With an insufficient budget and no help on the horizon, University of Kentucky Professor Gang Cao of the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy had nothing but bad news for his peers about being able to hold this year's Workshop on Novel Electronic Materials.

After successfully staging two international workshops in 2005 and 2008 on UK's campus, the scientific community was eager for the 2011 plans. "There are a lot of conferences in our field," explained Cao, "but few can address new materials, with such a diverse group of scientists from different fields. The phone just kept ringing."

The Novel Materials Workshop is intended to provide an opportunity to communicate recent developments, tackle challenges and establish possible

Title: UK Honors South African Leaders with Degrees Contact: Cheyenne Hohman Page Content:

by Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky will award two legendary South African anti-apartheid activists with honorary degrees on campus this week.

World-renowned leaders Ahmed Kathrada and Barbara Hogan, both of whom served in post-apartheid South Africa as senior officials in President Nelson Mandela's administration, have changed the lives of their country and the world through their tireless work for freedom and democracy.

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. will confer the Honorary Doctorate of Letters to Hogan and Kathrada during an academic convocation ceremony at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Singletary Center Recital Hall. The event is open to faculty, staff, students and the public.

Kathrada and Hogan will each deliver remarks on

Title: Local, Global Place Matters in Appalachia Contact: Cheyenne Hohman Page Content:

by Erin Holaday Ziegler

A transformative researcher of transnational processes in Appalachia, the American South and around the world will visit the University of Kentucky for the fourth and final of the Place Matters series this week.

Barbara Ellen Smith, a sociology professor and the former director of Women's and Gender Studies at Virginia Tech, will present a talk titled "Transforming Places: Towards a Global Politics of Appalachia" at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the John Jacob Niles Gallery. Professor Srimati Basu of the UK Department of Gender and

Title: Annual Marker Honors Bio Alum, Nobel Winner Contact: Cheyenne Hohman Page Content:

by Erin Holaday Ziegler and Katy Bennett

The University of Kentucky's largest major will celebrate a world-renowned Nobel Prize winner of its own at the Student Development Council's 17th annual historical marker ceremony next week.

With the help of the Kentucky Historical Society and President Lee T. Todd Jr., the SDC will dedicate this year's historical marker to UK biology alum Thomas Hunt Morgan in a public outdoor ceremony on campus.

Born in Lexington in 1866, Thomas Hunt Morgan was a nephew of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan. Thomas Hunt Morgan attended State College of Kentucky, which became UK, during the 1880s, graduating as

Nelson Mandela's parliamentary counselor, prison mate and friend - considered the Thomas Jefferson of South Africa - Ahmed Kathrada is coming to the University of Kentucky.

The world-renowned anti-apartheid activist is an honored guest of UK's College of Arts and Sciences' yearlong initiative "Kentucky and South Africa: Different Lands, Common Ground."

At 82 years old, Kathrada is a man of overflowing ideas, stories and experiences. And his visit to the East Coast and to UK is fittingly brimming with activity.

Kathrada's four-day whirlwind stay in Lexington next week includes an honorary degree convocation from the university; the stateside opening of "Ahmed 'Kathy' Kathrada: A South African Activist for Non-Racialism and Democracy," an

The University of Kentucky's Department of Hispanic Studies is expanding its online course selection this summer to encompass an expanding foreign language need in the community, the Commonwealth and across the globe. Spanish for Health Professionals is the name of this wholly-online summer course, and fundamental health language, Hispanic culture and lifestyle are the topics at hand.


The College of Arts and Sciences offers Spanish for Health Professionals, or Spanish 151, in the classroom during the school year as the student need arises, and while the summer course is open to traditional students, Hispanic Studies is also focused on nontraditional students both locally and globally.

"A class like this does not require fluency," explained Hispanic Studies professor and course director Haralambos Symeonidis, "but

The University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity has announced the inaugural event for its newly established Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center Scholar-in-Residence ProgramArnold Farr, associate professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences Department of Philosophy, has been named as the program’s first Scholar-In-Residence.

The goal of the new Scholar-in-Residence Program is to anchor a critical aspect of the MLK Cultural Center’s programming firmly in the heart of the academic life of the campus through the leadership of faculty from various departments throughout the university.  The Scholar-in-Residence is a two-year faculty appointment, with a faculty

Central Kentucky students have the opportunity to explore a whole new world without leaving Lexington this week as the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute organized its first Spring Break Chinese Language and Chinese Culture Camp.

Students from third to sixth grade are participating in a weeklong camp April 4-8, focusing on simple Chinese language and a wide variety of cultural activities.

"This is one of the few Spring Break camps held by all the Confucius Institutes," said Director Huajing Maske. "We wanted to try something new. This year is a great learning year for us. And many parents don't get the same Spring Break as their children."

The CI's campers will have five days of varied activities, according to Maske. "Every day is different," she said.

To begin the day, campers will

In the aftermath of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, Japan has experienced devastation the likes of which few places have ever felt. To UK geography professor Pradyumna Karan, this disaster feels personal.

“I have been leading UK Summer Field Seminars in Japan along with professor Todd Stradford for many years. My students and I have many friends in each region that we will have for the rest of our lives.”

The earthquake and tsunami did major damage to a string of coastal settlements along Japan’s northeast coast, including the town of Taro, where Karan and his students stop each summer.

 “We study Japan’s effort to mitigate damage from tsunamis. Taro has suffered serious damage through its history,” Karan said. Hillsides in Taro indicate the run-up – the maximum height reached by a tsunami as it encounters the shore – from previous massive disasters

Gretchen Phelps

Ph.D. Student

by Kathryn Wallingford
photos by Shaun Ring

Gretchen Phelps refers to her research as “SMOKE ‘n Mirrors.” While it sounds like a magic act, if you did not see Phelps and the optics set-up of her latest experiment, you might just think her research was just that.

Don’t let the title fool you. Phelps is a fourth year Ph.D. student in University of Kentucky’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and SMOKE actually stands for ‘Surface Magneto-Optic Kerr Effect,’ a technique utilized by condensed matter physicists for the reflection of polarized light by a material that is subject to a magnetic field.

Under the mentorship of UK’s Physics professor, Dr. Wolfgang Korsch, Phelps has the



by Kathryn Wallingford
Photos by Richie Wireman and Lee Thomas

University of Kentucky French professor, Rupert T. Pickens, believes a medieval text is more than a fixed set of words and a single author, but the intersection of history, literature, and language. It is an evolving set of ideas that comes to light through the French language.

“A text has a life of its own. It is propagated through hand-writing and the transmission has created and influenced mistakes as well as additions,” said Pickens. He continued, “Before the 14th century, we do not have anything signed by just one author. But writers found a way to express their native identities through the French language.”

Since Pickens first came to the University of Kentucky in 1969, he has dissected, reviewed, and translated literally hundreds of texts, all of which are

Title: Nikky Finney Featured in Ace Weekly Contact: Cheyenne Hohman Page Content:
Writing is a way for life for Nikky Finney, a UK English professor and Affrilachian poet. In the March 17 issue of Ace Weekly, Bianca Spriggs writes about Finney. An accomplished writer and professor, Finney has written four books, worked as a professor in the English department for a number of years, and has traveled all over as a presenter and Affrilachian poet. 

Head Off and Split
, her latest collection of poems and fourth book, is already garnering recognition and a place on the Poetry Foundation's Contemporary Best Sellers
University of Kentucky chemistry professor Allan Butterfield's work in neurochemistry and Alzheimer's research is renowned.


But Butterfield's work goes beyond the lab; his support of undergraduate and graduate research at UK is celebrated throughout campus and the Commonwealth, with every research grant and doctoral diploma awarded.

Butterfield served as UK alumnus Tanea Reed's PhD advisor during graduate school.

"He saw my potential and made me a better graduate student by making me a critical thinker," she said. "Dr. Butterfield was a wonderful mentor who was always very encouraging and supportive.  Even though I have since graduated from UK, Dr. Butterfield still plays a role in my career as a mentor."

In a seemingly perfect

The University of Kentucky lost one of its most dedicated and inspiring writing instructors to breast cancer last May.

The Division of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (WRDM) would like to honor Kelly Feinberg's memory with a call to UK undergraduates for personal essays exemplifying the qualities that Feinberg embodied as a writer.

"Kelly was a colleague who brought a contagious enthusiasm to any project she became involved in,” said English department doctoral candidate and teaching assistant Leah Bayens. "Her love for her family, her peers and her students was obvious."

Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media faculty are looking for creative non-fiction, personal essays or multi-media projects that incorporate some writing element (including photography, artwork, artifacts, electronic media,
Jarrod Brown and Iván Sánchez-Medina

Ph.D. Students

by Leah Bayens
photos by Mark Cornelison

Any language devotee knows that linguistics illuminates socio-political and bio-cultural mysteries. Apparently, it also forms the tie that binds a former theologian and a former telecommunications specialist, bringing both into the Hispanic Studies fold.

Doctoral candidates Jarrod Brown and Iván Sánchez-Medina diverged from many years of study and service in religion and business communications, respectively, and found a home in UK’s Department of Hispanic Studies precisely because of the program’s renewed emphasis on linguistic research. Despite their disparate backgrounds, and in spite of different research areas, they both use linguistics to track the continuum of presences and absences in

Title: Brad Plaster's Department of Energy Grant Renewed Contact: Brian Connors Page Content:
by Guy Spriggs

Physics & Astronomy professor Brad Plaster was recently awarded a renewal of his Outstanding Junior Investigator in Nuclear Physics Award from the Department of Energy (DOE). Plaster was originally awarded this grant in 2008, and his renewed grant includes a 50% increase in funding level.
“I was very excited to learn that the DOE decided to renew my grant,” Plaster said.

The research supported by Plaster’s grant concerns high-precision tests of the fundamental symmetries of parity and time-reversal in experiments with neutrons. Plaster hopes to find an electric dipole
Alecia Fields

Undergraduate Spotlight

by Colleen Glenn

Experience is the best teacher. Just ask Alecia Fields. Having recently returned from Africa, Fields knows firsthand how invaluable direct experience can be.

Fields, a 2010 graduate, spent time this summer in Ethiopia as a participant in the Sierra Club's Global Population & Environment Study Tour. One of three activists selected to spend 10 days in Ethiopia as a volunteer, Fields visited various sites and organizations around the country to learn about the impacts of population growth on the environment.

>>View Alecia's photos from Ethiopia

“It’s places like Ethiopia that climate change is really showing its effects the most,”


By Rebekah Tilley

In 1973, Thomas Janoski was living out of backpack in India getting desperate for money. A fellow traveler told him he could sell his well-worn American passport for around $500, though if he were British he could get $1000.

Why in the world would a British passport be worth twice what an American passport is worth?” Janoski asked then. “At the time you could get into any country in the Commonwealth of Nations with a British passport. That episode peaked my interest in terms of passports as a symbol of citizenship.”

In his recently released book from Cambridge University Press, “The Ironies of Citizenship,” Janoski wipes the



by Kami L. Rice
photos by Mark Cornelison

Gifted early on with an ease in learning new languages, Haralambos Symeonidis began travelling the world well before he got his first passport stamped.

Born and raised in the town of Drama in the Macedonia region of northern Greece, Symeonidis began his lifelong foray into languages naturally enough, by learning his native tongue. From that beginning, though, there has been little pause in his acquisition of new grammatical forms and vocabulary lists.

In his youth, Symeonidis decided to learn English after watching television shows broadcast in the language, and then he moved on to formal education and six years of studying French. During these school years, Symeonidis was also required to take courses in classical Greek,

An exhibition on the results of the excavations by University of Kentucky faculty of an ancient Greek fort will debut at the Lexington Public Library - Central Library before moving to Italy, where it will remain on permanent display.

"A Greek Mountain Fort in Southern Italy. University of Kentucky Archaeological Investigations at Monte Palazzi (Passo Croceferrata, Grotteria, Calabria)" will be on exhibit March 26 through May 1, in the library’s gallery.

Paolo Visonà, adjunct associate professor of art history in UK’s Department of Art, will give a lecture on the Monte Palazzi archaeological project at 6 p.m. Monday, March 28, in the library's theater. A gallery reception will also be held from 5 to 8 p.m.


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