Campus News

UK Debate Team Finishes Season Strong at Nationals

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 13:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2016) — Completing one of the most successful years in the history of the University of Kentucky Debate Team, the team recently competed at the 70th National Debate Tournament at the University of Binghamton, part of the State University of New York system..


For the first time in school history, three partnerships from the UK Debate Team — Donald Grasse and Theo Noparstak; Ava Vargarson and Jonathan Geldof; and Marcel Roman and Holmes Hampton — reached the elimination rounds. Emory University was the only other school to match that accomplishment.


Grasse and Noparstak reached the elite eight after finishing the preliminary rounds as the sixth seed at the tournament. It was UK's first appearance in the elite eight since 2009. The eventual champion was Harvard University.


"This year was about the seniors," said David Arnett, director of the UK Debate Team. "This is a group who took a chance on Kentucky when we were rebuilding from the ground up. Four years later we’re a top five program. What can you even say about that? I’m extremely thankful to have been part of it and couldn’t be more proud of the team."


Later this month the team will host the 45th High School Tournament of Champions at UK. More than 1,000 participants from 35 states and three countries are expected to compete. 



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

UK Partners with HMR to Promote Healthy Weight to Kentuckians and UK Community

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 13:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2016) – Jeanne Bouvier, a retired UK HealthCare nurse of 25 years, didn't know how her weight gain could have happened to her.  She thought, "I'm a nurse and should know better. How did I let this get away from me?" She realized she had to get over thinking that way and do something about it before it started to affect her overall health.


"We are all human. Weight gain can happen to anybody," Bouvier said.


Bouvier has been active all her life but about three years ago, she noticed it was getting harder to do physical things. It bothered her that while participating in a football clinic to better understand the game her son, a walk-on wide receiver for UK played, she lacked the strength and stamina to take part in the mini drills.


She saw displays for Health Management Resources (HMR) in UK Chandler Hospital and decided to attend an introductory session. "I'm sold on the program," Bouvier said. "HMR has teased out all the ideas that work and thrown out the fads and other junk. If you are serious about losing weight, HMR is a serious program. It will work if you do the things they ask of you."


The HMR Program for Weight Management, a medically supervised weight loss and weight management program, has operated in cooperation with the University of Kentucky since 1985, bringing its proven lifestyle-based approach to central Kentuckians, helping them lose significant weight and teaching the skills to keep the weight off long-term. HMR was recently named a No. 1 Best Fast Weight Loss Diet in U.S. News & World Report's Best Diets of 2016 rankings.


Dr. L. Raymond Reynolds, professor in the Department of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine at the UK College of Medicine, serves as medical director for the local clinic and also serves on the national medical board. Additionally, Reynolds is program director of the Endocrinology Fellowship at UK and was named as one of the Best Doctors in America 2015-2016.


"The HMR program is clearly the premier weight management program in the U.S., due to continuous improvements based on experience, data analysis and a dedicated, passionate skilled staff. HMR has helped thousands of people with wide variety of concerns achieve a greater quality of life," Reynolds said.


Kim Berryman, a registered dietician and program operations specialist at HMR in Lexington, says the program provides the jump start many people need when beginning a healthier lifestyle program.


"The program achieves fast weight loss in a livable way, by encouraging people to eat more and stay satisfied. This makes it easier to stick to the program in both the short and long-term."


Berryman adds, "A common misconception is that losing weight quickly is not healthy, not sustainable, and will just lead to future weight regain. To the contrary, numerous clinical studies demonstrate that following a lifestyle change program which promotes fast initial weight loss can result in better long-term success."


HMR has three phases. Phase 1 is very highly structured, but time limited, with a high level of support and accountability. The objective is to follow the diet 100 percent, which results in rapid weight loss. Phase 2 is more relaxed, as the focus becomes learning and practicing healthy behaviors to maintain the weight loss. In phase 3, participants begin managing a healthy lifestyle on their own, with more flexible options for support and accountability. UK employees who participate in the program will receive a 50 percent discount on Phase I classes.


The program is having a profound impact on Richard Pitcock, an accountant for some of UK's medical and surgical departments, and his wife Donna.  Richard knew he was overweight but for the first time in his life, he was called obese. The word 'obese' resonated with him. He never thought of himself in this way.


"My wife and I have three grandkids and we knew we needed to do something about the extra weight so we can feel good and be active with them," Pitcock said. "I've read about HMR in some UK publications and I have a friend who has been successful with the program."


"The program is easy for me and my wife because we do it together - we attend meetings, grocery shop and exercise together."


Richard and Donna Pitcock are strongly committed to their weight loss program and made it a goal to burn 2,000 calories a week. In addition to biking, they like to walk and they participate in many 5K walks for charity, completing 10 so far this year.


Richard's office at UK's Coldstream campus is on the third floor of a six floor building and he says he always takes the stairs, even visiting the restroom on another floor, averaging 17-18 flights of steps a day.


Last July, Richard and Donna decided they wanted to add a new activity and discovered a new found passion for ballroom dancing. 


"Dancing involves the whole body and you have to focus on the core and frame. It's fun and challenging and forces you to concentrate on movement. We'll do it for the rest of our lives," Richard Pitcock said.




His biggest challenge with the program right now is finding a good balance with his exercise, weight, and calories burned. After losing over100 pounds, Richard's waist size went from 46 inches to 34 inches and his 34 inch pants are loose. Now that he has exceeded his weight loss goals, he is currently trying to gain a few of the pounds back.


Even if Richard gains back a few pounds, he still has to wear a heavily padded double-belly for his extracurricular activity of playing Santa Claus for UK's annual Circle of Love, a program that provides Christmas gifts to underserved children in Fayette County and Central Kentucky. As Santa, he also visits with patients at Kentucky Children's Hospital for their annual Breakfast with Santa. He thinks he may have to buy a full fat suit for next year.


The Pitcocks and Bouvier say the HMR program is not hard because there is a lot of support and supervision as long as you stay committed to the program.


"It's just so much easier now to get through my day," Bouvier said. "I have more stamina and don't think twice about taking the stairs; and my clothes fit. I'm actually the same size now as the day I married. Will power and going it alone will not get you through the long-term. You need ongoing support and a way to be held accountable."


Richard Pitcock adds that at age 68, he and his wife are 'well-seasoned' adults in the HMR program, so age is not a factor for starting a diet and exercise program. He says it's more important to just get started.


 "Attending the meetings is crucial because it causes accountability and you learn a lot from the discussions."


To learn more about HMR, go to and connect with HMR on Twitter, Facebook, and You Tube. To connect with HMR Weight Management Services in Lexington, contact Kim Berryman at 859-422-4671.



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

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: April 13-14, 1912

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 12:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 196th and 197th diary entries from April 13 and 14, 1912, recall McClure doing some spring cleaning at Patterson Hall, reading a book by Florence L. Barclay and having a feeling of pride in her friends' accomplishments.


April 13th. Housecleaning! We do it all very thoroughly, floor, windows, and all. Decide we want a change, which we proceed to get — and I change back in about three minutes!


April 14th. Read "The Following of the Star." Don't like it much. The girls are all proud of their "K"s and we are all proud of the girls. They're wishing for some cold weather.


Inserted along with the April 14, 1912, diary entry is a newspaper clipping detailing the success of an edition of the school newspaper, The Idea, organized and executed by a group of all female students.



More on Virginia Clay McClure


Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.


The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.


Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish. 


McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.


The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.


McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.


The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.


This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections Research Center. UK Special Collections 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.


Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

On-Campus Housing Available for Students Enrolled in Summer Session Classes

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 11:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2016) — Students planning to take classes during Summer Session I or Summer Session II at the University of Kentucky may apply for housing in Woodland Glen II. Housing is available for either session or both, depending on the student’s class schedule.


Woodland Glen II will only be available for summer session students. The residence hall is a two-bedroom suite style.


To apply, students should log on to their myUK portal with their link blue username and password. Students should then select Undergraduate Housing located under the myInfo tab and fill out the summer 2016 housing application.


Summer Session I move-in date will be 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 8, and move-out date will be by noon Wednesday, June 8.


Summer Session II move-in date will be 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, and move-out date will be by noon Friday, Aug. 5.


Students who have a summer internship may also apply to live on campus. For more information, contact summer conference housing at


More information on summer session housing, including rates and step-by-step instructions, can be found 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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

Two UK Students Selected for Princeton in Asia

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 10:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky senior and recent graduate have been selected for fellowships from the Princeton in Asia program. As part of the program, biochemistry senior Calvin Hong and 2015 arts administration and Spanish graduate Brittney Woodrum will teach in Hong Kong and Myanmar respectively.


Princeton in Asia (PiA) sponsors more than 150 fellowships and internships in 20 countries and is the oldest and largest organization of its kind, unique in its scope, size, century-long expertise and emphasis on service. The essence of PiA is to provide transformative, service-oriented experiences for bright, talented graduates and to serve the needs of Asia as determined by host institutions and Asian partners. PiA arranges fellowships and internships with Asian host organizations in the fields of education, health, international development, environmental advocacy, journalism, engineering, technology, law and business.


PiA Fellowships are the means of fostering person-to-person diplomacy, enhancing mutual understanding, serving vulnerable communities with unmet needs and providing transformative experiences for fellows and host communities.



Calvin Hong, the son of Boi and Fang Du Hong of Lexington, is a 2012 graduate of Henry Clay High School. He will graduate with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a minor in Spanish in May.


Hong believes his PiA experience in Hong Kong will be as much a learning experience as a teaching one. "With the program, I hope to refine my teaching skills and gain a greater understanding for other cultures. By doing so, I hope to implement my newfound skills when I become a professor of chemistry."


At UK, Hong participated in undergraduate research as a member of the lab of J. C. Hubbard Professor of Chemistry John Anthony. His research found him synthesizing various pentacene derivatives in an effort to create novel n-type semiconductors. In addition, he was tasked to create a thiophene derivative to aid with polymer linkage.

Hong is very thankful for his opportunities working with Anthony, as well as Alumni Association Endowed Professor of Biological Chemistry D. Allan Butterfield and Director of UK Writing Center and Senior Lecturer of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies Judith Prats.


"Professor Anthony was the first professor who showed me how impactful chemistry could be. Using fundamentals of basic science, he showed me how chemistry can be used to help combat larger problems, like climate change. With this incredible success, Dr. Anthony has never forgotten his upbringing and the importance of contributing to society," Hong said.


"In regards to Professor Butterfield, his personal advocacy for minorities in the sciences was personally inspiring to me. His loving nature and enthusiasm for teaching has inspired me to go into teaching myself. He’s selfless, whimsical and all-in-all a great professor. Finally, I would like to thank Professor Prats. Having known her for four years, I can safely say that she is one of the most caring people that I have ever met. Her dedication to her students is simply amazing. Although I’m majoring in the sciences, Professor Prats has always reminded me of how important the liberal arts are as well. Her altruistic personality has morphed me into who I am today."


After his time of service with PiA, Hong plans to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry. As part of his future research he hopes to innovate new compounds for solar panels.


Brittney Woodrum, the daughter of James and Sherry Woodrum of Winchester, Kentucky, is a 2011 graduate of George Rogers Clark High School and 2015 graduate of UK. Woodrum, who is currently teaching English in Guadalajara, Mexico, as a Fulbright Scholar, will use her PiA Fellowship to travel to Yangon, Myanmar, to teach English and basic computer skills to the Buddhist nuns at the Dhamma Moli International Buddhist Education Center (DIBEC).


"I believe teaching offers a great opportunity to learn about a new culture, and I am extremely excited to see what lessons my next adventure brings," Woodrum said.


While at UK, Woodrum was very active in Student Activities Board, productions by the UK Department of Theatre and Dance and Education Abroad. She pursued her degree in arts administration as a way to exercise her love of the arts and ended it with an even greater passion for nonprofit organizations, giving her what she believes is a perfect foundation to enter the nonprofit sector.


After completing her service with PiA, Woodrum plans to attend graduate school. "I eventually hope to pursue an international administration degree to better prepare me to work with larger NGOs."


UK students interested in PiA may apply through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Pat Whitlow at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

UPK Book Examines Lincoln’s Last Moments

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 08:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2016) According to a palm reader, 14-year-old John Wilkes Booth had one of the worst hands she’d ever seen. Born under an unlucky star, he would live “grand, fast and short,” and have many enemies. Her prediction would ring true when, on April 14, 1865, Booth fired his derringer point-blank at President Abraham Lincoln, shots rang out from inside the playhouse, screams ensued and the 16th president of the United States was mortally wounded.


Dr. Charles Leale, a 23-year-old Army surgeon who had finished medical school 45 days prior, rushed to Lincoln’s box as members of the audience attempted to capture the fleeing Booth, who was escaping through the theater armed with a bowie knife inscribed with the words “Liberty” and “America.”


Four blocks away, an acrobat performing in a staging of “Aladdin!” was scheduled to appear around 10:30 at Grover’s National Theatre, its entrance illuminated to celebrate the Union victory; instead, theater manager C.D. Hess appeared onstage and broke the grave news to the audience: “President Lincoln has been shot at his private box at Ford’s.”


As President Abraham Lincoln’s body was carried across the street from Ford’s Theatre to Petersen’s boardinghouse, Capt. Oliver Gatch, one of the men who bore the president, was surprised to hear the swarm of people on 10th Street fall silent. Gatch and the other bearers moved so slowly and cautiously that artist Carl Bersch was able to sketch the entire scene from his balcony.


The injured president was carried to a small, cramped back bedroom where one week ago, his assassin had also slept under the same checked-and-flowered quilt. Upstairs, boarder John Mathews, a lifelong friend of Booth’s, discovered the Booth’s manifesto and burned the evidence in his bedroom fireplace. Downstairs, the Petersen children performed their services hurriedly, carrying bottles of hot water to the doctor and providing cloth napkins to soak up the blood. When 14-year-old Pauline Petersen overheard Booth’s name, she carried the tea tray into the parlor, all the while trying to conceal her panic at the fact that the president’s attacker was a frequent tenant at her family’s establishment. Meanwhile in the death room, Mary Todd Lincoln sobbed, “Kill me. Shoot me too!” as artists asked the doctors to pose for their paintings of the deathbed scene.


On one of the most horrific days in American history, ordinary Washingtonians would play extraordinary roles in the aftermath of Booth’s crime. Their accounts complete the picture of the president’s last moments in “Lincoln’s Final Hours: Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of America’s Greatest President.” The new book published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK) and written by award-winning crime reporter Kathryn Canavan is the perfect read on the 151st anniversary of President Lincoln’s death.


Canavan was “stunned” when she learned that in 150 years, no one had ever written a book about what else was happening inside Petersen’s boardinghouse on the night President Lincoln died. She set out to “find the true stories of the workers, boarders and neighbors who witnessed what went on in the death room and behind the scenes.”


After many years in journalism and crime writing, Canavan began her investigation on the most consequential crime in American history. She went beyond most other scholars who have written books about Lincoln’s assassination as she “mined diaries, letters and interviews for details that might have otherwise been lost to history.”


With vivid prose and a journalist’s eye for detail, Canavan revisits Washington, D.C., in the spring of 1865 to tell the story of Lincoln’s death from the perspective of those who have received surprisingly little attention from history: the citizens who witnessed it. “Lincoln’s Final Hours” reveals not only the tragedy at Ford’s Theatre, but also the personal and political motivations of the Petersen family and their boarders, and the planning of Booth’s conspiracy.


William Petersen, the boardinghouse owner who was suspiciously absent during the tragedy, was found asleep in his tailor shop. Upon returning to the tumult, he was appalled to find blood, mud and dirty basins mucking up his house. He later tried to bill the federal government for using his boardinghouse as a makeshift hospital, including the use of every tool as well as his time, before the president was buried in the ground. Also profiting on the night of April 14, his precocious 15-year-old son Fred, earned $1.12 in less than 10 minutes when he cut squares of plain white paper and dipped them in blood from the front hallway, selling them as souvenirs.


Yet, Lincoln’s death is merely the beginning of the story. To uncover the far-reaching impact of that infamous night, Canavan links seemingly disconnected events such as public deaths at the Smithsonian and at a famous Broadway nightclub, as well as a high-society murder in Albany, New York. From the actor who played the bailiff in “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre on that fateful night to the merchant tailor who sat in the audience, ordinary citizens were thrust into history. Using letters, diaries, interviews, public records and newspaper accounts, Canavan’s thorough research stretches our imagination beyond the room where Lincoln would take his last breath to recall the fascinating stories that followed.


Kathryn Canavan is a former independent researcher and freelance writer for USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware.


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



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

UK Special Collections Learning Lab Interns Present Work on Lexington's Architectural History

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 08:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — Students from the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center Learning Lab program will present their yearlong projects 3-4 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Great Hall of Margaret I. King Library. The students have been engaged since the beginning of the academic year in processing the Frankel and Curtis Architectural Drawings Collection. A reception will follow the presentations.


“The interns have created some really fascinating tools and projects that document the city’s architectural history and economic development and we would love to share this with the broader campus community,” said Learning Lab Manager Stacie Williams.


The Learning Lab internships allow students from all fields of study to spend an academic year learning and working in the Special Collections Research Center. They evaluate and catalog primary source archival documents, and produce original research on the subject matter.


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 and the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection. The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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


ICT Facilitates Periscope Broadcast with Wildcat Wheels to Celebrate 4th Annual Bike Week

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 14:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Information Communication Technology (ICT) program facilitated two Periscope broadcasts as part of campus’ fourth annual Bike Week, which gave students and employees the opportunity to ask a bike mechanic questions about repairs and spring tuneups.


Bike Week — April 11-16 — is an initiative presented by the UK Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) and Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) that encourages cycling on campus. The two organizations achieve this by inviting students and employees to attend a variety of interactive and entertaining activities each spring.  A few of the events returning from previous years included a downtown bike ride tour to check out various Lexington murals, a DIY bicycle repair station on campus, and bike-in movies. A new event this year was the live Q&A broadcast with a bike mechanic from Wildcat Wheels.


“Bicycling continues to grow as a means of transportation on campus," said Chrissie Tune, PTS marketing specialist and BAC education chair. "Bike Week is all about educating members of the UK community about campus and local bike resources, as well as encouraging people who aren’t sure if getting around on two wheels is for them. The Periscope partnership with ICT allows us to educate students and employees about a few bike repair basics, as well as spotlighting a valuable campus amenity in Wildcat Wheels.”


The ICT Student Association (ICTSA), a student organization in the College of Communication and Information, encouraged peers to submit questions to the program’s Twitter handle. ICTSA also promoted Bike Week in classrooms, provided the necessary technical support for the Periscope broadcast, and shared questions with Wildcat Wheels' bike mechanic, Jerran McBreen.


“I’ve been a mechanic for almost five years now. I became a mechanic because as a kid everyone around me rode bikes, but no one knew how to fix them. I always liked fixing things and as an aspiring car mechanic I wanted to start somewhere to test the waters of mechanics,” McBreen said. “Wildcat Wheels grabbed my attention because of what it does for the campus. This was a great opportunity for me to fix bikes, help others, and teach them a few things, while avoiding the retail part of the bike industry.”


Wildcat Wheels is a campus bike shop that provides free bicycle use and repair assistance to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Kentucky. This program is funded by Parking and Transportation Services and managed by the Office of Sustainability.


Majors and non-majors interested in ICT can join the ICT Student Association. The group’s primary purposes are to facilitate communication between students and faculty in the ICT program and coordinate opportunities for student participation in ICT-related programs and activities. Contact ICTSA faculty advisor Deloris Foxworth at if you’re interested in becoming a part of the student organization. 



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: #uk4ky #seeblue




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

Parking and Transportation Services’ Bike Voucher Program Cycles Into Second Year

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 14:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — Last year University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) implemented a pilot bicycle voucher program to encourage employees to consider alternatives to driving a vehicle to campus. The tremendous success of the program — spearheaded by the university’s Bicycle Advisory Committee — in its inaugural year has prompted PTS to renew the bike voucher program.


Last year —  in the voucher program’s first year — PTS selected 100 bike voucher recipients from a pool of 462 applicants. The 100 qualified recipients each received a $400 voucher, redeemable at participating local bicycle shops, in exchange for not bringing a motor vehicle to campus for two years.


In order to receive the voucher, participating students and employees must sign a car-free commitment that will restrict them from purchasing a motor vehicle parking permit for two years. Vouchers are awarded with the goal of removing motor vehicles from campus. To that end, priority will be given to students and employees who have had a vehicle parking permit for the past fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), but those new to the university will also be given consideration.


The one-time use vouchers may be used toward the purchase of a bicycle or gear and accessories to outfit a bike that the employee or student already owns. Program participants will also receive 10 scratch-off parking passes —  one-day permits that may be used on occasions when participants must bring a motor vehicle to campus. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase up to 40 additional scratch-off permits per fiscal year.

PTS will begin accepting applicants for the bicycle voucher program today, Wednesday, April 13. The application window will close Thursday, June 30. Faculty, staff and students who wish to participate and who have already purchased a 2015-2016 parking permit may return it for a pro-rated refund.


Prior to receiving the bike voucher, participants must attend a short program orientation covering basic bicycle safety and regulations, as well as campus and community resources for bicyclists.


Residential students are not eligible for the bicycle voucher program, but are encouraged to sign up for use of a bicycle through the Big Blue Cycles fleet.


UK employee and bike voucher recipient Steve Ivey said the program saves him time and adds physical activity to his daily routine.


“I live about four miles from campus. Counting the time it takes to walk to the parking garage, exit the garage and navigate campus traffic during the evening rush hour, the bike ride home takes about the same amount of time,” said Ivey. “Plus, it’s a great way to build some extra physical activity into my day while contributing to some parking and traffic solutions on campus.”


The bicycle voucher program — along with other PTS programs such as BluPass — is part of a suite of alternative transportation options available to the UK community. The programs are designed to simplify the process of shifting from driving a single-occupancy vehicle to campus to an alternative form of transportation, and to reward those individuals who make the change in their routine.


Kristen Mark, UK employee and bike voucher recipient, encourages those considering the bike voucher program to give it a try.


“Don’t be discouraged by relying on your bike and giving up your parking pass. We got 10 free day passes, and I have used all of them, because there were some days where it was too icy or too cold to realistically ride in,” Mark said.


To learn more about the bike voucher program or to submit an application, visit To learn more about the Transportation Master Plan, 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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

Health Colleges Student Diversity Services Expands Mission, Changes Name

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — For many years, University of Kentucky Health Colleges Student Diversity Services (HCSDS) —  a unit under the Office for Institutional Diversity — has been committed to increasing and supporting the diversity of student populations within UK's health colleges community. HCSDS has also provided all health college students, faculty and staff with educational opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue across cultural differences.


Because of the phenomenal job HCSDS has done in serving their students’ needs, the office and mission of HCSDS are expanding.


HCSDS Director Chassity Holliman-Douglas says this expansion will aid in increasing diversity on campus.


“I am excited that our university has understood the need for an expansion of our services in order to create a more diverse environment than ever before,” Holliman-Douglas said. “Their commitment to this expressed need is what will aid in our current transition as well as continuing to increase the diversity of our campus, so that it more closely resembles society’s makeup.”


While HCSDS will continue its commitment in its full capacity, the office is expanding its mission to provide essential services and educational programming to all graduate and professional students at UK. With this expansion, the office will operate under a new name —  the Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives (CGPDI).


“This expansion comes as an answer to the needs and requests for more dedicated support and resources for underrepresented graduate and professional students across the university as well as continuing the institution's commitment toward building a culturally engaging campus environment,” said Holliman-Douglas.


“The expansion of Health Colleges Student Diversity Services to cover all underrepresented graduate and professional students supports the university’s commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive community,” said Interim Vice President for Institutional Diversity Terry Allen. “The expansion of the office will also bring about an expansion of staffing as well as space. Additional information in that regard is forthcoming as the transition proceeds.”


CGPDI will focus on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in UK's graduate and professional programs as well as the cultural diversity development of all members of the campus community. 


The mission of the CGPDI is to connect students to essential tools and resources, assist the university in promoting academic excellence, build inclusive communities, and support the professional development of underrepresented graduate and professional students, with the ultimate goal of developing leaders in academy, industry, and society.


Holliman-Douglas hopes the expansion will give graduate and professional students a supportive environment and a dedicated space for underrepresented students in all graduate and professional disciplines as students in a recent town hall requested.


“We anticipate the new Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives to serve as an additional space where graduate and professional students can thrive in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere, actively engage in dialogue with students from disparate backgrounds, and participate in co-curricular programming to enhance students' academic success, cultural competency, commitment to advocacy, and overall professional development,” said Holliman-Douglas.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

Markey Receives Funding to Improve Community Cancer Education in Eastern Kentucky

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — University of Kentucky researchers Robin Vanderpool and Mark Dignan are leading projects funded by the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities to continue Markey Cancer Center’s community-based efforts aimed at reducing cancer rates in Appalachia. Both programs are funded for three years.


Appalachian regions, particularly in Eastern Kentucky, have disproportionately high rates of both incidence and mortality due to cancer when compared to other regions in the United States. Poverty, lack of access to health care, poor diet, tobacco use, and lack of exercise conspire together to produce high rates of preventable cancers in Appalachia.


The UK Markey Cancer Center brings together numerous disciplines and universities throughout Appalachia to research and implement community-based solutions to help reduce the rate of cancer in the region. The additional funding received supports two projects: the National Outreach Network (NON) and a Geographical Management of Health Disparities Program (GMaP). 


The NON program provides funding to support a community health educator (CHE) who will be strategically integrated into Markey Cancer Center’s cancer prevention and control activities. Through NCI’s National Outreach Network, the CHE is linked to a collection of evidence-based resources and programs to increase access to accurate and culturally tailored cancer information, education and outreach activities to improve local cancer health disparities.


The CHE role will enhance coordination of cancer prevention and control activities with the Markey Cancer Center, GMaP investigators, Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP), Kentucky Cancer Consortium, and other state, regional, and local community partners. Mindy Rogers, who recently served as regional cancer control specialist with KCP in the Cumberland Valley region of the state, will serve as the NON CHE covering Kentucky’s Appalachian communities.


GMaP includes partners at the cancer centers of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia, as well as health disparities researchers at the University of South Carolina. GMaP will focus on increasing research training opportunities in our region, mentoring students and investigators early in their careers, and work with the NON CHE to reach out to the community.  



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

UK Welcomes First Multicultural Sorority to Campus

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 11:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — Scholarship, service, sisterhood, leadership and multiculturalism — these are the tenets of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. The Alpha Omicron colony of Theta Nu Xi was recently established on the University of Kentucky campus.


Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. was founded at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 11, 1997. The founders established a mission to promote leadership, multiculturalism and self-improvement through academic excellence, involvement in and service to the campus and community, as well as being living examples of sisterhood across different races, cultures, religions, backgrounds and lifestyles.


Katelyn Lauber, president of the Alpha Omicron colony of Theta Nu Xi at UK, said, “Our mission statement embodies everything that we believe in.”


A core group of 15 women went through the process of establishing their colony on UK’s campus. The women first became involved with Reaching out to Empower Ambitious Ladies (REAL) — an interest group of Theta Nu Xi.


“Through REAL, we were able to build a strong foundation and incorporate Theta Nu Xi’s tenets with what we wanted a student organization to look like, which was to help empower women on campus and in the community and to build leadership skills through service,” said Julia Vega, UK senior and sister of Theta Nu Xi.


Shortly after, the core group of women held a recruitment week in November 2015.


“More girls started coming to our interest meetings and from then on we were able to go through the regular process of establishing a sorority,” Vega said.


The group of 15 women officially became the Alpha Omicron colony of Theta Nu Xi on March 7, 2016. They are the longest line in Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. history as well as the first and only multicultural sorority at UK.


Loretta Stafford, Theta Nu Xi publicity chair, believes the process of establishing a colony on UK’s campus helped each woman learn a lot about themselves.


“The whole process of joining and establishing this sorority on campus has definitely been one of the biggest areas of growth we’ve experienced. People are different not only in the way they look or their religion but in their way of thinking and their way of reasoning,” said Stafford. “It’s a good thing to embrace those differences and learn how your characteristics can help complement those differences.”


Senior Theta Nu Xi sister Chanel Friday says being in a group with women different from herself has taught her many valuable lessons.


“I think multiculturalism is something that we tend to forget about. We should be educating ourselves on different cultures,” Friday said. “It is really beneficial in the sense that you get to learn from someone who’s from a different culture, and they can educate you on their culture and traditions.”


Friday, along with the rest of the Alpha Omicron colony, would like to see more inclusion between various groups on campus.


“We really want to see a change and cultural shift and more inclusion with all groups on campus. We want to be involved with all types of organizations on campus,” said Friday. “We want to go out and do things with big organizations and small organizations to bridge the gap. We want to get to know more people and create an all-inclusive environment for Greek and non-Greeks alike.”


As part of their Founders Week, Theta Nu Xi will be hosting an interest session tomorrow night, April 14 at 5 p.m. in Room 214 of White Hall Classroom Building. If you can’t make it to the interest session but are interested in learning more about Theta Nu Xi, contact


Follow the Alpha Omicron colony of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. on Twitter and Instagram.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

Spring Football Game Vehicle Relocation

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 08:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — To accommodate fan parking for the University of Kentucky Spring Football Game this Saturday, April 16, the university requires vehicles in the Commonwealth Stadium area to relocate as they would for a typical fall football game.


Students and employees who park at Commonwealth Stadium and in the Sports Center Drive Lots, including the Sports Center Garage, must move their vehicles before 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 16. R7 permit holders parked on Complex Drive do not need to move their vehicles.


Additionally, parking is prohibited on University Drive at any time on Saturday, April 16. Failure to move any vehicle from the stadium parking lots, the Sports Center Garage, the Sports Center Lots or University Drive may result in a citation or impoundment at the owner’s expense. This includes all of the Stadium lots (Red, Blue, Green, and Orange) as well as the Greg Page Overflow Lot and the Soccer/Softball Complex Lots. In addition to the E spaces on University Drive, anyone in motorcycle spaces or parked at meters must be moved.


Vehicles may be moved any time after 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15, and must be moved back by 5 a.m. Monday, April 18.


For more on PTS game day policies and a map illustrating where to move your vehicle, visit

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Inducts Distinguished Alumni

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 17:45

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 12, 2016) — The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently inducted five new members to its Hall of Distinguished Alumni. This year’s recipients — an entrepreneur, a NASA nutritionist, a Wall Street executive, a family and consumer scientist and an animal scientist — showcase the vast career options available to alumni from the college.


Robert Hall Jr., of Georgetown, Kentucky, received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1955. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army as a food inspector and held herdsman positions in the Northeast and at UK. In 1964, he purchased a small business, Farmers Feed Mill, which through product development and service has grown into a company with worldwide markets. Hall continues to serve as president of the Lexington-based company. In addition to growing a successful company, he has a history of service to agriculture and his community. For example, he sponsored the first Honor Flight from Bluegrass Airport to Washington, D.C., for Central and Eastern Kentucky World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to visit the memorials dedicated to their service.


Barbara Landrum Rice of Bellaire, Texas, spends her days working with astronauts as a research dietitian at the Johnson Space Center. The Simpson County native graduated from UK with a degree in dietetics in 1962. She went on to receive her master’s degree in nutrition at California State University. Rice directed the nutrition training program at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, started a private practice in nutrition consulting for children and adults, and taught at two universities before moving to Texas. At NASA, she has worked with both U.S. and Russian crews. Her expertise has been called on many times over the years including when NASA assisted in the rescue of trapped Chilean miners, as nutrition was an important component of their successful rescue. Rice is the author of numerous publications and has been the recipient of numerous awards.


Bonnie O. Tanner of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, received her bachelor’s degree in home economics at UK in 1963 and master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural and extension education at the University of Maryland. During her career, she established a home economics program at a Kentucky mental hospital, creating training for community re-entry. She taught middle school students home economics, was an extension agent and associate professor in Maryland. She joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture where her work in women’s leadership, dietary guidelines, farm to school and food and fitness were nationally and internationally recognized. She returned to UK in 1999 and served for five years as assistant director for family and consumer sciences. She then transitioned to working on special projects for the college until her retirement in 2007. During her tenure at UK, she developed unique partnerships in the arenas of public health and is the co-founder of the Kentucky Women in Agriculture organization.


Myra Leigh Tobin, a native of Harned, Kentucky, received her bachelor’s degree at UK in home economics in 1962, a master’s degree in counseling psychology at Ohio State University and an MBA from New York University. Involved in many activities while in school, she became a trailblazer in the business world. She began her career with Goldman Sachs and then moved to New York-based insurance firm Marsh and McLennan Companies, where she rose through the ranks to become senior vice president, then managing director, a position she held until retiring in 1998. Tobin, of New York, has been a leader in professional and community organizations and remained connected to her Kentucky roots through the family farm. She has served as president of the UK Alumni Association and served for six years on the UK Board of Trustees. She helped raise more than $2 million for First Presbyterian Church in New York City and supported UK HealthCare with the construction of the Myra Leigh Tobin Chapel in the the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A.


The late James D. Kemp, a native of Pickett, Kentucky, spent nearly 40 years teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students in Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky, many of whom today are well-recognized in their respective careers. He was instrumental in helping to establish the food science program in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He also helped to initiate what is now a well-known event at the Kentucky State Fair – the annual grand champion ham auction. Kemp died on Feb. 17, 2015.


The Hall of Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented annually and are a joint program of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the UK Ag and HES Alumni Association. It is the highest alumni award bestowed by the college.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue




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

Nash Appointed Director of Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 17:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2016) — University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Dean David W. Blackwell today announced the appointment of Warren O. Nash III as the new executive director of the college's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.


“Warren Nash’s extensive experience in business development and the Kentucky entrepreneurship community, and his leadership of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network for the past five years, make him exceptionally qualified to lead the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship into its next phase,” Blackwell said. “I look forward to working with Warren to continue growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University of Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth.”   


Nash officially assumes the job after serving as the center's interim director for the past several months following the retirement of Dean Harvey at the end of December 2015.


Prior to his new position, Nash served as director of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, a unit of the Von Allmen Center and part of a system of 13 Innovation Network offices located across the state. The Kentucky Innovation Network is funded by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Cabinet together with local strategic funding partners located in each region.


Before coming to UK in January 2011, Nash served as deputy commissioner for the Department of Commercialization and as deputy commissioner of the Department for Financial Incentives within the Cabinet for Economic Development. 


Nash is a graduate of Georgetown College and the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He is also a member of the Kentucky Bar Association.


“I am grateful for this new opportunity and look forward to building upon the success of Dean Harvey in creating a more vibrant entrepreneurial community at the university, as well as across the Bluegrass Region and throughout the Commonwealth,” Nash said.


The mission of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship is to help accelerate and grow Kentucky’s economy by assisting and guiding university faculty, researchers, clinicians, staff and student innovators in the development of ideas and commercialization of new technologies, products and services. The center also facilitates collaborations between the university and industry. 


The Von Allmen Center is an Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center program. EDA-funded university centers conduct applied research, provide technical assistance to public and private-sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development.


The Von Allmen Center is also a founding member of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP), which is an economic development initiative of UK, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The BBDP provides a one-stop shop for assistance to regional entrepreneurs/startup companies and promotes the regional innovation ecosystem.


Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO Bob Quick said, “Over the years, Warren has been an integral part of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership team, helping entrepreneurs and innovators across the region. Central Kentucky has gained recognition nationally as a high-tech hub, and Warren’s efforts to grow the Lexington Venture Club, now known as SPARK, are paying dividends with increased participation and more opportunities for entrepreneurs. We are delighted to learn that in his new role, he will continue to work closely with the BBDP in initiatives to support technology start-ups, while engaging Lexington leaders and university students and faculty to further strengthen our entrepreneurial community.”



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200/; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750/

Campus Climate Survey Deadline Extended

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 16:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — All University of Kentucky faculty, staff and students have a few more days to offer their opinions on the current climate of diversity and inclusion on campus.


As President Eli Capilouto announced last month, UK is working toward an ambitious set of priorities to create a sense of belonging for everyone. As part of that goal, a survey is under way to gather feedback to better understand views on the current state of diversity and inclusion at the university.


The results from the survey — together with interviews and focus groups conducted earlier this year — will help develop a complete picture of campus and provide a baseline to measure future progress. The data will also help develop a robust initiative that will touch all faculty, staff and students.


“The community we want is not created in a single moment in time, nor is it captured at the end of a calculation or spreadsheet,” Capilouto said in announcing the survey last month. “It is about creating a culture in which students, faculty and staff all feel safe and welcome on our campus.”


Anyone who has not yet taken the survey should receive an email reminder from UK Administration on Thursday. The survey will officially close Friday.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

Clinical Nursing Specialist Student Uses Training to Reduce Patient Stress at Markey

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2016) — Five weeks at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center seemed like an eternity for bone marrow transplant recipient Earl Harris.


Two days after he started the treatment, his 91-year-old mother died, and the demands of the transplantation process meant he couldn’t attend her funeral. As days of inpatient treatment turned into weeks, the bus driver who transports special needs children to school in Jefferson County was anxious to return to his bus route — and his golf clubs.


Harris, a lymphoma survivor from Valley Springs, Kentucky, spent the entire month of April 2015 in isolation after receiving a bone marrow transplant at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Even close family members were discouraged from visiting Harris because his compromised immune system was vulnerable to infection. Harris experienced a number of medical scares, such as a sudden drop in his blood level counts and an episode of colitis, and needed highly specialized care just to recover from the transplantation.


Harris benefited from the specialized care of Tia Thistlewood, his primary care nurse who reminded him of the many reasons to persevere through the transplantation process. Thistlewood, a student on the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) track of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at the UK College of Nursing, is tailoring her education to provide advanced clinical expertise caring for patients undergoing the risk-laden process of bone marrow transplantation.


“She was just a relief to see,” Harris said of Thistlewood. “Her expertise seemed to standout.”


Thistlewood has learned the priceless skill of coaching Markey patients through the trial of a bone marrow transplantation, which can require weeks or even months of inpatient care. While blood cancer patients who receive a bone marrow transplant can extend their life by several years, the temporary trade-off is subjecting their bodies to a stripping of all abnormal cells, which also devastates the immune system. Bone marrow transplant patients receive stem cells or donor cells, which migrate to their bone marrow and replenish damaged or destroyed cells. A number of complications can arise during the transplantation process, and nurses must know how chemotherapy and cancer affects the entire body and immune system.


“They can become critically ill very quickly and it takes a lot of training and skill to recognize when your patient needs extra care,” Thistlewood said. “It humbles me to think I’m that person keeping you well and getting you those interventions.”


In addition to the isolation from their daily lives and families, the transplantation process puts an emotional, physical and mental strain on patients. Nurses must monitor vital signs and watch for numerous complications during recovery, but they also help patients keep their eye on the prize of getting home to their families and lives.


“You get to know your patients and their family, and you become almost as close as family with your patients,” Thistlewood said. “You learn so much about life and relationships — you almost forget cancer is part of the equation.”


While the CNS track helps develop leadership and organizational skills, its primary purpose is to prepare advance practice nurses with a specific clinical expertise to assist patients and care providers in complex health care settings. This specialized training and emphasis on leadership gives nurses a competitive edge in their workplaces and equips them with the knowledge to enact positive change in health systems management.


“In my experience as a staff nurse, I have identified many ways to make the system better,” Thistlewood said. “In order to make the most impact, I chose to go back to school. The CNS track was attractive to me because of the role’s diversity.” 


Thistlewood said applying her knowledge in clinical practice is an important component of the CNS track. In addition to providing individual care directly to patients, CNS students are also trained to identify ways to improve patient outcomes through systematic health care delivery.


In applying her advanced knowledge to clinical practice at Markey, Thistlewood is identifying checkpoints along the bone marrow transplant trajectory where nurses have the opportunity to clarify information for patients. Through her interactions with patients, Thistlewood has noticed many patients are unclear or confused about what to expect during transplantation, and tension builds as they spend more time away from their homes and families. This tension can lead to conflict and adverse patient outcomes.

In response to these concerns, Thistlewood has formed a patient and family education committee at Markey to develop written materials that explain the transplantation process to patients and their caregivers prior to admittance. In addition, Thistlewood’s committee is introducing a two-hour transplant preparation class for patients and their caregivers.


Thistlewood has also turned her attention to the need for more nursing staff training on basic bone marrow transplant team and in March 2015 held courses for nurses to teach evidence-based practices and improve the confidence of staff nurses in this area. Thistlewood also hopes to develop a system for patient follow-up, as many patients leave Markey needing long-term care and support from home.


“Since Tia started in the clinical nurse specialist track in the DNP program, she has demonstrated outstanding initiative to improve the care of oncology patients receiving bone marrow transplant,” Martha Biddle, assistant professor and coordinator of the CNS track in the UK College of Nursing, said. “Her desire and ability to recognize unmet patient needs and develop programs that will improve patient care outcomes is a true asset to the Markey Cancer Center.


When Earl Harris was yearning for the golf course on the fifth week of his treatment, Thistlewood provided him with as much information as possible to give him hope, but also managed his expectations. Harris said the extra time she spent ensuring he was engaged and informed led to a long-term friendship. Harris and his wife Bonnie related to Thistlewood on their shared backgrounds in Louisville, and after his treatment was complete, they celebrated with Thistlewood and her boyfriend — a bone marrow transplant recipient — at their mutual favorite restaurant, Captain’s Quarter’s.


Now a year out from his transplant, Harris is cancer-free and driving his school bus. He’s getting good reports from his doctors. He makes trips to Lexington to volunteer and serve meals to other patients receiving long-term cancer care at the Markey Cancer Center. He and Bonnie maintain contact with Thistlewood, who sometimes consults them for gardening advice.


“Not everyone has a happy ending, but to see Earl happy and healthy was the best payment of all,” Thistlewood said. “Having the ability to make positive impacts for people who were once complete strangers is the entire reason why I do what I do.”


For more information about the CNS track part of the UK College of Nursing DNP program, click here

Students Honored at 2016 Lyman T. Johnson Awards Banquet

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 15:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2016) — The Lyman T. Johnson Awards Banquet was held last Tuesday evening in E.S Good Barn. The banquet sold out with nearly 100 attendants who were anxious to dine with one another and witness the announcement of this year's award-winning students.


The Lyman T. Johnson Awards Banquet is a longstanding tradition at the University of Kentucky. It was created over 30 years ago, by the UK Black Student Union, to honor the hard work, strong leadership and amazing achievements of the minority students on this campus, who may otherwise go unrecognized.


The banquet was named in honor of Lyman T. Johnson who, in 1949, became the first African-American student to be enrolled at UK after successfully suing the university for rejecting his application to a graduate program on the basis of race. The banquet was created in his name to honor his legacy, and continues as an annual tradition today.


This year's banquet was nothing short of a success, with nearly 100 people in attendance including President Eli Capilouto, Vice President of Institutional Diversity Terry Allen, BSU founder Theodore Berry, and staff from the Martin Luther King Center. An inspiring keynote address was given by State Rep. George Brown, and the evening was hosted by Bishlam Pea and Mariah Caise, who hold the titles of Mr. And Ms. Black UK, respectively.


The 2016 winners of the awards annually presented by the Black Student Union were:

  • Fabian Leon, Outstanding Freshman Award

  • Tiara Fripp, Outstanding Senior Award

  • Carol Taylor, Evelyn J. Black Award
  • Eseosa Ighodaro, John T. Smith Award

  • Kelsey Hammon, Dr. Doris J. Wilkinson Award

  • Nicholas Bryant, Lyman T. Johnson Award

  • NAACP, Non-Greek Organization of the Year

  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.-Mu Epsilon Chapter, Greek Organization of the Year 



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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

South Africa Conference Explores Global Education

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 15:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — The call for papers deadline approaches for the Interuniversity Centre for Education Law and Education Policy (CELP) conference, “Balancing Freedom, Autonomy and Accountability in Education,” to be held July 27-29 in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa.


Conference co-chairs include Rika Joubert, director of CELP and professor emeritus at the University of Pretoria in South Africa; William Thro, general counsel at the University of Kentucky; and John Nash, associate professor in the UK College of Education Department of Educational Leadership Studies. The conference also incorporates the 2016 International Symposium on Educational Reform, for which Nash is the 2016 coordinating director.


According to CELP’s literature, “The effort to respect the role of parents as the primary advocates for the education of their children and thus to find the right balance between liberty and accountability in education – to ensure that society’s goals are met and vulnerable individuals and groups are protected … is the theme of this conference.”


Contributions addressing any of the following sub-themes are invited:

·       Freedom of and right to education as basic norms in democratic societies

·       Understanding and implementing education reform worldwide

·       The role of the state in promoting human rights in education

·       Right to education linked with freedom of education

·       Educational freedom in the context of religion

·       Educational freedom in the context of culture and language

·       Decentralization and accountability

·       Funding of education

·       Admission to education institutions


For more information 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: #uk4ky #seeblue

"see blue." #selfie: Jeremiah Pickett III

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 14:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2016)  Want to get to know the people behind some of the biggest student leadership positions on campus? We did, too! That's why we're excited to introduce "see blue." #selfie  a brand new series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organizations. This week, the 2016 president of the Black Student Union, Jeremiah Pickett.


Jeremiah Pickett, a junior political science major from the south suburbs of Chicago, is this year's Black Student Union (BSU) president at the University of Kentucky. Pickett strives to take on the task of nurturing others during their time at UK. He's always open to helping out where he can, catching a good movie at his favorite theater in Lexington and building community by investing in his friends and peers. Learn more about Pickett in his "see blue." #selfie!


UKNow: What is your major and where are you from?

Jeremiah Pickett: I'm from the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and I'm a political science major. I'm a junior.


UK: Tell me about your position in Black Student Union.

JP: As president of UK BSU, I am pretty much the representative of the issues across campus as well as administratively in our organization. I delegate and handle situations as they arrive. As soon as someone in the organization needs me, they can get in touch with me! Everyone knows that.


UK: When did you become involved with BSU?

JP: My involvement began my sophomore year when I held the position of political action chair. During that election, I was nominated and elected as president for this year.


UK: Why are you so passionate about this organization? 

JP: What makes me so passionate about it is the activities that we put on and the events that bring out blacks on campus. It fuels me! I think that the events help everyone get to the next place they want to be in their lives.  


UK: In your own words, how does BSU benefit our campus?

JP: As a whole, we are one of the largest minority organizations on campus. Our duty is to nurture. We are trying to expand to show people that we are catering to more than blacks.


UK: What was your favorite part about the organization?

JP: I would say exec board meetings with the leadership team and chairs. We still get business done, but we are more relaxed and chilled and we get to hang out for an hour and a half. That definitely is my favorite part.


UK: Are there any teachers or staff members that have made a positive impact on your time here at UK?

JP: I have three — our faculty advisors and one of my political science teachers. Our advisors, Kahlil Baker and Asia Payne, impact a lot of what we do. And Richard Waterman, one of my political science teachers, wants students to succeed. He will have a conversation with you despite your political interest. He just is there to talk and help you out.


UK: If you had a movie about your life, what would the title be? 

JP: Probably "The Third in Succession." Yup, that's good! I would go see that!  


UK: How much planning goes on behind the scenes for BSU events? 

JP: Behind the scenes, we come up with a topic first. Once that's decided, from there the planning and coordination starts. We reach outside of BSU, talking to the Lexington community or other organizations, reserving room. We spend a lot of time coordinating to make it a well-planned event. Out biggest event is Saturday — it's the Apollo Talent Show. Now in year 17, it's become a statewide thing with contestants from all over the state. It's in the Singletary Center with a celebrity guest host for intermission. It's a time of fellowship, fashion, talents and acts.


UK: Outside of BSU, what has been one of your favorite events on campus?

JP: I enjoy Campus Ruckus and I think it's because you get to see the incoming freshman and all their interests! It's one of the first times returning students will all be together, too. It's a good time to see everyone before school starts!


UK: Growing up, what did you want to be?

JP: I wanted to be a chef. I wanted to be that for the longest time!


UK: What's your dream job now? 

JP: Now, I would like to be a staffer for an elected official in Congress.  


UK: What's your favorite thing you like to do off campus? 

JP: Going to the movies either at Regal or the Movie Tavern because of the seats!


UK: What's your favorite late night place to grab a bite to eat?

JP:  My friends and I always space it out. One night it might be McDonalds, or O'Charley's for free pie Wednesdays, or Steak-n-Shake!


UK: If you could make anything a national holiday, what would it be?

JP:  If I had to make a national holiday, I would want to have one in January in remembrance of Obama's inauguration or November when he was elected!


UK: What is your favorite vacation spot? 

JP: My family owns a RV. One of my favorite parts about that RV is when we take it to Stone Mountain, Georgia. We go there frequently!


UK: Since we celebrated Opening Day last week, which MLB team are you rooting for this year? 

JP: I'm a White Sox fan by default.


UK: Do you have any advice for incoming freshman?

JP: I have two! Looking back on what I wish I would have known, first I would say to ask questions to anyone about anything while you're in college. In college, this is one of the places you're going to grow the most to set you up for when you graduate. Get those questions out now while you have some free time to figure out what's going on in your life. On the academic side of things, remember that office hours change grades. If there's a time when you see you're struggling, get the help. Ask the teacher or go see them! I tell everyone "go see your teacher!"


"see blue." #selfies will appear every other Tuesday on UKNow. Know a student leader we should feature? Contact Rebecca Stratton at to nominate someone.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton,, 859-323-2395