News

10/29/2010

University of Kentucky alum James Booth has found a perfect combination in statistics and genetics.

A Blackpool, England native, Booth studied at the University of Leeds before coming to the United States to study in the Bluegrass. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics and his master’s degree in statistics at Leeds before looking at Ph.D. programs.

“I decided to go

10/9/2010

In the time away from her anthropological research, Susan Stonich engages in a familiar and common hobby – “I’m a weaver.”

“The creative part of my life is weaving and textile design, I’m very interested in that,” she said.

But the nature of weaving, interlacing different threads to create a larger, coherent fabric, is integral to understanding Stonich’s career as an anthropological researcher and political ecologist. “I really do research that tends to integrate all those previously diverse fields.”

At the core of both Stonich’s research and pedagogical approach is a belief in the value and necessity of interdisciplinary perspectives. “We have to do a better job from the undergraduate level to the graduate level to train our students to be truly interdisciplinary,” she explained. “Because of the kinds of problems that I look at in my work, an interdisciplinary

9/28/2010

University of Kentucky graduate, Col. James “Jim” Crider is currently serving as the G3 for the 3rd Infantry Division/Task Force Marne in Northern Iraq. In this, his third tour in Iraq, Col. Crider is planning, resourcing and synchronizing stability operations there. On September 1, 2010 he began primarily training, advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces. But his job includes dealing with other issues as well including regional relationships between the Arabs and the Kurds, securing the boarder, providing provincial reconstruction, and protecting American forces.

Currently nearing the end of his third tour, Col. Crider explains that each of his tours has been different. His first tour was with the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division during the initial invasion.

9/28/2010

 

The soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) who are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan by early March will have a University of Kentucky alum among those leading their mission.

Lieutenant Colonel James Becker, a battalion commander based at Fort Campbell, Ky., will have about 800 soldiers assigned to him as they make their way overseas for a year-long deployment. Becker’s unit will be in charge of ensuring all logistics and medical support is provided for brigade combat team soldiers located in Regional Command-East in Afghanistan.

8/25/2010

Rebecca Greene knew one thing when she came to college from Elliott County in eastern Kentucky. She was going to leave her tiny hometown of Sandy Hook and become an astrophysicist. No doubt about it.

Both her parents were teachers, and she was reading at a very young age. Greene seemed far enough ahead of the other kids that she was “outcast and ostracized” from the start. “So, I was turned against my hometown in certain ways,” Greene said. “I thought I needed to get out of there – that it was suffocating and oppressive.”

After landing a Singletary Scholarship to UK, she signed up as a double major – in physics and linguistics. The linguistics part of the equation came from a paper she did in high school on the “science of language.” That idea – ‘the science of language’ – swirled in her

7/6/2010

Growing up in Los Angeles and studying as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, Michael Dorff hadn’t heard a lot about Kentucky, let alone the University of Kentucky.

But while he was getting his masters in mathematics at the University of New Hampshire and trying to look for a doctoral program, one of his professors mentioned UK.

“She told me about a professor at UK, Ted

6/1/2010

Physics & Astronomy alum Dr. Anjan K. Gupta came to the University of Kentucky after earning bachelors and masters degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1995 in Kanpur, India.

Anjan is from a small city called Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state in India.

“I wanted to go to the United States because I knew there would be many opportunities for research as a graduate student,” Anjan said. “I applied many places but I was interested in UK because they had a good condensed matter experimental department. I knew that’s what I wanted to pursue.”

Anjan said he found good teachers and mentors among the faculty in the physics and astronomy department, particularly Dr. Joseph Brill and Dr. Kwok-Wai Ng.

Anjan's

3/12/2010

The recent presidential election not only captivated the nation, but also opened up a whole new dialogue on politics.The sense of excitement surrounding the election mobilized the younger generations, who in turn supported their candidate by using social networking and video sharing sites and in some cases hitting the campaign trail.

This increase in participation was also noted by UK political science alum Paul Brewer. Currently an associate professor and chair of the

3/5/2010

Not many people get to spend their careers involved with something they’ve loved since they were 10 years old.

University of Kentucky alum Zeljko Ivezic is one of those lucky few. The Croatia native became fascinated with what he could see in the sky and beyond as a child and now Ivezic is a leading astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Having had a hand in creating the very first digital map of the sky, Ivezic continues to follow his passion, working on several projects including one that could help to identify dangerous asteroids that might strike our planet.

Ivezic, 44, earned undergraduate degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Croatia’s University of Zagreb in 1991.

“But I knew I wanted to go to school in the U.S. for my graduate studies,” Ivezic said. “I always knew that’s what I wanted.”

He applied to UK somewhat

3/5/2010
Betsy Dahms

Graduate Student

Cracking the Code of Masculinity

by Andrew Battista
photos by Mark Cornelison

Betsy Dahms has known since her childhood that masculinity can mean a variety of things. Growing up with eight brothers and one sister, Dahms developed an acute awareness that a person’s masculinity can never be reduced to a single form or expression. It is this aspect of her family upbringing that has most significantly influenced Dahms’ budding scholarly and pedagogical career.

“My father died when I was young, so I didn’t grow up with a father-figure in my life,” said Dahms.“In my house I was able to see how my brothers were treated versus how my sister and I were treated, and I often thought to myself, ‘wow, that’s different.’”

This disparate treatment did not end when Dahms left her Northern

12/18/2009
Janet Neiswennder

Janet Neisewander spends a lot of her time with rodents and cocaine.

As strange as that may sound, the research the Arizona State University professor is doing with those two things may someday help people struggling with addiction.

Neisewander, who earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1988, became interested in how the brain is connected to behavior early on in her academic career.

As a freshman at Rockford College in Rockford, Ill. Neisewander became passionate about the human brain.

“I was fascinated by the way the brain is involved in behavior and how brain dysfunctions result in dysfunctional behavior,” she said.

As she was finishing her bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology, Neisewander looked for graduate programs that would allow her to continue her studies.

“I wanted a good graduate training program

12/18/2009
Taki Petrou

Growing up in Athens, Greece, Panayotis “Taki” Petrou knew he wanted to study in the United States when he was older.

Three of his uncles lived in America and his older sister had already left Greece for school in Chicago.

“I was finishing high school and thinking about college, and it had always been my dream to go to the U.S.,” Petrou said.

As far as choosing the University of Kentucky as his American destination, Petrou took a pretty simple approach. “Kentucky had similar latitude as Greece so I figured that the weather would be similar,” he said, laughing.

In researching UK, Petrou also found a school with reasonable tuition in an area of the country with an affordable cost of living, he said.

“I also liked that it was a big school,” he said. “It had a lot to offer.”

While Petrou felt comfortable with his choice in schools, he didn’t

12/14/2009

One-on-one teaching assistance is hard to come by in math and science courses, where many students struggle to understand balancing equations, solving for variables, and applying formulas. To address the problem, Benny G. Johnson, Sr., and Dale Holder joined forces, merging chemistry, computer programming and teaching philosophy to create Quantum Tutors, the first artificial intelligence tutoring program for the sciences.

“We thought it would be beneficial to explore developing

12/14/2009

1) How long does it take to get to work on average for Lexington residents as compared to the rest of Kentucky?

2) How densely populated in Lexington compared to the rest of the state?

3) What is the percentage of female-owned businesses in Kentucky compared to the rest of the country?

These are the types of questions that the 

11/13/2009

Kevin Harrelson discovered the works of 17th century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza and early-19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel while an undergraduate philosophy major at Villanova University. 

Their writing—and their questions—captivated him. His readings of Hegel led to an interest in German Idealism in general, and led him to pursue his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Kentucky. 

“There were a lot of people at UK studying German Idealism, and it was a good place to pursue that,” said Harrelson, who completed his Ph.D. at UK in 2004.

Harrelson is now in his first year as visiting assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ball State University. 

His first book, “

10/22/2009

At the end of every big chapter of our lives, we are faced with tough choices. As I was applying for graduate schools, I was overwhelmed by the opportunities that awaited... somehow in the jungle of choices, everyone finds one that seems most appropriate at the moment, chooses it, and hopes that it proves to be a good one for the future. These choices define us in some way. In case of graduate school, this choice defines us as mathematicians. In this sense, I have chosen the perfect department.

First of all, I came to graduate school torn between a few areas of mathematics and wasn't quite sure how to choose one. So I took classes in all of these areas during the first two years, and have had a chance to meet faculty that were happy to discuss research problems in each area. I was very happy with the choices I had! Also, during these first years I had a chance to read recent

10/19/2009

Alumna Caroline Light says she feels like ending up at the University of Kentucky for her graduate studies “was the luckiest break.”

Light is now the Director of Studies in the Women, Gender and Sexuality program at Harvard University. The research and teaching skills she gained while at UK have helped her get to where she is now, she said.

10/9/2009

By all accounts, Allen Turner is a long way from home.

A University of Kentucky alumnus twice over, Turner is in Guadalajara, Mexico and about to complete a program that will allow him to teach English as a foreign language. When he is finished, Turner, 69, and his wife plan to move to Ecuador where they own a small sugar cane farm.

Once in Ecuador, Turner hopes to teach and to research how birds relate to culture.

Meanwhile, he is still serving as a legal consultant to the Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians who are fighting to be recognized as a tribe by the U.S. government.

The anthropologist, lawyer and teacher has certainly kept busy since he left the College of Arts & Sciences in 1981.

“They’re all dimensions of what I’ve been able to do in my life so far,” Turner said. “You couldn’t put me in a box if you tried.”

Turner is

9/25/2009
Rachel Dunnagan

Graduate student

by Sara Cunningham

Rachel Dunnagan has always been as dedicated to the education of others as she is to her own education.

Teaching comes natural to the math and classics senior.

Her love of education began with creating pretend assignments for her younger sister when they played school as children and continued with Dunnagan’s devotion to helping her classmates with their studies in high school.

The Louisville native was scheduled to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in math and a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics this past spring, and plans to progress to a graduate program to continue preparing herself for a long career in teaching math and Latin to

9/25/2009

 

Susan (Camenisch) Eriksson started her studies at UK as a music major, with a focus on piano. But when she took an honors section of geology during her junior year, she was hooked.

“After one exam, I went up to the TA and said, I love this, I love, this, I love this!” she recalls. “I was so excited. I said I wished I had found geology as a freshman.”

Eventually, her UK professors—particularly Dr. Bill Blackburn—helped Eriksson make the switch to majoring in geology as a junior, and she was able to graduate with just one extra semester of

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