by Robin Roenker
photos by Mark Cornelison

As a theoretical physicist, Keh-Fei Liu’s computational simulations in the field of quantum chromodynamics can simultaneously shed light on the innermost workings of the smallest particles in our universe, as well as help better understand how the universe itself came into being.

Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) is the study of the strong force between quarks and gluons, which combine to form hadrons, such as protons, neutrons, and pions.

For the past 15 years, Liu has led an international team of QCD collaborators—including faculty at George Washington University, the University of Virginia, the University of Washington, India’s TIFAR Institute, and the Chinese Institute of High Energy Physics—in working to answer a key question about the structure of the proton.


By Keith Hautala

There's just no telling where an education from the University of Kentucky can take you.

For U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Smith, the journey that began at UK has taken him around the world and deep below the ocean's surface, as captain of the USS Kentucky, a nuclear submarine.

"Having been born in Kentucky and growing up there, I can’t imagine any pride greater than serving as commander of the ship that bears my home state's name," says Smith, whose parents and sister still live in Kentucky.

Born in Covington and raised in Independence, Smith graduated from Simon Kenton High School and attended Xavier University for a year before transferring to UK. After graduating in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in physics, Smith was commissioned in the Navy and went to officer candidate school in Pensacola, Fla., where he began nuclear power

Amy Anderson

Graduate Student Spotlight By Saraya Brewer
Photos by Mark Cornelison

Amy Anderson’s academic history has taken a sharp turn since her early undergrad pre-medical path. “We had to kill things in our lab class and that was the end of that,” she laughed. “I always liked to write – I went straight back to the English Department.”

Though she has studied English for close to a decade now, Anderson is quick to admit that her “academic ADD” still stands: “I can’t focus on a time period. I’m interested in anything you put in front of me.” 

Her broad and varied interests make Anderson the perfect candidate for the brand new division of the University of Kentucky English department: Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media. Anderson says she was excited about rhetoric, which is essentially the study of persuasion, from the first class she


story by Guy Spriggs

English professor and writer-in-residence Erik Reece has expressed his views on the coal industry and energy policy in Kentucky in such works as his 2006 book “Lost Mountain.” He also believes the University of Kentucky has an opportunity to effect positive change and become a more energy-responsible institution.

Reece understands the influence of coal in Kentucky, but feels that the effects coal has on Kentucky’s environment and local economies are largely overlooked.  “It’s a very cheap source of energy because there’s so much of it, but the problem is that people aren’t factoring in the true cost of coal,” Reece said.  “We’re not paying for the externalities in terms of all the dirty water, the

Teaching Students to be Bearers of History

Q&A with New Professor Adam Banks - by Guy Spriggs

You joined UK’s Division of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media in 2010. What motivated your decision to come to Lexington and join the faculty at UK?

First, I saw the formation of this division as something unique and something that could create some really different approaches to not only the teaching of writing, but to scholarly work as well. Second, in our conversations, both my department chair Roxanne Mountford and Dean Kornbluh showed that they really understood and valued my work and wanted to build from that. I was excited by the work that we’re doing to reinvent composition instruction by fully bringing together print literacy with oral production and digital production



“I didn’t want to rush into the next step after undergrad so I took some time off,” Payne said. “Then, I sort of came to the point where I wanted a plan for the rest of my life.”

Knowing that she wanted to continue to study chemistry but also wanting to foster her other life passions, Payne picked UK and started her graduate work in 2000.

“I was an avid rock climber and I knew I could be close to the Red River Gorge,” she said. “I also rode horses as a kid and had been to Lexington several times, so I had some familiarity with the area


Car assembly lines use thousands of parts to build just one automobile, with each individual piece specifically engineered to perform one function. Could you instead build a car out of LEGO blocks, creating a complex machine out of a far more limited set of parts? This would require that each 'block' be very versatile: able to function in many different roles. However once in place, each block should adopt and retain only the role intended. This is the same strategy as that employed by life to maximize biochemical efficiency while also exploiting a dizzying array of chemical reactions. Nature's protein catalysis (called enzymes) accelerate reaction rates by up to 10,000,000,000,000,000,000-fold, yet do so using only 20 different amino acid building blocks and a dozen vitamin cofactors as additives. In studying enzyme catalysis, University of Kentucky graduate student Dongtao Cui and


Dr. William D. Ehmann, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, has been elected to the Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Bill received a B.S. degree (1952) with honors and an M.S. degree (1954), both in chemistry, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He went on to receive a Ph.D. degree in radiochemistry in 1957 from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and carried out postdoctoral work (1957-58) at Argonne National Laboratory under a National Research Council/National Science Foundation Fellowship. He joined the Department of Chemistry at UK in 1958 and was a Fulbright Research Scholar (1964-65) at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. In addition, he has held visiting faculty appointments at Arizona State University and Florida

Anna Bosch

by Kathy Johnson

Three University of Kentucky professors have been named Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium (SECAC) 2011-2012 Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) Fellows.  They are Anna Bosch of the College of Arts and Sciences and Martha Peterson and Diane Snow, both of the College of Medicine.

The three will participate in this year-long leadership program consisting of both on-campus and off-campus activities including workshops that will bring them together with other ALDP Fellows from SEC schools. Workshops can focus on a variety of topics such as budgeting and finance, diversity, communication, strategic planning, fund raising, media relations, trends in higher education, and leadership strategies.  A


by Erin Holaday Ziegler

Four years of college is four years of finding yourself socially — and sometimes academically — for many enrolled at the University of Kentucky. The city in which a student goes about pursuing the next chapter of his or her life doesn't always come into play.

UK geography professor Richard Schein hopes to shed some local Lexington light on students this fall with a Community 101 class being offered to all university students through UK's College of Arts and Sciences.

"We've been an urban society since the 1920s," said Schein. "It's important for our students to become urban citizens, understanding gentrification, immigration, school districts and other city issues."

The class, which begins a day after UK's drop/add period, is a "win-win-win situation," according to Schein. "Not only will this class provide a great


At age seven, Peyton Fouts,’06, wanted to change the world. And he’s been working toward that goal since.

At that young age, he saw a girl on TV carrying one brother and dragging another (who was dead) by the hand in the sand. “She had been orphaned by AIDS and my heart broke. I knew I wanted to change their circumstances and I just kept seeing people around the world who needed help.”

Fouts, a Lexington, Ky., native, grew up in a family of six children. The son of a teacher (mother) and lawyer (father), he has an older sister and four younger brothers.

When Fouts graduated high school from Lexington Christian Academy in 2003, he enrolled at the University of Kentucky, earning two degrees in just three years at age 19.

While at the University of Kentucky, Fouts decided to plow through his coursework to graduate early. “I was at UK for three years and I


by Saraya Brewer
photos by Richie Wireman

Like many graduate students, University of Kentucky English Ph.D. candidate Sarah Schuetze lights up when she talks about her research. That in and of itself is not particularly strange – what’s perhaps a bit unusual about it is that her focus of study is rather dark, at times bordering morbidity. Schuetze’s academic concentration is disease – the culture of hysteria surrounding it, and the various ways it has affected characters’ lives in American literary texts throughout history.

She admits that it’s a bit odd, but she’s okay with that.

“I’m really attracted to things that are sort of peculiar,” she said. “I try to study things that are interesting and weird, because that’s what attracts me to a book.”

To that end, Schuetze’s fascination with disease is not


A few years ago when reality television became 'the next big thing,' a lot of time was devoted to figuring out its appeal. Was it the stunts? The crazy situations? The relationships? Lisa Zunshine, who holds the Bush-Holbrook Professorship in the UK Department of English, theorizes that it is really about feeding a deeply seated evolutionary need.

Suzanna Mitchell


by Erin Holaday Ziegler


When University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences academic adviser Emily Dailey first contacted psychology senior Suzanna Mitchell about a developmental


Before Ericka Barbour learned about feminist scholars, before she heard the stories of men and women and their struggles to overcome society’s misconceptions of gender, and before the name “Judith Butler” meant something to her, she was on her way to becoming a doctor.

After graduating from Louisville’s Central High School Pre-Med magnet program, Barbour saw a career in the field of medicine as a means of “healing” and helping those in need. Deciding she wanted to become an OBGYN, Barbour signed up for classes in biology and chemistry as a college freshman at the University of Kentucky.

But within her first two semesters of the natural sciences, Barbour became restless. “The classes were just so impersonal to me,” she said.

In search for a more meaningful college experience


Betsy Dahms has known since her childhood that masculinity can mean a variety of things. Growing up with eight brothers and one sister, Dahms developed an acute awareness that a person’s masculinity can never be reduced to a single form or expression. It is this aspect of her family upbringing that has most significantly influenced Dahms’ budding scholarly and pedagogical career.

“My father died when I was young, so I didn’t grow up with a father-figure in my life,” said Dahms. “In my house I was able to see how my brothers were treated versus how my sister and I were treated, and I often thought to myself, ‘wow, that’s different.’”

This disparate treatment did not end when Dahms left her Northern Kentucky childhood home. As an adult, Dahms has faced criticism because she’s done things typically coded as masculine. She and her partner built the house where they now live


Our year-long initiative Kentucky & South Africa: Different Lands, Common Ground was a wonderful success, but it isn’t over, certainly not for some of our students studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. While there, the students are interning at various non-governmental organizations and bringing their skills and assets to the South African organizations. They are also taking a course on South African politics and history in order to better understand the challenges the NGOs face. Follow their memorable adventures on their blogs.  

Sarah Houseman -

Joseph Mann -

Al Mauldin -

Brooke McCloud -


by Whitney Hale

This summer 25 recent graduates of the University of Kentucky will embark on a new challenge as they train to teach in America's inner cities and rural communities this coming fall. The UK group, the largest in school history, is among 5,200 new corps members selected for Teach For America, a national program in which outstanding college graduates commit to teach for two years in disadvantaged urban and rural public schools. 

Teach For America places its recruits in the nation's highest-need elementary and secondary schools in many of the country's lowest income communities, both rural and urban, in an effort to close the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children.

This year’s corps is the


Jessica Baer takes time to carefully listen to the students that she advises. In return, her students took the time to nominate her for the Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award at UK, which she was honored with. That has been parlayed into also being awarded a 2011 National Outstanding Advising Award in the Primary Roll Category.


by Erin Holaday Ziegler

Today is the deadline to register for the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences online classes for the 8-week summer term. Although the first 4-week session has ended, UK's 8-week summer session begins on June 9, and the 6-week session begins June 23.  For more information, visit the A&S website at

As technology has changed, so has the way courses are offered.  Ted Higgs, an instructor and supervisor of teaching assistants in the University of Kentucky's Department of Modern and Classical, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, has been involved with correspondence classes since his days in Vietnam, where he first took an Algebra 1 class through the mail.

Higgs taught


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