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UK's Barnes Celebrates Kentucky Nature in New Book

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 12:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2014) — Thomas G. Barnes, extension professor and extension wildlife specialist in the Department of Forestry, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky, has published a new book, “Kentucky, Naturally: The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund at Work.” The book celebrates properties that have been purchased with the assistance of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund within the first 20 years of the program.

Barnes, an award-winning Kentucky nature photographer, displays hundreds of photographs of the state’s protected lands in "Kentucky, Naturally."

"Photography is a medium that, particularly with natural resources, has great potential for teaching and for conservation. There's a long history of photography, going back to Ansel Adams, for protecting outstanding natural lands,” Barnes said. "Every time I step into the natural world I am reminded of how special it is to live in such a beautiful state, to still have places to roam the woods, to be reinvigorated by the sights and sounds of nature.”

The book also includes a little information about each site, such as directions to plan visits, and a list of rare species that may live there.

Barnes has spent three decades honing his wildlife photography skills throughout the Bluegrass and has authored more than 50 scientific research articles, 60 cooperative extension publications and 100 magazine articles.

His previous book, “Kentucky’s Last Great Places,” was nominated for the Kentucky Literary Award in nonfiction. Other published books include “Gardening of the Birds,” “The Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky,” “The Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky,” “The Gift of Creation- Images from Scripture and Earth” and “How to Find and Photograph Kentucky Wildflowers.”

Established in 1994, the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund provides funding for preserving and conserving natural areas that possess unique features such as: areas that are a habitat for rare and endangered species; areas important to migratory birds; areas that perform important natural functions that are subject to alteration or loss; and areas to be preserved in their natural state for public use, outdoor recreation and education.

"Kentucky, Naturally," published by Acclaim Press, is now available in local bookstores, Kentucky State Park gift shops, and on

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rachel Knuth,, 757-971-1503; Carl Nathe,, 859-257-3200.

Get Involved With Student Activities Board

Sun, 08/10/2014 - 23:16

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2014) — Committee chair applications for the Student Activities Board are now available. Applications can be printed off from the website or picked up in the SAB office, 204 Student Center. All applications are due Monday, Sept. 8, at noon and must be turned into the office. Applicants will also go through an interview process Sept. 10-12, during evening hours. The director of cultural arts and the director of market esearch positions are also available. Job descriptions and further information can be found on the applications.

Students can apply to be a committee chair for a variety of committees, including Promotions, Market Research, Cultural Arts and Engaging Issues. Committee chairs work closely with a number of members of the entire board, such as the executive team, the promotions team, the director of their committee, and their fellow committee chairs. Chairs will be given tasks to complete during individualized office hours that utilize their strengths and expand their knowledge of the committee they work with.

"Choosing to get involved with SAB was the best decision I have made in college. Putting on events and providing opportunities for students to have unique college experiences, such as singing along with The Lumineers, laughing with Aziz Ansari or cheering on the Cats at a Cat Watch Party, has made my time on campus feel much more valuable,” said Rachel Sloan, vice president of internal affairs. “Not only is it rewarding to be able to give back to campus this way, but SAB has allowed me to find my community on campus, and I couldn't be more grateful for the people I've met through the organization!”

Involvement is an important part of any student’s experience and growth at the University of Kentucky. The Student Activities Board provides a place for any student to become involved through a variety of positions. Committee chairs will be celebrated, utilized, and challenged through their positions on the board. They will receive hands-on experience with the diverse and engaging events the board offers.

SAB brings more than 100 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community.

Connect with SAB at, follow them on Twitter at or Instagram at or like them on Facebook at For more information about SAB and events, email or text a question beginning with SABQ, followed by your question or comment, to 411-247.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909

Art Therapy Drawn into the Patient Care Landscape at Markey Cancer Center, Eastern State Hospital

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 14:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) — More patients are benefiting from the healing effect of creative art therapies as UK HealthCare expands the presence of art and music therapy at the Markey Cancer Center and Eastern State Hospital.

This summer, a music therapist and an art therapist joined the staff at UK HealthCare to serve patients at Eastern State Hospital and the Markey Cancer Center. The two full-time employees split their time leading group art or music therapy sessions for patients with mental illness at Eastern State Hospital and oncology patients at the Markey Cancer Center.

New music therapist Jennifer Peyton earned her master's degree in music therapy from Florida State University. In addition to owning a private practice and teaching music therapy at the University of Louisville, she has served as the medical music therapy coordinator and internship director at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Florida State. Her clinical experience includes working in medical, hospice, rehabilitation and psychiatric settings. Fran Belvin received her master's degree in expressive art therapy from the University of Louisville in 1997. In addition to teaching art therapy at UK, Belvin has worked as an art therapist for Hospice of the Bluegrass and as a substance abuse treatment prevention coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health. Belvin has also worked as an art therapist in private practice.

"I am really excited that UK has decided to increase the expression of arts therapies in their clinical care," Belvin said.

Lori Gooding, director of music therapy at UK HealthCare, said the Markey Cancer Center supported the hiring of additional art therapists for sessions with oncology patients. The integration of art and music therapy as part of the clinical experience represents UK HealthCare's emphasis on caring for the "whole" patient through psychological, emotional and physical services. Gooding said creative arts therapies, which are proven to help patients address anxiety, depression, cognitive disability, chemotherapy and other health issues, add value to the patient's health care experience and increase quality of life.

"Integrative approaches to medical care that include complementary therapies are effective and do help meet the patient's needs," Gooding said. "It speaks to the idea that there is increased collaboration across the university. You see this between two areas that might not normally be working together."

In a recent survey from the UK Center for Advanced Surgery, more than 98 percent of patients said music therapy improved their perception of the health care experience at UK. The same survey showed that 97 percent of parents reported that their child benefited from music therapy. Music therapy is associated with patient satisfaction and reimbursement for medical services. Belvin said not all patients respond to the same types of intervention, but she has seen many patients benefit from art and music therapy.

"Just getting this practice to patients is my biggest goal," Belvin said. "Give people the opportunity to express themselves, and amazing things happen."

In addition, the UK Arts in HealthCare program recently installed the first art exhibit at Eastern State Hospital. The exhibit, which includes professional pieces, is located in the common area of the building.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Researchers Discover Surprising Differences in How Teen Athletes Experience Concussion

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 14:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) – With multiple concussions between the two of them, Dan Han and Lisa Koehl's latest research interest isn't surprising.  

"I played competitive soccer through high school and continue to play recreationally," says Koehl, a doctoral candidate in the University of Kentucky's Department of Psychology, "so I have firsthand experience with the dynamics that come into play when a teen suffers a concussion."

As a former high school assistant principal in the Chicago public school system, Han was responsible for overseeing student-athletes' return to school after a concussion. Han left educational administration to pursue his doctorate in neuropsychology. Now director of the Multidisciplinary Concussion Program at the UK HealthCare, Han has a reputation for top-notch clinical work and research on concussion.

"There aren't many places in Kentucky where you find a true multidisciplinary concussion program," Han says. "UK HealthCare's Multidisciplinary Concussion Program embraces an interdepartmental group effort -- from neurology, from neurosurgery, sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, from the trauma team -- we all work together to look at how brain injury affects the cognitive, physical and emotional state of our patients."

This group effort puts the athlete's safety first. For that reason,  UK HealthCare's concussion program is the go-to for the athletics programs at Fayette County Public Schools, the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, and Kentucky State University, who all rely on the UK Multidisciplinary Concussion Program's clinical expertise in sports concussion for state-of-the-art input to help make decisions affecting an athlete's return to play.

Add to Han's clinical skills a lifelong love of full contact martial arts (Han practices kickboxing and Brazilian jujitsu), and it's easy to see how Han and Koehl are well-suited to study the symptoms of sports concussions. 

Drawing from a large UK database of patients with brain injury, Koehl and Han used a subset of 37 athletes aged 12 to 17 to explore post-concussion changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms over time.

According to Koehl, 22 of the 37 study participants demonstrated post-concussive emotional symptoms. Of those, 23 percent were sensitive to light while 14 percent were sensitive to noise. In comparison, of the 15 teens without emotional symptoms, 13 percent were sensitive to light and no teens were sensitive to noise.

There were no differences between the two groups in factors such as what percentage experienced loss of consciousness, amnesia, nausea and/or headaches, indicating that the groups were likely comparable in the level of severity of concussion.

"We discovered a bidirectional relationship between both emotional symptoms developing in conjunction with physical symptoms, and also emotional symptoms developing because of the physical symptoms," said Koehl. 

In other words, said Koehl, "This research gives us a better understanding of the interaction between physical and emotional symptoms in concussion and will allow us to explore ways to help adolescents recover in a more timely fashion."

According to Han, teens in the study who reported anxiety were 55 percent more likely to experience attention difficulties than those without anxiety, while teens with irritability/aggression were 35 percent more likely to self-report problems with attention than teens without irritability.

"While these findings are preliminary and require a larger sample size to predict outcomes with more confidence, we are intrigued by the potential these data offer in terms of providing teens with a better treatment plan based on their unique cognitive, physical and emotional response to concussion," Han said.

"Identifying factors that affect a teen's experience after concussion may help in planning for the appropriate treatment and in making decisions about when to return to play and what accommodations are needed at school during recovery.”

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UK Musicians Score Rave from Saxophone Today

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 13:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) — The musical talents of University of Kentucky students in the UK Mega-Sax, UK Saxophone Quartet and UK Wind Symphony, as well as Miles Osland, UK School of Music saxophone professor and director of UK Jazz Studies, were recently praised in a review by Saxophone Today. Performances critiqued by the magazine were part of the new CD, "Mega Mega Saxophone at the University of Kentucky."

"Mega Mega" is a collection of new recordings by UK student ensembles and faculty groups, the Osland/Dailey Duo and the Osland Saxophone Quartet, produced by Osland. The CD first features a UK Wind Symphony and Osland Quartet piece commissioned by UK. Billy Kerr of Saxophone Today describes the piece as, “The wonderful sound of the Wind Symphony belies the fact that the musicians are students. The quartet’s performance is flawless, exhibiting a great ability to pass the musical line from one voice to the other, with a lovely ensemble sound.”

The CD also includes UK Mega-Sax performing Thelonious Monk’s great ballad, “Crepuscule with Nellie,” arranged by saxophonist and arranger Greg Yaskinitsky, as well as an adaptation of band leader/arranger Gordon Goodwin’s piece, “Gordon’s Goodies.” “Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano” composed by Raleigh Dailey, UK associate professor of jazz studies and piano, and Osland follows.

The UK Saxophone Quartet, under the direction of Lisa Osland, adjunct saxophone professor at UK, is showcased in two pieces, “Saxophone Quartet #1,” by John Carisi, and “Escape to the Center,” by Dana Wilson.

The closing piece “…Who Needs Enemies?,” by Russell Peterson, features members of UK Mega-Sax and the UK Wind Symphony, which is directed by John Cody Birdwell, director of UK Bands. The composition is described by Kerr as “a frenetic romp, showcasing the quartet as a traditional sax section, with all the members improvising as well. A fitting high-energy conclusion to this action packed CD.”

"Mega Mega" isn’t the first artistic work by Miles Osland, who has been a major force in saxophone and saxophone education for two decades. He is the author of a two-volume "Scale Anthology" and several analytical transcription books. Noting his success, Saxophone Today called him “the organizer of one of the best saxophone studios in North America.”

"Mega Mega" CD is available from Amazon, CD Universe, and

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

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

Subba Reddy Palli Named Fellow of Entomological Society of America

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — An entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment was recently named a fellow of the Entomological Society of America. Society members bestow this distinction on colleagues who have made outstanding contributions in research, teaching, extension and/or administration.

Professor Subba Reddy Palli is best known for developing RNA interference technology that kills insect pests and fights resistance to insecticides, particularly in beetles and bed bugs.

While his work is based in developing environmentally sound pest management tactics, it also could have tremendous public health implications. He played a key role in developing a gene-switch technology that is in clinical trials to determine if it will regulate cancer-fighting genes in humans. The technology is also being used to regulate genes in plants.

Palli also serves as co-director of the Center for Arthropod Management Technologies, a recently established National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

Within the Entomological Society, Palli has served as president of the Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Section and received its 2013 Recognition Award for his research accomplishments.

Palli has received numerous UK awards since joining the Department of Entomology faculty in 2002. He has published 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters and has co-edited a book. He is a co-inventor on 28 patents.

In addition, he serves on the editorial boards of 10 journals and has served on the grant review panels of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Research Initiative, National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Palli will be recognized along with the nine other recipients during the society’s annual meeting Nov. 16-19 in Portland, Oregon.

Palli is the fifth UK entomologist to be named a fellow of the society. Additional fellows include current UK professors Dan Potter and Ken Yeargan. Professor emeritus Fred Knapp and the late Bobby Pass also received the distinction.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;

WUKY, WMKY Form News Partnership Covering Central and Eastern Kentucky

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 23:21
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — WUKY and Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR) team up to provide better news coverage of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

WUKY (91.3 FM), Kentucky’s oldest public radio station at the University of Kentucky has reached an agreement with Morehead State Public Radio’s WMKY (90.3 FM), to exclusively exchange news stories and features produced in their respective newsrooms.

The partnership, which officially began July 21, is expected to enhance coverage of Central and Eastern Kentucky issues. 

“When you talk about Eastern Kentucky, no station does a better job of covering the region than WMKY in Morehead,” said WUKY News Director Alan Lytle. “I’m elated to bring the award-winning reporting of MSPR to our regional audience.”

“Our goal for the past several years has been to expand and extend the WUKY newsroom,” said WUKY General Manager Tom Godell. “By forging this historic partnership, we’re able to add two more seasoned broadcast journalists — Dan Conti and Chuck Mraz — to our team and provide exceptional coverage of news from Eastern Kentucky to our Lexington audience.”

"WUKY has a long history of providing the highest quality of news and information to the people of Central Kentucky,” said Paul Hitchcock, MSPR general manager.  "WMKY is excited to partner with WUKY to expand on our ability to serve the listeners in Eastern Kentucky."

Godell said comprehensive coverage of Eastern Kentucky’s unique challenges is an essential part of moving the entire state forward. 

“The recent 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty has focused increased national attention on Appalachia," Godell said. "WUKY’s partnership with WMKY will enable both stations to report more thoroughly on this region, and we hope over time to be joined by other public radio stations in Kentucky and West Virginia who care about the many issues facing the people of Appalachia.”

“As the SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) discussions develop, the partnership between WMKY and WUKY will enhance our resources to focus on the key issues of Appalachia including education, employment, environment, health and wellness, tourism and transportation,” Hitchcock said.

The WUKY-WMKY partnership includes a variety of broadcast and online news content including daily spot news stories and in-depth feature reporting.

Talking Tuition on Today's 'UK Perspectives' on WUKY

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 22:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — 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 show, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday explains how UK is keeping tuition affordable for Kentuckians. 

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

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

Inaugural Class Begins Joint Executive MBA Program

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:13

Lexington, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — This weekend, Kentucky’s two largest business schools will welcome the inaugural class of students for the state’s first joint master of business administration program for executives.

The University of Kentucky's   Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Louisville College of Business are teaming up on the executive MBA program (EMBA) aimed at preparing mid-level executives at profit, non-profit and government organizations for senior leadership positions. Orientation takes place tomorrow (Aug. 9) at the Louisville Crowne Plaza Hotel and the PNC Club at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is scheduled to address the group.

Seven women and 13 men are in this inaugural cohort. The average age of the students is 42, and the average work experience is 18 years. Four vice presidents and two doctors are among the students in the class.

Classes begin this coming week in the 17-month program, with students attending classes every other weekend, allowing them to keep their existing jobs, while preparing for more senior roles. About half of the classes will take place in Louisville and half in Lexington, with courses offered in three- to four-week terms that alternate between the two campuses.

The program’s 46-credit-hour curriculum includes 22 course hours on management, six on current business issues, four each on accounting, economics, finance and marketing and two on quantitative methods. Total program tuition is $67,500.

"We're very excited about this initial cohort that we have assembled for the EMBA," said Joe Labianca, Gatton Endowed Chair in Management and director of the Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center and the Executive MBA Program. "These 20 executives are all excellent, averaging 18 years of workplace experience at high levels of a wide variety of industries and functions. They will set a very high standard for this program."

Rohan Christie-David, interim dean of UofL's College of Business, agreed.

"The EMBA program is getting off to a good start," he said. “It's wonderful to see the interest and enthusiasm for this degree.”

UofL and UK officials have said the program will allow students to learn from the best business educators in the state and will boost Kentucky’s business climate by providing an advanced education to emerging leaders who might otherwise leave the area.

The recruiting process already is underway for the next cohort, which will begin the program in August 2015.

For more details, see or contact Vernon Foster, UofL's executive director of MBA programs and career management, at 502-852-2855 or Labianca at 859-257-3741.

MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;

UK Study Shows Promise for New Nerve Repair Technique

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) ­– A multicenter study including University of Kentucky researchers found that a new nerve repair technique yields better results and fewer side effects than other existing techniques.

Traumatic nerve injuries are common, and when nerves are severed, they do not heal on their own and must be repaired surgically. Injuries that are not clean-cut – such as saw injuries, farm equipment injuries, and gunshot wounds – may result in a gap in the nerve.

To fill these gaps, surgeons have traditionally used two methods: a nerve autograft (bridging the gap with a patient's own nerve taken from elsewhere in the body), which leads to a nerve deficit at the donor site; or nerve conduits (synthetic tubes), which can cause foreign body reactions or infections.

The prospective, randomized study, conducted by UK Medical Director of Hand Surgery Service Dr. Brian Rinker and others, compared the nerve conduit to a newer technique called a nerve allograft. The nerve allograft uses human nerves harvested from cadavers. The nerves are processed to remove all cellular material, preserving their architecture while preventing disease transmission or allergic reactions.

Participants with nerve injuries were randomized into either conduit or allograft repair groups. Following the surgeries, independent blind observers performed standardized assessments at set time points to determine the degree of sensory or motor recovery.

The results of the study suggested that nerve allografts had more consistent results and produced better outcomes than nerve conduits, while avoiding the donor site morbidity of a nerve autograft.

Rinker, a principal investigator of the study, describes it as a "game-changer."

"Nerve grafting has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years, and both of the existing nerve repair options had serious drawbacks," Rinker said. "Our study showed that the new technique processed nerve allograft ­– provides a better, more predictable and safer nerve gap repair compared to the previous techniques."

Rinker also noted that work is underway to engineer nerve allografts with growth factors which would guide and promote nerve regeneration, theoretically leading to even faster recoveries and better results.

Other medical centers participating in the trial included the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis, Georgia Hand, Shoulder and Elbow in Atlanta, and the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore.

The study was funded by Axogen, Inc. Results were presented at the Annual Combined Meeting of the American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, and the American Society of the Peripheral Nerve. Rinker's paper was voted Outstanding Paper of the Joint Session. 

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

UK Discovery Has Silver Lining

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — In today's smartphone society, it is hard to imagine a world where people took an hour each day to reflect and enjoy a spot of tea, especially busy college students. But a recent discovery at University of Kentucky's Keeneland Hall suggests that wasn't such a far-fetched notion years ago.

Last January, as UK Residence Life staff prepared the residence hall for the return of students for the spring semester, they decided it was time to find out what was behind the doors of a metal safe housed at Keeneland. Current staff had no information on what the storage was being used for or a key to investigate. After conferring with UK Auxiliary Services a locksmith was called in to drill the door open, so the staff could decide if the cabinet was needed or could be used for another purpose.

To their surprise, UK Residence Life staff hit the mother lode, literally. Behind the metal doors was an abundance of silver, 93 pieces of silver serveware to be exact and a crystal ladle. The silver collection included three platters, two punch bowls and three ladles, three sugar and creamer sets, three coffee pot sets, a set of candleholders, a water pitcher, a percolator, an eight-piece tea set and 61 spoons.

To say the staff was excited by the discovery is an understatement. "It’s not every day you find treasures," said Sarah Nikirk, associate director of UK Auxiliary Services.

In addition to the silver, staff also found an inventory list and an envelope containing negatives of the portrait of Sarah Blanding, a former UK Dean of Women from 1924 to 1941 for whom Blanding Tower and its affiliated low-lying building in the Commons Complex are named.

The punch bowl shows a direct connection to the relationship between the residence hall and the historic Kentucky racetrack of the same name. Keeneland Hall was named after the racetrack's Keeneland Foundation, which donated $200,000 toward the building of a dormitory for women (more recently co-ed). Engraved with Miss Keeneland, the bowl's inscription notes the presentation of the bowl by the Keeneland Racing Association to former residents, who carried the title from 1962 to 1979. A photo of the punch bowl being presented to the first Miss Keeneland, Mary Ann Tobin, can be found in the 1963 Kentuckian yearbook. The award was presented at the residence hall's Christmas formal held at Lafayette Hotel. In addition to her name being inscribed on the bowl, Tobin received a small bowl to keep herself.

After the discovery of silver at Keeneland Hall, Residence Life boxed the treasures and sent them off to UK Special Collections Research Center and UK archivist Ruth Bryan to both research for any record of the collection and to also catalogue its breadth. While Bryan and Monica Stoch, of Auxiliary Services, could not find any concrete record of the collection, its future may shine on like the polished silver it is created from. UK Archives will retain the punch bowl celebrating the university's Miss Keenelands. 

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

UK Writer-artist Rachel Elliott is a Featured Artist at Woodland Art Fair

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2014) — Normally, this is the time Rachel Elliott is preparing for another semester of teaching in the University of Kentucky Robert E. Hemenway Writing Center, a division of the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies (WRD).

But teaching college students isn’t on her mind at the moment, or at least not exclusively. Instead, as one of the featured artists at this summer’s annual American Founders Bank Woodland Art Fair, she will be displaying her stunning works in the downtown Lexington public park. Produced by the Lexington Art League in partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government’s Division of Parks and Recreation and supported by American Founders Bank and other sponsors, this will be the event’s 39th year. The art fair will be Aug. 16-17 at the Woodland Park grounds, at 601 East High Street.

The park setting is perfect for Elliott’s compositions, which feature animals.  Normally the domain of children’s literature, animals are rarely the subject for a serious artist like Elliott, who has been a studio artist for the Lexington Art League since 2011.

“Why do we consider animal images childish?” asked Elliott. “Why is non-European art so much more heavily populated with animal subjects? Is there something colonialist in a Caucasian art viewer thinking animal imagery is just for kids?”

Exemplifying WRD’s commitment to community engagement, Elliott’s exhibit offers new visions of how technology and nature co-exist and challenge our notions of beauty and art. Drawing from her partial Cherokee heritage and upbringing in rural Oklahoma, Elliott has dubbed some of her Summer Drawings as “trickster animals witnessing environmental change.”

The lives of people as well as animals are transformed with environmental changes, and Elliott’s colorful works demonstrate tensions when industry alters the environment for the worse. Elliott’s painting, “Charleston, West Virginia,” for instance, is a subtle comment on the Jan. 9, 2014, chemical spill in the Elk River, which contaminated the drinking water for more than 300,000 people. In the oil-on-canvas composition, the landscape is bright and clean, but a water truck ascends while a figure carrying jugs descends the hilly terrain toward the poisoned river below.

The “Charleston” painting is similar to the artist’s efforts to see beauty in the midst of calamity that resulted in a series of 12 drawings that comprised a “2014 Disaster Calendar.” Two compositions from this series, “Earthquake” and “Moore, 1999”, were chosen by Lauren Schell Dickens, curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, for inclusion in the Fourth Annual Earth and Art Juried exhibit sponsored by the Berkeley Arts Council this spring. Like “Charleston, West Virginia,” these drawings ask whether some environmental disasters are natural and inevitable or, instead, attributable to human influence and therefore avoidable. Elliott frames these controversial issues in bold, nearly cartoonish colors, juxtaposing visual form with political content.

With an MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Elliott encourages an interdisciplinary approach to art and writing. At UK, she teaches students how to use digital technology to combine words and images in posters, videos, comics, websites, and infographics.

Artwork to be featured at the Woodland Art Fair can be previewed at

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

Commonwealth Stadium Parking and Shuttle Changes Slated for Next Week

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 22:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — In response to the parking impact associated with the ongoing Commonwealth Stadium renovation project and in anticipation of the upcoming Football Training Center project to be constructed on the southeast side of Commonwealth Stadium, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is making a number of significant parking and transportation changes in the Commonwealth Stadium area effective Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. These changes will primarily impact parking locations and commuting routines for employees of UK HealthCare, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) and the VA Hospital. The changes are designed to improve the efficiency of the UK HealthCare shuttle route, maximize the use of the newly constructed Commonwealth Stadium Orange Lot and provide employees of BCTC better parking options in relation to their workplace.

UK HealthCare employees who traditionally park in the E-Blue Lot will be relocated to the new Stadium Orange Lot being constructed adjacent to the E.S. Good Barn on the northwest corner of University and Alumni Drives. The Orange Lot is closer to the UK HealthCare campus than the E-Blue lot — the current park-and-ride lot — and will have 1,238 spaces. PTS plans to operate the same number of shuttles, despite the shorter shuttle route; this is expected to increase the frequency of the existing shuttle service while reducing wait times and the length of time employees spend riding the shuttle.

VA employees who traditionally park in the Stadium E-Red Lot at the corner of Cooper and University Drives will also be relocated to the Stadium Orange Lot. Both UK HealthCare and the VA Hospital will continue to operate independent shuttle services to their various facilities, but will now do so from the same parking area.

The Commonwealth Stadium Green Lot located between the stadium and BCTC will transition from a commuter (C6) only parking lot to a mixed-use employee (E) and commuter (C6) parking lot. Additionally, the E-Red employee parking lot located on the corner of Cooper and University Drives will transition to a K designated parking area. To improve traffic flow and access between the Green and Red Lots, a connector road has been added between the two lots.

Employee (E) permits are now authorized to park in any K Lot, including the Red, Blue, and Black Lots, as well as the Greg Page Overflow Lot and the Soccer/Softball Complex Lots, allowing employees more flexibility if their desired parking area is at capacity. This change became effective on July 1, 2014.

To view a map of the Commonwealth Stadium parking area changes, view the attachment below or click here.

UK Police Department Issues Crime Bulletin

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 17:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2014) — In the interest of safety, University of Kentucky Police Department has issued a Crime Bulletin for the UK community.  Officials at the University of Kentucky have recently been made aware of a robbery that took place on campus.

The UK Police Department has been informed that the following crime, which has occurred on UK campus, is being investigated by the Lexington Division of Police:

At approximately 11:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a robbery was reported to have occurred in the parking lot of the College of Medicine Learning Center at 807 South Limestone Street. The male victim, not a UK student or employee, was sitting at a bench between the parking lot and behind the Speedway Store at 819 South Limestone Street.  He was reportedly robbed of personal property and struck in the face and on his body causing physical injury.  The victim described the three suspects as a white male, thin build, 6’2” tall with blond hair and a pony tail, a black male, thin build, 6’2” tall, and a black male, medium build, 5’10” tall.  The white male suspect was reportedly known to the victim.   

University of Kentucky Police Department has issued this Crime Bulletin for the UK Community in compliance with the “Timely Notice” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police at (859) 257-8573 or Lexington Division of Police at (859) 258-3600.

The University of Kentucky values a safe community for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. In the interest of promoting a safe and secure campus environment, UK Police offer the following safety precautions:

  • If you see something, say something. For emergencies, call 911.
  • Carry a cell phone to be able to call for help in emergencies.
  • Whenever possible, do not travel alone after dark; walk with a friend or with a group. 
  • Whenever possible, look out for your friends when you go out together; walk together and make sure that everyone gets home safely.
  • Request a FREE SAFECATS student safety escort or coordinate after-hours on-demand bus service during the fall and spring semesters by calling (859) 257-SAFE(7233).
  • Park in well-lit areas when possible.
  • Turn over any requested items (purse, wallet, etc).
  • Make statements with authority – “BACK-OFF! STOP! NO-WAY!” You deserve to be respected.

If you have been a victim of violence, or would like to be a part of UK’s effort to end violence, please contact the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center for confidential services, support and referrals. 859-257-3564.

UK Pharmacy Professor Develops New Tool to Prevent Heroin Deaths

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 17:31

Video by UK Research Media

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse — developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy — is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration.

The product, a nasal spray application of the anti-opioid drug naloxone, was developed by Daniel Wermeling, UK professor of pharmacy practice and science, through his startup company AntiOp Inc.

Naloxone is the standard treatment for suspected opioid overdose, already in use by emergency rooms and emergency medical technicians across the country. Opioids are the class of pain-killing drugs that are related to morphine, including prescription drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin.

Currently, naloxone is administered by injection. The nasal spray eliminates the need for needles, with a ready-to-use, single-use delivery device inserted into the nose of an overdose victim. The product delivers a consistent dose, absorbed across the nasal membranes even if the patient is not breathing.

"The goal is to make the medication available to patients at high risk of opioid overdose, and to caregivers, including family members, who may lack specialized medical training," Wermeling said. "The treatment could be given in anticipation of EMS arrival, advancing the continuum of care and ultimately saving lives."

Nationwide, deaths from opioid overdose are on the rise, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kentucky, long troubled by widespread abuse of prescription opioids, has seen a dramatic rise in deaths from heroin overdose in recent years. In autopsies from 2013, the state medical examiner attributed 230 deaths to heroin overdose, an increase of more than 60 percent from the previous year.

UK President Eli Capilouto congratulated Wermeling on his success with AntiOp, saying that it reflects the core values of the university.

"Too many Kentucky families have experienced the tragedy of seeing a loved one's life cut short by a drug overdose," Capilouto said. "The epidemic of opioid abuse in our state presents an enormous and urgent challenge, not only for health care providers and law enforcement, but also for us here at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Wermeling's project is putting a powerful new tool into the hands of those on the front line of the fight against heroin, both here in Kentucky and beyond. This type of innovation embodies the three main components of the university's mission — education, research and, above all, service."

UK College of Pharmacy Dean Timothy S. Tracy said Wermeling's work also provides an illustration of "bench-to-bedside" research in action.

"Dr. Wermeling’s project is a great example of how UK College of Pharmacy faculty are working each and every day to create healthier Kentucky communities," Tracy said. "Dr. Wermeling and his collaborative team of research colleagues saw a problem facing families in Kentucky and across the nation and developed an innovative solution. That type of translational approach is important to our college, this university, and, of course, the future of our Commonwealth."

Wermeling's research was supported by a three-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute on Drug Abuse with additional funding from the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. In May, AntiOp partnered with Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals to accelerate production and worldwide marketing of intranasal naloxone.

The Fast Track program of the FDA is designed to expedite the development and review of new drugs that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs. Fast Track-designated drugs ordinarily qualify for priority review, thereby expediting the FDA review process.

"As an educator, pharmacist, researcher and entrepreneur, being able to work on this naloxone project has been a dream come true," Wermeling said. "I often tell my students and colleagues that this project has allowed me to use all of the skills I have learned over the years. It has been the ultimate problem-solving project, requiring me to utilize my pharmacological skills, my drug delivery knowledge, my business and marketing skills — all at the same time.

"At the end of the day, however, this project has always been about people. It has always been about utilizing the knowledge and skills that we have to improve patient care."

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396;

UK College of Pharmacy Announces New Tool to Prevent Heroin Deaths

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 17:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto will join UK College of Pharmacy Dean Timothy S. Tracy, Professor Daniel Wermeling and others at a news conference this morning to announce the development of a major new tool for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose, one that is receiving national attention. The full story will be posted on UKNow at 10 a.m.

Kentucky to Receive $1.08 Million to Address Prescription Drug Overdose

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 16:44

LEXINGTON,  Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) – The University of Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) is one of just five awardees in the nation to receive a $1.08 million “Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Boost” grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KIPRC is a unique partnership between the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and the Kentucky State Department for Public Health.

“Prescription drug overdose is a national epidemic and Kentucky is on the front line,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, during a visit to Eastern Kentucky Tuesday night. “CDC is committed to working with community partners, state health programs, and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, R-5th District, to address health disparities and improve the lives of Americans.”

The award, provided over a three-year period, targets states “poised to make immediate progress reducing prescription drug overdose” through activities such as leveraging Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, enhancing insurance mechanisms – including strengthening patient review and prescription programs and identifying and implementing effective benefit design strategies – and conducting policy evaluation to understand what works.

"Kentucky has been a national leader in several aspects of prescription drug overdose prevention," said Terry Bunn, director of KIPRC.  "This critical funding gives us the opportunity to highlight, evaluate, and build upon Kentucky’s previous efforts and groundwork in preventing prescription drug overdoses."

Kentucky had the third highest mortality rate of prescription drug overdoses in 2010 (23.6 per 100,000), with the number of all drug overdose deaths more than quadrupling since 1999 (4.9 per 100,000), according to a 2013 report by Trust For America’s Health. Nationally the rate has doubled.

“Hal Rogers has been calling attention to – and leading the fight against – this terrible epidemic,” Frieden said. “I’m honored to be with him to advance these important programs to stop the epidemic.”

The announcement came during a dinner held at the Ramada Paintsville Hotel and Conference Center, the third “Health Impact Series” event with the CDC as part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative.

Dr. Frieden and Congressman Rogers have worked together through Operation UNITE’s National Rx Drug Abuse Summit to combat this public health epidemic, and have teamed up once again for the SOAR Health Impact Series.

SOAR, launched by Rogers and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in the fall of 2013, seeks to expand job creation; enhance regional opportunity, innovation and identity; and improve the quality of life for Appalachian Kentucky.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, this region has a greater prevalence for heart disease (84 percent higher), diabetes (47 percent higher) and obesity (26 percent higher) than the nation’s average. The state’s lung cancer mortality rates are the nation’s highest, at 67 percent above average.

“Many of Eastern Kentucky’s biggest health challenges could be improved – if not altogether reversed – with a little prevention,” said Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Unhealthy habits, like smoking, are one of the main health concerns facing the people of this region. Many of the associated health concerns could be prevented through healthier choices.”

Tuesday’s dinner – sponsored by Highlands Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph-Martin, Paul B. Hall Medical Center, and Operation UNITE – also featured a presentation by CDC Deputy Director Dr. Judith Monroe, who received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University and went on to practice medicine in another part of the Appalachian region.

“We cannot shape the future of this region without focusing on ways to improve the quality of life we have,” Rogers said. “If you’ve ever battled cancer or watched someone close to you go down that difficult road, quality of life is basically non-existent.”

Bunn emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary, multidimensional responses to the complex problems of prescription drug abuse and overdose.

"It is only through this type of collaboration--between local, state, and federal government; health care providers; policy makers; law enforcement; and researchers--that we can understand and address this devastating yet preventable problem," she said.

Through a series of 15 listening sessions this summer, the SOAR Health Work Group “collected lots of innovative strategies for improving health in our region, including many projects that involve re-discovering the healthy benefits of growing our own gardens and cooking together with our families,” said Dr. Nikki Stone, associate professor of the UK College of Dentistry/Medicine and chair of the SOAR Health Work Group.

Common themes in the health discussions included wellness, healthy foods, the smoke-free initiative, a focus on children and coordinated school health, oral health, diabetes/obesity, seniors, the need for mental health assessments and services beginning in early childhood, and the drug epidemic.

“We aren’t the type of people who stand by expecting someone else to save us – the people of southern and eastern Kentucky like to pull up our bootstraps and hit the trenches,” Rogers said, cautioning that there is no quick fix.

“This is a marathon – in fact, this is the race of our lives,” Rogers continued. “We may not even get to see the fruits of our efforts. But, if we endure, our children and grandchildren will live healthier and better than we are living now.”

For more information about SOAR visit their website at

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

Emmy Goes To Documentary about UK HealthCare Patients Who Told Stories Through Art

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 15:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — A documentary about eight UK HealthCare organ donation recipients who expressed their transplant stories through artwork has received a regional Emmy award.

Filmmaker Thomas Southerland's "Body Maps: Transplantation Inside and Out" received an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy award in the category of best documentary on Aug. 2. Inspired by a body mapping workshop for eight UK HealthCare patients that took place in February 2013, the documentary was collaboration between the Lexington Public Library and Kentucky Organ Donation Affiliates. Earlier this summer, the film received a bronze Telly Award.

The documentary follows eight UK HealthCare organ donation recipients as they recount their transplant experiences through a body mapping exercise at the Tuska Center for Contemporary Art in the UK Fine Arts Building. Body mapping is an art therapy exercise in which participants communicate their stories through pictures, words and symbols on a life-size canvass of their bodies. Belgium artist Xavier Verhoest, who developed the body mapping workshop for people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, led the four-day UK workshop.

The workshop was organized as a joint effort by UK Arts in HealthCare, UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Art and Visual Studies, the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, the Ruth Hunt Wood Foundation and the Art2Be organization.

The body maps of all eight patients were displayed at an exhibit in the UK Chandler Hospital in February 2013. Southerland's film portrays their stories of grief, resilience and hope to show the healing power of art and underline the importance of organ donation.

"Working on Body Maps was a career highlight for me, largely due to the courageous and generous spirit of the eight organ recipients who bravely shared their stories," Southerland said.  

To watch the documentary, check airing times on the channel 20 television schedule by clicking here. KET and its affiliated channels will air the documentary in late August. For a complete schedule, click here

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Faculty and Staff Wanted as FUSION Site Advisors

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — UK FUSION (For Unity and Service In Our Neighborhoods) 2014 is right around the corner. With less than a month away from the state's largest single-day community service project, Monday, Aug. 25, FUSION is looking for UK faculty and staff to volunteer as site advisors for the event.

The FUSION team anticipates more than 1,000 UK students serving at nearly 100 community and neighborhood organizations. Each small group is led by one or two student site leaders, and a faculty or staff site advisor.

Known as a great opportunity to interact with students in a different and meaningful way, site advisors will help provide risk management, assist with group dynamics and serve as positive role models for participants as the group volunteers. 

FUSION 2014 begins at 8:45 a.m. for site advisors and is expected to end around 3 p.m., although times may vary depending on specific sites.

To sign up to volunteer as a site advisor follow these steps:

1.     Visit

2.     In the top right corner select "Register / Sign in."

3.     Select "Create an account now!" in the light blue box in the middle of the page.

4.     Enter and confirm your email.

5.     Complete the personal information form and create an account.

6.     In the "Search For" box, type "FUSION."

7.     In the "Opportunities Near" box, type "Lexington, KY."

8.     Click the "Faculty/Staff Advisor FUSION 2014" event.

9.     Click sign-up.

After completing these steps, a screen saying "you have successfully signed up for the project" will appear.  You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not, please email

For more information about FUSION or the site advisor opportunity, contact or Connect with FUSION on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.    

UK FUSION is part of UK's Center for Community Outreach. The CCO is a student-driven program that is intended to foster the development of leaders who make a difference in their communities. The mission of the CCO is to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. 

High Schoolers, Freshmen Discover Design at UK

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 10:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — For the fourth year in a row, high school students and incoming first-year students at the University of Kentucky had the opportunity to explore design fundamentals in the UK College of Design (CoD)   Design Discovery Program. This weeklong program is designed to expose prospective students to the type of learning environment they would encounter in a design education setting.

Participants took part in design and drawing exercises, model-making workshops led by UK/CoD faculty, and field trips to gain an understanding of what constitutes the studio experience of a first-year student at the college.

“The program theme was 'a city of spaces,'” said program coordinator Jordan Hines.  “As a studio, we continually looked at our work as a collective idea; we displayed all the work as a single work or a continuous exhibit of design ideas, linked by a common theme.”

In addition to work in the studio, students toured local design firms Ross Tarrant Architects, alt32 and Gray Construction, where they spoke with UK/CoD alumni and design professionals.

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


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