One of the best-selling books of 2005 was “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything,” which debunked conventional wisdom and highlighted the role of statistics in getting to the bottom of our thornier questions. In a similar way, UK’s newest statistical scholars, Simon Bonner and Matthew Schofield, have focused their research on the emerging field of ecological statistics in ways that could potentially impact how we attempt to protect threatened species.
But first, just what is ecological statistics?

Dustin Lueker

PhD Student by Jason Kazee
photos by Mark Cornelison

Hailing originally from Pinckneyville, Illinois, University of Kentucky statistics Ph.D. candidate Dustin Lueker is a born again Kentuckian. He moved to Mount Sterling with his family as a teenager where he attended Montgomery County High School. Lueker enrolled in Morehead State University where he completed his undergraduate studies in mathematics and then came to UK to pursue a doctorate in statistics.

“I think most people who know me were surprised to learn I chose statistics over math, but I really liked the environment and atmosphere of the stats department. It reminded me a lot of the Math Department at Morehead.” Lueker finds the close-knit culture of the smaller Statistics Department at UK to offer a degree of personal attention students in other programs miss out on


The son of a naval architect/marine engineer, Steven C. Grambow credits his father for putting him on the path to hard sciences.
“He was my biggest influence. At a relatively young age he was the chief engineer and naval architect of a World War II Navy Shipyard in Sausalito, CA that at its peak had over 20,000 employees. He went on to have a long and successful career as an engineer and project manager in international mining and minerals. He had a brilliant mind and enjoyed studying math, physics and general science as a hobby. It definitely rubbed off on me.”
Grambow grew up in Northern California and started college at UCLA, decided


Ron Eller identifies two versions of Appalachia: a real place and an imagined region. He makes this distinction because he has dedicated his career in higher education to addressing the needs of rural communities. Transcending the boundaries of the classroom and library, Eller’s research in Appalachian history and culture is motivated by his desire to help people understand Appalachia.

“Although I have written extensively about Appalachian identity and the challenges that stereotypes and images

Ben Barnes

Student Spotlight

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Mark Cornelison

Flexibility. You want it in your joints, in your schedule and in your undergraduate major. Rising UK senior Ben Barnes found the right blend of flexibility as a Topical Studies major.

As you might think, it takes a significant amount of initiative on the part of the student to design a unique program of study, and you need a lot of clarity when it comes to knowing what you want your future career to be. “And I did,” said Barnes. “I had that clarity when I was designing the program.”

Barnes is not your typical American college student. For starters, he’s Australian, and at 24 he is also slightly older than his fellow seniors. Barnes took a few years off between high school and college to


David Bradshaw, the Chair of the Department of Philosophy, focuses on the history of philosophy, specifically looking at science, technology, and society. His research incorporates a variety of disciplines to address the social, ethical, and technological significance of scientific advances.

Kimberly Goard PhD Student

By Megan Neff
Photos by Richie Wirewan

Forgiving may seem impossible at times, but Kimberly Goard, a philosophy graduate student at the University of Kentucky, urges us to do the seemingly impossible.

Since 2006, Goard has been working toward a Ph.D. in philosophy at UK. While she personally holds the issue in high regard, she feels its scope is universal because it affects everyone in a multitude of ways.

“Forgiveness involves a whole nexus of things that happen psychologically, socially and emotionally,” said Goard.

Goard opposes the popular view in philosophy today that the value of self-respect supersedes the obligation to forgive.

“In the vast majority of contemporary philosophical thought, forgiveness is thought to be something that contradicts the important value of


For philosophy alum Will Sanders, attending the University of Kentucky was always part of the plan. The Frankfort native’s parents both attended the university and it was natural for him to follow in their steps. Choosing a major was the challenge.
The College of Arts and Sciences was the perfect place to land when it came to finding his footing, according to Sanders.

“I started as a French major but then switched to 



Professor of Sociology Claire Renzetti has been named the recipient of the Lee Founders Award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP).  The award honors the founders of SSSP, Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Bryant Lee. The Founders Award recognizes significant lifetime achievements in research, teaching, or service leading to the "betterment of human life," and commitment to social action programs that promote social justice. The award recognizes work over a distinguished career that provides understanding and insight for practical application and service at the local, state, and/or national level.

Professor Renzetti joins some notable sociologists who have received this award in the past, including Thomas C. Hood, Irving


By Rebekah Tilley

To fully appreciate Michelangelo’s David, one has to observe it from every vantage point. As a social theory student, Arnold Farr was similarly trained to approach academic fields of inquiry from the vantage point of several


Culture expresses itself in a myriad of familiar ways – our music, fashion, entertainment, literature. Perhaps less noted is the way that culture impacts our bodies including the very manner we are brought into the world and the food that nourishes us during gout first year of life.

As a graduate student in geography, Rebecca Lane turned to social theory to provide a more in depth understanding of the theoretical structures within her own discipline that inform her research on medical and feminist geography while benefitting from the perspectives of other graduate students and instructors outside her own discipline.



Taking an “interdisciplinary” approach in academe is seemingly one of those things that everyone claims to value, but no one actually does. The UK Committee on Social Theory was established to change that. It was built around grounding its participants in the perspectives, theories and assumptions of other disciplines to better understand and advance their own disciplines. And the heart of the program is Social Theory 600.


by Erin Holaday Ziegler

University of Kentucky Chemistry Department Chair Mark Meier is noticeably enthusiastic when discussing the arrival of two new faculty members this fall.


Energy will be a central focus for new assistant professors Susan Odom and Doo Kim Young, as both have experience in energy and materials research and both will find a second home at UK's 


During the 2011-2012 school year, A&S will be focusing on China in its Passport to the World program. In a recent StoryCorps interview, Dean Mark Kornbluh discusses the reasons for focusing on China.


Archisman Ghosh

Ph.D. Student

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Richie Wireman

Archisman Ghosh’s fascination with astronomy was born on a roof in Calcutta. He still looks at the sky, but now he does it through a 20-inch telescope on the roof of UK’s parking structure #2.

A third-year graduate student in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ghosh focuses his scholarly work on String Theory, and through his Graduate Assistantship at the MacAdam Student Observatory is able to help young astronomy students experience the thrill of first laying their own eyes on a planet.

“My previous experience in astronomy was mainly from amateur activities – stargazing and backyard telescopes,” Ghosh said. “UK's MacAdam Student Observatory gave me an opportunity to have a more professional encounter with the subject. We have superior equipment. We


by Erin Holaday Ziegler, Alicia Brab and Gwendolyn Schaefer

This has not been a summer by the pool for University of Kentucky rising junior Gwendolyn Schaefer who is participating in a seven-month study abroad experience in Amman, Jordan with AMIDEAST, a leading American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).



by Erin Holaday Ziegler

Psychological research at the University of Kentucky indicates that feelings of disgust do not usually escalate to aggression in the same way that feelings of anger could.


UK doctoral student Ricky Pond has been interested in the feeling of disgust and its origins from the beginning of his doctoral work in psychology at UK.

Jeff Rice
by Erin Holaday Ziegler
Jeff Rice will join the faculty of the University of Kentucky this fall as a pioneering recipient of the Martha B. Reynolds Endowed Professorship for Digital Media in the College of Arts and Sciences' Division of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media (WRDM).    Formerly an associate professor of English and director of the Campus Writing Program at the University of Missouri, Rice has published over 20 articles and chapters in new media, composition, pedagogy and rhetoric.    "We're moving away from studying a subject in the classroom and toward a product with media like websites and video," Rice said. "It's more than lecture, lecture, lecture."   Rice's research and curriculum ideas are like Web pages filled with multiple narrative strands — similar to the multiple tabs you might have up on your screen right now — along with an incoming text message, and

“Doing math” is usually pictured as a solitary activity involving a chalkboard and harsh florescent lights. Yet that could not be further from the truth.
“Contrary to stereotype, mathematics is a very social activity,” said mathematics professor Peter Perry, who was recently awarded the prestigious 

Justin Taylor Ph.D. Student

By Megan Neff
Photos by Mark Cornelison

Like a lot of us out there, Justin Taylor didn’t have it easy when it came to math. But unlike the rest of the crowd, who grumbled through the required courses until the hallowed day of escape, he decided to make the struggle into a more challenging equation: a career.

However, the path to this decision did not follow any predetermined formula. After graduating from high school in the southeastern Missouri town of Sikeston, Taylor opted out of the two to four-year college route. Instead, he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego between 1998 and 2002. Here, he not only underwent a rigorous test of his physical endurance, but his mental strength, as well.

“A lot of my beliefs, my work ethic, and my dedication to try and be the best at


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