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UK Undergraduates to Present Research at 2015 Showcase

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 18:15

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing. Video footage courtesy of UK REVEAL Research Media. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — Tomorrow, research projects exploring topics from molecular biology to hip hop music lyrics will be on display for the campus community and public at the ninth annual Showcase for Undergraduate Scholars.

"There really is something for everyone there," said Loretta Stafford, an integrated strategic communication (ISC) sophomore who will be presenting a poster. "I think a lot of people view research as just a resume builder, but it's so much more than that. What you're doing matters — you're coming up with answers to problems. It's just amazing that all of these young people, some of them even still in high school, are accomplishing so much and will go on to get their work published."

The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research and the Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) will host the Showcase from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, in the Student Center Grand Ballroom.  Opening remarks will be made by Sarah Whelan, president of SPUR; Diane Snow, director of the UK Office of Undergraduate Research; Lisa Cassis, UK vice president for research; and Tim Tracy, UK provost. Former undergraduate researcher Leslie Mann Lynch, a 2010 UK graduate and Singletary, Goldwater and Gates Cambridge Scholar, will deliver a keynote address.

After the keynote, the Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards will be presented followed by a performance by the UK Theatre department's dance minor program. A reception will follow the opening ceremony as the research presentations commence.

Video by REVEAL Research Media

Approximately 200 undergraduate students will present projects, including 190 poster presentations, eight oral presentations and two table displays. Ten high school students from Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sayre and Lexington Catholic High Schools will also present. Each participant has submitted an abstract of his or her work, and a bound abstract book of all who participate has been published and will be available at the Showcase. 

"There seems to be no limit to the amazing research endeavors our students undertake" said Snow. "I'm so impressed with the depth, breadth and innovation of the research projects and the diligence and creativity of our students. With the lineup of UK administrators in research, our former student and researcher Lesley Mann-Lynch giving the keynote presentation, and the astoundingly creative dance routine from Liza Bustle and troupe, no one will be disappointed with this year's Showcase!"

Each year, the Showcase brings together undergraduates from all disciplines, their faculty mentors, and members of the community to learn about the various types of research being done by undergraduate students at UK. This occasion provides these students the opportunity to demonstrate and discuss their specific projects and the professional advancements the projects helped achieve. It not only provides a great learning experience for the participants, but for the attendees as well, who gain more knowledge about the world around them, as well as the depth of undergraduate involvement in research at UK. 

Many students, like Cassidy Teager, a sophomore studying human health sciences and nutrition, also attended the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) earlier this month at the University of Eastern Washington.

"NCUR was absolutely amazing," said Teager. "I didn't really know what to expect because it was my first conference and the first time presenting my research at all. So I was a little anxious, but I met a lot of amazing people — people from around the country doing really cool stuff at their respective universities. Presenting at these research conferences really gives that experience for what we may be facing in the future. You're going to have to do this at some point so it gives us that early on experience, and it's been really amazing for me to practice that."

Teager is now excited to show people at UK what she has been working on in the lab with Travis Thomas, assistant professor in the UK College of Health Sciences, and to see her fellow students' projects.

"I'm just really interested to see what other students around the university are doing and what research is going on," she said. "You never really know until someone presents what's been happening and what they've been working on."

The Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars is open to the public. Students, faculty and staff are highly encouraged to attend.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;

Art in Unlikely Places: Student Entrepreneurs Impacting Community through the Arts

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 17:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts is paving a new frontier by offering an experience to college kids that brings new meaning to the hands-on learning environment. 

In the spring of 2014, the Arts Administration Program at UK launched a new course and initiative called Art in Unlikely Places. The goal of Art in Unlikely Places is driven by a belief that creativity is the seed of hope. The initiative connects inspiring artists to those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts. The students' vision is that this organization will deliver the work of inspiring artists to the ailing, the impoverished, and the distraught, sharing beauty with those whose life-circumstances might otherwise prevent them from discovering the hope that is found in the artistic moment. 

Art in Unlikely Places, in its second year, is a registered student organization at UK. The organization elects officers within the class based on a typical nonprofit organizational structure. From the beginning of the semester the students are challenged to develop an idea into a fully realized initiative that fulfills the mission of the organization.

Students participating in Art in Unlikely Places this semester have developed a new idea to impact the Lexington community through the power of the arts. "A Beautiful Life: Through the Eyes of a Child" introduces children in need to the arts by providing them an opportunity to express themselves in creative ways. They have partnered this year with Greenhouse 17, a refuge for children who have been witness to domestic violence, and The Kidz Club, where children with medical needs are provided special attention with academic and social interaction.

Art in Unlikely Places held workshops with 30 children for the organizations, prompting participants to create artworks that expressed their inner feelings, hopes and dreams. All were asked to draw what made life beautiful to them. Music therapists from Evolve joined the partnership with the students during the workshops where children participated in songs and games.

Lending his talents to "A Beautiful Life” is renowned artist, UK Professor Arturo Alonzo Sandoval. Sandoval, with the assistance of photographer Scott Walz, will incorporate images of the artworks the children created into four quilts and a digital collage. Two of the art quilts will be donated to the partner organizations and the remaining two have been sold to benefit the program. The original artworks by the kids at Greenhouse 17 and The Kidz Club along with the story of the Art in Unlikely Places students will be reproduced into a book.

For $30, arts patrons can purchase the book and receive an invitation to the Art in Unlikely Places finale. All Art in Unlikely places supporters will be invited to the unveiling celebration of the final artworks May 7, at the Lexington Art League. Light refreshments will be served accompanied by a musical guest appearance from the popular UK a cappella group, the acoUstiKats.

Proceeds from the event will allow Art in Unlikely Places to continue to send art workshops back to Greenhouse 17 and The Kidz Club. Funds will also insure that Art in Unlikely Places will continue to thrive and benefit the future students of the program.

Students have collaborated with local organizations and businesses like the UK College of Fine Arts, WRFL, Red Mango, T.G.I. Fridays and Bourbon and Toulouse to help them achieve their fundraising and marketing goals for the semester.

The class collectively feels that this style of instruction has been one of the most real and beneficial programs to their educational experience. The students of Art in Unlikely Places are led by Mark Rabideau, adjunct assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Arts Administration Program.

Rabideau is a strong believer in the real life experiences this course structure offers. “I am willing to watch my students fail, but I am not prepared to watch them do something ordinary. I believe this class and these students are extraordinary,” Rabideau said.

For further information on this student project, visit Art in Unlikely Places at their GoFundMe website: You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at:;; and

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

Deadline Extended to Submit Artwork for Employee Exhibit

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 16:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — The UK Arts in HealthCare Program will accept original pieces of artwork created by UK employees for consideration in one of two employee exhibits until May 6.

During its third annual call for employee artwork, the UK Arts in HealthCare program will select employee submissions for inclusion in two exhibits titled "The Healing Presence of Art." Submissions should represent themes of healing and restoration and impart an understanding of how art enhances the health care environment. Pieces will be selected by an independent and external juror and exhibited in one of two employee galleries located in Pavilion H and the UK Good Samaritan Hospital.

Employees can submit up to three two-dimensional pieces of artwork in any medium. Pieces should be no larger than 20 by 30 inches and ready for framing upon submission. Selected pieces will become part of the UK Arts in HealthCare program's permanent collection and displayed at various locations throughout the medical campus with recognition of the artist.

The call is open to UK employees and their immediate family members. The deadline to submit artwork is May 6.

To access an application form, click here. For more information, contact Kelsey Lownds at

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Equine Farm and Facilities Expo is June 2

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 16:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 29, 2015) — University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host its annual Equine Farm and Facilities Expo from 3:30 to 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 2, at McPeek Racing’s Magdalena Farm in Lexington.

Horse owners and farm managers will have the opportunity to walk through a vendor trade show and see a range of equipment and supplies for horse farms of all sizes. UK specialists will provide hands-on instruction about practical aspects of management for equine operations. There will also be farm tours.

“The expo provides horse owners the chance to attend an informative event on the grounds of a working horse farm. We appreciate Kenny McPeek for hosting this event and for opening the farm’s gates to the public,” said Ray Smith, professor and forage extension specialist for the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Nick Carter, Fayette County agriculture and natural resources extension agent, said the expo is a unique opportunity for horse owners to learn about a wide range of topics, from pasture weed management to footing for exercise areas.

“There are not many other venues around that allow horse owners this kind of opportunity,” he said.

UK experts will lead demonstrations on subjects including footing, pasture weed management and landscape decisions on horse farms. In addition, McPeek will share with attendees what he looks for in a yearling. There will also be a number of informational booths staffed by UK specialists.

McPeek Racing specializes in selection, management and training of Thoroughbred racehorses. McPeek serves on the board of UK Ag Equine Programs and has been training racehorses since 1985. The farm is located at 2651 Russell Cave Road in Lexington.

Admission to the expo is free, and a meal will be provided. Reservations are appreciated. Contact the Fayette County Extension office at 859-257-5582 to reserve a spot. For more information about this and other UK Ag Equine Programs events, visit or email

MEDIA CONTACT: Holly Wiemers, 859-257-2226

Ag Student Helps Homeless With Haircuts, Apparel

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:52

LEXINGTON, KY (April 28, 2015) — Brandon Merriweather has a heart for helping others who are less fortunate. That’s why he reached out to the homeless with a clothing drive and the opportunity to get a fresh haircut and style this past weekend, at the New Life Day Center in Lexington.

“What inspired me was my passion for community development and also my passion for changing the lives of someone else,” said Merriweather, a University of Kentucky senior from Chicago. “I have always had a passion for doing haircuts, just by me working at a barbershop since I was 11 years old. I just wanted to use my God-given skills and bring it to the community and change some lives.”

Merriweather is a student in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s   Community and Leadership Development program. He will graduate this spring and plans to attend barber school in Chicago. He hopes to open his own barbershop and expand his business one day to include several barbershops. He got the clothing drive started by putting out flyers and collection boxes in several of the college’s buildings on campus.

Merriweather said similar programs in other cities have helped the homeless be more accepted in society and encouraged them to seek jobs.

“The new clothing and new haircut may help them get a job interview,” Merriweather said.

He credits his family for showing him how to give back and have a kind heart. He said the student organization Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), in which he is involved, has done a lot of work in the community and has inspired him.

“We can, and need to make sure that our community improves the lives of all of its residents, including those less fortunate,” Merriweather said.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Jeff Franklin, 859-257-9088.

Evers Elected Treasurer for the American Surgical Association

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) -- Dr. Mark Evers, director of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Surgery, has been elected treasurer for the American Surgical Association. Evers will serve as treasurer through 2020.

The American Surgical Association is the nation's oldest and most prestigious surgical organization. They strive to benefit the patient and the profession of surgery by advocating and promoting excellence, innovation and integrity. Its members include the nation's most prominent surgeons from the country's leading academic medical institutions, many surgery department chairs, and leading surgeons from around the world.

Evers is an internationally recognized clinician-scientist, surgeon, educator and administrator. As a surgeon, his primary interests are in GI, endocrine and soft tissue/skin cancers, and he continues to maintain an active clinical practice.

His laboratory research, which has been continuously funded for more than 20 years from the National Institutes of Health, is predominantly focused on signaling mechanisms for proliferation of colorectal cancers and in hormonal control of cancer growth.

Under his leadership, the UK Markey Cancer Center became the only Kentucky medical center to receive National Cancer Institute designation and only the 68th NCI-designated cancer center in country.

Evers currently sits on the Council of the Southern Surgical Association, having also served as secretary and president of the organization. He has held leadership positions in various national societies including the Society for Surgical Oncology, American College of Surgeons, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Society of University Surgeons. 

Gatton Students Earn $10,000 Prize at Idea State U

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — Students from the University of Kentucky’s MBA program placed third in the business plan competition at Idea State U in Lexington this past weekend.

The “Red Natural” team of four MBA students — Joanna Foresman, Andrew Wachs, Jeremy Madigan, and Qianwen Zhao — won $10,000 at the annual contest matching teams of young entrepreneurs from universities across the state. Idea State U is sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The UK foursome developed a business plan for a natural source of red food dye based on research by Seth DeBolt in UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

The "Red Natural" team has been invited to compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition on May 8-9 at the University of Texas in Austin. This premier worldwide competition is often referred to as the 'Super Bowl' of investment competitions.

The Gatton College of Business and Economics provides academic and experiential learning opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students interested in entrepreneurship. 

The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, also are part of the Gatton College, provide outstanding support for these students.   

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200/; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750/ 

UK Forensics Team Finishes Season at NFA Nationals

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 14:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 29, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Forensics Team took part in their last tournament of the 2014-2015 season, the National Forensic Association national tournament held at Ohio University. Nearly 70 programs from every corner of the country gathered in Athens for the prestigious tournament. 

Five competitors from UK took part in the event. While no students advanced to elimination rounds, the team had its strongest performance to date. The performance of these speeches allowed UK to place 15th in the President’s Division II of individual event sweepstakes. Teams are placed in different divisions based on the number of speeches entered in the competition, with President’s Division II being the middle sweepstakes category.

“We’ve had a great season,” said director of forensics Timothy Bill. “The experiences the team has had over the past year will help continue our growth into the future.”

Some notable statistics from the 2014-2015 season include:

Number of miles traveled: 3,527

Number of nights in a hotel: 18

Number of individual awards: 143

Number of team awards: 10

Number of national qualifications: 20

Over the summer, the returning members of the team will begin preparing for the next season of competition. The team will hold tryouts for potential new team members in August. Anyone interested in joining the team should contact director of forensics, Timothy Bill at UK Forensics is a student organization within the College of Communication and Information and competes in 12 different public speaking events and three forms of debate.

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

Markey's Bradley Receives Komen Grant to Develop Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help Videos

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 14:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) - The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center's Jin Shin Jyutsu Integrative Medicine program recently received a grant of more than $10,500 from the Lexington affiliate of Susan G. Komen to produce 10 Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help videos for patients and families.

Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) is an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy. JSJ uses light touch on 52 points on the body in sequences known as “flows” with the purpose of promoting relaxation and healing of the body and mind. JSJ has been offered at the Markey Cancer Center since 2009. Jennifer Bradley, who heads the program, and her staff provide up to five free JSJ sessions for patients.

Jennifer also teaches patients, caregivers and staff how to utilize this light touch therapy on their own bodies for self-care in a form called Self-Help. Self-Help training is offered to all patients receiving sessions. Self-Help classes at Markey, the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge and the Lexington YMCA LiveStrong program are ongoing for patients, caregivers and staff.

The JSJ Self-Help videos will teach simplified versions of the techniques Bradley uses in her sessions for viewers to use at home.

“The majority of the videos will address specific needs of cancer patients, but many of the techniques shown will be useful to caregivers as well,” said Bradley.

The videos will be posted on the UK HealthCare YouTube channel along with videos Bradley has previously produced. As part of the grant, Bradley will also be subtitling new and existing videos in Spanish.

“As part of UK HeathCare and the University of Kentucky, Markey Cancer Center is a resource for all Kentuckians,"  said Bradley. "These self-help videos make Jin Shin Jyutsu available to all of the Commonwealth, whether one is a patient at Markey, one of our Affiliate hospitals or being served elsewhere."

At Markey, Bradley and her staff use JSJ to assist patients with the physical and emotional effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. In 2012, Bradley presented a pilot study that showed that patients experienced significant improvement in the areas of pain, stress and nausea starting with their first session. To learn more about Jin Shin Jyutsu and the Markey program, view the informational video.

"These videos are a rich resource for patients, caregivers and all of us and can be accessed and shared from every corner of the state," said Bradley. "I’m grateful that Lexington’s Susan G Komen affiliate has made this possible."

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

Session to Give Grads Upper Hand on Impressing New Employers

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 11:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — Just in time for graduation, the University of Kentucky James W. Stuckert Career Center aims to give soon-to-be graduates the knowledge to succeed in their chosen workplace. 

"Career success isn’t about out-witting or just surviving the job market, but about thriving within it," said Reba Carroll, senior assistant director at the UK Stuckert Career Center.

The Stuckert Center will host an event titled “How to impress your boss in the first 90 days” beginning 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 28.

During the event, a panel of employers will advise students on navigating work climate, anticipating organizational needs, confronting workplace challenges and more. The employer panel will include representatives from First Investors, Big Ass Solutions and Lexmark.

"For some, graduation can be just as frightening as it is exciting, regardless we’re here to help," Carroll said.

UK graduates are able to use the Stuckert Center’s services, such as resume critiques or mock interviews, up to six months after graduation. 

Members of the UK Alumni Association can use its Career Services, including two individual appointments per year, for the life of their membership. 

Caroline Francis from UK Alumni Career Services will also be a part of the employer panel to offer insight and share other career-related services from the UK Alumni Association.  

As part of the UK Division of Undergraduate Education, the James W. Stuckert Career Center mission is to prepare students to successfully connect with employers and post graduate educational opportunities. The Stuckert Career Center is here to help students explore their college major options and career goals, engage in the process of expanding their knowledge and experience of the work place, and to connect with those who can help students on their career path. For more information on the Stuckert Career Center and how the staff can provide assistance, visit

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

Town Hall to Showcase UK's Designs for West Liberty's Future

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 10:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2014) — Later this week, students from the University of Kentucky College of Design will present their concepts to aid in the rebuilding of West Liberty, as well as their work on a farm-to-table restaurant that will lay the foundation for an emerging fabrication partnership for the community ravaged by a tornado in spring of 2012. Doors open for the event at 4:30 p.m. and will include a formal presentation and an exhibit from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at the Morehead State University Academic Center Building, in West Liberty.

Now in its third year, UK College of Design began addressing issues related to West Liberty starting with a National Science Foundation-funded Systems Thinking for Sustainability (NSF-STFS) course in 2013 led by UK College of Design Associate Dean for Research Gregory Luhan, the John Russell Groves Endowed Professor of Architecture, and a team of UK and Texas A&M University (TAMU) faculty from multiple colleges and departments.

Luhan began publishing the work for West Liberty from his three studios starting in spring 2014 with the book "West Liberty. Moving Forward. Together" developed by Kindall Stephens. This book features the studio work at the TAMU Department of Architecture using UK's STFS course work led by Luhan who was on-site in Texas from 2013-2014. The following fall, his UK studio published its work under the title "West Liberty. Revive. Rebuild. Reflect." The concepts, research and work of his most recent studio are featured in "West Liberty. Building Our Future."

The current interdisciplinary design studio, comprised of 11 students from the UK School of Architecture, worked with industry partners and stakeholders from Lexington, Morehead, West Liberty and Morgan County to develop prototypes for primary and secondary use products germane to the region. These prototypes include a vertical farm, a farmer’s market, a farm-to-table restaurant, a cultural heritage center, a hotel, a bicycle hub, mixed-use bookstore/cafe, an educatorium event space, a recycling center and sorghum/hemp/timber manufacturing facilities.

In addition to proposals for the community's future, the studio is developing an innovative fabrication partnership with Morehead State University and the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, who would assist the studio in fabricating, assembling and finishing furniture and built-in cabinetry for the proposed projects.

The West Liberty projects also expand the college's successful HBEER (Houseboats to Energy Efficient Residences) grant-funded research initiative beyond residential and school-based constructions to include offices and clinics. Luhan’s team is nearing the completion of a first commercial structure, a restaurant – Giovanni’s on Prestonsburg Road in downtown West Liberty.

The West Liberty studio's proposals are also garnering attention outside the state, showing their relevance to answering problems across the nation, as well as internationally. In early April, the studio, which includes members of our university's Big Blue Impact | Making Sustainability Visible team, presented collaborative and artistic approaches to visualizing big data at the Consortium of Design Educators Symposium in Oxford, Ohio. The BBI team then ran a workshop at Fabricate 2015 AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students) Quad Conference for design students from across the United States. The workshop was titled "Data-driven Installations." Both presentations are rooted in the formative structures of multidisciplinary and collaborative teamwork and are working to narrow the gap between data and design. This fall, the team’s co-authored research paper will be presented in Vienna, Austria. 

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

Strategic Plan Town Halls to Take Place May 6,7,13

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 08:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — Announcing next steps for the University of Kentucky Strategic Plan, Provost Tim Tracy issued the following email to the UK campus Friday, April 24, 2015. 

*Note the time has changed for the May 7 town hall. The correct time is reflected below. 

Dear UK Community,

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees and President Capilouto, we have a compelling vision for the University of Kentucky—to be one of the handful of exceptional public, residential research institutions in the country, with an unwavering commitment to our Commonwealth. 

To make that vision a reality, a dedicated team, comprised of leaders from across our campus, has been working in earnest to develop our institution's next Strategic Plan. Building upon the great work that faculty, staff and students across our campus completed over the past year, as well as invaluable feedback from the community, the team will present a draft of the plan for the community to review on Wednesday, April 29th.

We will also hold three town halls— opportunities for us to engage with the community and receive your critical feedback. These events will take place at the following dates, times and locations:

  1. Wednesday, May 6: 9-11 a.m., Lexmark Public Room, 209 Main Building
  2. Thursday, May 7: 1-3 p.m., UK Athletic Association Auditorium, W.T. Young Library
  3. Wednesday, May 13: 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Bio-Pharm Complex, Room 234-B

These events will also be live streamed on UKNow. Individuals watching via live stream will have the opportunity to email and tweet questions and comments. 

The leadership team will review your feedback and make final edits to the plan before presenting it to our Board of Trustees for its consideration in June.

You can also send your feedback to Moreover, you will find updated information— and additional opportunities to provide feedback— on the strategic plan website.

This strategic plan, which will guide our efforts between now and 2020, is critical in providing our campus and those we serve with a set of clear principles and objectives for the vision and goals we will share as an institution.

Your engagement has already been, and will continue to be, critical to the successful completion of the plan. I look forward to our work, together, to make this vision a reality.

Timothy S. Tracy


UK Women & Philanthropy Calls for Funding Proposals

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 20:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Women & Philanthropy Network is calling for submission of proposals for potential funding in 2016.

The UK Women & Philanthropy Network (W & P) is an organization of alumni and friends who have pooled their love for UK, along with their time, talents and resources to help fund important programs and projects at UK.  Founded in 2007 with a vision to build a better UK and Commonwealth, W & P continues to grow in size and strength, dedicating the funding provided by members to assist in the life and growth of UK.

W & P has funded a wide array of projects since its inception, awarding more than $1 million to scholarship recipients, colleges and programs. Recipients of funding in 2014 were programs in the Robinson Scholars Program, Honors Program, College of Health Sciences, College of Education, College of Communication and Information and College of Arts and Sciences.

Department proposal submissions should focus on areas of scholarships, research and programs. Departments and programs that have priorities in these areas should contact their dean or vice president to secure a proposal application form.

Proposals should be submitted to Paula L. Pope at the UK Office of Development, 129 Sturgill Development Building, 0015 or via email to no later than 5 p.m. Monday, June 15, 2015.  Selected proposals will be presented Nov. 6, 2015, to the W & P Network who will vote for the proposals deemed most impactful.  Recommendation for funding will be determined according to the number of votes received for each proposal and awards will be made in early 2016. 

For more information contact Paula Pope at 859-257-3187.

Two UK Students Awarded Diversity Scholarships to Study Abroad

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 22:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky International Studies Abroad Diversity Scholarship has been awarded to two students to help them further their studies through education abroad.

Derrick Quarles, a kinesiology major, and Miyana Sarver, a human communications major, will receive between $2,500 and $5,000 that can be applied to an International Studies Abroad (ISA) study abroad program of their choice within two years.

Quarles, who is involved in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Black Student Union, and the University of Kentucky Club Basketball Team, plans to use his scholarship to study kinesiology in Valencia, Spain.

“I'm so grateful for this opportunity to study abroad and this scholarship really made it possible,“ said Quarles. “During my first time out the country, I will have some guidance and peers that I can relate to.”

Sarver currently serves on the executive board as an activities chair member for Black Student Union. She is also a peer educator for UK Catalyst Coalition and was previously a mentor for the College Mentor For Kids Volunteer Organization.

Sarver plans to use her scholarship to study communications in Dublin, Ireland, where she aspires to learn about other cultures and gain experiences that will set her apart on a resume. She also hopes to inspire others to reach for their goals.

“I hope this experience will spark my curiosity in the world and cause me to challenge my views and the way I learn,” said Sarver. “But most importantly, I want this to help me become a better woman and a better student.”

The ISA-UK Diversity Scholarship offers two award cycles a year and is not tied to a specific term. Students who contribute to the university’s growing interest in the educational benefits of a diverse student body will be considered for the award.

“What's really beneficial about the scholarship is that students apply for it before they choose an education abroad program,” said Patrick Barker, ISA custom program and outreach coordinator. “This gives them time to consider their options personally and academically to choose a program that best suits them and their own goals.”

ISA is a UK partner affiliate that offers education abroad opportunities to UK undergraduates in different countries across the globe.

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

CRE's 2015-16 Choice, 'Picking Cotton,' Comes With Trigger Warning

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 17:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — At seeblue. U orientations this summer, new and transferring University of Kentucky students will receive a copy of the 2015 Common Reading Experience (CRE) book, “Picking Cotton” by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo.

CRE is a collaborative effort, shared by New Student and Family Programs, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education and other campus partners, designed to introduce new students to academic life at UK. The goal is two-fold: first, to bring new students together for a common reading experience that introduces them to academic discourse prior to the start of classes; and second, to engage the entire UK community in a common intellectual experience through yearlong programming.

Students will read the CRE book this summer, ready to join a community of scholars during K Week, UK’s fall welcome week, where they will participate in small group discussions about the book with other new and upperclass students. Throughout the school year they will attend events coordinated around the book's themes, topics and issues. Authors of UK’s CRE books have traditionally visited campus, a highlight of the school year.

Visit for UK President Eli Capilouto’s introduction of “Picking Cotton” to the campus community.

The 2015-16 CRE book, a New York Times best seller, comes with a trigger warning: “Picking Cotton” is the account of a sexual assault and the conviction of an innocent man. It may be an emotional trigger for some people.  

College student Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her North Carolina apartment while she slept. She was able to escape and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Cotton insisted that she was mistaken, but Thompson's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars with a life sentence. Eleven years later, Cotton was allowed to take a newly developed DNA test that proved his innocence and identified the true rapist. Cotton was released after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed.

Two years after his release, Thompson and Cotton met ‒ and eventually forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives. In spite of the fear that permeated their earlier acquaintance, their book’s clearest messages are steeped in hope, forgiveness, courage and determination.

In their own words, Thompson and Cotton unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy in the joint memoir “Picking Cotton,” challenging ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

Thompson and Cotton are now advocates for judicial reform, the need to combat sexual violence, abolition of the death penalty, the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, and the healing power of forgiveness.  Together, they have lobbied state legislators to change compensation laws for the wrongly convicted, to abolish the death penalty, to revise police eyewitness line-up procedures, and for many other causes. 

“The Common Reading Experience program wants new students, parents and families, and the UK community to know ‘Picking Cotton’ will be read and utilized on campus with great sensitivity due to the issues it raises, such as sexual assault and racial dynamics,” said Anne Kelly, assistant director of New Student and Parent Programs in the Division of Student Affairs.

“The book was thoughtfully selected as these issues are at the forefront of societal discussion, and although challenging to read about and discuss, the authors also weave in the powerful themes of forgiveness, redemption and resilience.”

Anyone with questions regarding the CRE program or the 2015 book, please contact the Office of New Student and Family Programs at

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

UK Transplant Patient Uses Personal Experiences to Help Others

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — As a University of Kentucky Transplant Center patient navigator, Elaine Milem helps patients through the difficult process of preparing for and undergoing kidney transplants. The unique part? Milem, a two-time kidney recipient herself, understands exactly what her patients are going through.

"Everything that's happened to me so far has prepared me for this," Milem said. "I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be."

As a child, Milem suffered from regular kidney problems, including recurrent urinary tract infections. It seemed mostly an inconvenience until Milem became pregnant at age 25, when the stress of pregnancy caused her kidney function to decrease drastically.

Milem began preparing for dialysis in 2005 and also began discussing the possibility of a transplant with her physicians. Though she could have gone to several other nearby transplant centers in the region, the South Point, Ohio native decided to come to the University of Kentucky Transplant Center for her care, citing the relatively short drive and the family support she had in the area.

"The warmth and compassion I received from the nurses and staff at my first visit let me know immediately I was in the right place," Milem said. "They made me feel at home."

Milem received a donor kidney in 2007, but her good fortune was short-lived. She contracted a rare virus known as the BK virus, which caused her body to reject the kidney over the next two years.  She was put back on dialysis in 2009 and re-listed for transplant in 2011, receiving her second kidney in February 2012.

In 2013, Milem was approached by UK Transplant Coordinator Angela Zimmerman with a unique offer — UK was participating in a study that looked at whether or not patient navigators help patients get further along in the transplant process. Patient navigators, as the name suggests, help "guide" new patients through the complexities of a severe illness. That may include helping patients address barriers to care (such as transportation to appointments, finding child care, figuring out insurance issues), understanding treatment and care options, helping patients research their disease, working with family members and caregivers, and much more.

One of the main requirements for UK's new patient navigator job through the study was that the navigators be transplant patients themselves. Milem, who already had a strong background in the medical field — she worked at Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia for more than two decades — jumped at the chance to apply all her life experiences in a position that could help others. As a patient navigator for kidney transplant patients at UK, she counsels patients during their visits, offering everything from education on the transplant process to personal encouragement.

"Sometimes you're kind of a cheerleader," Milem said. "And sometimes you're just giving them information."

And so far, that dual role of cheerleader/educator is working. The results of the study were so successful that Milem plans to remain at UK and continue as a patient navigator outside of the research.

Additionally, she also seeks out other ways to educate others on kidney disease — Milem was recently selected by the American Kidney Fund to participate in the organization's sixth annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill. While there, she met with Congressional offices to discuss legislation that would improve care for individuals with chronic kidney disease.

Though she is currently dealing with another new kidney disease, Milem remains upbeat about her transplant experience. Most patients on dialysis have to receive the treatment three times a week, which makes traveling difficult if not impossible. Thanks to her transplant, Milem was able to visit Boston last year for a very important event: her daughter's graduation from Harvard University.

"Because of my transplant, I was able to see my daughter graduate in person," Milem said. "That means so much to me."


Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and allow the organ donor procurement program to inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.

To join the registry, visit or sign up when you renew your driver’s license.  The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested. 

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

College of Nursing Study Transitions Patients, Families to Low-Sodium Diet With Electronic Salt Spoon

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 16:07
Video by Reveal/Research Communications,

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — Heart disease patients are advised by doctors to reduce the amount of sodium in their diets to prevent a cardiac event. But adapting to a low-sodium diet requires more than just laying off the table salt. Sodium is hidden in a number of household food products, such as canned soups, frozen pizza and white bread.

Faculty members in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing are helping patients and their families monitor the amount of sodium in their foods through the use of an electronic salt spoon. The device, which can be used in everyday cooking, measures the exact amount of salt in foods.

Misook Lee Chung, an associate professor in the College of Nursing, is leading the Family Sodium Watchers Program, which educates patients and families about low-sodium diets through the use of the salt spoon. The study was awarded funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research. A three-month pilot study found individuals and family members who used the salt spoon were successful in decreasing the amount of salt in their diets.

"This device can actually detect the amount of salt in food," Chung said of the salt spoon. "You just use the salt spoon, detect the amount and control the portion."

Chung helps patients gradually re-train their taste buds to enjoy low-sodium foods. Through this gradual process of learning to cook and eat with smaller portions of sodium, patients are more likely to change eating habits for the long-term.

Heart disease patients are recommended to consume 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day, which is also the recommended amount of sodium recommended for maintaining a healthy diet. Sodium serves many essential functions in the body, such as working muscles and nerves, but too much sodium can result in high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Surprisingly, table salt is not the leading source of sodium in the American diet. Sodium is hidden in a variety of foods, including vegetables, processed foods and restaurant meals.

The Family Sodium Watchers Program, conducted at the College of Nursing, will recruit 220 patients and their families, tracking long-term health outcomes. As part of the program, patients and families will learn how to cook and shop for low-sodium foods through communication tools such as video conferencing through Skype and iPads. These digital tools will enable the researchers to educate families in rural parts of Kentucky. Chung said food is a family activity, so including family members in the diet modification process is essential.

"Family members, when they don't know how to choose low-salt foods at the grocery, and they cannot cook the low-salt foods, cannot support our patients," Chung said. "So we have to educate them together." 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UPK Author Named Winner of Crader Book Prize

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — University Press of Kentucky (UPK) author Douglas V. Mastriano has been named the recipient of the 2015 Crader Family Book Prize in American Values for his book "Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne." This award recognizes a first book that best exemplifies the values of the Crader Family Endowment for American Values: individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue. 

The Crader Award is presented to a book in the area of U.S., European or Latin American history that explores the historical development of the political, religious and economic heritage of Western Civilization, or events directly related to them. An honorarium of $1,000 comes with this achievement.

The purpose of this award is to increase knowledge and appreciation of the political, religious and economic heritage of this nation and the West, and the values of individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue that are at the foundation of this society. The Crader Family of Jackson, Missouri, sponsors this award and has made a commitment to support its efforts through this endowment in their family name. The Crader Family Endowment for American Values exists within the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

In "Alvin York," Douglas V. Mastriano sorts fact from myth in the first full-length biography of York in decades. He meticulously examines York’s youth in the hills of east Tennessee, his service in the Great War, and his return to a quiet civilian life dedicated to charity.

As a devout Christian, conscientious objector, and reluctant hero of World War I, Alvin York is known as one of America’s most famous and celebrated soldiers. York’s capture of 132 German soldiers earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor, and continues to spark controversy among historians who think York has received more recognition than he deserves. By reviewing artifacts recovered from the battlefield using military terrain analysis, forensic study, and research in both German and American archives, Mastriano reconstructs the events of Oct. 8, 1918, and corroborates the recorded accounts.

The Crader Family Book Prize Committee selected Mastriano’s work on York, noting that he “marshals an impressive amount of primary source material” in “telling the story of one of America’s iconic heroes.”

"I am delighted to learn that my book, 'Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne,' is the recipient of the 2015 Crader Family Book Prize in American Values," Mastriano said. "I am humbled by this decision and consider it a great honor."

This marks the second award the book has garnered. It was also named the winner of the 2015 William E. Colby Award for contributions to our understanding of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs. Mastriano is a colonel in the U.S. Army.

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

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

Don’t Forget to Fuel Young Athletes With Hydration and Nutrition

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 09:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2015) — With the spring sports season in full swing, parents of young athletes are busy coordinating carpool schedules to practice, purchasing proper sports equipment and soothing muscle soreness caused by competitive play. But often, parents overlook two important factors influencing sports performance — nutrition and hydration.

To perform at their best, children should be eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of fluids hours before practice or competition begins. Growing children and youth need an added boost of energy to stay alert throughout the day and play a sport after school. Also, many young athletes aren't getting enough fluids in their system throughout the day.

Here are a few tips for feeding and hydrating a young athlete:

Consider meal timing throughout the day. Don't let children walk out the door without eating a small breakfast, such as a fruit or bowl of cereal. Children should eat a nutritious lunch two to four hours before sports play. If a child eats an early lunch, then provide the child with a small snack, such as a vegetable or grain, to eat about 45 minutes before a sports activity.

Shop for balanced, nutritious food sources. A nutritious lunch should include a source of protein, which helps to build and repair muscles used during sports play. Protein-rich foods include lean meats, dairy, nuts and beans. Vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron help fortify bones to protect against breaks and stress fractures. Dried fruit, eggs, fish and leafy greens are all great sources of iron. Finally, carbohydrates, when consumed in moderation, are great sources of fuel for athletes. Resist the urge to "carb-load" at the local restaurant before a major sports event, which can weigh down young athletes. Opt instead for whole grains and fruits and vegetables as sources of carbs.

Pack a water bottle. Hydration is an important predictor of sports performance. Children and youth need eight to 12 ounces of water five to seven times per day, or to drink half their body weight in ounces. So an 80-pound child should drink 40 ounces per day. Pack a water bottle with them and encourage them to take sips all day. If they are unable to carry a water bottle, make it a rule of thumb to always take a drink when passing a water fountain. A parent can determine whether their child is adequately hydrated through the shade of their urine, which should be clear. Children should take water breaks during sports practices, especially in hot and humid climates.

Jordan Light is a master's student in the University of Kentucky Athletic Training Program.

This column appeared in the April 26, 2015, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' is All About the Poet

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 20:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  On today's program, UK English Professor Frank X Walker reflects on his two years as Kentucky’s poet laureate and offers some advice to newest laureate, George Ella Lyon. 

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

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


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