By Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2021) — UK alumna Jamie Zimmerman’s passion for gender equality and interest in financial inclusion began early. 

She grew up surrounded by strong women in Lexington, Kentucky, where many families, including her own, “teetered at times on the brink of financial uncertainty.”

Zimmerman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and international economics from the UK College of Arts and Sciences in 2002. Immediately after, she enrolled in the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and earned a master’s in international political economy with a concentration in international development in December 2003.

Today, she helms the 


By Meredith Weber

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2021) — The Women and Philanthropy Network at the University of Kentucky recently awarded $217,342 to six academic initiatives at UK. This brings their lifetime grants to $2,484,392.

The Women and Philanthropy Network was formed in 2007 to motivate and foster women as leaders, donors and advocates for UK. This group of women created a new culture of service and philanthropy through their gifts of time, talent and resources, all in support of UK students.

Individuals contribute $1,000 annually (or $500 for women age 40 and under), then pool that money to award grants that further research, provide scholarships, fund creative programs and train


By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 15, 2021) — To mark Women’s History Month, the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center and the UK Lewis Honors College will host a virtual screening and discussion on a film about writer and social justice advocate Lillian Smith.

“Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence” will be available to the UK community and the public to watch March 17-24 here:

In addition to the film, a Q&A session and discussion will take place 3-4:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, on Zoom, featuring the filmmaker Hal Jacobs and actor Brenda Bynum.


By Richard LeComte 

Jennifer Osterhage works diligently and creatively to help undergraduate students at all levels of biological studies achieve their goals. As director of undergraduate studies, she manages one of the largest majors at the University. She teaches Introductory Biology I , which can have up to 300 students per section.  Because of the reach of Biology across the UK curriculum, she influences the academic careers of STEM students in many colleges. She feels that Genetics is the most challenging course for many undergrads, but the entire curriculum tests students who may want to pursue careers as researchers or health professionals.  


By Carl Nathe and Kody Kiser

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2021) — Students often are figuratively encouraged to ‘reach for the stars’ — yet, there are those who actually follow this aspirational goal in a very literal way.

For example, longtime University of Kentucky Professor Gary Ferland, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, recently received a very rare honor for his work in blazing new trails in his chosen field.

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," UK Public Relations and Strategic Communications’ Carl Nathe talks with Ferland about his life, his career, and why he loves working with students.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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. “


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 (


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,


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


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


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


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.”  


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


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 


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