First-of-its-Kind Partnership Brings Moscow Ballet, UK Orchestra Together in 'Nutcracker' Tour

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 13:30


Promo for Moscow Ballet's "The Great Russian Nutcracker." 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will lend its musical talents to the Moscow Ballet next week as it presents a three-city Kentucky tour of the "Great Russian Nutcracker." The tour, which also has stops in Paducah and Bowling Green, Kentucky, will grace the Singletary Center for the Arts stage for Central Kentucky audiences Nov. 18.


When Moscow Ballet’s 70-plus city tour stops in Paducah, Bowling Green and Lexington, the performances will be set to live music and played by student members of the UK Symphony Orchestra, a first in the Commonwealth. Approximately 70 up-and-coming musicians and 40 internationally touring Moscow Ballet dancers will pair for the staging of this holiday classic and usher it to life.


The partnership between Moscow Ballet and UK Symphony Orchestra is a pilot program for a national launch and couples for the first time a full student orchestra and internationally touring ballet company bringing audiences the full performance experience. 


"Performing Tchaikovsky's ballet, 'The Nutcracker,' with a major professional ballet company will be a rare and special treat and challenge for our students. Our students are very excited to meet and work with the Russian dancers, who are their same ages, and who, like our students, are deeply involved in being excellent in their art form,” said John Nardodillo, UK Symphony Orchestra’s conductor. 


“Moscow Ballet is a top-level educational experience for student dancers and it’s only fitting for us to invite musicians to participate,” said Akiva Talmi, CEO of Talmi Entertainment Inc., producer of the U.S. Tour. “This is such a treat for Kentucky audiences since full orchestras rarely travel with a touring production.”


Times, dates, and location for performances of "The Great Russian Nutcracker" are:

· 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at the Carson Center, in Paducah;  

· 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Singletary Center; and

· 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, in Bowling Green.


In addition to the "Great Russian Nutcracker," Moscow Ballet's repertory includes classic ballets "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Romeo and Juliet," "Cinderella" and more. For over 20 years the company has performed 100 engagements annually in North America. Moscow Ballet has received critical acclaim from media outlets and was invited to present at two National Press Club Newsmaker events. In addition to the public performances, the company’s mission and national platform enable it to share the Russian Vaganova training with more than 5,000 local dance students annually in the “Dance with Us” program. 


Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, as well the Boston Pops. In addition to its own concerts, UK Symphony Orchestra provides accompaniment for much of the UK Opera Theatre season. UK's orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. To see the UK Symphony Orchestra season brochure, visit


The UK Symphony Orchestra is housed at the UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school 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.



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


Cooperstown Makes its Mark in UK History

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 22:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, NBC sportscaster Tom Hammond, Associate Dean of UK Libraries' Special Collection Research Center Deirdre Scaggs, and others, unveiled a new historical marker Wednesday commemorating the Cooperstown residence halls and honoring the man they were named after.


“Three years ago, we set a goal to transform UK – to build a campus that can support our priorities in teaching, research, service and health care,” said President Eli Capilouto. “As we build for tomorrow, we must honor those who came before us, shaped the University of Kentucky and emboldened our work in uplifting those we touch and teach. Thomas Poe Cooper was a transformational leader in our history, and by remembering the facilities that once stood in his name, we remember him and the indelible imprint he left on the institution.”


The complex was originally named in honor of Thomas Poe Cooper, dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics (now College of Agriculture, Food and Environment), director of the Experiment Station (now the Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station), and acting president of the university in 1941 and 1942.  Cooper's grandchildren,Tom Hammond and sister Susan Hammond attended the dedication ceremony and helped unveil the marker.


At a time when Hilltop Avenue was a one-way street, children played while their parents studied and one telephone booth was available for all neighbors, Cooperstown was a new type of university community established to accommodate a new type of student.


In 1946, UK became one of the first universities to provide housing for married students during the post-World War II period when war surplus buildings were purchased and erected. First initiated by UK's fourth president, Herman Lee Donovan, Cooperstown "village" began as temporary housing to provide much needed housing for veterans enrolling at the university after World War II. Student veterans and their families resided in 334 prefabricated Cooperstown homes, funded by the federal government.


In 1956, seven permanent buildings were constructed, each named after "Kentucky's most distinguished literary men and women," including:


·         Building A - James Lane Allen and Theodore O'Hara;

·         Building B - John Fox Jr.;

·         Building C - Madison Cawein;

·         Building D - James Thomas Cotton Noe;

·         Building E - Elizabeth Maddox Roberts;

·         Building F - Cale Young, Alice Hagan Rice, and Grant C. Knight; and

·         Building G - Irvin S. Cobb and Annie Fellows Johnston.


Until its demolition in 2012-2013, Cooperstown housed graduate students, their spouses and their children. Providing a community for nontraditional students throughout numerous periods of campus transformation, Cooperstown has certainly earned its place in UK history.  


Speaking on the legacy his grandfather left at UK and the many entities named after Cooper, Tom Hammond said Cooperstown "was so important for the returning veterans of World War II."


"Four generations of my family now have been closely tied to the university, and we're proud and thankful that you're remembering Thomas Cooper, " he said.


The marker is located at off Woodland Avenue, between Woodland Glen I and Woodland Glen II, where Cooperstown once stood.


The Cooperstown historical marker along with markers for the UK Creed and the original Haggin Hall have been coordinated through UK's Office of the President as a way to commemorate the buildings that have come down to make way for UK to advance in the present and future, Scaggs said.


The complex was replaced this year by Woodland Glen I and II, residence halls built to create living-learning communities, foster collaboration and meet the needs of a 21st century student. While the university continues to revamp its housing offerings, including  the construction of Woodland Glen III, IV and V on the same lot, Cooperstown will be remembered as a foundation for residence life advancements.

UK Homecoming Coalition Coordinator Applications Deadline is Friday

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 17:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — The UK Homecoming Student Coalition is currently accepting applications for overall student coordinators and promotional coordinator. Applications can be found online at or in the Office of Student Involvement, 203 Student Center, and are due by 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14.


These three new student leadership positions are hourly paid positions that begin early December 2014 and continue until after Homecoming Week December 2015. Positions may also be considered for various for-credit internship opportunities.  More information and applications for open positions can be found at .


Formed in February 2010, the Student Homecoming Coalition has worked diligently to better coordinate many organizations’ individual programming into one, unified Homecoming schedule. The coalition is comprises representatives from the Student Activities Board, the Black Student Union, the Center for Community Outreach and DanceBlue, UK Student Government, Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow and TEAM WILDCAT and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Connect with the UK Homecoming Coalition at, follow us on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at  


For more information about the UK Homecoming Coalition, contact

Clark Regional Medical Center Joins Forces with UK HealthCare to Provide Expanded Heart, Cancer Care

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 17:00


WINCHESTER, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) -- Today, UK HealthCare announced that Clark Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is now an affiliate in the University of Kentucky's Gill Heart Institute Affiliate Network and also has entered into a formal collaboration with the UK Markey Cancer Center to develop its oncology service line.


"We are excited about expanding our outpatient services in collaboration with UK HealthCare. This allows us to offer quality heart care with convenience of location to our community and the surrounding areas,” Cherie Sibley, chief executive officer of CRMC said. “Clark Regional Medical Center’s mission is to make our community healthier, and clinical affiliations between our community hospital and a regional tertiary provider enable us to advance our mission even further.  ”


The collaboration between CRMC and the Gill Heart Institute will improve access to tools for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, said Dr. Rick McClure, director of the Gill Heart Network of affiliates and health care partners.


"What started as a conversation about how to provide the highest quality cardiovascular care locally has transformed into a healthy collaboration between these institutions," McClure said.  “Quality cardiovascular care – available in close proximity to the patients we serve – is a critical need in the region, and the Gill Heart Institute is proud to work with CRMC to help provide that."


In addition to high rates of cardiac health problems, Kentucky also faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation. By establishing a new oncology service in Winchester, CRMC is demonstrating its commitment to providing top-notch care for its cancer patients. The UK Markey Cancer Center -- one of only 68 medical centers in the country to earn a prestigious National Cancer Institute designation -- is assisting Clark Regional Medical Center in establishing its new oncology program, which will be grounded in Markey's policies and standards.


"We are eager to work with Clark Regional in building a strong oncology program," said Dr. Timothy Mullett, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. "Our state unfortunately ranks at the top in terms of cancer incidence and mortality, but by working together with hospitals across the state, we have the potential to make a serious impact on cancer prevention and care."


UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf emphasized that CRMC’s new relationships with UK HealthCare are in the best interest of patients and their families.


"It has long been our goal to be Kentucky's resource for highly complex quaternary care, so that patients don't have to go out of state for the best treatments available. But it makes the most sense for those same patients to be cared for locally whenever possible," Karpf said. "These new relationships with Clark Regional Medical Center make this a reality for the people of Clark and surrounding counties."


CRMC’s local cardiology and oncology providers will remain the same with these affiliations. Dr. Charles Salters Jr., will continue to see patients in his office at Clark Cardiology and Dr. Stephen Anderson is accepting new patients in his clinic at Clark Clinic Oncology.  Both clinics are located at 225 Hospital Drive in Winchester.



About UK Markey Cancer Center


The Markey Cancer Center was founded in 1983 and is a dedicated matrix cancer center established as an integral part of the University of Kentucky and the UK HealthCare enterprise.


In July 2013, Markey was designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to receive research funding and many other opportunities available only to the nation’s best cancer centers. Markey is the only NCI-designated center in Kentucky and one of only 68 in the country.


The clinical programs and services of the Markey Cancer Center are integrated with the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Markey's cancer specialty teams work together with UK Chandler Hospital departments and divisions to provide primary patient care and support services as well as advanced specialty care with applicable clinical trials. All diagnostic services, clinical and pathology laboratories, operating rooms, emergent and intensive care, and radiation therapy services are also provided to cancer patients through UK Chandler Hospital.


About UK Gill Heart Institute

Founded in 1997, the Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky is recognized as a leader in research and clinical treatment of cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart transplants, valve replacement and other interventional therapies, and state-of-the-art cardiovascular imaging. Physicians at the Gill saw more than 15,000 outpatients last year and completed more than 25,000 image studies.  There are 10 members of the Gill Affiliate Network, which provides cardiology services and expertise to local hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia.


About Clark Regional Medical Center

Clark Regional Medical Center is a 79 bed, community hospital which has served the residents of east central Kentucky since 1917. The Medical Center has more than 100 affiliated physicians, over 400 employees, and 100 volunteers on its staff.  The hospital was acquired by LifePoint Hospitals in May, 2010 and completed its relocation to a new, $60 million, state of the art medical campus in March, 2012.


From the Centers for Disease Control:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In 2008, more than 616,000 Americans died of heart disease.  Almost one in every four deaths in the US is caused by heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is also the #1 cause of death in Kentucky. Kentucky has the 9th highest death rate from CV disease in the US.



Kentucky Collegians 2014 was a Record-Breaking Day

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Top high school seniors from across the Bluegrass state and around the country can now call themselves “Kentucky Collegians.”


The UK Office of Undergraduate Admission and University Registrar honored 270 students from 17 different states for their academic success Monday, Nov. 10, at the annual Kentucky Collegians event.


“Kentucky Collegians honors top prospective students who have excelled in and outside of the classroom. They represent the best and brightest across the Commonwealth and the nation,” said Don Witt, associate provost for enrollment management.


Not only are these scholars being recognized, they are given the opportunity to explore and experience all that UK has to offer.


“Each year we are proud to invite some of the top scholars from around the state of Kentucky and beyond to recognize them for the outstanding academic achievements they have made by naming them a Kentucky Collegian,” said Stephen Barnett, senior associate director of admission and associate registrar. “At the same time, we use this opportunity to showcase all of our dynamic academic programs by including campus and college tours, time to meet with faculty, staff and students and to hear from some of UK’s amazing representatives.”


Witt said, “Students have the opportunity to tour campus, learn about the 200+ academic majors, and numerous areas that set UK apart — Undergraduate Research, Honors, Education Abroad … just to name a few!”


“I am proud of these students because they have worked very hard in their high schools and communities, and Kentucky Collegians helps to not only recognize but to also thank these students for their contributions," Witt said. "In turn, these students can continue to build on their accomplishments at the University of Kentucky.”




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

Former Senator Alan Simpson to Speak at UK Nov. 19

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — A man known for his plainspoken advocacy of fiscal responsibility and bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate for 18 years will be speaking candidly with members of the University of Kentucky community and the public Nov. 19.  A Conversation with Senator Alan K. Simpson is set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Worsham Theater of the UK Student Center.  The event is free and open to the public and is being sponsored by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, the Department of Economics, the Department of Political Science and the university.


"Senator Simpson's visit provides a great opportunity not just for Martin School students and alumni, but for attendees from Lexington and elsewhere across the Commonwealth of Kentucky to learn more about the challenges and opportunities to manage our nation's finances more effectively," said Merl Hackbart, interim director of the Martin School.


As one of the chairpersons of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Simpson was co-author of the Simpson-Bowles federal deficit reduction plan. Erskine Bowles of North Carolina, the other chair of the commission, is former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and president of the University of North Carolina System from 2005 to 2010.


Simpson, a Republican from Wyoming, served in the Senate for 18 years (1979-97) and over the years became a close friend of Democratic colleague Wendell Ford, who was Kentucky's governor before going on to Washington for four terms in the Senate.  Ford is a Distinguished Fellow in the Martin School and has volunteered his time to speak to classes and meet with students to share his experiences and discuss possible futures for graduates in public service.


During his three terms in the Senate, Simpson chaired several important committees and served for a time as Republican whip.


Simpson's presentation is titled "The Moment of Truth."  He is expected to give a 20-minute talk before taking questions from a panel comprising Martin School students and members of the school's Board of Visitors.  Audience members also will get an opportunity to submit their questions.


Early arrival is suggested for those planning to attend the 4:30 p.m. event Nov. 19.




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





'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Presents Rail Splitters and United Baptist Church

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — From an old-time string band with roots across central and south-central Appalachia to the more gospel sounds of United Baptist Church, the next two concerts in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series demonstrates some of the diversity of traditional music. On Friday, Nov. 14, the Rail Splitters, including University of Kentucky doctoral candidate Julie Shepherd-Powell, will perform. The next week, on Friday, Nov. 21, members of the congregation for United Baptist Church of Lexington will share their sound. Both free public concerts will take place at noon, at the Niles Gallery, located in the UK Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.


The Rail Splitters perform "Grey Eagle" and "John Henry" at 2013 Old Time Fiddlers Convention. 


Feet and Fiddle in Focus at Niles Gallery

The Rail Splitters are an old-time string band with deep roots in the musical traditions of Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. Fiddler Adrian Powell, banjo player and dancer Julie Shepherd-Powell and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brett Ratliff make up the trio.


Adrian Powell, a native of Crimora, Virginia, has won contests at fiddler's conventions all over the Southeast from Hillbilly Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, to the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Virginia. His fiddle style is straight forward with a hard drivin' bow, and he currently plays with several groups including the Pea Ridge Ramblers, Matt Kinman's Old Time Serenaders and the Cabin Creek Boys, in addition to the Rail Splitters. 


Julie Shepherd-Powell is an award-winning clawhammer banjo player and flatfoot dancer originally from North Carolina. She previously taught beginning and advanced old-time banjo at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. In addition to the Rail Splitters, Julie has also played with Letcher County band Rich and the Poor Folks. She competes in flatfoot dance competitions at fiddlers' conventions all over the southeast and calls square dances anywhere from Knoxville to New York City. Julie is currently completing her doctoral degree in anthropology at UK.


Raised by a coal miner and teacher in Van Lear, Kentucky, Brett Ratliff grew up with a love for the mountains, its people and its culture. As a youngster, he started singing in church and sang along to recordings of Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. As a teenager he began playing guitar for bluegrass bands. But when Ratliff met musical father-and-son duo Jamie and Jesse Wells he became hooked on the moving, emotionally charged mountain music of his home. Since then, he has learned banjo tunes and ballads from some of the masters of old-time music, like knock-down banjo player George Gibson of Knott County and Pike County fiddle and banjo player Paul David Smith. Ratliff’s solo album, "Cold Icy Mountain," was released on June Appal Recordings. A previous  music director for WMMT Radio in Whitesburg, Kentucky, he currently serves as program director for the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky.



Elder Jason Lowery of Lexington's United Baptist Church performs "How Many Times."


United in Appalachian Gospel Sound

Appalachia embraces Sunday morning every bit as much as Saturday evening. Religion is a powerful force in Appalachian culture and few denominations are as distinctive as the Old Regular Church and the United Baptist Church. The United Baptist Church of Lexington preserves a worship style that draws on a long lineage of lined out hymnody and gospel. Elder Jason Lowery and members of the United Baptist congregation will present. 


The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.


For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring the Rail Splitters or United Baptist Church, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website at

Grant Will Help Veterans with Military Medical Training Transition into Civilian Nursing Careers

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) – Frances Hardin Fanning, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, recently received a $627,000 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to advance a project to prepare veterans for the civilian nursing workforce by establishing the Med/Vet to BSN option at the UK College of Nursing.


The three-year project is will recruit and transition 25 to 50 veterans with military medical training into the civilian workforce via existing and newly developed academic and non-academic resources in the college's baccalaureate nursing program while partnering with on-campus and community veterans organizations throughout the state of Kentucky. The first cohort of student veterans will be admitted in August 2015.


“The UK College of Nursing is one of only 20 nursing programs in the United States to receive HRSA funding for this type of veterans’ educational option," Hardin-Fanning said. "Our history of collaborating with campus and community veterans’ support partners, as well as our outstanding NCLEX pass rates, provided the framework for this option. I am proud that the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing Dean Janie Heath, faculty and staff; and the people of Kentucky recognize the sacrifices made by our veterans and are willing to work hard to ensure their success in civilian careers.”  


The MedVet to BSN Option will help student veterans with military medical training move into civilian nursing positions. This option will reduce the time toward degree by at least one semester. The goals of this option are to develop nursing career development strategies specific to the veteran population and provide academic credit for prior training and experience.


The program will also assemble a network of groups/agencies to help student learning and program completion, and to enhance employment opportunities as well as provide undergraduate nursing faculty development that includes military culture, nursing care of veterans, end of life care for veterans, awareness of issues that may impact student learning and success, and awareness of campus and community veteran resources; and collaborate with on-campus and community veterans’ organizations to provide the best resources and support to MedVet to BSN students.


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at

Prospective Grad Students Invited to Explore UK College of Design

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Considering a career in architecture, historic preservation or interiors? See if graduate study in these design fields are a fit for you at an upcoming open house presented by University of Kentucky College of Design beginning 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in Room 207 of Pence Hall.


The UK College of Design Graduate Student Open House will give prospective graduate students the opportunity to speak with faculty and admissions counselors at the College of Design. Those attending will also have opportunities to tour the college's facilities at Pence Hall, Miller Hall, Funkhouser Building and Bowman Hall, as well as meet current students in UK's School of Architecture, Department of Historic Preservation and School of Interiors: Planning/Strategy/Design.


Individuals planning to attend the UK College of Design Graduate Student Open House, which will run to 2 p.m., should arrive at 11 a.m. as they will then break into groups based on the program they are interested in potentially pursuing. In preparation for the event, participants should register online for the open house beforehand at by Monday, Nov. 17.



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

Expo Allows Close-Up Look at High Tech-Robots and Simulators Used for Medical Training

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) -- University of Kentucky faculty, staff and students are invited to a Simulation Expo sponsored by the new UK Office of Clinical Simulation. The event is being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, in the UK Chandler Hospital, Pavilion A, ground floor lobby. Remarks by UK President Eli Capilouto and UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf will kick-off the event in the Pavilion A Auditorium at 11 a.m.


Robotic, human-patient and task simulators will be displayed and demonstrated. Directed by longtime UK faculty member Dr. Zaki Hassan, professor of anesthesiolgoy and surgery in the UK College of Medicine, the newly established Office of Clinical Simulation strives to promote clinical care and patient safety by providing students, residents, physcians and nurses an array of clinical simulation and task skills training opportunities. 

Diego Garcia's Latin Sound to Heat Up the Bluegrass

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 15:58


Diego Garcia video for "Sunnier Days" from his latest album, "Paradise."A transcript of this video can be seen here


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The Latin sound of Diego Garcia will heat up the Bluegrass this weekend as he takes the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts stage. Born in the U.S. to Argentine parents, Garcia explores his Latin heritage with a sound that conjures the spirit of 1970s troubadours like Sandro de América and Antônio Carlos Jobim, as well as singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Harry Nilsson. The all-ages concert begins with Lexington locals Bear Medicine at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.


A breakout star with the release of his solo album "Laura," NPR named Diego Garcia’s debut “one of the top 25 Albums of the Year.” His poignant first single “You Were Never There” (co-written by George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison) is a perfect example with its lush string arrangements, delicate Spanish guitars and distinctly Latin flavor.


Garcia knows how to mine romantic yearning in his work. His acclaimed 2011 solo debut "Laura" was the ultimate bedroom recording, an intensely focused and utterly entrancing chamber-pop song cycle about unrequited love, his own. The titular Laura was a woman he fell for in college but lost during a hectic period a decade ago when he was fronting Elefant, a New York City-based rock band that toured the world with artists like Interpol, The National and Morrissey. By the time "Laura" was finished, Garcia accepted the fact that she might only exist in his life as the subject of these songs. Then he miraculously won her back (and later married her). But those years of estrangement left an indelible mark and continue to inform his work. 


"When I was in the studio making the 'Laura' album, I was digging through my parents’ record collections and really taking a deeper look at Latin troubadours. There was one singer named Piero; I heard his song 'Mi Viejo' and it changed my life. I spent a whole session listening to that song, to all the details. When you listen to those singers, the drama in their delivery was so powerful, the way they would capture 'the malady of love.' Then I had this sort of eureka moment. It sparked an idea that felt very natural to me, reaching into that lost world, that golden age of Latin music," Garcia said.


"Paradise," Garcia's new album, continues to expand upon the romantic sound he had begun to shape throughout his work on "Laura." The album’s hybrid of influences, from the late-'60s “Anglo” crooners like Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker to the early-'70s passionate balladry of Latin American artists like Roberto Carlos, Jose Feliciano and Piero, and Spaniard Julio Iglesias, is a musical reflection of who he is: a U.S.-bred son of Latin American parents who thinks in English, but can speak fluently in Spanish.


Opening the evening will be Lexington folk-rock group Bear Medicine. A quartet featuring cello, flute, percussion and acoustic guitar, Bear Medicine succeed in balancing contemporary indie rock influences with a Kentucky tradition of folk and Appalachian music. They have recently self-released their debut album, "The Moon Has Been All My Life," to critical acclaim.


Tickets for this event are $26 for general admission and $13 for students with a valid UK ID. Service fee will be added upon completion of transaction. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at, or in person at the ticket office.


A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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

Kentucky Receives $7 Million to Lead First of Its Kind Collaboration to Reduce Lung Cancer

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 13:41


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Lung Cancer Alliance announce the Kentucky LEADS (Lung Cancer. Education. Awareness. Detection. Survivorship) Collaborative, a project that will focus on reducing the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky through provider education, early detection and screening, and patient and caregiver support. The project is supported by a $7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s "Bridging Cancer Care" initiative.


Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and kills more Americans than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. In Kentucky, the burden of this illness is even more dramatic. Kentucky has more cases of lung cancer than any other state and its lung cancer mortality rate is nearly 50 percent higher than the national average. The disease will take the lives of more than 3,500 Kentuckians this year alone. 


Please check back to at 11:15 a.m. for more information. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

'Twisted History' of Kentucky Hemp Explored at UK Libraries

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — With Kentucky's newest legal hemp crops being harvested recently, the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center presents the exhibition “Unraveling the Twisted History of Kentucky Hemp” on display through November in the Margaret I. King Library Building. The exhibition is free and open to the public.


From keystone cash crop to banned substance surrounded in suspicion, hemp has long been a part of the Commonwealth’s story. Its production defined much of the character and function of Kentucky’s slave economy, helped build downtown industrial districts, bolstered Kentucky’s efforts during World War II, and served as a key component of UK’s early Cooperative Extension Service program. 


Today, as research poises the crop for revival, the exhibit highlights artifacts and collections that document hemp’s unique contribution to Kentucky history.


The exhibition is available for viewing 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, in the Main Lobby of UK Special Collections Research Center in the Margaret I. King Library, and is free and open to the public.


For more information on "Unraveling the Twisted History of Kentucky Hemp," contact Jaime Marie Burton, education and outreach archivist, at  


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



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


Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Announces its 2014 "Senior Stars"

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has recognized eight Kentuckians aged 80 and up (including one married couple) and three centenarians who exemplify graceful aging by remaining engaged in active lifestyles.


These "William Markesbery Senior Stars" and "David Wekstein Centenarians"

awardees were selected from a pool of 32 nominees based on their current level of engagement in society; significant, lasting contributions in professional and/or community life, and service as a volunteer and role model for future generations.


The Senior Star/Centenarian Awards are given in conjunction with the Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia, which takes place in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center in downtown Lexington. The symposium features keynote speakers and faculty of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging addressing the latest research in Alzheimer's disease and answering questions from the audience regarding aging and dementia.


Following the symposium, a luncheon celebrating the awardees takes place in the Regency Ballroom at the Hyatt Lexington.


The symposium is free and open to the public. To register for the symposium, contact the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at (859) 323-6040 or Luncheon tickets are $25.00 per person and can be purchased by visiting, by calling (859) 323-5374 or by emailing


The awardees are:


Elexene M. Cox, 93, Nicholasville. The Nicholasville High School graduate has worked with the Jessamine Chamber of Commerce, Nicholasville Baptist Church and Rosemont Baptist Church. Most notably, she has written and directed many outdoor productions, including a Paul Sawyer play.  She is also the author of three books about the history of Nicholasville.  


Carl Smith, 82, Frankfort. Dr. Carl Smith is known as the "Energizer Bunny" of chorale music.  As the choral director at Kentucky State University and the director of the chancel choir at First Christian Church, Dr. Smith takes the simplest of songs and making it the most beautiful piece of music you have ever heard.


Mary Jo Holland, 81, Lexington. An inspiration to all as she continues to dance and serve in many capacities, despite having had a stroke, two knees replaced, arthritis and some symptoms of Parkinson’s, Holland has brought joy to thousands of people through community service. She is a founding member of “The Energizers” dance group.  Her community contributions range from working at the Opera House to missions in Guatemala to being a volunteer in an Alzheimer’s research program at Sanders Brown.


Willard, 86, and Lucy Kinzer, 85, Prestonsburg. Willard Kinzer began racing cars at age 47, winning a professional title at age 50 and beginning drag racing at the tender age of 79. Owners of Kinzer Drilling Company and Kinzer Cycle Shops, the Kinzers have used Willard's love of racing and hot rodding to help the town raise funds for financing the school through car shows and other events. Willard is on the board of directors of the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.


Bettye Arvin, 84, Lexington. For many years Arvin has worked as a registered nurse in hospitals and physicians offices. For the last 23 years, she has volunteered more than 3,500 hours to the Pastoral Care Department at UK Hospital.  Before a move to Lexington, she drove 2 hours each way to serve patients and families at UK Chandler Hospital.  She now works one day a week caring for patients on the fifth floor. 


Jessie Weaver, 87, Lexington. Weaver is the friendly, helpful Kentucky voice on the phone at the front desk at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.  At a young age of 87, her positive attitude and desire to help others are evident in her interactions with faculty, staff and visitors at the Center.


Kathryn Stephens, 80, Lexington. Stephens' career has spanned more than 50 years, from nursing home co-owner to the first black female nursing home administrator in Kentucky, funeral home director, licensed embalmer, and writer. Her many roles in the community have been featured in local news articles, most recently as the organist and pianist for Pilgrim Baptist Church.  She has touched the lives of many hundreds of churchgoers with her passions for music and prayer.


Centenarian Awards


Elizabeth Davies, 103 ½, Barbourville.  When asked about the secret to a long, productive life Elizabeth gives these secrets:  eat healthy, stay active and  don’t worry -- it wastes time.  She remembers accompanying her Union Army veteran uncle on daily pilgrimages to the Robert E. Lee monument in town to curse at it, the day her father broke his collarbone when the hand crank of their Model T Ford kicked back, and taking part in back room prohibition parties. Barbourville and Knox County recognized her 100th birthday as “Elizabeth Davies Day.” 


Dr. Robert Lam, 101, Lexington.  Born in China and trained at the West China Union University School of Medicine, Dr. Lam has served his community and the University of Kentucky since the 1960s.  In 2007, the surgeon was awarded the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  He gives freely of his time to encourage and serve others as a member of Southern Hill United Methodist Church.


Chester Wilson, 100, Lexington.  Known for his kind heart and appreciation for everyone and everything around him, Wilson is an inspiration to all who live and work at the Lafayette/Lexington Country Place. Today he continues to attend recreational outings and serve as de facto ambassador for this residential community.   He has been a farmer, a golf caddy, and a 31-year IRS employee.



Money Management Matters Site to Aid Students, Topic: Healthcare

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 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," (MMM) built upon six salient personal financial topics that pertain directly to students and graduates:


1.         Student loans

2.         Employment

3.         Healthcare

4.         Credit

5.         Saving and investing

6.         Money management


Click here to view a video about "Money Management Matters."


This week, UKNow will highlight the third topic: health care


Understanding the options available to you concerning health coverage can seem overwhelming at times.  The MMM webpage has put together an intuitive collection of health care resources designed to make the task of implementing an informed health coverage choice more manageable. 


Students transitioning off parents' health insurance for 2015 may wish to visit the Healthcare tab on the MMM web page.  Open enrollment for health insurance through the public health care exchanges begins Nov. 15, 2014.  The MMM site provides direct links to KYNECT, for Kentucky residents, and for non-Kentucky residents to aid individuals in obtaining information concerning health care coverage for 2015.


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,” said Chris Riley, project manager of the Enhancing Student Financial Education Grant and graduate student at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.




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

UK's Security Management System Garners National Recognition

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 18:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — University of Kentucky, in collaboration with the Biagi Chance Cummins London Titzer Inc. (BCCLT) engineering consulting firm, has been selected as the winner of a 2014 Security Innovation Award (SIA) by Secured Cities, an educational conference devoted to security initiatives for cities, educational campuses, health care facilities and mass transit. UK was selected as the winner in the campus security sector.


UK and BCCLT were recognized during the Secured Cities Conference award ceremony held Nov. 6, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The BCCLT- UK project was also selected as a top five finalist for the SIA Grand Platinum award, which honors the overall best collaborative security project of 2014. 


“I’m very pleased our high-tech security system at UK has been honored with this award," said University of Kentucky Police Chief Joe Monroe. "Safety is the leading priority for the UK Police Department as well as the university as a whole, and this security system is helping us achieve a safer campus.  From the ability to lock down buildings in emergency situations, to the use of the sophisticated surveillance camera system in criminal investigations, to the enhanced crisis communications capabilities, this system puts UK in the forefront of campus security."


UK invested $4.8 million to develop a fully integrated standardized security solution to improve campus safety. This security system is the university's first ever high-tech comprehensive security management system, which includes video cameras, centralized building access control, increased early warning communication capabilities and standard campus identification badges. UK has utilized Next Level Security Systems' integrated computerized system incorporating video management, access control, video analytics and intrusion.


The university's video management system (VMS) monitors areas on campus and is centrally managed by the UK Police Department. The VMS incorporates analytics to identify potential situations on campus while connecting evidence for authorities to review. The security management system (SMS) allows UK Police to limit access and lock buildings immediately through the communications center.


"This (award) is a reflection of the hard work of the project team members," said University of Kentucky Police Major Nathan Brown, who coordinated implementation for UK Police. "Looking back on the project, it is amazing that we were able to implement a standardized security platform throughout campus and issue over 50,000 Wildcards in such a short time.  I cannot express how proud and appreciative I am for the hard work of so many people across various departments."


UK's standardized campus ID, the Wildcard, allows UK Police to incorporate SMS with existing and additional access control systems. Early warning speakers have also been established to broadcast potential threats to UK campus safety. UK Police can provide immediate alert through warning speakers, voice calls, emails and text messages. UK's security system also includes Talk-a-Phone towers with cameras and hands-free emergency communication systems.


Biagi Chance Cummins London Titzer Inc. focuses on mechanical, electrical and civil engineering services to institutional, educational, governmental and industrial clients. BCCLT focuses on sustainable design, information technology, electronic safety and security, building information modeling and energy conservation opportunities.


University of Kentucky Police Department's mission is to promote a safe and secure campus environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors at the university. The University of Kentucky Police Department is dedicated to the principles of community policing and becoming one of the nation's most progressive, innovative and professional police departments. 




MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155;

UK Named USDA National Coordinating Center

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently named the University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences a national coordinating center for excellence in nutrition education and obesity prevention research.


“We are pleased to be named the National Coordinating Center for the Regional Nutrition Education Centers of Excellence,” said Ann Vail, director of the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences and national center lead. “Congress has recognized that knowing about nutrition is not enough to change the health status of our citizens. We need to know more about how people learn about and apply nutrition information that results in improving their health and well-being. These centers will focus on this important educational process.”


As a national coordinating center, researchers at the school, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will coordinate communications between regional centers located at the University of North Carolina and Cornell, Purdue and Colorado State universities. The regional centers will develop and test innovative nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions for underserved, low-income families through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education, and EFNEP, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. The regional centers will administer at least one research project tailored to the specific needs of their region and award competitive grants and sub-grants to researchers. UK is in charge of collecting and disseminating the research results from these four regional centers. These centers were established through the new Farm Bill.


Other members of the UK group include nutrition education specialists and researchers Janet Mullins, Dawn Brewer and Janet Kurzynske. All three are in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.


“The naming of a USDA national coordinating center for obesity and nutrition education research at UK aligns with our emphasis to perform research that improves the lives of those in the Commonwealth,” said Lisa Cassis, UK interim vice president for research.  “We look forward to the impact of this important center as a means to develop solutions for these complex problems. We congratulate Dr. Vail and her team and will facilitate their efforts in the community to improve nutrition education and combat obesity.”


The UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science will also play an integral part in the coordinating center, as it will provide leadership for development and implementation of research data management.


“We are pleased that UK was selected to serve as a national coordinating center,” said Jeff Talbert, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Biomedical Informatics Data Warehousing Core. “The mission of this program to strengthen the evidence base on effective nutrition education and obesity prevention programs fits well with the needs of Kentucky and supports the engagement mission of the university.”


UK project members are also in charge of data evaluation and compilation for policymakers and shareholders. The group will work with the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to organize national meetings for the centers.


While the research is focused on underserved, low-income families, the successful interventions will benefit individuals beyond those who participate in the SNAP and EFNEP programs.




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



Informative Events Remain on MLK Center Calendar

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Martin Luther King Center invites the campus community to the last few events of the 2014 fall semester.  


Lunch and Learn

Wednesday, Nov. 12

Noon-1:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

Have lunch with the center’s scholar-in-residence, Gerald L. Smith, a UK associate professor of history, and Robert Mock, UK vice president of Student Affairs, for engaging dialogue. This month’s dialogue topic: "Career Flexibility."


Majestic U.N.I.T.Y Retreat

Saturday, Nov. 15

2 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

Come out for a fun and interactive day. You will have a chance to further connect and build relationships with women of color on UK's campus.


Soup and Substance

Thursday, Nov. 20

5:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

This series provides current topics and discussions relating to race, gender, class and a variety of identities. This month’s topic is “Cultural Segregation and Separation at UK.”


Black & Latino Male Initiative

Thursday, Dec. 4

5:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

The Black & Latino Male Initiative provides an opportunity for Black and Latino male students at the University of Kentucky to connect with other students, faculty and staff.


Lunch & Learn 

Wednesday, Dec. 1


King Center, Student Center

Have lunch with the center’s scholar-in-residence, Gerald L. Smith, a UK associate professor of history, and Judy “JJ” Jackson, vice president for institutional diversity on the topic of “Stereotype Threat.”


Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.

Monday, Dec. 15

7:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

Majestic Unity provides support, encouragement and empowerment to women of color while enhancing leadership, social and cultural development throughout their college career.




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

Veterans Find Support Year-round at UK Veterans Resource Center

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 16:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — Since Veterans Day was established in 1954, Nov. 11 has stood as an official day to honor all military veterans in the United States and recognize their service and sacrifices.  The University of Kentucky Veterans Resource Center (VRC), a unit of Enrollment Management, works every day to honor our veterans and provide them support and services to assist with their transition either into higher education for the first time or for a return to college.


UK is consistently ranked by both GI Jobs Magazine and the Military Times, Edge Magazine as one of the top campuses in the nation for military and veteran students.  Today, we highlight three of those veterans who value the support of the Veterans Resource Center while working toward their degrees.


Matthew Bradford


Marine Corps veteran Matthew Bradford's story is one of overcoming what seem like insurmountable odds — a story of inspiration not only to other veterans, but also to the UK community where Bradford is majoring in communication and history. He hopes to become a sportscaster.


Bradford grew up in Winchester, Kentucky, as a huge UK sports fan and dreamed of attending UK. However, he chose to put his dream on hold around the time of 9/11, when he enlisted in the Marines on the delayed entry program while still in high school.


Cpl. Bradford, now 28 and a seven-year veteran of the Iraq War, paid a heavy price for defending his country. He was severely injured in January 2007 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Iraq. The explosion completely severed his left leg and destroyed his right leg beyond repair. Shrapnel ripped through his left eye, and the blast detached the retina in his right, leaving him completely blind.


After a lengthy recovery, rehabilitation, and a determined spirit, Bradford picked up with his life and moved forward. In February 2007, he was awarded the Purple Heart, and he is the first blind, double-amputee to re-enlist in the history of the Marine Corps.


He traveled the globe sharing his experience with others, particularly with others in the military, offering support and encouragement. He has attempted — and achieved — the seemingly impossible, some of which include water skiing, rock climbing, and scuba diving. He has appeared on national media; sung on stage with country music superstar and outspoken U.S. military supporter Toby Keith; and fell in love and started a family with his wife and children.


After beginning his college education at Coastal Carolina Community College in South Carolina and then Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Bradford made the move to UK, where he credits the Veterans Resource Center with helping him comfortably transition into college life and navigate the campus.


"I worried about getting to my classes, but the center has helped by providing a golf cart and someone who picks me up and transports me where I need to go," Bradford said.


The VRC exists to assist student veterans with whatever is needed to help them succeed academically said Anthony Dotson, coordinator of UK's Veterans Resource Center and a veteran himself.


"Our center is honored to take on the responsibility of assisting Matt in getting around campus and to his classes here at UK," Dotson said. "It is truly a team effort, not only within my office but also with the Disabilities Resource Center, the Army and Air Force ROTC programs and the UK Police Department.  We have even identified a “battle buddy” within each of his classes to assist him when we are not there.  Being able to provide Matt and his wife Amanda with that level of confidence, allows him to focus on his classes, but more importantly allows my team to focus on what is really important, and that is helping our fellow student veterans."


In addition to the practical help the VRC provides Bradford every day, it also serves as a source of companionship and camaraderie with other veterans — something Bradford greatly appreciates.


"It's nice to have a place to go and have lunch and hang out with people who have shared similar experiences as vets," he said. "The Veteran's Center is a great resource and Tony (Dotson) looks out for us."


Ashley Hyatt


Senior Airman Ashley Hyatt, a native of Saint Charles, Virginia, joined the United States Air Force in 2007 right after graduating from Valley View High School in California where her family lived at the time. She served four years, three of those years at an air base in Ramstein, Germany, where she worked as a dental assistant. After discharge from active duty in 2012, she went into the Air Force Reserves and made her way to the University of Kentucky, where she soon plans to enroll in the nursing program.


Hyatt first became interested in nursing in high school when her father was diagnosed with colon cancer. She observed the nurses in the oncology clinics where her father received radiation and chemotherapy treatment.


"The nurses were so kind and gentle and understanding, and they made a difficult situation manageable," she said "They were a beacon of hope to both my father and my entire family. Even though we lost my father in the end, the time spent in the small clinics and hospitals, remains a very positive memory for me."


In choosing UK for her college education, Hyatt also connected with UK's VRC, where she is now employed and credits with being instrumental to her success as a student veteran. She says veterans are often a little older than the traditional student, and it is comforting to have a place to retreat and be with people who share a mindset and similar experiences.


"The retention rate of student veterans is alarmingly low throughout the United States, and places like this provide much needed resources to our transitioning veterans," Hyatt said. "Many veterans are used to taking care of things themselves and not having to ask for help, but when they are in the VRC, we all take care of each other. I have had so many student veterans come up to me and say this office has been such an important part of their educational endeavors, and they truly appreciate the fact that it exists here at UK."


Additionally, Hyatt plays an important role at the VRC when she reaches out to fellow female veterans.


"Ashley represents several demographics within the VRC — she is an Air Force veteran, an Air Force reservist and an Air Force cadet," Dotson said.  "More importantly, Ashley represents the 18-20 percent of our student veterans who are women.  Women who have served are far less likely to self-identify as a veteran and therefore are far more difficult to reach and support.  Ashley does a wonderful job of bringing this underrepresented population to the forefront, not to mention that she sets the standard for customer service."



Elia Tautua Jr.


Hawaii native Elia Tautua Jr. graduated from high school on the island of Oahu in 2001, but did not enroll at UK until 2012. For 11 years he served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and also a logistics specialist, including a deployment to Iraq and an assignment in Germany.


"I thought it would be really hard for me to make the transition to college after so long away," Tautua said. "Frankly, this kind of trepidation scares away a lot of veterans from even applying."


However, he found hope and help from the UK Veterans Resource Center.


"The VRC walked me through the application process step by step," said Tautua. "And UK waives the application fee for veterans. The staff at the VRC answered my questions and relieved a lot of stress."


By now you may be wondering, 'How does a native of Oahu who is an Army vet happen to choose UK as the place to resume his education after more than a decade away?'


"In the latter part of 2011, while stationed in Garmisch, Germany, I met a beautiful young woman, Jenna Ballard, from Bardstown, Ky., who happened to be a graduate of UK," related Tautua. "Jenna moved to Lexington not long after that and we kept in touch. When my tour of duty was up in the spring of 2012, I followed her to the Bluegrass."


A senior majoring in business management in UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics, Tautua said that the degree path he has chosen is enabling him to translate the leadership and management skills he gained from the Army to a new perspective.


"I am also pursuing a second degree in accounting from Gatton," Tautua added. "Having a 'hard' skill like accounting should make me more marketable in an extremely competitive environment."  As he looks to the future, he hopes to work in the logistics field or as a CPA.


Tautua is also doing an internship with General Electric Appliance Park in Louisville, which he obtained during one of several veteran-centered job fairs the VRC organizes.


"I’m very proud to have Elia on the team," Dotson said. "He is the epitome of student veterans' success at the undergraduate, level and I couldn’t ask for a better role model for other students to follow. I’m very excited about his current internship with General Electric because I know he is going to be a standout performer.  I’m even more excited about his return to campus and the Veterans Resource Center where he can share his experience with other student veterans."


"If there is one thing I could tell veterans thinking about coming back to school it would be to realize that you are not in this alone," said Tautua. "The people here at UK are ready and willing to help you reach your educational goals."


The UK VRC is headquartered in Room 124 of the Funkhouser Building. For more information, go to  You can email or Dotson at The phone number for the center is 859-257-1148.

Join the Big Blue Thank You

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 16:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — In the midst of our busy rush, rush, rush days, it can sometimes be difficult remembering the simple acts that enrich our lives — like giving someone a heartfelt “thank you for all you do.”


The University of Kentucky Parent Association has created that opportunity with the Big Blue Thank You program.


On Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, the Parent Association staff will provide students with note cards, pens and refreshments so they can write a thank you note to a parent, family member or mentor back home who has helped them succeed at UK.


Tables set up at the Student Center Starbucks will be staffed 11 a.m.–2 p.m. this Wednesday and Thursday to provide writing materials. Sealed, addressed letters left with Parent Association staff will be mailed at no charge to students.


“This is the second year that we are offering this program,” said Christine Baughman, graduate assistant in the Office of New Student and Parent Programs. “We hope that students take advantage of the opportunity to express their gratitude to those who mean the most to them and who have supported them with their college dreams and goals. The UK Parent Association is here to support the relationship between students and their families, and this is a simple way for us to do just that.”


For more information regarding this event, please contact the UK Parent Association staff by emailing or calling 859-257-6597


The Parent Association is a department within the Office of New Student and Parent Programs, which is part of the Division of Student Affairs, an integral part of the University of Kentucky experience. With interactions among students, faculty and staff, Student Affairs seeks to facilitate the integration of the students’ academic experience with other aspects of university life that encourage personal and professional development. One of the most important keys to a student's success is building meaningful relationships and developing strong connections to the university through members of the UK community. Student Affairs provides many opportunities to facilitate these connections through internships, intramural athletics, volunteer work, student clubs, registered student organizations, community service, and much, much more.




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