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By Richard LeComte 

Myka Smith-Jackson

LEXINGTON, Ky, -- Myka Smith-Jackson found a passion for political science and international affairs by participating in a model U.S. government and United Nations while in Lexington schools. Now she’s following that passion as well as exploring a broad range of interests in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences.  

“I participated in programs called KYA and KUNA, which are the Kentucky Youth Assembly and the Kentucky United Nations Assembly,” said Smith-Jackson, a political science major and psychology minor at UK. “Both of those programs were essential to me figuring out what I wanted to study. KYC is mainly focused on United States government, and KUNA is for the United Nations. In the model U.N., I've represented a lot of countries: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and

The College of Arts and  Sciences' Center for English as a Second Language brings in a new Japanese university cohort:  Yamanashi University students, who connect with our very own UK students in the Japanese program, enjoy the opportunity to practice mutual language learning and deepen cultural education.

After online ESL classes, Yamanashi University students travelled across the world to deepen their connection with UK students.  For five weeks, they’re attending English classes and experiencing cultural events on campus, creating memories and friendships that enrich the international exposure of our UK students.

“I gained the confidence to express my opinions in front of others,” Hazuki Hosaka, a Yamanashi student said. “Originally, I was not good at expressing my thoughts, because I was afraid of making mistakes… I would like to [continue] improving myself. I was

By Lindsey Piercy

Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2024) — Today we honor U.S. presidents, past and present.

From those who served as war heroes to those who resigned in disgrace, behind every textbook page is a real person who did all sorts of fascinating — and sometimes odd — things on the way to becoming leader of the free world.

We’re going to unpack a treasure trove of those interesting facts soon.

But first, some tidbits about the holiday itself.

Did you know, Presidents’ Day started out as a day of remembrance for only one president, George Washington?

Following Washington’s death in 1799, Americans began honoring his birthday, Feb. 22. At first, the celebration was not federally observed, but it became


By Kody Kiser and Kayla Gales 

George Wright, a UK alum and senior adviser to UK President Capilouto, reflects on Lyman T. Johnson's 1949 court victory, and the impact it's had on his personal UK experience, as well as on the cultural life of the university. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2024) — This year marks the 75th anniversary of Lyman T. Johnson’s historic legal triumph against the University of Kentucky, a milestone that marked him as the first Black student to integrate the university.

A lifelong champion of education and its transformative potential, Johnson was an advocate for equality in both education and broader society, drawing inspiration from his experiences as both a student and a teacher.

By Lindsay Travis 

Marcelo Guzman leads a visit of University of Kentucky National Science Foundation Research Traineeship students at the AppHarvest high-tech indoor farms in Morehead.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2024) — Chemists at the University of Kentucky are researching how changes in the atmosphere’s composition may play a role in forming air pollution.

The study was recently featured on the cover of the journal American Chemical Society  Environmental Science & Technology Air, which focuses on investigations of air chemistry and physics, air pollution and climate change that impact human and ecosystem health.

Marcelo Guzman, Ph.D., associate professor in the

By A Fish   

The winners of the University of Kentucky’s Global Health Case Competion. Mallory Sparks is on the far right.

LEXINGTON, KY – In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been left wondering about the future of global health and other increasingly globalized crises facing humanity. The University of Kentucky’s Global Health Case Competition prompts students to find answers to those questions.  

Mallory Sparks, a student in UK’s College of Arts and Sciences, has taken up that challenge. She’s a two-time competitor, and her team won the 2023 contest. The competition asked students to create a solution to combat poor mental health in youth in Monrovia, Liberia. Team 13 took first place with “LIFT UP Mental Health: Liberia Initiative to Foster Ties & Unite People for

By Christopher Carney 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Office of Land-Grant Engagement has announced nine projects — that will focus on community engagement — are receiving supporting funds. This engagement funding will expand collaborative efforts between UK and partners across the Commonwealth while addressing important public needs — strengthening outreach and extension efforts in Kentucky.

“We are excited to see how these projects enhance engagement work,” said Nancy Cox, vice president for land-grant engagement and dean of the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture

Arts and Sciences students use digital tools to bring stories of enslaved people in central Kentucky to light 

By Jennifer T. Allen

Tantalissia Champs, an Arts and Sciences African American and Africana Studies senior, and Shea Brown, special projects deputy and supervising director of DAP at the Fayette County Clerk's office, look at documents as part of the Digital Access Project.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2024) - When Tantalissia Champs and James Lin registered for a slavery and records practicum taught by Kathryn Newfont in the fall of 2023, they had no idea how impactful their experience would be.  

“Being in the class and realizing that we were part of something bigger than ourselves; that we were bringing out the stories and

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A total of 84 University of Kentucky student-athletes earned a place on the 2023 Fall Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, announced Thursday by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

The 2023 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2023 Spring, Summer and Fall terms. UK had nine representatives from men’s cross country, eight from women’s cross country, 34 from football, 11 from men’s soccer, 13 from women’s soccer and nine from volleyball. Among other qualifications, a student-athlete must have a 3.0 grade-point average for the preceding academic year or a cumulative 3.0 GPA in order to be named to the list.

Earlier this year, UK Athletics announced that the 2023 fall semester was the 23rd straight for the department with a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average as Wildcat scholarship student-athletes combined to achieve a GPA of 3.336.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2024) – The University of Kentucky SPARK (Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky) Program has named its 2024 cohort.

The 2024 SPARK students in the College of Arts and Sciences are:

Botshelo Angoma
University of Kentucky sophomore
Major: Psychology and Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology

Eduardo Soria Chiroque
University of Kentucky sophomore
Major: Biology, Pre-med

In its fifth year, the SPARK program allows undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds and communities to get a jumpstart in health equity research early in their


By Kody Kiser and Jenny Wells-Hosley

Anastasia Curwood, history professor and director of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies at UK, and Austin Zinkle, postdoc and co-leader, discuss Civil Rights and Restorative Justice-Kentucky on the latest episode of "Behind the Blue."

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2024) — “Every single one of them said, ‘My God, I had no idea something like this happened.’ I think they are learning something about their communities that they didn’t know before.”

Anastasia Curwood, history professor and director of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies at the University of Kentucky

By Ann Blackford 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2024) — Rolandas “Ro” Byrd grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, watching his parents build a life with a strong sense of community at heart. His father was an officer and a detective. His mother was always involved in church and working in a soup kitchen to feed the homeless.

He was inspired by his mother’s generosity and compassion for people who did not necessarily have a voice. His parents were also small business owners of a cleaning company, and a detail and customizing shop. Notably, he witnessed the impact a trusted banker had on his parents’ businesses as they navigated their way through adversities to success.

What may have seemed like simple observations in his life at the time, would become

By Ryan Girves 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2024) — February marks the start of Black History Month — a time dedicated to recognizing the achievements, contributions and rich heritage of Black Americans throughout history. 

Black Americans were, and continue to be, instrumental in shaping our country. During February, we honor their legacy by highlighting and celebrating the stories that were often neglected or silenced. 

“This month is a significant celebration that recognizes the leadership and legacy forged by Black Americans,” said University of Kentucky Vice President for Institutional Diversity Katrice A. Albert. “It is our annual moment to commemorate the remarkable cultural heritage that just might spark our everyday action and

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. — “The Aesthetic Cold War,” a book by the University of Kentucky’s Peter Kalliney, has won the 2023 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize. Kalliney is the William J. and Nina B. Tuggle Chair in English in UK’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

Each year, a panel of Modernist Studies Association judges awards the prize to a book that has made the most significant contribution to modernist studies. 

“’The Aesthetic Cold War’ is a major revision of our picture of Cold War aesthetics and politics, giving us a far more complex picture of old narratives of cultural co-option during literary decolonization,” the panel stated. “Kalliney’s is the new standard work on the relation of decolonial-era writers to Soviet realism, CIA funding, and cold war politics.” 

 In the book,

By C. Lynn Hiler 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Nu Circle of national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa inducted 43 members at a ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024. The group 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 UK Circle was established on May 2, 1925, and celebrates leaders across campus by co-hosting the Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award and other honors like the Maurice A. Clay Outstanding Graduating Senior Award and the Jerry D. Claiborne scholarship each year.

By Lindsay Travis 

Ashley W. Seifert

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2024) — A team of researchers at the University of Kentucky and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is exploring the science behind how spiny mice can regenerate lost tissue and using what they learn to trigger regeneration in other types of mice. These advances may one day benefit into humans.

Whereas adult laboratory mice heal injuries with scar tissue, spiny mice can regrow lost skin and regenerate musculoskeletal tissues in their body.  

Ashley W. Seifert, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Biology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, and his research group have pioneered using

In the Jan. 22, 2024, online issue of The New York Times, reporter Korsha Wilson interviews Crystal Wilkinson, professor of English in the University of Kentucky's College of Arts & Sciences, about her new book, "Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts."

"When Crystal Wilkinson wants to summon her kitchen ghosts, she retrieves a fuchsia-hued dress from her closet and hangs it in the doorway. The sturdy, double-hemmed garment invites her grandmother Christine, who sewed it by hand and wore it often before she died in 1994, to join her.

"The dress acts as “a literal and metaphorical tethering to her and this matriarchal lineage,” Ms. Wilkinson said in a phone interview from her kitchen.

"A poet and

By Richard LeComte 

Dhevin Patel

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Dhevin Patel has absorbed a number of cool concepts in the U.S. Culture and Business Practices program at the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences, including “refrigerator culture.” Basically, the ubiquity of refrigerators in post-World War II America changed both consumer and business goals and practices.  

“I would say that there are a lot of ideas within the USB program that are very abstract,” said Patel, a sophomore from Dallas, TX and, more recently Murray, KY. “For example, we learn about refrigerator culture and how that became a big thing in the ‘50s and ‘60s. People needed refrigerators, and so companies started manufacturing them. Refrigerators had a snowball impact on consumers; they shifted from canned goods to frozen products. And as technology

By Jennifer T. Allen, Hannah Edelen, Jenny Wells-Hosley and Richard LeComte

As humans search for intelligent life–or any life at all—in the universe, they’re using their own intelligence to craft new ways of exploring galaxies. They’re even starting to use artificial intelligence, itself a new frontier, to deepen science’s understanding of what lies beyond.

That’s where Yuanyuan Su, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is applying her own intelligence. She and her group are using artificial intelligence to analyze images gathered from the space and ground telescopes to figure out what’s actually there.

Su has received the 2024 Early Career Prize from the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society. The 


By Erin Wickey 

Brandon M. Erby

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 11, 2024) — In the summer of 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till traveled to rural Mississippi to visit extended family. Just a few days after his arrival, the teenager was abducted, beaten and lynched after being accused of offending a white woman in a grocery store. 

Following his murder, his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, decided to hold an open-casket funeral in their hometown of Chicago. The photo of her son’s corpse was first published in Jet magazine, bringing nationwide attention to the brutality and racial violence.  

Brandon M. Erby, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies in the UK