News

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

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
7/14/2016

Dr. Robert Olson, professor (emeritus) of Middle East History and Politics at the University of Kentucky, has been the recipient of a Festschift Kurdish Issues: Essays in Honor of Robert W. Olson on his 75th birthday. Fifteen of the top scholars from the Middle East, Europe and the United States specializing in Kurdish Studies contributed 13 essays in his honor. Professor Olson was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award in Recognition of Exceptional Contributions to the Field of Kurdish Studies” by the Kurdish Studies Association at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, an international organization of 3,000 members, held in Denver, Colorado, on Nov. 22, 2015. Olson is one of the few scholars of his generation to make a fundamental contribution to a new area of study in his major fields of research.

Olson, along with his colleague Michael Gunter of

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
7/11/2016
University of Kentucky Professor of Sociology Claire Renzetti was recently selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Peterson-Krivo Mentoring Award by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Crime, Law and Deviance and its Section on the Sociology of Law.   The award was established to recognize the sustained and innovative work of a distinguished faculty member in the mentorship of undergraduate students, graduate students and junior scholars in the field. One award recipient is selected every two years through a competitive nomination process.    Renzetti is currently chair of the UK College of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology, the college's diversity and inclusion officer and the Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair for Studies of Violence Against Women. Her research interests include
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
6/22/2016
By Samantha Ponder   Recently, Comparative Political Studies (CPS), a highly recognized political science journal, published an article titled “Addressing the Gender Gap: The Effect of Compulsory Voting on Women's Electoral Engagement.”   The article was written by two University of Kentucky affiliates in the Department of Political Science of the College of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Professor Abby Córdova and co-author Gabriela Rangel, a UK fourth-year doctoral student and teaching assistant.   CPS is known for publishing the most up-to-date information on methodology, theory and research in
6/20/2016
By Whitney Hale   University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that six UK students and alumni have been selected as recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,800 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2016-17 academic year through the prestigious program.   The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study, conduct research, and/or teach English abroad.   Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more
6/16/2016
Her childhood was at times ugly and terrifying. Her early adulthood often showed residual signs of the harm that abuse can do as her suffering continued and she failed classes at the local community college. Then one day, her journey took a different path, beginning with the supportive ears of advocates at her local rape crisis center.   In 2013, Cobb’s advocate at Sanctuary in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, told her about a special scholarship for abuse survivors that had been created by the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The suggestion that Cobb apply for the Verizon Wireless Women’s Empowerment Scholarship seemed unlikely at the time, but within hours Cobb had completed and submitted the application.   Cobb’s journey became a whirlwind with the news that she had been selected as the
6/14/2016
By Whitney Harder   University of Kentucky Professor Madhu Menon, of the Center for Computational Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded a $50,000 Short Term Innovative Research (STIR) grant from the U.S. Army Research Office.   The grant will fund Menon's work to synthesize the new 2D material he predicted using theoretical simulations. In February, he predicted that a new one atom-thick flat material — made up of silicon, boron and nitrogen — could upstage the wonder material graphene and advance digital technology.   Menon will collaborate with an experimental group at the University of Louisville, led by Professor Mahendra Sunkara.   The
6/13/2016
By Gail Hairston   Robert Olson’s “The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkey and the Middle East” (University Press of Kentucky, 1996) was reissued recently by Mazda Publishers.     A University of Kentucky distinguished emeritus professor of history, Olson wrote a new five-page introduction about the current status of the Kurdish question in Middle East politics for the new volume. He also published “Turkish Air Force’s Role in the Development of Turkish and Kurdish Nationalism” (Kürt Tarih) in March 2016.   Olson gave the plenary talk “Fifth Years with the Kurds” at the Kurdish Studies Association meeting in Denver in November 2015. For his career-spanning interest in the peoples of the Middle East, Olson was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award in Recognition of Exceptional
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.
6/9/2016
By Gail Hairston   Two touchstones in every child’s life are celebrated by parents and loved ones around the world with equal awe, expectation and enthusiasm – a baby’s first steps and a baby’s first words. Walking signifies a child’s growing strength and independence. But talking signifies a budding ability to share emotion and intellect, to understand others and to be understood in turn.   Communication in all its myriad manifestations — from singing a child’s lullaby to reading a literary masterpiece to sharing a joke — expands a person’s concept of self and is essential to the well-being of the individual and ultimately the survival of the species.     A group of linguistics scholars at the University of Kentucky excel in the study and teaching of this survival skill — as evidenced by global accolades, innovative research, practical applications, and other
6/7/2016

By Whitney Hale

A duo of popular poets, Lisa Russ Spaar and Bianca Lynne Spriggs, will present workshops on the form as well as a joint reading of their poetry at the 2016 Kentucky Women Writers Conference running Sept. 16-17, in Lexington. The pair's work will also be among the topics of a free poetry workshop presented by the conference June 11, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

Lisa Russ Spaar, one of three finalists for the 2015 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, is the author of many collections of poetry, including "Glass Town," "Blue Venus

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