UK Professor's Nicaraguan Study Shows Environmental Lessons Learned

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 27, 2014) — A University of Kentucky professor is studying the environmental impacts of Nicaraguan crop production and what the Latin American country is doing to make their farming practices more environmentally friendly.


Paul Vincelli, extension plant pathologist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is spending a six-month sabbatical in Managua, Nicaragua, the capital city of the poorest country in Latin America. Poverty is an important reason environmental regulations weren’t enforced in the past.


“The people here care quite a bit about the environment,” he said. "There aren’t the same types of environmental protections that the U.S., Canada and Western European countries have because of poverty and a general lack of funding.”


In no case was it more evident than that of the country’s cotton production. In the 1970s, Nicaragua had a large cotton industry. Farmers in the country cut down forests and used watershed recharge zones to plant more cotton. Within 10 years the industry was gone, but Nicaraguans are still dealing with its effects more than 30 years later.


“Nicaraguans lost the industry because they overused pesticides and resistance developed in insects,” he said. “This caused farmers to spray their fields more often, but despite how much they sprayed, they couldn’t control the insects.”


Vincelli talked with some pesticide applicators and farm workers in the country who are still dealing with health problems due to the cotton boom and subsequent bust. The country lost much of its tropical forests, and some rivers still don’t have the amount of water in them that they had before the cotton boom.


Today, the country is pushing for a more agroecological approach to farming. Agroecology involves designing agricultural systems that are productive, profitable and conserve environmental resources. It also looks at potential technical, biological and socioeconomic effects of agricultural systems.


The cotton boom and bust is also used as an educational case-study in Nicaragua for college students studying business. Educators hope this will raise awareness among students that industry and business can suffer if the environment is allowed to degrade.


Vincelli will offer a study tour of the country in February for agents and other individuals interested in learning about the country, its history of farming practices and culture.


“Nicaragua provides powerful lessons in sustainability,” he said. “We should celebrate the fact that in America we do have environmental protections that allow us to grow the safest food possible.”



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

Summer Intensive at UK Gives Dancers a Step Up

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 15:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 26, 2014) — About 20 dancers gathered in the University of Kentucky dance studio June 9- 20 for the UK Summer Dance Intensive, a multidisciplinary dance program for experienced high school and college dance students and returning professionals who are serious about the dance field and eager to enhance their skills.


“Our goal is to help the dancer grow creatively through college-level contemporary modern dance, modern, jazz, ballet, body-conditioning, yoga, partnering, improvisation and choreography classes,” said Assistant Professor Susie Thiel, director of the UK Dance Program.


For its third consecutive year, the dance intensive drew such artists and educators as Ariella Brown, Stephanie Harris, Norbe Risco, Erik Rose and Thiel to teach 90-minute classes throughout the dancers’ 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. work day.


Teaching jazz, modern and body conditioning was Ariella Brown, a native of Seattle, Washington.  She received her bachelor’s degree in dance from Point Park University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance with emphasis in choreography and certificate in college teaching from the University of Arizona. Brown co-founded, directed and danced in a Seattle modern company, Sapience Dance. She also has toured her choreography throughout North America and was featured in DanceSpirit magazine.


Stephanie Harris, a guest artist at UK, taught modern dance and choreography. She has been an independent choreographer, performer and teacher for over 15 years. In 2010 she founded the Contemporary Dance Collective whose work focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration that fuses movement with other artistic disciplines to produce innovative and engaging performances.


Norbe Risco, who taught ballet, has served as artistic director of the Kentucky Ballet Theatre since 2001. In 2011, he received the Al Smith Award from the Kentucky Arts Council and has performed all over the world, working with various prestigious dancers.


Teaching and conducting yoga classes was Erik Rose who is a registered yoga teacher and gymnastics coach with a passion for slow, articulate movement as well as cultivating a strong, capable body.


Thiel, who taught every dance style, pulled the intensive together. She received her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Michigan. Thiel lived in New York City for eight years where she performed, taught and choreographed in a broad range of venues. In addition, her musical theatre choreography for “The Days of ’98” show ran for three seasons in Skagway, Alaska, and most recently her choreography has been seen at the American College Dance Festival Association, the Seagle Music Colony’s production of "42nd Street" and the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  


These artists helped the dancers strengthen their skills and grow, and for some dancers like Louisville, Kentucky, native, Natalie Miller, helped them explore new fields and aspects to their dance career.


Miller, daughter of Mark and Sally Miller, attends DuPont Manual High School and is in the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) for dance. Growing up and focusing her study primarily in ballet her whole life, Miller spent two weeks training in depth in dance styles such as improvisation and modern.


“My experience at the UK Summer Dance Intensive was so empowering. It taught me to be bold, creative and stretch my artistic edge," Miller said. "I am really excited to take what I have learned and apply it at YPAS. My teachers were so inspiring in a way that allowed all of the students to express themselves uniquely. The studio was an excellent arena to train and explore our various dance techniques. I would recommend this summer intensive to any serious dancer that wanted to enhance, develop and improve their skills. Overall I loved this intensive and will definitely be attending next year.” 


The dance intensive is limited to 25 students who show the required skills of four years of consistent ballet training and at least two years of either jazz, lyrical or modern dance. The students are expected to be well versed in dance terminology and should be proficient in moving in and out of the floor as well as turns and leaps.


Partial scholarships are available and awarded based on the required video audition and application. The audition process is a video featuring dancers performing a two-four minute solo piece showcasing their technique. A resumé including dance disciplines studied, teachers and schools, the number of years studied and performance experiences is also a part of the audition process along with a 500 word essay explaining the dancer's desire for attending the dance intensive, why the dancer should be chosen, and what the dancer hopes to gain from the summer dance intensive.


What's next? Thiel hopes to bring even more classes and programs for the dancers to experience and learn from next summer, such as having a nutritionist or physical therapist advise the dancers on ways to condition their bodies.


The UK Summer Dance Intensive is part of the dance minor at UK, which is rapidly growing from six students to more than 50 dancers in the program. The minor offers dance courses to enhance critical thinking, analytical skills, cooperation and teamwork, self-expression and self-esteem, organization and problem solving and cultural literacy. The dance program in the Department of Theatre and Dance was launched in 2011 with classes available in various levels of ballet, modern, jazz, musical theatre and more.


For more information about the UK Summer Dance Intensive or the Dance Program at UK, visit


The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.




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

UK Delegation Teaches and Collaborates With Shanghai University

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 15:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2014) — Last week, 15 UK faculty taught students at Shanghai University (SHU) in China through the UK Confucius Institute’s (UKCI) “UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program,” which ran June 16-20.


The program fostered global literacy throughout UK’s multiple disciplines by embedding UK faculty members in SHU’s departments where they taught students for one week, met professional colleagues, identified shared research interests and gained key insights into China that they can then share with their students in Kentucky.


"Students need to know how knowledge is created, disseminated and used in a commercial and global environment of commerce," said Susan Carvalho, associate provost for internationalization. "By sending UK faculty from a broad range of disciplines to teach at Shanghai University – some of whom have never been to China – they will return with global experiences and perspectives that will be infused across campus.”


Following the teaching week, UK Provost Christine RiordanCollege of Arts & Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh, College of Fine Arts Dean Michael Tick, Carvalho, and UKCI Director Huajing Maske joined the visiting UK faculty to celebrate “UK Week at SHU,” from June 23-27.


During “UK Week at SHU” members of the UK delegation are giving lectures providing Shanghai University faculty the opportunity to connect with UK’s disciplinary and academic expertise.


The UK Confucius Institute held a similar “UK Week” at Jilin University in Spring 2012. Seven UK deans led by Interim Provost Tim Tracy spent five days at Jilin University giving academic talks, and meeting with their counterparts to discuss collaborative opportunities.


The UK-JLU Collaborative Framework was established as a result of “UK Week” at Jilin University, which includes a 2+2 agreement and faculty exchange agreement with the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and a 4+2 agreement with the College of Public Health. Partnerships with UK’s Computer Science DepartmentCollege of Communication and Information and College of Arts & Sciences are still being negotiated.


“Based on our great success at Jilin, the UK faculty who are teaching at SHU this summer and our strategic partnership with SHU, we decided to hold another “UK Week” at SHU,” said Maske, “This week-long event will deepen our ties with SHU and provide a base for future research collaborations.” 


Maske is hoping “UK Week at SHU” will help UK faculty find opportunities to access research dollars that are available in China through collaborative research. “There are considerable resources that UK faculty can access in China that will help them fund their research, access data and increase opportunities to publish.”


Faculty teaching at Shanghai University this summer through the program are:

· Steven Paul Alvarez, assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies;

· Rita Basuray, a visiting lecturer at UK College of Arts and Sciences;

· Anne Wehrley Björk, instructor in Design Workshop at UK School Art and Visual Studies;

· Lars G. Björk, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies;

· Francie Chassen-López, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences and Provost´s Distinguished Service Professor in UK Department of History;

· Julia M. Johnson, associate professor of English and director of the UK Creative Writing Program;

· Miles Osland, director of Jazz Studies and professor of saxophone;

· Kevin Real, associate professor of communications;

· Lynne K. Rieske-Kinney, associate professor of forest entomology;

· Buck Ryan, director of the Citizen Kentucky Project at UK’s Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and associate professor of journalism;  

· Mark Stuhlfaut, assistant professor in integrated strategic communications at UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications;

· Karen Tice, chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies with a joint appointment in the Department of Educational Policy Studies;

· Ernest J. Yanarella, chair of the Political Science Department, associate director of the Center for Sustainable Cities and director of Environmental Studies Program; and

· Guoqiang Yu, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.



For more information on each faculty member, visit


UK Design Alums Honored by Blue Grass Trust

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 26, 2014) — Six University of Kentucky College of Design alumni were honored for their efforts in historic preservation by the Blue Grass Trust (BGT) at the organization's Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony held June 22.


UK alumni honored by the trust included Executive Director of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Division of Historic Properties and State Curator David Buchta and architects Sarah House Tate, Robert Kelly, Scott Guyon, Jeff Pearson and Maureen Peters.


David Buchta, a 2005 graduate with a master's degree in historic preservation, received the BGT Public Service of Preservation Award. He oversaw the restoration and renovation of the Kentucky State Capitol Building and the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, as well as the restoration of the Kentucky Old Governor’s Mansion.


Sarah House Tate, a 1971 graduate with a bachelor's degree in architecture, and Robert Kelly, a 1982 graduate with a bachelor's degree in architecture, each received the BGT Clay Lancaster Heritage Education Award for their research on the work of Lexington architect Ernst Johnson.


Scott Guyon, a 1983 graduate with a bachelor's degree in architecture, converted a storage building into County Club restaurant. Jeff Pearson, a 1975 graduate with a bachelor's degree in architecture, and Maureen Peters, a 1987 graduate with a bachelor's degree in architecture, adapted the former Central Kentucky Blue Grass Seed Co. into an office building being used by BC Wood Properties. Each received the Clyde Carpenter Adaptive Reuse Award for their designs. The adaptive reuse award is named for UK Professor Clyde Carpenter.


Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation serves as the region’s leading advocacy organization for all preservation related matters. Founded in 1955, it is the 14th oldest preservation organization in the United States. Since its formation, the BGT has endeavored to promote the public recognition and preservation of buildings, structures, neighborhoods, districts, areas and objects, which form the foundation of the Bluegrass region’s historic fabric.



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

WUKY's Phoenix Fridays Concert Series Opens June 27

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 18:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2014)WUKY's Phoenix Fridays, a new free outdoor summertime concert series presented by Bunbury and Buckle Up Music Festivals and WUKY, the University of Kentucky's NPR station, opens this Friday, June 27, in downtown Lexington.


The series, which offers concerts beginning at 5 p.m. every fourth Friday of June, July, August and September in Phoenix Park, will open this Friday with Dawn Landes, followed by headliner Simone Felice. 


According to the WUKY website, "New York-based singer-songwriter Dawn Landes uses traditional American roots and alternative folk elements in her music. Incorporating a variety of instruments, ranging from guitar and accordion to glockenspiel and Optigan, her songs have a sweet sounding indie-pop groove, colored by touches of bluegrass."


"Simone Felice translates tragedies and miracles into Americana stories and songs," says the website. "Inspired by two near-death experiences, Felice's solo debut is a meditation on life and death, but it's hardly his first foray into heavy subject matter: He's written poetry, published novels and played in several bands, including The Felice Brothers and The Duke and the King. It wasn't until he had a heart attack at 33, though, that Felice realized he needed to swallow his self-doubt and go solo."


Local food trucks will be onsite at Phoenix Park, located at the corner of Main Street and South Limestone in downtown Lexington.


"Enjoying live music and good food under the stars in Phoenix Park ― we hope to see you there!" said Mike Graves, music director at WUKY.


Produced by the Downtown Lexington Corporation, WUKY's Phoenix Fridays will feature local bands as the opening act, followed by nationally touring bands.


The schedule for the rest of the summer is:


5-9:30 p.m. Friday, July 25

Opening act – Small Batch

Headliner – Saintseneca


5-9:30 p.m. Friday, August 22

Opening act – Coralee and the Townies

Headliner – Ben Sollee


5-9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26

Opening act – The Northside Sheiks

Headliner - TBA


Band details, interviews and videos can be accessed at


For more information contact WUKY’s Mike Graves at




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

UK-TLC Partnership Nurtures Promising Young Science Students

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2014) – Not all learning experiences are created equally – and at the Learning Center at Linlee, an innovative partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine allows young students to get rich, hands-on experience in the sciences and better their chances of succeeding in college and beyond.


As part of the Fayette County Public School System, The Learning Center (TLC) is an alternative school for at-risk students who are facing personal challenges that might impede their ability to learn. These include socioeconomic factors, and, perhaps surprisingly, intellectual giftedness. Students may struggle inside a traditional classroom because the learning style or pace isn't matched to their capabilities.  


At TLC, the teaching style is adaptable, says Scott Diamond, a TLC science teacher and adjunct assistant professor of physiology at UK.


"I have the freedom to try whatever it takes to make it work," Diamond said. "And I have the freedom to stop when it doesn't work."


Through the new UK-TLC Partnership, Diamond and his colleagues at TLC and the UK College of Medicine are able to offer a truly immersive experience for students looking for a career in the sciences – the chance to work with college faculty and trainees to gain experience working in a real laboratory on real-world problems.


A chance meeting brought the UK-TLC Partnership to life – Diamond met up with UK's Anthony Sinai, a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, and Luke Bradley, associate profesor of anatomy and neurobiology, who were both looking for ways to provide undergraduates and high school students with meaningful research experiences.


"We wanted to allow them an opportunity to learn something different, but that's also meaningful and real science, rather than repetitive work," Sinai said.


At TLC, students are able to conduct their own experiments with guidance from their teachers. They come to UK several days per month, where they elevate their experiments using more sophisticated equipment and procedures in the university's labs. Working on their projects with both UK faculty and student instructors, the TLC students are given the chance to perform at a high level and to form relationships with real scientists.


"What we're really trying to do is take at-risk kids and treat them like the gifted individuals they are, like grad students," Diamond said.


At the same time, the closeness in age between the TLC students and their UK student mentors allows for a closer bond, says Jessica Gambrel, an agriculture biotechnology major who works in Bradley's lab. Gambrel and Elizabeth Watts, a technician in the Sinai laboratory, are both the first in their families to attend college – serving as ideal near-peer role models to the TLC students

"I can work with them and say, this is how we do these things, sure, let's mix some plates to grow some bacteria," Gambrel said. "But also, I think they can come to me and say, 'I'm really nervous about college, do you have any advice about applying?' Things like that."


TLC's overall student population is nearly 200 of Fayette County’s most at-risk students, and this year's inaugural class of the UK-TLC Partnership saw three students earn their coveted white coats. As a TLC science teacher, Diamond recruits students into the partnership, looking for kids who show an interest and passion for science. While there's room to grow the program, the classes will remain small to give each student the individualized attention he or she deserves.


Newly graduated TLC student Ceaser Lynch has already become an undergraduate summer researcher in Sinai’s lab at UK. He'll be attending UK as a freshman in the fall, and will experience a role reversal when he continues working for UK-TLC from the mentoring side. He describes the program as a "family" atmosphere that helps prepare its students for a brighter future.


"It's more personalized," Lynch said. "They're trying to build you up to the career you want to go into."


The TLC students aren't the only ones who benefit from this partnership. Bradley notes that playing the role of mentor is beneficial to both parties involved.


"The greatest way to learn is by teaching," he said. "And so our students at UK will actually become much stronger in the lab through this exposure to teaching the high school students at TLC."


Bessie Guerrant of the UK's Office of Undergraduate Research and the UK College of Medicine Dean’s Office have provided support for the school's laboratory in the form of supplies and equipment – much of it surplus that would otherwise be sold for scrap. The laboratory space at TLC was recently dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony presided on by Rebecca Dutch, the UK College of Medicine's Associate Dean for Biomedical Education, cementing what promises to be a long-term relationship benefiting both TLC and UK.  


Overall, the goal of the UK-TLC Partnership is to foster an appetite in the science fields for many students who may have otherwise felt such a career was beyond their reach. Inspiring young minds to keep asking questions and stay hungry for knowledge is a big part of what motivates the faculty to continue to push and improve the new partnership.


"I think the important thing to realize here is that by providing opportunities to students, it's incredibly enriching to see the spark where perhaps we saw the spark in ourselves 25 or 30 years ago," Sinai said. "When you see that, it's quite invigorating, and reminds us why we are doing this in the first place."



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.


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

UK CAFE Alumni Plaza Celebrates College Mission

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) — Everyone agreed; the approach to W.P. Garrigus Building had seen better days. Well, better days are here again, with the completion of the new College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Plaza.


University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, CAFE Dean Nancy Cox and former dean Scott Smith were on hand June 24 to cut the ribbon. Also included in the dedication ceremony were Kevin Kreide, Physical Plant Division director; Boyd Sewe, landscape architecture student; and Ramona Fry, principal at element design and project manager for the plaza renovation. Fry and design team members, Liz Piper and Mark Arnold are alumni of the college’s Department of Landscape Architecture.


“The completion of our Alumni Plaza is cause for celebration — celebration of our college alumni, celebration of our students and celebration of our threefold land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension,” Cox said.


The diversity, beauty and seasonality of Kentucky’s agriculture inspired the plaza’s design. The plantings, in raised beds, are not just aesthetically pleasing, but have the practical function of providing spatial separation and controlling surface runoff. Along with agricultural plantings, a “demo forest” was planted, using 13 potentially blight-resistant sapling American chestnut trees 1.0 and 50 pure American chestnuts, which have started to sprout from planted nuts. The trees were donated by The American Chestnut Foundation, which has a breeding program that strives to restore the American chestnut to the Appalachian Mountains.


Fry told the gathered crowd that the plaza is now “a place that provides for outdoor classrooms, learning, socialization and research, with a meaningful investment in stewardship and greening our campus. It’s a place for large gatherings and for small, everyday conversations, a place to meet colleagues and make lifelong friends. It’s a place that celebrates the environment of education.”


The idea to renovate the space came from Kreide, who thought a revitalized plaza could make an important difference to that part of the college. He and now-retired Vice President for UK Facilities Management Bob Wiseman kept the door open for local firms to submit innovative designs for the plaza. The selection committee unanimously approved element design’s vision, saying it successfully reflected the image of UK and the college. Now that the work is done, Kreide believes the nine-month construction process was worth it.


“I think it's outstanding. It's money well spent. It's going to be a place that students, staff and faculty can enjoy and take pride in and use everyday,” he said.


For Fry, Piper and Arnold, the opportunity to give back to the college that gave them so much as undergraduates is something they’ll always value.


“To stand today in this vibrant, beautiful Alumni Plaza is both wonderful and humbling. The opportunity to help transform this place, to give something back of ourselves and our education here, where it all happened, is beyond measure. We are honored to be a part of this experience,” Fry said.

Apply to be a Faculty Fellow for Presentation U!

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 16:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2014) — Presentation U!, the University of Kentucky's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), has just released the application for Cohorts 2 and 3 of its Faculty Fellows program.  This program is designed to help faculty implement multimodal communication instructional materials into their courses and curricula. 


"After several years of working with faculty, staff, and students across the UK campus, first, to select a QEP topic and then to develop a plan for implementing it, I am so excited to be launching the actual program," said Deanna Sellnow, interim director of the Presentation U! Initiative. "Presentation U! will provide important consulting services to help faculty integrate multimodal communication instruction and assignments into their courses, as well as tutoring support services to help students create and refine their assignments into products they can be proud of."


In April 2013, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved Presentation U! as the university's QEP, which is one of 12 core requirements the university takes on to reaffirm its accreditation through SACS. The overall goal of Presentation U! is to improve all students' presentation and communication skills across various platforms. The intention is to improve the student learning experience with a focus on developing integrated oral, written, visual, and multimedia communication skills, while also offering a unique service to faculty in developing opportunities in their courses for students to learn these skills.  


Presentation U! is now housed in the Division of Undergraduate Education and is reaching across the university to serve. 


The Faculty Fellows program is an important component of Presentation U!, as the fellows will get help from multimodal communication experts on developing necessary instructional modules, assignments and grading rubrics that they can integrate into their courses.  They will also get help preparing and using rubrics to evaluate and assess their students' work as they integrate these components into upper division courses for their majors.


To apply to be a Faculty Fellow, visit

High School Sophomores 'GEAR UP' to Become Future UK Students

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 16:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) — This week, 85 high school sophomores from across the Commonwealth will begin living and learning on the University of Kentucky campus for three weeks as part of the GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy@UK. In partnership with the Council on Postsecondary Education and the UK Division of Undergraduate Education, this college and career readiness initiative aims to develop a college transition path to UK for the students by showcasing the skills and attitudes needed to succeed at the state's premier research university.


"Our highest priority is the success of our students," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "By partnering with the CPE on the GEAR UP Summer Academy, Kentucky high school students are exposed early to college life so they can better prepare for advanced coursework."


For UK, GEAR UP marks the first time a high school preparation program will be linked with the university's innovative general education programming, UK CORE.  During the three week period, UK faculty will manage the program through UK CORE student learning outcomes: all students are taking general studies courses that include research skills, information literacy, argumentative writing and public speaking, visual literacy, digital citizenship, video editing and web publishing.  Laurie Henry, professor in the UK College of Education and director of the College Readiness P20 Innovation Lab, is managing the students' daily schedules that will reflect a typical UK student's schedule, as well as provide opportunities for interactions with UK faculty, staff and students.


All participating students will also have the opportunity to earn digital badges in elective courses that are modeled on undergraduate courses taught at UK, potentially leading toward a dual-credit program. Documenting student acheivement and college preparation through the use of digital badges marks another first for the university.  


"Thanks to support from UK colleges and student success areas, we are able to offer an extremely innovative and diverse experience for the GEAR UP students," said Ben Withers, associate provost for undergraduate education. "This is the result of several years of intense discussions on campus about college preparation, and the innovative link of the summer courses to UK CORE will allow these students a better understanding of what college is like and, most importantly, demonstrate that they can succeed when they come to UK or go to the college of their choice."


The students attending the GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy were recommended and supported by their principals, teachers and guidance counselors for having strong potential to succeed in college with the necessary preparation.


About GEAR UP Kentucky

The GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy program was created to help students develop the skills needed for college and career success and create the opportunity to visualize themselves as a future college student. The program is provided at no cost for the students and their families, and includes the following three components:

  • General Studies Core Courses: Courses focused on building research, reading, writing, and communication skills.
  • Focus Areas: Courses that give students an in-depth, hands-on experience in a particular field including agriculture, engineering, science, fine arts, global studies, business and economics, etc.
  • Cafe College: Interactive evening sessions in the residence hall that focus on the everyday life of the college student.

For more information about the program, visit




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

UK, Norton Expand Research and Educational Collaborations to Improve Health Care

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 16:25



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) -- UK HealthCare and Norton Healthcare are building upon their history of collaboration to expand research and educational collaborations between the two institutions, with the goal of improving health and health care for all Kentuckians. 


Beginning July 1, educational and research initiatives between UK and Norton will be lead by Dr. Stephen Wyatt, who most recently served two successful terms as the founding dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Wyatt will return to the UK College of Medicine, with joint appointment as vice president for research at Norton Healthcare.


During Wyatt's tenure as dean, the College of Public Health experienced tremendous growth in faculty, staff, students, extramural funding, and reputation, with the college now ranked 25th nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Wyatt will leverage his expertise in collaborative research and education to guide the partnership efforts between UK and Norton Healthcare.


"Dr. Wyatt's high caliber leadership, expertise, and experience -- demonstrated by a strong track record of success -- are critical assets to this important and evolving partnership that will help to improve the health of Kentuckians, advance health care, and enhance the capacity of both UK and Norton to serve their communities," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs.


According to Wyatt, further collaboration between UK and Norton is a logical and natural strategy to combine the resources and expertise of two institutions that, between them, provide health care services to a large population of the Commonwealth.


"This research and education partnership exemplifies the shared commitment of both institutions to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of all Kentuckians," said Wyatt.


Facilitating collaborative research is a key component of the partnership and will benefit Kentuckians by expanding access to novel clinical trials only available at academic medical centers that, like UK, have major federal research designations in cancer, aging and translational science, while simultaneously expanding access to industry-sponsored trials at Norton Healthcare. The collaboration will also allow researchers at both institutions to combine expertise and resources and better recruit diverse research participants from a larger area of Central Kentucky.


Initial areas for collaboration include UK's National Institutes of Health research center grants for cancer (Markey Cancer Center), translational research (Center for Clinical and Translational Science), and aging (Sanders-Brown Center on Aging).  UK and Norton working together regarding cancer research has already borne fruit: In the last four years, Norton has supported several research efforts at UK, including UK's successful application for National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation.


In 2014, Wyatt and UK researchers have partnered with Norton Cancer Institute clinical staff to develop and submit three proposals for funding consideration by federal cancer research agencies and the American Cancer Society. In order to facilitate joint research studies, UK and Norton have established a shared Institutional Review Board process to approve clinical studies that involve both institutions


The two institutions are also working together to improve education for health care providers and administrators in the state.


“Through partnership, scientists and care providers at UK and Norton Healthcare will expand their capacity to conduct multidisciplinary research that improves treatment for thousands of patients across the region,” said President Eli Capilouto. “By leveraging the innovative discovery we conduct, and moving those discoveries from the lab to the bedside, we can do more for those in need of complex care.”


In May 2104, the UK College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies Program and Norton Healthcare launched a preceptor partnership to develop a robust network of qualified physician assistant preceptors within the Norton Healthcare system, with Norton pledging $715,000 over three years to support the program. Physician assistant (PA) students at UK receive instruction and supervision from Norton preceptors during their clinical clerkship rotations, and approximately 50 percent of the students receive employment offers at UK following completion of the program.


The first nine students in the program began clerkships at Norton in June 2014. Partnering with UK's PA program will allow Norton to further educate and develop its workforce in order to best serve its patients.


The partnership for physician assistant education builds upon previous collaborations in health care education.  In 2012, Norton Healthcare gifted $250,000 to UK to endow a professorship in health care leadership at the UK College of Public Health and support an annual $10,000 scholarship for the college's master of health administration (MHA) program. Lawrence Prybil, professor of health services management at the UK College of Public Health, was named the first Norton Healthcare Endowed Professor in Healthcare Leadership.


"Previous partnerships for educational initiatives with Norton Healthcare have strengthened the public health capacity in our state, and I'm looking forward to expanding our work with our Norton Healthcare colleagues so that together we can make real and timely contributions to the Commonwealth," said Wyatt.


MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

UPK Title on Third Reich Honored by Army Historical Foundation

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 12:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) — The Army Historical Foundation recently recognized outstanding contributions to U.S. Army history that were published in 2013. Among those select works honored by the foundation was “Exposing the Third Reich: Colonel Truman Smith in Hitler’s Germany,” by University Press of Kentucky (UPK) author Henry G. Gole, which won the Distinguished Book Award in the category of biography.


The Army Historical Foundation is a member-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the American soldier. Established in 1983, the foundation funds projects such as educational programs, research, publication of relevant historical materials and the acquisition and preservation of Army artifacts.


"Exposing the Third Reich" was recognized at an annual awards program June 18, at the 17th annual Members’ Meeting at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. The finalists were judged by a select awards committee of distinguished military historians and writers against a set of criteria, including significance to U.S. Army history, historical accuracy, and quality of writing.


In the early 1930s, most military and political leaders in the United States and around Europe did not take Adolph Hitler’s rise to power in Germany particularly seriously. Col. Truman Smith was an exception. In “Exposing the Third Reich,” Gole tells this soldier’s story for the first time. An American aristocrat from a prominent New England family, Smith was first assigned to Germany in 1919 during the Allied occupation and soon became known as a regional expert. During his second assignment in the country as a military attaché in 1935, he arranged for his good friend Charles Lindbergh to inspect the Luftwaffe. The Germans were delighted to have the famous aviator view their planes, enabling Smith to gather key intelligence about their air capability.


Smith’s savvy cultivation of relationships rendered him invaluable throughout his service, particularly as an aide to Gen. George C. Marshall, however the colonel’s friendliness with Germany also aroused suspicion that he was a Nazi sympathizer. Gole demonstrates that, far from condoning Hitler, Smith was among the first to raise the alarm: he predicted many of the Nazis’ moves years in advance and feared that the international community would not act quickly enough. Featuring many firsthand observations of the critical changes in Germany between the world wars, this biography presents an indispensable look both at a fascinating figure and at the nuances of the interwar years.


The award from the Army Historical Foundation marks the fourth time a UPK title has won an award from the foundation. In 2010, “Normandy to Victory: The Way Diary of General Courtney H. Hodges and the First U.S. Army,” edited by John T. Greenwood, won in the category of journals, memoirs, and letters. The following year, "Beetle: The Life of Walter Bedell Smith," by D.K.R. Crosswell, won in the category of biography and "The Way of Honor, Duty, Country: The Memoir of Charles Pelot Summerall," edited byTimothy K. Nenninger, won in the category of journals, memoirs, and letters. In 2012,  "Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge," by John Nelson Rickard, won in the category of operational/battle history.


Gole has taught at West Point, the U.S. Army War College, the University of Maryland and Dickinson College. In addition, he served as a rifleman in Korea and completed two tours as a Special Forces officer during the Vietnam War. He is the author of four books, including "General William E. Depuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War."


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




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

UK Athletics Awards Multimedia Rights to JMI Sports

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 09:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 23, 2014) — In one of the most valuable partnerships of its kind in college athletics history, University of Kentucky officials announced Monday that JMI Sports has been awarded UK’s athletics and campus multimedia marketing rights with a 15-year, $210 million agreement.


“This partnership reflects the fact that the University of Kentucky is a national brand with the largest and most loyal fan base in all of intercollegiate athletics,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “The size of this partnership – and our partnership with an emerging force in college sports in JMI Sports – will enable us to maintain and grow as one of the country’s few financially self-sustaining programs, allowing us to continue to provide incredible educational opportunities to more than 450 young men and women as well as continue to partner with the university in unique and distinctive ways.”


“It is critically important that our athletic program remain not only financially self-sustaining, but is also positioned to continue to be an aggressive partner in our academic efforts,” University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said. “Nowhere else in the country is an athletics program more essential to building a thriving public, residential, research university. This partnership with JMI Sports helps ensure those contributions are strengthened.”


Last year, Capilouto and Barnhart announced the UK athletics department was paying for $65 million of a more than $100 million Academic Science Building – an unprecedented partnership between academics and athletics in American higher education.


JMI Sports is an innovator in sales, marketing, and project management services to universities and professional teams. Kentucky will be JMI Sports’ first client for which it will serve as its multimedia rights holder, but its leadership has substantial experience in sports business.


The company was founded in 2006 by developer and philanthropist John Moores and Chief Executive Officer Erik Judson. Moores is the former owner and chairman of the San Diego Padres and Judson has experience managing major sports development projects, including the Padres’ Petco Park and the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena. Tom Stultz, president of JMI Sports and a native of Greenup, Ky., formerly served as senior vice president and managing director of IMG College’s multimedia rights business.


“We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Kentucky,” Moores said. “Erik, Tom and I would like to thank President Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and the entire UK administration for the confidence they have placed in JMI Sports. We are enthusiastic supporters of higher education, recognizing the many important roles these institutions play in our society. We look forward to working with UK to build the most innovative and successful multi-media venture in the country.”


JMI Sports’ college clients include the Southeastern Conference, Alabama, North Carolina, Oregon, Auburn, Colorado, Duke, Syracuse and many more.


“We are very impressed with JMI Sports and excited to begin working with them,” Barnhart said. “Their work with many of our peers in college athletics and the experience of their team will make them an excellent long-term partner for UK Athletics and a valued part of the Big Blue Nation.”


UK will receive a guaranteed rights fee in each of the 15 years of the contract, starting at $9.1 million in 2015-16 and increasing to $16 million in 2029-30. The agreement also includes a $29.4 million signing bonus to be paid over the first two years of the contract. The signing bonus will help the university fund important capital projects. The deal includes:


·         Radio rights to UK’s football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball games;

·         Stadium and arena corporate signage and game programs for all home UK events, other than those hosted at Rupp Arena;

·         Naming rights to university athletics facilities and premium areas;

·         Sponsorship on;

·         Game sponsorships and game promotions;

·         Coaches’ endorsements;

·         Pre and postgame television shows and specials and postseason highlight DVDs;

·         Video features on video boards, other than at Rupp Arena;

·         Opportunities to develop UK Athletics Corporate Partnership Program; and

·         The potential, at the university’s discretion, to market campus multimedia rights, creating the potential for an integrated approach to multimedia rights and marketing – something few universities are doing.


As part of the agreement, UK Athletics will continue to provide premium advertising inventory in support of the school’s academic mission. This advertising inventory is valued at more than $7.5 million over the 15 years of the contract. In addition to funding nearly two-thirds of the Academic Science Building, the Athletics Department also continues to contribute $1.7 million annually toward academic scholarships for the general student population, all while remaining one of the few self-sufficient departments in the country.


UK’s current deal, which expires in April 2015, was worth $80.5 million over 10 years. Despite television rights no longer being included due to the SEC’s broadcast agreements and the impending launch of the SEC Network, UK’s multimedia rights deal increased significantly.


By comparison, the University of Alabama signed a deal in April reportedly worth between $15-16 million annually over 10 years, giving the school the third-largest multimedia rights deal in the nation behind Texas and Notre Dame, two universities with unique television agreements. Concessions, pouring rights, isotonic beverage, seat rentals and merchandise are included in Alabama’s deal, while UK manages each separately.


The new agreement was awarded following a review process in accordance with the Kentucky Model Procurement Code KRS 45A. A Request for Proposals was issued in February 2014 and responses were received in April. The contract can be found at


Additional quotes from JMI Sports


Erik Judson, Chief Executive Officer, JMI Sports

“JMI Sports pursued this partnership with the University of Kentucky because it perfectly aligns with our strategy of serving an elite group of major universities. Our continual focus will be on providing white glove customer service to UK’s sponsors and partners as part of our effort to enhance the UK brand and provide an outstanding platform for success for UK and its many stakeholders.”


Tom Stultz, President, JMI Sports

“We are thrilled to begin a partnership with the University of Kentucky that will utilize much of our expertise, including producing and distributing quality sports content, selling and fulfilling innovative corporate partnerships, developing unique campus sponsorship programs, and delivering stadium financing and project management services. This contract enables JMI Sports to become established as a full-service provider of the highest quality university and sponsor centered services. And, knowing from personal experience how terrific UK’s administration, coaches, staff and fans are as partners, we could not be more excited for what the future holds.”


For more information, see attachments below.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Tony Neely, 859-257-3838

Association of Emeriti Faculty Presents Fellowship Awards

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 09:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) — Three University of Kentucky graduate students have received the fellowship award from the Association of Emeriti Faculty. Each award includes a stipend of $2,000.


Since 1996, the UK Association of Emeriti Faculty has awarded 53 fellowships to full-time graduate students who demonstrate a commitment to teaching at a university or college. Thanks to generous gifts from UK faculty retirees to the fellowship program and UKAEF’s Commonwealth of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund, these gifts constitute a $77,000 donation of ongoing support of graduate students.


Winners for the 2013-14 school year were Brad Fox, Ashley Bourgeois and Michelle Bolduc.


Bolduc is in her fourth year as a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography. Her dissertation research is in the field of medical geography and involves an investigation of the economic, political and socio-cultural barriers that pregnant Haitian immigrants face in gaining access to prenatal care in a county in Florida. Bolduc has been active as a teaching assistant and primary instructor and was co-founder of the UK Critical Pedagogy Working Group.


Bourgeois joined the Department of English as a doctoral student in 2009. She is investigating film and fiction sources of theoretical views on sexual liberation that were associated with the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s and that later became largely submerged by more consumer-friendly versions of fulfillment. She is actively publishing and presenting at conferences. Bourgeois has served as a teaching assistant and as primary instructor of a number of English and gender and women studies courses.


Fox has completed two years as a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mathematics. His research is in the field of discrete mathematics or, more specifically, algebraic combinatorics, and he is currently working on four projects. Fox has extensive experience as a primary instructor, recitation instructor, guest lecturer and tutor in his department.


The UKAEF website gives details for applying for the fellowhips awarded annually: Deadline for students to apply is in October 2014.




MEDIA CONTACT:  Rachel Knuth,, 757-971-1503.









Blue Abroad: Touring the Chelsea Football Club

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:36

LONDON, ENGLAND (June 26, 2014) Fifteen first-generation Univesity of Kentucky students are seeing blue across the Atlantic this summer. In a course designed specifically for first-generation students, the group is exploring global communication and business in London, England, led by Director of First Generation Initiatives Matthew Deffendall.


Throughout three weeks spanning the end of June and beginning of July, the students are visiting several international businesses and corporations, and UKNow is highlighting some of their experiences by publishing their blogs.


On Monday, June 19, the class toured the stadium of one of the most successful football clubs in Great Britain: the Chelsea Football Club. Beginning in the stadium seats, the tour then continued through the press conference room, the home and visiting locker rooms, as well as the press box in the stadium. The tour commenced in the Chelsea Football Club museum — a tribute to the success of the club, which included interactive "skill-building" displays, hanging jerseys of notable Chelsea players and opponents, as well as videos from the team's most memorable wins.


After the tour, a former financial representative, Stephen Pearce, from the Chelsea Football Club gave a lecture about the European football industry. Pearce recently transitioned from Chelsea to a smaller football club, Derby County, a club that last year generated enough momentum to ascend from the near bottom of their league's standings, to second place.  He described the structure and financial workings of the industry and asked the students to compare European football to similar industries in the U.S.


Below is a blog from sophomore chemistry major Brandon King:


The tour of the Chelsea Football Club was a very interesting trip. It was more of a superficial tour, as we only saw the inside of the stadium, the changing rooms, the press rooms, etc. The inner workings were not touched on in the stadium tour. This was left for later in the evening when one of the former financial directors for Chelsea came to talk to us. Now, he helps to manage the finances for the Derby Football Club, a local football team on the rise from a hard period in their career.


The Derby director gave a very extensive look into the workings of managing a football club, and many techniques and tactics were quite similar to the workings of professional sports in the United States. In order to fund the club, they need extensive sponsorship — as many as possible from as many different kinds of companies as possible. The director mentioned that they recently got a new deal to rename the stadium iPro stadium, the largest financial sponsorship deal in recent times. For the next 10 years, their names will be connected.



In addition, they need public exposure to help bring in fans and raise money. The more the team is known about, and spoken about, the more success they will have. They do kids camps so they can come and talk to the pros and learn from them. In addition, they have a deal so that if the team makes it into the English Premier League (the tier they very nearly made it into, but sadly lost their promotion match), all season pass owners will be refunded half the price.


On the other hand, though, there are a few differences between American professional sports. The professional arena for the English and the American leagues are quite unique from each other. A lot of importance is placed on reaching the top tiers in England due to the level of sponsorship that is offered for those contenders.


In addition, the amount of trading and buying players is on a much higher level than in the States. In addition to trading, the players are often lent (literally loaned) to other teams so that they can get experience in lower leagues before they return to play for their main team. This is not as common in American sports, and was a surprising bit of information — especially when a list of players traded to other teams was given, including the prices paid and the success of the players.


One of the primary means of public and global communication for the Derby team was the usage of the Twitter page. It was used to advertise ticket sales, progress in training, news about the team, games, etc. This has helped to revitalize the public fandom for the team and raise morale in the team as well. Due to the recent upturn in the team’s success, their number of followers has increased significantly.


Before this trip, I had no idea of the behind-the-scenes deals that a football club needs to do to operate, including the sponsorships, promotions, techniques for public exposure, team management changes, etc. It was a very enjoyable trip!




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

Blue Abroad: First-Gen Students Blog From London

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) A group of 15 first-generation University of Kentucky students is seeing blue across the pond this summer. In a course designed specifically for students who are the first in their families to attend college, the group is exploring global communication and business in London, England, led by Director of First Generation Initiatives Matthew Deffendall.


Throughout three weeks, spanning the end of June and beginning of July, the students will visit several international businesses and corporations in London. Throughout their journey, UKNow will highlight some of their experiences by publishing their blogs.


The class began their series of business site visits with the British Broadcasting Company, the BBC.


Below is senior biology major Danielle Middleton's blog about the experience:


Friday, we completed our first business site as we took a tour of the BBC site. Prior to the visit, I knew two things of the BBC.  First, that BBC is an acronym for British Broadcasting Corporation and secondly, that we owe our thanks to BBC for the television show "Doctor Who." After the visit, I can proudly say that I know more than two things!


I have always been taught the importance of a first impression; a lesson that I am sure was not lost on the designers of the BBC building. While making our way to the entrance we soon discovered that we instead were actually walking across the world. More specifically, the world piazza, as it is called is a collection of over 750 stone pavers each representing a place from around the world. Even more interesting, this map of sorts takes into consideration lines of longitude and latitude.  We were fortunate to locate Kentucky and other common names as well as some more uncommon places that we inevitably mispronounced. The world piazza served as a great introduction as it mirrored the BBC vision to essentially cover the world.


If I had to choose a word to describe my first minutes of the official tour, I would select the word 'concerned.' I can recall drawing a blank, with the exception of the mention of Tony Blair in the guide's opening. I questioned how I would be able to find both similarities and interests in something so seemingly different. It only took the next portion of the tour to change my mind.


Our first full stop was a view of the newsroom and a look at the news market BBC caters to. While I have never toured a broadcasting station in the U.S., it is hard imaging one as grand as the BBC. The view from above revealed a large room bustling with workers. The glass barrier created an experience akin to a zoo as I observed the workers in their natural habitat. Some workers were collaborating with one another pointing at computers, while others seemed to be intently working alone at their personal stations. It was very dynamic and amidst all this motion we were assured both the domestic and international news stories were being produced.


It was at this stop we learned some general information about the BBC. We learned that this particular studio employed over 6,000 people while employing many others in different locations and abroad. Aside from delivering world news and political elections, the BBC also produced radio and television programs. We also learned that the BBC is funded primarily through grants and is commercial free. These latter bits of information were surprising as it offers contrasts to the U.S. system. The tour guide also proudly boasted that the BBC was about one-third larger than CNN, a figure I was shocked to learn.  The next point of the tour provided me with some similarities to the U.S. network systems.


At the next point we were given a glimpse into the BBC’s entertainment market, by taking a tour of the studio where "The One Show" is filmed. "The One Show" is comparable to a talk show and has had many notable guests such as Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, and many other political and international celebrities. After this point we were taken to a radio system. It was here that I learned one of the ways the BBC tailors its messages. A radio drama, something that seems a thing of the past in America, is still wildly popular in the U.K. For this reason, the BBC produces many radio dramas and even allowed members of our group to get a behind the scenes look while creating our own production.


Continuing on with the hands-on experience, our tour was also given the opportunity to participate in a mock news and weather report. It was during this early portion of the tour we learned about the way the BBC incorporates its message with that of the nations and places it represents. We were able to learn how local segments of weather are used to customize a general BBC broadcast. This is yet another way the BBC spreads its influence and coverage to the world.   


Returning to BBC’s entertainment market, we were taken to a small theater that has played host to many popular acts wishing to receive great publicity in exchange for a very small fee. Among performers were Elton John, Bon Jovi, and Rod Stewart. Like American networks, the BBC seeks to appeal to large audiences by presenting a wide variety of political and pop culture figures.


Lastly, I remember learning a bit about the history of the BBC, as we took time in the tour to visit a building originating in 1932. I became familiar with the BBC’s original goal to expand from radio to television and then the halting of this goal as World War II approached. I also learned the important role the BBC played during the war to relentlessly deliver news to those areas such as France who were under occupation. From the past to the present, I learned a lot during the visit and had a great time.




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

Big Blue Family VIDEO: Father and Son Collaborate on Research and Outreach

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:02


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.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 23, 2014) — At first glance, it may not seem that the chair of cardiothoracic surgery in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a horticulture extension professor and specialist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment would share the same research interests.   But Sibu Saha and his son Shubin say the two areas fit together perfectly.  


They started collaborating on an attention-getting study about the cardiovascular effects of watermelon when Shubin worked at Purdue University.  Now that they are both on the same campus, they hope to use their shared expertise to further the study’s findings. 


Their ties to UK run deeper still.  Sibu’s wife, Becky Saha served as president of the Friends of the Arboretum and the couple established the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center Fund in 2010.  Shubin’s wife, Amanda Saha is an academic coordinator at in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


Watch the “Big Blue Family” video above to discover what it’s like for father and son to conduct research together on the same campus and why their work for this university means so much to both of them. 


This video feature is part of a special new series produced by UKNow focusing on families who help make up the University of Kentucky community.  There are many couples, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters who serve at UK in various fields.   The idea is to show how UK is part of so many families’ lives and how so many families are focused on helping the university succeed each and everyday. 


Since the "Big Blue Family" series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If you know of a family who you think should be featured, please email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!


VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282,

Press Avenue Garage Construction to Begin June 21

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 21:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 20, 2014) — As part of the annual routine maintenance work on the University of Kentucky's parking structures, UK Parking and Transportation Services says construction will significantly impact the Press Avenue Garage (PS #6) starting Saturday, June 21.


The Press Avenue Garage will be closed Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22. Once the garage reopens Monday, June 23, the work will cause approximately 50 parking spaces to be blocked at a time, although the area will shift throughout the facility during this project.


During the summer months, parking demand is reduced, providing increased flexibility in parking alternatives. Employees who normally park in the Press Avenue Garage should allow extra commute time. If the facility is full, employees may park in any E or R areas or the K areas at Commonwealth Stadium. Visit to view the campus summer parking map and identify alternate parking locations.


The work on the Press Avenue Garage is expected to last approximately one week. However, as always, construction is weather-dependent and the timetable may change.

Portion of Northbound University Drive to Close Temporarily

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 21:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 20, 2014) — A portion of University Drive on the University of Kentucky campus will be closed this weekend to facilitate road resurfacing. No parking will be permitted on the northbound side of University Drive beginning at 8 p.m. today, Friday, June 20.


The resurfacing is scheduled to begin either Saturday, June 21 or Sunday, June 22. Once work commences, the northbound University Drive travel lane will close beginning near the intersection with Hospital Drive and ending just before the intersection with Huguelet Drive. The northbound parking area as well as the adjacent bike lane will provide northbound access to Complex Drive.


Access will remain to the UK and VA hospitals via Hospital Drive. Northbound through traffic on University Drive will be detoured to Veterans Drive at Hospital Drive with access back to University Drive at Huguelet Drive.


The work is expected to be completed by 5 a.m. Monday, June 23. However, as always, construction is weather-dependent and the timetable may change.

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Has Latest on UK's New Dining Partnership With Aramark

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 16:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 20, 2014) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's guest, UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday, discusses details of UK’s new $250 million partnership with Aramark to provide dining services on campus. 


To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit


"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Common Problem in Older Women

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 15:15


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) -- It's a problem many women are embarrassed to discuss, but pelvic organ prolapse is a very common disorder, especially among older women. Roughly half of women who have had children will experience a form of prolapse later in life, and more than one out of every 10 women will have at least one surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence  by the age of 80.


What is pelvic organ prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor becomes weak or damaged and one or more pelvic structures drop from their natural positions into or even outside of the vaginal canal. Several structures can be involved, including the uterus, bladder, small bowel, rectum or the vagina itself.


What causes prolapse?

Prolapse is caused by damage to the tissues that support the pelvic organs. This damage is often a result of several factors, with the most common cause being the trauma of childbirth.  Other risk factors include obesity, chronic constipation, lung diseases that result in a chronic cough, prior hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), menopause, and heavy manual labor.


What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include a bulge or pressure in the vagina, a pulling or stretching feeling in the vagina or pelvis, discomfort with sexual intercourse, delayed or slow urine stream, difficulty with bowel movements, and urinary and fecal urgency or incontinence.


What's the best way to treat prolapse?

Treatment depends on several factors including the age and overall health of the patient, the severity of symptoms, the stage of the prolapse, the patient’s anatomy and prior surgical history and most importantly the patient’s preference.


For women with a mild case of prolapse, physicians may not recommend a surgical intervention. However, they may recommend nonsurgical treatments that can help prevent the prolapse from becoming worse, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding lifting heavy objects.

For more severe prolapse, some women may choose to use a pessary (a medical device that provides internal support) while others may choose to undergo surgery.


Surgery can be laparoscopic with the assistance of the da Vinci robot or approached through the vagina. Women often have other pelvic floor disorders in addition to prolapse including overactive bladder (urinary frequency, urgency and urge incontinence) or stress urinary incontinence (leakage of urine with coughing, laughing, or exercise) that need to be addressed at the same time.  


For younger women, the potential loss of childbearing ability plays a role in the patient's treatment.  Treatment should be individualized for each patient and it is important to see a physician that specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders, such a surgeon board-certified in Female Pelvic Medicine Reconstructive Surgery.


Why should women seek treatment sooner rather than later?

The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can worsen over time.  The sooner a woman seeks treatment the sooner we can work on alleviating the symptoms and improving her quality of life.


Dr. Katie Ballert specializes in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at UK HealthCare.


This column appeared in the June 22, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader