Campus News

STUDY: Regular Exercise at Any Age Could Keep the Mind Young

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 14:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17, 2016) — Recent research suggests that exercise might provide some measure of protection from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias.


A group of researchers led by Nathan Johnson, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, was able to demonstrate a positive correlation between fitness and blood flow to areas of the brain where the hallmark tangles and plaques of AD pathology are usually first detected.

Thirty men and women ages 59-69 were put through treadmill fitness assessments and ultrasounds of the heart. Then they received brain scans to look for blood flow to certain areas of the brain.


“We set out to characterize the relationship between heart function, fitness, and cerebral blood flow, which no other study had explored to date,” Johnson said.  “In other words, if you’re in good physical shape, does that improve blood flow to critical areas of the brain? And does that improved blood flow provide some form of protection from dementia?”


The results showed blood flow to critical areas of the brain – and so the supply of oxygen and vital nutrients – was higher in those who were more physically fit.


In layman’s terms, this study demonstrates that regular exercise at any age could keep the mind young, said Johnson.


“Can we prove irrefutably that increased fitness will prevent Alzheimer’s disease?  Not at this point,” Johnson said.  “But this is an important first step towards demonstrating that being physically active improves blood flow to the brain and confers some protection from dementia, and conversely that people who live sedentary lifestyles, especially those who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s, might be more susceptible.”


Since people who exercise frequently often have reduced arterial stiffness, Johnson and his group postulate that regular physical activity – regardless of age – maintains the integrity of the “pipes” that carry blood to the brain.


“In the mid-late 20th century, much of the research into dementias like Alzheimer’s focused on vascular contributions to disease, but the discovery of amyloid plaques and tangles took prevailing research in a different direction” Johnson said.  “Research like this heralds a return to the exploration of the ways the vascular system contributes to the disease process.”


Johnson’s research, which was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health CTSA (UL1TR000117) and the University of Kentucky's Clinical Services Core, was published in the current issue of NeuroImage.


Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: May 17, 1912

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 13:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 223rd diary entry from May 17, 1912, recalls the senior rising before the sun, breezing through her logic exam and an afternoon of recreation.


May 17th. Get up at four o'clock again. Logic was easy. In the afternoon visit the swimming pool, then come home and play my first game of tennis; play all afternoon, so am awfully stiff.



More on Virginia Clay McClure


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


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


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


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


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


McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.


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


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


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



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



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



Longtime UK Professor, Administrator Susan Carvalho Joins University of Alabama

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 11:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) – Longtime University of Kentucky scholar and academic administrator Susan Carvalho is assuming the position of dean of the Graduate School and associate provost at the University of Alabama.


Carvalho begins in Alabama on July 1.


“For more than 25 years, Susan Carvalho has embodied excellence in teaching and scholarship, as well as a number of pivotal leadership roles at the University of Kentucky," UK Provost Tim Tracy said. "As a faculty member, as a college administrator, and for the last six years as a member of the provost’s leadership team and, most recently, as a dean, Susan has always taken on roles with enthusiasm, focus and intellect. In particular, she has been one of the primary drivers behind our increasingly successful efforts to internationalize our campus — an initiative that has made us a more diverse, inclusive and vibrant community.


“I have every confidence that she will continue her outstanding career at our sister institution, the University of Alabama. We wish her only the best as she takes this next step in her professional career."


Carvalho currently serves as associate provost for internationalization and interim associate provost and dean of The Graduate School.


She has an extensive administrative background, having previously served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, convener of the General Education Reform Steering Committee, interim chair of the Departments of Hispanic Studies and  Political Science, chair of the Domestic Partner Benefits Committee, and she also held a concurrent appointment for six years as director of the Spanish School at Middlebury College in Vermont.


Carvalho currently holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies. An internationally visible scholar of Hispanic cultural studies, she has published one monograph and one edited volume, along with numerous scholarly articles and book reviews, and has delivered more than 40 invited lectures and conference presentations. 


She has brought over $3 million in international grants and projects to UK, both to internationalize the UK campus and to advise on higher education in developing countries.


“UK has been a wonderful place to work and live for the past 26 years. The transformations the campus has seen have been incredible, and I have always found role models among the faculty, staff, and administration,” Carvalho said. “I look forward to watching UK’s continued advancement from afar, and with wonderful memories of the students and teams with whom I’ve had the privilege to work.”



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton,; 859-257-6605

College of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Named NAP Distinguished Fellow

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 16:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — The National Academies of Practices (NAP) has designated family nurse practitioner Kathy Wheeler, a faculty member in the UK College of Nursing, a Distinguished Public Policy Fellow. The honor was given during the NAP national conference in April.  


Distinguished Public Policy Fellows of the NAP have achieved exemplary careers in their respective health profession and made enduring contributions to public policies influencing health care practice. Nominated by fellow NAP members, fellows are elected for life.


Wheeler has devoted nearly four decades of work toward creating a positive practice environment for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).  She was a founding member of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, later serving as executive director.  Instrumental in obtaining prescriptive authority for APRNs in 1996, she has gone on to secure numerous other legislative and regulatory changes to improve health care delivery in Kentucky. 


She has published and presented extensively on numerous policy and practice topics, recently chairing the Health Policy Module Working Group of the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, producing a nationally distributed series of modules to educate nurse practitioners on health policy.  As Chair of the International Committee of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) she has worked to educate APRNs on global practice issues. 


Wheeler has affected policy through numerous elected or appointed board positions, including her roles as commissioner and secretary of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program; as treasurer, Region 4 director and Kentucky State Representative of the AANP; a member of the Kynect Advisory Board; chair of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools International Subcommittee on Advanced Practice Nursing Professional Nurse Credentials and Standards Committee; a member of the Kentucky Nursing Technical Advisory Committee; and a member of the Kentucky Drug Management Review Advisory Board. Wheeler is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,



13-Year-Old Boy Enjoys Being “Normal Kid" Again After Epilepsy Surgery

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 16:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) − Anyone who's 13 years old — or who was once 13 — can relate to the embarrassment of a parent insisting on sitting in the room while they showered.


Unfortunately, that was the reality for 13-year-old Joey Maggard until a delicate surgical procedure eliminated his epileptic seizures this past January.


At the time of his surgery, Joey's seizures were so frequent and unpredictable — about 20-30 per month — that his mother, Erin Smith, would sit in the bathroom in case he seized while showering.


"It was so frustrating for him and heartbreaking for me," Erin recalls. "He wanted so much to be 'just a kid,' but the reality was that being 'just a kid' could have been dangerous for him."


Adding to the disappointment were the other restrictions imposed upon Joey. He could no longer play his beloved sports or have sleepovers with friends.  He was forced to follow a restricted diet and reduce Xbox and electronics use. After his seizures increased in frequency, his school district asked that he be tutored at home for the last half of his sixth grade year.


"Epilepsy is often misunderstood by the lay public, and epilepsy patients are often teased or shunned, particularly when they are younger," said Dr. Meriem Bensalem-Owen, director of the Epilepsy Program at the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute at the University of Kentucky. "As a result, they often isolate themselves for fear of losing control in public, and depression and anxiety commonly go hand-in-hand with the stigma of epilepsy."


Bensalem-Owen considers it part of her responsibility to reassure patients that they are not alone in their journey.


"More than 150,000 Kentuckians are living with epilepsy today," she explains. "I think many patients are surprised when I tell them that."


Even more reassuring, Bensalem-Owen believes, is the fact that she has a personal experience with epilepsy.


"My son had seizures few years ago, and I literally told myself 'OK, so now I have to be as brave as the parents of my patients and do what I tell them to do.' So I understand, not just as an epileptologist but as mom, what Joey and his family were going through and I can reinforce with them that there is a team with them every every step of the way."


Joey's odyssey began when he was nine. Erin said that while Joey's birth was stressful, otherwise "he was great, he hit every milestone." With no family history, his first and second seizures — about six months apart — were a shock to his family. After Joey experienced a grand mal seizure — considered the most violent and dangerous of all seizures — a CAT scan at a hospital close to their Lincoln County home found a lesion in his brain.  He was referred to Dr. Qutubuddin G. Khan, a pediatric neurologist at the UK Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI).


The Epilepsy Program at KNI is accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as  Level 4 Center — its highest designation. A Level 4 center provides more extensive medical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial treatment, including thorough and highly technical evaluation for a wide range of surgical treatment for epilepsy. Since 2003, US News and World Report has included NAEC Level 4 adult epilepsy centers as a part of its ranking criteria.


"Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide

the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy,” said Dr. Larry Goldstein, chair of the UK Department of Neurology and KNI co-director. "To achieve this designation is an apt reflection of our institutional commitment to provide the best subspecialty care to the people of Kentucky and beyond."


At first, Khan tried a variety of medications, alone and in combination.  Each time, says Erin, they would work for a while, but Joey's seizures would eventually return.


"One of the things I loved most about Dr. Khan was how candid he was," said Erin. "After each setback, he'd sit with us and explain patiently what our next options were and the pros and cons of each option."


Based on initial testing to determine what areas of the brain Joey's seizures came from, Khan felt Joey was a good candidate for surgery, and referred him to Bensalem-Owen for further evaluation.


A crucial step in the process of assessing Joey’s seizures — and a hallmark of centers with NAEC Level 4 accreditation — is invasive brain monitoring, where the skull is opened and a delicate web of electrodes is placed directly on the brain. Over a period of days Joey was monitored and brain mapping was performed to pinpoint exactly which parts of his brain controlled essential functions like speech, and those points were compared to the areas were his seizures arose. It's a painstaking and uncomfortable process.


"I asked Joey if he was ready for this, and he looked me straight in the eye and said YES," said Bensalem-Owen.  "He said he was tired of missing school and having poor grades. I was impressed by how determined and brave he was."


Brain mapping indicated three small areas that were leading to Joey's seizures.  Two areas were perilously close to the part of Joey's brain that controlled vision and motor function; Bensalem-Owen knew that precision was critical to a successful outcome for Joey.


Once the doctors knew which parts of Joey's brain to target and which parts to avoid, KNI neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Pittman performed the surgery to remove the lesions that were causing his seizures. Then began the waiting game.


"Joey's been seizure-free since his surgery," said Amy.  "He now can take showers and be alone outside without my constant supervision. I know we've got a ways to go before we're out of the woods, but this has been a huge burden lifted."


Furthermore, says Bensalem-Owen, Joey's vision and other motor function have remained intact. "We couldn't have hoped for a better outcome," she said.


Bensalem-Owen stresses that while surgery isn't an option for everyone, there are large swaths of individuals with epilepsy who either don't know about or are afraid of surgery, and those people are suffering needlessly.


"In the U.S., there are more than 100,000 patients who are candidates for surgery, and only about 2,000 people elect to have the surgery every year," she said.  "We need to educate patients and healthcare providers that surgery shouldn't be treated as a last resort, that patients don't need to suffer from the physical and emotional effects of epilepsy for ten or twenty years.  If someone has uncontrolled epilepsy for more than a year, they should seek an opinion at an accredited epilepsy center."


In a post-surgery appointment with Bensalem-Owen, Joey was bouncy and talkative.  His hair was growing back, mostly covering the scar that extends from the top of his head to just behind his ear. His grades have rebounded since his return to school in March and he has been cleared to play sports in June. He will continue epilepsy medication as an added precaution, but Bensalem-Owen predicts a complete return to the life that allows kids to be just that — kids.


"On my first day back to school, as I was going down the hall teachers were shrieking and kids were hugging me," Joey recalled with a smile. "I was back with my buddies again, and I was so happy."


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


Media Contact:  Laura Dawahare,, (859) 257-5307


UK Dentistry Supports Infant Cleft Care

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 15:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 18, 2016) – During a routine 20 week prenatal checkup, Stacey and Brock Westlund learned their baby, Jensen, would be born with a cleft lip, a condition where tissue that makes up the lip and roof of the mouth (palate) doesn't join completely during pregnancy and a baby will be born with an opening in the lip and roof of mouth, known as a cleft lip, palate or oral cleft.


In the United States, nearly 6,800 babies are born with oral clefts each year. In most cases, the condition requires surgery to avoid long-term complications. Following the news, the Westlunds began searching for options to help Jensen once he arrived. Their search led them to Dr. Cristina Perez, assistant professor in pediatric dentistry at UK Dentistry.


Originally from Utah, the Westlunds and their two children moved to Kentucky in 2012. Both work at the University of Kentucky — Stacey as a cardiac sonographer at Gill Heart Institute and Brock as a resident in medical physics at the Markey Cancer Center. Although their first two children were born without oral clefts, Stacey is not a stranger to the condition as she was born with a cleft lip and palate.


“In my hours upon hours of research regarding clefts and the means by which optimal results are obtained during repair, I spent a lot of time focusing on Nasoalveolar Molding (NAM),” she said. “With NAM use, some babies are able to avoid the most difficult surgery which is the bone graft. And from my memories of that particular surgery, it would have been nice to have bypassed it.”


NAM treatment involves creating a specially fitted molding device for infants to wear in their mouths in the months preceding surgery. The dentist then sees their NAM patient weekly to make adjustments to the molding device. Upon learning about NAM, Stacey began searching for an area dentist experienced in the treatment. Her search led her to the UK HealthCare blog – A Passion for Cleft Care hosted by Dr. James Liau, UK pediatric plastic surgeon. From there, Liau connected Stacey with Dr. Perez.


“Dr. Liau and I both attend clinics involving cleft care held by the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs. At his suggestion, I looked into becoming trained to offer NAM treatment to help babies with cleft conditions,” said Perez. “The work is challenging as my patients are too young to understand, cooperate, or tell me where it hurts. Seeing the progress babies like Jensen make each week has been very rewarding. I’m glad I can make their next steps easier, as well as expose our pediatric dental residents to this type of treatment.”  


When asked if her medical background has helped to make treatment easier, Stacey said, “nothing can prepare a person for the NAM…every cleft is different and every child reacts to it differently. I knew from everything that I had read…NAM would be a commitment…time consuming. In all honesty, any concerns or hesitations that should have surfaced were overshadowed by the determination."


“Dr. Perez is outstanding…She loves what she does and I know that she loves little J,” said Stacey. “She has been so supportive and accommodating…We have a love-hate relationship with what we call “NAMY,” more love than hate because it has been a blessing for Jensen.”


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


Media Contact: Olivia McCoy,, 859-257-1076

Display of Classic Cars in Downtown Lexington Marks Countdown to Concours

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 15:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 18, 2016) — The Maserati Mingle, a free preview of classic cars marking the lead up to the Keeneland Concours d'Elegance, will take place at Lexington's Court House Square on Friday, May 20.


Sponsored by Maserati of Cincinnati, the Maserati Mingle will feature a variety of exotic automobiles, including vintage models from Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche and local classic cars. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site. The exhibition opens at 5:30 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m. 


This year patrons are invited to attend an after-party at the 21c Museum Hotel at 167 West Main St. from 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and must be purchased in advanced. 


“This will be a fun, memorable event with a number of local classic cars on display at downtown Lexington’s Court House Square,” Connie Jones, Concours co-chair, said. “It serves as a warm-up for the upcoming Keeneland Concours d’Elegance weekend on July 14-17, and all proceeds will benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital."


Tickets and information for the Keeneland Concours will be available at the Maserati Mingle.


Chrysler is the feature marque of the 2016 Keeneland Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, July 16. UK Federal Credit Union and WEKU are supporting sponsors of the event. 


Since the first event in 2004, the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance has showcased the finest in automobiles and the attractions of central Kentucky on the grounds of the Keeneland Race Course. Activities include a Bourbon Tour, Hangar Bash and the Tour d’Elegance of scenic Kentucky backroads. Proceeds benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital to help bring better health care to the children of Kentucky. 


For more information, click here


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Discounts Available to Join The Club at UK's Spindletop Hall

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 15:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — The University of Kentucky is proud to make available two clubs for its faculty and staff – one on campus, the Hilary J. Boone Center, and the second, larger facility, The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall on Iron Works Pike.


Although it may not be widely known, UK faculty and staff always receive 50 percent off the initiation fee at The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall. However, for a limited time the club is offering extra discounts this spring for faculty and staff. New members will receive an additional 33 percent off the initiation fee, but only through May 31.  


For example, the regular initiation fee for a UK family membership is $375, but with the extra discount, the initiation fee is $250. Dues for a family are $127.50 per month. Memberships are also available for singles, single-parent families, couples, seniors and more.


Some of the many benefits of a Spindletop membership for staff and faculty are:

·       Use of the mansion with versatile space for social or business events

·       Three heated swimming pools, including one with family-fun water features, a baby pool, swim and dive teams, and the Tiki Bar and Grill

·       10 tennis courts, two chipping and putting greens, pickleball and croquet courts

·       Easy access to the Legacy Trail with bike rental and storage available

·       Roxie’s upscale casual indoor and al fresco dining

·       Picnic areas and outdoor event space

·       Discounted golf opportunities at the University Club of Kentucky and other area courses


Spindletop offers another valuable perk for members. Being a part of the Association of College and University Clubs entitles Spindletop members to reciprocal privileges at nearly 80 university-related clubs across the country and around the globe. For a downloadable list of ACUC clubs, visit


For more information about how to become a member of The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall, call 859-255-2777 or email or



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



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


UK Granted Permission to Conduct Drone-based Research Nationwide

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 15:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — The University of Kentucky has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct research with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, nationwide, following FAA regulations.


"UK is among the first universities in the country to receive this new FAA “blanket” CoA," said Suzanne Smith, director of the UK Unmanned Systems Research Consortium and the Donald and Gertrude Lester Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "Now, UK faculty will be among the first to perform and publish their research on leading-edge autonomy technologies and applications, and the new scientific discoveries that are sure to result."


The FAA's public Certificate of Authorization (CoA) allows UK researchers to fly drones that are less than 55 pounds up to 400 feet and less than 100 mph at sites across the U.S., away from airports and under other FAA procedures. UK is currently reviewing its guidelines with respect to drones on campus.


Procedures for those flying under the CoA include registering the UAS; issuing a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) 24 hours prior to flights; having a certified pilot overseeing all flights along with trained visual observers; following safety procedures; maintaining a logbook; and submitting monthly reports.


Researchers across a range of disciplines will now be allowed to conduct flights, including mining, precision agriculture, atmospheric science, and transportation — all areas of significance for Kentucky and the nation — at their respective research sites.


"For example, researchers in transportation can conduct bridge inspection research for all but a handful of the 11,000 bridges in Kentucky at this altitude," Smith said.


UK researchers also continue to increase their UAS-based research collaborations across the nation. This summer, UAS-based mining research led by College of Engineering Professor Braden Lusk will be conducted in West Virginia and Wyoming. The three-state, four-university CLOUDMAP program, funded by the National Science Foundation to research atmospheric science and led at UK by Michael Sama, Jesse Hoagg, Sean Bailey, Marcelo Guzman and Smith, will be conducted in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Other projects, such as Elk research in Robinson Forest, as well as geological and transportation research across Kentucky, are in the planning stages.


"This type of research could not be accomplished without the support of many individuals campuswide," Smith said. "And the researchers are very grateful."


To fly previously, UK researchers had to submit a separate application for each aircraft/location/flight-plan combination. Each application required multiple parts and could take three to nine months or more to process.  


UK researchers who would like information should email Suzanne Smith at or Ryan Nolin at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky #seeblue



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

CI Connect LLP Students Mentor Texas Fourth Graders Through Pen Pal Program

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 14:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — Freshmen students in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information’s CI Connect Living Learning Program participated this past semester in a pen pal program with fourth grade students at Joe Wright Elementary in Jacksonville, Texas.


The program mutually benefited both groups. The CI Connect students played a mentor role to their pen pals, and the fourth graders had the opportunity to learn about college from a UK student.


“Ideally, I see our students reaching out and playing a mentor role for students that are less advantaged, less privileged, that may have no one in their immediate support group that have any connection with college,” CI Connect Director Alan DeSantis said.


In addition, the freshmen learned how they can positively affect those around them.


“What I’m hoping is this gives the CI Connect students a perspective to think about how they are influencing people, not just here on campus, but also outside of this context,” DeSantis said. “I think college students have a lot more influence and impact than what they give themselves credit for.”


The fourth grade students also benefited from the CI Connect students' firsthand knowledge.


“I think it is a great way for students to get some information,” Laura Essary, fourth grade teacher, said. “They can hear from real students and not just from a brochure.” 


“Telling these students about college and how it's a good idea to study and do all their homework is really how we are influencing these students,” CI Connect LLP student Jillian Jones said. “We haven't met face-to-face or Skyped with these students, so the only influence we have on them is what we write to them. Opening a letter written from someone (900 miles away even) is a great feeling because it's very personal and intimate.”


As a “No Excuses University” school, Joe Wright Elementary focuses on encouraging students to learn about college through various programs. To make students aware of different colleges and universities across the country, each classroom “adopts” a college and learns about it. Essary’s class chose to learn about UK.


In researching and contacting various faculty and staff at UK, Essary was put in touch with CI’s Communication Director Catherine Hayden. Formerly an advisor to the student authors of the University of Kentucky K Book, Hayden assisted with coordination of a pen pal program between that group of college students and a class of third graders in Illinois. After its success, she suggested a similar program for Joe Wright Elementary and the CI Connect LLP.  


Both Essary and DeSantis hope the pen pal program helped the fourth grade students realize that college is an achievable dream.


“These fourth grade students will be able to have at least one person in their support group, their social network, that has gone to college, that is encouraging them to go to college and answering any questions they may have about higher education that they may not have received before,” DeSantis said.


“I think the program was successful if it can spark excitement about college in even just one of my students,” Essary said.


DeSantis also hopes this program imparted a spirit of service to his students.


“I’d like my students to develop a greater sense of compassion for people, to feel connected to other people,” DeSantis said. “There’s something about giving to others that I think changes us.”



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky #seeblue



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

UK Staff Members: Vote for Your Representative to the UK Board of Trustees

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 13:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — Voting is now open for the University of Kentucky staff representative to the Board of Trustees election and will close Friday, May 27.


Staff members can vote at after signing in with their Link Blue credentials.  


The UK Staff Senate invites all university staff to participate in the campaign and election process. The staff trustee candidates are Mike Adams, space and facilities coordinator in the UK Department of Biology and David Melanson, assistant director for external affairs and development in the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER).


Adams is from Eastern Kentucky and went to Hazard Community and Technical College, which led him to Lexington. He worked in consumer electronics for some time, advancing to the role of service manager. Adams later decided to pursue a new direction and enrolled at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. After his time there, he attended UK where he began working as a lab technician. Adams is currently the space and facilities coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences.


He has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Staff Council, Staff Senate, serving as chair for three terms, the Staff Appreciation Day Commission, the President's Strategic Review Committee, the Campus Revitalization Committee and on two of the past provost search committees.


A native of New Hampshire, Melanson graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in English-Journalism. Following college, he moved to Kentucky and began his career as a news reporter at the Advocate-Messenger in Danville. He then moved to St. Louis, where he served as communications manager for an international not-for-profit organization.


Melanson returned to Kentucky in 2004 and began his higher education career at UK. He was named the first presidential speechwriter at UK in March 2004, a position he held for nearly seven years. Melanson then became director of alumni and external relations at the UK College of Pharmacy and later joined the team at CAER in December 2015.


Eligible staff members are encouraged to take part in the election process. Regular staff with a full time equivalency (FTE) of .75 or greater and those in phased retirement are eligible to vote any time between May 13-27 in the election at and at UK Appreciation Day on May 26.


On Monday, June 6, official election results will be announced. The newly elected staff trustee will begin his term July 1.


Questions and comments may be directed to Ann Eads, Staff Senate Election Committee chair, at, or Jann Burks, chair of the Staff Senate, at      



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky #seeblue



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

13-Year-Old Boy Enjoys Being “Normal Kid" Again After Epilepsy Surgery

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 11:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — Anyone who's 13 years old — or who was once 13 — can relate to the embarrassment of a parent insisting on being in the room while they showered.


Unfortunately, this was the reality for 13-year-old Joey Maggard of Lincoln County until a delicate surgical procedure eliminated his epileptic seizures this past January.


At the time of his surgery, Joey's seizures were so frequent and unpredictable — about 20 to 30 per month — that his mother, Amy Smith, would sit in the bathroom in case he seized while showering.


"It was so frustrating for him and heartbreaking for me," Amy recalls. "He wanted so much to be 'just a kid,' but the reality was that being 'just a kid' could have been dangerous for him."


Joey will share his story this morning at 10 a.m.  With him will be his mother and Dr. Meriem Bensalem-Owen of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, who directed the care that and returned him to health and life as a “normal kid.”


The event will be live streamed.  To watch, click here.


Return here later today to read more about Joey and his return to life as "just a normal kid."


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


UK Financial Aid Summer Outreach

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 09:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016)  This summer, the University of Kentucky Office of Student Financial Aid has enhanced community involvement as part of their commitment to the UK Strategic Plan and student success goals. The office will highlight Student Financial Aid through outreach and campus activities. This opportunity will allow UK to share information with families about the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) rule changes on Prior-Prior Year (PPY).


Financial Aid representatives will be present throughout the summer at the Lexington Eastside Public Library, the YMCA of Central Kentucky and dispersed throughout the UK campus.


“The UK Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is pleased to team up with the Lexington Eastside Public Library and the YMCA of Central Kentucky to offer a series of financial aid workshops this summer," said Director of Student Financial Aid Nimmi Wiggins. "The financial aid process can be very intimidating and our goal is to help de-mystify the process and inform families about all the financial aid options available including grants, loans, scholarships and work opportunities."


UK Financial Aid staff will be at the Lexington Eastside Public Library to offer financial aid workshops on three Saturdays during this summer.  The informal workshops will provide assistance to students and parents having difficulty and/or questions about FAFSA completion, FSA ID problems, verification requirements and securing aid. Laptops will be made available at the library for families wanting to complete the FAFSA and/or set up a FSA ID during the workshop.


Lexington Eastside Public Library Workshops will be held the following dates:

·      Saturday, May 14, from noon to 4 p.m.

·      Saturday, June 18, from noon to 4 p.m.

·      Saturday, July 16, from noon to 4 p.m.


UK Financial Aid staff will be at the YMCA of Central Kentucky to offer a financial aid workshop for the families of the Black Achievers who are rising high school seniors.  Information about FAFSA completion, FSA ID and PPY will be discussed.


YMCA of Central Kentucky Workshop will be held the following date:

·      Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to noon


Lastly, the Financial Aid Help Desk will be set up at various locations around campus to help students and visitors who have questions or need assistance with financial aid and/or the KHEAA verification process. On the first Tuesday of every month, financial aid counselors will be available at the Help Desk, which will be located at the most popular locations across campus.


Financial Aid Help Desk will be held the following dates:

·      Tuesday, June 7, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Bowman's Den

·      Tuesday, July 5, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at The 90

·      Tuesday, August 2, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at White Hall Classroom Building


"We hope students and visitors will feel more comfortable in an informal setting to come ask questions about the aid process," said Wiggins.


In addition, UK financial aid counselors are available to assist students and families throughout the summer between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on how to contact a financial aid counselor, click here.



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



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

College of Education Celebrates 197 Teachers Who Made a Difference

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 17:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — There were no winners and no losers at the recent University of Kentucky College of Education’s Teachers Who Made a Difference recognition ceremony. Often, the nominators were celebrated as fervently as the nominees. If tears fell during the ceremony – and many did – they were never bitter or sad, but full of joy and admiration.


This year, 197 educators were honored by their former students as a Teacher Who Made a Difference in their lives and the lives of others. Organizers were pleasantly surprised this year when students named teachers from Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland and Tennessee.


“Teachers and students often develop strong relationships, with the impact of that bond lasting a lifetime, for many,” said Mary John O’Hair, dean of the College of Education. “The UK College of Education is thankful to play a part in helping students show gratitude for a special teacher.”


Each year, any Teacher Who Made a Difference submission is accepted, up to a predetermined limit. Also each year, the program is assisted by a spokesperson who helps get the word out. In the past, John Calipari, Dermontti Dawson, Tubby Smith, Lee T. Todd Jr., Kyle Macy, and Dan and Cheri Issel have led the charge. UK women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell once again volunteered to team with the college to help the program.


“Teaching is my job, teaching is my passion. And it is something that I love and hope to do the rest of my life,” said Mitchell. “It is a tremendous thing to be a teacher.”


Take for example, the case of UK physical therapy graduate student and Jamaican native Carolyn Blissett and her mentor, UK associate professor of physical therapy and director of the College of Health Sciences PT clinical education director M. Lynn English.


In her nomination letter, Blissett wrote, “Dr. Lynn English has been one of my greatest blessings during my educational and professional journey towards becoming a physical therapist. After hearing about the difficulties that I was experiencing at a clinical site, she took the time to meet with me one-on-one to listen to me and provide guidance to help me grow in my areas of weakness. Due to my strong interest in doing a clinical rotation in Belize, Dr. English used her resources to help to make that clinical site a possibility for me and future UK students.”


Blissett went on to use words and phrases like “leader, mentor, passion, approachable, strong commitment to service” to describe English.


“Throughout my two and a half years in the physical therapy program,” said Blissett, “Dr. English has encouraged me and believed in my potential to pursue my dreams of becoming a medical interpreter and a bilingual physical therapist. She has provided me with opportunities to develop that passion and her belief in me has helped me to believe in myself even more.”


For her part, English speaks of Blissett with high praise. “Carolyn is one of the most enthusiastic, personable people I know. She works very hard at everything she does and does so with a smile on her face.”


English remembers fondly that Blissett became proficiently bilingual in a matter of a few weeks during a UK Shoulder to Shoulder Global mission to Ecuador. Now, she is a volunteer interpreter for UK’s physical therapy clinic here in Lexington.


The University of Kentucky College of Education Teachers Who Made a Difference Program began in 1998 as part of the college’s 75th anniversary celebration. With more than 100 teachers honored that year and the overwhelming support from the UK campus and community, the College of Education decided to make it an annual event. After 18 years, nearly 2,000 educators have been honored.



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



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

UK Alum to Honor Cousin, Fallen Officer Ellis, With 'Immortalizing' Song

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 16:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2016) — This Sunday, May 15, flags will be flown at half-staff and the country will honor thousands of fallen police officers on Peace Officers Memorial Day — including fallen Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis. Following the ceremony in Washington, D.C., a special performance on the West Lawn will pay tribute to him.


"A song can never be unwritten — it's sort of an immortalizing thing," said Hannah Ellis, a 2012 integrated strategic communication graduate from UK and cousin to Officer Ellis. "Every time I sing this song I see my family and what we went through together."


Hannah, a musician living in Nashville, knew she wanted to honor her cousin — who was killed in the line of duty and while pursuing his passion - with her own passion, singing.


"It was the day after Daniel's funeral and I was watching what Katie (Daniel's wife) was going through," she said. "I thought, 'what is the truest way to write this song?'"


And so with co-writers Steven Dale Jones and Justin Ebach, they wrote the song, "Officer Down," from the perspective of Katie Ellis.


"I never wanted to overstep; I wanted it to be true," Hannah said. "And I think it's true to me and a lot of people who have experienced something similar."


Later, the Fraternal Order of Police asked Hannah to come sing her song at the Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony, where Daniel's name will be etched in marble on the 304-foot-long memorial. She will sing the song in front of a national audience as well as both her immediate family and Daniel's. And while she sings, she'll remember how supportive Daniel was of her music.


"He always encouraged me to go after my passion, and that's what he did," she said. "He was so passionate about being a police officer, and he was a great one."


Since his death, Hannah said the community support surrounding the Ellis family has been a blessing and they have felt very loved.


"I hope everyone in the crowd on Sunday who has lost their own hero feels that same love and support," she said.


Hannah will sing her song "Officer Down" around 11 a.m. Sunday and the song will be available on iTunes on Friday, May 13. 



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uky4ky #seeblue



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

Nurses Should Practice Pause to Maintain Mental Wellness

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 15:45

By Janie Heath, Ph.D., dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016) — Nurses are at the forefront of the health care industry, repairing our fractured systems while providing care to each individual patient. To help our nurses take on these tremendous responsibilities, we must enable them to build their own strength and resilience during and beyond National Nurses Week by promoting practices such as mindfulness and self-care.


Bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment – mindfulness – is a practice that can be implemented immediately at no cost and can help nurses. According to numerous scientific studies, mindfulness can help reduce psychological and physiological stress, while improving empathy, job satisfaction and a sense of wellbeing.


Nurses need our help. Many are wounded and filled with fatigue and moral distress from managing increasingly higher chronicity of care in complex systems with depleted resources, workforce shortages, long hours and safety concerns. Burnout is seen in nurses all over the world, leading to impatience with co-workers, patients, friends and family.


“The Pause,” a method developed by Jonathan Bartels, a trauma nurse in the University of Virginia Health System, illustrates how mindfulness can generate profound improvements at the point of care. After unsuccessful patient resuscitation efforts, Bartels and health care team members implemented a 45-second pause, allowing time to honor the life that was, recognize the team effort, breathe deeply, and recharge and renew for the next patient.


Paying attention to patients is what nurses do; however, we are often compelled to race in, assess a patient, move rapidly into the treatment phase and proceed to the next patient. If we invited more pauses, more stillness into our care environments, would it make us more resilient? Would it improve our health and wellness? Would it improve our relationships? Would it help prevent burnout?


For National Nurses Week, please reach out and thank a nurse for continually responding to the demands and needs of others, remind them to take time for their own health and wellbeing, find ways to invite stillness into the care environment so that our nurses can be happier, stronger and more balanced providers.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


Zachary Johnson in the Human Performance Lab Featured on LabTV

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 15:32


Video by UK REVEAL Research Media.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2016) — Back when Zachary Johnson was behind the plate, as catcher for the Oldham County High School baseball team, he wasn’t considering a career in research. But that’s exactly where he ended up. And he tells his story on LabTV.


His sophomore year at the University of Kentucky Johnson did some hands-on learning as a physical therapy tech, which led him to pursue a degree in kinesiology and a future in research.


Johnson now works as a research assistant in the Human Performance Lab in the College of Health Sciences alongside Charlotte Peterson, the Joseph Hamburg Endowed Professor and the associate dean for research in health sciences, and Philip Kern, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences and professor of endocrinology.


“Working with Dr. Peterson and Dr. Kern, seeing the work and the time and effort they put in and really seeing what goes on in research, drove me to want to be a part of their team and here I am,” Johnson said.


Johnson is part of a team that is gathering and analyzing data on metformin as a treatment to prevent frailty in the elderly by improving their muscle growth response. Metformin is the most widely prescribed drug for managing type 2 diabetes and could offer a low-cost, personalized approach to help people maintain their independence as they age.


In 2014 Kern and Peterson, along with scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to measure the benefit of metformin to older adults who do not respond well to exercise.


“The novel hypothesis of our study is that metformin will augment strength gains in response to exercise,” Peterson explains. “Since the response to exercise is highly variable in older people, we are specifically targeting individuals over 65 to help them gain mass and strength more effectively so that they can maintain functional independence. This may identify new purposes for metformin, directly on muscle, in addition to its known role of lowering blood sugar.” 


Johnson is the personal trainer for all the participants in the 16-week resistance-training exercise program that looks at whether metformin strengthens muscle. Although several years from final results—the project runs through 2019—Johnson is pleased with how the program is improving quality of life for the participants.


“I’m seeing a lot of muscle gains in this study, and a lot of power and strength increases, which can help them in their everyday living needs, like getting up and down stairs. That can really drive society by being able to allow them to do more things on their own,” said Johnson.


By building a strong background in research, Johnson hopes to pursue either a master’s in exercise physiology or a doctorate in physical therapy.


For more on the metformin research project, see features videos with medical researchers who tell where they came from, how they chose their career, what they do each day in the lab, and why they love it. LabTV’s founder, Jay Walker of TEDMED, said he started the site because if high school students can personally identify with a young medical researcher, they are far more likely to consider becoming one. LabTV’s network features researchers working at leading universities, corporations, and the National Institutes of Health.



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



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343,

UK Athletics Surpasses 3.0 GPA for 8th Straight Semester

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 14:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2016) — What was once an ambition has now become an expectation.


For the eighth consecutive semester, UK Athletics has posted a cumulative department-wide grade-point average of 3.0 or better.


UK Athletics’ scholarship students combined for a GPA of 3.157 this spring, nearly identical to the 3.149 GPA posted in the fall.


“We have a group of graduating seniors who have contributed to a 3.0 GPA in every semester they’ve spent at Kentucky,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “That’s an achievement by our students that should not be overlooked. I want to congratulate those students and everyone who supports them for making that possible.”


Eighteen of UK’s 20 teams posted GPAs of 3.0 or better, the threshold set each semester by the department. Barnhart originally established the goal of a department-wide GPA of 3.0 or better as part of his 15 by 15 by Plan unveiled in 2008. The goal was carried over in the new set of goals set as part of 1-3-5 Elite last April.


“The way that our department takes pride in the personal development of our students is an incredible source of pride for me,” Barnhart said. “Academics are an essential part of equipping our students to succeed after they leave UK.”


The women’s golf team led all teams with a GPA of 3.705, closely followed by softball (3.638) and women’s swimming and diving (3.607). Women’s soccer (3.556), women’s tennis (3.554) and rifle (3.500) each also had GPAs or 3.5 or better.


As further evidence of UK Athletics’ academic success, all Wildcat teams once again surpassed the Academic Progress Rate cut score in a report released by the NCAA in April, continuing a streak of breaking or tying the school record for NCAA graduation rate every year since the statistic was introduced in 2005. Four teams – women’s cross country, men’s golf, rife and men’s basketball – received public recognition for their APR being in the top 10 percent of their sport. Additionally, 70 Wildcats graduated during the 2015-16 school year.


“We all embrace academics as part of our department’s culture, but the importance of our CATS (Center for Academic and Tutorial Services) counselors and tutors should not be overlooked,” Barnhart said. “I want to thank them for their tireless work and commitment to our students.”



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



MEDIA CONTACT: Guy Ramsey,; 859-257-3838.

UK Named Founding Member of University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 12:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2016) — The University of Kentucky is one of nine founding members of a six-year, $20 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded project that is seeking to advance fossil fuel technology.


Called the University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research (UCFER), the project will identify, select, execute, review and disseminate knowledge from research that will improve the efficiency of production and use of fossil energy resources while minimizing the environmental impacts and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Penn State University will lead the coalition, which is funded by DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). In addition to Penn State and UK's Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), other university partners include: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Texas A&M University, University of Southern California, University of Tulsa, University of Wyoming and Virginia Tech. 


"We are excited to serve as a founding member of UCFER," said Rodney Andrews, director of CAER and UK's lead investigator on the project. "These dollars represent a significant investment in UK's fossil fuel research programs. It will help our investigators improve the efficiency and reliability of Kentucky energy and develop new uses for fossil fuels."


Chunshan Song, director of Penn State's Energy Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Science and distinguished professor of fuel science and chemical engineering is the principal investigator and will be director of UCFER.


UCFER will engage in both fundamental and applied research for clean and low-carbon energy based on fossil resources. Outreach and technology transfer to industry will be important components of the coalition.  With the aim of reducing environmental impacts and minimizing carbon dioxide emission, the coalition will explore both research in coal and in natural gas and oil.


The project will support the mission of the DOE program including areas in its Strategic Center for Coal and Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil. Research in coal will include clean, efficient and low-carbon energy through advanced energy systems – gas turbines, gasification systems, advanced combustion and solid oxide fuel cells, carbon dioxide capture, carbon dioxide storage and also involve areas that crosscut technology such as sensors and controls, water management, simulations and environmental controls.


Research in gas and oil will include natural gas resources including shale gas and environmental impacts, natural gas infrastructure – leak detection and smart sensors, deep water technology, methane hydrates and enhanced recovery.



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; 

Expansion of Commonwealth Stadium Lots to Net 200 New Parking Spaces

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 10:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2016)  University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is committed to improving access and mobility to, from and around campus for all members of the UK community. As announced last month, the department is offering a wide range of mobility choices for the coming year, ranging from mass transit to bicycling initiatives to parking options.


In terms of improving parking options, PTS will be adding approximately 200 new parking spaces in the Commonwealth Stadium Blue and Green Lots over the summer months.

This increase complements the previously announced space increase in the High Street Lot as part of PTS’ summer lot expansion projects.


The Green Lot, which is located adjacent to the Oswald Building, primarily accommodates Bluegrass Community and Technical College employee and student parking, while the Blue Lot, which is located on the Alumni Drive side of Commonwealth Stadium, serves as a peripheral employee and student parking option. The peripheral parking permits - new for 2016-2017 - are a lower-cost option and allow those permit-holders to take advantage of the convenient and frequent shuttle connections or the improved pedestrian connections planned for this summer.


The new spaces will be achieved by expanding both lots and by utilizing design efficiencies in the Green Lot.


The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 10.



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