Campus News

Shelton Named Finalist in Knight Cities Challenge

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 17:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) — Abigail Shelton, a University of Kentucky freshman Honors student from Mount Washington, Kentucky, has been selected as a finalist in the first Knight Cities Challenge, a national call for new ideas to make 26 communities around the country more vibrant places to live and work. The program is funded by the Knight Foundation, and the 26 communities are all locations where the Knight family once owned newspapers, including Lexington, home of the Lexington Herald-Leader.


Shelton, a computer science major in the UK College of Engineering, is one of 126 finalists. There were more than 7,000 submissions from many public and government organizations, design experts, urban planning organizations, and individuals.


The challenge asked applicants to answer the question: what's your best idea to make cities more successful?


Shelton's submission was on behalf of her UK Honors class, "Citizen Kentucky" taught by associate professor Buck Ryan. The idea is "Fancy Lex," which aims to inspire Lexington residents to become involved in the city by hosting an event similar to the annual Fancy Farm picnic in Western Kentucky. "Fancy Lex" would give Lexington residents an opportunity to meet local leaders while enjoying the city's finest food, music and local goods.


Shelton said that recent election research has made her and her peers question their generation's apathy toward civic engagement.


"What happened to old-fashioned parades, stump speeches, community picnics, and city gatherings at the courthouse?" Shelton said. "We hope to inspire younger generations to follow the steps of their grandparents and great-grandparents by doing civically engaged things, such as meeting their representatives, attending public forums, or donating time to charities. We hope to learn and foster growth to our generation’s unseen capacity to understand and engage in public life; ultimately, building a greater sense of community, a dying virtue."


While honored to be selected as a finalist, Shelton stressed that she did not come up with the proposal alone. Her fellow students Courtney Eaton, Clay Thornton and Scotty Reams, helped to develop the idea.


"I have never attended our inspiration for the event (Fancy Farm), but Clay has, and he has lived in Lexington his entire life, so he was a huge contributor to the development of our idea and writing of the proposal," Shelton said. "After we had a better idea of what 'Fancy Lex' would be, we got in touch with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and his staff, including senior advisor Scott Shapiro. He loved our idea, and was able to help us with the details of it."


Winners of the Knight Cities Challenge, who will receive a share of $5 million, will be announced this spring.


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. 

UK Hosts Public Forums, Opportunities to Provide Input and Shape Transportation Master Plan

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 17:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) The University of Kentucky has begun work on a Transportation Master Plan aimed at improving access and mobility to, from and around campus for all members of the UK community.


As part of the planning process, the university is seeking input and feedback on both the challenges facing the university in terms of transportation, parking and mobility, as well as ideas about potential solutions.


Sasaki, a Boston-based planning firm, was selected to develop the UK Transportation Master Plan. Working with Sasaki consultants to ensure integration with the overall Campus Master Plan, the university will hold two forums open to the public on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 9:30-11 a.m. in the Center Theater in the UK Student Center
  • Thursday, Jan. 29, from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Pav A Auditorium at UK HealthCare's Chandler Hospital

Additionally, community members are encouraged to visit the Transportation Master Plan website to receive updates and submit feedback.




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


Sidewalk on Avenue of Champions, From Roselle Hall to South Limestone Closed Until August

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 16:20
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) As a part of the Limestone Park I construction project, the sidewalk along Avenue of Champions from the west side of Roselle Hall to South Limestone has been closed.  


The sidewalk and one lane of Avenue of Champions are currently closed due to utility work in that traffic lane. The traffic lane and adjacent bike lane are scheduled to re-open Friday, Jan. 16; however, the sidewalk will not re-open when the street re-opens Friday.


The sidewalk will remain closed until August 2015 in the interest of safety. Click here to view a map of the area.


This project is part of the largest revitalization of campus housing taking place in all of public higher education — a public-private partnership with EdR, a national leader in the development of student housing.


Learn more about UK's campus transformation here.





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

Daniel Hernandez Exhibit Explores 'Genesis' From Bible to Sega

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 16:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) — The University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies has welcomed artist Daniel Hernandez to campus for an exhibition and residency. The public is invited to experience Hernandez’s work as well through "Genesis," an exhibition presented at UK’s Tuska Center for Contemporary Art, located in the Fine Arts Building. "Genesis" will have a closing reception beginning 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at Tuska. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.


The exhibition "Genesis" opened Jan. 10 and will close Feb. 12. In conjunction with the show, the artist will present a free public lecture at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Briggs Theatre in the Fine Arts Building.


"Genesis" is defined as “the coming into being of something; the origin,” but like many words that can be used as both noun and proper noun, what it communicates depends largely on its usage.


Two of usages of the word genesis, and the relationship that exists between them, are particularly interesting and relevant to Hernandez’s body of work. In the first, "Genesis" is the title of a religious text. In the second, "Genesis" is the Sega video game console that hit the home gaming market in the late 1980s. While these two usages come from very different traditions, they share some common ground.


On a basic level both signify a type of narrative device. In the case of the religious text, the Book of Genesis houses the creation stories that are part of the Christian tradition; Noah’s Ark, Adam and Eve, etc. Similarly, the Sega Genesis game console is a vehicle for narrative games like "Golden Axe," "Streets of Rage," "Altered Beast" and others.


On another level, both of the narrative collections that are associated with these usages of "Genesis" utilize the supernatural and mythic as a central and reoccurring theme. Hernandez admits that these comparisons may be a stretch, but he says that within the space that is created by embracing such eccentric relationships there exists interesting possibilities for artistic exploration.

Hernandez was born in San Diego, California, in 1977. He received a bachelor's degree in 2000 from Northwest Missouri State and a master's degree in 2002 from American University. Hernandez’s paintings explore the visual dialogue between religion, mythology and pop culture. 


Artwork by Hernandez has been presented in two solo exhibitions at Kim Foster Gallery (New York City), where he is currently represented. He has also had solo shows in galleries in Ohio, Michigan and Arkansas. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including shows at Shizaru Gallery (London, United Kingdom); Southern Ohio Museum (Portsmouth, Ohio); Cindy Rucker Gallery (New York City); Strohl Art Center (Chautauqua, New York); Contemporary Arts Center (Las Vegas, Nevada); Lehman College Art Gallery (Brooklyn, New York); Westport Art Center (Westport, Connecticut); and Riffe Gallery (Columbus, Ohio).


Hernandez is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Art at the University of Toledo. He was awarded the Bellinger Award at the Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art in 2010 and 2013, and was selected for an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellency Award in 2011.


The UK School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studies, and art education.



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

Central Bank Partnering With UK-UofL Executive MBA

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 16:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) — Central Bank has committed to enriching the experience of University of Kentucky - University of Louisville Executive MBA (EMBA) Program participants by sponsoring special events in 2015 that will bring in C-suite executives to speak with students in small group settings. C-suite refers to a corporation's most senior level executives.


Central Bank's $20,000 commitment for the coming year includes sponsoring two series of events:


Four-Part Friday Dinner Series

This dinner speaker series will introduce C-suite executives selected by the universities to EMBA program participants across four select Friday nights in 2015. The speaker series will alternate between local restaurants in Louisville and Lexington.


Kickoff Dinner and Graduation Reception

The Graduation Reception celebrates the 2014-15 program participants' degree completion. The reception will include EMBA participants and their spouses, and will be held in Lexington in December 2015. Central Bank will also sponsor the EMBA Kickoff Dinner for the 2015-16 cohort, which is currently being recruited to begin in August 2015, in Louisville. The first kickoff dinner was held at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and featured Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer as guest speaker.


"Central Bank is delighted to partner with these two great universities to provide these enhanced opportunities for participants in this exciting, top-quality program," said James Clay Smith, president of Central Bank of Jefferson County.


The EMBA program, aimed at rising executives from regional organizations, draws upon the experience and expertise of outstanding faculty from both UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics and UofL's College of Business. It features Friday and Saturday classes on every other weekend, with sessions split between the UK campus in Lexington and the UofL campus in Louisville. The program's 46-credit-hour curriculum includes 22 hours on management, six on current business issues, four each on accounting, economics, finance and marketing, and two on quantitative methods. This first group of executives will graduate from the 17-month program in December 2015.


While the initial agreement is for one year, Central Bank officials said they will evaluate the speaker series and other special events with EMBA program leadership on an ongoing basis, with the possibility that the arrangement could be extended into the future.


"We are grateful for Central Bank’s wonderful support in further enhancing our EMBA,” said Joe Labianca, Gatton Endowed Chair in Management, director of the Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center, and co-director of the Executive MBA Program. "The ability to bring in highly accomplished speakers to engage with the students adds another layer of quality and depth to our program both by exposing our program participants to the executives, while affording executives from important regional organizations an up-close view of our program’s quality."


U of L's Executive Director of MBA Programs, Career Management, and Public Relations Vernon Foster added, "Our students already are setting a very high standard for this program. Central Bank's generosity will enable us to build upon our strong start."


UofL and UK officials have said the program will boost Kentucky’s business climate by providing an advanced education to emerging leaders who might otherwise leave the area.


As mentioned earlier, the recruiting process is underway for the next EMBA group. For more details, see or contact Joe Labianca at 859-257-3741, or, Vernon Foster at 502-852-2855.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200/; Michelle Lowe, 859-257-1838/

Contest Offers Prizes for Beating Tobacco Addiction

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 15:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) – A new year can entice people to think about making resolutions and resolutions often involve improving one's health, like losing weight or quitting smoking. According to Ellen Hahn, professor at the UK College of Nursing and co-director of UK's Tobacco-free Campus Initiative, smoking is not simply a habit as it is so often referred to; it is a nicotine addiction. Tobacco smoke leads to an estimated 10,000 deaths every year in the state of Kentucky alone.


If you are an employee who smokes on the University of Kentucky campus and have been considering giving up smoking, now is your time, and there is a chance to win a substantial amount of cash. The UK Tobacco-free Campus Initiative, along with UK HealthCare, are sponsoring the Quit and Win Contest as a way to encourage UK employees to improve their health and quality of life. The contest, which runs from Jan. 16 to Feb. 16, is open only to UK faculty and staff, including employees of an affiliated corporation, who are 18 years of age or older and current tobacco users who have smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days. 


Debbie DeGonia, an Eastern State Hospital employee for nearly 10 years, started smoking 28 years ago when she worked at the Fayette County Jail.


"You were able to smoke inside buildings back then," DeGonia said. "I was saved from a lot of hostile inmates wanting to fight by the sharing of a cigarette. People would rather smoke than fight. The problem was I kept the habit after I left my job at the jail."


DeGonia's doctor has requested that she stop smoking for several years after she started noticing shortness of breath as a result of her smoking. She says she has considering stopping on several occasions but quickly ran out of motivation. When she saw the advertisement for the Quit and Win Contest, she knew she had found the motivation that might see her through to quitting for good.


"I get to quit smoking, have better breath, save over a hundred dollars a month, have a fresher smelling house and car, and I make my doctor happy. On top of all that I have a chance to win a nice little sum of money. I just can't pass this opportunity up. So February 16th I may be $1,000 richer or at least I will beat that nasty habit."


News of the Quit and Win Contest was first announced on UKNow in November. Contest prizes include one first place prize of $1,000; two second place prizes of $500 each; and two third place prizes of $250. Individuals can enroll in the contest through an online enrollment form. Individuals without internet access can enroll via phone by calling Amanda Fallin at 859-317-1673. Participants must verify their smoking status through exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring before the start of the contest. 


Registration and CO monitoring stations are set up across campus in various locations from Jan. 12 to Jan. 16. Participants will be required to sign up for a specific date, time and location to complete CO monitoring. Entrants who complete the online registration as well as the CO monitoring will receive an official notification of entry into the contest.


To be eligible to win the contest, participants should refrain from smoking and other tobacco use for the 30-day duration of the contest. Participants who wish to enter to win a prize must sign a document attesting that they did not use any tobacco products in the past 30 days (including traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chew, pipes, cigars, hookah or waterpipe smoking, snus, snuff, etc.). In addition, participants who attest to not smoking must verify their CO in person between Feb. 16 and Feb. 19. 


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

Nursing Dean Gives First State of the College Address

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 09:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) – In her first State of the College address as dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Janie Heath told faculty and staff when people hear Kentucky in the days and weeks to come, they’ll think of nursing excellence as often as they do basketball. Citing an impressive list of College innovations and firsts in nursing, including the first doctorate (PhD) program in the region and the first Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) in the nation, Heath said,  “It is time to start moving off of the #21 spot on US News & World Report’s rankings to the #10 spot for graduate nursing programs.  We have the right talent and it is the right time to make a significant impact in lives of Kentuckians and beyond."


In discussing her thoughts and plans for the future, Heath made reference to three key areas of focus for the journey to top 10: fiscal health, operational health and structural health. While each identified areas for improvement in processes, academic program growth and resource management, the opportunities were abundantly clear. “I have never been in an environment with so much academic nursing strength,” Heath said. “It will be a joy to see how we test new innovative models of education, expand our research portfolio, grow nursing faculty practice and ramp up our philanthropic efforts."


"That’s not to say the road will be easy,especially given today’s fiscal challenges. No doubt there will be some twists and turns. Unfortunately, there is no GPS that guarantees a way to success. We have to be nimble and ready to adjust and move forward as we learn together, refocus together and move forward together.”


Heath emphasized, “Although this is a general roadmap, not the tactics—my hope is to give you a sense about our direction and to assure you that my vision for the College is a shared vision, one that builds on the success and excellence of this College and all that it stands for.”


Heath said that as dean her overriding goal is to create healthy working and learning environments, build sustainable relationships, focus on measurable and reportable outcomes and ensure meaningful impact. “It will take all of us working together as partners to successfully achieve quality improvement processes at the College, advance nursing science and graduate more students that improve patient–family centered outcomes, implement care coordination and care transition and lower costs."


The College’s mission is solid and the partnerships and opportunities are there to move the needle on health and wellness inside and outside Kentucky," Heath said. “We must strengthen our communication efforts as an institution and as individuals to get the word out. We want everyone to know about our nursing excellence and the impact it’s having in the region, in the nation and around the world for education, research, practice and service.”


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

Spring Semester Move-in Will Impact Parking on UK Campus

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 17:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 13, 2015) — University of Kentucky residence halls opened at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11. Spring semester move-in, which continues until Wednesday, Jan. 14, will impact parking in the following areas:

  • Martin Luther King Boulevard:  The city bagged the meters on the east side of Martin Luther King Boulevard with “No Parking, Loading Zone only” signs effective Sunday, Jan. 11 through Wednesday, Jan. 14. 
  • Lexington Avenue:  The city bagged the meters on the west side of Lexington Avenue, with “No Parking, Loading Zone only” signs effective Sunday, Jan. 11 through Wednesday, Jan. 14.
  • Avenue of Champions:  The city bagged the meters in front of Roselle Hall with “No Parking, Loading Zone only” signs effective Sunday, Jan. 11 through Wednesday, Jan. 14.
  • Woodland Avenue:  The city posted “No Parking, Unloading Zone only” signs in the area in front of Woodland Glen, effective Sunday at 2 p.m. through Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m.

In addition, there will be one tree-lined sidewalk open between Hilltop Avenue and Woodland Avenue in the complex mall area. There will be an additional sidewalk open between University Drive and the complex mall area.


Signage will indicate the entrance (at The 90) and the exit (onto University Drive) for the Complex Mall area.


Unloading areas at the following locations will be monitored by the UK Police Department Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., and UKPD will enforce the "30-minute unloading zone only" restrictions:

  • Woodland Avenue, along the front of Woodland Glen I and II
  • Woodland Avenue lot (R10)
  • Kirwan-Blanding mall entrance (at The 90)
  • In the mall to direct traffic to the exit (onto University Drive)

Click here for more information about spring semester 2015 move-in.




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



OLLI Open House Showcases Membership Benefits for Seniors

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 17:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 13, 2015) -- The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, based at the University of Kentucky, will host a new member open house on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Tates Creek Christian Church. 


During the open house, seniors interested in participating in learning opportunities through OLLI are invited to meet with course instructors and others who are exploring lifelong learning opportunities. Refreshments will be provided and OLLI staff will be available to answer questions about the spring catalogue of courses and the new online registration option. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 3150 Tates Creek Road. Registration for spring courses opens at 1 p.m. 


OLLI membership costs $25 annually. The open house will be cancelled if Fayette County Schools are closed due to weather. For more information, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, 


UK Pilot Study Tests Program to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 15:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 13, 2015) — Within 30 days of discharge, 20 percent of fee-for-service Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital. The frequency of readmission for Medicare patients costs the nation an estimated $17 billion annually, but research suggests 75 percent of these readmission cases are preventable.


The University of Kentucky Department of Family and Community Medicine, in partnership with St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Kentucky, and Kentucky HomePlace recently launched a pilot study to evaluate the impact community health workers have in reducing hospital readmission rates. Using a multidisciplinary model of transitional care, the one-year study will attempt to reduce 30-day readmission rates for high-risk hospital patients in Eastern Kentucky.


The study's goals include assessing the 30-day readmission risk during client intake; addressing psychosocial and health determinants of high-risk patients before and after discharge through assistance from a community health worker; and monitoring the impact of the community health worker intervention based on measures such as compliance with discharge orders, follow-up appointments and readmission rates.


According to Dr. Roberto Cardarelli, chief of Community Medicine in the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine and principal investigator for the study, a range of socioeconomic and personal factors influence hospital readmission rates. Personal circumstances influencing readmission include accessibility to community health providers, unstable living environments, costs of medication, lack of transportation, and failure to comply with discharge orders.


Preceding research on hospital readmission reduction programs indicates a patient navigator, such as a community health worker, can improve the patient's quality of life and health outcomes, consequently reducing 30-day readmission rates. While the study is based in Appalachia, Cardarelli said its findings could have implications for both rural and urban settings.


"Nobody is usually looking into these social aspects," Cardarelli said. "Why did the patient not pick up their medicine? Well, it's because they have no money. Those subtle things are often overlooked but can make a big impact."


Lay community health workers, who will receive training from Kentucky HomePlace, will act as a link between discharged patients and local health care services. In the first four to six months of the study, community health workers will collect baseline data from high-risk readmission patients at St. Claire Regional Medical Center. The workers will conduct patient wellness needs assessments to measures risks such as depression, health literacy, adherence and compliance risks, support, social factors and financial barriers to care. They will follow-up with patients four weeks after discharge to review the client's status.


In the second phase of the program, community health workers will intervene with follow-up care for consenting patients discharged from the hospital. After conducting the wellness needs assessment, they will work individually with patients to develop a client-centered care plan. Post-discharge, the health workers will monitor the patient's progress with reminders for follow-up visits and assistance accessing community health resources.


"Essentially they will navigate patients to identify social barriers," Cardarelli said of the community health workers. "They will help address and find community resources, and contact patients to see how they are doing, if they are making their follow-up appointments."


UK Family and Community Medicine and St. Claire Regional Medical Center launched the program last fall. The study is supported by a grant from PassPort Health Insurance company and is in partnership with St. Claire Regional Medical Center and Kentucky Homeplace in the Center for Excellence in Rural Health, which has provided community health workers in 27 Eastern Kentucky counties for the past 20 years. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Alum Only Sees Black and White in Role as NCAA Basketball Referee

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 15:57


In-game footage Courtesy of UK Athletics.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2015) — John Hampton is a former UK Baseball player.  He graduated with a business degree from the Gatton College of Business and Economics.  He lives minutes away from campus.  He serves as vice president of an insurance agency in Lexington.  He even hails from Harrison County, home of famed former UK Basketball Coach Joe B. Hall.


On paper, you would think his college basketball allegiances would be squarely with his alma mater.


They aren’t.  They simply can’t be.   You see John Hampton is a referee for NCAA Men’s Basketball.


“When you wear this uniform, it takes the fan out of you,” said Hampton.


In fact, when the 20-year veteran of the basketball referee world watches games on television, he doesn’t pay attention to the dunks, three-point swishes or ball movement.  He focuses on officials in black and white. 


“I watch the guys working the game,“ Hampton said.  “Even with NBA games, you find yourself watching the referees.”


Hampton calls refereeing a part-time job.  His “real” job started immediately after graduation from UK in 1991 when he entered the insurance world.  As he began his professional career, he also started his career as a referee.


“My dad was a referee for many, many years, so I grew up going all over Central and Eastern Kentucky watching him referee,” Hampton said.  “So when I graduated from UK I immediately got into the referee business, started going to camps, refereeing locally at high schools and then moved on up.”


These days, Hampton warms up for the season by refereeing University of Kentucky scrimmages and exhibition games before hitting the road (and sky) to call games mostly in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), along with the Big 12, Conference USA, Sunbelt and Ohio Valley conferences. 


“Being a graduate of UK and a Lexington resident, I never call UK games,” Hampton said.  “The only games I do are the exhibition games, and it’s a great feeling to referee in Rupp Arena in front of family and friends.” 


He is an independent contractor who spends most weeks in the winter taking the first flight out of Lexington on game days to ensure that he makes it to the games with plenty of time to spare.


“We are required to be on the 6 a.m. flight every day we work a game,” Hampton said. 


After a quick rest in a hotel, he and his fellow officials meet at the arena and warm up, just like the teams do.  During the game, he definitely works up a sweat.


“They estimate you run a total of six miles per game, Hampton said. 


He says the hardest call to make is when the ball goes out-of-bounds, followed closely by trying to differentiate between a blocked shot and goal tending.   Hampton admits all of these calls are even more challenging today than they were when he first began officiating two decades ago.


“When you look at the players when I started 20 years ago and you compare their size, height and skill level to today’s players, the difference is amazing,” said Hampton.  “There’s a lot of energy, strength and talent and they’re going against each other, which creates some matchups and subsequently tough plays for us to referee.” 


Fortunately, he says technological advances such as television monitors are helping.


“Being able to go to the monitor, especially in late-game situations is great,”  He said.  “If you miss a call early in the game, the teams have a chance to recover, but it it’s late, they don’t.”


Hampton explains that the fact nearly every game is televised or recorded helps officials strive for perfection. 


“Our goal is to beat the tape; you’ve got to be right on film, and then your work is defended,” Hampton said. 


Each season, Hampton hopes to foster an atmosphere where two teams can come together to play without having to worry about the quality of the officiating.


“Coaches quite frankly are paranoid a lot of times when they go on the road, so when they see guys in the stripes that they trust and know, they relax and focus on coaching their game,” he said.  “So that is one thing as a referee we really strive for — we want the coach to have faith and confidence in us, so when he sees you walk on the floor and his team is on the road, he feels good.”


In the end, it’s less about being a thorn in the fans’ side and more about communication. 


“The more mature and experienced I have become as a referee, I do more talking to kids, trying to tell them to stop something rather than just assess a technical foul, especially early in the game,” said Hampton.  “I try to talk to players, and even coaches.  Largely that is what the coaches want, they want to know that they can communicate with you in a professional way.”


So even though his part-time profession doesn’t allow him to be a fan in the Big Blue Nation, he can share his admiration for his alma mater as a whole.  It’s a feeling that washed over him after walking on campus one late autumn day in 2014. 


“Seeing how much construction is going on, and all of the students and all of the activity, it’s just really growing and it’s really neat to see all of the energy on campus now,” Hampton said.  “I’m really proud of the University of Kentucky, and when I think of my success in the business and basketball worlds, it all started here in 1986, so it means a lot to me.”


Watch other UK Alumni “see success.” stories at the playlist below:



 MEDIA CONTACT:  Amy Jones-Timoney, (859) 257-2940,












Annual UK Economic Outlook Conference is Feb. 3

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 14:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan.  12, 2015)  What impact might changing oil prices have on the U.S. and Kentucky economy? How will the aging population in the Commonwealth and across the nation affect labor markets? What industries are poised for growth and which are in decline? What effect will these changes have on employment and earnings as Kentucky moves through 2015?  


These and other vital topics will be in the spotlight Tuesday, Feb. 3, as the Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, in cooperation with Commerce Lexington, Inc. and The Lane Report, hosts the 26th Annual Economic Outlook Conference.


The Lexington Convention Center is the event site with registration and continental breakfast from 8 to 8:30 a.m., and the conference itself from 8:30 to noon. 


Expert speakers and presenters this year include:


·         Christopher J. Waller, senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Waller is a former faculty member at the Gatton College. His principal research interests are monetary theory, political economy, and macroeconomic theory.


·         Jennifer A. Hunt, deputy assistant secretary for economic analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury and former chief economist at the Department of Labor. Her research is on unemployment and unemployment policy, immigration, wage inequality, the science and engineering workforce, transition economics, crime, and corruption.


·         Christopher R. Bollinger, director of UK's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Gatton Endowed Professor of Economics in the Gatton College. Bollinger will provide an overview of the economic outlook for 2015, highlighting the relationships between the local, state, and national economies.


·         Kenneth R. Troske, senior associate dean for administration, faculty and research and Sturgill Endowed Professor of Economics in the Gatton College. Troske's presentation will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the Kentucky economy.


·         Merl Hackbart, director of UK's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Gatton Endowed Professor of Finance and Public Administration, will serve as conference moderator.


"This annual conference  provides an outstanding opportunity for business leaders and other interested citizens to hear from experts on a range of issues impacting our economy," said David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College. "The event never fails to be compelling and extremely informative."


In addition to the presentation, this year’s schedule includes audience participation in the form of Q&A with the entire panel, followed by Q&A breakout sessions with each speaker toward the end of the program.  


Early registration is recommended for the 26th Annual Economic Outlook conference and can be done online. The registration fee of $115 includes continental breakfast and all materials.  For groups of five or more, a discounted registration fee of $100 per person is offered.


For more information, visit




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

New Employee Parking Lot Open; Lot Changes for South Campus

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 13:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2015)  The University of Kentucky openend a new employee parking lot on University Drive Jan. 10 as part of an ongoing effort to mitigate challenges associated with construction.


The newly created University Drive Lot is near the corner of University Drive and Huguelet Avenue, and has approximately 35 employee parking spaces. 


Additionally, UK Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is making several lot designation changes in the South Campus area.


In late December 2014, work began on a bypass road connecting the area east of the new residence halls on South Campus to Woodland Avenue, necessitating changes to area parking lots. This construction affected a number of employee parking spaces in the Sports Center North Lot. The changes taking place this week are designed to mitigate the impact of these losses while balancing the parking needs in the area. 


To further accommodate the loss of employee parking spots to construction, the location of residential parking will be shifted, converting some existing residential spaces to employee. However, while the residential and employee areas are relocating, current residential permit holders will not experience any reduction in access to proximate residential parking spaces.


The changes include:

  • Two R3 residential parking areas — the Sports Center South Lot and the Small Sports Center Lot (adjacent to the tennis courts) — will transition to employee lots.
  • To counter this change, Complex Drive and the Sports Center Garage (PS #7) will be available to both R3 and R7 residential permit holders. 
  • The first floor of the Sports Center Garage will no longer be reserved for visitor parking and will be open to R3 and R7 residential permit parking.
  • Visitor parking will still be accommodated in the Sports Center Garage, but will be interspersed throughout the structure, rather than restricted to a specific area.


All Sports Center and Complex Drive changes were effective beginning Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.




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

College of Education's 'Teachers Who Made a Difference' Program Now Accepting Submissions

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 13:17


UK Women's Basketball Coach Matthew Mitchell Discusses Importance of Education and Teaching from UK College of Education on Vimeo. A transcript of the video can be found here.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2015) — In its 17th year, the University of Kentucky College of Education's Teachers Who Made a Difference program is now accepting submissions for the 2015 program.


UK women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell is once again teaming up with the College of Education to offer this program that gives people an opportunity to thank a teacher, principal, professor, coach or other educator who has inspired and motivated them to succeed.


“Teaching is my job, teaching is my passion. And it is something that I love and hope to do the rest of my life,” said Mitchell, the 2015 Teachers Who Made a Difference spokesperson. “It is a tremendous thing to be a teacher.”


The program does not select winners from a pool of nominees. Rather, the College of Education created the program to provide individuals a means to express thanks to educators who have impacted their lives. Honorees can be from anywhere and do not have to be affiliated with UK; however, the number of honorees to be recognized is limited. Organizers ask that each nominator limit recognitions to one educator per year.


To honor an educator, complete the online form at or download the printable form to mail in. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2015.


More than 1,800 teachers have been honored since the program’s inception. The Teachers Who Made a Difference program includes a special recognition event and reception attended by both the teachers and their nominators. This year's event will be held Saturday, April 18, at the UK Student Center's Great Hall. Nominees that are able to attend will enjoy a light continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and honored thereafter around 10 a.m. Those who cannot attend will receive their award by mail.


For more information, visit or contact the UK College of Education Office of Advancement by phone at 859- 257-4014. 




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

Only One Week Remains to Sign Up for UK's Online W-2 Program

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 10:48




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2015) — This is the last week for University of Kentucky employees to choose to access their W-2 statements online. UK's 'Safe, Swift, Sustainable' W-2 program allows currently employed faculty, staff and students to receive their W-2 forms through the 'Employee Self Service' portion of password protected myUK.


Employees who enroll in the Safe, Swift, Sustainable W-2 program give the university consent to only provide their W-2s online. Enrolled employees will no longer receive a paper W-2 in the mail but will be able to view and print their W-2 at an earlier date. The enrollment period is now through Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, and prizes will be given as an incentive to enroll.


The benefits of this online W-2 statements program are:

• Earlier access to your W-2 statement than the traditional mail process;

• Email notification when online W-2 statement is available;

• Eliminate the possibility of your W-2 statement being delayed or lost in the mail;

• Access to your W-2 statement at any time;

• Ability to print W-2 at your convenience;

• Contribute to UK’s sustainability initiative; and

• 2013 and future W-2s will remain online for multiple years.


The program fits well into UK's overall sustainability efforts by reducing the use of paper, and promoting cost savings.


For instructions on how to enroll in the Safe, Swift, Sustainable W-2 program, visit


To learn how to print your online W-2, play the video below.


All employees who consent to receive online W-2s will be entered into a random drawing for prizes of $50 and $250 gift cards. Winners will be notified weekly through Jan. 20th.

To date UK employees in the following areas have won prizes:

· UK HealthCare;

· UK Athletics;

· College of Medicine;

· Office of Academic Enhancement;

· College of Dentistry;


· College of Design

· UK Alumni Association;

· College of Health Sciences; and

· Customer Operations at UK Analytics and Technologies.


Employees who do not want to enroll in the new program do not have to take any action. They will have a paper W-2 form printed and mailed by the University of Kentucky no later than Jan. 31, 2015, to the employee’s permanent address on file in the SAP HR/Payroll system. Employees who have separated employment from the University of Kentucky will have a W-2 paper form printed and mailed.  



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


WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Talks About UK in Appalachia

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 18:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 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.  This week News Director Alan Lytle guest hosts and visits with UK President Eli Capilouto about the new "Rooted in our Communities" Appalachian initiative recently launched by the university. 


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.

Kentucky, UK Help Establish $259 Million Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 18:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2015) – As part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, President Obama today announced the launch of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), and the Commonwealth and University of Kentucky as core partners of the institute.  


In efforts to drive the use of advanced polymer composite materials, create jobs, and boost American manufacturing, the U.S. Department of Energy selected the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to become a national institute aimed at creating better composite materials and technologies for rapid deployment within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries, according to the department's news release.


IACMI, selected through a competitive process led by the Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is the fifth named institute of the President's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.


The public-private partnership was selected through a competitive process led by the Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute’s award is supported by a $70 million federal commitment over five years combined with an equal or greater amount in non-federal resources, according to the news release.


“Kentucky is proud to help establish the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “Our economy is built on innovation, and this partnership will put the Commonwealth in a great position to create jobs, boost manufacturing and develop the products of tomorrow.”


"Being part of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is both a great honor and a great opportunity for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the University of Kentucky," said John Walz, dean of the UK College of Engineering. "The funds from this grant, together with support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, will benefit composite-based manufacturing companies in Kentucky plus support basic and applied research at UK."


As core partners, UK along with the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Purdue University, Michigan State University, University of Dayton Research Institute and their respective states, are the founding partners that helped establish IACMI and are essential to the successful management and operation of IACMI.


UK's research will focus on producing low cost, high strength carbon fibers for lightweight composite structures for improved vehicle energy efficiency.  


“Through the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), UK offers unique capabilities for research-scale fiber manufacturing of novel precursors for carbon fiber, providing an important contribution to the Institute," said Dr. Matthew Weisenberger, UK CAER associate director for carbon materials and principal investigator. “Along with our partners, we look forward to aiding the progress of the American composite manufacturing industry, and training future leaders in the area of fiber manufacturing and composites.”


The six partner states and members, including more than 90 companies across the supply chain, commit to $189 million in additional contributions to the institute.




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

Strategies for Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 16:35

LEXINGTON, Ky (Jan. 12, 2015) -- Another one of our most joyful seasons has passed, and we start to wonder if our low energy levels and our not so merry moods are a result of trying to create the perfect holiday or worrying about the financial pressures from gift giving. While it might be a simple case of holiday blues, it could actually be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) -- also known as seasonal depression.


Approximately 10 percent of Americans suffer from SAD.  Although it is unknown how many of these individuals may also suffer from holiday blues or a combination of both, the symptoms can be very similar.  Symptoms typically associated with SAD include irritability, low energy, hypersensitivity to rejection, sense of hopelessness, sluggishness/heaviness in arms or legs, oversleeping, social withdrawal, craving foods and beverages with high carbohydrates, and weight gain.


The specific cause for SAD is unknown but a contributing factor is lack of sunlight.  During the change of seasons lack of sunlight can disrupt the circadian rhythm (biological clock) and cause chemical imbalances with serotonin, a brain chemical /neurotransmitter impacting moods, and melatonin, a hormone impacting sleep patterns.  The obvious factor that increases the risk for SAD is living far from the equator where there is less daylight, but others include being female, being a younger age adult, and having a family history of SAD. 


The good news is that SAD is treatable.  Several lower level treatment interventions for SAD include making the environment warm and bright, spending time outside, and exercising.  Higher-level treatment interventions include phototherapy to mimic natural outdoor light, medication such as extended-release antidepressants, and counseling to manage stress and reframe negative thoughts and behaviors.


There is no way to prevent SAD, but you can manage symptoms before they worsen. Exercise releases naturally occurring feel-good hormones called endorphins. Smoking and heavy drinking disrupt chemical balances and can exacerbate symptoms, so avoiding tobacco and alcohol can help.  


If symptoms of depression continue or elevate to the point of suicidal thoughts, seek immediate professional help.


There are many types of health care providers, including advanced practice nurses and nurse researchers, who are integrating preventive measures and treatment interventions to improve health and wellness of those suffering from SAD. Often a dose of the basics: getting adequate sleep, consuming healthy foods and beverages and obtaining regular exercise is the best prescription for a happy and healthy life.  


Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, Warwick Professor and dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, is a national leader in nursing education, advanced practice and healthcare outreach research.


This column appeared in the January 11, 2015, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

UK Confucius Institute and Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues Host Sino-U.S. Media Seminar

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 14:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the UK College of Communication and Information, along with the Community Edition of the XinMin Evening News, the largest evening newspaper in Shanghai, is hosting the second Sino-U.S. Community Media Seminar Friday, Jan. 9, at the UK Boone Center. The seminar was preceded by a visit to the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Danville Advocate-Messenger on Thursday.


You You, a professor at Shanghai University and a visiting scholar with the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues in 2012-13, proposed the event after researching the relationship of the Manchester Enterprise to its readership in Clay County. Chinese newspapers are developing community editions to increase their readership, market share and income, and many government officials see community newspapers as a way to achieve their goals for their jurisdictions. The first Sino-U.S. Community Media Seminar was held in Shanghai in the spring of 2013.


About 12 Chinese journalists and newspaper executives, plus six local Chinese government officials, are joining about 25 American journalists and academics for the seminar. Participants from UK include Dean Dan O'Hair, College of Communication and Information; Beth Barnes, professor and director of the School of Journalism and telecommunications; Zixue Tai, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications; Huajing Maske, director of the UK Confucius Institute, and Jie Dai, staff member of the Confucius Institute.


“While the United States and China have very different government and media systems, it’s important for people of those systems in the nations with the world’s two largest economies to understand how the other country operates,”  said Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. “The institute is very happy to help Chinese editors and publishers understand the workings of community journalism in the U.S., where it is probably stronger than anywhere else in the world. Also, connections with China are UK’s top international priority.”


The event is by invitation only, but a free discussion by the participants on Friday afternoon will be videotaped for later broadcast. It will be moderated by Buck Ryan, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, and Bill Goodman, host of public affairs programs on Kentucky Educational Television. 




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

UK Welcomes Students, Staff From Universities Across the Country This Weekend

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 12:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2015) — The UK campus is coming back to life this weekend as college students from around the country visit Lexington to sharpen their hospitality skills for when they welcome visitors to their own campuses. 


UK’s Office of Enrollment Management is hosting the second annual Collegiate Information and Visitor Services (CIVSA) Student Development Institute Friday and Saturday. 


More than 60 professional staff members who work in campus visitor and information services across the United States will teach over 150 college students who serve as ambassadors, tour guides and information center staff members at their institutions.  Attendees represent institutions from 25 states and the District of Columbia.


“We’re very honored to be hosting these students and staff members for the 2015 Student Development Institute,” said Stephen Barnett, senior associate director of admission and senior associate registrar at UK.  “It’s very exciting to see college students showcasing their experiences as tour guides and ambassadors at their institutions while also learning how they can better themselves in the work they’re doing.“


CIVSA is a professional association for staff members working to coordinate campus visits and provide information services to visitors on college campuses.  The association comprises more than 300 institutions both inside and outside the United States. The University of Kentucky has been a long-standing member of the association and also hosted the 2010 Annual Conference in Lexington. 


“On behalf of CIVSA, we are thrilled to come to Lexington for our Student Development Institute and we’re grateful for the work that has taken place to make this event a success,” said CIVSA President Cindy Singley, from Auburn University.  “The University of Kentucky hosted our 2010 Annual Conference and we couldn’t be happier to bring our students back to the Bluegrass to take in the great hospitality and experiences that Lexington and its people have to offer.”


During their time in Lexington, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in educational sessions with topics that include everything from leadership development and tour guide management to working with special populations and staff selection, training and evaluation.  They will also take tours of Lexington, the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University as a part of the program.   


“We’ll see a large exchange of ideas among the students and staff and along the way we hope they enjoy the hospitality and sites of Lexington and our campus,” Barnett said.




 MEDIA CONTACT:  Amy Jones-Timoney, (859) 257-2940,