Campus News

UK MANRRS Three-peats With National Honors

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 09:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8 2015) — The University of Kentucky MANRRS chapter has pulled off a three-peat as National Chapter of the Year at the recent 30th annual conference for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. The chapter, housed in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, also brought home honors for students and Kentucky 4-H agents.


Last year was the first time in their history that the chapter received back-to-back recognitions as National Chapter of the Year. This year’s honor added icing to the cake, said Quentin Tyler, UKAg assistant dean and director of the college’s Office of Diversity. The chapter also won the Region III Chapter of the Year for the fifth straight year.


“This shows the continuity we have in place and the strong foundation we have to support our students,” Tyler said. “The conference theme was 'Branching Out and Excelling to Greater Heights.' Our students represent that theme well. They are prepared, they’re motivated, and they have the family structure here in the college to succeed.”


Tyler and co-adviser Natasha Saunders took 27 students to Houston, Texas, for the conference. The students’ written report and oral presentation to the national gathering described the chapter’s membership, leadership development, community service and activities, and contained ideas for promoting the national society. They were among 75 chapters from 38 states who competed for the title.


In addition to the overall chapter recognition, UK MANRRS brought home a number of individual honors. They include:


Kierra Crawford, a junior dietetics major, took second place in the National MANRRS Public Speaking Contest.


Alexandria Burns, a junior merchandising, apparel and textiles major, took third place in the National MANRRS Written Essay Contest.


Tyler assumed the office of National MANRRS president.


Kelly Moore, a senior majoring in community and leadership development, was elected National MANRRS undergraduate student president.


Marcus Bernard, who is working on his doctorate in rural sociology, was named National MANRRS parliamentarian.


Ashley Holt, a doctoral student in education leadership and a 4-H youth development agent in Jefferson County, was elected to the office of Region III graduate vice president.


Marcus Tyler Jr., a freshman in agricultural economics, was elected Region III undergraduate vice president.


Antomia Farrell, 4-H youth development agent from Christian County, acted as the National Jr. MANRRS co-chair, organizing the Jr. MANRRS portion of the conference. Jr. MANRRS is a pre-collegiate outreach program geared toward promoting future career pathways and educational opportunities in the MANRRS fields of study.


Whitney McKoy, 4-H youth development agent in Franklin County received the National Jr. MANRRS Special Recognition Award for her years of service and leadership.


Jr. MANRRS students Fabian Leon, Montreale Jones and Diana Croney also came home with honors. Leon, from Woodford County, was awarded the only national John Deere Scholarship for a high school student. Jones and Croney, both from Christian County, took second place and third place respectively in the public speaking contest.


“These honors directly reflect the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s commitment to our students,” Tyler said. “Our administration, faculty, staff, 4-H agents and groups such as the UKAg and HES Alumni Association and Farm Credit Mid-America are vital in helping our students attain their goals.”


For more information about UK MANRRS and the UKAg Office of Diversity, visit




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

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Staff Senate Election

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 17:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2015) — Self-nominations for the University of Kentucky Staff Senate are now being accepted through Friday, April 24. Staff senators are elected by their UK peers and serve 3-year terms. 


Service on the Staff Senate is an excellent opportunity for UK’s employees to become involved in shared governance and contribute to the greater university good, according to Elections Committee Co-Chair Jeff Spradling.


“I joined Staff Senate because I wanted to give some of my time to the community that has been so good to me,” Spradling said. “We have a very dedicated group of senators who are passionate about serving our co-workers and creating a positive and productive work environment, and we are always looking for new people to get involved.”


To run for an elected senate office, the employee must be .75 full time equivalent or more and receive supervisor approval to participate. Typically, senators commit about 3-4 hours a month to senate meetings and events. Service time to the senate is officially sanctioned for those who are elected.


Staff senators are involved in a wide variety of activities on campus, from serving on decision-making committees to planning and facilitating special events, such as the annual UK Appreciation Day and the Outstanding Staff Awards recognition ceremony.


“There are many opportunities in the Senate for individuals to develop their leadership skills, learn about the university on a larger scale, and contribute to a positive work environment. I especially encourage early and mid-career professionals at the university to get involved in this rewarding endeavor,” Spradling said.


Guidelines to run for senate, as well as the self-nomination form, are available at the following link:


For more information, contact Senate Office Coordinator Holly Clark at 859-257-9240 or

Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center Exposes Surprising Facts about Distracted Driving

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 17:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2015) — By now, most Americans are aware of the dangers associated with driving while using a cell phone. But injury prevention experts at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) based at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, in partnership with the National Safety Council (NSC), are calling attention to a few surprising facts about distracted driving to encourage safe practices at the wheel. 


Cell phone distractions lead to fatalities in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky State Police, in 2013 there were 955 collisions on Kentucky roads in which cell phone use was listed as a contributing factor. Six of these 955 collisions involved a fatality.  These numbers represent only the cases where the officer had clear evidence of cell phone involvement.


Hands-free devices are unsafe too. The NSC reports an estimated one in four crashes involve cell phone distraction, hand-held and hands-free. Unlike talking and chewing gum, driving and talking on a cell phone are both thinking tasks, and the brain must focus first on one task, then the other.  While it appears that a person is doing both tasks at once, the reality is that attention is shifting back and forth, and it only takes a brief shift to cause a roadway disaster.  


While driving, talking to someone on a cell phone is different than talking to a passenger in the car. Another adult in the car, or "backseat driver," is more likely to also be watching the road and will help alert drivers to road conditions or oncoming traffic problems.  Driving while talking on a cell phone, on the other hand, places the driver, and others, at unnecessary risk.


Text messaging by voice dictation is a considerable hazard for drivers. New studies show that using voice to text is actually more distracting than typing a text by hand. 


Car crashes are the number one cause of workplace deaths. Companies have paid millions for cell-phone related crashes. When surveying companies of all sizes who issued total bans on cell phone use, the NSC discovered only 1 percent of employers saw a productivity decrease. 


“We urge Kentuckians to learn as much as possible and to teach others about distracted driving with cell phones," Terry Bunn, Ph.D, director of KIPRC, said. "As part of the National Safety Council's Distracted Driving Awareness Month throughout April, we are providing free learning materials, video links and explanations to educate drivers on this important issue.” 


To access a fact sheet about distracted driving from KIPRC, click here. Make an informed decision to keep the roadways safe by driving cell free, and take the pledge to do so at .


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Mechanical Engineering's Henninger Wins GE Challenge

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2015) — Tom Henninger, University of Kentucky Department of Mechanical Engineering lecturer, has been named a winner in GE's Water & Process Technologies Challenge. Henninger is one of five winning contestants who each will receive a cash prize award of $20,000 and the opportunity to work with GE Water engineers.


The challenge asked contestants to create 3D designs for novel means of connecting the components of a plastic central tube assembly — a critical part of spiral wound membranes, used in GE's advanced water systems.


Using the winning designs, GE wants to improve the means of connection to eliminate unnecessary components, reduce cost and improve efficiency for its customers as it relates to spiral wound membranes.


Henninger joined UK in 1999 as an industrial extension engineer. In this role, he worked with manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the state providing low-cost engineering design and analysis of products, manufacturing processes, facility layouts, and prototype design and fabrication.


In 2010, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is now a co-director of the Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center, part of the UK College of Engineering and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, performing free energy audits for manufacturers in the region with a team of students. 


Henninger also conducts design and analysis consulting work through JTH Consulting LLC, and is a co-advisor for the UK Solar Car Team. 




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

UK Professor to Lead Concert Commemorating Civil War Sesquicentennial

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2015) — Jefferson Johnson, UK choral director and conductor and musical director of Lexington Singers, will lead a world premiere concert commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The "Peace and Reconciliation" concert, featuring the Lexington Singers, Lexington Singers Children’s Choir (LSCC) and the Centenary United Methodist Church (UMC) Chancel Choir, will begin 8 p.m. Friday, April 10, at Centenary United Methodist Church


The centerpiece of the concert will be the world premiere of Rollo Dilworth’s “In the Spirit of Reconciliation.” The five-movement work for chorus, children’s choir and chamber orchestra incorporates a creative blending of the traditional Latin mass text with iconic American and African-American songs. The piece, commissioned by the Lexington Singers, is a fresh, moving appeal for peace and reconciliation from the pen of one of the most prolific choral composers of the 21st century. 


Also on the program is the premiere of Lexington composer Johnie Dean’s “Sing the Song of Peace” for the same performing forces. In addition, the Lexington Singers will perform spirituals and patriotic songs joined by the Centenary UMC Chancel Choir, under the direction of Scott Heersche; the LSCC, under the direction of UK School of Music Associate Director Lori Hetzel; and the Lexington Ringers — a new handbell ensemble formed from the Lexington Singers’ membership. 


About the concert, Lexington Singers Music Director Jefferson Johnson said: “There have been a number of concerts and events over the past four years commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.  But we thought, in light of the social struggles that we still experience in our culture, it would be enlightening and possibly instructive to celebrate the end of the conflict with a new piece of art on a theme of unity and peace. Rollo Dilworth is a composer known for his spirituals and gospel arrangements as well as for his classical compositions. 'In the Spirit of Reconciliation' weaves these genres together into a thoughtful commentary on the legacy of the Civil War.” 


Tickets for "Peace and Reconciliation" are $22 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $18 for children and students. Tickets can be purchased by calling 859-338-9888.           


For more information on the concert or the Lexington Singers, contact Jefferson Johnson at or 859-351-0348.



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


UK's CBER Shows Impact of Education on the Economy

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2015) — If you have ever wondered what impact educational attainment levels have on the Kentucky economy, a new research poster published by the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), part of the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, spells out the answer very clearly.


"The Impact of Education Cascading Through the Economy" graphically shows the overwhelming evidence that higher levels of education are generally associated with:

·         Higher Income

·         Higher Earnings and Employment

·         Better Health

·         More Volunteerism

·         Increased Technology Use

·         Lower Public Assistance


"Research confirms what common sense suggests," said CBER research associate Michael T. Childress. "Higher levels of education are associated with better economic outcomes like higher wages and lower unemployment. And by improving health, increasing technology use, expanding volunteerism, and reducing public assistance, higher education levels have long-lasting effects on the economy."


The CBER poster goes on to state that Kentucky's educational position has improved significantly over the last 25 years, but the state still lags the U.S. average in college attainment (23 percent to 30 percent) and academic achievement gaps continue to mute overall educational progress. 


"In the global economy, Kentucky's future economic prosperity will be determined largely by the pursuit of, and investment in, educational excellence," said CBER Director and Gatton Endowed Professor of Economics Christopher Bollinger.


A PDF of the CBER poster is available via email by contacting Childress at The research document can also be accessed via the CBER website at




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



Country Music Star Deana Carter Visits Alpha Delta Pi

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 08:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Apr. 6, 2015) — Country music artist, Deana Carter, visited Lexington last week to give  a private performance for the University of Kentucky Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters on Tuesday, March 31. The concert was the grand prize of a contest which encouraged each Alpha Delta Pi chapter in the country to raise money for their philanthropy, Ronald McDonald House Charities.


Carter is a country music singer and songwriter sensation. She is the daughter of famous country artist, Fred F. Carter. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Carter got her start in music by performing on the campus of the University of Tennessee. Her career took flight when her demo tapes caught the attention of renowned country star Willie Nelson. She then signed with Capitol Records and released her debut album, "Did I Shave My Legs for This?" which sold over 5 million copies in the United States. Her debut single from the album, "Strawberry Wine" reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.


Carter released five more studio albums before taking a break from music to spend more time with her son. Then one day Carter got a call informing her that country music star, Kenny Chesney, wanted to record a song she wrote called "You and Tequila." The song went on to be nominated for both a Country Music Award and a Grammy award. She started writing music again and her latest album, "Southern Way of Life" was released in late 2013.


During her time at the University of Tennessee, Carter was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She is still actively involved as an alumna and even performed at the sorority's National Convention in Atlanta last summer. Carter started the contest "Do or Die ADPi" where chapters were encouraged to raise money for their national philanthropy, Ronald McDonald House Charities. The chapter with the most money won an acoustic performance from Carter herself.


"In doing a new record last year, I was just looking at what was in my life that's been important to me and I went back to college and ADPi," said Carter. "I thought about my song 'Do or Die' and I just thought of the campaign and Ronald McDonald House and how much of a difference they can make."


The UK Alpha Delta Pi chapter, Beta Psi, won the contest by raising $87,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Kentucky chapter held two large-scale philanthropy events. Co-hosted with Sigma Chi Fraternity in the fall semester.


The Main Event is  an amateur boxing match that allows members from different fraternities and sororities to compete in the ring. There is also a dance competition which allows sororities to perform in between each match. The chapter raised $51,000 from this event through a combination of restaurant nights, ticket sales, corporate donations and individual donations.


Alpha Delta Pi also hosts Color Me Rad, a 5K race that leaves its participants covered in every color imaginable. An additional $11,000 was raised from this event and the chapter hopes that their  numbers will only increase every year.


The chapter also hosts smaller fundraisers for the charity and visits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass weekly. With the Ronald McDonald House only being a mile away from the sorority house, the girls are able to be actively involved in working with their philanthropy.


"We set up meals twice a month or more, and we also have holiday parties or game nights, and we just help the Ronald McDonald House with whatever they’re doing. Whether it be a red tie gala or an open house for Christmas, we will help them with that," said Hannah Maddox, Alpha Delta Pi's former philanthropy chair. "We've gotten to know the families and all the people that work there so it's really cool."


Since its partnership in 1979, Alpha Delta Pi chapters across the country have raised more than $9 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Carter recalls the importance that serving others played in her college career and wanted to encourage that in current members of Alpha Delta Pi.


"It teaches you early on focus and commitment and something bigger than yourself, and that your input can really make a difference," said Carter. "Every time I drive by a Ronald McDonald House or even go to a McDonalds, I think about ADPi because it's such a beautiful thing."


Carter's visit to the house was not only a concert, but also a personal meet and greet with the girls.  As Carter took the time to talk with the sorority sisters, she shared personal stories and asked questions about their lives as well. During the concert, the room was filled with laughter, singing and even some tears as Carter reminisced on what being an Alpha Delta Pi meant to her. Before she left, Carter took the time to take pictures with the sorority members to document their special day.


“Our Alpha Delta Pi collegians and alumnae, as well as friends and family of members of Alpha Delta Pi, are passionate about our philanthropic partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities,” foundation president Dawn Victor-Herring said. “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with RMHC and Beta Psi chapter who has led the way in demonstrating their charitable spirit on their campus and in their community."


Alpha Delta Pi was founded at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia. in 1851. The principles of scholarship, leadership, sisterhood and service guide more than 235,000 women in 153 active collegiate chapters and more than 150 alumnae associations of Alpha Delta Pi. The sorority partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities in 1979 and has contributed over $9.3 million dollars during their 35-year partnership. Alpha Delta Pi headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia.

Power Outage on South Campus

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 20:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) — There has been a utility outage in parts of South Campus reported around around 8 p.m. The outage has affected the College of Agriculture, Greg Page Apartments, Shawneetown Apartments, Commonwealth Stadium, and all buildings on Coal Pile Road. The cause for the outage is unknown at this time. PPD is on scene and is working on the problem.



Service and Sustainability: Earth Days in the Bluegrass 2015

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) – As countries, organizations and individuals across the globe celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the University of Kentucky celebrates the occasion throughout the month of April with "Earth Days in the Bluegrass," promoting sustainability, responsible global citizenship and the power of local action.


This week, the UK community is invited to participate in one of many UK events celebrating environmental stewardship: the Campus Clean Sweep service event, presented by the Pick It Up campaign in partnership with Bluegrass Greensource.


UK students, faculty and staff will take to the streets with gloves, trash bags and a mission to rid Limestone Ave., Woodland Ave. and surrounding areas of litter from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Participants will meet at the UK Student Center patio, where supplies, free food by UK Dining and free t-shirts will be provided while supplies last.


“The clean sweep will be a fun way for all members of the campus community to pitch in for a litter-free campus," said Shane Tedder, UK sustainability coordinator. "Even if you can’t make it over to the student center, you can be a part of the clean sweep just by picking up litter as you walk the campus.”


Alex Miller, an environmental and sustainability studies and international studies junior who spearheaded the Pick It Up campaign, thinks the event is an easy way for students to get involved in UK's sustainability efforts. 


"The Campus Clean Sweep is a great opportunity to sweep the campus of litter, especially with the end of the semester coming," said Miller. "Students can do their part in keeping the campus clean and protecting the environment as Earth Day approaches."


Following the Campus Clean Sweep, UK faculty, staff and students will pedal their way to a more sustainable campus with UK Bike Week 2015 presented by the UK Bicycle Advisory Committee, from April 13-17.


UK Bike Week includes:


DIY Fix-It Station Demonstrations

From 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. on Monday, April 13, fix-it demonstrations will take place at the campus bicycle repair stations located on Patterson Drive, at the College of Nursing and at William T. Young Library. Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library staff will join members of the UK Bicycle Advisory Committee in demonstrating how to use these resources.


Tour de Downtown Art

From 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, participants will depart from Wildcat Alumni Plaza and cycle throughout downtown Lexington to get a unique perspective on downtown murals. The tour will be led by a League of American Bicyclists-certified instructor, as well as an art guide familiar with the murals. The tour is expected to cover 2-3 miles and last approximately 90 minutes. Space is limited to 25 people; please sign up to attend this free tour via the Facebook event page.


3rd Annual Bike to Campus Day

On Thursday, April 16, the UK community is encouraged to bike to campus and show support by using the Bike to Campus avatar (below) as a profile picture on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.


Car-Free Day

On Friday, April 17, members of the UK community can take the car–free pledge and enjoy a day of fresh air and exercise. Pledge on the UK Sustainability Facebook page for a chance to win a free Earth Days in the Bluegrass t-shirt or a bike bell. Additional car-free resources are available from UK Parking and Transportation Services and UK Wildcat Wheels.


A tire sweep on the Licking River from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, will end the second week of Earth Days in the Bluegrass. The event is sponsored by the Student Sustainability Council and transportation, canoe rental and lunch will be provided. To reserve a space or to find out more information, email


Finally, on the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, a celebration on the UK Student Center patio will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with free Kentucky Proud food, fun activities, prizes and a showcase of UK's sustainability efforts. Plus, Wildcat Wheels will have the famous "blender bike" spinning out free smoothies. That evening, UK Dining will celebrate with an Earth Day dinner at Commons Market.



To find out more information about Earth Days in the Bluegrass, visit




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

Yoga, Farmers' Market Shopping Experience Part of National Public Health Week Activities

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 15:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Public Health is encouraging the campus community to strive toward becoming the healthiest generation during National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 6 through April 11. 


Sponsored by the American Public Health Association (APHA), the annual celebration seeks to bring communities together in recognition of public health and highlight health issues that are important to improving health at the local, regional and national level. As part of this year’s campaign, the College of Public Health will hold a series of events designed to educate, inform and raise awareness within the campus community of public health issues and concerns.  All students, staff and faculty are invited to participate in free daily events, which include:


·         Monday, April 6

o   11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – NPHW Kick Off on the Student Center Patio

·         Wednesday, April 8

o   11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in CPH 115 – APHA Panel Discussion with students who attended the APHA conference this year

o   12 to 1 p.m. in Wethington 411 – How to Stop Worrying and Love the Farmers' Market

·         Thursday, April 9

o   5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Center – Race, Money, and Health expert panel

·         Friday, April 10

o   12 to 1 p.m. on Scovell Hall lawn – Yoga

·         Saturday, April 11

o   7 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Fifth Third Pavilion Downtown – Participants are encouraged to put their new shopping skills to the test at the Lexington Farmers' Market


The theme of this year’s initiative is creating the healthiest nation in one generation.  Each of the activities planned by the College of Public Health is designed to encourage healthier lifestyles and healthier communities.  Those participating in NPHW events are invited to tag photos of the activities using #ukcphnphw.


MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Noble,; Elizabeth Adams,


Text Message Alerts Keep More Kentucky Children Up-to-Date with Vaccinations

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 14:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — Nearly a third of all children nationwide and in Kentucky aren't up-to-date with the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but not because their parents are refusing vaccines. Evidence suggests parents tend to forget appointments when children are scheduled to receive immunizations.


A group of pediatricians at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine are helping parents remember vaccination appointments through a new text message alert system. Parents of babies born at the Kentucky Children's Hospital (KCH) Birthing Center are presented with the option to receive a sequence of text message reminders the week before their child's vaccination appointments.


 Dr. Akshay Sharma, Dr. Anil George and Dr. Kimberly Northrip are testing the impact of the text message alert system and its ability to prevent missed appointments for publicly and privately insured patients. The ongoing project, which was awarded a grant from the Community Access to Child Health fund of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014, was launched last August.


"The most common reason (for missed appointments) is parents don't have information or forget when their children’s vaccinations are due," said Sharma, principle investigator of the research and a pediatric resident at KCH.


Sharma stressed that timing is crucial for the efficacy of childhood vaccinations. Children receive vaccinations and booster shots at their two-month, four-month, six-month, one-year, 15-month and 18-month appointments. These vaccinations protect against infectious diseases including polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumonia, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, measles, mumps and rubella. The CDC-recommended vaccination schedule is designed to immunize the child at a point in their life when they are most vulnerable to contracting or spreading these diseases.


An outbreak of the measles linked to an amusement park in California that started in December 2014 has spread to about 150 children in seven states, calling attention to the public health consequences of children with incomplete vaccinations. In Kentucky, an estimated 70 percent of children complete the recommended vaccination schedule by 35 months of age, which should ideally be completed by 18 months of age. George said parents attempt to update their child's medical records in preparation for preschool or kindergarten, as late as 5 or 6 years of age, only to learn their child has aged-out of certain vaccines.


"Like we are seeing with the measles outbreak, it's not that all the children were unimmunized, it's that they were not completely immunized," George said. "Getting vaccines for school entry is okay, but it doesn't help the community at large because there are still vulnerable children in the community."  


In the United States, 90 percent of people carry a cellphone, and text messages are typically accessed faster than voice messages. The text message alert system adopted at Kentucky Children's Hospital was designed by the same software developers that created a successful nationwide vaccination reminder system for the Indian Academy of Pediatrics a few years ago. The system reminders are individualized, providing an alert for each KCH child in the family.


Sharma said previous research suggests publicly insured patients are less likely to complete the recommended vaccination schedules. With the text alert system in place, preliminary results of the study show publicly insured patients are more likely to adhere to the immunization schedule when they opt to receive text message reminders.


"In this study, we found that while the immunization rates improved for all children when their parents received the reminders, the immunization rates for the publicly insured patients increased to the same levels as their privately insured counterparts," said Northrip, who is mentoring the residents.


The researchers are working to collect data from 1,000 patients, with 500 children already registered for the study. Half of the study's subjects will receive the alert system and half will not receive the alerts. The group recently presented some preliminary results at the Southern Regional Meetings in New Orleans and intend to publish their findings in a national medical journal on completion of the study. After the initial testing phase, the text message alerts will be available to any parent in Kentucky or the rest of the country.


To register for the text message alert system, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UKAg Offers Annual Lawn Mower Clinic This Week

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 12:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — Soon the sound of lawn mowers will fill the air, but some may not be in optimum condition. Students in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering will host their annual Lawn Mower Clinic April 9-11 to sharpen mower blades and their skills.


Blade sharpening isn’t the only service included in the $35 fee. Students will also change the oil, clean and gap spark plugs, thoroughly clean the mower including the air filter, and drain the fuel system. New spark plugs will cost an additional $5.


The goal for the clinic is to provide preventative maintenance for the upcoming season, but students are not able to offer repair services for broken machines. Organizers can only accept a limited number of mowers, so reservations are a must.


To reserve a spot, email or call 859-218-4329 and make sure to include name, phone number, make and model of mower, drop-off date and whether the mower needs a new spark plug.


Participants should bring their mowers to the Agriculture Machinery Research Laboratory machine shop on Stadium View off College Way and Alumni Drive in Lexington between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. EDT, April 9-11. Pick up is Sunday April 12 between 8 a.m. and noon. Owners may be able to pick up their mower on Saturday, if the mower is ready.


Clinic organizers are not able to accept reel mowers, garden tractors or riding mowers, and all machines must be operational.


Because of the challenges of servicing Honda mowers, those machines will cost an additional $10 to offset the additional time and effort to adequately service them.


A portion of the service fees will go to the Larry W. Turner Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for first-generation college students.



MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

#seeleadership: Student Leadership Organization Presented With National Award

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 10:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Leadership Exchange Ambassador (LEA) program has been presented with the Organization Achievement Award, which recognizes student-run organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, teamwork and organizational skills to plan and facilitate events that benefit the community.


On Feb. 13, Courtlynn Lindsay and Cody Williams, student ambassadors for the program, traveled to present at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference (NCLC) at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. Their presentation was focused on starting a leadership-focused student organization, such as LEA.


“NCLC was an amazing experience. It allowed me to develop new skills as I presented to students from all over the nation and received great feedback,” said Lindsay, director of internal operations.


The National Collegiate Leadership Conference is a student-run annual conference that serves as the cornerstone of the leadership experience and training for hundreds of college students across the nation. Each year, more than 600 participants from universities and colleges in more than 20 states attend the conference to learn about leadership.


“During the conference, we were also able to attend sessions over various leadership topics that allowed us to grow as leaders and bring what we learned back to UK to impact the campus and promote authentic leadership throughout,” said Lindsay.


The philosophy of NCLC is that service, social justice, and leadership are all connected. Thus, this conference offers participants a variety of opportunities to learn, engage in and reflect on these three pillars of NCLC. The skills that participants learn from this conference can be applicable in students' organizations, families, campuses, job settings and local and global communities.


The Leadership Exchange Ambassadors is an organization comprised of student leaders committed to the development of leadership on the University of Kentucky campus. The main focus of LEA is to offer opportunities for authentic, intentional development through campuswide and statewide programming made available to all students interested in leadership.


More information about the program can be found at or by contacting Leslie Pedigo at



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909


Get Taste of Local Foodways at 'From Plows to Plates'

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 10:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2015) — With the food truck scene burgeoning in Lexington and the locavore movement gaining traction statewide, what we eat and why is in the process of changing. An event sponsored by the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) explores our cuisine and offers members of the Central Kentucky community a taste of traditions, texts and talk about local food.


“From Plows to Plates: A Journey Through Kentucky Foodways” brings together prominent local food experts for a panel discussion, along with an informational exhibit, a reception featuring local food, and book signings by Kentucky authors. The event will take place 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in Margaret I. King Library Building on UK’s campus. “From Plows to Plates” is free and open to the public.


Panelists for the event are: John van Willigen, author of "Kentucky’s Cookbook Heritage: 200 Years of Southern Cuisine and Culture" and "Food and Everyday Life on Kentucky Family Farms, 1920-1950"; Ouita Michel, chef and proprietor of Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station Deli and Windy Corner Market; Tiffany Thompson, horticulturist and manager of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program; and Kristy Yowell, marketing manager of Good Foods Co-Op.


Following the panel discussion, attendees can sample Kentucky foods and learn more about culinary culture and opportunities in the region. Local food authors will be on hand to sign their books including: 

· UK professor emeritus of anthropology, John van Willigen; 

· SCRC Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs with "The Historic Kentucky Kitchen"

· Sullivan University Professor Albert W.A. Schmid with "The Old Fashioned" and "The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook"

· owner of The Green Apron Company, Maggie Green, with "The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook"

· associate curator of Special Collections at the Filson Historical Society, Michael R. Veach, with "Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey"; and 

· Aimee Zaring with "Flavors from Home."


The exhibit showcases the history of Kentucky food traditions as represented through agriculture, production and consumption, including handwritten recipes, menus, and other food-related ephemera. A number of artifacts from Kentucky’s bourbon industry, including a collection of bottle labels, will also be on display. In addition, representatives from Foodchain, Elmwood Farm, Bluegrass Farm to Table, Seed Leaf, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Lexington Farmers' Market will have information on their products and services available.


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



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

UK to Observe National Student-Athlete Day During Month of April

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 16:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) — Hundreds of events around the nation in the coming days and weeks will mark the 28th annual National Student-Athlete Day, including activities sponsored by the University of Kentucky. Governor Steve Beshear also has issued a proclamation recognizing April 6, 2015, as National Student-Athlete Day in the state of Kentucky. UK Athletics will launch a series of events starting Saturday, April 11, to mark the occasion:


·         On April 11, the UK Women's Golf team will participate in a meal packing service event at Grace Christian Church in Georgetown, Kentucky. The event is sponsored by the nonprofit organization Feed My Starving Children.


·         On April 13, a student-athlete appreciation table will be set up at the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS). 


·         On April 14, UK track and field student-athlete Whitney O'Bryan will be one of the featured motivational speakers at Cassidy Elementary School's Special Needs Awareness Week celebration. 


·         The UK Women's Soccer team will partner with College Mentors for Kids after school program for a soccer activity at the UK Women's Soccer Complex (Date TBD).      


In addition to UK student-athlete appearances, several elementary school visits to various UK Athletics facilities have been scheduled for later in the month.


National Student-Athlete Day honors student-athletes and the network of parents, coaches, teachers and school systems that make it possible for young people to strike a balance between academic and athletic achievement and who use sport as a vehicle for positive social change.  The day, established by the National Consortium for Academics & Sports, is co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Northeastern University's Center for Sport in Society.


President Obama has saluted those involved in National Student-Athlete Day activities. In an open letter acknowledging the day, he wrote, "A healthy balance between sports and academics is essential to ensuring that our students are prepared for the challenges of the future."


More information about National Student-Athlete Day is available at



MEDIA CONTACT:  Carl Nathe, (859) 257-3200; Dustin Lewis, (859) 257-2762.

Leaders on the Court and in the Lab: The Final Four in Research

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:59


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) – The university communities of Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin may have basketball foremost on their minds this weekend, but year-round those minds are performing some extraordinary research.


From pioneering the touch screens and weather satellites that we all take for granted to discovering life-saving treatments, these four top-tier research universities perform nearly $3 billion in research and development each year, making them economic engines for their states while boosting the nation’s global competitiveness.


"As our Men’s Basketball team unites the Commonwealth we serve, so, too, does the work of our faculty, staff and students, today and in the future," said University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto. "A cornerstone of UK’s multi-faceted mission is our research in the humanities, hard sciences, liberal arts and health care that touch all aspects of life, from the cellular to the community level."


"Behind the competition on the hardwood, university researchers go one-on-one with some of the world’s toughest problems every day," Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon said. "The same passion and tenacity that drive teams into the Final Four is also at work in our laboratories, classrooms and in our communities."


"Wisconsin is the proud home of world-changing innovations and discoveries," said University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. "Our achievements on the basketball court are more than equaled by our work in the classroom and in our research labs."


"We are proud of our team and their great success this year, which only helps call more attention to the breakthroughs that occur every day at Duke in our understanding of the world around us," said Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead. "It’s like winning the national championship in medicine, technology, behavior, and culture, among others."



· Naloxone, a life-saving antidote to heroin overdose, is being developed into a fast-acting nasal spray at the University of Kentucky's College of Pharmacy.

· About half of all prescription drugs in use today target a receptor on the surface of human cells that has been the life work of Duke's Robert Lefkowitz M.D., the 2013 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry.

· An MSU professor of chemistry developed cisplatin, the world's most widely used and effective anti-cancer drug. Cisplatin is highly effective in fighting a number of cancers, including testicular, ovarian and lung. 

· Warfarin, a widely used blood-thinner for treating stroke and heart disease, grew out of a University of Wisconsin investigation into the mysterious death of a calf after it ate spoiled hay.




· University of Kentucky researcher Samuel Hurst developed the precursor to the screens used in the iPad and ATMs. It recognized single-touch gestures. 

· The first space-based telescope was built by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists, paving the way for the Hubble Space Telescope.

· MSU is home to the nation's top graduate program in nuclear physics, and with U.S. Department of Energy support is building the $730 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams to explore the nature of the universe and turn that knowledge into new applications for society.

· Duke physicists are developing and commercializing a host of new ideas around the concept of metamaterials -- engineered surfaces that can redirect light, sound and even physical stresses, leading to powerful new antennas and even a sort of "invisibility cloak."



Learn More about the Final Four of research universities this weekend at #Final4Research


MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;


UK Places 10th at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015)  Braving the winter weather and cold, University of Kentucky Forensics traveled to Athens, Ohio, to compete in the 49th annual Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention held at Ohio University. More than 70 schools from across the nation took part in 22 different public speaking and debate events. As one of the largest collegiate forensics gatherings in the country, Pi Kappa Delta nationals showcases some of the best undergraduate speakers in the country.


UK Forensics placed 10th in combined sweepstakes in this highly competitive environment. The category of combined sweepstakes sums the team’s points from both individual events and debate. The team also earned excellent ratings in each of those two categories separately. These awards are the first national recognitions for the 3-year-old squad. The team secretary and treasurer, Brynne Reilly, a sophomore, explained that the tournament was “tough and challenging, but completely worth it.” Freshmen Kaylon Kennedy added that “it was completely worth it” and that she is “so proud of the team.”


Pi Kappa Delta, the oldest forensics honorary for speech and debate competition has been continually operating since 1913. With the motto of “the art of persuasion, beautiful and just,” the organization seeks to promote public speaking and argumentation nationwide through intercollegiate competitions and other educational activities. UK has been selected as the host of the 2016 National Comprehensive Tournament which will take place on campus in March of next year.


In what proved to be an interesting turn of events, the first day of the tournament was canceled due to the winter weather that passed through the Ohio River valley the night before the tournament. UK Forensics took advantage of the extra day to relax, practice, and further prepare for competition. With 54 different speeches or debate teams between nine competitors, the team had a lot of speaking to ready themselves for over the course of the tournament. Even with all of the scheduling changes, the team kept focus on the goal of exceeding expectations.


Pi Kappa Delta recognizes competitors in a slightly different fashion than most other tournaments. Instead of awarding individual places, the tournament recognizes the top 10 percent in every event with a superior award, the next 20 percent with an excellent award and the following 20 percent with a good rating.


Members of the UK Forensics team earned the following commendations:


After Dinner Speaking

Excellent – Abel Rodriguez III

Good – Dianté Elcock


Broadcast Journalism

Excellent - Brynne Reilly

Good - Abel Rodriguez III



Superior (5th Place) – Dianté Elcock


Extemporaneous Speaking

Excellent – Abel Rodriguez III

Good – Logan Hurley

Good – Brynne Reilly

Good – Ryan Winstead


Impromptu Speaking

Excellent – Rachel Brase

Excellent – Abel Rodriguez III

Good – Kaylon Kennedy

Good – Léna Touchard

Good – Ryan Winstead


Informative Speaking

Superior (3rd Place) – Logan Hurley



Excellent – Megan Wagner

Good – Dianté Elcock

Good – Ryan Winstead


IPDA Public Debate (Open Division)

Superior (2nd Place) – Abel Rodriguez III

Excellent (8th Place) – Logan Hurley


Lincoln-Douglas Debate (Junior Division)

Excellent (4th Place) – Brynne Reilly


Parliamentary Debate (Novice Division)

Superior (2nd Place) – Rachel Brase and Kaylon Kennedy

Good – Léna Touchard and Megan Wagner


Parliamentary Debate (Open Division)
Excellent (8th Place) – Brynne Reilly and Ryan Winstead


Persuasive Speaking

Good – Abel Rodriguez III


Poetry Interpretation

Good – Abel Rodriguez III


Program Oral Interpretation

Good – Dianté Elcock


Readers Theater

Good (6th Place) – Rachel Brase, Dianté Elcock, Kaylon Kennedy, and Megan Wagner


Student Congress

Excellent (10th Place) – Abel Rodriguez III

Excellent – Logan Hurley

Presiding Officer – Abel Rodriguez III

Presiding Officer – Logan Hurley


In addition to the nine student competitors, alumni Zach Shinall and Stephanie Winkler traveled with the team as judges. In the alumni showcase for public address events, Shinall placed 2nd and earned an excellent rating for his after dinner speech on the overuse of caffeine. The whole team also participated in multiple business meetings throughout the tournament and convention in preparation for hosting next year’s event.


UK Forensics is a student organization within the College of Communication and Information. The team competes in 12 different public speaking events and three forms of debate. To find out more, please contact Director of Forensics Timothy Bill at



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, (859) 323-2395;


Students, Fans Encouraged to Demonstrate #BannerBehavior This Weekend

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) — This weekend, the UK men's basketball team will continue on their journey for the university's ninth NCAA men's basketball championship. As the team heads for Indianapolis, much of the Big Blue Nation will descend upon Lexington, filling restaurants, homes and campus with the excitement a Final Four berth brings to a city.


As students and fans gather, the University of Kentucky is urging all Wildcats to demonstrate #BannerBehavior in all gatherings and celebrations. The hashtag is being used this weekend as part of UK's campus safety efforts.


"We know the Big Blue Nation will flock to Lexington this weekend to watch our men's basketball team compete in the Final Four," Jay Blanton, executive director of UK Public Relations and Marketing, said. "We wanted to create a hashtag to use during the Final Four to encourage all members of the BBN to exhibit behavior worthy of the banners hanging from the rafters at Rupp Arena and will also provide safety tips and information to students."


"This weekend, the national spotlight will be on our men's basketball team as they strive to earn a ninth national championship," UK President Eli Capilouto said. "This team is a great example of the community we foster here at UK. I urge the Big Blue Nation to demonstrate #BannerBehavior and let the spotlight shine on our team and not on our streets."


The Wildcats are on an unprecedented run, sitting at 38-0 heading into the final weekend of basketball.


"It is an incredible moment for our Wildcats, our university and our Commonwealth," UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said. "But, in an important sense, even more significant than this weekend is the road that led here. Already, we’ve witnessed one of the truly special seasons in college basketball. It’s a story of selflessness and sacrifice, working for team over self, and putting the collective good ahead of individual glory. We hope you, as members of the Big Blue Nation, relish the final steps of this very special journey."


"We know students and fans will gather," Capilouto said. "We know you will celebrate. But remember you are representing the University of Kentucky and let your actions this weekend be reflective of the pride you have for your team and your university."


Various university social media accounts will be sharing information using the #BannerBehavior hashtag leading up to and throughout the weekend. Lexington traffic information including, street closures, will be updated through the city's @LexWrecks Twitter account.


"The goal and sentiment of this hashtag is simple — be safe and respectful in your celebrations," Blanton said. "Watch out for one another. Keep each other safe. Be smart and careful. Have fun."



MEDIA CONTACTS: Jay Blanton,, 859-699-0041; Kathy Johnson,, 859-257-3155; Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909


UK Art Museum Closed Easter

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky will be closed for the Easter holiday, Sunday, April 5.


The Art Museum at UK, which is closed Mondays, will reopen for regular museum hours beginning noon Tuesday, April 7.


Currently, four exhibitions are on display at the Art Museum at UK, "Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh, Russell Maltz,"  "Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs," "Lexington Tattoo Project" and "Edward Troye: Theme & Variation." These exhibitions close April 12. More on these shows can be read here:


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



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

A Little "Badger Blood" Helps UK Patient Fight Cancer

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 13:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) ­– Scott Logdon of Salvisa, Ky., seldom needed to visit the doctor. But in September 2012, a troublesome sore throat prompted him to make a rare visit to his primary care physician. Expecting a diagnosis of strep, he got some far worse news.


"I just thought it was strep throat," Logdon said. "It turned out to be leukemia."


Logdon was immediately referred to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, where he was officially diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.


Because this type of cancer can worsen quickly, treatment began right away. Logdon underwent a rigorous round of chemotherapy at Markey, getting his infusion nonstop 24 hours a day for seven straight days.


The chemo put him into temporary remission. But further testing suggested that Logdon's cancer was likely to return at some point. While taking the “wait and see” approach was an option, it was risky.


“Statistically speaking, in high-risk patients like Scott, the cancer is probably going to come back,” said Dr. Greg Monohan, the Markey hematologist/oncologist who treated Logdon. “And if you wait and see if the cancer returns, the chemo may not take as well the second time around.”


Monohan’s team began discussing the option of a bone marrow transplant, a procedure that replaces damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Markey performs more than 80 bone marrow transplants each year.


Logdon agreed to try the transplant in October 2012, and the search for a viable donor began. The likelihood of transplant success is highly dependent on how closely the donor’s stem cells matches the recipient’s, and usually the best donors are siblings.


However, Logdon's brother and sister were tested, and neither were a match. His medical team then contacted the National Marrow Donor Program where he could potentially be matched with an anonymous donor from one of the international bone marrow registries.


In the meantime, Logdon underwent several rounds of ‘maintenance’ chemotherapy, aimed at keeping the cancer at bay until a match was found. Every 30 days, he endured five straight days of treatment, followed by a 10-day inpatient stay at Markey where he was monitored closely by Monohan’s team. Waiting took its toll on Logdon and his family, but an unexpected phone call of encouragement from UK Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari brightened the UK fan's spirits.


"Scott has had some dark days," said Angela Logdon, Scott's wife. "But he really appreciated Coach Cal taking the time to do that."


In January 2013, Logdon and his family got the call they’d been waiting for. An ideal donor had been found:  a 20-year-old male who matched 10 out of the 10 major categories of proteins that determine the likelihood of the immune system accepting the transplantation.




While walking toward the campus library one afternoon three years ago, University of Wisconsin freshman Christopher Wirz passed by tables for a national bone marrow registry donor drive. Wirz’s cousin was one of the UW students working the drive, and when he stopped to chat, she convinced him to register.


“I signed up on a whim,” Wirz said. “I just happened to be walking that way that day.”


Wirz was told that his chances of actually getting matched were slim – only about one in 100,000. But in just over a year, Wirz got the call to be a potential donor twice – the first time, he wasn’t a close enough match. But the second time, he was a perfect candidate. He agreed to do the procedure.


Wirz was flown to Washington D.C. on two separate occasions, once for major testing and evaluation, and once for the stem cell harvesting. Prior to extraction of his cells, he received a series of injections to help his stem cells move from the bone marrow to the blood. He was was tested again before the extraction began to ensure his blood counts were optimal.


“You’re kind of rooting for it, even though you don’t know the person,” Wirz said. “I was really cheering for good numbers.”


His stem cells were collected using a process called leukapheresis, which is similar to giving plasma. Wirz was hooked up to an IV for several hours to extract the stem cells from his blood, filling a large IV bag with the life-saving fluid, while another IV returned the blood to his body. After his donation was complete, Wirz felt a little tired, but spent the rest of his day touring DC before heading home. He thought about where that little piece of him could be going.


“I was wondering, ‘What happens to it now?’” Wirz said. “Where is it being delivered?”




Logdon received his bone marrow transplant on Jan. 31, 2013, following one last round of chemo. After nearly four weeks in the hospital, he was allowed to go home, though he continued to have weekly checkups for many months. Logdon's strength gradually returned, and he was able to return to his job at the Woodford County Detention Center, initially working part-time, in October.


“It took about a year to feel ‘normal’ again,” Logdon said.


Unrelated hematopoietic cell donations are anonymous – and any contact between the donor/recipient remains anonymous during the first year. After that mark, direct contact is allowed if both parties consent to release their personal information. Wirz received a handful of letters thanking him for his donation – from Scott, Angela, and their four children, including one carefully scrawled by their eight-year-old son.


Curious about the family, Wirz found them on Facebook, where Angela and Scott had documented every step of his illness.


“I saw his entire journey, from diagnosis and after,” Wirz said. “He was going through this life-threatening disease, but stayed so positive throughout it.”


That included some big moments:  statuses about their joy at finding a match, and the happy outcome of the procedure, where Logdon was deemed cancer-free.


“I thought, ‘That’s me!’” Wirz said. “He has a part of me growing in him, and that’s what’s helping him.”


The two communicated via Facebook for several weeks, but their first phone call came early in April 2014 -- just a few days, in fact, after the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team knocked off the University of Wisconsin in the semifinal game of the NCAA tournament.


Logdon, who describes his whole family as “die-hard UK fans,” couldn’t resist making a joke to the young Wisconsin student.


“I told him, ‘You know, I knew I felt kind of bad about beating Wisconsin in the tournament,’” Scott said. “’I guess it’s because I’ve got a little Badger blood in me now!’”




Later that summer, the Logdons invited Wirz and his family to come to Kentucky for the opportunity to celebrate and thank them in person. The first meeting between donor and recipient was emotionally overwhelming.


"There were a lot of tears," Logdon said. "I didn't want to let go of him when I hugged him."


Wirz, his sister, and his mother stayed for three days, touring the area and meeting dozens of thankful friends and family. One of the tour stops included Rupp Arena, where they convinced Wirz to try an Ale8 -- and, Logdon jokes, to show off UK's basketball tradition.


"We took him to Rupp Arena to show him where championships happen," Logdon said with a laugh.


Wirz, who described the whole experience as "amazing," said seeing how beloved Logdon was in his community made the whole experience finally seem real.


"Getting to see his community, and seeing how everything would be different without him," Wirz said. "That was really overwhelming."


"He's a very giving guy," Logdon said. "You don't see many 20-year-olds like him."


Wirz, now a senior and a triple-major at UW, said he wouldn't hesitate to help out another anonymous patient in need again.

"I would do it again in a heartbeat," Wirz said.




Signing up to become a donor in the marrow registry is easy – participants only need to fill out about five minutes of paperwork and complete a set of cheek swabs.


On Monday, April 13, the UK College of Pharmacy is hosting a Be the Match registry drive at the UK Markey Cancer Center. The drive will be set up at the Combs Research Building atrium at Markey from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.  If you can't make it to a local drive but would like to join the registry from home, visit Be the Match for more information.




MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 606-782-7735, or Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363 or