Campus News

Thanks For Being FTK, DanceBlue Supporters

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) — With only two days before the DanceBlue Marathon, the  campus is buzzing with excitement as dancers, committee members and volunteers prepare for 24 hours dedicated completely "For The Kids." DanceBlue would like to take a moment amidst the excitement to thank the incredible supporters who have graciously contributed to the causes of their organization.


The mission of the University of Kentucky DanceBlue marathon is to create a multi-faceted organization that operates through the support and leadership of the UK students, faculty, staff, administrators and the Lexington community. This cannot be achieved without the generous donors who have supported — and continue to support — all the dancers, committee members, volunteers and the kids.


"DanceBlue is lucky enough to have the amazing support that it does," said Overall DanceBlue Chair Erica Shipley. "From over 30 corporate sponsors across the state, to various middle schools and high schools hosting mini marathons, to our parents and grandparents worldwide — we are able to spread the mission of DanceBlue through them."


Funding towards DanceBlue provides salary support for professionals who help patients and their families deal with all aspects of childhood cancer. DanceBlue funds have been able to provide the clinic two social workers who are dedicated to pediatric oncology social work and who connect families with various resources. Prior to DanceBlue there were no dedicated pediatric oncology social workers.


Funding goes directly into the Golden Matrix Fund which is used to benefit the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Because of the incredible support throughout the past 11 years, DanceBlue was able to hire their first child life specialist. These specialists are constant encouragement for families within the clinic and as they help families cope as they battle cancer.


"Cancer is an experience that no family should have to endure; but through the support DanceBlue receives, we are in turn able to care for these families," said Shipley. "As Jennifer Mynear always says, 'saying thank you doesn't even cut it.'"


Generous donors directly affect the personal lives of those in the DanceBlue Clinic.  Because of substantial support, more kids will be celebrating birthdays this year. Donors are helping kids and families live the normal lives that most take for granted.


In 2015, DanceBlue raised $1,615,057.18, situating the grand total of funds raised by DanceBlue at more than $8.2 million since its inception in 2006. DanceBlue continues to expand to involve more students, staff and members of the Lexington community. DanceBlue has grown to be the largest student-run philanthropy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the largest in the Southeastern Conference and the fastest growing dance marathon in the country.


DanceBlue is UK’s 24-hour no-sitting, no sleeping dancer marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue KCH Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Now in it’s 11th year, DanceBlue has raised more than 8.2 million for pediatric dancer research and child life efforts.


DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach (CCO). The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote lifelong community service. For more information about the CCO, visit


To learn more about DanceBlue, visit or visit the marathon at Memorial Coliseum this weekend, 2 p.m., Feb. 27, to 2 p.m., Feb. 28.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue





MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, or, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

Kathleen Sheppard-Jones Named Director of UK Human Development Institute

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 14:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) —The University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research has appointed Kathleen Sheppard-Jones as the new director of the Human Development Institute (HDI), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at UK. 


Sheppard-Jones received her doctoral degree in educational psychology from UK in 2002 and has worked with HDI since 1996. She previously served as training director for the institute. In that role, she built relationships with faculty and staff across colleges at UK and beyond. In addition to her director responsibilities, Sheppard-Jones is also principal investigator across a variety of grants and contracts around quality supports for people through the lifespan. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling.


”HDI promotes the inclusion, independence and contributions of people with disabilities across the lifespan," said Vice President for Research Lisa A. Cassis. "As one of 67 UCEDD programs across the nation, this mission is accomplished through research, education, information sharing, leadership and advocacy — across the Commonwealth and the nation. With 45 projects and over 200 staff, Dr. Sheppard-Jones’ background and experience building interdisciplinary collaboration will ensure HDI is part of the research agenda that improves life outcomes for all Kentuckians and particularly addresses disparities for those with disabilities.”


“I’m extremely honored to be HDI’s executive director," Sheppard-Jones said."We have huge challenges ahead of us, but I cannot imagine a better team of dedicated and innovative professionals, self-advocates and families with whom to share this journey. Together, we will forge ahead to promote a society that is inclusive for all, and help to erase health disparities for Kentuckians with disabilities. The University of Kentucky is an environment that will enable us to conduct state of the art translational research, provide training to interdisciplinary students who will be the leaders of tomorrow, and collaborate with communities to demonstrate service models that result in meaningful life outcomes.”



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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

UK Employees Encouraged to Submit Work for Art Exhibit

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 14:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2016) – University of Kentucky employees and immediate family members are invited to submit their original artwork for consideration for the fourth annual UK Arts in HealthCare event, "The Healing Power of Art."  This event serves to provide employees the opportunity to think about and experience the healing nature of art and submit pieces that reflect their understanding of arts healing influence in a health care setting. Artists may submit their work until April 22 and will be notified, if their piece is selected, on May 20.


Employees, and their immediate family, may submit up to three pieces of artwork in any medium. Pieces should be no larger than 20 by 30 inches and should be submitted unframed. Selected pieces will become part of the UK Arts in HealthCare program's permanent collection and displayed at various locations throughout the medical campus with recognition of the artist.


To access an application form click here. For more information visit the Arts in HealthCare website or email Sarah Timmons at


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, (859) 257-1076

UK Forensics Places Second at Kentucky State Tournament

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:52


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) — For the second year in a row, the University of Kentucky Forensics team has placed second in the Commonwealth at the Kentucky Forensic Association state championship tournament. This year’s event, hosted by Western Kentucky University, featured the best competitors from schools all across the state. UK placed second in combined sweepstakes thanks to a second place finish in the large school division of individual events competition and second in the large school division of debate competition. Western Kentucky University, the reigning national champions, placed first in all three categories.


UK Forensics also earned a number of other impressive distinctions at this tournament. Freshman competitor Veronica Scott was the tournament champion in persuasive speaking, which qualifies her to attend the 134th Interstate Oratorical Association National Tournament. The Interstate Oratory National is unique in the nation in that only two competitors from each state may qualify to attend the tournament. Scott is the first student to ever qualify from UK. Senior Abel Rodriguez III placed fifth in the individual sweepstakes competition, which totals points from all of the competitors events. The team also qualified two more speeches for the National Forensic Association national tournament in April.


Each year, the Kentucky Forensic Association recognizes several exceptional students with Harlan Hamm awards for service and dedication to forensics. Harlan Hamm, a former coach in the Commonwealth, was known for his stewardship, leadership and passion for speech and debate competition and was a tireless advocate for the opportunities it affords students. Senior Abel Rodriguez III was recognized with one of four Harlan Hamm awards at this year’s state tournament for his passion and service as an undergraduate over the last four years.


Team members from UK won the following awards at the 2016 Kentucky Forensic Association state championship tournament:


After Dinner Speaking

4th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Communication Analysis

6th Place – Megan Wagner

Drama Interpretation

3rd Place – Dianté Elcock

Duo Interpretation

4th Place – Rachel Brase and Megan Wagner

5th Place – Dianté Elcock and Kaylon Kennedy

6th Place – Logan Hurley and Megan Wagner

Editorial Impromptu Speaking

4th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

5th Place – Matt Karijolic

6th Place – Sam Northrup

Top Novice – Matt Karijolic

Extemporaneous Speaking

3rd Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Impromptu Speaking

Top Novice – Matt Karijolic

Informative Speaking

4th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Top Novice – Matt Karijolic

Parliamentary Debate

1st Place – Rachel Brase and Kaylon Kennedy

2nd Place – Sam Northrup and Megan Wagner

Semifinalists – Logan Hurley and Abel Rodriguez III

Quarterfinalists – Matt Karijolic and Veronica Scott

1st Place Speaker – Rachel Brase

3rd Place Speaker – Veronica Scott

4th Place Speaker – Abel Rodriguez III

7th Place Speaker – Sam Northrup

Top Novice Speaker – Veronica Scott

Persuasive Speaking

1st Place – Veronica Scott

5th Place – Sam Northrup

Top Novice – Veronica Scott

Poetry Interpretation

4th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Program Oral Interpretation

3rd Place – Kaylon Kennedy

5th Place – Dianté Elcock

Public Debate

Top Novice Speaker – Dianté Elcock

Radio Broadcasting

1st Place – Veronica Scott

2nd Place – Sam Northrup

4th Place – Matt Karijolic

5th Place – Dianté Elcock

Top Novice – Veronica Scott


The UK Forensics team’s next competition will be the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament held March 16-20, 2016, at UK. Anyone interested in judging or attending this tournament should contact Director of Forensics Timothy Bill at UK Forensics is a student organization in the School of Information Science. The team regularly competes in 12 different public speaking events in three forms of debate. To find out more, visit



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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

3-D Models of Spreading Tumors May Help Fight Cancer

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2016) — University of Kentucky researchers Ren Xu and Gaofeng Xiong at the Markey Cancer Center and the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences show it is possible to create a three-dimensional (3-D) model system to investigate how breast cancer cells invade lung tissue in a study that was featured on the front cover of the journal, Integrative Biology.


Advanced breast cancer tumors shed cells that can colonize other tissues in a process known as metastasis. If physicians detect malignant breast tumors early, they can remove tumors before they metastasize. After tumors gain the ability to traverse the bloodstream, they become much more difficult to treat. In order to develop treatments targeting metastatic cancers, researchers need new models that more accurately reflect cancers physicians treat in the clinic.


3-D models like the one Xu developed may give researchers the model they need.


Xu’s laboratory created the 3-D lung tissue matrix by removing the cells from the tissue while preserving the extracellular matrix (ECM) that make up the tissue’s structural components. The researchers then showed breast cancer cells could colonize in the lung matrix in a manner resembling metastasizing breast cancer in patients in the clinic.


Xu believes the 3-D model may help develop drugs that inhibit breast cancer progression.


This work was supported by the UK Markey Cancer Center, American Heart Association (AHA), Department of Defense (DOD), and a COBRE pilot grant and does not necessarily reflect the views of those institutions.


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue


First DanceBlue UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon Raises More than $10,000

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) — In just two weeks, University of Kentucky staff and faculty participated in a university-wide fundraiser that culminated in a DanceBlue Mini Marathon at the Hilary J. Boone Center on Feb. 18. By the end of the event, $8,274.94 was raised, but by the next day, the grand total increased to $10,014.94, due to the generosity of the in-kind support of the Boone Center and The Club at UK's Spindletop Hall.


"The UK Clubs serving faculty, staff and alumni were honored to host the event and thrilled to work with such an amazing group of students for this incredibly worthy cause," said Gerald Marvel, general manager of the Boone Center and The Club at Spindletop Hall.


The UK Staff Senate and UK Clubs teamed up to support UK students who devote a tremendous amount of time and energy to DanceBlue, the largest student-run philanthropy in the Southeastern Conference. The staff/faculty mini marathon was also made possible by the donation of a large dance floor from Bryant’s Rent-All.


Approximately 130 faculty and staff participated in the event. Nate Antetomaso and Alex Feczko, members of the DanceBlue leadership team, taught the line dance to the group.


"I was blown away by how many faculty and staff not only attended the event, but were out there on the dance floor learning the DanceBlue line dance in business casual attire and loving every minute of it!" said Feczko, the DanceBlue corporate relations chair.


Seven units registered to compete for the Best Spirit prize that was presented to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for raising the most money — $4,892. NICU raised funds in honor of their friend and colleague Candice Hodge Clemons, who was a Neonatal ICU nurse and passed away on Nov. 7, 2015, from Stage 4 glioblastoma. 


“In April 2013, she was diagnosed with a Stage 4 glioblastoma and was given five to six months to live, and that's exactly what she did — lived! She lived every day to the fullest and inspired so many with her unending strength and faith," said Heather Green, who coordinated their department’s fundraising.


Other units that participated were the College of Health Sciences, HealthCare Finance, Kentucky Cancer Registry, Kentucky Geological Survey, Office of Philanthropy and University Health Service. For earning first place in fundraising, employees of NICU will be treated to a special event hosted by President Eli Capilouto.


Activities lasted just over two hours and participants danced, dined and watched DanceBlue video presentations that featured patient stories, student experiences and the charity’s history, while standing the entire time. The Office of Philanthropy had the largest number of participants with 31 people in attendance. Also in attendance were Jennifer Mynear and Susannah Denomme whose efforts started DanceBlue. WKYT’s DeAnn Stephens also was on hand to film the event for broadcast on the evening news.


According to co-coordinator Holly Clark, by the end of the Mini Marathon people were already talking about plans for next year. 


“We could not have asked for a more successful inaugural event," she said. "Our DanceBlue students led with unmatched energy and passion, and our great staff and faculty responded overwhelmingly in only two weeks. A big thank you also goes to our committee who worked hard and quickly to carry out this event to support our students in their commitment to help our precious children with cancer.” 


Other members of the UK Staff/Faculty Mini Marathon Committee are William Adams, Ayriana Catlett, Peg Connery, Kristin Janow, Orvis Kean, Paige Mathis, Melinda Plymale, Linda Russell and Seth Russell.


DanceBlue is a yearlong fundraising effort that culminates in a 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue KCH Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Now in its 11th year, DanceBlue has raised more than $8.2 million for pediatric cancer research and child life efforts. Give to DanceBlue here and connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at and on Twitter at


DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach (CCO). The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite UK with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote lifelong community service. For more information about the CCO, visit Connect with the CCO on Facebook here and on Twitter at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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

Serandu Custom Riding Boots Wins UK Venture Challenge

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 11:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) — College of Agriculture, Food and Environment students Cailtin Halliwell and Allison Burke of Team Serandu won UK Venture Challenge and $1,500 on Feb. 20 with their idea for custom-fitted riding boots. Second place and $1,000 went to Team Talkables, Cassady Ritter and Andrew Dharamse of College of Engineering, for their new device for pets. Juris doctor candidate Derek Campbell placed third and receives $500 for BlamBags, a fun, new gift bag concept.  


Eight student teams pitched their new business concepts to judges from the local entrepreneurial community at the fifth  annual competition at the William T. Young Library UK Athletics Auditorium. The teams’ written proposals were judged prior to their pitches.


“Competing in Venture Challenge sparked a passion for me to continue pursuing business as a career,” said Serandu team member Allison Burke, who was a December graduate in merchandising. “I am so inspired by the ideas of other young people and the amazing support by the faculty and staff at UK.”


Team Serandu was part of the 10-week Venture Studio Bootcamp, a new program in the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, which wrapped up at the end of the fall 2015 semester. The idea for the fitted boot originated from UK faculty members, Janet Kurzynske and Scarlett Wesley. “Because of the Venture Studio Bootcamp, both of us are planning on enrolling in the Gatton MBA program next semester,” said Caitlin Halliwell, a senior in equine business management.  


“Venture Challenge has already been opening a lot of doors for me,” said computer engineering sophomore Cassady Ritter. “I'm so excited to take Talkables all the way and really make something to show for my college experience beyond a degree.”


Talkables team member Andrew Dharamsey, also a sophomore studying computer engineering, said “Venture Challenge is a great way for me to use my technical expertise, while working on a team, to actually build a product.”


Talkables will also receive $50 for winning the popular online vote with nearly 2,000 votes.


“Venture Challenge is a wonderful way of furthering ideas and concepts by presenting them before people of note in the business community who can help you overcome initial barriers to entry and ultimately take a better product to market,” said BlamBags creator Derek Campbell, a Gatton College finance and economics graduate, who is currently a second-year law student UK.


The judges included LaShana M. Harris, founder and CEO, Babylocity LLC; Wanisa “Pang” Hartman, vice president and creative designer, Frogdice Inc.; and George Ward, executive director, Coldstream Research Campus.


The three sponsors were the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, an economic development partnership between UK, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and Commerce Lexington; the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and the College of Communication and Information.


UK Venture Challenge is organized by iNET, the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking, hosted by the College of Communication and Information, with the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, Venture Studio & the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.  



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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


See Blue Work Brings Career/Internship Fairs, Networking Events to Campus

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 10:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) — As a part of its See Blue Work series, the University of Kentucky James W. Stuckert Career Center, Engineering Career Development and the Graham Office for Career Management will host career fairs and networking events for individuals looking for career or internship opportunities. All UK students and alumni are invited to participate and network with employers at two career fairs and a diversity networking reception scheduled for March 1-2.


A career fair is a great chance to meet prospective employers, learn more about career and internship opportunities in specific fields, receive career advice, expand one's professional network, and land interviews. "Meeting and interacting with recruiters face to face is still a critical part of the job search process. Our career events offer students seeking jobs and internships the unique opportunity to make personal connections that are not possible when submitting a résumé online," said Melanie Barber, employee relations director at the Stuckert Career Center.


Students wanting to work in engineering or technical industries are encouraged to attend the Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair, which will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at Memorial Coliseum.


Later that same day, a Diversity Networking Reception will be held with more than 25 organizations seeking to create a diverse inclusive workforce. The reception will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, in the foyer of the Singletary Center for the Arts.


The See Blue Work series will conclude with the Business Internship and Career Fair from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at the Gatton College of Business and Economics.


Career fairs aren't only for upperclassmen. Students who attend a career fair as early as their freshmen or sophomore year report increased confidence in their ability to interact with employers and communicate their accomplishments. For juniors and seniors, these events are opportunities to secure interviews for valuable internships and full-time jobs through newly made contacts. For a list of participants at the See Blue Work events visit:


As part of the UK Division of Undergraduate Education, the James W. Stuckert Career Center mission is to prepare students to successfully connect with employers and post-graduate educational opportunities. The Stuckert Career Center is here to help students connect their passions with purpose by exploring their college major options and career goals, engage in the process of expanding their knowledge and experience of the work place, and to connect with those who can help students on their career path. For more information on the Stuckert Career Center and how the staff can provide assistance, visit



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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

UK Libraries Hosts Library Science Students for LEX Week

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 10:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016)University of Kentucky Libraries is partnering with the School of Information Science in the UK College of Communication and Information to provide four library science graduate students with a week of mentored practical experience during LEX Week.


“LEX” stands for learning and experiential education. The new program launching this spring is modeled after the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, which began in 2011. During ASB, library science students leave UK to intern in and around Washington, D.C., at institutions including the National Library of Medicine and Smithsonian Libraries. The students work on various projects under the supervision of professional librarians to gain practical skills and put their theoretical knowledge to the test.


LEX Week is a local counterpart to the ASB program, designed to allow current library science graduate students to intern with professionals on campus to gain skills and apply what they have learned in their classes. Four students will participate in the first LEX Week.


Ryan Dowell and Andy Johnson will work in the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center. Their mentors and supervisors will be: Doug Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History; Sarah Dorpinghuas, digital archivist; and Shell Dunn, image management specialist. Emily Elkind and Rachel Hugenberg will both work in William T. Young Library Reference Services. Librarian Peter Hesseldenz will mentor Elkind, and Head of Reference Services Jen Bartlett will mentor Hugenberg.


Organizers of LEX Week are: SIS lecturer Ashley DeWitt, UK Libraries Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research Stacey Greenwell, UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs, and Jen Bartlett.


UK Libraries will welcome the students on Feb. 29, the first day of their intern week, and there will be a lunchtime presentation/panel session on Friday, March 4, for the students to share what they've been doing and have learned over the week. 


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



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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

UPK Books Great Options for Black History Month Reading

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 09:58


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2016) — As the nation celebrates Black History Month, many readers will be looking to learn more about the nation's diverse past. The University Press of Kentucky (UPK) has a great selection of books to choose from, including three new publications for those interested in African-American history, “In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma,” “James and Esther Cooper Jackson: Love and Courage in the Black Freedom Movement” and The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.


In Peace and Freedom,” written by Bernard LaFayette Jr., relates the civil rights leader's years in Selma, Alabama. LaFayette (b. 1940) was a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a leader in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, a Freedom Rider, an associate of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign.


One of the primary organizers of the 1965 Selma voting rights movement and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, LaFayette relates his experiences of these historic initiatives in close detail with the help of co-author Kathryn Lee Johnson. When he arrived in 1963, Selma was a small, quiet, rural town. By 1965, it had made its mark in history and was nationally recognized as a battleground in the fight for racial equality and the site of one of the most important victories for social change in our nation.


James and Esther Cooper Jackson,” written by Sara Rzeszutek Haviland, is a dual biography that shows how one couple devoted their lives to the fight for equality, serving as career activists throughout the black freedom movement. Having grown up in Virginia during the depths of the Great Depression, the Jacksons saw a path to racial equality through the Communist Party. This choice in political affiliation would come to shape and define not only their participation in the black freedom movement but also the course of their own marriage as the Cold War years unfolded.


Haviland follows the couple through the years as they bore witness to economic inequality, war, political oppression and victory in the face of injustice. Her study reveals a portrait of a remarkable pair who lived during a transformative period of American history and whose story offers a vital narrative of persistence, love and activism across the long arc of the black freedom movement.


To see Gerald L. Smith talk about his work on The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, watch the video playlist above. Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing.


The first reference book of its kind in the nation, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia explores the diverse history of African-Americans throughout state’s rich past. Edited by Gerald Smith, the Theodore A. Hallam Professor and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar in Residence at the University of Kentucky Department of History; Karen Cotton McDaniel, professor emeritus at Kentucky State University; and John A. Hardin, professor of history at Western Kentucky University, the encyclopedia features more than 1,000 entries, capturing the black experience in the Commonwealth from earliest frontier years to the present.


Kentucky’s impact on the national scene is registered in the encyclopedia through an array of notable figures, such as writers William Wells Brown and bell hooks, reformers Bessie Lucas Allen and Shelby Lanier Jr., sports icons Muhammad Ali and Isaac Murphy, civil rights leaders Whitney Young Jr. and Georgia Powers, and entertainers Ernest Hogan, Helen Humes and Nappy Roots. Featuring entries on the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements and institutions that have shaped the state’s history since its origins, the volume also includes topical essays on the civil rights movement, eastern Kentucky coalfields, business, education and women.


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. The editorial program of the press focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uky4ky #seeblue



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


Study Finds Racial Disparities in School Discipline

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 20:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016) — Through a recent study, a University of Kentucky doctoral student found racial disparities in disciplinary policies in American middle and high schools.


Albert Ksinan, a student in the UK Department of Family Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, analyzed data from the Civil Rights Data Collection. The collection includes information reported to the U.S. Department of Education on key education and civil rights issues within public schools. He specifically focused on disciplinary measures for the 2011-2012 school year.


Ksinan looked at how often and to whom various exclusionary disciplinary actions were employed by school administrators. Exclusionary discipline results in a student being removed from other students as a form of punishment. The measures he focused on were in-school suspension, single suspension, multiple suspensions, expulsion with and without school services, corporal punishment, use of law enforcement and school arrest.


“Exclusionary discipline can be particularly harmful during adolescence, because in many cases, it leaves adolescents without any real possibility to finish high school,” said Ksinan. “Given that middle adolescence is the developmental period associated with the highest rate of delinquent behavior, it is arguable that school expulsion during this ‘window of vulnerability’ leads to an increased risk of engaging in substance abuse and violent crime and an associated increased likelihood of contact with the juvenile justice system.”


He found African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and young people who endorsed more than one ethnic or racial group experienced higher rates of exclusionary disciplinary actions compared to students of European American descent. Asian Americans had the lowest rates.


Urban schools were more likely to employ more severe disciplinary practices compared to schools in rural areas, with the exception of corporal punishment.


He hopes his findings will open the door for further research and meaningful conversations about ways to improve disciplinary policies in American schools.


Ksinan’s research was supported by the Society for Research on Adolescence Civil Rights Data Collection Emerging Scholars Grant.


He will present his results at the society’s 2016 conference in Baltimore. 




MEDIA CONTACT:  Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774

Awesome Inc. Brings New Skill Set to UK Students

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016) — The Information Communication Technology (ICT) program, housed in the School of Information Science, in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, announces that Awesome Inc. will lead its Android App Development Workshop on Wednesday, March 23. The workshop will serve as a platform for students interested in developing their own mobile app.


“We are very excited to be able to partner with Awesome Inc. to offer our students this wonderful opportunity,” said Will Buntin, assistant director of the School of Information Science. “With this workshop, students will get the chance to work with professionals from Awesome Inc. to help build their skill set and be exposed to the mobile development world.”


Awesome Inc. is a high-tech startup company providing services to establish, grow and connect individuals and companies located in Lexington. They achieve this by hosting community events, leading technology education courses and offering a shared workspace environment.


According to the 2014 Pew Research Internet Project, there are 2.3 million mobile app developers who are dedicated to keeping up with this already booming industry. The industry will inevitably grow as the amount of smartphone and app users increase.


Nick Such, director of Awesome Inc. U, the arm of Awesome Inc. that exists to help people learn to code, believes that mobile app development strongly impacts today’s environment, especially the professional workforce.


“When nearly 90 percent of your peers carry around a smartphone, today’s college students know the opportunities that come from being able to build mobile apps,” Such said. “Apps are changing industries from health care to journalism and even agriculture. Mobile app development is one of the hottest job skills right now.”


Brian Raney, co-founder and UK Entrepreneur-in-Residence of the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking (iNET) program, will join Such at the workshop.


“In just one day, students will have the chance to go from zero to mobile app. The course, taught by Awesome Inc. will lead participants into the world of Android app development, using technologies like Java and XML to build their first app from scratch,” said Such.


The UK Information Communication Technology (ICT) program encompasses emerging technologies and how they interplay with people, communities and society. The program views this workshop as an educational opportunity for ICT majors and prospective majors.


Jeffrey Huber, director of the School of Information Science, said, “Whether you are interested in Android or Apple platforms, the workshop provides an opportunity to learn firsthand the concepts underlying app development as well as gain hands-on experience.”


The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 23. Anyone interested in attending the workshop should contact or 859-218-2693. 


An open house will be held later in the day, visit the Awesome Inc. site here. On the website, organizers state, "At the conclusion of the bootcamp, participants will be ready to interview with a number of our employer partners for the opportunity to earn a full time position in Kentucky at a competitive junior developer’s salary."


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

College of Social Work Receives Grant to Train Students, Professionals in Substance Abuse Response

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 15:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016) — Under the direction of principal investigator, Carlton Craig, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, the college has received a $942,000 three-year grant to train social work graduate students, medical residents and community professionals in the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) evidence-based substance misuse model. This grant, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), marks the second federally funded collaborative effort between the College of Social Work and the Department of Family and Community Medicine to prepare social workers and health professionals to respond to contemporary workforce challenges in health care.


The federal grant will fund a variety of training opportunities, including specialized coursework in the College of Social Work Clinical Social Work MSW concentration and the medical residency program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine; cross-listed hybrid electives open to students across the health colleges; and community-based training opportunities for professionals currently in the field. A variety of educational platforms will be used to enhance learning outcomes including online training modules, simulated patient activities, and faculty mentoring in skills-practice.


“We are excited to expand and create new interprofesssional training opportunities to prepare future behavioral health leadership in Kentucky, I can’t think of a better way to engage the community,” Craig said.


The collaborative team includes faculty from the College of Medicine including, Dr. Jonathan Ballard, Dr. William Elder, Dr. Carol Hustedde, Dr. Oscar Perez, and Andrienna Festie; from the Center of Excellence in Rural Health including Dr. Joe Kingery, CEO and medical director of the UK Northfork Valley Clinic; and from the College of Social Work including, Kalea Benner, director of Undergraduate Studies and assistant professor, Patricia Cook-Craig, associate professor, Ted Godlaski, associate clinical professor, Michele Tindall, associate professor, and Pamela Weeks, associate clinical professor.




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

UK HealthCare Hosts Employee Recruitment Fair Feb. 25

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 14:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016) — Health care professionals are invited to the UK HealthCare Recruitment Fair on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. on the ground floor of the Pavilion A Lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital.


With the slogan “Every Patient, Every Time,” UK HealthCare is searching for experienced health professionals who are passionate about delivering high-quality patient care for a number of open positions.


Candidates seeking employment can meet with managers and departmental leaders and learn about positions during the Recruitment Open House. All experience levels, including new graduates, can apply for positions in a number of professional disciplines, including nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology and laboratory services.  Positions are based at UK Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Eastern State Hospital. Nursing technicians and surgical technicians will also be recruited.


Candidates should bring copies of their curriculum vitae or resume to the open house. The event includes tours of the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion. Validated parking is available in the UK Chandler Hospital garage on Transcript Ave. Walk-ins are welcome. 


For more information about nursing at UK HealthCare, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Grant Will Fund Study Anticoagulants and LVADs

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 14:22

LEXINGTON, KY. (Feb. 24, 2016) — Left Ventricular Assist Devices, or LVADs, can be true lifesavers for people with heart failure, either as a permanent replacement for a failing heart or as a sort of "bridge," temporarily taking over the heart's work until a donor heart is available for transplant.


But LVADs require anticoagulation drugs to prevent deadly blood clots from forming and causing strokes or heart attacks. Under normal circumstances, anticoagulation therapy is a manageable and relatively uncomplicated process for patients with LVADs.  However, if that patient needs more surgery, taking drugs that thin the blood is a dangerous  even life-threatening  proposition.


Dr. Maya Guglin, professor of medicine and director of the Ventricular Assist Program at the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute, has received a grant from device manufacturer St. Jude Medical to explore effective ways of managing anticoagulation in patients who require procedures after their LVAD implant.


"The Gill Heart Institute's Heart Failure Program has seen explosive growth, with 43 heart transplants and 32 LVAD procedures in 2015, up from 13 transplants and 29 LVADs in 2014," said Guglin. "We are well-positioned to explore how anticoagulation regimens should be managed when LVAD patients need an unrelated procedure, such as right-heart catheterization, dental work, or other non-cardiac surgery."


Guglin's research will focus on three scientific objectives:

  • Determine whether bridging anticoagulation is needed during warfarin interruption in patients with a particular brand of LVAD who are undergoing elective invasive procedures.
  • Determine whether bridging anticoagulation increases bleeding for those patients.
  • Determine overall safety of elective invasive procedures in LVAD patients.

The rationale for Guglin's work lies in an abrupt rise in reports of blood clots in patients with a HM II LVAD.


"In early experience, LVAD patients developed blood clots at a relatively low rate, but the national rate almost quadrupled over a two year period," Guglin said. "Simultaneously, patients with HM II LVADs were getting blood clots much sooner after their implants — 2.7 months instead of the original 18 months."


"LVADs are an important tool for heart failure patients.  My research proposes to find ways to minimize their risk relative to their reward."


Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the Gill Heart Institute, notes that this award is an accurate reflection of the quality of the Gill's Heart Failure Program.


"Under Dr. Guglin's tutelage, our Heart Failure Program has grown significantly," said Smyth. "This grant is an acknowledgment of the Gill's position in the field and its ability to contribute to the knowledge base in a meaningful way."


Media Contect: Laura Dawahare,, (859) 257-5307



Holmes Award Nominees Announced; Register Now for Luncheon

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016) — Twenty-three women at the University of Kentucky have been nominated for the 2016 Sarah Bennett Holmes Award, and registration is underway now to attend the award ceremony and luncheon 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Hilary J. Boone Center. Visit for more information. The registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 29. Due to the change of venue and the limited space, registrations will be taken on a first come, first served basis.


Coordinated by UK Women's Forum, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award is granted annually to women working at UK who promote the growth and well-being of other women at the university and across the Commonwealth. Two awards are presented — one to a faculty member and one to a staff member.


The 2016 nominees are:



· Elizabeth Arnold, College of Fine Arts, Vocal Music

· Kristin Ashford, College of Nursing

· Christia Brown, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology

· Patricia Cook-Craig, College of Social Work

· Renee Fatemi, College of Arts and Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

· Lindsey Fay, College of Design, School of Interiors

· Diane Follingstad, Center for Research on Violence Against Women

· Jenna Goldsmith, College of Arts and Sciences, English

· Laura Meints, College of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

· Jonell Pedescleaux, College of Education, Kinesiology and Health Promotion

· Rebekah Radtke, College of Design, School of Interiors

· Susan Smyth, Gill Heart Institute

· Anita Superson, College of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy

· Margaret Szabunio, Department of Radiology, Division of Women’s Radiology

· Robin Vanderpool, College of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior



· Jane Andrus, College of Fine Arts, School of Art and Visual Studies

· Neomia Hagan Flores, Robinson Scholars Program – Undergraduate Education

· Nancy Jennings, College of Nursing, UK’s Polk Dalton Clinic

· Tracy Macaulay, College of Pharmacy

· Shonta Phelps, Gatton College of Business and Economics

· Ashley Rouster, Violence Intervention and Prevention Center

· Nicole Waite, Nurse Recruitment

· Marianne Young, Gatton College of Business and Economics


The Sarah Bennett Holmes Award was established by UK Women's Forum in 1994 and honors a distinguished former dean of women at UK. Holmes, who was widowed at a young age, raised four children while completing her own education. She went on to have a successful career at UK where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of hardship and pursue their career goals. Among her accomplishments, Holmes developed work programs for women during the Depression.



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155 or

Welcome to the School of Journalism and Media

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:11


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016)  The University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications, housed in the College of Communication and Information, will have a new name. To better reflect its majors, it will soon be named the School of Journalism and Media.


This change stems from the separation of the integrated strategic communication (ISC) major to its own department in the fall of 2015. As ISC moved away from the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, the school needed a new name.


Lars Willnat, the new director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, supports the proposed change.


“The name change was mainly driven by the fact that we changed the name of one of the two bachelor programs from 'Telecommunications' to 'Media Arts and Studies' a few years ago,” Willnat said. “It therefore made sense to change the name of the school as well.”


Changing the name of the school reflects the updates that come with time, while still honoring the rich history of majors that have existed for many years.


“It reinforces the importance of both journalism, the oldest discipline within the college, which began at UK in 1914, and media arts and studies, which has is own long history at UK, having evolved from a radio and television program, to telecommunications, and now media arts and studies,” said Beth Barnes, former director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.


“In addition, I believe that the school’s new name nicely reflects the fact that we are educating the next generation of media professionals, including multimedia journalists, digital content creators and media scholars,” Willnat said.


After completing the process with full approval by all parties, the name change was officially approved during the Feb. 19, 2016, Board of Trustees meeting and will take effect July 1, 2016.



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

UK Work-Life Summer Camps Fair to Ease Search for Child Care

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 09:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Office of Work-Life, within UK Human Resources, would like to make your search for great summer camps and/or summer child care for children or grandchildren a little easier this year. 


On Friday, March 4, the UK Office of Work-Life will host its third annual Summer Camps Fair. The fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Hilary J. Boone Center. The fair is open to all faculty, staff and students. Spouses and partners are also welcome and encouraged to attend. Early registration is available here.


“Parents at UK will have the opportunity to meet with camp representatives from programs focused on everything from art to sports to academics. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the Big Blue Family Care program and find a child care provider for the summer,” said Erika Chambers, director of the Office of Work-Life.


Camps and activities from Fayette and surrounding counties will be at the event. Many camps are offering early-bird prices, UK employee discounts, extended hours and/or pre-registration for those who attend.


The Office of Work-Life hopes this event will help members of the UK community find summer camps, programs and child care that meet their families' summer care needs.


Click here to visit the Work-Life Summer Camps website for more information; descriptions of participating camps will be added to the site soon.


If you have any questions, contact the Office of Work-Life at



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

UHS to Offer Mumps Immunization Clinic on Wednesday, Feb. 24

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 16:30
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2016)  ̶  University Health Service (UHS) will offer a special mumps (MMR) vaccination clinic for University of Kentucky students from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 in the UHS first floor lobby. Flu shots also will be available. It will be a walk-in clinic with no appointment needed.


Students are asked to check with their parent or guardian to determine if they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine in the past.  If not, or if unconfirmed, it is recommended they receive the vaccine. 


Students should bring a student ID as well as a copy (printed or digital) of their immunization history, if it is available. The cost for the MMR vaccine will be $59 for full-time students as part of their health fee and $74 for other students. Flu shots will be available for $10. If you are enrolled in UK’s Student Insurance plan, the vaccines are covered and students should bring a printed or digital copy of their insurance card.


The most effective means of mumps prevention is having received two doses of the MMR vaccine. 


Last week three students tested positive for the mumps; several other students have exhibited symptoms including swollen salivary glands.


Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands.

For more information, go to: or



CSA Offers Fresh Food Straight from UK's Organic Farm

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Feb. 23, 2016) — Registration is open for the 2016 season of the Community Supported Agriculture Project sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. All UK faculty, staff and students are eligible to enroll in the program, which provides them with a weekly share of fresh vegetables from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic unit of the Horticulture Research Farm in Lexington from May through October.


Community Supported Agriculture, also known as a CSA, is a subscription-based program where consumers buy “shares” in a farm’s output. Members benefit from receiving fresh, local and affordable produce from growers they know and trust. Farmers benefit from having a reliable source of funds to help them operate in an economically sustainable manner. In the case of the UK CSA Project, since the UK organic farm is not a commercial farm and is not managed for profit, financial proceeds from the sale of shares support production during the growing season and student educational activities of the sustainable agriculture degree program, including student study tours and support for conference attendance.


The project is an integral part of the experiential education component of that degree program. The farm acts as both a formal and informal classroom, affording students experience in sustainable agriculture practices.


For less than $30 per week, UK CSA shareholders will receive a weekly assortment of freshly harvested produce from May 26 through Oct. 20. Share costs are $649 for faculty and staff and $583 for students. In addition and at no extra cost, shareholders will have access to a variety of you-pick crops available on the farm. The produce in the shares will vary according to the time of year, but based on a typical growing season, shareholders can expect to find such items as spring salad mix, radishes, spinach, kohlrabi, turnips, broccoli, cucumbers, basil, corn, melons, onions, squash, potatoes and tomatoes, among others.


The number of shares is limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis. Full payment at the start of the season is encouraged, but payment may also be made in four separate installments of $162.25 for faculty and staff and $145.75 for students.


When registering, participants can choose to pick up their weekly shares from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT Thursdays in the parking lot of the E.S. Good Barn on campus or from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the UK Horticulture Research Farm.


For more information on the CSA program email or go online to To register for the UK CSA, go to season.




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