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Middle East Drum Specialist Joins UK Percussion Group

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 13:23

Duo 77 for two frame drums performered by Yousif Sheronick and guest artist Shane Shanahan. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Yousif Sheronick, a popular global percussionist, will serve as guest artist with the UK Percussion Group (UKPG) in a concert of Middle East music. This concert, which is free and open to the public, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Singletary Center For the Arts Recital Hall. 

Sheronick's concert will feature the artist with members of UKPG. These musicians are drawn from the UK Percussion Ensemble, internationally recognized for its excellence and innovative programming. UKPG, a smaller chamber group, performs demanding percussion literature written for economic forces.

Sheronick is a specialist on the frame drum, a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. Frame drums are often constructed with a round, wooden frame. Metal rings or jingles may also be attached to the frame. The frame drum is one of the most ancient musical instruments; it is reputed to be the first drum to be invented and examples are found in cultures throughout the world.

Critics say Sheronick “is capable of creating hypnotic atmospheres” where he “transported the listener to another dimension.” Of Lebanese decent, he was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His first exposure to Arabic music came from his mother singing over the drone of the vacuum cleaner. As with many first generation Americans there was a separation between the house (Arabic) and the outside (American) world.

Sheronick has performed around the globe to critical acclaim, genre hopping with leading artists in the classical, world, jazz and rock music arenas. The New York Times hails him for his “dazzling improvisations” and his “wizardry on a range of humble frame drums.”

Influences on Sheronick's music are far reaching as he grew up playing a rock and roll drum set, studied classical percussion earning a master's degree at Yale University and went on to study music from Brazil, India, Africa and the Middle East. These combined influences propelled him into performances with Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Lark Quartet, Ethos Percussion Group, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Cindy Blackman Santana, Glen Velez and Paul Winter.

The Yousif Sheronick concert is sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, the School of Music, the UK Percussion Studies Program, and the College of Arts and Sciences and their Passport to the World Series: Year of the Middle East.

For more information on the UK Percussion Group concert, contact James Campbell, director of Percussion Studies at UK School of Music, at (859) 257-8187.

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

UKnowledge Visualizes Global Reach of UK Research

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 12:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Since the University of Kentucky Libraries launched UKnowledge as UK's institutional repository in late 2010, UKnowledge has collaborated with various campus partners to collect, organize and provide free worldwide access to the research and scholarship created by UK faculty and students. Nearly 11,000 items, including books, journal articles, research reports, videos, images, theses and dissertations, have been deposited in UKnowledge. They are accessed every day and the aggregated download count is climbing steadily to the 2 million mark. 

A world map is now available on the UKnowledge homepage to visualize in real time the downloads of the contents. When an item is accessed, a pin drops to the map to indicate where it is downloaded. The item’s title and the download location are displayed on the panel above the map. Clicking the item’s title will open up the record of the item, which provides bibliographic information such as the author(s), abstract, publication date, and source of publication. To view the download history, you can click the back arrow on the panel or bring up an enlarged map and click the pins there. This feature of UKnowledge presents a clear picture of the global reach, readership and potential impact of UK-based research and scholarship.   

If an item in UKnowledge has a digital object identifier, a colored ring in the record of the item will reveal how much buzz the item has generated online. Fed with the data gathered by the article-level metrics company Altmetric, the ring uses colors to represent distinct online information sources that have mentioned the item. Red indicates how much the article was reported on by news outlets. Other colors demonstrate interest in the research on articles Tweeter, Facebook and Reddit. Clicking the See more details link will bring up a categorized account of the online mentions of the article. Additionally, there is information about the score in the ring, which is “one measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that an article has received.”

Just like the world map, this new feature of UKnowledge offers a vivid visualization of the worldwide interest in the research and scholarship based at UK. Meanwhile, UKnowledge tracks the download rates of the available items and sends authors a monthly download report by email to inform them of the readership and potential impact of the items. It helps UK researchers gain a comprehensive view of how their works are received in academia and beyond. 

UKnowledge is a strategic initiative managed by UK Libraries to enable unbridled global access to the unique research and scholarship contributed by members of the UK community. If you would like to make scholarly content available in UKnowledge or learn about services pertinent to academic publishing, visit this guide or contact Adrian Ho, director of Digital Scholarship at UK Libraries. For information about article-level metrics, see this page of the research impact metrics guide

Renovated Mathskeller Open House Rescheduled for This Wednesday

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Many agree that an environment can shape the learner, and in a field like mathematics, an environment that fosters active learning and engaged teaching with no appointment necessary may be the key to success for some students. That environment has been on the University of Kentucky campus in some capacity for many years, but was recently upgraded for present-day students in math courses; encouraging them to take a seat, or move around with mobile workspaces; raise their hand for a tutor, or work on their own; open their laptops, or write on one of many chalkboards.

With new renovations completed over the winter break, the UK Mathskeller is ready to unveil those and other features at an open house from 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, (rescheduled from Feb. 18) hosted by the Department of Mathematics and College of Arts and Sciences. The UK community is invited to visit the Mathskeller, Room 63 in the basement of the White Hall Classroom Building, to celebrate the facility's enhancements, learn about its services and enjoy refreshments.

Opened in 2001 with 20 computers and a large printing budget, the Mathskeller, a computing and mathematics learning center managed by the Department of Mathematics and the Mathematical Sciences Computing Facility, was established to implement a technology-assisted instructional model. Fourteen years later, the center is home to only four computers, printers aren't used nearly as much, and the facility looks nothing like a basement classroom.

Instead, the center resembles a modern, collective learning space. And while there may be fewer wires and less printing, technology still has a leading role at the center.

"In the past there was a substantial printing budget so that students could print out their assignments, work on them away from the computers, and then use their access to the computer to enter their answers," said Paul Eakin, professor of mathematics and Mathskeller director. "Today’s students use their laptops, tablets and phones to access their assignments and interact with the math homework systems."

Today's students, at least UK students utilizing the revitalized Mathskeller, are also taking advantage of the multiple mobile workspaces, bright LED-lit atmosphere, comfortable seating, tutors and chalkboard-lined walls. The renovated Mathskeller still features a kitchenette and group study or meeting room, and has added more storage, new carpet, additional study tables by removing a closet, and even a new computerized sign-in method.

"It's a more welcoming environment. There's a lot of resources, like chalkboard space, and it's more open…easier to walk around and help," said Lucas Shelton, a senior chemical engineering student and undergraduate assistant at the Mathskeller for four years.

More than 6,000 students utilized the Mathskeller in the fall 2014 semester, and nearly 3,000 tutoring hours were provided by either graduate teaching assistants or undergraduate assistants. Shelton said he has already seen an increase in students using the center since its remodel and expects to see more as the semester progresses. Over the course of 20 week days, from Jan. 23-Feb. 25, the Mathskeller recorded 1,496 visits to the center.

Originally funded by the National Science Foundation, UK Office of the Vice President for Information Systems (now the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Analytics and Technologies) and external grants, the notion of the Mathskeller grew out of work done by the UK mathematics department in the 1980s and 1990s to understand the proper place for computer technology in teaching mathematics.

Now that web homework programs such as www.mathclass.org and WeBWorK have been established as essential tools for learning mathematics, the center has become a common space for students to work together, ask for help when they stumble upon a difficult problem and meet with faculty, teaching assistants and undergraduate assistants.

Some instructors actually schedule the majority of their office hours in the Mathskeller because "their own students are more likely to take advantage of these and when they don’t, the time is productively spent assisting other students and supporting the Mathskeller student assistants," Eakin said.

The Mathskeller is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday with no appointment necessary. To view more photos of the new Mathskeller and its construction, visit the College of Arts and Sciences' photo album at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ukartsci/sets/72157648473335303/.

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

Campus Debate Features SGA President, Vice President Candidates

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 10:51

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Student Government (SGA) elections are later this week but students will have an opportunity to hear from the candidates today. University of Kentucky SGA, in partnership with WRFL-FM and the Kentucky Kernel, are hosting an SGA President and Vice President Candidates Debate at 7 p.m. Monday, March 2, at Memorial Hall on UK's campus. The debate will be moderated by Bill Swinford, political science professor and Office of the President chief of staff.

Two tickets have formed for SGA elections and both the president and vice president candidates from each will be participating in the debate. Dwight Haggard is running for president; his vice presidential candidate is Taylor Dale Clark. Austin Mullen is running for president; his vice presidential candidate is Jenna Hollinden. Students are encouraged to learn more about the candidates for president, vice president and senator positions; platform statements are available on the SGA website.

All questions asked to the candidates will come from students. Students may submit questions prior to the debate to Morgan Eads, editor of the Kentucky Kernel, at meads@kykernel.com. Questions will also be taken from the audience at the debate.

The debate is free and open to the public.

SGA elections will be held Wednesday, March 4, and Thursday, March 5. For more information about the elections, visit www.uksga.org.

For more information about the debate contact SGA advisor David Wright at wright.david@uky.edu.

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

Lyons Award Nominations Sought

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Every year, the William E. Lyons Award Committee presents the William E. Lyons Award for Outstanding Service to the University of Kentucky, the community, and the Commonwealth. The committee is now requesting nominations for this year's recipient. Submissions will be taken through March 20, 2015.

The award is named in honor of William E. Lyons, who served as a professor of political science and public administration, director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, chair of the Department of Political Science, chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Merger Commission, a member of the Urban County Council, and a member or chair of other university and government committees.

Recipients receive an honorarium of $500 and a plaque.

Those wishing to nominate an individual for this award should submit a letter of nomination with information about the nominee's accomplishments, especially their contributions to UK, the surrounding community, and the Commonwealth as a whole.

Nominations must include the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the nominator. Additionally, it is suggested that nominators include a vita or resume for their selected nominee.

Nominations may be submitted via email to dee.king4@uky.edu or mailed to:

William E. Lyons Award Committee

423 Patterson Office Tower

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506-00027

Though Extreme Cold May Be Over, Frostbite Can Still Be an Issue

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) -- After this record-setting stretch of extreme cold weather, most of us are ready for those warmer temperatures.

Compared to what we've dealt with recently, 28 degrees may seem balmy. But as long as the temperature is at or below 32 degrees, frostbite-- or its milder form, "frostnip" -- can still be an issue if proper precautions aren't taken.

What is frostbite?

When the temperature outside is at or below freezing (or when the wind is especially strong at a cooler temperature), the blood vessels in your skin constrict to preserve your core body temperature. Your extremities -- especially fingers and toes -- will feel the brunt of this, as well as your nose, ears, cheeks and chin. If you stay out in freezing temperatures for a long time, this reduced blood flow may become dangerously low.

Senior citizens and children are at the most risk for frostbite. Many seniors have certain medical conditions that compromise good blood flow, such as diabetes or atherosclerosis. Children naturally lose heat from their skin more quickly than adults, and usually spend more time outside playing, walking, or waiting for the bus.

If your clothes become wet while you're outside in cooler temperatures, get inside and change into dry clothes as soon as possible. Wet clothes draw heat away from the body quickly.

What are the symptoms of frostbite?

If you have been outside in colder temperatures and begin to notice these symptoms, it's time to head indoors to warm up:

·      Skin color changes -- skin may turn red, white, or even a grayish color

·      Affected skin feels prickly or numb

·      A feeling of extreme cold or burning

How can I treat frostbite?

Call your doctor right away if you experience the above symptoms to a severe degree. There are four stages of frostbite, and the later stages require immediate medical intervention to prevent further damage.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, get into a warm room as soon as possible. Though it's tempting to immerse the affected areas in hot water or apply a lot of heat, this can actually burn numb, frostbitten skin because of the lack of sensation. Instead, use warm water, or cover the frostbitten area with warm blankets.

If sensation does not return with gentle rewarming, it's definitely time to seek medical attention.

It is very important that once you rewarm the affected area, keep it warm and do not re-expose the skin to cold temperatures again until seen by a doctor.  “Re-freezing” of the skin leads to severe damage.

In short -- though we hope the worst of the cold weather is over, keep bundling up until winter is officially gone!

Dr. Seth Stearley is the Medical Director for the Emergency Department at UK HealthCare

This column appeared in the March 1, 2015 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Features New UK Provost Tim Tracy

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 22:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  WUKY News Director Alan Lytle sits in for Godell today, and his guest is UK's new provost, Tim Tracy. 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-perspectives-conversation-new-provost-tim-tracy.

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

UK Sophomore Recognized in Regional Woodwind Competition

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Sophomore bassoon major Jonathan Barrett was recognized at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Performance Competition held in January at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Barrett, who represented Kentucky in the competition, performed three pieces, including Alexander Tansman's Sonatine for bassoon and piano. His performance earned him an honorable mention honors.

“I've been playing bassoon for 8 years now and have been studying with Professor Peter Simpson for the last three,” Barrett said. “I want to thank all of my teachers over the years, my parents, friends and family, and especially Peter for helping me prepare for this competition, and my trusty accompanist, Tedrin Lindsay.”

Barrett has studied other instruments including clarinet, flute, bassoon, guitar and saxophone. He says that guitar was his first instrument but he has been playing the saxophone for nine years.

“Music is a life style,” Barrett said. “Growing up with discipline, passion, hard work and the joy of music has no doubt made me the person I am today”.

The MTNA's mission is to “support the careers and professionalism of teachers of music” for students like Jonathan Barrett. Each year, nine surrounding states send the winners from their own competition to the Southern Division Competition for an opportunity to be sent to nationals. Winners from the regional competitions go onto nationals, which is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The MTNA recognizes six Young Artist award winners in composition, brass, piano, string, voice and woodwind.  

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

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

UK Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Three With Leadership Awards

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Three members of the University of Kentucky community, a student, alumna and faculty member, received awards from the University of Kentucky's Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa at its 2nd Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony Monday evening.

Founded Dec. 3, 1914, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes achievement in:

·         scholarship;

·         athletics;

·         campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government;

·         journalism, speech and the mass media; and

·         creative and performing arts.

Nominees, guests, members of the Nu Circle and President Eli Capilouto, who is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, attended the ceremony to honor the impact and leadership of several UK students, faculty and alumni. In addition to Capilouto speaking about his own experience in becoming a leader, UK Veterans Resource Center Coordinator and retired Lt. Col. Anthony G. Dotson spoke on the qualities of leadership at the ceremony.

Winners of the awards, presented by Capilouto, Nu Circle President Christina Walker and Vice President James Robertson, included Tristan Moorman, Buck Ryan and Natalee Feese.  

Tristan Moorman, awarded the Omicron Delta Kappa Impact Award, earned his bachelor's degree in human nutrition in 2012, master’s degree in business administration in 2013, and is currently pursuing a degree in pharmacy and a master’s degree in public administration. Moorman, president of the UK College of Pharmacy Class of 2017, is an active volunteer for Operation Diabetes, member of the Operation Heart Committee, and counselor of the Georgetown health fair. He has completed service projects in impoverished areas of Birmingham, Alabama, and Toronto, Canada. Moorman is also the vice president of the UK Pre-pharmacy Club and member of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association.

Buck Ryan, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications and UK Honors Program, was awarded the Omicron Delta Kappa Outstanding Leadership & Student Enhancement Award. He is also the director of the Citizen Kentucky Project at the UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, and is the former director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. Ryan developed the Maestro Writing Concept, which has been nationally recognized and sited on Wikipedia, and was recognized for mentoring his students and hosting award-winning instructors as guest speakers in his classes.

Natalee Feese, a mathematics K-12 learning/innovation specialist at Fayette County Public Schools and co-president of the UK Alumni Band, was awarded the Omicron Delta Kappa Excellence Award. Feese graduated from UK with a bachelor's degree in education in 1989 and a master's degree in education in 1991. She continues her involvement at the university by organizing UK Alumni Band reunions, Homecoming weekend events and events at the UK Boone Center.

Other finalists for the leadership awards included:

·         Rachel Allgeier

·         James Collard

·         Ebony-Nicole A. Davis

·         Rebecca Freeman

·         Jon Lannertone

·         Dia Smith

·         Matthew Whisman

The Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa was founded at UK in 1925. It was the 14th circle to be established in the nation. Previous inductees have included Kentucky governors, UK presidents, William T. Young, Ambassadors Thomas Niles and Cary Cavanaugh, and Kentucky coaches Adolph Rupp, Orlando "Tubby" Smith and Bear Bryant, among other notable leaders.

Blog: Kentucky Needs Smoke-free Act

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:10

The following is a Blog by Janie Heath, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing

The science is clear. Tobacco smoke is deadly -- to smokers and to all of us who share the air.  The truth is that, as a result, too many Kentuckians are working in unhealthy environments.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) -- The economics are clear as well. In Kentucky alone, second-hand smoke kills nearly 1,000 citizens a year and costs us almost $130 million a year in health care expenses.  

The facts of health, science and economics make it clear that it’s time to say yes to the Kentucky Smoke-free Act.

Kentucky, after all, leads the nation in tobacco-related death and disease. We can do better than that. Other states, including those with tobacco traditions as deeply ingrained as ours, have already enacted statewide smoke-free public policy to improve the health of their citizens.

Prohibiting smoking in public buildings and workplaces isn’t about taking away business rights. It’s about restoring a very important one—the right to breathe healthy air at work and in shared public places. And that’s not just me speaking as a nurse practitioner whose research focus is on tobacco-free health. This is you speaking.  A recent public poll shows a full 66% of adults in Kentucky support a statewide smoke-free law.

The bipartisan support for the Kentucky Smoke-free Act is both heartening and hopeful. It reminds me of a story I heard when I first came to UK as the College’s new nursing dean. How, a little more than 50 years ago, a group of brave and forward-thinking Kentucky legislators from both sides of the aisle decided to put aside their differences and link arms to meet a critical health care need for their constituents.

Together, they found the will and the funds to establish a medical school and nursing program that would produce more quality health care professionals for Kentucky as well as path-breaking research into the challenges that confront our state.  

Today, UK is home to nationally recognized academic programs that are preparing the next generation of leaders for our state in medicine, nursing and health services.

As in the past, the decisions we make today will resonate for generations. The decisions we make today, in fact, can save lives tomorrow. Put public health first and say yes to the Kentucky Smoke-free Act.

###

Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, Warwick Professor and Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing in Lexington, Kentucky, is a national leader in nursing education, advanced practice and health care outreach research.

E-Day: Engineering Discovery, Exploration and Fun for All Ages

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:02

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — The field of engineering can be demanding – constant problem-solving, experimenting and delivering tomorrow’s innovations – but it can also be fun, especially on days when Newton’s Third Law of Motion can be tested through a balloon race, laser beams are shot through Jell-O, and 10-year-olds learn the basics of construction blasting with a dynamite demonstration.

At the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, that kind of day takes place once a year to celebrate everything engineering has to offer, and to expose students from elementary to high school to the vast opportunities in the field. After all, how often does a 14-year-old get to explore a fully functional solar car built by college students?

Approximately 150 contests, demonstrations and exhibits will engage and entertain, and teach a lesson or two in science, technology, engineering and math, at this year’s E-Day, or Engineers Day, Saturday, Feb. 28, at the end of National Engineers Week.

"E-Day at UK is easily the best celebration of the joy of engineering that I have ever seen," said John Walz, dean of the College of Engineering. "This will be my third time attending and I still haven’t made it to all of the different exhibits and activities. It is fun, educational, and offers something for everyone."

On the UK campus, E-Day will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at various engineering facilities. E-Day will also be celebrated at the college’s Paducah Campus at West Kentucky Community and Technical College from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

UK students and departments, government organizations and industry groups host the activities, including several new events this year. Attendees will still have the chance to show off their skills in traditional favorites like the LEGO bridge, volcano, egg-drop and edible car contests, but will also get creative in the chocolate composite, candy crane, Coach Cal’s mansion makeover and haul truck racing contests.

Longtime E-Day attendee and current UK computer science sophomore Zack Anderson described his experience at E-Day throughout the years as seeing things he's never seen before. "I mean some of these projects are extraordinary," he said.

Entertaining and engaging, the contests and activities are also learning experiences.

For example, young builders participating in Coach Cal's mansion makeover contest, sponsored by the Department of Civil Engineering's construction engineering class, will be tasked with creating their own version of UK men's basketball coach John Calipari's house.

Supplied with a budget and certain resources priced for the occasion - Popsicle sticks, skewers, toothpicks, glue and tape - participants will work to build a structure that withstands a load and fits within certain dimensions. Just as construction project planners often face unexpected situations, participants my experience "bad weather" (rain causes delays so they are required to pause a minute before continuing construction) or other circumstances.

Another project, "egg drop crash survivability," otherwise known as the egg drop, sponsored by the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at UK, has drawn crowds of curious students and parents for years.

"It's not a task that requires advanced computations, but it is something that gets students thinking about subjects like physics, by encouraging them to think about the forces on the egg," said Katherine Gerwig, vice president of the chapter. "It's always fascinating to see the many different ways the students approach the same problem each year; even after years of the competition, students still manage to come up with unique improvements to their designs."

For Anderson, the egg drop is a must-see event. "If there's one thing that I remember out of everything, it was always the egg drop, every single year. You couldn't miss the egg drop…you had to go to the egg drop," he said.

Anderson began attending E-Day when he was six years old and made a tradition of it, attending until he was 13. With both parents being chemical engineers, and his mother Kim Anderson the associate dean for administration and academic affairs at the College of Engineering, E-Day was more than a day full of exciting activities. It became Anderson's opportunity to figure out if he should follow in his parents' footsteps of chemical engineering, or go a different route.

He conducted his first electrical engineering experiment at E-Day with a battery and a few wires. But what caught his eye and has stuck with him since is computer science.

"I remember there being a computer science booth set up to where they had their supercomputer…I mean I knew what a computer was, but I didn't know what a supercomputer was.

"And I remember we actually, I believe, sat there for three hours because I just had so many questions. I discovered that computer science was my thing, what I wanted to do in life, because of Engineering Day, and I wouldn't have gotten that experience anywhere else," said Anderson.

With many demonstrations and contests for younger students, E-Day is also perfect for the high school student that may be interested in engineering, but isn't quite sure what kind or what to do with an engineering degree.

"It really is a game-changer as far as trying to figure out, 'okay well, is this really the field that I want to go into?'" he said.  

In addition to sparking Anderson's curiosity in computer science, E-Day also ignited his interest in attending UK. He was impressed that UK students were not only interested in their own projects, but were able to share what they were doing with so many others, and noticed how much UK faculty members appreciated their students.  

After years of participating in E-Day and two years as a computer science student at UK, Anderson is now involved in a project working to display vital signs in real-time on Google Glass for doctors conducting surgery. He is also working with a local optometrist to take photos of the eye with Google Glass, instantly transmitting any growths or disorders to patients' medical records, rather than spending 30 minutes setting up a large machine.

In the near future, it may be Anderson and his Google Glass projects captivating the minds of young students at E-Day, following suit of those who inspired him.

"I wanted to learn how to make stuff, and not only did I want to learn how to make stuff, but I wanted to learn how to make it better, and I learned that through E-Day," Anderson said.

For more information about E-Day, visit http://www.engr.uky.edu/eday/ or contact Chelsea Hansing at 859-257-5823 or chelsea@uky.edu

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

Kentucky Japan Bowl Educates and Entertains

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Thirty-five students from Lafayette, Scott County, Atherton and Eastern high schools visit the University of Kentucky campus on Saturday to immerse themselves in the Japanese culture and to compete in the Kentucky Japan Bowl®.

The Japan Bowl is a franchised quiz competition for high school students studying Japanese. The competition challenges the students’ knowledge of the Japanese language and culture.

“We are hoping that students will enjoy this event and get motivated to study Japanese even more,” said Atsushi Hasegawa, assistant professor of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Hosted by UK Japan Studies, the Kentucky Japan Bowl is the regional version of the national competition, which began in 1992, organized by the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. Two winning teams will be awarded a trip to Washington to compete in the National Japan Bowl® April 9-10. After the competition, the contestants will attend the Sakura Matsuri, the largest Japanese cultural street festival in the United States, on April 11. 

Questions and answers won’t fill the entire day at the Kentucky Japan Bowl, either. Performances of taiko (Japanese drums) and budo (Japanese martial arts) will entertain the students, and there will be presentations from regional colleges’ Japanese programs.

“We are really excited about this event because it is not only for the sake of high school students, who rarely have opportunities to share their learning outcomes with the public, but also for college Japanese programs in the region, who can use this occasion to promote their programs to the high school students. It is a great outreach opportunity for us as well,” said Hasegawa.

“On top of that, it is one of the rare occasions for the local Japanese people to get together and celebrate our language and culture. We are hoping that this event will help create a stronger bond within the community,” he added.

The Kentucky Japan Bowl will be held in 118 White Hall Classroom Building from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28.

Staff Senate Provides Service, Leadership to UK Community

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 18:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Staff Senate is an excellent opportunity for UK’s employees to contribute to the greater university good through leadership and service. But how exactly are staff senators impacting UK?

In addition to serving as the administrative voice for the more than 17,000 full and part-time staff at UK, the senate also administers several key activities for the university community, such as the CRISIS financial assistance program and the annual UK Appreciation Day.

The annual UK Appreciation Day is a large undertaking, involving nearly a year of planning by the Appreciation Day Committee, about 200 volunteers to assist in delivery of the event, a free meal for all employees who attend, and coordination with myriad UK departments and local vendors who participate.

“It is important that staff are represented in university matters,” said Senate Chair Mike Adams. “Staff bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and the Staff Senate is where we can contribute to the betterment of each other and the university as a whole.”

Staff Senate also organizes the monthly Conversation with the President, which gives rank and file staff members opportunities to discuss issues of importance to them with President Eli Capilouto during an informal meeting at his Maxwell Place home.

“Staff always appreciate the opportunity to connect with the president in his home,” said Fadyia Lowe, who organizes the event through the Senate’s Public Relations Committee. “The amount of positive feedback we receive from participants is very encouraging!”

Staff senators are also involved in a variety of university activities and shared governance responsibilities, such as service on strategic planning committees, coordination of the Outstanding Staff Awards ceremony, membership on search committees for upper level administration, and input on employee benefits.

The CRISIS program is an excellent example of how the senate serves UK employees. It was developed by senators in conjunction with UK Human Resources and is now fully administered through the senate office. The program provides one-time financial support of up to $500 for UK employees who are experiencing financial difficulty.

For instance, payments have been made to help with utilities or rent when a UK employee is struggling to pay bills due to unexpected loss of income or unforeseen expenses. CRISIS is supported through employee contributions, which are tax deductible, and a five-member committee of staff and faculty, which reviews and approves applications for assistance.

Staff senators serve three year terms, are full-time employees, and are elected by staff who are at least .75 full-time equivalent. The typical time commitment for senators is about four hours a month, but many volunteer their time to the university community well beyond that.

“Empowering staff is part of the Staff Senate mission. Creating avenues to serve is one way we can serve the University community, and the Staff Senate helps create those opportunities. CRISIS, Shared Leave Pool, and UK Appreciation Day are just a few examples of how the Senate advances our shared interests,” Adams said.

For more information about Staff Senate, visit the program Web site at www.uky.edu/staffsenate or contact Holly Clark, office coordinator, at hclark@uky.edu or 859-257-9242.

Bright Idea: Breckinridge Hall Saving Energy, Money With LED Upgrade

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 17:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — While the many new facilities being constructed on the University of Kentucky campus are utilizing cutting edge green building techniques, some of these advances can also be used to illuminate the charm of existing buildings. This is the case with Breckinridge Hall, an 85-year old building that recently received a complete overhaul of its lighting system.

Britney Thompson, the energy engineer for the UK Campus Physical Plant Division and project lead for Breckinridge Hall lighting upgrade, believes it is the first building on UK’s campus to get a full LED retrofit. This upgrade in Breckinridge Hall will drastically reduce energy use, improve the quality and level of light, save money, and give UK personnel experience adapting the new fixtures to older buildings.  

The amount of energy needed to light Breckinridge Hall has dropped by about 63 percent (from 170,000 kilowatt-hours to 62,500 kilowatt-hours) as a result of the project, and energy savings combined with avoided maintenance will save the university about $12,000 a year, bringing the return on investment to approximately 10 years.

"The occupants at Breckinridge Hall are quite pleased with the new look and safer environment the new lighting creates," Thompson said. "For instance, each of the LED fixtures in the hallways has an occupancy sensor and dimmer, and after 15 minutes of inactivity, the lights will dim to 10 percent."

Thompson says much of the new construction on campus is implementing LED fixtures, and she is looking at options to do additional retrofits on other existing facilities.

"Breckinridge will serve as an excellent test case to see how the new technologies perform, and if it is successful we will be much more apt to seek out other locations to upgrade," she said.

Breckinridge Hall, located on the west side of the quadrangle bounded by Funkhouser Drive, Rose Street, and Washington Avenue, contains various offices, including the offices of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Survey Research Center. It was completed in 1930 as a dormitory and named for W. C. P. Breckinridge.

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

Grand Rounds Session Explores Psychiatric Case of Artist Known as Sybil

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The body of artwork left behind by Shirley Mason offers visual clues into the famous psychiatric patient's creative mind and her struggle with dissociative identity disorder.

Today the topics of creative expression and psychiatric medicine will converge during a special grand rounds session titled "Creative and Madness: The Art of Sybil." Presented by the UK Arts in HealthCare program and the UK College of Medicine, the grand rounds session will explore the psychiatric case of Shirley Mason, or "Sybil," whose diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) was made famous by the 1973 book "Sybil" and made-for-television movie starring Sally Fields. The session will also address the value of art therapy in the clinical setting.

The presentation on dissociative identity disorder will be led by Dr. Daniel Nahum, professor emeritus in the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry and chair of the psychotherapy scientific section for the World Psychiatric Association. Fran Belvin, a certified art therapist, will also give an overview of how art therapy is employed in many clinical areas at UK HealthCare.

The grand rounds session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Pavilion A Auditorium, will be held in conjunction with the official opening of an art exhibit featuring 40 original works by Shirley Mason. The artwork was donated for exhibition by art collector and former Lexington resident Jim Ballard. The exhibit opening will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in the West Gallery, which is the hallway leading to the Emergency Department located on the ground level of the hospital. Refreshments will be provided.

Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, the psychiatrist who was deeply involved in Sybil's treatment and co-authored the book about her life, served as a faculty member for the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry in the 1970s. Many long-time faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry remember Wilbur's unorthodox methods and passion for treating patients whose psychiatric diagnoses were attributed to traumatic experiences.

The grand rounds session is open to all UK faculty members and other interested individuals. Participation qualifies physicians for continuing education credits through UK HealthCare CECentral. For more information about obtaining CE credits, contact Vanessa Webb at vlwe222@uky.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

Carol Jordan Named Woman of Distinction

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The Center for Women and Families (CWF) will honor five Women of Distinction tonight at the center's 28th Annual Celebration of Service and Survival at Churchill Downs in Louisville. One of those outstanding women is Carol Jordan, executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.

“The Center for Women and Families has been recognizing outstanding women in the community through the Women of Distinction Award since 1988,” said CWF’s CEO Marta Miranda. “An individual honored as a Woman of Distinction has given a lifetime of professional and/or volunteer services that has left an indelible mark on the Kentuckiana community.”

“Women of Distinction have made significant contributions to education, health care, civil rights, the arts, human services, the welfare of children and the advancement of women,” she said. To date, 152 women have received this honor.

For 30 years, Jordan has worked in research, writing, programming, public policy and legislative advocacy to address intimate partner violence, rape and stalking. She has served as the first director of a statewide sexual and domestic violence program in the Department for Mental Health, as founding executive director for the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services. At UK, she was the founding director of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, a premiere academic research center, and is now founding director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence against Women in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“When one receives an award of any kind, one is reminded of the influence and enduring support of colleagues and loved ones who helped make the success possible,” Jordan said. “I glance back over more than 30 years and feel that way today. That this award comes from the Commonwealth’s first and largest domestic violence and rape crisis program also amplifies its significance to me, so I am grateful on one hand, and inspired to continue this work on the other.”

A primary focus of Jordan’s career has been advancing legislative reform. She has co-authored 30 pieces of legislation including criminal and civil justice reforms related to domestic violence, rape, and stalking; bills to expand and strengthen services to victims; and legislation to advance victim’s rights. Many of her accomplishments have had a broad influence; however, it is the idea that those accomplishments have touched the lives of individual women that she finds most meaningful. 

“It is our honor to celebrate these distinguished women. We are humbled by their contribution to our community and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments,” Miranda said.

This year’s honorees are Jordan, Pat Byron, president emeritus, Mary Byron Project; Dawne Gee, anchor for WAVE 3 News; Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings, past president, Council on Foundations; and Audrey Tayse Haynes, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Pat Byron

Byron was thrust into advocacy work for victims as a direct result of her daughter Mary's murder in 1993. Since that time, Byron has been very active in the rights of crime victims. She helped with the creation of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) and lobbied to help create a statewide notification system for victims. The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of Byron’s daughter. As a nationally recognized thought leader on domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project cultivates and supports efforts that extend beyond crisis management to attack the root causes of this epidemic and help build safer, healthier communities. Byron continues to use her expertise to speak in communities throughout the nation about dating violence and crime victims' rights. She served as president of the Mary Byron Project from 2000 to 2008, when she was designated president emeritus.

Dawne Gee

Dawne Gee is no stranger to Kentuckiana with her diverse broadcasting background in Louisville. Her experience includes 17 years in radio broadcasting and 20 years at WAVE 3 news anchoring and hosting WAVE Country with Dawne Gee showcasing wonderful people, places and events in Louisville. With her love of community, Gee steps out of the role of newscaster to be an advocate for people in need and a neighborhood leader. She donates her time and efforts to organizations all over the region and presents at more than 200 speaking engagements each year, many specifically for women and girls in Kentuckiana. She gives her time, heart and soul to motivate her community to always be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keeper. Recently, Gee founded two nonprofits: A Recipe to End Hunger, which helps feed children in food-insecure homes, and Care for Kids and Families, which helps children in low-income families receive free dental care and glasses.

Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings

Ridings has been passionate about education, information and advocacy throughout her career. She has worked hard to help provide opportunities for everyone to have the best education that will enable them to succeed in life. Ridings works to encourage every person to speak out, stand up, and work hard to advance the issues they believe will improve social and political orders. She is a past president of the Council on Foundations, the Washington-based membership association for grant-making foundations and corporate-giving programs both in the United States and abroad. Before joining the council in 1996, Ridings’ professional career was as a journalist, working as a newspaper reporter and editor at newspapers in Charlotte, Louisville and Washington and as a daily newspaper publisher in Bradenton, Florida. Ridings served four years as president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, and 10 years on the league’s national board, after serving as president of the local league in Louisville. She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and has served 16 years as a trustee of Louisville.  

Audrey Tayse Haynes

Haynes has devoted most of her career to furthering and improving the status of women in the workplace as well as promoting policies that will have the greatest influence on women and families. Since her appointment as secretary of the cabinet by Governor Steve Beshear, she has overseen the transition from a fee-for-service delivery model to managed care for the majority of Kentucky’s Medicaid population, saving taxpayer dollars and improving member health outcomes. During her tenure, Kentucky has also received widespread national recognition for its participation and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Haynes has helped prior appointments in the administrations of three previous Kentucky governors (Wilkinson, Jones and Patton), including executive director of the Kentucky Literacy Commission; a member of the Kentucky Board for Elementary and Secondary Education following Kentucky’s landmark education reform legislation; and as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health Services.

The Center for Women and Families helps victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence to become survivors through supportive services, community education and cooperative partnerships that foster hope, promote self-sufficiency and rebuild lives. The center has been serving the community since 1912, when it began as part of the YWCA. Today, it is a private nonprofit organization serving nine Kentuckiana counties and operating seven regional locations, three of which provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and/or long-term housing options. The center maintains a $4.7 million budget and provided housing, advocacy, counseling, therapy and education to over 30,000 people last year.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302

UK Hosts Graduate Student Day at the Capitol

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Graduate Student Day at the Capitol will take place on the morning of Feb. 27, on the second floor mezzanine of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

Graduate students will travel to Frankfort to share their research projects through poster presentations with legislators and staffers.

“The Graduate School Congress (GSC) has worked tirelessly to bring together graduate students at UK who want to share the message of their Kentucky based and Kentucky focused research with our state leadership,” said GSC Vice President Sarah Spaulding.

The GSC serves the graduate student body at the University of Kentucky by unifying and representing it in matters affecting the quality of graduate student life and work, by facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, and by promoting professional development for graduate students through seminars, forums and social functions.

“As the vice president of GSC, I was approached by a fellow graduate student, Chrissy Herren, interested in communicating some of her research with state legislators," Spaulding said. "Together, we decided that a state hill day would be an excellent venue to communicate the important research done by UK graduate students on Kentucky focused issues.”

After working with the state government relations office, they determined that the sesquicentennial celebration week was the perfect time to debut this event.

The graduate students at the University of Kentucky pursue advanced study in 90 program areas, representing doctoral degrees in 61 fields, master's degrees in 120, and specialist degrees in five.

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

Biology Graduate Student Receives Fellowship to Present at Genome 10K Conference

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — Melissa Keinath, a graduate student in the University of Kentucky Department of Biology, has been awarded a Genome 10K fellowship to attend the 2015 Genome 10K Conference and present her research poster, "Characterization of a Large Vertebrate Genome Using Shotgun and Laser Capture Chromosome Sequencing." The conference will take place March 1-5 in Santa Cruz, California.

A relatively exclusive event, the Genome 10K Conference will explore critical topics essential for assembling a "genomic zoo" of some 10,000 vertebrate species. The zoo will help understand how complex animal life evolved through changes in DNA and create a resource for worldwide conservation efforts.

Working with Department of Biology Professor Jeramiah Smith in his lab and co-mentored by Associate Chair of Research and Professor Randal Voss, both part of the unofficial "regeneration cluster" in the department, Keinath has conducted research on axolotls, also known as Mexican salamanders. Axolotls, among the most-studied salamanders in the world, can regenerate or regrow a variety of body parts, including limbs and even portions of major organs.

Keinath's poster at the Genome 10K Conference will describe the team's recent efforts to sequence and assemble the axolotl genome, a very complex and highly repetitive genome approximately 10 times the size of the human genome. Sequencing the genome could prove useful in understanding how axolotls regenerate, and as the species is considered critically endangered, it could also be useful for conservation efforts.

More recently, Keinath has begun working on the axolotls' sex chromosome evolution.

"Axolotls offer a unique perspective on the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, as their sex chromosomes are recently evolved," she said. Keinath is using genomic and cytogenetic approaches to better characterize these sex chromosomes within a few closely related species in the tiger salamander complex.

Learn more about the work of the "regeneration cluster," a dynamic and productive collaboration of researchers in the Department of Biology, in a previous UKNow article and UK Research Communications video at http://uknow.uky.edu/content/talking-bout-regeneration

Watch Keinath working in the UK Imaging Facility below. Video produced by UK Research Communications

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

Big Blue Family VIDEO: Couple Celebrates UK's DanceBlue for Many Reasons

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:05

Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — It’s easy to hear, see and feel the love when you attend DanceBlue at the University of Kentucky.

The 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraising efforts to support the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic through the Golden Matrix Fund.  Earlier this month, students celebrated raising $1,615,057.18 at the 10th annual event.

As hundreds of students screamed, clapped and cried tears of joy over the feat, newlyweds Erin Priddy and Joey Wright watched from the sidelines at Memorial Coliseum.  Just a few years ago, they were the students on stage announcing the total amount of funds raised at the big reveal.   

Returning to campus to witness the jubilation brings back a lot of special memories for Erin, now a medical resident, and Joey, a lawyer, who both currently live in Louisville.  The couple originally met at UK because of their participation in DanceBlue.   

Watch the video above to discover how DanceBlue brought them together and why the impact this program made on them as college students continues to motivate them to return year after year to celebrate this 10-year-old tradition at the University of Kentucky.

This video feature is part of a special series produced by UKNow focusing on families who help make up the University of Kentucky community.  There are many couples, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters who serve at UK in various fields.   The idea is to show how UK is part of so many families’ lives and how so many families are focused on helping the university succeed each and everyday. 

Since the "Big Blue Family" series is now a monthly feature on UKNow, we invite you to submit future ideas.  If you know of a family who you think should be featured, please email us.  Who knows?  We might just choose your suggestion for our next feature!

VIDEO CONTACTS:  Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940, amy.jones2@uky.edu or Kody Kiser, 859-257-5282, kody.kiser@uky.edu

African Students Association Photo Project Debunks Stereotypes About Africa

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — Students from the African Students Association (ASA) at the University of Kentucky recently gathered in the Student Center to participate in a photography project to raise awareness of stereotypes about Africa.

“We organize this event to help the UK community become aware that Africa is not a continent of just poverty,” said Bill Kofi Aboagye, president of UK African Students Association.

About 20 to 30 students participated in the event. Students were holding signs with quotes like "Africa is not a country," "I do not speak African," and "Africa is not filled with diseases."

Aboagye said a lot of students at UK have little knowledge about Africa.

“Many times when you run into people who do not have a lot of information about Africa, most of the things they say are basically stereotypes about the continent,” Aboagye said. “We’re just trying to help people understand what Africa really is.”

Aboagye said often people are only exposed to the negative side of Africa portrayed by the media. He said it is important to inform people about the positive aspects of Africa.

“Africa is a blessed continent,” Aboagye said. “Africa is not just about war, not just about poverty. It is a land blessed with a lot of natural resources and a very strong labor force. It’s a continent that is supporting the whole world with its resources.”

Yao Yu, a second year graduate student in journalism, who participated during the event, said she wanted to showcase African culture to people in China.

“I’m very interested in African culture,” Yu said. “I want to make some videos to introduce the lives of African students at UK and African culture to Chinese citizens through different Chinese social media platforms.”

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

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