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In the United States and across the globe the color of a person’s skin can lead to power or discrimination, privilege or depravity, rights granted or rights oppressed. It can affect every part of the societal landscape, and in the year of a presidential election in the U.S., the political weight that exists with race is pushed further into view for everyone to analyze.

Four faculty members in UK’s Department of Political Science study race and politics. Collectively, their research examines a common theme across widely different areas of the political world: How does race influence contemporary politics?

“It’s impossible to understand American politics without taking race into account,” said Professor Mark Peffley. “Fortunately, our department can do that in diverse ways that illuminate how deeply

John Crowell

Undergraduate Student

by Robin Roenker

Undergraduate senior John Crowell stumbled into pursuing a minor though UK’s Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) Program as a junior, when he read a few books from his fiancée’s GWS coursework and was intrigued.

He decided to sign up for a GWS class of his own, a course on violence in culture led by Janice Oaks. And he was hooked.

“The classes, to me, give me a lot of insight into people’s points of view that I had never even thought of, or never had been able even to conceptualize before reading some of the texts,” said Crowell, a native of Knoxville, Tenn.

Crowell has consciously chosen a broad array of GWS coursework, from classes on Latina women to queer theorizing to an inspection of femme fatales in detective films.

While some friends and relatives sometimes ask Crowell

Cynthia Kline Isenhour

Anthropology Doctorate Student

Cynthia Kline Isenhour grew up in Germantown, Ohio, where she graduated from Valley View High School. She was raised one of two daughters primarily by her mother, who, though earning a modest salary, did everything in her power to provide more than just life’s necessities for her children.

“I suspect that my mother’s occasional conflation of love and material goods influenced my decision to study marketing in college (at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio),” Isenhour said.

Isenhour’s education at Miami U. and from her mother gave Isenhour an understanding of how buying and giving could be productive, “helping to create and foster social relations of love and mutual support.”

As a result of this newfound realization, Isenhour studied anthropology at the graduate level at Colorado State University.

Patrick Murphy Conlon

Linguistics and Political Science Senior

A native of Cincinnati and a graduate of Tates Creek High School, Patrick Conlon liked the idea of going to college, but he and his family were unsure of his prospects.

Conlon wasn’t concerned about grades or entrance exams. He needed to find a school that had the appropriate accommodations and services for disabled students. And he found that in the University of Kentucky.

“I was not the first in my family to attend college, but there was a worry before I started at UK that college would not be possible for me personally because of debilitating illness,” Conlon said. “As this is my fourth year at the university, it is pretty safe to say that I have survived.”

What also attracted Conlon to UK and helped him survive was the wide range of course offerings available. His interest in a variety

Department of Psychology Ph.D. Student

Melissa Cyders has a supervisor who always says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Well, in Cyders’ case, the student and the teacher are both blossoming.

Since her arrival at the University of Kentucky to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology, Cyders’ skills as a teacher, clinician and researcher have grown by leaps and bounds.

“I think that, for me, those skills all work hand-in-hand,” Cyders said. “The goal in each of these positions is to learn, to teach and to help. I need to learn about psychological phenomena in order to teach others so that they can help themselves. I’ve had to learn to see the big picture while still paying attention to details.”

Currently, Cyders is a part-time behavorial health resident at the orofacial pain center at the College of Dentistry, which


O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
Othello, 3.3

Social psychologist and University of Kentucky Psychology Professor Richard Smith loves Shakespeare. So, it’s only fitting that the Bard was a master of Smith’s area of expertise — jealousy and envy.

“Shakespeare was wonderful at illustrating exactly what social psychology is, the study of how the everyday behavior of the individual is affected by the presence of others. ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Othello’ are perfect case studies on the impact of jealousy and envy,” Smith said.

Of course, as a professor and a researcher Smith can't rely solely on centuries-old plays. Instead, he observes students who participate in experiments as part of their