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Putting UK Students in the Fast Lane

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2015)   Our cars have become more than just a mode of transportation; they are a literal vehicle of self expression, with windows and bumpers full of stickers showing one's favorite band, monogram or what team they cheer for on the weekend. But with the University of Kentucky "Go Big Blue!" car tag, you take that Wildcat pride one step further; the car tag not only displays one's love for the University of Kentucky, it also helps support student scholarships at UK.

Nearly 30,000 Kentuckians have the University of Kentucky car tag. Ten ($10) dollars of the initial and renewal registration fee goes toward providing scholarships to students at the university.

"This scholarship means so much to me," Ryan Stephens, a pre-marketing/management freshman from St. Louis, Missouri, and Collegiate Plate Scholarship recipient, said. "From the day I was born, my mom raised me to love Kentucky since she went here. The scholarship helped me fulfill my dream of coming to UK."

Each December, members of the UK community are encouraged to renew their "Go Big Blue!" car tags. If you do not have the UK car tag, it is easy to opt for when you renew your plates at the local county clerk's office.

1.     When your car tags are up for renewal, simply tell your county clerk that you want the UK car tag.

2.     Pay the plate fee and turn in your regular plate to receive your UK car tag.

3.     Put your new UK car tag on your car and drive with pride!

The purchasing of a UK license plate impacts current and future UK students by providing funds to the general scholarship fund. Nearly $300,000 annually is received from the Collegiate License Plate program.

Each year, student recipients, called Collegiate Plate Scholars, are recognized at the UK Alumni Association's scholarship recognition dinner. The Office of Academic Scholarships uses these awards to fulfill a variety of necessities directly connected with the student's needs. The amounts of scholarships offered vary in size and are sometimes used to complete a scholarship package that a student has already received.

"I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to pay for school," Stephens said. "This award is crucial to me so I can stay here."

Any owner of a noncommercial motor vehicle required to be registered for use on Kentucky highways is eligible to purchase the UK license plate.

The initial cost when a new plate is issued is $56 (the standard plate is $21), but the annual renewal cost each December is $31, only $10 more than the standard plate. The decal expires Dec. 31 of each year rather than in the owner's birth month. Plates can also be personalized for an additional charge.

While the cost associated with the car tag is minimal, the impact it is making on the lives of UK students is huge.

"It means the world to me," Stephens said.

The UK "Go Big Blue!" car tag is the most purchased college plate in Kentucky.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, or, 859-257-1909 or 859-323-2395 

University of Victoria Fulbright Scholar Studies Health Systems at UK

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — A recipient of the Fulbright Canada Scholarship will study health systems and services at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health’s Systems for Action (S4A) center throughout the 2015-2016 academic year.

Second-year doctoral student Thi Hong Phuc Dang from the University of Victoria works with Glen Mays, the F. Douglas Scutchfield Endowed Professor in Health Services and Systems Research and director of the S4A program, to conduct research on public health services and systems in both the United States and Canada. Her Fulbright project is titled, “Are We Measuring Up? Exploring Public Health Performance and Health Equity in the United States and Canada.”

Dang obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in applied health sciences from Brock University. She is involved in the Equity Lens in Public Health (ELPH) program at the University of Victoria, which focuses on exploring priorities and strategies of health equity in British Columbia. During her training, she will explore how accountability structures and measures influence the performance of core public health activities and how this performance influences health equity using various measures of population health status. She will analyze data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems Instrument combined with demographic and health status surveillance data.  

S4A at the UK College of Public Health is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that aims to discover and apply new evidence about ways of aligning the delivery and financing systems that support a Culture of Health. This program flows directly from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Action Framework, which focuses on four action areas for achieving improvements in health and well-being for all Americans, including making health a shared value, fostering cross-sector collaboration to improve well-being, creating healthier and more equitable communities, and strengthening the integration of health services and systems.

Fulbright is a world-renowned program of highly competitive, merit-based grants and scholarships for academic exchange. The program has supported some 325,000 students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. The Fulbright Program, which operates in some 155 countries and is one of the world’s most prestigious academic honors, is specifically aimed at promoting mutual understanding and supporting excellence.

Fulbright Canada is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. It is a bi-national, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, governed by an independent board of directors, charged with identifying and supporting the very best and brightest in Canada and the United States.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Coat, Blanket Drive: UK Students Helping Fellow Students

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Getting around on the University of Kentucky campus during the winter months can be a chilly experience, especially without proper cold-weather attire. Students in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment want to make sure their peers are prepared.

In January, students in GEN 302 will travel to Merida, Mexico, to lend their hands to community development efforts focusing on disadvantaged youth and natural resource conservation. This fall, however, the education abroad program requires students to start their development and service efforts in their own community. They decided they could make the greatest impact by organizing a winter coat and blanket drive for fellow students. This is the second year for the project, led by agricultural biotechnology and pre-pharmacy student Will Sharp.

“Last year we had great success putting warm winter coats in the hands of many UK students and families,” said Amanda Saha, CAFE career development & enrichment director. “We were able to help many international graduate students who sometimes come to Lexington ill prepared for the brutal temperatures that winter can bring.”

Students will accept all sizes of winter coats in clean, good condition and new or gently used blankets Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 in 112 Erikson Hall or room N8 of Ag Science Center.

As a convenience to faculty and staff outside of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, drive-through-drop-off of donations will be available Dec. 1-2 in the loop outside the Agricultural Science Center at the corner of Limestone and Cooper Drive. Anyone in the UK family who is in need of a winter coat or blanket can come to the Seay Auditorium Lobby in the Ag Science Center between noon and 7 p.m. Dec. 7-11. For more information, email Saha at

MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707.

UK HDI Staff Recognized by Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — The University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute staff was honored with two of the most distinguished awards given by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) last week in Washington, D.C.

Harold Kleinert, retired HDI executive director and professor emeritus, received the AUCD George Jesien Lifetime Achievement Award. Katie Hastings, HDI research assistant, received the AUCD Anne Rudigier Award for an outstanding student demonstrating a commitment to supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Kleinert was recognized Tuesday, Nov. 17, with the top honor from the AUCD. The award is named for George Jesien who served as the executive director of AUCD for 14 years and led the organization’s growth to a national force in the disability community. Joining Kleinert for the ceremony were his wife and daughter, Jane and Coady, Interim HDI Executive Director Kathy Sheppard-Jones, and a number of HDI staff and students.

Jesien offered a glowing introduction of  Kleinert, describing his infectious laugh and good nature as he has inspired and mentored other professionals during a critical transitional time for people with disabilities in the U.S. During his acceptance speech, Kleinert described the tremendous progress in the disability movement since his early days as a special education educator working in an institution; the tremendous developments through the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and movements toward educational and societal inclusion; and the important role of advocates in ushering in those changes. He also emphasized that more work is yet to be done, particularly in the most vulnerable moments during a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis and at the end of life.

“We can think of no one who better exemplifies the characteristics of a George Jesien recipient than Harold Kleinert," Kathy Sheppard-Jones said. "So many of his colleagues have expressed that he ‘walks the talk.’ His strong spoken and written advocacy has been consistent with his lived advocacy. Harold has inspired, motivated, and empowered HDI staff to make our vision happen as well as colleagues around the state and nation. He does that by focusing on people first, not projects. He sees the strength in all of us and our ability to contribute, connect, and make a difference in a vision much bigger than us. In that way, he has inspired the next generations of leaders who will continue to carry on his work and be the agents of change he knows that they can be.”

Katie Hastings is an HDI Graduate Certificate student and a research assistant for the KY Peer Support/Network Project, where she has contributed tremendous energy and passion toward helping students with intellectual disabilities develop friendships and join their communities. She is a doctoral student in UK's psychology program and she serves on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky and works directly with a young lady with Down syndrome to access supports. Hastings has been proactive in recruiting students to participate in the KY Peer Support/Network Project and developing a student leadership module to train students with disabilities to take on leadership roles at school.

“I have been the research assistant on the KY Peer Support Network Project since January 2014," Hastings said. "My primary role is to support my designated pilot site schools and monitor data collection from each of our schools every month. My favorite part of the job is visiting with my pilot sites; I travel to each of my three schools once a month. I have developed some great relationships with my contacts at the schools and have even gotten to know some of the students! I also love presenting to different groups about the project. I have been involved with presentations to the Kentucky Exceptional Children’s Conference, Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools, and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky. Of all the environments I find myself in as a graduate student, HDI and this project are my favorites!”

UK Study Finds Kentucky Ag Development Investments Good for Farmers

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund investments from 2007 through 2014 have positively and significantly impacted agriculture and agribusiness in Kentucky according to a report released Nov. 20. Researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment estimated $2.03 in farm income was generated for every dollar invested in KADF projects.

In November 2014, the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board commissioned UK to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board’s investments in agriculture, agribusiness, leadership development, county agricultural investment programs and Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation loan programs. Evaluation criteria focused on measuring the performance of projects that reinforce the board’s overall investment philosophy. The philosophy includes priorities for increasing net-farm income, stimulating new markets, affecting tobacco growers and tobacco-impacted communities, adding value to Kentucky agricultural products and exploring new opportunities for Kentucky farms.

“We found convincing evidence that the investments made by the board were successful in diversifying agricultural opportunities for tobacco-dependent farmers and tobacco-impacted communities across Kentucky,” said Alison Davis, director of UK’s Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics. “The success of these investments is vital to many of the local communities where agriculture is an important component of economic activity. It’s important to recognize the rich history of agricultural production in Kentucky, and these investments allow local communities to continue the tradition.”

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board invested $198 million in programs and projects from 2007 through 2014. This resulted in 465 products being created and the creation or expansion of 77 markets. The board invested $42 million in state and county projects, an investment that has resulted in an estimated $86 million in additional farm income. In addition, approximately 708 new jobs were created by the board’s investments.

“The evaluation highlights many successful projects that have directly contributed to the growth in income for farmers as well as exciting new Kentucky-based products and companies that have emerged as a result of KADB investments,” Davis said.

Additional highlights include:

33,958 farmers were estimated to have been affected by KADF projects, of which approximately 17,617 were estimated to be current or former tobacco growers.

For every dollar the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund invested, return on investment was highest for marketing and promotion ($3.07), followed by livestock ($2.81) and horticulture ($1.20).

County Agricultural Investment Programs, designed to increase net-farm income, add value to products and diversify operations, accounted for an investment of more than $100 million with over 61,000 participants.

The Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation’s Beginning Farmer Loan program was found to be highly regarded. It was a critical component to accessing financing for recipients purchasing land to develop, expand or buy into a farm enterprise. The finance corporation completed 198 loans between January 2007 and June 2015.

“Program evaluation is a critical tool in helping the KADB guide the direction of future programming,” said Roger Thomas, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “Knowing what works and learning where there is room for improvement will help drive the evolution of the KADF to meet the future needs of our farmers and the agriculture industry. I am proud of the accomplishments that these investments have made in positively affecting Kentucky’s agricultural and rural economy over the last eight years.”

The study was co-authored by Davis, Rick Maurer, extension professor in the UK Department of Community and Leadership Development; James Mansfield, CEDIK extension associate; Chandler Purdom, graduate research assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics; Karen Fawcett, CEDIK program associate; and James Allen IV, CEDIK research director.

The executive summary of the study is available on the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy’s website, The complete study will be available in mid-December.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Angela Blank, 502-564-4627; Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324.

UK Theatre to Ring in the Holidays With 'New Works Now!'

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 16:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Before the curtain call for every great work of art, be it dance, drama or comedy, there is a young playwright or choreographer waiting for the chance to show off his or her creative talent. Feel the holiday cheer as the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance's brightest and most creative minds stage this season's performances of "New Works Now!," running Dec. 4-6, at Guignol Theatre.

An array of past and present UK theatre and dance students will present their original works as a part of "New Works Now!" With holiday settings from Christmas to New Year's Eve and on to President's Day, the department showcase of plays, poetry, choreography and even a "choreopoem" will offer a glimpse into the future of the stage. This year's production marks the third appearance of "New Works Now!" and remains dedicated to showcasing the remarkable work of students and alumni as emerging playwrights, actors, directors and designers.

"Well, this is not your ordinary 'holiday' program," said Herman Farrell III, associate professor of playwriting at UK. "It certainly has a Santa Clause here and a North Pole there but as the audience will learn, this is a decidedly off-kilter, provocative, thought-provoking and completely entertaining holiday season show made up of seven short plays and dance works by five UK theatre and dance majors and two theatre alums."

A UK faculty jury of five theatre and dance professionals selected the seven works from a pool of 17 submissions for "New Works Now!" Student directors and design teams were assigned for each piece and then open auditions were held to cast each show. Directors and design teams worked closely with faculty mentors in the development, design, rehearsal, tech and production of each new work.

Taking center stage this December are the following productions: 

· "The D/s Auditions" by English and theatre junior Jenny Winstead, of Louisville, Kentucky, directed by theatre junior Maddy Williamson, of Norfolk, Virginia, a 10-minute study of psycho-sexual manipulation and the mundane holiday job search;

· "Paper People" by biology senior Olivia Grothaus, of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, a dance work inspired by a slam poem;

· "President’s Day" by English and theatre senior Abby Schroering of Louisville, directed by theatre senior Katie Noble, of Corbin, Kentucky, two students use a holiday as an entrance point into matters of human dignity and mortality;

· "Bitch Goddess" by UK alumna and noted Kentucky-born, New York City poet and playwright Ellen Hagan, directed by theatre junior Sloan Gilbert, of Lexington, an exploration of womanhood and all the many roles and selves we embody  throughout our lives;

· "In the Midnight Hour" by alumna Madison McGhee, directed by theatre senior Alexis Slocum of Fort Knox, Kentucky, inspired by Samuel Beckett’s "Krapp’s Last Tape," an exploration of how far one can truly run from their demons and the clarity to be found in isolation;

· "Santa Baby" by theatre junior Kenny Hamilton, of Ludlow, Kentucky, directed by theater and secondary social studies education junior Curtis Lipsey, of Louisville, a play about a young Chris, on this first night as Santa Clause, caught delivering presents to a woman, his one night stand the night before; and

· "New World Eve" by theatre senior Rob Miller, of Hilliard, Ohio, directed by theatre senior Peter LaPrade, of Marietta, Georgia, the morning after New Year’s Eve, a young man makes a work of art in reflection of the night he just had.

"New Works Now!" hits the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Guignol Theatre. Tickets for "New Works Now!" are $5 for students with a university ID and $10 for general admission. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visit online at, or visit the ticket office in person.

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

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

Cognitive Therapies Prove Effective for Treating Low Back Pain

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 16:05
This column first appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Nov. 22. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Low back pain affects 67 to 84 percent of people residing in industrialized nations, including the United States, and is responsible for more lost workdays than any other health condition.  

While a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications target the condition, non-medicinal therapies, including cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, are also effective treatments for relieving low back pain. Cognitive therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During treatment, a therapist teaches patients about these relationships and how thought processes can be changed to improve health outcomes.

Many research studies describe the effectiveness of cognitive therapy to improve aspects of health such as pain, anxiety, depression and physical functioning in patients suffering from low back pain. A recent clinical trial found that over the course of a year cognitive therapy administered early to high-risk low back pain patients reduced pain and disability, and increased return-to-work rates.

Despite the known benefits of this therapy, researchers at the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing conducted a study reporting that only 6 percent of low back pain patients in Kentucky and 8 percent of low back pain patients in the United States received cognitive therapy. Accessing cognitive therapy in Kentucky is difficult because there are few therapists available to administer the treatment. Cognitive therapy has been administered to some patients using technology such as a computer.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are currently conducting a study that will examine the effects of a cognitive treatment in patients with low back pain. The study will administer cognitive therapy using mobile health technology, such as FaceTime and iPads. Researchers hope to learn more about the factors that impact the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and the effect of this therapy during specific time periods.

Individuals ages 18 years or older who are being treated for low back pain that was diagnosed by a health care provider and have experienced low back pain for less than three months are invited to participate in this research study. For more information about the study, please contact Elizabeth Salt at (859) 433-5393 or email:

Elizabeth Salt is an associate professor with the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing.

Markey Cancer Foundation Announces New President

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, as new president and chief executive officer. Delzotti will begin his new role in early December.

The UK Markey Cancer Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center serving Kentucky and the surrounding Appalachian area. The Foundation underwent a nationwide search for their new president and chief executive officer this past summer.

Delzotti comes to Markey from the world-renowned and number one-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he served as senior director of philanthropic resources. There his role focused on two successive $1.25 billion campaigns. He also directed a $60 million campaign focused on discovering novel drug therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to Delzotti’s tenure with MD Anderson Cancer Center, he held major leadership positions with Rice University, UCLA and the Special Olympics of Southern California.

“I am honored to have been chosen by the UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board to join them in their effots,” said Delzotti. “This Center has such a distinguished history of providing world-class care for the citizens of Kentucky and producing cutting-edge research for the entire field of cancer care.

“Our number one goal will be to build the relationships necessary to support Dr. (Mark) Evers’s vision of elevating Markey to NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status. This designation is so important because it means additional advanced research and comprehensive care for our patients and their families. The Center and the Foundation have one focus – to care for the patient and cure this disease.”

In his new role with the UK Markey Cancer Foundation, Delzotti will also serve as the Foundation’s chief development officer, focusing on major gift development and corporate and foundation grants, as well as overseeing capital campaign initiatives and all other aspects of the Foundation.

"With government funding for cancer research waning, philanthropy is critical to the continued success of NCI-designated cancer centers," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "I look forward to working with Mike to help support and grow so many of the outstanding clinical and research programs we have here at Markey."

With Kentucky’s status as the nation’s leader for overall cancer incidence and mortality, the UK Markey Cancer Center plays an important role in supporting patients around the Commonwealth. Since achieving NCI-designated status in 2013, the Markey Cancer Center has undertaken several new initiatives in the areas of research, treatment and prevention.

“From the moment the search committee sat down with Mike for the first time, we knew he had so much to offer, said UK Markey Cancer Foundation Board Chair Sally Humphrey. “Mike’s experience at MD Anderson, one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, and his thorough knowledge of healthcare fundraising will allow him to best equip the Foundation to secure financial support for groundbreaking research and ultimately help Dr. Evers and his team to achieve NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.”

Media Contact:  Kristi Lopez,

UK Dining Adjusts Operating Hours During Thanksgiving Break

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015)  Thanksgiving Break is right around the corner. Although many students will be leaving Lexington for the week, some are sticking around campus.

To accommodate students, faculty and staff who will be on campus throughout the break, UK Dining has adjusted hours of operation at all campus dining locations. The image below reflects the adjusted hours.

For more information and to view the altered hours visit

Puppy Power: Law Students De-stress During 'Dog Days of Finals'

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 13:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — With two weeks to go before their final exams, University of Kentucky law students needed to take a break and relieve some stress. It wasn't hard to do with a lobby full of puppies on Monday.

The "Dog Days of Finals" event, hosted by the Christian Legal Society, a UK College of Law student organization, offered law students the chance to play and cuddle with puppies from Kentucky SAVE, an animal rescue organization who brought the playmates to campus.   

"We choose puppies as a means to bring some joy to our classmates because dog is man’s best friend and puppies are so ubiquitously adored," said Joseph Brown, member of the Christian Legal Society. "Kentucky S.A.V.E. is also an organization that promotes adoption of these puppies and many of them actually find permanent homes because of this event."

Brown's friend fell in love with a puppy at the event two years ago and adopted her. He hopes another adoption takes place this year.

Puppies, and pets in general, have been shown to provide sensory stress relief.

"One can discern from the students’ reactions that Puppy Day is a wonderfully therapeutic experience for people under so much stress," Brown said. 

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

Students Enjoy Thanksgiving Traditions

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 12:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) – Multicultural and international students throughout the University of Kentucky community have the opportunity to taste one of America’s most cherished traditions this week: the fellowship, flavors and customs of Thanksgiving, including lighting a holiday tree, watching football on TV and, of course, eating turkey with time-honored side dishes.

Several UK units and student volunteers make an extra effort to give international students special memories of this American holiday since most can’t visit their families for such a brief fall semester break.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, the UK Alumni Association, Student Government Association, International Center and UK Dining will host the 10th Annual Multicultural Student Thanksgiving. All multicultural and international UK students are invited to the free event. Traditional Thanksgiving foods, including vegetarian options, will be on the menu at The 90, the new UK dining facility at the intersection of Woodland and Hilltop avenues.

UK staff members of Smith Hall have plans for a Thanksgiving Day dinner for international and multicultural students at 5 p.m. Thursday. Members of the UK Student Affairs Office of Residence Life will serve traditional American Thanksgiving fare, but they are also including other November traditions. Earlier that morning, the international students will decorate the residence hall’s holiday tree. After dinner, students will ceremoniously light their tree, as many others will be switched on coast to coast.  Other students will make sure televisions in the residence halls’ lounges are set to capture all the parades and football games.

Residence Life staff and student volunteers will provide meals on Wednesday and Friday as well, so the students who can’t go home can rest comfortably. Students have been pivotal in the planning and execution of the entire week of activities, like the group of Brazilian students preparing stroganoff for Friday’s dinner. 

For more about the American Thanksgiving Tradition, visit:

The History Channel’s “History of Thanksgiving” at and

the NFL’s celebration of the nation’s obsession with a holiday football game at and

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

Women’s Basketball Game to Impact Campus Wednesday

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the UK women’s basketball team will host Eastern Michigan at noon in Memorial Coliseum. As a result, North Campus will have an influx of visitors parking on campus. However, since classes will not be in session that day, the impact will be lesser than on a traditional workday due to lower demand for spaces.

To accommodate game day operations, 24 spaces will be reserved in the Coliseum Lot. This includes 12 metered spaces, 10 E spaces and two disabled accessible spaces.

UK women’s basketball fans may choose to pay to park in the South Limestone Garage (PS #5), located on South Limestone next to Kennedy’s Wildcat Den. As a result, employees who normally park in this area of campus should be aware of this potential impact, and allow plenty of time to arrive on campus. If the garage is full, employees with valid E permits may park in another E lot.

Go to to view a campus parking map.

UK's Michael Tick Named to International Arts Education Board

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:17
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Michael Tick, dean of the University of Kentucky's College of Fine Arts, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD)

ICFAD is a vehicle through which members share information and ideas that enhance the leadership of deans and associate deans, provosts and associate provosts, university presidents and other arts executives in higher education.

Founded in 1964, ICFAD's membership comprises deans and arts executives in higher education throughout North America and around the world. ICFAD is the only organization focusing exclusively on issues that impact deans and associate deans of all creative areas in higher education including fine and performing arts, arts education, art history, architecture and communication. Tick was elected to ICFAD's board at an annual conference held in October in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to joining UK's College of Fine Arts in 2010, Tick was the chair of the Department of Theatre at Louisiana State University (LSU) and producing artistic director of Swine Palace, the department’s professional theatre company. Before joining LSU in 1999, he served on the planning committee that established in 1985 the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA). As founding chair of the GSA Department of Theatre, Tick served on the faculty of Old Dominion University.

The UK College of Fine Arts is the vibrant arts hub of UK. It's an incubator for creativity and discovery, offering quality educational opportunities for students and engaging arts experiences for the community. The college is comprised of the School of Music, the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Theatre, the Arts Administration Program, the Singletary Center for the Arts and the UK Art Museum.

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

UK Critical Care Survivors Clinic Benefits Patients While Reducing Readmissions

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 10:14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Darrell Raikes waved sleepily to his wife as they wheeled him down to the operating room for a routine knee replacement last May.

He woke up in the Critical Care Unit four weeks later.

Darrel had an adverse reaction to his anesthesia and began bleeding into his lungs post-operatively. Dr. Ashley Montgomery, Darrell's critical care physician, had to navigate tricky territory:  the drugs that are standard care to prevent blood clots post-knee replacement would also contribute to Darrell's bleeding.

"We like to think that medicine is an exact science, but there often isn't a 'yes or no' answer to a patient's medical problems, particularly in an ICU situation where multiple organ systems are involved and the treatment for one problem is contraindicated for the patient's other problems," Montgomery said. "We talk to the patient, use the best data available and make an informed decision about how to best care for them."

Montgomery and her team in the UK HealthCare Intensive Care Unit were able to stabilize Darrell without compromising his knee replacement by inserting an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter). This umbrella-like device catches circulating clots and prevents them from travelling to the lung. Darrell was discharged from the ICU on June 29 and felt well enough to run (although Darrell admits it was more of a walk) his first 5K in his hometown of Lebanon, Kentucky, this past September.

Darrell's journey — or "scenic tour," as he says jokingly — didn't end with his hospital discharge.  Darrell now attends Dr. Montgomery's Critical Care Survivors Clinic (CCSC) at UK. One of only a handful in the country, the CCSC's purpose is to help patients navigate the complicated and often confusing decision matrix that follows a high-maintenance hospital stay.

Solving one problem often uncovers a new problem, and critical care is no exception. As advances in medicine have reduced mortality rates, critically ill patients fortunate enough to recover and be discharged are suffering cognitive impairment, depression, and/or ongoing physical disabilities, Montgomery said.  These conditions, particularly when in concert with complex post-discharge care, often lead to hospital readmission. Patients with comorbidities — or more than one chronic or complex condition — and those from rural areas are even more vulnerable when their hometown primary care specialist is overwhelmed by their patient's challenging care requirements.

"Most doctors are trained to handle one organ system at a time, whereas in ICU we handle multiple organ systems simultaneously which complicates things even further," said Montgomery. "Their post-discharge care can be so complicated and disjointed that these patients often end up back in the hospital."

This, in turn, runs afoul of one of the major tenets of the Affordable Care Act, where hospitals are penalized for patient readmissions within a certain timeframe.

The first CCSC was established in Indiana in 2011 with the goal to improve long-term outcomes, decrease hospital readmission rates and improve quality of life for critical care survivors. Montgomery, who was then in her fellowship here at UK, immediately recognized the value of a similar program in Lexington. 

"The population we serve is strongly rural and has a high rate of comorbidities," Montgomery said. "These people struggle to balance their follow-up care, because they typically have a lot of it to keep track of and a long way to travel to get it."

Furthermore, Montgomery explains, rural physicians and other providers who care for these patients back home often are uncomfortable making decisions on how to move forward with aftercare. In addition to seeing the patients face to face, Montgomery frequently also talks with a patient's community providers, advising them and facilitating services that keep the patient as close to home as possible. 

"It doesn't hurt that the CCSC is a fiscally sound proposition, but in the end for me it's about providing quality of life for these people," Montgomery said.

Originally, the clinic met once a month but is now several times a week. Montgomery typically sees patients for one to six months post-discharge, but some are followed longer term if necessary.

Being able to see these patients in a non-crisis situation often provides opportunity to ask important quality of life questions.

"Remember," Montgomery says, "that these people were recently very sick, and for many of them chronic illness is a fact of life.  To be able to sit down with them when they aren't in a hospital bed opens up all sorts of opportunities to ask important quality of life questions, which then inform our care plan."

Examples include life goals such as "do you want to be able to drive again or work again" as well as "end-of-life goals and how can we make you comfortable?"

While a career path is rarely a straight line, Montgomery's earlier training clearly influences her work today. Before medical school, she had her own business coordinating services for families with autistic children. "It's perhaps overly simplistic, and really obvious, but I learned then that if you support people, they do better," said Montgomery.

It's especially true in health care, she continues.  Even with a medical degree, Montgomery felt lost as she helped a family member navigate her care when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Darrell Raikes has been back to the CCSC twice so that Montgomery could chat with him face to face about his progress with physical therapy and assess whether the time was right to remove the IVC filter.  At his second follow-up there was a snafu with his CAT scan scheduling and Dr. Montgomery's staff helped resolve the issue. 

Eventually, Darrell will be discharged from the CCSC, but he and his wife Sarah will still keep Dr. Montgomery and her staff in their hearts.

"We come to Lexington often and every time we come we visit the ICU and Dr. Montgomery," said Darrell.  "What these people did — not just the big things, but all the little things that kept our spirits up during a horrible time — is a blessing to us, and we will be telling them 'thank you' forever."

Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,

Kentucky Wins Big Blue Crush for Sixth Straight Year

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 08:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) — Kentucky fans crushed the Tennessee Vols 2,604 to 1,988 in the 28th annual Big Blue Crush which ended Friday (Nov. 20) evening, but the real winners are Kentucky patients who depend on blood transfusions.

“Thanks to everyone who took the time to bleed blue last week,” said Martha Osborne, executive director of marketing and recruitment for Kentucky Blood Center (KBC). “We do this competition every year to assure we have enough blood for the holidays, but, of course, it’s always fun to win. And the need for blood is ongoing, so we encourage those who weren’t able to give last week to roll up their sleeves soon.”

This yearly competition between Kentucky Blood Center and Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville pits fans of the Cats and the Tennessee Volunteers to see who can donate the most blood the week before Thanksgiving. Kentucky now leads the competition 15 to 12 with one tie and has won the competition six years in a row.

MEDIA CONTACT: Denise Fields, 859-519-3721; 859-333-2022.

Memorial Hall Mural: a Chance to Heal Wounds, Gain Broader Perspective

Sun, 11/22/2015 - 23:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) – Following is a blog from University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto:

The mural in the atrium of Memorial Hall at the University of Kentucky is an artistic presentation of contrasts and contradictions. A product of the 1930s perspective of the artist and her times, we are left today with the task of confronting the unsettling questions it raises for our sense of community. And it is a point of deeply held concern for the two dozen Black and African American students who talked with me and other members of the University administration two weeks ago.

The frustrations they raised have been voiced by so many other members of our community and beyond it: that their University — our University — is willing to sustain a work of art that they find to be a painful and degrading personification of a false, romanticized rendering of our shared history.

Some of you may have seen a story in the winter edition of Kentucky Alumni about University of Kentucky alum, Ann Rice O'Hanlon. An accomplished artist, she tirelessly researched the history of our Commonwealth and spent eight months painting the fresco. A Depression-era funded Public Works of Art Project, the fresco painting is plastered to a wall and is considered by some to be one of the most important artworks of its kind in the Commonwealth, according to the article. It attempts to depict the evolution of our state from frontier settlement to an era of "notable medical, educational and scientific developments …" 

But remember this: the mural was created at a time and in a place when there were no African American students or faculty. The educational benefit of diversity was not recognized as a value. Fortunately, our community is very different now — compellingly diverse and more complete.

One African American student recently told me that each time he walks into class at Memorial Hall he looks at the black men and women toiling in tobacco fields and receives the terrible reminder that his ancestors were enslaved, subjugated by his fellow humans. Worse still, the mural provides a sanitized image of that history. The irony is that artistic talent actually  painted over the stark reality of unimaginable brutality, pain, and suffering.

Each time our student passes the images on his way to class or a movie or a speaker, this student — one of us — must confront humiliating images that bear witness to how we still fall short of being citizens together in what Dr. King called the "beloved community." And countless other current students, faculty, staff, prospective students and their families, and other visitors to our campus, endure the same pain when they walk into one of our University's signature and busiest venues. Moreover, this is often the first exposure people have to our campus, our culture, and our values.

This cannot continue. In spite of the artist's admirable, finely honed skill that gave life to the mural, we cannot allow it to stand alone, unanswered by and unaccountable to the evolutionary trajectory of our human understanding and our human spirit.

The time is long past for us to confront this reality. During the three-hour conversation at Maxwell Place, I pledged to the students, who thoughtfully and poignantly discussed the painting, that I would seriously consider their concerns. To that end, I am committed to finding a way to respond to the pain that it causes and bring sober reality to its romanticized depiction of our history. 

I have already begun discussions with facilities administrators and respected campus leaders in the arts and history. A long-term answer will take some time. But we will reach a resolution that, I trust, is respectful of every perspective.

In the interim, we will shroud the painting from view and provide an on-site  explanation for why we have taken this action. Ironically, a wall designed to welcome and educate is for so many the embodiment of a social and cultural wound that remains to this day. The first step must be to alleviate the pain by bandaging the wound. Then, we turn our attention to healing. As in all things we do, we will use this situation as a learning opportunity that promotes openness, compassion, and an appreciation of our diverse past and present.

This is but one step in a series we must take as a campus community to be the kind of welcoming and inclusive place we want to be for everyone who calls this University home. I hope that for us, this prominent artwork — what it depicts and how we address the questions it raises for so many in our community today — can help us take another step forward in our journey together toward reconciliation.

As O'Hanlon's nephew, UK alum and noted writer Wendell Berry, reminds us, "the grace that is the health of creatures can only be held in common. In healing, the scattered members come together. In health, the flesh is graced, the holy enters the world."

We are in this world together, often torn apart by differences in race and perspective, identity and background; but held together, ultimately, by our common humanity and a commitment to doing what is just, what is right.

Nutritional Scientist Explains Cancer-Fight Potential of Flavonoids in New Book

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 17:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) — Plants put up a natural defense system against bacteria and disease through bioactive chemical constituents called flavonoids.

While humans have turned to plants and herbs for medicinal purposes throughout history, researchers are now learning how to harness the chemopreventive properties of flavonoids to prevent human disease. Medical research suggests flavonoids can prevent the development of steroid-responsive cancers, but not all flavonoids serve the same beneficial function.

In her new book, “Flavonoids, Inflammation and Cancer,” Hollie Swanson, a University of Kentucky researcher in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, describes how flavonoids serve a function of preventing or reducing inflammation associated with gastrointestinal and steroid-responsive cancers, including breast, bowel, colon and prostate cancers. Swanson provides a comprehensive discussion of the power of flavonoids, providing a scientific analysis of the functions of various flavonoids at the molecular level and progressing to a discussion of epidemiological studies demonstrating the cancer-fighting potential of flavonoids in human populations.

The role of flavonoids in blocking cancer-causing agents was central to Swanson’s early research as a graduate student. Today, Swanson’s primary research areas are environmental toxicology, drug metabolism and nuclear receptors, but she has returned to studying flavonoids throughout her academic career. She said an interest in researching the chemopreventive properties of flavonoids has increased in recent years. Studies show a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables with high concentrations of flavonoids is associated with decreased cancer mortality rates.

“Our diets are very complex and so are our chronic disease states, including cancer,” Swanson said. “We must continue to tease out this relationship through research."

Swanson reiterates that not all flavonoids are equally effective in preventing cancer. She recommends consuming a diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are natural sources of flavonoids that cannot be replicated through supplements.

For more information about “Flavonoids, Inflammation and Cancer,” click here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Security Matters: Make it a Happy Holiday With Tips from UK's CISO

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 14:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) — Many identity and cyber thieves really do think that the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year; however, if you would rather thwart their attempts to swindle and defraud you and try to enjoy the festivities yourself, there are a few steps you can take, according to University of Kentucky Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Michael Carr.

Below are Carr's tips for steering clear of identity and cyber thieves:

Too good to be true.  Online scammers will often build complete copies of well-known websites and then lure you to them with attractive prices. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, steer clear of prices from private sellers that are way too low or tied to hard-luck stories that try to justify why the person must sell quickly. These are common ploys to get payment in advance and you’ll likely not get the merchandise you bought.

Use credit, not debit.  If debit card information is stolen and then used to access your bank account, whatever money gets taken may be gone for good. With credit cards, you can dispute charges and get bogus purchases reversed. 

Text me. Many financial institutions can text you if your credit card is used or if the card is used for purchases over a set amount. The next best thing to not having your credit card stolen is learning about it as soon as possible if it happens. Contact your bank for more details.

Review things daily. You probably check in with Twitter, Instagram, Vine or Snapchat daily. Do the same with your bank accounts; login and review them daily. If you see even a $1 transaction that is not familiar, call the bank.

Monitor bank, credit card and loan statements. If you typically receive your credit card statement via email or the Postal Service and it doesn’t come on time, it’s not likely that your bank has given you the month off. It’s more likely that someone has hijacked your account. Contact your bank ASAP.

Safeguard important numbers, passwords and PIN’s.  Never carry them in your wallet or leave them lying around your home or work area where someone can easily see them and write them down. If you must keep a list of important account numbers, file them in a secure, private place that is not easily accessed.

For any questions about privacy and computer security, contact Carr at

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

Several UK Entities to Benefit from GoodGiving Guide Challenge

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 11:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) — The GoodGiving Guide Challenge, a charitable campaign that was started five years ago jointly by Smiley Pete Publishing and the Blue Grass Community Foundation, will again raise money for four University of Kentucky programs. The campaign, which began Nov.13 and goes until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Dec.31, hopes to raise $2 million for 115 participating nonprofits in Central and Eastern Kentucky. Last year, the campaign raised $1.77 million for 155 charities.

Founded on the ideas of informing the community of the work local nonprofit organizations do, the fundraising program's goal is "to partner with the individuals, businesses, and nonprofits to grow charitable giving that makes our community a better place to live, learn, work and play," said Lisa Adkins, CEO and president of Blue Grass Community Foundation.

Participating in its fifth year of the fundraising program is the UK Art Museum. Part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the museum strives to promote understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for the people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving, and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. The museum, which is located in the Singletary Center for the Arts, at the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue, is home to a collection of more than 4,800 objects, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculptures. The UK Art Museum presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from their permanent collection.

Shoulder to Shoulder Global is an organization in need of charitable funds with university ties. The group resides within the UK International Center with the purpose of improving the health and well-being of impoverished and underserved communities globally. The initial focus of the program is in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, where they have a year-round health clinic. Shoulder to Shoulder Global works with the community to improve education, public health, access to safe water, and to improve economic opportunities. Donations they receive help to provide health and education for communities in need, while also allowing an unparalleled learning opportunity for UK students.

Another UK student group that is participating in the drive is the College Mentors for Kids - UK Chapter. The organization's purpose is to help children discover personal interests, skills, and potential careers by focusing on three main areas of development: higher education and career, culture and diversity, and community service. The college students who help mentor these children are powerful role models who teach kids the value of education and inspire them to work harder and reach higher. This year the UK chapter is working with 120 second, third and fourth grade students at Breckinridge and Harrison elementary schools spending up to 40 hours with them participating in on-campus activities.

Another UK student group that is participating in the drive is the College Mentors for Kids - UK Chapter. The organization's purpose is to help children discover personal interests, skills, and potential careers by focusing on three main areas of development: higher education and career, culture and diversity, and community service. The college students who help mentor these children are powerful role models who teach kids the value of education and inspire them to work harder and reach higher. This year the UK chapter is working with 120 second, third and fourth grade students at Breckinridge and Harrison elementary schools spending up to 40 hours with them participating in on-campus activities.

Returning to the drive for the second year is the Child Development Center of the Bluegrass (CDCB), located at UK. The center's goal is to help children reach their full potential by providing therapy services, preschool and childcare programs that serve children with and without special needs in an integrated setting. The center is located at 290 Alumni Drive.

The GoodGiving Guide Challenge will take donations through Dec. 31. For additional information and a list of all the participating organization, visit

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

UK Faculty Selected as SEC Faculty Travel Program Participants

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 11:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2015) — Seven faculty members from the University of Kentucky have been selected to participate in the 2015-16 SEC Faculty Travel Program. The program, in its fourth year, provides support for faculty to collaborate with colleagues at other SEC member institutions. 

UK faculty participants include:

·         Brad Berron, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, will travel to the University of Florida;

·         Bradley Kerns, assistant professor in the School of Music, will travel to the University of Tennesee;

·         Cynthia Lawrence, professor and William T. Bryan Endowed Chair of Voice in the School of Music, will travel to Louisiana State University;

·         Ana S. Q. Liberato, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Sociology, will travel to Louisiana State University;

·         Jenny Minier, professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Economics, will travel to Louisiana State University;  

·         Robin Vanderpool, associate professor Department of Health Behavior and deputy director of the Rural Cancer Prevention Center, will travel to the University of South Carolina; and

·         Irina Voro, professor in the School of Music, will travel to the University of Arkansas.

Through the program, the SEC provides financial assistance for its faculty members to travel to other SEC universities to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, conduct research and deliver lectures or performances. 

Program participants from each SEC university will travel throughout the academic year. Participants from other universities will also visit UK:

·         Brandon Barton, Mississippi State University, biology;

·         Alice Dade, University of Missouri, music;

·         Heather Brandt, University of South Carolina, health;

·         Luke Harlow, University of Tennessee, history; and

·         Ling Zhao, University of Tennessee, nutrition.

The SEC Faculty Travel Program is part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. SECU works to support and promote the academic endeavors of the students and faculty at the conference’s member institutions.

More than 110 faculty members from all 14 Southeastern Conference universities will take part in the program. Click here for a full list of participants.

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


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