News

8/6/2020
Mark Prendergast in the lab.

By Hillary Smith

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2020) — Members of the University of Kentucky Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC), in collaboration with UK College of Arts and Sciences, are working to increase the representation of Black undergraduate students in neuroscience.

“It is our obligation as professors and scientists to train the next generation of neuroscientists and to promote diversity and inclusivity in doing so,” said Mark Prendergast, director of the neuroscience B.S. degree program within the College of Arts & Sciences.

SCoBIRC is providing $25,000 to fund five yearly research training awards for undergraduate students in neurotrauma research

8/6/2020

By Jay Blanton

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2020) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and faculty leaders in the African American and Africana Studies (AAAS) program on Wednesday announced the establishment of the proposed Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies — a multidisciplinary program that will highlight UK’s growing research around issues of race and racism.

Capilouto and AAAS faculty on Thursday announced an initial $250,000 investment as seed money to leverage additional investment to help the institute move forward with a critical series of initiatives. The creation of a new institute, ultimately, must receive approval from UK’s University Senate.

The interdisciplinary institute will establish research clusters across the campus and promote UK’s growing research and scholarship on topics

8/4/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2020) — It’s not every day members of an international team of scientists find themselves perplexed over unexpected data results. And it’s even less likely the team will turn to a student to help make sense of the findings. But this was what happened with University of Kentucky student Maryam Dehghanian.

Dehghanian, a doctoral candidate in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, has spent the last three years helping a team of NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) astronomers understand observations they made while studying a supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 5548, a nearby galaxy. The observations were made as part of NASA’s Space

8/3/2020

By Olivia Bloss

In spring 2020, I had the opportunity to present my peace studies capstone research at a national conference in Washington, D.C. My research was inspired by experiences in the Peace Studies Program and a semester-long internship on Capitol Hill. This activity started my freshman year when I enrolled in Introduction to Peace Studies. Upon enrolling in the class, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what peace studies actually was. I quickly discovered that peace studies is unique in that it offers a holistic, interdisciplinary perspective on personal biases, civil conflicts, political unrest and state instability, which is extremely valuable for promoting peace and stability.

This class immediately drew me to studying peace, because as a global citizen, I believe it is important to appreciate societal differences without those differences resulting in acts

8/3/2020

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2020) — This summer, the United States has seen nationwide demonstrations and protests in light of, among other things, the killing of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis May 25. Local protests, including ones in response to the death of former University of Kentucky student Breonna Taylor during a "no-knock" warrant raid in Louisville on March 13, quickly spread across the country, and The New York Times cited polls that estimated, as of July 3, between 15 and 26 million people had participated at some point in the demonstrations, making them the largest in U.S. history.

On this week’s episode of "Behind the

8/3/2020

By Alicia Gregory

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2020) — The University of Kentucky recently was awarded a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant to study translational chemical biology from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The $11.2 million grant will fund UK's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI).

This COBRE Phase 1 funding will provide campuswide junior faculty research and career development support, core infrastructure and pilot grants in the translational chemical biology research space. Critical infrastructure, in the form of cores, will support advanced research across UK campus: Chang-Guo Zhan directs the computational core; Mark Leggas directs the translational core; Linda

7/31/2020

By Richard LeComte

Phillip Skipwith is plumbing the depths of the evolutionary processes that create species – and his subjects have scales.

“I want to understand how you go from having a ancestral lizard skull to having a derived snake skull,” he said. “That’s a big change.”

Big changes are in store for Skipwith himself this summer as he begins work as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, where snakes and lizards – and evolutionary dynamics as seen through comparing the inner tissues of snakes lizards – will be his thing.

“I’m just an animal fanatic,” said Skipwith, who’s coming from a postdoctoral position at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. “What will be coming out of my lab will be mostly herpetology and molecular

7/27/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 27, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center has honored 12 students with its annual research awards. Nine graduate students received the James S. Brown Graduate Student Award for Research on Appalachia, and two graduate students and one undergraduate student received the center's Eller and Billings Student Research Award. 

“The Appalachian Center is thrilled to support these student researcheachia is given to honor the memory of James S. Brown, a sociology professor at UK from 1946 to 1982, whose pioneering studies of society, demography and migration in Appalachia (including his ethnography of "Beech Creek") helped to establish the field of Appalachian studies at UK and beyond.

To be

7/23/2020

By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 23 2020) — It’s a 25,000-piece puzzle that researchers have longed to solve. That’s because the 25,000 fragments represent the Dead Sea Scrolls, and inside are ancient secrets — mysteries that have been locked away for 2,000 years.

For more than two decades, Brent Seales has doggedly labored to help solve the puzzle.

Seales, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky, is considered the foremost expert in the digital restoration of damaged and unreadable manuscripts. To this day, his quest to uncover the wisdom of the ancients is ever evolving.

Now, Seales and his

7/22/2020

By Madison Dyment

Sociology doctoral candidate Henry Zonio in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences was selected as the recipient of the 2019-2020 Graduate School Presidential Fellowship.

This competitive fellowship recognizes and rewards one graduate student annually for her or his  exceptional academic and research merit in their field of study.

Receiving this award allowed Zonio to advance in his field by giving him the ability to focus on completing ethnographic field observations and drafting his dissertation he will be defending this coming fall semester. Within sociology, Zonio focuses on social inequalities, the sociologies of childhood, education and religion. His dissertation is an ethnographic study on how Sunday school teaches children about race and gender, with the studies focusing on three racially homogenous churches, these

7/20/2020

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, KY (July 20, 2020) – Three current faculty members and one incoming assistant professor of the University of Kentucky’s Psychology Department have delved into studies addressing the effects the COVID-19 virus pandemic has had on Americans. The projects range from exploring the virus’s effects on spike proteins on the brain to how middle- and high-schoolers are changing their consumption of media after schools went online.

These incipient efforts will bear fruit for helping the United States cope with the disaster and demonstrate the relevance of research in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences. The faculty members are Pooja Sidney, Christia Brown and Mark Prendergast; the incoming faculty member, Matthew Kim, is coming from the University of Washington.

Pooja

7/20/2020

By Emily Sallee

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2020) — Brittney Woodrum, a 2015 arts administration and College of Arts & Sciences Hispanic Studies graduate, has received a 2020 Boren Fellowship to travel to Yangon, Myanmar for a year of intensive language study. The Boren Fellowship funds research and language study proposals by U.S. graduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Woodrum is currently pursuing a master’s degree in international security/humanitarian aid at the University of Denver.

During her time abroad, she will also intern at 

7/17/2020

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 17, 2020) — From the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement — each generation has been shaped by the national and international events that take place during their formative years.

Will the same be said for the COVID-19 pandemic?

Anthony Bardo, an assistant professor with a dual appointment in Health, Society and Populations and the Department of Sociology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, believes it’s important to consider how perspectives will change. As a medical sociologist and health demographer, his research is driven by the desire to understand what contributes to quality

7/13/2020

By Ann Blackford

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2020) — People often ask Christopher Decker of Los Angeles why his daughter Sophia Decker, whom he describes as an extremely gifted student in languages, chose to attend the University of Kentucky.

“I always respond by saying she fell in love with Latin and Ancient Greek," he said. "When I say there is only one accredited university in the U.S. where the classics faculty conduct class in the target language, people often guess it to be Harvard, Yale, Georgetown or Notre Dame. The correct answer is the University of Kentucky, and that is why Sophia chose to attend UK."

Christopher Decker and his wife, Theresa Decker, were so impressed by UK’s Latin program that they recently donated a $25,000 endowed fund to the UK Department of Modern and Classical

7/8/2020

By J. Susan Griffith, M.D.

My dad, Charles Herschel Holmes Griffith, was a devoted son, Marine, husband, father of two, grandfather of four, chemist and teacher. He gave his full devotion to the things he loved most – his family and education. Dad always said teaching Chemistry at UK was his “dream job” and from 1964-1991 he loved every minute of working with students and supervising TA’s in his General Chemistry labs. At his funeral in 2013, the Chair of the department told me that my dad undoubtedly had more direct contact with UK college students than anyone else in the history of UK’s Chemistry department.

As I was putting together Dad’s biography in 2011, I found this in a letter he wrote - “I was born in Huntington, IN into a family of educators.” Both of his parents were college graduates, each with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. His mom was an English teacher

7/2/2020

By Danielle Donham and University Press of Kentucky 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2020): The University Press of Kentucky is highlighting several titles written by Black authors throughout its list, including several which are as part of their open access initiative in collaboration with UK Libraries. Some of these authors are faculty members of UK’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“The University Press of Kentucky has a long tradition of showcasing Black voices and stories,” said Ashley Runyon, director of the press. “From our award-winning Civil Rights series to

7/1/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2020) — For the first time in its 42-year history, the Kentucky Women Writers Conference will take place online to ensure the health of its participants and presenters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will go forward as scheduled Sept. 17-20 with headliner and celebrated poet Evie Shockley. All readings, discussions and workshops will be presented virtually. Several prominent Black writers will be featured as part of the event. 

“Our organization has a long and proud history of lifting up the voices of Black women, from our first conference in 1979 with Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and Toni Cade Bambara, to the establishment of The Sonia Sanchez Series in

6/30/2020

By Adrian Ho and Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2020) — Six College of Arts & Sciences faculty members received Alternative Book Grants from the University of Kentucky Libraries.

These faculty members plan to replace

6/24/2020

By Julie Wrinn

By choosing to attend the University of Kentucky, 600 miles away from her childhood home in Manchester, Iowa, Sydney Litterer was testing herself. She had an interest in working abroad, and she figured that if she could handle going to college so far from home, she might be comfortable living overseas.

“It was a bit of a test run,” she said. “I started looking out of state almost exclusively, and the international focus was a really big factor for me.”

Thanks to the UK College of Engineering’s outstanding opportunities for study abroad — unusual in that field due to the constraints of the engineering curriculum — Litterer chose UK. She was thrilled two have two different study abroad experiences: in Karlsruhe, Germany, where she first took Calculus 3 with a group of other UK students; and later at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as an

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