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


When Shannon Hincker started her undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky in 2004, she was a mathematics major.
After two years, she switched to the College of Arts & Sciences’ mathematical economics program.
With its combination of math, statistics and economics, the program was a good fit for Hincker and prepared her well for a job doing actuarial work for Mercer.


On the evening news, it is not uncommon to see polls charting public opinion on a variety of topics. The number of polls tends to spike around presidential elections, especially with topics surrounding approval ratings, national issues, and the economy. The degree of voter anger, angst, or contentment prominently posted in the polls is often a barometer of the larger political climate. And as you can imagine, those polls and resulting nightly news conversations can spark heated, informative, and oddly entertaining debates on the state of national politics.

But what trends can be found in poll numbers gathered in an increasingly media-saturated world? How do these poll numbers and nightly news conversations, for example, impact the way voters respond in presidential elections and how do voters react to pressing issues such as the economy?

UK political science doctoral



by Erin Holaday Ziegler


A University of Kentucky biology professor has been chosen as one of 22 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences for her innovative and



Topical studies alum Susan Tomasky was drawn to the University of Kentucky because of its honors program but she also became deeply rooted in the College of Arts & Sciences political science department.

Tomasky began her studies at UK in 1970 after she moved from her hometown of Morgantown, W. Va.


As a broad section of our world is experiencing economic and political upheaval, its peoples are migrating in search of security, stability and a shot at the good life. At the University of Kentucky, scholars are studying this massive immigration and its effects on various countries and cultures, and in the process have become part of an interdisciplinary migration of their own. The effects of this dual political and academic migration will be highlighted at the March 10-11 conference “Immigration Policy in an Anti-Immigrant Era” organized by the UK Quantitative Initiative for Policy and Social Research (QIPSR).
QIPSR is based in the College of Arts and Sciences, but was launched this year to


When her lifelong goal of becoming a zoologist began to fall apart early in her college career at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, Seung-yeon Yi felt academically directionless. “I basically failed. I tried really hard but I couldn’t get good grades and I thought I had to take a break and just look at myself and just try to find my purpose.” During that period of searching, Yi persuaded her family to allow her to travel to the United States, where she planned on doing service work with the Christian organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM) learning English and traveling to different countries. 


When Sam Powers travels, he buys a one-way ticket. He prefers it that way - as he searches for “Goat man” in Guatemala or participates in Buenos Aires’s annual pillow fight or motorbikes through Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, he wants the people he meets, not a return ticket, to determine his schedule.

In the past year, Powers has purchased quite a few one-way tickets, tickets that have taken him to 15 countries outside of the United States and introduced him to four new languages, including Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai, and Icelandic.

Powers documented his year long journey through his website. Filled with videos, daily travel commentaries, and stunning photography, this website is so recognized internationally, it won 


Strangely enough, Jennifer Cramer was a math major at the University of Kentucky when she first became infatuated with the art of language. Following this infatuation, which was ignited in her undergraduate French classes, she quickly shifted her major to French, but once she was there, found there was still something missing in her academic focus.

“Someone suggested I take a linguistics class,” recalls Cramer, who is now in her second semester as a lecturer in the 

Burt Davis profile

by Jenny Wells

Burt Davis, longtime associate director for the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group, has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from NASA – and has been named to the 2011 American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Fellows Program.


by Erin Holady Ziegler

When rising University of Kentucky senior Joseph Mann arrived in Cape Town, South Africa in mid-May, he was ready to make a difference and ready for a challenge. Little did he know that his travel abroad experience would change the course of his life.

"You just need to come here," Mann laughed. "That's what I've told my friends and family. In the face of such adversity, there's hope. South Africans know that they have a bright future. Despite issues with service availability and government


Physics & Astronomy alum Dr. Anjan K. Gupta came to the University of Kentucky after earning bachelors and masters degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1995 in Kanpur, India.

Anjan is from a small city called Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state in India.

“I wanted to go to the United States because I knew there would be many opportunities for research as a graduate student,” Anjan said. “I applied many places but I was interested in UK because they had a good condensed matter experimental department. I knew that’s what I wanted to pursue.”



A University of Kentucky biology professor known for his creativity in the classroom has recently been awarded for his storytelling.


UK biology professor 

Nicole Lally


University of Kentucky alumna Nicole Lally says her interest in sociology was sparked at an early age.

When she was seven years old, Lally’s family moved from Cleveland to Elizabethtown. The change in environment was shocking, Lally said.

“On the street we lived on in Cleveland, there was so much diversity,” she said. “Elizabethtown just didn’t have those same demographics and even though I was a kid, I noticed. Some of my new friends at school would make comments about other groups of people and it just didn’t make any sense to me.”

In a high school English class, Lally was assigned an argument paper and began researching gay rights.

“I was immediately interested in anything to do with human rights,” she said. “All of the papers I was using for my research were written by sociologists and I just knew that’s what I wanted to study then.”


by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Mark Cornelison Erin Pullen drove into Lexington for the first time in the middle of a midnight thunderstorm.Yet by the time Pullen left town she knew UK is where she wanted to go to graduate school. “I loved the feel of UK,” said Pullen, now a third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. “Sociology is a growing department and it’s exciting to be a part of something that’s fresh. People are trying to make things happen here and that’s exciting as a student.” In addition to discovering the Kentucky hot brown to be “a revelation,” the Michigan native found that as a graduate student she had a number of opportunities to work closely with faculty, and enjoyed the productive environment it fosters. “The department is competitive but it’s more

During the height of the women’s movement in the late 1970s, a time when psychologists, sociologists, and others were finally beginning to talk about the problem of violence against women, Professor of Sociology Claire Renzetti was making her way through the academic jungle, earning her bachelor’s and subsequent degrees in sociology from the University of Delaware. Coming of age academically in this epoch shaped her academic interests and led to a career of studying the problem of violence against women, one she sees as everyone’s issue, not just a “women’s issue.”
Renzetti had always been interested in understanding why people do what they do, but it took a few changes in her undergrad major before


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