News

3/2/2011

by Saraya Brewer
photos by Lee Thomas

Leave it to a graduate student in film studies to hammer out aspects of horror from one of America’s most beloved family Christmas classics. “It’s Christmas film noir,” said Colleen Glenn about "It’s a Wonderful Life." “It’s an extremely dark film.” "It’s a Wonderful Life" is just one of the handful of Jimmy Stewart films that Glenn, a University of Kentucky English Ph.D. candidate with a specialty in film studies, has watched (and re-watched, analyzed, paused, rewound, and watched again) for her dissertation, in which Stewart and other great actors of the mid 20th century –– including Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, and John Wayne –– will each get their own chapter.

“I grew up watching old classic movies on PBS with my family, so I really have my parents to thank for my original interest in film,” Glenn said. “I

3/2/2011

Linguistics Undergraduate Student

Jessica Holman

"The Place Where Language and People Cross"

by Jessica Fisher
photos by Shaun Ring

If you think that linguistics is just about learning a bunch of different languages then, frankly, you have been misinformed. But don’t take it to heart—most people share this common misconception. Luckily, one of UK’s finest linguistics students, Jessica Holman, is able to clarify what the major really entails and why she is so proud of her eastern Kentucky roots, accent and all.

Born in London, Ky., right in the foothills of Appalachia, Holman developed a love for language at an early age—her native Appalachian English, unique in its own right. After all there is Standard English, which Holman said, “we all need to learn so everyone can understand each other,” but which she also

3/2/2011

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Richie Wireman

For many of us, our freshman year of college is the first transitional step into experiencing the world. As a freshly minted high school graduate, doctoral student Leah Bayens instead spent that first year in the woods reading.

“There is something about that experience that forged in me what was already a deep-seated understanding of the importance of those kinds of rural communities, the importance of not developing everything into suburban enclaves,” explained the Louisville native. “It was a foundational experience for me because of that. It was also my first real foray into understanding farm culture.”

Since that time Bayens has grafted herself into the land, the culture and the nature that surrounds it all. It permeates her graduate research, how she lives her life, and who she is at her core.

3/2/2011
The Right Time For Research on Addictive Behaviors

by Robin Roenker
photos by Mark Cornelison

What sets psychologist Gregory Smith’s work apart from others doing research on alcoholism and other addictive behaviors is his ambitious goal to “chart a pathway of cause from the beginning to the end,” he said.

With his graduate students, Smith has developed models to assess a person’s risk for developing addictive behaviors that encompass both personality trait theory and psychosocial learning theory.

The old debate of whether nature or nurture predominates in determining behavior is, Smith says, obsolete. Now it’s understood that what’s important is how the two interact.

It’s that interplay that fascinates Smith, director of UK’s Clinical Psychology Training Program

3/2/2011

Nathan DeWall's research reveals that the active ingredient in over-the-counter painkillers may blunt social pain.

by Kami Rice
Photo by Lee Thomas

Nathan DeWall found his way to social psychology partly because of frugality. The accidental journey into this academic field began when DeWall almost didn’t go to college at all because he just wanted to play music. As the son of musicians, that wasn’t as far-fetched an idea as it would be in other families in his hometown of Hastings, Nebraska. In the end, though, he headed down the college path but chose St. Olaf College in Minnesota for their strong music program.

His introduction to psychology came, appropriately enough, in an Intro to Psychology class. He enjoyed the class and earned a decent grade in it. He had always liked people, after all, and it was fun to learn about how people work. Around

3/2/2011

By Erin Holaday Photos by Shaun Ring After a busy day without a lunch break, how many times have you had that extra piece of chocolate cake, or another glass of wine later that night, when you knew, in your heart of hearts that you might not really need it? "And the next morning, you're beating yourself up about it," said UK psychology graduate student Holly Miller. "It happens to everyone." But according to a new study headed up by Miller, it's not necessarily your fault. "Without fuel, you can't inhibit the bad behavior," she explained. "It's physiology." * Read more about Miller's research in the Huffington Post * Listen to a Podcast about Miller's research on iTunes Miller was attending a colloquium at UK last fall, when a presentation by Florida State University social psychologist Roy Baumeister caught her attention. Baumeister's study involved glucose and self-control. Self-

2/24/2011

Among the six University of Kentucky professors receiving the 2011 Great Teacher Award for their excellence in the classroom by the UK Alumni Association is Assistant Professor of Anthropology Erin Koch.

Watch the video highlighting all the honorees

Started in 1961, the Great Teacher Award is the oldest continuous award that recognizes teaching at UK. The nominations are made by students. Selection of the award recipients is made by the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Committee, in cooperation with the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa. Great Teacher Award recipients each receive a citation, an engraved plaque, and a cash award.

Erin Koch Feature Story - Health Inequalities and the State

Erin Koch is an assistant professor of

2/8/2011

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Richie Wireman and Brett Fisher

In the 2004 Academy Award winning film "Born Into Brothels," the picture painted of Indian sex workers is overwhelmingly tragic. For decades, dedicated feminists and social activists have poured resources into rescuing Indian women from lives of prostitution. Yet as Gender and Women’s Studies assistant professor Lucinda Ramberg suggests in her recently completed manuscript, "Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion," efforts to “rescue” a particular subset of Indian sex workers called devadasis from prostitution has effectively undermined their economic and social wellbeing,

2/8/2011

Kentucky's Secret to Bourbon Production

http://envision.as.uky.edu/files/Audio/Bourbon/original.mp3

Bourbon is a Kentucky tradition and Alan Fryar, a UK hydrogeologist, explains the relationships between Kentucky limestone, ground water systems and bourbon.

12/21/2010
Ph.D. Student

by Stephanie Lang

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

12/14/2010

 

Justin Wedeking's research shows following the norm can be detrimental to success in the Supreme Court  

By Rebekah Tilley
photos by Mark Cornelison

When it comes to complex legal issues before the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s all about how you look at it. And as Dr. Justin Wedeking discovered, a fresh approach usually results in a winning case.

In an article that will be published later this year in the prestigiousAmerican Journal of Political Science, the associate professor in the UK Department of Political Science found that when petitioners emphasized alternative ways of arguing about an issue before the Supreme Court, they

11/17/2010

<p>A recent article released by the Associated Press and featured in the Lexington Herald-Leader highlights the work of Dr. Bill Jansen and the United States Agency for International Development in Zimbabwe. Dr. Jansen, an anthropology graduate and A&amp;S Hall of Fame inductee, is currently working as a senior American advisor in Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic. A growing problem in both Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, Jansen&rsquo;s group is part of a program funded by the United States which is promoting circumcision to reduce the number of new AIDS cases.<br />
&nbsp;<br />
Jansen&rsquo;s work is a prime example of the social responsibility we hope to instill in future A&amp;S graduates &ndash; both to their local communities and beyond &ndash; as they move forward in their own lives and careers. To read more about

11/15/2010

Anyone who has ever had doubts about majoring in English – with questions about job prospects or a well-defined career path – should talk to Andrew Crown-Weber.

He was in the same boat when he came to UK, unsure as to where an English degree would lead him – the answer has been, just about anywhere and everywhere.

The Danville native always knew he enjoyed language. Growing up in a house that emphasized reading books over watching cable television, his connection with words has been firmly entrenched. Add in his wide-eyed enthusiasm for knowledge and his varied academic interests, and Crown-Weber found an A&S education to be the perfect launch pad for travel, learning and adventure.

Early on he landed in Jonathan Allison’s class on James Joyce and William Butler Yeats, which led to an opportunity to

11/11/2010

<p>This semester, distinguished alumni from the College of Arts and Sciences shared their thoughts on how current and prospective UK&nbsp;students can get the most out of their college experience. To hear what they have to say,&nbsp;listen to&nbsp;their <a target="_blank" href="http://envision.as.uky.edu/connectivity/10-11-10/Advice_for_Current_Stud... our <a target="_blank" href="http://envision.as.uky.edu">Envision 2020 website</a>.</p>

10/31/2010
Rebecca Lane

Ph.D. Student By Rebekah Tilley
Photos by Mark Cornelison

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.

“I needed this type of knowledge,” said Lane when asked how social theory impacted her research portfolio. “Social theory gives you frameworks with

10/29/2010

University of Kentucky alum James Booth has found a perfect combination in statistics and genetics.

A Blackpool, England native, Booth studied at the University of Leeds before coming to the United States to study in the Bluegrass. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics and his master’s degree in statistics at Leeds before looking at Ph.D. programs.

“I decided to go

10/29/2010
James Looney

Ph.D. Student

By Rebekah Tilley
Photos by Richie Wireman

Who’s afraid of a little theory? Unfortunately, many of us would rather clean our bathrooms than painfully work through the writings of Derrida and Foucault. Geography doctoral candidate and social theory student James Looney found that for many graduate students, the UK Social Theory Program takes the edge off gaining a solid theoretical foundation in their own academic disciplines.

“Theoretical training tends to be two things in many graduate programs – woefully lacking and threatening,” said Looney. “The Social Theory Program allows a place where one can access and learn about theory. It takes care of the unfamiliarity and the inaccessibility of theory.”

Looney is a cultural and social geographer who focuses his research on cultural landscapes, and much of his work is developed

10/29/2010

 

by Michelle Ku
photos by Mark Cornelison

As a college student at Michigan State University in the ’60s, Tom Janoski worked on an automotive assembly line at a Chrysler plant in Trenton, Mich.

Janoski was a piston shooter, which happened to be the second hardest job at the plant. He would pick up a piston that was located on a rack above him, compress the rings on it, stick it into a cylinder, place it into a hole in the upside down engine block, and pull a handle that would punch the piston into the engine block.

For the first two weeks on the job, about every 15th piston would get stuck. Most of the time, he would be able to straighten it before the engine block moved to the next person’s station, but about two to three times a day, Janoski couldn’t fix it in time, which

10/28/2010
Christa Hodapp

PhD Student

By Leah Bayens
Photos by Mark Cornelison

Philosophy doctoral candidate Christa Hodapp is sorting out an issue most people superficially acknowledge before returning to business as usual: humans are animals.

“The traditional, neo-Lockean claim is that you’re fundamentally a person, which is a rational, thinking being, and you happen to be related to an animal in some way,” Hodapp explained. Thus, many people imagine that personhood separates us from the likes of dogs, horses, and ants. In the process, they also tend to place humans on a higher rung than our nonhuman counterparts.

Hodapp, however, refuses to split nature and mind in this way. Instead, her dissertation, Personal Identity and the Biological View of Human Persistence, foregrounds the notion that human beings are not simply related

10/28/2010
Brennan Parker

Cadet Spotlight by Jason Kazee

Keep moving forward. Words such as these can get you through daily challenges, lifelong struggles, or even just around the next corner. Though these words are not found in the United States Army Code of Conduct, soldiers and civilians alike can rely on them. Cadet Battalion Commander Brennan Parker depends on them to carry him through whatever may lie ahead.

Parker recently took part in a 12-cadet relay that carried the game ball from Joker Phillips’ hands in Commonwealth Stadium and delivered it to a team from the University of Louisville’s ROTC program. The team ran 46-miles to a town located mid-way between Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. The cadets from the University of Louisville took over from mile 46 and delivered the football to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Capped off by Brennan delivering the ball

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