News

4/3/2020
An outdoors photo of Yuke Wang.

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that sophomore  Yuke Wang has received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The UK College of Arts & Sciences student is among 396 students nationwide selected to receive the 2020-21 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,343 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 461 of the nation's colleges and universities.

Wang, who calls Lexington home, is pursuing majors in physics and mathematics in the 

3/26/2020
Alumna and professor in the Department of Sociology, associate director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research

Carrie Oser, professor and associate chair in the Department of Sociology, is a ’ 98 UK graduate, the associate director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) and a faculty affiliate of the Center on Drug & Alcohol Research (CDAR). Her research interests include addiction health services, health disparities/equity, HIV risk behaviors/interventions, social networks, implementation science and substance use among rural, African American or criminal justice populations. 

In 2015, Oser received the Senior Scholar

3/26/2020

W. Bruce Lunsford, a UK alumnus, lawyer and businessman, recently established the Lunsford Scholars Program in Citizenship and Public Service in the College of Arts & Sciences with a $1 million pledge. 

The Lunsford Scholars Program provides Arts and Sciences students the chance to pursue out-of-the-classroom educational opportunities including education abroad, internships, service-based learning and undergraduate research both locally and outside of Kentucky. Aside from student scholarships, the donation also supports a symposium and speaker series to be held each year. 

“The college is excited about the opportunities that we will be able to provide our students through the Lunsford Scholars Program,” said Clayton Thyne, chair and professor in the Political Science Department and Lunsford Scholars Program director. 

3/26/2020
Amy Murrell Taylor’s award-winning book “Embattled Freedom” chronicles the camps where formerly enslaved people congregated in the Civil War

By Richard LeComte

Camp Nelson, a Civil War-era historic site south of Lexington, helps to fill a gap in the epic story of the end of slavery in the United States. At this site, along with about 300 others in the South, the camp offered refuge to people emancipated from plantations and a place where men could enlist in the Union Army.

Here at Camp Nelson and many other places, African Americans began or continued a serpentine journey to freedom—one that American history has, until now, failed to map.

“The story of freedom in the United States is a story of long, drawn-out battles, fights and struggles,” said Amy Murrell Taylor, author of the acclaimed book “Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s

3/26/2020
Statistics Department named for alumnus, generous donor

By Jay Blanton

University of Kentucky faculty member Connie Wood accepted a collect call in 1989 from a student a world away who was in need of a connection and a path forward.

For Bing Zhang, the willingness of a director of graduate studies to accept that phone call and offer help in a time of need has made all the difference in a life’s work and, now, what has been a lifetime of giving back.

Flash forward more than 30 years.

This February, President Eli Capilouto recommended and the UK Board of Trustees accepted a $6.35 million pledge Zhang is making to the University’s Department of Statistics, where he received his doctorate 26 years ago. The board also approved naming the Department the Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics at the University of Kentucky. UK’s

3/26/2020
College’s new Latinx professors reach out to students of similar heritage

By Richard LeComte

Teaching his first classes at UK in fall 2019, Eladio Bobadilla fresh from his doctoral studies at Duke—saw a lot of eager students waiting for him to share his perspectives on Latinx history. For many students in the class, Bobadilla was teaching something essential: their own histories. 

“It was pretty amazing because a couple of the classes were largely Latino students who were really excited to have someone who looked like them teach them about their histories,” Bobadilla said. “So that was a lot of fun for me. And it was exciting for them to find someone who cares about their history.”

As part of a cluster hire program to bring new Latinx faculty to campus, the College of Arts and Sciences brought aboard two assistant professors: Bobadilla, in

3/25/2020

By Richard LeComte

Teaching his first classes at UK in fall 2019, Eladio Bobadilla fresh from his doctoral studies at Duke—saw a lot of eager students waiting for him to share his perspectives on Latinx history. For many students in the class, Bobadilla was teaching something essential: their own histories. 

“It was pretty amazing because a couple of the classes were largely Latino students who were really excited to have someone who looked like them teach them about their histories,” Bobadilla said. “So that was a lot of fun for me. And it was exciting for them to find someone who cares about their history.”

As part of a cluster hire program to bring new Latinx faculty to campus, the College of Arts and Sciences brought aboard two assistant professors:

3/25/2020

Anne C. Deaton, English '67, has focused her career on the socio-economic, health and public policy issues related to seniors. In Columbia, Missouri, Deaton co-founded the Children’s Grove, an organization devoted to promoting a culture of kindness and supporting the health of young people through community education, the arts and the environment.

Gerald L. Smith, History ’81, ’83, ’88, served from 1997 to 2005 as director of the UK African American Studies and Research Program. He is a full professor of history and former Theodore A. Hallam Professor and Martin Luther King Center Scholar-in-Residence. His awards include induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College and the Evelyn Black Award from the UK Black Student Union.

Steve Sullivan, Geology ’79, worked

3/25/2020
A photo of Dean Mark Kornbluh.

Dear Friends,

Research is at the heart of the University of Kentucky’s mission to create new knowledge and further understanding. For an example of how our faculty are excelling in Kentucky and beyond, I encourage you to read about the latest award-winning research of History Professor Amy Murrell Taylor on p. 20.  Dr. Taylor’s acclaimed book, “Embattled Freedom: Journeys Through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps,” tells a fascinating and poignant tale of a people’s struggle for survival and freedom after enslavement. 

I am delighted to share with you the story of Dr. Bing Zhang (M.S. ’91, Ph.D. ’94), who with his wife, Rachel, has made a significant investment in the future of our Department of Statistics. Their pledge of $6.3 million will support graduate students, a visiting professorship, and other priorities for the department. In

3/25/2020

Dean's Letter

News & Notes

20th Anniversary Hall of Fame

Energizing a Career
Robert Stokes’ physics degree took his career from space science to energy technology

3/25/2020
By Julie Wrinn

Robert Stokes (Physics BS '64) came of age in the 1960s as part of a generation of American astrophysicists who were energized by the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite. He grew up in Ravenna, Kentucky, a tiny city in Estill County built up by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1915.  

His father, a dispatcher for the railroad, passed away when Stokes was 16. Although his parents did not have much formal education, they had always hoped he would be able to go to college, and thanks to his mother’s dedication and a lot of help and encouragement from the close-knit community, Stokes managed to stay on track for college. 

“I had a lot of people who really cared about me,” Stokes said. “I had ‘extra’ parents, scoutmasters, and teachers who had an enormously positive impact on my life. During my junior and senior years in high school, I used to get

3/25/2020

By Ryan Girves 

This week marked the start of online learning for University of Kentucky students across campus following the announcement from President Eli Capilouto suspending all in-person instruction through the end of the spring semester in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

UK is one of many universities to move its classes online using channels such as Zoom — a video conferencing platform — as part of an effort to de-densify campus. 

“Overall, both faculty and students indicate that the transition to online is going better than expected,” said Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning and Academic Innovation Kathi Kern. “Faculty have devoted themselves tirelessly over the last week to rethink their courses and prepare them in a new way.”

In the week leading up to the launch of

3/23/2020
A photo of Mark Kornbluh

Dear Friends,

Research is at the heart of the University of Kentucky’s mission to create new knowledge and further understanding. For an example of how our faculty are excelling in Kentucky and beyond, I encourage you to read about the latest award-winning research of History Professor Amy Murrell Taylor on p. 20.  Dr. Taylor’s acclaimed book, “Embattled Freedom: Journeys Through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps,” tells a fascinating and poignant tale of a people’s struggle for survival and freedom after enslavement. 

I am delighted to share with you the story of Dr. Bing Zhang (M.S. ’91, Ph.D. ’94), who with his wife, Rachel, has made a significant investment in the future of our Department of Statistics. Their pledge of $6.3 million will support graduate students, a visiting professorship, and other priorities for the department. In

3/23/2020
Dr. Lipscomb's son cuts a cake.
Lipscomb 100th Birthday

On Oct. 24, 2019, the Chemistry Department celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday (Dec. 9) of William Nunn Jr., a 1941 B.S. graduate who is one of UK’s two Nobel laureates. The event was held at the William T. Young Auditorium. 

The afternoon symposium featured scientists associated with Lipscomb: Marjorie Senechal, mathematics professor emerita at Smith College; Douglas C. Rees, a chemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology who grew up in Lexington (Rees earned his doctorate under Lipscomb); and Irving R. Epstein, chemistry professor at Brandeis University, who also earned his doctorate under Lipscomb. Lipscomb’s widow, Jean Evans, and his three children also attended the event.

The celebration was a mix of first-rate science, interesting history, anecdotes and

3/11/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

The Appalachian Studies Association conference, which was scheduled to take place this week at the University of Kentucky, has been canceled due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The following message was sent from the ASA to its members and registrants yesterday:

"We are writing to tell you that after much consideration and discussion we have determined that cancelling the ASA conference is the right thing to do in light of the circumstances with coronavirus. The Steering Committee has a lot of work to do to evaluate the consequences of this decision and we will be discussing this in the days ahead. We are grateful to the UK administration and especially the planning committee who have organized an amazing conference.

We are sorry that this had to happen,

3/9/2020
Claire Renzetti sits at a desk.

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

A new book by researchers in the University of Kentucky's Center for Research on Violence Against Women (CRVAW) explores adjudication options on sexual misconduct on college campuses.

Published in January by Cognella, "Adjudicating Campus Sexual Misconduct and Assault" was edited by CRVAW Director Diane Follingstad and Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair Claire Renzetti.

"There is considerable confusion around policies and procedures for addressing campus sexual misconduct and assault and a good deal of diversity across campuses," said Renzetti, who is also professor and chair of the UK Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. "One of our goals has been to provide some clarity

3/4/2020

By Nate Harling and Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2020) — Bertin Louis Jr. has received a prestigious position that is giving him national exposure. The director of undergraduate studies for African American and Africana Studies (AAAS) and associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky has been named editor of “Conditionally Accepted.”

The Inside Higher Education column serves as an online space for scholars

3/3/2020
A photo of Ed Woolery in a desert landscape behind a large white piece of equipment.

By Victor Allison and Jenny Wells-Hosley

This Thursday, the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) will host its annual open house, giving UK students and the public opportunities to learn about, and even experience, some of the geological research happening on campus. Ed Woolery is one of the participating researchers and plans to showcase his work with seismic sensors and monitoring systems used to predict earthquakes.  

After being named chair of EES last year, Woolery sat down with the 

2/27/2020
A photo of Hannah Thomas between trees.

By Emily Sallee

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that biology and health, society and populations senior Hannah Thomas in the College of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a Fulbright Canada-MITACS Globalink Research Internship in the program’s first year. Through this highly competitive opportunity, students undertake advanced research projects in Canada for 10 to 12

2/21/2020
A photo of Nikky Finney

By Kathy Johnson

Two people with close ties to the University of Kentucky will be recognized for their achievements with honorary doctorates. The UK Board of Trustees approved awarding an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to William Harry Clarke and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities to Nikky Finney.

Clarke is professor emeritus of the UK School of Music, where he served for 43 years. He came to UK in 1965 as a teaching assistant for the marching band while working on his doctorate. In 1968, he became director of bands, a position he held for 21 years. During that time, Clarke grew the Wildcat Marching Band from 30 members to 300, expand the band to include women and established the band’s reputation as one of the best in the country. He also served as director of the UK School of Music and received the

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