By Julie Wrinn

Brittney Woodrum (B.A. ’15) never expected to major in Hispanic Studies, or train dolphins in Bermuda, or teach English to Buddhist nuns in Myanmar, or become a Fulbright Fellow. But she has done all of these things and is now in her second year as a Princeton Fellow in Asia. Connecting all of these endeavors is a love of languages, and that love caught fire in UK’s Department of Hispanic Studies.

“Every single Spanish professor I’ve taken has been so fantastic,” recalls Woodrum. She was especially impressed with a study abroad trip to Madrid led by Dr. Susan Larson. “She was a very inspiring, powerful woman. I really admired her, seeing where she went with Spanish. She was American, but she seemed so natural with the language and the culture. She showed me that you could become part of an entirely new world just with language.”

In high school,


By Gail Hairston

UK geology senior Adam Nolte explains his research on sinkholes in Woodford County to President Capilouto.

The University of Kentucky was represented by 16 undergraduate students and their 14 research projects at the 17th annual Posters-at-the-Capitol event last week at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

Posters-at-the-Capitol is an annual event that showcases undergraduate researchers representing colleges and universities throughout Kentucky. The annual collaborative event was created to educate Kentucky state legislators of the importance of undergraduate research and scholarly work.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, members of the General Assembly, representatives from students' hometowns and other guests toured the exhibitions and engaged directly with some of the state’s best young scholars.



By Whitney Hale

UK students in the 2018 Bingham Seminar will visit the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, over spring break.

This year’s Thomas D. Clark Lectureship in the Humanities, presented by the University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities, will be given by Leonard V. Smith, the Frederick B. Artz Professor of History at Oberlin College, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the Niles Gallery, located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. The lecture, “Rites of Passage in French Soldiers' Testimony of the Great War,” is free and open to the public.

The 2018 Clark Lecture


By Tony Neely

Student-athletes at the University of Kentuckycombined to earn a total of 80 spots on the 2017 Southeastern Conference Fall Sports Academic Honor Roll, the league announced earlier this week. 

The 2017 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll includes the sports of cross country, football, soccer and volleyball. It is based on grades from the 2017 spring, summer and fall terms. Among other qualifications, student-athletes must have a 3.0 grade-point average to be on the honor roll.   

Fittingly, UK’s SEC co-champion volleyball team also tied for the most student-athletes on the SEC Honor Roll with 13. UK placed seven student-athletes in the sport of men’s cross country, six in women’s cross country, 27 in football, 13 in men’s soccer and 14 in women’s soccer. 


Dateling: Frankfort, KY


By D. Stephen Voss, Political Science Department Publicity Director


Kentucky's State Senate recognized the passing of Emeritus Prof. S. Sidney Ulmer, a long-serving and distinguished member of the UK Political Science Department, on February 7 by adopting a resolution in his honor authored by Sen Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville).

Senate Resolution #142 posthumously thanked Ulmer for his service to the United States as a pilot during World War II as well as for his many contributions to the University of Kentucky, which included 25 years on the faculty and six years chairing the Political Science Department.

Prof. Ulmer, a highly regard expert in judicial politics,


By Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis


In January, the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published findings that show a 700 percent increase in the number women in their late 20s who filled a prescription for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication between 2003 and 2015.

It’s a finding of particular interest to Michelle Martel, an associate professor in psychology in the UK College of Arts & Sciences. She is studying how hormones impact the expression of ADHD symptoms in young women.

She gathered data through a pilot project on ADHD in 30 women thanks to funding from the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program. BIRCWH not only supports researchers in their work, but also jump-starts careers, aids in the publication of research and helps forge partnerships and mentorships across


By Chris Crumrine

Thirteen University of Kentucky students are working alongside lawmakers and elected officials in Washington, D.C., this semester as participants in the inaugural class of the Wildcats at the Capitol program. The program allows students to participate during the academic year, utilize their financial aid and remain full-time students enrolled in credit-bearing courses.

The program is a partnership between the Department of Political Science, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the President, with the shared goal of providing an affordable opportunity for students to intern in the nation’s capital without delaying their time to


By Amy Jones-Timoney and Kody Kiser


The University of Kentucky’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD) is dedicated to the study and teaching of writing practices, public rhetoric and digital media. The department serves over 5,000 UK undergraduates each year, and the writing, rhetoric, and digital studies major offers UK students three tracks:

professional writing and editing (for those who want careers in editing and publishing or writing for/within a nonprofit or business); rhetorical theory and practice (for those who want to get involved in public advocacy, government or law); or digital studies (for those who want to write and produce content for electronic spaces and understand how those spaces are designed).

The department also offers a minor in writing, rhetoric, and digital studies, as


By Julie Wrinn

Fulton City High School’s 1972 yearbook shows a photograph of Mr. Milner’s Advanced Biology students dissecting a shark. One of those students was Mark Owens (Biology ’76), and he loved his biology labs: “We had sharks and cats and worked on all kinds of stuff in the laboratory. I thought it was fascinating, the things that we did.”

Thanks to Mr. Milner’s engaging labs, by the time Mark was in 11th grade he knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps into optometry. He saw the comfortable living his dad made in Fulton City, a small town near the southwestern Kentucky–Tennessee border, and he greatly enjoyed his biology classes with Mr. Milner. Dr. Shelton Owens was a WWII veteran who attended Murray State University on the G.I. Bill and went to the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. He played basketball for Brewers High School in Marshall


By Whitney Hale


Author Mary Gaitskill reading an excerpt from her memoir, "Lost Cat," at Baruch College.

Mary Gaitskill, the fiction writer known for her edgy and audacious characters, will be the keynote speaker for the 2018 Kentucky Women Writers Conference, running Sept. 13-16. She is the author of three novels, three story collections and an essay collection. Gaitskill's keynote lecture is titled, "Why People Still Read," and it will take place 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, on the University of Kentucky campus, followed by a book signing. The keynote event is free and open to the public, thanks to its sponsorship by UK Libraries.

“Mary Gaitskill’s fiction is fearless in its depictions of strength and weakness,” conference director 


By Laura Wright

Wonder Women: Rachel Maggard, Daimen Stolz and Lydia Hager, with their mentor Warren Alilain, helped confirm the presence of a breathing "ghost network" that might help restore breathing function to paraplegics. Photo by Hilary Brown, UKPR

According to a paper recently published in Cell Reports, labs from Case Western Reserve and the University of Kentucky's Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) were able to demonstrate the existence of a parallel neural network that could potentially restore diaphragm function after spinal cord injury.

This ghost network operates entirely separate from the brain, which has long been considered the only organ capable of directing respiratory function, and appears able to instruct the diaphragm to contract when properly activated. 

While practical solutions are a


By Gail Hairston, Amy Jones-Timoney, and Kody Kiser


Six University of Kentucky educators have been officially named recipients of the UK Alumni Association 2018 Great Teacher Award. They received their public recognition, award and reward last night.

The recipients are:

Gabriel Dadi, College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering; Dr. Rodrigo Fuentealba, College of Dentistry, Dentistry Oral Health Practice; Milena Minkova, College of Arts and Sciences, Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures;

The CESJ is excited to host a book club dealing with issues of social justice. Our first book is going to be the critically aclaimed best seller The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. 

We will be reading the book now, with a meeting to discuss the book scheduled for early April. We hope everyone interested will join in the conversation!

Pick up a free copy of the book from one of our sponsors! Books are currently available in the MLK Center (313 Blaze Dining) and the CESJ office (location/hours) while supplies last.


Check back in the coming days for more details.



By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Equality and Social Justice has scheduled its spring symposium 1-4 p.m., Feb. 9, in Kincaid Auditorium at the Gatton College building, with a reception following in Woodward Hall.

Three collegiate educators are featured at the symposium, which will focus on “How Discrimination and Disparities Impact Children and Teens: Research on Ethnicity, Social Class and Sexual Orientation.”

Stacey S. Horn, professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will discuss “Developmental and Contextual Factors Related to Sexual Prejudice Across Adolescence.” Horn’s research focuses on issues of sexual prejudice and bias motivated harassment


By Jenny Wells

For the second semester, University of Kentucky’s #IAmAWomanInSTEM project has awarded scholarships to 11 UK students for project proposals that promote STEM education and careers for women.

Females are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue an education in the STEM disciplines, which include science, technology, engineering, math and health care. The #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative, which launched at UK in 2016, seeks to change that by recruiting hundreds of female student ambassadors who are encouraging the study of STEM and health care (STEM+H) among women at UK, and empowering them to persist in those fields.

"We are very grateful for the support from the UK Women & Philanthropy as our STEM+H students are growing in their creative roles and expanding their service


By Gail Hairston

Dozens of high school students from all over Kentucky will converge on the University of Kentucky campus today (Thursday), Jan. 25, to test their logic and linguistic skills in the 2018 North American Computational Olympiad (NACLO), hosted by the UK Department of Linguistics.

No prior knowledge of linguistics or secondary languages is necessary as the students are tested on their ability to solve linguistics puzzles. Professionals in linguistics, computational linguistics and language technologies used dozens of languages to create the engaging problems that represent cutting-edge issues in their fields.

This week’s competition reflects open round contests with an invitational round scheduled March 8. This summer, NACLO will select teams for the

Open Round: January 25, 2018 at 10:00am in William T. Young Library

The Open Round of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) will be hosted locally from 10:00am until 1:00pm on Thursday, January 25th in the Alumni Gallery of William T. Young Library on the main campus of the University of Kentucky.  Please register at the main NACLO web site if you are interested in participating!  The NACLO site also has many practice problems and sample problems from previous years to hone your skills on.  Driving (and parking) directions for visitors are available.  For visitors from within Lexington, campus is on

The CESJ's Spring Symposium is a little over two weeks away. We have a few important updates and new details about this exciting event.   Please note: the location has been changed to Kincaid Auditorium (Gatton).    HOW DISCRIMINATION AND DISPARITIES IMPACT CHILDREN AND TEENS: RESEARCH ON ETHNICITY, SOCIAL CLASS, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION Friday, February 9  1:00pm-4:00pm in Kincaid Auditorium  Reception to follow in Woodward Hall    Speakers: Stacey S. Horn, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago,  "Developmental and Contextual Factors Related to Sexual Prejudice Across Adolescence”   Rashmita S. Mistry, Ph.D., UCLA,  "Exploring Social Class Identity in Childhood and Adolescence: What, How, and Why?"   Tiffany Yip, Ph.D., Fordham University,  "The Opportunities and Challenge of Moving towards

By Jenny Wells

Three University of Kentucky professors and a postdoctoral researcher in the UK College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics and Astronomy were featured in the American Physical Society's (APS) "Physics Highlights of the Year" for 2017.

The research of UK faculty members Keh-Fei Liu and Terry Draper, together with UK postdoc Yi-Bo Yang and their collaborators, was featured for their recent breakthrough in understanding the origin of the proton's "spin."  Through theoretical calculations performed on supercomputing clusters, their work revealed for the first time that 50 percent of the proton's spin arises from gluons, the force carriers of the "strong interaction" that bind quarks together to form the proton


By Gail Hairston

Rachel Pagano studied snake fungal disease in Kentucky's ecosystem.

Without the added pressure of daily classes, summer research can be especially rewarding for University of Kentucky underclassmen.

The UK Office of Undergraduate Research has created a Summer Research Information Session to answer any questions that current freshmen, sophomores and juniors might have regarding undergraduate research programs, especially questions regarding financial support. There will be two identical presentations 4:30-5:30 p.m., Jan. 17. in Room 233 of Gatton College of Business and Economics, and 1:30-2:30 p.m., Jan. 24, at William T. Young Library UK Athletics Auditorium. It


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