Campus News

UK President Names Interim VP for Institutional Diversity

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — Terry Allen, associate vice president for institutional equity at the University of Kentucky, has been appointed interim vice president for institutional diversity effective July 1.  UK President Eli Capilouto made the announcement at UK's Board of Trustees meeting Friday, June 19. Allen will take over for Judy (J.J.) Jackson who is retiring after seven years as vice president for institutional diversity.


Capilouto said when Jackson announced in February her decision to retire, he launched a series of conversations with around 100 people — students, faculty, staff, local community leaders and local and state policymakers — to learn about the work that must continue for maintaining an inclusive environment at UK.


"I have been inspired by the commitment of our campus to the mission we have to expand and sustain our efforts," Capilouto said. "Terry brings to this role a deep and long-standing commitment to our university and our work to foster an environment where everyone feels welcomed and believes their current and future success is nurtured."


"I am appreciative of the opportunity to serve the university in this position," Allen said. "Diversity and inclusion do not just occur. It takes consistent effort and ongoing commitment, particularly to facilitate achievement of student success. The university must embrace diversity strategic objectives, assess continuous progress, and welcome those who contribute." 


Allen has led the UK Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity since 2003 working extensively with all campus colleges, UK HealthCare other UK administrative units, and federal and state agencies regarding equal opportunity, equity, access and diversity in academic programs, employment, services and activities.  Most recently, he worked with the provost and the co-chairs of the “Diversity and Inclusivity” area of the next Strategic Plan. He also has served in various roles with community organizations, notably as coordinator of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in downtown Lexington.


An employee of UK since 1983, Allen's first nine years were in Student Affairs, after which he assumed the newly created central administration position of director of affirmative action. Later, he was named assistant vice president for equal opportunity followed by his current position as associate vice president for institutional equity.

Distinguished Educator, Inventor New Dean College of Design

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy today announced that Mitzi Vernon will assume the position of dean of the UK College of Design.


Vernon is currently professor of industrial design at Virginia Tech.  Vernon has works of architecture, furniture, interiors and product design in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago. Subject to approval by the UK Board of Trustees, she will join the university in September.


"We are thrilled that Mitzi Vernon is joining the University of Kentucky in this critical leadership position," Tracy said. "Professor Vernon has a unique background and diverse set of scholarly interests that make her an outstanding fit for a college that blends different disciplines and is renowned for its quality and service across the Commonwealth."


"It is an honor to be selected to take forward the rich and long history of the College of Design," Vernon said. "I look forward with enthusiasm to joining a distinguished faculty and to a partnership with Provost Tracy and the other deans."


Vernon replaces Interim Dean Ann Whiteside-Dickson, who has served for more than a year following the departure of Michael Speaks, who left UK to assume the dean's position at Syracuse University.


"We are so appreciative of Ann's leadership over the past year and her steadfast commitment to the college and the entire university," Tracy said. "She represents so well what it means to be a leader and a colleague at the University of Kentucky."


Tracy said Whiteside-Dickson did an “incredible job through a leadership transition. Transitions are often very challenging, but Ann throughout maintained a reassuring presence and steady hand of leadership.” Moreover, throughout her tenure, the college maintained its national reputation for excellence as significant partnerships continued with manufacturers, energy providers and researchers. From small river towns to large metropolitan areas, College of Design faculty and students are engaged in important service projects that address both community and global challenges. And graduates continued to be placed in leading firms, corporations and in public service.


Vernon has excelled in teaching, research and service in her academic career. 


She is the recipient of three National Science Foundation Grant awards. Two grants are focused on design of nontraditional books and exhibits for teaching science and math to middle school students. The most recent grant, awarded in 2007, is a collaborative project examining the design studio as a model for teaching the design of software-intensive systems. Vernon’s current scholarship on product form led to the development of a new studio model called "form studio" and the student design and fabrication of a traveling exhibition called "FORM: Line-Plane-Solid." She has received multiple grants over the past several years to support this work.


Vernon is the primary inventor on three U.S. patents, and she has extensive experience with sponsored collaborative projects involving industrial design, architecture, physics, computer science, engineering, and education students. She received patents as the originator of the project "Fields Everywhere."


As a professor of courses in industrial design including design research and professional practice, Vernon has received numerous teaching awards including the most prestigious teaching award at Virginia Tech, the William E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching (2012) and was the inaugural awardee of the J. Stoeckel Design Studio Teaching Award in the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech (2012) for outstanding studio teaching.  She is currently the chair of the Academy of Teaching Excellence (ATE) at Virginia Tech; a past president of the Faculty Senate at Virginia Tech; and a member of the Virginia Tech STEM Outreach Board of Advisors.


Vernon received a Master of Science in engineering in product design from Stanford University in 1995; a Master of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1986; and a Bachelor of Science in interior design from the University of North Carolina (Greensboro) in 1984.


Prior teaching experience includes the California College of the Arts, the University of Southern California and Arizona State University. 

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Features EVPFA Eric Monday Discussing University Flats

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 08:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's guest is Eric Monday, UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration.  He is discussing the next phase of UK’s student housing transformation, a 771 bed facility which will be known as University Flats. 


To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit


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

UK College of Nursing Pioneers Therapies to Prevent Depression in Patients and Caregivers

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 17:08



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 22, 2015) — Clinical depression impacts 25 percent of all patients who suffer from cardiac disease, compared with 2 to 3 percent of the general population. Depressive symptoms, which can have debilitating effects similar to clinical depression, are observed in 75 percent of cardiac patients who are hospitalized.


According to University of Kentucky College of Nursing professor Debra Moser, depression and symptoms of depression can impede self-care interventions, which are especially important for maintaining the well-being of cardiac patients. Depression affects both the patient's ability to conduct essential self-care activities and the caregiver's ability to assist in a self-care intervention.


"Anybody with depression or depressive symptoms has a terrible time adhering to the self-care activities they need, like taking medication, engaging in physical activity, eating whatever diet is prescribed to you," Moser said. "People who are depressed don't have the energy or the will to engage in those sorts of activities."


To prevent psychological barriers caused by depression, Moser has integrated cognitive behavioral therapy in self-care interventions for cardiac patients. This therapy prevents the onset of depression by helping patients work through negative or erroneous thoughts about their condition.


"People who have depression often turn a simple event into a catastrophe that is going to destroy their life," Moser said. "It's just re-conceptualizing a situation, sort of reframing it so that you see how to work through a formerly insurmountable barrier."


Moser's self-care intervention program also focuses on the emotional well-being of the caregiver and entire family surrounding the patient. Based on the theory of emotional contagion, depression or depressive symptoms can be easily transferred from one member of a relationship or household to another. Because depressive symptoms are common in cardiac patients, self-care programs must also consider the emotional well-being of the caregiver.


"When we provide interventions to caregivers, they get the skills and the knowledge to not be so burdened by the condition, but they also get some direct attention for their own health, for their own depressive symptoms, for their own quality of life," Moser said. "And really the act of providing an outlet to caregivers is really found to be helpful just in improving their own psychological health."


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


New Strategic Plan to Guide UK HealthCare through 2020

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 17:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's Health Care Committee of the UK Board of Trustees were presented a strategic plan that will guide UK HealthCare through 2020. The committee met Thursday during their annual retreat.


Building upon the success of the past 10 years, the plan continues to emphasize caring for the most complex, critically ill patients in Kentucky and beyond.


Some of the statistics and figures presented that reflect UK HealthCare's growth include:

  • Inpatient discharges have increased more than 85 percent since 2005 from 19,664 in FY2004 to 35,180 in FY2014
  • The number of physicians hired has increased 35 percent since 2006
  • Operating revenue growth is 200 percent since 2004
  • Total assets have increased from $473 million in 2004 to $1.4 billion in 2014
  • Number of full-time employees has increased 95 percent since 2004
  • Facility expansion includes addition of 120 licensed beds approved in 2014

In approving the new strategic plan, UK HealthCare officials asked for a commitment from its leaders, stakeholders and partners to move forward and achieve its vision by giving latitude for collaborative models, committing to clinical excellence and providing an outstanding patient experience as well as service line integration.  From its statewide partners, it was asked for participation in a statewide collaborative that fosters success against the challenges of the future.


"The 2020 Strategy is built on a foundation of patient-centered care and a patient-centered culture that includes growth in complex care as well as ambulatory care; strengthening partnership networks to reduce costs, and increase efficiency; and value-based care and payments which improve predictability of outcomes and cost while adopting evidence-based leading practices," said UK Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf.


The plan includes developing a cultural change program in order to support the 2020 strategic vision. The program will identify key cultural strengths and opportunities. The goal will be to design a patient-centric experience that positions UK HealthCare to be Kentucky's destination provider for complex care and it will enable staff and leadership to be ambassadors of the patient-centered culture and UK HealthCare brand.


Also detailed in the Strategic Plan is growth in complex care and in ambulatory (outpatient care).  As part of this goal, substantial service line growth is needed in the next five years. Additionally, ambulatory specialty care will also need to grow by improving access to UK HealthCare specialists and developing a patient-centered care model as well as partnering with community physicians.


As part of the service line growth, the focus will continue to be on treating the most complex patients and partnering with community providers to keep lower acuity patients in their home community.


Service line areas of primary focus for growth will be the Gill Heart Institute, Kentucky Children's Hospital, Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, High-Risk Obstetrics and Neonatal Intensive Care, Solid Organ Transplantation, Digestive Health, Musculoskeletal, and Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.


Clinical and support services that UK HealthCare will invest in to enable growth in these service lines includes excellence in quality and operational efficiency; redesigning the transfer management processes in order to create capacity and treat patients in the appropriate care setting and return them to our community partners; and develop a service line operating model to support and coordinate comprehensive, multidisciplinary care across the continuum and community.


These same strategies will be used to expand ambulatory specialty care.


To achieve this plan, a new service line operating model will be implemented to enable and enhance the organization's strategic initiatives. This new model will incorporate the transition from department and specialty driven care to multidisciplinary, multi-specialty care; episodic and high-acuity focused care to disease and cross continuum focused care; from provider centric to patient centric; from individual physician or specialty care to team care delivery involving multiple specialties; and UK HealthCare management of high-acuity care to collaboration with external partners to optimize site and level of care.


Integrated technology that standardizes data across the organization and enables population health management will be utilized.


Another overarching premise of the 2020 Strategic plan is the strengthening of partnership networks including acute care partnerships, post-acute care partnerships, primary care and community care. As part of future planning, UK will develop a primary care network to ensure a seamless experience across the care continuum and position the organization for value-based care and population health.


The third selected strategy in the plan is value-based care. In order to provide enhanced value for patients, UK HealthCare will develop a "best in class" quality management program.

This strategy includes improving the predictability of outcomes, cost of care, and adoption of evidence-based practices throughout the enterprise across all settings of care.


"To be successful, patient care in the future must be affordable, accessible, coordinated, efficient and high quality with a shift to improving health outcomes and rationalizing but not rationing care," said Karpf.


He added that although a significant amount of time and effort has been invested in developing this strategic plan, UK HealthCare’s strategic journey does not end here.


"We will continue with work in the weeks and months to come to set priorities, develop timelines, and track progress and results."


Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363,


Hospital Drive Closure to Impact UK HealthCare Bus Stop and Parking June 19-23

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — Due to the placement of a large construction crane on Hospital Drive to facilitate construction at the VA Hospital on the University of Kentucky campus, the UK HealthCare employee shuttle from the Orange Lot will only pick up and drop off at the Health Sciences Research Building Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23. Shuttle service to Pavilion A will not be available on these two days.


Parking along Hospital Drive, the parallel greenhouse service drive, and Veterans Drive will be impacted from Friday, June 19 to Tuesday, June 23. Hospital Drive and the greenhouse service drive will be closed, and much of the on-street parking on Veterans Drive will be unavailable Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23. Parking in these areas will be closing over the weekend as cars vacate spaces. All spaces along the greenhouse drive and Veterans Drive must be completely vacated by the evening of Sunday, June 21.


Members of the university community who utilize the UK HealthCare Shuttle or normally park their vehicles in these areas are encouraged to allow for additional commute time during this impact.



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 323-2395;

KET Airing 'Made in Kentucky' Documentary on Energy Challenges, Solutions

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 10:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2015) — "Made in Kentucky," a documentary examining Kentucky's energy challenges and solutions, will air on KET this weekend, June 19-20, and next Friday, June 26.


The one hour documentary was produced by the University of Kentucky Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments (Vis Center) and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (Kentucky EEC).


The film discusses the issues Kentucky faces — growing concerns about climate change and the demand for coal replaced by the demand for natural gas — and explores some of the solutions that might lead to a stronger Kentucky economy while still protecting the environment.


"Made in Kentucky" will air at the following times:


·         KETKY: June 19 at 6 p.m. EDT

·         KETKY: June 20 at 1 a.m. EDT

·         KETKY: June 20 at 11 a.m. EDT

·         KETKY: June 20 at 9 p.m. EDT

·         KET: June 26 at midnight EDT


The documentary is also available on YouTube at




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

Barnhart Receives Athletics Director of the Year Award From National AD Group

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 08:52

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 18, 2015) — University of Kentucky Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart was presented with the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award Wednesday, June 17, at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) annual awards luncheon in Orlando, Florida.


Barnhart was one of four ADs of the Year honored at the event, along with Chris Del Conte of Texas Christian University, Warde Manuel of Connecticut and Ian McCaw of Baylor.


“Under the steady and successful leadership of Mitch Barnhart, the University of Kentucky athletics program is reaching extraordinary levels of success across its 22 varsity programs,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “For 13 years, his integrity and talent have empowered our staff, coaches and student-athletes to succeed on the field, in the classroom and across the communities they serve. Having recently reached his ambitious set of goals for the department, Mitch continues to inspire our program to reach even higher, while supporting in creative and impactful ways the academic mission of the University.”


The NACDA recognition comes the same year that UK Athletics completed the final goal set as part of Barnhart's ambitious 15 by 15 by 15 Plan.


The Southeastern Conference Tournament championship won by the men's basketball team gave UK its 15th conference or national title since the plan was announced in 2008. In the 2013-14 school year, UK finished 11th in NACDA Directors' Cup standings, meeting Barnhart's aim to make Kentucky a top-15 athletics department nationally. UK also has reached the academic prong of 15 by 15 by 15 in five consecutive semesters by achieving a department-wide grade-point average of 3.0 or better. In addition, UK Athletics met the final component by expanding the department's community service in Lexington and beyond.


“I’m thankful for the presidents I’ve worked for, Dr. Capilouto and Dr. (Lee) Todd at Kentucky and Dr. (Paul) Risser at Oregon State, and for Coach Dickey (former Tennessee athletics director Doug Dickey), who was an important mentor to me,” Barnhart said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by your peers. Success is driven by a wonderful staff, dynamic coaches and talented young people.”


UK Athletics has enjoyed comprehensive growth since Barnhart’s arrival in 2002. Eighteen of UK's 22 varsity teams contributed to the 2014 school-record Directors' Cup finish, with seven finishing in the top 10 of their respective sports.


Barnhart has helped pave the way for UK's ascendance as an athletics department by innovatively pursuing facility improvements. In September, UK will play the grand-opening game in the new Commonwealth Stadium following a $120 million project made possible by an unprecedented partnership with its university partner. The football program also will have a new $45 million practice facility in 2016, adding to a list of new facilities completed in the last two years that includes new softball and soccer stadiums, a new track stadium and a new golf complex.


Barnhart is steadfast in his commitment to putting student-athletes first, evidenced by their strong academic performances. He is active in community service and encourages student-athletes to follow suit. Putting that into action, UK student-athletes combined to serve 4,319 hours in the community during the 2013-14 school year. Also, over the last four years, UK football players have made educational/service trips to Ethiopia, a program that has been expanded to include athletes from multiple sports.


Even with the department's growth and the increasingly competitive nature of college sports, UK Athletics has remained fully self-sufficient, operating with a balanced budget and with the help of no state or university funds under Barnhart's leadership. As further proof of UK Athletics' financial stewardship, Barnhart directs a $1.7 million annual contribution to the university's scholarship program and UK Athletics is funding nearly two-thirds of the $100 million Academic Science Building under construction on campus. All totaled, UK Athletics has directly and indirectly contributed nearly $200 million to the university's mission since 2002.


Barnhart is also a leader in shaping the future of college sports on a national level. He was appointed to serve on the NCAA Division I Council, a body charged with conducting the day-to-day business of Division I athletics, after becoming the chair of the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee in 2010.


Barnhart’s legacy includes helping develop administrators who have gone on to become athletics directors at nationally prominent universities, including Greg Byrne of Arizona, Mark Coyle at Boise State, Rob Mullens at Oregon and Scott Stricklin at Mississippi State.


Barnhart, Del Conte, Manuel and McCaw are among 28 athletics directors who were honored at the NACDA event. Four winners in each category were chosen in the NCAA Football Subdivision; NCAA Division I-AAA, Division II and Division III; NAIA; and junior/community colleges.


“Since 1998, NACDA has been highlighting the notable contributions made by athletics directors across all divisions of our membership,” said Bob Vecchione, NACDA executive director. “These 28 winners have been recognized by their peers for their outstanding work on campus, in their community and supporting their student-athletes.”


Among the criteria for selection were service as an AD for a minimum of five years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD’s institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body. Selection committees comprising current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the awards.


Barnhart is the second Kentucky AD to be selected, as C.M. Newton was chosen in 1999, the inaugural year for the honor.

UK Crime Bulletin: Auto Thefts Near Campus

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 17:48

In the interest of safety, the University of Kentucky Police Department has issued the following Crime Bulletin for the University of Kentucky Main Campus.


  • The University of Kentucky Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle from the Good Samaritan Parking Structure at 310 South Limestone on June 6, 2015. The victim reported that her purse was stolen from inside the hospital. It is surmised that the victim’s keys were used to then locate and unlawfully remove the vehicle.
  • The Lexington Division of Police received a report of a stolen vehicle from the Jersey Street employee parking lot on June 9, 2015. It was reported that the victim parked and locked her vehicle in the lot. When she returned approximately two hours later, the vehicle was missing.
  • The Lexington Division of Police received a report of a stolen vehicle from the intersection of Scott Street and Upper Street June 12, 2015. The victim reports being flagged down by three male subjects who asked for a ride. When the subjects insisted on driving (stating that the victim was too intoxicated to drive), the victim relented. The four then drove to the intersection of Scott Street and Upper Street. Two of the male subjects and the victim got out of the vehicle. When she got out of the vehicle to get into the driver’s seat, the suspect drove away with her vehicle.


University of Kentucky Police Department has issued this Crime Bulletin for the UK Community in compliance with the “Timely Notice” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.  The bulletin is being issued based upon the pattern of vehicle thefts in the South Limestone/Upper Street area.


If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police (859) 257-8573 or the Lexington Division of Police at (859) 258-3600.


The University of Kentucky values a safe community for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. In the interest of promoting a safe and secure campus environment, UK Police offer the following safety precautions:


  • If you see something, say something; report suspicious activity to UK Police immediately. For emergencies, call 911.
  • Whenever possible, avoid thefts of opportunity. Opportunity theft is the direct result of property and valuables left unattended and unsecured, even for short periods of time, which provides a thief with the opportunity to steal your valuables.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and secured. If you cannot secure the items, carry them with you.
  • Maintain a thorough record of your valuables, to include photographs, serial numbers, makes and models, etc.

UK Named Tree Campus USA for Fourth Consecutive Year

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 11:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2015) —  In recognition of its efforts to provide meaningful greenspace, the University of Kentucky was honored as a 2015 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.


Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and sponsored by Toyota to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. UK achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA's five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Tree Campus USA is sponsored by Toyota.


"Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a great impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become conservation leaders," said Latrondra Newton, chief corporate social responsibility officer for Toyota Motor North America, Inc.


The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $29 million in campus forest management last year.


“It’s an honor to receive this recognition for the fourth year in a row,” said Jerry Hart, superintendent of grounds in the division of Facilities Management at UK. “It really takes a collaborative effort from students, faculty, facility operations and the community to meet and sustain the standards of Tree Campus USA. Our team works daily by planting and nurturing to keep our university green.” 


In order to attain such a title, a collaborative effort between UK grounds people, faculty and students must be made. Grounds people work directly with the trees by watering, pruning, mulching and planting; while faculty and students from departments such as UK forestry dedicate time and effort to learn about and promote the living tree environment on UK’s campus.


"Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment," said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all."


As an example of student engagement, on April 12, several UK students from horticulture, forestry, and plant and soil science teamed up with the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council and staff at the UK-Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Arboretum to remove invasive species from the arboretum woods.


“We removed amur honeysuckle and purple wintercreeper, and did so avoiding the small patches of poison ivy which we identified beforehand,” said UK forestry graduate student Nic Williamson. “Plans are in the works for another service project in September which may include mulching and planting trees on campus.”


Williamson said the campus community can get involved in UK’s urban forest initiative through the Adopt-A-Tree program.


“Adopt-A-Tree is a way to raise interest and awareness of the benefits of trees. It is a simple and free exercise where a person or group identifies, measures, and calculates the ecosystem benefits of their favorite trees,” said Williamson.


Adopt-A-Tree is one just one initiative within UK’s Tree Care Plan.


“Tree Campus USA is a vehicle which only moves forward with cooperation and partnerships between many people who work, live and play under our campus tree canopy throughout the year,” Williamson said.


Trees provide countless benefits to the campus. They make the UK community more beautiful and healthy in cleaning our air, cooling our campus, providing wildlife habitat and capturing and filtering stormwater runoff. Trees and greenspace are mentally restorative and important to the university.


Williamson, as well as the countless others who put forth efforts toward the enhancement of plant life at UK, will continue to strive toward the goal of being named Tree Campus USA for a fifth consecutive year.


More information about the program is available at



MEDIA CONTACTS: Blair Hoover and Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395;,

UK Hosts 5th Annual Barnstable Brown Research Day

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 06:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2015) – The University of Kentucky’s fifth annual Barnstable Brown Obesity and Diabetes Research Day was held on May 20 at the Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A.


Since 2011, the event has focused on current findings in obesity and diabetes research and features presentations by nationally prominent physician-scientists as well as the work of regional researchers and UK students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty chosen from abstract submissions.


President Eli Capilouto opened the day with remarks about the importance of diabetes research at UK, given the prevalence of the disease in the region and the fact that diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

Dr. Philip Kern, director of the UK’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS), introduced Dr. John Fowlkes who succeeds Kern as director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center. 


“Inspiration for this annual symposium, which is now in its 5th year, grew out of desire to focus on diabetes and obesity-related work performed by complementary research centers and departments within UK’s College of Medicine,” said Fowlkes, the center’s new director. “The event is dedicated to highlighting the most up-to-date regional research, and is complemented by guest speakers who provide cutting edge presentations about the relationship between obesity and diabetes.”


Invited speakers for the 2015 Research Day were Dr. Sudha Biddinger, of Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Steven Kahn, director of the Diabetes Research Center at the University of Washington, Seattle; and Dr. Elif Oral, associate professor in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes at the University of Michigan.


Dr. Biddinger’s work concentrates on signaling pathways and mechanisms underlying the development of dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease in the insulin resistant states of obesity and diabetes.  Dr. Khan has an extensive basic research program examining the role of islet amyloid in the loss of ß-cells in type 2 diabetes.


Dr. Oral’s clinical interests are in insulin resistance, obesity, lipid disorders, and diabetes with a focus on the importance of adipocytes in human metabolism and adipocyte hormones such as leptin.


The program included a panel discussion on the topic of diabetes and obesity in the community at large with emphasis on resources for research at UK. Panelists were Dr. Kenneth S. Campbell, associate professor and director of the Biospecimens Core, CCTS Biobank; Dr. Jeffery Talbert, professor and director of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, Informatics; Dr. Fran Feltner, director of the Center of Excellence in Rural Health, the Kentucky Homeplace; and Dr. Cherry Kay Smith, assistant director of the Family and Consumer Sciences Field Programs, Cooperative Extension.


The afternoon poster session provided an opportunity for investigators to present their research on mechanisms linking the epidemic of diabetes to obesity and the high incidence of cardiovascular disease.


At the awards ceremony following the symposium, Kern was awarded the 2015 Frederick and Maria Celia de Beer Award for his accomplishments in research involving obesity, diabetes and excellence in education and teaching in this area.


The following also received awards for outstanding scientific research presented in their posters:


First place fellow category: Joseph Layne, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center: “Effects of miR-33 antagonism on glucose and triglyceride metabolism in nonhuman primates”


Second place fellow category: Yipeng Sui, Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: “Intestinal pregnane X receptor links xenobiotic exposure and hypercholesterolemia”


First place student category: Robert Helsley, Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: “Heather Normanignaling in adipose progenitor cells promotes obesity and metabolic disorders”


Second place student category: Yasir Al Siraj, Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: “An XX sex chromosome complement markedly promotes diet-induced adiposity but protects against hypertension in angiotensin II-infused hypercholesterol”


Third place student category: Heather Norman, Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: “CD47 plays a novel role in regulating adipocyte lipolysis”


Fourth place student category: Jianing Li, Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: “CETP alters routes of total and HDL cholesterol elimination from the body in mice”


First place staff category: Latha Muniappan, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center: “Calpain inhibition attenuates adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis in diet-induced obese mice”


Second place staff category: Ailing Ji, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center: “CETP alters routes of total and HDL cholesterol elimination from the body in mice”


Third place staff category: Nika Larian, Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: “Deficiency of aryl hydrocarbon receptor in adipocytes augments the development of diet-induced obesity”


Photos of the Fifth Annual Barnstable Brown Obesity and Diabetes Research Day can be viewed here.


The Barnstable Brown Obesity and Diabetes Research Day is sponsored by the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center, Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease (P20 GM103527) and the NIH training grant on oxidative stress.



UK Debate Team and Forensics Team Have Impressive 2014-2015 Season

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 15:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2015) — Students across campus showcase their talents through many clubs and teams including the debate team and the forensics team. Both teams had a very successful year in their respective competitions.


The 2014-2015 University of Kentucky Debate Team was made up of nine Honors Program students, one Singletary Scholar, two Presidential Scholars, two Parker Scholars, one Patterson Scholar, and two former Chellgren Fellows. The squad posted an outstanding team GPA of 3.9 for the 2014-2015 academic year.


Some notable accomplishments of the UK Debate Team during the last season include:

·  UK ranked 11th in the final 2015 National Debate Tournament rankings among Harvard University, University of Michigan, Emory University, Northwestern University, Wake Forest University and University of California, Berkeley.

·  Donald Grasse and Theo Noparstak earned runner-up honors in the American Debate Association (ADA) National Championship. The pair lost a 2-1 decision in the final round to University of Minnesota.

·  Six of the top 14 speakers at the ADA National Championship represented UK.

·  UK Debate Team Coach Dave Arnett was named National Coach of the Year by the ADA.


"This has been an effort several years in the making, and it is quite rewarding to see things start moving in the right direction. Kentucky Debate has a tradition over a hundred years old and has been a major force for much of that time," Arnett said. "The team took a major step this year toward becoming one of the elite programs in the country."


The UK Forensics Team had an outstanding year as well. Over the course of the fall and springs semesters, the team travelled to 11 regular season tournaments across the southeast region of the United States. Individual competitiors won 127 individual awards in public speaking and debate. That total includes 18 first place finishes. The squad earned seven team awards at these tournaments. The season's performance allowed UK to earn 20 national qualifications to the National Forensic Association national tournament, a record for the team.


Other notable accomplishments of the season include:

·  UK was selected to host the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament in March 2016. To be selected to host the tournament, an institution has to successfully bid against other schools to demostrate why they are the most suitable host site for the tournament.

·  The UK Forensics Team was awarded one of three nationally competitive grants from the forensics honorary Pi Kappa Delta.

·  Director of Forensics Timothy Bill finished his term as president of the Kentucky Foresnic Association and will now transition to the office of past president. Bill was also selected to serve as lieutenant governor of the Province of the Southeast for Pi Kappa Delta.

·  Junior Abel Rodriguez III was re-elected as the student president of the Kentucky Forensic Association.

·  The team finished the year 10th in the nation at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals in Athens, Ohio.


"This past year has been an amazing season. We set two goals as a team in the fall. We wanted to be in the top two at our state tournament and to make the top ten at Pi Kappa Delta nationals," Director of Forensics Timothy Bill said. "Through a lot of hard work and dedication, the team made both happen. I am so proud of everything they've accomplished."


For more on UK Forensics, visit



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395,

Advocates for Change Can Learn a Lot in New Seminar on Legislative Reform on Violence Against Women

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 14:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2015) – Carol E. Jordan, executive director of University of Kentucky's Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women, will teach a seminar this fall semester based on her book, "Violence Against Women in Kentucky: A History of U.S. and State Legislative Reform." The seminar takes a hands-on approach to teaching students about legislative reforms accomplished to advance the protection of battered women and rape survivors.


Jordan has been involved in the issues of violence against women, not only as an advocate, but as a researcher and a writer for more than 30 years. "The underpinning for all those years of work is an inherent drive to help women and children," Jordan said. "It is a motivation that I share with my colleagues and together we have peopled a movement for more than three decades."


Jordan says her book, "Violence Against Women in Kentucky," published by University Press of Kentucky, offers examples of the various forms of violence against women through true stories of survivors and family members. The book also details legislative reforms accomplished in Kentucky from 1970 through 2010.


"It is more than just a history, however, it is a living example of how a fervent desire to improve conditions for a large population can turn into policy and then into legislation," she said.


Jordan believes the book will be a great way to engage her students throughout the semester. "I believe the most effective way to learn the material found within the book is through an experiential format." The course will include visits to a local battered women's shelter and guest lectures from people who were actually involved in the legislative reforms.


While the class may sound like one that would more likely attract the interest of female students, Jordan trusts that male students will find the class equally informative. Jordan notes that the field learned years ago that not involving men in the movement is an "egregious error." She plans to teach the course so it can benefit any student who is willing to take part in the work assigned.


Students will also learn how to translate policy into legislative reform in Kentucky by making presentations to actual legislators. Jordan plans to set up a real life mock legislative committee to hear proposals for bills from students. Students will also have the opportunity to showcase what they have learned through media presentations at the end of the course.


"Perhaps the most important lesson (students will learn) is that anything can be achieved with the dedication of human effort," Jordan said. "Changing the law to better protect women and children was certainly challenging to accomplish, but we found a pathway to do it; a path that others can follow in their own quest to advocate for a cause."


The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Violence Against Women seminar course is offered through the Department of Political Science (PS 492), but is open to a variety of majors.



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


Supported Higher Education Project Celebrates 2015 Graduates

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 14:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2015) — In May, the Supported Higher Education Project (SHEP) at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute celebrated the graduations of three students across the Commonwealth.


Blake Hopkins, Alex Bonar and Silas Jones participated in graduation ceremonies at their respective college campuses and earned a credential or certificate in their course of study.


Prior to changes to the Higher Education Act in 2008, students with intellectual disabilities were denied access to post-secondary education, which is a natural progression for many high school graduates.


Through collaboration with Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Spalding University and Bluegrass Community and Technical College comprehensive transition programs (CTP), as well as the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, SHEP works with and supports programs for students with intellectual disabilities. Each program is developed to meet the unique needs of students in these educational communities.


At Murray State University, Blake Hopkins shook hands with Governor Steve Brashear after walking across the stage to huge applause as the state’s first graduate of a CTP, earning a College to Career Experience certificate. 


Silas Jones earned a certificate in graphic arts from Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). Although BCTC has a CTP program as well, Jones entered as a traditional student and received mentoring, employment assistance and other supports from SHEP.


Alex Bonar graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a College to Career certificate. NKU recently submitted an application to the United States Department of Education to become the fourth CTP site in Kentucky.  




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

UK Ag Economics Graduate Student Wins National Teaching Award

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 13:29


LEXINGTON, Ky., (June 17, 2015)  Jerrod Penn, a University of Kentucky doctoral student in agricultural economics in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will receive the 2015 Graduate Teaching Award at the annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) in July. The AAEA is the discipline’s flagship professional association in North America, and Penn faced tough competition.


Penn teaches multiple courses and receives high marks on student evaluations, but other factors were the key to his success. He independently created two new courses that help students synthesize material across the curriculum. He coaches the department’s quiz bowl team and is widely regarded as one of the go-to people for administering regional and national quiz bowl competitions. He recruits new graduate students and mentors undergrads as they learn how to perform research. Penn also conducts research about teaching and learning with collaborators across the country, and he organizes symposia at conferences to disseminate new knowledge about teaching.


A testament to Penn’s excellent reputation, Ohio State University sought him out to fill a semester-long teaching role last fall when the departure of a faculty member left them without an instructor for two undergraduate courses. Penn took on the challenge and performed well, creating a useful linkage between UK and Ohio State in the process.


As the Graduate Teaching Award winner, Penn will present in the "Teaching Tips from Top Teachers" session at this summer’s AAEA annual meeting in San Francisco. Earlier this year, UK awarded Penn a Provost Outstanding Teaching Award in the graduate student category.



MEDIA CONTACT: Leigh Maynard, 859-257-7277, or Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324


New Partnership Allows UK Students, Faculty, Staff to Ride Lextran Buses for Free with Wildcard ID

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 17:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2015) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, along with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Lextran Board Chair Jeff Fugate, announced a major new partnership between UK and Lextran on Tuesday morning. 


Effective July 1, 2015, University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff may ride any Lextran bus route free of charge simply by showing their valid Wildcard ID, as part of the new U-PASS program.


Lextran buses travel throughout 21 different city routes, which extend throughout and beyond the UK campus into the Lexington community. The program includes all Lextran routes, both on- and off-campus, allowing UK students, faculty and staff to travel to, from, and around campus while also accessing the city. The program constitutes a 1-year, $160,000 agreement, with the opportunity to renew.


Click here to view a map of Lextran routes.


"The U-PASS program, in partnership with Lextran, will provide safe, affordable and sustainable transportation options, while strengthening UK’s important relationship with the city," Capilouto said.


The program represents the first step in an expanding partnership with Lextran.


"We applaud the university’s efforts to help improve traffic around campus," Mayor Jim Gray said. "Like the university, our city is growing, and responsible growth is good. It also means we will have some growing pains, like increased traffic congestion. We’re working on answers through mass transit, encouraging ride sharing, adding bike lanes, continuing to improve traffic signal timing and making our city, especially the urban core, more walkable."


The U-PASS program is the first of several major initiatives being launched throughout the ongoing UK Transportation Master Plan (TMP) process. The TMP aims to improve access and mobility to, from, and around campus for all members of the UK community.


Individuals across campus have provided feedback on the TMP through multiple open forums, surveys and correspondence throughout the past several months.


Throughout open forums in March, Sasaki and Associates, UK’s transportation consultants, recommended that the university "develop a voucher program providing students and employees free Lextran and CATS passes," arguing that in addition to adding parking supply, "the university community must make sincere and concerted efforts to reduce dependence on single occupant vehicles through transportation demand management."


UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday said that this program represents the first of several initiatives which directly ties back to these early findings and feedback received from the community, related to the TMP.


"Investing in transportation alternatives is an important way to manage demand and allow the transportation system to work better for our entire community," Monday said.


"Members of the campus community represent a significant portion of our ridership and service area," Fugate said. "The U-PASS program builds upon more than 31 years of cooperation between Lextran and UK and presents an important step forward for our partnership."


Any student who has already purchased a Class Pass for the fall 2015 semester or year may receive a full refund from Lextran. Click here for more information on refunds.




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



Gov. Steve Beshear Signs Booster Seat Bill at Kentucky Children's Hospital

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 16:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2015) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear joined child safety advocates at Kentucky Children's Hospital on June 15 to sign a bill aimed at improving safety for child passengers in motor vehicles.


House Bill 315 brings Kentucky’s current booster seat law in line with 31 other states, including all seven neighboring states. The previous law required children younger than 7 years old who are between 40 and 50 inches in height to ride in booster seats before graduating to adult seat belts. The enhanced bill increases the height requirement to 57 inches and the age requirement to 8 years old, the size and age at which children begin to fit properly in adult seat belts.


“Passage of this bill provides greater safety and protection to our most precious asset – our children. I commend the Kentucky Senate and House for their effort on enhancing our existing booster seat law,” Gov. Beshear said.


House Bill 315, which passed with a vote in March, was championed by child safety experts in the Kentucky Injury and Prevention Research Center (KIPRC), the Kentucky State Safe Kids led by KIPRC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, and the Fayette County Safe Kids Coalition led by Kentucky Children's Hospital. The bill also received support from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, safety advocates from Kosair Children’s Hospital, and Safe Kids coalitions, law enforcement officials, emergency responders, pediatricians and booster seat advocates from around the state.


“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children above the age of 1 in Kentucky," Dr. Susan Pollack, a Kentucky Children's Hospital pediatrician, Safe Kids Kentucky coordinator and director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Program at KIPRC, said. "We know many Kentucky children are saved every year, even in serious crashes, by being properly restrained and protected in a booster seat. The revised law gives parents better guidance for safely transporting their children.”


A properly installed, belt-positioning booster seat lowers the risk of injury to children by nearly 60 percent, compared with seat belts alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


“The reason is simple: Motor vehicle seat belts were designed for adults, not children. The added height of the booster seat enables the child to fit into a seat belt properly,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.


Effective on June 24, the bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine with no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.


Click here for a link to House Bill 315.


For more information about the bill:

Kentucky Office of Highway Safety

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Kentucky Children's Hospital

Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center

Safe Kids Kentucky

Safe Kids Fayette County


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, 

Hoven Elected First Female Chair of World Medical Association

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2015) – Retired University of Kentucky professor Dr. Ardis D. Hoven was elected the first female chair of the World Medical Association (WMA) at the organization’s 200th council meeting in Oslo, Norway.


Hoven has served as chair of the American Medical Association delegation to the WMA for the past few years and now will serve a two-year term as chair of the WMA. The WMA is the international organization representing physicians from 111 national medical associations.


“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to do this,” Hoven said. “I see myself not so much as a woman in this role, but as a leader of a global organization of physicians who are working to support their peers around the world and improve the lives of their patients.”  


Born in Cincinnati, Hoven received her undergraduate degree in microbiology and then her medical degree from the University of Kentucky. She completed her internal medicine and infectious disease training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Board-certified in internal medicine and infection disease, Hoven is a member of the American College of Physicians, and the Infectious Disease Society of America.


Hoven has been the recipient of many awards, including the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Kentucky Medical Association Distinguished Service Award. In 2015, she was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni for UK. She was president of the Kentucky Medical Association from 1993 to 1994 and served as a delegate to the AMA from Kentucky. 


Hoven hopes for the WMA to raise its profile internationally and increase the impact of its policies and advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients.


“I want to make our footprint bigger and our voice stronger,” Hoven said. 


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

Rising Roll Reopens for the Remainder of the Summer

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2015) — Rising Roll®, a popular campus dining location in the Ralph G. Anderson Building, reopened its doors yesterday and will remain open the rest of the summer.


Rising Roll Gourmet Café offers gourmet sandwiches, salads and soups made from the freshest ingredients. The restaurant focuses on service with a smile and giving customers the "best bang for the buck," according to popular restaurant rating service, Zagat.


Upon its return, Rising Roll is offering an abbreviated summer menu with delicious options including a strawberry salad, chicken salad sandwich and a turkey, bacon and avocado wrap. Rising Roll also offers Caribou Coffee.


Rising Roll is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Summer Flex Dollars, Plus Account, cash, Visa and MasterCard are accepted.



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395,

Big Blue Family VIDEO: Lexington Couple Grateful for UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 14:46



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2015) — The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).


While the news brings an incredible amount of uncertainty to patients and their families, there is a valuable resource at the University of Kentucky providing information, support and hope. 


UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) was established in 1979 and is one of the original 10 National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers. SBCoA is internationally acclaimed for its work in the fight against age-related diseases.


Faculty and researchers work together within the framework of the Center's mission to explore the aging process and its implications for society. Research spans bench to bedside, from defining disease mechanisms in the brain and exploring cellular changes that lead to AD, to studies exploring healthy aging and ways to lower risk of dementia, to clinical trials testing potential new therapies that slow or stop the progression of age-related diseases of the brain.


Watch the Big Blue Family video above to discover how Sanders-Brown has impacted Carolyn and Ron Borkowski and why philanthropy is so integral to ensuring UK researchers will contribute to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease while also helping other Kentucky families.   


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


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


For more information on the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, visit:


VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,