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UK Law's Connelly is 2016 Lyons Award Recipient

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 15:37

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 25, 2016) — Allison Connelly, the James and Mary T. Lassiter Clinical Professor in the College of Law and founding director of the University of Kentucky College of Law Legal Clinic, is the 2016 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award, co-sponsored by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Political Science, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The annual honor is given to one person in recognition of a long record of outstanding service to UK, the community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

The award is named for the late "Bill" Lyons, a professor of political science and public administration, who during his much-admired tenure at UK served as director of the Martin School and chaired the political science department.

 

Connelly is also the college's first assistant, associate and full clinical professor. Before joining the school's faculty on a full-time basis, Connelly served as an adjunct instructor and professor from 1986 through 1996.

 

Now in her 20th year as the founding director of the Kentucky Mock Trial Championship, Connelly also serves as the Law Trial Advocacy Board's faculty advisor and national team coach. UK's mock trial teams have been nationally ranked in 11 of the past 16 years.

 

In a letter to the committee nominating Connelly for the honor, Lisa Fenner wrote, "Allison embodies what this award is all about: career accomplishments, service to the university, the community and the state of Kentucky."

 

Fenner added, "Professor Connelly prides herself on having never charged one dime for her legal work. She represented indigent clients in criminal cases, and now oversees approximately 15 students per semester in their representation of low income individuals in civil cases."

 

Connelly earned her bachelor's degree in political science from UK in 1980 and her juris doctor from the UK College of Law in 1983.

 

Prior to joining the law school on a full-time basis in 1997, she spent 13 years as a state public defender providing direct representation, including death penalty representation, to needy individuals at all levels of the criminal justice system. She rose through the ranks to become the only woman ever named as Kentucky’s Public Advocate, the head of Kentucky's statewide public defender system. Professor Connelly has numerous published appellate decisions to her credit.


Connelly teaches litigation skills, criminal procedure, criminal trial process and legal writing, and is the director of the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity (KLEO) Summer Institute. She has received numerous awards for teaching and public service including the Kentucky Bar Association’s 2015 Donated Legal Services Award, the 2011 Kentucky Bar Association’s Service to Young Lawyers Award, the 2011 NAACP Empowerment Award and the 2009 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award.

 

Merl Hackbart, longtime UK professor and interim director of the Martin School said, "Allison is a sterling example of a lawyer/professor who loves the law, her students, the community and the university. She believes a well-prepared legal advocate can force the legal system to work for all people. Her impact on students goes far beyond the subject matter of the courses she teaches and the presentations she makes."

 

Connelly will receive her award during a ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, on the 18th floor of the Patterson Office Tower. A reception will follow. All are cordially invited to attend.

 

Lyons, the award's namesake, died in 1994. He is credited with crafting the charter which created a merged government for Lexington and Fayette County in the early 1970s. The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) is now well into its sixth decade of existence.

 

 

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. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; carl.nathe@uky.edu.

UK Junior Corrine Elliott Named Goldwater Scholar

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 10:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that junior Corrine Faye Elliott, of Lexington, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Elliott is among 252 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

 

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by Congress to honor the former Arizona U.S. senator who served the nation for 30 years. The scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed 7,680 scholarships worth approximately $48 million.

 

The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

 

The daughter of Kathleen Elliott and D. Stephen Voss, of Lexington, Elliott is currently majoring in mathematics and chemistry at UK.

 

"From a very young age, I was fascinated by the logic and beauty inherent to mathematics; I never questioned adopting it as my field of specialization. My studies in chemistry came as a bit more of a surprise, arising largely from enjoyment of the research in organic chemistry that I undertook in my junior year of high school and never abandoned," Elliott said.

 

Elliott's passion for chemistry and math has been encouraged by family and educators alike. "I grew up in a family headed by two teachers who created an educational environment at home — plus my older brother, Gareth Voss, was a motivated student — so I had a great head start for pursuing a life of the mind. Another big step was enrolling in a high school STEM magnet program at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, which allowed me to delve deeply into mathematics and encouraged me to begin conducting scientific research. The third major event is being accepted to work in Susan Odom's organic chemistry research laboratory at the University of Kentucky."

 

During her high school years, Elliott's research with the Odom Group focused on the synthesis and characterization of organic molecules for use as redox shuttles in lithium-ion batteries, and later on battery fabrication and analysis. And it was Odom who encouraged Elliott to pursue her more recent research that brings together her studies in her two majors in the field known as computational chemistry.

 

"Dr. Odom has invested a great deal of time and energy in supporting my research and my education more generally. She is a fantastic mentor, simultaneously guiding me and allowing me the freedom to conduct the research I care about, most notably by encouraging my initial forays into computational chemistry so that I could build a bridge between my internship and my scholarly interests."

 

Elliott also is grateful for the guidance and assistance of two other mentors at UK, her advisor Grzegorz Wasilkowski, professor of computer science, and Chad Risko, assistant professor of chemistry.

 

This summer, the Goldwater Scholar will pursue yet another research experience with funding from a fellowship from the Organic Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

 

In addition to finishing up her bachelor's degrees in chemistry and mathematics next May, Elliott is currently applying to the University Scholars Program at UK with the goal of attaining a five-year master's degree in statistics from the institution.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Researchers Awarded NSF Grant to Develop New Imaging and Data Collection Platform

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 10:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — A new instrument to be developed by University of Kentucky researchers will overcome current limitations in fluorescence microscopy and could accelerate basic scientific discoveries. The multimodal and cost-effective imaging and data collection platform is being funded by a three-year, $589,250 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program.

 

Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) have become essential tools to understand biochemical and cellular processes. But these tools are limited — they are often highly labor intensive and thus have been primarily restricted to single sample analysis followed by costly manual data processing. 

 

UK Department of Chemistry Assistant Professors Jason DeRouchey and Chris Richards, as well as UK Department of Computer Science Professor Ruigang Yang, will  develop high throughput versions of both techniques under a single platform, giving researchers the ability to simultaneously scan multiple samples. 

 

"Our instrument will be the first-of-its-kind; currently, there are no instruments capable of performing high throughput TIRF and only a few custom instruments capable of high throughput FCS," DeRouchey said.

 

DeRouchey noted the new instrument could also have direct applications in phenotypic screening and lead to entirely new methods for high throughput screening in vivo and in vitro

 

DeRouchey and Richards will use their expertise in single molecule spectroscopy to develop the hardware for the instrument while Yang will develop an open source data analysis platform, Open Fluorescence Spectroscopy (OpenFS), made freely available online. OpenFS will provide an alternative to costly and proprietary imaging software often tied to a particular device.

 

"Currently in single molecule fluorescence, one of the greatest barriers to more users applying these methods is not the instrumentation (many people have access to confocal microscopes), but rather understanding how to treat the data collected," DeRouchey said.

 

While some analysis packages are currently available, the UK team aims to be the first to create a modular, cost-free software package that can integrate both instrument control components and data analysis software. Working with the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, the team plans to host the software package in an interactive forum where users can pick and choose modules developed by the UK team for a range of applications, as well as upload their own modules to share with the community.

 

"Our hope is that OpenFS can therefore compete or replace the fragmented and often proprietary analysis software currently available," DeRouchey said.

 

Research enabled by this project will span the disciplines of chemistry, physics, molecular biology and engineering to answer fundamental questions in biology. The multidisciplinary nature of the project will also create unique training and educational opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers at UK.

 

 

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 Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

UK Researchers One Step Closer to Understanding Regeneration in Mammals

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 09:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — A long-standing question in biology is why humans have poor regenerative ability compared to other vertebrates? While tissue injury normally causes us to produce scar tissue, why can't we regenerate an entire digit or piece of skin? A group of University of Kentucky researchers is one step closer to answering these questions after studying a unique mammal, and its ears.

 

The team's new findings come on the heels of UK Assistant Professor of Biology Ashley Seifert's landmark discovery in 2012 that two species of African spiny mice found in Kenya could regenerate damaged skin. The group built on this work to show that a third species of spiny mouse, Acomys cahirinus, could completely close four millimeter ear holes and regenerate the missing tissue. Their recent work examined repair of ear holes across a number of different mammals and revealed that regeneration appears to be a unique trait.

 

While three species of wild African spiny mice and New Zealand white rabbits were capable of regenerating ear tissue, outbred laboratory mice and inbred strains such as the MRL (Murphy Roths Large) healer mice failed to do so and instead healed the wounds by scarring.

 

"First we need to understand how mammalian regeneration works in a natural setting, then comes the potential to create therapeutic treatments for humans," said Thomas Gawriluk, postdoctoral scholar and co-lead author of the study.

 

This new study suggests that genetic factors underlie variation in regenerative ability. Unlike many previous assumptions that there is a magic bullet for regeneration, like the presence of a specific gene, the group’s comprehensive genetic analysis shows that it is a complex trait. Importantly, cellular and molecular analysis by Seifert’s group has now demonstrated that spiny mice regenerate ear tissue by forming a blastema. Methodical demonstration of a blastema was important to place spiny mice in the context of regeneration in other vertebrates.

 

"These findings show that tissue regeneration in African spiny mice is similar to that described for other vertebrate regenerators like salamanders and zebrafish, giving us a powerful framework to understand mammalian regeneration," Seifert said.

 

Rigorous examination of this mammalian model is the first stage in figuring out molecular mechanisms that govern regenerative processes, which could have a significant impact on regenerative medicine for humans. Many regeneration biologists believe that inducing a blastema in humans would be a major step towards stimulating tissue regeneration.

 

"The regenerative healing response of the spiny mouse is truly remarkable and Dr. Seifert’s new work provides clear evidence that regenerative capabilities have evolved among rodents," said Ken Muneoka, professor at Texas A&M University and a pioneer in the field of regeneration. "The spiny mouse represents one of only a handful of regeneration models in mammals that can be used to uncover basic strategies to enhance the regenerative capacity of humans."

 

Seifert, along with Gawriluk and postdoctoral scholar Jennifer Simkin; Assistant Professor of Statistics Katherine Thompson; Assistant Professor of Biology Jeremiah Smith; and doctoral student Shishir Biswas, are all co-authors on the study published in Nature Communications. Collaborators at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and University of Georgia are also co-authors on the current study.

 

 

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 Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Students Partner With Arboretum to Promote Arbor Day, Earth Day Creatively

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 22:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) — Students enrolled in "A-E 120: Pathways to Creativity," one of the University of Kentucky Core courses, are collaborating with The Arboretum for Earth Day and Arbor Day on their final project.

 

The UK students, from a myriad of campus majors outside the arts, broke into teams of five to work together to create banners 6 feet tall x 18 inches wide that visually communicate about the various areas of The Arboretum — the Children’s Garden, the Home Demonstration and Walk Across Kentucky.

 

The banners were installed April 20-21, just in time for the observance of Earth Day today. The pieces of art will remain up through National Arbor Day, April 29, and the following day's Arbor Day event at The Arboretum. This year marks the 25th celebration of Arbor Day at The Arboretum and the theme is  "Celebrating the Past, PLANting the Future." Festivities will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 30.

 

As a part of their intellectual inquiry through the Core curriculum, every UK student is required to complete coursework in the area of arts and creativity. “Creativity adds to the vitality and relevance of learning and will translate into graduates who are better prepared to face the challenges of a dynamic society.” (UK CORE Curriculum, 2010).

 

UK Core is the university's general education program, containing a set of requirements that must be completed by students of all majors in order to graduate. These requirements are focused on critical thinking, writing, reasoning, ethics and global understanding, which faculty of the university feel are essential for students to compete in the global marketplace.

 

The "Pathways to Creativity" course is focused on expanding student creativity and aims to prepare students for a range of disciplines. This semester's courses were led by UK School of Art and Visual Studies faculty members Beth Ettensohn and Marty Henton and art education graduate assistant Olivia Lussi.

 

The Arboretum was created in 1991 as a joint effort between UK and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The mission of The Arboretum is to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research and conservation.

 

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

 

 

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

 

Nearly 1,000 Attend UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Conference

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 17:00

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) – The 11th Annual Spring Conference of the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) drew nearly 1,000 researchers, students, community members and institutional partners to the Lexington Convention Center on Thursday, April 21.

 

Personalized health was a focus of the multidisciplinary conference, which was held in conjunction with several college and center-specific programs including the College of Dentistry Research Day, College of Engineering Biomedical Research Day​, College of Health Sciences Research Day​, College of Nursing Scholarship Showcase, College of Public Health Research Day, 31st Annual BGSFN Spring Neuroscience Research Day, and the 34th Annual Symposium in Women’s Health and Reproductive Science.

 

The UK CCTS is federally funded by the National Institutes of Health to accelerate the translation of discoveries into tangible improvements in health, particularly in Kentucky and Appalachia. Through the support from a Clinical and Translational Science Award, the Center fosters innovative team science and community-engaged research across multiple campuses and states. 

 

The annual conference presents an opportunity for the UK community and institutional partners to share research, enhance collaborations, and mentor the upcoming generation of clinical and translational researchers. With the scope and expertise of a national research conference, the event offers the unique convenience of being free and within walking distance of UK's campus.

 

This year's conference focused on personalized health, an emerging field that combines genetics, genomics, and biologic and lifestyle information to help predict risk for disease or how a patient will respond to treatments. In 2015, President Obama infused significant investment into personalized health research through the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).

 

Dr. Philip A. Kern, director of the CCTS, says that the scientific and medical communities are making advances in prevention and treatments that are tailored to each individual’s body and situation.

 

“With the sequencing of the human genome and better understanding of epigenetic and other influences, there is now great recognition that many diseases are influenced by individual differences,” Kern said. “It’s easy to see on the horizon that medical care can be better tailored to each person.”

 

The conference featured an array of expert speakers, including three faculty members who have recently joined UK’s research and academic leadership and together bring a dynamic charge to the institution’s public and personalized health capabilities. Donna Arnett, Ph.D., who joined UK as the dean of the College of Public Health in January 2016, gave the keynote address, exploring the intersection of public health and personalized medicine.

 

She said that the development of personalized health technology is outpacing our clinical evidence base, and that rapidly expanding consumer and business aspects, including companies like 23andMe that provide genetic testing and analysis, will likely push the field faster than experts initially envisioned.

 

“I think where it has the most immediate potential is in undiagnosed diseases or diseases caused by serious mutations, like cystic fibrosis, but that’s going to affect a very small number of individuals,” she said. “I do think it will help us in identifying treatments for which there’s a high failure rate, like cancer treatments, and finding new pathways for both drug treatments and prevention.”

 

Arnett is particularly interested in how to integrate powerful capabilities of precision medicine and personalized health with the ongoing need for disease prevention at a population health level.

 

“We need to strike the right balance between how much we invest in these new technologies and how much we invest in addressing the scourge of diseases that are best prevented through lifestyle interventions,” she said.

 

The conference's morning plenary session featured Dr. Robert S. DiPoala, who joined UK as the dean of the College of Medicine in March 2016, and conference chair GQ Zhang, Ph.D., who joined UK in August 2015 as the inaugural director of the new Institute for Biomedical Informatics and co-director of the CCTS biomedical informatics core. Samden Lhatoo, MD, chair of neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, also gave a presentation about personalizing big data for brain research.

 

"The increasing pace of scientific discovery and new diagnostics is providing opportunities for clinical research to be more targeted and precise, with the potential to have greater impact for patients and our community,” DiPaola said.

 

Zhang noted the essential nature of biomedical informatics in the development and utilization of personalized approaches to health.

 

“The way to enable this approach is through personalized information, to know what is specific about each person – their medical history, behavior, environment, family genetics, all of which come into play. Collecting that information, making it available in the context of health care, and monitoring wellbeing is how we can make advances. Biomedical informatics is an indispensable part of it, and initiatives like the PMI put it into the national spotlight,” Zhang said.

 

The conference also featured sessions on patient empowerment, informatics tools for clinical research, and community health projects funded by the Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK). CLIK, jointly sponsored by the CCTS, the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health, is an intensive leadership development program that enhances research and capacity-building competencies in community leaders.

 

More than 300 researchers and students also gave poster presentations and received feedback and mentoring from expert faculty.  The annual conference is a key opportunity for training and supporting the upcoming generation of clinical and translational scientists, which is a primary focus of the CCTS.

 

As part of that aim, the CCTS recognizes outstanding mentors at each annual conference.  2016 mentor award recipients included:

  • Ann Coker, Ph.D., MPH, professor in the UK College of Public Health Department of Epidemiology and Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women
  • Robin Cooper, Ph.D., RN, associate professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences department of biology
  • Mark Dignan, Ph.D., MPH, professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Philip A. Kern, professor of internal medicine, director of the CCTS, and associate provost for Clinical and Translational Science
  • Carl Leukefeld, DSW, professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Behavioral Sciences
  • Joseph C. Stemple, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, FASHA-H, professor in the UK College of Health Sciences Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

“This is a critically important event to promote team and interdisciplinary sciences. We’re bringing together people from all of our health colleges to interact and facilitate team science across campus,” Kern said.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, Mallory.powell@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, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: April 22-24, 1912

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 14:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 204th, 205th and 206th diary entries from April 22-24, 1912, recall McClure having an eventful Arbor Day on campus, her Latin studies, and a decision on what she should do with her money during a shopping trip.

 

Arbor Day – April 22nd. A great day for us, truly. It seemed that the weather was made just especially for our benefit, for the rain of the night before stopped and left everything fresh and beautiful for us. The whole program was fine and well carried out. The Senior girls, “12”, were all dressed in white, and wore roses, (presented by Mr. Earle). Mr. Utley’s speech was splendid and delivered beautifully. Mr. Jetton, Junior orator, upheld the honors of the Juniors, and received the spade. I put in my spadeful of dirt with the spade upside down, but got plenty in, however. Addie’s prophecy was splendid, but she hit Annie Louise instead of me in my part. Nevertheless, I am now laying claim to a “tall military man.”

 

Included next to McClure's April 22, 1912, diary entries is a photograph of people lying in the grass with a child running around during the Arbor Day festivities, as well as some leaves that have been pressed in the book.

 

Apr. 22nd. Begin trimming for curtains. Lillian goes out to spend the night. More Latin.

 

Apr. 23rd. Easy, too. Go to the car with Lillian.

 

Apr. 24th. Inspection day, in the afternoon. Phyllis and I come back early, and I meet Addie at Mitchell’s. Shall I get a pocket-book or a traveling bag?

 

 

More on Virginia Clay McClure

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

 

Disability Resource Center Honors Students, Employees With Scholarships and Awards

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 14:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Disability Resource Center (DRC) held its annual awards ceremony Friday, April 8, at The 90. Several students, as well as faculty and staff, were honored at the ceremony with scholarships and awards.

 

Kennedy L. Richardson, a junior communication sciences and disorder major from Louisville, Kentucky, received the Paul Meyer Award, an award intended for students with learning disabilities. Richardson is an active member in the Kappa Kappa Gamma leadership and mentoring program, UK’s Sign Language Club and the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association. Richardson is working toward becoming a pediatric speech and language pathologist. Upon winning the award, Richardson received a $500 scholarship.

 

Lauren A. Otte, a pre-journalism freshman from Lexington was awarded the Brent Scholarship, a scholarship endowed in memory of Michael Brent, a former UK student who suffered a spinal cord injury and passed away at the age of 18. Otte is a survivor of a boat accident in which she was struck by another boat whose driver was under the influence of alcohol. The accident left her with significant injuries including the amputation of her leg below the knee. Otte currently works as a photojournalist for UK football, working for a local well-known sports columnist. She also talks to other young people with amputations and is a national representative for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Otte received a $500 scholarship.

 

Christopher Stewart, a third year law student from Owensboro, Kentucky, was awarded the Adelstein Award. The Adelstein Award is given to a UK student with a disability who has exhibited excellence in academic achievement, leadership, extracurricular activities, and social and personal qualities. The award was established by Michael Adelstein in honor of his wife, Carol Adelstein, an polio survivor who never allowed her disabilities to impair her ability to lead a successful life. Stewart was nominated by UK College of Law faculty, who lauded his outstanding academic achievement and natural curiosity regarding law that has led him to pursue his interests. Stewart has participated in the writing and editing process of the Kentucky Law Journal and has been an officer in the American Constitution Society. Stewart received a $1,000 award.

  

The DRC also presented “Breaking Barriers” certificates of recognition to faculty and staff whose efforts related to academic and physical access allowed students to fully participate in their classes and the UK community.

 

April Richardson Hatcher, a faculty member in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, who provided tactile and other non-visual methods to teach anatomy to a student with a visual impairment as a supplement to her classroom instruction. Hatcher noted this experience has helped her rethink how she approaches the teaching methodology of all of the students in her classes.

 

Peter Mirabito, a biology faculty member, also received a “Breaking Barriers” certificate. Mirabito has been an early adopter and constant advocate of the utilization of universal design principles in the development of online and in class courses activities. Mirabito was recognized for his proactive approach to accessibility and his tireless pursuit of providing an equal opportunity for all students, including students with various disabilities, to be successful in his courses.

 

Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) was also recognized for their partnership with the DRC regarding the development and implementation of a door-to-door service in which students with temporary and permanent mobility impairments were provided with scheduled transportation to their classes and other campus activities. As the campus continues to grow, students with mobility impairments face greater challenges traversing university grounds, especially during inclement weather. Through their efforts, PTS was able to assist more than 20 students by providing a dependable, safe and comfortable transportation option that allowed them to complete their coursework with minimal interruption. Esther Wilcox and Wayne Garner accepted the “Breaking Barriers” certificate on behalf of PTS.

 

For more information about the Disability Resource Center, visit their website.

 

 

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: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

New UK Research on How Plants Defend Against Pathogens

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 12:19

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 22, 2016) — Faced with a pathogen, important signaling chemicals within plant cells travel different routes to inform the plant to turn on its defense mechanisms, according to a recent University of Kentucky study.

 

Plant pathologists Aardra and Pradeep Kachroo study how plants fend off secondary infections, a defense mechanism known as systemic acquired resistance. In previous studies, the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment scientists identified several chemicals within plant cells that help trigger this resistance. Their most recent study, published in Cell Host and Microbe, looked at the paths three of those chemicals travel. Understanding these pathways and chemicals may shed light on new ways scientists can help plants fend off a wide range of pathogens.

 

“Animals have a circulatory system that makes it very easy for one part of the body to communicate with another,” Aardra Kachroo said. “This is not the case for plants, which makes communication more difficult between various parts. That’s why it’s important for scientists to understand how that happens.”

 

Their research found that two of the chemicals travel through the same opening between cells, called the plasmodesmata. They are helped through this “doorway” by proteins that also control the opening and closing of the “door.”

 

The third signaling chemical, salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, travels a different route, going out of one cell into the plasma membrane and then into another cell.

 

“This is a similar route via which aspirin in taken up in the human body,” Pradeep Kachroo said.

 

In plants, after moving to the neighboring cell, salicylic acid can also shut the door in between the cells that the other two chemicals traveled through.

 

“This knowledge is very relevant to how we use chemicals for protecting our crops in the field,” Pradeep Kachroo said.

 

The Kachroos' results suggest that although current strategies of using chemicals that activate the salicylic acid pathway maybe an effective short-term strategy to manage specific diseases, it could potentially have long-term negative repercussions on the plant’s inherent ability to induce broad-spectrum systemic immunity.

 

Kachroo lab members who contributed to this work include Gah-hyun Lim, M.B. Shine and Keshun Yu. The Kachroos’ research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Integrative Organismal Systems.

 

 

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: Katie Pratt, 859 257-8774.

Kathi Kern Added to OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program Roster

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 12:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — University of Kentucky Associate Professor of History Kathi Kern has been appointed one of the 78 new speakers to the Organization of American Historians’ prestigious Distinguished Lectureship Program for 2016-17.

 

These scholars, who are affiliated with some of the nation’s top universities, join more than 400 other OAH Distinguished Lecturers who speak to audiences across the country each year and are widely sought for appearances at museums, libraries, universities, community centers, churches and synagogues, and other venues. OAH Distinguished Lecturers strive to promote understanding and appreciation of all facets of U.S. history from the 1600s through the present, which is an essential component of the organization’s mission.

 

Kern also directs UK’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and holds an endowed professorship at the Chellgren Center in the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence. She is the author of many articles and book chapters as well as “Mrs. Stanton's Bible” (2001), selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. Kern has won the Provost’s Outstanding Teaching Award, the UK Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award, and the UK College of Education's Teachers Who Made a Difference Award.

 

To hear a UK at the Half radio interview with Kathi Kern, visit http://uknow.uky.edu/sites/default/files/ukath-2015-16-13_mixdown_0.mp3

 

Kern’s research focuses on the women's rights movement in 19th century America, particularly on the ways religion, gender and politics have mixed to create new ideological positions and social change. She has been actively engaged in research, authoring successful grants funded through the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History grant program with awards totaling nearly $4 million. Much of her time is spent in outreach to public school teachers, teaching summer institutes in the Mississippi Delta, in Alaska and at the Smithsonian Institution.

 

In her role as director of CELT, Kern has worked extensively in international faculty development, training university faculty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. In 2009-2010, Kern was the Stanley Kelley Jr. Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the religion department and the program in women and gender at Princeton University.

 

Katherine M. Finley, the OAH's executive director, said, “We thank these historians for their service to the organization and for helping advance our mission. And we congratulate them on achieving this high honor.”

 

Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,800 members from the U.S. and abroad, OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners. It publishes the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes The American Historian magazine. Formerly known as the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (MVHA), the association became the OAH in 1965 to reflect a broader scope focusing on national studies of American history. The OAH national headquarters are located in the historic Raintree House on Indiana University's Bloomington campus. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

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: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

 

UK MANRRS Chapter Again Wins National Honors

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 12:07

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 22, 2016) — For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Kentucky MANRRS chapter was named National Chapter of the Year at the recent 31st annual conference for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). The chapter, housed in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, also brought home honors for students and 4-H agents.

 

Quentin Tyler, assistant dean and director of the college’s Office of Diversity, heaped praise on the students and advisers of the chapter. Tyler is completing his term as national MANRRS professional president May 1 and will move into the role of immediate past president, a three-year term.

 

“I am very proud of the strength, courage and vision of this year’s group. From the beginning of the year, they had a collective goal of winning the National Chapter of the Year for the fourth consecutive time,” he said. “Not only did they perform well in the classroom, they also excelled in the areas of community and campus involvement, leadership and buying into what MANRRS represents.”

 

Tyler said businesses, government organizations and other colleges and universities took notice of the exceptional students that make up the UK MANRRS chapter.

 

“Despite our membership consisting of more than 40 percent freshmen, it is evident that we as a college have a strong foundation and support from our leadership that turns the dreams of our students into reality,” Tyler said. “I have been fortunate to not only serve as president of an amazing organization but to see the growth of the UK MANRRS chapter. Four years of being recognized as the best chapter of 75 across 38 states is an amazing accomplishment.”

 

Tyler and co-advisers Antomia Farrell and Natasha Saunders took more than 70 delegates to Jacksonville, Florida, for the conference. The students’ written report and oral presentation to the national gathering described the chapter’s membership, leadership development, community service and activities, and contained ideas for promoting the national society.

 

In addition to the overall chapter recognition, UK MANRRS brought home a number of individual honors. ReDell Atkinson, a senior merchandising, apparel and textile design major, placed first in the Impromptu Public Speaking Contest. Brittany Love, a junior majoring in kinesiology, placed second in the Written Essay Contest. UK MANRRS was runner up in the National MANRRS Quiz Bowl. Seven of the 20 Farm Credit MANRRS VIP Scholars were UK students: Xavia Gantz, Tiffany Harper, Fabian Leon, Carley Fort, Destiny Butler, Brian Bryson and Gloria Maldonado.

 

Other honors included:

Ashley Shanee, Jefferson County extension 4-H agent and graduate student, is now serving as the National MANRRS graduate student president.

 

Marcus Tyler, a sophomore majoring in agricultural economics, was elected to serve as the national MANRRS undergraduate president.

 

Kelly Moore, a senior majoring in community and leadership development, will be the new national MANRRS undergraduate past president. She is the 2015-2016 national MANRRS undergraduate president and earned the Eunice Foster Award, a distinguished award for her hard work and dedication to the national MANRRS organization.

 

Marcus Bernard, a doctoral student in community and leadership development, is now serving as national MANRRS graduate parliamentarian.

 

Tiffany Harper, a graduate student in community and leadership development, is now serving as national MANRRS region I and V graduate vice president.

 

Xavia Gantz, a graduate student in hospitality and tourism management, is now serving as national MANRRS region III graduate vice president.

 

Carley Fort, a freshman majoring in community and leadership development, won the Bayer Elevator Speech Contest and earned a summer internship with Bayer Crop Science.

 

And, at the annual awards ceremony for the UK MANNRS chapter held on April 20, junior J.D. Harmon, a member of the Wildcat football team, was named as the new MANNRS member of the year for 2015-16.

 

For more information about UK MANRRS and the UK CAFE Office of Diversity, visit http://diversity.ca.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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Officer to Speak on Opportunities

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 11:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards will welcome Lora Seery, senior program officer for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, to campus this week to speak about the highly competitive application process for the prestigious program. Seery will speak to interested applicants from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in room 101 of the James W. Stuckert Career Center.

 

Space is limited for the session with Seery, so free registration will be required for this event. Those interested in attending should email Jennifer Stevens at jennifer.stevens@uky.edu, to reserve a seat.

 

Open to students in all majors, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, provides grants for one academic year for individually designed research projects, graduate study or English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs. During the grants, Fulbrighters work, live with and learn from the people of the host country. The Fulbright award pays for the cost of travel to and from the host country, as well as providing a stipend to cover housing, meals and other living expenses.

 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program accepts applications from current undergraduates, graduate students and alumni. Students must be a U.S. citizen on track to complete a bachelor’s degree before the start of the Fulbright year (fall 2017) and may not have earned a doctoral degree. A specific grade-point average is not required, but candidates must show evidence of leadership and public service, a desire to serve as an "unofficial" ambassador for the U.S. and the skills to complete the proposed research or study. Applicants who apply for an English Teaching Assistant award generally do not need teaching experience, but related experience like tutoring can be helpful.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Symphony Orchestra Concert Preview on WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 11:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell. Today's program previews tonight's concert by the UK Symphony Orchestra and UK Choirs featuring Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Godell's guests are orchestra conductor John Nardolillo, baritone soloist André Campelo, violinist Lucy Becker and bassist Mary Combs.

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-symphony-orchestra-takes-stravinsky-beethoven.

 

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

 

 

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

Power Outage in Barker and Frazee Halls

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 09:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2016) — University of Kentucky Physical Plant Division is working to restore power to a small portion of campus after an outage this morning. Power has been interrupted in Barker and Frazee Halls.  A temporary outage also affected a portion of the William T. Young Library this morning, but power has been restored there.

 

According to initial reports, the power outage is connected to construction work on the new Student Center.

 

UK Pharmacy Students Bring Operation Heart to Central and Eastern Kentucky

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 09:50

Lexington, Ky. (April 22, 2016)  Most people think of a pharmacist as someone who counts pills or measures out medicine — more of a behind-the-scenes provider than someone on the front lines of patient care. In reality, a pharmacist can be a patient's first line of defense against health problems such as heart disease.

 

When a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that patients had more success regulating their hypertension when their pharmacist was involved in their care, the American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists (AphA- ASP) founded Operation Heart so that pharmacy students could facilitate healthy lifestyle behaviors, provide simple health screenings, and educate the public about heart medications.

 

Within a year of the national program's founding, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) started their first Operation Heart committee. Since then, UK pharmacy students — under the supervision of pharmacists — have held several free local events to screen patients for some of the warning signs of heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and/or high cholesterol.

 

“The profession of pharmacy is very progressive in finding new ways for positive interaction with patients. Pharmacists can provide immunizations, medication therapy management, medication counseling, disease management counseling and more,” said Natalie Rosario, co-chair of this year’s Operation Heart Committee.

 

Each year they are encouraged to "dream big" in order to expand the program outside of Lexington, where they reached approximately 726 participants in the first few years. 

In 2012-2013, the group expanded the screenings to the Hazard community in Eastern Kentucky. There, they were able to screen and educate 350 individuals about the health risk of heart disease and the benefits of living a health modified lifestyle.

 

Over the span of six years, they have been able to screen approximately 1,800 individuals all over Kentucky, targeting high-risk people who are more prone to heart disease.

 

“Each co-chair has different ideas for goals, but this allows room for growth and development within the committee each year. Having a variety of goals is what has made Operation Heart have such high impact over the last six years,” Rosario said.

 

This year's committee realized how important it is for mothers of small children to follow through with heart health screenings, but knew that it is impossible for some due to lack of childcare. After teaming up with Chrysalis House, they hosted a family day where the mothers received patient-centered care while program staff entertained their children with activities such as corn hole and coloring.

 

“Sometimes it is more than a blood pressure reading,” Rosario said. “It's about listening to patient concerns and addressing them with guided help.”

 

As the years come and go, the committee makeup varies as members graduate and new members join, events grow, and more people are reached, but in the end the University College of Pharmacy has an individual's best interest at heart.

 

“It is so refreshing to know you have made an impact on someone’s life,” Rosario said.

 

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:  Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307

 

 

 

Versatile PhD Helps Students, Faculty, Alumni Find Non-academic Careers

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 09:19

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Graduate School has adopted an online service, Versatile PhD, that will benefit students, faculty and alumni seeking careers in the humanities and social sciences.

 

“A growing number of graduate students are drawn to careers outside of traditional academic paths. In a survey of UK graduate students conducted earlier this year, 82 percent of the respondents indicated they are planning or considering alternate-academic or non-academic careers,” Morris A. Grubbs, assistant dean in the Graduate School and director of graduate student professional development, said. “Versatile PhD is the most robust online resource available to them, and one that offers direct opportunities for networking with peers and employers.”

 

Versatile PhD is an online resource to help graduate and doctoral students in all fields identify, prepare for and succeed in non-academic careers through the PhD Career Finder. Graduate students will be able to access resources from the experiences of real doctoral students who have gone in new professional directions including:

· Résumés: Authentic résumés and cover letters that got doctoral students their first jobs away from the faculty track, with detailed analysis that describes how they made the non-academic pivot and showing the application and hiring process step-by-step

· Bios: Inspiring first‐person stories by experienced non-academic doctoral students describing how their careers evolved over several years after moving out of the academy, including promotions, advancement and signature accomplishments

· Panels: Detailed inside information on a wide range of specific PhD‐friendly careers provided by doctoral students in those careers, along with their answers to a wide range of member questions.

 

Heather Sawyer, an anthropology student in the Graduate School, said she is still learning about Versatile PhD, but is excited for what it has to offer.

 

“The challenge I am now facing as I near the end of my degree program is how to translate and apply these skills to a career outside the tenure track. I feel Versatile PhD is a great tool for job seekers with doctoral degrees who wish to better navigate the non-academic job market and transform their academic skills for broader applications," Sawyer said. "This is a fantastic resource!”

 

UK currently has an institutional subscription for the humanities and social sciences areas of Versatile PhD, but based on usage statistics and feedback from users this year, the Graduate School will consider purchasing a subscription for the STEM areas as well.

 

The mission of the Graduate School is to promote excellence at all levels of graduate education at the University of Kentucky. By encouraging and supporting the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in an environment of diversity and interdisciplinary cooperation, the UK Graduate School aides graduate programs in preparing students as future leaders of the global society in research, teaching, applied science, creative production, policymaking and public service.

 

 

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: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

 

 

UK Athletics Again Scores High on NCAA APR

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 15:31

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 21, 2016) — The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report Wednesday, showing that all 22 of the University of Kentucky sports teams surpassed the NCAA cut score. Twenty of the 22 squads exceeded the national average for public universities in their sports and, for the first time in school history, every Wildcat team scored at least 950.

 

Men’s basketball, men’s golf, rifle and women’s cross country led the way with perfect 1,000 scores, followed by gymnastics and volleyball with scores of 995. Twelve total UK teams scored a 990 or better. Fifteen of the 22 Wildcat teams improved or maintained their scores from a year ago.

 

The marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, taking a real-time look at a team’s academic success by the progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation.

 

Every Division I sports team across the nation calculates its APR each academic year, similar to a report card. Scholarship student-athletes each semester earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating.

 

The NCAA cut score to compete in the 2016-17 postseason is a 930 four-year APR. Teams scoring below 930 can face consequences intended to direct additional focus on academics. Those penalties can include practice restrictions and playing-season reductions.

 

“Our students, coaches and staff have embraced our commitment to academics as a central part of our mission as a department,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Our strong team APR scores and the progress our students continue to make toward graduation are proof of that. We will continue to be diligent as we help young people prepare for their journeys through life after UK.”

 

The 20 Wildcat teams that exceeded the national average among public universities in their sports included the six teams listed above, along with men’s tennis (994), women’s soccer (993), women’s track indoor (991), women’s track outdoor (991), softball (990), women’s swimming and diving (990), men’s cross country (989), women’s basketball (987), women’s tennis (985), baseball (984), men’s swimming and diving (979), men’s track indoor (977), men’s track outdoor (977) and men’s soccer (972).

 

Another highlight of the report was that 12 UK teams notched perfect 1,000 scores for the 2014-15 school year: men's basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, gymnastics, softball, women’s soccer, volleyball and rifle.

 

Last week, a school-record four UK teams — women’s cross country, men’s golf, rife and men’s basketball — received public recognition for their APR being in the top 10 percent of their sport.

 

With each team exceeding the NCAA cut score, no Wildcat squads are subject to penalties, such as scholarship reductions or postseason restrictions. None of UK's 22 teams have incurred a penalty during the 12-year history of the APR.

 

For the latest on the Kentucky athletics, follow @UKathletics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at www.UKathletics.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, visit  uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Lindsey, 859-257-3838.

 

 

12 UK Students, Alumni Win NSF Research Fellowships

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 15:20
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

 

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, Pat Whitlow, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, hosted an informational luncheon last fall with current fellowship recipients for students interested in the program.

 

"The goal was to encourage more undergraduate and graduate students to apply for the NSF GRFP because we believe UK students are underrepresented as recipients of this major national award. We are delighted with the strong results we achieved in this award cycle," Whitlow said.

 

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the U.S. and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees in the U.S. and abroad. 

 

NSF fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. They also are given opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

 

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship benefits are a blessing to many of the nation's brightest up-and-coming researchers. "The NSF Fellowship allows me to pursue my PhD with my full focus on research and education, as opposed to needing to seek financial aid for living expenses," said Cassandra Jean Porter, a UK chemical engineering senior. "In addition, being part of this prestigious group of fellows opens up research and job opportunities for my future."

 
UK’s newest NSF fellows and the areas of research they will be pursuing are:

· Sarah Barney, a 2014 natural resources and environmental science graduate from Lexington, who will pursue research in ecology at University of Michigan;

· Robert Alan Cass, a mathematics senior, Chellgren Fellow and Honors Program member from Lexington, who will pursue research in algebra, number theory and combinatorics at Harvard University;

· Michael Scott Crocker, a 2015 chemical engineering graduate from Bowling Green, Kentucky, who will pursue research in chemical synthesis at Vanderbilt University;

· Matthew Fahrbach, a 2015 computer science graduate and Chellgren Fellow from Louisville, Kentucky, who will continue to pursue research in algorithms and theoretical foundations at Georgia Institute of Technology;

· Charles Sanders Fieseler, a 2013 mathematics graduate and Chellgren Fellow from Versailles, Kentucky, who will pursue research in atomic, molecular and optical physics at University of Washington;

· Marc Higginson-Rollins, a 2015 electrical engineering graduate and former Honors Program member from Franklin, Tennessee, who will pursue research in electrical and electronic engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology;

· Christopher Karounos, a 2014 biology graduate and former Honors Program member from Lexington, who will pursue research in ecology at University of Michigan;

· Jessime Murray Kirk, a 2014 chemistry graduate from Wallingford, Kentucky, who will pursue research in bioinformatics and computational biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;

· Edward Limin Lo, a UK graduate student in geology from Brandon, Florida, who will pursue research in the paleoclimate;

· Andrew Arthur Nelson, a UK doctoral student in experimental psychology from Spokane, Washington, who will pursue research in social psychology;

· Cassandra Jean Porter, a chemical engineering senior and Honors Program member from Georgetown, Kentucky, who will pursue research in chemical engineering at Yale University; and

· Danielle Coty Schaper, a doctoral student in physics from Covington, Kentucky, who will pursue research in the nuclear field.

 

The UK NSF Fellowship winners are excited to have funding for their specific research, especially those in fields where funding can be more scarce. "A lot of ecology funding is awarded to scientists researching the negative effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. For a variety of reasons, there seems to be less ecology research specifically exploring solutions to those problems. I am excited at the opportunity this fellowship gives me to research how to leverage our knowledge of ecology to solve environmental issues. Issues that are important not only to our long-term economy but to the survival of millions of people," alumnus Christopher Karounos said. "Thanks to the NSF Fellowship I have the freedom to do my thesis project in Ecuador on Third Millennium Alliance’s reserve where I will research reforestation and agroforestry."

 

Four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The other students and alumni receiving recognition are: Shannon Brady, a 2014 biology graduate from Edgewood, Kentucky; Douglas Davenport, a 2015 chemical engineering graduate from Dayton, Ohio; Cyrus Hettle, a current graduate student in mathematics and 2014 classics and mathematics graduate from Lexington; and Samuel Saarinen, a graduating mathematics senior and Honors Program member from Shelbyville, Kentucky

 

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the country’s oldest graduate fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in social science and various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields since 1952.

 

The UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards will host another panel on the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for interested students this coming August. Although details will be announced later in the summer, those interested may email Whitlow at pat.whitlow@uky.edu to be kept up to date on programming related to the fellowship.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Offers Many Ways to Help Ecuador's People After Earthquake

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 15:20

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2016) — A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on Saturday, April 16. The epicenter was in Manabi province, in the Ecuadorian coastline, where many cities and villages have been devastated.

 

According to CNN, the quake has killed at least 413 people and more than 2,500 have been injured.

 

Several countries and organizations have come together to support to the Ecuadorian people, including a group of Ecuadorian physicians who are completing their residency and fellowship training in the U.S., Canada and Spain. Among these physicians is pediatric neurology resident at UK HealthCare, Dr. Ana C. Albuja.

 

Albuja, together with the support of close to 100 physicians from various universities and hospitals including UK HealthCare, Duke University, University of Chicago, Emory University, University of Texas-Houston, Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to support Ecuadorians in such a time of desperate need.

 

“Thousands of others are directly affected, having lost their homes and sources of income,” Albuja said.

 

“Rescue efforts are underway and there is an urgent need for food, clean water, clothing and tents to serve as provisional shelter,” according to the GoFundMe website. “Medical missions are also taking place, with a critical need for medical supplies.”

 

According to the Albuja, all donations will be devoted to either support immediate rescue efforts by the Ecuadorian Red Cross or to support Archdiocese of Quito, an organization that is currently administering charitable donations for disaster victims. The campaign is also seeking donations of medical supplies.

 

Currently, the campaign’s goal is to fundraise $100,000, and the group has already raised more than $50,000.

 

“We are impressed about the $50,000… Somebody donated $18,000 which helped boost our numbers,” Albuja said. “Every donation counts. We very much appreciate your support to the victims of this disaster, and to the Ecuadorian people as a whole.”

 

In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, Samantha Almeida, an Ecuadorian UK student in the College of Communication and Information, has been in contact with one of her professors in Ecuador, who suggested another avenue to provide support to the community, a crowd-funding campaign launched by Global Shapers Quito Hub.

 

The organization has created an Indiegogo campaign for Ecuador along with EcoGlobal, international friends and several other organizations including the WWF Ecuador. The campaign aimed to raise $8,000 and surpassed its goal within less than 24 hours. The campaign has raised over $85,000 to date.

 

UK Shoulder to Shoulder Global (STSG), along with partners Timmy Global Health (TGH) and the foundation Hombro a Hombro also have initiated a funding relief campaign to support the emergent needs in the disaster areas. STSG and TGH will send all donated funds to Hombro a Hombro, a health care non-profit in Ecuador to support supplies and relief work. The clinic staff of Central Salud Hombro a Hombro are already in the coastal area providing emergency health care in coordination with the Ecuador Ministry of Health.

 

To support this effort in Santo Domingo, visit https://timmyglobalhealth.org/online-donation-form/. Indicate in comment section that this is for STSG and select "Ecuador Earthquake Relief 2016" from the dropdown under "Please use my donation."

 

To donate to the GoFundMe international campaign, please click here. For medical supply donations and other information, please contact Ana C. Albuja via email at ana.albuja@uky.edu.

 

To donate to the Indiegogo campaign launched by Global Shapers Quito, please click here.

 

 

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: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

UK Study Answers Tobacco Usage Questions

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 15:06

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 22, 2016) — Consumers are not substituting electronic cigarettes for traditional cigarettes, a University of Kentucky researcher found during his study of habit formation with noncigarette products.

 

As principal investigator in a study funded by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, Yuqing Zheng, an agricultural economist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, studied usage in five categories of tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigarillos and cigars. Cigarettes account for about 80 percent of all tobacco sales.

 

“Cigarette purchases have dropped a bit, from about 90 percent to 80 percent of all tobacco products during the past 15 years, but it’s still a big player. Other tobacco product sales are growing, though — particularly e-cigarettes,” Zheng said.

 

The appearance of a new product on the market, such as e-cigarettes, spurred Zheng and the research team, comprised of the University of Georgia's Chen Zhen; James Nonnemaker in the Public Health Research Division at RTI International; and Daniel Dench, a doctoral student in the City University of New York, to study data collected from convenience stores from 30 U.S. markets. They examined the data for any empirical evidence to suggest e-cigarettes had become a substitute for traditional cigarettes.

 

The team also modeled consumer response to price changes and advertising. One way they reviewed the data was looking at cross price elasticity.

 

“If e-cigarette prices go up, making them too expensive, you might think people would switch to traditional cigarettes,” he said. “In that case, we would see cigarette demand going up, indicating people are substituting cigarettes for e-cigarettes. But we’re not finding that relationship, based on the economics.”

 

He did, however, discover a relationship between e-cigarettes and television advertising. Comparing three years of sales data to expenditures on television and magazine e-cigarette advertising, Zheng found a correlation between television ads and an increased demand for e-cigarettes.

 

“This adds to the policy discussion,” he said. “While cigarettes are strictly regulated in terms of advertising, there are no advertising restrictions on e-cigarettes.”

 

Smokeless tobacco product advertising increased demand for those products, as well. He did not find any significant impact on e-cigarette demand arising from magazine advertising.

 

Based on the strength of a previous period’s consumption compared to the current period, Zheng’s data also indicated that consumers displayed some type of habit-forming behavior with all five tobacco products in the study.

 

“If they used it in the last period, they are likely to continue to use it. And we found that e-cigarettes displayed the highest degree of habit formation,” Zheng said.

 

He attributes that to three things. First, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is known to be addictive. E-cigarettes can also be used in many places that do not permit cigarettes. And finally, unlike cigarettes, people often draw on them for long periods of time, since they don’t burn out as a traditional cigarette would.

 

“We should emphasize that a lot of people say e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, although there is no scientific conclusion on this yet,” Zheng said. “But definitely, manufacturers are advertising e-cigarettes as a tobacco-cessation product.”

 

Zheng’s study also concluded that traditional cigarettes showed the least price elasticity, meaning that a price increase does not greatly affect demand. Generally speaking, consumers of non-cigarette tobacco products are more responsive to price increases.

 

The American Journal of Agricultural Economics recently published Zheng’s study.

 

 

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. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

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