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'see blue.' Lights Glowing on Campus in Celebration of UK Football Victory

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 23:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2014) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky Football team’s come from behind victory over South Carolina, "see blue." lights on top of four residence halls are on this evening.

The lights — which UK administrators activate for both athletics and academic victories — are on top of Central Halls I an II, Haggin Hall and Woodland Glen 1.

UK opened five new residence halls in August at four locations throughout campus as part of the institution’s ongoing housing and campus transformation.

UK will spend up to $500 million over the next few years on up to 9,000 residence hall beds with private partner EdR as part of a massive campus revitalization effort. 

"see tomorrow." Speaker Series Continues With Expert on Community Engagement

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 16:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — A national expert on community engagement among universities is the next speaker in the "see tomorrow.": Strategic Plan Speaker Series.

Andrew Furco is an associate professor and associate vice president for public engagement in the University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement. He will speak on the topic of community engagement at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Lexmark Public Room in the Main Building.

As associate vice president for public engagement, Furco works with units across the University of Minnesota to advance the institutionalization of various forms of public and community engagement into the university’s research, teaching, and outreach activities.

Furco's current work includes co-chairing the UNESCO International Values Education Research Consortium, a research collaborative composed of researchers from eight nations who are working to deepen understanding of universal values through a series of nationally based and transnational research studies. He also serves on the Council of Engagement and Outreach for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), which focuses on advancing the role of community engagement at public institutions of higher education.

The speaker series is co-sponsored by the University Senate and the Office of the Provost.

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

UK Choristers to Perform at First Presbyterian

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — The 2014 University of Kentucky Choristers will make their fall debut at First Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 171 Market St. The concert is free and open to the public.

Under the direction of doctoral candidate Adam Beeken, of Cleveland, Tennessee, the concert will feature a performance of Joseph Haydn’s "Missa brevis in F." Additionally, the program will consist of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Paul Basler, as well as traditional folk songs. The UK Choristers will be accompanied by Karina Johnson and assistant directed by graduate student Cooper Schrimsher, of Hunstville, Alabama.

UK Choristers is the oldest performing organization at UK. Filled with underclassmen and representing a wide variety of majors, the group frequently performs on and off of campus. This 55-voice mixed choir specializes in choral repertoire of all periods and styles, both a cappella and accompanied, and also performs a major work each year with the UK Symphony Orchestra as well as hosting a successful music theater cabaret, "Night on Broadway." The Choristers tour frequently throughout the region.

For more information on the concert or the UK Choristers, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.   

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

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

Ambati Honored with NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for Research Discovery of Newly Discovered Type of DNA

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor & vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky, was chosen to receive the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award, one of only 10 recipients in 2014. He is the first ophthalmologist to win this award since its inception in 2004.

The Pioneer Award – the first ever to an institution in Kentucky – totaling $3.76 million over five years, is given to exceptionally creative and visionary scientists who propose highly innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research that could yield potentially high payoffs for human health.

Ambati, who holds the Dr. E. Vernon & Eloise C. Smith Endowed Chair in Macular Degeneration Research, received the Pioneer Award to support his study of a newly discovered type of DNA that could have a profound impact on biology and medicine.

“I am honored to have received this award from among an exceptionally competitive group of scientists, and thrilled to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore our most imaginative concepts,” Ambati says. “My group and I are excited to probe the biology of this fascinating and previously unrecognized genetic material. We are particularly keen to understand its role in various ocular and neurological disorders. If we are successful, we expect to make new strides in translating these findings to human therapy.”

Ambati, who came to the University of Kentucky in 2001, also sees patients with retinal disorders, with a particular emphasis on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness worldwide. His laboratory’s groundbreaking research on the mechanisms that control cell death and vascular growth have led to fundamental insights into the factors that lead to development of AMD. His group has recently developed a new therapeutic to treat the dry form of AMD known as geographic atrophy, which they are planning to test in clinical trials for this currently untreatable condition that affects millions worldwide.

“When we talk about UK’s pioneering expert scientists who address the relevant and complex issues of our day, we are talking about faculty like Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “The NIH’s Pioneer Award is a rare honor awarded to a small number of our world’s brightest minds. Dr. Ambati is at the forefront of his field and an exceptional scientist intently focused on expanding our understanding and improving treatment of macular degeneration.”  

Ambati is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Macula Society, and Club Jules Gonin, and American Society of Retinal Specialists. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Ophthalmology, and Translational Vision Science & Technology. His work has been previously recognized with awards from the American Geriatrics Society, Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ellison Medical Foundation, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Harrington Discovery Institute, and Research to Prevent Blindness.

"We congratulate Dr. Ambati on this prestigious recognition by the NIH as well as commend his team on this significant advancement in research," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK vice president for health affairs. "Having a researcher and clinician of Dr. Ambati's caliber strengthens our academic medical center team in all areas from the patients who benefit from his expertise to the students and researchers who gain from his leadership."

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

UK Joins Clinton Global Initiative University Network

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — University of Kentucky has joined the Clinton Global Initiative University Network, a growing consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor and provide seed funding to student leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. UK is now one of more than 40 colleges and universities worldwide that have joined the CGI University Network.

"The Clinton Global Institute University Network is garnering increasing recognition worldwide for the ways that it is harnessing the energy of new ideas and ways of thinking, to solve challenging world problems. The chance to tackle these big issues, in ways that are linked to students’ intellectual and professional development, is irresistible," said UK Associate Provost for Internationalization Susan Carvahlo.

UK will provide $10,000 in funding to be divided among UK students who are selected to pursue their Commitments to Action at CGI U 2015 to be held March 6-8, at University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Commitments to Action, a unique feature of the CGI U model, are new, specific and measurable initiatives that address global challenges across CGI U’s five focus areas:

·       education,

·       environment and climate change,

·       peace and human rights,

·       poverty alleviation, and

·       public health.

UK will also mentor student commitment-makers as they develop and implement their plans in the coming months.

Carvahlo is excited UK students will now have this opportunity. "So many of our most forward-thinking students have a passion for solving big real-world challenges. This is their chance to engage with those questions, in a hands-on and informed way. It gives them the opportunity to test their best ideas against the best ideas from other universities and other creative minds. The energy of the project is enormous, and I think it will draw students in, in ways that help them as well as the problems they tackle."

Students interested in pursuing a Commitment to Action should contact the campus liaison in the UK Academy for Undergraduate Excellence, Lisa Broome, at lisa.broome@uky.edu or 859-257-1537. UK undergraduates and graduate students in any discipline are eligible to apply. Students may apply individually or in small teams.

Since its inaugural meeting in 2008, CGI U has brought together more than 5,500 student leaders from 135 countries and more than 800 schools. Past speakers include Madeleine Albright, Jack Dorsey, Jimmy Wales, Muhammad Yunus, Hawa Abdi Diblawe and Jon Stewart. For more information about the meeting, visit www.cgiu.org.

The deadline to apply for CGI U 2015 is Dec. 1, 2014, and students can apply online at http://www.cgiu.org/apply /.

CGI U brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems — they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Previous CGI U meetings have convened more than 6,500 students from over 875 schools and 145 countries. To learn more, visit cgiu.org.

Prevention, Treatment Can Keep Fall Allergies At Bay

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 09:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014)- Summer has faded and falling leaves cover your lawn. So why are you still coughing and sneezing?

Welcome to fall allergy season, a season that still has blooming plant life and other factors that may affect allergies, including ragweed, mold and dust mites.

UK HealthCare's Asthma, Allergy and Sinus Clinic is the official mold spore and pollen station for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, tracking the prevalence of allergens in the area. Lexington often has one of the highest pollen counts in the nation, and ragweed is the biggest offender.

Ragweed is a yellow flower that begins pollination in August and blooms until the first frost. Wind can carry ragweed pollen up to 100 miles, so even city dwellers aren't immune. Leaf raking is an annual fall ritual, but damp piles of leaves harbor allergy-causing mold. And dust mites sit in your vents until you turn your furnace on. All of these allergens cause misery in the form of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, sniffles and coughs.

Many people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to the plants that pollinate in the fall. The good news is that there is no difference in treatment for fall allergies. Steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants and over the counter drugs all help alleviate allergy symptoms. 

Because allergy symptoms are similar to the cold virus, many people don't realize they have allergies.  Both illnesses cause runny noses, sneezing, congestion, and/or throat cough. But chills, fevers, and body aches usually accompany colds, while allergies can be characterized by "allergic shiners"- dark circles around the eyes that are caused by increased blood flow to the sinuses. Colds last seven to10 days while allergies are typically seasonal and can therefore last longer. Keeping a diary of your symptoms might help you determine whether they arrive about the same time each year.  If you're still unsure, an allergist can help determine whether a cold virus or an allergic response causes your symptoms. 

Board certified allergists perform tests to identify your allergy triggers, suggest ways to reduce the amount of allergens in your home or at work, and set up a treatment schedule including maintenance medicine and immunotherapy. 

Good precautions to take to avoid fall allergies are to stay inside with the windows closed, dust your house frequently, and/or wear a mask while doing yard work. Filtering the air in your home can also help. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your heating system or cheesecloth stretched over your vents can reduce the number of allergens circulating in your home.

Many people have lived with allergies all their lives. You wouldn't guess at your blood pressure or cholesterol. Why guess at your allergies? Allergy treatment by a board certified specialist can help you enjoy fall activities symptom-free.

Beth Miller, MD, is Director of the Asthma, Allergy and Sinus Clinic at UK HealthCare

This column appeared in the October 5, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

UK Police Department Issues Crime Bulletin for Sexual Assault on Campus

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 23:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2014) — In the interest of safety, University of Kentucky Police Department has issued a Crime Bulletin for the UK community.

  • On Thursday, October 2, 2014 at approximately 4:15 p.m., it was reported to the University of Kentucky Police that at approximately 11:45 a.m. that day, a female student was sexually assaulted by a male student in a residence hall on campus. The alleged suspect is known to the victim and the crime is currently being investigated. 

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

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact UK Police at (859) 257-8573.

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

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

Literary and Visual Arts Find a Home in Shale

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 17:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2014) — Entries must be submitted today for an opportunity to be published in the 2014-15 edition of Shale, the University of Kentucky’s undergraduate arts journal.

With support from the UK College of Arts and Sciences, the journal is created and produced by students who want to publish the work of talented UK students each semester. Interested students can communicate with Shale via shaleuk@gmail.com . Those with poetry, short stories of other literary work for publication may submit their work at http://www.shalejournal.org/submit.html

“We believe that garnering support for the arts, whether literary or visual, is an important job, which is why we publish the work of talented UK students each semester,” said the 2014-15 editor in chief Katie Cross. “We also aim to empower and to build a community for creative individuals on campus.” A native of Science Hill, Kentucky, Cross is a senior English major minoring in psychology.

Many may recognize Jack, the publication’s mascot, who has accompanied staff members to events all over campus. In Fall 2012, the art manager at the time, Marshall Blevins, was preparing covers for the journal and created one with an elephant and one with a jackrabbit. The editor-in-chief at the time, Sarah Hayden, liked the rabbit cover more, and he's just stuck with Shale ever since, Cross said. So now their posters, logo, and sometimes journal covers incorporate the rabbit. If you see an ad on campus that has a rabbit on it, it's more than likely to be ours, said Cross, “which is interesting, because I believe U of L's literary journal is called The White Rabbit.

“This spring, I (only half-seriously) suggested to the editorial board that we should get a stuffed (as in plush) jackrabbit and bring him to our receptions and open mics and take photos of him at various campus landmarks for social media purposes,” Cross said. “It was a silly and quirky idea, but everyone seemed to love it, and Jack has now been to a game at the women's NCAA tournament and to Florida, among other places.”

“As this is my last year, I look back on all that we have accomplished and the memories that have been made, the legacy that has been left to me and the legacy I hope to leave, and know that I am quite a lucky writer and editor.

“I have learned so much,” said Cross, “about the craft of writing and about critiquing work from the hands-on experience Shale provides, not to mention from being around the many talented writers and artists on staff. It has been a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but the reward — being able to hold a freshly printed edition and seeing others' faces light up when they see their work on the page — is more than worth it.”

Kelsie Potter, assistant editor-in-chief, a junior English and integrated strategic communications double major from Worthington, Kentucky, said “Even before I came to UK, I knew that I wanted to be involved in a literary journal on campus. I was fortunate enough to be hired as a prose editor my first semester, and I have been with Shale ever since. It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with a group of talented students, to help others improve their work, and to develop my own skills as an editor.”

“I was first published in Shale my first semester at UK, and the next semester the editorial staff reached out to those who had previously been published for a chance to become a staff editor," said Jon Fish, managing editor of prose and a sophomore political science major with a minor in history, from Louisville, Kentucky. "I had been so impressed by the professionalism of the journal from my short time as a contributor that the opportunity to work on staff came as an intriguing possibility. The fact that a political science major like myself can secure a spot on our literary journal’s staff proves Shale’s commitment to reaching out to the entire UK campus.”

Shannon Newberry is managing editor of art for Shale. “After reading through the Fall 2013 Shale issue, I knew I wanted to be a part of the journal," the junior architecture major from Paducah, Kentucky, said. "I joined the staff as an art editor the following semester. Not only have I met wonderful people involved with the journal, but I have been privileged enough to discover the talented artists present here at UK.”

Mary Kate Elliott, managing editor of poetry and a senior English major from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, said working for Shale has been one of the most rewarding collegiate experiences she has ever had. "The journal staff, although divided into separate groups, really functions as a team to produce a polished, professional publication; the journal gets better every year, and it's 100 percent due to staff effort. Our wonderful editors, Katie Cross and Kelsie Potter, form the backbone of the group, doing behind the scenes work like filing incoming material, scheduling staff meetings, handling student inquiries, and promoting Shale through listservs. After working for the journal for two years, I feel confident in my teamwork skills and editorial work — this is definitely a stepping stone for me in both my academic and professional careers.”

#seebluestories Unites Big Blue Nation's Experiences

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 16:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — The University of Kentucky is much more than a campus of beautiful buildings, an institution of higher learning and a world-class athletics program. The essence of UK is a feeling, a “see blue.” spirit that binds every Wildcat — student, faculty, staff, alumni, fans — together. Each member of the Big Blue Nation has a story to share about what the university means to them.

We want to hear them.

The University of Kentucky is proud to launch #seebluestories, a new social media hashtag and website dedicated to the stories that make up our university's rich heritage and lasting tradition. #seebluestories is a way for every member of the UK family to share their story — an archive of the experiences and lives that have shaped the university's nearly 150-year history.

"#seebluestories was inspired by 'Humans of New York' and similar sites where people share their stories through photography and simple text," Kelley Bozeman, UK's director of marketing, said. "We hear from folks all the time who want to share their UK experiences with us but did not have an outlet in which to do so. Now, through #seebluestories, everyone has that outlet."

#seebluestories is multifaceted. Stories can be submitted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/seebluestories or at seeblue.com/stories. On Facebook, simply write your story and post a photo to the page's wall. There your story will join all the other contributed stories.

"We see Facebook as a place where #seebluestories can grow organically," Bozeman said.

Stories submitted through the website will also be shared on Facebook and select stories will be shared on Steller, a new social media storytelling platform.

"We are excited to utilize Steller to share #seebluestories," Bozeman said. "It is a unique platform that combines photography, video and text in an interesting and visually appealing way that is easy to view from a mobile device. Steller will allow us to expand the one photo with text model we are using on Facebook to paint a more complete picture of the person's 'see blue.' story with a multipage, multi-visual experience for the end user."

Steller #seebluestories can be viewed through the app, available in the Apple App Store, or online at www.steller.co/seeblue.

"As we approach UK's 150th anniversary, the timing could not be better to launch #seebluestories," Bozeman said. "What makes UK so special is the people that make up and are impacted by our institution. We want Wildcats of all ages, young and old alike, to share their 'see blue.' story with us, and we cannot wait to hear them all."

Contributed stories will also be shared on various official UK social media sites. Fans are also encouraged to like the #seebluestories Facebook page.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

UK Public Health Gains New Insights From Africa

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2014) — Four University of Kentucky graduate students from the College of of Public Health spent one month in Zimbabwe this past summer working with local nutritionists and teaching courses at Africa University. 

Located near the city of Mutare, Africa University (AU) enrolls nearly 1,200 students, representing 22 African nations. The private university was established in 1988, and hosted the UK students for the duration of their stay.

For Stephanie Courtney, a second-year public health student, this experience was her first time traveling out of the United States.

"It was a big culture shock," Courtney said. "It was funny because I had to reverse 24 years of looking left, right, left to cross a street because in Zimbabwe, they drive on the opposite side of the road."

In addition to taking public health and leadership courses at AU, Courtney worked on a project that identified primary interests in chronic disease with district and provincial nutritionists. With local nutritionists, Courtney participated in a Vitamin A supplementation program, where she focused on controlling micronutrient deficiencies.

"It was really interesting to see how culture plays a role in healthcare delivery," said Courtney. "Not everyone approaches the same problem in the same way."

Kevin Schuer, a PhD candidate – and his family who joined him for the month – appreciated learning about the culture Zimbabwe. For three weeks, Schuer co-taught a course at AU to students pursuing their master’s degree in public health. The class consisted of 25 students; one-third of which were from Zimbabwe and the other two-thirds were from around the continent.

"One difference that I noticed was that most of my class was predominantly older male students unlike students in my classes at UK who are usually female and recent graduates," Schuer said. "Many of the students at AU had careers in the medical field before coming back to continue their education. All of the students were not only very knowledgeable, but they were interested in improving the health of their country. It really meant something to them."

During their time in Zimbabwe, the students also toured Victoria Falls and brushed up on their Shona (a native language) speaking skills. All of the students were fortunate to gain more insight into the health and cultural practices of Zimbabwe.

"I felt privileged that the UK College of Public Health and the College of Health Sciences allowed for this opportunity to happen," said Schuer. "This experience was life-changing and I really look forward to going back and being apart of this relationship between UK and AU."

UK Geographer Wins British Award

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 13:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — University of Kentucky geography Professor Jonathan Phillips was recently awarded one of the leading recognitions in his field of study, the David Linton Award, from the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG).

The 2014 Linton Award recognizes Phillips’ “lifetime of distinguished and influential contributions to fluvial geomorphology spanning a broad array of topics in over 180 papers, including 10 in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.”

The BSG announcement added that Phillips’ “career has included a combination of thought-provoking methodological and philosophical contributions to geomorphic system understanding and landscape evolution, and empirical contributions across several branches of geomorphology.”

The David Linton Award is given to a geomorphologist who has made a leading contribution to the discipline over a sustained period. Phillips will present the Linton Lecture at the group’s annual meeting.

After professorships at Arizona State University (1986-1988), East Carolina University (1988-1997) and Texas A&M University (1997-2000), Philips came to UK in 2000 and was named a University Research Professor in 2006. His work, published in a range of multidisciplinary journals, has included empirical investigations into pedogeomorphology including soil landscape variability, chaotic evolution of coastal plain soils, and hydrogeomorphology including geomorphic impacts of flash flooding, controls on sediment delivery, avulsion regimes, logjams and avulsions, forest blowdown impacts, geomorphic responses to changes in instream flows, incised valley fills, residence time of alluvium, and Holocene sediment accretion.

His methodological contributions have influenced the development of geomorphology and have included topics of historical contingency, geomorphic systems including synchronization and scale and pseudo-equilibrium in geomorphology, soil system modelling, soils and weathering profiles, human impacts on the environment and the primacy of place, evolutionary geomorphology, and biogeomorphology and landscape evolution.

‘Sweeney Todd’ Serves Up Sweet, Sinful Revenge

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 11:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2014) — University of Kentucky Opera Theatre lives up to its tradition of presenting some of Broadway's most popular hits again this fall as it presents a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s maniacal masterpiece "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller." The dark musical comedy will haunt the Lexington Opera House stage Oct. 4-12.

From Broadway and West End stages, to the big screen featuring Johnny Depp, to its most recent presentation on PBS with a Lincoln Center cast featuring Bryn Terfel and Academy Award winner Emma Thompson, "Sweeney Todd" is known for seizing audiences' attention with its story full of murder, mayhem and revenge. Set in 19th century England, the musical explores the life of Benjamin Barker, alias Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after serving 15 years on trumped-up charges.

Stage director Richard Gammon has assembled a creative team that helps bring light to the dark comedy in a fantastical new production. Gammon is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and currently is the stage director for Ash Lawn Opera’s Young Artist Program. He previously worked in Kentucky when he directed the 2010 production of "Much Ado About Nothing" for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, in Louisville. Rounding out Gammon's team are assistant director and choreographer Cassey Kikuchi Kivnick, set designer Carolyn Mraz, lighting designer Tanya Harper and costume designer Susan Dudley Wigglesworth.

“Richard Gammon has directed an innovative, creative and spectacular new production," said UK Opera Theatre Executive Director Everett McCorvey, producer for the show. "While the show is a dark comedy, Richard has really focused on the comedy aspect, and the truth and life in each of the characters.”

Bringing "Sweeney Todd" to "life" is a double cast of talented UK students including: Thomas Gunther and Matthew Turner as Sweeney Todd; Holly Dodson and Rachel Snyder as Mrs. Lovett; Christopher Baker as Judge Turpin; Peter LaPrade and Zackery Morris as Anthony Hope; Gabrielle Barker and Mary Catherine Wright as Johanna; Andrew Miller and Wesley Hammond as Tobias Ragg; Brittany Jones and Kathrin Thawley as Beggar Woman; Joshua Randall Price and Brock Terry as Beadle Bamford; and Jonathan Parham as Adolfo Pirelli.

Under the baton of John Nardolillo, 36 UK Symphony Orchestra members perform one of Sondheim’s most intricate scores. Performances will also be conducted by Lucía Marín and Jan Pellant, doctoral candidates and UK Symphony Orchestra assistant conductors.

Performances of "Sweeney Todd" take the stage 7:30 p.m., Oct. 4 and 8-11, and 2 p.m., Oct. 5, 11 and 12. Tickets range in price from $40.50 to $76.50, with student tickets available for $20.50. To purchase tickets in advance, contact the box office at 859-233-3535, visit www.ticketmaster.com or purchase in person at the Lexington Center Box Office. Tickets may be purchased at the Lexington Opera House 90 minutes before each performance.

For more information contact Patrick Joel Martin, marketing coordinator for UK Opera Theatre, at 859-257-4590.

UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.

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

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

Hispanic Literature and Culture Journal Available Online

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 10:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2014) — The 2014 issue of Nomenclatura: Aproximaciones a los estudios hispánicos, a publication dedicated to investigating Hispanic literatures and cultures, is now available online via UKnowledge through a collaboration between the University of Kentucky Department of Hispanic Studies and UK Libraries. This journal encourages work that employs innovative writing styles as well as formal scholarly work and is edited by graduate students from the Department of Hispanic Studies at UK.  

The first issue of Nomenclatura: Aproximaciones a los estudios hispánicos: “ Acts of Remembering” was published in 2011 and edited by Alice Driver and Rebecca Pittenger. The second issue was edited by Jeffrey Zamostny and Grace Martin under the title of “ Apocalypse and the End Times.”

The third issue, edited by Constantin C. Icleanu and María López-Soriano, is titled “ At the Crossroads of Literature and Technology.” This volume foregrounds creative and academic contributions in English and Spanish from graduate students and early-career professors tackling the growing field that studies the interconnectivity of technology and literature. The authors therein attempt to answer the following defining questions:

  • how have changes in technology altered the way we identify ourselves and relate to others?
  • how do popular culture products reimagine the relationship between the body and technology?
  • how have blogs and other publishing platforms impacted Hispanic narrative forms?
  • has technology opened the door to increased literary production or has it obstructed its creation?

The online publishing of Nomenclatura via UKnowledge was make possible with the support and work of Susan Larson, associate professor of Spanish, and the journal's editorial team, as well as UK Libraries led by Adrian Ho, director of digital scholarship.

UK Libraries has provided free journal hosting services since the launch of UKnowledge in December 2010. With a state-of-the-art online platform, the system provides editors of UK-based journals with custom-designed sites and an online system to streamline the editorial process. UK Libraries-hosted journals have high visibility through search engine optimization, and authors receive monthly reports of the download counts of their articles. Additionally, UK Libraries undertakes the long-term preservation of the published contents to ensure perpetual access to them in the future. UK Libraries currently hosts five journals on UKnowledge.

Editors of UK-based journals can contact Adrian Ho at adrian.ho@uky.edu to explore opportunities for collaboration. 

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

Education Abroad Growth Focus of 'UK at the Half'

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 19:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2014) – University of Kentucky's Anthony Ogden, executive director of Education Abroad and Exchanges, was the guest of "UK at the Half" that aired Sept. 27, during the radio broadcast of the UK vs. Vanderbilt University football game.

Ogden discussed the opportunities education abroad and exchanges provide to students at UK and the benefits of international education to enrich students' education and career goals. In addition, Ogden provided information about the  growth of the program at the university.

"UK at the Half" airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.

To hear the "UK at the Half" interview, click on the play button below. To view a transcript for the Sept. 27 "UK at the Half" interview, click here.

UK Students Attend IdeaFestival

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 17:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2014) — Some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators are in downtown Louisville this week for the annual IdeaFestival (IF), which runs through Friday at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. The University of Kentucky continues to serve as a sponsor for this four-day event.

Eight UK students received funding to attend the conference for all four days, thanks to a grant from the Council on Postsecondary Education. Tomorrow, more than 70 University of Kentucky students will attend the IF with representatives from the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence in the Division of Undergraduate Education

IF, which began in Lexington in 2000, is a unique event that celebrates innovation in ways designed to stretch the imagination and broaden horizons. IF has grown into one of the world's premier showcases of creativity and discovery, exploring innovation across different fields including design, science, business, arts, technology, industry, spirituality, medicine, media, literature, international affairs, and more.

For more information about the IdeaFestival, and to view the full schedule of events and speakers, visit the website at www.ideafestival.com/.  

The Kentucky Law Journal and UK College of Law Present Data Privacy Symposium

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 16:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2014) — The Kentucky Law Journal and the University of Kentucky College of Law will present a symposium on data privacy titled “Your Rights in a Digital World,” from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10. The event will take place in the College of Law Courtroom.

This symposium is dedicated to the question of how we govern data privacy when personal data is ubiquitous.

Guest speakers for this event include:

Leslie P. Francis, Distinguished Professor of law and philosophy, Alfred C. Emery Professor of Law, and associate dean for faculty research and development in the College of Law at the University of Utah.  Professor Francis teaches and writes extensively in the areas of health law, bioethics, and disability. She currently serves as co-chair of the Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security subcommittee of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics.

Raymond Ku, director of the Center for Cyberspace Law & Policy and professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. An internationally recognized scholar, Professor Ku writes on legal issues impacting individual liberty, creativity, and technology. His articles appear in the law reviews and journals of Berkeley, Chicago, Georgetown, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin, among others, and he is the lead author of the first casebook devoted exclusively to the study of cyberspace law.

Dennis D. Hirsch, Geraldine W. Howell Professor of Law at Capital University Law School. Professor Hirsch conducts research on privacy regulation. His scholarship argues that privacy injuries are to the information economy what environmental damage has been to smokestack industry – a negative side-effect of business activity. His work explores whether environmental law can serve as a constructive model for privacy regulation.

David Thaw, assistant professor of law and information sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and an Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. His research and scholarship examine the regulation and impact of Internet and computing technologies, with specific focus on cybersecurity, privacy, cybercrime, and cyberwarfare. 

Patricia Sánchez Abril, associate professor of business law at the University of Miami School of Business Administration. She spent several years at Univisión Network, the largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, where she specialized in international business transactions, specifically intellectual property rights, talent, and other entertainment-related contracts.  Professor Abril has published primarily in the areas of intellectual property and privacy law, with her most recent work focusing on privacy and its relation to social media, health, securities, and tort law. 

Jacqueline Lipton, Baker Botts Professor of Law and co-director for the Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Houston Law Center.  While Professor Lipton will not be at the symposium, she worked closely with Abril on her presentation. Her scholarship focuses on law and digital technology, as well as law and the creative arts.  She is the co-author of multiple editions of a leading cyberspace casebook, "Cyberspace Law:  Cases and Materials," (with Professor Raymond S. R. Ku) as well as sole author of "Internet Domain Names, Trademarks and Free Speech" (Edward Elgar, 2010) and "Security Over Intangible Property" (LBC Thompson, 2000). 

Lawrence Siry, collaberatuer scientifique at the University of Luxembourg.  Siry received his J.D. from New York Law School and practiced in the field of criminal defense in New York for nearly 15 years, most recently at the criminal defense practice of the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan, where he served as a supervising attorney. In 2013 he received his Doctorate of Law from the University of Luxembourg and has conducted research on freedom of expression and comparative privacy rights in the U.S. and Europe.

Jennifer B. Coffman, retired U.S. District judge, is the moderator for the symposium. She became the first female federal judge in Kentucky at the time of her appointment in 1993. She went on to become the first female federal chief judge in 2007. On January 8, 2013, Coffman retired after serving on the court for 19 years.

Guests may register for this event by visiting the website, www.law.uky.edu and clicking on the cover story.

This program is approved by the Kentucky Bar Association CLE Commission for three hours of continuing legal education credit.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu 

SGA Offers Child Care Grants

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 15:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2014) — Each year Student Government offers child care grants to students who need financial assistance for day care service for their children. These grants were created to help students with children further their education with less financial stress. Child care grants are available for part-time and full-time students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

To be eligible a student must be enrolled at the University of Kentucky in the semester they apply for the grant and their children must be enrolled in a daycare or after school program that requires a weekly or monthly payment.

This is a one-time grant with applications available each semester. The grant will be credited through myUK to your student account. If both parents are UK students, please note this on the application but it is not necessary for both parents to apply.

The selection committee reviews numerous applications, so please be as detailed in your responses as possible. Once you begin, you must complete the application in its entirety. The application cannot be saved.

The deadline to apply for a child care grant is by noon Tuesday, Oct. 7. No late applications will be accepted.

You can find the application online at uksga.org/applications/childcare-grants.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

SGA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, publicrelations@uksga.org

UK HealthCare Pediatric Team Brings Guatemalan Child Closer to a Normal Life

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2014) — After Cony Puac delivered her daughter Evany, birthing attendants placed the newborn in her arms and cleared the room. 

Born in a remote Guatemalan village surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes, even in the first moments of life, children born with facial clefts are ostracized from society. Evany was diagnosed with a severe midline cleft palate by an orthodontist in her community. An opening at the center of her face spanned from her bottom lip to the space between her eyes. On either side of the opening, her eyes were separated by 38 centimeters — 20 centimeters wider than that of an average child's. Evany's nostrils were pushed to the left side of her face in cluster of tissue. At the crown of her head, Evany suffered from several holes in the cranium bone beneath the skin.

Evany also lacked an upper lip, which she needed to receive nourishment early in life through breastfeeding. In order to feed Evany, her parents obtained special bottles designed for children with severe cleft palates from a charity called Evelyn's Baskets of Love and Life. Adapting to her condition, Evany learned to feed herself without a palate by mashing solid foods with her fist and the inside of her mouth. As she continued to grow in her first year, the facial cleft impeded Evany's speech development. Only able to form sounds in the back of her throat, she replaced the word "Papa" with the sound of "a-a."  

University of Kentucky pediatric reconstructive plastic surgeon Dr. James Liau said children born with craniofacial cleft palates in countries with limited medical resources are deprived of the chance to live a normal life. Facial clefts and cleft palates are widely misunderstood abnormalities that affect babies across countries and cultures, although environmental conditions and hereditary factors could contribute to the condition. At the University of Kentucky, Liau helps counsel families that have severe facial clefts while babies are still in the womb, and he intervenes as soon as possible after birth. In Guatemala, most rural populations don't have access to surgical experts who can correct these facial abnormalities in children.

"I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I can do," Liau said. "In Guatemala, that's it. Your child dies, or you try to find someone overseas that can help you. It's sad, but it's an unfortunate fact of life."

Liau travels to Guatemala once a year with the Children of the Americas, a nonprofit dedicated to providing medical and surgical services to women and children rural Guatemala. Liau packs a small surgical kit to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries during his volunteer trips in conjunction with other medical professionals. When he encountered Evany and her family during a trip in January 2014, he knew that correcting Evany's condition would require a major procedure that couldn't safely be performed in Guatemala.

"Her case was pretty severe and pretty dramatic," Liau said of Evany's facial cleft. "It's probably one of the most exotic facial clefts that you'll ever see."

Working with a national network of doctors and volunteers, Children of the Americas, arranged for Evany and her mother to travel to the UK Chandler Hospital for the first, and the most intensive, of three reconstructive surgeries. Evany's craniofacial surgery involved a team of UK HealthCare specialists representing the divisions of anesthesiology, pediatric neurosurgery and pediatric plastic surgery.

Cony Puac and 18-month-old Evany arrived in Kentucky on May 12 and visited the UK Chandler Hospital for a pre-surgery cat scan on May 23. While in the waiting room, the new walker clanged a tambourine and grinned while playing games, oblivious to the impending surgery. Puac, 19, quietly sat with translator Jennifer Christmann, who is also interim director of facilties planning and development at UK HealthCare and volunteers with Children of the Americas.

Puac traveled away from her husband and 3-year-old son in Guatemala to accompany Evany through the surgery. A volunteer family based in New Albany, Indiana, hosted the Guatemalan mother and daughter for several weeks before and after the surgery. While Puac's host family treated her to shoe shopping and Culver's cheeseburgers, she said she missed her home and family.

"She knows she is here for a purpose," Christmann said.

On May 30, Evany was underwent a cranial vault reconstruction  at the UK Chandler Hospital to bring the orbits of her eyes closer together. Liau worked with UK HealthCare pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Pittman to correct Evany's cranial bone structure, laying the groundwork for future soft tissue surgeries. During the surgery, Liau and the plastic surgery team removed a part of her skull, and then united the facial bones at the location where they plan to reconstruct Evany's nose. Evany was held in the pediatric intensive care unit for a few days as part of post-operative protocol.

Walking with more confidence in an examination room two weeks after surgery, Evany recovered with her same playful and sweet spirit as before, which Liau said was a good sign. Her hair would eventually cover a scar left from a line of stitches marking the incision made at the crown of her head. With the adjustments to the orbits of her eyes, Evany was now seeing straight ahead. She inspected Liau as he held her in his lap, speaking in Spanish and calling her "sweet pea." Mom, Conny Puac, was overwhelmed with gratitude to Liau and the surgical team.  

"It’s a big change, and I am very happy that she’s changed." Puac said of her daughter through a translator. "I am very happy (Liau) did such a good job. I am very appreciative and very thankful to him."

Liau said moving the cranial and facial bones into place was the hardest step in Evany's journey. The next two surgeries, which will be performed by Liau in Guatemala, will involve reconstructing the soft tissue features of Evany's face. Liau will use existing tissue to construct Evany's nose and upper lip during the second surgery in January. He will return the following year to perform a procedure that will rebuild the palate. Through the course of two years and three surgeries, Liau hopes to achieve the closest semblance to "normal" for Evany. He believes all children deserve a chance to live normal life. 

"A cleft palate should not keep you from having a healthy, normal, productive life," Liau said. "We are at a stage in cleft care when you should just continue on with what you're supposed to be doing, which is to be happy and have a family and have a life. The ability to do that either here in Kentucky or overseas is something I'm really happy to have." 

UK Football Ticket Discount Offered for Faculty and Staff

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2014) - UK faculty and staff are invited to use the special promo code “BEATSC” at UKFootballTix.com to purchase $25 upper level reserved tickets for this Saturday’s game against South Carolina. Kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Commonwealth Stadium.

In addition, the code “BEATLM” can be used for $20 upper level reserved tickets for the Heroes’ Day game at noon against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, Oct. 11.

To redeem, visit UKFootballTix.com and click “see tickets” for Kentucky versus South Carolina. On the event page there is a box labeled "offer code." Enter the code for the game you desire and then select your seats using the interactive seat map. Each ticket will have a minimal service charge.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, 859-257-1909

PTS Home Express Service Ticket Sales Begin Today

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 23:16
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2014) – UK Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) will begin selling tickets for the Thanksgiving and Winter Break editions of its Ride Home Express bus service today. The PTS Ride Home Express is a bus service travelling to hometowns and other destinations during the major academic breaks. The service provides an economical and efficient alternative as compared to other means of travel.

The PTS Ride Home Express is in its fourth year of operation. For the 2014-15 edition of the Ride Home Express, PTS will operate three routes, with a total of 15 stops. The final destinations include the metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; and Cleveland, Ohio. For individual route maps, visit http://www.uky.edu/pts/buses-and-shuttles_ride-home-express.

The program offers significantly cheaper fares than airlines, and faster travel times than other major bus companies. Ride Home Express is open to both students and employees.

UK students are able to register and pay for their trip via the web by logging on to the Parking Account Manager with their Link Blue ID. BCTC students are also able to pay for trip registration online using their KCTCS login. Ride Home Express registration will be available as an option under the "Purchase Permits" section once logged in. Riders utilizing the online option must pay using credit or debit cards. All other riders must register and pay for their seats in person at the main PTS office, located in the Press Avenue Garage, at the corner of Press and Virginia Avenues. One-way fares may be purchased in person only. The office is open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Tickets will not be issued. All passengers will be added to a manifest and will need to bring a photo ID to board the bus. Round-trip fares for the PTS Ride Home Express range from $55-$155 for round-trip rates; one-way fares begin at $30. A complete price list can be found here: www.uky.edu/pts/buses-and-shuttles_ride-home-express.

PTS recommends registering for the trip as soon as possible. Space is limited, and seats will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The motor coaches used for PTS Ride Home Express offer many amenities, including restrooms and reclining seats.

For more information on the Ride Home Express, including a list of fares, visit the Ride Home Express page or the Ride Home Express Frequently Asked Questions.

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