News

3/5/2021

By Richard LeComte 

Anna Hansen’s path to an M.D./Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky is taking her into the rural areas of Kentucky, where she is investigating issues surrounding pregnancy and birth. She’s working between her second and third years of medical school to earn a doctorate in sociology – quite an unusual undertaking for a would-be clinician studying in the College of Medicine. 

“The College of Medicine gives students the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. in any department that they want, as long as they can make a good argument for it,” Hansen said. “Most other universities require that a student gets a Ph.D. within the college of

3/5/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 5, 2021) — Throughout the month of March, the University of Kentucky will recognize Women’s History Month with a series of events and special programs.

Women’s History Month is about honoring the achievements and contributions women have made across the U.S. and throughout the world. The UK Martin Luther King (MLK) Center will host a variety of programs, in collaboration with its campus partners, in addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, the UK Women’s Forum, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and other campus organizations.

Many programs will honor UK women throughout the institution's history.

“This institution has an impressive history of women leaders who have shaped our identity as Kentucky’s university,” said UK

3/3/2021

By Lindsey Piercy

The University of Kentucky is one step closer to becoming a global center for imaging and restoring ancient artifacts thought to be damaged beyond repair.

Brent Seales, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to create EduceLab — a cultural heritage imaging and analysis laboratory.

Seales is among 213 recipients of NEH grants, totaling $32.8 million, awarded to humanities projects across the country.

“As we conclude an extremely difficult year for our nation and its cultural institutions, it is heartening to see so many excellent projects being undertaken

3/3/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

A research study led by the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry has discovered a new way to dramatically boost the performance of electrically conductive polymers. The discovery is considered a significant step forward in the development of organic thermoelectric devices, which can convert waste heat into useful electric energy. 

Conductive polymers, which are electrically conductive plastics, have the potential to transform current electronic devices, such as smart watches, by powering the devices based on the user’s body heat. They are also attractive for converting waste heat from coal-fired power plants or heat from a car’s engine into electricity.

“One day, organic thermoelectrics may be used to power smart watches and other wearable electronics, eliminating the ever pressing need to

3/2/2021

Louis J. Swift, an emeritus professor of Classics in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MCLLC), passed away on Saturday, January 30, 2021.

Lou became a Roman Catholic seminarian at the age of fourteen and went on to receive degrees from Saint Mary’s University in Baltimore and Gregorian University in Rome. He left the seminary before ordination and earned his Ph.D. in Classics from John’s Hopkins University in 1963. He began his career at SUNY Buffalo and joined UK’s faculty as the Chair of the Department of Classics in 1970. His research interests focused on the study of early Christianity and the relationship between religion and politics in America. He was a founding member of the North American Patristics Society.

In addition to his teaching duties at UK, Lou also served as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

3/1/2021

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 1, 2021) — While debate on immigration policy rages on across the country, the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Passport to the World initiative will explore the topic of xenophobia with a lecture by historian and award-winning author Erika Lee. The free public talk, “Immigrants Out: The History of American Xenophobia,” will be presented 4 p.m. Thursday, March 4, via Zoom. 

Lee’s talk, which is also being presented as part of UK's Women’s History Month programming this March, is based on her 2019 book “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States,” an American Book Award winner and

3/1/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 1, 2021) — The new Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) at the University of Kentucky will host its official launch event this week with an address by American literary critic and scholar Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr.

“An Evening with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.” will take place 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, on Zoom. The event is free and open to the UK community and the public, though advanced registration is required.

“Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an exceptional scholar, historian and teacher,” said George Wright, interim vice president for institutional diversity at UK. “

2/26/2021

By Elizabeth Chapin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2021) – Each year, the University of Kentucky’s Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky (SPARK) gives a select group of undergraduates from diverse backgrounds a unique, hands-on research opportunity to prepare them for graduate study in health-related fields. Student recipients include two in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic provided new obstacles for SPARK’s 2020 cohort, the three students – Alexis James, Hope Makumbi and Roberto Obregon Garcia – say the challenges brought opportunities to focus on their research, particularly with communication.

SPARK, which was launched last year by UK’s Center for Health Equity Transformation (

2/26/2021

By George Wright

One of the most rewarding parts of my role as chair of the diversity, equity and inclusion implementation plan, is that I continue to meet outstanding individuals from UK who are devoted to their community – Dr. Anastasia Curwood is one of those leaders.

Where are you from and what is your background?

I am from Cambridge, Massachusetts and grew up going to the Cambridge public schools until I went to college, which was at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania – an all-women’s institution. That was where I became devoted to scholarship.

When I went to graduate school at Princeton for history, what was important to me was having a vibrant community of Black scholars. My advisor was Nell Irvin Painter, the great historian, and she had a very talented group of students,

2/22/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center will showcase the work of student researchers through its Sharing Work on Appalachia in Progress series this semester.

This series will feature presentations from graduate and undergraduate students covering topics ranging from poetry to cancer research to education to local foods. 

The presenting students are supported through the center’s James S. Brown Graduate Student Awards for Research on Appalachia and the UK Appalachian Center Eller & Billings Student Research Awards.

“We are excited to be able to help fund important interdisciplinary

2/17/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2021) — Nathaniel Stapleton, an assistant professor of mathematics in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The award honors early-career researchers.

Stapleton is one of 128 researchers across the U.S. and Canada “whose creativity, innovation and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of scientific leaders,” according to the foundation.

"I am honored and very thankful to have been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship," Stapleton said. “I'm grateful for the recognition of my hard work and dedication to mathematics research. However, mathematics

2/9/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2021) — Gary Ferland, a professor in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a fellow by the American Astronomical Society (AAS).  Ferland is one of 31 members recognized by the organization for his innovative and significant contributions to astronomy.

Ferland was honored for his work in developing and applying “Cloudy,” a special computer code that studies how light from distant celestial bodies is produced.

“This award is a great honor, and is as much to UK as to me,” Ferland said. “Over the last 40 years, several dozen UK undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs have developed Cloudy into one

2/8/2021

By Richard LeComte   

Danielle Schaper, an experimental nuclear physics doctoral student and graduate assistant at the University of Kentucky and Los Alamos National Laboratory, has won the Harry Lustig Award from the American Physical Society.  

 Schaper received the honor thanks to a presentation she gave as a finalist in the 2020 competition at the society’s annual meeting. She presented on her dissertation work, “Precision Measurements of Parity Violation in Neutron-Nucleus Resonance States for Future Time-Reversal Violation Experiments.”  

2/8/2021

By Angela Garner and Facundo Luque

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2021) — A partnership among The Graduate SchoolInternational Center, the Center for English as a Second Language, and the Graduate Student Congress at the University of Kentucky produced a robust seven-week virtual program during Fall 2020 for international graduate students planning to begin their studies on campus in Spring 2021. 

The program, called GradCATS (Graduate Community and Academic Transition Series), introduced new graduate students to UK and the Lexington area, built a sense of community among incoming

2/1/2021

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, KY. -- One member of the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences is contributing to the cultural life in Lexington during the COVID-19 pandemic with a colorful painting at a local gallery. 

“Change is in the Air,” an artwork by Jennifer Hunt, associate professor of gender and women’s studies, is on display at the Living Arts & Science Center, 362 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Lexington. The work is part of “Black Lives Matter: The Call for Positive Change,” which is on display through March 26. The exhibit, including Hunt’s painting, can be viewed 

1/29/2021

By Meredith Weber

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group, in partnership with the UK Office for Institutional Diversity, will host the 30th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer and Torch of Excellence awards via Facebook Live at noon Monday, Feb. 1. The program honors and celebrates African American students and alumni from each college who epitomize the ideals of Lyman T. Johnson.

UK’s academic colleges select alumni whose faith, hard work and determination have positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These colleges also choose students within their respective college whose academic achievement and

1/20/2021

By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2021) — Today, Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, and Kamala Harris will become the first woman to serve as vice president.

At noon, a formal ceremony will mark the start of the new presidency. While key elements will remain steeped in tradition, many events won’t look like those of the past. Instead, they have been “reimagined” as the United States continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a tumultuous year in politics, how will this inauguration go down in the history books?

Tiffany Barnes, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts

1/8/2021

By Carl Nathe and Kody Kiser

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 8, 2021) — What will the future of energy storage look like? Whether it be batteries for electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, tablets and smart watches, or for electric cars and hybrid vehicles, or for units that play an integral role in the operations of major power plants, researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) are working to speed the development of the next generation of more efficient and safer battery technology.

The CAER investigates energy technologies to improve the environment. Researchers contribute to technically sound policies related to fossil and renewable energy.

Staffed by professional scientists and engineers, CAER

1/7/2021

In light of the recent developments in Washington, D.C., a WKYT journalist interviewed Clatyon Thyne, chair of the Political Science Department; as well as Michael Zilis and Stephen Voss, associate professors of political science. Zilis and Thyne discuss the Electoral College vote in Congress and the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, and Voss looks at the Senate runoffs in Georgia. You can see all three interviews

1/6/2021

Tiffany D. Barnes, associate professor of political science in the University of Kentucky's College of Arts & Sciences, has co-written an article for Ms. magazine on Janet Yellen the former chair of the Federal Reserve who is President-elect Joe Biden's choice for treasury secretary. Her co-author is Diana Z. O'Brien of Rice University.

"The selection of Janet Yellen as the first woman to serve at the helm of Treasury and oversee the biggest economy in the world is noteworthy," the article states. "But Yellen’s appointment is in keeping with research that shows women are especially likely to be selected for leadership in the middle of crises. Is she being set up to fail?"

You can read the article here

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