The Internet has grown so useful and powerful in such a short period of time that people sometimes never question the endless information it unfurls to its captivate audience. As a professor at a university, Jeremy Popkin is already all too aware of that issue, but he never imagined that the issue would abruptly come crashing through his door.

“We were all stunned,” Popkin began, as he explained his initial response to the


by Megan Neff

photos by Mark Cornelison

Zach Shultz’s work as an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky has gone far beyond the typical goal of just making it out in four years. In the time it takes many students to decide upon a tentative career plan, Shultz has called into question and redefined the boundaries of academia twice over.

For one, the sociology and Spanish double major was the first to make use of the Undergraduate Honors Thesis Program. And by extension, the focus of his thesis critically examined existing boundaries in academia as well as notions of identity in a globalized world.

But Shultz did not start his freshman year at UK in 2005 with these ambitious goals. He began as an English major before quickly relocating to



by Michelle Ku
photo by Richie Wireman

In the Department of Hispanic Studies at UK, linguistics will no longer be playing second fiddle.

With a graduate program renowned for its literature studies, the linguistics side of Spanish is once again ready to rosin up its bow.

In the last three years, the number of linguists on the department’s faculty has tripled to three professors and the regularly offered graduate-level linguistics classes have grown from two to nine.

Most importantly, Hispanic Studies unveiled an Allied Field in Hispanic Linguistics, a concentration area intended to supplement the literature course work of a doctoral candidate.

“For students in all fields of Hispanic Studies, the study of linguistics, the scientific study of language, can inform their understanding of


by Jessica Fisher

photos by Mark Cornelison

For the past 62 years, the University of Kentucky has hosted the internationally recognized Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC). Following two horrific world wars, its inception in 1948, was in line with national trends that “marked a resurgence of foreign language study as a way of furthering intercultural comprehension, what we now call global competence, and a desire to increase understanding that would avoid future wars,” according to Executive Director of the KFLC and Latin American Studies professor, Susan Carvalho

“The same thing happened with


by Ana Rueda

"Film," for Professor Susan Larson, "is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to the ways that societies tell stories about themselves and others." With the belief that students need to be trained to interpret the visual images produced by and of the Spanish-speaking world in an informed and


Rachel Philbrick was born and raised in Cambridge, Mass., and attended high school at the Commonwealth School, a small, private institution in Boston’s Back Bay. Commonwealth’s small size fostered a stimulating intellectual environment, encouraging interactions between students and faculty. It was here that Rachel first encountered Latin, studying it for four year and travelling, in her junior year, to Italy with her Latin class.

From there, Rachel entered Cornell University as a biology major. In her sophomore year, she added Latin as a second major under the mentorship of Prof. Michael Fontaine and, in May 2007, completed degrees in both Latin and Biology & Society. She spent the summer of 2006 in Rome, Italy, studying at Fr. Reginald Foster’s Aestiva Romae Latinitas, where she encountered a vibrant intellectual community akin to that she had enjoyed in high


By Kathy Johnson

Jonathan Golding, University of Kentucky psychology professor who was recently named Kentucky Professor of the Year, was the guest on Saturday's "UK at the Half," which aired during the UK vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga game that was broadcast on radio. 

"UK at the Half" airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast on radio and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.

To hear the "UK at the Half" interview, click here. To view a transcript of the "UK at the Half" interview, click


By Guy Spriggs

As he enters the second semester of his senior year, Jeremy Puckett finds himself at the end of his undergraduate study with plans to continue his education by pursuing a master’s degree in library science.

But Puckett also finds himself undertaking a task normally reserved for advanced graduate students and professors: publishing a book.

“It’s funny…I’ve been writing since I was in middle school and I never thought of it as a career,” Puckett said.

Puckett was compelled to write his novel after a trip home to Green County, Kentucky.

“I spent a lot of my life trying to get away from my home county,” Puckett explained. “You spend your whole life running away from something and you look back and it’s always over your shoulder because you’re taking it with you as you go.”

“I realized that the act of running away defines that place



by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Shaun Ring and Richie Wireman

In a certain main academic office on campus is a picture of a half-undressed young woman, breast exposed, smoking, with cigarette butts littered around her enticingly draped bed. It is the cover of a pamphlet dated 1905 that loudly asks the loaded question, “Is College Bad for Girls?” and insinuates that a college education leads young women to such deadly sins as “flirting” and “speaking to male students without Proper Introduction or Chaperone.” The pamphlet cover, now a relic in the newly created Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, is a visual reminder of how far women in the academy have come in the last 100 years.

Women’s Studies as an academic discipline was born in the 1970s and came to the University of Kentucky in the 1980s, thanks largely to the efforts of Nancy



by Brian Connors Manke
photo by Tim Collins

Having volunteered at and done research in conjunction with domestic violence shelters, Gender and Women’s Studies professor Cristina Alcalde has witnessed the journey of many women who have faced violence in their lives.

But, as she continued to intensively study domestic violence both in her homeland of Peru and in Texas where she was an assistant professor of anthropology at Southwestern University, Alcalde realized she needed to try and understand the complex issue as a whole.

“Women have told me that a man has done this or that and I’ve seen the marks on a women’s body, but I hadn’t talked to men. Ethically I couldn’t focus on men who were abusive and women who were battered at the same time,” Alcalde said.

Which has led her to her current research project - Violent and Non-Violent



story by Brian Connors Manke
photos by Shaun Ring

“For me, to stand at the confluence of two streams of flowing water, no matter how small, is a moment of feeling integrated. To be in one of those sweet spots in nature silences you – standing there in awe, there is nothing to say.”

Gurney Norman understands the delicate beauty of awe – but as Kentucky’s new Poet Laureate, the longtime teacher, outdoorsman and, of course, writer, has always been drawn to sharing his lifelong meditations of nature into words.

Norman’s relationship with the Kentucky landscape, and in particular, the flowing waters that dance, carve, rush or just mosey



Roxanne Mountford Treats Students As Researchers

By Robin Roenker
photos by Lee Thomas

Roxanne Mountford didn’t know the study of rhetoric and composition existed as a field when she decided to pursue a graduate degree in English at The Ohio State University in the mid-1980s. But the moment she began to teach her first composition class as a graduate assistant, she knew she’d found her calling.

“I fell in love with the teaching of writing. I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to spend my whole life doing,” said Mountford, who received her doctorate in 1991 focusing on the history, theory and practice of rhetoric and composition.

Mountford joined UK’s faculty as Associate Professor in Rhetoric and Composition in 2008 after 12 years on the faculty with the University of Arizona’s rhetoric and composition program. Next year, she will take



Jane Gentry Vance Combines the Roles of Poet Laureate and College Professor

By Allison L. Elliott

Jane Gentry Vance, the new Poet Laureate of Kentucky, wrote her first poem in second grade. It began with the words "[t]he very first Christmas long, long ago? Took place in a manger where the cattle did low."

"Hardly great verse," she says, "but I was surprised at how it seemed to come to me with the beginnings of its form already in place. I knew that I'd discovered a new pleasure. I guess I first thought of myself as a decent poet when I took the beginning writing workshop my first semester at Hollins College in Virginia."

Today Vance, a professor of English, helps University of Kentucky students discover the pleasures of thinking and writing about the world around them. She credits her own teachers at Hollins and at Henry Clay High School in Lexington



by Robin Roenker
photos by Mark Cornelison

For associate professor Mark Watson, as exciting as creating new materials is, one end-product is even more fundamental.

“When you think about research and teaching, of all our products, the most important ones are our students,” he began.

“In the end, whether they go on to be chemists in any professional sector (private, public, government, or academic), or executives, patent agents, technical sales reps, or whatever their career, we’ve empowered them for that future by providing an environment for their continued growth as independent researchers and problem solvers,” said Watson, who was awarded this year’s Young Investigator Award by the Kentucky Academy of Science.



John Anthony has a list of projects that are all striving to improve the environment.

By Alicia P. Gregory
photo by Lee Thomas

You know the chorus from that old Irving Berlin song: “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.” It pretty much sums up UK chemist John Anthony’s challenge to silicon-based technology. His goal is to take anything you can make with silicon (think ceramics) and make it cheaper and greener with carbon (plastics).

Liquid-crystal displays (LCDs are the hot HDTV sets) and radio-frequency identification (RFIDs are tiny white tags that already appear on some products and will one day replace barcodes) are made from pricey and brittle silicon. But Anthony is tweaking carbon-based molecules to do these things and more. Anthony, an effusive teacher who says his goal is to get his students to



UK researcher is working to make the Earth’s water supply safer to drink.

By Jennifer T. Allen

Most people don’t worry about their drinking water causing cancer, brittle bones or neurological diseases. Not many suspect that it could contain arsenic, mercury or lead. Even fewer know that efforts are underway on the third floor of the Chemistry-Physics building to remove these and other contaminants from water.

Since 2000, chemistry professor David Atwood and his student researchers have been working to remove elemental contaminants from water — and they have been successful.  

“Most people don’t realize their direct effect on the quality of our water and our air,” said Lisa Blue, a chemistry graduate student working in Atwood’s lab. “We have certain things we can’t live without, such as water and air, and I want to be part of the solution in taking care



by Kami Rice
photos by Richie Wireman

Hsain Ilahiane originally came to Lexington because of the quality of UK’s anthropology department, but in his two short months of living here he’s already come to love the Farmers Market, which he and his wife, Ann Becker, have been taking advantage of to the fullest.

“It’s very enjoyable for me to go and talk to the famers,” Ilahiane said, in addition to having access to fresh produce. His current research interests are largely centered in studying information and communications technologies, but prior to that he was studying small scale farming.

Farming was also involved in leading him into the field of anthropology. While working on his master’s degree in international development at



by Rebekah Tilley

Ever since the night American colonists tossed tea into Boston Harbor, we have been a nation of coffee consumers. The rich, dark smell of coffee is part of our morning ritual and its caffeine has fueled many late night projects. Sarah Lyon, assistant professor of anthropology, follows coffee back to the source by studying coffee farmers and the impact of fair trade practices in the Central American region.

The fair trade movement is a fairly recent phenomenon that seeks to give local producers a fair price for their commodity. Lyon focuses her research on coffee-producing communities in Guatemala, and her work sheds light on the ways sustainable



By Keith Hautala

Two faculty members and 12 students from the University of Kentucky were inducted into the Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, at a banquet and ceremony held on Dec. 4.

Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and professor of diplomacy and conflict resolution, was recognized for service and leadership at the university, worldwide service as a U.S. ambassador and advisor, professional accomplishments, and devotion to developing international leaders.

Buck Ryan, director of the Citizen Kentucky Project at the UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and associate professor of journalism, was recognized for service and leadership at the university, worldwide service to professional journalism, dedication to the education of youth

graduate high five


By Katy Bennett

On Friday, Dec. 16, UK students will trade their winter coats and gloves for caps and gowns as the University holds its December Commencement to honor students who earned their degrees in August or December. Graduate and professional degrees will be conferred at 1:30 p.m. Undergraduate degrees will be conferred at 6 p.m.; both ceremonies will take place in Memorial Coliseum.

More than 500 undergraduates and 100 graduate and professional students are expected to participate in this Friday’s exercises.

UK President Eli Capilouto will deliver his first Commencement address at both ceremonies. In addition to his remarks, and keeping with university tradition, a student will address the crowd at the undergraduate ceremony. Kristina Betsworth, a graduating senior from Frankfort, Ky., is the


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