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See What's New in Science

Submitted by kornbluh on Tue, 01/31/2012 - 10:13 am

A&S is proud to launch What’s New in Science, a new series designed for science teachers interested in learning more about the most recent discoveries, events, and advances in science today.  The series is held in a casual round table format, with professors from different scientific disciplines and science teachers from Kentucky schools talking among themselves, asking questions, and getting answers about new and emerging knowledge. Each session focuses on a new topic in one of the sciences – there will be four different sessions this spring.

The series kicks off on February 2 with physics and astronomy and a discussion about the Big Bang event, dark energy, and dark matter. Panelists for the first talk include Randal Voss (Department of Biology), Ganpathy Murthy (Department of Physics & Astronomy), Karen Young, (Dunbar High School), John Anthony (Department of Chemistry), Susan Barron (Department of Psychology), and Gene Toth (Lafayette High School). Video of the sessions will also be recorded and uploaded to the A&S website, allowing science teachers across the state to view the discussions and incorporate them into their classes.

Additional talks in the spring series will focus on topics in chemistry, biology, and psychology.  To view the full list of topics and to find out more information about the series, visit The series will have limited seating, so reservations are required.

Applied Statistics Lab Will Foster Collaborative Research, Provide Statistical Support

Submitted by kornbluh on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 09:33 am


I’d like to point your attention to the newest installment of the Dean’s Channel where I spoke with statistics professors Arne Bathke and Arny Stromberg. In 2011, UK opened its first Applied Statistics Lab (ASL), with the help of the Office of the Vice President for Research, several UK college deans, and infrastructure grants such as the university's recent Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), UK statisticians in the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of Statistics, and the College of Public Health's Department of Biostatistics.

The main objectives of this venture are to provide improved statistical services to groups preparing grant proposals, direct faculty involvement from the Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics for study design and data analysis throughout UK, foster collaborative research between scholars who develop quantitative methodology and those who use such methodology in their work, and to become a resource which may be referenced in institutional support for larger grants, in addition to direct statistical support typically included in such grants.

To watch the entire interview, click here. For more information about the lab, visit

Welcome back everyone!

A&S English Professor Wins National Book Award

Submitted by kornbluh on Wed, 01/04/2012 - 04:08 pm


In case you missed it during the hectic holiday season, A&S English professor Nikky Finney was featured on “UK at the Half” with Carl Nathe during the UK vs. Loyola basketball game. Finney’s book, “Head Off & Split,” was the winner of the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry. The National Book Awards is one of the most anticipated events in the publishing world. Finney has taught at UK for decades and is a member of the Affrilachian Poets group that includes Frank X Walker and Kelly Norman Ellis.

To hear the "UK at the Half" interview, click here.


End of the Semester Awards: Congrats to Our Outstanding A&S Faculty and Students

Submitted by kornbluh on Fri, 12/16/2011 - 03:59 pm

As the semester comes to a close, I want to take a moment to recognize several faculty members and students who were recently honored for their outstanding accomplishments.

Six UK professors have been recognized for their excellence in the classroom with the UK Alumni Association 2012 Great Teacher Awards. Beginning in 1961, the Great Teacher Award is the oldest continuous award that recognizes teaching at UK – the nominations are made by students. A&S faculty include Arne Bathke, director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Statistics and director of the Applied Statistics Laboratory; Eric Christianson, associate professor in the Department of History; and Ana Rueda, chairwoman and professor of Peninsular Spanish Literature in the Department of Hispanic Studies. The recipients will be honored at the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Recognition Dinner on Jan. 17, 2012. They are scheduled for further honors at Rupp Arena during the Arkansas vs. Kentucky men’s basketball game later that evening.

Adesuwa Ighodaro, a senior biochemistry major, is the first recipient of the Paul G. Sears endowed scholarship in chemistry. The scholarship, initiated in 2008, was created in honor of Dr. Paul G. Sears to assist undergraduates studying chemistry at the University of Kentucky. Ade has her sights set on medical school but after the four-year medical program, she will spend an extra year earning a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in global health.

Matthew Massey, avid rock climber and doctoral graduate in Earth and Environmental Sciences, won the Journal of Structural Geology’s Student Author of the Year Award for 2011. Massey was awarded a scholarship from the Graduate School to study abroad at the University of Liverpool. Prior, second author on the paper, helped critique Massey’s interpretations for his dissertation and address some of the peer review comments. The third author on the paper, Massey’s UK advisor Dr. David Moecher, assisted throughout the process editing Massey’s dissertation and critiquing his research. 

UK senior Taylor Lloyd was selected as one of this year’s 26 recipients of the prestigious $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The ASF Scholarship is presented to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math. Lloyd is pursuing a bachelor's degree in agricultural biotechnology and biology. In addition to her studies, Lloyd is a Chellgren Fellow and member of the Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research and Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She is also a 2011 recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Students Tackle Physics With iPads

Submitted by kornbluh on Wed, 11/30/2011 - 01:22 pm


The iPad is an amazing piece of technology that can take us anywhere we want to go. But, aside from being a portal to the internet, game console, and personal music machine (iTunes – you’ve probably lost count of the songs you’ve downloaded), it also has applications that can be functional in the classroom.

Mike Cavagnero, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is using the iPad’s built-in, high-tech gadgetry in his A&S Wired research course, the Science of Measurement.  Building upon the idea of measurement and observation as the foundation of science, students in this interactive physics class are tasked with one of four measuring projects from around campus – which must be completed using iPad tools. The iPad has a built in camera and can serve as a compass to measure magnetic fields. It can act as both a spectrometer to measure light sources and an accelerometer to measure how fast an object is moving. There are challenges to the final projects, which range from measuring the speed of the Patterson Office Tower elevator to measuring the speed of sound at a specifically-defined area outside UK's Singletary Center, but the undergraduates enrolled in the course are enjoying exploring the world around them.

To find out more about these interesting iPad tools, check out an iPad App demonstration with Mike Cavagnero and see them in action.

Boost Your IT IQ: Cool Classes for the Winter Intercession

Submitted by kornbluh on Fri, 11/18/2011 - 12:05 pm

Winter break and the holidays are fast approaching. Students – have you made plans for winter intersession yet? If not, A&S is offering classes during the break for those students interested in gaining extra credit hours and speeding up time to graduation. It’s a great time to pick up an extra class in your major or explore a topic you find intriguing. For example, we are offering a new online course for those students interested in an overview of technologies we use every day. The class, A&S 100 – 230: IT IQ will allow you to sharpen your IT IQ and learn about video conferencing, software installation, internet research tools, and Blackboard basics – just to name a few – and earn extra credit hours in the process. This class will familiarize you with technologies, research tools, and search engines that are important to your success at UK and beyond. Become a better digital citizen and learn about social networking and e-etiquette as you communicate through Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogs. To learn more about the class, click here.

This is one of several classes being offered during the winter intersession. Others include ENG 281 – Introduction to Film; GEO 160 – Lands and Peoples of the Non-Western World; PHI 100 – Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality; and PHI 120 – Introductory Logic. To find out what other courses are being offered and to enroll in any winter intersession classes, contact your academic advisor – the deadline to sign up is November 22.

                winter intercession poster

A&S Welcomes U.S. Ambassabor Julia Chang Bloch

Submitted by kornbluh on Thu, 11/10/2011 - 12:42 pm


As part of our Year of China, A&S is pleased to welcome former United States Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch to campus on Thursday November 10. She will speak on “Leadership and Education in a Globalizing World: China’s Challenge.” Ambassador Bloch was the first Asian-American ambassador in U.S. history and served in a wide range of positions, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Senate, and from 1989 to 1993 served as U.S. ambassador to Nepal. She is currently president of the U.S. – China Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working to develop U.S. – China relations through education and exchanges.

Ambassador Bloch has devoted her career to increasing international understanding and after a career of distinguished public service, she is now pioneering efforts to grow exchange relationships between the United States and China. We are especially fortunate to have her come to UK to talk with our students and the broader academic community. We hope you will attend this lecture given by a trailblazing U.S. diplomat.

The talk will be held in room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building on November 10 at 5pm. For more information on our Year of China events, please visit .                   



UK at the Half - What's Happening at A&S

Submitted by kornbluh on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 01:28 pm


In case you missed it during the UK vs. Transylvania University basketball game, I had the opportunity to speak with Carl Nathe about the exciting initiatives in the College of Arts & Sciences. A&S Wired is up and running with close to 200 students participating in the new residential college. Located in Keeneland Hall, students live in an interactive space and participate in a technology-infused curriculum designed around the concept of a 21st century liberal arts education. Faculty members teach classes as well as hold office hours in the residence hall, making them readily accessible to students.

I also touched briefly on this year’s international-themed programming on China. Not only does this year’s passport to the world programming highlight the culture, history, and people of this fast-growing country but students are now able to enroll in the new Chinese major being offered by the College.

Check out the rest of the UK at the Half interview to hear more about the College’s expanded online course offerings and other exciting A&S initiatives.



Enjoying the Quietness of Campus: Early Morning ROTC Run/Walk

Submitted by kornbluh on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 08:09 am


runner with flagEach semester, the College of Arts & Sciences invites runners and walkers to participate in the ROTC Run/Walk with the Dean. This fall, A&S faculty, students, and staff met outside of Buell Armory at 6:30am and had the opportunity to either take part in a 3.1 mile fun run or a 1.5 mile walk around campus. It was an early morning but the run allowed us to enjoy the quietness of campus before the start of another hectic workday as well as meet UK ROTC cadets, staff and faculty from other offices and departments. Runners and walkers were treated to hot chocolate, coffee and healthy breakfast options at Buell Armory afterward. A great time was had by all those who participated.

We will post information on the spring ROTC Run/Walk with the Dean once the details are available. We hope you can make it!




A&S Pioneers New Fields of Research with Pioneer Natural Resources

Submitted by kornbluh on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 08:24 am

I recently had the honor of attending the Pioneer Natural Resources gift recognition ceremony on UK’s campus. The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences (EES), in partnership with UK alumnus and Pioneer’s Vice President of Technology Tom Spalding, accepted a $600,000 gift from the company. The gift, which is intended to be spread over the next three years, will fund the Pioneer Natural Resources Research Professorship in Stratigraphy, as well as a three-year recruiting fellowship. Ellen Kaiser a first-year student in EES is the first recipient of this award.  Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration company based in Dallas, with operations in Texas, Colorado, Alaska, and South Africa.

In his presentation of the gift, Mr. Spalding meditated on his own education at UK.  He challenged students to pursue careers in areas where they are passionate. He credits his time at the university as not only cementing a life-long love for UK basketball, but also, more importantly, for fueling his passion for the science of geology.  He waxed eloquently about his outstanding mentors he had in EES.  Mr. Spalding also remarked about the quality of the students in the department, several of whom have gone on to very successful careers with Pioneer. He credited this sense of connection and a desire to give back as a major motivating factor behind the gift.

In accepting this gift, President Capilouto highlighted the importance of creative public-private partnerships for the future of our University.  He thanked Pioneer Natural Resources for its investment in the future of Geology and our Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. 

I had the opportunity to visit Pioneer this past summer and meet with our alumni employees. I was fascinated to see the integrated use of research data and visualization/simulation tools.  The visit gave me an eye on the type of high-tech careers for which we are preparing our students. Equally important, it was clear that our students need to leave UK with strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively in teams with individuals with widely diverse areas of specialization and academic backgrounds. This type of engagement with our alums and the companies that they work for benefits the College and our students in innumerable ways.  

I am very thankful to Tom Spalding and Pioneer Natural Resources and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.