Campus News

Tyler Nix Appointed National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 09:39


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) — An alumnus of the College of Communication and Information’s Library and Information Science (LIS) graduate program has been chosen as one of the 2015 Associate Fellows at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Tyler Nix (class of 2015) was one of only three selected for an associate fellowship position this year. Nix, who is pursuing a career in health librarianship, was enthusiastic to receive news of his appointment to the position.


"As any graduate student will tell you, the job hunt can be overwhelming," Nix said. "The fellowship offers a combination of learning through a formal curriculum program, and leadership development through project-based work. So (my reaction was) it feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience."


Nix pursued courses in the Library and Information Science program’s Health Information track during his graduate student tenure. The College of Communication and Information’s Library and Information Science master’s program has been ranked as a top 5 program for health librarianship by U.S. News and World Report.


"Health science librarianship works to connect patients, students and care providers with the best health and biomedical information available. A person's concern for their health and the health of their loved ones is universal. At some point, each of us will likely be faced with a health challenge. So there is a sense of relevancy there that is very compelling," he said.


Nix took advantage of opportunities offered through the LIS graduate program, and he also pursued practical field experience in health sciences librarianship both on and off campus.


"There have been so many opportunities to engage with the field in Lexington," he said, "I learned about health care navigators through a research project with the school and the University of Kentucky Medical Center Library faculty, and from there took courses in consumer health information, the search and evaluation of health science literature, and evidence-based medicine. I was also fortunate to work with the Frontier Nursing University librarians in expanding their institutional repository, with collections ranging from current nursing and nurse-midwifery instructional materials, to doctorate research capstones and historical materials from the Frontier Nursing Service."


The associate fellowship position will not be the first professional experience Nix has had with National Library of Medicine. He was one of a handful of student interns chosen to participate at the National Library of Medicine during the Spring 2014 Alternative Spring Break program offered through the School of Library and Information Science.


"The Alternative Spring Break program offered me a chance to intern at the NLM for a week in March 2014. We worked on projects and got to know the current associate fellows and meet several NLM staff members. So it was a brief glimpse of the environment at NLM and was very influential in terms of applying for the Associate Fellowship Program. I would recommend applying to Alternative Spring Break to any current library science students who may be considering it," said Nix who is hopeful that this new experience at NLM as an associate fellow will provide meaningful professional development opportunities and help him to plan his career.


"My long term plans are still in the making, so this position offers a chance to continue in-depth learning and participate in health science librarianship initiatives while building on the graduate school experience," Nix said. "The NLM is producing content and managing projects that are unique in the field, so I expect that the fellowship experience will strongly help to shape what comes next (for me)."


More information on the Associate Fellowship Program may be found at the National Library of Medicine’s website.  For more information on the Library and Information Science master’s program at UK, visit The School of Library and Information Science is part of the College of Communication and Information, UK’s official iSchool, part of group of information schools dedicated to advancing the field.



MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395;,

UK Flavonoid Research Shows Promise for Big Things to Come

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 14:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2015) —  University of Kentucky researchers may hold the answers for new plant-based pharmaceuticals and environmentally safe paint.


Jan Smalle, a scientist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, received a four-year $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the mechanics of nanoharvesting plant flavonoids. Flavonoids are a complex collection of plant-made chemicals that have all kinds of functions within plants and also have many potential human health implications.


Flavonoids protect plants from sunlight and sunlight damage, help defend against pathogens and are responsible for producing the colors of fruits and flowers.


"There has not been definitive research on plant flavonoids that the Food and Drug Administration says makes them proven to help human health, but research has shown there is a direct correlation between people that have a lot of flavonoids in their diets and lower instances of cancer, heart disease, dementia, improved blood circulation and slower aging," said Smalle, an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.


Interest is increasing among food scientists in using flavonoids to color food instead of the current coloring processes, which often rely on synthesized fossil fuel-derived compounds. Flavonoids also have potential for the paint industry as they could lead to more environmentally friendly paint production and reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels.


Smalle and fellow UKAg research scientist Jasmina Kurepa developed nanoharvesting, which involves inserting titanium dioxide nanoparticles into a plant. Inside the plant, the nanoparticles bind with flavonoids in cells. Plants then secrete the nanoparticles coated with flavonoids.


Until this discovery, conducting research on flavonoids was difficult, as many flavonoid species are unstable and degrade or become modified during the classical isolation procedures. It was also hard for scientists to deliver them to human cells for pharmaceutical research.


"We now have an extremely simple way to isolate these compounds," he said. "It has the added advantage that this type of nanoparticle is known to be taken up by human cells. We may now be able use these particles coated with flavonoids directly in drug discovery."


These same nanoparticles are also potentially useful for the paint industry. Theoretically, the flavonoid-coated nanoparticles could be placed directly into paint to provide color. An additional benefit is that flavonoids have antimicrobial properties which may help exterior paint last longer. Current exterior paints are often degraded over time by microbes.


Using the model plant Arabidopsis, Smalle will look at the plant mechanisms and pathways involved in taking up nanoparticles and then secreting them coated with flavonoids. His research will also explore whether similar pathways exist and are as efficient in other plants, especially agricultural plants that farmers are already able to successfully produce.


"Flavonoids in green tea are supposed to help us live longer, but those are different flavonoids than the ones in blueberries that provide us with other health benefits, and those are different from the ones in chocolate," Kurepa said. "So if there is a simple and unified system to get flavonoid-coated nanoparticles from everything, then that’s brilliant."




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

Book on World War II Women Veterans Focus of WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 14:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky. Today, guest host Alan Lytle chats with Jeff and Jeanne Suchanek, authors of "Star Spangled Hearts: American Women Veterans of World War II." The book shines a spotlight on the more than 250,000 American women who volunteered for military service during the war.


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


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


Morgan County's New Cooperative Extension Service Office

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 13:59



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015) — Just over three years ago, an EF3-strength tornado ripped through Eastern Kentucky, leaving a path of death destruction. One of the hardest hit communities was West Liberty in Morgan County, which lost pretty much all of its downtown business district, including the Morgan County Cooperative Extension Service office. 


Now, Morgan County is making a comeback, which is evident in the opening of a brand new Extension office and education farm. We learn more in this video by Jeff Franklin of UK Ag Communications Services.



MEDIA CONTACTS: Jeff Franklin, 859-257-9088; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.


VIDEO: Quest for Buried Knowledge Continues with New Computer Software Tool

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 12:43


Filmed by Seth Parker, 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 4, 2015) — In the 18th century, researchers attempting to read the writings of ancient, charred scrolls picked and pulled at the fragile artifacts, destroying many. Fast forward to 2015 and researchers are developing a superior method, one that never unrolls or even attempts to open the scrolls.


Leaving it intact almost exactly as it was 2,000 years ago, scanning methods and a new first-of-its-kind computer software tool are currently working to reveal text from a Herculaneum scroll. The scroll, carbonized by the A.D. 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, was preserved with hundreds of others in the only library from antiquity to survive.


The "Volume Cartographer" software tool, built by Brent Seales, professor and chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Computer Science, and his team, will allow researchers to map (hence "cartographer") the surface of the scroll and then allow the user to pull out pages and scan for letters. Revolutionary in more ways than one, the software is made to be user-friendly for scholars, not only computer scientists.


"It's really about what we can enable scholars to do," said Seth Parker, project manager and video production coordinator for the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments. "We want to create a pipeline that we can actually give to historians, classicists, the people who want to study these texts, and enable them to unlock their own artifacts." 


A project of this caliber undoubtedly requires top-notch research assistants. That's why Seales employed a group of UK undergraduate students to work on the software, which is part of an international collaboration to read the scroll.


"The caliber of talented undergraduates at the University of Kentucky is outstanding," Seales said. "It has been tremendously exciting for me to see the innovative and mature contributions that our students are making to the project."


In May, the team experienced the scope of the project firsthand when they traveled to Paris, France, to collaborate with a world-renowned papyrologist, who is learning to use the software, and to present their work at Google Paris, where Seales was a visiting scientist in 2012. (Experience the students' adventure in Paris by watching the video above.)


"I think it's a great honor," said Nick Graczyk about the Google "Tech Talk." Graczyk is a recent UK computer science graduate and soon-to-be Microsoft software engineer who has focused on the software pipeline. Like the other team members, he was an undergraduate when he began working on the project.


"The fact that we were selected to work on this project and then go and present our research to them … it's a really great honor," he continued.


The software tool has rapidly progressed this semester, often overcoming many technological challenges they had never faced before, the group explained to a room of Googlers.


"What we get from the scanning machine is just a big brick of data," said Michael Roup, recent computer science and mathematics graduate and UK Presidential Scholar, in the presentation. "And we have to find the pages inside of that."


To do that, the software utilizes a number of tactics, including particle chain region growing, segmentation and texture (UV) mapping.


How does it work? Imagine a newspaper rolled up. From the viewpoint of looking through the hole, layers of pages are visible. From that same viewpoint using a scan of the scroll, the software user can see hundreds of layers, only not as perfectly tubular as the newspaper.


Then the user draws a line on what they think to be a single layer in the scroll. The software follows that line through the width of the scroll to pull out a page. From there, the user can "texture" the page, a significant step as each scroll page is a 3D, uneven surface. After texturing, the page flattens into a 2D equivalent and from there the user can see if words are present on the page.  


But perhaps the most interesting feature of the software is the "sand grain detector," mapping out "sand grain constellations" and using grains like stars to orient where the user is at in the scroll. Since the scroll is carbonized, the grains should never move.


"Before this project started we didn't even know those grains existed," Seales said. "Now it may turn out that sand grains are the unique signature."


Following the Tech Talk, the team joined Google employees at lunch, where the lead software engineer of the Google Cultural Institute congratulated the students on their presentation and impressive work.


While it may be at the top of their list, sharing their work with one of the world's largest tech companies was not the only highlight of the students' excursion. They were also granted access to view up close a scroll in the Herculaneum collection, housed in the library of the Institut de France, famous for its five national academies and for its preservation of the Bibliotheque Mazarine, the oldest public library in France.


The scroll, similar to others in the collection, resembled a lump of charcoal. But in person, the lines of the papyrus surface were clearly visible and so too were the tightly coiled layers of the scroll, much like the layers of a tree trunk.


"It was eye-opening," said Abigail Coleman, a computer science graduate student and former NASA intern who has focused on UV mapping. "Being able to see the scroll kind of gives you more purpose for your work. ..."


Adjacent to the library were the meeting chambers of the French Academy of Sciences, founded in 1666 by King Louis XIV, where the students carefully perused the walls displaying busts of each academy officer, including Napoleon.


They also experienced European history through the ages when they visited the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and Sacre-Coeur Basilica, followed by the Palace of Versailles, Luxembourg Gardens and Notre-Dame Cathedral.


"I’ve always had a little bit of an interest in history so this is really a good project for me to work on," said Melissa Shankle, who was a freshman this past year and analyzed the software from a user perspective. "It's been a great experience that I never thought I would do as a freshman."


Now back home in their Davis Marksbury Building lab, Seales and Parker, as well as Coleman and Roup, who are working on the project through the summer, will attempt to produce an entire page of text from the scroll by the start of fall. And they will continue to work with the papyrologist in Paris, who will begin running segmentations on the Herculaneum scroll.


"We are now poised for discovery — discovery not just of new technical methods and software development, but of texts that we might somehow rescue," Seales said. "It is an honor to be holding this possibility in our hands and to be doing it with so talented a team of students and collaborators."





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

UK Anesthesiologist Visits “the Other UK” on Prestigious Endowed-Lectureship Tour

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 10:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2015) – In May, Dr. John H. Eichhorn, professor of Anesthesiology and Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, a widely recognized patient safety activist, visited “the other UK,” the United Kingdom, to deliver a 10-day series of presentations as part of an invited endowed lectureship conferred by the British Royal College of Anaesthetists.


Eichhorn was the J. Arthur Rank Lecturer, the Royal College’s highest honor for a visiting dignitary, which is awarded only rarely, and is named after its original sponsor, a late English industrialist and media mogul.  He delivered presentations to the entire staff at various university hospitals in Manchester and London, England, on “The Origin and Evolution of Patient Safety.”  Further, the main event of the lectureship was the Royal College’s annual meeting, this year held in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Eichhorn, as that assembly’s keynote speaker, addressed an enthusiastic overflow crowd of “UK” anesthesiologists on “Intra-Op to Peri-Op: Anesthesia Patient Safety Then and Now.” 


In addition, because the College of Anaesthetists of Ireland conducted its annual meeting the week following Eichhorn’s lectureship in Great Britain, he was invited separately by that group to travel on to Dublin to address their convention regarding anesthesia patient safety – past, present, and future.


Earlier this spring, Eichhorn was recognized as first author of one of the “game changer” or most important published articles ever in the specialty of anesthesiology, in which he described standards for anesthesia professionals’ monitoring of the patient and the conduct of anesthetics for surgical procedures that led to permanent changes worldwide in the practice of anesthesia.  


As a result of career-long efforts to improve patient safety and quality of care in anesthesia, in 2011 Eichhorn received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement from the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission, the highest recognition there is in healthcare safety and quality.


“These invitations to the British Isles were a great honor,” Eichhorn reflected, “and I was received with remarkable warmth, appreciation, and respect.  Also, I was able to educate many of my British and Irish colleagues about Kentucky (especially where exactly it is) and about “our” UK.  I believe some of them will visit here as a result.”


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or


UPK's 'Schlieffen Plan' Named Best Military History

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 10:06


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2015) —  The University Press of Kentucky (UPK) book "The Schlieffen Plan: International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War I," edited by Hans Ehlert, Michael Epkenhans and Gerhard P. Gross and translated by retired Army Major General David T. Zabecki, has been named the winner of the Arthur Goodzeit Book Award given by the New York Military Affairs Symposium. Instituted in 1991, and named after the late Arthur Goodzeit, long-time member of NYMAS and first editor of the NYMAS Newsletter, the award has been presented annually to an original work in military history which, in the opinion of the NYMAS editorial committee, is of unusual value.

For generations, historians have considered count Alfred von Schlieffen's writings to be the foundation of Germany's military strategy in World War I and have hotly debated the reasons why the plan, as executed, failed. "The Schlieffen Plan" brings international scholars together to reassess Schlieffen's work as a field marshal for the first time in decades, offering new insights into the renowned general's impact not only on World War I but also on nearly a century of military historiography.


The contributors to "The Schlieffen Plan" draw on newly available source materials from European and Russian archives to demonstrate both the significance of the plan and its deficiencies. They examine the operational planning of relevant European states and provide a broad, comparative historical context that other studies lack.

The book is part of UPK's Foreign Military Studies series which features original works, translations and reprints of classics outside the American canon that promote a deeper understanding of international military theory and practice.


"We were honored to hear about the 'The Schlieffen Plan' receiving the Arthur Goodzeit Book Award," said series editor Roger Cirillo. "With the series, we seek to promote a broader international perspective on military theory and practice, and this award goes a long way toward bringing these voices into a conversation with U.S. military historians."

Hans Ehlert, Michael Epkenhans and Gerhard P. Gross are historians at the Bundeswehr Center of Military History and Social Sciences in Potsdam, Germany. Retired Army Major General David T. Zabecki is the author of "The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in the Operational Level of War" and editor in chief of the four-volume encyclopedia "Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History." He is an honorary senior research fellow in the War Studies Program at the University of Birmingham, located in Birmingham, United Kingdom.


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




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

UK College of Nursing Faculty Member Testifies on Capitol Hill

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 16:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Nursing professor Sheila D. Melander presented testimony to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee for the Evaluation of the Impact of the Institute of Medicine Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, on May 28 in Washington. Melander testified on behalf of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), an organization for which she serves as president.


Melander presented NONPF’s concerns about including nurse practitioner graduates in the report’s Recommendation No. 3 – “Implement Nurse Residency Programs." The recommendation states that nursing boards, accrediting bodies, the federal government and health care organizations should take actions to support a nurse practitioner's completion of a nursing residency after the completion of prelicensure or an advanced practice degree program. The recommendation would also require nurse practitioners to complete a residency when transitioning to new practice areas.


“It is essential that the IOM gets this report right, as it is the blueprint for the future of nursing,” Janie Heath, dean of the UK College of Nursing, said. “I feel a great sense of confidence and gratitude that one of our own faculty members is helping to ensure that the nursing profession is a key driver in rebuilding our health care system.”


Melander and her colleagues in the NONPF believe nurse practitioner graduates are prepared to be fully licensed providers at graduation and that there is no data to support the need for added academic, clinical or supervisory hours to ensure safe patient care. According to the testimony, "the requirement or broad promotion of a formal program after graduation is not necessary and would create higher costs and new additional barriers to building the provider workforce.”    


A Webcast of the May 28 meeting in its entirety is available here. The NONPF testimony is available to read here


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


New Era Dawns for UK Disability Resource Center

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 16:19

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 3, 2015) — It’s been more than 44 years since Jake Karnes moved into an empty office — just days after receiving his master’s degree in communications from the University of Kentucky — to launch his alma mater’s new initiative to serve the needs of its disabled students.


"I honestly had only two qualifications when I got the job — a knowledge of the campus and my volunteer work with the UK Human Relations Center. I was starting below the ground floor. I had no idea what was expected of me or the office. I’m not sure they did either," said Karnes, retiring director of the UK Disability Resource Center.


In 1970, that wasn’t unusual. Very few universities at the time supported an office to serve the special needs of disabled students. It would be another three years before President Richard Nixon signed the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. That legislation included Section 504, which created and extended civil rights to people with disabilities, focusing on inclusion via accessability in education and employment. 


That law changed America’s landscape. With few exceptions, there were no ramps, no reserved parking, no dips in sidewalk curbs before 1970. One of Karnes’ favorite keepsakes — he has more than his share — is a picture of a very young Karnes behind the wheelchair of a student on UK’s very first accessible ramp.


This summer, everything changes again for UK's and (some will say the entire state’s) services for the disabled. Karnes will retire from the office he conceived, built and nurtured. And, the reins of UK’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) will be passed to its new director, David T. Beach. Beach will take control of a thriving and vital student service in a new, expanded facility, but not without a deep bow to his predecessor first.


"Jake is a legend, simple as that, at UK and in the state. He was here before everything started; he got everything started. He took a concept people barely understood at the time and created one of the best programs in the state. And he did it all with compassion, understanding, heart and strength," said Beach, who joined the staff in March so that he could "learn from the best" before Karnes’ retirement. Beach resigned from the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to take the UK post, but he was no stranger to UK. For several years, he has been an adjunct faculty member in early childhood education and rehabilitation counseling for the UK College of Education.  


"It’s intimidating taking over for a legend, especially one who is so well known and respected," said Beach. "I feel like Joe B. Hall must have felt taking over the coaching of the UK basketball team after Adolf Rupp retired. As corny as it sounds, I simply hope to honor what he has already achieved. It's a little intimidating, but the thing I know about Jake is that if I ever have a question, he's only a phone call away. I know Jake, and he will continue to be the constant advocate for our students he has always been."


Beach has extensive plans for the UK Disability Resource Center, but first on the agenda is moving from the Alumni Gym to escape demolition and construction clutter from the nearby Student Center. Karnes and Beach worked side by side last week, packing, carrying and unpacking box after box after box between the old Alumni Gym offices to the new offices in the Multidisciplinary Science Building on Rose Street, near the UK College of Nursing. The new space will have more than twice the square footage the Alumni Gym site offered, from about 3,200 square feet to 6,900. The office serves about 1,400 students with a full range of disabilities.


"It's a large expansion of space, and now we will have much more room and much better facilities that have actually been designed for the efficient use of our resources," Beach said.


In addition to the physical upgrade, Beach will invest in expanded and enhanced social media-based services for students.


"We will be doing more outreach through Facebook and Twitter, as well as upgrading our webpage so that it is more in line with our students’ needs. This will also make it easier for students that want to communicate with other students with disabilities," he said.


The new offices will include a planned assistive technology lab with adaptive equipment and furnishings so that students can learn what works best for them, as well as additional and more efficient testing and learning centers. Existing services will continue to be enhanced, including the case management system for access to services and computerized scheduling.


"In the design of the facility," said Beach, "we strove to be the model of accessibility in terms of 'not the floor, but the ceiling.' The Americans with Disabilities Act sets the bar, but we wanted to show that we could ratchet up the accessibility a little higher. We want to provide an environment where lots of students with different types of disabilities can perform to their maximum ability."


Beach also wants to "bring the city" to UK, connecting Lexington’s opportunities and resources to campus for students, including adaptive recreation, workshops and training as well as employment and internship opportunities. In turn, he will give back to the city through expanded high school programs and interactions to help students better transition to college.


Karnes is convinced UK could not have chosen a better new leader for the UK Disabilities Resource Center. "We've been working together here since March 1st, so that there's not going to be a hitch in how we do things. He's got creative ideas on how to really move the Disability Resource Center to the next level. We've got a new director who's got fresh ideas and new energy; we have facilities that are brand new. I can hardly wait to come back in five years to see all the improvements."



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

Markey Celebrates Cancer Survivorship with 'Expressions of Courage'

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2015) — This Friday, June 5, hundreds of patients, friends and family of patients, and University of Kentucky faculty and staff will gather in the UK Markey Cancer Center courtyard to participate in "Expressions of Courage," a creative exhibit celebrating the work of those who have been affected by cancer.


This year's event will feature the creative work of more than 50 participants. 

Exhibits include visual art, poetry readings, dance exhibitions, and vocal and instrumental performances by patients, survivors, and friends and family. Light refreshments will be served.


Art displays of survivor contributions will go on display today in the Combs Atrium Building of the UK Markey Cancer Center. On Friday afternoon, Dr. Edward Pavlik will officially welcome attendees at 1 p.m., followed by a few remarks from Markey Director Dr. Mark Evers and Markey oncologist Dr. Edward Romond.


The full schedule of events include:

·      1:45 p.m. - Literary readings

·      2:15 p.m. - Dance exhibitions

·      3 p.m. - Literary readings

·      3:45 p.m. - Vocal and instrumental performances

·      4:30 p.m. - Closing remarks by cancer survivor Darwin Holloway


Markey is currently running two fundraisers that directly support this event. The "Tastes of Courage" cookbook contains more than 500 recipes contributed by Markey patients and staff. The cookbooks are $20 each or two for $30.


Additionally, Expressions of Courage t-shirts are available for sale. The purple short-sleeved shirts are $10 each; the white long-sleeved shirts are $15.


To purchase a cookbook or a t-shirt, send an email to with your request.



Video 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.


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

UK Playwright One of First Artists-in-Residence at Eugene O'Neill Home

Tue, 06/02/2015 - 13:49


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2015) — A University of Kentucky professor has been selected as one of the first two Travis Bogard Artists-in-Residence, carrying on a project decades in the making while spending more than two weeks in the secluded home of its subject, Eugene O'Neill. Herman Daniel Farrell III, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, will work in the home of Nobel Prize-winning playwright at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in Danville, California, through June 20.


Farrell, who arrives at O'Neill's home today, is one of the first artists to be awarded this new fellowship through the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House. He will be working on a draft of a new "postmodern" play about O’Neill’s life and work, tentatively titled "Journey."


The fellowship program is to provide developing or established artists, scholars or critics of the performing arts the opportunity to work in the solitude and quiet which was for O’Neill the creative atmosphere in which he produced his masterpieces including "The Iceman Cometh" and "Long Day’s Journey Into Night."


Farrell’s work will revisit his first playwriting undertaking in 1983 after graduating Vassar College. That "epic" four-hour play examined the life and work of O’Neill. Farrell says that, after 30 years of studying and teaching O’Neill and continuing to develop his skills as an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, he is ready to take on the subject again. This time, though, he plans to approach O’Neill in a "more fragmentary and postmodern manner."


"As I have lived I have experienced the power and pervasiveness of memory that O'Neill examined in so many of his works," Farrell said. "My way into the work this time will more closely resemble the dance of memory that reconstructs a moment not via whole cloth remembering but through chasing after fleeting moments and dodging shadow-like images, including the capturing of stealthy ghosts who only appear when you look away, who make their presence known only on the periphery of your mind's eye."


Farrell looks forward to his time at Tao House, including access to the home’s library of manuscripts, letters, photographs and special collections.


"I have no doubt that walking those grounds and spending time in that storied home will provide me with boundless inspiration for this project, a project that I have been working on, here and there, in fits and starts, over the course of my entire career as a playwright," Farrell said.


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 the 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;

Russell Rice Collection on UK Sports Now Online on ExploreUK

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 17:21



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2015) — University of Kentucky sports enthusiasts and researchers alike can now find a wealth of archival materials online from the Russell Rice Collection at the UK Special Collections Research Center. The large collection of sports-related materials, which largely focus on UK basketball and football but also includes other campus sports, is available to the public through ExploreUK, a digital library. Rice, who died at 90 years old on May 29, was a former sports information director and assistant athletic director of UK Athletics.


The Russell Rice Collection is more than 10 cubic feet and includes 30 boxes of materials, including photographs, audiotapes, letters, speeches, newspaper clippings and video tapes. There is extensive coverage of UK Basketball Coach Adolph Rupp, specifically in the areas of correspondence and photographic materials, as well as correspondence related to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.


Rice was the sports information director for UK Athletics from 1968 to 1987 and later served as assistant athletic director from 1987 to 1989. He was media coordinator for several NCAA basketball regional tournaments and the 1985 NCAA Final Four in Lexington. In addition, Rice was a columnist and managing editor for the Cats' Pause (also on ExploreUK), a publication devoted to UK sports information, and the author of several books about UK sports since 1975 including "Wildcats: Kentucky Football" (1975); "Adolph Rupp: Kentucky's Basketball Baron" (1994); and "The University of Kentucky Basketball Vault" (2008).


After graduating from UK in 1951, Rice began his career as a newspaper city editor for  The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, Kentucky, and the Hazard-Herald in Hazard, Kentucky. He became a reporter in 1953 and sports editor in 1962 for the Lexington Leader.


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 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;

UK College of Education's Mark Selected as TEDMED Research Scholar

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 14:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2015) — Kristen Mark, University of Kentucky College of Education assistant professor of health promotion and director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab, has been selected as a 2015 TEDMED Research Scholar.


Mark is one of 32 scholars selected from hundreds of applications based on her experience and expertise. TEDMED is the independently owned and operated health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference, convening and curating people and ideas from across the biomedical spectrum.


TEDMED Research Scholars assist TEDMED with reviewing and researching the deep science behind potential topics, themes and speakers.  


"It is an honor to be part of such a significant movement in the translation of science to large audiences," Mark said. "I have a very multidisciplinary background, so I particularly enjoyed reviewing scientists pursuing innovative lines of research in intersecting fields."


A behavioral health scientist with an academic background in psychology and public health, Mark's research interests include sexuality and romantic relationships. She has conducted studies on desire discrepancy, infidelity, predictors of sexual and relationship satisfaction, and women’s sexual health. Joining the UK faculty in 2012, she also teaches classes in sexuality education, foundations of health promotion, women’s health, sexual health promotion, research methods, and statistics.


Mark is a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the Canadian Sex Research Forum, the International Association for Relationships Research, and an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research. She has published her research in several academic journals, such as the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Journal of Sex Research, and Archives of Sexual Behavior, and presented at more than 50 academic conferences.


Mark also regularly translates scientific findings from the sexual health world into digestible language for the public on websites such as Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Kinsey Confidential. She is also called upon to give her expert opinion about sexuality and relationships from mainstream media outlets like Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine and more.


"I use TED Talks in my undergraduate and graduate courses for educational purposes regularly, and I know what a reach they have in disseminating and translating scientific findings to the broader public," she said. "I am most looking forward to seeing the ideas I put forth in the review process come to life on the TEDMED stage."


To view the full list of TEDMED Research Scholars, visit




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

Six UK Students Named Fulbright Recipients

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 11:54



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that six UK students have been selected as recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the prestigious program.


The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the U.S. also provide direct and indirect support.


Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.


The UK students awarded Fulbright grants for graduate study, research or teaching assistantships are:

Brittany Cook Barrineau, the daughter of Karen Cook, of Manassas, Virginia, and Glenn Cook, of Baltimore, Maryland, received her bachelor's degree from University of Mary Washington and a master's degree from University of South Carolina.


The UK geography doctoral student will use her Fulbright grant to study media and colloquial Arabic in Jordan, as well as begin her dissertation research on how small-scale olive producers engage in and respond to the global olive oil market.


"Specifically, I will focus on efforts in Jordan that have suggested using organic production, fair trade and even tourism to bring greater profits to farmers," Barrineau said.


Barrineau's interest in geography started during her undergraduate years. "I took a world regional geography class as an elective and fell in love with the way in which geography brings together so many different topics such as the environment, politics, culture and economics. Over the years, I've found geography to be an important way to examine the ways in which people, goods and ideas move across the world and affect each other."


Upon completion of her doctoral degree, Barrineau plans on applying for academic jobs.


"I enjoy teaching undergraduates because I think that work in geography helps students think differently and challenge assumptions about their place in and relationship to the world," the Fulbright recipient said.


Donavyn Coffey, the daughter of Allison and Troy Coffey, of Russell Springs, Kentucky, received her bachelor's degree in agricultural biotechnology from UK on May 9. While at UK, Coffey participated in undergraduate research with Bluegrass Advanced Materials and was a member of the Ag Biotech Club. She also participated in internships with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Alltech.


Coffey will use her Fulbright grant to do graduate study in molecular nutrition and food technology at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, while also experiencing how another culture approaches food and health.


"I will get to be immersed in Danish culture and have the opportunity to better understand what sets their public health apart from that of the United States. It is sure to be a fantastic, two-fold approach to education," Coffey said.


The Fulbright Scholar's life experiences heavily influenced Coffey's areas of study. Growing up on a farm and seeing the hard work her parents put in led her to her degree in agricultural biotechnology. Coffey's own diagnosis of epilepsy helped influence her new studies. "The fact that I was able to manage my own epilepsy with dietary changes is definitely what convinced me of the power of nutrition and made me want to study molecular nutrition with my Fulbright."


Lexington's Christiana Holsapple earned her bachelor's degree in international studies from UK in 2012. Holsapple received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), which will allow her to teach English in Moldova for one year.


"Growing up, I always dreamed of traveling the world and dedicating my career to having some sort of meaningful impact on an international level. I believe strongly in the importance of international education and its effectiveness in promoting open-mindedness and broadening world views, which led me to complete a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in international studies and pursue job opportunities in international education," Holsapple said.


While at UK, Holsapple participated in and contributed to a number of programs with international ties. She had an article on study/work abroad experiences published in International Educator; was an American delegate to the 2013 Preparing Global Leaders Institute in Struga, Macedonia; received a Holocaust Studies Research Grant that funded research and travel throughout Poland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and France; presented research on refugee integration to Kentucky state legislators in the Capitol Undergraduate Research Showcase in Frankfort, Kentucky; and was a member and leader of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society. In addition, Holsapple previously was awarded a Boren Scholarship for a year of study in Ukrainian and Russian languages in Kiev, Ukraine.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Holsapple plans to pursue a master's degree in Russian and Eurasian studies and continue work in international education.


Zachary Laux, the son of Becky and Charlie Laux, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, received his bachelor's degrees in mathematical economics and international studies in May. His Fulbright ETA will fund a year of teaching English in Malaysia.


A member of the Honors Program, Laux participated in undergraduate research at UK. He studied the economic, public health and environmental benefits of informal waste pickers (IWPs) in Kampala, Uganda, to attempt to attach a monetary value to the work that IWPs do day in and day out. "Through this research, I determined that cooperatives improve the income levels of IWPs through the transmission of collection techniques and selling recyclable materials in bulk."


Study abroad in Kampala piqued Laux's interest in development economics and international development. It was his trips to Atlanta, Nicaragua and Ghana with UK Alternative Service Breaks that solidified a passion for serving others. Laux hopes that passion for service and his quantitative abilities is what will make him a success in the international development field.


Upon completion of his Fulbright ETA, Laux plans to pursue a master's degree in international affairs or international economics.


Breauna Oldham, the daughter of Savella Hardin of Louisville, Kentucky, received her bachelor's degree in international studies and a certificate in global studies in May from UK. Her Fulbright ETA will fund a year of teaching English to elementary school students in South Korea.


"The Fulbright will afford me with the opportunity to increase my language ability, learn about the culture, learn how to teach English effectively, and become familiar with the education system in Korea," Oldham said.


Oldham already has some experience working with native speakers during an exchange program in South Korea. She worked in the English Lounge at Chung Ang University and would have conversations with native Korean students who wanted to practice speaking English with a native English speaker. "During my time working there, I realized how much students strived to learn English and how it could affect the school they go to, or job they get, after graduating college."


Interested in learning about other cultures since middle school, Oldham decided to study international studies at college. Though she has an interest in all countries, she specialized in Asia studies in her major and wrote her capstone paper on the Kwangju Uprising in Kwangju, South Korea, in 1980.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Oldham plans to pursue Korean studies at a graduate school in South Korea.


Callie Zaino, the daughter of Cynthia and Richard Zaino, of Lexington, earned her bachelor's degrees in communication sciences and disorders and Spanish, as well as a certificate in global studies from UK in May. Her Fulbright ETA will cover a year of teaching English in Spain.


Zaino's college studies were influenced by her own obstacles and opportunities as a child. A speech impediment's impact on the graduate would lead to her studies in communication sciences and disorders. On the other hand her Spanish degree would become a natural fit after participating in Fayette County Public School's Spanish Immersion Program at Maxwell Elementary School, Bryan Station Middle School and Bryan Station High School.


While at UK, an internship abroad advanced those passions. In the summer of 2014, Zaino participated in an internship at a Bilingual Educational and Learning Center in Lima, Peru, which provided her the opportunity to work with a Spanish speech-language pathologist. "The immersive setting allowed me to witness therapy sessions in Spanish for the first time. While abroad, I was able to observe and participate in therapy sessions. Exposure to communication disorders in Peru emphasized to me that there exists a need for speech therapy, across all cultures and languages," Zaino said.


Upon completion of her Fulbright ETA, Zaino plans to attend graduate school for communication sciences and disorders. She also will pursue further certification to receive a bilingual/multicultural certificate, which will provide her the education and experience needed to specialize in working with Spanish-speaking clients. "I desire to work as an elementary school speech-language pathologist, working with children with communication difficulties and performing therapy in both English and Spanish."


Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and athletics and won such prestigious honors as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Foundation Award and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education. For further information about the Fulbright Program, visit the website


UK students who are U.S. citizens can apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Pat Whitlow at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.



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

Study Shows Hazing Still a Concern in College Marching Bands

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 08:45



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2015) — A new national study by music educators at Oregon State University and University of Kentucky found nearly a third of college marching band members surveyed have observed hazing in their programs but few students reported the activities, often because of fears of retribution or loss of social standing.


Published recently in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the survey found public verbal humiliation and public degradation were the most common forms of hazing reported by band members. Jason Silveira, an assistant professor of music education in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University, served as lead author of the study, and Michael Hudson, assistant professor of instrumental music education at the UK School of Music, co-authored the research. 


The findings indicate there may still be confusion about what constitutes hazing and band members may need more education to understand what hazing is and why it shouldn’t be tolerated.


“Despite all of our efforts, the message about hazing is still not getting out there,” Silveira said. “Band participants might say it’s no big deal, it’s what we do. It may not be a big deal to that person, but to someone else it may be.”


Silveira and Hudson began investigating marching band hazing after several high-profile hazing incidents at colleges across the country, including the death of Robert Champion, a member of the Florida A&M University marching band who died during a hazing incident in 2011. Silveira and Hudson both completed graduate studies at another Florida institution around the time of Champion’s death.


Previously, little research has been done examining hazing in the performing arts, and what data did exist tended to be part of larger hazing studies involving athletics and/or Greek organizations. In response, Silveira and Hudson set out to learn more about students’ attitudes toward, understanding of, and exposure to hazing in their marching bands. 


“We wanted to pull back the veil of secrecy and see if there was anything we could do to help prevent hazing incidents in the future,” Silveira said.


With permission from band directors, the researchers queried more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students who participate in NCAA Division I marching band programs in 30 states across the U.S. Student participation in the online survey was voluntary.


Overall, band members reported that they had never been forced to participate in most of the 18 types of hazing incidents listed in the survey. Only four types of hazing had been experienced by at least 10 percent of the respondents.


Nearly 20 percent of band members indicated they had been required to sing or chant by themselves or with selected others while in public and nearly 20 percent reported being yelled at, cursed at or sworn at. Nearly 15 percent of the band members reported being asked not to associate with specific people but not others. And nearly 12 percent of the students reported depriving themselves of sleep.


The numbers were even lower when students were asked if they had participated in hazing others. About 3 percent of the survey respondents reported forcing others to participate in a drinking game, for example. Nearly 8 percent reported forcing others to sing or chant in public and 5 percent reported yelling, cursing or swearing at other members.


The vast majority of the students indicated they were aware of their university’s hazing policies and expressed negative views toward hazing activities.


“That’s a promising finding, that hazing is not being supported,” Silveira said.


However, nearly a third of the band members also reported observing some type of hazing, indicating a possible disconnect in band members’ understanding of what hazing is.


"It was interesting to see that band members confuse the acts of bullying and hazing, which are two separate issues. Bullying is of an exclusionary nature, while hazing is considered inclusionary." Hudson said.


Based on the survey findings, band directors or other band leaders may need to step up education and reporting efforts to root out hazing in their programs. That might include establishing a system for anonymous reporting of hazing; comprehensive reviews of hazing policies with members; or using role-playing to help members better understand hazing. "Giving students concrete examples that help delineate what hazing is might help,” Silveira said.


The research conducted by Silveira and Hudson is an important step in understanding the problem facing college bands and beginning to answer it. "It is our hope that studies like this one will help to continue dialogue on such an important topic as hazing within college organizations," Hudson said.


Silveira earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and his doctoral degree in music education from Florida State University. Currently, he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in the Professional Music Teacher Education program, and also conducts the Wind Symphony at Oregon State. His research interests include music perception and cognition, psychology of music, teacher effectiveness, and teacher evaluation and preparation.


At UK, Hudson teaches secondary instrumental methods and conducting, as well as supervises student teachers. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he conducts the Lexington New Horizons Concert Band, is guest conductor of the UK Symphony Band, and is a frequent guest clinician around the United States.


Hudson's research interests include sociological topics in music education, band repertoire and programming trends, and perception of teacher effectiveness. Prior to joining the faculty at UK School of Music, he obtained is doctoral degree in music education from Florida State's College of Music.


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



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, UK Public Relations, 859-257-8716 or; or Michelle Klampe, Oregon State University, 541-737-0784



Bowman's Den Officially Open to Serve UK Community

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 19:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — Today the student-named facility, Bowman’s Den, opens its doors to the campus and Lexington community. As construction on the Student Center begins, Bowman’s Den will house many University of Kentucky dining and retail facilities for the duration of the Student Center construction: June 2015 through January 2018.


Located adjacent to the Singletary Center for the Arts, Bowman’s Den is close to north campus, central campus, the academic neighborhood, and the Greek Park. It is home to dining venues including Starbucks®, Chick-fil-A®, Panda Express®, Subway® and Greens to Go, as well as the UK Dining Office. 


Click here to see a list of summer hours of operation for Bowman’s Den and other campus dining locations.


Bowman’s Den will also house the UK Federal Credit Union, Wildcard ID Office, Ticketmaster®, Passport Office, Plus Account Office and the ATMs. 


Stay up-to-date on the progress of the Student Center by visiting the Student Center renovation website.




MEDIA CONTACTS: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395;,

School's Out, Summer Safety Is In

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among people ages 1-44 years. As with most U.S. hospitals, the University of Kentucky experiences the highest number of trauma related hospital visits between April and September.


Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are devastating and the effects can be irreversible. Your brain is the “boss of your body" because our brain "tells" our body to do virtually everything. Unfortunately, once the brain is damaged, there is not much a physician can do to reverse it. The good news is that most injuries are easily preventable.  This is why we need to use our brain to protect our body and to think before we act.


As the school year ends and summer activities pick up, here are some helpful tips on how you and your family can stay safe during "trauma season."


Always wear a helmet and wear it properly. Whether it’s a casual family bike ride or cruising the back trails on an ATV, you should always wear a helmet. According to the ThinkFirst Foundation, helmets are up to 87 percent effective in reducing the risk for a brain injury.  If it has wheels but no roof, you need to wear a helmet.


Feet first! First time! Most diving accidents occur in lakes, rivers or other natural bodies of water.  If you are unsure of how deep the water is, enter the water feet first the first time to prevent potentially life-threatening brain or spinal cord injuries.


According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes due to traffic accidents in the U.S. alone. Be a smart and predictable pedestrian. Walk only on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far away from traffic as possible on the left side of the road.  Stay alert and don’t be distracted by electronic devices; make eye contact with drivers and be predictable by following the rules of the road.


More than 200,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries, and 79 percent of those injuries are due to falls from playground equipment.


Never leave your child unsupervised on a playground.  Make sure the equipment is sized properly for your child: equipment 4 feet tall or lower is appropriate for children up to age 5; equipment up to 8 feet tall is sized for children ages 5-12. Make sure there are guardrails on all elevated platforms and remove your child's drawstring hoodie or jacket before they play to prevent strangulation injuries.


The University of Kentucky Trauma Program and the National Injury Prevention Foundation offer education programs free of charge. If you would like more information or would like to schedule a program, visit us at: or The National Think First Foundation at:


Have a safe and fun summer!


Amanda M. Rist, RN BSN, is Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator for the University of Kentucky Trauma Program


This column ran in the May 31, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

Doug Boyd Receives Willis Award for Outstanding Faculty

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:50



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — Doug A. Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center, is the recipient of the 2015 Paul A. Willis Award for Outstanding Faculty. The award, given by UK Libraries, honors the legacy of former director Paul A. Willis by recognizing one member of the libraries faculty each year. Boyd received the award at the UK Libraries Spring Gala earlier this month.


Since becoming the director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in 2008, Boyd has overseen the addition of more than 2,500 new oral history interviews to the Nunn Center’s collection. He led the team that developed OHMS (the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer), an innovative tool to enhance access to online oral history. Boyd created an oral history partnership with the bourbon industry in Kentucky, raising funds for the Kentucky Bourbon Tales oral history project, and produced the award-winning documentary “Quest for the Perfect Bourbon.”


Boyd launched SPOKEdb, the Nunn Center’s online catalog, which garners more than 10,000 page views per month. He works with WUKY public radio on the regular feature “Saving Stories,” and wrote the book "Crawfish Bottom: Recovering a Lost Kentucky Community," published by University Press of Kentucky in 2009. He edited another book, "Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement," published by Macmillan in 2014. Boyd is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, and regularly presents on oral history topics at national and international conferences.


Under Boyd’s guidance, the Nunn Center expanded the project "From Combat to Kentucky" to include interviews from student veterans at Eastern Kentucky University, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, and Northern Kentucky University, in addition to UK. The project inspired a play that ran off-Broadway as part of the NYC Fringe Festival in 2011, and completed a statewide tour to state universities in Kentucky. "From Combat to Kentucky" is now integrated into a veteran transition course that engages student veterans with archival materials, as well as interviewing each other about their powerful experiences serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their transitions back into civilian and student life.


"Dr. Boyd is recognized internationally as a scholar who excels at collecting, interpreting and publishing oral histories; he also has the digital expertise to make oral histories available to researchers in new ways. His work represents the future of oral history. Further his contribution to UK Libraries advances our mission to serve the UK community as well as scholars around the world,” said Terry Birdwhistell, dean of UK Libraries.


UK Libraries solicits candidates for the Willis Award each fall. Any member of the UK Libraries faculty and staff may submit a letter nominating a member of the faculty for this recognition. The award recipient is selected based on achievements in their primary assignment, as well as national leadership, scholarship, teaching, creativity, innovation, and service. The final determination of the award winner is made by the UK Libraries National Advisory Board.



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

Blue Angels Program Brings High-Risk Obstetric Care to Rural Kentucky

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) -- Two-week old Bransen Roberts sleeps peacefully despite the bustle of the Pediatric Clinic at UK Healthcare. When his mother Becky Triplett removes him from his car seat to be weighed and measured, he grimaces slightly and stuffs his fist into his mouth, annoyed at the interruption, but otherwise submits quietly to the gentle poking and prodding.


Bransen appears the picture of health, with 10 perfect fingers and toes that his parents, like so many parents before, counted when he was born.  But he's here today to be examined by Dr. Ali Ziada, a pediatric urologist, who will evaluate Bransen's condition and map out a treatment strategy. 


Before Bransen was born, he was diagnosed with hydronephrosis, a rare condition where urine backs up in the kidney as a result of an obstruction in the ureter or backward flow of urine from the bladder. The condition is potentially dangerous and can result in the loss of one or both kidneys without proper intervention.


"They way they described it to me was it was like a kink in a garden hose," Becky said.


Early diagnosis and intervention in most instances is key to assuring the best possible health outcome, and hydronephrosis is no different.  In Bransen's case, a new UK HealthCare program called The Blue Angels made this early intervention possible.


Becky and Bransen's father Jason are from Manchester, Kentucky.  Kentucky is well known for its poor marks on health measures like obesity, diabetes, smoking and heart disease, and Clay County is among the worst of its 120 counties.  The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of specialty health care nearby.


UK HealthCare saw an opportunity to fulfill its institutional mission to keep patients as close to home for their treatment as possible and worked with Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH) to forge a partnership providing high-level specialty care to MMH patients in several areas, including cardiology, optometry, and obstetrics. In the latter case, UK HealthCare set up a twice-a-month clinic where highly trained obstetricians use special equipment to review fetal ultrasounds remotely, in real time, and talk with the patient simultaneously.


Dr. John O'Brien, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at UK HealthCare, says the program fills a need in a meaningful, expedient and personal way. 


"Before Blue Angels, patients had two choices: they had to travel to Lexington for their high-risk consult, or a technician did the ultrasound in their hometown and it was shipped up to Lexington for us to assess," he said.


According to Dr. O'Brien, neither option was ideal, since it meant that either the patient wasn't with him while her ultrasound was evaluated, or she would have to travel -- sometimes a far distance -- for her ultrasound. Furthermore, explains O'Brien, if the patient's ultrasound didn’t answer all of his questions, it had to be repeated.


"It was a burden for the mother to travel, or it was expensive, or both," he said. "And the time spent traveling or waiting and wondering was stressful for the mother."


Now ultrasound techs travel to locations throughout Kentucky with a portable videoconference device, seeing patients whose hometown obstetricians have identified as high-risk based on their own ultrasound technology.


The briefcase-size video system, which includes a camera and microphone, connects to the ultrasound equipment in each location and allows O’Brien to see the ultrasound as it is being performed, guide the technician through difficult studies and communicate with the patient just as if they were in the same room.


"I can talk directly with the patient to explain right away what I see and what the next steps should be," O'Brien said.  "It provides a measure of comfort to the mother when we can tell her immediately what’s going on and if necessary we can intervene more quickly, which is always the best option for both mother and baby."


In Becky's case, the ultrasound scheduled as a routine part of her checkups with her obstetrician in Manchester revealed some troubling abnormalities in one of Bransen's kidneys.  She was immediately scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound with Dr. O'Brien via the Blue Angels.


“Based on my review of the ultrasound, I was concerned that Bransen's condition was worsening," he said.  "I felt it was imperative that we preserve Bransen's kidney function and the best way to do that would be follow up with a pediatric urologist.  So I reviewed the information with Bransen's parents and referred them to Dr. Ziada." 


"I really appreciated how much time they spent with us explaining the situation, the next steps, and the possible outcomes," Bransen's father Jason said.  


Bransen will continue to be followed by Dr. Ziada, who will schedule periodic tests to ensure that Bransen's condition isn't worsening.  Ultimately, should the "kink in the garden hose" not resolve on its own, Dr. Ziada might recommend surgery to correct it.


"No matter what," Dr. Ziada said, "Bransen is likely to come out of this a healthy boy."


Dr. O'Brien firmly believes that Blue Angels and programs like it increase access to the highest level of health care for the poor and the rural, both of which are numerous in this state, and therefore promote more equity in the health care system.  In particular, by improving access for high-risk pregnant women, the program helps build faith in the healthcare system and reinforce the connection between mothers and their physicians -- both of which serve to maintain good health long term.


"Obstetrics is the most cost-efficient way to invest healthcare dollars, since it helps prevent mortality and improves healthcare outcomes for decades," said Dr. O'Brien.  "And Blue Angels is a cost efficient way to bring the highest level of obstetric care to the patient, wherever she may live."


Media Contact:  Laura Dawahare,


State-of-the-Art Feed Mill Dedicated at UK Farm

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2015) — In the early morning hours of May 26, 2013, a fire destroyed the feed mill at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s C. Oran Little Research Center in Woodford County. The college’s farms are home to thousands of animals including sheep, swine, poultry and cattle, and the fire threw a big hitch in the way the UKAg staff feed those animals. But the college chose to see the fire as an opportunity to create a state-of-the-art facility that would better serve the animals and propel research programs associated with animal feeding.


The new mill is designed to produce high-quality feed in a user-friendly environment. Feeding thousands of animals every day is a monumental task, and the mixing capacity of the new mill is poised to take on the task with expanded mixing capacity with four stainless steel mixers — a two-ton mixer, one-ton mixer, 1,000-pound mixer and a 500-pound mixer.


"This state-of-the-art feed center greatly enhances our feed mixing capabilities and will improve our nutritional research efforts through more precise blending of diets to targeted nutrient levels," said Richard Coffey, chair of the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "Additionally, the computer-controlled automation and expanded ability to handle prepared diets in bulk makes this feed center much more user-friendly than our previous feed mills for those responsible for preparing diets."


The new mill has the same footprint as the old mill, but the storage silos were placed in a different location. The mill allows the staff to accurately mix simple and more complex diets and is automated in many ways, which is a very important feature for impactful research.


"Our research on nutritional management must be as accurate as it can be, because the information is used to recommend feeding systems for producers in Kentucky and beyond," said Nancy Cox, dean of the college and director of the Kentucky Experiment Station. "With this new feed mill, we are confident our recommendations can serve our industries as well as individual owners."


Anthony Pescatore, UKAg extension professor for poultry, said the fire allowed the research team to redefine the capacity needs of the farm and forced upgrades that will become essential to a top-notch research college. The stainless steel mixers help reduce cross-contamination between batches. It also furthers the college’s mission to be as sustainable as possible.


"Having milling capability allows us to produce our own feed and to use the grains and corn we produce on our farms," Pescatore said. "It also helps us keep our feed costs under control."


Precision is another important feature of the new mill. With different-sized mixers, users will be able to mix diets from 200 pounds all the way up to 2 tons with high accuracy. That’s important because all animals, even within species, don’t have the exact same nutrition requirements.


"We have been able to design a facility from the ground up that should serve our programs well into the future," said Robert Harmon, who was chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the time of the fire.


The new mill has dust-collection equipment and a vacuum system to aid in the cleaning process. A 1-ton hoist will lift ingredients into the mixers instead of workers having to carry them. The walkways and stairs are designed to prevent slips and falls, and it is temperature-controlled to make the facility more comfortable for workers. Another important feature of the new mill — the electrical system is explosion-proof.


"This is by far, a step up for our feed mill," Pescatore said. "A big focus of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences has always been animal nutrition, and we want to continue to build on our history of nutritional research. Precision nutrition is an important part of the future of animal agriculture. We’ll continue to focus on fine tuning the nutrient needs of animals and increase their efficient use of grains and feed."




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