News

5/25/2017

By Gail Hairston

University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Psychology Will Gervais is the lead author of the study “How many atheists are there?,” which appears in the current issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. Gervais’ study asserts that there may be many more atheists in the U.S. than society believes.

It's tough to figure out just how religious or nonreligious different populations of people are. Widely cited telephone polls (like Gallup and Pew) suggest U.S. atheist prevalence ranges from 3 percent to 11 percent. But, there's heavy stigma leveled against religious disbelief in the U.S., which might make people reluctant to disclose their lack of belief over the phone to a stranger. Using a subtle, indirect measurement

5/25/2017

Middle school students are awed when they get the chance to turn a banana into a percussion instrument at the 2017 Expanding Your Horizons STEM workshop for girls.

Sometime during the transition from middle school to high school, girls often find their early interest in science and math steered in other directions, often toward careers that fit comfortably into a box of more “traditional” women’s roles. A recent daylong workshop at the University of Kentucky sought to stem that tide by introducing 120 Kentucky middle school girls to a challenging STEM career.

A multidisciplinary project, Expanding Your Horizons, focused on countermanding some of the possible reasons that girls’ interest in the sciences flag at a certain age, such as peer pressure or a lack of female role models. During the workshop, the young students met many female

5/22/2017

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 11 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships.

NSF fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. For the 2017 competition, NSF received over 13,000 applications and made 2,000 award offers.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) benefits are a blessing to many of the nation's up-and-coming researchers. "The award will fund the remaining three years of my PhD program. It will allow me to focus on research alone, instead of splitting my focus between research and

5/22/2017

By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky’s #IAmAWomanInSTEM project has awarded scholarships to 11 UK students for project proposals that promote STEM education and careers for women.

Females are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue an education in the STEM disciplines, which include science, technology, engineering and math. The #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative, which launched at UK last year, seeks to change that by recruiting hundreds of female student ambassadors who are encouraging the study of STEM and health care among women at UK, and empowering them to persist in those fields.

“As a public research institution and the state's flagship, UK has an important role in promoting graduation of women in STEM majors,” said Randolph Hollingsworth, assistant provost and advisor of the program

5/19/2017

By Gail Hairston

For much of his career, University of Kentucky Professor of Anthropology Christopher Pool has been fascinated by Mexico’s ancient Olmec culture, with its gargantuan heads sculpted in stone and more mundane relics its artisans etched in ceramic.

An expert in Mesoamerica, the evolution of complex societies, political economy and cultural ecology and armed with a voracious curiosity, Pool began his fieldwork at the Olmec site of Tres Zapotes, Mexico, in 1995, some 140 years after a farmworker’s hoe first scraped the top of a buried stone head.

After numerous stone monuments were unearthed at Tres Zapotes, additional evidence of a highly sophisticated ancient culture was discovered. Archaeologists were lured away from Tres Zapotes by the discovery of the remains of several other ancient

5/17/2017

By Mallory Powell

From May 22 through June 7, a new summer workshop will introduce high school and undergraduate students to statistics and careers in the field. At “Statistics Facts and Snacks,” students will learn about what a statistician does, requirements to pursue higher education in statistics, and introductory statistical programming techniques. 

The workshop will meet daily from Monday, May 22 through Wednesday, June 7 (excluding Memorial Day), from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the University of Kentucky Multidisciplinary Sciences building, room 333. 

Participants must register to attend, and participants under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian register for them.

The “Statistics Facts and Snacks” summer workshop is presented by the UK College of Arts and Sciences Applied Statistics Lab and the UK Center for Clinical and

5/17/2017

By Jenny Wells

Tissue regeneration is complex and involves the dynamic interaction of many cellular and physiological processes. Understanding how these processes interact to regulate regeneration requires working across disciplines. In support of an interdisciplinary approach, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded researchers at the University of Kentucky a five-year, $1.65 million grant from its National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to study how inflammatory cells can regulate tissue regeneration in mammals.

The research team is led by Ashley Seifert, assistant professor of biology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, and John Gensel, assistant professor of physiology in the 

5/16/2017

By Jenny Wells

Macrophages from an African spiny mouse promote tissue regeneration.

A team of University of Kentucky researchers has discovered that macrophages, a type of immune cell that clears debris at injury sites during normal wound healing and helps produce scar tissue, are required for complex tissue regeneration in mammals. Their findings, published today in eLife, shed light on how immune cells might be harnessed to someday help stimulate tissue regeneration in humans.

“With few examples to study, we know very little about how regeneration works in mammals; most of what we know about organ regeneration comes from studying invertebrates or from research in amphibians and fish,” said Ashley Seifert, senior author of the study and assistant professor of 

5/12/2017

By Shana Hutchins and Jenny Wells

The authors observed in real-time the transformation of a HfO2 nanorod from its room temperature to tetragonal phase, at 1000° less than its bulk temperature. Nanorod surfaces and twin boundary defects (pictured here) serve to kinetically trap this phase.

 

It’s a material world, and an extremely versatile one at that, considering its most basic building blocks — atoms — can be connected together to form different structures that retain the same composition.

Diamond and graphite, for example, are but two of the many polymorphs of carbon, meaning that both have the same chemical composition and differ only in the manner in which their atoms are connected. But what a world of difference that connectivity makes: The former goes into a ring and costs thousands of dollars, while the latter has to sit content within a

5/11/2017
Kayvin Ghayoumi receiving an award during the 2017 Regional Undergraduate Chemistry Research Poster Competition

In recognition of his contributions to the field of environmental chemistry Kayvon Ghayoumi is honored with the Division of Environmental Chemistry 2017 Undergraduate award from the American Chemical Society. Ghayoumi earned a B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Kentucky this Spring. His interest in Environmental Chemistry started while taking CHE 565 taught by Dr. Marcelo Guzman, who later became his research supervisor. For his research in collaboration with Assistant Professor Marcelo Guzman and graduate student Evie Zhou, Ghayoumi tackled a current problem studying the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide on nanocomposites that operate under a direct Z-scheme mechanism. Ghayoumi will be starting law school this coming Fall at George Washington University and plans to apply his chemistry knowledge to specialize in both patent and environmental law.

5/11/2017

By Jennifer T. Allen

Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle plans to change the world. Specifically, she plans to help eradicate poverty and fight injustice.

“It’s important to me that I’m doing meaningful work that is making a difference in this world,” Adekunle said.

Adekunle came to the University of Kentucky from Ghana as a 15-year-old freshman the fall of 2013. This past Sunday she walked across the stage at Rupp Arena and received her degree in international studies and English.

“UK and A&S have been great for me personally because of the support I’ve experienced here,” Adekunle said. “Coming here when I was only 15 could have been really hard, but the faculty I worked with were all so caring. They helped me grow my strengths and empowered me to work on my weak areas.”

When Adekunle came to Lexington, the only person she knew in town was her sister. To

5/9/2017

By Jennifer T. Allen

Growing up in a small Appalachian town, Blake Dilynn Donithan dreamt of exploring the world. Looking at the mountains out of her bedroom window in Pikeville, Kentucky, she envisioned traveling first to Russia. She never thought that a few years later she would be in a small village near the Russian-Mongolian border in the Sayan Mountains.

“I had no connection to Russia or the Russian language, and people often questioned my decision to study Russian,” Donithan said. “But I wanted to learn a challenging language that would be an asset in the future. From a young age, I was fascinated with Russian literature, history and culture.”

Now a senior at the University of Kentucky majoring in international studies with a focus on comparative politics and societies in Russia and Eurasia and minoring in Russian

5/4/2017

By Jenny Wells

Per UK tradition, a student representative will speak at each of the four University of Kentucky Commencement Ceremonies this week.

The four student speakers are:

Savanah Sellars Sellars, from Yorkville, Illinois, will speak at the 10 a.m. May 5 ceremony. She is graduating with a baccalaureate degree in integrated strategic communication from the UK College of Communication and Information. May 5 is an extra special day for Sellars, because she will commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force shortly after the Commencement ceremony ends.  In June, she will begin her military career at Joint Base Langley-Eustis as a public affairs officer. During her time at UK, Sellars was involved in Air Force ROTC,

5/3/2017

By Ashley Murphy

Motivated by his passion for writing studies and rhetoric, as well as his interest in Chinese culture, Brian McNely will head back to China this summer to teach advanced academic writing at Jilin University (JLU) in Changchun.   

McNely, assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies at UK, began his teaching experience in China in the summer of 2013, traveling to Shanghai to teach in a two-week program at Shanghai University. “I had an unbelievable time. I loved my time there, I loved my students there.”

In 2015, the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (

5/3/2017

By Jenny Wells

Deborah Crooks, emerita associate professor of anthropology in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the 2017 Franz Boas Distinguished Achievement Award by the Human Biology Association (HBA). The award honors members of the association for exemplary contribution to human biology in science, scholarship and professional service.

A biocultural anthropologist, Crooks’ research has focused on nutritional anthropology, livelihoods and food/nutrition security, the political-economy of child growth, the biology of inequality and human adaptability in Belize, Eastern Kentucky and Zambia. She combines theory and methods from biological and cultural anthropology to address these issues, using quantitative and qualitative data. Her research

5/3/2017

By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved 16 University Research Professorships for the 2017-18 year.

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 truly gratifying to recognize these distinguished experts who have made significant contributions in so many different fields of research at the University of Kentucky,” said Lisa Cassis, UK’s vice president for research. “The University Research Professorship Awards honor 16 members of our faculty who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and creative work that addresses scientific, social, cultural and

5/1/2017

By Kathy Johnson

Attorney General Andy Beshear, front, joined Emily Bonistall Postel's UK sociology class on victimology for a photo.

A University of Kentucky sociology class welcomed Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear to campus Friday, April 28, as he presented the class with the first-place prize in the #VoiceofJustice video contest. As determined by a panel of survivors and victim advocates, Emily Bonistall Postel's class on victimology created the winning 30-second video “Stand with us" to promote the state's free and confidential Sexual Assault Hotline.

The Office of the Attorney General and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs created the contest to engage Kentucky college students in raising

5/1/2017

By Katie Pratt

In her research, Townsend compared container, vertical and hydroponic gardens to assess their ability to grow several different types of lettuces. Photo by Katie Pratt, Agricultural Communications.

As a self-proclaimed foodie and a lifelong gardener, it was no surprise that University of Kentucky student Anna Townsend answered the call to share her knowledge when the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK) formed in 2014. As she prepares for graduation, Townsend, the group’s vice president and garden fellow, will leave her mark on the organization through research.

As part of her Lewis Honors College capstone, and with funding from the 

5/1/2017

By Loretta Stafford

For one University of Kentucky student in the College of Arts and Sciences, a routine class assignment turned into the opportunity to present at one of the most esteemed undergraduate philosophy symposiums in the Midwest.

Earlier this semester, senior Brandon Flynn traveled north to present at the 2017 Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy (UCiP) hosted by Eastern Michigan University. For the past seven years, UCiP has reviewed submissions from undergraduates across the nation and selected the most thought-provoking and creative theses to be defended at the in-person conference.

In “How Morally Hazardous Circumstances Led to the Great Recession,” Flynn analyzes the morality of Wall Street trading practices leading up to the U.S.'s severe economic

5/1/2017

By Whitney Hale

University of Kentucky Libraries is ending the Year of South Asia, presented by the UK College of Arts and Sciences, by offering three exhibits with materials from its collections. One honors a retiring faculty member and is a physical exhibit in the atrium of William T. Young Library; the other two offer glimpses of South Asia and are virtual exhibits of postcards from the 20th century.

"Sixty Years of Scholarship: The Works of P.P. Karan" is an exhibit honoring the work of Pradyumna "P.P." Karan during his 60 years as a faculty member in the Department of Geography at the University of

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