Campus News

Silent Auction to Benefit UK's Clinic in Ecuador

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 13:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) – The International Federation of Medical Students Association will host a silent art auction Friday, March 27, in the atrium of the University of Kentucky's Biomedical Biological Science Research Building from noon to 5 p.m. Profits from the auction will support UK's Shoulder to Shoulder Clinic in Ecuador.


Shoulder to Shoulder is an organization created by UK to help serve underprivileged communities around the world. The university currently supports a year-round health clinic is Ecuador where locals can receive care free of cost. Funds raised through the auction will keep the clinic open to the public by providing a way for them to cover medical supplies, upkeep of the facility and other essential expenses.


The auction will feature original works of art, with many of the pieces donated by local Kentucky artists.


For more information on the auction, contact Shu Kwun Lui at


UK Vocalist Reginald Smith Jr. Winner at Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:51






"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) – University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. has taken one of the five winning spots in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against eight other vocalists in the grand finals concert March 22 at the Metropolitan Opera. Smith is the second UK vocalist to win the prestigious opera competition.


"I am so proud of Reggie. It couldn't have happened to a kinder person," said Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. "Reggie has worked hard his entire young career. He was an incredible citizen in our program when he matriculated at the University of Kentucky and it's wonderful to see all of that hard work paying off. This is a great day for the University of Kentucky, the College of Fine Arts and for the UK Opera Program. It also speaks to the quality of the comprehensive training that the students are receiving in the UK School of Music. I couldn't be prouder of all of our students and faculty."


As part of the finals, Smith, a baritone, performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi. He advanced to the semifinals and finals at the Met out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.


A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar where he studied under McCorvey. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.


The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.


The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.


Tenor and UK Artist-in-Residence Gregory Turay was the first UK vocalist to be named a winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1995.


The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at



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


Campus Encouraged to Provide Feedback in Second Round of Transportation Master Plan Forums

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) — Sasaki and Associates, the consulting firm developing the Transportation Master Plan, will return to the University of Kentucky campus for the second round of public forums this Thursday, March 26.


Two forums will take place at the following times and locations:

  • 10:30 a.m.-noon in the Pavilion A Auditorium in the Chandler Hospital 
  • 1-2:30 p.m. in the Student Center Room 230

The forums will also be live-streamed on UKNow.


The UK Transportation Master Plan (TMP) aims to improve access and mobility to, from, and around campus for all members of the UK community.


Sasaki will present preliminary transportation solutions for the campus community to consider. These concepts are highly informed by feedback the university received from the first round of public forums, which took place in January, as well as through the "send us your feedback" feature on the EVPFA website, and from the TMP online survey which yielded nearly 4,800 responses. 


"The feedback that we receive at these March forums will continue to shape the recommendations that ultimately result in the Transportation Master Plan," Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday said.  


Videos of the January forums as well as Monday's responses to recurring questions from audience members are available here.


The TMP aligns with the UK Campus Master Plan — the blueprint for UK's campus transformation that‘s allowing it to become a national model for a thriving, public residential research campus. 


"It is also a time when campus engagement is crucial," Monday said. "We want to receive your input and feedback on the challenges facing the university in terms of transportation, parking and mobility."




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

Fellowship Awards Presented by Association of Emeriti Faculty

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) — University of Kentucky Association of Emeriti Faculty (UKAEF) presented fellowship awards to three UK graduate students at a ceremony Feb. 10. Each award includes a stipend of $2,500.


Since 1996, 59 fellowships have been awarded totaling $84,500. Three or four fellowships are presented annually to full-time graduate students. These awards are made possible through donations from UKAEF members as well as from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund.


This year's UKAEF Fellowship awards are named in honor of Jean Pival, 25-year faculty member in the Department of English and active member of UKAEF since 1987.


"Jean was a key figure in beginning the organization and encouraging its success for the first 20 years," said Mary Witt, professor emeritus in the Department of Horticulture. Witt served as UKAEF president from 2008-2009 and currently serves as executive secretary.


Winners for the 2014-15 school year are Jonathan Chilcote, Barry Kidder and Wen Wen.


Chilcote, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, wrote his dissertation on the international history of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic combining elements of diplomatic, medical, political and social history. He feels study of the past can teach valuable lessons applicable to today's situation with Ebola. Chilcote hopes to teach on a wide variety of subjects at a small college or university.


A doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology, Kidder has spent three summers in Yucatan, Mexico, conducting archeological research on the interaction between Maya elites and non-elites 2,000 years ago. Dedicated to teaching pedagogy, Kidder is enrolled in UK's Preparing Future Faculty program. Additionally, he taught for five years in a Texas high school and has taught at the college level.


Wen Wen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biology who focused her dissertation on ocular morphogenesis during eye development. Her students describe her as "caring, conscientious and fair in her teaching and mentoring of students." Wen has a research publication under review and revision for Developmental Biology.


For more information on UKAEF or to apply for a fellowship award, visit



Kentucky REC Launches New Round of Support for Providers Seeking to Transform Patient Care

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) – The Kentucky Regional Extension Center(REC) hosted its second Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Kick-Off Meeting on March 13 for a group of pioneer health care provider organizations in Kentucky.


Participants included UK HealthCare, Baptist Health Medical Group, Murray-Calloway County Physicians, Matthew 25 AIDS Clinic, Bluegrass Clinic,, Kentucky River Community Care, Harrison Memorial Hospital Physicians, and Dr.  AC Wright.


The Kentucky REC will assist these practices in achieving recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a PCMH. Becoming a PCMH practice involves using an innovative improvement framework for healthcare organizations to enhance quality and value for patients. With its focus on quality improvement, care coordination, preventative services, and chronic disease management, the PCMH framework helps practices deliver better care, better outcomes and lower costs.


“We are delighted to offer support to practices as they prepare for the many changes ahead in healthcare,” said Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, Kentucky REC Director and UK HealthCare Chief Medical Information Officer. “We are excited to offer these services and to support innovative care models, such as PCMH, that are proven to help practices deliver coordinated, cost-effective care for their patients.”


Kentucky REC has helped health care providers across the state implement electronic health records and qualify for federal incentive funds. But, electronic health records are just a start for practices on the road to more patient-centered care. Now, the Kentucky REC is focused on helping practices prepare for the next wave of innovation by using technology together with changes in practice culture and workflow to radically improve patients’ experience of care and the effectiveness of the healthcare system overall.


Practices participate in group learning sessions for 18 months and work together with specially-trained REC staff to make changes that benefit patients. At the end of the 18 months, successful practices will apply for special recognition from NCQA.


Kentucky Regional Extension Center is a trusted advisor and strategic partner for health care providers in their efforts to improve care and patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and improve the overall health and well-being of the Commonwealth and beyond.


The Kentucky REC offers a comprehensive set of transformation services include: Meaningful Use Assistance, EHR Implementation & Optimization, HIPAA Privacy & Security Risk Analysis, Patient-Centered Medical Home Consulting, ICD-10 Training, and Quality Improvement Support.


For more information about the Kentucky REC, visit Follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect on Facebook at

Interning for a Sustainable Future: Applications Available

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Office of Sustainability has partnered with the Student Sustainability Council and the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment (TFISE) to launch a rejuvenated student sustainability internship program. The partnership is offering six paid internships for undergraduate students in any degree program for the 2015-2016 academic year.


Applications are due by April 24.


Three internships will be mentored by the Office of Sustainability and three will be mentored by working groups of the TFISE. All interns will be expected to work up to 10 hours per week and will be paid $10 per hour.


Approximately half of the hours will be spent supporting the work of an existing and related campus initiative, and the remaining time will be focused on developing an independent, student-led project with the help of the university faculty and staff leading the unit or working group that is mentoring the intern.


The three internship programs mentored by the Office of Sustainability are:

·         Energy - Efficiency and Conservation: Intern will assist the university energy engineer with the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation projects and will have the opportunity to assist with data collection and analysis.

·         Waste Reduction - Recycling and Reuse: Intern will assist the university recycling coordinator with a wide variety of waste reduction initiatives including recycling, reuse and composting.

·         Transportation - Buses, Bikes and Boots: Intern will assist Parking and Transportation Services' associate director for transportation and the UK Bicycle Advisory Committee with a wide variety of bicycle related projects, including outreach efforts and infrastructure development.


The TFISE will mentor the following internships through their faculty working groups:

·         Food - KY Food Summit: Intern will work with the Food Systems Initiative faculty and gain experience coordinating academic events, recruitment and advertising, and be encouraged to create an independent research project to help advance the mission of the group.

·         Urban Forest Initiative: Intern will work in partnership with Urban Forest Initiative leaders and other working group members within the Lexington community and will develop an independent project aimed at elevating the visibility and quality of the urban forest in our community.

·         Water Systems - Stormwater Data Management: This internship will support the working group in developing a data management system for long-term monitoring and research projects associated with existing and future campus outdoor laboratories.


For more information on each of these positions and to apply visit




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

UK Experience Sparks Chemistry Alumna's Research on Traumatic Brain Injuries

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Concussions and brain injury have become topics of social concern in response to controversies involving sports — namely the National Football League. But Tanea Reed, who earned her doctorate from the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has been researching therapeutic interventions in traumatic brain injury since long before concussions became matters of public concern.


While Reed’s research predates popular interest in issues related to traumatic brain injury, she says her interest in this field is a direct result of her time spent working on her doctorate at UK — specifically her time in Patrick Sullivan’s laboratory at the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center.


“I had no interest before working at UK. This all sparked after I started on the project at UK and saw the impact this could have. That’s my research focus now — looking at therapeutic strategies for helping individuals after they’ve had an injury,” Reed explained.


Reed earned her bachelor’s at Virginia Tech, where she engaged in research on biomedical breakthroughs. She then came to UK to pursue her doctorate, and during her time at UK she also worked in a laboratory with Allan Butterfield researching protein profiles as indicators for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.


“Allan Butterfield was a great mentor. He encouraged me to apply for an international award for research, and I won it and got to present my work in Italy. I would have never done that on my own,” she said.


For Reed, the impact of her time at UK has as much to do with the cooperative atmosphere of the department as it does with exposure to new research fields. “One of the most important things was just the community aspect of working in a research lab where you’re in the same environment with like-minded individuals who have the same goals you do,” she said. “There is a built-in community of support.”


In the fall of 2014, Reed helped form the Chemistry Alumni Board, a group aiming to help alumni stay connected with the UK chemistry department and promote the work done by department graduates. “So many different alumni are all over the world doing chemistry and science, and nobody knows about it. One of the reasons for the network is to keep chemistry alumni involved with what’s going on in the department,” Reed explained.


“When you’re in graduate school you’re in close proximity and you make really good friendships and relationships. But when you graduate that sadly ends. Fixing that is really the focus of the alumni board,” she continued.


Reed is currently an associate professor at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), where she specializes in proteomics (the study of the structures and functions of proteins), Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury. She says she was planning on working as a research scientist before her experiences as a tutor near the end of her studies at UK.


“I was working with students and really started enjoying it, to see that light bulb moment where they really start to understand what something means and how ideas connect. After that I thought I wanted to go into teaching,” she explained. After leaving UK, Reed taught at Berea College before moving on to EKU — coincidentally filling a position previously held by a co-researcher from Allan Butterfield’s lab at UK.


She finds her work at EKU particularly rewarding because smaller classes help her connect with students and because she has the chance to expand the institution’s culture of research. The research side of Reed’s work allows her to expose students to intellectual and professional opportunities they hadn’t considered before.


“When you give them opportunities to do a project with you — that really unlocks a passion in research for different students. Then they apply to graduate school, they work as a research scientist — it really is a benefit to them,” she said.


And for students interested in graduate research, Reed would encourage them to follow in her footsteps at UK’s Department of Chemistry.


“UK is a great place to go to graduate school for the community aspect and the fact that they really want you to succeed — they want you to be the best you can be,” Reed said. 




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

Classical Superstar Joshua Bell to Perform With UK Orchestra

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 14:00


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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Classical aficionados will not want to miss celebrated violinist Joshua Bell as he joins Maestro John Nardolillo and the acclaimed University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in concert at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Bell will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.


Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."


Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.


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



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

National Archives, UK Libraries Taking Applicants for Civics/History Teachers' Award

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 13:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — The National Archives and the University of Kentucky Wendell  H. Ford Public Policy Research Center are currently taking applications for the Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers (Clements Award). The deadline for submission for the Clements Award, recognizing promising and innovative Kentucky educators, is Friday, April 10.


The Clements Award honors the life and career of the late Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. Clements’ political career included service as a county sheriff, clerk and judge; in the state senate and as governor; and in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where he was a close colleague to future President Lyndon Baines Johnson.


Three high school history and/or civics (social studies) teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be selected by an independent review panel for the Clements Award and will receive $1,000 each. The award criteria include the following: 

  • teacher’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the subject and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service; 
  • demonstrates expertise in civics and history content and the ability to share it with students;
  • impact on student success; and
  • evidence of creativity and innovation.


Interested applicants must submit the following by email or postmarked mail by April 10, 2015:

  • completed application;
  • letter from applicant addressing criteria; 
  • letter of support from principal; 
  • sample assignment; and
  • other supporting materials, including student letters of support.


Application packets may be completed electronically at or sent via mail to: Clements Award, Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, Margaret I. King Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0039.


Winners of the Clements Award will be notified May 4 and will be recognized at an award ceremony to be held in June in Lexington.


For more information on the Clements Awards or to send questions, email Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Special Collections Research Center, at (put Clements Award in the subject line).


The National Archives is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our government, so people can discover, use and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet 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;

UK Alum Takes Easter Oratorio on the Road

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — When University of Kentucky alumnus Lorne Dechtenberg wrote his Easter oratorio, "King of Glory," in 2014, he hoped those who experienced the work in Lexington would enjoy it. As it turned out, not only did they enjoy it, but so did residents of other communities who began requesting performances as well. As a result, Dechtenberg and the Bluegrass Opera will present six performances of the work this Easter season in five different Kentucky towns.


The work tells the story of the crucifixion and resurrection through a musical journey that is designed to reach audiences on a visceral level, enabling them to experience the text in a new and vivid way. "It's like Handel's "Messiah" only it's meant for today's listeners instead of 18th-century ears," said Dechtenberg, who has been receiving praise for the work since its premiere last April.


The work features professional singers, auditioned from across a 200-mile swath of Kentucky (from Hodgenville to Hazard), with tight, colorful harmonies and warm, rich melodies that they hope will stay with listeners long after the performance ends.


Dechtenberg, who holds degrees from UK School of Music in composition and conducting, co-founded the Bluegrass Opera in 2008. In 2010, he and his "Honeymoon Symphony" were chronicled in the KET documentary "Composer at Work," an effort that brought together members of the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Community Orchestra for a premiere at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts


In addition to Dechtenberg, "King of Glory" will feature several performers with ties to UK, including alumni Gordon Earl Thomas, Kaymon Murrah and Dena Sullivan Smith, as well as staff member Mike Bratcher, of UK HealthCare Information Technology.


"King of Glory" will be presented:

· 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Actors’ Playhouse of Georgetown;

· 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Lexington; 

· 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Union Church, in Berea; 

· 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, at First Christian Church, in Frankfort;

· 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at First Baptist Church, in Richmond; and 

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Lexington Seventh Day Adventist Church.


Tickets for "King of Glory" are $20 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID, and kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be ordered online at or by phone at 859-940-9379.


The Bluegrass Opera is a nonprofit performing arts company that specializes in the performance of new and underperformed musical works for the stage – operas, musicals, and everything in between. 



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

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Previews Arboretum's Party for the Planet

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 22:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today he talks to Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum, about the upcoming 2015 Party for the Planet.  The complete schedule of Party for the Planet events is available at


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.

Bluegrass Earth, Initiated by WUKY GM, Invites Citizens to Celebrate Earth Day

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 21:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2015) — As the 45th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, the newly formed Bluegrass Earth coalition is inviting the public to celebrate sustainability in Lexington throughout March and April.


Bluegrass Earth was initiated by WUKY’s General Manager Tom Godell to bring together environmental groups in Central Kentucky. WUKY is the University of Kentucky's NPR station.


“Having long been a strong advocate of sustainability issues, I saw a need for environmental groups to come together under one umbrella so that they could share resources and have a greater impact with their outreach, education and events,” Godell said.


Bluegrass Earth is promoting multiple events to celebrate environmental sustainability around Earth Day, which is April 22. The first event is the launch of a free environmental movie series that runs between March 25 and May 8. The first film, "The City Dark," a documentary about light pollution, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at the Central Library’s Farish Theater. A discussion about the film will follow. 


WUKY will host a performance by Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee. He plays the cello in a unique way and his music ranges from folk to R&B. The concert is April 22 at the Kentucky Theatre. Tickets are available on WUKY’s website at


Dozens of other Earth Day related events can be found on the Bluegrass Earth website at


In addition to WUKY, Bluegrass Earth partners are:


  • AARP Kentucky
  • Bluegrass Greensource
  • Bluegrass Tomorrow
  • Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council
  • Central Kentucky Audubon Society
  • Downtown Lexington Corporation
  • Fayette County Public Schools
  • Flora Cliff
  • Good Foods Coop
  • Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
  • John Muir Kentucky
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Lexington Farmers Market
  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
  • Lexington Habitat for Humanity
  • Lexington Public Library
  • Kentucky Environmental Foundation
  • Kentucky State Government
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences program, UK College of Agriculture Food & Environment
  • Safety City
  • Seedleaf
  • Transylvania University
  • UK-LFUCG Arboretum
  • UK Office of Sustainability
  • USPS Lexington
  • Venerable Trees


Bluegrass Earth partners are dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and responsibility in Lexington and surrounding counties. The coalition’s mission is to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in Central Kentucky by uniting individuals and organizations dedicated to environmental sustainability.


To learn more about Bluegrass Earth, events and volunteer opportunities, please visit or follow them on You can also keep track of Bluegrass Earth on social media through the hashtag “BGEarth2015.”





NIH-Funded Research Tackles Behavioral Disorders in Children, Delivers Training to Appalachia

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 17:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Children exhibiting disruptive behaviors are at a greater risk for antisocial behaviors, such as substance abuse and criminal activity, later in life. With the support of a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), University of Kentucky College of Public Health researcher Tina Studts, Ph.D, is partnering with health departments in rural Appalachia to increase parent’s accessibility to programs to prevent behavioral disorders in children.


Studts, an assistant professor in the UK Department of Health Behavior, was recently awarded a three-year, $450,000 grant from NIMH to improve the delivery of behavioral parent training programs (BPT) in underserved communities. Studts is working with local health departments in the Cumberland Valley district, UK’s Center of Excellence in Rural Health and Kentucky Homeplace to disseminate the training to families.


BPT programs are effective in preventing negative outcomes and public health consequences stemming from disruptive childhood behaviors. In Appalachian communities, limited access to BPT programs and a lack of engagement from parents in utilizing these program pose significant challenges to implementing evidence-based interventions. Mental health professional shortages exist in nearly 70 percent of Appalachian communities, where poverty rates are high and health disparities are significant. 


“The need is great in many Appalachian communities for improved delivery of parenting interventions," Studts said."Parents in the Appalachian region frequently cite stigma as one of the barriers they navigate in seeking specialized care for their children suffering from mental health issues. Other cultural consideration can also come into play as well, including strong self-reliance and a preference for local providers. These can present major challenges to the delivery of BPT programs by mental health professionals in settings such as clinics.”


Studts, who is completing her final year as a KL2 scholar with the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), initiated her research in BPT programs through a CCTS community-engaged pilot grant, “Preventing Conduct Disorder: Valuing Parent and Provider Perspectives in Appalachia.”  Aims of the pilot study were to establish a Community Advisory Board (CAB) in Perry County focused on early childhood mental health, and to assess parent and provider preferences regarding modality, location and interventionist of BPT in rural Appalachian communities. Guided by the board, Studts found parents preferred brief interventions delivered by local health workers, and that child service providers recognized the needs but lacked resources and staff to provide preventive BPT services in the community. 


Studts' newly funded project will adapt the delivery method of a BPT program, the Family Check-Up, to be administered to families by community health workers instead of mental health professionals. The Family Check-Up is a brief preventative intervention designed to help parents address young children’s challenging behaviors before they become more serious.


In collaboration with the Center of Excellence in Rural Health and the Perry County Early Childhood CAB, Studts and her team will adapt and pilot-test the training and intervention protocols of the Family Check-Up, assessing the feasibility, acceptability and costs of service delivery by existing community health workers in four under-resourced Appalachian counties. This study will provide the data and infrastructure needed for a future large-scale implementation trial of the Family Check-Up in underserved communities.



Kohl's Donates Nearly $90,000 to KCH Read to Your Baby Initiative

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 17:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Kohl’s Department Stores recently donated $89,833 to Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) to support the Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program, a hospital initiative encouraging parents read to their children during the earliest stages of life.  


Dr. Donna Grigsby, chief of general pediatrics at KCH, has used these funds to raise public awareness by promoting the importance of reading to babies at events and making reading resources available to parents across the Commonwealth. The Kohl’s Read to Your Baby program offers free children's books during infant and toddler storytimes at dozens of libraries across Kentucky. In addition to preparing children for future success in school, reading to infants and toddlers on a daily basis helps calm them and foster healthy parent-child bonding.


"Studies have shown that reading aloud to your infant is the single most important factor in helping your child’s language development and love of reading," Grigsby said. "We are so grateful to Kohl’s for their support of our mission to encourage families and caregivers to read to their babies."


Kohl's commitment to KCH is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, and 100 percent of net profits benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like the one with KCH. Kohl’s has raised more than $274 million through this merchandise program. Kohl’s has donated more than $1.2 million to KCH since 2000.


For more information about the benefits of reading to children and a list of baby-friendly books, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK's Bagh Quoted in Wall Street Journal Story on NCAA Tournament Brackets

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 10:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2015) — Adib Bagh, assistant professor in the departments of mathematics and economics at the University of Kentucky, was recently quoted in a March 16 Wall Street Journal article examining office bracket pools for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  


Bagh teaches Introduction to Game Theory at UK and applied his expertise to NCAA tournament brackets, saying, “If you really believe that everyone else is following the same rule of thumb…then you have an incentive to deviate from that rule of thumb.”


Even as a game theorist, knowing he could win bigger if his bracket was unlike the majority's, Bagh's pick is still UK.  


“Game theory or no game theory,” he said, “my money is on the Wildcats.”


To read the full article, visit




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

USDA Partners With UK to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015)Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky officials today to announce the establishment of the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The center will use cutting-edge solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in states with the highest number of persistently poor rural counties. Currently, about 85 percent of all persistently poor counties in the United States are in rural areas, and children are one of the most vulnerable groups living in rural areas.


"The Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center underscores this administration's focus on addressing poverty and food insecurity among children in rural areas where hunger and obesity are too common," said Vilsack. "The center will make it possible for children in rural areas to access much-needed nutrition assistance and help close the large food insecurity gap between urban and rural communities."


"This program will target child hunger and poverty in persistently poor rural communities by partnering with agencies who have the resources and expertise to make a difference," said Gov. Beshear.  "This program will do more than offer aid.  It will attack the root causes of child hunger and poverty."


"In the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, part of our core mission as a land grant institution is to improve the lives of our citizens," said Dean Nancy Cox. "We are honored the USDA has chosen us to be their partner in this extremely important endeavor to reduce child food insecurity in persistently poor rural counties in Kentucky and several other states."


With USDA's investment of $2.5 million, the Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center will administer and evaluate a series of sub-grants targeted to as many as 30 rural areas with high poverty rates in up to 15 states.  The communities will use the funds to better coordinate existing child nutrition programs and create solutions to target child food insecurity. The University of Kentucky will partner with Altarum Institute and the Southern Rural Development Center to develop the center.


This announcement is part of the Obama administration's continuing efforts to combat poverty and food insecurity among children, especially in rural areas. In Kentucky alone, over 26 percent of children live in poverty. In 2014, President Obama designated Eastern Kentucky as a Promise Zone, to receive integrated federal efforts to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety through local community partnerships.  Seventy-three counties in Kentucky are also part of the USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, a strategic approach to addressing the unique set of challenges faced by many of America's poorest rural communities.


USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers America's nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net. USDA's focus on nutrition and obesity is also an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity.



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155; or Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774;

Volunteer Now to Assist With WUKY Fund Drive

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015)  — The University of Kentucky's NPR Station, WUKY, will connect with listeners across Central Kentucky for its annual  Spring Fund Drive, Thursday, April 2 –Friday, April 10.  WUKY is seeking volunteers to assist with the fundraising effort. 


"We need groups, organizations, and individuals who are willing to volunteer to help answer calls and take pledges from our listeners," said Robert Hansel, WUKY membership manager.  "Feel free to contact your friends and have them join you during this worthwhile event."


Computers are available for all volunteers to take pledges, entering them in automatically, while making the transaction seamless and cost effective for the donor and radio station.     


For organizations or companies that provide multiple volunteers for a day or multiple shifts, WUKY will designate those specific days or shifts to the group.  Announcements will be made on the air that phones are being answered by volunteers from that group.  Furthermore, WUKY will provide 10 free public service announcements for the organization or company.


"We are listener supported, with a loyal audience, but we need your help to collect their dollars and make it all work," Hansel said.


Shifts available include: 


Thursday, April 2:    6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Friday, April 3:          6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Saturday, April 4:     8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 5:       10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Monday, April 6:       6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 7:     6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Wednesday, April 8:  6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Thursday, April 9:     6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., 8 - 9 p.m.

Friday, April 10:        6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.



WUKY is located on the third floor of UK's McVey Hall. If you have questions or want to sign up to volunteer, call 257-3272 and ask for Robert Hansel, or send an email to with contact information.

Key Agency Upgrades UK’s Credit Rating Reflecting Financial Strength, Growing Reputation

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 22:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — A national agency has upgraded the University of Kentucky’s credit rating, reflecting the institution’s increasing enrollment, strong health care system and growing reputation.


Standard & Poor’s, one of the country’s major credit ratings agencies, recently upgraded the university’s bond rating from AA- to AA. The upgrade is occurring as many institutions across the country have faced challenging financial circumstances and, in some cases, a downgrade in ratings. 


“This endorsement of our direction from a national credit ratings agency underscores that the vision our Board of Trustees and others have for this institution is a compelling and strong one,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “The work of so many — in administration, enrollment management, our faculty and staff, and at UK HealthCare — is reflected in this endorsement of UK’s expanding reputation as a vibrant, residential public research university.”


In particular, S&P cited UK’s increasing enrollment, revenue diversity aided by a strong health care system, financial performance and low debt burden. The agency also cited the university’s strong governance and management as well as continued philanthropic support. UK had a record first-year class this year of nearly 5,200 students and, for the first time, more than 30,000 students overall. UK HealthCare patient volumes are expected to be more than 35,000 this year and the university has initiated some $1.5 billion in construction in recent years, including the recent approval by the state of a $265 million multi-disciplinary research building focused on the state’s health disparities. UK is paying half the cost of the facility.


In fact, in a news release about the upgrade, S&P said: 


"UK, although at the moment getting a lot of attention for its undefeated

basketball team as the March madness national conference playoffs are

underway, is in our view increasingly being recognized for its role as a

comprehensive research-based university that according to management now pulls

almost 40% of its freshman students from out of state. Also, UK's health

system known as UK HealthCare is gaining national recognition for clinical

care in a number of disciplines including its Markey Cancer Center that in

2013 was designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer

center, one of only a very limited number of such centers nationally. In

addition, the health system enjoys generally rising patient utilization and

increasing health services market share as it continues to draw more patients

from a wider area for its services.”


"Those words, by knowledgeable experts who closely follow our industry, say so much about what we are doing together as the university for Kentucky,” Capilouto said. 


VIDEO: UK's Media Depot Fosters Creativity For Students Trying to Perfect Projects

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:53



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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — As University of Kentucky students complete their final projects, many of them must go beyond simply writing papers — making presentations in front of the class. 


Utilizing video in coursework is becoming more and more common for students across a wide variety of majors and minors.  Fortunately, resources are available to students regardless of their level of experience.  Media Depot, located in The Hub @ WT’s inside the William T. Young Library, is one of those resources.


Watch the “Where I ‘see blue.’” video feature above to discover why UK senior Kevin Angel, a media arts and studies major from Walton, Kentucky, loves working in the Media Depot and how his experience will help him long after he graduates.


Click on the playlist below to view videos produced by Angel and the rest of the students on the Media Depot team:



The "Where I 'see blue." video feature is part of a special series produced by UKNow focusing on locations across campus that are meaningful for UK students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni.   The idea is to show how the physical spaces on campus help foster discovery, community, research, knowledge and success for the UK family.  As the university celebrates its 150th anniversary, we want to show readers what our campus is like today by showcasing locations that have stood for decades along with some of our newest spots.  


Since the “Where I ‘see blue.’” video series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If there’s an obscure spot on campus you don’t think many people know about or an area that’s on everyone’s radar but you have a special connection to it, email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!



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

UK College of Dentistry Students Bring Home Two 2015 ADEA Preventive Dentistry Scholarships

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:02


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) - University of Kentucky College of Dentistry students Lauren Morris and Mike McQuinn are two of only 13 dental students in the nation to be awarded the 2015 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Preventive Dentistry Scholarship. The award, presented annually, is given to support predoctoral dental students who have demonstrated academic excellence in preventive dentistry.


Morris, a fourth-year student, and McQuinn, a third-year student, will each receive $2,500 to be applied to their tuition and fees for predoctoral dental study.


“With only 13 of these scholarships being awarded, it is a real honor for two UKCD students to receive this honor,” said Sharon Turner, dean UK College of Dentistry.


Scholarship recipients were required to demonstrate a strong interest in preventive dentistry through their personal activities and achievements, possess a superior academic record and be nominated by their school’s dean.


“When I decided that my goal and passion in life was to become a dentist, I knew this career would provide me with the opportunity to make a positive impact on the oral health of my community and state. I'm hopeful that my research on post-operative care compliance of pediatric patients will lead to changes that will enable more children to obtain preventative dental care and education in the future,” said Morris. “I’m truly honored to receive this prestigious scholarship supporting dental students who have demonstrated academic achievements in preventive dentistry.”


"It is truly an honor to receive the Preventative Dentistry Scholarship from the American Dental Education Association. The fact that two students out of the thirteen selected nationally attend the University of Kentucky speaks to the fact that we, as students, are truly blessed to have an amazing group of faculty and staff providing us with the best education and mentorship available. The hard work and dedication that they invest in us will continue to open up opportunities for us to serve as the top scholars, clinicians and philanthropists in our field," McQuinn stated.


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