By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2022) — Crystal Wilkinson, associate professor in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, can add NAACP Image Award winner to her expansive and impressive list of accolades.

The Kentucky Poet Laureate’s book of poetry, “Perfect Black" (University Press of Kentucky), brought home the top honor in the category of “Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry.”

The NAACP Image Awards program highlights the achievements of people of color


By Olaoluwapo Onitiri

Many people grew up playing video games throughout their childhood. Gaming has become an important culture in the world today. It has inspired many, including Kishonna Gray, who is using her gaming experiences to create platforms to talk about important topics, such as Black people in the cyber world and intersectional feminism.

Gray is an associate professor in Writing, Rhetoric and Digital studies and African American and Africana studies and an affiliate faculty in Gender and Women studies and International Film studies. In her latest book, Intersectional Tech from Louisiana State University Press, she talks about blackness in gaming at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and (dis)ability in-depth.

“While my


By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2022) — Axolotls are no strangers at the University of Kentucky.

For nearly 20 years, labs across the UK campus have studied the axolotl — a type of salamander native to Mexico — due to its ability to regenerate body parts, including limbs, tail and even the spinal cord. By studying axolotls, researchers at UK, and around the world, hope to one day develop therapies that may help humans regenerate their own tissue. 

One of the reasons the axolotl is so fascinating in regenerative research is because of its paedomorphy, which is the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Instead of metamorphosizing and moving from water to land like other salamander species, the axolotl continues living in water its entire life. Being isolated to


By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2021) — “We cannot understand where humanity has been and where we are going without Black Studies.”

This is the mantra of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) — a multidisciplinary research institute based in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of African American and Africana Studies.  

The institute hosts more than 50 nationally and internationally recognized researchers with expertise in fields such as Black futures and 21st century race in digital cultures; slavery and inequality in Central Kentucky; race and sport; global Blackness (from Appalachia to Zimbabwe); and gender and sexuality in Black lives. These affiliated faculty represent 11 colleges across UK, and they are developing initiatives


By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Dennis Preston, adjunct professor of linguistics in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, was named a Fellow by the American Dialect Society. He is among the first group of 10 who were chosen for the honor and was President of the Society in 2001-02.

He is also an Erskine Fellow of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Linguistic Society of America; in 2004 he received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic.    

He earned a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1965 and is a former Regents Professor in the Department of English at Oklahoma State University and University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State


By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- S-STEM, a new program funded by a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, will provide four years of scholarship support for up to 15 qualifying incoming biology or neuroscience majors a year in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. The average scholarship amount will be $5,000 a year, depending on financial need, going up to $10.000. 

“The goal of the project is to increase recruitment and retention of talented undergraduates majoring in biology and neuroscience at UK who have unmet financial need,” said Jennifer Osterhage, assistant professor in the Department of

By Mallory Profeta

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2022) — Now in its third year, the University of Kentucky’s SPARK (Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky) Program gives an introduction to health equity research to students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in research. And there’s something extra special about its newest cohort of participants — it includes students not only from UK but also from Kentucky State University. Among the students selected are three majors in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

“From our first two cohorts, we had proof of concept and strong feedback on what was successful or not. We felt it was a good time to grow,” said SPARK Director Nancy Schoenberg,  who also directs


By Alicia Gregory

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science will hold its 17th Annual Spring Conference on April 5, 2022, focusing on “Climate and Health.”

Join nearly 1,000 researchers, clinicians, students and community members for this free, day-long, in-person event at the Gatton Student Center exploring the relationship between the environment, our health and how we live. 

This year’s keynote speaker is Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy and director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University. 

Widely regarded as the father of environmental justice


By Kody Kiser and Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2022) — In the fall of 2020, the University of Kentucky announced plans to establish the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) — a multidisciplinary program designed to highlight UK’s growing research around issues of race and racism.

The interdisciplinary institute establishes research clusters across the campus and promotes the university’s growing research and scholarship on topics of importance in African history and African American history, such as slavery and the quest for freedom, racial discrimination and violence, and the long struggle for civil rights.

This year, the university announced continued annual funding of $200,000 through UK’s Office for


By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2022) — A legacy is passed from one generation to the next and often refers to gifts of money or property. But leaving a lasting impact also is about actions — the ones you take and the way they affect how people remember you.

“When I looked at her, I saw a hero — like she was some type of superstar,” said Taylor Morton.

As children, our heroes were often the classic characters we enviously watched on Saturday morning cartoons. But for as long as they can remember, twins Taylor and Tyler Morton’s version of a hero was far more realistic.

“My grandmother knocked down barriers and overpowered hate with love,” Tyler said. “Many are unaware of her legacy. She was very humble — she wasn’t one to brag or want recognition.”

To those who


By Jesi Jones-Bowman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2022) — Ten undergraduate researchers from the University of Kentucky have been chosen to present their research at the 2022 Posters-at-the-Capitol event on March 3 at the Kentucky state Capitol in Frankfort. Now in its 20th year, this event will have more than 100 student representatives from across the state displaying the results of their research and scholarly or creative work. Among them are three students connected to the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Posters-at-the-Capitol is an event hosted collaboratively by Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville


By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2022) — Less than two months ago, NASA, in coordination with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, launched the James Webb Space Telescope into its 1.6 million-mile journey away from Earth. The project, nearly 30 years in the making, is designed to see some of the first stars and galaxies that were formed in the universe.

Since it launched, the space agency has been working to get the telescope unfolded, aligned and powered up — a meticulous process that continues to see success after success. Just this week, the telescope detected its first photons from a distant star. 

To learn more about this historic step forward in space exploration, UKNow caught up with Gary Ferland, professor of physics

By C. Lynn Hiler

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Nu Circle of national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa inducted 53 new members at a virtual ceremony on Jan. 30, including nine from the College of Arts & Sciences. ODK recognizes superior leadership and exemplary character and encourages collaboration among members across the five phases celebrated by the society: scholarship, athletics, service, communications and arts.

The 2021-2022 inductees from A&S are Clair Ashley, Rachael Blandau, Gustavo De Aguiar Martins, Meghan Goins, Moses Ogbaje, Anna Puderbaugh, Nicholas Relich, Seth Ricketts and Stephen Turner.

The circle was established on May 2, 1925, and celebrates leaders across campus by co-hosting

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 7, 2022) — It takes community and collaboration to define violence, understand the root cause and prevent it from happening in the future.

That’s why the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation provides research grants to leading scholars who are making a significant contribution to highlighting and addressing an issue of violence.

The Guggenheim Foundation has selected Stephen Davis and William Mattingly as recipients of its Distinguished Scholar Award.

“We are very honored that the Guggenheim Foundation elected to support our work with South Africa’s Truth and


By Allison Perry

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2022) — For this “UK at the Half,” we catch up with University of Kentucky biology major Kayli Bolton, a 2021 scholarship recipient from the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).Listen here

A junior in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and the 


By Kate Maddox

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2022) — The Kentucky Geological Survey, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program are sponsoring the “Geoscience & Environmental Justice in Appalachia” Appalachian Forum speaker series beginning Tuesday, Feb. 15. The series will feature Ann Harris, Nate Siggers and Eva Lyon.

The presentations will be in a hybrid format. If you would like to attend in person, all three of the series will be held at the UK Gatton Student Center, Room 331. The series is being held in conjunction with UK doctoral student Edward Lo's EES 480 course, which shares the same


By Alicia Gregory and Rob Theakston 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 31, 2022) — The University of Kentucky has been named a 2022 Beckman Scholars Program Award winner. The award will create a new program focusing on diversity and equity in undergraduate research — Scholars United by Chemistry: Cultivating Excellence through Science Stewardship (SUCCESS). This invitation-only program for top-tier research institutions provides a 15-month mentored research experience for exceptional undergraduate students in chemistry, biological sciences and associated interdisciplinary combinations.

“The University of Kentucky is honored to have been invited by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to apply for this award," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "It is a testament to the research-intensive focus of


By MiKayla Carter

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2022) — Join University of Kentucky Libraries and College of Arts and Sciences 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, via Zoom, for “bell hooks: A Legacy Rooted in Love.”

This symposium will celebrate the life and legacy of bell hooks, UK Libraries' 2021 Medallion for Intellectual Achievement recipient and  author, professor, feminist and activist. 

The event is open to the public. To RSVP for the event, please click here.

Proclaimed as “one of the preeminent feminist voices of our time,” bell hooks was Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College up until she died in December


By Lindsey Piercy

Crystal Wilkinson

The Kentucky Poet Laureate’s book of poetry, “Perfect Black" (University Press of Kentucky), is nominated in the category of “Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry.”

The NAACP Image Awards program highlights the achievements of people of color across television, music, literature and film, and the promotion of social justice through their creative endeavors.

"Me and my partner Ron Davis (who illustrated ‘Perfect Black’) are extremely honored to be a part of this tradition of celebrating Black advocacy and activism through art,” Wilkinson said. “As descendants of a long line of Kentuckians who have had the

By Kate Maddox Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Department of Sociology and the UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program will welcome Aaron Thompson, the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3.

Thompson’s lecture, “Making Higher Education Matter to Kentucky,” will take place at Gatton Student Center Room 331. The lecture will be presented online as well. To join virtually, register at

Thompson will be sharing his