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WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Features UK Police Chief Joe Monroe

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 18:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  WUKY News Director Alan Lytle is guest host today and talks to UK Police Chief Joe Monroe about many facets of safety on campus. 

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-perspectives-candid-chat-police-chief-joe-monroe.

 

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

STEM Education Department Welcomes New Research Undergrads

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 16:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 24, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of STEM Education, under the direction of Molly Fisher, assistant professor and director of graduate studies, and Jennifer Wilhelm, associate professor and chair, is welcoming a new cohort of undergraduate students in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

 

As an REU site, the STEM Education Department, part of the College of Education, hosts a cohort of undergraduates who work in its research programs. Each student is associated with a specific research project and works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and technology funds in order to carry out their research agendas.

 

The upcoming co-hort includes:

 

Working with Cindy Jong, Jonathan Thomas and Molly Fisher:

 

·         Meredith Davis (Special Education)

·         Mallory Bickett (Elementary Education)

 

Working with Becky Krall and Brett Criswell:

 

·         Kelly Corrigan (Elementary Education)

·         Fallon Olexa (Special Education)

 

Working with Jennifer Wilhelm:

 

·         Brittany Guido (STEM Plus – Math)

·         Dakota Yates (Elementary Education)

 

For more information on undergraduate research at UK, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research. The Office of Undergraduate Research promotes high quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship in all disciplines across campus.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Wanted: A Kentuckian Who Champions the First Amendment and Transparent Government

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 09:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2015) — The Scripps Howard First Amendment Center is requesting nominations for its annual James Madison Award to recognize a Kentuckian for outstanding service to the First Amendment.  The award, created in 2006, honors the nation’s fourth president, whose extraordinary efforts led to the passage and ratification of the Bill of Rights.

 

The Madison Award recognizes someone who has worked in one or more of these areas: open government and open records; promotion of the watchdog role of the press; defense against government or private censorship, or robust debate in the marketplace of ideas. 

 

Nominees must have significant ties to Kentucky, and their efforts must have resulted in the preservation or expansion of freedom of the press and/or freedom of speech.  Dedication to the First Amendment principle of free expression is not accomplished in a day’s work but rather a lifetime.  Thus the award recognizes a long-term commitment to such ideals.

 

The deadline for nominations is Sept. 11.

 

Honorees do not have to be journalists.  The Scripps Howard First Amendment Center encourages recognition of those outside the journalism profession for their contributions to protect or expand First Amendment freedoms.  Nominees may include, for example, educators, lawyers, judges, scholars, librarians, students or ordinary citizens.  The most deserving recipient will be someone who has made a significant contribution regardless of how much public attention it has received. 

 

The nominator must submit a letter identifying the nominee, listing the nominee’s address, phone number and position, and explaining why the nominee would be a worthy recipient.  The letter should detail the specific efforts taken on behalf of First Amendment rights and should discuss obstacles and difficulties as well as the impact of the nominee’s efforts.  The nominator may include up to three letters of support as well as other materials such as published or broadcast information.

 

Entries will be reviewed by a committee that will include previous winners and the director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center.  The committee will have the option of not selecting a recipient if it does not believe any candidate is deserving.

 

Nominees who meet the award criteria but are not selected initially will automatically be considered for two more years. The award will be presented at the annual First Amendment Celebration Sept. 29, in the UK Athletics Association Auditorium in the William T. Young Library.

 

Past winners were Judith Clabes, founder of UK’s First Amendment Center and a strong supporter of a free press as a newspaper editor and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation; Jon Fleischaker, the Commonwealth’s foremost media law attorney; veteran Courier-Journal reporter Tom Loftus, who has used public records extensively to expose government corruption; David Hawpe, retired Courier-Journal reporter and editor who fought relentlessly to open records and meetings; John Nelson, managing editor of The Advocate-Messenger in Danville and executive editor of Advocate Communications Inc., who was recognized for, among other activities, organizing a statewide open records audit; veteran newsman Al Smith, whose KET public affairs program, “Comment on Kentucky,” informed the state’s citizens on government issues affecting them; retired media law attorney Kim Greene, who fought many battles for open government for media clients she represented; Jennifer P. Brown, who as a journalist fought a number of open government battles and created a culture of watchdog journalism at the Kentucky New Era, and Steve Lowery, who helped update the Kentucky open records and open meetings laws and as president of the Kentucky Press Association developed the Legal Defense Fund to help smaller newspapers in their efforts to seek greater access to government.   

 

Nominations should be sent to Mike Farrell, Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, School of Journalism and Telecommunications, 220 Grehan Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0042, or emailed to farrell@uky.edu.

 

For more information, contact Mike Farrell, director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at (859) 257-4848, or farrell@uky.edu.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

UK Dining Offering Reusable Containers to Reduce Enviornmental Impact

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 08:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2015) — This fall, University of Kentucky Dining is making the move to a greener, more environmentally friendly alternative by eliminating all styrofoam from the residential dining halls.

 

The first step in this process is implementing a reusable to-go container program for Blazer Cafe and The Fresh Food Company. There will be a $5 initial fee for the reusable to-go box, however you will be able to exchange the container for the next two years.

 

How to Purchase and Use Your Container

 

1. You may purchase your resusable containter with Flex dollars, credit card or cash. The purchase will be connected to your UK account, so please have your Wildcat ID with you.

 

2. Your reusable to-go container can only be used at The Fresh Food Company and Blazer Cafe.

 

3. When you want to purchase a to-go meal, take your reusable container and your Wildcat ID with you to the cash register.

 

4. Present your container to be filled with your order.

 

5. The next time you would like to purchase a meal to-go, please bring your rinsed, reusable to-go container to the cashier to exchange for a clean container.

 

Note: You do not have to clean the container. UK Dining will handle the washing of all containers to ensure proper sanitation, but please discard any leftovers before returning.

 

Why UK Dining is Doing This

 

While styrofoam may be a more inexpensive, lighter alternative, it is not good for the environment. UK Dining hopes the entire campus community works together to effect positive change.

 

If you have any issues or comments on the containers, please email Leisha Vance at leisha.vance@uky.edu.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 14:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2015) — Stephen Richardson isn't a dentist - he's the director of pupil personnel in Knott County schools - but his 27 years as a teacher and administrator in the county have taught him a few things about oral health. Toothaches, for example, make it hard to concentrate in class. Additionally, losing your teeth can impact not only your smile but also your self-esteem and your chances of getting a job. He's also learned that in his county, many children go without a toothbrush, let alone regular dental care.

 

His county experiences some of the highest rates of child tooth decay in the nation.  At the elementary school in Hindman, Kentucky, for example, UK's dental outreach program, the Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, found that 65 percent of kindergarten through second grade (K-2) students were in need of urgent dental care or showed early signs of tooth decay.

 

Such statistics, combined with his understanding of how oral health impacts children's lives and futures, led Richardson to collaborate with researchers and the dental care clinic to make tooth brushing part of the school day for K-2 students at his district's highest need elementary schools — Hindman, Emmelena, and Beaver.

 

More than 80 percent of students at these schools qualify for free or reduced lunch, and many change residences frequently. Richardson says this makes it hard to keep a toothbrush, and that for some families, other expenditures take priority over replacing a lost toothbrush. He hopes that incorporating tooth brushing into the classroom will not only address the immediate oral health needs of students, but also foster a culture of oral health that will last a lifetime.

 

Richardson developed the project, called "Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures", as a participant in the inaugural class of the Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK), sponsored by the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, the Kentucky Office of Rural Health, and the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science. The program provides intensive training, technical support, and $1,500 to community leaders to address local health issues. He says the curriculum and support of CLIK helped him refine his project and connect with local resources.

 

"The question I was asking initially really wasn't the question I wanted to ask. I was saying I wanted them to be able to brush their teeth, but that's really not what my goal is. My goal is to change the culture of oral health, because I have a generation going through here that doesn't necessarily value oral health and how it affects their future," he said. "You get tired of going to a restaurant to eat and seeing a young girl or boy working that just graduated a year or two ago and they won't even look up at you because they hardly have teeth. It's frustrating as an educator."

 

Richardson worked with a local dentist to purchase toothbrush and toothpaste kits at cost, which enabled him to stretch his funding and purchase two years' worth of toothbrush kits. When school starts back this year, third grade classes, in addition to K-2 classes, will also get toothbrush kits.

 

To get the students excited about tooth brushing, the "tooth fairy" delivers the kits to each classroom. (Richardson's daughter, a volunteer with the dental care mobile, dons the costume.) Jamie Cornett, who works as a dental hygienist with the dental care mobile, then teaches the children how to brush their teeth properly. In her experience, making oral health fun for kids is an important part of addressing dental problems and creating a culture of oral health in the area.

 

"We want the kids to have a very positive experience with dentists, because sometimes the older generation hasn’t had as many positive experiences," she said.

 

According to Cornett, the causes of oral health problems are multidimensional, and therefore require a broad array of interventions. Since the dental care mobile began rolling a decade ago, rates of tooth decay in the area have declined by about 20 percent, but unaddressed need remains high, and the underlying causes of the problem are so systemic in nature that mobile dental clinics can only do so much.

 

"Definitely it is not just one thing. It's a combination of the amount of pop that we drink. It's access to care, which is a problem for a lot of people. And it's not as much of a priority as it should be, and that goes back to the economic problems here. Your teeth aren't as much of a priority if you can't pay the light bills. It's a real issue," she said. "It's so many factors that go into it. But that's why we're so passionate about anything we can do, like this project. Anything we can do to help, we're gonna do."

 

Dr. Nikki Stone, director of the UK Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and dental director of the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center, has seen that collaboration is essential to addressing the oral health needs in the region.

 

"I think that one of most important aspects of our program, and the reason it's been so successful, is the partnerships," Stone said. "I always say that everything we do starts with the letter 'P': We're a prevention-focused program, but it's through the partnerships that we're able to keep children pain free." 

 

While the concept of toothbrushes in the classroom might seem straightforward, the logistics can be complicated.

 

"It seems so simple, to brush your teeth at school. But it actually isn't that simple,"  Cornett said. "The schools have a schedule and it's very tight, and to add something like this is not necessarily easy. But they took it head on, and they've done a great job. It's proven that kids with poor oral health don't learn as well, and in a principal's eyes, that’s a huge problem. But they know that we're helping the kids and essentially we're helping their education."

 

Richardson acknowledges that taking time for tooth brushing cuts into instructional time, but he and the leadership of Knott County schools are committed to the full well-being of their students, not just the test scores.

 

"Oral health isn't assessed on the state assessment. That's not what teachers are judged by," he said. "But this about educating the whole child."

 

 

Media Contact: Mallory Powell, mallory.powell@uky.edu

What's Next: Transforming Behavioral Therapy With Technology

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 13:32

 

Video produced by the Vis Center media team. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 24, 2015) — From iPods to cell phone networks, power generation to GPS systems, electrical and computer engineers are producing the technologies we depend on every day. But one electrical engineer, a second-year doctoral student at the University of Kentucky, is combining the latest technologies to support young children on the autism spectrum.

 

Using computer vision, signal processing and privacy protection, Nkiruka Uzuegbunam, along with electrical and computer engineering Associate Professor Sen-ching Samson Cheung, have developed "MEBook," a combination of a social narrative and gaming system that psychologists and parents can use as behavioral therapies for autistic children. 

 

Uzuegbunam and Cheung developed the technology in conjunction with Uzuegbunam's counterpart Wing Hang "Venus" Wong, a Ph.D. student in the College of Education, and Lisa Ruble, professor in the College of Education and autism services researcher.

 

"They are all necessary for the success of MEBook and have been instrumental in getting it off the ground, tested and continually improved," Uzuegbunam said.

 

One of the most salient features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is impaired social interaction. MEBook technology teaches a child how to interact, but does so in an entirely new way, based on the team's findings. 

 

Research shows that when working with a specific autistic child, using the image  of their own face to teach them appropriate behaviors is most effective. Me Book utilizes the child's own image to teach them how to, for example, say “hi” to someone by waving.

 

"Let's say you want to make the child smile," Uzuegbunam said in the video above. "Take that image, just a simple picture of a child doing whatever they’re doing, take that same picture, and make a picture that smiles that looks just like the child when he or she is smiling." 

 

She said the challenge is to create realistic images that children will believe and a simple system for parents to implement. To understand how the technology could best impact children, Uzuegbunam first spent a year researching the psychological aspects before moving on to the technical aspects of the project.

 

"My aim, at the end of my two or three years here, is to make a system that parents can take home and build and modify and make bigger as the years go by to suit themselves and to suit the child," she said.

 

Uzuegbunam also hopes to eventually return home to Nigeria and change the lives of children with autism there, who she says are often undiagnosed, untreated and many times mistreated.

 

"So if I can begin to make that change back home, that would be my ultimate goal," she said. "And I believe UK has increased my drive to go home and do things like that."

 

To find out more about Uzuegbunam's work, view the above video, produced by the Vis Center as part of its "What's Next" series. It may also be viewed at "Reveal," the official website for UK Research Media, at http://reveal.uky.edu

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

 

Nursing Faculty Awarded National Grant for Substance Abuse Training

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 17:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2015) — A University of Kentucky College of Nursing professor is equipping faculty members, primary care nurse practitioner students and primary care providers across Kentucky with the clinical skills to direct care when a patient presents signs of substance abuse.

 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently awarded UK College of Nursing Professor Dianna Inman with a three-year grant to distribute the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training to health care professionals. The mission of SBIRT is to increase the frequency with which primary care providers screen for substance abuse problems, provide intervention and refer patients for treatment.

 

Inman’s program, titled “An Innovative Approach to Provide SBIRT Training for Health Care Providers,” makes the web-based training program available to providers in Kentucky and students and faculty members in the UK College of Nursing. Through the training modules, providers will practice newly acquired skills through online simulations of the provider-patient interaction. As part of the program, Inman will develop a KY SBIRT website where primary care providers across the state and region can enroll in training sessions and access substance abuse care resources.

 

Inman is a pediatric nurse practitioner, primary care mental health specialist and assistant professor in the College of Nursing graduate program. Her work has focused on assessing and treating mental health problems in the pediatric and adolescent populations.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

Ceremony to Mark Official Name of Lyman T. Johnson Hall

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 17:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) — One of the University of Kentucky's new residence halls will now bear the name of Lyman T. Johnson, the late civil rights pioneer who became the first African American admitted as a student to UK.  The official unveiling of the sign in Lyman T. Johnson Hall will take place at 2 p.m. today in the lobby of the building previously named Central Hall I.

 

To view a live stream presentation of the ceremony, please visit https://youtu.be/3RW4-pD-REM at 2 p.m.

 

 

Lyman M. Johnson, Lyman T. Johnson's son, will join UK President Eli Capilouto, UK Board of Trustees Chair Keith Gannon and others for the unveiling ceremony.

 

UK's Board of Trustees approved the renaming of Central I in honor of Lyman T. Johnson at its May 8 meeting. 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. The hall, which opened in August 2013, is one of the first two residence halls constructed as part of the major transformation of campus facilities underway at UK.

 

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.

 

He 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.

 

He died in Louisville in 1997 at the age of 91.

UK Campus Transformation Designed to Build Community

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 17:06

 

 

Video Produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing.  To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click the "thought bubble" icon in the same area.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) — From state-of-the-art residence halls to new dining facilities, the University of Kentucky is fostering community throughout campus.

 

Yesterday members of the community were welcomed to tour three new residence halls, Woodland Glen III, IV and V. These halls surround Woodland Glen I and II, which opened last year, and mark the completion of the Woodland Glen community.

 

Residence halls throughout campus are home to Living Learning Programs (LLP). Living Learning Communities offer students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment.

 

Woodland Glen III is home to the Engineering LLP, which complements classroom expectations by integrating students into the engineering community with programs centered on professional development and enhancement.

 

This year, more than 600 residents of Woodland Glen III are part of the Engineering LLP.

 

But community isn't built solely in the residence halls.

 

Today at 10 a.m. the campus community will celebrate the grand opening of its new academic support and dining facility — "The 90." (Live stream of The 90 grand opening here.)

 

 

The 90 is part of a $245 million dining partnership with Aramark. This space will house the Fresh Food Company, Taco Bell Express®, La Madeleine®, Aqua Sushi®, Wildcat Pantry and the Food Connection — an academic partnership with Aramark and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to strengthen the food economy in Kentucky.

 

Watch the video below to get an inside look at what The 90 will offer students, faculty and staff.

 

Video Produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing.

 

With more than 1,000 seats, this dining space provides an area for students to interact with one another, learn from one another and ultimately build community.

 

The 90 will also accommodate Living and Learning support spaces including classrooms and faculty/staff offices.

 

These innovative classrooms are designed with collaborative learning in mind. Instead of individual desks, round tables with multiple chairs encourage synergy between classmates.

 

President Capilouto said, "I often say buildings can serve as a proxy for how much you value something, and I hope people see in these buildings how much the University of Kentucky values a student's education, a faculty member's commitment to discovery and our collective commiment to being the University of Kentucky."

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398, blair.hoover@uky.edu

 

VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, amy.jones2@uky.edu or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282, kody.kiser@uky.edu

 

UKAg Diversity Director is a 'Game Changer'

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment assistant dean and director of the Office of Diversity, Quentin Tyler, was recently named a Game Changer by Workforce Magazine.

 

The human resources publication annually gives the Game Changer awards to “high-potential young professionals under age 40, who are pushing the human resources field forward with innovative people-management practices.”

 

For Tyler, diversity is a way of life, but not always something that is easy to create or to sustain. Workforce Magazine said Tyler’s efforts to strengthen campus diversity have led to the UK Cooperative Extension Service employing the highest number of women and minorities to date.

 

At just 35 years old, Tyler has helped recruit, retain and develop a diverse faculty, staff and student population and has been part of the hiring process for nearly 600 people since 2005.

 

"This award not only recognizes the achievements that we have made as a college and university, but also confirms that we are moving along the right path as a land-grant institution that believes in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows our faculty, staff and students to reach successful outcomes,” Tyler said.

 

Workforce Magazine said Tyler is focused on building a diverse pipeline. During his tenure, the university’s summer intern program has offered leadership to an increasingly diverse young cohort. Tyler has created a diversity fellowship for graduate students and helped build cultural awareness workshops, a youth development high school program and conference to introduce the next diverse generation of students to college life.

 

The magazine features Tyler and other game changers in its August issue.

 

 


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

Why the HPV Vaccine Should be Addressed as Cancer Prevention

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) – For women younger than 40, cervical cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related death. With modern vaccines to protect against the underlying cause, human papilloma virus (HPV), cervical cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancers.

 

As a society, we have the opportunity to wipe out or significantly reduce a disease by vaccinating the population. Still, many American health care providers and families aren’t getting their children and teens vaccinated, and our youth are suffering the consequences.

 

Cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the throat, penis, rectum, vulva and mouth, can develop from changes in cells caused by HPV. Since the FDA approved the first versions of the HPV vaccine in 2006, nearly 7 billion doses have been administered worldwide. HPV continues to spread because of a national resistance to accepting the vaccine as part of standard preventive care.

 

Because of social stigmas surrounding HPV vaccinations, only around 30 percent of men and women under the age of 25 have been vaccinated in both Kentucky and nationwide. Only 27 percent of women between the ages 13 to 17 have received the recommended dosages of the HPV vaccine. Many health care providers and parents view these vaccinations as elective or irrelevant unless a youth is sexually active. In reality, HPV can be transmitted a number of ways, including from a mother to a child during delivery. Statistics show most people will contract one form of the virus at some point in their lives. 

 

Until 2014, the two vaccination options were Gardasil 4 and Cervarix, both of which protect against HPV strains 16 and 18 or the strains responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers and Gardasil 4 also protects against 90 percent of genital warts (Strains 6 & 11). Last year, Gardasil 9 entered the market targeting strains 16 and 18, as well as five additional strains, covering HPV types responsible for almost 90 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine also protects against HPV strains 6 and 11, which cause genital warts.

 

Parents and adolescent providers must seize the opportunity to vaccinate their youth before infection occurs. Countries that provided massive free vaccination such as Australia have experienced a 70 percent drop in cervical cancer rates, as well as other cancers associated with HPV.

 

Next time you visit your pediatrician or adolescent health provider, insist on including an HPV vaccine in your child’s preventive health care plan. Both boys and girls should be vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, and prevents 70 to 90 percent of the disease. As a parent, doing everything in your capacity to protect your child from harm means making the decision to get the HPV vaccine — the only certain way to prevent these forms of cancer.  

 

Dr. Omar is the chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

 

This column appeared in the Aug. 16 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

 

Media Contact: Elizabeth Troutman Adams at elizabethadams@uky.edu

UK College of Education's Young Continues Serving on KASA Leadership Team

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 10:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2015) — Lu Young, a professor in the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership Studies is a 2015-2016 officer of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). Officer selection took place during the group’s annual leadership institute in Louisville July 17.

 

Young, immediate past president of KASA, was the first chief academic officer of Fayette County Public Schools, serving from July 2013 to December 2014. Before coming to Fayette County, Young served nine years as superintendent of Jessamine County Schools, her home school district, where she began her career in education in 1983. During her tenure in Jessamine County, she was selected as the 2012 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year. 

 

Young was also appointed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to serve on the state Gifted Advisory Council. Her other professional commitments include serving as one of Kentucky’s two Governing Board representatives for the American Association of School Administrators, and a member of the board of the Kentucky Council for Administrators of Special Education (KY CASE) and the Advisory Council for AdvancEd Kentucky.

 

At UK, Young is part of the Next Generation Leadership Academy and a member of the  UK College of Education Board of Advocates.

 

In addition to Young, the new KASA officers include President Barry Lee, director of special education services at Pulaski County Schools; President-Elect Jennifer Carroll, professional growth and evaluation system coordinator at the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative and Wolfe County Schools; and Vice President Casey Allen, superintendent of Ballard County Schools. For more information on each officer, visit http://files.ctctcdn.com/38b7d182501/b8147e7a-5e1a-429d-814e-008fce3419e1.pdf.

 

In the coming year, the officers will lead work in expanded support for principals; continue to develop KASA’s new superintendent training program as a model for the nation; and ensure the association meets the ever-changing needs of school leaders, upholds and strengthens the profession, and integrates resilient leadership into leadership development programs.

 

KASA is the largest school administrator group in Kentucky, representing more than 3,000 education leaders from across the Commonwealth. Formed in 1969, KASA connects education leaders to policymakers, legislators, and other interest groups, and provides numerous benefits and services to Kentucky’s school administrators.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Campus Population Swells as UK Move-In Continues This Week

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 17:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2015) — The University of Kentucky campus is buzzing as students are starting to return for the new academic year.  UK Move-In is an exciting time for the campus community and an important time to begin fostering student success — the university's top priority.

 

Move-In began Saturday, Aug. 15, when nearly 2,000 students — mainly sorority members, band members and students in the FastTrack program — moved into their residence halls.  Three remaining Move-In days will occur this week.

 

·         Wednesday, Aug. 19

·         Friday, Aug. 21

·         Saturday, Aug. 22

 

As students and their families come to campus, so do their vehicles.  UK employees should please consider increased traffic on campus when making morning and afternoon commutes.  Families making the trip to campus should also expect some traffic delays and are urged to use route materials sent to them and follow signs on campus for the color coded routes.  The UK Police Department will be assisting with traffic, including drivers and pedestrians who are new to campus. Everyone's patience is appreciated during this critical time when UK welcomes students back.

 

 A unified effort of hundreds of people make a successful Move-In and a warm welcome possible. More volunteers are needed in this important effort.  UK faculty or staff members who are interested in being a part of this wonderful opportunity to make a great first impression for students and their families, can volunteer at https://auxweb.ad.uky.edu/movein/signup

 

Move-In — combined with current construction occurring on campus — will impact parking and transportation routes throughout the campus at various times. Among the more than 6,600 students moving to campus housing, about 2,000 arrived Saturday; 1,300 are expected Wednesday, Aug. 19; 2,100 on Friday, Aug. 21; and 800 on Saturday, Aug. 22. 

 

Below is information regarding student move-in traffic flow and parking impacts this week, including important information about one-way streets, no parking areas, and high traffic locations.

 

ONE-WAY STREETS: 

Streets will begin one way at 8 a.m. each day with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 22, when fewer students are moving in.  Streets are expected to remain one way until 3-5 p.m. each day.  Weather could potentially delay the events.

One-way southbound:  MLK Boulevard between Good Samaritan parking lot and Avenue of Champions

One-way southbound:  Lexington Avenue between Maxwell Street and Avenue of Champions

NOTE:  Employee (E) lot entrance north of the Joe Craft Center CLOSED at Lexington Avenue; enter and exit only at Rose Street

One-way westbound:  Avenue of Champions between Rose Street and South Limestone (No Thru Traffic)

One-way westbound:  Huguelet Drive between University Drive and Rose Street

One-way northbound:  Rose Street between Huguelet Drive and Washington Avenue

One-way eastbound:  Hilltop Avenue between University Drive and Woodland Avenue

One-way northbound:  Woodland Avenue between Hilltop and Columbia Avenues

One-way southbound:  Sports Center Drive between Woodland Avenue and the Employee (E) lot north of the Nutter Football Training Facility.

 

NO PARKING AREAS:

Due to the need to quickly unload vehicles near residence halls, several areas of campus will be NO PARKING zones from 12:01 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each of the Move-In days. Additionally, several streets on and bordering campus will have closures or other changes to traffic flow to accommodate Move-In. Watch for NO PARKING signs and bagged meters in these areas.

 

Vehicles parked in the NO PARKING areas listed below will be TOWED.  Owners will be responsible for all tow-related charges.

 

Wednesday, Aug. 19; Friday, Aug. 21; Saturday, Aug. 22:

UNIVERSITY DRIVE (BOTH SIDES):  from Cooper Drive to Hilltop Avenue

SPORTS CENTER DRIVE: between Woodland Avenue and the Employee (E) lot north of the Nutter Football Training Facility

COMPLEX DRIVE:  (BOTH SIDES)

AVENUE OF CHAMPIONS: metered parking in front of Roselle Hall

MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD: between Maxwell Street and Avenue of Champions

LEXINGTON AVENUE: area between the Employee (E) lot entrance and Avenue of Champions

E LOT BETWEEN KELLEY BUILDING and MED CENTER ANNEX #5: the 5 spots in the lane just north of Medical Center Annex #5

WOODLAND AVENUE: between Hilltop Avenue and Sports Center Drive, no parking anytime

 

MOVE-IN PARKING AREAS: 

Students and parents participating in Move-In will be permitted to park in the following designated parking areas:

Rose Street Garage (PS #2): On Saturday Aug. 22 only

South Limestone Garage (PS #5): all move-in dates listed above; 3-hour maximum

Sports Center Garage (PS #7): all move-in dates listed above; 3-hour maximum

Orange lot at Commonwealth Stadium: all move-in dates listed above

 

A shuttle bus will transport families back from the Orange Lot and return them to their cars.    

Job Club Fall Schedule Announced

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association, Fayette County Cooperative Extension Services and UK Human Resources Staff Career Development are pleased to announce Job Club’s schedule. The purpose of the Job Club is to provide a positive environment for motivated job seekers to meet, connect, share and learn.

 

Job Club is for you if you are currently out of work, underemployed or looking to make a career transition. In addition, recruiters and employers are always welcome and introduced to Job Club attendees. The free group is open to the public and meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, from 9–10:15 a.m. at the Fayette County Cooperative Extension office, 1140 Red Mile Place in Lexington. Convenient, free parking is available.

 

As a courtesy to speakers and other attendees, Job Club organizers ask that you arrive on time and encourage you to wear business attire.

 

Job Club Meeting Schedule:

 

  • Aug. 25: TED Talks for the Next Level in Your Job Search – Presented by Diane Kohler and Caroline Francis with UK
  • Sept. 8: Smart Search: Job Search Tips – Presented by Rick Johnson, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation
  • Sept. 22: Job Search Tips from a Panel of HR Professionals and Recruiters
  • Oct. 13: Interpersonal Competence: Connecting with Others – Presented by Dick Brien of Dale Carnegie
  • Oct. 27: Psst… How to Get an Employer’s Attention and Land the Job You Want – Presented by Lisa James with Robert Half
  • Nov. 10: Job Search – Is There Anything to Laugh About? – Presented by Mike Nichols with Transylvania University
  • Nov. 24: Revisiting Resumes & Interviewing: What Matters the Most – Presented by Diane Kohler and Caroline Francis with UK
  • Dec. 8: LinkedIn: A Valuable Job Search and Career Management Tool – Presented by Caroline Francis with UK


* Snow Policy: If Fayette County Public Schools are closed or on a delay, Job Club will not meet.

 

*Attendance at all sessions is not required but is recommended.

 

For more information, call the UK Alumni Association at 859-257-8905, the Fayette Cooperative Extension office at 859-257-5582, or the UK Staff Career Development Office at 859-257-9416. Additional information, including testimonials from former Job Club participants, can be viewed at:  www.ukalumni.net/jobclub

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Public Health Researchers Named Guest Editors of American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 12:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2015) University of Kentucky College of Public Health researchers Rick Crosby, professor of health behavior, and Margaret McGladrey, assistant dean for research, recently served as guest editors for a new themed issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  The issue focuses on academic and community research partnerships and the importance of these collaborations to effectively disseminate and implement practice-based methods to prevent cervical cancer.

 

In the area of cancer prevention, researchers have found screening programs and vaccinations are effective means of prevention. Because intervention during the progression of the disease is possible, efforts to screen for and even protect against the disease through vaccinations have delivered positive population health results. McGladrey and Crosby suggest the success of cervical cancer intervention efforts should be used as a test for the way public health systems are able to respond to complex community health challenges posed by chronic “lifestyle” diseases.

 

Often, the academic settings in which evidence-based intervention practices are developed are disconnected from the public health settings where the practices are implemented. The current issue of the journal offers a practice-based perspective on methods by which academic and community partnerships are able to bridge that gap. The issue features successful partnerships among academicians, practitioners and community members in the specific context of research in rural Appalachia, where health disparities are some of the most acute in the country.

 

“Public health practitioners are the experts on what approaches, strategies and programs to improving population health are likely to be acceptable and effective in their communities,” McGladrey said. “This themed issue demonstrates the value of including community-based public health practitioners at the table throughout the entire research process, from conceptual development to implementation and evaluation.”

 

The themed issue includes articles written by several other University of Kentucky researchers. College of Public Health researchers Angela Carman and Anna Goodman Hoover contributed an article highlighting the importance of health department organizational readiness and resources to implement evidence-based practices.  The issue also highlights the statewide adaptation of the 1-2-3 Pap intervention video, which was supported by the UK College of Communication and Information Research Activity Award given to Elisia Cohen, a faculty member in the College of Communication and Information and the co-investigator with the Rural Cancer Prevention Center who directed the original intervention development.

 

Also in the issue, Robin Vanderpool of the College of Public Health collaborated with colleagues from the University of Iowa and the Lake Cumberland District (Kentucky) Health Department on an article examining the increased effectiveness of HPV vaccination programs in schools. College of Public Health researchers Tom Collins, Lindsay Stradtman and Vanderpool contributed an article written with representatives from the Kentucky River District Health Department to describe a community-academic partnership that is designed to increase Pap testing of medically underserved populations in rural Appalachia.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

SAB Welcomes Students Back with New K Week Event

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 11:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2015 —The Student Activities Board introduces a new event to K Week called Bowman's Bash. Bowman’s Bash will take place in the new dining facility, Bowman’s Den, and the Singletary Center Sunday, Aug. 23, from 9 p.m. to midnight. A variety of novelties will be offered like school spirit street signs and customized stuffed animals. Students can come together to enjoy free food, music, art, inflatables, movies, comedians and more.

 

Bowman’s Den is located near the statue of Bowman the Wildcat and is home to Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Subway, Greens to Go, Panda Express, the UK Dining Office, Plus Account Office, Wildcard ID Office, TicketMaster/Passport Office, ATMs and the UK Federal Credit Union.

 

“Since the closing of the Student Center, Bowman’s Den is going to be a food hub here on campus,” said Jill Mark, SAB director of campus life. “We really want to showcase the space and welcome new students to the campus.”

 

SAB brings more than 60 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff, and the greater Lexington community.

Connect with SAB at http://www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKSAB, or like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UKSAB/. For more information about SAB and events email publicrelations@uksab.org.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909, Katy.Bennett@uky.edu; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395; rebecca.stratton@uky.edu

UK Part of Consortium Awarded $6 Million NSF Grant for Brain Imaging

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 09:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2015) — The National Science Foundation has awarded $6 million to researchers in Kentucky, Oklahoma and Rhode Island to develop innovative and broadly accessible brain imaging technologies to provide insight into how the nervous system functions in health and disease.

 

The project is a collaborative effort between principal investigators at the University of Kentucky, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Rhode Island, which is leading the interdisciplinary consortium. The goal is to establish a powerful technology platform with innovative tools to image, sense, record, and affect real-time brain function and complex behavior.

 

Other institutions participating on specific projects within the consortium include Kentucky State University (KSU), University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Laureate Institute for Brain Research, and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital.

 

"The technology that is developed may be the engine for other health-related grants or diagnostic/therapeutic tools that are meant to improve quality of life for patients who endure brain-related ailments such as stroke, spinal cord injury, sleep disorders, or epilepsy," said Sridhar Sunderam, assistant professor in the UK Department of Biomedical Engineering and co-principal investigator of the project.

 

Specifically, the consortium will develop an integrated, noninvasive, portable, multimodal system with hardware and algorithms for brain imaging and stimulation that incorporate functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), Laplacian electroencephalography using tripolar concentric ring electrodes (tEEG), and transcranial focal electrical stimulation (TFS). These will be utilized in neuroscience research projects that cover both basic science and clinical applications.

 

The Rhode Island team will focus on hardware development while the Kentucky and Oklahoma teams develop algorithms and explore applications that could benefit from the integrated systems to be developed.

 

The team at UK, led by Sunderam, includes Abhijit Patwardhan, professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering; Guoqiang Yu, associate professor of biomedical engineering; and Bruce O'Hara, professor in the Department of Biology

 

Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) are increasingly being used not only as assistive devices for individuals with motor impairment, but also to augment rehabilitative treatment and to interact with media such as video games. Sunderam will develop algorithms and test interactive protocols for modulating the sensorimotor rhythm of the brain using a BMI. He will also oversee the UK portion of the award.

 

Patwardhan will focus on cardiac entrainment by auditory stimuli. Studies show that rhythmic components in music affect cardiovascular and cerebrovascular regulation, yet the mechanisms remain poorly understood. Patwardhan's team will quantify in young adults the entrainment between rhythms in neural, cardiovascular and respiratory patterns as a response to music.

 

Yu and O'Hara will contribute their expertise in optical imaging and cognitive neuroscience respectively, to the above projects. The investigations will include a comparison of hardware developed by the Rhode Island team with off-the-shelf equipment for fNIRS and EEG imaging.

 

The UK team also plans to involve other personnel and several students at UK and KSU. From undergraduate students with an interest in neural engineering to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, others on campus will have the opportunity to participate in exciting projects related to brain imaging and function.

 

"An integral part of the plan is to perform educational activities across the spectrum that will spark an abiding interest in brain science in students of the Commonwealth and develop the skilled manpower and infrastructure needed to serve future industries and academic endeavors in this area," Sunderam said.

 

For more information, visit http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1539068&HistoricalAwards=false.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Alumni Drive Corridor Reopening Sunday, Aug. 16

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 17:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2015) — On Sunday, August 16, the newly reconstructed and realigned portion of Alumni Drive between Tates Creek and Nicholasville Roads will reopen to vehicular traffic. The project, initiated by the Commonwealth and the University of Kentucky as part of an effort to improve the traffic flow and safety of this important transportation corridor, was approved during the 2014 legislative session and began in May. The reconstruction and realignment is expected to calm traffic and slow vehicular speeds on Alumni Drive, and new design features include enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

 

At the intersections of College Way and University Drive, roundabouts – also known as traffic circles – now replace former stop signs. Both are single-lane roundabouts. Drivers are advised to follow these tips when driving through the Alumni Drive roundabouts:

 

-       Decrease speed when approaching the roundabouts and look in each direction, paying particular attention to vehicles circling the roundabout to the driver’s left.

-       Do not enter a roundabout when an emergency vehicle is approaching in any direction.

-       If no vehicles are immediately approaching, it is legal to proceed into the roundabout without stopping and proceed through the roundabout following the roadway counterclockwise to the right of the center island.

-       Within a roundabout, do not stop for vehicles waiting to enter the roundabout. Those driving within a roundabout have right-of-way over vehicles readying to enter the roundabout.

-       Before exiting, use turn signals to indicate where you will exit the roundabout.

 

The reconfigured Alumni Drive corridor has new bicycle and pedestrian facilities; cyclists will be able to choose from multiple routes in navigating Alumni Drive between Nicholasville Road and Tates Creek Road. First, a shared use path will run the entire length of the corridor; this path will be located on the north side of the road from Tates Creek to University Drive and the south side from University Drive to Nicholasville Road. Additionally, this section of Alumni Drive will have a 5 foot bike lane in each direction. At the roundabouts, cyclists may choose to merge with traffic and travel through the roundabout as a vehicle or to exit the roadway and navigate the intersection on the pedestrian facilities that circle the roundabout.

 

Members of the campus community should allow extra time in traveling Alumni Drive during the coming weeks, keeping in mind that the campus population will be growing as students return and that an adjustment period to the Alumni Drive changes may be required for some roadway users.

 

For more information and a map of the project, view this PowerPoint presentation

NSF Awards $6 Million to UK and Three Partner Schools to Develop Weather Research Drones

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 10:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2015) — A $6 million National Science Foundation grant will allow researchers at the University of Kentucky, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and University of Nebraska to develop unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as drone systems, to study atmospheric physics for improved precision agriculture and weather forecasting.

 

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are currently used in search and rescue, infrastructure inspection and in many other ways to gather information via cameras and specialty sensors. The four-university interdisciplinary team will develop small, affordable systems to measure wind, atmospheric chemistry, soil moisture, and thermodynamic parameters. Doing so will provide meteorologists with data needed to build better forecasting models.

 

The project, called CLOUD MAP for "Collaboration Leading Operational UAS Development for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics," was awarded through the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and is being led by Oklahoma State University. CLOUD MAP will combine unique expertise from each university. At UK alone, researchers will contribute diverse expertise in engineering, precision agriculture and atmospheric chemistry to achieve the technical objectives of the multi-faceted program.

 

"This project will lead to important scientific discoveries for our environment, agriculture and meteorology, as well as to related future research and education opportunities for UK and the entire four-university science team," said Suzanne Smith, Donald and Gertrude Lester Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Smith is principal investigator of UK's efforts in the project as a result of her experience with UAS research and development since the early 1980s working in industry. She is also director of the NASA Kentucky Space Grant and EPSCoR Programs, which focus on NASA-aligned aerospace workforce development and research infrastructure development.  

 

Smith will focus on the team's organizational network – how it functions and how it evolves – particularly with respect to development of the 12 younger faculty involved and building their relationships for future multidisciplinary research. Her experience in systems engineering and from prior research in UAS technologies and dynamic system identification will contribute to planning and executing the annual collaborative flight test campaigns, as well as to deriving atmospheric physics models from flight test results.

 

Jesse Hoagg, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is focused on developing cooperative control methods for UAS formations. In other words, because the project will develop a fleet of unmanned aircraft instead of a single vehicle, Hoagg must get the vehicles to operate together with a high level of autonomy—to fly in formations, flock, and swarm; all without human operators.

 

"It's about picking the right UAS platforms, putting the right sensor packages on them, and developing the right control algorithms, so that groups of autonomous aircraft can work together to take atmospheric measurements at different locations in the sky," Hoagg said.

 

Sean Bailey, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is tasked with integrating spatially distributed data from moving sensor platforms. Essentially, Bailey wants to get data from the UAS which can be used by scientists that model atmospheric physics. Doing so will improve the ability to predict the behavior of atmospheric turbulence, a key factor in predicting the exchange of heat, momentum, water vapor, aerosols and other pollutants between the surface and the atmosphere. 

 

"Thus, it is a crucial component of many applications, such as meteorology, climatology, wind engineering and environmental science," Bailey said. "For example, for predicting the formation of dangerous weather; predicting structural loading; improving energy recovery in wind farms; or for predicting the trajectory of pollutants in the atmosphere."

 

With the project's potential to reveal pollution sources and monitor air quality, assistant professor of chemistry Marcelo Guzman will use his expertise in atmospheric chemistry to develop airborne sampling systems. Guzman says chemical sensors capable of working under high relative humidity conditions will be implemented and allow them to detect low levels of contaminants in air.

 

The team also expects CLOUD MAP to significantly impact agriculture, an industry of special interest here in Kentucky. Michael Sama, assistant professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, will concentrate on airborne soil hydrology, developing custom multispectral remote sensing instruments that observe moisture differences in crops and soils from a UAS platform. Studying the variability of moisture in the soil will allow Sama to determine how it influences crop development, and ultimately yield, within a field.

 

"It will also provide data for implementing variable-rate prescription irrigation systems that apply water only where it is needed, thus conserving a crucial natural resource." Sama said.

 

In addition to developing new UAS to improve weather forecasting and crop irrigation, the team's goal is to develop further UAS-themed research capabilities and outreach activities. The group at UK will develop related outreach programs, building on their experience from the Wing Design Competition, which has provided hands-on engineering experience to hundreds of high school students across Kentucky.

 

Track the future progress of CLOUD MAP at http://cloud-map.org

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Sisters, Songs, Service and Smiles - It's Sorority Recruitment Week at the University of Kentucky

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 22:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2015) — For more than 100 years, women at the University of Kentucky have enjoyed the bonds of sisterhood as members of sororities and UK's Panhellenic Council. Over the next several days, the 14 chapters of the National Panhellenic Conference — including newest chapter Alpha Chi Omega — will open their front doors to approximately 1,500 potential new members as part of the annual fall formal recruitment.

 

Women were first admitted to UK in 1880 and soon there after, social and service organizations formed. In the early 1900s, local sororities, including Black Cat and Psi, formed on campus. In 1907, Alpha Xi Delta became the first national sorority at UK; Alpha Gamma Delta followed in 1908 and remains on campus today.

 

Fourteen members of the National Panhellenic Conference call UK home — Alpha Chi Omega (colonizing fall 2015), Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Zeta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu and Pi Beta Phi. These chapters will participate in formal fall recruitment beginning Sunday, Aug. 16, and concluding with Bid Day Friday, Aug. 21.

 

The 1917 Kentuckian, UK's yearbook, first mentions sorority rush. From then until 1960, women dressed in their finest dresses and coats and met informally with chapter members, sitting and chatting while drinking Coca-Cola. Chapters would offer bids at the end of the rush period and then a presentation of the pledges would be held for campus to meet each chapter's new members.

 

In 1960, the Panhellenic Council tested a pre-preference rush system complete with rush counselors. In 1961, the formal rush model was launched at UK. Over the years, chapters have performed songs and skits and talked with potential new members as part of formal recruitment. In 2003, sorority rush was changed to formal sorority recruitment and the term "rushee" for a potential new member was dropped.

 

Today, the Panhellenic Council prepares for recruitment by working all summer to ensure that chapter members, Gamma Chis — active chapter members who leave their chapters for the week to serve as guides to women going through recruitment — and potential new members have the best experience possible during Spirit and Recruitment Week. Several guest speakers, countless trainings, activities and open conversations between chapters foster a sense of community throughout the Panhellenic Association at UK.

 

"We work throughout the summer but preparation really begins in April," Sarah Macke, UK Panhellenic president, said. "It takes about four months to prepare for this week in the fall each year."

 

Potential new members will move into their residence halls Saturday, Aug. 15, a week after active members have returned to campus to prepare for recruitment during Spirit Week.

 

On Sunday, Aug. 16, the nearly 1,500 women going through recruitment will begin visiting chapter houses during Open House. The potential new members are divided into 104 smaller Gamma Chi groups who they will travel from house to house with during open house. An active sorority woman guides these groups. Open House continues Monday, Aug. 17.

 

"Alpha Chi Omega is colonizing this August and we are so very excited to welcome them to our community here at the University of Kentucky," Macke said. "After participating in the first two days of open house, they will be having their own formal recruitment process that follows the Colonization Procedures of the National Panhellenic Conference."

 

Each day of recruitment allows potential new members to spend more time getting to know the different chapters and their members. UK utilizes a mutual selection process to match women with chapters. Each day also focuses on a different aspect of sorority life. Tuesday of Recruitment Week focuses on philanthropy, with chapters highlighting the service component of their organizations. Wednesday centers on sisterhood, with chapters sharing what is special about their chapter through a video and testimonials. Thursday is preference day, the last day of membership recruitment functions. Preference presentations will reflect the values and ideals held in esteem by a sorority's members.

 

Friday is Bid Day, the day when women receive their invitations, or bids, to join a sorority. New members of UK sororities traditionally wear white dresses on Bid Day. Bid Day also signifies the beginning of pledgeship — the time between joining a sorority and being initiated. The new member period can last as few as four weeks or up to a whole semester depending on the chapter. New member meetings are typically held one night a week. During this time new members learn about the history of their chapter, therir national organization and other fraternities and sororities at UK. Many scholarship, philanthropy and social activities are planned to help new members get to know their sisters and other members of the new member class.

 

"Recruitment is a very exciting time of the year," Macke said. "We anticipate the arrival of potential new members each fall because we cannot wait to welcome more women into our community. Deciding to join the Greek community has been the best decision in my life so far! I would not trade my sisters or this community for anything. I am so very blessed to have such wonderful women and a very close community in my life!"

 

UK's Panhellenic Council is the largest registered student organization at the University of Kentucky with more than 5,000 women active in the 14 chapters that make up the council.

 

Women may also join a sorority through the continuous open bidding process. Continuous open bidding (COB) begins after the conclusion of Sorority Membership Recruitment Week and continues throughout the academic year. COB is recommended for anyone who chooses not to participate in Membership Recruitment Week or did not receive a bid during the week. COB offers women the opportunity to participate in sorority life and join a sorority through an informal process

 

Phi Sigma Rho, national engineering sorority, is an associate member of UK's Panhellenic Council and Ceres Agricultural Sorority and Delta Phi Mu Latina Sorority are members of the United Greek Coalition; these organizations do not participate in fall formal recruitment. The four sororities that make up UK's National Pan-Hellenic Council, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta, also do not participate in formal recruitment. Information about joining these organizations is available on the Greek Affairs website.

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