected in this class."


In the past four years, UK has initiated — or is about to begin — more than $1.8 billion in capital construction projects, focused on living, learning and dining spaces, as well as classroom and research facilities. That foundation, according to Capilouto, is designed to create one of the pre-eminent living, learning and research environments in American public higher education.


Provost Tim Tracy said "strategic, smart growth" has been UK's focus the past four years, efforts that have paid off. Now, as UK and the Board of Trustees consider a new strategic plan in an upcoming retreat in October, the focus will be even more on student success through increased retention and graduation rates as well as how well the institution is preparing those graduates for success in the broader world.


"We have laid a strong foundation — through infrastructure and through more strategic approaches to student success," Tracy said. "Much progress has been made; there is still much work to do. Our strategic plan — along with the direction and leadership of our board — will focus intently on how we build on the foundation and progress that has been made as we continue our ascent as one of the country's premier, public residential research campuses."


"We don't build for ourselves; we build for Kentucky's future. We are the university for Kentucky. Our research tackles Kentucky questions. Our service touches every Kentucky community," Capilouto said. "And we are creating an environment that prepares our students to lead and compete in a global economy. We are ensuring that Kentucky has the workforce it needs to thrive in the 21st century."


UK Board Holds Historic Meeting in Hazard

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 22:23

HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2015) — In 2015, the University of Kentucky commemorated 150 years as the Commonwealth's flagship, land-grant institution.


As part of that yearlong celebration, the institution and its leaders are finding ways to underscore the enduring commitment — and linkage — between the Commonwealth and a university that exists to serve the state.


On Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, UK's Board of Trustees is holding its regularly scheduled two-day meeting in Hazard. Two board committees met yesterday; more will meet today, the full board of Trustees meets at 1 p.m. today at Hazard Community and Technical College.  The agenda can be found here:


Keith Gannon, chair of the UK Board of Trustees, said the meeting is an important "symbol of our steadfast partnership with and for communities throughout Kentucky. We exist to educate, to conduct research, to provide care and to serve. And we do that in every corner and community of this Commonwealth. We are the university for Kentucky."


Gannon said board members had been discussing among themselves for months the desire to hold a meeting away from UK's Lexington campus.


Hazard, he said, was a natural pick as the relationship and ties with the university are particularly deep in Eastern Kentucky.


While in Hazard, UK celebrated its longstanding mobile dental clinic and toured UK's Center for Excellence in Rural Health and key partner Appalachian Regional Hospital.


UK HealthCare has partnerships with health care providers throughout the region. UK's Cooperative Extension Service also chose Eastern Kentucky as the launching pad for the nation's first fine arts extension officer, and the university currently has some 125 research projects in the region, focused on addressing health issues and other challenges.


"Our campus is the Commonwealth," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "Through our building transformation, we are building stronger communities on our campus for living, learning and research. But those buildings — and our efforts — are also about partnering with and for communities throughout our state. Nowhere is that partnership more evident, or stronger, than in the Appalachian region of Kentucky."


Board members also will have an opportunity to learn about the UK College of Education’s partnership efforts with the Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative — a component of the college's P-20 initiative to improve innovation in the state's school system. And on Friday, Hazard Community and Technical College President Stephen Greiner will make a presentation to the board.


The regular committees of the board meeting in Hazard are University Health Care, Investment, Academic and Student Affairs, and Finance, as well as the Audit and Compliance Subcommittee.


"This meeting is a powerful symbol of partnership — not only with Eastern Kentucky, but the entire Commonwealth that we serve," Gannon said. "But it's also a working meeting, one in which we hope to continue to chart an ambitious course toward being one of the country's thriving, residential public research campuses.


"One of the best ways we accomplish that mission is by honoring our historic roots as Kentucky's land-grant institution — dedicated to service, committed to creating a brighter path for the future. This meeting is a tangible expression of our commitment to those goals and that mission of service."

Cavanaugh Honored as Distinguished Delta Chi

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 15:54


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015)  Professor Carey Cavanaugh, director of the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, was recently designated as one of two “Distinguished Delta Chis” for 2015. 


Cavanaugh became a member of Delta Chi while an undergraduate at the University of Florida where he studied Russian language and literature.


The award will be presented before the Sept. 19 UK-University of Florida football game by 12 Delta Chi Florida Chapter alumni who will travel to Lexington for the presentation. A formal ceremony will also take place at Delta Chi Fraternity’s 2016 convention in Louisville.


Cavanaugh’s selection for this honor was based upon his outstanding civic service in higher education and his past and continuing engagement to help promote peace efforts around the world. Cavanaugh was an ambassador and peace mediator at the U.S. Department of State before coming to UK to lead the Patterson School. 


While there is no active Delta Chi chapter at UK, Cavanaugh remains involved in fraternity matters. He currently serves on a presidential commission for the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) that is tasked with addressing the issue of fraternity hazing on college and university campuses in the United States and Canada.  That commission is working in tandem with separate presidential commissions focused on sexual assault and alcohol abuse. When their work is completed next year, these commissions’ reports and recommendations will impact more than 5,500 fraternity chapters on over 800 university and college campuses (including UK) with approximately 350,000 members.


Delta Chi was founded as a law fraternity at Cornell University in 1890. Today, it is headquartered in Iowa City, operating 120 chapters and colonies in the U.S. and Canada with more than 120,000 alumni. Delta Chi maintained an active chapter at the University of Kentucky from 1913-1981 and a colony briefly from 2004-2006.



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

Human Rights Activist Wai Wai Nu Visits UK

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 12:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2015) — On Thursday, Sept. 17, Burmese human rights activist Wai Wai Nu will speak to the University of Kentucky campus community about Myanmar’s growing political crisis with a particular focus on Buddhist nationalism and ethic violence in that country.


Wai Wai Nu (pronounced Way-Way-Noo) was arrested as a teenager because of her father’s political activism and comes from the persecuted Muslim Rohingya community.  She has dedicated herself to working for human and women’s rights. In 2012, after seven years of imprisonment on political charges Nu was released and quickly formed the Women’s Peace Network Arakan where she now works as director. 


She is 28 years old; one quarter of that time spent behind bars. In 2014, she was selected as a "100 Top Woman" by the BBC. In June, President Obama invited her to attend a Ramadan iftar (the evening meal during the period of fasting) at the White House. She was seated at the President’s table, underscoring U.S. interest in this issue.


There are approximately one million Rohingya living in Myanmar’s Rakhine state (also known as Arakan). Most are denied citizenship, with the government implying that they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. They face significant restrictions on travel, education and employment. A recent UNHCR report declared the population “stateless” and “virtually friendless amongst Myanmar’s other ethnic, linguistic and religious communities.” 


Nu will speak from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the west end room on the 18th floor of the Patterson Office Tower. The event is free and open to the public.


Nu’s appearance on campus is sponsored by UK’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and the University of Louisville’s Center for Asian Democracy.



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

Oswald Award Submissions Open to Undergrads

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 11:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research is now accepting submissions for the Oswald Research and Creativity Program Award.


The Oswald Program Award, established in 1964 by then-UK President John Oswald, is intended to promote creativity in all fields of study. The program accepts reports of all forms of creativity and scholarship by undergraduate students. Any current UK undergraduate (full- or part-time) who does not already have a four-year degree is eligible for this competition and is invited to submit papers and other projects in the following categories:


·         Biological Sciences

·         Design (architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, etc.)

·         Fine Arts (film, music, painting, sculpture, video, etc.)

·         Humanities: Creative

·         Humanities: Critical Research

·         Physical and Engineering Sciences

·         Social Sciences


To submit an entry, visit The deadline to submit is Thursday, Oct. 29.


Awards in each category are: First Place: $350; Second Place: $200; and Honorable Mention, if applicable. Entries are judged on originality, clarity of expression, scholarly or artistic contribution, and the validity, scope and depth of the project or investigation.


For more information on submission guidelines, visit


The UK Office of Undergraduate Research is part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.




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

UK Conference to Focus on Integrating Behavioral Health Care Into Primary Care

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 11:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work in collaboration with the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine and KVC Behavioral Health is hosting a conference on integrated behavioral health into the primary care field on Sept. 18.


The conference will bring social workers, physicians, psychologists, nurses and certified alcohol and other drug abuse counselors (CADCs) together to better understand pressing issues facing today's health care industry.


Carlton Craig, a faculty associate at the UK Center on Trauma and Children and associate professor of social work, said, "We hope that this Integrated Behavioral Health Conference will serve the community’s needs and will expand to a larger event in the next couple of years."


There will be two plenary sessions at the one-day conference. The morning plenary will be presented on the evolution of pediatric abusive head trauma by Dr. Melissa Currie, a pediatrician specializing in child abuse pediatrics at Kosair Children's Hospital.


The afternoon plenary will be presented by Ginny Sprang, the executive director at the Center on Trauma and Children. Sprang will talk about improving behavioral health care to children who suffer from traumatic stress conditions.


Participants in the conference will also have the opportunity to attend a series of breakout sessions on various topics.


Those who attend the conference will receive six continuing education credits (CEU/CME). The CEUs/CMEs are approved by the Kentucky Board of Social Work; the Kentucky Board of Psychological Examiners; the Kentucky Board of Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors; the Ohio Counselor Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board; the Kentucky Board of Nursing; and Area Health Education Centers.


The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office. Registration is $120 in advance and $160 at the door.  For more information or to register, click here.





Novelist Hannah Pittard on WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 19:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 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.  Sitting in for Godell today, Kentucky Women Writers Conference Director Julie Wrinn chats with novelist Hannah Pittard, who is also an assistant professor of creative writing at UK. 


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.