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Prospective Grad Students Invited to Explore UK College of Design

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Considering a career in architecture, historic preservation or interiors? See if graduate study in these design fields are a fit for you at an upcoming open house presented by University of Kentucky College of Design beginning 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in Room 207 of Pence Hall.

The UK College of Design Graduate Student Open House will give prospective graduate students the opportunity to speak with faculty and admissions counselors at the College of Design. Those attending will also have opportunities to tour the college's facilities at Pence Hall, Miller Hall, Funkhouser Building and Bowman Hall, as well as meet current students in UK's School of Architecture, Department of Historic Preservation and School of Interiors: Planning/Strategy/Design.

Individuals planning to attend the UK College of Design Graduate Student Open House, which will run to 2 p.m., should arrive at 11 a.m. as they will then break into groups based on the program they are interested in potentially pursuing. In preparation for the event, participants should register online for the open house beforehand at www.uky.edu/design/index.php/events/description/graduate_student_open_house by Monday, Nov. 17.

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

Expo Allows Close-Up Look at High Tech-Robots and Simulators Used for Medical Training

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) -- University of Kentucky faculty, staff and students are invited to a Simulation Expo sponsored by the new UK Office of Clinical Simulation. The event is being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, in the UK Chandler Hospital, Pavilion A, ground floor lobby. Remarks by UK President Eli Capilouto and UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf will kick-off the event in the Pavilion A Auditorium at 11 a.m.

Robotic, human-patient and task simulators will be displayed and demonstrated. Directed by longtime UK faculty member Dr. Zaki Hassan, professor of anesthesiolgoy and surgery in the UK College of Medicine, the newly established Office of Clinical Simulation strives to promote clinical care and patient safety by providing students, residents, physcians and nurses an array of clinical simulation and task skills training opportunities. 

Diego Garcia's Latin Sound to Heat Up the Bluegrass

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 15:58

Diego Garcia video for "Sunnier Days" from his latest album, "Paradise."A transcript of this video can be seen here

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The Latin sound of Diego Garcia will heat up the Bluegrass this weekend as he takes the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts stage. Born in the U.S. to Argentine parents, Garcia explores his Latin heritage with a sound that conjures the spirit of 1970s troubadours like Sandro de América and Antônio Carlos Jobim, as well as singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Harry Nilsson. The all-ages concert begins with Lexington locals Bear Medicine at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

A breakout star with the release of his solo album "Laura," NPR named Diego Garcia’s debut “one of the top 25 Albums of the Year.” His poignant first single “ You Were Never There” (co-written by George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison) is a perfect example with its lush string arrangements, delicate Spanish guitars and distinctly Latin flavor.

Garcia knows how to mine romantic yearning in his work. His acclaimed 2011 solo debut "Laura" was the ultimate bedroom recording, an intensely focused and utterly entrancing chamber-pop song cycle about unrequited love, his own. The titular Laura was a woman he fell for in college but lost during a hectic period a decade ago when he was fronting Elefant, a New York City-based rock band that toured the world with artists like Interpol, The National and Morrissey. By the time "Laura" was finished, Garcia accepted the fact that she might only exist in his life as the subject of these songs. Then he miraculously won her back (and later married her). But those years of estrangement left an indelible mark and continue to inform his work. 

"When I was in the studio making the 'Laura' album, I was digging through my parents’ record collections and really taking a deeper look at Latin troubadours. There was one singer named Piero; I heard his song 'Mi Viejo' and it changed my life. I spent a whole session listening to that song, to all the details. When you listen to those singers, the drama in their delivery was so powerful, the way they would capture 'the malady of love.' Then I had this sort of eureka moment. It sparked an idea that felt very natural to me, reaching into that lost world, that golden age of Latin music," Garcia said.

"Paradise," Garcia's new album, continues to expand upon the romantic sound he had begun to shape throughout his work on "Laura." The album’s hybrid of influences, from the late-'60s “Anglo” crooners like Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker to the early-'70s passionate balladry of Latin American artists like Roberto Carlos, Jose Feliciano and Piero, and Spaniard Julio Iglesias, is a musical reflection of who he is: a U.S.-bred son of Latin American parents who thinks in English, but can speak fluently in Spanish.

Opening the evening will be Lexington folk-rock group Bear Medicine. A quartet featuring cello, flute, percussion and acoustic guitar, Bear Medicine succeed in balancing contemporary indie rock influences with a Kentucky tradition of folk and Appalachian music. They have recently self-released their debut album, "The Moon Has Been All My Life," to critical acclaim.

Tickets for this event are $26 for general admission and $13 for students with a valid UK ID. Service fee will be added upon completion of transaction. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFATickets.com, or in person at the ticket office.

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; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Kentucky Receives $7 Million to Lead First of Its Kind Collaboration to Reduce Lung Cancer

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 13:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Lung Cancer Alliance announce the Kentucky LEADS (Lung Cancer. Education. Awareness. Detection. Survivorship) Collaborative, a project that will focus on reducing the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky through provider education, early detection and screening, and patient and caregiver support. The project is supported by a $7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s "Bridging Cancer Care" initiative.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and kills more Americans than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. In Kentucky, the burden of this illness is even more dramatic. Kentucky has more cases of lung cancer than any other state and its lung cancer mortality rate is nearly 50 percent higher than the national average. The disease will take the lives of more than 3,500 Kentuckians this year alone. 

Please check back to UKNow.uky.edu at 11:15 a.m. for more information. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, mallory.powell@uky.edu

'Twisted History' of Kentucky Hemp Explored at UK Libraries

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — With Kentucky's newest legal hemp crops being harvested recently, the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center presents the exhibition “Unraveling the Twisted History of Kentucky Hemp” on display through November in the Margaret I. King Library Building. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

From keystone cash crop to banned substance surrounded in suspicion, hemp has long been a part of the Commonwealth’s story. Its production defined much of the character and function of Kentucky’s slave economy, helped build downtown industrial districts, bolstered Kentucky’s efforts during World War II, and served as a key component of UK’s early Cooperative Extension Service program. 

Today, as research poises the crop for revival, the exhibit highlights artifacts and collections that document hemp’s unique contribution to Kentucky history.

The exhibition is available for viewing 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, in the Main Lobby of UK Special Collections Research Center in the Margaret I. King Library, and is free and open to the public.

For more information on "Unraveling the Twisted History of Kentucky Hemp," contact Jaime Marie Burton, education and outreach archivist, at jmburton1@uky.edu.  

UK Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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

Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Announces its 2014 "Senior Stars"

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has recognized eight Kentuckians aged 80 and up (including one married couple) and three centenarians who exemplify graceful aging by remaining engaged in active lifestyles.

These "William Markesbery Senior Stars" and "David Wekstein Centenarians"

awardees were selected from a pool of 32 nominees based on their current level of engagement in society; significant, lasting contributions in professional and/or community life, and service as a volunteer and role model for future generations.

The Senior Star/Centenarian Awards are given in conjunction with the Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia, which takes place in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center in downtown Lexington. The symposium features keynote speakers and faculty of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging addressing the latest research in Alzheimer's disease and answering questions from the audience regarding aging and dementia.

Following the symposium, a luncheon celebrating the awardees takes place in the Regency Ballroom at the Hyatt Lexington.

The symposium is free and open to the public. To register for the symposium, contact the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at (859) 323-6040 or shmall2@uky.edu. Luncheon tickets are $25.00 per person and can be purchased by visiting http://www.uky.edu/coa/center-aging-foundation/senior-star-awards, by calling (859) 323-5374 or by emailing lisa.greer@uky.edu.

The awardees are:

Elexene M. Cox, 93, Nicholasville. The Nicholasville High School graduate has worked with the Jessamine Chamber of Commerce, Nicholasville Baptist Church and Rosemont Baptist Church. Most notably, she has written and directed many outdoor productions, including a Paul Sawyer play.  She is also the author of three books about the history of Nicholasville.  

Carl Smith, 82, Frankfort. Dr. Carl Smith is known as the "Energizer Bunny" of chorale music.  As the choral director at Kentucky State University and the director of the chancel choir at First Christian Church, Dr. Smith takes the simplest of songs and making it the most beautiful piece of music you have ever heard.

Mary Jo Holland, 81, Lexington. An inspiration to all as she continues to dance and serve in many capacities, despite having had a stroke, two knees replaced, arthritis and some symptoms of Parkinson’s, Holland has brought joy to thousands of people through community service. She is a founding member of “The Energizers” dance group.  Her community contributions range from working at the Opera House to missions in Guatemala to being a volunteer in an Alzheimer’s research program at Sanders Brown.

Willard, 86, and Lucy Kinzer, 85, Prestonsburg. Willard Kinzer began racing cars at age 47, winning a professional title at age 50 and beginning drag racing at the tender age of 79. Owners of Kinzer Drilling Company and Kinzer Cycle Shops, the Kinzers have used Willard's love of racing and hot rodding to help the town raise funds for financing the school through car shows and other events. Willard is on the board of directors of the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.

Bettye Arvin, 84, Lexington. For many years Arvin has worked as a registered nurse in hospitals and physicians offices. For the last 23 years, she has volunteered more than 3,500 hours to the Pastoral Care Department at UK Hospital.  Before a move to Lexington, she drove 2 hours each way to serve patients and families at UK Chandler Hospital.  She now works one day a week caring for patients on the fifth floor. 

Jessie Weaver, 87, Lexington. Weaver is the friendly, helpful Kentucky voice on the phone at the front desk at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.  At a young age of 87, her positive attitude and desire to help others are evident in her interactions with faculty, staff and visitors at the Center.

Kathryn Stephens, 80, Lexington. Stephens' career has spanned more than 50 years, from nursing home co-owner to the first black female nursing home administrator in Kentucky, funeral home director, licensed embalmer, and writer. Her many roles in the community have been featured in local news articles, most recently as the organist and pianist for Pilgrim Baptist Church.  She has touched the lives of many hundreds of churchgoers with her passions for music and prayer.

Centenarian Awards

Elizabeth Davies, 103 ½, Barbourville.  When asked about the secret to a long, productive life Elizabeth gives these secrets:  eat healthy, stay active and  don’t worry -- it wastes time.  She remembers accompanying her Union Army veteran uncle on daily pilgrimages to the Robert E. Lee monument in town to curse at it, the day her father broke his collarbone when the hand crank of their Model T Ford kicked back, and taking part in back room prohibition parties. Barbourville and Knox County recognized her 100th birthday as “Elizabeth Davies Day.” 

Dr. Robert Lam, 101, Lexington.  Born in China and trained at the West China Union University School of Medicine, Dr. Lam has served his community and the University of Kentucky since the 1960s.  In 2007, the surgeon was awarded the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  He gives freely of his time to encourage and serve others as a member of Southern Hill United Methodist Church.

Chester Wilson, 100, Lexington.  Known for his kind heart and appreciation for everyone and everything around him, Wilson is an inspiration to all who live and work at the Lafayette/Lexington Country Place. Today he continues to attend recreational outings and serve as de facto ambassador for this residential community.   He has been a farmer, a golf caddy, and a 31-year IRS employee.

Money Management Matters Site to Aid Students, Topic: Healthcare

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — What might your degree be worth?

The University of Kentucky Graduate School is prepared to aid students in developing the personal financial knowledge to answer this question and others related to financial literacy.

The UK Graduate School has created a personal financial education webpage titled "Money Management Matters," (MMM) built upon six salient personal financial topics that pertain directly to students and graduates:

1.         Student loans

2.         Employment

3.         Healthcare

4.         Credit

5.         Saving and investing

6.         Money management

Click here to view a video about "Money Management Matters."

This week, UKNow will highlight the third topic: health care

Understanding the options available to you concerning health coverage can seem overwhelming at times.  The MMM webpage has put together an intuitive collection of health care resources designed to make the task of implementing an informed health coverage choice more manageable. 

Students transitioning off parents' health insurance for 2015 may wish to visit the Healthcare tab on the MMM web page.  Open enrollment for health insurance through the public health care exchanges begins Nov. 15, 2014.  The MMM site provides direct links to KYNECT, for Kentucky residents, and Healthcare.gov for non-Kentucky residents to aid individuals in obtaining information concerning health care coverage for 2015.

The UK Graduate School is one of 15 universities, in partnership with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the investment firm TIAA-CREF, introducing a personal financial literacy initiative aimed at educating students and graduates.

Last fall the 15 university partners distributed surveys to their graduate student populations concerning a variety of personal financial questions, to understand their “baseline” of personal financial knowledge. Using this information, the CGS developed GradSense.org as a personal financial education platform designed to help students and graduates enhance their personal financial knowledge.

The UK Graduate School has created the "Money Management Matters" website to strengthen this initiative at UK. 

“We hope the information provided within GradSense.org and MMM will aid students and graduates in establishing a strong foundation of personal financial knowledge that they can build upon in order to make sound decisions across all stages of their personal financial life cycle,” said Chris Riley, project manager of the Enhancing Student Financial Education Grant and graduate student at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.

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

UK's Security Management System Garners National Recognition

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 18:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — University of Kentucky, in collaboration with the Biagi Chance Cummins London Titzer Inc. (BCCLT) engineering consulting firm, has been selected as the winner of a 2014 Security Innovation Award (SIA) by Secured Cities, an educational conference devoted to security initiatives for cities, educational campuses, health care facilities and mass transit. UK was selected as the winner in the campus security sector.

UK and BCCLT were recognized during the Secured Cities Conference award ceremony held Nov. 6, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The BCCLT- UK project was also selected as a top five finalist for the SIA Grand Platinum award, which honors the overall best collaborative security project of 2014. 

“I’m very pleased our high-tech security system at UK has been honored with this award," said University of Kentucky Police Chief Joe Monroe. "Safety is the leading priority for the UK Police Department as well as the university as a whole, and this security system is helping us achieve a safer campus.  From the ability to lock down buildings in emergency situations, to the use of the sophisticated surveillance camera system in criminal investigations, to the enhanced crisis communications capabilities, this system puts UK in the forefront of campus security."

UK invested $4.8 million to develop a fully integrated standardized security solution to improve campus safety. This security system is the university's first ever high-tech comprehensive security management system, which includes video cameras, centralized building access control, increased early warning communication capabilities and standard campus identification badges. UK has utilized Next Level Security Systems' integrated computerized system incorporating video management, access control, video analytics and intrusion.

The university's video management system (VMS) monitors areas on campus and is centrally managed by the UK Police Department. The VMS incorporates analytics to identify potential situations on campus while connecting evidence for authorities to review. The security management system (SMS) allows UK Police to limit access and lock buildings immediately through the communications center.

"This (award) is a reflection of the hard work of the project team members," said University of Kentucky Police Major Nathan Brown, who coordinated implementation for UK Police. "Looking back on the project, it is amazing that we were able to implement a standardized security platform throughout campus and issue over 50,000 Wildcards in such a short time.  I cannot express how proud and appreciative I am for the hard work of so many people across various departments."

UK's standardized campus ID, the Wildcard, allows UK Police to incorporate SMS with existing and additional access control systems. Early warning speakers have also been established to broadcast potential threats to UK campus safety. UK Police can provide immediate alert through warning speakers, voice calls, emails and text messages. UK's security system also includes Talk-a-Phone towers with cameras and hands-free emergency communication systems.

Biagi Chance Cummins London Titzer Inc. focuses on mechanical, electrical and civil engineering services to institutional, educational, governmental and industrial clients. BCCLT focuses on sustainable design, information technology, electronic safety and security, building information modeling and energy conservation opportunities.

University of Kentucky Police Department's mission is to promote a safe and secure campus environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors at the university. The University of Kentucky Police Department is dedicated to the principles of community policing and becoming one of the nation's most progressive, innovative and professional police departments. 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155; kathy.johnson@uky.edu

UK Named USDA National Coordinating Center

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently named the University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences a national coordinating center for excellence in nutrition education and obesity prevention research.

“We are pleased to be named the National Coordinating Center for the Regional Nutrition Education Centers of Excellence,” said Ann Vail, director of the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences and national center lead. “Congress has recognized that knowing about nutrition is not enough to change the health status of our citizens. We need to know more about how people learn about and apply nutrition information that results in improving their health and well-being. These centers will focus on this important educational process.”

As a national coordinating center, researchers at the school, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will coordinate communications between regional centers located at the University of North Carolina and Cornell, Purdue and Colorado State universities. The regional centers will develop and test innovative nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions for underserved, low-income families through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education, and EFNEP, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. The regional centers will administer at least one research project tailored to the specific needs of their region and award competitive grants and sub-grants to researchers. UK is in charge of collecting and disseminating the research results from these four regional centers. These centers were established through the new Farm Bill.

Other members of the UK group include nutrition education specialists and researchers Janet Mullins, Dawn Brewer and Janet Kurzynske. All three are in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.

“The naming of a USDA national coordinating center for obesity and nutrition education research at UK aligns with our emphasis to perform research that improves the lives of those in the Commonwealth,” said Lisa Cassis, UK interim vice president for research.  “We look forward to the impact of this important center as a means to develop solutions for these complex problems. We congratulate Dr. Vail and her team and will facilitate their efforts in the community to improve nutrition education and combat obesity.”

The UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science will also play an integral part in the coordinating center, as it will provide leadership for development and implementation of research data management.

“We are pleased that UK was selected to serve as a national coordinating center,” said Jeff Talbert, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Biomedical Informatics Data Warehousing Core. “The mission of this program to strengthen the evidence base on effective nutrition education and obesity prevention programs fits well with the needs of Kentucky and supports the engagement mission of the university.”

UK project members are also in charge of data evaluation and compilation for policymakers and shareholders. The group will work with the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to organize national meetings for the centers.

While the research is focused on underserved, low-income families, the successful interventions will benefit individuals beyond those who participate in the SNAP and EFNEP programs.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774.

Informative Events Remain on MLK Center Calendar

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Martin Luther King Center invites the campus community to the last few events of the 2014 fall semester.  

Lunch and Learn

Wednesday, Nov. 12

Noon-1:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

Have lunch with the center’s scholar-in-residence, Gerald L. Smith, a UK associate professor of history, and Robert Mock, UK vice president of Student Affairs, for engaging dialogue. This month’s dialogue topic: "Career Flexibility."

Majestic U.N.I.T.Y Retreat

Saturday, Nov. 15

2 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

Come out for a fun and interactive day. You will have a chance to further connect and build relationships with women of color on UK's campus.

Soup and Substance

Thursday, Nov. 20

5:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

This series provides current topics and discussions relating to race, gender, class and a variety of identities. This month’s topic is “Cultural Segregation and Separation at UK.”

Black & Latino Male Initiative

Thursday, Dec. 4

5:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

The Black & Latino Male Initiative provides an opportunity for Black and Latino male students at the University of Kentucky to connect with other students, faculty and staff.

Lunch & Learn 

Wednesday, Dec. 1

Noon

King Center, Student Center

Have lunch with the center’s scholar-in-residence, Gerald L. Smith, a UK associate professor of history, and Judy “JJ” Jackson, vice president for institutional diversity on the topic of “Stereotype Threat.”

Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.

Monday, Dec. 15

7:30 p.m.

King Center, Student Center

Majestic Unity provides support, encouragement and empowerment to women of color while enhancing leadership, social and cultural development throughout their college career.

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

Veterans Find Support Year-round at UK Veterans Resource Center

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 16:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — Since Veterans Day was established in 1954, Nov. 11 has stood as an official day to honor all military veterans in the United States and recognize their service and sacrifices.  The University of Kentucky Veterans Resource Center (VRC), a unit of Enrollment Management, works every day to honor our veterans and provide them support and services to assist with their transition either into higher education for the first time or for a return to college.

UK is consistently ranked by both GI Jobs Magazine and the Military Times, Edge Magazine as one of the top campuses in the nation for military and veteran students.  Today, we highlight three of those veterans who value the support of the Veterans Resource Center while working toward their degrees.

Matthew Bradford

Marine Corps veteran Matthew Bradford's story is one of overcoming what seem like insurmountable odds — a story of inspiration not only to other veterans, but also to the UK community where Bradford is majoring in communication and history. He hopes to become a sportscaster.

Bradford grew up in Winchester, Kentucky, as a huge UK sports fan and dreamed of attending UK. However, he chose to put his dream on hold around the time of 9/11, when he enlisted in the Marines on the delayed entry program while still in high school.

Cpl. Bradford, now 28 and a seven-year veteran of the Iraq War, paid a heavy price for defending his country. He was severely injured in January 2007 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Iraq. The explosion completely severed his left leg and destroyed his right leg beyond repair. Shrapnel ripped through his left eye, and the blast detached the retina in his right, leaving him completely blind.

After a lengthy recovery, rehabilitation, and a determined spirit, Bradford picked up with his life and moved forward. In February 2007, he was awarded the Purple Heart, and he is the first blind, double-amputee to re-enlist in the history of the Marine Corps.

He traveled the globe sharing his experience with others, particularly with others in the military, offering support and encouragement. He has attempted — and achieved — the seemingly impossible, some of which include water skiing, rock climbing, and scuba diving. He has appeared on national media; sung on stage with country music superstar and outspoken U.S. military supporter Toby Keith; and fell in love and started a family with his wife and children.

After beginning his college education at Coastal Carolina Community College in South Carolina and then Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Bradford made the move to UK, where he credits the Veterans Resource Center with helping him comfortably transition into college life and navigate the campus.

"I worried about getting to my classes, but the center has helped by providing a golf cart and someone who picks me up and transports me where I need to go," Bradford said.

The VRC exists to assist student veterans with whatever is needed to help them succeed academically said Anthony Dotson, coordinator of UK's Veterans Resource Center and a veteran himself.

"Our center is honored to take on the responsibility of assisting Matt in getting around campus and to his classes here at UK," Dotson said. "It is truly a team effort, not only within my office but also with the Disabilities Resource Center, the Army and Air Force ROTC programs and the UK Police Department.  We have even identified a “battle buddy” within each of his classes to assist him when we are not there.  Being able to provide Matt and his wife Amanda with that level of confidence, allows him to focus on his classes, but more importantly allows my team to focus on what is really important, and that is helping our fellow student veterans."

In addition to the practical help the VRC provides Bradford every day, it also serves as a source of companionship and camaraderie with other veterans — something Bradford greatly appreciates.

"It's nice to have a place to go and have lunch and hang out with people who have shared similar experiences as vets," he said. "The Veteran's Center is a great resource and Tony (Dotson) looks out for us."

Ashley Hyatt

Senior Airman Ashley Hyatt, a native of Saint Charles, Virginia, joined the United States Air Force in 2007 right after graduating from Valley View High School in California where her family lived at the time. She served four years, three of those years at an air base in Ramstein, Germany, where she worked as a dental assistant. After discharge from active duty in 2012, she went into the Air Force Reserves and made her way to the University of Kentucky, where she soon plans to enroll in the nursing program.

Hyatt first became interested in nursing in high school when her father was diagnosed with colon cancer. She observed the nurses in the oncology clinics where her father received radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

"The nurses were so kind and gentle and understanding, and they made a difficult situation manageable," she said "They were a beacon of hope to both my father and my entire family. Even though we lost my father in the end, the time spent in the small clinics and hospitals, remains a very positive memory for me."

In choosing UK for her college education, Hyatt also connected with UK's VRC, where she is now employed and credits with being instrumental to her success as a student veteran. She says veterans are often a little older than the traditional student, and it is comforting to have a place to retreat and be with people who share a mindset and similar experiences.

"The retention rate of student veterans is alarmingly low throughout the United States, and places like this provide much needed resources to our transitioning veterans," Hyatt said. "Many veterans are used to taking care of things themselves and not having to ask for help, but when they are in the VRC, we all take care of each other. I have had so many student veterans come up to me and say this office has been such an important part of their educational endeavors, and they truly appreciate the fact that it exists here at UK."

Additionally, Hyatt plays an important role at the VRC when she reaches out to fellow female veterans.

"Ashley represents several demographics within the VRC — she is an Air Force veteran, an Air Force reservist and an Air Force cadet," Dotson said.  "More importantly, Ashley represents the 18-20 percent of our student veterans who are women.  Women who have served are far less likely to self-identify as a veteran and therefore are far more difficult to reach and support.  Ashley does a wonderful job of bringing this underrepresented population to the forefront, not to mention that she sets the standard for customer service."

Elia Tautua Jr.

Hawaii native Elia Tautua Jr. graduated from high school on the island of Oahu in 2001, but did not enroll at UK until 2012. For 11 years he served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and also a logistics specialist, including a deployment to Iraq and an assignment in Germany.

"I thought it would be really hard for me to make the transition to college after so long away," Tautua said. "Frankly, this kind of trepidation scares away a lot of veterans from even applying."

However, he found hope and help from the UK Veterans Resource Center.

"The VRC walked me through the application process step by step," said Tautua. "And UK waives the application fee for veterans. The staff at the VRC answered my questions and relieved a lot of stress."

By now you may be wondering, 'How does a native of Oahu who is an Army vet happen to choose UK as the place to resume his education after more than a decade away?'

"In the latter part of 2011, while stationed in Garmisch, Germany, I met a beautiful young woman, Jenna Ballard, from Bardstown, Ky., who happened to be a graduate of UK," related Tautua. "Jenna moved to Lexington not long after that and we kept in touch. When my tour of duty was up in the spring of 2012, I followed her to the Bluegrass."

A senior majoring in business management in UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics, Tautua said that the degree path he has chosen is enabling him to translate the leadership and management skills he gained from the Army to a new perspective.

"I am also pursuing a second degree in accounting from Gatton," Tautua added. "Having a 'hard' skill like accounting should make me more marketable in an extremely competitive environment."  As he looks to the future, he hopes to work in the logistics field or as a CPA.

Tautua is also doing an internship with General Electric Appliance Park in Louisville, which he obtained during one of several veteran-centered job fairs the VRC organizes.

"I’m very proud to have Elia on the team," Dotson said. "He is the epitome of student veterans' success at the undergraduate, level and I couldn’t ask for a better role model for other students to follow. I’m very excited about his current internship with General Electric because I know he is going to be a standout performer.  I’m even more excited about his return to campus and the Veterans Resource Center where he can share his experience with other student veterans."

"If there is one thing I could tell veterans thinking about coming back to school it would be to realize that you are not in this alone," said Tautua. "The people here at UK are ready and willing to help you reach your educational goals."

The UK VRC is headquartered in Room 124 of the Funkhouser Building. For more information, go to www.uky.edu/Veterans.  You can email vetcenter@uky.edu or Dotson at agdots2@email.uky.edu. The phone number for the center is 859-257-1148.

Join the Big Blue Thank You

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 16:23

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — In the midst of our busy rush, rush, rush days, it can sometimes be difficult remembering the simple acts that enrich our lives — like giving someone a heartfelt “thank you for all you do.”

The University of Kentucky Parent Association has created that opportunity with the Big Blue Thank You program.

On Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, the Parent Association staff will provide students with note cards, pens and refreshments so they can write a thank you note to a parent, family member or mentor back home who has helped them succeed at UK.

Tables set up at the Student Center Starbucks will be staffed 11 a.m.–2 p.m. this Wednesday and Thursday to provide writing materials. Sealed, addressed letters left with Parent Association staff will be mailed at no charge to students.

“This is the second year that we are offering this program,” said Christine Baughman, graduate assistant in the Office of New Student and Parent Programs. “We hope that students take advantage of the opportunity to express their gratitude to those who mean the most to them and who have supported them with their college dreams and goals. The UK Parent Association is here to support the relationship between students and their families, and this is a simple way for us to do just that.”

For more information regarding this event, please contact the UK Parent Association staff by emailing parents@lsv.uky.edu or calling 859-257-6597

The Parent Association is a department within the Office of New Student and Parent Programs, which is part of the Division of Student Affairs, an integral part of the University of Kentucky experience. With interactions among students, faculty and staff, Student Affairs seeks to facilitate the integration of the students’ academic experience with other aspects of university life that encourage personal and professional development. One of the most important keys to a student's success is building meaningful relationships and developing strong connections to the university through members of the UK community. Student Affairs provides many opportunities to facilitate these connections through internships, intramural athletics, volunteer work, student clubs, registered student organizations, community service, and much, much more.

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

UK Teams Up with LexPhil, Ky. Colleges for 'Carmina Burana' Concert

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 11:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — University of Kentucky Chorale will team up with Lexington Philharmonic and four regional choral ensembles to bring a rare performance of "Carmina Burana" to the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at Singletary Center for the Arts.

Alexander Scriabin’s "Poem of Ecstasy" opens the program with a full orchestra journey inspired by the trials and tribulations of humanity, followed by "Carmina Burana," Carl Orff’s masterwork of fate and fortune brought to life by vocal talent from UK, Eastern Kentucky University, Berea College, Transylvania University, SCAPA (School for the Creative and Performing Arts) Children’s Choir, and soloists Amanda Woodbury, soprano; Daniel Shirley, tenor; and Chad Sloan, baritone.

LexPhil conductor and Music Director Scott Terrell’s choice to pair Scriabin’s "Poem of Ecstasy" and Orff’s "Carmina Burana" is part of LexPhil’s ongoing movement toward “cultivating an environment where high-level artistry is paramount to building a strong arts community. One of the ways we support this community is through collaboration – a LexPhil core value – with the rich talent found in the region’s choral programs. I am thrilled to bring together these fresh voices from Berea College Concert Choir, Eastern Kentucky University Singers, SCAPA Children’s Choir, Transylvania University Choir, and the University of Kentucky Chorale for this powerful production of Orff’s 'Carmina Burana.'”

Both "Poem of Ecstasy" and "Carmina Burana" draw inspiration from poetic texts, heavily focusing on the wonders of the universe and the rare emotions that define human nature. While "Poem of Ecstasy" is a lush orchestral feature, Orff’s "Carmina Burana" is presented by LexPhil in its traditional vocal and orchestral setting instead of the theatrical “scenic cantata” for dramatic acting, dancing and singing originally intended by Orff. It is scored for choirs (men, women, boys and mixed), soloists (baritone, tenor and soprano), and a large, percussion-heavy orchestra, grouped into 24 sections characterized by lyrical and raucously rhythmic episodes.

Orff’s "Carmina Burana" also features the vocal talent of soloists Amanda Woodbury, Daniel Shirley and Chad Sloan. Kentucky-born soprano Amanda Woodbury is a member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. She made her LA Opera debut as Micaëla in "Carmen" (2013) with subsequent appearances as Papagena in "Die Zauberflöte." She was recently honored as a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as well as receiving the Sara Tucker Study Grant. In 2014, she earned both second place and Audience Choice awards at Houston Grand Opera’s Elleanor McCollum Competition (2014).

Tenor Daniel Shirley debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2013, reviewed by the New York Concert Review as a voice that “soared over the large forces with strength and clarity.” The vocalist continues to earn critical praise for his appearances in concert, opera and musical theater. Recent awards include fifth place in the 2014 American Traditions Competition, honorable mention in the 2013 George London Foundation awards, and a 2012 Career Development Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation. Shirley has also been honored with awards from the Anna Sosenko Trust, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera and the Dayton Opera Guild.

American baritone Chad Sloan is recognized as much for his warm, elegant vocalism as he is for deft interpretations of diverse characters. In the 2012-2013, he performed "Carmina Burana" with Columbia Pro Cantare, Johann Sebastian Bach’s "Weihnachts-Oratorium" with Louisville Choral Arts Society, Johannes Brahms’ "Liebeslieder Waltzer" at Twickenham Music Festival, Benjamin Britten’s "War Requiem" at Lawrence Conservatory and as baritone soloist in performances with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Sloan is an active recitalist who recently performed a program responding to an installation of French Impressionism at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York. He has performed at Wolf Trap Opera in "The Pursuit of Love," and in the world premiere of Kenji Bunch’s "Dream Songs" at Carnegie Hall.

Prior to each Season Series concert, guests will have the opportunity to participate in an insightful discussion of the night’s events with Maestro Terrell during LexPhil’s "Inside the Score." Each "Inside the Score" starts at 6:45 p.m., and is held in the President’s Room at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

Valet parking is available for $10 per car at the Rose Street entrance to the Singletary Center. Free parking is available in any E Parking Lot on the UK campus, as well as Parking Structure 5 located at 409 S. Limestone, with entrances on South Limestone and South Upper Street. 

General admission tickets to "Carmina Burana" range from $25-75 with $11 student tickets also available. Pick 4 ticket packages are still available beginning at $85. "Carmina Burana" is made possible through the generous support of Unified Trust Company. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Lexington Philharmonic at 859-233-4226, or visit the website at www.lexphil.org.

The UK Chorale is the premier mixed choral ensemble at UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. It consists mostly of upperclassmen and graduate students. While the majority of singers are music majors, there are a number of other academic disciplines represented within the ensemble. The Chorale prides itself in performing a wide variety of choral literature from Renaissance to 21st Century. UK Chorale performs under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities.

Conductor Scott Terrell was appointed music director of the Lexington Philharmonic in 2009. During his tenure, he has re-invigorated and raised the artistic level of the ensemble, expanded collaborations, increased subscriptions and challenged its musicians and audiences with a greater diversity of repertoire and programs. Maestro Terrell has simultaneously maintained a healthy schedule of recent guest conducting with the Colorado Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and School, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Future engagements include the Colorado Symphony, and a debut leading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" at the Arizona Opera.

The Lexington Philharmonic, founded in 1961, is the only professional orchestral organization in Central Kentucky. LexPhil presents more than 130 concerts and educational programs each year, including Season Series, Holiday Concerts, Peanut Butter and Jelly concerts for young children, special concerts, community programs and outdoor summer concerts. More information and tickets can be found at www.lexphil.org

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

KTC KATS Project Selected as Project of the Year

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) — The Kentucky Transportation Center's (KTC) Kentucky Automated Truck Screening (KATS) project was selected as the 2014 Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) Midwest Project of the Year on October 21 at the ITS of the Midwest Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

Six nominations represented the four states in the organization: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. KTC's project was sponsored by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) with Brian Beaven, with the Department of Vehicle Regulation, serving as the project manager. KATS was implemented by the Intelligent Transportation Systems program within KTC, including Jerry Kissick, Mark Spellman and Jennifer Walton.

In 2013, nearly 3.5 million trucks traveled through Kentucky’s 14 weigh stations. However, only about one percent of the trucks coming through the weigh stations are inspected due to the time inspections take, and limited staffing availability. Inspections are conducted to ensure that commercial vehicles are operating in a safe manner and are meeting all federal and state regulations. Identifying the right trucks for inspection can lead to fewer unsafe trucks on the roadways and increased revenue for Kentucky.

KATS, working to identify those trucks, utilizes a license plate reader, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)/KYU number reader, and scene camera technology to collect and process identifying information from the vehicle. As a truck enters a weigh station with this system, data collection begins. A complete record contains the date and time, weight of the vehicles, the license plate number and jurisdiction, the USDOT and KYU numbers, and an overview image.

The data is then correlated into a single record and is checked against several state and federal systems. The system flags vehicles that fail any tests, but only those violations specified by enforcement are automatically directed to stop. Research has shown that inspections initiated from KATS tend to have more violations and are more likely to result in increased revenue for Kentucky. After six months, one location with KATS capability collected a 600 percent increase in revenue. To date, five KATS systems are operational and four more are being deployed at weigh stations, and will be fully operational by the end of 2014.

KTC was founded as the Kentucky Transportation Research Program in 1981, when the Kentucky Department of Highways transferred its Division of Research to the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering. In 1988, it was combined with the University’s federally funded Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) to provide services to the transportation community through research, technology transfer and education.   

For more information about KATS, contact Amy I. Terry, communications and marketing specialist at KTC, at 859-257-7466 or amy.terry@uky.edu

Mayor Proclaims University of Kentucky/Toyota Collaboration Day in Lexington

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 07:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) — Serving more than 20,000 people from around the world over the past 20 years, the University of Kentucky Lean Systems Program's collaboration with Toyota has exceeded expectations. Its success was not only recently celebrated in a letter by Toyota Motor Corporation's Honorary Chairman Fujio Cho, but was also commemorated by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray declaring Oct. 28, 2014, as "University of Kentucky/Toyota Collaboration Day." 

The proclamation recognized the Institute of Research for Technology Development, part of the College of Engineering, for responding to the “industry’s immediate and long-term needs through engineering research, education and outreach.” The Institute consists of both the Lean Systems Program and the Painting Research and Development Program.

Mayor Gray's proclamation also pointed out the benefits of Toyota's lean system: promoting a culture of problem-solving, transparency, team building and continuous improvement.

In addition to the mayor's proclamation of "University of Kentucky/Toyota Collaboration Day" presented at the 20th anniversary celebration for the programs, a letter by Cho was presented. In 1994, Cho proposed the partnership between the university and his company.

Cho wrote of his gratitude to the state of Kentucky, city of Lexington and the university, and went on to write about the future of the UK/Toyota partnership, including a joint production engineering program at UK.

Others agree that the future for the Lean Systems Program's collaboration with Toyota looks promising. As former Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins and Toyota President Simon Nagata pointed out at the anniversary celebration, the collaboration not only advances the industry, but the Commonwealth and its economy.

UK President Eli Capilouto agrees. He also commented on the possibilities of the partnership going forward.

"Together we can help Kentucky business and industry flourish. Together we can forge new pathways for integrating lean systems approaches in emerging sectors that impact Kentucky, and further develop ideas that serve as models both in the Commonwealth and internationally," Capilouto said.

Bret Anderson, executive in residence of the Lean Systems Program, expects to expand the lean philosophy to UK students in many other disciplines.

"With the backing of a large, influential and community-minded company like Toyota, and the university's mission to educate and be one of the nation's best research universities, we have high expectations," said Anderson.

The Lean Systems Program is currently developing new courses and services to offer, and added two new specialty courses this year alone. 

UK Fires Up its Campus Kitchen

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 22:56

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Nov. 10, 2014) — Thanks to a successful marketing campaign, University of Kentucky students have launched their own Campus Kitchen and several Lexington residents now know where their next meal is coming from.

The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger in their community. The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky provides free, nutritious meals to Lexington citizens by using food that would otherwise go to waste. Through a partnership with UK’s dining partner Aramark, students recently began collecting unused food from locations such as dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants and farms. Program organizers estimate they will collect enough food to provide several hundred Lexingtonians with a meal each week. The Campus Kitchen group at UK has partnered with the Lexington Senior Center, Catholic Action Center, Hope Center and the Martin Luther King Academy to reach those in need.

"Recent gleaning efforts of pumpkins and kale greens at UK's Horticultural Research Farm, along with baked chicken from a university-sanctioned picnic, helped feed 50 young individuals,” said Sandra Bastin, chair of the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “University students experienced the importance of community outreach in meeting a basic human need. The department is excited about the difference the student-led Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky can make in finding hunger solutions for our community."

The national organization, The Campus Kitchens Project Inc., was founded in 2001 with the goal of empowering college students to fight local hunger and to raise awareness about poverty, garden initiatives, nutrition education and food policy. UK’s is the first in Kentucky.

“We are thrilled to welcome the University of Kentucky to The Campus Kitchens Project network,” said Laura Toscano, director of The Campus Kitchens Project. “With the launch of their Campus Kitchen, students will not only recover unused food to create meals for those in need, but they will also create programs that support the community and develop themselves as student leaders in the process.”

In October, students in the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition had one week to encourage supporters to vote daily for their video on the Campus Kitchens website http://www.campuskitchens.org/aarp. Of the five schools that participated, UK received the most votes. As a result, they received a $5,000 grant sponsored by AARP Foundation to start a kitchen.

Tammy Stephenson, assistant professor and advisor to the student group, said not only are the students giving to others, but they are learning beneficial lessons at the same time.

“Students develop real-life skills that cannot be taught in the classroom, including leadership, problem-solving and interpersonal communication skills,” she said. “The student leaders of the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky, including President Walter Brown, have spent many months meeting with community and campus partners to establish this program, and we are so proud of their relentless efforts.”

In the last academic year, 36 Campus Kitchens across the country rescued more than 939,000 pounds of food and served nearly 272,000 meals to over 8,500 clients.

UK Plays Role in Lexington's Global Entrepreneurship Week

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 16:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's   Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, together with other partners in the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP) are supporting Lexington's fourth annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which will run from Nov. 17-23. Events planned to take place include informational panels, workshops, networking opportunities, pitch competitions and various other entrepreneurial related events.

The Lexington GEW kickoff event takes place at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at Commerce Lexington Inc. Local leaders will announce various new companies relocating to the Lexington area; along with the announcement of the most recent recipients of the Bluegrass Angels (BGA) Launch Grant Fund. Geeks Night Out will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Natasha's Bistro and Bar. This is a networking opportunity with In2Lex presented by UK's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship. These events are both free and open to the public, however guests are asked to register here.

Global Entrepreneurship Week will feature Todd Henry as the keynote speaker this year. Henry is founder of Accidental Creative, a company that assists creative people and teams in developing ideas. His most recent book is titled "Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day." Henry's presentation for Global Entrepreneurship Week is titled "How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice." His presentation will take place at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Lyric Theatre, along with a book signing and reception to follow in the Lyric's Art Gallery. There will be a UK student meet-and-greet with Henry at 1:30 p.m. in Dickey Hall. Both events are free and open to UK students and the public. Please register for the meet and greet here. Please register for the "How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice" here.

The Lexington Venture Club Entrepreneurial Celebration will start 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Grand Reserve. This is an annual celebration and recognition of the region's startup community. To attend this event please register here.

“Lexington’s Global Entrepreneurship Week events provide both university and community innovators and entrepreneurs a wonderful opportunity to come together to network and celebrate the ever growing and flourishing Bluegrass entrepreneurial community,” said Warren Nash, director of the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network.     

The 2014 Lexington Global Entrepreneurship Week is organized and sponsored by the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, the Bluegrass Small Business Development Center and Commerce Lexington Inc. The Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network and the Bluegrass Small Business Development Center are both part of UK. All three organizations are partners in the BBDP along with the city of Lexington. The BBDP was founded in 2007 as a "one-stop shop" for the Bluegrass entrepreneur.

The UK Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network help to accelerate the Kentucky economy by commercializing UK research, facilitating university-industry collaborations and working with faculty, researchers, clinicians, staff, and students, as well as community innovators to create start-ups and spinoff companies.  

MEDIA CONTACTS: Parissa Zargar, Parissa.Zargar@uky.edu, 859-257-8716; Carl Nathe, carl.nathe@uky.edu, 859-257-3200.

UK Researcher Leads Global Team of Scientists Exploring the Processes that Propel Ovulation

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 16:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) — During a woman's menstrual cycle, ovulation is the critical mid-point when an egg is released and fertilization can occur. Women's health providers have long understood that a woman's best chances of becoming pregnant are around the time of ovulation. But researchers are still learning about the physiological triggers that initiate this natural process in humans and other mammals.   

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are leading a project that recently received $6 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore the ovulatory process, or the series of physiological events that result in the release of an egg from the ovaries. A global team of researchers anticipate that applications from their research will help contrive targeted treatments for infertility and potentially develop non-steroidal female contraceptives. Most female contraceptives on the market today contain steroids, which can cause unwanted side effects in some women.

Thomas Curry, Ph.D, a reproductive endocrinologist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UK HealthCare and principal investigator of the project, said the NIH funding supports four integrated studies that are simultaneously taking place at institutions in the United States and abroad.

The project involves a multidisciplinary group of scientists representing the University of Kentucky, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Urbana-Champaign, Eastern Virginia Medical School and the University of Goteburg in Sweden.  The individual studies are focused on specific mechanisms in the ovulatory process, which is prompted in the woman's body by the release of the luteinizing hormone, or LH. Projects examine changes that occur in the blood supply, the immune system, steroid production and the extracellular matrix as the ovarian follicle travels through the ovulatory process.

Through their individual studies, researchers will contribute complementary data that will be amalgamated for a comprehensive understanding of the ovulatory process. The multi-site project encourages collaboration among researchers and provides a platform for exploring multiple scientific questions at one time.

Through the project, researchers will record for the first time physiological changes in pathways that are critical for the ovulatory phase and early luteal phase, or the point at which pregnancy can occur immediately after ovulation, to take place. One unique aspect of the project is the team of researchers will examine the ovulatory events in human follicles, which are responsible for developing and releasing the egg. Human follicles are supplied by Dr. Mats Brannstrom, a Swedish obstetrician-gynecologist who has recently performed the world's first uterine transplants, which have resulted in the birth of healthy live babies.

Using observations from the studies of the human follicles, researchers will use monkey and rodent tissues as models of comparison to ovulatory events that occur in humans. The use of rodent and monkey models will allow researchers to translate the results from their studies to recapitulate observations examined in human tissue. The researchers will compare evidence from studies of the human, monkey, and rodent tissues to further understand the fundamental ovulatory process across species. 

"What is unique about our studies is the possibility to, for the first time, examine the process of ovulation in the human and then be able to take these observations and use animal models to investigate how the process actually occurs," Curry said. "Many scientists at different sites around the world are conducting interwoven studies to better understand this process." 

Co-investigators on the study include Misung Jo in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from the University of Kentucky, Philip Bridges in the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences, CheMyong Ko in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Diane Duffy from the Department of Physiological Sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Mats Brannstrom from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Goteburg, and Oliver Oakley from the Department of Biological Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

Candid One-Actor Performance Addresses the Realities of End-of-Life Care

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 15:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) — Healthy individuals tend to avoid the subjects of death, dying and end-of-life care in everyday conversation. But for providers of palliative care and people living with a terminal illness, death is a constant reality.

A single actor from the Still Point Theatre Collective in Chicago will portray many emotions and scenarios related to end-of-life care during a performance on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Pavilion A Auditorium in the UK Chandler Hospital. The 70-minute performance titled "Deep Listening" will relay familiar stories, dialogues between patient and palliative care providers, and musical performances, all centered on death and dying. The performance is part of the Newman Foundation's Distinguished Speaker Series and is sponsored by the Newman Foundation, Inc., with support from the UK Chandler Hospital and the UK Arts in HealthCare program.

Katie Yunker, co-chair of the Newman Foundation’s Distinguished Speaker Program, said everyone can benefit from watching a candid portrayal of death and dying scenarios. The moving one-actor performance contains gentle humor, as well as somber and contemplative moments. The play, which has been presented to churches and hospice groups, intends to educate health care workers, counselors, ministers and other professionals on how to approach end-of-life conversations and provide compassionate palliative care.

"The point is to stimulate discussion," Yunker said. “If it's not verbalized, then at least to simulate thought and integrate head and heart in anyone's approach to this reality, whether it's at work, or with a loved one now or in the past."

The Still Point Theatre Collective is a community of artists who are dedicated to creating performances, workshops and events that raise awareness of peace and justice. “Deep Listening” was written by Teresa Weed, who was commissioned to write the play by Still Point founder Lisa Wagoner-Carollo. Wagoner-Carollo was inspired to create this play from her two-year experience living with people who were dying of HIV at a homeless shelter.

Continuing education credits are available to health care workers who attend the performance. The performance begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a 30-minute open discussion of death and dying topics. It is free and open to the general public. In addition, the performance will be broadcast to patient rooms at the UK Chandler Hospital for those patients, workers or families who want to view on a television. 

For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Program, visit www.newmanfnd.org. To watch a 10-minute clip of "Deep Listening," click here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

Could You Survive Daily All-nighters?

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2014) — Wake up! What if you never had to hear those two words again? A recent online article for Live Science contemplated what life might look like if there were a cure for sleep, and the possible sociological impacts that would follow.

Would you be more productive, healthier, or smarter? Mairead Eastin Moloney, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, warned against the idea that a world without sleep would be an improvement, and stressed the importance that sleep has in structuring people’s lives.

Read the full Live Science article here.

Moloney has done additional research tied to sleep — specifically, on the medicalization of sleeplessness, and focuses on the creation of medical problems from life issues, via the patient-physician interaction. The quantitative results of her study were published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Her current project explores the ways in which electronic medical records may impact patient-physician interaction, the construction and boundaries of physician knowledge, and the relationships between health care professionals within the hospital hierarchy.

Moloney received a doctorate in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. She held postdoctoral fellowships in both research (2009-2011, Program on Integrative Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and teaching (2011-2013, Department of Sociology at North Carolina State University).

Moloney joined the UK Department of Sociology this fall, and she will also serve as faculty for the new major in health, society, and populations in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Find out more about Mairead Eastin Moloney in this podcast: https://soc.as.uky.edu/podcasts/new-faculty-2014-meet-mairead-moloney

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

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