Campus News

Students, Fans Encouraged to Demonstrate #BannerBehavior This Weekend

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) — This weekend, the UK men's basketball team will continue on their journey for the university's ninth NCAA men's basketball championship. As the team heads for Indianapolis, much of the Big Blue Nation will descend upon Lexington, filling restaurants, homes and campus with the excitement a Final Four berth brings to a city.


As students and fans gather, the University of Kentucky is urging all Wildcats to demonstrate #BannerBehavior in all gatherings and celebrations. The hashtag is being used this weekend as part of UK's campus safety efforts.


"We know the Big Blue Nation will flock to Lexington this weekend to watch our men's basketball team compete in the Final Four," Jay Blanton, executive director of UK Public Relations and Marketing, said. "We wanted to create a hashtag to use during the Final Four to encourage all members of the BBN to exhibit behavior worthy of the banners hanging from the rafters at Rupp Arena and will also provide safety tips and information to students."


"This weekend, the national spotlight will be on our men's basketball team as they strive to earn a ninth national championship," UK President Eli Capilouto said. "This team is a great example of the community we foster here at UK. I urge the Big Blue Nation to demonstrate #BannerBehavior and let the spotlight shine on our team and not on our streets."


The Wildcats are on an unprecedented run, sitting at 38-0 heading into the final weekend of basketball.


"It is an incredible moment for our Wildcats, our university and our Commonwealth," UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said. "But, in an important sense, even more significant than this weekend is the road that led here. Already, we’ve witnessed one of the truly special seasons in college basketball. It’s a story of selflessness and sacrifice, working for team over self, and putting the collective good ahead of individual glory. We hope you, as members of the Big Blue Nation, relish the final steps of this very special journey."


"We know students and fans will gather," Capilouto said. "We know you will celebrate. But remember you are representing the University of Kentucky and let your actions this weekend be reflective of the pride you have for your team and your university."


Various university social media accounts will be sharing information using the #BannerBehavior hashtag leading up to and throughout the weekend. Lexington traffic information including, street closures, will be updated through the city's @LexWrecks Twitter account.


"The goal and sentiment of this hashtag is simple — be safe and respectful in your celebrations," Blanton said. "Watch out for one another. Keep each other safe. Be smart and careful. Have fun."



MEDIA CONTACTS: Jay Blanton,, 859-699-0041; Kathy Johnson,, 859-257-3155; Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909


UK Art Museum Closed Easter

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky will be closed for the Easter holiday, Sunday, April 5.


The Art Museum at UK, which is closed Mondays, will reopen for regular museum hours beginning noon Tuesday, April 7.


Currently, four exhibitions are on display at the Art Museum at UK, "Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh, Russell Maltz,"  "Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs," "Lexington Tattoo Project" and "Edward Troye: Theme & Variation." These exhibitions close April 12. More on these shows can be read here:


The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, 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. 



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

A Little "Badger Blood" Helps UK Patient Fight Cancer

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 13:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2015) ­– Scott Logdon of Salvisa, Ky., seldom needed to visit the doctor. But in September 2012, a troublesome sore throat prompted him to make a rare visit to his primary care physician. Expecting a diagnosis of strep, he got some far worse news.


"I just thought it was strep throat," Logdon said. "It turned out to be leukemia."


Logdon was immediately referred to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, where he was officially diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.


Because this type of cancer can worsen quickly, treatment began right away. Logdon underwent a rigorous round of chemotherapy at Markey, getting his infusion nonstop 24 hours a day for seven straight days.


The chemo put him into temporary remission. But further testing suggested that Logdon's cancer was likely to return at some point. While taking the “wait and see” approach was an option, it was risky.


“Statistically speaking, in high-risk patients like Scott, the cancer is probably going to come back,” said Dr. Greg Monohan, the Markey hematologist/oncologist who treated Logdon. “And if you wait and see if the cancer returns, the chemo may not take as well the second time around.”


Monohan’s team began discussing the option of a bone marrow transplant, a procedure that replaces damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Markey performs more than 80 bone marrow transplants each year.


Logdon agreed to try the transplant in October 2012, and the search for a viable donor began. The likelihood of transplant success is highly dependent on how closely the donor’s stem cells matches the recipient’s, and usually the best donors are siblings.


However, Logdon's brother and sister were tested, and neither were a match. His medical team then contacted the National Marrow Donor Program where he could potentially be matched with an anonymous donor from one of the international bone marrow registries.


In the meantime, Logdon underwent several rounds of ‘maintenance’ chemotherapy, aimed at keeping the cancer at bay until a match was found. Every 30 days, he endured five straight days of treatment, followed by a 10-day inpatient stay at Markey where he was monitored closely by Monohan’s team. Waiting took its toll on Logdon and his family, but an unexpected phone call of encouragement from UK Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari brightened the UK fan's spirits.


"Scott has had some dark days," said Angela Logdon, Scott's wife. "But he really appreciated Coach Cal taking the time to do that."


In January 2013, Logdon and his family got the call they’d been waiting for. An ideal donor had been found:  a 20-year-old male who matched 10 out of the 10 major categories of proteins that determine the likelihood of the immune system accepting the transplantation.




While walking toward the campus library one afternoon three years ago, University of Wisconsin freshman Christopher Wirz passed by tables for a national bone marrow registry donor drive. Wirz’s cousin was one of the UW students working the drive, and when he stopped to chat, she convinced him to register.


“I signed up on a whim,” Wirz said. “I just happened to be walking that way that day.”


Wirz was told that his chances of actually getting matched were slim – only about one in 100,000. But in just over a year, Wirz got the call to be a potential donor twice – the first time, he wasn’t a close enough match. But the second time, he was a perfect candidate. He agreed to do the procedure.


Wirz was flown to Washington D.C. on two separate occasions, once for major testing and evaluation, and once for the stem cell harvesting. Prior to extraction of his cells, he received a series of injections to help his stem cells move from the bone marrow to the blood. He was was tested again before the extraction began to ensure his blood counts were optimal.


“You’re kind of rooting for it, even though you don’t know the person,” Wirz said. “I was really cheering for good numbers.”


His stem cells were collected using a process called leukapheresis, which is similar to giving plasma. Wirz was hooked up to an IV for several hours to extract the stem cells from his blood, filling a large IV bag with the life-saving fluid, while another IV returned the blood to his body. After his donation was complete, Wirz felt a little tired, but spent the rest of his day touring DC before heading home. He thought about where that little piece of him could be going.


“I was wondering, ‘What happens to it now?’” Wirz said. “Where is it being delivered?”




Logdon received his bone marrow transplant on Jan. 31, 2013, following one last round of chemo. After nearly four weeks in the hospital, he was allowed to go home, though he continued to have weekly checkups for many months. Logdon's strength gradually returned, and he was able to return to his job at the Woodford County Detention Center, initially working part-time, in October.


“It took about a year to feel ‘normal’ again,” Logdon said.


Unrelated hematopoietic cell donations are anonymous – and any contact between the donor/recipient remains anonymous during the first year. After that mark, direct contact is allowed if both parties consent to release their personal information. Wirz received a handful of letters thanking him for his donation – from Scott, Angela, and their four children, including one carefully scrawled by their eight-year-old son.


Curious about the family, Wirz found them on Facebook, where Angela and Scott had documented every step of his illness.


“I saw his entire journey, from diagnosis and after,” Wirz said. “He was going through this life-threatening disease, but stayed so positive throughout it.”


That included some big moments:  statuses about their joy at finding a match, and the happy outcome of the procedure, where Logdon was deemed cancer-free.


“I thought, ‘That’s me!’” Wirz said. “He has a part of me growing in him, and that’s what’s helping him.”


The two communicated via Facebook for several weeks, but their first phone call came early in April 2014 -- just a few days, in fact, after the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team knocked off the University of Wisconsin in the semifinal game of the NCAA tournament.


Logdon, who describes his whole family as “die-hard UK fans,” couldn’t resist making a joke to the young Wisconsin student.


“I told him, ‘You know, I knew I felt kind of bad about beating Wisconsin in the tournament,’” Scott said. “’I guess it’s because I’ve got a little Badger blood in me now!’”




Later that summer, the Logdons invited Wirz and his family to come to Kentucky for the opportunity to celebrate and thank them in person. The first meeting between donor and recipient was emotionally overwhelming.


"There were a lot of tears," Logdon said. "I didn't want to let go of him when I hugged him."


Wirz, his sister, and his mother stayed for three days, touring the area and meeting dozens of thankful friends and family. One of the tour stops included Rupp Arena, where they convinced Wirz to try an Ale8 -- and, Logdon jokes, to show off UK's basketball tradition.


"We took him to Rupp Arena to show him where championships happen," Logdon said with a laugh.


Wirz, who described the whole experience as "amazing," said seeing how beloved Logdon was in his community made the whole experience finally seem real.


"Getting to see his community, and seeing how everything would be different without him," Wirz said. "That was really overwhelming."


"He's a very giving guy," Logdon said. "You don't see many 20-year-olds like him."


Wirz, now a senior and a triple-major at UW, said he wouldn't hesitate to help out another anonymous patient in need again.

"I would do it again in a heartbeat," Wirz said.




Signing up to become a donor in the marrow registry is easy – participants only need to fill out about five minutes of paperwork and complete a set of cheek swabs.


On Monday, April 13, the UK College of Pharmacy is hosting a Be the Match registry drive at the UK Markey Cancer Center. The drive will be set up at the Combs Research Building atrium at Markey from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.  If you can't make it to a local drive but would like to join the registry from home, visit Be the Match for more information.




MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 606-782-7735, or Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363 or

NCAA Final Four Impact on Parking, Bus Service

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 13:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015)  The weekend ahead is an exciting one for Big Blue Nation with the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team playing in the NCAA Final Four national semi-final game. Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) would like to alert the campus community to parking and bus service changes in place for this weekend, April 3-5, stemming from the anticipated crowds on and near campus.


During the upcoming weekend the Lexington Division of Police will be partially or completely restricting on-street parking in the following areas: Conn Terrace, Crescent Avenue, East Maxwell Street, Elizabeth Street, Jersey Street, Journal Avenue, Pine Street, Scott Street, South Limestone, State Street, Transcript Avenue, University Avenue and Westwood Drive.

Parking in these areas will be restricted beginning Friday, April 3 at 6 p.m. until noon Sunday, April 5. Any vehicles in violation of posted “No Parking” notices will be towed by Lexington Police at the owner’s expense. Police will begin posting these notices Thursday, April 2. 


PTS is giving off-campus residents impacted by these restrictions an option to relocate their vehicles in the Commonwealth Stadium Blue and Red Lots during the restricted time period. The Commonwelath Stadium Blue and Red lots will not be controlled for permits from 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, until 5 a.m. Monday, April 6. 


No CATS bus service will be impacted on Saturday. However, the Lextran trolley will be detoured and will not service the campus area. Routes 3 (Tates Creek), 5 (Nicholasville Road), and 12 (Leestown Road) will all have detours in effect due to street closures. Details regarding these detours can be found at




MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, (859) 323-2395;

K Crew Coordinators on the Move

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 18:12

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) — It is the responsibility of the University of Kentucky K Crew coordinators to plan, coordinate and execute a nine-day series of hundreds of events that will educate, entertain and welcome thousands of new UK Wildcats. This fall welcoming event is called K Week, and it’s the biggest student-led event of the year


Including lectures teaching new students how to succeed in a large classroom, a huge pep rally filling Commonwealth Stadium, and a day devoted to the largest community service outreach in the state, K Week events would not be possible if it were not for the role of the K Crew coordinators.


Although K Week is the most significant jewel in the crown of K Crew activities, the team of two K Crew coordinators also creates programming for the full academic year. Much of this planning must take place over the coming summer break.


Taking the responsibility this year of representing various cultures, ethnicities, religions, countries and hometowns to thousands of new and transferring students are Kaci Smith, a junior in secondary education from Bell County in southeastern Kentucky, and Martin Jones, an economics and pre-law junior from Corbin, Kentucky.


Smith and Jones have already been hard at work on the 2015-16 academic year; their commitment to the program is a full, very busy 18 months. In addition to event planning, the pair is responsible for recruiting, training and supervising the K Crew and the Super Crew. The K Crew are returning students who guide new students through the K Week experience and serve as mentors for their first year on campus. The Super Crew is responsible for training K Crew members and supervising them throughout the yearlong K Team experience.


“I’ve gone from impacting 10 people in my first K Crew experience to the entire freshman class. It's daunting if you think too much about it,” said Smith. “But, really, these activities are just a reflection of my career interests, teaching high school.”


In high school, Smith was “super involved in encouraging others to get involved. I think that leadership experience helped me more than anything else when I started in K Crew.”


She has learned some invaluable tools from her experience: time management, balancing chores, networking and communication skills.


“K Crew helped me come out of my shell and helped me to solidify what I want to do with my life,” said Smith.


Jones had a better experience during K Week than Smith had in her freshman year. He said K Week and the K Crew helped him define himself as a college student and what he wanted to accomplish during his years at UK.


“At first I got involved in a bunch of different groups and activities, but I didn’t feel truly connected until I found K Crew,” said Jones. “I discovered a passion for working with new students that I had no idea was inside me. It was a defining moment for me. I knew this was going to become important for me.”


And the K Crew experience did not disappoint. He, too, is learning all sorts of skills that will enhance his future — office management, public speaking, logistics and “how to cope and succeed when plans go awry.


“Those are all things K Crew taught me, as well as how to be outgoing and personable. Every single one of those skills — plus learning how to learn from others — will help me be a better attorney for my clients,” Jones said.


But before the many skills these college juniors have learned help them as adults, they will first benefit all those new Wildcats who have absolutely no idea what UK is all about.


“Don’t worry,” said Jones. “We’ll teach them,” added Smith.

The Christ Hospital Health Network Joins Markey Affiliate Network

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 15:21

Lexington, Ky. (April 2, 2015) - The Christ Hospital Health Network (TCHHN) in Cincinnati, Oh., announced today an affiliation with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. The affiliation will provide patients with more cancer treatment options and advanced education and research.


“We look forward to expanding healthcare choices for patients with cancer with this affiliation,” said Mike Keating, president and CEO of The Christ Hospital Health Network. “Our cancer experts will work closely with their colleagues at the UK Markey Cancer Center to advance high-quality care, with a focus on exceptional outcomes, affordable care and the finest patient and family experiences.”


“Our world-renowned physicians from the best educational institutions in the country, are critical, driving factors in our recognition, including high performing in our region by U.S. News & World Report," said Dr. Brian Mannion, medical director of oncology services at The Christ Hospital Health Network. "UK has a long-standing history as Kentucky’s top academic medical center. This affiliation will allow us to do even more for our cancer patients, particularly as we expand access to needed cancer services in Northern Kentucky.” 


For the last 30 years, The Christ Hospital Health Network has been recognized as a national leader in cancer clinical trials with research and innovation that has led to breakthrough medical advances and improved outcomes. The Christ Hospital Health Network averages 30 active studies, from phase I through phase IV, and is affiliated with leading national research institutions, individuals, groups and corporations.


Through The Christ Hospital Health Network’s commitment to transforming care and expanding patient access and convenience in Northern Kentucky and across the region, patients   will now have access to significant clinical cancer trials in Northern Kentucky through the UK Markey Cancer Center’s designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center, one of only 68 cancer centers in the country and the only one in Kentucky.


“We are providing choice to our patients and their families with cancer without the stress and inconvenience of having to travel to other parts of the country,” Keating said. “Providing access to quality healthcare services where people live and work is at the heart of The Christ Hospital Health Network’s mission and is one of the key reasons we have been recognized by local consumers as the Most Preferred provider in the region for 19 consecutive years.”


"The burden of cancer in this area is huge, and reducing its impact requires collaboration and teamwork from many excellent community hospitals in the region," said Dr. Tim Mullett, director of the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. "Bringing The Christ Hospital Health Network into the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network is another major step toward improving cancer care in Kentucky and beyond."


The affiliation provides many benefits to patients and physicians, including:


·      More patient choice and convenient access

·      New and innovative cancer treatments

·      Cutting-edge clinical trials consultations with specialists and subspecialists

·      Multidisciplinary cancer conferences, where physicians share knowledge, experience and explore new approaches to treatment

·      Program support in medical oncology/hematology, pathology, molecular diagnostics, pharmacy, nursing and dietetics

·      Access to the latest education and training for physicians, nurses and other caregivers

·      Support for community outreach and education activities.


The Christ Hospital Health Network is the first affiliate hospital from outside the state of Kentucky. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and now comprises 13 hospitals:


  • The Christ Hospital Health Network, Cincinnati
  • Frankfort Regional Medical Center
  • Georgetown Community Hospital
  • Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown
  • Harlan ARH Hospital
  • Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana
  • Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
  • Methodist Hospital, Henderson
  • Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville (Norton Healthcare-UK HealthCare partnership)
  • Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Ashland
  • Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mt. Vernon
  • St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead
  • Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center, South Williamson

Student Government Executive Branch Applications Available

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 10:25

LEXINGTON, Ky.  (April 2, 2015)University of Kentucky Student Government (SGA) is now accepting applications for positions in the executive branch. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday, April 3.


To apply, review the 2015-2016 SGA Executive Team Position Descriptions, then complete the application. Executive cabinet positions range from director of finance to director of inclusion and outreach.


For more information please visit the Student Government office in Room 120 of the Student Center or email




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

Study Translates Genetic Risk Factor into Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Strategy

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 10:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) - What if a failed leukemia drug could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease? A team at the University of Kentucky recently led an effort to investigate this hypothesis. Their results were published today in the journal, Human Molecular Genetics.


The UK researchers, led by Steve Estus at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, study a genetic variant in a gene called CD33 that reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The Estus group recently published findings suggesting that this variant promotes production of a truncated form of the CD33 protein that lacks a putative functional domain. The CD33 protein is present on microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain. CD33 is thought to dull the microglial response and thereby inhibit clearance of toxic debris that builds up in the Alzheimer’s brain.


Based on their genetic data, Manasi Malik of the Estus lab, hypothesized that a CD33 inhibitor might activate sluggish microglia to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease even beyond the protection provided by the CD33 genetic variant. The group may have found such an inhibitor in Lintuzumab, a CD33 antibody that was tested in clinical trials for acute myeloid leukemia.


Although the drug was ineffective at killing leukemic cells and is currently not on the market, the researchers found that Lintuzumab effectively eliminates CD33 from the surface of immune cells. Next, they plan to see if immune cells treated with Lintuzumab are more effective at clearing the amyloid beta aggregates and dead cells that may lead to symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Although more work is needed before human studies, the group’s findings overall suggest that a drug that has already been tested safely in humans may prove to be useful against Alzheimer’s disease.


The study, which was funded in large part by the National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health, included investigators from the UK Departments of Physiology, Internal Medicine, Toxicology and Biostatistics as well as researchers from Pfizer, Inc., the University of Washington, and Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville.


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


Kentucky Homeplace Meets Clients for Health Services, Education and Research in Appalachia

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 21:15




LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — Shirley Prater distinctly remembers one of the many clients she's served in her six years as a Community Health Worker (CHW) for Kentucky Homeplace. The client was diabetic, but had run out of medication due to financial challenges. 


"Her husband had become disabled, she had no insurance, no income," said Prater.  "But we got her medicine for her. She'll say to me to this day, 'You kept me alive. You're the reason I'm here.' She actually gave herself an injection while she was sitting in my office. It's a humbling experience whenever you know that you've helped someone who thought there was no hope."


Prater is one of more than 20 CHWs employed by Homeplace, which was established in 1994 at the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) to help medically underserved residents access the medical, social and environmental services and resources they need. As lay health workers selected from the communities in which they live and work, CHWs occupy a unique role in the health system, building personal relationships with clients in order to navigate them to health providers and resources in the community. They emphasize preventive care, health education and disease self-management.


And perhaps most uniquely, a CHW will go directly to the client.


"We go up these hollers where other people don’t go. We meet them at their house, we meet them at the doctor's office. A lot of people don't have transportation and have to pay someone to take them," Prater said.


As the case of transportation illustrates, and as any CHW can attest, sometimes a client has a pressing need—financial, personal, or otherwise—that must be addressed before they can think about their own health care.


"You can't get mommy to have a pap [test] if baby doesn't have shoes," said Fran Feltner, DNP, director of the CERH.


The ability to help clients identify and address their most pressing needs—and advocate on their behalf — epitomizes the critical role of CHWs in communities that experience greater burdens of illness and difficulty accessing health care.  Kentucky Homeplace CHWs work with clients to overcome any barriers to health, which means the scope of their work regularly extends beyond health-related services. CHWs often find themselves assisting a client who needs home heating assistance, getting lumber donated for a wheelchair ramp, helping someone understanding their social security mail, or making connections with food benefits. This level of care coordination requires extensive administrative duties as well.


"There's nobody else that fills in the gaps," said Prater. "But there's a lot of leg work involved, a lot of T's that need crossed and I's that need dotted and we fill it out for them."


CHWs can also help fill gaps in patients' understanding of their own health and provide critical health coaching those clients otherwise wouldn't receive. Prater recalled that the diabetic patient she assisted with Medicaid and medication didn't know that skipping meals could affect her blood sugar.


"We educate clients on their illness and prevention, and whatever their doctor recommends. I've had people that have come to me who have never ever had an eye exam, even though they're diabetic. So you have to assess the needs, and whichever direction you need to go in, that's where you head," she said.


Since 1994, the CHWs of Homeplace have connected tens of thousands of rural Kentuckians with medical, social and environmental services that they otherwise might have gone without; health coaching, medication assistance, and care coordination constitute the majority of services. In fiscal year 2014 alone, 7,870 clients received 344,282 services, providing more than $24 million of services and medication. With around $1.3 million in funding, Homeplace services render more than $17 return on investment for every dollar spent on the program.


Several CHWs, including Prater, have also been trained as Kynectors, helping their clients learn about health coverage options available through kynect and the Affordable Care Act. If a client is newly insured, a CHW can help them understand the complicated world of health insurance.


"I had one client who was approved for Medicaid and didn't even know it.  We called to make sure [she was approved], and then we called the drug store," she said. "They filled three of her prescriptions before she even got over there. She had no clue she had been approved. And she said she'd been skipping medicine."


Over the last five years, CHWs have also become much more involved in making connections between their clients and researchers from the University of Kentucky who are working to find ways to improve health. The CHWs have supported community-based research ranging from lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and studies for improving diabetes outcomes.


"They've expanded their roles so much," said William Mace Baker, director of Homeplace.


The CHWs have become skilled in locating and enrolling often hard to reach research participants, collecting background and measurement data using computer database programs, and providing overall research support. As trusted members of their communities who understand the values and special needs of their clients, CHWs offer research support that helps assure more representative client samples for health studies, increased adherence to study protocols, and less likelihood of withdrawal from studies.


Dr. Susanne Arnold, associate professor in Medical Oncology and Radiation Medicine at the Markey Cancer Center, worked with the CHWs to conduct research investigating lung cancer and exposure to trace element.


"What the Homeplace people do is actually go into the homes of volunteers who have cancer and also normal volunteers and do a long questionnaire where they discuss health related issues, health practices, environmental exposures, job history and the like, as well as collecting water and soil samples from the home and, interestingly hair, blood, urine and toenails," she said.


While conducting research can be very complicated, Arnold said that "the easiest part has been working with Kentucky Homeplace, because they are a community partner that knows the area, they know their community, they live here and they know what works and what doesn’t work."


Feltner agrees that the CHWs are essential for effectively engaging potential research participants in the region, noting that they can reach out to them while providing a service at the same time.


"I think if you had the University of Kentucky come up and hang a sign in Appalachia, Kentucky to say, 'Hey, I'm here to research lung cancer,' you would not get the response that you would get from having people from the community reach those people," she said.


The Homeplace CHW training curriculum developed at the CERH has since been used in several other states and community access programs awarded by the Health Resources Services Administration. Cancer navigators and a stroke navigator here in Kentucky were also trained with the Homeplace curriculum.


"Our main goal is getting people what they need to live with health," said Feltner.



Media Contact: Mallory Powell,

UK Takes Next Step in Cloud Computing With Strategic Blue Collaboration

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) — The University of Kentucky has finalized a first-of-its-kind agreement between a U.S. academic institution and a financial cloud broker, Strategic Blue. This is a major step toward moving a significant number of computing workloads from an aging datacenter to computing resources within multiple vendors’ public and private cloud offerings. 


Strategic Blue was founded by former commodity trading experts at Morgan Stanley who apply their pricing expertise to cloud computing.


“Known as thought leaders and pioneers in the cloud brokerage market, Strategic Blue is uniquely positioned to ensure that the university’s enterprise workloads deployed across multiple cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) vendors will deliver optimal value on a risk-adjusted basis,” said Dan O’Brien, vendor and contract management lead at UK Analytics and Technologies (UKAT).


The collaboration between UK and Strategic Blue begins by evaluating vendor RFP (request for proposal) responses, followed by negotiating contracts with multiple selected vendors who offer the best pricing for the appropriate quality of IaaS and PaaS based on the evolving needs of the university. 


Strategic Blue will act as a financial intermediary, bridging gaps between how each vendor prefers to be paid, and what suits UK’s accounts payable procedures. Using its unique insight into the cloud market, combined with its commodity trading expertise, Strategic Blue will recommend pre-planned movement of workloads between cloud providers on a periodic basis to take advantage of volatility in the future price of cloud.


“This unique relationship allows UK to procure cloud services at the lowest possible rate through Strategic Blue, who purchases cloud on our behalf on terms structured to get the best deal from each cloud provider,” said Jason Conley, enterprise architect at UKAT.


Moving forward, cloud resources will allow the university to reallocate capital funds, while acquiring the economies of scale held in the world-class datacenters of selected vendors.


“With Strategic Blue, the University of Kentucky will be enabled to procure only what we need, when we need it, at the best possible price," O'Brien said.


“The University of Kentucky is leading the way among U.S. academic institutions in terms of how they embrace the opportunities presented by cloud computing," said James Mitchell, CEO of Strategic Blue "They have a mature understanding of how to exchange the established risks of running workloads internally in smaller, aging datacenters, for the different, but equally manageable, risks of running workloads across multiple cloud providers.”


About Strategic Blue

Strategic Blue is a financial cloud broker founded in 2009 to bring expertise from the traded commodity markets to cloud computing. Strategic Blue offers “pricing insights” to help cloud buyers, vendors and resellers understand cloud pricing trends, and “cloud options” to enable cloud buyers to purchase third-party cloud services on financial terms tailored to their needs. Find out more at




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

Elisia Cohen Delivered Annual Lecture at USC

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:45


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — University of Kentucky Department of Communication Chair Elisia Cohen gave this year’s annual Walter Fisher Lecture at the University of South California on Feb, 26.


Cohen’s lecture covered her research on developing communication strategies, both social media and clinic-based, to best increase demand for immunization in Appalachian communities.  Cohen is the primary researcher on this project and has partnered with the University of Kentucky Rural Cancer Prevention Center to create and test the strategies.


USC communication Professor Peter Monge organized the 2015 Fisher Lecture, now in its 11th year at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.  When Monge asked Cohen to return to her alma mater, where she earned a communication doctorate in 2003, she was delighted.


The lecture is named for Walter Fisher, Cohen’s former faculty mentor and instructor.


“That Walt was able to join me to hear my talk this month made it a particular honor to be asked to return to campus to give the lecture,” Cohen said.


Cohen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Louisville in 1997 and a Master of Arts degree in speech communication from Wake Forest University in 1999.


She then worked at Saint Louis University for four years until she joined the University of Kentucky faculty in 2007.  In addition to her position as Department of Communication chair, Cohen also teaches graduate level courses in health communication.




MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, (859) 323-2395;


Southeast Enzyme Conference Offering Free Registration to Undergraduates

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — The Southeast Enzyme Conference, also referred to as the SEC, provides a unique opportunity for scientific exchange among faculty, students and researchers working at the forefront of enzymology. This year, the conference is being led by Anne-Frances Miller, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry and director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility.


A one-day event, the SEC will be held Saturday, April 11, at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will feature eight talks by junior faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate and undergraduate students selected by Miller from submitted abstracts.


The conference will include two intervals for viewing posters to provide a greater opportunity for discussion and collaborative interactions, and a keynote presentation by J. Martin Bollinger of Penn State University will conclude the event.


"It is a uniquely high-quality meeting that is nonetheless small enough to allow individuals to speak at length with the people who actually did the work," said Miller, the 2015 SEC program chair. "We learn about the details that enable the experiments, and the insights being hatched, in real-time. The science comes alive."


Miller notes that in addition to the opportunity to learn from experts in enzymology, the conference is a great chance for undergraduates to speak with graduate students about graduate school, in order to make informed decisions. Moreover, this year the meeting organizers will waive the registration fee for the first 25 UK undergraduates to register, thanks to generous support from sponsors.


If interested, UK undergraduates can visit to register.


To learn more about the Southeast Enzyme Conference, visit




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

UK Remembers Those Lost With Ceremony

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's annual UK Remembers ceremony will be held from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the Botanical Garden located next to the UK Student Center.


The remembrance ceremony gives individuals and groups an opportunity to honor members of the university community who have passed away, including alumni, faculty, staff and students. The annual event includes speakers who represent each of these groups.


Students, employees and alumni are invited to offer remembrances, such as written notes that can be placed on the UK Remembers banner. The public ceremony is nondenominational and open to everyone.


The ceremony will also include honoring of the armed forces by a combined Army and Air Force ROTC Color Guard. Music will be provided by the UK Bluegrass Ensemble.


The rain location for UK Remembers will be Room 230 in the Student Center.


For more information, contact Jeff Spradling at or 859-257-5230.




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

Education Abroad Grant Supports UK Faculty-directed Programs

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015)  Education Abroad at the University of Kentucky awarded Program Development Grants to four UK faculty members to support their international travels for the purpose of establishing faculty-directed education abroad programs.


“This grant provides program directors with the opportunity to gain on site familiarity with their program details,” said Miko McFarland, assistant director of Education Abroad.


Program Development Grants are reviewed by the Education Abroad Committee (EAC) of the International Advisory Council, who makes the recommendation to the associate provost of international programs for final approval.


“The committee looks to see how the intended program will promote global competency and further internationalization initiatives at UK,” McFarland said. “The committee also considers the overall viability, academic interest and sustainability of the intended faculty-directed program.”


The EAC also seeks proposals that will bring diversity to UK’s current education abroad program portfolio.


“We (The EAC) look to see if the faculty-directed program includes a nontraditional destination, such as locations beyond Western Europe, and/or meaningful community engagement opportunities," McFarland. "Inclusion of traditionally underrepresented populations in education abroad (minority students, first generation, nontraditional students, STEM disciplines, etc.) is also taken into consideration.”


The Education Abroad Program Development Grant recipients are:


Joseph Dvorak, assistant professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, will be traveling to Germany to build a program in which students can take a required course for the biosystems and agricultural engineering major.


Brent Rowell, professor in the Department of Horticulture, will develop a program that focuses on sustainable systems in horticultural and agronomic crop production along with examining potential improvements in production and marketing in Cuba.


Eric Grulke, professor of chemical engineering, is developing a course in which students will learn about the development of renewable energy from biomass in Brazil.


Jayoung Koo, assistant professor of landscape architecture, will travel to South Korea to develop a course that will study the dynamic evolution of the South Korean landscape over time.


Eun Young Kim, lecturer of the School of Interiors, is building a six-week program that will consist of a five-week studio and lecture series in South Korea followed by a one-week seminar in Tokyo, Japan. Students on the program will learn about architectural history from a non-Western perspective, and gain an understanding of the relationships between socio-cultural conditions, geographical locations and built environment design in Asia.


As a South Korea immigrant, Kim wants to develop a program to share South Korean culture and history with students at UK.


“What I found at UK is that many students are only familiar with Western cultures,” Kim said. “I did a cultural project for my studio, and students who participated were kind of shocked that Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and China, have different design principles and philosophies.”


Kim said that in the design industry, potential employers often prefer designers who have global perspective. She said this program would help students be more creative and competitive in the job market.


Kim said the grant boosted her in developing her program.


“Having this grant is very helpful,” Kim said. “It really motivated me and made me committed to do the program better.”



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395;

Big Blue Nation to 'Light It Up Blue' for Autism Awareness

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 17:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — You’ll see blue on the University of Kentucky campus Thursday night as iconic Memorial Hall, the College of Education Taylor Education Building, and Central Halls I an II, Haggin Hall and Woodland Glen 1 residence halls will be lit with blue lights in honor of autism awareness.


The University of Kentucky Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), part of the College of Education, will host a “Light it up Blue” event for autism awareness at UK’s Taylor Education Building from 7-8 p.m. A brief ceremony will begin at dusk, with a reception to follow.


An international campaign, Light it up Blue was launched by the leading autism science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks. Several iconic landmarks around the globe — including the Great Pyramid in Egypt, Empire State Building in New York City and Opera House in Sydney, Australia — as well as universities, museums, concert halls, restaurants, hospitals, and retail stores around the world will light up in bright blue on the evening of April 2 to honor the first night of Autism Awareness Month. 


Two years ago, UK students decided to light up Memorial Hall since it is an iconic landmark for the university. It was the first reported building in the state of Kentucky to participate in “Light it up Blue.” Last year, students decided to light up Taylor Education Building, as it is the building where they are learning to be great teachers. They will light Taylor Education Building in blue again this year.


How you can get involved:


·         You can purchase puzzle piece pins, blue awareness bracelets, T-shirts, and stickers for your car, which will be sold at the event on April 2.

·         If you can’t make it on April 2, you can purchase a special blue light bulb in honor of World Autism Awareness Day from Home Depot and light up your home or office. Half of the proceeds will go to Autism Speaks.

·         If you are a parent or family member of a person with autism, you can join a local chapter of the Autism Society of the Bluegrass.

·         If you are a UK student interested in making sure that individuals with disabilities flourish in their communities, you can get involved with SCEC.

·         You can donate directly to SCEC, Autism Speaks, Autism Society of America, or other organizations that promote awareness for individuals on the spectrum.

·         You can ask about University of Kentucky College of Education's Autism Graduate Certificate.


About University of Kentucky SCEC


SCEC at UK is a professional development and service organization for students at any level or pursuing any degree program. The purposes of the organization include: being advocates for children with disabilities, advancing the professional development of its members, and providing charitable and other services to persons with disabilities. SCEC is a student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, an international organization.


About Autism Spectrum Disorders


A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders as 1 in 68 for children ages 6-17, which is significantly higher than was previously estimated.


According to the Autism Society of America, “Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a 'spectrum disorder' that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.” The reason the color blue is used to light up buildings around the world is that boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.


For more information about the Light it up Blue event, contact Amy Spriggs at 859-257-9105 or Sara Flanagan at 859-257-4713.




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

UK Law Students Serve Eastern Kentucky With Pro Bono Services

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Lounging on beautiful beaches, cruising the Caribbean and even international volunteer trips have become today's popular Spring Break pastimes for college students. A less common excursion is spending the week providing legal aid in Eastern Kentucky. But this year, two University of Kentucky College of Law students opted for the latter, providing a much needed service many may not think of when "alternative spring breaks" come to mind.


Using what they have learned from UK law courses and the desire to make a difference in their career, first-year law students John Shearer, of Raceland, Kentucky, and Nealy Williams, of Lexington, traveled to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Prestonsburg, Kentucky — the same city Robert F. Kennedy visited in 1968 for his "war on poverty" tour — and spent the week of Spring Break providing pro bono legal services to citizens there.


Pro bono work, an important staple of the legal profession, provides those who would otherwise not be able to afford any sort of legal advice or representation with proper advice and representation.


According to the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky, the "justice gap" in Kentucky is so severe that only 20 percent of low income Kentuckians' legal needs are addressed.


Hailing from Raceland, also in Eastern Kentucky, Shearer personally understood the impact of his work in the area.


"It is especially important in areas like Eastern Kentucky where a large portion of the population is living below the poverty line. These individuals do not always have the funds to promote and sustain their constitutionally granted rights, and attorneys and other various organizations provide a means of doing so via their pro bono work," Shearer said.


On their trip, Shearer and Williams volunteered under the direction of Eastern Kentucky lawyer Ned Pillersdorf, a partner of the law firm Pillersdorf, DeRossett & Lane, who often assists low income individuals. The pair drafted a response to a motion, attended court hearings, visited a client in jail, sat in on some of the firm’s initial consultations with prospective clients, and conducted confidential due diligence.


"Nealy and John were excellent ambassadors for the law school," Pillersdorf said. "They were exposed to a wide array of legal and cultural experiences during their visit to the mountains…I sincerely hope talented law students like Nealy and John will consider bringing their talents here one day."


Shearer and Williams also worked with AppalReD, an organization that provides free legal representation and advice to impoverished individuals and families in eastern and south central Kentucky. In one particular case, the students had the opportunity to assist various individuals seeking a remedy for property damage and participated directly with the community at a town hall meeting to discuss the damage.  


“The College of Law has been working hard to provide our students with more pro bono opportunities," said Daniel P. Murphy, assistant dean of administration and community engagement at the college and organizer of the students' trip. "We are proud of students like Mr. Shearer and Ms. Williams who sacrifice their time to help citizens in need.”


The trip not only benefited residents of Eastern Kentucky with crucial legal services, but it also provided both UK students with hands-on professional experience and the opportunity to meet many prominent members of the legal community in the area, including Pillersdorf's wife, current Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo.


Even as first-year law students, they were able to apply many classroom concepts to real clients and cases. Shearer said legal research and legal writing skills were probably used the most, but they were constantly cross-examined by Pillersdorf and quizzed on various aspects of what they have learned in the classroom so far.


"The trip was a great way to see the content I learned in my core 1L (first year of law school) courses in practice," Williams said. "It also helped to supplement the lessons I've learned by giving me an actual person to help, and it was a great way for me to focus in on what areas of my previous studies I actually enjoy doing in the real world."


At the core of the experience though was the mission of service. Williams and Shearer even volunteered some of their time at the Floyd County Animal Shelter.


"Being a lawyer means being committed to your community. Being a UK College of Law student means having the opportunity to fulfill that commitment by providing pro bono services to citizens of the Commonwealth," said UK College of Law Dean David A. Brennen.


For more information about the pro bono services and community service activities of UK College of Law students, visit




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

UK Student Entrepreneurs Place in the Money at Idea State U Regionals

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — All four University of Kentucky teams placed in the money at the Idea State U state business competition regionals last weekend. The undergraduate and graduate students won a total $3,000 for presenting their business concepts and business plans to a panel of judges.


UK Venture Challenge winners won second and third place in the business concept track. Second place and $750 went to Mark Manczyk, “re.3.” Manczyk is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Architecture program. The “FInanceU” team of Michael Lewis, finance and accounting major, and TJ Barnett, finance and management major, won $500 for third.


UK MBA students won first and second place in the business plan track. The “Red Natural” team of Joanna Foresman, Andrew Wachs, Jeremy Madigan and Wen Zhao collected $1,000 for first place. Second place and $750 went to “AIRboost LLC” MBA’s William Walker, Bryan O’Neill and Kyle Hogue. The MBA students developed businesses from UK faculty technology in the MBA 624 course focused on technology commercialization.


The teams move on to the Idea State U finals, April 24-25 at the Lexington Center, with the best ideas winning a share of up to $100,000 to get their companies up and running.


“Idea State U demonstrates the tremendous amount of entrepreneurial talent we have among Kentucky’s young people,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We have some of the brightest young minds in the country, and we need to encourage them to build on their dreams right here in the Commonwealth.” Idea State U is a program of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.


Advisors to the students included iNET Director Deb Weis, Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Dean Harvey and commercialization specialist Mariam Gorjian, and Warren Nash, Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network. iNET is hosted by the College of Communication and Information; the Von Allmen Center and Kentucky Innovation Network Lexington office are part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics.



Global Literacy Brings the World Closer

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MCLLC) in the College of Arts and Sciences is changing how we think of language studies. Since the college’s recent merger of separate language units into a single entity, the 44-member department has set its sights on becoming a more cohesive intellectual community with a unified teaching and research mission. A brand new core curriculum, for all students regardless of their specific language focus, is the cornerstone of the project. 


A major component of this new curriculum is MCL 200 – Global Literacy ‒ an innovative team-taught course exposing students to texts from a variety of different cultural traditions and historical periods.


“The course is a new kind of introduction to literary and cultural studies. It teaches, of course, the essential skills of close reading and constructing critical arguments, but it also asks students to reflect on what is meant by this new term ‘world literature,’” explained Leon Sachs, MCLLC professor of French studies who served as the primary instructor for Global Literacy in the fall.


Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, chair of the department, added that “The MCLLC core also includes MCL 100 (The World of Language), designed to introduce students to the structures of world languages and help with the challenges of learning a second language, and MCL 495, a senior capstone centered on a theme that relates to all the languages and cultures we study.”


The most innovative part of MCL 200 lies in its unique structure: class meetings for the second half of the semester were led each week by a faculty member from a different MCLLC division.


“We introduce students to textual analysis through units representing all of our areas of study: Arabic and Islamic Studies, Chinese Studies, Classics, French, German, Italian, Japan and Russian Studies. Each instructor introduces students to a major work from his or her field of expertise, but that also interrogates the concept of world literature,” Sachs said. “It’s the geographic, linguistic, cultural and historical range in our department that lets us innovate in ways other departments cannot.”


Sachs says one of the purposes of the course is to have students understand that the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures does more than teach language. “It’s important to remember those last two words, Literatures and Cultures, because they often get dropped. We are not only a language department,” he said. “In this class in particular we examine how texts can be representative of their cultures of origin in unpredictable, and sometimes even unsettling, ways.”


The global nature of the course – as well as its wide disciplinary approach – means that students take part in investigating how one’s understanding of texts changes as they travel across cultures, historical periods and language communities. For instance, Sachs led lessons on “A Tempest,” an adaptation written by Martinican playwright Aimé Césaire that reflects the changing landscape of race and post-colonial relations in the 1960s.


“Césaire reworks Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ in the context of the American civil rights movement and African liberation movements,” he explained. “It’s a fabulous way to talk about how Shakespeare’s play has traveled, how it belongs to world literature, how it gets taken up, questioned and transformed in other cultures at other historical moments.”


For Sachs, his experience teaching Global Literacy has been educational in new and unexpected ways. “I learned a great deal about teaching by observing my colleagues at their trade. It was like going to college all over again,” he explained. “I listened to my colleagues lead discussions on, for example, Brecht’s use of Japanese Noh theatre. I knew nothing about that topic or those connections. It was very exciting for me.”


For students enrolled in the course, Global Literacy also offers exposure to the breadth of what MCLLC has to offer: before the departments merged, students in separate units – and the departmental units themselves – had little contact with each other. “Now we’re bringing together students with different language interests, with different expertise and different background knowledge. They become aware of what they have in common as language and literature students,” Sachs said.


Alex Russett, a freshman majoring in foreign language and international economics, enrolled in the course because of interests and aspirations related to global media and business. “I thought it would be a class to explore the cultures of the world through literature,” Russett explained. “It was the only class that I had no idea what to expect walking into the first day. From day one it was a roller coaster of new experiences.”


Similarly, Daria Smith, a freshman studying linguistics and French Studies, was drawn to the unique format of Global Literacy. “The idea that multiple professors would be instructing parts of the class seemed intriguing. My favorite part of the class was coming in every week with a new instructor, not knowing what road the discussion would take,” she said.


Both students feel they benefited from the course’s broad, critical approach to literary and cultural studies. “There are often long tangents of thought-provoking conversation that really expands one’s ability to read and interpret a text and see things from different perspectives,” Russett said. “I’ve become a better writer, and a better reader as well.”


“I was able to get an intimate look at works from other countries and speak with experts of that culture about them. I have learned to analyze better and to pull out interpretations that might not have been thought of before,” Smith added.


Russett and Smith each attest a large part of the course’s success to its discussion-based structure – something that doesn’t surprise Sachs. “Students don’t often get to see their teachers talking and disagreeing with one another about the texts they are reading in class. They saw me ask questions of my colleagues because I was completely unfamiliar with the text or culture under discussion. I think it’s good for undergraduates to see such exchanges,” he said.


Sachs says he has seen a lot of interest in Global Literacy from departments at other universities, but the best advertisement for the course is the experience of the students themselves.


“The class is so much fun and beneficial that I wish I could take it all four years,” Smith said. “It’s mentally stimulating like no other class I’ve taken, and I’ve seen myself grow as a person. I can promise the class will exceed your expectations,” Russett added.


UK HealthCare Celebrates Donate Life Month and New License Plate Promoting Organ Donation

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:46

LEXINGTON, KY. (March 31, 2015) — UK HealthCare will kick off National Donate Life Month April 1 with a special flag-raising ceremony in front of the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital.


Staff and public are invited to the ceremony at the hospital’s flag pole at 10:30 a.m., where a Donate Life flag will be raised, followed by a brief reception in the Pavilion H lobby. The flag will fly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to demonstrate UK HealthCare’s commitment to saving lives through donation and transplantation.


Additionally, Donate Life will have a registry table in the lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sign up new donors.


National Donate Life Month is an annual month-long celebration that showcases those touched by donation and transplantation. This year, a new Donation Awareness license plate will be launched April 1.  The plate will be on display at the reception.


Approximately half of the U.S. adult population is registered as donors, including 1.5 million Kentuckians. Still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of donor organs. On average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time.


Registering to become a donor is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives through donation and serves as a sign of hope to those who continue to wait. Everyone can register as a donor today at or by saying “YES” when you renew your driver’s license.


Additionally, you can show your support for this mission is by purchasing a Donate Life license plate to spread the message about donation. The Donate Life plate encourages individuals to put the gift of donation into perspective, stating ‘Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Saves Lives’.  This statement illustrates the power of what a simple “YES” at the driver’s license office has the ability to do.


To purchase your special Donate Life plate, visit your County Clerk’s office on or after April 1, 2015.  Special thanks to everyone who made this plate possible including:  UK HealthCare, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, and Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ Trust for Life.



Engineering Future Health Solutions is Focus of Ashland Lectures

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — As part of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering's commitment to bring the best intellectual minds and research creativity to campus, the 2015 Ashland Inc. Distinguished Lecture Series will feature two experts, David Edwards and Kinam Park, who are developing novel techniques for sensory and drug delivery.


The lecture series will be held from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, April 27, in the William T. Young Library's UK Athletic Association Auditorium. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 8:30 a.m. in the Young Library Alumni Gallery with introductions to follow at 9 a.m.


Famous for inventing new ways of eating, communicating and transporting water, Harvard Professor David Edwards founded Le Laboratoire, a Paris-based research and innovation facility merging science and the arts. His work also includes new approaches to treating infectious diseases.


Edwards is the Gordan McKay Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, a core member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and a faculty associate of the Center for Nanoscale Systems.


He has launched multiple drug delivery companies and nonprofits, is the author of two seminal textbooks in applied mathematics, as well as several works of nonfiction and fiction, and is a member of the American and French National Academies of Engineering and the U.S. National Academy of Inventors. Edwards has won many international awards and honors, including his nomination as Chevalier of Arts & Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.


Edwards will deliver his lecture, “Sensory Delivery for Better Health,” at 9:15 a.m. in the Young Library auditorium.


Kinam Park, Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of pharmaceutics at Purdue University, is also at the forefront of developing new innovations in the field of engineering and health. He has studied drug delivery systems for more than three decades, and his research has focused on oral delivery, drug-device combination products, long-term microparticle formulations and targeted delivery.


Park has co-authored and co-edited seven books in the area of controlled drug delivery and edited special journal issues in the area of protein- and cell-repellent surfaces and in the area of hydrogels. In 2001, Park founded Akina, Inc., which specializes in polymers for drug delivery, and he is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Controlled Release.


Park will deliver his lecture, “Drug Delivery Technologies for the Future: Thinking in New Boxes," at 10:30 a.m.


Following the lectures, a roundtable discussion will begin at 11:30 a.m.


Ashland Inc.'s partnership with the UK College of Engineering and Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering began in 1999 when it funded the Ashland Inc. Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering. In 2006, the lecture series was established.


"The endowment from Ashland Inc. allows us to bring the most respected and influential researchers to UK. This year’s speakers, David Edwards and Kinam Park, are well-known throughout the engineering and pharmaceutical sciences communities for their high-impact research.


"In addition, they both have reputations for translating basic science discoveries to clinically relevant products. They offer unique perspectives that will be of interest to UK faculty and students from the colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Medicine," said Daniel Pack, current Ashland Inc. Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering.


For more information, view the event's program at




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