News

10/13/2016

By Kody Kiser

 

“Affrilachia” is the word coined by poet Frank X Walker to signify the importance of the African-American presence in Appalachia, and he's a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Walker says he has "accepted the responsibility of challenging the notion of a homogeneous all-white literary landscape in this region.”

A native of Danville, Kentucky, Walker is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, currently serves as associate professor in the UK Department of English, and was the 2013-14 poet laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was founder and executive Director of the Bluegrass Black Arts Consortium, former program director of the UK's Martin Luther King Center and a Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Fellowship recipient. He has lectured, conducted workshops, read poetry and exhibited at more than 300 national conferences and
9/26/2016

By Jennifer T. Allen

An Arts & Sciences math professor is founding editor-in-chief of a math education blog for the American Mathematical Society focused on providing mathematicians with commentary and resources regarding teaching and learning.

“My reason for starting the blog was to provide a source of high-quality information regarding mathematics teaching and learning for members of the American Mathematical Society, given that there are currently many changes taking place in mathematics education at the post-secondary level,” said Ben Braun, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kentucky.

Launched in June 2014, the blog has received more than 190,000 unique page views and currently has an editorial board of seven mathematicians located across the U.S.  The blog focuses on postsecondary and

9/23/2016

By Jenny Wells

This weekend, the University of Kentucky Department of Biology will kick off its monthlong celebration of Thomas Hunt Morgan's 150th birthday with two screenings of "The Fly Room," a film based on Morgan's research lab. Alexis Gambis — writer, director and producer of the film — will give opening remarks.   The first screening will take place 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House (210 North Broadway) and the second screening will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at the Kentucky Theatre (214 E. Main). The event is free and open to the public.      These two screenings are part of the monthlong celebration of UK Biology's most famous alumnus and Lexington’s sole Nobel Laureate, Thomas Hunt Morgan. Born in Lexington in 1866,
9/22/2016
By Amy Jones-Timoney     While the critics know Hannah Pittard as a talented author, students at the University of Kentucky know her as their teacher.    Pittard, the author of three published novels and one forthcoming, “Atlanta, 1962” (2017), most recently attracted a substantial amount of media attention for "Listen to Me."  The UK College of Arts and Sciences assistant professor of English was mentioned in BuzzFeed,  
9/20/2016

By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will hold its Hall of Fame Ceremony Oct. 7 to induct four new members — Karl “Kip” Cornett, a 1977 alumnus and founder of Cornett; Sally Mason, a 1972 alumna and former president of the University of Iowa; Robert Ireland, an emeriti faculty of history; and Judith Lesnaw, an emeriti faculty of biology.   The college’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in the UK Academic Science Building, located at 680 Rose St.   Cornett was born in Hazard, Kentucky, and graduated from UK in 1977. Seven years later, he founded Cornett, an advertising firm that has become one of the leading agencies in the region.   During his years at the university, Cornett was president of Theta Chi Fraternity, vice president of the Student Center Board, vice
9/7/2016

By Jay Blanton, Kody Kiser

 Steven Alvarez is used to questions about language, words and meaning.   But he couldn’t have been prepared for the questions being posed for teaching one class last semester.   Provocatively titled, “Taco Literacy,” the class taught by Alvarez to undergraduates in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies (WRD) at the University of Kentucky used food to explore issues of Hispanic language and culture — a growing population in Lexington.   Some, however, criticized the class as an example of being frivolous. Soon, media in Lexington — and across the country — were approaching Alvarez to ask what he meant by “taco literacy.”   The class, while exploring some of the culinary smells and tastes of Hispanic and Latino food in Lexington,
9/6/2016

By Whitney Harder

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced today a $10 million gift from The Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation to further invest in undergraduate science education.   The majority of the gift — $8 million — will go toward the new academic science building that now takes the name Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building. Another $2 million will fund future academic and research investments yet to be determined.   The legacy of Lexington businessman and philanthropist Don Jacobs and his wife Cathy already lives on across the UK campus — from business education to health care. And now, that same legacy will impact thousands of UK students, who are projected to use the new science building annually.   Don and Cathy Jacobs have now donated funds in excess of $20 million to UK in areas ranging from science and health to the Gatton
7/19/2016

John Jay Allen, emeritus professor of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Hispanic Studies, has been made a corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of the Language (Real Academia Española de la Lengua), one of the highest academic honors in the Spanish-speaking world.

Allen taught in the UK College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Hispanic Studies (formerly Department of Spanish and Italian) from 1983 to 1999 and as emeritus professor since 2000.

Allen´s accomplishments are quite numerous, but the most salient are: National Endowement for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for Independent Research, 1981-82; NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1989; Residential Fellowship to the National Humanities Center, North Carolina, 1989-90; UK's Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize; and an honorary doctor of letters from Middlebury College

7/18/2016

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Scienceslast week hosted the Summer Institute in Economic Geography. With a 10-year history in supporting economic geography, the college and its Department of Geography welcomed young scholars from across the globe to Lexington. This is the first time the institute has returned to the U.S. since 2006 when it was hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

 

A group of UK geography faculty worked collaboratively to bring the institute to campus. Sue RobertsMatt ZookAndy Wood and Michael Samers won support from the 

7/15/2016

By Whitney Harder

Alexis Eugene, a University of Kentucky doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. More than 700 applications were submitted for the 2016 awards, and Eugene was one of only 73 who received a fellowship in earth science.   "I am honored to receive this prestigious fellowship, and I am grateful for this opportunity to work with NASA scientists to further NASA's goals while making progress toward my degree from UK," Eugene said.   Eugene will collaborate with members of NASA's Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment by analyzing the chemical composition of cloud water and aerosol samples collected during flights over the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, she will study what chemicals are there and how they affect the properties of the atmosphere
7/14/2016

By Whitney Harder

University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Biology Jakub Famulski has been awarded a Career Starter Grant by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.   The $65,000 grant will support Famulski's research on coloboma, a leading cause of blindness in children. The eye abnormality occurs before birth and involves missing tissue in or around the eye.   Famulski and his collaborators recently discovered a new type of coloboma, superior coloboma, which occurs in the top of the eye. But the underlying cause of most coloboma cases remains unknown.   To better understand the disorder, Famulski and UK graduate students Kristyn Van Der Meulen and Nicholas Carrara will use zebrafish as a model to study how
7/13/2016
By Gail Hairston  

More than vegetables and herbs are grown in the small garden adjacent to Arbor Youth Services’ emergency shelter on West Third Street, Lexington. This particular garden is blessed by more than sunshine and rain; it’s made fertile with the hopes, dreams, faith and goodwill of the homeless teenagers who tend it.   None of it would exist without the inspiration and devotion of one University of Kentucky freshman who dreamed of making a difference. He applied for and won a $1,500 grant from Clinton Global Initiative. He chose his objective, the Arbor Youth Services’ Metro Alternative Shelter House, or “MASH House” to its young, temporary residents.   When Beau Revlett first appeared one early spring day on the MASH doorstep to present the full scope of his desire to help the facility, its executive director, Ginny
7/7/2016

By Mallory Powell

Growing up in Hazard, Kentucky, Brittany Martin was familiar with diabetes. Many of her older relatives had been diagnosed with the chronic condition, and her younger family members were starting to develop it as well. In a state with one of the highest rates of diabetes — 11.3 percent of adults had a diagnosis in 2014 —Martin’s family wasn’t out of the ordinary, but she found the status quo unacceptable.

Since she graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2014 with a dual degree in biology and sociology, Martin’s family history and her interest in health have converged in her current role as coordinator of the Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition (BSDC), where she serves as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer. The coalition, based at Big Sandy

7/5/2016
By Olivia McCoy   As one of only seven institutions with all academic colleges housed on a single campus, the University of Kentucky provides a collaborative environment for students, professors, researchers, health care providers and patients.   As a comprehensive medical center, and the largest academic medical center in Kentucky, UK and UK HealthCare deliver specialized medical care to patients. Accessibility to various providers can be invaluable when patients seek medical attention for complex health issues.   A collaboration between the University of Kentucky Orofacial Pain Clinic, the College of Health Sciences and the Department of Psychology began more than 25 years ago when Charles Carlson, a professor of psychology and
7/5/2016
By Gail Hairston   University of Kentucky alumna Christine Ann Elder has been appointed the new United States Ambassador to the West African nation of Liberia.   At her welcoming ceremony, Ambassador Elder, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service expressed gratitude for the level of cooperation that currently exists between the two countries.   “The U.S. government wouldn’t have done what she has and [is] doing in the country without the cordial level of cooperation from the Liberian people and government,” Elder said.   Ambassador Elder was making reference to the numerous interventions that the U.S. government has been making in several sectors in Liberia, including governance, security, education, agriculture, health and others.   Although Liberia and the U.S. are traditional partners, Ambassador Elder described the current partnership subsisting between
6/29/2016

By Whitney Hale

Last week the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved three new areas of study to pursue at the university. Starting this fall, UK students may choose two new bachelor's degrees in liberal studies and digital media and design. In addition, graduate students can pursue a new master's degree in research methods in education.   The new major in liberal studies in the College of Arts and Sciences will allow students to: design individualized programs of study in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences; develop a breadth of knowledge reflective of a liberal arts education; develop critical thinking and writing skills; and synthesize problem-solving strategies. The target audience for the degree is expected to be diverse, including
6/28/2016
By Samantha Ponder   University of Kentucky alumna Rebecca Adkins Fletcher is one of the editors of the new book "Appalachia Revisited: New Perspectives on Place, Tradition, and Progress," published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK). The book's contributors explore how the Appalachia region has changed in recent years.   "Appalachia Revisited" is the story of how the Appalachia region is being viewed within and beyond its borders. Fletcher and co-editor, William Schumann, gather both scholars and nonprofit practitioners to explore how Appalachia is being observed after some of its most recent changes.   Inside the new book, readers will find a variety of different topics that are being studied, including race and gender, environmental
6/21/2016

I am indebted to the training I received in Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Kentucky. I came to GWS as a Psychology major interested in bridging theory and praxis in an Honors thesis project. I enrolled in my first GWS class, Social Movements, with Srimati Basu after seeing a flier on campus. Srimati’s enthusiasm for—and willingness to advise—my project was a warm welcome to the department’s diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, whose passion for teaching and commitment to students’ success fostered my growth as an academic, writer, and social justice advocate. Srimati suggested new methods and itineraries for my research, Carol Mason encouraged brevity and precision in my writing, Jan Oaks and Patricia Cooper introduced exciting scholarly terrains on film and spirituality, and Susan Bordo consistently supported my community activism and interest in graduate

6/10/2016
By Whitney Hale, Mack McCormick   As the eyes of horse racing enthusiasts worldwide turn to New York and the Belmont Stakes this week, another storied racetrack prepares for its summer meet less than 200 miles north. The Saratoga Race Course owes much of its history to its sometimes forgotten founder, a brawler turned congressman, John Morrissey.   From gang member, political muscle and prizefighter to New York state senator, United States congressman and industry leader of the sport of kings — John Morrissey (1831–1878) was all of these and more. When the Morrissey family arrived in America in 1831, there were not many doors open for Irish immigrants, but he did not let his bloodline stop him. He was the kind of man who would challenge the infamous William Poole, better known as “Bill the Butcher,” just to make a name for himself.
3/22/2016

By Gail Hairston

(March 21, 2016) — The extraordinary photography of Ethelee Davidson Baxter will be on exhibit in the first floor atrium of the University of Kentucky William T. Young Library from March 21 through April 22. The theme of Baxter’s exhibit is “Diversity of Lifestyles: Women Around the World.”

Baxter, who was named to the UK College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2014, found a second career in photography after many years presiding in a courtroom. Her work can be viewed at http://www.leebaxterphotography.com/index.html#.VusiJ_krLhd.

“Travel has always been my passion, especially travel to remote and unusual destinations. Since my retirement, I have enjoyed my

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