'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Presents Rail Splitters and United Baptist Church

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — From an old-time string band with roots across central and south-central Appalachia to the more gospel sounds of United Baptist Church, the next two concerts in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series demonstrates some of the diversity of traditional music. On Friday, Nov. 14, the Rail Splitters, including University of Kentucky doctoral candidate Julie Shepherd-Powell, will perform. The next week, on Friday, Nov. 21, members of the congregation for United Baptist Church of Lexington will share their sound. Both free public concerts will take place at noon, at the Niles Gallery, located in the UK Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.


The Rail Splitters perform "Grey Eagle" and "John Henry" at 2013 Old Time Fiddlers Convention. 


Feet and Fiddle in Focus at Niles Gallery

The Rail Splitters are an old-time string band with deep roots in the musical traditions of Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. Fiddler Adrian Powell, banjo player and dancer Julie Shepherd-Powell and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brett Ratliff make up the trio.


Adrian Powell, a native of Crimora, Virginia, has won contests at fiddler's conventions all over the Southeast from Hillbilly Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, to the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Virginia. His fiddle style is straight forward with a hard drivin' bow, and he currently plays with several groups including the Pea Ridge Ramblers, Matt Kinman's Old Time Serenaders and the Cabin Creek Boys, in addition to the Rail Splitters. 


Julie Shepherd-Powell is an award-winning clawhammer banjo player and flatfoot dancer originally from North Carolina. She previously taught beginning and advanced old-time banjo at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. In addition to the Rail Splitters, Julie has also played with Letcher County band Rich and the Poor Folks. She competes in flatfoot dance competitions at fiddlers' conventions all over the southeast and calls square dances anywhere from Knoxville to New York City. Julie is currently completing her doctoral degree in anthropology at UK.


Raised by a coal miner and teacher in Van Lear, Kentucky, Brett Ratliff grew up with a love for the mountains, its people and its culture. As a youngster, he started singing in church and sang along to recordings of Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. As a teenager he began playing guitar for bluegrass bands. But when Ratliff met musical father-and-son duo Jamie and Jesse Wells he became hooked on the moving, emotionally charged mountain music of his home. Since then, he has learned banjo tunes and ballads from some of the masters of old-time music, like knock-down banjo player George Gibson of Knott County and Pike County fiddle and banjo player Paul David Smith. Ratliff’s solo album, "Cold Icy Mountain," was released on June Appal Recordings. A previous  music director for WMMT Radio in Whitesburg, Kentucky, he currently serves as program director for the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky.



Elder Jason Lowery of Lexington's United Baptist Church performs "How Many Times."


United in Appalachian Gospel Sound

Appalachia embraces Sunday morning every bit as much as Saturday evening. Religion is a powerful force in Appalachian culture and few denominations are as distinctive as the Old Regular Church and the United Baptist Church. The United Baptist Church of Lexington preserves a worship style that draws on a long lineage of lined out hymnody and gospel. Elder Jason Lowery and members of the United Baptist congregation will present. 


The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.


For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring the Rail Splitters or United Baptist Church, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website at

Grant Will Help Veterans with Military Medical Training Transition into Civilian Nursing Careers

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) – Frances Hardin Fanning, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, recently received a $627,000 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to advance a project to prepare veterans for the civilian nursing workforce by establishing the Med/Vet to BSN option at the UK College of Nursing.


The three-year project is will recruit and transition 25 to 50 veterans with military medical training into the civilian workforce via existing and newly developed academic and non-academic resources in the college's baccalaureate nursing program while partnering with on-campus and community veterans organizations throughout the state of Kentucky. The first cohort of student veterans will be admitted in August 2015.


“The UK College of Nursing is one of only 20 nursing programs in the United States to receive HRSA funding for this type of veterans’ educational option," Hardin-Fanning said. "Our history of collaborating with campus and community veterans’ support partners, as well as our outstanding NCLEX pass rates, provided the framework for this option. I am proud that the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing Dean Janie Heath, faculty and staff; and the people of Kentucky recognize the sacrifices made by our veterans and are willing to work hard to ensure their success in civilian careers.”  


The MedVet to BSN Option will help student veterans with military medical training move into civilian nursing positions. This option will reduce the time toward degree by at least one semester. The goals of this option are to develop nursing career development strategies specific to the veteran population and provide academic credit for prior training and experience.


The program will also assemble a network of groups/agencies to help student learning and program completion, and to enhance employment opportunities as well as provide undergraduate nursing faculty development that includes military culture, nursing care of veterans, end of life care for veterans, awareness of issues that may impact student learning and success, and awareness of campus and community veteran resources; and collaborate with on-campus and community veterans’ organizations to provide the best resources and support to MedVet to BSN students.


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at

Prospective Grad Students Invited to Explore UK College of Design

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Considering a career in architecture, historic preservation or interiors? See if graduate study in these design fields are a fit for you at an upcoming open house presented by University of Kentucky College of Design beginning 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in Room 207 of Pence Hall.


The UK College of Design Graduate Student Open House will give prospective graduate students the opportunity to speak with faculty and admissions counselors at the College of Design. Those attending will also have opportunities to tour the college's facilities at Pence Hall, Miller Hall, Funkhouser Building and Bowman Hall, as well as meet current students in UK's School of Architecture, Department of Historic Preservation and School of Interiors: Planning/Strategy/Design.


Individuals planning to attend the UK College of Design Graduate Student Open House, which will run to 2 p.m., should arrive at 11 a.m. as they will then break into groups based on the program they are interested in potentially pursuing. In preparation for the event, participants should register online for the open house beforehand at by Monday, Nov. 17.



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

Expo Allows Close-Up Look at High Tech-Robots and Simulators Used for Medical Training

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) -- University of Kentucky faculty, staff and students are invited to a Simulation Expo sponsored by the new UK Office of Clinical Simulation. The event is being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, in the UK Chandler Hospital, Pavilion A, ground floor lobby. Remarks by UK President Eli Capilouto and UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf will kick-off the event in the Pavilion A Auditorium at 11 a.m.


Robotic, human-patient and task simulators will be displayed and demonstrated. Directed by longtime UK faculty member Dr. Zaki Hassan, professor of anesthesiolgoy and surgery in the UK College of Medicine, the newly established Office of Clinical Simulation strives to promote clinical care and patient safety by providing students, residents, physcians and nurses an array of clinical simulation and task skills training opportunities. 

Diego Garcia's Latin Sound to Heat Up the Bluegrass

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 15:58


Diego Garcia video for "Sunnier Days" from his latest album, "Paradise."A transcript of this video can be seen here


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The Latin sound of Diego Garcia will heat up the Bluegrass this weekend as he takes the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts stage. Born in the U.S. to Argentine parents, Garcia explores his Latin heritage with a sound that conjures the spirit of 1970s troubadours like Sandro de América and Antônio Carlos Jobim, as well as singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Harry Nilsson. The all-ages concert begins with Lexington locals Bear Medicine at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.


A breakout star with the release of his solo album "Laura," NPR named Diego Garcia’s debut “one of the top 25 Albums of the Year.” His poignant first single “You Were Never There” (co-written by George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison) is a perfect example with its lush string arrangements, delicate Spanish guitars and distinctly Latin flavor.


Garcia knows how to mine romantic yearning in his work. His acclaimed 2011 solo debut "Laura" was the ultimate bedroom recording, an intensely focused and utterly entrancing chamber-pop song cycle about unrequited love, his own. The titular Laura was a woman he fell for in college but lost during a hectic period a decade ago when he was fronting Elefant, a New York City-based rock band that toured the world with artists like Interpol, The National and Morrissey. By the time "Laura" was finished, Garcia accepted the fact that she might only exist in his life as the subject of these songs. Then he miraculously won her back (and later married her). But those years of estrangement left an indelible mark and continue to inform his work. 


"When I was in the studio making the 'Laura' album, I was digging through my parents’ record collections and really taking a deeper look at Latin troubadours. There was one singer named Piero; I heard his song 'Mi Viejo' and it changed my life. I spent a whole session listening to that song, to all the details. When you listen to those singers, the drama in their delivery was so powerful, the way they would capture 'the malady of love.' Then I had this sort of eureka moment. It sparked an idea that felt very natural to me, reaching into that lost world, that golden age of Latin music," Garcia said.


"Paradise," Garcia's new album, continues to expand upon the romantic sound he had begun to shape throughout his work on "Laura." The album’s hybrid of influences, from the late-'60s “Anglo” crooners like Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker to the early-'70s passionate balladry of Latin American artists like Roberto Carlos, Jose Feliciano and Piero, and Spaniard Julio Iglesias, is a musical reflection of who he is: a U.S.-bred son of Latin American parents who thinks in English, but can speak fluently in Spanish.


Opening the evening will be Lexington folk-rock group Bear Medicine. A quartet featuring cello, flute, percussion and acoustic guitar, Bear Medicine succeed in balancing contemporary indie rock influences with a Kentucky tradition of folk and Appalachian music. They have recently self-released their debut album, "The Moon Has Been All My Life," to critical acclaim.


Tickets for this event are $26 for general admission and $13 for students with a valid UK ID. Service fee will be added upon completion of transaction. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at, or in person at the ticket office.


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



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

Kentucky Receives $7 Million to Lead First of Its Kind Collaboration to Reduce Lung Cancer

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 13:41


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Lung Cancer Alliance announce the Kentucky LEADS (Lung Cancer. Education. Awareness. Detection. Survivorship) Collaborative, a project that will focus on reducing the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky through provider education, early detection and screening, and patient and caregiver support. The project is supported by a $7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s "Bridging Cancer Care" initiative.


Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and kills more Americans than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. In Kentucky, the burden of this illness is even more dramatic. Kentucky has more cases of lung cancer than any other state and its lung cancer mortality rate is nearly 50 percent higher than the national average. The disease will take the lives of more than 3,500 Kentuckians this year alone. 


Please check back to at 11:15 a.m. for more information. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

'Twisted History' of Kentucky Hemp Explored at UK Libraries

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — With Kentucky's newest legal hemp crops being harvested recently, the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center presents the exhibition “Unraveling the Twisted History of Kentucky Hemp” on display through November in the Margaret I. King Library Building. The exhibition is free and open to the public.


From keystone cash crop to banned substance surrounded in suspicion, hemp has long been a part of the Commonwealth’s story. Its production defined much of the character and function of Kentucky’s slave economy, helped build downtown industrial districts, bolstered Kentucky’s efforts during World War II, and served as a key component of UK’s early Cooperative Extension Service program. 


Today, as research poises the crop for revival, the exhibit highlights artifacts and collections that document hemp’s unique contribution to Kentucky history.


The exhibition is available for viewing 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, in the Main Lobby of UK Special Collections Research Center in the Margaret I. King Library, and is free and open to the public.


For more information on "Unraveling the Twisted History of Kentucky Hemp," contact Jaime Marie Burton, education and outreach archivist, at  


UK Special Collections Research Center 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.



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


Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Announces its 2014 "Senior Stars"

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has recognized eight Kentuckians aged 80 and up (including one married couple) and three centenarians who exemplify graceful aging by remaining engaged in active lifestyles.


These "William Markesbery Senior Stars" and "David Wekstein Centenarians"

awardees were selected from a pool of 32 nominees based on their current level of engagement in society; significant, lasting contributions in professional and/or community life, and service as a volunteer and role model for future generations.


The Senior Star/Centenarian Awards are given in conjunction with the Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia, which takes place in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center in downtown Lexington. The symposium features keynote speakers and faculty of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging addressing the latest research in Alzheimer's disease and answering questions from the audience regarding aging and dementia.


Following the symposium, a luncheon celebrating the awardees takes place in the Regency Ballroom at the Hyatt Lexington.


The symposium is free and open to the public. To register for the symposium, contact the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at (859) 323-6040 or Luncheon tickets are $25.00 per person and can be purchased by visiting, by calling (859) 323-5374 or by emailing


The awardees are:


Elexene M. Cox, 93, Nicholasville. The Nicholasville High School graduate has worked with the Jessamine Chamber of Commerce, Nicholasville Baptist Church and Rosemont Baptist Church. Most notably, she has written and directed many outdoor productions, including a Paul Sawyer play.  She is also the author of three books about the history of Nicholasville.  


Carl Smith, 82, Frankfort. Dr. Carl Smith is known as the "Energizer Bunny" of chorale music.  As the choral director at Kentucky State University and the director of the chancel choir at First Christian Church, Dr. Smith takes the simplest of songs and making it the most beautiful piece of music you have ever heard.


Mary Jo Holland, 81, Lexington. An inspiration to all as she continues to dance and serve in many capacities, despite having had a stroke, two knees replaced, arthritis and some symptoms of Parkinson’s, Holland has brought joy to thousands of people through community service. She is a founding member of “The Energizers” dance group.  Her community contributions range from working at the Opera House to missions in Guatemala to being a volunteer in an Alzheimer’s research program at Sanders Brown.


Willard, 86, and Lucy Kinzer, 85, Prestonsburg. Willard Kinzer began racing cars at age 47, winning a professional title at age 50 and beginning drag racing at the tender age of 79. Owners of Kinzer Drilling Company and Kinzer Cycle Shops, the Kinzers have used Willard's love of racing and hot rodding to help the town raise funds for financing the school through car shows and other events. Willard is on the board of directors of the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.


Bettye Arvin, 84, Lexington. For many years Arvin has worked as a registered nurse in hospitals and physicians offices. For the last 23 years, she has volunteered more than 3,500 hours to the Pastoral Care Department at UK Hospital.  Before a move to Lexington, she drove 2 hours each way to serve patients and families at UK Chandler Hospital.  She now works one day a week caring for patients on the fifth floor. 


Jessie Weaver, 87, Lexington. Weaver is the friendly, helpful Kentucky voice on the phone at the front desk at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.  At a young age of 87, her positive attitude and desire to help others are evident in her interactions with faculty, staff and visitors at the Center.


Kathryn Stephens, 80, Lexington. Stephens' career has spanned more than 50 years, from nursing home co-owner to the first black female nursing home administrator in Kentucky, funeral home director, licensed embalmer, and writer. Her many roles in the community have been featured in local news articles, most recently as the organist and pianist for Pilgrim Baptist Church.  She has touched the lives of many hundreds of churchgoers with her passions for music and prayer.


Centenarian Awards


Elizabeth Davies, 103 ½, Barbourville.  When asked about the secret to a long, productive life Elizabeth gives these secrets:  eat healthy, stay active and  don’t worry -- it wastes time.  She remembers accompanying her Union Army veteran uncle on daily pilgrimages to the Robert E. Lee monument in town to curse at it, the day her father broke his collarbone when the hand crank of their Model T Ford kicked back, and taking part in back room prohibition parties. Barbourville and Knox County recognized her 100th birthday as “Elizabeth Davies Day.” 


Dr. Robert Lam, 101, Lexington.  Born in China and trained at the West China Union University School of Medicine, Dr. Lam has served his community and the University of Kentucky since the 1960s.  In 2007, the surgeon was awarded the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  He gives freely of his time to encourage and serve others as a member of Southern Hill United Methodist Church.


Chester Wilson, 100, Lexington.  Known for his kind heart and appreciation for everyone and everything around him, Wilson is an inspiration to all who live and work at the Lafayette/Lexington Country Place. Today he continues to attend recreational outings and serve as de facto ambassador for this residential community.   He has been a farmer, a golf caddy, and a 31-year IRS employee.



Money Management Matters Site to Aid Students, Topic: Healthcare

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — What might your degree be worth?


The University of Kentucky Graduate School is prepared to aid students in developing the personal financial knowledge to answer this question and others related to financial literacy.

The UK Graduate School has created a personal financial education webpage titled "Money Management Matters," (MMM) built upon six salient personal financial topics that pertain directly to students and graduates:


1.         Student loans

2.         Employment

3.         Healthcare

4.         Credit

5.         Saving and investing

6.         Money management


Click here to view a video about "Money Management Matters."


This week, UKNow will highlight the third topic: health care


Understanding the options available to you concerning health coverage can seem overwhelming at times.  The MMM webpage has put together an intuitive collection of health care resources designed to make the task of implementing an informed health coverage choice more manageable. 


Students transitioning off parents' health insurance for 2015 may wish to visit the Healthcare tab on the MMM web page.  Open enrollment for health insurance through the public health care exchanges begins Nov. 15, 2014.  The MMM site provides direct links to KYNECT, for Kentucky residents, and for non-Kentucky residents to aid individuals in obtaining information concerning health care coverage for 2015.


The UK Graduate School is one of 15 universities, in partnership with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the investment firm TIAA-CREF, introducing a personal financial literacy initiative aimed at educating students and graduates.


Last fall the 15 university partners distributed surveys to their graduate student populations concerning a variety of personal financial questions, to understand their “baseline” of personal financial knowledge. Using this information, the CGS developed as a personal financial education platform designed to help students and graduates enhance their personal financial knowledge.


The UK Graduate School has created the "Money Management Matters" website to strengthen this initiative at UK. 


 “We hope the information provided within and MMM will aid students and graduates in establishing a strong foundation of personal financial knowledge that they can build upon in order to make sound decisions across all stages of their personal financial life cycle,” said Chris Riley, project manager of the Enhancing Student Financial Education Grant and graduate student at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.




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