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Sanders-Brown Laboratories Showcase Work on Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 14:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2016) — The laboratories of University of Kentucky researchers Anika Hartz, Ph.D., and Christopher Norris, Ph.D., published research studying the pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI), respectively, in the most recent issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

 

Both Alzheimer’s disease and TBI impair patients’ memory and cognitive abilities, but they have different causes. Researchers and doctors do not yet know what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but they do know the risk of developing the disease increases with age and that toxic amyloid-β proteins clump together and accumulate in the brains of patients with the disease. TBI, on the other hand, can affect individuals regardless of their age and has several known causes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the effects of TBI may be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of head injury. Falls, assault, and vehicle collisions can all result in TBI.

 

While studying Alzheimer’s disease, the Hartz laboratory discovered that amyloid-β proteins interfere with another protein known as P-glycoprotein (P-gp). P-gp helps clear amyloid-β from the brain, but amyloid-β in turn can prevent P-gp from doing so. This tug-of-war ultimately causes the toxic amyloid-β to accumulate faster in the brain. Hartz hopes future drug treatments could help boost P-gp activity so the brain can better clear toxic amyloid-β proteins during Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The Norris laboratory discovered high levels of a protein known as Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells (NFAT) in brain astroglial cells.  NFAT activation appears to negate the protective functions of astroglia, causing them to become harmful during TBI. When the Norris laboratory blocked NFAT activity, they observed preservation of neuronal connectivity following brain injury in an animal model. This work suggests future drugs targeting NFAT could help patients keep or recover their cognitive function after sustaining a head injury.

 

Both Hartz and Norris are associate professors at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

 

"Together, Alzheimer’s disease and TBI affect several million Americans each year. Understanding how these disorders lead to brain dysfunction may ultimately allow researchers and physicians to develop new therapies to halt or reverse the damaging effects and improve quality of life," said Linda Van Eldik, Ph.D., director of the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "These studies, published in the most recent issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, showcase the valuable work being done by our labs to help fight brain injury and degenerative diseases."

 

The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) has been conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other age-related disease for more than 35 years. In 1985, the Center was one of the first 10 National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. Today, SBCoA is an internationally prestigious research center, identifying mechanisms for healthy brain aging and age-related diseases and exploring treatments that may slow down, cure, and/or prevent these diseases entirely.

 

The work in these studies was funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research trust, the PhRMA Foundation, the Irene and Eric Simon Brain Research Foundation, and the Hazel Embry Research Trust and does not necessarily reflect the views of those institutions and foundations. 

 

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

 

Media Contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307

UK Staff: Get to Know Provost Tracy at Brown Bag Lunch

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 13:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2016) — University of Kentucky staff are invited to get to know UK Provost Timothy Tracy at a brown bag lunch event from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.

 

Sponsored by the UK Staff Senate, the event will take place in Room 202 of The 90, located at the corner of Hilltop and University Drive. Staff are invited to bring the lunch of their choice. Desserts and beverages will be provided.

 

Tracy became provost at UK on Feb. 23, 2015. Provost Tracy is overseeing efforts related to several pressing issues facing the university. Among others, these include:

· Strengthening UK's work in undergraduate student retention and graduation;

· Strengthening UK's graduate and professional education efforts;

· Advancing UK's research enterprise;

· Fostering with greater urgency an inclusive campus environment that celebrates the multitude of backgrounds, identities and perspectives;

· Further refining and completing UK's next Strategic Plan; and

· Implementing a new financial model.

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

 

UK Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Elected AAAS Fellow

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2016) — Frank R. Ettensohn, Jefferson Science Fellow, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, and professor of geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Kentucky, was one of the eight geologists and nine geographers recently elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. The prestigious honor recognizes Ettensohn for his extraordinary achievements, dedication and commitment to science.

 

AAAS was founded in 1848, with the mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, career development, international programs, science education and more. The nonprofit organization is the world’s largest general scientific society and a leading voice for science worldwide with more than 129,000 members from 91 countries. Ettensohn was named an AAAS Fellow at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

 

Before coming to UK in 1975, Ettensohn served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and earned his doctoral degree in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a member, advisor or officer of the Kentucky Academy of Science's Geology Section, the Geological Society of Kentucky, the Kentucky Paleontological Society and the Kentucky Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), of which he was president in 2011. That year, AIPG awarded him a Service Award, and the Kentucky section awarded him its Presidential Award. Ettensohn was also selected as the Geological Society of America representative to the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature — a commission that oversees the naming of all rock units across North America.

 

Ettensohn's research interests center around the integration of sedimentary geology, paleontology and tectonics and are field-oriented. The professor and his students have been successful in the areas of black-shale geology, carbonate paleo-environments and seismites, rocks that show unusual deformation related to ancient earthquakes. His approach has been to show how the formation of ancient mountain belts influenced the development of ancient seas across continents and the sediments deposited in them, using models developed in the Appalachian Basin of Kentucky and nearby states. His models are recognized around the world and have been especially useful in understanding the origin of black shales, which comprise much of the world’s gas shales, and of clastic wedges, which are large outpourings of rock debris, weathered and eroded from mountain ranges.

 

It is for Ettensohn’s contributions to the understanding of the origin of Appalachian black shales and clastic wedges, as well as for his outstanding teaching, mentorship and public outreach work, that he was elected an AAAS Fellow.

 

Regarding the incredible honor Ettensohn said, “It’s always nice to know that an organization like AAAS, which is the world’s largest general scientific society, finds merit in the teaching, outreach and research that have been a part of my career here at UK. Especially pleasing was the fact that they found my research at the university to be of such significance and quality that I was deserving of fellowship.”

 

Ettensohn also currently serves as president of the UK chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi and of the Geological Society of Kentucky.

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

UK Researcher to Focus on Improving Diets of Teens

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky., (March 8, 2016) — The teenage years are a time when many individuals develop habits, both good and bad. A University of Kentucky researcher is beginning a project to try to improve the eating habits of teens.

 

With a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alison Gustafson will study the food purchasing patterns of teens in rural areas of Kentucky and North Carolina. The end result will hopefully be improved overall health and well-being of the participants.

 

“Teens purchase quite a bit of food themselves,” said Gustafson, an assistant professor in the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “They also have a huge influence on the foods that their parents purchase.”

 

According to the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 18 percent of Kentucky high schoolers and 12.5 percent of high school students in North Carolina were obese in 2013.

 

In the four-year study, Gustafson will work with 14- and 15-year-old students in Clinton, Knox, Magoffin and Greenup counties. North Carolina counties include Greene, Lenoir and Pitt.

 

“Research has shown that this age range is a critical time point when behaviors start to shift,” Gustafson said. “While the majority of the participants aren’t able to drive, they have access to a large quantity of food both at school and in their community, and they are heavily influenced by their peers.”

 

Gustafson will gather information about the availability of foods in participants’ homes, schools and communities, their shopping patterns and group of friends. She will then work with local family and consumer sciences extension agents to develop and implement a curriculum based on the teens’ social networks and environments. The curriculum will emphasize eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and consuming fewer sugar-sweetened beverages. Teens will learn to choose healthier foods when out with friends, to select healthier foods based on their neighborhood, to choose food venues that offer healthier foods, and to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption at home.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774.

 

 

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: March 8, 1912

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 13:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 181st diary entry from March 8, 1912, recalls McClure and her two friends going to see a movie and visiting the ice cream shop Hughes and Co., while passing time waiting to pick up her aunt from the train station.

 

March 8th. Go to train to meet Aunt Georgie and as she doesn't come we (Elizabeth, Miss Bush, and I) go to the picture show and Hughes. The next train is late, so we leave William to meet her. He brings me a lot of "eats" later on, which are indeed highly acceptable.

 

 

More on Virginia Clay McClure

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Coalition Encourages Healthy Eating, Supports Local Farms

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 12:18

LEXINGTON, Ky., (March 8, 2016) — A successful coalition in Madison, Wisconsin, has sparked the interest of a group of local food advocates in Lexington, so much so that they started a similar pilot project at the University of Kentucky. The program mixes employee wellness with community supported agriculture (CSA) — a true town and gown initiative that stands to benefit a great number of people, its advocates believe.

 

Tim Woods, UK agricultural economics professor, returned enthused from a trip to Madison where he explored the success of the FairShare Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. For the past 20 years, FairShare has used a voucher system to link consumers with local farmers who produce a bounty of fresh, nutritious food. A wide number of organizations, including the University of Wisconsin, distribute the vouchers to their employees.

 

“This past year, they (FairShare) offered 9,300 vouchers to employees across Madison,” Woods said. “That’s in the area of $6 million in revenue to those CSA farms just in the Madison area.”

 

Woods believes a program like this in central Kentucky could be a huge benefit for local farmers who are considering offering CSAs, as well as consumers who are looking at making healthier food choices.

 

“We find so few kinds of interventions that will really encourage such a broad base of change in diet, change in lifestyle, change in focus on nutrition,” he said. “Joining a CSA really seems to pull lots and lots of levers.”

 

So Woods and College of Agriculture, Food and Environment colleagues Alison Davis, Jairus Rossi and James Allen approached the folks in UK’s Health and Wellness program to partner on a study in 2015. Funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Market Promotion grant, Health and Wellness recruited 90 UK employees to enroll in an organic CSA program. The UKAg researchers conducted an evaluation test and control study, preliminary results of which show interesting trends.

 

There was a definite shift among participants toward preparing whole food versus processed, and more folks ate at home than they did before enrolling in a CSA. There was also an increase in the daily average fruit and vegetable consumption.

 

Interestingly, Woods said, participants’ most common reasons for joining a CSA were not health-related. Instead, people joined to gain access to better quality food, to support farms and farmers and to help their families eat better. Yet at the end of the study, CSA shareholders reported better health outcomes in such areas as annual doctor visits, monthly pharmacy expenditures, and perceived health.

 

That’s what appeals to UK Health and Wellness manager Jody Ensman.

 

“Our mission statement is to improve the health and well-being of the UK community that we serve,” she said. “We try to do that through education, empowerment and providing resources to become healthier, so this just fit right in line.”

 

Building on the findings of the research study, the pilot program will continue through the 2016 growing season, with a slightly expanded participation, with Health and Wellness providing $200 vouchers to participants.

 

Vanessa Oliver, a dietician with Health and Wellness, said this program has the ability to change how people eat.

 

“Historically, people in the U.S. don’t eat enough produce in general, specifically vegetables,” she said. “But now they have this box (from a CSA) that they pick up weekly, and they have to use these vegetables. They’ve paid for it, and it’s sitting in the kitchen; they don’t want it to go to waste.”

 

Oliver provides the education to help people break through their comfort barriers. With a meet-and-greet between future share owners and farmers to help participants choose a share that’s best for them and then through cooking demonstrations, videos and Kentucky Proud recipes, she battles the nervousness that many people experience when faced with unfamiliar food.

 

Education is not just for the consumer. Woods said a big part of the program will be to educate farmers on how to do a CSA, which he said is much more difficult than selling at a farmers market.

 

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, with its own organic CSA at the Horticulture Research Farm, already has experience in the field, laying a strong foundation for educational programming for producers who want to learn how to manage a CSA program.

 

“This program could create some really great opportunities for our local producers,” Woods said. “My own view of it is this CSA voucher thing has as much opportunity to invigorate the local food system as almost anything.”

 

Mac Stone, chair of the Organic Association of Kentucky and also a member of the family that owns and operates Elmwood Stock Farm, which has offered a CSA for 13 years, said that nationally, the CSA business model has about a 50 or 60 percent renewal rate.

 

“This (voucher program) is a very useful tool to help CSA farms gain and retain membership,” Stone said. “If it’s easier for farms to get their members, it also increases the conversation about healthy eating and how to cook healthy foods with a new subset of the population — people who weren’t farmers market customers or foodies to begin with.”

 

The Organic Association of Kentucky became involved to support farmers in their transition to organic production methods.

 

“If we’re going to meet this kind of demand, we need more farmers, so the farm community is going to have to step up in order to keep up, if the wellness programs see the benefits that we think they’re going to see,” Stone said.

 

The farms for the second year of the pilot program include the UK CSA Program, Elmwood Stock Farm, Sustainable Harvest Farm, Lazy 8 Stock Farm and Rootbound Farm.

 

The UK pilot voucher program is the first step in what could be a larger program that benefits employees in other companies, as well as more farmers in the wider Bluegrass region. All of this takes coordination, however, so Bluegrass Harvest was formed. Part of the Bluegrass Local Food Initiatives of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide people with opportunities they might not normally have, Bluegrass Harvest was designed with the FairShare Coalition template in mind.

 

“In Madison, Wisconsin, they had a handful of farmers and 275 shares the first year, and now they have 57 organic farmers and 9,300 shares,” said Sandy Canon, president of Bluegrass Local Food Initiatives. “The potential for growth is extraordinary. The potential for stabilizing farmer income is extraordinary, and the opportunity to increase health outcomes for the good is extraordinary.”

 

Already, wellness programs in other companies have contacted Canon to see about starting a voucher program for their employees.

 

“I am really jazzed about it. There are just no down sides,” she said.

 

As the data for UKAg’s CSA study is analyzed, results will be posted online at www.uky.edu/ccd/csa-research. For more information about Bluegrass Harvest, visit their website, www.BluegrassHarvest.org.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324.

PTS Offers Free Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport March 10-11

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 12:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2016) — To help simplify travel from campus to spring break destinations, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services is providing a complimentary shuttle service to Blue Grass Airport on Thursday, March 10, and Friday, March 11.

 

The shuttle will have daily campus pick-up times of 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Students should plan to leave campus at least two hours prior to their scheduled flight departure.

 

Although the shuttle is free, reservations are required. To schedule a pick-up, students should submit a ride request through the form found here: www.uky.edu/pts/buses-and-shuttles_seasonal-shuttles_airport-shuttles. Ride requests should be submitted at least two business days in advance.

 

A PTS representative will email to confirm the pick-up time. Students are responsible for their own transportation back to campus.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

2016 Gaines Fellowship Awarded to 12 UK Scholars

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 10:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for Humanities has selected 12 exceptional undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

 

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of a student's junior and senior years, or for the last two years of a five-year program; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

 

UK's 12 new Gaines Fellows are:

· Ben Childress, of Lexington, majoring in pre-economics and political science;

· Evelyn Hudson, of Benton, Kentucky, majoring in philosophy and writing, rhetoric and digital studies;

· Jacob Kaylor, of Hickory, North Carolina, majoring in philosophy and classics;

· John Paul Larson, of Tinley Park, Illinois, majoring in English;

· Josiah Liew Liq Jong, of Rawang, Malaysia, majoring in agricultural biotechnology and sustainable agriculture;

· Natalie Malone, of Smiths Grove, Kentucky, majoring in psychology;

· Aaron Mueller, of Louisville, Kentucky, majoring in linguistics and computer science;

· Aya Omar, of Crestwood, Kentucky, majoring in biology and animal sciences;

· Damien Phillips, of Lexington, majoring in English;

· Hayla Ragland, of LaGrange, Kentucky majoring in art studio and psychology;

· Katherine Stockham, of Somerset, Kentucky, majoring in biology; and

· Connor VanMeter, of Lexington, majoring in agricultural biotechnology and computer science.  

 

All Gaines Fellows are required to take a specially designed, four-credit hours per semester seminar in the humanities during both semesters of their junior year. In addition, each junior fellow must complete a jury project, planning and optionally carrying out an improvement for a local community. In the senior year, each fellow must complete a major independent study project of six to 15 credit hours. At the conclusion of this project, a thesis paper must be submitted and defended in front of a thesis committee of three university faculty members and the director of the Gaines Center.

 

In addition to the course requirements, Gaines Fellows enjoy a rich program of field trips, lectures, and other activities designed to widen and deepen their educational experience.

 

The students chosen as Gaines Fellows are excited for the incredible experience the fellowship will bring them. "I am incredibly humbled and honored for the opportunity to be a part of this fellowship with some of the brightest students at UK. I can't wait to see how I'll be challenged and grow academically and as a person through this process," Ben Childress said.

 

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. Part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the center is devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty. The center embraces varied paths of knowledge and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

From 21c to NYC: UK Professor Building Art 'Empire'

Sun, 03/06/2016 - 20:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2016) — From Lexington's newest hotel, 21c, to the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and even on the nation's TV screens in the Fox hit "Empire," artwork by University of Kentucky's own Ebony Patterson is catching the spotlight.

 

Patterson's artwork raises questions about perceptions of masculinity within a Jamaican context and larger questions about beauty, gender ideals and constructs of masculinity within popular black culture. An artist in high demand, her career is taking her from one of her two home bases in Lexington, where she is an associate professor of painting at the UK School of Art and Visual Studies, all across the country and back to her home country of Jamaica.

 

On a recent whirlwind trip, from Jamaica to the Atlanta Contemporary, which is presenting her exhibition "Invisible Presence: Bling Memories," to Chicago, where she was installing and opening a pop-up show with Sanford Biggers at the Monique Meloche Gallery late last week, Patterson made a short stop in Lexington to be part of the opening of a 21c, the newest in a chain of award-winning luxury boutique hotels that combine their accommodations with celebrated contemporary art.

 

Several pieces of Patterson's work is currently on display at the new hotel as part of the exhibition "Dress Up, Speak Up: Costume and Confrontation." The show, curated by Alice Gray Stites, explores the complexity of contemporary identity. From Patterson’s families, dancers, gangstas and deceased, to the philosophers, dandies and faerie conjured by Yinka Shonibare, to portraits derived from allegory, autobiography and the art canon by Titus Kaphar, Berni Searle, Nathalia Edenmont, Fahamu Pecou and others, the exhibit of provocative and prophetic personages are costumed to enact and confront the legacy of embedded experience.

 

Visitors to the new hotel will find it difficult to miss Patterson's work which occupies a majority of 21c's first floor gallery space, including the wall behind check-in.

 

Local art lovers can see Patterson's work in person in "Dress Up, Speak Up" through September. In addition, work by another UK School of Art and Visual Studies connection, 2000 art studio graduate Tracey Stakelin can be seen in the hotel's restaurant, Lockbox. Stakelin's business, Delform Metal Fabrication, designed the bar in the facility.

 

Earlier this year, Patterson's "Dead Treez" at Manhattan's Museum of Arts and Design, the artist's first solo show in New York City, was promoted in The New York Times as a "smashing solo show."

 

For "Dead Treez," Patterson assembled five eye-popping tapestries and a life-size figural tableau of 10 male mannequins, dressed in a kaleidoscopic mix of floral fabrics. Meant to present a complex vision of masculinity, the installation is a meditation on dancehall fashion and culture, regarded as a celebration of the disenfranchised in postcolonial Jamaica. Her tapestries depict murder victims, as sourced through social media, embellished to seduce viewers into witnessing the underreported brutality experienced by those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

 

In addition to her own show, Patterson curated a smaller accompanying exhibit of pieces from the museum's collection of contemporary jewelry described by The New York Times as "a vision of a nightmare Eden in which this brilliant young artist is the master gardener."

 

The exhibition, which opened Nov. 10, 2015, is on display through April 3.

 

But those interested in seeing the artist's work don't have to travel to Lexington, Atlanta, Chicago or New York City to see it. Last fall, Patterson's work even appeared on "Empire." The show, which showcases many pieces by black artists, uses the art to help shape the characters who "own" the work. Patterson's work, “Untitled VI” and “Untitled I (Khani+di Krew),” was seen in the show's second season premiere last fall adorning the walls of character Jamal Lyon's penthouse apartment.  

 

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree in painting at the Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts and a master’s degree in printmaking and drawing from the Sam Fox College of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

 
In 2013, she was named to Huffington Post’s “Top 30 Black Artists Under 40.” That same year, Patterson was the first visual artist to be awarded the Rex Nettleford Fellowship in Cultural Studies, which is presented to a Caribbean resident under the age of 35 who has shown excellence in that field. In 2014, Patterson was awarded the Aaron Matalon Award for the best submission in the 2014 Jamaica Biennal and was selected to exhibit in "Prospect.3" in New Orleans. In 2015, the artist's work was featured in the 12th Havana Biennial.
 
Patterson has been teaching painting and mixed media at UK since 2007. To see more of Patterson’s artwork, or to learn more about her, visit the Monique Meloche website here.

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Strategic Plan Pursues Strengthening Ties to State Through Outreach and Community Engagement

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 18:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2016) — The University of Kentucky is on the forefront of cutting-edge technology, scholarship, and research that reaches far beyond the boundaries of its campus and touches every county in the state. Outreach and community engagement, one of the five objectives outlined in the 2015-2020 UK Strategic Plan, is vitally important to UK's mission and motivates scholars, scientists and doctors to strive harder and go further to take what is learned in UK classrooms and laboratories to the people who will benefit the most — the citizens of Kentucky. 

 

UK's faculty, staff, students and alumni are engaged with their local communities throughout the Commonwealth, and even around the world. The Strategic Plan calls for more outreach and community engagement efforts: "We must accelerate our efforts to enrich and improve lives in all of the communities in which we engage. Also, we must use what we learn from those we serve to inform and augment learning and research at UK."

 

"True engagement is about collaboration and mutually beneficial exchanges of knowledge among its partners," said Lisa Higgins-Hord, assistant vice president for community engagement. "Bringing our communities to the table with our students, faculty and staff to discover the assets of that community and how these may be used in addressing critical issues is where innovation is most likely to begin to take shape. It is imperative that we establish trust and respect between the university and community partners so our multidisciplinary and creative partnerships can construct transformative change wherever it is needed."

 

The strategic plan for outreach and community engagement, includes two initiatives:

  • Renew our institutional commitment to promote the public good through the sustainable application of our expertise and resources to meet challenges and disparities associated with social, economic, environmental, educational, and health issues.
  • Deepen student learning through community engagement.

 

Among the specific goals are:

  • Creating a unified reporting system through a database to track engagement efforts university-wide
  • Increasing opportunities for students to participate in community engagement experiences
  • Creating partnerships betgween university and community stakeholders
  • Increasing community-based courses taught by faculty and staff

 

"We are in the process of organizing a structure that supports our university engagement efforts in all its forms," Higgins-Hord said. "The critical key to doing this type of work is to first, identify and focus on our core engagement themes. This will enable us to have a systematic, comprehensive approach to ensure there is a well-planned pathway of student experiences. We also value and understand our responsibility to provide opportunities and incentives for faculty and staff to enlarge their conception of knowledge of engagement."

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu; Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155

Let Your Voice Be Heard on the Spring 2016 All-Student Survey

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 14:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2016)  The Student Activities Board (SAB) made the spring 2016 All-Student Survey available on Monday, March 7. Students can voice their event preferences for the fall 2016 semester. Students who complete the All-Student Survey, sponsored by the SAB Market Research Committee, by March 25 will be entered to win prizes including a Fire TV stick with voice remote, Powerbeats2 Wireless in-ear headphones, Beats Pill portable speakers, Xbox One 500 GB console with Kinect bundle and a Vizio smart TV.

 

The All-Student Survey gives students an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions regarding event ideas for all of SAB’s committees, including eight programming committees and four promotions committees. The survey guides SAB’s event programming; without research like the All-Student Survey, events cannot be proposed to the board.

 

“Each year, the Student Activities Board puts out an All-Student Survey to see what types of events to bring to campus,” said Rachel Eberhart, SAB director of market research. “In the past, SAB has hosted events like Crunch Brunch, Pinterest Parties, Campus Ruckus and brought celebrities like Miguel, The Lumineers, Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari because of students' feedback and opinions. We will be promoting the survey in White Hall, at the 90 and outside Bowman's Den. Everyone who completes a survey on site will be receiving a smaller prize!”

 

Students received the survey via email on Monday, March 7. Students can also access the survey via the SAB website and social media. The survey will close March 25. Only full-time students are eligible to win prizes, and winners will be drawn at random.

 

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

Connect with SAB at www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKSAB, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB/. For more information about SAB and events, email publicrelations@uksab.org.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

SAB CONTACT: Jazmine Byrd, publicrelations@uksab.org, 859-257-8868

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

James Griffioen Named Director of UK Center for Computational Sciences

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 11:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to announce that James Griffioen has been appointed as director of the Center for Computational Sciences (CCS). 

 

“Since the start of the Center for Computational Sciences (CCS) in 1987, computing has revolutionized every level of research, academics, business and personal life,” Vice President for Research Lisa A. Cassis said. “An unprecedented number of research breakthroughs are being achieved through the use of big data and the ability to collect, capture, access, download, generate and analyze massive amounts of information. Enabling these types of breakthroughs requires support for new forms of computation. Dr. James Griffioen's background and experience with these rapidly evolving models of computation will play a key role as CCS expands and enhances its ability to support the new computational requirements faced by researchers across the campus.”

 

Griffioen received his doctoral degree in computer science from Purdue University and joined UK in 1991. He is currently a professor in the UK College of Engineering Department of Computer Science and serves as the director of the Laboratory for Advanced Networking. In this role, he has had a long history of collaboration with the CCS on high-performance networking and computing projects. 

 

Griffioen has worked closely with UK Analytics and Technologies on multiple projects to enhance the scientific computing infrastructure at UK, and he currently serves as co-PI (prinicipal investigator) on a project that is deploying high-speed software defined network infrastructure to support scientific research on campus.

 

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of research computing at the University of Kentucky,” Griffioen said. "The CCS has a long and distinguished history supporting researchers and advancing science through the use of high-performance computing (HPC). HPC will continue to be a focus, but there is also a need and opportunity to expand and enhance our research computing capabilities and faculty support by leveraging recent technology advances in areas such as cloud computing, high-speed programmable networks, virtualization, and the processing, management and visualization of big data. Helping researchers navigate this new space of computational options will be an important step toward advancing the research mission here at UK."

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

UK Survey Research Center Director Honored by National Research Association

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 18:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2016) — Ronald Langley, director of the University of Kentucky’s Survey Research Center, has been named the 2016 recipient of the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award given by the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO) for his service and leadership to academic survey research.

 

Langley has successfully led the Survey Research Center, part of the UK Office of the Vice President for Research, for several decades and has served as director there since 1998. At Kentucky, he has been principal investigator for over 100 survey projects. His professional accomplishments additionally include a variety of peer-reviewed academic papers and book chapters that investigate the relationship between public opinion and public policy, particularly macroeconomic and health policy.

 

As a leader in the field of research ethics, Langley serves on the University of Kentucky’s nonmedical Institutional Review Board, tasked with overseeing the ethical conduct of research at the institution. He was elected and currently serves as the Standards Chair of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), where he has worked to raise members' awareness of the importance of respect for the rights of research subjects and its importance to the integrity and reputation of the profession. Langley is also a leader in the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR), where he currently serves on the Executive Council.

 

As a founding member of AASRO, Langley has been involved since its initial meeting, serving the organization in many capacities.  He was part of the steering committee that drafted AASRO’s bylaws and served as first vice president in 2008, following as president of the organization in 2009, and past president in 2010. 

 

“Ron has been attentive to the wider policy environment that affects university-based survey researchers. While president, he wrote a memo to OMB (White House Office of Management and Budget) related to the Paperwork Reduction Act, and quickly responded to errors in a PRIM&R (Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research) training for IRB (Institutional Research Board) committee members that suggested multiple recruitment attempts of respondents were not allowed,” said Martha Van Haitsma, co-director of the University of Chicago Survey Lab. “He has been our organizational representative at national Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) most years, traveling on his own time and reporting back.”

 

AASRO is dedicated to supporting and promoting excellence in survey research conducted in academic settings. The membership is made up of more than 60 academic survey research organizations from across the country. For more information, visit www.aasro.org

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155, kathy.johnson@uky.edu

Gatton's 'Innovative Leadership' Opens March 24

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 18:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2016) — Personal selling, risk management and entrepreneurship are just a few of the areas that will be explored in depth during the upcoming, 10-week Innovative Leadership program being offered the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.

 

The Innovative Leadership series opens Thursday, March 24, and is one of the Certificate in Business Administration (CBA) offerings that Gatton provides through its Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center (EEC). The CBA is specifically designed for individuals with limited business backgrounds who want to expand their knowledge and enhance their skill set in order to meet the challenges of today's business world.

 

Distinguished faculty and guest speakers from the Gatton College lead the program in a lively instructional environment, which is complemented by opportunities for hands-on experience. Each three-hour class, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through May 26, focuses on a different vital topic.

 

The new Gatton College building provides an engaging venue for the Innovative Leadership series. Lighted, free parking is provided for program registrants. The cost is $1,000 per person for the program, with groups of three or more people from an organization eligible for a special discounted rate.

 

The fee is discounted to $900 for UK faculty, staff and students.

 

Fees include instruction, all materials and refreshments at each session, in addition to parking. Individuals who attend all of the sessions will earn 27.5 course hours of continuing education credit (CEU) and a certificate of completion.

 

Topics in this series include:

· Making Sense of Economic Data

· Power, Conflict and Negotiation in Organizations

· Emotion and Emotional Intelligence

· Decision Making

· Personal Selling

· Integrated Marketing Communications

· The Service Focused Business

· Risk Management and Organizational Control

· The Strategic Role of Human Resources Management

· Entrepreneurship and Writing a Business Plan

 

To register or for more information, go to http://gatton.uky.edu/CBA, call 1-800-284-6407, or email Connie Blakemore at csblak00@uky.edu.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Weston Loyd, weston.loyd@uky.edu/859-257-8716; or Carl Nathe, carl.nathe@uky.edu/859-257-3200.

 

 

Diversity is Topic of WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 17:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Terry Allen, interim vice president for institutional diversity at UK, is today's guest. He discusses the diversity component of UK's Strategic Plan and the recent town hall meeting about race that was organized by the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association at UK.

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/answering-call-action-diversity

 

 

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

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

A Drone for Good: UK Alum Invents Cutting-edge Drone, Wins $1 Million

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2016) — One common topic of discussion around aerospace engineering groups is if a plane were to crash and survivors had to construct a new plane from salvaged parts, who from the group would be able to do this successfully? When the BIG BLUE (Baseline Inflatable-wing Glider, Balloon-Launched Unmanned Experiment) team of about 45 University of Kentucky students had this discussion in the early 2000s, everyone chose Osamah Rawashdeh, then an electrical engineering graduate student at UK.

 

So it's no surprise to his former professors and mentors at UK that the student who could design and build an aircraft from spare parts in a tough setting would go on to invent, with the help of his own students, the world's first aerial-surface-underwater reconnaissance drone.

 

It flies like a bird, floats like a duck and swims like a fish. The Loon Copter, named appropriately after a bird known for its powerful swimming and deep diving abilities, is taking the tech world by storm, and recently took home a $1 million first place prize from the international Drones for Good contest.

 

Indeed, the Loon Copter is a drone that could do a lot of good. Surpassing 1,017 other entries from 165 countries in the United Arab Emirates government's contest, Rawashdeh's drone proved it could transform search and rescue operations, environmental monitoring and underwater structure inspection, such as bridges or pipelines.

 

"Most other entries were application focused, but ours was truly new technology that could be applied in numerous ways, providing solutions that could save time, money and manpower," said Rawashdeh, who earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from UK.

 

For example, in a search and rescue operation or investigation underwater, the Loon Copter can explore before a team of divers is called in, giving them a first look or allowing them to decide whether a dive, which can be costly and time-consuming, is needed. In another situation, the drone could fly over an oil spill to get a bird's eye view, float on the surface to collect data, and then dive far and deep to analyze the scale of the spill.

 

Rawashdeh grew up interested in flying but lost sight of that as he followed his electrical and computer engineering interests. Those interests led him to UK, where he became an undergraduate research assistant with James Lumpp, a professor in the College of Engineering, helping to develop a medical testing device.

 

"Luck would have it that Dr. Lumpp has a great enthusiasm for aviation and unmanned vehicles, which quickly rubbed off as I got involved in BIG BLUE and other related drone projects at UK over several years," Rawashdeh said.

 

He began working with drones right at the beginning of the modern day drone era in the early 2000s. Under the direction of Lumpp and UK College of Engineering faculty Suzanne Smith and William Smith, he was exposed to the technology that would later influence his career trajectory and lead his own team to international recognition.

 

"Even back then he was an exceptional student, teacher and researcher," Lumpp said. "He could build anything and then make it fly."

 

BIG BLUE was a series of high-altitude test experiments to demonstrate new inflatable-wing technology. The project was developed, designed, built, conducted and evaluated primarily by undergraduate students in the College of Engineering, with Smith, Lumpp and others as faculty leaders. The NASA Workforce Development Program sponsored the project and NASA reported on the project in 2004.

 

"I remember right before a launch that the system suddenly stopped working," Suzanne Smith said. "Everyone was running through everything in their minds while Osamah was gently probing the system."

 

He found a hard-to-find loose wire and repaired it. The launch went on as planned from there, the experiment was a success, and Space News reported on it as being the first to demonstrate the unique inflatable/rigidizing deployment technology in near-space (about 90,000 feet).
 

Rawashdeh went on to earn his master's in electrical engineering at UK. After working as a teaching assistant and helping undergraduate students in the program, he realized he wanted to keep educating young engineers. He earned his doctoral degree from UK in 2005 and started his teaching career here too, as a lecturer.

 

"He helped students push the boundaries of what was possible 14 years ago as a UK student and now he is continuing that with his own students at Oakland," Smith said. "What a terrific representative of UK's ideals and his experience here as a student."

  

While he is currently an associate professor at Oakland University, Rawashdeh's roots at UK run deep. In fact, after working with Osamah, Prof. Lumpp recruited his youngest brother Samir to do graduate work with at UK. The middle Rawashdeh brother, Nathir, also attended UK to study electrical engineering. Quite the family, Lumpp said.

 

"Besides the technical knowledge I gained at UK, I learned so much from the faculty advisors and mentors," Rawashdeh said. "I routinely draw on those experiences as I deal with my projects and my students today." 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Confucius Institute Bringing Chinese Culture to Eastern Kentucky Schools

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2016) — Throughout the year University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) brings Chinese cultural showcases to schools and communities around the Commonwealth, but this winter the UKCI team did a special weeklong trip to eastern Kentucky as part of a proposal by the Kentucky Department of Education.

 

During the December visit, a UKCI team of six specialists worked with more than 900 K-12 students, teaching classes and presenting varied performances, including acts of martial arts, Chinese painting, folk music using such Chinese instruments as the erhu and guzheng, paper cutting and calligraphy.

 

"From a young age, these students are given access to Chinese culture that they may have never had," said Huajing Maske, director of UKCI and executive director of the Office of China Initiatives. "Most importantly, these experiences will open up their minds."

 

Aside from performances, UKCI also offered classes for the students to participate in and learn about different aspects of Chinese culture. Some schools reported that their highest attendance rates were during the UKCI showcases and classes.

 

"I didn’t realize that the students rarely have a chance to learn about different cultures," said Lina Yu, community outreach coordinator for UKCI. "It seemed like anything we taught made the students more interested and excited."

 

Although these showcases are meant to expand and add to the cultural knowledge of the schools, the UKCI staff also benefits from the experiences working with a diverse group of students of all ages. Cultural events such as these help to strengthen UKCI’s mission to advance the understanding of China and UK’s strategic plan to increase community engagement in the Commonwealth.

 

A gateway for Chinese language, culture and art to the people of Kentucky, UKCI provides leadership, support and coordination for Chinese language and programs in K-12 schools as well as on UK's campus; assists and facilitates establishing and maintaining faculty and student exchanges between UK colleges and Chinese universities; conducts Chinese language and cultural exchange; and promotes education about China on campus, across the Bluegrass region, and throughout the Commonwealth. To keep up with UKCI and future events, join the institute's listerv and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Snapchat (UKConfucius).

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Nick Offerman Announced as SAB’s 2016 Spring Comedian

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 14:18

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2016)  The Student Activities Board is hosting Nick Offerman as the 2016 spring comedian performing 8 p.m., April 1, in the Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

Nick Offerman, American actor, writer, humorist and carpenter, is widely known for his breakout role as Ron Swanson in the acclaimed NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation," for which he received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. In addition to acting, Offerman is also a professional boat builder and wood craftsman.

 

“I'm more than excited to announce this year's spring comedian as Nick Offerman,” stated Mark Taylor Jr., SAB director of pop culture. “Nick’s show will definitely keep fans on the edge of their seats. I hope everyone that attends enjoys the show and leaves with some memorable 'hair-larious' jokes.”

 

Tickets are $10 for students beginning Wednesday, March 9, and $20 for general public beginning March 16. They can be purchased at the Singletary Center ticket office or at www,scfatickets.com. Additional ticketing fees apply. Students are permitted to purchase up to four tickets with four valid student IDs. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the event will begin at 8 p.m.

 

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

Connect with SAB at www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKSAB, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB/. For more information about SAB and events, email publicrelations@uksab.org.

 

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

SAB CONTACT: Jazmine Byrd, publicrelations@uksab.org, 859-257-8868

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

Leave Your Mark On DanceBlue 2017

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 14:16

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2016) — This past weekend, the University of Kentucky community came together to raise more than $1.6 million for the Golden Matrix Fund, which benefits the Kentucky Children’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. But, the work of DanceBlue is a year round effort. You can now apply for leadership positions for DanceBlue 2017.

 

DanceBlue 2017 chair and coordinator positions are available now until March 9. Committee applications open on March 28 and close April 8.

 

“DanceBlue is special because of its cause," said Allee Williams, DanceBlue public relations chair. "The kids reach into the hearts of UK students and motivate them to become the best versions of themselves to help in every possible way. DanceBlue leadership will challenge you in the most immeasurable ways, and at the end of your time, as you look out over the marathon, all you will be able to think is 'I cannot wait to do more.' The kids need your help; so I challenge you to step up and make a difference. Get ready for the best year of your life serving the best kids in the world. You will never be the same again.”

 

Students are invited to come find out more at a Committee Information Session on March 31, in 106 White Hall Classroom Building. Sessions will be held at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Apply for these positions at www.danceblue.org or search for DanceBlue on Orgsync.

 

Give to DanceBlue here and connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danceblue and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKDanceBlue.

 

DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote lifelong community service. For more information about the CCO, visit www.ukcco.org.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

AcoUstiKats, Paws and Listen to Give 'Aca-mazing' Concert 'After Dark'

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 13:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2016) — The University of Kentucky is getting pitch perfect this weekend with "Paws and Kats After Dark," a concert featuring the best of a cappella music on campus. The concert, which will be headlined by the acoUstiKats and Paws and Listen, as well as include an opening set by UK's newest a capella group, Blue Note, will begin 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6th, at Memorial Hall. With covers of popular music both classic and modern, the night is sure to be "aca-mazing."

 

UK's a cappella groups have been featured in concerts and competitions internationally. Paws and Listen has traveled with the UK Women's Choir on international tours, the most recent being to Spain this past summer. The acoUstiKats have performed in countless venues across the United States from the shores of Hawaii to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

Both groups recently competed in the Midwest ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) competition, and both were recognized for excellence. Paws and Listen was recognized for best vocal percussion, performed by Samantha "Sammy" Petitte, a community and leadership development senior from West Bend, Wisconsin. The acoUstiKats were awarded runner-up in their division and will advance to the competition's semifinals to be held April 2, in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

The acoUstiKats, founded in 1993 by Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, as a subsection of the UK Men’s Chorus, are the premier all-male a cappella ensemble in the state of Kentucky. Without the strong support of the UK Choral Department, widely known as a national powerhouse for male singing, this group would not be what it is today. The acoUstiKats have been featured on national television as a part of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” season four.

 

Paws and Listen is a premiere a cappella ensemble auditioned from the nationally-renowned UK Women's Choir. The ensemble is coached by undergraduate music education majors and advised by Lori Hetzel, associate director of UK Choirs and associate director of the UK School of Music. This highly esteemed group performs pop and contemporary music while serving as ambassadors on behalf of the UK choral program at numerous prestigious events throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

Blue Note is UK's only mixed a cappella group and was formed as a subsection of the UK Choristers. The group is advised by Beth Wilson, and is student directed. They perform at countless events throughout the semester, both with the Choristers and locally.

 

Tickets for "Paws and Kats After Dark" are $10 for adults and $5 for UK students and children at the door.

 

For more information on this concert or UK's a cappella groups, contact Joseph Wrightson, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at joseph.wrightson@g.uky.edu.

 

The acoUstiKats, Paws and Listen and Blue Note are part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

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