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Open Studio Art Event Makes Final Appearance at Reynolds Building

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 09:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014) — The University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies throws open the doors of the Reynolds Building to the public this holiday season for the last time before moving to a new facility next year. The Bluegrass community is invited to discover original new works by UK students and faculty at Open Studio. Experience and participate in art while shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at Reynolds Building Number 1, located at 349 Scott St.

This popular annual event gives individuals an opportunity to see artwork created by UK's undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty. A variety of artwork will be on display including metalwork, fiber, paintings, photographs, drawings, ceramics, plaster casts, printmaking and woodwork.

Festivities scheduled for Open Studio include:

· the Carey Ellis Juried Student Art Exhibition in the Barnhart Gallery featuring pieces by graduate and undergraduate art students (an awards ceremony will take place during Open Studio);

· an art sale, including the popular ceramic bowl sale;

· crafts and activities for children provided by the students of the Art Education program; and

· live music performances and refreshments.

As UK School of Art and Visual Studies celebrates its last Open Studio at the Reynolds Building, students, faculty, staff and visitors are encouraged to share memories of their experiences in the facility on social media using the hashtag #GoodbyeReynolds.

The school will move into the Bolivar Art Center, a newly renovated historic warehouse, in the summer of 2015. The building is a state-of-the-art research laboratory that will feature new media labs, a 3D fabrication lab, a photography suite and more.

A donation of $5 to the UK School of Art and Visual Studies is suggested for entry to Open Studio. Proceeds go to various programs provided by the school. Free parking for individuals attending Open Studio can be found nearby on both Broadway and Scott Street.

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

To find out more about Open Studio, contact Rowe Moser, rjwmoser@gmail.com.

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

Diversity of Interests: Army ROTC, Psychology Guide Cadet's Career

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 08:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014) — Drew Myers is a University of Kentucky psychology major and award-winning Army ROTC cadet whose hobbies range from hunting and fishing to playing the ukulele. His primary academic and professional interest is in the field of human factors — a combination of human psychology and product design.

Myers clearly has no problem reconciling such differences; he doesn’t just want to learn to fly helicopters, he wants to design a better cockpit.

After graduating from Oldham County High School, Myers considered pursuing his interests through the Air Force Academy, but eventually decided to go the civilian route at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. While Myers says he loved his time at Riddle, he left after three semesters to find better — and perhaps more rewarding — ways of funding his education.

“I came back to Kentucky to get in-state tuition, and I looked at the military because my dad always said if I got a full scholarship, he’d buy me whatever car I wanted,” Myers said. “After a while I realized I was mature enough to realize how important it was to have my tuition paid for.”

Myers participated in junior ROTC at his high school, and while he excelled in and enjoyed the program, he didn’t consider joining ROTC at the college level until coming to UK. Nevertheless, in the summer of 2014 Myers participated in the Leader’s Training Course (LTC), a four-week accelerated training program at Fort Knox.

During the extensive training of the program, Myers was told in passing that he was a candidate for top cadet. Cadets were scored on training areas such as basic rifle marksmanship and land navigation, and the lieutenants assessed them with leadership scores based on interactions during exercises.

Although told he might be a long shot for the honor, Myers was awarded top cadet, meaning he got to lead all 246 cadets for the program’s graduation.

“I also got to salute a general, which was the best part. I was super excited about that. I was really lucky and privileged to get top cadet,” he said.

Myers went through similar changes in his academic pursuits, beginning in aerospace engineering at Riddle and switching to human factors before settling into psychology at UK. He still plans to pursue human factors through graduate study after earning his bachelor’s.

“[Human factors] deals with how people interact with products, how to do testing and improve design,” said Myers. “You can give people the first generation of a product, see what they like and don’t like, and change the product from there.”

According to Myers, human factors is a growing industry with application ranging from developing an ergonomic pencil that reduces hand strain to designing a NASA spaceship. His goal is to be involved in cockpit design.

“Human factors is concerned with where to put what button, how to help pilots pay attention and work effectively. I want to work in the aerospace industry and make things easier to use,” Myers explained.

His interest in playing the ukulele was also the result of experimentation, trying first to play the banjo and guitar but eventually embracing the ukulele. Myers says he’s always enjoyed spending time in the woods, and now he finds fulfillment in playing the ukulele for others.

“I really enjoy playing, but I enjoy performing in front of people as well. I do it whenever I can,” he said.

Now Myers is in a leadership role in Army ROTC at UK, teaching basic skills to freshmen cadets. He says he was overwhelmed at first by the prospect of teaching skills he had only recently learned himself, but now Myers appreciates the opportunities provided by his leadership position.

“This is stuff I learned over the summer, but I like that I’ve had to teach it. I’ve never had to teach anybody, and I learn more in teaching the class than I did during the summer. I learn a lot more about myself, my leadership style and my teaching style,” he explained.

If the past is any indicator, Myers will soon have more talents and interests to add to his diverse repertoire.

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

UK Physiologist Leads Team that Identifies Receptors Activated by Odors

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 22:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) -- A group of physiologists led by University of Kentucky’s Tim McClintock have identified the receptors activated by two odors using a new method that tracks responses to smells in live mice.  

Their research was published in the latest edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Using a fluorescent protein to mark nerve cells activated by odors, McClintock and his colleagues identified receptors that allow mouse nerve cells to respond to two odors: eugenol, which is a component of several spices, most notably cloves, and muscone, known as musk.

"This new method could help us understand how these receptors allow mice, and eventually humans, to detect and discriminate odors, similar to the way in which the three receptors in the retinas of our eyes allow us to discriminate colors," McClintock said.  "But unlike vision and hearing, the details of how the odor receptors discriminate odors, much like color in vision or pitch in sound, are unknown."

"Before we have a medical application in mind, we must first create a roadmap for these receptors."

Scientists have been pursuing this "holy grail" of the sense of smell since Richard Axel and Linda Buck discovered these odorant receptors and their role in the organization of the olfactory system, winning them the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2004.

The challenge has been scientists' ability to identify which receptors are activated by certain smells, particularly since humans have about 400 such receptors (mice have an astounding 1,100 receptors).

By using this new invention, called the Kentucky In Vivo Odorant-Ligand Receptor Assay, or in short, ‘the Kentucky Assay,’ scientists are now able to determine which receptors respond to certain odors in awake, freely behaving animals.

There are many practical applications for this knowledge, according to McClintock.

"Knowing which receptors respond to a chemical would help us devise better flavors and fragrances," he said.  "But perhaps more tantalizing is the idea that we could potentially design receptor blockers for offensive odors. 

Other lead co-authors on the study are Hiro Matsunami from Duke University, Durham, N.C.; and Peter Mombaerts, from the Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics, Frankfurt, Germany. 

One-lane Traffic on Portion of Hilltop Avenue Dec. 1-5

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 19:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) — Traffic on a brief portion of Hilltop Avenue near Woodland Avenue will be reduced to one lane Dec. 1-5, while storm water lines for the new dining facility, The 90, are installed.  Please see map for specific area.

The work will be done from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in an effort to avoid major morning and afternoon drive-times.  Brief traffic stops can be expected in the area.  Traffic controls will be in place at the corner of Hilltop Avenue and University Drive and at the corner of Woodland Avenue and Hilltop Avenue.

The trenched area will be covered with metal plates allowing for a return to two-lane traffic each day after 4 p.m.

Traffic delays will be possible in this area, and motorists are asked to take that into consideration for their daily commute.

Kentucky Wood Bound for Plimoth Plantation and History

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 19:11

BEREA, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — It was a fitting sight on a cold, snowy day close to Thanksgiving. A tractor-trailer laden with 30-foot planks of freshly sawn white oak began the final leg of a journey from the Bluegrass to Plymouth, Massachusetts, destined for the refitting of the Mayflower II.

The original Mayflower that carried a sea-weary group of Pilgrims to New England and into American folklore is long gone, but her historical reproduction, Mayflower II, carries her own historical significance. The United Kingdom presented the ship to the U.S. in 1957 commemorating America’s help during World War II. Since then, the ship has hosted millions of school children and tourists at its mooring at the Smithsonian-affiliated living history museum, Plimoth Plantation.

When the Mayflower II went into dry dock in 2012 for her annual Coast Guard inspection, the scuttlebutt around Plymouth, Massachusetts, was that the shipwrights would need some extraordinary white oak timber to repair about a dozen futtocks and 60 long planks in her hull.

What’s a futtock? University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment extension forestry professor Terry Conners knew — they’re curved timbers that make up the hull’s framework — and he also knew the wood needed isn’t available at lumberyards. The native New Englander thought, with his contacts in the wood industry, he could help locate the timber. He immediately offered his landlubber expertise.

Conners had quite a task ahead. The planks had to be 26- to 32-feet long and 3.5-inches thick, with a minimum of 10-inch wide heartwood along the length. This meant looking for some very big trees. To complicate matters, they had to be practically defect-free.

“It’s very hard to source white oak that we need in the lengths we need, the thicknesses we need and the high quality we need to be able to cut the sweep of the planks out,” said Whit Perry, associate director for maritime preservation and operations for the Mayflower II at Plimoth Plantation. Perry was on hand when the boards were loaded onto the flatbed truck. “It would be easy to go out and buy some other type of wood, tropical hardwood or something along those lines, but at the museum we’re of the mind that we want to restore Mayflower II in the same way it was built in 1957.”

Conners turned his sights on UK’s Robinson Forest, but Robinson was clear-cut in the 1920s.

“We don’t have the diameter or the quality timber that this particular project requires,” he said. He located a sawyer in Georgia who could supply some of the portside planking, but he really wanted some of the timber to be Kentucky-grown.

Conners turned toward the Berea College Forest, whose forester, Clint Patterson, is a UK forestry graduate student.

“There’s good synergy between UK and Berea,” Patterson said. “Berea College allows UK to utilize our forest for research purposes, field days and student training.”

It turned out Berea College had what Conners was looking for. Patterson tagged a few trees with potential.

When master logger Holger Grossler, from Louisville, heard Conners was looking for such long boards, he said his first reaction was it was impossible.

“I was trained that at 16 or 18 feet white oak usually stops being clean,” he said, meaning the wood would start showing defects at that point. “But Clint is a good forester with a good eye to spot those trees. When I saw the first one he spotted, I thought wow, that’s a really exceptional one, and it turned out to be good.”

A successful test cutting was done in March. When the lumber from that tree passed muster, 10 more trees were cut and sawn on site this past summer.

Almost twice the normal length of sawn lumber, trees that can provide 30-foot planks are difficult to move and saw. Grossler’s team cut down the oaks and arranged to have Ernie Tebeau from Toledo, Ohio, bring down his portable saw mill to saw the trees into suitable lengths and widths. Then the planks were hauled out to the nearest road to be loaded onto the flatbed.

As the four men stood in the blowing snow and watched the truck pull away with 30 planks destined to be part of American history, there was definitely a feeling of celebration in the air. It had been almost a yearlong journey to that point, but Conners felt it was just the beginning of what he hoped would be a bright future for the whole state.

“I’m trying to spread the word that we have reason to manage timber not just for the 100 or 200 years we normally do, but for 300 years,” he said. “This is good for the industry, as well as for Berea, as well as it is for Kentucky.”

'UK at the Half' Focuses on Art and Visual Studies

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 18:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) — Director of the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies   Rob Jensen was featured during the "UK at the Half" that aired during the UK vs. University of Texas-Arlington basketball game, broadcast on the radio Nov. 25.

Rob Jensen discussed the various artistic disciplines within the school and the way they are beginning to blend. Jensen also addressed the renovation of the University Lofts into the Bolivar Art Center. The school's new home is projected to be complete by summer 2015.

The public will be given the opportunity to see the work being done by students and faculty at UK School of Art and Visual Studies Dec. 5, at the annual Open Studio event. This year’s event will be the final one hosted in the Reynolds Building.

"UK at the Half" airs during the 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 Nov. 25 "UK at the Half" interview, click here.

Statistics Professor Nominated for U.S. Professors of the Year Award

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014)William Rayens, University of Kentucky statistics professor, was recently honored for his work in undergraduate education with a nomination in the 2014 U.S. Professors of the Year awards program.

“Teaching may well be the most important enterprise we engage in as professors, and I was thrilled to be asked to compete for one of the 2014 awards," said Rayens.

Rayens, director of undergraduate education in the Department of Statistics, developed the general education course " STA 210: Intro to Statistical Reasoning," implemented in the fall of 2011. Serving as assistant provost for general education in the Division of Undergraduate Education for two years, Rayens also guided the implementation of the university's general education program, the UK Core.

“Dr. Rayens has been a national pioneer in creative pedagogy in statistics. The STA 210 course he designed so that students can meet the Statistical Inferential Reasoning requirement in UK Core is exceptionally innovative and defines the cutting edge of instruction in statistics nationally," said Ted Schatzki, senior associate dean of faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Schatzki, a professor of geography and philosophy, nominated Rayens for the U.S. Professors of the Year award.

According to Schatzki, the general education statistics course was one of the first "flipped" courses in the U.S., where students are first exposed to the content outside of class time, opening up time in the classroom for active learning with case studies, and student-led activities and demonstrations.

"Moreover, despite its size, it receives very high student evaluations in comparison to other large introductory courses," Schatzki said. "The demands on Bill to develop the (STA 210) course and keep it running were and remain immense, and if it were not for his dedication and grit, UK Core would not have been a success."

Sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program recognizes outstanding undergraduate instructors who excel in teaching and mentoring.

“It was an honor to be nominated and I appreciate all the coordination work by Senior Associate Dean Schatzki, as well as the time and effort taken by reviewers who wrote on my behalf,” said Rayens.

Cindy Tucker, associate professor of computer and information technologies at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, was named the 2014 Kentucky Professor of the Year. 

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

UK College of Pharmacy's Global Classroom Connects Kentucky and China

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 09:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy goes across borders for the second year with professor Melody Ryan's “Pharmacy Without Borders: A U.S.-China Global Classroom” course. Ryan, director of International Professional Student Health, formed a partnership with Peking University Third Hospital to provide students from both institutions with an opportunity to engage with fellow student pharmacists via this shared curriculum.

“We wanted to provide UK College of Pharmacy students with a chance to develop their global skillset as part of their everyday education,” Ryan said. “We know how important it is for students to learn about international issues and to get accustomed to working in diverse work groups. Thanks to today’s technology, providing that international experience is easier than ever before.”

The course is kept small to allow for more one-on-one interactions between students and faculty. Part of the course is recorded and watched asynchronously; the course also takes part in five live sessions.

Students form international teams to complete a paper and a presentation. Alice Pan, fourth-year student at the UK College of Pharmacy, has taken part in the course and benefited greatly.

“I expanded my cultural knowledge and strengthened important soft-skills that drive cultural competence," Pan said. "I learned to understand the differences in culture and pharmacy education between the two countries, how to communicate with Chinese students, and how to collaborate with students in a different country and time zone. All of these skills can be extrapolated to communicating with and helping patients here in the U.S.”

The class was a creation of Ryan and faculty colleagues Frank Romanelli and Jeff Cain. The course received a UK College of Pharmacy Transformative Grant from Dean Tim Tracy and the College of Pharmay's External Advisory Board. The college’s Transformative Grant program funds innovative and unique academic, research and outreach programs that will advance the college’s mission.

This global classroom course provides a cost-effective way to internationalize the college’s curriculum.

“Not every student can afford to go to school abroad nor has the time to do so,” Ryan said. “This class circumvents those barriers, allowing the college to provide an international experience right here in our facility.”

'UK at the Half' Talks Future of UK School of Music

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 19:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Director of the University of Kentucky's School of Music within the UK College of Fine Arts John Scheib was featured during the "UK at the Half" that aired during the University of Kentucky vs. Montana State University basketball game, broadcast on the radio Nov. 23.

John Scheib discussed the importance of providing a positive experience to UK students where they can have life-changing moments. Scheib sees enhancement and expansion of the UK School of Music facilities as a major goal. For more information about the School of Music's upcoming performances between now and the end of the year, go to www.finearts.uky.edu/music.

"UK at the Half" airs during the 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 Nov. 23 "UK at the Half" interview, click here to download.

UK's Dahlia d'Arge Named Marshall Scholar

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 17:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards announced today that history senior and Army ROTC cadet Dahlia d'Arge, of Paris, Kentucky, has been named a 2015 Marshall Scholar. The scholarship will finance two years of graduate study for her at an institution of her choice in the United Kingdom. D'Arge is the third UK student to receive the honor from the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. 

"University of Kentucky students compete and succeed at a national level in academic competition, research and for national awards," said President Eli Capilouto. "The entire university family is deeply proud of Dahlia’s achievements as an ROTC cadet and UK’s third Marshall Scholar. We are excited to see her future success as a graduate student in the United Kingdom." 

Up to 40 scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at a U.K. institution in any field of study. The scholarship covers university fees, cost of living expenses, an annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States.

As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. The objectives of the program are:

· to enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the U.K.;

· to help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain;

· to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centers of academic excellence;

· to motivate scholars to act as ambassadors from the U.S. to the U.K. and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding; and

· to promote the personal and academic fulfilment of each scholar.

The last UK student selected as a Marshall Scholar was Jennifer Kasten, who received the scholarship in 2002.

D'Arge, the daughter of Ralph and Dani d'Arge, of Paris, will use her Marshall Scholarship to pursue two master's degrees in the U.K. She has applied to the University of Glasgow in Scotland to pursue a master's degree in war studies followed by a master's degree in intelligence and international security at King's College London.

At UK, d'Arge chose to study history because of a lifelong love of the topic and a belief that understanding the past is the key to making a better future. "As an ROTC cadet, my future career will be as an officer in our Army. Being able to learn the lessons of human history enables me to be a better officer through my ability to analyze information and to make comparisons to past events."

During her time in college, d'Arge has achieved great success in the classroom and in the field. The Honors Program student is the recipient of UK's Presidential Scholarship, the Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship and the Paris High School Alumni Scholarship. In addition, she has received the 2013 and 2014 Academic Excellence Award from UK German Studies.

As a cadet, d'Arge completed Basic Airborne School training, won a gold medal in the German Armed Forces Military Proficiency Badge Competition, acted as a leader in the Kentucky Ranger Organization, and published a paper regarding the issue of sexual harassment in the military. She is the recipient of a four-year U.S. Army ROTC scholarship and the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Army ROTC Platinum Physical Fitness Award. D'Arge has earned the Wildcat Battalion Coin for Leadership Excellence three times, a 2013 82nd Airborne Office of the Staff Judge Advocate Coin, and a 2013 U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command Coin. Her senior thesis for her major focused on the role of Special Forces soldiers in the Vietnam War Hamlet Project.

D'Arge credits several faculty members and ROTC leaders for helping her attain success, including Bruce Holle, senior lecturer of history; Kay Woods, of the UK Honors Program; Brenna Byrd, assistant professor of German studies; Jason Cummins, director of Impact Leadership Program at UK Athletics; Master Sergeant Gregory Lehman, military science instructor; and Lt. Col. Shawn Umbrell, professor of military science.

"Each has inspired and encouraged me to push past the expectations of most college students and to challenge myself in both academic and military settings."

After completing her two master's degrees, d'Arge plans to pursue further studies in history with a focus in military strategy and intelligence after she serves. "After a career in the Army, I aspire to earn a Ph.D. in modern Western military history and teach at a public university."

Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, Marshall Scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts. In the U.S. the selection process is managed by regional Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and in Washington D.C. by the British Embassy.

D'Arge was one of 26 finalists who interviewed for the Marshall in the 13-state Chicago region.

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

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

Finding Faults: Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Studies Deformation of Tectonic Plates

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 17:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Sean Bemis put his hands together side by side to demonstrate two plates of the earth’s crust with a smooth boundary running between them. But that boundary is not always smooth and those plates do not always sit together neatly, which makes the earth’s crust a dynamic and complex surface. 

As a structural geologist and paleoseismologist, Bemis often uses visual and three dimensional (3-D) models to explain his studies of the earth’s crust; sometimes that entails sophisticated 3-D digital imagery, maps and diagrams of fault lines, the rocks he processes in his lab, or, as in this case, his own hands.

These techniques not only help Bemis demonstrate his research, they also represent the multidimensional nature of his work.

Bemis, an assistant professor in UK's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, studies the deformation of the tectonic plates that make up Earth’s crust. When these plates move, they slide past each other, with most of the motion occurring across relatively narrow zones.

Due to the large amount of crushing required for the Earth’s crust to move, the zones between plates, called plate boundaries, are sites of frequent, often damaging earthquakes and the formation of dramatic mountain ranges. Some of these plate boundaries are also very well-known faults, such as the San Andreas fault in California.

Bemis simplifies some key terminology when he says, “A fault is just a break in rock; an active fault is one that has moved recently and has the potential to move again in the near future.” In particular, he researches the San Andreas fault in California and the Denali fault in Alaska.

By excavating faults in California and Alaska, Bemis and his team identify plate deformation recorded as prehistoric earthquakes. With the rocks, soil and organic matter they examine, they can use radiocarbon dating to identify when an earthquake occurred.

With these findings, Bemis can determine the character of a fault, which helps scientists forecast the likelihood and size of possible future earthquakes. “Understanding how earthquakes recur through time,” Bemis explained, “can tell us how the surface of the Earth is evolving in terms of the deformation as well as community-related hazards and hazard mitigation needs.”

While in graduate school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemis did field work in Denali. He even discovered and named several previously unknown active faults in the region. In 2002, there was a major earthquake on the Denali fault — the largest in the world that year. At the time it occurred, Bemis recalled, “I was a hundred miles away from the earthquake, but I could barely stand up, that’s how strong it was.”

Bemis likens the earthquake process (in its simplest form) to breaking a rubber band that you stretch, building up pressure until it snaps. But with an earthquake, the pressure builds in miles of crust moving at rates of kilometer per second. “That’s a lot of energy,” he remarked. “The spot where I’m standing could jump instantaneously to other side of the room.”

Later, Bemis went out to the fault and could see the effects of the earthquake on the earth’s surface. “The earthquake had sheared the ground surface for hundreds of kilometers and this shearing had opened up large fissures that rotated during the rapid deformation,” Bemis remembered.

These fissures, or openings in the earth’s surface, were so big, Bemis remembered, that he could stand in them and hold his arms up over head and still be below the ground surface. He also saw trees with huge chunks of roots torn off and slipped several meters away.

Over time, the fissures and shearing Bemis observed in Denali would fill in with soil, rocks and organic material, so the surface would eventually come to look like it had before the earthquake. “These observations of recent earthquakes,” like the 2002 Denali earthquake, “help us understand what we need to look for to find evidence for prehistoric earthquakes.” To see buried records of earthquakes, “we go play in the dirt,” Bemis said, laughing.

Even though Bemis has a renovated lab in the Slone Research Building, one might say that his primary lab is in the field, playing in the dirt, so to speak. He and his team excavate a fault, exposing a flat plane or wall in the earth. They can see evidence of earthquakes and deformation in the dirt wall where the color or layers of sediment are inconsistent.

Images of these excavations are helpful for showing what Bemis looks for in his analysis of the earth’s surface.

“You have to be able to visualize that what you’re seeing isn’t actually a 2-D plane, it’s actually something that extends back into space. It’s hard to teach this part,” said Bemis. It’s especially hard in a region like Kentucky where students can’t go out to a nearby active fault like Bemis did at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and at the University of Oregon.

Bemis’s undergraduate and graduate students at UK, however, sometimes have the opportunity to travel to California or Alaska with their professor to excavate a fault. He tries to help his graduate students develop projects out of facets of his research so they are working toward their own research while contributing to his. Therefore, his mentorship is embedded in his research.

For people who won’t get such a first-hand look at a fault excavation, Bemis makes use of digital, high-resolution 3-D imaging that lets a viewer appreciate the greater scope and depth of plate displacement. He especially likes his students to not only look at a 3-D model but to use the mouse to turn it and truly interact with it themselves.

Even in graduate school, Bemis was exploring new ways of demonstrating his study of plate deformation because “as we’re collecting more and more data about these prehistoric earthquakes, all of the simple models are falling apart—they don’t work because the earth is a complex place—there’s a lot of interacting parts.”

From playing in the dirt, to sample processing in the lab, to presenting his findings, Bemis’s research could also be said to have “a lot of interacting parts,” and he continues to explore the new effective means of representing it. Of course, he can always resort to his own hands.

View more photos of Bemis and his students working in the field in this photo gallery, and Bemis working in his office and lab this photo gallery.  here

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

Kentucky Wins Annual Big Blue Crush Competition

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Kentucky wound up defeating Tennessee in the 27th annual Big Blue Crush last week, 3,160 to 2,760.

“What a great week! Although it started off slow with a couple of snowed out blood drives, the Big Blue Nation really warmed up to the competition as the week continued said Martha Osborne, executive director of marketing and recruitment for Kentucky Blood Center (KBC). "Generous Kentucky blood donors have once again stepped up to provide blood for Kentucky patients during the upcoming holidays.”

Kentucky now leads the competition against Tennessee and Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville 14 to 12 with one tie.

About Kentucky Blood Center

KBC, founded in 1968, is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky hospitals.

MEDIA CONTACT: Denise Fields, Kentucky Blood Center, 859-519-3721/859-333-2022.

Vanderpool Named Co-Chair of Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Steering Committee

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25 2014) — Robin Vanderpool, assistant professor of health behavior in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, has been named co-chair of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) Steering Committee for the current five-year funding cycle (2014-2019). 

The CPCRN is a national network of public health, academic, and community partners who join together to work toward reducing the burden of cancer through the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based research and practice. The Network also strives to increase linkages between the community and clinicians, particularly in minority and medically underserved communities.

The CPCRN is comprised of eight funded research institutions across the country where community-based cancer research is performed, and represents a collaboration of the cancer divisions of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). 

Vanderpool will share her role as co-chair of the steering committee with Daniela Friedman, associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. In their roles as co-chairs, Vanderpool and Friedman will lead the committee’s development of collaborations across network to facilitate the translation of research into practice. They will also generate and assist in discussions between primary investigators in research and the Coordinating Center of CPCRN at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop short term and long range plans for the achievement of the network’s goals.

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

UK Continues Support of Entrepreneurship Week

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The Lexington Venture Club (LVC), managed by the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, part of the University of Kentucky's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, hosted the Entrepreneurial Celebration last week for Lexington Global Entrepreneurship Week, recognizing recipients of the Lexington eAchievers award for excellence in entrepreneurship.

20 start-up companies in the Bluegrass Region were honored with the eAchiever award for receiving at least $1 million in funding and/or creating five new full time jobs in 2014. These companies represent industry sectors in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, e-commerce, IT and software development, homeland security, energy technologies and business services — further demonstrating Lexington’s position as a leading location for technology-based jobs.

The Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network conducts an annual survey of these early stage companies. The results are based upon self-reported data for July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. This year 125 companies responded to the survey, offering a 67 percent response rate from the 186 Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP) clients. Altogether, BBDP clients raised more than $57 million dollars in capital funds and created 272 new full-time and part-time jobs in 2014.

“I congratulate these start-up companies in their success,” said Warren Nash, the director of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network. “The jobs and funding numbers reported by these companies definitely demonstrate a thriving local entrepreneurial community that benefits from the BBDP’s continued efforts and support.”

The Lexington Venture Club, founded in 2002, connects great ideas, interested investors and business resources to promote a strong economy in Lexington. The group is managed by Commerce Lexington Inc., and the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, which is a part of University of Kentucky’s Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, within the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

The companies that received the eAchiever award include: A Look At Media Ventures LLC; Allylix Inc.; AntiOp; Bluegrass Vascular Technologies Inc.; Care Team Solutions; Coldstream Laboratories Inc.; Directed Energy Incorporated; Float Money; Invenio Therapeutics; Mercury Data Systems Inc.; MosquitoMate Inc.; nGimat LLC; Paratechs; PDx Biotech; Science Tomorrow; Seikowave; SIS LLC; Summit Biosciences Inc.; Twin Star TDS; and Volar Video Inc. For more information about the Lexington Venture Club, please visit www.lexingtonventureclub.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Parissa Zargar, Parissa.Zargar@uky.edu; Warren Nash, warren.nash@uky.edu; Hannah Huggins, hhuggins@commercelexington.com

UK Art Museum Closed for Thanksgiving Break

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, like much of UK, will take the Thanksgiving holiday. The museum will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 30, for the holiday.

The Art Museum at UK, which is closed Mondays, will reopen for regular museum hours beginning noon Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Currently three new exhibitions are on display at the Art Museum at UK, "Laurel Nakadate: Strangers and Relations,"   "TAKE MY WORD FOR IT" and "Kurt Vonnegut: Madmen and Moonbeams." These exhibitions close Dec. 23. More on these shows can be read here: http://uknow.uky.edu/content/uk-art-museums-three-new-shows-focus-portraits-words.

The mission of the Art Museum at UK, 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 Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 

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

Seven Projects to Receive UK Sustainability Challenge Grants

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — The University of Kentucky President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee recently announced seven sustainability projects receiving grants, a total of $100,000 in funding, from the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program. A wide range of sustainability projects were chosen, from North Limestone neighborhood initiatives to "microcomputers" that monitor individual sustainability impact on campus.  

The grant program issued a campus-wide call for proposals Aug. 15 seeking interdisciplinary, sustainability-driven proposals. By the deadline of Oct. 15, the program received 22 proposals requesting more than $450,000. Through an extensive review process, seven projects were selected to fund this year.

2014 UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Projects:

  • University of Kentucky Food Summit - Awarded $6,690.
  • Big Blue Impact: Making Sustainability Visible - Awarded $10,000.
  • Development of Sustainable Bus Stops - Awarded $18,200.
  • The Campus Tree Initiative: Enhancing sustainability through engagement with the urban tree canopy on UK campus and beyond - Awarded $17,760.
  • Arboretum Drive BioSwale Demonstration and Education Project - Awarded $15,000.
  • Empowerment for North Limestone Neighborhood Sustainability: Establishing Public Spaces and Arts - Awarded $17,350.
  • Cultivating Place for a Sustainable Community: Revitalizing the Shawneetown Community Garden - Awarded $15,000.

To read descriptions of each project and information on departments and individual team members involved, please visit http://www.sustainability.uky.edu/ChallengeGrants.

"The campus response to the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program has been tremendous with outstanding proposals from nearly two dozen interdisciplinary teams," said Shane Tedder, University of Kentucky sustainability coordinator. "The seven projects selected for funding all demonstrated a clear focus on sustainability and transformational potential for the campus. These projects also involve high levels of meaningful student engagement and make innovative use of the campus as a living laboratory."

The Sustainability Challenge Grant Program was developed as a collaborative effort of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability the Environment (TFISE) and the UK Office of Sustainability. As 2014 is the inaugural year for the program, the steering committee hopes to continue to offer the grants on an annual basis. 

"The support of a diverse group of administrators reinforces the ingenuity of the program and should help maintain its continuity into the future," said Rebecca McCulley, interim director for the TFISE and member of the Sustainability Challenge Grant steering committee. "The infusion of funds for faculty, student and staff-generated sustainability projects represents a significant commitment from our administration, and is testimony of their belief in the transformative force present on our campus."

Funding for the UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program is provided by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, Office of the Vice President for Research and the Student Sustainability Council.

Awards will be celebrated at a ceremony held in conjunction with the TFISE Research Showcase Dec. 1. Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. following the research poster session beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Hilary J. Boone Center

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

UK Vocalists Sweep Ky. Met Auditions, Advance to Regional

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Three University of Kentucky vocalists, graduates Rebecca Farley and Matthew Turner and graduate student Christopher Kenney, were named winners of the Kentucky District Auditions of the Metropolitan (Met) Opera National Council Auditions held Nov. 22, at Memorial Hall.

Farley, a soprano; Turner, a bass; and Kenney, baritone, are still in the running to sing on the Metropolitan Opera stage, and their next audition will be at the Mid-South Regional round of auditions being held on the UK campus Feb. 21, 2015, at Memorial Hall. Traditionally, only one singer from each regional round will advance to the national semi-finals in New York.

A native of Henderson, Kentucky, Farley earned her bachelor's degree from UK in 2013. Local audiences may remember her as one of three UK sopranos who sang the role of Christine in UK Opera Theatre’s blockbuster 2012 production of "The Phantom of the Opera" in October and winner of the Advanced Women Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition later that same month. She placed second at the 2013 Mid-South Regional. Farley was the student of Endowed Chair, Professor of Voice Cynthia Lawrence.  

A Lexington resident, Turner is a 2014 accounting and vocal performance graduate of UK. Local audiences will remember him as one of two leads in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Sweeney Todd" earlier this fall. He spent the summer as a studio artist with the Wolf Trap Opera Company in Vienna, Virginia. Turner was the student of Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice, and Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies.

Kenney, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, holds a bachelor's degree from Concordia College, located in Moorhead, Minnesota. He is currently pursuing his master's degree under Lawrence.

All of the Kentucky District Auditions Encouragement Awards were also presented to UK vocalists. The students presented with this honor were voice performance and music theatre junior Mary Catherine Wright, of Lexington; doctoral candidate Shareese Arnold, of Sheffield, Alabama; and graduate student Jonathan Parham, of Cordele, Georgia.

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

The district level, which was hosted by OperaLex, is the first stage of the three-tiered audition process, and contestants can choose to compete in any district regardless of their place of residence. There is no set number of singers to advance to compete in the regional with roughly 1,500 singers participating each year in the 16 regions across the country.

Regional finals for this area include participants from the Kentucky, Arkansas, Middle/East Tennessee, North Alabama and West Tennessee/Mississippi districts. Winners at the regional level advance to the National Council Auditions Semi-Finals in New York in the spring. Only eight to 10 singers are selected as national finalists and perform in the Winners Concert at the Met.

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

Harmonica-Playing Surgeon Nationally Recognized for Advocating Music Therapy

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 15:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014)  — When presented with a national award for his contributions to music therapy, Dr. Jay Zwischenberger showed his appreciation with a felicitous expression of music. He concluded a short acceptance speech at the American Music Therapy Association's (AMTA) annual conference with an impromptu performance of Old Joe Clark on his harmonica.

"I'm going to express my gratitude in the only way I know how to connect with these people," he said, dedicating the tune to the members of UK HealthCare music therapy program.

Zwischenberger, chair of the Department of Surgery for UK HealthCare, accepted the AMTA's Music Therapy Advocate Award at the association's annual conference in early November. The physician advocate for music therapy was nominated by the staff of the UK HealthCare music therapy program, which is an arm of the UK Arts in HealthCare program. Known for his enthusiasm for music and always-handy harmonica, Zwischenberger performs alongside musicians during therapy sessions at the UK Chandler Hospital.

In 2010, Zwischenberger served on the search committee for the first director of the UK HealthCare music therapy program. He was instrumental in the appointment of Lori Gooding, Ph.D, a board-certified music therapist who sought to develop a program that emphasized evidence-based musical interventions for the clinical setting. Since its formation, the music therapy program has acquired grants for research and published several peer-reviewed research papers as well as a book about medical music therapy.

“We have worked with Dr. Zwischenberger to increase clinical offerings, conduct research and seek grant funding," Gooding said. "It has been a pleasure to work with him because he truly values the contributions music therapy can make for patients, family and staff at UK.”

Today, the music therapy program comprises four full-time staff members and involves 26 graduate students. Music therapy sessions are offered for patients at Kentucky Children's Hospital, the Markey Cancer Center, Eastern State Hospital and other sectors of UK HealthCare. The program is the first and only music therapy graduate training available in Kentucky.

"The story is about the success of the music therapy group," Zwischenberger said. "With proper focus and orientation, and respect for what they do, they have become an adjunctive therapy at this hospital." 

An amateur musician, Zwischenberger played guitar in rock bands during the 1960s and learned to play the banjo in the 1990s. After injuring his thumb, he picked up the harmonica, teaching himself to play by ear 12 years ago. Zwischenberger said music therapy diverts patients' attention away from pain and connects with patients across cultures. He has watched those who are young, elderly or in a health crisis benefit from these types of therapies. 

The AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, research and standards in the music therapy profession. The association's annual conference, titled "Pursue Your Passion for Music Therapy," was held Nov. 6-9 in Louisville.

"It's a profound honor," Zwischenberger said. "It was given to me, but I congratulate our team at UK. I take a lot of pride and pleasure in the fact that they're here."

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

UK Employees’ Advantage on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 15:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 25, 2014) — Most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But did you know that you, as a University of Kentucky employee, have a secret weapon for avoiding holiday weight gain?

Take UK Health and Wellness' “Keep It Off!” holiday challenge and you’ll have a supportive team of wellness experts on your side helping you maintain — not gain.

Simply register by 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 25.

In fact, nearly 70 percent of last year’s hundreds of participants rang in the 2013 new year with zero weight gain from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1.

This marks the fifth year of UK Health and Wellness, part of UK Human Resources, motivating employees to “Keep It Off!” by offering expert insights in such a convenient way. All challenge participants receive a weekly email digest containing "the best of" pro tips from a team of registered dietitians, fitness specialists and a health coach.

“Keep It Off!” tips, focusing on nutrition, exercise and stress, are designed to be practical enough to put into use, and adjustable enough to work for a variety of individual needs.

Last year’s participants raved that the weekly expert tips and motivational nudges paid off.

“This challenge was good for me. Without it I would have gained anywhere from three to five pounds and would have struggled to take it off. I told my sister about the challenge and she tried to help me stick to it. She even lost weight. Thank you!” said one participant.

“This was a fun way to encourage healthier habits during the holidays, and while I didn't lose anything, I didn't gain. Sincere thanks!” 

Another said, “It really worked for me — I was determined to not gain and committed to losing. Just competing with myself was the best motivation. I actually lost four pounds (and am keeping it off so far)."

"Keep It Off!" participants will receive not only the gift of taking their pre-holiday weight with them into the new year, but also a prize from UK Health and Wellness if they report maintaining their pre-holiday weight. For details and to register, please visit: http://www.uky.edu/hr/wellness/community-opportunities/keep-it-holiday-challenge

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

High Winds Cause Downed Power Lines Closing Versailles Road at New Circle

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 15:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2014) — For University of Kentucky employees or students expecting to drive in the vicinity of Versailles Road at New Circle this afternoon, Versailles Road is expected to be closed between New Circle Road and Man o' War Boulevard until 8 p.m. while Kentucky Utilities crews work to repair downed power lines in that area and restore power to traffic lights on Versailles Road.

High winds have caused several power outages in Lexington today.  To view outage areas, access the Kentucky Utilities Storm Center website at:  http://stormcenter.lge-ku.com/default.html

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