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Class Registration Reminder for Students: Pay Parking Citations

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — Priority registration for the University of Kentucky's 2104-2015 winter intersession and the 2015 spring semester begins Monday, Nov. 3. UK Parking and Transportation Services is reminding students who have unpaid parking citations that they may be unable to register for classes due to an administrative hold. Students are urged to pay all of their citations before their class registration window opens. Students can pay citations online at www.uky.edu/pts/online-services_pay-a-citation.

Administrative holds for outstanding citations are not automatically released upon payment of fees. To remove an administrative hold from a student account, please call Parking and Transportation Services at 859-257-5757 after paying any outstanding fees. The PTS office is open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If you are unsure whether you have outstanding parking citations, you may check on PTS website at www.uky.edu/pts/online-services_pay-a-citation. You may also use the myUK portal to check your student account, including any unresolved academic or financial holds.

56 Honored at UK Outstanding Staff Awards Ceremony

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 19:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — Fifty-six University of Kentucky staff members were honored during the 2014 Outstanding Staff Awards (OSA) recognition ceremony Wednesday at Spindletop Hall.  This was the fifth year for the event sponsored by Staff Senate and the President's Office.

More than 100 people were in attendance to honor the award winners, including University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, representatives of the Board of Trustees, colleagues, and other campus leaders. Entertainment included performances by students from the UK Department of Theatre and Dance.

“The University of Kentucky is full of dedicated, passionate people who help advance our multi-faceted mission of teaching, research, service and health care,” said President Capilouto. “Our campus is about people, and the Outstanding Staff Awards is a special opportunity to congratulate and thank the UK Family."

OSA winners were all referred by their respective work units as their most deserving employees of 2013-14.

"Since implementation of the program in 2010, unit participation across the university has more than tripled from eight to 20," said Holly Jones Clark, the OSA program chair.  “We are delighted that administrators see the value in recognizing the professional contributions of our diverse staff.”

The 56 OSA winners represented 20 colleges and administrative units, including the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, Gatton College of Business and Economics, College of Communication and Information, College of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health Sciences, College of Law, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, Human Resources, Office of Development, Office of the Treasurer, Student Affairs, UK HealthCare, UK HealthCare IT, UK Libraries, and Undergraduate Studies.

2014 Outstanding Staff Award winners are:

Alice Carpenter

Allison Webster

Amanda Henderson

Amy Eason

Amy K. Triana

Annette Garth

Ashley West

Brian Powers

Catherine Streiff

Charles Arvin

Christina King

Corey Preston

Cortney Decker

Cynthia Lane

David Higginbotham

David Powell

Diane Riddell

Eric McWhorter

G. Wayne Rogers

Heather Yattaw Wagoner

Helen Williams

James Ash

James Morris

Jeff Allen

Jill Dobias

Jim Paugh

Jolene Ruble

Jon Davis

Julie Cleary

June Horn

Kitty Simpson

Laura DaCanto

Laura Gardner

Lynn Fresca

Marc K. Blevins

Mary Ann Nestmann

Matt McMahan

Melissa Huffman

Meredith Houlihan

Michael Mayfield

Nancy DeMarcus

Nancy McDevitt

Randy Pratt

Robby Martin-Curry

Robert Caskey

Robert Hayes

Rosalyn Robinson

Sara Lawson

Sarah Gabbard

Sally Quigley

Shari Dutton

Sharise Harrison

Stephanie Tate

Stephen Leedy

Terry Shelton

Tsitsi Gwanyanya

The OSA Program Committee includes Holly Jones Clark, Jann Burks, Chris Crumrine, Misty Dotson, Keith Hautala, Mindy McCulley and Clem Stambaugh.

UK HealthCare Obstetricians Provide Care Close to Home for Mothers in Appalachia

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 14:33
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — Two years after her son Nicholas was born, Elma Thorpe still agrees with a phrase used to describe her baby in the first seconds of his life.    "He's perfect," Thorpe said, repeating the words of nurses who stabilized Nicholas after he was delivered by emergency caesarian section in November 2012. Today, the Breathitt County mom can't imagine life without the blond-haired child she considers a blessing. Now a toddler, Nicholas is running around the house.  But the moments before Nicholas was born were anything but perfect for Thorpe and her family. At 36 weeks pregnant, Thorpe thought pains in her stomach meant she was going into labor. After having a miscarriage with an earlier pregnancy, Thorpe was taking every precaution to ensure her baby's safety.  "I was just making sure nothing went wrong," Thorpe said.  Thorpe was admitted to the emergency department at Appalachian Regional HealthCare Medical Center in Hazard. Her regular doctor was on vacation, so on-call obstetrician Dr. James Dawson, one of two doctors based at the UK HealthCare Women's Clinic in Hazard, stepped in to deliver Thorpe's baby.  While waiting to be transferred to the labor and delivery department, Thorpe felt a gush of fluid release from her womb. She assumed the sensation was her water breaking, but the fluid was blood. When Dawson checked Thorpe's progress, he knew the amount of vaginal bleeding indicated a serious complication, and the baby needed to be delivered immediately.  "With some emergencies, you have several minutes or an hour, but this was one where we had only a few minutes," Dawson said. "We just needed to treat the problem."  Dawson's diagnosis was a placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta prematurely breaks away from the wall of the uterus. From his decades of experience delivering babies in rural Kentucky, Dawson suspected that the blood was complicated by placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is set low on the uterus and vulnerable to separation during contractions. The abruption cut off the baby's oxygen supply, and the doctor feared that the baby would die inside the womb before he was able to deliver. He also knew Thorpe was in danger as she was losing a high volume of blood.  Dawson's first priority was removing the baby from the womb by emergency caesarian section. While working with the ARH medical team, Dawson kept Thorpe and her family calm and informed as the medical team rushed into surgery.   "He let on like nothing was wrong until it was happening and we knew it was happening," Thorpe said. "He talked to me and told me everything's going to be ok."  After Dawson delivered 5-pound Nicholas, he and the medical team focused on stopping Thorpe's bleeding. Nicholas had swallowed a small amount of blood, but was otherwise a healthy, breathing baby. Thorpe received several transfusions of blood before she was ready to go home with Nicholas. But before leaving the hospital, Thorpe and the baby took a picture with Dawson so they would remember the man who worked fast to save their lives.  "To me, he's the best doctor out there," Thorpe said of Dawson.  For some prenatal emergencies, rural patients in Appalachia are transferred by air ambulance to the UK Chandler Hospital, which has resources and teams of high-risk obstetricians and neonatologists. But today, UK HealthCare's Women's Health employs two full-time obstetricians on the ground in Hazard with the intent of keeping women closer to their home for prenatal care and delivery, even when emergencies arise. Dawson and colleague Dr. Misty Thompson provide prenatal care and gynecological services at the UK HealthCare Women's Health Clinic at the Medical Mall in Hazard. These doctors live and work in the Appalachian community where they serve.  Through a partnership between UK HealthCare and Appalachian Regional HealthCare, Dawson and Thompson are on-call for deliveries and emergencies, and provide women's health services at health departments in surrounding counties. In addition, obstetricians in Hazard who partner with UK HealthCare are granted access to the latest ultrasound technology and consultations with UK HealthCare specialists in Lexington through telemedicine.  UK HealthCare women's health providers are now based at permanent community clinics in Morehead, Georgetown and Hazard. The recently established UK HealthCare Blue Angels group of providers also extend telemedicine services to obstetricians in Manchester, Kentucky, with plans to expand their reach to providers in other Appalachian communities.  Dr. Wendy Hansen, chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UK HealthCare, said the department offers resources and support to Appalachian providers in a collaborative effort to improve the level of care for women in every part of Kentucky. The goal is to keep women at home, bringing only the most high-risk cases to Lexington. UK HealthCare's presence in the Hazard community also helps recruit doctors to an historically underserved area that struggles to attract providers.  "It's really an effort to bring quality women's health, from contraception to pregnancy care, to that area," Hansen said. "The idea is to have a very robust obstetrics and gynecology practice."  A few months after Nicholas was born, Dawson was seeing patients at the health department in Breathitt County as part of his weekly routine. Thorpe, who was a patient at the health department, realized that Dawson traveled to the clinic every Wednesday. She left Dawson a copy of the picture she had taken with him and her the baby before leaving the hospital. She wrote a personal note on the back of the photo thanking him for saving their lives.  "That makes me energized and makes me feel good about what I do," Dawson said of the note. "That's a reward that is so special to me. I like being part of a family picture — it's what keeps me going."  MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu 

Old-time Music and Dance Focus of 'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Concerts

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:30

Rich Kirby, who will play UK Nov. 7, performs "Rocky Island" at Portland Oldtime Music Gathering in Portland, Oregon.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — From a mother-daughter duo boasting both music and dancing skills to a traditional music virtuoso, "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series is sure to present a rollicking good time at Niles Gallery. On Friday, Oct. 31, old-time musicians Julia Weatherford and Pearl Angeline Shirley will perform. The next week, on Friday, Nov. 7, virtuosic fiddler, banjo player and mandolinist Rich Kirby is in the spotlight. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Growing up in Berea, Kentucky, Julia Weatherford’s magical youth was filled with traditional old-time music, handcrafts, folk dancing, baroque ensembles and church choirs. She studied cello from the age of 10, sang in harmony vocal groups, performed and sang in summer theater and puppetry theater, and folk danced her way through high school and college. 

In 1980, Weatherford settled at the family home place near Black Mountain, North Carolina, and has lived in a cabin built by her grandfather ever since. For 13 seasons, she has played cello with the Asheville Symphony, meanwhile moonlighting as a traditional dance fiddler. In addition, she previously was the artistic director of the legendary Black Mountain Festival from 1986 to 1995. Weatherford has performed and taught at such venues as the LEAF, the Black Mountain Festival, Berea Country Dance School, Pinewoods, Moondance, The Gypsy Meltdown and Folkmoot International. 

Weatherford has been a longtime member the Akira Satake Band, Far Horizons, Fly by Night and The Free Range Ensemble. Currently, she is the logistics director at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and the coordinator of Fiddle Week for that same event. A visual artist as well, Weatherford is a member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild and is the mother of Pearl.

Pearl Angeline Shirley grew up in Black Mountain soaking up traditional Appalachian music and dance almost without noticing. She picked up a tiny violin at age 5, and since then has fiddled her way through hundreds of footstomping contra and square dances and concerts.

Shirley has toured with the popular contra dance band Mock Turtle Soup from Alnwick, England, to Santa Barbara, and currently performs with the acclaimed old-time band, Blue Eyed Girl. She is a step dancer and the director of Asheville’s “Twisty Cuffs” Cape Breton performance dance troupe. Shirley is a first grade teacher and the mother of two.

Traditional Music Virtuoso Rich Kirby Returns

Rich Kirby is a virtuosic fiddler, banjo player and mandolinist, who has served as news director for WMMT, Appalshop’s radio station. He has played and recorded with a number of bands including Wry Straw and Rich and the Po' Folks, and has produced many albums for the June Appal label including a recent release of his grandmother’s music, "Addie Graham: Been a Long Time Traveling."

Kirby is a founding member of the celebrated East Kentucky old-time string band, Rich and the Po’ Folks, the best (and only) old-time string band in Letcher County, Kentucky. The band explores the full range of traditional mountain music — fiddle tunes, ballads, coal mining songs, Carter Family pieces and contemporary mountain songs. Rich and the Po' Folks' repertoire comes from the members' home territory of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia, hot spots for one of America's great musical traditions. They recorded the album "When the Whistle Blew" on the June Appal label in 2010. 

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

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring Julia Weatherford and Pearl Angeline Shirley or Rich Kirby, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit the website at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Welcome Young Trick or Treaters

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 11:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) ‒ University of Kentucky faculty’s and staff’s little ones can get a head start on Halloween trick or treating this Thursday evening.

For the 18th year, students living in selected campus residence halls will open their doors this Halloween season to the children and grandchildren of UK faculty and staff. Children ‒ 12 years and younger only ‒ should come dressed in their trick or treating costumes. Adult supervision is required.

The lobbies of South and Hilltop residence halls ‒ Blanding/Kirwan Complex, Ingels, Baldwin, Smith and the new Woodland Glen ‒ will be open 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.

Employees can park in the baseball stadium lot during the event.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

First Generation Students "see blue." in London

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 18:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) When N'Deyah Belle, Brandon King and Abel Rodriguez first set foot on the University of Kentucky campus, they had one thing in common: they were each the first person in their families to go to college.

Today, they have something else in common.

As part of a class tailored for first-generation students, they had the opportunity to enroll in an education abroad course in London, England during the summer of 2014.

In a three-week course led by Director of First Generation Initiatives Matthew Deffendall, the students explored global communication and business, visiting various international corporations and global brands in London such as Coca Cola, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and the Chelsea Football Club. The class also met with the vice president responsible for Europe at the global, but Lexington-based-corporation, Alltech.

The course is part of UK's larger initiative to support first generation students from recruitment to graduation through research based programs, resources, best practices and campus wide advocacy about the needs of students who are the first in their families to go to college.

"It's already hard for first generation students comparatively to adjust to college," said Rodriguez. "You don’t have parents who have had the experience that you are going through now, so it is kind of hard to find someone who relates to you and can help you transition through it. And it's even harder to find opportunities outside of just going to college, like education abroad, because it's hard enough to deal with college as it is."

The UK Office of First Generation Initiatives addresses these issues. Through tailored pre-departure sessions and programming, the course is designed to create a strong community among the students before they even set foot on a plane, (some for the first time). The course also provides pre-departure information session for parents.

“The First Adventures Program provides an opportunity for first generation students to have an education abroad experience while also being in a supportive, small community environment of fellow UK students," Deffendall said. "We go beyond just teaching a course but creating a holistic program that empowers students to feel inspired to travel again in the future on their own. Our students return ready to go again and accept the challenges of an international experience.”

King said that this support was incredibly important.

"I'm so grateful that they guided us through everything, because I certainly didn’t know how to go about any of it," he said. "So with Matthew we had several sessions where they laid everything out in front of us; it would have been very difficult to navigate that myself and to figure out what I needed to do and by when, how to prepare, how to pack, how to do my finances, how to budget, things like that. So being able to have them guide us through it, and being able to do it together, was the most important thing as a first-gen student."

Citing the relationships she developed, the knowledge she gained and the fun she experienced, Belle said that the most rewarding part of her time in London was learning more about herself.  

"I learned a lot," Belle said. "I learned that I am able to adapt to different environments, and I’m so welcoming to it. It meant realizing that there is so much more in the world, and that I’m not afraid of it. I’m into trying a lot of new things now, and it was really fun and different to see how accustomed I can get in that short amount of time. I just fell in love with a place that I’d never been to before."

A similar course designed for first generation students will be offered during the 2015 summer II session, in Dublin, Ireland. Click here for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859-257-5365); sarah.geegan@uky.edu

'UK at the Half' Focuses on Research in the Commonwealth

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 18:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — President Eli Capilouto was the guest of "UK at the Half" that aired during the UK vs. Mississippi State University football game, broadcast on the radio Oct. 25.

President Capilouto discussed the importance of UK conducting research for the most pressing needs of the Commonwealth. These challenges include health issues such as cancer and heart disease.

"UK at the Half" airs during the halftime of each UK football and basketball game radio broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.

To hear the "UK at the Half" interview click on the play button below. To view a transcript for the Oct. 25 "UK at the Half" interview, click here

Grand Opening of The Study North and Presentation U! North is Today

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 17:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — The campus community is invited to enjoy refreshments while checking out a new, state-of-the-art peer tutoring space in action today. 

University of Kentucky Academic Enhancement and Presentation U! will host a grand opening of The Study North and Presenation U! North from 4-6 p.m. today on the first floor of Champions Court I.  The new facility recently became fully operational and now offers free peer tutoring every Monday through Thursday from 3-9 p.m. 

"We are really excited about our new space and to have the opportunity to provide UK students with more options!" said Harley Gilman, an intern with Academic Enhancement. "That being said, our original space, The Study, will remain open Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will continue to act as a 'home base' for Academic Enhancement."

The Study North is also home to a satellite location for Presentation U! (aka Presentation U! North), a program developed to help UK students enhance their multimodal communication (oral, written, visual) skills for projects and presentations. Presentation U! North is open from 3-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The primary location, Presentation U! @ the Hub in the William T. Young Library, opened earlier this semester.

The complete schedule for peer tutoring at both The Study and The Study North is available at http://www.uky.edu/AE/peer-tutoring-schedule

Markey, Nanjing Medical University in China Sign Cooperation Memorandum

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 15:23
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has signed a memorandum of cooperation to collaboratively study lung cancer with the Nanjing Medical University in the Jiangsu Province, China.

Earlier this month, Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center, and Daret St. Clair, associate director for basic research, visited Nanjing Medical University to sign the memorandum with Nanjing Medical University Chancellor Shen Hongbin agreeing to collaborate on future projects in cancer research.

The initial contact between the two institutions developed with the exchange of researchers and clinicians between St. Clair’s laboratory and Nanjing Medical University Affiliate Hospital, the first Nanjing Hospital. Markey's strength in basic research was a collaborative match with Nanjing Medical University investigators who have specific expertise in the genetic and epigenetic analyses of lung cancers.

Kentucky has the highest mortality rate of lung cancer in the U.S., but lung cancer is also a common disease in China.

“Cancer is a global problem,” Evers said. “This partnership with Nanjing Medical University will establish collaborative ties with their talented investigators as we work together to fight cancers that have a high incidence in both Kentucky and China.”

In addition, there may be opportunities to share clinical trial expertise between the two institutions.

“This is an excellent example of how the Markey Cancer Center continues to expand its network and reach, not only regionally but globally as well,” Evers said.

Nationally Respected Sports Medicine, Military Human Performance Scholar Named Dean of UK College of Health Sciences

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 15:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014)  University of Kentucky Provost Christine Riordan announced today that a nationally recognized scholar in sports medicine and the physical performance of military personnel has been named dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Scott Lephart is currently a Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh. He will take over as dean at UK on March 1, 2015, pending approval from the Board of Trustees.

Having served on the University of Pittsburgh faculty for 27 years, Lephart is widely published and recognized as a leader in sports medicine, particularly with regard to neuromuscular and biomechanical analysis of human movement associated with musculoskeletal injury, prevention, surgery and rehabilitation.

Lephart also has secured multiple research grants as the principal investigator leading the Department of Defense Human Performance Research initiative.

Lephart is the founding director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. In this role and as chair, he has been successful in building a flourishing research enterprise with extraordinary growth in academic programs, personnel and facilities. You can read more about Lephart's academic and research background at http://www.nmrl.pitt.edu/content/scott-m-lephart-phd

"Scott has demonstrated impressive leadership in developing partnerships between academic units in allied health and an academic medical center, and has cultivated meaningful relationships with federal funding agencies, private and public foundations, and the industry," Riordan said in making the appointment. "President Capilouto and I are excited that he will bring a national reputation as a scholar in some critically important areas to a college that has had a growing research presence and impact in recent years."

"Research that impacts communities today is most often found between and at the intersection of disciplines," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK's executive vice president for health affairs. "In Scott Lephart, we have someone who not only understands that fact, but that has taken a leadership position in working across disciplines in a collaborative way to advance research in this growing area of human performance."

“The College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky is a place where outstanding teaching and research are taking place,” Lephart said. “I am excited to join a faculty and an institution with a deep commitment to developing and growing interdisciplinary partnerships that directly address the challenges and needs of the Commonwealth."

Riordan said Lephart received a strong recommendation from both the search committee and the groups within the college that he met with during his visits to UK.

“Dr. Lephart has demonstrated success fostering growth in personnel and facilities, and he is an expert and scholar in the area of sports medicine, specifically neuromuscular research and optimization of human function,” said Carl Mattacola, chair of the dean search committee and director of the CHS Athletic Training and Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D. programs. “He brings to the College experience in cross-disciplinary research and educational programs, participation in a Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) budget model, and has had success with philanthropic giving. He has been successful in stimulating a thriving research enterprise with innovative Department of Defense partnerships, and he is a proven and creative leader.”    

“Scott Lephart is a game changer for UK and UK HealthCare,” said Dr. Darren Johnson, chair of the UK Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.  “His leadership will enhance opportunities for innovative collaboration across multiple colleges and departments and his impressive research background and reputation in musculoskeletal sports and military injury prevention will elevate and provide even more opportunities for the college’s already emergent and successful programs.”

Lephart will replace Sharon Stewart, who has been serving as interim dean of the college since August 2011.

"I often say that people make the place. Dean Stewart embodies that credo, as she has ably led the college for more than three years, all the while further strengthening its commitment to preparing the clinical, educational and research leaders of tomorrow," Riordan said.

“Dr. Lephart brings with him an exciting research portfolio and a breadth and depth of administrative experience that will serve our College well,” said Stewart, who will return to her role as the associate dean of Academic Affairs in the college. “We are excited that he will be joining us at the College of Health Sciences, and we look forward to his arrival.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton, jay.blanton@uky.edu 

VIDEO: A Unique View of the University of Kentucky

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 14:36

Video Shot by Kody Kiser, Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing & Music composed by A.J. Hochhalter.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — Though many faculty, staff and students walk around campus everyday, sometimes it’s nice to see the University of Kentucky from a different perspective.

Watch the video above to get a bird’s eye view of the transformation taking place on campus! 

Visit www.youtube.com/universityofkentucky to view hundreds of videos about UK.   

VIDEO CONTACTS:  Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282, kody.kiser@uky.edu or Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, amy.jones2@uky.edu

UK Student-Athletes Break Graduation Record

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 14:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — University of Kentucky student-athletes set a school record for graduation rate in the annual report issued by the National College Athletic Association.

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2004-05 through 2007-08, was 81 percent.  That was up two points from last year and continued UK’s trend of having broken or tied the mark for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation.

The GSR includes all scholarship athletes. Athletes who transfer in good standing do not count against the school’s GSR. Schools also are allowed to count incoming transfers who subsequently graduate.

Here are the annual scores for UK student-athletes breaking or tying the school record each year of the 10-year history of the GSR.

Year Announced            NCAA GSR

2014                             81 percent

2013                             79        

2012                             79

2011                             77        

2010                             74

2009                             73

2008                             73

2007                             71

2006                             71

2005                             68

The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) for student-athletes, also a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2004-05 through 2007-08, is 58 percent, just one point shy of the school record posted a year ago.  Data for this statistic is available since 1991. In the FGR, student-athletes who transfer count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and the NCAA GSR.

These improvements reflect the emphasis on academic success by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.

“I’m pleased that a new graduation record was set,” Barnhart said. “Completing degrees is a foundational piece of future success, and we’re proud of the achievements of our student-athletes.”

The long-term outlook remains bright for UK’s student-graduation numbers. One of Barnhart’s goals for UK Athletics is a composite 3.0 grade-point average for all student-athletes. The Wildcats have hit that goal the last four semesters.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Neely, tneely@uky.edu, (859) 257-3838.

UK Women's Choir Celebrates 20 Years of Music

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 13:25

UK Women's Choir singing "Pie Jesu" at Ely Cathedral.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Women’s Choir will celebrate 20 years of music as they present their fall concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. UK’s award-winning female a cappella group, Paws and Listen, will begin a pre-show performance at 7 p.m.

The fall concert is a special event in commemoration of the past 20 years of Women’s Choir at the university. The show will feature alumnae from the group, as well as from Paws and Listen.

The program includes a special four-song section by select Paws and Listen alumnae, who will be led by former coach Raye Hurley.

Approximately 50 women from past years of the choir will join the concert. Some long distance members who couldn’t make the journey have sent along special notes to be read at the performance.

“I am super excited for this concert because it is the first time we are doing something like this,” said Lori R. Hetzel, conductor of the UK Women’s Choir and associate director of UK School of Music. “I am thrilled to see all the people who have graduated.”

UK Women's Choir is made up of more than 100 women of all ages and academic disciplines. The choir has been internationally recognized, traveling to England, Ireland and Wales for their third international tour in the summer of 2012. More recently, Hetzel and the choir served as a demonstration choir at the 2013 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Tickets for the 20th Anniversary Concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and UK Women’s Choir alumnae. They can be purchased through the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the box office.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Town Hall Meetings Will Discuss Possible Replacement of Blackboard

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:15

LEXINGTON, Ky.  (Oct. 28, 2014) — A committee reviewing learning management system (LMS) use and needs at the University of Kentucky voted in October to recommend discontinuing use of Blackboard Learn (after UK’s current license with Blackboard ends June 30, 2016) and endorsing the adoption of Instructure Canvas as a replacement.

The LMS Selection Committee, co-chaired by John Wilson of the College of Medicine, Daniel Lau of the College of Engineering, and Scott Bradley of the College of Arts and Sciences, reached its decision after nearly a year of evaluation, including survey and pilot results, demonstrations of learning management systems,  hands-on experiences, and interviews of faculty and staff at other institutions. Committee membership included faculty or staff from each college, as well as representatives from areas such as the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, Undergraduate Education, UK Analytics & Technologies (UKAT), and the student body.

“The committee tried to represent the many different users of LMS across the university," said co-chair Wilson, “and to balance current needs and future possibilities.” Co-chair Lau added, "The university has experienced a generally positive relationship with Blackboard for 13 years, and the company has worked on issues as they have occurred.  However, the committee recognized that Canvas' fresh and innovative approach and tools are well matched with the online learning growth occurring at UK."

Next steps will include presentations to the Academic Computing Committee, the University Senate, and other campus committees and groups. Members of the committee will also be available to speak to colleges and departments that would like to be briefed. To schedule a speaker from the committee, please contact Patsy Carruthers in UKAT. In addition, two LMS Town Halls (dates, locations provided below) will feature a panel to present the LMS findings and recommendation.  The panel will also engage in a question-and-answer session from the audience.

“Migrating to a new LMS at a university the size of UK comes with its challenges,” said co-chair Bradley. “The LMS Selection Committee was very clear in its recommendation of a switch to Canvas that UK will need an ‘all hands on deck’ support structure from UKAT as well as at the college level to ensure a successful transition. Ensuring that UK faculty and students have the support they need will be critical. I suspect that as the Canvas environment rolls out alongside the current Blackboard service, with full-on launch in the summer of 2016, it will be a very pleasing learning environment for both our faculty and students.”

Information about the process and its findings are available at http://www.uky.edu/lmsreview/.  This website will be updated over the next few months to reflect committee visits and campus briefings as well as committee responses and a project timeline.  UK staff, faculty and students are encouraged to attend the town hallmeetings to ask questions or submit questions via the LMS Review website.

LMS Town Halls

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
W.T. Young Library Auditorium

3-4:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014

Center Theater of the Student Center

10-11:30 a.m. 

Kentucky Architect Gets Distinguished Alum Award From Ohio State

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — David Biagi, director of the University of Kentucky School of Architecture, received one of 11 Distinguished Alumni Awards presented at Ohio State University's 17th Annual Excellence in Engineering and Architecture Alumni Awards held Oct. 17.

Each year Ohio State University College of Engineering honors alumni for extraordinary personal achievements, outstanding contributions to the fields of engineering and architecture, and remarkable service to the college. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize outstanding professional achievement in engineering or architecture fields by reason of significant inventions, important research or design, administrative leadership or genius in production.

David Biagi is inaugural director of the School of Architecture at UK College of Design, a position he was appointed to in 2003. Prior to his arrival at UK, he spent several years practicing architecture in New York City at Eisenman Architects and Gwathmey Siegel Architects (now Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects), working on projects like the J.W. Goethe University Biology Center, in Frankfurt, Germany, and Duke University's Center for Jewish Life. In Kentucky, Biagi's designs include the acclaimed Todds Point House and Pax Christi Catholic Church.

Biagi was selected for the "40 under 40" list at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in 1996. His design work has appeared worldwide in publications like the New York Times and Architectural Record. Biagi has received a 2005 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Collaborative Practice Award, a 2010 Commonwealth Collaborative Award and 2012 National Association of Development Organizations Innovation Award. 

A member and past president of the Kentucky Board of Architects, Biagi has served as a juror for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Grant, NCARB Award and numerous American Institute of Architects (AIA) state award juries. He earned his bachelor's degree in architecture and received the Dean's Award from UK and his master's degree in architecture and the AIA Medal from Ohio State.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

“see BOO!”: Annual Campus Halloween Party Celebrates Fourth Year

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 09:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) – The campus community is invited to “see BOO!” and celebrate Halloween at the Boone Center from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Everyone is encouraged to stop by for some treats, candy, hot chocolate and hot cider for a Halloween treat. Free T-shirts will also be given out while they last.

Pumpkins, provided by UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment farms, will also be on hand for carving.

The entire campus community is welcome; children are encouraged to come in costume.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

Foster, Hall Named UK Homecoming Queen and King

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 22:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — Lee Foster, daughter of Joe and Winnie Foster of Owensboro, Kentucky, and Colby Hall, son of Doug and Tina Hall of Somerset, Kentucky, were crowned the University of Kentucky Homecoming queen and king during halftime ceremonies at the UK vs. Mississippi State Homecoming game Saturday.

Wildcat Cup winners were also announced. Alpha Delta Pi won the sorority division; Beta Theta Pi won the fraternity division; Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow/TEAM WILDCAT won the non-Greek division.

Foster is a senior economics and marketing major with a minor in international business and was sponsored in the Homecoming royalty candidacy by Alpha Delta Pi. Hall is a senior biology major and Spanish minor and was sponsored by Alpha Delta Pi.

Other finalists for queen and king were:

  • Anne Marie Kirk, a senior communications and mathematics double major, daughter of Michael and Debbie Kirk, from Lexington, sponsored by Alpha Gamma Delta;
  • Whitney Scott, a senior art history major, daughter of William and Diane Scott from Lexington, sponsored by Phi Gamma Delta;
  • Kathleen Smith, a senior mining engineering major, daughter of Tim and Robin Smith from Prestonsburg, Kentucky, sponsored by Delta Delta Delta;
  • Kaley Tabor, a senior, daughter of Nickie Mabry and Doug Tabor from Morristown, Tennessee, sponsored by Delta Tau Delta;
  • Roshan Palli, a senior mathematical economics, economics, mathematics and political science major, son of Subba and Usha Palli from Lexington, sponsored by Delta Sigma Phi;
  • Jared Scott, a senior finance major, son of Curtis and Vanessa Scott, sponsored by the UK Black Student Union;
  • Devon Wilson, a senior psychology and political science major, son of Stephanie and Michael Carter from Paducah, Kentucky, sponsored by Beta Theta Pi; and
  • Jonathan York, a senior anthropology and history major, from Louisville, sponsored by DanceBlue.

Campus Shares 'A Long Way Gone' as Author Visits Campus

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 17:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — A good book can be a life changer, but one good book has become a campus changer.

This year’s University of Kentucky Common Reading Experience book, “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah, has changed the UK freshman experience immeasurably. The author may change even more people and their understanding of a child soldier’s life when the author visits the campus today to present the annual CRE author lecture. Beah speaks at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Singletary Center Concert Hall. A book signing follows the free event.

The UK Common Reading Experience is a collaborative effort — with New Student and Parent Programs, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, and other campus partners — designed to introduce new students to academic life at the university. The goal is two-fold: first, to bring new students together for a common reading experience that introduces them to academic discourse during the summer preceding their first year; and second, to engage the entire UK community in a common intellectual experience through year-long programming.

When new students first arrived at UK in August, they were asked what they thought of “A Long Way Gone,” what they learned from this rare first-person account of a child soldier. Here are some student quotes from that survey:

·       I learned that a book can bond people together.

·       I learned that your past does not define who you are as a person. You can choose to overcome your hardships and to grow as a person, like Ishmael did.

·       I learned that just by seeing somebody, you don't know what their life has been like.

·       I learned that the will to carry on will take us farther than we can ever imagine.

·       I learned about the conflict in Sierra Leone, as well as themes of resilience in the face of seemingly hopeless situations.

·       I learned that we must "strive to be like the moon." (That is my favorite quote.).

While these first-year students have enjoyed the common intellectual experience of small group discussions with other new and upperclass students and public events coordinated around the book's themes, topics, and issues, perhaps the most lasting and personal touch has been achieved in the classroom, where inventive faculty have brought the book to life for their students. Here are only three of many examples:

·       Rebecca Freeman, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences: In her "Sustainable Planet" class, the students used Sierra Leone as an example to relate recent class discussions about diamond mining and how cultures use and control available resources and energy.

·       Marty Henton, senior lecturer for the School of Art and Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts. In her "Pathways to Creativity" class the concept of mind-mapping turned into an actual mapping activity based on Beah's journey through Sierra Leone to New York, and to Oberlin College in Ohio, and lastly to Kentucky where he speaks Tuesday night. Four large maps will be created by four teams of five students; each will display the outlines of Sierra Leone, New York, Ohio, and Kentucky using plastic tape to show the author's path to Kentucky.  These large maps will be installed outside of the Singletary Center in the grassy area on the corner of Avenue of Champions and Rose Street. 

·       Conrad Davies, senior faculty lecturer, Division of Instructional Communication and Research, College of Communication and Information. Davies had a very personal relationship with Beah’s story as his parents are Sierra Leonean immigrants, which he shared with his class. The in-class commentary about his and Beah’s homeland helped students with their three CRE-related assignments: reviewing the book’s website; comparing and contrasting cultural differences using the students’ own world view; and identifying how the book affects American perceptions. Noting this is the first non-American CRE author, he said many students knew nothing about Sierra Leone. He said some students gained great insight, while others found the book difficult to read due to its graphic nature and others could not put the book down because it was so good.  

Born in 1980 in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Beah was picked up by the government army when he was 13 and trained to commit truly terrible acts that even an adult may have trouble overcoming. Luckily for Beah, UNICEF removed him from the fighting at age 16 and taught him how to forgive himself and how to heal.

Now, Beah is a New York Times bestselling author of “A Long Way Gone,” which has been published in over 30 languages and nominated for a Quill Award in 2007. Time magazine ranked the book No. 3 in its top 10 nonfiction books of 2007. He is a UNICEF ambassador and advocate for children affected by war; a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee; an advisory board member at the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Violence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; visiting scholar at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University; visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University; co-founder of the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW); and president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation. He has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many panels on the effects of war on children. He is a graduate of Oberlin College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

Education Professor: Why the Label 'Exceeds Standards' Does Not Work

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 16:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — In a blog post for Education Week, Thomas Guskey, professor of educational psychology in the University of Kentucky College of Education, writes about why the label "exceeds standards" does not work when labeling student performance in standards-based grading and reporting.  

Read the blog post at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2014/10/why_the_label_exceeds_standard_doesnt_work.html.

UK Professor Disproves Test to Seek Justice for Jailed Women in El Salvador

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — As a forensic pathologist who has testified in national criminal cases, Dr. Greg Davis' second worst professional nightmare is being part of a process that frees a guilty person.

The University of Kentucky professor's worst nightmare is implicating a person who is not guilty. His sense of justice drove him toward a career in forensic medicine, and has led to his involvement in the criminal cases of 17 women in El Salvador who were convicted of killing their babies.

Davis recently submitted a report to the El Salvadoran Supreme Court and the National Assembly providing evidence to disprove the validity of a test that has convicted 17 women of infanticide. The imprisoned women, known as "Las 17," have received attention from El Salvadoran media and websites including Jezebel, and support from groups including Amnesty International. Davis' report was part of a petition to the government to release these women, who claim they suffered a miscarriage or gave birth to a stillborn baby.

In a country with strong conservative values, the El Salvadorian justice system convicted the women based on the hydrostatic test, or "float test." Through the float test, samples of the infant's liver and lung are placed over liquid, and if the lung floats and the liver sinks, officials conclude that the baby took a first breath of air and was murdered after birth. Davis classified the float test as a "medieval pseudo-test" that scientists deemed unreliable more than 100 years ago. 

Davis presented many reasons why officials should rule out the float test as sound scientific evidence in the cases of Las 17. Davis examined four cases, citing evidence from similar U.S. cases from 2009, 2004 and 1985. When a woman is in labor and a deceased baby is moving through the birth canal, air can be introduced into the baby's lungs before birth. Davis has seen babies in the intensive care unit whose lungs received exposure to air after birth and whose lungs still sank at autopsy.

"I can say there's no evidence," Davis said, referring to the use of the float test as a reliable indication of live birth. "I'm not there as a consultant to say there's not foul play, but as a believer of evidence-based medicine, I'm saying you have to be scientific about this."

Davis was asked to conduct an independent review of the women's cases by Jocelyn Viterna, a sociologist a Harvard University who is working with a feminist group in El Salvador to gain pardons for the 17 women. Davis previously presented evidence in a 2009 case of a woman in Alabama who was on trial for murdering her baby after birth. In this case, the prosecutors threw out evidence by the medical examiner in part because Davis disproved the use of the float test.

Davis hopes the El Salvadoran government will acknowledge modern science and review the cases of these women. Davis said his expertise in forensic medicine gives him the ability to confirm or refute a circumstance related to a crime. This ability can often provide clarity needed to determine if a person is guilty or innocent.

"Part of the idealism that brought me into medicine is to give people a peace of mind," Davis said. "It's a huge gift that a health care professional can give." 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

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