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BLOG From CESJ: No Tolerance for Bias and Hate on UK's Campus

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 15:35
Campus NewsBlogsBy Faculty Affiliates of the Center for Equality and Social Justice Thursday

November 17, 2016

Open letter to University of Kentucky Campus from affiliates of the Center for Equality and Social Justice:

At their best, universities are places where diverse people gather to share information, discuss ideas, and challenge one another. At the University of Kentucky, like all universities, our mission is to educate, challenge, and foster the intellectual, social, and emotional development of our students. That mission must inherently include providing a safe and protected place for students — for all of our students — to develop into their best selves. Our goal is for our students to graduate from our university better equipped to understand and improve the world in which they live.

Before students can be educated and challenged, however, they must first feel safe. Unfortunately, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 300 bias crimes have been reported since the presidential election on November 8. This compounds the 7% increase in hate crimes in the past year as reported by the FBI. The second most common place for these bias crimes are universities, second only to K-12 schools. Our students and colleagues who are immigrants, Muslim, Latinx, Black, LGBTQ, or female are statistically most likely to be targeted by a bias crime. This is unacceptable.

As faculty affiliated with the Center for Equality and Social Justice at UK, we are committed to advocating for social justice within our university, communities, and public policies. We cannot be advocates for social justice without first acknowledging that social justice must begin at home. Thus, we are stating, unequivocally and without hesitation, that the University of Kentucky will not tolerate bias in any form. We denounce and will not tolerate harassment because of gender, race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, religion, economic status, ability, or political beliefs. We will not tolerate threats, vandalism, or assault. We will not tolerate hate speech. Every student, faculty member, and staff person must be able to feel safe here at all times. Otherwise, we have failed to live up to our mission as the University for Kentucky. We cannot fully educate our students if they feel marginalized, threatened, or devalued. We cannot help them become the leaders of tomorrow if they are worried about their safety today.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” In the coming weeks, months, and years ahead, we will be pushing policymakers to focus on socially just and equitable policies and laws for the citizens of Kentucky. Until then, we are committed to ensuring that justice is not a distant ideal, but a daily assurance.

Sincerely,

The more than 60 Faculty Affiliates of the Center for Equality and Social Justice

UK Student-Athletes Break, Tie Graduation Records

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 14:46
Campus NewsBy Tony Neely Thursday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2016)University of Kentucky student-athletes broke one school record for graduation rate and tied another in the annual report issued this week by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2006-07 through 2009-10, was 82 percent. That broke last year’s school record of 81 percent and continued UK’s trend of having broken or tied the mark for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation in 2005.

The GSR includes all scholarship athletes. Athletes who transfer in good standing do not count against the school’s GSR. Schools also are allowed to count incoming transfers and January enrollees who subsequently graduate.

Here are the annual scores for UK student-athletes breaking or tying the school record each year of the 12-year history of the GSR.

Year Announced           NCAA GSR Percentage

2016                             82 

2015                             81 

2014                             81

2013                             79        

2012                             79

2011                             77        

2010                             74

2009                             73

2008                             73

2007                             71

2006                             71

2005                             68

The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) for student-athletes, also a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2006-07 through 2009-10, is 59 percent, tying the school record posted in three of the last four years. Data for this statistic is available since 1991. In the FGR, student-athletes who transfer count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and the NCAA GSR.

These improvements reflect the emphasis on academic achievement by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.

“The academic success of our students is at the core of our mission as an athletics department,” Barnhart said. “The best measure of that success is the progress of those students toward graduation, so we are proud that they continue to raise the bar in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate. I want to congratulate our students on their hard work. We will challenge our staff, coaches and students to continue to raise the bar.”

The long-term outlook remains bright for UK’s student graduation numbers. One of Barnhart’s goals for UK Athletics is a composite 3.0 grade-point average for all student-athletes. The Wildcats have hit that goal the last eight semesters.

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Tony Neely

Summary: University of Kentucky student-athletes continue to set new highs in the NCAA Graduation Success Rate.Section Feature: Section Feature

Kentucky Leads Tennessee in Big Blue Crush, More Donations Needed

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 08:25
Campus NewsBy Denise Fields and Rebecca Stratton Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2016) – After completing the first two days of the 29th annual Big Blue Crush blood drive, Kentucky leads Tennessee, 990 to 772.

“While it looks like we’re well on our way to our seventh victory in a row, we urge Cat fans to keep coming out strong to not only ensure the win but the holiday blood supply, too,” said Martha Osborne, Kentucky Blood Center’s executive director of marketing and recruitment.

Big Blue Crush is a yearly blood battle between University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee fans, sponsored by the Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) in partnership with DanceBlue and the UK Center for Community Outreach. It helps assure a strong blood supply heading into the holidays.

Not only can donors have a direct impact on others by giving blood, but Kentucky Blood Center will also donate $5 to the DanceBlue team of a donor's choice. Funds can also be allocated to the general DanceBlue fund. Ask for a DanceBlue slip at the drive.

Big Blue Crush continues through Friday.  Here are locations of blood drives on campus the rest of this week.

Wednesday, Nov. 16:

UK Singletary Center for the Arts – 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 17:

UK Singletary Center – 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

UK Johnson Center – 1-7 p.m.

UK Hospital Bloodmobile (on Rose Street) – 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 18:

UK Singletary Center – 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Young Library – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

UK Hospital Bloodmobile (on Rose Street) – 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Donor Centers will be open special hours during Crush week, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday. In Lexington, those are the Andover Donor Center in the Andover Shoppes and the Beaumont Donor Center in Beaumont Centre.

Everyone who registers to give blood during Big Blue Crush will receive a Crush T-shirt and a chance to win a pair of tickets to watch the Cats and the Cards on Nov. 26 at Papa John’s Stadium.

Blood donors must be 17-years-old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo ID and meet additional requirements.

Kentucky now leads the annual competition 15 to 12 with one tie and has won the competition six years in a row.

For more information about KBC, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800-775-2522. 

Denise Fields, 859-519-3721 Summary: Kentucky leads Tennessee 990 to 772, after completing the first two days of the 29th annual Big Blue Crush blood drive.

UK Celebrates Seven Years of Being Tobacco-free

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 14:30
Campus NewsBy Kathryn Macon Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2016) The University of Kentucky will celebrate UK’s tobacco-free policy for the seventh year. All students, faculty and staff members are encouraged to come help celebrate the anniversary of the tobacco-free policy along with the Great American Smokeout from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. The event will take place at the Rose Street Walkway, directly in front of the Mining and Minerals Resources Building, and is free and open to the public.

The UK Tobacco-free Task Force, the Tobacco-free Take Action! (TFTA!) Ambassadors, University Health Service, the UK College of Pharmacy, the Student Health Advisory Council, and UK Dining will host the annual Tobacco-free Tailgate: The Great American Smokeout celebration. The tailgate will give people the opportunity to learn more about the health hazards of tobacco as well as available tobacco treatment resources on campus. There will be games, prizes and free food (chili, hot chocolate and s’mores).

UK’s tobacco-free policy took effect in fall 2009 and the University is committed to promoting a healthy place to live, work, and learn for students, employees, patients and visitors. The use of all tobacco products is prohibited on any property that is owned, operated or occupied by UK within Fayette County, which includes buildings, parking structures and lots, sidewalks, streets and inside vehicles. Tobacco products are defined as all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco and electronic smoking devices. Everyone on campus — employees, students, patients, visitors, and vendors — are asked to respect others and adhere to the policy.

Kentucky leads the nation in incidence of lung cancer and mortality from the disease and reports some of the highest rates of tobacco use across the nation, UK recognizes the importance of the tobacco-free campus policy and offers many options to help employees, students and sponsored dependents quit using tobacco. For more information on quitting, go to http://www.uky.edu/TobaccoFree/.

Jacyln Perryman, an tobacco-free ambassador, is proud of the ways the tobacco-free policy has influenced campus and the role she gets to play in making campus healthier for students, staff and visitors. “I love that my job has allowed me to make a lasting, positive impact on our campus and I truly believe that the Ambassador Program, along with our volunteers, have made a difference and are continuing to make UK a healthy place to live, work, and learn," Perryman said.

In order to improve policy effectiveness, TFTA! was developed in spring 2011. TFTA! Ambassadors promote compliance with the University’s policy on a daily basis. Individuals who would like to get involved with the TFTA! Volunteer program can sign up here: http://www.uky.edu/TobaccoFree/volunteersignup

Show your support for UK’s tobacco-free campus on social media by using the hashtags #seeclear #seeblue.

UKPR&M CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, 859-257-1076

 

of Organizational Unit: MedicineNursingPharmacyPublic Health

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Summary: All students, faculty and staff members are encouraged to come help celebrate the anniversary of the tobacco-free policy along with the Great American Smokeout from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.

Feast on Equality Dinner Will Benefit Office of LGBTQ* Resources

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 12:31
Campus NewsBy Blair Hoover Thursday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2016) — The Office of LGBTQ* Resources, in partnership with Feast On Equality, will be hosting the inaugural Feast on Equality dinner benefiting the University of Kentucky Office of LGBTQ* Resources.

Feast On Equality is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that raises funds for at-risk LGBT youth by hosting signature fundraising events to engage the community and create awareness surrounding the issues that LGBT youth face.

The UK Feast on Equality will be held 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at The Carrick House in Lexington. The evening will consist of a cocktail hour, a three-course meal and an engaging program to learn more about the work that is taking place on UK's campus to improve the lives of LGBTQ* students.

To purchase tickets, visit the event page. All proceeds from ticket purchases will directly benefit the Office of LGBTQ* Resources in various efforts including:

  • Expanding scholarship opportunities to LGBTQ* students who would not otherwise be able to meet the financial demands of higher education.
  • Augmenting regular programming that includes an October LGBTQ* History Month speaker, November Transgender Week of Awareness activities, and Spring UK Pride Week activities.
  • Supporting a statewide conference for LGBT student leaders and introducing them to resources and support that will make a difference at college campuses across Kentucky for years to come.
  • Launching a study abroad program that specifically focuses on LGBTQ* experiences and providing substantial scholarship funds to offset the cost of attendance for the first annual student participants.
  • Hiring a graduate assistant to provide additional hands-on support for our five LGBTQ* focused student groups, allowing their membership to grow and flourish with additional structured support and advising.
  • Promote specific faculty development that continues to increase LGBTQ* related conversations in our classrooms.

"This exciting new partnership between LGBTQ* Resources and Feast On Equality provides a new way for us to tell our stories as students, faculty, staff and alumni," said Lance Poston, director of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources. "The event will highlight many of our inclusion focused campus accomplishments from the past year as well as highlight ways that we hope to grow in the future."

For additional information or questions, contact info@FeastOnEquality.com.

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Blair Hoover
blair.hoover@uky.edu
859-257-6398 Summary: The Office of LGBTQ* Resources, in partnership with Feast On Equality, will be hosting an inaugural Feast on Equality dinner 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2.

Women’s Basketball Game to Impact Campus Nov. 17

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 10:43
Campus NewsBy Chrissie Balding Tune Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2016)  On Thursday, Nov. 17, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will host University of New Hampshire at 11 a.m. in Memorial Coliseum. As a result, students and employees who park in north campus lots may see a slight increase in visitor parking and should plan ahead, allowing additional time for their commute. However, due to the game time, the impact on morning arrivals is expected to be minimal.

To accommodate game day operations, 30 spaces will be reserved in the Coliseum Lot.

UK women’s basketball fans may choose to pay to park in the South Limestone Garage (PS #5), located on South Limestone next to Kennedy’s Wildcat Den.

Impacted employees may opt to park in other E lots in the north campus area, which include the High Street Lot, the King Alumni Lot, the Linden Walk Lot, the Reynolds Lot (E/C7), and the Scott Street and Taylor-Dickey Lots (E/C7). Visit www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps to view all campus parking options.

In the event that the South Limestone Garage is at capacity, C5 permit holders may park in the C7 areas, which include the Reynolds Lot, Scott Street Lot and Taylor-Dickey Lot, or in the K areas at Commonwealth Stadium.

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Blair Hoover
blair.hoover@uky.edu
859-257-6398 Summary: Thursday, Nov. 17, the UK women's basketball team will host University of New Hampshire at 11 a.m. in Memorial Coliseum. Students and employees who park in north campus lots may see an increase in visitor parking and should allow additional time for their commute.

KGS Exchange Enters 13th Year With China

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 15:37
Campus NewsBy Michael Lynch Tuesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2016) — An international exchange of researchers and information between a Chinese earthquake research institute and the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky will continue for a 13th year, under a memorandum of agreement signed recently in Lanzhou, China.

State Geologist and KGS Director Bill Haneberg signed the memorandum with Lanmin Wang, director of the Lanzhou Institute of Seismology, China Earthquake Administration. Haneberg and KGS Geologic Hazards Section Head Zhenming Wang were visiting several locations in China, presenting technical lectures about landslide and earthquake hazard assessment to Chinese researchers.

During the exchange program, which has included several institutes of China’s Earthquake Administration, KGS researchers and UK faculty and students have visited China, and Chinese researchers have come to UK, to collect and exchange seismic data, assist with fieldwork, maintain seismic instruments, and participate in seminars on earthquake issues.

During the past year, Chinese researchers involved in the exchange also wrote papers accepted for publication in the Journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering and the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Both UK and the Chinese institutes have seen benefits from the program. Early in the exchange, UK seismic researchers and students traveled to China to help staff at the Lanzhou Institute acquire their first quality seismic-reflection profiles of active faults, using both UK equipment and the Chinese hosts’ seismic instruments.

Using data from a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan, China, that occurred in 2008, Chinese researchers visiting UK participated in investigations that may help predict ground motions that could result from larger earthquakes in the central United States. The Wenchuan region and the central United States are both far from tectonic plate boundaries, but intraplate (midplate) earthquakes have occurred in both places. Exchange researchers Jiwei Feng and Shanyou Li, from the Institute of Engineering Mechanics in Harbin, China, assisted in the research and co-authored a study published by KGS that concluded “the ground-motion data set obtained from the Wenchuan earthquake can be used to develop a GMPE (ground motion prediction equation) for the central and eastern United States.” (The 2015 publication, “Comparison of the Ground-Motion Attenuation Relationship Between the Wenchuan, China, Area and the Central and Eastern United States,” can be found here.)

In 2013, UK graduate student Alice Orton, of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, visited China to evaluate building code, emergency planning, and other information for her master’s degree thesis. She is one of several UK students who have traveled to China to do work for their graduate degrees.

The new memorandum between KGS and the Lanzhou Institute calls for continued exchange of researchers, joint research on slope stability in locations where earthquakes can cause landslides, development of hazard maps for regions in China, and development of joint research papers for publication.

of Organizational Unit: Arts and Sciences

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Gail Hairston
gail.hairston@uky.edu
859-257-3302 Summary: Under the updated memorandum of agreement, Kentucky Geological Survey researchers and UK faculty and students will continue to visit China, and Chinese researchers will visit UK to collect and exchange seismic data, assist with fieldwork, maintain seismic instruments, and participate in seminars on earthquake issues.Section Feature: Section Feature

UK Marks World Diabetes Day With Blue Lighting on Campus Nov. 14

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 08:58
Campus NewsBy Doug Alexander Monday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2016) —  Advocates for diabetes care and prevention in Kentucky and around the world will recognize World Diabetes Day (WDD) today, Monday, Nov. 14.  The University of Kentucky will participate with blue lighting on campus tonight.

 World Diabetes Day is sponsored annually by the International Diabetes Federation, the World Health Organization and Kentucky diabetes advocates to draw attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world.

World Diabetes Day is recognized around the world with the illuminating of historic sights and buildings in blue.  Numerous sites around Kentucky will be illuminated, including many at the University of Kentucky.  Scheduled for illumination are the Main Building, Memorial Hall, W.T. Young Library, Haggin Hall/K-Lair, Gatton College of Business and Economics, Holmes Hall (formerly Limestone Park 1), Woodland Glen 1, Woodland Glen 4, Johnson Hall (formerly Central Hall 1), Donovan Hall (formerly Central Hall 2), Jewell Hall (formerly Champions Court 1), Blazer Hall (formerly Champions Court 2), and The 90.

“This is a generous expression of diabetes awareness and changing the trajectory of the diabetes crisis,” said Bob Babbage of Lexington, who heads the World Diabetes Day Activities in the region.  “UK is nationally recognized for significant grant-funded diabetes research as well as the prominent role of the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center.”

Since 2007 more than 1,000 sights and buildings in 84 countries have been bathed in blue lights as part of the World Diabetes Day Blue Monument Challenge.  The celebration has included the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the United Nations Building, Rome’s Coliseum, the London Eye, Brandenburg Gate, the Egyptian Pyramids and hundreds more locations around the world.

This year’s theme for World Diabetes Day is "Eyes on Diabetes."  Activities will focus on promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.

WDD is part of Diabetes Awareness Month in the United States, a time designated to renew efforts to combat the diabetes epidemic. World Diabetes Day is formally recognized in Kentucky state law, the only state to have done so.

An estimated 561,000 (one in nine) adult Kentuckians are diagnosed with diabetes.  Another 1,171,000 people are diagnosed with prediabetes, putting them at a very high risk for developing diabetes. 

In 2011 Kentucky became the first state to mandate a statewide, comprehensive Diabetes Action Plan and the first state to license diabetes educators.  Since then, 18 other states have passed similar legislation modeled on the Kentucky law. 

Kentucky ranks 14th in the nation for the incidence in diabetes, an improvement on previous rankings.  Kentucky has dropped to 8th for the incidence of pre-diabetes.

For a complete guide on participating in World Diabetes Day and the Blue Monument Challenge go to www.idf.org/wdd-index

blue light on Haggin Hall

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Kathy Johnson
kathy.johnson@uky.edu
859-257-3155 Doug Alexander, 859-221-1032 Summary: Several UK buildings will have blue lighting tonight, as will other landmarks around Kentucky and the world. World Diabetes Day is formally recognized in Kentucky state law, the only state to have done so.

Torch Bearer, Torch of Excellence Awards Announced

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 15:16
Campus NewsBy Gail Hairston Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2016) Distinguished University of Kentucky students and alumni were honored with the Torch Bearer and Torch of Excellence Awards during the recent 26th annual Lyman T. Johnson Upholding the Torch of Excellence awards ceremony. The recipients are honored for significant contributions to the university and the community.

Chester Grundy, special projects coordinator for the UK Alumni Association, introduced keynote speaker Gerald Smith at the event.

Smith is a UK history professor, holder of the Theodore A. Hallam Professorship (2015-17) and the Martin Luther King Center Scholar-in Residence (2015-17). From 1997-2005, he served as the director of the African American Studies and Research Program at UK. A Lexington native and UK alumnus, Smith served as pastor of the Farristown Baptist Church in Berea from 2003-2011, and is the current pastor of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington. He is the author, editor or co-editor of four books. He has published more than 40 articles, essays and book reviews in historical journals and encyclopedias. Smith has consulted on various historical projects, lectured on college campuses around the state, and conducted workshops for primary and secondary school teachers. He has appeared in historical documentaries on CBS, NBC, KET, the CBS Sports Network and TruTV. Smith is co-editor of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, which received the Thomas D. Clark Medallion Book award in 2015. Smith is currently researching and writing a new general history on Kentucky African Americans.

Torch Bearer and Torch of Excellence award winners include:

Sylvester Miller II, College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Torch of Excellence

Miller is a 2008 graduate of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics. He is a former member of the UK football team and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Miller has been successful in an industry that has seen voids and challenges in diversity and inclusion, particularly in the sales role. He has excelled in roles with top agricultural firms such as Syngenta in Minnesota, where he has executed sales and marketing projects for fungicide, herbicide, seed treatment, and insecticide brands and developed “Go To Market” strategies and objectives that resulted in increased sales and market share over 15 percent. Miller now works for Fortune 500 company Monsanto in Waukee, Iowa, which he has accounted for $5.6 million in sales annually. He runs point for both upstream and downstream Monsanto seed treatment on corn and soybean.

Miller has been recognized by in the "Cambridge Who’s Who" among Agricultural Professionals, Cambridge Agricultural Professional of the Year, and a Cambridge Outstanding Agricultural VIP. He stays involved in developing the next generation of agricultural leaders through his work with the National Society of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences; FFA; and Agricultural Futures of America. He is on the board of directors for the Young Professionals of Agriculture in Iowa and participates in the World Food Prize.

Marcus Tyler Jr., College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Torch Bearer

Tyler is a junior at UK majoring in agricultural economics with a minor in business. He may be quiet in voice, but his efforts have a huge impact not only on this campus, but throughout the United States. In 2015, Tyler served as one of three students selected as a panel member at the Raising the Profile of Agriculture Forum at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Recently, Tyler was selected to be a member of the millennial panel at a conference sponsored by Bayer in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was the only student representative among leaders globally.

Additionally, he is the current undergraduate student national president of the National Society of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). Tyler was elected national undergraduate president at the 2016 National MANRRS Conference last April. In his role, he travels across the country speaking on behalf of the organization, advocating for diversity in agriculture while leading more than 5,000 students representing 75 chapters in over 38 states. Additionally, Tyler is a student ambassador for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, where he focuses on student recruitment and alumni relations. He is also a John Deere Student Ambassador, a United States Department of Agriculture Earth Team Volunteer, and a treasurer for the Epsilon Chi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Portia Burgess, College of Communication and Information (CI), Torch of Excellence

Burgess works for the UK Physical Plant Division (PPD) as a crew leader; the College of Communication and Information is one of her assigned facilities. She has been employed at UK for 26 years. She takes extreme pride in maintaining the upkeep of the Enoch Grehan Journalism Building. This is critical, especially when we are attempting to make a favorable impression upon prospective students and their parents.

Schyler Simpson, CI recruiter, said, “(Portia) is a friendly face and is great at her job. She goes above and beyond and gives 150 percent. She is always willing to pitch in even when it’s not one of her job responsibilities. She is a great leader, especially when it comes to training others.” Throughout her employment at UK, Burgess has received the CI Outstanding Staff Award and has been recognized as the Employee of the Quarter by PPD.

In addition to working at UK, Burgess is an accomplished seamstress. She makes dresses (including wedding and bridesmaid attire), formal and informal clothing. She specializes in designing African attire and sports related clothing and handbags. She also does alterations.

Taylor Gadberry, College of Communication and Information, Torch Bearer

Gadberry is a student leader who is highly ambitious. She has served as the president of the student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and was elected to serve two terms. She is a member of the Elite List, a student organization that focuses on public relations. Her responsibilities include serving as a reporter and running the news camera. Gadberry interned at WLKY news station in Louisville, Kentucky.

Not only is Gadberry involved in co-curricular activities, but she is able to balance these activities while maintaining a stellar GPA. Additionally, she studied abroad in Spain. Lastly, it is not enough for her to accomplish her goals, but she recognizes the importance of assisting others and regularly mentors other students in the college.

Denise Adegoke, College of Dentistry (UKCD), Torch Bearer

Adegoke is an outstanding student at UK, with an eager, sincere and collaborative disposition. She was selected and participated in the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Student Diversity Leadership Program Internship. During this internship, Adegoke spent a great deal of time working as a team member in the access, diversity and inclusion section of ADEA in research and strategic planning for the Student Diversity Leadership Program. Through this program, her curiosity, interest and engagement in the impact of the federal legislative process and public policy development grew tremendously. Additionally, she participated in the ADEA Student Diversity Leadership Program as a first-year student.

Adegoke has an altruistic spirit and is a servant leader. Her volunteerism prior to joining UKCD consisted of volunteering as a mentor and tutor to at-risk middle school students in her community in Florida, as well as serving in the role of director of community service for the pre-dental ASDA chapter and facilitating service activities and outreach for all of the students in the student organization. Additionally, Adegoke is a member of the American Association of Women Dentists, Delta Sigma Delta, a dental fraternity, and holds the position of secretary for the Student Research Group. 

Aprille Nelson, College of Dentistry, Torch of Excellence

Nelson is a strong and active member in the dental profession, as well as an alumnus of the UK College of Dentistry.

The college shared a quote from a current UKCD student about Nelson’s impact: “Dr. Nelson is caring, upbeat and dedicated to educating patients about oral health. Her friendly personality makes people feel welcome and at ease instantly. She has inspired others to relentlessly pursue their passion and achieve greatness. Furthermore, Dr. Nelson has been an important resource to Student National Dental Association. Her willingness to guide and advise students through the start to professional life has been a blessing. Dr. Nelson has been a source of encouragement and support for students and her peers.”

Candace Sellars McDaniel, College of Education, Torch of Excellence

McDaniel is an outstanding representative from the College of Education. She has two degrees from UK, was a founding College of Education ambassador and has a varied and rich career in education as an exemplar teacher and principal. She serves on several state committees such as the Kentucky National Institute for School Leadership, Public Education & Business Coalition Thinking Strategies, our own UK Next Generation Academy, as well as several others.

McDaniel served on the UK Alumni Board of Directors and as co-chairperson representing the College of Education. Additionally, she served on the College of Education Dean’s Advisory Board, UK's Strategic Planning Committee and the College of Education Teacher Education Program Committee, as well as worked as a mentor for Louisville Big Brothers Big Sisters. She has received several awards during her young career, such as Teacher Who Made a Difference from the UK College of Education and the UK Leadership Award and Spirit Awards. 

Lauren Weaver, College of Education, Torch Bearer Award

Weaver is a dedicated undergraduate student, and conscientious, industrious, compassionate and very intellectually capable of providing leadership. She has been involved in a number of public service activities that have demonstrated her leadership abilities: Synergy Service (hospitality ministry); African Students Association; UK Black Voices; Phi Sigma Theta; and Calvary Baptist Church, where she is a youth usher. 

Weaver also has excellent oral and written communication skills and has demonstrated a great deal of reliability, maturity and resourcefulness during her tenure. Furthermore, she has demonstrated excellent time management skills by successfully balancing outside activities and academic responsibilities. 

Qiana Milner, College of Engineering, Torch Bearer

Milner is the current treasurer for the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers at UK. She is finishing her second year in this position. She keeps up-to-date accountings of chapter monies using standard accounting and bookkeeping procedures; prepares an operating allowance budget for each of the chapter's activities thus allowing activities to be planned with the funds allotted for them; maintains possession of the chapter checkbook and signs all checks as approved by the president; presents a finance report at all executive board meetings; maintains a file of all bills and receipts of chapter purchases and reimburses any chapter member who presents a receipt for an authorized purchase by the chapter; orders food and drinks for each chapter meeting; and applies for phone-a-thon money and maintains contact with UK Student Government Association regarding funding availability. 

Milner has done an outstanding job in carrying out her duties for this position. This year, she has also taken on the responsibility to communicate with the chapter officers (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, membership and social activities coordinator, community service chair, website and public relations chair, and engineering student council representative) on the activities of the chapter and distribution of officer meeting minutes. Her maturity in all these matters has been outstanding. In addition, she is an active participate in most of the community service projects of the chapter.

Senait Nuguse, College of Engineering, Torch Bearer

Nuguse is a junior in electrical engineering who demonstrates exceptional academic and leadership skills. She is the electrical team lead for the UK Solar Car Team, which designs, builds and races solar-powered cars across the country while also promoting STEM education and interacting with the local community to teach the value of alternative energy. Her role as electrical team lead involves responsibility for the electrical design aspects of the vehicle, coordination of all electrical aspects, and integration with other components. In addition, Nuguse is a strong student academically, and has significant industry experience through internships at both LG&E and KU Energy LLC.

Reginald D. Smith, College of Engineering, Torch of Excellence

Smith is a 1993 civil engineering graduate and Academic All-SEC linebacker on the UK football team. Upon graduation from UK, he worked for Messer Construction for seven years and then took a brief six-year stint in the structural steel fabrication business before returning to Messer Construction. He is a senior project executive in the company’s Lexington office and has been a prominent construction manager on projects such as the College of Pharmacy building, several UK dormitory projects, and most recently, is the lead for the demolition, renovation and new build on the UK Student Center project.

Beyond his successful professional career, Smith has served as the secretary on the board of directors for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. He has been involved with the organization for many years and is extremely passionate about its mission. He also has been incredibly gracious to the UK College of Engineering and Department of Civil Engineering. He has given tours of his projects to students specializing in construction engineering and project management that provide unique, real-world insights to material that is delivered in the classroom. Smith has also donated his time to the college’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He has often spoken at the group’s monthly professional meetings and has been a mentor to many minority civil engineers at UK.

Gabe Amponsah, College of Health Sciences, Torch of Excellence

Amponsah typifies the spirit of utilizing his education at UK to give back to his institution, the Commonwealth and his profession. He graduated from UK in 2008 from the graduate athletic training program in the College of Health Sciences. His outstanding performance as a student earned him an opportunity to join the UK Athletic Department in 2009 as a full-time athletic trainer to provide sports medicine services to the student athletes at our institution. 

Since joining that staff, Amponsah’s expertise, performance and dedication have resulted in a recent promotion to the position of head athletic trainer for football for the UK football team in 2015. He continues to serve the student-athletes at UK, while representing UK in a highly visible position both locally and nationally. He interacts with faculty, staff and students of the Athletic Department, the College of Health Science and the College of Medicine almost daily, while also providing mentorship to students pursuing the same degree that got him started on his path at UK. Amponsah exemplifies the spirit of the Torch of Excellence through his years of devotion to UK as a student, and now as an alumnus serving his alma mater in a prestigious staff position.

Carolyn Blissett, College of Health Sciences, Torch of Excellence

Blissett was selected to receive the 2016 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service. She volunteered as a provider of physical therapy in the UK student-run free PT clinic from 2014-2016. In addition to providing care under the supervision of licensed physical therapists, Blissett taught herself Spanish while in the DPT program by playing on a soccer team, attending a church in which services are held in Spanish, and watching Spanish language television. While accomplishing this, she became fluent in Spanish and then became certified as a medical interpreter and began volunteering in the free clinic for this role as well. 

During the DPT program, Blissett completed research that will be presented at the American Physical Therapy Association’s combined sections meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in February 2017. This research studied the perspectives of women in a poor Ecuadorian community regarding Bailoterapia, an exercise program aimed at improving the health of these women.

Blissett has accomplished much since coming to Kentucky as a 12-year-old from Jamaica. She has navigated a new educational system, completed an undergraduate degree and capped this off by completing a challenging DPT degree. Although she has just completed the DPT program, her tireless energy and positive spirit speak directly to the spirit of the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence award. She has committed to be involved in UK's DPT program as a community mentor for future students as well. Blissett’s energy and spirit will continue to inspire her patients and her community in the Elizabethtown area.

Deshana Collett, College of Health Sciences, Torch of Excellence

Collett has many accomplishments that make her an excellent candidate for the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award both as an alumni and as a faculty member. In a similar vein to Lyman T. Johnson, Collett has not let obstacles prevent her from gaining an education and from becoming a successful professional. Moreover, in the course of her career she has not forgotten to help others to reach their full potential. Reviewing her résumé it is easy to see that most of her efforts have been toward enhancing the sense of belonging of African-American students and positively impacting the African-American community.

She graduated with a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the College of Health Sciences in 2003. As a student, Collett could occasionally be seen sitting in the back of the classroom with her young daughter quietly by her side. She had become a single mother at age 17 and it was clear that she struggled to meet the demands of both motherhood and being a full-time graduate student in a demanding program. For many teenage women, having a child means an end to their education. However, this was just one more obstacle for Collett to overcome. She had to fight through other adversities as well while fulfilling her goals toward an education. She was one of the brightest and most highly motivated of any students the program had enrolled and she not only finished her master’s degree in the College of Health Sciences, but since that time she has also completed a doctoral degree in studies in higher education.

Today, Collett uses her own story so that others can look at themselves in the mirror and change from telling themselves “it’s impossible” to “it’s possible.” She joined the Physician Assistant Studies faculty as an instructor in 2008 and in 2012 became assistant professor. She has been recognized for her teaching and academic leadership and received numerous awards.

As a faculty member, Collett has made major contributions to diversity and to helping Africa-American students become academically and personally successful. She has been a mentor to numerous African-American students in the Physician Assistant Program. Like Lyman T. Johnson, she has served as a source of inspiration and strength for many African-American students. In addition to serving as an advisor to individual students, she co-chairs the UK Unconscious Bias Student Subcommittee; serves as a member of the African American Faculty Advisory Committee to the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and as a member of the College of Health Sciences’ Diversity and Inclusivity Committee. She has served as a faculty mentor in the First Scholars Mentor Program and the Health Colleges Student Diversity Mentoring Moments Program. She also co-chaired a session titled “The First Amendment: The Patriotism of Protest” at UK Constitution Day. 

Within the Lexington community Collett has provided service to Commence Lexington Youth Leadership and to the Maxwell Elementary School Pipeline Project. She also serves as a member of Sayre School Cultural Competence/Anti-Bias Stakeholders Group and is a diversity, inclusivity and equity consultant to Lexington Catholic High School.

Amari D. Henderson, College of Health Sciences, Torch of Excellence

Henderson graduated from UK in December 2014 with a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science (MLS) and a minor in communication. The upper division courses in MLS combine scientific knowledge with clinical application.  Although the pressures of UK's clinical courses can be challenging for some students, Henderson was always able to succeed and perform well. She maintained an excellent GPA which resulted in her receiving the College of Health Sciences Academic Excellence Award.

While in the MLS program, Henderson was the Beaumont Middle School Step Team Coach (fall 2013-2015), which included assisting in the development of step routines and assisting in the promotion of positive self-esteem and academic success. She also was vice president and historian of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. (Mu Epsilon chapter). This takes time and dedication since UK's MLS program is very time intensive.

Since graduation, Henderson has been employed a Saint Joseph Hospital Laboratory as a generalist MLS, and is working in all areas of the laboratory. She is interested in pursuing a career in dentistry and has done some shadowing and volunteering at Mission Lexington Dental which helps provide the underprivileged community with dental care.

One of Henderson’s biggest projects includes a nonprofit that she is the founder of called Sisters Obtaining Success (SOS). The mission of SOS is motivating and empowering young preteen and teen ladies. She has developed and implemented a mentoring program for girls ages 13-16 that assists in the promotion of positive self-esteem and academic success. She also volunteers for The Nest- Center for Women, Children and Families, cleaning toys and sorting donations.

Henderson is an absolute joy to be around and exudes confidence and positivity in whatever endeavors she chooses. From the service activities she has been involved in one can see how her hard work and determination has positively impacted the lives of people on the UK campus, the local community and beyond. 

Ashley Pittman, College of Health Sciences, Torch Bearer

Ashley Pittman is currently a student at UK. She demonstrates a sincere interest in learning and is a hardworking scholarly student. It is clear that Pittman is an organized, focused, energetic individual leading to her being highly productive. In addition, she is very personable, well-spoken and is well-respected by her peers and superiors.

Pittman is an excellent student, schola, and servant. She has been actively involved in research and presented the results at professional conferences including an oral presentation at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and a poster presentation at the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS). She has developed into a leader by assuming the role of president of the Medical Lab Science Club at UK and being an ambassador for the College of Health Sciences. In addition, she has impacted the community by being a part of the Gill Heart Junior Researchers; Pittman advised and mentored a diverse group of high school students from Bryan Station High School on how to pursue careers in the STEM fields as well as the medical field. She is also a part of the Big Brothers Big Sister organization.

Ismaila Ceesay, College of Law, Torch Bearer

Ceesay was instrumental in establishing the StreetLaw program at the UK College of Law where law students go into local high schools and teach students real-life lessons in law and government. A goal of the program is to empower high school students to go forward and make positive changes in the community, while also inspiring them to consider a future legal career. He served as president of the organization during the 2015-16 school year. Through StreetLaw, the law students spend a semester teaching high school classroom lessons in the areas of law that include civil, criminal, family, housing and employment law. The two participating schools are currently Bryan Station High School and Martin Luther King Jr Academy. For many of the high school students, the lessons are immediately applicable to their life experiences. For the law students, this practical experience causes them to be more in touch with the real-life impact of laws on citizens.

Ceesay has further impacted high school students by serving as a Kentucky college coach in AmeriCorps where he assisted high school students with matching the best colleges to their aspirations. He also previously served as a program coordinator for Caux Scholars Program, a summer program in Switzerland. Through this program, 20 diverse professionals from around the world came together to study conflict transformation and peace work.

Ceesay is committed to civil rights and social action, economic empowerment, education and human rights. In addition to attending law school, he is the manager of International Partnerships at the UK International Center. He will complete his law degree in December 2016.

Melynda Price, College of Law, Torch of Excellence

Melynda Price is the Robert E. Harding, Jr. Associate Professor of Law at the UK College of Law and the director of African American and Africana Studies in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Price joined the UK College of Law as an assistant professor in the fall of 2006 after completing her doctoral degree in political science at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation was awarded the 2007 Best Dissertation Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. In addition to her degree in political science, she also earned a juris doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 2002. Price has a national impact through her research that focuses on race, gender and citizenship, the politics of punishment and the role of law in the politics of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and at its borders. In 2008, she was awarded a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship. Price received a fellowship from Woodrow Wilson School’s Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) and is spending the 2016-17 academic year at Princeton University. She will spend the year pursuing a project that analyzes how we understand activism among black mothers of murdered children.

Furthermore, Price is the author of "At the Cross: Race, Religion and Citizenship in the Politics of the Death Penalty" (Oxford University Press, 2015). Finally, Price impacts the campus and community at large in her role as a coordinator for the annual Black Women’s Conference sponsored by UK’s African American and Africana Studies.

LaJava N. Chenault, College of Nursing, Torch of Excellence

LaJava N. Chenault is native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, and has been a nurse for over 40 years. She always knew she wanted to be a nurse and had an affinity for math and science. Interested in human behavior and interactions, always a caring person, she knew nursing was the perfect fit. Coming from humble beginnings and a single parent household, she had the support and backing of her mother, Carlena Walker, the person who most shaped her life. Chenault is a firm believer in affirmative action and states, “Without Affirmative Action, I could not have gone to school and become the success I am today.” With the help of a guidance counselor, academic and nursing scholarships, she enrolled in Eastern Kentucky University’s nursing program. As a first-generation college student, she had to develop a new way of thinking and learning, often wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?” Taking 19-21 hours a semester (no summers), she went straight through and “got in, got out.” Her nursing career began at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington. She worked for a year in El Paso, Texas, rising to evening shift supervisor, before returning to Kentucky and St. Joseph Hospital. 

Back in Lexington, Chenault knew she wanted to be in a leadership position, but needed a higher degree. Encouraged by a mentor, she enrolled in the UK’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, graduating in 1988. She later completed a master's degree in nursing through the University of Phoenix. Her career at St. Joseph lasted over 40 years because she “believed in their mission” and in each position encountered “a new challenge and environment.” From her roles as staff and charge nurse, to unit manager and house administrator, and director to vice president of nursing (overseeing approximately 800 nurses), Chenault was always an advocate for nurses. Highly regarded, she has been active in Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society; the American Organization of Nurse Executives; the Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders; and the Lexington chapter of the National Black Nurses Association .   

Chenault married her husband Michael Chenault Sr., who she refers to as her soul mate and biggest supporter, in 1973. They have two sons, Mike Jr. and Timothy, in 43 years of marriage. Mike Jr. passed away suddenly at the age of 39, and Timothy served his country and is currently a military contractor in Kuwait. They have one grandchild, Jazmen Chenault, and one “honorary grandchild.” 

Chenault has received many awards over the years, including the Black Achievers Award, Our Nurses Have Values Award, Top Talent Recognition and the Lisa Mason Leadership Award. However, Chenault is most proud of being recently named the “Lay Person of the Year” by her church, where she serves as the health and wellness coordinator. She is a member of the Bourbon County Medical Outreach Committee and is proud of the work they do to help underserved senior citizens in the community. Chenault also serves on the College of Nursing’s Dean’s Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Council and CNL Advisory Council.

Simone Curd, College of Nursing, Torch Bearer

Curd is a first semester senior in the College of Nursing and is described by those who know her as a leader with confidence and integrity. She is recognized by faculty and fellow students as someone who makes significant contributions to the success and well-being of others.

Curd is active in college, campus and community organizations. Her passion, working with neonates in the neonatal ICU (intensive care unit), was founded in her clinical work and classroom studies in the College of Nursing. Future plans include participating in mini medical missions, an interest she developed while studying in the international, interprofessional student clinical course — Shoulder to Shoulder in Ecuador in 2015.

Curd served as the nursing class president during her sophomore year. She is a member of the Student Nurses Association and was appointed service coordinator and secretary for the UK chapter. As a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, she has engaged in service to the community by feeding the homeless at Rupp Arena and volunteering with God’s Pantry. Attending the Lexington chapter of the National Black Nurses Association is a priority for Curd. Through connections with the United Way, she volunteers at the William Wells Brown Elementary School helping with reading, school fairs and other classroom activities.

With her rigorous academic schedule and intensive responsibilities as a nursing student, Curd manages to find the time to serve her college, university and community.

Alex Marshall, College of Pharmacy, Torch of Excellence

After graduation, Marshall continued his research looking at the impact of alcohol abuse on the neuro-immune system, publishing five manuscripts since graduation. But unlike most postdoctoral experiences, he decided to combine his love of research with the opportunity to teach by seeking a fellowship that carved out time for teaching.

Marshall has taught at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and most extensively, North Carolina Central University. His connections with various universities within the Research Triangle don’t stop at teaching, he has also actively participated in the Triangle Society for Neuroscience where he has served as the program chair and is currently the chapter representative. In that position, he has not only worked to put on programs for other neuroscientists including symposia and socials, but perhaps more importantly, he has helped the local body connect with community by participating in events like Black Genius Fest and the Science of Beer.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Marshall has continued working with groups that work to reduce the achievement gap in STEM including the Kappa Beautillion, Big Brother Big Sisters, Lexington’s BMW academy, and other tutoring programs.

Raeschell “Shelly” Williams, College of Pharmacy, Torch Bearer

Williams is a first-generation college student and one of three African-American students in a pharmacy class of 140 students. She has served as the president of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), a student organization aimed at “serving the underserved” in the community. Williams is also a member of the Chi chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society and an active member of the Professional Development and Recruitment (PD&R) committee of the Kentucky Alliance of Pharmacy Students.

Williams has earned Dean’s List designation in three of the six semesters of didactic coursework while pursuing a dual degree in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Along with her academic achievements, she was selected as a VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) pharmacy intern with the Lexington VA Medical Center, allowing her to further her clinical knowledge through rotational experiences at the VA.

More recently, Williams joined the professional affairs committee of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA) with the hope that this opportunity will allow her to become more involved with pharmacy matters on the state level to further her community involvement.

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Gail Hairston
gail.hairston@uky.edu
859-257-3302 Summary: Distinguished University of Kentucky students and alumni were honored with the Torch Bearer and Torch of Excellence Awards during the 26th annual Lyman T. Johnson Upholding the Torch of Excellence awards ceremony. Section Feature: Section Feature

Stanley Pigman — Seeing Blue and Making a Difference

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 15:08
Campus NewsBy Staff Report Monday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2016) — “If it hadn’t been for an engineering scholarship, Stan Pigman would never have been able to enroll at the University of Kentucky in 1977,” observes Mike Richey, UK vice president for philanthropy. “And if it hadn’t been for his persistence in study and special help from his professors, Stan would never have graduated with a degree that prepared him for the extraordinary success he has experienced.

“Today, Stan is keenly aware of the difference a scholarship can make in a young person’s life, and the impact that mentoring can make. He and his wife Karen are not only providing scholarships for many first generation college students from Kentucky, they are also sponsoring innovative leadership training opportunities and personally investing themselves in the lives of the young people their philanthropy touches.”

Growing up in Eastern Kentucky

L. Stanley Pigman was born in Knott County and grew up in this rural coal mining area of the state. He was the sixth of eight children. His father and uncle worked together in highway construction and his father supervised a small crew. Pigman worked on this crew in the summers during his high school years.

He also became an entrepreneur at an early age. His family grew vegetables, and he was allowed to market part of the green bean crop each season and keep the proceeds. During the school year, he was a contract photographer, taking and developing pictures for special functions and the high school yearbook.

He recalls, “My father was very influential in my life. He was all about work, work, work. I get my task-oriented approach to things and my work instinct from him.”

Pigman also had other mentors in his early life. “Sally Patterson was a missionary at Scripture Memory Mountain Mission in Knott County. She was instrumental in getting me involved in the community and church from first grade on. She ran Cub Scouts, and I was a part of that. She thought that a man should direct the Boy Scouts program, and she asked Jim Miller, a young faculty member teaching German at nearby Alice Lloyd College, to do that.”

This professor became more than a Boy Scout leader to Pigman. When Pigman and several of his fellow sixth-grade boys asked Miller to teach them German after school, Miller agreed. Pigman explains that eventually all the other boys dropped out, but he did not. Consequently, Miller had him come to his classes on the Alice Lloyd campus and study languages alongside the college students.

Miller’s wife Anna also taught at the college. “I almost became their kid,” Pigman says. “I took a bus to campus four days a week. They opened my eyes to learning, and I knew I wanted to go to college.

“And from working with Dad’s highway crew in the summers, I knew I wanted to become an engineer. I realized that the most respected person on the job was the engineer who could solve problems and do things that others couldn’t. I also wanted to build things and be involved in projects.”   

Attending UK on a scholarship

“Dad worked for the R.R. Dawson Bridge Co. for 20 years,” Pigman continues. “I applied for the college scholarship the company offered, but I didn’t receive it. Then one day, the guidance counselor at my high school came to me and said, ‘Will you study mining engineering at the University of Kentucky if you get a scholarship?’ My answer was ‘Yes!’”

The scholarship was provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to encourage mining in the state.

Pigman was just 17 years old when he enrolled at the University of Kentucky. “Coming from a rural area, I thought the UK campus was huge,” he confides.

“I soon learned that academically, I was woefully unprepared in calculus. I simply had not been exposed to abstract math in high school. By December of my first semester, I had flunked calculus. At that point, I knew I had a decision to make — I could either stay at UK and figure things out, or I could go home.”  

He decided to stay in college and make a determined effort to succeed as an engineering major. In his second semester, he attended every tutoring session available in calculus and began to make passing grades.

“I had lots of struggles in school,” he continues. “But I made it through with help at many turns along the way from my professors, including Dr. Kot von Unrug who taught rock mechanics. I’ve had a lifelong friendship with him, and I’ve called upon him many times for consultation.”  

To earn money, Pigman continued his photography business on campus, taking pictures at fraternity, sorority and other functions. After his freshman year, he was able to go to work in the coal mines during the summers and other breaks from school.

Achieving entrepreneurial success

Pigman began his career in 1981 as a project engineer with a new mining company, Sierra Coal, a subsidiary of General Electric. “I had several job offers when I graduated from UK,” he remembers. “But I chose this one because it was close to home in Eastern Kentucky.”

In 1983, he moved to Lexington and became a market analyst with Old Ben Coal, a subsidiary of BP. When the operation moved to Cleveland, Pigman joined Pyro Mining in Evansville, Indiana, as a market analyst and then progressed into sales.

In 1992, he and two colleagues formed Sugar Camp Coal. In 1997, they partnered with Black Beauty Coal in Evansville where he became vice president of marketing in 2000. A year later, he formed his own company, Pigman Coal Sales, providing sales services to an independently owned start-up company for a new mining project in western Kentucky.

In 2004, he sold Pigman Coal Sales to Peabody Coal, and since that time, he has formed three companies that own and lease coal properties — Mackey Development, Buck Creek and Delaware Resources.  

“I’ve spent almost all of my career in sales,” he says. “I’m an entrepreneur. My skills are all related to building a business.”  

Pigman relocated his company headquarters to High Point, North Carolina, in 1999 where his wife of 21 years, Sheila Nickles Pigman, a UK alumna and insurance executive, had bought her own agency. She died of cancer in 2002.

Pigman continued to live in High Point and this is where he met his wife Karen Pigman. She remembers, “Sheila had passed away, and my husband had passed away. Stan lived next door to my sister and brother-in-law, and they invited him to our family Thanksgiving dinner so he wouldn’t be alone on the holiday. We talked and cried and got to know each other. And here we are 12 years later.”  

Transforming lives at his alma mater

In 1999, Stan Pigman decided to establish a scholarship program at UK for full-time undergraduate engineering students from Kentucky with financial need. Since then, he has expanded the program several times and has become more and more involved with the student recipients.

Today, Stan and Karen Pigman are providing major scholarships for 28 engineering students each year. All totaled, more than 80 students have benefited so far from their generosity. The scholarship recipients are known as Pigman Scholars.

Preference is given first to students from Knott or Floyd counties; then Letcher, Perry, Pike, Johnson, Leslie, Harlan, Magoffin or Breathitt counties; then Union, Webster, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Henderson, Ohio, McLean or Daviess counties; and then to students from any other county in Kentucky.  

“Most of our scholarship recipients are the first person in their family to attend college, and they need considerable help,” Stan Pigman explains.

He and his wife take great personal interest in each student, and mentor them to be successful college students and successful engineers. The Pigmans host informal pizza parties at their Lexington condominium to get to know the students, and they provide encouragement and practical advice throughout the year. As UK basketball season ticket holders, the Pigmans attend the Wildcats’ home games at Rupp Arena and pay for a third seat so they can take one of their scholarship recipients with them to the games.

They also host an annual luncheon for all the scholarship recipients and their families in the Hilary J. Boone Center on campus. Karen Pigman says, “We usually have more than 80 guests, and often the moms come to me to say thank you for helping their kids. 

“We talk about our students all the time with my parents, Earl and Kitty Congdon, who also live in High Point. Sometimes they come to Lexington with us to meet the students. And recently, Mom and Dad decided to fund half the scholarships we are providing.”

The scholarships are also available to Pigman Scholars who pursue an MBA at UK, and each recipient is eligible to receive a stipend to cover an engineering study abroad experience after successfully completing 90 semester hours of credit.

“They need this overseas experience to know what the world is like,” Karen Pigman observes. “Many of them have never been on a plane.”

“The College of Engineering needs more need-based scholarships, and Kentucky needs more engineers,” Stan Pigman emphasizes. “Every surrounding state has a higher percentage of engineers per capita than Kentucky.”

Mentoring student leaders

In addition to the scholarship program, the Pigmans also sponsor a leadership development institute.

“I’ve always been aware of my shortcomings that have hampered my career,” Stan Pigman shares. “Areas such as writing and public speaking. We therefore decided to start a leadership development institute in the College of Engineering to help students in these and other areas.”

Fifteen students per year are accepted into the highly competitive program. Nominations of the most outstanding students in each academic department are made by faculty department chairs, and the final selections are made by a committee appointed by the dean of the College of Engineering. Each year’s group selected for the leadership development institute represents the college’s top seniors. 

The program consists of a weekly symposium each spring semester and an all-expense paid field trip to Washington during spring break. The students chosen for the leadership development institute are called Pigman Leadership Scholars.

“We’ve had many interesting guest speakers in the symposiums including a former governor, CEOs of corporations and many other successful individuals telling their stories,” Stan Pigman notes. “We also bring in UK faculty to help students learn public speaking and writing skills. Other guest speakers emphasize the importance of good social skills including sending thank you notes and proper etiquette. We even take the students to the Boone Center where they learn to navigate a formal meal laid out with all the table settings.”       

He continues, “We’ve also begun a program where students go to dinner with a CEO. After the symposium, each of our guest speakers will join a group of the students for a meal and conversation.”

The Pigmans accompany the Pigman Leadership Scholars on the spring break trip to Washington. The students tour the national landmarks during the day, and each evening, outstanding UK alumni in the area, other local successful individuals and even members of the U.S. Congress join the group for dinner and conversation.  

“I look upon this whole leadership development program as a confidence builder for students as they enter the work force,” Stan Pigman shares. “I’m happy to be involved with engineering majors because I know the field. It’s where I’m best suited to help. And having contact with all these young people is very meaningful.” 

The Pigmans keep up with their scholarship and leadership development institute students after they graduate. Many in the Lexington area attend the Pigmans’ pizza parties and offer advice to current students. Stan Pigman is often called upon for career counseling from graduates. And in September 2017, Stan and Karen Pigman will host the 150 engineering majors who have been Pigman Leadership Scholars and their families for a special weekend at their home in North Carolina to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the leadership development institute.

Impacting future generations

To make the scholarship and leadership development programs he has begun permanent, Stan Pigman is endowing them and strengthening the scholarship program through his estate plan. He is also establishing two endowed faculty positions in power engineering.

The L. Stanley Pigman Distinguished Chair in Power will be held by a tenured faculty member, and the L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellowship in Power will be held by a non-tenured junior faculty member who shows promise in the field. Working cooperatively, both positions will enhance power engineering education at the university. These new faculty positions will also bolster UK’s certification program in power engineering, which is known as the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK).

“The work force in the power industry is graying,” Stan Pigman explains. “And the University of Kentucky is located where there is power generation all around us. The College of Engineering has the opportunity to develop one of the top programs in the nation in this area and prepare engineering majors for jobs in the power industry.”

Helping others in extraordinary ways

Stan Pigman serves on the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, the Campaign Steering Committee, the Mining Engineering Foundation Board and the PEIK Advisory Board. For his career achievements and commitment to community service and his alma mater, he has been inducted into the college’s Hall of Distinction as a role model for engineering students.

He is also a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association and has served on its Alumni Expert Network. Karen Pigman is a founding and current member of the UK Women & Philanthropy Network.

UK President Eli Capilouto says, “Stan Pigman’s vision for the university and the College of Engineering is exceeded only by his genuine concern for Kentucky students and his desire to see them succeed. He and Karen share a tremendous personal commitment to helping students realize their dreams for a college education and a bright future. I deeply appreciate all they are doing and the impact those actions will have upon the university and the Commonwealth for generations to come.”    

Stan and Karen Pigman extend their philanthropy to many other causes. At the mission camp Stan Pigman attended in Eastern Kentucky, he and his wife sponsor a scholarship program that enables students to obtain a college degree and also provides support for any student pursuing a seminary education. The Pigmans built a food pantry in Appalachia and fund its operation. They are helping make high school and trade school education available for disadvantaged young people in Honduras, and they support multiple churches to which they have personal ties. 

Stan Pigman serves on the board of Hospice of the Piedmont in High Point and has been its chairman.

When asked what motivates their philanthropy at the University of Kentucky, Stan Pigman reflects, “I was given a scholarship to study at the University of Kentucky, and I couldn’t have gone to college without it. Even as a freshman at UK, I realized that if you’re poor — and my family was poor — the only way out of poverty is through education. There are still many young people in Kentucky in this same situation today, needing help to pursue a college degree and a successful career. That’s why we do what we do.”

of Organizational Unit: Engineering

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Kathy Johnson
kathy.johnson@uky.edu
859-257-3155 Summary: National Philanthropy Day — Nov. 15 — honors those who make a difference in the lives of individuals, communities and educational institutions through their contributions and good deeds. Philanthropists play a significant role in the success of the University of Kentucky and its students. One example is a UK grad who achieved entrepreneurial success and now transforms the lives of Kentucky engineering students.Homepage Feature: Primary feature

Kentucky Joins $25 Million Federal Program to Develop Effective Educators

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 13:56
Campus NewsBy Amanda Nelson Monday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2016) — State education leaders met during a summit Friday to develop plans for improving the effectiveness of teachers and public school principals who serve students with disabilities.

The summit, co-hosted by the University of Kentucky College of Education and University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development, is connected to Kentucky’s participation in a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Education known as the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR).

CEEDAR was established at the University of Florida (UF) in 2012 through a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to lead major reforms in policy and educator preparation. The mission of the five-year grant is to help states increase academic success for students with disabilities by improving the training and practices of their teachers and school leaders.

Kentucky is one of five new states to round out a 20 state roster for this federally funded effort. Kentucky is among the final five states to join the “class of 2016,” which also includes Colorado, Mississippi, Nevada and Rhode Island. The center was charged to partner with education leaders, groups and agencies, and university teacher preparation programs from five states each year, from 2013 through 2016.

Friday’s summit included a keynote address from Roderick Lucero, vice president for member engagement and support at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). Guest speakers from Georgia State University shared their participation in CEEDAR funded initiatives in their state to improve educator preparation.

Participants in Friday’s summit represented education leaders from the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, the Council on Postsecondary Education, University of Louisville, Thomas More College, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky and representatives from local education agencies, including Jessamine County Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools.

The effort’s reach and scope extends beyond CEEDAR’s member states. Center leaders hope teaching strategies and standards proven successful in its federally supported project will be considered for adoption by all states.

Last year, the CEEDAR team joined forces with the Council of Chief State School Officers to distribute a nationwide report on “clear policy actions” and guidelines that education department leaders in every state can take to meet the needs of all their students, especially those with disabilities.

“Kentucky is known nationally for its ability to collaborate across education state agencies and institutions of higher education," UK College of Education Associate Dean Laurie Henry said. "This project is one more example of the state’s collaborative spirit. The individuals involved in this project care deeply about improving education for P-12 learners. That begins with a focus on ensuring high quality educator preparation programs across the state to train the best teachers and school leaders who will provide systemic impact on learning for our kids.”

Florida, the CEEDAR center’s home state, was one of the first five states to join in the first-year cycle, along with California, Connecticut, Illinois and South Dakota. Year two in 2014 saw Georgia, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio and Utah come in. Last year, Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Tennessee were added.

“It is our intention that the 20 partnering state teams will benefit from the successes and lessons learned from each of the five-state cohorts before them,” said CEEDAR Center Director Mary Brownell, a UF special education professor. “The state teams will strengthen and initiate reform efforts to significantly improve the preparation, licensing and evaluation of teachers and administrators who educate students with disabilities, from kindergarten through high school.”

Brownell said between 60 to 80 percent of students with disabilities spend time in general education classrooms, underlying the need to improve teaching and leadership in all schools.

CEEDAR faculty and staff used a comprehensive vetting process to select the 20 partnering states, based on their needs and goals, level of commitment and engagement, collaborative spirit, level of support from state education officials, and other factors.

“Each state has their unique needs and solutions for raising the standard of teacher and principal preparation to advance inclusive education for students with disabilities,” Brownell said. “Connections and communication among the network of states and with the CEEDAR team are crucial to developing an effective, comprehensive course of action for each state.”

She said the CEEDAR strategy places heightened emphasis on exposing all students to high-quality instruction in reading, writing and mathematics. Instruction is based on two teaching frameworks that provide increasing levels of academic and behavioral support to any students who need it.

Brownell said educators in the 20 CEEDAR states gain access to a host of resources, including the consulting services of the CEEDAR faculty and staff and the center’s partnering support organizations. Those include the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education and the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps.

CEEDAR also stages webinars and workshops and has created a website with a Facebook-style “wall” for member networking and sharing ideas. The site also offers numerous multimedia resources to help state teams bolster their knowledge of best teaching practices, teacher prep regulations, program licensure requirements, and other pertinent topics.

Brownell said many states are already developing detailed action plans, strengthening collaborations between state education interests, expanding professional development programs for teachers, redesigning their teacher prep programs, and enacting new standards so all teachers and principals can work successfully with students with special needs.

With 20 states enrolling five at a time at one-year intervals, she said their progress varies from state to state, but “we’re seeing very encouraging results.”

Organizational Unit: Education

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Whitney Harder

Summary: State education leaders met during a summit Friday, co-hosted by the UK College of Education and University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development, to develop plans for improving the effectiveness of teachers and public school principals who serve students with disabilities.

DeWall Runs for His Dreams

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 16:40
Campus NewsBy Kathryn Macon Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2016) Nathan DeWall, professor of psychology and director of the Social Psychology Lab at the University of Kentucky, is currently writing the 12th edition of the introductory textbook, “Psychology,” with his mentor and renowned textbook writer David Myers.

DeWall received a bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College, a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree and doctoral degree in social psychology from Florida State University. Along with his educational achievements, he has won numerous awards and has published more than 150 scientific articles and chapters.  

DeWall wasn’t always interested in psychology; he entered college in hopes of becoming a musician. But after taking an introductory psychology course, he discovered his love for psychology. The book used in his entry-level class was written by David Myers, whom he now works alongside to co-author a leading series of introductory textbooks that aim to make learning psychology enjoyable and exciting.

“He (Myers) is the best in the business at communicating psychological science,” DeWall said. "For him to be my mentor is exciting and kind of intimidating.”

“Psychology” contains 16 chapters that are broken down into 55 modules in an effort to allow students to not just read but to actively learn the material. The other books in the series — “Psychology in Everyday Life” and “Exploring Psychology” — also use formats that make the material more easily digestible.

Myers and DeWall are passionate about teaching through writing and interactive media. As textbook authors, they get to teach critical thinking skills and present psychology as a science to hundreds of thousands of students.

“I write a textbook, I can reach more students,” said DeWall. “It’s as if by writing textbooks you get a huge classroom.” 

Aside from work, DeWall believes in living a balanced life. In his free time, he spends time with his wife and daughter, and he runs — a lot. This past summer, he placed 27th in the Vol State 500K, a race across Tennessee. He finished the 314-mile race in 6 days, 19 hours, 40 minutes, and 5 seconds. He also recently helped a friend complete a record-breaking transatlantic run. He wrote about this running experience, which appeared in The New York Times.

DeWall, an ultramarathon runner, says running makes him more aware of his surroundings and gives him more discipline in all aspects of his life. He is not afraid of trial and error; much of his preparation includes failing in order to improve, he said.

“My experience is to try it once, fail, and then spend the next year devoting every ounce of mental and physical energy I have to get prepared,” DeWall said.

DeWall spent a year building up his mileage before running his first 100-mile race in 2012, and he hasn't stopped since.

Through his journey, he has connected with runners from all over the world. He soon will travel to Hong Kong for a speaking engagement, where he plans to go on a long run with a fellow ultramarathoner. 

“You can kind of go anywhere,” DeWall said. “You get support from them (fellow runners) when things go well, and you also get support when things don’t go so well.”

DeWall loves traveling; this past summer, DeWall and his wife took a trip to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“That was pretty special to see athletes from different countries trading pins with each other,” he said. “To talk with parents of athletes who have sacrificed so much, years and years of their lives so that they could just get a shot to be in one event at one Olympics in their lifetime, is incredible and it really puts things in perspective.”

Nathan DeWall and his students in the UK Social Psychology LabOrganizational Unit: Arts and Sciences

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Gail Hairston
gail.hairston@uky.edu
859-257-3302 Summary: Psychology Professor Nathan DeWall is busy writing the latest edition of his introductory textbook, while he runs the UK Social Psychology Lab. He also runs ultramarathons, like his most recent race nearly spanning the breadth of Tennessee.

UK to Sponsor Honor Flight in the Spring

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 15:07
Campus NewsBy Rebecca Stratton Friday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2016) — On Saturday, May 20, the University of Kentucky will become the first university in the country to sponsor an Honor Flight.

The University of Kentucky has a long and storied tradition of supporting the young men and women who have answered the call to duty. Memorial Hall and Memorial Coliseum, two prominent structures on the university's campus, stand as stalwart tributes of gratitude to those who died while wearing our nation’s uniform; but, our gratitude extends far beyond the walls of those iconic buildings. 

A more recent addition to UK's campus is the new 2,000-square-foot Veterans Resource Center located in Erikson Hall. It is a testament to the university's continued support of the nation's military veterans and desire to see them succeed in higher education.

Today, UK will honor its veterans with the annual observance ceremony at 11 a.m., at the Main Building. This year’s observance will highlight the new center on campus, as well as announce to the campus community UK’s commitment to all of those who have served. As a tangible display of that commitment and gratitude, UK is very proud to announce that it will be the first institution of higher education in the country to sponsor an Honor Flight!

The mission of Honor Flight is to ensure that veterans have the opportunity to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. World War II veterans are the priority passengers, followed by Korean War and then Vietnam War veterans. UK’s flight is scheduled for May 20, 2017 — Armed Forces Day. 

The flight is 100 percent privately funded in order to provide a cost-free experience for the veteran. UK's first priority will be our UK alumni who have served their country, followed by UK retirees and finally family members of UK's current faculty and staff. To find out more about this exciting initiative and how to become involved, visit www.uky.edu/honorflight.

For more information or any questions, please contact vetcenter@uky.edu

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Rebecca Stratton
rebecca.stratton@uky.edu
859-323-2395 Summary: On Saturday, May 20, the University of Kentucky will become the first university in the country to sponsor an Honor Flight. Section Feature: Section Feature

Commit to Recycling at UK on America Recycles Day

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 10:24
Campus NewsBy Esther Moberly Monday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2016) — In celebration of America Recycles Day on Tuesday, Nov. 15, the University of Kentucky Recycling Program is challenging the university community to take the recycling pledge. 

The goal is to increase recycling participation on campus, and to continue encouraging the UK community to be engaged and informed about recycling. Everyone that takes the pledge will receive a UK Recycling T-shirt and will be entered in a drawing for prizes. Winners will be announced on Dec. 6.

The pledge is simple:

Recycling Pledge

_____ I pledge to LEARN more about what is recyclable on my campus, by visiting UK Recycling.

_____ I pledge to LEARN more about what is happening on the UK campus related to UK Recycling, by following them on a social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest).

_____ I pledge to RECYCLE more, by placing all my plastic bottles and aluminum cans in a recycling bins.

_____ I pledge to SHARE information about the recycling pledge with one of my friends.

Take the pledge online at www.recycleblue.uky.edu, or in person this week. From 8:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Nov. 15, a pop-up event will take place on the Rose Street sidewalk. Everyone is invited to stop by, take the pledge, and learn more about the UK Office of Sustainability's work, recycling on campus and in Lexington. The rain location will be the first floor inside White Hall Classroom Building.

The recycling program will also be tabling at White Hall from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, and from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in front of Bowman’s Den.

For more information, visit www.recycleblue.uky.edu or email recycle@uky.edu. And follow UK Recycling on social media:

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Whitney Harder

Summary: In celebration of America Recycles Day on Tuesday, Nov. 15, the UK Recycling Program is challenging the university community to take the recycling pledge. Section Feature: Section Feature

Public Health Study Documents the Power of Strong Community Networks in Improving Health

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 17:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2016) — A national study published by researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health provides strong evidence that community networks can lead to long-term population health improvements. 

 

Since the turn of the century, the American population has declined in health status, longevity and, in some groups, life expectancy. Health policy officials across the country are testing strategies for reversing these trends. The study, conducted by UK College of Public Health researchers and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), indicates that communities can reduce deaths from multiple preventable causes by building multi-organizational networks that support a set of population health improvement activities. 

 

The researchers followed a national cohort of more than 300 communities over a 16-year time period to examine the extent to which community organizations work together in implementing a set of activities designed to improve health status in the community at large.

 

These activities recommended by the National Academy of Medicine and other scientific and professional advisory groups included conducting assessments of health status and needs in the local area, developing shared priorities and plans for health improvement, educating community residents and leaders about health priorities, investing resources in shared health priorities, and evaluating the results of these investments. By analyzing data spanning 16 years, the study found that deaths from preventable causes such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, influenza and infant mortality declined significantly among communities that implemented a broad spectrum of population health activities through dense networks of collaborating organizations.  

 

Preventable deaths were more than 20 percent lower in the communities with the strongest networks supporting population health activities, compared to communities with less comprehensive networks.  These differences in mortality persisted after controlling for a wide range of demographic, socioeconomic, and health resource characteristics in the communities, including using methods to control for unmeasured community differences.  

 

“These results give us the clearest picture yet of the health benefits that accrue to communities when they build broad, multi-sector networks to improve population health,” said Glen Mays, the Scutchfield Endowed Professor of Health Services and Systems Research and lead author of the study. “It’s not simply a matter of implementing widely-recommended activities involving assessment, planning, and improvement – it’s about engaging a full range of partners in these activities.”

 

Mays suggested that strong networks of collaborating organizations may help communities arrive at the best decisions about how to invest limited resources in high-impact health solutions. 

 

The population health activities examined in the study include those now incentivized through the federal Affordable Care Act and related health reform initiatives. Tax-exempt hospitals are required to conduct community health needs assessments in their local service areas, develop community health improvement plans, and report annually on their expenditures related to community benefit activities. And state and local public health agencies are required to undertake similar activities in order to meet voluntary national accreditation standards. The communities that achieved significant reductions in mortality in this study, however, progressed beyond health assessment and planning activities to include shared investment of resources along with monitoring and evaluation activities.

 

Perhaps most importantly, the communities that achieved sizable reductions in mortality appeared to do so by engaging broad networks of organizations in implementing population health activities rather than relying on independent and uncoordinated efforts.  

 

“The network effects appear to be major drivers of these results,” said Cezar Mamaril, a co-author on the study and a University of Kentucky assistant professor.  “Our results are consistent with a growing body of research indicating that community networks can be force multipliers.”

 

This study is part of the new Systems for Action research program created by RWJF as part of its national action framework for building a Culture of Health. Based at the UK College of Public Health, Systems for Action supports research that evaluate mechanisms for aligning medical care, public health, and social services in ways that improve health and wellbeing. The study appears in a special theme issue of the journal Health Affairs featuring new research on strategies for building a culture of health. 

 

Mays will be participating in a briefing session held by Health Affairs for policymakers and federal health officials on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Both @Systems4Action and @Health_Affairs will be live tweeting during the event and others should use tag #CultureOfHealth when posting on social media.

 

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, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

 

UK Air Force ROTC Cadets to Run 29 Miles for POWs, MIAs

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 16:14

LEXINGTON, KY (Nov. 10, 2016) —  Air Force ROTC cadets of the 290th Cadet Wing at the University of Kentucky will run from Lexington to Frankfort — 29 miles — this Saturday, Nov. 12, for the annual POW/MIA Run to honor the sacrifices of the nation's prisoners of war and those still missing in action.

 

The group of runners also includes Air Force ROTC faculty and cadets of the University of Louisville and Team Red White and Blue. Runners will depart from Barker Hall on the UK campus at 6 a.m. and finish at the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Frankfort.  The route will take runners on Old Frankfort Pike, where community volunteer organizations, such as JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts of America and more will provide water stations along the way.

 

"The POW/MIA Run is not just a run to remember, it's a run so that we never forget the torture, the pain, the uncertainty, and the solitary confinement that they endured in lands far away from home," said event organizer Bradley Shimfessel, C/1st LT, AFROTC, Arnold Air Society commander and special projects officer. "The POW/MIA Run allows us to bear the physical weight of hardship and the opportunity to bond with brothers and sisters in arms and anyone who truly honors that sacrifice while we reflect."

 

Following the run, the 290th Cadet Wing’s Honor Guard will perform a brief wreath laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site at noon, followed by a presentation by the Quilts of Valor.

 

 

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; jenny.wells@uky.edu

UK Air Force ROTC Cadets to Run 29 Miles for POWs, MIAs

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 16:09
Campus NewsBy Samantha Ponder Thursday

LEXINGTON, KY (Nov. 10, 2016) —  Air Force ROTC cadets of the 290th Cadet Wing at the University of Kentucky will run from Lexington to Frankfort — 29 miles — this Saturday, Nov. 12, for the annual POW/MIA Run to honor the sacrifices of the nation's prisoners of war and those still missing in action.

The group of runners also includes Air Force ROTC faculty and cadets of the University of Louisville and Team Red White and Blue. Runners will depart from Barker Hall on the UK campus at 6 a.m. and finish at the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Frankfort.  The route will take runners on Old Frankfort Pike, where community volunteer organizations, such as JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts of America and more, will provide water stations along the way.

"The POW/MIA Run is not just a run to remember, it's a run so that we never forget the torture, the pain, the uncertainty, and the solitary confinement that they endured in lands far away from home," said event organizer Bradley Shimfessel, C/1st LT, AFROTC, Arnold Air Society commander and special projects officer. "The POW/MIA Run allows us to bear the physical weight of hardship and the opportunity to bond with brothers and sisters in arms and anyone who truly honors that sacrifice while we reflect."

Following the run, the 290th Cadet Wing’s Honor Guard will perform a brief wreath laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site at noon, followed by a presentation by the Quilts of Valor.

Kentucky Air Force ROTC Detachment 290 cadets commemorated POW/MIAs last year with an annual 29-mile run from Lexington to Frankfort, Kentucky. This year's run is Nov. 12.Organizational Unit: Arts and Sciences

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Contact Jenny Wells
jenny.wells@uky.edu
859-257-5343 Summary: Air Force ROTC cadets of the 290th Cadet Wing at the University of Kentucky will run from Lexington to Frankfort — 29 miles — 6 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 for the annual POW/MIA Run to honor the sacrifices of the nation's prisoners of war and those still missing in action.Section Feature: Section Feature

Photographer Nicholas Nixon to Continue May Lecture Series

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 15:44

 

"The Brown Sisters," a 40-year photographic project by Nicholas Nixon.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2016) The University of Kentucky Art Museum will continue the Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series this month with a photographer known for his emotionally deep pieces exploring aging and mortality. Nicholas Nixon will give a talk on his life and work 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in the Kincaid Auditorium in the Gatton College of Business and Economics Building. The event is free and open to the public.

 

Nicholas Nixon brings a deep empathy to his image-making and has never shied away from difficult subjects such as aging and mortality. After volunteering in a nursing home, he began making portraits of elderly residents, as well as photographing AIDS patients at a time when the diagnosis was a death sentence. In a recent series, he turned an unflinching gaze on himself and his wife of more than four decades — two “timeworn mammals” still in love.

 

A recipient of National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships, Nixon has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, among others.

 

The May Lecture Series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. The lecture series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography. Other speakers coming to town as part of the 2016-17 series include Andrea Modica, Feb. 10, and Graciela Iturbide, April 14.

 

The mission of the UK Art Museum, 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 4,800 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the museum presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 
 

 

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue
 

 MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, whitney.hale@uky.edu, 859-257-8716

 

Rare Complication Requires Treatment Only UK Dentistry Can Provide

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 14:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) – When a patient has their wisdom teeth extracted, surgeons provide information about what to expect post-operatively, as well as potential complications that may occur from the surgery.

 

For most patients, following the guidelines for proper care keeps these issues from arising. Unfortunately, that’s not true for all patients; it certainly wasn’t for Davina Leedy. A wisdom tooth that wouldn’t grow through the gums caused several infections, and ultimately the tooth had to be removed.

 

A local oral surgeon performed her initial surgery but shortly after, Leedy realized something was amiss with her recovery. When Leedy went back to the doctor a week later, her lower jaw was still numb. When the numbness in her face eventually went away, it was replaced by excruciating pain in her lower chin and lip. “It hurt when the wind would blow or even when my hair would touch it [her face,]” Leedy said. There was only one physician in the state of Kentucky who had the training to provide the treatment Leedy needed, Dr. Larry Cunningham, chief of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Kentucky's College of Dentistry.

 

As Leedy eventually learned, the root of her wisdom tooth had been positioned so close to the nerve in her jaw that removing the tooth had disrupted the nerve, causing the numbness and then the pain she was experiencing. Initially the issue was treated with medications to try and relieve her pain, but these medications were only marginally helpful. In January 2016, Leedy required a more permanent and extensive fix: neuroplasty and a graft of her inferior alveolar nerve. While Leedy worried about the procedure, she was thankful she was able to receive the care she needed in Lexington, just a short drive from her home. “As a mom of three boys, it was much better to just drive an hour and a half than to have to travel out of state,” she said.

 

The procedure Leedy needed was extensive and complicated. The injured nerve travels within the lower jaw bone. Therefore, the lower jaw bone needed to be cut in order to see the nerve and repair it. The injured portion of the nerve is removed, and a nerve graft in placed in the defect. After the repair is completed, it can take several months before feeling comes back to the affected area. The procedure takes about four hours to complete. Thinking back on how complicated the procedure sounded, and was, Leedy said, “I’m amazed there’s someone that has the knowledge to do something like this.”

 

As Leedy’s original physician pointed out to her, the issue she experienced is not very common. The doctor told her that in his 30 years practicing, her case was only the third time he’d seen this complication. According to Cunningham, “Nerve injuries after dental work or dental extractions are uncommon and occur in less than 1 percent of wisdom tooth extractions.” That explains why Leedy had “no idea this complication could happen.”

 

Since her procedure, Leedy has been pain free and has regained much of the feeling in her jaw. “The pain is gone, I can feel pressure in the area but it’s way better than what it was,” Leedy said. Leedy will continue to have post-op visits to check if there are any additional improvements; so far, it’s a good sign the pain hasn’t returned.

 

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: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

###

 

UK's Outstanding Staff Announced

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 16:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2016) — Sixty-One University of Kentucky staff members were honored during the 2016 Outstanding Staff Awards (OSA) recognition ceremony recently at the Woodford Reserve Room in Commonwealth Stadium. This was the seventh year for the event sponsored by the UK Staff Senate and the UK President's Office.

 

More than 100 people were in attendance to honor the award winners, including UK President Eli Capilouto, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday, colleagues and other campus leaders.

 

“UK is defined by its people, and the Outstanding Staff Awards program illustrates the high-level commitment and exceptional talent our staff have to advance the mission of the University of Kentucky,” Capilouto said.

 

OSA winners were all referred by their respective work units as their most deserving employees of 2015-16.

 

“We were very happy this year to add the College of Medicine to the growing list of colleges and departments included in the ceremony,” said Jon Gent, the OSA program chair. “We are delighted that administrators see the value in engaging staff by recognizing their successes.”

 

The 61 OSA winners represented 20 colleges and administrative units, including the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, Gatton College of Business and Economics, College of Communication and Information, College of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health Sciences, College of Law, College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, Human Resources, Office of Philanthropy, Office of the Treasurer, Student Affairs, UK HealthCare, UK HealthCare IT, UK Libraries, and Undergraduate Studies.

 

2016 Outstanding Staff Award winners and their award titles are:

 

Center for Applied Energy Research

Alice Marksberry -- Marybeth McAlister Memorial Outstanding Staff Award

 

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

David Lowry -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Award-Technical and Paraprofessional Category

Jackie Harper -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Award-Service, Maintenance and Skilled Crafts Category

James Dollarhide -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Awards-Technical and Paraprofessional Category    

Kevin Veach -- Outstanding Staff

Le Anne Herzog -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Awards-Executive/Administrative Category

Louise Gladstone -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Award-Administrative/Executive Category

Shirley Harris -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Award-Clerical and Secretarial On-Campus Category

Sue Rice -- CAFE Outstanding Staff Award-Clerical Secretarial, Off-Campus Category

 

Gatton College of Business and Economics

Matthew Cosgrove – Gatton College of Business & Economics Employee of the Year (Hourly Staff)

Shonta Phelps – Gatton College of Business & Economics Employee of the Year (Professional Staff)

 

College of Communication and Information

Heather Burke -- Outstanding Staff Award

Megan Sizemore -- Outstanding Staff Award

 

College of Dentistry

Chelsea Elam -- Employee of the Quarter - 1st Quarter 2016

Debra Grant -- Employee of the Quarter - 4th Quarter 2015

Denise Marshall -- Employee of the Quarter - 3rd Quarter 2015

Jill Townsend -- Employee of the Quarter - 2nd Quarter 2016

 

College of Education

Gary Schroeder -- Outstanding Staff Award - Exempt

Gwen Winder --Outstanding Staff Award - Non Exempt

 

College of Engineering

Kenny Blair -- Staff Excellence Award (exempt category)

Richard Anderson -- Staff Excellence Award (non-exempt category)

 

College of Fine Arts

Andrea Richardson -- Outstanding Staff Award

Belinda Rubio -- Outstanding Staff Award

 

College of Health Sciences

Doug Long -- College of Health Sciences Employee of the Year Award

 

College of Law

Alison Begor -- Outstanding Staff Award

Jeanie Powell -- Outstanding Staff Award

 

College of Medicine

Beth Hartmann -- Honorary Member of the College of Medicine 2016 Class

Jon Gent -- Honorary Member of the College of Medicine 2016 Class

Julie McDaniel -- Honorary Member of the College of Medicine 2016 Class

 

College of Nursing   

Joanne Davis -- Employee of the Year Award

 

College of Public Health

Tom Collins -- College of Public Health Employee of the Year

 

Human Resources

Austin Dyer -- HR ACE Award- Peer to Peer

Jennifer Peavler -- HR ACE Award - Game Changer

Jennifer Wrather -- HR  Ace Award Raising the Bar

Josh Hamperian -- HR Ace Award

 

Libraries

Joshua Monroe -- Dean's Award for Outstanding Performance

Beth Reeder -- Dean's Award for Outstanding Performance

Kopana Terry -- Dean's Award for Outstanding Performance

 

Office of Philanthropy

Jennifer Combs -- Front Line Award

Laura Sutton -- Professional Achievement Award

Sarah Fitzgerald -- Rising Achievement Award

 

Robinson Scholars  

Neomia Hagans-Flores -- Outstanding Staff Award

 

Student Affairs

Courtenay Lancaster -- Outstanding Non-Exempt Professional

Diane Follingstad -- Outstanding Faculty Partner

Grace Hahn -- Outstanding Exempt New Professional

 

Treasurer

Alexis (LexI) Bugay -- Henry Clay Owen Outstanding Employee of Year

 

UK HealthCare

Angela Dalton-Tibbetts -- Supervisor of the Year

Ben Nicholls -- Motivator Award

Brig Wakeland -- Sixth Man

Carolyn Smiley -- Nightingale Preceptor Lamp Award

Heather Murphy -- Eastern State Foundation Award

Judy Garrett -- Karen Sexton Firestarter Award

Kim Manning -- AI Quilt of Teamwork Award for Nursing Support

Kristy McMillan -- Supervisor of the Year

Lisa Thornsberry -- Diana Weaver Leadership/Management Award

Margaret Durbin -- NPA Award

Margie Summers -- M.J. Dickson Quality Nursing Care Award

Mary Allen -- Team Player

Tammy Lloyd -- Servant Leader Award

Teresa Chase -- Karen E. Hall Nursing Education Award

Veronica Fennelly -- Dorothy Brockopp Annual Nursing Research Award

 

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