Skip to main content



By Lindsey Piercy 

People often experience stress, anxiety or even depression during the winter months. Each year, about 10% of adults in the United States experience seasonal affective disorder. The condition can reflect a change in serotonin levels and be linked to depression.

Matt Southward, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, is researching treatment outcomes for those coping with anxiety, depression and personality disorders. He also works in the Treatment Innovation for Psychological Services Lab.

In the Q


By Jesi Jones-Bowman 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research recently announced the 21 undergraduate winners of the 58th annual Oswald Research and Creativity awards. Chad Risko, faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Research Ambassadors were on hand to congratulate the winners and distribute the awards.

Established in 1964 by then-President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Competition encourages undergraduate research and creative activities across all fields of study.

Categories are:

Biological Sciences. Design (architecture, landscape architecture and interior design). Fine Arts (film, music, photography, painting, and sculpture), Humanities (from

By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 10, 2023)  Teachers across the Commonwealth have the opportunity to enhance K-12 Holocaust education through a University of Kentucky-led training initiative.

Educators can register for online and in-person Holocaust education workshops, offered from late January through early June of 2023.

Funded by a grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund, the UK-JHF Holocaust Education Initiative creates opportunities for interdisciplinary content sharing, pedagogical training and collaborative planning.

The program, 


By Nizhoni McDarment 

Statistics Graduate Student Association members bowl. 

LEXINGTON, KY. -- When the Statistics Graduate Student Association (SGSA) needs a study break from complicated data problems, the students bowl. Tori Stanton, current president and UK graduate student from Asheville, North Carolina, said the SGSA’s focus of the last year was to create opportunities for students to interact with each other outside of their classes.  

The SGSA represents graduate students apart of the Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. The SGSA facilitates bonds and promotes professional development for graduate students apart of the statistics program.  

The organization was revived in 2020 when Lee Park, former president and UK graduate student from Incheon, South Korea, was seeking


By Richard LeComte 

David Westneat discusses birds with Take Flight students.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Taking Flight — Next Level, a program run by The University of Kentucky’s Ecological Research and Education Center; the Red Oaks Forest School in Stanton, Kentucky; and Kids MakeIt has received the Kentucky Academy of Science Excellence and Outreach Award for 2022. 

Taking Flight — Next Level teaches concepts of science, technology, engineering, math and art to students 14 and older, focusing on those with limited access to science activities outside the classroom. The program allows


By Tori Santiago 

Renee Fatemi, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the nation's preeminent organization of physicists.

Selection as a Fellow of the APS demonstrates exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the field of physics. Less than half of 1% of the APS membership receive the honor each year. 

Fatemi is being honored for “contributions to the understanding of the spin and momentum structure of quarks and gluons in the proton through the novel development and application of jet reconstruction tools in polarized proton collisions.”

Fatemi’s research focuses on accelerator based nuclear and particle physics. She is currently a member of the STAR


By Alan Fryar and Jenny Wells-Hosley

Elizabeth Avery

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2022) — As a child, Elizabeth Avery was inspired by that verse, and this week she will receive a Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Kentucky, based on her Fulbright research in Ukraine.

Avery’s path to a doctoral degree was nontraditional. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in English at California State University, East Bay, she explored different career options. An undergraduate course in oceanography awakened her interest in geology and hydrology, which led her to a second master’s degree at the same institution. She worked more than three years as an environmental consultant before deciding to pursue a Ph.D. in 2017.


By Jenny Wells-Hosley 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2022) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has selected two student representatives to speak at the UK December Commencement Ceremonies this Friday, Dec. 16, at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center.

The two student speakers are Alyssa Hargis and Princess Valencia.

Princess Valencia, left, and Alyssa Hargis 

Alyssa Hargis

Hargis, from Milford, Ohio, is a first-generation college student, graduating with dual bachelor's degrees in public health and environmental and sustainability studies. She is also a member of the Lewis Honors College. She will speak at the 10 a.m.


By Meg Mills 

Nizhoni McDarment

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2022) — The University of Kentucky strives to ensure every member of our community — regardless of who they are, where they are from, what they believe or who they love — feels a sense of belonging.

This sense of belonging is something journalism and political science double major Nizhoni McDarment had spent her whole life searching for, but says she didn’t find until she attended UK.

A child of a military family, McDarment spent 18 years moving from state to state, reintroducing herself to every new person she met. Each introduction came with questions about her name and her Native American culture. She and her family are proud Native Americans.

“For a long time, my Nana was not allowed to share that she was a proud


By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, KY. — On his college track team, Daniel Plaugher faced a lot of hurdles — mainly because he was a hurdler. When he started graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Kentucky, he faced more hurdles, this time of the academic kind. He found that he needed to do a lot of work in abstract mathematics to catch up to the levels of knowledge the program demands. 

“Coming in, I knew it was going to be a rude awakening, but I didn't understand how much of a rude awakening,” Plaugher said. “I'm more of an applied mathematician, and the course sequences

Daniel Plaugher

that you have to take involve more abstract and theoretical math. For whatever reason, I was not prepared for those courses.” 

He received a big boost from the Graduate Scholars in Mathematics program, which


By Jenny Wells-Hosley 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 13, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved honorary degrees for two citizens who have distinguished themselves in their careers and community service. The recipients are Virginia Marsh Bell and Nikky Finney.

Bell and Finny will receive their honorary doctorates at the UK December 2022 Commencement Ceremonies this Friday, Dec. 16. They will be presented with their degrees at the following ceremony times:

Virginia Marsh Bell: 10 a.m. Nikky Finney: 3 p.m.

Both ceremonies will take place at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center in Lexington.

Virginia Marsh Bell to receive Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Born in Harrison County, Kentucky in 1922, Virginia Bell was raised on a subsistence farm as


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.