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By Richard LeComte 

Emily Mokros

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Emily Mokros, assistant professor of history in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky, will serve as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in spring 2023.  

Founded in 1930, the institute is one of the world’s leading centers for basic research. The institute has four areas of study: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. Past IAS members include 35 Nobel Laureates. 

Mokros studies late imperial and modern China with foci in cultural, urban and political history. Her first book was “The Peking Gazette in Late Imperial China: State News and Political Authority,” which the University of Washington Press published in 2021. The book


By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2022) — As jolly as we all want it to be, the holiday season can also bring the not-so-wanted gift of added anxiety. This time of year demands a lot — elaborate decorations, home-cooked meals and well-thought-out gifts.

Michelle Martel, a professor and director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, says feeling the pressure of the holidays is fairly common.

“In my clinical and personal experience, I would say most, but not all, people report increased stress around the holidays. However, only a subset of


By Nizhoni McDarment  

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Christian Branham, a University of Kentucky senior from Lexington, and Nicolas Volosky, a University of Kentucky Alum from Walton, Kentucky, won Best Documentary and Best Feature at the Spring 2022 UKY Film Festival for their film “Rumble.”  

“Rumble” follows professional wrestler Noah Gabriel on his journey in Cincinnati. Braham and Volosky collaborated on the film with both filming and editing in February 2022.  

“The film process was really fast paced with only three days to film with two of those days being practice runs,” Branham said.  

The film was shown to judges and spectators at the 2022 festival in the Gatton Student Center’s Worsham Cinema on April 29. The UKY Film Festival showcases and celebrates the films created by UK students. The films were scored by a variety of local media professionals and


By Richard LeComte 

Ashley Seifert

LEXINGTON, KY. -- Ashley Seifert’s expertise lies in animals that can regenerate body parts — African spiny mice are something of his specialty. 

But Seifert, associate professor of biology in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has also worked with salamanders, which can tackle scar-free healing as well as limb and skin development. His work with salamanders has led him to co-edit a book on how to use salamanders, not so much as pets but as animals that contribute to humans’ understanding of regeneration. 

The resulting book, “Salamanders: Methods and Protocols,” came out in October and is published in the Springer Protocols series by Humana Press. He co-edited the volume with Joshua Currie of Wake Forest University.  


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2022) – On Tuesday, November 8th, Kentuckians joined their fellow Americans at the voting booth for the 2022 mid-term elections. Federal, state, and local offices were on the ballot, along with a multitude of state constitutional amendments. On a federal level, the election resulted in a divided government heading into 2023, as Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2019, while Democrats retained their Senate majority.

On this episode of ‘Behind the Blue’ associate professors Dr. Emily Beaulieu Bacchus, who specializes in comparative politics, and Dr. Stephen Voss, who specializes in voting behavior and political methodology, join us to discuss the impact of these elections on a local, state, and national level. They offer insight on factors that may have swung elections from one side to


By C. Lynn Hiler 

The 2022 Omicron Delta Kappa inductees sit for a portrait.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Nu Circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa inducted 30 members at a ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. The society 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 May 2, 1925, and celebrates leaders across campus by co-hosting the Alumni Association Great Teacher Award and other honors like the Maurice A. Clay Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. In June 2022, UK hosted the


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2022) — The UNited In True Racial Equity Research Priority Area welcomed its first cohort of 18 graduate students from six colleges to the UNITE Predoctoral Research Enhancement Program. 

UNITE is led by Danelle Stevens-Watkins, associate vice president for research, diversity and inclusion. She created this program in 2022 with support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Office of Institutional Diversity and the Graduate School, to engage and support scholars who enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in Ph.D. programs at UK. The program is aligned with university priorities to create cultures of inclusive excellence while integrating students into the world of research and academia. 

“The UNITE Predoctoral Research Enhancement Program is designed to meet the needs of exceptionally talented graduate students,


Dean Ana Franco-Watkins

By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2022) — From being in the classroom to leading the classroom — first-generation students and graduates are an integral part of the University of Kentucky.

In fact, nearly one in four incoming freshmen and one in three transfer students at UK are first-gen.

Each year, Nov. 8 is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating those who represent the first generation in their family to attend college.

There are many unique challenges first-gen students encounter when pursuing higher education — from academic and financial concerns to psychological and social obstacles.

But these students also have many strengths, which we see on our campus every day. They are resourceful —


Koji Tanno

By Nizhoni McDarment  

LEXINGTON, Ky, -- Koji Tanno, assistant professor of Japanese in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, has been recognized as the Kentucky Association of Japanese Language Teachers’ representative for the 2022 Outstanding Japanese Teacher during the Kentucky World Language Association fall conference.  

Tanno, the Japanese Language Program coordinator in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, also was a candidate for the Kentucky World Language Association’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.  

In addition, UK alumna Collin Smith received the association’s Outstanding Rising Star Teacher Award. The award recognizes teachers with fewer than five years of experience who have helped their students and exhibited best practices.  


By Lindsay Travis 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2022) — University of Kentucky researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Public Health are the first in the country to study a digital intervention method’s impact on interrelated public health issues: heavy drinking and insomnia.

The two-year, nearly $400,000 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism will fund research on how an intervention program called Sleep Healthy Using the Internet will improve participants’ sleep and indirectly improve their drinking habits.

Mairead Moloney

The program is an online version of cognitive behavioral therapy for 


By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2022) — Dressing up in a creative costume, gathering candy from neighbors until dusk and watching spooky movies late into the night.

These are time-honored Halloween traditions that might have you believing the mostly light-hearted holiday is uniquely American.

If so, you’ve been tricked.

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, says Halloween didn’t start in the United States. As a folklorist, she knows the spine-chilling holiday dates back thousands of


By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2022) — Keaton Upshaw, a senior tight end for the Kentucky Wildcats, understands the demand of one of football’s true hybrid positions.

Running routes and catching passes on one play, then blocking a linebacker the next, means taking extra steps in practice to be prepared. It means sometimes going the extra yard.

On the gridiron, Upshaw has coaches to guide him. But off the field, he also has someone who is encouraging him to do more, learn more and be more.

“Professor (Keiko) Tanaka pushes you to be the best,” Upshaw said. “She stays on top of you to go harder to reach your goals. I work hard because I don’t want to let her down.”

Keiko Tanaka has a dual appointment in the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of


By Jesi Jones-Bowman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2022)The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research has announced the fourth 5-Minute Fast Track Research Competition finalists. These undergraduates competed in the competition’s preliminary round and were selected as Top 10 finalists to present their research during the final round from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in The Cornerstone’s eSports Theater.

Finalists will present their research in five minutes in front of a panel of judges and a live audience using only a single static slide. The goal of this competition is to improve undergraduate students’ abilities to communicate their research to a nonspecialist audience while creating a compelling story about their scholarly work.

Students compete for cash prizes: $750 for first place, $500 for second place


By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Abbey Loar, a University of Kentucky junior psychology major, wants to help people in rural communities, and her major offers her the chance to do just that: She’s going to be working on a project to study why people in Appalachia don’t get enough sleep. 

"I want to do research to help improve the mental health of communities, especially like those in Eastern Kentucky,” said Loar, who’s from Hebron, Maryland. "Rural communities don't necessarily have that help available, and I’d like to help communities like that in the future.” 

Loar, is a psychology major, is joining  Mairead Moloney and Christal Badour, associate professors in UK’s Departments of Sociology and Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences, in “Researching Equitable Sleep Time in Kentucky Communities (REST-KY)." The effort, funded with a $3.5 million


By Erin Wickey

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2022) — University of Kentucky Research Communications has partnered with UK’s Office of Technology Commercialization to feature faculty innovators  in “I am a UK Innovator,” a four-video series. The Office of Technology Commercailization works with innovators to assess, protect and license early-stage technologies and create new technology startups. In this Q&A, Chad Risko discusses the innovation ExpFlow, which could help the research community confirm results by repeating experiments, an activity fundamental to scientific progress. Risko is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, an affiliated


By Stacey Gish

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2022) — More than 60 alumni and students were honored during the 31st annual Lyman T. Johnson Awards program Friday, Oct. 14, at the Gatton Student Center.  

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Constituency Group and the UK Office for Institutional Diversity hosted the awards luncheon as part of the 2022 Lyman T. Johnson Homecoming Celebration. The 2021 ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, leading to a combined ceremony this year. 

UK College of Arts & Sciences alumni Nevaeh Eggleston and Anthony Jones were honored. Eggleston received a 2022 Torch Bearer award, and Jones


LEXINGTON, Ky, -- Amber Sergent, a social studies teacher at Woodford County High School in Kentucky, was named the 2023 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year during a ceremony Sept. 20.

Sergent earned a master’s degree and doctorate in American history at the University of Kentucky. She has taught in Woodford County since 2017. 

“In working with Dr. Sergent, I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand how fair and equitable she is with students, in every instance demonstrating compassion and care,” said Morgan Howell, principal of Woodford County High School. “She takes time to truly understand and listen to student concerns both in and out of the classroom while working to establish strong relationships. The love and care she has for her students is exceptional. It is hard to put into words and quantify the difference someone can make in another person’s life,


By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Gabriela Spears-Rico, assistant professor of Chicano Latino Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, will lead off the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology’s Autumn Colloquium Series with a talk titled “Malinche’s Refusal: New visions for a decolonized Latinidad. “

This first event, at noon Friday, Oct. 14 in the Young Library Auditorium, is free and open to the public. Sponsors are the UK College of Arts & Sciences, Martin Luther King Center and the Gaines Center for the Humanities.

Spears-Rico will discuss the idea of “Dia de la Raza,” or “Day of the Race,” which Spanish-speaking communities often celebrate in place of Columbus Day. She will explore the origins of the term “la raza” and how it relates to gendered


By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2022) — Three alumni and one faculty member were inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at a ceremony held on campus Friday, Sept. 30. 

The hall of fame recognizes UK Arts and Sciences alumni and faculty who have made meaningful contributions to the university, the Commonwealth and the nation in their respective fields. 

“We are honored to recognize and celebrate our stellar class of inductees; La Tasha Buckner, Dennis McCarty, Cythnia 'Didi' Rapp and Dwight Billings, who are some of our most distinguished alumni and faculty,” said Ana Franco-Watkins, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Our honorees’ life stories reflect the power and


By Tori Santiago 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center, in collaboration with the Housing Development Alliance, is seeking volunteers for a