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UK Students Impact Fellow Students Through Big Blue Pantry

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 17:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — University of Kentucky students are coming together to help fellow students who many not have access to healthy food through a new initiative called the Big Blue Pantry.

Watch the video above to discover how this resource, made possible through the UK Center for Community Outreach, is helping students in need as well as students who serve as coordinators for the program.  

Whistleblower Statute Protects UK Employees

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Congress has enacted many whistleblower protection statutes to encourage employees to report fraud, waste, and abuse. All University of Kentucky employees working on federal grants or contracts should be aware of the latest whistleblower protection statute that went into effect July 1, 2013.  The statute (41 U.S.C. §4712) applies to all contractors, grantees, subcontractors and subgrantees on federal grants and contracts.

The implementation of this "Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protections" by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) states that an "employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee (or subgrantee) may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for 'whistleblowing.'"  In addition, whistleblower protections cannot be waived by any agreement, policy, form or condition of employment.

Whistleblowing is defined as making a disclosure "that the employee reasonably believes" is evidence of any of the following:

  • Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant;
  • A gross waste of federal funds;
  • An abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant;
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or,
  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).

To qualify under the statute, the employee's disclosure must be made to:

  • A member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional committee;
  • An Inspector General;
  • The Government Accountability Office;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
  • A court or grand jury; or,
  • A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or subgrantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct.

Additionally, the statute requires all grantees, their subgrantees, and subcontractors to:

1.  Inform their employees working on any federal award that they are subject to the whistleblower rights and remedies of the pilot program;
2.  Inform their employees in writing of employee whistleblower protections under 41 U.S.C. §4712 in the predominant native language of the workforce; and,
3.  Contractors and grantees will include such requirements in any agreement made with a subcontractor or subgrantee.

The requirement to comply with, and inform all employees of the "Pilot Program for Enhancement of Contact Employee Whistleblower Protections" is in effect for all grants, contracts, subgrants, and subcontracts issued beginning July 1, 2013 through Jan. 1, 2017.

The University of Kentucky's policy can be found at According to topic #16 under the Code of Conduct "it is a violation of university policy to retaliate against an individual because she or he has made, in good faith, a disclosure of noncompliance or has participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing involving noncompliance of any of the above."

For more information about this policy and notice, contact Deborah Davis, director of the UK Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, at 859-257-8311 or

Sing Along With UK Opera, Alltech at 'Celebration of Song'

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 15:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Alltech and University of Kentucky Opera Theatre invite you to the ninth annual "Celebration of Song" beginning at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at the The Square (previously the Victorian Square Shoppes Atrium), located at the corner of West Main Street and North Broadway in downtown Lexington. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

Director of UK Opera Theatre Everett McCorvey leads the orchestra and award-winning vocalists from UK Opera Theatre in this sing-along holiday concert. Join the vocalists in a selection of beloved carols to get you in the spirit of the season. Endowed Chair, Professor of Voice Cynthia Lawrence; UK artist-in-residence Gregory Turay; UK Blue Steel; and the Lexington Singers’ Children’s Choir join the celebration for a fourth year. New to "Celebration of Song" is Zeb Harrison and Sounds of Praise, a foot-stomping, hand-clapping trombone ensemble from Charlotte, North Carolina.  

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

For more information on “Celebration of Song” visit or contact UK Opera Theatre at 859-257-9331.

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

UK Employees Can Sign-up to Receive W-2 Forms Online Now

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — University of Kentucky employees have the option of accessing their W-2 statements online. UK's 'Safe, Swift, Sustainable' W-2 program allows currently employed faculty, staff and students to receive their W-2 forms through the 'Employee Self Service' portion of password protected myUK.

Employees who enroll in the Safe, Swift, Sustainable W-2 program give the university consent to only provide their W-2s online. Enrolled employees will no longer receive a paper W-2 in the mail but will be able to view and print their W-2 at an earlier date. The enrollment period is now through Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, and prizes will be given as an incentive to enroll. Employees who consented last year to receive their 2013 W-2 online will continue to receive their future W-2s online.

The benefits of this online W-2 statements program are:

•  Earlier access to your W-2 statement than the traditional mail process;

•  Email notification when online W-2 statement is available;

•  Eliminate the possibility of your W-2 statement being delayed or lost in the mail;

•  Access to your W-2 statement at any time;

•  Ability to print W-2 at your convenience;

•  Contribute to UK’s sustainability initiative; and

•  Once enrolled future W-2s will remain online for multiple years.

"Safe, swift and sustainable really are key aspects of this program," said Ronda Beck, UK controller. "Electronic versions of W-2 statements are expected to be available for viewing as early as Jan. 20, 2015, whereas extra time is needed for printing and mailing paper versions, which are required to be mailed no later than Jan. 31, 2015. Also, employees have the added security of knowing their salary and social security number aren't on paper in the mail system."

The program fits well into UK's overall sustainability efforts by reducing the use of paper, and promoting cost savings. Beck estimates UK will see approximately $20,000 in annual savings in paper and postage costs.

For instructions on how to enroll in the Safe, Swift, Sustainable W-2 program, visit

All active UK employees who consent to receive online W-2s will be entered into a random drawing for prizes, which includes a chance to win:

· UK basketball tickets;

· $50 gift cards; and

· $250 gift cards

Prize winners will be notified weekly Dec. 15, 2014, through Jan. 20, 2015.  

Employees who do not want to enroll in the program do not have to take any action. They will have a paper W-2 form printed and mailed by the University of Kentucky no later than Jan. 31, 2015, to the employee’s permanent address on file in the SAP HR/Payroll system. Employees who have separated employment from the University of Kentucky will have a W-2 paper form printed and mailed.  

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

UPK Book Gives Voice to Appalachian Speech

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2014) — Appalachians are one of the few groups left where stereotyping is not given a second thought by the media in todays' society. While often the subject of ridicule, the dialect and identity associated with Appalachia have special meaning to its people and culture.

In " Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community," now available in paperback through the University Press of Kentucky (UPK), editors Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward along with a team of scholars and creative writers combine linguistic research and testimonials about mountain dialects to explore what it is like to be an Appalachian speaker in today's times. Clark and Hayward bridge the gap between perceptions of Appalachian speech and the truth.

"Talking Appalachian" discusses the diversities of Appalachian English by examining linguistic history, small speech communities, dialects among African Americans in the region, and how language is approached in education. In the essay “The Historical Background and Nature of the Englishes of Appalachia,” Michael Montgomery looks to history and immigration patterns to explore the variation and commonality among dialects. Hayward’s essay, “Think Logically: Language as Community Practice,” explains how local factors play an important role in the construction of linguistic identities, putting to rest the myth that Appalachian speech is unified throughout the entire region. Walt Wolfram investigates “African American Speech in Southern Appalachia” and Jeffrey Reaser’s essay, “Dialect and Education in Appalachia,” chronicles the ways native speakers are stereotyped in mainstream educational systems.

"Talking Appalachian" also explores the experience of being an Appalachian speaker through the personal essays of contemporary writers from the region and by examining samples of their characters’ dialogue. In the essay “In My Own Country,” novelist Silas House describes his parents’ learning to “pass” as they tried to assimilate into a Michigan community and explores his resistance to standardizing his own dialect. In the essay “A Matter of Perception,” poet Jane Hicks reveals the prejudice and misinterpretation she has encountered as a student and educator because of her northeastern Tennessee accent. Authors Denise Giardina, Ron Rash, Rita Quillen and Crystal Wilkinson contribute passages from their works of fiction in which their characters face conflicts about identity and perception that arise as a result of their dialects.

Through sociolinguistic research and personal narratives, "Talking Appalachian" deconstructs the idea of one standard Appalachian English and connects readers with the contributors as they accept and appreciate their own identities. Clark and Hayward show these vernaculars are inextricably linked with identity, and they appeal to all who struggle to maintain their dialect, and therefore, their individuality.

Amy D. Clark is an associate professor of English at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Nancy M. Hayward is professor emeritus of English at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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;

UK Researchers Awarded CDC Grants for Cancer Research in Appalachia

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 10:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) – Two University of Kentucky researchers have been awarded $1.62 million in grants through special interest projects from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The grants fund projects that focus on methods for improving the dire cancer statistics in Appalachian Kentucky, which has some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the country.

Robin Vanderpool, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior in the UK College of Public Health, was awarded a 5-year, $1.37 million grant to fund the Appalachian Center for Cancer Education, Screening, and Support (ACCESS), a collaboration between the University of Kentucky's Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC) and the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN).

CPCRN is supported by both CDC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). ACCESS will work to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention and control programs in Appalachian Kentucky communities and reduce the cancer burden in these underserved populations. The goal of the project is to use existing primary care resources in efficient and effective ways to promote guideline-recommended cancer screenings and improve overall health in the region. 

Specifically, ACCESS will conduct a regional research project with White House Clinics, a federally qualified health center that serves a medically underserved and high-poverty region in Appalachian Kentucky. The project will design, implement, and evaluate a proactive officer encounter (POE) intervention effort in eight community health centers, which will provide a systematic approach to offering breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer screening services at every office encounter for eligible patients.

Bin Huang, an assistant professor in the Division of Cancer Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics, UK College of Public Health, was awarded a 2-year, $250,000 grant to improve Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) data through ancillary data linkage. The main goal of Huang's project is to establish groundwork and examine the feasibility for the development of a sustainable Kentucky Cancer Quality and Outcome Research Data System, with the goal of improving the quality of care for Kentuckians with cancer.

The project seeks to generate enhanced KCR data, specifically in Appalachian Kentucky, by linking with external sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers; populating treatment summaries for breast and colorectal cancers; and conducting patterns of care research in cancer survival disparities for these types of cancers in Appalachian and non-Appalachian populations. 

These projects are a great example of the interdisciplinary work of investigators in the College of Public Health and Markey Cancer Center that spans the cancer prevention and control continuum, from screening interventions to surveillance, to remedy the cancer disparities faced by residents of Appalachian Kentucky,” said Margaret McGladrey, assistant dean for research in the UK College of Public Health.

Federal funds from the CDC and NCI financed 100 percent of the costs for these special interest projects; no non-governmental sources contributed to the funding. 

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

New State Law on Personal Information Security Affects UK

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 19:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — A new state law, the Personal Information Security and Breach Investigation Procedures and Practices Act, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015, and applies to all state agencies and universities.  This act concerns the protection of personal information, which is broadly defined (see definition of personal information below).

The major elements of the law require UK employees to:

  • Be aware of personal information (both in paper and electronic form) and secure it accordingly.
  • Contact the appropriate offices if there is a suspected breach of personal information and/or protected health information:

o   Non-health care areas should contact the Security Breach Reporting Line, by calling 859-218-3904;

o   Health care areas should contact UK HealthCare IT Security Help Desk by calling 859-323-8586 or the Office of Corporate Compliance by calling 859-323-8002;

  • Preserve all information and data for the incident response team to investigate.

Employees are asked to share this information with colleagues. More information will be coming soon. 

Any questions should be directed to the UK HealthCare Office of Corporate Compliance at 859-323-8002; UK Analytics and Technologies Security at 859-218-0306 / e-mail; or UK Office of Legal Counsel at 859-257-2936.

Personal Information

Personal information is defined as " an individual's first name or first initial and last name; personal mark; or unique biometric or genetic print or image, in combination with one or more of the following data elements:

·         An account number, credit card number, or debit card number that, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password, would permit access to an account;

·         A Social Security number;

·         A taxpayer identification number that incorporates a Social Security number;

·         A driver's license number, state identification card number or other  individual  identification number issued by an agency;

·         A passport  number or other identification number  issued by the United States government; or

·         Individually Identifiable Information as defined  in 45 C.F.R. sec. 160.013 (of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), except for education  records covered  by the Family  Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended 20 U.S.C. sec 1232g."

Art of UK's 'Les Femmes' Showcased at Barnhart

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 17:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — The University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies presents the senior B.A. (bachelor of arts) juried group show "Les Femmes." The group show, featuring art by only graduating artists of the female persuasion, is being held through Dec. 12, in Barnhart Gallery, Room 206 of Reynolds Building Number 1. A closing reception will be held to honor the artists 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at the gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

"Les Femmes" features work by graduating seniors Sarah Day, Theresa Masterson, Jaime Michelle Robbins and Caitlin Sollee.

Sarah Day is an artist and a photographer. She graduated from Estero High School in Estero, Florida, in 2005 and relocated to her family’s hometown in Utica, Kentucky. After earning her associate of arts degree from Owensboro Community and Technical College in 2010, she moved to Lexington to complete her bachelor's degree in art studio at UK. Day took her first photography class at UK and began exploring digital, traditional and alternative-process photography. She creates her art in series, timelines and narratives that explore relationships, identity and memory.

Theresa Masterson grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently lives in Georgetown, Kentucky. She holds an associates of arts degree in communication from Jefferson Community Technical College, which she earned in 2011. After attending University of Louisville, where she studied hot glass for two years under Professor Che Rhodes, she transferred to UK. She will graduate with a bachelor's degree art studio and a minor in art history. Masterson works with whatever material the artwork needs to complete the creative thought and turn it into a tangible piece of art with concentrations in glass and clay.

"Every piece I make has its own story hidden in the medium waiting to emerge and come to life," Masterson said. "Its emotions push their way to the surface and the form takes on its own tone. You can see its personality emerge vibrantly from within the artwork. Making art is like reading a mystery book. You may not see it in the beginning but it slowly reveals its hidden story."

Jaime Michelle Robbins was born in 1986 in Heidelberg, Germany, to parents Lisa and Frank Robbins. As soon as she learned to glue, she became fascinated with creating. Robbins glued, she drew and she collaged everything she could. As she grew up, her skills branched out into jewelry making and music until she went to college in her 20s to explore and learn as much as she could. It was there that she discovered what the intentions of her creations would be. Robbins' pieces, whether it be photography, fiber or mixed media, has two distinct sides like the artist; one is light, whimsical and beautiful while the other is dark and chaotic discussing the issues that face those who struggle with mental illness.

Caitlin Sollee is a Lexington resident who typically uses a combination of photography and fiber mediums for the majority of her work.  Married, she often artistically collaborates with her musician husband, Kentucky native, Ben Sollee. During her time at UK, Sollee has interned with Lexington local artists in her studies by taking independent studies and volunteering at different studios to expand on her base knowledge of art and working studios. This has allowed her to study with prestigious photographer Guy Mendes and expanded her technique in silver gelatin photography, and with Paul Holbrook, who taught her bookbinding and letterpress at the UK's King Library Press.

Sollee's work often explores the idea of the passage of time represented to the viewer through tedious acts of repetition. Typically hand-embroidery is included in her artwork as a means to further push the idea of time because the process itself requires patience and dedication. Portrait photography is another recurring element of Sollee's artwork and is often printed using non-silver techniques such as cyanotype or gum printing.

For more information on "Les Femmes," contact Professor Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, at

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies and art education.

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

'Rooted in Our Communities: The University of Kentucky in Appalachia'

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 16:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — A special message from University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto:

"I gleaned the remains of my life, turned toward the hills that give me help, give me shelter, hold the sky where it belongs"

-  Jane Hicks

Over the next several months, we'll be examining and discussing the special relationship and partnership the University of Kentucky has with the Central Appalachian region.

A new series of stories, “Rooted in Our Communities: The University of Kentucky in Appalachia”, will examine the myriad ways in which UK faculty, staff and students are working in — and, more importantly, with — communities throughout the mountains. Those stories and other compelling features can be found at

These stories bring to life the significant challenges and even more promising opportunities that exist not only in Eastern Kentucky, but throughout our Commonwealth in areas such as health care, energy and conservation, education and economic development.

As important, though, these stories will celebrate and promote the incredible culture and heritage of the region as well as the progress we’ve made together. The richness of the mountains emboldens our shared effort and the promise of tomorrow. In the attached video, I discuss in more detail this mission of service and partnership with and for Appalachia.  

At the University of Kentucky, we take pride in the fact that our 150-year legacy of education, research, service and care means that we are — in creative and compelling ways — the university for Kentucky.

In Appalachia, that service and those partnerships are deeply rooted and grounded in a sense of community … in a spirit of partnership … with the idea that we, too, look toward the hills — for help and shelter, for partnership and meaning … for stronger communities and for a brighter future for our Commonwealth.

Seale Committed to Success of Gatton College, UK

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 15:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — When the leadership of the University of Kentucky and its Gatton College of Business and Economics laid out a vision for expansion and enhancement of the college's facilities, to be financed totally through private philanthropy, UK alumnus William E. "Bill" Seale 'stepped up to the plate' in a big way, donating $5 million to the $65 million project. Recently, he pledged an additional $5 million to the Gatton United Campaign to bring his total commitment to $10 million.  

With this funding, the college plans to honor Seale's generosity by naming the new finance learning center in his honor. The state-of-the-art installation will be called the William E. Seale Finance Learning Center. The center will allow students, both undergraduate and graduate, to flourish in a technologically advanced classroom that simulates a real trading environment with digital displays feeding real-time financial and market information.

Brad Jordan, chair of Gatton’s Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods and the Richard W. and Janis H. Furst Endowed Chair in Finance, said, “Once this is built, it will be the best of its kind. It will contain exactly the same types of databases, the same types of terminals, the same types of access that a trader would have at a Wall Street firm. It’s also a classroom designed in a way that facilitates group work and interaction between faculty and students.“

Students will sit in small clusters throughout the room allowing for more collaboration and giving them an introduction to the environment and atmosphere many of them will be working in following graduation. The most prominent finance program at the center will be the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF).

“Groups of students will be managing more than $5 million of UK’s endowment, making all buy-and-sell decisions,” Jordan said. “Every major university in the country is developing this kind of program and UK will now be at the forefront. This will be one of the larger student managed investment funds in the nation, and our students will have the very best facilities.”

Seale graduated from UK with a degree in chemistry in 1963 and then worked in the College of Medicine for several years. While holding down that job, he also found time to study for a master's degree in agricultural economics, which he received from the university in 1969. Seale earned his Ph.D. in 1975.

Seale previously demonstrated his commitment to UK and its future students when his monetary gift established the D. Milton Shuffett Agricultural Economics Endowment Fund, in honor of a former, longtime College of Agriculture, Food and Environment faculty member who was a mentor to him.

"It's an undergraduate scholarship designed for Kentucky kids, and it's a need-based scholarship," said Seale.  

Another UK teacher who made a huge impact on Seale was the late William J. Stober, a faculty member in the Gatton College's Department of Economics.

"Professor Stober and Professor Shuffett both had an unbelievable ability to impart knowledge," said Seale.

Now retired, Seale has deep family ties to UK. His father, Frank Seale, earned three letters as a member of the Wildcat football team in the early 1930s. Bill's son, Jim, also is a UK graduate.

Seale has a long list of career achievements. To mention just a few:

·         Chief economist and principal at the $28 billion mutual fund investment firm ProFunds

·         Chair of the Finance Department and senior associate dean of the business school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

·         Former commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (an appointment by President Ronald Reagan)

These days, Seale spends most of his time in either Annapolis, Maryland or Key Largo, Florida.

The University of Kentucky will remain one of his major priorities going forward.

"It's a great institutution and is one of those things we have to continue to support," said Seale.  "I wouldn't be where I am without UK and that's why I give back."

To find out more about the Gatton United Campaign, visit

There you can find news stories, profiles of donors, sketches and videos of the new building, and a live webcam of the progress of building construction.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Michelle Lowe, 859-257-1838.

Nursing Faculty Receives Grant to Promote Colorectal Screening in Rural Appalachia

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 14:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2013) – Jennifer Hatcher, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, received a two-year $359,528 award from the National Cancer Institute for her project, “Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRC) in Rural Emergency Departments.” 

The project will be the first to address the disproportionate incidence and mortality from colorectal cancer in rural Appalachia utilizing the emergency department as an access point. Hatcher and her team will pilot test a culturally tailored intervention using brief motivational interviewing by lay health advisors to promote colorectal cancer screenings in an emergency department serving rural Appalachian Kentucky in order to evaluate the feasibility of the intervention in this rural Appalachian setting and assess the effects of the intervention on perceived barriers to CRC screening and future cancer screening.

“Residents of rural Appalachia have a higher incidence and mortality rate from colorectal cancer than residents of any other region of the country," Hatcher said. "In light of the fact that colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can actually be prevented by screening, this grant presents a tremendous opportunity for us to address one of the key factors affecting this disparity for rural Appalachians -- limited access to the health care system."

An emergency department provides services to many rural residents who may not have a primary care provider.  "We believe that using an emergency department as an access point for this project will allow us to reach more individuals who are at risk for developing colorectal cancer, thereby reducing the disparate mortality rates that rural Appalachians suffer from this disease,” Hatcher added.

UK Student Participating in UN Climate Change Conference

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 12:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — Caroline Engle, University of Kentucky junior majoring in both agricultural economics and natural resources and environmental science, is assembling with others in Lima, Peru, this week to represent the United States at the 20th annual Conference of the Parties (COP20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Joining government officials, UN representatives and civil society organizations from across the world, Engle traveled to the conference as part of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC). SSC is the youth-led chapter of the Sierra Club, the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization.

Meetings from COP20, culminating Dec. 12, aim to provide a foundation for a global climate change agreement at COP21 in Paris next year, and Engle hopes for the same. She helped analyze the U.S. and China policy agreement, highlighting aspects that needed to be more ambitious "to truly address mitigation in a way that takes common but differentiated responsibility into account," Engle said.

"I think it's important for youth to be involved in this conversation because the policies and decisions that are created from COP20 and COP21 truly shape our future," she said.

Engle and her delegation joined with the China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN) to praise their countries for action already taken, and to encourage further climate action. Both SSC and CYCAN are calling for a 100 percent clean energy-powered world by 2030, according to a news release.  

A member of the Student Sustainability Council and recruitment chair for UK Greenthumb Environmental Club, Engle plans to bring her experiences at COP20 back to students at UK. With a sense of urgency, she says she will encourage more students to get involved in sustainability projects.

"As someone who is extremely interested and excited about international climate change policy, I felt like there needed to be someone to take the complicated alphabet soup the UNFCCC uses and explain it to youth in a way that is understandable to bring action," Engle said.

Engle would also like to see the Student Sustainability Council fund more renewable energy projects, "which have lasting impacts on the university." In November, the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant awards were announced, funding seven sustainability projects at UK with support from the Student Sustainability Council, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

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

UK Junior to Study Abroad on Scholarship

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — University of Kentucky materials engineering junior Zach Wildofsky, of Tremont City, Ohio, has been awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad, and he will study in Australia.

The Gilman Scholarship is a congressionally funded scholarship sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

The scholarship supports students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities.

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray the cost of tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

Wildofsky is excited about the opportunities made possible with his Gilman Scholarship. "It will help me pay for my semester abroad this spring in Sydney, Australia. I believe this study abroad program at the University of New South Wales will offer me specific and valuable skills that I can use towards my career that cannot be taught anywhere else."

The son of Jackie and Sam Wildofsky, of Springfield, Ohio, has always been interested in science.

"For as long as I can remember I have known what I wanted to do with my life. Science has always been a passion of mine, and the science involving sports in particular has interested me for some time. Dedicating my life to improving the lives of others through engineering better and safer sporting equipment is very appealing to me," Wildofsky said.

An Honors Program member, Wildofsky has been involved in undergraduate research during his time at UK and credits Matthew Beck, an assistant professor in materials engineering, as a mentor and role mode. The junior has participated in thermoelectrics research and gaining experience with XRD (x-ray diffraction), EDX (energy dispersive x-ray analysis), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), TEM (transmission electron microscopy) and ZEM (Seebeck coefficient/electrical resistance measuring system).

"In addition, I have researched electromechanical actuators and presented a final project to professional engineers," said Wildofsky, who interned two summers at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Wildofsky would like to be a materials engineer working in the sports industry with a company like Nike, Adidas or Wilson.

Students who are interested in this and other study abroad scholarship opportunities should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education. The office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Director Pat Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

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

UK Board Accept Gifts Totaling Over $26 Million

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 18:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees accepted three major gifts to the university during its meeting Tuesday. One will help fund the renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics; another is being used for scholarships for first-generation students; and the third is a previously announced gift for the renovation and expansion of the Student Center.

The board officially accepted the $20 million pledge that C.M. "Bill" Gatton announced in September for the UK Student Center capital construction project. Gatton, a UK alumnus and trustee, is the single largest donor in the university's history.  His gifts exceed $45 million, with an impact of nearly $57 million because some of his gifts were matched by the state's "Bucks for Brains" program. UK's College of Business and Economics is named in his honor.

Financier and UK alumnus William E. Seale's pledge of $5 million was accepted, bringing his total gift to the Gatton College's renovation and expansion to $10 million.  With this funding the college will honor Seale with the William E. Seale Finance Learning Center -- a technologically advanced classroom that simulates a real trading environment with digital displays and real-time financial and stock market information.

Seale, who earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and master's and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics from UK, has more than 30 years of experience in the financial markets.  He was a commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a professor and chairman of the Finance Department at George Washington University; vice president for government relations of the Commodity Exchange; and member of the Board of Managers of the New York Cotton Exchange.  In 1997 he helped found the ProFunds Group mutual funds provider.

The UK Board of Trustees also accepted a gift of $984,500 from Carl F. Pollard of Louisville, and a charitable grant of $200,000 from the C.F. Pollard Foundation to provide additional endowed funds for the Carl. F. Pollard Scholarship Fund.

Pollard, who earned a bachelor's degree in commerce from UK in 1960 and went on to excel in careers with  Humana and Columbia Healthcare Corporation, established the scholarship fund in 1994 to support first-generation college students with first preference given to children of full-time thoroughbred horse farm workers employed in Kentucky.  Pollard, a life-long horse racing enthusiast and horse farm owner, was chairman of Churchill Downs from 2001-2011.

Art Therapy Brings Fun, Stress Relief to Markey Patients and Families

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 16:10

Video by UK Public Relations.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) – With a table stacked full of pre-cut foam patterns, markers, stamps, and various creative accoutrement, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Art Therapist Fran Belvin is determined to bring a little holiday cheer to the patients and visitors coming through Markey's outpatient clinics.

As patients and visitors walk past her table, many stop to check it out, hesitant. Belvin and her student assistant, Kalin Wilson, welcome them with broad smiles and a simple question: "Would you like to decorate an ornament today?"

Those that say yes sit down and begin to work. Once their creative project is under way, many of the participants begin to tell Belvin about themselves: the treatment they or their loved ones are going through, their struggles, their backstories.

As Belvin notes, there's something about sitting down to work on a creative project that helps people open up and share their feelings. She sees similar reactions from the chemotherapy patients she works with on a daily basis.

"Art therapy is a way for patients to express themselves… a way to explore fears, hopes, and talk about their cancer journey," Belvin said. "Making art and talking about it feels a little less formal, less threatening than if a counselor were to sit down and say, 'Tell me how you're feeling today.'"

Belvin, who began working for Markey as an art therapist in June, spends most of her time visiting patients one-on-on in the chemotherapy suite – or "curtain-to-curtain," as she describes it.

"In addition to helping patients process the emotional effects of their illness, it's also a way to relax and reduce stress," Belvin said. "Chemotherapy can be uncomfortable, it can be boring, and it can be frightening – especially at first. Getting engaged in a creative activity is not only a fun distraction, it puts people in touch with their strengths and increases their positive feelings. In fact, research has shown that art making significantly reduces the stress hormones in the brain and elevates mood."

The ornament table is the second "art event" she's held at the cancer center. Earlier this year, she hosted a "Healing Symbol" table, where she invited participants to create their own personal symbol that represented healing.

Because art therapy is a new addition to the UK Markey Cancer Center's complementary therapy services, Belvin hopes her art events will help spread the word about the services she offers, not just to patients and visitors, but also to healthcare providers who may like to refer their patients to her. Research shows that "creative arts" therapies – including music, art, dance, drama, and writing – significantly reduces anxiety, depression, and pain and improved the quality of life in cancer patients.

Ultimately, Belvin's current ornament table is meant to bring a little levity and stress relief to those passing through the Markey Cancer Center's doors.

"I hope to offer a little bit of brightness while you're going to the doctor's office, where you're not expecting to have a fun, relaxing thing to do," Belvin said. "So I'm hoping this provides a way for people to kind of relax and have a little fun in the middle of their day."

Belvin is hosting two more art therapy ornament-making tables at Markey, both in the first floor lobby of the Whitney-Hendrickson Building. The table will be up again 1-2:30 p.m. today and next Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1-2:30 p.m. Patients, visitors and staff are all welcome to attend and participate.

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

Undergraduate Opera Studio Brings Holiday Classic Back to UK

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 16:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) — For many years in the 1990s and early 2000s, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre presented the holiday classic “Amahl and the Night Visitors” each season. After a 13-year hiatus, UK Opera Theatre’s youngest voices perform the one-act opera for a new generation. The UK Opera Theatre Undergraduate Studio and the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras (CKYO) present three performances of this 45-minute opera, originally composed for NBC, Dec. 12 and 13, at the historic Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center.

"Amahl" is the story of a young, crippled boy and the miracle that cures him while the three kings are searching for the newborn king. As a result, Amahl wishes to take his crutch to the child as his gift. Gian Carlo Menotti’s inspiration for the piece was Hireonymus Bosch’s painting " The Adoration of the Magi." The opera premiered on NBC television on Christmas Eve 1951. For a full synopsis of the opera, visit UK Opera Theatre’s website.

Audiences attending "Amahl" this weekend will have an opportunity to bring a gift of their own to help those in need this holiday season. UK Opera Theatre is proud to partner with God’s Pantry Food Bank to help families in need in the Central Kentucky region. With a $6 (cash or check) donation, or 10 canned vegetables or soups (15oz. or more), donors will be entered to win two tickets to the June 2015 production of “It’s a Grand Night For Singing!”

“Amahl” is directed by UK artist-in-residence Gregory Turay. Alumnus Daniel Chetel, of CKYO, serves as conductor and music director. Bob Pickering has designed a new set for the production, with costumes by Susan Dudley Wigglesworth.  

UK Opera Theatre and CKYO will present three performances of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec.13, at the Lyric Theatre. Tickets are $22.50 for general admission and $12.50 for students. To purchase tickets contact the Lyric Theatre box office at 859-280-2218 or visit online at

UK Opera Theatre is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school 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;

Help Yourself This Season by Helping Others

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 14:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec 11, 2014) -- Although there are a lot of things to enjoy about the holiday season -- spending time with friends and family, favorite foods and drinks, giving and receiving gifts -- it can also be a very stressful time of year. Additionally, the cold, dreary winter weather can contribute to feelings of stress or depression (known as seasonal affective disorder).

There are a few common ways to help combat these negative feelings. Eating well, exercising, and seeking medical attention if necessary are all ways you can maintain some calm during the hectic holiday season. But there's also another popular activity that may provide more benefits than you ever knew -- volunteering.

There are plenty of organizations that need extra hands this time of year, and devoting some of your time to help out can make a big difference in your own health. Volunteering not only makes other people feel good, but it is also good for you!

Recent studies have shown that there are numerous health benefits that are linked to the act of volunteering. For example:

·      Volunteering has been shown to moderate the loss of a sense of purpose among older adults who have undergone a major role change in life, like retiring from work or watching their children grow up and "leave the nest."

·      Volunteering has been shown to lead to lower rates of depression for people 65 and older.

·      Studies show that those who volunteer at an earlier age are less likely to suffer from ill heath later on in life.

·      In terms of seasonal affective disorder, fighting that depression can be aided by encouraging activity and socialization, and volunteering is a perfect way to incorporate both.

The benefits for your mental health can also been translated to your physical health -- in other words, having a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body. Volunteering has been proven to reduce stress, which is a common cause of chest pain, trouble sleeping and elevated blood pressure.

The positive health effects of volunteering seem to be more pronounced in individuals 65 and older than compared to younger generations, most likely due to the fact that younger individuals don't have as much spare time to go out and volunteer outside of working full-time and/ or taking care of children.

To really reap the benefits of volunteering, make sure you choose an organization that provides services you truly believe in and can support. You are much better off genuinely volunteering to help others out, rather than just seeking to make yourself feel better.

Additionally, know your limits. There is such a thing as too much volunteering. If you are giving too much of your time to others, the work can become more stressful than rewarding, which leads right back to health problems.

Dr. Teresa Gevedon is a psychiatrist at UK HealthCare.

This appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

Crunch Brunch Crunches Away the Stress of Finals Week

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 17:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) — The Student Activities Board Campus Life Committee gives students a way to de-stress during finals week by hosting Crunch Brunch from 9 p.m. until midnight on Monday, Dec. 15, in Memorial Coliseum.

Crunch Brunch is a traditional SAB event that provides a place for students to de-stress during finals week. At the event, students can receive long sleeve T-shirts, breakfast-type foods, and massages, as well as enjoy music and inflatables. New to the event, SAB will also provide a video gaming area, a yoga session and a Pinterest table.

“Crunch Brunch is the place that students, study partners and friends come to decrease their stress level during a crucial time of their academic careers,” Abbey Tillman, SAB director of campus life, said. “We strive to make finals week as enjoyable as possible for the campus community and hope to make this the biggest and best Crunch Brunch yet.”

Busses from campus to Memorial Coliseum will be available. All busses will drop students off at Wildcat Alumni Plaza, which is located on Avenue of Champions across from Memorial Coliseum. There are three pick up locations across campus:

  • Corner of Rose Street and Columbia Avenue
  • Corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive
  • The "90" - corner of Woodland and Hilltop Ave (near William T Young Library)

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

SAB CONTACT: Olivia Senter,

New Observation Unit at UK HealthCare Provides Care for Patients Not Ready for Discharge

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 15:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2014) –  UK HealthCare will open its first Observation Unit this week at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Across the nation, observation units are increasingly being utilized to provide high quality, safe and efficient care to patients who come to the emergency department and are too sick to be discharged home and need additional evaluation.

In the 24-bed unit located adjacent to UK Chandler's emergency department, patients with symptoms such as chest pain, abdominal pain, dehydration or syncope (fainting or passing out) will be managed and cared for up to 24 hours until either discharged or admitted as an in-patient for more intensive care. The patient will remain as an outpatient while in the unit.

Studies show benefits of patients cared for in observation units include better clinical outcomes, greater patient satisfaction, less diagnostic uncertainty, and improvements in the use of hospital resources and staff.

"There are times when a patient doesn't meet criteria set by Medicaid or Medicare to be admitted to the hospital but as a physician you just don't feel that they are well enough to be sent home," said Dr. Romil Chadha, medical director of the Chandler Observation Unit. "This unit allows us to monitor them for an extended amount of time and ensure they get the care they need."

The new unit which will open with 12 beds will eventually expand to 24 beds and provide patient care with close collaboration among Hospital Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Cardiology to provide prompt, high quality and efficient observation care.

Along with providing care for patients, observation units can take stress off of the emergency department, generate inpatient hospital capacity, and reduce unnecessary admissions and readmissions, said Dr. Mark V. Williams, director of UK's Center for Health Services Research (CHSR).

“UK HealthCare has built a superb space for an Observation Unit and is using a state-of-the-art continuous process improvement approach developed by Toyota," Williams said. "With help from the True Lean Systems Program at UK’s College of Engineering, the team of care providers — nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others — will be continuously improving how the unit functions. I expect this will become a national showcase of how patient-centered observation care should be delivered.”

Media Contact:  Kristi Lopez,

Singletary to Bring 'A Celtic Christmas' to the Bluegrass

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 11:06

A preview of Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas." A transcript of this video can be found here.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2014) — Kentucky families looking for a different way to celebrate the holidays can take in " Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas" as part of the 2014-2015 Signature Series at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. "A Celtic Christmas" will warm hearts beginning 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21.

Now in its 17th season, "A Celtic Christmas" recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a remote farmhouse in the parish of Teampall an Ghleanntáin in the west of Ireland. The show remembers when neighboring families gathered around the fire to grace the wintry night with haunting melodies of traditional Irish Christmas carols, to raise the rafters with the joy of their music, to knock sparks off the flagstone floor with traditional dances and to fill the night with the laughter of their stories.

Ticket prices vary from $20 to $30 for "Tomaseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas." Tickets can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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


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