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Celebrating our Diversity: UK Inclusive Excellence Award

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 16:00
The University of Kentucky Office of Faculty Advancement is now accepting nominations for the University of Kentucky Inclusive Excellence Award. The award will recognize the accomplishments of individuals and academic or professional units that demonstrate a sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion through campus and community involvement and exemplary leadership.

Extending our Capacity as a Place of Knowledge, Discourse, and Service

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 12:00
Last week, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts visited the University of Kentucky. The event was made even more special, because it represented one of many times a notable, influential leader has visited our campus.

Supporting Student Success: UK Student Financial Wellness Center

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 12:00
The four pillars of student success—academic success, financial stability, wellness, and belonging—guide us as we align our resources and create initiatives to help students, not just succeed, but thrive on our campus. On Monday, we unveiled a resource specifically targeting the second pillar—financial stability.

Education Abroad Fair Highlights High-Impact Opportunities for Students

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 14:30
The UK Education Abroad Spring Fair will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 4-7 p.m., in the Hub of the William T. Young Library.

UK's Martin Luther King Center Scholar-In-Residence

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 12:00
At the University of Kentucky, we aim to exemplify Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings, not just on the day that bears his name, but throughout the year. We do so by sustaining an environment of belonging—one where people of all identities, backgrounds, and perspectives feel welcome.

Starting Off the Semester with a Focus on Student Success

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:00
At UK, we are focusing more intently than ever on student success, particularly on four fundamental pillars: academic success, financial stability, wellness and belonging.

Focusing on Student Academic Success

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 13:30

Sharing our UK Story in DC

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 15:00

Sharing our UK Story in DC

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 15:00

Veterans Day, This Friday, is a Time to Show Gratitude For Those Who Serve Our Country

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 09:33
Wednesday, November  9, 2016 Veteran’s Day is a time to show our gratitude for the outstanding men and women who have served and are currently serving our great nation. And every day, but particularly this Friday, we are reminded that exceptional soldiers and airmen are not made overnight. In fact, future leaders in our military are being developed right here on our campus through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). The Army ROTC Wildcat Battalion and Air Force ROTC Detachment 290 Flying Wildcats, supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, have trained and commissioned hundreds of officers during their time on campus. As you walk across our campus, you often see these bright young students donning their respective uniforms. UK is proud to contribute to the academic components of their training. Students who participate in the ROTC program are known as “cadets.” On top of their course work mandated by the university, they participate in additional courses including military history, leadership training, and physical training. A normal day in a cadet’s schedule includes getting up at 5:30 a.m., participating in Physical Training (a KHP or AFS course), attending their classes for their major, and then attending a Leadership Laboratory or a meeting for ROTC. Earning a bachelor’s degree is a requirement for commissioning, but the degree a cadet earns often serves as the foundation of knowledge for his or her military career. For example, a Civil Engineering major will often become a Civil Engineer for the Army or Air Force. For that reason, the ROTC programs hold cadets to high academic standards. Cadets are not only future military leaders, but also, presently, leaders in the classroom. Our university partnerships with the exceptional Air Force and Army ROTC programs consistently attract and retain high caliber students. We are honored to have an opportunity to play a role in cultivating the newest second lieutenants each year to commission into the world’s greatest military. At the same time, we are grateful for opportunities to serve current veterans on our campus as well. 
 UK has, for the last several years, been ranked highly by Military Times magazine for our institution's support of and dedication to military veterans. The Veterans Resource Center was established, and recently significantly renovated, to provide veterans with assistance in transitioning to college life. These services focus on veterans across the span of experience, whether a veteran is entering college for the first time, transferring from another school, or returning after a deployment. Please join me in thanking each of these individuals for their commitment to our country and our UK community. They are reminders of our most fundamental purpose as an institution: to positively impact those we serve. We look forward to celebrating  Veterans Day.   Tim Tracy@UKYProvost#seeblue#seeservice

Serving Kentucky Through Our Research and Scholarly Work

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 10:23

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

 

As a $3.5 billion academic, research and health enterprise, discovery lies at the core of our institution. We are called to answer still lingering questions that affect our communities and at the same time dare to pioneer the questions yet asked. Because of this commitment, our research and scholarly endeavors offer the brightest hope for transformation of our Commonwealth and the broader world we serve.

 

The past month has been a particularly exciting time for our research enterprise.

 

Nearly two weeks ago, Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis presented to our Board of Trustees our progress with respect to UK research, in alignment with our strategic plan. She told a compelling story of our impact on and our promise to Kentucky.

 

A week ago today, we celebrated the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) receiving a four-year, $19.8 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health—the second CTSA grant that the UK CCTS has competed for and received. These grants are extremely competitive and place UK in elite company. Other institutions funded in this round include Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Rockefeller University and UCLA.

 

Every day, I am inspired by the talent, passion and collaboration I see across our campus, particularly in the impactful research carried out by our faculty. Our research and scholarly endeavors address the compelling questions of our day and serve our communities in profound, tangible ways.

 

Take, for example, the work of Dr. Jennifer Havens, an epidemiologist in the University of Kentucky Center for Drug and Alcohol Research. Her work involves a particular focus on Appalachia and on a public health issue that’s afflicting our fellow Kentuckians.

 

About 15 years ago, a shift toward injection drug use behaviors occurred in rural Appalachia.

 

These changes in drug use patterns signaled the potential for infiltration of blood-borne pathogens transmitted through shared needles, initiating a spread of infectious disease. Increases in hepatitis C (HCV) infections have paralleled the increase in injection drug use behaviors among opioid users, with the rate of HCV infection in three Appalachian states tripling within six years.

 

Because of these staggering rates of injection drug use and HCV in Appalachia, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued planning grants in 2016 to support researchers expediting and implementing solutions to the epidemic. Dr. Havens was recently awarded two of the competitive planning grants to launch projects that will inform interventions and policies directed at opioid abuse across Appalachia.

 

Dr. Havens has followed the simultaneous rise in injection drug use and HCV in Appalachia since 2004, accruing valuable data imperative for informing interventions and effective health policies. In 2008, she embarked on a longitudinal study funded by NIDA. The project involved working with a community-based research team to recruit more than 500 injection and non-injection opioid users and opening a storefront research site in Hazard, Kentucky.

 

The site enabled researchers to build rapport in the community and retain research participants through several years of observation and data collection.

 

For the past eight years, Dr. Havens has accumulated data from the cohort regarding infectious disease prevalence and incidence, HCV risk factors, social networks, transmission behaviors and availability of preventive health services. To identify factors contributing to disease transmission, Dr. Havens and the study team analyzed social networks in rural communities, which remain relatively stable over time and provide a firm basis for examining how disease transmits through communities. The researchers collected information about individual drug-use behavior, as well as the social linkages between members of drug-using networks.

 

This information allowed Havens, in collaboration with researchers in the UK College of Public Health, to visually map Appalachian drug-using networks and disease transmission with unprecedented specificity. She also assessed risk factors such as syringe sharing, years of injection drug use and history of incarceration as predictors of HCV infection.

 

Dr. Havens is just one example, among many, of a researcher who has applied her knowledge, passion and life’s work to tackling a stubborn health disparity that is a scourge impacting our entire Commonwealth.

 

Her work reminds us of why we are here.

 

As members of the University FOR Kentucky, we ask ourselves each day: how can we use our talent to serve our community—to make it better, healthier, safer, and a place where everyone belongs.

 

Timothy S. Tracy

@UKYProvost

#seeblue