Campus News

New UK Research Facility Gets Green Light From State Legislature

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 23:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2015) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto believes it is time "to make death a beggar in Kentucky.”


It’s the idea that through world-class research across an array of disciplines, and a commitment to working as partners with communities across the state, some of the most stubborn health challenges and statistics that plague Kentucky can be successfully attacked.


On Tuesday, the state General Assembly and Gov. Steve Beshear demonstrated their unwavering commitment to that vision of addressing Kentucky’s most stubborn health disparities by endorsing funding for construction of a $265 million, multidisciplinary research building at UK. 


The Senate voted 36-1 Tuesday in support of funding  $132.5 million of the cost of constructing the $265 million facility. UK will fund the other half through research contracts and private fundraising. Earlier this month, the House also strongly endorsed the proposal, which has also had Beshear’s strong support throughout the legislative process.


"Kentuckians have suffered from poor health and early deaths for decades, and sadly, many of these diseases are preventable or manageable with proper health care.  Combating these entrenched health problems requires big changes and big investments,” Beshear said of the research facility. "I’m heartened by the legislature’s support of a major investment in UK’s planned medical research facility, which will focus its work on reducing Kentucky's unacceptably high rates of preventable diseases and deaths.  The facility will complement the lifesaving efforts at Markey Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute. Finally, this medical research facility will attract world-class researchers to target rapid improvements in Kentucky's collective health.  These are worthy goals with statewide benefits.”


Support for — and momentum behind — the facility grew in January when Senate President Robert Stivers endorsed the proposal.


“I believe that this facility will kind of be at the forefront of making a healthier population, a more educated population and a population, which will be able to go into the workforce,” Stivers said.


Capilouto said the overwhelming support from Gov. Beshear and legislators also underscored the faith state policymakers have in the university to transform the Commonwealth for the better. 


"This is a clear and resounding endorsement of this institution and of our faculty and staff,” Capilouto said. "This facility — envisioned by our Board of Trustees at their October 2014 Retreat — will bring together researchers and others across our campus, from a host of disciplines, working side-by-side on the issues that most challenge our state. In particular, we will focus together on dangerously stubborn health disparities — the hundreds of preventable deaths that occur each year from diseases such as stroke, diabetes and cancer. Gov. Beshear and our legislators, through their vision and far-sightedness, have decided that an investment today in UK and its world-class faculty and staff will pay off for our state for generations to come."


View more of Capilouto's comments about today's historic vote and what it means for UK and the Commonwealth:


The building, which would be located near UK's bio-pharm and biological biomedical research buildings, would put together researchers across disciplines, working in teams, to address some of the state’s most intractable issues. If approved by Gov. Beshear, UK will work to begin construction by the end of the year.


The health challenges the facility and researchers will address include the hundreds of deaths that occur in Kentucky each year due to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease, stroke and other preventable illnesses.


Those health maladies are particularly acute in Eastern Kentucky, which is served by UK HealthCare through a number of partnerships with local and regional hospitals and health providers. Capilouto has said that targeted combination of leading research and outstanding clinical care, in partnership with communities, can lead to better health outcomes.


During earlier testimony before a key House committee, Capilouto and UK Interim Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis told lawmakers that UK has some 330 individual research projects — totaling some $350 million — currently investigating those challenges and others. 


Moreover, the economic impact of research is significant as well, Capilouto said, pointing to a recent UK study that concluded that the annual direct and indirect economic impact of UK’s sponsored research across the campus was $581 million in fiscal year 2013, with more than 8,000 jobs created and $21.3 million generated annually in local and state taxes.


A link to a presentation about the proposed facility can be viewed here:


Apply Now to Become a UK STAR

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 17:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2015) — You, too, can be a STAR, a star student, star leader, star innovator.


The deadline is March 9 for undergraduates to apply to STAR, the University of Kentucky’s Summer Training in Alcohol Research program. Students can study alcohol‐related disorders like alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome, cancer, family relationship dynamics, medications development and risk factors.


An innovative grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) funds the UK program that both advances research of alcohol abuse, but also trains tomorrow's problem solvers.


UK launched STAR last year thanks to the $350,000 NIAAA grant that pays the chosen students a $4,000 stipend during a 10-week summer internship in one of 11 UK psychology, physiology and pharmacology labs, working on research projects that focus on alcohol and its effects.


The program reaches out specifically to a diverse population of Kentuckians for this unique educational opportunity. The chosen students will work in some of UK’s best laboratory environments to unlock the answers to serious problems, while engaging with top-notch faculty mentors.


“Due to the breadth and depth of our faculty’s research, a broad range of opportunities exist for our undergraduate students," said UK President Eli Capilouto when the program was launched last year. "They will be engaged across the spectrum of creative inquiry, from cell biology to alcohol’s impact on interpersonal behavior. We hope this talented, diverse group of undergraduates will deepen their interest in STEM fields and research, particularly the biomedical and behavioral sciences.” 


“During the first year of the UK STAR training program, we received 126 applications from every corner of the continental U.S.A. and from Puerto Rico," said co-PI University Research Professor Mark A. Prendergast. "We were able to recruit a diverse group of 11 highly ambitious and productive undergraduate students who had already demonstrated a commitment to careers in the STEM fields,” said Prendergast, a UK psychology professor who supervises the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, one of the STAR labs.


Last year’s trainees received 10 weeks of intensive laboratory-based research on many aspects of alcohol and drug abuse. In addition, they received training in the responsible conduct of research, including ethics in data analysis and the care of research subjects.  The culminating experience of the training was a daylong UK STAR alcohol research symposium on campus, at which, each trainee gave a scientific presentation to members of the UK substance abuse research community.


“Our post-training survey research clearly indicated that the UK STAR experience solidified the commitment of these exceptional trainees to the pursuit of careers in the STEM fields, including in academic programs here at UK,” said Prendergast.  “We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to many more talented students.”


For more information about UK STAR and to submit an application, visit


New Sustainable and Recyclable Consumer Products Brand Wins UK Venture Challenge

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2015) University of Kentucky architecture graduate student Mark Manczyk won the UK Venture Challenge and a $1,500 scholarship with his business idea, "re.3." Second place and $1,000 went to Phillip Gordon with "Nomad Apparel." The "FinanceU" team of Michael Lewis and TJ Barnett won third place and $500. UK Venture Challenge was held last Saturday, Feb. 28, at the William T. Young Library UKAA Auditorium.


“Congratulations to all of the students who participated in UK Venture Challenge,” said University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto. “This competition provides students the opportunity to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial, which is an important part of their educational experience.”


Mark Manczyk, a first-year graduate student in the Masters of Architecture program, said “'re.3' will produce sustainable consumer accessories with an end of use program that incentivizes customers to recycle old products. I plan to continue iterating on further designs and product ideas for 're.3' via 3d printing. These will be helpful in showing more of a product suite for 're.3' since the business model is less about one single product, but rather about the dynamic of the recycling and reuse of the sustainable materials from previous products.”


Manczyk said that Venture Challenge was important in expanding his belief and confidence in the business concept for "re.3."


"Having the opportunity to receive comments from the judges and others there on Saturday is extremely valuable in helping me to evolve the business and have more potential for success,” he said.


Marketing senior Phillip Gordon’s concept for "Nomad Apparel" is to produce comfortable and stylish clothes, starting with jeans, with a secure pocket.


“I plan to use the prize money to order new pants and shorts to prepare for a full production run and to develop new product lines I am designing,” said Gordon, who not only won second place, but was also the online vote winner with 5,542 votes.


“Venture Challenge gave me the opportunity to practice my presentation skills and show off all my hard work over the past months," Gordan said. "I was glad to meet so many like-minded students in their entrepreneurial pursuits and hope this competition continues to grow at UK.”


Third place winners Michael Lewis and TJ Barnett described FinanceU as a free, innovative, community-based platform that empowers any student to build their own scholarship through the process of crowdfunding.


“Our team is working hard to develop FinanceU. The money we won will be used to help bring FinanceU to market this fall,” said Lewis, a finance and accounting freshman, who added, “Visit to get started and learn more!”


Partner Barnett is also a freshman in finance and management.


“Competing in Venture Challenge was a great experience that allowed us to network with some awesome entrepreneurs and get great feedback on our company,” Lewis said. “We were honored to compete against so many great ideas.”  


The first and second place UK Venture Challenge winners will represent UK at the state competition, Idea State U, regionals sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.


The UK Venture Challenge competition is organized by iNET Director Deb Weis with Dean Harvey, the executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship. iNET, the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking, is hosted by the College of Communication and Information. The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship & the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network are part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics.




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

Get Healthy, Win Prizes With UKColorMyPlate

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 16:52
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2015) UK Dining is challenging the UK community to eat more fruits and vegetables, through the UKColorMyPlate campaign.


UKColorMyPlate is a contest that encourages individuals to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate guidelines suggest that individuals make half of their plate consist of fruits and vegetables, and the more color, the better.


The 4-week contest involves a "rainbow" of colors, with each week focusing on different fruits and vegetables.


To participate in the contest, UK students, faculty and staff should upload pictures of their plates featuring fruits or vegetables that match the designated color of the week with the hashtag #ukcolormyplate.

  • Week 1, (March 1-7): Red. Examples include apples, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, beets, radishes, red peppers and tomatoes.
  • Week 2, (March 8-14): Green. Examples include lettuce, asparagus, beans, broccoli, okra, peas, zucchini, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
  • Week 3, (March 15-21): Orange and Yellow. Examples include cantaloupe, peaches, carrots, corn, peppers, squash and sweet potatoes.
  • Week 4, (March 22-28): Purple and Blue. Examples include blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, purple cabbage, beets and plums.

The participant who uploads the most photos of different plates each week will win a prize. The participant who uploads the most pictures of different plates during the entire contest will win the grand prize.


Make sure to tag UK Dining on any of the following social media platforms.

  • Facebook: ukydining
  • Twitter: @ukydining
  • Instagram: ukydining



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


Meal Plans Provide Quality, Affordable Options for UK Faculty and Staff

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 14:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2015) UK Dining offers faculty and staff the opportunity to save money through a variety of meal options and access to all of the restaurants and convenience stores on campus.


The three plans include:

  • The 20 Block Plan, which includes 20 all-you-care-to-eat meals at Blazer Café and Commons Market for $110, at approximately $5.50 per meal. Any extra meals roll over to the next semester and do not expire. This plan offers the most amount of food for the money.
  • The 10 Block Plan, which includes 10 all-you-care-to-eat meals at Blazer Café and Commons Market for $110 (approximately $6 per meal) and $50 flex. The meals and flex dollars for faculty/staff do not expire and will roll over.
  • The All Flex Dollars Plan, which includes $200 flex for $170. Flex can be used at all campus cafés, restaurants and convenience stores.

Meals on the 20- and 10- block plans may also be used for Wildcat Deals at select restaurants. At select restaurants, faculty and staff can also receive an additional $1 off food purchases of $5 or more with a faculty/staff ID (excludes combos, national brands and convenience stores).       


UK Dining is committed to providing the UK community a broad selection of great tasting, healthy food and beverages. Menus are created by experienced chefs who have a passion for food. Kentucky Proud products are also used throughout campus to provide wholesome, locally grown food.


Visit the UK Dining website to learn more about faculty and staff meal plans.




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

How Did Japan Survive One of the World's Worst Natural Disasters

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 14:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Japan Studies Program presents the documentary 『ほんとうの歌』 ("True Songs") March 11. The event coincides with the fourth anniversary of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power plant meltdown in Northern Japan.


The documentary will be screened with free admission at 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Kentucky Theatre on Main Street, downtown Lexington. 


“True Songs” follows the performances of a dramatic reading of the late Kenji Miyazawa’s “Milky Way Railroad” by several of Japan’s outstanding artists. These include the novelist Furukawa Hideo, who wrote the screenplay; the poet Suga Keijirō, the musician Kojima Keitaney-Love and the translator Shibata Motoyuki. It is a record of song, oral narrative and spoken word performances performed in the years since the March 11, 2011, disaster. The group has taken the show throughout Japan — from an ancient sake distillery to evacuation housing in Northern Japan to a railroad car in Kyoto. The film provides not only a documentary of the performance’s history, but a record of the performance itself and a record of life in post-3.11 Japan.


Keijiro, one of the principal actors/readers/artists, will lead a discussion following the film. He is a renowned Japanese poet, writer and translator; the recipient of a range of major literary awards and a professor at Tokyo’s Meiji University. He is the author of more than a dozen books including “Strangeography” (2013), “Agend'Ars” (2010) and “Omniphone” (2005). He has also translated many works from French, Spanish and English, including Antoine de Saint-Exupery's “The Little Prince.”


Professor Doug Slaymaker, of UK’s Japan Studies program, supplied the subtitles and described the film as “a compelling rendition of a powerful stage piece performed by some of contemporary Japan’s most important voices. It is also a remix of one of the most loved of Japanese tales — Miyazawa’s ‘Milky Way Railroad.’ Miyazawa and this tale are tied to the Fukushima area.”


Fukushima is located in the northeastern area of Japan, which took the brunt of the deadly 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, which reached heights of more than 130 feet and traveled up to six miles inland. The earthquake moved the main island of Japan 8 feet eastward and shifted the Earth on its axis between 4 and 10 inches. The disaster caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl. Nearly 16,000 were confirmed dead, 6,000 more injured and more than 2,000 still missing.  


Miyazawa is from the Fukushima region; so is novelist and playwright Furukawa. “Thus, the film is closely tied to the affected area, even though it is not about the disasters," Slaymaker said.


“Miyazawa’s tale of loss and possibility, of the fabulous and the grand, has taken on special meaning following the 3.11 disasters. In this record of the dramatic reading, mostly staged in the disaster-stricken areas, we get an intimate portrayal of the psychological and physical repercussions of the disasters,” said Slaymaker.


The event is sponsored by UK’s College of Arts and Sciences Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures; the Japan Program; and the International Studies Program.



MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston,, 859-257-3302.

Kentucky Legislators OK Funding for New UK Research Facility

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 13:27


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


FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 3, 2015) — The Kentucky Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly endorsed funding for a multi-disciplinary research facility at the University of Kentucky that will specifically focus on health disparities confronting the Commonwealth.


Under the legislation, which now goes to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature, the state will fund $132.5 million of the cost of constructing the $265 million facility. UK will fund the other half through research contracts and private fundraising.


"Our goal is to make death a beggar in Kentucky," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "Our legislators, through their vision and far-sightedness, have decided that an investment today in UK and its world-class faculty and staff will pay off for our state for generations to come."


View more of Capilouto's comments about today's historic vote and what it means for UK and the Commonwealth:


The building, which would be located near UK's bio-pharm and biological biomedical research buildings, would put together researchers across disciplines, working in teams, to address some of the state’s most intractable issues. If approved by Gov. Beshear, UK will work to begin construction by the end of the year.


The health challenges the facility and researchers will address include the hundreds of deaths that occur in Kentucky each year due to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease, stroke and other preventable illnesses.


Those health maladies are particularly acute in Eastern Kentucky, which is served by UK HealthCare through a number of partnerships with local and regional hospitals and health providers. Capilouto has said that targeted combination of leading research and outstanding clinical care, in partnership with communities, can lead to better health outcomes.


Support for — and momentum behind — the facility grew in January when Senate President Robert Stivers endorsed the proposal.


“I believe that this facility will kind of be at the forefront of making a healthier population, a more educated population and a population, which will be able to go into the workforce,” Stivers said.


During earlier testimony before a key House committee, Capilouto and UK Interim Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis told lawmakers that UK has some 330 individual research projects — totaling some $350 million — currently investigating those challenges and others. 


Moreover, the economic impact of research is significant as well, Capilouto said, pointing to a recent UK study that concluded that the annual direct and indirect economic impact of UK’s sponsored research across the campus was $581 million in fiscal year 2013, with more than 8,000 jobs created and $21.3 million generated annually in local and state taxes.


A link to a presentation about the proposed facility can be viewed here:


Wellness Goes Wild at UK

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2015) — “Wellness Gone Wild,” sponsored by the University of Kentucky Student Wellness Ambassadors, promotes a safe Spring Break at events scheduled March 9-11.


Use hashtag #WellnessGoneWild to share the events. 


“The Student Wellness Ambassadors, in collaboration with campus partners, wanted to provide an educational and interactive experience to promote wellness and safety among their peers. They want to use this event as an opportunity to connect with their peers to various campus resources,” said Marie Hartke, prevention coordinator for the Office of Substance Education and Responsibility in the Division of Student Affairs.


On Monday, March 9, “Fuel Your Bod” is planned 1-4 p.m. at the Johnson Center lobby. During the event, Student Wellness Ambassadors will provide information about physical health and nutrition.


UK Sexperts and members of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center present “We’re Bringing Sexy Facts” on March 10. They will provide information on sexual health, promote the importance of affirmative consent and suggest ways individuals can ask for and give consent. The event is slated 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in the Alumni Gallery (Room 1-65) of William T. Young Library.


On March 11, join the Student Wellness Ambassadors for the Game of Life: Spring Break Edition in the Johnson Center lobby from 4-7 p.m. The event is hosted by the Johnson Center, the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, GeneationRx, Student Health Advisory Council, the Counseling Center and University Health Services. Students will provide their peers with interactive education around various aspects of mental, physical, emotional and financial wellness. There will be free food, games, giveaways and the chance to win prizes.


This semester, the Office of Substance Education and Responsibility is changing its name to the Office of Wellness Initiatives for Student Empowerment (WISE), with a revised mission that reflects the development of holistic wellness outreach programs and initiatives for students.


The new name reflects the awareness “that student wellness must be addressed from a well-rounded, holistic perspective in order to be truly effective,” said director Andrew Smith.


Student Wellness Ambassadors are affiliated with this Student Affairs office. The mission of the Student Wellness Ambassadors is to provide knowledge to their peers about alcohol, drugs and holistic wellness. With this information, it is their goal to empower their peers to make safe and healthy choices in all aspects of their life.


For more information or if you are interested in joining the Student Wellness Ambassadors, email


Entrepreneurship, Regulation is Focus of March 10 Forum

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2015) — The Moot Court Room in the University of Kentucky's College of Law building will host a public forum examining entrepreneurship and economic regulation at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 10. The program is being hosted by the Gatton College of Business and Economics' Program for the Study of Capitalism and the Economy, which is supported by the BB&T Corporation, and the UK College of Law Federalist Society.


The forum, which is free and open to the public, will discuss the case of Wildcat Moving, LLC in regard to economic regulation and issues surrounding the 14th Amendment.


John Garen, BB&T Professor of Economics in the Gatton College, will serve as program moderator. He will be joined by three panelists:

·         Raleigh Bruner, managing partner, Wildcat Moving LLC

·         Brian Frye, assistant professor, UK College of Law

·         Frank Scott, Gatton Endowed Professor of Economics


The program is scheduled to last one hour. Parking is available at UK's Parking Garage # 5, near the corner of S. Limestone and Euclid.




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

Coach Matthew Mitchell to Headline Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Dinner

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 15:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) -- University of Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell will headline the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation Dinner celebrating great minds on April 23. The event, presented and sponsored by Alltech, will be held at the Lexington Center in downtown Lexington, with more than 700 people expected to attend.  


Each year, the dinner hosts a guest speaker who is either an example of successful aging or who has a personal connection to Alzheimer’s and age-related diseases. Previous guest speakers have included such well-known figures as Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, Barbara Bush, Colin Powell, John Glenn, Bob Dole, Willard Scott, Lauren Bacall, Andy Rooney, Hugh Downs, Newt Gingrich, Ed McMahon, Dr. Pearse Lyons and James W. Host.


Coach, athlete and inspirational speaker, Coach Mitchell watched as his mentor, friend, and legendary University of Tennesssee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit was diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type at the age of 59. To honor her, the Mitchell Family Foundation joined the fight against Alzheimer’s by donating $50,000 in the last two years.


The dinner will fund internationally recognized ongoing research at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, where researchers are engaged in the battle against Alzheimer's disease and other age-related illnesses. Individual tickets to the dinner are $175 ($200 at the door), with proceeds benefiting SBCoA. Corporate and individual table sponsorships are available starting at $1,500. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to:, or contact the SBCoA Foundation at (859) 323-5374 or  


About the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging:

The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has been conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other aging-related concerns for more than 30 years. Through a gift from the Eleanor and John Y. Brown Jr. Foundation and a matching grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging opened in 1979 and is one of 10 original National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. Today, the center is an internationally prestigious research center.


About the Foundation

The Board of Directors are committed to supporting the efforts to slow down and eventually find a cure for the diseases of the elderly. Foundation board members from around Kentucky personally support the center and serve as its ambassadors, cultivating relationships and partnerships to benefit the center’s important work.  In its lifetime, this organization has made considerable progress in obtaining support from corporations, foundation and individuals to support endowments, research and efforts to improve the health of elderly in Kentucky, through raising funds, increasing awareness and building external relationships at local, state and national levels.

Today Last Day to Vote in SGA Elections

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 15:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 5, 2015) — Voting in Student Government elections will end today.


Students may vote online at until Thursday at 6 p.m. or you may cast your vote at polling locations. The polling locations include the Classroom Building, open 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Elections are for president and vice president, college senators and senators-at-large.


Read letter below from SGA to students Wednesday with inclement weather information:

Calling all Wildcats!

Student Government elections begin today, Wednesday, March 4, and end on Thursday, March 5.


Students may vote online at beginning Wednesday at 9 a.m. until Thursday at 6 p.m. or you may cast your vote at polling locations. The polling locations include White Hall Classroom Building, open 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on both days of the election, and in the William T. Young Library, open from 6 – 9 p.m. (Rose Street entrance) on Wednesday.


In the event of inclement weather, polling locations on campus may close, however online voting will be available. The latest weather information will be available on at or on UKNow at

Elections for president and vice president, college senators and senators-at-large will be held at this time, so be sure to go out and make your voice heard!

Go Cats!

UK Student Government



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909 or Blair Hoover,, 859-257-2395

'Tales of Hoffmann' Comes to Stage With Vocal Fireworks

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 14:38



Promo for "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) — If you adore sword fights, sopranos with high, high notes, mezzos in pants, sexy courtesans, evil villains and great death scenes (there are several)…you must see University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s "The Tales of Hoffmann" running March 5-8, at the Lexington Opera House.


Paris was the place to be between 1852 and 1870. Plays and operettas mixed lavish settings and sensual themes with political and social satire. Wealthy men from high society were often seen at opening nights with actresses, young dancers and elegant courtesans on their arms.


Jacques Offenbach embodied the spirit of this era, in his opera, "The Tales of Hoffmann." This opera (sung in French with English supertitles) is based on the stories by the German romantic E.T.A. Hoffmann, who appears as the main character. He pursues three doomed loves while his muse, disguised as an old friend, tries to persuade him to devote himself to his art. Each act has a villain to hiss at and beautiful arias to enjoy. Some of the music will be so familiar that you may leave the Opera House humming. Hoffmann dons a pair of magical glasses which turns his reality into something dreamlike.


Gabrielle Barker, UK senior, gives a reading and then a performance of the "Doll Aria" from "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre.


Hoffmann is sung by tenors, Gregory Turay, alumnus and artist-in-residence, and Jonathan Parham, a graduate student studying with Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre. All the principal roles are double cast with UK Opera Theatre’s award-winning singers, including Wanessa Campelo and Holly Nicole Dodson as Nicklausse/The Muse; Gabrielle Barker and Mary Catherine Wright as Olympia; Whitney Myers and Brittany Jones as Giulietta; and Ashley Jackson and Dianna Vetter as Antonia. The casts perform on alternate days, March 5 – 8.


Andrew Miller, UK senior, gives a reading and then a performance of  "Jour et nuit" from "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 


Members of the UK Symphony Orchestra bring the beautiful melodies of this opera to life, under the baton of Maestro John Nardolillo. UK Opera Theatre is honored to have as guest director, David Lefkowich, who has worked in major opera houses around the world. Lefkowich and Turay last worked together in the premiere of Julie Taymor’s "The Magic Flute" at the Metropolitan Opera. They are delighted to work together again in this production in Lexington.


"The Tales of Hoffmann" will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 5-7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Tickets range from $38.40 to $54.75 based on location of seating. To purchase tickets, contact the Lexington Center box office – in person, by calling 859-233-3535 or visiting Student ticket rates are available in person at Lexington Center box office only with a valid student ID.


UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.


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

Celebrate Diversity at Second Annual OUTspoken Event

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:10

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) — The second annual OUTspoken event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Memorial Hall on UK's campus and will consist of two parts. The event is an equal collaboration between OUTsource: the LGBTQ* Resource Center, Shades of Pride, Gay-Straight Alliance, the VIP Center and the Student Activities Board.


J Mase III, a black transgender poet from New York City, was invited and is attending the event as the keynote speaker and performing artist. He is the creator of the national performance event, "Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement." More information about him can be found at


From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., there will be a writing workshop led by J Mase III. Beginning at 7:45 p.m., the second portion of the event will begin as the UK LGBTQ+Ally family will have the opportunity to share their own stories as survivors of interpersonal violence. They will discuss personal experiences and how they were able to demonstrate resiliency and strength. J Mase III will present his spoken word poetry between survivors’ stories.


The event is open to the entire campus community and free food will be provided.


“SAB is excited to be working with OUTsource and several other campus partners to bring OUTspoken to campus for a second year,"  Brenton Smith, director of Pop Culture Committee, said. “This event will be a place for safe expression and will feature the wonderful spoken word of J Mase III."


OUTsource exists to provide an affirming, safe and celebrating space for LGBTQQIPA+Ally family to learn more about gender identity, human sexuality and related issues by providing access to academic, cultural, campus and interpersonal resources; and to change the campus climate and culture to become more inclusive of LGBTQQIPA+Ally family by embracing, fostering and enabling diversity.


Shades of Pride exists to promote for retention, success and advocacy for students, staff and faculty at UK who identify as a person of color and part of the LGBTQ* community, as well as allies and supporters by providing a safe space and programing.


The purpose of UK Gay-Straight Alliance is to provide students at UK the opportunity for mutual support and discussion of issues relating to sexuality and gender identity, emphasizing respect and reasonable discretion. UK GSA will provide a safe social atmosphere and external outreach that fosters understanding and cooperation. Additionally, UK GSA will seek opportunities for community service and non-partisan activism related to fairness issues.


SAB brings more than 100 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community.


Connect with SAB at, follow them on Twitter at or Instagram at or like them on Facebook at For more information about SAB and events, email or text a question beginning with SABQ, followed by your question or comment, to 411-247.



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909

SAB CONTACT: Olivia Senter,, 859-257-8868



UK's Ziliak Testifies Before Congress on Poverty, Nutrition

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) University of Kentucky Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics James Ziliak, who also is director of UK's Center for Poverty Research, testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Nutrition in Washington, D.C. last week. The subcommittee falls under the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Committee. 


The purpose of the hearing was to discuss changes in recent years in who receives food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and why. 


Professor Ziliak, a widely quoted national expert on poverty issues, is co-editor of a forthcoming book to be published by the Stanford University Press titled "SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well Being."


More information on the hearing and Ziliak's testimony is available at this link:


Here is a link (in two parts) to video of the hearing: and




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


UK Commercialization Workshop Opens March 4

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) — University of Kentucky faculty, clinicians, postdocs and graduate students who are interested in commercialization and entrepreneurship can gain immeasurably from a three-part workshop opening tomorrow, Wednesday, March 4.


The UK Commercialization Series, with Part Two scheduled for April 2 and Part Three on April 21, will address vitally important topics including intellectual property, pathways to commercialization, and funding opportunities. Each of the three sessions will run 90 minutes in length, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on the three dates mentioned above.


These workshops are sponsored by the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship in UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.  Guest speakers include UK faculty members who have been successful in starting up companies, legal experts, entrepreneurship professionals and investors.


Registration should be done online:




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



Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to Air on WUKY

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 21:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Today, Monday, March 2, WUKY will broadcast a recording of the induction ceremony of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and comments by renowned writer Wendell Berry, the first living writer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  On January 28, Berry was honored as well as gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005), University of Kentucky Professor Guy Davenport (1927-2005), Affrilachian poet Effie Waller Smith (1879-1960), New York Review of Books co-founder Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) and Western Kentucky University Professor Jim Wayne Miller (1936 -1996).


The recording of the event will air at 7 p.m. today on WUKY 91.3, the University of Kentucky's NPR station.


When asked about the award, Berry said he felt a strong sense of kinship with his fellow inductees. “I know a number of the ones, the absent ones that have been honored, and there were a number of people present tonight who meant a lot to me, so I was surrounded by friends of the past and the present."


In his speech, Berry praised Kentucky for its literary tradition, and stressed the need for capable authors to keep it alive. Berry went on to stress that "writers now, as never before, must keep aware that literacy is their trade, until now a trade of supreme importance. Much that we now  have that is of greatest value has come to us from books. The survival of literacy in an age of illiteracy may require us to remember how physical, how much of the senses, the life of literacy is."


The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created by the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of the Commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about the state's rich literary heritage.


WUKY has provided a podcast of the induction ceremony and Berry’s comments at


The WUKY news story of the event is here:

Williamson Wins 2015 Sue Feamster Trailblazer Award

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 21:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — T. Lynn Williamson, longtime University of Kentucky cheerleading advisor and current deputy general counsel for the UK Office of Legal Counsel, was announced the winner of the 2015 Sue Feamster Trailblazer Award Friday, Feb. 27.


Williamson has served in various capacities in his 40 years at the university, including helping guide the nationally renowned UK cheerleading squad to 27 national championships. Williamson has also served as hearing officer for various university appeals processes, chair of the Personnel Council, chair of the Wage and Salary Committee, chair of the Health Insurance Committee, member of the Executive Committee as well as treasurer and president of the Boone Center on UK's campus.


"T. Lynn is especially deserving of this award," Feamster said. "He initiated and is a founding board member of the American Cheerleaders Association and Advisors. He has been a leading advocate of safety and the education of liability and risk management for cheerleading. His long term commitment, over 38 years, to the development of cheerleading activity has been remarkable. He has set the standard for excellence and safety as evidenced by UK's 28 national championships and has earned the respect of his peers, nationwide."


Professionally, Williamson is a member of the American Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association and Fayette County Bar Association. He holds Bachelor of Arts (English, 1968) and Juris Doctor (Law, 1974) degrees from the University of Kentucky.


Williamson has been with the University of Kentucky since 1973, having served in various positions in Student Affairs, Human Resources, University Relations and Office of Legal Counsel.


In a volunteer capacity, Williamson has served as advisor to the university's cheerleading program since the 1977-78 season. Under Williamson's leadership, the Kentucky Cheerleading program has placed in the top 10 in Universal Cheerleaders Association's National College Cheerleading Championships for 31 consecutive years, having won UCA's National Championship 20 times.


In the 1980s, he was one of the first leaders of a college cheer program to recognize and promote the athleticism in cheerleading. Williamson served as a founding board member of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors (AACCA) and continues to serve on the board today. He serves on AACCA's National Consortium on Safety. Numerous articles on cheerleading by Williamson have been published in sports and cheerleading publications. He has made presentations on cheerleading topics at conferences, camps, and state and national meetings. As an attorney, he often speaks on risk management and the liability aspects of cheerleading.


Past winners of the Sue FeamsterTrailblazer Award include Gloria Singletary, Majorie Ann Porter, Ceal Barry, Valerie Still and Pat Dawson. Sue Feamster became UK’s first head women’s basketball coach of the modern era when the program regained its varsity status in 1974.

#seesafety: CATS Survey Needs Every Student's Voice

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 16:53

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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — The University of Kentucky is one of the safest college campuses in the nation — and aims to keep it that way. That's why, starting today, all students are being asked to give feedback to help the university assess the safety climate of campus.


"Campus safety is our top priority at UK," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "But safety means many things. In addition to lights, security cameras, safety officers and technology, we need students, faculty and staff who place safety and inclusion first. All of these things speak to the kind of environment we all want as part of the UK community."


One of the ways UK is seeking to sustain and strengthen a safe environment is through the Campus Attitudes Toward Safety (CATS) Survey.  CATS will be available to students online through their myUK portal from March 2 through the end of priority registration April 21.  As part of the class registration process, all students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) will take the confidential survey that will measure the social and cultural environments at UK. The survey consists of several sections that ask questions about students' beliefs, opinions, and knowledge of various topics. The development of these sections occurred through partnerships with the President's Office, UK Police, University Health Services (UHS), Student Affairs, Legal counsel, and the office of Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP).


"A safe, welcoming and inclusive campus must be everyone's priority," said Capilouto. "CATS, in an important sense, is part of our students' investment in creating that campus."


To encourage early completion of CATS before priority registration begins, the university will offer students chances to win prizes such as UK Dining meal cards, cash and even UK parking permits if they complete it before their priority registration window opens. Students should follow UK on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to learn more about these prizes.


Although there will be incentives for completion of the survey, the greatest reward is that the results will inform students, faculty and other stakeholders on issues of campus safety. The hope is that each student will take the time to complete CATS truthfully, so the results can be used to improve campus safety as well as the overall campus experience for all students.


For questions about CATS, email



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; 

UK Army ROTC Inducts Three Community Leaders Into Wall of Fame

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Three University of Kentucky Army ROTC alumni and community leaders were honored last week with induction into the UK Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Inductees included  Lt. Col. (retired) Keith Jackson, Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services chief; attorney Pierce Hamblin; and Maj. (retired) Marty Pinkston.  


At the UK Army ROTC annual Mentorship Breakfast Thursday, Feb. 26, cadets, UK Army ROTC leadership and guests gathered to praise the men for their contributions in the United States Army and to the UK community. Inductees also shared their experiences as soldiers and UK Army ROTC cadets, and offered words of wisdom to current cadets.  


"They served during their military career with confidence, commitment and character, leaving lasting legacies and positive impacts on those they led. And they continue to do so by leading in our communities, supporting soldiers and veterans, and mentoring our cadets," said Lt. Col. and Professor of Military Science Shawn Umbrell. "They have given and continued to give in ways that honor our profession and create a better environment for those around them. So we honor them this morning by inducting them into our Wall of Fame."


Jackson, the first African American to serve as fire chief in Lexington, graduated from UK with a bachelor's degree in communications in 1987. A cadet in Army ROTC at UK, he also commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After serving 27 years in the reserves and a 12-month deployment in Iraq, Jackson joined the Lexington Division of Fire in 1991, working his way up from paramedic, captain, and major to interim chief. In 2012, he was named permanent chief.


Jackson credited the U.S. Army and UK Army ROTC with helping him find direction during his sophomore year of college.


"I chose to become a member of the United States Army and it actually helped save me, saved my life as far as a direction…it gave me my mantra. My mantra has always been 'opportunity is the great equalizer,' and that means that given the opportunity to do good things, you can do good things," Jackson said at the ceremony.


Pinkston, former deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA), graduated from UK in 1979 with a degree in history and commissioned as a second lieutenant. After four years of active duty in Texas, Pinkston returned to the Bluegrass to serve more than 20 years in the Kentucky Army National Guard. After a post in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and several in KDVA, eventuallybeing appointed deputy commissioner, Pinkston retired in 2008.  


Sharing a story about one of his mentors, Pinkston advised UK Army ROTC cadets, saying, "If that mentor doesn't walk up and grab you by the stacking swivel and say, 'I'm your mentor,' go find one."


Hamblin, a litigator at Landrom and Shouse and adjunct professor at the UK College of Law, received his degree in business administration from UK and commissioned as a second lieutenant through UK Army ROTC in 1973. In 1977, he received his juris doctor from the UK College of Law, and in 1986 graduated from the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (JAG School) at the University of Virginia. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer Course for 1977-1978, Hamblin ended his service as JAG Officer for an Army Training Brigade.


"How do you learn leadership? How do you learn to care for others and let them know it? How do you go through life without letting your actions be influenced by your fears?" Hamblin asked cadets. "You do exactly what you're doing. You take your military training, your military profession, and that teaches you all three things." 




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

UK Transplant Patient, Navigator to Advocate for Kidney Awareness on Capitol Hill

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 16:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) – University of Kentucky Transplant Center Patient Navigator Elaine Milem, also a transplant patient at UK, has been selected by the American Kidney Fund (AKF) to participate in the organization’s sixth annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill on March 4, 2015. Milem and 11 other patient-advocates from across the nation will raise awareness of kidney disease on Capitol Hill and participate in a variety of events in Washington.


AKF is the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization serving people with kidney disease and is a leader in driving advocacy for kidney patients across the country. Milem is a member of the AKF Advocacy Network, which includes more than 4,500 kidney patients and caregivers nationwide. This annual Capitol Hill event provides patient-advocates the opportunity to meet with lawmakers on issues of importance to the 31 million Americans that are living with kidney disease and also raise awareness for the one in three Americans at risk of the disease. 


During meetings with Congressional offices, Milem and other patient-advocates will focus on the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act, legislation that would improve care for individuals with chronic kidney disease by addressing gaps in research; improve beneficiary access to treatment; and create economic stability for providers caring for individuals with chronic kidney disease.


Milem will meet with the offices of Senators McConnell (R-KY) and Paul (R-KY), Representatives Guthrie (R-KY) and Barr (R-KY), and will also participate in Kidney Action Day on the Hill. Hosted by AKF, this awareness-raising event is open to the public and features free kidney health screenings, fitness activities and educational materials about kidney disease.


“There is a glaring lack of education about kidney disease in the general population and among the patients themselves. I became an advocate to help raise awareness for kidney disease and its effect on patient lives,” Milem said. “It’s important for me to not only raise awareness in my local community, but to speak with my members of Congress about important kidney related issues. I hope my visit to Capitol Hill will help my members of Congress be better informed when making decisions on important pieces of legislation to the kidney community.”


Milem is a two-time kidney transplant patient and currently works with dialysis patients as a transplant navigator and advocate with the UK Transplant Center. Milem received her first kidney transplant in 2007 but it was unsuccessful due to a rare infection caused by the BK virus. She was on dialysis treatments for three years, until she received her second transplant in 2012. Because of her struggles with kidney disease, she previously lost both her home and job. She understands the financial difficulties that patients in the kidney community face, and hopes to help others from becoming desperate and discouraged while dealing with kidney disease.


“The American Kidney Fund is proud to bring dedicated members from our Advocacy Network to Washington to raise awareness of kidney disease with Congressional leaders,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “Our patient-advocates represent the 31 million Americans living with kidney disease and the challenges they bravely face each day. By sharing their stories, they play a crucial role in the fight against kidney disease by providing Congress a glimpse into the lives of those who are directly impacted by health policy decisions made in Washington.”


For more information about the American Kidney Fund, visit


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