UK and Lexington Communities Invited to New Residence Hall Open House

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 17:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2014) — The campus community — and broader Lexington community — are invited on Thursday, Aug. 14, to tour one of the newest additions to the University of Kentucky's continued campus transformation.


From 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 14, the community can tour Champions Court I residence hall on Avenue of Champions, next to Memorial Coliseum. Champions Court I  — includes 740 beds, along with a high-tech classroom and community space. Champions Court II includes 427 beds. The new complex will officially open for the fall semester along with the new Haggin Hall and Woodland Glen I and II. 


The Champions Court complex also will be home to Common Grounds Coffee Shop; Haggin Hall will be home to the new K-Lair dining facility, long a popular destination for students.


The housing revitalization plan, conducted with private partner EdR, is the largest such effort in all of public higher education. The initiative may ultimately include up to a $500 million investment by EdR to build up to 9,000 new residence hall beds on the UK campus. UK currently is underway with, or about to begin, some $1 billion in infrastructure investment throughout the campus. All but $35 million of that is self-financed by the university.


The timeline for the public-private housing partnership thus far includes: 


  • Phase 1: 601 beds in Central Halls I and II, a $25.2 million investment, opened in fall 2013
  • Phase 2-A: 2,381 beds in the new Haggin Hall, Woodland Glen I and II, Champions Court I and II, a $138 million investment opens fall 2014
  • Phase 2-B: 1,610 beds in Woodland Glen III, IV, and V a $101.2 million investment, will open fall 2015


With this latest investment by UK partner EdR, the university will have constructed 5,733 new modern residence hall beds since 2013 ― a private equity investment on the campus and in the community of $348.3 million.


UK Alum’s Book to be Developed Into a Movie

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 16:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2014) — “The Queen of Kentucky” by University of Kentucky alumna Alecia Whitaker has received a development deal to be made into a movie by David Permut’s Permut Presentations and Unbridled Films. The deal was made public by Variety.


Book trailer video of "The Queen of Kentucky."


Inspired by Whitaker’s own experiences growing up in Kentucky, “The Queen of Kentucky” follows the life of 14-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who decides to reinvent herself as Ericka as she enters public high school. The farmer’s daughter sets out to shed her roots and join the popular crowd. Caught between being a country girl and a wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is, and it takes a serious incident involving an old friend to snap her back to reality.


“The Queen of Kentucky” was first published in 2012 by Poppy, which is known for paperback original series for teens including the national bestselling series “Gossip Girl.”


Adapting the novel is Katie Ford, writer of Sandra Bullock’s “Miss Congeniality” and co-creator of NBC’s new sitcom “Working the Engles.”


Whitaker, a native of Cynthiana, Kentucky, is a 2002 UK graduate who holds a bachelor's degree in theatre and integrated strategic communication. An actress, as well as a writer, she has performed in the New York City Fringe Festival and several commercials. Whitaker currently resides in New York City with her husband, Jerrod Lee Pace, a fellow UK graduate from Corbin, Kentucky, who holds a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, and their two sons.


In early July, Whitaker's second book, “Wildflower,” was released. The book is the first novel in a three book series about a young girl’s rise to country music stardom.


For information about Whitaker or ways to purchase her novels visit




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

Journalism's Buck Ryan Publishes in Jilin Research Journal on Chinese Culture

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2014) — University of Kentucky Associate Professor Buck Ryan, who was honored a second time for his teaching at Shanghai University, is publishing an article on journalism education in a prestigious research journal on Chinese culture published by Jilin University.


Ryan, the eighth director in the 100-year history of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, was recognized at Shanghai University in June for the second consecutive year for his course, "Storytelling: Exploring China's Art and Culture." 


Last year Ryan and his son, Austin, won a teaching award as part of the International Short Term in conjunction with the 1st International Education Forum of Shanghai University organized with UK's Confucius Institute. 


This year at the June 20 opening ceremony of UK Week at SHU, featuring UK Provost Christine Riordan, Ryan's top student, Zhang Mengni, a freshman education major, delivered a speech in English about the course as a highlight of the International Short Term. 


Ryan also mentored the first two "2+2" journalism majors from SHU, Tina John and Jada Wong, who will begin their studies at UK this fall. The "2+2" program offers students the opportunity to graduate with degrees from both UK and SHU if they successfully complete their first two years at SHU and their final two years at UK. 


Ryan,  director of the Citizen Kentucky Project of UK's Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, visited Jilin University in Changchun, China, from June 24 to 27. He was a guest lecturer in a commentary writing class, and he delivered a research presentation on his KET documentary, "Citizen Kentucky/Citizen China: Hope for a New Century," which aired as a lead-in to the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.


After his research presentation, Ryan was approached by international journalism lecturer Zhang Siqi, associate editor of the Jilin University research journal Huaxia Cultural Forum. "Huaxia" is a term representing the nation of China and its civilization. 


Zhang worked with Ryan on a Chinese translation of an article he originally published titled "Journalism Education: A New Deal for Russia and China, too," which appeared in a special section on education for ROOSTERGNN, a bilingual global news site, based in Madrid, Spain.


The abstract for Ryan's article in the Jilin research journal reads: 

"Journalism schools in China, Russia, and America face similar challenges on finances, curriculum, and credibility, mirroring the struggles faced by the profession of journalism in those countries. In America, journalism is suffering a 'Great Depression,' so the author offers a 'New Deal' solution that may have value in China and Russia, too."


On July 25, in the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame room in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, Ryan met with Zhang's dean, Xu Zhengkao, who visited UK as part of a Jilin University delegation.


Xu, the first dean of a new College of Journalism and Communication at Jilin University, praised Ryan and Zhang for their collaboration and invited Ryan to return to Jilin in September to continue work on his plans to update his "Citizen Kentucky/Citizen China" documentary for KET. 


The Jilin University delegation visiting UK was hosted by Huajing Maske, director of UK's Confucius Institute, which has supported Ryan's work at Shanghai University and Jilin. 


The delegation explored possible "2+2" undergraduate programs and "1+1" graduate-level programs, as well possible faculty research collaborations, in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Communication and Information.




MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

Three South Campus Parking Lots to Change Designations in August

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 23:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — As the start of the 2014-2015 academic year approaches, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services will be changing the designations of some parking areas to best meet the needs of campus. 


The Prall Street Lot, located at the corner of Prall Street and South Limestone, is no longer managed by Central Parking as a visitor pay lot. This lot is now a University of Kentucky employee (E) parking lot, and has 10 three-hour parking meters to accommodate short-term visitor parking needs.


Starting in fall 2014, the Sports Center Garage (PS #7) and the large Sports Center Drive lot will change permit designations. The Sports Center Garage will continue to accommodate hourly pay visitor parking, but will otherwise transition to residential (R7) parking. The Sports Center Drive lot adjacent to Cliff Hagan Stadium will change from residential (R3) parking to employee (E) parking.


On Friday, August 15, the parking lot immediately adjacent to the Oswald Building – the Green Lot – will transition from a commuter (C6) parking lot to a mixed-use employee (E) and commuter (C6) parking lot. The lot will no longer have separately designated E spots as it has in the past. The metered spaces will remain in the lot. 


The Commonwealth Stadium E-Red lot located on the corner of Cooper and University Drives will transition to K parking.  As of July 1, 2014, employee (E) permits, in addition to K permits, and any valid student commuter (C) and resident (R) permit, are now authorized to park in any Commonwealth Stadium K Lots, allowing the user more flexibility if their desired parking area is at capacity. This will include the Greg Page Overflow Lot and the Soccer/Softball Complex Lots.


Visit to view the campus parking map.

Regeneration Bonus: Ann Morris

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 17:20

Video by UK Research Media. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — University of Kentucky biologist Ann Morris is studying retinal regeneration in zebrafish to find ways to combat human eye diseases.


The small, minnow-like fish have eyes that develop in a way very similar to humans. Unlike humans, however, zebrafish have the ability to regenerate retinal cells following an injury. Diseases of the retina are a leading cause of blindness in older adults. 


“With zebrafish the embryos develop outside the mother, and they are completely transparent. And development occurs very rapidly," Morris said. "So we can study the process of the development of eye under the light microscope in a dish, and it only takes a couple days to happen."

How is it that zebrafish can regenerate retinal cells and we can't? Morris says the answer is suspended between two distinct possibilities.


“One is that everybody had the ability to regenerate, and that ability in certain lineages was eventually lost," she said. "So as mammals evolved, somehow they lost the ability to regenerate neurons, but perhaps all the mechanism is still there, in their genome, so we need to find those switches and turn it back on.


“The other possibility though is that certain vertebrates evolved that ability whereas others didn’t. And so it’s possible that mammals can’t regenerate neurons because they just don’t have that mechanism. I happen to believe it’s probably more of the former, that some of those abilities are there and they’re latent and we have to discover how to reactivate them.

Learn more about UK's "regeneration cluster" at

Smoke-Free Kentucky Campaign Stopping at Markey

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 14:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) – As part of a weeklong tour across the state, the Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition will be making a stop at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center today at 11 a.m. to promote better health for Kentuckians through smoke-free policies. The event at Markey is one of several stops across the state as it heads to western Kentucky for the annual Fancy Farm Picnic.


At each stop, the Smoke-Free Coalition is rallying supporters and reaching out to legislators, urging them to join 24 other states in passing a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law that covers all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants.  The goal of the tour is to get all Kentuckians, around the state, active and engaged in supporting smoke-free policy as the campaign gears up for the 2015 legislative session.


Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, almost 70 of which are known to cause cancer, and is proven to cause heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory illnesses and even premature death. In fact, studies indicate that secondhand smoke exposure causes about 1,000 deaths a year in Kentucky.


To find out more information about how smoke-free policies are good for health and businesses visit:

UK Alum Publishes Book of Mid-century Architecture in Kentucky

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 14:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — Larry Isenhour, a 1974 University of Kentucky architecture graduate, has authored a chronology of 43 mid-century Lexington-area homes designed by his father, noted architect and 1968 UK graduate Richard Isenhour. "The Houses of Richard B. Isenhour" shows the evolution of his creative home designs of the mid-20th century. Both men studied at the UK College of Architecture (now the UK College of Design (CoD)).  


The term mid-century refers to the design aesthetic that emerged after World War II. Typical elements include open floor plans, clean lines and the incorporation of natural elements. Presented chronologically, the homes featured in Isenhour's book were built between 1956 and 1978.


Larry Isenhour combined his father’s original drawings with photographs of the homes as they were originally built, as well as current photographs. Further contributions came from several current residents of the homes, including UK/CoD Associate Dean of Research Gregory Luhan and alumni Steven M. White ’96 and Joseph E. Jones ’73.




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

UK Psychologist Creating Online Tool to Help Patients Navigate Lung Cancer Screening Decision

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — The phrase "we caught it early" is possibly the best news a patient can hear in the midst of a cancer diagnosis. Combating cancer in its earliest stages, when the disease is localized to a certain part of the body, gives patients the best chances of survival.


Screenings for breast, skin, colon, prostate and other forms of cancer are touted for saving lives through early detection. Many health care providers recommend cancer screenings as a precautionary measure, especially for high-risk patients. But in the case of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, the patient's decision to undergo a screening process is more complex.


According to University of Kentucky psychologist Dr. Jamie Studts, lung cancer screening is an algorithm, not an event. Patients aren't always aware of the physical and psychological consequences of the lung cancer screening process, which can lead to false positive results, invasive biopsy procedures, harmful radiation exposure and anxiety caused by an ongoing process.


Studts, a researcher in the UK Department of Behavioral Science and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Markey Cancer Center, is working to develop an online tool that will help individuals at high risk for lung cancer navigate the lung cancer screening decision-making process. He said the decision to undergo lung cancer screening should be well-informed and aligned with the patient's personal values. Studts is collaborating with Dr. Margaret Byrne, a health economist and medical decision-making researcher at the University of Miami, on this project, which is funded by a grant awarded from the National Cancer Institute.


"Screening is for asymptomatic, healthy people to find out there's something wrong," Studts said. "You are committing to a series of events that will lead to either learning you don’t have cancer, or detecting and treating it."


A number of factors, including the Affordable Care Act's provision of accessibility to cancer screening services and results from a 2011 National Lung Screening Trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute, have reinvigorated the public's interest in lung cancer screening. The National Lung Screening Trial reported a 20 percent relative reduction in mortality for high-risk individuals who received a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans. But the report also identified substantial risks and limitations to lung cancer screenings, which included overdiagnosis and relatively high false positive rates. The rate of false positive occurrence in the study of a high-risk population was 39 percent. With high rates of false positive scans and ongoing follow-up treatment, Studts said widespread lung cancer screening could be a costly burden for government-funded health care but could also prevent very expensive treatments for late stage lung cancer.


Studts and his fellow researchers have proposed a decision-making aid that is designed to accomplish three objectives: disperse knowledge, empower the patient and clarify individual's values. The aid will present accurate information about the screening process and calculate feedback that's tailored to the individual. The tool will also empower the individual to discuss the decision with their health care provider by providing a prompt list of potential questions. Finally, the values clarification component of the tool will explore the patient's personal preferences regarding the lung cancer screening process. For instance, if a patient is ultimately unwilling to undergo surgery for a lung biopsy, the tool can determine that they will likely experience minimal benefit from a screening.


"The goal is to help people interpret what they learn in the context of what’s important to them regarding their goals in health," Studts said. "They will learn about lung cancer screening options, benefits, harms and uncertainties associated with the modality.”


To develop the provider education program, Studts has collaborated with a team of University of Kentucky experts, including Dr. Eric Bendsadoun, a pulmonologist and director of the lung cancer screening program; Dr. Susanne Arnold, a medical oncologist who is part of the multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program; Dr. Michael Brooks, a cardiothoracic radiologist; Dr. Mark Dignan, a cancer prevention and control researcher; Dr. Eric Durbin, a cancer research informatics expert; and Dr. Brent Shelton, a cancer biostatistician.


The next step in their research will be conducting a clinical trial to test the decision-making aid among high-risk individuals, or high pack-year smokers, in Florida and Kentucky. Recently, Studts, along with Dr. Tim Mullet, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UK, received funding from the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program to develop an online continuing education program geared toward educating health care providers about lung cancer screening and how to discuss the lung cancer screening question with their patients. Eventually, he envisions dispersing a comprehensive educational toolkit on lung cancer screening to clinics and hospitals.


Studts said the current research suggests that lung cancer screening has minimal benefits for individuals younger than 55. Still, many Americans with a history of high pack-year smoking will face the decision of whether to be screened for cancer in their lifetime. Studts believes it will be helpful to implement an online tool that will help guide members of the high-risk population through a decision-making process.


"We’re interested in delivering high quality patient centered care – helping people be engaged in their health care choices and helping health care providers engage in these choices too."


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

NIH Awards Prestigious "Pathway to Independence Award" to Saha Cardiovascular Research Institute Scientist

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 09:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) -- Prabhakara R Nagareddy, a scientist with the Saha Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of Kentucky, has received a prestigious K99/R00 award from the National Institutes of Health.


Also known as the Pathway to Independence (PI) Award, this grant provides two years of mentored postdoctoral support followed by three years of independent support. It is designed to fast-track promising young scientists to a more permanent research position with independent NIH or other research support.


PI candidates have an impressive record of research productivity and publications, and have identified a unique research direction to pursue after the mentored phase of the award.


"This award is highly competitive and positions the awardee for a faculty appointment in two years," said Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the Gill Heart Institute, and Nagareddy's mentor. "We are extremely pleased for Prabhakara.  His recent publication in Cell Metabolism reports a breakthrough in the field that may have significant ramifications for preventing heart disease associated with obesity." 


Nagareddy's grant, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, totals approximately $925,000 over five years. The grant will underwrite research on the molecular mechanisms of monocyte production (monocytosis) in cardiovascular disease with a focus on diabetes and obesity.


Originally from Canada, Nagareddy moved to UK two years ago after a productive post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University to be with his wife, Beatriz Hanaoka, an assistant professor in the Division of Rheumatology. 




UK Sorority Receives Top Academic Honors

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta was given the Rose Bowl Honor Roll Award at the sorority's international convention held recently in Indianapolis, Indiana.


The award was given to the UK chapter for consistently achieving a high chapter grade point average (GPA) throughout the last two years between convention meetings. The award is the symbol of the highest academic achievement in Alpha Gamma Delta and represents the first line of their purpose: "To gain understanding that wisdom may be vouchsafed to me."


"We are extremely proud of the work that Alpha Gamma Delta at the University of Kentucky is doing to promote the ideals and values of our fraternity," said chapter development specialist Jennifer Johnson. "The women are committed to inspiring and impacting the world in all that they do."


Susan West, UK's director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs concurred. "Their chapter combined GPA has consistently been above the all sorority grade point average, and they have been a chapter which excels in achieving their academic goals."


Alpha Gamma Delta was founded May 30, 1904, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. The organization promotes academic excellence, philanthropic giving, ongoing leadership, and a spirit of loving sisterhood. The 11 founders of the sorority were described as progressive women who had a vision to "Inspire the Women. Impact the World." The Epsilon Chapter at UK was founded on May 14, 1908, making them the first and longest running sorority at the university.  

All-clear Given After Gas Leak Repaired on UK Campus

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 13:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) — Update 2:15 p.m. -- the gas leak on UK's campus has been capped and the evacuation of nearby buildings including the Rose Street parking Structure has been lifted.  The all-clear has been given by Columbia Gas and the Lexington Fire Department.


Around noon today a gas line was ruptured during construction in the Hilltop Drive area of the University of Kentucky campus, and the area was evaucated for around two hours.  The campus community was asked to avoid the Hilltop near Rose Street and University Drive area.


No one was injured.  The Lexington Fire Department and Columbia Gas Company responded to the scene and UK Police assisted with keeping the area clear.  


The following buildings were evacuated.Central Hall 1 & 2; W.T. Young Library; Mines and Minerals Building; Wenner Gren; Rose Street Parking Garage (Parking Structure # 2); Donovan and Haggin Hall areas. No one was able to move their car from the Rose Street Garage until the evacuation was lifted.


Due to the gas leak, UK's bus service was temporarily affected. It is now back on its regular schedule. For real-time bus locations, visit .


UK Bookstore Updates Website

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 11:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Bookstore, part of the network, recently unveiled a student-input redesigned online store that addresses changing student needs.


The online UK Bookstore now offers a variety of user-friendly features, including a refreshed homepage that maximizes the UK brand and allows greater flexibility to display the UK Bookstore’s varied assortment. The website also populates data-driven product recommendations, based on prior searches and purchases, and automatic search term suggestions, for brands or products, as the shopper types in the search box. New site search functionality that permits searching for course materials by ISBN, author or title and refining merchandise search results by attributes like price, color, size and brand is included as well for students to find and buy needed materials more easily.


"We are constantly looking at opportunities to enhance the customer experience by delivering the products students want, when and where they want them," said Sally Wiatrowski, director at the UK Bookstore." The UK Bookstore website transformation makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for as well as what you might not expect from a campus store — online only offerings like a vacuum cleaner or microwave. Coupling our broad selection with free in-store pick up, the online bookstore is the ultimate one-stop shop for back-to-school necessities." 


As students are the university bookstore's largest target audience, student input means a great deal to Follett, the operator of the UK Bookstore. Follett brings in student focus groups and regularly partners with local campus store teams to ensure bookstore goals are met.


“We strongly value student input, related to both the local store and online store, to ensure we meet our mission of driving access, savings and ultimately, student success,” said Wiatrowski.


For more than 140 years, Follett has served as the leader in higher education retail by continually redefining the campus store experience to meet the changing needs of students, faculty, staff and alumni. Contributing to this mission, Follett’s ecommerce platform,, is embarking on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar transformation to further customize services and maximize education at UK and other universities around the nation.


For more information, visit or




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

Chemistry-Physics Building Closed Monday Due to Flooding

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 09:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) — A pipe burst in the Chemistry-Physics Building this morning resulting in basement flooding and a loss of power to the building.  The Chemistry Physics Building has been closed for the rest of the day. 


Students with classes in the building are encouraged to contact their instructor for class information.  The Registrar’s Office has found alternative classroom space on campus. Please see the attached document below for class redirections.  The classes that do not have a redirected classroom listed have either already been canceled today, or instructors have found their own alternative classroom space.  Students should contact their instructors.


The cause of the burst pipe is being investigated.  Water has been turned off in the building and crews are working on repairs and clean up. The pipe burst also affected chill water lines providing air conditioning to several other buildings on campus, however Physical Plant is working diligently to correct that issue.



Banks Named Rhetorician of the Year

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 09:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2014) — Adam J. Banks professor in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies recently received the 2014 Rhetorician of the Year at The Young Rhetoricians Conference.


Banks, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, received his bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Penn State University. Banks is currently the director of writing, rhetoric and digital studies (WRD), teaching classes in African-American rhetoric, digital rhetoric, community literacy and rhetoric, and composition theory. Banks also serves as the assistant chair of Conference on College of Composition and Communication.


A national leader in social and digital media, Banks is also a national expert on African-American rhetoric and technology, focusing on social media. His blog, The Talking Book, explores social media and race in America.  


Some of Banks’ accomplishments include his award-winning book “Race, Rhetoric and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground” that challenges teachers and scholars in writing and technology fields to explore black traditions more thoroughly while calling African Americans to focus on technology.


Previously, Banks was the associate professor of writing and rhetoric in Syracuse University’s writing program. Banks served as the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor of English at the University of Kansas in spring 2010 where he taught courses on African-American rhetoric, new media and technologies. Banks spent Fall 2011 as a visiting scholar in comparative media studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he is beginning to work on a new book that reexamines the “Talking Book” literacy trope for our current digital age. In addition, Banks is the author of “Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age.”


The Young Rhetoricians Conference's Rhetorician of the Year award was started in 1988. The organization selects one candidate every year who shows exemplary work, based on service, in digital media, African-American rhetoric, social and cultural issues in technology, community literacies and engagement, and rhetoric/composition theory. In presenting the award, conference leaders said Banks is distinguished as an influential leader in English studies and demonstrates an important standard for colleagues in the discipline and beyond. 




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

Secret Talent Revealed at UK Arts in HealthCare Employee Exhibits

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 15:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2014) — The UK Arts in HealthCare program commissions artists from as near as Kentucky and as far away as England for public exhibitions throughout the UK medical campus. But in the spring, the program called upon University of Kentucky employees to submit work to be considered for one of two employee gallery locations. The works selected for the two exhibits, titled The Healing Presence of Art, are now on display.


Thirty-three employee artists entered more than 80 pieces, including photography, pastels, acrylics and oil paintings, to be considered for the exhibits. In May, a jury of  local professional artists evaluated the works based on composition, aesthetics, technique and originality. A collection of 33 selected pieces, which ranged from nature photography to paintings of pets, were also judged on whether they contributed to the healing presence in the hospital. The exhibits opened at the UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria and the Pavilion H lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital in June.


"So many artists out there are hidden among our fellow employees, and they have a high level of talent, especially in photography," Jason Akhtarekhavari, member of the Arts in HealthCare staff, said.


The two collections will be on display until next spring when Arts in HealthCare will hold another employee art competition. Afterward, the art will remain in possession of the UK Arts in HealthCare program and go on permanent display in various locations on the UK medical campus that are currently lacking the presence of art.  All the works are accompanied by an informational caption sign that identifies the employee artist and where they work.


Congratulations to the following employee artists:


Kim Raiford

·         Elemental - Pavilion H

·         Illumination - Pavilion H

·         Garden Visitor - Pavilion H

Arianna Paterson

·         Silken Embrace of Late Summer - Good Samaritan Hospital

Jennifer Jackson

·         Third Life - Pavilion H

·         Summer Lights - Good Samaritan Hospital

Alison Salyer

·         Mushroom in Median - Good Samaritan Hospital

Natasha Reed

·         To the Races

Julia Satterthwaite

·         Warm Fuzzy Kitten - Pavilion H

·         Warm Fuzzy Puppy - Good Samaritan Hospital

M. Clare Sale

·         Mail Call - Good Samaritan Hospital

David Faulconer

·         Tranquility - Pavilion H

Craig Van Horne

·         Untitled - Pavilion H

·         Untitled - Good Samaritan Hospital

Tonya Vance

·         Strength Together - Pavilion H

·         Singular Fortitude - Pavilion H

Enrique Bimstein

·         At the Finish Line in Keeneland - Pavilion H

Joe Omielan

·         Mother and Daughter - Pavilion H

Aaron Peffer

·         Treecicle - Good Samaritan Hospital

June Crawford

·         Erma's Bouquet - Good Samaritan Hospital

·         Malissa's Heart - Good Samaritan Hospital

·         Flowers for Kate - Pavilion H

Lisa Chamblin

·         Lenn Cove Viaduct - Good Samaritan Hospital

·         Zen Tree at Wolf Rock - Good Samaritan Hospital

·         Selfie at Glacier National Park - Pavilion H

Jennifer Lackey

·         Flowers in Motion 3 - Pavilion H

·         215 North - Good Samaritan

Erin Shoot

·         The Haunting - Good Samaritan Hospital

Kam Jackson

·         Reflections - Pavilion H

Brianna Smith

·         Acoustic Guitar - Pavilion H

Edward Kasarkis

·         An Afternoon on Washington Street - Good Samaritan Hospital

Bruce Frank

·         Awakening - Pavilion H

·         Balance - Good Samaritan Hospital


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, (859) 323-2394;

UK Doctor Competing in Triathlon to Benefit His Cancer Patients

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) – The Louisville Ironman – a triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim in the Ohio River, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run – is a competition that would test even the toughest of wills.   


But for University of Kentucky radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock, the competition is about more than achieving a personal goal – Feddock, an accomplished triathlete, is using his athletic talents to help provide better care for the cancer patients he treats. When he competes in the Aug. 24 Ironman, he'll be doing so to raise money to pay for renovations and updates to the brachytherapy program at the UK Markey Cancer Center.


Brachytherapy is a specific form of radiation treatment where radiation sources are placed inside or close to the area requiring treatment.


”The main benefit to using brachytherapy for the treatment of cancer is that this is the only method of radiation treatment where we can make radiation appear exactly where we want to," said Feddock. "If your goal is to treat a tumor with curative doses of radiation and not treat the normal parts of the body immediately next to it, then brachytherapy is the best option.”


The total estimated cost for the brachytherapy project is approximately $1.2 million dollars, and Feddock has a specific goal to reach – he is trying to raise $200,000, with the remaining $1 million to be matched through the University, independent philanthropists, and department funds. The proposed changes would consolidate all areas involving brachytherapy, including moving the implant procedure room and the radiation treatment room into a combined space, and upgrading the current brachytherapy equipment.


Brachytherapy treatment is commonly used to treat most gynecologic cancers, as well as malignancies of the breast, prostate, and skin. Under Feddock’s leadership, the radiation medicine department has developed a niche practice that uses brachytherapy for recurrent tumors in patients who have previously received radiation. As a result, UK sees patients from all over the country.


Unfortunately, Kentucky holds the distinction of having some of the highest cancer rates in the country – including being No. 8 in the U.S. for cervical cancer incidence. The availability of brachytherapy in the state is limited, and as a result, Markey provides brachytherapy services for essentially all patients coming from central, eastern and southern Kentucky.


Currently, Markey patients receive their brachytherapy implants in the Ben F. Roach Building, but have to be transported down a long hallway to the radiation treatment room in the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Because the radiation therapy treatment and recovery rooms require a shielded vault, consolidation is not an easy process.


However, Feddock points out, the renovations will improve staff efficiency and the overall patient experience, in addition to allowing his team to see even more patients per day.


"Currently, the setup and logistics of brachytherapy treatment limit me to no more than two cases a day," Feddock said. "As our patient population grows, there's a real need to streamline the process so we can see more patients. I believe the proposed changes would allow me to treat three to four patients a day."


Feddock is determined to reach his goal, and he's even implemented a clever strategy to bring in donations. After speaking with members of the World Triathlon Corporation, he has been given special permission to begin the Ironman in Louisville this year in last place – and he's encouraging donors to "bet against him" by pledging a small amount for every single person he passes in the race. With close to 3,000 competitors ahead of him, that's a lot of potential donations.


The plan becomes more impressive when you look at his track record: in 2011, Feddock finished 30th in the Ironman; in 2013, he finished 17th.


”While I'm approaching some corporate sponsors and individual philanthropists about making larger donations, I think crowdfunding is the key here," Feddock said. "Every single dollar helps, and if a lot of different people contribute just a small amount, it will add up. By pledging even a small donation, you'll be making a huge impact on cancer care for women and men across Kentucky."


Dr. Marcus Randall, chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine, says his team fully supports Feddock's undertaking.


“Dr. Feddock’s commitment to his patients and to UK HealthCare is inspirational to us all," Randall said. "The department is strongly supporting Dr. Feddock, which shows that we truly have 'skin in the game' when it comes to giving our patients the best treatment possible.”


To support Feddock's mission and improve patient care at the UK Markey Cancer Center, visit his personal fundraising page, for details on how to donate. All donations are processed through the Markey Cancer Foundation


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

Supafunkrock, Jazz, Latin, Celtic and Classical Music on Tap at Singletary

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:56


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts kicks off its 2014-15 Singletary Signature Series with the man behind the Supafunkrock sound, Trombone Shorty, in a season that also includes performances from popular jazz, Latin and classical artists as well as a holiday program with Celtic flair. All tickets to Trombone Shorty, Branford Marsalis, Diego Garcia, Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" and Joshua Bell are on sale now.


Trombone Shorty performing "Fire & Brimstone." A transcript of this song video can be found here.


The 2014-15 season will open in September with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is a rare artist who can draw both the unqualified respect of jazz legends and deliver a high-energy show capable of mesmerizing audiences worldwide. With an unprecedented mix of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul, he had to create his own name to describe his signature sound: Supafunkrock. Andrews is the kind of player who comes along maybe once in a generation. Lexington audiences can hear Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue beginning 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.


Returning to Singletary Center this fall is a legendary jazz musician from the celebrated Marsalis family, Branford Marsalis. A Grammy award-winning and Tony award-nominated saxophonist and composer, Marsalis is joined by the renowned Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, for 20 performances only, on his national "Well-Tempered" tour, featuring Baroque masterpieces by Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and more. Leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. Branford Marsalis and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will take the stage 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26.


Diego Garcia video of "Sunnier Days." A transcript of this song video can be found here.


Warm up your chilly November nights with the Latin sounds of Diego Garcia. Prior to his successful solo career, Garcia made his mark on the indie music scene as front man for the popular New York indie rock act Elefant. Drawing from his Argentine roots, he explores his Latin heritage with a sound that conjures the spirit of 1970s troubadours like Sandro and Jobim, as well as singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Harry Nilsson. A breakout star with the release of his solo album "Laura," NPR named Garcia’s debut “one of the top 25 albums of the year.” His poignant first single “You Were Never There,” features lush string arrangements, delicate Spanish guitars and distinctly Latin flavor. Diego Garcia brings his sound to the Singletary stage 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.


A preview of Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas." A transcript of this song video can be found here.


Kentucky families looking for a different way to celebrate the holidays can take in Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas." Now in its 17th season, "A Celtic Christmas" recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a remote farmhouse in the parish of Teampall an Ghleanntáin in the west of Ireland. The show remembers when neighboring families gathered around the fire to grace the wintry night with haunting melodies of traditional Irish Christmas carols, to raise the rafters with the joy of their music, to knock sparks off the flagstone floor with traditional dances, and to fill the night with the laughter of their stories. Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" will warm your heart beginning 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21.


Joshua Bell performs "The Four Season" Summer III. Presto by Antonio Vivaldi.


Classical aficionados will not want to miss violinist Joshua Bell as he makes his debut at the Singletary Center next April. Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most celebrated violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar." Bell will join Conductor John Nardolillo and the acclaimed UK Symphony Orchestra to perform a program that includes Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto #1 in G Minor Op. 26 and Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28. Joshua Bell and UK Symphony Orchestra grace the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.


Ticket prices vary for the 2014-15 Singletary Signature Series performances and can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.


A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.




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

Costich to Represent Kentucky at National Press Club Forum

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:10


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) --  University of Kentucky College of Public Health Professor Julia Costich will represent the University and the Commonwealth at a forum at the National Press Club in August.  The presentation, which is a collaborative effort of the Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY, the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Brookings Institution, will feature new reports on the ways Southern states have implemented and responded to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 


Costich, who teaches in the Department of Health Management and Policy, will speak for the Kentucky team of analysts, which includes UK College of Public Health faculty member Glen Mays, at the Aug. 25 event.


Attendees of the program will learn of the 35-state implementation of the ACA and will, specifically, hear an overview of the implementation efforts of southern states.  Following the presentation, a panel of field researchers, including Costich, will provide reports on the individual implementation efforts of each participating state.  These reports will then be discussed further by a second panel who will consider the issues each has raised.  This second panel will feature representative from the Rockefeller Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, and


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

Yasuma Receives Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Research Award

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:45


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2014) – Tetsuhiro Yasuma, postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2014 Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Award from Fight for Sight,  a non-profit organization that promotes eye research by providing pilot funding to promising new researchers.


Yasuma received training in biomedical research as an undergraduate student in Japan and general ophthalmology and surgery in graduate school. Yasuma joined the Ambati lab at UK in 2012. His research focuses on finding treatment for dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the form of AMD that affects the majority of AMD patients and for which there are no current therapies.


"Recently, we discovered that one class of molecule called Alu RNA contributes to dry AMD and that blocking downstream signals of Alu RNA may be an effective treatment," Yasuma said. "Ideally, we would like to discover how to block upstream signaling of Alu RNA – to halt retinal degeneration at its early stages."


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 




UKAg Economics Professor Named NACDEP President

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 22:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2014) — The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals recently installed Alison Davis as their new president. Davis, professor of agricultural economics in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, took over the position at the national conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Davis is also the executive director of the college’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.


The association, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, provides networking and is a source of information about training opportunities for extension professionals who concentrate at least some of their work on community development. Kentucky Cooperative Extension sent eight agents to present at this year’s conference, which focused on the art of reinvention. The agents represent 4-H, family and consumer sciences, agriculture and fine arts.


“We had more non-community development extension professionals than we’ve ever had before. That’s where we think our area of growth is,” Davis said. “We think agents can have the largest impact by incorporating community development principles in the delivery of their programs. Basically, we want agents to feel like they have a home around community development, even though their appointment might be in another program area. My goal is to try to increase membership and to provide other opportunities beyond an annual conference and some trainings to really make NACDEP beneficial to its membership.”


Another of Davis’s goals is to implement a state-level initiative program that would allow states to individualize their programs. She also sees it providing benefits to agents and other county and state professionals to be used for awards, scholarships or in-service trainings.


As part of her responsibilities as president, Davis will sit on the board of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals for the second of three years. Last year she joined the board as NACDEP’s president-elect; the association’s president, president-elect and past president all hold council board positions.


Davis’s term in office will end June 2015. She is the second UKAg extension faculty member to hold the position. Rick Maurer, extension professor of community and leadership development, was the association’s second president.