Campus News

Cuban Artist's Imagined Mythological Figures Exhibited at UK Chandler Hospital

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 15:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2015) — Without words to explain her process or motive, Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso started drawing and painting muscular male figures on construction paper. She then cut out the figures, which ranged from a few inches to 8 feet tall, and methodically installed them on the walls of her family's apartment using square pieces of brown packaging tape.


Deaf and unable to speak since birth, the 29-year-old artist lives a mostly isolated existence in a small town near Havana, Cuba. Her limited human interactions occur within the confines of her family's apartment. Because Pedroso can only communicate for basic needs through rudimentary signs, no one knows the artist's own interpretations of the mythological figures and body parts she creates.


A collection of her imagined figures are currently on display in the UK Chandler Hospital East Gallery in an exhibit titled, "Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso: Cut and Flex." The artwork depicts the full bodies of men with bulging muscles and brightly colored organs and ligaments, as well as paintings of stand-alone body parts, including hands, feet and heads. An integral element of Misleidys' work, the squares of brown packaging tape are maintained around the edges of each cutout.


Since she started creating the figures a few years ago, Pedroso's work has evolved with the addition of female figures in bikinis and groupings of heads joined together to depict human relationships, such as twins or families. Pedroso's mother has observed her standing in front of her drawings, looking at them and gesturing as if she were speaking to them. Misleidys looks at her paintings in the eyes, as though she recognizes them.


"Whatever the true nature of this work may be, Misleidys is clearly breathing life into her figures, creating beings that exist in the space between our world and her own," Phillip March Jones, curator for the UK Arts in HealthCare program, said.


Pedroso's work has recently appeared in Havana Biennial and Art Papers magazine. The exhibit, coordinated by the UK Arts in HealthCare program, will be on display throughout the summer.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Doctoral Student Earns International Award

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 14:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2015) — University of Kentucky doctoral student Charlene Harris in the Department of Family Sciences has been selected as one of only three recipients of the American Society of Criminology's (ASC) 2015 Graduate Fellowship for Ethnic Minorities. 


Harris, a native of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, is the first doctoral student at UK to receive this national award since it was started by the ASC in 1989.


"Charlene is highly deserving of this honor and recognition by the society," said Alexander Vazsonyi, a psychology professor and John I. and Patricia J. Buster Endowed Professor of Family Sciences in the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. "It is a testament to her diligence and dedication to doing high-quality research focused on adolescent problem behaviors, deviance, and violence. She is in excellent company as recipients have historically mostly been selected from the top Ph.D. programs in criminology/criminal justice across the country, which makes this competitive award even more meaningful."


Harris will use the $6,000 fellowship award to help finance the completion of her studies at UK as she prepares to defend her dissertation this summer.


In a letter to Harris notifying her of her selection, ASC President Candace Kruttschnitt said, "This is a great honor and signifies that ASC considers you to be a rising star in our field."


Harris grew up in the warm climate of the southernmost part of the Caribbean, her homeland being just 5 miles from the coast of the South American nation of Venezuela. A high school classmate who had knowledge of Kentucky's Berea College urged Harris to look into the school because of its tradition of work-study and no tuition. Harris gathered more information and was accepted at Berea where she majored in sociology, earning her bachelor's degree in 2008.


Harris knew she wanted to pursue further study and applied to the graduate program in social work at UK, completing her master's degree in 2010. By this time, Harris' interest in how young people develop and why some adolescents fall into deviant behavior was piqued. She was accepted into the doctoral program in UK Department of Family Sciences.


Harris' research is centered on understanding the pathways to youth involvement in the juvenile justice system, in particular investigating what leads poor, inner-city, African-American adolescents to become entrapped in a cycle of despair that too often can seem intractable.


While serving as a graduate assistant at UK, Harris has benefited from mentoring by Vazsonyi, who has chaired numerous Ph.D. students during his career, many of which hold postdocs or tenure-track faculty positions at major universities. Vazsonyi also is the editor of the Journal of Early Adolescence.


Her upcoming doctoral defense is not the only big event on Harris' schedule. She is one of only 26 young scholars from around the world to be invited to participate in the 2015 Summer School which this year takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, an event jointly organized by the European Society for Research on Adolescence (EARA) and the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), and sponsored by the Jacobs Foundation.


This fall, Harris, who enjoys the connectivity of her research to teaching, will begin a 1-year assignment as a visiting assistant professor at the Hamilton, Ohio, campus of Miami University. She will be teaching courses in child and adolescent development while there.




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

Gill Heart Institute Receives $2.85 Million Grant to Study How Diet, Family History Increase Heart Attack Risk

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 13:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2015) -- Researchers at the University of Kentucky's Gill Heart Institute have been awarded a four year, $2.85 million grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to study the mechanisms by which diet and family history increase the risk of heart attacks. 


"Although the risk of heart attacks is clearly increased by lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity, family history is also an important factor, but we don't know exactly how the genes that associate with this risk alter the biological processes that give rise to heart disease" said Andrew Morris, Ph.D., with the Gill Heart Institute. "This new grant will support ongoing studies into the genetic cascade of events that gives rise to increased risk for cardiovascular disease."


A gene called PPAP2B is responsible for a process that confers substantial protection against the development of heart disease.


"Recent advances in analysis of the human genome have revealed a link between subtle variations that determine how the PPAP2B gene is turned on and increased cardiovascular disease risk," said Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the Gill Heart Institute and co-PI for the grant. "The question is, 'what is the process by which this gene either protects -- or fails to protect -- people from cardiovascular disease?'"


"The answer to this question might lead to the development of drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease."


Morris also noted that being overweight or obese increases cardiovascular disease risk and the PPAP2B gene may play a role in the process by which increased levels of certain lipids or fats in obese or overweight people promote heart disease. 


"One implication of this idea is that our studies of the PPAP2B might reveal a connection between diet and inheritable risk factors for heart disease," he said.






Two ISC Students Place in National Logo Design Competition

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:55

 LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2015)  Two integrated strategic communication (ISC) students have placed in the top five of a national logo design competition.  Kelsey Brousseau’s entry was chosen as the runner-up and Allyson Lough’s design placed fifth.


The competition, held by the Visual Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), was designed to encourage student submissions for the 2016 AEJMC Conference graphic that will be used in all promotional and marketing materials for the August 2016 conference to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The winner also earned $100.


Brousseau and Lough participated as part of their ISC 497, graphic design for ISC, class led by Adriane Grumbein, University of Kentucky assistant professor of integrated strategic communication in the College of Communication and Information.


“I am very excited for my students to have taken two of the top five places in a national, and, to some degree, international, competition,” Grumbein said.  “I think it reflects on the caliber of students we have here at UK, and particularly in ISC,” she added.


ISC sequence coordinator Alyssa Eckman said this recognition is, “a step forward for our ISC program. Visuals are key elements of branding, and it’s awesome that our ISC students have earned national recognition the first time Dr. Grumbein has taught this design course.”


The winning entry was designed by Ethan Irelander from Virginia Commonwealth University and will be featured in all of the 2016 AEJMC conference marketing and promotional materials. Additionally, Marissa Jones of Abilene Christian University placed third and Amber Nunn of Biola University placed fourth.


The AEJMC traces is organizational roots back to 1912 and continues to hold annual conferences, to promote the highest standards for journalism and mass communication education, and to showcase a wide range of communication research. The Visual Communication Division, VisCom, began in 1982 with the merger of the Graphic Arts and Photojournalism Division of the AEJMC.



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

Media Arts & Studies Professor Shares Research and Insight via Popular Global Venues

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2015)  Zixue Tai, an associate professor in the Media Arts and Studies program at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications, has been solicited to share his research and insight on social media and China with the global community of scholars and media practitioners by popular online publications.


In an article titled “Chinese Government Hops on the WeChat Bandwagon” (with contributions from Xiaolong Liu, a visiting scholar from China currently conducting research at UK), published May 6, 2015, by the University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute blog, Tai discusses the changing landscape of government propaganda and the latest official efforts to sway public opinion through popular social media platforms.


In another piece titled “Social Media Activism: All the Rage in China,” published April 1, 2015, on the same blog site, Tai shares his perspectives on how social media has reshaped and reinvigorated grassroots collective actions and mass dissent in China. The Nottingham China Policy Institute is an impartial think tank promoting collaborative research and academic dialogues in the European Union (EU), and its blog provides a forum in sharing intellectual conversations among academic researchers, media and policy scholars interested in a broad range of issues in regard to the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.


In December 2014, Tai was interviewed and quoted extensively in a feature story (with a title that translates into “How Internet Memes Help Chinese Netizns Bypass State Censorship") published by the independent Russian media outlet Meduza, which discusses how smart wordplays and user collaboration make it possible for online discussions of sensitive topics and issues banned by state censors. Meduza is a Latvia-based publication run by a team of 20 reporters headed by Galina Timchenko. Timchenko founded Meduza after she was ousted in March 2014 from her post as editor-in-chief of Russia-based, one of the most popular news sites in Russia, by the site owner Alexander Mamut, a billionaire and strong ally of President Vladimir Putin.


Also in 2014, Tai’s research perspectives on social media and grassroots movements and mass contention were the focus of two articles published by the German and Italian editions of the European Journalism Observatory (EJO) respectively. EJO, the EU equivalent of the American Journalism Review in the U.S., is the premier venue to disseminate research on journalism and global media in the EU and publishes in 11 languages/countries.


Additionally, in November 2014, Tai was quoted in a news release by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world and the publisher of Science, for his perspectives on the importance of promoting science reporting in China. In the same month, he also talked to China’s Xinhua News Agency in a story on the role of science reporting and the need for improving science reporting in China. 



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

Lexington Venture Club to Host 'Startup to Success'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 16:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2015) — Innovation and entrepreneurship will be the primary topics of conversation at a special gathering in Lexington Wednesday, June 3, at The Livery in Lexington.


On that date, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network (KIN), part of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship in the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, are hosting Startup to Success. The event, being organized in association with the Lexington Venture Club, begins with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by a panel discussion at 6:15.


"The idea is to provide a unique networking experience showcasing startups and established companies in the same room," said Warren Nash, director of the Lexington Office of KIN. "Attendees will have the chance to see the area's newest up-and-coming startups, and hear from some of Lexington's best success stories."


Nash said the number of companies registered to exhibit in the showcase is at 18 and growing.


Cost for admission is $10 per ticket which includes light hors d'oeurves. You can register at:


The Livery is located at 238 East Main Street in Lexington. 




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

Hilltop Avenue Reduced to One Lane May 13

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 16:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 12, 2015) — Wednesday, May 13, Hilltop Avenue near the intersection of Woodland Avenue on the University of Kentucky campus will be reduced to one lane of traffic. This lane closure is necessary for unanticipated utility work associated with “The 90” dining facility.  Work is expected to begin around 7 a.m. and end in early afternoon.


One lane of traffic will remain open at all times. Flagmen will assist with directing traffic during the impact.


Anyone who normally travels in the vicinity should allow extra travel time. The university is working to minimize the impact to rush hour traffic; however, some impact may be unavoidable.


For more information on the project, visit

Barnhart Chosen for Athletics Director of the Year Award

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 11:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2015) — University of Kentucky Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart was named a winner of the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award Tuesday, May 12, by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).


Barnhart was one of four selected in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, along with Chris Del Conte of TCU, Warde Manuel of Connecticut and Ian McCaw of Baylor. They will receive their honors June 17 at the annual NACDA awards luncheon in Orlando, Florida.


“Under the steady and successful leadership of Mitch Barnhart, the University of Kentucky athletics program is reaching extraordinary levels of success across its 22 varsity programs,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “For 13 years, his integrity and talent have empowered our staff, coaches and student-athletes to succeed on the field, in the classroom and across the communities they serve. Having recently reached his ambitious set of goals for the department, Mitch continues to inspire our program to reach even higher, while supporting in creative and impactful ways the academic mission of the university.”


The NACDA recognition comes the same year that UK Athletics completed the final goal set as part of Barnhart's ambitious 15 by 15 by 15 Plan.


·         The Southeastern Conference Tournament championship won by the men's basketball team gave UK its 15th conference or national title since the plan was announced in 2008.


·         In the 2013-14 school year, UK finished 11th in NACDA Directors' Cup standings, meeting Barnhart's aim to make Kentucky a top-15 athletics department nationally.


·         UK also has reached the academic prong of 15 by 15 by 15 in five consecutive semesters by achieving a department-wide grade-point average of 3.0 or better.


·         In addition, UK Athletics met the final component by expanding the department's community service in Lexington and beyond.


“I’m thankful for the presidents I’ve worked for, Dr. (Eli) Capilouto and Dr. (Lee) Todd at Kentucky and Dr. (Paul) Risser at Oregon State, and for Coach Dickey (former Tennessee athletics director Doug Dickey), who was an important mentor to me,” Barnhart said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by your peers. Success is driven by a wonderful staff, dynamic coaches and talented young people.”


UK Athletics has enjoyed comprehensive growth since Barnhart’s arrival in 2002. Eighteen of UK's 22 varsity teams contributed to the 2014 school-record Directors' Cup finish, with seven finishing in the top 10 of their respective sports.


Barnhart has helped pave the way for UK's ascendance as an athletics department by innovatively pursuing facility improvements. In September, UK will play the grand-opening game in the new Commonwealth Stadium following a $120 million project made possible by an unprecedented partnership with its university partner. The football program also will have a new $45 million practice facility in 2016, adding to a list of new facilities completed in the last two years that includes new softball and soccer stadiums, a new track and a new golf complex.


Barnhart is steadfast in his commitment to putting student-athletes first, evidenced by their strong academic performances. He is active in community service and encourages student-athletes to follow suit. Putting that into action, UK student-athletes combined to serve 4,319 hours in the community during the 2013-14 school year. Also, over the last four years, UK football players have made educational/service trips to Ethiopia, a program that has been expanded to include athletes from multiple sports.


Even with the department's growth and the increasingly competitive nature of college sports, UK Athletics has remained fully self-sufficient, operating with a balanced budget and with the help of no state or university funds under Barnhart's leadership. As further proof of UK Athletics' financial stewardship, Barnhart directs a $1.7 million annual contribution to the university's scholarship program and UK Athletics is funding nearly two-thirds of the $100 million Academic Science Building under construction on campus. All totaled, UK Athletics has directly and indirectly contributed nearly $200 million to the university's mission since 2002.


Barnhart is also a leader in shaping the future of college sports on a national level. He was appointed to serve on the NCAA Division I Council, a body charged with conducting the day-to-day business of Division I athletics, after becoming the chair of the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee in 2010.


Barnhart’s legacy includes helping develop administrators who have gone on to become athletics directors at nationally prominent universities, including Greg Byrne of Arizona, Mark Coyle at Boise State, Rob Mullens at Oregon and Scott Stricklin at Mississippi State.


Barnhart, Del Conte, Manuel and McCaw are among 28 athletics directors who will be honored at the NACDA event. Four winners in each category are chosen in the NCAA Football Subdivision; NCAA Division I-AAA, Division II and Division III; NAIA; and junior/community colleges.


“Since 1998, NACDA has been highlighting the notable contributions made by athletics directors across all divisions of our membership,” said Bob Vecchione, NACDA Executive Director. “These 28 winners have been recognized by their peers for their outstanding work on campus, in their community and supporting their student-athletes. We look forward to recognizing their significant achievements at our 50th Anniversary Convention this June.”


Among the criteria for selection were service as an AD for a minimum of five years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD’s institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body. Selection committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the awards. 


Barnhart is the second Kentucky AD to be selected, as C.M. Newton was chosen in 1999, the inaugural year for the honor.



MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Neely, 859-257-3838;

Spring Forward Concert Series Features Kentucky Arts Council Performers

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2015) — Kentucky Arts Council musicians representing the genres of jazz, Bluegrass, classical piano and more will give live performances at the UK Chandler Hospital during the UK Arts in HealthCare program's Spring Forward concert series.


Performances will begin at noon every Wednesday in the Pavilion A atrium lobby. The series runs through June 24. The schedule of performances includes:

·         May 13 – Diane Earl, Pianist

·         May 20 – Joe Earl, Guitarist

·         May 27 – TDH4, Jazz/Regional Band

·         June 3 – Butch Rice, Singer/Songwriter

·         June 10 – Kyle Meadows, Hammered Dulcimer

·         June 17 – No Tools Loaned, Bluegrass Band

·         June 24 – Dale Pyatt, Singer/Songwriter


The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, supports the UK Arts in HealthCare program’s Spring Forward performance series with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK HealthCare Nurses, Employees Honored for Care, Courage and Competency

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 12, 2015) ­– UK HealthCare nurses show courage, compassion and clinical competency as they interact with patients, families and fellow staff members every day. Several UK HealthCare employees were recently singled out for their extraordinary work as recipients of the 2015 Nursing Week Awards.


“These leaders have demonstrated not only extraordinary clinical competency and great thinking, but the courage to step up and out to change things for the better, said Colleen Swartz, chief nurse executive for UK HealthCare. “These changes improve the care environment and allow us to take better care of our patients and families.”


The AI/UK HealthCare Quilt of Teamwork Award for Nursing Support was given to respiratory therapist Lisa Wright, who is a member of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital nursing management team. Wright has played an instrumental role in elevating KCH’s level of care in neonatal ventilation and improved nursing efficiency by providing expertise in respiratory illness.


The Diana Weaver Leadership/Management Award honors a dynamic and confident nurse in the position of a manager or administrative leader. Kimberly Blanton, director of enterprise ipac and quality safety at UK HealthCare, received this award for her ability to disseminate important information to the nursing teams, to manage programs that enhance nursing, to promote a spirit of teamwork and charisma in nursing, and to lead during the Ebola crisis with confidence and composure.


The Karen E. Hall Nursing Education Award recognizes a nurse who has demonstrated quality education to his or her colleagues. Donna Woolums, a clinical nurse at the UK Good Samaritan Hospital, received this award for her efforts to fill an instructional need in her unit, and for fostering an environment of learning in her workplace.


The Karen Sexton Firestarter Award, which honors a nurse who exemplifies the values of teambuilding, education and a commitment to excellence, was presented to Linda Clements. Clements is involved with training and mentoring nursing students and new nurses. She has served as a catalyst for improvement by thinking critically about patient issues and training other health care providers to perform life-saving skills.


A nurse part of the Children’s Oncology Group, Diana Holtzhauer is the 2015 recipient of the M.J. Dickson Quality Nursing Care Award. The award recipient is a clinical nurse who reflects a strong commitment to high standards and quality care. Holtzhauer, who serves as a resource in ambulatory and impatients, meets high standards of care by modeling policies, championing positive change and utilizing evidence-based practices.  


The Nightingale Preceptor Lamp Award recognizes a preceptor who has provided exceptional guidance to new nurses. This year’s award was presented to Diana Gregory, a nurse at the UK Good Samaritan Hospital who has served as an enthusiastic mentor, advocate and teacher to many students, new members of the profession and co-workers.


Janice Bugg was named the recipient of the Nursing Professional Advancement Award, which honors an individual who has maintained the “Gold” status of the profession and contributes to the standards of nursing in their unit, hospital and community. Bryan Boling was presented with the Dorothy Brockopp Annual Research Award for a project examining the use of social media as a support system for patients using LVADs. Psychiatric nurse Peggy Scheibel was awarded the Eastern State Hospital Foundation Award for providing exceptional, compassionate care for patients in the mental health community.  


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,



Gill Heart Institute Receives Gold Quality Achievement Award

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 13:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 12, 2015) -- UK HealthCare's Gill Heart Institute has received the "Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation Gold Quality Achievement Award" for maintaining specific quality measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer cardiac arrests in the hospital.


This year marks the second year that Gill has received Gold designation.


"We are committed to providing the best possible outcomes for our patients, and it's gratifying to have the quality of our care acknowledged by the American Heart Association," said Dr. Susan Smyth, director of UK HealthCare's Gill Heart Institute.


According to Dr. Melina Aguinaga-Meza, Gill Heart Institute's Resuscitation Committee Chair, patients aren't the only ones who benefit.


"By participating in the Get With The Guidelines program, we are able to share expertise with other member hospitals around the country, including access to the most up-to-date research, clinical tools and resources, and patient education resources," Bailey said.


"What this means for Kentuckians is that the gold standard for heart care is available right here in Lexington."


The Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation program was developed with the goal to save the lives of those who experience cardiac arrests by following the most up-to-date research-based guidelines for treatment. Guidelines include following protocols for patient safety, medical emergency team response, effective and timely resuscitation (CPR) and post-emergency care.


More than 200,000 adults and children have an in-hospital cardiac arrest each year, according to the American Heart Association.

Summer Changes in Parking Control, Bus and Bike Routes

Sun, 05/10/2015 - 22:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2015) — University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) has begun summer parking control today, Monday, May 11. While all lots will remain on control, permit holders will experience more flexibility in student parking areas. Most university student parking lots will be controlled for any valid permit during the summer months. The exceptions are the R6, R16, R17 and R18 parking areas, which will remain on control for their specific permit types.


A summer parking control map can be found at

PTS will be operating the CATS Summer/Break Route from today through Tuesday, Aug. 25, with the exception of Monday, May 25 and Friday, July 3. Service will run 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The route is a 30 minute loop around campus, and will have two buses running in 15 minute intervals.


More information about all the bus routes, including maps and schedules, can be found at For the most up-to-date information, riders can view the actual location of all CATS buses on all routes by using Cat Tracker, a real-time GPS-based bus locating system at Riders may also track the buses via the free TransLoc iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps, by using their smartphone to scan the QR codes found on each bus stop sign or by using the SMS codes found at each bus stop.


Recommended Bicycle Route During Alumni Drive Closure

A reminder -- Alumni Drive between Nicholasville Road and Tates Creek will be closed to through traffic beginning Sunday, May 10. This will begin the summer-long reconstruction and realignment project expected to enhance safety and provide a more functional route for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on that portion of the University of Kentucky campus.


During the project, bicyclists approaching campus from south of the Arboretum are advised to take the following recommended route: Glendover Road to Valley Road to Shady Lane to McDonald Avenue to University Court via the pedestrian bridge behind Baptist Health. A temporary access road will allow bicyclists to cross Alumni Drive at University Court.


A map of the routes is available at


Construction is scheduled to be complete and Alumni Drive fully reopened by the end of August.

Race Relations Scholar George C. Wright to Receive UK Libraries Intellectual Achievement Medallion

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 15:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 12, 2015) — Tonight the University of Kentucky Libraries Spring Gala will recognize the 2015 recipient of the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement, George C. Wright. The Lexington native, UK alumnus and president of Prairie View A&M University is an esteemed historian and scholar of African-American studies.


"Dr. Wright is an accomplished scholar, an award winning teacher, and a highly recognized higher education administrator. His life and career have made a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of students and have given us a greater understanding of race relations both in the United States and around the world,” Dean of UK Libraries Terry Birdwhistell said.


The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement is one of UK's most prestigious awards. It was created in 1990 to recognize high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the Commonwealth. The award also promotes education and creative thought. The recipient is determined by the UK Libraries National Advisory Board. Past recipients of the honor include: John Anthony, Wendell Berry, James Still, Bobbie Ann Mason, Thomas D. Clark, Laman A. Gray Jr., Guy Davenport, George C. Herring, Adalin Wichman, John Egerton and Karl Raitz.


As president of Prairie View A&M, Wright leads the second-oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. Offering baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees through nine colleges and schools, the 130-year old historically black university has an established reputation for producing thousands of engineers, nurses and educators.


A native of Lexington, Wright received his bachelor's and master's degrees in history from UK and his doctorate in history from Duke University. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters from UK.


Wright's teaching experience began as an assistant professor of history at UK in 1977. From 1980 to 1993, he served the University of Texas at Austin in several capacities as a faculty member, holder of the Mastin Gentry White Professorship of Southern History, and vice provost for undergraduate education. In 1993, he joined the faculty at Duke University as vice provost for university programs and director of the Afro-American studies program; he also held the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair in American History. Prior to joining Prairie View A&M, Wright was executive vice-president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Texas at Arlington.


As an educator, Wright has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants and awards. At the University of Texas at Austin, he received the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, the “Eyes of Texas” Award for excellence in service and the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Award for “Outstanding Black Faculty Member.” He was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University and was the Friar Society Centennial Fellow for Teaching Excellence, the Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Fellow and the Lillian and Tom B. Rhodes Centennial Teaching Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.


Wright is the author of three books on race relations, "A History of Blacks in Kentucky: In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980, Volume II"; "Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and 'Legal Lynchings'"; and the "Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930." He has also published many scholarly articles, chapters in books and essays. Wright is currently working on a new book, a biography titled "Charles O’Hara Benjamin: A 'Forgotten' Afro-American Leader," on a Kentucky journalist, attorney, teacher and political activist who fought for racial equality.


Wright has served as a member of the Editorial Board for the Southern Biography Series at Louisiana State University, the Board of Editors of the Journal of Southern History and the Southern Historical Association Program Committee.



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


UK Art Museum Opens Three New Exhibits, Announces Free Admission

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 15:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2015) — As the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky opens three new exhibitions, "Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky," "Vivian Maier: On the Street" and "Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection," arts patrons will also find a new admission policy. Thanks to the generosity of several anonymous donors, the Art Museum at UK is becoming a free admission institution.


While donations are encouraged, there will be no required fee to view the temporary exhibitions and permanent collection at the Art Museum at UK beginning with the three new exhibitions that opened May 9.


Art Museum at UK Director Stuart Horodner made the policy decision in consultation with several College of Fine Arts and UK colleagues. “In recent years, several major U.S. museums have gone in this direction and have seen their audiences diversify, memberships increase, and civic pride expand. We want to remove all obstacles that might prohibit art lovers from enjoying the range of historical and contemporary works we offer.”


As the museum moves to its new free admission policy, membership levels and benefits have been restructured to encourage even more engagement with the campus and community. For more information on membership, contact Lyndi Vandeursen at 859-257-8164 or


A King of Chairs

"Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky" is a collection of extraordinary chairs and rockers, made by an Appalachian artisan and visionary artist who pushed the form of a functional object into more sculptural conceits. Cornett (1913-1981) was raised in both financial and emotional poverty in Letcher and Harlan Counties. He achieved only a fourth-grade education and learned the craft of furniture-making from his uncle.


Cornett weathered personal traumas of childhood and service in World War II by developing an obsession with innovative chair design. He created such forms as “two-in-one” chairs with wide seats and four rockers, and would carve wood in decorative themes tailored to the patron who commissioned it.


In 1965, Cornett received a flurry of attention when writer Gurney Norman published an article titled "Rare Hand-Made Furniture Produced by Bearded Chairmaker." Other stories and essays followed including "The Tyranny of Charity" by Wendell Berry.


In 1973, Cornett made an elaborately carved rocker for U.S. President Richard Nixon, which he was able to present to him. The rocker remains in the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.


"Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky" illuminates the life and work of a complex man who aspired to be “king of the chairmakers.” The museum gives special thanks to Matt Collinsworth, director of the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, Kentucky, and Adrian Swain, former artistic director, who organized this exhibition.



The Nanny Behind the Lens

"Vivian Maier: On the Street" is an exhibition of 30 photographs by a woman whose talents were discovered only after her death. When a Chicago realtor named John Maloof purchased an unclaimed box from a storage unit containing 100,000 of her negatives in 2007, he had no idea of the story that would unfold.


After Maloof posted some of her work online, Vivien Maier (1926-2009) became an art world darling, discussed as part of the tradition of street photographers including Robert Frank, Helen Levitt and Garry Winogrand. Like them, she demonstrates a keen sense of timing, an eye for the nuance of gesture, and an ability to catch dramas, large and small, unfolding on city streets.


Lovers, antagonists, the strange intimacy of public transport, and the lives of children are all seen in Maier's tightly composed photographs. Her own face and body appear in numerous self-portraits, reflected in mirrors and windows, but also as a shadow, an eternal observer, seeing but unseen.


Maier worked for most of her life as a nanny in New York and Chicago where she roamed the streets with a camera and her young charges in hand. The job provided her the freedom to obsessively record the life around her. Maier was so secretive, that she used aliases when having her film developed; and the families with whom she lived had little idea of the seriousness of her work or the facts of her life.


In recent years, Maier has been the subject of numerous articles, exhibitions, books and a documentary film, "Finding Vivian Maier." The unearthing of her work and its subsequent reception raises questions about the expanded canon of art history and the possibilities of other unknown artists of consequence.


Art Hits the Streets

"Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection" examines American street photography between the 1950s and early 1980s which combined the observational skills of documentary work with the tightly composed aesthetic of modernism to create images that captured the look and feel of the times. Organized to help contextualize the photographs by Vivien Maier, this exhibition includes images by Van Deren Coke, Bruce Davidson, J.J. Jaffee, Robert C. May and Ralph Eugene Meatyard, among others. Some created single, iconic photos, while others spent months or years on specific projects.


Coke and Meatyard, who were both members of the Lexington Camera Club, set out in the 1950s to photograph the predominantly African American neighborhood of Georgetown Street. Meatyard carefully distinguished the kind of images they were making from documentary photography which traditionally focused on disadvantaged populations. "We have only one story to tell, and it is that these people are like you and me."


The Art Museum at UK is located in the Singletary Center for the Arts at Rose Street and Euclid Avenue. The hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Friday.


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



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

Moecher Named Earth and Environmental Sciences Endowed Alumni Professor

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 13:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2015) — Dave Moecher, professor and chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been named the Earth and Environmental Sciences Endowed Alumni Professor.


The Earth and Environmental Sciences Endowed Alumni Professorship is awarded to a tenured full professor who has made outstanding contributions to research and education in the field of earth and environmental sciences. The establishment of the professorship was driven completely by alumni; namely Ken Neavel, William Foley, Steve Sullivan and Jim Pear.  


"It is a profound honor to be awarded the Earth and Environmental Sciences Alumni Professorship because I have a high regard for and appreciation of the geology alumni who helped establish the professorship, and the other alumni who have helped sustain it," Moecher said. "This award reflects their commitment to building the reputation of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.” 


Moecher, who joined UK faculty in 1991, conducts research in the fields of tectonics, igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochronology, and structural geology. He was recently awarded a $155,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to understand how the Earth's crust produces magma, specifically, how unusually hot granites were formed 1 billion years ago.


In addition to the grant focused on “hot granites” that will support the research of two new graduate students, Moecher has an active NSF grant on Appalachian tectonics that supports a post-doctoral researcher, two graduate students and two high school students, and a prior grant also related to the “hot granite” topic.


Moecher teaches igneous and metamorphic petrology and often leads regional field trips to New England, Canada and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.


"Besides research and teaching, I have a keen interest in undergraduate education and alumni relations," Moecher said.


He was recently honored with the 2015 Terry B. Mobley Development Service Award from the UK Development office, which recognizes success by UK faculty and staff in alumni development and service. Moecher has also received the 2013 Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award for UK faculty and the 2013 National Association of Academic Advisors (NACADA) Region III Outstanding Academic Advisor for Kentucky. 




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

UK Board Names Residence Hall for Lyman T. Johnson

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:31

 LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the renaming of Central I residence hall in honor of Lyman T. Johnson, the late civil rights pioneer who in 1949 became the first African American to be admitted to UK as a student. The hall, built as part of the ongoing transformation of campus facilities, opened in Aug. 2013.


UK President Eli Capilouto praised the board action.


“Over the last several years our campus has focused intently on rebuilding our residential, academic, research, and health care spaces. We have undertaken this priority to build community on our campus,” Capilouto said. “But community isn’t fostered by bricks and mortar alone, it is nurtured in the stories and people who define this place. Today, because of the actions taken by our Board of Trustees, we bring greater light to one of those stories, one of those people who define this place. The new Lyman T. Johnson Hall will be both a home to countless students of myriad backgrounds and beliefs, and stand as a physical representation of an individual’s actions that forever altered the trajectory of this institution and the way we serve others.”


Rev. C.B. Akins Sr., a member of the UK Board of Trustees, thanked his fellow members and the adminstration for taking this step, "The struggle that Lyman T. Johnson went through to initiate the integration of this university is worthy of memorializing. I applaud President Capilouto and the members of this board for taking this very significant action. Others who come to UK will now have this important reminder of Mr. Johnson's legacy located in the center of campus."


Frank X Walker, UK English professor and former Kentucky poet laureate, expressed his appreciation for the board approval. "As an alum and longtime employee, I'm extra proud to be part of an institution that recognizes how Lyman T's contributions and legacy enriches us all," Walker said.


“Lyman T. Johnson deserves this recognition for his courage and willingness to challenge the blatant racism of the time," said Kahlil Baker, director of the UK Martin Luther King Center. "His challenging of the status quo is what opened the door for myself and many others to enter and move about this campus.”


Thanks to Johnson's successful suit in Federal District Court, African Americans were admitted to graduate and professional programs at UK beginning with the summer session of 1949. African Americans were admitted to the undergraduate program beginning in 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court settled the constitutional question for Kentucky and the nation in regard to separate education for blacks and whites in Brown v. Board of Education.


A Tennessee native, Johnson, the grandson of former slaves, earned his high school diploma from the preparatory division of Knoxville College. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Greek from Virginia Union University, Johnson attained a master's degree in history from the University of Michigan. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Johnson served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and during the latter part of his tour of duty, helped run a school at the Great Lakes Naval Base, which enabled young and often illiterate sailors to obtain an educational foundation.


Johnson taught history, economics, and mathematics at Louisville Central High School for more than 30 years before becoming an administrator at two different schools in the Jefferson County Public Schools system, then spent three years in an administrative capacity at a Catholic high school. He also served as a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education for four years.


In 1979, Johnson received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from UK.


Widely known as an eloquent speaker, Johnson not only opened the doors to education for thousands of minority students, he also led struggles to integrate neighborhoods, swimming pools, restaurants and other facilities. Johnson headed the Louisville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for six years.


Lyman T. Johnson died in Louisville in 1997 at the age of 91.


The request to rename the residence hall was submitted by the Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni group and was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Naming University Property.

Kentucky Hospital Association Honors Eastern State Hospital With 2015 Quality Award

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2015) — The Kentucky Hospital Association presented a 2015 Quality Award to Eastern State Hospital on Friday during a special awards presentation by Board Chair Dennis Johnson held as part of the Kentucky Hospital Association Annual Conference in Lexington.


The Quality Awards are presented in six categories with Eastern State honored in Psychiatric Care.  Other categories include Critical Access Hospital; Under 100 Beds; 100 to 250 Beds; Greater than 250 Beds; and Post-Acute Care.


Eastern State Hospital, managed and operated by UK HealthCare through an agreement with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), opened its new facility in September 2013 and provides recovery-focused, individualized care in a supportive environment that features the latest in mental health treatment. The facility provides an extensive range of inpatient mental health services to adults living within the 50 counties surrounding and including Fayette County.


“We are honored to receive the 2015 KHA Quality Award that recognizes our clinical teams’ hard work to improve the quality of care we provide to some of our state’s most vulnerable patients,” said John Phillips, chief administrative officer, Eastern State Hospital. “Our focus on trauma-informed care and new clinical processes has enhanced our patient-centered care philosophy.”    


The award honors hospital leadership and innovation in quality, safety, and commitment in patient care. According to KHA, the goals of this award are to:

  • Raise awareness of the need for an organization-wide commitment to highly reliable, exceptional quality, patient-centered care
  • Reward successful efforts to develop and promote improvements in quality of care
  • Inspire organizations to systematically integrate and align their quality improvement efforts throughout the organization
  • Communicate successful programs and strategies to the hospital field
  • Facilitate Kentucky hospitals’ alignment of quality initiatives with national initiatives


According to the hospital’s award submission, Eastern State Hospital has developed and adopted the definition of quality as "a lifestyle as well as an ongoing commitment to provide optimal care to our patients. Quality is accomplished by empowering staff, focusing on evidence­based practice, and striving for continuous regeneration of exemplary treatment.” 


Administrative leadership has empowered managers to encourage autonomy in their staff, and to evaluate, treat and educate patients using best practice and evidence-based standards.


One of the hospital’s most significant accomplishments has been to reduce the number of restrictive interventions by focusing on trauma-informed care and changing the culture. That culture change has included emphasizing nonviolent de-escalation techniques; individualizing emergency medication protocols; and expanding use of behavioral supports. Since implementing such measures, restrictive interventions have dropped 85 percent, and employee safety has improved.




MEDIA CONTACT:  Vikki Franklin,


Trustees Consider Changes to Code of Student Conduct

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Friday planned to discuss changes being proposed in UK's code of student conduct as part of a comprehensive effort to continue investing in ‒ and improving ‒ the campus safety environment.


The board will formally consider the proposed changes during its June meeting.


These vital issues have been part of a comprehensive and exhaustive review by a safety task force, formed by UK President Eli Capilouto, and charged with making recommendations regarding student health and safety and strengthening neighborhood relationships.


The broad-based task force ‒ which included faculty, students and staff along with representatives from local government, neighborhoods and other institutions ‒ can be found at:


“Safety is integral to a productive campus where students, faculty and staff can live, learn, discover and serve together,” Capilouto said. “For more than a year, campus and community workgroup members have been tireless in their effort to produce a comprehensive document and set of principles and policies that will ensure our campus is a welcome and safe place to prosper.


"Their product is more than an alcohol policy or a collection of rules, it is another component in our multi-faceted approach to position UK as a thriving residential research university that supports its campus family and surrounding community.”


In recent years, for example, UK has invested some $5 million in additional safety efforts, including more safety officers and counselors, lighting, cameras and other technology.


In its work, the task force reviewed national best practices, such as the National Student Code of Conduct; researched other universities’ policies and procedures; and consulted with national leaders. It also consulted and briefed several campus and community groups, including the UK Alumni Association, the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, the Dean’s Council, Lexington Urban County Council, neighborhood associations, UK Student Government Association, and several other community and campus groups.


Key recommendations with respect to the university's Code of Student Conduct as well as incidents of sexual misconduct and UK's alcohol policy include:


·        The code should reflect language similar to the National Student Code of Conduct.



·        Code of Student Conduct

o   Extension of all code regulations to any on- or off-campus location, is effective immediately after a student registers for classes and extends to any location and any time frame, including periods when classes are not in session, until a registered student graduates or transfers.


·         Sexual Misconduct

o   In its examination of new regulations and recommendations from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Education, the task force recommended adjusted policies and procedures regarding reporting, interim suspensions, formal hearing procedures, recommended sanctions based on specifics of the violations, and the appeals process.


·        Alcohol Policy

o   With an objective to promote legal and responsible behavior, the university will allow the legal consumption of alcohol at specific locations and at specific times.

o   Alcohol is not allowed in residence halls under any circumstances

o   Events where alcohol is served must:

§  Pre-register the event through the Office of Event Planning

§  Provide qualified security and verification of identification

§  In addition to compliance with other relevant regulations, Greek organizations must also co-sponsor all such events with alumni


“I have appreciated the opportunity to provide student feedback throughout the development of these important policies over the past year,” said outgoing Student Body President Jacob Ingram. “While these policies will continue to be refined to meet the changing needs of campus, I am confident this is a step forward in making our campus a safer, better place.”


“The Student Health and Safety Task Force worked diligently to create a comprehensive approach on the issues that our students currently face on and off campus,” said Robert Mock, chair of the task force and vice president for student affairs. “The proposed policies are designed to improve the safety of our students and the community.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton, 859-257-6605, or Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, 



Complex Drive to be Closed May 11-29

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 11:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2015)  Complex Drive will be closed from University Drive to Sports Center Drive from Monday, May 11 through Friday, May 29. The closure is due to water line work in the area; a portion of Complex Drive, from University Drive to the Johnson Center Loop, will be under construction. Anyone traveling from University Drive to Sports Center Drive should use Cooper Drive.


Parking on Complex Drive, the Johnson Center Loop and in the Complex service areas is prohibited for the duration of the construction project.


Only emergency traffic will be allowed access to the open portion of Complex Drive during this time. The open portion of Complex Drive will be changed to two-way traffic with a turn-around using the Johnson Center Loop. Emergency vehicles will enter and exit the open portion of Complex Drive from Sports Center Drive.


The CATS Summer/Break Route will not be affected by this road closure.

Anyone who normally travels in the vicinity should allow extra travel time. Drivers and pedestrians are encouraged to use caution as they navigate the area.

The project is expected to conclude by Friday, May 29, but as with all construction, the work is weather-dependent and timetables are subject to change.



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

Stadium South Red Lot and West Blue Lot to Temporarily Close May 11

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 09:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2015) — As part of the Commonwealth Stadium renovation and expansion project, the Stadium South Red Lot and Stadium West Blue Lot will temporarily close on Monday, May 11. This closure is necessary to accommodate resurfacing, repairs and the installation of islands in the parking lots. The parking lots are scheduled to reopen in August prior to the start of fall semester.



The CATS Summer/Break Route will be modified during this project; instead of the Red Lot stop, the bus will stop at two locations on University Drive. For the most up-to-date information, riders can view the actual location of all CATS buses on all routes by using Cat Tracker, a real-time GPS-based bus locating system at Riders may also track the buses via the free TransLoc iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps, by using their smartphone to scan the QR codes found on each bus stop sign or by using the SMS codes found at each bus stop.


UK students should feel minimal impact from this temporary closure, as May 11 also begins summer parking control. While all lots will remain on control, permit holders will experience more flexibility in student parking areas. For more information on summer parking, visit the Summer Break parking page. To view a map of available summer parking, visit


BCTC students and employees will still have access to parking in the North Red Lot and the Green Lot; however, the connector road between the two roads is expected to be closed. Access between the parking lots will be via Cooper Drive.