UK Equine Farm and Facilities Expo is June 3

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 15:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host the 6th Annual Equine Farm and Facilities Expo from 4 to 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 3, at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, Ky. The event is free and open to the public and a meal will be provided.


“The expo is a great opportunity for any equine owner on any size farm to learn some of the latest information from all of the various equine industry companies and UK specialists,” said Nick Carter, Fayette County agriculture and natural resources extension agent.


UK specialists will provide hands-on instruction and lead informal demonstrations on parasite control, equine digestion, fencing options and sampling techniques for soil fertility and hay quality. Other highlights include weed control, vaccination protocol, nutrition, pasture management and farm safety.


“The expo will provide equine enthusiasts the chance to learn practical information that can be used on their own farms,” said Ray Smith, professor and forage extension specialist within the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “It’s a great way to learn about multiple topics in a single day.”


The Kentucky Equine Humane Center, 1713 Catnip Hill Road, provides treatment and shelter for unwanted equines, regardless of breed. Directions to the center are available at




MEDIA CONTACT:  Jackson Wells, 859-257-5164.

Four UK Students Receive Scholarships to Study Critical Languages

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 14:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2014) — Three University of Kentucky students and an alumnus have been awarded Critical Language Scholarships to study the Arabic, Japanese and Turkish languages abroad.


The Critical Language Scholarship Program, a program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages during the summer of 2014. The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.


The four UK recipients of Critical Language Scholarships are:

· marketing and media arts and studies sophomore Jordie Gamble, who will travel to Morocco for Arabic language studies;

· biology senior Naomi Hayes, who will travel to Japan for Japanese language studies;

· anthropology doctoral student Lydia Roll, who will return to Turkey for her second consecutive year of language coursework in Turkish; and

· 2013 Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce graduate Wade Wilson, who will travel to Jordan to study Arabic.


Honors Program member Jordie Gamble, a 2012 graduate of Christian Academy of Louisville, is the daughter of Lisa and Shannon Gamble of Louisville, Ky.


Gamble, who also plans to study abroad in Spain next fall, will use her Critical Language Scholarship in Arabic to strengthen her conversational skills and learn more about the culture. "I will bring my Arabic skills up to a fully conversational level that will increasingly open up the opportunities available to me. I will also gain valuable experience about living abroad and how to assimilate to new cultures gracefully, a lesson that will come in handy if I'm to become a viable player in the global marketplace."


The Global Scholar credits Nada Majzoub, her Arabic teacher in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages Literatures and Cultures, for her love of Arabic. "She helped inspire in me a love for the language while breaking it down into manageable portions. I'm so grateful to her," Gamble said.


Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, Gamble would like to work with a global nonprofit on marketing and promotional materials.

Honors Program member Naomi Hayes, a 2011 graduate of Louisville Male High School, is the daughter of Hiromi and Peter Hayes, of Louisville.


Hayes, who is also working on a Japanese minor at UK with her biology major, will use her Critical Language Scholarship to take intensive language classes in Himeji, Japan.


The choice to study Japanese is a very personal one for Hayes, who is president of the Japanese Culture in Kentucky Society. "I decided to study Japanese because even though my mother is Japanese herself, I am not able to speak the language fluently. I hope to reclaim some of my heritage by learning the language and culture. I also in general have an interest in Japan and its modern entertainment industry.  


Hayes hopes to one day be fluent in Japanese. Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, she would like to pursue graduate school in Japan.


This is the second Critical Language Scholarship awarded to Lydia Roll, daughter of Darla and Roger Pitman of Bloomington, Ind., and Michael and Cheryl Roll of Marathon, Fla. She will use the second scholarship to help prepare her for a year of living in Istanbul to complete her dissertation.  


"I conducted three weeks of preliminary dissertation fieldwork in Istanbul during May 2013. Additionally, I will conduct 12 months of dissertation research in Turkey, beginning in 2015. While there, I will engage in participant observation and ethnographic interviews with university students. For this reason, conversational Turkish language skills are essential. Participation in the Critical Language Scholarship Program will provide the opportunity to strengthen my Turkish language skills, thereby enabling me to conduct my research."

Roll, who holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana University, became interested in studying Turkish after living in the International House at the University of Chicago while she was a master’s student at Loyola University. "At I-House, I was able to make friends from around the world, including a group of Turkish students, who over countless cups of tea and conversation, inspired my initial interest in studying Turkish."


At UK, Roll credits her advisor in anthropology, Diane E. King, with providing invaluable guidance, including the process of narrowing her research focus and crafting the application for the Critical Language Scholarship program.


Upon completion of her doctoral degree, Roll plans to become a university professor.


Wade Wilson, the son of Bill and Nancy Wilson of Owensboro, Ky., holds multiple degrees from UK. He earned his bachelor's degrees in accounting and economics and most recently received his master's degree from the UK Patterson School in December 2013. He will use the Critical Language Scholarship to advance his language skills in Arabic in Amman, Jordan.  


Studying a language critical to national security makes sense for an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who has seen U.S. foreign policy at work on the front line. "International relations and the American foreign policies that frame those relations have always been very interesting to me, especially after joining the military and experiencing the effects of our policies first hand," Wilson said.


Last year, Wilson studied Arabic at Yemeni College of Middle Eastern Studies in Sanaa, Yemen, with partial funding from the Patterson School. He hopes to continue his Arabic education after finishing his Critical Language Scholarship program, as well as studies in other foreign languages.


The Critical Language Scholarship Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences for seven to 10 weeks for U.S. citizens who are undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. During the summer program, participants will cover approximately one academic year of university-level language coursework. The application for the 2015 summer program will be available in the fall on the program website,


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



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

UK Playing a Role in 'Pitch' Competitions

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 14:37

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 30, 2014)  Imagine having five minutes to pitch your business idea to a group of investors who could make your dream come true. Sound like a reality show? It is reality, right here in Kentucky. And the University of Kentucky's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, is playing a key role.


Earlier this week, Governor Steve Beshear announced the state will host eight regional pitch competitions this summer. Similar to the hit television show “Shark Tank,” these competitions will feature Kentucky entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to a group of local angel investors, individuals who provide capital for startup companies. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to present their business plans to the entire Kentucky Angel Investors Network (Kentucky Angels) in Frankfort.


“The next great idea can come from anyone,” said Gov. Beshear. “As a state, we need to support these visionaries and provide them the tools to turn their vision into a reality, including the financial means to get started. I look forward to seeing more small businesses and new jobs come to life as a result of these competitions.”


The competition is sponsored by the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, along with the Kentucky Angels Network and the Kentucky Innovation Network. The events will take place in Ashland, Pikeville, Murray, Elizabethtown, Richmond, Covington, Lexington and Louisville.


“These regional events help form the foundation for a statewide network of entrepreneurs and investors working together to create new businesses and jobs across the Commonwealth,” said Dean Harvey, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.


“Small businesses are job creators and the backbone of Kentucky’s economy,” said Mandy Lambert, acting commissioner of business development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with potential investors and get their businesses off the ground. We want to expose more people to investment opportunities right here in the Commonwealth.”


The pitch competitions will make the following appearances:


Ashland: June 3, 2014, Ignite Accelerator, 1100 Greenup Avenue, 5-7 p.m.


Pikeville: June 10, 2014, Coleman College of Business, UPIKE, 5-7 p.m.


Murray: June 17, 2014, Heritage Hall, Murray State University, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.


Elizabethtown: June 19, 2014, Brown-Pusey House, 128 North Main Street, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.


Richmond: June 20, 2014, Central Bank Community Room, 350 West Main Street, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.


Louisville: July 23, 2014, Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main St., Suite 6000, 4-5:30 p.m.


Lexington: Sept. 24, 2014, Commerce Lexington, 330 East Main St., Suite 100, 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Covington: TBD.


For more information on the competition, visit


Last year, the cabinet successfully launched the Kentucky Angels Network. Kentucky Angels brings new ventures and accredited investors together via monthly online meetings, providing investors access to form deals and partnerships with entrepreneurs statewide. Membership is open to those accredited investors in and outside the state who are passionate about investing in Commonwealth companies. To learn more about Kentucky Angels, visit


Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at




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

UK Google+ Ranked Fifth

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 13:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Google+ account has been ranked fifth on the Most Influential Colleges on Google+ list created by published May 28. evaluated the social media efforts of major U.S. colleges and universities. The 2014 rankings focused on each school’s activity, reach and engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.  


"We were pleased to see an unusually broad set of colleges emerge as top performers in our social media rankings," said Branden Neish, general manager of "These schools offer immersive collegiate experiences and fervent alumni groups that positively impact students throughout their lives. Social media helps us measure these difficult-to-quantify, yet important, aspects of higher education."


Using a data set, ranging from the number of Facebook likes to tweeting frequency, developed proprietary algorithms to generate top 20 lists for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as Google+. From those lists the website also developed at top 30 list for the social media platforms combined. teamed up with Shawndra Russell, a writer and social media educator for businesses, professionals and graduate students at Armstrong Atlantic State University, to analyze the top-performing colleges. Their findings are published as "A Study of Social Media in Higher Education."


The website anticipates its findings will be used by a wide variety of organizations to further develop their social media strategies, as well as by prospective students looking for colleges that offer tight-knit and supportive communities., which describes itself as the encyclopedia of higher education, aims to provide comprehensive and unbiased information about universities, degrees and academic programs. publishes rankings that help students make important higher education decisions. For nearly a decade, has been helping aspiring students and education-minded professionals make more informed choices by providing up-to-date information about college and higher education opportunities. More information is available at


Other colleges joining UK in top five of the Google+ list are Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Columbia University.


To connect with UK online, visit the following social media outlets:



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


UK Arts Administration Group to Launch Kickstarter to Support Community Art Initiative

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 11:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) — A group of University of Kentucky arts administration students has taken a course project from the classroom to the community, launching an effort to bring art to Lexingtonians who need it the most. The group will begin seeking community support this weekend as they launch their own Kickstarter campaign June 1.


Art in Unlikely Places was founded by 17 students in an arts administration spring 2014 class under the guidance of UK Arts Administration Director of Undergraduate Studies Mark Rabideau. What began as a class project has grown into a fully functioning arts organization. Driven by the belief that creativity is the seed of hope, Art in Unlikely Places connects artists to those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts.


To support the development of the organization, the students were awarded a grant from the Michael Braun Endowment Fund, which awards projects and activities that enrich student knowledge of the arts administration profession and field.


The organization’s first project is Future Doors, launched with the belief that art by definition challenges the mind and emotions and refocuses our perspective of the world.


For the project, local artists were commissioned to create works of art on doors that reflect the mission of eight partner nonprofit organizations. These artworks serve as reminders of hope for the underserved of Lexington. Each door is on display at its respective nonprofit until June 25, at which time they will be auctioned off at the historic Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Proceeds from the auction will go to the artists and nonprofit organizations.


To help further support the Future Doors project and auction, Art in Unlikely Places will launch a Kickstarter campaign beginning June 1. Funding received through the campaign will be used for supporting the efforts of Art in Unlikely Places partner charitable organizations and future cultural and social entrepreneurial projects.


"For me, the real investment through Future Doors is empowering young people to see themselves as change-agents, leveraging their skills, knowledge, experience and passion toward providing hope for those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts," Rabideau said.


The Future Doors participating nonprofits and artists, including current UK students and alumni, are:

For more information about Art in Unlikely Places, visit the organization’s Facebook page,​, or contact Mark Rabideau, at


The Arts Administration Program at UK College of Fine Arts offers one of the most comprehensive curriculums in the country and the first online master's degree in the field at a public university. The program is designed to teach students the concepts, technologies and skills necessary to successfully direct an arts organization in a competitive and changing environment.




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

Lung Cancer Patients May Benefit from Innovative Informatics Project

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 11:15


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2014) -- A multidisciplinary team of doctors, researchers, and informaticists the University of Kentucky is working to improve identification of lung cancer patients who are eligible to participate in clinical trials for novel treatments.


Clinical trials are critical for advancing research into new and better treatments for patients, and the need for improved treatment of lung cancer is dire: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Its burden is especially significant in the Commonwealth, where rates of lung cancer incidence and mortality are the highest in the country. In Appalachian Kentucky, the situation is even worse, with incidence rates nearly twice the national rate.


Despite high rates of lung cancer, less than 1 percent of lung cancer patients enroll in clinical trials. This is partly due to the difficult and tedious business of identifying and recruiting patients who are eligible for trials, a task currently conducted by research staff who manually reviews patient information for a multitude of (often complex) eligibility factors. The process is time consuming and inefficient, with studies showing that manual identification can overlook up to 60 percent of eligible patients. Furthermore, patient eligibility can vary by study and change over time.


And, unfortunately, the severity of the disease also contributes to the exceptionally low rates of lung cancer patient enrollment in clinical trials. Lung cancer is often diagnosed so late that the median survival time is only eight months, leaving little time for patients to explore treatment options or for doctors to identify patients who are eligible for novel therapeutic interventions offered through clinical trials.


The combination of the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky and the urgency of identifying patients who are eligible for clinical trials motivated Dr. Eric Durbin and his team to devise a more efficient method for screening patient eligibility. Durbin, an assistant professor in the division of biomedical informatics at the UK College of Public Health, is the director of the Cancer Research Informatics Shared Resource Facility at the UK Markey Cancer Center and director of cancer informatics at the Kentucky Cancer Registry.


With pilot funding from the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program (KLCRP), Durbin and his team are leveraging the rich and unique electronic data sources managed by the UK Center Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), the UK Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (IPOP), the Markey Cancer Center,  and the Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR), which is housed at UK, to design, develop, pilot, and evaluate an innovative, electronic informatics system to automatically identify patients who are eligible for clinical trials. The outcomes of the automated identification system will then be compared to those of the manual identification methods. If successful, the automated system could dramatically increase the speed, completeness, and efficiency of identifying patients for lung cancer clinical trials.


"The need for improvement was pretty obvious, and my colleagues and I thought it would be an ideal project for KLCRP pilot funding," said Durbin, who is the principal investigator on the project. "We're trying to leverage existing and new electronic data sources to improve the efficiency of the identification and recruitment process."


The pilot project will specifically focus on identification of eligible patients at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Due to its designation as National Cancer Institute, Markey offers unique clinical trials that are only available through NCI centers.


"Clinical trial recruitment is critically important to the Markey Cancer Center if we're going to get lifesaving therapeutics to our patients," said Dr. Susanne Arnold, associate professor in medical oncology and radiation medicine at the Markey Cancer Center and member of the project team. “It’s also how we make progress in cancer treatment.”


It is particularly important to identify and recruit clinical trial participants from the entire pool of eligible patients in order to remove any potential bias from the study results and to ensure that the findings are applicable to the general population. Additionally, under-recruitment in underserved populations, such as Kentucky's Appalachian residents, can be perceived as unequal access to the most cutting-edge treatments and technologies.


"We want to ensure that all patients have the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials," said Durbin.


The two-year project is currently in its seventh month, and the team is in the discovery phase of evaluating the multiple data sources and testing different query methods. In addition to using discrete data elements, such as lab values, the team is utilizing natural language processing methodology to incorporate more conceptual data, such as patient performance status, from the qualitative notes that doctors make in their medical records.


"We are combining discrete data elements with natural language processing approaches to extract complete information," said Durbin. "This is a very important area of informatics."


The objectives of the project align perfectly with the mission of the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program, who funded the project and whose mission is to reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky.  


"A critical component to reducing this burden is clinical research," said Dr. Nathan Vanderford, assistant director for research at the Markey Cancer Center and the center's liaison to the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program.


"The potential to greatly improve enrollment in studies will ultimately translate into improved lung cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment in the future."


Vanderford recognizes the distinctive capacity of Durbin's team to capitalize on the robust data, expertise, and technology available at UK. In addition to the wealth of electronic health data at UK, the Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) is housed at the university by legislative mandate.  The KCR operates a population-based electronic pathology reporting system that captures 90 percent of all histologically confirmed cancer cases in Kentucky within days of diagnosis.


"We are very uniquely situated in terms of the data sources and technology we have at UK. And this team is uniquely skilled to do this project. They have a significant number of years of experience and are very familiar with all the data sources. We're very cutting edge in being able to apply all these different data sources to achieve our objective in a much better way," he said.


While the pilot project focuses specifically on lung cancer patients at Markey Cancer Center, the automated identification system could be easily applied to a broad range of cancers and other disease conditions in the future.


"What's really exciting about Dr. Durbin's study is that it has the potential to greatly improve clinical research not only in lung cancer but in other cancers and disease conditions as well," said Vanderford.



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


Book on Violence Against Women Examines Legislative Reforms and True Stories Behind Them

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2014) — For more than a century, Kentucky women have fought for the right to vote, to own property, to earn and control their wages, and to be safe at home and in the workplace. Tragically, many of them have been silenced by abuse and violence.


In "Violence Against Women in Kentucky: A History of U.S. and State Legislative Reform," Carol E. Jordan, executive director of University of Kentucky's Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women, gives Kentucky women — specifically victims of rape, domestic violence and stalking — a voice. Their stories punctuate her account of the struggles of advocates and legislators to bring legal protections to these Kentuckians. Written for those engaged in the anti-rape and domestic violence movements, legislators and policy makers, criminal justice and health care professionals, and anyone interested in the fight for women’s rights, "Violence Against Women in Kentucky" documents the legislative reform made, but also outlines the work yet to be done.


For local audiences wanting to hear more about the book, Jordan will be the featured guest on WUKY's "Curtains @ 8" beginning 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, on 91.3 FM.


In the book published by University Press of Kentucky, Jordan sets the stage with the suffrage and temperance movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From the passage of the 23rd amendment in 1920 granting women the vote, it was more than 40 years before a second women's reform movement began with a focus on economic justice and other freedoms. It was from that second wave of reform that the nation’s attention was first riveted on rape and domestic violence.


Jordan provides a decade-by-decade account, examining more than 100 bills covering rape, domestic violence and stalking that were passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. She begins with the creation of the Kentucky Commission on Women in 1970, passage of the rape shield law, marital rape, domestic violence reforms, and the state’s first anti-stalking legislation; and goes to recent legislation, including the 2010 passage of Amanda’s Law, which expanded the use of GPS tracking devices to protect victims of domestic violence. She also places Kentucky in a broader context by examining violence against women-related reform efforts across the nation.


More than just an explanation of legislation, however, "Violence Against Women in Kentucky" gives voice to Kentucky women and their advocates. Jordan recounts the story of Myrtle Whitaker, who was shot and paralyzed by her husband, who then killed their two sons before turning the gun on himself. She also tells the stories of advocates like Louisville lawyer Bonnie Brown, who was key to the passage of laws recognizing marital rape in Kentucky. At the heart of the book are elected officials like State Senators Georgia Davis Powers and Marshall Long; State Representatives Gerta Bendland Joni Jenkins; and many more, who championed reform, sometimes in the face of formidable opposition.


"Violence Against Women in Kentucky," however, is not merely a descriptive account of progress; it also serves as a guide for advocates throughout the nation. Policy makers in other states can learn from Kentucky’s successes and failures, and Jordan outlines specific legislative strategies that can be used. In addition, she notes work yet to be done, including an amendment of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Act to extend protective orders to cover dating couples. With an understanding of where we have been and where we need to go, victims of rape, domestic violence and stalking will hopefully have an even stronger voice in the future.


Carol E. Jordan is the executive director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women at UK College of Arts and Sciences and holds appointments in the departments of psychology and psychiatry. She is co-author of "Intimate Partner Violence: A Clinical Training Guide for Mental Health Professionals" and "Women and Victimization: Contributing Factors, Interventions, and Implications." She has also published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles on violence against women, heavily focused on civil and criminal justice reforms.


UK’s Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) works to shape the creation, implementation and evaluation of public policy to improve the lives of women harmed by violence and abuse. It is based in the UK College of Arts and Sciences and is affiliated with the Department of Psychology and the Department of Political Science. In addition to its policy work, the OPSVAW provides student support through the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, the Mary Byron Graduate Fellowship, and other assistantships.


"Violence Against Women in Kentucky" is a Thomas D. Clark Medallion winner. The medallion is presented by the Thomas D. Clark Foundation, which was established in 1994 in honor of Thomas Clark, Kentucky’s historian laureate and founder of the University Press of Kentucky. Since 2012, the foundation has chosen one book that highlights Kentucky history and culture to be honored with a Clark Medallion. Previous medallion recipients are "Kentucky Government, Politics and Public Policy" and "The Hills Remember: The Complete Short Stories of James Still."


The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing an association that now includes all state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.   



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

UK Connections Motivate Dr. and Dr. Dawson to Care for Kentuckians

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:36


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. (May 29, 2014) — There are many families across campus, around the state and throughout the world that share deep University of Kentucky connections. 


Point of Care Ultrasound Director and Assistant Emergency Medicine Program Director Dr. Matthew Dawson and his wife Dr. Kristin Dawson, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow, are no exception.   The couple met at the William T. Young Library and married while attending the UK College of Medicine.  


But their connections run deeper still.  Watch the “Big Blue Family” video above to discover how their ties to UK were strengthened when their infant daughter Avery battled a sudden illness at Kentucky Children's Hospital and why they both have renewed motivation to serve their fellow Kentuckians. 


This video feature is part of a special new series produced by UKNow focusing on families who help make up the University of Kentucky community.   There are many couples, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters who serve at UK in various fields.   The idea is to show how UK is part of so many families’ lives and how so many families are focused on helping the university succeed each and everyday. 


Since the "Big Blue Family" series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If you know of a family who you think should be featured, please email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!


VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones, 859-257-1754, ext. 257, OR Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,



UK Faculty Chosen to Present at SEC Symposium

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2014) -- University of Kentucky faculty members Lisa Cassis, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and interim UK vice president for research, and Alison Gustafson, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, are among the chosen participants for the the 2014 SEC Symposium in Atlanta, Sept. 21-23.  All 14 member universities of the Southeastern Conference will be represented by faculty and administrators at the symposium entitled Prevention of Obesity: Overcoming a 21st Century Public Health Challenge.


Obesity prevention and treatment are popular topics among media, lawmakers, health care professionals and others. And, while the subjects have gained attention during the past decade, the U.S. has not seen a significant reduction in population-level obesity rates over the same 10-year span. As a result, researchers at the SEC Symposium hope to identify ways to markedly reduce America’s obese and overweight populations, through prevention.


This year’s topics range from genetics, to technology and media, to environmental influences. The symposium is divided into eight sessions of formal presentations and includes informal breakout sessions intended to foster interaction and discussion among participants.


In addition to university presenters, there will also be two keynote speakers. Sunday, Sept. 21, Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association, will open the event. A second keynote address by Dr. Michael Lauer, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will be held Monday, Sept. 22.


Established by SEC presidents and chancellors, the annual SEC Symposium is led by an SEC university and focuses on an issue of global interest. It also showcases the academic excellence and underscores the educational and economic contributions of the SEC’s members to the vitality of the Southeast region, nation and world.


The SEC Symposium is an academic conference-type event that also includes the SEC Presidents, Chancellors and Provosts Reception, poster exhibitions, and SEC University Showcase. To learn more about the 2014 SEC Symposium, go to SEC Symposium.


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

Seasoned by Fire: UK Fire Cats Wrap Up Their First Wildfire Season

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 23:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2014) — On any given weekend, when smoke curled over the mountains, the University of Kentucky Fire Cats could get the call. That call to fight some of the state’s wildfires during the recent spring fire hazard season came pretty regularly this year. The Fire Cats’ inaugural fire season turned out to be a bad one.


Over the past 14 years, Kentucky has averaged about 1,500 fires and almost 56,000 acres burned each year. The state has two fire hazard seasons — spring and fall. This year’s spring fire hazard season alone, which ran from Feb. 15 through April 30, saw 1,171 fires burn 35,613 acres. There were plenty of opportunities for the young firefighters to learn the ropes.


Andrew Nielsen, one of the three Fire Cats squad leaders, came into the new program with more experience than most. For the past six years, he has battled blazes in Oregon, where the Kentucky native lived for awhile. But for many of the Cats, this season was their first. Trained by the U.S. Forest Service and employed by the Kentucky Division of Forestry, the students are receiving “a brilliant opportunity,” according to UK Department of Forestry Chair Terrell “Red” Baker.


“Not only do they get in a few extra hours and earn some money, but they get excellent hands-on training that enables them to find jobs in the summer that could ultimately lead to career opportunities,” Baker said.


Chris Osborne, manager of UK’s Robinson Forest in the southeastern part of the state, is the Fire Cats’ crew leader and the unofficial liaison between the group, the Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Daniel Boone National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. He explained that wildland fires in this part of the country are different than western fires, which often spread rapidly through the canopy, fueled by evergreens. In hardwood-dominated Eastern Kentucky, fires usually run across the ground’s surface, fueled by leaf litter or logging slash.


“That being said, there are conditions and times that fire activity in Eastern Kentucky can be extreme. There are fires where you’ll have one- to two-foot flame heights, but we do have some grass fires and other fuel types that can create some extreme fire activity with much higher flame fronts,” Osborne said.


One of the fires Nielsen and his squad helped extinguish was a slow 15-acre fire burning in mixed hardwood and leaf litter in Lee County.


“It had been skulking around on the ground for a day or so,” Nielsen said. “Out west that fire would have taken at least a day to get control of, where here, you get two people on a blower blowing all the leaves away and people burning behind it, and you’re pretty much around it…. It took maybe an hour and a half. It was that quick, which is amazing to me.”


MacKenzie Schaeffer, another squad leader, has been interested in fighting wildfires for a long time.


“I always thought it would be really cool to go out west and fight the big wildfires, but that’s a big step to take,” she said. “When they started offering this program, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to find out if it’s something I really like or want to do when I graduate and make a career out of it. It’s been an awesome opportunity, and I’ve loved it.


Schaeffer recalled her first fire.


“We did a mop-up, which is where you walk back through and check the line to make sure nothing’s blown into it or across it to start a fire,” she said. “When you go through the training, there’s no actual fire, so we got to see things in action.”


To prevent a trailer backed up to grass from catching fire, Schaeffer’s squad got to dig the line and then set a backfire to run the flames away from the trailer and towards what had already burned.


“I like using the drip torch,” Schaeffer said and laughed.


The idea for the Fire Cats grew out of the Department of Forestry’s long relationship with the Daniel Boone National Forest, said E.J. Bunzendahl, forest assistant fire manager officer for the Daniel Boone. Since 2011, UK forestry students have had to take fire training as a mandatory course for their degree. The U.S. Forest Service, through Bunzendahl and her staff, facilitate the online version of the wildland firefighter training. Students spend between 40 and 60 hours completing the online portion of the class, which culminates in an eight-hour required field day that the Daniel Boone National Forest hosts.


“We have a participating agreement signed between the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and the Daniel Boone National Forest that says we’ll help each other; we’ll provide the class and they offer consultation assistance to us,” Bunzendahl said.


Alabama A&M University and Virginia Tech both field teams of student firefighters, so when Baker saw how interested his students were in taking the mandatory course, he considered fielding a team. He spoke with Dan Olsen, who at the time was director of fire and aviation management for the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service. Olsen brought Bunzendahl on board, who called the Kentucky Division of Forestry.


“On the Daniel Boone, we average less than 100 fires a year, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry averages about 1,500 or 1,600 fires a year,” Bunzendahl said. “If you want to get some experience, you’ll have a little more opportunity working for them than you will right here on the Boone. KDF was instrumental in getting this program off the ground.”


Leah MacSwords, state forester and director of KDF, gave the idea her approval and Mike Harp, assistant fire chief with the division, started making the arrangements to work with the UK students. KDF employs the students and has provided all their equipment. Both Harp and his supervisor, Luke Saunier, are graduates of the UK Department of Forestry, and they immediately saw the benefit to the students.


“When we both came into the Kentucky Division of Forestry, we were not prepared for the firefighting aspect,” said Harp, who graduated in 1996. “If I would have had this back in school, it could have really helped me understand things a bit better. I would have been ahead of the curve.”


The Fire Cats have helped KDF, too. Harp accompanied one of the squads on what he called a “somewhat complicated small 10-acre fire.”


“When I say complicated, it was because of the terrain,” he explained. “If I would have let the crews they had on-site at the time fight that fire, it probably would have taken two or two and a half hours to put it out. But with the UK Fire Cats there, with that added personnel, we knocked it out in probably half the time. They really made a difference up there.”


In Osborne’s eyes, it’s a win-win situation.


“So far, there’s been really positive interaction with these kids. They’ve asked really good questions, and they’re engaged, and they’ve been hardworking,” he said. “So far it’s been a great success.”


The 2014 UK Fire Cats include James Baunach, Andrew Hagerty and Andrew Nielsen, all from Louisville; Christopher Bullock from Winchester; Lexingtonians Austin Combs, William Ellis, Kristian Elswick and Taylor York; David Corr from Fort Thomas; Sam Cox from Riverside, Illinois; Tyler Frame, from Maysville; William McCormick from Inez; Cody Pyles from Monticello; Josh Robinson from Elizabethtown; MacKenzie Schaeffer, Derwood, Maryland; and Richard Tamer from Shelbyville, who was the third squad leader.

Walker's Talents Range From Writing to Dancing

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 17:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2014) — Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker was recently honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) as the recipient of the 2014 Honor Book for Poetry for his “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers: Poems.” The 2014 BCALA Literary Awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African-American authors published in 2013.


“This honor is extra special to me because of the reverence I have for libraries and librarians,” Walker said. “When I was a kid I wanted to grow up and drive the bookmobile. Recently, the Boyle County Public Library made my dream come true. They let me drive their bookmobile to a local school where I read to a classroom of young students.”


Earlier this year, Walker, associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky, was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry for "Turn Me Loose."


“Turn Me Loose” recounts the assassination of 1963 civil rights leader Medgar Evers with haunting poetry, all told through the eyes of those who loved and hated him the most, including Byron De La Beckwith, the white supremacist who murdered Evers. Listen online to Walker reading from his work on a radio program produced by Lexington's NPR affiliate, WUKY 88.1 FM, at


Walker and his wife Taunya Walker recently won the Rotary Club of Lexington’s Dancing with the Lexington Stars. The event will be telecast at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 1, on WTVQ-TV, Lexington.




MEDIA CONTACT:  Gail Hairston,, 859-257-3302

New Security System Helps Fight Crime at UK

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2014)  ̶̶  Installation of the University of Kentucky's new high-tech security system began last summer, and now  ̶ ̶̶  nearly a year later  ̶ ̶  it has become a major crime fighting weapon for UK Police


Part of the new system involves strategically placed cameras throughout UK's campus  ̶  208 exterior cameras now and more expected over time. The cameras are useful for investigation of serious crimes and injury accidents; monitoring special events; monitoring severe weather issues; and observing crowd behavior at events. Already these cameras have proved vital for investigating numerous criminal cases and have been credited with swiftly solving and making arrests in three felony cases.


UK Police Chief Joe Monroe says the felony cases involved outdoor chairs stolen from the Main Building Plaza; an armed robbery that occurred on South Limestone; and most recently, arson of a car in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot.


In the case of the arson, cameras clearly caught the crime on video, which immediately identified the vehicle in which the suspects were riding.  Other cameras were able to capture video of the car at different points on campus after it left the scene. UK Police released a video screen-shot photo of the car in question to the public, and within hours two subjects turned themselves in, Monroe said. Interrogation of those suspects led to a third suspect, and all were arrested within 25 hours of the incident.


Four main components are integrated into the computerized security system:

·         Video monitoring system that required installation of the cameras on campus;

·         Access control system into buildings;

·         Consolidation of ID badge operations for student and employee access to buildings; 

·         Implementation of an early warning notification system


In the case of the armed robbery, Monroe said a number of these components came into play.


"When the crime was reported, emergency notifications were delivered over loudspeakers and to all voice-over IP phones to notify the campus community of the immediate threat," Monroe said. "The remote emergency lockdown of nearby buildings functioned properly, and the cameras captured valuable evidence that led to the quick apprehension of the suspects.


"This sophisticated security system has become a major tool for our criminal response and investigative purposes. It has allowed us to respond to crimes quicker and increased our evidence capability, resulting in the rapid apprehension of criminals. Overall, this system is helping decrease crime on campus."


The exterior notification loudspeakers are part of the towers where the exterior cameras are mounted. The loudspeakers and voice-over Internet protocol (IP) phone notification are in addition to the UK Alert system that already warns the campus community via email, text and phone in the event of severe weather or a criminal act that threatens the campus and requires immediate action.


Also, several buildings now have automatic locks that allow UK Police to lock the buildings remotely.  Among those are the residence halls built since 2005, the Main Building, Patterson Office Tower, Student Center, W.T. Young Library, White Hall Classroom Building, Funkhouser building, Chemistry-Physics building, Thomas Hunt Morgan Biological Sciences building and the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. 


The UK community can expect more facets of the security system in the future.  More buildings will be fitted for remote access; more outdoor and indoor video cameras will be installed; software will be implemented to provide emergency notification to all desktop computers on campus; and UK Police will be able to provide virtual patrol of campus to enhance its current patrol via police car and bicycle.


"Have no doubt that safety is a priority at the University of Kentucky," Monroe said. "We have a highly trained, certified police force working with a state-of-the-art electronic security system to provide the safest environment possible for our students, employees, alumni and visitors."




MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson,, 859-257-3155

Mock Recognized for Support of Equal Opportunity

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 13:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2014) — Robert Mock Jr., University of Kentucky vice president for student affairs, recently received the Wendell Thomas Award from the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education (KABHE).


The 15th recipient of this annual award, Mock was recognized for his endeavors to promote the cause of African Americans in higher education and for his commitment to promoting equal opportunity. The award recipient was selected by the KABHE executive board and presented at the organization’s annual conference.

UPK Shares Story of the Man Behind the Cake Mix

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 10:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 28, 2014) — Mention the name “Duncan Hines” to most Americans today and they will undoubtedly conjure the image of a cake mix package. With fictitious advertising characters like Betty Crocker and Otis Spunkmeyer, no one can blame them if they fail to recognize the significance of the man for whom the cake mix is named. In "Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the Most Trusted Name in Food," University Press of Kentucky author Louis Hatchett, delves into the life of the food pioneer, from his upbringing in Bowling Green, Ky., where his Grandma Duncan taught him to appreciate the art of good cooking, to his lucrative licensing deal with Proctor & Gamble.


The forerunner of American restaurant critics, Hines realized his passion while working as a traveling salesman in the 1920s and 1930s. There were no chain restaurants and finding a quality place to eat on the road was often difficult and posed serious hazards that we rarely concern ourselves with today. Hatchett follows Hines’ culinary road trips across 20th-century America as he discovered restaurants, sampling everything from fine wine in the St. Regis Hotel in New York to tamale pie at the Melody Lane restaurant in Los Angeles. Hines offered his recommendations to readers in the best-selling "Adventures in Good Eating" (1935).


He went on to compile classic cookbooks, including "Adventures in Good Cooking" and "The Dessert Book," both of which have been rereleased to coincide with the biography. He included recipes from some of his favorite restaurants, dishes collected from his family, and his own creations which often used innovative ingredients he encountered in his journeys. Several even served as the basis for many of the mixes that later bore his name on grocery store shelves across the country.

Not only did Hines write about where and what to eat, he wrote about how to eat as well. He transformed the act of eating into an art form, asking people to taste their food instead of gulping it down “like an old hound dog in Kentucky.” Hatchett also chronicles Hines’ crusade to keep Americans who enjoyed the adventure of eating at restaurants safe and healthy. Hines lobbied for better-educated restaurant employees, and in 1943, the Duncan Hines Foundation was founded. It offered scholarships to students in hotel and restaurant management programs and was one of numerous projects he developed to promote restaurant sanitation across the country.


Duncan Hines is more than just a brand name — he was a fiercely independent businessman who could not be bought at any price. Hines was determined at all costs to protect the integrity of his reputation because he recognized its value and what it meant to the millions who placed their faith in him. Hatchett tells the story of an average man who came to America’s attention, gained their trust, and because of it, became an American icon. Hines paved the way for today’s celebrity foodies such as Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain and inspired Americans to fall in love with food from across the nation and recreate it in their own kitchens at home.

The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing an association that now includes all state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.  


Recipes from Duncan Hines’ two cookbooks include:

Chicken with Rice (Serves 4 to 6)
4 lb. chicken
1 onion—minced
1 tablespoon parsley
2 whole cloves
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups soup stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut chicken into pieces. Braise onion, parsley, cloves, and butter with chicken for a few minutes. Add tomato sauce and soup stock to mixture and let simmer until done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked rice.
Pilot Butte Inn, Bend, Oregon

Pennsylvania Dutch Cheese Pie
4 eggs
½ lb. cottage cheese
½ lb. sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Pinch of salt
A little lemon and vanilla flavoring
1 10-inch unbaked pie shell
Separate egg yolks and whites. Press the cottage cheese through a sieve. Cream together the cottage cheese, sugar, egg yolks, flour, salt and flavoring. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture. Bake in unbaked pie shell in 400° oven for 25-30 minutes.
Hotel Brunswick, Lancaster, Pennsylvania




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