Culture expresses itself in a myriad of familiar ways – our music, fashion, entertainment, literature. Perhaps less noted is the way that culture impacts our bodies including the very manner we are brought into the world and the food that nourishes us during gout first year of life.

As a graduate student in geography, Rebecca Lane turned to social theory to provide a more in depth understanding of the theoretical structures within her own discipline that inform her research on medical and feminist geography while benefitting from the perspectives of other graduate students and instructors outside her own discipline.



Taking an “interdisciplinary” approach in academe is seemingly one of those things that everyone claims to value, but no one actually does. The UK Committee on Social Theory was established to change that. It was built around grounding its participants in the perspectives, theories and assumptions of other disciplines to better understand and advance their own disciplines. And the heart of the program is Social Theory 600.


by Erin Holaday Ziegler

University of Kentucky Chemistry Department Chair Mark Meier is noticeably enthusiastic when discussing the arrival of two new faculty members this fall.


Energy will be a central focus for new assistant professors Susan Odom and Doo Kim Young, as both have experience in energy and materials research and both will find a second home at UK's 


During the 2011-2012 school year, A&S will be focusing on China in its Passport to the World program. In a recent StoryCorps interview, Dean Mark Kornbluh discusses the reasons for focusing on China.


Archisman Ghosh

Ph.D. Student

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Richie Wireman

Archisman Ghosh’s fascination with astronomy was born on a roof in Calcutta. He still looks at the sky, but now he does it through a 20-inch telescope on the roof of UK’s parking structure #2.

A third-year graduate student in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ghosh focuses his scholarly work on String Theory, and through his Graduate Assistantship at the MacAdam Student Observatory is able to help young astronomy students experience the thrill of first laying their own eyes on a planet.

“My previous experience in astronomy was mainly from amateur activities – stargazing and backyard telescopes,” Ghosh said. “UK's MacAdam Student Observatory gave me an opportunity to have a more professional encounter with the subject. We have superior equipment. We


by Erin Holaday Ziegler, Alicia Brab and Gwendolyn Schaefer

This has not been a summer by the pool for University of Kentucky rising junior Gwendolyn Schaefer who is participating in a seven-month study abroad experience in Amman, Jordan with AMIDEAST, a leading American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).



by Erin Holaday Ziegler

Psychological research at the University of Kentucky indicates that feelings of disgust do not usually escalate to aggression in the same way that feelings of anger could.


UK doctoral student Ricky Pond has been interested in the feeling of disgust and its origins from the beginning of his doctoral work in psychology at UK.

Jeff Rice
by Erin Holaday Ziegler
Jeff Rice will join the faculty of the University of Kentucky this fall as a pioneering recipient of the Martha B. Reynolds Endowed Professorship for Digital Media in the College of Arts and Sciences' Division of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media (WRDM).    Formerly an associate professor of English and director of the Campus Writing Program at the University of Missouri, Rice has published over 20 articles and chapters in new media, composition, pedagogy and rhetoric.    "We're moving away from studying a subject in the classroom and toward a product with media like websites and video," Rice said. "It's more than lecture, lecture, lecture."   Rice's research and curriculum ideas are like Web pages filled with multiple narrative strands — similar to the multiple tabs you might have up on your screen right now — along with an incoming text message, and

“Doing math” is usually pictured as a solitary activity involving a chalkboard and harsh florescent lights. Yet that could not be further from the truth.
“Contrary to stereotype, mathematics is a very social activity,” said mathematics professor Peter Perry, who was recently awarded the prestigious 

Justin Taylor Ph.D. Student

By Megan Neff
Photos by Mark Cornelison

Like a lot of us out there, Justin Taylor didn’t have it easy when it came to math. But unlike the rest of the crowd, who grumbled through the required courses until the hallowed day of escape, he decided to make the struggle into a more challenging equation: a career.

However, the path to this decision did not follow any predetermined formula. After graduating from high school in the southeastern Missouri town of Sikeston, Taylor opted out of the two to four-year college route. Instead, he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego between 1998 and 2002. Here, he not only underwent a rigorous test of his physical endurance, but his mental strength, as well.

“A lot of my beliefs, my work ethic, and my dedication to try and be the best at


When Shannon Hincker started her undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky in 2004, she was a mathematics major.
After two years, she switched to the College of Arts & Sciences’ mathematical economics program.
With its combination of math, statistics and economics, the program was a good fit for Hincker and prepared her well for a job doing actuarial work for Mercer.


On the evening news, it is not uncommon to see polls charting public opinion on a variety of topics. The number of polls tends to spike around presidential elections, especially with topics surrounding approval ratings, national issues, and the economy. The degree of voter anger, angst, or contentment prominently posted in the polls is often a barometer of the larger political climate. And as you can imagine, those polls and resulting nightly news conversations can spark heated, informative, and oddly entertaining debates on the state of national politics.

But what trends can be found in poll numbers gathered in an increasingly media-saturated world? How do these poll numbers and nightly news conversations, for example, impact the way voters respond in presidential elections and how do voters react to pressing issues such as the economy?

UK political science doctoral



by Erin Holaday Ziegler


A University of Kentucky biology professor has been chosen as one of 22 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences for her innovative and


Topical studies alum Susan Tomasky was drawn to the University of Kentucky because of its honors program but she also became deeply rooted in the College of Arts & Sciences political science department.

Tomasky began her studies at UK in 1970 after she moved from her hometown of Morgantown, W. Va.


As a broad section of our world is experiencing economic and political upheaval, its peoples are migrating in search of security, stability and a shot at the good life. At the University of Kentucky, scholars are studying this massive immigration and its effects on various countries and cultures, and in the process have become part of an interdisciplinary migration of their own. The effects of this dual political and academic migration will be highlighted at the March 10-11 conference “Immigration Policy in an Anti-Immigrant Era” organized by the UK Quantitative Initiative for Policy and Social Research (QIPSR).
QIPSR is based in the College of Arts and Sciences, but was launched this year to


When her lifelong goal of becoming a zoologist began to fall apart early in her college career at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, Seung-yeon Yi felt academically directionless. “I basically failed. I tried really hard but I couldn’t get good grades and I thought I had to take a break and just look at myself and just try to find my purpose.” During that period of searching, Yi persuaded her family to allow her to travel to the United States, where she planned on doing service work with the Christian organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM) learning English and traveling to different countries. 


When Sam Powers travels, he buys a one-way ticket. He prefers it that way - as he searches for “Goat man” in Guatemala or participates in Buenos Aires’s annual pillow fight or motorbikes through Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, he wants the people he meets, not a return ticket, to determine his schedule.

In the past year, Powers has purchased quite a few one-way tickets, tickets that have taken him to 15 countries outside of the United States and introduced him to four new languages, including Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai, and Icelandic.

Powers documented his year long journey through his website. Filled with videos, daily travel commentaries, and stunning photography, this website is so recognized internationally, it won 


Strangely enough, Jennifer Cramer was a math major at the University of Kentucky when she first became infatuated with the art of language. Following this infatuation, which was ignited in her undergraduate French classes, she quickly shifted her major to French, but once she was there, found there was still something missing in her academic focus.

“Someone suggested I take a linguistics class,” recalls Cramer, who is now in her second semester as a lecturer in the 

Burt Davis profile

by Jenny Wells

Burt Davis, longtime associate director for the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's Clean Fuels and Chemicals Group, has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from NASA – and has been named to the 2011 American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Fellows Program.


by Erin Holady Ziegler

When rising University of Kentucky senior Joseph Mann arrived in Cape Town, South Africa in mid-May, he was ready to make a difference and ready for a challenge. Little did he know that his travel abroad experience would change the course of his life.

"You just need to come here," Mann laughed. "That's what I've told my friends and family. In the face of such adversity, there's hope. South Africans know that they have a bright future. Despite issues with service availability and government


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