Campus News

10th Anniversary Celebration Held for Eastern Kentucky Dental Outreach Program

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 18:51


HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015)  ̶  University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center celebrated the 10th anniversary and the success story of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Eastern Kentucky at a special ceremony on Sept. 9.


UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, Dr. Nikki Stone, director of the Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, John Sampson, UK HealthCare associate ambulatory director for clinical operations, Fran Feltner, director of the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Dr. Joe Kingery, CEO/medical director of the UK North Fork Valley Clinic, Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides, dean of the UK College of Dentistry, and Dr. Raynor Mullins, professor emeritus and retired chief of the Division of Dental Public Health at the UK College of Dentistry, gave remarks at the event held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard.


As part of the day’s events, was the recognition of the accomplishments achieved in the first 10 years of the program, including a decrease in tooth decay rates of nearly 20 percent, cutting in half the urgent dental needs of children and improving treatment completion rates through local partnerships. When the program began, children in Eastern Kentucky had the worst oral health in the state and the second highest tooth decay rates in the nation.


In 2005, UK’s North Fork Valley Community Health Center received the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a dental office on wheels – one of only 40 in the world. A year later, the clinic applied for distinction as a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and was awarded their first HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) grant in 2006, funding that would be used to offer a sliding fee scale to uninsured and underinsured residents of Perry and surrounding counties.


Mobile dental services soon began in Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, serving elementary school and Head Start children.  Nearly 5,000 children were seen that first school year. 


“The baseline data was disturbing, especially when compared to national data and the HealthyPeople 2010 goals.  A staggering 6 out of every 10 Head Start children and 7 out of every 10 of elementary school children had untreated tooth decay, and nearly 20 percent had urgent dental needs,” said Stone. “At nearly every Head Start center visited over the four-county area, at least one child in each center had all 20 baby teeth grossly decayed with multiple abscessed teeth. Compared to national data, the children in this service turned out to have the second highest untreated tooth decay rates in the nation, second only to the isolated Alaskan Native/Native American populations.”


Slowly but surely, each school year, the tooth decay rates kept decreasing a few percentage points at a time, with an overall drop of nearly 20 percentage points to date, and the urgent dental needs have been cut in half, Stone said. 


“We have noticed this new generation is growing up with little to no dental anxiety,” Stone said. “They enjoy their dental visits on the mobile at their schools, and often ask if they can have another turn.”


Through one-on-one as well as classroom-based oral health education, young patients better understand the importance of their baby teeth and they are teaching their own families about the importance of dental care. Additionally, school officials have seen that the children are able to concentrate and learn better in school and miss less school for dental visits and dental pain. Finally, children with healthy smiles are showing more self-confidence and self-esteem, which might possibly be the biggest obstacle children in poverty struggle to overcome.


“As president of UK, but also as a dentist with a public health background, I am especially happy to know we are reaching out to children in the schools and daycares and providing them the preventive dental care they need to get a good head start on life,” said Capilouto. “Prevention is always the key to improving both oral and general health for all Kentuckians and to the many people here who have been instrumental in this program, I offer my appreciation and admiration for the great work that has been achieved.


“The University is pleased to be part of this dental outreach program that offers children an opportunity for improved health, improved learning, ad improved lives as future citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

American Heart Association Council Honors UK Cardiovascular Researcher

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 17:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) — The American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) will award Nancy Webb, a professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences at the University of Kentucky, with its 2015 AHA Special Recognition Award in Arteriosclerosis. 


The ATVB council supports basic, translational and clinical research concerned with diseases of the blood vessels. The council annually bestows the Special Recognition Award to a member who has contributed significantly to the scientific council over time and enhanced this field of the profession. Arteriosclerosis, the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, occurs when plaque gradually accumulates in the arteries.


Webb, a member of the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center and the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, investigates high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or the “good” cholesterol. Whereas low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the “bad” cholesterol) accumulate in the blood vessels to form plaques and cause cardiovascular disease, HDL protects against cardiovascular disease by removing cholesterol from blood vessels. Webb and her research team study the mechanisms that regulate HDL levels in the blood, and how inflammation impacts the metabolism and function of HDL.   


In addition to her research contributions, Webb has actively promoted women’s participation in the field of arteriosclerosis research and mentored early career scientists in the ATVB council. She has chaired the research committee for the AHA Great Rivers Affiliate and served on the GRA Executive Board from 2012-2014. She was recently appointed to the National AHA Peer Review Steering Committee. She became a member of the AHA scientific council in 1999.


Nationally, the AHA funds more cardiovascular research than any other organization besides the National Institutes of Health. Webb will receive her award during the AHA Scientific Sessions Annual Conference, Nov. 7-11, in Orlando, Fla.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Next Two 'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Concerts to Feature Tall Dark and Handsome, Rayna Gellert and The Brothers K

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 16:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) — The "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series will take a jazzy turn before returning with some old time music faves these next two weeks. On Friday, Sept. 11, acoustic jazz-grass quartet Tall Dark and Handsome will perform. The following Friday, Sept. 18, Rayna Gellert and The Brothers K will perform. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center


Tall Dark and Handsome perform "Maybe." 


A Jazzy Good Time

Tall Dark and Handsome, also known as TDH4, is an acoustic jazz-grass quartet based in Lexington. Its members include Karen Jones, on fiddle and guitar; Bev Futrell, on guitar and harmonica; George Neel, on mandolin; and Rick Baldwin, on bass. Jones and Futrell, also members of the Reel World String Band, teamed up with longtime friend Neel, an accomplished jazz musician, some 15 years ago. The songwriting and country-inspired singing of Futrell gives this ensemble its grounding and its expression of place, while the musical prowess of Jones and Neel connects audiences to the rich repertoire of hot fiddle/mandolin traditional tunes and jazz standards. Recently, the well-known bass player, Rick Baldwin (of Metropolitan Blues All Stars) joined the group.


In 2013, the band released a new CD, "Dust Devils on Our Heels."



A snippet of Rayna Gellert and The Brothers K performing with flatfoot dancer Parker Johnson. 


Traditional Musician Joins Brothers in Sound 

Rayna Gellert grew up in a musical family, and has spent most of her life immersed in the sounds of rural string band music, heartfelt gospel songs and old ballads. After honing her fiddle skills playing at jam sessions and square dances, Gellert fell into a life of traveling and performing. Her fiddle albums are widely celebrated in the old time music community, and she has recorded with a host of musicians in a variety of styles — including Robyn Hitchcock, Tyler Ramsey, Sara Watkins, Loudon Wainwright III, John Paul Jones and Abigail Washburn.


From 2003 through 2008, Gellert was a member of the acclaimed string band Uncle Earl, with whom she released two albums on Rounder Records and toured extensively. In 2010, she met songwriter Scott Miller, and they began performing and recording together. In 2012, Gellert released her first vocal album, "Old Light: Songs from my Childhood and Other Gone Worlds," on StorySound Records. Gellert lives in Swannanoa, North Carolina.


Lending a brotherly hand to her sound is UK alumnus Kevin Kehrberg and Jeff Keith, the Brothers K. Kehrberg, who plays bass and guitar, teaches courses and ensembles in American music and world music. He is the director of the Warren Wilson College Gamelan as well as the College Chorale, and he also teaches private lessons in double bass, electric bass and guitar.


Kehrberg received his doctoral degree in musicology from UK with a dissertation on Albert E. Brumley, the most influential American gospel song composer of the 20th century. His research interests include American vernacular sacred music, bluegrass and old time music, jazz, and music traditions of East and Southeast Asia. As a professional bassist in both jazz and traditional music, Kehrberg has toured the United States, Canada and Japan, and performed with Jean Ritchie, Curly Seckler, Lee Sexton, Art Stamper, Slide Hampton, Roger Humphries, Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra, David Long, Rayna Gellert, the Red State Ramblers, Chris Sharp and the Wildwood Valley Boys. He also studies and performs music from other cultures, particularly those of Indonesia, China and Thailand.


Keith, who plays mandolin and guitar, was born in Western Kentucky, the cultural crossroads of blues and country music that gave rise to bluegrass. He picked up a guitar at the age of 13, but he now plays a variety of instruments, including the mandolin and banjo. In 2001, he began performing with Kentucky Wild Horse, a multi-generational band that featured musicians from across the state and embraced a variety of rural musical styles. Their work culminated in the 2007 release of "Spirit of the Lonesome Hills," an album that featured bluegrass, swing and old time music from across the Bluegrass State.


In 2004, Keith became a founding member of the Red State Ramblers, a collection of young musicians dedicated to performing traditional fiddle tunes in a style reminiscent of their heyday during the early 20th century. Their albums, "The Red State Ramblers" (2006) and "Commonwealth" (2009), received wide praise for rendering traditional material with a vibrancy that made the music relevant to modern audiences. More recently, the group has toured internationally, sharing American music with audiences in central Asia and South America. In addition to these projects, Keith has appeared on recordings by musicians and groups as varied as Rayna Gellert, Goldenrod, Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore.


The trio have a self-titled EP available now. 


The "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series celebrates the old time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 12 different artists, duos and groups from Southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim.


The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, host of the concert series, is a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine ArtsUK School of Music and UK Libraries.


For more information on the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series or the concerts featuring Tall Dark and Handsome or Rayna Gellert and The Brothers K, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website



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

Heifer Development Project Atop Reclaimed Strip Mine Makes Economic Impact in Eastern Kentucky

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 16:24




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) — Perry County, Kentucky is mostly mountainous, but if you drive far enough up a particular road, there's a place that looks like Texas:  the sky suddenly opens, the land is flat and treeless, and cattle are grazing. There's even a cowboy, who really is from Texas and runs the cattle horseback, hat and all.


This place is D & D Ranch. It consists of 1,000 acres atop a reclaimed strip mine, and it's the home of the East Kentucky Heifer Development Project, which has helped local farmers improve their cattle herds for the last 17 years.


"It's just a farm on a strip mine. I guess it's kinda unique if you've never seen that," Charles May, the Perry County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, said.


May was raised on a beef farm and has served as a University of Kentucky extension agent for three decades. He worked with Les Anderson, professor of extension in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, to start the heifer development project in 1997 in collaboration with D & D Ranch. Anderson, an expert in beef cattle and reproductive physiology, recognized that improving the quality of cattle stock could significantly help the farmers and beef market in the region. At the same time, researchers could examine the needs and output of grazing cattle on reclaimed strip mines.


"East Kentucky always had a stigma that their cattle is bad and they got discounted when they went to sale barns," May said. "That's really the goal of the this — to get good genetics on the farm."


According to May, many of the small farms in the area don't have the resources — in terms of land, time, or expertise — to properly develop their herds, especially with consideration to genetics. The project at D & D Ranch, however, can do it for them. Every October, around 300 heifers are brought to the farm from 80 to 100 individual producers. Each heifer is checked, wormed, vaccinated, artificially inseminated, and receives expert and dedicated care until it and its calf are sold or returned to their home farm the following September.


The project has helped to improve the quality and price of local beef cattle at a time when prices in the industry are up across the board. To date, more than 6,100 heifers from more than 200 farms in 18 Kentucky counties and five neighboring states have come through the program, with an estimated return of more than $1 million in sales going back to the farmers. In 2014, Eastern Kentucky Bred Heifer Sale had a sale average of $2,553, surpassing the previous year's sale average by more than $1,000 per head, and the top-selling heifer brought in $3,100. Surveys of farmers indicate that their weaning weights have increased by 150 pounds as a result of the program and, according to May, local livestock auction facilities credit the project as a major contributor to the improved quality of cattle they sell.


In addition to its unusual location, the project is also distinctive in its model and standards. Individual beef producers consign their cattle to the ranch (but retain ownership) for the entire season, instead of keeping them on their own farms, as in most other heifer development projects.  This means that May and Larry Clay, the cowboy from Texas who serves as manager of D & D Ranch, personally take care of each animal from the time it enters the ranch until it leaves. Thanks to such expert and dedicated care, the project has the highest standards of any heifer development program in the state. All animals have to be farm-raised, for example, and the required pelvic measurement is 10 centimeters larger than industry standard in order to reduce calving problems.


May explains that their small, hands-on model has helped improve not only the genetic quality and prices of the cattle over time, but also protects the health of individual animals each year.


"The animals are comingled together from an early age, so illness is reduced. We have very low death rate. The most we've lost is three to four out of several hundred, well below the 2-3 percent average. And then at sales they're also safer because they've been comingled," he said.


Clay helped design and build the ranch from scratch. There was nothing — not even a fence— when he first arrived from Texas. At first he wasn't sure how the ground would support a farming operation, but he's still pleasantly surprised all these years later. 


"I think about it sometimes, about what we do with this ground, what it does, what we're able to produce — the kind of cattle we do raise here. It's still hard for me to believe that it'll grow the kind of grass it does," he said. "It's just like growing grass on a landfill, basically. A lot of rocks. It's just hard to believe. I guess I've been here for so long, I take it for granted. It still amazes me, you know, how productive this stuff is for what it is. Sure does."


He says that working with the University of Kentucky has provided extensive information and resources, as well an opportunity to contribute to a better understanding of cattle production and grazing on reclaimed mining land.


"It was kind of exciting to do something different. There was no data on how productive this stuff was, how many cows you could run per acre or how many acre per cow," Clay said. "They did a pretty extensive study on it — five years and four acres. They did a lot of soil samples and forage samples and spent a lot of time, lot of effort on this thing here. The results were that it's pretty good stuff. For what it is, it supported cattle production really well. We've been involved with UK in some project or another for just about 22 years probably out of the 25 I've been here. It's been a good relationship."


Dean Craft, a cattle farmer from Knott County, has reaped benefits from the relationship, too. He's consigned cattle to the project every year since it started and says that participating in the program is "a no-brainer." 


"It's been very educational and entertaining. I've met a lot of good people over here. They have taught me a lot about cattle. We have a lot of fun over here," he said. "It was something new for our area. It's a unique heifer development program and we're open for ideas, anything to do to improve our herd."


Not only has he seen his sale prices and herd numbers increase, he's felt more pride about the animal he takes to sales.


"We have increased our herd numbers. We've been at the bottom of the heifer sale and we've been at the top as far as price goes. So we improved overall quality of our heifers, yes, and just seeing the difference in the prices our cattle bring at the market and saying 'That is my heifer' instead of sort of backing over in the corner and saying 'I hope she brings something today,'" he said.


The program extends its economic impact by helping to train local veterinarians, veterinary technology students, and agriculture organizations, including the State Young Farmer Program. 


May knows the impact of the program exceeds price points, pride and education.


"It's hard to put a monetary figure on what you've done. You can say how much these bring in over regular market, but that doesn’t count what the heifers have done for the farmers. It's put a lot of money back in the pockets of the consigners. I think it's probably helped keep some people on the family farm," he said. "To know that you're helping people is rewarding. Probably the most rewarding thing I've heard is from several of these consigners, who've got cattle in this now, that everything they own came through this program."


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

Eighteen Faculty Members Make up UK Chairs’ Academy Fall Cohort

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 15:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) — The Office for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Effectiveness announced the acceptance of 18 University of Kentucky faculty members to the Chairs’ Academy.


The Chairs’ Academy encourages faculty to consider leadership career paths and develop the skills necessary for effective institutional leadership.  The academy aspires to create a cohort of quality leaders who have strategic understanding and insight to lead the 102 academic units (departments and schools) at UK.


“After 30.5 years on the College of Engineering faculty and working toward the enhancement of professional opportunities of our faculty through workshops, conferences, and other development programs, my commitment has been to develop and strengthen partnerships with other campus entities,” Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Effectiveness G.T. Lineberry said. “This includes the initiation of the Chairs' Academy and strengthening other leadership development programs to better prepare unit administration capabilities among our faculty.”


The 18 faculty members selected represent 11 colleges at UK. The participants include:

  • Kristen Ashford, College of Nursing
  • Scott Bauries, College of Law
  • Margaret Bausch, College of Education
  • Kalea Benner, College of Social Work
  • Jeff Bieber, College of Education
  • Susan Cantrell, College of Education
  • Larry Cunningham, College of Dentistry
  • Susan Frazier, College of Nursing
  • David Hardesty, Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Ben Johnson, College of Education
  • Kenneth Jones, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Sheila Melander, College of Nursing
  • Michael Renfro, College of Engineering
  • Melody Ryan, College of Pharmacy
  • David Sogin, College of Fine Arts
  • Mark Swanson, College of Public Health
  • Quentin Tyler, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Darlene Welsh, College of Nursing


The Chair’s Academy was piloted in the spring and fall semesters of 2014, and had its first successful cohort in spring 2015.


“The Office for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Effectiveness looks forward to the fall 2015 cohort, and to developing the future leaders of UK’s departments and colleges over their next 150 years of service to the Commonwealth and the nation,” Lineberry said.




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365;


UK HealthCare Pharmacy Tech Chosen as Finalist for National Award

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 15:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) – UK HealthCare's Ashley Ackerman is one of eight finalists for the Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year award from the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB).


The award focuses on individual work towards innovation and safety in patient care and providing an excellent level of service for patients. Finalists were chosen from peer nominations followed by a detailed rating process. Ackerman was chosen for the top eight out of 585 total nominations for 2015.


At UK HealthCare, Ackerman serves as a senior specialty pharmacy technician for Specialty Pharmacy Services, focusing on patients' access to care and quality management for the group. She recently developed and implemented patient care services for the newly created Specialty Pharmacy areas of rheumatology and multiple sclerosis.


The winner will be chosen by popular vote and will receive a $1,000 honorarium along with travel and accommodations to attend a special evening event on Oct. 27 in Washington D.C. to recognize the CPhT of the Year for leadership, innovation, and excellence in patient safety.


Voting is open to the public and ends on Friday, Sept. 18. To vote for Ackerman, visit the PTCB voting page.


Great Teacher Awards Nominations Being Accepted

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 10:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) — Nominations are now being accepted from University of Kentucky students for the UK Alumni Association 2016 Great Teacher Awards. The deadline to submit nominations is Wednesday, Sept. 30.


Nomination forms can be found at Printed forms can be mailed to:


Sara-Elizabeth Bush

King Alumni House

UK Alumni Association

400 Rose St.

Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0119


Forms can also be faxed to 859-257-3957.


To be eligible for the Great Teacher Awards, candidates must:


  • Hold the rank of full-time lecturer or above and have been a member of the UK faculty for the past three years
  • Have superior knowledge of their subject matter
  • Have original and innovative classroom presentations
  • Demonstrate concern for students, both inside and outside the university setting
  • Not have been a recipient of this award for the past 10 years


The Great Teacher Award, started in 1961, is the longest-running university award recognizing teaching. In order to receive the award, educators must first be nominated by a student. The UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Awards Committee, in cooperation with the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa, then makes the final selections. Recipients receive an engraved plaque and monetary reward.


The UK Alumni Association is a membership supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit or call 1-800-269-2586.




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

CDC Grant Fuels KIPRC's Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 18:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2015) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) at the University of Kentucky $940,000 each year for the next four years to combat the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic in Kentucky. KIPRC is a collaboration of the University of Kentucky and Kentucky Department for Public Health


The Drug Overdose Prevention for Kentucky grant will establish a Drug Overdose Technical Assistance Center, which will provide targeted drug overdose data to local communities and inform drug overdose prevention interventions and policies. The grant will enhance the integration of Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) reports with electronic health records to improve physician workflow. In addition, the program will involve the development of web-based and in-person continuing education training for health care providers, addressing addiction, pain management, best prescribing practices and uses for naloxone. Police officers in local communities will also receive training on the proper use of naloxone. 


"The integrating KASPER with electronic health records, collecting drug overdose data, controlling substance prescription guidelines and knowing the specific substances that contribute to drug overdose deaths will help local communities and the state of Kentucky better target substance abuse treatment, policies and law enforcement," Terry Bunn, director of the KIPRC and principal investigator on the grant, said. 


According to the CDC, opioid pain relievers — also called prescription painkillers — such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone are responsible for three-fourths of all prescription drug overdose deaths and cause more than 16,600 deaths in the United States in 2010. Nationally, deaths involving opioids have more than quadrupled since 1999. Kentucky’s overdose death rate for 2010 (23.6 per 100,000 population) is above the national rate (12.4 per 100,000 population).


The funds will be used to target interventions in counties with some of the highest rates of drug overdoses, including Jefferson, Fayette, Boone, Kenton and Campbell. 


“The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on communities and families throughout the Commonwealth,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, who wrote a letter of support on behalf of KIPRIC, said. “I am pleased to see Dr. Frieden continue to prioritize federal funding opportunities at CDC to help identify and prevent prescription drug abuse and heroin use in Kentucky. I look forward to seeing how this competitive grant enhances the efforts of KIPRC in saving lives.”


“Nearly 150,000 Americans have died from prescription drug overdoses in the past decade, and Kentucky has been hit especially hard,” CDC director Tom Frieden said. “Because we can protect many Americans from becoming addicted to opioids, we must take swift action to help states track prescriptions to improve safer prescribing. Kentucky has taken action and has the leadership and commitment to turn the tide on this epidemic.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adam, 

Improved Bike Routes and Facilities Around Campus

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2015) — The summer months were a time of transformation on campus, and bicycle facilities were no exception. The University’s Bicycle Advisory Committee has helped implement a number of both on-street and off-street bicycle improvements while students were away.


The Arboretum Woods shared use path, which opened in July, provides a safe and efficient route for cyclists to connect to campus from neighborhoods to the south while avoiding Nicholasville Road. An additional component of the project was improving the connection from University Drive to Hiltonia via the Baptist Health campus.


The Alumni Drive corridor reconfiguration included new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including a shared use path on Alumni Drive from Tates Creek Road to University Drive and a 5-foot lane in each direction in the same road segment.


New bike lanes were also added to Hilltop, connecting the Woodland Avenue lanes to the bicycle facilities on University Drive. In the coming weeks, bikes lanes will be added to Woodland Ave between Columbia and Euclid, creating a well-connected network of bicycle facilities on the east side of campus.


New residence halls Woodland Glen III, IV and IV all feature covered bike parking, while Smith, Ingels and Baldwin Halls received bike parking upgrades to a newer style of rack. In the past month, additional bike parking has been added at several other campus locations, including Bowman’s Den, The 90, William T. Young Library and the Gatton College of Business and Economics, and the College of Engineering. All told, this represents more than 900 new or upgraded bicycle parking spaces on campus, more than 200 of which are covered.


As a reminder, bicycles may only be parked at bicycle racks, located at all residence halls, classroom buildings, and throughout campus. If you notice a need for more bike parking in a particular area of campus, submit a request via


View a complete map of campus-area bicycle lanes and facilities (PDF), including rack locations.

UK Sophomore Clark Janell Davis Competes in Miss America

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 12:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2015) — This Sunday, the University of Kentucky community will tune in to see one of its own compete for the title of Miss America. Vocal performance and political science sophomore Clark Janell Davis is currently competing in preliminary competitions for the coveted title in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The pageant finals will air live 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, on ABC.


In addition to watching Davis compete for the crown, Big Blue Nation can vote for Davis to be selected as America's Choice in the pageant. Individuals can vote daily for one contestant to be named America's Choice through Sept. 10 via social media. On Facebook, type both Kentucky and #MissAmericaVote into your Facebook status and publish to your Facebook page. On Twitter, tweet or retweet a post with Kentucky and #MissAmericaVote in the text. 


To be qualified for the Miss America Pageant, Davis, competing as Miss Horse Capital of the World, won the Miss Kentucky Pageant held in July, at the Singletary Center for the Arts. This was the first time Davis ever competed in the state pageant.


The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in scholarship assistance.


A native of Lexington, Davis is the daughter of Ginger and Jonathan Davis. Davis's personal platform issue focuses on raising awareness about dyslexia, a condition she was diagnosed with as a child. For her talent performance, she will sing. In the Miss Kentucky Pageant, she performed the George Gershwin classic "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess."


As Miss Kentucky, Davis received scholarships and use of a new Lexus during her year of service. Also as part of her title, she serves as the spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Kentucky Proud program, which encourages consumers of all ages to purchase products produced in Kentucky. Davis delivers this message to all age groups in schools throughout the Commonwealth.


As a performer, Davis most recently appeared in UK Opera Theatre's production of "It's a Grand Night for Singing!," where she had a solo in the show's performance of music from the musical "Ragtime."




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

Student Leadership Positions Available Through SAB

Mon, 09/07/2015 - 16:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2015) —The Student Activities Board director of concerts, director of market research and director of engaging issues positions are available for application. Director applications can be printed from the website but must be delivered to the SAB office located at 365 Blazer Hall. Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16.


With no prior involvement required, SAB is looking for hard-working and passionate students who want to unite the campus and community by bringing exciting events to campus. Programming directors are responsible for directing a committee to plan, promote, execute and evaluate events. Directorship provides the opportunity to earn internship credit, such as COM 399 and JAT 399.


The Concerts Committee plans both big and small live music shows of all genres of music, such as The Lumineers and Chance the Rapper. The Engaging Issues Committee hosts events that encourage discussion of issues relevant to the campus community, state, nation, and the world, such as the #TrendingTopics series. The director of market research works with programming directors, promotions team, and the executive team to coordinate market research and assessment initiatives, such as the All-Student Survey.


“This opportunity has helped me grow my professional skills through managing a team and communicating with others," said James Collard, director of concerts and former director of engaging issues.


The Student Activities Board provides a place for any student to become involved through a variety of positions. Involvement is an important part of any student’s experience and growth at the University of Kentucky. Directors receive hands-on, real-world experience from the planning to the execution of each event. Through this process, directors have the chance to develop as individuals, professionals and leaders.


"As a director, I am responsible for listening to and learning from students in order to program events that are both relevant to our campus and representative of the views of a diverse range of individuals,” said Collard. “It is incredibly fulfilling to help others feel welcomed on this campus and a part of this community by programming events that are both enriching and entertaining.”


Applicants are highly encouraged to visit the SAB office before the application deadline. If you have any questions, please email Olivia Senter, SAB President, at


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


Connect with SAB at, follow them on Twitter at or like them on Facebook at For more information about SAB and events, email Jazmine Byrd at



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;



UK Police, Fire Marshal Recognize National Campus Safety Awareness Month

Mon, 09/07/2015 - 15:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) ― While campus safety remains the highest priority for University of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD) year-round, September is devoted to National Campus Safety Awareness Month, and with it comes the opportunity to educate students, parents, faculty and staff on overall safety, disaster preparedness, and crime prevention.


In partnership with the UK Fire Marshal’s Office and Campus Fire Safety Month, the University Police Department is emphasizing the following community programs available to make everyone more aware of ways to stay safe while on campus. 


To learn more about some of these programs and others, please visit the corner of Woodland Avenue and Hilltop Avenue, across from The 90, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9.


  • UK Alert is an emergency notification system designed for use only when an incident disrupts normal campus operations or threatens the immediate health and safety of the campus community. All UK students, staff and faculty are registered in UK Alert with their official university email address. Of those registered, nearly 60 percent have provided other contact information such as cell phone numbers to their accounts. UK students, staff and faculty may access their accounts via the myUK portal. Parents, media, visitors, and other interested parties may register for UK Alert on a voluntary self-subscription basis by clicking here.


  • LiveSafe, a mobile-safety technology for the University of Kentucky community, empowers students, faculty and staff to take charge of their own safety and to look out for those around them.  The smartphone app is sponsored by UK Police in partnership with UK Student Government Association.  LiveSafe serves as a complement to other campus safety initiatives.  The app gives users the capability to share and report information; monitor a friend’s location on a real-time map as a “virtual escort” with SafeWalk; summon emergency help; and access emergency information, procedures and resources.  Download the LiveSafe app on your smartphone (Android or iPhone) and select University of Kentucky. As part of Campus Safety Awareness Month, UK Police and UK Student Government are sponsoring the LiveSafe Campus Safety Awareness Month Scavenger Hunt. Contestants must submit tips through the special “Scavenger Hunt” tip type, with photographs of various campus safety features. A grand prize winner will be selected to win a new iPad. More information is available at


  • UKPD’s Citizen Police Academy is a free series of eight weekly classes beginning on Sept. 8 and running through Oct. 20.  Each class will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays in Room 202 of The 90. The program is open to anyone 18 years or older with no prior felony convictions and interested in understanding law enforcement and university policing. For more information, contact Officer Robert Pearl in the Community Affairs Office at or 859-323-7447.


  • UK Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) members will receive hands-on training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety and suppression, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, team organization, disaster psychology and terrorism.  Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, C-CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. UK C-CERT serves to complement the University of Kentucky Police Department’s response to serious events.  Five weeks of training will be held this fall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Oct. 22 through Nov. 19, at The 90 and ends with a mock disaster exercise.  UK faculty and staff members who want to volunteer for C-Cert can register for the training beginning Sept. 14.  Visit for more information.


  • Self Defense Tactics and Risk Reduction (S.T.A.R.R.) is a course designed for women and girls over the age of 13. The program includes discussion on ways to reduce your risk of being targeted and general safety tips and active learning to empower women with the knowledge of how to defend against larger and often stronger attackers. Punching, kicking and ground defense techniques are all taught in a non-threatening atmosphere by instructors who have been trained and certified. The class will be offered five times during the 2015 fall semester in the basement of Blazer Hall and is open to the public. Click here to sign up. If you have any questions about the S.T.A.R.R. program, contact


  • Each day, UK Police Department gathers crime statistics from a variety of law enforcement agencies and campus security authority (CSA) resources.  The statistics are categorized and published onto the University’s Daily Crime Log.  This log contains information on the last 60 days of reports taken and arrests made.  Additionally, crimes occurring on university property that are reported to the Lexington Division of Police are included on the Crime Log once the university is notified.  Crimes must be entered into the Daily Crime Log within two business days after the crime has been reported to police/public safety/security. A printed log containing UKPD activity is maintained by the UKPD Telecommunications Office and is available for viewing at any time.


  • The 2014 Annual Campus Safety and Security Report is available for viewing and/or printing. This report includes the latest statistics from UK for 2014, as well as statistics from 2012 and 2013 concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by UK; and on public property immediately adjacent to campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault and other matters. If you would like a printed version of the report or if you have any questions, please contact the UKPD’s Division of Crisis Management and Preparedness at 859-257-9567 or


  • UKPD offers classes with specialized instructors that prepare students, faculty and staff to have a survival mindset for an active shooter incident. They further train the community on how law enforcement will respond to an active shooting situation and what pre-incident behaviors are of concern. If you and your department or group would like to schedule a short presentation, you may contact Officer Alan Saylor at or 859-257-5108.


  • UKPD’s Adopt-A-COPP (Community Oriented Police Program) provides a UKPD officer who is assigned to each UK residence hall to serve as an advisor and liaison with its staff and residents. This officer develops a relationship with the assigned residence hall community and offers a familiar face in which to associate. For more information, contact UKPD Crime Prevention Officer Robert Pearl at or 859-323-7447.


  • UKPD’s Ccrime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) program specialist is actively involved in the Annual Campus Safety Walk organized by UK Student Government Association every spring semester. CPTED offers valuable recommendations on safer building designs while reducing crime using three concepts: 1. Natural Surveillance 2. Access Control and 3.Terrain Control. Representatives from across campus are invited to participate in the Annual Campus Safety Walk. If you are interested in having your area evaluated for improved security enhancement contact UKPD’s CPTED and Crime Prevention Specialist Officer Alan Saylor at or (859) 257-5108.


  • Safe and Free Escort for Campus Area Traveling Students (SAFECATS) is a safety escort service available to UK Students and their guests from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Sunday–Thursday during the fall and spring semesters except during official University holidays and breaks. UKPD contracts with the Flying Wildcats Booster Club, a student organization comprised of Air Force and Army ROTC cadets, to operate SAFECATS using golf carts provided by UKPD. These safety escorts are trained annually by UKPD, carry a police issued radio giving them direct contact with the UKPD Dispatch, and undergo a preliminary criminal background check before they are permitted to serve as  safety escorts. For added safety, any student requesting an escort is encouraged to ask to see the escort’s SAFECATS identification before being escorted. Call 859- 257-SAFE (7233).


  • Cats Cab is a UK Student Government service in partnership with Bluegrass Cab that offers free late night transportation service inside New Circle Road on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.  Students are eligible to utilize this service for free by presenting a valid UK student ID plus one non-student ID.  You may reserve a cab by calling 859-252-CATS (2287), the mobile app (Android or iPhone), or the website


  • Lextran Route 14 operates as two overlapping routes (Blue and White) traveling opposite directions.  The routes ensure that all areas of campus are less than a five-minute walk from a bus stop and provide easy access so that students and employees arrive at their destinations faster than it would take to walk the same distance.  Lextran Route 15 serves apartment complexes on Red Mile Road and Angliana Avenue.  As of July 1, University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff may ride all Lextran bus routes free of charge with their valid Wildcard ID, as part of the new BluPass program. New this year, all campus routes, including the Lextran Blue and White routes as well as the Red Mile Route (Lextran 15), are viewable real-time on TransLoc, UK’s GPS-based bus locating system. TransLoc can be accessed at and via the free TransLoc Rider Android, BlackBerry and iPhone apps.


  • Campus Area Transit offers four routes serving the campus community Monday through Friday, along with on-demand night service that is limited to UK’s campus. On-demand bus pick-up may be arranged by calling 859-221-RIDE (7433). You may also track campus buses in real time using TransLoc while remaining in a safe location until the bus arrives. Visit UK’s Parking & Transportation Services for information on campus bus and shuttle routes here.



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

UK Art Studio, Art Ed Alumni Lend Talents to Art and Visual Studies Building Celebration

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 17:10



Video by Jenny Wells/UK Public Relations & Marketing. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) — More than 80 University of Kentucky art studio and art education alumni are helping celebrate the School of Art and Visual Studies' new facility in an alumni exhibition on display during the facility's open house from 5 to 9 p.m. today (Tuesday), Sept. 8, at the Art and Visual Studies Building, located at 236 Bolivar Street. The exhibition and open house are free and open to the public.


The Alumni Show is the first exhibition to be staged in the gallery of the new Art and Visual Studies Building at UK. This summer, the school put out a call to alumni of the program who were still creating work and received a tremendous response. More than 80 recent pieces of art (executed in the last three years) were selected from working art studio and art education alumni from undergraduate and graduate school classes as early as the 1960s to UK's most recent class of May graduates.


"It's an eclectic mix of work. We are just so excited that so many people wanted to be part of this grand opening and were willing to loan us their art so that we could show them off," said Ruth Adams, associate director of UK School of Art and Visual Studies and associate professor of photography.


The work is diverse including painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, video, printmaking, fiber art, collage and more.


UK's newest academic facility, the Art and Visual Studies Building, replaces Reynolds Building Number 1, where UK art studio students and faculty worked for more than 40 years in what was originally meant to be temporary space. The art studio program joins the art education and art history and visual studies programs in a new integrated studio/classroom environment designed to encourage collaborative innovation in the visual arts.


The 21st-century facility, housed in a historic tobacco processing plant, features traditional artist studios and instructional spaces, as well as five digital media labs and a 3D fabrication lab. The building also features a state-of-the-art gallery for student and faculty shows and for special exhibitions such as the Alumni Show.


The new gallery is a space tailored to the many needs of the UK School of Art and Visual Studies and its artists.


"We designed the space so it was incredibly versatile," Adams said. "We have obviously normal walls where we can put up 2D work. We have a new feature, which is what we call our black box theater, which is where we can show video, and we have it set up so there are doors on either side of it that allow us to close it off and make it completely dark."


Unlike Barnhart Gallery in Reynolds, the new facility's gallery is temperature- and humidity-controlled, which opens up the space to outside artists as well. "It will allow us to bring in artists where the work could actually be affected by the environment and allow us to actually show things that we couldn't have shown in the old space."


In addition to the exhibition, several other festivities will be going on at the open house. Visitors will also be able to take tours of the new building, see art class demonstrations, and participate in a silent auction to raise money for the Ross Zirkle Memorial Scholarship fund. Light refreshments will be available and WRFL will provide the music for the celebration.


The UK School of Art and Visual Studies Alumni Show will be on display through Lexington's next Gallery Hop Friday, Sept. 18. Regular viewing hours for the gallery in the Art and Visual Studies Building are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 


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



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

UK's Kentucky REC Receives MediStar Award

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 17:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) – The Kentucky Regional Extension Center (REC), based at the University of Kentucky, received the A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education during the ninth annual MediStar Awards.


The center was among the health care leaders honored Sept. 1 at the Hyatt Regency Louisville. The MediStar Awards are the region’s premier venue for recognizing excellence in the business of health care. More than 250 attendees congratulated the honorees and celebrated their accomplishments in advancing health care in Kentucky and southern Indiana.


The A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education is presented to an organization that takes creative approaches to developing and implementing programs, which enhance the level of knowledge, education and career opportunity in health care.

The Kentucky Regional Extension Center (KY-REC) serves 96 counties in Kentucky and assists physicians, other medical professionals and hospitals with electronic health record adoption, Kentucky Health Information Exchange participation, and achievement of meaningful use. The goal of this new initiative is to help more than 1,000 primary care providers in Kentucky with the switch to electronic health records. The goal of the program nationally is to help 100,000 physicians. 


Other winners were: 

  • The Hall Render Leadership in Healthcare Award, Anthony Zipple, president and chief executive officer, Seven Counties Services
  • The Kentucky Life Sciences Council Healthcare Innovation Award, Percutaneous Valve Program
  • The Kentucky Association of Healthcare Facilities Nurse of the Year Award, Kim Hobson, director of nursing, Nazareth Home
  •  The Harshaw Trane Facility Design Award, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital designed by HGA
  • The BOK Financial Aging Care Award, Hospice of the Bluegrass
  • The Seven Counties Services Health Advocacy Award, Dr. Melissa Currie, medical director and Chief Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine, University of Louisville Physicians
  • The Physician of the Year Award, Dr. Neal Richmond, medical director and chief executive officer, Louisville Metro EMS

More information about the event and honorees, as well as photos of the event can be found at



PRSSA Kicks Off Year With Information Panel

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 16:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will host its first meeting of the 2015-2016 school year today at 6:30 p.m. in Student Services Center in Grehan Journalism Building on campus. The meeting, open to current members and all students interested in joining, will feature a panel of faculty and staff in UK’s integrated strategic communication department.  


The ISC panel, including Anthony Limperos, Chike Anyaegbunam, Sarah Geegan and Beth Barnes of the College of Communication and Information, will answer commonly asked questions about ISC and the public relations field.  Following this portion of the meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to ask any unanswered questions or receive advice from any and all panel members.


Students will learn more about PRSSA, the ISC major and public relations. The panel-style meeting will provide students with networking opportunities and the chance to ask any questions they may have about related fields.  


In addition to this kick-off meeting, PRSSA will host another event in September.  The annual Keeneland tour, open to members and non-members, will be Sept. 25.  Students will tour the track, hear from Keeneland’s marketing director and learn about Keeneland’s involvement with the Breeder’s Cup World Championship.  Meetings are held once a month, and there will be various public relations events held throughout the year, as well.


PRSSA is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications.  It seeks to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals.


PRSSA is made up of more than 11,000 students and advisers organized into 300 plus Chapters in the United States, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.  It has a rich history of support from its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), which offers professional development, networking opportunities and news.

UK’s chapter of PRSSA is open to all students on campus interested in public relations. Membership is not restricted to ISC students.  For more information follow @UKPRSSA on Twitter or email President Jordan Mason at



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;

UK Opens State-of-the-'Art' Academic Creative Space

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 16:55







UK School of Art and Visual Studies from University of Kentucky on Vimeo. Videos by Jenny Wells, UK Public Relations and Marketing.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) — The term "state-of-the-art" takes on double meaning when referencing the University of Kentucky's newest academic facility, the Art and Visual Studies Building. After more than 40 years in what was originally meant to be temporary space, the students, faculty and staff in the UK School of Art and Visual Studies have a new cutting-edge facility to call home.


In celebration of the new academic and creative space on campus, students, faculty, staff, alumni, Lexington Mayor Jim GrayUK College of Fine Arts Dean Michael Tick and UK President Eli Capilouto, among other dignitaries, will come together today at 10 a.m. to cut the ribbon to the $15 million, more than 100,000 square-foot Art and Visual Studies Building — marking the culmination of a four-year acquisition and renovation process. The celebration will continue this evening with the public as the School of Art and Visual Studies presents an open house from 5-9 p.m.


UK School of Art and Visual Studies: Grand Opening and Ross Zirkle Endowed Scholarship from University of Kentucky on Vimeo.


UK's program in studio art has a long and distinguished history. The university offered individual courses in painting and drawing as early as 1881; by 1918 interest in the visual arts had grown to the extent that UK President Frank LeRond McVey reorganized the College of Fine Arts and Sciences (now the College of Arts and Sciences) and created the Departments of Art and Music.


By the mid to late 1960s the size of the art faculty had increased to 16 full-time members and the activities of the studio programs had outgrown the university's Fine Arts Building. To answer the need, UK acquired the former Reynolds Tobacco Company warehouse and began the process of converting it into classrooms, studios and foundries to offer a temporary location for the art and architecture programs.


In the last several years, due to significant structural problems and limitations on teaching summer months in the aging former warehouse, the college and university began looking for a solution that would not only meet the needs of the institution's art students, faculty and staff, but would also save money in necessary renovations to Reynolds Building No. 1. UK proposed and was given state approval to purchase and convert the University Lofts property for the school.


The end product, a 21st-century facility, housed in a historic tobacco processing plant, is a game changer. The UK Art and Visual Studies Building, located at 236 Bolivar Street, is more than 20,000 square feet larger than the school's former home in Reynolds and features not only traditional artist studios and instructional spaces, but several other amenities, including:

· five digital media labs;

· a multipurpose 3D fabrication lab;

· a photography suite;

· a ceramics facility;

· a print media shop;

· a wood shop; and

· drawing, painting and foundation design workshops.


These advances will allow the school to ramp up digital pedagogy by offering new courses and degrees in digital media and design, animation, new media and motion graphics.


"When we first got here, we could not believe it. I walked in and I was smiling from ear to ear. It was great," art studio senior Jourdan Rahsculte said. "The aesthetic, the brick is beautiful, everything about it is beautiful. It's just a really comforting and fun environment to be in."


The digital labs and 3D fabrication lab will also be resources for several other programs in colleges across campus. In addition, many of the university's other students will study in the facility during their undergraduate years, as the School of Art and Visual Studies offers several of the creative path courses in the UK CORE curriculum. More than 1,000 UK students not majoring in the arts will take classes in the building each semester.


Beyond the academic space, graduate and advanced undergraduate art studio students have 7,300 square feet of dedicated studio space to do their work in outside of class. The studio area has no doors on the individual studios in hopes of encouraging the students to explore and learn from one another's work and ideas.


"I think it will be nice to have more of a community, you will get to work with not only your fellow BFA students but also the MFA students who always have really nice feedback for you because they have the more experience," said art studio senior Jakob Lee, who looks forward to working on projects with his fellow artists.


In addition, the building has 4,818 square feet of dedicated and multi-functional gallery space, including a 2,666-square-foot front gallery, more than 1,000 square feet of additional exhibition space on an adjacent hallway, and a black box theater room for intermedia work.


The temperature- and humidity-controlled space utilizes a completely modern lighting system and is also designed to function as a temporary lecture hall for visiting artists and art historian presentations, seating as many as 45 people and employing the latest in digital projection/sound system technologies. The gallery has opened with a display of work from more than 80 UK art and art education alumni, who wanted to be part of the celebration surrounding the new building.

Alumni Exhibit at UK School of Art and Visual Studies from University of Kentucky on Vimeo.


Another interesting element of the Art and Visual Studies Building's design is the use of glass front walls on many of the academic spaces. The hope is not only to give the building an airy feeling, but to also allow students, faculty and staff to see what each other is working on to be further inspired and to help build a rapport across art forms.


"All of the studios flow into all of the other studios, so almost automatically we are going to find students sort of checking out each others' work and sort of talking to each other about their work. It is just going to naturally generate a collaborative innovative environment," said Director of UK School of Art and Visual Studies Robert Jensen.


The size of the new building also is another major advantage for the UK School of Art and Visual Studies — allowing it to bring the art studio program together with the art education and art history and visual studies programs in this new integrated studio/classroom environment, again encouraging collaborative innovation across the disciplines while building community. And it also will provide space for communal area with couches and chairs for students and faculty to use for breaks during long days of classes and work in their studios.


"I have no words. I don't have coherent words for it because it is just such a gift to have this new space that's healthy and bright and clean and airy and climate-controlled and state-of-the-art equipment and materials, new furniture, and just everything that you need to be a creative person in a creative space," said Ruth Adams, associate director of UK School of Art and Visual Studies and associate professor of photography.


With the advances in space, technology and community building offered in the new Art and Visual Studies Building, the talents of individuals at UK School of Art and Visual Studies is not only expected to flourish in years to come but to also attract the best in future artists and art educators to the Commonwealth.


"When you have a facility such as this one, you are able to attract and retain the best faculty. Also it allows you to go after the best students," Dean Tick said. "This building is going to prove a major recruiting tool not just for the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art and Visual Studies, but the entire university. It already has." 



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

UK Researchers Find “Dormant” Parasite Cysts Are Actually Quite Active

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 13:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) — A new University of Kentucky study in the journal mBio shows that tissue cysts of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, long thought to be dormant, are quite active.


Led by Anthony Sinai, professor at the UK College of Medicine, the study has significant implications on the understanding of chronic toxoplasmosis in the brain, a condition suggested to contribute to a range of neurological diseases including schizophrenia in humans, and the modulation of behavior in rodents.


Toxoplasmosis can be acquired from the droppings of infected cats as well as the consumption of tissue cyst contaminated meat,infects roughly one-third of the human population. Infected individuals rarely show symptoms as their immune systems tackle the actively growing parasite.


However, the immune system never clears the parasite. Immunity causes the parasite to morph into the “dormant” tissue cyst form, leading to a life-long chronic infection. Unfortunately, conditions leading to compromised immunity – such as HIV/AIDS, organ transplantation and chemotherapy – can cause reactivation that can be life-threatening. Until this study these enigmatic tissue cysts remained largely unstudied on account of the technical challenges  their study presented.


The study required not only the development of novel methodologies, but also an entirely new mindset toward tackling a problem that remained largely untouched for decades. These approaches include an imaging application developed by the group of UK College of Engineering Professor Abhijit Patwardhan that permitted the actual quantification of individual parasites within cysts for the first time. This advance, together with other experiments, has led to new insights that reveal not only direct evidence for parasite growth, but also a surprising level of coordination of that growth within the cysts.


“This fundamentally alters our understanding of chronic toxoplasmosis,” Sinai said.


Ongoing collaboration between the Sinai and Patwardhan groups aims at the refinement of computational approaches to model these newly discovered growth characteristics. These insights will will provide new impetus for drug development against a form of the parasite that has been resistant to all treatments to date.


"We hope that defining parasite growth properties in cysts will allow researchers to begin crafting new targeted therapies clear the parasite burden in immune-compromised patients," said Elizabeth Watts, lead author on the study. "Additionally, this work emphasizes the value of collaboration between different disciplines to make exciting new discoveries."


This study was supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funding awards R21AI098371 and R21AI099509 awarded to Sinai and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Institutes of Health.


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

UK Debate Team Set to Begin Another Successful Season

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky debate team will begin another competitive season in less than two weeks, and the expectations for the team have not been this high since the mid-'90s.


The team returns everyone from a squad ranked 11th in the country last year. The squad returns two pairs (Donald Grasse/Theo Noparstak and Jonathan Geldof/Ava Vargason) from the sweet 16 of the national debate tournament last March.


A strong research culture and aggressive recruiting campaign have given the team momentum over the last few years.


Research for the annual topic began in June. The team arrived a week before classes and spent 70 hours in the office preparing for the season.


Recruiting is a year round effort. This month alone, UK debate team director Dave Arnett will travel to North Carolina and Dallas to watch some of the best high school debaters in the country compete.


The debate team is made up of members from all over the country. Just this season the team added three great recruits in Calen Martin from Louisiana, Cameron Baller from Michigan and Jacinda Rivas from Illinois.


The team will begin its season at Georgia State Sept. 19-21 where over a 100 teams from across the country will be represented.


Later in the fall semester, the UK debate team will compete at Harvard in October and at Wake Forest in November.


For more information about the UK debate team visit their website.



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398;

UK Student's Map Project Becomes Resource for Under-resourced Young Moms

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2015) — What started as a project in a University of Kentucky geography course is now a resource for young single mothers across Lexington.


The resource, an online interactive map, was developed by UK senior Laura Greenfield for Step By Step, a mentoring ministry for under-resourced mothers ages 14 to 24. The geospatial technology pinpoints where young moms can find abuse counseling and support; emergency shelters; clothing resources; education institutions; childcare; and more services around Lexington.


"Being a nonprofit that works with teen moms, you wouldn't think we could use the geography department to make a difference, using their skills to bring about change," said Tanya Torp, program director at Step By Step.


When Step By Step receives calls from young moms with questions about where to go, or who to turn to, staffers and volunteers can now quickly find nearby resources by inputting the caller's address into the interactive map; an important capability, Torp says, because many callers may not have a driver's license or vehicle and rely on walking to those services. And for anyone with Internet access, they can access the map and information about resources from their own device at


A student in geography Professor Mathew Zook's GEO 409 course last spring, Greenfield came up with the idea when tasked with utilizing and showcasing the skills she learned in a final class project.


"I have this engrained belief that GIS (geographic information systems) and geospatial technology are such powerful tools that can be really helpful to community and grassroots organizations," Greenfield said. "I chose Step By Step because I had heard of the organization and the important work they do."


Believe it or not, this is the first online map Greenfield has created. Before the course, she had experience in GIS software (ArcGIS and QGIS), but none with coding or online maps. In this class, students learned JavaScript programming, the web standards of HTML, CSS and collaborative/versioning work tools like GitHub.


"I met with Tanya in January and then was able to go to Dr. Zook and discuss what exactly I would need to learn to fully fulfill what Tanya asked for and what Step By Step needed," Greenfield said.


Zook provided an initial set of suggestions and strategy on how to organize the collection of the original paper records into a useful database. Rich Donohue, a post-doctoral scholar working on developing a new online digital mapping program, and Ate Poorthuis, a Ph.D. candidate in department, both co-taught the course with Zook and worked extensively with Greenfield on the design and implementation of the map.


Anyone using the map, whether it be a young mother or staff at Step By Step, is able to type in an address and see what services exist close by. The services are color-coded and the user has the ability to filter through different service categories. Greenfield says there is a need to receive information fast and, additionally, see it spatially. With this map, a user can visually identify where the services are and find information such as telephone numbers, websites and more all in one place.


Greenfield, a geography major, aims to farm after graduating in May 2016, but says that doesn't mean she won't continue utilizing this skillset.


"I learned in my first geography classes that there is a social activism aspect to mapping," she said. "I've become involved with others working on certain social justice issues in Lexington and, in these groups, I am able to collaborate with others to produce maps, both static and interactive, that share information, reflect a reality, and tell the important stories that are usually covered up in mainstream avenues."


Greenfields also plans to use her last year at UK to help start building an infrastructure for more nonprofit GIS work, which would include creating maps, as well as increasing awareness about these technologies so organizations can become empowered to create their own.


And Step By Step plans to continue adding more resources to the map, eventually including free or reduced food services.


"I would just encourage other academic departments to think outside the box like the geography department has, to follow their example in using their skills to make a difference," Torp said.


Additional maps created by students in this new and exciting web mapping course at the University of Kentucky can be viewed at




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

With New Living, Comes New Learning: LLP Continues to Expand

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:04



<span>LEXengaged and STEMCats Move-in</span><span>LEXengaged </span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 960</span><span>height</span><span> 960</span><span>LEXengaged students moving in to Champions Court I.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 711</span><span>height</span><span> 471</span><span>LEXengaged staff on move-in day at Champions Court I. </span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 720</span><span>height</span><span> 480</span><span>College of Arts and Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh and LEXengaged faculty on move-in day.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 720</span><span>height</span><span> 480</span><span>STEMCats</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 1159</span><span>height</span><span> 1159</span><span>College of Arts and Sciences and STEMCats staff help STEMCats students move in. </span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 716</span><span>height</span><span> 451</span><span>College of Arts and Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh helping a STEMCats student on move-in day. </span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 712</span><span>height</span><span> 477</span><span>Students at FastTrack, a week-long, intensive program designed especially for incoming, first-year students giving them an early start in their math and science courses. FastTrack is required for all STEMCats students.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 716</span><span>height</span><span> 476</span>

View the slideshow above for photos of LEXengaged and STEMCats move-in day. Photos by Carlos Gutierrez.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2015) — With a new era in student living well underway on the University of Kentucky campus, so too is a new era of learning. This is an era that fosters learning beyond the classroom — in residence halls, during a community service project, on a field trip, and even in a campus courtyard — and recognizes that success not only comes from good grades, but from connecting with a network of peers.


This semester, two new communities in the UK Living Learning Program (LLP), LEXengaged and STEMCats, moved onto campus, joining 17 other LLP communities. More than 2,200 UK students live and learn in these communities.


"I joined the LEXengaged community because, as a student from out of state with no family history in Lexington, I felt it would be a great way for me to become involved in what will be my home for the next four years," said Richard Simon, a freshman from St. Louis, Missouri.


LEXengaged was created for freshmen with an interest in community service, leadership development and social justice. The first cohort of 75 students will enjoy exposure to the Lexington community and its unique assets and needs; exploration of how they can serve as leaders and change agents in their communities; and engagement in service and leadership opportunities that meet their diverse interests.


"I hope to gain a better understanding of what makes Lexington the city that it is today as well as trying to help improve the community through volunteer work," Simon said.


Located in Champions Court I, the community focuses on engagement, service learning and social justice. LEXengaged is directed by Rosie Moosnick, a visiting lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences; Lynn Phillips, assistant professor of geography in the college; Kristina Ricketts, associate extension professor of community and leadership development in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; and Bryan Hains, associate professor of community and leadership development. Bringing together each of these areas, course topics will include volunteering in the city, eating locally, cultural economics, city government and town relations, regional identity, economic planning and much more.


"I think we come from different perspectives — as a sociologist I am always thinking about race, class, and gender — and Lynn, as a geographer, alerts me to physical and spatial relationships that I would overlook, but regardless of our background and whether from A&S or Ag, we are all committed to knowing and being involved in our community and sharing that knowledge and passion with our students," Moosnick said.


In the 2015-16 school year, LEXengaged students will work with William Wells Brown Elementary School students and will also "reflect on Lexington as the Horse Capital," looking at the horse community from the perspective of African-American jockeys from the past, women in the industry, high stake holders and animal welfare advocates, among others. Students will tour the North American Racing Academy, the first jockey school in the U.S.; as well as The Thoroughbred Center; Claiborne Farm, which was home to Secretariat; and Ashford Stud, home to Coolmore stables, an international racing team with facilities in Australia and Ireland.


"LEXengaged students will be exposed to an array of difference-makers in Lexington and will be equipped to understand how our city — and likely, their hometowns, too — deals with many of its social issues," Phillips said.


Living on North Campus, LEXengaged students will be close to many classrooms, Memorial Coliseum, Rupp Arena, downtown Lexington, the UK Bookstore, the Singletary Center for the Arts and many eclectic shops and restaurants on South Limestone. LEXengaged students will also have many perks within the residence hall, which opened in August 2014. In addition to the two-bedroom suites, Champions Court I also provides common areas designed for building community within the hall. Study spaces, in which faculty members can plan programming, as well as classrooms within the residence halls provide ideal spaces for students to learn where they live.


STEMCats, sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directed by UK Department of Biology Chair Vincent Cassone, was launched to increase retention of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors at UK and prepare students for STEM and medical careers. STEMCats began programming with its first cohort of students last year, but moved into its residential home in Woodland Glen IV in August.


“As the next step in improving retention and a sense of community for our UK STEMCats students, we are excited to inaugurate the STEMCats Living Learning Program in a state-of-the-art dormitory at Woodland Glen IV," Cassone said. "We hope this community will form a basis for life-long friendships as well as productive academic careers.”


Key components of the LLP, open to first year students and Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) transfer students, include authentic research experiences, pre-fall "FastTrack" courses and a STEM exploration course. The community is made up of 227 students living in Woodland Glen IV, as well 54 freshmen living elsewhere who were invited to participate.


Woodland Glen IV opened last month as one of the university's newest residence halls with two-bedroom suites, study rooms on each floor, recreation rooms and a community kitchen. Residing on South Campus, most STEMCats will be minutes away from The 90, a new dining and student support facility, William T. Young Library, The Study, Blazer Cafe, and the Johnson Center.


Both new LLPs are offered by the UK College of Arts and Sciences and supported by numerous other colleges and departments. The College of Arts and Sciences, in partnership with other colleges such as the College of Fine Arts; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; College of Pharmacy; College of Medicine; and BCTC, now offers four LLPs, including Wired with 90 freshmen and 19 sophomores living in Champions Court II and Greenhouse with 45 students living in Woodland Glen II. In fall 2016, the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Fine Arts will open the Creative Arts LLP in Limestone Park I, part of the 1,141 bed, $83.9 million investment opening next fall on UK's North Campus.




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