News

8/30/2016

By Jay Blanton, Kody Kiser

Tracy Campbell views history as a way to explore the paradoxes of humanity and the human condition.   “We’re human beings. We are complex. We are not perfect,” said Campbell, a University of Kentucky professor of history. “Why do we like Shakespeare? Because it’s not devils versus angels. It’s about how the two can usually be in the same head … and that’s a lot more interesting, but it’s also a lot more human … the paradox of American history is what I really enjoy trying to understand.”   Campbell discusses the exploration of those paradoxes in his work at UK and in how he teaches students in this week’s edition of “Behind the Blue,” the podcast produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing that explores the people and events that make UK the university for Kentucky.  

  Campbell — a native Kentuckian and UK graduate — has been
8/30/2016

By Jenny Wells

All graduates of the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry are invited to a reunion weekend this fall at UK’s new Academic Science Building.   The UK Chemistry Alumni Board will host the reunion Oct. 14-15 and are asking those interested to RSVP by Sept. 23. All graduates, including bachelor's, master's and doctoral students are invited, as well as friends of the department.   “The Chemistry Reunion is a first for our department and should provide a great opportunity for our alumni to reconnect with friends and former classmates,” said Steve Yates, UK chemistry professor and chairman of the reunion committee.   Featured events include an open house at the new science building 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, and a reception at the King Alumni House at 6 p.m.
8/30/2016

By Jenny Wells

Qiang Ye, University of Kentucky professor of mathematics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research and develop new algorithms for solving linear algebra problems that will address accuracy problems in computer arithmetic.   The three-year, $225,000 grant will allow Ye and his team to develop new methods to more accurately compute eigenvalues of large matrices, a computation that has many scientific and engineering applications such as Google search page ranking, structure design, image processing and circuit simulations.   Large-scale computations of this nature are often inherently ill-conditioned, according to Ye, which implies their results may suffer from loss of accuracy caused by round off
8/25/2016

By Gail Hairston

All summer, Carolyn Finney has been flitting back and forth between Lexington and Washington, D.C., with a fiery hope to impact the future. The University of Kentucky assistant professor of geography and other concerned colleagues, all members of the Next 100 Coalition, met over and over again with members of President Obama’s administration to hammer out a plan to assure that all people — regardless of race, religion, gender identification or national origin — are welcome in America’s national parks and all public lands.   The National Park Service (NPS) — and the spectacular 84 million acres it protects — enters its second century today, hence the name Next 100 Coalition. Although many, including President Obama, have declared the National Park Service the
8/25/2016
The Trunzo Scholars Program began this summer and allowed seven College of Arts & Sciences students to participate in education abroad or professional internship opportunities. Established by Robert N. (Political Science ’78) and Anne Trunzo of Brookfield, Wisconsin, the Trunzo Scholars Program was designed to help political science and pre-law students expand their academic and professional horizons through education abroad and internship opportunities. The first class of Trunzo Scholars includes students who spent the summer interning in areas of politics, government, law, or public policy and in education abroad programs based in South Africa, Morocco and Spain, England and Peru. The comments and photos below provide a flavor of the students’ adventures and the life-changing impact of these intensive, high-impact learning opportunities.   “The most rewarding aspect of my
8/24/2016

Margaret McGladrey, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology, has published a study "Becoming Tween Bodies: What Preadolescent GIrls in the US Say About Beauty, the 'Just-Right Ideal,' and the "Disney Girls'" in the Journal of Children and Media. A blog post on ChildrenAndMediaMan about the study was recently published here. You can read the full study here

McGladrey is the Assistant Dean for Research in the College of Public Health and a doctorate student at the University of Kentucky. This study resulted from her thesis project for her master's program in Communication at the University of Kentucky. Her

8/23/2016

Lee Mengitsu, a junior pre-journalism major and sociology minor, recently had a blog published titled "We Did the Crime, We Did the Time. Now Let Us Vote." on Generation Progress. Read the blog here. In the blog, Mengitsu discusses the barriers former felons face when returning to society, namely voting rights. 

8/15/2016

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) successfully completed work on its National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) digitization grant, resulting in online access to 140 cubic feet of materials from the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection. The materials from the Coal, Camps and Railroads project is available to the public through the digital library ExploreUK.   The newly digitized materials at UK focus on 189 years of economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield from 1788 to 1976. The 10 individual collections document: the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil and natural gas resources in Breathitt, Boyd, Clark, Floyd
8/15/2016

By Gail Hairston

Kentucky is privileged with a bounty of railroad museums and attractions, but the Elkhorn City Railroad Museum has a charm and history all its own.

With its unique collection of railroading tools, equipment, uniforms and instruments; enhanced by books and photos; and personalized by retired railroad employees eager to share their tales of life on the rails, the Elkhorn City Railroad Museum preserves and protects Eastern Kentucky’s pride and culture as well as its hope for the future.

This past spring semester, University of Kentucky sociology students in Associate Professor Shaunna L. Scott’s “Sociology of Appalachia” class were quick to recognize the potential of the small museum

8/12/2016

By Gail Hairston

University of Kentucky Professor of History Jeremy Popkin was recently awarded a prestigious Public Scholar program award of $50,400 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).   The grant will fund Popkin’s research and writing, leading to the publication of his manuscript on the French Revolution, “Free and Equal: The Story of the French Revolution.” The NEH Public Scholar program is meant to support scholars in the humanities who are writing books that will bring the best of current research to a broad general audience.   This book will "give readers new perspectives about the French Revolution by incorporating, among other things, my own research on the role of the media during the revolution and the importance of the revolutionaries' struggles about slavery in the French colonies," Popkin said.   "The project is an opportunity for me
8/10/2016

By Whitney Harder

The decrease in fishery productivity in Lake Tanganyika, Africa's oldest lake, since the 1950s is a consequence of global warming rather than just overfishing, according to a new report from an international team led by a University of Arizona (UA) geoscientist that includes the University of Kentucky's Michael McGlue, who is Pioneer Professor of Stratigraphy in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.   The lake was becoming warmer at the same time in the 1800s the abundance of fish began declining, the team found. The lake's algae — fish food — also started decreasing at that time.   However, large-scale commercial fishing did not begin on Lake Tanganyika until the 1950s.   The new finding helps illuminate why the lake's fisheries are foundering,
8/10/2016

By Gail Hairston

Hannah Pittard, University of Kentucky assistant professor of English and creative writing, continues to impress the literary world with her third novel, “Listen to Me.”   Designated as “an emerging voice,” Pittard’s “Listen to Me” was on Buzz Book’s list of must-read books in 2016. On July 5, Washington Post’s mysteries and thrillers reviewer Patrick Anderson called “Listen to Me” a “captivating” novel. In Saturday’s New York Times, critic Erica Wagner said Pittard “creates…the feeling of emotional truth.”   Pittard’s thriller/mystery is about a young couple who fear their marriage is driving them both crazy. The young wife hasn’t
8/8/2016

By Whitney Harder

The circadian rhythm, or circadian clock, is an internal mechanism that drives the 24-hour cycles that tell our bodies when to sleep, wake and eat — and now, new research has found that bacteria living within the gut also have a clock.   "We are the directors of that clock, much like the sun directs our own circadian rhythms!" said Jiffin Paulose, UK post-doctoral scholar and co-author of the study in PLOS ONE.   Paulose and Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology Vincent Cassone found that a certain class of bacteria found in the human gut, Enterobacter aerogenes, expresses circadian patterns because of its sensitivity to melatonin, the hormone produced at night and
8/8/2016

By Samantha Ponder

University of Kentucky doctoral student Paul Hime has been awarded the Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Hime, a graduate student in Associate Professor David Weisrock's lab in the Department of Biology, is one of only 10 students across the country who has been selected for the program.   The NCSA's Blue Waters Fellowship will give Hime access to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world — the Blue Waters supercomputer. He will also receive a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, an allocation of up to 50,000 node-hours on the computing system, and funds for travel to a Blue Waters-sponsored symposium to present research progress
8/1/2016

By Samantha Ponder

The Department of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will host a "Mathematics of Physical Chemistry Boot Camp" to educate students on mathematical concepts that are common in both quantum chemistry and molecular physics. Registration for the August boot camp will close Aug. 10.   This year the college is offering two sessions. One from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 20, and one from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 27. Both boot camp sessions are free.   UK's chemistry boot camp provides graduate and undergraduate students an introduction or refresher class covering a few key mathematical and numerical approaches that they may encounter in their classes or research. The format for each session will include lectures, which will summarize the mathematics and
7/28/2016

William C. Haneberg will become Kentucky’s 13th state geologist Sept. 1, 2016. An engineering geologist with a wide range of research, academic and applied experience, he will also serve as the director of the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS), leading KGS into the future of its mission to investigate Kentucky’s energy, mineral and water resources, and geologic hazards. Haneberg will hold a parallel appointment as a research professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

 

Haneberg, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has more than 25 years of experience as a university geology teacher, researcher and administrator in the office of the state geologist in New Mexico, and consultant. Since October 2011, he has worked in Houston for an American subsidiary of the

7/19/2016

John Jay Allen, emeritus professor of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Hispanic Studies, has been made a corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of the Language (Real Academia Española de la Lengua), one of the highest academic honors in the Spanish-speaking world.

Allen taught in the UK College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Hispanic Studies (formerly Department of Spanish and Italian) from 1983 to 1999 and as emeritus professor since 2000.

Allen´s accomplishments are quite numerous, but the most salient are: National Endowement for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for Independent Research, 1981-82; NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1989; Residential Fellowship to the National Humanities Center, North Carolina, 1989-90; UK's Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize; and an honorary doctor of letters from Middlebury College

7/18/2016

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Scienceslast week hosted the Summer Institute in Economic Geography. With a 10-year history in supporting economic geography, the college and its Department of Geography welcomed young scholars from across the globe to Lexington. This is the first time the institute has returned to the U.S. since 2006 when it was hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

 

A group of UK geography faculty worked collaboratively to bring the institute to campus. Sue RobertsMatt ZookAndy Wood and Michael Samers won support from the 

7/15/2016

By Whitney Harder

Alexis Eugene, a University of Kentucky doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. More than 700 applications were submitted for the 2016 awards, and Eugene was one of only 73 who received a fellowship in earth science.   "I am honored to receive this prestigious fellowship, and I am grateful for this opportunity to work with NASA scientists to further NASA's goals while making progress toward my degree from UK," Eugene said.   Eugene will collaborate with members of NASA's Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment by analyzing the chemical composition of cloud water and aerosol samples collected during flights over the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, she will study what chemicals are there and how they affect the properties of the atmosphere
7/14/2016

By Whitney Harder

University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Biology Jakub Famulski has been awarded a Career Starter Grant by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.   The $65,000 grant will support Famulski's research on coloboma, a leading cause of blindness in children. The eye abnormality occurs before birth and involves missing tissue in or around the eye.   Famulski and his collaborators recently discovered a new type of coloboma, superior coloboma, which occurs in the top of the eye. But the underlying cause of most coloboma cases remains unknown.   To better understand the disorder, Famulski and UK graduate students Kristyn Van Der Meulen and Nicholas Carrara will use zebrafish as a model to study how

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