Campus News

UK Faculty and Staff Football Tickets - Season Opens Sept. 5

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 14:52
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2015) — In just seven weeks from this Saturday, the University of Kentucky Wildcats will play their first football game in The New CWS. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., Sept. 5, against the visiting Ragin' Cajuns from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). UK Athletics is energized like never before for the opening of the new stadium after a $120-million reinvention.Season tickets for the 2015 season are still available and full-time faculty and staff have a chance to purchase tickets at a discounted rate. Regular full-time faculty and staff can receive a 20 percent discount on the cost of tickets (up to two seats), including a 50 percent discount on the K Fund donation (up to two seats), if selecting seats at the $525 donation level or below. The 50 percent K Fund discount does not apply to premium seating areas, including suites, loge and club seating.


With UK playing an additional eighth home game this fall, all season tickets are regularly priced at $320 each, in addition to the annual K Fund donation. To provide a variety of affordable ticket options, approximately 25,000 seats were priced at the current $100 K Fund donation level or lower, plus ticket cost. Faculty/staff are encouraged to visit and use the virtual venue to view available seats, but should call the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-2287 to receive the discounted price on tickets, rather than buying the tickets online. Fans are also encouraged to take advantage of the summer payment plan option, which allows fans to sign up at no additional cost to pay for season tickets in installments through July, August and September.


Single-game tickets for all eight home games in 2015 go on sale July 27 at 9 a.m. ET via or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-2287. Single-game tickets are $45 for the grand opening vs. UL Lafayette beginning 7 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 5, as well as Homecoming weekend vs. EKU (Eastern Kentucky University) on Saturday, Oct. 3, and Heroes Day vs. University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Saturday, Nov. 21.


Single-game tickets are $60 for UK’s Southeastern Conference home opener vs. Florida beginning 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 19, as well as vs. Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Tickets are $75 for the Auburn (Thursday, Oct. 15), Tennessee (Saturday, Oct. 31) and Louisville (Saturday, Nov. 28) games.


Additionally, three-game mini-packs, starting at $100, will also be available on July 27.


Additional promotions will be announced throughout the season. For more information, contact the UK Ticket Office and ask to receive special offers through email. Again, the toll-free telephone number is 800-928-2287. The local number is 859-257-1818. 



MEDIA CONTACTS:  Evan Crane, 859-257-3838; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

UK Research: Bed Bugs 'Bite' the Wallet of Hotel Owners

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 14:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2015) — While finding a bed bug at home can be unnerving, discovering one in a hotel room can be nightmarish for guests and hotel managers alike. Now, new research from the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has revealed findings about the financial impact bed bugs can have on the travel and hospitality industry.


UK entomologist Michael Potter, a Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor, teamed with Agricultural Economics Professor Wuyang Hu, and doctoral student Jerrod Penn, in the Department of Agricultural Economics, to conduct this research. Very little was known about the economic impact of bed bugs prior to the study.


Potter has been working on the front lines of the bed bug resurgence for several years. "While bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, the bites are often unsightly and itchy," Potter said. "It’s hard to understand how upsetting an infestation can be unless you’ve experienced one yourself. Unlike ticks and mosquitoes, bed bugs live indoors and breed in our beds.” 


"The goal of the research was to understand consumer preferences when choosing a hotel for business or leisure travel, and how the risk of bed bugs influences their decision," said Penn, the lead author of the study which was funded through a grant from Protect-A-Bed®, a global producer of protective bedding products.


The survey was conducted in May via online market research firm Qualtrics. Respondents included almost 2,100 people representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia ― 1,298 who travel mainly for leisure and 790 who do so largely for business.


The researchers put some hard numbers to the economic impact of online reports of bed bugs in hotels, as well as the value of protective services. Results show that on average, a single report of bed bugs in recent traveler reviews lowers the value of a hotel room by $38 and $23 per room per night for business and leisure travelers respectively.


"The higher loss of hotel room values for business travelers is not surprising given that they tend to stay in pricier rooms," Hu said.


In absolute terms, compared to other hotel aspects, the monetary value for travelers' concern about bed bugs makes it one of the more important considerations when selecting or grading a hotel. A second mention of bed bugs in recent traveler reviews further decreases the value of a hotel room, but proportionately to a lesser extent than the first alleged report of the pests.


When presented with various problematic issues encountered in hotel rooms, finding signs of bed bugs had the largest proportion of respondents choosing to switch hotels. Reactions to other concerns (smoke odor, unclean bathroom, dirty sheets, etc.) mostly involved reporting the concern to the front desk and requesting another room.


On the bright side, information about some protective services with regard to bed bugs received positive reaction from travelers. Both business and leisure travelers placed the greatest economic value on protective mattress encasements as a form of protection, followed by periodic (e.g., semiannual) room inspections by professional pest control firms. "But travelers placed a relatively small dollar value on regular inspections by housekeeping staff," Penn said.


"We also asked people about likely reactions specific to bed bugs," Penn said. "Survey respondents were asked how they would respond to reading an online review that reported bed bugs while looking to book a room for an upcoming trip. A majority of business and leisure travelers said they would not select that particular hotel."  


In a second scenario where travelers were asked how they would react to finding a live bed bug while staying in their hotel room, "The three most likely responses among business and leisure travelers were to switch rooms with added compensation, leave the particular hotel, and to report finding bed bugs on social media," said Hu, who serves as Penn's major professor in ag economics. "Considering how popular social media has become, it’s important that hotels recognize the potential spread of negative information, regardless of whether the online report of bed bugs is accurate."


Travelers reading about or finding bed bugs in a hotel were more inclined to hold the particular establishment responsible than blame the entire brand name or hospitality industry as a whole.   


Four out of five travelers felt hotels should be required to inform guests if their assigned room had a previous bed bug problem. Half of all leisure travelers indicated they would want to know of any problems occurring in the past year, and one-third wanted to know if there had been bed bugs ever. Business travelers were somewhat more lenient, with half wanting to know of incidents extending back six months.


"If hotels are required to disclose previous problems with bed bugs ― as landlords in some cities must do for prospective tenants ― the implications could be far reaching," Potter said. "Such disclosure could necessitate taking rooms out of service for prolonged periods even after the risk of bed bugs has diminished."


Other noteworthy findings from the study: More than two-thirds of travelers were unable to distinguish a bed bug from other household insects. More than half said they never worry about bed bugs while traveling ― although about one in three business travelers and one in five leisure travelers either know someone who has gotten bed bugs or had them themselves. Business travelers are better at correctly identifying bed bugs, have more personal experience with the pests, and have reported them in online reviews much more often than leisure travelers.  


When it comes to bed bugs, the hospitality industry is often caught between a "rock and a hard place," Potter said. "With high turnover of guests, occasional bed bug incidents in hotels are understandable, as in similar types of locations. Many hotel chains already take bed bugs seriously in terms of prevention and early detection. The current study further underscores the importance of being hyper-vigilant."




MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;

Gill Affiliate Network (and 116-Pound Dog) Save Myrl Sizemore's Life

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:23


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. (July 14, 2015)  – His big brown eyes stare up at the camera dolefully, as if to say, "I couldn't help myself, can you forgive me?"


Apparently, this isn't the first time Sarge has had to beg for Myrl Sizemore's forgiveness.  The 116-pound lab has a reputation around Manchester, Kentucky, for his antics.


"For starters, he happily accepts – and then rips apart – all packages delivered to our home," Myrl said with a laugh. Then he ticks off some of Sarge's other more dubious accomplishments:


1.     Eating the driver's seat in Myrl's ATV

2.     Chewing the wires on the underside of Myrl's camper

3.     Ripping the running boards off of Myrl's SUV

4.     Eating the Sizemore's patio umbrella


However, according to Myrl's wife Leslie, Sarge has now shown his true worth. That's because Sarge helped save Myrl's life.


Myrl hadn't been feeling well for weeks. The 50-year-old had no reason to believe he was desperately ill; his BMI was 25, his cholesterol numbers were excellent and he didn't smoke. He had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two years ago, but it was well under control.  Myrl thought he had a bronchitis he just couldn't shake.


One evening in late January as he returned from work, Myrl collapsed in his front yard. Inside the house, his family had no idea Myrl was in serious trouble.


But Sarge was out. He licked Myrl's face and shoved his nose under Myrl's shoulders to wake him, then supported Myrl as he crawled back into the house.


At first, Myrl refused to go to the hospital.  By the next morning, however, Leslie said he "looked gray" and insisted he see the doctor. An abnormal EKG in the offices of Dr. Neeraj Mahboob and Karen Cheek earned him a trip to the Emergency Department at Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH).


The Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky had just recently formalized a partnership called the Gill Affiliate Network to provide MMH staff with supplemental expertise for their sickest patients. Chief of Staff Dr. Jeffrey Newswanger at the MMH Emergency Room knew Myrl needed that expertise: Myrl was having a massive heart attack.


Myrl was transferred to ARH Hazard, where Dr. Rao Podapati determined Myrl's ejection fraction (EF), a measure of the heart's ability to pump blood, was just 7 percent.  A normal EF is 55-60 percent.


"Dr. Podapati was baffled that Myrl could even walk and talk," Leslie said. Then he gave them "horrific" news: Myrl likely needed a heart transplant.  An ambulance would take Myrl to Lexington for further evaluation.


When Gill cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Ted Wright met Myrl in Lexington, he had a hunch: there had been discussion among the Gill faculty about a relatively new concept called "hibernating viable myocardium," and one of Wright's colleagues, Dr. Vince Sorrell, had a particular interest in this condition.


Sorrell uses the metaphor of a hibernating bear to illustrate.


"If you come across a hibernating bear, you might think it's actually dead because its temperature is low, its heartbeat is down and its respirations are slow, but as we know that bear will be wide awake come springtime," he said.  "In some cases, our heart muscle is so sick that it actually hibernates to conserve itself. An ECHO test will look like the heart muscle is dead and a nuclear scan will usually look the same.  But a contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI can tell us whether heart muscle is hibernating (alive) or dead (scarred). If it's hibernating, restoring blood flow to the heart with bypass surgery is usually sufficient treatment and obviously preferable to a heart transplant."


"That MRI changed our lives," Leslie said. Instead of a heart transplant, Gill Surgical Director Dr. Michael Sekela gave Myrl a triple bypass.


"He just flew through the surgery," Sekela said. Myrl's ejection fraction has improved to 45 percent – a statistic Sorrell pronounces "phenomenal."


It has long been an institutional philosophy at UK to partner with other health care institutions so that patients could stay as close to home as possible for their treatment, bringing only the very sickest patients to Lexington.  There is perhaps no better example of the effectiveness of this team approach than the journey Myrl Sizemore took.  At each level of care, the best expertise pointed Myrl in the right direction: from Mahboob to Newswanger to Podapati to Wright to Sorrell to Sekela.


Leslie is convinced that having the Gill Network in place made a huge difference in Myrl's outcome.


"I serve on the board of Manchester Memorial Hospital, and I'm very proud of their work," she said.  "I'm grateful they had the foresight to partner with Gill, and now I know first-hand the benefit the network provides for our citizens."


"We were able to use high-tech to justify a less dangerous, more 'low-tech' treatment for Myrl's condition," Wright said. "In doing so, we avoided a lifetime of costly and high-risk care for Myrl."


Last May, Myrl walked his daughter Maggie down the aisle.  


"Sarge was not invited for obvious reasons," Leslie said.  "But he will be a trusted and beloved member of our family forever, and will always share a special bond with Myrl."


MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare,


UK Experts Featured in C-SPAN's 'Lexington Weekend'

Sun, 07/12/2015 - 22:37



LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2015) — This weekend Lexington will be in the spotlight as C-SPAN airs coverage of the city as part of its "2015 C-SPAN Cities Tour." Viewers of "Lexington Weekend" will learn about the city's rich history, as well as the community's non-fiction literary culture on programming airing July 18-19 as part of "BookTV" on C-SPAN2 and "American History TV" (AHTV) on C-SPAN3. Many University of Kentucky experts from the College of Arts and Sciences and Libraries lend a hand in sharing Lexington's story.


C-SPAN’s "2015 Cities Tour" is traveling to cities that are rich with history and have interesting local literary communities, but are not often featured on the national scene. Working with partners like Time Warner Cable (in Lexington), C-SPAN aims to share a little of each communities' heritage with a nationwide audience. During their time filming in Lexington June 22-25, they visited several literary and historic sites, and interviewed local historians, authors and civic leaders.


Several UK faculty and staff will be featured as part of the "Lexington Weekend" programming. "AHTV" will include a segment on Keeneland's history with former Lexington Herald-Leader turf writer, alumna and part-time instructor in the UK Department of History Maryjean Wall. Wall will help examine the storied history of one of the nation's most famous thoroughbred race tracks.


As part of "BookTV," work by Wall and several other UK authors, Tracy Campbell, Karl Raitz, Mark Summers and Justin Wedeking, will be highlighted.


Tracy Campbell, professor of history, talks to "BookTV" about his book "Short of the Glory: The Fall and Redemption of Edward F. Prichard Jr." Campbell's work looks at the rise and fall, and eventual redemption, of one of the nation's promising political prodigies. Published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK), "Short of Glory" chronicles how the boy wonder of the New Deal ended up in prison for stuffing the ballot box, as well as his hard fought journey back to becoming a trusted advisor of government leaders and Kentucky's most persuasive and eloquent voice for education reform.


Cultural geographer and former Provost's Distinguished Service Professor in the UK Department of Geography Karl Raitz speaks with "BookTV" about his book, "Kentucky’s Frontier Highway: Historical Landscapes along the Maysville Road." In this book, Raitz and co-author Nancy O’Malley, assistant director of the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology at UK, chart the complex history of the Maysville Road—a route that served as a corridor of local settlement, an engine of economic development, a symbol of national progress, and an essential part of the Underground Railroad. "Kentucky's Frontier Highway" was also published by UPK.


As part of the examination of Reconstruction in Lexington, "BookTV" speaks with Mark Summers, the Thomas D. Clark Professor of History. Summers is the author of "A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction," published by University of North Carolina Press, and "Railroads, Reconstruction, and the Gospel of Prosperity: Aid Under the Radical Republicans, 1865-1877," published by Princeton University Press. In "A Dangerous Stir," Summers looks at the fears that shaped Reconstruction policy after the Civil War, in addition to the politics, principles and prejudices of the time. In "Railroads, Reconstruction, and the Gospel of Prosperity," Summers describes the southern Republicans' post-Civil War railroad aid program.


Wall will also be featured on "BookTV" discussing her book, "How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders." Published by UPK, the book explores the post–Civil War world of thoroughbred racing before the Bluegrass region reigned as the unofficial "Horse Capital of the World." Wall uses her insider knowledge of horse racing as a foundation for this examination of the efforts to establish a thoroughbred industry in late 19th century Kentucky.


Justin Wedeking, associate professor of political science, will also appear on "BookTV." Wedeking discusses his book "Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings in the U.S. Senate: Reconsidering the Charade," published by University of Michigan Press. In this book, Wedeking and co-author Dion Farganis conduct a line-by-line analysis of the confirmation hearing of every Supreme Court nominee since 1955—an original dataset of nearly 11,000 questions and answers from testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee—and discover that nominees are far more forthcoming than generally assumed, especially the contemporary ones.


In addition to the segments with UK and UPK authors, C-SPAN also filmed a segment on King Library Press. Founded by Carolyn Reading Hammer and the UK Libraries in 1956, the press is devoted to the tradition of handpress fine printing established in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg and continuing without interruption to the present day. Paul Holbrook, director of King Library Press, and Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Special Collections Research Center, share the history and work of the press with viewers in this interview.


The Lexington history segments will air on "AHTV" on C-SPAN3 and the literary events/non-fiction author segments will air on "BookTV" on C-SPAN2. The "BookTV" block will start noon Saturday, July 18, on C-SPAN2. The "AHTV" programming will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19, on C-SPAN3. In addition, viewers will be able to watch "Lexington Weekend" broadcasting at their leisure on C-SPAN's website at



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


UK Students, Professor Partner with National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2015) — Doctoral students in the University of Kentucky College of Education recently partnered with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to enrich the ATLAS (Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools™) resource. More than just a video library, ATLAS cases demonstrate board-certified teachers’ approaches to teaching and make accomplished practice accessible.


The searchable online library of authentic videos shows National Board Certified Teachers at work in their classrooms. ATLAS cases include authentic, in-classroom video and instructional materials together with the teachers’ own written reflection and analysis, from lesson planning and instruction to impact on student learning.


Representatives from NBPTS met with Kathy Swan and doctoral students at UK over the course of three days to tag the cases to the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. The C3 Framework now sits alongside the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards as a filter for content on the searchable database.


Swan explained, "The backbone of the C3 Framework is an inquiry arc made up of four dimensions, including questioning, knowing, evaluating and communicating in the social studies. While this model of inquiry provides clarity to an often fuzzy practice, the tagging effort allows us to hone in on teachers doing C3 inquiry in the classroom and offer important snapshots of what it looks like when students are developing compelling questions for inquiry or working to take informed action.”


Swan is a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the UK College of Education. She is the advisor for the Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum, and Assessment Collaborative (SSACI) at the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO); the project director/lead writer of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards; and is the director of Next Generation Teacher Preparation at the UK College of Education.




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

Join Team of UK Faculty at the 2015 SEC Symposium

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 11:44
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2015) — Be sure to mark your calendar for the third annual Southeastern Conference (SEC) Symposium, scheduled for Sept. 20-22, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency, in Atlanta, Georgia.


The SEC Symposium addresses a significant scholarly issue across the range of disciplines represented by the SEC's 14 member universities. The event showcases their academic excellence and underscores their educational and economic contributions to the vitality of the region, nation and world. The 2015 symposium is titled "Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Driving a 21st Century Economy."


The 2015 SEC Symposium will focus on the development and impact of innovation at SEC universities. Four keynote speakers and 20 session speakers will be asked to share their expertise on subjects such as enhancing and measuring the economic impact of university innovation, fostering creativity through interaction with the arts, and new developments at the forefront of innovation in education.


Attendees at the 2015 SEC Symposium will also be given opportunities to share best practices in several smaller breakout sessions. It is hoped that collaboration among attendees will be continued after the symposium. To help facilitate this, the conference will utilize a new technology produced by Feathr, a company cofounded by University of Florida engineering students whose product allows conference participants the ability to stay connected after the conference.


In addition to the traditional presentation sessions, the organizers would like to introduce several new evening activities to the symposium. The event will also feature a grad recruiting fair, a showcase for student creative work and an informal jam session for conference attendees.


The 2015 SEC Symposium will be led by University of Florida. UK's representative to the symposium is Dean Michael Tick of UK College of Fine Arts. Prior to joining UK's College of Fine Arts, Tick was the chair of the Department of Theatre at Louisiana State University (LSU) and producing artistic director of Swine Palace, the department’s professional theatre company. Before joining LSU in 1999, he served on the planning committee that established in 1985 the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. As founding chair of the GSA Department of Theatre, Tick served on the faculty of Old Dominion University.


In addition to Tick, five other UK faculty will participate in the symposium, including:

· Rodney Andrews, director of the Center for Applied Energy Research, who will serve as a panel moderator;

· David Biagi, director of the School of Architecture in the UK College of Design, who will be a presenter;

· Alison Davis, executive director of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, who will be a presenter;

· Kathi Kern, director of the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, who will serve as a panelist; and

· Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, chair of the Secondary Mathematics Program in the College of Education, who will serve as a panelist.


Two UK administrators are also helping with the symposium. Susan Carvalho, interim dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for International Programs, is a member on the SEC University Showcase committee. Dean Dan O'Hair, of UK College of Communication and Information, is serving as a committee member for the Student Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition. 


Other UK faculty, administrators and students will attend the symposium. To date, the faculty and administrators planning to attend are: Dean Mark Kornbluh, of UK College of Arts and Sciences; Associate Dean Derek Lane, of UK College of Communication and Information; and Associate Professor Kimberly Parker, of UK College of Communication and Information. Several students will be attending, including: Ian Cruz, Ellen Marshall McCann, Sophie Silcox and Coty Taylor, of UK College of Fine Arts; Ashton Filburn, of UK College of Communication and Information; Michael Lewis, of Gatton College of Business and Economics; and Corey Mackey and Mark Manczyk, of UK College of Design.


To get the latest news on speakers, session topics, registration and more for the 2015 SEC Symposium, visit  



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

BLOG: Five Takeaways From a Week Embedded in UK Research

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 10:57

Following is a blog from Information Specialist Whitney Harder of the University of Kentucky Public Relations and Marketing.


July 15, 2015


As a former (and recent) student at UK, I knew like everyone else on campus the significance placed on research here — the special mission associated with being the flagship, land-grant and research university of the Commonwealth.


I once briefly participated in research with a project focused on young voters and I suppose the research papers throughout my undergrad career gave me a glimpse into the realm. But I hadn't immersed myself in research at UK until after I graduated and began my career here.


I started telling the stories of those at UK who devote their careers and their education to solving problems, to discovery and ingenuity. And one of those ongoing stories led to an interesting opportunity. I was invited to experience an internationally known research project up close, and in Paris, France.


After traveling to Paris with UK's "ancient scrolls team," including Brent Seales, professor and chair in the Department of Computer Science, and several students and staff members, I learned more than just a thing or two about the revolutionary computer software the team is working on (it can read damaged ancient scrolls without opening them?!). I witnessed research in action, and found out that much of it is not what I expected.


Here are a few takeaways from my week embedded in a UK research project:


1. Research is not confined to the lab. A lot is accomplished in the lab, but some of the most rewarding research experiences for faculty and students are out of the lab, on outings to new places, with new people and perspectives. The research experience usually leads to a host of other fresh experiences for everyone involved (ex: traveling to Paris, France, and presenting at Google).


2. "The lab" itself can be many things. Sure, there are labs with microscopes and beakers and test tubes, but a lab can also be a room full of computers with advanced computational infrastructure. And sometimes the lab is the hotel conference room.


3. Successful research is always collaborative. Projects at UK often include faculty members from many different departments, students with a range of interests, and collaborators from other institutions, countries and professions. The ancient scrolls project alone has connected physicists, papyrologists and computer scientists in Italy, France and the U.S.


4. Students are in the thick of it. At UK, "research assistants" are traveling the world to present and work on their research, not just taking notes. Students are spending their time finding solutions to real problems — testing original ideas, sometimes failing, retrying, and eventually figuring something out that launches the whole project to the next step. And they take ownership of it. But that's only part of it. They're applying class concepts to hands-on work; meeting key players in their fields; getting internships and jobs following their projects; the list goes on.   


5. Authentic research takes a lot of time, effort and resources. A lot. I knew research, especially some of the high-caliber work we have going on at UK, was made possible by large grants. But I didn't know how painstaking the process was to receive funding and administer it. And research, if done right, doesn't happen overnight. Completing a research project can take months, years, sometimes decades. That's when we have to step back and remember that the results are worth waiting for.


With the ancient scrolls project I saw what I think every research project aims to do; to pull diverse capabilities together to provide a solution with a meaningful impact.


Those experts were not only from completely different fields of research, but from different countries and cultures. In Paris, a French papyrologist was trained in using the software by the team of American computer scientists, and at the same time five hours away, Italian physicists were working on gathering data for the project.


Inside the oldest public library in France, the researchers came together to view up close a scroll in the collection. While one explained the history of it, another compared it to his 3-D-printed model, and for the students, the experience gave them purpose and perspective for their work.


"It was eye-opening," one said later on. Another student, who worked on the project as a freshman, said she never thought she would be involved in this type of work this early on.

I touched on it a bit before, but their research involvement is really having tangible impacts on these students. One team member told me if she hadn't landed a spot on the team, she might not have continued on to graduate school at UK. Another, who graduated in May, starts his career as a software engineer at Microsoft this month.


Obviously these students are finding success because of many factors, but I can't help but think their unique experiences at UK and in research like this have something to do with it. 

SCoBIRC Research Published in the Journal of Neuroscience

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 09:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jul. 13, 2015) – Macrophages are cellular sentinels in the body, assigned to identify “attacks” from viruses, bacteria or fungi and sound the alarm when they are present. However, these cells are a “double-edged sword” in spinal cord injury, providing both neural repair-promoting properties and pathological functions that destroy neuronal tissue


“We know from previous research that macrophages are versatile, and signals at the injury site can stimulate repair or destruction—or confusingly, both,” John Gensel, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky, said. “But the mechanisms through which these signals stimulate the good and/or bad functions in macrophages are not known. So the next big question to answer in the efforts to understand and treat SCI was, ‘Why?’”


Gensel teamed up with Phillip Popovich, Ph.D, professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of the Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair (CBSCR) at The Ohio State University, to explore the mechanisms governing the positive and negative processes that occur in macrophages following spinal cord injury.


“On the cellular level, the body’s response to spinal cord injury is similar to the immune response to attacks by bacteria or viruses,” Gensel said. “The functions that macrophages adopt in response to these stimuli were the focus of our study.” 


Gensel and Popovich looked at more than 50 animals with spinal cord injury to try to identify which macrophage receptors promoted neuronal repair and which directed the destructive process.


“We found that activating bacterial receptors boosted the macrophage response and limited damage to the spinal cord following injury, while activating fungal receptors actually contributed to pathology,” Gensel said.


While this study oversimplifies the complex process by which macrophages promote repair and destruction of neuronal tissues, it nonetheless sheds light on opportunities to modulate macrophage responses after spinal cord injury, potentially reducing – or even reversing – damage and the resulting side effects.


“The implications are exciting: we now can look for treatments targeted to the receptors that jump-start the macrophage’s restorative effects without activating the receptors that modulate the destructive processes in that same cell.”


The study has been published as a Featured Article in the most recent issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.


MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare,

UK Horticulture Research Farm Twilight Tour is July 28

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 15:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2015) — From traditional to organic fruit and vegetable production, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Twilight Horticulture Tour will have something to interest just about anyone.


The UK Horticultural Research Farm in south Lexington is home to dozens of projects and variety trials, many of which the tour will showcase July 28. Three concurrent tours — vegetable tour, fruit tour, and a tour for sustainable agriculture vegetables, fruits and ornamentals — will repeat twice from 6 p.m. until dark.


"We will be able to show growers our latest research and hopefully give them some ideas of things they can do themselves," said John Strang, UK extension horticulture specialist. "This is such a great opportunity to really explore all the projects on the farm."


Strang said tour participants will have a chance to learn about research involving traditional and sustainable/organic growing practices.


Vegetable tour stops include:

·         Winter squash variety trial

·         Downy mildew sentinel plot

·         Watermelon anthracnose and pollinators

·         Evaluation of new pepper accessions for capsicum

·         Glucosinolates in arugula and mustards

·         Tomato breeding for mite resistance

·         Sugar enhanced sweet corn variety trial

·         Summer cover crop demonstration

·         Trap crops for stink bugs

·         Pumpkin plasticulture demonstration

·         Muskmelon variety trial

·         Triploid watermelon cultivar trial


Fruit tour stops include:

·         Kentucky Mesonet Weather Station and prediction models

·         Apple herbicides and haskap, blueberry and dwarf sour cherry variety trials

·         Bitter rot in apples

·         Ten years of UK grape research

·         Matted row strawberry variety trial


Stops on the sustainable vegetable and fruit tour include:

·         Evaluating slow-release aluminum sulfate for blue flowers in hydrangea and drone agricultural applications

·         Organic mixed vegetables for Community Supported Agriculture

·         Organic apple production study

·         Moveable high tunnels

·         Controlling cucumber beetles and squash bugs in muskmelons and winter squash with meso tunnels

·         Furrow guidance machine system for organic vegetable production


Tours will start at the research center parking lot. Cold drinks and melons will be available for participants.


The Twilight Tour is open to the public but is aimed at fruit and vegetable growers. For more information, contact Pam Compton at 859-257-2909 or


The UK Horticultural Research Farm is located on the south side of Lexington approximately one block west of the intersection of Man o' War Boulevard and Nicholasville Road (U.S. 27). The entrance to the farm, Emmert Farm Lane, is off Man o' War Boulevard at the traffic light opposite the entrance to Lowe's and Wal-Mart.




MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707. 

Two UK Students Awarded Harry Barfield Scholarship

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 14:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2015) — Taylor Gadberry of Louisville, Kentucky, and Elizabeth Gabbert of Spottsville, Kentucky, were awarded the Kentucky Broadcasters Association Harry Barfield Scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year.


The Barfield scholarship is named in honor of Harry Barfield, the late president and chairman of WLEX-TV in Lexington.


The scholarship is awarded through a competitive application process, which includes academic achievement, the recommendation from a faculty member and extracurricular activities.


“The KBA is proud to be able to help these talented students pursue their higher education,” said Gary White, president and CEO of KBA.  “This year’s total of $20,000 in scholarship awards means that the KBA now has awarded a total of $225,000 in scholarships since the inception of the program in the 1992-93 academic year.  Many of these recipients have gone on to successful careers in broadcasting and other related communications fields.”


Gadberry will begin her junior year at UK in the fall. She plans on earning a degree in broadcast journalism.


“I was very grateful to receive this scholarship,” said Gadberry. “It is truly a blessing to receive this award because paying for school can be hard and taking out loans is always the last option for me."


Gabbert will also be a junior in the fall and is pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism.


“Receiving this scholarship will further push me to continue to strive to do my best because, as the letter I received said, I could continue to receive the scholarship if I keep up my accomplishments,” Gabbert said.


The scholarships are renewable for a second year provided recipients continue to meet specified criteria.

In Health Affairs, Huberfeld Analyzes Supreme Court Ruling that Undercut Medicaid

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 10:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2015) — Following the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) expansion of Medicaid eligibility, an estimated 14 to 18 million new beneficiaries will enroll in Medicaid over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At the same time, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from March threatens the success of Medicaid and could undercut the entire program.


In this month's issue of Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy thought and research, Nicole Huberfeld, Ashland-Spears Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law and bioethics associate at the UK College of Medicine, analyzes the Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, Inc. ruling and its implications on Medicaid and health care reform.


In Armstrong, the Court terminated Medicaid providers’ ability to seek relief in federal courts when states fail to pay sufficient Medicaid rates. Huberfeld writes that sufficient payment for providers' services are vital to Medicaid delivery because payment rates are notoriously low.


"If providers are not being paid sufficiently to treat all of these new patients, Medicaid’s promise of medical assistance will not be very meaningful," Huberfeld said.


The court held that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not grant Medicaid providers the right to ask federal courts to force states to pay fair rates for their services, even when states violate the Medicaid Act of 1965.


In her analysis, Huberfeld writes that the ruling is a triumph for states in the cooperative federalism scheme of Medicaid.


"States have been seeking to limit private actions in federal courts to enforce the Medicaid Act for many years," Huberfeld said. "The Supreme Court has finally agreed with them that such actions are not available under the Supremacy Clause."


Given the opportunity, Huberfeld writes, states are likely to lower payment rates in the wake of Armstrong, and sufficient payment is key in equal access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries.    


Several studies have found that primary care physicians are more likely to accept new private insurance and Medicare patients than Medicaid patients, largely because of the reimbursement differential.


"Hospitals in Kentucky have complained recently that the ACA is costing them money because of the increase in Medicaid enrollment combined with the low rates Kentucky pays in the Medicaid program," Huberfeld said. "As of 2012, Kentucky paid approximately 77 perfect of what Medicare would pay for the same services."


Congress increased Medicaid fees for primary care services to Medicare levels Jan. 1, 2013, but the increase expired Dec. 31, 2014. Huberfeld writes in Health Affairs that recent studies show that this two-year increase in payment rates positively influenced physicians’ decisions to treat Medicaid patients, indicating that Medicaid enrollees’ access to primary care delivery is directly influenced by payment sufficiency.


So, how can payment sufficiency be secured now?


"HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) must provide greater oversight of states’ payment decisions," Huberfeld said. "The regulations that HHS published in draft form in 2011 must be completed so that states at least start to report and analyze the payment decisions they make in Medicaid."


To view the abstract of Huberfeld's analysis, "The Supreme Court Ruling That Blocked Providers From Seeking Higher Medicaid Payments Also Undercut The Entire Program," visit   




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

Migrant Youth Explore Career Possibilities at UK

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 17:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2015) – At an early age, Jaime Hernandez was drawn to science. While other children started reading Dr. Seuss books, Hernandez gravitated toward books about rain cycles and nature.


Now 15 years old and contemplating his future, Hernandez believes his passion for science will eventually translate to a career in health care. But he’s hesitant to commit to a future in the medical profession without first talking to real health care providers and exploring all career opportunities within the medical industry.


“I want to make sure, at a young age, that having a medical career is something for me,” Hernandez said. “I can keep talking about how I want to be a doctor or nurse, but someone learning to be in that profession has to be very dedicated and ambitious. Even though I have those qualities, there could be something that I don’t like – I want to find out now rather than 10 years later.”


Hernandez, a native of Mexico who lives with his family in Paris, Kentucky, was one of 47 students to participate in the first Northeastern Kentucky Migrant Education Program hosted at the University of Kentucky in partnership with the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). During the 2015 camp held June 15-18, high school students from Eastern Kentucky visited UK’s campus to explore career options in health care, engineering, law enforcement, business and more. Throughout the week, faculty members from the UK College of Nursing, UK College of Engineering, the UK Gatton College of Business, the UK Graduate School and UK College of Medicine presented information about academic programs and career possibilities at the University of Kentucky.


For the past eight years, the Northeastern Kentucky Migrant Education Program has provided educational support programs for migrant students from 37 Eastern Kentucky counties. A similar program has operated solely in Fleming County for 20 years. In accordance with the recently revised College and Career Readiness requirements in Kentucky, the program prepares children of migrant families to pursue post-secondary education or alternative career paths. In recent years, summer camps camps have taken place at two regional universities. This year marks the first time students and parents selected the University of Kentucky as the host site. The AHEC program at UK developed a curriculum and schedule for the students based on input from parents and areas of interest identified by students.


“This summer, the University of Kentucky played a major role in guiding Kentucky’s migrant youth toward rewarding career paths,” Carlos Marin, assistant dean for community and cultural engagement at AHEC, said. “It’s our hope that students left their camp experience with greater knowledge and awareness of career possibilities in health care, as well as other professions.”


Highlights of the camp included a live minimally invasive surgery performed by Kentucky Children’s Hospital pediatric surgeon Dr. Joseph Iocono, a tour of Bluegrass Community and Technical College Campus and a chemistry lab experiment. Hernandez was most excited about looking inside a real trauma center during the group’s tour of the UK Chandler Hospital. He was encouraged by an inspirational talk from UK Provost Timothy Tracy given the final day of the camp.


“He talked about never giving up and to always go the extra mile because it would pay at the end,” Hernandez said. “It was a really awesome experience hearing him talk, and I will never forget it.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Zhang to Lead New Institute of Biomedical Informatics

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 16:36



LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2015) – A new Institute of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Kentucky will integrate and leverage large data systems across the academic and medical enterprise to improve patient care, research and education. GQ Zhang, Ph.D., will join UK Aug. 1 as director of the institute. He will also serve as chief of the newly established biomedical informatics division in the UK College of Medicine and co-director of the biomedical informatics core of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science.


The establishment of the institute and recruitment of Zhang and his research team reflect an enhanced investment in biomedical informatics across the UK campus and health care system.


"Dr. Zhang is an outstanding researcher with a long history of very innovative research, and he is able to bridge between basic science, translational science, and clinical science," said UK Provost Tim Tracy. "As universities look at clinical and translational science, they must have a strong biomedical informatics infrastructure to ensure that they can collect data and interface data systems across health care, research, and academic enterprises to find solutions to intractable problems that have been difficult to solve without adequate informatics capabilities."


Most recently the division chief of medical informatics and professor of computer science at Case Western Reserve University, Zhang brings to UK not only his extensive experience in integrating engineering, computer science, and medicine, but also an expert research team actively working on two national center grants from the National Institutes of Health.  Under his leadership, the UK Institute of Biomedical Informatics will facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration to integrate and utilize data that supports a learning health system and improved patient care. A primary asset is UK's Enterprise Data Trust (EDT), which holds massive and complicated data sets of institutional, state, and third-party payer health information requiring innovative approaches to unlock the knowledge embedded within.


"We want to consolidate and coordinate campus-wide efforts in the area of data science and informatics. We are increasingly facing large volumes of complex data that are more challenging to manage and take advantage of. The challenges are technological as well as cultural and regulatory," said Zhang.


According to Zhang, the era of "big data" and the complexity of modern health problems necessitate a new paradigm in how clinicians and investigators conduct research, deliver health care services, and provide education. A primary challenge in managing and leveraging biomedical data is that it's collected across contexts such as research versus clinical care, points in time (current versus past), and technology systems with different designs and terminologies. Zhang and his team have a nationally visible track record of addressing these challenges through innovations in computer science, such as knowledge representation, machine learning, and cloud computing. Specifically, they translate software engineering methodology and advanced computational algorithms into robust tools that enable data collection, integration, and exploration across the spectrum of the data life cycle.


"To be able to take advantage of the information generated during patient care, and to be able to achieve a learning health system and provide precision medicine, we need to take full advantage of the information generated through the entire process and link all types of information together. This has been one of the grand challenges in the clinical and biomedical enterprises," Zhang said.


Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs at UK, recognizes the need for an innovative biomedical informatics enterprise that informs and supports the highest quality patient care.


"At UK we provide care to Kentuckians and others throughout their lives. If we want to understand health experiences across the lifespan, improve patient outcomes, and deliver care most efficiently, we need to be able to utilize all the relevant information available to us. Only with objective data on effectiveness, outcomes, and research can we make the most informed decisions for improving people's lives, " he said.


Zhang will also guide the expansion of biomedical informatics education and training at UK, including the development of new graduate programs in the College of Engineering. Since biomedical informatics is an emerging and rapidly changing field, integrated training programs must consider dynamic and expanding workforce needs. Zhang plans to address both the supply and demand challenges of the biomedical informatics workforce by training of the next generation of informaticians here at UK.


"We need to be training the biomedical informaticians of the future. To be able to use complicated data sets for research and clinical purpose requires significant computer science knowledge and innovation," said Dr. Philip Kern, director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), an interdisciplinary research center funded by the NIH to accelerate discoveries for human health.


While the biomedical informatics graduate program will be housed in the College of Engineering, students will work directly with physicians in the medical center and researchers in the academic domain to gain real-world experience in health data science and communicating across disciplines.


"This is a change from the traditional approach. The students will graduate more market ready than they would otherwise be if they only trained in the classroom," said Zhang.


In his role as co-director of the biomedical informatics core of the CCTS, Zhang will oversee provision of informatics services and resources to researchers across specialties.


"This is never a one-man effort," said Zhang. "Particularly in the informatics domain, it's team work including a spectrum of people, from regulatory to information technology to domain experts and staff and students."



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,




WUKY Survey Underway

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 15:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2015) — WUKY, the University of Kentucky's NPR station, is seeking information from radio listeners and the general public. You are invited to participate in an online survey explaining how you use radio, along with social media, smartphones, tablets, streaming and the Web to stay connected to news, entertainment and updates from WUKY and other sources.



Responses will be confidential, no personal information will be shared with other organizations. Information will only be used to enhance WUKY's service to its listeners and the community.


The survey may take as long as 15-20 minutes to complete, but participants can stop, save their work and resume at any time. The survey can be accessed here:   


The survey closes July 15.

Taylor County Teacher Receives First Earle C. Clements Award

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 13:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2015) — The National Archives, in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, presented the inaugural Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers yesterday, July 8. The recipient of the Clements Award is Timothy A. Peterson, who teaches social studies at Taylor County High School in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Peterson graduated from UK College of Education twice: with a bachelor’s degree in 1988, and again with a master’s degree in 1996.


Peterson began teaching in 1989 at Jessamine County High School. He also taught at Marion County High School before moving to Taylor County High School in 2010. He is certified to teach advanced placement courses in European history, world history, U.S. history, and human geography. In July 2014, Taylor County Schools selected Peterson as one of six advisors for the Taylor County High School Cardinal Academy.


Roger D. Cook, superintendent of Taylor County Schools, nominated Peterson for the Clements Award.


"Peterson daily demonstrates outstanding leadership in and out of the classroom by promoting and strengthening high-quality civics education…he seeks to improve not only students, but himself through rigorous exploration of information and continuing education," Cook said.


"Timothy Peterson, or as we call him, 'Coach P.,' was my social studies teacher each year of high school," said Kassie Miller, a recent student of Peterson at Taylor County High School.


"In addition to learning about American history, ancient civilizations and world geography, Coach P. taught me what it means to be a globally minded citizen. Throughout his classes, he incorporated practical applications about how our actions affect our next-door neighbors, fellow Kentuckians, and even those living across the ocean. His courses developed in me a hard work ethic and a service-oriented heart," Miller said.


Peterson received the award in a presentation at Margaret I. King Library Building on the UK campus, home to the Ford Public Policy Research Center as well as the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center. David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States, presented the award to Peterson. UK Provost Tim Tracy also spoke, along with Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Libraries for the Special Collections Research Center and co-director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, and Bess Clements Abell, daughter of Earle C. Clements and a member of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board.


"This partnership between UK Libraries and the National Archives represents our shared commitment to fostering education on public policy and civics for the next generation of Kentuckians. We are pleased to honor an outstanding Kentucky teacher, Mr. Timothy Peterson, with the inaugural Clements Award," Scaggs said.


"Mr. Peterson represents the very best in teaching. His students are well-prepared academically and with the life skills to be successful. They leave his classroom with a real sense of civic responsibility, a greater understanding of diversity, and the confidence in their own abilities to analyze and help solve critical issues in their local and global communities," said Mary John O’Hair, dean of the UK College of Education.


The Clements Award honors the life and career of the late Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. Clements’s 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 Lyndon Baines Johnson. Bess Clements Abell, Clements’s daughter, is a board member of the National Archives Foundation, a member of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board, and a UK alumna.


"We are pleased to partner with the University of Kentucky Libraries to recognize Kentucky’s finest educators," said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. "We are grateful to the National Archives Foundation and especially to longtime supporter Bess Clements Abell and her family for making these awards possible."


Nominations for the Clements Award come from throughout Kentucky. An independent review panel selects up to three teachers per year to receive the Clements Award and $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

• Conveys enthusiasm for teaching civics and history and motivates students to learn and achieve

• Employs active learning techniques and inspires students to be informed and active citizens


Impact on student success

•  Motivates students to achieve high standards

•  Initiates critical thinking and fosters informed student discussion

•  Promotes academic success and cultivates a love of learning in students of all abilities and backgrounds


Evidence of creativity and innovation

•  Improves learning by using creative, original and effective teaching methods

•  Uses technology in innovative ways to improve learning outcomes

•  Incorporates primary sources in innovative lessons that improve student achievement


For more information on the Clements Award, see the call for nominations or email Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of UK Libraries for the 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 Student Interning at Metropolitan Museum

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 10:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2015) — University of Kentucky student Elizabeth Glass is participating in a highly competitive internship at the Cloisters Museum and Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this summer.


A native of Lexington, the art history and visual studies/museum studies senior who is also working toward a minor in German, began applying for summer internships over the past winter break. She applied to such museums as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Guggenheim in New York City, and the Seattle Art Museum. Glass didn't let the competitiveness of these internships keep her from applying, and to her surprise was granted an interview to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the one that she wanted most. She interviewed with the museum's senior medieval research associate in March and was offered an internship in the medieval department of the Cloisters Museum soon after.


The specific qualifications required for the Metropolitan's medieval internship are a working knowledge of the German language and graphic design skills. Glass, who possessed these skills, was a great fit. Before moving to Lexington to finish her undergraduate degree, she lived in New York City for five years working various jobs and attending various schools. Her knowledge of the city likely worked to her advantage as well.


At the Metropolitan, Glass will mainly work at the Cloisters giving tours focusing on reliquaries (containers for holy relics) that are currently on display, as well as helping maintain and expand the department’s collection database. She is also hoping to have the opportunity to spend time with some of the works that are not on display to do some research of her own for next semester’s courses. This will be her first real experience as a tour guide.


"Even though I am so excited for my internship this summer, I am more excited about the opportunities that will be available for me after my time at the Met is finished," Glass said. "I started out only applying so I could say that I did, not expecting anything to come of it and ended up with the opportunity of a lifetime. This just goes to show that nothing bad can come from taking a chance and reaching for something you believe to be out of your reach, because you never know what will happen in the end."


The art history/museum studies student interned at the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky with curator Janie Welker during the spring semester. She did everything from writing labels and formatting checklists to helping install the "Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky" exhibition on display now and decorating the museum for its annual fundraiser Art in Bloom.


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


Also part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the mission of the Art Museum at UK is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection.


UK Alumna Hopes to Break Record, do Environmental Work While 'Paddling On' the Mississippi

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 09:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumna Alyssum Pohl, a 2004 biology graduate and former Gaines Fellow, has embarked on a journey from source to sea kayaking the Mississippi River while documenting water pollution. The journey is a self-motivated effort to increase awareness about the health of our rivers and oceans. 


The trip will take Pohl an estimated three months. She started her trek June 27, in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, the base of the Mississippi River, and will end it in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, 2,552 miles downstream. Pohl is calling the project "Paddle On!" which references her verve to continue making a positive difference in the world, despite constant challenges. 


Video from Alyssum Pohl's first day on the Mississippi River. Video courtesy of Pohl. 


"This is an adventure, but my goal is to make it a meaningful one," Pohl said. "This is not a vacation. I will be working hard every day. I will be collecting water quality samples, photographing plastic waste, doing beach clean-ups with local river conservation groups, speaking with school children and legislators along the way about the environmental state of their waterways. I believe it is important that I share my experience and the visible and chemical health of our nation’s largest river."


While this expedition involves setting up camp nightly, portaging her vessel around 29 locks and dams, avoiding the fast-moving barges and ships in the lower Mississippi and paddling against the wind, Pohl goes beyond simple exploration with this project. With degrees and work experience in science and policy, Pohl will be recording both qualitative (story, photos, video) and quantitative (such as pH, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen) water quality measures, and will share her process and results for educational purposes. John Sullivan, a retired water quality biologist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, paddled the Mississippi recording water quality, and Pohl will be repeating his methodology.


Pohl will keep the public updated with findings from her trip via her blog. She has already written about the first few days of her trip describing the weather conditions, as well as the people she has met along the way and what they have contributed to her journey.


"The first day was marked by shallow water and lots of mud. I had to walk my boat through some of the areas where it was just too shallow, and I almost lost my Teva several times because the mud was stronger than the Velcro on it. I ended up going barefoot most of the way."


Over the past two years, Pohl, who earned her master's degree in international environmental policy, worked on coastal resiliency issues as one of three National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Digital Coast Fellows. This background provided her with rare insight into understanding what local, state and federal elected officials, and natural resource manager's deal with, and their level of understanding the environmental problems they face.


"What I really enjoyed in that position was working across disciplines, using storytelling as a means to educate diverse stakeholders about best practices," Pohl said.


Pohl has arranged collaboration with artists, scientists and legislators to ensure that "Paddle On!" is worthwhile to a variety of communities and interests. For instance, Lindsey Wohlman, a sculptor from Lafayette, Colorado, looks forward to receiving some of the plastic waste that Pohl cleans from the river, with which she will create ocean-inspired sculptures.


At UK, Pohl was a member of the Honors Program and participated in the Emerging Leader Institute. As part of her Gaines Fellowship, the magna cum laude graduate completed a thesis titled "Girning and its cultural relevance."


By completing this project, Pohl, 35, will set a world record as the youngest woman to solo kayak the Mississippi River. In order for this project to become reality, Pohl set up a Kickstarter. Through this website not only did people share their support, but Pohl hopes to share her progress. Pohl also has a blog and Facebook page set up to chronicle her experience.  


A native of Lexington, Pohl currently resides in Mount Rainier, Maryland.



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


Palli Named Chair of UK Entomology Department

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 16:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 8, 2015) — A professor with a passion for developing environmentally sound pest control methods is the new chair of the Department of Entomology in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


Reddy Palli is no stranger to the department, having served as a faculty member since 2002. He assumed his new role July 1 and will also serve as the state entomologist.


A native of India, Palli developed his passion for entomology as a child while watching his father farm. It was in India that he saw the impact improper use of pesticides could have on people’s health. He has spent his career trying to find innovative ways to control troublesome insects.


“Reddy is an outstanding scientist who has made many contributions to the entomology department already,” said Nancy Cox, college dean. “He has support of his colleagues to be their new leader, and there will be a seamless transition between him and former chair John Obrycki.”


Within the entomology profession, Palli is best known for developing RNA interference technology that kills insect pests and fights resistance to insecticides, particularly in beetles and bed bugs. A gene switch technology he developed may have important human health implications and is in phase 3 clinical trials to fight cancer in humans.


Palli is the co-director of the Center for Arthropod Management Technologies, a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.


He has received numerous awards for his research and in 2014, was named a fellow of the Entomological Society of America for his outstanding contributions to the field. He has published 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters, co-edited a book and is a co-inventor on 28 patents.




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


Seven UK Students Named Fulbright Recipients

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 15:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 8, 2015) — University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that a seventh UK student has been named a recipient of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the prestigious program.


The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the U.S. also provide direct and indirect support.


Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.


The UK students awarded 2015 Fulbright grants for graduate study, research or teaching assistantships are:

Brittany Cook Barrineau, the daughter of Karen Cook, of Manassas, Virginia, and Glenn Cook, of Baltimore, Maryland, received her bachelor's degree from University of Mary Washington and a master's degree from University of South Carolina.


The UK geography doctoral student will use her Fulbright grant to study media and colloquial Arabic in Jordan, as well as begin her dissertation research in which small-scale olive producers engage in and respond to the global olive oil market.


"Specifically, I will focus on efforts in Jordan that have suggested using organic production, fair trade and even tourism to bring greater profits to farmers," Barrineau said.


Barrineau's interest in geography started during her undergraduate years. "I took a world regional geography class as an elective and fell in love with the way in which geography brings together so many different topics such as the environment, politics, culture and economics. Over the years, I've found geography to be an important way to examine the ways in which people, goods and ideas move across the world and affect each other."


Upon completion of her doctoral degree, Barrineau plans on applying for academic jobs.


"I enjoy teaching undergraduates because I think that work in geography helps students think differently and challenge assumptions about their place in and relationship to the world," the Fulbright Scholar said.


Donavyn Coffey, the daughter of Allison and Troy Coffey, of Russell Springs, Kentucky, received her bachelor's degree in agricultural biotechnology from UK on May 9. While at UK, Coffey participated in undergraduate research with Bluegrass Advanced Materials and was a member of the Ag Biotech Club. She also participated in internships with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Alltech.


Coffey will use her Fulbright grant to do graduate study in molecular nutrition and food technology at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, while also experiencing how another culture approaches food and health.


"I will get to be immersed in Danish culture and have the opportunity to better understand what sets their public health apart from that of the United States. It is sure to be a fantastic, two-fold approach to education," Coffey said.


The Fulbright Scholar's life experiences heavily influenced Coffey's areas of study. Growing up on a farm and seeing the hard work her parents put in led her to her degree in agricultural biotechnology. Coffey's own diagnosis of epilepsy helped influence her new studies. "The fact that I was able to manage my own epilepsy with dietary changes is definitely what convinced me of the power of nutrition and made me want to study molecular nutrition with my Fulbright."


Lexington's Christiana Holsapple earned her bachelor's degree in international studies from UK in 2012. Holsapple received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), which will allow her to teach English in Moldova for one year.


"Growing up, I always dreamed of traveling the world and dedicating my career to having some sort of meaningful impact on an international level. I believe strongly in the importance of international education and its effectiveness in promoting open-mindedness and broadening world views, which led me to complete a BA in international studies and pursue job opportunities in international education," Holsapple said.


While at UK, Holsapple participated in and contributed to a number of programs with international ties. She had an article on study/work abroad experiences published in International Educator; was an American delegate to the 2013 Preparing Global Leaders Institute in Struga, Macedonia; received a Holocaust Studies Research Grant that funded research and travel throughout Poland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and France; presented research on refugee integration to Kentucky state legislators in the Capitol Undergraduate Research Showcase in Frankfort, Kentucky; and was a member and leader of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society. In addition, Holsapple previously was awarded a Boren Scholarship for a year of study in Ukrainian and Russian languages in Kiev, Ukraine.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Holsapple plans to pursue a master's degree in Russian and Eurasian studies and continue work in international education.


Zachary Laux, the son of Becky and Charlie Laux, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, received his bachelor's degrees in mathematical economics and international studies in May. His Fulbright ETA will fund a year of teaching English in Malaysia.


A member of the Honors Program, Laux participated in undergraduate research at UK. He studied the economic, public health and environmental benefits of informal waste pickers (IWPs) in Kampala, Uganda, to attempt to attach a monetary value to the work that IWPs do day in and day out. "Through this research, I determined that cooperatives improve the income levels of IWPs through the transmission of collection techniques and selling recyclable materials in bulk."


Study abroad in Kampala piqued Laux's interest in development economics and international development. It was trips to Atlanta, Nicaragua and Ghana with UK Alternative Service Breaks that solidified a passion for serving others. Laux hopes that passion for service and his quantitative abilities is what will make him a success in the international development field.


Upon completion of his Fulbright ETA, Laux plans to pursue a master's degree in international affairs or international economics.


Breauna Oldham, the daughter of Savella Hardin of Louisville, Kentucky, received her bachelor's degree in international studies and a certificate in global studies in May from UK. Her Fulbright ETA will fund a year of teaching English to elementary school students in South Korea.


"The Fulbright will afford me with the opportunity to increase my language ability, learn about the culture, learn how to teach English effectively, and become familiar with the education system in Korea," Oldham said.


Oldham already has some experience working with native speakers during an exchange program in South Korea. She worked in the English Lounge at Chung Ang University and would have conversations with native Korean students who wanted to practice speaking English with a native English speaker. "During my time working there, I realized how much students strived to learn English and how it could affect the school they go to, or job they get, after graduating college."


Interested in learning about other cultures since middle school, Oldham decided to study international studies at college. Though she has an interest in all countries, she specialized in Asia studies in her major and wrote her capstone paper on the Kwangju Uprising in Kwangju, South Korea, in 1980.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Oldham plans to pursue Korean studies at a graduate school in South Korea.


Brittney Woodrum, the daughter of Jim and Sherry Woodrum of Winchester, Kentucky, received her bachelor's degrees in arts administration and Spanish in May.


"I selected arts administration because it offers the perfect blend of arts entrepreneurship mixed with mission based nonprofit efforts. I chose Spanish because of my love for languages and my deep desire to further my understanding of the world and different cultures around us," said Woodrum, who believes her studies will be an asset as she uses her Fulbright ETA to fund a year of teaching English in Mexico.


At UK, Woodrum was quite active. She studied abroad in Spain and participated in the Disney College Program. She also has had the privilege of presenting art history research at the Arts in Society conference in Rome, Italy.



Woodrum's majors have become gateways in which she can fulfill her passion for philanthropy and the arts, as well as her desire to learn about everything around her. She also believes her work with the Governor's Scholars Program for the past three years has been a huge influence on her love for learning. The program has given her opportunities to work with students of different backgrounds and given her hands on experience with teaching and tutoring, which should also come in handy during her time in Mexico.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Woodrum plans to apply for the Peace Corps and hopefully work for nonprofit whose mission deals with humanitarian and environmental issues.


Callie Zaino, the daughter of Cynthia and Richard Zaino, of Lexington, earned her bachelor's degrees in communication sciences and disorders and Spanish, as well as a certificate in global studies from UK in May. Her Fulbright ETA will cover a year of teaching English in Spain.


Zaino's college studies were influenced by her own obstacles and opportunities as a child. A speech impediment's impact on the graduate would lead to her studies in communication sciences and disorders. On the other hand her Spanish degree would become a natural fit after participating in Fayette County Public School's Spanish Immersion Program at Maxwell Elementary School, Bryan Station Middle School and Bryan Station High School.


While at UK, an internship abroad advanced those passions. In the summer of 2014, Zaino participated in an internship at a Bilingual Educational and Learning Center in Lima, Peru, which provided her the opportunity to work with a Spanish speech-language pathologist. "The immersive setting allowed me to witness therapy sessions in Spanish for the first time. While abroad, I was able to observe and participate in therapy sessions. Exposure to communication disorders in Peru emphasized to me that there exists a need for speech therapy, across all cultures and languages," Zaino said.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Zaino plans to attend graduate school for communication sciences and disorders. She also will pursue further certification to receive a bilingual/multicultural certificate, which will provide her the education and experience needed to specialize in working with Spanish speaking clients. "I desire to work as an elementary school speech-language pathologist, working with children with communication difficulties and performing therapy in both English and Spanish."


Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and athletics and won such prestigious honors as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Foundation Award and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education. For further information about the Fulbright Program, visit the website


UK students who are U.S. citizens can apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Pat Whitlow at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.



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

The Healing Power of Art in the Healthcare Setting

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2015) — Walk into many hospitals and health care facilities today and you're likely to see  the bare and sterile hallways of the past are now filled with artwork, most often of nature scenes.  And whether you are an inpatient, outpatient or visitor, there's a good chance that you may hear or see live or recorded music and even have an opportunity to participate in other creative art therapies. 


These artistic features can be lovely to look at or provide some entertainment for those in the medical facilities. But these features and offerings aren't just about aesthetics. There continues to be a growing understanding of the science behind the connection between art and healing.


Just a couple of decades ago, most hospitals looked very different, with stark and sterile environments. Today, these plain surroundings have been transformed with a planned and evidence-based focus on creating a healing environment.


Currently, more than 50 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have arts programs, which include art therapy classes, music therapy and visual arts. In addition to art, health care environments also are incorporating evidence-based design that enhances the healing environment.


Research suggests that art can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce the need for pain medication
  • Increase patient trust and confidence
  • Be a positive distraction for patients, visitors and staff

Studies show a direct link between the content of images and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress and anxiety. In particular, research suggests patients are positively affected by nature themes and figurative art. Because of this, hospitals are choosing artwork based on the evidence and giving it a higher priority than just to decorate sterile rooms and hallways.


Furthermore, now in many health care settings, funds for art are being provided through philanthropy as well as being built into construction project budgets.


In addition to artwork, music and music therapy – including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music – has been shown to calm neural activity in the brain, which may decrease anxiety and restore emotional balance.  Music therapy differs from music at the bedside in that it is a doctor-ordered intervention to address a particular patient issue.


Additional outcomes relevant to arts-health research include clinical indicators such as the lowering of blood pressure rates, stabilizing heart rates, as well as in some studies lessening the intake of pain medication.


Art therapy is also available in many health care programs as a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve physical and mental health and emotional well-being. Artistic talent isn't necessary and can provide healing benefits such as helping to resolve and manage behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.


Overall, the fundamental role of all the arts in the healing environment is to deliver patient-centered care, whether it be through design, natural light, indoor and outdoor gardens, music, art or music therapy or visual art.


Jackie Hamilton is the director of the UK Arts in HealthCareThis article first appeared in the Sunday, July 5, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader