A portrait of Anastasia Curwood outdoors.

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

The University of Kentucky Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives and the Graduate School's Office of Diversity and Inclusion have named Anastasia Curwood the 2020 Dr. Doris Wilkinson Faculty Inclusive Excellence Award winner. This award honors faculty who enhance the university through their inclusive leadership and vision, particularly in the realm of graduate and professional education.

"I’m incredibly humbled to receive the award, especially because I was nominated by my student," said Curwood, who is an associate professor in the Department of History 

A scuba diver looks at a large sea turtle.

By Richard LeComte

Kristen Gould has dived – that is, scuba-dived -- into her studies of the environment. For the past three summers, Gould has pursued a summer program called Sprout Experience, which takes students to Caribbean shores for hands-on work with wildlife.

“Sprout is run by two teachers (Julie Milkie and Daniel Grigson) who have been traveling for a long time,” said Gould, a sophomore University of Kentucky student majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. “They began this program to take students across the world to do environmental education and cultural immersion trips which are very hands-on trips with researchers – they have a lot of connections.”

Gould, who’s from Avon Lake, Ohio, heard about the program at school and has continued with it as her UK studies began. The teachers who have run the

A portrait of Michael Zilis

While the 2020 general election is still more than seven months away, the COVID-19 crisis has paused much of the presidential campaign. Meanwhile, state and county officials across the U.S. are already preparing ways to allow voters to cast their ballots safely. UK faculty members with expertise in politics have been monitoring the evolving situation and are available to comment: 

Tiffany Barnes - Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences. - Stephen Voss - Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences. - Michael Zilis - Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences.

UK will continue adding experts to this resource in an effort to be an even more efficient and effective resource for the


It’s been an unprecedented transition — moving every class at the University of Kentucky to a remote learning format, mostly online. 

Creating a “new normal” for an entire campus community is a daunting task. But together, faculty, staff and students have risen to the challenge — exemplifying what’s truly possible in the face of adversity.

Teaching, Learning, and Academic Innovation has offered extended instructional design and technology support. Through the Canvas Learning Management System, faculty are virtually conducting live classes and tutoring sessions, providing interactive discussion boards and assigning coursework with integrated grading capabilities.

Below you’ll learn how each college is finding creative solutions to address unique challenges. They have different approaches, but each is

A picture of the Gaines Center building.

By Gabriela Antenore

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 undergraduate students as new scholars for the Gaines Fellowship Program.

The Gaines Fellowship is presented in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities. Founded in 1984 by a gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK’s campus. The Gaines Center is designed to enrich the study of the humanities at the University of Kentucky.

Frank X Walker

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky – Frank X Walker, professor of English and African American and Africana Studies in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, has received two honors for both his recent work and his career accomplishments.

Transylvania University has given the Judy Gaines Young Book Award to Walker for his collection of poems “Last Will, Last Testament.” The award has recognized outstanding works by writers in

A portrait of Melissa Stein in her office

By Richard LeComte

Melissa Stein’s online Health, History, & Human Diversity class this spring took on an unwanted yet vital relevance with the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, many aspects of past pandemics and other health issues the class studied had become alarmingly current.

“A lot of the material in the class turned out to be eerily on point,” said Stein, associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. “The unit that my students were going to take up after spring break is called ‘Global Health Challenges,’ so I modified the assignment to take into account the things we were all thinking about. There was no way people were going to go through that assignment without thinking about what’s happening right now.”

Stein designed the class

A portrait of Masamichi ​(Marro) Inoue

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Masamichi ​(Marro) Inoue, associate professor in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures, will be the new College of Arts & Sciences  International Village Living Learning Program faculty director starting Fall 2020.

Located in Blazer Hall, the International Village provides students with a meaningful international experience on UK’s campus through opportunities to explore other cultures and develop treasured friendships. Through the International Village, students have regular interactions with

An outdoors photo of Yuke Wang.

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that sophomore  Yuke Wang has received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The UK College of Arts & Sciences student is among 396 students nationwide selected to receive the 2020-21 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,343 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 461 of the nation's colleges and universities.

Wang, who calls Lexington home, is pursuing majors in physics and mathematics in the 


By Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis

When you look back at a 45-year career, there are a multitude of moments that stand out. For Allan Butterfield, Professor of Biological Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, his signature discovery grew from just such a Eureka moment on the sidewalk on campus. 

“I was walking back from Sanders-Brown Center on Aging to the Chemistry Building — two or three blocks — I kept asking myself, why are there so many proteins that are known to be altered in Alzheimer's disease? Why isn’t there just one?” Butterfield said, “And it occurred to me, ‘Oh, what if there is a free radical in the brain that is hitting all these different proteins


By Elizabeth Chapin

Dibakar Bhattacharyya has been a fixture in the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering for more than 50 years and is renowned for his research, which focuses on incorporating life sciences materials with synthetic membranes for filtering and producing clean water.

Today, the director of UK’s Center of Membrane Sciences, known to friends and colleagues as “DB,” is contributing his decades of membrane expertise to help address the spread of the novel coronavirus. He has the concept and the means to develop a medical face mask that would capture and deactivate the COVID-19 virus on contact.

“We have the capability to create a membrane that would not only effectively filter out the novel coronavirus like




The COVID-19 pandemic is creating shortages of sanitizing products in hospitals. Across the nation, spirits distillers are stepping up to help and using their products and equipment to make hand sanitizer for health care workers. At the University of Kentucky, The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits is making sanitizer and going a step further by creating an instructional video for distillers who want to do the same.

“There is a method that has evolved over the past few weeks using high-proof ethanol and glycerin,” said Seth DeBolt, director of the Beam Institute and horticulture professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We have had requests for sanitizer just within the university and also questions


By Madison Dyment

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A prominent goal of any institution is rewarding and enhancing student success – and the new Tomasky Leaders Scholarship Fund will help the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies achieve this goal. 

Named for Susan Tomasky, a College of Arts & Sciences alumna (BA, Topical Studies, ’74) who established the fund, the Tomasky Leaders Scholarship program serves to encourage students to become involved in politics, pursue higher office and live a life of activism. The fund covers all fees for recipients to attend events such as activism training, conferences and seminars, and participating in internships. 

“My undergraduate education at UK was shaped by several influential professors who helped me understand the relationship between intellectual growth as a student and personal


By Ryan Girves

Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 50 outstanding University of Kentucky undergraduate research students learned they were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The event was canceled, but UK's Office of Undergraduate Research is noting the achievement. Among them are more than a dozen students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The student conference, which would have been held this past weekend at Montana State University, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and strives to improve the state of undergraduate

Alumna and professor in the Department of Sociology, associate director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research

Carrie Oser, professor and associate chair in the Department of Sociology, is a ’ 98 UK graduate, the associate director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) and a faculty affiliate of the Center on Drug & Alcohol Research (CDAR). Her research interests include addiction health services, health disparities/equity, HIV risk behaviors/interventions, social networks, implementation science and substance use among rural, African American or criminal justice populations. 

In 2015, Oser received the Senior Scholar

Amy Murrell Taylor’s award-winning book “Embattled Freedom” chronicles the camps where formerly enslaved people congregated in the Civil War

By Richard LeComte

Camp Nelson, a Civil War-era historic site south of Lexington, helps to fill a gap in the epic story of the end of slavery in the United States. At this site, along with about 300 others in the South, the camp offered refuge to people emancipated from plantations and a place where men could enlist in the Union Army.

Here at Camp Nelson and many other places, African Americans began or continued a serpentine journey to freedom—one that American history has, until now, failed to map.

“The story of freedom in the United States is a story of long, drawn-out battles, fights and struggles,” said Amy Murrell Taylor, author of the acclaimed book “Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s

Statistics Department named for alumnus, generous donor

By Jay Blanton

University of Kentucky faculty member Connie Wood accepted a collect call in 1989 from a student a world away who was in need of a connection and a path forward.

For Bing Zhang, the willingness of a director of graduate studies to accept that phone call and offer help in a time of need has made all the difference in a life’s work and, now, what has been a lifetime of giving back.

Flash forward more than 30 years.

This February, President Eli Capilouto recommended and the UK Board of Trustees accepted a $6.35 million pledge Zhang is making to the University’s Department of Statistics, where he received his doctorate 26 years ago. The board also approved naming the Department the Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics at the University of Kentucky. UK’s

College’s new Latinx professors reach out to students of similar heritage

By Richard LeComte

Teaching his first classes at UK in fall 2019, Eladio Bobadilla fresh from his doctoral studies at Duke—saw a lot of eager students waiting for him to share his perspectives on Latinx history. For many students in the class, Bobadilla was teaching something essential: their own histories. 

“It was pretty amazing because a couple of the classes were largely Latino students who were really excited to have someone who looked like them teach them about their histories,” Bobadilla said. “So that was a lot of fun for me. And it was exciting for them to find someone who cares about their history.”

As part of a cluster hire program to bring new Latinx faculty to campus, the College of Arts and Sciences brought aboard two assistant professors: Bobadilla, in

This Living Learning Program gives freshmen a mentored head start on the way to majoring in the sciences and mathematics

By Richard LeComte

Started in 2015, the STEMCats Living Learning Program has helped students majoring within the many and varied areas of the sciences or mathematics find their way to success at UK. And STEMCats peer mentors are a big part of that effort. 

“I have a group chat with my mentees about how things are going,” said Keanu Exum, a STEMCats peer mentor majoring in biology and neuroscience. “I want to make myself known to my mentees — that I am a resource for them.” 

Getting students situated in STEMCats is having a positive effect on the academic careers of the participants, says a study conducted by Carol D. Hanley of International Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. STEMCats is a program


Anne C. Deaton, English '67, has focused her career on the socio-economic, health and public policy issues related to seniors. In Columbia, Missouri, Deaton co-founded the Children’s Grove, an organization devoted to promoting a culture of kindness and supporting the health of young people through community education, the arts and the environment.

Gerald L. Smith, History ’81, ’83, ’88, served from 1997 to 2005 as director of the UK African American Studies and Research Program. He is a full professor of history and former Theodore A. Hallam Professor and Martin Luther King Center Scholar-in-Residence. His awards include induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College and the Evelyn Black Award from the UK Black Student Union.

Steve Sullivan, Geology ’79, worked


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