News

4/22/2021

By Interim Dean Christian Brady

A Brief, Brilliant Life
Susan Anne Odom, PhD November 16, 1980 - April 18, 2021

This week brought news of a tragic accident that took from the University of Kentucky family a brilliant young scholar. Dr. Susan Odom, Associate Professor of Chemistry, died April 18, 2021 in her home. A native of Paducah, Kentucky, Susan had a passion for science from an early age. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BS in Chemistry in 2003, earned her PhD from Georgia Tech, having been a visiting graduate student at the University of Oxford, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Susan joined our faculty in 2011, becoming an associate professor in 2017. She quickly became a favorite among students, winning the “Teacher Who Made a Difference” award in 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017.

4/22/2021

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2021) — Two University of Kentucky students, Jacob Concolino and Benjamin Cortas, have been selected to receive Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD).

DAAD's RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. The internships give each student an opportunity to do research with one of Germany's top universities or research institutions. Around 300 students participate each summer.

Benjamin Cortas is the son of Edward and

4/21/2021

By C. Lynn Hiler and Savina Williams

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Nu Circle of national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) inducted 71 new members at a virtual ceremony Tuesday, April 13, 2021. ODK recognizes superior leadership and exemplary character and encourages collaboration among members across the five phases celebrated by the society: scholarship, athletics, service, communications and arts.

The Circle was established  May 2, 1925, and was recognized with a Superior Circle award from the national organization in 2018.

“Being able to serve as the president of the Nu Circle of ODK has been a privilege and a blessing,”

4/21/2021

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Laws originally designed to protect family farm owners from frivolous lawsuits have, in some states, grown in scope to protect the practices of industrial agriculture – a phenomenon that’s drawn the interest of UK researcher Loka Ashwood. 

"Originally these laws were a way to get agricultural exemptions to nuisance suits,” said Ashwood, assistant professor of environmental sociology in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences. “These nuisance suits are fundamentally about, OK, if somebody infringes upon my right to enjoy or use my property, technically I or my local government can file a nuisance suit. But right

4/20/2021

By Richard LeComte 

Shui-yin Sharon Yam, associate professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, has received the Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.  

Her book, "Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of

4/20/2021

By Julie Wrinn

Graduate students in political science are well aware of the importance of fieldwork for their dissertation research, but for Helen Kras (Ph.D. 2021, M.A. 2020), fieldwork also became a deciding factor in her academic job search.

“Every university I had interviews with asked about fieldwork and stated they would be interested in having me teach about fieldwork in methods classes,” she said.

Kras is completing her dissertation on public opinion and gender-based violence in Latin America. In fall 2021, she will join Regis University in Denver as a tenure-track assistant professor of political science. To relieve the financial burden of research travel, private support made all the difference for Kras.

“Through the Ken and Mary Sue Coleman Award and the Research and Travel Award, I was able to conduct fieldwork in Brazil and El Salvador,” she

4/19/2021

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2021) — The Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky has been awarded a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help preserve Kentucky’s cultural history.

The Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant, totaling more than $445,000, will be used to improve the environmental conditions of the approximately 10,000-square-foot collections storage area of the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology.

The museum,

4/19/2021

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that three Wildcats — biology students Kayli Bolton, Zoe Hert and Carly Karrick — have been awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The UK students are among 410 students nationwide selected to receive the 2021-22 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,256 math, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 438 of the nation's colleges and universities.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education

4/15/2021

By Mallory Olson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2021) — Numbers are kind of Katherine Thompson’s thing.

“I think it runs in my blood,” Thompson said. “My mom taught high school math and AP statistics, so math was a natural progression when I started thinking about college and what field I wanted to pursue.”

Now an associate professor in the University of Kentucky’s Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics, she had actually visited the University of Kentucky during her spring break at 16 years old to meet with Arny Stromberg, Ph.D., the Allen-Anderson Endowed Professor of Statistics, who was then an associate professor in the department.

“Dr. Stromberg is one of my greatest mentors,” she said. “He was so thoughtful during that trip to sit down and

4/13/2021

By Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Chad Risko has accepted our offer to be the new Faculty Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.  Dr. Risko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky (UK).

He received his PhD at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Jean-Luc Brédas, undertook postdoctoral research with Professors Mark Ratner and Tobin Marks at Northwestern University and has been at UK since 2014.

Dr. Risko’s research blends principles from organic and physical chemistry, condensed-matter physics, and materials science to develop theoretical materials chemistry approaches to better understand and design materials for advanced electronics and power

4/13/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2021) — For Sydney Clark, every day presents challenges. She was born with a genetic condition that resulted in vision loss over time.

By the time she was a teenager, she was almost completely blind. 

“Accessibility is always an issue,” Clark said. “I've never had an experience where accessibility wasn't an issue."

But Clark never allowed her disability to stop her from achieving her goals. And one of those goals was to attend the University of Kentucky.

The transition from high school to college can be challenging for any new student, but when Clark came to UK as a freshman in 2014, the Frankfort, Kentucky, native found herself facing more challenges than she was used to.

“I started reading Braille in class from the time I was

4/12/2021

By Aimee Nielson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2021) — When Quentin Tyler was a student in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, he often found himself in Professor Lionel Williamson’s office.

“I just stopped to say hello, but when I looked at my watch, sometimes three hours had passed,” Tyler said. “He was so knowledgeable, and he taught me many life lessons. I’m forever grateful for him.”

Williamson was just one of Tyler’s mentors at UK that steered him onto his current career path and impacted his philosophy on leadership. After graduation, Tyler remained at UK, first as an extension associate for recruitment and retention. Later, he directed the college’s Office of Diversity as assistant dean. In 2018, Tyler became the

4/8/2021

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2021) — Amy Murrell Taylor, the T. Marshall Hahn Jr. Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, is serving as the 2020-21 College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Professor and will deliver the annual Distinguished Professor Lecture next week.

"My colleagues across the College of Arts and Sciences have inspired me in so many ways,” Murrell Taylor said. “To have them recognize me with a distinguished professorship is deeply humbling — and an honor I will cherish for the rest of my career."

The lecture, titled 

4/7/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

A team of faculty and students from the University of Kentucky Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), has contributed to a major experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). The landmark results, announced today, are changing how physicists understand the subatomic world.

Fermilab’s three-year Muon g-2 experiment revealed that fundamental particles, called muons, behave in a way not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. The researchers think this behavior could be caused by the existence of

4/7/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley and Alicia Gregory

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2021) — As a Research I institution, the University of Kentucky offers its students opportunities to engage in research across all disciplines — and those opportunities aren’t just reserved for graduate and doctoral students.

Many undergraduates participate in research alongside UK’s world-class faculty, with the support of programs like the UK Office for Undergraduate Research, the Chellgren Student Fellows program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP). This high impact learning experience allows undergraduates to explore career options, develop problem-solving skills and set themselves apart for graduate or professional school or

4/6/2021

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2021) — The University of Kentucky is home to the largest survey of American dialects, which contains 90 years’ worth of linguistic data.

Started in 1929 by the American Dialect Society, the Linguistic Atlas Project (LAP) aims to collect linguistic data using a comprehensive, systematic approach. Over the course of many decades, the project has moved from various institutions — eventually landing at the University of Georgia (UGA), where it stayed for more than 25 years.

“I was introduced to the Atlas at UGA and worked on the project as a graduate student,” Allison Burkette, a professor in the Department of Linguistics in the 

4/6/2021

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky – The Earth’s mantle has spontaneous magnetism, contrary to what was believed until recently, and one University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences professor wants geophysicists to go figure out why.

Dhananjay Ravat, professor of geophysics, co-wrote a paper recently in Nature Reviews/Earth and Environment that explores reasons for the magnetism  in the Earth’s mantle. Basically, the prevailing wisdom was that mantle could not  be magnetic.

So what gives? The problem dates back to the launching of satellites in the late 1960s and ‘70s with magnetometers attached. Those devices picked up some strong magnetic anomalies that puzzled scientists.

“When satellites with magnetometers came along in the 1970s – the  analysis techniques were crude compared to today’s standards – and yet those early

4/6/2021

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- When Horace Bartilow was growing up in Jamaica in the 1970s, he’d watch helicopters carrying herbicide fly overhead. They were headed for the marijuana crops that farmers were growing in the center of the island --— one facet of the U.S. global war on drugs.  

Now, many years later, Bartilow is researching the politics and economics behind the drug wars as a professor of political science in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences. His latest book, “Drug War Pathologies: Embedded Corporatism and U.S. Drug Enforcement in the Americas,” finds the corporatist

3/31/2021

By Miko McFarland and Lindsey Piercy

For more than 100 years, the National Parks have allowed visitors to immerse themselves in diverse ecosystems, as well as provided opportunities to learn about the importance of conservation and environmental protection.

This summer, students at the University of Kentucky will get the chance to take their studies beyond the classroom and into the National Parks — thanks to a partnership between UK, Aramark and the National Parks Service.

Aramark, UK’s dining partner, also serves the U.S. National Parks, and that’s how this unique collaboration emerged.

“We’re excited to work in partnership with Aramark to offer these opportunities for students to engage in credit-bearing experiential educational experiences in some of the nation’s most beautiful national parks,” Katherine McCormick,

3/31/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will induct six new members into the A&S Hall of Fame next week as part of its 2020 class of inductees.

For the first time in 21 years, the Hall of Fame ceremony will take place virtually, offering the campus community and the public the opportunity to watch the induction ceremony and celebration. The ceremony had to be delayed last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those interested in attending must register at https://forms.as.uky.edu/hof-rsvp and can tune in at 7 p.m. EDT Friday, April 9, at www.as.uky.edu/hall-fame-live.

The 2020 alumni inductees include:

Ouita Papka Michel (Political

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