cherry blossoms


By Whitney Hale

In 1912, an incredible gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees was bestowed on Washington, D.C. by Tokyo, Japan. Rooted strongly and surviving outside elements, the trees have withstood the test of time and become a beloved treasure of our nation's capital. Nearly a century later, the friendship between Japan and Kentucky is preparing for an unprecedented and once-in‐a‐lifetime centennial celebration of this gift as the Japan/America Society of Kentucky (JASK) paint the state and University of Kentucky campus pink.

In honor of this international friendship between Kentucky and Japan, the Embassy of Japan and the Consul General of Japan in Nashville, Tenn., has awarded the JASK 20 offspring from the original cherry blossom trees to be donated to the



By Kathy Johnson

Kentucky poet, novelist, environmentalist and University of Kentucky alumnus Wendell Berry delivered the 2012 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities last night in Washington, D.C.  Berry was named earlier this year by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as this year's Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

The lecture, titled "It All Turns on Affection," was delivered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

To read coverage of Berry's speech by Inside Higher Education visit this website 


The College of Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2012-13 A&S Outstanding Teaching Awards are Drs. Christia Brown (psychology), Brenna Byrd (MCLLC), Yanira Paz (Hispanic Studies), and Bradley Plaster (physics & astronomy).

Dr. Christia Brown has been in the psychology department since 2007 and is affiliated with the Children at Risk Research Cluster, Gender and Women’s Studies, and the UK Center for Poverty Research.  She exemplifies teaching excellence.  She creates an innovative learning environment in every classroom she enters, whether through engagement activities in her large lecture courses or debates in her smaller seminars. One of her students stated, “This is the best class and professor I have ever had at UK.”  Outside the classroom she is a


Feature banner image - Dan Dry/Kentucky Derby

By Rebekah Tilley

The sharp taste of bourbon, the fluttering ladies hats, the first few bars of “My Old Kentucky Home,” pounding hooves, the refinement of the clubhouse box and the wild parties on the infield grass.

This is the Kentucky Derby.

In his recent book The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event, published by University Press of Kentucky, Department of History alumnus Dr. James Nicholson explores how the paradoxical reputation of Kentucky for lawlessness and gentility is reflected in and helped sustain “the most exciting two



By Jonathon Spalding

University of Kentucky history professor, Jeremy Popkin, was recently appointed a fellowship for the 2012-13 academic year by the National Humanities Center.

“The National Humanities Center is an ideal environment for scholars,” Popkin said, “It is set up to encourage the exchange of ideas.”

More than $1,500,000 in individual fellowship grants will allow scholars to take a yearlong leave from their regular academic duties to pursue research at the center, located in North Carolina. Popkin is one of 33 fellows who will have the opportunity to work on an individual research project and share their ideas in seminars, lectures and conferences.

“I’m looking forward to the rare opportunity to spend a year thinking and writing about a problem that has intrigued me since I was an undergraduate,” Popkin said.



By Sarah Geegan

The Appalachian Center and the University Press of Kentucky are hosting three events Friday, April 20, to celebrate Appalachia-related books published during this academic year.

The events, which will take place both at Memorial Hall and the Appalachian Center, honor books that contribute to the understanding of the Appalachian region and were published by UK faculty or by the University Press of Kentucky during this academic year.

Helen Lewis and Judi Jennings will give an Appalachian forum based on their new book, "Helen Matthews Lewis: Living Social Justice in Appalachia," at 3:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.



By Sarah Geegan, Lea Mann

Hanban, the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing, has designated the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute as the official Chinese proficiency test center for the state of Kentucky.

The HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) and the YCT (Youth Chinese Test), are proficiency exams that rank Chinese language learners on different levels of mastery.

The HSK assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ proficiency in using the language in daily, academic and professional environments. The test contains both written and oral sections, ranking speakers into six different levels in writing and three different levels in speaking.  

Chinese universities will use the HSK test results for enrollment; by taking this exam, U.S. college students become

math logo

By Sarah Geegan, Lea Mann

University of Kentucky math professor Carl Lee recently received the Kentucky Mathematical Association of America award at the annual KYMAA meeting at Bellarmine University. The award is given annually to one mathematician from across the state.

The Mathematical Association of America, (MAA), is a national professional mathematics society, which focuses on collegiate teaching. The Kentucky section draws from all colleges and universities across the state and recognizes one member each year for distinguished college or university instruction.

Lee said he was surprised but honored to receive the award.

"This was very unexpected," Lee said of his award. "I was attending the annual meeting of the



By Jenny Wells

Karen Tice, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, recently authored her new book, "Queens of Academe: Beauty Pageantry, Student Bodies, and Campus Life," published by Oxford University Press.

Tice, who also holds a joint appointment in the UK College of Arts and Sciences Department of Gender and Women's Studies, will lecture on the topic from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the President's Room at the Singletary Center for the Arts. A reception will follow. Tice also will be at Morris Book Shop on East High Street for a book signing from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 26.

From the Oxford University Press site:

"In 'Queens of Academe,' Karen W. Tice



By Sarah Geegan

The University of Kentucky will host the 65th annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC), an internationally esteemed colloquium for scholars of language, literature and culture, beginning Thursday, April 19, across the UK campus.

The event will unite scholars from across the world, as the largest U.S. conference dedicated to all aspects of the study of language and its peoples, from technology to teaching, from film to literature, from linguistics to cultural studies. With keynote speakers, discussion panels, research presentations and exhibits, the conference will address issues pertaining to language through multiple platforms.

Doug Slaymaker, executive director of the KFLC and associate professor of 


The 2011 Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame ceremony was a family affair, as the husband and wife duo of Dr. Joseph Jones and Dr. Margaret Jones were both inducted. The videos below include pieces about the inductees lives and also their speeches on the night of the induction. Congrats to both for their wonderful careers and endless contributions to UK!



DATE:Friday, April 20, 2012 - 3:30pm to 9:00pm

The Appalachian Center and University Press of Kentucky are hosting three events to celebrate Appalachia on Friday, April 20th:

3:30 p.m. @ Memorial Hall - Helen Lewis and Judi Jennings will give an Appalachian Forum based on their new bookHelen Matthews Lewis: Living Social Justice in Appalachia

5:30-6:30p.m. @ The UK Appalachian Center

hanna and spencer


By Whitney Hale

Two University of Kentucky students have been recognized by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program for 2012. Sophomore Josiah Hanna, of Lexington, and junior David Spencer, of Paducah, Ky., received honorable mention recognition from the scholarship program.

This year’s Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,123 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by colleges and universities nationwide.

Josiah Hanna, son of David and Sarah Hanna, is a Paul Laurence Dunbar High School alumnus. He is pursuing majors in computer science and mathematics and a minor in 

Boost Your IT IQ!

Since the 2012 Winter Intercession, A&S has been offering a series of courses called "IT IQ," which engages students and introduces them to a variety of technologies at their disposal. The courses are generally six weeks long, are worth one credit hour, and provide students with a technological framework for academics. In this short podcast, three key players in IT IQ (Derek Eggers, Carly Germann, and Christian Ecker) talked about what students get in a typical course, what sorts of technologies are taught and how they're applied in an academic setting.

This podcast was produced by


By Robin Roenker

UK alumna Stephanie Spires—who earned a B.A. in Secondary Education Social Studies in 2003—recently found herself in the interesting position of being awarded a second UK major years after graduation day, without having to step foot in a single additional undergraduate class.

While she had never officially declared political science as a major, Spires’ lifelong love of the social and political aspects of government and international relations kept her signing up for class after class within the Department of Political Science during her undergraduate tenure.

While unaware of it at the time, Spires actually earned enough Political Science credits while at UK to have rightly earned an Arts & Sciences major alongside her UK Education degree.

While belated, the degree award is

jakobi williams


By Sarah Geegan

Jakobi Williams, professor in the UK Department of History and in the African American and Africana Studies Program, will present the next lecture in the "Rebuilding the Block," S.T. Roach Community Conversation series, at 11 a.m., on Saturday, April 14, at the Lyric Theatre.

The "Rebuilding the Block" series is a seven-month sequence of public lectures, led by UK experts and focused around the theme of African-American males. Held at the Lyric Theatre in east Lexington, the conversations are broken into sub-themes, each presenting relevant issues in a particular expert's field


Date: Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 3:30pm
Location: Memorial Hall

Staged reading in Memorial Hall with talk-back for Q&A with playwright (Silas House), director (Adanma Barton), cast, crew and the band Sugar Tree at the Memorial Hall Amphitheater (rain room Gatton BE 148 for talk back session).

ron eller


By Sarah Geegan

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will present the Distinguished Professor Lecture, featuring History Professor Ron Eller at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 12 in the William T. Young Library auditorium.

Eller's lecture, "Seeking the Good Life in America: Lessons From the Appalachian Past," will discuss what the future holds for Appalachia, using the history of the region as a foundation.

Eller, a professor in the Department of History, is originally from West Virginia. Having  spent more than 40 years teaching and writing about the Appalachian region, he also served as the director for the UK Appalachian Center for 16 years. Eller has also served as chairman of the Governor’s Kentucky

geography logo


By Guy Spriggs

UK Geography professor Daehyun Kim was recently named the recipient of the J Warren Nystrom Award, a prize presented every year by the Association of American Geographers (AAG).

The award, funded by geographer and former AAG Executive Director John Warren Nystrom, is given for the best dissertation paper presented by a recent doctoral graduate in geography.

Judging for the award began back in August of 2011. Kim was named a finalist for the Nystrom Award, and presented his paper at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in February 2012.

“To be honest, I was not very confident,” Kim explained. “During the presentation I saw a lot of good research, so I was not sure about



By Whitney Hale

Chemist and educator John Anthony will receive the 2012 University of Kentucky Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement. The award will be presented to the medallion recipient at the University of Kentucky Libraries Annual Dinner scheduled for April 13, at the Hilary J. Boone Center on the UK campus. This year's dinner will also feature a talk by guest speaker and UK alumnus Alan C. Lowe, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement recognizes high intellectual achievement while encouraging education and promoting creativity throughout the Commonwealth. Candidates must have been born in Kentucky or studied, worked or lived in Kentucky for at least three years and have


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