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Epidemiologist Donna Arnett Named Dean of the UK College of Public Health

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 16:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) — University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy has appointed Donna Arnett, associate dean at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health and former president of the American Heart Association, the next dean of the UK College of Public Health. 

The announcement is pending approval from the UK Board of Trustees.

Fostering a spirit of research collaboration across schools and disciplines, Arnett has served as the chair of the UAB School of Public Health’s epidemiology department since 2004. Since her arrival, the epidemiology department has escalated to one of the top-10 research programs in the nation. 

A native of Kentucky, Arnett sees her new role as an opportunity to address health disparities relevant to the region, including cancer and drug abuse. She aims to strengthen the college’s relationships with state and regional health agencies and expand the college’s portfolio of National Institutes of Health-funded research. She will also partner with the faculty, staff, and students to develop a strategic plan for the college through 2020. Arnett believes the future of population health depends on successful interdisciplinary partnerships, and hopes to facilitate such networks to grow research opportunities and educational capacity at UK.

“A big focus of mine will be bringing public health, medicine and other health related colleges closer together in terms of building population health,” Arnett said. “We’re building health for the Commonwealth, and it fits very well with President’s Capilouto’s vision of the ‘University for Kentucky.’”

In addition to academic leadership within the epidemiology department, Arnett recently assumed the role of associate dean for academic and strategic programs in the School of Public Health. She has helped expand the UAB’s innovative four-year joint medical doctor and master’s of public health degree and developed an online master’s of public heath degree. She has been instrumental in gaining the university’s accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Education for Public Health.

An NIH-funded researcher for 20 years, Arnett studies genes related to hypertensive disorders and the target organ damage from hypertension. She has published more than 450 peer-reviewed papers and two books. She currently holds three NIH grants for research on genes that determine a physiological response to a high fat diet and the cholesterol-controlling drug fenofibrate and hypertension-induced left ventricular hypertrophy.

During her 2012-2013 term as president of the America Heart Association, Arnett built relationships with business and health care leaders across the globe. Arnett was the first epidemiologist and second Ph.D. selected to serve in this high-profile role.

After obtaining her bachelor’s of science in nursing, Arnett achieved a master’s of science in public health from the University of South Florida. She received her doctorate in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she also completed an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship from 1992 to 1994. She was promoted to full professor of epidemiology during her tenure at the University of Minnesota.

“Dr. Arnett is a transformative leader whose core values of excellence, professionalism and innovation complement the university’s mission,” Tracy said. “With an impressive track record of gaining major national funding for research, she will encourage interdepartmental partnerships and champion studies investigating the most important health issues in the Commonwealth and beyond.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

UK Student Veterans Association Awarded $10,000 for New Veterans Center

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 15:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Student Veterans Association has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Home Depot and Student Veterans of America (SVA) to fund the UK Veterans Resource Center.

Since 2008, SVA has helped those returning from military service obtain the resources, support and advocacy needed to achieve success in higher education and after graduation.

The UK Student Veterans Association is a nonprofit organization serving the student veteran community by working with the Veterans Resource Center, Veterans Resource Team and Student Government Association in order to facilitate the needs of nontraditional students. The group assists in promoting morale, welfare and success of the veterans and military families within the UK campus community.

The grant will be used to enhance the construction of a new Veterans Resource Center.

"This is a great accomplishment and speaks to the professionalism and motivation of our student veteran organization," said Anthony Dotson, Veterans Resource Center coordinator. "The $10,000 from the SVA and Home Depot will be used to put finishing touches on our new center."

"This is the first time that UK’s chapter has ever applied for the VetCenter Initiative sponsored by the Student Veterans of America and the Home Depot, so we are thrilled to have received one of their larger grants," said Jessica Wilson, UK SVA chapter president.  "The application process took significant effort on the part of many of our student veterans, military members, and dependents to compile — and during finals week, nonetheless!  I think that is really indicative of the dedication we have to improving our center to ensure that anyone affiliated with the military has a positive experience here at the University of Kentucky."

The UK Student Veterans of America chapter supports the education of student veterans and the transition to college life. Find out more at www.uksva.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, (859) 323-2395; rebecca.stratton@uky.edu

Bardo Chosen to Review NIH Grant Applications

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 13:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2015) — Michael Bardo, University of Kentucky professor of psychology and director of the UK Center for Drug Abuse Research Translation (CDART), will serve as a member of the Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) through June 2017. CSR is the National Institutes of Health’s peer review system to identify the most promising research for treating, curing and preventing disease. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.

"The center also seeks out mature judgment and objectivity as well as the ability to work effectively in a group, qualities we believe Dr. Bardo will bring to this important task," said Richard Nakamura, director of the Center for Scientific Review.

Bardo was recently awarded the 2015 Southeastern Conference Faculty Award, recognizing his accomplishments and excellence in teaching, research and scholarship.

With the rare opportunity to contribute at the national biomedical research level, Bardo will study sections and review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science.

"The college and the university are exceedingly proud that Dr. Bardo’s stature as a scientist and scholar has been recognized at the highest national level," said Mark Kornbluh, dean of the UK College of Arts and Sciences. 

UKAg Research Hopes to Create More Environmentally Friendly Lawns

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 12:13

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Aug. 7, 2015) — Researchers in the University of Kentucky   College of Agriculture, Food and Environment are looking for ways for home lawns to give Mother Nature a helping hand.

Gregg Munshaw, UK turf extension specialist, and Dan Potter, UK entomology professor, are studying the benefits of white clover as a habitat for pollinators and as a way to reduce nitrogen fertilizer applications.

In the project about increasing pollinator habitats, they are looking at three different smaller varieties of white clover to see which attracts the most pollinators. Their research plots consist of only white clover, only turf and a mixture of turf and clover.

"Our goal is to eventually attract pollinators to the entire yard, rather than just to flower beds," Munshaw said. "We think these clovers will be more popular with people who want to help improve bee habitat while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing yard."

Recent studies from Potter’s lab have found that white clover in lawns is an important urban habitat for pollinators.

"Dozens of bee species, including several rare and declining bumble bee species, were documented visiting naturally occurring white clover in low-input yards in Central Kentucky," Potter said. "Even a small patch of clover in a backyard helps sustain beneficial urban bees that are responsible for pollinating our ornamental plants and home and community gardens."

The researchers will survey the test plots for bees and compare their findings of bee populations and species diversity with those found on the more commonly occurring larger white clover yards and the pollinators that visit only grass plots. They will also sample the soil of the small white clover test plots for common lawn pests, such as white grubs. If the smaller varieties of white clover prove to be more resistant to the insects than other lawns, it could help reduce the needs for lawn pesticides.

In a recent separate study, Munshaw looked at the influences planting date and planting method had on establishing the traditional-sized and the smaller white clover into typical cool-season lawns comprised of Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue. By adding white clover, a nitrogen-fixing legume, to established cool-season lawns, it would help reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer the lawn needs without doing an entire turf renovation. Nitrogen fertilizer is a contributor of nonpoint source pollution of groundwater and natural water bodies.

He found that homeowners could successfully establish both clover varieties in a mature stand of cool-season grass during the spring and summer with commonly available equipment. However, the best white clover establishment occurred in cool-season lawns that were scalped or closely mowed before sowing the clover. This treatment was the only one that would result in a high enough population of white clover to reduce the need for home lawn nitrogen applications.

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

Workshops Can Help Turn Small Business into Big Business

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 11:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) — The Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center, part of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center within the University of Kentucky   College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is hosting two important workshops in Frankfort later this month.

The workshops, to run in concurrent sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Frankfort Convention Center are:

·         Finding and Winning Simplified Acquisitions to Grow Your Business; and,

·         Joint Ventures, Teaming, Mentor Protégé Agreements and Federal Laws Impacting Your Bottom Line.

The federal government uses a purchasing vehicle, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, to help small businesses secure government contracts. This reduces the stress in obtaining federal contracts by providing maximum opportunity to meet small business concerns. Uncle Sam has also added new program changes to create more opportunities for small businesses within the federal government. These sessions will offer a wealth of knowledge on how to win federal contracts to those with a business already working with government contracts or those looking to grow revenue.

“Small businesses are missing opportunities with the federal government,” said Dee Dee Harbut, Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center director. “Billions of dollars are being awarded to large companies that should be going to small businesses. We are offering these free workshops to educate Kentucky businesses on how to take advantage of these opportunities and grow their revenue with federal contracting.”

Finding and Winning Simplified Acquisitions to Grow Your Business with Guy Timberlake.

In spending hundreds of billions of dollars each fiscal year, federal agencies leverage a number of procurement methods to purchase goods and services to support operational needs. More than 60 federal agencies, boards and commissions use simplified acquisition procedures, and they are one of the few areas of government spending with consistent increases. Despite overall government spending decreasing by nearly $100 billion from 2010 to 2014, spending under these procedures increased an average of $1 billion overall during that same period.

Purchases made under the simplified acquisition threshold are reserved for small business concerns. This workshop will be very collaborative, providing attendees with solid background on how to capitalize on these opportunities.

The session is led by Guy Timberlake of The American Small Business Coalition, who leveraged simplified acquisitions in the early 1990’s for his first million dollar contract with the Navy in support of training systems for the F/A-18 Electronic Classroom and assisted a member company in securing a $2 million simplified acquisition purchase at the end of 2014.

Joint Ventures, Teaming, Mentor Protégé Agreements & Federal Laws Impacting Your Bottom Line.

Michelle F. Kantor, partner in the law firm McDonald Hopkins, heads up the federal government contracting practice group. She has more than 28 years of experience in federal and local government contracting, procurement law, corporate law and small business program certifications.

Kantor will guide attendees through the many important factors to consider when pursuing joint ventures, mentor protégé and other teaming opportunities. It is crucial to understand the legal and financial requirements, along with other potential risks before a teaming or joint venture agreement is prepared.

This session will also provide an overview of the new federal laws affecting small business, and what to be aware of when pursuing solicitations and performing project work. Additional discussions will include new changes to the Women Owned Small Business, new Small Business Administration’s Mentor-Protégé Program and its rules, new small business joint venture rules, new 8(a) Program rules and other new rules and laws that bring opportunities to create a competitive edge. The session will be highly interactive and questions are encouraged.

All sessions are free, but preregistration is required for each. Limit two registrations per session per company or organization.

For more information about the workshops or to register, visit http:// www.KentuckyPTAC.com or contact Kristy Coates at 859-257-7668. The deadline for registration is Aug. 21.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) is a network of 15 offices located throughout the state which helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services is available online at http://www.ksbdc.org/.

MEDIA CONTACT: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-7668.

UKAg Dairy Faculty, Students Win National Awards

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 17:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2015) — University of Kentucky   College of Agriculture, Food and Environment dairy faculty and students recently received awards at the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting in Champaign, Illinois.

Jeffrey Bewley, an associate extension professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences received the ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in dairy production. The award was created to recognize a young scholar from the production division and their potential to identify critical issues affecting the future of the dairy industry through research and educational leadership. Special requirements include 10 years or less since a final academic degree, current active membership in the ADSA, exemplary research or educational programs and potential for future leadership.

Bewley also received the Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award. The award was created to recognize outstanding research by dairy production scientists less than 39 years old, during the first 10 years of their professional career who have demonstrated outstanding research in dairy cattle production areas within five years immediately prior to the year of the award, had original research work published, and been a member of the ADSA for at least five successive years.

Bewley applies a systems approach in his research and extension program and focuses on precision dairy farming and decision‐support tools for producers. He has received support for his research and extension program totaling $1.7 million, contributed 25 articles to refereed journals, delivered eight conference papers and 29 invited national and international presentations.

William Silvia, dairy professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences received the Purina Animal Nutrition Teaching Award in Dairy Production. This award was created to recognize outstanding teaching of undergraduate students in dairy science. The winner must have demonstrated outstanding teaching ability in an accredited college or university, been an active teacher when nominated with at least10 years of prior teaching experience and been a member of the ADSA for at least five successive years.

Silvia has been involved in undergraduate instruction since  1985. During this time, he has been the principal instructor in several courses including introduction to animal science, reproductive physiology and dairy science. He emphasizes hands‐on, experiential learning both inside and outside the classroom. Silvia has been an active mentor for students conducting undergraduate research. He developed and incorporated new technologies and instructional techniques in the classroom. For many students, he has served as a strong, positive, first exposure to dairy production.

UK dairy science students also received honors from the ADSA in the student affiliate division, which seeks to develop leadership and promote scholarship among students interested in pursuing careers in the dairy industry. Savannah Meade received first place in dairy foods, and Megan Hardy received first place in original research.

Brack Seale was elected second vice president of the division, and Bewley was elected to serve as the third year adviser.

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

Nominations Open for 2016 Medallion for Intellectual Achievement

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 15:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) — Nominations are now sought for the 2016 University of Kentucky Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement. Nominations for the honor will be accepted through Aug. 14. 

The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement, one of UK's most prestigious awards, was first awarded in 1990 to recognize high intellectual achievement by Kentuckians and to encourage education and promote creative thought. Final selection of the medallion recipient is determined by majority vote of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board

Candidates, either a person or group, may be nominated with completion of the application and a nominating statement that describes the intellectual achievement realized in a scientific, artistic, literary, social, or humanitarian field; significance of the achievement; and endorsements or verification of the work. 

Members of the general public are welcome to submit nominations. More information can be found online at http://libraries.uky.edu/forms/IAA_Nomination_Letter_-_UK_Libraries_2016.pdf, along with the 2016 nomination form

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

Markey's Bradley Nominated for Eagle Rare Life Honor

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 15:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) – Jennifer Bradley, the Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, has been nominated for a Buffalo Trace Distillery Eagle Rare Life Honor for her hard work and devotion to Markey's Jin Shin Jyutsu program.

Buffalo Trace Distillery recognizes and honors those who share a passion for excellence with their Rare Life Award.  The nominee in each of five categories who receives the most public votes will win $5,000 for the charity of their choice and the top overall winner receives $50,000.

Bradley became interested in Jin Shin Jyutsy after seeing how the practice helped two of her own family members who had been diagnosed with cancer. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy.  Studies have shown that it can help to reduce the physical and emotional effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Jin Shin Jyutsu has been offered at the Markey Cancer Center since 2009.

Voting for the award is open through December and you may vote up to once each day.

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

Johnson Named President of Southern Orthopaedic Association

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 15:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2015) – Dr. Darren L. Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Kentucky, was elected the 33rd Southern Orthopaedic Association president.

Johnson is the first president from the state of Kentucky. There are more than 1,400 orthopaedic physicians who are members of the SOA.   

Johnson earned his medical degree at UCLA and began his UK career in 1993. He currently serves as director of sports medicine and head orthopedic surgeon for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Johnson has been awarded several honors during his career, including 2012 SEC Physician of the Year and being selected for Castle Connelly America's Top Doctors List annually since 2002. In 2013 he was named one of the top U.S. sports medicine specialists by Orthopedics This Week, the most widely read publication in the orthopaedics industry.

The Southern Orthopaedic Association was founded in 1983 by a small group of orthopaedists with a goal to establish a regional orthopaedic association for physicians living in the southern states of the United States.  The purpose of SOA is to develop and foster scientific medicine in the specialty of orthopaedic surgery.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

FastTrack, FOCUS Programs Position Students Ahead of the Success Curve

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 14:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2015) — Started in the summer of 2012 as an intensive “boot camp” to help University of Kentucky’s new students prepare for college-level calculus, the FastTrack program has become an integral part of efforts to help students transition to the college classroom and set them up for success in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum for FastTrack has expanded over the last four years, and now gives students an invaluable introduction to UK’s math, biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish and WRD (Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies). A key part of the program’s continued growth is the recent addition of FOCUS (FastTrack Orientation for College Undergraduate Success), a component built around developing the non-academic skills students need to achieve in coursework.

Visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/ukartsci/sets/72157646955546531/ to view a photo album from last year's incoming FastTrack students.

FOCUS grew out of sections of A&S 100 aimed at providing outreach to students on academic probation. The course, which was co-taught by A&S academic advisor James Thomas, revealed valuable points of intervention in mitigating the anxieties and challenges that can limit student potential. Both data and student responses suggest the course was a success even in its initial stages, reflecting a significant improvement in retention for participants in the course when compared to the universitywide average.

“We found we were helping these students stay at UK, and they were commenting about how this should be available to everyone,” Thomas said. “We talked to Ruth Beattie about developing an angle of FastTrack that mirrored the tracks that existed, but was a continuation of our course, focusing on transitioning to college and applying it to all students.”

Ruth Beattie, professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Biology, works with program faculty to manage content and offer logistical oversight. She says FOCUS is an essential part of how FastTrack prepares students for the level of analysis and work expected at UK.

“FOCUS activities are geared toward study skills, learning strategies, note-taking skills, time management – things students need to succeed,” Beattie said.

As a result, student feedback on the program is overwhelmingly positive. FastTrack participants Jaquann Duff, Monet Proctor and Kelsi Webb all found the program — and the FOCUS content in particular — instrumental to their success and say they would recommend it to anyone. Duff appreciated learning about on-campus services and says the program made it more possible to achieve academic success as a freshman. Proctor said FastTrack helped her develop productive skills and habits and is grateful for the exposure afforded by the program. Webb felt the activities required her to focus on growing as a student, enabling her to learn more about herself “as a student and as an individual.”

The components of the FastTrack program are relatively simple: students come to campus a week before the start of the fall semester and have six hours of classroom instruction each day built around the courses they will take in the upcoming term. However, the benefits of the program are huge, and its successes have led to significant growth.

Thirty-nine students participated in FastTrack’s first year and 50 joined the second year (2013). In those first two years, FastTrack students performed much better in fall math and biology courses than students who did not enroll in the program. In 2014, as the curriculum expanded and FastTrack became linked to the STEMCats Living Learning Program, the number of participants swelled to 270.

“Being part of FastTrack and STEMCats results in much better retention. Students who do both are retained at a 94 percent rate, which is huge,” Beattie said. “The program has grown quite considerably — this year we’re planning for between 400 and 500 students in the program.”

Participation in the program also has benefits beyond the classroom.

“Students can get settled and organized, but they can also learn to navigate campus, experience the classroom, meet faculty and find out about resources. It makes a huge difference to students,” Beattie said.

“We’re trying to get them connected to everything early. It’s about introducing academic material, focusing on academic rigor and making them feel comfortable here,” Thomas added.

As FastTrack faculty prepared for a record number of participants in the summer of 2015, FOCUS similarly expanded to improve outreach across the university. Two new courses — ASPIRE (Academically Sound Preparation for Involved Research Education) and RISE (Resource Infused Sessions in Education) — provided a research-intensive curriculum for students with an area of academic concern and mentoring opportunities for students who may slip under the radar.

“I believe every student we admit can graduate from here — no doubt in my mind,” Thomas said. “What FOCUS does is find that X factor: what stops them from succeeding as best they can. If we can find that, we can better address student needs.”

“I would really recommend FastTrack for any incoming student, not just those in the STEM disciplines. And because we’ve expanded it, it really is open to anyone. I would love to see every A&S incoming major taking part in the program,” Beattie added.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, gghair2@uky.edu, 859-257-3302

UK Dining Extends Hours for the Remainder of the Summer

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 10:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2015) — August is here and much of the campus community will soon be returning to campus. At that time, the University of Kentucky will unveil its newest dining and academic support facility, "The 90," which will house the Fresh Food Company — a 1,000 seat residential dining area — as well as La Madeleine®, Taco Bell Express®, Aqua Sushi®, Ovid's and the Wildcat Pantry. On the second floor of The 90, a new Living and Learning Support zone will provide six classrooms, LLP offices, the Dining Center and the Food Connection.

Until the fall semester gets underway, members of the UK community — students, faculty, staff, visitors, fans and patients — who will be on campus for the next few weeks before the majority of students return, will have extended dining hours at current dining options. To view hours of operation for all of the UK Dining locations for the remainder of the summer, click here.

Along with The 90, the campus community can enjoy the dining locations that joined campus last fall, including K-Lair in Haggin Hall, Common Grounds® in Champions Court I, Einstein Bros. Bagels® in the Chemistry-Physics Building, Rising Roll® in the Ralph G. Anderson Building and Subway® Café in M.I. King Library.

Bowman's Den — located near the Singletary Center — also opened this summer. This facility offers many dining options including Greens To Go®, Panda Express®, Subway®, Chik-Fil-A® and Starbucks®.

Nearly $70 million has been invested in renovating, building and improving UK Dining facilities, transforming this vital service for the UK community.

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

Art Museum Closed for Reinstallation

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Art Museum is currently closed to the public in order to reinstall varied works in the permanent collection galleries. The museum will reopen Sept. 1 with the new free admission policy in place, allowing visitors to come as often as possible.

"We will be transforming the second floor of the museum by moving walls into new positions to establish intimately scaled rooms and stimulating sightlines," museum Director Stuart Horodner said. "With this installation, we will take a leap forward in the interpretive function of the museum, maintaining academic rigor while being more playful and experimental in how we share traditional and radical works."

"This will enliven the viewing experience for our many visitors, and reveal many important works that have been in storage for years," Horodner said. "Themes of portraiture, abstraction, landscape, and mortality will be explored, and we will celebrate works from the George and Susan Proskauer collection, the largest gift in the museum’s history."

For information about visiting during the reinstallation process, contact Michaela Miles at 859-257-5716.

The mission of the UK Art Museum, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the UK Art Museum presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 

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

North Red Lot Temporarily Closed for Paving Starting Tonight

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 16:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2015) — The North Red Lot, located at the corner of Cooper and University Drives, will close beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3 to facilitate lot maintenance which includes installation of new lot islands, upgraded LED lighting, resurfaced asphalt and restriped parking areas.  When complete, the lot will include approximately 50 additional parking spaces as a result of a more efficient lot design and parking layout.

Due to the decreased population on campus during the summer months, the impact of this work on the campus community will be minimal. Impacted students and employees may park in any other summer-controlled parking lot, including the nearby Green Lot. To view a map of available summer parking, visit www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps.

The North Red Lot is scheduled to reopen in late August, prior to the start of fall semester.

MEDIA CONTACT: Chrissie Tune, (859) 257-3512; chrissie.tune@uky.edu

Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

UK Librarian Takes Digital Preservation Skills Down Under

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 16:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) – Digital preservation is a hot topic, as changes in equipment and file formats can render digital files like photos and documents obsolete. Institutions and librarians must work to find ways to preserve this information for posterity. As a part of a team from the Library of Congress, University of Kentucky Libraries sent an expert Down Under this summer to offer guidance on best practices in digital preservation.

In early June, Mary Molinaro, director of the UK Libraries Research Data Center, traveled to Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, to serve as an instructor for the U.S. Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) workshops.

The DPOE program uses a “train the trainer” methodology using the DPOE Baseline Digital Preservation Curriculum to teach working professionals how to teach digital preservation skills to other working professionals in their communities. Previous workshops have been offered at the Library of Congress; the State Library of Indiana; in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, for the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois; and at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The training helps the participants:

· identify types of digital content they have; 

· select what portion of digital content will be preserved; 

· store selected content for the long term; 

· protect content from everyday threats and emergency contingencies;

· manage and implement requirements for long term management; and

· provide access to digital content over time.

"There is a great deal of content being created and gathered in libraries, small museums and historical societies with the organizations not realizing that the way they are managing the files is not sustainable over time," Molinaro said. "As the DPOE program expands we hope to help educate people so the content is secure and so time and money spent on building digital collections is not wasted."   

In Australia, Molinaro and her two DPOE co-instructors presented a weeklong workshop to librarians from the Public Libraries Victoria Network at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. The National and State Libraries Australasia sponsored the same training in Sydney at the State Library of New South Wales for librarians from New Zealand and from every state and territory in Australia. 

"It has been a privilege participating over the years as a core DPOE instructor. I have been affiliated with the program since its inception and it is satisfying to see it grow," Molinaro said. "Our Australian hosts were incredibly hospitable and it is gratifying to see the DPOE curriculum and pedagogical model being rolled out on a national basis. The Library of Congress is hoping to do the same in the United States." 

Molinaro's work and research interests include the topics of research data management, digital preservation, personal digital archiving, and digital library development. She has served as primary investigator on a number of projects centered on providing digital access to cultural heritage materials and newspaper content, including her work for UK Libraries with the National Digital Newspaper Program. In addition, Molinaro has great interest in supporting library infrastructure and planning in developing nations and has worked extensively with libraries in Ecuador, as well as served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Tunisia.

An instructor and advisor to DPOE, Molinaro has previously presented information about the program in Florence, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain. She holds a bachelor's degree in art and a master's degree in library science from Ball State University.

The DPOE at Library of Congress fosters outreach and education about digital preservation on a global scale, and promotes continuing education and training opportunities that increase individual and organizational capacity to provide long-term, durable access to digital content. The program actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with organizations to advance the practice of digital preservation through a series of hands-on, in-person workshops for working professionals. 

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

Kentucky Men's Golf Earns Team Academic Honor

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 15:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) — The University of Kentucky men's golf team was tabbed an All-Academic team by the  Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) for a 3.32 team grade-point average for the 2014-15 academic year.

“This team is committed to being successful in the classroom,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “They do their best and the results are proof of that. We don’t just have golfers. We just graduated a young man with an engineering degree and another is on his way to medical school. We also have another doctor on the way on our current roster.

“All of our young men will be well prepared for life after college,” Craig said. “Also, a sincere thanks to Amy Craiglow in our CATS Center for all that she does to help our guys with their academic careers. Amy is the best in the business.”

To earn recognition to the GCAA Academic Team a team must submit GPAs for each player on its official squad list for the academic year and have a comprised result of 3.0 or better.

The Wildcats were among six SEC schools to capture All-Academic team accolades from the GCAA joining Auburn, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.

Ten players on Craig's squad claimed All-Southeastern Conference academic honors this year. Matthew Anderson, Will Bishop, Hager Collins, Harrison Greenberry, Todd McDaniel, Chris Meuth and Stephen Stallings were all honored on the Spring Academic Honor Roll. Cristian DiMarco, Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel and Fred Allen Meyer were members of the Freshman Academic Honor Roll.

A player must possess a 3.0 grade-point average for the preceding academic year or his entire collegiate career and meet additional qualifications to earn recognition by the league office.

Furthermore, earlier this summer Craig and the Wildcats earned honors for their Academic Progress Rate scores from the NCAA. The UK men’s golf team ranked in the top 10 percent nationally among other Division I golf programs. The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success by the progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR scores are a four-year composite, covering the 2010-11 through 2013-14 school years that measure eligibility, retention and graduation.

The golf team has continued to meet the standard of Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart’s department-wide goal of an all-encompassing 3.0 GPA. With a 3.318 GPA for the 2014-15 year, the men’s golf team ranked second among all men’s sports in the department.

For the latest on the Kentucky men's golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at www.ukathletics.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Deb Moore - 859-257-3838; deb.moore@uky.edu.

Inaugural Neurogastronomy Symposium to be Held at UK

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 15:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) -- The inaugural International Society of Neurogastronomy symposium will be held at the University of Kentucky on Nov. 7, 2015.  Featuring speakers like Emmy-winning chef Sean Brock and the father of neurogastronomy, Dr. Gordon Shepherd, the symposium will explore the concept of brain and behavior in the context of food.

The term Neurogastonomy was coined by Dr. Gordon Shepherd, professor of neurobiology at Yale University, in 2006 in an article in Nature and six years later in an eponymous book. While Shepherd has been interested in the concept from a research perspective, UK neuropsychologist Dan Han and a group of neuroscientists, chefs and food scientists are enthusiastic about making it a clinical translational science, with applications in cancer, stroke, and brain injury (which can destroy the sense of taste) and disease like diabetes and heart disease.

The day's format differs from the typical symposium, featuring brief presentations modeled after the popular TED talks and punctuated with breaks for tastings and an iron chef-like contest where the food from regional and national chefs will be judged by patients with taste impairments.

Symposium registration opens Aug. 7.  For more information about the symposium and how to register, click here.

Grants Available to Address Food Insecurity for Rural Children

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 14:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) — The Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky is accepting grant applications to help lower instances of childhood hunger in some of the nation’s most persistently poor areas.

About 85 percent of all persistently poor counties in the United States are in rural areas, and children are one of the most vulnerable groups within rural America.

The center will award grants to as many as 25 projects that use creative approaches to improve coordination among available nutrition assistance programs. The goal is to increase families’ participation in such programs, including U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service’s Child Nutrition programs. Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $100,000.

The center was created earlier this year through a partnership between the USDA and UK and is housed in the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Center partners include the UK Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, the UK Center for Business and Economic Research, the Altarum Institute, and the Southern Rural Development Center.

States with eligible counties include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

State or local governments and nonprofit organizations within the 324 qualifying counties are eligible to apply for grants from the center. A list of qualifying counties is available on the center’s website at http://www.rcpnc.org.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 30. The center will announce grant winners later in the fall. More information about the available grants and application process is available on the center’s website or by contacting center director Joann Lianekhammy at 859-257-3888.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774; katie.pratt@uky.edu.

College of Medicine Welcomes New Students with White Coats

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 11:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) – The University of Kentucky College of Medicine welcomed the Class of 2019 on Friday, July 31 at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts. The presentation of white coats, provided by the UK Medical Alumni Association, symbolizes the commitment to clinical service, care and professionalism.

"The white coat is an important symbol of the medical profession," said Dr. Charles H. Griffith, III, senior associate dean for Medical Education. "It was an honor to participate in this ceremony acknowledging the students' entrance into the profession. Although the future physicians in the Class of 2019 face many changes in today's health care environment, I am confident that over the next four years they will become exemplary physicians. We welcome them to the UK College of Medicine family." Dr. Griffith delivered the keynote address.

The Class of 2019 includes 137 medical student, 99 of which are Kentuckians and 54 are from rural and Appalachian counties. The class is 42 percent women. Ten students will enter the Rural Physician Leadership Program. This program works to better serve the Commonwealth by training future physicians in medically underserved rural areas through a regional medical school site Morehead, Ky.

Taking the "Pledge of Professionalism for Students of Medicine" during the ceremony, the students committed themselves to a life of compassion and respect for their patients, educators and colleagues.

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

UK Scientists Explain Underlying Cause of Unhealthy Brain Aging Associated with Alzheimer’s

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 16:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2015) — Doctors commonly recommend patients increase their intake of calcium as a means of combating osteoporosis for aging bones.

But calcium also plays an essential role in the neurological functioning of the brain, where it must be tightly regulated and not rise to excessive levels. A signaling molecule, calcium enables learning, cognition and the retention of memories. Calcium also facilitates communication among nerve cells and transports molecules to the many branches of the nerve cell.

Building on scientific evidence implicating disturbed calcium regulation in brain aging accumulated through the past 30 years, a research team in the University of Kentucky Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences led by principal investigator Philip Landfield has found a connection between unhealthy brain aging and a protein responsible for regulating calcium at the molecular level, called FKBP1b. The team’s groundbreaking research, which was published July 29 in the Journal of Neuroscience, identifies a molecular mechanism occurring within the cell that appears to cause unhealthy brain aging. The research suggests the absence or addition of the FKBP1b protein is a strong determinant of functioning in the hippocampus region, a part of the brain responsible for cognition and memory retention.

Unhealthy brain aging is defined as a reduction in brain function resulting in memory impairment. Excess calcium in brain cells appears responsible for important aspects of unhealthy brain aging, and may also increase susceptibility to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s and vascular dementia. Until now, the precise molecular cause of the disturbed calcium regulation in brain aging has remained unknown to scientists.

After learning about the FKBP1b protein’s recently uncovered role in the heart, the UK researchers wondered whether FKBP1b in the hippocampus region declines with brain aging. They then found evidence of reduced FKBP1b gene expression with aging in the hippocampus. This discovery prompted the researchers at the University of Kentucky to test whether boostingFKBP1b in the hippocampus region could reverse or prevent brain aging linked to memory loss.

“It is well-recognized that normal aging is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, but nobody knows why,” Landfield, a professor in the department, said. “It’s possible this (decreased FKBP1b) is the missing link.” 

The team used an advanced gene therapy approach to inject harmless virus particles, which created additional copies of the FKBP1b protein, into the hippocampus of aging rats. The memory abilities of three groups of rats were tested two months after the injections. One group of young rats received a control injection, one group of aged rats received a control injection and one aged group received an injection of the FKBP1b-producing virus particles. The aged group with raised levels of FKBP1b showed restored calcium regulation and dramatically improved cognitive function, allowing them to perform the memory task as well as or better than the young rats. In addition, the researchers have repeated and extended the results in a subsequent study being prepared for publication.

The research provides evidence the manifestations of brain aging can be reversed, and cognition and memory function restored, by altering levels of FKBP1b. This finding is also significant for Alzheimer’s patients as the researchers found a decline in the FKBP1b protein in the hippocampus of people who had early-stage Alzheimer’s. The research has implications for preventing brain aging associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s, and opens the door for pharmaceutical development aimed at sustaining levels of FKBP1b and keeping calcium in check.

“We showed FKBP1b is a master regulator of calcium in brain cells, and when we restore it, it restores the regulation of calcium and dramatically improves learning in the aged animals,” Landfield said. “In all my years of doing research, I’ve never seen a compound this effective; it’s rare that tests of a hypothesis satisfy each of the criteria that have to be met.”

The UK team is the only known group studying FKBP1b in brain aging. As a next step, the researchers are interested in investigating why FKBP1b declines with age. Landfield said there is promise to regulate the protein through Vitamin D, which is known to restore calcium deficiencies in other cells.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging and was published last week in the Journal of Neuroscience.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

UKAT Event to Showcase Tech Innovations Across Industries

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 16:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2015) — University of Kentucky Analytics and Technologies (UKAT) will host its annual technology service showcase, themed “IT Innovations,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, in the William T. Young Library.

The event will feature speaker engagements throughout the day, covering technology innovations in various industries, including health care, higher education and state government. UK staff and faculty are invited to visit information tables highlighting the university’s technology services and projects, such as Coursera, UKMobile, Media Depot, AV Services, Cable Plant Services, Wireless Networking and more.  

The schedule of speakers includes:

  • 10:30 a.m. — Cameron Evans, CTO, Microsoft Education
  • 11:30 a.m. — Nathan Brown, UK Police major, and Tom Sorrell, CEO at BCCLT, Inc.
  • 11:30 a.m. --- Elizabeth Leibach, Office of International Student and Scholar Services director and Kathryn Wong, UKAT program manager
  • 12:30 p.m. — Bethany Miller, academic retention director, and Smitha Chopra, mobile portal workflow manager
  • 1:30 p.m. — Ben Nicholls, UK HealthCare application and technology architect
  • 2:30 p.m.— Vince Kellen, UKAT senior vice provost

UK faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the entire event or specific speaker sessions as schedules allow.

For more information, including presentation overviews and locations, and additional event details, please visit http://www.uky.edu/ukat/about/ServiceShowcase2015

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

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