News

7/20/2020

By Emily Sallee

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2020) — Brittney Woodrum, a 2015 arts administration and College of Arts & Sciences Hispanic Studies graduate, has received a 2020 Boren Fellowship to travel to Yangon, Myanmar for a year of intensive language study. The Boren Fellowship funds research and language study proposals by U.S. graduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Woodrum is currently pursuing a master’s degree in international security/humanitarian aid at the University of Denver.

During her time abroad, she will also intern at 

7/17/2020

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 17, 2020) — From the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement — each generation has been shaped by the national and international events that take place during their formative years.

Will the same be said for the COVID-19 pandemic?

Anthony Bardo, an assistant professor with a dual appointment in Health, Society and Populations and the Department of Sociology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, believes it’s important to consider how perspectives will change. As a medical sociologist and health demographer, his research is driven by the desire to understand what contributes to quality

7/13/2020

By Ann Blackford

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2020) — People often ask Christopher Decker of Los Angeles why his daughter Sophia Decker, whom he describes as an extremely gifted student in languages, chose to attend the University of Kentucky.

“I always respond by saying she fell in love with Latin and Ancient Greek," he said. "When I say there is only one accredited university in the U.S. where the classics faculty conduct class in the target language, people often guess it to be Harvard, Yale, Georgetown or Notre Dame. The correct answer is the University of Kentucky, and that is why Sophia chose to attend UK."

Christopher Decker and his wife, Theresa Decker, were so impressed by UK’s Latin program that they recently donated a $25,000 endowed fund to the UK Department of Modern and Classical

7/8/2020

By J. Susan Griffith, M.D.

My dad, Charles Herschel Holmes Griffith, was a devoted son, Marine, husband, father of two, grandfather of four, chemist and teacher. He gave his full devotion to the things he loved most – his family and education. Dad always said teaching Chemistry at UK was his “dream job” and from 1964-1991 he loved every minute of working with students and supervising TA’s in his General Chemistry labs. At his funeral in 2013, the Chair of the department told me that my dad undoubtedly had more direct contact with UK college students than anyone else in the history of UK’s Chemistry department.

As I was putting together Dad’s biography in 2011, I found this in a letter he wrote - “I was born in Huntington, IN into a family of educators.” Both of his parents were college graduates, each with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. His mom was an English teacher

7/2/2020

By Danielle Donham and University Press of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2020): The University Press of Kentucky is highlighting several titles written by Black authors throughout its list, including several which are as part of their open access initiative in collaboration with UK Libraries. Some of these authors are faculty members of UK’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“The University Press of Kentucky has a long tradition of showcasing Black voices and stories,” said Ashley Runyon, director of the press. “From our award-winning Civil Rights series to

7/1/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2020) — For the first time in its 42-year history, the Kentucky Women Writers Conference will take place online to ensure the health of its participants and presenters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will go forward as scheduled Sept. 17-20 with headliner and celebrated poet Evie Shockley. All readings, discussions and workshops will be presented virtually. Several prominent Black writers will be featured as part of the event. 

“Our organization has a long and proud history of lifting up the voices of Black women, from our first conference in 1979 with Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and Toni Cade Bambara, to the establishment of The Sonia Sanchez Series in

6/30/2020

By Adrian Ho and Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2020) — Six College of Arts & Sciences faculty members received Alternative Book Grants from the University of Kentucky Libraries.

These faculty members plan to replace

6/24/2020

By Julie Wrinn

By choosing to attend the University of Kentucky, 600 miles away from her childhood home in Manchester, Iowa, Sydney Litterer was testing herself. She had an interest in working abroad, and she figured that if she could handle going to college so far from home, she might be comfortable living overseas.

“It was a bit of a test run,” she said. “I started looking out of state almost exclusively, and the international focus was a really big factor for me.”

Thanks to the UK College of Engineering’s outstanding opportunities for study abroad — unusual in that field due to the constraints of the engineering curriculum — Litterer chose UK. She was thrilled two have two different study abroad experiences: in Karlsruhe, Germany, where she first took Calculus 3 with a group of other UK students; and later at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as an

6/22/2020

 

  By Whitney Hale
 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) — While many find working from home during a global pandemic difficult, others find the change of environment and schedule spurs their creativity. The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities is exploring the impact of this time on creatives as part of a new video series, “Over Yonder: Conversations with Artists and Scholars on Social Distancing.”

“Over Yonder,” which launched on the Gaines Center’s new YouTube channel, features the center’s director, Melynda Price, interviewing Kentucky artists, musicians and scholars on their quarantine experience. As part of the series, Price explores how her

6/22/2020

By Addison Cave

LEXINGTON, KY. (June 22) -- Sheila Jelen, interim director of the program in Jewish Studies and associate professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts & Sciences at University of Kentucky, was recently awarded the Zantker Charitable Foundation Professorship in History.

Jelen has published a variety of monographs and edited volumes including, most recently, Salvage Poetics: Post-Holocaust American Jewish Folk Ethnographies (2020) and Reconstructing the Old Country: American Jewry in the Post-Holocaust Decades (2017). Her work has appeared in such journals as Prooftexts, The Jewish Quarterly Review, The AJS Review, Religion and Literature, Comparative Literature Studies and Hebrew Studies.

6/22/2020

By Madison Dyment

LEXINGTON Ky (June 22) – Carrie Oser, professor of sociology, will serve as the new Di Silvestro Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. UK’s Board of Trustees approved the appointment in June.

The Di Silvestro Professorship recognizes a full professor who is dedicated to enhancing research excellence. As a five-year appointment that begins on July 1, the DiSivestro Professor receives an annual research stipend.  Oser, who was also a UK sociology and psychology undergraduate, was nominated by Dean Mark Kornbluh.

“I’m grateful for the wonderful alumnae of the College of Arts & Sciences for their contributions to support the research, education and service missions of UK,” Oser said.

Oser, associate chair in the Department of Sociology, is a ’ 98 UK graduate, the associate director of the Center

6/22/2020
 

By Jay Blanton and Kody Kiser

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 22, 2020) — Tracy Campbell is the E. Vernon Smith and Eloise C. Smith Professor of American History at the University of Kentucky. He has written well-received accounts of voter fraud in the country, a biography of the Gateway Arch and a compelling biography of Ed Prichard, a legendary name in Kentucky politics whose life was a story of tragedy and redemption.

Recently, Campbell’s latest book was published — "The Year of Peril: America in 1942." It is a month-by-month chronicle of 1942, a tumultuous and often unsettling year in which America fully engaged in World War II. The deeply researched and richly detailed book underscores the fragility of democracy, the challenge of mobilizing a

6/22/2020
By Jenny Wells-Hosley
 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the University Research Professorships for the 2020-21 academic year. Among them are Amy Murrell Taylor in the Department of History; and Renée Fatemi in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The purpose of the University Research Professorship program is to recognize and publicize research accomplishments of scholars across the full range of disciplines at UK. The award amount is $10,000 for one year, to be used to further the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of the awardee.  

“It is gratifying to recognize these distinguished experts who have made significant

6/19/2020
A portrait of Vanessa Holden.

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) ⁠— It’s been said that history can help us understand the present and inform the future.

Let’s travel back to April 9, 1865. At the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate troops to the Union’s Ulysses S. Grant — ending an excruciating four-year-long battle.

The Civil War came to a close, but a number of African Americans across the United States remained enslaved — forced to continue as if freedom didn’t exist.

This was especially the case in Texas, where thousands of enslaved people weren’t freed until June 19, 1865. Their long-awaited celebration would serve as the foundation of Juneteenth.

Today, the holiday, which celebrates the abolition of slavery, coincides with protests across the U.S.

6/11/2020

By Richard LeComte

Three University of Kentucky professors have received the College of Arts & Sciences Award for the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion. The award recognizes a faculty member who has helped to develop a more diverse atmosphere in the College.

The College Inclusivity Committee reviewed the nominations. The awardees are: 

6/11/2020

By Richard LeComte

Sumit R. Das, University research professor of physics and astronomy, has been named to the Jack and Linda Gill Endowed Professorship in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. UK’s Board of Trustees approved the designation in December, and the appointment takes effect in July. 

The Gill Research Excellence Fund supports the Gill Professorships in Science and Engineering. The deans of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering jointly administer the program. Professors are recommended by a committee based on a nomination letter. Das also is a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor for 2019-20.

“Das has made major contributions in a range of different areas related to the branch of theoretical physics known as string theory, the unified theory of elementary particles and gravity that describes

6/11/2020
By Ryan Girves  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2020) — The University of Kentucky recognized two College of Arts & Sciences faculty members and three teaching assistants with the 2020 Outstanding Teaching Awards.

This annual award recognizes faculty and graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate special dedication and outstanding performance in the classroom or laboratory. A selection committee based in the Provost's Office for Faculty Advancement and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching reviewed nominations and gave the awards. 

"The diversity of disciplines reflected in the Outstanding Teaching Award winners speaks to the breadth and depth of expertise that distinguishes the University of Kentucky," said

6/5/2020

By Richard LeComte

Postdoctoral positions help launch the academic careers of Ph.D. graduates and bring acclaim to their doctoral-granting institutions. Several recent Ph.D. students in the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Physics and Astronomy have landed stellar postdoctoral positions:

Alina Aleksandrova (experimental nuclear physics) is working at the California Institute of Technology. Mark Broering (experimental nuclear physics) has started a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. Ankur Das (theoretical condensed matter physics) has accepted a postdoctoral position at Weizmann Institute in Israel starting in September. Animik Ghosh (theoretical high energy physics) will serve as a postdoc at the University of Illinois, also starting in September. Aaron Jezghani (experimental nuclear physics) is working as a research scientist at Georgia Tech
6/5/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2020) — University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that five recent UK graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences received Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among approximately 2,100 U.S. students who will travel abroad for the 2020-21 academic year.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected based on academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries. 

The UK alumni awarded Fulbright grants are:

Evan Lenzen, a 2020 
6/4/2020

By Richard LeComte

National events burst into the curriculum of the University of Kentucky when precautions over the novel coronavirus drove instruction online. As the students of Julia Johnson’s large-lecture core creative writing class in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences saw their lives upended, she felt they needed an outlet to express their fears, emotions, and hopes.

“What we were experiencing being in quarantine and a global pandemic situation was something none of us had ever experienced before,” said Johnson, a poet and professor in the Department of English and MFA program in Creative Writing. “And to be a student during this — that adds another level to the experience.”

The result: Nascent poets and writers in both her undergraduate and graduate classes expressed themselves through haiku and other kinds of poetry. Some students then recorded

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