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Kentucky Homeplace Meets Clients for Health Services, Education and Research in Appalachia

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 21:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — Shirley Prater distinctly remembers one of the many clients she's served in her six years as a Community Health Worker (CHW) for Kentucky Homeplace. The client was diabetic, but had run out of medication due to financial challenges. 

"Her husband had become disabled, she had no insurance, no income," said Prater.  "But we got her medicine for her. She'll say to me to this day, 'You kept me alive. You're the reason I'm here.' She actually gave herself an injection while she was sitting in my office. It's a humbling experience whenever you know that you've helped someone who thought there was no hope."

Prater is one of more than 20 CHWs employed by Homeplace, which was established in 1994 at the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) to help medically underserved residents access the medical, social and environmental services and resources they need. As lay health workers selected from the communities in which they live and work, CHWs occupy a unique role in the health system, building personal relationships with clients in order to navigate them to health providers and resources in the community. They emphasize preventive care, health education and disease self-management.

And perhaps most uniquely, a CHW will go directly to the client.

"We go up these hollers where other people don’t go. We meet them at their house, we meet them at the doctor's office. A lot of people don't have transportation and have to pay someone to take them," Prater said.

As the case of transportation illustrates, and as any CHW can attest, sometimes a client has a pressing need—financial, personal, or otherwise—that must be addressed before they can think about their own health care.

"You can't get mommy to have a pap [test] if baby doesn't have shoes," said Fran Feltner, DNP, director of the CERH.

The ability to help clients identify and address their most pressing needs—and advocate on their behalf — epitomizes the critical role of CHWs in communities that experience greater burdens of illness and difficulty accessing health care.  Kentucky Homeplace CHWs work with clients to overcome any barriers to health, which means the scope of their work regularly extends beyond health-related services. CHWs often find themselves assisting a client who needs home heating assistance, getting lumber donated for a wheelchair ramp, helping someone understanding their social security mail, or making connections with food benefits. This level of care coordination requires extensive administrative duties as well.

"There's nobody else that fills in the gaps," said Prater. "But there's a lot of leg work involved, a lot of T's that need crossed and I's that need dotted and we fill it out for them."

CHWs can also help fill gaps in patients' understanding of their own health and provide critical health coaching those clients otherwise wouldn't receive. Prater recalled that the diabetic patient she assisted with Medicaid and medication didn't know that skipping meals could affect her blood sugar.

"We educate clients on their illness and prevention, and whatever their doctor recommends. I've had people that have come to me who have never ever had an eye exam, even though they're diabetic. So you have to assess the needs, and whichever direction you need to go in, that's where you head," she said.

Since 1994, the CHWs of Homeplace have connected tens of thousands of rural Kentuckians with medical, social and environmental services that they otherwise might have gone without; health coaching, medication assistance, and care coordination constitute the majority of services. In fiscal year 2014 alone, 7,870 clients received 344,282 services, providing more than $24 million of services and medication. With around $1.3 million in funding, Homeplace services render more than $17 return on investment for every dollar spent on the program.

Several CHWs, including Prater, have also been trained as Kynectors, helping their clients learn about health coverage options available through kynect and the Affordable Care Act. If a client is newly insured, a CHW can help them understand the complicated world of health insurance.

"I had one client who was approved for Medicaid and didn't even know it.  We called to make sure [she was approved], and then we called the drug store," she said. "They filled three of her prescriptions before she even got over there. She had no clue she had been approved. And she said she'd been skipping medicine."

Over the last five years, CHWs have also become much more involved in making connections between their clients and researchers from the University of Kentucky who are working to find ways to improve health. The CHWs have supported community-based research ranging from lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and studies for improving diabetes outcomes.

"They've expanded their roles so much," said William Mace Baker, director of Homeplace.

The CHWs have become skilled in locating and enrolling often hard to reach research participants, collecting background and measurement data using computer database programs, and providing overall research support. As trusted members of their communities who understand the values and special needs of their clients, CHWs offer research support that helps assure more representative client samples for health studies, increased adherence to study protocols, and less likelihood of withdrawal from studies.

Dr. Susanne Arnold, associate professor in Medical Oncology and Radiation Medicine at the Markey Cancer Center, worked with the CHWs to conduct research investigating lung cancer and exposure to trace element.

"What the Homeplace people do is actually go into the homes of volunteers who have cancer and also normal volunteers and do a long questionnaire where they discuss health related issues, health practices, environmental exposures, job history and the like, as well as collecting water and soil samples from the home and, interestingly hair, blood, urine and toenails," she said.

While conducting research can be very complicated, Arnold said that "the easiest part has been working with Kentucky Homeplace, because they are a community partner that knows the area, they know their community, they live here and they know what works and what doesn’t work."

Feltner agrees that the CHWs are essential for effectively engaging potential research participants in the region, noting that they can reach out to them while providing a service at the same time.

"I think if you had the University of Kentucky come up and hang a sign in Appalachia, Kentucky to say, 'Hey, I'm here to research lung cancer,' you would not get the response that you would get from having people from the community reach those people," she said.

The Homeplace CHW training curriculum developed at the CERH has since been used in several other states and community access programs awarded by the Health Resources Services Administration. Cancer navigators and a stroke navigator here in Kentucky were also trained with the Homeplace curriculum.

"Our main goal is getting people what they need to live with health," said Feltner.

Media Contact: Mallory Powell, Mallory.powell@Uky.edu

UK Takes Next Step in Cloud Computing With Strategic Blue Collaboration

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) — The University of Kentucky has finalized a first-of-its-kind agreement between a U.S. academic institution and a financial cloud broker, Strategic Blue. This is a major step toward moving a significant number of computing workloads from an aging datacenter to computing resources within multiple vendors’ public and private cloud offerings. 

Strategic Blue was founded by former commodity trading experts at Morgan Stanley who apply their pricing expertise to cloud computing.

“Known as thought leaders and pioneers in the cloud brokerage market, Strategic Blue is uniquely positioned to ensure that the university’s enterprise workloads deployed across multiple cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) vendors will deliver optimal value on a risk-adjusted basis,” said Dan O’Brien, vendor and contract management lead at UK Analytics and Technologies (UKAT).

The collaboration between UK and Strategic Blue begins by evaluating vendor RFP (request for proposal) responses, followed by negotiating contracts with multiple selected vendors who offer the best pricing for the appropriate quality of IaaS and PaaS based on the evolving needs of the university. 

Strategic Blue will act as a financial intermediary, bridging gaps between how each vendor prefers to be paid, and what suits UK’s accounts payable procedures. Using its unique insight into the cloud market, combined with its commodity trading expertise, Strategic Blue will recommend pre-planned movement of workloads between cloud providers on a periodic basis to take advantage of volatility in the future price of cloud.

“This unique relationship allows UK to procure cloud services at the lowest possible rate through Strategic Blue, who purchases cloud on our behalf on terms structured to get the best deal from each cloud provider,” said Jason Conley, enterprise architect at UKAT.

Moving forward, cloud resources will allow the university to reallocate capital funds, while acquiring the economies of scale held in the world-class datacenters of selected vendors.

“With Strategic Blue, the University of Kentucky will be enabled to procure only what we need, when we need it, at the best possible price," O'Brien said.

“The University of Kentucky is leading the way among U.S. academic institutions in terms of how they embrace the opportunities presented by cloud computing," said James Mitchell, CEO of Strategic Blue "They have a mature understanding of how to exchange the established risks of running workloads internally in smaller, aging datacenters, for the different, but equally manageable, risks of running workloads across multiple cloud providers.”

About Strategic Blue

Strategic Blue is a financial cloud broker founded in 2009 to bring expertise from the traded commodity markets to cloud computing. Strategic Blue offers “pricing insights” to help cloud buyers, vendors and resellers understand cloud pricing trends, and “cloud options” to enable cloud buyers to purchase third-party cloud services on financial terms tailored to their needs. Find out more at www.strategic-blue.com.

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

Elisia Cohen Delivered Annual Lecture at USC

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — University of Kentucky Department of Communication Chair Elisia Cohen gave this year’s annual Walter Fisher Lecture at the University of South California on Feb, 26.

Cohen’s lecture covered her research on developing communication strategies, both social media and clinic-based, to best increase demand for immunization in Appalachian communities.  Cohen is the primary researcher on this project and has partnered with the University of Kentucky Rural Cancer Prevention Center to create and test the strategies.

USC communication Professor Peter Monge organized the 2015 Fisher Lecture, now in its 11th year at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.  When Monge asked Cohen to return to her alma mater, where she earned a communication doctorate in 2003, she was delighted.

The lecture is named for Walter Fisher, Cohen’s former faculty mentor and instructor.

“That Walt was able to join me to hear my talk this month made it a particular honor to be asked to return to campus to give the lecture,” Cohen said.

Cohen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Louisville in 1997 and a Master of Arts degree in speech communication from Wake Forest University in 1999.

She then worked at Saint Louis University for four years until she joined the University of Kentucky faculty in 2007.  In addition to her position as Department of Communication chair, Cohen also teaches graduate level courses in health communication.

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

Southeast Enzyme Conference Offering Free Registration to Undergraduates

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — The Southeast Enzyme Conference, also referred to as the SEC, provides a unique opportunity for scientific exchange among faculty, students and researchers working at the forefront of enzymology. This year, the conference is being led by Anne-Frances Miller, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry and director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility.

A one-day event, the SEC will be held Saturday, April 11, at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will feature eight talks by junior faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate and undergraduate students selected by Miller from submitted abstracts.

The conference will include two intervals for viewing posters to provide a greater opportunity for discussion and collaborative interactions, and a keynote presentation by J. Martin Bollinger of Penn State University will conclude the event.

"It is a uniquely high-quality meeting that is nonetheless small enough to allow individuals to speak at length with the people who actually did the work," said Miller, the 2015 SEC program chair. "We learn about the details that enable the experiments, and the insights being hatched, in real-time. The science comes alive."

Miller notes that in addition to the opportunity to learn from experts in enzymology, the conference is a great chance for undergraduates to speak with graduate students about graduate school, in order to make informed decisions. Moreover, this year the meeting organizers will waive the registration fee for the first 25 UK undergraduates to register, thanks to generous support from sponsors.

If interested, UK undergraduates can visit http://sec.gsu.edu/undergraduates/ to register.

To learn more about the Southeast Enzyme Conference, visit http://sec.gsu.edu/

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

UK Remembers Those Lost With Ceremony

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2015) — The University of Kentucky's annual UK Remembers ceremony will be held from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the Botanical Garden located next to the UK Student Center.

The remembrance ceremony gives individuals and groups an opportunity to honor members of the university community who have passed away, including alumni, faculty, staff and students. The annual event includes speakers who represent each of these groups.

Students, employees and alumni are invited to offer remembrances, such as written notes that can be placed on the UK Remembers banner. The public ceremony is nondenominational and open to everyone.

The ceremony will also include honoring of the armed forces by a combined Army and Air Force ROTC Color Guard. Music will be provided by the UK Bluegrass Ensemble.

The rain location for UK Remembers will be Room 230 in the Student Center.

For more information, contact Jeff Spradling at jspra2@uky.edu or 859-257-5230.

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

Education Abroad Grant Supports UK Faculty-directed Programs

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015)  Education Abroad at the University of Kentucky awarded Program Development Grants to four UK faculty members to support their international travels for the purpose of establishing faculty-directed education abroad programs.

“This grant provides program directors with the opportunity to gain on site familiarity with their program details,” said Miko McFarland, assistant director of Education Abroad.

Program Development Grants are reviewed by the Education Abroad Committee (EAC) of the International Advisory Council, who makes the recommendation to the associate provost of international programs for final approval.

“The committee looks to see how the intended program will promote global competency and further internationalization initiatives at UK,” McFarland said. “The committee also considers the overall viability, academic interest and sustainability of the intended faculty-directed program.”

The EAC also seeks proposals that will bring diversity to UK’s current education abroad program portfolio.

“We (The EAC) look to see if the faculty-directed program includes a nontraditional destination, such as locations beyond Western Europe, and/or meaningful community engagement opportunities," McFarland. "Inclusion of traditionally underrepresented populations in education abroad (minority students, first generation, nontraditional students, STEM disciplines, etc.) is also taken into consideration.”

The Education Abroad Program Development Grant recipients are:

Joseph Dvorak, assistant professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, will be traveling to Germany to build a program in which students can take a required course for the biosystems and agricultural engineering major.

Brent Rowell, professor in the Department of Horticulture, will develop a program that focuses on sustainable systems in horticultural and agronomic crop production along with examining potential improvements in production and marketing in Cuba.

Eric Grulke, professor of chemical engineering, is developing a course in which students will learn about the development of renewable energy from biomass in Brazil.

Jayoung Koo, assistant professor of landscape architecture, will travel to South Korea to develop a course that will study the dynamic evolution of the South Korean landscape over time.

Eun Young Kim, lecturer of the School of Interiors, is building a six-week program that will consist of a five-week studio and lecture series in South Korea followed by a one-week seminar in Tokyo, Japan. Students on the program will learn about architectural history from a non-Western perspective, and gain an understanding of the relationships between socio-cultural conditions, geographical locations and built environment design in Asia.

As a South Korea immigrant, Kim wants to develop a program to share South Korean culture and history with students at UK.

“What I found at UK is that many students are only familiar with Western cultures,” Kim said. “I did a cultural project for my studio, and students who participated were kind of shocked that Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and China, have different design principles and philosophies.”

Kim said that in the design industry, potential employers often prefer designers who have global perspective. She said this program would help students be more creative and competitive in the job market.

Kim said the grant boosted her in developing her program.

“Having this grant is very helpful,” Kim said. “It really motivated me and made me committed to do the program better.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395; rebecca.stratton@uky.edu

Big Blue Nation to 'Light It Up Blue' for Autism Awareness

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 17:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — You’ll see blue on the University of Kentucky campus Thursday night as iconic Memorial Hall, the College of Education   Taylor Education Building, and Central Halls I an II, Haggin Hall and Woodland Glen 1 residence halls will be lit with blue lights in honor of autism awareness.

The University of Kentucky Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), part of the College of Education, will host a “Light it up Blue” event for autism awareness at UK’s Taylor Education Building from 7-8 p.m. A brief ceremony will begin at dusk, with a reception to follow.

An international campaign, Light it up Blue was launched by the leading autism science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks. Several iconic landmarks around the globe — including the Great Pyramid in Egypt, Empire State Building in New York City and Opera House in Sydney, Australia — as well as universities, museums, concert halls, restaurants, hospitals, and retail stores around the world will light up in bright blue on the evening of April 2 to honor the first night of Autism Awareness Month. 

Two years ago, UK students decided to light up Memorial Hall since it is an iconic landmark for the university. It was the first reported building in the state of Kentucky to participate in “Light it up Blue.” Last year, students decided to light up Taylor Education Building, as it is the building where they are learning to be great teachers. They will light Taylor Education Building in blue again this year.

How you can get involved:

·         You can purchase puzzle piece pins, blue awareness bracelets, T-shirts, and stickers for your car, which will be sold at the event on April 2.

·         If you can’t make it on April 2, you can purchase a special blue light bulb in honor of World Autism Awareness Day from Home Depot and light up your home or office. Half of the proceeds will go to Autism Speaks.

·         If you are a parent or family member of a person with autism, you can join a local chapter of the Autism Society of the Bluegrass.

·         If you are a UK student interested in making sure that individuals with disabilities flourish in their communities, you can get involved with SCEC.

·         You can donate directly to SCEC, Autism Speaks, Autism Society of America, or other organizations that promote awareness for individuals on the spectrum.

·         You can ask about University of Kentucky College of Education's Autism Graduate Certificate.

About University of Kentucky SCEC

SCEC at UK is a professional development and service organization for students at any level or pursuing any degree program. The purposes of the organization include: being advocates for children with disabilities, advancing the professional development of its members, and providing charitable and other services to persons with disabilities. SCEC is a student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, an international organization.

About Autism Spectrum Disorders

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders as 1 in 68 for children ages 6-17, which is significantly higher than was previously estimated.

According to the Autism Society of America, “Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a 'spectrum disorder' that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.” The reason the color blue is used to light up buildings around the world is that boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

For more information about the Light it up Blue event, contact Amy Spriggs at 859-257-9105 or Sara Flanagan at 859-257-4713.

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

UK Law Students Serve Eastern Kentucky With Pro Bono Services

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Lounging on beautiful beaches, cruising the Caribbean and even international volunteer trips have become today's popular Spring Break pastimes for college students. A less common excursion is spending the week providing legal aid in Eastern Kentucky. But this year, two University of Kentucky College of Law students opted for the latter, providing a much needed service many may not think of when "alternative spring breaks" come to mind.

Using what they have learned from UK law courses and the desire to make a difference in their career, first-year law students John Shearer, of Raceland, Kentucky, and Nealy Williams, of Lexington, traveled to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Prestonsburg, Kentucky — the same city Robert F. Kennedy visited in 1968 for his "war on poverty" tour — and spent the week of Spring Break providing pro bono legal services to citizens there.

Pro bono work, an important staple of the legal profession, provides those who would otherwise not be able to afford any sort of legal advice or representation with proper advice and representation.

According to the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky, the "justice gap" in Kentucky is so severe that only 20 percent of low income Kentuckians' legal needs are addressed.

Hailing from Raceland, also in Eastern Kentucky, Shearer personally understood the impact of his work in the area.

"It is especially important in areas like Eastern Kentucky where a large portion of the population is living below the poverty line. These individuals do not always have the funds to promote and sustain their constitutionally granted rights, and attorneys and other various organizations provide a means of doing so via their pro bono work," Shearer said.

On their trip, Shearer and Williams volunteered under the direction of Eastern Kentucky lawyer Ned Pillersdorf, a partner of the law firm Pillersdorf, DeRossett & Lane, who often assists low income individuals. The pair drafted a response to a motion, attended court hearings, visited a client in jail, sat in on some of the firm’s initial consultations with prospective clients, and conducted confidential due diligence.

"Nealy and John were excellent ambassadors for the law school," Pillersdorf said. "They were exposed to a wide array of legal and cultural experiences during their visit to the mountains…I sincerely hope talented law students like Nealy and John will consider bringing their talents here one day."

Shearer and Williams also worked with AppalReD, an organization that provides free legal representation and advice to impoverished individuals and families in eastern and south central Kentucky. In one particular case, the students had the opportunity to assist various individuals seeking a remedy for property damage and participated directly with the community at a town hall meeting to discuss the damage.  

“The College of Law has been working hard to provide our students with more pro bono opportunities," said Daniel P. Murphy, assistant dean of administration and community engagement at the college and organizer of the students' trip. "We are proud of students like Mr. Shearer and Ms. Williams who sacrifice their time to help citizens in need.”

The trip not only benefited residents of Eastern Kentucky with crucial legal services, but it also provided both UK students with hands-on professional experience and the opportunity to meet many prominent members of the legal community in the area, including Pillersdorf's wife, current Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo.

Even as first-year law students, they were able to apply many classroom concepts to real clients and cases. Shearer said legal research and legal writing skills were probably used the most, but they were constantly cross-examined by Pillersdorf and quizzed on various aspects of what they have learned in the classroom so far.

"The trip was a great way to see the content I learned in my core 1L (first year of law school) courses in practice," Williams said. "It also helped to supplement the lessons I've learned by giving me an actual person to help, and it was a great way for me to focus in on what areas of my previous studies I actually enjoy doing in the real world."

At the core of the experience though was the mission of service. Williams and Shearer even volunteered some of their time at the Floyd County Animal Shelter.

"Being a lawyer means being committed to your community. Being a UK College of Law student means having the opportunity to fulfill that commitment by providing pro bono services to citizens of the Commonwealth," said UK College of Law Dean David A. Brennen.

For more information about the pro bono services and community service activities of UK College of Law students, visit http://www.law.uky.edu/index.php?pid=397

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

UK Student Entrepreneurs Place in the Money at Idea State U Regionals

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:56

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — All four University of Kentucky teams placed in the money at the Idea State U state business competition regionals last weekend. The undergraduate and graduate students won a total $3,000 for presenting their business concepts and business plans to a panel of judges.

UK Venture Challenge winners won second and third place in the business concept track. Second place and $750 went to Mark Manczyk, “re.3.” Manczyk is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Architecture program. The “FInanceU” team of Michael Lewis, finance and accounting major, and TJ Barnett, finance and management major, won $500 for third.

UK MBA students won first and second place in the business plan track. The “Red Natural” team of Joanna Foresman, Andrew Wachs, Jeremy Madigan and Wen Zhao collected $1,000 for first place. Second place and $750 went to “AIRboost LLC” MBA’s William Walker, Bryan O’Neill and Kyle Hogue. The MBA students developed businesses from UK faculty technology in the MBA 624 course focused on technology commercialization.

The teams move on to the Idea State U finals, April 24-25 at the Lexington Center, with the best ideas winning a share of up to $100,000 to get their companies up and running.

“Idea State U demonstrates the tremendous amount of entrepreneurial talent we have among Kentucky’s young people,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We have some of the brightest young minds in the country, and we need to encourage them to build on their dreams right here in the Commonwealth.” Idea State U is a program of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Advisors to the students included iNET Director Deb Weis, Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Dean Harvey and commercialization specialist Mariam Gorjian, and Warren Nash, Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network. iNET is hosted by the College of Communication and Information; the Von Allmen Center and Kentucky Innovation Network Lexington office are part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Global Literacy Brings the World Closer

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MCLLC) in the College of Arts and Sciences is changing how we think of language studies. Since the college’s recent merger of separate language units into a single entity, the 44-member department has set its sights on becoming a more cohesive intellectual community with a unified teaching and research mission. A brand new core curriculum, for all students regardless of their specific language focus, is the cornerstone of the project. 

A major component of this new curriculum is MCL 200 – Global Literacy ‒ an innovative team-taught course exposing students to texts from a variety of different cultural traditions and historical periods.

“The course is a new kind of introduction to literary and cultural studies. It teaches, of course, the essential skills of close reading and constructing critical arguments, but it also asks students to reflect on what is meant by this new term ‘world literature,’” explained Leon Sachs, MCLLC professor of French studies who served as the primary instructor for Global Literacy in the fall.

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, chair of the department, added that “The MCLLC core also includes MCL 100 (The World of Language), designed to introduce students to the structures of world languages and help with the challenges of learning a second language, and MCL 495, a senior capstone centered on a theme that relates to all the languages and cultures we study.”

The most innovative part of MCL 200 lies in its unique structure: class meetings for the second half of the semester were led each week by a faculty member from a different MCLLC division.

“We introduce students to textual analysis through units representing all of our areas of study: Arabic and Islamic Studies, Chinese Studies, Classics, French, German, Italian, Japan and Russian Studies. Each instructor introduces students to a major work from his or her field of expertise, but that also interrogates the concept of world literature,” Sachs said. “It’s the geographic, linguistic, cultural and historical range in our department that lets us innovate in ways other departments cannot.”

Sachs says one of the purposes of the course is to have students understand that the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures does more than teach language. “It’s important to remember those last two words, Literatures and Cultures, because they often get dropped. We are not only a language department,” he said. “In this class in particular we examine how texts can be representative of their cultures of origin in unpredictable, and sometimes even unsettling, ways.”

The global nature of the course – as well as its wide disciplinary approach – means that students take part in investigating how one’s understanding of texts changes as they travel across cultures, historical periods and language communities. For instance, Sachs led lessons on “A Tempest,” an adaptation written by Martinican playwright Aimé Césaire that reflects the changing landscape of race and post-colonial relations in the 1960s.

“Césaire reworks Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ in the context of the American civil rights movement and African liberation movements,” he explained. “It’s a fabulous way to talk about how Shakespeare’s play has traveled, how it belongs to world literature, how it gets taken up, questioned and transformed in other cultures at other historical moments.”

For Sachs, his experience teaching Global Literacy has been educational in new and unexpected ways. “I learned a great deal about teaching by observing my colleagues at their trade. It was like going to college all over again,” he explained. “I listened to my colleagues lead discussions on, for example, Brecht’s use of Japanese Noh theatre. I knew nothing about that topic or those connections. It was very exciting for me.”

For students enrolled in the course, Global Literacy also offers exposure to the breadth of what MCLLC has to offer: before the departments merged, students in separate units – and the departmental units themselves – had little contact with each other. “Now we’re bringing together students with different language interests, with different expertise and different background knowledge. They become aware of what they have in common as language and literature students,” Sachs said.

Alex Russett, a freshman majoring in foreign language and international economics, enrolled in the course because of interests and aspirations related to global media and business. “I thought it would be a class to explore the cultures of the world through literature,” Russett explained. “It was the only class that I had no idea what to expect walking into the first day. From day one it was a roller coaster of new experiences.”

Similarly, Daria Smith, a freshman studying linguistics and French Studies, was drawn to the unique format of Global Literacy. “The idea that multiple professors would be instructing parts of the class seemed intriguing. My favorite part of the class was coming in every week with a new instructor, not knowing what road the discussion would take,” she said.

Both students feel they benefited from the course’s broad, critical approach to literary and cultural studies. “There are often long tangents of thought-provoking conversation that really expands one’s ability to read and interpret a text and see things from different perspectives,” Russett said. “I’ve become a better writer, and a better reader as well.”

“I was able to get an intimate look at works from other countries and speak with experts of that culture about them. I have learned to analyze better and to pull out interpretations that might not have been thought of before,” Smith added.

Russett and Smith each attest a large part of the course’s success to its discussion-based structure – something that doesn’t surprise Sachs. “Students don’t often get to see their teachers talking and disagreeing with one another about the texts they are reading in class. They saw me ask questions of my colleagues because I was completely unfamiliar with the text or culture under discussion. I think it’s good for undergraduates to see such exchanges,” he said.

Sachs says he has seen a lot of interest in Global Literacy from departments at other universities, but the best advertisement for the course is the experience of the students themselves.

“The class is so much fun and beneficial that I wish I could take it all four years,” Smith said. “It’s mentally stimulating like no other class I’ve taken, and I’ve seen myself grow as a person. I can promise the class will exceed your expectations,” Russett added.

UK HealthCare Celebrates Donate Life Month and New License Plate Promoting Organ Donation

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:46

LEXINGTON, KY. (March 31, 2015) — UK HealthCare will kick off National Donate Life Month April 1 with a special flag-raising ceremony in front of the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital.

Staff and public are invited to the ceremony at the hospital’s flag pole at 10:30 a.m., where a Donate Life flag will be raised, followed by a brief reception in the Pavilion H lobby. The flag will fly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to demonstrate UK HealthCare’s commitment to saving lives through donation and transplantation.

Additionally, Donate Life will have a registry table in the lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sign up new donors.

National Donate Life Month is an annual month-long celebration that showcases those touched by donation and transplantation. This year, a new Donation Awareness license plate will be launched April 1.  The plate will be on display at the reception.

Approximately half of the U.S. adult population is registered as donors, including 1.5 million Kentuckians. Still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of donor organs. On average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time.

Registering to become a donor is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives through donation and serves as a sign of hope to those who continue to wait. Everyone can register as a donor today at www.donatelifeky.org or by saying “YES” when you renew your driver’s license.

Additionally, you can show your support for this mission is by purchasing a Donate Life license plate to spread the message about donation. The Donate Life plate encourages individuals to put the gift of donation into perspective, stating ‘Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Saves Lives’.  This statement illustrates the power of what a simple “YES” at the driver’s license office has the ability to do.

To purchase your special Donate Life plate, visit your County Clerk’s office on or after April 1, 2015.  Special thanks to everyone who made this plate possible including:  UK HealthCare, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, and Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ Trust for Life.

Engineering Future Health Solutions is Focus of Ashland Lectures

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 16:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — As part of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering's commitment to bring the best intellectual minds and research creativity to campus, the 2015 Ashland Inc. Distinguished Lecture Series will feature two experts, David Edwards and Kinam Park, who are developing novel techniques for sensory and drug delivery.

The lecture series will be held from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, April 27, in the William T. Young Library's UK Athletic Association Auditorium. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 8:30 a.m. in the Young Library Alumni Gallery with introductions to follow at 9 a.m.

Famous for inventing new ways of eating, communicating and transporting water, Harvard Professor David Edwards founded Le Laboratoire, a Paris-based research and innovation facility merging science and the arts. His work also includes new approaches to treating infectious diseases.

Edwards is the Gordan McKay Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, a core member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and a faculty associate of the Center for Nanoscale Systems.

He has launched multiple drug delivery companies and nonprofits, is the author of two seminal textbooks in applied mathematics, as well as several works of nonfiction and fiction, and is a member of the American and French National Academies of Engineering and the U.S. National Academy of Inventors. Edwards has won many international awards and honors, including his nomination as Chevalier of Arts & Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.

Edwards will deliver his lecture, “Sensory Delivery for Better Health,” at 9:15 a.m. in the Young Library auditorium.

Kinam Park, Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of pharmaceutics at Purdue University, is also at the forefront of developing new innovations in the field of engineering and health. He has studied drug delivery systems for more than three decades, and his research has focused on oral delivery, drug-device combination products, long-term microparticle formulations and targeted delivery.

Park has co-authored and co-edited seven books in the area of controlled drug delivery and edited special journal issues in the area of protein- and cell-repellent surfaces and in the area of hydrogels. In 2001, Park founded Akina, Inc., which specializes in polymers for drug delivery, and he is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Controlled Release.

Park will deliver his lecture, “Drug Delivery Technologies for the Future: Thinking in New Boxes," at 10:30 a.m.

Following the lectures, a roundtable discussion will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Ashland Inc.'s partnership with the UK College of Engineering and Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering began in 1999 when it funded the Ashland Inc. Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering. In 2006, the lecture series was established.

"The endowment from Ashland Inc. allows us to bring the most respected and influential researchers to UK. This year’s speakers, David Edwards and Kinam Park, are well-known throughout the engineering and pharmaceutical sciences communities for their high-impact research.

"In addition, they both have reputations for translating basic science discoveries to clinically relevant products. They offer unique perspectives that will be of interest to UK faculty and students from the colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Medicine," said Daniel Pack, current Ashland Inc. Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering.

For more information, view the event's program at http://www.engr.uky.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ashland_Lecture_Program.pdf

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

UK Marks 10 Years of Showcasing Music Around the World

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 15:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Join the University of Kentucky School of Music for the 10th anniversary of the UK World Music and Dance Concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The event was started in 2005 by emeritus Professor Han Kuo-Huang. In honor of his legacy, the School of Music will present a special concert featuring music and dance from around the world with a sonic journey that spans the Bluegrass to Bali and beyond.

The concert will begin with the rare opportunity to hear the dynamic sounds of the Balinese “marching gamelan” called gamelan bebonangan, featuring fast syncopated rhythms, interlocking melodies, weaving movements and powerful gongs. Following this, the program journeys to Zimbabwe for the entrancing sounds of the Shona mbira (thumb piano) performed by the MbiraCats from the University of Cincinnati College and Conservatory of Music, led by Stefan Fiol.

Next will be virtuosic solo pieces on two representative Chinese string instruments. First, Luyin Shao, a doctoral candidate in musicology and ethnomusicology at UK, will play on the pear-shaped pipa and then Qi Yu will perform on the guzheng zither. These international musicians have studied these instruments from a young age and majored in music performance in their home countries.

Next the program will return “home” and feature music from the UK Bluegrass Ensemble, led by Ellyn Washburne, a UK musicology graduate student.

The concert will also highlight the talents of exchange students from the Arts College of Inner Mongolia University and include selections of overtone throat singing, horsehead fiddle pieces, Mongolian choir music and traditional bowl dance. The concert will conclude with a Korean samulnori piece performed by the UK Korean Ensemble, led by Donna Kwon, assistant professor of ethnomusicology.

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

For more information about these events, call 859-257-4912 or contact Donna Kwon by email at donna.kwon@uky.edu.

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

Lexington Community Radio Used as an Avenue for Student Involvement

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — As Lexington Community Radio steps on the gas with each project, University of Kentucky students view this as an avenue for experience as they assist board members, donors and supporters to reach their destination on Oct. 1, 2015, of the first on-air broadcast.

Since 2011, Lexington Community Radio has worked to provide Lexington with public safety information, local news, entertainment and educational programming through an FM radio broadcast. Lexington Community Radio, which has already received one permit from the Federal Communications Commission to construct a low-power FM radio station in Lexington, recently received approval for construction of a second station with the help of UK students. Each student has volunteered numerous hours with board directors, and the community has seen this as a foot-in-the-door experience that could take them where they foresee themselves post-graduation.

Recent UK alumus Wilder Treadway served as a volunteer at Lexington Community Radio. Treadway was recommended by one of his journalism professors, Kakie Urch, who made the magic happen for Treadway.  All he needed to do was contact his potential new manager.

“My former journalism professor, Kakie Urch, put me in contact with the supervisor, who I actually went to high school with. It all related back to a service-learning semester-long project I did for my class,” said Treadway.

Treadway was granted a volunteer position to help start a new radio station. His duties routinely focused on working with the public to inform them of Lexington Community Radio through forums and meetings around Lexington to discuss what the public was looking for in a radio station.

“Since it’s a newly developing project, just getting the word out to the city of Lexington was something we knew would be very important, especially into the Hispanic community," Treadway said. "My main project was to help set up a community forum at Village Branch Library during which my supervisor, co-worker and I distributed LCR related materials and held a brainstorming session with the public about what they were looking for in a radio station. It was a big success.” 

The Lexington Community Radio project gave Treadway the skills it takes to publicize the station and the confidence he needs to succeed in any career endeavors he has moving forward. “Working with the public and working with a different demographic than I’m used to working with helped make me more well-rounded and comfortable. It was nice to begin something that was recently developed and help be in charge of the publicity for it as you can truly see the fruits of your labor,” he said.

Treadway was adamant about finding diverse opportunities to help him with his career path such as internships, volunteer hours and networking. From his experiences at UK, his advice to students that are looking for a window of opportunity is to network with professors and advisors.

“There’s always something out there to learn, so make sure to network with as many people as you can and keep your ears open. I would talk to professors or advisors in the College of Communication and also utilize social media. A lot of times professors will point out job and internship opportunities such as postings on Twitter or LinkedIn before you see them elsewhere too,” said Treadway.

By working at the Lexington Community Radio station, Treadway had the opportunity to be a part of a developing project in the city of Lexington that is going to directly help the community in the coming years. He explains that no student should be nervous but prevail upon an organization's hiring official or executive board why they should hire you as an employee, intern or a volunteer.

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for informational interviews with people to see what a job is about and if there is a potential opportunity to intern at the place you are interested in. You would receive a great deal of experience by interacting first-hand with the people and seeing the work you do get put to real use,” said Treadway.

The work Treadway completed at LCR was difficult, and he appreciated that it was taken seriously throughout the organization. While at the station, he also learned many skills that he can see himself applying post-graduation.

“Preparing a community forum in the city of Lexington in an area of town that lacks a lot of community involvement was a daunting task, but we at LCR were very pleased with the turn out and it gave me confidence with event planning and time management for the future,” said Treadway.

Since the gas pedal has accelerated on the Lexington Community Radio project, Treadway along with other volunteers have helped amplify the station to gain the best listeners and donors it can receive. “Lexington Community Radio is now a partnership with the entire community,” said general manager, Hap Houlihan. “The more people involved as listeners, donors, or station volunteers, the better off we’ll all be.” 

Several UK students are currently volunteers at Lexington Community Radio, but Houlihan says there is room for growth. For more information or to volunteer with Lexington Community Radio, please e-mail lexingtoncommunityradio@gmail.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395, blair.hoover@uky.edu

Six New Members to be Inducted Into Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015)  Six new members will be inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame Thursday, April 16, at The Grand Reserve, 903 Manchester Street #190, in Lexington. The six will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a luncheon ceremony sponsored by the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications Alumni Association.

That evening, the school will hold its 38th annual Joe Creason Lecture in Journalism at 6:30 p.m. in Room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building on the UK campus. This year's presenter of the lecture is Pamela Brown, CNN justice correspondent.  Brown, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, joined CNN in 2013.  She previously worked at ABC7/WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. 

The 2015 Hall of Fame inductees are: 

  • Steve Burgin, investigative reporter and weekend anchor with WLKY in Louisville;
  • Judy Jenkins, reporter and columnist for The Gleaner in Henderson, Kentucky, (posthumous induction);
  • Jeffrey Marks, president and general manager of WDBJ Television, Inc. in Roanoke, Virginia, previously with WHAS-TV and radio;
  • Mark Neikirk, executive director, Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at Northern Kentucky University, previously with The Cincinnati Post/The Kentucky Post;
  • Ed Reinke, photographer with The Associated Press in Kentucky for more than 25 years (posthumous induction); and
  • Landon Wills, owner, publisher and editor of the McLean County News from 1946 to 1972 (posthumous induction).

The six new honorees will join 196 other journalists inducted into the Hall of Fame since its 1981 inception. Selection of honorees is made by a committee representing the state’s media, the UK Journalism Alumni Association and the University of Kentucky. Nominees must be either Kentucky natives or outstanding journalists who have spent the bulk of their careers in the state.

Information on reserving a seat for the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame induction luncheon is available at http://jat.uky.edu/ky-journalism-hall-of-fame.html or by calling June Horn at 859-257-1730.

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover; 859-323-2395, rebecca.stratton@uky.edu

UK Design Recognizes Excellence of Faculty, Staff, Alums

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Eleven faculty, staff and alumni and one local architecture and interior design firm have taken honors at the University of Kentucky College of Design Celebrating Excellence Awards Dinner held March 26, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.

Two Distinguished Alumni Awards for Professional Achievement were presented to Wayne Braun and Lonn Combs. Braun is the design director of creative design firm PDR. Combs is cofounder of EASTON+COMBS. Recipients of this award have attained prominence through his or her efforts in the professions of architecture, design, interiors and/or historic preservation, as well as other worthy endeavors that form a record of accomplishment, expanding the body of knowledge through his or her contributions to his or her field.

Jack Weber received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the College. Weber is a partner at Gresham, Smith and Partners. The award recognizes a recipient's deeds and actions reflecting the importance of his or her educational training, pride in alma mater and loyalty to UK, as demonstrated through their interest in and support of the college and its programs.

The Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to both Mike McKay, assistant professor of architecture, and Lindsey Fay, assistant professor of interiors. Conferred by the dean, the award recognizes the breadth of teaching activities that happen in the college (studios, lecture courses, education abroad, community projects, advising master’s projects, piloting new courses, curricular innovation, partnerships with faculty, departments, colleges, universities, community groups, etc.).

Gary Rohrbacher, assistant professor of architecture, was presented with the Faculty Excellence in Research Award. The honor, bestowed by the dean, recognizes the value of both scholarly publications and creative work in the college (articles, book chapters, reports, exhibitions, community activities, competitions, design awards, invited lectures, outstanding presentations, etc.).

The Faculty Excellence in Service Award was presented to Faith Harders, head of the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library. The award reflects a critical aspect of UK as a public, land grant university. The dean annually presents this award to recognize professional service to the college, university, community and/or profession.

The Friend of the College Award went to Barbara Hulette and EOP Architects. Hulette is a board member of the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and chair of the advisory board of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. EOP Architects is a Kentucky architecture and interior design firm specializing in higher education, K-12, research, health care, fitness, corporate and civic projects. In selecting a recipient of this award, the UK College of Design Dean Ann Whiteside-Dickson, the college's executive committee and awards committee consider a nominee’s excellence in the following areas: contributions to building a better department, school, college, or university community; extraordinary financial support to college priorities; and/or demonstrated record of commitment to one or more of the college’s initiatives.  

Gregory Luhan, associate dean for research and associate professor of architecture, and Allison Carll White, professor of interiors, received the Dean's Award for Special Service. The honor is awarded to faculty and/or administrators who demonstrate overall excellence, and unwavering support of the college, its programs and its students.

The Dean's Award for Staff Excellence was presented to Ginny Miller, a business officer in the UK College of Design. The dean yearly confers an award to recognize the excellence of a staff member. The dean, the executive committee, and the awards committee may consider a nominee’s excellence in the following areas, coinciding with the university’s Campus Core Competencies: dependability; diversity and inclusion; initiative; integrity; interpersonal relationships; and commitment to students, the university community, and its stakeholders.

Each award winner was presented with a pewter cup recognizing their achievement. In addition, faculty and staff received a $500 cash award with their honors. 

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

It’s Time to Register for Classes

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — The Summer/Fall 2015 priority registration period is now open and continues through Tuesday, April 21.

This year, students may not register for classes until they have completed UK’s two most recent initiatives, the CATS. Survey and Haven training. These initiatives were implemented in early 2015 as support for the university’s ongoing campus safety efforts.

"Campus safety is our top priority at UK," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "But safety means many things. In addition to lights, security cameras, safety officers and technology, we need students, faculty and staff who place safety and inclusion first. All of these things speak to the kind of environment we all want as part of the UK community."

Undergraduate students must have their advisor hold lifted before registering for classes. For instructions, they should contact the dean's office in their college. Students who are undeclared are advised in Undergraduate Studies located on the first floor of Miller Hall.

Summer/Fall 2015 priority registration details:

·       View the schedule of classes/course catalog on the myUK in the registration tab

·       Contact your college or program office for advising now

·       Confirm your social security number and address in myUK

·       Plan your courses and use the new pre-register check tool before your window opens

·       Complete CATS survey and Haven program

Stickers with the popular hand-drawn University of Kentucky graphic will be given to students during their meetings with their advisors.

After priority registration concludes, eligible students will be able to register and add/drop courses for summer from April 28 through June 18 and again July 17 through Aug. 22. The first day of the first summer session is May 12, and the first day for the second summer session is June 11.

Add/drop for the fall semester is available Aug. 25 through Sept. 1. The first day of the fall 2015 semester is Wednesday, Aug. 26.

To view the Summer/Fall 2015 schedule of classes, visit myuk.uky.edu/irj/portal, click on the “Student Services” tab, then the “Search Course Catalog and UK Core” link.

For more information about priority registration, call 859-257-7173 or visit www.uky.edu/registrar/how-to-register.

To review a PDF of myUK registration instructions, visit www.uky.edu/sites/www.uky.edu.registrar/files/myukinstructions.pdf.

For more information on the C.A.T.S. Survey, visit uknow.uky.edu/content/seesafety-cats-survey-needs-every-students-voice and for more information on Haven Training, visit www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/VIPCenter/learn_haven.php.

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

Crisis Management & Preparedness to Discuss Natural Hazard Mitigation Strategies

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Mar. 30, 2015) — Natural disasters, such as severe storms, tornados, and floods, can cause loss of life; damage buildings and infrastructure; and have devastating consequences for the university and your well-being.  Hazard mitigation reduces disaster damages and is defined as a sustained action to take to reduce risk to the campus community.

So what is UK doing to reduce risk?  How can you become better prepared?  Join UK Police and its Division of Crisis Management and Preparedness(CMP) Tuesday, March 31, 10 a.m. to noon in the Student Center, Center Theater for a discussion on the university’s mitigation strategy for making UK's campus a safer place when faced with natural hazards. 

In addition, CMP is happy to welcome Joe Sullivan, Meteorologist from the National Weather Service, as he will address the campus community on “Building a Weather Ready Nation”.

University of Kentucky’s Hazard Mitigation Plan has kept the University in compliance with federal hazard mitigation planning standards resulting from the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, as contained in 44 CFR 201.6.  As a result, the university is an eligible applicant for state and federal funds for mitigation and disaster assistance grant programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  University of Kentucky’s Hazard Mitigation Goals include:

1.      Protect lives and reduce injuries from hazards and threats.

2.      Protect university property, organizational information, and research from hazards and threats.

3.      Enhance existing, or develop new University policies and practices that are designed to reduce damaging effects from hazards and threats.

4.      Build stronger partnerships between government, educational institutions, business, and the community.

5.      Build disaster preparedness though mitigation education and outreach.

The 2015 update to University of Kentucky’s Hazard Mitigation Plan has been a collective effort on the part of UK Police:  Division of Crisis Management and Preparedness, the UK Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee, state and local agencies, and University of Louisville’s Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development.  The risks identified and the priority placed upon them throughout this planning process will guide the university and influence opportunities for FEMA funding over the next five years, until the time comes for another update.  A series of steering committee meetings have been held on UK’s campus over the last several months in an effort to accomplish the following:

1.       Update UK’s hazard vulnerability assessment

2.       Measure progress and update UK’s five-year mitigation action plan

3.       Commit to plan maintenance measures for the next five-year cycle

For more information on this important project, please visit:  http://www.uky.edu/EM/hazardmitigationplan.html

'Adopt-a-Spot' to Keep Campus Clean

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 17:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015) — A beautiful campus and a litter-free campus go hand-in-hand, and groups at the University of Kentucky will be able to care for their own piece of Wildcat country during the month of April. A new element of the Pick It Up campaign, the Adopt-a-Spot program encourages registered UK student organizations, UK offices and other groups to participate in weekly clean-ups to eliminate litter at UK.

During the month of April, groups that adopt a spot are responsible for making their defined zone litter-free once a week and documenting their efforts. A photo of the litter collected each week with the front page of that day's Kentucky Kernel newspaper must be sent to pickitup@uky.edu

Groups can sign up for Adopt-a-Spot by emailing pickitup@uky.edu by Wednesday, April 8.

Gloves, bags and up to 10 T-shirts, while supplies last, will be provided to each group, and two yard signs will be placed in each zone throughout the month recognizing the participating group.

Registered UK student organizations will also have the opportunity to earn up to $200. For each week that the student organization successfully completes Adopt a Spot tasks, they will earn $50. Funds will be available fall semester of 2015 and can be used to reimburse members for conference travel, or for organization events, recruitment efforts, or other relevant purchases (refreshments, printing costs, etc.).

Adopt a Spot is part of the Pick It Up campaign, developed by a group of campus partners and funded by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration. The campaign was launched in September and urges participation from the entire UK community to make a difference on campus by picking up litter, and recycling it when appropriate. 

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

Time to BrAg About Ag at UK

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 17:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015) — It’s time to BrAg about all things agriculture, food and environment. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting BrAg Week March 30-April 3, a campus event designed to raise awareness and to promote agriculture and its career opportunities.

“Agriculture impacts so many areas of life from food consumption to clothing, health care, recreation, technology and family life,” said Jason Headrick, the college’s director of student relations. “We also want this week to serve as an avenue for students to talk about their major, their experiences and their personal ties to the ag industry.”

Daily events are planned throughout the week to highlight agriculture and the college, which is ranked as a top 10 agricultural research program. A schedule of events includes:

·         March 30, #BrAg Day: Use the hashtag #UKAgBrAgWeek and talk about agriculture and all the areas of life that the college reaches. Students are encouraged to discuss topics like the importance of the industry to everyday life, the relevance of their major, agricultural facts, personal agriculture experience and more. There will be retweets and likes all day.

·         March 31, Diversity in more than majors. Join us for Under the Rainbow, an open dialogue about being LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered/Questioning), moderated by Carol Taylor from UK’s Violence Prevention Center. The event begins at 6 p.m. at UK’s E.S. Good Barn and is open to any UK student, faculty or staff interested in networking with others or learning how to be an advocate. This meeting will allow open discussion and be a welcoming place for all.

·         April 1, Awareness Day. Join the college from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. for #UKAgAwarenessDay in front of Erikson Hall and behind Memorial Hall. Come and learn how agriculture impacts food, clothes, Lexington, the nonprofit scene and many other parts of life. There will be free T-shirts, food, fun and Ale-8-One beverages sponsored by Ale-8-One. Also, the college’s Horticulture Club will have their spring plants available for purchase.

·         April 2, A Night with the Ag-ademy. The college’s ambassadors will sponsor a showing of the movie "Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch," followed by discussion about the use of plastic and how to lessen environmental footprints. Free cloth bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to those who attend. The event begins at 5 p.m. in the Ag Science Center’s Seay Auditorium.

·         April 3, Make It Personal!: Celebrate Agriculture in Your Own Way. This day encourages everyone to celebrate agriculture’s impact on their lives. Possible ways to celebrate include thanking a farmer, posting a vine or Instagram, buying local or carrying a cloth shopping bag. Students are encouraged to share their Ag celebrations with others.

Make sure to check out the college all week on the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Facebook page and with Instagram and Twitter at @UKAgriculture, @UKAgStudents.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jackie Clark, jacquelynn.clark@uky.edu; 859-257-8774.

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