News

6/22/2020
By Jenny Wells-Hosley
 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the University Research Professorships for the 2020-21 academic year. Among them are Amy Murrell Taylor in the Department of History; and Renée Fatemi in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The purpose of the University Research Professorship program is to recognize and publicize research accomplishments of scholars across the full range of disciplines at UK. The award amount is $10,000 for one year, to be used to further the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of the awardee.  

“It is gratifying to recognize these distinguished experts who have made significant

6/19/2020
A portrait of Vanessa Holden.

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) ⁠— It’s been said that history can help us understand the present and inform the future.

Let’s travel back to April 9, 1865. At the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate troops to the Union’s Ulysses S. Grant — ending an excruciating four-year-long battle.

The Civil War came to a close, but a number of African Americans across the United States remained enslaved — forced to continue as if freedom didn’t exist.

This was especially the case in Texas, where thousands of enslaved people weren’t freed until June 19, 1865. Their long-awaited celebration would serve as the foundation of Juneteenth.

Today, the holiday, which celebrates the abolition of slavery, coincides with protests across the U.S.

6/11/2020

By Richard LeComte

Three University of Kentucky professors have received the College of Arts & Sciences Award for the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion. The award recognizes a faculty member who has helped to develop a more diverse atmosphere in the College.

The College Inclusivity Committee reviewed the nominations. The awardees are: 

6/11/2020

By Richard LeComte

Sumit R. Das, University research professor of physics and astronomy, has been named to the Jack and Linda Gill Endowed Professorship in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. UK’s Board of Trustees approved the designation in December, and the appointment takes effect in July. 

The Gill Research Excellence Fund supports the Gill Professorships in Science and Engineering. The deans of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering jointly administer the program. Professors are recommended by a committee based on a nomination letter. Das also is a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor for 2019-20.

“Das has made major contributions in a range of different areas related to the branch of theoretical physics known as string theory, the unified theory of elementary particles and gravity that describes

6/11/2020
By Ryan Girves  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2020) — The University of Kentucky recognized two College of Arts & Sciences faculty members and three teaching assistants with the 2020 Outstanding Teaching Awards.

This annual award recognizes faculty and graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate special dedication and outstanding performance in the classroom or laboratory. A selection committee based in the Provost's Office for Faculty Advancement and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching reviewed nominations and gave the awards. 

"The diversity of disciplines reflected in the Outstanding Teaching Award winners speaks to the breadth and depth of expertise that distinguishes the University of Kentucky," said

6/5/2020

By Richard LeComte

Postdoctoral positions help launch the academic careers of Ph.D. graduates and bring acclaim to their doctoral-granting institutions. Several recent Ph.D. students in the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Physics and Astronomy have landed stellar postdoctoral positions:

Alina Aleksandrova (experimental nuclear physics) is working at the California Institute of Technology. Mark Broering (experimental nuclear physics) has started a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. Ankur Das (theoretical condensed matter physics) has accepted a postdoctoral position at Weizmann Institute in Israel starting in September. Animik Ghosh (theoretical high energy physics) will serve as a postdoc at the University of Illinois, also starting in September. Aaron Jezghani (experimental nuclear physics) is working as a research scientist at Georgia Tech
6/5/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2020) — University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that five recent UK graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences received Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among approximately 2,100 U.S. students who will travel abroad for the 2020-21 academic year.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected based on academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries. 

The UK alumni awarded Fulbright grants are:

Evan Lenzen, a 2020 
6/4/2020

By Richard LeComte

National events burst into the curriculum of the University of Kentucky when precautions over the novel coronavirus drove instruction online. As the students of Julia Johnson’s large-lecture core creative writing class in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences saw their lives upended, she felt they needed an outlet to express their fears, emotions, and hopes.

“What we were experiencing being in quarantine and a global pandemic situation was something none of us had ever experienced before,” said Johnson, a poet and professor in the Department of English and MFA program in Creative Writing. “And to be a student during this — that adds another level to the experience.”

The result: Nascent poets and writers in both her undergraduate and graduate classes expressed themselves through haiku and other kinds of poetry. Some students then recorded

6/3/2020

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty.

We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our A&S community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

During this time of pandemic and continued racism and violence that especially impact marginalized communities of color, we recognize the disproportionate impact on Black and African-American people. In the context of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and here in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, we affirm that

5/29/2020
By Paulina Zarate

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2020) — The International Center at the University of Kentucky has announced its first cohort of UK Global Impact Award winners. Among them is Srimati Basu, professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Recipients comprise faculty, staff and alumni who have significantly contributed to the university’s global engagement through education, research and service, as well as fostered a culturally diverse, welcoming environment that is conducive to comprehensive campus internationalization.

“Global engagement activities by faculty and staff are often seen as something extra,” said Sue Roberts, associate provost for internationalization. “But

5/29/2020

By Richard LeComte

Myles D. Moody, now the holder of a doctorate from the University of Kentucky, has been giving his knowledge back to students through the SPARK program – an effort to train undergraduates from under-represented backgrounds in sociological research.

“I’m passionate about research and I really wanted the opportunity to transfer those skills and knowledge to younger folks,” said Moody, who earned his doctorate in sociology in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences. “It’s been very rewarding for me. I love seeing light bulbs go off. And it even reinforces some things for me. It’s been great in that regard.”

Moody was a first-generation doctoral student in the Sociology Department and a research assistant at the new Center for Health Equity Transformation at UK. In the SPARK program, he led undergrads through the process of getting research on human

5/27/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for almost everyone, and University of Kentucky students had to quickly adapt to finish out a semester that was unlike any other in UK history. Maria Sanchez, who graduated from UK this May, was no stranger to these challenges. Sanchez chose to share her personal story of family, hard work and resiliency, and how she plans to use her skills and experiences to create a better tomorrow.

From Mexico to the United States

Sanchez has lived in Chicago for more than half of her life and identifies as a Chicagoan. However, she was originally born in Mexico City and lived in the city’s outskirts as a young child. Her father died when she was just 1 year old, leaving her mother as

5/26/2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2020) — As nonprofit Appalshop celebrates its golden anniversary serving as one of Appalachia’s most celebrated hubs of creativity, University of Kentucky Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in partnership with UK history alumnus and historian Jeff Keith have launched a collection of more than 50 interviews on the beloved organization online.

Known globally for documentaries and films, the Kentucky-based nonprofit has served as a regional creative hub for a theater troupe (

5/21/2020

By Richard LeComte

Even if students can’t travel to foreign lands this summer, they can extend their knowledge of languages through a series of courses offered online in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences. 

“I think one really big advantage of online learning the lockdown – when students can’t leave their homes – is the ability to travel virtually,” said  Julie Human, assistant professor of French and Francophone Studies in UK’s Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures Department (MCLLC). “You can explore the customs and ways of the Francophone world whenever you’re stuck at home inside your four walls.”

Classes in Spanish, French, German and other languages are offered online through UK this summer. 

“We have all the elementary levels of Spanish – levels 101,

5/21/2020

By Madison Dyment

Senior University of Kentucky students Bushra Bani-Salman, Candela Arias Perez and Olivia Bloss were selected to present their independent research at the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

The students are Political Science majors receiving Peace Studies certificates in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

"Getting the opportunity to both conduct independent research and present it in a national conference, and getting to watch my peers do the same, is one of the biggest highlights of my undergraduate career," Arias Perez said. "It was a wonderful learning experience."

Pi Sigma Alpha serves as the national honors society for political science undergraduates. Over President’s Day weekend in February 2020, the society held its centennial conference. At the conference:  

Bani-Salman covered how U.
5/21/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 21, 2020) — Transportation is the world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Automakers  are challenged to meet higher standards designed to reduce vehic,le pollution. This pollution contributes to climate change and can be detrimental to human health.

Adhering to the new standards requires removing pollutants, specifically poisonous and highly reactive nitrogen oxides (NOx) from exhaust gas when a vehicle is started and the gas is still cold. The device that does this removal  — a catalytic converter — needs to be warm to efficiently remove NOx, however.

Mark Crocker, professor of chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and assistant

5/19/2020

By Madison Dyment

Aria Halliday, who will be joining the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the African American and Africana Studies program in the fall, has been named a 2020 Career Enhancement Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences.

The fellowship program attempts to encourage minority junior faculty members and others dedicated to eradicating racial disparities in the arts and humanities. Halliday was awarded the year-long fellowship through this program. The grant is $30,000 over one year with an additional $1,500 for research or travel, a mentor and attendance at a conference connecting all fellows and mentors.

Halliday, born in Indianapolis and raised in Durham, North Carolina,  received a B.A. in Africana Studies from Davidson College, a M.A. in American Studies

5/19/2020
By Emily Sallee

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 19, 2020) — The University of Kentucky chapter of Phi Beta Kappa recently inducted 32 new members into the prestigious academic honor society. This year’s induction ceremony, originally scheduled for April 22, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-four students list the College of Arts & Sciences as their primary college. 

Celebrating excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, Phi Beta Kappa elects more than 15,000 new members a year from 270 chapters across the United States. There are also nearly 50 alumni associations across the country that allow members to continue active affiliation with the society after graduation. 

“Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, and these students’ induction is a

5/18/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that five students and alumnae have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. In addition, six other UK students received honorable mention recognition from the foundation. Included among the recipients are College of Arts & Sciences alumni and current undergraduates. 

NSF Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees for a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) field.

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