kornbluh's blog

See What's New in Science

A&S is proud to launch What’s New in Science, a new series designed for science teachers interested in learning more about the most recent discoveries, events, and advances in science today.  The series is held in a casual round table format, with professors from different scientific disciplines and science teachers from Kentucky schools talking among themselves, asking questions, and getting answers about new and emerging knowledge. Each session focuses on a new topic in one of the sciences – there will be four different sessions this spring.

The series kicks off on February 2 with physics and astronomy and a discussion about the Big Bang event, dark energy, and dark matter. Panelists for the first talk include Randal Voss (Department of Biology), Ganpathy Murthy (Department of Physics & Astronomy), Karen Young, (Dunbar High School), John Anthony (Department of Chemistry), Susan Barron (Department of Psychology), and Gene Toth (Lafayette High School). Video of the sessions will also be recorded and uploaded to the A&S website, allowing science teachers across the state to view the discussions and incorporate them into their classes.

Applied Statistics Lab Will Foster Collaborative Research, Provide Statistical Support

 

I’d like to point your attention to the newest installment of the Dean’s Channel where I spoke with statistics professors Arne Bathke and Arny Stromberg. In 2011, UK opened its first Applied Statistics Lab (ASL), with the help of the Office of the Vice President for Research, several UK college deans, and infrastructure grants such as the university's recent Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), UK statisticians in the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of Statistics, and the College of Public Health's Department of Biostatistics.

The main objectives of this venture are to provide improved statistical services to groups preparing grant proposals, direct faculty involvement from the Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics for study design and data analysis throughout UK, foster collaborative research between scholars who develop quantitative methodology and those who use such methodology in their work, and to become a resource which may be referenced in institutional support for larger grants, in addition to direct statistical support typically included in such grants.

A&S English Professor Wins National Book Award

 

In case you missed it during the hectic holiday season, A&S English professor Nikky Finney was featured on “UK at the Half” with Carl Nathe during the UK vs. Loyola basketball game. Finney’s book, “Head Off & Split,” was the winner of the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry. The National Book Awards is one of the most anticipated events in the publishing world. Finney has taught at UK for decades and is a member of the Affrilachian Poets group that includes Frank X Walker and Kelly Norman Ellis.

To hear the "UK at the Half" interview, click here.

 

End of the Semester Awards: Congrats to Our Outstanding A&S Faculty and Students

As the semester comes to a close, I want to take a moment to recognize several faculty members and students who were recently honored for their outstanding accomplishments.

Six UK professors have been recognized for their excellence in the classroom with the UK Alumni Association 2012 Great Teacher Awards. Beginning in 1961, the Great Teacher Award is the oldest continuous award that recognizes teaching at UK – the nominations are made by students. A&S faculty include Arne Bathke, director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Statistics and director of the Applied Statistics Laboratory; Eric Christianson, associate professor in the Department of History; and Ana Rueda, chairwoman and professor of Peninsular Spanish Literature in the Department of Hispanic Studies. The recipients will be honored at the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Recognition Dinner on Jan. 17, 2012. They are scheduled for further honors at Rupp Arena during the Arkansas vs. Kentucky men’s basketball game later that evening.

Students Tackle Physics With iPads

 

The iPad is an amazing piece of technology that can take us anywhere we want to go. But, aside from being a portal to the internet, game console, and personal music machine (iTunes – you’ve probably lost count of the songs you’ve downloaded), it also has applications that can be functional in the classroom.

Boost Your IT IQ: Cool Classes for the Winter Intercession

Winter break and the holidays are fast approaching. Students – have you made plans for winter intersession yet? If not, A&S is offering classes during the break for those students interested in gaining extra credit hours and speeding up time to graduation. It’s a great time to pick up an extra class in your major or explore a topic you find intriguing. For example, we are offering a new online course for those students interested in an overview of technologies we use every day. The class, A&S 100 – 230: IT IQ will allow you to sharpen your IT IQ and learn about video conferencing, software installation, internet research tools, and Blackboard basics – just to name a few – and earn extra credit hours in the process. This class will familiarize you with technologies, research tools, and search engines that are important to your success at UK and beyond. Become a better digital citizen and learn about social networking and e-etiquette as you communicate through Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogs. To learn more about the class, click here.

A&S Welcomes U.S. Ambassabor Julia Chang Bloch

 

As part of our Year of China, A&S is pleased to welcome former United States Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch to campus on Thursday November 10. She will speak on “Leadership and Education in a Globalizing World: China’s Challenge.” Ambassador Bloch was the first Asian-American ambassador in U.S. history and served in a wide range of positions, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Senate, and from 1989 to 1993 served as U.S. ambassador to Nepal. She is currently president of the U.S. – China Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working to develop U.S. – China relations through education and exchanges.

Ambassador Bloch has devoted her career to increasing international understanding and after a career of distinguished public service, she is now pioneering efforts to grow exchange relationships between the United States and China. We are especially fortunate to have her come to UK to talk with our students and the broader academic community. We hope you will attend this lecture given by a trailblazing U.S. diplomat.

UK at the Half - What's Happening at A&S

 

In case you missed it during the UK vs. Transylvania University basketball game, I had the opportunity to speak with Carl Nathe about the exciting initiatives in the College of Arts & Sciences. A&S Wired is up and running with close to 200 students participating in the new residential college. Located in Keeneland Hall, students live in an interactive space and participate in a technology-infused curriculum designed around the concept of a 21st century liberal arts education. Faculty members teach classes as well as hold office hours in the residence hall, making them readily accessible to students.

I also touched briefly on this year’s international-themed programming on China. Not only does this year’s passport to the world programming highlight the culture, history, and people of this fast-growing country but students are now able to enroll in the new Chinese major being offered by the College.

Check out the rest of the UK at the Half interview to hear more about the College’s expanded online course offerings and other exciting A&S initiatives.

 

 

Enjoying the Quietness of Campus: Early Morning ROTC Run/Walk

 

runner with flagEach semester, the College of Arts & Sciences invites runners and walkers to participate in the ROTC Run/Walk with the Dean. This fall, A&S faculty, students, and staff met outside of Buell Armory at 6:30am and had the opportunity to either take part in a 3.1 mile fun run or a 1.5 mile walk around campus. It was an early morning but the run allowed us to enjoy the quietness of campus before the start of another hectic workday as well as meet UK ROTC cadets, staff and faculty from other offices and departments. Runners and walkers were treated to hot chocolate, coffee and healthy breakfast options at Buell Armory afterward. A great time was had by all those who participated.

We will post information on the spring ROTC Run/Walk with the Dean once the details are available. We hope you can make it!

 

 

A&S Pioneers New Fields of Research with Pioneer Natural Resources

I recently had the honor of attending the Pioneer Natural Resources gift recognition ceremony on UK’s campus. The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences (EES), in partnership with UK alumnus and Pioneer’s Vice President of Technology Tom Spalding, accepted a $600,000 gift from the company. The gift, which is intended to be spread over the next three years, will fund the Pioneer Natural Resources Research Professorship in Stratigraphy, as well as a three-year recruiting fellowship. Ellen Kaiser a first-year student in EES is the first recipient of this award.  Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration company based in Dallas, with operations in Texas, Colorado, Alaska, and South Africa.

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