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Join Team of UK Faculty at the 2015 SEC Symposium

By Whitney Hale

(July 13, 2015) — Be sure to mark your calendar for the third annual Southeastern Conference (SEC) Symposium, scheduled for Sept. 20-22, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The SEC Symposium addresses a significant scholarly issue across the range of disciplines represented by the SEC's 14 member universities. The event showcases their academic excellence and underscores their educational and economic contributions to the vitality of the region, nation and world. The 2015 symposium is titled "Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Driving a 21st Century Economy."

The 2015 SEC Symposium will focus on the development and impact of innovation at SEC universities. Four keynote speakers and 20 session speakers will be asked to share their expertise on subjects such as enhancing and measuring the economic impact of university innovation, fostering creativity through interaction with the arts, and new developments at the forefront of innovation in education.

Attendees at the 2015 SEC Symposium will also be given opportunities to share best practices in several smaller breakout sessions. It is hoped that collaboration among attendees will be continued after the symposium. To help facilitate this, the conference will utilize a new technology produced by Feathr, a company cofounded by University of Florida engineering students whose product allows conference participants the ability to stay connected after the conference.

In addition to the traditional presentation sessions, the organizers would like to introduce several new evening activities to the symposium. The event will also feature a grad recruiting fair, a showcase for student creative work and an informal jam session for conference attendees.

The 2015 SEC Symposium will be led by University of Florida. UK's representative to the symposium is Dean Michael Tick of UK College of Fine Arts. Prior to joining UK's College of Fine Arts, Tick was the chair of the Department of Theatre at Louisiana State University (LSU) and producing artistic director of Swine Palace, the department’s professional theatre company. Before joining LSU in 1999, he served on the planning committee that established in 1985 the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. As founding chair of the GSA Department of Theatre, Tick served on the faculty of Old Dominion University.

In addition to Tick, five other UK faculty will participate in the symposium, including:

· Rodney Andrews, director of the Center for Applied Energy Research, who will serve as a panel moderator;

· David Biagi, director of the School of Architecture in the UK College of Design, who will be a presenter;

· Alison Davis, executive director of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, who will be a presenter;

· Kathi Kern, director of the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, who will serve as a panelist; and

· Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, chair of the Secondary Mathematics Program in the College of Education, who will serve as a panelist.

Two UK administrators are also helping with the symposium. Susan Carvalho, interim dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for International Programs, is a member on the SEC University Showcase committee. Dean Dan O'Hair, of UK College of Communication and Information, is serving as a committee member for the Student Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition. 

Other UK faculty, administrators and students will attend the symposium. To date, the faculty and administrators planning to attend are: Dean Mark Kornbluh, of UK College of Arts and Sciences; Associate Dean Derek Lane, of UK College of Communication and Information; and Associate Professor Kimberly Parker, of UK College of Communication and Information. Several students will be attending, including: Ian Cruz, Ellen Marshall McCann, Sophie Silcox and Coty Taylor, of UK College of Fine Arts; Ashton Filburn, of UK College of Communication and Information; Michael Lewis, of Gatton College of Business and Economics; and Corey Mackey and Mark Manczyk, of UK College of Design.

To get the latest news on speakers, session topics, registration and more for the 2015 SEC Symposium, visit