93 Year-Old Lexington Woman Gives Back as Research Volunteer

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 16:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) -- On Dec. 2, a very special group of people gathered to celebrate a very special gift.


"Participation in clinical trials is a truly noble act, and we consider the people who volunteer for research part of our family," says Dr. Gregory Jicha, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.  "So it's natural that we would gather at the holidays to share a little joy and thanksgiving."


Every year, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has a party for patients who have volunteered to participate in research at the center. It's an annual highlight for patients and staff alike, who often form special bonds over the course of several years.


Geneva Pope is one example.


This 93 year old, "and 3 months," she chimes in, began participating in clinical trials at Sanders-Brown 14 years ago. "God wants me to help people, and this is one way I can," she explains.


The entire Sanders-Brown staff adores this self-proclaimed "busy person."  She makes them bourbon balls -- she's already made 300 this year -- and has "family" photos taken with Dr. Jicha.  She has convinced several of her friends to participate as well.


"Geneva has the smallest family -- and the largest family -- of anyone I know," Jicha says. "While she has no immediate relatives, she is cherished by literally dozens of extended family and godchildren -- us included."


"We look forward each year to seeing her hat," Jicha says, referring to Geneva's collection of more than 100 hats.


According to Jicha, participation in research is vital to the advancement of medicine, and without volunteers -- both healthy and sick -- we would not have many of the treatments we routinely use today, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain management and vaccines for polio and other diseases.


Geneva's affection for the "loving people" at Sanders-Brown was cemented at the beginning of her stint as a research volunteer.  On Dr. Jicha's visit to Geneva's home, he discovered that the elevator to her third floor apartment was out of service.  Geneva, who has difficulty walking, was housebound.


"It bothered me that Geneva didn't have access to heath care if she needed it," Jicha remembers.  So he made a phone call to her landlord.  The elevator was fixed that afternoon.


"We (at Sanders-Brown) are here to help people," Jicha says.  "While that usually doesn't involve getting a patient's elevator repaired, how could we not help someone like Geneva who is doing so much for others without asking for acknowledgement or reward?"


In Dr. Jicha's experience, people who volunteer for medical research are motivated for a number of reasons. Healthy volunteers usually know someone who's ill and want to help them, while sick volunteers say they are doing it for their kids and for others who might contract the disease. 


"Either way," says Dr. Jicha, "these volunteers feel a sense of empowerment -- that they are contributing to the fight.  Many of these volunteers report a sense of loss once the trial is over."



Clinical research is under way in many places at the University of Kentucky, including Sanders-Brown. 


To learn more about participating in research, please visit You can see examples of the research currently happening at UK, and you can also enroll in ResearchMatch. ResearchMatch is an easy-to-use, secure, volunteer research participant registry that brings together willing volunteers who are trying to find research studies, and researchers who are looking for people to participate in their studies. Joining is free and takes just a few minutes.


Registering for ResearchMatch does not require you to participate. Instead, you simply register and wait to be contacted about studies that might interest you. If you are contacted about participation in a study, researchers will fully explain to you what the study is about and what your participation will require. At that time you can decide if you want to participate. If you have questions about research participation, please contact Roxane Poskin at 859-257-7856 or


Research positively impacts the lives of millions of people every day, but research needs volunteers to keep it moving forward. Volunteering to participate in research can make a big difference in obtaining outcomes that may lead to future medications, treatments and healthier lives for everyone.


Patient Portals Enhance Patient-Provider Communication

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 15:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) -- Patient portals are health care-related online applications that allow patients to interact and communicate with their health care providers. Much like electronic health records, they are taking medicine into the next era of patient-provider communication.


Portals allow patients to access their medical information, see results of medical tests, and ask for a renewal of a prescription. Some portals also offer features as the ability to request, cancel or reschedule appointments.


For patients, having an email address is usually the only requirement for accessing a portal and typically, since they are internet-based, patients can access information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Some portal applications are integrated into the existing website of a health care provider while others are modules added onto an existing electronic medical record (EMR) system. Either way, the goal is for patients to interact with their medical information and health care providers via the Internet in a secure fashion.


Patient portals benefit both patients and health care providers by increasing efficiency and productivity.


Although patient portals may vary some among health care providers, features currently available from most medical provider's portal -- or likely available in the future -- include:

  • Ability to securely view and print portions of your medical record, including recent doctor visits, hospital discharge instructions and summaries.
  • Your list of medications and immunization records.
  • Access to most lab results and radiology reports

Other features may include:

  • Requesting prescription refills
  • Scheduling non-urgent appointments
  • Checking your benefits and coverage
  • Updating your contact information
  • Making payments
  • Downloading or completing intake forms


Patient portals can help you be more actively involved in your own health care. Additionally, if you are a parent or caregiver for another family member, you may be able to access your family members’ health information helping you take care of them more easily.


To get access to a Patient Portal and to find out what options are available for you, ask your health care providers if they offer a patient portal.  They can then provide you with instructions for setting it up.


Generally, there are only a few steps involved in setting up your account such as creating a secure password. This is to make sure only you have access to your health information. 

 Always remember that your health information is private, secure and protected and that all patient portals have privacy and security safeguards in place to protect your health information.


To make sure that your private health information is safe from unauthorized access, patient portals are hosted on a secure connection and accessed via an encrypted, password-protected logon. However, always remember to protect your username and password from others and make sure to only log on to the patient portal from a personal or secure computer.


Overall, the patient portal is a convenient and secure health-management tool you can use anywhere you have access to the Internet that benefits patients by supporting care between visits, and, most importantly, improving patient outcomes.


This column originally appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 14 edition of The Herald-Leader.


Dr. Carol Steltenkamp is UK HealthCare's Chief Medical Information Officer and executive director of the Kentucky Regional Extension Center.  


UK Libraries to Digitize Appalachian Records of Public Health, Housing, Community Development

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 13:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) — The Council on Library and Information Resources has announced the recipients of the 2014 Cataloging Hidden Collections Grants. A project from University of Kentucky Libraries was one out of 19 that were selected from a pool of 92 proposals submitted for grants. Award recipients will create web-accessible records according to standards that will enable the federation of their local cataloging entries into larger groups of related records, enabling the broadest possible exposure to the scholarly community.


The UK Libraries grant project, "Action in Appalachia: Revealing Public Health, Housing, and Community Development Records in the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center," was awarded a $156,439 grant. Led by principal investigators Deirdre Scaggs, associate dean of Special Collections, and Ruth Bryan, UK archivist, this two-year project will result in 645 cubic feet of fully processed Appalachian records comprising seven hidden collections of War on Poverty-era, social justice organizational records.


These community-driven groups worked to improve public health, housing, education and economic development from the 1960s to the present by taking action in Appalachia. The collections that will be made available as a result of this grant include: 

· Eastern Kentucky Health Services Inc. (EKHS);

· Eastern Kentucky Housing Development Corporation (EKHDC);

· Appalachian Leadership and Community Outreach Inc. (ALCOR);

· Commission on Religion in Appalachia (CORA);

· Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises Inc. (FAHE);

· Marketing Appalachia's Traditional Community Handcrafts (MATCH); and

· Human/Economic Appalachian Development Corporation (HEAD). 


Accessibility to these collections will contribute to new scholarship and public understanding about the social and economic development of Appalachia.


Records featured in "Action in Appalachia" are a part of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, which is housed at UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center. It comprises more than 3,000 linear feet of primary source material relating to the history, culture and development of Eastern Kentucky and the Central Appalachian region. It is one of the premiere collecting areas in the center and is among the highest in demand for researchers across the United States and beyond.


UK Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.




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

Scientific Glassblower Provides Unique Service to UK

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 12:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) — When University of Kentucky faculty need a piece of specialty glasswork designed, like laboratory instruments, they rely on the only scientific glassblower on campus. Jeff Babbitt has been running the Department of Chemistry's Glass Shop for almost 25 years now, providing unique skills and quick service to the UK community.


Babbitt does a variety of things — from simple repairs to the construction of complicated vacuum line systems. His job is a highly specialized one and as Babbitt himself says, "A lot of people don't know about it."


Drawing on his experiences working in his dad's Ann Arbor glass shop, Babbitt has been learning the trade since adolescence.  He says he has always been interested in it.


"You know, your job should be something that you enjoy doing when you go in," said Babbitt in a recent video produced by the Hive in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Babbitt designs and creates glassware based on what the user needs it to do. He estimates about 100 different varieties of glass exist. As many of the varieties have the same appearance, it is essential to know the applications of each type, or to know a scientific glassblower like Babbitt.


"They've all got different formulas; they all heat differently, expand differently," Babbitt said in the video.


To learn more and to view a glimpse into the life of the UK scientific glassblower, visit  




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

Faculty, Staff Discounts on 2015 Football Season Tickets

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — The fall of 2015 promises to be an exciting time for UK Athletics and particularly for the Wildcat football program, as the New Commonwealth Stadium (The New CWS) opens after a $120-million reinvention.


As of today, season ticket sales for the 2015 season are available to one and all, and  full-time faculty and staff have a chance to purchase tickets at a discounted rate. Regular full-time faculty and staff can receive a 20 percent discount on the cost of tickets (up to two seats), including a 50 percent discount on the K Fund donation (up to two seats), if selecting seats at the $525 donation level or below.


The 50 percent K Fund discount does not apply to premium seating areas, including suites, loge and club seating.


With UK playing an additional eighth home game in 2015, all season tickets are regularly priced at $320 each, in addition to the annual K Fund donation. To provide a variety of affordable ticket options, approximately 25,000 seats will be priced at the current $100 K Fund donation level or lower, plus ticket cost.


Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit and use the virtual venue to view available seats, but should call the UK Athletics Ticket Office at 800-928-2287 to receive the discounted price on tickets, rather than buying the tickets online.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Taylor Stapleton, 859-257-1818.




Money Management Matters Site to Aid Students, Topic: Financial Management

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 14:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — What might your degree be worth?


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

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


1.         Student loans

2.         Employment

3.         Health care

4.         Credit

5.         Saving and investing

6.         Money management


This week, UKNow will highlight the final topic: money management.


Successful management of one’s personal financial situation begins with the development of a comprehensive personal budget. 


"A solid understanding of what exactly you spend your money on can put you on the path to making sure that each one of your hard earned dollars is spent efficiently,” said Chris Riley, project manager of the Enhancing Student Financial Education Grant and graduate student at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.


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


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


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


 “We hope the information provided within and MMM will aid students and graduates in establishing a strong foundation of personal financial knowledge that they can build upon in order to make sound decisions across all stages of their personal financial life cycle,” Riley said.




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

IHP Offers Opportunity for Community to Engage With International Students

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 13:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — The University of Kentucky International Hospitality Program (IHP) is seeking "host families" for the spring semester.


Approximately 200 new international students will enroll during the spring semester at the University of Kentucky. Of these, many will join IHP in hopes of being "matched" with a family or single person.


IHP "host families" participate in sponsored events that help integrate international students into the UK community. Families do not provide housing for international students. Students cover their own basic expenses of housing, food and insurance. 


Though the host commitment lasts one year, lifelong bonds are often formed.


According to an annual survey by the Institute of International Education, during the fall 2013 semester a total of 2,225 international students enrolled at UK, representing 116 countries.  These students represent various levels and 27 fields of study.


If you are interested in joining this program, contact Mary Lynne Vickers, Host Development chair at 859-361-9603, email: or Judy Wiglesworth Phillips, Public Relations chair at 859-277-2224.




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

UK Ag Grad Brings Eclectic Style Home to Main Street

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 13:12

JACKSON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — When Kelsey Sebastian headed off to college, she wanted to eventually come back to live and work in her Eastern Kentucky home. She’s been able to do just that with the help of a comprehensive education and family support. Kelsey’s on Main opened earlier this year in downtown Jackson.


Throughout her years in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Sebastian was immersed in the hospitality industry. Her hospitality, management and tourism major in the UKAg School of Human Environmental Sciences requires students to have 400 hours working in the field before they begin an internship. To top it all off, Sebastian had to take a capstone class where the students learn to operate a real restaurant on campus called The Lemon Tree.


“I worked at Ramsey’s while I was in college and did an internship with Bayou Bluegrass Catering at Red Mile,” Sebastian said. “The Lemon Tree class really tied it all together, and we learned every aspect of running a restaurant. I worked with people from many different backgrounds and majors, just like it is in real life.”


UKAg chef-in-residence, Bob Perry heads up the Lemon Tree class with Sandra Bastin, chair of the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.


“The students in the Lemon Tree class experience every facet of a restaurant business from menu planning, nutrition, cooking the food, serving, being the manager, the marketer,” Perry said. “They really learn how to operate a restaurant in a very compact way.”


After she graduated in 2011, Sebastian went back to work as a manager at Ramsey’s but she still dreamt of going back to Breathitt County.


“Our small downtown had minimal places to go out and eat,” she said. “People were always asking me when I was going to come home and open something up there. About that time my Aunt Laura (Thomas) bought a building downtown, so it all just sort of fell together at the right time.”


You can watch a video about Kelsey's on Main, produced by Jeff Franklin of UK Ag Communications Services, by clicking here.


It has taken two years and every family member pitching in to get the 100-year-old historic piece of downtown up and running. She said Thomas is still working on renovating the upstairs; it will eventually be apartments.


Kelsey’s on Main serves up many family recipes — some so secret that Kelsey won’t let anyone else in the room when she’s making them — and its motto is “Life is short, eat dessert first.” Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, Kelsey’s also offers a Sunday, after-church buffet and rents out one side of the restaurant for meetings, receptions and parties.


“It makes me feel really good, really satisfied,” she said. “My family is glad I’m here; they come in and eat every night. It’s nice that people coming in here know us … you can hug them when they come through the door and they’ll say, ‘Oh I remember when you were just this tall and now you’re doing this.’ It’s a good feeling.”


Jessica Ritchie, Breathitt County 4-H youth development agent, is also a Jackson native. She and Sebastian knew each other before either was in their current position. Ritchie was even Sebastian’s 4-H camp counselor at one time. Ritchie said she often uses Sebastian as an example to her older 4-H’ers.


“I’m proud of her as a friend and a community leader,” Ritchie said. “Sometimes it’s hard to come back to your hometown. There might not be many jobs or opportunities, but she’s made a way to do it and is a great example to our 4-H’ers that they can come back and make a difference. You want vibrancy downtown in your community. She saw a need in our community, and she’s brought that life to Main Street down here.”


Sebastian said she wants other young people to realize that they can make a place for themselves in their hometown.


“Just pick something that makes you happy and helps other people,” she said.


Perry said it’s nice to see former students doing well.


“It makes us really proud,” he said. “We keep up with a lot of students, and it’s fun to watch them mature and go through their career.” 




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

Brighten the Holidays With the Gift of a Good Book

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — University Press of Kentucky (UPK) makes gift giving a pleasure this holiday season with a wide variety of books.  The topics explore such interests from cookbooks and historical memoirs to publications on Appalachian culture and Kentucky basketball.


For those who love to cook, UPK has two great options focusing on Kentucky ingredients. "Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage: Two Hundred Years of Southern Cuisine", by John van Willigen, discovers some of the state's finest traditions through the history of its ever-changing food culture. Van Willigen, a professor emeritus of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky, also shares the story of the original Aunt Jemima — the advertising persona of Nancy Green, born in Montgomery County, Kentucky.  


Another publication for those who enjoy baking is "Bourbon Desserts" by Lynn Marie Hulsman. "Bourbon Desserts" features more than 75 decadent desserts with Kentucky's favorite spirit. The delectable recipes include Bourbon Crème Brulee, Watermelon Julep Pops, Drunken Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Derby Morning Maple- Bourbon Hotcake Syrup and Grandma Rose's Big Race Pie.


Those who are more interested in historical figures of Kentucky would enjoy Maryjean Wall's publication, "Madam Belle: Sex, Money and Influence in a Southern Brothel." This book explores the true story of Belle Brezing, of Lexington. She is the woman who inspired the character of Belle Watling from Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind." An alumna of UK, Wall served 35 years as the turf writer for the Lexington Herald Leader before pursuing her doctorate at UK. She currently is a part-time instructor in the Department of History.


Another less controversial historical figure, Thomas Merton, a poet, social justice advocate and theologian, is explored in "The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer," edited by F. Douglas Scutchfield, the Peter P. Bosomworth Professor of Health Services Research and Policy at UK College of Public Health, and Paul Evans Holbrook Jr., director of the King Library Press. Merton is known as one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. He resided at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a monastery near Bardstown, Kentucky. He wrote more than 70 books, however the public was not aware of the large number of letters that were exchanged between the Trappist monk and Lexington printers Victor and Carolyn Hammer. The collaborations between Merton and the Hammers reveal their shared interest in the convergence of art, literature and spirituality.


Another topic of interest, Appalachian culture, is explored in "Talking Appalachian" by Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward. The book explores the history and culture of Appalachian language. "Talking Appalachian" examines distinctive speech varieties and emphasizes their role in expressing the history and a shared identity of Appalachia. There are excerpts from essays, poetry, short fiction and novels to illustrate the unique Appalachian dialect.


The Appalachian renaissance is explored in "Every Leaf a Mirror: A Jim Wayne Miller Reader." This publication focuses on Jim Wayne Miller, the innovative poet, essayist and short story writer of Appalachian literature. Miller served 33 years at Western Kentucky University and assisted in developing programs in Appalachian studies.  "Every Leaf a Mirror" collects essential selections from the beloved author’s writing and is an intimate look at Miller's contributions as an artist and cultural scholar edited by Morris Allen Grubbs, assistant dean in the Graduate School at the University of Kentucky and Mary Ellen Miller, the widow of Jim Wayne Miller and professor of English at Western Kentucky University.


The Kentucky basketball fan will enjoy "Wildcat Memories", a book that illuminates the intimate connection between the UK basketball program and the Commonwealth.

Author Doug Brunk reflects on the program's greatest coaches, players and personalities and their stories about individuals who provided inspiration, guidance and moral support. The individuals who have coached, played for and inspired the Kentucky Wildcats are important figures in Kentucky history and motivate future athletes and passionate fans for the years to come.


"Voice of the Wildcats: Claude Sullivan and the Rise of Modern Sportscasting" explores one of the first voices of the UK men's basketball and football programs. This book offers a heartfelt reflection of the sportscaster's life and broadcasting career covering Kentucky sports, as well as Cincinnati Reds Baseball, from the late 1940s through his death in 1967. Alan Sullivan, Claude Sullivan's son, teamed up with Joe Cox to create this publication.


UPK is currently offering more than 1,300 titles discounted up to 80 percent. There is no better time to share these publications full of history and the culture of the Commonwealth. The holiday sale will continue through Feb. 1, 2015. To order any of the titles mentioned above or to see the entire selection of publications, visit online at


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation. 



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

KET to Air Documentary on Nunn Center's 'Kentucky Bourbon Tales'

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:54


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — Bourbon is booming in Kentucky and around the world. In the last two years alone, the number of distilleries has tripled, and the number of people employed in the industry has nearly doubled. Currently, there are more barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky than there are citizens in the Commonwealth.


A new documentary, "Kentucky Bourbon Tales: Distilling the Family Business," drawn from oral history interviews conducted by the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, introduces viewers to the colorful characters who craft Kentucky’s signature spirit.


The program, which also explains the science and art behind the bourbon-making process and details how the beverage became a global phenomenon, will first air 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, on KET, and again 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, on KET2. The program will air several more times this month, to see a list of those times visit KET online here.


In partnership with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), "Kentucky Bourbon Tales" is part of a multi-year effort by the Nunn Center in the UK Libraries to document the history of bourbon in the state, and features the stories of the master distillers and bourbon barons from iconic distilleries that participate in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, including Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill, Brown-Forman, Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Maker's Mark, Four Roses and Jim Beam, as well as the new Michter's Distillery and Independent Stave Cooperage.  


"The bourbon industry plays a major role in Kentucky's social, cultural and commercial history, especially from the global perspective. This documentary captures the essence of Kentucky bourbon's recent history and renaissance, and promises to both educate and entertain," said Nunn Center Director Doug Boyd.


"Kentucky Bourbon Tales: Distilling the Family Business" was directed by Joanna Hay and produced by the Nunn Center. The archived oral history interviews can be accessed in their entirety via the Nunn Center's online catalog, and the project’s website,, features more than 175 video excerpts from the oral history project.


“Kentucky Bourbon Tales” is made possible through the support of the KDA and its member distilleries. The nonprofit organization, which traces its roots back to 1880, is a

leading international voice on bourbon and distilled spirits issues.


In 1999, the KDA created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience, which has quickly

become one of the state’s most famous and fastest-growing tourism attractions. More

than 2.5 million people — from all 50 states and more than 50 countries — have visited

the state's legendary distilleries in the last five years alone.


KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization at


Part of the UK Special Collections Research Center at UK Libraries, the Nunn Center has collected more than 9,000 oral history interviews documenting various aspects of history including Appalachia, public policy, civil rights, agriculture, African American history, women, religion, the arts, education, culture, the history of UK, sports, health care and veterans, as well as industries such as coal, equine and Kentucky's bourbon industry.



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

Ellington, Gabbard Win Supervisor of the Year Award

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) — Each year, the University of Kentucky Office of Work-Life recognizes supervisors who have been nominated by their direct reports and colleagues for the Supervisor of the Year award. This award is in place to formally recognize supervisors who are highly regarded by their employees for creating a work environment that enables their teams' success and encourages work-life effectiveness.


This year, the honor was awarded to Michelle Ellington, geographic information systems (GIS) coordinator in Facilities Information Services, and Crystal Gabbard, assistant employment manager in UK Human Resources.


Ellington has worked at UK since 2006. She has served in multiple roles since then and is best known as a technical evangelist for the development and adoption of innovative geospatial products that support the UK community. As a dedicated mapping professional, Ellington served two terms as president of the Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals (KAMP), and is currently a team lead for the Esri Facilities Steering Committee and event coordinator for the Campus Facilities Technologies Association (CFTA). Ellington is a frequent guest speaker for multiple university courses and local and international conferences. This past year she gave a TEDx Talk called “Mapping the New Normal,” along with being an invited plenary speaker for the 2014 Esri International Education Conference.


Ellington and her team are responsible for creating and supporting the university’s Enterprise Geospatial Systems, which are the heart of the university’s campus maps and the advanced mapping analysis used throughout the UK community. They have received numerous awards for their work including an international Esri Vision Award and an international Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award. 


Her team’s nomination included their appreciation for “inspiring us to greatness” and the “established trust” built within an atmosphere that promotes “continuous collaboration and a balance of focus and fun, and of work and personal life.” They also appreciate the way she “makes time on a weekly basis to nurture her team and to encourage healthy actions yet still meet her project goals,” and the way she encourages the team to “strive for excellence in all areas by implementing lean process and efficiencies to achieve more across the board.”


Crystal Gabbard has a Bachelor of Science in health services management with a minor in business from the university. She joined the Human Resources Employment team as an employment consultant in 2008 and was then promoted to assistant employment manager in 2012. She has been a strong contributor to UK Human Resource’s Hiring Enhancement Program and now leads the development of new resources to this program. Gabbard is a certified Targeted Selection Administrator, which is a type of behavior-based interviewing, and holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. 


The Career Employment division of HR Employment is responsible for posting and processing all regular full-time positions. The team also assists hiring officials with faculty positions and direct user positions. This team handles a high volume of work to ensure appropriate steps are taken when hiring new employees, and provides hiring and selection guidance to hiring officials across the university. 


Her team’s nomination noted Gabbard's “dedication to her employees; her fun and friendly demeanor; and her passion for our work.” They appreciated her “belief in transparent and open communication that makes them feel important and allows them to see how their roles positively impact the university,” as well as the fact that “work-life balance is not just a philosophy to Crystal. She makes every effort to support her employees in areas of life that are just as, if not more important to them than work.”


They also mentioned that they have “the utmost respect for her” and submitted the nomination because “she constantly recognizes our hard work and this nomination is a way for us to recognize her outstanding leadership.”


The Office of Work-Life appreciates each person who nominated their supervisor or a peer for this year’s award. Nominations for the 2015 award will open in early September.  

Message From President Capilouto: The Community We Aspire to Be

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 18:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent an email message to the campus community Dec. 11 regarding responses to a recent "die-in" on UK's campus.  His message follows:


Dear Campus Community,


Whatever your perspective regarding the events in recent days in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, we should all be able to agree on one thing: they are tragedies — tragedies for the families involved, the communities impacted and all of us who have watched the painful conversations necessarily provoked across our country. It should be no surprise, moreover, that a university is where many of those difficult conversations are being held.


That is as it should be. That is who we are — a place safe for ideas, however challenging, to be given free voice. I am proud of the leadership of our students who have organized silent protests to express their outrage. These efforts are a demonstration, too, of the unyielding and unbreakable hope that we can finally muster the will and conceive the way to break down the unnecessary barriers that separate us.


However, the ability to challenge ourselves to promote peace and reconciliation is threatened by the anonymous reaction of a small number who choose to make incendiary and hate-filled comments behind the anonymity that social media sometimes affords. Everyone is entitled to their views, and college campuses are vibrant as places for robust debate about the issues of the day, safely ensconced in the mantle of free speech. It’s expected – and welcomed – that we will disagree as we participate in the spirited arena of ideas. But hate-filled slurs hurled for no reason other than to demean another person have no place here. Such language is indicative of narrow mindedness and mean spirit; and what I have read sickens me. It is not who we are or wish to be.


The reality of independent social media is we cannot control those conversations. But what we can and will continue to do is work hard to ensure the safety and dignity of our community and refuse to allow a hostile environment to take root on our campus.

We will not let the voices of a few define us. We will remain resolute in welcoming every member of the human family to join us here – to live, to learn, and to work; and to assert their views with the knowledge that they are full share-holders in this community of students and scholars. In that spirit of community, I stand firmly in support of those willing to protest, defend their views, and raise uncomfortable questions openly and honestly and with respect for others.


Words, of course, can dishearten and denigrate. But they also can – and should – galvanize and enlighten. For example, I was honored Wednesday to participate in a conversation at our Martin Luther King Center about the damage that is caused by bias and stereotype. Those who spoke reminded me, in vivid terms, of the harm that comes from words and actions; and they described their frustration and sadness at the unnecessary barriers that still divide us. That is the dialogue we must have – and continue to have – if we are going to continue the search for truth, peace, and justice.


It is against that backdrop of hopeful, but challenging dialogue that I want to express my deep appreciation to the members of our faculty and staff and to our students. Even with recent days of difficulty and painful reminders that we sometimes fall short of what we aspire to be in our country, we also are in a season of hope, a season of renewal. I see that spirit every day at this special place. Your talent, creativity, and hard work are the foundation for our success; and your love for and commitment to our campus community and the Commonwealth we serve reveals the giving heart and gentle soul of this special place. It is a gift to work alongside you in our common cause to improve the lives of others.


Our ultimate goal should forever be to create and sustain a community where everyone feels welcome, empowered, and safe. That is the community we are at the University of Kentucky.


Eli Capilouto


Mohr-Schroeder Receives Mathematics Education Service and Achievement Award

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 18:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, associate professor in the UK College of Education STEM Education Department, received the 2014 Mathematics Education Service and Achievement (MESA) Award in October.


The award was presented by the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics (KCTM) during its fall conference, which was held at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Kentucky.


The Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics has honored educators, administrators and other professionals with the MESA Award since 1991. The awardees are nominated by KCTM members and are chosen by an awards committee. This state-level award is KCTM’s highest honor. Award winners are selected for their outstanding work in their area of expertise and their service to the mathematics community.

UK Students Impact Fellow Students Through Big Blue Pantry

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 17:09




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — University of Kentucky students are coming together to help fellow students who many not have access to healthy food through a new initiative called the Big Blue Pantry.


Watch the video above to discover how this resource, made possible through the UK Center for Community Outreach, is helping students in need as well as students who serve as coordinators for the program.  

Whistleblower Statute Protects UK Employees

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Congress has enacted many whistleblower protection statutes to encourage employees to report fraud, waste, and abuse. All University of Kentucky employees working on federal grants or contracts should be aware of the latest whistleblower protection statute that went into effect July 1, 2013.  The statute (41 U.S.C. §4712) applies to all contractors, grantees, subcontractors and subgrantees on federal grants and contracts.


The implementation of this "Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protections" by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) states that an "employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee (or subgrantee) may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for 'whistleblowing.'"  In addition, whistleblower protections cannot be waived by any agreement, policy, form or condition of employment.


Whistleblowing is defined as making a disclosure "that the employee reasonably believes" is evidence of any of the following:

  • Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant;
  • A gross waste of federal funds;
  • An abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant;
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or,
  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).

To qualify under the statute, the employee's disclosure must be made to:

  • A member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional committee;
  • An Inspector General;
  • The Government Accountability Office;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
  • A court or grand jury; or,
  • A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or subgrantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct.

Additionally, the statute requires all grantees, their subgrantees, and subcontractors to:

1.  Inform their employees working on any federal award that they are subject to the whistleblower rights and remedies of the pilot program;
2.  Inform their employees in writing of employee whistleblower protections under 41 U.S.C. §4712 in the predominant native language of the workforce; and,
3.  Contractors and grantees will include such requirements in any agreement made with a subcontractor or subgrantee.

The requirement to comply with, and inform all employees of the "Pilot Program for Enhancement of Contact Employee Whistleblower Protections" is in effect for all grants, contracts, subgrants, and subcontracts issued beginning July 1, 2013 through Jan. 1, 2017.


The University of Kentucky's policy can be found at According to topic #16 under the Code of Conduct "it is a violation of university policy to retaliate against an individual because she or he has made, in good faith, a disclosure of noncompliance or has participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing involving noncompliance of any of the above."


For more information about this policy and notice, contact Deborah Davis, director of the UK Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, at 859-257-8311 or

Sing Along With UK Opera, Alltech at 'Celebration of Song'

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 15:45




LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Alltech and University of Kentucky Opera Theatre invite you to the ninth annual "Celebration of Song" beginning at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at the The Square (previously the Victorian Square Shoppes Atrium), located at the corner of West Main Street and North Broadway in downtown Lexington. Both concerts are free and open to the public.


Director of UK Opera Theatre Everett McCorvey leads the orchestra and award-winning vocalists from UK Opera Theatre in this sing-along holiday concert. Join the vocalists in a selection of beloved carols to get you in the spirit of the season. Endowed Chair, Professor of Voice Cynthia Lawrence; UK artist-in-residence Gregory Turay; UK Blue Steel; and the Lexington Singers’ Children’s Choir join the celebration for a fourth year. New to "Celebration of Song" is Zeb Harrison and Sounds of Praise, a foot-stomping, hand-clapping trombone ensemble from Charlotte, North Carolina.  


UK Opera Theatre is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The School of Music has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.


For more information on “Celebration of Song” visit or contact UK Opera Theatre at 859-257-9331.



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

UK Employees Can Sign-up to Receive W-2 Forms Online Now

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — University of Kentucky employees have the option of accessing their W-2 statements online. UK's 'Safe, Swift, Sustainable' W-2 program allows currently employed faculty, staff and students to receive their W-2 forms through the 'Employee Self Service' portion of password protected myUK.


Employees who enroll in the Safe, Swift, Sustainable W-2 program give the university consent to only provide their W-2s online. Enrolled employees will no longer receive a paper W-2 in the mail but will be able to view and print their W-2 at an earlier date. The enrollment period is now through Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, and prizes will be given as an incentive to enroll. Employees who consented last year to receive their 2013 W-2 online will continue to receive their future W-2s online.


The benefits of this online W-2 statements program are:

•  Earlier access to your W-2 statement than the traditional mail process;

•  Email notification when online W-2 statement is available;

•  Eliminate the possibility of your W-2 statement being delayed or lost in the mail;

•  Access to your W-2 statement at any time;

•  Ability to print W-2 at your convenience;

•  Contribute to UK’s sustainability initiative; and

•  Once enrolled future W-2s will remain online for multiple years.


"Safe, swift and sustainable really are key aspects of this program," said Ronda Beck, UK controller. "Electronic versions of W-2 statements are expected to be available for viewing as early as Jan. 20, 2015, whereas extra time is needed for printing and mailing paper versions, which are required to be mailed no later than Jan. 31, 2015. Also, employees have the added security of knowing their salary and social security number aren't on paper in the mail system."


The program fits well into UK's overall sustainability efforts by reducing the use of paper, and promoting cost savings. Beck estimates UK will see approximately $20,000 in annual savings in paper and postage costs.


For instructions on how to enroll in the Safe, Swift, Sustainable W-2 program, visit


All active UK employees who consent to receive online W-2s will be entered into a random drawing for prizes, which includes a chance to win:

· UK basketball tickets;

· $50 gift cards; and

· $250 gift cards

Prize winners will be notified weekly Dec. 15, 2014, through Jan. 20, 2015.  


Employees who do not want to enroll in the program do not have to take any action. They will have a paper W-2 form printed and mailed by the University of Kentucky no later than Jan. 31, 2015, to the employee’s permanent address on file in the SAP HR/Payroll system. Employees who have separated employment from the University of Kentucky will have a W-2 paper form printed and mailed.  



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

UPK Book Gives Voice to Appalachian Speech

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:41



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Appalachians are one of the few groups left where stereotyping is not given a second thought by the media in todays' society. While often the subject of ridicule, the dialect and identity associated with Appalachia have special meaning to its people and culture.


In "Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community," now available in paperback through the University Press of Kentucky (UPK), editors Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward along with a team of scholars and creative writers combine linguistic research and testimonials about mountain dialects to explore what it is like to be an Appalachian speaker in today's times. Clark and Hayward bridge the gap between perceptions of Appalachian speech and the truth.


"Talking Appalachian" discusses the diversities of Appalachian English by examining linguistic history, small speech communities, dialects among African Americans in the region, and how language is approached in education. In the essay “The Historical Background and Nature of the Englishes of Appalachia,” Michael Montgomery looks to history and immigration patterns to explore the variation and commonality among dialects. Hayward’s essay, “Think Logically: Language as Community Practice,” explains how local factors play an important role in the construction of linguistic identities, putting to rest the myth that Appalachian speech is unified throughout the entire region. Walt Wolfram investigates “African American Speech in Southern Appalachia” and Jeffrey Reaser’s essay, “Dialect and Education in Appalachia,” chronicles the ways native speakers are stereotyped in mainstream educational systems.


"Talking Appalachian" also explores the experience of being an Appalachian speaker through the personal essays of contemporary writers from the region and by examining samples of their characters’ dialogue. In the essay “In My Own Country,” novelist Silas House describes his parents’ learning to “pass” as they tried to assimilate into a Michigan community and explores his resistance to standardizing his own dialect. In the essay “A Matter of Perception,” poet Jane Hicks reveals the prejudice and misinterpretation she has encountered as a student and educator because of her northeastern Tennessee accent. Authors Denise Giardina, Ron Rash, Rita Quillen and Crystal Wilkinson contribute passages from their works of fiction in which their characters face conflicts about identity and perception that arise as a result of their dialects.


Through sociolinguistic research and personal narratives, "Talking Appalachian" deconstructs the idea of one standard Appalachian English and connects readers with the contributors as they accept and appreciate their own identities. Clark and Hayward show these vernaculars are inextricably linked with identity, and they appeal to all who struggle to maintain their dialect, and therefore, their individuality.


Amy D. Clark is an associate professor of English at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Nancy M. Hayward is professor emeritus of English at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.



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

UK Researchers Awarded CDC Grants for Cancer Research in Appalachia

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 10:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) – Two University of Kentucky researchers have been awarded $1.62 million in grants through special interest projects from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The grants fund projects that focus on methods for improving the dire cancer statistics in Appalachian Kentucky, which has some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the country.


Robin Vanderpool, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior in the UK College of Public Health, was awarded a 5-year, $1.37 million grant to fund the Appalachian Center for Cancer Education, Screening, and Support (ACCESS), a collaboration between the University of Kentucky's Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC) and the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN).


CPCRN is supported by both CDC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). ACCESS will work to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention and control programs in Appalachian Kentucky communities and reduce the cancer burden in these underserved populations. The goal of the project is to use existing primary care resources in efficient and effective ways to promote guideline-recommended cancer screenings and improve overall health in the region. 


Specifically, ACCESS will conduct a regional research project with White House Clinics, a federally qualified health center that serves a medically underserved and high-poverty region in Appalachian Kentucky. The project will design, implement, and evaluate a proactive officer encounter (POE) intervention effort in eight community health centers, which will provide a systematic approach to offering breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer screening services at every office encounter for eligible patients.


Bin Huang, an assistant professor in the Division of Cancer Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics, UK College of Public Health, was awarded a 2-year, $250,000 grant to improve Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) data through ancillary data linkage. The main goal of Huang's project is to establish groundwork and examine the feasibility for the development of a sustainable Kentucky Cancer Quality and Outcome Research Data System, with the goal of improving the quality of care for Kentuckians with cancer.


The project seeks to generate enhanced KCR data, specifically in Appalachian Kentucky, by linking with external sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers; populating treatment summaries for breast and colorectal cancers; and conducting patterns of care research in cancer survival disparities for these types of cancers in Appalachian and non-Appalachian populations. 


These projects are a great example of the interdisciplinary work of investigators in the College of Public Health and Markey Cancer Center that spans the cancer prevention and control continuum, from screening interventions to surveillance, to remedy the cancer disparities faced by residents of Appalachian Kentucky,” said Margaret McGladrey, assistant dean for research in the UK College of Public Health.


Federal funds from the CDC and NCI financed 100 percent of the costs for these special interest projects; no non-governmental sources contributed to the funding. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or

New State Law on Personal Information Security Affects UK

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 19:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — A new state law, the Personal Information Security and Breach Investigation Procedures and Practices Act, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015, and applies to all state agencies and universities.  This act concerns the protection of personal information, which is broadly defined (see definition of personal information below).


The major elements of the law require UK employees to:

  • Be aware of personal information (both in paper and electronic form) and secure it accordingly.
  • Contact the appropriate offices if there is a suspected breach of personal information and/or protected health information:


o   Non-health care areas should contact the Security Breach Reporting Line, by calling 859-218-3904;

o   Health care areas should contact UK HealthCare IT Security Help Desk by calling 859-323-8586 or the Office of Corporate Compliance by calling 859-323-8002;


  • Preserve all information and data for the incident response team to investigate.


Employees are asked to share this information with colleagues. More information will be coming soon. 


Any questions should be directed to the UK HealthCare Office of Corporate Compliance at 859-323-8002; UK Analytics and Technologies Security at 859-218-0306 / e-mail; or UK Office of Legal Counsel at 859-257-2936.



Personal Information

Personal information is defined as " an individual's first name or first initial and last name; personal mark; or unique biometric or genetic print or image, in combination with one or more of the following data elements:

·         An account number, credit card number, or debit card number that, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password, would permit access to an account;

·         A Social Security number;

·         A taxpayer identification number that incorporates a Social Security number;

·         A driver's license number, state identification card number or other  individual  identification number issued by an agency;

·         A passport  number or other identification number  issued by the United States government; or

·         Individually Identifiable Information as defined  in 45 C.F.R. sec. 160.013 (of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), except for education  records covered  by the Family  Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended 20 U.S.C. sec 1232g."