Campus News

UK Faculty Win Best Paper Award from AAA

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 10:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015)  University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information faculty members Tae Hyun Baek and Chan Yun Yoo co-authored a paper with a Bryant University faculty member that won the Best Paper Award at the 2015 American Academy of Advertising National Conference in Chicago March 26-29, 2015.


The paper titled “The Impact of Augmented Reality on Self-Brand Connections and Purchase Intentions” was selected as Best Paper from the 148 papers submitted for review.


Yoo is an associate professor, and Baek is an assistant professor at UK, both in the Integrated Strategic Communication program in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. They collaborated with Sukki Yoon, an associate professor of marketing at Bryant University.


The research explored augmented reality, allowing consumers to virtually try on products, and the effect it has on purchasing decisions and brand perceptions.


“We poured our heart and energy into this research project,” Baek said.


The efforts paid off.  The research is, in fact, the first of its kind.


“To our best knowledge, the current research is the first to apply self-referencing effects to the augmented reality environment and to shed light on a boundary condition for the augmented reality self-viewing effect,” Baek said.


Results showed that when consumers see themselves wearing the product, they feel a stronger brand connection and stronger purchase intention, as opposed to seeing the product on an unknown model.


These results have the potential to impact future advertising strategies.


“Practically, as augmented reality technologies allow consumers to remotely, yet pseudo-directly, experience products, advertisers could explore additional avenues for effective digitally strategic communication campaigns,” Baek said.


Baek is the only person to win the AAA Best Paper Award twice.  He won previously in 2010 with a paper co-authored by Lijiang Shen.  It is titled “The Effects of Message Framing and Counterfactual Thinking in Anti-Binge Drinking PSAs."


The American Academy of Advertising is an organization of advertising scholars and professionals with an interest in advertising education. The academy fosters research that is relevant to the field and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among its academic and professional members.


The AAA hosts an annual national conference and a global conference every odd-numbered year.  The 2015 global conference will be held in Auckland, New Zealand July 9-12, 2015.



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

UK Forensics Places 2nd at Kentucky State Tournament

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 10:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Forensics Team placed second behind reigning national champions Western Kentucky University at the Kentucky Forensic Association state championship speech and debate tournament. Teams from all over the Commonwealth took part in this tournament, which was organized and hosted by the University of Kentucky team.


The Kentucky State Tournament offers competition in 13 individual events and two forms of debate this year. Team sweepstakes awards, which are determined by summing the points earned by all students from the school, are divided into three categories based on the size and type of institution. The Wildcats won the large school division of the IPDA public debate sweepstakes. UK also placed second in both the large school division of individual events sweepstakes and the large school division of parliamentary debate sweepstakes. The scores combined propelled UK to a second place finish overall at the tournament, which is a new team best.


The following successes made these achievements possible:


7th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Top Novice – Rachel Brase


After Dinner Speaking

6th Place – Brynne Reilly


Communication Analysis

6th Place – Logan Hurley

Top Novice – Léna Touchard


Drama Interpretation

6th Place – Rachel Brase


Duo Interpretation

2nd Place – Rachel Brase & Megan Wagner

3rd Place – Dianté Elcock & Kaylon Kennedy

Top Novice – Rachel Brase & Megan Wagner


Editorial Impromptu Speaking

4th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Top Novice – Léna Touchard


Extemporaneous Speaking

5th Place – Abel Rodriguez III

6th Place – Logan Hurley


Impromptu Speaking

Top Novice – Megan Wagner


Informative Speaking

3rd Place – Logan Hurley

Top Novice – Megan Wagner


Parliamentary Debate

Semifinalists – Brynne Reilly and Ryan Winstead

Top Novice Team – Rachel Brase and Kaylon Kennedy

4th Place Speaker (Open Division) – Ryan Winstead

9th Place Speaker (Open Division) – Brynne Reilly

1st Place Speaker (Novice Division) – Rachel Brase

3rd Place Speaker (Novice Division) – Kaylon Kennedy

5th Place Speaker (Novice Division) – Megan Wagner


Persuasive Speaking

5th Place – Abel Rodriguez III


Poetry Interpretation

3rd Place – Abel Rodriguez III

6th Place – Logan Hurley


Program Oral Interpretation

1st Place – Dianté Elcock

5th Place – Kaylon Kennedy

7th Place – Rachel Brase


Prose Interpretation

4th Place – Rachel Brase

Top Novice – Kaylon Kennedy


Public Debate

2nd Place – Abel Rodriguez III

Semifinalist – Ryan Winstead

Quarterfinalist – Logan Hurley

1st Place Speaker (Open Division) – Abel Rodriguez III

3rd Place Speaker (Open Division) – Ryan Winstead

5th Place Speaker (Open Division) – Logan Hurley


Radio Broadcasting

5th Place – Brynne Reilly


Together, these placings added another five national qualifications to the team's record. This brings the season total to 20 qualifications, a new record for the team. In addition to the honors listed above, junior Abel Rodriguez III was re-elected the student president of the Kentucky Forensic Association. Director of Forensics Timothy Bill, who served as the overall organization president for the past year, finished his term and moved into the office of past president.


The KFA State Tournament was originally scheduled for Feb. 20 and 21 at the University of Kentucky but was forced to postpone until March due to the severe winter weather. Instead, the event was hosted by UK on Transylvania University’s campus. The team’s final tournament of the year will be the National Forensic Association national tournament hosted by Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, April 16-20. UK Forensics is a student organization within the College of Communication and Information. The team competes in 12 different public speaking events and three forms of debate. For more information, please contact Timothy Bill at



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

UK Hazard Mitigation Plan Open for Public Comment

Sun, 04/12/2015 - 23:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — Protecting the University of Kentucky as much as possible from natural disasters is one of the primary missions of the UK Police Division of Crisis Management and Preparedness and its UK Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee.



They, along with University of Louisville’s Center for Hazards Research and Police Development, have been working on a draft of the 2015 University of Kentucky Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, and it is now available for public review and comment. Detailed Risk Assessment Maps are also available for viewing.


The draft review period will conclude at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 21.


Questions and comments may be submitted via the Public Comment Form or by emailing them directly to Laurel Wood, business continuity coordinator in Crisis Management and Preparedness, at


Presentations and materials from each of the four Steering Committee meetings, along with other important information can also be found at:


Natural disasters, such as severe storms, tornados, and floods, can have devastating effects — including loss of life and significant damage to buildings and infrastructure.  Hazard mitigation reduces disaster damages and is defined as a sustained action to reduce risk to the campus community. The university’s mitigation strategy for making our campus a safer place when faced with natural hazards will be reviewed by the UK Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee annually.

UK Project Engages Next Generation of Kentuckians to Tackle Health Problems

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 17:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — How can Kentucky tackle its chronic health disparities — cancer, heart and pulmonary disease, stroke and other preventable illnesses — and create long-lasting solutions?


Targeting adults who deal with these diseases most often is necessary, but so too is engaging teenagers, the next generation of Kentuckians, in the conversation.


One outreach program at the University of Kentucky is doing just that by delivering new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education experiences to Kentucky middle and high schools, illuminating the science behind diseases. The "Muscle Health Project" integrates new teaching methods, technology in the classroom, and access to researchers and students at UK in hopes of educating students early on to prevent problems later.


UK College of Education faculty teamed up with researchers from the UK Center for Muscle Biology to launch the project centered around muscle health, which has been implemented in Fayette County Public Schools and Lewis County Public Schools, with additional districts currently signing up.


UK faculty, researchers and students designed the learning modules, and middle and high school science teachers are now applying the modules in their classrooms.


"How can we teach fundamental scientific principles around phenomena kids are interested in, and also something they need to be interested in beyond the classroom? Well let's understand health issues at a fundamental level and look at them from a range of disciplines," said Diane Johnson, assistant director at the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER) in the UK College of Education.


"Through this project and others, we're making students aware of a range of health issues at an early age, saying 'look at what happens in your body,' then tasking them with crafting a message and teaching others about those issues," Johnson said.


Students are introduced to the Muscle Health Project with the scenario of a classmate being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy (MD), and are then tasked with helping the classmate understand the disease. Teams of students also work on various hands-on assignments, such as building models of skeletal and cardiac muscle; examining sarcomeres of real muscle obtained from a deli under a compound microscope; recording surface EMGs on themselves; and conducting web-based searches on the disease.


Their assignments culminate with each team presenting their research and findings in a science symposium. But the experience isn't over quite yet.


Using Skype, UK researchers and students follow-up with the middle and high school students by answering additional questions about MD and muscles in general. Recently, in one week alone, 10 different classes in Fayette County skyped with individuals at UK.


"Interacting with middle school students was a great change in pace for me as a college professor who primarily deals with graduate students and professional students," said Timothy Uhl, director of the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory and professor of athletic training at UK, who skyped with Fayette County middle school students. "They are open minded and appeared to be very engaged with understanding muscular dystrophy…they were very shocked about the permanent nature of muscular dystrophy disability."


The success of the Muscle Health Project is a testament to the efforts of several UK researchers, students, departments and colleges. Robin Cooper in the Department of Biology and Center for Muscle Biology, who leads the project; Rebecca M. Krall in the College of Education; Kim Zeidler-Watters, director of PIMSER; E.E. Dupont-Versteegden in the College of Health SciencesBruce Maley at the UK Imaging Facility and others joined forces to develop the project.


Undergraduates in biology, mathematicsagriculture, biotechnologyengineeringphysical therapy and a soon-to-be UK College of Medicine student also helped design activities and answer questions through Skype.


Cooper says the idea for the Muscle Health Project came from his experience in the UK nursing program several years ago - he received his Bachelor of Science in nursing in his free time - and his involvement with PIMSER in the College of Education.


Since Kentucky adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), middle and high school science classes are being transformed by integrating science with technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and PIMSER is training many science teachers across the Commonwealth to implement NGSS.


"It was perfect timing. There was a need for integrative projects and activities for life science teachers to engage students with," Cooper said. "And after attending the nursing program and learning that many of the health problems are preventable, I saw a real need in Kentucky."


The project is the first of several that are focused on Kentucky health issues and designed and executed by various faculty members in the College of Education, College of Engineering, Center for Muscle Biology, College of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, and College of Arts and Sciences.


But why is it important that middle and high school students study muscle health? Not only are there various diseases and problems the students can research related to muscle health, but Cooper says students can also learn basic life science concepts related to the topic, such as cellular process, energy needs, nutrition, obesity and more.


"Many of the students are very interested in their own body and how it works," Cooper said. "They can build physical models, measure muscle bioelectricity, view different types of muscle (fish, beef, pork) in a compound microscope. One student even said the other day, 'I don't see any difference in fish and chicken muscle banding patterns.' This is exactly what we're aiming for....students exploring and finding out things for themselves."


The Muscle Health Project is already expanding throughout Kentucky schools. In March, Garrard County High school in Lancaster, Kentucky, took on the project in a number of science classes. The project was also presented to the Kentucky Science Teachers Association and may soon be presented to the National Science Teachers Association.


Following the project's success, Cooper and others are designing programs focused on the cardiovascular system, population dynamics (nutrition and general health), and imaging from small to large objects (electron microscopic level to whole body).


"As many projects rarely cover all parts of STEM, we make a concerted effort to do so, along with covering literacy as the students have to read science-based papers and write reports," Cooper said. "All of these projects actually bridge science, technology, engineering and math together, and allow Kentucky's students to truly understand these health problems."  




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

#UKKickButtsDay Exposes Devastation of Tobacco Use in Kentucky

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 17:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — Creating a healthier campus environment, the University of Kentucky adopted its tobacco-free campus policy in 2009. On Tuesday, April 14, the UK Tobacco-free Task Force will remind the campus community of deaths caused by tobacco — and that there's help to quit available — by sponsoring #UKKicksButtsDay.


Located on the Rose Street walkway from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the annual event educates students, faculty and staff about the university's tobacco-free policy and the health hazards of tobacco use. Health educators will host trivia games with prizes and a free t-shirt giveaway for students. In addition, participants can view a white sheet marked with hand prints representing the 8,900 lives lost due to tobacco use in Kentucky every year.


In 2013, 19 percent  of UK students reported using some form of tobacco products, down from 30 percent before the policy took effect in 2009. The Tobacco-free Task Force works to help members of the campus community quit smoking and ensure compliance with the tobacco-free policy. In November 2009, UK joined 300 universities across the nation in prohibiting tobacco use on campus inside and out. Currently, UK is one of more than 1,000 campuses with tobacco-free campus policies. The Tobacco-free Policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products including traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chew, pipes, cigars, hookah or waterpipe smoking, snus, snuff, and applies to all areas of the contiguous UK campus in Lexington, indoors and out.


"While UK officially made our campus a healthier place to live, work and learn nearly six years ago, our Tobacco-free Task Force isn't finished spreading the word about the health risks of tobacco use," Ellen Hahn, Ph.D, RN, co-chair of UK’s Tobacco-free Task Force, said. "This event is a continuation of a larger effort to reduce tobacco-related deaths and disease on campus and in our community."


#UKKickButtsDay is sponsored by University Health Service, UK College of Pharmacy and the UK Advisory Council. Spread the word through social media using the hashtag #UKKickButtsDay.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

A&S Announces Winning Teachers

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 17:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s college teaching awards, They are Renee Fatemi, physics and astronomy (Outstanding Teaching Award), Moisés Castillo, Hispanic studies (Outstanding Teaching Award), Charley Carlson, psychology (Outstanding Teaching Award), Anna Voskresensky, MCLLC (Outstanding Teaching Award), Michelle Sizemore, English (Teaching in Large Classes), and Ruth Brown, Hispanic studies (Innovative Teaching).


There will be an awards ceremony to honor the recipients of these and other college awards on Wednesday, April 22, at 4 p.m. in the William T. Young Library Auditorium. A reception will follow the ceremony.


Outstanding Teaching ‒ Natural and Mathematical Science

Renee Fatemi has been a member of the physics and astronomy department since 2007. She teaches at all levels of the curriculum, from introductory physics to topical graduate level courses. Fatemi has been a leader in implementing active learning and adaptive learning strategies into physics courses, thereby allowing students to actively engage with the course material, wherever possible. In addition, she mentors both graduate and undergraduate students in her research lab and serves as the department’s faculty advisor to the Student Physics Society. Fatemi’s enthusiasm for teaching is clearly outstanding, and this is reflected in her Teacher Course Evaluations. Her students appreciate both her passion for the course content and her challenging expectations. In addition, as one student puts it, “I have never seen someone who legitimately cares about the students as much as she does.”


Outstanding Teaching ‒ Humanities

Moisés Castillo joined the Department of Hispanic Studies in 2010. Since then, he has rebuilt and renovated courses within his specialty of the Early Modern Period. His nomination letters speak to his dedication and "tireless" efforts to improve graduate education at the university. As one colleague stated, "He has the heart of a teacher." His commitment to furthering students' cultural competence and their analytical skills is reflected in his syllabi and supporting letters from students: "He inspires his students to use their minds and explore their interests."


Outstanding Teaching ‒ Social Science

Charles “Charley” Carlson joined the University of Kentucky in 1988, and has made an impact teaching both undergraduates and graduate students. He has reached many students through his large lecture course on Developmental Psychology, and more recently developed a senior capstone course that was also very successful. One student was particularly impressed by the way Carlson incorporated student comments into an ongoing learning experience. He also developed an online version of his Developmental Psychology course, which was so successful that it expanded from its original use for summer courses and is now offered year-round. His impact on graduate education has also been important ‒ most recently he developed a clinical internship program for doctoral students, which recently secured an accreditation site visit from the American Psychological Association. As one of his colleagues put it “…Charley consistently has had a positive impact on his students’ lives to a degree not routinely seen in a major research university.”


Outstanding Teaching ‒ Lecturer

Anna Viktorovna Voskresensky is recognized for both her effort to enhance students’ learning experience in Russian and her determination to help students succeed. Since joining the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures as a lecturer, she has been tirelessly committed to the promotion of the Russian language and culture within and outside the classroom. Indeed, Voskresensky has created many innovative activities for facilitating the acquisition of Russian, including three extracurricular activities that give students opportunities to further their mastery of the language: a Russian singing group, a Russian reading group, and a study group. Her students recognize her dedication and professionalism and rave that Voskerensky has “gone above the duties of any professor we have known.” For them, “her innovative selfless teaching coupled with a driving passion for her students…make her the amazing instructor that she is.” She is a great ambassador for all things Russian, an excellent instructor but most importantly a caring counselor that helps students achieved their goals.


Award for Excellence in Teaching Large Courses

Michelle Sizemore is the recipient of the inaugural Award for Excellence in Teaching Large Courses because of her work developing the large lecture course English 191 “Literature and the Arts of Citizenship.” This course has had an incredibly positive impact on the students who take it. They characterize the course with comments like: “I found myself trying harder because if she cared so much, I could care too!”; “…really feel that it was taught in an effective and engaging way that helped me strengthen my analytical skills”; “Everything we did seemed important, and I never felt like a slide or point of topic was pointless.” Furthermore, the course’s success has fostered shifted attitudes in the English department from initial concern about undertaking large lecture courses to a recognition of the potential benefits of such classes. Clearly, though, it is not just the course structure, but Sizemore’s skillful and impressive execution that makes all the difference. The care she takes is evident to her students and has the desired effect of making a large lecture format an effective pedagogical tool. Says one student: “I loved how seriously you took teaching us, you learned everyone’s name even though it’s a huge class and took effort to know us. It didn’t feel like a huge class because of this.”


Award for Innovative Teaching

Ruth Brown joined the Department of Hispanic Studies in 2013. Since then, she has developed several new undergraduate courses for healthcare professionals. She has also dedicated class time and course work to service learning projects with students to foster real world experience and profound cultural competence. She makes a great effort to incorporate her students' professional goals into their coursework, thereby allowing them to show how "Spanish had impacted their lives." Her innovations in and out of the classroom give "students the opportunity to learn and use the language with real people in real situations."


UK, Gatton Help KIN Capture National Award

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 16:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, part of the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, played a role in the state of Kentucky's success in receiving another national award for supporting small businesses.


Business Facilities magazine, a leading national business publication, presented the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and its Kentucky Innovation Network with the magazine’s annual Achievement in Innovation Hubs Award. The award is given to the top organizations and programs that exhibit consistent excellence in the development of innovation hubs and supporting entrepreneurs.


“This is a tremendous honor,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Kentucky continues to receive national recognition for our growing economy and entrepreneurial support programs. Small businesses are a vital part of job creation, and we are proud to help these innovators achieve their goals.”


A statewide network of 13 offices, the Kentucky Innovation Network helps entrepreneurs at any stage — whether it is just starting with an idea or having an established business — and works with them to plan, build and launch their business.


One of the first state programs to create a network of business leaders and mentors to support new and existing businesses, the Innovation Network, along with the Cabinet’s Office of Entrepreneurship, assisted more than 2,000 small businesses last year.


“Small businesses are a key part of Kentucky’s ongoing, positive economic story,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development for the Cabinet. “They are a source of new jobs and new ideas. Knowing this, we are dedicated to partnering with small businesses across the Commonwealth and offering resources to help them succeed.”


This is the latest award Kentucky has received for its support of small businesses. Last year, the State Entrepreneurship Index ranked Kentucky fourth in the country for its ability to create businesses. The Commonwealth climbed 45 places from its ranking of 49th in 2013. The Kauffman Foundation and gave Kentucky an “A” rating for small business friendliness. Kentucky was the most improved state in the rankings.


The Cabinet also has recently been cited in other national publications for economic growth and for its workforce training programs through the Kentucky Skills Network. The state has received additional recognition for its Kentucky Angel Investors Network, which brings together investors and entrepreneurs to broker deals, and the Kentucky Export Initiative, which focuses on helping businesses export their products around the world.


More details on the Achievement in Innovation Hubs Award can be found here.


To learn more about how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping small businesses, visit Learn more about the Office of Entrepreneurship at




MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200/; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750/

Gorton, Trimble and Godby Win 2015 Sullivan Awards

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 15:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) ― A registered nurse who rose to vice mayor of Lexington with a reputation for fairness and good works, the founder of a nonprofit tennis and education program for disadvantaged Lexington children, and the creator of "Bucks for Backpacks" to help the homeless are the recipients of the University of Kentucky's 2015 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions for outstanding humanitarian service.


They will receive their medallions this evening at UK's annual Honors and Recognition Awards Program in the Student Center Grand Ballroom. A 6 p.m. reception will be followed by the formal program beginning at 7 p.m.


The citizen recipient of the Sullivan Award this year is Linda Gorton, a retired registered nurse, who completed 16 years of public service in elective office in Lexington in 2014 as vice mayor. 


She earned a reputation for bringing competing factions together at city hall to do the public good, including her support for a fairness ordinance, the indoor smoking ban, the need for environmental regulations, and the Rural Land Management Plan to protect the area's agricultural economy. 


She served four terms on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council as 4th District Council member, being first elected in 1998; one four-year term as at-large member, and one term as vice mayor. 


Over the years, she served in leadership roles in organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and to ensuring that people were being treated fairly. 


For six years, starting in the mid-1990s, she served on the Equity Council of Fayette County Public Schools dealing with issues ranging from the fair treatment of bus drivers to the challenge of closing the learning gap for children from low-income families. 


She co-founded the Friends of the Dog Parks, a nonprofit that works with the city to fund and run the city's dog parks. She received the Bur Oak Award for her work with The Arboretum, a joint project of the University of Kentucky and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and she was honored by the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver Award for her work with youth.


Before arriving in Lexington, she worked as a nurse in Germany, Korea and Georgia, where in 1975 she served on a team of volunteer doctors and nurses at Fort Benning to assist with the U.S. government's "Operation Babylift," the evacuation of orphans from South Vietnam to the U.S. and other countries. She gave the babies and children physical exams before they were adopted. 


At the University of Kentucky, she serves on the Board of Visitors of the Martin School of Public Policy & Administration and on the Dean's Advisory Board of the College of Nursing. 


She was named one of the College of Nursing’s 50 Outstanding Alumni and received the Woman’s Community Leadership Award from Central Baptist Hospital. She served as co-chair of the Town and Gown Commission to help improve UK neighborhood relations, and she has supported FUSION, the largest one-day service event in Kentucky when UK teams up with nonprofit organizations throughout Lexington. 


The senior woman recipient of the Sullivan Award this year is Grace Trimble, a Rhodes Scholarship finalist in 2015 and a Truman Scholarship award winner in 2014.


She is founder and president of Smart Shots, a 501 (c) nonprofit tennis and education program for disadvantaged Lexington children. For Smart Shots, she initiated the design and implementation of a multimillion-dollar athletics and education facility in Lexington. 


Trimble, of Winchester, Ky., is a political science major with a history minor who will graduate from the University of Kentucky in May. 


She was named to the SEC Community Service Team in 2011-12 and 2013-14 for two of her three years on the varsity women's tennis team. In 2014 she was named to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character by UK Athletics​​​​ ​​along with the Scratch Award as part of The CATSPY Awards by UK Athletics. 


She has volunteered as a YMCA Camp Counselor, a Salvation Army Bell Ringer​​​​​​​​​ and as ​​​​an aide to the Ronald McDonald House​​​​​​​​​​​​, the Hope Center for homeless and at-risk people, a Special Olympics Bowling Tournament​​ and the​​​​ Catholic Action Center ​​​​​​​as well as UK's FUSION day of service.​​​​​​ 


She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences, in 2014 and she was inducted into UK's Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, in 2013. 


She was named a Chellgren Fellow in 2012 to engage in a research project as part of the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, and the same year she traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on a service trip organized by UK Athletics. 


​The senior man recipient of the Sullivan Award this year is Max Godby, the creator of the "Bucks for Backpacks" program that has provided more than 150 homeless men and women with basic necessities, such as clothing, toiletries, food and water. 


Godby, a fifth-year senior on UK's football team as a lineman, was selected to the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works team and honored at halftime at the 2015 Sugar Bowl in January. 


As a member of UK's Christian Student Fellowship, he has become a regular speaker at elementary schools, high schools and churches, and he co-led a relief effort for the city of Joplin, Mo., after a catastrophic tornado ripped apart the community in 2011. 


He also has worked with God's Pantry, the Salvation Army, the Special Olympics, Read Across America, Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center and the Haiti Food Drive. He volunteered with the "Walk a Child to School" event for Fayette County Public Schools and with several events for Athletes in Action, where he served for three years as a mentor and team leader. 


In 2014 he was named to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character by UK Athletics. For three years on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, he helped to coordinate team community service activities. 


In 2014 he was named to the SEC Community Service Team and was honored by UK Athletics at The CATSPY Awards for his community service. 


He was named to the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll​​​​​ four years in a row (2011-14), and in 2015 he was co-creator of the PRIDE Academy Mentoring Program at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. 


Godby, a 2010 graduate of Christian Academy in Louisville, graduated a semester early with a B.A. degree in Communications, and he is expected to earn a master's degree in sports leadership in May.


UK has been recognizing Sullivan Award winners since 1927 and is one of several Southern universities that present Sullivan Awards, sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation. The award recognizes individuals whose commitment to community service evokes a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women.


“For several decades, the University of Kentucky has honored two outstanding students and one impactful citizen for their work in developing communities and serving others both near and far from the Bluegrass Region,” said President Eli Capilouto. “This year’s recipients exhibit the best qualities of servant leadership and have garnered the deep respect of their peers.”


The criteria for selection, which puts a premium on character, integrity and humanitarian service, are written in the spirit of Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a Southerner who became a prominent lawyer, businessman and philanthropist in New York in the late 19th century.



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

Bike Week Pedals Onto Campus April 13-17

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 15:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — This week, the University of Kentucky — a Bicycle Friendly University — will celebrate biking as a form of transportation and educate the campus community about navigating campus by bike. As part of the annual Earth Days in the Bluegrass event, UK Parking and Transportation Services and the Bicycle Advisory Committee are presenting the third annual Bike Week, to be held April 13-17. All events are free. However, if you plan on attending Tour de Downtown Art, please RSVP on the event's Facebook page.


Bike Week is designed to familiarize the UK community with the variety of resources available to those who choose to bike on campus and to offer opportunities for students and employees to become engaged in the Lexington bike culture.


Bike Week will get rolling Monday, April 13, with DIY Fix-It Station demonstrations. There will be three DIY Fix-It demonstration stations across campus. Locations include College of Nursing, Patterson Drive and W.T. Young Library. All stations will be open for demonstrations from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


UK Parking and Transportation Services will host a "Why I Ride" video competition. Students and employees are encouraged to take a short five-15 second video explaining why they ride their bikes to campus. Videos must be shot horizontally on a cell phone and include a bike and/or helmet in the shot. All video submissions can be sent to The winner of the video competition will receive an iPad mini.


Events are planned throughout the week to highlight bicycling at UK. The schedule of events is as follows:

·         Monday, April 13, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations

DIY Stations at the College of Nursing, on Patterson Drive and W.T. Young Library

While you may know that the University of Kentucky has six do-it-yourself bicycle repair stations on campus, do you know how to use them? Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library staff will join members of the UK Bicycle Advisory Committee in breaking down how to use these resources should you even be in need of a quick fix!

·         Tuesday, April 14, 6 - 7:30 p.m.  Tour de Downtown Art

Downtown Lexington; departs from Alumni Plaza

Get a unique perspective on some of downtown Lexington's murals on this group ride. The ride will be led by instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists and the tour will be guided by Georgia Henkel, an accomplished artist very familiar with the works on the tour. The tour is expected to cover 2-3 miles at a very leisurely pace. Please sign up to attended this free tour via the Facebook event page.

·         Wednesday, April 15, 8 p.m.  Bike-In Movie: The Bicycle Thieves

Botanical Garden (area behind the Singletary Center for the Arts and the Student Center Parking Lot)

You don't have to ride your bike to this outdoor movie, but we will have special prizes for those students who do! Students who arrive by bike will receive a free set of LED bike lights, while supplies last. Come watch this critically-acclaimed 1948 Italian film (with English subtitles) about a man who needs a job, a bicycle to do it, and his subsequent search for his stolen bicycle.

·         Thursday, April 16, All Day  3rd Annual Bike to Campus Day

Show your support for the 3rd Annual Bike to Campus Day by using our Bike to Campus avatar as your profile pic on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets! Help spread the word about your choice to use bicycling as your primary mode of transportation.

·         Thursday, April 16, 7:30-9:30 a.m.  Bike-In Breakfast

Bike racks at Patterson Drive, Funkhouser Drive and College of Nursing

Students are encouraged to kick off Bike to Campus Day right by stopping by on their commutes for bicycle-powered smoothies (Patterson Drive location only), coffee and donuts. While you're there, get information on campus and Lexington bike resources and free swag. Bikes not required - all members of the campus community are welcome to come learn more about wheeling around campus.

·         Friday, April 17, All Day  Car-Free Day

Take the car-free pledge and liberate yourself from the combustion engine for a day of fresh air and exercise so you can spend your gas money something fun! Pledge on the UK Sustainability Facebook page for chance to win a bike-related prize. Lots of car-free resources are available on the alternative transportation page.


For more information, visit To learn more about bicycling on campus, visit



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

UK Theatre 'Lets the Sunshine In' at Guignol With 'Hair'

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 13:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance will end the season with a groovy revolution. The department will present the popular musical “Hair” April 16- April 26, in the Guignol Theatre.


“Hair,” written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, originally premiered off Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1967 and found its way to Broadway in April 1968. “Hair” is a musical that embodies the romanticized spirit of the hippie counter culture of the 1960s. Though the plot is rather loose, the musical tells the story of Claude and his struggle with conscription into the Vietnam War.


Under the direction of Russell Henderson, the department first produced “Hair” in October 1993. It ran with such overwhelming success that it included midnight showings and a rerun in the summer of 1994.


“Like Hamlet, it’s a play about a man who can’t make up his mind ultimately,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Russell Henderson, who will also direct the 2015 production. “But it’s really about the search for self and self identification and how you figure into a larger society.”


The cast consists of a “tribe” of 30 people. Students registered for the show like a class and have designated rehearsal times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the rehearsal process the cast had to acquire a necessary understanding of the period both historically and culturally. The musical encompasses a lot of references that were contemporary in the 1960s and explores themes such as resistance to the Vietnam War, women’s liberation, the sexual revolution and the drug culture of the time. Henderson stressed in rehearsal that the actors should not be playing ‘hippies’ but rather people living during the period.


In the 1960s a group of like-minded, unrelated people who lived together for mutual gain was considered a tribe or a commune. These people would often live with each other, provide for each other and celebrated ideas such as freedom, happiness, peace, harmony and understanding. A tribe could also include people who would be a hippie for the weekend and return to their desk jobs on Monday.


 “We are representing an era and a group of people that really believed in the power of love and believed in the power of togetherness – the whole cast had to find that together,” said theatre senior Rachel Snyder, of Dayton, Ohio, who is playing Shelia Franklin. “We had to become the tribe. And I think we have done that.”


“These people lived free without labels in a world that always wanted to confine something to a label, and this directly mirrors our society today,” said theatre junior DeAndreus Baines, of Memphis, Tennessee, who portrays Hud. “We spend more time now trying to give something a title instead of letting it be whatever it wants to be.”


While many of the references will be understood fully by those who grew up in the 1960s, the musical is still relevant to a 2015 audience. Many of the issues brought to light in the 1960s, such as the fight for equal human rights, are still prevalent in today’s culture.


“This is 2015, not 1948, but have we really progressed?” said Synder. “We are still fighting about discrimination, drug use, sexuality, human rights and freedom. Do we need to keep illuminating the issues, fighting for humanity, and sharing love? I think now is the time to ‘Let the Sunshine In.’”


Taking in the April 25 show will be several members of the family of "Hair" co-writer Gerome Ragni, including a relative who attends UK.


The show begins at 7:30 p.m., April 16-18 and 23-25. A 2 p.m. matinee performance will be presented April 26. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for the general public.


The production contains mature content such as strong language and brief nudity.


The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.



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

A&S Dean's List Recipients Praised

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 12:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — On April 3, the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences recognized about 1,400 current students who earned a place on the Dean’s List for their academic achievements. The honor is reserved for the highest achieving students in the college who have obtained a 3.6 or higher grade point average the previous semester.


Many family and friends were on hand to celebrate the hard work of these exceptional students.


Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke about the value of a liberal arts education, and was joined by Connor Appleman, a biology senior and A&S Ambassador co-coordinator. Appleman spoke about his experiences in the college and the wealth of knowledge it has provided as he prepares for graduation in May.


The college holds its Dean’s List celebration twice yearly.


“It is always a pleasure to commemorate the great achievements of our top students and to share the celebration with their families and friends who have a direct impact on their lives,” said Kornbluh. “Our Dean’s List students are committed, inquisitive and deeply driven, and continually succeed while balancing many responsibilities. It is important that we take time to recognize their achievement.”  


View a photo album of the event

Lifelong Health Begins Before Birth

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 09:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2015) -- We've long known that a pregnant mother's alcohol and tobacco use can harm a developing fetus, but we're now learning much more about how a baby's first nine months before birth can affect its health into adulthood.


The environment of the womb, which is determined by a mother's health, lifestyle and surroundings, can alter the development of a fetus with permanent and lifelong implications. This concept of "fetal programming" explains some of the developmental origins of health and disease, including a child's increased risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease as an adult.


In addition to alcohol and tobacco cessation and eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables and healthy sources of proteins, proper weight gain and exercise and good mental health during pregnancy are especially important for a baby's lifelong health. Pregnancy is a critical window, and even if you've never exercised, watched your weight, or actively tended to your mental health in the past, investing in yourself for the nine months of pregnancy could have implications for the next 100 years of your child's life.


Weight gain: Gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy can negatively impact your child's future health and growth, affecting metabolism, energy, appetite control, and possibly increasing their risk for obesity.


How much weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight prior to pregnancy. A woman of normal weight should gain about 20-25 lbs.; overweight women should gain 15-20. For obese women, harm has not been shown if they don't gain any weight. Consult your doctor to determine what's right for you.


Exercise: For appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, exercise is fundamentally important.  Exercise also provides numerous benefits to the pregnant mom, and there is early evidence that maternal exercise may improve long-term health outcomes in the next generation.  


Moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is recommended for the majority of pregnant women without complications. Consider gardening, swimming and walking or other fun activities that will keep you off the couch. Strenuous exercise should be done in consultation with your physician.


Stress and anxiety: Research suggests that maternal stress--whether from normal life events, financial concerns, poverty, or abuse--is associated with pre-term birth and can affect the development of a baby's brain and immune system. Talk about your concerns and feelings with people you trust, do things that help you relax, and rely on your support network. If you think you might be experiencing depression, talk with your health care provider right away.


For more information on healthy pregnancy, visit


Kevin J. Pearson, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, and Dr. John M. O'Brien, is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the maternal fetal medicine and fellowship program at the University of Kentucky. Together, they study the effects of maternal health, especially exercise and diet, on fetal and childhood outcomes.


This column appeared in the April 12, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

Added Sugar in Diets Has Created Public Health Crisis

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 07:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) -- Sugars tastes good and for a little while, it may make us feel better until the crash comes and we are left feeling tired and lifeless.  It is estimated that Americans consume 130 pounds of sugar per person a year which is about a third of a pound of sugar a day.


We consume it in all the obvious places like candy, cookies, pastries and ice cream but sugar, made of glucose and fructose, can sneak into our diets under the guise of foods we may not suspect, like crackers, processed foods, peanut butter, yogurt, sauces and bread, many of which use high fructose corn syrup, a man-made sweetener equally as toxic as sugar.


Recent medical research concludes consumption of added sugar in our diet has plunged America into a public health crisis. Sugar can be directly linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Children are becoming obese and diabetic and at an earlier age, and sugar along with high fructose corn syrup, more than any other substances are to blame.


Table sugar is composed of glucose and fructose. Glucose it is quickly absorbed from the walls of your small intestine, triggering your pancreas to secrete insulin, a hormone that delivers glucose from your blood stream to your cells to be used as energy or stored as glycogen or fat. Consistently high sugar loads can lead to insulin resistance leaving high blood glucose in circulation. The high glucose will attach to red blood cells, which is used to determine if you are diabetic or prediabetic


Fructose is also absorbed through your small intestine into the bloodstream, which delivers fructose straight to your liver. ​Unlike glucose the metabolism of fructose is not as well regulated and the liver is easily overwhelmed and over time, excess fructose can prompt globules of fat to grow throughout the liver, the precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. ​It spurs the production of triglycerides, a type of fat that can migrate from the liver to the arteries, raising your risk for heart attack or stroke. Glucose and fructose can overwhelm your pancreas which can result in total-body inflammation that, in turn, puts you at even higher risk for obesity and diabetes.


While the facts are sobering, the good news is that the majority of these illnesses are preventable.


The first step is to become more mindful before we reach for the next soda, cookie or piece of cake. Paying attention to the sugar content on nutrition labels and making healthy choices for both adults and children are the first steps to better health.


Some common foods to avoid that have a high sugar content are: Regular sodas - 136 added sugar calories/12 fl oz; Juice cocktails such as Capri-Sun, Tropicana Orange Ade – 85 added sugar calories/8 fl oz; 100 percent Natural Wholegrain Cereal with raisins, lowfat – 81 added sugar calories/cup; Honey Mustard Salad Dressing – 25 added sugar calories/tablespoon, Heart Healthy 100 percent Whole Wheat Bread – 12 calories added sugar calories/slice; High Protein Bars – 34 calories added sugar/bar; Milk Chocolate Bars – 74 calories added sugar/bar; Yogurt, fruit and nuts, low fat – 89 calories added sugar /6 oz; and Ice cream, fat free, and chocolate – 83 calories added sugar/medium scoop.


Geza Bruckner is professor of Clinical Nutrition at the UK College of Health Sciences and the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences 

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Gets Down to Earth With UK Sustainability Coordinator

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 23:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 10, 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.  On today's program, UK sustainability coordinator Shane Tedder talks about Earth Days in the Bluegrass, a compilation of events during April celebrating sustainability and responsible global citizenship. 


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.