LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — In today's smartphone society, it is hard to imagine a world where people took an hour each day to reflect and enjoy a spot of tea, especially busy college students. But a recent discovery at University of Kentucky's Keeneland Hall suggests that wasn't such a far-fetched notion years ago.
Last January, as UK Residence Life staff prepared the residence hall for the return of students for the spring semester, they decided it was time to find out what was behind the doors of a metal safe housed at Keeneland. Current staff had no information on what the storage was being used for or a key to investigate. After conferring with UK Auxiliary Services a locksmith was called in to drill the door open, so the staff could decide if the cabinet was needed or could be used for another purpose.
To their surprise, UK Residence Life staff hit the mother lode, literally. Behind the metal doors was an abundance of silver, 93 pieces of silver serveware to be exact and a crystal ladle. The silver collection included three platters, two punch bowls and three ladles, three sugar and creamer sets, three coffee pot sets, a set of candleholders, a water pitcher, a percolator, an eight-piece tea set and 61 spoons.
To say the staff was excited by the discovery is an understatement. "It’s not every day you find treasures," said Sarah Nikirk, associate director of UK Auxiliary Services.
In addition to the silver, staff also found an inventory list and an envelope containing negatives of the portrait of Sarah Blanding, a former UK Dean of Women from 1924 to 1941 for whom Blanding Tower and its affiliated low-lying building in the Commons Complex are named.
The punch bowl shows a direct connection to the relationship between the residence hall and the historic Kentucky racetrack of the same name. Keeneland Hall was named after the racetrack's Keeneland Foundation, which donated $200,000 toward the building of a dormitory for women (more recently co-ed). Engraved with Miss Keeneland, the bowl's inscription notes the presentation of the bowl by the Keeneland Racing Association to former residents, who carried the title from 1962 to 1979. A photo of the punch bowl being presented to the first Miss Keeneland, Mary Ann Tobin, can be found in the 1963 Kentuckian yearbook. The award was presented at the residence hall's Christmas formal held at Lafayette Hotel. In addition to her name being inscribed on the bowl, Tobin received a small bowl to keep herself.
After the discovery of silver at Keeneland Hall, Residence Life boxed the treasures and sent them off to UK Special Collections Research Center and UK archivist Ruth Bryan to both research for any record of the collection and to also catalogue its breadth. While Bryan and Monica Stoch, of Auxiliary Services, could not find any concrete record of the collection, its future may shine on like the polished silver it is created from. UK Archives will retain the punch bowl celebrating the university's Miss Keenelands.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) — Normally, this is the time Rachel Elliott is preparing for another semester of teaching in the University of Kentucky Robert E. Hemenway Writing Center, a division of the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies (WRD).
But teaching college students isn’t on her mind at the moment, or at least not exclusively. Instead, as one of the featured artists at this summer’s annual American Founders Bank Woodland Art Fair, she will be displaying her stunning works in the downtown Lexington public park. Produced by the Lexington Art League in partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government’s Division of Parks and Recreation and supported by American Founders Bank and other sponsors, this will be the event’s 39th year. The art fair will be Aug. 16-17 at the Woodland Park grounds, at 601 East High Street.
The park setting is perfect for Elliott’s compositions, which feature animals. Normally the domain of children’s literature, animals are rarely the subject for a serious artist like Elliott, who has been a studio artist for the Lexington Art League since 2011.
“Why do we consider animal images childish?” asked Elliott. “Why is non-European art so much more heavily populated with animal subjects? Is there something colonialist in a Caucasian art viewer thinking animal imagery is just for kids?”
Exemplifying WRD’s commitment to community engagement, Elliott’s exhibit offers new visions of how technology and nature co-exist and challenge our notions of beauty and art. Drawing from her partial Cherokee heritage and upbringing in rural Oklahoma, Elliott has dubbed some of her Summer Drawings as “trickster animals witnessing environmental change.”
The lives of people as well as animals are transformed with environmental changes, and Elliott’s colorful works demonstrate tensions when industry alters the environment for the worse. Elliott’s painting, “Charleston, West Virginia,” for instance, is a subtle comment on the Jan. 9, 2014, chemical spill in the Elk River, which contaminated the drinking water for more than 300,000 people. In the oil-on-canvas composition, the landscape is bright and clean, but a water truck ascends while a figure carrying jugs descends the hilly terrain toward the poisoned river below.
The “Charleston” painting is similar to the artist’s efforts to see beauty in the midst of calamity that resulted in a series of 12 drawings that comprised a “2014 Disaster Calendar.” Two compositions from this series, “Earthquake” and “Moore, 1999”, were chosen by Lauren Schell Dickens, curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, for inclusion in the Fourth Annual Earth and Art Juried exhibit sponsored by the Berkeley Arts Council this spring. Like “Charleston, West Virginia,” these drawings ask whether some environmental disasters are natural and inevitable or, instead, attributable to human influence and therefore avoidable. Elliott frames these controversial issues in bold, nearly cartoonish colors, juxtaposing visual form with political content.
With an MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Elliott encourages an interdisciplinary approach to art and writing. At UK, she teaches students how to use digital technology to combine words and images in posters, videos, comics, websites, and infographics.
Artwork to be featured at the Woodland Art Fair can be previewed at http://rachelelliott.me/.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — In response to the parking impact associated with the ongoing Commonwealth Stadium renovation project and in anticipation of the upcoming Football Training Center project to be constructed on the southeast side of Commonwealth Stadium, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is making a number of significant parking and transportation changes in the Commonwealth Stadium area effective Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. These changes will primarily impact parking locations and commuting routines for employees of UK HealthCare, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) and the VA Hospital. The changes are designed to improve the efficiency of the UK HealthCare shuttle route, maximize the use of the newly constructed Commonwealth Stadium Orange Lot and provide employees of BCTC better parking options in relation to their workplace.
UK HealthCare employees who traditionally park in the E-Blue Lot will be relocated to the new Stadium Orange Lot being constructed adjacent to the E.S. Good Barn on the northwest corner of University and Alumni Drives. The Orange Lot is closer to the UK HealthCare campus than the E-Blue lot — the current park-and-ride lot — and will have 1,238 spaces. PTS plans to operate the same number of shuttles, despite the shorter shuttle route; this is expected to increase the frequency of the existing shuttle service while reducing wait times and the length of time employees spend riding the shuttle.
VA employees who traditionally park in the Stadium E-Red Lot at the corner of Cooper and University Drives will also be relocated to the Stadium Orange Lot. Both UK HealthCare and the VA Hospital will continue to operate independent shuttle services to their various facilities, but will now do so from the same parking area.
The Commonwealth Stadium Green Lot located between the stadium and BCTC will transition from a commuter (C6) only parking lot to a mixed-use employee (E) and commuter (C6) parking lot. Additionally, the E-Red employee parking lot located on the corner of Cooper and University Drives will transition to a K designated parking area. To improve traffic flow and access between the Green and Red Lots, a connector road has been added between the two lots.
Employee (E) permits are now authorized to park in any K Lot, including the Red, Blue, and Black Lots, as well as the Greg Page Overflow Lot and the Soccer/Softball Complex Lots, allowing employees more flexibility if their desired parking area is at capacity. This change became effective on July 1, 2014.
To view a map of the Commonwealth Stadium parking area changes, view the attachment below or click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2014) — In the interest of safety, University of Kentucky Police Department has issued a Crime Bulletin for the UK community. Officials at the University of Kentucky have recently been made aware of a robbery that took place on campus.
The UK Police Department has been informed that the following crime, which has occurred on UK campus, is being investigated by the Lexington Division of Police:
At approximately 11:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a robbery was reported to have occurred in the parking lot of the College of Medicine Learning Center at 807 South Limestone Street. The male victim, not a UK student or employee, was sitting at a bench between the parking lot and behind the Speedway Store at 819 South Limestone Street. He was reportedly robbed of personal property and struck in the face and on his body causing physical injury. The victim described the three suspects as a white male, thin build, 6’2” tall with blond hair and a pony tail, a black male, thin build, 6’2” tall, and a black male, medium build, 5’10” tall. The white male suspect was reportedly known to the victim.
University of Kentucky Police Department has issued this Crime Bulletin for the UK Community in compliance with the “Timely Notice” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.
If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police at (859) 257-8573 or Lexington Division of Police at (859) 258-3600.
The University of Kentucky values a safe community for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. In the interest of promoting a safe and secure campus environment, UK Police offer the following safety precautions:
- If you see something, say something. For emergencies, call 911.
- Carry a cell phone to be able to call for help in emergencies.
- Whenever possible, do not travel alone after dark; walk with a friend or with a group.
- Whenever possible, look out for your friends when you go out together; walk together and make sure that everyone gets home safely.
- Request a FREE SAFECATS student safety escort or coordinate after-hours on-demand bus service during the fall and spring semesters by calling (859) 257-SAFE(7233).
- Park in well-lit areas when possible.
- Turn over any requested items (purse, wallet, etc).
- Make statements with authority – “BACK-OFF! STOP! NO-WAY!” You deserve to be respected.
If you have been a victim of violence, or would like to be a part of UK’s effort to end violence, please contact the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center for confidential services, support and referrals. 859-257-3564.
Video by UK Research Media
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse — developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy — is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration.
Naloxone is the standard treatment for suspected opioid overdose, already in use by emergency rooms and emergency medical technicians across the country. Opioids are the class of pain-killing drugs that are related to morphine, including prescription drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin.
Currently, naloxone is administered by injection. The nasal spray eliminates the need for needles, with a ready-to-use, single-use delivery device inserted into the nose of an overdose victim. The product delivers a consistent dose, absorbed across the nasal membranes even if the patient is not breathing.
"The goal is to make the medication available to patients at high risk of opioid overdose, and to caregivers, including family members, who may lack specialized medical training," Wermeling said. "The treatment could be given in anticipation of EMS arrival, advancing the continuum of care and ultimately saving lives."
Nationwide, deaths from opioid overdose are on the rise, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kentucky, long troubled by widespread abuse of prescription opioids, has seen a dramatic rise in deaths from heroin overdose in recent years. In autopsies from 2013, the state medical examiner attributed 230 deaths to heroin overdose, an increase of more than 60 percent from the previous year.
UK President Eli Capilouto congratulated Wermeling on his success with AntiOp, saying that it reflects the core values of the university.
"Too many Kentucky families have experienced the tragedy of seeing a loved one's life cut short by a drug overdose," Capilouto said. "The epidemic of opioid abuse in our state presents an enormous and urgent challenge, not only for health care providers and law enforcement, but also for us here at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Wermeling's project is putting a powerful new tool into the hands of those on the front line of the fight against heroin, both here in Kentucky and beyond. This type of innovation embodies the three main components of the university's mission — education, research and, above all, service."
UK College of Pharmacy Dean Timothy S. Tracy said Wermeling's work also provides an illustration of "bench-to-bedside" research in action.
"Dr. Wermeling’s project is a great example of how UK College of Pharmacy faculty are working each and every day to create healthier Kentucky communities," Tracy said. "Dr. Wermeling and his collaborative team of research colleagues saw a problem facing families in Kentucky and across the nation and developed an innovative solution. That type of translational approach is important to our college, this university, and, of course, the future of our Commonwealth."
Wermeling's research was supported by a three-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute on Drug Abuse with additional funding from the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. In May, AntiOp partnered with Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals to accelerate production and worldwide marketing of intranasal naloxone.
The Fast Track program of the FDA is designed to expedite the development and review of new drugs that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs. Fast Track-designated drugs ordinarily qualify for priority review, thereby expediting the FDA review process.
"As an educator, pharmacist, researcher and entrepreneur, being able to work on this naloxone project has been a dream come true," Wermeling said. "I often tell my students and colleagues that this project has allowed me to use all of the skills I have learned over the years. It has been the ultimate problem-solving project, requiring me to utilize my pharmacological skills, my drug delivery knowledge, my business and marketing skills — all at the same time.
"At the end of the day, however, this project has always been about people. It has always been about utilizing the knowledge and skills that we have to improve patient care."
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto will join UK College of Pharmacy Dean Timothy S. Tracy, Professor Daniel Wermeling and others at a news conference this morning to announce the development of a major new tool for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose, one that is receiving national attention. The full story will be posted on UKNow at 10 a.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) – The University of Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) is one of just five awardees in the nation to receive a $1.08 million “Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Boost” grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KIPRC is a unique partnership between the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and the Kentucky State Department for Public Health.
“Prescription drug overdose is a national epidemic and Kentucky is on the front line,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, during a visit to Eastern Kentucky Tuesday night. “CDC is committed to working with community partners, state health programs, and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, R-5th District, to address health disparities and improve the lives of Americans.”
The award, provided over a three-year period, targets states “poised to make immediate progress reducing prescription drug overdose” through activities such as leveraging Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, enhancing insurance mechanisms – including strengthening patient review and prescription programs and identifying and implementing effective benefit design strategies – and conducting policy evaluation to understand what works.
"Kentucky has been a national leader in several aspects of prescription drug overdose prevention," said Terry Bunn, director of KIPRC. "This critical funding gives us the opportunity to highlight, evaluate, and build upon Kentucky’s previous efforts and groundwork in preventing prescription drug overdoses."
Kentucky had the third highest mortality rate of prescription drug overdoses in 2010 (23.6 per 100,000), with the number of all drug overdose deaths more than quadrupling since 1999 (4.9 per 100,000), according to a 2013 report by Trust For America’s Health. Nationally the rate has doubled.
“Hal Rogers has been calling attention to – and leading the fight against – this terrible epidemic,” Frieden said. “I’m honored to be with him to advance these important programs to stop the epidemic.”
The announcement came during a dinner held at the Ramada Paintsville Hotel and Conference Center, the third “Health Impact Series” event with the CDC as part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative.
Dr. Frieden and Congressman Rogers have worked together through Operation UNITE’s National Rx Drug Abuse Summit to combat this public health epidemic, and have teamed up once again for the SOAR Health Impact Series.
SOAR, launched by Rogers and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in the fall of 2013, seeks to expand job creation; enhance regional opportunity, innovation and identity; and improve the quality of life for Appalachian Kentucky.
According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, this region has a greater prevalence for heart disease (84 percent higher), diabetes (47 percent higher) and obesity (26 percent higher) than the nation’s average. The state’s lung cancer mortality rates are the nation’s highest, at 67 percent above average.
“Many of Eastern Kentucky’s biggest health challenges could be improved – if not altogether reversed – with a little prevention,” said Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Unhealthy habits, like smoking, are one of the main health concerns facing the people of this region. Many of the associated health concerns could be prevented through healthier choices.”
Tuesday’s dinner – sponsored by Highlands Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph-Martin, Paul B. Hall Medical Center, and Operation UNITE – also featured a presentation by CDC Deputy Director Dr. Judith Monroe, who received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University and went on to practice medicine in another part of the Appalachian region.
“We cannot shape the future of this region without focusing on ways to improve the quality of life we have,” Rogers said. “If you’ve ever battled cancer or watched someone close to you go down that difficult road, quality of life is basically non-existent.”
Bunn emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary, multidimensional responses to the complex problems of prescription drug abuse and overdose.
"It is only through this type of collaboration--between local, state, and federal government; health care providers; policy makers; law enforcement; and researchers--that we can understand and address this devastating yet preventable problem," she said.
Through a series of 15 listening sessions this summer, the SOAR Health Work Group “collected lots of innovative strategies for improving health in our region, including many projects that involve re-discovering the healthy benefits of growing our own gardens and cooking together with our families,” said Dr. Nikki Stone, associate professor of the UK College of Dentistry/Medicine and chair of the SOAR Health Work Group.
Common themes in the health discussions included wellness, healthy foods, the smoke-free initiative, a focus on children and coordinated school health, oral health, diabetes/obesity, seniors, the need for mental health assessments and services beginning in early childhood, and the drug epidemic.
“We aren’t the type of people who stand by expecting someone else to save us – the people of southern and eastern Kentucky like to pull up our bootstraps and hit the trenches,” Rogers said, cautioning that there is no quick fix.
“This is a marathon – in fact, this is the race of our lives,” Rogers continued. “We may not even get to see the fruits of our efforts. But, if we endure, our children and grandchildren will live healthier and better than we are living now.”
For more information about SOAR visit their website at http://www.soar-ky.org/
MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — A documentary about eight UK HealthCare organ donation recipients who expressed their transplant stories through artwork has received a regional Emmy award.
Filmmaker Thomas Southerland's "Body Maps: Transplantation Inside and Out" received an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy award in the category of best documentary on Aug. 2. Inspired by a body mapping workshop for eight UK HealthCare patients that took place in February 2013, the documentary was collaboration between the Lexington Public Library and Kentucky Organ Donation Affiliates. Earlier this summer, the film received a bronze Telly Award.
The documentary follows eight UK HealthCare organ donation recipients as they recount their transplant experiences through a body mapping exercise at the Tuska Center for Contemporary Art in the UK Fine Arts Building. Body mapping is an art therapy exercise in which participants communicate their stories through pictures, words and symbols on a life-size canvass of their bodies. Belgium artist Xavier Verhoest, who developed the body mapping workshop for people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, led the four-day UK workshop.
The workshop was organized as a joint effort by UK Arts in HealthCare, UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Art and Visual Studies, the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, the Ruth Hunt Wood Foundation and the Art2Be organization.
The body maps of all eight patients were displayed at an exhibit in the UK Chandler Hospital in February 2013. Southerland's film portrays their stories of grief, resilience and hope to show the healing power of art and underline the importance of organ donation.
"Working on Body Maps was a career highlight for me, largely due to the courageous and generous spirit of the eight organ recipients who bravely shared their stories," Southerland said.
To watch the documentary, check airing times on the channel 20 television schedule by clicking here. KET and its affiliated channels will air the documentary in late August. For a complete schedule, click here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — UK FUSION (For Unity and Service In Our Neighborhoods) 2014 is right around the corner. With less than a month away from the state's largest single-day community service project, Monday, Aug. 25, FUSION is looking for UK faculty and staff to volunteer as site advisors for the event.
The FUSION team anticipates more than 1,000 UK students serving at nearly 100 community and neighborhood organizations. Each small group is led by one or two student site leaders, and a faculty or staff site advisor.
Known as a great opportunity to interact with students in a different and meaningful way, site advisors will help provide risk management, assist with group dynamics and serve as positive role models for participants as the group volunteers.
FUSION 2014 begins at 8:45 a.m. for site advisors and is expected to end around 3 p.m., although times may vary depending on specific sites.
To sign up to volunteer as a site advisor follow these steps:
1. Visit http://uky.volunteermatch.org/.
2. In the top right corner select "Register / Sign in."
3. Select "Create an account now!" in the light blue box in the middle of the page.
4. Enter and confirm your email.
5. Complete the personal information form and create an account.
6. In the "Search For" box, type "FUSION."
7. In the "Opportunities Near" box, type "Lexington, KY."
8. Click the "Faculty/Staff Advisor FUSION 2014" event.
9. Click sign-up.
After completing these steps, a screen saying "you have successfully signed up for the project" will appear. You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK FUSION is part of UK's Center for Community Outreach. The CCO is a student-driven program that is intended to foster the development of leaders who make a difference in their communities. The mission of the CCO is to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — For the fourth year in a row, high school students and incoming first-year students at the University of Kentucky had the opportunity to explore design fundamentals in the UK College of Design (CoD) Design Discovery Program. This weeklong program is designed to expose prospective students to the type of learning environment they would encounter in a design education setting.
Participants took part in design and drawing exercises, model-making workshops led by UK/CoD faculty, and field trips to gain an understanding of what constitutes the studio experience of a first-year student at the college.
“The program theme was 'a city of spaces,'” said program coordinator Jordan Hines. “As a studio, we continually looked at our work as a collective idea; we displayed all the work as a single work or a continuous exhibit of design ideas, linked by a common theme.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2014) — Volunteers are needed to help with Move-In 2014, a series of four days when University of Kentucky students move into undergraduate housing on campus. Volunteers are needed to roll out the blue carpet and welcome students by helping unload their belongings and direct them through the move-in experience on south, central and north campus.
Anyone interested in being part of this wonderful opportunity to make a great first impression for students and their families please visit http://www.uky.edu/Housing/move-in_volunteer/ for more information and register as a volunteer on the online form.
For most of the nearly six thousand students moving in later this month, this will be their first time away from home and their first college experience. In a recent email to UK faculty and staff, UK President Eli Capilouto said the university's primary goal is student success, and volunteers can help have an impact on that through Move-In.
"Offering a warm welcome to the newest members of our campus family is an important part of fostering their success," Capilouto said. "Volunteering for Move-In is a wonderful way to aid in our students' transition from home to college."
Paul Brown, business officer for the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development in the College of Education, has volunteered in the past and says it’s rewarding knowing that your first impression — from a simple saying “Welcome to UK” — can set the tone for someone’s entire academic year.
"I just felt it was my duty as a UK employee to help someone move in on UK’s Move-In Day and the weekend," Brown said. "Some of these students are new to the state and the UK Campus. They could have gone to any other college or university, but they chose UK. I have enjoyed being a part of that event year after year!"
Holly Hapke, a faculty member in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, says volunteering for Move-In is a "stirring experience."
"What I like most about Move-In days are welcoming the students’ family and friends; exchanging stories with other volunteers about their own move-in experience; and impressing upon the next class of UK students to get connected — NOW," Hapke said.
This year’s move-in is scheduled over four days. Students participating in sorority recruitment and UK band members will move into the residence halls Saturday, Aug. 16. The Living Learning Program participants move in Wednesday, Aug. 20, and the official day when first-year students move into the residence halls is Friday, Aug. 22. Returning students move back into the halls Saturday, Aug. 23.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 6, 2014) — Six jurisdictions have received Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 awards from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
The $20 million awards will bolster science and engineering academic research infrastructure in the U.S. Virgin Islands and five states: Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. Each five-year award will support fundamental research; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development in areas relevant to the jurisdictions' economic and other vital interests.
"These projects exemplify the national imperative to engage in cutting edge research, provide educational opportunities for future generations of scientists, stimulate the economy and create jobs," said Denise Barnes, head of NSF's EPSCoR program. "Additionally, these projects are impressive in their complexity, state-wide scope and integration of individual researchers, institutions and organizations as well as in their role in developing the diverse, well-prepared, STEM-enabled workforce necessary to sustain research competitiveness and economic growth."
Each award targets technologically relevant strategic themes. The research, education and outreach activities also consider economic and environmental factors related to the consequences of climate disruption. Several jurisdictions are tackling the scientific underpinnings of sustaining crop yields for agricultural production (Missouri, South Dakota and North Dakota); two jurisdictions are focusing on coastal ecological challenges (Maine and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Energy and sustainable materials with a focus on economic drivers and end-users are central themes for two jurisdictions (Kentucky and North Dakota).
A summary of each award is provided below in alphabetical order by jurisdiction.
Kentucky — University of Kentucky Research Foundation, PI: Rodney Andrews
Kentucky faces significant challenges as the energy economy transitions from traditional coal mining to renewable resources. Kentucky's RII award, "Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future," will focus on bio-inspired nanocomposite membranes, biomass feedstocks and electrochemical energy storage. The project will drive and accelerate the growth of the emerging bioeconomy within Kentucky through statewide multi-institutional interdisciplinary collaborations that incorporate elements of chemistry, biology, physics and engineering. Strong ties between academic research and industry will confront the Green Grand Challenge, help train students and create jobs for an increasingly larger and diverse science, technology, engineering and mathematics educated workforce. The project provides a STEM-based educational framework that will encourage meaningful participation of under-represented and minority student populations in the emerging knowledge-based economy.
Maine — University of Maine, PI: Michael Eckardt
Maine's coastal communities and ecosystems face increasing pressure due to climate disruption, sea-level variability, declining fish stocks, erosion of long standing traditions and shifts in socio-economic conditions. These concerns are shared by coastal communities throughout the world. Maine's RII award will explore critical benefits of coastal resources through establishing the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET). SEANET focuses on the interdependencies and sustainability of coastal ecosystem services, urbanization, commercial fisheries, aquaculture developments and coastal recreation in the context of social-economic demographics. This award is a multi-institutional, public-private partnership that uses Maine's 8,000 kilometer (4,971 mile) coastline as a living laboratory to study physical oceanography, biophysical, biogeochemical, socio-economic and policy interactions that have local, bioregional, national and global implications. Educational and outreach activities will focus on providing research and field-based experiences that engage underrepresented groups in SEANET. Workforce development activities will be integrated with the research, education and outreach components of the award to promote interest in sustainable marine resource careers.
Missouri — University of Missouri-Columbia, PI: John C. Walker
The increasing incidence and severity of drought has serious consequences for agricultural sustainability. Missouri's RII award, "The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and Community," focuses on improving the capacity of plants and crops to adapt to climate variability. The award integrates high-resolution climate data, high-throughput genomics and phenomics with stakeholder engagement. Studies of plant responses to drought will be coupled with seasonal-range climate forecasts, computational analysis and modeling of metascale environmental sensing data to improve agricultural resilience to the weather and climate-induced stressors that affect water availability, soil moisture and crop yields. The multi-institutional award includes researchers and students from universities across the state of Missouri. The new knowledge about adaptation and resilience will be translated into learning tools and opportunities that inform Missouri citizens about climate variability and its predicted impact on agriculture and natural resources.
North Dakota — North Dakota State University, PI: Philip Boudjouk
Agriculture, energy and advanced manufacturing economies in North Dakota will be strengthened through research lead by "INnovative and Strategic Program Initiatives for Research and Education-North Dakota" (INSPIRE-ND). The award will focus on the effects of climate change on the nation's food and biofeedstocks and develop sustainable and economically viable materials. INSPIRE-ND participants will conduct fundamental and applied research on regional climate and sustainable materials sciences. Research activities are integrated with workforce development and STEM education. The award will enhance the scientific computing infrastructure in North Dakota. The multi-institutional award includes North Dakota's comprehensive research universities and undergraduate institutions, community colleges, tribal colleges and private industry partnerships.
South Dakota — South Dakota State University, PI: James Rice
The emerging knowledge economy in biosciences is the impetus for South Dakota's award, "Biochemical Spatiotemporal NeTwork Resource" (BioSNTR). BioSNTR will apply imaging and molecular biology to predict cell functions, signaling processes and growth-factors. BioSNTR's capacity to map biochemical molecular circuitry will advance the science and technology of high-yield crop production and cellular mechanisms that affect human and animal health. BioSNTR involves research universities, undergraduate institutions, tribal colleges and universities, independent research laboratories and businesses. This award will provide opportunities for students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels to engage in research, workforce development and scientific innovation. BioSNTR's transdisciplinary, multi-institutional bioscience research and education activities will promote collaborations among South Dakota's universities, undergraduate institutions, tribal colleges and private research organizations. Training of students at all levels (K-12, undergraduate, graduate and postdocs) will create a strong and diversified STEM workforce to advance innovation in the state.
U.S. Virgin Islands — University of the Virgin Islands, PI: Henry Smith
The U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) encompasses a group of small tropical islands located in the Caribbean Ocean, over 1,100 miles from the southeastern U.S. coastline. The Virgin Islands support an array of biodiverse ecosystems that are vulnerable to impacts from multiple environmental, weather, climate, social and economic perturbations. A key concern is the capacity for coral reefs to adapt to changing water quality. This award will develop, test and evaluate climate change mitigation strategies with a focus on coral reef ecosystems and the stewardship of natural resources. The VI Institute for STEM Education Research and Practice will develop best practices to meet formal and informal education needs relevant for developing workforce capacity in the territory and beyond.
EPSCoR is a program designed to fulfill NSF's mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. Twenty-eight states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam are currently eligible to participate in elements of the program. Through this program, NSF establishes regional partnerships with government, higher education and industry that effect lasting improvements in a state's or territory's research infrastructure and research and development capacity, and hence, its academic competitiveness.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2014) — The Military Order of the Star and Bars recently announced the winners of their annual literary awards. Among the recipients was University Press of Kentucky’s new book “Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War,” by Judith Brockenbrough McGuire, edited by James I. Robertson Jr. The publication was named the winner of the General Basil W. Duke Literary Award, which is given “to encourage the re-issuance of out-of-print books that accurately present history of the War for Southern Independence.”
Initially appearing in 1867, “Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War” was among the first of such works published after the Civil War. Although it is one of the most-quoted memoirs by a Confederate woman, Robertson’s edition is the first to present vital details not given in the original text. His meticulous annotations furnish references for poems and quotations, supply the names of individuals whom McGuire identifies by their initials alone, and provide an in-depth account of McGuire’s extraordinary life.
Throughout the war years, McGuire made poignant entries in her diary. She wrote incisive commentaries on society, ruminated on past glories, and detailed her hardships. Her entries are a highly personal and revealing mixture of family activities, military reports and rumors, conditions behind the battle lines, and her observations on life, faith and the future. In providing illuminating background and references that significantly enhance the text, Robertson’s edition adds considerably to our understanding of this important work and, by extension, the war itself.
This announcement marks the fourth time UPK has won the Duke Literary Award. UPK’s other titles to win the award are “Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade: The Journal of a Confederate Soldier,” edited by Kent Masterson Brown, in 2002; “Josie Underwood’s Civil War Diary,” edited by Nancy Disher Baird, in 2009; and “One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry,” edited by Kent Masterson Brown in 2010.
James I. Robertson Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Virginia Tech, is the author or editor of numerous books, including "Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend."
The Military Order of the Stars and Bars is a patriotic fraternal society, founded by Confederate veterans to “perpetuate the idealism that animated the Confederate Cause and to honor the courage, devotion and endurance of those who dedicated their lives and services during four years of devastating 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 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; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2014) — Last January, a sports writer contacted Molly Fisher, assistant professor of mathematics education in the University of Kentucky College of Education's Department of STEM Education, with questions about a NASCAR piece he was writing. That conversation resulted in the opportunity of a lifetime for Fisher.
Fisher has taught workshops for teachers in North Carolina and Kentucky that share strategies for bringing the NASCAR sport into middle and secondary mathematics classes. Matt Crossman, writing for the sports news website Sports on Earth, wanted to get Fisher's thoughts on a "flawed" NASCAR point system, as he was interested in writing an article with alternate point systems.
"He was consulting with four math-minded professionals who had an interest in the sport," Fisher said. "So, I helped out with my thoughts and the article went out on sportsonearth.com. Although he incorrectly stated the Fibonacci Sequence in my section, I still thought it was very impressive that I was able to get Fibonacci discussed in an article about NASCAR!"
The article can be read at http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/67122818/four-math-and-racing-experts-devise-nascar-points-plans#!ba9fw4.
Carl Edwards, one of the most popular drivers in the sport, read the article and liked Fisher's thoughts.
"He personally called me to chat with me about my comments and invited me to come out and join him for a race this season," Fisher said. "He ended up giving me two of his personal pit passes that he only uses for friends and family so I could attend the Quaker State 400 race in Sparta, Kentucky on June 28. I was able to meet him and watch a NASCAR race from a perspective that many fans only dream of!"
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Libraries recently updated its website. Utilizing research gathered from patrons on wants and needs, UK Libraries developed an updated version of the site to answers user concerns.
“The research process has been challenging but it has definitely inspired us to dig deeper into some of the important concerns, which we have had,” said Edward Brown, director of web development.
The surveys UK Libraries conducted in the fall of 2013 gave them a lot of important feedback from patrons in both ratings and long-form comments. UK Libraries learned that some patrons found the website to be “cluttered” and “busy” and that it was hard to navigate. They also learned that some critical information, such as library hours, was hard to find for some patrons. Using the feedback in the fall 2013 surveys, a study was planned and carried out in the spring semester of 2014.
The user study in spring 2014 concentrated on learning more about how UK Libraries patrons organize information, as well as the patrons’ wants and needs from the website. Participants completed a card-sorting task, which let UK Libraries know what things are most important to them on the site and how they group that information. Users also drew their ideal UK Libraries webpage, while also giving feedback on the old site and some proposed mock-ups that UK Libraries created based on preliminary findings.
“We are still processing all of the data that we gathered but our preliminary findings have given us the directions for the changes which we have recently released. Using their feedback, and the feedback of UK Libraries personnel, we made tweaks and then tested the designs again to make sure we were going in the right direction,” Brown said.
UK Libraries worked hard to make the site less cluttered and removed some of the elements that were problematic for patrons, while placing other important elements in more visible places. Improvements to the site include the most needed information available in the header of the page, including hours of service and the "My Library Account login," and an organized footer with contact information and other resources for patrons.
In addition, the site includes the selected databases drop down menu in a more prominent spot, a bigger search box with better placement, a contact page of the needed information for all UK Libraries departments, a revised “Get Help” page, and the addition of hours of service for the William T. Young Library to the UK Libraries homepage. UK Libraries plans to list hours for all of the campus libraries available on the homepage as well.
The UK Libraries continually works to improve the website and is always looking for feedback and research volunteers. To give feedback or volunteer, contact Edward Brown by using this page: https://libraries.uky.edu/feedback.php.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) – Prior to medical school, members of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Class of 2018 were chemists, Americorp volunteers, engineers, waiters, musicians, class leaders and archeologists. But the moment they were coated at the Singletary Center of the Arts on Aug. 1, the 136 students were all dedicated to becoming doctors.
Members of a diverse and highly accomplished incoming class of medical students were presented with their white coat, a universal symbol of compassion and humanism in medicine, during the White Coat Ceremony. Dr. Frederick C. de Beer, dean and vice president for clinical academic affairs, delivered a keynote address about the current challenges in the medical profession. After being "coated" by a UK faculty member, the group recited the Pledge of Professionalism with Dr. Chipper Griffith, senior associate dean for medical education.
The incoming class represents 22 states and 15 countries, with 92 students hailing from Kentucky and 43 students holding degrees from the University of Kentucky. The students' cumulative GPA was 3.70 and most had received an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. Ten students in the class are participating in the Rural Physician Leadership Program. The students were selected from 2,347 applicants and more than 400 interviewees vying for seats in the Class of 2018.
The White Coat Ceremony is supported by the UK Medical Alumni Association.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org; (859) 940-8104
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) — The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences recently announced that it will support the largest number of graduate and professional students within its relatively short history. One of the top priorities of the OPSVAW is the support of students, and the 2014-2015 academic year will see the program support five individuals through graduate fellowships and research assistantships.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity to advance the careers of these young scholars while also teaching them that there are real women behind the work that they do,” said Carol Jordan executive director of OPSVAW. “I believe we help give real purpose and inspiration to their academic careers while they also contribute to the field with their energy and maturing expertise.”
Among the students being supported during the 2014/2015 academic year are two doctoral students in the Department of Psychology, one doctoral student in the Department of Political Science, and two professional students from the College of Law. Specifically:
- Kathleen (Katie) Clark from the College of Law is receiving an OPSVAW Graduate Fellowship to support her work focusing on the negative effects of violence against women and the influences of effective policy adoption on an international scale. Some of her most recent work examines how sexual violence during armed conflict/war contributes to negative political outcomes on post-civil conflict society.
- Molly Coffey, also from the College of Law, is serving as a research assistant to the executive director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women. She will be working with Jordan to conduct legal research to advance the office's legislative reform projects related to civil protective orders for domestic violence, rape and stalking victims.
- Dakota Thomas from the Department of Political Science will receive an OPSVAW Research Assistantship to support his work on a project led by two department faculty, Assistant Professor Tiffany Barnes and Assistant Professor Abby Córdova. The project, which will be based in El Salvador, is titled “Dangerous Place and State Action: Does Violence Against Women Legislation Motivate Women to Participate in Civic and Political Activities?”
It was reported earlier that two additional students Jennifer (Jenna) Jewell and Kellie Lynch, both from the Department of Psychology, will receive Mary Byron Fellowships. Jewell for dissertation research on the victimization experiences of adolescents who are gender atypical. Lynch for research in understanding perceptions of rape and victim blaming.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's all male a cappella group, the Acoustikats, are hoping audiences will be "All Shook Up" as they rock Graceland’s annual “Elvis Week” held Aug. 9-17, in Memphis, Tennessee.
The group will perform two different 60-minute shows of tunes by "The King" along with four more of America’s top scholastic a cappella groups: University of Florida’s All-Night Yahtzee, The James Madison University Bluestones, the Vanderbilt Melodores and Briarcrest OneVoice. A total of four performances (two performances of each show) are scheduled between Aug. 14-16.
The Acoustikats perform "Timber" (by Pitbull and Ke$ha) with Emoni Wilkins and UK Dance Team. A transcript of this video can be found here.
Taking the stage during "Elvis Week" are esteemed members of the ensemble, including several who appeared on NBC's "The Sing-Off" last December. Current UK students and alumni set to perform are: Patrick Banks, Peter Gibbons, Nick Johnson, Jordan Lindsey, Banks Mattingly, Charlie McManus, Andrew Miller, Mike Owens, Jacob Powell, Evan Jennings Pulliam and Ron Wilbur.
The acoUstiKats were founded in 1993 during Director of UK Choral Activities Jefferson Johnson's first semester at UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. As a subsection of the nationally renowned UK Men’s Chorus, this 12-member group serves to promote and encourage male singing of all ages.
For tickets to concerts featuring the Acoustikats at "Elvis Week," visit Graceland’s website at www.graceland.com/elvisweek/acappella.aspx. For more information on the Kats, music lovers can find the group online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2014) — Assistant Professor Brandi Frisbi and Associate Professor Kevin Real, from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, and Katherine Rogers-Carpenter, lecturer in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digitial Studies at the UK College of Arts and Sciences, led a series of college teacher training workshops at Qingdao Technological University in China from July 14 through Aug. 1, 2014.
The three-week workshops were collaboratively designed to improve English and teaching skills for campus-wide faculty members at Qingdao Tech and attracted the participation of more than 25 faculty members representing several disciplines (e.g., architecture, landscape design, pollution control, energy, literature, civil engineering). Real taught a course on the college curriculum; Carpenter-Rogers focused on writing and reading in her class; and Frisby offered her course on speaking and listening.
During the three week courses, Qingdao Tech faculty members and the three UK professors participated in cultural exchange discussions and lessons, which culminated in teaching simulations, research presentations, and disciplinary writing opportunities. All workshop participants took part in weekly roundtable discussions on how to apply these integrated approaches in Chinese college classrooms.
Additionally, the hosting university took Real, Rogers-Carpenter, and Frisby on tours of the city including the world’s longest bridge over water, Lao Shan, Tai Shan, numerous historical temples and churches, and the birthplace of Confucius.
The workshops were organized and coordinated by Sunny Yujie Sun, the Dean of the International College of Qingdao Tech, and Zixue Tai, a professor at UK’s College of Communication and Information.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) — If you're looking for a way to acquire the basics of a business degree without the time commitment a degree requires, or if you're interested in exploring whether an advanced MBA degree is right for you before committing to it, the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics may have just the answer for you. Sign up for the Certificate in Business Administration (CBA) Series 1 & 2, offered through the college's Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center (EEC).
Distinguished faculty and guest speakers from the Gatton College lead the program, with 10 weekly sessions this fall and another 10 sessions in the spring of 2015. The lively instructional environment will be complemented by opportunities for hands-on experience with each three-hour class focusing on a different vital topic.
Series 1 will be held Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Sept. 11 through Nov. 13 at the Boone Center, located in the heart of the UK campus in Lexington. Series 2 runs from March 19 through May 21, also on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Lighted, free parking is provided on site for program registrants. The cost is $1,020 for each series, or $1,800 for individuals registering for both Series 1 and 2. Groups of three or more people from an organization are eligible for a special discounted rate.
The fee also will be discounted for UK faculty, staff, and students. Interested UK personnel must contact the EEC to receive a special promo code for the UK discount before registering online.
Fees include instruction, all materials, and refreshments at each session, in addition to parking. Individuals who attend all of the sessions will earn 27.5 course hours of continuing education credit and a certificate of completion.
"The Certificate in Business Adminstration Series 1 & 2 is designed to provide an understanding of business terms, practices, and tools to enable people to make better informed business decisions," said Joe Labianca, Gatton Endowed Chair in Management and director of the Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center and the Executive MBA Program. "The CBA program is open to all interested persons who want to energize their careers and broaden their horizons."
Topics in Series 1 include:
· Organizational Design and Environment
· Individual Behavior in Organizations
· Essentials of HR Management
· Economics in the Workplace
· Strategic Management
· Accounting Measurement and Reporting
· Business Law
· Lean Supply Chain Management
· Financial Decision Making
· Essentials of Marketing
Topics in Series 2 include:
· Teams & Creativity
· Power, Conflict and Negotiation in Organizations
· Emotion & Emotional Intelligence
· Learning to Lead
· Risk Management and Organizational Control
· Decision Making
· Leading Group Negotiations
· The Service Focused Business
· Strategic Talent Management
· Entrepreneurship & Writing a Business Plan
MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, firstname.lastname@example.org; 859-257-3200.