Statistics Professor Nominated for U.S. Professors of the Year Award

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014)William Rayens, University of Kentucky statistics professor, was recently honored for his work in undergraduate education with a nomination in the 2014 U.S. Professors of the Year awards program.


“Teaching may well be the most important enterprise we engage in as professors, and I was thrilled to be asked to compete for one of the 2014 awards," said Rayens.


Rayens, director of undergraduate education in the Department of Statistics, developed the general education course "STA 210: Intro to Statistical Reasoning," implemented in the fall of 2011. Serving as assistant provost for general education in the Division of Undergraduate Education for two years, Rayens also guided the implementation of the university's general education program, the UK Core.


“Dr. Rayens has been a national pioneer in creative pedagogy in statistics. The STA 210 course he designed so that students can meet the Statistical Inferential Reasoning requirement in UK Core is exceptionally innovative and defines the cutting edge of instruction in statistics nationally," said Ted Schatzki, senior associate dean of faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Schatzki, a professor of geography and philosophy, nominated Rayens for the U.S. Professors of the Year award.


According to Schatzki, the general education statistics course was one of the first "flipped" courses in the U.S., where students are first exposed to the content outside of class time, opening up time in the classroom for active learning with case studies, and student-led activities and demonstrations.


"Moreover, despite its size, it receives very high student evaluations in comparison to other large introductory courses," Schatzki said. "The demands on Bill to develop the (STA 210) course and keep it running were and remain immense, and if it were not for his dedication and grit, UK Core would not have been a success."


Sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program recognizes outstanding undergraduate instructors who excel in teaching and mentoring.


“It was an honor to be nominated and I appreciate all the coordination work by Senior Associate Dean Schatzki, as well as the time and effort taken by reviewers who wrote on my behalf,” said Rayens.


Cindy Tucker, associate professor of computer and information technologies at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, was named the 2014 Kentucky Professor of the Year. 




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

UK College of Pharmacy's Global Classroom Connects Kentucky and China

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 09:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy goes across borders for the second year with professor Melody Ryan's “Pharmacy Without Borders: A U.S.-China Global Classroom” course. Ryan, director of International Professional Student Health, formed a partnership with Peking University Third Hospital to provide students from both institutions with an opportunity to engage with fellow student pharmacists via this shared curriculum.


“We wanted to provide UK College of Pharmacy students with a chance to develop their global skillset as part of their everyday education,” Ryan said. “We know how important it is for students to learn about international issues and to get accustomed to working in diverse work groups. Thanks to today’s technology, providing that international experience is easier than ever before.”


The course is kept small to allow for more one-on-one interactions between students and faculty. Part of the course is recorded and watched asynchronously; the course also takes part in five live sessions.


Students form international teams to complete a paper and a presentation. Alice Pan, fourth-year student at the UK College of Pharmacy, has taken part in the course and benefited greatly.


“I expanded my cultural knowledge and strengthened important soft-skills that drive cultural competence," Pan said. "I learned to understand the differences in culture and pharmacy education between the two countries, how to communicate with Chinese students, and how to collaborate with students in a different country and time zone. All of these skills can be extrapolated to communicating with and helping patients here in the U.S.”


The class was a creation of Ryan and faculty colleagues Frank Romanelli and Jeff Cain. The course received a UK College of Pharmacy Transformative Grant from Dean Tim Tracy and the College of Pharmay's External Advisory Board. The college’s Transformative Grant program funds innovative and unique academic, research and outreach programs that will advance the college’s mission.


This global classroom course provides a cost-effective way to internationalize the college’s curriculum.


“Not every student can afford to go to school abroad nor has the time to do so,” Ryan said. “This class circumvents those barriers, allowing the college to provide an international experience right here in our facility.”



'UK at the Half' Talks Future of UK School of Music

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 19:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Director of the University of Kentucky's School of Music within the UK College of Fine Arts John Scheib was featured during the "UK at the Half" that aired during the University of Kentucky vs. Montana State University basketball game, broadcast on the radio Nov. 23.


John Scheib discussed the importance of providing a positive experience to UK students where they can have life-changing moments. Scheib sees enhancement and expansion of the UK School of Music facilities as a major goal. For more information about the School of Music's upcoming performances between now and the end of the year, go to


"UK at the Half" airs during the halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.


To hear the "UK at the Half" interview click on the play button below. To view a transcript for the Nov. 23 "UK at the Half" interview, click here to download.


UK's Dahlia d'Arge Named Marshall Scholar

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 17:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards announced today that history senior and Army ROTC cadet Dahlia d'Arge, of Paris, Kentucky, has been named a 2015 Marshall Scholar. The scholarship will finance two years of graduate study for her at an institution of her choice in the United Kingdom. D'Arge is the third UK student to receive the honor from the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. 


"University of Kentucky students compete and succeed at a national level in academic competition, research and for national awards," said President Eli Capilouto. "The entire university family is deeply proud of Dahlia’s achievements as an ROTC cadet and UK’s third Marshall Scholar. We are excited to see her future success as a graduate student in the United Kingdom." 


Up to 40 scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at a U.K. institution in any field of study. The scholarship covers university fees, cost of living expenses, an annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States.


As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. The objectives of the program are:

· to enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the U.K.;

· to help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain;

· to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centers of academic excellence;

· to motivate scholars to act as ambassadors from the U.S. to the U.K. and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding; and

· to promote the personal and academic fulfilment of each scholar.


The last UK student selected as a Marshall Scholar was Jennifer Kasten, who received the scholarship in 2002.


D'Arge, the daughter of Ralph and Dani d'Arge, of Paris, will use her Marshall Scholarship to pursue two master's degrees in the U.K. She has applied to the University of Glasgow in Scotland to pursue a master's degree in war studies followed by a master's degree in intelligence and international security at King's College London.


At UK, d'Arge chose to study history because of a lifelong love of the topic and a belief that understanding the past is the key to making a better future. "As an ROTC cadet, my future career will be as an officer in our Army. Being able to learn the lessons of human history enables me to be a better officer through my ability to analyze information and to make comparisons to past events."


During her time in college, d'Arge has achieved great success in the classroom and in the field. The Honors Program student is the recipient of UK's Presidential Scholarship, the Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship and the Paris High School Alumni Scholarship. In addition, she has received the 2013 and 2014 Academic Excellence Award from UK German Studies.


As a cadet, d'Arge completed Basic Airborne School training, won a gold medal in the German Armed Forces Military Proficiency Badge Competition, acted as a leader in the Kentucky Ranger Organization, and published a paper regarding the issue of sexual harassment in the military. She is the recipient of a four-year U.S. Army ROTC scholarship and the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Army ROTC Platinum Physical Fitness Award. D'Arge has earned the Wildcat Battalion Coin for Leadership Excellence three times, a 2013 82nd Airborne Office of the Staff Judge Advocate Coin, and a 2013 U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command Coin. Her senior thesis for her major focused on the role of Special Forces soldiers in the Vietnam War Hamlet Project.


D'Arge credits several faculty members and ROTC leaders for helping her attain success, including Bruce Holle, senior lecturer of history; Kay Woods, of the UK Honors Program; Brenna Byrd, assistant professor of German studies; Jason Cummins, director of Impact Leadership Program at UK Athletics; Master Sergeant Gregory Lehman, military science instructor; and Lt. Col. Shawn Umbrell, professor of military science.


"Each has inspired and encouraged me to push past the expectations of most college students and to challenge myself in both academic and military settings."


After completing her two master's degrees, d'Arge plans to pursue further studies in history with a focus in military strategy and intelligence after she serves. "After a career in the Army, I aspire to earn a Ph.D. in modern Western military history and teach at a public university."


Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, Marshall Scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts. In the U.S. the selection process is managed by regional Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and in Washington D.C. by the British Embassy.


D'Arge was one of 26 finalists who interviewed for the Marshall in the 13-state Chicago region.


Students interested in applying for the Marshall Scholarship should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK 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 Director Pat Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.




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

Finding Faults: Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Studies Deformation of Tectonic Plates

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 17:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Sean Bemis put his hands together side by side to demonstrate two plates of the earth’s crust with a smooth boundary running between them. But that boundary is not always smooth and those plates do not always sit together neatly, which makes the earth’s crust a dynamic and complex surface. 


As a structural geologist and paleoseismologist, Bemis often uses visual and three dimensional (3-D) models to explain his studies of the earth’s crust; sometimes that entails sophisticated 3-D digital imagery, maps and diagrams of fault lines, the rocks he processes in his lab, or, as in this case, his own hands.


These techniques not only help Bemis demonstrate his research, they also represent the multidimensional nature of his work.


Bemis, an assistant professor in UK's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, studies the deformation of the tectonic plates that make up Earth’s crust. When these plates move, they slide past each other, with most of the motion occurring across relatively narrow zones.


Due to the large amount of crushing required for the Earth’s crust to move, the zones between plates, called plate boundaries, are sites of frequent, often damaging earthquakes and the formation of dramatic mountain ranges. Some of these plate boundaries are also very well-known faults, such as the San Andreas fault in California.


Bemis simplifies some key terminology when he says, “A fault is just a break in rock; an active fault is one that has moved recently and has the potential to move again in the near future.” In particular, he researches the San Andreas fault in California and the Denali fault in Alaska.


By excavating faults in California and Alaska, Bemis and his team identify plate deformation recorded as prehistoric earthquakes. With the rocks, soil and organic matter they examine, they can use radiocarbon dating to identify when an earthquake occurred.


With these findings, Bemis can determine the character of a fault, which helps scientists forecast the likelihood and size of possible future earthquakes. “Understanding how earthquakes recur through time,” Bemis explained, “can tell us how the surface of the Earth is evolving in terms of the deformation as well as community-related hazards and hazard mitigation needs.”


While in graduate school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemis did field work in Denali. He even discovered and named several previously unknown active faults in the region. In 2002, there was a major earthquake on the Denali fault — the largest in the world that year. At the time it occurred, Bemis recalled, “I was a hundred miles away from the earthquake, but I could barely stand up, that’s how strong it was.”


Bemis likens the earthquake process (in its simplest form) to breaking a rubber band that you stretch, building up pressure until it snaps. But with an earthquake, the pressure builds in miles of crust moving at rates of kilometer per second. “That’s a lot of energy,” he remarked. “The spot where I’m standing could jump instantaneously to other side of the room.”


Later, Bemis went out to the fault and could see the effects of the earthquake on the earth’s surface. “The earthquake had sheared the ground surface for hundreds of kilometers and this shearing had opened up large fissures that rotated during the rapid deformation,” Bemis remembered.


These fissures, or openings in the earth’s surface, were so big, Bemis remembered, that he could stand in them and hold his arms up over head and still be below the ground surface. He also saw trees with huge chunks of roots torn off and slipped several meters away.


Over time, the fissures and shearing Bemis observed in Denali would fill in with soil, rocks and organic material, so the surface would eventually come to look like it had before the earthquake. “These observations of recent earthquakes,” like the 2002 Denali earthquake, “help us understand what we need to look for to find evidence for prehistoric earthquakes.” To see buried records of earthquakes, “we go play in the dirt,” Bemis said, laughing.


Even though Bemis has a renovated lab in the Slone Research Building, one might say that his primary lab is in the field, playing in the dirt, so to speak. He and his team excavate a fault, exposing a flat plane or wall in the earth. They can see evidence of earthquakes and deformation in the dirt wall where the color or layers of sediment are inconsistent.


Images of these excavations are helpful for showing what Bemis looks for in his analysis of the earth’s surface.


“You have to be able to visualize that what you’re seeing isn’t actually a 2-D plane, it’s actually something that extends back into space. It’s hard to teach this part,” said Bemis. It’s especially hard in a region like Kentucky where students can’t go out to a nearby active fault like Bemis did at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and at the University of Oregon.


Bemis’s undergraduate and graduate students at UK, however, sometimes have the opportunity to travel to California or Alaska with their professor to excavate a fault. He tries to help his graduate students develop projects out of facets of his research so they are working toward their own research while contributing to his. Therefore, his mentorship is embedded in his research.


For people who won’t get such a first-hand look at a fault excavation, Bemis makes use of digital, high-resolution 3-D imaging that lets a viewer appreciate the greater scope and depth of plate displacement. He especially likes his students to not only look at a 3-D model but to use the mouse to turn it and truly interact with it themselves.


Even in graduate school, Bemis was exploring new ways of demonstrating his study of plate deformation because “as we’re collecting more and more data about these prehistoric earthquakes, all of the simple models are falling apart—they don’t work because the earth is a complex place—there’s a lot of interacting parts.”


From playing in the dirt, to sample processing in the lab, to presenting his findings, Bemis’s research could also be said to have “a lot of interacting parts,” and he continues to explore the new effective means of representing it. Of course, he can always resort to his own hands.


View more photos of Bemis and his students working in the field in this photo gallery, and Bemis working in his office and lab this photo gallery.  here




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

Kentucky Wins Annual Big Blue Crush Competition

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Kentucky wound up defeating Tennessee in the 27th annual Big Blue Crush last week, 3,160 to 2,760.


“What a great week! Although it started off slow with a couple of snowed out blood drives, the Big Blue Nation really warmed up to the competition as the week continued said Martha Osborne, executive director of marketing and recruitment for Kentucky Blood Center (KBC). "Generous Kentucky blood donors have once again stepped up to provide blood for Kentucky patients during the upcoming holidays.”


Kentucky now leads the competition against Tennessee and Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville 14 to 12 with one tie.


About Kentucky Blood Center

KBC, founded in 1968, is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky hospitals.




MEDIA CONTACT: Denise Fields, Kentucky Blood Center, 859-519-3721/859-333-2022.



Vanderpool Named Co-Chair of Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Steering Committee

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25 2014) — Robin Vanderpool, assistant professor of health behavior in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, has been named co-chair of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) Steering Committee for the current five-year funding cycle (2014-2019). 


The CPCRN is a national network of public health, academic, and community partners who join together to work toward reducing the burden of cancer through the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based research and practice. The Network also strives to increase linkages between the community and clinicians, particularly in minority and medically underserved communities.


The CPCRN is comprised of eight funded research institutions across the country where community-based cancer research is performed, and represents a collaboration of the cancer divisions of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). 


Vanderpool will share her role as co-chair of the steering committee with Daniela Friedman, associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. In their roles as co-chairs, Vanderpool and Friedman will lead the committee’s development of collaborations across network to facilitate the translation of research into practice. They will also generate and assist in discussions between primary investigators in research and the Coordinating Center of CPCRN at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop short term and long range plans for the achievement of the network’s goals.



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


UK Continues Support of Entrepreneurship Week

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The Lexington Venture Club (LVC), managed by the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, part of the University of Kentucky's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, hosted the Entrepreneurial Celebration last week for Lexington Global Entrepreneurship Week, recognizing recipients of the Lexington eAchievers award for excellence in entrepreneurship.


20 start-up companies in the Bluegrass Region were honored with the eAchiever award for receiving at least $1 million in funding and/or creating five new full time jobs in 2014. These companies represent industry sectors in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, e-commerce, IT and software development, homeland security, energy technologies and business services — further demonstrating Lexington’s position as a leading location for technology-based jobs.


The Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network conducts an annual survey of these early stage companies. The results are based upon self-reported data for July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. This year 125 companies responded to the survey, offering a 67 percent response rate from the 186 Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP) clients. Altogether, BBDP clients raised more than $57 million dollars in capital funds and created 272 new full-time and part-time jobs in 2014.


“I congratulate these start-up companies in their success,” said Warren Nash, the director of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network. “The jobs and funding numbers reported by these companies definitely demonstrate a thriving local entrepreneurial community that benefits from the BBDP’s continued efforts and support.”


The Lexington Venture Club, founded in 2002, connects great ideas, interested investors and business resources to promote a strong economy in Lexington. The group is managed by Commerce Lexington Inc., and the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, which is a part of University of Kentucky’s Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, within the Gatton College of Business and Economics.


The companies that received the eAchiever award include: A Look At Media Ventures LLC; Allylix Inc.; AntiOp; Bluegrass Vascular Technologies Inc.; Care Team Solutions; Coldstream Laboratories Inc.; Directed Energy Incorporated; Float Money; Invenio Therapeutics; Mercury Data Systems Inc.; MosquitoMate Inc.; nGimat LLC; Paratechs; PDx Biotech; Science Tomorrow; Seikowave; SIS LLC; Summit Biosciences Inc.; Twin Star TDS; and Volar Video Inc. For more information about the Lexington Venture Club, please visit




MEDIA CONTACTS: Parissa Zargar,; Warren Nash,; Hannah Huggins,



UK Art Museum Closed for Thanksgiving Break

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, like much of UK, will take the Thanksgiving holiday. The museum will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 30, for the holiday.


The Art Museum at UK, which is closed Mondays, will reopen for regular museum hours beginning noon Tuesday, Dec. 2.


Currently three new exhibitions are on display at the Art Museum at UK, "Laurel Nakadate: Strangers and Relations," "TAKE MY WORD FOR IT" and "Kurt Vonnegut: Madmen and Moonbeams." These exhibitions close Dec. 23. 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;

Seven Projects to Receive UK Sustainability Challenge Grants

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The University of Kentucky President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee recently announced seven sustainability projects receiving grants, a total of $100,000 in funding, from the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program. A wide range of sustainability projects were chosen, from North Limestone neighborhood initiatives to "microcomputers" that monitor individual sustainability impact on campus.  


The grant program issued a campus-wide call for proposals Aug. 15 seeking interdisciplinary, sustainability-driven proposals. By the deadline of Oct. 15, the program received 22 proposals requesting more than $450,000. Through an extensive review process, seven projects were selected to fund this year.


2014 UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Projects:


  • University of Kentucky Food Summit - Awarded $6,690.
  • Big Blue Impact: Making Sustainability Visible - Awarded $10,000.
  • Development of Sustainable Bus Stops - Awarded $18,200.
  • The Campus Tree Initiative: Enhancing sustainability through engagement with the urban tree canopy on UK campus and beyond - Awarded $17,760.
  • Arboretum Drive BioSwale Demonstration and Education Project - Awarded $15,000.
  • Empowerment for North Limestone Neighborhood Sustainability: Establishing Public Spaces and Arts - Awarded $17,350.
  • Cultivating Place for a Sustainable Community: Revitalizing the Shawneetown Community Garden - Awarded $15,000.


To read descriptions of each project and information on departments and individual team members involved, please visit


"The campus response to the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program has been tremendous with outstanding proposals from nearly two dozen interdisciplinary teams," said Shane Tedder, University of Kentucky sustainability coordinator. "The seven projects selected for funding all demonstrated a clear focus on sustainability and transformational potential for the campus. These projects also involve high levels of meaningful student engagement and make innovative use of the campus as a living laboratory."


The Sustainability Challenge Grant Program was developed as a collaborative effort of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability the Environment (TFISE) and the UK Office of Sustainability. As 2014 is the inaugural year for the program, the steering committee hopes to continue to offer the grants on an annual basis. 


"The support of a diverse group of administrators reinforces the ingenuity of the program and should help maintain its continuity into the future," said Rebecca McCulley, interim director for the TFISE and member of the Sustainability Challenge Grant steering committee. "The infusion of funds for faculty, student and staff-generated sustainability projects represents a significant commitment from our administration, and is testimony of their belief in the transformative force present on our campus."


Funding for the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program is provided by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, Office of the Vice President for Research and the Student Sustainability Council.


Awards will be celebrated at a ceremony held in conjunction with the TFISE Research Showcase Dec. 1. Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. following the research poster session beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Hilary J. Boone Center




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

UK Vocalists Sweep Ky. Met Auditions, Advance to Regional

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Three University of Kentucky vocalists, graduates Rebecca Farley and Matthew Turner and graduate student Christopher Kenney, were named winners of the Kentucky District Auditions of the Metropolitan (Met) Opera National Council Auditions held Nov. 22, at Memorial Hall.


Farley, a soprano; Turner, a bass; and Kenney, baritone, are still in the running to sing on the Metropolitan Opera stage, and their next audition will be at the Mid-South Regional round of auditions being held on the UK campus Feb. 21, 2015, at Memorial Hall. Traditionally, only one singer from each regional round will advance to the national semi-finals in New York.


A native of Henderson, Kentucky, Farley earned her bachelor's degree from UK in 2013. Local audiences may remember her as one of three UK sopranos who sang the role of Christine in UK Opera Theatre’s blockbuster 2012 production of "The Phantom of the Opera" in October and winner of the Advanced Women Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition later that same month. She placed second at the 2013 Mid-South Regional. Farley was the student of Endowed Chair, Professor of Voice Cynthia Lawrence.  


A Lexington resident, Turner is a 2014 accounting and vocal performance graduate of UK. Local audiences will remember him as one of two leads in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Sweeney Todd" earlier this fall. He spent the summer as a studio artist with the Wolf Trap Opera Company in Vienna, Virginia. Turner was the student of Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice, and Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies.


Kenney, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, holds a bachelor's degree from Concordia College, located in Moorhead, Minnesota. He is currently pursuing his master's degree under Lawrence.


All of the Kentucky District Auditions Encouragement Awards were also presented to UK vocalists. The students presented with this honor were voice performance and music theatre junior Mary Catherine Wright, of Lexington; doctoral candidate Shareese Arnold, of Sheffield, Alabama; and graduate student Jonathan Parham, of Cordele, Georgia.


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


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


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

The district level, which was hosted by OperaLex, is the first stage of the three-tiered audition process, and contestants can choose to compete in any district regardless of their place of residence. There is no set number of singers to advance to compete in the regional with roughly 1,500 singers participating each year in the 16 regions across the country.


Regional finals for this area include participants from the Kentucky, Arkansas, Middle/East Tennessee, North Alabama and West Tennessee/Mississippi districts. Winners at the regional level advance to the National Council Auditions Semi-Finals in New York in the spring. Only eight to 10 singers are selected as national finalists and perform in the Winners Concert at the Met.



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

Harmonica-Playing Surgeon Nationally Recognized for Advocating Music Therapy

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 15:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014)  — When presented with a national award for his contributions to music therapy, Dr. Jay Zwischenberger showed his appreciation with a felicitous expression of music. He concluded a short acceptance speech at the American Music Therapy Association's (AMTA) annual conference with an impromptu performance of Old Joe Clark on his harmonica.


"I'm going to express my gratitude in the only way I know how to connect with these people," he said, dedicating the tune to the members of UK HealthCare music therapy program.


Zwischenberger, chair of the Department of Surgery for UK HealthCare, accepted the AMTA's Music Therapy Advocate Award at the association's annual conference in early November. The physician advocate for music therapy was nominated by the staff of the UK HealthCare music therapy program, which is an arm of the UK Arts in HealthCare program. Known for his enthusiasm for music and always-handy harmonica, Zwischenberger performs alongside musicians during therapy sessions at the UK Chandler Hospital.


In 2010, Zwischenberger served on the search committee for the first director of the UK HealthCare music therapy program. He was instrumental in the appointment of Lori Gooding, Ph.D, a board-certified music therapist who sought to develop a program that emphasized evidence-based musical interventions for the clinical setting. Since its formation, the music therapy program has acquired grants for research and published several peer-reviewed research papers as well as a book about medical music therapy.


“We have worked with Dr. Zwischenberger to increase clinical offerings, conduct research and seek grant funding," Gooding said. "It has been a pleasure to work with him because he truly values the contributions music therapy can make for patients, family and staff at UK.”


Today, the music therapy program comprises four full-time staff members and involves 26 graduate students. Music therapy sessions are offered for patients at Kentucky Children's Hospital, the Markey Cancer Center, Eastern State Hospital and other sectors of UK HealthCare. The program is the first and only music therapy graduate training available in Kentucky.


"The story is about the success of the music therapy group," Zwischenberger said. "With proper focus and orientation, and respect for what they do, they have become an adjunctive therapy at this hospital." 


An amateur musician, Zwischenberger played guitar in rock bands during the 1960s and learned to play the banjo in the 1990s. After injuring his thumb, he picked up the harmonica, teaching himself to play by ear 12 years ago. Zwischenberger said music therapy diverts patients' attention away from pain and connects with patients across cultures. He has watched those who are young, elderly or in a health crisis benefit from these types of therapies. 


The AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, research and standards in the music therapy profession. The association's annual conference, titled "Pursue Your Passion for Music Therapy," was held Nov. 6-9 in Louisville.


"It's a profound honor," Zwischenberger said. "It was given to me, but I congratulate our team at UK. I take a lot of pride and pleasure in the fact that they're here."


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Employees’ Advantage on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 15:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But did you know that you, as a University of Kentucky employee, have a secret weapon for avoiding holiday weight gain?


Take UK Health and Wellness' “Keep It Off!” holiday challenge and you’ll have a supportive team of wellness experts on your side helping you maintain — not gain.


Simply register by 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 25.


In fact, nearly 70 percent of last year’s hundreds of participants rang in the 2013 new year with zero weight gain from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1.


This marks the fifth year of UK Health and Wellness, part of UK Human Resources, motivating employees to “Keep It Off!” by offering expert insights in such a convenient way. All challenge participants receive a weekly email digest containing "the best of" pro tips from a team of registered dietitians, fitness specialists and a health coach.


“Keep It Off!” tips, focusing on nutrition, exercise and stress, are designed to be practical enough to put into use, and adjustable enough to work for a variety of individual needs.


Last year’s participants raved that the weekly expert tips and motivational nudges paid off.


“This challenge was good for me. Without it I would have gained anywhere from three to five pounds and would have struggled to take it off. I told my sister about the challenge and she tried to help me stick to it. She even lost weight. Thank you!” said one participant.


“This was a fun way to encourage healthier habits during the holidays, and while I didn't lose anything, I didn't gain. Sincere thanks!” 


Another said, “It really worked for me — I was determined to not gain and committed to losing. Just competing with myself was the best motivation. I actually lost four pounds (and am keeping it off so far)."


"Keep It Off!" participants will receive not only the gift of taking their pre-holiday weight with them into the new year, but also a prize from UK Health and Wellness if they report maintaining their pre-holiday weight. For details and to register, please visit:




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

High Winds Cause Downed Power Lines Closing Versailles Road at New Circle

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 15:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2014) — For University of Kentucky employees or students expecting to drive in the vicinity of Versailles Road at New Circle this afternoon, Versailles Road is expected to be closed between New Circle Road and Man o' War Boulevard until 8 p.m. while Kentucky Utilities crews work to repair downed power lines in that area and restore power to traffic lights on Versailles Road.


High winds have caused several power outages in Lexington today.  To view outage areas, access the Kentucky Utilities Storm Center website at:


Stadium Black Lot to Close as Part of Water Detention Project

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2014) — The Commonwealth Stadium Black Lot and associated bus stop, located south of Alumni Drive near Greg Page Apartments, will permanently close later this week, as the campus community departs for the Thanksgiving holiday. This closure is a result of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-funded storm water mitigation project in the south campus area. Students and employees who park in the Black Lot must remove their vehicles prior to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26.


The south campus storm water mitigation project began earlier this year and is designed to capture storm water runoff through a series of surface and subsurface retention areas and gradually release it, to prevent flooding in the south campus and Nicholasville Road areas. The first phase of the project, which was completed prior to the start of the fall semester, involved constructing subsurface water retention basins at the northwest corner of Alumni and University Drives, adjacent to the Lexington Senior Center, as well as the proactive replacement of the 660 spaces being eliminated at the Black Lot. As part of this phase and to counteract the anticipated parking losses, Parking and Transportation Services funded the remainder of the 1,236 spaces in what is now known as the Commonwealth Stadium Orange Lot.


The Black Lot typically accommodates approximately 125 vehicles on a daily basis. Permit holders impacted by this closure may park in any of the other K areas surrounding Commonwealth Stadium, which have been averaging 400 to 500 vacant parking spaces during periods of peak demand.

PTS Announces Parking and Shuttle Changes for Thanksgiving Break

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 26, Parking and Transportation Services’ (PTS) operations will have several changes due to the decreased demand over the Thanksgiving holiday.


On Wednesday, Nov. 26, the regular CATS routes (Red, Blue and Night) and Lextran Stadium Route service will not be running. CATS buses will operate on the Summer/Break Route schedule from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The UK HealthCare and Kentucky Clinic Shuttle Routes will operate as normal.


No campus buses will run Thursday, Nov. 27 through Saturday, Nov. 29. On Sunday, Nov. 30, the CATS Bus On-Demand Service will operate during its normal service hours of 7 p.m. to midnight. All other campus bus service will resume a normal schedule Monday, Dec. 1.


Campus parking lots will not be controlled for parking permits Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28.

UK Study Examines Communication and End-of-Life Decisions

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 14:46

Video produced by Reveal — University Research Media. 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. (Nov. 24, 2014) — For many people, talking about end-of-life decisions can be very difficult. Although making choices about health care at the end of life is an important outcome of these conversations, recent research suggests that talking about end-of-life choices with family members in a way that pays attention to how they perceive themselves and maintains your relationship with them may be more important than actually reaching decisions.


Allison Scott, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, focuses her research on the quality of communication about end-of-life health decisions. In her study published this year in Communication Monographs, "Enacted Goal Attention in Family Conversations about End-of-Life Health Decisions,” Scott and co-author John Caughlin, professor and department head at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, used a multiple goals theoretical perspective to demonstrate that the quality of communication about end-of-life decisions matters. Members of 121 older parent/adult child dyads (N = 242) engaged in an elicited conversation about end-of-life health choices and reported their assessments of the conversation. Scott and Caughlin found that people who paid better attention to task, identity, and relational goals were more satisfied with the conversation, felt more hopeful after the conversation, experienced less hurt after the conversation, and felt less relationally distanced after the conversation.


“The way an end-of-life discussion is negotiated has the potential to strengthen or undermine relationships,” says Scott. “Family communication holds a great deal of potential for improving end-of-life health care, but this potential lies in the quality of the discussions.”


For a complete pdf version of the study, contact Allison Scott at




MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 

Pakistani Fulbright Scholars Learn Valuable Lessons in Social Movement Seminar

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 13:03
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2014) The University of Kentucky International Center hosted 142 Pakistani graduate students who are studying in the U.S. through the Fulbright scholarship program for the Fulbright Pakistan Enrichment Seminar on Social Movements from Nov. 5-9.


The seminar, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Education Foundation in Pakistan, focused on the U.S. civil rights movement and its impact on today’s culture. Pakistani students were also mentored by other Fulbright scholars on tactics for success in U.S. graduate schools.


“The original reason that Sen. Fulbright of Arkansas created this program after World War II was to promote peace. One of the goals of the seminar was to promote mutual understanding between Pakistanis and Americans,” said Rita Akhtar, executive director of the U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan.


Various sessions about slavery, the civil rights movement and women’s rights helped the Pakistani students understand some of the major social issues in the U.S. and how they have shaped this country.


“When you come from a country that is more developed than yours, you’re often inclined to compare the two countries. But these sessions highlight that even developed countries like the U.S. have their own problems,” said Meenah Tariq, Pakistani Fulbright mentor and business student at Boston College. “But this is a lesson of hope, because things got better. And that’s what we came here to learn.”


Learning and discussing these sensitive topics was a “confidence-booster” for many of the Pakistani students, said Menaal Ebrahim, environmental management student at Yale University and seminar attendee.


“Participating in the sessions and learning about important pieces of U.S. history helped us Pakistanis feel more at home. We, as outsiders, did not know this history,” Ebrahim said. “There’s so much to learn from this seminar about ethnic and gender discrimination to bring back home to Pakistan.”


Another goal of the session is to prepare the Pakistani students for life in a U.S. graduate school, which has a much different approach to professor-student relationships.


“In Pakistan, the professor is not at the same level as his students. They’re not considered peers at all. But in the U.S., students experience more peerism,” Tariq said.


This closer relationship between professors and students allows for more open discussion and contribution from students. Tariq noted that U.S. professors are less likely to suppress out-of-the-box thinking, which encourages students to speak-up both in and out of class. The seminar helped prepare the Pakistani students for this new dynamic to get the most out of their U.S. education.


The Fulbright Commission in Pakistan hopes that its scholars who return to Pakistan will contribute to the economic and developmental improvement of the country, said Akhtar.


“We need to help make Pakistan a better place,” she said. “I believe that’s what we’re trying to do with the Fulbright program, and that’s why students came to this seminar — partly to get adjusted to studying in the U.S., but they are also networking with each other so that when they return to Pakistan, they can work together to bring the kind of change we’re hoping for.”


This change also includes diversifying the workforce in Pakistan to include more women. About half of the Pakistani Fulbright grantees are women, Akhtar said. She hopes that these women will return to Pakistan with their degrees to make a difference in the work culture of the country, which is largely dominated by men.


“The reason many Pakistan women do not work is because the work culture is so unwelcoming to females,” Akhtar said. “So I think these Fulbright women will be real trailblazers who will change the nature of the workforce in Pakistan.”


The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship program for international education exchange. Since 1946, more than 360,000 participants from more than 155 countries have had the opportunity to study in other countries and to contribute to finding solutions for international concerns.




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

Disaster Communication Workshop Helps Establish UK as Leader in the Field

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2014) — Scholars and practitioners from across the country gathered in Lexington Nov. 10 and 11 for a workshop to discuss the most pressing issues in disaster communication and set the research agenda for the field.


The workshop, titled “Disaster Communication: Redesigned” was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and invited academics from diverse fields as well as representatives from several federal agencies to participate.  Scholars from sociology, communication, public health, geography, and engineering participated.


The workshop was held at Keeneland. Faculty and students from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information attended both days of the workshop and participated in the discussions, and several faculty members served as session moderators.


The impetus for hosting this workshop came out of the newly redesigned Center for Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Communication at UK. By establishing this center, UK wants to position itself as a leader for scholarly research that has practical applications.


Jeannette Sutton, co-chair of the workshop and new director of the Division of Risk Sciences, said she was excited to bring this group together for such an important purpose.


“I wanted to provide a space for interdisciplinary dialogue, to generate new ideas, and to establish UK as a leader in this area,” she said.


Sutton has also been working with faculty in the school of Library and Information Sciences to create a searchable database of scholarly articles in the fields of risk, crisis, and disaster communication. Participants from the workshop will be submitting citations from their published research that is most relevant to these topics to be listed in the database.


A unique feature of this workshop was that the representatives from the federal agencies were able to speak to the issues that “keep them up at night,” and provide suggestions to the scholars present on how to tailor their research to have practical applications in the field. These agencies included the CDC, FEMA, and the National Weather Service, among others. They agreed that this research is some of the most important in terms of its relevance as the number of threats they deal with increase in number and complexity.


Timothy Sellnow, workshop co-chair, echoed these sentiments.


"The workshop created an unprecedented opportunity for scholars from an array of disciplines to build collaboration. Crises are growing in frequency, complexity, and intensity. An interdisciplinary effort is needed to manage this increasing threat," Sellnow said.


The collaboration among attendees did not end with the workshop. An edited book with chapters authored by participants is in the works, and interdisciplinary research projects will continue. 




MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

UK Recognizes Development Achievement With Annual Mobley Awards

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 19:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2014) -- On Wednesday, Nov. 19, the University of Kentucky recognized faculty and staff from across campus for excellence in furthering UK’s philanthropic efforts at the annual Terry B. Mobley Development Awards ceremony.


This year’s award winners included David Moecher, chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and director of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences; Kristin S. Cruser, director of creative services in the Office of Development; Seth Flynn, manager of development communications in UK HealthCare; George Thomas Barker, associate general counsel and director of gift and estate planning in the Office of Development; and Debbie A. Brown, prospect development analyst in the Office of Development.


Mike Richey, UK’s vice president for development and chief development officer, congratulated the award winners at the ceremony.


“These distinguished individuals are recognized for their outstanding performance and professional achievement in the area of philanthropy at the University of Kentucky,” Richey noted. “Their dedication, service and extraordinary efforts on behalf of this institution have made a significant difference in the development program at UK.”


Recipients were nominated by UK staff and faculty. Each award consists of an honorarium generated by the Terry B. Mobley Development Awards Endowment and an engraved julep cup. Recipients’ names will also be added to a recognition wall located in the Sturgill Development Building on campus.


– Moecher won the 2014 Development Service Award. This honor is conferred upon a UK administrator, faculty or staff member who demonstrates extraordinary support for development efforts at the university, and who is also a strong advocate for UK philanthropy.


– Cruser and Flynn each received a 2014 Professional Achievement Award. This recognition is given to a professional staff member who has UK development tenure of five or more years, and who consistently demonstrates excellent work performance and has attained outstanding achievement and impact as a development professional.


– Barker won the 2014 Rising Achievement Award. This honor is given to a professional staff member who has UK development tenure of less than five years, and who demonstrates excellent work performance and potential for further outstanding achievement and impact as a development professional.


– Brown received a 2014 Front Line Award which is presented to a support staff member to recognize outstanding performance related to philanthropic efforts at UK.


The Mobley Awards are designed to honor the distinguished development career of Terry B. Mobley by recognizing and rewarding staff and faculty for exceptional attainment in the field of development. Mobley served the University of Kentucky for 27 years as chief development officer and retired as vice president for institutional advancement. He now serves on the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees.


The Terry B. Mobley Development Awards Endowment was established with private gifts when Mobley retired. Awards have been made from the endowment each year since 2005.


“I am pleased that we can honor the outstanding contribution of Terry Mobley to the University by recognizing others who are following in his footsteps,” Richey added.